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Richard Gordon: Scottish football – the soap opera that just keeps on giving

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson with the Scottish Cup.
St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson with the Scottish Cup.

The dust settled on the latest episode of the soap opera that is Scottish football in a fitting manner last weekend as St Johnstone completed the most remarkable season the game has ever seen and Dundee relegated Kilmarnock to end the Ayrshire side’s near three-decade-long stay in the top flight.

The Perth club’s double cup haul represents two-thirds of all the major trophies they have won in their 137-year history, and the Hampden triumph capped-off a stunning debut in management for Callum Davidson. He has spoken about potentially losing some of his top players, but Saints’ biggest concern might well be holding on to their boss; he is bound to attract interest from bigger clubs, perhaps down south where his stock remains high.

As St Johnstone celebrated, Kilmarnock were plunged into a painful depression, five hundred of their fans being allowed into Rugby Park just in time to see them blown away by Dundee and drop out of the division, losing the place they have held since 1993.

The last time Killie were relegated, it took them a decade to return. That period included a year in the third tier, and after the clear out that was announced in the wake of the Dundee defeat, it will be a very different team which attempts to bounce back immediately.

Kilmarnock have been relegated.

That will not be easy; next season’s Championship line-up looks extremely competitive.

The departure of both Kilmarnock and bottom side Hamilton means there is now just one artificial pitch in the top-flight. Major decisions affecting the rules and regulations in the Premiership require an 11-1 vote; do not be surprised if we see moves towards outlawing such surfaces at the highest level in Scotland.

The end of the campaign brought a flurry of managerial departures. Some walked, others were pushed, and at the start of this week 10 of the 42 SPFL clubs were looking for a new boss.

Of the dozen in the Premiership, only five still had the same man in charge as they had twelve months previously.

One of those vacancies was quickly filled, Malky Mackay taking up the reins in Dingwall.

It is fair to say that was not universally welcomed and attracted much comment on social media. I can understand some County fans being unhappy given the baggage Malky brings, but some of the response online has been over the top. There are those, particularly on Twitter, who are apparently desperate to be offended and will latch on to anything or anyone to satisfy their needs.

I am no apologist for Mackay, indeed given how long he has been out of management, I was surprised he got the job. The comments he made back in 2013 were reprehensible, but he has apologised and had to live with his actions every day since.

Have those who are so outraged never made a mistake? Never spoken out of turn? I somehow doubt it. He has paid for his stupidity, now he should be allowed to get on with his life and prove his worth to the club and society in general.

His appointment leaves two Premiership posts to be filled, at Dundee United and Celtic.

The latter has become a bewildering saga. Soon after Neil Lennon was sacked, the word was that Eddie Howe would succeed him. More than three months later came the news that he had turned them down.

Eddie Howe has knocked back Celtic.

It has been a shambolic episode for the fallen champions, who must now restart their search – a huge embarrassment for everyone connected to the club.

Mickelson’s PGA triumph will live long in the memory

Phil Mickelson celebrates after winning the PGA Championship on the Ocean Course,

Sport has the capacity to throw up the most unlikely of stories, at the same time providing unimaginable drama, and that was the case last weekend.

If ever there was a course that should have mitigated against Phil Mickelson, it was, given the dangers lurking on every hole, the Ocean at Kiawah Island.

But the American managed to temper his normally wayward driving and employed his magical recovery skills as he battled to an entirely unlikely sixth Major.

It was a stunning and richly deserved success and struck a blow for the oldies, Mickelson on occasion outdriving the prodigiously long Brooks Koepka.

It may be a temporary return to the winner’s circle for Phil, but the historic triumph carved out his place in the record books, and is one I will long remember.

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