'Not quite sure': Doubts over 'disillusioned' Eddie McGuire's TV return

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Eddie McGuire stepped down as Collingwood Magpies club president following the release of the 'Do Better' report, which exposed systemic racism at Collingwood. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Eddie McGuire stepped down as Collingwood Magpies club president following the release of the 'Do Better' report, which exposed systemic racism at Collingwood. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Uncertainty remains over whether or not Eddie McGuire will be ready to return to TV hosting duties next week when the 2021 AFL season begins.

The former Collingwood president, who stepped down earlier this year amid the fallout from the 'Do Better' report which exposed years of systemic racism at the club, hasn't been seen in public since.

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Upon the release of the report, which was handed down in December last year and only released officially by the Magpies after it was leaked, McGuire was heavily criticised for saying the report marked a 'proud day' for the club.

McGuire apologised and announced his resignation from the job in a seperate press conference days later.

He hasn't made any public comment or appearances since, with his return to the TV set to come next week, when he is due to host Channel Nine program Footy Classified on March 17.

However his co-hosts remain unsure if McGuire is ready to resume his various media roles, with Footy Classified panellist Caroline Wilson saying nobody was sure where the former president stood.

“The plan is for Eddie to host Wednesday night Footy Classified and of course Craig Hutchison is hosting the Monday night,” Wilson told the Don't Shoot the Messenger podcast.

“It starts next week, I really hope he comes back and hosts it, but at the moment he’s not quite sure.”

The 56-year-old McGuire had held the job of Collingwood president since 1998, steering the club to a drought-ending premiership win in 2010.

Reports earlier in March suggested McGuire was struggling to cope with the fallout from the ordeal.

“He really is struggling and incredibly flat, and this is what we’ve read,” Wilson said. 

“After losing the Collingwood presidency the way he did, there is a bit of disillusionment.

“As we’re sitting here on Tuesday morning eight days out, we’re not sure whether he’s hosting it or not.”

Tigers never doubted AFL doco call: Gale

Richmond chief executive Brendon Gale never doubted the club's decision to grant documentary crews full access to the Tigers, even as the reigning AFL premiers experienced a turbulent off-field period.

The Tigers, with a particular focus on president Peggy O'Neale, coach Damien Hardwick and Gale, are among six clubs featured in Amazon's new series, Making Their Mark.

The seven-part documentary ends with Richmond winning their third premiership in four years, but it was far from smooth sailing for the Tigers in 2020.

Viewers of the series, which will be released worldwide on Amazon this Friday, will get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Tigers dealt with several off-field scandals which threatened to derail their flag defence.

Richmond Tigers head coach Damien Hardwick, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan, Tigers president Peggy O'Neal, Tigers CEO Brendon Gale and Carlton Blues footballer Eddie Betts pose for a photograph during the 'Making Their Mark' Documentary launch. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)
Richmond Tigers head coach Damien Hardwick, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan, Tigers president Peggy O'Neal, Tigers CEO Brendon Gale and Carlton Blues footballer Eddie Betts pose for a photograph during the 'Making Their Mark' Documentary launch. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

In episode six, O'Neale and Gale are shown trying to comprehend how Tigers young guns Sydney Stack and Callum Coleman-Jones broke the AFL's COVID-19 protocols during a night out at a Gold Coast strip club.

The club's board also have to address locker room groping incidents, which came to light after Hardwick fielded questions from renowned political journalist Hugh Riminton during a press conference.

Despite all the challenges the Tigers faced last year, Gale never felt it was the wrong call to allow such unprecedented access.

"When people get a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes it contextualises some of the things that are going on," Gale told AAP at Amazon's documentary launch.

"There were some things that happened during the year that was being presented externally was like 'they're out of control and egomaniacs'.

"But they're human beings and they're young men and they're flawed, like we all are. You've just got to deal with it."

With AAP

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