Date: 23rd June 2020
The latest blog from SFSA writer Donald Stewart:
It’s a mid afternoon at the American consulate in Edinburgh as the front door swings round and the man who is here for an interview as the new press liaison has arrived and has a confident swagger of a man who has truly dodged bullets in his career.
Picture the scene…
Mr Regan is in the building as he has applied as the US Government’s press officer in Scotland…
He is to be met by a panel of three who have already seen his application and discussed it in some detail, with he who must be obeyed. They have flown in for the afternoon it will take to grasp his hand, promote his ass and get the hell out of here.
Scotchland is not to be spent time in, unless you have a set of clubs, as he who must be obeyed has told them.
Their brief came from the very top as it read, this is a good guy, a great guy, I think he will do wonderful things for us, great things. I can see him now making our message great, in fact beautiful and we shall have fantastic opportunities opening up as we see things and problems disappear magically. Go get him…
With such a ringing endorsement the panel of three know the level of scrutiny they need to apply and they are ready to so do.
Mr Regan has now got past the revolving doors.
Part way through he seemed to get confused and decided to go back, before changing his mind again and pushing forward but seeing people at the other side meant he kept going in case they were from “The Clubs”. He stopped realising that, this nightmare was over and all he had to fear was “The Fans” and he never paid them any heed anyway. He was now in the foyer.
A hand-shake is offered, and Mr Regan has calmed down. A sigh of relief is followed by the offer of coffee and Mr Regan smiles, weakly and thanks them. The three men usher him up the stairs for the interview and start by outlining the job.
“Mr Regan,” says the one in the middle – they all have no names, so they muster no introductions. “This is a simple job and when we say simple, it’s complex. Complex because there are people, Mr Regan, many people who do not like us, though we do not care.”
Mr Regan is already feeling like he has landed on his feet. Having spoken the middle one falls silent meaning the one on his left, that is the person on his left who is facing Mr Regan on his right gets to talk.
“Your job, Mr Regan, should you chose to accept it is to stop bad publicity. Now when I say bad publicity I mean wrong publicity what we call in the US, Fake News, Mr Regan, that is what we are here to prevent – the spread of THAT virus and not the spread of any other virus, that is not our and therefore our mission.”
Mr Regan thinks this is not impossible. The man on the left who is one Mr Regan’s right now falls silent, leaving the one on his far right who is the one on Mr Regan’s left the opportunity to speak.
He takes it.
“Mr Regan, you came to our attention and in fact the attention not just of us all but of those whom we represent due to your experience in handling the affairs of an organisation that would appear, at least on the surface, though it may be Mr Regan that it has underneath a soft underbelly of corrupt influences that may be emanating, not that I am saying that it does from a Far Eastern style philosophy and influence if you understand me and even if you do not for that is what we believe sincerely.”
He stops taking and all three look at Mr Regan who is in front of them, neither to their left nor his, the right nor his but straight down the barrel so to speak, dead centre in front of them. He realises he needs to say something, so he does.
“Thank you, gentleman. I presume you speak of the organisation currently going down the pan.” They all nod, so he continues. “Yes, it is in a dreadful position. Falling out, animosity, legal challenges – all these things are just not where they need to be…”
He is interrupted by the one in the middle. “Mr Regan, strange you should mention legal challenges. We are currently finding it difficult to win one but you seem to know your way around them.”
Mr Regan understands. In fact, anyone watching this from the outside would not have a clue what was going on but complex matters that are confusing to any sane mind is a speciality of Mr Regan and therefore he too nods and continues. “I was just saying that if we do nothing, we are going down the pan. Lack of relationships, lack of sponsorship, lack of interest – it’s really going to struggle unless it picks itself up and puts a plan together. We should try and look outside…”
At that point the one on the left, the middle guy’s left not… you get the picture…
“When you say look outside, you do not mean outside or to… the East we take it?”
Mr Regan confidently keeps going, “There’s never been a better time to start talking about giving an opportunity for movement in a kind of cross-border format…”
He is interrupted again, this time by the one on the right… of the man in the middle…
“When you say cross border, you do not mean south of that border… Mr Regan we would urge you to understand that there is a wall… A very real wall between us and that solution…”
Mr Regan is beginning to feel things are not going that well as he tries to recover things. ”I know other countries are already looking at this as well and to be frank, the governance model has to be changed. We know that that will be a really difficult job because it’s turkeys voting for Christmas.”
The man in the middle stands and looks directly at Mr Regan. “MrRegan, this is not Thanksgiving and I think we have heard enough. I am afraid that due to your outlandish ideas and quite frankly hard to fathom attitude this is one job we shall not be offering you.”
Mr Regan stands wondering where he went wrong.
As he turns to leave with no handshake offered on his departure he takes the disabled exit to the outside world, realising that getting stuck in the revolving door would even for him be too embarrassing.
As he lands on the Edinburgh pavement it appears that even Mr Regan is a step too far for POTUS.
Behind him in the office he had just left the three men have sat in silence. They have opened a plain brown manila folder with the other candidate in it. As Mr Regan hails his taxi, the three, folders in hand are on the stairs ready for the man who arrived just before Mr Regan left to have his interview.
They arrive at the foot of the stairs as he stands up and hears the beginning of the middle man’s introduction, “Mr Traynor?”
Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an almost original tale, any similarities to persons real or imagined are deliberate. However as nobody called Regan has ever applied for a job at the US consulate in Edinburgh, this is clearly fictional and never actual happened.
The fact is that during the week former SFA supremo, Stuart Regan chipped in with his thoughts on the current issues facing the game. Given his past record and how he presided over a number of scandals and challenges it was clearly thought he might offer some insight. That insight is here and elsewhere for all to judge.
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