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Martindale on Ross sacking: ‘It’s a harsh and cynical environment’

The Livingston boss believes social media increases pressure on coaches.

Martindale on Ross sacking: ‘It’s a harsh and cynical environment’ SNS Group

Livingston boss David Martindale thinks there is too much pressure on managers and Jack Ross’ sacking from the Hibs job is proof of how tough the job can be.

Ross was relieved of his duties the day after Hibernian were beaten 1-0 by Livi, leaving the Edinburgh side seventh in the table and with just one win in nine league games.

Martindale believes social media has allowed discussion around results and performances to remain intense for day after day, increasing the stress on those involved and helping to create an environment where continued success is demanded.

He said: “Who would actually want to be a manager? What’s the life cycle of a manager? Maybe 18 months, if that, if you average it out.

“It’s a very harsh and cynical environment and I don’t think people understand how stressful it can be. It has a massive impact on my wife and my daughter because they read social media.

“Scotland is a very passionate and emotional nation when it comes to football but has social media heightened it? I think it has.

“In the past, if you didn’t have a great game and got booed at the end, that’s probably all you would hear until the next game. But now it’s constant throughout the week, with media and social media constantly on you 24/7.

“You didn’t know what the rest of the world was talking about before because you’d be confined to your club and your own life, but now it’s constant.”

The Livingston manager, who believes there’s value in the idea of a window where managers can be replaced, allowing stability at other times, says the coaches at the top end of the global game have a different experience from the majority, where their can be adversely affected.

“Unless you’re earning hundreds of thousands of pounds a year, where that stick can wash off you a little bit, it’s not a great job to be in and it’s not a great environment to be in at times with the social media backlash it involves,” he said.

“At times, you feel isolated as a manager when you go through a tough run of form. It’s testament to my board that they’ve stuck by me when I’ve gone through a tough run over the last seven years. There’s a lot to be said for continuity in football.

“At the bigger clubs, I think now with the social media, the interest and how much hype there is on social media, the dynamics in football are changing.

“It used to be that guys would go down the pub and discuss whether the manager or the players had a good game, but now it’s all over social media, then the next person jumps on it and the next person jumps on it, and before you know it, there’s 1,000 tweets and then, come the next game, everybody turns up waiting on a negative thing to happen so they can jump on the back of the last negative.

“I don’t think it’s a great job, job security-wise and mentally.”