Journalist Jon Ralph says the drug culture at Collingwood ruined the club’s premiership window.
Collingwood won the 2010 grand final replay against St Kilda and lost the 2011 grand final against Geelong, before steadily dropping down the ladder under Buckley, finishing fourth, sixth, 11th and 12th over the past four seasons.
However, speaking on SEN on Wednesday morning, Ralph said he backed Buckley’s decision to overhaul the list, claiming the club’s illicit drugs culture was the real reason Collingwood’s premiership window slammed shut after just one flag and two grand finals.
“They had a pretty good side. They didn’t have rascals, they had blokes who were prepared to take too many drugs. That’s the unwritten story here. Too many players at that football club were prepared to just run amok,” Ralph said.
“By the end of 2012, what should have been a mini-dynasty for Collingwood, not just Nathan Buckley, was a side they totally needed to overhaul. That’s what they did. They did the right thing.”
“It wasn’t a side that Collingwood felt that they could go forward with.
“I’m not saying that is Mick’s fault in any way but it had got out of control at Collingwood and they wanted to change their culture and they wanted to change their list.
“It was a young side, there’s no doubt about that. But players needed to be moved on, not all the players who were moved on had those issues but they certainly wanted to change that culture.”