Committing Harri Karri
Committing Harri Karri
So, after just a few weeks in the job under John Boyle, Harri Kampman resigned. Is anyone really surprised? Thought not. For various reasons, it seemed inevitable that he would go. But should we be too despondent?
Last year, Harri achieved his target in keeping us in the Premier league, despite losing our last four games. As soon as the season was over, he made the hard but necessary decision to release seventeen players, including several of the first team squad. We obviously needed to bring in several new players, so it was not totally unexpected when we brought in several from Europe under the Bosman ruling.
Most of the players started the St. Johnstone game, and while we didn't look like world beaters, there was enough to give some cautious optimism. Despite a defeat at Ibrox, we drew with Dunfermline and beat the worst Arab side for a long time 1-0. Since then, we have declined at an alarming rate. So, what has gone wrong? Many people point to the arrival of Pat Nevin. I think that this affected Harri slightly but I'm not sure why he waited so long before resigning. Pat Nevin publicly backed Harri and I have it in writing that no one pushed Harri to leave. The delay before resigning merely gave the conspiracy theory more meat.
When Harri left, I was initially shocked and disappointed. After a some consideration I looked at our recent results and I really wasn't disappointed much longer. When Harri left, we had won only two games out of nine, were a point off the bottom of the league and had gone out of the League Cup to Ayr Utd. The team lacked confidence and didn't seem to be putting in much effort. Harri's tactics were strange, and no one seemed to understand why he continued to play one up front. It's maybe forgivable to defend away from home, but at Fir Park, I expect us to try to beat every team we play and that is not accomplished by playing a lone striker.
Even though I wasn't impressed by Harri's management, I still thought that he was just out of his depth until some of our financial dealings were revealed. Holm Kraska was just one bad signing - that is perfectly acceptable - it happens to everyone. However, what is not acceptable is paying his agent £16,000 for negotiating a free transfer, in a deal which involved an amateur club. As Harri is an agent, no doubt, he will have various 'agent' contacts who keeps him informed of players availability. Once again, there is nothing wrong with that - paying well over the odds to the same 'agent' contacts is highly suspicious. Most of our new signings allegedly receive £45,000 a year, a car and a flat. Not insubstantial for a club like ours. No doubt, he had tip offs about these players from his contacts. Also of interest, is the fact that Harri had a deal with John Boyle which guaranteed him £90,000 if he left the club. I assume that this deal was made by Boyle in good faith to reassure Harri that his job was safe. It appears that Harri may have done the dirty on Boyle in this deal. So, here's the completed picture as I see it, obviously only my suspicions as I don't think there will ever be any conclusive proof:
Harri clears out the squad and starts building a new team. He uses his agent contacts throughout Europe, paying substantial money for average players (it is alleged that the players he brought in cost us £700,000 in agent and signing on fees). When Boyle arrives, Harri makes a deal that guarantees him 90K. if he has to leave. Nevin arrives, but everyone claims everything is fine, so Harri continues. The team are struggling, confidence is low and some players are unhappy. Harri sees a great excuse to leave in Nevin 'undermining' him and decides to resign. He mentions the deal to Boyle and collects his £90,000 (having been driven to the bank by Alan Dick) and passes through gate x in Glasgow Airport back to Finland.
Of course, all of this is pure speculation, and it may just be my over suspicious, cynical mind going into overdrive. I honestly hope I'm wrong and I would be delighted if anyone could prove that. However, I am very worried that someone could 'abuse' our club like Harri might have done. I guess we'll never know.
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