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

easyJamboPosted on8:52 pm - Aug 6, 2020


Edit: “Six”, not siz.

I’m sure that the decision to let the game go ahead has nothing to do with it being live on Sky, or is the SPFL really that stupid.

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easyJamboPosted on8:54 pm - Aug 6, 2020


Club statement

Further to tonight’s JRG statement, Aberdeen FC confirms that two first team players, who have tested positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic, are self-isolating for ten days.

In line with government guidance and procedures from the football authorities, six other players, who were in close proximity with the two positive cases, are also self-isolating for 14 days.

The Club has been in open discussions with the football authorities since this came to light.

As a result, the Club will be missing eight players for the St Johnstone game, which the JRG has confirmed will now go ahead on Saturday.

AFC Chairman, Dave Cormack, said: “After Saturday’s game, with all eyes on Pittodrie, we were once again commended on the stringent processes and measures we had in place. Given the efforts of everyone at the Club and our investment in protecting our most valuable assets, this is a bitter blow.

“With two first team players testing positive for COVID-19, plus six others having to isolate for 14 days, it is also a harsh reminder of the severity and speed of spread of this virus.

“The Club will be carrying out a full investigation but, as an immediate first step, we have reinforced the Club’s COVID-19 protocols and the governing bodies’ guidance with every player and member of staff and will continue to regularly educate and remind everyone of what is, and what is not, acceptable in the current climate.

“We now have to focus on preparing for Saturday’s game under extremely difficult circumstances.”

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Corrupt officialPosted on9:48 pm - Aug 6, 2020


Short of confining the players to the stadiums in complete isolation, I don’t see how the players can guarantee not becoming infected.
This will result in many more weak teams (and mebbe none) being fielded before the season’s end, (whenever that may be).
Personally I don’t think we’ll get there.
Last season the virus arrived and the divisions were called. With the virus already upon us prior to resumption, it’s not so clear cut when such a decision can be made now, other than govt intervention.
No contingencies appear to have been reached, i.e, more than 20 played, call it. Less than 20 N&V, or whatever. X amount of infected, it’s over. Y amount of game backlog, Nothing. Nada.!
It’s all very patch-up and make-do, keep all digits crossed and we’ll have a big argument aboot it, when the time comes.
I have to admire the will to continue, but Jeezo, the practicalities are immense.

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Cluster OnePosted on10:16 pm - Aug 6, 2020


Aberdeen will carry out an investigation as they are set to be without eight self-isolating players for their next three matches after two tested positive for coronavirus.
……………………
And there were calls by some to continue playing last seasons games. How stupid do these people look now

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StevieBCPosted on10:33 pm - Aug 6, 2020


CO, agreed there is plenty of scope for an even bigger bun fight this season in the SPFL.

IMO, the rules regarding if/when games can be played, and if/when the league(s) should be called – should have been clearly publicised before now.
For clubs and fans/paying customers alike.

No room for negotiation or subjectivity: clear, hard rules and no chance of a repeat of last season end.

As the season progresses, whatever happens with the pandemic and restrictions, you just know that the SPFL is going to cock it up – again.

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Cluster OnePosted on11:21 pm - Aug 6, 2020


Aberdeen loose 8 players. what are the odds on the other team winning the next match against them?

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Corrupt officialPosted on11:58 pm - Aug 6, 2020


StevieBC 6th August 2020 at 22:33

CO, agreed there is plenty of scope for an even bigger bun fight this season in the SPFL

To be fair to the SPFL they did try to get extraordinary covid powers to adapt on the hoof, but the clubs said naw. They would have been wide-ranging powers.
The truth is though that to whack out legally binding rules to catch-all possible scenarios would be impossible in the time-frame we had. An "On the hoof what we say goes", was all they could do, not only to avoid a legal/arbitration challenge, but to do the best for the game, without the influence of club self interest or shit stirrers.

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adam812Posted on12:23 am - Aug 7, 2020


Those who criticise the SPFL for the method they used to decide the end of last season should look at the system the system used by the SQA to change teacher predicted exam grades for tens of thousands of Scottish schoolkids. The method used by the SQA to decide exam grades is a real national scandal.

I appreciate that this is not the forum to discuss the SQA in any depth but football clubs have a chance to recover their position within a year but many of the kids affected are likely to be disadvantaged for years to come and possibly never will recover.

Our young people are being treated shockingly!

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HomunculusPosted on12:36 am - Aug 7, 2020


Cluster One 6th August 2020 at 20:06

Hearts and Partick Thistle have been fined £2,500 each by the Scottish FA for taking the SPFL to court rather than referring the case to arbitration.

So if anyone wants to ignore that rule they can, it only costs £2,500.

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upthehoopsPosted on6:38 am - Aug 7, 2020


Homunculus 7th August 2020 at 00:36
Cluster One 6th August 2020 at 20:06

Hearts and Partick Thistle have been fined £2,500 each by the Scottish FA for taking the SPFL to court rather than referring the case to arbitration.

So if anyone wants to ignore that rule they can, it only costs £2,500

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

Or in the case of Oldco Rangers, no fine at all.

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wottpiPosted on9:45 am - Aug 7, 2020


Cluster One 6th August 2020 at 22:16
……………………
And there were calls by some to continue playing last seasons games. How stupid do these people look now?

…………………………..

Presumably equally as stupid as those who were clambering for a 1 August start to the Premiership and specific clubs trying to put pressure on the Scot Gov to allow fans into stadiums.

