Media, Scottish Football, SFA, SPFL

Scottish Football: It’s Sh*t

Good Afternoon.

The Clumpany’s eye was caught by this tweet from former SPL Chief Executive, Roger Mitchell.

 Regular readers of this attempted blog will be aware that I take issue with those who do down our game. Particularly (but not exclusively) in relation to the absence of a Rangers-themed franchise from the top flight.

Our game is far from perfect, but it does have a lot going for it. An awful lot. 

I still think that Regan and Doncaster should have walked after the ‘Armageddon’ and ‘Slow lingering death’ rhetoric in 2012. And the clubs should have been handing them their coats as they left Hampden for the final time.

I personally feel that it was utterly unforgivable for the stewards of the sport to simply write it off as potentially a lost cause if they didn’t get their way. They surely knew (like many of the rest of us) that Scottish football has a long and venerable history with a very committed following. It was not going to collapse on the back of one of its most prominent clubs going to the wall. Indeed, it was quite likely to ultimately thrive if enthusiastic advocates at Hampden provided good leadership and oversaw clubs striving to live within their means.

Sadly, Messers Regan and Doncaster are still in post and making slow progress in attracting sponsors to the game, and in freshening-up its competitions. So it is pretty much left to the rest of ‘us’ – fans, clubs, and (on occasion) pundits – to say positive things about Scottish football. 

It is absolutely laughable for a former senior administrator of our game to say that those who talk it up are “either fraudulent or criminally naieve”.

Actually – for me – it is downright insulting and possibly suggests a complete disregard for Scottish football. Does Mr Mitchell think we should simply let Scottish football wither, die and rot away?

I find it hard to believe that he does. In which case, how on earth is anything ever going to improve, and more money be brought into the game if no one talks it up, sings its praises and dances excitedly while cheerleading its attributes?

I am sure that were Mr Mitchell still in charge of the top flight he wouldn’t go into negotiations with sponsors and broadcasters and say “look lads, I would try and strike a hard bargain by making the best of what we have to offer, but I don’t want to defraud you. Shall we say you can have the rights in return for a litre of Irn Bru and a ‘Monarch of the Glen’ DVD?”.

Would he?

Barry Hearn nailed it last year at the SFA Convention when he said

“I am seeing too much self-pity. That’s what the world thinks of Scottish football and that should be the most worrying aspect. Be proud of yourself. Don’t be a secret. If you don’t believe in yourself how can other people believe in you?”.

“In my view you have done nowhere near enough”.

“You’ve got to grow. You’ve got to be positive. You have been in the shadow of the English Premier League and you have almost given up. Your image is not good because it is a defeatist image”.

When it comes to the promotion of sport, Barry Hearn knows what he is talking about. His message was clear: to make something of your sport you have to value it and champion it. You have to have a bit of self-respect.

And frankly none of those things sound “fraudulent or criminally naive”.

Do they, Mr Mitchell?