Date: 6th December 2017 at 11:40am
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They billed it as the “global search” for a replacement for Pedro Caixinha.

It took six weeks and it ended in Aberdeen with an approach to Derek McInnes.

For weeks I thought it was incompetence, but on the eve of the first Aberdeen game it became clear it wasn’t that. It was a scam.

The media had been well briefed right down the line here, and they’ve doubtless been well briefed on the next part, which is to force McInnes to the conclusion that he has to quit his current job.

And if he does, then this whole thing was a transparent fraud, wasn’t it?

Because nobody would quit a job where they are secure, where they know what’s on offer, where they know how the land lies, to take a shot in the dark, a gig at a club that dragged this out for all this time and is now using the media to get it done on the cheap. Nobody would go to a club who’s financial position is dire, where problems have been telegraphed well in advance and where they go through managers quicker than loo-roll and treat them even worse.

If McInnes does that he, too, is a dishonourable chancer … and we have to assume that he knows more than he’s spent weeks letting on. It means his anger in front of the media the other day was wholly counterfeit.

If he turns down Sevco and sticks with his current club, the embarrassment to them will be acute. I cannot believe they would have left that to chance, and so the fix is in. He missed training this morning, allegedly to have a sit-down with his chairman. That should have been done weeks ago when it became apparent to every man and his dug that some kind of back channel communication was going on; Sevco has been briefing the press on this for over a month.

The strategy is obvious.

How do we know the strategy is obvious?

Because Jackson telegraphed it today in his Daily Record column, in a manner that was as crass and heavy handed as a mugging at knife-point. If Sevco’s PR people had expected some finesse in that report they didn’t get it; Jackson and his ilk are incapable of it.

Instead it was bold and upfront about the scam.

“McInnes will be forced to quit,” the paper screams.

Forced to. Because evil Aberdeen are starving his children and denying him access to clean water.

Jackson alleges that they turned down a £1 million compensation package; funny, because didn’t he tell us the figure was much less not that long ago? We’ll skip over that part, and who lied to who.

But as the whole of the media has been telling us for months, Aberdeen ought not to be in any position to turn down the offer.

If the press has the details of McInnes contract right there’s a clause in there that allows him to talk to people.

If Sevco had offered the £1 million – as Jackson’s column claims – the club would have no right to refuse.

If on the other hand Sevco are haggling over the fee, and Aberdeen are standing firm, the next move is obvious; the manager puts pressure on the club to either drop their asking price or he’ll tear up his contract and walk.

It’s tapping. It’s a scandal.

The SFA hammered us for less over Tommy Burns and there was no appearance of match-fixing in that case, and the circumstantial on this one could fill a file cabinet.

So already the agenda is being pursued; it’s Aberdeen who are acting out.

They are standing in a man’s way of his dream.

They have been painted as the villains, although it was Sevco who dragged this out for six weeks and managed to destabilise the Pittodrie club in the process. I strongly suspect McInnes has been on board with that scam for a while; if he resigns Aberdeen need to assume that, and I hope they take the appropriate action.

Which is to demand an inquiry into the whole affair.

Oh what irony we have on our hands here.

The full scope of the con-job is now abundantly clear. Either McInnes and Sevco have been talking indirectly for an unknown length of time – and Aberdeen need to take that possibility seriously and so does the SFA – and we’ll know that if he resigns, or Sevco itself knew it could shake up the Aberdeen dressing room by dragging this on and having succeeded now believe they can get the guy to walk out of his job because his position there is impossible.

Chris Jack in the Evening Time makes the utterly laughable assertion that the club “opted to do the honourable thing and wait until after the Premiership double-header with Aberdeen last week before making an official approach for the Reds boss.”

The words “honourable thing” do not apply to anything that goes on at Sevco, far less this obvious fraud.

There was a five week window before those games and the only reason to wait until they were done is that the Ibrox club wanted Aberdeen in a state of maximum instability for those games. Does Jack think everyone who follows the media in Scotland is a mug, or just his target audience?

Either way, this is a scandalous situation where Aberdeen have been well and truly done up and if they take it lying down I will be astounded. It’s tempting to say Milne deserves everything he gets; he clearly misjudged the people he was dealing with here, people without a scruple of any kind and it’s not enough, even now, that they’ve won those two games and have put Aberdeen’s entire management structure under intense pressure.

Now they want to complete the job by getting him cheap, by making him quit his job, rather than actually pay the £1 million plus compensation costs.

And the media is going right along with it, because they, too, have their orders.

They too are without a scruple or a shred of morality, and sporting integrity is a joke to them.