What is really necessary in scottish football?

Date: 5th November 2021

What is really important in scottish football?

Donald Stewart’s second weekly SFSA blog

“There was a report during the week that Aberdeen boss, Stephen Glass has identified that what is necessary for Scottish football is the introduction of VAR. In came a variety of Premiership managers to support them.

Now there may be a few folk out there who believe that its introduction would once and for all sort the idea of a west coast bias amongst our referees. There would finally be the opportunity to work out of the big two were always “entirely fortunate” that they got penalties when their opponents struggled to get one even every so often against them.

But you are all wrong.

That is not what is necessary in Scottish football.

What is necessary, nay vital is the missing link.

I have many a time been delighted to see innovation in the game. Things done which did not come out of a committee but came out of a head, a mind, an initiative that was new or even old but whose time was now. The SFA and SPFL have, on occasion been guilty of forward thinking.

More often than not they have been collegiate in their defence and plodding in their progress.

It makes it quite frustrating.

What I mean is that when people who have innovative ideas are bringing them to the attention of the wider public, the membership groupings within each of these institutions fall into the plea that anyone can bring things forward through the proper channels.

The proper channels can often be the committee trying to create a thoroughbred but ending up with a dromedary.

Change was mooted a few years back in light of the Rangers affair. It was to see the three institutions become one until the compromise of the three became two. We got one head of the organisations moving on and two kept going.

Is the time ripe for further change? Is it necessary to once again open up an age old debate about how we run our game because there are a few malfeasant malcontents who are continuing to campaign for something they will never get but shall never shut up about it?

I would respectfully suggest that the time is ripe, the time is past and the time is passing.

But I am happy to put that to one side.

I am happy to see that change is needed if people can embrace the idea.

The major change I would like to see is the democratisation of the game. Forward thinking where we have the way we run our game put side by side with the voice of the people who are the lifeblood of our game.

I remember a few years ago when the local theatre was looking like it was going to close and never open again that Lachlan Cameron, owner of Ayr United told us that he knew if the club was in danger there would be thousands who would take to the streets. Theatre do not have that luxury he claimed. He was right.

Despite the fact that both rely heavily on the paying public who pay the wages and the advertising costs and for the product, sport has the greater pull on the heart strings.

To think that we are not harnessing that deep well of goodwill and the overwhelming pool of abilities, ideas and time that could be brought into the centre and used to aid the product, protect the future and be the willing pulling power to have the game front and centre of sporting excellence in our country is astonishing.

It is like being the centre forward for Clyde against Barcelona with 5 minutes left on the clock and facing an open goal as the ball is passed to you with the score at 0-0. Then you sky it over the bar.

VAR aint going to help you then and VAR is not the answer to the most pressing issue in our game – our future. We need thinkers, doers and leaders. We need change. We need to be unfeartie about it and other areas of Scottish life have done that – it’s a thing, can we embrace that thing wursels?”

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