Eddie out of line: Costa

Saturday, April 20
Geelong Advertiser

EDDIE McGuire was wrong to use The Footy Show to call for player managers to be dumped, Geelong president Frank Costa said last night.

Costa said his Collingwood counterpart had gone over the top with his attack on managers.

``I think he's under a fair bit of pressure with all this conflict challenge that he's getting hammered on from every quarter, and he's come out with statements that he shouldn't have made and I think that was one last night,'' Costa said.

On Thursday night's show McGuire questioned the value of football managers and suggested that some of the 80 that existed in AFL ranks were ``bandits''.

``I just question why footballers need to have managers at all, except for maybe 20 or 25 (players),'' McGuire said on Thursday night's show.

``There's got to be a few bandits in amongst that lot,'' he said.

McGuire questioned why 17 and 18-year-old first-year players on fixed incomes needed a manager.

McGuire's comments follow a battle to secure star Nick Davis and a public spat with Davis' manager, Ricky Nixon.

McGuire added that a split was imminent between Nixon and Davis.

Costa said McGuire missed the point and that these young players' managers were far more than just contract negotiators and acted often as de facto parents.

``You've got young players, 17 and 18 years of age, coming into an income stream that they've had no training for or no conditioning for,'' he said.

``When you look at it there is a lot more than just negotiating a deal with the clubs.

``There is all the sponsorships from companies that like to get their products promoted by these young guys.

``They have to have managers, there's just no way those kids could do it any other way,'' he said.

The AFL Players Association said player managers had an important role to play, particularly in contract negotiations.

``Eddie's made an opinion from his point of view but we would say they (players managers) definitely have a role in redressing the situation, especially when dealing with contracts,'' communications manager Kylie King said.