The bitter war of words between a highly respected ex-Swans boss and the controversial Eddie McGuire continues, with the former saying he has “a belly full” of the media queen’s “nonsense”.
Richard Colless, a hugely successful businessman and the league’s longest-serving president before retiring from Sydney, is one of the few football figures who has continuously rebelled against the ex-President of Collingwood, whom he describes as a ‘bully’ .
Colless is tired of McGuire’s constant criticism of the Swans, the previous cost of living (COLA) received by the Sydney sides and the club’s indigenous players.
He lashed out at McGuire’s comments on radio and television about Adam Goodes and Lance Franklin after the media icon again accused the Swans of “corrupting” the now-defunct COLA, then blamed the club for not having enough had thought ahead to avoid Franklin being booed by Pies supporters over the weekend.
The controversial Collingwood figure has long struggled to understand why teams in Sydney – the 10th most expensive city in the world to live in, according to the World Economic Forum – ever received the COLA.
Indigenous footy legend Adam Goodes (pictured) has often been the subject of a McGuire tirade – and an ex-Swans boss has had enough
Ex-Swans chairman Richard Colless (left) and then Collingwood president Eddie McGuire (right), pictured in 2003, have had a bitter war of words over the previous cost of living (COLA) that helped Sydney clubs
McGuire has again attacked Swans star Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin, who played in the Sir Doug Nicholls Round in the club’s native Guernsey last year, saying the club is ‘rooting’ the COLA to get the superstar more ‘cleaners and maids’ ‘ to give.
Intended to help conscripts and recruits with a pro-rata payment (based on their salary) given skyrocketing real estate and rent prices, McGuire once accused the Swans of “rotting” it to attract Franklin.
“I was happy with it (COLA) and supportive…but I turned my back,” he said on the Channel Nine show Footy Classified.
“I’ll tell you why, it was about how many cleaners or maids Buddy Franklin had.
“I’m happy for the young players who don’t have the money to pay but don’t get the perk for someone with over a million dollars.
“Don’t ruin it and you’ll survive.”
Colless was incredulous that McGuire would reignite the war of words and was scathing that his rival had once again targeted Goodes and Franklin.
“He has form, talking about our native players. He has form using the term rotten,’ he said News Corp.
“But he’s also in form because he’s a bully. He says he doesn’t accept garbage. I’ve had a gut. I don’t accept his crap.
I find that absolutely offensive and it sounds strangely familiar in the “Goodesy” comments.
McGuire was a central figure in the chain of events that ultimately led to Goodes leaving the game and being so dismayed that he even declined an offer to be inducted into the AFL’s Hall of Fame.
In 2013, the native swans legend was effectively teased into retirement when he was subjected to jeers at every match he played after pointing out a 13-year-old Collingwood fan in the crowd who called him a monkey.
Shockingly, McGuire then suggested on the radio that a King Kong musical could use Goodes in its promotion, insisting that he was “not racially slandering anyone” when criticized for it.
Adam Goodes pointed a young Collingwood fan to security in 2013 after she racially insulted him. What unfolded next essentially ended his career
A Collingwood fan angered Goodes in 2015, with the native greatness eventually forced to retire over the affair
At the time, Colless was furious and vocally supported his player, even saying he was “ashamed of sport” for not supporting Goodes anymore.
His anger continues today, berating McGuire’s lack of education about what COLA actually was, while accusing him of “demonizing” the term in the footy world.
‘The stupidity of it. I would ask him, do you even know how it (COLA) works?’ he said.
It’s a matter of pro rata. If Buddy is on X and someone else is on Y, they all have it (COLA). It’s the same percentage increase (for every player). There was no buddy-type slush fund.”
McGuire used the fact that the Bulldogs and Demons have since won premierships as bizarre evidence that removing COLA was the right thing to do.
McGuire claimed Sydney “ruined the COLA” so Lance Franklin could have “more cleaners and maids”
Goodes (left) and Ryan O’Keefe celebrate winning the 2012 Grand Final against the Hawks
“I’ll tell you what it (the removal of COLA) led to, it led to the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne having a chance at a flag as the equalizer came in and the clubs you say are vocal were the ones who signed and came up with the idea of keeping everyone going,” said the ex-President of Collingwood.
“I’m not going to deal with this bullshit anymore, I’m not the president anymore, I’ll tell you honestly what happened. You baked the cake too long and ended up burning it.
The recording did not sit with Colless, who suggested it was hypocritical.
“If there’s one club that’s done well in a part of the league where there was no equaliser, it’s Collingwood,” he said.
“A lot of people are absolutely tired of Eddie’s selfish approach, and I’m tired of defending him here (in Sydney).”
It’s because Franklin was booed every time he went near the ball during Sydney’s loss to Collingwood at the MCG on Sunday, which reminded many in the footy industry of Goodes’ treatment, who also began the Magpies.
McGuire said the whole situation could have been avoided if the Swans didn’t get stuck in Magpies star Nick Daicos, or if they honored their own legend by organizing a guard of honour.
His comments came despite the fact that Franklin has not yet announced his retirement and there is still a finals series to play – one in which the talented Swans are tipped to play.
Swans superstar Lance Franklin was booed every time he went near the ball in his side’s loss to Collingwood at the MCG on Sunday
Eddie McGuire believes the Swans and AFL could have avoided the controversy over the jeers
In hindsight it would have been a good thing, and I don’t blame them, but it would have been nice for the Sydney Swans or the AFL to recognize that this could have been one of his last games at the MCG, and certainly be last game against Collingwood for example,” McGuire said on the Eddie and Jimmy Podcast.
“And then you have to go back and forth on the field, and then you line up and pay tribute to one of the greats of the game.
“Things like that, thinking a little bit ahead, could have prevented it (the jeers).
“You go back to what blew the crowd — 72,000 people, what do you do in that situation when you’re the opposition and you come to the MCG and the Pies have the venue all to themselves?
“You want to shut the crowd up, get on top early… kick the early goals and rough up Nick Daicos, the golden child.
“This isn’t the same as ‘Sydney said this and Collingwood says this’, but… it was the ultimate form of bullying.”