Enough is enough

Avatar ByAndrak

Enough is enough

As Celtic prepare to take on one of the Champions league big boys again, a warning to the commentators and pundits.

Like most Scots, I was sad to see Celtic so comprehensively thumped by PSG and Bayern recently. But something about those nights made me angry as well.

Not the players, their effort, or even the schoolboy defending. Not the semi-ritualistic way these games are presented on TV or the ludicrous hype that is generated by the media.

I blame Celtic for their own failings and the executive branch of Scottish football for facilitating that failure. And I think it is the result of a long-term strategy that has clearly failed.

What offends me is the casual referencing of the weakness of the game and players in Scotland as a key reason why Celtic struggle against the best teams, and the implicit suggestion that if only their domestic opponents were more skillful, Celtic’s Champions League training friendlies schedule, aka the SPFL Premiership, might prepare them better for these big games.

Pat Bonner said it outright in his commentary of the Bayern game. The weakness of the SPFL is the problem. Several others made the point that Celtic defenders never get the chance to play against top strikers in their own league and are, therefore, somehow unable to cope with it when they do. Others claim that Celtic are so used to being in possession of the ball and winning games easily at home, that when they face a top-quality opponent, they are suddenly caught like a rabbit in headlights without the faintest clue what to do.

I don’t know enough about the tactics of modern football, or the language used to describe systems of play, to critique that in footballing terms, but I do have a reasonable grasp of what constitutes bullshit. And so much of what our journalists, TV commentators, and pundits say, on occasions like this, is, definitely, it.

I blame Celtic for their own failings and the executive branch of Scottish football for facilitating that failure. And I think it is the result of a long-term strategy that has clearly failed.

Here’s how I think it went. Professional football in Scotland looks like it has been organised around a single goal. To generate Scottish success in the Champions League. A good way to achieve that is to ensure that Scottish teams get plenty exposure to that league. The best way to ensure that is to make sure that the same team, or teams, gain regular entry into it. The way to make that happen is to organise the league such that it is unthinkable that any other team could win it.

How might you do that without making it obvious what your intentions are?

Well, first, you lay the financial ground. Allow teams to keep their home gate receipts. That way, clubs are kept in their place, the big two stay big, the middle six to eight, not so big, and the rest, remain almost irrelevant.

To further entrench the financial status quo, you need to ensure that income from domestic sources (particularly TV money) is kept low enough to stop any other club paying for a team above their station, but not so low that mid-sized clubs go out of business.

It is our fault because we are not brave enough. Not brave enough to stand up to the powers running our game and put a stop to this madness.

Next, you would have to ensure that the rules stay in place long enough for the plan to work. Give the two big clubs the right of veto over rule changes. The masterminds of the plan have to be kept in office for as long as possible and committee members must be carefully selected. A generous portion of executives from the big two, and a fair sprinkling of others too afraid of their own clubs going to the wall to bother about grand generation-long master-plans, should guarantee no one rocks the boat too much. Allow a rogue committee member to challenge things every now and again to make it look good for the punters, safe in the knowledge that no permanent damage can be done to the plan.

But what if something unexpected happened to one of the big clubs? That could be tricky, right? The whole plan could be put in jeopardy. On the other hand, what is there to worry about when you have ensured that the decision makers are either on message or too concerned about their own teams’ survival to get in the way of a stitch up. Sure, we lost a few years, but it’ll soon get back on track.

Journalists would get wind of this surely, or even be able to work it out for themselves, right? Well, in a profession that seems to have lost most of its towering intellects to be replaced by either agenda driven zealots or barely literate fan bloggers (like me, I suppose), we might be asking a little too much of them. In any case, the overwhelming coverage of the big two in the national media and the simple fact that promoting Celtic and Rangers sells advertising space means that they are, more or less, complicit, even if they don’t always realise it.

I hope this sounds like the ramblings of a mad conspiracy theorist, but if any of the above rings true (and it does to me), then there might just be some truth on it.

Pat Bonner and those other pundits and commentators are right of course. Celtic’s failure against the big teams is the fault of the rest of Scottish football. Our players and teams aren’t good enough. But fault is a convoluted thing. It is not our fault because we are not good enough. It is our fault because we are not brave enough. Not brave enough to stand up to the powers running our game and put a stop to this madness.

I have absolutely no evidence that there is such a master-plan, or that anyone at the SFA or SPFL has even considered any of these points or the consequences that might flow from them. I even have serious doubts that any of the current leadership have the intellectual capacity to dream up such a Machiavellian plot, let alone execute it. But one thing I do know is that Scottish football is not in a healthy place. Not even a Celtic victory tonight, even if they gave some of their CL win bonus to Kilmarnock, you know, for giving them such a good run out on Saturday, would fix it.

How glorious would it be for the other Scottish teams to be credited for Celtic’s CL victories (especially the big ones)? I imagine the words would get stuck in plenty of throats. Celtic win CL games despite Scottish Football and lose them because of it. That, in a nutshell, is where we are right now. All that is likely to change any time soon is that Rangers will join them again. Something has to change, if only because my TV won’t survive another shoe being thrown at it when some Celtic minded blowhard tells the world that my team is partly to blame for Celtic’s defence not being good enough to stop Neymar or Lewandowski.

This article was first published in the unofficial Dundee Fans Forum https://www.thedarkblues.co.uk/news/scottish-football/enough-is-enough-r542/ on 23 October 2017. Reproduced, in slightly amended form, with their kind permission.

About the author

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Andrak contributor

A Dundee fan, brought up in the city in the 70s and 80s, now lives in England. An accountant by profession and temperament. Working in international development mostly overseas (Africa & South East Asia, mostly). Currently based in Vientiane Laos. Never played football beyond Sunday League but watch as much Scottish football as possible.

718 Comments so far

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gunnerbPosted on1:17 am - Nov 2, 2017


JIMBONOVEMBER 1, 2017 at 23:40
EDIT
 “So the idea that we could ‘manipulate’ the Scottish Football industry to make it more equitable is laughable.  It is down to numbers.  Laudable as it may seem it wont work.”

_______________________________________________________________________________
The thing is Jimbo that it takes two to tango. If your partner doesn’t have the bus fare to get to the ballroom then you look pretty silly strutting and dipping on your own. That being said, gateshare will marginally weaken Celtic but not dramatically improve the competitiveness of the SPFL overall. The solidarity payment from Celtic’s progress in Uefa competitions is an indicator of what might be a way forward. It had been mooted in a post in an earlier blog(forgive me for not recollecting and allocating due credit) that the riches gained from CL participation may be distributed as a whole more evenly. The qualifying team(s) benefit and keep all ticket/commercial revenue(outside of TV.. Which is prize money) but ‘donate’ say 50% of prize monies to the domestic league. The arguments against this have been well rehearsed and debated.. Celtic are a plc and have a duty to their shareholders.. Etc. But somehow the business interest/corinthian spirit balance has to be found. (After ten in a row of course.. ahem)

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John ClarkPosted on1:36 am - Nov 2, 2017


An email from the Scottish Football Supporters Association is in my inbox:
“We want an audience of fans who care about our game to come and hear first hand when the results are revealed at Firhill Stadium (6.30pm for a 7pm start) on Tuesday 7th.
PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE AROUND JUST 50 TICKETS LEFT FOR WHAT WILL BE A HUGE EVENT. It is free and tickets will be on a first come basis. Get yours here.”
The ‘results’ referred to are of course the results of the survey ( Not the SFA funded  in-house ‘supporters direct’ mob)  but of the  survey independently commissioned by the Scottish Football Supporters Association(SFSA) and conducted and analysed by German academics with huge experience of the German football experience.
I plan to be at Firhill ( at which ground, incidentally, my late sister’s father-in-law was a groundsman away back in time).

