Former Don Billy Dodds believes the departure of Derek McInnes from Aberdeen has been a sad end to a successful partnership.
McInnes’ eight years at the helm at Pittodrie ended on Monday when he was dismissed following a board meeting at the club.
Dodds is not surprised to see McInnes move on from the Dons but believes the former Aberdeen manager was deserving of a better end than to be ushered away by way of a club statement on Monday evening.
He said: “I know the fans can’t say goodbye due to the circumstances just now but the word which comes to mind for me when I think of what’s happened is sad.
“The best case scenario would have been for Derek to get to the end of the season and lead the club to third before being thanked for the job he had done over the years.
“I know some Aberdeen fans have not been happy with the style of play recently but overall he had earned the chance to get to the end of the season, shake hands and say his goodbyes as the club had decided to go in a different direction.
“We all trot out the line of it being a results-based business and Derek knows that too but I thought he would have got to the end of the season as the lowest Aberdeen are going to finish is fourth. I think he deserved that but there are no set rules in this game.
“It could have been more dignified but given how it has ended it says to me there were problems behind the scenes.”
Dodds briefed McInnes and his assistant Tony Docherty about the size of the club they were joining prior to their arrival in 2013 and says the management team quickly realised the stature of the club they had been given the task of improving.
He said: “When I was there it was a top notch club and it is even better now. I worked with Tony Docherty and Derek McInnes was a player when I was on the coaching staff at Dundee United so I know them both.
“Before they went to Aberdeen I told them the Dons were a proper club and I can remember two months later after they had taken over they were singing the club’s praises telling me I wasn’t wrong. Aberdeen is a club with a huge stature in Scottish football.”
It is that same sense of value which former Aberdeen striker Dodds places in his old club that has convinced him an experienced figure is required to lead the rebuild at Pittodrie this summer.
With nine players out of contract and four players on loan at Aberdeen the next manager will have the chance to start with a clean slate and Dodds knows interest in the vacancy will be high.
He said: “If Cormack is intending on taking his time as he suggest then I expect he will receive hundreds of applications for the job.
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“I don’t expect a new manager to be named on the eve of the next season but he has time to really pore through the applications and do his homework on this.
“I’m not saying an untested manager can’t go in and do well as we’ve seen rookie managers be a success at the first time of asking.
“But Aberdeen are a huge club and having worked so hard to establish themselves again I think they would be looking at someone with experience.”