Australian Businessman and Philanthropist Paul Little has spoken candidly about his time as Chairman of the Essendon Football Club.
Little took over as chairman of the Bombers in 2013 at the outset of the AFL and ASADA investigation into the alleged use of performance enhancing supplements.
Speaking with Luke Darcy on the Empowering Leaders podcast, Little says the treatment of the club and individuals over the period of the investigation was unfair.
“No player was ever charged with an offence of taking performance supplements,” Little said on Empowering Leaders.
“No one was ever found guilty of taking performance enhancing drugs. I knew that. I had not the slightest doubt about that being the case”
“There was a wall of criticism there that was very difficult for us to get over. Was it unfair? Terribly unfair.”
LISTEN TO THE ESSENDON DISCUSSION HERE:
Little said part of his role over the time of the supplements saga was to talk to the families of the players.
“These young men probably didn’t have the knowledge or the courage to sit down with their mother and father and girlfriend or whoever else and try to explain they hadn’t done what they were accused of doing.”
“I don’t think anyone should be treated as being guilty until they have been found to be guilty.
“You mentioned James (Hird) in particular – who is close personal friend. (He) was being treated as a guilty person in this process and they weren’t and they never were in my estimation.”
MORE EMPOWERING LEADERS: