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The sign of things to come or an unfortunate blip?

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So this is how far Scottish football has fallen, with defeats at the hands of sides hailing from the footballing powerhouses of Gibraltar, Malta and Luxembourg – has Scottish football finally hit rock bottom?

The current plight that Scotland’s European representatives find themselves in is a scary indictment on Scottish football as both Hibernian and Hearts failed to make so much as a dent in Europe as both crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday night.

This is on the back of the resignation of Scottish FA performance director Brian McClair who has been effectively ‘road blocked’ in his attempts to modernise Scottish football, so once again Scottish football finds itself a laughing stock of Europe.

Now I know many will say that the doom and gloom is too much and that with Rangers now in the Premiership things will return to normal with money flooding back in, but that is the problem. What was normal before had not worked since 1986 and we now find ourselves sleepwalking another 30 years behind the rest of Europe which is why we now find ourselves unable to compete on the international scene.

Despite the odd run in Europe from Celtic and Rangers, Scotland has not lived up to the billing when it comes to the European stage and the knock-on effect is that we now find ourselves on the bottom shelf of European football along with the minnows that we used to look down on.

This can be easily seen on the international stage as Scotland time and again come up short with the likes of Georgia, Faroe Islands and Lithuania all causing Scotland problems in recent years. It’s something that we as a nation had taken for granted as we took on the likes of Albania and Iceland that we would have the nous and know-how to outplay and outmuscle these sides.

But these days it is a different story as we play second fiddle to nations we used to regard as inferior, so what has changed?

Well, the simple and truthful answer is that as everyone progressed we remained motionless and now after 20 years of progress from the so-called lesser nations, Scotland find themselves behind the times in more ways than one as the progress from the likes of Iceland and Wales cast Scotland into a large unwelcome shadow.

Can we cure this? Yes. Will we anytime soon? Not likely.

You can already see with the want to ‘return to normality’ that there are too many that don’t want to lose that bit of power, their financial lifeline and as long as that chasm exists there will be no progress.

Without drastic changes in every echelon of the Scottish game, and a desire to change for the games benefit rather than for the benefit of individual clubs, we could be left behind for good.

If the clubs and their boards don’t want change then maybe it is time the fans make their feelings known and enforce change by hitting those too selfish to listen where it hurts the most – in the pocket.

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