Former Aberdeen midfielder David Rowson hopes a fresh and vibrant Scottish game can emerge from the ashes of the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision to end the season early has led to champions being crowned and clubs being relegated before the matches were completed.
Navigating a way out of the mess while inflicting the least possible damage on member clubs has become the top priority of the SPFL.
Former Don Rowson, who retired in 2013, is a now a financial adviser in Glasgow and he is acutely aware of the financial implications facing all clubs as they prepare for the new normal of playing in front of empty stadiums for the foreseeable future.
But he hopes clubs can find a way to build a new structure which will breathe new life into Scottish football.
He said: “I feel for everybody involved. The word unprecedented has been used too often, but I feel for the people who had to make the decision on wrapping the league up early, the people running the clubs and the players.
“It has been 12 weeks of hell for them, but hopefully everybody comes out of it with a fresh view on things and we can catapult Scottish football forward.
“I’ve been in favour of an expanded top flight since my playing days and it hasn’t changed since I retired. The view of the players was that they were becoming bored of playing the same clubs week in, week out.
“That’s another decision for the powers that be. TV money dictates how it goes forward because the TV want the four Old Firm games a year. That’s the biggest pull so it is difficult balancing the finances against a fresh look at Scottish football.
“We are guilty of being stuck in a certain way and that is maybe dictated somewhat by the big two clubs. The finances of the rest of the clubs, who need the income of the games against them, makes it a balancing act of where we go from here.
“Can we afford to do it? Even the bigger clubs are struggling. Aberdeen have needed cash injections so that shows you how difficult it is for everyone.”
The SPFL has agreed a deal with Sky to show Premiership matches next season to locked out fans by way of a virtual season ticket and that will be one crumb of comfort for the 6,500 Aberdeen fans who have bought season tickets for games they will not be attending in person for the rest of 2020.
It has been a baptism of fire for new Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack, who replaced Stewart Milne in December, but Rowson is optimistic his old club can continue to challenge at the top of the table once the restrictions put in place due to the virus have been lifted.
He said: “It is a big expense if this continues on. If we have a resurgence of the virus does that mean fans won’t be able to get back for a good number of months? We just don’t know.
“People around the club will have a better idea of the finances than, me but under Stewart Milne’s stewardship it has been well managed and I would like to think that continues.
“I would hope the tie-up with American finances helps Aberdeen and I would love to see them up there challenging Celtic and Rangers next year.
“They’ve done a brilliant job the last few years and I’d like to see it continue.”