An lifelong Essendon supporter’s response to the club’s latest actions

This bloody Drugs Scandal has made this Aged Don Tragic very angry. I am angry that the coaching staff were obviously duped into thinking that the missing secret ingredient the Essendon Football Club needed to win a premiership was a miracle drug.

I am angry that naive young men were injected with these drugs with unknown future ramifications for their health.

And now I’m angrier than ever to learn that the CEO of the Essendon Football Club and the suspended Coach, intend to fight these issues through the courts for as long as they can. Perhaps they think if they keep it in the courts for the next few years the players involved will be past their playing age.

And who is” footing the bill “for these costly challenges? Will funds be taken from the excellent Indigenous programs run by the club? Will funds be taken from the multi cultural programs? What about the Community programs and the worthwhile charities the footy club supports? If they think they can raise money from the supporters, count me out!

Maybe I’m naïve, but I reckon it would have been far more sensible for the club to own up to this dreadful situation at the start of the 2013 season, admit they made a catastrophic blunder and cop the consequences. OK, we may have been an “easy beat” for a while, but true supporters like me would have stuck with them. As it is, I will not be rejoining Essendon next year while this legal fiasco drags on.


Rod Oaten


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Well done Rod , Essendons arrogance stupidity and lack of caring for the whole picture and any concern for the game continues to defy belief

  2. Rabid Dog says

    A sad and sorry state of affairs. I feel for you and supporters like you Rod. However, it is refreshing to find an Essendon supporter that does believe that the use of the programme was wrong and that the ASADA/WADA rules regarding prohibited substances in sport were breached. I think I would have a similar opinion of my own Club if they had gone along the same path. Hang in there!

  3. There is no way in the world that Hird will be coaching next season.
    Essendon are waiting for him to resign, whilst he is waiting for them
    to sack him so he gets a pay-out.
    As David King asked: if, in September, he walks back into the club after a year in France, says “how are you, boys?” after all the shit that the players have been put through, how could those players possibly respect him?

  4. Resigning your CLUB membership while remaining a supporter of the TEAM is a noble cause of action Rod. The players were clearly misled about what they were being given. You can’t expect young men to be reading labels and checking technical lists. They asked. They were lied to.
    I strongly supported the CLUB when they sacked Ben Cousins, but it was not a popular stance among the rusted-on Eagles faithful.

  5. Sean Gorman says

    Rod – this whole thing with the EFC is just so complex and messy – one only has to look at Carlton to see how the issue around player payments dogs them to this day. I feel that not only will EFC be decimated with the on-park issues but the litigation will bring the club to the $ brink. For the club that won the first premiership and all the great players that have been through it it is very sad as it will be a tremendous struggle to regroup. I wish you luck as you will need it.

  6. Peter Fuller says

    I admire your principled stand on this issue, just as I have been impressed by your honorable attitude throughout the saga. I’m thinking of your post justifying your commitment to sign up for the sash this season. I’m all too well aware that it’s easy for supporters of other clubs to make judgments about how others ought to behave, but those calls are bedevilled by our attitudes to opposing teams anyway. While I have opinions on the rights and wrongs of this affair, I hesitate to air them, knowing how much my views are muddied by my partisanship.

    Prompted by the views of various Essendon supporters on the Almanac, I was thinking earlier on in this drawn-out affair what might be the tipping point for a supporter to deny her/his allegiance for any sporting outfit. As a Carlton fan, I confess that I’ve certainly squibbed the logical inference of various examples of disgraceful behaviour and incompetence by official representatives of my Club – on- and off-field. I expect that most people with any degree of moral sensitivity can think of some ethical crises of their own supporting history.

  7. Rod, i’m curious re how Essendon Football Club sit in this situation re their role as an employer. Under S 21 of The Occupational Health and Safety Act, the responsibilities of the employer is clearly spelt out,.Their role is to provide a workplace safe and free of risks to its employees, ‘the players’ , as well as providing information re risks and consulatation with the employees. If Essendon has failed in its responsibility as an employer do you feel the AFLPA have scope to support any player(s) taking action against the club for not providing a safe workplace ?


  8. Couldn’t agree more. Growing number if Bombers fans want the club to just take is right whack and get back to being footy club. For me, the tipping point was extending Hird’s contract, I decided to become a Bulldogs member at that point, but I can see how the Federal court action might be yours. Imagine if the court action succeeds, the whole thing is thrown out and Little and Hird stay in charge of the club. Is that really a good result? How will the black mark “cheats” ever be removed if Essendon escapes on a technicality?

  9. It was the originally released legal documents that included the email from hird to to the pres complaining of the old school thinking from the medical team was holding them back that set my view in concrete. You ignore the wisdom of the elders at your peril.

  10. C’mere Rod!


    I feel you Rod. I’ll never stop supporting Essendon, but this state of affairs – especially the ‘Back our Boys’ campaign, run by the very people who the players in the situation they’re in – reeks of unjustified arrogance, pre-teen petulance and a desperate attempt to hide a level of corporate malfeasance unseen in Australian sport history.

    I’ll love Essendon until I die, but they can kiss my proverbial before they get another membership dime from me while anyone connected with the administration of the ‘program’ remains in a position of authority at the club.

    As Litza says – ‘blow it up and start again’.

  11. Carlton missed their opportunity to ‘blow it up and start again’ ten years ago and are still paying the price – and we just gave blokes stuff in paper bags.

    Get this wrong and the pain is generational… at least.

Leave a Comment