WEST of Scotland are talking to Clydebank Football Club about sharing a ground, Glasgow Accies are being steered by Brian Simmers, Stirling County are seeking a coach, Glasgow Southern are tentatively entering the professional era, and GHK have spurned the advances of Glasgow Accies for a marriage made in heaven across a steel fence.

There is a dog-eat-dog battle about to commence for the best in the city. But does it need to be so? Lorne Crerar, a referee, a top lawyer, a GHK member and sponsor thinks not, although he has stressed that, in this conversation with me, his opinions are his own and not those of his club.

Crerar thinks that there should be one Glasgow side, drawing from the existing clubs in the area, to play at the highest level in both league, and if it still exists, district competition. Clubs would not have to disappear in the unsatisfactory dust of amalgamation, rather they release their best to let the city get ahead. ``The movement towards one senior Glasgow Club is inevitable and inexorable,'' says Crerar.

``I was the chairman of the Kelvinside committee that looked into the future of Kelvinside Academicals RFC in the year immediately before amalgamation,'' says Crerar. ``Our unanimous decision was that we proceed to amalgamate with Glasgow High as a means of meeting our primary objective, which was `to give the best playing and coaching environment for those schoolboys leaving Kelvinside who wish to pursue rugby.'.''

Crerar says Kelvinside had to give up some of its hard earned reputation as a sociable club to give its players the right environment for high level rugby, and there are still those who say that it was not the right decision.

He says that the essence of Glasgow rugby is the clubs that play within the area and if some clubs become winners then others must, necessarily, become losers. The winners get the advertising, spectators and sponsors, the losers don't in this professional, or semi-professional , environment.

``Perhaps to stimulate real interest in a Glasgow side involves the contribution by all the Glasgow sides of their best players to it. Why not keep the existing club structure, but with a Glasgow side playing in the National Leagues and being picked from them?'' asks Crerar. ``Clubs would keep their existing positions in the National Leagues. Already it has been agreed that the National League set-up is to be extended in terms of the numbers of teams in the first division and a slot could be found for a Glasgow side. The Glasgow side would play on a rotation at the main grounds of the Glasgow clubs and the financial marketing and sponsorship organised centrally. Each club could have a contribution and feeling of involvement with the Glasgow side.''

I want to put my tuppence worth in here: Most rugby players, like most footballers, play for fun. Rugby has a special atmosphere in the clubs, and all we have to do is look at athletics, which was decimated in Scotland when the sport went professional, because the fun went as it pandered to the expectations of those in pursuit of excellence.

While Crerar's proposal is radical, and it will create ripples in the city I can tell you, he says it meets many objectives. ``A side of the best players in Glasgow could compete in National League and European competition at the highest level,'' he says.

``The players could be properly rewarded and develop their own skills in a highly competitive environment with the principal Glasgow clubs having an involvement in the feeding to the Glasgow side and the financial reward and spectator benefit being shared.''

``Properly organised there need be no threat to the continued existence of the clubs which are so important to the DNA of Glasgow rugby,'' says Crerar. ``Spectators would see better games and a strong Glasgow club in the top league would create more interest.''

One Glasgow club, playing in the top league with the other clubs keeping their identities and feeding it? Now, that's very interesting. Very interesting indeed.