Accountability, Transparency, & Brave Sir Robin

Avatar By

I used to be a card carrying Scottish fan. I didn’t …

Comment on Accountability, Transparency, & Brave Sir Robin by Finloch.

I used to be a card carrying Scottish fan.
I didn’t see the game last night and am not going to comment on the football apart from saying it was a very disappointing outcome.
I did see the English game on SCOTTISH TV.
It was free.

Its just plain wrong that the commercial powers that be at Hampden have decided it makes commercial sense to sell their games to the likes of BT meaning a substantial part of their potential audience (and their potential future audience who are young and don’t and won’t read newspapers any more) is disenfranchised.

Finloch Also Commented

Accountability, Transparency, & Brave Sir Robin
This forum was richer for the humour of Red Lichtie and Scottish Football has never more needed a strong Arbroath.
Not just the Gayfielders though, we need a strong Brechin, Stranraer, Gala Fairydean Rovers, Morton, St Johnstone, Inverness, Fort William, Irvine, East Kilbride and even Meigle amateurs.
And I don’t just mean good for a season or two to play league yo-yo and grant bragging rights for a while.
When our game is strong at the grass roots Football in Scotland like any living structure we will be stronger at the top end.

But this takes vision and commitment.
Long term vision from the institutions running our game in association with other big stakeholders like the Scottish Government, and the clubs themselves. 

Right now the lack of real vision is the main issue.
In our game the fans might in reality be the stakeholders but you’d never know it in a business that only pays lip service to the customer because everything is about being “the winner”.
And there is always next season when things just might be better.
It is the universal language of “footballese” we all speak every day.
I’ve written about it here how the normal fan (which we all are on occasions) is only interested in “The ins and outs, ups and downs, comings and goings and toings and froings”.
Well “That’s aa Ballacks min”.

Arbroath FC got their nickname from the nearby light marking the entrance to Arbroath Harbour so returning fishing boats could navigate the naturally occurring day to day problems like winds, currents, and weather.
A beacon.
A strategy.
Two things missing in Scottish Football. 
Easy words to say and easy ideas to talk about.
But change is uncomfortable.

We are where we are .
Scottish Football in 2016 finds it self with one big super-club that wants to stay the biggest because it craves to re-become what it used to be (and why should it agree to any future scenario where it is less dominant)?
It feels frustrated and held back by the very vacuum it has helped create and constantly needs and wants more.
Scottish Football also has one “used to be big team” who are currently a little distracting and still in the depths of aftermath of a series of carpetbaggers. I think it will continue to exist but there will be colourful distractions ahead.

Scottish Football has no independent voices looking to find the right way forward.
In fact it’s a game of musical chairs with everyone refusing to stand up in case they lose their nice comfortable seat.
– Our two biggest fan based clubs will fight to keep what they fought for before.
– Our media seems to be totally fixated with recreating our erstwhile duopoly and maintaining the West of Scotland Power-base.
– Our two key Glasgow based and infused Football Management institutions, the SFA and SPFL are dominated by our current biggest club and their old establishment favourite.
– And finally our government is complicit with all that the key people in our game have done and are doing.
(Nicola is hyper wary of Scottish Football with its peculiar religio-political composition which makes any move or statement unpredictable, so better left unsaid in public)

So we have a failing national team and issues to discuss.
I’d say that is not where the discussions should be focussed.
– We need to think bigger.
– We are collectively in a mess because we don’t know where we are going 
– We have puppets at the top 
– We have no real strategy for the future (and I’m talking a long term view – not just the next Champions League, World Cup and Euros
– We have a fawning and failing media including one publicly funded institution which avoids asking tough questions because either it is already complicit or else it is scared it will be squeezed out of all the wee stories it needs to fill its empty canyon like pages and shows every day with irrelevant puffery.
– We are clueless commercial and don’t even get our share from the BBC, not when there is an ex Leicester, Everton and English Centre forward taking home more each year from the BBC personally than they pay for our sport in total.

I didn’t see the Scottish game last night because our commercial people couldn’t do the right deal with the BBC or iTV network and then decided that BT’s taudry money is better than letting all the kids in Arbroath and other vital football grass-rooteries see their team play.   
 Maybe that in hindsight was and is a good idea.

This is not just about last night’s miserable outcome.
Its about a game that could be a power for good across our country being mishandled.

And the thing all those in power have in common is they are currently deriving power and or making money and don’t give a toss about Arbroath the wee team or the Red Lichties and Finlochs of this world.

Accountability, Transparency, & Brave Sir Robin
“95% of football fans do not think the SFA (the “clubs”) can be trusted to run Scottish football”.

A good insight BP for fans who care enough to read up on just what has gone on in our game.
Most fans sadly I’d argue have other things to do and just want it all to get better.
They just want to support their teams and talk about football the game not the business.

The paid-for servants and the clubs have been in it together right from the start and and will stick together right to the end.
Nothing will change if they can help it and they will finesse any niggles along the way and pivot to protect each other like Mcleish and Miller used to do.

The reality is Regan, Doncaster, Je Suis SFA, Bryson et al have never been off piste.

Complicity abounds between them and their controlling committee members and the most complicit are the key opinion-forming heads of our Premier clubs.
We know who they are.

Recent Comments by Finloch

It Is Better To Offer No Excuse Than A Bad One
I heard today that Craig Graham  the Spartans chairman is awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours list. 
I’m pleased for Craig and Spartans. 
Craig took a Corinthian and undisciplined club going nowhere fast, rooted it into a previously ignored community and has achieved some incredible health and social goals deep into that community using football as glue.
other clubs are now slowly learning from his vision and Scottish football is better for what he has done  
Yes he could have been and should have been knighted

but to paraphrase our old pal Red Lichtie
Scottish Football needs more Craig Graham’s. 

It Is Better To Offer No Excuse Than A Bad One
DECEMBER 20, 2017 at 09:04Given all the recent conjecture re PSC and potential new loans, I am still wondering what exactly it is that King is getting out of his involvement in T’Rangers.
Some maybes…

Its a legitimate business with amazing annual revenue generation capacity and a very committed customer base and friends on high.

It was a unique opportunity to talk down a share price to the disadvantage of some mug punters and to get significant control level shareholding quite cheaply. 

With an inside well-coiffeured friend in situ he had access to knowledge most people wouldn’t have access to.

There are various sub companies in the group where personal unseen revenue streams might be forthcoming.

It might even be a good way to repatriate monies from South Africa or maybe elsewhere into the UK or indeed somewhere else.

Chairman of an establishment club is also a nice position to have if you have an ego that needs constant tending and you know that no media outlet will ever look at what is really happening under the bonnet. 

Maybe there is also an opportunity to take advantage of some other directorial shareholders, who may be real Rangers men, but are just not be as incisive with the particulars skills G&SL seems to have built his wealth upon.

And finally if there is a sort of nod and wink understanding in certain quarters that when the time is right that SDM and a new consortium will come to the rescue then the shares will be worth having.

Or control of a situation that needs Blair Nimmo or Bryan Jackson called in?

But what do I know anyway?

It Is Better To Offer No Excuse Than A Bad One
John Clark – Have you been tapped up?

Fans for Judicial Review – Counsel Opinion
A few initial thoughts on the counsels view that “There is not a case in law to force the SFA to comply”.

i.e. The SFA has the right not to have a review because there is no precedent.

(I wish Paul McConville was still with us).

Firstly there may be no precedent and yes in law that makes it difficult but surely there must always be a first to make a precedent.

Could this be a first?

Then two thoughts are about following the money because that may also be a route that offers traction.

As someone who paid money to watch the game over the period do I personally and or jointly with other fans who similarly paid have the right to take action either against my club or the SFA?

Are there precedents here?

And on a larger scale if our government have provided funds in any way during the period do we as fans have the right to take action against the government or the government the right to take action against the SFA?

There will almost certainly be precedents here because Government money always comes with built-in controls and conditions attatched.

And looking forward will the Scottish Government ever agree to be seen to provide future funds to an organisation which has highly questionable internal and no external controls?

Who Is Conning Whom?
So the Derek McInnes “Tapping by Media” project failed well after the 11th hour when the media had told us he was already choosing curtains in Glasgow.
The Ibrox club and their fans were convinced by their chairman’s statement last week at the AGM and the media barrage too and last night were in shock and caught napping – hence the stupid press statement and attempt to make it known to us all that they didn’t really want him anyway and were just having a concomitant kick at the McInnes/Docherty tyres.

However that isn’t all that happened yesterday.

There was a wee meeting at Hampden called “The SFA Congress and Convention”.

Its a kind of series of regular very important meetings where everyone who is valued in football gets invited to see what a great job Stewart Regan and the SFA are undertaking on our behalf. 
And let me say that there is no doubt that some of what The Congress seeks to do and does will indeed be for the good but we the fans wouldn’t know it because we were not invited.
This is a paragraph from this weeks SFSA (Scottish Football Supporters Association) newsletter that I received having filled in their recent survey on Scottish Football.

The SFA Convention this ThursdayOn Thursday, member clubs will gather at Hampden for the 2017 Scottish FA convention to share best practice, discuss current trends and participate in workshops geared towards improving the game:  according to their publicity on social media. Sadly the SFA has failed to invite any representative from Scotland’s only national fans organisation, the SFSA. We had anticipated that given the huge amount of unpaid work that we do for fans and clubs and being Scotland’s representatives at the Football Supporters Europe network our presence might have been merited. Despite claiming it has invited the “football family” the SFA have missed yet another opportunity to engage properly with ordinary football supporters. Could it possibly be related to the independent academic research that we organised last month that dared to criticise the governance of the game or maybe the invite was just lost in the post?
The failure to engage with fans is nonsense.

SFSA’s recent research asked some real questions from over 16000 bona fide Scottish fans. This was an incredible response that provided an incredible insight into what we the fans really think.
I know that Supporters Direct Scotland who are funded by the SFA were there as valued guests but SFSA who have people like Henry McLeish (of the report) and Cathy Jamieson (of Bernard son) on their board were not even invited.

Given that economic analysis of revenue generation confirms that in Scotland the real stakeholders and economic generators are us the fans
We are the people (Sic) who pay for season books and buy merchandise and pies and fund the clubs and their wages.
The people who get to see English Internationals on council telly but not our own country’s.
The people whose game seems to only have Betting Company Sponsors.
The people whose administrators cannot organise things like properly numbered balls in their top cup competitions so that there are two Brora Rangers in some draws!

Why were the SFSA not invited as valued members and contributors to your Congress Stewart?

Are the real fans and their views such a threat to your Congress and Convention?

Is there a danger they might ask questions that don’t fit with your pre determined script?

And a wee hint to the SMSM
Isn’t there a story in this?

About the author