One of the best terms you can use to describe an organisation in a state of paralysis is to call it a Polish Parliament.
The term derives from the state of that legislative body in the 17th and 18th centuries where it was relatively easy to stall all progress in the country simply by buying off or convincing a single elected official to cast their vote your way.
This is because every single member of the Polish Parliament in those centuries possessed what was known as the liberum veto – the absolute ability to derail any bill that was to be passed simply by saying no. Getting stuff done quite literally depended on unanimity. If someone was opposed to something and you couldn’t win that person over the idea was dead.
Individual parliamentarians would insert ludicrous clauses into even the most basic piece of legislation. Foreign powers would buy votes to wreck any attempt to build up the strength of the government or the army.
The situation at Sevco seems a little bit like that right now; it’s not a club that’s merely having difficulty coming to a decision on who their next boss should be. It’s one in total gridlock, unable, perhaps, to do what seems simple enough to the rest of us.
Who holds the power inside Ibrox right now?
If you were to pick up the phone and ask for the person in charge, who exactly would you get?
Would you get the bus magnate or his son? Would you hear the dulcet tones of WATP Gilligan, who I know isn’t on the board room but could still, for all we know, hold a crucial deciding vote? Would you find Alastair “No Surrender” Johnson asking for your name? Would you get the South African crook, hiding across the water as all this unfolds here? Would you get the interim manager Murty? Would it be the Director of Football?
Or would you get some low-level pen pusher with no clear idea of who’s setting the strategy? Would you even know the name of the person on the other end?
There appears to be nobody in charge at Sevco right now. The club is dallying on the biggest decision it has had to make in its five years of existence and nobody wants to grab hold of it. Is it as simple as that? Or is the answer that they can’t?
It’s common knowledge that the board was split on whether the target should be McInnes or Murty. This weekend, both suffered a terrible blow to their chances. Either board faction would have been stronger had its candidate took even a point but for both to lose, at home, was disastrous. The fans aren’t convinced by either man, and have made it clear.
But there are stories circulating that Chris Coleman or Alex McLeish have been offered the job if either wanted it, which those reports suggest neither did.
So who made those approaches and on whose behalf whilst both Murty and McInnes remained possibilities? I hear that Coleman, in particular, was being pushed by Allen and Robertson, in an ill-conceived attempt to present it as fait accompli and try to bounce the directors of both factions into taking a decision of some sort.
Whether true or not the positions of Allen and Robertson are curious. We have these guys involved in the manager hunt, and they are the only people remotely qualified to do that job. But do they have the authority to get the person they want and make the two boardroom factions fall into line? There are three segments of the Ibrox power structure here – not including the dressing room one where Miller, not Murty, is king – and all appear to wield the veto over the rest.
None comes out of this weekend looking stronger; indeed, all have seen their positions immeasurably weakened. But all are now desperate and looking for an answer which will appease the supporters and which won’t offend the sensibilities of one another.
Fear and loathing swirl around the boardroom table. Rumours abound of deep currents of anger running beneath the power structure. The Three Bears listen to King talking about a share issue and worry that they will ever see a penny of their “investments” back again. They didn’t put that money in just to have worthless sheets of paper handed back to them.
The problems which stalk that club are not going away. They continue to haunt all involved. Sevco is in a state of siege. The fans are in uproar. The team is weak and gutless and incapable of putting three wins together.
But the divisions on the board could be the lethal blow that brings it all crashing down. No-one is in charge at Ibrox. Ponder that for a moment. The club is floundering. Its chairman will soon get a damning verdict from a court. They are managerless. They are skint. And nobody is leading from the front. Nobody is doing a damned thing about it.
They are in trouble so deep you can’t even see the bottom.