Three days on from Sevco’s altruistic decision to keep dispensing the benefits of the ‘Blue Pound’ in the lower divisions of Scottish football, the media effluent is being pumped out with even greater intensity.
While Celtic and Hibs’ signings got a bit of coverage, as did post-season changes at Motherwell and elsewhere, the dramatic ups and downs of a seemingly non-existent race to be Sevco manager have been covered extensively. And with some enthusiasm.
This piece from the Record is ‘Exhibit A’.
“Rangers boss hunt: We profile the runners and riders in race to take Ibrox hotseat”
“Following the club’s failure to win promotion to the Premiership, a strong group of candidates has emerged to try to revive their stalled fortunes, with some names inevitably expected to come out of left field”.
Do you see what they have done there?
A strong group of candidates has emerged! With others expected to appear!
And the use of the phrase “runners and riders” gives a sense of excitement, of a crowded field literally jockeying for position…
Yes, if you are on planet Sevco you are meant to feel soothed and reassured by this.
Lots of exciting names. Lots of reasons to get your hopes up.
And of course, LOTS of reasons to move your hand towards your wallet to buy that (as yet unannounced) season ticket.
So read on everyone, this is surely going to be great!
You didn’t actually believe that did you?
Because a look at the Record’s list has Mark Warburton as the only candidate likely to get the job, with an outside possibility of Alex McLeish instead.
As for the rest: McInnes, Advocaat (Advocaat FFS!), an apparently-desperate Billy Davies, and Stuart McCall are all ruled out for a variety of entirely predictable reasons. The final name on this awe-inspiring list is Ian Cathro who would apparently be a “progressive choice”, and who “it is understood” has been spoke to by the Sevco board.
Sadly for the board, he is the assistant manager at Valencia in that La Liga thing we keep hearing about. You know, probably the best league in the world right now? The one with the really attractive football? That La Liga.
The Record tries its best to make Cathro look like a contender for the Sevco job:
“Although he would be going from one of the best leagues in the world to the second flight in Scotland, the chance to become a boss in his own right would appeal”.
But they are fooling no one.
Cathro should have his passport confiscated by the Spanish authorities if he loses his senses sufficiently to even think of heading to the second tier of Scottish football to take charge of a threadbare squad at a ‘club’ with obvious financial difficulties.
The Clumpany laughed at the Cathro suggestion. But not as as much as it did the report in The Times (NB the proper ‘Times’ newspaper, not the ‘Evening Times’) that Sevco had
“failed in an ambitious move to secure Vitor Pereira”
Pereira had apparently been prepared to leave Olympiacos, but changed his mind and ended the negotiations last month.
How unlucky can you be Sevco?!
And how poor is the Sevco PR machine that it never tipped off an obliging journalist about this potentially audacious move while it was being discussed last month?
So basically, all that guff leaves just Mark Warburton in the frame. He says he has spoken to the Sevco board informally, and is “flattered” to be considered. But that’s about all!
What none of this coverage actually tells you is that Sevco is a lower league team with a disintegrating squad, wretched finances and no publicly-announced plan to move forward.
At the moment, the rational assessment would be that their next manager will have to be whoever they can get, even if that means recalling the gardener.
This really isn’t a race of thoroughbreds seeking to win a top prize in a dynamic race. It is akin to a Donkey Derby in the knacker’s yard. A deeply unimpressive ‘line up’ in an environment reeking of desperation and decay.
Only Graham Spiers – who is prepared to put his head above the parapet from time to time – has dared to suggest that something substantive actually needs to happen at Sevco. His piece today called on Dave King to act, show the colour of his promised money, and not show-boat.
Spiers also called out the fawning and sycophancy which surrounds King, but without specifying whether that was amongst the fans, the media or both.
Mr Spiers mentioned King having promised to invest £16m, but makes no assessment of how far such funding will go given the mountainous difficulties faced by the Ibrox club.
This would seem to be a crucial question. The media can talk all they want about potential managers and the size of Dave King’s war chest, but without any attempt to assess the true extent of the problems facing the Govan behemoth, they aren’t helping Sevco fans, or informing the rest of us. It’s all just noise.
But before anyone becomes too downcast about Sevco, let’s leave things on a positive note.
This morning, David McCarthy of the Record decided to heap praise on Sevco fans for…errr…not allowing all hell to break loose after the game at Fir Park on Sunday.
“Motherwell, and Scottish football as a whole, should be thankful because if some of the 1500 Rangers fans had stormed the Fir Park pitch to try to sort out the bams who were goading them into a fight all hell would have broken loose.”
By that reckoning, I should probably get a medal for not angrily throwing the Record in the bin every time I read a ‘provocative’ pish-filled article.
As I have said before, the Motherwell fans shouldn’t have been on the pitch goading the Sevco fans, but trying to make the Sevco fans out to be some kind of stoic heroes seems over the top.
However, David isn’t finished yet. Had Sevco fans not maintained their dignity
“the image of our game would have been tarnished beyond repair at a time when it has never been harder to attract finance into our football and fans through the gates”.
Really, David? After all that has gone on in recent years, some post-match trouble would have been the defining moment in the tarnishing of Scottish football?
You really can’t beat the hyperbole that attaches itself to the coverage of events involving Sevco.
Which is just as well.
Because there is an AWFUL lot more of it to come…