Benchman: Well done to Marcus Rashford, Daniel, and to the departing players from Falkirk

Thank goodness for Roy Keane and broken VAR as football makes it’s return to these shores.

PROJECT RESTART: It’s Football, but not as we knew it. The “crowd” noise seems better than the silent version but I have to admit it’s not the same. The time delay for chants and cheers is weird, and the huge flags and banners just hide the empty seats. The producers must have been glad for the controversial bits, like the Sheffield goal that wasn’t given, the Hawkeye breakdown, the “it wisnae me” referee and the Roy Keane meltdown.

SILK CUTS: No more committees, officials, plots, intrigues, betrayals, accusations, Zoom meetings and What’s App soundings- now we have a bonanza for the lawyers as the Hearts/Partick versus the SPFL battle moves into the courts. How has it come to this? As we highlighted earlier, precedent is key and the Hearts/Partick case has precedents in European sport which will send shivers through the sixth floor at Hampden. There will be no winners in this one- except the lawyers.

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WELL DONE YOUNG MAN: The Manchester United player Marcus Rashford has been doing a lot for the deaf community and the homeless in his home city, but his intervention in the summer school meals affair was brilliant. The interview describing his own upbringing, and his mum’s struggle to feed the family was quite moving.
I’m sure Health Secretary Tony Hancock and Prime Minister Boris Karloff will be hugely proud of young Daniel.

ANSWERS: Last week’s player was Archie Aikman who once topped the scoring charts in Scotland (and Europe). Archie was a schoolteacher in Falkirk and was one of the early STV Scotsport presenters.

GUISERS: How ironic that we MIGHT be starting our football in late October. Given the calibre of the officials running the game here in Scotland, October 31 should be the starting date. We have an assorted collection of guisers who take the money and offer a poor product in exchange. Peanuts, tangerines and sweeties would be an over-payment. We are a laughing stock and the announcement that Neil Doncaster has been given an appointment at UEFA beggars belief.

NAIL-BITING FINISH: Watching the re-run of the Falkirk v East Fife game last week brought back memories- and nightmares. When East Fife equalised, many of us feared the worst, and the ball was just booted up the park to clear the danger. 
It was a reminder of the game as it was-and it wasn’t pretty at times. The scenes at the final whistle were tremendous and I remember “gently” dropping my then eleven-year old son from the stand down into the Enclosure and letting him join in. As he recalls now- it was a much bigger drop than his father had assumed!

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RELEASED PLAYERS: It’s not a good time for anyone to be seeking new employment, and I think we sometimes forget that these players have jobs, families and financial commitments. Good luck to all of them.

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