London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2001-02--> All for 20020209
<-Page <-Team Sat 09 Feb 2002 Hearts 0 Rangers 2 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Scotsman ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Craig Levein <-auth Alan Pattullo auth-> Hugh Dallas
[R de Boer 61] ;[N McCann 82]
2 of 021 ----- L SPL H
Vogts gets his excuses in first.

AS football under-achievers we’ve long been used to hearing excuses for the below-par performances of our national team. But Berti Vogts, the Scotland manager in waiting, yesterday rewrote the rule book when he blamed the 11 September attacks for the failure of his current charges, Kuwait.

Vogts, still under contract with the Middle East nation, saw his team win just one game at the recent Gulf Cup tournament. He claimed yesterday he would never have agreed to join Kuwait if he had realised they were so awful.

Vogts said: “Our training aimed at preparing the players for the tournament was lower than anticipated due to the global phenomena caused by the terrorist attacks on the USA on 11 September.

“The preparations were due to start in December, but some of the players could not make it because their schedules had changed and some could not make it for personal reasons regarding travelling.

“This meant the players were not given formal strategies and tactics.

“I attempted to help the national team, so, by my own personal efforts, I sent faxes and made telephone calls from which the expenses came from my own pocket.

“I even planned to take the team to Germany to play top sides there, but couldn’t.

“If I had known the players were as unprepared as they were, then there is no way I would have agreed to sign the contract as manager.”

David Taylor, the SFA Chief executive, has revealed he has not yet met with the Kuwaiti Football Federation in order to negotiate the early release of Vogts, while also admitting that the Scotland manager-elect might not arrive in the country until the start of September.

Taylor was at Hampden Park to announce a £5.1 million sponsorship deal with Safeway, which is set to run until 2006. The package, benefiting all levels of Scotland teams, represents a considerable improvement on the £3 million deal struck with Scottish Gas four years ago. However, Taylor admitted he was reluctant to siphon any of the excess funds towards the Middle East in order to facilitate Vogts’ early release from a contract set to expire on August 31.

“I don’t want to talk compensation for obvious reasons,” said Taylor. “I am trying to get the best deal for Scotland and get Berti here as soon as possible. But clearly I am not here to offer the earth to make that happen. We expect him to join us shortly, but quite when that will be still needs to be discussed.”

Vogts, it has been reported, will be furnished with a lucrative four year contract when he eventually arrives in Scotland from his posting in Kuwait, and Taylor is confident he will have his man before next month’s friendly clash with world champions France.

However, he refused to pledge that Vogts will be the one picking the side before the Stade de France clash, suggesting that it might well be the German’s choice of assistants who take the team to Paris.

“I’m not going down the road of a caretaker manager,” stressed Taylor. “There are no contingency plans for Paris at the moment. But if we need to, we will know within the next couple of weeks, which means we would have plenty of time to get somebody to take the team to Paris. But Berti has his own ideas, and we will be having discussions with him shortly about who he would like to support him in the [Scotland] task.”

Before this, on 19 February, comes the meeting with Scotland’s Group 5 rivals in Frankfurt to determine the dates of their up-coming Euro 2004 qualifiers. “I would hope and expect to meet with Berti before the meeting itself,” Taylor continued.

“It would be great if he was with us in Frankfurt,” said Taylor. “And he may well be with us in Frankfurt. But I cannot say for sure until such time that I have a discussion with his current employers.”

But the fact remains that the German put his signature to deal tying him to Kuwait for 12 months, and his employers will have the final say on his arrival date in Scotland. Taylor knows he must tread softly.

Taken from the Scotsman

<-Page <-Team Sat 09 Feb 2002 Hearts 0 Rangers 2 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © 2006 |