No blood on my hands: Ross Lyon - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No blood on my hands: Ross Lyon

By Justin Chadwick 16/09/2011 07:02:26 PM Comments (0)

Amid a storm of criticism, new Fremantle coach Ross Lyon claims he didn't stab Mark Harvey in the back, hasn't done the dirty on AFL club St Kilda and morally can hold his head up high over his controversial move to the Dockers.

A day after Harvey was sensationally sacked despite having a year to run on his Dockers contract, Lyon was confirmed as Fremantle's new coach on Friday, using an escape clause in his St Kilda contract to take up the lucrative four-year deal.

A shattered Harvey was still struggling to digest the news when he flew from Perth to Melbourne on Friday, mumbling "I would have thought so" when asked whether it had been a big 24 hours.

But Lyon claims he shouldn't be held responsible for Fremantle's decision to sack the popular coach.

"I was headhunted by the Fremantle football club," Lyon told a packed media conference in Perth on Friday.

"It wasn't my responsibility or my desire to make that position available.

"A contract was put in front of me, I was courted, I was shown all the resources of the club.

"It was an attractive proposition.

"Certainly there's strong empathy (for Harvey) but at the end of the day it wasn't my responsibility to make the position available, I just accepted it.

"I sit here very comfortable with my integrity and my honour."

Fremantle claim they only started informal talks with Lyon on September 4 with the intention to sound out his interest of joining the club for the 2013 season.

But after holding more serious talks following St Kilda's finals exit last week, Dockers chief executive Steve Rosich said both parties realised a 2012 marriage would be a better fit.

It was all news to St Kilda, who were confident Lyon would not only see out the final year of his contract, but would sign an extension tying him to the club until the end of 2015.

However, Lyon claims that offer of four years only arrived on Wednesday - around five months after negotiations first started.

Lyon was clearly miffed over the protracted talks with St Kilda, and made a surprise admission when the term loyalty was raised.

"I'm hearing a lot about the word loyalty," said Lyon, dressed in a black suit and a purple tie.

"In my five years at St Kilda, I've never used the word loyalty to a player.

"It's not in any pre-game or Monday to Friday talk to me, so let's just clarify that, so it's an assumption that you're making that is wrong."

But Rosich, no doubt aware how important loyalty is within a footy club, was quick to point out the Dockers remained loyal to their fans and sponsors, and had signed Lyon in the hope he would lead them to future success.

Rugby whizz kid James O'Connor copped a barrage of criticism recently when he talked about his "rugby brand" shortly before his controversial move from the Western Force to Melbourne Rebels.

Lyon is set to receive a similar pasting after repeatedly bringing up the term "career coach" to justify his swift exit from St Kilda and even swifter uptake of a deal at Fremantle.

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