Dreaming Of A Level Playing Field

sloping_field1Here we are, three years on from the scandalous decision making that almost allowed a brand new football club to start in the top flight, and we seem no closer to the level playing we, the fans, thought we had won than ever before.

Today the SPFL, in its “wisdom” has handed Sevco a staggering advantage in the play-off race, by assuring their game against Hearts won’t be played at the same time as the other ties.

This creates a perverse, and shocking, situation which, once more, asks of our governing bodies whether or not they really understand what they’re about or whether they just don’t care.

Picture the scene; Sevco go to Tynecastle 24 hours after Hibs have won their final game. They sit at second in the league.

But Sevco only needs a point to take that spot away from them.

Hearts have already won the title, and their manager will have to decide whether it’s worth giving the Ibrox club a bloody nose, and let their deadly rivals secure that spot … or take it easy and play for the point, knowing everyone in the ground will leave just tickety-boo.

I’m not saying this will happen.

You know what? I like Robbie Neilson, and I think he’s an absolute class act as a man and as a manager.

I don’t think he would compromise his own football club by participating in a scam like that.

But the door for this kind of thing is open, and it’s been left open, once again, by the people who are supposed to be running our sport for the good of all its clubs.

I won’t go into the various other permutations of this, because a mere five points separate three of them at the moment and so they are many, and varied, or of the as-yet unresolved issue of fixture scheduling which impacts on contracts amongst other things and throws up the possibility of Hibs being forced to choose between a shot at winning the Scottish Cup or reaching the play-off final …

This could only happen in Scotland.

Sporting integrity isn’t something that happens by right, as part of the natural order.

It has to be fought for and won, and they have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the light.

It is shameful. When do they get it? When does it get through?

There is nothing positive about this move. Nothing.

Already some sources are blaming Sky. That simply does not stand up at all.

Move all the games to the Sunday if Sky wants to show the Hearts – Sevco one.

Otherwise it reeks.

It puts cold hard cash before the sport in a way that disadvantages some of the participants.

That’s not what sport is supposed to be about.

And no-one better suggest, even for a second, that this is somehow good for the enjoyment of the spectacle because that is transparent bollocks.

The Championship’s final day should be high drama. It should be one of those occasions when you look at the league table as it changes every few minutes as teams score goals and the situation changes in the blink of an eye.

Instead, a bunch of teams will play one day and the real issues might not be decided until the following one.

How the Hell does that help anybody? They have destroyed the spectacle completely.

Enjoyment of the sport? No wonder a lot of fans are thinking about staying away.

The people running our game have no conception of what supporters actually want.

This decision is disgusting, and it’s further proof that those in charge simply, unequivocally, do not have a clue and do not give a damn.

And isn’t it amazing how many of these wee decisions seem to come down in favour of Sevco?

You know, there are a lot of people who think we’re paranoid.

We’re not paranoid.

Days like today leave you in no doubt as to the measures folk are still willing to take to hand the Ibrox club any wee advantage they can, and to Hell with what it does to other teams.

Hibs and Queen of the South must be livid, but they should know by now this is how it works.

Queens were the team who the SFA were perfectly happy to have completely stiffed back in 2008 when they reached the Scottish Cup Final and George Peat offered to cancel the game without bothering to tell them, at a time when Rangers were demanding that the whole football calendar be put on hold.

Somehow I don’t see Stewart Regan offering to do the same for Hibs, despite a fixture car crash that some people saw coming months ago and about which nothing whatsoever has been done.

But if Sevco lookes like getting to the playoff final, and a number of their players won’t be eligible because of contracts and what have you … oh boy, you wait to see how fast they can get things sorted out.

I am heartily sick of this, and I can’t imagine how it must feel right now to be a supporter of one of the clubs affected by this ludicrous decision.

Scottish football is still being run by the wrong people for the wrong reasons and with all the wrong priorities.

Too often it is still run for the benefit of one club.

I long since stopped caring whether it was bias that caused that, lack of backbone or simply just lack of imagination.

The fans of other clubs, and any concept of what is good for the sport, are being pissed on from a great height.

It’s gone on too long.

That level playing, for all we’ve done, remains a distant dream.

Shame on the people in charge of “running” our game.

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15 comments on “Dreaming Of A Level Playing Field
  1. James another good article like most of yours ,i can only agree with you,what in the grand scale of things can we do to push these numpties out

  2. Unfortunately the only way to get the message across is to stop attending games in large numbers especially the cup games but of course this in turn hurts our own clubs. At least the sevco fans are happy and that’s all that really counts.

  3. We’re paranoid and bitter (above silly person poster)? The SFA make Blatter look clean, unbelievable decision, but no surprise.

  4. I won’t be back until it changes, i haven’t been since LNS, supporters think it’s not affecting me so why should i bother. My prediction to they supporters is, this problem will soon be at your door.

  5. unfortunately the only real answer is to stop going to football matches which most of us can’t do, otherwise it’s just put up and shut up. The one question most of us want answering is where does Lawell stand on all this.Not holding my breath on an answer !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Always a good read James, personally I hope they get all sorts of help to get to the spfl, cos they will suffer dramatically and I want to see them relegated for real, not the imaginary one when they were actually given a rung back into Scottish football when they should not have.
    An up and down season this season has seen their support split, they have ousted countless directors and managers and that will be the way of things and more when they are getting pumped in a much more visible league week in week out I am sure their spoilt fanbase will continure to support them on their wee journey.
    Nobody is going to invest in their pox ridden club not even the RRM and Micky Bhoy has most of their assets tied up in knots and don’t forget Dave the Blazer King he will turn out to be the biggest imposter to have ever climbed the marble staircase…
    They will be revolting for years to come and blaming everyone else for their predicament, woe is us peepul.

  7. Is there no end to this corruption,and then we get Lola……………..a right numpty,hope he gets back in his cage,where he belongs,and Celtic fans want them Back,for even more cheating,give me a break.good article again James H H

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