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Collingwood’s Sports Administration Crisis

AFL Collingwood

Collingwood’s Sports Administration Crisis

Cracks have reappeared in AFL club Collingwood with president Mark Korda announcing his decision to step down from the board at the end of 2022.

Korda, who replaced Eddie Mcquire only at the start of this year, has revealed the news just one day after the Magpies officially appointed Craig McRae as their senior coach for 2021.

Korda said in a letter to members: “My role as president has been to see Collingwood settle, transition and reposition itself on and off the field in the wake of the departure in February of long-time president Eddie McGuire.” 

“With a relatively new board in place at the time, it was important to provide continuity between one age and the next,” he said.

Eddie Mcguire voluntarily stepped down from the board earlier this year, stating he “felt the hands in the back” from fellow Magpie board members. 

According to insiders, Mcguire’s departure was a result of the build-up of mistakes over eight years, with his “historic and proud day” statement over Collingwood’s racism report, being the final straw. 

Although, during his send-off, Mcguire pinned the club as being, “riven with rivalries, enmities and division” before he became president.  

In a club polluted with a history of drama, Korda has now confirmed that four board members will be up for election at the AGM; Peter Murphy, Bridie O’Donnell, Neil Wilson and Christine Holgate.

Korda said: “This is to ensure that as we enter season 2022 all of the current board of seven will have been elected by members.”

“This validation is important. 

“Directors are accountable to the members and their mandate comes from being elected by them.

“By declaring my intention now, our talented and passionate board will have time to develop a succession plan and work to ensure Collingwood remains stable, respected, financially sound and focused on our members, our staff and our teams across men’s and women’s football, netball, and wheelchair football,” Korda said.

However, Korda’s shock resigning in conjunction with the club’s history of controversy raises questions as to whether the club has achieved ‘stability.’

Now in order to “modernise the constitution”, Korda has revealed plans of a “long-overdue” reform of Collingwood’s board tenure conditions.

The club will either set a three-year tenure limit on the director, or nine years and limit the maximum tenure for a president to two terms, or six years.

Korda said: “It will keep the board fresh and continually replenished by new ideas and energy.” 

The announcement of the president’s departure has now opened up the role for former AFL lawyer and Channel Nine boss, Jeff Browne, who has been a challenger for the leadership position. 

Brown has revealed that other members have taken action to force a spill of all seven board positions. 

Whether there’s a contest for seven or four positions remains to be seen.

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