SCOTLAND assistant manager Mark McGhee has lamented Hibs’ relegation from the top flight and believes it could further diminish the resources available to the national team.
McGhee believes the image of Scottish football will be damaged by Hibs joining Hearts and Rangers in the Championship next season. Speaking in London, where Scotland are preparing to face Nigeria at Craven Cottage tomorrow night, he expressed a sense of disbelief at the drastically altered landscape of the domestic game.
“I think it’s a real shame,” said McGhee. “Congratulations to Hamilton, who deserved to beat Hibs in the play-off final and are up on merit, but I could never have imagined a top division without Rangers, Hearts and Hibs in my lifetime. They are among the bigger clubs in the country and they benefit the league by being in it. The league loses something by them not being in it, that’s for sure. It shouldn’t impact on the national team at the moment, in the sense that we’ve got a squad here we think we can do well with. But at the same time there’s no doubt Rangers, Hearts and Hibs are clubs of a stature which should be able to have players in their teams who would be in the international squad. At the moment, they haven’t and that’s a shame.
“For Scottish football as a spectacle, it’s also huge. It’s one of the things that frustrates me. When I was at Motherwell and Aberdeen, we used to go to meetings and talk about it. We used to ask them, for example, why the TV cameras showed the sea, rather than the crowd, as a backdrop to games at Inverness. It’s important for the sake of the game to promote it in a positive way, but it doesn’t come across that way. Now, without the names of Hibs, Hearts and Rangers in it, it is lacking.”