Aberdeen have launched a double assault on Sevco and their media toadies, first by demanding £800,000 in cold hard cash if the club even wants to talk to their manager – to be returned if talks break down – and by strongly attacking the league’s sponsor Ladbrokes, who’s Scottish account is run by the PR firm Level 5, who also work for the Ibrox club.
Sevco has been playing games here. I suspect Aberdeen think their manager has too. Whether he has agreed a deal in principle to go to Ibrox or not, that deal can’t be done without his club being compensated first and they are now ready to play hardball if the Ibrox club comes calling. There will be no paying in instalments. There will be no letting McInnes go for talks which unsettle him, only for Sevco to then make a derisory offer.
Aberdeen want the full term of his contract paid in full before the talking even starts; this places both McInnes and Sevco in a Hell of a tight spot. At long last, Milne is looking out for his clubs interests and aggressively pursuing them.
At the same time, he’s also gone to town over the tweet I wrote about on Sunday, where Ladbrokes made a joke out this whole thing by sending out one that read “Great news for Derek McInnes” after Danny Wilson had put Sevco in front.
That was a step too far, even for Traynor’s lot.
They seemed to realise this too; the tweet was swiftly deleted, but not before it had caused a storm of protest and anger on social media. Aberdeen appear to have reacted pretty strongly to it. They expressed their disgust immediately and yesterday the league’s sponsor issued a statement apologising.
An apology isn’t going to cut it, frankly. Since Ladbrokes got the contract, they have allowed articles on their website to attack then Celtic manager Ronny Deila, they have promoted “offers” on other managers in the top flight getting the sack and now they are openly mocking Aberdeen over the tapping up of their boss.
At a time when a number of senior politicians want to see gambling advertising removed from football it gets awfully hard to stand up for companies which pull this sort of crap. It is indefensible for the league’s official sponsor to hire a public relations firm with such close ties to the Ibrox regime and then have them use their official channels to undermine a club.
In my view there are grounds for terminating their contract with the SPL. That won’t happen; the league is far too spineless for that. But I trust that future deals will be more carefully considered and that such shocking conflicts of interest won’t be allowed.
Frankly, the clubs are mugs for ever having allowed this one in the first place.
But at least Aberdeen have now responded to it in the appropriate manner.