Eddie McGuire celebrates Collingwood's win over West Coast last year.
Eddie McGuire celebrates Collingwood's win over West Coast last year. TRACEY NEARMY

McGuire set to stretch Pies tenure beyond 20 years

COLLINGWOOD president Eddie McGuire will be re-elected unopposed after a turbulent past 12 months at the helm of the Magpies.

McGuire will be re-elected for another three-year term as nominations for the club board closed on Tuesday afternoon. With no challengers materialising, fellow director Mark Korda is also set to be re-elected to the seven-member board unopposed.

Under the rules, the Collingwood president is chosen by the board. McGuire is being re-elected as a director, so unless he is challenged internally by the board - or decides to step down - he would remain as president until early 2020. This would stretch his tenure to over two decades in charge of the club.

The lack of any challenge to McGuire means he will be formally re-elected at the annual general meeting on February 27.

While McGuire received much external criticism in 2016, there has been no groundswell from within the Magpies' membership base resulting in a challenge.

McGuire came under fire for his comments about journalist Caroline Wilson, for which he was widely criticised. He apologised both publicly and to Wilson personally.

He and the club hierarchy were also scrutinised for the ill-fated hiring of Graeme "Gubby" Allan, who has been suspended for 12 months as a result of the Lachie Whitfield saga at Greater Western Sydney.

Collingwood's financial position remains strong despite three consecutive seasons out of the finals and what shapes as a career-shaping season for coach Nathan Buckley, who is out of contract at the end of 2017.

McGuire took over the presidency at the end of 1998 when Collingwood was in crisis and successfully rebuilt the club into a powerhouse over the subsequent dozen years before a gradual decline each season since the 2010 premiership.

McGuire has not been subject to a serious challenge within Collingwood during his 18-plus years at the helm of a club with such a large and demanding supporter base.

McGuire is the longest-serving club president in the AFL. Unlike Hawthorn and some other clubs, Collingwood has no term limits for either the board or chairman. McGuire, his vice-president Alex Waislitz and former player and director Ian McMullin thus have all remained on the seven-member board since McGuire took over from Kevin Rose late in 1998.

McGuire's hold on power reflects the rarity of board challenges in the modern AFL. Richmond was subject to a potential spill of the board last year when two separate groups plotted to overthrow the board led by president Peggy O'Neal. But the Focus on Football group eventually called off their insurrection.

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