SCOTTISH football’s summer of discontent is far from over.
But as Huddersfield Town prepare for their games at Kilmarnock tonight and Hibernian on Saturday, there is at least no doubt it will be a 12-club Clydesdale Bank Premier League which commences on August 4.
That is one of the few certainties surrounding the top flight which, following the well-chronicled demise of Rangers, has been subject to some wild speculation about its future.
Fans are in a state of confusion.
Last year Scottish Premier League chief executive Neil Doncaster was telling anyone who would listen that a 10-team set-up was the only way forward, claiming a 16-team division favoured by many fans was not financially viable.
Fast forward 12 months and the goalposts have changed.
As newco Rangers, after being denied admission to the SPL by clubs who rejected commercial benefits in favour of sporting integrity, prepare for life in the Irn-Bru Division III, Doncaster, along with the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Football League, who operate the three sections outside the top flight, revealed a package of reforms which included proposals for a 14-team SPL with a mechanism in place to take it up to 16.
Those reforms were a carrot for SFL clubs to vote Rangers newco into the First Division, the stick was the threat of financial meltdown if Charles Green’s Ibrox club were more than a season out of the SPL.
SFA chief executive Stewart Regan claimed that the only way of preventing a £16m loss in income and the "slow, lingering death for the game in Scotland" was to allow Ally McCoist’s side to resume life in Division I.
There were fears the £80m five-year television deal, which was due to be signed this summer and dependant on four Old Firm fixtures, would be under serious threat.
As it transpired, the SFL clubs, in the spirit of sporting integrity – a phrase that might yet end up written on the tombstone of Scottish football – voted 25-5 vote to put Rangers into the bottom tier.
While Scottish football was still coming to terms with the implications of that decision, St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour led the doom mongers who were predicting SPL chaos next season.
He said: "If you asked me whether a handful of clubs could be placed into administration by the end of August then I’d have to say it was very feasible."
Amid more controversy, Dundee – runners-up in last season’s First Division to champions Ross County – took the place of Rangers and will face Kilmarnock on the first day – to the sound of protests from Dunfermline.
The Pars, relegated from the SPL last season, felt they should have kept their top-flight status and there was talk of legal action against the game’s governing bodies.