Collingwood CEO explains ‘shock’ at Eddie McGuire’s 2021 stand down decision
McGuire delivered an emotional, near five-minute address ahead of a members’ forum where he announced plans to step down at the end of next year - 23 years after taking on the role when the club was in a dire position.
Anderson, who took over as the Pies’ CEO in 2018, said McGuire’s decision came as a shock to him as much as anyone.
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“He told Carla and his two boys and that was it,” he said on SEN Breakfast.
“I was listening to it, like our members, with surprise and shock and just wondering if I was hearing what I was hearing.”
After the forum concluded, Anderson said he, McGuire and other high-ranking Pies officials “had a couple of drinks and had a good chance to chat”, which is when the reasoning for his decision became clearer.
“Eddie is as passionate in year 22 as he was in year one - there’s absolutely no diminishing of passion. Whenever he wakes up he’s thinking about Collingwood. It was very much a personal decision,” Anderson said.
“He felt the time is right - both his boys have now finished school and he’s finished up his morning radio duties as well. It’s just a different phase of life for him and a personal decision.”
Regarding the legacy of McGuire, Anderson said the 56-year-old was an undisputed legend of the club and should be looked upon similarly by the code as a whole.
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“Eddie is an absolute legend of the club and I think a legend of the game as well. His impact across our club in particular is just immense,” he said.
“It was 22 years, he started in October 1998. It’s a long time ago and he was 34 at that stage - there’d be someone a bit older than 34 now you’d think stepping into that role now.
“He’s rebuilt our club and there’s an amazing amount of success he’s had across his time on-field ... he’s determined to leave the club in great shape and he wants to ensure that’s his legacy when he walks out the door at the end of 2021.”