Ian Maxwell recently stated the the game in Scotland was in the best shape it had been in years.
Attendances were up.
In fact, the Scottish game, per capita, is one of the best supported in Europe.
Yes, that’s probably inflated by both Glasgow side’s attendances, but regardless, the game is on the up here.
It’s probably in the best shape it’s been in for quite some time.
Yet, all of this week, all we’ve been listening to in the media, is people talking down our game.
I wrote an article on Hugh Keevins’ opinion of our main cup competition last Sunday.
Which backfired spectacularly on him, as per usual.
No matter what Keevins’ predicts, it never comes to pass.
What he wanted in terms of a Cup final, certainly didn’t come to pass, which makes his article last Sunday look all the more pathetic.
Keevins reminds me of Dick Dastardly, always trying to catch that pigeon, but always failing miserably.
Yet he always comes back for more, no matter how stupid it makes him look.
The Record persists in giving him his Sunday morning column, which rarely, if ever, delivers anything other than drivel.
His continuous presence every Sunday morning epitomises the Scottish mainstream sports media.
Devoid of original ideas and in bad need of fresh blood to promote the game they’re so desperately trying to kill week in, week out.
We have a unique product in Scotland.
A game that has not been destroyed by colossal amounts of television money.
A game that still retains it’s soul and it’s passion.
We should be bottling what we have and selling it to the kind of people who will invest in it.
The problem is that, along with our pathetic media, we have no forward thinking individuals in the SFA either.
We have a group of suits who are happy to maintain the status quo, with an attitude that leans very much towards minimum input for maximum output and appeasement towards one club in particular.
They don’t grow the game here.
It’s the clubs that do that, but they should have a football association they can rely on to help grow our product.
Instead we have gutless individuals, who take the lowball offers SKY give us for our game and then allow them to insult it with sub-standard coverage in comparison to the all sing, all dance EPL.
I mean, they can’t even organise decent sponsorship deals.
Up until recently, they were far too reliant on betting companies to sponsor our competitions.
When the League Cup final became the Viaplay Cup final, I think everybody, not just me, was asking who the hell are Viaplay?
So, while the clubs are doing a great job at building our game’s profile, the SFA are happy to ride the gravy train they create.
The media, on the other hand, spend all of their time talking the our game down.
This week, the constant drone that is Celtic and the Ibrox side should be playing in England, is back again.
But this time, they should be playing there to save the Scottish game.
Craig Levein was waxing lyrical about the benefits of playing in England and how that could then flood money into the Scottish game for the remaining teams.
Did I miss something?
Is the game here dying?
For what it’s worth, here’s my opinion, and you can take it or leave it, it doesn’t really bother me.
I would never want Celtic to play in England, because in my eyes, that would be the beginning of the end.
Celtic would eventually just be sucked into the soulless vacuum that is the game down there.
Over time, we would lose our original identity and just become another soulless, corporate entity to satisfy the greed of Dermot Desmond and the like.
The other mob, however, would give their soul, excuse the pun, to play in England.
What we really need is to grow our product in our own country.
But how do we do that and were do we start?
The game here lacks leadership, Ian Maxwell may as well not exist, we hear so little from him.
I can’t outline everything it would take for the Scottish game to get better, as I’d need to write a book on that subject.
But we have all the fundamentals to be better than we are.
Right now, it’s the clubs that are driving our game forward.
They all have the ambition to be better, but lack the required support and leadership from the governing body.
The problem with the Scottish game is that it’s very much each to their own.
Add to that, one club is allowed to ride roughshod over the rules set out for everybody else and you get to the core of what’s really wrong with our game.
Until such time as that changes, we will always have a substandard product.
Ridiculed by a media that should be supporting and promoting it instead.
In essence, it’s a vicious circle.
Break the circle and then we can begin to grow.
The question is, who will step forward with the courage and the conviction to do that?
Well, that really is the million dollar question, isn’t it?
He might already be here.
And he might be changing the game in ways he’s not entirely aware of.
But he is changing it.
Ange Postecoglu may leave more of a mark on our game than many people imagine.
Watch this space….