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Little 'undermined' Hird

Essendon's Paul Little has been accused of "shoring up his position" in the AFL's "boys club".

Essendon's Paul Little has been accused of "shoring up his position" in the AFL's "boys club". Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

A central figure in James Hird's fight against the AFL has lashed out at Essendon chairman Paul Little over comments he made about the suspended coach in an interview with Fairfax Media.

Ian Hanke, a former Liberal Party PR adviser who played a key back-room role for Hird throughout the Essendon supplements scandal, has savaged Little for ''undermining'' Hird in an effort to ''appease'' the AFL and chief executive Andrew Demetriou.

Little said Hird would return to the club a ''better person'' than the one suspended for 12 months last year by the AFL, but conceded that he faced a difficult task convincing Hird to move on from the fall-out of the supplements saga.

Little likened Hird the coach to Hird the passionate footballer whose first instinct was to ''whack right back'' after being belted on the playing arena, but admitted that tactic could not be tolerated as the club moved to reform its culture.

Hanke used Twitter over the weekend to take aim at Little for his comments, and predicted that Bombers supporters would be just as outraged as he was at Little's ''appalling'' behaviour.

''Just read Age interview with Paul Little. Got to seriously wonder what he was thinking. No excuses for such appaklng [sic] behaviour from him,'' he tweeted.

''Little really thinks that trying to appease the AFL by undermining his own is a good idea? Really?

''I imagine EFC members will be flaying Little and rightfully so. What planet does he live on… Planet Demetriou. Good grief.''

Describing his relationship with Demetriou as a work in progress,

Little also expressed regret that he had not been able to negotiate directly with Demetriou as the investigation into Essendon's 2012 supplement program unfolded.

Hanke also took exception to those comments, accusing the Essendon chairman of ''shoring up his position'' in the AFL's ''boys club''.

Hanke claimed the AFL had played ''jury, judge and executioner'' in punishing Hird and others at Essendon, pointing out that ASADA's investigation into the club's program had yet to reach a point where infraction notices would be issued to players.

''Little should be railing about the appalling AFL processes so that such a travesty never happens again and reform is instituted. The more I think about this, the worse it is.''

Hanke's criticism of Little is somewhat surprising given the president's unwavering support of Hird in the aftermath of the supplements scandal.

Essendon could not be contacted for comment on Sunday.

86 comments

  • Hurry up and deliver the infraction notices to the players. Don't forget to take Watson's Brownlow. This whole saga stinks by all parties involved.

    Commenter
    Jeremy
    Location
    West Footscray
    Date and time
    February 10, 2014, 10:20AM
    • Don't be so bitter Jeremy and try to acquaint yourself with some facts before making such infantile statement.

      Commenter
      Elijah Baley
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      February 10, 2014, 11:29AM
    • Too right ! ........... hurry up and throw the book at the Essendon cheats and quit the protectionism of golden boy's character and humongus ego. Golden boy wanted to do "Whatever it takes" and did so. Essendon hierarchy bowed down to the golden ego tactic. But no man is bigger than the team or a club unless of course that man has an ego the size of golden boy's, the forever Essendon cheat. And yes take that undeserved Brownlow off Mr Watson.

      Commenter
      hawks1974
      Location
      albury
      Date and time
      February 10, 2014, 11:51AM
    • Infraction notices? For what exactly?
      Not one single Essendon player has returned a positive test.

      Commenter
      Barney
      Location
      The Real World
      Date and time
      February 10, 2014, 12:01PM
    • Neither did Marion Jones.

      Commenter
      Craig
      Date and time
      February 10, 2014, 12:22PM
    • Neither did Lance Armstrong

      Commenter
      Thats a Fact
      Date and time
      February 10, 2014, 12:51PM
    • You have to laugh how far the Essendon supporters have buried their heads in the sand. And you know what's exposed when your heads buried so deep.

      Commenter
      Stan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      February 10, 2014, 1:22PM
    • No infraction notices have been delivered in twelve months and we are "delusional" for thinking they will never come. Seems like "delusional" is a perfect word to describe the "HIRD IS THE EPITOME OF EVIL" crew. Since facts and perspective don't matter. James Hird is a man of integrity, as is Jobe Watson. Deal with it

      Commenter
      Jimbo
      Date and time
      February 10, 2014, 2:14PM
    • Fair go Jeremy. I support Carlton and While I hate Essendon believe the players did nothing wrong. Watson is a star player and quality person who if he has taken a banned substance did so unknowingly. Essendon have been punished enough. In my view they should of played Finals last year (unless proven the injections helped get them in the eight). However they should have been fined more

      Commenter
      BlueGirl
      Date and time
      February 10, 2014, 4:52PM
    • Jimbo, you guys got basically a free pass simply because you are Essendon and a huge part of the AFL golden circle of clubs. James Hird is Bambi, and the AFL created this smokescreen trying to fool all the chooks out their, like they had come down hard on Hird like a tonne of bricks. Which is a joke to those of us with half a brain.

