I think it pained us all to see the inglorious departure Martin O’Neill made at Sunderland. He will always remain a hero at Celtic, where he transformed us from a sleeping giant into a Champions League team, but his subsequent record is mixed. He earned a fair return for his spend at Villa but was helpless to prevent the decline of his boyhood favourites, Sunderland.
Eight years after he left we can view his achievements with perspective: fabulous, but Martin falls behind Neil Lennon in scale of achievement. Not only did Neil reach what we used to refer to as ‘the next level’ in Europe, he did so against an enormous redistribution of financial power in Europe. It will be a long time before we trouble the Deloitte Top 20 list of football earners (or spenders).
When Sunderland replaced the student of the game with a showman they lost the sympathy with neutrals, some of their own fans and even the odd Miliband on their board. A dead cat bounce saved them from relegation in May but living with a showman month-in-month-out is harder than enjoying a few outings at the theatre.
Sunderland’s experience demonstrates how few good managers there are and why they are prized so highly.
1254125 at The Great Scottish Run.
On Sunday 6 October there is a 10k and Half Marathon. If that is beyond you. There are family events taking place the day before. This is your club, remind the world of what really counts and get involved in 1254125.
Once you’ve done that, you can register for the 1254125 campaign here.
Then you can create a donations page here. Click Start Fundraising, search for Celtic Charity, setup your My Donate account).
Email me and let me know if you are having trouble signing up or need any more help, firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read the new issue of CQN Magazine click here (don’t try to read the graphic below).
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