The Lyon, the switch and the wardrobe full of secrets
By Crackers Keenan
I wonder if we’ll ever hear the full story of how and why Ross Lyon left St Kilda and crossed the Nullarbor to take the helm at Fremantle.
Last week Foxtel’s On the Couch team quizzed him and couldn’t get any nearer to the whole truth. Lyon took the Saints to three Grand Finals, won a pre-season Grand Final, had a year to run on a contract – and just got up and walked out. He had a good working relationship with his predecessor at Freo, Mark Harvey, but that ended up meaning nothing to him. Harvey told me a few years ago: “I don’t mind Ross Lyon, he’s a good fella.” It was at a time when the media in general wasn’t too enamoured with Lyon.
Everybody knows the heat Lyon took for leaving the Saints, but not many people seem to have apportioned blame to the Freo administration despite its knife work on Harvey while it was dangling the huge carrot before Lyon. Rumour has it that the father of an ex-St Kilda player acted as the go-between and the move was facilitated by a person in the Freo football department.
Apparently there was a lack of trust between that person and Harvey. Lyon is a professional coach and had a financial situation that was worsening. When people offered to solve the problem he came across with a wife and young family. You put your loved ones first. If it doesn’t work out at the Dockers over the next four years, don’t blame Lyon. Blame the people within the walls at Fremantle who made the move – and the person in Harvey’s football department who helped initiate it. The football world knows who that was.