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

adam812Posted on12:13 pm - Aug 9, 2020


Could I respectively suggest that people try their best, and I know it's not always possible, to stick to the facts.

I know that the nature of conspiracy theories is such that for many the facts prove nothing and just add to their sense of injustice to the extent that some reasonable people will probably claim that one club chairman not only controls Scottish football but also Judges and Sheriffs on the Sfa arbitration list!

Have we not had enough of false claims over the last few months? 

It would be helpful if someone could find out and share the rules our football clubs, players and officials are supposed to be following for a start. 

There's nothing wrong with pointing out that a player was seen in the pub or had a party for a child's birthday but that doesn't automatically mean that they have breached any lockdown rules. We need to know if they are subject to different rules from the rest of us too. 

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adam812Posted on12:35 pm - Aug 9, 2020


I know I have just suggested sticking with the facts but think about this conspiracy theory. 

If a Government had a problem it wished to move off the front page what better than a group of footballers breaching social distancing rules?

For those not convinced look at last week's headlines which I will paraphrase as "Scottish Government SQA Exams Fiasco!" 

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HomunculusPosted on3:29 pm - Aug 9, 2020


Why would football players be subject to different rules than everyone else. Do you have any reason to believe that. I haven't seen anything. 

 

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Cluster OnePosted on4:02 pm - Aug 9, 2020


Lille handed FFP restrictions by UEFA
https://www.getfootballnewsfrance.com/2020/lille-handed-ffp-restrictions-by-uefa/
The agreement lasts until the 2023/24 campaign, the date by which LOSC must have balanced their books. As a result, they will face four major restrictions during this period.

Firstly, Lille will have to pay UEFA €9m a year from the money they make in European competition. This is a sum that will come down to €3m the moment that LOSC reaches budgetary equilibrium, should they do so before the 2023/24 season.
……………………
I don’t hold out much hope of a big transfer from the ibrox club to Lille anytime soon

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GaslampPosted on4:30 pm - Aug 9, 2020


Cluster One,  It has been reported that the two Aberdeen players who tested positive for Covid 19 are asymptomatic.  Their families may be experiencing turmoil but at least they know exactly where they stand – the player has to isolate from other family members and nobody is unwell.  Contrast that to most other families with members going out to work who can only get a Covid test if they exhibit symptoms.

 

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Cluster OnePosted on7:27 pm - Aug 9, 2020


Gaslamp 9th August 2020 at 16:30
Contrast that to most other families with members going out to work who can only get a Covid test if they exhibit symptoms.
………………
Been there done that.

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StevieBCPosted on3:03 pm - Aug 10, 2020


From The Guardian;

"Tax affairs of 246 footballers being investigated by HMRC in 2019-20

– Tax authorities increasingly concerned by tax loophole

– Players pay 19% tax on image rights, but 45% on wages

HMRC believes that lots of lesser-known footballers are effectively avoiding tax by getting paid huge sums for image rights that HMRC views as overpriced…"

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/aug/10/tax-affairs-of-246-footballers-being-investigated-by-hmrc-in-2019-20

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BallyargusPosted on5:28 pm - Aug 10, 2020


Gaslamp 9th August 2020 at 16:30
Contrast that to most other families with members going out to work who can only get a Covid test if they exhibit symptoms.
===================

Our Primary school teachers return this week and can have a class of up to 33 children who don't have to wear face coverings or keep social distancing. Their Secondary colleagues have to deal with young adults who again don't have to wear face coverings or distance. 

Schools seem to be deemed some kind of magical places where unlike shops etc. no protection is necessary.  I don't think enough thought has been put into the opening of schools as it is a fact that children are carriers of the virus without being affected themselves. We'll just have to wait and see what happens next.

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John ClarkPosted on6:01 pm - Aug 10, 2020


StevieBC 10th August 2020 at 15:03

"..HMRC believes that lots of lesser-known footballers are effectively avoiding tax by getting paid huge sums for image rights that HMRC views as overpriced…"

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

'..Players pay 19% tax on image rights, but 45% on wages.'

 I wonder if there is another part-time porn movie actor/tax adviser in the background?

Does the English FA have people able to ask, and more diligent and willing to ask than their counterparts in the SFA,  searching questions of clubs about the wages they pay to their players, if the wages seem a disproportionately low relative to the transfer value of a player?

Is there another little dirty cheating scheme in operation?

 

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StevieBCPosted on7:24 pm - Aug 10, 2020


John Clark 10th August 2020 at 18:01

StevieBC 10th August 2020 at 15:03

"..HMRC…

Does the English FA have people able to ask, and more diligent and willing to ask than their counterparts in the SFA, searching questions of clubs about the wages they pay to their players, if the wages seem a disproportionately low relative to the transfer value of a player?…

=======

There has been discussion in the past on SFM about players' image rights payments.  IIRC, that was about foreign players in England receiving image payments to an offshore trust(?)

 

On the face if it, it looks like a simpler scheme than an EBT.

Just tweak the income / image proportions on a player's contract – to generate the required 'netto' amount to obtain the player's signature.

A club could acquire a player which it wouldn't normally be able to afford…?!

And the dumb question: do SPL players, (and not just those on big money in Glasgow), typically receive this type of 'tax efficient' arrangement?

