Since February when the ASADA investigation into illegal governance at Essendon broke, the sharks have been circling around key Essendon officials. While a bright start to the season by Essendon has been mellowed in recent weeks, the Bombers have for large periods of 2013, performed admirably on the field. For some Essendon fans, this whole investigation coupled with the Ziggy report was big conspiracy that in their minds would fade into existence as the season rolled on. Unfortunately for those fans, this situation couldn’t be more serious.

After a week where Nathan Lovett-Murray was stabbed in the arm during a domestic dispute and with the club coming off an embarrassing loss to Brisbane, it was always going to be a week of scrutiny by all factions of the media. As the build-up to Indigenous Round where Essendon traditionally plays a vital role, this week Essendon were going to find their selves in the public eye, even more so that other weeks.

After the Ziggy report had been handed down just a few weeks prior, it was only a matter of time before key senior Essendon officials were thrown into the spotlight. Switkowski’s report into Essendon’s governance depicted a grim picture, citing the “lack of proper process” that occurred in 2012. Besides disgraced former fitness boss Dean Robinson, who had previously been stood down pending investigation, no Essendon officials had ultimately lost their job due to the improper practises that were rife at Windy Hill last year.

Until now.

On Thursday, Essendon CEO Ian Robson fell on his sword and resigned from Essendon. It later emerged that he had handed in his resignation twice prior to his eventual departure but was urged to stay by Chairman David Evans to help the embattled club through its “distressing phase”. Robson was frank in his assessment of last year’s dealings at the club. “We now know a lot happened at this club in 2012 that just should not have happened. We let down our players and their families” he said in a statement. “I sit here today saying that our club let those people down, and there are no excuses in not knowing (about the irregular practices), and as CEO, I am accountable and I accept that accountability.”

In essence, it was the right thing from Robson to step aside from his position as CEO. The Ziggy findings were from all reports scathing of what went on at Essendon in 2012 and therefore, Robson has no other option but to resign. One of the key recommendations in the report was that “The CEO must be accountable for everything that happens within his organisation.” On Thursday that was finally taken into account.

Robson’s departure from Essendon serves as a landmark day in this seemingly never ending investigation. While some of the Essendon faithful honestly believe that nothing was wrong in 2012 and blindly pledged to support the club, the fact of the matter is that the CEO wouldn’t be departing if nothing was wrong. At this present moment, Robson’s resignation opens the dreaded ‘Pandora’s Box’. The full ASADA investigation is yet to be released but yet an official has left the club. The likes of David Evans and head coach James Hird’s positions at the club will surely be further looked at as a result of Robson’s departure.

If the CEO states that he is ultimately responsible for what went on at the club last year, surely the blame should also include David Evans and James Hird. At the moment, there is sense of impending doom that is circling around Essendon and Thursday’s resignation of Robson will surely be the first of many to lose their jobs at the Bombers.

The ASADA report is due out in June and that will be bringing closure to much of this mess. A heavy fine is likely to be imposed on the club with players a chance to be banned for lengthy periods. When it is all said at done, much of the blame must be squared at not just the CEO but also the chairman and head coach. It remains to be seen if they survive this precarious situation or if they find themselves stepping down from their respective roles.