The Scottish Premier League is no more. Equally the Scottish Football League has gone. Both have been replaced by the super, new, improved Scottish Professional Football League!
Or have they …
(For that, see my next post!)
I feel though that the passing (apparently) of these famous and historic names should be marked, by referring to the following extracts from the SPL website.
It is fair to say that the power of the combined SPFL to create meaningless PR guff and tosh has increased exponentially as a result of the changes!
Graeme Souness and John Collins this morning launched the new Scottish Professional Football League brand at Hampden Park.
The four divisions have been named Scottish Premiership, Scottish Championship, Scottish League One and Scottish League Two.
The new SPFL website www.spfl.co.uk will be launched at the beginning of August.
SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster said: “A mountain of work has been done over the summer to get to this point and I believe there is much more that can be done. The new branding sets a new identity for the future of Scottish professional league football. The new league set-up reflects very much the recommendations Henry McLeish made in his report for the future of Scottish football.”
Now, correct me if I am wrong, but surely the four-division plan is in fact what we had last season, but under a different title? Didn’t the clubs reject a restructuring over the summer?
The only change to the league set-up (as opposed to changes in “branding”) is, in fact, that once more all divisions are under one body’s governance whereas before the SPL ran the SPL and the SFL the remaining divisions?
I wonder, and this is a genuine question, whether it makes fans more excited knowing that they are now in the “Championship” as opposed to Division 1? Does it make supporters more excited that their team is competing for Division 1 when they expected instead to be challenging for Division 2? Does the change make a difference?
Bizarrely of course the change replicates the English “branding”. It is bizarre because the structures are now different and therefore the reasoning must too be different.
In England the EPL runs the Premier League, and the Football League runs the remaining divisions. The Championship was introduced to highlight that this was the top division in the Football League structure, and was introduced as a mark of the difference between the two organisations.
Here of course the re-branding of the divisions comes to mark the governing bodies coming together, and is therefore meaningless! (I hope it does not become a metaphor for the new body!)
The new organisation also earlier in the month announced the results of its hotly-contested challenge to find a new CEO for the new body. Remarkably it turned out that the two leading candidates, the best men for the job across football and business, happened already to be working for the constituent bodies! The choice came down to Mr Longmuir, of the SFL and Mr Doncaster, of the SPL.
White smoke in due course emanated from Hampden and the following announcement was made:-
The Remuneration and Appointment Committee of the SPFL can advise that Neil Doncaster has been appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer of the SPFL.
The SPFL looks forward to continuing with the implementation of one representative body and the commencement of season 2013/14 for the benefit of all 42 member clubs.
All further enquiries should be addressed to Iain Blair, SPFL, Hampden.
But what, one might have asked, about Mr Longmuir? Surely he deserved some mention and indeed some credit for what was seen by some as his statesman-like handling of the issue of Rangers admission to the SFL last summer, and his standing against what many of the same people believed was bullying by the SPL?
A couple of days later came the tribute which clearly the new SPFL felt Mr Longmuir deserved.
The SPFL can confirm that following the decision to appoint Neil Doncaster to the role of CEO in the SPFL, David Longmuir’s employment has come to an end.
Was that it?
Surely there is something missing?
Hold on – I will check
That is it!
Do you get the feeling that someone in Hampden Park did not actually appreciate Mr Longmuir’s work on behalf of the SFL member clubs?
To come later – the real identity of the SPFL!
Posted by Paul McConville