Good Evening. [And please vote Clumpany’!]
Scottish football was rocked to its foundations late this afternoon by the news that NASA have rejected the opportunity to undertake a joint venture with the SPFL. This ambitious enterprise would not only have put the first man on Mars, but also the first woeful sports administrators, the first chronically deferential journalists, and the first football match too.
After considering the proposals, NASA decided that as much as it loved Scottish football, all the baggage which accompanies it – particularly the media manure – was simply too heavy to carry to the Red Palmet. There were also doubts that Neil Doncaster could raise sufficient sponsorship to fund Scotland’s half of the arrangements.
So the big spectacular expedition is off!
Of course, the above is a complete flight of fancy made up by yours truly. But the idea of Scottish football going into space is as unlikely to get off the ground as the perennial suggestion that ‘Scottish clubs might be able to play in England’.
This notion crops up in the media from time to time and never amounts to anything other than inducing mass-sighing from thousands of weary fans. [And yes, Celtic’s Dermott Desmond has been guilty of raising this issue in the past. See for example The Brit-pish Premier League].
And so it was today that we heard about the end of the ‘possibility’ of Scottish clubs being able to join a restructured English senior league, following this announcement:
I find it very difficult to believe that Scottish clubs joining the English set-up as part of this process was EVER a realistic possibility. Aside from long-standing FIFA and UEFA commitments to maintaining national league structures (leaving aside some very tentative cross-border initiatives), the idea that English clubs might vote to effectively deprive other English clubs of a place (and revenue) in their league was rather far-fetched.
No matter how many time the tedious “Scottish clubs could move down south” story is resurrected, The Clumpany suspects that it isn’t going to happen for a very long time. If indeed ever.
Nevertheless the ‘story’ remains an easy page and airtime filler, and today’s ‘bad news’ has received quite a bit of coverage in Scotland. Coverage which offers scant assessment of how unrealistic a prospect it was in the first place.
And of course, most of the discussion doesn’t revolve around ‘Scottish clubs’ playing in England at all. It discusses the possibility of Celtic and something going by the name of ‘Rangers’ doing so. A ‘Rangers’ which I understand to be an attractive prospect to any potential suitors on account of… err… surviving with the help of loans, and having recently won the Perpetual Failure Cup prior to making its top-flight debut.
This is the kind of infuriating narrative which suggests that Celtic and ‘Rangers’ are the only worthwhile sides in Scotland. It would have us believe that Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibs, Utd etc couldn’t possibly have anything to offer a cross-border set up. And as such, it is a bucketful of pish.
The Herald’s piece on today’s developments is a prime example of this ‘Old Firmy’, liquidation-denying perspective which boils our game down to two ‘clubs’…
“THE Football League have closed the door on the prospect of Rangers and Celtic joining their ranks as part of a shake-up of the game south of the border.
EFL clubs have been discussing a range of issues regarding the four division set-up in recent months and could vote on a final proposal in June next year.
A new League Three is one of the ideas on the table for debate but any blueprint to overhaul the EFL will not include the Old Firm or Premier League B Teams.”
Personally, I think Rangers would be better off focusing on getting to Aberdeen rather than England in the near future. The papers keep telling me that they are playing at Pittodrie this weekend, and that’s a long way from the mortuary slab by anyone’s reckoning…
Meanwhile, spare a thought for the ever-shrewd press pack who are now saddled with extensive property portfolios across England, having decided to buy places to stay when the ‘Old Firm’ inevitably begin their packed programme of league fixtures South of the Border… 😉
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