NOTABLE QUOTES AS JAMES HIRD LEAVES ESSENDON:
“Paul said it was the board’s opinion (that) the football club would never be truly free of the ASADA issue while I was coach and he was the chairman. On Monday night, I agreed to tender my resignation to Essendon, which was accepted by the board.” – James Hird
“Personally – some of you may disagree – I believe I am a good coach.” – Hird.
“Tania, Stephanie, Tom, Alex and William – I am truly sorry for what you have had to endure.” – Hird shedding a tear as he speaks about his family
“Perhaps if WADA hadn’t appealed, we would have had that clear air … The WADA appeal probably drove us back into the mire.” – Hird
“What’s a scapegoat look like? Has it got horns? Has it got a beard? Is it a normal goat? I don’t know … You know what, I don’t feel like a scapegoat. What I feel like is an Essendon person who wants this club to be successful.” – Hird
“Are you trying to get me in trouble … I don’t want to get into any more trouble at the moment.” – Hird, when asked to comment on the AFL-ASADA investigation into the Essendon supplements regime
“What do you think?” – Hird, when asked if he had been asked to sign a non-disparagement agreement
“Certainly … the decisions in 2011 that were made, in hindsight, some of them were mistakes. “Were they mistakes to the level that we’ve been crucified for? No, I don’t think so.” – Hird, when asked if he has any regrets about the supplements regime.”
“I don’t have any direct evidence of that.” – Hird, when asked if he thought the AFL had any role in his demise at Essendon
“I have a lot of friends in that playing group.” – Hird
“The board and James have agreed on a negotiated settlement, the terms of which shall remain confidential.” – Essendon chairman Paul Little
“I plan to stay on as chairman until I can steer the club and our players through the final stages of the WADA appeal.” – Little
“I don’t accept we’ve sacked the coach. We’ve been to a lot of trouble in the last 15 or 20 minutes to explain that the culmination of events … had James offering to resign if we collectively thought it was in the best interests of the club.” – Little
“James touched on it before, but this whole thing has changed people and no one’s for the better because of it.” Essendon captain Jobe Watson.