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Eddie McGuire, you can't have it both ways

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Strong Pies overcome the Blues

Collingwood claimed victory over rivals Carlton by 15 points at the MCG in front of the smallest Magpies-Blues crowd since 1921.

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Eddie McGuire works hard to present Collingwood not only as a powerhouse sporting organisation in this country, but one which remains firmly in touch with a working-class constituency.

But sometimes you can’t have your cake and eat it, too, and Sunday night’s disastrous roll-out at the MCG for a one-time blockbuster fixture between the Magpies and arch rival Carlton is one of those times.

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire Photo: Wayne Taylor

The Collingwood president’s surely ambit claim for compensation from the AFL for the missing tens of thousands from the game has predictably gone down like a lead balloon with fans of virtually of every other club, but particularly those who are on struggle street.

They’re the ones who ritually suffer the consequences of unfavourable scheduling because their teams don’t have the membership, profile nor clout with head office that Collingwood and McGuire do.

Supporters of the likes of Melbourne, Western Bulldogs, North Melbourne and St Kilda know what it’s like to cop a poor timeslot, a Sunday twilight game, or that peculiar twilight Saturday match sandwiched between afternoon and evening games that is frequently completely lost in the wash.

Collingwood this season has what Collingwood, in timeslot terms, always gets, a very good run indeed.

Two of the guaranteed huge turnout games on public holidays, Anzac Day and Queen’s Birthday. Four Friday nights. Three Saturday nights. Four Saturday or Sunday afternoons. The sort of run the Demons, Bulldogs, Roos and Saints would kill for.

Collingwood and McGuire might have been complaining about being scheduled at 7.10pm on a Sunday night in the depths of winter ever since this year’s fixture was released, but to now demand compensation because for once the elements conspired against the Pies’ coffers is a pretty poor PR move.

Cynical of him, too, to equate it with potential equalisation money lost to the struggling clubs, when he was a consistent opponent of various methods of equalisation that were thrown up for discussion.

Take away the crass demand for money, however, and in the bigger picture McGuire’s wrath is entirely justified. This game, one which produced the lowest attendance at a regular season Collingwood-Carlton MCG fixture for nearly a century, was a car crash waiting to happen.

And it’s the most painful example yet of the AFL having bent over backwards this year to appease the TV broadcasters, which coupled with issues such as variable pricing and sundry other costs associated with going to the football, have the league on the nose with punters like never before.

The AFL has all but confirmed Sunday nights, and another notable backfire, Monday night football, are off the table from next year. “We had to try it” is the rationale from the league.

Unfortunately, in the current climate of distrust, all that confirms in the minds of disenchanted football supporters is the perception of a peak body that will try anything on just to see if it can get away with it, and if not, little harm done.

That’s highly debatable given image problems for the AFL that don’t seem to be going away. And it’s not altogether different from McGuire’s latest stunt, either. Little wonder then, that neither he nor the league, are exactly flavour of the month.

159 comments

  • Other clubs request big games against Collingwood...that is good for them but hardly their fault.

    I didn't see Eddie suggesting other clubs should be playing Sunday, just that he doesn't want his team played then. So everyone should get off the moral high ground and accept the basic premise of Eddie's comments...SUNDAY NIGHT GAMES SUCK

    Commenter
    Jez
    Location
    Melb
    Date and time
    June 30, 2014, 11:57AM
    • No one is arguing that McGuire is wrong about the fixture. What has everyone's hackles raised is his arrogant demand for compensation. No other club has been compensated for financial losses as a result of this year's rubbish draw. Why should Collingwood be the exception?

      Commenter
      blu
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      June 30, 2014, 1:00PM
    • No-one appears to be questioning the premise that Sunday night footy sucks. He is being questioned for his absurd comments that his club deserves compensation for a poor crowd when other clubs regularly play in poor time slots and don't get compensations. He needs to realise this isn't the Collingwood Football League, not to mention the fact that the terrible weather affected crowd numbers too.

