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Old Firm dominance is depressing

Jim Spence | 10:57 UK time, Friday, 17 April 2009

Is it just me, or is the news that four Old Firm players will battle it out for the PFA Scotland Player of the Year award depressing?

Players like Lee Wilkie, Rob Jones and Jack Ross among a host of other unsung pros have made huge contributions to their teams this season, yet all their efforts will go unrecognised in the public arena.

Only the churlish would suggest that Celtic's Gary Caldwell and Scott Brown along with the Rangers pairing of Steven Davis and Pedro Mendes are not worthy nominees, but I wonder what criteria is being applied by Scotland's players when they make their nominations.

You have to go back twenty years to 89/90 season to find Aberdeen's Jim Bett as the last non Old Firm winner.


leewilkie446.jpgClubs outside of the Glasgow pair seem to be at a distinct disadvantage. Without a galaxy of top names around them to let them shine as brightly as the Old Firm guys, their contributions are arguably greater than players who have more quality alongside them, yet they go unrecognised by their fellow peers.

At Tannadice, Wilkie has been magnificent in guiding young Gary Kenneth through matches and adding to the kid's store of football intelligence. As skipper he's also led like a lion after fighting for his very livelihood, coming back after two cruciate injuries which would have left lesser men crumpled shells.

His inspirational bravery alone deserves due recognition, never mind his fine defensive qualities.

Jones too, in a sometimes difficult season for Hibs, has been a dominant figure, while Ross has been a pivotal part of St Mirren's struggle for SPL survival.

Every club in the SPL has its heroes, and this ain't a gripe about the four who have been nominated. Mendes for his sheer panache and quality, would be my choice from the four, incidentally.

But, there's a case to be made for looking beyond the obvious choices, and I hope that in SPL dressing rooms next season, players take a look at the guys who go into the fray with them week-in-week-out and pause to reflect on qualities which are all too easily ignored when compared to the glamour of those starring for the Old Firm.

Something's changed in the way fellow pros make their choices. In the 10 years before this current 20-year period of dominance by Old Firm players, the award was picked up by seven players at clubs outside of the Parkhead-Ibrox duo.

Theo Snelders at Aberdeen, Richard Gough at Dundee United, Jim Duffy at Morton and Sandy Clark at Airdrie are among the winners in that era. There are still men of that calibre around the SPL.

There's an instructive look to be had at the list of winners for the SPFA young player of the year where a much more even spread of honours is apparent.

Steven Naismith at Killie, Derek Riordan at Hibs, James McFadden at Motherwell and Kevin McNaughton at Aberdeen are all recent winners. If only a more even spread of recognition was represented in the senior award.

Personally, I think it would have been fitting for someone of the stature of 'Streaky' Wilkie, to have streaked past the rest to reach the winers line first this season.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Great to have another blog on Scottish fitba. And Spence's is much more focussed and interesting than other BBC writers on the same subject. Keep up the good work Jim, and thanks, Beeb.

    Oh, and I've always liked Lee Wilkie. Have I missed something or is there a reason why he hasn't returned to the national set-up?

  • Comment number 2.

    I understand what you are saying. In what has been a poor season performance-wise for the old Firm, it is disappointing for Scottish football not to see players from other clubs up for the award. And I'm a Celtic fan. Lee Wilkie has been superb for Dundee United and also I feel Bruno Aguiar has been good for Hearts.

  • Comment number 3.

    Surley it ought to be a duopoly, not a monopoly

  • Comment number 4.

    Jim

    Surely you can't claim Lee Wilkie has been better than Gary Caldwell in defence because of his previous injuires and the fact that he has had to advise Gary Kenneth on how to defend??

    I'm sure when you look at the stats of both players you will see that Caldwell has had by far a better season of the two.

    I enjoy your outlook on football and agree that there is a heck of a lot more than the Old Firm in Scottish Football, however, as much as you would like the likes of Wilkie and Ross to be nominated, the stats prove neither have had as good a season as Caldwell, hence the nomination for POTY!!

  • Comment number 5.

    Lee Wilkie?? Is that a joke? He has done well to play again after horrific injuries but that'd just be a sympathy vote.

    It'd be good to see a non OF winner but come on, you surely can't claim Lee Wilkie has been the best player in the SPL this season. I'm not a fan of defenders winning the player of the year award, but if one did I can think of at least 10 defenders in the SPL who are better than him. He spends most of time upfront anyway, trying to get on the end of punts into the box to scramble an equaliser from the latest goal he's sold.

