Yesterday’s announcements from Holyrood and Westminster followed by television appearances from the two leaders made for grim news throughout the four nations.
Back in March we had a little idea that a sort of lockdown was coming, initially for three weeks as we entered a phase that we were to hear a lot about- unprecedented times.
Football naturally was a victim, the Scottish football authorities pre-empted the Scottish Government when they called off the weekend games in Friday the Thirteenth. Holyrood wanted to hold back for three more days to allow another 50,000 full house inside of Ibrox.
Following that we had the saga of deciding the 2019/20 season, the winners and losers with the clubs relegated making an awful lot of noise, or point scoring to their fans to deflect from their own failings.
At the start of August we got competitive football back, played behind closed doors. There was an expectation that some fans would return in September and perhaps stadiums would be at half capacity by Christmas with a range of social distancing rules in place.
To date 600 fans have watched SPFL Premiership football live this season. Every news outlet today is warning of the dire consequences for the game with the threat of six months without fans hovering above. It is debatable how many clubs will still be around in March following a year without live attendances.
The Aberdeen Eight and Boli Bolingoli didn’t do the game any favors but there has been breaches in every walk of life.
After Nichola Sturgeon’s yellow card warning the game has been walking on egg shells. Three fixtures were postponed out of vindictiveness.
The Scottish Government has overall had a decent pandemic, certainly compared to the incumbent in Downing Street but they certainly aren’t without their flaws and failings.
Jason Leitch has enjoyed more than 15 minutes of fame, justifying the egg-chasers being allowed to continue after some of their younger players attended a house party and tested positive left his arguments flawed.
When it came to exam results the Scottish Government drove forward with their ideology but as post code reality hit home to teenagers a rebellion brewed. Different pupils took to social media, the backlash grew and the Government performed a u-turn as they discovered the extent of the anger. Admitting mistakes became trendy.
This weekend thousands will decide on the day to visit the Parkhead Forge, no one will be allowed inside Celtic Park to watch the game with Hibs on Sunday. There is far more risk at the Forge, Braehead or Silverburn.
Pubs across the country will be open, relying on trust between customers and owners until 10pm then they have to move on elsewhere. Pubs will show football matches live to attract extra custom.
Ian Maxwell and Neil Doncaster have a long history of showing a complete lack of leadership, at this moment Scottish football is crying out for a leader rather than a diluted politician congratulating himself on not answering the questions when they make their highly selective media appearances. The same criticism can be applied to Peter Lawwell.
Although there are a few fan groups around none really have a profile or voice.
Scottish football needs someone to emerge like the school students who were wronged by results based on their post-code. With the internal squabbling that is so closely associated with the game it probably requires a lower league figure to stand up and tell the Scottish Government that they have got it wrong.
Outside of Tynecastle every club in the three lower leagues could allow every season ticket holder into their matches, hospitality could be laid on with the same safeguards as there is in pubs and restaurants within a mile of the centre spot.
A leader is needed, a voice to be heard. Is there anyone out there to save the game from another six month hibernation that is certain to kill off many well run, long established clubs.