Eddie McGuire has revealed he was ‘fired up’ before his clash with Tony Jones after seeing a young AFL fan walking down the street in team colours.
McGuire lost his cool with Channel Nine sports journalist Tony Jones on Wednesday night when he was grilled about whether cash-strapped AFL club members would be offered refunds during the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to Triple M Hot Breakfast on Thursday, the Collingwood president suggested he was feeling vulnerable ahead of the interview with Jones after seeing a child in an Essendon kit.
‘I was driving last night, and you wouldn’t believe it, there’s a kid walking down the street with his mum and dad, having a stroll around the neighbourhood,’ McGuire said.
Eddie McGuire revealed he was fired up before his clash with Nine’s Tony Jones after seeing a young AFL fan walking down the street in team colours during the coronavirus pandemic. He told Triple M Hot Breakfast on Thursday (pictured)
‘He’s got his Essendon socks on, his black shorts and his Essendon jumper on. He would’ve been seven years of age.
‘I suppose that’s what fired me up a little bit, to be honest. I was thinking about him, and his club … and he already loves his club. He’s dreaming of playing for them.’
During Wednesday’s live TV interview, Jones asked McGuire if he would give members their money back with the AFL season in doubt and suspended until May 31 due to the COVID-19 crisis.
‘Tony, it is as simple as this, if you don’t have members you don’t have a club. A club with no members is a memory. We need members to stick with us as much as they can,’ McGuire replied.
‘If anyone gets into financial hardship, speak to us, we are there together. The members are the club, it’s not as if we’re privately owned. This is all about sticking together through tough times.’
Jones quickly interjected and asked McGuire what he would tell members if they were to ask for a membership refund.
But McGuire dodged the question, responding: ‘Tony, you’ve got to listen to me mate. We’re in it together.’
‘We look after our members, they’re part of our family. If you came to me and said I need a loan at the moment, do you think I would help you … of course I would.
McGuire lost his cool with Channel Nine sports journalist Tony Jones on Wednesday night when he was grilled about whether cash-strapped AFL club members would be offered refunds (pictured)
The Who Wants To Be A Millionaire host then doubled down on his answer, and hit back at Jones for ‘winding him up’.
‘You’re not listening to me Tony, you’re trying to get a headline, this is what we don’t need at the moment. No mate, I am telling you,’ McGuire said.
Jones responded: ‘I’m not trying to get a headline Eddie, I’m trying to get an answer. If a member comes to you and wants their money back, will you give their money back?’
But the awkward exchange then turned fiery.
‘Tony I just said to you. If you’ve got financial hardships, speak to your club we’re there to help you we always do,’ McGuire hit back.
‘We do this year in, year out with people who have financial hardships. What I’m saying to you though Tony, is this is more than a transaction.’
During a live TV interview on Wednesday night, Tony Jones asked Collingwood president Eddie McGuire if he would give members their money back
Jones again tried to get McGuire to answer his question, which appeared to further anger the Collingwood boss.
‘This is people who love their club and it means more them. Tony, do you want to hear what the answer is or do you want to keep asking questions,’ McGuire said.
Jones cut in to tell McGuire the interview was running overtime: ‘You can love your club without actually putting your hand in your pocket.’
McGuire responded: ‘Tony if we don’t have enough people putting their hand their pocket, there will be no club it’s as simple as that.’
But Jones remarked that there are ‘unfortunately a lot of empty pockets’ in members who have lost money this season.
McGuire, who has been at the helm of Collingwood since 1998, then accused Jones of trying to make a fool out of him.
‘And they’ll be looked after, Tony,’ he said. ‘Do not make this into people taking money out of peoples pockets and don’t wind me up with a smarta*** last line.
Eddie McGuire (centre), who has been at the helm of Collingwood since 1998, accused reporter Tony Jones of trying to make a fool out of him on live TV
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‘This is desperate stakes and don’t try make a headline or make a fool out of me. When people need help they will get it.’
The interview ended abruptly with Jones thanking an irate McGuire for his time.
Speaking about the interview on Thursday, McGuire said he felt he had been ‘narked’ by the media.
‘I’m passionate about what football does for the community, and that’s why I jumped a bit last night,’ he told Triple M Hot Breakfast.
‘If you’re going to invite me on Nine News, let me put what I was going to say in context. Don’t try and trip me up with a yes-no answer that is a lot more complicated and needs to be explained.’
On March 22, the AFL announced it was postponing the 2020 season until at least June, after playing just one round.
The league still plans to complete the remaining 16 rounds at some point this year, after cutting it from the usual 23.