One of the most remarkable domestic seasons in the history of Scottish football draws to a close over the next few days, this afternoon’s Scottish Cup final followed on Monday night by the second leg of the Premiership play-off final.
That we have got to this stage says much about everyone involved with all the clubs across the country; there were various points when a conclusion, and a full programme in the top-flight, seemed highly unlikely.
For many it will be a campaign to forget, Dons fans certainly fall into that category, but there have been some remarkable stories mixed in with the usual drama and controversy; our national game never fails to deliver in that respect.
Congratulations have to go to Rangers for their record-breaking title win, on the field at least they had no equals during 20-21, but there were a number of other Premiership clubs who can look back on the season with a mixture of genuine pride and satisfaction.
Livingston’s remarkable 14-match unbeaten run was quite stunning. St Mirren easily stayed up and enjoyed two cup runs, along the way becoming one of only two sides to inflict domestic defeat on the champions.
The other was St Johnstone, and Callum Davidson is on the verge of clinching the most outstanding debut season of any manager in the history of the game in Scotland.
And right at the end of the regular campaign, John Hughes and Ross County pulled off three straight victories to ensure their survival.
Hibernian also have good reason to reflect on a job well done. They were at times one of the most attractive sides to watch and thoroughly deserved their highest league placing in a couple of decades. Capping it with Hampden glory would round things off nicely for Jack Ross and his team.
There were various other notable achievements down the divisions.
Apart from the three title winners, Raith Rovers and Arbroath deserve huge praise for their seasons in the Championship, Cove Rangers and Montrose had excellent campaigns in League One and Elgin City came up just short of what would have been a first promotion for the Borough Briggs club.
As 2020/21 is put to bed, attention turns to the Euros, and we had the long-awaited excitement this week of a Scotland manager announcing his squad for a major finals.
There were no real shocks in Steve Clarke’s list of 26.
I am hugely disappointed for Andrew Considine, but it was always touch and go as to whether he would make the cut.
The only surprise to me was the inclusion of Greg Taylor as we have plenty cover at left back, and I figured he would go for Liam Palmer as back-up on the right. Nathan Patterson is there mainly for the experience, as are David Turnbull and Billy Gilmour, and I welcome the introduction of all three.
Gilmour, in particular, could be a real wild card, and of the trio of uncapped players, he is the one who might be given the opportunity to make a name for himself.
I would certainly anticipate him being given an outing in the two warm-up matches.
The group will be tough, but we have a talented squad, and right now there is good reason to believe an exciting and successful summer lies ahead.
Shameful scenes may be a concern for Uefa
The headlines all week have rightly been dominated by the reprehensible scenes in Glasgow last weekend as Rangers fans ‘celebrated’ lifting the Premiership trophy.
There was a blizzard of condemnation, statements issued by the First Minister, Police Scotland and the football authorities variously describing what had happened as an abomination, an embarrassment and shameful.
Nicola Sturgeon spoke of vile anti-Catholic prejudice, and a quick trawl through the footage shows there was plenty of that.
It was a display that humiliated our country and must have left the decision makers at UEFA pondering the wisdom of staging Euro 2020 in the city.
It took over 24 hours for Rangers to issue their statement, and while they did denounce the behaviour on show, many would take issue with the claim that only a small minority was involved.
The club cannot be held responsible for the morons who rampaged through Glasgow, but they should be issuing life bans to all found guilty.