From experience, we know of at least one SPL club which would find this tax ruse quite appealing…?

indecision

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John ClarkPosted on10:41 pm - Aug 10, 2020


On the ‘Image Rights’ matter, it’s worth having a look at some of the relevant pages in the HMRC manual :

for example, this suggestion about what football clubs as ’employer’  should do in the matter of record keeping of any contract with an Image Rights Company  [set up by a player, or by a player who has a stake in it]
https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/employment-income-manual/eim00739,

“Employment income: general: payments for “image rights”: examples of issues to consider

Commerciality should be at the heart of an agreement between an employer and a company established by an employee for the exploitation of image rights. Without being prescriptive, HMRC expects this to be demonstrable.

The employer may consider keeping records covering:

 consideration given by the Board of Directors to the active use of image rights as a benefit to the commercial activities of the employer, whether to seek new agreements, reviews of the outcome of existing agreements, and the possibilities for increased value additional to rights existing under the employment contract

a business plan for promotional activities involving the exploitation of image rights and the outcome of reviews of performance against that plan, including details of actions taken if the employer is not realising a commercial return from an image rights agreement

negotiation of the terms of each image rights agreement to demonstrate consideration on an individual basis and to reflect any differences between the exploitation of image rights within and outside the UK

details of independent advice received regarding the valuation of the image rights, or internal analysis of value based on previous experience

due diligence regarding the image rights company and any advice provided to the employee regarding the establishment of an image rights company

records of activities performed and any subsequent discussions about the performance of services under the image rights agreement and actions taken…”   

From what I’ve read in the ‘manual ‘ I would guess that HMRC will be looking at the ‘contracts’ between ‘Image Rights Company’  and whether there is any evidence that the  ‘player’ actually did anything in the way of meeting the terms of the contract, and evidence of commercial evaluation by the club of the effectiveness of the contract, by way of increased sales,  higher club profile etc etc.

I daresay that HMRC will be looking for a suitable case (like the RFC of 1872 EBT tax dodge case) to take all the way to the UK Supreme Court, so that the bad guys can be nailed.  

As , for other reasons, Lille has been nailed. 

[curiously, and in the passing, I note that apparently there is no concept in English law of ‘image rights’. 

“…  As it was agreed that in England there is no property in a person’s image we do not find the expression “image rights agreement” as being sufficiently descriptive of the contents of the agreements in issue in this appeal..” 

see  https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/employment-income-manual/eim00734  for that observation ]

Maybe Scots law is different? Mind you, HMRC operates on the basis of UK-wide tax legislation (apart from the Scottish Government’s limited powers to set a different income tax rate)

And it’s unthinkable that any Scottish club would dream of trying to work a tax dodge that might lead to its demise in ten years time or so!

What fun, in times of limited access to other sources of fun! Will there be any Scottish cases , with First Tier and Upper Tier tax tribunals, and appeals to the Court of Session, with people like the wonderful Dr Heidi Poon, and Mr Ghosh, QC? broken heart

Happy days indeed, when the arch-cheat’s cheating was exposed.

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Corrupt officialPosted on10:56 pm - Aug 10, 2020


Bolingoli….. A clear sacking offence. 

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easyJamboPosted on12:02 am - Aug 11, 2020


Corrupt official 10th August 2020 at 22:56

Bolingoli….. A clear sacking offence. 

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

The government should just say to the SFA and SPFL that there will be no football for the next two weeks, then tell them to use those two weeks to get the message over to the imbeciles in Scottish football that the whole shebang will be shutdown if they don't adhere to the government directives.

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John ClarkPosted on12:23 am - Aug 11, 2020


Corrupt official 10th August 2020 at 22:56

'..Bolingoli….. A clear sacking offence.'

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

Well, I wasn't at the game, caller, just listened to the radio commentary.

On the basis of that, there was no way from the off that there was any desire on the part of the Celtic team as a whole to win the game. 

That  might have been down to any of many acceptable reasons. 

But, God forgive me, I was reminded of the old 'joke': Why is a toley tapered? To prevent the cheeks of your a.se shutting with a bang!

The level of my distrust in anything to do with Scottish Football is quite high, the more I see things not as being a supporter of a sport, but as being an exploitable mug duped and milked by fecking cynical businessmen who would not recognise a moral principle if it beat their fecking head in!

Honest to God! 

That it should come to this!heart

 

 

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reasonablechapPosted on8:15 am - Aug 11, 2020


adam812 9th August 2020 at 12:13

Could I respectively suggest that people try their best, and I know it’s not always possible, to stick to the facts.

I know that the nature of conspiracy theories is such that for many the facts prove nothing and just add to their sense of injustice to the extent that some reasonable people will probably claim that one club chairman not only controls Scottish football but also Judges and Sheriffs on the Sfa arbitration list!

adam812 9th August 2020 at 12:35

I know I have just suggested sticking with the facts but think about this conspiracy theory. 

If a Government had a problem it wished to move off the front page what better than a group of footballers breaching social distancing rules?

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

Thank’s for the comedy !

Seems as though Celtic PLC are in on the conspiracy theory. According to Neil Lennon, the club are conducting an investigation into events around the party held at the Griffiths residence.
https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/leigh-griffiths-facing-celtic-investigation-22494036

Now Bolingoli will be the subject of what appears to be an open and shut case investigation. At this stage, a consistent zero tolerance approach is required in dealing with players/others who are found to show flagrant disregard to the new guidelines/rules.

The Simon Ferry podcasts have generally been entertaining and insightful as to players attitudes. If only to help confirm what many have already thought about them. The general observation I’d make, is that conforming with the strict anti-COVID rules for an extended period will prove to be very difficult. A parrallel to footballers in Scotland following the lifestyle of a professional athlete, with NO lapses. In other words, it ain’t happening and it’ll be about not getting caught.

