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Give McGhee money, not the boot!

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Jim Spence | 11:11 UK time, Friday, 19 March 2010

Mark McGhee needs money, not the sack.

The Dons board need to find some cash as a short-term fix to help their manager over this sticky patch.

But I want to know, if you're a Dons fans, if you agree or whether I'm out of touch with the mood in the Merklandor the discourse in the Dick Donald.

McGhee was certainly aware of the cash limitations when he took the job, but that doesn't mean he was aware of how limited his options were.

Aberdeen manager Mark McGheeDons chairman Stewart Milne has often been unfairly pilloried for not putting enough money into the club. He has put money in and feels he has spent enough.

However, this is an exceptional circumstance, and the club cannot expect the manager to restore the club with one hand tied behind his back.

McGhee has a mission and it looks impossible, according to some.

I think that, with time and the right support, he can turn the ailing ship round.

But I don't turn up week in and week out and pay my hard-earned cash, like the dwindling band of Dandies, so it's your view that will count in the end.

But what is that view? If you're part of the silent majority of Aberdeen fans, what are you thinking about the current state of the club?

Does the board need to find new owners or new cash to restore the club to former glories?

I see good young players emerging but it will take time for them to develop into players capable of handling the rigours of the Scottish Premier League on a weekly basis..

Meantime, the manager wants the players at the club to bend to his will in terms of training and the type and amount of work they do.

There are suggestions that some players have rebelled against this philosophy, but there can only be one manager and a professional football dressing room cannot be run as a democracy.

The board knew what they wanted when they appointed the manager and they surely believed in his philosophy for running the club at the time.

Less than a year in the job is nowhere near enough time for McGhee's ideas to have permeated throughout the club to effect the changes he is trying to make.

So, unpalatable as it may be in this financially-stricken climate, the Dons need to find some money to give McGhee the equivalent of a footballing bridging loan to help him rebuild the side in the summer.

In every walk of life demands for instant results and gratification are growing. Football is no different.

That doesn't mean the prevailing philosophy for those instant results is achievable or right. But, in football, logic has never prevailed; the heart wins over the head most times and the Dons fans seem to be losing patience.

Big changes are set to happen in football with wages being held down and perhaps even cut, but in this situation I think Aberdeen have to push the boat out a bit further to help strengthen for next season.

McGhee's philosophy and that of the board is a long-term one and that, in the end, must be one which does not constantly rely on large injections of money from the chairman or some other rich individual.

However, unless the main body of Aberdeen fans are prepared to suffer the pain in the short-to-medium term, their manager deserves to be given a fighting chance and a few more pounds to spend.


  • Comment number 1.

    This goes back to Jimmy Calderwood and his frustrations. One poor result in the Cup which cost Dons Europe and Calderwood his job. Aberdeen made their name by consistency of management so is it any surprise that with all the recent appointments that there is no movement forward. Calderwood now looks good with the same resources as McGhee.Sure the Dons have debt but they set their standards to the 3rd Force but no money to back it.
    Scottish Football needs a strong Aberdeen with its excellent fan base, I hope the board repays the fans loyalty. Not a Dons fan buty 83 will live long in all our memories.

  • Comment number 2.

    I'm a Dons fan based in London, so haven't been able to see many games this season, but the talk from my mates is that McGhee is getting no help from the board or the players. The youngsters coming through show patches of quality, but it'd often men against boys in terms of size and tactical awareness and the most experienced players don't show up. McGhee MUST be given time to clear the dead wood and get players that will play for both him and the shirt. I accepted long ago that the glory days won't be back anytime soon and I believed that Calderwood did an amazing job in his time at Pittodrie - I'd rather have a competitive team and regular top six finishes and the chance of Europe than back to Ebbe's days of near relegation and the odd cup final. Let's hope the real fans keep backing the team rather than booing them and spitting at the boss.

  • Comment number 3.

    Dick Donald? Donald Duck more like. MM is a cracking tactician and deserves to be backed.

  • Comment number 4.

    What disappoints me is seeing a self confessed Aberdeen fan Calum Melville pumping money into Dundee FC and buying up good young talent from the lower divisions when surely if he was approached correctly he could have been doing the same for the Dons.
    I dont blame Stewart Milne as he has put enough of his own money into the club and regardless how much he has no-one can afford to pour cash down a drain.
    There are clubs in the SPL running on a reasonable financial footing like Hibs who can still produce young players and have their first team playing attractive attacking football that would bring punters back to the games.
    With Aberdeen being a one city team further removed from other big clubs its sad to see their plight but mistakes have obviously been made for years and its probably too far gone to rectify most of them now.

  • Comment number 5.

    It's ridiculous for some to suggest that he should be sacked. Good teams take time to build and lets face it the Dons have been a mid-table force for some time. They look no different this year and it really isn't helped by the less than supportive attitude of some of their fans, who earlier in the season thought it okay to abuse the players and managers week in week out.

    They are a club who have a number of advantages (based in Scotland's wealthiest area in a one-team city) and yet they can barely get 10k punters through the door. And solutions aren't just about putting more money in. Every club in Scottish football needs more money but you look at what is being done at clubs like DUtd and Hibs and you see what can be done on a breadline budget. Its what managers do with their resources that is the key here and MM should be given the time to build a team.

  • Comment number 6.

    Dear Jim,

    I do not believe that the problem lies solely with McGhee, although I must admit that I am far from happy with the way the team has performed since the start of the season. I was not particularly happy with the manner of Jimmy Calderwood's leaving the club either, as he actually achieved rather a lot in his 5-year reign (last 32 of UEFA Cup being a particular highlight), but I did think it was an opportune time for a change of management: we had squandered some of our best chances for cup silverware and some of the players' hunger seemed to be dwindling.

    However, we had qualified for Europe, which should be a real boost for any club not considered a "quality contender" (look at Fulham). McGhee had the chance to rekindle the fire with his new squad, but he has completely failed to do so. The amount of times he has changed formation or tactics at half time this season seems to suggest he is not sure what to with his players, which I'm sure will be felt in the dressing room.

    Don't get me wrong - we have had some great performances this season - however, we Dons always seem to be able to kick it up a notch at Pittodrie against the Old Firm. We have a talented bunch of young players at our disposal and McGhee should really be getting better results, or at least instilling the desire for these players to prove themselves. I am willing to give him another season, but I fear, looking at his track record with previous clubs, little will happen. Motherwell, for example, had a 3rd place finish (but they were galvanised by the unfortunate and tragic death of Phil O’Donnell), but the other 2 seasons were in the bottom half of the table. Most Reading fans I know can barely bring themselves to utter his name.

    Where is the money going to come from, though? I work for a non-governmental, non-profit organisation, and I know how difficult it is to secure any funds in the current climate. Football clubs cannot take gambles and risk insolvency. A bottom-half finish is preferable to points docked and potential relegation. Jimmy Calderwood managed alright with few resources (except for some suspect Dutchmen we’d never heard of), so we should use what we’ve got. Money does not solve all problems (but it does of course help), a good dressing room relationship should. If a crowd can see that a team are giving their all and show desire, they rally behind them. That just is not happening currently under McGhee.

    As for the comment of a previous post, that we are a wealthy city with one team but barely pull in a crowd – the oil businesses might be wealthy but not much else is. Many Dons fans also still hanker after the glory days of Sir Alex or are growing tired of the SPL, which don’t help. What I really think would boost support for Scottish teams would be an integration with the English leagues. Cardiff and Swansea play in the lower divisions, for example, and have not lost their support. A change in opposition and targets would give the players (and supporters) new challenges. I doubt this will happen, but I really think it would do our football the world of good, as well as open up our youngsters to attract other clubs and not just be ruined by Celtic or Rangers.

    I would be interested to hear you opinion, Jim, on some of the points I’ve raised here.

    Al the best,

    Haykakan Don
    (Armenian Don)

  • Comment number 7.

    There is one line from McGhee which I feel really hits the heart of the problem: changing the mentality of some of those already here.

    The attitude of the players at AFC stinks, and it has done for the best part of a decade, if not longer. How else does one explain how they manage to beat the Old Firm one week, and then, almost without fail, lose to a Hamilton or St Mirren the next? With this in mind, it's no surprise that some of the players don't like being worked a bit harder in training. So if McGhee has lost the dressing room, is he really to blame for not pandering to these inflated egos? No.

