Dundee United and Dundee may be bitter rivals for ninety minutes on Sunday, but the two clubs have put their on field rivalries behind them to combine with Aberdeen, Hibs and Hearts to find a way to improve Scottish football and the paltry income generated relative to other countries.
While the derby provides bragging rights, I sense a sort of fatalism surrounding our game, which Deloitte, who are commissioned to report on the matter, may hopefully find remedies for.
While Celtic and Rangers have historically dominated our football and, in particular, our top league, the fact that no club outside of Celtic Park or Ibrox has won the title since 1985 is a cause for major embarrassment.
Aberdeen under Alex Ferguson beat Celtic to the flag that season to retain the trophy.
It’s testimony to Fergie’s legendary managerial abilities that it’s now beyond comprehension to think any club will achieve that honour again, such is the financial gulf between the Glasgow duo and the rest.
However, Hibs and the Dundee clubs are under the control of American backers who have a different mindset from Scottish owners and Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack is US-based and heavily influenced by the way sport operates in the States, so maybe there are grounds for optimism regarding the way forward.
Scottish football goes through these periodic fits and starts of navel gazing; one of the most famous was the setting up of the Ernie Walker think tank in 1995, which, for all we know, is still thinking, because it never appeared to decide anything.
Whether an independent body can find a way to increase revenue and make our football not only more competitive domestically but on the European front will be the acid test.
Some folk might wonder if the appointment of independent consultants to find a better way to run things is an admission of incompetence, but Scottish football administrators have long been in possession of necks which couldn’t be marked with a blowtorch, so the five clubs deciding to look for themselves is a positive move.
We’ve been here before when the SPL commissioned an independent report in 1997.
Former chief executive Roger Mitchell reiterated last week the summary of what the SPL’s views were back then.
They wanted a smaller top league and believed that our game could sustain only 20 full-time clubs.
They also wanted to dump Hampden Park along with taking the power to run Scottish football instead of the SFA hogging the show.
A belief in a better coaching structure instead of the Largs set up, pursuing Scottish involvement in an Atlantic league, and ownership of their own television channel to broaden the interest from outside Scotland to beyond just Celtic and Rangers were all part of the grandiose plans.
Almost 25 years on very little has changed.
We struggle to compete with even small European nations in domestic and international football and the quality of player we produce has drastically diminished.
I wish the independent commission well in their task but I think I’ve seen this movie before; there’s no happy ending.