Mr Neil Doncaster – a man who is to plain English what I am to sobriety – said something today.
Apparently it was on a matter of great importance. Concerning the future of competitive football in Europe.
But I don’t know what he actually said.
I know that words were involved, and some sort of sound was made which masqueraded as a coherent observation. And I am aware that the points he made are available in printed form for those who wish to involve their eyes and brain in a masochistic frenzy.
Oh look! Here they are:
But when I became aware of his utterances, all I could hear and see was “Blah blah blah blah blah”.
Because as far as I am concerned, Mr Neil Doncaster trashed any right he might have had to speak about ‘the good of the game’ back in 2012.
Being party to a narrative which spoke of ‘Armageddon’, ‘slow lingering death’, ‘shedding debt’ and there ‘being no provision in the rules for what was trying to be achieved’ instantly discounted Mr Doncaster from any position of moral authority in the game.
This was a narrative which said that unless the rule book was thrown out of the window to preserve a brand that had stiffed the taxman and 275 other creditors, and which had engaged in systematic rule-breaking, the game wasn’t worth one thin dime.
This narrative was manifestly bollocks, and the fans and (eventually) clubs refused to go along with it. But Mr Neil Doncaster – alongside Mr Stewart Regan -became indelibly etched in the minds of many fans as a man who wanted to gerrymander a new club into one of the upper divisions regardless of what the rules said or whether it utterly wrecked the basic concepts of sporting integrity and fair play without which all sport is simply light entertainment.
The shenanigans about which the late Turnbull Hutton spoke so memorably during the summer of 2012 were a national embarrasment and a stain on the history of Scottish football.
I havent forgotten them, and neither have most of you. It remains astonishing to us that Mr Doncaster is still the Chief Executive of the SPFL. It is astonishing because of the meagre broadcasting deals and league sponsorship secured by the SPL and SPFL in recent years. It it also astonishing when you look down this awe-inspiring list of achievements produced by STV.
However, these matters pale in comparison with the events which followed the self-inflicted demise of Rangers Football Club. At that point, the only thing which seemed to matter to the leaders of the Scottish game was whether the Rangers v Celtic ‘spectacle’ could be resurrected as quickly as possible and by any means necessary.
What an insult to the rest of of Scottish football! What a spectacular failure of imagination! And what flagrant disregard for the very concept of sport!
Get yourself a time machine Mr Doncaster, undo the leadership shown during the summer of 2012, and then start pontificating about what’s good for the game in 2016.
At that point, you and a few others might just be worth listening to.
Other recent Clumpany offerings include: