Saturday, 19 February 2011

Dead in the water?

This article appeared as Is ‘Regionalisation’ Dead? on the Sonstrust website.

The future of Scottish football still depends on hints, rumours and second- or third-hand reports of meetings behind closed doors. But there is one bit of good news, apparently.

According to the BBC and Jim Spence, “[p]roposals to regionalise the lower divisions in the Scottish Football League are dead”, following the meeting on Thursday 17 February between the SPL, the SFL and the SFA.

Spence quotes one (anonymous) Third Division chair as saying: “Clubs want to play in a Scottish league, not a regional set up. The proposal has gone. It is dead in the water… We are in a consultation period just now with the SPL about their views for the game and we will canvas opinion to see whether there is interest in a pyramid system. But I’m not sure there is any real interest.”

Whether moves towards a pyramid – which many favour on its own terms – is straightforwardly co-terminus with regionalisation of what are now the Second and Third Divisions is a moot point, of course.

Equally, whether the rumour-mill is correct on the demise of the regionalisation proposal remains to be seen. It’s good if it is, but continuing pressure from supporters is necessary – not least because there appears to be much more ambivalence about the idea of SPL ‘colts’ being forced on the lower leagues.

Meanwhile, Sonstrust is pushing Supporters Direct to keep the pressure up. While we are driving forward with membership and publicity, little direct seems to have come out of SD since the gathering of Trusts in Falkirk a month ago (if you’ll pardon the pun!). But we hope to have more to report soon – and behind the scenes, the negotiation with the footballing authorities is ongoing.

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