Saturday, May 08, 2010

Big Bairns don't cry

The relegation post.

Don't like writing these. Always feel like it's intruding on private grief. Or tempting fate for next season.

But it has to be done.

So farewell Falkirk. Unable to repeat last season's final day heroics, a no scoring draw with Kilmarnock sealed their fate.

Some of us feared for them from the start of the season. The appointment of Eddie May was an admirable move by a club that likes to reward its own and craves stability. But it was also the cheap move. It proved costly.

May had neither the experience nor the funds to solve the problems that saw Falkirk sink into the relegation battle last season.

37 goals was enough for 38 points and third bottom a year ago. 31 goals was enough for only 31 points and relegation this year. How fitting that it was a goalless draw that tipped them over the edge.

Let's not leave May shouldering all the blame. He hardly inherited a world beating squad from John Hughes and key players were allowed to leave without the resources for adequate replacements.

When May bowed to the inevitable the club turned to Steven Pressley. He brought more cohesion and his outspoken attacks on anyone and everyone brought the bunker mentality that was needed.

But here was another untried manager trying to turn things around. It was a risk. In both appointments the Falkirk board might have pointed to the presence of Alex Smith as a wise head to help bring stability. It seems that neither May or Pressley were quick to seek his counsel.

So it has come to this. The more I write, the more I feel a depressing inevitability to the whole thing. I'm sure some Falkirk fans will feel the same.

No matter how pretty the passing, how pure the ideals, a team as blunt as Falkirk will always struggle. Last season was the warning. Someone at the club chose not to listen.

So now they find themselves stuck in the First Division. Where to from here? League reconstruction might yet save them.

If not they'll be looking to win a competitive league with an even tighter budget and a still relatively untried manager.

I wish them good luck. I suspect they'll need it.