Celtic have just taken off on what will surely be the longest solo flight since Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic.
The bookies make them 1/25 to get the same result as the intrepid Yankee flier; no longer in opposition, at least not in the league, are the arch-rivals of old. Scottish football has just lost whatever competitive edge it may have had.
The big kick-off on the other side of the the Cheviot Hills happens next weekend - Manchester City face Chelsea in the Community Shield this Sunday - and if it has not been trumpeted as before, it’s because nearly all the headlines are being written on the Olympics, in particular, Team GB’s performance. But in due course we’ll be hearing of the scandals and the money being spent, on wages as well as transfers. Still, if there’s a finish like last season’s we can live with it.
The odds are in favour of the points competition being another joust between Manchester’s two teams. Sir Alex will try everything not to be usurped for the second season running, and Chelsea will again be knocking on the door, though like the other top-notchers their main focus will be on Europe.
Can Spurs again make the shake-up, this time without ‘Arry’? Can David Moyes work another miracle on a shoestring budget? Will there be life in Liverpool after Kenny – and, perhaps, Andy? Can Pardew again stoke the Newcastle coals?
Another question, the answer to which should concern all who want Dundalk FC to stay in business is: Can the Trust make it work? The future of one of the League of Ireland’s longest-established clubs is at stake, and the sincere wish is that the people who have come together to try to make it happen get a result.
There’s a change-over in the running of the club coming up. It will happen after this season has ended. Monaghan United’s demise, but, more important, some encouraging results of late, mean there should be a place in the Premier Division if – no, let’s make that when – Dundalk make it on to the field next season.
The Trust should look to what has happened with Drogheda and Shamrock Rovers. At each of these clubs there was a crisis. It was resolved by supporters digging deep into their pockets, not to make one-off donations, but a payment on a regular basis. It’s not a great time to be looking for money, but it simply has to be done, and in the absence of someone like the guy who’s presently bankrolling big-spending Sligo, this is really the only way it can be done.