'Out of control': Eddie McGuire rubbishes wild Collingwood rumours

·4-min read
Eddie McGuire is seen here discussing the drama at Collingwood on Footy Classified.
Eddie McGuire has denied suggestions he's behind an attempted coup at Collingwood. Pic: Ch9

Eddie McGuire has vigorously denied suggestions he's behind an attempted "coup" to overthrow Collingwood's current president, Mark Korda.

McGuire - who served as the club's president for more than two decades - stood down from the role in February in the wake of the 'Do Better' report that exposed a culture of systemic racism at the club.

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However, rumblings within the AFL community suggest McGuire has been helping to orchestrate a play from his friend and businessman Jeff Browne, who reportedly wants to join the Collingwood board and become president.

Talk of an overhaul at board level for Collingwood has only intensified in recent days, with billionaire vice-president Alex Waislitz this week announcing his resignation.

Speaking on Channel Nine's Footy Classified on Wednesday night, McGuire insisted the Collingwood board had his "full support" and denied suggestions he was trying to overthrow the current president.

“If I wanted to be the president, I would have stayed on as the president. I’m out now. I’m done,” McGuire told Footy Classified.

“Don’t for a second think that Jeff Browne needs me to hold his bag. If Jeff Browne is going to do something, Jeff is a very, very powerful, successful man.

“The board is there at the moment, they’ve got my full support.

“These things just get out of control.”

McGuire said regardless of the fact that he's friends with Browne, he's been left "bewildered" by the suggestion he's helping him make a play for the presidency. 

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“I was president for 23 years at the club I love, I gave my heart and soul to the place and I stepped aside, and that’s it,” McGuire said. 

“I support the Collingwood Football Club, I want it to do well and I’ve got nothing to do with anything.

“We’ve been very good friends for a long, long time, but I’ve got nothing to do with anything that Jeff’s doing as far as anything to do with the Collingwood Football Club.”

President throws support behind Eddie

Korda himself poured cold water on the McGuire speculation during a series of radio interviews on Wednesday, where he dismissed suggestions the TV personality would want to "tear down his own legacy".

“Eddie has always put Collingwood first. He resigned in February because, as he said, Collingwood needed clear air. Five directors are on the board that were with Eddie so why would he want to do that for his own legacy?" Korda told Neil Mitchell on 3AW.

“Yes (I want to stay as president). No (I have not considered stepping down in the interest of the club), we have got a fully elected board by the members … we need to govern the club in accordance with proper process and protocols so we will govern the club and govern the club well.

“Eddie’s on the record (saying) that coups aren’t good for clubs.”

Korda's comments come after veteran AFL journalist Mark Robinson torched Collingwood's boardroom mess, following an admission by the club that new director Bridie O'Donnell isn't actually eligible for the role.

It was revealed on Wednesday that Dr O'Donnell hasn't been a Collingwood member for the required 24 months, meaning she won't be able to vote.

Dr O’Donnell was announced as a new director of the club on Tuesday after vice-president Waislitz stood down.

But she only joined as a club member in February of 2020, meaning she's ineligible to vote because she hasn't met the 24-month requirement.

Her fellow board members can grant Dr O'Donnell voting rights at the club's Annual General Meeting, but that won't be held until after the 2021 season finishes.

Seen here, new Collingwood board member Dr Bridie O'Donnell.
Dr Bridie O'Donnell was made a member of the Collingwood board despite being ineligible. Image: Twitter

That means she won't have a say on the future of current coach Nathan Buckley.

“This is just calamity upon calamity,” Robinson said on Fox Footy on Wednesday night.

“When you announce that the vice-president’s going, and then you announce we’ve got these new people coming in ... and it’s revealed she shouldn’t be on the board.

“Then they’ve sent out a press release saying, nah nah, it’s alright she’s not going to vote. Well, what the hell’s she doing on the board?

“The board’s going to be deciding on Nathan Buckley at some stage. ‘Righto, here’s the recommendation from Graham Wright, do you want to vote Bridie? Oh, hang on, I’m not allowed to vote’.

“Seriously, how does this happen?”

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