'Broken club': AFL great's dire warning about Nathan Buckley 'tragedy'

·4-min read
Pictured here, Nathan Buckley looks disappointed after a Collingwood game.
Nathan Buckley's future as Collingwood coach has been the subject of intense speculation. Pic: Getty

AFL legend Mark Maclure has offered a damning assessment of the predicament facing Collingwood this season, after referring to the Magpies as a "broken club" and warning that more upheaval should be expected.

Collingwood have just been rocked by the sudden resignation of billionaire vice-president Alex Waislitz.

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Just months after Eddie McGuire was forced to step down as president in the wake of the Do Better report, Waislitz announced on Tuesday night that he was also quitting the club's board.

The pair served together on the Collingwood board for some 22 years.

List manager Ned Guy also recently quit the club, in the wake of the high-profile departures of star players Adam Treloar and Jaidyn Stephenson.

Pressure on Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has also been steadily mounting, following the club's disappointing 2-7 start to the season.

The 2-7 start comes amid a backdrop of Jeff Browne's reported intent to claim the club presidency from Mark Korda, who was only recently installed as McGuire's successor.

Speaking on Fox Sports, Carlton great Maclure said the signs were very worrying for the famous club.

“I see a broken club, to tell you the truth,” Maclure told AFL 360.

“The (Dayne) Beams and Treloar thing was a mess for them for some time and Eddie’s fallout was no good.

“I watched them against Sydney and to kick one goal in three quarters against a young side like Sydney – one goal in three quarters? That‘s atrocious.

“I think there‘s going to be a lot of tragedy there.”

Seen here, Mark Maclure talking footy on AFL 360.
Mark Maclure has warned Collingwood fans to expect more upheaval at the club. Pic: Fox Sports

Despite reports on Tuesday that Buckley was set to keep his job for the 2022 season, Maclure doesn't think it's a realistic proposition.

“No, he couldn’t possibly. Couldn‘t possibly," Maclure said.

“I like Nathan, I think he‘s a nice fella. But he’ll get a job somewhere, no problem whatsoever.

“Is it his fault that this happened? No, that‘s the point.

“No one‘s blaming Nathan, but he’s going to go down because of that.”

Testing month looms for Pies

With games coming up against Port Adelaide (fifth), Geelong (third), Adelaide (15th) and Melbourne (first), AFL 360 co-host Mark Robinson said things could get even uglier for Buckley.

“They really could be to 2-11,” Robinson said. “Is that survivable? I don’t think it is.

“But if they think Buckley’s the man, come out and reappoint him now and get some stability around this football club.

“Right now, everywhere you look, this is very, very quickly becoming an inferno and it’s just going on and on.”

Club great Tony Shaw has called for the board dispute to be settled so Buckley can make a call on his future.

“What if there’s a board challenge and they (the Korda board) get put out and the new board aren’t backing Buckley, what do you do then? It’s a horrible position,” Shaw told the Herald Sun.

“We are talking about someone’s career as a coach and still Jeff hasn’t come out and said, ‘I want the job’. 

"So we need Jeff and whoever else he’s got behind the scenes to come out right now - not two or three weeks down the track - and then get together with Korda, because the coach decision is a massive decision.

“You can’t just have a board come in and say, ‘No, we didn’t want Nathan Buckley’. What are you going to do, pay a bloke two years of contract and say, ‘We didn’t want you?’ 

"It’s just ridiculous, so the board decision has to be settled before they make a decision on Nathan.”

with agencies

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