Former Essendon coach Mark Thompson agrees he has fallen out of love with the crisis-stricken AFL club.
But he denies his comment on Saturday that the Bombers are “drowning” was directed at any individuals.
Thompson also vigorously defended Geelong after a newspaper article linked them to controversial sports scientist Stephen Dank.
The two-time Cats premiership coach said if Essendon had been run as well as Geelong, the Bombers’ ongoing supplements scandal would never have happened.
Thompson also hopes James Hird’s days are not numbered as Essendon coach, but said there was a groundswell in the media for him to be sacked.
In a wide-ranging interview on Fox Footy’s AFL 360 program, Thompson also praised Essendon player Brendon Goddard.
The previous night on the same show, Goddard attacked the repeated leaking of confidential information from the Essendon anti-doping case.
On Saturday, Thompson told 3AW that Essendon were drowning and going backwards.
Hird said Essendon were flabbergasted by the comments and Bombers chairman Paul Little was also critical.
There was speculation that Thompson was still angry at senior Bombers figures after he left the club late last year.
Thompson’s former Essendon teammate Tim Watson also said he had lost his love for the Bombers.
“I’ve fallen out of love with Essendon, but that’s not individuals,” Thompson said.
“The place is no better than it was.
“It’s three years, it’s been sitting idle.”
Thompson added it was high time that someone such as Goddard had been so strongly critical of the media leaks.
“Brendon Goddard – hey hey, beauty – get into it boys,” he said.
“I wish more players had said that.
“That was perfect … my word, he’s right, saying it.
“He’s right – he said they’re not footballers, they’re people.
“Who cares about them? No-one.”
Thompson added everyone who has done wrong in the long-running supplements saga should put their hand up and accept responsibility.
He also fears for Hird’s future as senior coach.
Essendon’s season is in freefall and a review of the football department is underway.
“I don’t want them to be (Hird’s days to be numbered), but I think ultimately you (media) will get your mark,” he said.
“There’s a groundswell, isn’t there, that happens.
“If Essendon were doing their job properly, they would say ‘you know what, we choose who coaches this football club, not anyone else’.
“If we want James to be coach, tell him, sign him up and go with him – it shouldn’t be controlled by anyone else.”
And Thompson is furious about Monday’s Herald Sun story that linked Dank to the Cats, calling it a cheap shot.
“The story is we’ve done nothing wrong down there – at all,” he said.
“In fact we’ve actually probably shown the way to go forward … (which) Essendon should have done.
“(It was) fantastic compliance and governance – that’s the story.
“What percentage of the people actually just read that or see that and put it in their brain and say ‘aw, Geelong and Dank, premiership and drugs’.”