Gordon Strachan feels that the integrity of those in charge of Scottish football can’t be questioned, despite calls for an investigation into how the recent vote on the future of the game was conducted.
Rangers have perhaps been the loudest voice in asking for the process, which ultimately voted for all divisions below the Premiership to be cancelled and gave the top division the power to do the same should it be deemed necessary.
The controversy centres on the vote of Dundee – the club for whom Strachan is working – which was initially cast against the proposals but not counted by the SPFL, before they asked to reconsider and a few days later voted ‘yes’.
“I’ve taken a lot hard jobs in my life – pressure jobs, pressure places,” Strachan told the Totally Scottish Football Show. “I don’t think I’d want to be in the SPFL right now. It really is a horrendous job.
“But I know most of the people there at the top level, particularly Neil Doncaster, and I don’t think their integrity can be questioned. I think it’s unfair to do that.
“I thought it would get nasty after a wee while, but I thought it would get nasty with lawyers, [when it came to deal with] who’s getting in Europe, who’s getting relegated. But it’s got nasty quite quickly, which it can in Scotland, as we all know. There can be a wee bit of friction, and we can make it into a bit of a stramash.
“It’s not a situation I’d want to be in.”
Strachan has been working as Dundee’s technical director this season, with a focus on developing the club’s young players and also looking at the structure and how those players are coached.
“It’s really given me something back,” Strachan said. “I coach the coaches as well, working with younger coaches telling them ‘think about that, try this’. I’ve learned a lot of things in t he last year, working on the ground with the academy.
“I’m not telling them how to play football. You’ve got to develop players when you never know what the system is going to be in five, six, seven, eight years. It all seems to go in a circle – teams are looking to play 4-4-2 again.
“So you have to try and prepare players to deal with any system that comes up. You have to see things in players: are they brave enough on the ball? Is their technique good enough? Can they play in different positions? It’s been great fun.”
Strachan was Scotland manager until 2017, and had previously been in charge of Celtic, so while coaching coaches and youth players is no doubt rewarding, does he miss the buzz of the big game and everything that goes with managing at the top level?
“Do I miss it? No. Because I gave it the whole lot. I had nothing left in the tank. It’s unfair to go and just make up the numbers, or pick up a wage cheque. I think that’s unfair on everybody and it wouldn’t be right.
“You have to have an anger. People think there’s something wrong with that – there’s nothing wrong with that. Alex Ferguson worked on anger for 40-odd years.
“You need to be stubborn – people say that’s not a great trait – it’s a fantastic trait for a manager. You might be wrong 10-15% of the time, but if you’re right for the rest [you’ll be OK]. You cannot be chopping and changing. You have to be stubborn, and that’s why Ferguson was the best, because he was very stubborn.”
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