The Clumpany is in a good mood today.
For the pure and simple reason that I watched a very entertaining game of football last night.
And it wasn’t the European Super-Duper Cup, which – to be honest – sounded like a pretty drab 5-4 game, overseen by some all-too familiar officials.
No, The Clumpany chose to watch the Dundee derby instead. And what a cracker it was!
The game was played at a high tempo, in a good spirit, and was incident-packed.
Three of the goals were absolutely excellent. Spittal’s first would certainly have had the Match of the Day panel drooling had it been scored in the ‘Best League In The World’ down south.
The late save from Scott Bain on to the crossbar was magnificent. And the last-gasp equaliser from McPake, was a fittingly dramatic conclusion to a great game.
This is how I like my football. There was an awful lot going on, some great open play, plenty of crowd noise, and absolutely none of the sterility that can affect the massively overhyped ‘big games’ in England.
As many others have said, it was a great advert for the Scottish game. And it was heartening to see so many fans on social media – from all clubs – saying how much they enjoyed the game.
But more than that, it was just a great advert for football. Full stop.
Hell, even Tanner and co in the Sky studio seemed to enjoy it!
And when was the last time that happened?
Yesterday’s game is the kind of spectacle that should be included in the portfolio when the people who run our game endeavour to promote it, and go in search of sponsors or broadcasting deals.
I assume they do ‘endeavour’, don’t they?!
Yes of course metrics such as viewer numbers, the demographics of the TV audience, and likely advertising revenues are all fundamentally important in determining the amount of cash you can actually bring in.
But if a marketable ‘product’ isn’t there to celebrate and promote in the first place then you are in real trouble.
What we saw last night (and on numerous other occasions) is that the ‘product’ most certainly IS there.
But the Scottish game needs to be much better at promoting itself.
As I have said before, the promotion of the Petrofac Cup this year has really stood out. It has been vibrant, upbeat and very active online.
You get a real sense of a tournament and sponsor that are genuinely proud to be associated with Scottish football.
Compare that with the staid ‘promotion’ of the Scottish Cup, where a nervous-looking Campbell Ogilvie presiding over the draw, and David Tanner praying for an ‘Old Firm’ tie is as near as we ever get to ‘excitement’.
And as for the SPFL itself… Well its current promotion of the game doesn’t even extend to posting game highlights online!
Oh dear! While I can appreciate that clubs want to have control of (and earn revenue from) ‘their’ content, it seems a massive, collective own goal to have no systematic central promotion of the best of the League!
So well done to Dundee and Dundee United for providing such great entertainment, putting a spring in our step, and for reminding us that we have a lot to shout about.
But let’s hope – once again – that the SFA and SPFL are ready to lead the shouting…