The situation Scottish football finds itself in is a real head-scratcher.
How can one club hold the balance of power over the game in this country?
How can one club attempt to single-handedly shape the future? But between them the SPFL and Dundee have created this situation.
The Dens Park outfit didn’t vote on last week’s proposal to end the Championship, League One and League Two campaigns.
The Dee have held off in what appears to be a bid to force league reconstruction or to give time to come up with another resolution.
The SPFL didn’t help matters by revealing clubs weren’t obliged to vote on their plan by 5pm on Friday after all, and could actually consider the proposal for 28 days.
But given everyone else voted it doesn’t seem right or fair that Dundee have been able to stall the process.
What baffles me is why they have taken this approach? The SPFL stated if last week’s proposal was passed there would be the opportunity to explore reconstruction.
The most likely option seems to be to have no relegation this term and promote the top two in the Championship, League One and League Two, with Highland League champions Brora Rangers and Lowland League leaders Kelty Hearts also stepping up.
That would create a 14-team Premiership and three divisions of 10 below – even if that occurred, Dundee still wouldn’t be promoted because they’re third in the Championship.
Reconstruction is also unlikely because of the voting structure to approve it. Eleven Premiership teams need to be in favour of it.
It’s hard to see Celtic and Rangers agreeing to an enlarged top flight when it may endanger having four derbies per season – something that, like it or not, is also the cornerstone of the new broadcast deal with Sky.
When you stack all that up, what Dundee have done still doesn’t seem to make sense. Dens Park chief John Nelms certainly has some explaining to do.
When it comes to the SPFL’s proposal everyone is in agreement that the ideal situation would be to finish the season.
However, among many there doesn’t seem to be a realisation that for that to happen the next campaign will need to be significantly restructured.
At present there will be no football before June 10. Even if clubs are allowed to resume training then, the lengthy lay-off means squads will effectively require a pre-season, and games couldn’t resume until mid-July.
That is also potentially an optimistic timeline. Peterhead manager Jim McInally gave his take on how to finish the season earlier in the week and believes it’s more realistic to plan for games potentially restarting in August.
If that’s the case you’re looking at potentially the end of September before the 2019-20 campaign is completed which would mean the schedule for 2020-21 would need to be significantly tweaked.
It could be done and I’d like to see it happen, but would the clubs and SPFL manage to agree on it?
If not, there is merit in the SPFL’s proposal, although it would be harsh on the likes of Hearts and Partick Thistle to be relegated in such circumstances and for Falkirk to miss out on a potential promotion.
Unless something could be agreed along similar lines to McInally’s idea then the only option is to end the season as the SPFL suggest.