Collingwood Magpies coach Nathan Buckley backs club board amid Jeff Browne leadership challenges
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has backed the beleaguered AFL club’s incumbent board amid a leadership challenge from Jeff Browne.
The takeover bid by the former director of Nine Network, coupled with collecting enough signatures from club member David Hatley to bring about an EGM, has led to an increasingly uglier off-field stuh.
Browne’s public statement of his intentions this week sparked a sharp rebuke from the existing administration, headed by President Mark Korda.
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has backed incumbent board of beleaguered AFL club amid leadership challenge from Jeff Browne
A joint statement released on Wednesday criticized Browne’s “coup driven by personal ambition.”
Magpies director Jodie Sizer went a step further on Thursday, declaring that she would not serve under Browne’s leadership, accusing him of “coming together with an agenda of power and privilege.”
Browne has since revealed that he’d wanted to keep Sizer – one of Australia’s foremost Indigenous leaders – on the board and challenged her comments by telling The Age he comes from “very humble beginnings”.
The power struggle comes with the Magpies (2-9) sitting 16th ahead of Saturday’s clash with Adelaide, and with Buckley’s coaching future out of contract still a key point of discussion.
Former Nine executive Jeff Browne aspires to lead Collingwood’s board and is a longtime friend and ally of Eddie McGuire
“It’s something that’s happening over my head and it’s clearly topical here, right now, with the advent of more talks coming into the open,” Buckley said of Friday’s boardroom battle.
“But I believe most of those people have Collingwood’s interests in mind.
“What I would say, and for what it’s worth, I actually believe that a lot has changed at this football club especially in the last three or four years.
“I think we’ve been a much better organization over all these years and I don’t think the people on the current board have had the slightest part in that.
“Yeah, we’re having a hard time on the pitch right now and our win-loss doesn’t look great, and there have been some challenges in terms of the salary cap and of course the Do Better report, which was really public.
“But so much has changed that has happened – I believe the people on the current board are the right people to move the club forward, and I believe in time that will be justified.”
Buckley said he has not specifically addressed the power struggles off the field with his playgroup.
He said everyone at Collingwood is in pain because of the situation the club is in, but is convinced this can be turned around.
“The situation we are in is not fatal, it is a moment in time,” Buckley said.
“There are a lot of things that work for us that will undoubtedly come through in the years to come.”