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Club Statement

BTV: Update from Chairman Paul Little - July 25, 2014 Essendon Chairman Paul Little provides fans an update on James Hird.

Essendon Football Club can today confirm the details and arrangements of James Hird’s return next month.

Essendon chairman Paul Little said how delighted he is to have James Hird back in Australia and ready to resume as senior coach in 2015.

“Before James’ departure overseas it was agreed we would need to sit down and clarify his role for the remainder of the 2014 season when he returned, “ Little said.

“The principle agreed on was heavily influenced by what was in the best interests of the club and, most importantly, the players.”

“Earlier this week I met with James, general manager of football performance Neil Craig, CEO Xavier Campbell and 2014 senior coach Mark Thompson to discuss what is in the best interest of the club and more specifically the playing group, as we prepare for what we all hope will be an active finals campaign.”

“As a result, we have all agreed that when James is eligible to return to the club on 25 August, James’ focus will be entirely on the 2015 season – he will not be in the coaching box or have an active coaching role at training.

“In that time period between 25 August until our final game of the season, James will take the opportunity to begin planning the upcoming pre-season, list management, recruiting and preparation for 2015 away from the club.”

“Due to the considerable interest in this matter, we think it is important to clarify this today so that everyone understands how the club is approaching the next couple of months and there is no room for confusion or speculation.”

“Everyone at the Essendon Football Club looks forward to welcoming James back to the club when he returns as senior coach for the 2015 season.”                                                           

James Hird has made the following statement about his return.

“As much as I would dearly love to have jumped straight back into working with the team, I am determined that whatever role I play should in no way act as a distraction from the 2014 campaign,” Hird said

“I would like to congratulate the club on what has been achieved so far this year. In very tough circumstances, the Club has demonstrated great strength and resilience.”

“As I will not be making any further public comments in relation to any matter, including the Federal Court case, I ask the media respect the privacy of my family– I know you all have jobs to do but given that I will not be making any comment on anything, I ask you to please respect my privacy.”

“I love the Essendon Football Club, its players and the game of Australian Rules Football.”

“I am excited about the future for our club and look forward to getting back involved.”