Football Tale Provides Insight on the Power of the Press

A fascinating glimpse into the power of the press is to be found in a hard-hitting analysis of beleaguered football club, Aberdeen, in the Sunday Herald yesterday by Bryan Cooney.

Cooney, an Aberdonian, and lifelong Dons fan, recalled how, as a young journalist in the city in the mid-1960s, he witnessed Eddie Turnbull, as the new manager imported from Edinburgh, revitalise the club's fortunes.

Cooney moved on to bigger and better things in sports journalism, and was sports editor of the Scottish Daily Mail and, subsequently, the Daily Mail itself in London.

Twenty-two years on from the launch of the Turnbull regime at Pittodrie, he recalled: ”As a seasoned journalist who’d experienced Alex Ferguson’s ‘hairdryer’, I found myself attending an emergency board meeting of the club.

“[chair] Dick Donald and his board of directors, the one virtually deified by employing Fergie in the first place, had dropped a rickett in employing a replacement whose private life had tumbled into disrepair.

“They kept me waiting for two hours in the cold until I slipped a note to club secretary, Ian Taggart, warning him of the consequences of this disrespect.

“Within minutes, I was standing in the board room, putting my case to Donald, his son Ian, Chris Anderson and Bobby Morrison for an interview with the manager.

“They appreciated what I had to say and allowed me to quiz Ian Porterfield. 

“He was gone within weeks.”


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