Why Toon farce shows football managers are the worst blacklegs in the workplace
For a second there seemed to be a glimmer of hope in this grim story about Chris Hughton.
When the man who breezed into his job, Alan Pardew, told us he’d received lots of texts from other managers, I felt this could finally be the moment when one of them unburdened their guilt and disgust over their chosen profession.
By writing: “You are a scab Alan. We are all scabs. It’s how we stay on this immoral gravy train. Shame on you for not telling Mike Ashley that you wouldn’t work for a thug who treated such a decent person and decent coach so badly. Shame on us all for not having the collective decency to take a stand.”
Instead they sent messages wishing their old pal Pards the best of luck, but telling him he must be bonkers to go there.
Shame on them. Football managers are the worst blacklegs in the workplace.
They put themselves up for positions, and allow themselves to be tapped up, while their doomed colleagues are still working their socks off to stay in the job they’re coveting.
They have a joke of a union called the League Managers’ Association, which puts out statements of mock disgust when one of their members is sacked but doesn’t have the balls to do anything about it.
How easy would it be for these men to take a stand against bullies like Ashley, by telling him that, for once, they’re not playing the game.
How easy to stay united, as every other decent set of trade unionists would, in the face of such a disgraceful sacking as Hughton’s, and say none of our members will work for you.
Then get coaches who carry real clout like Alex Ferguson, Harry Redknapp and Sam Allardyce to say “any non-member who takes Hughton’s job will be black-listed and disowned by us all.”
Why not? They don’t mind taking industrial action when it comes to non co-operation with the BBC do they?
And it’s not as if they can’t afford to let the odd job pass. I doubt there’s any group of workers in the post-50 age group with healthier investment portfolios thanks to all those cushy contracts and pay-offs.
I’m not talking about boycotting every managerial vacancy. I’m talking about doing it when a manager like Hughton, loved by his players and his fans, has become a victim of such an overwhelming injustice, that something has to be done.
The most hypocritical aspect of their blind-eye turning is that they have the gall to lecture players on ethics. Remember them all spewing bile on Wayne Rooney when he stalled on signing a new contract, claiming he’d let his loyal manager down?
Where is Ian Holloway’s morality lecture to Alan Pardew today? Nowhere. Just the standard self-deluding excuse all of them trot out whenever a colleague has been done in: “For the sake of the fans, someone’s got to manage that club now, haven’t they?”
Pardew says Hughton “did a super job”. So why didn’t he advise Ashley to let him keep doing that super job instead of taking it off him?
I know Pardew is by no means the worst example in history, and that it goes on all the time. But the sacking of Hughton is so unwarranted the LMA really did need to do more. And its powerful senior members, instead of whining about the lack of opportunity for young English managers, needed to take action.
Instead they’ve shown us again that managers would run into a burning office, using their granny as a shield, to grab a contract on a boss’s desk.
That they are less loyal to their colleagues than those grasping, self-obsessed wannabes on The Apprentice. Isn’t that right Lord Sugar and Mrs Brady?
I think we need an inquiry into that poll up at Newcastle, where, when 1,000 people were asked if they thought Alan Pardew was a good appointment, 15 of them said yes.
You think in the land of Ant and Dec they'd be wary of poll-rigging and keep their eyes out for someone like Mike Ashley being allowed to vote 15 times.
As tough a time as Rafa Benitez is having in Italy I hope he's taking solace from the seeing how Jurgen Klinsmann is doing.
The man who was offered his Liverpool job three years ago is watching his reputation fall more dramatically than he did as a player.
As if it wasn't bad enough last month landing the job of football supremo at the mighty Toronto FC, this week he was touted as being Mike Ashley's choice to replace Chris Hughton.
Only for Newcastle's communications department to overturn its policy on not commenting on speculation, to point out: "Now THAT is crazy."
How the mighty have dived.