    For me the best non OF players have been Aguiar and Scott Robertson but both have missed large chunks of the season through injury.

  • Comment number 6.

    As a Jambo I'd love for a Tynecastle player to win something, but for us no player has played enough while standing out this season. Driver and Aguiar are fantastic for us but both have had injuries or drops in performance.

    Intersting though that Driver gets mentioned for young player - but not deemed good enough to bring some interest into the main vote for player award. Shame, it brings up a hint that the young players are a far far cry in performance to the older ones - which isn't always true.

    How many nominations can there be - is it a max of 4? How do they decide?

  • Comment number 7.

    It's not just old firm dominance, only 4 other teams have had players win the award as you listed and only two of those are current SPL teams.

    It could be argued that Celtic and Rangers are always going to be more likely to win as they can afford to spend so much more money on players but 2 of the last 3 have come up through the Celtic youth and cost nothing.

  • Comment number 8.

    Come on Wilkie for Player of the year? Whilest he MAY have as much right to win SPFA player of the year as Caldwell, Brown and Mendes have been a lot better than any1 else in the league.

    The young player winners you mentioned also point to why few clubs outside the OF fail to win the senoir award, out of the 4 winners you mention 2 were sold to English clubs the other 2 where then sold to the OF. Highlighting the fact that if a club in Scotland has a good player unless they already play in glasgow they are heading there or south fairly soon.

    Good Blog by the way Spence, would have loved to agreed with you and moan about OF bias but I don't see this as being the case here.

  • Comment number 9.

    same in england.

    player of the year is always (these days) from the top 4 clubs.

  • Comment number 10.

    This is a great example of why "competitions" like this are basically boring if you're not a Celtic or Rangers fan. If you're not Celtic or Rangers, your players are always overlooked. The problem with the Player of the Year award is that the individual players are not recognised for their contributions to the teams. The four selected players this year may be good, but in terms of their contributions to their teams, are they any more valuable than, say, Wilkie at Dundee United or Miller at Aberdeen? I could argue that Wilkie and Miller are more important, because without them those two teams might not be in the top six. Unfortunately, the award is a popularity contest, and Celtic and Rangers get the lion's share of TV and press coverage.

    Yes, Jim Spence, you're right -- it is depressing. And I don't care who "wins."

  • Comment number 11.

    #4

    What “stats” are you taking about? If it is number of games won, you are just proving Jim Spence’s point that to many people will only look at the OF because they are the “successful” teams.

    By most peoples admission, this has been one of the poorest SPL’s in recent memory, with two of the poorest OF teams of recent memory. As much as it pains me, Hearts’ achievement this year has been fantastic compared with their effort last term and I really hope Hamilton stay up as they have been a real breath of fresh air.

    Mendes has been ok this year and davis is solid, but I don’t think they deserve to be POTY. In fact few players have really stood out and as often as not in these cases, people fall back to the usual suspects.

    From my own teams point of view, a bit disappointed that Sone Aluko did not get a mention for the YP award. He is the only one that really excites for Aberdeen on a regular basis and Fletcher has been rank this season (sooo over-rated it is unreal)

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    sorry

  • Comment number 14.

    Would a better system not be for one player from each club to be nominated and then it could be any one out of 12?

    Having said that, Scott Brown has been player of the season for me. But then, I am biased...

  • Comment number 15.

    I would rather hear chick young's comments!

  • Comment number 16.

    Surely the PFA awards are decided by the players themselves, meaning that only the best players get nominated? Its no good complaining because they always play for the old firm, that is just the nature of Scottish football with two very big clubs who can afford all the best players. I can't see a valid reason why any of the above players outwith the OF would be chosen this season, apart from for the young player of the year award. All the anti-oldfirm crowd want to get a reality check - you aren't as big, you can't compete, your best players will be sold.

  • Comment number 17.

    Yet another indication of how boring Celtic and Rangers make the league. Imagine an SPL without them - Dundee Utd, Aberdeen, Hibs, Hearts and Motherwell all vying for the title year in, year out. It'd be far more exciting.

    How about this for the SPL2 idea - SPL1 can be the Old Firm, playing each other every week allowing their fans to get a weekly dose of sectarian hatred; SPL2 can then be the real league with everyone else.

  • Comment number 18.

    I am a Celtic fan, but I completely agree about Wilkie. He is a model pro. A lesser player would have given up football after what he went through, and I have huge respect for the way that he came back from his injury. Especially so when you consider the consequences - the guy will barely be able to walk when he's older. In essence he can only train a couple of times a week with the team; the rest of the time he's in the gym to keep his knee muscles strong. Despite this he has been solid for Dundee United for the past two seasons, and has been a good captain as well. He definitely deserves some recognition for this.

