Yesterday’s SPFL board decision to decide which League Cup semi-final to Murrayfield based on personal choice, not a ballot, had nothing to do with chief executive, Neil Doncaster. Doncaster is the League figurehead but he has only one vote at the boardroom table. On this occasion, he was overruled.
The Celtic statement said Peter Lawwell was obliged to leave the meeting as the matter was discussed, leaving Alan Burrows (Motherwell), John Nelms (Dundee), Warren Hawke (Morton – still smarting after Celtic refused to postpone their Scottish Cup tie in March), Martin Ritchie (Falkirk), Iain Dougan (Stranraer), as well as chairman Murdoch MacLennan and non-exec Karyn McCluskey.
Doncaster is seen as an obstacle by some Premiership clubs. It suits them to have him portrayed as an incompetent, when in fact, he is picking up the tab for the weak thinkers who are ultimately in control of football in Scotland.
We need strong and independent executive management at the SPFL and the SFA. The Association’s new chief exec, Ian Maxwell and Neil Doncaster are both working in environments dominated by people you would not trust to book a restaurant table. Doncaster is both strong and independent, and a convenient fall guy, if you want to throw someone to the lions.
There are some who would have him replaced by a character more like Neil McCann than Neil Doncaster (bookmark this). There is a dirty battle going on below radar to wrest control of Scottish football away from ‘the suits’ and towards ‘the blazers’. Don’t help the blazers do their job.
Despite Filip Benkovic, Tom Rogic and Kris Ajer all confirmed injured for tonight, I would not risk Scott Brown, who is nursing a tight hamstring. Our prospects, with or without Scott, are not encouraging, but we have an important game at Perth on Sunday and a relentless schedule after the international break.
We have a big squad, use it.