Mark Thompson Walks Out On Bombers

AFL Rd 15 - Geelong v Essendon

2014 Essendon interim coach Mark Thompson has quit the Bombers after meeting with club officials.

Thompson sat down with Essendon chairman Paul Little and CEO Xavier Campbell on Wednesday, but walked out of meeting when both sides were unable to agree upon Thompson’s 2015 role following the return of suspended head coach James Hird.

“I’m out, I’m done,” Thompson told the Herald Sun.

“There’s not a job there for me. I was happy to work there, but a role could not be agreed upon.

“In the end, it just didn’t work at all.”

Thompson has taken his time in reaching a decision to finally leave the Bombers after declaring his intentions to maintain a coaching role at club’s best and fairest night early last month.

The Bombers have since opted to stick with the embattled Hird despite his controversial Federal Court appeal into the ASADA investigation of the club’s use of banned substances.

During that span Thompson has missed out on a chance to formally apply for the head coaching position at Gold Coast, and potentially the still to be decided position at the Western Bulldogs as well.

“There were many factors that were considered but at the end of the day any role needed to have purpose and add meaningful value to our football club,” Campbell said in a club statement.

“We held extensive negotiations with Mark but we were not able to reach a position that would satisfy both parties and in the end, we had to make a difficult decision in the best interests of all parties and move forward with planning for the 2015 season.

“I would like to commend Mark on the job he did coaching the team in the absence of James this year, he played a pivotal role in the ongoing development and improvement of our players.

“Mark is a great Essendon person and although he won’t be involved in an official capacity next season, I’m sure he will be keeping a close eye on the team as it continues to push for success.”

The two-time Geelong premiership coach still has an outstanding $30,000 AFL fine for his role in the supplement scandal. Thompson has thus far refused to pay the fine and an embarrassed Essendon has been unwilling to cover the amount on his behalf. 

Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images