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jimboPosted on2:21 am - Nov 2, 2017


John,
I hope you enjoy your time at Firhill.  Can I tell you a story?  I once worked with a guy called Whitey McGowan (James).  He was captain of Partick Thistle I believe for a while.  Back in the 60s I think.  The thing is, PT must have been part time at the time.  Whitey used to have to ask the pit manager to get away an hour early on a Saturday to catch the bus into Glasgow.  Changed days.  When I worked with him he was the crew bus driver for Sir Robert McAlpine.

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on6:59 am - Nov 2, 2017


JOHN CLARKNOVEMBER 1, 2017 at 22:27
————-
thanks for all your hard work

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nawlitePosted on9:37 am - Nov 2, 2017


GunnerB; John Clark, I agree with you both on the interdependence thing and am all for a more level domestic playing field, but will ask you the same question I asked Trisidium last night – why would Celtic weaken themselves short term by giving up money without some guarantee that it strengthens or maintains them in the long term? No club/business would take that risk to their success/profit.
We’re not talking domestic only, of course. If Celtic were to be weakened in such a way, they’re also weakened in European competition where they have ambitions of success/profit.
Would you agree with me that this idea of sharing money (be it gate receipts, UEFA money, TV money, whatever) only works if it is done at UEFA level, so that all the ‘big’ clubs are impacted to the same extent? I know tackling UEFA makes it harder than tackling Celtic or event the SFA, but that is the challenge in my opinion.

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AuldheidPosted on10:02 am - Nov 2, 2017


In the run up to the Celtic AGM here is a recap on where matters stand.
http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/persistence-beats-res12tance-november-update/

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AuldheidPosted on10:14 am - Nov 2, 2017


Gunnerb 
Naw lite

I blame the demise of Rangers (and it could have been Celtic had DD and Brian Quinn not put the spending brakes on in 2004) on UEFA and the pursuit of UEFA geld. 
I’ve blogged on it in the past and whilst Celtic might in the interests of improving competition share a bit more on an agreed basis that leads to better players and not paying higher wages for the current level, UEFA themselves must see that their prime competition is less and less competitive.
Thus the redistribution of CL wealth should come from them.
That might help drive down players wages and make the better ones more affordable to the clubs in Pots 3 and 4 as well as driving up domestic standards so other clubs with aspirations to play in Europe have a competitive chance in Europe as well.
There is more than enough money in the game to do so without harming the wealth of the current top earners.
Think of the tax they don’t have to avoid by falling into a lower tax bracket.?

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SmugasPosted on11:10 am - Nov 2, 2017


I don’t disagree with Auldheid’s view re UEFA’s likely need for further philanthropy borne out of necessity.  But away from CL riches another way to look at it would be how Celtic might react to a suggestion that their 16% (1st place – very roughly) split of the aggregate TV/sponsorship/prize money Scottish pot was redistributed.  I have a suspicion that they, assuming CL revenues continue, might be more accommodating to that proposal (although I agree with Nawlite, fundamentally why would they volunteer it, but lets just assume they were forced to) to its release than say an Aberdeen, Rangers or Hibs standpoint if it was suggested that a/they were similarly generous with their 2-4th splits or b/ even to a suggestion that the monies denied to celtic were sent any wider than to them as the top 3 or 4 ‘competing’ clubs.  Why is competition for the top spot any more important than say for the top six?  Particularly when the Raes of this world are so entrenched as to believe a top two clash (if re-established) will essentially sell itself.  In that case why promote it or support it with redistributed cash any further?  But then does that not support the argument would Celtic be more generous (if forced) if they believed their slice was ‘helping the game’ if not increasing the challenge on them specifically.  In a way its a monetary version of the ‘Christie’ conundrum I mentioned last night.

The problem doesn’t lie with Celtic any more than the solution does#.  It is simply a lack of leadership but there’s no surprises there. And for the absence of doubt the powers-that-be’s current preferred solution of a more competitive league (read selective top two) is transparently not in the interests of the remaining top clubs, which I think is the wider point Andrak is making. Particularly when the business case for this duopoly hasn’t been demonstrated, never mind critically analysed, and never further mind this bizarre notion that we should all somehow contribute to its recreation because its not a monopoly.  

# whilst still not Celtic’s problem per se one small caveat I would add in there is how Celtic react to their newfound status of sole powerhouse, and specifically how they treat the domestic game.  The second they develop a taste for essentially fielding a second squad (not tinkering with a team but wholesale personnel changes) on the Saturday with a first squad for the Tuesday/Wednesday night there is a problem there for the wider game simply because there aren’t enough quality domestic players to go round.  To continue my AFC sourced example think Jonny Hayes (who is as Scottish as Guiness I know).  But if you unquestioningly recreate the duopoly are you simply doubling that problem – in essence my core argument why permitting formal colt teams would be a very dangerous road to go down. 

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woodstein

woodsteinPosted on1:34 pm - Nov 2, 2017


John Clark
November 1, 2017 at 20:18
 
“Sadly, my techy skills are not quite up to it. It’s ended up in ‘pictures’ and what’s on the screen seems not to be amenable to the ‘copy and paste’ procedure. It seems to be PDF file and I’ve never been able to open them on my windows 10.”
 
How can I save it as a document that I can copy and paste?
 
————————————————–
 
Scans are normally “image” files and will be saved as PDF files.
 
Microsoft in its’ wisdom dropped its PDF reader from windows 10, but for some weird reason kept a pdf reader in edge the new “browser”
 
So right click on the pdf file in pictures and you should se a drop down box with
Choices,  3rd down is  “open with”  click on this and another box opens with 3 choices one of which is Microsoft Edge (don’t be tempted to open microsoft word the result will be unintelligible text)
Choose Edge and your text will appear in another screen.
Top right (three dots) click them and a menu drop down with “print” as an option use this and you will get another copy which you can then redact and scan.
 

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AndrakPosted on2:37 pm - Nov 2, 2017


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.

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macfurgly

macfurglyPosted on4:15 pm - Nov 2, 2017


AndrakNovember 2, 2017 at 14:37
—————–
“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….only to sit on the bench at parkhead or Ibrox for years”.
While I have some sympathy for my friends in Dundee who have been giving me this for years, it is also true that the transfer fees from Celtic in particular, ( I really think TRFC pay cut price fees, think offering £400,000 for Scott Brown and Thomson from Hibs before Celtic paid £4M for Brown alone), help keep the selling club afloat. That’s how the transfer market works. I can think of half a dozen players who left Celtic in recent years to warm benches down south. There are only so many players Celtic and previously RFC can buy though.
Having said that, there is something wrong, in my opinion, when Chelsea for example can have 35 players or so out on loan at the same time.
“I strongly believe that a fully Scottish team could again win the Champions League…”
Regrettably, not in the foreseeable future and probably not in my lifetime.
“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”.
I agree that it is undesirable. I have never taken Sky because of what their money has done to UK football, which I realise is both futile and ridiculous. The direction of travel at UEFA is in the opposite direction though, with the forthcoming changes making it easier for more clubs from the big leagues to qualify at the expense of Champions from smaller countries. I’m sceptical I’m afraid about any willingness to change this existing at UEFA. My best hope is that the CL becomes so exclusive that it becomes boring and viewing figures drop. Heavyweight boxing ate itself this way 20 years ago.
My previous point about the relative finances of several Scottish clubs and clubs from Luxembourg, Malta etc. remains. A redistribution of wealth within Scottish football might help, but there is more to it than that.

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AndrakPosted on4:48 pm - Nov 2, 2017


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.

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HamerdoonPosted on4:52 pm - Nov 2, 2017


jimboNovember 2, 2017 at 02:21 13 3 Rate This
John, I hope you enjoy your time at Firhill.  Can I tell you a story?  I once worked with a guy called Whitey McGowan (James). 
——————————————————————————————————
What a coincidence! “Whitey” McGowan was my Mum’s cousin! Met him a few times as a boy, many years ago now.

