On Triple M radio on Wednesday, Collingwood president Eddie McGuire vowed to make it his life ambition to destroy the AFL’s newest franchise GWS Giants if they made a pitch for Pies star onballer Scott Pendlebury.
It makes you wonder what the boys at AFL House were thinking, considering their investment in the start-up club?
Then again, perhaps it was a PR stunt, aimed to drum up a rivalry between the Giants and Pies?
This was the same guy who went more than a little bit overboard when he compared Shane Warne’s comeback to play for the Melbourne Stars in cricket’s Big Bash league to Sir Donald Bradman coming out of retirement in the 1950s.
Then again the comments seem very Eddie, if you know what I mean.
The Pies president has been very aggressive about the recruitment of players by the AFL’s two newest franchises in the past 12 months.
Back in March, with GWS linked with Magpies star Dale Thomas, McGuire said again on Triple M: “I would have very, very, very strongly advised Gary Ablett to stay where he was because he is in a better team, he’d be a better player.
“I’d say to Dale Thomas give Geoff Raines a call … go and ask Peter Moore whether it was a good idea to go and Kel Templeton and lots of other players. I’d rather be getting a handball from blokes that can really go rather than kicking around with 17-year-olds for the next couple of years.”
In August, following the announcement of GWS’s first signing, Adelaide’s Phil Davis, McGuire said, again on Triple M, the Giants were “cheating on their first signing” by poaching the player mid-season.
McGuire’s latest rant came on Wednesday, with Pendlebury due to come out of contract at the end of the 2012 season, meaning the Giants could make a move.
“If they go after Scott Pendlebury, I will declare war on Greater Western Sydney and I will set up a tent embassy outside their tumbleweed-blown ground up there in Greater Western Sydney,” he said.
“I will steal every one of their good players for the rest of my life. I will go feral. I will make it my life’s ambition to destroy them and run them into the ground. As long as they know … this is not Melbourne where you can just walk in and steal the players. If you do this at Collingwood, good luck.”
To be honest, the comments were gobsmacking and totally irrational.
The Giants would be silly not to make an enquiry for a player of Pendlebury’s calibre who is uncontracted for 2013, after only signing a 12-month extension with the Pies earlier this year.
McGuire’s comments appear to be an attempt at intimidation. And, to be honest, that’s not on, as the Giants have every right to make Pendlebury a pitch.
After all, Collingwood made similar arrangements with players like Nathan Buckley, Shane O’Bree and Anthony Rocca in the past. Okay, McGuire wasn’t there when those deals happened, but it shows it is part of footy.
For McGuire to think Collingwood are above that and to think he can try to intimidate rival clubs, shows the contempt he holds for the competition. It’s a shame for such a shrewd administrator, who’s proving himself to be quite the hypocrite yet again.