It could simply be that people are weary of protesting or have realised that Chris Robinson isnít just going to get lost.†† It could simply be that the team isnít losing matches hand over fist.††† It could be that other teamsí financial losses have put things into a truer perspective.†† It could be of course because Hibsí chances of finishing third have shrivelled like a salted snail.
But the furore is slowing dying down and those who demonstrated from November last year to November this havenít really succeeded in their aim.††† Iím not saying it was therefore not worth it, but it gave a lot of joy to our enemies to see us like that and gave the media the sniff of blood which it exultantly made into a weeping wound never giving it a chance to heal.†† Hearts are easy meat, typified as puffed-up Grandiose Edinburgh needing its shins kicked by the gadgies, radgies and bag-carriers of the Scottish media.†† And too many Hearts fans obliged, being pictured with banners and placards, and looking as disgruntled as Oor Wullie does when his tannerís rolled down the drain.††† For years now individuals connected with the Federation of Hearts Supporters Clubs are asked for a quote by the Evening News: so it becomes ďHearts fans slammed the Board blah blahÖĒ†† Iíve said it before, and Iíll say it again, newspapers only want to sell newspapers, and theyíll start a non-story and then deliberately manufacture situations to put a little heat under the pot to keep it bubbling nicely.†† Now, certain clubs (Rangers, ManU) stop dealing with the media entirely because they realise itís out to get them.†† And you know what?†† Theyíre also absolutely right.†† And I think certain Supportersí Associations should consider this option very carefully.†† Is the Sunday Mail on Heartsí side?†† Isnít it common knowledge that the Evening News is biased against Hearts?†† Iím the second-least paranoid Hearts fan there is, but even I know that.
passes and times pass, and there was bound to be a backlash which, if not
exactly pro-Robinson, asked for some perspective.†† Even at the time of his departure, the split
pro/agin Jim Jefferies was roughly 2:1.†††† Along with all his brilliance, he had made
mistakes, some pretty crazy ones at that, and his whole post-match demeanour
had begun to permeate through the team and its performances.†† Some folks werenít too unhappy to see the
back of him because they were fed up with the front of him.††† So it wasnít too much of a surprise to read
in a recent No Idle Talk† ďAnything to
say for the defence?Ē the number of people who put forward a cogent argument,
if not defending Robinson, then accepting the reality of the situation, and
while many mistakes had been made weekly effigy-burnings werenít going to take
us forward.†† Now, none of us knows the
facts Ė who was responsible for contractual dealings,
buying players (good and bad) and the rest of it.†† If the rumourís true and JJ got Leigh Jenkinson simply to demonstrate to CR what meagre talent
£50,000 would buy us, can we cite the £100,000
So the Boardís line seems finally to have become, if not the truth, then established thinking.†† David Weir wrote a summary of the situation along these lines in The Scotsman, which was then printed in the match programme.†† The message is that Hearts are currently paying the price for having speculated in order to accumulate.††† And to be blunt, there isnít one of those who has demonstrated outside Tynecastle who wouldnít have mortgaged their children to win the Scottish Cup. †††We are suffering from the delusions of grandeur born when Jefferies† produced a superb side to challenge for the League and win the Cup.†† I know this to be true, because I was Self-Deluder-In-Chief.† We had followed the yellow brick road, and entered the Wonderful Land of Oz.†† Well, just like Dorothy and Co, we discovered that the Wizard was nothing more than a little man behind a screen operating everything with push-buttons and mirrors - a charlatan, nothing more.†† But we believed because we wanted to believe.††† We were fooling ourselves, and thatís what makes people angry: not that theyíve been had, but because they fell for it.
Because they see ridiculous sums of money spent on pretty duff Nationwide players, Hearts fans are expecting equally ridiculous sums to fill Heartsí empty coffers.††† For only Pounds Two Million Rangers bought Kenny Miller, the most gifted natural striker Scotlandís produced since John Robertson, so that should give fans a gauge of the worth of Scottish football players.††† Wolves wouldnít have paid Hibs the three mill Rangers sweated out of them.†† Sure, Colin Cameron was worth Pounds Four Million to Hearts, but Wolves are not running a charity (though you might have been forgiven for thinking so for the last 20 years).†† And if Cameron was going to go - which he was, because he wanted to - then I think Hearts at least did the decent thing by Cameron and not put obstacles in his way.††
I know the English Premiership has shaken its head saying Nay, Nay, Thrice Nay, but even Ė especially - in these times of prospective diminishing telly revenue the bigger set-ups will be desperate to maximise their income and bring down their debts, so hang on to your hats on this one.†† So thoughts about the potential departure of Celtic and Rangers from the Scottish set-up arenít generally worthwhile considering theyíll do what the hell they want.†† Predictions of Premier League meltdown without them are all very well, but thereís precious little we can do. However, Ebbe Skovdahl was the first person recently to publicly declare it would be a Good Thing, and I wonder if the climate of opinion is changing, either because people believe it might actually be a good thing, or because since itís going to happen we might as well get used to it and make a virtue out of necessity.
If we are left naked and freezing
without the trickle-down benefits from† our two one-eyed Cyclopses,† the product itself, Scottish football, would
at least cease to be tarred with the orange-and-green brush.††† And irrespective of a bit of success which
might presumably come Heartsí way (and for other clubs - including Hibs of
course, Iím not kidding myself) then many more Edinburgh folk would find the
image and the product a lot more attractive than they do currently.†††† In a city of half a million people, only
4% watch its two teams, and not much more than 15% give a toss about them.††† Even the gifted and successful 1998 Hearts side† could not
attract more than 17,000 people to watch.††
So their departure could result in a
parochial yet rather entertaining Scottish League, although I suspect some of
the Rangers scum who inhabit Glaswegian satellite towns like Wishaw will have trouble wrapping their heads around the
fact that they will no longer be able to lord it over anyone else in