Former Hawthorn football director Jason Dunstall fears the continuing fallout from the Essendon drugs drama may be putting James Hird in a position where he is seen by the public to be "bigger than the club".

With the Hawks set to take on the Bombers at Etihad Stadium on Friday night, Dunstall said he thought it was "probably" untenable that Hird would return to coach Essendon next season, although he qualified that statement by saying he was an outsider and "not privy to all the facts".

While question marks hang over Hird's future at the Bombers, he is contracted to coach the club post 2014.

However Dunstall said he believed the controversy created by Hird's wife, Tania, and other members of the "Hird camp" speaking out publicly last week, had put her husband in an undesirable position.

"We speak about one player or one person becoming bigger than the club, and unfortunately this whole saga is contrived to perhaps place James in that position," Dunstall said, when asked his opinion on Fox Footy's "On The Couch" on Monday night.

Regarding Hird coming back to coach in 2015, Dunstall said: "I'm just hearing, from a number of people who are Essendon people, that perhaps the time might be right to not go back down that track.

"Now, if you speak to a lot of supporters they'll tell you that they want James back, they desperately want him back. So I'm as interested in this whole soap opera as everyone."