IT APPEARS that if the SFA don’t get Hearts one way, they will surely find another.
In the aftermath of last Saturday’s epic encounter against Aberdeen at Tynecastle, Billy Brown was charged for “misconduct at a match by leaving the technical area in the absence of special circumstances and by adopting an aggressive attitude to a member of the opposing team staff”.
Apparently, Brown “remonstrated” with Aberdeen assistant manager counterpart Tony Docherty before going down the tunnel. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. “Remonstrated”. Oh, shock and horror. This is Scottish Football, where swearing (whilst never to be condoned) has been part of the game since before the SFL was formed and is commonly accepted as “par for the course”.
So – what’s all the fuss about? I can’t imagine that Brown’s foray into the Aberdeen touchline space was with malicious intent – a little over-exuberant, maybe, but nothing more. He certainly didn’t go charging in and confront Derek McInnes by waving two clenched fists in the Aberdeen manager’s face.
And it goes from bad to worse: losing Brown for his misdemeanours is one thing, but losing players from an already decimated squad is far more serious. Having probably lost Kevin McHattie after he was sent for an early bath thanks to an extremely doubtful “last- man” red card, Danny Wilson was punished for “foul and abusive language” following an incident in the tunnel.
With Wilson and McHattie both banned, the SFA and Compliance Officer Vincent Lunny in particular have “won” again. You really do get the feeling that the SFA thought that, with starting us off at -15 points, we’d be down and out before Christmas and that we wouldn’t be around to bother them come May next year.
What else can they do to us? Will they find a way to “add on” another minus 15 points in January? When Ally McCoist and Neil Lennon famously clashed on the touchline in 2011, an incident which was far more dangerous and inflammatory than Saturday’s handbags at dawn, the SFA punishment was a two-match touchline ban. I wonder what Billy Brown’s sentence will be?
Pars still waiting to see Sir Alex’s promise fulfilled
LIKE all Dunfermline supporters, I am overjoyed and relieved that the CVA has gone through after months of despair, and the club will now become supporter-owned by Pars United.
With Jim Jefferies and Neil McCann at the helm, I look forward to the club’s return to what is now the Championship and, in particular, to the packed passionate derbies with Raith Rovers and Falkirk.
Scotland is a small country and, frankly, cannot afford to have the biggest supported clubs languishing for long in the lower tiers of the Scottish SPFL. However, in our joy, there is one elephant in the room which needs to be addressed. At a packed Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline on Monday evening, 10 March, I put the question “Could Sir Alex Ferguson be approached for help?” His affection for the club he played for in the mid-1960s is well documented and it is reciprocated, as the sell out attendances at the Alhambra Theatre for his “Evenings with Sir Alex” attest.
Jim Leishman and cup-winning captain Roy Barry announced that there would be a pre-season friendly at East End and the Manchester Utd XI would contain a handful of big names. There was thunderous applause and a standing ovation. On 11 March there was extensive Scottish media coverage of this wonderful news. Since then, there has been a deafening silence!
Some have said that the fact Sir Alex is no longer manager means the promise would need the agreement of new manager Davie Moyes. There are two flaws in this argument. First, Davie Moyes is a former Pars player and would not be unaware of our plight. Second, does anyone seriously believe that Sir Alex does not still wield great influence?
One does not imagine that the Old Trafford side would send up a team while they have European matches on the go. But, given the generous media coverage their offer prompted, a commitment to send up a team, even at the end of the season, would mean so much.