Will Scottish Football go further downhill now ?Author: Brian Duncan Date: Tuesday, 12th Jul 2005
Due to the ineptitude of the SPL board I forsee that Scottish Football is not going to survive in its present form.
The gross stupidity of the SPL board at their meeting on Monday to refuse Dunfermline the use of the synthetic pitch for another season is surely a further nail in Scottish Football`s coffin.
Dunfermline, like many clubs, are under severe financial strain (some having been in adminstration while others perilously close) and are urgently looking at ways of increasing revenue. Use of a synthetic pitch is one way, ensuring that a playing surface was available throughout the season and as a secondary means of income. Many people have their own ideas about the suitability but surely the surface is far better most of the year (specifically during the winter months) that overall it is a better surface to play on. Sure, it is different but alongside the extra revenue raised the standard of football will be raised over the next 10 years. Sadly not any more due to the small minded attitude of a few members of the SPL board.
There are many other clubs in Dunfermline`s position, clubs like Dundee or Motherwell who could easily use synthetic surfaces to increase their revenue. This will now be lost for the forseeable future. What happens if Rangers or Dundee United meet Hamilton in a cup game ? Why do Rangers train 5 days a week on a synthetic surface and yet don`t want to play a game on it ?
With lost revenue then clubs will not survive to the same level that they have done in the past, Dunfermline will certainly not have the budget to strengthen their squad if they yet again have to pay for a playing surface. Revenue received from pitch rental also helps keep the club solvent (or at least have a much smaller loss ;o) ). Young players will find it harder to come through as there will be less training facilities and more importantly there will be less revenue. Another generation of young players will be lost to Scottish football.
We`d like to find out the real reason why Dundee United, Celtic and Rangers do not want other clubs to compete in Scottish Football. As others have said this decision will ultimately affect them.
Its been suggested that John Yorkston offered to relay the surface with the same one that already has passed the FIFA Type 2 certificate, but that this was turned down by the SPL board. I`m sure that this offer would not have been turned down so it`s just an unsubstantiated rumour. ;o)
What can be done? Very little it seems as Frank McConnell, one of the Dunfermline Directors, states in his interview.
Every indicator suggest it will pass, it will certainly pass european requirements, no reason to doubt it won`t pass the test. No problem in due course it just needs time to complete the tests, difficulty is two fold,
1. UEFA/FIFA introduced rule, 1st March with immediate effect, no chance to do anything about it or time to solve.
2. SPL introduced the rule in March all pitches must be played on sythetic pitch which reaches level of FIFA 2 star.
Therefore 2 organisations introduced rules without any time to implement or test. The pitch Dunfermline has does seem to be compliant, but there is only one test organisation and there just isn`t time to get it done since they changed the rules.
The Dunfermline board just can`t understand why they have not been given time to implement the recent changes, because they would have enhanced Scottish Football. The next 48 hours Dunfermline will give a final decision.
Listen to the interview below (rather long and in 3 parts, but I felt you may want to listen to it)
What can be done about it ? should the Pars fans boycott Tannadice, Ibrox and Parkhead ? (not that it will make a difference to the Old Firm)
Should we drum up support from the other SPL teams that would like to help Dunfermline ? could we get 4 or 5 other SPL clubs fans to boycott Tannadice ? sounds like an interesting suggestion to me !
What do you think ? is this rant a bit over the top ? do you think we should just sit back and accept this decision as being the best for Scottish Football ?