What more could the SPFL have done to satisfy the bitter, angry children of Sevconia and their pitiful band of allies?
What more could have been done to keep them onside with an agenda for the greater good of the sport we all know and love?
Scottish football is in existential crisis. Literally. That phrase gets tossed around a lot, but it’s entirely appropriate when you consider that a lot of the clubs might not come out of this at all. If clubs go into administration there is nothing to prevent them from going to the wall.
There will be no sudden saviours to pump millions in at the last minute.
A lot of our clubs are not going to see a return to the game.
They will die on the vine, waiting for football to restart. That’s the reality.
Anything that helps clubs keep the lights on for even a day longer is something that should be pursued. The SPFL knew that the best way to do it was to accept that football here was an impossibility, and to proceed on that basis.
They knew prize money had to be handed out to reflect that.
This was not, as some would allege, a conspiracy. A handful of clubs have set themselves against the rest.
They have tried to find excuses for rearing up every chance they’ve had. The saga of Dundee’s vote, which the SPFL and the club have explained to most people’s satisfaction, gave them their cue to start raising a host of other grievances, many having nothing to do with the issue.
Their behaviour has been shameful.
The media’s support for them has been a flat-out disgrace.
There have been two votes here, both overwhelmingly in favour of moving the game here in Scotland forward.
The first saw 80% in favour of the resolution ending the game in the lower leagues and giving the SPFL the right to call the Premiership the same way.
The second vote was 70% in favour of ditching the very idea of an “independent inquiry” into the first vote.
In between times, there has actually been an inquiry.
To cap all of it, Sevco’s allegations that they had something to blow the doors off the place and secure the heads of senior SPFL officials were trailed widely in the press for weeks without a word of proof for that being offered up. These men were maligned and those slanders allowed to stand without a shred of evidence in support of them.
Some still repeat them today, as if that proof has been forthcoming.
Sevco were offered multiple opportunities to present it to the public, but chose not to until we were almost on top of the vote for the inquiry. They presented their dodgy dossier like they were Moses coming down from the mountain with the tablets of stone.
Had those famous pieces of marble said only “Just do as you’re told” without offering a guide to what the actual rules were they would have made more sense than what Sevco finally presented to the other clubs. Peter Lawwell was not alone in believing it was “embarrassing.”
He may not have been the only person to say so at the virtual meeting.
All of this – prompted by the appalling selfishness of a handful of clubs – has dragged Scottish football through the muck, and those responsible are still threatening more havoc. On top of that, the league itself, and the SFA, look spineless in that they haven’t disciplined and removed Stewart Robertson from the board in spite of his violations of his corporate responsibilities as a director, and no case for bringing the game into disrepute has been opened against Sevco.
This is a recipe for future anarchy, and only a fool doesn’t see that.
You do have to wonder what it will take for these clubs to grow up. Doncaster, this morning, sent them a warning about taking the matter to the courts … but it was a warning that any such action would only hurt the clubs themselves, all the clubs. It was not the robust, and necessary, warning that such action would result in the stiffest of sporting sanctions … but the SPFL and the SFA are well aware that UEFA would demand such action and they’d need to enforce it.
I understand, to an extent, the governing bodies trying to defuse this … but when those on the other side of it point blank refuse to do the same there is clearly more trouble in the wind. It stalks the whole game, casting uncertainty where there ought to be none.
Sevco’s decision not to vote against Celtic being formally recognised as the champions is welcome as far as it goes, even if it exposes their dishonesty in front of their own fans, but they continue to brief certain outlets and persons about negative intentions they still have towards the game itself. This is just unacceptable and a sign that they won’t fully quit.
Frankly, Sevco only respects strength and neither the leagues nor the SFA have shown any thus far and neither seems willing to show the sort of it that the game needs at this time. This will hang over the game until the threat of it – empty though that might be – is removed, one way or another.
If two votes and an internal inquest, organised by a reputable firm, have not settled their lust for blood and their crazed desire to damage the rest of the game then the league and others playing nice is not going to do it either. That’s what haunts us.
This dire threat must be removed from the boards … if Sevco and others will not play nice it is incumbent on those who run the game to bring them to book and force their co-operation.
We have simply not got time for anything else.
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