Suspended coach James Hird will resume as senior coach of Essendon for the 2015 AFL season, the Bombers announced on Wednesday.
The issue of Hird’s future at Essendon was reignited last week when his wife Tania gave an interview on ABC-TV’s “7.30 Report“, slammed the AFL over its handling of the Essendon supplements scandal and saying her husband was made a scapegoat.
Essendon chairman Paul Little fronted a media conference after a club board meeting on Wednesday and said that ongoing publicity generated by Hird and his wife had been detrimental to the club’s relationship with the AFL.
“We as a board were extremely disappointed at the recent commentary aired in the 7.30 Report,” Little said.
“The board has sought assurances from James and Tania.”
“Today the board determined that James Hird remain coach of the Essendon football Club for the 2015 and 2016 seasons,” he said.
Little denied James Hird had been gagged from media comment.
He said he expected Hird to fall into line with the club’s view.
Tania Hird attended Wednesday’s board meeting which Little described as robust.
James Hird is serving a 12-month AFL ban as a result of the supplements program which remains under ASADA investigation.
Hird’s suspension expires in August 2014.
He is under contract to coach Essendon until the end of 2016.
Hird is currently in Singapore as part of a study tour during his 12-month ban.