Date: 7th May 2008 at 5:59pm
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We are just 4 days away from the 25th anniversary of Gothenburg and the articles are swarming the internet. One that particularly interested me was from the Scotland on Sunday in the Scotsman newspaper. In this article it is generally players talking about the night before 11.5.83 and the night itself but at the end of this article, titled ‘When the world woke up to Fergie’s heroes’, Doug Rougvie comes up with some very interesting words.

‘We were a provincial club but for one brief moment in time we were the best team in Europe. But Aberdeen’s way was that if they had assets to sell, they’d sell them. They always thought that the next one coming through was going to be as good as the one they’d let go, there would always be another Strachan or McGhee. The Donalds should have given BT or Shell a piece of the action. But, no. They said it was their baby and they had the mentality of a small club. Run it on a shoestring, don’t spend and hope that another Strachan is coming through the system.

‘It was a pity. The reason I left was because Fergie wouldn’t give me a decent wage. He was making fortunes for the club, but they wouldn’t spend it. I’d say Richard Donald is in heaven kicking himself. A bit of wisdom at that time might have shaken the club out of its rural thinking but it didn’t happen.’

It’s all just sad but true. Rougvie is right. The glorified Donalds certainly didn’t lack ambition, but did hindsight. All a bit like this season, where the Dons failed to add quality to the squad when they could in the January transfer window and now 4 months later, trophyless and not in Europe next season, no-one wants to join or stay at Aberdeen.

It’s all history now unfortunately. Hopefully we can learn from our mistakes.