The Queen’s death yesterday has some people in a frenzy over cancelling football. I wonder if some of those in Scotland who are clamouring for it would be quite so keen if we were struggling and they were on a high. Their Whatabouttery over this is boring.
They think we should have played on when Phil O’Donnell died on the pitch, although much of Scottish football was in mourning and in shock. They forget that Hibs and Motherwell cancelled their fixture, and that when Celtic asked for a postponement that their club – which could have refused it – wholeheartedly agreed to it.
They bring up COVID, and how we called for football to be suspended. Yeah, we did. To keep people alive. Their idol no longer has to worry about that. That was life and death, and bear in mind that although fans weren’t allowed in grounds across the country that football itself eventually went on, and we played an entire season behind closed doors.
She was a national figure. And what? National figures die all the time. I wouldn’t have minded a minute’s silence for Alan Rickman; there was no football reason to give him one. When Diana died there was pressure put on the SFA because they wanted to schedule a Scotland game on the day of the funeral. As usual, Ibrox howled at the moon.
Three of their players were allegedly going to refuse to play. Ally McCoist freely admits that he told the national coach not to select him if the game went ahead. It’s as if they knew her personally. I found the frenzy surrounding her death crazy at the time; I am glad that a number of prominent writers and broadcasters have said since that it was hysterical and nonsensical in equal measure.
I also find it amazing that a lot of people thought that Jim Farry should have lost his job over the initial decision to play that match. Odd that none of those people thought that he should resign when he very wilfully cheated our club by delaying the Jorge Cadete registration, the offence for which McCann took him and the SFA to court.
We have a different set of standards up here.
Everyone accepts, I think, the idea of a “national day of mourning.”
Fair enough, we can go with that, because a lot of people did feel some bizarre emotional attachment to this person who made not one bit of difference to their lives and played no role in it whatsoever.
So let that national day of mourning be today. But the idea that the entire nation should cease all activity, that nothing should go on for the next 10 days of ceremony and pageantry and assorted nonsense … that’s not going to happen is it?
If football wants to pay its respects it can do so with silences and armbands and the other stuff we do in the game. On the day of the funeral, fair enough … by all means pause things for 24 hours and then, for the love of God, let us get on with real life.
We can’t afford a week long postponement of all fixtures. In case the moon-howlers haven’t noticed we’re in a somewhat unusual campaign here, with a World Cup being held at the most ungodly time imaginable. There is no room for the re-arranged games on the calendar and I am quite certain that contrary to some of the nonsense last night that UEFA will not allow clubs to cancel fixtures in their competition because some people here feel sad at an old lady passing away.
This whole forelock tugging, monarchist clap-trap infantilises large parts of this country. I have never understood how grown up men and women can be content to see themselves as “loyal subjects” to a bunch of distant weird freaks living in a real life version of Downtown Abbey whilst the rest of this country deals with serious business and serious issues.
If they want to mourn this like it was a family tragedy, if they want to live in their bubble for the next ten days (and maybe beyond) then I have no problem with that and nobody else should either, but I do draw the line at forcing the rest of us to endure it with them.
Time to be big boys and girls. Suck it up and move on. She’s dead, her worries are over. They are playing games in the Ukraine as their country fights a war. Football continued in some form the last time this country was. It didn’t stop for a deadly virus, it merely went behind closed doors. There is no way that it should be stopping now, for this.
The SFA and UEFA need to play the damn games. It will help drag some of this country into the real world at last, and based on some of what I read last night that can’t come a moment too soon.