#039 - Big troubles
No summarize this time from our final stretch of the season. Just take a look at the results and our final place at the table and pull your conclusions. I’ve already made mine. Okay, just a short heads-up then. Our doubtful run of form has never ended since the last update and before the last 4 or 5 matches it was already clear that we are going to miss the play-offs again… Precisely at that moment our results suddenly increased. I changed nothing for our tactics, didn’t replace any player other than I had to if someone sustained an injury (which rarely happens because the players are training only for two days and playing one match a week) or a suspension but at some point we were able to win matches again. Honestly, it feels so random what is actually happening. Just like the game is saying: you aren’t allowed to reach into the play-offs… I rather chose for not complaining to much about what is happening in the game, because it has nothing to do with this story basically. But sometimes I can’t ignore it…
So, finishing outside the play-offs again. It really harms me to be honest. It felt so close but at the same time just so far away. The positive thing is that we are the best semi-professional club in Scotland for the third time in successions, but yeah, what does it actually mean? I can’t be really satisfied about it. We definitely need to upgrade into a full professional side immediately, I tell you why in a minute. First we take a look at the squad again. I thought we had a good team at the start of the season, but it seemed like most of the players are downgrading gradually over the year. So it’s start all over again. We have to get rid of the players who are getting worse and worse until the point they are just to worse for the level of football we pursue.
This downgrading thing doesn’t count for our goalkeeper luckily. I’m still very, very glad with Joe Young
. He is now with us for four years and I can’t remember he has ever made any mistake. We can’t blame him for the many goals we concede (although this season was slightly better than the one before). He is achieving quite equally throughout the seasons, so he will be with us for the next season as well. Although there is just not a better goalkeeper available as well… The contract for back-up goalkeeper Kevin Stewart
is extended with another year. He is now 23-years old and hasn’t played an official game in his career so far. A bit sad to be honest, but it seems he is still okay with his role.
We are saying goodbye to a couple of our defenders. 36-year old Mattie Blair
has done his job, but his physicals reaching a point he isn’t usable anymore. We already thought at the start of the season that he would be here for only one year. Centre back Jordan McGregor
didn’t play that much this season and is not good enough anymore so he is leaving us as well. Also left fullback Kevin McHattie
will leave us and young centre back Sutherland
signed a contract for Clyde
, which is also a Championship side. We are going ahead with Rushe
. So I think we need at least 3 new guys for next season in our defensive line.
Our midfielders did achieved well. Especially our central midfielders. Max Ashmore
was just absolutely astonishing this season. He crowned himself the best player of the league and cared more than 200(!) key passes throughout the season. Just amazing. I can always count on him, although his attributes are not very impressive (said that already before). After a somewhat doubtful first half of the season Dougie Grant
performed much better in the second half and together with Ashmore those two guys are definitely staying. Left midfielder Leon Brogan
did his job and his contract is also lengthened. Kieran Duff
is over the hill and will leaving us, just as our three guys who are on loan. Anderson
didn’t played that much, Warnock
did okay throughout the season and McInroy
only had a good start of the season, but there after he barely played a role of any importance.
seems getting better every season! For the third time in succession he crowned himself as the top goalscorer in the league, this time with a record breaking amount of 31 goals! He is just amazing. Off course his expiring contract will be extended. Connell
did his job as a second striker but Philip Campbell
wasn’t really an upgrade for us. He will returning to his own club, being Ayr United
who are promoted to the Premier League. So, we are going ahead with 13 players next season, meaning that we need at least seven new guys. So far we didn’t sign any player in advance yet who has an expiring contract (for what is a very clear reason, which I will explain below)
The troubles explained
This will be a big update, but there is something that definitely must be said. As the title of this update suggests and what I pronounced already about turning into a full professional club: there is a serious problem right now with Spartans
. I didn’t have signed players in advance because there are no players available anymore who seemed an upgrade. Every player we can possible sign is a (huge) downgrade in comparison what we had before over the last seasons. I really don’t know which cause created this issue, but the fact is that I can’t attract any good player right now. Or maybe I do know one reason: last year I get rid of most of our scouts we had (4 out of 6) because they didn’t bring in many good suggestions. Most of the new signed players are found by myself, so I thought I can do the job without the scouts and save some big wage money. But maybe that was a huge mistake. They taking care for having a big pool with players to chose from and without them this pool is much, much smaller. So probably that is the fact that I can’t find any good player anymore at the moment…
But that’s not the only thing. Being a semi-professional side is becoming a huge problem right now. We can’t attract better staff, because of that a lot of players are not interested in joining us and therefore we never have a fair change to reach into the play-offs or even winning it. It’s a bit of a vicious circle. There are 10 professional sides in the league and actually settling us between them over the last three seasons was a really big achievement already. I do realise this now more than I did the last two seasons. Maybe with a lot of luck we could reach into the play-offs at some point but even than you have to win four more matches for getting promoted. All of this did me realise that this is probably it. I bagged the board for upgraded Spartans into a full professional side, but they just said no. I think because we don’t have enough money in the bank. This year our finances ran into debts again, although slightly less than the year before. But, the overall financial situation of the club is still quite healthy.
I can go on for many years and maybe at some point we get promoted, but the fact I can’t attract better players at this moment is frustrating me heavily. I even thought for a second I had to bring in a bunch of talents from our academy. For a club with the status of Spartans we have a really, really good youth academy and youth scouting I would say (which for we spent a lot of money actually) but this so called talents are just shit to be honest. It seems I had even better talents in my very first year at the club without having some good youth recruitment facilities. This annoys me heavily. I asked the board for downgrading our youth budget and youth facilities because it’s delivering us nothing, but they said it is important for the club and rejected my proposal. A day later I asked for developing better training facilities then to avoid the downgrading for many of the first team players, but they said there is no money for it to do so. Of course not… So you could say my relationship with the board is heavily under pressure at the moment. I signed a new one-year deal with the club last week, but - spoken between you and me - if there is any change for getting away here I probably do it without any doubts… To be continued.