Newly installed Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has revealed the breakdown of a significant investment during 2009 was partly behind his shock defection from St Kilda last week.
When unveiled as the new Dockers' coach in a hostile press conference last Friday, Lyon said he'd been unhappy with the fact it took St Kilda six months to offer him a four-year contract extension.
Fremantle, on the other hand, apparently thrashed out a deal in 72 hours last week.
With Lyon's contract at the Dockers reportedly worth $3.2 million dollars, the deal offered Lyon significant financial security, something the coach was actively seeking after losing a seven-figure sum in a failed mining investment prior to the 2009 season.
"I didn't tell anyone but my closest friends," Lyon revealed in a wide-ranging interview in The West Australian on Wednesday.
"It was pretty stressful and I had one bad night."
"It had been a 10-year investment that basically disappeared. That's what I was coping with."
"(But) I just dug in with my wife Kirsten and we coped."
Lyon's revelation seems the first step by Fremantle in presenting a softer image for their coach following last week's dramatic events.
But Lyon's actions in allowing his former management company, Elite Sports Properties (ESP), to continue working on a contract with St Kilda, while he employed a separate legal firm to handle the Fremantle negotiations, still seems to hint at misleading conduct.
Lyon defended this, saying that as ESP also managed former Fremantle coach Mark Harvey, there was a 'conflict of interest' for them if he revealed his intentions.
However, Lyon's actions in doing this and his subsequent promotion of 'trust' as one of his core values in Wednesday's interview will raise a few eyebrows.
"I've got a tight circle of friends within football and outside of football who I trust," Lyon told The West Australian.
"You talk about building trust in the football team and trust is fundamental to any human relationship. Once you lose that trust, it's the end of the relationship - that applies to your family, your football club and your mates."
"I don't think any of us are perfect. What's integrity? Doing what you say you're going to do. Let's keep it really simple, that's what integrity is."
"At no stage have I said I was going to do something that I haven't done, so I'm really comfortable."
"Obviously (my) integrity has been raised at this point, which for me is disappointing and at some level, (it) hurts. But fundamentally, for my family and friends and players I've coached, I like honesty, I like consistency in relationships."
"I certainly don't associate with people who just go up and down depending on who they're with. I really mix with people who, fundamentally, you can trust."
Lyon and Fremantle's actions have been heavily criticised on both sides of the continent, with AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou leading the charge.
"I'm sure he (Demetriou) likes to see stability and key people and key planks in the organisation stay because it makes his job easier," Lyon said.
"I'm confident if he knew the full facts and my rationale, his personal opinion would be softened somewhat."
Lyon said it would be offensive to contact Harvey, even though there's a family connection between the pair as Harvey's wife Donna supported Lyon during 2009, possibly around the time he lost his sister Julie to breast cancer, although Lyon doesn't specify this in the interview.
However, with Harvey now having left Fremantle, the new coach said he would push the developing list towards greatness.
"At the Saints, we wanted to be a great team and we pursued greatness on a daily basis," he said.
"But what we understood that to be was to work incredibly hard in every moment, to make choices every moment that would take you close to that."
"We talk about normal versus abnormal. There's nothing wrong with being normal, the suburbs are surrounded by normal, happy people. But ultimately at elite sport, normal equals mediocrity."
"So the philosophy is to be abnormal and pursue greatness and be an elite team and that requires abnormal effort on a daily basis. That's what I'm aiming to bring in culturally to Fremantle."