Kevin Sheedy says he saw "problems coming" at Melbourne when granted a "Clayton's interview" by the Demons for their then-vacant coaching position in 2007.
The coaching great, who won four premierships at Essendon and is now trying to recruit Kurt Tippett to Greater Western Sydney, was shortlisted for the Demons job that ultimately went to Dean Bailey. He said today he felt he was never seriously considered.
Amid the AFL tanking investigation centred on Melbourne, Sheedy again raised his 2007 experience when asked on radio station Triple M if he felt sorry for Melbourne fans.
"I actually went and interviewed Melbourne - they thought they were interviewing me - and you could see the problems coming," he said.
"(I thought) 'They've got to get their act together better.' That was five years ago."
Sheedy said he sensed 20 minutes into the interview that he was not the right person for the job, and was critical of Melbourne's questioning panel, which comprised then-chairman Paul Gardner, then-chief executive Steve Harris, Demons great Garry Lyon and former St Kilda captain Nathan Burke.
"Look, you couldn't say that you were interviewed by the One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest committee, but I just wasn't really thinking that they were the right guys," he said.
He said he thought the panel had not treated him as a serious candidate.
"I wouldn't have thought it was serious - it was a Clayton's interview. But that's OK," he said.
Widely regarded as one of the AFL's best marketers, Sheedy said it was vital for the league to have Melbourne Football Club in good health. But he said the panel he encountered five years ago lacked vision and had no firm plan to sell the club.
"It was all about 'How will you coach the team?' Well, I mean I know how to coach the team, I've got no problem with that," he said.
You couldn't say that you were interviewed by the One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest committee, but I just wasn't really thinking that they were the right guys...
"But it's about how the club sees itself. To me ... I have no problem with Dean Bailey and young (Mark) Neeld (who succeeded Bailey) as coaches, but you needed to take over the club and really get it right up there with marketing, members, sponsors, the whole lot.
"You needed to be in a position to take over Melbourne, like Sir Alex Ferguson (did at Manchester United), to really shake it and rattle it.
"I don't think they thought that. In the end, probably 20 minutes into the interview, you've nearly got to say to yourself, mentally, 'Mate, just keep talking and say nothing."'
The departure of Israel Folau from GWS back to rugby league means the Giants have the salary cap room to make a play for Tippett, who left Adelaide and has been linked with Sydney, although his future remains uncertain, given the AFL is investigating whether he and the Crows breached rules over draft tampering.
Sheedy said the Giants would be "derelict of our duties" if they didn't try to entice Tippett to join, who - at 25 years of age and as a forward who could handle a rucking role - would be a perfect fit for his fledgling team.
"The Swans are after him and everyone else is possibly, but in the end, really, we need a marquee player like that in Sydney, who would come together with probably 20 first-round draft picks," Sheedy said.
"Why wouldn't you want to come to a club like ours in the next couple of years?"