Eddie McGuire just can’t let it go. The TV everywhere man and former Collingwood president is still fuming about the Western Australian government’s refusal to let him and his two sons into the state for the AFL grand final, and believes he’s a victim of tall poppy syndrome.
Speaking on Footy Classified on Channel Nine, McGuire said he was in negotiations with the WA government to do a range of shows in Perth including Millionaire Hot Seat and a grand final special involving Crown Casino, Channel 9, Fox Footy and the Herald Sun.
“I just want to clear one thing up, because disappointingly my two boys have been dragged into this who are professional producers on here and Fox Footy. And the reason they came into play is because it was a smorgasbord board – we were going to bring 50 people if we did Millionaire Hot Seat,” McGuire said on Footy Classified.
“That got reduced because they weren’t going to let that happen and it was too dear to bring it over – they don’t have the facilities in Perth to be able to do it.
“In the end we thought no don’t worry about it, and only one application went in and it was for me. One, I was disappointed that that came out because they were in confidence conversations. And two, in the end it was seen to be a bit of big noting against me.”
McGuire said he understood the decision but consideredit “unfair” because the AFL asked him to go.
“I’m happy for the decision to be made for the good of the Western Australian people. No one understands greater people who have stopped from going in to see loved ones because of Covid, I had to watch for a month and put on a space suit to go and say goodbye to my mother last year in stage four – I get it better than anyone,” McGuire said.
“But I went through the process, I made the application, it was declined. Do you what the next thing I did (was?) I cancelled my hotel and my flights and I said nothing more until it got out today.
“I don’t see it, I think it’s unfair to be perfectly honest. I think I do qualify to be over there for all the things I would’ve brought.
“The AFL asked me to be available to go to help bring the fizz and the show business to what’s going on. I was happy to do so, (but instead) I stay here for the next two weeks and I do my show. I don’t care that much.”
WA premier Mark McGowan had joked off the McGuire decision, saying it was to protect him from Western Australians.
“Mark’s a politician, he’s doing his bit. I can understand the situation where they saying we can’t let people who are Western Australians. So we’ll show that we’re going to be tough and we’ll give Eddie McGuire one, because I’m an easy hit,” he said.
“Seriously, I was going to do half a dozen shows for half a dozen outlets. But more importantly, I was doing it in conjunction with the WA government. It got knocked on the head by the WA chief commissioner, and I go I accept your position and I move on.
“I haven’t complained and I’m not complaining now, I’m explaining. They want to do that, that’s fine, and thank god they’ve only got it for one year.”