Monday, August 20, 2012

After a summer dominated by the Rangers saga, it still doesn’t really feel like we’re in a position to move forward with Scottish football.

As the story of the Ibrox incompetence unfolded with more twists and turns than a rollercoaster ride at Alton Towers, the biggest story as far as I was concerned was the unity amongst the fans throughout Scotland.

No matter where they were from, or what division they played in, they wanted justice to be seen to be shown.

"Sporting integrity" was one of the two big buzz phrases of the summer and after pressure from supporters, it was allowed to come to the fore.

Many clubs put their heads above the parapet and took a stand. I was glad to see that East Fife were one of them and making us proud.

Raith Rovers and Clyde led the way. The statements released by the Bully Wee deserve some kind of prize for the way they consistently dismantled the threats laid at the door of the Scottish League clubs.

I'm sure many of us never thought we'd be singing the praises of a Chairman of the Linolickers, but Turnbull Hutton was tremendous in galvanising the forces of all us "diddy teams".

The likes of Craig Burley and Gordon Strachan may have a go at us smaller clubs for not having large crowds, but they should first look far closer to home as to why clubs like East Fife have been destroyed by buses leaving locally and heading off to watch the Old Firm.

The other buzz word of course was "armageddon".

It's amazing that we're all still alive today to actually read this piece. If you believed those in power at the top of Scottish football you'd have to have thought that the Mayans were indeed right about the world ending in 2012.

It led to some fun "armageddon watch" pieces on various fan forums like AFTN, but it was always nonsense from the word go.

How none of the leading players in the SFA, SFL and SPL have lost their jobs over the whole debacle is still baffling.

We all need to try and move on now, however hard it feels to do. Fan power won the day with Sevco FC, but we need it to remain strong to force through the necessary changes in the Scottish game.

Rivalries and bitter sniping need to be solely kept to 3pm on a Saturday this season and we all need to remain united, vocal and work together to put the pressure on those at the top for proper League reconstruction from next season.

This four division nonsense has to go. Ideally I'd love to see us go back to just two divisions in Scotland, but would settle for three. We need a bigger top tier, but not one based on exclusion and greed. We need proper promotion and relegation at the top level of the game and a complete overhaul with the chance of Scottish League football at the bottom of it.

Our clubs still can't compete in Europe, our national team looks to only have a chance of appearing at the World Cup or Euros if we act as hosts and every season we're losing fans from the game, never to return. It's embarrassing.

Change is a must and it shouldn't be back off the table just because we didn't do what the bullies wanted.

We all need to make it happen. Whether you're a fan of East Fife, Queen of the South, Annan Athletic or St Mirren we need to unite to make it so.

You might read this and think what's the point, it will never happen. Well they were saying that just a few months ago about Rangers in Division Three.

For the first time in decades, the fans are wielding some real power and we need to build on that. The opportunities are there. We just need to grab them with both hands and act quickly before we all just go back into our usual malaise and live to regret it.

So when you get home after the game tonight, look into how you can do something about it for the good of the game we all love.

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