Defence of the Scottish League I am writing this article with two chips on each shoulder, about Scottish football. I support Aberdeen, and Inverness, and I am fed up with the number of put downs that supporters of the English League say about the Scottish League. Here are criticisms people say about the Scottish League. 1. My Grandmother could play in the Scottish League. I am not ageist, but there is no way a 60 year old could play in the Scottish League system. Could you imagine a sixty year old, being signed to play for Celtic and scoring a hat rick against Ross County? Impossible. Football in Scotland is too high a standard. 2. Even I could play for Celtic and Rangers. These are massive football clubs paying their players many thousands of pounds a week. Yet you are suggesting any random individual could easily play for the Old Firm. But you have turned it down to earn for less money. What a loaf of old bread. It is as ludicrous as me saying I could play for Chelsea, but I decided to turn the huge wages down because I cannot be bothered. 3. When Manchester United or Liverpool beat a Scottish team in Europe, that means every team in the entire English League system could beat any team in the Scottish League. I suggested we should have a British Cup between Scottish Premier sides, and English League One teams. One person replied that it would be too easy because Manchester United had beaten Glasgow Rangers a few years ago. He thought the top team in England beating the top Scottish side proved every English side would beat every Scottish side. Well that is as nonsensical as a left handed screwdriver. It is like me saying when Aberdeen beat Real Madrid in the 1983 Cup Winners Cup final, that as Brora are Scottish, they would also beat Real Madrid even though Brora were playing in the Highland League at the time. Or when Celtic beat Man Utd in the Champions League group stages, that would also mean Brechin City would beat them too. 4. The Scottish League is a pub league. What on Earth is a pub league? Is it a league where everyone meets at a pub gets drunk, and then plays a game off their heads on scotch whisky, champagne, Prosecco, Cornish cider, and Guinness? If so, there is no way teams like that could beat Aberdeen, or Dundee United. Celtic gets 60,000 fans. Rangers get 50,000. Aberdeen get 14,000, Hearts get 18,000. Hibs get 15,000. How on Earth, is that a pub league? Every team in the Scottish Premier is full time, with a stadium capable of holding thousands. Are you saying your pub has a 60,000 all-seater stadium paying their players to play for them. Nonsense. I think you have been on the whisky too long. Even the lowest attendance club in the Scottish Premier are getting crowds approaching 2,000. Yet if you say English League Two clubs, are pub teams, you get told League Two is real football. 5. There are only two clubs in Scotland. Under what classification is that? If Scotland only has two clubs because Scotland has just two sides with over 40,000 fans a game. On that basis there are only a dozen clubs in England, and all the other clubs are not real clubs. 6. There are only 5 or 6 clubs in the Scottish League. A variant of the last claim. But under this logic, only clubs getting attendances, above 10,000 are the only real clubs. The other clubs are just diddy teams. So does that mean the tonnes of clubs in the English League One, League Two and Conference, getting under 10,000 crowds are not real clubs? There are about 20 clubs in Scotland that can pay professional wages, when they get promoted to the Scottish Premier. And the logic is wrong anyway. All clubs from the Highland and Lowland League to the Premier are real club sides. You do not have to be full time club, to be a real club. 7. The problem with the Scottish, and Welsh Leagues is that, there is nowhere to go. There is nowhere to go in the English League on that basis. Once you win it, you do not get promoted. I do not remember Man Utd getting promoted to the World League, or the Martian Under 23 League, after they won 3 English titles in a row under Alex Ferguson? The English League is not the only league that counts. We take our league seriously, even if you do not. Scottish clubs get to qualify for Europe, so there is somewhere to go, and if they fail, they fail. No one says when an English club fail in Europe that proves the English League is pointless, and that all big English clubs should join La Liga, or Serie A. 8. People who say the Old Firm should join the English League, or that the leagues should merge. Asking for the Scottish League to merge with the English League, but adding the proviso that all the Scottish clubs have to start at the bottom, or near the bottom of the pyramid, because lots of English clubs do not get put in the top division. Is not a fair merger. When leagues merge there should be equal treatment, with representation of Scottish clubs in the Premier, Championship, League One and League Two proportionate to the population. But I don’t want a league merger, as we would miss out on European football, and would destroy 100 years of football identity. The trophies Scottish sides had won would suddenly be given the status of non league trophies, while all English trophies would get seen as forerunners of British League trophies. I would love Scottish, Welsh, English, and Northern Irish clubs to keep their own league, but to have more cross border cups. Such as a return of the Anglo Scottish Cup, or a British and Irish Cup. If the English seriously want to help us, then instead of putting our leagues down, and asking to annex our leagues, or stealing our biggest sides. You should instead have more cross border cups with clubs from our leagues, while still allowing the Scottish, Irish and Welsh clubs to play in their own leagues and qualify for Europe. What we need is a system which allows the Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish leagues and the League of Ireland to reach their true potential. The ball is in the English court.