McGuire takes aim at the Swans
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has taken the Sydney Swans to task over not investing in the future of the AFL during his Monday morning Hot Breakfast program on Triple M.PT2M7S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3bxri 620 349 July 15, 2014
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Eddie McGuire's passionate conviction that his every football step is taken for the good of the Collingwood Football Club is his greatest asset and occasionally his fatal flaw.
Illustration: Edd Aragon
So perhaps it is no coincidence that this latest stream-of-consciousness ranting by the Magpies president runs parallel to the Pies' form slump. Certainly McGuire's most silent year media-wise was 2010, the club's premiership season.
This is not suggesting that Collingwood's embarrassing performance on Sunday was linked to McGuire's decision to turn on John Longmire and the Swans. Of course it wasn't. But McGuire's voice is so loud it cannot help prove a distraction to his staff. Not to mention occasional high-octane fuel to the opposition.
ln this case, McGuire has convinced himself he is acting on behalf of all AFL clubs when he takes on the premiership favourite Sydney over its supposedly secretive and beneficial agreements with the AFL.
And because the league so blatantly turns to McGuire every time it needs a black-and-white tick on big issues, and respects his clout, it selected him as the No. 1 spruiker in perhaps its last attempt to resurrect the International Rules series. Which empowered McGuire to suggest Sydney coach Longmire was turning his back on his country for refusing to work with him in the game against Ireland.
Now Sydney is fighting back and it is not alone in having lost patience with the imbalance of power within the AFL club system.
Geelong president Colin Carter expressed disappointment that the league had weakened its equalisation plans after some serious tantrum-throwing by McGuire and was labelled a ''hall-of-fame hypocrite''. And so it goes on.
Longmire is as competitive an animal as exists in the competition.
Already pretty disgusted at McGuire's Adam Goodes comments of 2013 and that issue's clumsy fallout and furious - like all highly sensitive Swans bosses - at suggestions his club is rorting the salary cap, McGuire's suggestion that the club is hiding players in its academy proved the final straw.
All clubs love beating Collingwood but you can only imagine the Swans next time they face the Magpies. McGuire has made Collingwood so powerful but he creates more work for his colleagues at the same time.
The Heath Shaw-Alan Didak driving drama of 2008 was the classic example where McGuire took charge and so distracted his staff that perhaps no one thought to apply such basics as immediately checking facts with police - a move that could have saved the club much embarrassment.
As Nathan Buckley, then a 3AW media commentator, said at the time: ''Another issue I can't understand is why Eddie and Mick [coach Malthouse] really had to discuss it. Generally the footy manager deals with the disciplinary issues.
''That happens with other clubs but any issue with Collingwood gets blown up a lot more than it needs to. I can't think of any other president that would've had to address that issue on the day.''
Standing stony-faced at the players' race looking mutinous is one thing, addressing the players at crucial times another accepted role of a club president. But some of his morning radio deliveries and weird analogies suggest that he, and not the rest of the AFL community, requires a cup of tea and a Bex and a good lie down.
McGuire's Goodes misstep and more recent TV profanity that slipped out with Kane Cornes on Fox Footy would suggest that his admirable passion occasionally leaves him simply too exhausted to think straight. And that cannot be good for Collingwood.