Dean Bailey Shown The Door at Melbourne
Dean Bailey has been sacked as coach of the Melbourne Demons in the wake of the clubs 186 point to loss to Geelong on the weekend.
The knives were being sharpened as soon as the Demons left the field on Saturday afternoon, with club president Jim Stynes making the announcement at a press conference today.
“It wasn’t something I was looking forward to. It makes it hard, because Dean Bailey is such a great man and a man of integrity,” Stynes said.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. But he was facing a tough job from the start. He’s overseen a big shift in the club, with the playing group going from one of the oldest lists to one of the youngest.
“He did what he had to do, and for that I would like to thank him.”
Bailey started coaching the Demons in 2008, mentoring the club in 83 games before he was shown the door. In that time Bailey only managed to coach 22 wins, however he says that in his early days at the club, he was coaching for draft picks.
“I had no hesitation in the first two years putting the club in a position for draft picks,” Bailey said.
“I believe what we have done is right for the club and if it cost me my job, so be it.”
While four years of little to no success would have played its part in Bailey’s demise, the thrashing at the hands of Geelong sealed his fate.
“It was a game played outside of them and in front of them, they were almost watching what an elite team can do. But you can’t run from a 186 point loss,” Bailey said.
“I remember Mick Malthouse said in the coaches association meeting last year there’s a bullet flying around with all our names on it. Unfortunately, I got hit.”
Bailey said he did not blame the players for his downfall.
“The players have been very supportive, very encouraging. I can’t think of a single player who I’ve coached in the last three or four weeks who wouldn’t be right behind me, who wouldn’t be putting their hands up to go out and play for me,” he said.
Former Demons player Todd Viney has been handed the reins for the rest of the season, however he has been given no guarantee that he get the full time job next year, with Melbourne President Jim Stynes saying the club would leave ‘no stone unturned’ in its search for a new senior coach.
“We will look at every possibility. We’ll do what we believe is the right thing for the football club and we’ll chase the best option available,” Stynes said.
“We believe we’ve got a group of players and a great future, and that hasn’t changed.”
While cases for Bailey’s axing were being mounted at half time during the Geelong game, former Melbourne legend David Schwarz believes Bailey was treated unfairly.
“I’m really disappointed actually. It’s four years ago the board was put in place to recruit a bloke and it wasn’t just a four year deal, they were hoping it was going to be a long-tern relationship. Did they get the wrong bloke?” Schwarz said.
“It seems very hasty. The form has been very inconsistent throughout the journey, but I think it’s too quick. I think it’s unfair, but I look at the other side and the result (against Geelong) was unacceptable. Should Dean Bailey be the only fall guy? Probably not. There are more questions being raised than being answered at the moment.”
Schwarz also said that the Demons should chase a high profile coach for next season, singling out Collingwood’s Mick Malthouse and Hawthorn’s Alistair Clarkson as suitable targets.
“They have wiped out the debt, they’ve got record membership, they’re paying near the salary cap, they’ve got money. Maybe it’s time to get someone in with a bit of grunt and a bit of mongrel and a bit of experience,” he said.
However as could probably be expected, Collingwood supremo Eddie McGuire was quick to try and distance Malthouse from any discussions about the Melbourne coaching role.
Malthouse will step down as coach of the Magpies at the end of the season, however he is still contracted to the Magpies for the 2012 season and will take up a coaching director’s position at the start of next season.
“I was listening to the radio about how clubs were going to go after Mick Malthouse and Melbourne this and Melbourne that and all the rest of it. Let me say this once – Mick Malthouse is contracted to the Collingwood Football Club and we’re an $85 million business these days, we’re not mucking around,” McGuire said.
“In the next three months as we try to win another premiership, we will take the birch to anybody who gets in our way. if anybody starts coming up and pulling the coat of a contracted member of the Collingwood Football Club, they will be hit with everything from legal to moral issues right across the board.”
Media personality and former Demons legend Gary Lyon has been mentioned as a possible replacement as have Rodney Eade, Scott Burns and Dean Laidley.