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'Tonight is the moment of truth': how McGuire rebuilt Collingwood from rock bottom

Eddie McGuire took over as Collingwood president when the club was 14th on the ladder and mired in debt. There have been plenty of hits and misses in the 22 years since but the McGuire era was never dull.

BACK IN BUSINESSIn 2002 Collingwood reach their first grand final since 1990, losing to the Brisbane Lions by nine points.

They make the grand final again in 2003, losing again to Brisbane this time by 50 points.

Eddie McGuire and his wife Carla after the 2002 grand final loss to Brisbane.

Eddie McGuire and his wife Carla after the 2002 grand final loss to Brisbane.Credit:Angela Wylie

THE HANDOVERIn 2009, McGuire announces a coaching succession plan that will see club great Nathan Buckley take over the senior coaching role from Malthouse at the end of the 2011 season.

The next year Collingwood play St Kilda in a drawn grand final, and the following week win the replay in emphatic fashion to claim the club's first flag in 20 years.

Eddie McGuire embraces then assistant coach Nathan Buckley after Collingwood win the 2010 flag.

Eddie McGuire embraces then assistant coach Nathan Buckley after Collingwood win the 2010 flag.Credit:Paul Rovere

Collingwood again reach the grand final in 2011, losing to Geelong by 38 points. Malthouse announces he will not take on a role as director of coaching and leaves club.

Buckley takes on senior coaching role in 2012, Collingwood plays finals, losing to eventual premier Sydney in the preliminary by 16 points.

CONTROVERSIES In 2013, McGuire suggested on air that Indigenous AFL star Adam Goodes be used to promote the Melbourne stage adaptation of King Kong. McGuire apologised to Goodes and stared down calls to resign as Collingwood president.

"I have contacted the Sydney Swans to explain the situation to Adam Goodes personally," McGuire said at the time. "Adam was gracious enough to take my call and expressed his disappointment."

In 2016, McGuire said he would pay $50,000 to see award-winning Age journalist Caroline Wilson stay under a pool of iced water while others "stand around the outside and bomb her". The comments were made while Triple M was covering a live charity event. At the time, AFL boss Gillon McLachlan said the comments were "clearly not appropriate".

"Although seeking to be lighthearted, the language and tenor of the wording could be seen to be supporting violent attitudes or actions against women," he said.

TO THE WILDERNESS AND BACKIn 2017 the club announces a sweeping review to be conducted by businessman Peter Murphy, with separate review of the coach after the Pies miss finals for fourth year in a row. External pressure mounts on the club and Buckley, who signs a two-year deal to coach on in 2018-2019.

In 2018 Collingwood surge to make the grand final, which they lose to West Coast in the dying seconds by five points.

Eddie McGuire laments a flag gone begging, after Collingwood lost the 2018 grand final.

Eddie McGuire laments a flag gone begging, after Collingwood lost the 2018 grand final. Credit:Ryan Pierse

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