When part-time football is the sensible option
With dire warnings that finances in the game are getting tighter, how much longer can Scottish football sustain a full-time game outside of the SPL?
With Airdrie United's relegation to the Second Division meaning the introduction of part-time football for the Diamonds, has the time for clubs in the First Division to bite the bullet and accept that full-time football is simply not viable on current crowds and income?
St Johnstone chairman Geoff Brown has long advocated that having full-time clubs outside of the SPL doesn't add up.
Clyde director of football Neil Watt recently criticised players who complained that they couldn't live off the wages paid by part-time clubs like his own.
Watt described players unwilling to find additional employment as "lazy".
Have we convinced ourselves in Scotland that players have to be full-time at their sport to be any good?
And just what is full-time anyway. How many hours a week qualifies?
In the Scandinavian countries there has been in the past a healthy acceptance that young players should learn a trade or profession to combine with their football. This gives them the ability to earn an income independent of football.
The Gothenburg side that defeated Dundee United in the 1987 Uefa Cup final was a part-time one, with players mixing day jobs and their football.
But the lifestyle mentality involved in claiming to be a full-time player despite earning in many cases a very low wage, and putting in a fairly short working week still has a hold on many players.
Rather than accept that combining a good day job with their football would make much more sense to them and the club, some players persist in deluding themselves.
Clubs will have to accept that the inevitable consequences of tighter finances must mean a move to part-time football.
Good dedicated part-time players, who also spend a couple days keeping fit away from the club, prove currently at a lower level that decent standards of fitness and ability can be maintained.
Perhaps it's time to stop buying into the illusion that the full-time game is the only one that counts.