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If Mike Sheahan is privy to some bit of hidden info, then surely Melbourne and Fremantle would also be privy to it. If a Sheedy coached team finishes above Essendon next year - there'll be a lynch mob at Windy Hill.

(probably led by Mike Sheahan, who will be as forgetful of his previous comments as all other journalists)

There's an interesting article in the Strayan Meeja section today that's all about Seven spinning the meeja to cop favourable coverage of their law suit against News/Nine/etc.

Needless to say, I drew parallels.

Here 'tis. And a sample:

The spin doctors' coddling of journalists as they worked to get stories in the press supporting Seven's bid reached its peak on November 30, 2000, when Ray Hadley, then with Sydney radio station 2UE as a rugby league commentator, joined drivetime host Mike Carlton on air for a chat about the battle for the rugby league rights.

Hadley, as it turned out, was well informed. He began revealing details of a meeting of NRL chief executives that included information about Seven's bid.

"They've all signed confidentiality agreements but someone couldn't keep their trap shut, so I'll tell you what happened," Hadley said.

"It's an offer over seven years, $60 million a year. Now there's a couple of complex issues here."

Carlton: "$60 million a year?"

Hadley: "Yes, made up of this: $28 million to the National Rugby League, $21 million to the 14 member clubs, $1 million in junior development - that makes $50 million - and $20million in contracts to publicise those pay-TV games on the Seven network. Now the problem arises, they've got $1.5 million each, they'll be ecstatic with that news, on top of the $2 million a year they get already from the NRL which comes from News Limited."

Hadley then revealed a "fly in the ointment": that News Limited's three NRL directors could scuttle the deal. "If it's split three-three, there's no provision for a casting vote, and the clubs will be up in arms if in fact the NRL partnership board knock back this unbelievable offer, from C7-Channel7," he concluded.

Less than a half-hour after Hadley went to air, senior Seven executives received an email saying the details of C7's offer had been broadcast.

A couple of hours later Francis emailed Stokes and his executives. "A note to let you know that Tim Allerton and I have been out in the market this afternoon on the NRL, following the briefing of the club presidents by the NRL executive," he wrote.

Having watched the whole circus over Ben Cousins - when every two-bit journo and football personality has had a go at analyzing his treatment and West Coast's handling of the situation - Mike's approach to this story is absolutely remarkable.

PS: Shouldn't it be "arrant nonsense"?

I think errant works:

errant \AIR-uhnt\, adjective:
1. Wandering; roving, especially in search of adventure.
2. Deviating from an appointed course; straying.
3. Straying from the proper standards (as of truth or propriety).
4. Moving aimlessly or irregularly; as, an errant breeze.

Especially point 3.

Unless it ... err ... strays into the area of tautology.

And by the way, I didn't mean arrant as in blatant, manifest or monstrous nonsense, even though it is, I meant it as nonsense because it was rubbish.

Surely not. I can't believe for a moment that the Reverend would get the Essendon coaching gig. Words would fail me.

I know my Effendon mates - such as the are, the dogs - would hate it. They've been bagging Daniher and praising Sheeds in with equal vigour since The Rev was appointed.

Not that your influence was ever in doubt Tony, but I just notice this post being linked to in today's Crikey...

Yeah, saw it in my referrers. They must reckon Sheahan's article is dodgy, too.

Sheahan gets a few mentions in Dyson Hore-Lacy's Fitzroy book where he'd write stories that gave verbatim quotes straight after Hore-Lacy had been in crisis meetings with the AFL. I'd be surprised if the Bombers board weren't leaking a little too, just to justify their non-renewal of Sheedt's contract. Maybe Sheahan just feels Sheeds is too much of a sacred cow to go airing any dirty laundry.

In footy journalism, who knows who gives quid pro quo to who and when. One thing's for sure, though, Sheahan is running hard on getting Sheeds installed as some kind of AFL ambassador.

Patrick Smith, too, is stating black and blue that Sheeds won't coach Melbourne because Melbourne are the AFL's next basket case and can't afford him. He's also hand asking why would Melbourne want him anyway; after all, Essendon obviously don't think he can coach, so why should Melbourne appoint him.

But I ask this: if the AFL thought Ron Barassi was the ideal coach for basket case Sydney in 1993, wouldn't they, in roughly similar circs, think Kevin Sheedy was the ideal coach for the basket case Demons in 2007?

When it comes to best fit, Sheeds would be an ideal pick for Melbourne. And even if the playing side of things turns out boss-eyed, which I don't think would happen, they'd surely have a win off the ground.

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