The late late Clydesbank Premier League preview with Matt Davies

One horse trot: expect to see more of the above this year.

The pivotal issues:
Second place, relegation, will anyone stay afloat post-Rangers?

Who are favourites for the title?
Celtic. Easy one.

Who else will make the top 2 and who will get Europa League?
Dundee United should join Celtic in the Champions League, providing two of Gardyne, Daly and Russell are on form. Motherwell will struggle to hit the heights they hit last season, Stuart McCall’s squad looks thin and the protracted looks at James McFadden have come to naught.

Relegated?
Hard to look beyond the two promoted sides I’m afraid – Ross County look strong enough right now but any issues could see confidence drop and problems occur. Dundee however look like favourites for the drop, providing that Inverness’ signings gel. Terry Butcher has looked south to England to sign players and some may struggle. Continue reading

What has Scottish football ever done for us?

Are the best days of Scottish football already over?

Last weekend the Scottish Premier League season finally got underway following a tumultuous summer north of the border. Today, the resuscitated remains of Glasgow Rangers FC will travel to Peterhead, beginning a new life in Third Division football.

Their enforced absence from the SPL gives clubs outside the Old Firm a chance to compete for glory, for the next three years at least. However, any such successes will, for many, come with the mental footnote that Glasgow’s duopoly has been shattered through developments off the pitch rather than on it. Some even believe that the triple relegation of the Light Blues could well spell the beginning of the end for professional football in Scotland. Ibrox managerial legend Walter Smith proclaimed, without bias of course, that Scottish football would soon slip to level of the The League of Ireland without the presence of Rangers in the top-flight.

South of the border, the macabre sniggers of derision from England’s more pompous footballing quarters are difficult to hide. “Look at the dull, primitive and attritional football; their laughable two-horse competition” they snark, and not without reason. Scotland is staring down the barrel of reduced TV money following the justifiable punishment of Rangers, such is the dysfunctional state of the game in the north. Had their transgressions not been penalised, Scottish football would have instead faced a crisis of integrity, with clubs seemingly free to live beyond their means through tax evasion and unsustainable debt, without legal reprisal.

Read the full piece over at The False Nine.

Old Firm rules everything around me – why Scottish football is stagnating thanks to the history of one city.

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One of the greatest prospects about playing in the English Premiership is the opportunity to possibly get into a position for sustainability of a club – take Stoke for example, a team who many expected to go straight back down, who instead didn’t change the way they played and made themselves a firm fixture in the top league, as well as having a successful foray into Europe this season. Every league has it’s traditional leaders – but nowhere is this more evident than in Scotland.

Continue reading