      Commenter
      Chas
      Date and time
      June 30, 2014, 1:59PM
    • Blu, the reason is - no one has lost over 30,000+ in attendance due to the experimentation. Translate that to dollars, and it is HUGE.

      Also, the other presidents are too timid to speak up and take action. They SHOULD have spoken out against and sought compensation, but they are too scared or just don't care enough about their clubs. Imagine if the AFL deliberately denied the Bulldogs $300,000 in money that was guaranteed, as part of an 'experiment'. It would destroy the club. And there would be an outcry.

      Put aside your irrational and overwhelming Eddie hatred and try looking at the issue with some common sense.

      Commenter
      Logical
      Date and time
      June 30, 2014, 2:13PM
    • I dont suggest anything of the Fred. I am saying the small clubs routinely request games against teams like Collingwood, Carlton and Essendon in PRIME TIME because it is better for them

      That is why Collingwood have a favourable fixture. That is why Carlton have a ridiculously favourable fixture this year (even though they have squandered it by being rubbish). If the other clubs haven't cut up rough about it then they should, but that isn't Eddie's fault. He is the President of Collingwood. It is his job. So keep bagging him out but get off your damn high horse and realise the point is the AFL is screwing things up for everyone.

      Btw...the AFL doesn't require some of the smaller clubs to survive, a 16 team competition without Melbourne, Nth the Bulldogs or St Kilda would do just fine! Two of them should be kicked out of Melbourne at the least. That would be for the good of the competition

      Commenter
      Jez
      Location
      Melb
      Date and time
      June 30, 2014, 2:17PM
    • He said the compo should come from the bonuses of the executives who made this plan after being told it was rubbish. Thats a fair call

      Commenter
      Greg
      Date and time
      June 30, 2014, 2:30PM
    • To ture Logical...what's missed in this is the huge difference between 30,000 less at this game and the smaller amounts which go missing at games between small clubs.

      This affects everyone if it affects Collingwood's bottom line, the same it would if Essendon, Carlton Hawthorn and Richmond are hit. I'd rather see the AFL sacrifice 250 million dollars if it meant they had total control of the fixture and it was scheduled at good times for the spectators. It has been totally missed by the current administration that unlike many other sports (NRL, NFL NBA) this is a spectator sport which is better LIVE at the game than on TV.

      Commenter
      Jez
      Location
      Melb
      Date and time
      June 30, 2014, 3:32PM
    • I can't stand the sight of him, the sound of his voice, anything about him. Constantly caught out making offensive comments ( Adam Goodes - King Kong, dropping the "c" bomb and not admitting he's done the wrong thing until he's pressured to do so). Too much power has ruined a once affable and interesting TV personality.

      Commenter
      Totally tired of Eddie
      Date and time
      June 30, 2014, 3:32PM
    • Jez, you must be nuts, a National competition without a team called Melbourne who by the way just happened to have played in the first Aussie rules game. I'm a Carlton supporter but a realist, Melbourne have more right to be in a National comp than any other Victorian team. By the way, how would you feel if your club went through 30 years or more without a flag and people said kick em out. Imagine if in 1989 Collingwood got booted because they hadn't won a flag for years. Melbourne in its history has had times its been the strongest club, winning I think 4 in a row flags with the pies beating them as they went for a fifth.

      Commenter
      Go Blues
      Date and time
      June 30, 2014, 4:11PM
    • The poor turnout I believe is a result of three factors;
      1. Bad Timeslot.
      2. Bad Weather.
      3. Bad Game - When umpiring bosses demand that the umpires actually enforce the rules of the game it will return to a sport I can recognize. At the moment it resembles some type of AFL/Rugby/Basketball hybrid sport. I don't know what to call it but, it sure ain't Aussie Rules Football.

      Commenter
      BillyBob
      Location
      Richmond
      Date and time
      June 30, 2014, 4:18PM

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