Considering the many club staff made redundant in recent months, a squad made up of a number of loanees and a board looking to jump ship at the best opportunity, St James’ still has the feel of a house built on sand. All this despite the good fortune on the green stuff, which is arguably the most important thing to us supporters.
The discomfort comes from not knowing how we would respond to a fundamental change at the top which would surely inevitably have ramifications throughout the rest of the club. We’ve discussed at length on here about the managerial position but what of the other ingredients of a football club? What about the physios and fitness staff who seem less keen to hang around in the current circumstances and would appear to be on rolling contracts? What about the coaching staff who, without promise of longer term prospects, may look elsewhere for a more solid future?
Of course, some will argue that there are bigger things to worry about than rumours of Colin Calderwood seeking emlployment at other clubs. And the same could be said about the overall merits of those responsible for the fitness and well-being of the players, when you reflect that we continue to have problems with injuries and there are still several players clearly not as fit as they could be. A complete overhaul is something that could be welcomed? But things seem to be limping along nicely and that could be undermined by the nature of this protracted sale and also ironically by the selling of the club.
And so on to arguably the most important aspect, the impermanence of the playing squad. With loan players already playing an integral role in our first eleven in recent games, it’s fair to say we’ll come to rely on them in future weeks. But without some certainty they will continue in their loan status, and if and when they are called in by their respective clubs, should they be hawked out and snatched from us by more serious prospectors, there could be a big hole where our squad used to be. We will also approach the next transfer window with trepidation, for fear of the permanent playing staff being sold on.
Things could unravel very quickly and some form of permanence needs to emanate from the board, even if it that is paradoxically just signifying once again, a real intent to sell. Otherwise the good start to the season could crumble more quickly than the pies at the match. Of course, much of that relies on the intentions and the attitude of a certain Mr Ashley. But who knows what he’s thinking right now?