Timing Is Everything, Have We got It Wrong

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When a chairman and manager fall out, there is always ever going to be one winner as Stuart McCall recently found out. The chairman pay the wages, pay the bills, hire and fire staff, set budgets and put their own money into the club. A manager just, well, manages. He will have a team around him that help identify players, help with training, fitness, team selection etc.

It is coming out that the chairman have been a little bit more involved than McCall would have liked and noone really knows to what extent who signed who, picked the team and so on. Some believe McCall had no say in the signings but you look at Nicky Law, a player that has followed Stuart about over the years and he came out saying he wasn’t interested in re-signing probably best signing ever, James Hanson. You look at Charlie Wyke, probably our best signing over the past couple of years came from the club that Greg Abbott left to join City as a chief scout not long before, then you look at Kai Brunker from the German 4th division, a player noone has heard of before, but our chairmen said they wanted to use their links/network back in Germany to bring players over to Yorkshire. I’m confident, very confident McCall didn’t sign players such as Brunker and Raeder, but I’m certain he has brought in players he likes to work with too.

The manager always gets the brunt
No matter who how many chefs we have had making the broth this season, the buck ends with the manager. He is the public face, he is the one supposedly driving the squad forward? Let’s take a subjective look at McCall first. McCall brought his own back room staff in, physio, assistant plus others and for a long time we have had the least fit squad for a long time. Is this down to anyone else other than McCall signed? McCall had an influence of the team, it was his job to work with the players and his staff and progress their abilities, was this achieved? Debatable. It was McCall’s job to work for and more importantly with the chairmen, this has been clear hasn’t been the case and will only have an impact on backing from the German duo and any unease can and did filter into the team.

Now let’s look at the chairmen, Rahic and Rupp. City is their club, and they can run it however they like and see fit. Some chairmen actually become the official manager in some lower leagues, and in some cases can work. R&R need to work with the manager, and if it becomes difficult, they are the ones that need to sort it and not let it prolong, as things are coming out with the trouble starting before this season, maybe R&R should have relieved McCall in the summer and moved on, it would have made bad publicity, which brings me onto the next thing. R&R need to work with the supporters, communicate with us and not lie. A lot of City supporters are new to the club, and with the success of Huddersfield Town and the typical lure of Beeston United, R&R need to be careful not to drive supporters away. They need to learn from this episode, and if they are wanting a coach rather than a manager, they need to be upfront from the start and not work against the manager’s interests like they did with McCall. R&R are the be all and end all with running the club, but they need to look beyond themselves to succeed.

How about the players? Morale has been abysmal and some are pointing their fingers at the Luke Hendrie incident who ended up in tears during the Yeovil weekend. The players have to remain professional, they are still paid to do a job no matter if they like to or not, and over the past month and half have let McCall down, the fans and the supporters.

How about we supporters? It has been a frustrating time, I amongst many have been attacking McCall, we have all been split, but at the end of the day we all want the best for our club. Things are said and felt in frustration and it’s not nice going to every game and hearing thousands of boos. It’s demoralising, and depressing at times. We pay our hard earned cash and we have a right to an opinion, no matter who agrees and who doesn’t.

How about the timing?
Something needed to change, McCall goes, R&R sell up or the majority of fans just go elsewhere. There is really only 1 realistic option. McCall had to go. Supporters were split and at each others throats, the club is going backwards unable to even match the worst teams in the lower divisions, and we needed to change the entire mentality at the club.

R&R did bring in some players during January and 2 at least are not really bad signings. But for me the timing stinks. Right after the transfer window and 1 day after Beeston United sack Hans Christian Anderson. So we are competing with them in the manager market. Beeston signed ex City player of the season Paul Heckingbottom this week, it means we are now competing with Barnsley for the best available candidates. The timing really could have been better, but it was a situation that couldn’t go on.

But is the timing that bad? There are some excellent managers that are out of work such as Simon Grayson, Phil Brown, Mark Warburton and Steve McLaren and there are also other great managers that are coming into their final months of their contracts such as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. We need to stick with McCall’s backroom staff now, give them a chance and try and keep a bit of stability and if we need to wait till May to get the right man, then we should wait. At time of writing Simon Grayson is the favourite with SKYbet, and I can’t see too many people disappointed if we did get him on board. There are a few names I would like to see in the mix such as Hasselbaink, Neil Redfearn, Phil Brown, Warburton or the novelty of having an ex England manager in the mix who did phenomenal at FC Twente. So could the timing actually be perfect as the market for a quality manager seems to be fairly healthy? Get this season out of the way and a new manager can have at least 1 foot into next season.

Stuart McCall
There have been a bit of hearsay linking McCall to the Scotland job, now that would be a very interesting notion. The SFA would be better picking the Leeds born Scot over current favourite, OAP man Smith. You may have split the fans in both your tenures at City, but I wish you well and would love to hear you go for that International role.

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