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Wings Over Scotland

Scotland’s most hated man

Posted on November 14, 2012 by

We try not to get angry about stuff on this site. It’s nearly always more constructive to keep a detached outlook – whenever Anas Sarwar or Johann Lamont or Ken Macintosh come out with some new outrageous or offensive lie or smear against the independence movement, say, a calm head dispassionately detailing the reality is more useful than a foul-mouthed rant. But today we’re finding it hard to keep a lid on our emotions, and it’s not even anything to do with politics.

The Herald reports this morning that Craig Levein has initiated legal action against the SFA over the terms of his sacking as Scotland manager. Those terms, if you weren’t aware, are that Levein gets paid £35,000 a month for the next 20 months, a sum for which he is required to do no work whatsoever.

Levein’s complaint, according to the Herald, is that he isn’t being paid off in a single lump sum, which would then enable him to pocket £700,000 for being the worst national coach in Scotland’s history and then take up a lucrative new job with anyone stupid enough to employ him. Under the current arrangement, the SFA could cease paying his monthly £35K if he took a new position elsewhere, potentially saving the cash-strapped association a useful amount of cash.

Viewers, we’re almost shaking with rage as we type this. £35,000 a month is a borderline-obscene salary anyway (it’s more than three times what the First Minister gets for running the entire country). For someone who was absolutely appalling at their job it’s doubly scandalous. But for doing nothing at all it’s a jackpot for which Craig Levein should be spending every waking hour on his knees thanking the gods.

Craig, though, wants more. Craig wants to pocket £35,000 a month from the SFA for nothing AND grab anything else he can get his hands on. (Because, y’know, in these austere times it’s hard to scrape by on only £1,167 a day.) Where he should be pathetically grateful to the SFA for just firing him rather than hurling him off the top of the North Stand at Hampden for what he did to our national team, he’s bitching that he’s being somehow wronged by getting the annual salary of 26 nurses for sitting around on his useless arse watching Jeremy Kyle for the next year and a half. Instead, incredibly, he wants to suck even MORE money out of Scottish football in one of its most diffcult hours by engaging the SFA in a costly legal case.

We… we’re going to stop now before we say something that gets us in trouble.

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    24 to “Scotland’s most hated man”

    1. John Lyons says:

      That’s the world of professional football for ye. It’s all me me me. Thatcher would be proud.

      I have had some empathy for Levein. The players weren’t much good and he’s suffered for it, although a decent manager would have got more out of them, but I still had a little sympathy for him. Now it’s gone, completely.

      I think footballers like politicians, don’t see the hardship in this country. They only see that someone else doing the same job as them is getting paid more and think they should be too. I bet Levien would be staggered to know his wages could pay for 26 Nurses. I was.

    2. Macart says:

      Was he not very good at his job then? 🙂

    3. tartanfever says:

      As most Scotland managers end up getting sacked, I would have thought that any contract would have been pretty clear on the terms of dismissal and payment. Obviously not if Levein thinks he has a chance in court.

      So whilst Levein’s actions are pretty awful, we surely have to point the finger at the SFA and their legal advisors also ?

    4. Dcanmore says:

      His demands pretty much sums up the man, arrogant and egotistical. Apart from the fantasy in his own head, he has contributed little if nothing to the Scotland set up. To massage his bruised ego he has to punish his former employers for more not realising he’s acting like an absolute twat.
      Scotland needs a manager who is a realist and a good organiser, playing footballers to their natural strengths, not a fantasist who thinks he can turn an average squad into world champions on the basis of himself being a successful club manager (which he wasn’t either, another fantasy). Unfortunately his greed could scupper any chance of the SFA paying a decent wage to an actual decent manager which will only see the SFA choosing the cheapest option (Billy Stark). Hopefully they might unexpectedly uncover a diamond (Billy Stark again?) but I’m not holding my breath. My tuppence worth, I would like to see Gordon Strachan manager with Joe Jordan as no.2, but they would probably be unaffordable now. Thanks Craig.

