This week has been an eventful week in Scottish football. The long running “will he or won’t he” saga was finally ended with Derek McInnes announcing that he will stay with Aberdeen.
I have written before as to why I believe Derek McInnes should not leave Aberdeen for Ibrox. This was before an approach had even been made. But much of what I said still stands. But I want to compare the professionalism and integrity of the two clubs.
Derek McInnes at no point indicated that he wanted to go to Rangers. He had to react an ongoing media circus that seemed hell-bent on giving him the job without actually acknowledging that Rangers are no longer the biggest draw in town. McInnes showed his integrity when he turned down the Sunderland job demonstrating that he will do what is best for his career. He was professional in every way, trying to get the Dons ready for the two matches versus Rangers. It did upset the preparations the ongoing speculation. The cynics would say that Rangers delayed the approach on purpose to disrupt Aberdeen’s preparations.
Likewise Stewart Milne not someone who gets the best support from Aberdeen fans also came out of this saga with a lot credit. He again , reiterated when asked by the media that Derek McInnes was committed to club two weeks ago. And when an approach was made Milne looked after the interests of Aberdeen FC. In the last few seasons Milne has backed Derek McInnes and shown ambition both on the park and off it. He has always put the interest of Aberdeen football club first.
Compare this to Rangers who took over 5 weeks to identify a managerial target. They waited till after the double-header of the two games causing disruption and fuelling speculation. This is a team which is lacking leadership. Despite fairly appalling financial results the Rangers AGM was dominated by talk of the new manager. Where was the public scrutiny of their finances.
Nobody likes to be rejected but a professional should handle it with a degree of dignity. Not Rangers on this occasion. The official Rangers response to Derek McInnes decision to stay at Aberdeen was like a petulant teenager who had just discovered a thesaurus. It was unprofessional and actually embarrassing to the fans.
No self-respecting manager would put themselves forward for a job at a club when it is clearly leaderless. There is no one taking responsibility or even acknowledging the shambles in their selection process. This saga will go on till the New Year now as more targets are identified, But the stakes the for 2nd place has been raised . Derek McInnes has a board, a fan base and a city behind him as he chases 2nd position. The decision by McInnes to stay is finished as it is clear that Aberdeen are a professional and ambitious club compared to Rangers.
Integrity is not something that is common in modern-day football. But through this whole saga both Milne and McInnes have shown it in abundance. Maybe those at Ibrox should take note.