‘Easier without him’: McGuire had to go for Pies to move forward, says AFL boss

Eddie McGuire’s departure from Collingwood was essential if the Magpies were to do the work necessary to implement the recommendations of the Do Better report, according to AFL CEO Gill McLachlan.

McGuire contacted McLachlan an hour before he made the announcement on Tuesday that he was stepping down as Magpies president immediately but the league had no role in his decision.

McLachlan said it was the right decision for McGuire to make.

“He saw that there was work to do on the back of the report and … that work was going to be easier, more easily done and more successfully done, with him leaving and he put the club and the issue at hand first,” McLachlan said on 3AW on Wednesday morning.

McLachlan had rang McGuire last Tuesday after his disastrous media conference in response to the Do Better report which found Collingwood guilty of systemic racism to tell him he should have articulated himself differently in the wake of such a sobering document for the club.

McGuire went off script to describe the release of the report – which was leaked more than a month after the Collingwood board received it – as a “historic and proud day for the club” which intensified calls for him to resign as a result of a report finding the club guilty of systemic racism.

Following an apology from Collingwood’s football and netball players, conversations with sponsors and an open letter from community leaders including prominent Indigenous figures McGuire reached the decision, according to McLachlan, for the good of his family and the club.

“He’s accountable … there are things that club needs to do better. And yeah, frankly, his assessment was it was easier without him,” McLachlan said.

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