Today, the news that fans in England have waited for was delivered on a plate to them.
The sport is getting an independent regulator. Fans are overjoyed, and they should be.
The game has proved that it cannot govern itself.
This is, clearly, also true in Scotland.
If we’d had an independent regulator some of what we saw in 2012 would never have happened.
An independent regulator could impose FFP and make it stick.
An independent regulator would resolve the ticketing situation.
An independent regulator would adjudicate the cinch dispute and come to a conclusion that made sense and punished Ibrox.
Refereeing could be given proper scrutiny, and it needs it.
The regulator in England will have the power to scrutinise club owners, and sources of funding. That is something Scottish football has needed for years. Dave King should never have gotten his hands on Ibrox and neither should those before him.
The regulator is setting up a requirement for clubs to have “shadow boards” run by supporters to scrutinise what’s happening.
The “golden share” proposal will prevent clubs being able to change their logos or colours or names or stadiums without the fans’ say-so, and it will stop shady owners from looting teams and then heading for the hills.
Can you imagine what an independent regulator would have made of the shambles at Ibrox in 2012?
What it would have done with the Five Way Agreement?
What it would have said about title stripping after the details of the EBT scandal emerged?
Would it have allowed “conflicted” Campbell Ogilvie to remain in charge at the SFA? Would it have tolerated the threats and pressure applied to clubs by Doncaster and Regan?
There might have been no need for the Nimmo Smith inquiry in the first place.
The Scottish Government needs to be lobbied hard on this, and yes the SFA and the SPFL will kick and scream and claw and bite, but they have done nothing to offer their own leadership and I think few people would have a bit of sympathy for them if the power over some of this was taken out of their hands. They are cowards.
Because they are cowards they should welcome a regulator.
The onus would no longer be on them to act in certain areas, and as they are used to passing the buck they should be happy to have the chance to do so that nobody can question.
But they won’t of course, because they like power and responsibility even if they never exercise it … and also because some of them are just fine with an Ibrox club threatening the financial wellbeing of the entire sport.
They would fight it tooth and nail.