The term ‘Armageddon’ will be familiar to most football supporters in Scotland since June 2012. It was one used by most of the main stream media (MSM) through television, radio and red top publications following the announcement that ‘oldco’ Rangers would be playing football in Scotland’s fourth tier this season.
My workplace, like many others up and down the country was full of everyone expressing their opinion on the future of the Scottish game given this major development. Other pending concerns were the competition in all four leagues, though mainly within the SPL and what kind of standard we could expect this season. Where would the challenges to Celtic for the SPL title come from? Based on last season you would expect the likes of Hearts, Motherwell, and Dundee United to build on last season’s form, plus there would surely be better to come from Aberdeen and Hibs who had traded wisely in the transfer market over the summer. One thing’s for sure, it would be more competitive especially with the incentive for other clubs to challenge for the European places.
The First Division would prove as competitive as ever with relegated Dunfermline looking to bounce back at the first attempt under the guidance of Jim Jeffries, plus there would be a significant challenge from Livingston, Partick Thisle, Falkirk and Morton.
Queen of the South and Ayr United would be favourites for the Second Division though recently promoted Alloa Athletic may have a say in this! In the Third Division, the new Rangers would surely have too much for the all part time club league? If anything there is healthy, open competition in all the leagues and this is surely a good thing for the Scottish game?
Over the coming days the subject matter changed to away games, attendances, pricing and value for money. Some of us shared experiences and reminisced about old games before someone posed the question, “how many grounds have you visited?”. Some of the younger lads had been to 20+ which I was surprised at, and was horrified to personally tally up the lowly figure of 16. I am though not including grounds that are no longer with us like Love Street, Muirton Park, Douglas Park, Boghead and Kilbowie!
I then discussed the subject with a few close footballing friends of mine and again we compared grounds visited. We considered the possibility of choosing the odd game outwith following our own teams. It would be a change of scenery, a notch on the list of completing ‘the 42’ and an opportunity to put money into the Scottish game and assess if our game really is facing ‘Armageddon’.
We considered fixtures and the first leg of ‘the tour’ would kick off on the 15th Sptember 2012 when we travelled through to Fife to take in Cowdenbeath and Morton……..