ESSENDON'S board will wait to speak to James Hird next week before making any firm decisions on the coach-in-waiting's future with the club.
 
The club's chairman Paul Little confirmed the board held an unscheduled meeting on Friday after Hird's wife Tania revived claims AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou tipped-off the Bombers about the supplements scandal this week.
 
"This is more about speaking to James and letting him give us his ideas and thoughts behind what has happened. At this point in time that hasn't happened so we just need to wait," Little told Channel Seven less than an hour before Essendon's season-opener against North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.
 
"It's been a particularly busy day today with unscheduled board meetings. I think with James there'll be time to speak with James and that's probably next week when the dust settles on the events of tonight."
 
Little said the club would try to "understand the facts".
 
Describing the distraction as "the last thing we needed" and saying it had taken the gloss off Dustin Fletcher's record-breaking 379th game, Little did not guarantee Hird would return to coach the Bombers in 2015.
 
"There are certain expectations on any senior coach that we have in relation to what we expect from them and what we expect from the people that surround them. If we're not getting what we expect then clearly that's something that needs to be dealt with," Little said.
 
Last year Hird was given a two-year contract extension through to the end of the 2016 season, and Little was asked if there was a "way out" of that contract for the club if Hird did not fulfill obligations.
 
"It's terribly complex. We will deal with it next week. At this point in time it really hasn't been part of our focus this afternoon," he said.
 
Hird's team of media advisors has come under scrutiny over the past year, but Little said the banned coach needed to take responsibility.
 
"I think James does have his coterie of advisors and helpers as we all do," he said. "But at this point in time there is no question that James is the one responsible for what is happening so we'll talk to him about that."
 
Little's comments came as the Bombers' former sports scientist Stephen Dank made a public appearance at a local football club's function at Crown Casino on Friday.
 
Dank reaffirmed his view that Essendon players wouldn't be sent infraction notices by ASADA, and said the next time he would speak about the events of 2011 and 2012 will be in the Federal Court. 
 

Hird's coaching position came under a new cloud on Friday morning, when Little first responded to Tania Hird's claims.


Asked on Triple M radio if Hird's position was becoming untenable, Little said: "Up until the events of the last 24 hours we believed James was acting and responding to our request in a positive way. 

"The club will need to meet now to determine how we go forward in relation to the James Hird issue and probably the broader group that surround James."
 

On Thursday night, Tania Hird, who is a lawyer, told ABC's 7:30 she was listening on a speaker phone when her husband spoke to former Essendon chairman David Evans on July 25.



"I was taking notes - I take a lot of notes," she said.



"David admitted that he said to James 'go into ASADA and tell the whole truth, but don't say what Andrew Demetriou told us'.



"It has been referred to as the tip-off.

"

James did say in return 'if I'm not asked about it, I won't offer it up, but if I'm asked about it, like anything I'm asked about, I will answer it honestly and truthfully and to the best of my knowledge'.

"

Little described the decision to revive the allegations - which the AFL boss has strenuously denied - as "disappointing".



"It will not go away," Little said. 

"It's well-documented now we've been working incredibly hard right across all facets of the club now for the past six to nine months to turn the club around, focus on the future and move away from the dispute of last year.



"It is disappointing."



Collingwood president Eddie McGuire, who conducted the interview on his morning radio show, tipped Hird would not coach Essendon again.



"I'm going to make a bold prediction: I don't think we'll see James Hird coach Essendon again," McGuire said.



"I think it's more to do with the camp around James Hird and the advice he's getting and clearly that advice is contrary to the advice the chairman of the Essendon Football Club, who appointed James for two years, has been giving.


"They'll (the Hird camp) argue it was Tania having her say or whatever the case may be.

"But it was a pretty direct question and I think a pretty direct answer."