Part-time route may be prudent for Scotland's clubs
The news that Hearts midfielder Ian Black is working on the side as a painter and decorator might be a portent of things to come in Scottish football.
While Black's situation arises through circumstances forced upon him, it got me wondering whether our game would be any worse off if we adopted the part-time approach as a model.
With St Johnstone attracting just 1607 fans to their game against Aberdeen, there must be real concerns about where our national game is headed.
Yes, I know that the conditions were shocking, but if people are not prepared to turn out in such weather and we keep refusing to play in the summer, then crowds seem likely to continue to decline.
Can our game go on sustaining full-time players among the 20 or so clubs who currently operate on that basis?
Might the mix of part-time and full-time, similar to the Raith Rovers approach, might be better suited to the modern economics of the Scottish game.
When Gothenburg beat Dundee United in the final of the Uefa Cup, it was reported that the Swedish players all held down jobs outside football.
Might it not be better if many of our clubs and players could operate an arrangement with employers whereby they trained in the morning and worked another job in the afternoon for instance.
The world of work has changed for a great many people, but not for football.
Maybe it's time that the game embraced a new order and accepted that full-time football for the many is simply unviable.
There are players at some clubs, mainly but not exclusively in the First Division, who would be financially better off making decent part-time wage from football, while doing another job which would give them some kind of security, in the very insecure world of Scottish football.
The former St Johnstone chairman Geoff Brown once told me that he had far fewer injuries with players when Saints were a part-time club.
He attributed it to players having other jobs such as roofers or joiners, where they had a different type of daily fitness.
As they went about their day jobs, they worked off the strains and pulls picked up on the park.
And just as importantly he said, they didn't have the time to think about their injuries and woes.
At the very top level, football will always be full-time.
But there is a case that is growing stronger for more and more clubs to see the benefits of turning part-time.