 

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adam812Posted on9:16 am - Aug 11, 2020


Reasonablechap 

All the great conspiracies have to be very complex so of course a new stooge was needed to take the press attention away from the John Swinney announcement today ?

Of course the truth is that the eminent QC who once described some footballers as being, in non PC terms, "as thick as mince" is being shown to be accurate in his assessment! 

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StevieBCPosted on9:22 am - Aug 11, 2020


The Hampden blazers have consistently shown over the years that they can quite happily be incompetent / corrupt, display zero leadership – and steadfastly refuse to learn from past mistakes.

They can get away with that behaviour within the confines of the bubble that is Scottish football – but problems can arise when the blazers have to deal with those outside their bubble.

Is any Bampot surprised at all at the latest shambles WRT observing protocols?

The clubs couldn’t comply with testing, the players can’t comply with social distancing, quarantine, etc.

And hell mend Hampden, as their lobbying of the SG to allow supporters back into stadiums ASAP will now be dropped to the very bottom of the pecking order – and rightly so, IMO.

Payback for the continued absence of effective leadership at both the SFA and SPFL.

smiley

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Higgy’s ShoesPosted on10:04 am - Aug 11, 2020


JC    "Why is a toley tapered"

 

Just realised John, that after 50 odd years on the planet that's the first time i've ever seen the word "toley" written down

……..I must say it looks strange.

HS

 

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John ClarkPosted on10:47 am - Aug 11, 2020


Higgy's Shoes 11th August 2020 at 10:04

'.…..I must say it looks strange..

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

I've never seen it written down either, Higgy's Shoes , so it's anybody's guess as to the 'correct' spelling!

There's bound to be someone on the blog who can give us its etymology ( but the moderators might not wish to set off  runs of lavatory jakes!)broken heart

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StevieBCPosted on10:50 am - Aug 11, 2020


I thought it was only the SMSM which wrote sh!te…

no

[Apologies in advance.]

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Big PinkPosted on10:58 am - Aug 11, 2020


Higgy's Shoes 11th August 2020 at 10:04 

JC    "Why is a toley tapered"

 

Just realised John, that after 50 odd years on the planet that's the first time i've ever seen the word "toley" written down

……..I must say it looks strange.

HS

 

Mine toocool

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Higgy’s ShoesPosted on11:23 am - Aug 11, 2020


 

Not questioning the spelling JC.

Seeing it written for the first time, it just looks a bit weird.

Big Pink

Very droll!

 

HS

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Corrupt officialPosted on11:52 am - Aug 11, 2020


JC, HS, & BP.

 

https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/sndns3884

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HomunculusPosted on12:08 pm - Aug 11, 2020


With regards Bolingoli if the stories are true that is totally unacceptable.

It's bad enough that players are seeing fit to breach the rules in the UK. The reports are saying that he went to Spain, didn't inform the club, then played without going through the quarantine period.

Can I just say though that the BBC report has the apostrophe in the wrong place.

"Mr Yousaf said the player's … " should be "Mr Yousaf said the players' … ".

That's just sloppy grammar. 

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John ClarkPosted on12:17 pm - Aug 11, 2020


Corrupt official 11th August 2020 at 11:52

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

Corrupt Official, that was quick!laugh

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Corrupt officialPosted on12:35 pm - Aug 11, 2020


John Clark 11th August 2020 at 12:17 Corrupt official 11th August 2020 at 11:52 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Corrupt Official, that was quick!laugh

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

    Quicker it seems than Celtic can announce Bolingoli will never wear the hoops again. And while we're at it, they should also accept the fact that we fielded an ineligible player.

     I'm not sure of any legal ramifications, whether breaking quarantine rules is a law, or recommendation, or what?….. But the book should be thrown at him, only after it is used to skelp him about the heid. 

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reasonablechapPosted on12:39 pm - Aug 11, 2020


Bolingoli/Celtic development means Scottish football receives “yellow card” from First Minister.

Next would be a “red card” and a halt to Scottish football for the time being.

She doesn’t expect to see Aberdeen or Celtic play in the coming week.

What about the CL qualifier scheduled for the 18th ? #forfeit

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StevieBCPosted on1:00 pm - Aug 11, 2020


Bolingoli can't defend himself against the tsunami of opprobrium coming his way.

But he can't defend, full stop.

Should have been left back in Spain!

Stoopid boy.  

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reasonablechapPosted on1:18 pm - Aug 11, 2020


Does Bolingoli have a language problem understanding briefings from the club ?

Does Griffiths have a comprehension problem when it comes to understanding briefings from the club ?

Do Celtic need interpreters and crayons when it comes to communications with players ?

Have Celtic PLC done all that they could to effectively communicate with players  on COVID related guidelines/rules ?

 

Peter has to get his own house in order before he next decides to put public pressure on the Scottish Government. At a time when Scottish football faces an existential threat, his bonus may be reduced if the game is closed down because of the actions of Celtic players.

 

 

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Cluster OnePosted on1:27 pm - Aug 11, 2020


Corrupt official 11th August 2020 at 12:35
Quicker it seems than Celtic can announce Bolingoli will never wear the hoops again. And while we’re at it, they should also accept the fact that we fielded an ineligible player.
……………..
Imperfectly quarantined. Sandy Bryson.

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Cluster OnePosted on1:30 pm - Aug 11, 2020


reasonablechap 11th August 2020 at 13:18
…………….
Maybe if the SFA had not just sent out a letter after the first rule breach by a scottish club, more players and clubs would have taken more notice.

