AFLgate is hotting up again

Here is Eddie McGuire promoting free speech and gender equality on Monday night:

MARIE-ANNA WILSON: Thank you, Tony. Tania Hird expressed her views of how her husband, James, was treated in the Essendon drugs saga. James may be held accountable for his wife’s comments by certain people calling for the end of his employment with the Essendon Football Club. Is it reasonable to hold James Hird answerable for the views expressed by his wife?

TONY JONES: Hang on. Go back to the question, though. I mean the question was can you hold him responsible for what his wife said, because she is the one who talked on 7.30?

EDDIE McGUIRE: Well, I think the answer is yes and that’s the situation. Now, the Essendon Football Club…

RACHEL GRIFFITHS: I am going to say so many bad things tonight and you can hold my husband responsible. Woo-hoo!

So what’s the fuss?

Ms Hird, who describes herself as an assiduous record-keeper, witnessed the events that followed.

“Certainly I heard David Evans say to James on speakerphone – I was taking notes, I take a lot of notes – on July 25, David admitted that he said to James, ‘Can you go into ASADA and tell the whole truth, but don’t say what Andrew Demetriou told us’,” she said.

Asked if she was referring to a “tip-off”, she said: “It has been referred to as the tip-off.”

She continued: “So James did say, in return, ‘If I’m not asked about it, I won’t offer it up. But if I’m asked about it, like anything I’m asked about, I will answer it honestly, truthfully, and to the best of my ability.”

Then there is this:

Now his wife Tania has told the ABC’s 7.30 that Hird was made to take the fall despite doing nothing wrong.

“He wasn’t found guilty of any breach of the player rules. In the end, it was the threats and the bullying of the AFL to the club and to himself,” she told the ABC’s 7.30 program.

“I definitely think James was a scapegoat, in fact, we were told that James being the scapegoat was non-negotiable.”

We were told prior to the announcement that there was going to be an investigation into the Essendon Football Club involving performance-enhancing drugs or supplements. We were told that at a time that we shouldn’t have been told that.

When asked who told her that, she replied: “I’m not at liberty to say.”

The AFL and its media running dogs* are in full cover-up mode. Here is Louise Milligan describing what happened next:

First off the mark was Mr Football, Eddie McGuire. On his Triple M Hot Breakfast show, Eddie McGuire confidently predicted “I don’t think we’ll see James Hird coach Essendon again”. Around the same time over at Channel Nine’s Today, Karl Stefanovic was predicting Hird already was sacked. Of course, that was not true. Someone was spinning it, though. And why was he being sacked? For the words of his wife. James Hird has been gagged by the AFL’s “non-disparagement” clause in his settlement agreement and by the Essendon chairman, Paul Little. So of course, I was not at liberty to interview him. Paul Little is the one who later said on 3AW’s Neil Mitchell program that Hird needed to “control those around him”. That’s Tania, apparently. Now, I’m no industrial lawyer, but I’m guessing that if we start binding people’s spouses in their workplace agreements, we’re getting into problematic territory. And I thought we had got past the era where husbands had to “control” wives.

This morning “Robbo” has a great expose in the Herald Sun:

People talk about boys’ club and how’s this for a club.

Evans owns a successful investment company called Evans & Partners. Guess who sits on its advisory board? Eddie McGuire and Bill Kelty. And, up until recently, John Wylie.

He is a bloke who happens to be chairman of the Australian Sports Commission and was the secret deal-breaker in this whole mess.

Wylie was drafted into negotiations by AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick and Bombers chairman Paul Little to help form the deal which Hird was forced to accept.

Also, Evans and Wylie sit on the board of the Melbourne Stars Twenty20 team, of which McGuire is president.

A question: Are platforms and boys clubs being used to protect their good mate David Evans?

From an organisational perspective I understand that rough justice can be an easy solution to complex issues. The problem is that people have to be accepting of that rough justice. Tania Hird clearly isn’t accepting – and neither should anyone else be accepting of this situation either. Something very dodgy is going on at the AFL – and it is the cover up that is going get them undone.