  • Comment number 19.

    You make a lot of valid points, however footballers aren't known for their deep thinking and it's probably no surprise they plump for the obvious Old Firm vote.
    The football writers award is supposed to be from the scholars of the game though, and it almost always mirrors the SPFA award, so what's your excuse?!

  • Comment number 20.

    Does anyone think its not boring? It's all relative, Gary Caldwell has been the most improved player within the last year so who can say he should not have it? If you were to ask me who i would rather have at the back Wilkie or Caldwell i would pick Caldwell. I think this is just an excuse for the scottish journalists and media to do what they do best, have a right moan. Also, just for everyones information, Craig Gordon was the last player to win the award outside the Auld Firm, in 2006.

  • Comment number 21.

    Good blog Jim.
    Totally agree with your point.
    Has Caldwell been more influential than Wilkie at Tannadice? I'd say no. The thought of Dods and Kenneth every week scares me a little.

    To be honest, if Scott Robertson hadn't got injured I think he would have been in with a shout. Hopefully next season...

    But like you're blog states, I won't hold my breath.

  • Comment number 22.

    Nice one Jim, good to have a fellow arab at the forefront of Scottish footballing issues. Have always rated Wilkie even during his time with Dundee, and I do feel that he has been the outstanding defender in the SPL this season. Mind you although my amatuer broadcasting status may be tinted with local bias, there is no way that Caldwell or MacManus are any better, never mind the likes of Berra etc.

    Brown and Mendes, for me, remain overated Daily Glasgow tabloid players much in the same vein as Paul McCstay and Ian Durrant were all of those years ago.

    Keep up the good work on Tayside's terrible trio, Jim.

    Cheers,

    Jamesie

  • Comment number 23.

    andy dorman of st mirren is having a good season as well. if he was playing with one of the OF then he would get much more press. def underrated.

  • Comment number 24.

    #16 nailed it. The players vote for it, so how can it be a duopoly (well done #3).

    Poor article Jim, expect better from you - this reads like Chick Young...

  • Comment number 25.

    Come on Jim!!!
    Rob Jones hasn't been player of the year quality, and he never will be. Michael Stewart and Bruno Aguiar haven't even got a look in. Like Wilkie, Aguiar has come back from a serious injury, and has been, in my opinion, player of the season. He has been streets ahead of Mendes and Caldwell. Lee Wilkie deserves to be in the running more than Gary Caldwell does. My four picks would have been:
    Aguiar
    Wilkie
    Brown
    Davis.

    But, Jim, surely your having a laugh when you say Rob Jones.
    Maybe one of the better players this season will get a look in for the football writers award...

  • Comment number 26.

    Re: #15
    Chick can't read, remember...

  • Comment number 27.

    The dominance of the Old Firm and the way that's reflected in the nominations is depressing, but it's also a fact.

    Players voted for the best footballers they have watched and played against over the course of the season - who could possibly be better placed to decide who the best players are? The media?

    In the week that English players were accused of sentimentality for nominating Ryan Giggs, Jim seems to calling for Scottish players to apply similar logic. If Lee Wilkie, Rob Jones or Jack Ross had got anywhere near to the standards set by Old Firm players then they would find themselves playing for those clubs before the summer is over.
    But they won't. They are good, solid SPL players who have had good seasons and are very important to their clubs.
    Unfortunately, the unequal nature of the SPL means that such players are not even as good as the defenders on the Rangers and Celtic bench.

  • Comment number 28.

    Re: #24
    He nailed it only if you believe that footballers are immune to the press/publicity machine. I don't think they are.

  • Comment number 29.

    The problem is, the majority of players are voting for someone from the team they support.

  • Comment number 30.

    Andy Dorman at St. Mirren would be my shout for Player of the Year.

    You make some good points JS but the last paragraph was written with Tangerine specs on. ;-)

  • Comment number 31.

    yes im sure you would say that being a Dundee Utd man ;)

  • Comment number 32.

    Good blog IMHO - it's topical, expressed an opinion and got the debate going. Is that not more of the point than whether the opinion is right, wrong, justified or not?

    I'm a Celtic fan but would have to give shouts to Zaliukas at Hearts and for the young player, Dixon at Dundee Utd has impressed every time I've seen him play.

