Having failed to convince Premiership clubs of the need for league reconstruction to save Hearts from relegation earlier this month, Ann Budge’s latest plan will be discussed by the SPFL’s board today. While Premiership football is expected to get underway behind closed doors in August, it is increasingly likely that the lower leagues will not start until it is possible for fans to attend, which will not be before January.
From what I hear, this plan, like the last, takes a holistic view of the game, spreading resources throughout the 42 clubs. Minds in the Premiership, though, may be more attuned to recent comments from Gordon Strachan, who continued a lifetime habit of stating the bleeding obvious by saying most of Scotland’s senior clubs are not professional in the modern sense. Sure, they pay wages, but they have few professional trappings and have an appalling record of player development in recent decades.
Budge would be better off with a plan to accommodate the few other lower league clubs who would prefer to start playing behind closed doors. We could end up with around 16 senior clubs – a bit short for two divisions but these are unusual times. Have a Community League, have promotion and relegation to/from the Professional League, but let’s not pretend clubs taking £100k are essentially the same as those who make our game commercially viable.