By SportsNewsFirst

Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich says the sacking of Mark Harvey was part of the ‘brutal and ruthless’ footballing industry.

Fremantle players and fellow coaches were left stunned at the swift execution of Harvey on Thursday night, to make way for the appointment of Ross Lyon as his replacement.

After Dockers players met the new coach on Friday morning, Pavlich thanked Harvey for his efforts – despite rumours that some senior players had not been enamoured with the coach’s style towards the end of his reign.

“Just shows what a brutal and ruthless industry we operate in. Thanks to Harves for all his support and guidance over our six years together,” Pavlich tweeted.

“Excited about the opportunity to work with Ross though – a tough, intelligent and experienced coach who will be great for our list.”

Dockers chief executive Steve Rosich revealed the club had approached Lyon on September 4 as his finals campaign with the Saints was starting and Fremantle’s season had finished.

But he says initial discussions were towards bringing Lyon to the club in 2013 rather than straight away.

Rosich and Lyon said only in recent days had discussions moved towards the coach’s immediate appointment.

“We reached agreement with Ross yesterday after conversations which clearly progressed very quickly,” Rosich said on Friday.

“Within minutes of Ross advising St Kilda of his right to exercise his option to exit his contract, we spoke to Mark personally, face-to-face and clearly delivered what was a very difficult decision.”

Lyon, whose management company knew nothing of his impending move to Fremantle and also manage Harvey, said he did not inform Elite Sports Properties as there was “a clear conflict of interest”.

“(St Kilda) wrote in a six-month exit (clause). They wrote in a full guarantee and on the back of that a three-month written resignation clause,” Lyon said.

“If circumstances for either party arose where they wanted to exercise those options, they could.

“That situation arose for me. I’ve done nothing unlawful in exercising an option that was written into my contract.

“I sit here very comfortable with my integrity and my honour.”

Lyon said he had spoken face-to-face with St Kilda skipper Nick Riewoldt just after informing the club of his decision to quit for the Dockers.

He said he visited Riewoldt in a Melbourne hospital where the forward had been undergoing surgery, before visiting senior St Kilda player Lenny Hayes to also tell him of his move.

Over his five-year tenure at St Kilda, Lyon took the club to successive grand finals and four finals series.

Lyon’s exit leaves the Saints as one of four clubs without coaches – joining Adelaide, Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.

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