James Hird’s father hits out at AFL officials in explosive interview


 , ,

57 Have your say

    James Hird’s father Allan says there were no signs his son was on a path to ill-health and accused AFL and Essendon administrators of pursuing him as a scapegoat.

    Allan Hird said AFL officials were “thugs” and “bullies” without a “moral compass” for their treatment of his son in the aftermath of Essendon’s supplement scandal.

    Hird would not reveal his son’s whereabouts amid reports he is receiving treatment at an undisclosed health facility.

    But he said Hird was recovering well after being hospitalised for a suspected overdose last week.

    “He’s fine. My daughter’s been keeping me regularly informed,” Hird told Melbourne radio station 3AW on Tuesday.

    “I’m in Brisbane and I’m coming down shortly to see him.”

    The 43-year-old James Hird, a father of four, has kept a low public profile since he left his job as Essendon coach in August 2015.

    His reputation was damaged severely amid investigations into the club’s 2012 supplements program that left 34 past and present Bombers banned last season.

    His wife Tania has requested their family be granted privacy.

    Allan Hird said he had no suspicions his son’s health was under a cloud but believes he had been let down by people he had trusted.

    He said leaks to media from the Essendon board while James was coach worked against him.

    “I had no inkling. (It came) just out of the blue,” he said.

    “Right from the start, I believed Jim trusted people too much.

    “He put too much trust in the club doing the right thing. He put too much trust in the AFL. He put too much trust in our system of government.

    “If he had his time again, he would have done it differently.”

    Hird called for a top-level inquiry to look into the supplements scandal where people who handled the matter – including former federal government ministers and AFL and Essendon officials – would give evidence under oath.

    He accused administrators of conspiring to make Hird the scapegoat for the ill-fated supplement program, protesting his son’s innocence.

    “Get them to tell the truth. Get the truth out there and we’ll see where it lies,” he said.

    “A ‘conspiracy’ is probably the wrong word in a legal sense, but in the general public’s eye, I’d say a conspiracy between the Gillard government, the AFL and elements of the Essendon board, plus the Australian Anti-Doping Authority to get a result for something to get everyone out of a hole.

    “The Gillard government had got itself into a hole … overblew that crime commission report enormously and they needed something and they did that for political reasons.

    “Both his employers were gunning for him but there was nothing specific he had ever done and there still isn’t.”

    The AFL has refused to comment.

    Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

    MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.

    © AAP 2018

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (57)

    • Roar Guru

      January 10th 2017 @ 2:43pm
      AdelaideDocker said | January 10th 2017 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

      Wow. Some strong words there.

      This comment section will be fun.

    • January 10th 2017 @ 3:19pm
      Joe B said | January 10th 2017 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

      Tania Hird is desperately trying to protect her family’s privacy, and care for her husband, and her father in law calls up a radio station, from Brisbane, to feed the media. Gotta feel for Tania.

      • Roar Guru

        January 10th 2017 @ 3:22pm
        AdelaideDocker said | January 10th 2017 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

        Yeah. I don’t see how it’s helpful in any way, shape or form.

      • January 10th 2017 @ 3:29pm
        Penster said | January 10th 2017 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

        Instead of jumping on a plane to visit his son. Onya Dad.

        • January 10th 2017 @ 7:47pm
          Floyd Calhoun said | January 10th 2017 @ 7:47pm | ! Report

          I find that a bit odd myself Penster. Unless we’re not hearing the truth, I would’ve thought that getting to your son in this kind of situation ASAP would be kind of paramount.

          • January 11th 2017 @ 10:07am
            Penster said | January 11th 2017 @ 10:07am | ! Report

            And possibly respecting your son’s supportive wife in her request for privacy to protect the family. Instead of ringing the wireless to air debunked conspiracy theories. And putting a target on your own back (runs in the family).

      • Roar Guru

        January 10th 2017 @ 3:30pm
        Paul D said | January 10th 2017 @ 3:30pm | ! Report

        At least James comes by his narcissism honestly

    • January 10th 2017 @ 4:15pm
      Jock Cornet said | January 10th 2017 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

      How about James being responsible for his selfish actions.

    • January 10th 2017 @ 4:50pm
      The Finger said | January 10th 2017 @ 4:50pm | ! Report

      It seems that the lawyers are the winners here.

      ….closely followed by the media, who will do just about anything they can to sell newspapers.

      Who cares about families, player welfare etc? I know, some will say that Hird should have thought of that at the outset. But, he wasn’t the sports scientist who concocted the supplements, nor was he the guy responsible to account for what was being administered to players. He set the ground rules that weren’t followed. But, the buck stopped with him.

      And now, the posse comprising people who weren’t directly involved continue relentlessly to be judge, jury and executioner.

