No. The Clumpany isn’t going to do a Warburton/bread joke.
Others have covered that one quite adequately. In an all-consuming across-the universe kind of a way…!
So! The drive to sell season tickets has been cranked up a gear and Mark Warburton has signed a three-year contract to become manager of Charles Green FC.
So much for Derek McInnes, Alex McLeish, Ian Cathro, Dick Advocaat, Vitor Pereira and Walter Smith, eh?
On the face of it, it looks like a good appointment. Mr Warburton is apparently a savvy manager who did well at Brentford, and oversaw the opening of their academy.
He also paid around £800,000 for the supremely talented Sevco player Lewis Macleod, which helped to keep the lights on for a little while longer.
But Warburton did not do well enough to keep his job or be snapped up by another club in England, where there would probably be money to spend, and a higher standard of football to compete in.
Warburton does not have any air of Rangersness about him. This is probably a good thing in terms of injecting some realism into the ‘club’ (and sparing the rest of us the usual ‘specialness’ guff).
However, it will be interesting to see how much affinity the fans have with him if things get tough. He may be aided in this regard however, by having ex-Rangers player David Weir as his assistant.
The joy in Sevconia at this appointment is amusing to see. It seems to be based on relief that that they aren’t stuck with McCall for another season; and that the board has finally done something half-decent.
That said, it is probably worth noting that the appointment of someone like Warburton (given his lack of track record/ trophies) would probably have horrified fans of the ‘same club’ five years ago. It certainly wouldn’t have provided much of a basis for gloating at Timmy…
Aren’t reality-checks great?
It will be interesting to see whether Warburton does prove to be a success.
No doubt the papers and airwaves will be full of gushing praise at the board’s genius in pulling off a ‘coup’ to secure his services. And Warburton will certainly be portrayed as the ‘next’ [*insert implausible managerial genius of your choice*].
It will be eyeball-rolling stuff, but we should always bear in mind that is imperative to pretend that Sevco is Rangers, that they are ‘coming’ and that the future is incredibly bright!
No critical faculties must be engaged by the media in considering the Warburton appointment!
Or indeed any other developments in Sevconia.
Which is all well and good. But in order to do any kind of decent job, Mr Warburton is going to need some tools.
Money, to be precise. And specific ‘intelligence’ about potential signings.
As has been said many times before, we have seen no evidence to suggest that the King regime has any meaningful ‘warchest’ available. We have heard a lot of bluster about money being available to do ‘whatever it takes’ to win the Championship. But we have also heard some pretty emotive pleading to the fans to ‘co-invest’ by buying season tickets in eye-watering numbers.
Oh, and Mr Warburton will not have a scouting network upon which to rely. Doubtless he, Weir and Wee Stevie the IT Guy can cobble together a list. But it can’t possibly a well-thought-through list that will enable the acquisition of the very best available players within the confines of the alleged ‘budget’.
What odds on the 2015-16 edition of Sevco FC being made up of waifs, strays, and the remnants of the side that delivered such glory over the past three seasons?
If the media is clever (yes, yes, I know…) they will use Warburton’s ‘unveiling’ press conference to ask him and the board representative a series of searching questions about the funds available to spend on players, and the timing of those funds.
“Will season tickets provide the only source of money to fund transfers?” .
“Wouldn’t there be risks associated with spending season ticket monies ‘up front’ when the ‘club’ is living on hand-to-mouth loans?”.
“If the board does plan to make more money available to the manager, when will he get it? Will it be provided as yet more loans? Isn’t that an utterly unsustainable business model?”.
“Has Mr Warburton been given a cast-iron assurance that Sevco have the funds to last the season, strengthening the squad in January if necessary?”.
Those kind of questions.
However, The Clumpany expects the questioning to be very tame.
“Can you tell us how excited you are to get the Rangers* job?”.
“What was it that attracted you to this magnificent institution?”.
“I bet you are looking forward to resuming the Old Firm rivalry, aren’t you?”.
“Do you think Scottish football has missed a strong Rangers* in the top flight?”.
Get your ‘lazy cliché’ bingo cards ready!
As I was writing this piece, something was nagging at the back of my mind. Something awkward that might just hinder the start of the Glorious Warburton Era.
And now the Clumpany has remembered what it is!
HIS BIG MIKENESS WANTS HIS £5M BACK!
Very soon. On Monday we will doubtless hear that RIFC shareholders have rejected his resolution calling for repayment of the Sports Direct loan.
I don’t think anyone believes that he will let the matter rest there.
If he somehow forces repayment or a ring-fencing of funds, then there would be a massive hole in Warbuton’s War chest. With less than seven weeks to go to the start of the season.
Those bread puns are irresistible!