Eddie McGuire has taken to his Melbourne radio show to refute suggestions he is the Clive Palmer of the AFL.
In the latest spark between the biggest AFL clubs north and south of the Murray, McGuire lashed out at Swans chairman Andrew Pridham, who made the incendiary remark.
The off-field leaders of the Magpies and Swans have traded blows for as long as “equalisation” has been on the AFL’s agenda.
The barbs show Pridham is willing to take on McGuire, just as his predecessor Richard Colless did.
To the Swans, Eddie is a tyrant intent on misusing his enormous power for only Collingwood’s gain.
On Monday McGuire countered by labelling the Swans selfish chequebook predators.
At the heart of the dispute is a long-running battle over assistance given to the relocated Swans.
The Collingwood president claimed a victory over the Swans with the abolition of their cost of living allowance in new AFL equalisation measures.
But when McGuire suggested Swans coach John Longmire wouldn’t work with him on the Australian international rules series, of which McGuire is team manager, it was on.
McGuire called that decision “petty” and said the Swans were “screaming and trying to protect something that is super important to them and gives them a major advantage”.
Not content with leading the competition, Pridham issued a salvo at his chairman’s address on Saturday, likening McGuire to mining magnate-cum-politician Palmer.
“I can’t help but see a comparison between Eddie … and the fact Clive Palmer is currently dominating the political agenda in Australia,” he said.
“He represents one 18th of the clubs, which is 5.5 per cent of the clubs, but he just dominates the agenda for reasons of self-interest.”
McGuire said Pridham was attacking his integrity, calling him “belligerent and belittling” and his team selfish.
“They are the biggest protectors of their self-interest of any organisation God’s put breath into,” McGuire said on Triple M.
McGuire suggested the club, who have lured key forwards Kurt Tippett and Lance Franklin in successive seasons, chose to poach talent rather than build their own and “had been doing it since Gerard Healy went up there”.
“These blokes haven’t developed anything,” he said, pointing out Lenny Hayes and Jarrod Witts as NSW products unwanted by the Swans.
“Get stuffed Sydney,” he concluded; somewhat in jest.
After leading his side to a 12th straight win, Longmire confirmed he didn’t want to be a part of the international rules series but wasn’t buying into the feud.
“I’m aware of Eddie’s comments and it is true,” he said.
“I’m not worried about it. I’m worried about the Swans. We have to keep winning games of footy.
“That’s what I’m worried about.”
Which is probably what McGuire is worried about too.