Wednesday, 19 August 2015
Mark Thompson says he has settled
his differences with ex-Essendon coach James Hird, visiting Hird's house to clear the air on the night Hird resigned as Bombers mentor.
The relationship between the pair has been strained since allegations surfaced Thompson sought out the Essendon head coach position during his caretaker year in 2014.
"I said sorry. I think he was really upset. There was other people around and we just talked about the club, the time and some funny memories," Thompson told Fox Footy's AFL 360.
Tuesday, 18 August 2015
Following Essendon coach
James Hird's resignation as coach of the club, Bombers skipper Jobe Watson says he didn't plead with Hird to reconsider his decision.
"When your senior coach makes that decision then you know in their mind they've made it, and the call's come," Watson said.
"Whether or not you make a plea and say 'No, you should do this', that is beside the point.
"The decision's been made, they've made it and he's made it in what he believes is the best interest in the football club moving forward."
Monday, 17 August 2015
James Hird has resigned, adding a dramatic full stop to a tumultuous period for the club.
The announcement comes just three days after the Bombers' 112-point thrashing at the hands of Adelaide at Etihad Stadium and after years under the shadow of the ASADA and WADA investigations into the club's 2012 supplements program.
Flanked by Bombers players, an emotional Hird told a media conference at Essendon headquarters on Tuesday he decided on Monday night to quit as coach.
"I'm not disappointed [that] the club's let me down," Hird said.
"The reason for this decision is to enable the players and the supporters some space to perform and be a normal football club again.
"I didn't know it would come to this [but] I felt that the club needed space. There was a question mark there and that was enough to say, let's try something else.
"These players have to be allowed to play. It's not just about me resigning or moving on, the industry has to let them play and give them some space.
"It's not their fault. I think the industry should give them a break.
"My hesitation in leaving this club at this time is because I believe the players still need strong guidance and care, which I hope to continue to provide from a distance."
"I certainly don't love the game like I used to," Hird continued.
"I think the whole three years has been very tough on my family. It's put a lot of strain on everyone ... a lot of stress on a lot of parts of my family life and I think it will just been good for my family to get some space away from the media spotlight."
Saturday, 15 August 2015
James Hird says he wants to coach Essendon into next season, despite another thrashing throwing more doubt on the club great's future in the role.
Essendon's disastrous season hit a new low point when Adelaide cruised to a 112-point belting of the Bombers at Etihad Stadium.
It followed the Bombers' 110-point defeat to St Kilda in round 14 and their 87-point loss to the Western Bulldogs two weeks ago, and saw them concede 11 last-quarter goals as the Crows ran away with the win.
"I think I can do the job, but our performance this year has been quite poor," he said after the Crows' loss.
"And anytime you win five games for the year and … [have] three or four big blowouts, justifiably criticism will come and your job will get questioned.
"The club has to look at what the right thing to do is. I think I can do it, but that doesn't mean that everyone else does."
Thursday, 13 August 2015
Essendon coach James Hird says he is not overly concerned with the Bombers initiating a wide-ranging review of their football department.
"My job is to coach the team as well as I can, win as many games as we can and play the best football we can over the next four weeks. That's what I can do," Hird said.
"Speculating or worrying about how a review is going that's underway is not my role. I will do the best job I can and the result will be what it will be."
Sunday, 9 August 2015
Essendon coach James Hird has been left "flabbergasted" by Mark Thompson's claim the Bombers are "drowning" in the wake of the ongoing anti-doping saga surrounding the club.
Thompson told radio station 3AW on Saturday he believed the club was "just treading water, going backwards - it's drowning".
"You look at the playing group, which is the most important, most significant group of people in the brand of Essendon - they're just nowhere, they're lost," Thompson said.
"We've damaged them mentally."
After Essendon's 32-point loss to Greater Western Sydney on Sunday – the club's fourth straight defeat – he was asked if he was disappointed by the continuing negative commentary from people outside the club.
"I think everyone was a bit flabbergasted by that," Hird said in response.
"I think the players were genuinely flabbergasted by those comments."
Pressed further, Hird was asked if he disagreed with Thompson's comments.
"I am not going to get in a slanging match with Mark Thompson," he said.
"Mark has been an Essendon premiership player, a terrific person at Essendon, he has done some good things here but I really don't want to. That's not in anyone's best interests, I don't think."
Sunday, 2 August 2015
James Hird has brought $640,000 Supreme Court proceedings against Essendon's insurer, demanding that it pay his legal costs arising out of the club's supplements saga.
Hird filed court documents last week seeking that Chubb Insurance cover the cost of:
• His failed Federal Court application last year – $573,588.
• His failed Federal Court appeal – $68,552.
• The AFL's expenses in providing him with subpoenaed documents pursuant to his Federal Court application – $32,470.
Hird's latest legal action comes after Chubb earlier this year refused to pay the above costs.
The insurer argued that Essendon's policy only covered club executives for legal costs incurred as defendants and not as claimants.
Thursday, 16 July 2015
The AFL will not pursue James Hird for breaching a non-disparagement agreement, despite his comments about some 'ordinary individuals' within the football industry.
Hird said in a radio interview last Sunday: "Certainly there's some people within the AFL industry I've got no time for, I think are ordinary individuals and don't speak the truth and have agendas and drive them really hard for their own agendas."
But AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said he was 'not worried in the slightest' about Hird's comments.
"I'm not going to buy into it. We need Essendon to be strong and playing well and winning games," McLachlan told Melbourne radio station 3AW.
"Our focus is making sure that all those players are OK through this process, that's our focus."
Wednesday, 15 July 2015
James Hird has confirmed he will coach Essendon against North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.
There was some doubt about whether Hird could carry out his usual duties after he was knocked unconscious falling off his bike on the way home from training on Monday evening.
Tuesday, 14 July 2015
James Hird is recovering well after a serious bike accident that left him concussed.
"Waking up in the middle of Toorak Road is pretty scary," Hird said.
"I do like riding my bike, but it will stay at home for a while."
