Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Scottish Football and Independence

At some point in the not too distant future the seemingly never ending round of discussions on the ifs, buts and polls are going to turn into the real thing.

The SNP government in Scotland will unleash the referendum campaign proper.

The Scottish Football Blog has its own views on Scottish independence.

And, for now, I'm going to keep those views to myself.

But I am interested to know how the referendum and the prospect of a referendum will affect the national sport.

It might, of course, have no impact whatsover.

The SNP's "pocket guide to independence" booklet appears not to carry any mention of sport. That strikes me as a notable omission.

What of the ninety minute nationalist? Has that phenomenon faded away with the muting of the Hampden roar?

Or could the 2014 World Cup still influence a referendum campaign the way, as is often persuasively argued, the ill-fated 1978 World Cup experience influenced the devolution referendum of 1979?

Could Craig Levein's qualification dossier hold the key to unlocking Scotland's political destiny? Could Mr Levein still prove himself an unlikely "Father of the Nation"?

Scottish football has problems. Solving those problems requires clear thinking and a long term commitment to change.

It also requires money. And that means funding, particularly of local, grassroots projects.

Would independence close existing sources of funding? Would it open up others?

There are far bigger reasons than fitba' for people to get engaged with the debate on independence.

There are far more pressing issues for politicians on both sides of the coming campaign to be grilled on.

But football continues to play a part in Scottish society. Perhaps not always a positive part, but the game has made a rich contribution to society and, to some extent, the modern idea of "Scottish-ness."

That means some discussion of football deserves to be framed within the context of the wider referendum debate.

To make some small contribution to that I'll offer the Scottish Football Blog as a platform to all sides of the Yes/No/(Devo Max)Maybe argument.

Whatever your affiliations, whatever your views and whatever you want to write (within the confines of good taste and legality) share your views on how the result of the independence referendum will harm/help/barely impact Scottish football.

We know that the referendum will be held in the second half of this parliament.

So hopefully this can become a regular (or at least semi-regular) theme in the run up to, and during, the referendum campaign.

Use the contact page or email to get in touch and share your views.

You can still donate to the Scottish Football Blog Blogathon