Bobby Gracey, who is one of the members of Clyde FC’s Board of Directors, took a few moments to discuss the club’s newest manager – former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson. Gracey is the club’s Director of Investor Relations & has worked tirelessly to bring in new funding sources for Clyde as they work towards promotion out of League Two.
How would you describe Barry Ferguson’s leadership approach with the club so far?
Let’s just say leaders and winners are not created or manufactured, they are born that way. Barry adopts a very clear and direct leadership style where everyone around him needs to understand their role and what’s expected of them.
Barry is professional in everything he does and leads from the front. It is also very clear he has created a unique bond with his squad which is being transmitted to the pitch.
Has anything surprised you about working with Ferguson?
Barry has achieved so many amazing things in the game, at the highest level, with both Rangers and Scotland, yet he remains very down to earth and has never lost sight of his roots to his family. I’m sure if you speak to any former Rangers players they will tell you that Barry never stops moaning, well I can confirm that this tradition now continues at Clyde FC – however he is well looked after by his assistant manager, Bob Malcolm.
In your opinion, what are the benefits for a young manager to take over a club in League Two that will help shape his managerial career in the long term?
The obvious benefit for Barry is that at a club like Clyde FC he will be involved in almost everything going on so he will quickly learn about every aspect of running a football club on and off the park. It is also the perfect environment for developing his coaching skills and working within the community.
Clyde also offers Barry with great potential with regards to where he can lead the team to – an opportunity which does not always exist at other clubs.
What are the short-term & long term goals for Clyde going forward?
Barry has publicly stated he wants promotion in his first year in management at the club. Beyond this season our overarching ambition is to return to the Championship as a competitive side capable of mounting a challenge to join the top tier.
We also believe that our youth system should be producing talent capable of playing first team football every season & this is an area I’m sure Barry will have a direct influence in the months ahead.
It is also important that off the park we build a sustainable financial business model that is in line with our ambitions to progress as a football club.
You may be catching Rangers during a vulnerable & potentially turbulent time – what will Clyde have to do to pull off the upset Monday night?
Clearly our main priority is our SPFL2 league campaign as we are under no illusion about the gulf between both clubs, on and off the park. However we will go to Ibrox Stadium on Monday evening as a team that will fight for each other of 90 minutes (or more, if required on the night!) & hopefully put the pride back in the Clyde.
We also have players in Scott Durie (son of Gordon) and Scott McManus (nephew of Walter Smith) who will be determined to show everyone at Ibrox what they can do.
There is also the big question regarding whether Barry will make his debut for Clyde at Ibrox and take a final bow in front of the Rangers fans?
There is obviously great Glasgow history between both clubs and I hope it will be an outstanding occasion and that fans from both clubs will turn up in their numbers to create a real cup tie atmosphere.