Hird said he was feeling confident he would be able to coach the Bombers on Friday night against traditional rivals North Melbourne pending clearance from club doctor Bruce Reid.
"Reidy's going to keep me under observation for the next couple of days, but I'm keen to coach," Hird said.
"I feel good, so I'll just take it a bit quietly and respect concussion like we've been talking about in AFL, and hopefully by tomorrow I feel a lot better."
Monday, 13 July 2015
James Hird has been hospitalised with severe concussion after falling from his bike in wet and slippery conditions on Monday night.
Cycling home from the club's Tullamarine base to his Toorak home, the Bombers coach fell near the corner of Toorak Road and Chapel Street in South Yarra.
An Ambulance Victoria spokesman confirmed to AFL.com.au a call was received at about 5.15pm.
The 42-year-old was treated at the scene by paramedics and taken to the Alfred Hospital in a stable condition.
Hird's wife Tania told reporters on Tuesday morning it remained unclear whether her husband would coach his side against North Melbourne on Friday night.
"They've kept him in for observation and some testing this morning," she said.
"I don't really know too much to be honest, but there's no fractures which is fantastic and by the time we left last night, he was able to talk. He was dopey, very dopey, and obviously very sore, but he was able to talk and I think it'll all be fine."
Club doctor Bruce Reid said Hird would remain in hospital under observation on Monday night.
"James was very fortunate he was wearing a helmet which has braced his fall," Reid said.
"He has suffered severe concussion however X-rays have cleared him of any fractures.
"James will remain in hospital for ongoing observation and following a review we hope he will be discharged soon."
Sunday, 5 July 2015
James Hird says he still believes he is the right man to coach Essendon, despite the team slumping to a fifth straight defeat after a demoralising 110-point loss to St Kilda.
"I still believe I can coach this group. That's my own belief, whether it's other people's belief, we'll see," Hird said.
"I'm not worried about the pressure that will come on me because it can't be much more than it's been previously. I'm just disappointed for our supporters and players."
Essendon midfielder Dyson Heppell said after the game that the Essendon players were still very much behind Hird.
"We love Hirdy," Heppell said.
"We love having Hirdy around; we have so much respect for the man. Of course we're playing for the coach. This is about the player. We're all in this together once again. We need to get through this period."
Saturday, 27 June 2015
Sam Mitchell is seen provoking Essendon players during the third quarter of the Hawks' 38-point victory over the Bombers.
As Mitchell was heading to the centre, he motioned as if he was injecting himself in his upper arm, directing his gesture at a group of Essendon players including Michael Hibberd and Cale Hooker in a blatant taunt at the club's ongoing anti-doping case.
Mitchell apologised after the match in a Fox Footy interview.
"It was probably inappropriate, it's not in good taste, it's not something you want to see … I shouldn't have done it," Mitchell said.
"If I could have my time again I wouldn't have done it."
Essendon coach James Hird told reporters after the match he had not seen footage of the incident but had heard about it, saying it could be a sign that people still believed media "propaganda" surrounding the club's controversial 2011-12 supplements program.
"I think if he's apologised for it then we'll let it go, but if it's something that's still out there I think it's naive and idiotic really for someone to do that, if he has done it," Hird said.
"But if he's apologised then I think we let it go. It's disappointing for our playing group that that's still happening but perhaps the propaganda that's been around about what's happened at our club maybe people have believed it."
Monday, 22 June 2015
James Hird has defended his decision to take an overseas break during Essendon's bye round last week, saying he doesn't understand what the fuss is about.
Hird flew to Europe on approved leave following the Bombers' round-11 loss to West Coast and spent the week abroad to finish his business administration course at the world-renowned INSEAD business school.
"It was all approved leave, just some personal development overseas," Hird said.
"(I missed) one training session on Saturday, I'm not sure what the big deal is."
Tuesday, 12 May 2015
James Hird says he is not worried about his own position in the wake of the World Anti-Doping Agency's decision to appeal the Essendon case, with his players backing him to continue as coach.
"They've said to me today they want me to coach them harder and harder than I ever have before," Hird said of the players.
"I'm not worried about my own position. I'm trying to get these players in the right frame of mind that they can play, and that they're in the right frame of mind off the field.
"Me coaching yesterday to today hasn't changed one bit."
Tuesday, 31 March 2015
An emotional James Hird has apologised for his club's actions in 2012 while conceding he nearly lost his job as coach of Essendon in 2014.
Hird and chairman Paul Little fronted the media on Tuesday evening after the AFL's Anti-Doping Tribunal had found 34 of the Dons' past and present players not guilty of taking a banned substance.
"I love the Essendon football club, it's been a part of my life since I was born. It was part of my father's life, it was part of my grandfather's life," Hird said.
"And I am so sorry for anything that's happened or that's been done wrong to our players or been done wrong to our football club.
"I and we would never do anything intentionally to harm this football club or to harm the game of AFL football that has given me so much and given so many people so much."
Thursday, 26 February 2015
James Hird's legal battle is over, with the defiant Essendon coach deciding against a High Court appeal to allow the club to "move on and play football".
"It's been very disappointing what's happened the last two years and the way our football club has been treated and we hope we get the chance to get on and do what we do best and that's play football," Hird said.
"This decision is based in trying to give us the best chance in 2015 of winning as many games of football as we can.
"Fundamentally we still believe our players weren't treated the way they should have been treated with confidentiality and certain aspects that the average Australian is given.
"Ultimately we hope the players are cleared through the Tribunal process, which is about to be handed down very shortly."
Monday, 2 February 2015
James Hird has left the door ajar for an appeal to the High Court over his failed bid to have the ASADA doping case against 35 present and former Bombers players ruled unlawful.
Hird returned to Australia this week from New York, and admitted his unsuccessful Federal Court appeal against Justice John Middleton's finding that the joint ASADA-AFL investigation into Essendon's 2012 supplements program was lawful had been extremely costly.
"It has cost me a lot of money," he told Channel Seven.
"It's money we have to go out and find."
Thursday, 29 January 2015
James Hird has failed in his Federal Court appeal to have the joint AFL-ASADA investigation into Essendon's 2012 supplements program declared unlawful.
