How media player Eddie McGuire places his stories for maximim exposure.
The front page of Tuesday’s Age was dominated by a photo of
Collingwood’s newest board recruit Sally Capp, under the headline,
“Magpie Sally breaks down the barriers”.

Read the story here: Caroline Wilson – Magpie Sally breaks down the barriers

As the editor of the Herald Sun, Melbourne’s premier sports paper,
Peter Blunden must have been livid that his star columnist and
Collingwood President Eddie McGuire, gave the story to rival paper
first, leaving the Hun playing catch up the following day with their
story: Magpies unveil gun recruit

But Eddie is great at pushing his own agenda and knowing that The Age
was the sort of paper which likes “women’s issues” Eddie no
doubt decided The Age was the best paper to get his club the kind
of front page coverage he wanted.

The Age even managed to tie in news of Capp’s appointment into
International Women’s Day, saying it was a fitting day for Collingwood
“Australia’s most famous club” to install its first woman director.

Crikey knew Capp many years ago and last had breakfast with her in
Perth in about 1992. She’s very bright, ambitious and a good networker.
That network does extend to Aunty Ros Kelly, the former Labor
Environment Minister and her uncle in law, Dr David Morgan, the Westpac
CEO.

We know that Collingwood President Eddie McGuire comes from a solid
Labor family with brother Frank having worked for John Cain. Given Paul
Keating’s connection to Collingwood and Ros Kelly’s close friendship
with Keating, it would not surprise if this was the connection to Eddie
for the break-through Collingwood board appointment.

There is quite an irony with Collingwood and Eddie now seemingly
championing the cause of women in football clubs because when it comes
to women, there is no more offensive bloke in the national media that
Eddie’s Footy Show side-kick Sam Newman. What would Sally make of all
his degrading comments about women over the years?

Maybe it is a bit like Eddie’s conversion on Indigenous issues. Back in
the early 1990s when Eddie was on Triple M and West Coast Eagles
champion Chris Lewis was suspended for biting, Eddie told an offensive
joke that West Coast had a new sponsor, “Hungry Jacka Jacka”.

Crikey knows a listener who rang Triple M to complain and Eddie told him to lighten up and treat it as a joke.

While Capp may be the first woman on Collingwood’s board in their
107-year history, she is certainly not the first female board member in
the AFL.

Other VFL/AFL clubs with female directors include:

Fitzroy – Elaine Findlay (1985 – )
St Kilda – Sheena Ferguson (1988 – 1996)
Essendon – Beverly Knight (1994 – )
St Kilda – Juny Mann (1996 – 1998)
Geelong – Helene Bender (1998 – )
Melbourne – Beverley O’Connor (1999 – )
St Kilda – Susan Taylor (2002 – 2003)
Brisbane – Linda Nash (2002 – )
Carlton – Lauraine Diggins (2002 – )

Another prominent woman in the AFL is Elaine Canty, the only female on the seven member AFL tribunal panel.

If you know of any other women on the boards of AFL and other codes just send their name into [email protected]

Peter Fray

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