We can use statistics to help any argument or indeed to demolish the conclusion of a dissenting viewpoint. Football is becoming ever more a numbers game and figures released this week by The Association of European Professional Leagues (EPFL) caught my eye.

Quite simply, they show Scotland has the most avid and dedicated fans in Europe. The second edition of the EPFL’s Fan Attendance Report measures average attendance across major championships run by the organisation from 2010/11 until 2016/2017.

Scotland comes out on top when attendance is expressed as a percentage of population.

In other words, if Scotland had England‘s population, many more Scots would go to football matches than currently is the case south of the border.

I was one of the first to retweet this story on Twitter on Monday and at the time of writing, it had received 230 retweets and 450 likes. It’s a feel-good story most in Scottish football clearly want to get behind. We love the game in Scotland and should want the world to know about that.

Inevitably I received a few comments informing me that it’s only thanks to Celtic and Rangers that attendance figures are high. It’s undeniably the case that 90 per cent of fans in Scotland gravitate to one or other of the aforementioned clubs. But what if we used our imaginations instead of just stating what we already know?

Imagine if people from Hamilton, Coatbridge, Kilmarnock and Dumbarton supported their local teams, instead of travelling to Glasgow every second week. Imagine if we had a more even spread of support across Scottish clubs. Imagine how high the figures would be then given our love of the game, with an element of competition across the board.

There hasn’t been a duopoly in sporting terms for quite some time but there remains one when it comes to support quotients. Everyone has the right to follow who he or she wishes of course. Personally I have never been particularly attracted to popular clubs anywhere in the world, whether Manchester United, Real Madrid or Benfica.

I just feel supporters of a club that never knows adversity, relegation battles, the joy of a win that ends a run of eight matches without one, are missing something essential to the passion of the game.

The other part of patting Old Firm fans on the back for their dedication while criticising the smaller clubs is a feeling that somehow the former are not actually part of Scottish football.

That Scottish football is only “the others.” We need to stop talking like this. What are Celtic and Rangers if not Scottish clubs? At times, we all need to be in this together instead of constantly trying to score points.

The other response I got was that Scottish football should definitely get a much better TV deal on the back of these figures. Audience figures and attendance figures don’t necessarily add up to the same thing but this certainly doesn’t hurt the argument.

It’s absolutely a card the SPFL should play going forward. It’s one every Scottish fan can be proud of and should shout loudly about. I will be doing just that.