Scottish Football League chief executive, David Longmuir, emerged from the shambles that the game’s administrators got themselves into last year with a remarkably solid relationship with the SFL’s member clubs, indeed, he has been singled out for high praise from the Newco-club.
The flow of sentiment reversed after he wrote to member clubs suggesting Celtic and Newco-Rangers enter ‘colt’ clubs in the Third Division. This bizarre suggestion was justified on the basis that if Celtic and Rangers join another league, while leaving the rest of the leading clubs behind, their colt teams would continue to bring interest and revenue to the game.
Mr Longmuir seems to have missed the fact that in the event any of the above comes to pass, the departure of Celtic and Newco-Rangers would then create an opportunity for colt clubs to be considered. Their inclusion now is unnecessary, especially when Newco could potentially enter administration next season, lose players, suffer the mandatory 25 point penalty and be relegated into the bottom division with their colt players, who presumably would also suffer administration-related penalties.
Speculation that Mr Longmuir is taking care of current business until he is ready to move to Newco is becoming hard to ignore. Newco need to get themselves out of the bottom league first, though. The colts team idea is certain to be rejected, the question will not even reach the SPL or Celtic. The 12-12-10-10 idea favoured by Newco is looking an increasingly hard sell, with 12-12-18 more likely. Mr Longmuir better look after the interests of all his member clubs if he wants to hang on long enough to move straight to Newco. If he loses his ability to be a dealmaker I’m not sure what he can offer an aspiring £100m company.
Football is seldom played on a higher plane than we witnessed from the Camp Nou last night. Barcelona, until recently undisputedly regarded as the best team in the world, were up against it. With a league win assured their form stuttered and they had to become the first team in Champions League history to overcome a 2-0 first leg defeat.
They delivered, as did their most precocious talent, but there was a hugely important lesson to be learned from the game.
Milan are out of Europe because they made preventable mistakes which Celtic didn’t make, home or away, against Barcelona. Even at this level, the team which makes fewest preventable mistakes progresses.
Milan and, after Juventus, Celtic, can spend the remainder of the season pondering the value of putting laces through the ball. Barcelona, of course, are fabulous, but the question remains, can they do it at home against Annan Athletic? I’m not so sure.
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