Today league reconstruction is the subject on everyone’s lips; once more the whole of Scottish football is being bent into a new shape to benefit a select few.
I know that a lot of the readers support this. I know a lot of the clubs do.
Celtic will probably come out in favour of it. But no-one has yet explained to me how it will actually benefit teams except for those who want to cheat sporting justice and escape the consequences of their disastrous campaigns. What we have here is essentially a corrupt stitch up made up to look good.
It is easy to see the attraction for clubs like Hearts; they are essentially looking for a Get Out Of Jail Free card.
It is less easy to see why other clubs would accept it, and in particular those other clubs who don’t particularly care what league reconstruction looks like as the prospect of playing games in front of empty grounds is far more frightening.
These clubs need to know how they are going to make money. It just isn’t clear how restructuring the leagues will solve that particular problem.
The idea that it would be better if the bottom two tiers of our game went on a twelve-month hiatus isn’t the worst one in the world; these community clubs could survive that and come back stronger … if we push these guys into a situation where they need to play a full campaign with no fans and therefore no income some of them are dead in the water.
As per usual, Scottish football is obsessing over the wrong issue.
What’s needed is some out of the box thinking, either about how to support the community clubs through a season without fans or to find a way to put the lower league structure on ice for a while … neither of those issues seems to be up for discussion here as people queue up to represent their own interests.
This proposal is likely to be defeated; the lower league clubs look at it and understand that what we’re seeing here is a carve-up, something that might even cost them. As one report makes clear today, if this is a temporary arrangement then at some point another realignment will see a bunch of teams relegated who otherwise wouldn’t be … it’s a bloody mess.
Football is not going to return to normal for a long time; Doncaster is apparently getting ready to go in front of the clubs and warn them of “Armageddon” if these proposals aren’t passed; this is where we’re in “boy who cried wolf” territory with this guy, and why so many of us would have had him hoisted out of that job years ago.
He’s made that threat so many times now – and his bluff called at least once – that it has become tiresome.
The problem this time is that he might even be right; if these proposals are rejected and clubs decide to fight this thing and plunge the game into anarchy what then? Hearts will moan and make all sorts of threats at the very least and we’ll be no nearer any solutions.
Doncaster is actually the last guy you’d ever want selling a plan to save the game.
Rallying round him was easy when he was being attacked for nothing, as he has been the last few months, but he’s not a guy any of us should be comfortable having at the helm in a major crisis, and without a doubt this is the biggest crisis we’ve ever faced.
League reconstruction does not fix the real problems … Celtic will almost certainly support it, but I reckon that’s only to stop a civil war. It’s a short-term move to save a couple of clubs from relegation and give few others who missed out on play-offs a chance of promotion.
The real problems remain. And we’re still waiting for a solution to those.
As Scottish football goes through the current crisis it is important to keep up with developments and the key issues. We are determined to do so, and to keep you informed as well. Please subscribe to the blog.