      Go for a juicy target and continually undermine it till something breaks. Then, when it does, they are still not satisfied.

      Will this mindlessness never stop?

      I think it’s about time we became mature, instead of hysterical.

      Justice has been served, yet that still isn’t enough for some.

      I hope that Allan Hird can comfort his son, and help Tania and kids.

      • January 10th 2017 @ 5:51pm
        Beni Iniesta said | January 10th 2017 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

        But has justice been served?

        I’m pretty sure many feel justice hasn’t been served yet.

        Afterall – why is James Hird no longer coaching? It’s because Essendon sacked him.

        Has Hird actually been properly punished for administering a performance enhancing drugs program??


        The AFL only punished Hird for mismanagement didn’t they?

        As yet the AFL are yet to step up and administer justice against Hird. It’s amazing people would come out and accuse the AFL of being a ‘bully’ given how soft the AFL has been on Hird and Essendon.

        • Roar Guru

          January 10th 2017 @ 6:31pm
          Mister Football said | January 10th 2017 @ 6:31pm | ! Report


          Correct, the AFL only subjected Hird to a disrepute hearing (read negotiated and agreed punishment).

          The AFL did not take any action under its anti-doping code, but nor did ASADA issue Hird with an infraction notice.

          Afterall, ASADA did interview Hird for many hours (as well as the playing list, and other coaching staff), and decided to not pursue HIrd on any anti-doping rule violation.

          That being the case, why is the footy public still baying for blood?

          Why is the footy public so convinced of Hird’s guilt when ASADA did not reach a conclusion that Hird had contravened any part of the anti-doping code?

          • Roar Guru

            January 10th 2017 @ 6:38pm
            Cat said | January 10th 2017 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

            ASADA only gives infraction notices to players which Coach Hird is not.

            • Roar Guru

              January 10th 2017 @ 6:48pm
              Mister Football said | January 10th 2017 @ 6:48pm | ! Report


              ASADA issues infraction notices under the AFL’s anti-doping code.

              Clause 3 of the code states:

              3. Application of Code
              (a) This Code applies to:
              (i) Players, whether in or out of competition;
              (ii) Clubs and their Officers;
              (iii) Athlete Support Persons; and
              (iv) any other Person who is required to comply with this Code from time to
              (b) Any Player, Club, Officer, Athlete Support Person or other Person to whom this
              Code applies who commits an Anti-Doping Rule Violation or otherwise breaches
              the provisions of this Code is liable to the sanctions provided by this Code.

              Note that ASADA did issue an infraction notice against Dank, and he was dealt with by the AFL anit-doping tribunal (although it got him on a range of matters, but not for administering TB4 due to insufficient evidence).

        • January 11th 2017 @ 7:02pm
          GoGWS said | January 11th 2017 @ 7:02pm | ! Report

          The players have a responsibility as well – yes they were young and easily influenced but nevertheless the onus is also them to ask questions and to check, and to be held accountable for what is being injected into their bodies. Also the players should have taken the first deal offered – pushing on was reckless.

          Hird’s old man is way off. Hird did employ Dank without doing proper due diligence, and he didn’t put in effective protocols – he tried to but didn’t. Poor judgement and poor management ended up with a bunch of players being banned, and all that is traceable back to James Hird whether his old man can accept that or not, and whether James accepts it or not. Read the CAS decision is all I can say.

        • January 16th 2017 @ 11:47am
          Jacko said | January 16th 2017 @ 11:47am | ! Report

          Has any actual proof of the suppossed drug use been found? NO NO NO. There is ZERO evidence or possitivw tests to say ANYONE used or administered an illegal drug. In fact those who were administering the injections say there was NO illegal drugs used at all. AFL buries head as they need a fallguy

    • January 10th 2017 @ 4:59pm
      Mike from tari said | January 10th 2017 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

      If you are the boss & you introduce a system that goes wrong, you are responsible, that’s what Hird did, he was the man in charge, Essendon supported him when they made sure records disappeared but In the end the buck stopped with Hird, you can’t blame a father from supporting his son but to blame the Essendon club & the AFL for something his son did is a bit overboard.

      • January 11th 2017 @ 1:29am
        Beni Iniesta said | January 11th 2017 @ 1:29am | ! Report

        To be fair – Hird was not the man in charge, that would be David Evans (Chairman) & Ian Robson (CEO) – they’re the two charged with running the Essendon FC at the time.

        The buck stops with them.

    • Roar Guru

      January 10th 2017 @ 5:12pm
      Mister Football said | January 10th 2017 @ 5:12pm | ! Report

      Allan Hird is correct in everything he says above.

      The Gillard Government overblew the ACC report, and the AFL tried to deliver HIrd’s head to protect the players, which in the end didn’t work.

      The AFL ultimately made a meal of it, and in the process destroyed one person.

    , ,