    Between Alex Smith's unfair dismissal and Calderwood coming in, Aberdeen chopped and changed managers on a whim, and it was disasterous. McGhee is not a bad manager, and he has some good ideas which will obviously take more than half a season to implement. He needs to be given time and backing to do what he set out to do. Matters were not helped by him having his budget slashed almost as soon as he set foot in Pittodrie and this season is merely the culmination of a policy that AFC has acted out over the past few seasons - namely letting good players go and not bothering to replace them. McNaughton, Anderson, Severin, Nicholson, Hart, Clark, Smith... all of these and more were allowed to leave and either replaced with players of lower calibre, or not even replaced at all. It'll continue this season with players like Mulgrew going, because why would anyone want to sign for Aberdeen at the moment?

    Sacking McGhee would achieve nothing. It would have been interesting to see how Calderwood would have fared if he'd been in charge this season - going by our results in the latter half of last season, this season seems to be nothing more than a continuation of the same form, and perhaps the people who are saying Jimmy should never have gone would be singing a different tune now.

    McGhee needs to be allowed to perform a mass clear out of the squad, and given the funds to bring in replacements of genuine quality. Teams like Dundee United and Hibs manage it, so there's no reason why Aberdeen shouldn't. Then he could have players who want to work his way, along with the youngsters who (hopefully) have not been around long enough to pick up the bad attitude and habits of the current senior players.

  • Comment number 8.

    Right i'm a Southampton fan so i'm very much an outsider but, to me, the problem seems to be throughout the entire SPL and the leagues below it. It appears as if football north of the border has stagnated a little with many now supporting sides in the english leagues (from personal experience, not too sure if the stats would support that). The big factor seems to be money with many other factors involved but finance is the key aspect. If the SPL was revamped in a way that made it more competitive ie wage/spending limits or something like the atlantic league that has been talked of perhaps gates would increase, tv revenue would rise and sponsorship value would increase. This money could then go back into the clubs and allow them to develop young scottish players while being able to be competitve on a european scale.

  • Comment number 9.

    As a motherwell fan I have absolutely no sympathy for Mark McGhee, his assistants and their glory hunting ways.

    The current predicament AFC find themselves in highlights of course that it's not their managers that are the problem but their board. Jimmy Calderwood should have been given the type of backing Spencey is advocating for McGhee.

    Good luck in your pursuit of the Celtic job Mark - although to be fair your project plan has probably taken a wee dunt this year.

    Dems the breaks eh?

  • Comment number 10.

    Douglas Mackenzie: it wasn't "one poor result in the cup" that cost Calderwood his job, it was a series of cup defeats to lower league opposition. I personally would have liked to see Calderwood backed for another season with some serious money (in SPL terms) on the condition that he had to bring in some silverware.

    As far as McGhee is concerned, I don't think sacking him will do us or him any favours. There are players at the club who blatantly don't want to be playing under him and he should be given the chance to move them on and shape his own team around the likes of Fyvie et al. There's no quick fix with Aberdeen because the club has been on its current downward slope for a number of years now. Only a sizeable cash injection and a complete change in mentality from the top down would have any hope of doing that.

  • Comment number 11.

    McGhee is an utter disgrace but so are so-called Aberdeen fans.
    Who was the last manager to win us a cup? Oh yes, super Roy Aitken who also happens to be one of the worst managers we ever had.

    JC was the man but Willie MIller decided to bring in McGhee. I think judging a manager on cup results is ludicrous as those games are a lottery to some extent. In the league, he delivered. He did at other clubs too.

    I think Milbne is blamless. Willie Miller out and, as soon as we can identify someone decent, McGhee - the joke - out too.

    We were a good side last season, there is no excuse for this shambles.

  • Comment number 12.

    As far as most of the Dons fans I know feel that we have to stick with Mark and realise that the job he took on at Pittodrie would not be a walk in the park,I was surprised at the beginning that Mark as Manager at Motherwell was not aware of the quality of the Dons squad he had inherited as we had stolen a European spot as our form at the end of last season was very shaky,on the negatives I am not impressed with his early signings of Ifil and Grassi (though in his case his season was blighted by injury)they are not the type of player that will inspire confidence to assist the younger players he hopes to bring through,I still think that Maclean & Paterson would be okay but he does need to bring in a strong willed midfielder as we are being out played in battles against teams who fight for every point.The media often see Dons Fans as living in the past but most do not as they are more realistic than that we are not going to win the SPL anytime in the future but with the finances we have we should be expecting to be contesting strongly nearer the top end of league and having a better record in cup competitions,as I have been a regular attender at Pittodrie for over 50 years and have seen a fews lows as well as highs I only look for a team going out and giving it 100% and with a bit of skill preferably.

  • Comment number 13.

    I think the major problem with McGhee is his personality. Maybe he has to much, is much too opinionated for the Aberdeen fans and players.
    It must be hard to warm to a manager if you know your second choice, and let's not kid ourselves, McGhee the Dons Hero is Celtic through and through. Its obvious the fans know it, and coupled with results against Raith, and his reaction to being spat on (by claming he deserved it) his confidence seems to be shattered. The players have issues with him, and letting some of the experianced guys go has added to that, not to mention stating he can't trust his current group.
    It would be best for all concerned if McGhee stood down from his post, or failing that, a mass clear out in the summer, plus the resources to bring in his own players.
    The cheaper option of course would be to simply change the Dons shirts to green and white hoops, maybe McGhee will try a little harder then.

  • Comment number 14.

    Dear Wazzamatazz, it was one poor result to QOS that cost u the Europe place. Silverware cant be a condition unless your Old Firm or Chelsea??? Fact is the board had already banked that money. Of course QOS then ran Gwers close. Any team in the SPL outside OF can lose to lower opposition. Reality check mate

  • Comment number 15.

    The cheaper option of course would be to simply change the Dons shirts to green and white hoops, maybe McGhee will try a little harder then
    An astonishing comment but then I suppose JC was disliked because he was a Rangers fan. So MM is a Celtic fan well so what. If you think only an Aberdeen fan can manage the club, you'll be choosing your managers from a very small list! No wonder you change managers as often as you do because it can't be an attractive job for people managing the expecations of Dons fans. Seriously!

  • Comment number 16.

    Always interesting how McGhee much like Jim Jefferies always gets an easy ride from the media.

    McGhee is utterly despised by most opposing fans due to his arrogant appraisal of his mediocre managerial record. Flitting from one club to another, showing no loylaty, endlessly self-promoting himself and achieving little, except for writing his opposing managers team take with his drivel he spouts to the media each week.

    WHich explains why you like him, I guess.

  • Comment number 17.

    The main problem for Aberdeen is a lack of desire from too many first team players. I have been at several of the recent away games, and there are too many players not putting in the effort or showing that they care. The first thing I'd like to see McGhee do is install Zander Diamond as captain, because he is one of the few who are willing to dig in when required - the others being Langfield, Fyvie, Young and a few others occassionally. Quite frankly, Mark Kerr is useless as a captain - in the recent game against Hamilton, we fell behind to a goal from a corner. At said corner, Mark Kerr was marking the first man, but showed no attempt to ensure his team mates were marking up, and once the ball was in the net, merely trudged back to his position without any sign of desire to fight for an equaliser. What sort of leader does this? On the other hand, Diamond is not scared to shout at his teammates if they make a mistake, and he shows desire - it was him who scored the equaliser in the above mentioned game.
    I think there are several players who need to be cleared out because they do not show effort, thus freeing up funds for McGhee to try and build his own team - I doubt Stewart Milne will invest anymore, so the only way is to sell, or atleast clear wages from the wage bill.
    McGhee does not help himself however, and should learn to think before he speaks to the press - on several occassions this season he has provided the opposition manager with their team talk, and subsequently lost the game - by saying naieve things. It was also ludicrous when he stated after the Dundee loss that he intended to free up 18k a week in wages by the end of the season - where was this coming from? And if he can free up this money, why cant we afford anyones wages, or atleast offer mulgrew a bit more to tempt him to stay?