ASADA released a statement shortly after the verdict was delivered on Friday saying it had been vindicated for working with the AFL to uphold a clean competition.
"ASADA and sports must partner if we are to have any chance in protecting the integrity of fair competition," the statement read.
Thursday, 11 December 2014
Essendon's newly elected board members, Paul Cousins and Catherine Lio, have thrown their full support behind coach James Hird and club chairman Paul Little.
"There have obviously been some difficulties but on the whole, the board and particularly Paul have handled it really well," Cousins said.
"James has been put under a lot of pressure by the media but I think he's handled it terrifically well. I really support Paul and the board and of course James."
Thursday, 27 November 2014
On the eve of the Victorian state election, Opposition leader Daniel Andrews reveals his view that Essendon coach James Hird should be sacked if players are banned over the discredited 2012 supplements regime.
The Victorian Labor leader, a paid up Essendon member, believes Hird's position would become untenable.
Asked how he would vote if such circumstances came to pass, Andrews said he would go against Hird.
"I'd be voting 'no' because, frankly, we need to move on," Andrews told SEN radio.
"I've got great respect for James as a player and someone who has led on the field and off but, frankly, we need a clean break with this. We need to move on. That's just the way these things are."
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Essendon chairman Paul Little says club members will help decide coach James Hird's future if Bombers players are found guilty of doping.
With the long-running supplements scandal drawing to an end, Little said the members would have a say on the fate of the club's leadership if the players lost their case.
"I think myself, along with the board and those other key components, and coaching maybe one of those — in fact it would be — I think the membership would need to decide how they wanted the club to move forward,'' Little told the Herald Sun.
"And some pretty tough decisions would need to be made to be part of that."
Sunday, 26 October 2014
James Hird says his relationship with Mark Thompson remains intact and wants the two-time premiership coach to remain at Essendon in 2015.
However, Thompson's future at the club appears no clearer, with the Bombers' two most recent senior coaches yet to talk after returning from their respective holidays.
"We're fine. We've had a very good relationship for a long time and we still have," Hird said.
"I haven't spoken to Bomber about his future.
"I know the club is in discussions with Bomber at the moment so we'll wait and see how those discussions play out.
Sunday, 5 October 2014
Essendon's board meet to discuss James Hird's fate.
Hird's tenure as head coach of Essendon will come into question after his determination to continue legal action over the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's inquiry into Essendon's 2012 supplements program.
Essendon has decided to stick with coach James Hird until it gains "further clarity" on his Federal Court appeal.
"The board believes it would be potentially reckless to make any decisions of significance until there is further clarity on these crucial matters," Essendon chairman Paul Little said in a statement.
"The board recognises the rights of James to pursue his appeal of the recent Federal Court decision.
"James remains senior coach of the Essendon Football Club and will work closely with other members of the football department during this particularly important trade and planning period in preparation for the 2015 season."
Wednesday, 1 October 2014
Lawyers for James Hird are preparing to lodge paperwork for a Federal Court appeal on Thursday morning as the coach breaks ranks with his club over the supplements scandal.
Essendon has decided it won't appeal Justice John Middleton's emphatic judgement in favour of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) and its investigation into the club's 2012 supplements regime.
It's understood Essendon's board will wait for Hird's legal team to formally lodge paperwork, before assessing the state of play.
With Hird heading down his own path, the club could be left with no choice but to stand its coach down despite the fact that he is contracted for two more seasons.
While James Hird was a notable absentee from Essendon's best and fairest count on Wednesday night, Mark Thompson has used the occasion to all-but state he wants to stay on as senior coach.
"I loved coaching the boys, they were really receptive, we got improvement in wins and losses and it was everything coaching is. It's a good job in some parts and that part is fantastic," Thompson said.
"The thing I'm really struggling with right now is taking a step back. That's where it's all coming from.
"The plan was to leave after this year. I don't really want to because I love this footy club and I love the players and I want them to do really well."
Thursday, 11 September 2014
James Hird fronts a specially convened gathering of coaches on Thursday to deal exclusively with his re-admission to coach Essendon in 2015.
The meeting was held at the Bayside home of interim AFL Coaches Association CEO Mark Brayshaw.
While most, if not all, coaches were aware of the meeting, only three attended – Collingwood's Nathan Buckley, Western Bulldogs' Brendan McCartney and Gold Coast's Guy McKenna.
They were joined by Brayshaw and Essendon general manager of football Performance Neil Craig.
"It was a good meeting, all part of James reconnecting with the coaches association." Brayshaw said on The Footy Show.
"He's had 12 months out, done his time, and what we had was a warm and robust conversation, a very mature conversation."
Sunday, 24 August 2014
James Hird returns to work at Essendon after serving his suspension and says he would like caretaker coach Mark Thompson to remain at the club next year.
"We'd all like 'Bomber' to stay on, particularly, I'd like him to stay on - he is obviously a great coach, he's been terrific for the players this year and for the whole club this year," Hird said.
"It's not just his decision or my decision, it is also the club's decision - but everybody at Essendon would like him to stay."
Wednesday, 13 August 2014
Essendon chairman Paul Little and suspended coach James Hird deny a rift exists over the club's handling of the supplements scandal.
Hird has testified that he disagreed with repeated public statements from Little and his predecessor David Evans about the club's decision to report its 2012 supplements program to the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and the League, but had agreed to toe the Bombers' party line.
But at the conclusion of the Federal Court hearing on Wednesday, Hird said he still enjoyed a strong relationship with the club hierarchy.
"There's been a lot of silly things said in the paper, but I fully support Paul and his board and they've been terrific of late," Hird told reporters.
Tuesday, 29 July 2014
David Myers says that James Hird should avoid being a distraction to the Essendon players as they prepare for the finals.
"The main thing with that is that we didn't want any distractions heading into the finals," Myers said.
"As players we're looking forward to having Hirdy coming back and we want him back.
"But I think the board decided it would be in the best interests of us that there would be no distractions leading into September."
