Friday, October 16, 2009

It's an issue that never seems to go away. It's also an issue that most in England don't really care about, which makes it all the stranger. Will the Old Firm leave the Scottish Premier League and join the English leagues?

The issue has been pretty quiet, or at least on the back burner, in recent times, but the last few weeks has seen it rise to the surface once again, with the Chairman of Bolton expected to make a call at a meeting next month for them joining an English Premiership expanded to two divisions.

Such a bid is almost certainly going to be voted down, as the potential for increased crowds for some is overpowered by the possibility for some of the smaller, less fashionable sides of losing their current top tier status. We won't even get into whether the two Scottish sides would fare well down south or not.

A Celtic spokesman recently said he'd be happy for the team to start at the very bottom of the English system if it meant they had a chance to get in the Premiership one day.

Some in Scotland feel the Old Firm leaving would kill the Scottish game and leave crowds dwindling. Others can't wait to see the back of them and their bigoted fans.

European Leagues, Atlantic Leagues, there's been so many ideas mooted but nothing ever comes of them.

On a day when Walter Smith said that Scottish football was "dying" and needed Celtic and Rangers to move on and out of Scotland for the game and other teams to thrive and grow (HERE), the good old ostriches at the SPL said the game was "alive and kicking" and basically has never been in a better state (HERE).

If the same two teams battling for the Championship by a country mile each season, Clubs embarrassingly crashing out early of European competition to sides from lesser countries and having to take a reduced TV deal is the game in a healthy state, then heaven help us when we started to find the going tough.

Scottish football is in a sorry state. A lot of its ills are due to the Old Firm, their dominance of the game and their sickening fans but the biggest faults can be laid squarely at the doors of the SPL and SFL.

It's time for the fans to make changes happen, for if we're going to wait for the authorities to get their asses in gear, we're not going to have much of a game left to save.


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