League Reconstruction: The Cause That Won’t Die No Matter How Often Clubs Kill It.

Image for League Reconstruction: The Cause That Won’t Die No Matter How Often Clubs Kill It.

Another day, another waste of everyone’s time as yet another league reconstruction plan is floated on the back of tentative support and the wishes of a select few.

Why do I get the impression that a 14 team SPL, with the pie split between an additional two clubs, and on a permanent basis, is an idea that will die on the vine before Monday’s vote on it comes?

This whole thing is farcical. It continues to be about saving a handful of clubs.

Sympathy for the fate of these clubs seems to be still high, but the ruinous behaviour of one of them in particular – said club being Hearts – has all but doomed the whole endeavour.

This will be the fourth attempt at league reconstruction in the course of the summer.

Three have been roundly defeated already.

Neil Doncaster talks optimistically about the fourth, but I really don’t think there’s much chance of it.

There seems no reason to support this proposal when none of the others was deemed worthy of it … so why won’t this die?

There are two reasons I think; the first is that the SPL fears Hearts and their legal threat.

1 of 20

In the 1951/52 season, SFA chairman George Graham tried to stop Celtic from flying the Irish tricolour flag over Celtic Park, leading to a bitter stand off between him and the club. Which Scottish club backed Graham over his stance?

This is pretty weak, but we’re dealing with an organisation that has not yet run Stewart Robertson out of his seat on their executive, and which has not yet brought Sevco and its board up on charges of bringing the game into disrepute. I find it incomprehensible.

The second reason is that some of the members on that board are legacy shopping.

Nobody has been able to tell me what good it will do clubs facing debts and imminent administration to re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic like this.

Clubs who are in the top flight might get some protection from the virtual season ticket scheme, but below that there’s none and the act of putting on games and paying footballers with no money coming in … it’s a non-starter.

But SPFL executives know that if they can get through some form of reconstruction, when the leagues and clubs have resisted it for years, they’ll have a feather in their caps and they’ll be able to say “look, we did something!”

Even if that “something” doesn’t make much difference, except to the small handful of clubs who will derive some benefit from it.

League reconstruction appears to be a beloved cause for members of the media too; I find some of their support for it to be absolutely barmy, and inconsistent with what some of them have been writing for years. How many times have you read them say that Scotland already has too many clubs?

These proposals will elevate two extra Championship sides to the SPL and two others to the bottom tier of the game.

So a crisis which threatens to kill some clubs stone dead if they are made to play in front of empty stands is, instead, going to conjure up the perverse outcome of increasing the number of teams in our professional ranks instead?

Who believes this ludicrous nonsense? Who thinks it’s actually a good idea?

The people pushing this scenario are out of their minds. The bottom two tiers in the game would be better shutting down for a season entirely; instead these changes will make that impossible, even if it’s what some of the clubs believe they should do, and will perhaps need to.

If football in Scotland restarts, at every level, with things as they are there are teams who will not see the end of the campaign.

That’s as certain as anything can be.

The SPFL says that this proposal should gain support because it will be permanent, unlike some of the temporary solutions which have been mooted.

I very much doubt that they’ll be able to guarantee that it’s lasting if clubs end up going to the wall.

The whole thing has become a farce.

Monday is supposed to be D-Day.

If clubs vote this down then the idea is dead for the summer.

I bet a lot of clubs wish it was.

To me, this has become the hydra; cut off one head and another two grow out of the stump.

Nobody can kill this thing, not forever.

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.

Share this article