  • Comment number 18.

    I can't wait to see the Jim Spence blogs over the coming years hand wringing about Clubs going into Administration or even worse.

    How can you justify a piece about a club who have not got any money, and you call for money from somewhere to save a manager's reputation or even job.

    Do you want them to print their own money?

    Is his alternative title not Head Coach?

    He should get the Jacket oan and get them down to the training pitch and do what his title suggests.

    Wee diddy clubs have to live on a budget, cant EssssPeeeElllll teams do the same.

    Did Mr McGhee not get told about his budget when he knocked back Parkhead to go to Pittodrie?

  • Comment number 19.

    15. Robo4
    Its not the case that McGhee is disliked for being a Celtic fan, everyone has the choice. The dislike comes from the fact he so obviously only took the job because Celtic didn't want him. This has left fans and players feeling unwanted. Its all explained in the post.

    Personally I don't think Aberdeen should sign a manager with any ties to the club, a foreign manager is the way to go. Calderwood had experiance of Dutch football at a high level and it served him well.

    And, not that it matters, but I'm not a Dons fan, I would just like to see some competition for the Old Firm for a change.

  • Comment number 20.

    People going on that it was Calderwood's fault are way off the mark, it's not even McGhee's fault, although I do think he has confused the players with his game tactics.
    The root cause of the problem goes way be to '83. A great time for Dons fans & Scottish Football, may have been a freak result but Dick & Ian Donald are to blame for not acting on a opportunity to take in invest when the team was at the top of european football. They rode that result until Stewart Milne took over. He has had to clean up their mess. A mess that can now only be fixed by the almighty Sterling Pound.
    So invest is what is needed, I would love to see Sir Ian Wood invest, a confessed Dons supporter & business man. Milne & Wood could take Aberdeen forward. Also Mr Wood could get overseas investments with Wood Groups over seas oil contacts!?

  • Comment number 21.

    jim, i normally enjoy you blog efforts alot, but i think you're off the mark here. Money is not the fundamental issue- frankly, the wage budget at AFC currently is big enough to be competitive in the SPL market. And when he has made transfers so fa they have been appaling- i think the board will with some justification look at his record on the matter so far and think 'no way- it'll be wasted'. good managers find talent, not just snap up talent that everyone knows is there.

    i think the problem isnt the players or manager. both share some of the blame of course, but the problems are deep-seated back to the late 90's. ever since then, we've nearly always looked, irrespective of the squad or management, like we are trying not to lose instead of striving to win. big difference.

    wrote an article on the forums the other day about this;

  • Comment number 22.

    To be honest what goes around comes around. The fans wanted Calderwood out and they got there wish. Now there stuck with McGhee who is at the helm of a rudderless ship. Don't moan about Milne because if I had his money I wouldnt waste it on the players or the so called fans either. Rarely a full house unless the old firm come along but perhaps a spell down in 1st Division might be what the team, fans and city need for a little reality check.
    Wouldn't be great to see Jimmy C finish above the dons to show how much of a mistake the club and fans made.

  • Comment number 23.

    Its not the case that McGhee is disliked for being a Celtic fan, everyone has the choice. The dislike comes from the fact he so obviously only took the job because Celtic didn't want him. This has left fans and players feeling unwanted. Its all explained in the post.
    I think you were questioning his commitment in the same way that JC'c commitment was queried, and you query it because they have OF affiliations. You can't compare the Aberdeen and Celtic jobs. Given these choices most prospective managers wouldn't have the Dons as their first choice would they (no offence but Celtic are a major club and the Dons are not)? MM strikes me as a committed guy. What you can't do though is use someone's affiliations as a stick to beat them with when things aren't rosy. Can I suggest that things have been less than rosy with the Dons management policy for some time now prior to JC and MM. Managerial appointments at the Dons are like a running soap opera..

  • Comment number 24.

    we just need to get a few more experienced players in to bring on some of the young lad's - then we need to look at our scouting as there are good players out there we can just never get anywhere near them.

    Milne, Miller and McGhee aren't going to leave anytime soon - and I don't think they should - who is going to do a better job?