Here is Eddie McGuire again:

… they went on the 7.30 Report and that might have been okay in a political sphere but in a lot of ways it showed a naiveté to the football world and that’s the world that James has to live in. And, unfortunately, he has defied his club, who have told him on numerous occasions to please let it pass …

This is the man who would tell anyone who would listen that it’s more than a game about an organisation that claims it’s all for the fans.

* “Robbo” describes some of them as follows:

Tania was called stupid by a media person christened the “Perfumed Scorpion’’ by the Triple M gang, while another media person, who we’ll call the “Hunchback of Hate”, has already declared her to be favourite for the goose of the year.

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46 Responses to AFLgate is hotting up again

  1. Eyrie

    Who gives a rat’s arse?

  2. Tom

    Tania was called stupid by a media person christened the “Perfumed Scorpion’’ by the Triple M gang, while another media person, who we’ll call the “Hunchback of Hate”, has already declared her to be favourite for the goose of the year.

    Caroline Wilson and Patrick Smith are Fat Andy’s media enforcers. Patrick must be mortified that Caroline has got all the Suckhole of the Year gongs.

    Robbo won’t get any awards because he’s not one of Fat Andy’s suckholes. He has been virtually alone in breaking stories that challenge the AFL’s scripted propaganda.

  3. Go Tiges

    Now his wife Tania has told the ABC’s 7.30 that Hird was made to take the fall despite doing nothing wrong.

    Now there’s an interesting statement. So Ziggy made up his whole report? The Captain of the club was wrong when he made his admissions?
    Eddie Maguire and Tania should leave James to fight his own battles and live by the consequences of choosing to fight.
    It is clear that James has many enemies now.

  4. Ant

    That reminds me, 2014 means that it’s World Cup year. Brazil! 32 countries battle it out for the most prestigious trophy in the Universe.

    Now, where were we? Oh yes, Melbourne suburb A plays Melbourne pseudo-suburb B.

  5. Sinclair Davidson

    Oh dear. Soccer.

  6. Badjack

    Tom at 8.28am….I was about to go off on Smith and Wilson but you have done a good job. I can only add that they are getting more vocal in their idiocy as their stance is being proved to be nothing more than ‘bigoted’.
    They should be thanking Brandis that he has saved them from incarceration for their bigotry. Off course they won’t because I suspect their stance is not only in support of Fat Andy but also political.

  7. Leigh Lowe

    The Captain of the club was wrong when he made his admissions?

    Admission of what GT?
    If you are referring to AOD9604, that becomes more interesting by the day. Independent journalists (ie not the scorpion or the hunchback) have consistently reported that the legality of this substance at the time is “clouded” or “disputed”. That is, ASADA won’t confirm or deny.
    What is most telling is, in their recent fishing expedition “show cause” letter to Stephen Dank, many substances were mentioned, but the infamous AOD9604 was omitted. Why was that do you think? Could it be that ASADA didn’t want to be cross-examined about the legality of the AOD9604 in court?
    Also, if Watson made a public admission of something illegal why wasn’t he hauled before a tribunal immediately?
    Again, could it be that the AFL and ASADA knew they would lose and all the torrents of leaks would be discredited ?

  8. James of the Glen

    “.. Tania should leave James to fight his own battles ..”.

    Yep, wives should just shut up and stick to cooking and the kids. How dare they support their husbands in this day and age . How dare they speak up to the likes of Eddie “King Kong” Maguire . How dare they exhibit their intelligence and loyalty! Have a law degree? Sorry, matrimony negated that one.

    The problem for Demetriou and Maguire is… James and Tania are on the same side. The side of decency. Bright and courageous people. How dare they! Must have a special “round” to knock that one over. Let’s see, we have the Racial Round, the Green Round, the Labor Affiliates Round, now the..?

    I suspect they have an immense number of supporters.

  9. adrian

    That reminds me, 2014 means that it’s World Cup year. Brazil! 32 countries battle it out for the most prestigious trophy in the Universe.

    Now, where were we? Oh yes, Melbourne suburb A plays Melbourne pseudo-suburb B.

    If you want to talk about corruption talk about soccer. In any case the AFL is a like a quasi-mafia outfit.

  10. james

    “Hunchback of Hate”

    That would be Patrick Smith?

    Worst columnist for the Australian ever.