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HomunculusPosted on1:48 pm - Aug 11, 2020


Cluster One 11th August 2020 at 13:30

Bolingoli did what he did without the knowledge of the club. I assume the same is true of the Aberdeen players, it is unlikely they contacted club officials and asked if it was ok for them all to go for a meal and a few pints together,

The SFA / SPFL should have acted immediately against the clubs who breached the rules. Those breaches and the lack of real action against them didn't send out a particularly helpful message in my opinion.

 

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paddy malarkeyPosted on1:57 pm - Aug 11, 2020


Corrupt Official et al

I prefer this one .

 

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Toely

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Cluster OnePosted on2:25 pm - Aug 11, 2020


Homunculus 11th August 2020 at 13:48
The SFA / SPFL should have acted immediately against the clubs who breached the rules. Those breaches and the lack of real action against them didn’t send out a particularly helpful message in my opinion.
…………..
Agreed.
….
Wednesday 12 August
Aberdeen v Hamilton Academical
St Mirren v Celtic
Saturday 15 August
Aberdeen v Celtic
All postponed
Now that same SPFL and SFA have a fixture pile up because of their inaction in the first instance.

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reasonablechapPosted on2:35 pm - Aug 11, 2020


 Coronavirus Joint Response Group Update – 11 August

“The JRG members were astounded to learn of the recklessness demonstrated by Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo in his breach of government public health guidance and football protocols. We echo the sentiments of Celtic FC in their condemnatory statement and commend the club’s swiftness in opening a disciplinary investigation.

Rod Petrie

Full statement @

https://www.scottishfa.co.uk/news/coronavirus-joint-response-group-update-11-august/?rid=13929

What are the SFA/SPFL doing about it in terms of investigations ?

I guess Peter will just tell his friends how the internal investigation goes.

Just as he will have been ok with the paragraph pasted above.

===============&&&

When exactly did anyone at Celtic know Bolingoli had taken a mini break in Spain ?

Did the club not inquire about players plans for a couple of days off / give them instructions on what NOT to do ?

 

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easyJamboPosted on2:45 pm - Aug 11, 2020


Cluster One 11th August 2020 at 14:25

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

When is a punishment not a punishment? ……… When the football authorities fail to take appropriate measures.

Aberdeen would have been without a minimum of 8 first team players for three games had they gone ahead as scheduled. They will now be able to play those games at a later date, but at full strength. 

For all clubs affected, some of these games may have to be played later in the season, perhaps after fans are permitted back in the statdiums, thus increasing the home clubs' revenue.

IMO both clubs should have suffered points penalties, e.g. 2 points. That more than anything would have served to discourage players from breaking the protocols.  Clubs cannot absolve themselves from the actions of their employees, as they have a duty of care to all their employees to ensure that everyone is aware of the restrictions that are imposed on them following the return to competitive ganes. There have been enough warnings.

As for the lack of leadership by the SFA and SPFL on the subject of disciplinary action for breaches of the protocols, their silence is palpable, but unsurprising.   

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reasonablechapPosted on3:06 pm - Aug 11, 2020


Neil Lennon quote from a Daily Record article on the club investigation into Griffiths.

Lennon reckons it’s not a huge deal and, when asked if Griffiths’ career Celtic was under threat because of it, he said: “No. 

“The club are conducting an investigation. I’m not convinced it’s a big issue, so, hopefully, it will be resolved in a couple of days.

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/leigh-griffiths-facing-celtic-investigation-22494036

 

IMO it shows the First team manager disregarding the seriousness of the issue and/or knowing the result of an internal investigation before it’s finished.

I’l repeat my question from an earlier post…

Have Celtic PLC done all that they could to effectively communicate with players  on COVID related guidelines/rules ?

===============&&&

Players are getting thrown under a bus (Bolingoli and Aberdeen Eight) and to whatever degree, ok…BUT are the clubs going to take more responsibility / be held accountable ?

We’ve heard all the jokes about the lack of player gumption (off the pitch). Have clubs made absolutely clear in underlined and repeated crayon what they have to do and NOT DO ?

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easyJamboPosted on3:33 pm - Aug 11, 2020


Celtic's statement earlier today was a strong one but, other than throwing Bolingoli under a bus, it is undermined by previous comments by Peter Lawwell about Scottish football having an "exemplary" approach to the return to action.

Here is an article and extracted quotes by Peter Lawwell from mid July.

https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11787/12030858/celtic-ceo-peter-lawwell-wants-scotland-to-be-involved-in-fans-pilot-scheme

"As a club, we have put enormous thought and effort into making Celtic Park fully compliant with all public health-related requirements while allowing our supporters to return to watching football.

"It is acknowledged that Scottish football has been exemplary in implementing all the safeguards required of it, first to get back into training and, from August 1st, to playing competitive SPFL matches.

:

"Alongside other sporting bodies, Celtic will continue to engage in constructive dialogue with the Scottish Government and look forward to early progress."

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StevieBCPosted on3:41 pm - Aug 11, 2020


At the height of lockdown we saw some nurses not return home for 10 weeks to avoid passing covid to their families.

Likewise, a fair few care home workers remained on-site to reduce risks to their elderly patients.

Grossly underpaid workers who made their own decisions to safeguard their families, patients and others.

 

WRT to the SPL specifically, it would seem that the ‘best’ chance of avoiding a SG imposed shutdown is for each club to keep their players in one place, where they can see them.

Like an extended, overseas preseason training camp: keep the players in a hotel or university campus or whatever.  It won’t be foolproof but it would clearly indicate to the SG that the SPL is doing its best to manage risks.

