09 January 2013

Time for a Holiday

by Andy McKellar | CRO Deputy Editor

The Scottish Football authorities have banged their collective heads together, seemingly caused some concussion and produced a blueprint to drive our national game forward, increase revenues and bring more punters through the turnstiles each and every week. That at least is the theory. Rather incredibly though the best that our governing bodies could come up with was a system that failed emphatically in Austria and Switzerland in decades gone by. To quote the Rangers’ Director of Communications: it’s an abomination.
In the summer we were told that it was imperative for football clubs to listen to their supporters, that they were the lifeblood of the game and that their voices should be heard. Less than a year later however we have seen the officials plough forcibly forward without proper consultation with their ‘customer’ base and are now attempting to bulldoze through a system which many believe could see Scottish Football plummet to new depths, if that is at all possible.
The top-tier currently consists of twelve clubs. And guess what? Next season it will still consist of twelve clubs. This season, just like every other one, fans have also complained about the undesired league split. The solution? Give us more splits of course but this time involving entire leagues. It’s complete madness.
The discussions have also rather ignored the opinion of the country’s largest club, Rangers. You won’t have to look very far on the official website to notice strong opposition to the proposals and in fact it has driven Charles Green to urge his board to examine every avenue possible which could see us escape from the backwater in which we currently operate.
This season there have been times when our home attendance has dwarfed the remainder of the other clubs combined. Then of course you have to consider the fact that the current television deal is only in existence thanks to the inclusion of fifteen of our games which incidentally have attracted the highest viewing figures. It would seem though that such things count for nothing.
The impact on our Club almost inevitably is far from being positive. After been kicked from pillar to post in the summer we put our heads down and focused our attention on the task of earning promotion to the Second Division. It would seem however that our efforts could well be completely in vain.
If the ludicrous 12-12-18 proposal is agreed at the end of the month, with Rangers not being allowed a vote, then it means that each and every league game we have played this season has been totally and utterly meaningless. In fact, while of course incredibly undesirable, we could have proceeded to lose every match and still be no worse off at the beginning of next season. Peterhead manager Jim McInally said that the plans have destroyed the sporting integrity of the Third Division. And he’s one-hundred percent correct.
The latest brainwave from the football authorities would of course mean that the final couple of months of this season will be made up of what are essentially pointless friendly matches in the SFL Third Division. Players will be taking to the field, risking injury and putting their bodies on the line for absolutely nothing. Many clubs in Division Two will also have nothing to play for, depending on their points total, and that is hardly fair on the supporters who have forked out for season tickets. Not that they matter.
It would also appear that the corrupt cabal who have been such a terrible blight on our national game will be allowed to continue to in their positions and, personally, their immediate removal should have been one of the first objectives when reconstruction was discussed. Sadly it would appear that David Longmuir’s backbone rather seems to have disintegrated and his strange capitulation has allowed such ridiculous plans to be pushed forward. What a major disappointment.
If there wasn’t such a strong requirement to fulfil our fixtures, as well as the issue of pride, then Rangers Football Club would be as well sending each and every one of our players on holiday for the remainder of the campaign. While I find it completely unlikely, almost impossible in fact, I certainly wouldn’t mind it being a permanent vacation from the weird and not so wonderful world of Scottish Football. 

I suppose we are all allowed to dream.