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TrisidiumPosted on5:12 pm - Nov 2, 2017



Nawlite
Not suggesting philanthropy at all on Celtic’s part. Celtic wouldn’t be risking very much if some more equitable model was introduced
They’d still have more money than most. After all they have the benefit of 20 games at Celtic Park each season. Other clubs a tenth of that.
In addition to that minimal risk, the long term benefits to the game include the potential to increase competition in the sport. This would potentially increase supporter activity at other clubs, and increase Celtic’s chances of better international performance due to that increased competitive edge.

That would be the best way to improve Celtic’s fortunes, if they are committed to a future in Scottish football. My worry is that they are not at all committed to Scottish football and see the inherent weakness in our game as the instrument through which they can escape from it.

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TrisidiumPosted on5:25 pm - Nov 2, 2017


Auldheid,
I don’t think that UEFA give a toss about how competitive the EC Cup is. They have consistently failed to implement means through which there would be greater competition by bowing to the interests of the mega-clubs. They are more afraid of losing TV cash than a competitive edge.

In doing so, I believe they are as guilty of short term thinking than any Scottish Greybeard with a club blazer. The irony from my perspective is that clubs like Celtic rail against the regime that favours big clubs, whilst paying little heed to the plight of clubs in the tier below.

Sadly I believe the only way it gets better is to wait for the big capitalist soccer train wreck to happen.
Unlike Jimbo, my socialism endures to the end, survives the act of wearing my Celtic scarf ?

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on6:00 pm - Nov 2, 2017


Plagiarised from the Guardian / Rumour Mill;

“Ally McCoist wants the Sunderland job. He plans to bring in Sue Barker and John Parrott as assistants.”
09

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erniePosted on6:10 pm - Nov 2, 2017


Interesting, Trisidium, that you refer the issue back to socialism albeit somewhat tongue in cheek.  It is the issue though: me,me,me self interest will stymie any chance of changing what we do and getting the same outcomes, the definition of stupidity.  And before the TD’s roll in I can clarify that the main self interested culprit for me is my own team, Aberdeen.  When the establishment teams (CFC and the then extant RFC) called out the SPL diddies (led by oor Stewarty) as rebels for tabling the end of the two vote veto* said rebels were, and always had been, clear that such a change to the voting would EXCLUDE gate sharing.  This was of course because the Dons wanted to protect their own gate from the even diddier teams.  What a shower of short sighted spivs! That’s neo liberalism for you, in terms of the business of football the big teams shaft the wee teams all the way down the food chain because “there is no alternative” don’t you know?
Hence Celtic, who in my lifetime (late 60’s to be exact) could put up a credible case for being the best fitba team in the world, are now 4th tier European (i.e. Pot 4 in the CL) and that after a tremendous performance over the years based on a huge support and top class management.  Their erstwhile partners, of course, could at one time have claimed to be amongst the best in Europe and they dealt with the descent of non-mega TV deal nations by going out of business so total respect for Celtic’s achievement.  But best in the world to 4th tier?  Blimey, even Aberdeen at one time (early 80’s) had a credible claim to be amongst the best in Europe and now we’re about 7th/8th tier based on when they have to enter the competitions.  I enjoy my support for the Dons so no big deal I suppose but if we want to be any better as a nation, and subsequently as individual clubs, then we have to change, we have to try another way. 
(* Of course the reason behind Stewarty and the Dons subsequently backing off getting rid of the veto when there was no form of Rangers in the SPL is another scandalous element of my team’s history.  A deal was struck, I know not what it was.)

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on7:08 pm - Nov 2, 2017


November update.
http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/persistence-beats-res12tance-november-update/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

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nawlitePosted on7:45 pm - Nov 2, 2017


Tris, you say “Celtic wouldn’t be risking very much if some more equitable model was introducedThey’d still have more money than most.”
Of course they would………but only most in Scotland. That’s my point – why would they weaken themselves against the ‘big’ European clubs whom they have ambitions to better or at least compete with? You suggest they should because somewhere down the line they MIGHT need to improve due to increased competition from better domestic clubs. Seriously? “Let’s weaken ourselves against the clubs we’re aspiring to match in the hope that years ahead we MIGHT get better and they (keeping all their money) don’t”!?!?!?!
Let’s be realistic. You can’t expect a business/club to do that.
I want better competition and improving standards in Scottish football as much as anyone, but the more naïve comments I hear, the more I’m convinced that it can only be done by somehow forcing UEFA to drive it from the top down (or, as you say, the bubble bursts and we start from scratch).

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TrisidiumPosted on9:34 pm - Nov 2, 2017


Nawlite,
I think you are correct about the only possible solution, and my suggestion may be naive, but not nearly as naive as the notion that the increasingly failing model that Celtic employ now will spontaneously transform itself into a winning one. That is as delusional as the MSM notion that a blue jersey with 5 stars could in itself challenge for the league title.

At least helping to address the Scottish game’s problem has a high probability, not a ‘maybe’ of increasing domestic competition, and make our game better situated to take advantage of the situation if that UEFA bubble bursts.

I hope it’s not naive to be steadfastly opposed to Celtic leaving Scottish football, because that is my position. It is definitely not Celtic’s.

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John ClarkPosted on9:45 pm - Nov 2, 2017


woodsteinNovember 2, 2017 at 13:34
‘…So right click on the pdf file in pictures ..’
________
That looks instructions that even I might be able to follow , woodstein!
I’ve only just sat down at my laptop for the first time today, so I’ll wait until tomorrow before I put myself to the test.
Thanks for your help.

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SmugasPosted on9:55 pm - Nov 2, 2017


Tin hat on.

Are Clubs really truly bothered at Celtic winning every week?  I mean bothered enough to engineer a situation where instead they see two clubs (not them) winning every week?

You’re going to have to offer them more than Alex Rae bumping his gums about it being pyoor no fair.  As we discussed earlier, can “the negotiations” go any lower?  I seriously have my doubts.

In fact, to be really radical, what if the remaining clubs started to play their own 2nd strings and kept their real teams for their big games?  You must have noticed that for many, when the blue and green supports on which we are apparently addicted to and dependent on roll into town many of us are staying at home.

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SmugasPosted on10:03 pm - Nov 2, 2017


Tris said
“….I hope it’s not naive to be steadfastly opposed to Celtic leaving Scottish football, because that is my position. It is definitely not Celtic’s…”

genuine question Tris.  Do you think Celtics view is that their favoured exit is helped or hindered with their ugly wee brother in tow?  Or is their aversion to putting them out of their misery more to do with their requirement to stay or (worst case scenario as far as I’m concerned) they attempt to have a foot in both camps, domestically and elsewhere.

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on10:25 pm - Nov 2, 2017


SMUGASNOVEMBER 2, 2017 at 21:55
You’re going to have to offer them more than Alex Rae bumping his gums.
Alex Rae EBT £569,000

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on10:29 pm - Nov 2, 2017


Alex Rae EBT £569,000

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John ClarkPosted on10:48 pm - Nov 2, 2017


From the Rolls of Court of Session
“LORD TYRE – N Marchant, Clerk
 Tuesday 7th November
  By Order between 9.30am and 10.00am
 P115/17 Note: RFC 2012 Plc for orders under para 75
 Shepherd & Wedderburn       Wright Johnston & Mackenzie LLP”
_________
I may toddle along to see whether there has been any agreement between the sides as to  which documents (of the many thousands relating to the Administration as handled by D&P) are to be used as productions, and whether the Court can determine a date for full hearing of BDO’s petition.

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AuldheidPosted on11:24 pm - Nov 2, 2017


TrisidiumNovember 2, 2017 at 17:25 
Auldheid, I don’t think that UEFA give a toss about how competitive the EC Cup is. They have consistently failed to implement means through which there would be greater competition by bowing to the interests of the mega-clubs. They are more afraid of losing TV cash than a competitive edge.
In doing so, I believe they are as guilty of short term thinking than any Scottish Greybeard with a club blazer. The irony from my perspective is that clubs like Celtic rail against the regime that favours big clubs, whilst paying little heed to the plight of clubs in the tier below.
Sadly I believe the only way it gets better is to wait for the big capitalist soccer train wreck to happen. Unlike Jimbo, my socialism endures to the end, survives the act of wearing my Celtic scarf.
+++++++++++++++++
I’m not expecting UEFA to act unless enough clubs say enough (see what I did there?20 ) but there already is a league of clubs with divisions into which clubs fit. Its called the Champions League and the Divisions are Pot1 , Pot2, Pot 3 and Pot 4.
A proper league would not match say Celtic against say Cowdenbeath 4 times a season, for the obvious non competitive nature of those matches, so over time it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that there will be a proper European League with X Divisions and a pyramid system to allow clubs entry from domestic leagues.
Unlike yourself I think the best thing to bring competition back into Scottish football now would be Celtic leaving it (subject of course of having a home to go to).
If the clubs left behind had a reasonable chance at a title or cups I don’t think they would be so  accepting of the current culture of governance that turns a blind eye to the rules. In fact with Ross County having the only sugar daddy, clubs might insist in a form of domestic financial fair play over which the league has some oversight to curb the behaviour that killed Rangers.

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roddybhoyPosted on11:48 pm - Nov 2, 2017


Andrak, good thought out article but I dont agree on some of your points. Scottish football is in this situation because we have had for way too many years ( crooked ) amateurs at the top of the table running our game, add to the fact that UEFA have created a money monster by way of the champions league AND football has got into bed with the TV companies. That for me is the reason we are where we are. I get really pissed off about all this moaning about Celtic being too big and too strong . Cast your mind back to not long ago………a certain team were practically invincible domestically ( We now know they cheated on an industrial scale) . Open any newspaper at that time and oh how they loved to report on how wonderful it all was , how they were so good that that they could field 3 different teams , one for the domestic league, one for the scottish cup and one for their European campaign…..and it was full colour spreads too !!!! I even remember it being reported that Rangers were so big and so good that they had outgrown Scotland and that they needed to move on to bigger things…. I dont remember any dissenting voices back then . Celtic were on their knees ( and if Murray had his way there would have been no Celtic FC now ). As you probably know Mr. McCann came in and the rest is History , but he was not a sugar daddy. Celtic had a plan, a long term plan , and although Celtic were “saved” there were plenty of hard lean years ahead . Celtic were forever getting slaughtered for their “biscuit tin Mentality” when in fact the only crime they were committing was in fact living by their means . Now Celtics Plan has finally come into fruition after many many years of hard work behind the scenes  and once again Celtic seem to be looked on as some kind of bad guy in all this . When the cheating team were in their pomp they never made any inroads in Europe so why are Celtic getting it in the neck …again. I dont want Celtic to share gate money in the current climate. Why should they give money away when all the other clubs dont even challenge mass cheating going on in our game. The bottom line for me is that just about every clubs owner/chairman has acted like a scared girls blouse ! They dont seem to want the game to improve or are scared to stand united with other club chairman and challenge the corruption at the very top of our game. Or is it more sinister , is it a case of …….Its Celtic so f@@K them !! Why should Celtic give money to to a system that turns a blind eye to cheating and corruption.  I get the whole gate sharing to a point but a good start would be a TOTAL clear out of the SFA …………….then maybe start talking about new Ideas like Gate Sharing etc but our game will never change with Regan, Doncaster , Bryson , Dickson etc in charge  Rid the game of those crooked shysters then maybe implement changes 

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John ClarkPosted on12:22 am - Nov 3, 2017


roddybhoyNovember 2, 2017 at 23:48
‘… and if Murray had his way there would have been no Celtic FC now ‘
________
Not to mention the dastardly HBoS, with whom, I imagine, few Celtic supporters/businesses now bank because of its vicious readiness to imperil their club while recklessly  bankrolling   the biggest sporting cheat in Scotland, and in effect helping to bring about the collapse into Liquidation of the ‘institution’ they were so ready to help in defiance of good , prudent banking practice.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:09 am - Nov 3, 2017


Re the gate sharing debate, it is something I totally disagree with. Others of course are as entitled to voice support for it. 

I can remember a time when gate sharing was in place, yet it was also a time when some of the clubs in the top leagues were part time, or had a mixture of full and part time players.  Clubs such as Kilmarnock, Clydebank and Partick Thistle to name but three. Taking Kilmarnock as an example Jim Stewart worked for ICI during the day and trained at night. George Maxwell was a PE Teacher. The media of the day as usual had the prophecies of doom that in 30-40 years only Celtic and Rangers would be full time. Yet now every club in the top league and some in the Championship are full time.

Going back to gate sharing, I will be quite blunt about it. I would be unwilling to buy a season ticket for my club unless every penny is for my club. My stance is only reinforced even more given no other club is willing to demand a proper investigation into how the SFA handled Rangers using unlawful tax avoidance to put better players on the park.  

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SmugasPosted on8:50 am - Nov 3, 2017


Roddybhoy,

There are as many dissenting voices now as there were then, arguably more for the sham the two club model has been subsequently shown up to be.  You just need to know where to look.  Colour 2page exclusives are not the place to start though.

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Corrupt official

Corrupt officialPosted on9:41 am - Nov 3, 2017


   Celtic have just signed KT on a 6 year deal. A contract they are tied to, as with all contracts they enter into. This long term commitment has been (I assume) carefully planned and budgeted, forecast from current revenue streams. 
    Are Celtic to lose him, due to the need to help others who refuse to help themselves? 
    The only moral way to get more of the pie, is to encourage fitba go-ers, to stop driving past their stadium on their way to Celtic Park.  If they want more of the gate, then capture more of the gate.
    We have already witnessed Kilmarnock exploit Celtic fans and raise their prices when Celtic fans came calling. Are we now to give them a wedge of our home gate on top too?….A club who abstained, refusing to take any decisions calling for integrity in our sport? ….Why would we?
    There is one problem in Scottish fitba’ and it is the corrupt SFA. The opportunity is here to remove them, and replace them with something resembling professionals……Where is the support for Celtic in trying to achieve that……….Tap, tap, tap. 
    Only when the SFA in its current form is removed, will any discussion advocating major changes will be worthwhile, because as we have seen, change will only happen if it benefits a new club. 
    Gate share will not benefit them, and most likely hamper them more than most.
   One step at a time ladies and gentlemen. A complete and radical overhaul of our governing bodies is required, first and foremost, replacing them with honest people of vision and equity. 
     A wee bit of help in bringing that about, would not go unnoticed. Maybe then, we can all get together in the name of self interest, to recognise that self interest is inter-dependent on the collective. 
    A collective moving forward under a cohesive and equitable planned advancement. 
   Then perhaps a way could be found. I am against gate share, but would have no objections to a membership tax. Each club to pay X % of gate income into a central fund. Perhaps TV revenue, such as it is, could also be added to the fund. 
    How it would be spent?…….Well that would be down to the reformed SFA to decide, and for ALL clubs to agree on. Perhaps secured loans could be made available, or assistance with facility improvements etc.  Or even just divvied up equally between member clubs every five years or so. 
    It will all be a huge waste of time though, if it is used purely to play the same players higher wages.
    

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Homunculus

HomunculusPosted on10:28 am - Nov 3, 2017


Forgive my ignorance but someone might know. Does any league across Europe have a “gate sharing” system in place. If so, how does it work.

