When Gordon Strachan resigned as manager of Celtic on Monday after winning “only” three Scottish League titles in four years at Parkhead, part of the immediate speculation as to the cause was the former Coventry and Southampton boss’s relationship with the media.
Strachan, who spent a large part of his playing career under Alex Ferguson, first at Aberdeen and later at Manchester United, made in abundantly clear that he would not suffer fools – particularly those carrying microphones and armed with questions that sought merely what, as Tony Hancock once called it, “the bleedin’ obvious”.
Yesterday, observers of the Scottish game were blaming Strachan’s equally testy relationship with the Celtic fans, as much as the Scottish media. They certainly did not consider that Celtic’s fans’ attitude to the club’s manager was because of the way he played the media.
Ronnie Esplin, for PA Sport, dismissed as â€œ… ridiculous were the claims that the dislike of Strachan was down to his open contempt for the Scottish media.
â€œComing from a support which has constantly maintained that the mainstream television and radio stations and the newspapers in Scotland have been the media arm of the club at the other side of the city for 100 years and more, that notion is laughable.
â€œIn fact, the idea that all of the Scottish media hated Strachan is a myth.
â€œHe had to wade through a core of sycophants before each press conference and those not in the inner circle regularly laughed at the preferential treatment he would dish out to his favoured few. Even if that preferential treatment was at times only a civil reply to a question.â€
With Moterwell boss, Mark McGhee, a former Celtic player who writes a weekly column for the Sunday Herald, named among the favourites to succeed his mate Strachan because of his better media relations, the relationship between the new Parkhead boss and the press seems certain to be different.