    5. Doug Daniel says:

      As the article says, his contract hasn’t actually been terminated. So all they’re doing really is changing his job description from “Scotland manager” to “Daytime TV Research Consultant”.

      This is absolutely ludicrous. He’s effectively suing them for honouring the contract. The mind boggles. He is not a penny out of pocket here, and he’s effectively been given a 20-month £35,000 security blanket while he tries to get another job.

      He is not being prevented from taking another job. He is no more entitled to the rest of that money than Alex McLeish was when he ditched Scotland to go swanning off to England. If he wants another job, then he can go and get one and he quite rightly would stop getting paid by the SFA. If he is concerned about the money, then he can just sit around his house in his boxer shorts all day for 20 months, surrounded by crusty tissues, watching videos of Kenny Miller running around like a headless chicken. He could even get a copy of Championship Manager or Football Manager for his PC and maybe learn something about football management. 


    6. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      He might try and organise a strike by football managers in support of his claim.

      Oh, just remembered-he doesn’t like strikers!     

    7. Macart says:

      @ ronald alexander mcdonald

      😀 Haythangyou! 

    8. Juteman says:

      Yet another who doesn’t live in the real world. If i lose my job i get a weeks pay and a cheerio.
      In fact, that’s all i’ll get the day i retire.
      I recently had surgery, and not being paid when off work (like most of my friends), i used up all my savings paying the mortgage, bills etc for 6 months.
      How others live. 

    9. Luigi says:

      Craig Levein made some horrendous mistakes as Scotland manager. Let’s not forget though, the sad lack of home-grown talent in Scottish football. I understand that lessons have been learned and that the SFA have taken great steps to correct this for future generations, but time will tell if that is the case. A great team and a bad manager may still do well enough to get by. A poor team and a great manager may achieve something. But a poor team and a bad manager? Nae chance.

    10. Training Day says:

      Be fair, Levein needs time and resources to perfect his vision of the ‘future of football’, shorn of strikers, flair and attacking intent.  Way to get the punters back through the gates, Craig.

      I keep hearing that Levein is a confirmed ‘No’ voter – if so, that would explain his effortless ability to imbue his charges with negativity, disorganisation, and an inexhaustible capacity for excuse making.   


    11. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Let’s not forget though, the sad lack of home-grown talent in Scottish football.”

      Levein had the best group of Scottish players at his disposal that we’ve seen for at least a decade. Still not world-beaters, but a heck of a sight better than what poor Berti Vogts had to work with, and Vogts still managed a far better record.

    12. dadsarmy says:

      Say what you mean Rev, don’t hold back!

      Totally agree.

    13. Tris says:

      It seems to me that the people who draw up these contracts must have absolutely no idea about HR management. It’s not just in football; it was the same at the BBC and it is repeated over and over again in the world of high flyers.

      You have a person there for interview; they want the job; you are prepared to make an offer; it comes down to terms and conditions. How then do these top people negotiate their pay and severance arrangements? 

      Do you go through all the advantages, and then you say “Now if it turns out that you can’t do the job, or you make a monumental cock up, we will dismiss you”.

      And they say: “Yes, that’s fair enough, but if that happens I want you to pay me 20 months’ salary, and top up my pension pot, and ….”

      Because if I were interviewing and someone started to tell me what he would want if he were sacked for incompetence, then it would ring alarm bells in my mind. I’d think that he was preparing for failure.

      The way I see it is…if a guy with a job in Tesco gets the sack for stacking the Candy shelves with Cornflakes and the Candles shelves with Condoms, does he expect to be paid 20 months’ wages? Would he be laughed at if he requested that? Would Tesco employ him?


    14. Luigi says:

      Aye ok, Craig Levein’s team certainly under-achieved big time. Maybe we shouldn’t have been so hard on “poor Berti Vogts” after all.

    15. Kenny Campbell says:

      Contract rules in football seem to be you sign a deal for the full term and it can only be broken due to dismissal for gross misconduct. The sums are massive to ordinary folks but so are footballers wages.

