In the most significant development towards the regionalisation of European leagues yet, Russian Premier League chief executive, Sergei Pryadkin, has announced plans to merge the Russian and Ukrainian leagues. The plan has been driven by CSKA Moscow, Zenit St. Petersburg and Anzhi Makhachkala, who have formed a foundation committee.
Russian clubs already deal with the rigours of playing across a vast geographical area, so adding a huge nation like Ukraine would present further challenges, but top sides from Russian and Ukraine know that if they are to become genuine top tier clubs they will need to play in as strong a league as possible. The plan is likely to involve feeder national leagues working below the confederated league.
Uefa president Michel Platini has already given the green light to the regionalisation of leagues. The most important question for Scottish football fans, is whether SPL clubs would like to feed into a confederated British league.
The hoary old claim that SPL clubs need Celtic and Rangers has been shown to be a complete falsehood this year. SPL clubs didn’t need Rangers and they don’t need Celtic either – if only those running our game had the balls to ask fans their views on this matter they might reinvigorate our game, instead of managing inevitable decline.
We are not wanted or needed by fans of Motherwell, Hibs, Kilmarnock, Inverness, Aberdeen or Dundee United. These clubs are competing in the best SPL ever with only one problem, a bloated club from Parkhead.
If Scottish football wants a way forward which will see a well-attended and competitive top league, ask the fans, do they need or want Celtic? Do they want an opportunity to feed into a regional league? Any reorganisation which fails to take the views of the paying customer into account will be a disgraceful failure.
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