Collingwood board member quits amid outrage over 'ill-advised' post

·3-min read
Pictured here, Bridie O'Donnell and her controversial post about the Western Bulldogs.
Bridie O'Donnell's recent post did not go down well with many AFL fans. Pic: Collingwood FC/Instagram

Bridie O'Donnell's tumultuous tenure at Collingwood has come to a swift end after an announcement she was quitting her role on the AFL club's board.

The resignation comes after Dr O’Donnell was criticised for an "ill-advised" post in which she was cheering for the Western Bulldogs against Port Adelaide in this year's AFL finals series.

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Dr O’Donnell has only been on the Collingwood board for four months, but said she was standing down for professional reasons, with immediate effect.

"It is with regret that the Collingwood board has accepted the resignation of ex officio director, Dr Bridie O'Donnell," Collingwood president Mark Korda said in a statement.

"For professional reasons, that are explained below (in O'Donnell's letter) and underline the outstanding qualities and expertise that saw Bridie appointed to the board, she has had to resign with immediate effect.

"The opportunity and duty before Bridie we understand and yet her departure is Collingwood's loss.

"On behalf of the board I thank Bridie for her contribution to our club and wish her every success. Her thank you note to Collingwood members follows."

Dr O'Donnell's appointment to the Pies board was hugely contentious at the time after it emerged she hadn't been a club member for the 24 months required to vote.

Collingwood fans were also left fuming after a photo emerged of her wearing a Western Bulldogs jumper.

Former Collingwood board member Dr Bridie O'Donnell is seen here in a Western Bulldogs jumper.
Dr Bridie O'Donnell was made a member of the Collingwood board despite being ineligible. Image: Twitter

Veteran AFL journalist Caroline Wilson referenced the issues on Channel Nine's Footy Classified before Dr O'Donnell's resignation was announced.

"We know she was a Western Bulldogs supporter in previous years," Wilson told Nine's Footy Classified.

"She said 'please please please not Port. Come on Doggies' on Instagram... We know it was an embarrassing issue because there were voting rights issues for Bridie O'Donnell."

Bridie O'Donnell post sparks uproar

Former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire agreed with Wilson and said Dr O'Donnell's latest social media post was another bad look.

"Oh, look, it's ill-advised. You know my thoughts on Instagram and Twitter and things like that. Just don't get on it," McGuire said.

"Why would you put your head in the lion's mouth and pull the tail again at the moment? It's ill-advised."

In June, Magpies member David Hatley said Dr O’Donnell's appointment to the club's board was a driving factor behind a petition for an EGM.

"The overwhelming feedback that I've received from our members and my friends is the disconnect with the club," he told Footy Classified at the time.

"The final catalyst for us going ahead with this EGM petition was the last board appointment of Bridie O'Donnell.

"We're not disputing any of her claims of being a talented or valid board member, but things like her on her social media mocking Collingwood members such as myself really struck a chord with a lot of us."

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