Monday, 17 February 2014
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
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."
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."
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 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."
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."
Wednesday, 21 August 2013
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.
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."
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 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."
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 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."
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
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."
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."
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
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."
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."
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."
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.