Posted: 12 December, 2013
James Hird's wife Tania jumps to his defence
(Video Source: Herald Sun)
The AFL's laying down the law in the wages war with the Bombers and suspended coach James Hird.
Its demanded assurances from the club that it's not paying Hird and says it will withhold money from the club until it replies.
The league says its written to the Bombers twice this month re-affirming that the conditions of his 12-month ban.
The AFL has threatened to take the matter to the AFL Commission next week.
Essendon Football Club has been in regular contact with the AFL about the terms of James Hird's suspension.
The Club will respond to the AFL's statement relating to this matter in due course and will not be making any further comment until that time.
The AFL today said it wrote to the Essendon Football Club last Friday December 6 and again earlier this week on Monday December 9 in regards to the terms of the 12-month suspension of senior coach James Hird, seeking assurances from the Club that it was upholding the agreed terms of the suspension.
AFL Chief Executive Andrew Demetriou said AFL General Manager, Legal, Integrity and Compliance, Andrew Dillon had advised the Essendon FC in writing this week the clear intention from the outset of James Hird’s 12-month suspension by the AFL was that he could not work for any club in any capacity or receive a salary from any club.
“Since September, the AFL has been in consultation with the Essendon FC concerning the terms of James Hird’s suspension, including the fact he cannot be paid by the Club for a period of 12 months,” Mr Demetriou said.
Mr Demetriou said Mr Dillon was awaiting a formal reply from the Club. Until that reply was received, the Club has been informed the AFL will withhold an amount from regular AFL discretionary distributions to the Essendon FC each month.
“The public statements from the AFL, from myself as CEO over the last week, were in the belief that Essendon had concluded its payment arrangements and begun the suspension period. The AFL has since sought confirmation and is yet to receive it.
“The Essendon FC has also been advised in writing that if the club continues not to comply with the terms of the suspensions, the matter will be referred to the meeting of the AFL Commission in Melbourne next week,” he said.
On August 27, 2013, the AFL and James Hird agreed that in 2011/2012 the Essendon Football Club implemented, while Hird was Senior Coach of the club, a Supplements Program, which was inadequately vetted and controlled.
It was agreed by the AFL and James Hird that:
• he contributed to the Essendon FC’s failure to take sufficient steps to ensure the health, welfare and safety of players in relation to the Program;
• when he became aware of facts that suggested that unsatisfactory practices were occurring, the action he took was not sufficient to stop those practices;
• he did not take sufficient steps to avoid there being a risk that players may have been administered substances that were prohibited by the AFL Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code, and any such risk is an unacceptable risk;
• as Senior Coach, he shares responsibility for the inadequate governance within EFC’s football department,
and in consequence, Hird accepts that the Essendon FC breached Rule 1.6 of the AFL Player Rules.
Earlier On Triple M
The AFL has spoken to Triple M this morning but they're refusing to say if or when they'll respond to Tania Hird's claims that the league knew about paying James Hird during his 12 month ban.
Hird's wife has jumped to his defence accusing Andrew Demetriou of having a tatal disregard for the truth telling the Herald Sun he knew about the pay arrangement.
Audio below, Triple M sport reporter Lachlan Wills updates you with the latest:
More to come...