Bombers coach Mark Thompson.

Bombers coach Mark Thompson. Photo: Pat Scala

Matthew Lloyd has declared James Hird will return as Essendon coach next season, as his father Allan Hird maintained the family line of taking aim at AFL chief Andrew Demetriou.

Bombers chairman Paul Little had refused to guarantee Hird the job in wake of Tania Hird's comments in which she claimed the AFL had bullied her husband and that Demetriou had tipped off Essendon about a probe into the club's 2012 supplements program.

But Bombers great Lloyd, citing a ''very good source'', said Little had held discussions with Hird on Saturday and had agreed to let him return once his suspension ends in August.

Illustration: Matt Golding

Illustration: Matt Golding

''My understanding is that Hird and Little have spoken and James Hird will be the coach in 2015,'' Lloyd said on 3AW on Saturday night.

It was unclear whether Little had warned Hird that another outburst from his camp would cost him the job.

After a dramatic Friday following Tania Hird's television interview, the Bombers were to determine whether she had broken an agreement her husband had with the club in terms of not commenting on the AFL during his ban, and what implications this had contractually.

Hird has been contracted until the end of 2016, and is being paid through his suspension. The Bombers faceda payout of at least $2 million should he be axed.

Allan Hird had said he hoped James, in Singapore en route to France as part of a six-month study tour to which the club is contributing financially, returned to the top job.

''I would because that's what he wanted to do. When Jim took the job, I said: 'It's going to be tough, but you are going to be well rewarded','' Hird told Fairfax Media.

''He said: 'Look, I am not going to get as much money as I would outside of coaching'. But for his sake, if he wants to coach, I hope he comes back.

''He is tough bloke. He will be right. He won't be bullied, I can tell you that.''

Allan Hird said the media had been ''led down the garden path'' through the drugs scandal and had not focused enough on Demetriou and the AFL in terms of how the punishments were handed out last year.

''Andrew Demetriou is a person, from what I can gather, over the tanking incident in Melbourne, the way the Kurt Tippett affair was handled and, as the former premier ([eff Kennett] pointed out, the way he tried to bully him over the Tasmanian deal - he is a bully,'' Hird said.

''The thing that is being said about the AFL's governance structure has been inherent since the way the AFL was set up. The AFL sets itself up as judge, jury and executioner.''

Demetriou denied on Friday for the ''125th time'' that he did not tip off the Bombers, and said the issue was ''not about any individual''.

''This is about a regime, a system, where young men were being injected with substances, many of which are unknown, some of which we know are banned for use in humans. And we put a stop to that regime,'' he said.

Allan Hird said James had not needed him to speak out, rather he wanted his own opinion aired.

''James doesn't need my defence, I want to make that clear, he can defend himself, and so can Tania,'' he said.

''I think they have done an excellent job. If he had the opportunity to put his case, I think it would be so much better.

''The AFL has confounded him thus far.

''He is 41. When Jim left Canberra to go and play football in Melbourne. I let him go. Jim did his own first contracts. That is the way he has learnt things. He has made his own decisions.''

Allan Hird had taken umbrage with Little earlier in the year over the chairman's remarks that his son would ''whack'' anyone. Little had used that comment in the context of Hird being a ''competitive person'' and ''as a footballer, if he was whacked on the football field he would whack right back, but that is just the wrong thing for him to do now. There will be no more of that - no courts, no lawyers'.''

Little has said he is not a social friend of James Hird. Allan Hird said he did not know how strong the relationship was between his son and the wealthy businessman.

''He hasn't spoken about those things to me. My job, if I have a job in this, is to listen to Jim and support him. Jim as a person is more important to me than the football. I loved watching him play and I think he is a very good coach,'' Hird said.

''I think he will continue to be a very good coach. That's up to him and up to other people, not me.''

Allan Hird said he was tired of reading references to the so-called ''Hird camp''.

''James and I speak, but we speak about family matters. The one thing that I would say is this nonsense ... about the Hird camp. There is no such thing,'' he said.

''There are people who are friends of Jim and there are family members. There is no Hird camp. There is a family called Hird [of] which Jim is a valued member. He is no more valued than anyone else, and he has friends.''