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Nathan Buckley’s split has been the worst kept secret in media circles for months.

They say footy is a funny game.

The phrase usually has little to do with humor.

The sad fact that Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley broke up with his wife Tania after 18 years will hardly surprise anyone in the Magpie army.

Tania Buckley caused a storm when she appeared at the Brownlow in this dress

Tania Buckley caused a storm when she appeared at the Brownlow in this dress

Nathan and Tania Buckley broke up before the 2020 season even got underway

Nathan and Tania Buckley broke up before the 2020 season even got underway

Nathan and Tania Buckley broke up before the 2020 season even got underway

It has been an open secret around footy traps for months.

Footy forum BigFooty.com has been about Bucks for most of the year.

The now infamous tennis match Buckley was caught just pouring fuel on the fire in lockdown.

Collingwood handed Buckley a $ 50,000 fine – half of which was suspended – after he and assistant coach Brenton Sanderson played tennis with Australia’s Fed Cup captain Alicia Molik, and another unauthorized person outside of the Magpies’ Perth. hub.

They were not allowed to play with anyone who did not live in the Collingwood hub during the COVID pandemic.

Buckley admitted that the negative attention surrounding the breakout had not helped his party, which was flogged by Fremantle the next game.

To be blunt, Collingwood fans care very little about the former champion’s personal life.

As long as it doesn’t hinder his ability to win premierships.

The reality is, Nathan Buckley has yet to bring the bacon for his beloved Pies.

He really should have had it now.

Buckley succeeded coach Mick Malthouse in 2009.

It was a controversial move that divided fans in the middle.

And then Collingwood won the flag in 2010.

You could have imagined Buckley’s performance might have been sunk.

But Collingwood president Eddie McGuire went ahead with Buckley anyway and gave Malthouse – a Collingwood premiership-winning coach – the boat.

In retrospect, it will be a disastrous move that could have put Collingwood on the path of ‘champions’.

Nathan Buckley was a great Collingwood player. Dedicated, fit and finished his playing career without a flag. He hasn't done much better as a coach

Nathan Buckley was a great Collingwood player. Dedicated, fit and finished his playing career without a flag. He hasn't done much better as a coach

Nathan Buckley was a great Collingwood player. Dedicated, fit and finished his playing career without a flag. He hasn’t done much better as a coach

Rumors abound why Nathan Buckley escaped from the quarantine pod for a game of tennis with Alicia Molik

Rumors abound why Nathan Buckley escaped from the quarantine pod for a game of tennis with Alicia Molik

Rumors abound as to why Nathan Buckley escaped the quarantine pod for a game of tennis with Alicia Molik

Nathan Buckley, head coach of Eksters, is hugged by his son after a game in April

Nathan Buckley, head coach of Eksters, is hugged by his son after a game in April

Nathan Buckley, head coach of Eksters, is hugged by his son after a game in April

Tania Buckley took to Instagram to announce her divorce from Nathan

Tania Buckley took to Instagram to announce her divorce from Nathan

Tania Buckley took to Instagram to announce her divorce from Nathan

Fast forward to the 2020 preseason.

Buckley has now confirmed that he and his wife had mutually decided to split up in January.

“It has been a difficult and challenging year for every family and also for ours,” Tania said on Instagram read.

“With the greatest love and respect for each other and a genuine commitment to our sons, we have decided to part ways in January.”

Tania Buckley was right when she said it had been a difficult year.

Collingwood members had paid full price for a year’s worth of footy and got absolutely nothing in return.

If Buckley had brought home the Queensland premiership cup, they might have forgiven them for being so stingy about the 2021 dues.

Buckley not only failed again, he led the club through a disastrous trading period in which beloved players were thrown out like yesterday’s newspapers.

Buckley would have treated the boys with cold disdain.

It opened up questions about his ability to interact with different personalities, with regular conversations between fans about personality conflicts.

To an athlete as disciplined as Buckley, the game of tennis with Molik just seemed so unusual it reeked of a man who had lost the plot.

To say Buckley’s performance off the field this year was odd is an understatement.

Magpies coach Nathan Buckley and wife Tania arrive at Crown Palladium ahead of the 2019 Brownlow Medal

Magpies coach Nathan Buckley and wife Tania arrive at Crown Palladium ahead of the 2019 Brownlow Medal

Magpies coach Nathan Buckley and wife Tania arrive at Crown Palladium ahead of the 2019 Brownlow Medal

Nathan Buckley failed to take home the premiership cup in 2020

Nathan Buckley failed to bring home the premiership cup in 2020

Nathan Buckley failed to bring home the premiership cup in 2020

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley celebrated the win with son Ayce Buckley and President Eddie McGuire in April. By then he had already split up with Tania

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley celebrated victory with son Ayce Buckley and President Eddie McGuire in April. By then he had already split up with Tania

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley celebrated the win with son Ayce Buckley and President Eddie McGuire in April. By then he had already split up with Tania

A look at Tania Buckley’s Instagram page shows a picture of marital bliss.

“The A Team,” Tania called to the couple under a picture of them laughing together.

When Daily Mail Australia asked Collingwood for comment on the alleged split early last month, spider doctor Stephen Reilly responded with traditional poison.

“Please don’t waste my time with overly imaginative gossip,” he said.

This from a man who flatly lied at the height of COVID-19 that Collingwood went into isolation.

Collingwood has always been hypersensitive to negative press.

Especially about its president and Buckley.

But Collingwood fans are the games off the field and the apparent lack of fairness and side-by-side togetherness sung so proudly by Collingwood players after winning games.

It doesn’t matter if Buckley is single, married, or becoming a monk, they’ll throw their membership away if he doesn’t deliver a premiership next season.

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