Congratulations to who originally penned: “We shall not be move, not by the Hearts, the Hibs or The Rangers, erm, we’ll not be moved, OK?” Celtic stand alone, our historic rivals, those who half a century ago denied our grandparents, are gone. Do we have a perfect season ahead? Maybe not, but it will be a unique historical joy nonetheless.
Some of the chat yesterday was that the Premiership would be poorer without Hibernian next season, but anyone who watched Hamilton out-pass and out-play them on Sunday wouldn’t think so. Hibs have offered nothing of note to league football for years. Terry Butcher has got practically everything wrong since arriving at Easter Road but his post-match comment, that perhaps his team needed relegation to thoroughly clear the decks.
Whatever Hibs are they are not competition to Celtic. Our domestic competition next season will come from Aberdeen, Dundee United and Motherwell. United and Aberdeen both finished the season poorly after showing considerable promise early on. Expect Jackie McNamara and Derek McInnes to build on their work over the last year.
If you were an aspiring Championship club you will not have welcomed the Accies result on Sunday. Now clear of their administration travails Hearts have the strongest squad in next season’s Championship. They will also be solvent, able to build on their squad and are likely to sell more season tickets than anyone else in the league.
Hibs’ newly recruited chief exec, Leann Dempster, is potentially the clubs most important recruit in 10 years. She will surely attempt to fit her successful Motherwell template onto the Edinburgh club – and may even have more resources at her disposal.
Queens and Falkirk know they are up against it in their bid for promotion next season but they are two well-run clubs who will have an influence on who does go up. I’m not even prepared to consider anyone else for the promotion spots, some just don’t have the players, some don’t have the management, some don’t have the money to end the season. Some are afflicted by all three ailments.
With the potential of a rejuvenated Hibs making next season’s play-offs, Premiership clubs will spend the next 11 months anticipating the very real possibility that it’s odds on that two clubs will go down next season. Accies and Dundee look more than a match for St Mirren, Kilmarnock, Ross County and Partick Thistle. While Celtic will win the league comfortably, we’re likely to see intense competition between Motherwell, Aberdeen and United for the ‘Best of the Rest’ badge, and between the other eight clubs to stay up.
Visit the CQN Bookstore to get Tommy Gemmell to sign your personal copy of his tome, All the Best.[calameo code=000390171873c910154bd lang=en page=106 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]