As the remorseless countdown to possible liquidation of the EE continues, I find myself in a curious position. To a fully paid-up founder member of the TPP (Timmy Paranoia Party), it seems almost inconceivable that one of the great universal truths of my lifetime … that no harm shall ever be allowed to befall the mighty “Queen’s XI” … may be about to be confounded.
In my youth, I used to commute daily by bus to college in Glasgow. The bus snaked its way into the city by way of the east end; and somewhere along the way … somewhere on the outer reaches of Tollcross Road, I think it was … we used to pass an old tenement block that was in a state of near-dereliction, though still inhabited – no doubt by an unwashed brigade of second-generation tattie-munching immigrant stock (that’s a self-deprecating joke, by the way, before somebody sets the PC police on me!).
From the oblique angle at which the bus approached that run-down, ill-maintained edifice, to my fevered and highly suggestible young mind, it looked for all the world like the crumbling façade of a certain football emporium on the south side of the River Clyde.
As such, particularly on a miserable Monday morning that promised nothing more stimulating than a double dose of Statistics and Economic Theory, the fanciful vision was a source of no little comfort to yours truly, who by that time had suffered a decade or more of fifties and early sixties subjugation to the yoke of peepel-ism and institutional bias within the structures of the game in Scotland. And being still a year or so shy of the respite and cornucopia that the arrival of big Jock would usher in, any suggestion of the likely eventual overturn of the ancient order, however illusory that suggestion, was hugely welcome.
Now, it would appear, what I was beholding may actually have been a daily premonition of what lay in store half a century down the line.
Then again … maybe not.
Between now and the final resolution of the current, so-called, “crisis” in Scottish football, a steady nerve will be required by those in positions of power and influence if they genuinely want to produce a level playing field for our domestic game – which I am quite prepared to accept at least some of them do.
Proof, if such were needed, of that urgent need of backbone has been underlined by the vicious backlash witnessed, under the inflammatory orchestration of the Cheeky Chappie (at best, just naive … at worst, open to accusations of mischief) in the wake of the judgement and sentence handed down the other night by the independent SFA judicial panel.
Turbulent times, indeed, my friends!