I suspect Mr Desmond and Mr Murray can afford decent lawyers who will be arguing pretty much the same thing. There seems to be a consensus view that this will happen sooner or later, but that there’ll be a lot of squabbling until it does, and that will stop it happening this year. The Scottish boycott isn’t planned to begin until the 2004-05 season anyway. I’ll believe it when I see it, but do expect to see it.
However, the (English) Football League have shown a remarkable naivity over the ITV Digital fiasco already - two contracts with the TV companies instead of one, one contract signed by all parties, the other not, the one not signed tying Carlton and Granada to the Digital liabilities etc. etc. It all looks like the parties to these decisions are motivated by greed over all things without any regard for common sense, the dangers of haste, or even legal probity. So you might as well flip a coin as try to make a prediction based on logic.
Of all those that are in a position to decide one way or the other, the people who want it to happen are out to make money, the ones who don’t want it are trying to keep the money, and the ones who spend the most on lawyers and on palm greasing will win, it’s as simple as that.
Nevertheless, Sky Sports have confirmed the Football League’s denial of The Observer article. The security issue and time are the reasons cited, which do make sense.
Interestingly the BBC have released a less frosty than usual statement from UEFA:
But it also leaves open the matter of qualification for European competitions. Which/how many teams from a reduced Scottish League would qualify? Would Celtic and Rangers be treated as Scottish qualifiers from an English league?
There’s still plenty of mileage left in this argument. Keep your eyes peeled for any outcome from Thursday’s meeting at the EFL.