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Football: OFF THE BAWL.

Byline: WITH ALAN McMILLAN

FORGET Sir Alex Ferguson, forget George Graham, forget Roy Hodgson and forget Arrigo Sacchi.

Having just lost millions in failing to qualify for the 2002 World Cup, the SFA won't be able to afford a big name to replace Craig Brown as national coach.

That means football's rulers will be working with a completely different short list to the one you might expect.

The man they'll go for is someone who won't demand a fortune in wages and who will be adept at making economies .

This means only one man can be top of the list - Jim McLean.

Wee Jum is at a loose end as he awaits the winner of the big fight between Lennox Lewis and Hasim Rahman so he could well be interested.

And when it comes to saving cash, the former Dundee United boss is the master.

Mind you, I don't know how Scotland fans would take to having the floodlights switched off at half-time on match nights.

If he says no, number two on the list will be Mo Johnston - on the grounds that he does a nice line in cheap tracksuits.

Dot Cotton from EastEnders is another possibility because she could get the SFA a discount on kit washing.

But, for me, the top candidate for new Scotland boss has to be Homer Simpson.

As head of a dysfunctional family, who better to get on with the SFA?

And he wouldn't want the moon - the odd bag of donuts and a few cans of Duff beer would be fine.

He wouldn't have a problem getting rid of the veteran players either, judging by this speech to his own father: "You've done a lot of good things but you're a very old man and old people are useless."

His motivational skills are legendary, too. "Everyone says they have to work a lot harder when I'm around."

And he's big on discipline. Remember his lecture to son Bart about stealing. "How could you? We live in a society of laws. Why do you think I took you to all those Police Academy movies? For fun? Well, I didn't hear anybody laughing."

Homer is prepared to make sacrifices if cash is tight. "I'll get the money by selling one of my livers - I can get by with one."

And he can think on his feet. A good example is the time his view that money can't buy everything was challenged.

"What can't it buy, Homer?"

"Er ... a dinosaur," he replied.

It's hard to argue with that.

But the one thing that might not endear him to the SFA is his view on big sporting occasions: "It's not about winning ... it's about how much you can eat and drink."

That might just strike a little too near to home.

D'oh!
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 10, 2001
Words:466
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