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easyJamboPosted on10:06 am - Aug 7, 2020


adam812 7th August 2020 at 00:23
Those who criticise the SPFL for the method they used to decide the end of last season should look at the system the system used by the SQA to change teacher predicted exam grades for tens of thousands of Scottish schoolkids. The method used by the SQA to decide exam grades is a real national scandal.

I appreciate that this is not the forum to discuss the SQA in any depth but football clubs have a chance to recover their position within a year but many of the kids affected are likely to be disadvantaged for years to come and possibly never will recover.

Our young people are being treated shockingly!
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The parallel is definitely there. The methodology failed to deal with the circumstances of individual pupils performance. (a bit like PPG failing to deal with the relative merits of the opposition already played or still to be faced by an individual team, current form etc.). However there is an appeal process to right the wrongs. The SQA previously dealt with a few thousand appeals. This year it may be tens of thousands and rightly so.

However it is how the MSM is portraying the results that generates much of the heat. It was initially reported as being disadvantaged kids being disproportionately moderated when compared to the schools in more affluent areas, but the bulk of new coverage has moved on to highlight individual cases.

The statistics show that the teachers’ predicted grades, compared to last year’s results, were inflated for all social groups, but with the biggest increase for the most deprived pupils. It is therefore unsurprising that any moderation would have the greatest impact on that group. However, the final year on year increase in Higher pass rates was greater for the most disadvantaged than that for the most affluent kids, so as a group they did not lose out.

https://twitter.com/paulhutcheon/status/1291282720891580417

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easyJamboPosted on11:58 am - Aug 7, 2020


So the St Johnstone v Aberdeen game has been called off. I assume that their subsequent games against Hamilton and Celtic will follow.

https://twitter.com/BBCSportScot/status/1291684214912552960

The SPFL wouldn’t want to disproportionately disadvantage individual teams after all. 🙁

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StevieBCPosted on12:12 pm - Aug 7, 2020


“…But Minister for public health and sport Joe Fitzpatrick had called a meeting with the Scottish FA and SPFL for Friday to discuss the situation after what a government statement called “a clear breach of the rules…”.

(From the BBC report).

On the face of it, and in contradiction to previous football generated statements, the Govt. has forced this decision…?
The original decision to continue with the (televised) game didn’t make sense.
IMO, I don’t think fans will see the inside of a stadium this side of Christmas.

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Cluster OnePosted on12:15 pm - Aug 7, 2020


wottpi 7th August 2020 at 09:45
……………………
Stupid people don’t know they are stupid.

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Cluster OnePosted on12:21 pm - Aug 7, 2020


easyJambo 7th August 2020 at 11:58

So the St Johnstone v Aberdeen game has been called off. I assume that their subsequent games against Hamilton and Celtic will follow.

https://twitter.com/BBCSportScot/status/1291684214912552960

The SPFL wouldn’t want to disproportionately disadvantage individual teams after all
………………………
Would have to. Now we have a back log even before the winter kicks in. A strong worded letter sent is what is needed here.

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HomunculusPosted on12:56 pm - Aug 7, 2020


wottpi 7th August 2020 at 09:45

Presumably equally as stupid as those who were clambering for a 1 August start to the Premiership and specific clubs trying to put pressure on the Scot Gov to allow fans into stadiums.

That was / is a Scottish Government decision.

They allowed games to be played when they thought it appropriate.

They will allow fans back when they deem it appropriate.

Interested parties lobbying is hardly an unusual thing. Even if parties with different agendas are lobbying at the same time. At the end of the day the Government will make the decision.

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John ClarkPosted on1:27 pm - Aug 7, 2020


Cluster One 7th August 2020 at 12:15
‘Stupid people don’t know they are stupid.’
“”””””””””””””””””””””””””
Well, I’ve just discovered that I have to own up to being stupid.
Just discovered that Bayer Leverkusen is just a works team!
In so far as I thought about them at all, I kind of assumed that Bayer was a place- like ‘Bayern’. Silly me.

“Now Bayer, maker of the weedkiller Roundup, whose primary ingredient is glyphosate, has agreed to pay more than $10 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits which claim that the chemical causes cancer’

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanstrickler/2020/06/25/bayer-to-pay-more-than-10-billion-in-roundup-settlement/#6d1f0dae60da

One lives and learns!

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StevieBCPosted on1:34 pm - Aug 7, 2020


Aberdeen players clearly being blamed for the postponement of the game by the govt.

Should the players involved be punished?

Just the other week, Hampden declined to punish clubs for ‘misinterpretating protocols’ with testing…so how can individuals be held accountable?

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theredpillPosted on1:53 pm - Aug 7, 2020


For all Celtic fans’ reservations, in the 25 years since Desmond effectively took the reins, it has won the Scottish title 15 times compared to 10 for its rival Glasgow Rangers. Celtic has won the last eight in a row, a period during which Rangers almost went bust and had to fight back from a forced spell in the bottom tier of the Scottish league pyramid.

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/media-and-marketing/why-is-dermot-desmond-investing-2m-in-shamrock-rovers-1.4053798

Where do these people get this mince from ?

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on3:18 pm - Aug 7, 2020


StevieBC @ 1334hrs:

I suspect that the Scottish Government’s involvement will prevent AFC from receiving any ‘football’ punishment, or St.J being awarded the three points.

