It hasn’t been a pretty time for Collingwood since the 2020 AFL season came to an end.
The hits came in thick and fast in the club’s direction as rumours swirled they were looking to offload several star players and pay for them to depart.
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The salary cap dump that quickly turned into a fire sale late in the 2020 AFL Trade Period has seen the Magpies booted from pillar to post following the messy departures of stars Adam Treloar and Jaidyn Stephenson.
Collingwood was criticised for staying largely silent during the Trade Period as angry members questioned why popular players were being shown the door.
President Eddie McGuire finally spoke about the scandal on his Triple M breakfast radio show in Melbourne this week after being slammed for his ‘pathetic’ disappearance during the disaster period.
On Thursday McGuire said the club has gone through hard times before but the decision makers have led them to some good things.
“People forget I’m just the elected leader of the fans. I’m one of them. I’m not ‘them’, I’m ‘us’. If I’m not the president of the football club I’m sitting in the outer yelling my lungs out like I am now, just not in a suit,” he said.
“We have people who trust us, we’ve been there for a fair while and I think we’ve done some pretty good things over the journey and positioned our club in a good way. The hardest decisions you make in life are the tough but right ones, not the popular ones.”
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Things could’ve been handled better.Source:Getty Images
Irate Pies fans started a petition demanding an urgent general meeting to be provided with some clarity for the die-hard supporters.
McGuire while backing those who made the decisions to cull several big name players, said the messaging could’ve been clearer and the club more available.
“Our executive, which I’ve got full faith in, decided this was the strategy. Could it have done better as far as the PR? Probably, possibly. Would it have been the same result? I don’t know but it is where it landed,” he said.
“What we have to do is wish the players who have left us the best of luck, get in and recruit good young players and get stuck into 2021 when the time comes.”
The under fire president assured those fans that are angry and hurt are not alone and their pain was being recognised by the club.
“Hopefully supporters understand where we are and if they don’t they can vent their anger and we’ll accept that and listen to it. You have to listen to everything that’s been said. Very rarely are people 100 per cent right or wrong … we’ve certainly listened to all those supporters, gone into detail on what they’ve had to say and taken that on board, no doubt about that,” he said.
“No one’s pushing it to the side saying ‘don’t worry about it’ – we went through all that pain beforehand and then we did it again when the supporters felt they needed to vent their spleen. We listened to it, we understand it and now we’re going to move forward together.”
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