    Also, it's good to have a view on Scottish football outside of Chick's ramblings and Doddsy's random number generator...we've got a title race, a chase for european places and a battle for survival all still to be decided - let's look at the positives!

  • Comment number 33.

    "Big 4 dominance and non-coverage of other teams by the media is depressing"

    Fixed

  • Comment number 34.

    Great blog Jim. Yours are always a good read. I'm a Gers fan but I totally agree with you. Players such as Lee Wilkie will always be overlooked on occasions like this. He deserves to be on the list as much as Gary Caldwell does. And recently our two stars, Mendes and davis have been nothing more than average. It has to be Brown for me.

  • Comment number 35.

    Let me make this simple for people who clearly have no idea about football. Lee Wilkie is awful. Caldwell is very, very nearly as bad. Scott Brown is an average player who is over rated by the west coast glasgow tabloid fodder press and is worth nothing like the 4.4 million celtic paid for him and furthermore is not even remotely close to being the best player in scotland this season. The award should quite obviously be cancelled as no one justifies winning it this year. The standard of football on show in scotland this season is simply dreadful. Won't matter because brown is already the annointed one so thats where the award will go mainly but not exclusively thanks to the west coast media who unbelievably are actually worse at their job than our footballers are at theirs. As if proof were needed look at the shortlist for manager of the year - shameful. How it's anyone other than csaba laszlo is at best laughable.

  • Comment number 36.

    How did Kris Boyd not get nominated? Surely the amount of goals he has scored would merit it, Mendes has had to many average/poor games( the cup final for example ) to deserve it. Scott Brown looks a certainty to me although I hate to admit it

  • Comment number 37.

    A least there's a duopoly in Scotland. In England it's been all about ManU for the past 20 years, with a few sprinkles of Arsenal and Chelsea here and there.

  • Comment number 38.

    I’m not sure who the galaxy of top names in the Old Firm are that you refer too which makes candidates for player of the year more likely, but if the people who do the voting are as disillusioned as me about the chronic state of club football in Scotland, perhaps they never cast their eye further than Ibrox or Parkhead for fear of sinking into permanent manic depression.
    I watched the recent cup final between the O.F. whilst on holiday in Scotland and had to be held back at the end from jumping off the nearest cliff. Pass, pass, pass….boot up the park - - - pass, pass, pass …bigger boot back up the park.
    This was the top two teams in the league I was watching and the standard was dire. The chasm between the Premier League and the SPL is so great that no instrument has yet been invented with which to measure such gulfs.
    Where are the Baxter’s, Law’s, Dalglish’s, Souness’s, McQueen’s, St. John’s, McClintock’s etc? Players a nation could be proud of.

  • Comment number 39.

    I`m afraid that if there is not some drastic changes to the rules, old firm dominance will remain a fact of life. it`s the old story, it all comes down to money! If I was a Russian billionaire, I would be able to ensure that Fort William would pick up tha European cup! Correct me if I`m wrong, but was there not a game recently where the only Scots players for an SPL team were on the sub`s bench most of the game?

  • Comment number 40.

    Players awards - fair enough, I can understand...

    However Csaba Laszlo HAS to be Manager of the Year. Bottom-six underachievers to the cusp of Europe without spending millions... award the Loverman now!

  • Comment number 41.

    I can understand where the "Depressing" feelings can come from non Old Firm supporters, but let's be realistic here, who's been winning the League for the last 20 years?

  • Comment number 42.

    What do you all expect? - Celtic & Rangers taking turns grabbing the "glory" while the rest of you get braced for a relegation struggle year after year after year. I don't think there's a more predictable league in the world.

  • Comment number 43.

    i honestly do not see much attraction for the spl because of the domination of celtic/rangers, in fact i find it boring. it is definitely NOT good for scottish football whatsoever.

    i think that fifa should impose a law in which the number of overseas players in these clubs is kept to a minimum. also not only should all revenue be shared amongst ALL the spl clubs, i say that for a number of yrs the others clubs should receive more. it has to be evened up somehow, it is plainly ridiculous.

    oh it is fine for fans of celtic/rangers, they know they will be top of the league or thereabouts, i just feel for fans of other clubs having to struggle to get into the top couple of places. lets face it, at the moment most have just about no show. yes, it does occasionally happen, but not very often and it isn't sustained over a few seasons.

  • Comment number 44.

    At least there are 2 Scottish players nominated.

  • Comment number 45.

    I understand your frustration about the OF, but you must also realise that the OF fans are just as disappointed with the fact that you other fans have slowly dragged the OF down to a lower standard.

