Triple-premiership winning Brisbane Lions great Jonathon Brown says Collingwood president Eddie McGuire’s ‘double-standards’ in the media have been damaging the club.
Speaking on Fox Footy program ‘On the Couch’, Brown accepted the Magpies had found themselves in a particularly sticky situation with Steele Sidebottom’s virus breaches, but believed McGuire’s outspoken media presence was ultimately doing more harm than good.
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The Magpies president has been under fire ever since star Sidebottom was handed a four-match ban for drunkenly breaching the AFL’s strict coronavirus protocols.
In the days since the Sidebottom incident, the coronavirus outbreak in Melbourne has forced all Victorian teams to relocate interstate to keep the season alive, while several suburbs have been placed under stage three lockdown again.
McGuire’s vocal opinions about players from other clubs breaching restrictions, as well as the Jack Steven saga earlier in the year, have ultimately come back to bite him, Brown said.
“I think you’ve got to ask yourself always: Am I helping or hurting the footy club?” Brown said.
“At the moment, the coach Nathan Buckley is having to defend the footy club, having to defend Eddie’s comments.
“Last week (McGuire) didn’t need to say he was “proud” of Steele Sidebottom. All he needed to say was ‘he’s had a clean record for 12 years’.
“At the moment, Eddie is hurting the Collingwood footy club, because if you’re going to win a premiership – and they’re a genuine chance of winning – you don’t want any choppy waters around.
“I’ve been involved in these campaigns and it can quickly tip over.
“You need to keep them as smooth as possible and administrators, especially, need to stay as much as they can out of the football side of things – as much as the challenge is for Eddie with the media situation.”
I love the passion Eddie has for the club. Unfortunately though, his media profile and roles brings a massive amount of heat and hatred towards the club Something has got to give and that collision course appears closer by the day. Go Pies!
— Steve (@ssgoldie1) July 6, 2020
Eddie McGuire fends off ‘hypocrite’ criticism
In a tense discussion on Triple M morning radio on Monday, McGuire went back and forth with co-host, former AFL player Luke Darcy.
“No one seems to get nuances in this world and everybody wants to go for the gotcha and you’re a hypocrite and all the rest of it,” McGuire argued.
“My point then going into that was you really have to go hard on this to make sure that the players, who maybe don’t get the papers or don’t get it sometimes or as (Matthew Lloyd) says they’ll muck up, you go hard to set the tone.
“The point about going hard I think was well made. Last week what happened was Steele Sidebottom, he did something ridiculous and he got a four week suspension.
“Compared to where the other suspensions were, it was and the point that was made in quotes ‘manifestly unjust’ is the term that’s used that you have to qualify for if you’re going to appeal at the Tribunal on the measure of people being suspended.
“The bottom line is Steele Sidebottom and Collingwood accepted the decision so there’s no hypocrisy in that at all, I don’t understand the hypocrisy.”