The departure of Paddy Ryder, one of Essendon’s favourite sons and best players, could have major ramifications for coach James Hird.
Tony Shaw senses Paddy Ryder’s departure will be the watershed moment in James Hird’s tenure as Essendon coach.
Hird’s position will come under increased scrutiny following Friday’s Federal Court ruling, which found ASADA’s investigation into the Bombers’ 2012 supplements program was lawful.
Hird was banned from coaching this season as part of the penalties dished out by the AFL in 2013 for bringing the game into disrepute.
The club icon was given a contract extension amid the ban, chairman Paul Little reiterating a number of times this year that Hird will coach the side in 2015.
But with one of Essendon’s best players walking out on the club, former Collingwood captain and coach Shaw suggested Hird has to go.
“That (Ryder requesting a trade) is the final nail in the coffin for James Hird,” Shaw told radio station 3AW on Saturday.
“Him going for this reason (concern over the club’s supplements saga and lengthy ASADA investigation), to me it just says you are done and dusted.
“(That extends to) anybody in that regime as a coach or administrator.”
Hawthorn great Dermott Brereton, speaking on radio station SEN, agreed Ryder’s exit loomed as a turning point in the drawn-out saga.
“There’s guilt here,” Brereton said.
“If I was a board member there, I’d remove the footy department and then remove myself and stand down.
“If I loved that club I’d give it an entirely new heartbeat. After yesterday’s findings, I’m even more convinced that’s what needs to happen.”
Brisbane, Port Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney are the frontrunners to secure Ryder’s services.
Essendon and Hird are considering an appeal against Friday’s decision by Justice John Middleton.
The 34 players issued with show-cause notices remain in limbo, ASADA issuing a statement on Friday that it remains committed to “expose what happened at Essendon in 2012”.
Leigh Matthews tipped there would be no quick end to the saga.
“The word exposed means you don’t want to do deals to end it quickly,” Matthews said on 3AW.