Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has emphatically rejected claims he should stand down from his position with the struggling club, claiming he has never been more excited by the prospect of reviving the Pies’ fortunes, but admits the club needs a new blueprint for the future following its recent on-field woes.
Reacting to media speculation that the club had become stale and needed fresh ideas, McGuire said he had never felt more energised to take the club into a new era. “I’m not trying to gild the lily. I’m actually, to be perfectly honest, in the most exciting phase of my career with what I’m doing at Collingwood and in AFL football,” McGuire said on his Triple M radio show.
“The members are the people who decide whether we’re going and if I ever thought I was going half rat power and I’d had enough of it, I’d be the first out the door, because I don’t get paid to do this, I’ve got lots of things in my life.”
Collingwood currently sit in 14th position on the AFL ladder with six wins and 10 losses, a prolonged slump that follows three seasons in which the club finished well out of finals contention. Pies coach Nathan Buckley has worn the brunt of the criticism, and McGuire admitted that the club would seriously review its football department.
“I think I’ve made it clear at Collingwood that we realise that there are some things that we need to do, because the whole business model has changed, our performances on the field haven’t been good enough,” McGuire said. “As a result of that, two months ago we instigated a blueprint for the future.
“We’ve come out and said we’re going to look at the coaching situation and everything in the football department that is happening at the moment and we’ll have an announcement of the decision when we get through the whole season, which is fair and reasonable.”
Those plans will not involve McGuire standing aside and letting someone else lead the club, whose uninspired transition from the Mick Malthouse regime that brought the club its 2010 premiership has been a source of constant speculation. The Pies president says he has maintained the support of the club’s membership base.
“I have a great passion for the club and what we’re doing on and off the field and I want to be there in tough times,” McGuire said. “I don’t want to bail because we won the flag and had a great time. I want to be there as we rebuild.
“I’m not defending myself, because the only people I have to stand to is the Collingwood members, who voted me in unanimously last year for three years as president of the club,” he said. “Have we been down a little bit longer than we wished? Absolutely. Are we hoping to get back quickly? You better believe it.”