Collingwood president Eddie McGuire vows to step down at end of 2021 AFL season

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The Magpies boss and AFL commentator has survived numerous scandals during his time in the role

Eddie McGuire
Eddie McGuire, the Collingwood president, at the 2019 AFL qualifying final between the Magpies and the Cats at the MCG. Photograph: Michael Willson/AFL Photos/via Getty Images

The controversial Collingwood president, Eddie McGuire, has announced he will step down from the role at the end of 2021 despite being re-elected for a three-year term earlier this year.

A tearful McGuire announced during a fan forum on Monday night that he would step down at the end of next year’s AFL season.

McGuire’s position had come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks following the Magpies’ messy trade period during which they shed a host of stars for mostly bargain-basement prices due to salary cap issues.

The biggest move was that of gun midfielder Adam Treloar to the Western Bulldogs with Collingwood reportedly set to supplement $1.5m of his new contract over the next five years.

McGuire became president of Collingwood at the end of 1998 and he earned the “Eddie Everywhere” moniker due to his ongoing prominent role in the media and his outspoken ways.

During his time in charge, McGuire ensured Collingwood remained one of the competition’s heavyweights. On the field, the Magpies have won just the one flag under Maguire’s leadership – in 2010 – but they also made grand finals in 2002, 2003, 2011 and 2018.

McGuire played a key role in appointing Mick Malthouse as coach ahead of the 2000 season. Malthouse led the club to eight finals campaigns in his 12 seasons in charge.

But there was controversy when McGuire orchestrated the coaching handover from Malthouse to Nathan Buckley in time for the 2012 season. The transition was far from smooth and Malthouse left with a chip on his shoulder.

McGuire has courted controversy throughout his tenure especially given his prominent role as a commentator.

There were loud calls for McGuire to resign in 2013 after he suggested Sydney’s Indigenous star Adam Goodes be used to promote the musical King Kong. The comments came just days after Goodes was racially abused by a Collingwood fan at a match. McGuire later blamed prescription drugs for the offensive remark.

In 2016, McGuire apologised for making a joke about drowning sports journalist Caroline Wilson. In 2019, he was criticised by the Sydney Swans for “ignorance and a lack of empathy” after his comments about the coin toss of their No 1 ticket holder, double amputee Cynthia Banham.

McGuire managed to survive each controversy and now hopes to finish his tenure on a high in 2021.