AFL great James Hird has been embroiled in an alleged tradie scam resulting in his family being overcharged nearly $32,000 for repair works.

James’s wife Tania reportedly became the highest profile victim of the alleged scam when she hired British and Irish workers to fix a downpipe on their Toorak mansion.

WATCH IN THE VIDEO ABOVE: Cassie Zervos reveals more about the alleged tradie scam.

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For works that an independent roof plumber says should have cost around $350, Tania coughed up a whopping $31,900 – almost 100 times what it was worth.

Tania is not alone though; 7NEWS Melbourne’s Cassie Zervos has reported that the mother of four is one of 11 alleged victims duped by the conmen who, detectives say, have “preyed on Melbourne families”.

The alleged ringleader of the group Mark Burton was in court on Wednesday applying for bail.

Zervos said Burton and his group were stopped in their tracks trying to flee the country.

“Police claim he’s one of four accused scammers caught at Melbourne Airport last month while trying to flee Australia,” she said.

“One of Burton’s alleged co-accused was also nabbed in a major police blitz.”

James and Tania Hird were scammed more than $30,000. Credit: Getty

Zervos said police are still worried about Burton attempting to flee again, and believe he is part of a larger group.

“Detectives believe Burton is a flight risk and also part of an organised crime group targeting vulnerable victims”.

Among Burton’s other victims was allegedly an 81-year-old man, who lost almost $100,000 for a job that reportedly left his roof in a poorer condition than before the tradies arrived.

Burton’s bail application will continue on Thursday.

The news comes as Hird continues to be linked to the vacant Essendon coaching role, despite having had limited experience at the top level since his ousting from the Bombers in 2015.

Hird remains in the running for the role, should he choose to apply, but four-time grand final coach Ross Lyon has categorically ruled himself out of the race.

Lyon revealed on Wednesday that it took just 90 minutes from answering Essendon footy boss Josh Mahoney’s phone call to formally telling the club he would not apply to become their next senior coach.

Ross Lyon has ruled himself out of coaching Essendon. Credit: Daniel Carson/AFL Photos/Getty Images

Patrick Dangerfield has a message for Magpie Jack Ginnivan.

Patrick Dangerfield has a message for Magpie Jack Ginnivan.

The 55-year-old had been approached to put his hat in the ring but says he would have been “a million per cent out” on the Bombers even if he had been told he could skip the formal process.

He will remain out of the AFL coaching bubble for a fourth straight season, revealing the details of his position on Wednesday.

Lyon was sounded out by Bombers football boss Josh Mahoney, chair of the six-person sub-committee to find their next coach, with a phone call over the weekend.

“There was a missed call on Sunday night, checked the message bank – Josh Mahoney,” Lyon said on Triple M.

“I just texted him and said ‘look I’m really busy tomorrow with work. I’ll call you after 6.30’.

“So I rang him at 6.30pm Monday night – off the bat I said ‘look, I don’t feel it’s the right fit for me, but can you just explain what it is?’

“And he was really good, really simply, they’re gonna have five or six candidates, at least two steps, maybe three, but the first step I wouldn’t be in.

“I think that’s for guys who hadn’t coached before, there’s some hurdles for them to jump, and I think they narrow it down from them.”

Ross Lyon has revealed he was never interested in coaching Essendon. Credit: AAP

Lyon said he was told his involvement would begin with the second round, where he would need to present for two hours on building relationships with players and his plan for the first month.

“I thought about it for an hour and a half,” said Lyon, who works in real estate alongside his football media commitments.

“Then I just emailed back and said ‘thanks for the call, I have no desire to take it any further’.

“I can’t articulate the why. Sometimes it’s just – it wasn’t vibing. There was no vibe.”

Lyon coached 305 AFL games at St Kilda (2007-11) and Fremantle (2012-19), reaching the grand final twice with the Saints and once with the Dockers.

Ben Rutten was sacked the day after Essendon’s final game of the season. Credit: AAP

He knocked back Carlton’s advances to apply for their vacant coaching role last year, with the Blues going on to select Michael Voss.

Essendon president David Barham has declared his intent to secure an experienced coach but the Bombers’ committee has since revealed they could still select an untried assistant coach.

Adem Yze, who missed out on the GWS Giants job to Adam Kingsley, looms as the most likely candidate from that collection.

Premiership winners Robert Walls and Jordan Lewis feature on the committee to pick Essendon’s next coach.

– With AAP

AFL chairman Richard Goyder explains historic AFL broadcast deal.

AFL chairman Richard Goyder explains historic AFL broadcast deal.