Ah well, the Sons great run came to an end yesterday with a narrow defeat at Forfar.
Keeping on a fitba’ theme for now and in further reference to my posting below about the SPL proposals for league amalgamation and reconstruction, I’d like to direct you to the sonstrust website and the posting there ‘Make YOUR voice heard’
In advance of a fans questionnaire to be distributed at next weeks game v Livingston, Sonstrust are conducting a straw poll on the proposals to regionalise the lower leagues.
Its vital with the SPL bandwagon (steamroller) now out of the shed that fans articulate their opposition to the proposals. That there is opposition there can be no doubt. Any test of the supporters opinion at all levels finds a significant majority unhappy with the proposals, and in the one ‘big idea’ it seems that almost everyone would prefer to see a larger rather than smaller top league.
Of course ‘the elephant in the room’ is the biggest problem. This particular elephant is the Old Firm and how these two clubs have dominated the championship to the extent that no other club has won it in over quarter of a century. The answer apparently is to throw the elephant some more buns.
As well as the elephant, we have the rats aka the SPL clubs outwith the Old Firm. Running around trying to compete with one another for the odd stray bun, each one trying to bite the elephant on the toe occasionally, but prepared to gnaw their own limbs off to survive. A ship may have a cargo of wealth and riches but I wonder if these particular rats would have the sense to abandon a craft in trouble?
Then there are the mice. The SFL clubs living on the crumbs. The bigger mice will receive a free upgrade to rat status. The remaining mice it seems are to have fewer crumbs under the proposals to feed the elephant and placate the rats. The mice are to be corralled with some young elephants and rats and live under a kind of curfew where their travel plans will be closely monitored.
Time for the mice to roar and at least try to stop these plans in their tracks methinks.
I’m talking about the plan for the SPL and the Scottish League to merge. Now correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t the Ess Pee Ell clubs dissolve their 108 year association with the other clubs by throwing them out in the street in 1998?
The wife beater throwing out the desperate vulnerable partner with a couple of battered suitcases. Of course there was the ensuing separation settlement where the Ess Pee Ell were forced to throw a few bundles of tenners wrapped in elastic bands towards the wronged party.
It was the only way forward apparently for the game to survive. Reward ambition/cut away the dead wood/de’il tak the hindmaist, blah de blah……
Here we are 13 years later and we’ve arrived at ‘the only way forward’ again.
Did you hear yon Neil Doncaster yesterday?
“Ultimately, this whole plan is about people putting aside vested interests and trying to achieve something for the common good.
“And I re-emphasise the point that the model being put on the table is the only model that looks after all 42 clubs.
“On some issues some people have strong issues and on other small issues some people have views against and ultimately it is about taking a package and not dealing with things piecemeal.”
Following his side’s 1-0 defeat at Rangers last night, there was a quite extraordinary interview with Inverness Caley Thistle manager Terry Butcher.
He claimed that the SPL don’t want his club in the league and that his chairman and others are being bullied into submission on the proposal for a ten team set up.
Now I haven’t been party to the discussions among the twelve SPL clubs. I am also aware that Butcher spent the first minute of his interview in Lennonesque mode i.e. moaning that refereeing decisions had contributed to his team’s defeat.
However I don’t think this will be the last dissenting voice from those aboard the extremely rickety Hell-bound handcart which is the SPL.
One point I think there can be very little argument with is Butcher’s anger at Caley Thistle being asked to play in Glasgow on a Tuesday night in January three days after a similar away trip to Motherwell.
You can hear the full BBC interview with Terry Butcher here
A few months ago there was a meeting. The gist of it was that the product which had previously been immensely popular was now a bit tired to the public. Fewer people were watching, the format was becoming jaded and important decisions had to be made.
That’s enough about Big Brother but lets imagine they’d decided that the very thing to bring the viewers back would be to have two fewer contestants and a format which guaranteed that the game was rigged in such a way that only two contestants could win?
Yesterday’s vote by the SPL clubs defies any logic. A top ten was first tried in 1975. It has never been a format that has been popular with the supporters. Those supporters are crying out for change but rather for an increase in the number of teams in the top league.
I listened to a programme on Radio Scotland last night where an Irish journalist scoffed at the fourteen team idea. ” I mean at the moment the two extra teams would be Raith Rovers and Dunfermline (laughs and scoffs) well… that’s hardly going to increase the attraction of a top league is it?”, he said.
Lets think about that. Well there would be at least two more ‘derby’ matches in the SPL, there would be the opportunity for teams to take part in a more varied competition and not face every team four times but retain the four OF games for the telly.
If the SPL had gone for three leagues of fourteen the league would have had a streamlined ordered look. Now it looks as if the piecemeal proposals will produce an unwieldy hotch-potch of a league format.
They had the opportunity to improve the whole game – to have a purpose built infrastructure suited to the times.
Instead they’ve just grabbed the best table at the jumble sale.
Scottish football is doomed.
Forget Henry McLeish the dishonest politician and his think tank.
Never mind Neil Doncaster the wee jumped up car salesman/spiv.
It has taken raddled old cynical hack James Traynor and the Daily Record to come up with by far the most sensible proposals for reconstruction of Scottish football yet.
Most really good ideas are really simple and this one is simply three leagues of fourteen with a 7/7 split after 26 games.
I’d go for this unless anyone has a better idea.
So the radical plan to shake up Scottish football was unveiled yesterday by Neil Doncaster, chairman of the SPL.
He sounded like a politician when he was being quizzed about it. I may paraphrase slightly but Doncaster’s synopsis was roughly ‘It’s not a plan yet indeed it’s not even a proposal, it’s still an idea which will be put through rigorous consultation and everyone will be invited to submit their views’.
This is the kind of pish you hear when those in charge have decided what’s happening.
So lets look at what’s being suggested:
A top league of ten. Well no surprises there, there has been a top league of either ten or twelve since the mid 70′s. It’s been twelve for the last few years as a sop to the SFL for the formation of the breakaway SPL in the late 90′s.
An SPL2 of ten teams. If I’m reading things correctly then these ten teams will share the TV money previously enjoyed by the two clubs who will shortly be booted from SPL1
Then it gets interesting. The rest of the clubs will play in a regionalised league set up along with the reserve/under 19 teams of the SPL1 clubs.
The problem is that the lower league chairmen may actually go for this, attracted by games against Celtic/Rangers/Hearts/Hibs lite.
I look forward to the debate with interest.
One thing is for sure though, the wee teams supporters will be agin it.
If it happens I may have to find a permanent hook for my Sons scarf.