Collingwood great Tony Shaw tells Pie board to back off on Nathan Buckley contract decision
Collingwood great Tony Shaw tells Pie board to back off on Nathan Buckley contract decision

‘Caretakers’: Shaw tells Pie board to back off on Buckley call

Collingwood legend Tony Shaw has implored the club to resolve the Mark Korda-Jeff Browne board dispute before making a call on coach Nathan Buckley.

Buckley, out of contract at the end of season, faces an uncertain future amid a fight for control of the club.

One option for the current Collingwood board would be to extend Buckley's contract and place a revamped team of assistant coaches around him for 2022 and beyond.

Another possibility is the sounding out of a big-name replacement such as Ross Lyon or Alastair Clarkson.

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Collingwood has a big decision to make on Nathan Buckley’s future. Picture: Michael Klein
Collingwood has a big decision to make on Nathan Buckley’s future. Picture: Michael Klein

 

But Shaw, the club's 1990 premiership skipper, says the stoush over which group takes charge at the Holden Centre must be settled first.

Shaw is calling on Browne - the AFL's long-time legal adviser - to immediately step forward and declare his intentions.

"I mean what if there's a board challenge and they (the Korda board) get put out and the new board aren't backing Buckley, what do you do then? It's a horrible position," Shaw said.

"We are talking about someone's career as a coach and still Jeff hasn't come out and said, 'I want the job'. So we need Jeff and whoever else he's got behind the scenes to come out right now - not two or three weeks down the track - and then get together with Korda, because the coach decision is a massive decision.

"You can't just have a board come in and say, 'No, we didn't want Nathan Buckley'. What are you going to do, pay a bloke two years of contract and say, 'We didn't want you?' It's just ridiculous, so the board decision has to be settled before they make a decision on Nathan."

 

 

Collingwood great Tony Shaw says the Pies have bigger fish to fry before they consider Nathan Buckley’s future.
Collingwood great Tony Shaw says the Pies have bigger fish to fry before they consider Nathan Buckley’s future.

 

 

Despite Shaw's pleas, Browne has no plans to go public until the make-up of his rival ticket is finalised.

Fox Sports executive director Steve Crawley - the boss of AFL broadcast channel Fox Footy - is the most recent high-profile figure to endorse the would-be Magpies president.

"I know nothing about the politics of the AFL or Collingwood, but I do know Jeffrey Browne," Crawley told the Herald Sun.

"He was my boss in another life at Channel 9. I loved working with him and he is one of the smartest people I've ever met."

Buckley's manager, the powerful player agent Craig Kelly, and club great Peter Moore, father of star defender Darcy Moore, have also publicly endorsed Browne, 66.

Former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire is a close friend of Browne's but has said he does not support the staging of an extraordinary general meeting.

Browne backer Francis Galbally, the former club solicitor who has likened the plight of the Magpies to the spectacular downfall of Crown Resorts, said it would be inappropriate for Collingwood to make "an important decision" on Buckley while the board impasse is unresolved.

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"The current board should respect what the members are asking for and hold off," Galbally said.

"They should be in caretaker mode. There are some very strong people who would like to participate in assisting the club in joining the board and within a few weeks we will see a situation where this is all resolved."

Asked if Clarkson, the Hawthorn master coach, would be an option to replace Buckley under a Browne-led board, Galbally said: "There are many highly-qualified people, including Alastair Clarkson, that Collingwood should be looking at, but right now the focus is solely on the board".

 

 

Originally published as 'Caretakers': Shaw tells Pie board to back off on Buckley call