Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Crisis, what crisis?

Not for the first time I’m going to need to hold up my hands and admit: "I got it wrong."

I really did not see Aberdeen losing last night. Maybe I should have done but I honestly couldn’t see how they could follow their performance on Saturday with a disaster against a lower division side. My Aberdeen supporting friends would tell me this is exactly because I am not an Aberdeen fan. A true believer would have fully expected this result.

Anyway, another bad night for the Dons. Mark McGhee was apparently spat at by home fans at the end of the game. Obviously there is frustration and the relationship between managers and supporters is strained. But spitting at someone? Mingin’.

One by-product of the defeat is that Aberdeen teeter on the brink of becoming an "SPL Crisis Club."

"Crisis club" is really nothing more than media shorthand. But it is remarkable just how many clubs seem to fit the definition these days.

Back in the day, before we all became obsessed with football finance, “Crisis Club” was a sobriquet likely to be earned for form on the pitch alone. Now it can be applied to clubs with cash problems as well as football problems.

This season we’ve already had:

Rangers (Reason: financial. Status: ongoing)
Celtic (Reason: football. Status: ongoing)
Kilmarnock (Reason: financial/football. Status: ongoing/threat lifting)
Hearts (Reason: financial. Status: ongoing)
Falkirk (Reason: football. Status: ongoing)

Loss of managers and loss of form left Motherwell and Dundee United flirting with the title over the winter but both have managed to avert the danger. With St Mirren apparently unable to buy an SPL win they look like they could be about join the gang although a cup final and a reasonably solid club structure is protecting them for now.

Aberdeen’s bid for inclusion makes them the 9th club to be either make the list or hover around it looking needy. 75% of the league. We should really be calling the SPL a crisis league.

So which club has the worst crisis? Which clubs are unfairly included in my list? Which clubs don’t appear above but should?


  1. I don't believe Celtic are a 'crisis club' just because they won't win the title this year. It's just a transitional season. While Falkirk fans may see their situation as a crisis they have done well to have stayed in the SPL for so long and a relegation is becoming inevitable. Hearts have been a 'crisis club' for two years now and nothing has happened. Can this still be called a crisis as this implies immediate danger?

  2. The problem is that Celtic fans, some of them at least, don't believe in a transitional season. They expect to win the league every year.

    Many Rangers fans feel the same. Thus one of the clubs is perpetually in crisis because one of them has to be disappointed. This is what makes managing them so difficult.

    Falkirk's crisis might well only properly begin with relegation, given the suggestions of financial constraints that have been hinted at as a reason for Eddie May's unhappy tenure.

    Finally Hearts: if we define crisis as being an unstable situation with the threat of an abrupt change then I think anything owned by Mr Romanov is in a never ending crisis.

    Like I said it's a journalist's shorthand more than anything though.

  3. So Celtic and Rangers are the 'don't let me down as a glory hunter or we're in crisis clubs', Falkirk are an 'impending crisis club', and Hearts are a 'lingering feeling of unease club'.

  4. That's it. Wouldn't be such a nice headline though would it?