This week we have seen 9,000 at Firhill, the biggest crowd there in decades. It was a nice night, no local competition and the game mattered – three essential ingredients. Summer football for the level below the full-time would provide at least two of those for 2-3 months of the season.
My own position on summer football has moved. I used to be set against it, principally because we recruit international players and would be impacted by World Cups and Euro’s more than the likes of Aberdeen, Hibs Hearts etc, but I have warmed to the idea – I don’t believe there isn’t a solution to that problem but still have concerns that there could be an issue when recruiting international players, even if there is a solution to the fixture clashes issue. But the top clubs aren’t discussing this the issues are some way off, leaving the door open to the lesser clubs.
If we concentrate on a “professional elite” of circa 26 clubs as identified yesterday then we owe it to the community based clubs to find ways to cushion the blow of funding withdrawal – summer football would surely be such a route. I for one have RFC friends with whom I’d love to go to the odd game with, and sit next to supporting the same side and I’m sure many supporters of different clubs across the country would feel the same. I’d regionalize it too although one change at a time seems to be the way to go for our game.