Former Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has been bigging up Scottish football this weekend, stating to BBC Scotland that more could be done to sell the game to outsiders.
Fletcher’s entire professional career was spent in England, playing for Man United, West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City.
However, he’s an avid fan of Scottish football and this weekend was quizzed by the BBC about the perception of the game outside of Scotland.
He reckons it’s an exciting league and has been buoyed by others’ reaction to some games this season, including the derbies Celtic have taken part in against Rangers.
As quoted by the broadcaster, he said: “I want the league to do well. It’s a fantastic product. I honestly don’t think we sell it enough.
“It’s a little bit of a throw back and people miss that. I know people who this season have been blown away and the best games they’ve watched and enjoyed more than any other have been the Old Firm games. The response from people was unbelievable.
“They loved the aggression, the atmosphere, the no VAR – everything about it. It felt refreshing to watch and that’s the feeling I get when I watch it. I like that tackles are allowed to be given a little bit more. It’s fast-paced at times. There’s a lot more action. That’s not to say the quality isn’t there because it is. It’s very good to watch.”
The former Scotland international spoke with passion during the radio broadcast and indicated that Scottish football is a tad underrated when it comes to exposure and broadcasting.
As we know, the TV cash on offer to the Scottish Premiership compared to the English Premier League is much, much less, stifling clubs’ ability to compete in terms of transfers and European progress.
However, we do have big selling points and the derby between Celtic and Rangers is obviously one of those.
Next season could again be a tumultuous one due to the ongoing health crisis and our matches against Steven Gerrard’s side will undoubtedly be at the heart of discussions with Sky Sports.
Could we even see as many derbies played in the second half of the season as possible?
Having crowds in attendance for that fixture is all part of the Scottish football theatre when it comes to live games and it’s something to consider as the SFA/SPFL Joint Response Group continue discussions on to handle the game moving forward.