Apologies for writing about the parlous state of Scottish football.
Some readers may wish to take refuge in Lesley Duncan's Poem of the Day. Unless Lesley has uncovered an ode called The Rangers' Return To Berwick.
It's not about football. It's about economics and Armageddon. The bottom line seems to be that the game cannot survive unless the Old Firm play at least four times a season on Sky TV. But Celtic are in the top division while Rangers are three leagues below them. The leagues as we know them will wither and die. With no Celtic-Rangers ties the Glasgow economy will take a £40 million hit each year.
Some solutions outside the box:
l All 42 clubs go into one Scottish league and play each other once. Celtic and Rangers also meet in all three cup competitions with the use of hot and cold ball technology when the draws are made. There may be replays to increase Sky's Old Firm co-efficient. The Ramsden's Pawnbroker Cup becomes an important tourney.
l Celtic field a team in both top and bottom divisions, fulfilling the Old Firm factor of the television deal. Celtic B are not allowed in the cup competitions to avoid any Celtic v Celtic finals.
l The Scottish Football Association sets up a supplementary division called the Sky League consisting of two teams. Celtic and Rangers play each other once a month. With suitable gerrymandering, there would also be a play-off at Hampden.
l The Bobby Ewing League. Let's pretend Rangers didn't go bust and carry on as before.
l Immediately increase the Scottish Premier League to 16 teams with a place for newco Rangers. Each team plays 30 games a year plus play-offs. The top four go for the title and European places. The bottom teams play to avoid relegation. Newco Rangers should be OK despite a large points deduction. The middle eight teams compete in an exciting new tournament called the Liquidation Cup. The winners get their debts written off.
l The Carry On option. The season goes ahead with the leagues as constituted. This could have serious consequences. Fans may have to watch games in a stadium instead of on TV. Teams may be unusually full of Scottish players.
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