There might be few better ambassadors for Scottish soccer compared to Steven Gerrard. The former Liverpool player has star appeal, something which has helped draw curious eyes from all over the world to our match after his appointment at Rangers. Since he continues to enhance his reputation as a manager that was inventive and shrewd, he has spoken warmly and with humility about football, its characters and clubs. There has never been any indication that any of this is beneath a person with over 100 England caps and a cupboard full of bar honours. So when Gerrard discussed about the possibility of Celtic and Rangers one day moving to England he would have done so with the best of intentions. Just like a parent showing off about a youngster’s latest accomplishments, Gerrard was evidently eager to tell old pal Jamie Carragher concerning the Firm’s power.”The atmosphere at Celtic Park and Rangers is the scale off,” he said. “it is a unique experience for a fan, for a participant, to go and coach there.”That’s the sort of glowing endorsement the SPFL ought to be raising and plastering all within their marketing material. The league’s governing body, but might have been less keen on Gerrard’s suggestion that Celtic and Rangers — and, let us be fair, it might realistically only be that pair — should join the Premier League to”save and help the Scottish game much”.Again, Gerrard’s goals were no doubt good. A figure saying Scottish teams would make the English league is a line that is nice. But it’s tough to see how losing the two clubs in the nation would be anything aside from catastrophic. It would provide a level playing field for also an unparalleled opportunity for many and all those left behind to turn into champions.
However, short of the Firm challenge, any name win would feel like a hollow success attained in conditions that are artificial. Clubs would suffer financially broadcasters would eliminate interest, and patrons would begin to drift off. The SPFL would become the BDO darts of world football. Gerrard’s comments, however play that our game needs saving and soccer ought to be the ones. But there is little evidence that that is how it is. After a period spent failing and trying to reshape our league to make it a mirror image in miniature of the English game — renaming our four branches with the titles football has found its own identity in recent seasons. Turning our back on the English obsession with wealth, spending and being the greatest in all, the SPFL have rather focused on speaking up their traits; specifically being down-to-earth, real, accessible and in song for the most part with all the supporters. There are enough stories to tell up here with no need to always be looking across the edge and trying to mimic anything is occurring in the English game. And that shift in attitude is one that has been adopted by followers of football. The English and European elite will always hold a charm but there’s also an endorsement that our game can not compete at that level and should give up on attempting to do so. These days a sense of pride doesn’t stem from how much your club splurges on a star striker but from how many children are making it through to the first team from the youth academy, the largely good-natured banter between rival fans along with the matchday experience of supporting your regional team. There are few pretending that the quality is as great as what’s available down the street but there is. Crowds are up, interest is large and there’s a constant stream of storylines, driven by figures like Gerrard who supply captivating content. Scottish football can not afford to get rid of the Old Firm but neither does it deserve to be seen as a damsel in distress. Gerrard meant but he had been wide of the mark. As it is our game is performing fine.