Collingwood's big backflip to break Jordan De Goey contract stand-off

Jordan De Goey is pictured warming up for Collingwood ahead of an AFL match.
Collingwood have backed down to some extent over behavioural clauses in Jordan De Goey's contract extension, with the 26-year-old signing up for a further five years. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Jordan De Goey has elected to stay at Collingwood in favour of a free agency move to another club, after the Magpies agreed to make concessions on the 26-year-old's contract extension.

The star forward and his management had baulked at an initial contract extension from the Magpies which contained what they described as 'arbitrary' clauses pertaining to his off-field behaviour.

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Collingwood withdrew an initial offer extended to De Goey earlier in 2022, in the wake of the controversy that erupted following a mid-season trip to Bali.

After 137 games for the Magpies, De Goey had attracted interest from both St Kilda and Essendon as the Magpies negotiated with their star forward.

The Magpies upped the length of their offer from four years to five, also softening some of the behavioural requirements imposed on De Goey.

Earlier reports had indicated the Magpies would have the option to end the contract if those clauses were breached, however it is understood on the new off, those clauses will only be in effect for the first two years.

The news was welcomed by Magpies fans and will no doubt be a relief for head coach Craig McRae, who indicated immediately after Collingwood's preliminary final loss that he was prioritising De Goey remaining at the club.

“I grabbed his manager and said ‘let’s get to work on this’, because I’ve said this openly, I want Jordy at our footy club next year,” McRae told reporters post-match.

“Now I don‘t know how that’s progressing, but hopefully it’s progressing in the right direction — not because he’s Jordy De Goey, but I just think this environment is the best place for Jordy de Goey.”

In June, Collingwood gave De Goey a $25,000 suspended fine and he apologised for "disrespectful" conduct while partying in Bali.

De Goey also agreed to "undertake further behavioural education" in addition to an existing counselling program, but avoided any playing suspension.

"We're delighted Jordan has agreed to extend his contract to stay at Collingwood," Magpies football manager Graham Wright said in a statement.

"Jordan is a talented footballer and his commitment to improve his game has seen him perform strongly this year, particularly during the back-end of the season and during the finals series where he was exciting to watch.

"We feel Jordan's best football is in front of him and, as a club, we will continue to support him as he grows as a player and as a person."

Jordan De Goey extends Collingwood contract after renegotiations

De Goey controversially hit out at the 'relentless persecution of athletes' after posts on social media showed him groping a friend while on a mid-season trip to Bali, while over the summer he put his post-season arrest in New York last year behind him by pleading guilty to a misdemeanour charge of harassment.

Those debacles, combined with instances of drink driving and lying to the club about the cause of an injury much earlier in his Collingwood career, led the club to include several clauses in their latest contract to the restricted free agent which reportedly give the club power to terminate the deal 'whenever they think necessary'.

The clauses drew criticism both from former AFL player David King, as well as the AFL Players Association.

King argued on Twitter that De Goey's past history was not enough to have such a risk associated with his contract.

Jordan De Goey is pictured with Collingwood teammate Jeremy Howe.
Jordan De Goey knocked back Collingwood's initial contract offer, before agreeing to a revised five-year-deal. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

“No way Jordan De Goey should sign that contract,” he wrote.

“It should never be permissible by the AFLPA, regardless of history.

“Don’t trust him, don’t sign him.”

AFLPA representative Brett Murphy said the existing requirements for players as standard with the AFL were effective enough without adding further clauses for specific players.

De Goey's decision to knock back the contract was applauded by the AFLPA.

“Players are also bound by the code of conduct, AFL rules and other policies, which provide options for sanctions where appropriate and permitted in different circumstances, as well as broader legal principles applying to all employees,” Brett Murphy said.

“The content of AFL players’ Standard Playing Contract is agreed between the AFL and AFLPA. Having a standard form contract is the norm in world sport and any attempt to deviate from them undermines the integrity of this process and creates inconsistency.”

With AAP

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