The SFL will begin with new faces at the helm in quite a few clubs as the end of season, still to finish, has thrown up departures – Jim McInally (East Stirling), Alan Maitland (Alloa Athletic) and Ian McCall (Partick Thistle) – whilst new managers have already been confirmed – Jackie McNamara (Partick Thistle) – or old ones have been reconfirmed – Steven Pressley (Falkirk). There have been rumours circulating over some – Jimmy Calderwood (Ross County) and Kenny Brannigan (Queen of the South) as well as speculation that Ian McCall’s departure from Partick Thistle might actually have been about personal and professional reasons after all and not some east coast conspiracy to relieve the west of a decent manager!
With managers having been replaced already at a number of clubs in the SFL over the season – Barry Smith (Dundee), Jocky Scott (Stirling Albion), John Robertson (East Fife), Alan Adamson (Dumbarton), Davie Irons (Stenhousemuir), John Sheran (Peterhead), Jim Duffy and Chic Charnley (Clyde) and Ray Farningham (Montrose) – longevity is becoming quite a rarity in football. It means that one-third of our managers have been casualties of the 2010/11 season within the SFL.
As there are reports of no fewer than 100 players looking at being released by SFL1 clubs this is a year in which change has been quick to be made. Raith Rovers, Falkirk, Morton and Stirling Albion have announced large numbers out the door though these are inflated by the natural cull of youth players that hitherto we would never have heard. The reality of the culture of cut throat competition may well be about spectacle for the spectator BUT a certain Alex Ferguson took years to get a trophy at Manchester United. Any ideas about reconstruction should look at nurturing the future and not making it pandering to immediate success that does nothing to foster new talent and stars for the National team.
The winners may be the lower league teams who get a better standard of player but then again it hasn’t happened in many other years – why it would happen now seems hard to fathom. What is certain is that the manager you go into next season with has now a 2/3rds chance of survival though the odds on a footballer managing beyond this year are slimmer.