As quoted in the DR:

‘Following the postponement, the Joint Response Group issued a statement explaining how the decision was reached.

It read: “Following a meeting this morning between the Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing, Joe FitzPatrick, the Scottish FA chief executive, Ian Maxwell, and the chief executive of the SPFL, Neil Doncaster, to further examine the circumstances around the self-isolation of eight Aberdeen FC players, a request was received from Scottish Government – and agreement reached – to postpone Saturday’s Scottish Premiership match against St Johnstone.

“There is an evolving public health outbreak in Aberdeen and the minister conveyed the need for additional work to provide further assurance around Aberdeen FC’ s adherence to the agreed protocols.

“Given the overriding responsibility to public health, the subsequent advice and discussion with the minister this morning means that the Joint Response Group must adhere to the request to postpone the match.”‘

The important bit being, ‘…a request was received from Scottish Government…to postpone…’, which nicely covers the SFA’s & SPFL’s erchies. I expect AFC will quietly discipline the players (medical confidentiality, natch!). The loser here is St.J, who may face a stronger, more in-form AFC when the fixture is re-arranged.

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GaslampPosted on3:18 pm - Aug 7, 2020


I have it on good authority that the Aberdeen players only went to the bar to test their eyesight!

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MenacePosted on4:03 pm - Aug 7, 2020


As a Dons fan I think we should forfeit the points as it was clearly a breach of the protocol.

If it had been an individual player who unwittingly picked it up then that’s different matter, but 8 players going to bar that’s different

Mind you 8 turning up was better none that turned up for the Rangers game itself

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easyJamboPosted on4:15 pm - Aug 7, 2020


Menace 7th August 2020 at 16:03
As a Dons fan I think we should forfeit the points as it was clearly a breach of the protocol.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I agree.

I don’t see the reasoning on the decision to only postpone Saturday’s game, but allow the Hamilton and Celtic games to me played with a weakened team. Either all or no games should be played.

I’d hope that it is nothing to do with both Celtic and Hamilton both having representatives on the SPFL Board and are acting in their self interest.

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GaslampPosted on4:52 pm - Aug 7, 2020


I think the reasoning for the game being postponed is straightforward, the government has overruled the SPFL on this occasion. Last night, the SPFL stated that tomorrow’s game would go ahead. I wonder how clear the specific regulations were made to the players, eight is quite a number to transgress and it wasn’t as if they went somewhere quiet, away from prying eyes?

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SmugasPosted on5:19 pm - Aug 7, 2020


And yes, having Aberdeen as my big team I’ll do the gag. No, there is no risk of cross infection to the Ibrox side last Saturday since to do so would have required us to get within 2m of them.

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adam812Posted on5:27 pm - Aug 7, 2020


Sorry easyJambo but to even suggest that there is some conspiracy going on at the SPFL in relation to the response the breaching of the Covid-19 protocols by the Aberdeen players makes you sound like another poster who describes himself as reasonable!

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SmugasPosted on5:27 pm - Aug 7, 2020


Joking apart I understand the decision to cancel the game on health grounds. I equally understand the impression, the fact even, that St Johnstone are the bigger losers here. It has opened a raft of questions though as to what players can and cannot do and what the SPFL’s response ordinarily, untouched by Scottish Government’s hand, would have been. One assumes it will now require to be the set response for similar instances going forwards. Asking a team missing probably 6 first team players to fulfil a fixture? I’ll be amazed if we can navigate a season with that hanging in the background. An excellent threat for sure, but a nightmarish reality if it actually has to be applied. Our very own nuclear deterrent.

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gunnerbPosted on5:33 pm - Aug 7, 2020


The lack of authoritative and strong governance of Scottish football is now bordering on farcical.The SFA fine for Hearts and Partick Thistle is paltry and has been pointed out is hardly a warning to other clubs not to do the same.Ealing comedy like mismanagement of the CVID protocols starting with TRFC and now Aberdeen is laughable if ’twere not so serious.Aberdeen FC are responsible for their players and in this instance I agree a 3 point forfeit in favour St Johnstone and the same for the following games AFC cannot complete. The selfish actions of the players has put not only the football season at risk but more importantly lives.They should be named and shamed.Utter disgrace.

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easyJamboPosted on5:35 pm - Aug 7, 2020


Gaslamp 7th August 2020 at 16:52
I think the reasoning for the game being postponed is straightforward, the government has overruled the SPFL on this occasion. Last night, the SPFL stated that tomorrow’s game would go ahead. I wonder how clear the specific regulations were made to the players, eight is quite a number to transgress and it wasn’t as if they went somewhere quiet, away from prying eyes?
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Football lobbied for and was granted an exemption for elite sport/training/contact/bubbles, all subject to testing and adherence to the same controls as the rest of the population when outside their working environment.

Part of the general advice is groups of 8 from 3 households indoors. Eight people from eight different households is not within the current guidelines.

The risk is that any infection inadvertently picked up outside football will be more likely to be transmitted because of their “work” environment.

Here are some extracts from Phase 3 – Step 3 guidelines for the resumption of elite sport.

https://sportscotland.org.uk/media/5907/phase-3-resumption-of-performance-sport-step-3-final-draft.pdf

c) All individuals must agree to abide by Scottish Government and Health Protection Scotland guidelines whilst away from the Competition Venue.

d) Any personnel with known or suspected COVID-19 are not permitted at the Competition Venue and should be placed or remain in isolation and follow the latest Scottish Government and HPS guidelines. Personnel should follow the protocols put in place by the Competition Organiser and/or Performance (Elite) Sport Organisation.

