Port Adelaide chairman David Koch has a huge public platform as a television celebrity with the Seven network. He has a loud opinion on most things. He also, clearly, has a pretty short memory.
Koch took over the leadership at Port late in 2012 when the club was at its lowest ebb, in deep financial trouble, and being ritually smashed on the field most weeks in front of empty grandstands covered with tarpaulins to hide the embarrassment of unfilled seats.
The fallout for Essendon
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"The club was in crisis – its very future in the AFL was being questioned," he conceded not long ago.
"The challenge was to turn around a club that was seen as almost irrelevant." Substitute "crippled" for irrelevant, and that quote could now pertain to a strife-torn Essendon.
The Bombers, of course, via their spectacularly disastrous supplements program, have been very effective engineers of their own demise. As such, they would have anticipated the circling of vultures that would come with an adverse finding.
That's happening already, with opposition clubs questioning whether Essendon should be granted the No.1 pick in this year's draft should, as now expected with 12 of their best players outed, they finish on the bottom of the ladder.
There are murmurs now about the 2016 draw as well, and the anticipated bonus victory that Richmond, Geelong, St Kilda, Gold Coast and Carlton – the five teams who play the Bombers twice this season – are likely to be handed.
But on their knees, facing a season with a second-string team and potential financial ruin via player lawsuits, Essendon might reasonably have expected the head of a rival club that almost went belly-up not four years ago to resist sinking the boots in five seconds after their latest and biggest setback.
Koch's claim that Port were "hoodwinked" in the trade deal for former Bomber Angus Monfries, who left Essendon at the end of 2012 before the saga became public, doesn't pass the logic test.
If the Power are in hindsight so alarmed by the potential consequences for Monfries without knowledge of what was to ensue, why did they so eagerly pursue his former teammate Paddy Ryder at the end of 2014, by which time the scandal had been in the public arena for nearly two years?
On that score, his claim for compensation is about as reasonable as Port Adelaide's opponents seeking recompense for lost gate receipts during the time Port were a rabble as a result of their own administrative decisions.
Koch wanted Monfries and Ryder to take deals offered by ASADA for guilty pleas. They didn't, he says, "under pressure from their colleagues at Essendon, the players, they stuck with the playing group".
That does his own players a disservice, casting them as cowing to their former peers. Even if it were true, which the players themselves haven't suggested, is that a perception either Monfries or Ryder would appreciate being painted publicly?
There have been bucketloads of wisdom in hindsight being dished out since Tuesday morning's verdict, which was to be expected, but the president of a club still to clock up genuine runs as an AFL heavyweight, and very recently a pauper, perhaps shouldn't be holding the biggest ladle.
While Koch claims 17 other clubs strongly urged Essendon to take a guilty plea and "get on with it", can even he say categorically that had his club been in the same position, that's what would have occurred? With pride and pressure, for better or worse, perhaps dictating more visceral than rational responses?
A deal should have been done, he says, "for the good of all our reputations". But if we're talking popular perceptions and brands, how good does it look and what sort of example is set by a club again enjoying some good times like Port so willingly going on the attack at the expense of one now at its lowest ebb?
There's a difference between looking after your club's interests and gratuitously flexing your new-found muscle for the audience. Koch would do well to take note of that should football's wheel turn again a little more quickly than he'd like.
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