    Sack the old fool and kick him down the stairs on his way out, the geriatric imbecile has enough contacts in the old boys club to pick up another cosy sinecure, there is no reason why I should have to read him in my favourite paper.

  11. james

    If you want to talk about corruption talk about soccer.

    The AFL is a bunch of bullying cartel members who are beginning to look and sound scarily like Union Bosses.

    FIFA on the other hand barely even pretends not to be openly corrupt any more.

    Qatar? In summer? Really?

    Either FIFA is the most incompetent organisation in the history of the world, or it is an open sewer of corruption. It is only a matter of time before a World Cup is blatantly [as opposed to covertly] fixed.

  12. H B Bear

    I think Fat Andy has the Goose of the Year award sewn up already. Giving an interview saying Hird isn’t going to get paid while suspended after agreeing to pay his $1m+ salary in advance makes you look like you don’t know what is going on at all.

    Essendon should just have done what the Doc did. “See ya in court” and not get dicked around by the AFL kangaroo court.

  13. Bill Thompson

    Speaking of Monday night’s Q&A, I was in the second row of the audience that night and immediately put my hand up to ask a question, in response to Tony Jones’s comments about ‘Burnt Handgate’. I held it there for five minutes, or more, until, as can be seen at 52:41 on the ABC video of the event, Tony noted the prospective questioner & said they’d quickly get a microphone to me – which they did. The sound guy hovered the mic over me for a minute or so, but Tony never got back to me.

    Perhaps it was just as well. What I had wanted to ask was this: “Tony, why are you & the ABC so keen to flog unproven allegations by a guy in Indonesia that he was forced to burn his hands, while I’ve not heard a peep from the ABC about the unproven allegation by a woman in Australia that she was raped at a political party camp many years ago by a guy who is now a senior federal politician?”

  14. Nanuestalker

    I support my wife in everything she does
    -James Hird 25/3/2014

    So clearly the Hirds have no intention of going quietly which makes me think that this is about the Hirds trying to force everthing into the open so James can have his day in court. I said at the time that the Hirds shouldn’t have ever backed down, but I put that down to the advice of his QC (Burnside is highly regarded in legal circles /sarc).
    I really hope this whole thing blows right open and exposes the working of the AFL executive and the Labor Party. Remember that this all started with Gillard’s “don’t look at me … look over there … drugs, gambling”.

    For the record, injecting protein (for protein a peptide is) isn’t even close to being the same as injecting steroid hormones.

  15. Megan

    Essendon should just have done what the Doc did. “See ya in court” and not get dicked around by the AFL kangaroo court.

    Agreed. The absolute rubbish forcing various dissenters to take it on the chin for “the good of the game” has been the AFL’s modus operandi for decades. This whole saga should be the poster child for organisational bullying.

  16. Badjack

    Bill T, you would have been the hit of the show, you would have brought the house down. Possibly by a brawl rather than with an ovation. Bad luck not getting the chance.

  17. Megan

    A friend had to endure the Perfumed Scorpion at a fundraiser last week. She reported back that PS is still insisting those infraction notices are on their way.

  18. Sinclair Davidson

    I support my wife in everything she does
    -James Hird 25/3/2014

    Well yes. What else was he going to say?

  19. Tom

    PS is still insisting those infraction notices are on their way.

    That’s correct.

    Just as Alan JoyceSatan has been on the verge of being sacked by Qantas every day for the past year, according to the leftard wishful thinking narrative.

  20. Nanuestalker

    Well yes. What else was he going to say?

    No sure if that was really a question, but it was the fact that he answered any media questions yesterday given what is supposed to be happing that stood out for me.

  21. John Comnenus

    So Eddie McGuire and the AFL seem to live in the 1930s where the husband owns the little missus and she dutifully does whatever the husband’s employer tells her.

    The AFL is looking and sounding like a misogynistic bunch of workplace bullies. No doubt they will get the usual applause for running a ‘womens’ round of AFL. Pity none of the usual feminists call ouot the AFL for their obvious 1930s attitude to women.

    With that attitude maybe the AFL should look at expanding into Saudi Arabia where their attitude towards women would fit right in.

  22. .

