Oh, what a week eh? I’m not going to try and dress this up, I’ve got a right monk on. Father Jack has really surpassed himself this week, scripting and taking the lead role in a storyline that you’d dismiss as unbelievable if it happened on a soap. No matter how you look at the appointment of Latics’ new manager and subsequent events, it’s a shambles. They say no publicity is bad publicity, but even those who blindly defend anything their football club do, because it’s their football club, can’t be happy with how things have panned out.
And the best way of dealing with that? Doing what I do best, picking out three songs with varying degrees of connection to the news. Of course. So here we go with this week’s leas than perfect, perfect hat-trick…
Left Foot, Embarrassment – Madness
Well, that’s the best case scenario isn’t it? No matter what angle you come at it from, this week as been a sorry mess that’s embarrassed the club far, far more than any number of 9-1 defeats, weak performances against rivals or not paying the going rate style transfer deals. It’s an embarrassment that will live with us for a long time, has cost us the good will of right-thinking fans of other clubs and is now costing us money as sponsors start to disassociate themselves from Latics.
It’s taken Dave Whelan nearly 20 years to build the club to where it is now. It took him about 20 hours to undo our reputation. No amount of apologies will fix that.
Right foot, No Home For You Here – The White Stripes
But it’s worse than that really, isn’t it. My strong view is that Malky Mackay should never have been appointed our manager. Not because of the pattern of his and Iain Moody’s words (and possibly actions) whilst at Cardiff. Everyone deserves at least one chance at rehabilitation, but because the process of his rehabilitation has barely begun. He might have attended some diversity courses, but what evidence do we have that they’ve hit home?
This is one of those things where the perpetrator needs to regain the trust of the wider community before being put in a position of responsibility again. You wouldn’t expect a convicted embezzler to walk straight into a top financial position after serving his time, so why would you expect someone who has acted so inappropriately towards staff, colleagues and business associates to walk straight back into a management position?
But the FA haven’t found him guilty of anything? They don’t need to, he’s admitted to sending the texts, he’s booked himself on those courses, he did what he did. Use your own morality to judge him, not the FA’s and if you’re genuinely happy for the club to risk its reputation on someone who did those things, well so be it.
Well, that’s how I felt on Wednesday, then the chairman waded in yesterday and suddenly it’s no longer about giving people a second chance. His moral high ground has shifted and the things Mackay said have become nothing, we’re supposed to believe it’s ok to be misogynistic, racist and anti-Semitic, and he proves it (with his report comments on Lisa Nandy, Jews and use of the word Chink) by being misogynistic, racist and anti-Semitic. His apology might as well read “You shouldn’t have been offended, you soft b*stard. But I’ll apologise just so I look good”
I don’t want to be part of a club that holds those sorts of views, and I know most fans won’t, but that’s not what the public see. All they see are the views of our figureheads and, ironically, they’ll judge us by them. In reality, we’re a family club, with a significant number of junior members, what are they to think of all this? I know I don’t want my son to look at all this and think “well if Dave Whelan got where he is today by thinking like that, then it must be ok”.
And I know that it’s my responsibility to make sure he doesn’t and that might lead to me not being at the DW this Saturday, then after that, who knows? When I first picked this song, I thought it was about not welcoming the new manager, then about ridding us of the chairman’s ridiculous views, now I’m starting to realise that maybe it’s about me and how I feel about my place, at my club. An overreaction? Think what you will, but if people don’t stand up for what they believe then what’s the point in anything?
Header, Ghost Town – The Specials
Another empty seat joke? There’ll be 5000 ‘boro fans in the ground tomorrow. They’re on a high so it won’t be a ghost town. The home stands have been fairly deathly for much of this season and whilst some might see tomorrow as a fresh start, there will be others who want to express their disappointment or their anger, there’ll be others who don’t turn up and you can’t see many floating voters making a last minute dash to the ticket office. I can’t imagine it being a pretty picture.
See you on the other side.
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