Is this another celebrated case of the curse of Crikey? Wind the clock back to August 2002 when Good Weekend
produced a tough cover story on yours truly, written by a certain Garry
Linnell. Eddie McGuire, who has known Linnell for 20 years on the
Melbourne sports circuit, was quoted as follows:

I wouldn’t even cross the street to give him a backhander –
or a writ for that matter – because I don’t want to give him the oxygen
he craves. His reputation is of having no credibility and of having
dudded every person who’s tried to lend him a hand.

Lo and behold, Eddie’s bungled shafting of Mark Llewellyn has now become the second biggest
oxygen generator in the 2,324-day life of Crikey – trailing only behind
Christian Kerr’s famous Democrat leaks of 2002 which precipitated the
resignation of then leader Natasha Stott Despoja and effectively
destroyed the party electorally.

Linnell has clearly accepted
the ultimate hospital pass in replacing Llewellyn and driving the
removal of 100 news and current affairs staff at Nine while learning
about the television industry for the first time. It seems Eddie was so
insecure that he felt the need to surround himself with Melbourne
sporting mates.

It’s clear now that Eddie and his deputy and
long time manager, Jeffrey Browne, are a laughing-stock at Nine. James
Packer should install someone over the top of them both and halve their
pay.

Sure, they are gun managers of people. But they are being
played out of position. PBL has made a terrible mistake and a return to
Melbourne, Who Wants to be a Millionaire and The FootyShow is surely on the cards to end what is the biggest crisis Nine has faced in decades.

I’m
so concerned about the damage being wreaked that yesterday 37 of my 67
PBL shares were sold at $17.43 a pop, still leaving enough to gain
entry to what will be a cracking AGM come October.

Peter Fray

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