One of Scotland’s dumber hacks penned an article yesterday where he said that Brendan Rodgers had taken a “sly dig” at Sevco.
I listened to the whole press conference, and I read the many transcribed versions of it which appeared in the media and I’ll tell you this; it didn’t sound to me, at all, like he was having a “sly dig” at anyone.
In fact, he mocked them openly, even without once using their name and I defy anyone to say that his comments were not 100% valid.
We’re sometimes told that bosses at the Glasgow clubs do not do this, that there’s some kind of unspoken, unwritten convention where they don’t criticise each other. And you know what? It’s a bunch of bull. One of the clubs they refer to when they talk about this deal doesn’t exist any longer and we have no such “gentleman’s agreement” with the four year old NewCo which is run by such desperate people of low character.
This club has frequently launched attacks on ours, some of them completely unhinged, like that which someone authored after the 5-1 game at Parkhead when they were scrambling around bitterly looking for anything they could use to distract from their defeat. The same club has pontificated on events at other clubs like Hibs and Motherwell and never tires of telling the SFA and other organisations where they are going wrong.
Besides, back in the days of Rangers the very idea that any such convention existed is fantastical. Murray was taking shots at us, and the press loved every second of it. Wasn’t it a PR company, employed by Rangers at the time, which baldy stated, in an email to a member of their board, that aside from making sure they had an endless string of positive news in the papers that it was also in their interests to highlight those which damaged us?
Spare me the garbage about respect. Cause that’s all it is.
Yesterday Brendan was asked a series of questions and he offered answers. If people don’t like those answers tough; they should cease asking those kind of leading questions in the first place. Our manager sees no need to be diplomatic about this stuff, and our club doesn’t either.
What he said yesterday – which, in essence, amounted to stating that Sevco are a shambles from top to bottom – isn’t a secret; everyone in Scottish football knows this. It’s just that few possess the courage to actually say it out loud.
Brendan talked about how clubs are perceived by managers who are approached about taking on the jobs.
He was unequivocal about it.
“If you look at the fan base, what’s there for home and away games, then people look at that. The key thing you look at as a manager before anything is the alignment at the top of the club. One in terms of shareholders and their interest. Two it’s strategy … If you don’t have that alignment you can put in what you want, a director of football or four managers – it’s very tough. If there is alignment at that level it will allow you to build, develop and grow. If a serious manager is looking at that it is something that has to be right.”
He went on to extol the virtues of the Celtic board.
“I came to Celtic because of the stability and the intellect of the board. I knew what they were about and what their interests were. I needed to ensure the strategy I wanted to work was aligned with that. There is no big confusion. There are major shareholders at Celtic who invest in the club. But sensibly. There is consistency in how the club is run.”
This was no momentary delve into an examination of Sevco’s failings either; Brendan explored his opinion on this in some depth, even bringing up the historical rivalry between Cardiff and Swansea, as if the point he was making wasn’t already crystal clear.
“The best example is Swansea,” he said. “This is a club that were within one game of going out the Football League. They beat Hull on the last day of the season, stayed in the league and then they changed ?the ownership. A group of supporters who were local businessmen rolled their way out of the stand into the boardroom. They cut their cloth accordingly, they were simple in terms of what they wanted to do and in 10 years they were in the Premier League.
“They got their reward for their strategic approach, for their football strategy, putting in place managers who understood that philosophy and just rolled it out year after year. If they had only done what Cardiff did then they would have suffered. Cardiff spent big dough, they had big loans trying to get in there, Craig Bellamy signed, everyone coming in – yet we were the first to get promoted. You can only be true to yourself and then hopefully results will go for you.”
Brendan’s comments weren’t “sly” at all.
The contrast between the Celtic approach and the one at Sevco is clear to everyone who looks. One club is run by professionals, in a manner that reflects that. The other is run from South Africa, by a convicted criminal and habitual liar, who seems to enjoy fighting with people more than getting consensus.
It is thoroughly unprofessional in its approach to almost everything, and believes the solution to every problem is money … which they don’t have.
Where is their strategy?
It’s all well and good the chairman and the chief executive making bullish statements to the press, but where’s the actual meat on the bones?
Where’s the money coming from to finance these grand schemes, and will the next manager have an iron-clad guarantee that he’ll get three years to put his plans in place before people even start to think about sacking him?
Of course that won’t happen; this time next year they’ll be hollering for blood.
When you look at Brendan’s statements what you see is an outsider turning a laser focus on an organisation that is badly out of whack. His view is not simply valid, but it’s important. As he’s tutored some of our players to be better so should his view be listened to on how best to run a football club, because he is an A List manager who can speak insightfully on what motivates a guy like him when considering taking on a new job.
Earlier this week I looked at the Frank De Boer delusion which some Sevconuts labour under, and the words of his agent which seem especially apt when you consider that the criteria he laid out is almost identical to that which our manager did yesterday; number one on the list of things he said his client would want – before money, a budget, a playing squad or anything else – would be to know the club had a strategy, something coherent, thought out and structured. Something they’d stick to and not throw overboard at the slightest sign of trouble.
Surely it didn’t require Brendan’s intervention before it sunk in with people that Sevco doesn’t possess anything like that? For God’s sake, this is a club so skint it’s asking its own supporters to volunteer as stewards so they can cut down on the wage bill.
There ought to be a picture of the Sevco board for whenever anyone in the media uses the expression “making it up as you go along”.
Brendan revealed yesterday that he gets more than just the Celtic job; he understands what’s wrong with Scottish football, that too much of it is focussed on short-term thinking. He had every right to pass judgement on the failings of the Sevco operation, in particular the way the club is run by those at the top. They have demonstrated, clearly, with their astounding arrogance and reckless behaviour that they are, in fact, the biggest obstacle their club faces in reaching the positon where it sees itself as belonging. He also knows that the act of saying so will only entrench their opinions and dig in their heels, thus assuring that the chaos goes on.
And that, my friends, is very sly indeed!
In Brendan We Trust.