From the moment The Green Party suggested that Sky might want to show the Celtic-Sevco game for free at the weekend, so that dozens of people weren’t crammed into one living room, the snipers were popping up to have a shot at it.
Some of them are simply better being ignored. Some of them seem to believe that since this crisis began that the Scottish Government itself has been using it in an effort to punish our club.
To call them moon-howlers doesn’t go far enough.
The First Minister herself came out in support of the idea yesterday, only for Neil Doncaster to tell her that it wasn’t a good idea or a reasonable thing to ask.
He’s absolutely full of it.
The idea has real merit, and even Steven Gerrard’s agreeing with it doesn’t change that.
For openers, on public health grounds alone it’s not only logical but sensible.
It is a no-risk measure with a high potential upside. It doesn’t take a genius to work out how this game could result in an uptick in cases, with it being available only on Sky and to those with a Celtic season ticket. For a game like this the pubs would usually be full.
Instead, a lot of folk will congregate in private homes.
I’ve enjoyed many of our games at Ibrox these last few years in the home of a good friend of mine; he usually rolls out the red carpet for a dozen or so of us. That’s probably where I’d be tomorrow (invite permitting!) were it allowed and the number of cases not quite so high.
Making the game available for free would, at this time of heightened risk, convince more people to stay isolated within their own bubbles … it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise that. The next question is, how feasible was the proposal?
In fact, it was very feasible indeed. Both Sky and BT Sport have shown games live for free before; BT Sport showed a Champions League Final live on YouTube.
The only other consideration here is financial, and Doncaster thought that Sky putting cash first was a perfectly valid step on their part.
Indeed, it’s clear enough that if money is your God it’s the only possible road to take.
But of course, all of us understand that there are more important things at stake than a few quid Murdoch and his shareholders wouldn’t even miss.
Like people’s health. Like their lives.
Sky had a chance here to do the right thing for once. Scottish customers have been shafted time and time again by this organisation, from the lop-sided pro EPL TV deal structure to forcing Andy Walker on our ears during games … they could have done something good for once, something positive, and treated their audience as more than just a cash machine.
This is mercenary, money grubbing of the worst sort.
Those justifying their stance on the basis of TV contracts and other such nonsense should honestly hang their heads in shame.
The idea is a good one and was in the best interests of public safety.
Instead, Sky chose to prioritise their bottom line and Neil Doncaster thinks that’s okay.
This is the contempt with which they view ordinary fans; they’d rather we were exposed to the risk of illness and death than even consider throwing us a bone.
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