The Clumpany noted with some mirth that the manager of Kilmarnock and the statement writer of Aberdeen FC have spoken out about horrendously inconsistent decision making by the SFA-overseen disciplinary process this season.
To be fair to them, they have a point.
The sort of point that is so correct that it could be used as the International Standard Measurement of Correctness for the rest of time.
To outside observers with the capacity to hold a rational thought, the SFA’s disciplinary processes are a complete and utter joke. Much like the governing body itself and and every last apparent arrogance-infused cell of its blazer-wearing time-servers and other seemingly untouchables. Indeed, some might say that they are an embarrassment to the very concept of sport, administration and sports administration.
But so what? Aberdeen, Kilmarnock and the massed ranks of the gullible folk who buy tickets for SFA-administered Cup and international fixtures can bleat, whine, stamp their feet, and throw as many toys out of the pram as they like. It will make no difference whatsoever, and they are embarrassing themselves if they pretend otherwise.
Because until the day dawns when fans stop giving money to the SFA and (more importantly) a sufficient number of clubs take an organised collective stand against the SFA (as well as the SPFL for a host of reasons), absolutely nothing will change. NOTHING.
Until that happens, the SFA is entirely justified in making the sort of statement it issued last night.
The SFA is quite clearly implementing and administering processes that have been signed off by its members following their involvement in their design. Processes that give the SFA a large amount of latitude and don’t make it easy to review the consequences.
The SFA doesn’t even have the clubs over a barrel. They have their tacit consent for what they are doing! So why on Earth should the SFA ever change any aspect of what it does?
There is an argument which says that even if a good number of larger SPFL clubs took a stand against the SFA nothing would change because the majority of the SFA’s voting members aren’t (for example) even members of the SPFL.
This argument is more than reasonable!
When Celtic called for a review of the governance of Scottish football during the Rangers tax case sagas, Stewart Regan pointed out that he had 100+ members and only one of them had called for a review. This may have been true but it pointed to the scope for the SFA to hide behind (and for people seeking election to the top offices in Scottish football to rely upon the votes of) a large number of amateur outfits.
I personally would argue that it is a complete nonsense that a large number of SFA members outside the SPFL can wield such disproportionate influence in an era of high stakes TV negotiations and Scottish football seeking any ‘USP’ it can find to stand out from the ‘obscenely’ rich leagues around Europe.
I would like to see Scotland’s professional clubs (including the Ibrox outfit) doing whatever it takes – including threatening boycotts of the Scottish Cup and the withdrawing of players from the Scotland squad – to bring about the end of the 19th Century structures of the SFA. Because then we might stand a chance of getting a professional approach to the future development of the national sport as a whole.
However, pending that unlikely miracle occurring, I have no doubt that if a significant number of the bigger clubs in Scotland could present a united front to the SFA and say ‘enough is enough – stop making excuses and sort yourselves out’, and could press for specific steps to be taken, it would make the SFA squirm and make it more difficult for them to hide behind process and ‘their members’.
Sadly I fear that hell will freeze over before Celtic, Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibs, Kilmarnock (and even Sevco in some circumstances) can even begin to agree on a few points of common concern that can be put to the SFA as non-negotiable. Nor do I think that any of them have the guts to actually stand firm on any point of principle either individually or collectively.
Until that changes they have zero chance of effecting change. And – frankly – right now, they don’t deserve change.
As a result they should simply ‘suck it up’ and hope enough fans remain blindly loyal enough to go along with them for the money-spinning ride…