The COVID-19 pandemic has forced various football league authorities around the world to make bizarre decisions about the end of the season. For the time being there’s no final decision by FIFA or UEFA about the major leagues (and who’s gonna fill next season’s UEFA competition spots), only an official recommendation to complete the leagues till next August. But in minor leagues there’s more pliancy.
The Scottish Junior Football Association, responsible for all minor leagues across the country, has decided to end the season early, but award the teams on a points-per-game basis as for the remaining matches. This has caused a totally unpredictable aspect for the West Region Premiership, as Auchinlek Talbot has been crowned champions even if they’re currently in 3rd place of the table!
Why’s that? The answer is more than simple. Auchinleck Talbot has earned more points-per-game than the two leading teams, Kilwinning Rangers and Glasgow Pollok. Killwinning Rangers has 53 points from 25 matches (of the total 30), a 2,12 points-per-game ratio, which will give them a grand total of 63,6 points. Glasgow Pollock has 42 points from 22 matches, a 1,91 points-per-game ratio and a grand total of 57,3 points.
Auchinlek Talbot has 41 points from just 16 games played, a 2,56 points-per-game ratio, which is added for their remaining 14 matches. This gives a grand total of 76,9 points and a broad point difference in the complete table.
A statement from the West Junior FA committee said: “We believe we must recognize each club that would have likely gone on to win their respective league titles. Success needs to be recognized even if factors are part of the deciding process.”
The league title allows Auchinleck Talbot to compete in the next Scottish Cup. They’re not newcomers, though, as in the 2019 competition they got through the last 16, seeing off neighbors Ayr United, who’re playing in totally professional Championship league, the 2nd tier of Scottish Football.
The Ayrshire club, formed back in 1909, is getting a back-to-back championship title for the first time in history. They’ve also won the now defunct regional Ayrshire First Division 11 times and the Scottish Junior Cup for a record 13 times.
This title seemed to bring more embarrassment than celebration. The squad’s captain William Lyle posted on Twitter that “if for 1 minute you think as players we wanteda league title in this manner, you seriously don’t know us as a club. We didn’t make up the rules, time to move on and look forward to next season”.Follow us on