‘Dons back Watson over AFL Brownlow

Essendon chairman Lindsay Tanner remains adamant that Jobe Watson should retain his AFL Brownlow Medal.

The issue of Watson’s 2012 Brownlow is on hold while the Bombers captain and 11 teammates make a last-ditch appeal against their doping bans.

Their challenge will go before a Swiss court later this year.

If their appeal fails, the AFL commission will probably strip Watson of the Brownlow.

Watson will be able to plead his case before the commission and Tanner said on Monday that the club is fully behind the star midfielder.

“Our view is that Jobe should retain that medal,” Tanner told 3AW.

“As far as we’re concerned, it’s an individual reward (and) we will support Jobe in whatever approach he wishes to take.”

Tanner is also upbeat about Watson returning to the club once his ban is over.

All 12 players are suspended for this season.

“I’m certainly very hopeful that Jobe will be back next year, but that ultimately will be a question he has to deal with,” Tanner said.

Tanner joined the praise for new Essendon coach John Worsfold, calling him the ideal man for their unprecedented circumstances.

He said it was clear Worsfold was the right appointment in the immediate aftermath of the CAS verdict earlier this year.

“The real test of the appointment was in the first half hour, the first hour after the CAS decision was handed down,” Tanner said.

“You can imagine what the atmosphere was like.

“Pretty much as you’d expect with a guy like John, he was straight into ‘okay, what do we have to do?’

“There was no hand-wringing or throwing the arms in the air – it’s just right, let’s get down to business.”

Tanner also said it remained unclear how big a financial hit Essendon will take in the wake of the supplements debacle.

The Bombers are negotiating with the current and past players affected by the scandal.

Essendon are also negotiating with their insurer and Tanner said those talks are “entirely constructive”

“We have a big challenge, we don’t quite know what the scale of that challenge will be,” he said of the club’s finances.

“It has a whole lot of different challenges, but we’re just going to be doing our level best to make sure that we knock over each challenge as it comes.”

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