Pies might have to get tougher: McGuire - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pies might have to get tougher: McGuire

By Adam Cooper 08/08/2008 08:25:40 AM Comments (0)

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire admitted the AFL club might have to get tougher on trouble-makers in the future.

After being publicly criticised for the club's handling of this week's drink-driving fiasco involving star players Heath Shaw and Alan Didak, McGuire conceded a hard-and-fast rule against miscreants might be timely.

Collingwood initially decided not to suspend Shaw for drink-driving last Sunday night, but changed tack and imposed a ban on he and Didak once it emerged the pair had lied to club hierarchy.

Shaw initially told club leaders Didak was not a passenger in the car, but that was proven a lie, as it was confirmed Didak was.

The Magpies then suspended both players for the remainder of the season, which prompted criticism that Collingwood were more upset about players lying than drink-driving.

"What we did is we have taken a process throughout the years of judging cases on their merits," McGuire told the Nine Network in relation to the club's long list of alcohol-related controversies.

"Maybe we need to be tougher."

However, chief executive Gary Pert appeared to contradict his president, when he said he would not have done anything differently over his handling of the incident.

"Things like taking the word of the players, I would do that again," Pert told Nine.

"I deal with these things on a regular basis.

"A lot of them actually don't get into the press, but I've got to take the players' words.

"The scenario when you look one of your key players and then two of your key players in the eye and say `This is what we've heard, we need you to tell us honestly the truth so we can deal with this' and they lie, I would do it again.

"I'm happy with the sanctions.

"I think we dealt with a really difficult situation as best we could."

Collingwood greats Tony Shaw and - initially - Nathan Buckley were among those who had been critical of Collingwood's handling of the issue this week.

McGuire refused to hit back, but said "maybe our past players are too honest and maybe our present players need to be a bit more honest".

Although McGuire admitted Collingwood could be tougher, he said Shaw and Didak were "good blokes" and that they lied trying to protect each other.

He said Shaw would have once been lauded for "taking a bullet for his mate".

McGuire also hit back at critics of him, as he said media companies wanted to keep running the story because it had caused a "spike" in sales and advertising.

In a further blow in a week of tumult for the Magpies, who could be knocked out of the eight this weekend, Collingwood confirmed they had sold two Melbourne pubs at a financial loss.

Collingwood were forced to sell the pubs at $4.5 million less than were purchased at.

Nine reported Collingwood would also post their first financial loss, of about $2.5 million, in a decade.

Pert said the club sold the pubs to prevent incurring annual losses of $1 million.

McGuire said he would do everything he could to reap the losses back for the club.

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