SILENCE being golden is a mantra too often overlooked in football’s insatiable demand for sound-bites.

The quotient of quotes is a veritable tower of Babel. And it’s just as confusing as pre-match parables, actual-match pleas and prayers and post-match profanities and praise which slosh around like a tsunami of talk, talk, talk.

There is however, one notable exception.

Kenny Shiels, manager of Scottish Championship club Greenock Morton, has decided not to hold post-match interviews with the press, instead opting for the quiet life and delegating his assistant David Hopkin to the task.

And sshh, sshh, sshh Shiels has put up the shutters on medical advice.

After being advised by his doctor, Shiels no longer confronts the press after any game because he is afflicted by a medical condition which leaves him “emotionally imbalanced” and feeling “an urge to tell the truth”.

Added Shiels: “It’s important I don’t compromise my position as manager of Morton. 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.”

The former Kilmarnock boss continued: “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.

“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 any more.”

Besides being controversialised sounding extremely painful, I mean whatever next? Heaven forfend. We can’t have that, now can we? Telling the truth. Just stand there, hush up and shame the devil.

To be honest it would be a lot more refreshing if managers up and down the nation south of Hadrian’s Wall were to opt to follow Shiels’ pre-Greenock Morton example and expound their views with complete candour.

Yes, the FA’s coffers would undoubtedly be more swollen than a Somerset levels river, but surely it’s better to have a healthy dose of frankness rather than the general trend of bland, patronising piffle and that modern-day phenomenom of manager myopia.

Too often we have those post-match platitudes on television, radio and in newsprint in which you damn well know that they are being spouted through gritted teeth and well-bitten lips.

Honesty, though, as Shiels has discovered, can be costly.

So in a way, it might well be better for the game if more players, bosses, and certainly pundits were to adopt a reign of hush.

The explosion of media interest and coverage of the national game, further fuelled by the minutiae of social networking, has transformed football into a nation of talking heads.

And the stuff that flows from pen, keyboard and gobs is often as useful as a woollen chopstick.

There’s even television entertainment of a panel of squalkers prattling on to a watching public about live games that no-one but the assembled studio pack can see. It goes on for hours on a weekend or a night and is watched by thousands, if not millions. Doh – as a certain Mr Simpson might snort.

It’s produced its own succession of cartoon-like characters. There’s Alan ‘sensational’ Shearer, who barely goes a minute before saying some player “done good” while relaying verbatim what has just been shown on the high-definition screen.

If the former England and Newcastle hit-man is not your bag, then it’s that old August and January fave, Harry “just a mo’ while I wind down this transfer window” Redknapp.

Transfer deadline days are just not the same without ol’ Harry declaring how he’s not even going to bother before squirreling away almost an entire new team to whatever club he is currently helming.

Hopkin, the former Leeds United winger, might not be overjoyed at standing-in for the taciturn Shiels. But you can bet Shiels is, now that he is keeping schtum.


A grave matter

Barcelona’s Nou Camp forttress has often been a graveyard for visiting teams trying to plunder profit from the Catalan giants.

But the Spanish club are now taking that reputation a little too far.

Under a new scheme fans could be offered the chance to be interred under the club’s ground.

The Spanish titans plan to offer room for up to 30,000 urns under the stadium, whether they upgrade the Nou Camp or move away to a larger venue.

Josep Ramon Vidal-Abarca, the club’s director of facilities, admitted the mausoleum idea is a response to the wishes of fans who want their remains laid at the famous arena.