ESSENDON'S all-time leading goalkicker Matthew Lloyd says the latest twist in the Bombers' torrid year was "sad" for the club and the game.
Speaking in Launceston yesterday, the three-time Coleman medallist said the latest stoush between the AFL and Essendon over payments to suspended coach James Hird was the continuation of a saga that he was "sick and tired" of.
Essendon and the AFL last night came to an agreement that will see the Bombers pay Hird in advance for next year.
The AFL had threatened to withhold payments worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from Essendon until the matter was settled.
"When the players came back for preseason they would have thought they would have been able to get on with it all now," said Lloyd, who kicked 926 goals in 270 games between 1995 and 2009.
"I feel sorry for the players, as I just want them to go into next year and hoping they can win a finals game, as it has been 10 years since they've won a final."
Lloyd, who is now a commentator for Melbourne radio station 3AW and Channel Nine, as well as a columnist for The Age, said he was surprised to hear that Hird was still being paid after being punished for Essendon's supplements program.
"If that was the agreement, good luck to him," Lloyd said. "But now there's just confusion, and I'm not sure whose fault it is, but in this day and age it is not good enough. Like everyone, I'm sick and tired of it and frustrated by it."
Hird accepted a 12-month ban from the league and the club was kicked out of the 2013 finals after governance failures in administrating the club's supplements program from the end of 2011 and through 2012.
Lloyd, 35, was in Tasmania yesterday signing copies of his updated autobiography Straight Shooter at Meadow Mews and Prospect Vale Market Place.