Glasgow Rangers assistant manager Gary McAllister has made his feelings clear on the prospect of cancelling domestic cup competitions to help clubs catch up on league fixtures, in conversation with the Scottish Sun.
The Ibrox side, along with the rest of the teams in the Scottish Professional Football League, will not be in action until further notice due to the major health crisis sweeping most of the world.
Earlier this month, all domestic professional and grassroots football under the jurisdiction of the Scottish Football Association was suspended indefinitely, with SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster saying it was “neither realistic nor possible” to continue in the current climate.
Speculation has been raging over how to see out the 2019-20 campaign, with some of the options up for debate including rendering the season null and void, declaring it finished as things stand, and seeing the remaining fixtures out, either behind closed doors or once it’s safer to do so.
If the 2019-20 season ends up stretching into the summer, when pre-season or even regular seasons are under way, the next dilemma is about how to eventually get the campaigns to fall into line once again.
South of the border, The Sun has reported that, if the English 2020-21 calendar faces becoming too tight, there could be discussions over potentially scrapping the FA Cup and League Cup for the season.
However, McAllister is adamant that, while the issue at hand is not easy to deal with, the Scottish League Cup should not be scrapped as it would deprive smaller clubs a hefty windfall if they draw Rangers or Celtic.
“I read a suggestion that you don’t play the League Cup to help get league games played, but you can’t take money away from clubs,” he told the Scottish Sun.
“If a smaller club draws Rangers or Celtic away in the League Cup, what a financial windfall it is for them. Is it fair to deprive them of that?”
McAllister is right to highlight the potential loss of income to smaller clubs if the League Cup, or indeed the Scottish Cup, are temporarily scrapped if the knock-on effects for next season are too big.
However, these are unprecedented times, and if football cannot resume until, say June or July or even later, then once the 2019-20 campaign has been finished – and the writer believes it should be, since there is so much at stake – then changes need to be made to the following campaign.
And since only a handful of clubs competing in the League Cup each season would actually benefit from drawing Celtic or Rangers, while everyone will have extra workload, it makes sense to scrap it if need be.