Hearts shouldn’t be relegated this, Celtic should get the title that. It’s a narrative and debate blasted from every corner of Scottish football over this past week.
This is the first installment in a series of columns I’ll try and keep on top of whilst Scottish football is suspended and the world battles a global health pandemic. I don’t claim to be a medical expert and I certainly don’t have a magic wand to grant the wishes Hearts, Celtic, Dundee United and many other clubs will have.
But I do know one thing – there are bigger things to worry about than titles and relegation right now.
AVOID PUBLIC SPACES – PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING
Celtic, Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers will eventually have their title decisions. Hearts, Partick Thistle, Stranraer and Brechin City will eventually have their relegation fears realised or eased.
But that can’t and should not be the focal point of our discussion. Scottish football will not resume until April 30 at the earliest, but let’s be honest, it’s more than likely going to be August.
What we must do in the coming weeks and months is instead take heed of the warning signs and brace for impact. The devastation seen so close to us in Europe, whether it be Italy, Spain, Germany or France shows the grave danger we face.
Already tens of thousands in Britain are said to have Covid-19. Draconian measures not seen in our lifetime are being brought in, businesses are worrying about their futures, an economy stands on the brink and a national health service is almost overwhelmed.
But despite this, many seem unwilling to take notice of the warning signs. A pretty stark news piece showed the devastation of the disease in an Italian hospital recently and the chaos unfolding within it.
Yet many in Scotland and the UK believe this is some sort of extended holiday, flocking to the parks and packing out different areas because a crack of sunshine peeked out from the clouds.
I was disappointed to see my own local Strathclyde Park filled with people today. We have been told repeatedly over the last week to avoid public spaces and schools, pubs, bars, restaurants, the lot, have been shut as a consequence.
What is it going to take for some people to realise we’re hurtling into a storm that will likely wipe out thousands of UK citizens? Hell, those who have gone to the parks over this weekend have likely added to that toll. Already, the global death tally stands at almost 13,000. That number will sky-rocket.
That all sounds dramatic, using hyperbole to its greatest extreme – but it really isn’t. This disease is highly infectious and we all must start practicing social distancing NOW or face severe, severe ramifications.
It’s why many of our beloved Scottish football stadiums lie empty for the time being – for the common good. We all love the twists, turns, dramatic storylines and the patter SPFL action brings with it.
Instead of arguing about relegation and titles, teams like Hearts, Celtic, Aberdeen, every team in Scotland for that matter, should use their platform to promote the government guidelines of virus safety. Yes everyone will have their own problems to deal with, but a message of advice from clubs can go a long way to even getting one more person to adhere to government advice.
Who knows when Scottish football will make it’s return and I haste it back. But when the nation’s teetering on the edge of oblivion, there are bigger issues at hand.