Here’s a thought, rather than the normally assumed 50/50 for gate sharing, why not go for teams keeping the money that their own fans pay. So whatever money Kilmarnock fans pay to get into say Easter Road, then Kilmarnock get to keep that money.

That seems like a reasonable form of gate sharing. You get to keep what your customers are willing to pay.

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bordersdonPosted on11:46 am - Nov 3, 2017


                       HomunculusNovember 3, 2017 at 10:28
Forgive my ignorance but someone might know. Does any league across Europe have a “gate sharing” system in place. If so, how does it work.
Here’s a thought, rather than the normally assumed 50/50 for gate sharing, why not go for teams keeping the money that their own fans pay. So whatever money Kilmarnock fans pay to get into say Easter Road, then Kilmarnock get to keep that money.
That seems like a reasonable form of gate sharing. You get to keep what your customers are willing to pay.
———————————————————————-
No idea what happens across Europe. When I first read your post I thought what a good idea. Then I thought it through.
On balance this would probably put more money into the pockets of Celtic and Sevco (and probably Aberdeen due to our good away support) but would cost the likes of Killie, Ross C. ITC, St J.
Despite the “it takes two teams to make a game argument” I don’t think gate sharing is the way forward but we should be looking at other ways to try make the playing field more level whilst accepting that it will never be level.

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Corrupt official

Corrupt officialPosted on12:00 pm - Nov 3, 2017


HOMUNCULUSNOVEMBER 3, 2017 at 10:28
    Forgive my ignorance but someone might know. Does any league across Europe have a “gate sharing” system in place. If so, how does it work.
Here’s a thought, rather than the normally assumed 50/50 for gate sharing, why not go for teams keeping the money that their own fans pay. So whatever money Kilmarnock fans pay to get into say Easter Road, then Kilmarnock get to keep that money.
That seems like a reasonable form of gate sharing. You get to keep what your customers are willing to pay.
    —————————————————————————————————
    That indeed would be an equitable stride H, but would those with a smaller support, be prepared to return the compliment when a larger support comes calling. As it stands, they would in most cases be losing out if they had to return the income from a large travelling support. 
    In this instance of Killie, if they only took 1000 to Easter Rd, but Hibs had 2000 wearing Kilmarnock bunnets travelling to Ayrshire, then Killie would be 1000 worse off as they would have to return what they have, and at the moment keep.
    The same applies right through the card if lesser supported teams had to return what for them now is a valuable income stream. 
    Even in cup games, it is well known that small clubs want to draw a “name”, to boost their income. Even to the extent of hiring a larger stadium.
    Or are you suggesting a cut-off, where some clubs return travelling support income, while others are exempt? 

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watcherPosted on12:34 pm - Nov 3, 2017


JJ’s  latest is well worth a read. Astonishing. What a crap country we live in.
       Jimbo while i am on, told you, keep the head up it is all about the game against Anderlecht then your club will be playing in europe after Xmas. If they do i have a feeling they could go all the way to the final. You need a couple of obvious signings in January. A centre half and a right back, i always see Lustig as a problem. Do not be surprised to see a new goalkeeper too. Anyway best of luck to you. Could you please send some luck for my team we really need it as we are presently the Strongest team in the league. (holding the rest up)

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erniePosted on12:46 pm - Nov 3, 2017


It’s not only on SFM that the topic of gatesharing takes over every conversation about changing to attempt a better way forward.  That’s why the SMSM omitted to publicise that gatesharing was never on the agenda when the SPL voting veto was on the go, it’s an easy out. It’s never going to happen so I tend to contemplate what else might be done.  A proper 16/18 team first tier, an academy approach to youth and U 20’s development, share of prize and FIFA/UEFA cash on a scale based on said youth development, full time first tier, summer fitba or some form of early start to match qualifying, dump Hampden and circulate big games, international team prioritising SPFL (we regularly get beaten by teams from inferior leagues)  etc etc?  Or we stick where we are at and I completely understand why Celtic, and their erstwhile and next up partners, prefer to stick where we are at but that’s not really interesting to the rest of us.  What we need is for one of the big two to  move to the EPL or go bust then we can vote in some changes…oh, hud on.

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Homunculus

HomunculusPosted on1:00 pm - Nov 3, 2017


watcher
November 3, 2017 at 12:34
===========================
Sorry but his credibility, the little he ever had, is totally gone.

He has let himself slip a wee bit with his sock puppets though. He really needs to make sure that if he is amending what he writes (about himself) that he changes the original post, rather than put a slightly tweeked one up, using a different name, just a few minutes later.

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Homunculus

HomunculusPosted on1:11 pm - Nov 3, 2017


OK I’ll take the hit on the thumbs down.

The obvious answer to finances in the Scottish game is less clubs.

That way the pot of money is split between a smaller number of teams, and the overheads get lower because there are less grounds to look after, less costs like insurance etc.

I know some people would simply stop going if their club and another merged, but it has happened before and i would suggest succesfully.

The half way house is ground sharing. No more income to each team, as above, but less overheads.

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AmFearLiathMòr

AmFearLiathMòrPosted on1:43 pm - Nov 3, 2017


Good to see the site returning to a discussion about other issues in Scottish Football, rather than the single track that it had wandered down for a while.
For the record, I would agree with the original blog writer – I don’t remember Scottish Football generally getting any credit when Celtic beat Barcelona, yet it gets walloped over the head with blame whenever Celtic lose in Europe.
Also, there appear to be a lot of posters taking the blog as some sort of attack on Celtic.  It’s not – I read it as a comment on a) Scottish Football Punditry and how inordinately lazy it is and b) a plea on how can we change things to make it more competitive.
I would say part of the problem is that we think that football outside of Scotland has stood still, and that the lack of recent success is purely down to Scottish Football going backwards, hence the fact that Hansen, Law, Baxter, McNeil etc. still get brought up as a ‘why don’t we produce these players anymore?!?’ howl.
No doubt this will be scoffed at, but in my opinion, we do still produce players of that standard.  The problem is that outside of the Scottish bubble, football has moved on enormously.  As an example, the victory over Netherlands in the ’78 World Cup is seen as some sort of high watermark – everyone’s familiar with the goals, but I would contend that’s all we’re familiar with.  I got the full match DVD a few years ago, and I was shocked at the standard.  What passed for marking was standing about 5 yards away from your opponent, and to make it worse, these supposed world class players seemed incapable of hitting a cross that wasn’t blocked by the aforementioned 5-yards-away opponent.  Rose-tinted nostalgia can be very misleading. The players you idolised years ago are probably far better in your mind than they ever were on grass.
Quite simply, the world outside is full of peak-condition, highly trained athletes, all sustained on a diet of Champions league money and sports science.  These guys have left the standard of ’78 behind years and years ago.  Meanwhile, we go round in ever decreasing circles, doing the same things we did 30/40 years ago, and wondering why they don’t work anymore.
There is a glimour of hope in the lower age groups, in that we’re starting to do things differently, and the standard of player is slowly improving relative to the outside world, but it will still take time to trickle through.  However, even outside of the technical ability of players, there is still vast improvements we could make to our game.
Gate sharing is a non-starter, and clubs like Celtic would be quite entitled to ask why they should give up half their money that their fans have paid.  I know the argument about it being for the greater good and all that, but it would be very difficult to roll back from now.  The one area where we could effect greater change is via the monies of league position and TV deals. A more equitable distribution of the money here would be a good start, as would someone who realises the value of the product they have.  BT and Sky probably can’t believe their luck that they pick up something that gives them the sort of viewing figures that the likes of Burnley, Stoke etc could only dream of for an absolute fraction of the price. To be fair, at least BT seem slightly embarrassed about it and provide broad-ranging, fairly good coverage on our football – unlike Sky’s ‘Coming up tonight, Aberdeen v Hibs – we ask … how can Rangers improve?’

