Always read the small print – it’s guaranteed to reveal a lot more than the sexy headline; and will inevitably expose the devil that is always in the detail.
Take next week’s SFL proposal to be put before the member clubs, pursuant to the “vote” on the league future of the club formerly known as Rangers (1872/73). Behind the alluring headline prospect of the members being empowered to consign the fragile Newco to a starting position in Division 3 (assuming, of course, as appears to be the case, the inconvenient formality of eligibility requirements for SFA membership are to be overlooked and trampled underfoot in the process) lies the bare-faced reality of the SFL Board’s brazen intention to shoehorn the fledgling wannabe football club straight into Division 1.
That’s not the bottom line, though – that’s not the “devil” referred to above. Oh, no, it goes a lot deeper than that. Read more closely and you will see that the inducements to the membership to proxy the Board, effectively abdicating their power to the whim of officialdom, will be predicated on a hastily negotiated package of “structure”, “governance” and “financing” (a wee word of warning, here – my Grannie used to tell me, “Act in haste … repent at leisure!”)
Of the above trio, by far the most intriguing is the imminent proposal for the financing of this brave new world for Scottish football. According to the Sunday Herald, Hamilton Acas’ Chairman, Les Gray, is quoted as referring to expectations of a range of proposals, including, “a better financial model”.
Just what do you anticipate that “better model” to be? More money to share out courtesy of a sudden surge of investment from broadcasters, desperate to re-negotiate, sign up and throw dosh at a mouthwatering new structure? Or an eager influx of cash-rich sponsorship from commercial partners who just can’t wait to get on board the good ship “Scottish Football 2012” ? Some mysterious oligarch benefactor, seizing on the vastly under-exploited potential of our revitalised national sport?
Or just something much more cunning, devious and closer to home than we Celtic supporters dare contemplate?
Our top guns have been keeping their cards very close to their chests so far throughout this whole pantomime, to a certain extent understandably so; but the time has now surely come for them to show their hand. Time to lay the cards on the table and call the national hierarchy cardsharps’ bluff – before it’s too late.
Call it a hand of “Five-Day Stud”, if you like.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for fair distribution – it’s just that interpretations of that simple concept are likely to vary considerably and are wide open to abuse and exploitation.
Two farmers (one of whom owned 5 cows, the other just 1), were discussing politics over a pint down the pub. They parted at the end of the evening, agreed that socialism, with its principles of collective ownership and the fair distribution of wealth, was the way ahead.
The next day, the small guy called round demanding a couple of cows …