Splits and Amalgamations – David Potter’s View

I think I am in agreement with those who do not like the split. It is untidy and has the major disadvantage of not letting supporters know fixtures well in advance, something that is clearly desirable from the point of view of arranging holidays, booking buses etc. For example, who knows who we play on Saturday 18 April or will it be Sunday 19 April? We could do with knowing such things.

Celtic supporters, we can guarantee, will see some sort of victimisation when the fixtures do come out.

It is all to do, we will hear, with mysterious things behind closed doors with men who rolled up their trouser legs, brandished swords and who used to shake hands in funny ways until the coronavirus came along and made them bump elbows instead!

While no-one could deny that all this goes on in some quarters, one has to acknowledge that if there is an anti-Celtic conspiracy, it must go down as being the least successful conspiracy of all time! You would think that the rich, powerful, secretive and mysterious would be able to win at least one trophy for their favourites over the last few seasons!

No, the real problem is that the whole thing is too difficult to organise.

Someone will get a slightly rough deal by not getting enough home fixtures, but that is quite simply the nature of the beast and the 12 team League, which really should be reduced to 10, the ideal number given the length of our season.

Dunfermline took Celtic to extra-time in the League Cup this season

It would mean also that three teams might have to disappear from Division 2 into the Lowland or Highland Leagues, but these Leagues are now very competitive and geographically a little more sensible. Annan v Elgin for example, on a wet Tuesday night in December is far from sensible…but it does happen in the Scottish League!

Amalgamations are not the answer, one feels. One happened spectacularly well in Inverness in 1994, and it may yet happen in Dundee if ever there is a time when they both go bust at the same time – a by no means impossible scenario – but further down the Leagues, an amalgamation for example between Stranraer and Queen of the South, or Brechin and Montrose may, to an outsider, look sensible, but all that would happen would be that you would lose two teams.

These teams are fiercely proud of their own identity, and I’m sure if you asked a Brechin City supporter if he/she would prefer to watch his team in the Highland or Lowland League next season, or go to Montrose to watch North Angus United in the Scottish League, I know what the answer would be.

No, 4×10 is the optimum set-up with two teams having to disappear from Division Two into the Highland or Lowland League, but every chance of them getting back the following season.

I write this as an ashamed lover of Forfar Athletic, and would be prepared to see my other team disappear (temporarily) out of the Scottish Second Division, if they played badly enough.

But in the Scottish Premier League, let’s see 10 teams and an end to this accursed split.

David Potter

Read the article on the split that started the debate below and we have more of your opinions to follow shortly…

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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