One of the dirty wee secrets of the smaller professional football clubs in Scotland is to offer contracts ending 31 May, often annually. Most clubs are less concerned about their ‘stars’ being picked up for free at the end of the season they about having to play them throughout the close season, as well as carrying the risk of a multi-season contract.
As a consequence, the Daily Record today reveal that five Premiership do not have enough players to complete the season if it was to resume over the summer. Added to this, one lost their manager over the weekend and another do not have a pitch. The Record go on to report that nine of the 12 clubs have accepted reality that the season will end without another ball being kicked, presumably leaving relegated Hearts, Motherwell-chasing Aberdeen and everyone’s favourite loser, Newco, as the hold-outs.
I try not to bang on about the media here – we all make mistakes – but the treatment Neil Doncaster has come under in recent days from a relatively small but vocal number of sources has been incredible. On BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsound on Saturday Doncaster attempted to educate the hard of thinking by explaining the difference between an advance – a transaction that is invoiced, has vat, is not subject to a credit processes and is not to be repaid, and a loan – which is not invoiced, has no vat, required credit approval and should be repaid.
He explained that almost all prize money for finishing in the bottom places had been distributed to lower league clubs by March, leaving only the position differentials to be paid out at the end of the season. This is just one of many reasons why loans were a “red herring”. If next week’s SPFL vote comes down to credibility, the board are on terra firma.
I see that time is near again when Newco release their regular. ‘Here’s our great new kit deal, it’s worth millions, honest. The bad old day are behind us’ statement. No deal signed during the crisis is a great deal, with uncertainty over every aspect of retail life, it is just not possible.
Minx1888, Walk on through the wind, Walk on through the rain, Though your dreams be tossed and blown.