Jim Duffy has seen a fair bit in his career in football – but never anything on the scale of what we’re facing now.
The SPFL is under an indefinite suspension as the world battles a global health pandemic. Nobody knows when Scottish football will start up again or if we’ll even get this season finished.
Many ideas have been mooted and some clubs have made their standings clear. Ann Budge, Hearts owner, for example has already stated she’ll be taking legal action if the Jambos were to be relegated.
Celtic should be crowned champions if the league is done according to manager Neil Lennon. There’s a bit of civil war at the best of times in Scottish football but it has been heightened with the stakes raised massively.
Duffy is one of many SPFL managers left in limbo over this – but we need to stick together. The Dumbarton boss told NTOF: “I’m sure this is going to have a major impact on people because football’s no different to anything else.
“Passion sometimes takes over common sense at times, it’s very unusual circumstances. There’s no way you can keep everyone happy, if you continue to play, someone’s going to be unhappy, if you decide null and void, someone will be unhappy.
“You’ve got the whole legal aspect and there will be enough money lost in this situation without spending millions on lawyers. It’s an impossible situation to deal with. We have to wait until at least another month has passed then reassess it.
“There’s no point jumping to conclusions just now. I’m a wee bit disappointed that some of the people have came out. You’ve got Stewart Robertson at Rangers, Ann Budge at Hearts, coming out and making statements.
“Neil Lennon made a statement earlier on saying if the league finished early they should be crowned champions. Football is way down the pecking order in terms of what’s important just now.
“You’ve got to calm down, take a step back, let it unfold, and then let the governing bodies deal with it. Deep down, I think everyone knows that the safety of everyone is paramount.
“Of course when you’re asked a question, you’ll look to give an answer, but there’s been a lot of high-profile comments made and that’s their views on it. But I think for now we need to see what happens further down the line.”
Duffy has also detailed his thoughts on what could get the season moving ahead with games played. Playing in normal circumstances seems like a distant reality, so if they are to go ahead, compromise will be needed.
The Sons boss has suggested one way to get things going. He reckons that staggering closed door games, should a green light be given, may provide Scottish football with a way to get the season done.
“I think it’s difficult because you’ve got teams who have games in hand,” Duffy explained. “Partick Thistle for example if you finished the season just now would get relegated – but they’ve got a game in hand.
“How do you deal with that? Ultimately that’s unfair, they’ve played less games than other teams. I don’t think you can do that, perhaps if everyone had played the same amount of games.
“For me, if in a few weeks time they said it was ok to play closed doors games, I would do it in blocks. It’s so you’ve not got the same pressure on the emergency services. I’d have two games a night over the period of a week.
“Do it that way because that’s the only way I can see getting the season getting finished. But that would only be if the authorities thought it’d be safe to do so for players and staff.
“The first games I would have played… I would take all the teams who are a game behind, you have one night to get those games done, then at least everyone has played the same amount of games.
“Then I would go in very small blocks. But it must be safe. If you wait on the ‘green light,’ I don’t think there’s anyway possible in the next few months.”