Essendon and Hird v ASADA and AFL – Day 1: James Hird channels Macbeth in a staggering display of selfishness

If any of us needed any more proof that James Hird is all about James Hird, yesterday’s quite strange and selfish solo performance in the Federal Court should suffice.

The action taken in the Federal Court, by both Essendon and Hird, is scheduled for just three days and notwithstanding the high cost of the legal teams they are engaging, you would think that you would try to use that limited time to your advantage.

The claim the parties are trying to make against ASADA and the AFL is a purely legal one; in that the investigation is invalid as the two organisations are not permitted to act together.

This is not a case of deciding if the players took illegal substances. It is Essendon and Hird, separately but seemingly combined, asking for all results of that investigation to be thrown out. It’s a bit like saying that whatever evidence you found when you searched my house that could convict me is inadmissible because your search warrant was wrong.

So what do you gain in trying to convince a judge on a matter of law and interpretation of a piece of Government legislation, by spending your time telling the world how you didn’t agree with the content of a press conference? Or that you had a disagreement with your Chairman and CEO, both of whom you effectively work for, as to what you would say in relation to the matter?

Virtually all of what Hird said yesterday had zero to do with creating a compelling case to prove that the AFL and ASADA are not permitted to work together.

I will accept that his comments about Andrew Demetriou’s potential prior knowledge of Essendon’s involvement and later denials, paint Andy D in a poor light.

However, that is only in relation to Demetriou’s eventual behaviour and mangling of the truth, which will come as no surprise to those who saw him vehemently deny lots of things during his reign at the top, belittling those who questioned him on a variety of issues. It doesn’t look great for him, but all Hird has done there is further poke him in the eye, not further his legal argument.

Most of this is PR spin then. Hird is determined to show that he was independent; he was pushed into things he didn’t like. The AFL bullied him. He was treated poorly. He knew the truth when others told lies. He was told what to say, without the ability to speak his mind. He was the only one at the club concerned for the players. He strutted and fretted in his hours upon the stage.

Hird has used yesterday’s forum to pour whatever excrement he can onto a former friend, former line manager and former adversary. Unless it is a cunning plan to have the judge doubt the credibility of them as potential witnesses and start to delve deeper into the matter, it was a waste of time and money that places Hird at a greater distance from the club he assumes he will walk right back into in a few weeks as a walking shadow.

The case is going to centre on legal interpretation of the act under which ASADA acts. Nothing related to press conferences or tip offs will impact that decision. What Hird has done is position himself in the long game. To set himself up, if something eventually goes very wrong, that he never supported what the club did, not only in self-reporting or taking responsibility, but eventually any connection with the pharmacological experiment that started all this.

The poor players are no closer to knowing what was injected into their arms in 2012 than they were yesterday. The case is 1/3rd completed. Legal bills accumulated during the day.

Essendon are doing this to ensure that the players involved are protected, not named and hopefully released from any actions against them.

What did Hird do? Used his platform not to further his case, but to protect his image. It was a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

It was selfishness at its best.

About Sean Curtain

"He was born with a gift of laughter, and a sense that the world was mad". First line of 'Scaramouche' by Sabatini, always liked that.


  1. Leadership 101 – ego needs to be strong and not large. Unfortunately James has this one backwards!!!

  2. There is only one vowel in “Hird”. ‘Nuff said.

  3. Dave Brown says

    Having only read the news report (therefore making me an expert) it seems Hird is making a case for his innocence altogether. Should this action succeed the fact would remain that he accepted the AFL charges put before him last year, effectively admitting guilt. Here he appears to be working on the logical progression of: I did nothing wrong – the AFL & ASADA illegally colluded to put undue pressure on Essendon – Essendon put undue pressure on me – I am clean.

    Part of ASADA’s response is that it doesn’t matter whether the investigation was legal or not, its outputs and charges still stand (I suspect they are right too). Hird may be clearing the path to defend himself on anything that should follow, should ASADA’s case be valid. From that perspective it may be a valid, if expensive, use of everyone’s time.

  4. Dave

    I agree, I don’t think there’s anything that Hird’s legal team will do to establish that ASADA’s investigation was legal or not, they will leave that to the EFC lawyers. And again, it may be for nothing if ASADA re-issue. Hird is therefore using the stage through a lot of Dorothy Dix type questions to clear his name just in case. I disagreed with EFC and thought they had done the worng thing, and then, was bullied into saying I was guilty when I wasn’t.

    Some halo polishing going on, while the QCs ring up the big bills.

    PB, I agree that Hird as a scrabble score isn’t worth much but you may have to elaborate


  5. There is no “I” in team, but its the only thing inside ‘Hird’.

  6. Keiran Croker says

    Every time Hird speaks in defense of his reputation he manages to further diminish it. He is now working from a low base any way.

  7. Bob Morrow says

    Sean – extremely well put !

  8. Malcolm Ashwood says

    In Sport there has been the , G Chappell under arm in which at least , Greg admitted he has in the wrong and over whelmed at the time . We then has the selfishness of ,
    Ranantunga , Murali and Sri Lanka to use the racial card to get the laws of cricket changed which will always anger and disgust me . We have had , Armstong with cycling wher the similarities with , Hird are frightening with the arrogance , stupidity and living in a state of delisionment come in and unable to say and admit being in the wrong the whole organised injecting programme ( which no one is ever going to no what they took ) . Hird was the driver of the bus the damage he and Essendon have done to the game , the full extent we will never no The legacy he has left the game is one of ruin , he disgusts me thanks , Sean

  9. hird is not guilty guys,leave him alone until the courts sort this out,all you guys are putting the cart before the horse,very unfair,if hird is found guilty,watson should loose his brownlow

  10. sean gorman says

    Kept thinking about Scott T in all of this

  11. this post from GORMAN should be removed from almanac,what a disgrace this guy is !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Glen Potter says

    Has Hird cut himself from the herd? Do we now call this Hird mentality? What is Hird mentality?

  13. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Great post Sean couldn’t agree more

  14. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Sean Gorman, did you mean Craig T ?

  15. Paddy O'Peace says

    Yes, Craig T is a disgrace.
    As is a turd in the bath water.
    Or am I putting the Turd before the Horse & Cart?
    More than a smelly affair Sean.


  17. WHAT’S WITH THE CAPITALS ALL THE TIME, ANDREW???????????????? MY EARS ARE HURTING#####################****************************!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. its easier for old guys like you to read peter !!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. touché, Andrew.

  20. Has anyone got an update on what colour trench coat Tania’s wearing today? There was an enthralling piece today in The Hun about her trench coats and I reckon if you guys aren’t on top of this then Harms/PeterB are no Robbo/Ralphy.

  21. Where. would we be without the HS to keep us focused on the vital issues?

    And to think some philistines call it the LMPFSP (Little Melbourne Paper For Stupid People)!

  22. sean gorman says

    Sorry Craig T … was in a rush

  23. Pamela Sherpa says

    I’m glad this has gone to court . We haven’t and won’t get all the answers surrounding the saga but at least we have some insight into what was going on at AFL and ASADA level.

  24. Love AJC’s alerting us to the important coverage of the fashion stakes in the case—pity there was no highlighting of the bad taste in James wearing a red and black striped tie along to the proceedings whilst simultaneously complaining about pressure Essendon put him under!

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