How do you kill a proposal that should have widespread support throughout the game?
In times to come, the last few months will provide football historians with a How To Guide on the best way to accomplish just that. With the global health emergency bearing down on football, reconstruction to save as many clubs as possible should have been a lock.
Today it’s on the brink of death.
I am glad about that; I freely admit it. I never wanted to see league reconstruction succeed this summer because it was all too clear that the moves towards it were inspired with one intention in mind; to save Hearts from their deserved fate.
This could not have been made more plain, because both efforts at it have come with Ann Budge at the helm of them. It stinks. It looks and smells rancid. Had she possessed an iota of self-awareness she would never have volunteered herself for the position.
Her ego and arrogance are boundless though.
She couldn’t wait to get her face in the papers.
Clubs have watched her behaviour in disgust, first as she threatened the whole game with legal action and then as she sided with the Ibrox club and their deplorable campaign against Doncaster, McKenzie and MacLennan. In hooking up with that lunatic crusade she hamstrung herself and the cause she was meant to be committed to even further.
Last week, Sevco tried to shamelessly use this crisis to bounce clubs into accepting colt teams in the lower leagues.
What horrifies me, and infuriates me, is that our club is supposed to support this barmy proposal. I might do a piece on that later.
But for the moment let me just say that it is cynical and shocking that we’d even attempt to piggy-back on this crisis in a doomed effort to ramrod something like this through. At the same time, we’ve allowed Sevco to represent itself as a club with vision, giving idiots like Keith Jackson license to write the kind of nonsense he did this morning, lauding them for “out of the box thinking” when the idea is older than Tutankhamen and just as cursed.
It is never going to pass, which means that on top of revealing our board at their self-interested worst we’ve also given our backing to a solid loss.
The proposal was never getting off the ground, and any chance that was left was given the coup-de-grace last night when Ann Budge herself said she’s be lending it her support. That’s the kiss of death right there, the endorsement that guarantees defeat.
Within hours of that announcement, two clubs had said they were opposed to it. There will be plenty of others out there. The cause of reconstruction will die on the vine, because of atrocious leadership and the selfishness of two clubs.
Celtic has done itself no favours in leaping aboard this sinking ship; that is a tactical failure which hints at a lack of a strategic outlook at Celtic Park. I have long argued that our inability to articulate a vision for the game here is dangerous.
But the damage has been done by Ibrox and Tynecastle, and the clubs that dwell there.
Ann Budge and Stewart Robertson are the very last people others trust to reform the game. Their behaviour over the course of this crisis has been lamentable and that has neither been forgotten nor forgiven elsewhere. It has doomed what should have been a sure thing.
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