Collingwood bosses face dramatic coup amid Eddie McGuire exits

Collingwood may be one of the AFL’s powerhouse clubs but Eddie McGuire’s departure as president continues to reverberate around the joint.

There is little going right on the field this season as the Magpies languish in 16th with two wins and seven losses as part of a shocking start to the season, putting coach Nathan Buckley under a mountain of pressure.

There are off-field concerns too with new club president Mark Korda reportedly already facing the prospect of a boardroom coup, despite only assuming the role last month.

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McGuire quit in February after 23 years at the helm amid the fallout of the “Do Better’” report into “systemic racism” at Collingwood, having earlier revealed he intended to step down at the end of the 2021 season

Korda has served on the Magpies board since 2007 and was appointed co-president alongside Peter Murphy when McGuire resigned, before claiming the top job for himself.

But since Korda’s appointment, there has been talk former Channel 9 boss and McGuire’s close friend Jeff Browne wants to take over as Magpies president.

Speculation increased yesterday when billionaire businessman and Collingwood vice-president Alex Waislitz announced his immediate resignation from the board.

‘Why would Eddie want to tear down his own legacy?’

Eddie McGuire looms as the puppetmaster over the Magpies still.Source:News Corp Australia

Earlier this year after he’d quit, McGuire called for stability at Collingwood. On Wednesday morning, Korda spoke on radio to defend his own position at the club amid reports of an impending leadership challenge.

Korda said on 3AW’s Mornings with Neil Mitchell that “Eddie is on the record that coups aren’t good for football clubs”.

“Why would Eddie want to tear down his own legacy?” Korda said when asked if he believed McGuire was behind the reports of board instability.

“Eddie has always put Collingwood first. He resigned in February because, as he said, Collingwood needed clear air. Five directors are on the board that were with Eddie so why would he want to do that for his own legacy?

“Yes (I want to stay as president). No (I have not considered stepping down in the interest of the club), we have got a fully elected board by the members … we need to govern the club in accordance with proper process and protocols so we will govern the club and govern the club well.”

Korda has spoken to Browne in broad terms about Collingwood, saying “he understands coups aren’t in the best interests of football clubs either”.

“I haven’t talked to him (Eddie) on that topic (Browne’s coup). Eddie’s on the record (saying) that coups aren’t good for clubs,” Korda said.

Mark Korda is already fighting for his Collingwood presidency.Source:Supplied

Korda reiterated his stance on SEN’s Whateley, saying that processes to get on the board are well established, with three board positions up for election at the end of the year.

“We should respect the process. The members elect the directors, and then those directors are up for re-election every three years, and it’s the board that elects the president,” Korda said.

“I don’t walk into Collingwood saying, ‘I want to be the president of the Collingwood Football Club’. It’s the board that elects the president.

“I think that’s fundamentally what everybody needs to understand.

“I personally think EGMs (extraordinary general meetings) and coups are not in the best interests of the Collingwood Football Club.”

Plans for Magpies coup

Earlier this week, The Age’s Caroline Wilson penned a story claiming Korda “will be forced within weeks to choose between stepping aside for Browne’s ticket along with at least three of his fellow directors or taking on Browne following a spill of all board positions at an extraordinary general meeting”.

Wilson added a potential power grab would happen sooner rather than later.

McGuire said on TV this year clubs should avoid extraordinary general meetings at all costs — and it’s the last thing Collingwood needs.

Eddie McGuire as he stood down as Magpies president.Source:Supplied

Browne has long been in the frame for the Magpies’ top job. Speaking on Fox Footy’s AFL 360 at the time of Korda’s promotion, Herald Sun chief football reporter Mark Robinson claimed there was “absolutely no chance” McGuire wanted Korda to be chosen as his successor.

“There’s some forces gathering around him and he knows about it. He knows who they are, there is a big push for Jeff Browne. This is really intriguing,” Robinson said at the time.

“For those who don’t know … one of Jeff Browne’s best mates is Eddie McGuire. Eddie McGuire was tiptoed in a lot of ways by the board which included Mark Korda and Peter Murphy.

“You reckon Eddie McGuire wants Mark Korda or Peter Murphy? There is no chance. Eddie McGuire wants one of his best, best mates. Absolutely.”

Changes mount for ‘broken club’

Korda couldn’t confirm Nathan Buckley’s future. Photo by Phil Hillyard.Source:Supplied

The Magpies have been under fire since last season with the bungled trade period debacle that saw the club lose Adam Treloar, Jaidyn Stephenson and Tom Phillips in a fire sale.

Followed by the off-field issues with the racism scandal and McGuire’s exit, Collingwood has struggled on the paddock with Carlton great Mark Maclure saying there are plenty of big changes coming for the Magpies, including the possibility of a new coach.

Buckley is contracted until the end of this season, and the Pies must decide whether to extend his coaching tenure into next year and beyond.

“I see a broken club, to tell you the truth,” Maclure told AFL 360 this week. “The (Dayne) Beams and Treloar thing was a mess for them for some time and Eddie’s fallout was no good.

“I watched them against Sydney and to kick one goal in three quarters against a young side like Sydney — one goal in three quarters? That’s atrocious.

“I think there‘s going to be a lot of tragedy there.”

Asked if Buckley would keep his job, Maclure said: “No, he couldn’t possibly. Couldn‘t possibly.

“I like Nathan, I think he‘s a nice fella. But he’ll get a job somewhere, no problem whatsoever.

“Is it his fault that this happened? No, that’s the point.

“No one’s blaming Nathan, but he’s going to go down because of that.”

Korda said the club would make a decision on Buckley in “the back half of the season” and told SEN he would commit to the timeline despite sitting 2-7 to start the year.

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