Kilmarnock defender Stephen O’Donnell has offered one potential solution to conclude the Premiership season – end the campaign just before the split.
With football in lockdown, there have been plenty of opinions flying around on how to end this year’s Scottish Premiership. UEFA have given domestic leagues until the end of June to end their current campaigns. However, the Scottish football authorities are reportedly staggered by that decision, with fears growing that there will be no football until August (Daily Record).
The main issue with many of the opinions flying about is that many of them have been provided through biased eyes.
Kilmarnock’s O’Donnell, however, doesn’t have much to play for. And, speaking to the BBC, he namechecked Celtic whilst offering his own unique solution to the current problem.
“I think the fairest would be if we were able to get to the split, because then everybody has played each other three times.
“Kilmarnock are in a position that not much would be affected – we could maybe get into the top six – but no matter happens, you’re not going to make everybody happy. You’re either going to frustrate Celtic or you’re going to frustrate Hearts and Rangers.
“Playing everyone three times is a fortunate situation we can have in Scotland, so maybe call it then. But you are still going to get Rangers and Hearts saying that’s not fair.”
Split decision still doesn’t stand up
O’Donnell’s verdict seems decent enough at face value. However, the fact is that it would automatically make Celtic champions given the Hoops need to lose four games to lose the league.
We’re only three games away from the split as things stand. Therefore, the likes of Hearts, who sit four points behind Hamilton, would still see the chance to stay up out of their hands. The Jambos will likely be banking on getting results against bottom-six sides after the split.
So O’Donnell’s verdict, unfortunately, wouldn’t weed out the problem of frustrated clubs. Yet what he does bring to the table some real balance. His view isn’t as blinkered with as much bias as some others that have been thrown out, such as Rangers’ desperate statement earlier this week.
You could argue that the right-back is only saying this to get Kilmarnock a top six spot. But what use is that to players if they don’t have a chance to face the top teams in the league again? There’s no real reward for O’Donnell if he plays the final three games of the season.
It certainly makes a lot more sense than Michael Beale’s idea of scrapping the last 11 rounds and judging the title on how teams ranked at the half-way stage (Scottish Sun). It would be more sensible to get a few games over and done with to give the league a more suitable look.
Of course, this is unlikely to happen. It’s not a solution that’s been floated around by anyone other than O’Donnell himself. However, in fairness to him, there’s certainly been worse.