Adam Simpson reveals what he said during viral moment before West Coast press conference

Social media sleuths were convinced they knew what the departing Eagles coach said.

Adam Simpson has revealed what he really said to Bailey Williams during a subtle moment before his press conference on Monday to announce his departure as West Coast coach. Social media sleuths went into overdrive when a viral video did the rounds showing Simpson saying a few words as he walked past Williams and Harley Reid on his way to the podium.

Simpson appeared to tap Williams on the shoulder as he walked past and say something along the lines of "you had your say" or "you have to stay". Williams didn't appear particularly impressed as he sat with his arms folded, while Reid cracked a cheeky smirk while sitting next to Williams.

Adam Simpson, pictured here sharing some words with Bailey Williams.
Adam Simpson shared some words with Bailey Williams before his press conference. Image: Getty

The club's AFLW coach Daisy Pearce could be seen spinning around to look at the person Simpson spoke to, and the look on her face made many believe it wasn't a particularly pleasant exchange. One person wrote on social media: “Daisy Pearce glaring at Bailey Williams like an angry mum.”

Another person wrote: “Daisy Pearce reaction was clearly shock ... (and) he definitely said ‘you had your say’. I agree, Daisy’s reaction is telling, she turns to look at Reid and she’s not smiling or laughing.”

Bailey Williams, Harley Reid and Daisy Pearce look on after the Adam Simpson exchange.
Bailey Williams didn't look too impressed, while AFL fans pointed out the reactions of Harley Reid and Daisy Pearce. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Many thought Simpson said "you had your say" in reference to text messages that came to light last week from three Eagles players who wanted the coach gone. Others thought it was "you need to stay" directed at Reid, imploring the teenage whiz-kid to remain at the club rather than moving back to Melbourne in the future.

But speaking to Channel 7 on Wednesday night, Simpson put the rumours to bed and revealed what he really said. According to the coach, he simply had a playful dig at Williams about his facial hair.

“Bailey’s got the dirtiest red moustache I’ve ever seen," he said on 'Talking Footy'. "I said ‘mate, you need to get rid of that moustache'."

Simpson might have said "you need to shave", which sounds a lot like "you had your say" or "you need to stay". But the coach's explanation didn't wash with some fans, who still reckon he said something different.

Simpson is leaving the Eagles by "mutual decision" after 11 years in charge. The club had been hopeful he would coach one final game against Brisbane this weekend, but Simpson has declined.

Instead, Simpson will be acknowledged on the field at Optus Stadium leading into the first bounce of Sunday's match, giving the crowd the opportunity to show their support to the man who led the club to premiership glory in 2018. "I am looking forward to the opportunity to acknowledge the wonderful support I have enjoyed from our members and fans over the last 11 years," Simpson said in a statement.

"They have been fantastic from the day I arrived and have stuck with us. It's easy to rock up every week when things are humming along, but through the challenging times over the last three years they continued to come and support us. They're the best."


Interim coach Jarrad Schofield will instead be in charge, and club great Dean Cox is thought to be the front-runner to take over as head coach in 2025. Schofield has spent the past three years as an assistant to Simpson, and led WAFL club Subiaco to flags in 2014, 2015 and 2018.

with AAP