Dunfermline Athletic

The Heath Robinson contraption

Date: Tuesday, 10th Sep 2019

That Heath Robinson contraption the The Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup (the attraction formerly known as Irn Bru, B and Q, Bells, Alba, Ramsdens and Petrofac) is underway again. Unfortunately (fortunately?) for the Pars after the result at the weekend, , which confounded the odds on the sportsbetting24 site, they do not need to worry about it.

Scottish Football Attendances have increased for the fourth year in succession, which is welcome news, but not in this nonsense, from which we have fortunately escaped.

Neil Doncaster was effusive in complimenting the loyalty of football fans and congratulating the clubs in engaging with their communities. Unfortunately, the SPFL continues to threaten that loyalty and ignores the clubs` views of this wretched competition. Neil Doncaster claims the tournament is popular with fans. The average Gate for 2018/19 at 56 matches was 660 and skewed by the Final attendance.

The tournament began in 1990/91 and was designed to reward the smaller clubs with
no prospect of a major National success. Stenhousemuir FC called their 1995 triumph
"the greatest moment in their clubs history". With 58 clubs today it has reduced
any prospect whatever of a small club emulating that.

Since then, Championship Clubs have been drafted in, if not consulted, and watched
in anguish, last year, as £100k of desperately needed Scottish Football income
haemorrhaged outwith Scotland (as clubs travelling to/from Ireland received £10k.)

There was a belief introducing Colt teams would generate interest. 389 watched
Dumbarton play Rangers. Then Neil Doncaster welcomed the spread of the competition
to the 3 UK Nations and Eire, with all the popularity of knotweed.

It means, conceivably, the Final of a Scottish Football competition could be played
elsewhere. (Maybe that would suit the Sponsors for commercial reasons!)

Dunfermline lost thousands with the trip to Boreham Wood despite the £4K sponsorship compensation. ParsTV also had a major loss when Borehamwood thought it could control media broadcasting and prevented ParsTV from participating. Fortunately the SPFL have corrected that anomoly for this season, but too late for ParsTV last season. The East Fife jaunt to Dublin brought Scottish Football into disrepute as Bohemians simply conceded. Peterhead met crippling Police charges against that same club.

Is the tournament a Trojan Horse designed to massage the entry of Celtic into the
English Premier League by removing a UEFA obstacle?

The SPFL Competitions Working Group needs to engage with the Clubs.

JL.



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