Monday, 28 July 2014
Essendon coach Mark Thompson says James Hird will be put straight to work at the club after his return from overseas.
"We haven't put him on the outer, we haven't isolated him, he's going to be doing a lot of work," Thompson told Fox Footy's AFL360 program.
"The day he comes back, he's going to be watching tapes, talking with list management, talking to sponsors, looking at a lot of kids' tapes.
"He's going to be busy, we're going to busy him up."
Thursday, 24 July 2014
James Hird will not have any coaching role in 2014 after agreeing that his return to Essendon should not be a distraction.
Hird, whose 12-month suspension ends on August 25, will not take on any active coaching duties this year – on match day or during the week – and instead use the time to prepare for his return as the senior coach in 2015.
The club's decision was announced on Friday after a meeting between Hird, Essendon chairman Paul Little, newly appointed chief executive Xavier Campbell, football performance manager Neil Craig and stand-in coach Mark Thompson.
"We have all agreed that when James is eligible to return to the club on August 25, James' focus will be entirely on the 2015 season – he will not be in the coaching box or have an active coaching role at training," Little said in a statement.
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
James Hird arrives back in Melbourne and says he is looking forward to finding a role at Essendon again when his 12-month suspension ends in round 23.
"I can't wait to be back and I look forward to heading back to Essendon," Hird told reporters outside his Toorak home.
"I look forward to getting back to the club as soon as I can."
Tuesday, 1 July 2014
James Hird has alleged ASADA breached its confidentiality obligations by providing draft copies of its interim report to the AFL before it was formally lodged on August 2 last year.
He also alleges ASADA's joint investigation with the AFL effectively gave the anti-doping body the power to compel Essendon players and officials to answer questions about the 2012 supplements program - a power Hird alleges ASADA does not possess under its legislation.
Hird has submitted a 19-page statement of claim in the Federal Court ahead of Wednesday's second directions hearing, revealing new details of his legal challenge against ASADA.
Friday, 13 June 2014
Suspended Essendon coach James Hird has joined his club in launching legal action against the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority.
Essendon chairman Paul Little confirmed on Friday afternoon that the club had filed an application in the Federal Court against ASADA, alleging its joint investigation with the AFL into the club is unlawful and in breach of the ASADA act.
The Bombers' application aims to rule the case against the club "null and void".
And it emerged later on Friday evening that Hird, who is currently serving a 12-month AFL suspension for bringing the game into disrepute, has also launched Federal Court action against ASADA.
Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Essendon wants James Hird to tell his side of the story when he returns from overseas later this year.
While the Bombers claim Hird hasn't been "gagged", he has remained relatively silent on the supplements scandal which saw him handed a 12-month ban from coaching.
Essendon chairman Paul Little said Hird may be in a position to speak about the events of 2012 and 2013 when he returns from studying overseas.
"We have discussed with James the support the club would give to that type of event," Little said.
"And I think given that James is offshore now and will be offshore for three-to-four months, it's likely to occur on his return."
Brendon Goddard has confirmed that the Essendon's leadership group has asked suspended coach James Hird to stop airing his grievances for the sake of the team.
"We don't need or want any more distractions," Goddard said.
"Although we've dealt with a lot in the past, I think … from the footy club's perspective, and the players, I think it would be good if it was somewhat forgotten about and we move on from it."
Tuesday, 25 March 2014
James Hird will return to coach Essendon next year after surviving the club's board meeting on Wednesday.
Bombers chairman Paul Little confirmed Hird, whose 12-month ban expires in August, will resume coaching duties in 2015.
"Following these discussions, James understands and is in agreement with the terms of his employment and with the Essendon Football Club," Little said.
"The club and James have discussed very clear parameters and expectations moving forward around actions deemed to be in the best interests of our club."
Monday, 24 March 2014
Mark Thompson remains adamant he will be coaching Essendon for just one season and is convinced James Hird will return to the senior role in 2015.
"I wouldn't expect the club to ask and I wouldn't change my answer," Thompson said.
"I'm coaching for the year and that's it. He's coming back. That was the plan. Until it changes, we can't do anything else."
Friday, 21 March 2014
The Essendon board want to speak to James Hird following Hird's wife Tania recently reviving claims AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou tipped-off the Bombers about the supplements scandal.
"This is more about speaking to James and letting him give us his ideas and thoughts behind what has happened. At this point in time that hasn't happened so we just need to wait," Essendon chairman Paul Little said.
"It's been a particularly busy day today with unscheduled board meetings. I think with James there'll be time to speak with James and that's probably next week when the dust settles on the events of tonight."
Thursday, 20 March 2014
Tania Hird, wife of suspended Essendon coach James Hird, revives the explosive allegation that AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou tipped off the club about the club's supplements scandal.
Hird, who is a lawyer, claims she was listening on a speaker phone when her husband spoke to Evans on July 25.
"I was taking notes - I take a lot of notes," she told the ABC's 7.30.
"David admitted that he said to James 'go into ASADA and tell the whole truth, but don't say what Andrew Demetriou told us'.
"It has been referred to as the tip-off.
"James did say in return 'if I'm not asked about it, I won't offer it up, but if I'm asked about it, like anything I'm asked about, I will answer it honestly and truthfully and to the best of my knowledge'."
Tuesday, 18 March 2014
AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou personally gives the green light to a James Hird interview as part of an Essendon in-house produced television show.
"They said, would it be OK to do that interview, and I advised Paul Little, and then, of course, our people advised the chief operating officer, that there was no issue about breaching the agreement," Demetriou said.
"He conducted a pretty straight up and down interview that appeared on The Hangar last night and we saw no issue with it."
Monday, 17 February 2014
Hawthorn premiership coach Alastair Clarkson wants reform to the League's coaching ranks, including mandatory licences, to ensure there is no repeat of the Essendon supplements scandal.
Clarkson believes licences to coach should be compulsory and that by 2020, every senior coach should have coached his own team for at least two years.
"We need to ensure [the supplements scandal] never happens in our game again. It's too easy to sweep it under the carpet and hope it's never going to happen again," Clarkson told Fairfax Media.
