There are certain topics that are nailed onto Scottish football’s wheel of misfortune. Summer football, for instance. Plastic pitches. And this week, we have landed on strict liability. Unfortunately, you don’t have Nicky Campbell’s wisecracks or Jenny Powell’s gentle smile to soften the blow, just me, going over old ground.

Because in conducting a quick Google search as part of my research for this column, I discovered that there had been widespread discussion of strict liability in these pages back in 2016. And then again, the following year. And again, well, you get the picture.

And just as the debate reached its inevitable conclusion in all those instances with the concession that there was simply no way that strict liability would ever be adopted in Scottish football, so too, alas, will it come to pass this time around as well.

Because for all that the intentions of Hibs in raising the topic again are laudable, with the club looking to explore solutions to the problem of fan misbehaviour following their Scottish Cup defeat to Rangers at Easter Road on Sunday, there simply isn’t the appetite from enough of the other clubs to vote for its adoption. Or even a mild hunger pang.

READ MORE: Hibs confirm away fan allocations reduced after Rangers clash

Hibs deserve a measure of credit for at least addressing that in Scotland at present, as there has been for many, many years, there is an issue with the behaviour of a section of the supporter base who attend games.

Hibs have reacted strongly to the feelings their fans made abundantly clear at their recent AGM, that they are fed up of the sectarian songbook whenever Rangers come to town, and have decided to limit away tickets going forward accordingly.

As this is Scotland, yes, we must also acknowledge that this sort of stuff is not the preserve of Rangers supporters alone. I have long been a subscriber to the theory that most - if not all - clubs have a percentage of idiots whose behaviour goes way beyond the bounds of acceptability and tarnishes the names of their respective clubs.

When Rangers fans saw the news of their ticket allocation being cut I am sure there were a great many, given the conduct of some Hibs supporters lately, who felt that people in glass houses shouldn’t be throwing corkscrews.

To be fair to Hibs, though, they did acknowledge that general fan misconduct is a problem that begins at home, and that they are doing what they can to identify, root out and ban those who have been throwing missiles at opposition players, for instance.

But this is where I start to have issues with their punitive measures of away fans. Why is what is good for the goose, not good for the gander?

Limiting away tickets is their right in their own stadium. Absolutely. But just as I have long argued that such a policy at Old Firm fixtures is ultimately self-defeating and devalues the spectacle of Scottish football, so too will it prove here. What’s more, Hibs will take a financial hit too, with those empty seats unlikely to be sold.

By limiting tickets available to away fans you are ultimately going to end up punishing innocent supporters. People who aren’t even flying with the crows squawking out their bile, simply sitting near them.

Well now, supporters of strict liability may say, why is it then that those who would tolerate such fans defecating all over the reputation of Scottish football – i.e. the majority of our clubs – are allowed to carry on unscathed in their blissful and wilful ignorance? Surely, something must be done.

I’m not saying there isn’t more that clubs could be doing. And while there isn’t much that I agree with SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster on, it is here where our views align.

“Strict liability simply does not work, as the repeated fines for specific clubs in Uefa competitions season after season demonstrate very clearly,” Doncaster said back in the annual debate of 2022.

“The significant investment by clubs in CCTV technology means it’s far easier to spot and act on incidents caused by the tiny minority of fans who misbehave. Clubs, footballing authorities and the overwhelming majority of decent fans abhor the actions of those who engage in criminal acts at games.

"It’s only by targeting these individuals directly and punishing them to the full extent of the law that we will provide a meaningful and effective deterrent.”

As well-meaning as strict liability is, its adoption elsewhere has not led to Utopian terraces where racism and disaster chants have been replaced by lusty choruses of Kum-Ba-Yah. There simply isn’t the evidence that the societal issues football not only mirrors, but acts as a megaphone for, will be eradicated by strict liability. Or that the needle will even be moved.

What I can say for absolute certain though, is that the shift of opinion within the Scottish game required to adopt it has not occurred.

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In 2019, a survey showed that only three of Scotland’s 42 senior clubs were in favour of introducing strict liability. You might be able to add Hibs to that list, but there is more chance of Jenny Powell answering that fan letter I wrote her as a teenager in 1996 asking for a date than there is of clubs ultimately voting it through.

And so, representatives of Hibs will go along to the Rules Review Working Group at the SFA’s invitation in a couple of weeks’ time, where they will meet Celtic, Aberdeen and representatives from the SPFL, SWPL and SFA who currently sit on it, to discuss adopting strict liability. And there, they will meet with that reality.

That may sound like jaded, browbeaten defeatism. That’s because, when it comes to this issue, that is exactly what it is.

The government won’t impose it. The clubs won’t vote for it. So, we can continue to debate the merits of strict liability and whether it could be a potential panacea to ills like sectarianism and hooliganism year upon year upon year ad infinitum.

The fact is, it won’t.