For someone with such a colourful collection of friends, Eddie McGuire
manages to surf on regardless when the law catches up with his old
mates and business partners. While more than one million Australians
were watching Who Wants to be a Millionaire? last night, Eddie’s great mate Brad Cooper was
getting used to prison food at Silverwater.

Legend has it that Eddie met Cooper while celebrating Collingwood’s
1990 premiership win in the back of a car and together they ran the
Collingwood board election ticket that made Eddie president in 1998.

There was all this talk of the lads having a “special
relationship” and they even holidayed together with their partners on the fabulously
expensive QEII. They
were both battlers from the Melbourne’s working class northern suburbs
who made good, although Cooper was always dodgy given his pedigree of
being a car thief who left school at 14.

That didn’t stop him from graduating into the Sydney spivs club and
costing FAI and HIH about $100 million in bad business moves, dodgy
investments and bogus claims lodged through incessant badgering, often
when he was wired to the gills on cocaine.

Cooper used to be on the Eddie Herald Sun plugfest gravy train.
This is from Eddie’s column in July 1999, plugging National Kindness
Week:

“The man behind National Kindness Week is Brad Cooper, the
chairman of FAI Security, one of Australia’s premier business speakers
and vice-president of Collingwood FC. Cooper is based in Sydney and came up with the idea that for a
week a year people should be encouraged not to buy something but to do
something to make the world a better place.”

What an embarrassment for all concerned!

The relationship didn’t end there. Collingwood extracted a $250,000
sponsorship from FAI as the business collapsed and former Collingwood
director David Galbally QC was offered up as Cooper’s counsel at the
HIH Royal Commission.

However, the plugs have long since dried up and Cooper bailed from the
Collingwood board three years ago, never to be mentioned again publicly
by President Eddie. After all, it wouldn’t be good for Eddie’s brand if
he was seen to associate with a
disgraced fraudster, even if he is, or was, one of his best mates.
There was no comment offered yesterday and don’t expect anything when
Cooper’s sentencing submissions commence on December 2.

The same applied with Steve Vizard, Eddie’s former Toorak neighbour and
business partner who received no character reference from Eddie in
court during his insider trading nightmare.

However, Eddie did manage to plug him Vizard as a father of the year on Who Wants to be a Millionaire
in the week the former funnyman faced court. It would be a touch more
difficult framing a question on national television to portray Cooper
in a good light and thankfully Eddie didn’t even try last night.