"Next time it could be illicit drugs or young girls in night clubs. It comes down to having the right systems and protocols in place.
"'Hirdy' (Essendon coach James Hird) needs accreditation to coach under-nines but not an AFL footy team. It really concerns me that the game doesn't protect itself in the way, say, the teaching industry does."
Monday, 16 December 2013
Filling in for James Hird as interim coach of the Bombers, Mark Thompson says it will be business as usual for Essendon.
"We're going to continue to work the players … the best thing about this club is that the young boys are fantastic young people," Thompson said.
"We haven't done everything right but there has been a lot of things we have done right, and we're just going to continue to build and to be better and better and better until we become a very consistently good team."
Friday, 13 December 2013
The AFL concedes that James Hird can be paid in advance by Essendon in 2013 for his work in 2014.
"To settle this impasse, the Essendon Football Club has resolved that it will pay James Hird in advance to cover the 2014 year consistent with Hird's employment contract obligations," Essendon chairman Paul Little said.
"This also meets the implied terms of the Deed of Settlement. The implied terms of the AFL sanction indicate that James Hird cannot be paid for a 12 month period therefore he will not be paid during the calendar period January 1 – December 31, 2014."
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Following a revelation from James Hird's wife that the AFL is aware that he is being paid by Essendon, the League reacts by suspending its regular payments to the Bombers until the club clarifies its position.
Hird's lawyer, Julian Burnside QC, however, insists that the there is nothing in writing that states Hird cannot be paid.
"The agreement with the AFL was documented," Burnside said.
"There's an agreement between the AFL and Essendon, there's an agreement between the AFL and Hird.
"And you would think that if the AFL insist that Hird not receive pay during the time he was suspended that it would be in the agreement, and it is not."
Thursday, 5 December 2013
The AFL has asked Essendon to clarify whether or not it is still paying suspended senior coach James Hird.
"I want to make it very clear, the sanction to James Hird is a 12-month suspension, [and] is a suspension without pay," AFL chief Andrew Demetriou told Melbourne radio station 3AW.
"It is incorrect that he's being paid by the Essendon Football Club. He's not allowed to be paid. I want to make that very clear.
"I have no knowledge of what he's being paid outside of the Essendon Football Club, but he's not permitted to be paid by the Essendon Football Club. That is a fact."
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
The AFL and Essendon have declined to comment on fresh allegations that James Hird is being paid by Essendon while under suspension.
"In relation to media inquiries regarding James Hird's pay, Essendon Football Club will not be commenting on issues covered by confidentiality agreements," Essendon said in a statement.
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou writes a letter to clubs denying media reports that a deal was reached with Essendon coach James Hird over penalties related to the Bombers' supplements saga.
"Some of the coverage by News Limited today appears to assert the AFL has paid or is paying James Hird, which is completely false," Demetriou said in his letter.
"The various sanctions were applied a matter of days after a special meeting of AFL Club Presidents/Chairmen on August 22, 2013 which, among other things, urged the AFL Commission to resolve the matters relating to Essendon FC within the AFL industry and as soon as possible."
Thursday, 10 October 2013
Essendon confirms that James Hird will not resume coaching duties in late 2014 despite his suspension ending in August.
"James' view was that it would be unwise for him to come back to coaching ... the decision was made very early in the piece," Bombers chairman Paul Little said.
Hird is expected to spend much of 2014 studying overseas.
Wednesday, 9 October 2013
Mark Thompson is named as interim coach of Essendon for the 2014 season while James Hird serves his 12-month suspension.
Monday, 16 September 2013
Terry Wallace joins a five-person panel set to pick Essendon's interim coach for 2014 in the wake of James Hird's 12-month suspension over the Bombers' supplements scandal.
Monday, 9 September 2013
Mark Thompson questions if he has the drive to step in as senior coach of Essendon while James Hird serves his 12-month suspension.
"We went through a big year and I think the players deserve someone who is going to be fully into it. They deserve the best chance they can get of playing their best footy," Thompson said.
"I'm not sure I can [be that person]. I feel better but I have been through a tough year, a really tough year ... we felt so lonely inside our own club at times last year"
Monday, 2 September 2013
Outgoing Sydney Swans chairman Richard Colless expresses his disdain for James Hird's role in the Essendon supplements scandal.
"I don't have any ill will towards James Hird – I don't know him – but to be called 'heroic', to me is really showing contempt for the football public," Colless said.
"I think he was anything but heroic. He might be a very nice guy, and a very decent person, but I think he was singularly unheroic, quite frankly."
Friday, 30 August 2013
Port Adelaide president David Koch says James Hird would have been stood down and banned from the club if he was coach of the Power.
"Suffice to say it would not have happened at Port Adelaide," Koch said on ABC Radio about Essendon offering Hird another contract following his 12-month ban.
"If we were in that position I would have stood down at the very beginning and the coach would never coach at Port Adelaide again."
Tuesday, 27 August 2013
The AFL hands James Hird a 12-month ban from coaching. This, however, does not prevent Essendon from offering Hird what is believed to be a two-year contract beyond 2014, when his ban expires on August 25.
"James is very keen to continue his coaching with Essendon and the Essendon Football Club is very keen to have James Hird continue," Essendon chairman Paul Little said.
James Hird's lawyer Julian Burnside QC has praised his client as being 'heroic' and 'courageous' after the Essendon coach received a 12-month suspension for his part in the Essendon supplements saga.
"The driving consideration for James right from the start was to do the best he could for the players he loves, the club he loves and the game he loves," Burnside said.
"He's been brutally maligned in the press over the past six months – I don't know how he has managed to survive it – and he has wanted to show that he is not guilty of anything.
"But against that, he wanted to do the right thing by the club and the game. I reckon what he did tonight was nothing short of heroic."
James Hird says he accepts responsibility for the supplements saga at Essendon.
"I should have known what was going on; I should have known more and I'm very disappointed that I didn't," Hird said.
"There is a level of responsibility you have as a senior coach.
"There are a lot of things that happened at our football club that shouldn't have happened and as senior coach I take some responsibility for what happened and not trying to stop it."
