Levein. A case for the defence by Bill Leckie
If you’re watching the team losing limply and can see from your seat in the main stand something that Cathro can’t from ground level, why WOULDN’T you do something about it?
COVERING Clydebank home games as a local newspaper rookie was an education in the realities of how old school football worked.
The press box at Kilbowie was in a rickety, wooden pavilion that housed dugouts, dressing rooms and boardroom.
So you saw and heard everything from post-match b*********s to the b******s of centre-halves who’d wandered out of the showers with the door open to let the steam escape.
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But maybe the most memorable sight and sound was that of the team coach — Bill Munro when I started, then Sammy Henderson.
He would get a sub ready and the number boards dug out . . . only for a cough to come from behind him and a voice to, er, suggest he might reconsider his decision.
The voice belonged to Jack Steedman, owner, sugar daddy and to all intents and purposes their director of football before the term had ever been thought of.
Fans, players and reporters alike accepted that he made the signings and he picked the team.
So it kind of stood to reason that if he didn’t think the right change was about to be made, he’d say so.
He never made a big drama of it. If you were sitting across the other side of the ground, you’d never even have noticed him getting involved. But he did, a lot.
That was the early 80s. In the last decade, we’ve seen Vladimir Romanov play the same role as Steedman, except by fax from Lithuania.
Today, I could name you at least one chairman who still goes into the dressing room before matches and who “invites” the manager in for a debrief after every match.
And somewhere in between, we have what happen- ed between Hearts football director Craig Levein and first team coach Ian Cathro on Saturday.