Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Well I have to admit I'm shocked.

The Scottish Premier League is actually providing excitement this season and not only that, the usually ridiculous top six/bottom six split has helped that excitement.

With Hibs cutting the euphoric post Old Firm glow of the Rangers supporters to a peep tonight and Falkirk pulling off one of the wins of their lives at the other end, we go into the final two games with all to play for.

Two goals now seperate the top two, with Celtic reclaiming their top spot as they aim for 4 in a row and their 7th title this decade. It's going to go down to the wire for another season and both teams have the outcome of their destiny in their own hands. It's going to be up to goals now.

At the bottom end of the table, it's refreshing to see so many teams fighting for their Premier lives for once. No team has been left behind with the other five just playing out meaningless games.

Mathematically, none of the bottom five are safe. It's looking bleak for St Mirren though, who have now fallen into the bottom spot following their 2-1 defeat at Kilmarnock tonight. But with second bottom Falkirk just one point above them and with the two teams meeting on Saturday, that's a game I'd like to see live on TV and not some of the other bizarre fixtures that Setanta come up with.

One more win for Inverness and Killie will see them safe. Hopefully the Highlanders survive as I have a soft spot for them, loving their home town as much as I do.

As for Kilmarnock, well too many bad memories from our clashes in the 90s for me and I'd love to see them get relegated. If Ayr go up from the Second in the playoffs, then that derby and the Raith-Dunfermline one will make the First Division an exciting prospect next year.

One of the most pleasing aspects of the SPL this season is some of the football being played. There's been some good stuff on display. It's just a pity that a lot of people outside of Scotland (and the rest of the UK for those with Setanta) don't get to experience it fully.

The SPL and SFL really need to relook at their coverage abroad. With the Old Firm supporters clubs having a stranglehold of live coverage in North America and with commentary of games being blocked on the BBC website to those outside of the UK, the football authorities are not doing the game in Scotland justice and not providing it with the leadership it needs.

To put the Scottish game back on the map on a global level, they need to make sure that fans and ex-pats can view the action live, or as near live as possible, and not have to resort to online streams from weird and wonderful places, otherwise the general viewpoint of football in Scotland will not be favourable. The need to get their product out to the mass market.

Many still feel it's a second rate league, with second rate football being played in it. As this season has shown, there are times when this can't be further from the truth.
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