Keeping John Robertson at Caley Thistle could well be the club’s best bit of business this summer.
Robbo yesterday signed a new two-year deal to keep him at Caledonian Stadium until the summer of 2023 and his decision to put pen to paper on a new contract is some welcome good news for Inverness.
He had been linked with the manager’s job at St Johnstone, but Robbo has shown his commitment to the cause by signing a new deal. It means if any club does want Robbo they are going to have to compensate Caley Thistle properly for the privilege of taking the manager away from Inverness.
Caley Thistle need their manager more than ever right now. The club faces a huge challenge in the next few months in trying to rebuild a team which finished second in the Championship and it will not be easy during a time when every club is having to cut back budgets due to the financial fallout of the pandemic.
Robbo has taken on a huge task in leading the rebuilding efforts, but I know how much he loves living in the Highlands and he has clearly built a strong bond with Caley Thistle in his two spells with the club.
I wish him well as the job is even tougher now than it was when he returned to the club three years ago.
The Championship season is not due to start until October and with only three rounds of fixtures that’s more valuable income being lost by every club in the second tier. Coming on the back of last season being cut short, it all adds up to a significant sum of money heading out each club’s door.
The players who are still at the club are on furlough, while the club will also have to plan for how they intend to meet the regulations around coronavirus testing when the squad eventually does return to training.
Roy MacGregor has offered the use of the testing facility at Ross County, but I don’t expect for one minute that offer will be a charitable donation – and nor should it be.
With doubts about how much longer the club will be able to use Fort George as their training ground now surfacing, it is clear there have been precious little nuggets of good news for fans to savour in recent weeks.
Caley Jags have a lease agreement for the use of the pitches for another decade at least, but they would be left with a major issue to contend with if Fort George was no longer available.
There have been some pre-season sessions carried out at Charleston Academy before, but I don’t know if that would be a possible permanent solution. The only other area I can think of is Highland Rugby Club’s home at Canal Park, but again I’m not sure whether training on an artificial surface every day would be appealing.
There’s no real appetite for change among SPFL clubs – Time to move on
Clubs have made their position clear – they are not for changing the status quo in Scotland.
Yesterday’s vote of SPFL clubs once again confirmed the stance there is no appetite for league reconstruction in the Scottish Premiership.
It’s a shame for Hearts, Partick Thistle and Stranraer, who will be relegated. It will also be a sore one for the likes of Caley Thistle, Brora Rangers and Kelty Hearts, who will be playing in their respective leagues next season.
But it has become clear to me that no matter which permutation is put forward, there is simply no appetite for change.
Fans can point fingers of blame at SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster and the rest of the board as much as they want, but the simple fact of the matter is the clubs make the decisions and time and time again the answer to this question, no matter how it has been worded, is – no thanks, we’ll keep it as it is.
Hearts owner Ann Budge has hinted at a legal challenge if her club is relegated to the Championship and I’ve seen people support her bid after the decision of the courts in France and Belgium ruled clubs cannot be relegated.
However, the decision in Scotland was made by the clubs themselves. It is the clubs who will incur the legal costs of any legal challenge too. It is time to move on.