Sunday, 25 August 2013
James Hird's lawyer accuses the AFL of 'bullying' tactics.
"The AFL's bullying tactics seem to be the standard in Australia now," prominent human rights lawyer Julian Burnside QC said.
"The AFL seems to think it's OK to bully a bunch of individuals and a club without letting them have a fair hearing.
"I think the AFL's conduct has been scandalous."
Saturday, 24 August 2013
James Hird says a possible suspension will not mean the end of him as coach of Essendon.
"The priority for the club and myself is to clear a lot of those charges up, and then of course I want come back and coach if I do get suspended," Hird said.
"I started a job almost three years ago now, and we've developed a team into a competitive team. It's not the best team in the AFL but it's a good team.
"We've [had] 14 wins this year, it's the most since 2001 at this club. We're building along the right direction and I love the players I coach, I love the people I work with and I love our supporters.
"This year has brought us all closer together. If I do end up not coaching for a period of time because of suspension I can't wait to come back."
Thursday, 22 August 2013
James Hird is a no-show at a scheduled press conference, leaving assistant coach Simon Goodwin to answer media question prior to the upcoming game between Essendon and Carlton.
"I think we all understand that there's a lot going on away from just football," Goodwin said when asked about Hird's absence.
"There's a lot of meetings going on ... I think that what we all need to do as staff is really step up and take some of that load away from James and actually help in this situation, and help the club actually move forward. It's territory that we haven't been in before."
James Hird responds to an anonymous mother of an Essendon player who recently expressed her disappointment in Hird's lack of regard for the welfare of her son on radio.
"It was very concerning. I think the welfare of our players is something that we all hold in high regard and are very concerned about, so it was very concerning to hear it," Hird said.
"We are still trying to [make] contact and find out who that person is."
Wednesday, 21 August 2013
James Hird says the AFL is out to damage his reputation after the AFL made public its charges against Essendon and Hird, Mark Thompson, Danny Corcoran and doctor Bruce Reid.
"The announcement by ambush confirms the AFL is running an agenda which continues to call into questions its impartiality," Hird said.
"My position is the same today as it was yesterday and in previous weeks. That is, I will contest the charges."
James Hird has lodged a Supreme Court writ that makes a number of serious allegations about senior AFL executives' roles in the ASADA-AFL investigation into the Bombers' 2012 supplements program.
The AFL makes public a letter by Essendon club doctor Bruce Reid to Bombers coach James Hird and former Essendon general manager of football operations Paul Hamilton.
In the letter, Reid articulates several concerns he has with the Bombers' supplements program especially the injection of AOD/9604 and calf's blood.
"I am very frustrated by this and now feel I am letting the club down by not automatically approving of these things. I need to collect my thoughts as these drugs have been given without my knowledge," Reid wrote in his letter.
"I am sure Steve Danks believes that what we are doing is totally ethical and legal, however, one wonders whether if you take a long stance and look at this from a distance, whether you would want your children being injected with a derivative hormone that is not free to the community and whether calf's blood, that has been used for many years and is still doubted by most doctors, is worth pursuing."
The mother of an Essendon player expresses her frustration with Bombers coach James Hird as the fallout from the club's supplements program unfolds.
"James Hird is a man who I've always respected, but to watch his press conference yesterday it was all about him, it was all about me, me, me, how to protect me," the woman said on Triple M Melbourne.
"Well who's going to protect my kids? And who's going to protect all of the other players? Let's not forget that harm was done to the players, not to James Hird.
"And let's not forget any health repercussions the players will have to deal with and not James Hird, not Mr (Paul) Little.
"And it frustrates me and angers me that as a parent we're basically being muzzled and we've been told not to speak to people and the stress at home and the stress with my son is intolerable.
"He is actually contemplating walking away from the sport."
James Hird's legal team lodges a 9-page writ with the Victorian Supreme Court.
"We will be going to the Supreme Court tomorrow lodging a statement of claim outlining our concerns about the manner in which the AFL has conducted itself over the course of the past several months," Hird's spokesman Ian Hanke said.
Tuesday, 13 August 2013
Essendon coach James Hird along with club doctor Bruce Reid, Bombers football manager Danny Corcoran and assistant coach Mark Thompson are charged with bringing the game into disrepute following the release of an interim report by ASADA into the Bombers' drug scandal.
"I'm pretty shattered really - shattered to be charged for bringing the game into disrepute that I love and cherish and respect so much," Hird said.
"It's terribly disappointing I've been charged for that, for the club and all of us."
Monday, 12 August 2013
Essendon coach James Hird remains defiant as the club waits to see if it is charged by the AFL over the ongoing drugs saga.
"I think we all find it hard to believe that charges can be laid on individuals or the club when none of our players have shown to take performance enhancing drugs, none of our players have been shown that they've been harmed by anything that's been given and that we're dealing with an interim report," Hird told Channel Seven.
"The report's not finalised so we're all probably sitting back staggered and shocked that any charges could possibly be laid on those points."
Monday, 5 August 2013
Brownlow medallist Mark Ricciuto alleges on Adelaide radio that James Hird has been asked to stand down as Essendon coach.
"If James Hird does not resign by Thursday someone else might make the decision for him," Ricciuto said on Adelaide's TripleM.
Hird hits back at those claims, labelling them "baseless rumours and speculation".
"I'm not shocked by anything in this process, it all seems to be a lot of rumour and innuendo that has no fact to it," Hird said.
Wednesday, 31 July 2013
Ex-Essendon fitness coach Dean Robinson reveals his disdain for Bombers coach James Hird in a revealing interview with Channel 7.
"He's a great player. Take none of that away from him. But at the end of the day, what I observed, what I saw, his actions, the way he has handled himself – I've got no respect for the guy anymore," Robinson said.
"If he was honourable, he'd stand down."
James Hird denies a claim by ex-Essendon fitness coach Dean Robinson that his house was raided by Australian Federal Police during an investigation that led to the conviction of drug trafficker Shane Charter.
