People are furious – Steve McClaren has not been sacked.
The club doesn’t want to sack him just for the sake of it. For the sake of what? Because he’s only brought us to 19th place and not rock bottom?
The fury has settled on the board.
People say the dithering of recent days has laid bare the shortcomings of the board “over past years.”
Over past years?
What short memories we have.
No one talked about a board this time last year. Before that, people used to be divided on who was to blame for the running of the club between Mike Ashley and Alan Pardew.
Then Pardew left and all of the hostility fell on the shoulders of Mr Michael Ashley.
At last, it was his name and the name of his company that was flashed around the world as the object of fan loathing.
It brought Mike Ashley scurrying out of his long spell in hiding to announce on TV that a new leaf had been turned and lessons had been learned.
He was stepping back. In his place “a board” would be running the club.
This idea was dreamed up under the guidance of Ashley’s PR guru Keith “The Bishop” Bishop.
Little attempt was made to hide the the fact it had been rapidly scraped together from whatever jetsam and flotsam lay to hand.
“Lee Charnley,… er, that old guy who used to be captain….oh crumbs, we better stick the head coach on and the chief scout too.”
Sadly, the tea lady was gone.
It was an unlikely story.
But it proved a stroke of genius and it was swallowed whole.
So now when you read any article or comment about mismanagement at the club, the name Mike Ashley has mysteriously vanished and that of the board has been substituted. Everyone does it.
Now we are directing all of our fire at a hologram.
Back to Steve McClaren.
The hapless manager had nowhere to go on Saturday. He had to be sacrificed.
But as the days wore on and the fury poured out of the fans and across the internet, Mr Bishop will have been able to report to his boss that the name Mike Ashley was pleasingly absent.
The board was getting the flak. The misdirection had worked and the invented non-entity will carry the can.
So if McClaren stays, don’t blame Mike.
Sack the board.