Thanks for the memories Craig Brown.

So the big news today in Scotland is that Craig Brown will be retiring as Aberdeen manager at the end of the season, and moving upstairs to a non executive role on the board. I had a hunch that this would happen, seeing as he’s the oldest manager in the UK and this season has kind of fizzled out for Aberdeen. I’d like to wish him well in his “retirement” (we’ll no doubt still see him on the telly) as he’s always come across as a decent bloke and he took our national team to their last two major tournaments.
Thanks Craig. Definitely one of the good guys in Scottish football.

So who’s going to replace Broony? I doubt history will repeat itself and Aberdeen appoint another manager straight from Motherwell! Considering Stuart McCall’s record at Motherwell so far, I can’t see him moving to a club that has finished below his team 2 years in a row. Also he’s an ex-Ranger, so that might not go down too well with the Red Army!

There’s very strong rumours linking Ross County manager Derek Adams to the club he began his career at. I think he might be the bookies favourite, as he’s proven himself at this level with a limited budget, however a couple of other names to consider could be Alex McLeish and Owen Coyle. The former could be a really good shout, as he is an Aberdeen legend, but that’s not to say that Owen Coyle wouldn’t also be considered an excellent choice. Coyle’s record at St. Johnstone and Burnley would hold him in good stead.
The reason I think that Derek Adams will be favourite for the job is purely down to financial reasons, as McLeish and Coyle wages could be a bit higher than what Adams would cost.

Personally, I would like to see Adams remain at County, as he just seems the right “fit”. He left them before, to become assistant manager at Hibs (never understood that) but since his return he’s continued to take County from strength to strength. However the lure of one of Scotland’s biggest teams might be just enough to tempt him away.

Whoever Aberdeen’s manager will be next season, they’ll surely be tasked with getting Aberdeen back up to the top end of the table. It’s been a while.

There was some other news I saw today but I don’t want to talk too much about whining Rangers supporters clubs. It’s just getting old and boring. I’m not going to waste any more time on it, so if you want to read about them, the link is below.

http://www.scotland-mad.co.uk/news/tmnw/rangers_fan_group_threaten_sfl_clubs_787477/index.shtml

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The latest flight of fancy

So what was it I was saying yesterday? Oh yes, I left on league reconstruction. After the news yesterday (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21763900) it seems that yet again Scottish Football is being led down the road of pandering to the Old Firm.

It seems the SFL are entertaining the idea of allowing two extra spaces in the league structure to accommodate a Celtic B and a Rangers B team. I’m sorry but in my opinion this is quite possibly one of the more insane ideas I’ve ever heard on how to fix our game. The Old Firm can start collecting two gates some weeks, and of course they need the money! Nevermind the fact that this proposal has been dreamt up because David Longmuir is scared that the Old Firm are going to leave us.
Here’s what he had to say –
“If both clubs were to leave without the legacy of a colt team and an annual financial settlement, then Scottish football as an industry would face significant drops in commercial, marketing and media investment.
“Our games may be more competitive with more clubs evenly matched, but that would come with a potential reduction in quality and resources.
“The legacy of a colt team would allow Scottish football to profit from the global success of the parent club or team, but also provide a level of domestic football which would be competitive, interesting and attractive to fans, sponsors and media alike.
“It would operate more along the lines of a community club.
“Only when the parent clubs moved out of Scotland, would the colt team then have the freedom to progress through the leagues unhindered, and based on their sporting success.”

From that statement, I’d like to highlight this sentence –
“Our games may be more competitive with more clubs evenly matched, but that would come with a potential reduction in quality and resources.”
So Mr Longmuir, rather than creating a competitive league, which would be entertaining and therefore more marketable (over time), you would rather we continue making sure that our league is one of the most uncompetitive in the world, whilst also allowing the Old Firm to have teams in another league, keeping their pockets lined, while Scottish football is left with the “reserves”?
The arrogance and utter contempt for our game by the men at the top seems to know no bounds. Non Old Firm clubs are regularly informed that we are holding the Old Firm back, as if our clubs mean nothing. This attitude is what’s holding our game back. Do they forget that Aberdeen once beat Real Madrid to a European trophy? That Dundee United reached a UEFA cup final? These are clubs with a proud history, but now seem to be treated simply as “Diddy clubs”. I understand that back then, our game was stronger, but as we found out recently, Rangers were so dominant because they weren’t playing on the same financial playfield as everyone else. The “Holier than thou” (HAH!) attitude of the Old Firm and the protection afforded to them has allowed our game to get to this state. Every non Old Firm fans know that both Celtic and Rangers ideal league is not in England, but a league in which they play each other 18 times a season.
That’s all they want.

Also, why is Mr. Longmuir scared that the Old Firm will be off anyway? England doesn’t want them. Even if they did, they would have to begin at the bottom. Which isn’t League 2. It also isn’t the Conference North. It’s about 5 levels below that.
I can’t see them accepting that, because then they really would be playing against pub teams.
To be honest, I think there’s a growing feeling that we don’t even want them in Scotland. Rather than trying to improve our game as a whole, they’d rather improve themselves, which by their reckoning is improving our game as a whole. It can’t continue like this.

I’m going to be blunt, but I think the Old Firm are the cancer of Scottish Football. We need to cut them out before we lose the whole thing. Sure, our league would be weaker financially for a while, many clubs would struggle and we wouldn’t be as competitive in Europe (seeing that’s only really ever the Old Firm anyway) but over time, competition will allow our game to blossom once more, and fans will start to come back, when they realise the game is no longer rigged against them and their clubs. I would rather see this, than the continuation of the status quo.

Which is why I wanted to highlight that sentence. Mr Longmuir and his pals are so out of touch with the game and the fans that they are willing to risk the long term survival of our game for the short term financial benefits for a couple of select clubs.

It’s good to see that a few SFL clubs, like Raith Rovers and Falkirk have said that these proposals are irresponsible. It’s just going to distract from the bigger picture of our whole game.
St. Mirren’s Stewart Gilmour has said “If there’s to be colt teams, fine, but for everybody and there’s a colt league, it’s as simple as that. We’ve no desire for some clubs to have colt teams and others not.”. Which is a fair point. It also reminds me that we have no reserve league in Scotland. I understand it was stopped for financial reasons, but we NEED a reserve league. It’s one of those things which is fundamental for developing our game I believe.

We need to make sure that when the inevitable league reconstruction happens, it’s for the benefit of all clubs in the long term, not just the few to protect their privileges.

OK, on a more lighthearted note I absolutely loved this video

C’mon boys! Listen to Terry! Let’s get out there and beat them!

Welcome to the Paul Paps football blog

Welcome.  Wilkommen.  Bienvenue.

To anyone reading this, thanks for visiting.  What exactly are you visiting though?

Well, the purpose of this blog is to give my individual perspective on Scottish football (with a liberal sprinkling of Inverness Caledonian Thistle bias) as well as some thoughts about the global game in general.

Our game’s not the most technical.  It’s not always the prettiest.  It is bloody entertaining though.

I hope this blog will be too.