GIVEN the financial disparity involved, our Scottish Premiership and the English Premier League sometimes resemble different sports, and not just on the pitch either.

There is a clear trend south of the border when a Premier League team finds itself in relegation bother. It’s not a very subtle one either. I’m talking about sacking a manager for whom results are a struggle and replacing him with an experienced hand ‘guaranteed’ to preserve the club’s top flight status.

I like to think of these guys as firefighters of sorts. Douse the flames, avert the crisis and all is well. The firefighter is invariably a product of short termism by skittish owners, so there is little thought given to next year or five years’ time. The future is now.

As a result, it’s unthinkable when a vacancy crops up, for a team in the lower regions of the table, to appoint someone with exciting, new, innovative ideas. Instead, the default position becomes, hire Sam Allardyce, Alan Pardew or Glasgow’s own David Moyes. There’s also Tony Pulis, who although recently dismissed by West Brom, will likely soon enough end up at the helm of a different beleaguered club.

The idea of bringing in anyone from outside the tried and tested is seen as too big a gamble. Imagine if we all lived our lives in such a straitjacket? It would be a pretty dull world.

Scotland used to be fertile territory for English top tier clubs looking for a new, up and coming managerial voice. As recently as 17 years ago, Bradford City, then of the top flight, looked north to Hearts to appoint Jim Jefferies to replace Chris Hutchings.

If we had a culture of football firemen in Scotland, Jefferies, who has seen it all before, would probably regularly head the list of prospective bosses of teams in danger. Instead, we have gone down a different path.

Part of this is money driven. A specialist who can supposedly make survival a sure thing with an ultra-pragmatic outlook, would likely not fit with the budget of a relegation threatened Premiership club.

I actually like the fact that every club for whom relegation is annually a very real possibility, is doing it their own way and not just adhering to a formula. It’s a question of finding the right fit for that particular team.

Steve Clarke at Kilmarnock cuts an impressive figure. I’ve been in his company and his knowledge shines through. This is a wise football owl, who has learned at the hand of many a fine manager. But Clarke is no fireman, rather someone trying something new in a Scottish football culture he has been away from for three decades. At first glance, it seems to suit both parties.

Stephen Robinson, who guided Motherwell to the League Cup final, is an example of someone, who in a different time might not have got the opportunity in the first place. Six months at Oldham in itself doesn’t look like a qualification to take over the Fir Park hot seat. But credit to Alan Burrows and the Well board, who saw something in Robinson the coach from his work as an assistant at the club. Robbo has visibly improved the Steelmen and no one is thinking about the first priority being staying up.

Ross County’s decision to axe Jim McIntyre was controversial. But in Owen Coyle they have a manager who has worked at the sharp end in England and added to his life experience by working in the USA for the Houston Dynamo. County are reaping the benefits of Coyle’s passion for being back in Scotland, probably with a different perspective that can be invaluable.

Football management can be a strange game. What works at one club, can be out of place at another. So while I understand the English Premier League owners’ desire to avoid a big appointment mistake, I find their conveyor belt attitude a bit strange.

Sooner or later, one of these firefighters will fail.