    Great you say, more chance of winning for us, but the fact is the overall standard is now not much less than rubbish which can be seen by the reaction from Setanda on TV payments. The SPL has a diminishing appeal to the general public outside of the hardened Scottish fan. Is that good? At least in the old days Rangers could create international interest by buying Flo, Laudrupp etc. Now, there's no interest. Is that good for Scottish football?

    My solution is not to drag the top two down, but let the weaker teams try to emulate them and grow. At leaset that way, Scottish football can have some sort of standing in the world football community. Right now it stands just short of zero....

  • Comment number 46.

    if the old firm had left when it was good to go under advocaat and o'neil, the old firm would be taking the english leagues by storm at this moment but we have both been dragged down to a lower standard of players due to the money being branded about.

    i know rangers have strong connections with a number of teams down south eg. chelsea, arsenal, west ham, millwall etc so if we could go down there regularly and make a good impression who knows what the future may bring.

    the credit crunch should hit the premiership sometime and this could be when they look for a new dimension to create more interest and the old firm could be the answer

  • Comment number 47.

    I know its a bit predictable that the award always goes to the old firm but then they are far better. Player of the year should simply be about who the best player in the league has been. And I can't really think of many non old firm players who have genuinely been the best player in the league.

    I thought Hartley should have won it after his last season at Hearts when Nakamura won it. And Im sure that if Barry Robson had stayed at United all of last season he would have won. But really its inevitable the best player will almost always be an old firm player's

  • Comment number 48.

    The Scotland Player of the Year award should be cancelled this year. The standard this season has been truly awful - from every team. However that won't happen so my vote goes to Lee Wilkie.

  • Comment number 49.

    I would have to say 'Doorman' and 'Aguir' would have been agood shout. But i think the four mentioned,for me,have stood out amongst the rest this season.

    Also the comment on Scott Brown getting nominated, and not being worth the money paid for him.Either the 'old firm' nick players from the non old firm clubs for peanuts,or we pay over the top - we can't win!

  • Comment number 50.

    I would personally prefer to see a more 'equal' variety of nominees .. however, the fact is simple - the Old Firm players have been nominated because they have out-performed everyone else ... hence, why Celtic have one cup in the bag (and probably the league on its way too) and likewise Rangers are odds-on favourites to retain the Scottish Cup.

    Players such as Wilkie, Miller/Aluko and Aguiar will and should undoubtdly receive Player of the Year Awards this season, but Club and Fans awards are as far as their merits will stretch.

  • Comment number 51.

    good blog.

    andy dormam has been class this season...

    ... but yet hw won't get an award

  • Comment number 52.

    Where i agree with the point that the old firm shouldn't be singled out, it is more the point that they are 16 points ahead of the 3rd place team with a game in hand and both old firm teams have been average going on woeful this season. Does that say much for the rest of the SPL? I think not!

  • Comment number 53.

    ....as opposed to in England (Europe) where Man United & Chelsea could meet in 3 separate finals this season !! There's been 4 winners of the English premiership (3 if you discount Blackburn's one-off purchase in '95) out of a league of 20 teams. Is the SPL that much worse having 2 winners from 12 !!

    The only way forward for Scottish football is to extend the league to 20 teams, scrap the ridiculous 'split' and share all money equally !

  • Comment number 54.

    The SPL has a diminishing appeal to the general public outside of the hardened Scottish fan. Is that good? At least in the old days Rangers could create international interest by buying Flo, Laudrupp etc. Now, there's no interest. Is that good for Scottish football?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    There is interest from abroad. Nakamura and Mizuno from Japan as one example. And you don't have to spend big bucks to generate that interest.

    On one hand I understand the view about the OF being overly represented in the players awards, but how should it be awarded? For playing in failing teams?

    For example, the blog mentioned Jack Ross. Please excuse my ignorance of his qualities, but would anyone seriously support the player of the year going to someone playing for a team that could be relegated? What positive image would that show about the Scottish game? Your best player in your top league has been relegated!

    The same goes, to a lesser extent, for the other suggested candidates. Hearts are the closest challengers, but are 20 points behind Celtic. 20 points!! They aren't even in the same ball park.

    I know that this award is about the individual player, but the better players tend to win things. Players like Brown, Caldwell, Mendes & Davis can be shown to have contributed to side challenging for honours. Others mentioned have contributed to mid-table mediocrity or relegation.

    Which players would be the better advert for the game?

  • Comment number 55.

    RE; Tottington's point about extending the league to 20 teams.

