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Duncan Shearer: Time for Caley Thistle chiefs to come clean with fans over how bad things are

Following hints at administration, Inverness supporters deserve to know how bad things are at their club.

These are worrying times for Caley Thistle. Image: SNS.
These are worrying times for Caley Thistle. Image: SNS.

I’m hoping this week is when Caley Thistle supporters will receive some much-needed clarity from their club.

So much has happened in the last week that it’s hard to know where to start.

The chairman has gone, the chief executive is working his notice, the move to Kelty Hearts to train has been scrapped and the club are searching for new investment in the hope they can avoid entering administration.

Oh – and the annual accounts are still late.

All those events paint a picture of a club who are reeling from one blow after another, and I’ve still no idea how it got to this point.

But it is the fans I feel for the most as they are the lifeblood of the club and they deserve better.

What we know is all is not well at Caley Thistle, but the devil is in the detail and sadly we still don’t have enough information to know how bad things truly are.

What we do know is that things are bleak right now. To be blunt, Caley Thistle need money and quickly.

I’m not sure how you bring in investment when you don’t have a chairman or chief executive in charge, though. I find myself asking who the potential investors in Inverness are discussing any investment with?

I presume it is the remaining board members leading the charge, but fans and shareholders in particular deserve to know the full picture.

Why are the accounts overdue?

The absence of the club’s accounts for the period ended May 30, 2023 are overdue.

When that happens it is never good news, but without any clarity how can the club hope for followers to rally round them?

There have been so many rumours about the club in the last few months that it would be great to establish fact from fiction.

With each day which has passed, all that’s happened is the conspiracy theories have grown stronger.

I’ve heard soft loans have been made to help the club, which have to be repaid. If that is the case, then investors will want to know – and I’m sure the fans do, too.

The possibility of an insolvency event being declared does little to reassure anyone – but that’s where we are now at Caledonian Stadium.

Duncan Ferguson’s preparations are in tatters

Caley Thistle manager Duncan Ferguson. Image: SNS.

I hear information has been scarce for the players at the club, too.

Contracts are not being offered as a result, and if the club do go into administration, then I expect the best case scenario to be a switch to part-time football.

We were told until last week manager Duncan Ferguson was talking to signing targets about joining the club, but that was on the basis the team would be training in Fife and full-time.

Throughout all of this the manager has not said a word. I suspect that is because he has no idea what lies ahead either.

Then there are the players…

Only nine are under contract, but they don’t know what’s happening.

For out-of-contract players such as Mark Ridgers and Aaron Doran, two long servants for the club, they may feel it’s time to take on a job and go part-time in the Highland League rather than with Caley Jags.

These guys have mortgages and bills to pay like the rest of us. They can’t afford to wait around to see what might happen.

It’s sad to see former work colleague suffer

Charlie Christie. Image: SNS.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for everyone associated with my old club that there is a happy ending to this story, but I’m seeing little cause for optimism at the minute.

It’s terrible to see people who work for or follow Caley Thistle suffering like this.

There are people at Caledonian Stadium who are still there from when I was at the club and I feel for them.

I wore many hats in my time at the club – I was a player, coach, first-team coach and youth development coach, so I have an affinity for Caley Thistle.

My former work colleague Charlie Christie called this period Caley Thistle’s darkest hour and sadly Charlie is spot on.

I’m praying someone can come forward and help provide some hope for the future for everyone associated with the club.

But to do that I believe the board should follow up those appeals for investment by letting everyone know just how grave the situation truly is.

Will this be the year for Scotland?

Scotland boss Steve Clarke and his players have arrived in Germany. Image: SNS.

The Euros are upon us at last and I’m excited to see how Scotland perform back on the big stage.

The last championship in 2021 was a strange affair, played throughout Europe and in front of small crowds.

But Germany 2024 feels like the real deal in comparison and Scotland are not only invited to the party, but they are getting the festivities under way against the hosts on Friday.

Like every Scotland fan, I find myself wondering if this will be the year we get out of our group for the first time, but I’ve seen too many disappointments in my lifetime to get my hopes up too much.

I wouldn’t read too much into the friendly results. Steve Clarke will have his players ready to go when it matters in Friday’s opening game.

He has an experienced squad and one who have shown they can record big results.

But I’m sure he’d bite your hand off if you offered him a point from the opening game.

The Germans, backed by a raucous home support, will be a huge task, and if Scotland can take something from the game, they’ll be off to a flying start.

Steve won’t say it, but it’s the two following games against Switzerland and Hungary which will really shape our destiny.

Whatever happens, I’m delighted the wait is almost over.

Come on Scotland.