Just to give my perspective on the fixture related questions.
My remit is to produce a 2 part fixture list. Part 1 produced at the AGM from the start of the season till the end of the year. Part 2 produced by 30th November to cover the remainder of the fixtures including all those postponed from Part 1.
Last season it went reasonably well and I was quite satisfied that it had done so. The feedback from the clubs and supporters was positive in general and that was appreciated.
This season is however different and there’s a few reasons for that.
Last season – 4 clubs groundsharing, but not in the same leagues, this season – 6 clubs ground sharing, and one of the pairs are in the Premiership.
A non-Junior Cup taking preference over other fixtures. A great way of promoting the juniors and I’m all for it, but it doesn’t half cause me headaches.
The Scottish Junior Cup also causes headaches through postponements and replays.
I am aware that the last 2 reasons were there last season but this season they seem to have become more problematic due to the main reason for the way this Part 2 list has been squeezed into a seemingly tighter timeline.
The Pyramid Play-Off. My remit this season was to try and produce fixtures that would provide the Premiership title winner by mid to late April. To demonstrate whether it was possible or not. To let us see what changes we need to make in preparation for the West Region joining the Pyramid in season 2020/21.
An impossible task without utilising midweeks and floodlights.
On the questions raised and there has been a couple, firstly, let me point out that I am well aware that there are certain ‘glamour games’ and the implications of them. Everyone would prefer their games on a Saturday, so would I, but it’s not feasable. Secondly, let me also point out that I have 63 clubs to look after. I will not and never will favour one of these clubs over any other. It is not my intention to disadvantage any club.
Clydebank’s last Saturday home fixture is on 15th February their last Saturday fixture is away to Rossvale on 29th February. Without using the midweek facility their next available date for their game v Pollok would have been 4th April and v Talbot would be 25th April and that is without factoring in what would happen if Pollok and/or Talbot were involved in the Scottish junior Cup Semis on 28th March and 4th April. So, I think it’s better for Clydebank to get these games played.
Cumnock have also complained about their games, again it’s about Talbot. I have put both their games down for midweeks. Not ideal, I know, but would the financial loss cover the financial loss of waiting more weeks without a game? They have gaps between games already, but that’s a consequence of their facilities. These gaps may be filled though as we go into winter. Using midweeks for both these games was done for 2 reasons. 1) An attempt to keep them as far apart as possible instead of finishing with a double header. 2) If Cumnock v Talbot was to be played on a Wednesday, I thought it only fair and balanced to play Talbot v Cumnock on a Wednesday.
I know this is pretty long-winded, but I hope it shows what I’m trying to achieve and you can accept my reasoning.
Being the ‘Fixtures Guy’ doesn’t mean that I’ve lost sight of what it takes to keep a club going and all the problems associated with it. I’m still a supporter.
Thanks for taking time to read this.