I have a sneaking suspicion Scottish football is heading for another stalemate in the next couple of weeks over reconstruction.
We’re all only just getting over the last one, induced by a combination of an over-active email spam folder, John Nelms doing his best Machiavellian impression and some shoddy governance.
I have to admit, I’ve never envied the job Neil Doncaster has to do as chief executive of the SPFL – trying to corral 42 different voices into making a sensible decision while acting as a punchbag for all the critics to lay into the dysfunction of our game.
I’m not saying he’s blameless but his job does seem to me to consist of taking the blame for everything, whether he has anything to do with it or not.
Now Ann Budge of Hearts and Les Gray of Hamilton seem to be enjoying that role as chairs of the reconstruction ‘task force’.
Already dissenters are amassing and they’ve not even laid out what possible plans there might be to choose from.
I’ve been very much in favour of league reconstruction for a long time now. In my ideal world we’d have at least a 16-team top flight. I’ve already given up hope of the Premiership clubs agreeing to another other than 14, however. Sorry, Dundee.
My thinking is Nelms’ play over the vote saga was to force reconstruction into happening – I don’t think it’s going to benefit the Dark Blues in the immediate future, however.
Next season they should be big favourites in the second tier, though. And a bigger top flight makes it easier to stay up the following season, too.
Dundee United, on the other hand, can sit back safe in the knowledge they are a Premiership club no matter what – as long as it’s not a reduced division, they’ll be happy.
A stalemate, though, is brewing, I reckon.
Already Budge and Gray have talked up different approaches – Hearts want a temporary change while Accies want permanent.
Temporary seems pretty pointless to me – that only benefits a handful of clubs, one of them being Hearts. The rest will no doubt shout that down.
Now, though, the League Two teams are ganging up on the rest.
I have to admire the bolshiness of that, to be honest.
They want a 14-14-14 set-up or nothing. I quite like that idea.
Bigger leagues make things more interesting and improve our football.
Already, though, clubs higher up the food chain are taking potshots at them.
I can’t help but think these are only opening salvos in another departure from sanity from Scottish football.
Dundee United are talking of aiming high – that’s exactly what they should be doing.
Managing director Mal Brannigan says the club should be targeting the top six and, beyond that,
trophies and Europe.
Normally I’d think the manager of a newly-promoted club whose top director had mentioned Europe and trophies would be thinking: “Thanks very much for making my job harder.”
However, Robbie Neilson has the same targets at Tannadice and spoke about European football months ago.
I like a club to be ambitious and United have enough about them as a club to be a top-six power again.
That’s where they were when I moved to Dundee and it didn’t seem like they were punching above their weight.
Right now, though, they are far from that level.
Fans will like the big talk and they should definitely be allowed to dream.
Backing up those words is the hard part, though. I sincerely hope the top dogs at United can do just that – if they do, it’ll be some ride at Tannadice.
ARSENAL have begun training again and the English Premier League have launched ‘Project Restart’.
With England – and particularly London – hit worse by the coronavirus than we are up here, I find it strange to see clubs and leagues diving back into things so quickly.
I desperately want to see football back as soon as possible but there needs to be awareness that it looks like one rule for rich footballers and another for the rest of us.
FIFA are talking about allowing five subs per team to ease congestion when the game kicks off again. Fair enough but I don’t want to see that as the norm going forward. We’ll be using rolling subs before we know it.