COMFORTABLE: AFL boss Gillon McLachan is okay with how the AFL dealt with the Essendon supplements saga.
COMFORTABLE: AFL boss Gillon McLachan is okay with how the AFL dealt with the Essendon supplements saga. JULIAN SMITH

AFL 'comfortable' with how it dealt with Bombers saga

AFL: League CEO Gillon McLachlan says he is "entirely comfortable" with the way the AFL and he personally dealt with the Essendon supplements saga, despite the release of explosive recordings where the Bombers' leaders say they feel betrayed.

McLachlan says he hasn't listened to the recording exclusively released by the Herald Sun in which Essendon chairman Paul Little, coach James Hird, senior assistant coach Mark Thompson and football manager Danny Corcoran discuss their anger at the AFL.

But he said the AFL originally believed the players wouldn't be charged because of a lack of evidence and everyone knew there wasn't any certainty of that because the investigation was ongoing.

"In terms of being called someone who lies ... we'd been negotiating, I don't think I deviated one bit," McLachlan told SEN.

"I feel entirely comfortable."

McLachlan said the recording revealed nothing new and included people clearly aggrieved by the situation.

He said if a recording was released from the other side, it would probably be similar.

"It's just bizarre that someone would record the chairman," he said.

"It's interesting because people are yelling and screaming."

While he hadn't reached out to Hird, Thompson or Corcoran, McLachlan said he still spoke to Little regularly.

Earlier, Essendon great Tim Watson said he wasn't surprised by the content or the release of "something" that would bring the Bombers supplement saga back into the limelight.

Watson, the father of former Bombers skipper Jobe Watson, was aware those still angry over the outcome and handling of the saga would produce information, but was unaware it was a recording of secret crisis meetings at Essendon.

"I am aware of people who are angry over what happened," Watson said.

"They still haven't been able to put behind them what happened.

"None of this comes as a surprise to me because I can recall each of them having this conversation."

Watson said he wanted everyone to move on for the sake of the players and the club.

"I've had one text conversation with somebody and I suggested to them within that they let the players have some clean air; and they let the club move on," he said on SEN.

"This has happened. It took place. We all know there are aggrieved parties. There are still people everywhere that aren't happy with the penalties, with whatever happened but it's happened and for everybody's sake we need to move on.

"But me saying that isn't enough to deter people if they really want to keep going with this and they're not satisfied with the outcome and they're not satisfied with the fact that they believe the full story has ever been told about the politics that took place behind this."

When asked what outcome was wanted, Watson said: "I think the outcome would be that potentially, possibly that there would be an inquiry into this and that it would be looked at closely. That the information would be tested in another forum.

"The information about how they got to the point of assigning blame, portioning [sic] blame, the way that it was conducted the investigation itself."

With the Bombers playing their second pre-season game on Sunday against Gold Coast, Watson did not believe the release of the recordings would have an effect on the club.

"They're not going to worry about this. They've all moved on. Those players have moved on. Most of them probably won't even look at this," he said.

"The Essendon Football Club as it is today has moved on. No one involved in the Essendon Football Club today wants to pick up the paper and read this. It has been four years of hell for a lot of people.

"I don't think this will cause a ripple at the club itself."

News Corp Australia

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