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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  1. weebobbycollins on

    Macjay @ 8.41….yes, but sgt pepper didn’t appear until the following month…if i believe my battered memory…which i do…quite often…so i’m told

  2. Just read the article!!!



    Lazy, lazy “journalism”.



    You should always proof read your articles Paul, even if its you who is writing them.




  3. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    The discussion is whether or not it’s ICT 1000th on 999th match tonight. Big Butcher says “someone should call 999 for Rangers!”





  4. A half time selection from


















    A half time selection from Hun Media…





    m away to knock f$€k out someone




    How can we be this bad ,,, soul destroying.




    Wallace is never a Rangers captain


    He’s been overated for years, a fkn mouse




    I’m away to knock f$€k out someone….


    can it be sutton please?




    we are a f£&&ing laughing stock from top to bottom




    We are dug muck





    Nearly every shot from outside the box beats our keeper hes p@sh




    The board need hunted for leaving murty in charge of this sh!te.




    We’ll be 9 points behind the sheep and only 2 ahead of Hertz come 5pm tomorrow night should results go their way.




    St Johnstone aren’t far behind either, the whole clubs a f&*king clusterf#€k.




    Wallace is f&*king hurrendous.



    McKay is just so inconsistent.



    Miller is anonymous for 4 out of every 5 games
















    hun media :0

  5. Hello again all you young rebels.



    A wee request for a bit of help, one of our CSC committee


    members and his partner are coming home to Belfast for


    a visit and it will probably be their last one, they will take in


    our game with the stickies which they have acquired tickets


    for but unfortunately at different areas of the ground, if


    anybody can help them get seated together as she has never


    been to a game before please let me know on here.


    H.H Mick

  6. Magnificentseven on

    I haven’t looked on Rankers media in years, but couldn’t resist after reading one of the earlier posts, I couldn’t take the smile of my face if you kicked me in the nuts, reality dawns

  7. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on




    Yep, not for the faint hearted!



    WITS, they are a great double act!





  8. Do you know, I almost very nrarly feel a wee bit sorry for ex-Celt Kenny Miller. There, I’ve said it.

  9. mike in toronto on

    VFR … I’m not much of a drinker, but recently, Liam in Toronto gave me a couple of French ciders to try … magnifique!…. Cidre Breton was one…. so much nicer than most of the ciders I have tried…. there was another one that was even nicer, but I cant remember the name … I’ll ask him the name, and let you know. about the same price as our normal ciders, but so much nicer….

  10. MIT,



    who’s Ron Jeremy?…..haha…..jist checked…..an ugly “film” star with an outstanding quality ;-))







  11. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on




    It might help to let us know where their seats are to see if it’s a goer.







    I’m sure there are able volunteers willing to test that hypothesis!





  12. BT-was in a box with him and a few others when we beat them in a cup game, malcky, dicanio ,brilliant night,brilliant wee guy

  13. What is the Stars on

    Mike in Toronto



    Stella Artois do a nice cider or Cidre if you prefer or preferrez vous if you like or si vous plait or whatever

  14. Magnificentseven on

    VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on 24th February 2017 9:01 pm



    ha ha, don’t worry I am aware there would be a list of volunteers

  15. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on




    Never been I great fan of cider unless it was with Guinness in a Black Velvet; however, my fiend has always got an ample stock of Magners in his fridge and I’ve had a few recently and find myself enjoying it. Very refreshing!





  16. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Kenny Zimmer is getting right hacked off. Great to see. Real frustration building up, that vein in the side of his heid might just pop if anything else goes wrong.

  17. Inverness all over the shop at the back. Trouble is ball isn’t sticking up front. Huns will score.

  18. VFR800


    Thanks for your reply, yes that would be the clever thing to do


    it was a rushed post i will phone them now and get their seat




    H.H Mick

  19. Been reading about the sacking of Ranieri. Sky really has ruined football , I would suggest that people my age (mid fifties) will feel that more than most. The days of good honest players with real natural ability are long gone.


    The amount money and the power that they seem to wield are way out of sync with the ability they have.


    Vardy never went to Arsenal because he could get crazy money at Leicester without really having to stretch himself and live off the back of the league win.


    This attitude has polluted football down to the lower levels, amateur players want tracksuit,bags and run around wearing £150 multicoloured boots that won’t last half a season and have an oplnion on every aspect of the game.


    Unfortunately the game is slowly being taken away from us. On the upside Celtic prove that there is still hope and you can have succes and good football delivered without spending crazy money in relative terms.

  20. mike in toronto on

    VFR … I probably have a glass of something every couple of months …. so I am by no means an expert … but, another one that I liked ….. 2012 Eric Bordolet Poire Granite …. more like a wine than a beer type of cider … but even a numpty like me could tell this was nice … and not terribly expensive …

  21. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    Chris Sutton calls it wrong.



    Physical contact after the ball has gone.


    No penalty.

  22. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on




    It was a late tackle. Stonewall penalty IMHO.





  23. awe u cider drinkers…..you should try some of the cheap stuff of my youth…..sure, no apples were used…..and you had to hold yer nose to get it down…..actually I now feel sick thinking about it….but it called itself cider ;-))