Anyway, ramble over….

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on2:07 pm - Nov 3, 2017


My tuppence worth on the ever reappearing ‘gate-sharing’ issue.

This time round it has reappeared in a debate about creating a meaningful challenge to Celtic. Leaving aside the ‘it’s no fair’ argument, I fail to see how it could possibly lead to any sort of challenge through bringing financial benefit to the chasing pack.

Without wishing to insult any other team, the chasing pack would be made up from one, or more, of Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibs and dare I say it, TRFC. In other words, the clubs, apart from Celtic, who would not benefit, and most likely lose, from gate-sharing. In the meantime, Celtic would most likely absorb the lost revenue and not falter domestically, but lose out in Europe, meaning the ‘chasing pack’, and the rest, lose even more money from the European solidarity payments.

In the meantime, some clubs have shelled out huge (in Scottish football terms) sums in building grounds to hold around 20,000 supporters, and Aberdeen have plans afoot to build a new stadium holding even more than that. In each case the plans were laid with gate receipt retention a major factor. Why build a ground with a capacity of 20,000 when, for much less money, and less upkeep costs, they could build one of, say, 15,000, and lose a smaller whack of the home gate, while able to make up the shortfall with four visits to Celtic Park and Ibrox?

All that ‘gate sharing’ would do would be to close the gap, financially, between what I call ‘the chasing pack’ and the rest, while making Celtic less Euro competitive but retaining a huge financial gulf and bringing no club any closer to being competitive. 

It may be morally correct to say that Scottish football should have gate-sharing, but that is a separate argument/discussion from creating a more competitive league.

Something to remember about gate-sharing is that it existed at a time even before segregation, when as many people as possible crammed into grounds that were often bursting at the seams. We now have grounds that hold less than 10,000, and are segregated so that, regardless of who the visitors are, the games are seldom sold out. How could it possibly be beneficial to Scottish football, or even morally fair, for, say, Hearts to have increased Tynecastle capacity to 20,000(ish), at a cost of around £14m, to then share the gate receipts with a club who, in return, would be sharing gate receipts from a crowd of around 5,000? How long would it take for that capital outlay to pay for itself. I’d say it never would and would probably be the end of my club, as in liquidated, dead! The same would be the case for Hibs and, almost definitely, TRFC, with Aberdeen faced with the choice of staying at Pittodrie, building a smaller, out of town stadium, or going ahead with their plans and risking the same fate!

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AndrakPosted on2:24 pm - Nov 3, 2017


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.

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on2:44 pm - Nov 3, 2017


Getting confused.com again!

We were primed to expect that September was a critical month for TRFC – when the club needed additional finance to keep the lights on / wages paid.

Apparently, additional finance was sourced. [?]

And now the manager and his backroom team have been given the bullet, with a new manager to come in – and presumably expecting a budget to replace Pedro’s foreign legion ?

My point is: surely the first objective for TRFC is to keep the manager in place for the medium term?

If TRFC is so short of cash, then changing management teams on such a frequent basis is just going to deplete the coffers ever quicker…to state the bleedin’ obvious.

And whoever does accept the poisoned chalice will still be expected to over deliver, but with even less resources at his disposal.

TRFC needs a magician, not a manager!

[And does anyone have an update from the ‘Ibrox Stadium Meeting’, held last Tuesday ?]

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AndrakPosted on3:27 pm - Nov 3, 2017


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.

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naegreetinPosted on3:47 pm - Nov 3, 2017


Homunculus – JJ is looking for a square go with you – i’ll haud yer jaikit !

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paddy malarkey

paddy malarkeyPosted on5:25 pm - Nov 3, 2017


NAEGREETINNOVEMBER 3, 2017 at 15:47

A bit rich that he’s offering violence after complaining that he’s been forced into exile by threats of violence .

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bigboab1916Posted on5:34 pm - Nov 3, 2017


I cannot see the argument anymore for the big two there is only a big one. The big one is built on a model now financially tuned to sustain peaks and troughs in any given situation. People complained that when Sevco were been issued a licence to enter the game from the bottom that the big one had slowed down its spending and Ronnie Delia was only there as the man to take them through easy waters until the return of the big two.
This was bullshit most of the team still in place were the same backbone of RDs team. We saw it against bayern, Brown ,Armstrong,McGregor,Forrest,Tierney,Gordon and Griffiths, what would Sevco do if they returned and RD was still in charge, they would still struggle.
If you look at what came in and what went out released or on loan these guys would get a game for all teams in the SPFL bar the team they left. Stokes,Commons,Ambrose,Allen,GMS.chiftchi,Mulgrew Sevco have to accept they are not at this level and could not possibly be due to the path they choose of self destruction, they are 5 years into a step that still went backwards, when you have to sell Barry MacKay and cannot keep a youngster in Billy Gilmour it shows the level and the gap.
There is no shortage it is a false economy Celtic are what they are, the rest bar Sevco have been doing what they have been doing for years they cut their cloth accordingly and they get rewards at times, they do not lack ambition they accept the situation it is no different in any other league or business if you have the resources you become stronger.
The EPL is built on sand fans are paying for football which has nothing of sentimental or attachment you are no longer a supporter in the sense of the word and the meaning and values or comfort it provided, you cannot name a team as it changes like a commodity on a stock market and it has lost the edge. Scotland is one of the traditional football leauges still in existence the difference is the European competitions have changed and the top competitions are the jackpot slots.
If you gain entry as a scottish team and build success in it year after year without even reaching a last 16 you will be garuanteed to be comfortable for it in your own domestic leagues and this is what Celtic have done well with both NL,GS,RD and now BR and it will continue, its not a dominanace its just a well oiled machine with a fanbase who appreciate it for what it tries to provide in entertainment and future and they invest in this idea.
You cannot make the teams below stronger unless investment, say, like down south comes in but that will only create a finacially doped type of football and whilst it may be a dream for some to others it spells the end of tradition and identity and you simply become another commodity and lose all sense of reality and become out of touch with your fanbase. The high street has many similar shops but what makes some better at the same product and this is the key to good business. Celtic and Sevco have a large fanbase in the west of Scotland for different reasons, but the emographs for smaller clubs has a smaller fanbase, therfore sponsorship and advertising aim at the bigger audience but this does not give them the right to the game it provides a platform to build and this is the key, how wisely you invest and build when times are good. 
Smaller clubs are on par with Celtic on a smaller level they have infrastructure,facilities,hospitalty and academies, they just have it on a smaller scale, but it provides them the success they enjoy and their fans have a sense of been a part of it, and this is waht football is, no-one deserves anything for nothing and if yoy graft you reap rewards and this is the model of Celtic on the big scale and some smaller clubs have emulated his one a smaller level successfuly.

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paddy malarkey

paddy malarkeyPosted on6:37 pm - Nov 3, 2017


When Rangers died, I thought that Celtic would have petitioned UEFA for permission to join the English leagues ,leaving the rest of us to get on with restructuring our game as best we could . Maybe TRFC is the gift to keep them here – a perpetually hobbled main competitor .

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on7:03 pm - Nov 3, 2017


ANDRAKNOVEMBER 3, 2017 at 15:27
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.
____________

Hi Andrak, welcome to SFM, and an excellent first contribution, you’ve fairly got a discussion started with your blog. I’m afraid, though, that I was making no offer of an alternative solution in my post, merely pointing out the, in my opinion, failings of a solution based on gate-sharing. I wasn’t putting forward an argument for a direct corelation between a club’s income and it’s quality of players, though that is possibly intrinsic in the pro gate-sharing argument. In my opinion, though, if the solution lies in a fairer distribution of income, then gate-sharing is not only not the answer, it would cripple those clubs most likely to mount a challenge to Celtic, which would leave Celtic even further ahead, but with less clout in Europe.

