Looking to the Sky, to be clouded out!

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EVERY morning when I come to my work shortly after 8 am I meet a good pal who is an Aberdeen fan.

Despite being a devotee of the Dons, I was struck by his attack on the nation’s broadcasters on Friday morning he said: “I cannot believe that, having got to the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup for the first time in 105 years, Brechin City aren’t going to be on the television.

“Frankly Sky and the BBC should be ashamed of themselves! So say all of us.”

He continued: “I am an Aberdeen fan who lives in Brechin.

“However, I watched the last edition of Aberdeen’s live Scottish Cup action and frankly it was the most boring game of football I have ever seen in my life.

“Sky get plenty money from subscribers and, had this game been down south, a club from a place the size of Brechin been involved in the latter stages of the FA Cup, there would be no question that the game would have been televised live.”

His angst has this week been shared by the City chairman, manager and football supporters of many differing colours.

After all looking at the facts, all three of the other fixtures already take four times a season in the wonderful SPL.

Remember that’s the competition that’s doing so well the suits at Hampden Park have tried to re-market it, time and time again.

And the latest episode is frankly as daft as what they have come up with previously, being likened by many of the older generation of Scottish fan as a return to the fifties and a copy of the C Division days.

In the Murdoch-owned Sky empire, where they claim to love the underdog and love the runs made be the “smaller teams” in national cup competitions, why then is there such a lack of interest in the only remaining possibility of a cup shock?

And as for the BBC, their stance is even more ridiculous, given the fact they are funded by the licence holder and are meant to represent a broad view of those viewers’ wishes from right across the country.

While most people will have expected to see the usual Auld Firm fixture, whoever they are playing, televised, Dundee United will be enjoying their third appearance of the season on live Scottish Cup television, and Aberdeen their second.

Celtic and Rangers - God knows how many times. In fact Inverness CT, St Johnstone and Brechin City are the only three clubs who haven’t, as yet, made a live appearance.

As a sad auld git, who still has copies of the BBC’s coverage of Brechin’s promotion wins of the eighties and nineties, what a real pity that this generation of Brechin City supporters are denied the possibility of enhancing their DVD, blu-ray collection.

The BBC was the first place I ever recall seeing Glebe Park on the television.

In the early eighties, former Scottish referee, Bill Hamilton, who went on to be a journalist of some considerable ability, and who sadly passed away recently, attended an evening fixture against Queen of the South at Glebe Park and watched Ian Campbell net a penalty past QOS’s veteran goalkeeper Alan Ball.

Having been at the game, the thrill of seeing it on the national news thereafter was special.

While the BBC at that time recorded Brechin’s emergence from being a club who had toiled for years at the foot of the bottom tier of the game, how sad that some 30 years later they will not be represented at what is the club’s biggest ever moment.

And as for Sky, well like many people this week has been a time to reflect whether the £70 or so they collect from my account is money well spent.

Perhaps the best answer to the problem came from the club’s irrepressible secretary, Angus Fairlie, who best summed things up in his usual agricultural fashion by saying: “Och never mind, we’ll get on television when we get to the semi final.”