      The injection programme was obscene, and that's putting it lightly. The fact they (Essendon) cannot 100% identify what was injected (all common public knowledge), should have instantly gave them and the players instant 2 year bans. Just for starters. The AFL would have seen this as a total destruction of their brand, and they chose the soft option to save them. And explain how a "negotiation" was settled ?? How was Essendon ever given the priveledged option to barter with the AFL ?? .... Oh that's right, because its Essendon.

      I can only imagine if this identical programme was tested by Carlton, Adelaide, Collingwood, West Coast, Hawthorn, Brisbane or any other club, how the Bombers blinkered supporters would handle it. You would be ropable and you know it.

      Bunch of Shameful weak Hypocrites the lot of you. And the AFL themselves should be charged by the Governing bodies for allowing the option of negotiating. I hope it still happens. I sense it aint over just yet, as you (and the AFL) would all wish.

      Commenter
      Devan
      Date and time
      February 10, 2014, 4:55PM

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AFL 2015

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CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
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GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
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MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
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SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
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ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
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GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
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FRE 80vs COL 73 Report Stats
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SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
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HAW 114vs ESS 76 Report Stats
BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
STK 56vs WBU 62 Report Stats
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CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
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SYD 94vs PTA 84 Report Stats
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COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
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GCF 125vs NTH 70 Report Stats
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ESS 52vs STK 162 Stats
ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE 84vs BRI 48 Report Stats
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PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
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WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
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NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
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GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
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COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
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FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
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MEL 60vs BRI 36 Report Stats
PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
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CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
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GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
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WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
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HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
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GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
COL 54vs MEL 91 Report Stats
SYD 117vs ADE 65 Report Stats
CAR 54vs NTH 118 Report Stats
GCF 83vs WCE 83 Report Stats
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PTA 112vs STK 49 Report Stats
ESS 40vs WBU 127 Report Stats
FRE 84vs GWS 63 Report Stats
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ADE 88vs RIC 52 Report Stats
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COL 105vs CAR 87 Report Stats
WBU 128vs PTA 64 Report Stats
BRI 100vs GCF 114 Report Stats
GEE 95vs SYD 63 Report Stats
WCE 74vs HAW 88 Report Stats
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MEL 92vs NTH 127 Report Stats
GWS 93vs ESS 61 Report Stats
STK 59vs FRE 96 Report Stats
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SYD 87vs COL 76 Report Stats
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ESS 59vs ADE 171 Report Stats
NTH 120vs STK 83 Report Stats
PTA 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
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BRI 131vs CAR 67 Report Stats
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RIC 138vs GCF 55 Report Stats
WBU 153vs MEL 55 Report Stats
FRE 80vs WCE 104 Report Stats
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HAW 86vs PTA 108 Report Stats
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COL 56vs RIC 147 Report Stats
GWS 44vs SYD 133 Report Stats
GCF 97vs ESS 95 Report Stats
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ADE 131vs BRI 44 Report Stats
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NTH 94vs FRE 83 Report Stats
CAR 78vs MEL 55 Report Stats
WCE 162vs WBU 85 Report Stats
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Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE 62vs COL 110 Report Stats
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GWS 132vs CAR 51 Report Stats
HAW 134vs BRI 62 Report Stats
NTH 73vs WBU 96 Report Stats
ESS 47vs RIC 74 Report Stats
GCF 51vs PTA 88 Report Stats
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ADE 126vs WCE 69 Report Stats
STK 38vs SYD 135 Report Stats
FRE 108vs MEL 54 Report Stats
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Round 23
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
RIC 108vs NTH 67 Report Stats
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GEE ($2.30)vs ADE ($1.65) 13:05SS
BRI ($4.25)vs WBU ($1.22) 13:45G
PTA vs FRE 15:50Adelaide Oval
HAW ($1.01)vs CAR ($17.00) 16:40MCG
SYD ($1.04)vs GCF ($11.00) 19:25SCG
WCE ($1.04)vs STK ($11.00) 19:40Domain Stadium
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MEL ($2.40)vs GWS ($1.57) 13:10ES
COL ($1.28)vs ESS ($3.70) 15:20MCG
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AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Fremantle 21 17 4 0 125.10 68
West Coast Eagles 21 15 5 1 143.00 62
Hawthorn 21 15 6 0 156.77 60
Sydney Swans 21 15 6 0 124.11 60
Richmond 22 15 7 0 123.09 60
Western Bulldogs 21 14 7 0 116.76 56
Adelaide Crows 20 13 7 0 119.10 54
North Melbourne 22 13 9 0 106.45 52
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