All it might take is for another few daft players to risk possibly the full completion of the league?

Something radical is needed to ensure fixtures can be completed this season.

The SPFL management – and the SFA – have to come up with a solution to protect the domestic competitions.

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Cluster OnePosted on4:09 pm - Aug 11, 2020


reasonablechap 11th August 2020 at 14:35
What are the SFA/SPFL doing about it in terms of investigations ?
…………..
easyJambo 11th August 2020 at 14:45
As for the lack of leadership by the SFA and SPFL on the subject of disciplinary action for breaches of the protocols, their silence is palpable, but unsurprising.
………………..
A strong worded letter from the SPFL and the SFA should do the trick.

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FinlochPosted on4:18 pm - Aug 11, 2020


Just heard on Radio Scotland that there has been an SFA independent investigation via an internal arbitration process.
Held in secret of course and proper legal too by one of the self declared SFA Laws that aren’t really legal but fair play to our administrators for taking the initiative and saving the season.

Fear not Scottish clubs One and all.

The conclusion on this occasion was that Sandy Bryson as first expert witness declared the Celtic player in question was simply  imperfectly quarantined and therefore innocent as per precedent.

Move along Scottish Government.
Nothing to see here.

We have our own laws and Sandy on standby.

 

 

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easyJamboPosted on6:38 pm - Aug 11, 2020


Are all the Celtic followers, who were calling for Aberdeen to forfeit the points for the game against St Johnstone last weekend, now seeking a similar sanction against Celtic, or are they now content with the precedent that was set last week?

It's a tad ironic that the only sanction for breaching the Covid protocols is a wee cough, sorry a week off.

angel

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scottcPosted on6:48 pm - Aug 11, 2020


StevieBC 11th August 2020 at 15:41

At the height of lockdown we saw some nurses not return home for 10 weeks to avoid passing covid to their families.

WRT to the SPL specifically, it would seem that the ‘best’ chance of avoiding a SG imposed shutdown is for each club to keep their players in one place, where they can see them.

Like an extended, overseas preseason training camp: keep the players in a hotel or university campus or whatever.  It won’t be foolproof but it would clearly indicate to the SG that the SPL is doing its best to manage risks.

All it might take is for another few daft players to risk possibly the full completion of the league?

Something radical is needed to ensure fixtures can be completed this season.

The SPFL management – and the SFA – have to come up with a solution to protect the domestic competitions.

 

Like the NBA are doing at Disneyworld, albeit they have all the teams in one 'bubble'. It would be expensive but if the teams can't trust the players, or the players are too thick to do the right thing, then maybe it is something some of the larger teams could look at.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_NBA_Bubble

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Corrupt officialPosted on6:48 pm - Aug 11, 2020


I have to agree with you EJ, and Celtic should be forfeiting to St M, (but not Aberdeen). I suggested the same for St J v Dons. 

    Postponement is not a punishment, but a consequence. Although its clear Bolingoli went rogue, he still represented Celtic.

    Lennie said as recently as last week, (after the Aberdeen example) that for the players, it had to be training ground or match, home, sleep, repeat. I dont think instruction comes much clearer.

   Cluster…(13:27). C'mon bud, we're better than resorting to a Brysonism.  

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StevieBCPosted on7:00 pm - Aug 11, 2020


The SPFL is behind the curve, as per…

IF the clubs – and supporters – were clear about tough rules BEFORE the season kicked off,

such as 3 points forfeited by any club which breaches the agreed protocols with the SG – and which impacted the fixture schedule,

then it is arguable that neither Aberdeen nor Celtic would be dealing with these incidents in the first place, IMO.

IMO, both clubs should have forfeited the 3 points for unplayed matches.

But, this stems from the inaction at Hampden a couple if weeks ago – following clubs "misunderstanding protocols". 

Doesn't seem like all the SPL clubs were taking this seriously: now the players are taking the p!ss.

In a really perverse manner, if the SG is forced to 'cancel' the league… it just must force change and improvement at Hampden!

Every cloud,  etc…  indecision

 

 

 

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adam812Posted on7:26 pm - Aug 11, 2020


I  think we should be concerned that a player who makes a genuine error of judgement may be scared to own up to it in case he becomes the person who causes Scottish football to be halted. Prior to Covid-19 the person who admitted guilt would normally get a lesser sentence but it's not like that now. 

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wottpiPosted on7:43 pm - Aug 11, 2020


Just to recap.

In relation to Covid there is Scot Gov GUIDANCE. For some specific issues this will be backed up by laws.

There are the agreed PROTOCOLS to allow professional football to return.

There are SPFL RULES, that I believe simply state that games postponed by order of the Board are rescheduled.

Now clubs may punish players with fines and even sacking. The football authorities may even stretch themselves to bring charges of bringing the game into disrepute. However, currently, they have no power to deduct points, award games etc for these Covid related matters.

Cant see why folks are getting their knickers in a twist or are surprised.

It's the same nutters who were in charge at the end of last season- Scottish Football has the governance it deserves.

 

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John ClarkPosted on7:48 pm - Aug 11, 2020


StevieBC 11th August 2020 at 19:00

The SPFL is behind the curve, as per…

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

The Joint Response Group failed at the first hurdle by taking no action against the first club that played any kind of match without knowing the results of Covid-19 tests.

Who is on the JRG? Petrie, Doncaster , Maxwell and  a doctor.

Two of the most deeply complicit  chaps in the construction of the Big lie, and a useless weakling of an SFA CEO: as for the doctor, what chance has he against those three in their support for the TRFC board?

