Wow. Just wow. I have just watched a breath-taking press conference at which Mark Allen, Sevco’s director of football, has embarrassed himself and at which Stewart Robertson talked some of the worst nonsense I have ever heard.
Throughout it they constantly referred to Graeme Murty as a “permanent appointment”.
Not one hack had the stones to administer the grilling that was required here.
What a mess.
Robertson opened it with a smile, professing himself “delighted” with the decision.
It is bonkers.
The first hack asked “how tricky a decision was this?”
I have no words.
Tricky? To make a decision which this website called as early as the first week?
It’s been two months and this is where they have ended up.
This was not “tricky.” This was shambolic.
Robertson said Murty had “risen to the task”.
Three defeats in seven games?
Can this possibly be real?
Can this actually be happening?
The Sevco MD then confirmed that “Graeme is in pole position now” and thus makes it clear that this is the appointment they are hoping to make for the long term. All the big talk about a top name … and they’ve hired the guy who’s had the job the whole time.
We did this with Neil Lennon when Tony Mowbray left.
But Celtic made the decision to give Lennon until the end of the season on the very day Mowbray went. We didn’t drag it out through seven weeks. We didn’t play games and lie to our own fans. Tony went, Neil was put in place and that was the position as everyone at the club knew.
Robertson squirmed when someone finally asked why the appointment was only until the end of the season. It is a pertinent question, one of the only ones asked. If the manager is under review then this isn’t a credible decision.
Robertson passed it on to Allen, and thus got off the hook.
Fearless interrogators our media.
Mark Allen then took over and discussed the “recruitment process.”
And you are going to love this.
“Strategies were provided to the board in terms of the decision we could go … the board were free to make that decision, we made that move and we’re here as a result of that move not working out as originally planned,” he said. “In a perfect world you’d hope things would have been more seamless, and perhaps a little quicker. That’s not always possible … there are a number of things going on in and around the situation that don’t make those things easy … when you are looking at all the characters the best thing is to make the right decision.”
When I wrote last week about Robertson being under pressure and considering his position I said that it was Allen who had talked him out of chucking it. Allen is under his own pressure; the Sevco fan forums buzz with rumours that he has fallen out with the board. BBC Scotland appears to have confirmed that; there was some discussion on there about it. When you consider those rumours in line with what he has said today, it is not difficult to see his comments as a rebuke to that faction in the boardroom that was determined to get McInnes. It is as close as a major figure at a football team could come to slagging his bosses.
Thank God (for him) that it went right over the heads of the hacks.
Not one of them picked up on his dig at the board.
He then engaged in a superb piece of doublespeak in relation to the current Sevco squad, spelling out to the fans that the resources will be limited.
“I think the squad is more than capable of attainting the highest position we possibly can.”
As I said. Wow.
It means everything and nothing.
It can be translated as “the squad could win the league” but equally “this squad will struggle to finish fourth.”
Murty then said he’s hiring a coach.
They have a cast of thousands over there already and the temporary manager thinks they need another member of staff.
I would hope they’re going to give him the same short term deal his boss has.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Murty, now doing the job for the second time. His one consolation is that there will not be a third. The next Sevco manager to be sacked will be him, so there’s no chance of him being interim boss again.
Robertson was pinned, once, on the issue of Derek McInnes and Sevco’s inflammatory statement.
He wanted nothing to do with the question, and it was clear that he wanted nothing to do with the statement either.
It wasn’t hard to work out that neither he nor Allen had any role in that particular act of this farce. It’s equally clear they weren’t going to name names because the name in question was probably standing ten feet away, watching the show.
Murty said he wants to every player to make himself “irreplaceable.”
His first signing is complete; Declan John signed for them today.
This “irreplaceable” footballer, who was at Ibrox on loan, has been released from his contract at Cardiff City who didn’t even bother asking for a fee. They clearly did not think of him as someone who could not be replaced.
“Recruitment is an art, not a science,” Robertson said when asked to defend the way this has panned out.
It is a ridiculous answer, means nothing at all, and actually turns the truth on its head.
Finally, Robertson was asked about King and the Takeover Panel verdict.
Incredibly, he said that he had not spoken to him about it and that anyway it wouldn’t impact on the club.
Nobody followed up on that point, which on the surface of it is preposterous.
So a major courtroom reversal for which King has to find £11 million will not impact on any part of the club which is, by admission, depending on him forking over more millions in the next 12 months just to keep on the lights? Really?
No impact at all?
All in all, this was incredible, and what was even more incredible was the soft-ball nature of the questioning from the assembled hacks. It was pitiful stuff, it really was. No wonder this board thinks it can take its fans for mugs; the media here is completely inept and incapable of holding anyone to account.