Aberdeen supporters and season ticket holders have a lot of questions but will have to wait for answers.
The decision to host a Q&A with chairman Dave Cormack in which “no question will be off limits” was admirable in the bid to provide transparency and supporter engagement.
However, the timing – on the eve of a trip to Parkhead to face Celtic amid a concerning slump in form – was poor.
Even if the Dons had comprehensively defeated St Mirren on Saturday, it would still not have stopped questions from supporters regarding the future of manager Derek McInnes or what constitutes success for the board.
Aberdeen are in a fight to avoid finishing fourth in the Premiership for a third successive season.
Cormack and the Pittodrie board insisted it was “critical we all get behind Derek and the team” in the bid to finish the season strongly.
That successfully redirected focus back towards the football and allowed McInnes and his players to fully concentrate on hauling the Dons out of their current slump in form.
However, on Sunday evening it was confirmed the Q&A was postponed.
I feel the Q&A issue dented some of the calm and focus the board delivered by publicly backing McInnes less than a week earlier.
It changed the narrative again for some supporters, who were left wondering if the Q&A session was postponed due to the inevitable questions on the future of McInnes.
That was despite chairman Cormack clarifying the Q&A was postponed to allow the focus to be “100% on supporting Derek and the players as they prepare for the remaining league games”.
Significantly the Q&A is “postponed” not “cancelled” so it will go ahead. If Aberdeen fail to resurrect this season there will inevitably be hard-hitting questions about the direction of the club, where the board’s ambitions lie and the future of McInnes.
A Q&A where no question is off the table has been promised – it has to be delivered.
However, McInnes and his players can answer one question tonight – can they save the season to secure third spot?
If they defeat Celtic at Parkhead it could be the catalyst to ignite the remainder of the campaign.
I was impressed with the link-up play and movement of Florian Kamberi on his delayed debut in the 0-0 draw with St Mirren. Kamberi could gel together the attack and finally make it deliver goals.
Aberdeen have produced a much-needed win at Parkhead recently under McInnes. They did it when beating Celtic 1-0 away in the final game of the 2017-18 season to beat Rangers to a runners-up finish.
It will take the same again – and it could re-ignite the season.
— EveningExpress Sport (@ee_sport) February 16, 2021
If proven, new Rangers protocol breach must see those involved hammered
The SFA and Rangers must come down hard if allegations Ibrox players have broken Covid-19 rules by attending a party are proven.
The Premiership leaders are investigating allegations a number of players attended a party on Saturday following the victory over Kilmarnock.
A clear message was delivered when Rangers duo Jordan Jones and George Edmundson were caught attending a party in November.
Jones and Edmundson were initially charged by the SFA and suspended by Rangers pending an investigation. Following an SFA hearing the pair were handed seven-game bans which Rangers accepted.
The consequences of not following the rules are clear and if the accusations of a rule breach are proven the club and authorities have to deliver heavy sanctions.
If there has been a Covid rule break by Rangers players it will be particularly galling for clubs below the Championship.
Those lower divisions remain suspended until at least March 1. That is despite them signing up to a Route To Playing Again action plan in which they committed to testing once per week and following the same protocols which allowed the Championship to continue.
The top flight has been given special dispensation to continue.
Any breach is putting that in jeopardy.