Scottish football’s unplanned hibernation has failed to diminish the country’s fixation with the game, as renewed debate over its nature and structure dominates the back pages.
Without the distraction of football actually being played, we have witnessed an explosion of commentary from insiders and outsiders alike. The need for reform of the game in Scotland seems undisputed, but the manner of reform could hardly be more so. Continue reading
First published in The Strathclyde Telegraph, Issue 4, December 2010.
AS 2010 draws to a close we can look back on a bumper year for sport. Continue reading
Though no-one seems to have noticed, the Champions League is a failure. Europe’s elite competition funnels cash to the already rich, throwing scraps to the rest. It has increased beyond measure the disparity between the few clubs at the top of the largest nations and the top clubs from all others. It has eroded competition within the wealthiest nations and killed stone dead any hope of competition at the continental level. Massive and historic clubs from all but a few nations have no chance of competing. Continue reading
The irrational chip-on-the-shoulder mentality of Scottish football fans is displayed in its full glory this week, in John Hillcoat’s column in the Sunday Mail. The sports writer pours scorn on the junior clubs of Scottish football, bemoaning their inclusion in the Scottish Cup and crying foul at their victory over senior league opposition. Continue reading
For a century Glasgow’s two football giants have maintained near complete domination of Scotland’s game. Of 111 national championships, Rangers or Celtic were crowned a staggering 94 times. Of the mere 17 titles won by other clubs the most recent was 24 years ago. The level of hegemony has made ridiculous any notion of Scottish football as a competitive pursuit. With the rest merely making up the numbers, the two clubs with mass support are sustained purely by the intensity of their relationship to each other; a rivalry based on endless competition for sporting supremacy and steeped in religious, nationalistic and ethnic tribalism of a society divided into two communities. Continue reading