IT HAS been a tumultuous nine months for Collingwood.
Between a thrilling one-point victory over West Coast in the 2020 elimination final, and a thrilling five-point win over Adelaide last week, the club has been challenged and faced justified scrutiny both on and off the field.
Change, both in the playing group and among the football department, has been vast and significant. The resignation of Nathan Buckley on Wednesday, the club's senior coach for the last nine-and-a-half seasons, being perhaps the most important departure.
In the wake of Buckley leaving, here are the key moments from a brutal period for the club.
October 3, 2020
Collingwood's season lives to see another day, with a thrilling one-point victory over West Coast in the elimination final at Optus Stadium taking the club through to the final six.
October 10, 2020
Collingwood's season ends with a 68-point thrashing at the hands of eventual Grand Finalists Geelong in the semi-finals. The Pies kick just one goal in the first three quarters, as a season of promise ends in an underwhelming fashion.
November 12, 2020
A disastrous Trade Period sees important trio Adam Treloar, Jaidyn Stephenson and Tom Phillips depart the club for little return. Young defender Atu Bosenavulagi also leaves. The club denies it is forced into the mass change by a salary cap squeeze, while denying it is rebuilding, though CEO Mark Anderson later clarifies financial pressure was "certainly a key part of the decision" to cut ties with so many key players.
November 30, 2020
Football boss Geoff Walsh announces he will retire from his role after 12 years across two separate stints with Collingwood. He played a key part in the club's 2010 premiership, as well as its journeys to both the 2011 and 2018 Grand Finals.
December 9, 2020
Collingwood takes three first-round picks to the NAB AFL Draft and recruits Ollie Henry, Finlay Macrae and Reef McInnes. The Pies also use two second-round selections, and trade out their lucrative 2021 first-round pick in anticipation of an early bid for father-son prospect Nick Daicos, signalling a new direction for the playing list.
December 14, 2020
Collingwood's long-time president Eddie McGuire announces he will step down at the conclusion of the 2021 season during a fan forum. McGuire first took the reins as president in 1999.
January 17, 2021
Collingwood appoints the highly-respected Graham Wright as its new football boss. He joins after 14 years with Hawthorn, where he was the club's list and recruiting manager during its successful years between 2007-2018, and its football boss from 2018-2020. Wright was also a Magpies premiership player and featured 201 times for the club between 1988-1998.
January 31, 2021
Collingwood's 'Do Better' report is released, finding "systemic racism" within the club "that must be addressed if things are to change". It says that there is "something distinct and egregious about Collingwood's history". Athletes from the club's AFL, AFLW and netball programs later apologise in a collective statement to those who have been "marginalised, hurt or discriminated against due to their race". President Eddie McGuire receives criticism after labelling the release of the report a "historic and proud day" for the football club.
February 9, 2021
An emotional Eddie McGuire brings forward his decision to leave the club as Collingwood's president, effective immediately. His departure, after 22 years in the role, comes after the release of the club's 'Do Better' report into racism.
March 3, 2021
In a candid, revealing and widespread interview with AFL.com.au on the eve of the 2021 season, an uncontracted Nathan Buckley says he will step down from his coaching role if he feels it is best for the club. Buckley says: "I don't feel like I have to be the senior coach going forward if that's the best thing for the club … if the club felt it was better to go in another direction, then I would understand that."
April 21, 2021
Collingwood officially appoints Mark Korda as Eddie McGuire's replacement as president of the football club. Korda, who has served on the board since 2007, had been co-president with fellow director Peter Murphy after McGuire's departure in February.
May 1, 2021
A disastrous loss to Gold Coast at the MCG is watched by just over 24,000 fans. It is the club's fifth straight defeat and extends its woeful win-loss record to 1-6 for the season. The team falls to second-last on the AFL ladder, behind only the winless North Melbourne.
May 5, 2021
Collingwood list boss Ned Guy announces he will step down from his role after the upcoming NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft. The decision comes just months after the club's tumultuous 2020 Trade Period, where Guy was forced to oversee the aggressive list overhaul where Treloar, Stephenson, Phillips and Bosenavulagi all departed.
May 19, 2021
Collingwood appoints Bridie O'Donnell to its board after former vice-president Alex Waislitz suddenly steps down. The Magpies are later forced to clarify whether O'Donnell is able to make any decisions relating to the club due to not being a paid-up member for the minimum 24 months.
June 2, 2021
The club's board releases a defiant statement, emphatically rejected a coup proposed by Jeff Brown. It says: "A coup is not warranted, it has not been justified and cannot be justified."
June 5, 2021
Collingwood records a thrilling five-point win over Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval, overcoming strict travel restrictions in the wake of Victoria's recent COVID-19 outbreak. It is the club's third win of the season, and perhaps the last in Nathan Buckley's 466 games as both a player and senior coach at the club.
June 9, 2021
Nathan Buckley announces he will step down as Collingwood coach after the club's Queen's Birthday clash with Melbourne this Monday. Buckley says it was "clear that there was an appetite for change in the program".
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