Eddie McGuire says he was left stunned by the way Essendon Bombers coach John Worsfold is ending his tenure as coach of the club, suggesting the veteran mentor had delivered a ‘backhand’ to the club ahead of his final game at Windy Hill.
The Bombers’ finals hopes are in tatters after a weekend thrashing at the hands of Port Adelaide, and Worsfold used his post-match press conference to once again hit back at his critics.
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Worsfold came under fire from Essendon premiership greats Matthew Lloyd and Dean Wallis last week, who accused the Bombers of being ‘imposters’ after several so-so seasons.
The outgoing coach, who will be replaced by Ben Rutten next season, said it was unfair to expect Essendon to improve faster than other clubs simply because they had a bigger profile.
“I understand that Essendon people think that Essendon should be better,” Worsfold said.
“But they have also got to understand that the competition challenges clubs now to work to the same rules, so the same rules at the draft and the salary cap.
“And no one team has any more right to be successful quicker than any other team just because they’re a big name club.
“You have got to knuckle down and commit to doing the work.
“And good clubs will do that and come out of it with success.”
Eddie McGuire stunned by John Worsfold comments
Discussing the Bombers on Triple M on Monday morning, Collingwood president McGuire said Worsfold had ‘dropped a bomb’ on the club on his way out.
“I reckon he has just left the greatest bomb of all-time with one game to go. He has just smashed them on the way out the door,” McGuire said.
“That is as big a backhander I’ve heard going out the door.
“Wow, that is unbelievable.”
Worsfold’s ire was raised after Lloyd, a key figure in the Bombers’ 2000 premiership campaign, said the club had ‘no respect’ among its AFL peers.
Lloyd also suggested the club was lacking in identity and direction since the extremely damaging supplements scandal in 2012.
“The Bombers have got no respect in this competition anymore, and that hurts me to say that ... from where my heart is as an Essendon person," AFL.com.au.
"Who are they? What's their brand? What do they stand for? They've become a bit of a laughing stock of this competition.
"They just don't beat anyone of note. And I think it's just becoming really tiring for Essendon people who have waited and been patient for a long time, and yet you hear John Worsfold yesterday say, 'we are three pre-seasons off Geelong'.
"No you're not John. Your team has been nowhere for so long. Why keep making those excuses? Put your hand up and say, 'we've got so far to get'."