BT Sport are to hold talks with one of our governing bodies for the second time this season, as they seek answers over the petulant, idiotic behaviour of people involved in football in this country.
The first, of course, was when they sought talks with John Fleming, the referee’s supervisor at the SFA, over Craig Thomson’s childish decision to start a match early and deprive the broadcaster of an entire advertising segment which had already been paid for.
This was a serious breach of the TV deals, and there ought to have been consequences for it.
Thomson’s reason for taking this action was, of course, Chris Sutton and now Mark Warburton and the Sevco backroom team are hiding behind the same pitiful excuse. Warburton is angry with the same journalist, over his criticism of the way the Sevco boss has handled the Joey Barton situation.
This isn’t limited to Sutton, but he’s an easy scapegoat.
The Barton thing has people inside Ibrox seriously spooked. The more you look at it, the crazier this all appears. As I said yesterday, there’s no reason why this one should be getting dragged out the way it is. A strong manager, at a strong club, would either put this guy back in the squad or cut him loose, and move on.
Yet again, this comes down to Warburton and his thin skin. This guy is simply incapable of accepting any criticism at all; the club is already in the huff with the BBC over this and now they’re angry over the continuing Barton story. Barton himself is in trouble because the manager can’t handle a bit of stick over his ideas and philosophies.
Warburton is a small, petty man who is way too sensitive for the game here, and in particular for the club he’s at, one that thinks it’s the continuation of Rangers. That’s a high pressure job, and even without a media here which asks every question it should and holds people to account he’s still going to get scrutiny, yet he comes across at times as if he’s incapable of hearing a negative word.
This is Chris Sutton again, of course, who has continued the war of words with a blast today, but this is what Chris does.
He’s a controversial guy.
Warburton has forgotten the old adage about never picking a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.
Big Sutton has all the time in the world and a big microphone in front of him.
BT Sport love this guy; why wouldn’t they?
He’s a ratings bonanza.
Who do Sevco think is going to win this particular skirmish? It won’t be their club.
Warburton isn’t the only manager Sutton has taken a pop at. He’s slagged a few of them, and one of them was the former boss of our own club.
Ronny Deila was seen by a lot of people as the quintessential “nice guy”, someone perhaps too nice for the club and for this atmosphere. Yet I watched that man’s every press conference and listened to every word he said. That man never cracked. He maintained his composure, his dignity and his class all the way to the finish. He never once lashed out.
Ronny Deila is built of strong stuff. He had his own internal issues with players – Kris Commons being the most spectacular example – but he resolved all of them with a conversation. I disagreed with the way he handled that stuff, which is to say I’d have shown Commons the door for the public way he exploded, but in hindsight I don’t think Ronny was weak for the decision he took. In fact, the more I look back on it the more it actually seems like a measure of personal strength to accept an apology from someone and then get on with the job. He put Commons right back in the team, which moved the whole club forward from what might have been a dark place.
I know this much; Ronny had to endure much more criticism in private than we saw in public, much of it from within his own dressing room. It never affected him. Tolerating that, accepting it as part of the job, that took guts and integrity and those are things I don’t think Warburton knows how to spell.
Ronny will forge himself a fine career in football. I still think he’ll end up a top boss somewhere.
Warburton, I think will go the way McCoist did. He’ll leave Ibrox with his reputation in shreds as a result of what’s happened to him here. He’s being sucked dry by the job, it’s changing him into a person he won’t recognise far less like.
He should have stayed gone in the summer.
This job is going to destroy him.