JINGS! Crivvens! Help Ma Boab! Brendan Rodgers, this season’s Premiership-winning gaffer, has been deemed to have insufficient credentials by the Scottish Football Writers’ Association to gain a mention in their Manager of the Year poll.

Aficiandos of the Sunday Post‘s Oor Wullie would be forced to pinch one of the wee scamp’s much-used exclamations to register their surprise at this bizarre turn of events.

The towsy-haired, dungaree-wearing, bucket-dwelling strip cartoon character, who nicks about with best muckers Fat Boab and Soapy Soutar, seems to exist on jeely pieces, keeps a pet mouse, Jeemy, in a side pocket and makes life hell for the bumbling beat cop PC Murdoch, would be lost for words.

It’s ludicrous that the team boss who has lifted eight out of the nine domestic honours available in his two stints as Celtic gaffer is not going to be recognised by the nation’s Press gang.

HAIL, HAIL…beaming Brendan Rodgers accepts the acclaim of the Celtic support after his third crowning glory as the club’s manager.

It’s even more preposterous that Rodgers was overlooked among the four nominations for the end-of-season pat on the back.

There can be no argument the quartet in the running for the “prestigious” gong – Derek McInnes (Kilmarnock), Tony Docherty (Dundee), John McGlynn (Falkirk) and Philippe Clement (Rangers) – are worthy contenders and doubtless have done enough to earn admiration from the nation’s scribes.

But the name of Brendan Rodgers is a mystifying omission.

Maybe guiding Celtic to their twelfth crown in 13 years didn’t qualify to get anywhere near the red carpet at tomorrow night’s “glitzy ceremony” in a Glasgow hotel.

And what happens if the Irishman is tasked with waving a gleaming piece of silverware bedecked in green and white ribbons above his head at Hampden around 5pm a week today?

It would simply make a daft situation even more farcical.

I haven’t a clue when the votes were taken by the football writers. They will have their reasons for ignoring the merits of a genuine elite manager, but I doubt if they will ever be made public.

Possibly, Rodgers is not overly-favoured on a personal basis with the “in the know” Press Box inhabitants. So what? It’s not a popularity contest.

For almost three decades, I worked in the country’s two top-selling newspapers, the Daily Record and Sunday Mail. I was never a member of the Scottish Football Writers’ Association simply because I was never a football writer.

My remit was that of Sports Editor at the Sunday title for almost ten years and I can tell you I had to deal with some folk you would merrily choke if you could get away with it.

ONE OF THE BHOYS…Brendan Rodgers (extreme left) joins Joe Hart and his Celtic team-mates celebrating this season’s title success after the 5-0 rout of Kilmarnock in midweek.

In between drawing breath, their favourite past-time appeared to be that of moaning about imaginary slights or wrongly perceived injustices. All these guys needed was an invisible violin and they would bleat until your ears bled.

Their propensity to tell porkies was also of an Olympic gold medal-winning standard, trust me.

The old joke went along the lines of:

‘How did you know a manager is lying?’

‘His lips are moving.’

And yet, dear reader, you applauded these individuals when they deserved it. They were given column inches in a newspaper that was read by almost three million on a Sunday in the good, old days of print.

Things have changed fairly dramatically in the profession once known as the inky trade, time has marched on, new faces have emerged, technology has taken over. That’s progress, folks.

It still doesn’t explain why Brendan Rodgers, on the cusp of a league and Cup double in his second coming at Celtic, can’t even earn a nomination for Manager of the Year.

At least, the Irishman has made his critics eat their words.


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