Premiership split fixtures: Sky Sports selections say everything about their contempt for the Scottish game beyond Rangers and Celtic

Sky Sports seem to regard the relegation issue in Scotland as done and dusted. How else do we interpret their decision to spurn the opportunity to provide live coverage of any of the bottom six matches?

There are currently no plans for the Sky Sports cameras to be at bottom-six matches.
There are currently no plans for the Sky Sports cameras to be at bottom-six matches.

Of course, it’s incumbent to provide the age-old caveat that this is the situation "at the time of writing".

An SPFL explainer, published at the same time as the post-split fixtures on Monday afternoon, reported that Sky Sports have “so far” selected six matches to show, all of them involving either or both sides of the Old Firm naturally. “Sky Sports may also make bottom-six selections for fixture round 38 in due course," the statement reported. Get that. “May”.

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So they might, if we are lucky and they can be bothered, get a bottom-six game on the last weekend of the league season providing there are issues still at stake.

It does of course say everything about their contempt for the Scottish game beyond Rangers and Celtic.

We are expected to be grateful that the SPFL’s broadcast partner may decide to lug their equipment to a couple of grounds if they decide it’s worth the bother. It should be worth the bother to head to one particular stadium as soon as next weekend.

While the title race is undeniably exciting, there is a veritable cup final on the first weekend of the post-split fixtures schedule that is being ignored in favour of … Motherwell v Rangers and Ross County v Celtic. Sky Sports’ cup overfloweth – not one but two Old Firm away fixtures to broadcast on the same day.

Dundee v St Johnstone will kick off the previous afternoon without Kris Boyd, James McFadden et al. And yet it could well all but confirm the automatic relegation spot in the event of an away victory.

Ah well, more fool Sky Sports. Shame on their tunnel vision when it comes to Scottish football. Because right now, the relegation issue looks not quite as cut and dried as it might once have appeared. In fact, last weekend’s results, which saw St Johnstone lose by seven goals to Celtic and Dundee win a point after being 2-0 down to Dundee United, have breathed potential new life into the question of who might go down and who might be drawn into the fight for survival.

As Hibs managed to prove on the last occasion they tasted bottom six football, a team playing poorly before the split tends to continue playing poorly after it.

That is the current issue for the Easter Road side, whose eight-point lead over St Johnstone should, surely, protect them from a repeat of the aforementioned 2014 scenario, when they won just one point from five games and slipped into the relegation play-off place with disastrous consequences. But it’s more of a concern for Aberdeen, who are just six points above 11th placed St Johnstone. Like Hibs, Jim Goodwin’s side have won just one league game since Boxing Day.

St Mirren, with just one win in their last nine outings, are hardly feeling good about themselves either.

Perhaps the only team who are in any way upbeat are the ones in the direst position. Dundee can see a glimpse of light. Their manager has more experience than all of the others put together.

As Mark McGhee explained after Charlie Adam secured a potentially precious point in the Dundee derby. Dundee now need just two better results than St Johnstone, including against them next Saturday, rather than three, as was the case prior to last weekend. It’s all to play for. Can someone maybe mention this to Sky Sports?

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