Enough is enough


I think there are examples of both OF teams buying …

Comment on Enough is enough by Andrak.

I think there are examples of both OF teams buying Scottish players at high prices. Didn’t Rangers pay Dundee United £4m for Duncan Ferguson?

For anyone over 50, you already have witnessed a team of Scots beat the best in the world and, in the following years, come close to it again several times. If it could happen once, it could happen again. If Poland, Chile, Belgium, Portugal, and of course Iceland, can produce world class talent, then why can’t we. Do you believe Gordon Strachan that it is genetic? Is it, maybe because something has fundamentally changed in Scotland that means we can never again produce a Law, Baxter, Dalglish, Johnstone, McNeill or Grieg, or even a Hansen Souness or McGovern?

You might be right, but what a miserable self defeating outlook to have. And what a dull place we leave to our children.

Andrak Also Commented

Enough is enough
Allyjambo, I might agree with your point that gate sharing won’t resolve the problem and maybe isn’t even a critical change in the grand scheme of things. If it is right, I think it is because there may be other more innovative ways of redistributing the wealth in the game. I really like what Corrupt Official said earlier about a membership tax, based on (effectively) ability to pay – hope I’m not misquoting you, CO.

But your argument didn’t offer an alternative. You simply said that we would: a. end up with the same teams dominating anyway, b. the clubs that had invested in bigger facitilities would suffer most, and c. that our top teams would be weaker and therefore do even less well in Europe.

It seems, you see a direct correlation between a club’s income and the quality of play on the pitch. Cut the income and you cut the quality. The in-built income inequality means that the top 5 will always be the top 5, just with less good play, which translates into rubbish results in Europe.

When you look at the stats, it is hard to disagree that more money means better results. That is pretty much proven beyond doubt although not always in the short-term. But, the quality of play on the park (and therefore, success in Europe) is, I think, more determined by the level of competition in the league over time.

If the income gap between Celtic & Rangers, and Hearts Hibs and Aberdeen was reduced, you would imagine that the big two would have to try harder and play better to stay ahead, as would the next three to stay ahead of the Dundee clubs for instance. I don’t doubt that they would in the medium to long-term achieve that, but if the incomes were more comparable there would be more occasions when they would fail to.

The 1950, 60s and 80s is a good example. Several different teams won the league although the records show that the top five then were the top five 80 years ago and are still the top five now. That has to do with demographics more than anything else and clubs shouldn’t get too proud of themselves just because they happen to be from a city the size of Glasgow, Edinburgh, or Aberdeen as opposed to a town the size of Perth, Inverness of Greenock.

Enough is enough
Good points there AmFearLiathMòr,

I think you might have convinced me about the improvement in player quality outside of Scotland in the last 30 years. If it is true, of course, then the task of reforming the structure of the game is even more daunting and urgent. Your bit about the singlemindedness of of the site and many of the commentators was interesting too. I’m new to this forum and was moved to write this in response to so many of the comments about my article (though I didn’t post it for fear of upsetting people).

I often feel that discussions about Scottish football with supporters of the either of the OF, get clouded by an intellectually debilitating focus on: a. complaining about the other one, and b. a simply mad obsession with who is treated worse by the authorities, wider fan groups, the media, politicians, and for all I know, everyone else in the world.

For the rest of us, its a bit like listening to two billionaires arguing about who is the poorest of the two, or two criminals arguing over who is the nicest, or who was treated worse by the judge.

Those analogies won’t go down well with many on here, but if we are to support the changes needed to Scottish Football, there are many people in football, the media, politics and the law who really need to take off the green or royal blue tinted glasses before getting into serious discussion. So much of the comments above are barely concealed complaints or attacks on Rangers, or self-defeating moans about bias against Celtic. I’m not saying that none of it is real or justified, I’m saying that it isn’t related to the point of the discussion. There is much, much more at stake.

Enough is enough
I think you make some great points SMUGAS.

Celtic fielding radically different teams for SPFL and CL games would be an indicator that things were untenable. Although, if I’m honest, I couldn’t see the SPFL or SFA stepping in to do much about it. A second string Celtic team would still win the league at a canter, of course, because they would simply buy the best players from the other clubs for a pittance. That has two purposes. First, Celtic ensure they have the best players in the league and second, they also ensure that their competition doesn’t.

There are many, including me who suspect that the OF have followed a policy of buying the best performing players from other teams at cut price rates in the full knowledge that they were not really good enough for anything more than the reserves or third or fourth back-up for a first team player. Most Scottish clubs can rattle off the names of their team’s players who, over the years, were bought for what they felt was an unrealistically low fee, only to sit on the bench at parkhead or Ibrox for years.

Funny enough, I often mention the Celtic team of 1967 and the Rangers team of 1972 as examples of how Scottish teams could win major international honours with entirely Scottish players. In fact Aberdeen also did it in 1983. Dundee and Dundee United did well for a time too, again with entirely Scottish squads. It is great to see Celtic play with a very strong Scottish spine to the team. But I don’t think anyone is in any doubt that future attempts to strengthen the team for the CL will not involve purchases at home.

I strongly believe that a fully Scottish team could again win the Champions League, or at least compete well in the last 16 and in the UEFA league. It will just require courage and faith. I would prefer it to be Dundee, of course, but I would still be bursting at the seems with pride if it were Celtic or Rangers or Aberdeen again. A corollary of that would inevitably be a strong Scottish national side which I’m sure we would all like to see.

What we have to do is to get off this crazy merry-go-round of ever increasing hype of the CL and the top clubs and players. The system is as rigged against Celtic doing well in Europe as it is rigged against the other Scottish clubs from success in Scotland. We have just replicated the injustices and unfairness of the Champions League in our own league. I don’t believe it was inevitable or simply the result of big business having its way. I also believe that a brave little country like ours can lead the way in creating something radically different for our national game. I have a feeling that many other countries would quickly follow-suit.

Recent Comments by Andrak

Of Assets and Liabilities
A fantastic piece. Just a note on Hearts, and maybe the others too. The quickest way to find out how shoogly a peg they are hanging off of would be to take a look at the Romanov company that the club owes the money to. Specifically, who that company owes money to. From the accounts, the auditors were not provided with this information and were concerned enough to say so. I have just had a closer look and there appears to be quite a tangle of Lithuanian and UK companies involved (as described in the Directors Report and Notes to the Accounts). Share Issue, you must be joking……

About the author