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Eddie McGuire has delivered a scathing assessment of Collingwood's internal politics in the wake of his departure from the club.
The long-time club president said the ongoing battle over the presidency between his successor, Mark Korda, and challenger Jeff Browne, had reduced the club to a 'laughing stock'.
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The club's off-field turmoil as mirrored the team's poor performance on field, which led to coach Nathan Buckley stepping down from the job some weeks ago.
McGuire delivered his tirade on Channel 9's Footy Classified after it emerged lawyers acting on behalf of a disgruntled group of club members seeking to call an extraordinary general meeting over the presidency had submitted a complaint to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
The ASIC complaint, brought on by Browne's camp, was met with a counter-accusation of 'smears' by Korda, who said the challenging group was motivated by a 'sense of entitlement'.
The continuing dispute has left McGuire, who was club president for 23 years, questioning what was happening in his absence.
“The first thing is that whole EGM nonsense, it was just a debacle and an embarrassment to the Collingwood Football Club," he said.
“And people running around threatening to go to ASIC just cuts me to the core that anyone who would say they‘re a Collingwood supporter would go to ASIC or go to the law before you sort it out at the Collingwood Football Club like we’ve been able to do for the best part of a quarter of a century.
“I can see this going on and on and on unless something happens and it‘s time for people who have the love of Collingwood as their main mantra to now step up.”
"The only thing that will bring me back to the fray is if I see people vandalising the Collingwood Football Club going forward."
Eddie McGuire has passionately opened up about how the club can get back to stability.#9FootyClassified | Watch @channel9 pic.twitter.com/bdaREOe5aB
— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) July 21, 2021
McGuire's disappointment with the state of affairs at Victoria Park also led him to call for an independent electoral officer to oversee the upcoming vote.
He said he'd heard talk of 'branch-stacking' and other 'shenanigans', which were beginning to tarnish the club's reputation - though he added he would only involve himself in an official sense if he saw people 'vandalising the club' going forward.
Eddie McGuire furious over Collingwood presidency fiasco
The feud between Korda and Browne emerged soon after McGuire vacated the club presidency.
Korda was appointed to the role by the club's board after McGuire resigned following the release of the damning 'Do Better' report, which outlined the club's failure to tackle racism with its ranks.
McGuire said it was time for Korda and Browne to put and end to public hostilities, have a proper debate about the future of the club, and let members decide for themselves at the upcoming general meeting in December.
“I want a battle of ideas, I don‘t want people snipping around on the outside," he said.
"I want the incumbent board to tell me what the future of this football club is all about and I want Jeff Browne to step up and tell us what his idea of a future is.
"A sophisticated process for sophisticated people for a sophisticated football club.
“There have been too many lunatics running around the fringes in the last six months and we‘re not copping it anymore.
“The only objective now is the best for Collingwood, it worked for 23 years. And that‘s not having a crack at any person individually, it’s just gotten out of shape, now let’s pull it together, look forward to the future.”
The Magpies have endured a torrid season on the court, with just five wins from 17 games this season.
The club's list was compromised at the beginning of the year after salary cap concerns forced the club to trade stars Adam Treloar and Jaidyn Stephenson - an unpopular move among fans.
Collingwood and then-coach Buckley were also heavily criticised for their handling of Treloar, amid reports it had been suggested to Treloar that his partner's own sporting endeavours were having an impact on his own play.
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