Bored with the board: what makes the perfect chairman?
If a football fan is enduring a disappointing display from their beloved team there are surely occasions when they allow themselves to escape from the suffering.
At these moments, supporters may dream of what they would do if they were in a chairman's shoes or if they were the owners and in control of their club's destiny.
I am sure in the midst of these thoughts everyone would have their ideal choice of manager and list of preferred signings to add to the team. However, if their fantasy was to become a reality just how difficult and indeed how necessary is it for football chairman and owners not to interfere in matters of signing policy, team selection and choice of tactics?
To begin with I must be honest and say that if I was in a position where I had the means to secure ownership of a football club I would find it hard not to be regularly offering my opinion to my manager on those matters listed above.
Having had playing experience I would feel that my opinion was worth listening to, and yet for this same reason I would realise how important it would be for me to resist the urge to interfere and consequently allow the manager and players to do their jobs.
Ever dreamed of owning your own club like Vladimir Romanov at Hearts?
This would seem to suggest that perhaps clubs would benefit from a chairman who has played the game at a professional level.
But history shows that such an arrangement can have mixed results with the rise and rise of Wigan under the stewardship of Dave Whelan being incredible, while Francis Lee endured disappointing results in charge of the boardroom of Manchester City.
Jim McLean at Dundee United was a rare Scottish example of a former player taking ownership of a prominent senior club.
And the varying fortunes of the examples given only highlight that there would be no guarantee of success if the future brought a player-turns-chairman scenario.
If we accept that there is no pre requisite for success in terms of a chairman's playing experience, are there other factors that are important in securing good relations with a manger and players and subsequent success for the club?
In my own experience, those chairmen who are most respected are those who are able to distance themselves in the appropriate manner but who are also capable of making the players aware of how much they are supporting them in their quest for success.
For example, I have experienced some owners who like to be in and around the dressing room and training ground and others who players would struggle to recognise such is their detachment.
With regards to the former I think there is a fine line to be drawn between being involved and impinging on match day preparations.
Of course there may be a view that if you invest and own a club you should be able to have as much access as you desire but I know that players and coaches do not appreciate this as they rightly believe that pre match is a vital time for mental and physical preparation and any distractions are unwelcome.
Therefore it seems that opinion from the playing side of the game is that the ideal chairman is one who enjoys good relations with his staff but knows the boundaries that separate him from those he has put his trust in to produce on the field.
Are there such types in Scottish football? Of course there is, and many who deserve credit for the time, energy and money they have invested in their respective clubs.
However, there are always exceptions and in my career I have witnessed those who are happy to roll up to the glamour games at Ibrox and Parkhead but are conspicuous by their absence as you visit the league's lesser lights.
Similarly, players become wary of those who make their presence felt in the aftermath of victory but who disappear in the disappointment of defeat.
Furthermore, there are even the very occasional chairmen who do have a say in team selection and who perhaps even influence tactical changes during a match.
It may be that this is the future, that those with sufficient wealth to buy a club will think they should make all the decisions.
Remember that dream of owning a club; surely that would be the nightmare scenario.