The season is over, but the drama has only begun. Although the next few weeks/months will be filled with some uncertainty and confusion for supporters of all clubs, I can assure you that we at Ayr United will do our best to represent the club and all of Scottish Football to the best of our abilities.
The league ending vote was a very stressful event for a lot of clubs and no one wanted to end the season this way. However, it is/was obviously unreasonable to expect the season to be finished with the 36 games played as there is no way we would have been able to complete before running into contract problems etc.
The best and fairest solution then, would have been to make the season null and void and we would all restart from the beginning whenever we were allowed. It was made clear to the clubs though that this was not possible as it would create potential issues with sponsors and affiliates.
The unseemly result was the decision to declare the season complete with the teams at the top gaining promotion and the teams at the bottom of the Premiership, Championship and league one suffering relegation. It was obviously not ideal and has many flaws, however, it was the best that could be expected given the scenario which is why we grudgingly voted yes. The idea of dragging this out further and withholding money from all of the clubs was unacceptable and surely would have led to some clubs collapsing.
None of this should take away from the accomplishment by Ayr United of finishing in fourth position for the second year in a row. Congratulations are in order for Mark Kerr and his staff, players, all employees, the Academy and of course, our supporters. I’m very pleased for all of us who have a vested interest in the exploits of Ayr United FC and I’m looking forward to shaking off the Coronavirus haze hanging over all of us and seeing what we can achieve next season.
Speaking of next season, I along with multiple representatives of football in Scotland have been appointed to the league reconstruction task force committee. I am pleased to have been selected and I look forward to helping where I can. Historically, I have been fairly vocal in my beliefs on what the league structure should be and although I don’t expect that to change, I will be going into this with a long term view on how the leagues should be reconstructed and not just what kind band aid we could use to cover this seasons wounds.
I don’t yet know what the specific objectives are of the task force and I’m not clear on what time frame we are working on yet. Even though I think I know how this will work, I am not fully aware of what the exact procedures/voting structure would be involved with any reconstruction. I look forward to finding out on Monday. I won’t be saying much more on this until after the reconstruction group finishes its objective as it wouldn’t be appropriate.
Finally, I want to thank all of you who have helped out the club financially and otherwise during these difficult times through the AU 500 fund, buying tickets to the Player of the Year event, pre ordering the strips etc. and of course the Lottery as well as those who have helped in other ways.
This Virus has affected us all in some way or another and in doing so has effected the way we go about our lives. I consider myself very lucky in that I have all of my family at home, and I get to go to work every day (my company is considered an essential business) and I don’t have any underlying health conditions that make this disease so dangerous. Others are not so lucky and I really feel for all the elderly people out there, the people with underlying health conditions and the people with young children who are probably bored out of their minds at home etc. with no real end in sight. I especially feel for those who have contracted the virus and are going through the various stages. I have known a few who have had it and currently have it and there are some in our own Ayr United community going through it just now and I wish them a speedy and safe recovery and I hope they know that many people are thinking about them or praying for them or otherwise just supporting them in some way.
Football may not be important in many people’s eyes when compared to the Coronavirus, but I would say that football is what gets some of us through each day, week, month and year. Playing it, watching it, coaching it, arguing about it, reminiscing about it and having it as part of our DNA. When Ayr United start training and playing football again it will be one of the first steps in getting us all back to normality and that will be a great thing. We hope to see you all soon when that happens. Until then, stay safe and help others when you can.