AS I am writing this column, the sun is streaming in the window and outside there is abundant greenery. This morning, it poured with rain briefly and the wind was blustery. In other words, today has been a typical Scottish summer’s day.

This afternoon I watched some kids – a dozen boys and girls of about six or seven – playing football in a park in Edinburgh. They were enjoying their game with no adults in charge as the attendant women, who were presumably their mums, were having a good natter nearby. The kids were refereeing themselves very well – much better than some professionals I could name.

The point is that this is summer and, like those kids, we should be playing football now at every level in the game in Scotland, not waiting until the autumn. At the top end of the game in the Scottish Professional Football League, I believe summer football is now a must if any of our teams are to survive and prosper in European competition.

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Once again Celtic will be the only Scottish team surviving in either of the European tournaments into August. Of course Rangers should have thumped the fourth best team in Luxembourg, and certainly St Johnstone should have hammered FK Trakai, the second-best team in Lithuania, while Aberdeen at least had an excuse in going down to Apollon Limassol as the temperature in Cyprus would only be found in the Granite City inside a sauna.

Yet again our Europa League entrants are out and what makes it really scary for Scottish football is that Celtic are no certainties to beat Astana over two legs. At least the Hoops will feature in the Europa League group stages if they are beaten by the Kazakh champions who, don’t forget, put out Legia Warsaw in the third qualifying round to make the play-offs.

For Rangers and St Johnstone, how poor were their performances against their opponents? That their conquerors were minnows was shown up by the fact that both Progres Niederkorn and FK Trakai have themselves exited the Europa League, the former defeated in the second qualifying round by AEL Limassol of Cyprus and Trakai beaten by Shkendija of Macedonia in the third round.

To lose the way they did was simply disgraceful, and I cannot disagree with those who are saying that Rangers’ loss to Progres was the worst result in the club’s history. St Johnstone put up a fight for only a short period of the tie, and I am sorry to say that, over 180 minutes, they deserved to lose.

Aberdeen seemed to lose their nerve at times against Limassol, but the Dons should have had the guile to keep their opponents out, certainly at Pittodrie.

All three clubs have taken their exits on the chin, but all three of them and Celtic know that they started the competition with a serious disadvantage in that they had no competitive games before being thrust into European matches – a remark that also applies to Progres, Limassol and the other Cypriot teams, but not to FK Trakai, who are in the midst of their season.

We have to realise that the fall in Scotland’s footballing status is such that we need to give our teams that enter European football every chance to qualify for the later rounds, and that is one reason for changing football here from a winter game to a summer one.

It could be a massively lucrative move as Sky and BT Sport or maybe even the good old BBC would salivate at the prospect of showing football of any sort in summer. Imagine Match of the Day featuring an SPFL game or two – what a boost that would be for our game.

Our skills levels would also improve as players would be competing on surfaces that were easier to maintain instead of the pockmarked pitches we so often see in winter.

I would say take time off from mid-December to the end of February and move all football to a summer-only basis. We could start next year, and that would bring an extra boost to the cashflow of clubs as the end of next season then sees the start of summer football proper.

It’s working with the Betfred League Cup which has had higher attendances than most serious pundits expected, so why not go the whole hog and get the SPFL playing then, too.

The players would have to holiday in winter, but hey, Florida isn’t too bad at the time of year, and those with families would at least get Christmas at home.

Above all the fans would see better football played in better weather conditions – maybe not taps aff weather all the time, but at least warmer than the Arctic we so often experience in January.

We should at least think about summer football, and get a think thank to look at it seriously.

At the weekend, that former professional goalkeeper Henry McLeish issued a ringing declaration that Scotland’s clubs should put their country before themselves. Obviously no Scottish fan would disagree with that, but I have another wish and that is for the clubs of Scotland to put themselves before their wallets.

For surely no sane individual can argue that playing football in the depths of a Scottish midwinter is preferable to playing in summer. At the moment, the clubs just worry how they will pay the bills if we switch to summer football. My worry is how Scottish clubs will ever survive in Europe if we don’t.