    This is becoming so detailed and esoteric. I know Victorians, honest to god, Victorians who are losing interest.

    Can’t wait for the NFL season to start up again.

  23. ugh

    I’m with you Dot. Followed AFL all my life, but I’m getting sick of this whole saga and after holidaying in the US I’ve been watching more NFL.

    I just wish ASADA would put up (in the form of player charges) or admit there was nothing technically illegal and shut up. Having this whole saga drag on like this is slowly killing the game – just end it one way or the other so we can get back to football.

    As to Hird, not sure if he can be sacked for his wife’s comments, and I think that was the point – do the maximum damage to the AFL by breaking the story at the start of the season, and give Hird maximum deniability.

  24. Tom

    Jeff Kennett was very good on the radio this morning: the Hird saga won’t go away because the AFL has denied him natural justice with Fat Andy’s standover tactics.

  25. Badjack

    Tom, at some point in time Eddie struck gold and Eddie is never going to do anything to lose that gold. He knows deep down he ain’t in the ball park when it comes to business acumen so he will continue to use his biggest asset (mouth) to stay in that ball park. Eddie is an entertainer, a TV celebrity thats all. Kennett made him sound stupid this morning.

  26. H B Bear

    Remember Eddie as CEO of Channel Nine? He made Gillard look good.

    Kennett is always someone worth listening to. That interview hits it right on the head. Fat Andy is handing over a steaming pile to the next guy.

  27. rebel with cause

    Lets not forget that Hird was the scapegoat for a media sideshow cooked up by Labor to give them some ‘breathing space’. Didn’t they talk the ASADA thing up as ‘the darkest day in Australian sport’ and promised a string of offenders from across all codes would be found? Instead it was just James Hird that got railroaded.

    Mind you, these sports set themselves up to become political playthings through their constant slurping at the taxpayer teat. I think Essendon has taken $8m from the government and $5m from the AFL for their ‘high performance centre’ so it’s no wonder they have been dancing to the tune.

  28. Menai Pete

    The whole furore is about protecting the Labor Party and particularly Jason Clare and Kate Lundy and their decision to publicly defame all Australian sports people with their ridiculous ‘drugs in sport’ media announcement in February last year. The faceless fuckwits will do anything and sacrifice anybody (who is not a paid up member of the ALP) to justify what these two fools did.
    (By the way, anybody else notice that there were no female sports CEOs at that media conference, especially as at least one of the absent female sports CEOs had strong Labor links)

  29. Up The Workers!

    This whole hate campaign/character assassination spree against Essendon and James Heard, started when a certain dodgy hair-care products salesman and serial collector of speeding tickets, went to a Richmond/Essendon A.F.L. match with his brown-nosed, crater-faced, mate from the A.L.P.B.C.’s “One-Siders” show, and free-loaded their way into the Essendon rooms where they saw the then Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, present as a guest of the Essendon President.

    The free-loading, unemployed amateur speedster, was so incensed, he ripped off a letter both to the A.F.L. and the Prime Minister’s office saying that it: “Just isn’t good enough”.

    The A.L.P.’s A.S.A.D.A. Inquisition of clock-watching, evidence-phobic incompetents, descended like a ton of brick public serpents and conclusively and forensically utterly failed to find a scrap of evidence or actual wrongdoing.

    Hence the character-assassination campaign.

    Go Tania Hird – and I despise Essendon, but THEY are not the guilty party in this A.L.P.-inspired hate campaign.

  30. H B Bear

    I think Essendon has taken $8m from the government and $5m from the AFL for their ‘high performance centre’ so it’s no wonder they have been dancing to the tune.

    That’s not one of those injecting rooms is it?

  31. Infidel Tiger

    Jeff Kennett also fielded questions from Eddie McGuire about rumours that he was looking for an AFL top job and expressed his opinion about the ‘boys club’ at the top end of AFL.

    “Jeff, just one last one, this boys club business, I can’t wear that,” Eddie McGuire said to Jeff Kennett on Triple M’s The Hot Breakfast.

    “Oh Eddie, don’t be so stupid, what do you mean you can’t wear it? You’re part of it,” Kennett replied.

    Oh my. That’s a 3rd degree burn.