    Identify and get rid of all the players who have no interest in playing for the shirt replace them with a few players from lower leagues who are playing below themselves (see scouting) who would love to play at this level.

    I know it is tough going to the games and thinking what else you could have spent £25 on but we need to get behind the whole team and not boo and heckle every bad touch as it is just making things worse.

    Stand Free

  • Comment number 25.

    I agree with what your saying, and I'm not using McGhees support for Celtic against him. Sure anyone would take the Parkhead job over Aberdeen, but McGhee left Motherwell for Aberdeen, after turning down Hearts while he waited for the Celtic hotseat. There is a difference between wanting to better yourself and taking what you can get. McGhee's mouth got him in trouble at Motherwell, its was obvious he was leaving, so when Celtic didn't want him he took the Dons post, but ultimatly the Motherwell job is a more attractive option, plus he had the fans behind him already.
    Commited or not, McGhee can't be allowed to run a team into the ground, after all the Captain of the Titanic was commited to his job.
    I never had a problem with Calderwood, or his Gers affiliation, I just think McGhee was a step backwards and he was only given the job for his previous connections with the club, which as you say is a problem with the boards appointment policy.
    It wouldn't really matter if McGhee was Celtic daft, it could have been Jim Jeffries that got the Aberdeen job, but if he stated his desired to return to Hearts as obviously as McGhee has done with Celtic, I'm sure the resentment would have been the same.
    You need to win over the fans, but more importantly the players, something McGhee has failed to do. Its a basic mistake, and its down to his arrogance and apathy for his current post.

  • Comment number 26.

    Despite an excellent first season at Motherwell, McGhee is an overrated coach who doesn't seem to have done much to justify the reputation he has (or had). He doesn't do himself any favours with some of his comments either, particularly regarding Motherwell who gave him a chance in Scottish Football.

    He deserves another season to turn things around, but whether McGhee is capable of making Aberdeen a top 3 or 4 side is doubtful.

  • Comment number 27.

    Jim if you were Stewart Milne would you be confident about handing Mark McGhee money? His first season has been an unmitigated disaster. Not one player he has brought in has improved the team. For the players he has brought in he is still picking all Jimmy Calderwood's players because he knows that his first foray's into the transfer market as Aberdeen manager have been completley without success.
    Aberdeen must realise there limitations and work within them. Like or hate Stewart Milne he is the best man to be in charge at present. Nobody else wants Aberdeen. There are bigger, better and more fiscally attractive teams out there looking for new owners without any luck. What makes us think that they are queuing up to invest in the Dons?
    McGhee should remain in charge for at least one more season but like every other manager in the SPL he should have to earn his wage by releasing and buying the correct players within his budget and promoting the new talent when the time is right.
    I like McGhee but talk is cheap it's time he layed off the media soundbytes and concentrated on his team.

  • Comment number 28.

    The problem is that Aberdeen never keep their best players. Imagine how strong a team of the best players at Aberdeen over the past 5 or so years would be? Gk - Jamie Langfield DL - Charlie Mulgrew DC - Russel Anderson DC - Zander Diamond DR - Michael Hart ML - Sone Aluko MC - Barry Nicholson MC - Scott Severin ST - Lee Miller ST - Chris Maguire ST - Steve MacLean. That would be a team capable of challenging the aul firm. The board and the manager must do all they can to ensure that we keep players that are capable of playing at the level Aberdeen fans want them to.

  • Comment number 29.

    Some valid points, and many old, recycled media-fueled, ignorant myths, sadly often coming from Aberdeen fans themselves: AFC were relegation fodder before Calderwood saved us, Calderwood was sacked just because of his cup failures, AFC sack managers left, right and centre, Alex Smith was a great manager, McGhee is just waiting for the Celtic job, McGhee does well in his first season then it's downhill from there, Skovdahl's teams were a joke and all he achieved was two cup finals, all Aberdeen fans are constantly hung-up on the return of the glory days, Milne has done a good job as chairman, and my favourite so far: Chris Anderson and Dick Donald cocked-up, and Milne is picking up the pieces!!! All ill-informed garbage.

