McGuire and Jurrah show AFL’s conflict of interest

DysonBaker Roar Rookie

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    President of the Collingwood football Club Eddie Mcguire and President of St Kilda Football Club Greg Westaway. AAP Image/Joe Castro

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    With more and more ex-AFL stars hitting our television screens, radio dials and newspapers, the lengths that some people in the football community will go to protect a mate seems to also grow.

    AFL footballers and journalists can apparently pick and choose what stories go to print, with consideration of friendships and allegiances placed before that of breaking exclusives.

    Only the other night I found myself glued to the television as host of Fox Footy’s EMT, Eddie McGuire, gave Melbourne young gun Liam Jurrah a chance to tell his side of his story. The interview was in Jurrah’s home, where he sat alongside his mother and grandmother, who are currently supporting him through his pending court proceedings.

    As a football community we know that McGuire has always been received as the man who can work around the red tape. On this occasion he arranged the interview with Jurrah on the weekend, with Jurrah’s club having no knowledge of it. Needless to say the interview was harmless but it begs the question, where is the line between club allegiance and journalism drawn?

    With more and more people in football wearing more than one hat, it is inevitable that at some stage players, administrators and reporters will be faced with a conflict of interest. It is how that situation is dealt with which is the key.

    For McGuire the journo, the Jurrah interview was an exclusive piece on the developing story of the week. But for McGuire the Collingwood president, the interview should have at least followed proper practice in that the contact should have been made with the Melbourne media department in order to make the Demons aware of the interview taking place.

    Kevin Bartlett, host of Hungry for Sport on SEN, had McGuire on his show to give him the chance to better explain the situation and to deny the conflict of interest. Ironically, Bartlett has one of those himself, being a member of the AFL laws of the game committee.

    Bartlett hosts the mid-morning show in which he takes many calls across the week regarding the AFL rules and circumstances of the weekend’s games.

    A biased viewer on just one aspect of football, the former Tigers captain and coach is well rounded when it comes to his views on football. But he needs to see the other side of the fence when it comes to the rules of the game.

    It is clear that the need to protect positions within football is becoming increasingly important; for many media commentators who hold various other positions with the league or its clubs, it is hard to draw the line between head and heart.

    For McGuire, who has tackled being the Collingwood president and has been a major player in Melbourne’s football media for over 10 years, he seems to find a way to combat the stigma attached to each one of his stories – that he is soft on his own club and won’t push a Collingwood story that would be seen to be hurting his position.

    The same goes for anyone in football, but it’s exactly what needs to happen within the sport; some honesty around stories that are put to air about a friend, a teammate, or even a supported team.

    Honesty has been thrown out the window in football media in the last few years and needs to make its way back in order to ensure fans and supporters of the game are getting the full story, not just the slice that a particular journalist wants you to see.

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    The Crowd Says (50)

    • March 14th 2012 @ 9:55am
      JamesP said | March 14th 2012 @ 9:55am | ! Report

      I dont have a problem with what Eddie did. he is a journalist – does that mean that everytime a journalist wants to speak to a player, they need to contact the club first? If that is protocol, then fine – although in this case Eddie was invited to his house for a brief chat – he advised Melbourne prior to the show going on air…can’t see much wrong with this. Tall poppy sydnrome alive and well.

      • March 14th 2012 @ 10:17am
        BigAl said | March 14th 2012 @ 10:17am | ! Report

        . . . but he breached a protcol that he as an AFL Club president had agreed to !!! . . . Tim Lane picked this guy years ago.

        • March 14th 2012 @ 10:55pm
          stabpass said | March 14th 2012 @ 10:55pm | ! Report

          Tim Lane also went to town on Keiran Jack, about his drafting, and ended up with not just a egg, but a omelet all over his face.

          No one is perfect, let alone Eddie Machins, but Eddie bleeds Black and white, more passion in his little finger than Lane.

    • Roar Guru

      March 14th 2012 @ 10:45am
      Redb said | March 14th 2012 @ 10:45am | ! Report

      McGuire is a journo at heart, yes he should have run it by Melb FC by the book, but the interview with Jurrah was respectful and tasteful to MFC. Great get IMO. A lot of journo’s a little miffed they couldnt get Jurrah to talk.

      However, the next time a journo gets a Pie player he will have to cop it on the chin.

    • March 14th 2012 @ 11:02am
      hog said | March 14th 2012 @ 11:02am | ! Report

      The problem is perception, McGuire has done nothing wrong leagally but can you imagine if Jurrah was a collingwood player and it was another journalist, McGuire would be crying blue murder.

      • Roar Guru

        March 14th 2012 @ 4:49pm
        Redb said | March 14th 2012 @ 4:49pm | ! Report

        A few go harder becuase it is Eddie McGuire.

    • March 14th 2012 @ 9:03pm
      shirtfront said | March 14th 2012 @ 9:03pm | ! Report

      Let’s not forget Eddie was the journo that copped Plugger’s crutches in the 80’s. He has always been tenacious. Is this compatible with the Collingwood presidency? Probably not.

      • Roar Guru

        March 14th 2012 @ 9:20pm
        The Cattery said | March 14th 2012 @ 9:20pm | ! Report

        I remember that scene, Plugger throwing his crutches at someone down the corridor – I never realised that was McGuire – that’s quite funny.

    • March 14th 2012 @ 10:49pm
      amazonfan said | March 14th 2012 @ 10:49pm | ! Report

      This isn’t the first time Ed has been hypoctitical. He threatened to sue Malthouse, and anybody who induced him to break his contract, yet when Ed recruited Malthouse from WCE, Malthouse still had a year left on his contract!

    • March 15th 2012 @ 1:32pm
      DysonBaker said | March 15th 2012 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

      Listened to the Hot Breakfast this morning, Eddie’s show on MMM, where he stated that the Footy Show had drummed up an interview with Andrew Krauker that would be aired tonight, He stated that the Footy Show boys hadnt gone through the club to which Luke Darcy stated “conflict of interest” Eddie didnt seem overly pleased with the remark.
      he is prepared to accept this for what it is as a front but quite obviously he wouldnt be happy with the Krauker scenario.

      • March 15th 2012 @ 1:38pm
        amazonfan said | March 15th 2012 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

        Well, he can’t have it both ways.

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