Sometimes it is the job of a sports writer to be cynical rather than just sceptical. Basically if you think some event has been a fix then you have to call it out.

That is exactly how I felt after watching Glasgow Warriors defeat Edinburgh Rugby at the weekend. It was a dead rubber, with Edinburgh already through to the semi-final of the Pro 14 tournament and Glasgow unable to make any further progress in the league.

I had hoped that we would get a similar doughty game to the one held the previous weekend, and with 700 fans taking part in the successful experiment of allowing spectators into a sporting event, I had thought that both sides would make more of an effort than they did. But then I should have remembered that Edinburgh‘s main preoccupation was to keep people healthy, and by that I mean free from injury rather than coronavirus.

In consequence, what we got was nothing more than a glorified training game, and while there were a few cuts and bruises, a clean bill of health was reported all round. Surprise, surprise.

I am not accusing the players of holding back in their efforts, and certainly some of the tackling was tough enough. It’s just that the game was nowhere near the expected standard and clearly a lot of players had their minds elsewhere. You don’t need me to tell you that it was dross, because that was the verdict of just about everybody who saw the game, including Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill. He was very honest in his appraisal: “It was a pretty average game full stop. We could all have gone home at half-time and wouldn’t have missed anything.

“It was what it was, we got some good minutes under our belt and looked after some players. We have to look at the bigger picture which is next weekend.”

Obviously, Cockerill has never read the book on how to talk football bilge. Footie managers always say after such dire performances that they were not looking ahead to the next fixture, and they always maintain that the prospect of appearing in a crucial semi-final never dictates how they approach the match before that vital fixture.

Cockerill was at least honest and realistic, because arguably the game against Ulster is the biggest match in the history of Edinburgh’s involvement in league rugby.

It still sticks in the craw, however, that the inter-city derby with its long and storied history was reduced to the status of a bounce game - not quite semi-unopposed stuff but not far off it at times.

I have no evidence that there was collusion between the two clubs, and I would not insult their coaches or players by suggesting such, but it was dreadfully poor stuff and I must point out that the governing body of Scottish rugby is unable and unwilling to seek an explanation for the near debacle at Murrayfield at the weekend.

There is a very simple reason for that, namely that the SRU owns both clubs and pays the wages of all the coaches and players and administrators. I’m not suggesting that the SRU told both sides to go easy, but I have always maintained that the professional clubs in Scotland should not be run by the governing body. Yes, the national side must be the responsibility of the SRU, but I believe our two professional clubs must be independent of SRU control.

In short what I am suggesting is that the two clubs be sold to the highest bidders as that’s the best plan to take them forward. Despite the possible cash injections coming to the SRU from various sources in the near future, real investment in both Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby will only come when they are owned and run by people who know what they are doing and who can invest serious money into the two clubs.

You may recall the reports many moons ago that the SRU was actively looking for people to invest in both clubs, and it was almost four years ago that the Union’s AGM voted unanimously to allow external investment to be sought.

I said at the time no sensible business person would take any major share in the Warriors or Edinburgh if they were not allowed to control their investment. None has.

The CVC equity group’s investment in the Pro-14 should trickle down some money to Glasgow and Edinburgh, but it is never going to be enough to make the two clubs the giants they could become if ‘floated’ on the open market, something that will never happen under the present controlling regime at the SRU.

It is time for the SRU to either quit the pretence of seeking investment, or go the whole hog and sell the two clubs. Then they could act like a proper governing body of a sport rather than owners who have such a massive vested interest.