While Derek McInnes was Aberdeen’s manager, he used to sweeten up prospective signings by negotiating deals at Gleneagles.  

It was a classy touch to help entice new players on board before watching them take the plunge. 

For Barry Robson though, there were no such luxurious surroundings.  

Instead, McInnes cheekily admits an agreement with the midfielder was sealed in the less salubrious surroundings of a fish & chip shop in the Granite City. 

And to rub salt into the wounds, the 51-year-old made Robson pay for the pleasure. 

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The pair have known each other for over 20 years having first encountered one another at Rangers. They then played together at Dundee United. 

McInnes had Robson as a key figure in his highly successful Aberdeen side before appointing him to his coaching staff once he’d retired. 

Their friendship will be put on hold for 90 minutes on Saturday though, as the Dons welcome Kilmarnock to Pittodrie in their latest Premiership clash. 

And while McInnes believes Robson has done well to steady the ship in the North East after the sacking of Jim Goodwin, there will be no love lost as Killie go in search of their first away victory in the league this season.  

READ MORE: Kilmarnock to train on grass pitches at Largs ahead of Aberdeen clash

“I first came across him as a youngster at Rangers, then I became his teammate at United,” McInnes said. “I watched the difference in him and the maturity of him, he went on to have a really good career. 

“He was one of my first signings when I got the Aberdeen job. I knew exactly what I was getting.  

“Other players I used to sign after talks at Stewart Milne’s place at Gleneagles. With Barry, I did my signing talks at the Ashvale chippy in Aberdeen. And I made him pay for it! 

“Barry’s a player who did brilliantly well for me. He was someone I speak to regularly and he’s still a pal.  

“When his playing career was over, I managed to find a coaching role for him at Aberdeen. There wasn’t really a role there for him in terms of staff. But the club was good enough to support me on that, and what a brilliant member of the team he was for me.  

“Now, he’s getting a wee bit more exposure to do the job. He’s made some good decisions. He’s brought in some good people around him. But his best attributes are his personality, his competitiveness, his enthusiasm.”