It surely can’t get any worse for Eddie McGuire.

The appalling Heath Shaw and Alan Didak drinking and lying extravaganza has left both players and their presdient humiliated. Shaw and Didak ought to be at least suspended — perhaps for the rest of the year. Morale at Collingwood is so low it will probably see the club falter fatally before the finals series.

Given that club culture is set from the top, such an outcome would see Eddie under enormous pressure to relinquish the Collingwood presidency after 10 years at the helm.

Then you have the CVC private equity toe-cutters who want to give Eddie the flick from Channel Nine … he’s become a target of vitriol within the network given that his $4 million salary for doing sod all is more than the entire budget for the axed Sunday program.

Sadly, Collingwood’s flawed culture, and those who have created it, is exactly the sort of issue that Sunday could have done a job on. Maybe we’ll just have to settle for A Current Affair’s interpretation tonight.

Even the book publishers Random House have decided that Eddie is no longer interesting enough and former Channel Nine presenter Patrick Lindsay has been pulled off the planned hagiography project.

Whilst Who Wants to be a Millionaire worked well for a while, it was a format that blitzed the world. Rupert Murdoch once told his News Corp AGM that the program was showing five nights a week in India and had totally recast the economics of broadcasting in that country.

Apart from an impressive 10 years as a sports reporter in Melbourne, this leaves The Footy Show as Eddie’s one great television success, but even that is crumbling now along with his long-time partner in crime, Sam Newman. Tasmanian minister Paula Wreidt being in hospital just days after Newman’s latest atrocity is an appalling look, even if it is totally unrelated. And with The Footy Show’s ratings wallowing, the axe is poised.

It’s hard to imagine Eddie being allowed to do a 60 Minutes special on Sam Newman’s cancer battle these days — both are in the twilight of their television careers. History would suggest that 60 Minutes reporter Liam Bartlett was right in his attack on that flawed decision.

James Packer clearly gave up on Eddie by selling out to private equity in 2006 without any prior warning for Nine’s then CEO and current CEO David Gyngell apparently has plenty of internal research suggesting audiences have gone cold on Nine’s former number one star.

Whilst The Sunday Herald Sun column is thought to pay about $100,000 a year, perhaps it is time for Eddie to contemplate that political career which his Svengali brother Frank, a rather unsuccessful chief of staff to Natasha Stott de Spoja, has long planned for. That’s if the ALP would have them.

Maybe Eddie’s best option is to go into business with his great mate Steve Vizard and they can whinge and moan about how badly the media, which made them on the way up, have treated them on the way down.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey