It’s been quite an exercise in the art of survival.
A board who have misled shareholders at AGM, hidden the identity of investors, stand accused by a section of the press of lying over the withdrawal of credit/debit card facilities for season tickets, who, in their “comprehensive” 120 day review hid/omitted to divulge details of “the sale of the century” regarding stadium naming rights, have failed to answer satisfactorily structured questions from fans groups pertaining to the long term plans for the club, who have by unethical and unedifying association with known fugitives embarrassed the name of the club, the aforesaid which sees them, again, accused of misleading supporters regarding the nature of that meeting, have found in the last few days that there is one aspect of the club that even the most resourceful or duplicitous cannot hide from the fans – the state of the product on the park.
There is even perhaps a warped sense of irony, that in the battle for our football club the ammunition or language is no longer anonymous investors, percentages or proxied shares but rather tactical ineptitude, poor performance, ill-discipline and unexplainable team selection. The current board cannot on this occasion use the convenient “get out clause” of laying the blame on previous regimes – this time it’s their call, and as thousands of bears demonstrated on Monday night as our team capitulated to Hibs, they will be held to account. In fact they already have been by thousands, the empty seats providing ample supporting evidence on that one. I fear it will get worse, much worse before it gets better.
There is nowhere, nowhere the board can hide from this one.
Monday night was a culmination rather than a knee jerk, perhaps the saddest aspect of it all was that it came as no great surprise to anyone. The failings of management, signing policy, tactics and team selection have been the subject of message board forums, supporter’s bus conversations and pre-match blethers for months.
It is not a time for emotive and unhelpful descriptive language, either positive or negative regarding Ally, but rather a regrettable acceptance and emotion free analysis that in the most important area – on the park – Ally is not capable of taking us to where we not only want, but also need to be.
There was a moment on Monday night when the cacophony of anger from the Copland Road, directed towards Ally, saw him withdraw to the dugout. It was notable that Durranty was tasked with the verbal coaching from the touchline second half.
The board should be thankful there was such a volume of noise, if they prevaricate any longer over what needs to be done, then perhaps next time we fail, it will be akin to the tree falling in the empty forest – there will only be an empty silence from the empty stands.