Scottish football received some good news this week, which could make a big difference to how clubs recover from the coronavirus crisis.
Firstly, philanthropist James Anderson has come forward and appears willing to donate a seven-figure sum to help Scottish clubs survive.
If the deal happens, for some clubs this could be the lifeline they need to stay afloat and for many it may allow them to afford the testing required to restart sooner and potentially play behind closed doors.
It seems like there are no strings attached to Anderson’s offer.
I know he has previously put cash into Hearts and some people were concerned he may have wanted reconstruction forced through to keep the Jambos in the Premiership before handing over his money.
That doesn’t appear to be the case and the Edinburgh-based financier deserves huge credit because there is no real reason for him to come in and assist Scottish football.
But if the deal is completed his generosity will be gratefully received.
There is still work to do to ensure clubs are able to start playing again in a safe environment.
However, the potential cash injection from Anderson can make that process easier.
The other piece of good news is the agreement that’s been struck with Sky to allow Premiership clubs to stream closed-door games to season-ticket holders.
A couple of weeks ago I called on Sky to help Scottish football – and they have delivered on a couple of counts.
Firstly, if they had put the block on clubs streaming games to season-ticket holders, then it could have led to supporters looking for refunds on next season’s briefs.
It could be 2021 before fans are allowed back into stadiums. If supporters weren’t able to watch the closed-door games at home, many would have been questioning what value they were getting from their season ticket and looking for their money back.
Secondly, Sky lost out on eight live games with the 2019-20 season being cut short.
It’s been reported they are going to be refunded to the tune of £1.5 million over the next five years.
Sky could have demanded more or asked for their refund up front, which could have crippled Scottish football.
Thankfully, they have been reasonable to deal with in these challenging times.
The support of both Anderson and Sky could be critical in the long-term recovery of Scottish football.
14-team top-flight worth considering
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster has asked Premiership and Championship clubs if they would be open to a 14-team top flight for five years.
It seems unlikely this development will receive the required support – however, having a larger Premiership over five years seems more reasonable.
Smaller teams feel two years saves Hearts and then increases their own chances of relegation in a couple of years.
Will Hayes wing his way back to Aberdeen?
If Aberdeen can come up with some sort of offer to Jonny Hayes, they need to go for it, because bringing him back to Pittodrie would be a tremendous signing.
Getting the Irishman back in a red shirt may be challenging because of the financial impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the club.
However, they haven’t totally ruled it out and hopefully the Dons can make something happen.
At 32, Hayes is closer to the end of his career than the start – but he’s still got at least three or four more good years left in him and could still add so much to Aberdeen.
The former Inverness Caley Thistle and Celtic winger has an excellent attitude and work-rate as well as loads of ability on the ball.
Hayes enjoyed his first spell in the Granite City and left Pittodrie on good terms.
He didn’t walk away from the club for nothing – he had signed a new contract and the Reds received in excess of £1 million when he signed on at Celtic Park three years ago.
It will be hard for Aberdeen to put a deal together – but they must try.
Hayes is a player who can win games on his own.
His positive attitude and commitment are good for the dressing room because that rubs off on others.