You wouldn’t announce an event, encourage others to sell tickets, without booking the venue. You just wouldn’t do it. These things have an order: book the venue, then announce the event. It’s a matter of courtesy to all involved, not to mention being an operational necessity.
Why then, do we have the unedifying scenario of Hamilton Accies releasing a statement to say New Douglas Park is unavailable for the date the SFA advertised a Scottish Cup game between East Kilbride and Celtic would take place? It’s just remotely possible that Accies have reneged on an earlier commitment given to the SFA, but the tone of their statement suggests otherwise.
This is for a game which is scheduled to take place one week on Sunday. Fans have to acquire and distribute tickets, travel arrangements have to be made, police and stewarding have to be booked (by East Kilbride, who are the home team, remember).
This should be a great day for the young club but it’s shrouded in considerable commercial uncertainty: how much will policing, stewarding and stadium rental cost? Who at East Kilbride will guarantees these bills and how? The police and host club may take a lax view on credit, but the stewarding provider won’t. What revenue can be expected? None of these issues can be known until a venue is found.
I’m not going to support Pat Nevin’s views, which offended Dundee manager, Paul Hartley on Sportscene at the weekend. I didn’t hear his comments, so cannot conclude if he was talking “absolute garbage”, or if Nevin had verged into the kind of territory which saw him issue an apology under threat of legal action last month. But I’m not convinced the scope of Hartley’s comments are appropriate.
Dundee lose goals. Lots of them. Their only clean sheet since 12 September came against Hamilton Accies last month. The objective facts suggest their defensive strategy is an appropriate subject for criticism. This season they lost 6 in one game against Celtic and 8 over two matches against Ross County.
Analysis and criticism is the domain of pundits and fans, even those, who Paul Hartley notes, have “never coached or managed a team”. Attacking the pundit (or the programme) is easier than explaining a (subjectively) poor defensive record, or keeping clean sheets, apparently.
Paul said “It’s not what it used to be like, away back in the 1980s when you wanted to sit up and watch Sportscene on a Saturday night”. Back then Archie Macpherson fronted the show. Archie told me about a similar run-in he had with Alex Ferguson, who angrily disagreed with the commentator’s view of a defensive infraction.
Archie’s view on his opinion being irrelevant due to his lack of coaching experience was memorable, “I’ve never laid an egg, but I know when I taste a bad one”.
The Foundation Zip Slide in Paradise takes place on 26 March, bookings are now being taken. This time the slide is higher and longer, leaving the very top corner of the North Stand seating at the Lisbon Lions Stand end, diagonally crossing the pitch to land at the bottom of the Jock Stein Stand, at the South Stand end.
You don’t have a lot of time to get booked and start your fundraising, so get onto it now. Sign up here.