  32. .

    King Eddie, the self buttoning shirt and self winding clock bones himself again…

  33. C.L.

    How did the fat little weather man ever end up running everything in Victoria?

    And they laugh at Queenslanders.

  34. I’ve never been a fan of the AFL, but I’ve become a fan of Hird. Anyone who does not have a vested interest in Hird being made scapegoat can see the character assassination and smell the stench from anywhere in the country.

    Perhaps worse though, is that they have so far managed to avoid the AFL being publicly linked to the ALP, which is intrinsically and inexorably intertwined .

    The only question now is which will come first – ASADA infringement notices issued or OJ finding his girlfriend’s killer (here’s a hint, OJ. Look.in.the.mir-ror).

  35. Up The Workers!

    Curious that the whole anti-Essendon, anti James and Tania Hird hate campaign is kept alive by a person who is undoubtedly the LEAST respected sports “journalist” in the country, writing for the worst toadying fish-and-chip wrapper that Fauxfacts publishes, and that the Party which kicked off this campaign of lies and character assassination, has as its Deputy Federal Parliamentary Leader, a woman who is the spouse of a convicted and jailed former heroin dealer.

    How’s THAT for freedom from hypocrisy?

    Maybe it is the “Perfumed Scorpion” and the brothel-crawlers, embezzlers, thieves, liars and crooks of her paper’s political party who need to be drug tested?

  36. iamok

    The issue of Hird’s wife getting involved is not that she should be back in the kitchen doing the cooking. That is a preposterous position and a diversion from the main issue. It is one of media management.

    One of Eddie’s points I agree with (and there are very very few ever) is that her intervention has only fuelled the fire in a very sensitive environment that may be about to blow. To hold a fight publicly in the media is either a last resort, or a dumb move, unless you have irrefutable evidence that you are 100% in the right. And from what I have seen there are so many murky and questionable things have gone on and are going on, for anyone to be 100% right about anything.

  37. nilk

    Did someone mention the World Cup in Qatar? It’s a deadly place if you’re working on the facilities over there.

    Ah, but no matter, it’ll all look good come the opening ceremony.

    FIFA should be strung out in the sun over there and see how they like the treatment.

  38. daggers

    And from what I have seen there are so many murky and questionable things have gone on and are going on

    I thought that was Tania’s precise point and she wanted to tell people not to be sucked in by the official version.

  39. caveman

    It’s only a game. All that club shit they the first to fuk ya. Stand ya ground Tania.

  40. Docket62

    I was baptised red and black. Its in my blood and been part of my life and will always be… Essendon Football Club may be many things but they are not stupid, and they know Hirds value both as a coach, and a driver for the tens of thousands of new supporters signed to the club.

    I dislike Demetriou intensely, and would love to see him and his cohorts with a lot more than egg on their faces. I always felt they should have pursued this to court, but maybe the threats to suspend the clubs AFL licence carried more weight, and James Hird (literally) took one for the team.

    All the more reason to back him now. Tania is a lawyer. Somehow I don’t think she’s shooting her mouth off.

  41. Nanuestalker

    I’m so disappointed that this was a fizzer. One could assume that Tania Hird went all Dirty Harry on the Essendon board today. It would have made my day if they had sacked him and he sued the club breaking this thing wide open. Aw well …. serious question:

    As Hird’s ban commenced before finals last year, if Essendon make the finals will he or more to the point can he coach?

  42. Leigh Lowe

    As Hird’s ban commenced before finals last year, if Essendon make the finals will he or more to the point can he coach?

    Technically I think he can, but don’t ask Fat Andy. He doesn’t read anything properly. The last document he read in relation to this he missed a $ sign, a 1, two commas and 6 zeroes.
    Practically, if Essendon make the finals on the back of Thomson’s coaching it would be a travesty to take the coaching role off Thomson. However, it would be great needle for the Fat Greek to have Hird sitting in the box or helping at training.

  43. Nanuestalker

    Thompson to remain head coach but Hird waving at Fat Andy from the coaches box would make the finals fun!

  44. james

    Fat Andy is so greasy, when he flies to the states on his “fact finding” missions they make him sit on a wing.

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