The failure to discipline TRFC by making light of a rogue decision made not by idiots of football players but by managers who knew the score marks the JRG as being not fit for purpose. 

(Did Nicola and the Professor have anything to say at the time?)

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gunnerbPosted on8:28 pm - Aug 11, 2020


I see no difference in the failure of CelticFC to control their player(s) and that of AberdeenFC. Both clubs are ultimately responsible for their employees and both should have forfeited points for any and all matches they were not permitted to fulfill. The completely inadequate response of the JRG to the initial compliance failure by TRFC has led to this fiasco and now any serious sanctions by the footballing authorities will be called out as unprecedented and £2.5K is all it will cost to overturn in court.

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bordersdonPosted on9:14 pm - Aug 11, 2020


wottpi @ 19.43

There are the agreed PROTOCOLS to allow professional football to return.

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

Indeed. I am not sure what these are and whether they relate just to clubs (anent testing etc) or whether they include restrictions on player (or other staff ) activities? Club staff are clearly covered by the same rules/laws/recommendations as the general public are but if these are transgressed are clubs responsible? Have they been robust enough it applying the government policy? I may be wrong but I wonder how many players of any club were, for example, not out in groups of 3+ at the weekend? Does not make it ok I know. My view is likely influenced by my take on the whole Covid thing which is not an appropriate topic for this forum!!

 

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HomunculusPosted on9:28 pm - Aug 11, 2020


easyJambo 11th August 2020 at 18:38

Are all the Celtic followers, who were calling for Aberdeen to forfeit the points for the game against St Johnstone last weekend, now seeking a similar sanction against Celtic, or are they now content with the precedent that was set last week?

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

This is what I said earlier and I still think the same.

“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. ”

The game should go ahead, failing that Celtic should forfeit the points, they can’t do that now. 

 

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spikeyheidPosted on11:19 pm - Aug 11, 2020


Clearly the government should declare the season over with Hibs as champions!

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Cluster OnePosted on11:27 pm - Aug 11, 2020


easyJambo 11th August 2020 at 18:38

Are all the Celtic followers, who were calling for Aberdeen to forfeit the points for the game against St Johnstone last weekend, now seeking a similar sanction against Celtic, or are they now content with the precedent that was set last week?
…………….
If Aberdeen were punished with forfeiting points by the SPFL i would have no complaint if celtic had to forfeit points also, that would be a similar sanction. But Aberdeen did not forfeit points so why should celtic. Celtic don’t have a 5 way agreement that gives them rules different from any other club.

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easyJamboPosted on12:23 am - Aug 12, 2020


Cluster One 11th August 2020 at 23:27

If Aberdeen were punished with forfeiting points by the SPFL i would have no complaint if celtic had to forfeit points also, that would be a similar sanction. But Aberdeen did not forfeit points so why should celtic. Celtic don’t have a 5 way agreement that gives them rules different from any other club.

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

That's all well and good, but the problem I see going forward is what happens to the next miscreant, if the the SPFL creates a code of conduct (with a set of sanctions) and the club involved is not Aberdeen or Celtic. Would it be fair if Motherwell or Kilmarnock had to face a points penalty for similar breaches of protocol, while other clubs had previously escaped similar sanctions?

It wasn't rocket science for the SPFL to anticipate that there would be issues with positive tests or breaches of the agreed protocols, but it is apparent that they have failed to plan for the inevitable, by sticking to their mantra of making the rules up as they go along.

We are left with a situation of no-one knowing how any future incident will be handled.  I think that the SG has allowed the football authorities a bit too much slack. I fear that the failure of the SFA and SPFL to put robust procedures in place to deal with such incidents will result in more draconian measures being imposed on football generally. That in turn will impact of the prospects of the resumption of football in the lower divisions and at grass roots levels. 

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John ClarkPosted on9:21 am - Aug 12, 2020


From the editorial in today's 'The Scotsman' :

" The stupidity of a handful of young men, however, is no reason to bring the shutters crashing down on our national sport just as it stutters back to life"

__

I agree.

But perhaps the  failure of the JRG right from the off to deal with the first football offenders against Covid-19 protocols  (TRFC) may well be reason enough to do so. That failure sent a very clear signal that the covid-testing regime was not taken anywhere near as seriously by th Board and manager of TRFC  as it ought to have been. And nothing was done about it.

As others have remarked, the JRG/the SFA Board/the SPFL Board have lost any moral authority to discipline any other club that breaches the protocols. 

But then, Scottish Football governance lost all such moral authority it had when it allowed the Big Lie and continues to foster and protect it.

Who can seriously support a sport based on untruth?

 

 

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StevieBCPosted on12:16 pm - Aug 12, 2020


Uncertainty: how long will restrictions last for, will they be eased, will they be tightened, will the SG shutdown domestic football during this season…?

 

Certainty: the longer the season progresses – with restrictions in place – other players will be caught flouting the rules, IMO.

 

Worst case: the SG is forced to step in yet again.

To send out the right signals now – and try to add some certainty and/or flexibility – mibbees the SPFL & SFA should reduce the fixture list further this season?

This could provide some gaps during, or at the end of the season to stage any postponed games resulting from further breaches AND/OR adverse weather.

As it stands right now: if another group of SPL players was reported as having flouted the restrictions – would any 'non-football' person be bothered if the SG simply shut down the whole game from next week?  Some/many football supporters might also agree with such an SG decision.

The SPFL & SFA blazers can't just keep snoozing in the Hampden bunker: they have to be seen to be doing something tangible, to reassure the SG and to – attempt to – minimise possible further sanctions for future player breaches, IMO.

