I spoke to David Edgar, a former spokesman for the Rangers Supporters’ Trust; in his time in that role he had to work with then Rangers director, Martin Bain, the current CEO at the Stadium of Light.
WAW: Firstly, what positives did Martin Bain have?
David: “Erm… He was confident I suppose (some might say smug), very assured and he did everything the owner told him to. Bar that I’m not really sure there is much. The owner made all the decisions, Bain was very much a factotum.”
WAW: Was he a tough bloke to deal with, and did he take on board new ideas from fans?
David: “Yes, he was tough to deal with. He viewed supporters as a necessary evil and a bit of a pain in the backside to be honest. He was very much the type to belittle supporter involvement. His view seemed ‘pay your money, take your seat then shut up and leave the running of the club to the experts.'”
WAW: Was Martin Bain a ‘yes man’ for David Murray and what influences did he have on the chairman?
David: “Huge yes man. Had no influence on Murray whatsoever.”
WAW: What role did he have in terms of recruitment at Rangers?
David: Again that was Murray who did all that. Bain would be involved in negotiating the contracts once it was agreed but Murray made the decisions. Murray was a deal junkie, he loved putting them together; once everything was agreed, Bain’s job was to basically ‘cross the Ts’ and dot the Is’.”
WAW: What kind of relations, as a fan and member of the RFCST, did you have with Bain?
David: “He thought I was a glory-hunting 'rentaquote', I thought he was smug, over-promoted marketing guy who suffered from ‘Doctor’s receptionist syndrome’: I work for someone important therefore I’m important too. Interpersonally, I once referred to him as ‘Smithers’ after the Simpson’s character, on a radio show and he never forgave me. Our discussions were usually antagonistic, unless he wanted something when he would be very chummy. He found me mouthy, I found him oily. We were probably both right!”
WAW: Do you think he’s played a good hand in appointing Chris Coleman at Sunderland, or just luck?
David: “Given the trouble Sunderland had in the summer and who they ended up with, Coleman is a definite upgrade. As CEO, if he took the blame for the McInnes knock back and Grayson appointment, he should take credit for this. My concern if I were a Sunderland fan, is that this guy isn’t a visionary or someone who has a plan for the club and follows it through. He’s a guy who takes instruction from above and implements unpopular measures like cost cutting and is happy to act as a shield for the owner. Time may prove wrong but that’s his track record.”
Personally, I think credit where credit is due and Bain should take some praise for the Coleman appointment, but should be very heavily criticised for the David Moyes situation, McInnes turn down, as David mentioned, and the Grayson appointment.
Coleman may not have the best record but he is certainly the best candidate for the job, his achievements with the Wales national team were incredible, especially in Euro 2016. He may not have ripped up any trees at Fulham or Coventry but he certainly knows how to set up a team. For example, in the European Championships he set up Wales in such a way to beat an extremely strong Belgium side.
In his first interview as Sunderland manager, Coleman said that he will “have to sell to buy”, this is certainly a lot more honest from the club than in the summer; Grayson claimed we had a mid leveled Championship budget, though we ended up with the seventh lowest spend.
I think that Coleman is an articulate bloke who knows how to express himself; he knows how to deal with the press as seen from his first press conference. What he said in the presser didn’t seem to be ‘all talk’ like we saw last season from Moyes, Coleman seems genuinely interested and knows his position and is confident - which is what we need at the moment.
Next week I have interviews with two former Sunderland players - keep your eyes peeled.
Finally, I’d like to say thank you again to David Edgar, who runs a Rangers podcast, for any readers who also support Rangers – you can find that at https://www.acast.com/heartandhands, you can also follow David on Twitter @ibroxrocks