When a managerial hero has to leave the stage


I loved the Leicester City story as much as any of you. Well, maybe not just as much. Leicester’s title win was astonishing, but it was no fairy story. They outperformed far wealthier clubs, sure, but this was achieved by spending the kind of money Celtic couldn’t dream of parting with.

Apart from their league win, Project Leicester was typical of the financial chicanery which has been prevalent in English football for so long, and which Financial Fair Play seeks to end.

Right now they are in freefall. If they go down, loaded with an underperforming squad on eye-wateringly high salaries, they will find it impossible to downsize sufficiently to give anyone sitting around the King Power Stadium boardroom table that they will be able to achieve stability in the Championship.

Once you drop out of the Enland and Wales Premier League, the biggest parachute in the world simply isn’t big enough. Two of the three Championship relegation places are currently occupied by recent Premier League clubs. Aston Villa, twice the size of Leicester but with a far smaller wage bill, are currently 17th. Leicester will look ominously at Blackpool, 14th in League Two, and appreciate how rapidly a Premier League relegation fight can turn into something altogether more serious.

Claudio Ranieri is a football hero, but even from the outside it has been plain to see that something has been seriously wrong under his control in recent months. His comments before the Sevilla game, “we know they are the better team”, spoke of a man who didn’t believe in himself or his players anymore.

It is never easy to spot when a managerial hero should move on from a club where he’s loved, exect in hindsight. Clough was the greatest English manager, but stayed on far too long at Nottingham Forest. Relegation was his reward.

Jock Stein’s sacking as Celtic manager in 1978 was shabbily handled, as was the way at the club back then. I was too young to know the best of Jock’s years at Celtic, but I remember the grief he got from the terraces during his last four seasons, when Rangers (remember them?) won three titles and two trebles.

No one will tell you they got on Jock’s case back then, but it happened. Football fans in the 1970s took no prisoners.

Looking back, Jock stayed too long at Celtic. He produced miracles for five years then managed decline for eight. He should have taken the Manchester United job when offered. Clough squeezed two League Cups out of his squad in 1989 and 1990 and should have headed for this hills right then.

As for Claudio, he should have bowed out a champion in May. He didn’t have managerial alchemy after all, it was inevitable that performances would return to his normal trend this season. Someone at Leicester had to take responsibility.  That’s football – and it’s not even a modern aspect of it.


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    My most sincere condolances…..you and your loved ones are in my thoughts…..may your mother rest in peace…..




  2. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    Well, I was going to report on the Hun Media reaction to the 1-0 half time score but unfortunately there is too much bad language to do so.



    The ain’t best pleased!





  3. “….. but I remember the grief he got from the terraces during his last four seasons, when Rangers (remember them?) won three titles and two trebles”



    What a load of tosh……Complete and utter garbage



    1973-4 Champions and Scottish Cup


    1974-5 Scottish Cup and League Cup


    1975-6 (Almost died and invalided. Sean Fallon’s season as Manager) No honours


    1976-7 Champions and Scottish Cup


    1977-8 No honours.



    That Jocks power and drive were severely diminished following his accident was obvious and his last season (the ONLY one without an honour) was bourn with more sadness than anger. That’s not to say without criticism. We are Celtic supporters….Masters of finding fault ……but the idea the of expressions of supporter grief since 1973 is nonsense.



    Simply factually wrong.


    I expect revisionism from our ‘enemies’ but not in house.



    Very poor




  4. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Murty just running his half time team talk over in his head.


    “That’s better boys…….. we are unlucky not to be ahead……. keep it tight… and… ah feck!



  5. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    VFR800 IS NOW A MONSTER 821 on 24TH FEBRUARY 2017 8:36 PM


    Well, I was going to report on the Hun Media reaction to the 1-0 half time score but unfortunately there is too much bad language to do so.





    Och. On you go.


    The Mods are looking the other way.

  6. VFR8021



    If yer looking to clear space in the garage….I’ll be happy to take the car…..do you deliver ;-))



    Eurochamps…..It’s no fair…..am thinking of piling on the pounds…..to get a chance of running around the pitch…..what happened to all-inclusive ;-))







  7. Vfr – they seem to use profanities as conjunctives.



    And verbs.



