Media, Scottish Football, Sevco

Apology Accepted?

Good Evening (and please vote ‘Clumpany’ by 30 October!). 

Once again, The Clumpany’s imagination has been captured by an epic debate in the Evening Shark-Jump’s ‘Times Talker’ feature.

Times Talker: Should Rangers fans accept Mark Burchill’s apology over comments made about Nathan Oduwa?

The piece refers to comments made by Livingston manager Mark Burchill about Kieran Gibbs who committed that brutal foul on Oduwa in Tuesday’s Sevco-Livi Perpetual Failure Cup tie.

As the Record reports, Burchill said the following on last night’s Superscoreboard

“Kieran is a young, talented Scottish football player signed for a Scottish club. Nathan Oduwa is an English footballer who has not signed for a Scottish club, so we’re dragging someone over the coals who is one of our own and could possibly play for Scotland in the future.”

I must admit that I thought Burchill’s comments were clumsy and could have been put more tactfully. His basic underlying point – that his young player shouldn’t be hung out to dry over one incident – was a sound one. However, thoughtlessly bringing nationality into it was always likely to attract adverse comment.

And lo! That comment duly arrived in the form of (yes you’ve guessed it) an aggrieved statement from the Rangers* Supporters’ Trust, who called on the SFA “to take the strongest possible action” against him.

With UN sanctions and Heaven-knows-what-else looming, Burchill sensibly tried to draw a line under the matter. 

He issued an apology for any offence caused, having already made it clear that the foul on Oduwa – although committed without malice – was a bad one, and could have got a red card on another day:

“I would like to apologise to Nathan, Rangers and anyone else offended by my use of such clumsy words.

“The point I was trying to make was that Kieran is likely to play his entire career in Scotland. Nathan, on the other hand, is signed for an English club and will probably return to Spurs at the end of the season.”

“Of course, nationality has nothing to do with it. I wish Nathan all the best for the rest of the season and hope”.

Fair enough. Drama over, surely?

Well no, not quite.

Because the Evening Shark-Jump opted to give the story some more legs. And what an interesting angle they chose to take!

Pondering whether the fans of Sevco should have the grace to accept Burchill’s apology.

Not Oduwa himself. Or the ‘club’. But the fans!

That’s right, a prominent newspaper discussing whether a group of fans should accept the apology of a football manager over comments he made about a player…

Evening Shark-Jump readers don’t seem inclined to accept Burchill’s apology…

Perhaps parts of the media simply like giving the Sevco fan groups a bit of free ‘air time’?

Speaking of which, I rather enjoyed Martin ‘Engine Room Subsidiary’ Williams’ piece about the RST statement in this morning’s Herald.

Rangers fans group calls for SFA action over Livingston boss’s Oduwa foul defence

Complete with pictures of tweets from aggrieved Sevco fans, it was a riveting read and the kind of publicity for the RST that money can’t buy! 

Lucky RST, eh?

Meanwhile, the media continues to carry vast quantities of sympathy for Oduwa – who must surely be the most talented and ‘targeted’ footballer in the entire history of the game.

My favourite piece was this one in the Herald 


The gloriously over-the-top headline made me think of this memorable moment from Star Wars…

May the Farce be with you Nathan.

It is certainly strong with the Scottish sports media… 


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