SPFL Vote Is Pie in the Sky

SPFL Vote

Although a ball has not been kicked in anger, there has been plenty of that feeling within the ranks of the SPFL over these past few days; even though Scottish football’s governing body has finally got its way as far ending the season is concerned, there is a feeling that more is to come.

Fundamentally most of Scotland’s 42 professional league clubs operate their existence on a month to month basis; without the release of prize money, there was a genuine threat of at least half a dozen outfits going to the wall.

While obviously no-one wants to see any club cease operations in this current climate, there was always the view that next season is the true priority for the SPFL and more importantly their shiny new TV deal that lies in wait.

SPFL Vote Is Pie in the Sky

The Revolution Will Be Televised

With their English cousins still aiming to complete this current campaign by any means necessary, there is a far greater sense of urgency north of the border and that’s because Sky’s new five-year deal worth £160m is set to kick in.

This is a deal that has been triumphed by chief executive Neil Doncaster. With it being the largest rights injection since the formation of the competition, the last thing anyone would want to see, is its swift devaluation.

One of the key facets of the deal is that Rangers and Celtic must face each other four times in league competition. Should that not be the case, Sky would have every right to activate some rather punitive penalty clauses.

This means that if the latest edition of the Scottish Premiership was played to a full conclusion, there would be most likely be a delay to the launch of the following one. In turn, that could see a shrinking of the standard 38-game league schedule, in order to accommodate any late start.

Which is why there was such a clamour to make sure the 2019/20 season was wrapped up as soon as possible; any delay to proceedings would put the new partnership between the SPFL and Sky in serious jeopardy.

With the vote to call time being dealt with in a rather ludicrous manner, there is obviously mixed emotions right now. With the likes of Partick Thistle and Hearts feeling the most aggrieved, there is perhaps a sense that the ends will eventually justify the means.

That is because the upcoming injection of TV money will be hastily welcomed by clubs at all levels of the Scottish game. It should allow teams to be in a state of good health, once the government allows the resumption of sporting activities.

Questions

Of course, there are still some rather pertinent questions to be asked. This is not only why Dundee were allowed to change their mind (although for the reasons stated above, it soon becomes rather obvious) but also what shape each of the four SPFL divisions will look like next season.

The carrot of reconstruction has been dangled and with Hearts owner, Ann Budge being in joint charge of the task force which will oversee any potential change, a 14-team Premiership now looks an increasing likelihood.

Ultimately this would mean slicing the proverbial top-flight pie two more ways; although clubs such as Ross County and St Mirren may take umbrage to this, they should at least be grateful that there’s more money to soon go around.

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