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Evans denies rift with Hird over drugs saga

Ben Guthrie  July 26, 2013 7:26 PM

Brothers in arms: Hird, Evans embrace James Hird and David Evans dispel talk of a rift on Friday night
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Bombers chairman David Evans says there is no rift with coach James Hird

ESSENDON chairman David Evans denies there is a rift between him and James Hird.

Rumours have swirled all week that the chairman and coach have had a major falling out over reported suggestions AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou had tipped off Evans the night before the Essendon drugs saga broke.

Demetriou vehemently refuted that claim on Thursday. 

Evans used his address before the Bombers-Hawks blockbuster on Friday night to dispel the hearsay and innuendo.

"For the record, there is no rift (with James Hird)," Evans said.

"He's a 20-year friend of mine and he'll be a friend for the next 20 years as well."

In front of 1200 guests and club sponsors, Evans said the week had been mentally and physically taxing for all involved.

"Thank God it's Friday," he said in a light-hearted manner.

"It would be ridiculous of me to stand here and say ‘it's been a good week’. You all know it's been pretty tough."

But Evans has backed the club to continue to hold up as best it can.

"I'm not going to address any of the issues that are dominating the headlines, except to say that your club is in good hands.

"We're all doing what we can to see the club through a difficult time."

Ben Guthrie is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_BenGuthrie