The solution, as I see it, lies in two possible scenarios, or, as I would call them, miracles.

One would be for UEFA to see sense and take the massive income created by the CL and spread it evenly amongst the participating FAs, leaving the participants to enjoy the benefits of large crowds in Europe’s premier competition, with a still hefty level of prize money. As I said, though, that would take a level of integrity at UEFA of miraculous proportions.

The other miracle would be for a new, inovative manager/coach (an Ian Cathro that works out) to join a club at a time when everything else falls into place, lots of great youngsters breaking through, a few seasoned players to guide them, an income at the club that prevents the need to sell during the miracle period, and for Celtic to hit a bad patch. Even more planets than I’ve mentioned would have to align for this to succeed, but it would be a smaller miracle than the UEFA scenario, even though that one is one that only requires honourable people to sit around a table and look for a solution to what ails football.

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fan of footballPosted on7:29 pm - Nov 3, 2017


A question for any of the jambos on the blog 
I see that the rangers 1872 creditors list has hearts being owed £600.000
That is a great deal of money to any club but I’m sure more so to hearts with the cost of the new stand having to be found .
I was of the mind that the football debts had to be paid as a part of the infamous 5 way stitch up 
Do any of the hearts bloggers know if this money has indeed been paid 

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on7:36 pm - Nov 3, 2017


Re the gate sharing.
If it ever came to pass.Just how would that sit with the club 1872 if they ever got there wish to ban celtic fans from ibrox.
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14737374.Club_1872_call_for_Rangers_board_to_ban_Celtic_fans_from_Ibrox_after_Old_Firm_display/
50,000 ibrox fans to watch trfc v celtic. And yet 50,000 ibrox fans would know that half the gate money would have to be shared.(would there be a boycott?)
You can almost bet your life on it that there would be some sort of a complaint statement that they have to give half the gate to celtic even though celtic fans were not there

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on7:40 pm - Nov 3, 2017


FAN OF FOOTBALLNOVEMBER 3, 2017 at 19:29

not a hearts fan here but this may answer your question
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/21539704

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sannoffymesssoitizz

sannoffymesssoitizzPosted on7:49 pm - Nov 3, 2017


Surely the focus of every professional football club is to grow its customer base, so as to increase gate receipts, sponsorship, league and TV distribution fees etc. Taking Celtic’s nearest competitor, Aberdeen FC for example, how best can this be achieved?

I’ve only ever visited Aberdeen as a child in the late 60s and have never been to Pittodrie. However from the average home gate statistics provided by an earlier poster, it appears that they seldom if ever fill their stadium.

I’ve had a look at Pittodrie Stadium and there seems to be plenty of scope to improve the customer facilities there as shown on Google Maps.https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Aberdeen/@57.159006,-2.0931157,250a,35y,90h,44.92t/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x4884054c1fd77549:0xe8bb05da5cf4c472!8m2!3d57.149717!4d-2.094278

Consequently, I’m at a loss to understand the economics of them moving from Pittodrie to a new out of town stadium.

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jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on8:23 pm - Nov 3, 2017


Chris Jack‏ @Chris_Jack89 4m4 minutes ago
RIFC plc year end accounts: Turnover £29.2m (£22.2m), Loss £6.7m (£3.3m), Operating Expenses £32.9m (£24.9m). AGM November 30

?????

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easyJamboPosted on8:40 pm - Nov 3, 2017


jean7brodie November 3, 2017 at 20:23 
Chris Jack‏ @Chris_Jack89 4m4 minutes ago
RIFC plc year end accounts: Turnover £29.2m (£22.2m), Loss £6.7m (£3.3m), Operating Expenses £32.9m (£24.9m). AGM November 30
=======================
OUCH!  I’ll have a read of them later and comment thereafter.

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jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on8:45 pm - Nov 3, 2017


easyJamboNovember 3, 2017 at 20:40
_________________________________________

Thanks EJ as it is all mince to me!!

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easyJamboPosted on8:48 pm - Nov 3, 2017


I finally got round to reading the latest JJ piece on David Whitehouse’s (D&P) submission to the COPFS inquiry from October 2016.

Firstly, if genuine (almost certainly will be), congratulations to JJ for obtaining it and his bravery in publishing it in full. 

Whitehouse makes serious and worrying observations and allegations about the conduct of COPFS and Police Scotland in his statement, some of which I was aware of from attending court, but there are others that I didn’t know, but may well come out in the current actions that the D&P partners have taken against Police Scotland and COPFS.

When these cases come back to the CoS, they may prove to be quite insightful, both in relation to RFC and the state authorities.

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Tincks

TincksPosted on8:49 pm - Nov 3, 2017


Link to Ranger’s accounts.  

https://media.rangers.co.uk/uploads/2017/11/Rangers-Reports-and-Accounts-2017.pdf

Need to dig out last years accounts to double check but I am almost certain that the £6.7m loss is well in excess of the shortfall which was highlighted/anticipated in last years going concern.  

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on8:50 pm - Nov 3, 2017


FAN OF FOOTBALLNOVEMBER 3, 2017 at 19:29
A question for any of the jambos on the blog I see that the rangers 1872 creditors list has hearts being owed £600.000That is a great deal of money to any club but I’m sure more so to hearts with the cost of the new stand having to be found .I was of the mind that the football debts had to be paid as a part of the infamous 5 way stitch up Do any of the hearts bloggers know if this money has indeed been paid 
__________

I believe the DR have put up the original creditors list for some reason, but Hearts received their money some time ago as football creditors – from Chucky’s TRFC.

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easyJamboPosted on9:01 pm - Nov 3, 2017


From the RIFC accounts

At the time of preparation, the forecasts identified that the Group would require a minimum of £4.0m additional funding by the end of season 2017/18 in order to meet its liabilities as they fall due. The first tranche of funding is required in November 2017. (i.e. now)

Further funding amounting to £3.2m is forecast to be required during the 2018/19 season. However, the final amount is dependent on future football performance and European football participation amongst other factors.

The Board have discussed the Club’s forecast cash shortfall and have reached an agreement with New Oasis Asset Limited whereby they will provide additional loan facilities as necessary to meet the above requirements.

Further to this, New Oasis Asset Limited and certain investors have agreed to extend their existing loan facilities to July 2019.

The Board is satisfied that those parties will continue to provide financial support to the Group and have satisfied themselves as to the validity of the undertakings.

The Board acknowledge that had these assurances not been secured then a material uncertainty would exist which may cast doubt over the Groups’ ability to continue as a going concern and therefore its ability to realise its assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal course of business.

With the appropriate assurances obtained and the
continued support of the investors, the Board believe that such uncertainty has been removed.

Further to this, the Board is hopeful that the Club will be in position to proceed with a share issue during 2018 in order to provide further finance for the Group.

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melbournedee

melbournedeePosted on9:11 pm - Nov 3, 2017


Just starting to have a look at the accounts, but the first biggie is the statement:

The Board have discussed the Club’s forecast cash shortfall and have reached an agreement with New Oasis Asset Limited whereby they will provide additional loan facilities as necessary to meet the above requirements. 

I’m sure that this comment will attract the attention of several interested parties in the Take Over Panel court case!

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easyJamboPosted on9:12 pm - Nov 3, 2017


…………….. and from the Auditors
 
EMPHASIS OF MATTER – GOING CONCERN We draw attention to note 1 to the financial statements concerning the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern. In order to continue operations for the next 12 months the Group is dependent upon raising additional finance to cover the projected cash shortfall of £4m in season 2017/18 and a further £3.2m in season 2018/19. Failure to secure additional funding would result in the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt as to the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern. The financial statements do not include the adjustments that would result if the Group was unable to continue as a going concern. Our opinion is not modified in respect of this matter.
 
Financial Fair Play anyone?