Hird also denied Robinson's claim that he had spoken to a New York doctor about a testosterone cream that was undetectable.
Ex-Essendon fitness coach Dean Robinson says he was just following orders from James Hird throughout the club's controversial supplements program.
"It was a boys club - whatever James Hird wanted, James Hird got," Robinson said.
"This was more than I've ever seen before. I've seen strong cultures, I've seen strong coaches, I've seen successful coaches.
"It was no expense spared - everything was whatever it takes, and I guess that was the slogan they went with this year, 'whatever it takes' because that was James Hird's attitude.
"Who challenges James Hird at Essendon? I tried a couple of times but I learned pretty quickly that that was something you don't do."
Sunday, 28 July 2013
James Hird hires Ian Hanke, a renowned political media strategist, to be in charge of his public relations.
Saturday, 27 July 2013
Former Bomber champion Matthew Lloyd says James Hird will not be stepping down as Essendon coach in the wake of chairman David Evans' resignation.
"James Hird is going nowhere," Lloyd said.
"We saw him after the game on Friday night and he said, 'We're not drug cheats', and he genuinely believes that and he will not be walking away.
"Just because he's lost his chairman who he's good friends with doesn't mean he's walking away. He wants to coach this club and he'll continue to do so until someone tells him otherwise."
Thursday, 18 July 2013
Essendon coach James Hird expresses disappointment and hurt over a recent article by Caroline Wilson reporting that Hird was the architect behind the Bombers' controversial supplements program, which is under investigation by ASADA and the AFL.
"It's very hard when you keep looking at the hurtful and damaging nature of those comments. It's hard when you can't respond, either. It's hard when you want to talk about the facts, when you want to explain to people what has happened here [and] try and find out the truth. But the club is committed to a process," Hird said.
"I would say to people out there... that if you are sitting in judgment and you've made your judgment, please wait until the facts are on the table because the facts will come out very soon.
"And to my peers, to the players of other clubs, to the people at other clubs, if you can reserve your judgment until all facts are on the table, and we get a chance to see the report [and] put our version of events across, that would be much appreciated."
Wednesday, 17 July 2013
Essendon reacts angrily to reports by Fairfax media that Bombers coach James Hird was warned by the AFL against introducing a peptides program for his players.
"Until the ASADA investigation is completed the full context of this particular meeting should not be the subject of innuendo," a statement from the club said.
"Representatives from the club have requested all parties to the investigation to guarantee confidentiality and to afford natural justice.
"Breaching this confidentiality directly undermines the trust in the process and selective disclosure of information relating to the investigation appears to be deliberately threatening the integrity of this process.
"For the reputation and integrity of senior coach James Hird to be questioned without the right to due process, is extremely disturbing and inappropriate in the circumstances."
Thursday, 23 May 2013
Following Ian Robson's resignation as CEO of the Essendon Football Club, James Hird says he has no intention of stepping down from his role as coach of the club.
"I'm the coach of the Essendon Football Club, I love coaching the club, I intend to coach them for a long time; and coach them for the supporters, the players and everyone involved," Hird said.
"I love doing it, I love coaching these players, and I love working with the people I work with: the coaches, my colleagues, the supporters. And I intend to keep coaching."
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
Essendon coach James Hird delivered an emotional speech to his players after their stirring win over Fremantle.
"Anything is possible if you continue to play with that hunger and train with that hunger," Hird said in his post-match speech.
"I'm so proud of you, I thank you so much. I personally...just thank you, thank you."
Monday, 15 April 2013
Bombers coach James Hird will face the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority who will present him with hard evidence from their doping investigation.
"This is actually the start of the process tomorrow, there will likely be multiple interviews and re-interviews," former ASADA boss Richard Ings said.
"We're up to about chapter two of a 20-chapter book."
Friday, 12 April 2013
James Hird remains defiant about his future as coach of Essendon amidst allegations of drug use.
"People say things, and you know they're untrue, and you know you've got truth on your side, you go hard, and when you get your opportunity you tell the whole truth," he said.
"When the truth comes out, I think I'll be in a very, very good position and so will this football club.
"I'm the coach of the Essendon football club, and until someone tells me I'm not, I'm the coach of the Essendon football club."
Thursday, 11 April 2013
Stephen Dank, the sports scientist that ran the Bombers' supplement program in 2012, has told Fairfax Media he injected Hird with the drug hexarelin, which was banned for players in 2004, and players were given an extract from pig's brains.
AFL chief Andrew Demetriou says these allegations do not sit well with him.
"James Hird is one of the finest players to have ever played the game," he told reporters in Sydney.
"He's one of the finest contributors to the Essendon Football Club in its long and proud history and I'm sure he at the moment is feeling very, very disturbed by these allegations, as he suggested in his statement.
"He, like any individual, is entitled to have his say and put his case forward and we should, as a minimum, afford him that respect.
"I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say to the ASADA investigators, which obviously will be conveyed back to the AFL.
"Notwithstanding that, it doesn't matter who you are in this game, the expectation of our supporters is that they watch sport in its purest form and that no person or no action that seeks to gain advantage by improper means will be tolerated in this code."
ABC's 7.30 program reveal text messages allegedly sent between James Hird and sports scientist Stephen Dank regarding the use of intravenous, or "IV", treatments.
On March 9, they reportedly had the following exchange:
Hird: "Good work today mate, the boys were up and about, we have a lot to work with.
Dank: "IVs start next week and Thymosin with Uniquinon. We will start to see some real effects.
Then between March 27-28:
Dank: "That is the IV list that will be completed by Wednesday night.
Hird: "Good work mate, (name deleted) rang me tonight and said how good he felt after he saw you."
On April 3, Dank detailed more substances:
"We have cerebrolysin, we will re-oxygenate and re-circulate the brain. We will also be getting Solcoseryl."
Also in April:
Dank: "All IV and injections completed."
Wednesday, 10 April 2013
Fresh allegations of drug abuse at Essendon emerge, including allegations that Bombers coach James Hird had injected a WADA-blacklisted drug.
