Date: 24th July 2020
It looks like The St Mirren Covid breakout headlined today is smaller than first reported as Scottish Football hopefully still heads for an August 1 return. The revised number of cases down to 1 from 7 this morning will help to ease any governmental pressure to postpone the first round of matches.
SPFL Baggage and its Toxicity Dominates Yet Again
No real info yet from the top secret and hush-hush (unless you are in the know) Hearts and Partick Arbitration.
Its the no-win charade where 3 unnamed persons from an SFA list act as judge and jury on an unnecessary dispute between members just trying to survive or enjoy hard earned promotion.
Scottish Football’s Wee Fabricated Civil War.
We the fans and major funders of all things football up here will only hear the decision when and how they decide to tell us but we’ll never get to know (officially) the why’s and wherefore’s.
Imagine if we conducted our courts or parliaments in the same way?
There is no excuse and no justification for the secrecy that exits in football.
How on Earth Did We Get Here?
Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, Ian Maxwell’s call to wait for a while and then to ideally finish the leagues in Scotland given on a radio 5 live interview months ago was spot on.
The wrong decisions were rushed through and conflated with prize money and nobody had the cajones to stand up at the time or at the very least protect the damage at the relegation ends of our structure.
I told you last week of Bob Ward our member whose desk research had easily identified that in 25% of occasions in the last 12 years in Scotland the bottom club escaped.
Well this year’s English Championship has seen 2 of the bottom 3 escape.
They’d have both been toast if they hadn’t played ALL the fixtures.
Or they’d have both been toast if they played in the SPFL leagues and gone to a club vote.
A Nae Luck Jambos Hat Trick?
In the 60s Hearts lost the league title to Killie on goal average and would have won it on goal difference.
In the 80s they lost the league title to Celtic on goal difference and would have won it on goal average.
In 2020 Scottish Cup Hearts would have been awarded the cup on goal difference from Celtic if Neil and the SPFL’s self-same season ending decision process and rules been adopted by the SFA.
The 2020 Scottish FA Cup Returns in 2020
The SFA this week announced the Scottish Cup semis would be played 31 Oct and 1 Nov and the final on 20 Dec bringing hopefully much needed revenues into the Hampden coffers.
Bizarrely players who were cup tied last season for their then club but who have moved would now be allowed to play for new club in the semis or final this year and thus could become eligible to play for different clubs in the same cup competition.
That’s Covid folks but what a sensible and good decision in a difficult time.
SFA Revenue Black Hole Looming Nevertheless
In the depression heading our way I read this week about the SFA envisaging a six million fund shortfall caused by fans not getting access to our games.
I wasn’t surprised.
There will repercussions that most of us haven’t even started to think about yet and they will affect all levels of our game.
In the meantime, an update on my Pyramid Groundhog Day with Ian Maxwell.
There is no update, sorry.
I haven’t heard back about how the SFA accepted the SPFL board summarily dismissing the legitimate and contracted claim from Brora and Kelty for a play-off with Brechin City.
I will bring you an answer when he responds.
In the meantime, I was glad to hear that both clubs have been invited to play in next season’s Betfred cup.
A small consolation that will bring some extra revenue to both.
Covid Powers Vote Defeat for the SPFL
Simply put the SPFL Board had been seeking a mandate to take ownership of any future decisions needed about all matters and aspects of dealing with the current Covid pandemic and how it impacts the game.
To most of us after the last 4 months of mayhem there was sense in this request.
The clubs however have voted.
They said NO!
They were not willing to give the SPFL board this power.
Was this a vote of no confidence?
Many have said that to me.
So yes, it probably is sort of and informally.
In support of the SPFL board I think they are hamstrung by most aspects of the structure and the politics in place.
I’m amazed anything ever happens and every chairman I have spoken with agrees change is needed and would be good for the game.
None have any confidence of that happening soon or ever.
Is it because we have the wrong people on the SPFL board and need new blood?
No, it is deeper than the remunerated executive.
It is structural and endemic.
SPFL Board Elected This Week
The Press told us all about Peter Lawwell along with 6 other club men, Steve Brown, St Johnstone, Les Gray, Hamilton, Ross MacArthur, Dunfermline, Ewan Cameron, Alloa, Ken Ferguson, Brechin, and Gordon Thomson of Clyde.
Joining them again are Murdoch MacLennan in the chair and non-exec Karyn McLuskey who admitted no great prior knowledge of football years ago when she first joined the board and said “What I do know about is changing behaviour for the better”.
Karyn, Change Would Be Welcomed.
Feel free to get in touch with us any time and let us help facilitate the sequence of change we all need.