Dave Cormack’s honeymoon period as Aberdeen chairman lasted longer than most of his predecessors, but for many fans it came to a definitive end last week in the wake of two big decisions.
First, he stood alongside the old guard and backed under-fire manager Derek McInnes, and then he called-off the much-hyped “Live and Unedited” Q&A with the supporters 48 hours before it was due to take place.
It was an ill-advised move to make plans for the event public before the St Mirren game, and after a fifth straight match without scoring, he was quick to pull it.
The statement put out by the Dons attracted much response, understandably almost all of it negative.
One of Dave’s big plus points since taking over has been his willingness to engage with fans and to be as open and transparent as possible. Plenty supporters saw his action on Sunday night as the shutters coming down again.
He was at pains to point out the project had been postponed, not cancelled, citing his fear that it might detract from Derek’s plans for the Celtic game.
Given the run the team is currently on, it is hard to see when a more appropriate date might present itself.
The nature of the Q&A – questions had to be submitted in advance –meant the club could vet what was being asked, but we all know the prevailing mood right now, and any attempt to censor or divert attention away from the big talking point would quickly have been highlighted.
Every football club experiences highs and lows, but right now the Dons are in the worst position they have been for years, and it is going to take a lot more than a stage-managed audience with the chairman to quell the anger of the support.
I could understand why Dave ducked out, but having committed to the event, it was a huge mistake to do so, and not one the fans will quickly forget.
That said, I do not imagine the decision signals a significant change in direction by him.
Cormack has made a bigger financial contribution to the Dons than any other individual in its history.
Yes, he can afford it, but it is in the main money he will never see again, and no one should doubt his devotion. He will get things wrong, everyone does, but his love for the club is not in question.
The board faces a demanding period as it wrestles with the difficulties brought on by the Covid pandemic, and the wages to turnover ratio of 90% is mind-blowing.
Dave will need fans to continue buying season tickets and DNA memberships; persuading many to do so might be his biggest challenge of all.
The other mistake the club have made of late was an unwitting one.
Supporting the manager was intended to relieve some of the pressure on him, but the nature of that statement has had the opposite effect.
If the directors felt backing Derek McInnes was the right call, they should have said he will be in charge until the summer come what may, and that a review would then be carried out.
Failing to do so has encouraged speculation after each poor result, leaving Derek to field questions he has no answer to.
Dons making history for wrong reasons
There have been a number of records and milestones set during the McInnes era, most of them of a positive nature, but Wednesday night saw the history books being rewritten for all the wrong reasons.
Not only was it a sixth successive match without scoring, the 1-0 defeat at Celtic Park was also a sixth league match in a row without finding the net.
The only time the Dons have previously done that was at the start of the 1999-00 season when, including the final game of the previous campaign, the side went an astonishing 619 minutes before Andy Dow scored with a free-kick against Dundee United.
The current total stands at 553, so if Aberdeen are to avoid setting another unwanted record, they’re going to have to breach the Kilmarnock rearguard before the 67th minute this afternoon.