3. Competition Delivery Partners and Performance (Elite) Sports Organisations should:

a) Appoint a named COVID-19 Officer (CO) for each party. The CO appointed by the Competition Organiser should be responsible for oversight of the risk and mitigation planning, communicating information to all User Groups and ensuring that the necessary standards are met. This individual does not necessarily have to be medically trained.

c) The Competition Delivery Partners, in collaboration with the Performance (Elite) Sports Organisation(s), should develop a COVID-19 competition venue operations plan, and a COVID-19 risk assessment and mitigation plan. These should include the following considerations as a minimum:

I. A code of behaviour which provides guidelines for all User Groups and the details of sanctions in place for breaches of protocol.

The only other explanation I can come up with was that the eight players went to the pub to check that their eyesight would be OK for the trip down to Perth at the weekend.:)

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SmugasPosted on5:46 pm - Aug 7, 2020


I take the point GunnerB. But I suspect it will not be difficult to photograph 4 players (not even from the same team who live apart) out together socially in the very near future. The Aberdeen players have no excuse – they appear to have been in flagrant breach and the only thing to be determined is what level of knowledge of their plans the Club actually had (Oh for Sir Alex and his network, and in the days before mobile phones too). But the proposed solution by the SPFL prior to Nicola’s input – to enforce in this case 3 matches with 6 first team players missing and hell mend em – that would have been a very interesting precedent to set and to maintain. I suspect it will be revisited and for what its worth I think the chances of it being consistently applied are almost nil. Home many League 1 and 2 teams could even field a team for instance?

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martin cPosted on6:10 pm - Aug 7, 2020


Im rather concerned re the FMs and the SGs response to some young men going to the pub. There has not been a cat 1a worker told not to go to the pub.

These young men are being victimised for catching a virus- could’ve happened anywhere. They are being blamed, we are being told its their fault, they are being portrayed as part of a wider problem of antisocial behaviour within the context of the global pandemic in Scotland.

They have done nothing wrong- why the big fuss- im sure you couldn’t enforce anyone not to do what is legal despite what a contract says or “rules”?

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Jake CantonaPosted on8:28 pm - Aug 7, 2020


martin c 7th August 2020 at 18:10
Im rather concerned re the FMs and the SGs response to some young men going to the pub. There has not been a cat 1a worker told not to go to the pub.

These young men are being victimised for catching a virus- could’ve happened anywhere. They are being blamed, we are being told its their fault, they are being portrayed as part of a wider problem of antisocial behaviour within the context of the global pandemic in Scotland.

They have done nothing wrong- why the big fuss- im sure you couldn’t enforce anyone not to do what is legal despite what a contract says or “rules”?

The first problem that they have is that professional footballers (rightly or wrongly) are seen, as Nicola Sturgeon said today, to be “role models”. In the current circumstances, role models arguably carry a greater responsibility (again, rightly or wrongly) for the consequences of their actions.

The second problem that they have is that their actions appear to have been outside of what is permissible in their workplace and occupation at the present time. That in itself should be the basis of disciplinary action from their employer.

If eight pilots went on the lash the night before attempting to fly transatlantic 747s (other aeroplanes are available) no one would bat an eyelid at the inevitable tribunals, sackings and possible criminal charges. Likewise HGV drivers (with something more earthbound than a Jumbo). Circumstances have changed, and none of us can behave exactly as we did before.

Professional sport has been allowed to restart partly under sufferance and partly, I think, as an experiment. It behoves all involved professionally to behave professionally and to adhere to all the relevant guidelines/rules/advice at all times.

Two quick final points:

You could argue that going drinking after their weekend performance is unprofessional in the first place.
I’d favour awarding a 3-0 to St Johnstone, and any other teams involved in games needing to be cancelled under circumstances such as this. Aside from anything else, why give the players involved a chance to get appearance money or a win bonus for a fixture that had to be rearranged because of their own indiscipline and/or stupidity?

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erniePosted on8:50 pm - Aug 7, 2020


As a Dons fan I too believe the outcome here should have been 3-0 St J or perhaps a radical 1-0 to keep some balance in the league as I can not see us getting through this season with this being the only case. Lower divisions should get more leeway given the number of part timers involved. I’m not trying to defend the guilty 8 but when you see scenes around beaches, pubs, footballl celebrations etc around the UK I’m frankly amazed that this is the first spike of it’s kind. Postponing games will only clog up the fixture list and it won’t take much to make it difficult to finish this season. The players broke the protocol, the club need to take the hit.
For those seeking name and shame, public floggings and bans I would be cautious, it could be anybody next.

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gunnerbPosted on9:21 pm - Aug 7, 2020


One or even two individuals with differing contact points is understandable and hopefully containable. Eight!! naah name and shame. If another group of so called professionals are similarly compromised then name and shame and flog away.Fines and opprobrium might make others see sense.

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Cluster OnePosted on9:35 pm - Aug 7, 2020


Gaslamp 7th August 2020 at 15:18

I have it on good authority that the Aberdeen players only went to the bar to test their eyesight!
……………………
I laughed at that. Not often you get a post on SFM that can make me smile.

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John ClarkPosted on11:17 pm - Aug 7, 2020


Cluster One 7th August 2020 at 21:35
‘… Not often you get a post on SFM that can make me smile.’
“””””””””””””””””””””
Oh, I don’t know, Cluster One!

I’ve enjoyed a good few laughs at the clever wit of some posters

as well as at the foolishness of the attempts by the occasional ‘Knut’ , whose posts try as INEFFECTUALLY to tell us that TRFC of 2012 creation is the very same as RFC of 1872 birth and 2012 death, as KNUT [King Canute ] tried to hold back the incoming tide!

Knut’s [Canute’s] ridiculous foolishness was at least recorded as being such by the scribes of the day.

Sadly, our ‘recorders’ , the scribes of the SMSM, do not cherish Truth, and continue to propagate the untruthful absurdity that a football club first given entitlement to a place in Scottish Professional football in 2012 is the very same football club that in 2012 lost its entitlement to play in Scottish Professional Football by being Liquidated after 140 years, for its sports cheating for a decade before 2012.

Lots of good laughs at that

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John ClarkPosted on12:27 am - Aug 8, 2020


I stumbled upon this relatively interesting site a few minutes ago, while having another look at ‘Castore’

https://pitchbook.com/profiles/company/180720-10#overview

See trying to find out who actually makes money out of whatever high street store ,or any feckin business? Closed book.

I could go innocently to buy a pie tomorrow from ‘Peggy’s pies’ doon the road [fictional business!] only to find that I’m putting money into the pockets of ,say, some totally undesirable person that I would sooner see hanged because ‘Peggy’s Pies’ are ultimately owned by some feckin bad article.

Not that I suggest for a minute that Castore is a bad article, or that the Beahon boys are the same kind of people who would try all kinds of dodgy tax evasion schemes favoured by some sports clubs, or that Andy Murray would ever allow himself to be associated with such.

Just that the impenetrability of ‘business’ leaves us all in a kind of no-man’s land in which we may be unintentionally supporting businesses, causes, ideologies that are repugnant to us!

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HomunculusPosted on12:29 am - Aug 8, 2020


The Aberdeen games should go ahead, with players from both sides tested and only those who were clear of covid allowed to play.

Everyone knows the rules, if you break them you should suffer the consequences. If a club has players not available because they test positive, then play someone else.

That’s what every other business is doing. If someone is not available because they have covid then the business has to adapt.

This should be the case for all of the clubs.

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SmugasPosted on8:29 am - Aug 8, 2020


Absolutely Homunculus, particularly the last line. Which is what I suspect will make it completely unworkable.

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StevieBCPosted on8:46 am - Aug 8, 2020


I know it’s Tom English…but he’s written a half decent article here about the Aberdeen fiasco, IMO.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/53701572

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Big PinkPosted on10:21 am - Aug 8, 2020


I think the lesson of the Aberdeen players’ issue is that the level of intelligence of footballers is not uniformly high. Yes, there is a degree of self-entitlement inherent in those who ignore guidelines, but I also believe that lack of understanding is also a big factor.
The problem for footballers is that they are talking about their very livelihoods, so the level of stupidity which allows them to indulge in that sort of behaviour causes me to think that there needs to be some kind of audit process introduced.
My admiration for Derek McInnes grew a bit yesterday too. Contrite on behalf of the wrondoers, empathetic to the plight of the rest of the country, willing to accept responsibility for things. Gracious, dignified and an example of how to react when you are bang to rights.
Graham Spiers on the other hand, chose to blame the Scottish Government. My admiration for that is inversely proportional to that of McInnes.

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Big PinkPosted on10:28 am - Aug 8, 2020


A few folk contacted us regarding the absence of the edit facility in the past week or so. It had been turned off (as many other functions were) to try to identify a problem with the site code.

The site really urgently needs an update which I hope to address soon. The plan is to start with something minimal, and build on it. Crucially it will contain new updated code, and should be less buggy and a bit quicker and more responsive. That is on the timeline for September.

Anyway, the edit facility is now reactivated, so I hope that is a result for John C and others 🙂

 

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HomunculusPosted on10:34 am - Aug 8, 2020


I’m getting confused with this one, it’s Aberdeen and the Aberdeen players who have broken the rules. However postponing the game seems to be doing them a favour. They should be forced to play the game, with players who are tested and negative, surely postponing the game is good for them.

I could understand it if there was an issue with fans travelling from Aberdeen, but that’s not the case just now. 

A genuine question, can someone tell me what I am missing. 

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John ClarkPosted on10:37 am - Aug 8, 2020


Big Pink 8th August 2020 at 10:28

'. the edit facility is now reactivated, so I hope that is a result for John C and others..'

""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

I an bery gratfil that thee etid factility has bein ristord. Thank you.broken heart

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on11:11 am - Aug 8, 2020


Homunculus @ 1034hrs:

Quite.

It’s St. Johnstone who are being penalised for matters which are, essentially, internal to AFC.

St.J had the chance to play an AFC team that was rubbish last week & weakened (by their own players!) this week. They’ve prepared all week physically & the ground has been set up at a cost of several thousand pounds. Through no fault of theirs, they’ve now got an even-more compressed playing schedule.

Who knows what sort of AFC will show up for the re-arranged fixture? A different, probably tougher opponent, from that which would have turned up today; that’s for sure.

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Cluster OnePosted on11:11 am - Aug 8, 2020


John Clark 8th August 2020 at 10:37
……………..
I laughed at that. More than i should have.
…………..
Crucially it will contain new updated code, and should be less buggy.Two big smiles in two days.I feel i have had an update code;-)

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easyJamboPosted on11:30 am - Aug 8, 2020


Homunculus 8th August 2020 at 10:34

I’m getting confused with this one, it’s Aberdeen and the Aberdeen players who have broken the rules. However postponing the game seems to be doing them a favour. They should be forced to play the game, with players who are tested and negative, surely postponing the game is good for them.

I could understand it if there was an issue with fans travelling from Aberdeen, but that’s not the case just now. 

A genuine question, can someone tell me what I am missing.

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

It is a difficult one as there are two conflicting views on the situation.

One is that the Aberdeen players broke the rules and should be punished (by the club or the SFA?). Also that the club should be forced to play with a depleted squad, as the situation was of their own making.

The alternative view is that the players were only guilty of breaching the government guidelines like many others who went out on the town last Saturday, but failed to social distance or met indoors in groups of more than three households. Two players tested positive for the virus, so that is a no brainer in terms of their exclusion. However for the other six, they have tested negative, and therefore are fit and able to play, but are being prevented from doing so because of government restrictions.  In that situation there is a case for the game being postponed (a bit like have three players unavailable because they are on international duty).

My personal view is that the players involved are fortunate to be "back at work" at this time.  Football, the clubs, the players, the SPFL and the SFA all signed up to a framework that would allow them to get back to playing once again in advance of other activities that remain restricted (other sports, gyms,  swimming pools etc). The players have abused the trust that has been placed in them. The club has a responsibility to ensure that all their players knew what was required of them. There was nothing to stop any individual player going out for a meal and a drink with their partner, but for eight of them to go out as a group was irresponsible.  In my view, the club should be made to play the game with a weakened squad, or to forfeit the points.

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StevieBCPosted on11:57 am - Aug 8, 2020


…and a follow up question is: what happens if/when another group of footballers is caught breaking the agreed regulations?

Is their next game automatically postponed, or not?

Are there are any repercussions for the offending players/club?

IMO, there is a strong argument for Aberdeen forfeiting the 3 points – for effectively 'not turning up' for the St.Johnstone game due to their own 'mismanagement'.

And, why can't Hampden communicate clearly what would happen with a similar set of circumstances in future – so the fans know what the rules are?

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adam812Posted on12:16 pm - Aug 8, 2020


If only the clubs had agreed that the SPFL board had the delegated powers to make decisions in light of Covid-19 issues arising!

This is a blunt reminder that Covid-19 has not gone away yet and that the Scottish Govt has the final say no matter what anybody might suggest. 

 

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easyJamboPosted on12:17 pm - Aug 8, 2020


StevieBC 8th August 2020 at 11:57

And, why can't Hampden communicate clearly what would happen with a similar set of circumstances in future – so the fans know what the rules are?

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

That would be my own question. The SFA and SPFL must have considered the various scenarios of what they would do if one, or two players, or worse still a whole squad was put in isolation.  If their answer was that they would wait and see the circumstances before deciding what to do, then that is complete failure of leadership.  

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HomunculusPosted on1:11 pm - Aug 8, 2020


StevieBC 8th August 2020 at 11:57

And, why can't Hampden communicate clearly what would happen with a similar set of circumstances in future – so the fans know what the rules are?

————————————————————————-

Am I not tight in saying the footballing authorities wanted the game to go ahead. 

To me this looks like the Scottish Government sending out a strong message to football, we are in charge, follow our rules.

Maybe they should have done it sooner, when a game took place when the test results weren't even in. 

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upthehoopsPosted on1:31 pm - Aug 8, 2020


Homunculus 8th August 2020 at 13:11

To me this looks like the Scottish Government sending out a strong message to football, we are in charge, follow our rules.

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

I have to say this 'clear message to football' theme I find a little disturbing. This is one incident involving one football club, and there is is no evidence of widespread flaunting of the rules involving players from other clubs. Politicians love to grandstand when it comes to football as we saw early lockdown when footballers were the only wealthy people targeted for criticism by politicians. If it becomes clear there is widespread abuse of the rules within the game then fine, but in my opinion this Scottish Government in particular hold football and football fans in very low regard, and will never miss a chance to have a go. Remember this Government were perfectly happy for football fans to be prosecuted for 'crimes' that other citizens were free to commit without punishment, just because they were not doing it within a football ground. 

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erniePosted on2:24 pm - Aug 8, 2020


I agree UTH, sacking players, long bans or public flogging(and that’s just the Dons fans’ forum!) is just Mr angry sound bites. Three points to the opposition is the only way otherwise we are in for a convoluted Barney every time this happens. If it’s a player or players testing positive then play on but if it gets to the stage that the game is off as directed by govt medical guidance then it’s a forfeit. That way it’s the club responsibility to manage their staff. It’s only fitba. 
 

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easyJamboPosted on2:32 pm - Aug 8, 2020


upthehoops 8th August 2020 at 13:31

This is one incident involving one football club, and there is is no evidence of widespread flaunting of the rules involving players from other clubs.

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

There were previous issues involving testing by Hibs, Motherwell, St Mirren and Sevcovoid.

Those were apparently swept under a carpet of misunderstanding.

I suspect that several clubs have been stretching the rules.  I think that the new SG message is one that no further “misunderstandings” of what is required will be tolerated, otherwise Football will be consigned to a “Phase 4” easing of restrictions and forget all thought of the early return of fans .  What is more important, football, the hospitality industry or schools?  I suspect that football will come last in that ranking.

Edit: A statement from the Aberdeen players.
https://twitter.com/AberdeenFC/status/1292092282246766594/photo/1

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HomunculusPosted on3:11 pm - Aug 8, 2020


There is also the "role model" issue.

Whilst I do not even remotely consider the vast majority of football players suitable as role models there is little doubt they have influence on quite a lot of people. In particular the young and the easily influenced. 

The Scottish Government will probably have factored that in to any action they have taken.

However, the game should have gone ahead. The wrong people are being punished here. Primarily St Johnston and their support. 

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bordersdonPosted on4:57 pm - Aug 8, 2020


Homunculus @ 15.12

However, the game should have gone ahead. The wrong people are being punished here. Primarily St Johnston and their support. 

—————————————————

AFC wanted the game to go ahead. It was a government decision. Anyway players now named and statement issued.

Hayes
Devlin
Anderson 
Bryson
McGeouch
McKenna
Kennedy
Cosgrove

Image

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Big PinkPosted on6:51 pm - Aug 8, 2020


Just in time John Clark??

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on7:33 pm - Aug 8, 2020


That’s a rather poor statement issued on behalf of the players. ‘We’re daft laddies & it’s too complicated for us simple footballers.Who knew there wis a pandemic? Restrictions? We hudnae noticed, like. We didnae ken it wis wrang, honest!’ Aye right. 

PFA Scotland has a snazzy mission statement, part of which reads:

‘PFA Scotland is run by players for players and the experience within our team means we are committed to providing our members with the best possible advice and representation.’ 

Michael Devlin is on the Management Committee of PFA Scotland. He is also the official AFC union representative. 

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easyJamboPosted on8:06 pm - Aug 8, 2020


I see that while the last 16 ties in the 2019/20 CL are being completed, qualifying rounds for the 2020/21 tournament started today, with Linfield progressing to the Preliminary Round final in a one off tie agaist a side from San Marino.  Celtic should find out their first qualifying round opponent tomorrow.

I note that UEFA has already advised what will happen in the event of one or both clubs being unable to complete their fixtures because of Covid restrictions imposed by their governments, or in the event of positive tests. To put it simply, those clubs will forfeit the tie.  If the whole qualifying tournament is curtailed then UEFA will determine who makes the group stages. 

The lack of similar guidance from the SFA and SPFL is in stark contrast.

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HomunculusPosted on8:44 pm - Aug 8, 2020


easyJambo 8th August 2020 at 20:06

Saying you will call games off is much easier than saying you will definitely play them. The former is fairly straight forward, the latter isn't.

From what I can see the football authorities wanted the Aberdeen game to go ahead, however the Scottish Government said, no it won't. If there are recurrences the Scottish Government may well just stop football in Scotland altogether. 

That left the football authorities with two choices, postpone it or Aberdeen forfeit. The justification for them forfeiting would be that it was the Aberdeen players who caused the problem, therefore the club should suffer the consequences. 

It should have been play the game or Aberdeen forfeiting, however we now have a precedent. The wrong one as far as I am concerned. 

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Corrupt officialPosted on11:20 pm - Aug 8, 2020


If Aberdeen had eleven -ve testing players available, I don't see any reason why the match with St J could not go ahead.

    If the game was postponed due to govt intervention there were two reasonable ways forward. 

    Forfeit, and the game awarded to St J…. Or, as has happened, the game be rescheduled, Aberdeen should only be permitted to field players who were eligible for the original fixture date.

    

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macfurglyPosted on11:55 pm - Aug 8, 2020


SG said the match with St. J could not go ahead because of the risk of players and other staff leaving Aberdeen and possibly transmitting the virus to other parts of Scotland. Leaving aside that this is inconsistent with their own guidelines as there is no restriction on anyone else travelling to and from Aberdeen from surrounding areas in the course of their employment, the principle and precedent seems to be that teams may not travel from areas with high COVID incidence to play matches away from home. That requires some consideration, to say the least.

The SPFL are going to have to come up with some hard and fast rules here, firstly to try to take the initiative from the SG and secondly in anticipation of clubs having multiple players unavailable, or games postponed by the SG. The next flare up could be anywhere, and on the SG's logic, I can't see how AFC can play any matches until there is a respite in the outbreak there.

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John ClarkPosted on12:04 am - Aug 9, 2020


Corrupt official 8th August 2020 at 23:20

'…  If the game was postponed due to govt intervention there were two reasonable ways forward. ..

""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

Who remembers 'There's only one team in Tallin' ?

That remarkable occasion in 1996, when Estonia literally did not turn up for the kick-off at the revised time ( afternoon , rather than evening, because we complained that their lousy floodlighting was farcical) and instead turned up at the originally scheduled time?

There was no question of there being a postponement! No, the game went ahead! Remember?

I wonder whether that ought not to have been done in the St J /Aberdeen case? 

One football club , by the actions of some of their players, rendered itself incapable ( by breaching agreed conditions with Government and the Joint Response Group) of  legitimately 'turning up'.

Perhaps St J should have been allowed to take the field, kick-off on the whistle, with the ref blowing for full-time a second or two later?

Or is that just too, too ridiculously far out?

Whatever, it was fun looking back to that bizarre episode, and realising that there was firm 'governance' that dealt with an out-of-course situation.broken heart

 

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Corrupt officialPosted on12:37 am - Aug 9, 2020


John Clark 9th August 2020 at 00:04 Corrupt official 8th August 2020 at 23:20

'… If the game was postponed due to govt intervention there were two reasonable ways forward. .. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Who remembers 'There's only one team in Tallin' ?

≠========

    That makes three reasonable ways John. ☺ 

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bect67Posted on9:50 am - Aug 9, 2020


macfurgly

"SG says the match with St J could not go ahead …"

What's it got to do with him?!

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reasonablechapPosted on11:11 am - Aug 9, 2020


Big Pink mentioned something negative about the general level of intelligence amongst footballers in Scotland. Time for Leigh Griffiths to enter stage left……..

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has received another warning over his conduct after holding a gathering at his house.

Pictures emerged on social media of a get-together at the Parkhead star’s house that appeared to breach the Scottish Government’s current social distancing guidelines.

Full article at link below
https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/leigh-griffiths-warned-celtic-again-22488912

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

It seems very apparent that all clubs need to get their employees together and painstakingly go through all the guidelines that need to be followed. Emphasizing exactly how important it is to them as individuals and the club. 

We are talking about an existential threat to clubs and actions have to start to reflect that.

The lack of leadership coming from the SPFL is very apparent. They will soon be using the time honoured line of we can only do what the clubs tell us,… makes it short odds that we’ll be seeing another omnishambles coming down the line. It seems as if requesting more power from the clubs was more a box ticking exercise to have the excuse ready to go. Reminds me of efforts towards reconstruction.

When the SPFL complained of cost regarding an Independent Inquiry, I said that it might prove more costly not to have one and follow through on any subsequent reforms suggested/considered. I reckon I’ll be proven correct.

All things considered, there is an air of inevitability regards where this will end up. Unless an effective vaccine is developed, I think 2021 will be a very bad year for Scottish football clubs.

 

 

 

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SmugasPosted on11:18 am - Aug 9, 2020


The issue would have been (I think) how does the SPFL order a game to be forfeit if “the offending side” is standing there ready to play? 

What will happen if for instance in the hypothetical match City versus Utd, 4 of City’s players and families are pictured in Dobbies having lunch in close proximity and the pictures hit the Rags websites?  Or, as is perfectly possible, 2 from each side?

i assume that’s the purpose of tomorrow’s zoom call with managers and captains.
 

Similarly I’m not sure on what grounds the SG could act.  They can order the postponement, as they did, not the forfeit.

and of course, if City happen to be top 5 premiership and Utd are part time, is it even fair to apply the play or forfeit rule?
 

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wottpiPosted on11:26 am - Aug 9, 2020


Happy to corrected but I believe the Good Friday resolution only applied to season 2019/20.

Last month the SPFL board failed to get special ‘Covid powers’ for going forward.

Therefore effectively the majority of clubs have voted to go with a rule book that has no specific rules for dealing with Covid related issues.

My reading of the SPFL rule book is that, due to a strong request from the Scot Gov, the St J v Aberdeen game was technically called off by the SPFL board. As such the game has simply been rescheduled for a later date in line with the agreed rules.

End of story, move along, nothing to see here. Rules is rules, the majority of clubs have spoken and all that kind of stuff.

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SmugasPosted on11:35 am - Aug 9, 2020


Agreed wottpi.  Aberdeen in a way actually called their bluff and said ok we’ll play.  The approach now seems to be that we’ll all simply avoid there being a repeat rather than address what I personally think is inevitable at some point.

and FWIW I still wouldn’t agree with giving “them upstairs“ executive powers to do what they deem fair.  They negated that possibility a long time ago.

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HomunculusPosted on11:37 am - Aug 9, 2020


Smugas 9th August 2020 at 11:18

Similarly I’m not sure on what grounds the SG could act.  They can order the postponement, as they did, not the forfeit.

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

I don't imagine they ordered either.

More likely they said the fixture would not go ahead at this time. It's none of their business what the SPFL and clubs do in order to comply. Postponing the game and forfeiture both achieve that end.

However I do take your point with regards the basis for forfeiture if both teams are ready to play but not allowed to. I have been thinking about that myself and I don't think there is an easy answer.

Just another example of a pretty much no win situation. Bearing in mind it is the players and the clubs who have caused this, it would have been perfectly easy to avoid, just stick to the rules. 

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MenacePosted on11:40 am - Aug 9, 2020


Further to my earlier comment stating AFC should forfeit the match, I had a thought – dangerous I know

What if none of the players had caught the virus, would we have known they were out at all ? Ok there may be some pictures on social media going about, but I reckon it would have been quietly deal with behind closed doors, as many a footballers misdemeanours are done

Which begs the question, were there any other football clubs players out for a beer on Saturday night but by luck not resulting in a positive test

 

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SmugasPosted on11:45 am - Aug 9, 2020


You have to remember Menace the “being out” and the positive test are not necessarily related.  As I understand it, Players 1-4 can be out and player 5, who is within just one of 1-4’s training bubble can test positive for the fan to struggle. 

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paddy malarkeyPosted on12:03 pm - Aug 9, 2020


At the very least , I would have thought that the AFC players would be charged with bringing the game into disrepute , because that is what they have done .

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Cluster OnePosted on12:07 pm - Aug 9, 2020


Two players have tested positive for coronavirus as a result of the outing.

I hope these players make a full recovery, their family’s must be in turmoil.They won’t give a feck if a game is postoned or abandoned or rescheduled. They will just be praying that their family member gets through it.

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