    Scotland is too small for that. It should be two leagues of no more than 14 teams in each. Play each other twice, split to top and bottom seven and then play six more games. That way, a winter break could be incorporated and teams playing in Europe could have a bit more breathing space.

  • Comment number 56.

    While I concur that there's a stifling Old Firm dominance in these things, I can't agree that Wilkie should have been on the shortlist. I watch United at home every week and I'd say Wilkie was in better form last season, Morgaro Gomis being our most consistent performer this campaign. Wee Gomis might have been worth a shout.

  • Comment number 57.

    It is more than apparent that to be nominated for P.O.Y the most important thing is that the team you turn out for has to be successful before you can be nominated. As I understand it this award is an individual award, as such the success of your team should be unimportant. While I agree that Brown, Caldwell and Davis have been consistant throughout the season none of them have been outstanding and Mendes has not kicked his own a*se since Rangers beat Celtic 4-2 way back in the early part of the season. Once again the Scottish Press has influenced the nominations to such a degree that truly consistant performers are overlooked because they are not headline makers, for me Sasa Papac has been Rangers most consistant player all season but he has not even been mentioned, I'll admit I haven't seen Rangers too often in the flesh this season but from the games I see on t.v. this guy while never truly outstanding, rarely puts a foot wrong. Again with my own side St.Mirren, Andy Dorman is receiving all of the plaudits at the moment and rightly so but he didn't really start the season until November, he struggled to get into the side after being injured in a pre-season match and didn't find his form for the first 3 months of the season, while Jack Ross has played in almost every game and has rarely given a bad performance.

  • Comment number 58.

    Surely even Scottish fans don't care about Scottish football do they?

    What difference does it make who wins the Scottish player of the year? We might as well get excited about the Norwegian or Croatian players' player...............Scots discuss............

  • Comment number 59.

    Sadly, there is no football in Scotland. There is a mindless monopoly which has ruined it for everyone. The SFA should look at ways of correcting the imbalance, such as transfer caps, 80% locally groomed players. When did we last have a Dennis Law, Jim Baxter or a Paddy Crerand? Until there is a level playing field Scottish football has no future.

  • Comment number 60.

    A Bluenose so happy with most choices (why no Boyd though?)
    Do have to ask what Andy Dorman and Stephan Fletcher have to do to be considered though?

  • Comment number 61.

    Surely the other clubs have only themselves to blame as these are the worst Celtic and Rangers teams I have ever had the misfortune to see. English Championship teams would trounce them on a regular basis

  • Comment number 62.

    Let's face it: the SPL is laughable as it is. To actually give awards to players playing in it is laughable.

  • Comment number 63.

    English Championship teams come up to Scotland and regularly get trounced by standard SPL sides pre-season. Lots of money clearly isn't everything or the Championship would be a hell of a lot better than it is.

  • Comment number 64.

    It's not a coincidence that the best players just happen to paly for the most successfull clubs. They two tend to go hand in hand.

  • Comment number 65.

    Do the people on here saying "split all the money equally" honestly think that clubs that attract 60,000 fans to games and sell tonnes of shirts should hand most of this money over to clubs that attract less than 10,000 through the door?

    Do they think that the Old Firm's role should be to look after other, failing clubs, and to have absolutely no ambition to improve their performance in European competition (in the process destroying Scottish clubs' currently not bad European cofficient and erasing everyone's chance of doing okay in Europe) or to try to attract decent foreign players such as Mendes and Nakamura (and never again a Laudrup or Larsson) to the league?

    Do they also think that Raith Rovers, for example, should give most of their gate receipts to Brechin, because they are a bigger club in the same division?

    Or does it just suit them to blame all their clubs' problems on the Old Firm again, and again, and again, until their ridiculous proclamations drown out their fellow fans' legitimate concerns?

  • Comment number 66.

    quote from spency boy "They pay me to watch football and talk football"
    Shouldnt that be "they pay me to watch football and talk pish!, same as my wee pal chico".

  • Comment number 67.

    Lee Wilkie should not only be player of the year but he should be in the Scotland team.

  • Comment number 68.

    For a lesson in how to dine out on one goal all season see Pedro Mendes.

  • Comment number 69.

    Good article Mr Spence and as a Celtic fan I do agree to a certain extent with what you are saying, but I believe the media are partially responsible for the above players not receiving a nomination. Players such as Wilkie don't receive anywhere near the amount of collumn inches which the Celtic and Rangers players get. Is it any surprise that the Scottish footballers don't nominate their peers when even the press rarely sing their justified praises?

 

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