THE events of the past week have given Brian Laws a fresh perspective on football's importance in the greater scheme of things.
As a Nottingham Forest player who was on the pitch during the Hillsborough disaster, the shocking findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel brought the memories flooding back.
"Now they can find the culprits and prosecute them," he said. "At least now it's open."
It's a case which puts the word 'crisis' in context.
Laws will carry a burden of a different kind into his new position at Shamrock Rovers. There is pressure to salvage something from the last six weeks of a disappointing campaign. The experienced Englishman has been brought in through a relationship with the club's sponsors, SEAT, to take the post of director of football after Stephen Kenny's departure. He is, effectively, the manager with a broader responsibility to assess the overall state of the club.
And the brief is relatively straightforward. Steer the club into the top three and book a place in Europe. His first task is a bonus -- , the EA Sports Cup final with Drogheda in Tallaght on Saturday. The prospect of winning silverware after one game is fairly unusual.
That came in Burnley's season-long flirtation with the top flight in the 2009-10 season. Laws, a former player with the club, came in as a surprise appointment when Owen Coyle jumped ship for Bolton. He failed to keep them up and was shown the door midway through the following campaign.
It's just one part of a colourful career in management that led him to write a book which, fittingly, has just been released.
The tome in question will deal with a tale that follows him around, which involves a spat with star striker Ivano Bonetti during his first managerial job at Grimsby. Legend has it that he lobbed a tray of chicken wings in the midst of a row.
Laws laughs it off but, having spent a period of time under Brian Clough's tutelage, he has worked with some unique characters and wants to bring that experience to this brief.
With Drogheda boss Mick Cooke suggesting yesterday that Kenny was hard done by, and hinting that perhaps some of Michael O'Neill's 2011 heroes had become 'big time Charlies', Laws has a job on his hands and has been pouring over DVDs of recent outings.
"But you don't have to have a great knowledge of the league," he stressed. "It's about knowledge of football because that's what we are playing. It's about exercising your information on football to try and win games."