Date: 4th August 2020
The latest blog from SFSA writer Donald stewart:
Mr Doncaster meets a Greek mythological figure…
Tucked up in his pink fluffy jammies with the SPFL logo all over them (Premium bespoke and not available in Primark) Mr Doncaster is having a tough night sleeping. Given the number of really thorny issues with which he has had to deal, this has become a truly a disturbing night… And he thought it was dealt with, done, dusted and delivered…
It was an Olympian tangle and it needed Herculean efforts… as in his dream…
Picture the scene…
The Greek Gods are deciding what should go into the Olympics when there is a knock on the door. Hermes, messenger of the Gods, enters. Zeus looks up and asks, “Aye, whit is it?”
“Soz, big chap, but there’s a tubby guy at the door says he wants tae see ye!”
Mr Doncaster reflects that even in his dreams, he cannot escape the torturous patter.
“English dude, wi an attitude?” In the corner Athena, Goddess of wisdom speaks.
“Aye. Sounds about right.”
Zeus nods towards Athena thinking, this should not take too long. “Send him in.” He directs Hermes.
Poseidon, God of the sea pipes up, “Haw Zeus, is this gonnae take long?”
Zeus throws him a withering look and responds, “Naw. Ye’ll see soon enough.”
Mr Doncaster enters, and Poseidon realises why and settles himself down for the entertainment.
“Mr Doncaster, “Zeus begins. “I tellt ye last time, fitba is no getting in. Fur wan it’s no even been invented yet.”
Mr Doncaster is unperturbed, which is a bit like, he couldnae care less. For Mr Doncaster it is something for which he is frequently accused. He says, “but we’ve just had the longest close-season ever and no-one wants to go through that again.”
“What’s he oan about?” Ares, the God of war has awoken and is spoiling for a fight. Everyone else knows that if he gets started, they won’t get out of there before time for the Ambrosia – it’s creamed rice today – Zeus’ favourite.
“I thought fitba was a Scottish game, is he no English?” Ares continues, getting flustered and quite agitated.
Zeus knows the right way to handle him. “You been oan the diversity training yet?”
“It’s oan Monday.”
“Well in the meantime pipe doon!” Zeus turns to Mr Doncaster.
“For the last bleeding time, Mr Doncaster, why is fitba tae be included?”
Mr Doncaster takes himself up to his full height and starts, “It has taken a Herculean effort by clubs and footballing authorities, working with health experts and Scottish Government, to get us to this stage and I’m hugely grateful for their leadership and commitment.”
Zeus interjects, “Aye very good, answer the question, whit about the Olympics?”
Mr Doncaster is not put off, which is a bit like, he couldnae care less. For Mr Doncaster this is further evidence that it is something for which he is rightly accused. Mr Doncaster continues, “These gains have been enormously hard-won, with players and officials doing all they can to ensure we can bring football back.”
Zeus interjects again, “But naebody wants tae see it, am I right?”
Mr Doncaster is not to be side lined, which is a bit like, he isnae listening. For Mr Doncaster this is continued evidence that he couldnae care less. Mr Doncaster counters, swiftly and deftly, or so he thinks, “Everyone involved in the game is desperate to see fans back in the grounds as quickly as possible. They are the lifeblood of our sport and the SPFL, more than most, feeds off the passion and excitement generated in stadia. It’s for that reason that, as matches finally resume, all fans must stick rigidly to social distancing on match days, especially where they are gathering to watch games on TV.”
Zeus interjects once more, “Aye TV rights. There’s the problem right there. Ye’ve hit the nail oan the proverbial right there big man. Ah keep hearing aboot how ye have this big deal and ye’ve goat that big deal but there’s nae sponsorship o the league, is there or am ah reading whit ye caw it, thon fake news?”
Mr Doncaster is really not listening, cos he could care even less now. For Mr Doncaster this is quite normal and Mr Doncaster seems to have missed the question as he barrels along with “It’s utterly crucial that all licensed premises showing the Sky Sports matches do so safely – and that means publicans adhering religiously to reduced capacity limits to help prevent coronavirus from flaring up again. Where fans are watching at home, the need to avoid tightly packed gatherings indoors is a no-brainer.”
Zeus interjects but is losing patience, “Z’at a fact?”
Mr Doncaster seems oblivious to the storm around him but is intent on his agenda being spoken as he continues, “We’ve all seen what is happening on the continent and in countries such as Australia – potential second waves of Coronavirus are a real danger, so we all simply must protect the integrity of the league by being responsible. Clubs themselves are liaising with their fans regularly to ensure they don’t gather at grounds during matches, but Scottish supporters have the pivotal role here – the stricter they are in protecting themselves and their loved ones, the more they will protect their clubs. If we all play our part, we have a tremendous opportunity to showcase the very best of our game, in what promises to be a uniquely compelling season ahead.”
Zeus brings the whole thing to an end with, “Well thanks Mr Doncaster for that. I am sure we have aw appreciated that and the clarification fur thon pandemic is ultimately timely, is it no? Aye it is. We shall consider and get back tae ye by Hermes. That probably means ye’ll find our answer in yer blue bin or have tae travel half the length o yer country tae find wan o his depots but it’ll no be the only piece of correspondence, I am sure, he is bringing tae yer hoose the noo. Like the Hercules reference, nice touch by the way but when ye are aw fighting fur yer lives and yer joabs it’s no really a tough thing is it? Playing and watching fitba? Ah mean yer no putting drips in folk or wearing masks cos ye deal wi patients or that but ye know we have listened and we have learned. So thanks.”
Zeus turns to the rest and nods at Dynosius. “This fella will see ye oot.” Dionysus, God of wine, the grape vine, fertility, festivity, ecstasy, madness and resurrection, and patron god of the art of theatre, rises and takes Mr Doncaster into the next part of his dream…
That is not part of this story…
Once he has left Zeus turns to the rest of the team, “All agreed, nae fitba?” They all nod.
There is then a knock at the door again. Zeus is getting sick of it all and shouts, “Who is it noo?”
Hermes sticks his head round the door, “A Mr Carlaw is looking to see if we need anybody for publicity.”
Mr Doncaster awakes in a cold, cold sweat. Even for him that’s a vision too far…
Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an almost original tale, any similarities to persons real or imagined are deliberate. However as there is little or no evidence that a Mr Doncaster has ever bought jammies at Primark, as far as he is aware, this is clearly fictional and never actual happened, though all of the words attributed to Mr Doncaster came out his mouth.
The fact is that during the week Neil Doncaster talked of a Herculean effort to get football back on. In the midst of the greatest pandemic and turmoil in the organisation that employs him he exhibited a calm exterior that was almost as if he couldnae care less, however that may just be an opinion…
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