Demons chief Stynes takes share of blame - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Demons chief Stynes takes share of blame

By Mike Hedge 01/08/2011 03:12:51 PM Comments (0)

It began as these things generally do, with the coach as scapegoat and everyone else blameless.

But the Melbourne Football Club's sacking of its coach Dean Bailey after Saturday's 186-point loss to Geelong included an act of great decency from someone who has plenty of it.

Jim Stynes, Melbourne hero, club president and a man engaged in a very public battle with cancer did what few in his position ever do, but the sort of thing people now expect from him.

In a weak, dry voice that reflected his personal struggles, Stynes admitted that some of the blame for his club's poor performance rested with him.

"I haven't been that well," Stynes said.

"I haven't been able to carry the load I should have been carrying. I wish I could be doing more, but I just can't."

It had been up to Stynes to phone Bailey on Sunday night and tell him he was out of a job.

"It wasn't something I was proud of," Stynes said.

Certainly, Stynes and Demons' vice-president Don McLardy, trotted out some hollow lines in their first public statements on Bailey's sacking.

Stynes praised Bailey as a man who had helped rebuild the Demons.

"He is a great man and a man of great integrity," he said.

"He's been with our club through a very important time in its development and he is very highly regarded by the players, staff and the board.

"He's given a lot of his time and life to the club."

McLardy said the decision to sack Bailey had been made clearer by Saturday's defeat, but that it wasn't the sole reason.

For his part, Bailey was as gracious as Stynes, but with humour and humility.

He said he had been shattered by the news Stynes delivered.

"Jim told me `I've got some bad news and I've got some shit news'," Bailey said.

The former being that he was sacked, the latter that it was effective immediately.

Asked if he thought his players had let him down on Saturday, Bailey replied that they had only let themselves down.

"The coach takes an enormous amount of responsibility," he said.

Bailey acknowledged he had been under pressure before Saturday and the massive defeat had merely been the final straw.

"That's a big loss .... it's an ugly looking thing," he said.

Bailey's class was evident in his summing up.

"The concern I have is that the players will be more focused on me being sacked than on next week's game," he said.

From Stynes there also came a line that put the whole episode into perspective.

"I won't be available from Wednesday," he said.

After what he's been through, such words never sound good.

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