JOCK STEIN and I had spoken in the summer during Scotland’s trip to play Canada, and so I decided to give him a call, and we agreed to get a catch up at the pub he owned at that time. As we sat down for a coffee, I explained my predicament to Jock. Without hesitation, my ex-gaffer said to me, “Andy, there are three Scottish First Division clubs looking for a manager at the moment. You won’t get an interview for two of them, and you are unlikely to get an interview for the third one… This has nothing to do with your capabilities as a coach, but you’ll be struggling to get a job in Scottish football where you come from…”
My mind raced back to my discussion with Jim Craig, where he was of the same opinion as our ex-manager about our job prospects in the Scottish game. I had returned to my home country having gained an outstanding coaching education. My achievements had made global news after I managed to develop and transform an infant and unfashionable club into a side that toppled a North American empire. The methods and techniques I had honed could be introduced into the Scottish game for the benefit of youth development, yet I was being told that I wasn’t wanted.
I came crashing back down to earth. Were these prejudices still at large in Scottish football? Two Lisbon Lions had now told me they were, and I felt a sense of anger at this realisation. I wasn’t angry at Jock Stein, who had been brutally honest. If anyone knew how the Scottish game worked then the national manager would. I was in a state of shell-shock as I thanked Jock for all his advice and made my way home. It was clear that I had a lot to consider.
My experiences told me that this prejudicial attitude wasn’t just a problem in Scottish football, but in other areas of our society as well. My father had disclosed to me that he would never have progressed beyond the rank of Detective Sergeant in the Glasgow Police service due to his religion. He was told as much by colleagues who were progressing through the ranks, and rising through their associated pay-scales. If my background was going to hold me back in the country of my birth, then where would I go?
Extract from Andy Lynch’s new autobiography, Hoops Stars and Stripes which is our now on CQN Books. You can order a SIGNED copy now from CQNBookstore.com and if you order soon you’ll receive a FREE copy of Quality Street Gang by Paul Dykes. Paul worked with Andy on Hoops Stars and Stripes.
This subject was mentioned in passing in an interview Andy did with The Herald and it has been a huge talking point on various Comedy Club Sevco Rangers forums. We thought we’d reproduce exactly what Andy said, just for the Record…
Andy Lynch is coming onto CQN from around 7pm on Monday evening to talk about tomorrow’s semi-final, playing for Celtic and his new book.