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Scottish Premiership 22/23 season start

Stand Free!

Tam Cowan is right.


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Sorry if posted before.


Romance of cup? Even a semi wouldn't excite us

By Tam Cowan on Mar 13, 10 06:53 AM in

There's no need to dig out the ouija board and try to make contact with the late, great Sir Bob Crampsey to know history was made last weekend at New Douglas Park.

Unless I'm very much mistaken, surely this was the first time in Scottish football that the attendance at an Aberdeen game was lower than every single crowd in the First Division? Yep, despite the fact Dons boss Mark McGhee selected sensational world-beater Sone Aluko (he got subbed in the second half, incidentally), the punters who could be bothered turning up for the Hamilton match amounted to a paltry 2030.


That was less than Ayr v Morton (2145), Dundee v Inverness (4974), Dunfermline v Airdrie (2252), QoS v Partick Th (2674) and even Ross County v Raith (2033).


There were just 234 long-suffering Aberdeen diehards in the away end (remember how they used to pack out every stadium in the country?) I think it's fair to say the alarm bells are most definitely ringing.


And, at the risk of making the Grim Reaper sound like one of the Chuckle Brothers, I reckon the death knell has been sounded for the whole of Scottish football.


The game's a bogey. The baw's burst. RIP Scottish football.


My own mob's match on Tuesday was, sadly, a great example of the worrying state of the sport in this country.


Even though we had gone 10 matches unbeaten (with just two goals conceded) and were challenging for European football (and, who knows, perhaps even second spot in the SPL), Motherwell travelled to Paisley with just 590 fans in tow.


At the other end of the ground the St Mirren crowd (if you can call it a crowd) was just over 2500.


Considering they're in next week's CIS Cup Final and, of course, needing every available bit of support to help them steer clear of the dreaded drop, you have to say that's a shocking figure.


So why was the total attendance at St Mirren Park just 3154? With both teams having so much to play for, I reckon this game should be used as a case study by Henry McLeish who is apparently finalising his report on why Scottish football is in the grubber.


Well, for a start, it was too dear. My ticket cost £20 and, based on the entertainment value provided by both sets of players (St Mirren goalie Paul Gallacher didn't have one save to make in the entire 90 minutes), I'd have to say that's a total rip-off.


If the price didn't prevent fans from flocking to St Mirren Park, the Champions League football on the telly almost certainly had some part to play.


How many St Mirren and Motherwell fans who toyed with the idea of going to the game elected to watch the excellent Arsenal v Porto tie in the pub and spent the admission money on a nice wee bevvy? (Incidentally, what's the name of the sport that Arsenal were playing in midweek? It certainly wasn't what we in Scotland call football.) The saturation coverage of televised football is ruining the game and you only need to look at this weekend's Scottish Cup quarter-finals to know exactly what I'm talking about.


Kilmarnock v Celtic should have been a special occasion for both sets of fans - a great day out with a beer or four before hitting Rugby Park at 3pm - but they've totally killed it with a midday kick-off to suit Sky Sports.


And what about tomorrow's tie between Rangers and Dundee United starting on BBC2 at the ridiculous time of 12.05pm? Hands up if you're even normally out of your scratcher at that time on a Sunday? It would appear the message to both sets of fans is: Don't bother coming to the game, just lie on the couch and watch it on telly.


The romance of the Scottish Cup? Aye, right. Punters this weekend are struggling to get excited at the prospect of a semi.




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