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Bombers blame 'feral' media

By Greg Buckle 22/08/2010 04:13:10 PM Comments (0)

Essendon chief executive Ian Robson says coverage of the Matthew Knights coaching issue has been alarmist and described Melbourne's AFL media as a "feral pack".

Knights, who has a contract until the end of the 2012 season, has been unable to guide the Bombers into this year's finals and was under enormous pressure to retain his job following James Hird's expression of interest in the role.

Club legend Hird has since ruled himself out for the position for at least three years but speculation continues to rage over the future of Knights.

Essendon's regular board meeting on Thursday became a major talking point following Hird's comments.

Robson admitted the distraction of having Essendon figures like ex-coach Kevin Sheedy and Hird speaking out on club issues was adding to the dramas at Windy Hill.

"The media ... is seeking to become more alarmist, more extreme, and more hysterical to get a headline," Robson told Fairfax Radio Network.

"It (a board meeting) suddenly becomes a feral pack of 20 media types sitting outside waiting for us to get into our cars and go home."

Robson says the Bombers have a large and vocal fan base and third-year coach Knights was always going to be under pressure following four-time premiership mentor Sheedy.

"We understand the bottom line, this year has been disappointing (with seven wins in 20 rounds)," he said.

"We can't control as a club what James has said, what Matthew (Lloyd) says, what Scotty Lucas says, certainly what Kevin said."

Robson said the Bombers would have a post-season review of their coaching staff and hoped to finalise their lineup in early October, with assistant coach Alan Richardson still in the running for the Port Adelaide job.

"As of today, he (Knights) has a two-year contract and that's what we're ... working on, moving forward," Robson told Triple M.

"No one gets a guarantee ... no one in this industry has."

Robson said Hird's initial comments which sparked the running story this week may have been naive.

"I don't think James would have meant any deliberate malice by his comments, maybe that means they were naive," he said.

"Who's to blame? You guys (media).

"The level of hysteria - Thursday afternoon was a classic example - I don't know where it came from."

Chairman David Evans told Essendon's pre-match function the club had been hit by a media circus, but added: "It hasn't been our finest hour."

Evans, who didn't mention Knights by name once in a lengthy pre-game address, praised the board as "outstanding" and described Robson as the best CEO in the competition.

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