People keep telling me that SFL Chief Executive David Longmuir and President Jim Ballantyne are playing the “long game” by signing up to the SPL league reconstruction package.
By this it is meant that Longmuir will be in situ as the new system crumbles around him, ready to lead Scottish football into a bright new dawn. All he will have to do is point to the folly of the SPL in dreaming up such a Frankenstein abomination and say “I have a better idea!”
Firstly, this is not Europe, where such Machiavellian plots are part and parcel of the game. To paraphrase both Bomber Brown and Ally McCoist:- “This is Scotland! And we don’t do Machiavelli!”
David Longmuir has to realise that he will forever now be seen as the man who sold out, the guy who folded his hand with the trump card in it. No-one is going to give him credibility when this new system does, indeed, go down the toilet pan.
If a picture tells a thousand words, the revolting image of Longmuir standing with a grinning Regan and Doncaster the other day will be burned into the minds of football fans for a long time.
For those who say that David Longmuir is only there to carry out the will of SFL member clubs, that is utter nonsense. Chief Executives are picked and paid to lead, not to just be administrators. Longmuir already has form for opposing the will of his member clubs when he believed them to be wrong. It’s his job to do such things.
Besides which, he let the cat out of the bag by revealing that he still had to speak to most of them over the deal he himself has backed.
Our game here in Scotland has been sold out by the greed and cravenness of small-minded, self-serving people – those who run the game along with club officials, the vast majority of whom think 1,000 people is a massive crowd.
These minnow clubs deciding the future of our game with Rangers not even being consulted is like local PC repair shops dictating the future of computing without consulting Microsoft.
Only in Scotland could such stupidity be the norm.
I am friendly with a lot of people from different ethnic backgrounds. I wouldn’t dream of telling any of them to go back to their own country. That would be extremely rude.
However, I am not sure if it is horrendously racist enough to plaster all over the newspapers.
Leigh Griffiths is being lambasted in the media for telling a guy on Twitter to go back to his own country. Which turns out to be Livingston.
Does it warrant the hysteria it is generating?
Griffiths is a 22 year old laddie, by all accounts not the brightest bulb on the tree. He is a footballer and is abused constantly. He reacted to some eejit goading him on Twitter, something he should not have done.
But is it the hanging offence some are making out?
Again, only in Scotland where such such hysterical outrage is the norm.
One of my heroes is Barry Hearn, a veritable giant of sports marketing.
Hearn’s comments on the SFA’s decision to totally ignore the wishes of football fans should be carved on the wall outside the SFA office at Hampden Park.
In today’s Record, Hearn says:
“The basics of sound business apply whether you’re talking about fishing, darts, snooker or football. And that means football clubs are servants of the customers who pay to watch them. The customer is king.
“If customers want a 16-team league then give them one.
“I see myself as an ordinary bloke but I probably live in an ivory tower. That’s why I’m always carrying out market research to see what people want. The chairman isn’t king. The fan is.
“Football has become complacent and that’s dangerous when we’re in a recession. The obligation is to keep the existing fans happy and work on bringing in new ones.
“An old boxing promoter Jarvis Astaire told me he and others didn’t have the incentive to put on better boxing shows when I started to get involved in the business in the 80s because they already had BBC Television’s contract money in their pockets.
“But Scottish football can’t afford to be Bertie Big B*****ks today.”
8,000 fans were consulted by the SFA about reconstruction. The vast majority asked for a 16-team league.
These wishes have been totally ignored by the ruling body.
Only in Scotland…