It wouldn’t be Crikey without a farewell swipe at Eddie McGuire’s
various conflicts of interest. The lad obviously doesn’t have enough on
his plate because he has decided to join the board of Athletics
Australia – as you can see here.

What’s
in it for Eddie, you ask? Let’s see. Who has the TV rights to the
Commonwealth Games? And what is the biggest sport at the Commonwealth
Games? Put these two together, and you have Eddie adding to his already
teetering pile of conflicts.

The long-term development of the
sport is unlikely to be a priority to someone whose employer has a
vested interest in quick fixes to boost ratings. As an example, the
recent controversial decision not to send a junior men’s team to the
World Cross Country Championships (despite a number of athletes hitting
AA’s moving target selection criteria) was cited as a short-sighted
decision that has undermined the development of emerging distance
runners.

It is unlikely that athletes reaching their peak in 4-5 years are going to be a priority to someone who needs stars next March!

Then
again, Eddie has shown at Collingwood that he can bring in the dollars
and run the club effectively, albeit with the assistance of his various
conflicts. Athletics Australia has been a shambles for years and with
Eddie’s sporting, media and corporate contacts he might just be the man
to clean it up – if he can find the time.

Don’t be surprised when Tamsyn Lewis and other prominent athletes start showing up on The Footy Show. As for Eddie’s long term game plan, we still reckon he has an eye on The Lodge.

AFL headline for International Women’s Day

One of our many female readers writes:

To celebrate
International Women’s Day, the VRC & Westpac presented a special
‘strategies for success’ networking lunch at the Flemington Racecouse,
hosted by Lynne Haultain.

It is a sad and pathetic reality
about the state of women in business when the first speaker, Ann Sherry
CEO Westpac NZ, is introduced by Lynne Haultain based around which
football team she supports and furthermore, Haultain proclaiming in her
opening credits that she would not leave the country if a St Kilda
match were to be played.

In such a framework, the vaguely interesting discussion they put
forward about promoting women in business becomes largely irrelevant.
If AFL football is the one unifying characteristic of this cities
female business leaders, then Ladies, I weep for the future.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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