He’s one of the names that made themselves biggest in British football and also the one time Manchester United supremo ‘Big’ Ron Atkinson is looking set for a remarkable return to football at Birmingham City where he is being lined up to be the new sporting director (The Star).
More famous for his gaffes and racism controversy in recent years, Atkinson has been one of the most successful British managers over the last 30 years with two league cups and FA Cups to his name. A 5 year spell at Manchester United can do that for a manager, eh?
However it has been 13 years since his last managerial post and it was a rather unsuccessful one as well as he failed to save Nottingham Forest from relegation in 1999.
Atkinson is expected to make his grand return if Gianni Paladini’s takeover of the Championship club is completed, but after being out of the game for so long it doesn’t seem like such a good move for Birmingham.
Now aged 73, what exactly can Big Ron offer? The speed and nature of the game has changed so much in the last ten years that he may simply just be out of his depth and his old school approach out of date.
The role of sporting director isn’t exactly a straightforward position either. It’s an enigmatic job that seems to cause more problems than success at a football club as the sporting director provides a link between the board and the manager.
However it could be a job that Big Ron might be quite suited to, his wealth of experience will certainly stand him in good stead in helping out young manager Lee Clark and offering useful advice as Birmingham hope to get back into the Premier League.
Whatever happens in the coming weeks it’ll be fun to have Big Ron back into football as he’s never short of a few opinions and slip ups. But for Birmingham only time will tell whether Atkinson will have an impact at St Andrews, for me though I think Big Ron may just be out of his depth for modern football.
In a word, Ronglish.