Knowing the way Scottish football governance works, Ann Budge will probably be the next CEO of the SPFL.
Their board has won this battle, but I am tempted to suggest they were only about able to secure total victory because the opposition were an incompetent rabble.
Sevco led this ridiculous campaign, and they are a joke of an organisation.
They couldn’t have won this if they’d been facing an open goal a mile wide.
Their dossier is hilariously bad, defended only by the most unintelligent media in Western Europe.
But Hearts fans should be astounded at the stupidity of their own board in backing Sevco’s ludicrous play.
It has led their club not simply to the cliff face but over the cliff. Any sympathy for their position which may have existed will have evaporated in their lending support to the Ibrox Newco’s lunatic stance. Ann Budge has presided over a disaster here.
She has made some calamitous errors in judgement whilst running that club, but this season has been a bloodbath. Her decision to let Craig Levein run the playing side was disastrous and she let it go on way too long. They are rock bottom of the SPL because she has proved incapable of showing the kind of leadership the club needed.
But she could have saved their position. I genuinely believe that.
I’ve spoken to a few of the other Celtic bloggers, and they had adopted a different position to the one I hold on relegation this season. They would have been broadly supportive of an outcome which didn’t relegate Hearts and I believe that was a position much of Scottish football held.
I always thought the idea of reprieving them was a nonsense, but other folk were waiting to be convinced if the proposed fix had been sensible enough.
Yet from almost the moment the clubs voted, Budge seemed to be going out of her way to insult them and to insult the governing bodies.
She needed the support of the very people she was slinging mud and invective at. Even The Daily Record, which knew she was likely to team up with their favourites at Ibrox, knew she was going too far; they called it a “wrecking ball strategy.”
Tonight the wreckage lies all around. The dreams for league reconstruction have been routed. SPL clubs simply will not back it; that’s something this site predicted right from the start. You didn’t have to be a genius to be able to see that was the likely outcome.
Yet someone better than Ann Budge could actually have peddled it. I believe that too. The game faces an unprecedented crisis, and it required an unprecedented response. Had the SPFL not pandered to her need to aggrandise herself, and had she not realised how stinking it would look for her to be heading up the task force, I do believe a consensus could have been reached and an agreement secured on an emergency basis for the next campaign at least.
But the minute Budge’s ego was satisfied with that role it became essentially unsaleable.
She failed to spot that somehow, as if the conflict of interest was not obvious to any sane person.
It is just one more proof of her lousy judgement, and to have compounded it by going on the rampage in the media, taking shots at everyone, was just bonkers.
Her final mistake was to crawl out on the same limb as Stewart Robertson and the Ibrox board, putting her faith in their dodgy dossier and their ability to deliver on all the hype. What a stupid woman she was to have believed in such clap-trap.
It must have been obvious to her for at least a week how that was going to turn out … she chained her club to it regardless.
Now her last hope – and that of Hearts – has been snatched from her tonight with the news that her league reconstruction plan is dead.
Look out for the Usual Suspects in the press corps going overboard with the “woe is me” crap.
The media is no longer being listened to by the clubs, who have watched incredulously as they’ve backed Sevco’s suicidal play.
The clubs know what’s important and they are not willing to be cowed or talked down to by the hacks, especially when those same hacks treat them with such contempt roughly 100% of the time. Scottish football is in dire trouble, and the media is no longer seen as having a legitimate role in helping to fix it. Quite the opposite; they have provoked this crisis and talked up “war” between the clubs as if this wasn’t just a handful of self-interested fools banging their heads on the wall.
Budge’s mistakes have doomed her club to relegation at the very least, and probably something worse, and yet there’s still room for her to compound this error by several orders of magnitude. She is still on the record as threatening to take this matter to the courts; if she dares, she risks doing epochal damage to the game but Hearts in particular.
The consequences of going outside football would bring Armageddon level destruction on her, and under normal circumstances I’d say nobody would be that stupid.
But then I remember who we’re talking about … and I wonder.
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