Eddie McGuire has backed Mark Korda as Collingwood president, relieved with the appointment having feared the club could have returned to the “bad old days” in his absence.
Korda was ratified as the 13th president in Collingwood’s history after a board meeting on Wednesday and McGuire said Korda’s familiarity with the club, having been there since 2007, would make for a “steady” transition after his own 23-year tenure as club president.
Mark Korda was named Collingwood president on Wednesday.Credit:James Alcock
The 56-year-old expressed a sense of relief over Korda’s appointment.
“One of the things that I’ve really been concerned about in the last couple of months is that some ghosts at Collingwood have reappeared, who have been have been long-term people who have split the club,” he told Nine’s Footy Classified.
“I was really, really worried and that’s why I’ve been very quiet. I don’t want to be running a campaign for anybody. I was absolutely worried that we were going to go back to the bad old days.
“Tonight, Mark Korda is the president, rally behind him, get the board right, and go forward.”
McGuire said that he believed there had been 90 applicants to succeed him as Collingwood president, and added that he had initially planned to hand-pick a successor himself before his abrupt exit in February.
“I was going to use this year to [groom a successor],” he said.
“There were people that I had lined up that I would have liked to have brought on at various stages and some of them aren’t available because they’ve got work commitments.”
With Collingwood attempting to instill a new culture following the Do Better report into systemic racism at the club, Korda’s appointment has been met with some criticism from fans, given his long-term tenure on the board.
But McGuire took umbrage with any criticism of Korda’s appointment.
“The report that was commissioned by the Collingwood Football Club to look into racism was tabled,” he said.
“All of those recommendations have been put in place now and I just encourage everybody to read the report.
“There’s been a lot of big headlines and there was a big scalp. I stepped aside for the good of the club and now the club can have a free run at doing things, implement that report, take the next step and be the Collingwood Football Club that we need and the one that I love and will do anything for.”
The former president also announced on Wednesday night that he was returning to Fox Footy and will call Saturday’s clash between Carlton and Brisbane.
“It has been a long time between drinks, a big game and looking forward to it,” McGuire said.
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