AFL club Essendon will probably lose Premiership points and miss the Finals series as part of a deal being hammered out between the club and the AFL.
The long, drawn-out negotiations will come to a drastic conclusion on Monday as the AFL commission is meeting at the league headquarters, where the threat of sanctions for the club and its management are slowly becoming a reality. There has been no sign of Essendon coach James Hird or the club's officials at the meeting so far, but Hird seemed to be at peace with himself when he left his home early Monday morning. However, he refused to comment on either the possible sanctions or on the Bombers' big win over Carlton on Saturday.
Essendon Coach James Hird demands a fair and impartial trial.
Among the sanctions being eyed by the AFL commission are the suspension of Hird, team doctor Brian Reid and manager Danny Corcoran, a fine of $20,000 for assistant coach Mark Thompson, and a hefty $2 million fine for the club. The discussions are expected to take all day, with AFL commissioner Richard Goyder overheard telling his driver not to pick him up earlier than 4 pm.
The Bombers are expected to appeal to the AFL to let the club keep its draft picks; the club argues that the league's proposed two-year first round draft ban will hurt the team in the long term. Essendon has not signed an agreement that says officials willingly breached anti-drug regulations.
After Saturday night's match, Hird opened up to the media, if only to give a glimpse into his position on the possible sanctions.
"I want to prove I'm innocent of a lot or 99 per cent of those charges. I look at those charges and they make me sick that they're out there and that people would believe that is the truth about me. I'm determined to clear that up. Then we'll go from there from suspension or not suspension," Hird said in a press statement.
The Bombers' players still support Hird, but they have accepted that their coach's fate is out of their hands.
"It's the decision of the Commission and that's the reason there is a Commission," captain Jobe Watson told News.com.au.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Meet the Aussie “Belieber” Who Survived Car Accident When Kept Conscious by A Friend Talking About Justin Bieber [PHOTOS/VIDEO]
- Top 10 Highest-Paid Tennis Athletes as Ranked by Forbes: Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic and More
- "The Great Gatsby" vs. "The Rocket" at AACTA Awards 2014: What You Should Know About Top Feature Films Leading Aussie Oscars Nominations [PHOTOS/VIDEOS]