The Scots are a strange race. I suspect it may have something to do with their menfolk parading around in gaily coloured skirts with nae knickers, stuffing a sheep’s bladder with mince meat and guzzling enormous quantities of porridge oats. By way of recreation, when they are not complaining about this, that and the other, this being a national pastime, they throw telegraph poles three feet and look as pleased as punch.
Scotland is on the agenda because a vocal minority want independence and the abolition of the Act of Union. South of the border, this is greeted with a enormous yawn!
Besides their strange ways, the Scots had a stab at ruling a united kingdom in the seventeenth century, and a very sorry stab it was. Guy Fawkes tried to blow up James I, Charles I had the unenviable distinction of being the only monarch to be beheaded, Charles II hid up an oak tree to evade capture, and James II fled the country for France. All this in the space of eighty eight years, which was the full extent of the Stuart dynasty. That must have set some kind of a record! Their ‘loyal’ subjects were so exasperated they turned to a Dutch king to sort out their mess! That’s called adding insult to injury!
Fast forward three hundred years. Apparently bent on self destruction, the Scottish Football League has demoted Rangers to the Third Division as a punishment for financial irregularities. So by this time next month, football fans will be treated to the delights of Elgin City playing Annan Athletic, I suppose their fans are known as Athletic supporters, and not forgetting Montrose and Stirling Albion. The crowd capacity of these four clubs combined is 14,527, as against Rangers with a capacity of 51,084. Wow! What a spectacle!
Even we Sassenachs know that there are only two football clubs in Scotland worth spit, and one of them will be playing in the third division. This effectively makes the Scottish Premiership a one horse race, with Celtic scooping the pot year on year.
I wonder what BSkyB will make of all this, and the millions they have thrown at Scottish football so long as the ‘old firm’ derby fixtures were a regular event. I also wonder what viewing pleasure will be derived from watching a Scottish third division match.
Has the SFL though this one through? If they have, it’s a very sorry thought process indeed! Something about ‘shooting themselves in the foot’ perhaps, and all on a point of principle. Pointless more like!