Tuesday, 14 February 2012


The grim reaper is sharpening his scythe as stormclouds gather over Ibrox. How ironic that Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs might deal the final blow to her most loyal of subjects. Celtic seem unmoved by the plight of their nemesis, cheerily proclaiming that their business strategy does not depend on their bedraggled foes. I wonder what odds you can get just now on Celtic getting 10-in-a-row?

The best idea for everyone might just be to draw the curtain on Scottish football v1. The result after 130 years? Well, Rangers won more titles, but then again Celtic won more Scottish Cups and also a European Cup, and made it through to the end with their finances in decent order. So a draw. Well played everyone.

All that remains is to set up new teams for the Scottish Phoenix League, coming to a stadium near you in Spring - Autumn 2013. What an opportunity to re-shape Scottish football (into a sphere presumably), sweeping away the vested interests that hold it back, removing at a stroke the tribal tensions that blight our game.

For starters we could have a couple of new teams in Glasgow. Maybe one team could be for people that keep their place in books by folding over the corners of pages, the other for sensible, godly folk that use bookmarks? On second thoughts imagine the bile and hatred that this would unleash!

And we could have a single team for Edinburgh, maybe with a nickname that unites everyone in Auld Reekie...the Edinburgh Trams? Naw. The Edinburgh Goodwins? Optimistic sounding, who could possibly object to that name...?

Ditto for Dundee. I can just see the Dundee McGonagalls playing in a shiny new stadium down by the Tay, sporting a swanky new jute kit designed by the bods at the V&A, with player names and numbers made up of Topaz gemstones (they would at least justify the ridiculous price of the replica kits).

A single team for Aberdeen seems fine. Maybe a bit of re-branding could bring in a new audience? The Aberdeen Trumps, aiming for golf-football crossover appeal? Maybe not. The Aberdeen Turbines, going for the lucrative untapped eco-warrior audience? Hmmm...maybe the Aberdeen Bypasses? Since success regularly passes them by perhaps that would be right.

So there we have it, the blueprint for a successful SPL v2. Five realistic contenders for the title each year, with room for a challenge from one of the regional teams once in a while. Who needs Henry McLeish's review, or Ernie Walker's think tank?

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