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easyJamboPosted on9:15 pm - Nov 3, 2017


………………. an explanation of “non recurring items” of £3m

4. NON-RECURRING ITEMS
On 21 June 2017, the Group entered into a new retail operations, distribution and IP license agreement with SDI Retail Services Limited (replacing all existing agreements) and a deed of settlement and release in respect of all ongoing litigation and claims. In connection with these arrangements and the termination of the existing contracts, The Rangers Football Club Limited (TRFCL) incurred a non-recurring cost as shown and various dividend payments were agreed in respect of Rangers Retail Limited which have and will result in dividend payments to TRFCL. All of the litigation to which members of the Group and SDIR and its connected persons were party was dismissed between the members of the Group and SDIR and its connected persons on a no expenses due to or by basis. Going forward, the payments to TRFCL under the new license agreement will be significantly higher than under the previous agreements.

Looks like they paid a hefty fee to get out of the Retail deal.

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on9:18 pm - Nov 3, 2017


EASYJAMBONOVEMBER 3, 2017 at 21:01
Further to this, the Board is hopeful that the Club will be in position to proceed with a share issue during 2018 in order to provide further finance for the Group.
—————-
Will that be after the Takeover Panel is finished with Mr king?

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easyJamboPosted on9:26 pm - Nov 3, 2017


Key Assumptions
The forecasts make key assumptions, based on information available to the Board, around:
* Football performance, the forecast assumes the Club will challenge for the European places in theLadbrokes SPFL Premiership in 2017/18 and participate in European competition in the season thereafter;
* Season ticket sales, the timing and amount of which are consistent with the Club’s historic experience. The forecasts include an uplift in season ticket prices to reflect annual inflationary increases and forecast improved football performance;
* Matchday income, which is projected to grow as a result of improving footballing performance and success;
* Sponsorship, commercial and other non-matchday income reflecting customer confidence returning and increased hospitality demand;
* The inclusion of cash flows as a result of the new retail agreement with SDI Retail Services Limited;
* Maintaining the current overhead cost base of the Club;
* Payroll costs reflecting the current squad size and composition in perspective to its assumptions around league performance. The forecast cash flows assumes future transfer payables will be met by future transfer receivables;
* The capital expenditure necessary to maintain and improve the stadium and general Ibrox vicinity;
* The Group’s ability to secure further debt or equity finance from its current investors or through public share issue to allow the Group to continue to meet its liabilities as they fall due.

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easyJamboPosted on9:33 pm - Nov 3, 2017


Retail Dividends
On 21 June 2017, the Group entered into a new retail operations, distribution and IP licence agreement with SDI Retail Services Limited (replacing all existing arrangements from this date onwards) and a deed of settlement and release in respect of all ongoing litigation and claims between the parties.
Following the new arrangements, the Group no longer considers the investment to be impaired and the prior year provision has been released. A dividend was also paid to the Group amounting to £620,000. The Group’s investment value represents its share of the net assets of Rangers Retail Limited at 30th June 2017.
As part of this new arrangement, rights were granted to Rangers Retail Limited as may reasonably be required to effect the run off and cessation of that entity. It is anticipated that Rangers Retail Limited will be wound up in the near future. A further dividend of £567,500 was paid to the Group after the period end, and it is anticipated that a further smaller dividend may be paid before the winding up concludes. As such, all results within Rangers Retail Limited relate to discontinued operations.

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melbournedee

melbournedeePosted on9:34 pm - Nov 3, 2017


Looks like there are some big bills still to be paid for Pedro’s Galacticos

Included within liabilities are the following £’000 
player registration payables: 
Current liabilities 3,374
Non-current liabilities 4,453
Financial discount effect (701)
7,126

Nearly £8m in actual cash, £5m of which is on a long term payment plan!

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on9:35 pm - Nov 3, 2017


EASYJAMBONOVEMBER 3, 2017 at 21:12
 EMPHASIS OF MATTER – GOING CONCERN
Financial Fair Play anyone?
—————-
The SFA will still grant a licence for europe if they qualify

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easyJamboPosted on9:36 pm - Nov 3, 2017


Loans
During the year, £5.875m of additional investor loans were provided interest free to the Group. 

Balances
Investor loans repayable in July 2018 – £12.9m
Investor loans repayable in December 2018 – £3m

NOAL’s share of the loans is now up to £6.7m

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jimboPosted on9:40 pm - Nov 3, 2017


Watcher,  best of luck!04
———————————
Anyhow,
I remember reading an article a couple of years ago about the number of players playing in the top two leagues in Scotland who were trained at Lennoxtown – Celtic’s youth academy.  It was around 30+.  This was over and above the players out on loan from Celtic. 
Now I’m not saying that it is completely altruistic on Celtic’s part.  Let’s call it a happy consequence.  The main aim is of course to train players to come through to the first team. But it does cost Celtic a fortune to run the academy.  I tried to post a photograph of the academy on here but failed.  Take my word for it, there are hundreds of boys and girls in it and dozens of coaches and other staff.  Celtic rarely, if ever, get any credit for this contribution towards Scottish Football.
I realise other clubs have youth sections.  Ones that spring to mind are Hearts & Hibs, Hamilton, Dundee Utd. who bring through players.  Apologies to any I have missed out.  I know Livingston have a busy youth dept. too, don’t know how they are doing at bringing players through to professional football.
 

Oops! I did manage to post the attachment! If you click on it, it will enlarge and you will see what I mean.

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chancer67Posted on9:41 pm - Nov 3, 2017


Who releases  accounts on a Friday night 2121

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easyJamboPosted on9:47 pm - Nov 3, 2017


31. POST BALANCE SHEET EVENTS
The following events have occurred subsequent to the year end:

Capital Commitments
The Group contracted for capital expenditure on stadium improvements and grounds equipment amounting to £797,000.

Acquisition and sale of player registrations
The Group contracted for the purchase of one player and sale of four players. The net receipt resulting from these transfers, after taking account of direct costs, is £240,000.  (so much for the claims about spending £10m)

Rangers Retail Limited
On 16 October 2017, the Group received a further dividend from Rangers Retail Limited amounting to £567,500.

Investor loans
New Oasis Asset Limited and certain investors have extended their loan facilities to a repayment date of July 2019.

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melbournedee

melbournedeePosted on10:04 pm - Nov 3, 2017


EASYJAMBONOVEMBER 3, 2017 at 21:47
31. POST BALANCE SHEET EVENTSThe following events have occurred subsequent to the year end:
Capital CommitmentsThe Group contracted for capital expenditure on stadium improvements and grounds equipment amounting to £797,000.
Acquisition and sale of player registrationsThe Group contracted for the purchase of one player and sale of four players. The net receipt resulting from these transfers, after taking account of direct costs, is £240,000.  (so much for the claims about spending £10m)
——————————————————————————————————————Easyjambo,
Interesting on the capital commitments – doesn’t mean that is the total extent of the required repairs, merely those that have actually been contracted to date.

Acquisition and sale of player registrations
Those are the transfers that have occurred since 30th June. I think the one player purchased was Dorrans.
The movement in intangible assets does show that £10m was spent on new players over the year to 30th June.

11. INTANGIBLE ASSETS 
Player Registrations
£’000

Cost or valuation at 1 July 2016 3,695
Additions 10,330
Disposals (1,930)
At 30 June 2017 12,095 

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nawlitePosted on10:09 pm - Nov 3, 2017


Given that Dave doesn’t have any control, I’m wondering who the nice person at NOAL is who keeps sending TRFC money out of the goodness of his heart?!?

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scarecrow666

scarecrow666Posted on10:10 pm - Nov 3, 2017


Page 54, is that saying there are £12,960,000 million shares left to buy? With £15.9mil in loans already that’s a big loss even if they swap loans for shares, still to add on any loans from July onwards! Might not be reading that right though.

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