Gary Mackay: Why I don't care whether Hearts lift the Championship trophy or not
There has been a lot of talk about whether Hearts should accept the Championship trophy or leave it on the stand when the presentation takes place after the game against Inverness on Saturday.
To be honest, I don't give a jot what happens. Whatever the club decides, they'll decide. Do I have a desire one way or the other? Not really. I think something like this is just deflecting from the real issues at Tynecastle.
As a Hearts supporter I'm delighted we've corrected the decisions that were made last year by getting promotion back to the Premiership, but somewhere along the line the directors of the football club have to wake up, smell the coffee and realise that what fans have been saying for the last few years is still fundamentally true. That we as a football club aren't operating to anything like the potential that we have. And it is getting to a stage that unfortunately, fans or no fans, it will be shown in season ticket take-up if things don't improve in the last couple of games on the pitch and also with the output from the club over how it is looking to go forward. For me right now it's just a mishmash.
Apart from the one-off against Alloa, which was excellent, what we're seeing right now is really, really poor and everybody through the footballing board has to take a real look at themselves. Jim Jefferies has only just came in, but are people listening to people like Jim, or is he not able to get his point across? They need to fully use people who know what the football club is about. He has been through it, similar to Robbie Neilson, as a player and manager and there is a demand around Heart of Midlothian Football Club about playing in a particular way and trying to win football matches which isn't being met. I don't see the emotion, passion or desire within the team, and is that manifested right through the whole football club? It maybe is.
I hear pundits saying it was about getting back into the Premiership and it didn't matter how you got there. Yes, it was about getting promoted, but if you've not won an away game in six, and drawn all of them apart from a defeat by Brora Rangers, there has to be a level of realism. And the sooner that comes down the better. That takes strong leadership and I don't know if we've had that with regards the footballing side of the business for a long, long time.
What summed it up for me is we put the young lad Sean McGill on the pitch on Tuesday night. I thought it was bit of tokenism because we've not seen him since the cup games at the start of season. You're watching the first team and they're underwhelming and then the U18s getting beat 3-0 at home by our local rivals clarifies for me that there are deep-rooted issues throughout the football club, be it scouting, recruitment, youth development. We are not developing enough young people through our academies. You can look from the bottom up or the top down – it doesn't matter which way you look at it, we are underachieving as a football club.