4 Jul 2012

Momentous day for Scottish football

At last! Finally a day which stands out in the long-running car-crash of Scottish football.

A day where a decision was reached.

A day when the voice of fans / customers was finally seen to have been heard and acted upon.

A day when integrity in sport came first and money came where it belongs in sport – second.

A day when this was done decisively – it appears by an ten to one majority.

A day in which all fans (and here Celtic and Rangers agree) can share the view that the right thing was done in a world where it looked as if the word had disappeared.

Scare stories

It began with the usual tabloid scare stories about how Scotland’s Premier League faces meltdown without ‘Gers.

It got worse with the Scottish Premier League chief executive Neil Doncaster saying there might not be a vote. The SPL might wait till the Football League vote next week on where “Rangers” should play.

Could the abject Mexican stand-off of football “management” really pass the buck for yet another week?

Yes – frankly. It looked credible.

But at Hampden Park by mid-afternoon it was dealt with. The old Rangers FC could not transfer its share in the SPL to the new company.

European glory a few years ago to this. Yet it’s what most “Rangers” fans now want – albeit for various reasons.

Those familiar with this blog will have seen them articulated in recent months.

So now the buck is not passed – the decision is made. The Football League chairmen now have to step up next week here.

“Rangers” fans do not want Division 1 in some new-fangled two-tier “Premier League” set-up wholly designed to shoe-horn “Rangers” back into Rangers in the SPL, like nothing happened.

But everything happened. Rangers blew up and detonated into “Rangers” via tax, police and football investigations which will run for months, years.

New model

This must mean one, clear thing and there’s no sign that the SFL, SPL and SFA have grasped it: the old model is gone.

No point worrying about the loss of revenue, the TV deal. The old Rangers cash cow is gone. It cannot be allowed back along the same failed lines.

So clearly a new business model needs urgently inventing and working on. One wants to see energy going into that – not lamenting past models and TV deals and lamely frightening folk about what the TV deal will be worth because…the folk aren’t buying.

The SPL bosses just slung the old “succulent lamb”‘ business plan in the bin.

The SFL next week may well take the bin and sling its contents to rot away into history.

Great day

An urgent review beyond that done by Henry McLeish needs to grasp the new reality and yes, opportunity with new outside thinking to meet a new challenge and a new chance.

In short – forget anyone still bellyaching about old money now gone – the spilled-milk lament.

Look instead to those thinking creatively about new chances and choices. Fewer clubs? Possibly.  Survival of the fittest? For sure.  Fairer cash distribution? We hope.

And hope is what’s been given a chance already, by a great day at Hampden when not a ball was kicked.

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