COLLINGWOOD president Eddie McGuire has angered the Melbourne Football Club for failing to honour club protocols when he interviewed Demon Liam Jurrah on Sunday night.
The McGuire interview also raised some concerns at AFL headquarters given the fact that Jurrah faces serious charges. Melbourne president Don McLardy confirmed last night that the club was disappointed at learning about the Jurrah interview shortly before it went to air on McGuire's debut on Fox Footy's Eddie McGuire Tonight.
''We're not happy about it,'' McLardy said. ''We realise it's a secondary issue in the context of what Liam's going through and the issues confronting the club but we certainly intend to pursue the matter at a later date.''
Time to talk: Liam Jurrah on his return last Friday. Photo: Pat Scala
McGuire's unique dual position as a football commentator and journalist as well as chairing the Magpies has proved an issue for him in the past when he called Collingwood games for Channel Nine. His new role at Fox Footy will continue to challenge his club given the Magpies' insistence upon requesting player interviews through the designated administrative channels at Collingwood.
Melbourne chief executive Cameron Schwab reportedly learnt that Jurrah would appear on the program less than half an hour before it went to air.
But McGuire was unrepentant last night claiming he was invited to meet Jurrah by his friends and mentors, Rupert Betheras and Bruce Hearn McKinnon. ''I was invited around and welcomed by Liam's grandmother and mother and Liam wanted to say a few things also,'' he said.
McGuire said Melbourne had been aware he was covering the Jurrah story.
''If anyone wants to talk to me I'll talk to them. I don't know if anyone's aware I'm hosting an interview program that is looking at cutting-edge news and cutting-edge stories,'' he said.
''I'd do the same next week and the week after that. That's what the audience can expect every week. Breaking news and breaking stories. Just like the old days.''
Meanwhile, Jurrah will go back to his football club today for the first time since he returned from central Australia and sit with his coach and senior club officials to discuss the dramatic events that took place last week.
Jurrah and the club will discuss what comes next for him on a personal and club level.
With the Demons playing at the weekend Jurrah had yet to meet coach Mark Neeld or football director Neil Craig in person since flying back from central Australia on Friday after his arrest for an alleged assault.
The club will discuss what comes next for Jurrah but will largely leave aside the incident, which is being investigated by the police, and instead discuss the club's reaction to what had occurred in his time in Yuendumu, including drinking while in rehabilitation and being out late.
With MICHAEL GLEESON