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'Brazen shamelessness': Pies savaged as video showing new facilities exposes inconvenient truth

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21st January, 2024
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A video posted on Collingwood’s social media channels showing off their new-look facilities at the Holden Centre has seen the football club cop a barrage of criticism.

The video features Pies defender Jeremy Howe introducing the new facilities, featuring an inside hybrid sports pitch complete with artificial turf and basketball hoops.

“As you can see, the boys are having a hell of a time in here,” Howe says.

However, social media users were quick to point out the issue with the complex – that it had been built over the court once used by Collingwood’s Super Netball side, which was disbanded in 2023 citing financial constraints.

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The Magpies’ culling of their netball team was already a point of controversy, given the club was handed a $15 million federal government grant in 2019 to improve facilities for women’s sport.

Given the Pies posted a profit of $7.56 million last financial year, their reporting of a $1 million loss per year for the Super Netball team has also been regarded in some corners as a cost the club could bear.

While it was reported by Fox Sports that the club fully paid for this latest redevelopment, and its AFLW and VFLW sides would also be able to make use of the facilities when their seasons begin, the Pies have been accused of ‘siphon[ing] taxpayer money into one of the wealthiest men’s football operations in Australia.”

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“I’m genuinely staggered that Collingwood didn’t consider any kind of social media backlash to their we’ve seized the netball court for the boys post,” wrote women’s football advocate Rebecca Hayne.

“I guess they don’t care or trust a cowed aflm media won’t question a dodgy grant?”

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The Pies’ response to the criticism has also come under fire, with the club’s social media account blocking users asking uncomfortable questions and even hiding comments questioning the video.

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