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GAME OFF. Sadly today’s game has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
In the last few weeks in Scottish football, these two messages have appeared more and more across our game from the Premiership to the Juniors as another long winter takes its toll.
No fan wants to see games off and it’s been argued many times over the years by a variety of people – journalists, football executives and broadcasters – that a move to summer football in Scotland would make the most sense for the game in Scotland and especially the fans.
I understand both views and I’ve tried to assess both arguments – for and against – as honestly as I can.
In favour of summer, it could be argued that such a move would take away the host of bitterly cold December and January games dominated by howling wind and rain. However; this is Scotland and in March and April those bitterly cold days dominated by howling wind and rain may still ruin many a game like we’ve seen recently.
Another argument is that a move to summer football may attract younger fans as they’d be more likely to vacate their Play-stations and Xbox’s for a live game provided they wouldn’t be soaked to the bone as part of the experience. Again, this argument has some degree of sense but it could be countered by more sensible ticket pricing for parents with children to encourage a younger generation of fan to experience Scottish football without the need for a change of schedule.
Those against summer football have argued that it would belittle our game to be playing at the same time as major tournaments like the European championships and the World Cup. This argument would present issues for sides with a range of international players but it could be argued that this issue already exists when Scottish teams play early European qualifiers and that it wouldn’t cause the chaos many have forecast in the past.
Another argument against summer football is tradition. In Scotland (and the UK in general) the Christmas football calendar is legendary with Boxing Day and the festive period traditionally being a feast for football. I must say as a fan I love nothing more than finishing work for Christmas and being able to feast on a variety of football from derby matches to lower league games with games aplenty.
It is this argument that I think many fans would resonate with as the tradition of our football calendar has long been engrained and any change to it after all of these years would be a monumental change for many and arguably a change too many.
To conclude, the notion of summer football never seems to gather much momentum here in Scotland and even though this winter has been particularly grim and robbed us of many a game so far, I doubt it’ll gather much momentum this time either – whether that is sensible or not – as we are creatures of habit when it comes to football.