THEY think it’s all over ... it is now. I felt sorry for England. Gareth Southgate and his young players were a beguiling team, hence I foreswore the Anybody But England stance. Many Scots took that position, and it wasn’t the team but the TV that irked. The reality is we’re watching the match on someone else’s channel.

Commentators the world o’er are partisan when national teams are playing and that is understandable. It’s what every nation expects and those covering the game reflect the wants and passions of the viewers back home.

England’s no different except the received pronunciation and mostly subdued comments of Kenneth Wolstenholme in 1966 have been replaced by a range of accents and much more partisan support. Most of that doesn’t bother me and I very much like Gary Lineker, the obvious bias understandable when you consider they’re primarily speaking to an English audience. However, continual Second World War references from other pundits are infuriating and frankly unhealthy.

And to be fair, Scotland’s no different, it’s just we don’t have either the outlet or even the opportunity. Back in the glory days when we qualified, it was with good reason that the sports press corps were described as fans with typewriters and the commentators no different. It wasn’t Alf Ramsey and 66 but Jim Baxter and 67, not Agincourt but Bannockburn that peppered descriptions. But, I loved the partisanship of the likes of Arthur Montford, and I even remember one of them once forgetting he was commentating and shouting out a warning to a Scotland player as an opponent neared.

But, the problem in Scotland is that we watch the match and see the world on someone else’s channel. Viewers in Ireland have been able to watch every single game on RTE, with an Irish take on it. That’s bound to have an effect on attitudes to the English team, even if many in Ireland will still be in an Anyone But England camp through historic rivalry.

So, for me the debate isn’t about which team you support but what channel you watch it on. Moreover, it's not just a game of football that it applies to but how you see the world. Arguments over partisan English broadcasters obscure a wider and more important debate over a dedicated Scottish TV channel. TV is the window into the modern world and it’s vital that Scottish culture and Scotland’s distinct society be reflected. That matters not just in what’s shown but nuances and interpretations in reporting, and that includes commentators.

Ireland has four channels with RTE I and 2 as well as TG4, the Irish language channel, and TV3, the independent broadcaster. Of course, they’re an independent nation but Quebec and Catalonia aren’t and they also have their own broadcasters. There’s the language issue there but Scotland whilst anglophone equally has a distinct culture never mind other state institutions. I’ve often thought they got the better deal.

If francophone Quebec required to watch anglophone Canadian TV there would be outrage, as there would be if Canada required to see it through an American screen. I recall meeting Quebec politicians who coveted Scotland’s national rugby and football teams, seeking their own ice hockey identity whilst I envied their media.

BBC Scotland is hardly a dedicated station as the feed down the line whether on football or anything else that we’re forced to accept clearly shows. London-centric political programmes that routinely included Ukip and exclude SNP, testify to that as much as the fitba.

STV doesn’t cover the entire country and has just closed STV 2. BBC Alba struggles financially and is used as the dumping ground for anything Scottish. I recall complaining to a BBC board member about friendly matches for the English women’s football team being shown but not Scots competitive games. The solution was to foist it on to BBC Alba. Now, that’s not a criticism of what was shown, just a declaration that it was neither what Alba was meant to be showing nor indeed an explanation as to why BBC Scotland could show a minor English ladies game but not a critical Scottish one.

As Ireland and Quebec highlight, it can be done. Comments about kailyard TV or Brigadoon Telly are frankly as depressing as demands that you support England. It can be done and it can be good. Many years ago, I was over in the west of Ireland visiting TG4. On my return I bumped into a well-known presenter and whilst chatting asked him how many Emmys he or his colleagues had won. Och, he said you’ve got to go to London or Manchester for that. Really, says I, I was in a pub in Connemara last week when some lads were handing the one they’d got around the bar. To be fair it related to a niche programme and involved voice overs and feeds but it had been hugely successful not just in Ireland but globally. But it showed what could be achieved with a bit of ambition and, to be fair, investment.

I’m fortunate that one of my best friends is the director general of TG4 in Ireland, but it's shameful in many ways that a Scot has to go abroad to be in charge of a national TV station, not a regional offshoot. But, he’s not alone, as I recall an eminent media studies academic lamenting that Scotland trained so many talented people only for them to require to head south for work. It’s the same for more established broadcasters. Some of that will always happen as the lure of London or New York is highly attractive, but it shouldn’t be the default position for even a minor role in TV. It’s time for our own dedicated channel, if not network.

I’m glad the debate has moved on from the sterile Scottish Six and look forward to the new BBC Scotland channel. The BBC has to fund it adequately as we pay our licence fees as well. More importantly, broadcasting should be devolved and the Scottish Government should help support what is vital for culture and information in the modern world. TV is important not just for one big match but how we see the world.