With one decisive vote the 29 member clubs of the Scottish Football League wiped out 123 years of history and chose to enter a bright new dawn under a new governing body.
The official word was that the SFL had “merged” with the Scottish Premier League, but this was a merger the way crumbs merge with vacuum cleaners. As SFL President Jim Ballantyne said: “This is a takeover and not a merger. The SPL has swallowed us up. They can use nice words about it – but it’s a takeover.”
As someone who is known to support Rangers, I had my issues with the way the SPL have gone about swallowing up the SFL over the past year or so. Part of that came from a conviction that the SPL was and is dominated at the moment by Celtic, particularly the Celtic CEO, Peter Lawwell. If I can say in my defence, I would be equally hostile to a Rangers-dominated governing body so it’s not just down to my blue-tinted specs.
I accept that Rangers and Celtic as the giants in our game are expected to provide leadership. I also accept that in the absence of Rangers from the top flight, it naturally falls on Celtic to provide that leadership. I just didn’t like the way the SPL put pressure on SFL teams and manipulated them into accepting the merger.
To be honest, everybody knows that change had to happen. And the governance of the game had to be streamlined as part of that necessary change.
For me, the changes should have been much more radical. Teams should have been encouraged to merge so that we could reduce the leagues down to a maximum of three. For me, realistically, Scotland is too small to support a senior game of 42 clubs.
To read the rest of A Bright New Dawn, buy Issue Two of FITBA – the Scottish Football magazine – for just £1.00![paiddownloads id=”15″]