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Liam Kennedy: Betfred Cup makes mockery of football


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Scottish football is being made to look like a joke by those that run the game.

The men at the head of the SPFL who rubber-stamped the new Betfred League Cup should take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror.

As, to be honest, it is a competition that is simply not fit for purpose in the men’s senior, professional game.

Football is very simple — it always has been. Twenty two blokes (or lasses, for that matter), two goals and a ball. Essentially that is all you need. The aim, as we all know, is to score more than the other team and, depending on the result, you are awarded points — these days three for a win is the norm.

So why is it that one of the most easy-to-understand games is made to look complicated by Scottish football chiefs?

A penalty shoot-out at the end of a draw? This isn’t America. Teams are allowed to draw. This is no kid’s summer school where we all end the sessions with penalty kicks as ‘a bit of fun’.

This is Scottish football we are talking about here. And, frankly, to outsiders looking in it looks like a farce.

I was at Bayview on Saturday, witnessing the ‘bonus point penalties’ first-hand. It was bizarre. They were the quickest pens ever taken, and no one celebrated when they scored. All they did was trundle back, head down, sheepish, embarrassed almost.

The players know the concept is nonsense, as do (some) fans. Why do the suits think this acceptable?

And don’t even get me started with the top-six split. Regular readers of my column will know I despise the concept.

No matter what your feeling on it, the facts are straight — the Scottish Premiership from day one is a flawed competition.

Every team should be given a fair chance of success, equal to every other participant. This is never the case with the current format. Someone always loses out in some way, shape or form.

Don’t take this column piece as me waging all out on war on the game north of the border. It is not a criticism of Scottish football, its fans or clubs. I love the game.

But those who run it can be accused of constantly cheapening the product chasing some kind of new market that simply does not exist.

All that ever does is short change the die-hards, you, the punters. It’s a sad state of affairs. Just because an idea is unique and innovative does not always mean it is good, or even sane.

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It happens in rugby and bonus points are always vital at the end of the season. 3 points for a win. No points for losing, 0ne point for drawing.Score 4 or more goals, get a bonus point, lose by 1 goal get a bonus point. 4 all draw, each team get 1 pouint for a draw and 1point for scoring 4 goals. Result 5/4 winner gets 3 points for the win and bonus point for scoring 4 or more goals ie 4points. Loser get bonus point for only losing by 1 goal. all points are added to the total so that there's an accurate running total.

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I find this quite a refreshing format and when the league starts properly we will, hopefully, be up to full sharpness and not picked up any more injuries. We'd be playing preseason games anyway just without the intensity of it being for a trophy.

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