Buckley’s Magpie bombshell

From the time Collingwood decided to offload “heart and soul” star Adam Treloar and Jaidyn Stephenson during last year’s tumultuous trade period, the Magpies have been battling wars on all fronts.

Nathan Buckley’s removal as head coach on Wednesday, as part of a collective decision for change at a club that has won just three games this season, arguably could provide everyone at Collingwood the chance for a fresh start.

And the Magpies need it.

Already this year president Eddie McGuire was forced to resign after the “Do Better” report outlined serious issues of “systemic racism” in the club, much of it during his two decades in charge.

McGuire’s response, calling the report that detailed years of abuse suffered by Collingwood players as a “great day”, was widely panned and something he could never come back from.

Eddie McGuire was forced to stand down as Magpies president after his response to the ‘Do Better’ report on racism. Picture: Picture: Jake NowakowskiSource:News Corp Australia

Former Magpie Heritier Lumumba has been in a long fight with the club to recognise what he says was its poor treatment of him when he raised issues of racial abuse, an issue that Collingwood just can’t escape.

A looming battle for board control, with members rallying for change after Mark Korda assumed the presidency and former Channel 9 boss Jeff Browne putting together a ticket to take over, has followed to ensure more tumult at a club where fights are always public and messy.

Korda’s decision to appoint Bridie O’Donnell to the board despite her not meeting meet the requirements having only been a member since last year was another clanger in a year full of them at the Magpies.

Those clangers have played out on field too, Collingwood winning just three of 12 games in a season the club had hoped to contend for finals.

Buckley was out of contract at the end of this season, and there was never an outstanding commitment from anyone at the club that he would get a new deal.

The lingering speculation about his future, as the losses mounted, was another 2021 circus Buckley, and Collingwood, couldn’t escape.

It seems like Buckley has, since that ugly trade period when fan backlash was strong, been constantly trying to put out fires.

Treloar, who was contracted, didn’t want to leave, and when it was suggested the coaching staff had told him his teammates didn’t want him, an ugly back and forth, tit for tat, about just what went down was played out publicly.

Then Treloar’s partner, netball star Kim Ravaillion, was forced to fight for her man after it was suggested her move to Queensland, with the couple’s child, could impact the on-baller’s capacity to play.

Western Bulldogs’ Adam Treloar and wife Kim Ravaillion with daughter Georgie after his trade from the MagpiesSource:Supplied

Stephenson, a Rising Star winner, was also forced out during that trade period, which drew huge supporter backlash as the decisions were explained away as financial ones so the club could address serious salary cap issues.

Many of those decisions were made by list manger Ned Guy, who himself has quit the club this season amid the lingering fallout from the player cull that has left the Magpies in a serious on-field predicament.

To think that in 2018, Collingwood was a kick away from being AFL premiers.

Even in the past two years, the Magpies have been finalists, including a rousing elimination final win over West Coast in Perth last year.

But from the moment the 2020 season ended, decision after decision has seemingly taken Collingwood from contender to not even close.

Now Buckley’s gone, and the problems will be someone else’s.

“It’s time to regenerate,” he said after announcing his decisions.

“Regardless of what has happened in the past, I think it’s the right decision.”

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