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Cluster OnePosted on12:17 pm - Aug 12, 2020


easyJambo 12th August 2020 at 00:23
Would it be fair if Motherwell or Kilmarnock had to face a points penalty for similar breaches of protocol, while other clubs had previously escaped similar sanctions?
……………
No it would not be fair. And for maybe a fine of £2500 any club punished more than any other club can take the SPFL to court, if they believe they are being hard done by.
……………….
It wasn’t rocket science for the SPFL to anticipate that there would be issues with positive tests or breaches of the agreed protocols, but it is apparent that they have failed to plan for the inevitable, by sticking to their mantra of making the rules up as they go along.

All about the money. It is always about the money first. If it is making the rules up as they go along.They will. Money first is what we must have learned about the scottish football governing bodies by now.

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StevieBCPosted on12:23 pm - Aug 12, 2020


Does anybody know;

what would happen if the SG had shown Scottish football a straight red card instead the other day?

Where would that leave those supporters who had paid high prices for a TV/season ticket?

Would they get a refund or is there small print which e.g. negates a refund in certain scenarios?

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Big PinkPosted on7:26 am - Aug 13, 2020


Thought the site was broken. Everybody finally scunnered??

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fishnishPosted on9:21 am - Aug 13, 2020


2 Ns and 1 R in scunnered, BP.

 

As a Buddie, I've had years of experience in the art.

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Big PinkPosted on10:53 am - Aug 13, 2020


Fishnish
Sorted ?

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John ClarkPosted on12:08 pm - Aug 13, 2020


Big Pink 13th August 2020 at 07:26

fishnish 13th August 2020 at 09:21

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

What is this new word 'scunnered'? 

Where I'm from , the depth and intensity of the disgust, revulsion, odium, and anger I feel when , say, expressions or words like 'the 5-Way Agreement' or 'SDM' or JRG , or, more broadly 'SFA' and 'SPFL'  are mentioned ,can only be conveyed by the word '"scunnert" said with absolute contempt, and followed by (metaphorically, of course) a hawked up spit from the depth of the lungs!broken heart

IN 2012 the integrity of the Scottish Football industry was sabotaged first by the relentless cheating of RFC of 1872, and then by the unbelievably ridiculous deceit of the 'governance' bodies. 

TRFC continues that deceit, and 'governance' continues to support the deceit.

'Scunnert' needs to be replaced by a much stronger word.

 

 

 

 

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paddy malarkeyPosted on1:06 pm - Aug 13, 2020


I think that Scottish football governance is  failing because covid is not susceptable to funny handshakes or gerrymandered " solutions ". It is beyond their ken to deal with something that can't be bullied or coerced .

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Big PinkPosted on2:35 pm - Aug 13, 2020


John C
We could start a competition to find one ?
Something suitably graphic or onomatopoeic would be a good starting point.

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easyJamboPosted on5:19 pm - Aug 13, 2020


 

https://www.scottishfa.co.uk/news/coronavirus-joint-response-group-update-13-august/?rid=13929

So the fallout from the Aberdeen and Celtic players protocol violations is that “Players” can now be sanctioned (not clubs?).

Also that non Premiership clubs are banned from training until 24 August at the earliest.

Given that Hearts have been training for the last 10 days or so, while fully adopting the testing protocols, it seems that they are being punished for the actions of other clubs’ players.  Will Hearts be refunded the costs of the testing that they have undergone over the last couple of weeks.

What a shambles of an organisation.

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easyJamboPosted on5:33 pm - Aug 13, 2020


Further to my previous post:

Additional guidance notes now on SFA statement…

Additional guidance notes

1. Glasgow City Women’s FC can continue to train in preparation for their UEFA Women’s Champions League tie against Wolfsburg on 21 August and will be visited to audit and verify compliance.
2. Heart of Midlothian FC has been informed of the need to pause their current training programme until at least 24 August.
3. Adult (over-18) recreational football will not be permitted to participate in any form of organised training.
4. Youth (under-18) football can continue in line with current Scottish Government guidance."

As I said before …… "SHAMBLES"

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Cluster OnePosted on6:11 pm - Aug 13, 2020


easyJambo 13th August 2020 at 17:19
……………
Given that Hearts have been training for the last 10 days or so, while fully adopting the testing protocols, it seems that they are being punished for the actions of other clubs’ players. Will Hearts be refunded the costs of the testing that they have undergone over the last couple of weeks.

What a shambles of an organisation.
………………
Rangers, Motherwell and Hibernian have all been asked to detail their coronavirus testing protocols after pre-season games were cancelled and delayed this week.( and even a game played when 9 players test results were not known)

The Scottish Football Association and Scottish Professional Football League’s Joint Response Group (JRG) have written to the three Scottish Premiership clubs seeking clarification on the procedures used to keep track on the spread of the virus.
It comes after St Mirren were forced into lockdown after seven members of the Paisley club’s backroom staff were confirmed to have contracted coronavirus.
As a result, Scottish Premiership clubs have been ordered to reintroduce twice-weekly testing for the first time since July 8.
………………
it seems that they are being punished for the actions of other clubs’ players. Will Hearts be refunded the costs of the testing .

Every club was punished from the very start with the cost of twice weekly testing instead of the cost of tests only once a week.

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easyJamboPosted on6:27 pm - Aug 13, 2020


Cluster One 13th August 2020 at 18:11

Every club was punished from the very start with the cost of twice weekly testing instead of the cost of tests only once a week.

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

IMO that’s a pretty weak defence for today’s decision. 

