Collingwood Football Club has appointed long-time vice president Mark Korda as the AFL club’s new president, replacing Eddie McGuire who quit after a report found systemic racism at the club.
The club announced on Wednesday evening the board had voted for Korda over the interim co-president and board member Peter Murphy.
Korda, a founder of the insolvency firm KordaMentha, has served on the Collingwood board since 2007, and has long been viewed as one of the favourites to replace McGuire.
“Collingwood has long held a place in my life and I take on this role with the strong belief that we have in our possession a wonderful legacy, a strength and spirit with which we must seek to do and be better. We have challenges but great people and passion to meet them,” Korda said in a statement.
“I also thank and pay tribute to Eddie for a contribution that may be the equal of any in the club’s 129-year history. His time was a transformational one that we must honour by creating a new age of prosperity and growth for Collingwood.”
McGuire left the job months earlier than planned in February this year after widespread criticism of his handling of the release of the damning Do Better report on systemic racism at the AFL club.
McGuire described the day of the release of the report – which had been leaked to the media the day before – as a “historic and proud day for the club”.
The 56-year-old later conceded his wording was inappropriate but was defiant to the end, praising Collingwood’s support for Indigenous Australians and emphasising the report reflected the club’s commitment to improving.
“This is why I say we are not a racist club. Far from it,” McGuire said when resigning on 9 February.
Since McGuire left, Collingwood has established a 12-person anti-racism advisory group, which includes former Magpies player Daniel Wells, AFL inclusion and social policy manager Tanya Hosch and Magpies director Jodie Sizer, who will be tasked with assisting the club to develop a framework for change.
The group will advise the club’s board on the development of an improved framework for responding to incidents of racism and on the creation and implementation of anti-racism policies.
Victoria Racing Club chairman Neil Wilson has also been appointed to the board, filling the spot left by McGuire’s departure.