Date: 12th December 2010 at 7:42pm
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Albert Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. He wasn’t referring to Scottish football, of course, but I can think of few better cases which prove his point.

Leaving the shambles of the SFA and RFC referees aside, the top-flight game in Scotland is being killed – from a thousand paper cuts – by a succession of small minded, self interested, money grabbing amateurs in control of football clubs. Money is the bottom line with these people and they cant see further than the end of their own noses. They stand, cap in hand like beggars, and bleat about ‘what’s in it for us?’, ‘what do we stand to gain here?’, and ‘we might be prepared to go along with it as long as those uppity Celtic #@#@#@#’# don’t benefit from it!’ – ‘but we still demand two home games against them and the right to charge their fans more than any other group of fans!’

That is the real, ugly truth of Scottish football. The old 18 team 1st division – which was the most successful league structure in the history of Scottish football – was scrapped without a second thought about the long term consequences to the game in this country. Clubs, with small minded men at the top, drowned the baby and then threw it out with the bath water for the promised nirvana of a new 10 team Premier Division – and the extra income that two home games against Celtic and rangers would give them. It proved, as many said at the time, to be an unmitigated disaster. Stale, uninteresting games against opposition you played four times a season – add in two cup competitions and that number increased to five or six games against the same teams.

‘Would the insanity ever end?’ – keep up, please, this is Scottish football we’re discussing here! No, the lunatics eventually took complete control of the asylum and decided – in their ‘wisdom’ – that what was really needed was a 12 team league and a split. ‘was it a banana split?’ No, but you’re getting warmer!

Now we have a 16 team league under consideration and, astonishingly, a return to the unmitigated disaster that was the 10 team set-up also appears to be on the poop-deck of the deck chair movers and shakers. Is a return to the 10 being used as a scare tactic to make the 16 seem like the more attractive option? 11-1 isn’t a scoreline, well not in this context, it is in fact the current SPL voting margin required to change anything under the current structure. Section 4, paragraph 7, clause B clearly states: ‘what’s in it for us?’

These same people broke something that didn’t require either fixing or reconstructing and, sadly, there will be no return to an 18 team league. The wealth in the game won’t be spread evenly among 18 clubs because of the greed of the no-marks and intellectual pygmies who constitute the majority of the SPL. More a case of the Dodo’s lament than turkeys voting for Christmas.

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4 Replies to “Albert, Deckchairs, Titanic and SPL reconstruction”

  • Clever piece of writing there, TicV. Unfortunatley, I don’t think some of the points you are making are 100% accurate or fair. The 10 team SPL came into being in the mid-70s – not to prevent Celtic winning another 9 in a row, but to stop ridiculous “no-contest” games like Celtic v East Fife or Rangers v Arbroath … plus to generate the 2 extra home gates against the OF for decent “middling” clubs, as you say. However a 10 team league then proved disastrous for decent “middling” teams like Hearts, Hibs, Dundee, Dunfermline, Motherwell, Kilmarnock – who were all relegation casualties over the next 10 years. So the compromise of 14 teams with 2 relegation places, then 12 teams with 1 relegation place was produced. From a non-OF point of view, the size of the league doesn’t matter – Celtic or Rangers will always win it by a mile. Only when all clubs get back to sensible economics (living within their means) and rearing their own players properly will it be worth re-examining the share-out of TV income, gates/prices, number of games etc. Thats where your deck chairs on the Titanic analogy comes in. There’s now very little extra income to teams when the OF come to play attheir home ground – apart from TV revenue. All just my opinion, of course – but there’s too much football currently. 38 games is too much. A 16 team league, playing each other twice, gives 15 home games each – clubs need to learn to get by on this and stop whingeing.

  • Don’t mention East Fife – we drew with them away during my first season as we headed for 6-in-a-row. There were no meaningless games, as such, a few mismatches at times. The other clubs could rear and bring their own players through and the game was much freer as a result. Celtic were also able to bring through the Quality Street Kids and Hearts and Hibs and countless others team were also able to produce their own stars. The players that later took Aberdeen and Dundee United to the heights of Europe were all reared under the 18 team structure. There’s not a hope in hell of ever returning to that, but Scottish football has been trying, unsuccessfully, ever since to try and recapture what we threw away so easily back then. I’m not sure if UEFA would be happy with a league consisting of only 30 games, Specs Haver. They did have a minimum games-number not so long ago before clubs from a league would be allowed to play in their European competitions. TBH mate, I really don’t see things imp [Edited by TicV]

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