Scottish Premiership clubs sought permission to resume playing in advance of other sports and businesses, for their own reasons, e.g. participation in UEFA competitions and distribution of TV money. They went into that arrangement with open eyes to the conditions of doing so. That being adherence to the testing and other protocols, including costs. 

Hearts sought and were given permission to resume training from 1st August, as long as they adhered to the same protocols as Premiership clubs. They incurred costs for wages (off furlough) for players and staff.  

Players from Premiership clubs have caused the latest issues, so the response of the JRG is to stop adult football everywhere, except the Premiership, WTF.

Hearts have been unfairly treated in this situation.  It is clear the the JRG considered Hearts position as they are specifically mentioned, as are Glasgow City women’s side, but they are allowed to play.   

   

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easyJamboPosted on8:54 pm - Aug 13, 2020


A predictable statement from Hearts

https://www.heartsfc.co.uk/news/article/club-statement-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9

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Bill1903Posted on10:03 pm - Aug 13, 2020


Dearie me bring back the thumbs up/down

At least some posters who are posting utter bollocks would realise the feelings in sfm land

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Cluster OnePosted on10:35 pm - Aug 13, 2020


easyJambo 13th August 2020 at 18:27
IMO that’s a pretty weak defence for today’s decision.
…………….
It was not ment to be a defence.
….
That being adherence to the testing and other protocols, including costs.

And because of the actions of some clubs at the start of this not following protocol other clubs and players seen no real punishment for not following protocol, and the floodgates opened.
Hearts have been unfairly treated in this situation.as to other clubs because of the inaction of the football goverment bodies to take action when clubs did not follow protocol at the start

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easyJamboPosted on11:47 pm - Aug 13, 2020


Cluster One 13th August 2020 at 22:35

And because of the actions of some clubs at the start of this not following protocol other clubs and players seen no real punishment for not following protocol, and the floodgates opened.
Hearts have been unfairly treated in this situation.as to other clubs because of the inaction of the football goverment bodies to take action when clubs did not follow protocol at the start

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

I can't disagree with that.

The bottom line is that the JRG has chosen a path that has a disproportionate impact on a single club, when they have been adhering rigourously to the protocols (as far we know).

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John ClarkPosted on12:09 am - Aug 14, 2020


easyJambo 13th August 2020 at 20:54

'We have done nothing wrong and yet, once again, we are being disproportionately disadvantaged by a decision which has been described as “the fairest”'

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

I am coming late to the blog this evening ( I've spent several hours on 'Scotlandspeople' trying to do a 'family tree' for Mrs C's brother) and have just tuned in afore I go to my kip.

But no reasonable person could deny the essential truth of the HoM statement. 

And your own use of the word 'shambles' in relation to football governance at this time of real crisis is easily justified.

 

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upthehoopsPosted on8:32 am - Aug 14, 2020


I have yet to see any valid reason why Kilmarnock’s game was allowed to go ahead on Wednesday night. Bolingoli was in the building and will have been in close proximity to Kilmarnock staff. Of course, it is perfectly feasible that Sturgeon has no public health concerns and just decided she wanted to punish Aberdeen and Celtic (and their opponents by extension). Yet there appeared to be no question of Aberdeen’s game not going ahead had the Bolingoli incident not been exposed.

It might not be a popular view on here but I don’t do the ‘Saint Nicola’ thing, and I do not believe her or her Government have handled this matter properly. In fact, I am of the view her Government have a real dislike of Scottish football. The only thing I can ever recall them saying in support of it was a demand for Rangers in 2012 to be let off with illegal non tax payment. I think any football fan who has Sturgeon on a pedestal over current matters would do well to remember that. It would also have been helpful if they had commented on the earlier clear breaches where some clubs (not players) did not stick to testing rules and played games anyway. It all looks rather arbitrary at the moment, but then again it wouldn’t be Scotland if that wasn’t the case! Throw in the obvious bias of the media in what they choose to highlight and question and it becomes quite dirty all round. 

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erniePosted on10:07 am - Aug 14, 2020


Sturgeon is it?  I was just getting used to it being Doncaster.  For a wee while I did think it could be Lawell but as the campaign against Hearts (and PT presumably) now includes Aberdeen and Celtic it seems unlikely.  Unless it's a bluff of course?

I'll have a go at a theory.  Sturgeon is worried that the indy vote might not hold up and, having an unnatural disinterest on who might win the SPL, creates a sh*tstorm that she will be seen to fix.  She enrolls Lawell with sweet talk on how StevieG is poised to win the league with his audacious signings and the need to set in motion a scheme to close the league as soon as Celtic have a lead.  Lawell gets Hayes up to Pittodrie and he talks 7 of the gullible diddies into a team booze up to get the ball rolling.  Doncaster, having briefed Sturgeon on what the SPL is etc, spills the beans to Dave King who gifts Boli a return ticket to Spain and then releases the story.  Sturgeon is now in a bit of a quandary and has no option but to bring Celtic onto the naughty step. More to come. Worth a few seasons on Netflix I reckon.

If you think that is unbelievable there is the extraordinary alternative theory that we are in a global pandemic.  Whole countries have shut down, re opened and shutdown again.  Whole industries, competitions and even the Olympics have been cancelled.  Last week, with a few hours notice, my home town was partially locked down, my staycation (motorhome) cancelled.  My two hip ops cancelled a week prior to appointment date in March.  I'm going from global to personal, the pandemic has affected everything in between.  Do we really think anyone outside our wee bubble is targeting fitba, the SPFL or specific teams?

 

 

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