Managerial madness

Last updated : 30 May 2009 By Firparkcorner

Celtic will obviously succeed in taking any manager they want from any side in Scotland other than Rangers but are the sides from Edinburgh or Aberdeen a real step up from the likes of Motherwell and Falkirk? These city clubs can pay a bit more in wages and offer slightly higher player budgets but the increase in pressure and expectation is exponentially higher as well. For a man like Mark McGhee, who is surely not short of money, it is arguable that he is better off staying with us.




Anything he does achieve with Motherwell is given much more recognition than it would had it arrived with Aberdeen. Considering Aberdeen have sacked Jimmy Calderwood despite never finishing out of the top six and reaching Europe twice with an appearance in the UEFA last 32, the chance of being deemed a failure there must be high.

If we look at the success of Scottish clubs since 1991 - taken from the year after Aberdeen's time as a true force ended, but obviously arbitrary nonetheless - then the trophy count outside the Old Firm is as follows: Hearts 2, Hibs 2, Aberdeen 1, Dundee United 1, Motherwell 1, Kilmarnock 1, Livingston 1 and Raith Rovers 1. All of these clubs have enjoyed spells in Europe while the likes of Queen of the South, Falkirk, Airdrie and Dunfermline have reached finals. The big city clubs may achieve slightly more than their small town equivalents but it probably isn't worth the gamble for an up and coming manager to risk failing in Edinburgh or Aberdeen compared to the relative safety offered by Motherwell and Kilmarnock.

That assertion does rely on certain conditions. John Hughes will obviously consider more than just logic when deciding whether he should move to Hibs and Mark McGhee's previous success as a player and manager means rejecting a potential pay rise of tens of thousands of pounds a year is an option. But, purely in relation to Motherwell's situation, Mark McGhee must think he is on to a good thing at Fir Park.

Hearts are presently a bigger club than both Aberdeen and Hibs so why, having turned them down, would he now move on regardless? McGhee still has ambitions to manage at the highest level and needs a success to get there but moving to Aberdeen and failing will probably make this impossible. He may well calculate the greater safety zone offered at Motherwell is ideal and if we finish third again or win a cup then he will get his big move regardless.

It would be nice to know for sure as soon as possible so we can look to build for next season but, risking egg on face, it is very possible Mark McGhee will still be in charge when we begin our latest European campaign.