The SPFL, as expected, has taken a decision that is both scandalous and gutless, and deprived Scottish football of a curtain raising first match after the split. Instead of scheduling the Celtic v Sevco tie at Celtic Park for the first match, they have sent our team to Easter Road, where a smaller number of fans will be able to enjoy a title decider whilst sparing the blushes of a Sevco team which has already suffered a season of abject embarrassment.
But in their quest to prevent more routine humiliation for the Ibrox club they have taken a huge gamble; as I’ve pointed out on this site any number of times, our form this season has been awful. Statistically, we are bound to drop points in at least one of the games of the five; there is more than an outside chance that Hibs, one of the form teams, a side going for third place, would present us with a challenging game.
Even a draw would place the SPFL with exactly the scenario they wish to avoid at all costs; a title deciding game, at Celtic Park, with Sevco as the visitors.
In their efforts to assure that it never happens, they might well have inadvertently made sure that it’s exactly what does happen.
And for Sevco, in their own quest to scramble clear of the league decider they might well have set themselves up for the most bruising, painful, end to a season they will ever experience, one that might just see them finish fourth yet.
Sevco plays Hearts in their opening game, at home; the Edinburgh club are the most hapless of their potential opponents and I expect them to win that one. But from there on in, the news is all bad as they face Celtic, Kilmarnock at home and, in a surprising and negative twist for them, Aberdeen and Hibs, both away, to close out the season.
And the SPFL are telling us that a Celtic-Sevco league decider is a no-go.
How the Hell can they argue that, with a straight face, whilst sending Sevco to Easter Road on the final day when the battle for third place might hang in the balance?
These two teams fought out the Battle of Hampden not that long ago.
But perhaps these things only count when they involve two West of Scotland sides.
And Aberdeen the week before it?
Imagine they lose that game and second spot is gone, and it goes to the wire in a third place battle the following weekend?
In trying to avoid one powder keg encounter, the governing bodies have stumbled, like clowns in a minefield, into more potentially explosive situations. Only in Scotland could a body governing football have blown something this simple.
In spite of what some people would have you believe, this stuff does matter. It is worthy of our attention.
Doncaster said recently there is no chance of scrapping the split; the split is an artificial construct that exists only so we can have a twelve team league without playing 44 games. It has never been clearer that the solution is a ten team top flight which doesn’t necessitate such nonsense.
Greed and ego are what stands in the way of it.
If we had real leaders in this game those considerations would not count.
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