Kennett, Smorgon criticise Lyon - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kennett, Smorgon criticise Lyon

By Roger Vaughan and Sam Lienert 04/08/2011 08:39:26 PM Comments (0)

Garry Lyon's involvement at embattled Melbourne has come in for some strong public criticism from rival AFL club bosses Jeff Kennett and David Smorgon.

On Thursday, the Demons confirmed that Lyon would join the club as a consultant to the board for the rest of the season.

His primary brief will be to liaise between the board and the football department, as well as being involved in the process to recruit their new senior coach.

Lyon answered a personal plea from ailing Demons president Jim Stynes to help in the wake of Sunday's sacking of coach Dean Bailey.

That came a day after the disastrous 31-goal loss to Geelong, with Todd Viney to coach the side for the rest of this season.

Smorgon, the Western Bulldogs president, and Kennett, his Hawthorn counterpart, were blunt in their comments about Lyon's involvement at Melbourne.

Lyon is a former Demons captain and now one of the game's highest-profile commentators.

He said earlier this week he was too busy to have a role at the club beyond this year, a claim that Kennett ridiculed.

"Now you've got Mr Lyon, who thinks he's the saviour and turning the whole issue into a Garry Lyon issue, which I find extraordinary," Kennett told Melbourne's 3AW.

"You're not going to turn around a ship, which is in as much trouble as Melbourne, in a few months.

"He either has to make a commitment, or he ought to just butt out."

Kennett cited Hawthorn's football director Jason Dunstall, also a club great, who has managed to combine his role with the Hawks for the past six years with television and radio commitments.

Speaking at a function on Wednesday night, Smorgon also queried Lyon's public comments in the last few days.

"If I was an executive at Melbourne ... and I picked up the papers and I read what Garry said, I'd think `what the hell is going on here? Is he in charge, is he going to be my boss? What is his role? Do I report to him?'," Smorgon said.

"It doesn't sound like someone is in control at that club."

Melbourne are not clear how long Lyon will have the consulting role.

"I am very grateful to Garry for helping the club," Stynes said in a club statement.

"He is an incredibly talented football mind, a passionate Demon and a powerful member of the football community."

Lyon said that since Stynes became president in 2008, the club had made great progress in areas such as debt reduction and membership, as well as moving to modern facilities at AAMI Park.

"The club has worked hard with positive results off the field, but there is still plenty of work to be done and everyone at the club needs to acknowledge that," Lyon said.

"The most important part of a footy club, the football department, needs a hand at the moment and that's where I will endeavour to help."

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