THE end is nigh.
The Mayans might have been a little off with their attempt to presage the end of the world but Callum Davidson knows the precise date that his life as a St Johnstone defender will be over; it is written at the end of this contract. The 36-year-old has been informed by the Perth club that he will not be offered a new deal when his current one expires at the end of this season, nor will attempts be made to tempt him into a coaching position.
This is it. The end. Goodbye. It seems a rather abrupt way to finish his relationship with the club where he started his career and Davidson has admitted the news was "a bolt from the blue", even at his venerable age. He had been taken aside by the chairman Steve Brown earlier in the campaign and informed there would be no negotiations.
Davidson is still intent on getting the last word in, though. The first time he left St Johnstone – he joined Blackburn Rovers in 1998 – the club were assuaged with a £2m record transfer fee and the defender would like to leave another parting gift in the summer. His choice would be an appearance in a cup final.
Supporters would likely also accept a place in Europe, with the Perth side able to move into the top four with a win over Aberdeen this afternoon. A sense of duty will ensure that Davidson continues to give his all until his contract expires but he is still able to reflect on the club's decision to cut him loose.
"The chairman called me in a couple of months ago and made it clear that there was no new playing contract for me, no matter what, at the end of the season," he said. "It was quite hard to take. The reason he gave me was that I am too old. But in a way I'm glad he has told me because I would have been here fighting to prove myself – but he has made it clear there is nothing there. So it gives me six months to look at other options and see what avenues to explore.
"I have taken the stance that I want to go and show him that I am still capable of playing at a good level. A lot will depend on my body. If it feels fine at the end of the season, I will keep playing; if it isn't, then I won't.
"In some ways, the chairman has maybe done me a bit of a favour but, as I say, I still want to prove him wrong. I would never just down tools. When he first told me, that thought maybe briefly went through my mind as a knee-jerk reaction, sort of 'stuff that'. But I will always fight for the St Johnstone cause."
He is not alone in mulling his future, with Mark Reynolds another defender who is unsure where his career will take him in the summer. The 25-year-old, on loan at Aberdeen this season, is aware he will not return to parent club Sheffield Wednesday and it could be that he agrees a permanent switch to Pittodrie. "I'm here until the end of the season unless Wednesday want me back before then but things can move quickly in football, although I am settled at Aberdeen," he said.
His side's form has been less assured, Aberdeen having won just once at home in the league all season. "I think we need a wee break to get back to winning ways at home, because we aren't making teams win against us, we are losing the game," said Reynolds. "Teams aren't having to work hard to break us down or score great goals to beat us, we are giving them soft goals. In the games we have lost recently we actually started better than in the ones we won earlier in the season but we are not capitalising on that."