Date: 18th June 2020 at 7:22pm
Written by:

Steven Thompson works for the BBC. As a journalist. Allegedly.

They call them pundits, but it’s the same gig.

I would have thought they’d have given him some valuable lessons in how to base his work on fact instead of fiction.

Based on what he has said today, his bosses really ought to carpet him pushing propaganda. Unless they are okay with that.

Thompson is one of a number of “journalists” who continuously pushes the fiction that the SPFL were the ones who were behind the decision to bring the league season to a close. Let’s not forget that the governing bodies have only acted on government advice, and that only one decision – the decision to call off the Sevco-Celtic match in March – was taken by the SPFL.

I have read a number of independent reports commissioned since then and all of them make it clear that this was exactly the right thing to do.

It was manifestly unsafe to even attempt to play football in front of audiences as that time.

Analysis proves that the Liverpool-Atletico game caused a major cluster and there are suggestions that Leverkusen’s game at Ibrox was responsible for a spike in the number of cases in Glasgow. It was lunacy for those games to go ahead.

Everything that happened after that was done on the government’s timeframe.

Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish Government has moved at a much more responsible pace than the administration south of the border and even the resumption of pre-season training would not have been possible until a very short time ago, on the best scientific advice.

Thompson can lambast the SPFL executive board all he wants for the way they took this decision, but the first over-riding factor was the lockdown itself and second was that Scottish clubs, even some of those in the top flight, are overwhelmingly dependent on gate receipts to pay the bills. Many had basic business interruption insurance, but none of that was eligible to be paid out until the games were no longer going to be played. Prize money could not be paid either.

Clubs would have gone to the wall waiting. It is a minor miracle that we haven’t lost a couple of them already; the reason we’ve not is because the campaign was brought to a close before bad situations at those clubs became critical situations.

If we get through this spell without losing a senior club it will be, in part, because the SPFL asked the clubs themselves what their preferred option was and the clubs voted for it.

He acknowledges that this was the will of the clubs; still, this idiot, without a single day spent as a director or with the slightest inside knowledge of how to run one of those clubs, wants to second guess those who do.

This decision was made with better information inside the walls of the clubs than he is privy to, and without a doubt for good reasons. Nobody wanted the season to end early; doing so was an act of necessity. If he doesn’t already know that then he ought to.

And if he doesn’t, how smart do you have to be to figure this stuff? Even if the government had been all for this, most clubs – even in the SPL – could not have afforded to put on games without a single supporter paying money through the gate.

It is bad enough that they’ll approach the next few months with all this stuff up in the air; Thompson wanted some of them to take on an additional eight matches, and squeeze them into a timeframe that would have been measured in weeks.

Pre-season training would have been gone. Players would have been dropping like flies long before the winter break, which doubtless he and others would have sought to abolish anyway to get the coming campaign into as short a timeframe as possible.

Thompson and those like him have the luxury of being able to live in ignorance, pontificating from the side-lines about stuff they barely understand. It is so easy so snipe about decisions and those who made them when you never had to take a difficult one yourself.

He says that everyone would have preferred to see the season end on the park; of course we would have.

Disingenuously, he claims that there would have been no doubts over Celtic’s title had it been done that way.

Yet there’s no doubt over it now, except for that which is raised in pitiful fashion by losers bleating about how they’d have turned things around, when we’d have kept winning, rendering any “run” they went on – if they were able – meaningless anyway.

The level of delusion it takes to believe that nonsense is extraordinary.

Thompson is an ignorant oaf talking bitter nonsense.

All this raking over a decision that was taken in the best interests of the game is tiresome. People like this have become a bore. We are supposed to be preparing for the ten in a row season, yet instead we constantly have to correct clowns like this when they are talking this sort of self-indulgent twaddle.

But the BBC should not be spreading this nonsense without contradiction.

That organisation behaves in a way that makes them very hard to defend from its enemies on the right. When the inevitable public consultation on abolishing the license fee takes place they are in for a Hell of a shock if they think people are going to pay for this kind of rubbish.

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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?

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