    McGhee has had a really disappointing start. This wasn't helped by his last minute appointment coupled with the timing of the European fixture, before the season had even started. Added to this he had took on a poor, threadbare squad with very few defensive options, and had the rug pulled from under him straight away with the loss of the Setanta cash, just when he needed a cash boost to strengthen the squad and bring in his style of player. Even allowing for all this, results and performances have been extremely disappointing, and he has to take some responsibility for these (which he has).

    However, what is regularly missed in media reports is one of the main reasons Calderwood was sacked (as well as the cup performances and the miserable, dire, painful football that he advocated): he wasn't keen on bringing on the youth players, and he didn't like the idea of sports science being brought into training and coaching. McGhee was brought in because he is open to these ideas, which is the direction the club is trying to go. No-one expected the season to turn out so badly, but I think a large number (the majority? not sure) of fans are patiently hurting and waiting for the season to end, giving McGhee time to build a squad that are willing and able to work the way he wants them to.

    Cash injection? Would be nice, but I can't imagine anyone is honestly expecting it. Stuart Milne has very, very full, deep pockets, but I think his arms are just long enough to have sown them shut (double stitched). Fingers crossed that McGhee can find some gems and bargains this summer, but most important is that next season's squad will be open to doing things his way, and we won't have to put up with watching spoilt underachievers cheat the increasingly patient, frustrated but realistic Aberdeen support.

  • Comment number 30.

    Problem with the Dons is that they have had ideas above their station since Fergie left. It's 25 years since the Dons were a serious force, but the expectations set by Fergie's unprecedented run of success still linger. I remember Alex Smith being sacked, because all he could manage was a Scottish Cup victory and taking Rangers to the last game of the season (this was during the Souness era while Rangers were building their 9 in a row). They made some bum appointments since then, but Calderwood was doing a good job, however a couple of bad cup results and he is booted. If they believe in McGhee, then give him time to build his team - like ManU did with Fergie. See where it might end?

  • Comment number 31.

    In the 3 seasons leading up to this year the Dons were 4th,4th and 3rd in the league and were in Europe each year. During that same time Hearts were 3rd,8th and 4th, Dundee Utd 5th,5th and 9th and Hibs were 6th,6th and 6th. Jimmy Calderwood did have it right even though we couldn't get past the bug of getting knocked out of the cup by lower division teams. Some of the comments here make it sound like the other teams are doing so much more with the same or less than the Aberdeen manager. It's not the case. If the board had not caved to the section of the support that just didn't like Jimmy and given Him some more funding I doubt this article would have needed to be written. I'd be willing to bet the fans who said they wouldn't go to the games if Jimmy stayed are the same ones not going now, so what has been gained. Lets just get behind the team for the rest of the season, let the player do their job and hopefully MM will prove me wrong

  • Comment number 32.

    What complete and utter tosh, he's had plenty of money, he just is quite useless as a man manager. His team has more money and better resources than many of the other teams in the SPL, but he still moans!

  • Comment number 33.

    "The Dons board need to find some cash as a short-term fix to help their manager over this sticky patch."

    Sorry for stating the obvious, but the transfer window doesn't open for another 3 months, so a cash injection now is (a bit like this article) pointless.

    At that point McGhee has the option to ship out players to release cash.

    Come back to it in the summer Jim...

  • Comment number 34.

    Possibly Aberdeen fans need to appreciate that before Alex Ferguson they weren't that big a club and post Alex ferguson they are not that big a club. You have to feel sorry for any manager taking on the hotset at this club.

    I am a DFC fan and there is also a small section of Dees who believe the sleeping giant rubbish. The simple fact is you are what you are, you play in the league you play in or are in the position you are because thats where your manager and players have taken you.

    Maybe Aberdeen fans and even Dundee fans have got to get behind a manager and encourage the board to stick with someone for thelong term. Surely when you look at Aberdeen and Dundee Utd they were successful because they stuck with their managers, when will certain fans and clubs learn that has to be the way to go.

  • Comment number 35.

    I have a philosophy - extremely tenuous - but one nonetheless.

    Aberdeen were successful in the 80s, not because of Sir Alex Ferguson (well, not entirely down to him), but because of Willie Miller's moustache. It was his moustache that lifted the Euro Cup, Scottish Cup, League Cup and Super Cup - it was his moustache that provided the backbone of the most successful Dons team in history - but now its gone, and since then, we have been rubbish, at best.

