James Hird has been told by Essendon he’s not bigger than the AFL club.
The Bombers have denied Hird is on his last warning after the club’s board confirmed Hird would resume as senior coach in 2015.
Hird, whose 12-month ban over the club’s use of supplements ends in August, was told by the Bombers on Wednesday to let go of his anger over his treatment by the AFL.
The issue of Hird’s future at Essendon was reignited last week when his wife Tania gave an interview on ABC TV’s 7.30 and slammed the league over its handling of the supplements scandal.
She said her husband was made the scapegoat of the saga.
“The board is of the view that ongoing publicity is detrimental to the club, the players, the on-field prospects of the club this year and the Essendon Football Club’s relationship with the AFL industry generally,” Essendon chairman Paul Little told a media conference on Wednesday.
“We as a board were extremely disappointed at the recent commentary aired in the 7.30 Report and the resulting media that continues to be a distraction and generates unnecessary stress for our players, coaches and our staff.”
Little said the board had made it clear to the Hirds that strict protocols were in place.
“The Hirds firmly understand that what they did caused a massive distraction that was unintended,” Little said.
“I believe there is a very remote chance of that re-occurring.
“It’s really (about) James embracing and accepting what’s in the best interests of the club and putting that first and I believe that’s now happening.
“Our advice to James is he needs to let go those issues in terms of his current contract and involvement with Essendon.
“It’s time for James to get over his anger.”
Tania Hird attended Wednesday’s board meeting and it’s understood James was in telephone contact from Singapore.
“The board has sought assurances from James and Tania. The club and James have discussed clear parameters and expectations around actions deemed to be in the best interests of our club,” Little said.
“Today the board determined that James Hird remains coach of the Essendon Football Club for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.”
Little denied Hird had been gagged.
“However if James is being asked to comment on a matter relating to the AFL/ASADA investigation, we expect James to fall into line with what the club’s view is,” Little said.
Little was quizzed on how Hird’s lawyer/wife Tania could claim to have not realised her interview would spark massive media interest.
“Perhaps you could say that she hadn’t fully thought it through,” Little said.
Hird will one day get his chance to tell his side of the story over his ban, Little said.
However Little said he thought the timing of Tania Hird’s interview last week was very inappropriate.
“We don’t need that sort of explanation or opportunity for James to talk right at the moment,” Little said.