Talking to Mark Warburton

My mobile phone wobbled on the desk yesterday at 17.10hrs Donegal time.

I recognised the number as I had tried to call it at 17.03 but it had not been answered.

When I spoke to the caller, it was the unmistakable voice of Mark Warburton.

Because of my location and the stories that I write about, I do a lot of my work via the phone.

Consequently, I often have to get a sense of a person just by their voice.

It was clear to me that the man on the other end of the phone was a very decent chap.

Sources close to the action have suggested to me that in the immediate aftermath of the Scottish Cup final he was talked out of making a rash decision.

It is my settled view that Mr. Warburton was of a mind to do walking away, and it had little to do with him hearing “sunshine on Leith” at Hampden.

Perhaps he has had time to reflect on those issues.

It is always good advice not make a major decision when you’re in a heightened emotional state.

No doubt, there would have been a lot of conflicting emotions for Mr. Warburton as he left Hampden that day.

He now knows the paucity of his transfer budget for the new campaign.

However, do not expect to read of this in the mainstream.

Moreover, I do not expect any of the stenographers to break ranks and ask him about his remuneration package at Sevco and his end of season bonus.

Of course, the breathless hype in the blatts is about Mr Warburton leading Sevco to top flight glory.

The reality is likely to be more of a grim struggle and will not be to the liking of The People.

I spoke with a football chairman yesterday, and he said that he had called his manager on the phone FIVE times that day despite his guy being on vacation in Spain.

For the week that’s in it, my chairman chap didn’t think this was excessive as this was just before pre-season training and one of the busiest periods in the football calendar for doing deals.

Consequently, I find it striking the extent to which Mr Warburton has been allegedly incommunicado with the chaps in the Blue Room over the past two weeks.

I think it is only fair that the precise nature of our telephone conversation should remain private as he thought he was calling someone in the football world.

However, I immediately identified myself as a journalist, and he was very appropriate with me.

The follow-up text message that he sent me after the call was similarly punctilious and gracious.

In doing so, he afforded me courtesies that would be beyond the cultural comprehension of The People.

I like him.

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