In AFL news, Essendon fans, and fans of the game, are celebrating the announcement by Essendon player and former captain Jobe Watson that he is returning to play for the club this year, after serving his one-year ban due to the club’s drugs scandal. While many will hope this is the start of the end of the years of scandal and mismanagement, the audience at Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre last night got a frank insight into how things went so badly at the club in 2012 from former senior assistant coach (and premiership coach at Geelong) Mark “Bomber” Thompson. While the comments were said with a smile, and often with a laugh, Thompson revealed that governance standards at the club were almost non-existent.

“No one seemed to have a boss at Essendon, I didn’t have a boss at Essendon,” he said. “They didn’t give me a job description. I just did what I wanted — what I thought was right.”

Thompson also described Essendon as a “funny club”, and said that it had failed former senior coaches James Hird and Matthew Knights.

The conversation with sports journo Karen Lyons was to promote his new book, Bomber: The Whole Story.

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey