Fergus McCann v David Murray

ByAuldheid

Fergus McCann v David Murray

How Celtic Turned the Tables on their Glasgow Rivals by Stephen O Donnell:
A Review by Auldheid.

Stephen’s previous publication, Tangled Up In Blue provided a detailed history of the rise and fall of Glasgow Rangers FC PLC from 1872 until their demise in 2012. Clearly a lot of research had been done to cover the period in such detail and his follow up publication Fergus McCann v David Murray etc carries on with that tradition. It is a smorgasbord of a book with many different issues succulently served up in its 350 pages.

It tells of events under David Murray’s tenure at Ibrox which began in November 1988 and ended in May 2011 when he left Craig Whyte holding the rope that became a noose just under a year later in April 2012 when Whyte was found guilty of bringing Scottish football into disrepute whilst Murray claimed he was duped.

Readers of the book will come to the conclusion that if anyone did the duping it was David Murray and it wasn’t just Craig Whyte he duped but Scotland’s national game. If ever Murray were to be tried for crimes against Scottish football then this book would be cited as evidence.

It was against the background of David Murray’s tenure at Rangers that Fergus McCann first arrived on the scene in April 1989 with proposals to inject £17M of New Capital into Celtic that the Celtic Board rejected as per minutes:

Proposals put forward by Fergus McCann to provide finance for various capital expenditures were unanimously rejected by the Directors’; and then again in August of the same year: ‘Mr McCann’s latest proposals were discussed and it was hoped that this was a final discussion on the subject. Latest proposals were rejected by Directors.
Fergus later returned to the fray and the chapter on how he was successful in ousting the Board in 1994 is an informative read, particularly if in that period single parenting cares took precedence over caring for Celtic.

I was amused reading the tale of discontent aimed at the old Board after a Ne’erday 4-2 defeat to Rangers in January 1994 when a bemused Walter Smith was watching the hostility aimed at the Celtic Directors box, one fan in the main stand screamed at him, ‘What are you looking at, it’s got fuck all to do with you.”

For me anyway there were a few “not a lot of people know that” moments like that in the book.
The contrast between Fergus McCann’s and David Murray’s style was immediately evident, but the impact of Fergus’s shorter tenure from 1994 to 1999 became more than evident after McCann left and the author does not miss the role servile journalists played and hit the wall for turning Celtic supporters against McCann during his tenure, whilst they dined on Murray’s succulent lamb. A role that in the end helped bring about Rangers end, but not the culture of servility when covering the activity of Rangers FC PLC successor club from 2012.

Sky TV get it in the neck too and if David Murray played the part of Colonel Mustard in killing Scottish football through his financial recklessness and duplicity, Sky are the lead pipe whose toxicity still dictates the nature of the current state of play.( I said it was a Smorgasbord)

Fergus kind of did what it said on the tin. In his case a tin of nippy sweeties, but it was interesting to read about his early years when even then he was described as “a cheeky upstart” but his “idiosyncrasies” and appearance under a bunnet, disguised a sharp if impatient business mind where for him getting straight to the point was akin to procrastination.

So too has Murray’s early years been covered including his rejected attempt to buy Ayr Utd, a rejection by Ayr Directors, who considered Murray was too hot headed and most volatile, that infuriated him.

Their conclusion that he was trying to get Ayr United on the cheap with only £125k of his own money involved was an indicator of his strategy of using other people’s money to invest and not his own. Other people including unsuspecting taxpayers to a tune of £50 million or so.

As you follow the narrative of both Fergus McCann and David Murray and the events that surrounded them, you end up wondering how so many could have been fooled for so long by one guy, but when you have the Scottish media in your pocket it was difficult to separate fact from fiction during the tenure of both. You also wonder how Murray remains a Knight of the Realm since.

Luckily for Celtic Fergus knew business fact from PR fiction and avoided the illusion in which Celtic’s main rivals continue to struggle to this day.

The great pity is that few, if any of the Scottish main stream media will even give this book a mention, because if you don’t write about it, it never happened, except it did and this book is proof.

I therefore recommend anyone interested in the future of our game buys it and asks, is it not now time to revisit the purpose of Scottish football?

Auldheid

About the author

Auldheid author

Celtic fan from Glasgow living mostly in Spain. A contributor to several websites, discussion groups and blogs, and a member of the Resolution 12 Celtic shareholders' group. Committed to sporting integrity, good governance, and the idea that football is interdependent. We all need each other in the game.

1,240 Comments so far

upthehoopsPosted on6:50 am - Jul 29, 2020


easyJambo 28th July 2020 at 22:00
++++++++++++++++++++

Finding anyone in Scotland ‘not connected to any club’ would not be easy. Any perceived connections would be leaked to the media by clubs for whatever reason, just like Rangers did with Murdoch Maclennan and his perceived connection to Celtic. Journalists with a gripe may then support the views . Just like several journalists did with the MacLennan issue. Even Graham Spiers said Gordon Smith and Campbell Ogilvie were fair and honest, but Dave King was right to raise the issue about MacLennan. Look how the BBC attacked the SPFL constantly during recent events. You may disagree as a Hearts fan, but the BBC failed to present a balanced case. The media let Rangers off completely with their accusations about corruption then failing to provide the promised evidence. I’m sure you can see the difficulties we would face in Scotland. where in my view there are still too many who see there being a natural order.

As for the game dying a death with more part time clubs. As a teenager in the 1970’s I used to read that often in newspapers. Decades on we have less part time clubs now than we did then. Even some top flight clubs like Kilmarnock and Partick were part time in those days.

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Corrupt officialPosted on7:32 am - Jul 29, 2020


upthehoops 29th July 2020 at 06:50
easyJambo 28th July 2020 at 22:00
++++++++++++++++++++

Finding anyone in Scotland ‘not connected to any club’ would not be easy.
==================================
For structural change, I don’t deem it necessary for a new set-up to be staffed by “fitba’ men” of any allegiance UTH, and as you point out, probably better if they didn’t. For example I don’t know if Barry Hearn is any good at snooker or has ever thrown a treble 20.
It’s not even necessary to be Scottish. ……. I made a comparison the other day with ACME quick-fit fitters running 42 garages, but I doubt if such a company existed it would be run by mechanics. Best in class at running a similar organisation is all that is required. From which industry is of far lesser importance.
Just an opinion though. More important than my opinion, is how the paying public would prefer to see the sport run, and would it be accepting of the changes required. There would need to be many.

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reasonablechapPosted on7:49 am - Jul 29, 2020


As set out in previous posts, the Arbitration Act 2010 provides the legal route to making the arbitral judgement public #PublicInterest

This is what Lord Clark said about public interest in his recent judgement from the Court of Session case HMFC/PT v SPFL

18)”…I accept entirely, as Mr Thomson submitted, that the media and the general public have a great interest in this dispute and would prefer to have the issues aired in open court. However, as a matter of law, the parties have agreed to the terms of SFA articles of association and to be bound by them…”

22)”The 2010 Act sets out its founding principles, including: a)….(b) that parties should be free to agree how to resolve disputes subject only to such safeguards as are necessary in the public interest…”

https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/docs/default-source/cos-general-docs/pdf-docs-for-opinions/2020csoh68.pdf?sfvrsn=0

The question I’d ask is, are the fans considered to be interested stakeholders who deserve and have a right to be informed or just revenue streams who can be kept at arms length ?

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John ClarkPosted on9:30 am - Jul 29, 2020


easonablechap 29th July 2020 at 06:09
‘..I note that the recent arbitral award by CAS on Manchester City/UEFA has been made public, all 93 pages of it.’
“”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
Yes, indeed: but again, only with the permission of all parties, or so it would seem from this:
“Tribunal Arbitral du Sport Court of Arbitration for Sport
Code of Sports-related Arbitration
In force as from 1 July 2020

“Statutes of the Bodies Working for the Settlement of Sports-Related Disputes
“S1 In order to resolve sports-related disputes through arbitration and mediation, two bodies
are hereby created:
• the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS)
• the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)
…….
R43. CONFIDENTIALITY

Proceedings under these Procedural Rules are confidential. The parties, the arbitrators
and CAS undertake not to disclose to any third party any facts or other information
relating to the dispute or the proceedings without the permission of CAS. Awards shall
not be made public unless all parties agree or the Division President so decides…”

Since there appears to be no explicit mention that the Division President used his power to decide on the matter of disclosure in this case, the assumption is that all the parties had agreed to disclosure.

(This brings me back to Lord Clarke’s reservations about the extraordinary penalty powers that the SFA has to punish clubs who take a football matter to Court without the SFA’s permission.

If the Board of a private business organisation (such as the SPFL) were to act in an arbitrary way and in breach of, say, the Companies Act, against one of its members, can it be right that the SFA [ another private business organisation] should have the power to threaten the member with, ultimately, expulsion if it seeks redress in the Courts without the SFA’s permission?
I think that that Article really needs to be looked at again. It cannot be right that citizens/businesses can be allowed as a condition of membership of a business organisation to sign away their absolute right to the protection of Law!)

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Cluster OnePosted on11:26 am - Jul 29, 2020


reasonablechap 29th July 2020 at 07:49
18)”…I accept entirely, as Mr Thomson submitted, that the media and the general public have a great interest in this dispute and would prefer to have the issues aired in open court. However, as a matter of law, the parties have agreed to the terms of SFA articles of association and to be bound by them…”
………………………….
Funny how these same parties had agreed to the terms of SFA articles of association that they are bound to state i believe that clubs should not take the governing bodies to court, but they did anyway

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John ClarkPosted on12:31 pm - Jul 29, 2020


Cluster One 29th July 2020 at 11:26
‘..Funny how these same parties had agreed to the terms of SFA articles of association that they are bound to state i believe that clubs should not take the governing bodies to court, but they did anyway’
“”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
That’s maybe a tad harsh, Cluster One.

It is entirely possible (and indeed it was done) to argue that a dispute over whether the board of a company was in breach of its statutory duties is not at all a football dispute even if the businesses in dispute are involved in the business of football.

It was therefore entirely reasonable for Hearts and PT to have initiated ‘pukka’, full legal action in the Courts without the permission of the SFA!( I wonder did they ask for permission and was it denied?)

The fact that, in the event, Lord Clarke was persuaded by the Responders to accept that the question before him was indeed a’ football dispute’ that the Court had no business hearing doesn’t imply that Hearts/PT were acting rashly or foolishly: just that they lost that particular legal argument.

They subsequently lost at the Arbitration Panel, presumably on the ‘merits’.

We have to assume ( despite the unseemly gleeful and self-congratulatory tone of the SPFL’s statement [ which put me in mind of the raised fists and yells of ‘YEEEESSS’ when dirty wee tykes are, to their own surprise, acquitted of drug dealing offences]) that all was properly and fairly done by a truly independent Arbitration panel with no stake of any kind in the outcome.

But it would do the SPFL a power of good if they and other parties agreed to allow publication of the whole judgment! ( they obviously don’t think so!)

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HomunculusPosted on2:16 pm - Jul 29, 2020


If the clubs don’t like the way their business is being operated, or the structure of the board, they would have brought it up at the AGM.

I have not seen anything reported that they did. Did Hearts / Partick Thistle ? Stranraer for example propose any change. Either in the structure or the permanent members of the board.

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reasonablechapPosted on2:36 pm - Jul 29, 2020


‘..I note that the recent arbitral award by CAS on Manchester City/UEFA has been made public, all 93 pages of it.’
“”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
JC

Yes, indeed: but again, only with the permission of all parties, or so it would seem from this:

JC
But it would do the SPFL a power of good if they and other parties agreed to allow publication of the whole judgment! ( they obviously don’t think so!)

===========================================

Yes, it would need all parties to ok it but in the circumstances, why would any say no ?

The SPFL executive claim that the arbitral judgement provided ‘vindication’ and that there is absolutely nothing untoward to be seen. Why would they protest against the main root stakeholders (fans) being able to read the full judgement? If it is how they describe it, then it is clearly in their own interests to give a thumbs up to public release.

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reasonablechapPosted on3:21 pm - Jul 29, 2020


Just to add……

MacLennan:”I would fully expect all those involved to agree that no stone was left unturned, no allegation left unanswered,”

============

In that case…….I would fully expect all those involved to agree that the full detail of the arbitration hearing be made public.

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Corrupt officialPosted on3:21 pm - Jul 29, 2020


Unlike LNS, the arbitration process is a legal mechanism undertaken under legal conditions, in a legal setting, in the name of the law. There is no appeal, therefore all arguments have been concluded and settled in law. No wrong-doing was found to have taken place, so that is the end of it.
     At one stage compensation was mentioned, and I assume confidentially sensitive materials disclosed by some, or all of the parties, if it was required. I have no idea if it was.
     However or for whatever reasons the law grants confidentiality, as a legal right to the parties involved. For whatever reason, whether the afore mentioned or not,  the parties involved have agreed to it. In fact they were telt !…. By a real judge. There is little point bitching about it now, unless one wishes to lobby for a change in the law.

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StevieBCPosted on3:53 pm - Jul 29, 2020


Headline from The DR;

“5 reasons Alfredo Morelos leaving Rangers could be backed by Steven Gerrard

Why would you want to sell your top scorer on the eve of the most important season in a generation?

It’s a question some Rangers fans have been asking as news of Lille’s interest in Alfredo Morelos begins to percolate…”

A prime example of a straightforward copy/paste PR job by an obedient, SMSM ‘journalist’.
This new TRFC PR ‘expert’ is just as subtle as the previous ‘expert’!
🙁

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Cluster OnePosted on4:26 pm - Jul 29, 2020


StevieBC 29th July 2020 at 15:53

Headline from The DR;

“5 reasons Alfredo Morelos leaving Rangers could be backed by Steven Gerrard
………………………..
You could file that alongside. SG never won anything but he brought back the smiles.
Always trying to put a positive on any bad news coming down from ibrox way.

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wottpiPosted on4:44 pm - Jul 29, 2020


So there we have it. The Arbitration process has been completed and the SPFL have been found to have done nothing unlawful or that contravened company law.

Proving prejudice was always going to a high bar to get over, and for Hearts, Thistle and Stranraer it was not to be.

What cannot be in doubt is that the resolution and the resulting effect on three clubs in particular was unfair. Even SPFL Board member Les Gray said so publicly. Various representatives from other clubs and within the game have voiced similar opinions and passed on their sympathies.

It is clear that players, managers and ex-players and managers (and indeed anyone who has played competitive sport) would have wanted the season to be played out. It is what happens on the pitch that should decide matches and a season or a cup, because sport can throw up all sorts of situations. There are plenty of examples of teams at the bottom of tables down south avoiding relegation after battling back to safety once football restarted.

It is of course the situation that perhaps starting back football in Scotland was a bit more difficult given that lockdown started a bit later than in England. Clearly there were issues with the changing of TV contracts from one deal to the new one with Sky. That perhaps meant flexibility that one would have thought should be available in unprecedented times was not available. But once again the concern is that we find our game being dictated by the TV companies.

However, it is of interest to note that Celtic just managed to play 5 games in 12 days and T’Rangers played 4 in 10. They even went abroad to do so. If there is a will to play – there is a way.

As we all know Hearts, Thistle and Stranraer did nothing wrong, they didn’t cheat, they didn’t cook the books, they didn’t give a bung to referees or play ineligible players. They merely found themselves at the bottom of the table at the time when football was suspended of the way by the pandemic.

As some on here have said, reconstruction would have been a possible and fair solution. I cannot see why a temporary reconstruction to deal with a (hopefully) temporary situation is so distasteful to some. If it was such a problem then what better time to look at a long discussed permanent change. What will it take for Scottish Football to finally review the situation? There is something wrong with the ‘Professional’ game in this country when major decisions can be partially based on whether or not Albion Rovers can afford the bus fare to Brora!!

Anyway, that boat has sailed and we are where we are. That place being one where a member’s organisation has voted to place the burden of the pandemic squarely on the shoulder of three clubs. Yes, others have maybe missed an opportunity of a play-off place and a couple of clubs have lost a bit of prize money but enforced relegation is really a sickner. If relegation was such a breeze, then why do we see so many clubs trying to avoid it with all their might over the course of a full season.

And for ‘taking one for the team’ what has been offered in mitigation? Absolutely Hee-Haw. No review of final prize monies to see if even a smidgeon of compensation could be offered to those being relegated in such unique circumstances. Or, as was the case in the Netherlands, not even a bung of a few quid to those who missed out on promotion play-offs in recognition of teams missing out. As I understand it only two swaps of position resulted from the points per game formula. Why did Hibs and St Johnstone not think to split the difference?
No, the vast majority took their money and ran while turning a blind eye to those fellow members losing out.

As Ross County’s Roy MacGregor has said Hearts should just “take their medicine”.
For some unknown reason that seems to be the attitude of many.

There has been an inordinate focus on Hearts and Ann Budge and very little comment regards Thistle who, were arguably, even harder done by given the points situation and game in hand.
I really have to wonder what Hearts and Budge have done to deserve this.
The club has no doubt made mistakes in terms of managerial appointments but, given the topic of Auldhied’s Blog, even Fergus McCann didn’t get it right appointing a relative rookie in Tommy Burns. It took a good few years for Celtic to get the right formula.
McCann came in to save a club who were at deaths door. Budge did the same.
McCann was criticised for focussing on developing Celtic Park instead of watching what was happening on the pitch. Budge has done the same at Tynecastle.
McCann’s idea was to increase fan ownership through shares issues. Budge is going the same way with Hearts and the Foundation of Hearts group.
McCann, who came across as a far more a prickly no nonsense character, had no time for the Footballing Authorities and called them out. Budge has done the same.
McCann put Celtic on a firm base on which it could succeed in the future. Even with enforced relegation Budge has ensured Hearts will rise again given the solid foundations she has laid.
The fans will be even more committed to the club. Hearts will still be the third best supported team in the country. The aims and objectives of fan ownership via the Foundation of Hearts will continue and come to fruition.
There will be no David Murray, Craig Whyte, Charles Green. Dave King shenanigans down Gorgie way. It will all be above board with the fans being kept abreast of matters in an open and transparent manner.

For the rest of Scottish Football will however continue with an inherent lack of trust in both its leadership and also how clubs now treat each other. The recent Whatsapp groups have shown a good amount of people speaking with forked tongues.

Be in no doubt that despite what is said in public, those running the game have no intention in letting the paying customer see how they manage their grubby deals.

In relation drawing a line under the Rangers EBT scandal Neil Doncaster said the following:-

“Football matters – and it probably matters more in Scotland than anywhere else in the world.
“In that environment, you have intense focus on every move you make and syllable you utter. You shouldn’t be surprised if you get criticism or scrutiny.
“That goes with the job, goes with the territory. That hasn’t surprised me and it doesn’t deter me.
“I think that’s why transparency and openness are the themes of this morning. I think the only way you can possibly try and draw a line under the events of the past is to understand precisely what happened.
“There is so much misunderstanding about everything that has happened involving Rangers over the past six years or so. That openness and transparency is, I think, important to trying to move on.
“We absolutely welcome dialogue with clubs and supporter groups. We welcome their questions and scrutiny of the legal opinion. We will be as open as we can.”

https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/sport/15436214.neil-doncaster-hopes-scottish-football-can-move-on-after-spfl-have-final-say-on-rangers-ebt-issue/

Nice words, however yet again, like the 5 Way Agreement, like the SPFL and SFA kicking the Res 12/Euro licence issue into the long grass we have yet another major decision, this time via Arbitration, made behind closed doors with not even a whiff of the much talked about openness and transparency.
MacLennan and Doncaster may be ‘delighted’ with the result of Arbitration but they are no further forward in explaining or justifying how and why we have got to where we are now.

Let’s not forget the SPFL even argued against allowing two of their own members to see papers and other information relevant to the case and had to do so kicking and screaming only after Lord Clark got involved.
If that’s how they treat their ‘football family’ what hope do we, the fans, have.

This time it was Hearts, Thistle and Stranraer. However, there will be a next time and it will probably end up being someone else in the firing line. Don’t be surprised if we end up going through another fiasco in the near future.

For those putting trust in the Arbitration process need to remember people can commit all sorts of crimes and other acts but still get away with it if the law and technicalities can’t pin it on you. The Arbitration decision simply implies that due process was followed. We have no detail if the Good Friday resolution was indeed the only way forward? What happened to the Dundee vote and what was said to Nelms? Was reconstruction (as part of the resolution), mitigation and compensation ever discussed? Were decent attempts made to try and get Sky to accommodate finishing the 19/20 season?

On my mobile app for the site it says:-

About Us
SFM is a community of football fans who want to see the game is Scotland run fairly and in a manner that befits true sporting endeavour.

Can’t say I’ve seen much of that on here over the last few months.

Its been fun while it lasted, and I thank everyone for their efforts , especially Big Pink and the Mods. Thanks to everyone for all the posts, banter, debates and even the disagreements. Everyday has indeed been a school day.

However, I think I’ve run my course in terms of posting on anything of a regular basis. I’ll keep looking in on you guys to see what is happening as it’s a hard habit to break. However, just now, I can’t see myself emerging from the shadows any time soon.

Best wishes to you all and I hope you all stay safe and healthy in these strange times.

Hopefully grounds will be full again sometime soon and we can see each other behind the goals!!

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John ClarkPosted on5:31 pm - Jul 29, 2020


In relation drawing a line under the Rangers EBT scandal Neil Doncaster said the following:-
“..“There is so much misunderstanding about everything that has happened involving Rangers over the past six years or so. That openness and transparency is, I think, important to trying to move on…”

“””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
Even more important to ‘moving on’ , of course, is a readiness to apologise for and UNDO any and every wrong that was done, and to investigate allegations of wrongdoing.
The “recognition” of TRFC as being RFC of 1872 and to allow it to proclaim itself deceitfully as being RFC of 1872 is such an offence to Truth, Sporting Integrity and plain common sense as to make a nonsense of any claim by either the SFA or the SPFL that truth and honesty is important.

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FinlochPosted on5:38 pm - Jul 29, 2020


Thanks Wottpi.

Insightful accurate and depressing.

SFM and Scottish Football needs Wottpis, Red Lichties, Easyjambos, Auldheids, Allyjambos, John Clarks, Danish Pastries, Bogsdolloxes, Brenda’s Clocks, Jean Brodies and countless others who care deep down and have shown the desire and ability to elevate the debate above the partizan nonsense that can predominate.

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easyJamboPosted on5:41 pm - Jul 29, 2020


wottpi 29th July 2020 at 16:44

Excellent post. I can certainly align myself with your sentiments.

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HomunculusPosted on5:56 pm - Jul 29, 2020


StevieBC 29th July 2020 at 15:53
Headline from The DR;

“5 reasons Alfredo Morelos leaving Rangers could be backed by Steven Gerrard

Why would you want to sell your top scorer on the eve of the most important season in a generation?

Because you already had serious money problems even before covid cut your income streams dramatically.

Because the people previously providing loans aren’t willing or able to do it any more.

Because you have deferred wages to come up with.

Because your income for the foreseeable future is down.

Because you have to.

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John ClarkPosted on6:16 pm - Jul 29, 2020


wottpi 29th July 2020 at 16:44
‘..However, I think I’ve run my course in terms of posting on anything of a regular basis.’
“”””””””””””””””””””””””””
Well, I’m sure I’m not the only one who will miss your posts, wottpi!
I ,like you , have been a bit disappointed at the apparent lack of agreement on the blog that the SPFL made as much of an absolute bolloks of their approach to the pandemic as they did in their dealing with SDM’s/Whyte’s liquidated ‘Rangers’.
I suspect that there may have been fears that if the SPFL did not relegate, then neither could they declare league titles( groundless fears, in the event)
Stay safe and stay concerned about getting Scottish football governance back to integrity.

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HomunculusPosted on7:23 pm - Jul 29, 2020


John Clark 29th July 2020 at 18:16
wottpi 29th July 2020 at 16:44
‘..However, I think I’ve run my course in terms of posting on anything of a regular basis.’
“”””””””””””””””””””””””””
Well, I’m sure I’m not the only one who will miss your posts, wottpi!

I ,like you , have been a bit disappointed at the apparent lack of agreement on the blog that the SPFL made as much of an absolute bolloks of their approach to the pandemic as they did in their dealing with SDM’s/Whyte’s liquidated ‘Rangers’.

I’m not really sure why a lack of agreement would “disappoint” you.

I for one think what you posted is inaccurate. To suggest that they made as much of a “bolloks” of recent events as they did with regards the Rangers situation to me is entirely wrong.

They put forward resolutions and took votes in relation to current events. Given the position with the Scottish Government rules and with the costs involved I think there was little choice but to finish the league. They tried for reconstruction in order to assist the clubs, and the other clubs rejected it. They did what they could as far as I can see.

They had much more choice with regards Rangers’ liquidation, however they entered into secret agreements to get Rangers what they wanted, if anything they supported (if only by ignoring it) the reality of the situation. They tried to force new Rangers into the top league, they tried to force them into the top division of the lower league.

Recent decisions, whether people like what they were or not, were much more with the consent of the majority of the members. It has now been unanimously decided, by an arbitration panel, that they did nothing wrong.

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Cluster OnePosted on8:54 pm - Jul 29, 2020


John Clark 29th July 2020 at 18:16
I suspect that there may have been fears that if the SPFL did not relegate, then neither could they declare league titles.
………………..
League titles were declared before any conclusion on relegation or promotion was decided. I don’t believe the two were linked JC

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dom16Posted on9:18 pm - Jul 29, 2020


I’m sorry that you are choosing to not contribute wottpi. I agree that diverse voices are what makes this forum.

However that’s where my credits end. We must view the works as we find it not how we would like it to be. The decisions on restarting football are not in the gift of the football authorities and teams. Neither was the decision to stop.

As of now competitive football is allowed to resume in the Premiership from 1st Aug. That’s after a rigorous testing regime (no laughing!) clears players and coaches to train. That is unaffordable in lower leagues.

So when would Partick play out those remaining matches? There is no guarantee that there will be any football under the Prem in the rest of 2020. Personally I doubt it.

The curious thing about “stakeholders” is typically they actually don’t have a stake. The league clubs all have a share in the SPFL. Fans don’t, players don’t, neither do non league clubs. They are a trade body masked as a company. They set their own rules (within the context of company law). Change has to be made by getting the correct majorities. Why did Hearts and PT not get those?

We can weep for what could ah/should ah/would ah. It still doesn’t resolve how football resolved it’s problems in advance of the 3 Aug deadline for euro places. Or got 8 or so matches played to a conclusion in a country whose Govt didn’t allow competitive sport.

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John ClarkPosted on9:48 pm - Jul 29, 2020


Homunculus 29th July 2020 at 19:23
‘…..I’m not really sure why a lack of agreement would “disappoint” you.’
“”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
Because it showed an acceptability of the inflexibility of mind of a governance body to find a way to avoid penalising innocent clubs in a truly unforeseen situation when in the past that body was ready to be super-flexible in its support of the lie that TRFC is RFC of 1872.

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John ClarkPosted on9:56 pm - Jul 29, 2020


Cluster One 29th July 2020 at 20:54
‘..League titles were declared before any conclusion on relegation or promotion was decided. I don’t believe the two were linked JC’
“”””””””””””””””””””””””
Not linked in reality, perhaps, but there was a move by one club which certainly was seen by some people myself included as being at least in part trying to re-open debate on whether the season should have been declared ‘null and void’
The way the ‘written resolution’ was being handled reinforced my belief that this SPFL Board would be capable of anything, including back-tracking on decisions already made.

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HomunculusPosted on10:03 pm - Jul 29, 2020


John Clark 29th July 2020 at 21:48
And you are disappointed that everyone doesn’t agree with you on that? Surely you don’t think everyone will agree with everything. That would make the discussion pointless.

They tried to secure reconstruction, which would have achieved that end, it was the clubs who rejected it, not the governing body.

I find it rather disappointing that you think current events are as bad as what they did with regards Rangers. But again that’s just my opinion you clearly disagree.

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John ClarkPosted on11:54 pm - Jul 29, 2020


Homunculus 29th July 2020 at 22:03
‘.I find it rather disappointing that you think current events are as bad as what they did with regards Rangers’
“””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
Ok, I’ll happily agree that ‘incompetent, inflexibility of mind’ in a time of pandemic panic is not on quite the same scale of UTTER BADNESS as is the accepting by the members of the SPFL and SFA of the deliberate deceit involved in the creation and propagation of the legal and sporting untruth that TRFC is Rangers of 1872 by RIFC plc.
Essentially, there is a lie at the heart of Scottish Football.
And our football governance people simply cannot be trusted, whatever the other issues, until that lie is acknowledged, apologised for, and Truth is told.

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Corrupt officialPosted on2:51 am - Jul 30, 2020


Oh wad Pow’r a giftie gie us.
Look !… Hearts were relegated because of their league position. So were Thistle and Stranraer. The divisions were called prematurely because people were dying, with the potential to accelerate that via contact sports and mass gatherings.
As a body the actions taken by the SPFL saved lives……Think about that !.
What followed the natural process of the curtailed season, was the natural process. Clubs won, clubs lost. Without doubt the SPFL decision not only saved clubs, by delivering funding, it prevented an acceleration of casualties from a despicable, and I hope, naturally occurring virus.
No malice was intended,by the curtailment, in fact quite the opposite, but malice was created. It was created not by the SPFL decision, but by lies from certain quarters, dodgy dossiers, poor statesmanship, and rabble rousing, after the fact. After the vote.
Plans for reconstruction were swayed, not in the interests of Scottish fitba’, but by a load o’ shite. Personalities clashed, battle lines were drawn, but it doesn’t alter the fact that what followed, was a load o’ shite. Proven shite !.
The SPFL decision to call the divisions prematurely, saved lives. That is an inarguable fact. Who, hand on heart, can say that contact sport and mass congregation could be allowed to continue?
The aftermath was not driven by the SPFL. It was driven by bullet-makers hiding in the newly dug trenches………But that wasn’t what the SPFL decision was about….. Not 9 in a row, not doon yeez go !
It was about saving lives !. Individuals who tried to make it about anything else should be ashamed of themselves for pouring poison in the water supply……There’s yir culprits right there. The tainters and the thirsty.
Personally I don’t care if a million rules were broken if it was to save one life. The facts are, that the rules were followed, and it saved a great many more.

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upthehoopsPosted on6:49 am - Jul 30, 2020


wottpi 29th July 2020 at 16:44

even Fergus McCann didn’t get it right appointing a relative rookie in Tommy Burns.

++++++++++++++++++++++

Tommy Burns went through an entire league season losing only one game, and came close to winning the league. I may add that was against a Rangers who were backed by a Scottish owned bank way beyond a level they should have been. The very bank who tried all they could to put the final nail in Celtic’s coffin, and rid Scottish football of them forever. A comparison using Burns against the very poor appointments made by Anne Budge is ridiculous in my view.

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jimboPosted on9:18 am - Jul 30, 2020


Upthehoops @ 6.49am
100% correct in my opinion.

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adam812Posted on9:35 am - Jul 30, 2020


Not everyone has to agree with the interpretation of events as described in recent posts but thankfully our footballing authorities took the decisions they did backed up and then led by the Government.

“We’ve got to have crowds” and “we must finish the season” have been common cries but think for a minute the likely result of doing that? Bluntly could I suggest that there would have been memorials outside football grounds around the country to all the fans, players and officials who lost their lives in the Great Pandemic of 2020!

To get it off my chest and being blunt again I believe Roy Macgregor has been given bad press for his honesty. Whilst nobody can be sure what would have actually happened if Ross County had been bottom of the league there is historical evidence to show he would have taken firm action with regards his manager(s) with no dithering about!

Looking to the future we have to hope a vaccine will be developed shortly but until one is available the risk is there that the upcoming season will be adversely affected by Covid-19 too. If reconstruction had been agreed for last season would we doing the same again in 2021?

All that said I agree that the relegation outcome for the clubs affected is rubbish!

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FinlochPosted on11:49 am - Jul 30, 2020


Aston Villa are surely pleased they don’t play in Scotland or they’d be in the championship and not as unfolded.

Our own blog from April 8th advised a fairer solution before any votes and any mayhem.

This is what is there in our archive, seems so long ago but we would have been in a better place.

Time for Cool Heads and Clear Thinking

The Scottish Football Supporters Association don’t profess to have all the answers and have no vested interests but here we have created a 3 point strategy that we feel will help guide Scottish Football to best ride this crisis and allow the real planning and budgeting at all clubs ahead of whatever is coming our way.

Parameter 1
This is Not a Time for Own Goals.
Covid 19 and the aftermath will cause enough financial hardship and stress to clubs and fans.
This is not a time to pitch clubs vs clubs or fans vs fans. And not a particularly good time to offer a possibility, of a possibility, of a possibility of reorganisation in time for Hearts and others not to get unfairly relegated.

Parameter 2
We Need an Interim Plan Where There Are no Losers

This could be a 1 year’s solution, possibly 2 at most, where every club (and fan) gets a positive post Covid 19 start allowing the best possible financial move into the new season 2020 – 2121 for all.

See our plan starter for ten below (insights and other plans welcome)

Parameter 3
Scottish Football Desperately Needs a Re-launch (But not in a manic rush)
How best should we set up our league structures to help our domestic and international game move into the future?

How do we look at an updated list of McLeish insights and incorporate them?

How do we involve the Scottish Government and the real stakeholders, the fans?

How do we capitalise on our football community for the greater good?

The recent surge of clubs coming into the fairly new pyramid system both in the Highland area but especially in the central and southwest regions is screaming out for a new and fairer framework.

Any long-term solution is likely to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary and grounded but it must be fit for purpose and fair for all from day 1 for all the members.
It has to work and be seen to work top down and bottom up.

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HighlanderPosted on12:42 pm - Jul 30, 2020


Like Wottpi, whose post yesterday made refreshing reading on SFM, I have refrained from commenting until the Hearts/Partick Thistle process came to its conclusion.

Just as I haven’t moved on from the events of 2012, I won’t be moving on from this matter while many questions remain unanswered. For example:

Would the SPFL have ‘called’ the league while either Celtic or Rangers* were 4 points adrift at the foot of the table with 24 points still to play for? If that bottom of the table scenario is too difficult to envisage, would the SPFL have ‘called’ the league if Celtic or Rangers* were only four points ahead of the other at the top of the table with 24 points still to play for?

Those are of course rhetorical questions, because there would have been riots on the streets if the football authorities had the audacity to apply the same rules equally to all clubs. If you think the big two don’t have a rulebook to themselves, just ask yourself why the current club playing out of Ibrox is uniquely exempt from the disciplinary regime that applies to every other Scottish club, or why a computer managed to randomly select the perfect October date for the first Glasgow derby match of the new season at Celtic Park, or why referees openly talk of officiating at such matches ‘differently’.

If, as they acknowledged, the SPFL board thought that Hearts, Partick Thistle, Stranraer, Brora Rangers, Kelty Hearts etc were unfairly treated as a result of the cornavirus pandemic, why didn’t they simply tie mandatory reconstruction into the Good Friday vote in the same way that they guaranteed the passing of their proposal for ending the season early by linking it conditionally to the release of end of season payments?

As a Hearts fan, I was delighted to see my club take the squirming SPFL to court, but I have to hold my hands up to being extremely uncomfortable about involving Dundee Utd and the other promoted clubs in the action. I can only assume there were sound legal reasons for pursuing that particular avenue, and that the desired result would have seen the SPFL being forced into confirming those promotions while simultaneously cancelling relegations.

Celtic and Rangers* recently managed to play several pre-season friendlies within the space of just a few days, which begs the question, why couldn’t the 2019/20 season be played to a finish, even if it meant delaying the new season by a week or so? Many other leagues did so, including the EPL and Championship. If the SPFL is so tightly controlled by broadcasters that a little latitude isn’t available following an unprecedented pandemic, what does that say about Doncaster & Co as negotiators? Covid testing wouldn’t be an issue thanks to James Anderson’s philanthropic financial donation to every club in Scotland that equated to more than the cost of the testing equipment purchased by Ross County, as I understand it.

Finally, for those who keep churning out the line that Hearts/Partick Thistle/Stranraer were woeful on the pitch (no arguments from me there) and deserved to go down because they were in last place when the season was called early, here are some related facts I’ve copied from Kickback:

In England, Aston Villa were 4 points away from safety with only 4 games to go – and survived. Man Utd were 7 points behind Leicester with 8 games to go and finished 4 points ahead of them. Werder Bremen were 4 points adrift in the Bundesliga with 8 games to go – and survived. The bottom 5 teams in the English Championship with 9 games to go all survived. Last season in Scotland, St Mirren were 4 points adrift with 8 games to go – and survived (a matter that inexplicably escaped Tony Fitzpatrick when recently telling Hearts to suck it up because they could never have turned things around in the last 8 games…..when just 4 points behind!).

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John ClarkPosted on1:47 pm - Jul 30, 2020


Extracted from a piece by Iain McMenemy ( Stenhousemuir) in today’s ‘The Scotsman’:

“….But let’s not kid ourselves; there were no winners in any of this. All that has been established is that the league rules weren’t broken when the decision to end the season was taken by clubs. Whether or not it was fair is another matter. What is beyond doubt I believe, is that the whole thing was poorly handled, badly executed and a total embarrassment for Scottish Football.
No one could have predicted a Covid-19 scenario. But it happened anyway. As a league body we should have been the first to react to protect our organisation and all of our members.
We failed to do so. We couldn’t find consensus to save ourselves from harm…
…Should we find ourselves in a similar [covid] scenario the infighting will start over…….This is where we need leadership. If one solution fails we need to find another. We need to do it now, before we get headlong into the season and before it gets personal…
..let’s not forget that 30 per cent of clubs supported recent calls for an independent investigation into the SPFL’s handling of the vote to end last season. The number disaffected is growing…. Let’s review how we go about our business and where change is needed let’s get it implemented…..”

The full article is a bit longer , of curse, but I think McMenemy has summed matters up in a way that I wish I had been able to do!

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Big PinkPosted on1:54 pm - Jul 30, 2020


wottpi

I couldn’t agree more with what you say – except where you express your wish to go into lurking-only mode.
I share your disappointment that many (but certainly not all) of those who have expressed a desire for fairness and sporting integrity when the issue was the 5WA, EBTs or misregistration of players, have apparently had a Damscene conversion and restoration of faith in the authorities when it comes to what most of us perceive as unfairness – and an unnecessary unfairness at that.

Fans of RFC/TRFC have in the past – understandably – been keen to characterise the actions of their club as errors of judgement and not of wilful rule-breaking. Whilst there has been no rule-breaking in this instance, it is worth remembering that pretty much the same bunch of people (that is ALL of them) who turned a blind eye to the cheating that went on up to 2012, are now turning the same blind eye in the direction of the unfairness that has gone on with respect to Hearts, Partick Thistle, and Stranraer.

As a Celtic fan, my wish would have been for Celtic to take a principled stand on the injustice facing the aforementioned three clubs, but given (among other things) their attitude to LNS and their duplicity involving Res12, I can hardly pretend to be surprised.

I could say the same about almost very other club in the top tier, but criticism of those clubs for their inaction is hardly appropriate for me when my own club have acted in the way they have.

The basic outcome of this affair for me anyway is that despite it being obvious to all and sundry that football is a hugely interdependent undertaking, the one group of the demographic who haven’t accepted that are the people who run the clubs.

I hope wottpi, that you remain with the blog, because without folk like you, without folk who can see beyond partizan self-interest, then there is no space in the websphere for an SFM.

The answer to the trolls is to ignore them. No point engaging with someone whose cannot see past their own club self interest. Doesn’t make them bad people of course, but there is little point in engaging.

I think I speak for most of us when I say I hope you change your mind.

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StevieBCPosted on2:08 pm - Jul 30, 2020


Interesting article in The Guardian;

“As implausible and preposterous as it may be, let’s imagine a post Covid-19 world where football fans are finally allowed back into Premier League grounds but elect en masse not to go.

…because after months spent locked out of stadiums match-going supporters have realised the importance of their role cannot be overstated and unilaterally opt to stay away until certain conditions are met…”

https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2020/jul/29/imagine-fans-wielded-power-staying-away-grounds-reopen-fa-cup-final

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macfurglyPosted on2:32 pm - Jul 30, 2020


The vote to call the league could have been rejected by 3 clubs in the Championship voting against, as nearly happened with Gardiner at ICT, Eric “solemn undertaking” Drysdale at Dundee and PT at the foot of the table , (and the really important conversation here is the one between Drysdale and Nelms regarding DFC’s original decision to vote against). That would have left the options of completing the fixtures, which at that time in the lockdown seemed remote, or null and void. Even had things unexpectedly improved with the pandemic, delaying tactics to prevent matches being played could have been effectively employed and would no doubt have been supported in the msm.
The decision to attach the financial package to the resolution was, I believe, an attempt to minimise the likelihood of a rejection, and the emergence of a null and void campaign. This has been typical of the modus operandum of the SPFL and SFA since 2012 at least. It appears to me to be the way Doncaster and McKenzie operate and on this occasion at least Peter Lawwell would have had an influence.
With the decision to call the league having been made, the reconstruction debate immediately became confounded by self interest. Probably only HMFC, PT, Stranraer and, one would have thought ICT, felt they would benefit.
The executive proposed by EJ above seems to me like a good idea. Firstly it would get rid of Doncaster at last, secondly it might improve the commercial performance and internal governance of Scottish football, and thirdly it might remove, or at least mediate, disproportionately influential vested interests, including those of CFC, the club I support. Those same interests are not going to allow it to happen though, at least not without pressure from other clubs and supporters.

9 in a row has been in the background throughout all this, 10 in a row will be next season. Perhaps the season after that positions will be less entrenched in Glasgow, but I doubt it. If clubs wish changes to be made this is the season to prepare, the time to talk and organise.

Any club that fails to comply with COVID testing requirements should be removed from all competitions immediately.

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HomunculusPosted on2:36 pm - Jul 30, 2020


Big Pink 30th July 2020 at 13:54

I share your disappointment that many (but certainly not all) of those who have expressed a desire for fairness and sporting integrity when the issue was the 5WA, EBTs or misregistration of players, have apparently had a Damscene conversion and restoration of faith in the authorities when it comes to what most of us perceive as unfairness – and an unnecessary unfairness at that.

=======================================

Or people are using the notion of “play the ball not the man”.

It is entirely possible for a group of people to get something badly wrong, but then to get something else right. For people to support their action on one thing and not the other.

What would your solution have been, in order to be fair to everyone. Please don’t say reconstruction, they tried that and the clubs rejected it.

It was the only fair solution I could think of but clearly you have a better idea.

Oh and just when I am typing anyway, for the people saying that Celtic and Rangers have been playing friendlies so the season could have been finished on the park. I assume you mean that everyone else, all 42 clubs, could have played the remainder of their games behind closed doors, whilst following the rules as set by the Scottish Government.

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Big PinkPosted on5:38 pm - Jul 30, 2020


macfurgly

Interesting observations there. The trouble is that there is no smoking gun in the timeline here. No hard evidence that anything illegal or untoward happened. Consequently, the accusations from the likes of English about what ‘must have happened’ are hollow. Not saying I don’t think there were immoral goings-on, but in the absence of an accurate interpolation, extrapolation is all we were left with. Consequently, the focus of the strategy to minimise damage to Hearts, Thistle and Stranraer should have been centred on the unfairness of the outcome and on a blueprint to mitigate that – not a full frontal attack on guys who knew that they were legally in a safe place.

To me, that was the mistake they made. They got caught up in the emotion of the amoral way they were shafted, and it became personal for many of them. I think Rangers opportunistically jumped on that bandwagon because it gave them cause to throw around innuendo and make what ultimately became a failed powerplay.

The same goes with accusations of Lawwell exerting undue – and nefarious – influence over the rest. Lawwell’s job is not to look after the interests of Celtic though. It is to look after the interests of Dermot Desmond. I would argue (and I acknowledge that it is subjective) that the two only occasionally coincide.

Given Lawwell’s answer to the Res12 guys at the Celtic AGM (when asked about having sight of the 5WA agreement), I would have trouble believing him if he told me there was a ‘C’ in Celtic. So when he claims he has no special influence on the SPFL (or others claim that on his behalf), I am sceptical. I reckon he does have influence incommensurate with his voting power, but again, I’m only extrapolating from what I know about him, with no recourse to evidence.

Of course I am keen to see Celtic lift the title next season, but I must confess to having the feeling that Celtic have lost a bit of their soul over the last eight years – and I would prefer that they had retained that even it meant TIAR remaining a pipe dream.

TIAR is after all a fleeting achievement, a snapshot. Standing up for sporting integrity on the other hand, actually making a stand on its behalf, that would have been a huge legacy. But they failed to grasp that opportunity.

They failed to call out the cheating, they failed to be truthful to their own fans who spend thousands of pounds of their own cash to try to achieve what it was their (the club’s) duty to achieve. They failed to rally round the three clubs who were unjustly punished.

Of course, when they do not act in their own self-interest (over the cheating and the licence scandal), it is hardly surprising that they would act when they had no self interest to satisfy.

I think EJ’s idea for a reconstituted board is one most football fans would support, but I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance that the clubs would cede that much power to people working in the interests of the game.

We can but hope though 🙂

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John ClarkPosted on7:43 pm - Jul 30, 2020


Big Pink 30th July 2020 at 17:38
‘..Standing up for sporting integrity on the other hand, actually making a stand on its behalf, that would have been a huge legacy. ‘
“”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
Yes, in the face of the evidence of the EBT sports cheating indulged in by SDM , Celtic plc should have got real about what the RES 12 resolutioners had unearthed, and it is to Celtic’s abiding shame that they did not absolutely demand, DEMAND a full, independent investigation, calling in the Police if necessary.
A really independent investigation might have reassured us all that Hampden was not a modern day equivalent of the Augean stables

Celtic’s failure to insist on such investigation leaves the suspicion that our game is still at heart rotten, and that there are people still involved in Scottish Football who may have got away with a crime; and tarnishes the Celtic board with the mark of moral cowardice and/or as greedy, grasping individuals as little interested in Sporting Integrity as any board that ever sat at the top of the marble staircase.

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John ClarkPosted on8:55 pm - Jul 30, 2020


I notice that Michael Stewart has not been yes-man enough of a yes-man for BBC Scotland sports chiefs’
This is from the online DR. (now I have to go and wash my hands, of course)

“.The BBC has revealed its Sportscene line-up for the Premiership’s big return – and there’s no place for Michael Stewart.

Steven Thompson has been installed as the new host of the Sunday show, with Jonathan Sutherland leading Saturday’s broadcast.

They’ll be joined by guests Marvin Bartley, James McFadden, Craig Gordon, Shelley Kerr, Julie Fleeting and Shaun Maloney.

The shows will feature coverage of every top-flight fixture as competitive football returns following a five-month absence.

That includes Rangers ‘ trip to Pittodrie on Saturday afternoon and Celtic hoisting the league flag at home to Hamilton the following day.

Regular contributor Stewart, however, will not be among the pundits this weekend.

He’d only returned from a ban back in February having been taken off-air following a blast at former Rangers PR Jim Traynor.”

confirmation that there is no genuine freedom of expression and opinion on football matters on Pacific Quay.

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Big PinkPosted on9:50 pm - Jul 30, 2020


John C,

Of course at the heart of this, if indeed Stewart is being edged out, is the stark reality that having an opinion critical of Rangers is enough to threaten your livelihood.
I sincerely hope it is not the case, because if it is based on some kind of professional assessment, the notion that Thompson (and I mean no disrespect to him) is a better broadcaster than Stewart is as ludicrous as it gets.

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bect67Posted on10:28 pm - Jul 30, 2020


JC

The bold Michael has, I believe, joined the Premier Sports Team as co-commentator of Celtic games thereon.

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John ClarkPosted on10:58 pm - Jul 30, 2020


Change of subject by way of light relief!
I think I have mentioned before the difficulties I have had in corresponding with the FCA? Most recently
I had emailed on June 30, and receipt of that was ( automatically) acknowledged on the same day, with the automatic ‘we aim to reply within 5 days’ pious aspiration!

I emailed a wee short reminder very early this morning, remarking that something more than 5 days had elapsed and could I expect an early reply.
I got an early reply- it came in at 12.38 this afternoon!

“Complaints Scheme complaints@fca.org.uk
To:(me)
Cc:
Complaints Scheme

Thu, 30 Jul at 12:38

Dear …
Thank you for your email and apologies if my previous correspondence has not been clear.
In order to reconsider my decision on your complaint I would need to see the original emails, which you can send to me as attachments (as opposed to forwarding them). This would allow me to reconsider my decision on your complaint that your correspondence was ignored by the FCA. However, your concerns about Rangers International Football Club are not something we can consider under the Complaints Scheme. The Scheme is in place to deal with complaints that arise from the exercise of or failure to exercise, any of the FCA’s relevant functions. This is set out in paragraph 1.1 of the Scheme and Part 6 of the Financial Services Act 2012 (https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/corporate/complaints-scheme.pdf). As your concerns relate to the actions of a regulated firm, it would not be considered one of the FCA’s relevant functions.

Although this cannot be investigated under the Scheme, I explained in my decision letter of 11 May 2020 that I had passed your correspondence about Rangers International Football Club to the FCA’s Supervision Hub, the area that deals with general consumer and firm correspondence. They confirmed that the information you provided would be reviewed and, if necessary, passed onto the relevant team within the FCA to form part of their supervisory work. Due to confidentiality and policy restrictions, I am unable to tell you what action, if any, is taken as a result of this. Further information can be found here – https://www.fca.org.uk/freedom-information/information-we-can-share/.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further, please feel free to call me on 02070669870.
Alternatively, if you are unhappy with my decision, you have the option to refer your complaint to the Complaints Commissioner. His contact details can be found in my previous correspondence.

Yours sincerely

C.. K.

Associate / Complaints Team / Risk & Compliance Oversight Division

Financial Conduct Authority

12 Endeavour Square

London

E20 1JN

Tel: +44 (0)20 7066 9870
http://www.fca.org.uk

Here is my reply:

To:
Complaints Scheme

Thu, 30 Jul at 15:34

Dear Ms K…
That was a quick response, and I thank you for it.

So, the FCA need not respond to complaints from the public that it may itself have acted in breach of the law and no one can complain?

Sounds like a wonderful place to work, where one would be safe to act unlawfully without being hauled up for it.

It wouldn’t happen in the pukka Civil Service!

Anyway, thank you personally for your efforts.

I shall now leave you in peace and withdraw, crushed and dispirited, while hoping that if any officer of the FCA did in fact knowingly breach his statutory duty he will have no peace and will ,sooner or later, come to career grief.

Cheers,
(me)

[ this is not part of my reply: ‘crushed and dispirited’ ? Ha, ha, no way!
I shall try another approach by and by.
I mean, whoever heard the like, an organisation which can’t deal with complaints that its officers may have been in breach of the organisation’s statutory duties?
My reference to the ‘pukka ‘ Civil Service is because the FCA is NOT part of HM’s home Civil Service, being funded by the business world, and is only very, very loosely answerable to Parliament and to you and me.]

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Cluster OnePosted on11:32 pm - Jul 30, 2020


Highlander 30th July 2020 at 12:42
Would the SPFL have ‘called’ the league while either Celtic or Rangers* were 4 points adrift at the foot of the table with 24 points still to play for? If that bottom of the table scenario is too difficult to envisage, would the SPFL have ‘called’ the league if Celtic or Rangers* were only four points ahead of the other at the top of the table with 24 points still to play for?
…………….
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon advised that events of more than 500 people should be cancelled. The Scottish Professional Football League acted on this advise. The Scottish Football Association has suspended all domestic professional and grassroots football until further notice as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.The Scottish FA Board made its decision in the interests of the health and safety of players, match officials, staff, supporters and the general public
Like the cancelling of the Glasgow derby, it had to be done. No matter where any team may or may not have been in the league. the league would still have to have been called. would you have expected the SPFL and the SFA to turn round and say hold on a minute Nicola Sturgeon can you give us a week or two more to play some games as the gers are near the bottom and could get relegated if the leagues are called now.. They HAD NO CHOICE TO CALL THE LEAGUE no matter what club may have been in what position.
……………………………
Celtic and Rangers* recently managed to play several pre-season friendlies within the space of just a few days,
…………….
Friendlies are played to get fitness back. would you expect the clubs to come straight out of lockdown into competative games. even these friendlies have been hit by set backs and cancellations. THERE WAS NO TIME FOR COMPETATIVE GAMES TO BE PLAYED IN SCOTLAND. And not enough tests or test equipment for competative games to be played.

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macfurglyPosted on11:36 pm - Jul 30, 2020


Big Pink 30th July 2020 at 17:38

This is all very subjective, but:
Is there a need to find a smoking gun?
I do not believe that Lawwell was blindsided on the 5WA. That is not credible, therefore Celtic are complicit and I agree that tarnishes the soul of the club. Regarding the cheating and the licence issue, I suspect, based on no evidence whatsoever, that Celtic did a deal with UEFA, received adequate compensation and Lawwell has been stonewalling ever since, which in my view is not good either.
As for 10 in a row, I am coming to a weary acceptance that the best thing is to get it done and out of the way so that once it is recorded in perpetuity in the record books, (for what they are now worth), then perhaps the air will clear, the dust will settle and in a less tense atmosphere a freshening breeze will blow through the game as the storm fades away from the west. With the red herring of total trophies won hoving into view perhaps not, but how long will PL remain? How long will DD remain? Doncaster? If there is a latent desire for change among other clubs, and principally among SPFL clubs, then season 21/22 offers the best opportunity. If such a desire does not exist, then it’s on like this forever, which to me seems like a continuing slow decline into European irrelevance.
I am not sure about amorality here. Regarding the vote to close the season, I don’t like it, it seems sneaky in the same way that Governments attach controversial clauses to otherwise innocuous legislation, to slip them through, but it’s no more than that. I’m not convinced about unfairness either. Pretty much everyone will agree that Thistle have been unfortunate because of the game in hand, but they were bottom. Regarding HMFC, with 4 wins and 6 draws in 30 matches it is possible to complain too much. Budge and Levein made a mess of it, (and I have none of the cultural antipathy towards them implied on here some time ago, I used to enjoy going to Tynecastle to watch the likes of Thomson, Anderson, Brown, Ford etc.), and with the possibility of playing the remaining games remote they go down, as do Stranraer. They were bottom. That’s fair, surely, when a decision had to be made. It may or may not be be that this was arranged by a self interested few, but it was ratified by all.
If this had been perceived to be unfair, then reconstruction would have been the way to go. I would like to see a 14 team top league, mainly because the old so called meaningless games were when young players got a chance, as there was not the current fear of relegation throughout at least half the division, but when it was proposed it was shot before it got out of the traps. Again, there is now perhaps a chance to consider it in a less fevered environment, and to develop something that will gain the necessary support. Do the majority of SPFL clubs really want to keep playing Russian roulette?
Regarding English’s frenzied tilting at the SPFL, I would listen to him if I had seen any evidence of him saying the same things in 2012, which I have not.
I try to remain optimistic, but it’s difficult at the moment.

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Cluster OnePosted on11:39 pm - Jul 30, 2020


Ps. UEFA want all leagues that can be completed by Aug 3, as the scottish top flight can only be deemed to be safe to begin by Aug 1 that would leave just a couple of days to complete thousands of tests and eight or nine games each for every club.

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Cluster OnePosted on11:49 pm - Jul 30, 2020


StevieBC 30th July 2020 at 14:08

Interesting article in The Guardian;…because after months spent locked out of stadiums match-going supporters have realised the importance of their role cannot be overstated and unilaterally opt to stay away
………………….
Stay away and have found other interests. Something we have spoken about on SFM some months ago.

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HomunculusPosted on12:23 am - Jul 31, 2020


Cluster One 30th July 2020 at 23:39
Ps. UEFA want all leagues that can be completed by Aug 3, as the scottish top flight can only be deemed to be safe to begin by Aug 1 that would leave just a couple of days to complete thousands of tests and eight or nine games each for every club.

===================================

Indeed

Furthermore the SPFL is not just the top division, it is all four divisions. If UEFA wanted leagues completed by that time then it would have meant all 42 clubs completing their games behind closed doors. Not just the Premiership.

The league was finished with the agreement of the majority of the clubs in it because there really wasn’t another option. Most clubs could not even have done the necessary testing, far less afforded to play the games with little or no income.

If you have a Postman as your centre back how often do you need to test him before you can allow the game to go ahead on the Saturday. When does he have to stop doing his rounds and self-isolate to allow that. Who pays him during that self-isolation, who does his “day job”.

People talking about team playing friendlies, therefore the games could be played are missing the point, the league is not the top clubs, it is all 42.

Am I not right in saying that whilst the top division intends starting this weekend, the lower divisions won’t be and that they are looking a couple of months down the line. We have one league, but four divisions, the difference between the top and bottom is enormous.

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John ClarkPosted on12:34 am - Jul 31, 2020


macfurgly 30th July 2020 at 23:36
‘..Regarding English’s frenzied tilting at the SPFL, I would listen to him if I had seen any evidence of him saying the same things in 2012, which I have not”
“””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
You and me both, macfurgly.
Apart from Mark Daly’s tv documentary about the EBT cheating, not a single journalist based in Scotland has undertaken any serious journalistic work into the whole Res 12 business, the 5-Way Agreement, the apparent dishonesty of the RIFC plc prospectus, the collapse of the trials (of various kinds) of people associated with RFC/ TRFC, the suggestions made from time to time in various court proceedings, etc etc.
They have all either been shut up under threat, or are ‘succulent lamb eaters’ and temporisers with Truth.
Bad cess to them all!

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upthehoopsPosted on6:40 am - Jul 31, 2020


Cluster One 30th July 2020 at 23:49
StevieBC 30th July 2020 at 14:08

Stay away and have found other interests. Something we have spoken about on SFM some months ago.

+++++++++++++++++++++

Celtic have just had record season ticket sales.

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Mickey EdwardsPosted on8:48 am - Jul 31, 2020


Through all the calls on here as to what could have been done to ensure a fair end to the Covid hit season there is one consistent – reconstruction. It is the outcome that would have been my preference but please do not let us ignore the facts in the failure to have it implemented. There was only one person/club that publicly put restrictions on the consideration of that. Sure, many privately would have objections, but in these unprecedented times a blank page was required to encourage the opening of minds in the discussion. I find it strange that those that would suffer most are the very ones opposed to that blank page.

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Mickey EdwardsPosted on9:01 am - Jul 31, 2020


Highlander@12:42

“As a Hearts fan, I was delighted to see my club take the squirming SPFL to court, but I have to hold my hands up to being extremely uncomfortable about involving Dundee Utd and the other promoted clubs in the action. I can only assume there were sound legal reasons for pursuing that particular avenue, and that the desired result would have seen the SPFL being forced into confirming those promotions while simultaneously cancelling relegations.”

The gist of all the comments here is to look for a fair outcome unfortunately being “uncomfortable” does not mitigate the fact that including the promoted teams in the action was to reverse those promotions not to force the SPFL’s hand. No-one goes to court with a stated aim in their case with the hope that the court ignores that aim and instead reads the complainants mind and gives an outcome not on the petition.

The court action from the off was one that flew in face of any fairness.

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adam812Posted on9:28 am - Jul 31, 2020


Mickey Edwards

I find it somewhat ironic that it was during a radio interview with Mr “Move On” that the blank page was spoiled!

Even more ironic that following scrutiny by 3 unimpeachable legal individuals who have confirmed that the SPFL, on this occasion, followed the rules agreed by the organisation the same Mr “Move On” seems unwilling to accept it unless he is allowed to scruntise the evidence himself!

The BBC needs to tell Mr “Move On” to apologise to all those he suggested were truth twisters and carry out an indepth review of its, I would suggest, damaging and rabble rousing output during lock down.

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Mickey EdwardsPosted on10:00 am - Jul 31, 2020


adam812@09:28

Can I say firstly that I am completely in tune with your earlier posts and we seem to be of a like mind on the situation.

If you mean Tom English as Mr Moveon then again I totally agree. One thing is stuck firmly in my mind that is his comment to Michael Stewart on Sportsound after the Budge interview. Stewart questioned some of Budge’s comments and English responded with “Are you calling Ann Budge a liar?”. It struck me that he did so when the whole gist of his reporting was to call Doncaster a liar. For me Doncaster has been party to a lot of wrong doing and mismanagement in Scottish football but while we are stuck with him the best we can do is hold him to account. That means we also do not take part in unfounded accusations and that is what the whole promotion/relegation farce is. The arbitration process was not of the LNS type and found in favour of the SPFL’s actions.
I also believe that to remove Doncaster would be to change nothing, he would be replaced like for like. What is needed is a complete change of the whole administrative structure. For me the replacement should see the separation of powers with the SPFL replacement having only involvement in the business side. It would be answerable to the SFA replacement in all else. That would include fixture dates and times and in any negotiations with TV companies the SPFL replacement would have no power to sell away these things.
But how we see any changes is the $64,000 question. It is beyond my ken how we do that.

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adam812Posted on11:09 am - Jul 31, 2020


Mickey Edwards

Yes you’ve got the right man!

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reasonablechapPosted on12:04 pm - Jul 31, 2020


From the About SFM page on this site
The cosy relationship that has existed, and continues to exist between the media and people at the top of Scottish Football has dissuaded those who may otherwise be moved to blow the whistle on wrongdoing…..
We have sought to ask the questions in public which are often not asked by a mainstream media which has become in our view merely a broadcaster of PR issued by the financial and other vested interests within the sport. By doing so we believe that information is now in the public domain which otherwise would not.

===========================

So now we have the general targetting of a journalist (Tom English).

He hasn’t looked for cosy relationship with the heid yins in the Scottish football authorities but has very much looked to hold power to account. For some, that is a highly hypocritical stance to take and one that goes against what is written on the tin of the SFM.

We even have a poster mocking him for looking to have the arbitration judgement published (in the public interest) so as to provide transparency and thus a more solid platform to move-on from.

Self-Interest (clubs/PLCs) and Tribalism (fans) dominate throughout the Scottish game, from the authorities board rooms to messageboards (including this one). Easyjambo’s suggestion would be a start for the Scottish game, to swim against what will be an ever stonger current. However, realism has me sharing his pessimism for the future of the game.

The SPFL and it’s lack of leadership is failing the Scottish game on various levels. A third of it’s members wanted an investigation of them. There is no league sponser and TV deals have been paying relative buttons for too long, but they do pay extremely well for failure and don’t seem to do accountability.

But hey, let’s forget all that and go after the journalist who is actually on their case.

ps. twitter thread that has a critical take on SPFL marketing
https://twitter.com/alexmarr98/status/1288578645926318081

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Mickey EdwardsPosted on12:48 pm - Jul 31, 2020


“So now we have the general targetting of a journalist (Tom English).”

Targeting as in the banning of a BBC reporter from Ibrox, or forcing a public apology from another who reported that no offer for Morelos was placed from China, or how about demanding an apology from Michael Stewart for being honest about Jabba, and of course there was the case of two Herald journalists who were involved in honestly reporting goings on inside the Ibrox boardroom. That is targeting.

But then again, as is your wont, you over exaggerate a description of comments on Tom English. Targeting is an emotive word that fits well with your intentions much more than the accurate word criticising.

Other words that we should read on here are disruptive, divisive, deflective, argumentative, persuasive and insightful should you be succeeding with your intentions on here. Unfortunately if you perceive yourself as succeeding with these attempts then we need to include one more word – delusional. The truth of the matter is that more appropriate words are futile, dishonest, deflective and corrosive.

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adam812Posted on1:04 pm - Jul 31, 2020


Reasonablechap
Michael Stewart was taken off air for telling the truth. Tom English having told those of us concerned about the cover-up of earlier concerns re our footballing authorities to move on listened to the conspiracy thearists and poured scorn on responses from the SPFL week after week. The fact that he is still seems unwilling to be admit the SPFL acted within the rules and that it is time to move on is the most disappointing thing.

The SPFL are far from perfect but the lynch mob going after Neil Doncaster was unedifying.

Granted he has done some great interviews with a variety of sports people but I’m not so sure as a journalist. Can we really trust the accuracy of his stories when he persists in calling Murdoch MacLennan MacLellan? Is this to deliberately antagonise?

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HomunculusPosted on1:25 pm - Jul 31, 2020


An independent arbitration panel has looked at all of the material, presumably taken evidence from witnesses, carried out whatever investigations which were required and unanimously agreed that the SPFL did nothing wrong. Well insofar as the accusations made against them.

People called for an independent investigation. It has now been done, you have your result.

People are now saying that is not satisfactory because they themselves have not seen all of the papers, looked at all of the evidence. However in Scotland arbitration is a confidential process, not in some nebulous way, confidential because the relevant act makes it so.

So we now have, “but it’s in the public interest”. I’m afraid “in the public interest” and “of interest to the public” are not the same thing.

There is a good argument to say that what is “in the public interest” is for these things not to be released, as to do so would reduce people’s faith in the confidentiality of the arbitration process. A process which is there for a reason.Some football reporter / supporter demanding to see confidential documentation is not as important to the public as maintaining the integrity of the process.

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John ClarkPosted on1:27 pm - Jul 31, 2020


reasonablechap 31st July 2020 at 12:04
‘..But hey, let’s forget all that and go after the journalist who is actually on their case.’
“”””””””””””””””””””””””””””
My strictures against English and the SMSM in general is that he and they are very, very selective in what they choose to ‘investigate’ and ‘report’ upon.
As sport journalists they have been little more than (hopefully, unpaid) PR people for the biggest lie in Scottish Football by not insisting that the Governance bodies should make it absolutely clear that TRFC are Not RFC, and that they ought publicly to forbid them to claim to be so or to market themselves as such.
English is as much an Ibrox ‘yes-man’ as the worst of them, and what he has to say on any subject is as worthless as any utterances of the Ibrox board.

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StevieBCPosted on1:32 pm - Jul 31, 2020


After all the off field shambles in recent weeks/months, we actually get back to league football tomorrow.
Whatever our gripes with clubs and/or Hampden, it seems that nothing is going to significantly change or improve in the short to medium term.

So, now we can get back to the “quality of the product”.

Without fans in the stadium creating an atmosphere – football is indeed nothing without the fans. It’s painfully obvious, and try as I might, I have yet to watch a closed doors game from start to finish.
But, that is hopefully a temporary restriction to enjoying the game.

And that leads onto the match officiating standards.
The ‘Referees’ Summit” was held in Perth with SPL managers and the SFA to discuss poor standards. That was in January last year: over 18 months ago.

Has anything changed since then?
Is anything changing this season WRT improving match officials’ standards and decision making?

At one end of the Scottish senior game we have fundamental issues with governance: no easy fix, no political will from the clubs, and the problems will remain for the duration.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have the management of the games. Relatively speaking: a much easier fix, there is/was political will from the clubs – so why have the paying customers not been informed of what has been actioned since the “Referees’ Summit”?

And what about VAR…?
No, it’s certainly not perfect, but is Scottish football just to pretend it doesn’t exist?
Is there scope to implement the VAR-lite version – used in leagues like Cyprus, Portugal – to help our match officials improve?

I know… 🙁

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Cluster OnePosted on1:48 pm - Jul 31, 2020


reasonablechap 31st July 2020 at 12:04
So now we have the general targetting of a journalist (Tom English).

He hasn’t looked for cosy relationship with the heid yins in the Scottish football.
…………………….
But will have a pop in the press at someone if requested to do so.
…..
but has very much looked to hold power to account.
… still waiting on his big articles on the granting of rangers euro licence and Res 12 issue.

……………………………………
But hey, let’s forget all that and go after the journalist who is actually on their case.

Wake me up when he gets on their case for everything and not just the one subject that he backed the wrong side on and is trying to save face.
……………………..

ps. twitter thread that has a critical take on SPFL marketing
https://twitter.com/alexmarr98/status/1288578645926318081
……..
The Tread lost all credability the minute English retweeted it and they came out with this cracker.
Alex Marr
@alexmarr98
·
29 Jul
Level 6:
Foreign Broadcasting Rights #1:

Despite the SPFL having its biggest star (arguably) be a Colombian, Alfredo Morelos, the league never sold its rights to that country. With his transfer to Lille, the SPFL has now completely lost the chance to gain an audience in South America.
…….. Biggest Star how? The guy has left the field of play more times than the ball. Has scored once all year.
With his transfer to Lille? What transfer, he is still at ibrox.

the SPFL has now completely lost the chance to gain an audience in South America.

Really missed the boat there. Aye right, morelos has been touted for a move ever since he stepped in the door at ibrox, the player himself even said he wants to play in a bigger league, if his valuation had been half realistic he may have already have gone by now.

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HighlanderPosted on5:45 pm - Jul 31, 2020


Cluster One
When you say players would be unfit to restart playing matches from the earliest date permissible by the Scottish Government, I personally would prefer league positions to be determined following matches featuring semi-fit players than being decided via mere guesswork, which, at the risk of labouring a point, would’ve seen Aston Villa, Werder Bremen, St Mirren last season, amongst others, incorrectly and unfairly relegated. Which method do you find more acceptable, playing matches or having a hunch?

Furthermore, there might be no need to complete all eight or nine remaining games to establish final league positions with 100% accuracy, since two or three games may be all that would be required to enable Celtic to be mathematically certain of being crowned Champions (I’ll leave the arithmetic to others), Motherwell and Aberdeen to guarantee their UEFA spots and Hearts or whoever to be relegated, thus removing all doubt whilst simultaneously removing the threatening power of the fabled asterisk. I’m sure UEFA would be obliging if indicative nominations were proposed for their competitions, given the unprecedented circumstances.

Before someone mentions that all clubs signed up to ending the season early, it’s worth pointing out that there is a world of difference between the need to finish the season, however long it takes, and a need to finish the season without affecting the precious new and seemingly non-negotiable broadcasting deal. It beggars belief that the SPFL is prepared to move the goalposts part-way through a season rather than complete that season and make appropriate adjustments to the season which hasn’t yet started! Surely it’s not beyond the £388,000 pa Chief Executive to negotiate a favourable deal with the same broadcaster who has allowed the EPL to delay the start of their new season to the 12th September without penalty?

Mickey Edwards
It may surprise you to know that I was not apprised by Hearts’ QC of the legal technicalities involved in the recent court case and subsequent arbitration, but was simply showing some contrition for the actions brought against the promoted clubs. Similarly, I don’t have any insider knowledge as to why Ann Budge exercised her right to change her mind on the permanence or otherwise of league reconstruction, or any other matter, just as I wouldn’t expect you to be able to explain on Ron Gordon’s behalf why he appears to have backtracked on not signing any new players until all of Hibs’ deferred wages have been repaid. Forgive me if I’ve misunderstood.

In general
It still bemuses me that an acknowledged failing by our football authorities can be brushed off as insignificant when it doesn’t drastically impact either of the big two, explained away on the basis that a majority of member clubs voted for it, yet here we are, almost eight years after Rangers went into liquidation and 100% of member clubs have provided tacit approval for the club continuity myth, but that is somehow different and it is acceptable to continue highlighting it. For the purposes of clarity, I’m not in any way suggesting we should abandon the fight to report the death of a cheating club, merely that we should stop employing double standards.

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StevieBCPosted on6:29 pm - Jul 31, 2020


If we are to believe the SMSM, Morelos is ‘just about to sign’ for a new club, whether Lille, West Brom or whoever.

In this ‘imminent’ scenario the player concerned is – typically – excluded from playing until a transfer deal is concluded, or not.

So, Morelos shouldn’t be anywhere near the TRFC squad in Aberdeen tomorrow. You would think?

However, if he is included tomorrow then we’ll all know for sure that Morelos is not going to be leaving Ibrox any time soon.

…and it would be further validation that the SMSM is just doing what it always does: obediently copying/pasting Ibrox, PR mince… 🙁

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HomunculusPosted on6:30 pm - Jul 31, 2020


Highlander 31st July 2020 at 17:45

What about the clubs in the lower divisions of the SPFL, particularly the part time clubs with part time players, players with other jobs.

Could they have afforded the testing and playing games without any income. Could their players have placed themselves in isolation after getting a negative test result, up until the games had been played. What would their employers have thought about that.

You are comparing Scotland to England, an extremely poor league to arguably the richest in the World. They could afford the testing, the quarantine, their players are full time and don’t have other jobs to worry about. The vast majority of their income is apparently from broadcasting not from ticket sales. They also are working to the UK rules, the Scottish clubs are working to the Scottish rules. They could go back to playing, albeit behind closed doors, sooner.

The leagues was finished because that was the only real option at the time.

Re – “It still bemuses me that an acknowledged failing by our football authorities can be brushed off as insignificant when it doesn’t drastically impact either of the big two …”

Your argument is that Hearts could have avoided relegation, fair enough. Rangers could have been crowned champions and secured a Champions League spot with the possibility of earning tens of millions of pounds. How exactly are the unaffected.

Oh and it may be acknowledged by some people however that is not universal. They did what they could under the circumstances. They even tried to implement the sensible remedy, the clubs rejected it. Hearts played their part in the rejection.

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Cluster OnePosted on7:09 pm - Jul 31, 2020


Highlander 31st July 2020 at 17:45

Cluster One
When you say players would be unfit to restart playing matches from the earliest date permissible by the Scottish Government, I personally would prefer league positions to be determined following matches featuring semi-fit players than being decided via mere guesswork,
……………………..
And what if a semi-fit player pulls a hamstring and is out for months, or gets an injury because he is not fully fit. Would you be willing (oops sound a bit like Mel Gibson there) willing to compensate the club for the semi fit player that got an injury because you wanted to see him play fit or not?
…………………………..
Furthermore, there might be no need to complete all eight or nine remaining games to establish final league positions with 100% accuracy, since two or three games may be all that would be required to enable Celtic to be mathematically certain of being crowned Champions.
……………………..
Might is like if. Celtic win after playing two or three games, second and third is not secured yet keep playing. They could not fit two or three games anywhere and HOPE that second and third don’t drag on.
………………………
I’m sure UEFA would be obliging if indicative nominations were proposed for their competitions, given the unprecedented circumstances.

They were obliging by saying all leagues to be complete by Aug 3.
…………………………..
a favourable deal with the same broadcaster who has allowed the EPL to delay the start of their new season to the 12th September without penalty?
…………………………
The EPL was able to start back and play games they now have a rest before they start their New season. The broadcaster may have allowed the new season to start later because it’s contracted deal for the previous season was delivered.

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Mickey EdwardsPosted on7:28 pm - Jul 31, 2020


Highlander
“I was not apprised by Hearts’ QC of the legal technicalities involved in the recent court case and subsequent arbitration, but was simply showing some contrition for the actions brought against the promoted clubs.”

I totally accept that but your comment –

“I can only assume there were sound legal reasons for pursuing that particular avenue, and that the desired result would have seen the SPFL being forced into confirming those promotions while simultaneously cancelling relegations.”

appears to be an acceptance that there could be good reason to drag the other teams into the fray. Also, you are intelligent enough to realise that the only positive outcome for the relegated teams would be to win what their submission was written to achieve, no promotion of the teams named.

I must make one more point –

” I don’t have any insider knowledge as to why Ann Budge exercised her right to change her mind on the permanence or otherwise of league reconstruction”

but you speak with apparent authority on why the SPFL and the other clubs relegated your team.

These are extraordinary times and in all spheres of our life the proportion of losers to winners has increased radically. Most have no way of turning things around and are left trying to make the best of a bad lot. So it is with the relegated teams. My point has always been that your club’s executive has not acted fully in the best interests of the club. She had the opportunity to persuade the other clubs to enter into a reconstruction but immediately alienated one section by introducing conditions. It was probably an impossible task anyway but she guaranteed it would be so.
I think a great deal of the belief in Budge from the Hearts fans is based around her involvement with bringing the club out of administration and rightly so. Unfortunately, it is blinding them to the damage she has been doing. The persisting with the failing Levein involvement not just for one season too long but many. The over running costs of the new stand, a project the management exercise that was awarded to a family member who had no experience in a venture of that scale. Through it all a number of dates for hand over to FOH were put back not because the finance was not available to the foundation but because Budge wanted to put in place certain things first. Even now she is saying that she will not hand the club over until Covid is no longer a threat. This might be a sensible move but surely it is one for FOH to make, hopefully after communicating with the members.
I think it is now time for Hearts supporters to believe that they have show enough gratitude to Budge and to recognise that it is time to move on. Reconstruction would have kept Hearts and the others in the appropriate divisions but its failure should fall as much at your executives door as the doors of those that you feel are the ones to blame.

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Cluster OnePosted on7:40 pm - Jul 31, 2020


No EDIT anymore so. Highlander, i like your posts when you post. But you have to look at the scottish game not make comparisons with other leagues. Remember when the games were stopped in scotland. Remember when players were only allowed to return to trainning but no contact. Remember when players could start to get tested. Remember some clubs could not even get that right.Remember the cost of all this to the scottish game.
Doncaster did an interview with sky on May 20 explaining that there was just no time to get games played. He has done a few other interviews since then still explaining how games could not get played. I would have loved to see celtic go on and secure a points tally or a record goals scored, but for health and safety reasons there was just no time or money to do it.

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John ClarkPosted on8:06 am - Aug 1, 2020


I wonder if Steve Carson, who has been named as the successor of Donalda MacKinnon as the Director of BBC Scotland will allow free discussion on air of the ‘Big Lie’, or whether he will follow the established policy of the last 8 years and allow the BBC to carry propagating the untruth that TRFC is somehow the RFC of 1872?
No, I don’t really wonder!
He’d never have got the appointment unless Ken MacQuarrie believed him to be a safe pair hands.

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Mickey EdwardsPosted on10:13 am - Aug 1, 2020


It may be that we are about to see the sense of the lower leagues’ shortened seasons. Yesterday the Chief Health Officer in England stated, in a rare piece of honesty at Westminster, that we are probably seeing that the limit to return to “normality” has been reached. It kinda shows that steps taken in Scotland were more realistic but it also shows that if choices are to be made as to which crowd gatherings are to be allowed then what chance that football is one that won’t. Could the game here survive that?

Perhaps Hearts supporters will have the last laugh.

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Cluster OnePosted on2:57 pm - Aug 1, 2020


reasonablechap 1st August 2020 at 08:00
Rangers don’t like that and want some real political power but can’t get a foot in the door.
…………..
Was Stewart Robertson not on the SPFL board? not bad for an 8 year old club getting someone on the SPFL board.
……………………………….
Generally, money flows to the top, money buys power, more money, etc, etc…

But money does not buy you a sporting Advantage. So we have been told.

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StevieBCPosted on3:09 pm - Aug 1, 2020


Will the SMSM now dial down the ridiculous coverage of Morelos’ ‘transfer speculation’?

Not only was Morelos in the TRFC squad, but he played from the start – and for the whole game.

Ergo, no club is about to buy the player.

IMO, they’re no closer to shifting Morelos than when they received those, erm, Chinese offers…

That Ibrox PR chap is making Traynor look competent! 🙂

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AuldheidPosted on3:57 pm - Aug 1, 2020


Wottpi

I can imagine your despair that nothing will change what is a setup wide open to corruption.

When CEO’s lie to their shareholders/stakeholders and get away with it, giving up hope is natural.

Now although Res12 is Celtic based the consequences affects the integrity all of Scottish football and in spite of the death pronunciations it is a Resolution at Celtic AGM adjourned indefinitely.

Adjourned means ” break off (a meeting, legal case, or game) with the intention of resuming it later.”
Indefinitely: for a period of time with no fixed end.

No fixed end which means no time limit set against when it can be resumed.

Only Celtic shareholders can end Resolution 12 by a vote. Then and only then is it dead.

The underlying principle of accountability is one society at large is beginning to appreciate more , without accountability those in charge can do what they like.

Accountability : the fact of being responsible for what you do and able to give a satisfactory reason for it, or the degree to which this happens:

The Celtic Board are accountable to shareholders.

Hang in there.

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AuldheidPosted on4:20 pm - Aug 1, 2020


John Clark 1st August 2020 at 08:06 Edit
I wonder if Steve Carson, who has been named as the successor of Donalda MacKinnon as the Director of BBC Scotland will allow free discussion on air of the ‘Big Lie’, or whether he will follow the established policy of the last 8 years and allow the BBC to carry propagating the untruth that TRFC is somehow the RFC of 1872?
No, I don’t really wonder!

He’d never have got the appointment unless Ken MacQuarrie believed him to be a safe pair hands.

The BBC have a copy of Fergus McCann v David Murray. If nothing comes of it, then you have your answer.

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AuldheidPosted on4:49 pm - Aug 1, 2020


Reasonable Chap 31 July 21.04

“So now we have the general targeting of a journalist (Tom English).”

English is only one of the many journalists who have played the three monkey trick about the skulduggery in Scottish football that began under David Murray who still hangs on to his knighthood (that I’ve removed 🙂 )

Have a read at a previous blog that names them all

https://sfm.scot/sweet-little-lies/ and if English is now focussed on then its because his “campaign” against the SPL just highlighted the depth of his hypocrisy.

He is the guy who read the Offshore Game Report on SFA and said it had flaws but never identified them. If he really wanted SFA/SPFL change, as opposed to ousting the green placemen at Hampden, then his stock would have risen that much higher than the depths his hypocrisy, he would have needed a spacesuit to breath.

Since those listed at previous blog were contacted, there are more of the green hue who also got the full narrative but have written nothing and I’m betting on a “D” type notice from Celtic Park at play.

For the games’s governors its all about power, and after 12 years of Murray’s cheating under the Nelson eye of the SFA, who can blame Celtic for wanting to keep hold of the reins?

I’d much rather they used that power to modernise the game, but once bitten etc.

For journalists it about feeding off the crumbs that fall from the table and where the biggest crumbs fall is where they gather. In the most current case involving English it wasn’t crumbs he was thrown it was a whole “ootsider”.

When it comes to governing with integrity, in this case one is as bad as the other.

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AuldheidPosted on4:59 pm - Aug 1, 2020


Just a thought provoked by the discussions.

Did Celtic primarily, but others too, fear there would be an attempt to negate all their efforts up to lockdown and so influenced the decision to make payment of SPFL prize money conditional on drawing the curtain.

My view back then was to complete the fixtures TO A SETTLEMENT POINT in the couple of weeks before this season started and pay out in March/April a sufficient percentage to meet the bills but hold some in reserve in case adjustment required.

However was there a fear that a pause would only add time for the null and voiders to gather momentum in the media, hence the approach taken?

In short did the null and voiders contribute to the mess?

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