    And adjectives, nouns, pronouns……..



    Or I could just say they can’t construct a sentence on that site without swearing.

  8. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    Sergeant Pepper was much more memorable.




  9. Result tomorrow for Aberdeen – 9 clear, results for Hearts and/or St J – breathing down their neck…

  10. BT- hadn’t spoke to Charlie for a long time, have great memories for sure,Bump into Kevin more

  11. mike in toronto on

    VFR …



    That is a surprise … they are normally so polite and well behaved.



    I’ll get back to you about the TV stand … might need to go and buy a 46″ TV first.



    Now that you are my tech support, if you bring it over, would you be able to help me set the TV up? …. my old one has been blinking 12;00 pm since about 2002, I think.




  12. thomthethim for Oscar OK on




    Fair play to you.



    I reckon the revisionists weren’t around or were in nappies during Jocks reign.



    Probably searched the Record archives for their opinions.



    HT at Inverness and the Wee Bus driver will be handing out the “energy boosters” to his troops.



    I wonder why there is no effective drug testing in Scottish football.

  13. Two evenly matched sides in a dour SPL encounter, Sevco tried to blitz it in the first 20, but couldn’t nearly score and ICT took heart.



    Steven McLean watched Lee Wallace run the ball out and waved play on, then did the same when Foderingham dragged the ball back into play at the other end.



    Football……….. but not as we know Jim CSC

  14. Should have also pointed out during the first three of his final four seasons he won 6 out of 9 trophies…..How distraught we were!!!!!!




  15. Phyllis Dietrichson on

    BRTH – probably not the best time to post in response to your Lisbon update earlier but here goes.



    When I saw you’re setting up a meal for 250 people in Lisbon on 24/05 my first reaction was that of Steve McQheen to Richard Attenborough in the Great Escape -250 – you’re crazy.



    Anyway I’m in, and so is my missus . See you soon

  16. ‘Fantastic start by Rangers. They’re simply all over ICT and its a matter of time before they go in front.’ Martin Dowden BBC Sport.

  17. What is the Stars on

    Paddy McCourt signed for Finn Harps in the League of Ireland


    No disrespect to my Donegal pals but surely he could have found a better/bigger club in the League

  18. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on




    Always had a laugh with Charlie, my dad used to go to his box at Celtic park now and again..



    Always had a laugh with him

  19. I tuned in to BT to see if ICT displayed the same blood and snotters performance that they produced at Celtic Park.



    My annoyance started to kick in at the complete absence of either when it suddenly occurred to me why this was. They weren’t chasing shadows and being a poor second best to the opposition. They were more than holding their own and in fact gaining the ascendancy……and just at that moment they scored.


    It’s now up to Sevco to roll up the sleeves and produce the blood and sniffers. I reckon they don’t have this in the locker.



    I reckon this game will fizzle out for them.

  20. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    MACJAY, I’m on the cider tonight so I might turn into GFTB!



    ROBERTRESSELL, the garage is for the bikes, the Golf disnae get anywhere near it!



    MIT I’m Mrs VFR’s IT Bitch so you’ll need to run it by her first! You’ve got a job on your hands there!





  21. Good God , this episode of Corrie is very depressing and controversial. Surely the Manky MIB should tune in for a bit of light relief? SchadenfreudeCSC

  22. mike in toronto on

    VFR … . just checked in on zombiemedia, and you are right …. more ‘f”n’ on there than a Ron Jeremy film!

  23. Thirds63 – I’m not old enough to remember it. Paul67 admits the same in the article. I suspect he’s going from stuff he’s read on the era. Which goes to remind us that what you read is not always the full story and we should, where we can, get a range of views from different people who were there. Everyone experiences things differently. The same incidents and periods can be recalled completely differently by those that were there.



    Mind you the facts you point out remain the facts! And it’s important that they are got right……




    So sorry to hear your very sad news!



    May your Mum rest in peace.



    Everyone here praying for you and your families at this terrible time.



    God bless you both.

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