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Essendon chairman Paul Little gives James and Tania Hird final warning

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James Hird survives at Essendon

Essendon chairman Paul Little says James Hird will return to his coaching role for the 2015/2016 seasons. Nine News.

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James Hird has survived as Essendon’s coach in exile having been delivered what appears to have been a final warning from the Bombers board. The suspended Hird and his wife Tania both spoke to the Essendon board at a specially convened meeting on Wednesday morning at the home of Essendon chairman Paul Little, who told the couple they had to allow the club to focus upon its season.

Little is understood to have outlined a more detailed and significantly tougher set of protocols around the Hirds’ public behaviour as part of the suspended coach’s employment agreement with the club.

Essendon chairman Paul Little.

Essendon chairman Paul Little. Photo: Mal Fairclough

Hird attended the meeting via video hook-up from Singapore while his wife attended in person. Both were emotional and spoke of how they had suffered as a result of feeling forced to accept Hird's one-year suspension. They also spoke of the personal hurt and anguish at ongoing criticism which they believed had been misdirected at Hird.

However the board meeting broke up with the Essendon directors largely satisfied that Hird and his wife would now allow the club to move forward without the distraction of public commentary by either of them.

In terms of the outlying members of the Hird camp - including his father Allan who attacked AFL boss Andrew Demetriou in the Sunday Age - and his various legal and media advisors, Hird agreed to demonstrate his best endeavours to prevent them from focusing upon events from last year.

However the board accepted there were no legal grounds to insist upon silence from those outside Hird’s immediate family.

The couple was told in no uncertain terms that the board had been deeply unhappy at not only the timing of Tania Hird’s outburst on the ABC's 7.30 program but also its inflammatory content and the fact that the Hirds had not communicated with the club regarding details of the interview.

Little drove home to the Hirds that the ABC report had dealt untold stress, damage and harm to the club not only on the eve of its opening round game but that the fall-out had continued to hurt Essendon as it worked to rebuild its reputation.

While the Hirds did not formally apologise to the club directors, the board was satisfied that they had acknowledged the damage Tania Hird’s interview had caused.

173 comments

  • Rotting from the inside...

    Commenter
    Michael
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 26, 2014, 4:15PM
    • EFC board area bunch of toothless tigers. Embarrassing.

      Commenter
      BRM
      Date and time
      March 26, 2014, 4:43PM
    • Far from it, the only thing rotting here is the reputation of the 'cashed up bagans' at the AFL. For anybody to be accused, charged, tried, convicted and sentenced without any form of scrutiny from any outside body is beyond conceivable in a first world country. Add to that that he himself, his family or friends are gagged from even complaining about being totally railroaded under threat of extending the ban from one year to life and you should have all you need to convince any rational person that the whole episode is completely shameful ..... from the perspective of the AFL and NOT from James and Tania Hird.

      Commenter
      TT
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 26, 2014, 5:54PM
    • You've got to look at the big picture. James Hird has done some wonderful things over the years for the EFC and the board believe in him. He's yet to prove himself as a coach, there's a long way to go before the EFC will win another premiership.

      If you are a supporter of any other club you should be pleased, because they are much more likely to win a premiership being coached by someone who has achieved this difficult task, in the past. Let them run with their former champion.

      Commenter
      Rod
      Location
      the Coast
      Date and time
      March 26, 2014, 6:33PM
    • Seriously regardless of the situation you expect a person to be sacked over their wife's comments?

      Commenter
      Barney
      Date and time
      March 26, 2014, 7:10PM
    • Saw that two Aussie sprinters were banned for up to 2 years today for failing to advise of whereabouts and missing a drug test? One might ask the whereabouts of the information confirming what was in the 4000 plus injections given to Essendon players. Reckon these two athletes today, and all of the athletics, cycling, weightlifting and swimming fraternities will be waiting with bated breath for ASADA's final response to the bombers 'pharmacological experiment'? EFC players have been ripped by Dank. Coach and club sucked in. It is a pitiful sight watching fans faithfully and blindly sticking by their heroes. I don't knock them. I'd be the same. Hold on, no I wouldn't. I don't have that self righteous, conceited sense of entitlement that Essendon supporters do. Go hawks.

      Commenter
      Joe Citizen
      Location
      Melb
      Date and time
      March 26, 2014, 7:28PM
    • Barney, ever been in a non-disclosure scenario? It is written that your silence includes those of your immediate family, your household, etc. If Hird has sgreed to shut up then that includes his wife. if they don't like that scenario then they shouldn;t have signed it

      Commenter
      vitas
      Date and time
      March 26, 2014, 7:40PM
    • Vitas, yes I have, actually looking at one in front of me now and no it doesn't. It says that the individual may not comment nor induce another to make a comment.
      Just Saying.

      Commenter
      kirt
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 26, 2014, 8:51PM
    • Cashed up bogans are not just at the AFL.

      I never saw James Hurd at Scotch with me, nor his wife at dancing class...

      Commenter
      Hyphen-smythe
      Location
      Carlton
      Date and time
      March 26, 2014, 10:11PM
    • This is the only interesting thing going on in AFL at the moment.. Eventually, I think someone will play AFL, and then no one will give a rats...

      Commenter
      Bob Timmins
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 26, 2014, 11:00PM

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