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Football boss shuns press on doctor’s orders

A football manager has revealed he is no longer conducting post-match interviews with the press including his local weekly newspaper after claiming his doctor advised him not to.

New Greenock Morton FC boss Kenny Shiels took charge at the Scottish Championship club last month but has so far chosen not to speak to the press after games because of a medical condition which leaves him “emotionally imbalanced” and feeling “an urge to tell the truth”.

The former Kilmarnock manager was disciplined regularly by the Scottish Football Association during his time at Killie and he has now made the decision to not conduct any post-match interviews to national or local media, including the Greenock Telegraph, to avoid further sanctions.

Assistant boss David Hopkin will handle match day press responsibilities but Kenny will still speak to journalists on other occasions.

Kenny Shiels is hoping to avoid more touchline bans for speaking his mind

Said Kenny:  “It’s important I don’t compromise my position as manager of Morton Football Club. There’s a name for it – you can’t help it. If someone asks you a question, you’re emotionally imbalanced at that time and you feel an urge to tell the truth.

“And, if you feel hard done by, you want to tell the truth about something that happened in the game and you become a victim of that. There are people out there waiting for you to drop your guard.

“It’s my nature, that’s the biggest problem and Neil Lennon has that problem too at Celtic. He will tell you he is the same – when you are passionate about something and you put all your energies into it,” he told BBC Scotland.

The outspoken 57-year-old has often found himself in hot water with the authorities for his criticism of referees and those in charge of the game in Scotland.

He was hit with a four-match touchline ban just days before his sacking by Kilmarnock in June last year and famously became involved in a verbal feud with Celtic manager Neil Lennon when he called the Parkhead club ‘Paranoid FC’.

“I am probably not intelligent enough to deal with that because journalists can catch me. I don’t think it’s fair to condemn Scottish football. It’s not their fault, it’s my fault,” he added.

“Journalism in promoting the game is so important and the Scottish journalists are brilliant at it. Every decision I make must be in the best interests of Morton and I’m very susceptible to being controversialised and it’s happened to me in the past. I’m not going to go down that road anymore.

“Therefore, in the best interests of the club, I think it’s better that David Hopkin does that on match days. David is very articulate and can put our point across after the game.”


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  • January 14, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Whilst having sympathy for Mr Shiels over his medical condition, it does raise the issue of how honest football managers are/can be?
    Do we take it that managers are prone to lying or covering-up? Who would have thought it!
    That said, it’s obvious that those who are/were plain-speaking — Brian Clough springs to mind — do suffer as a result.
    Unlike sports journalists, of course, who always tell the truth — don’t they?

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  • January 14, 2014 at 11:59 am

    “an urge to tell the truth”
    Obviously this could not be tolerated.

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