    I now ask all Don's fans to petition Willie Miller to 'Bring Back The Tache' - I believe that bringing back the facial hair above WMs top lip, will bring back the success that we have been starved of for decades.

    Our lucky mascot, and it is lucky, has been missing, somewhere down WMs bathroom sink - it is now time to throw away the Gillette's Willie and let it grow - that's right Willie, let it grow, let it grow thick and bushy for the sake of Aberdeen FCs future success - and, incidentally, your personal success, too - let it grow Willie and then open up another chipper - it will be a frying success - what have you got to lose?

    Bring Back The Tache

  • Comment number 36.

    I challenge the fact that Stewart Milne has put any money into the club that he hasn't had back. Lets see the figures to prove how much of his personal money has been put into the club over the years.
    In saying that - the Dons teams of the 70's and 80's played good entertaining football and were exciting to watch even though they didn't cost or earn big money. The last 10 years has been about as entertaining as watching cricket!
    The team definitely lacks the spark that the likes of one star player could bring - any young Charlie Nicholas's around?

  • Comment number 37.

    Sorry Spency but I think your article is nonsense. McGhee has taken a top four side and turned them into a relegation outfit. You say give him money? Well I’m sure Brown at Mothewell or McInnes at SJFC have smaller budgets - so why are they getting results?

    McGhoo is a terrible manager, he’s lost the dressing room and if it wasn’t that Falkirk and Accies were so bad I’d say the Dons would go down this year. The sack is the only option!!

  • Comment number 38.

    Gaz, if you read the blog again you'll see that I say quite clearly the Aberdeen board need to give Mcghee money to rebuild in the summer. I'm aware that nothing can be done while the window is closed. Since I wrote the blog the manager has said that he'll present a list of between 60 to 100 players from which he'll be looking to sign up to 10. We'll see then if the Dons board are prepared to find some cash to strengthen then.

  • Comment number 39.

    I really dont know how i came about reading this. English, live in Spain support Blackburn.(you probably undestand the But interesting nonetheless.
    Im a great beleiver in Scottish teams entering the English league system. However, and lets be honest, for most this would be the end of the line.I really dont get why we see Scottish 3rd division results. No one cares. (look at the attendance figures for these games.)
    But Aberdeen would be one of the gainers (longer term) As with the majority of SPL teams.
    Scottish clubs need bigger attendances. Im sure this would happen. Also the extra TV money would help. However the other teams in lower leagues in Scotland would suffer terribly. (Is this acceptable?)
    I really dont know what the quality of Scottish league footy is. So please enlighten me.

  • Comment number 40.

    I have just turned 16 and have seen no glory years and I thik that jc's sacking was fully justified as i have only been to hampden once with Aberdeen only to get beaten by Queen of the South. I am desperate to see my team in a cup final and really hope mcghee is given around 500k to make us a decent top 6 team and get us to a cup final , i do not believe that this is unrealistic for Scotlands third biggest club.i have been a season ticket holder since 01/02 and this is the worst team ive seen at todders worse than patterson's team. milne has to do more to get investment to the club or dig deep himself otherwise next year will be just as misserable as this year if not worse. I am still at school and the majority of people in my school have turned their back on the club , our attendances will only get worse in the long run if we don't get a team that will get the fans back because if we dont do it now then they will never come back which would be terrible for scottish football

  • Comment number 41.

    #39 Glenn

    Not sure what your point is re the attendances at Scottish Div 3 games.

    The population of Scotland is about 5.5 million - half that of London alone - so it's hardly surprising that attendances are tiny. It's just not possible to get bigger attendances purely by being successful. For example, Stranraer has a total population of around 13000 and might get 600 for a home game. If they were successful, this might rise to 1000, not many but a very sizeable proportion of the local population. Compare the percentage with clubls like Leeds United who in League 2 are averaging around 25000 but from a population catchment area of well about 1.2 million.

    These low attendances are nothing whatsoever to do with the quality of football on offer, but totally to do with demographics.


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