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Club Press release 15 mins ago: 

 

Statement Begins

The club can confirm our Sporting Director John Robertson is leaving the club to pursue other opportunities in the game.

Chairman Ross Morrison said “John has served the club incredibly well over a number of years, both as a successful Manager and more recently as Sporting Director. His football achievements here in the Highlands are outlined below and his astute transfer dealings brought in significant funds across his time in charge and throughout that period he was always a brilliant ambassador for the club. 

His drive to establish the new 10-acre¬†Hub for the ICT Community Trust working with Highland Council, Sport Scotland and the SFA and his input into accessing six figure grants for our Community Trust in particular has gone unseen by almost everyone out with the football club.¬†We wish him well in his future endeavours and he will always be welcome at the Caledonian Stadium.‚ÄĚ

John first joined the club in December 2002 as he was appointed the club's manager following Steve Paterson's departure to Aberdeen. He then led the team to a 4th place finish in 2002/03 and beat Celtic 1-0 in the Scottish Cup Quarter Finals to set up the club's first ever trip to Hampden. The following season the team went on to win the First Division (now the Championship) title and Challenge Cup double during a remarkable 2003/04 season. In November 2004 Robbo left the club to join Hearts. 

Upon the club's relegation to the Championship, Robertson would return in June 2017 when he was appointed Manager for a second time and John had to totally rebuild the squad, winning the Challenge Cup against Dumbarton at McDiarmid Park. The following season saw him lead the team to a 3rd place finish and into the play-off places and once again lead the team to Hampden for a Scottish Cup Semi-Final against Hearts, losing 3-0. Caley Thistle were beaten in the Premiership Play-Off semi finals by Dundee United. John had the team sitting in 2nd place during 2019/20 and in the Challenge Cup final when the season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The season would be ended with us in 2nd place and Caley Thistle and Raith Rovers would be confirmed as joint winners of the Challenge Cup. The 2020/21 cinch Championship season would begin at the later start of October and only with major restrictions.  John was granted compassionate leave following a family bereavement in February 2021.

Robertson returned back to the club in June 2021 as the club's first ever Sporting Director. 

Honours/Achievements at ICTFC

  • Scottish First Division title -¬†2003/04¬†
  • Scottish Challenge Cup - 2003/04, 2017/18, 2019/20 (joint with Raith Rovers)
  • Scottish Cup Semi Finals 2002/03, 2003/04 and 2018/19

Statement Ends

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Robertson Leaving

"His drive to establish the new 10 acre Hub for the ICT Community Trust working with Highland Council, Sport Scotland and the SFA and his input into accessing six figure grants for our Community Trust in particular has gone unseen by almost everyone out with the football club.¬†We wish him well in his future endeavours and he will always be welcome at the Caledonian Stadium.‚ÄĚ

At the end of the day he was drawing a wage and we were not seeing the benefits of this. More often than not seen at Dingwall on match days. I doubt many will shed a tear, but let's no forget the good moments he had at the club and it's only since the introduction of the Sporting Director role that he has incurred the wrath of a section of our support. I for one will always be grateful for his efforts as manager and work in the background, however, throwing money away had to come to an end sometime.

All the best Robbo.

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End of the day he took a wage that none of us would've turned down. Can't hate him for that. If the BBC was offering him more wages to be at Dingwall every 2nd Saturday then in all seriousness I can't blame him for that either! You look after number one. It's just a shame that it came out of the clubs pocket but that's our Chairmans  and CEOs fault not Robbos. I honestly wish him all best and hopefully we can put his wages to better use. He's still a club legend to me and I still appreciate all the work he's done for the club and the community as a whole. 

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Best wishes to the man. Did excellent when in the managerial chair. Personal problems caused him stress and grief that none of us would have liked to go through. However, at the end of the day, he was drawing a wage that none of us could see and reason for. 

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I am really sad that he has left the club.

The personal integrity and effort he made during covid supporting others around him was incredible and self destructive.

He has the second best winning record of any manager behind Duncans short tenure so far .

He was instrumental in finding and securing multiple players over the last 6 years and the majority were OK but poorly utilised under dodds. 

I feel sorry for stfu who's personal bitterness will be feeling vindicated but that's no way to live. 

 

I am hopeful that on future match reports the personal vindictiveness about an employee will not be brought up again and we can get back to football not bitterness impacting on every great update from match attendees. 

 

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I wish Robertson all the best and I am sure he gave ICT a lot of help,  be that in his community efforts,or finding raw talent for the club.

He was big enough to shout for help when he needed it personally and that was a sign of his character and integrity.

Let's move on and consider using the salary to pay for an SLO,who can really break down barriers between club and supporters and can make it his or her mission to encourage more people to the Caledonian Stadium.

Many clubs have a full time SLO who can do any amount of add on roles.

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10 minutes ago, Douglas Mackenzie said:

I wish Robertson all the best and I am sure he gave ICT a lot of help,  be that in his community efforts,or finding raw talent for the club.

He was big enough to shout for help when he needed it personally and that was a sign of his character and integrity.

Let's move on and consider using the salary to pay for an SLO,who can really break down barriers between club and supporters and can make it his or her mission to encourage more people to the Caledonian Stadium.

Many clubs have a full time SLO who can do any amount of add on roles.

Even a voluntary role for an effective SLO would be a start? Can't see the CEO bring overly keen though 

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1 hour ago, old caley girl said:

Even a voluntary role for an effective SLO would be a start? Can't see the CEO bring overly keen though 

Totally agree with this. Gardiner employing someone to highlight his and the boards isolation and shortcomings?, zero chance of that.

Gardiner still needs to go before our club returns to caring about and engaging with its fans. 

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9 hours ago, caley100 said:

We have ( Allegedly ) an SLO ! Gordon Fyfe has this title!   

It's a tick box exercise to pretend we have an SLO.  Gordon doesn't remotely perform the recognised functions of the role.

 With Robbo's departure, presumably the CEO will have even less time to address the concerns of fans.  But this gives the club a real opportunity as there is the potential to reallocate some of Robbo's salary to a dedicated SLO.  Even if on a part time basis with some volunteer support, there is so much an SLO could do in liaising with the fans and addressing some of the many issues identified by the Supporters Trust's Matchday Experience survey.  Not only were a lot of issues identified, but respondents made a lot of very constructive  suggestions too.  All it requires is a bit of vision and a bit of common sense on behalf of the club.  :ponder: OK.  So it's not going to happen.:shrug:

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I believe that, whether this was the club’s decision or Robbo’s, it is the correct one.

Hopefully we are starting to see a renewed focus (maybe even listening) from those making the key decisions. Time will tell.

I wish Robbo well. He did a decent job when Manager and his health issues clearly had an impact, which we should not overlook.

I just hope it doesn’t mean we lose Iain Auld from Sportscene Results, as I record it so I can hear his views on our games when I get home, as they are always spot on.

Edited by Robert
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