    16. Silverytay says:

      I wonder if we the supporters can sue levein under the trades description act .
      The group I go to the matches with all paid for all the home games in advance expecting to see a football tournament ! what we got was a damp squib .

    17. To think that they could’ve (and should’ve) got rid of him for nowt after the last campaign.  You’d think that alarm bells would have well and truly rung during his “Burley moment” in Jacksonville but apparently not.  Whatever genius signed him up on this new deal whereby he gets the cash no matter how crap he was needs shot.  It looks like they’ve condemned us to getting the cheapest option, i.e. the man in charge tonight that has already failed in tournaments with the U-21’s.  Heaven help us.  🙁

    18. Kenny Campbell says:

      I don’t hate Levein at all, his contract was signed freely by both sides. It is the SFA who have declared him as surplus to requirements. His performance as a manager was poor but its sport and that sometimes happens.

      If we are angered when managers leave a contract early to sign for other clubs then we should see the same when the SFA decide to part company…
      If it were me I’d push to get a final settlement as well.

    19. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “If we are angered when managers leave a contract early to sign for other clubs then we should see the same when the SFA decide to part company…”

      The SFA aren’t breaking his contract, though. As Doug’s already said, they’re essentially putting him on gardening leave on full pay, but with the option to walk away and get another job without penalty. If he stayed as manager he wouldn’t get all the money in one lump, so why should he now?

    20. sneddon says:

      The straw thats broke the camels back.  Fecking prick must need the money to save his beloved jam tarts..Nah he’s a greedy wee shit of a man who if he had any ability in anything should have been a investment banker the fecking c**t he displays all the charisma, self awareness and morals of one  And the idiot in the SFA who wrote and agreed that contract should be given the sack.  That’s me finished with the whole fucking SFA sheebang, no more games, nothing. the idiots can’t even get an employment contract right.  First the gers fiasco then this.  bunch of corrupt bastards.  Let’s select a new football body after 2014.  God I hate the suited, ignorant bastards.  I’m so mad at this prick.   I live on benefits, my cooker just broke down and I have  the choice of toast or pot noodles which doesn’t help my fecking kidney disease or diabetes and he’s moaning on 35k a month.  If I had a gun.

    21. sneddon says:

      Sorry for the rant and apologies for the language I’m just a wee bit upset and not my usual sweet self:)

    22. Appleby says:

      Craig’s getting the best dole payment I’ve ever heard of. Even beats the scaremongering hate-filled wing of the media’s “mums/terrorists in mansions” stories.

    23. Kenny Campbell says:

      If Levein is forced to sit at home for 2 years then it potentially damages his career as he is unable to undertake his trade, now you can counter that he can get off his arse and get another position. However he may not be able to get the same renumeration therefore he may argue for the rest to be made up by the SFA to the end of the contractual term.
      I’m not arguing its fair or right , just that if you look at it the situation it could be taken reasonably as a breakdown in trust/relationship between employer and employee. That is a reasonable argument for constructive dismissal. 
      My prediction would be it’ll rumble on till either Levein gets a new gig or Scotland get a new manager. At which point they’ll come to an agreement for a lump sum end of contract. Somewhere between 0 and 2 years salary.
      This situation shows the gulf not only in earnings in football but in the in-equality of employment protection provided by what seem to be the normal contractual agreements in football,  versus what everyone else needs to live with. Like everything else in football the pay and employment structures have become caricatures.
      What you need to ask yourself is where does the correct balance lie. There are clearly dangers in having players/managers on 1 month notice contracts.

    24. Franklin says:

      he had a generous contract and failed at his job. So then he cries like a big greedy baby that the amazingly generous contract that is still being honoured for the job he has failed at now isn’t enough. He can go get to fuck. Bad enough he got all that in the foirst place without him moaning about being hard done by WHEN HE AGREED TO THE GENEROUS CONTRACT. He fills me with disgust.

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