Thursday, March 24, 2011

Brechin City: A Question For Neil Doncaster

Tuesday night saw the end of Brechin City's cup run with a 1-0 defeat in a quarter final replay against St Johnstone.

So the chance to patronise the underdog in a semi-final is gone. It might now be St Johnstone's lot to fill that role if they face Dundee United for the chance to reach their first ever Scottish Cup final.

Cup shocks tend to be quite thin on the ground in the Scottish Cup, the pond being too small, the big fish too big.

They do happen though. Trust me, I'm a Hibs fan.

And they add to the colour of the game. That Brechin are managed by Jim Weir, Mr St Johnstone himself, provided the ideal narrative for the quarter final clash.

But watching snippets of St Johnstone's win I found myself asking questions of SPL supremo Neil Doncaster, the Marie Antoinette of Scottish football.

Brechin are currently lying in third place in the Second Division. That's 25th out of Scotland's 42 senior clubs.

That would mean no place for them in the two tier, 22 team SPL of Doncaster's dreams.

Where would that leave them and others like them?

Neil Doncaster's official response to such questions seems to be along the lines of:

"It'll be great for them we'll sort it so they mumble, mumble, bzzzz, bzzzz, do something."

The truth is we don't know. But we can guess that Doncaster's aim is to make the rich richer, the slightly less rich a bit richer and the poor can go hang.

Which means the romance of the cup would be further diluted, clubs like Brechin would be further threatened.

And that would be a shame.

It's a concern that, at the very least, deserves better answers than have so far been forthcoming.

Edit: a quick change to the second paragraph. Thanks to @markpross for pointing out that Dundee United are by no means in the semi final of the cup yet.