The Beast from the East

Scottish football saw sense on Wednesday morning when the SPFL decided to postpone the three top flight matches scheduled for that night in the interest of safety.

It really is a shame the powers that be didn’t smell the coffee 24 hours earlier.

That would have saved Clyde travelling to Peterhead for their League Two fixture on a night that many people I know wouldn’t have even put their wheelie bins out.

Instead, the Bully Wee had to make a 334 mile round trip on an evening that had motorway gantries telling people not to travel ANYWHERE.

But, at least Clyde got to play their game.

Poor Queen of the South had already travelled the 145 miles to Tayside from Dumfries to find out that their game against Dundee United wouldn’t go ahead.

That’s not the type of thing you want to ‘discover’ on arriving into the city that built a ship famously known for it’s Antarctic expeditions. Ironically, the Doonhamers team bus would have experienced more demanding conditions going back down the M74 than Captain Robert Scott and Ernest Shackleton encountered on some of their travels.

It makes you think when are we eventually going to see sense and play summer football?

Now, as a player I actually enjoyed playing through the winter and even experiencing chilblains on some of my extremities and my more private parts – yes, that’s right – didn’t change my mind.

But, as society has changed, so have my thoughts on this matter.

We are cheating the paying customer by being so stubborn about changing the calendar.

I actually can’t see one good reason why it shouldn’t happen and I’d be happy to hear anyone who can tell me one that couldn’t be overcome.

Sure, there would need to be some consultation about when that calendar should be but one thing is for sure, January and February are historically the coldest months of the year so let’s start with the assumption that those months would be the close season.

Freak weather and rain we can cope with but the cold is what causes the biggest issues for postponement and the travel consideration of the fans.

How we then work the season to accommodate European competition is one for the league to consider but I’d defy anyone to tell me that our league being in full flow by July and August wouldn’t help the clubs playing early qualifiers at that time.

I’ll put it another way, how many times have we heard about how difficult it is for the clubs playing preliminary rounds in Europe BEFORE the Scottish season has started?

With warmer weather and better pitches we might even attract more fans through the gates during the summer months when historically the game has shut down.

On the rare occasion that Scotland qualifies for a major tournament – remember those days – we could make a provision for the clubs who have most players involved.

In short, the time has come to grab the bull by the horns and make a decision.

If we were starting football from scratch and had a blank canvas, who in their right mind would suggest playing football through the winter?

It wouldn’t be me.

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