Inertia and indecision would certainly have destroyed Aberdeen’s season but two decisive acts have kept the bid for third spot alive.
In two motions, Pittodrie chairman Dave Cormack paved the way for a tilt at the Premiership’s top three – and European qualification.
Now it’s up to the Dons and boss Derek McInnes to react and haul themselves out of the dismal slump that has not left just third, but also European qualification, in doubt.
First, Cormack sanctioned the revamp of an ailing attack with a loan capture of three strikers on transfer deadline day. Then, following damaging losses to Livi and Hibs, the chairman came out and backed the manager amid mounting speculation his time at Pittodrie was set to end.
Cormack acted swiftly to shut down noise about the manager’s future, allowing focus to be redirected back on to the fight for Europe.
However, his implication was clear – qualify for Europe.
If McInnes fails to secure Euro qualification for the first time, then there will inevitably be further crunch talks in the summer between the chairman and manager – and the outcome of those talks could be very different.
Aberdeen supporters are rightly frustrated at the form.
With fans locked out of stadiums it is tough to gauge if the clamour for McInnes to be axed was a vocal minority or the majority.
The Red Shed would have given an immediate sense of supporters’ mood.
But just what is failure and what is success for an Aberdeen team with the third highest budget in Scotland?
Finances alone suggest third is success, anything less a failure and missing out on Europe a disaster.
Solely based on budget, the Reds should be finishing third – so if McInnes secures that he is delivering on his remit. However, Celtic’s meltdown offered up a chance to overtake them and secure Champions League qualification. The Dons should have punished that and should have pushed for second.
Dons fans understandably want more. That the Reds have failed to punish Celtic slip-ups is an understandable source of frustration for their fans as it is a huge opportunity missed – but it is not failure.
Which raises another question. Just what do the Pittodrie board want Aberdeen to be?
There is talk of being a challenger club, but what is that? Is that pushing for second, pushing for the title or just going for Europe and trying to get into the Uefa top 100?
If it is pushing Rangers and Celtic consistently then there needs to be a budget to match those ambitions. That in itself brings concerns about keeping the club in the black and safe.
With the dismal run of form, lack of creativity and uninspiring football Dons fans have had to suffer in recent months, something had to change – but not the manager.
It did with Cormack sanctioning new strikers. Now McInnes has some time to get them scoring – but they have to deliver, and deliver quickly.
Unity will see Scottish clubs survive unprecedented times
The strength and solidarity of Scottish football was highlighted by the huge uptake of virtual tickets by Hearts fans for their clash at Inverness Caley Thistle.
When the fixture was switched for live TV, Inverness were set to miss out on income from Hearts fans for their streaming service.
However, the Federation of Hearts supporters contacted Inverness to explore ways of helping them during the Covid-19 pandemic. A virtual ticket initiative was launched, with Hearts fans snapping up more than 6,200.
This unity will see football survive Covid-19.