Wherever he laid his head last night, I hope Stewart Regan managed a good night’s sleep. Frankly, though, I doubt that he would. Because in the burgeoning http://www./# tag world of instant communication, social networking and new media, it is highly unlikely he will have been able to evade the meltdown that is well under way throughout his realm and in which, rightly or wrongly, he is being widely perceived as a prime collaborator.
Throughout its somewhat chequered history, the national governing body has been embroiled in many an unsavoury dispute and adjudged by many to have been a tad less than impartial. It has been led by more than one arguably controversial, divisive figure whose actions and intentions seemed to many to display a certain degree of bias. It has, in short, been interpreted in some quarters as having badly let down both the nation and its national sport.
Never, though, in my humble opinion, has a dispute been more acrimonious and potentially ruinous than the one currently unfolding in the aftermath of the Rangers descent into administration and looming liquidation. Neither has the SFA ever seemed so apparently complicit, presumably without deliberate intent, in edging the Scottish football community towards the abyss of civil war.
What other interpretation are we to put upon the sudden, indecent haste to reform the entire structure of the game in Scotland at the drop of a hat, apparently to pander to the whims and lofty aspirations of a fledgling, would-be “Newco Rangers” that has absolutely no pedigree, no history, no identifiable coherent strategy and in the opinion of many, no hope?
It all started out so well, too. In late July 2010, the then new Chief Executive swept into the building, looking and sounding for all the world like the new broom that was intent on sweeping clean the Augean Stables of SFA history, cleansing and modernising an organisation bogged down in the structures and attitudes of a bygone age. He talked the talk and for a while, at least, appeared to walk the walk.
Sadly, less than two years down the line and now that push has come to shove, he appears to have lost the courage of his early convictions – to an extent where expediency and a misguided apparent deference to the illusion of the indispensability of an imminently defunct national football institution appears to have deflected him from the noble aspirations he originally claimed (and seemed) to be bringing to the table.
It is not yet too late. The opportunity remains for some genuine leadership. The chance still exists to openly detach the commendable medium-term aspiration of constructive reform, from the ill-advised apparent short-term objective of coupling it to an unwarranted and unconscionable rescue plan for the wannabe successor to the club that it is now widely accepted was, by the actions of some of its principal office-bearers, the architect of so much injustice and inequity within Scottish football.
Time, though, is of the essence. It’s now or never, Mr R … speak up, or forever hold your (uneasy) peace.
What’s it to be?