"I want to repeat that these allegations are very serious, and we want the ASADA investigation and its outcomes to be done as quickly as possible to assist us in making decisions," Essendon chairman David Evans said.
"On behalf of the board I want to make it clear that if any person at our club has failed in their duty of care to the players then we will make the appropriate decisions on behalf of the Essendon Football Club."
Monday, 11 February 2013
Stephen Dank says Essendon's players, coaches and management, including head coach James Hird, were all aware of controversial supplements used by players.
"There was a collective involvement, it wasn't just Stephen Dank, there was certainly input from other people into structuring the program," he said.
"Dean Robinson, James Hird, club doctor Bruce Reid, they were the main people involved in the knowledge of the program."
Thursday, 9 June 2011
Nathan Buckley, James Hird, Mark Ricciuto and Michael Voss are inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame.
Thursday, 20 January 2011
James Hird says his perceived 'nice guy' image will not stand in the way of his ability to make tough calls as coach of the Bombers.
"I think you do (need a harder edge). You are managing a lot of very driven people, whether they be coaches or whether they be players," Hird said.
"You need to be very clear about what the messages are and you need to make sure you listen but give a clear message on how you want things to be done. I would say a harder edge is probably a very good description."
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
Essendon coach James Hird says Mark Thompson has not been disloyal to Geelong in returning to Windy Hill, but he understands why Geelong is aggrieved.
"They've got every right to be disappointed he's left but I don't think they've got the right to feel he hasn't done the right thing by them, because for 11 years he gave his heart and soul to the club and did a great job in winning two premierships for them," Hird said on SEN radio.
Hird also describes the manner in which Thompson decided to join Essendon's coaching ranks as unique.
"We were running a drill, the players were running back and forward and there's Bomber standing in the middle of the oval," Hird said.
"I thought, 'What's going on?', and he said, 'Let's go, let's do it'."
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Newly appointed Essendon coach James Hird says he has a burning passion to turn around the fortunes of the club he once played for.
"Why do I want to coach? Because this is the greatest football club in the world," Hird said.
"There is no better time to come on to the Essendon Football Club than right now. It probably doesn't get any more rock bottom than this."
Monday, 27 September 2010
Bomber great James Hird denies strong rumours that he has been appointed head coach of Essendon.
"I've put my hat in the ring and I've gone through the process. I've spent about a week and a half going through the process of the interviews at the football club," Hird said.
"At this stage I haven't been offered that job but I'm very hopeful that it does happen and I'm very excited it could happen."
Essendon has appointed former champion James Hird as senior coach.
"I bring a unique set of skills to the Essendon Football Club in what I have done inside of football, what I have done outside of football and my ability to learn," Hird said.
"I think that [with] the people that I put around me I will be able to manage it and take into the future, but also learn from them as well."
Essendon captain Jobe Watson says the players are excited by James Hird's arrival as senior coach.
"It was really exciting for the club. We will all come together on Friday and I'm sure James will spell out to the players right away what the expectations are," Watson said.
"I think the players will be really enthused about it and really excited about the next 12 months and the next four years."
Thursday, 23 September 2010
Essendon coaching candidate Mark Williams says not too many senior coaches have succeeded without previous experience after speculation mounts that the Bombers are set to name James Hird as their head coach ahead of him.
"There's not many that have succeeded that particular way," Williams said.
"Most people have gone the route of either coaching their own side [at a lower level] or have been assistant coaches for a long time. Leigh Matthews was an assistant coach while I was at Collingwood so he came through the ranks as well."
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Retiring umpire Scott McLaren speaks about his clash with James Hird in 2004 when the Bomber champion publicly criticised him on television.
"I see James at the footy, when he's commentating, and we say hello and there's certainly no issue there," McLaren said.
"I don't think James realised the impact of what he was saying. It affects grassroots footy because people think it gives them the right to go out and abuse umpires in suburban and country leagues and that's not what we're about."
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
Bomber champion James Hird admits he has a desire to coach Essendon, but not at the expense of Matthew Knights.
"There's something in me, deep in my heart, that says at some point I want to coach Essendon," Hird told the Herald Sun.
"If I'm not good enough or fail, so be it. But I am also a supporter of Matthew Knights."
Monday, 31 August 2009
Essendon champion James Hird says that Bombers captain Matthew Lloyd should play again in 2010.
"Matthew Lloyd should play on at Essendon next year and the Bombers should be doing everything they can to convince him to do so," Hird wrote in his column for the Herald Sun.
"Those that say his best football is past him are right, but those that say he should retire are way off the mark."
Hird also defends Lloyd against accusations of being a sniper made by Hawk Campbell Brown.
"Every game I played in, except the past couple of years, our goal was to physically intimidate the Hawks, but on the other hand Essendon has every right to complain about the way Hawthorn has beaten up the Bombers in the past three years," Hird wrote.
"Calling people snipers and protesting through the media is off the mark and if Campbell Brown had an issue he should have dealt with it in the remaining 50 minutes of the game or the next time the two clubs played."
Monday, 3 August 2009
James Hird declares he has no interest in coaching despite receiving offers from Port Adelaide to become an assistant coach.
"As much as I love footy and its strategies, I am not prepared for the 24-hour-a-day lifestyle that is AFL coaching," Hird wrote in an article for the Herald Sun.
"I am not scared or worried that I might not be up to it, it is just that at the moment it is not my burning ambition."
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Essendon great James Hird has doused talk of a rift with Dons skipper Matthew Lloyd.
"I saw a lot of things creep in over time in the early 2000s, where we probably just dropped the baton a bit," Lloyd was quoted as saying in the Herald Sun.
"You want guys to walk in and know immediately how to behave, carry yourself and prepare for footy."
Hird did not believe there were any pressing issues during his last years at the club.
"This is a club that finished in the finals seven of the eight years when I was captain, did not have one incident in the paper in that whole time, and enjoyed their wins and celebrations, so I'm not sure what he is referring to," Hird said.
Monday, 4 May 2009
Former Essendon skipper James Hird says out of form Scott Lucas needs to be given more time and would not benefit from a break or a stint in reserves.