Yesterday’s SPFL EGM resolution was rejected, as expected. Those still hurting about relegation, or missing out on promotion, voted in favour. Some historical allegiances stood firm. My maternal grandfather took me to my first Celtic game. He died when I was four, so memories are few, but for some reason I remember him going on about Falkirk and Airdrie. 49 years ago but some allegiances survive through generations and liquidations.
Aberdeen’s new chairman Dave Cormack tried a power play. In December, his predecessor Stewart Milne, publicly expressed concerns that Celtic’s chief executive, Peter Lawwell, “has too much power in Scottish football”, which translates into ‘more clubs listen to Peter Lawwell than me and I would like to change that.”
The whole world would like to be taken more seriously than Peter Lawwell, but overtly campaigning for this is counter-productive. Each club in the SPFL has a single vote among 41 others. Celtic are not represented on the board. Whatever authority Peter Lawwell has, is earned through respect for his actions – and even then, decisions do not always go his way, no matter what paranoid loons tell you. Milne never attained the levels he aspired to and Cormack has made an uninspiring start. If other clubs listen when Peter Lawwell speaks, maybe Stewart Milne should have wondered why?
The vote went against Newco, Hearts, Falkirk, Airdrie, a few like-minded types and those who for various reasons missed out. Regime change was and remains the objective of some. Churchill would call this the Phoney War, to determine who has their hands on the levers of power ahead of the really important campaigns ahead.
Forget about “trust issues”, reconstruction and legal action; the spectre of insolvency looms across Scotland. Every club needs to sell their usual quantity of season tickets, cut costs and find reserves from somewhere – including Celtic. Those who do, have a chance of getting through this, but the numbers just don’t add up for most.
Many in the industry will lose their jobs this summer, including hundreds of footballers. What then will we hear from Cormack, Budge, Park, Lawwell? Those with influence will determine what football looks like in the future and there will be many battles ahead. Everything is at stake.