There should be plenty to talk about. This has been a summer of unrest and discontent and the bickering and complaining show no signs of abating with the new season just weeks away. All of the positive things achieved in recent months – genuine supporter empowerment, democracy in action, the decision to place sporting fairness ahead of commercial considerations – are all in danger of being overlooked as Scottish football threatens to descend into a messy civil war that could rage for some time.
The Scottish Football League's bold decision on Friday to place Rangers newco into the third division ought to have been the last word on the matter. Fat chance of that. Within minutes of David Longmuir, the SFL's increasingly impressive chief executive, announcing the verdict there were whispers that the SPL and the Scottish Football Association would not stand for it. Some SFL representatives, in the game long enough to know which way the wind blows, were similarly cynical about the chances of their vote being binding. "There could yet be a sting in the tail," was how John Yorkston, the Dunfermline chairman, viewed the outcome and what could now follow.
The comments that have subsequently flowed from some SPL chairmen over the weekend mean Yorkston could well be right. There seemed genuine shock and frustration that the SFL clubs had acted in exactly the same manner as the SPL clubs a week earlier by listening to their fans and the overwhelming groundswell of public opinion and voting accordingly. For some SPL clubs to then criticise their SFL counterparts for doing what they felt was right was hypocritical in the extreme.
It's not difficult to have sympathy for those SPL chairmen now fretting about the very future of their clubs. If they had voted "yes" to Rangers newco being allowed to start out in the top flight, it would have alienated a large majority of their fanbase who would likely then have turned their backs on the team. A "no" vote meant doing what was right in a sporting sense but would likely mean sizeable financial losses if the projections given to them by the SPL and SFA eventually prove accurate (Sky and most other sponsors are yet to show their hand).
Once the SPL had made their decision, however, that should have been the end of it. There is little merit in them bleating about the SFL's choice when the SPL had the matter in their own hands but elected to pass the buck. It would have been a brave SPL representative who had voted against the wishes of his or her own fans but, if they felt the alternatives – mass redundancies, players sold, the threat of administration – would be worse to stomach in the long run, then they should have voted accordingly at the time, rather than blaming the SFL clubs for not bailing them out of a deep hole.
Now all eyes return to Hampden today so see if the most desperate of the SPL clubs – as well as the governing body itself and their cohorts from the SFA – try to take matters into their own hands once more. An agm that should have been primarily about whether Dundee or Dunfermline Athletic fill the vacancy left by the demise of Rangers oldco may find extra items added to the agenda.
The formation of an SPL2, a second tier created specifically to house Rangers, would seem a non-starter. At least nine first or second division clubs would need to abandon the principles that guided their vote on Friday by agreeing to join and, given the strength of feeling about the way forward being a 42-team set-up, it is hard to see the SPL getting the numbers they need to get SPL2 off the ground.
There has been talk, too, of the SPL pressing on with just 11 members this season, meaning there would be no SFL vacancy for Rangers. It would be a spiteful gesture – it would put Rangers out of action for a season – but it seems we have gone beyond a point where anything can be ruled in or out. As Queen of the South mentioned in their statement yesterday, the way Scottish football is at the moment "where there's a will there's a way".