Crisis time for football (Liam Billington)

This year was in many ways an excellent one for football in Shetland. A high-quality league season ended with Celtic clinching the title in a dramatic playoff after their season-long battle for supremacy with Spurs.

Shetland put in an excellent showing to finish fourth at the island games and produced one of their finest performances in the inter-county, beating Orkney 6-0.

It is a shame, then, that trouble off the pitch could be derailing senior men’s football at what feels like an exciting time of progression.

The Shetland Football Association (SFA) annual general meeting on Sunday failed to bring forward office bearers for the key positions of president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer.

With incumbent president Irvine Burgess quite reasonably not prepared to continue, having worked phenomenally hard in similar circumstances this year, this leaves the SFA in a precipitous position.

An emergency general meeting has been called for Tuesday 12th January, and if these positions are not filled, the inevitable result will be the dissolution of the association and therefore the cancellation of a vast chunk of organised football.

It might be assumed that this is bluster and that things will sort themselves out, but that is sadly not the case. Rather, this is potentially a moment of crisis.

Football gives so much to so many. Now it is incumbent on the football-loving public to see what they can give back.

If taking a role in the committee is something you would be able to do, please do consider putting yourself forward and attending the EGM at Islesburgh.

Let’s hope that in 2016 we can help take Shetland football forward, rather than seeing it fall apart.

Liam Billington


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