John Clark Meets “The SFA”

Regular posters and contributors to the SFM may remember that in October last year I wrote to Mr McRae, President of the SFA.

I posted the text of my letter on 28th October

I had not received a reply or acknowledgement by 12th December, so I sent a reminder. I received a reply to that reminder, dated 16 December 2015, in which Mr McRae apologised for not having responded to my previous letter, and invited me to come and see him. We arranged that I should visit him at Hampden on 19 January 2016 at 2.00 p.m.

Following the meeting, I wrote a summary of the conversation. I emailed that summary to Mr Darryl Broadfoot, Head of Communications, asking him to check whether my recollections were accurate, because I was my intention to post the summary on SFM.

I have not had a reply and I think I have waited a fair enough time, so, here is the summary of an approximately 45 minute conversation.

I should first make it clear that Mr McRae said that he had no recollection of airing any of the views recorded in my letter as attributed to him. I should also say that I made it clear that while I contribute to SFM, I was not there as ‘officially representing’ SFM, although what I would say broadly reflected the view of many.


“Note of informal meeting between me, and Alan McRae, President of the SFA, with Darryl Broadfoot, Press Officer, at Hampden park, 2.00 pm Tuesday, 19th January.

Background: I had written to Mr McRae in October 2015, to ask whether Mr McRae had really (as had been reported to me) aired the following opinions:

  1. that Rangers FC were not Liquidated
  2. that Rangers FC were put down to the third Division
  3. that Rangers FC were bought by Charles Green and that the team currently playing out of Ibrox Stadium and calling itself The Rangers Football Club Ltd is one and the same as the club known as Rangers Football Club, which is currently in Liquidation.

Mr McRae, through Mr Broadfoot, went through the points one by one.

On point one, there was no difficulty in agreeing that RFC had been Liquidated. That was accepted as a matter of fact.

On point two, I argued that;

  • Mr Green’s new club had had to apply for league and SFA membership, and were therefore admitted as a new club to Scottish Football and allowed into SFL Third Division.
  • They had as an emergency measure been granted conditional membership, and had had to seek the Administrators’ and Football Authorities’ agreement to the use of certain RFC (IL) players who had decided to sign on with the new club in order to play their first game as a new club.
  • They were ‘put in ‘the Third Division as a new club, not as an existing club being relegated.

Mr McRae, through Mr Broadfoot, argued that ‘put in’ and ‘admitted to’ are pretty much the same thing, and that the legal advice obtained was that Mr Green’s new club was not a new club, and the Authorities were stuck with that.

I referred to the 5-way Agreement, and made the point that two entities other than league or SFA representatives were signatories to that agreement: RFC (IL) and Mr Green’s new club. The two could not be one.

Mr Broadfoot said that was a matter of opinion.

I said that it was rather a matter of fact.

Likewise, on the third point, there was disagreement.

Mr Broadfoot, for Mr McRae, argued that Charles Green bought the club (and Mr McRae personally added ‘and the “goodwill”’).

I pointed out that Mr Green had NOT bought the club out of Administration, as had happened with other clubs, but merely had bought the assets of a former club that was NOT able to bought out of administration and was consequently Liquidated.

Mr Broadfoot said that Celtic and Rangers supporters might continue to disagree but that could only be expected.

I pointed out that this was not at all a Celtic-Rangers supporters’ issue, and that the Scottish Football Monitor, for instance, represented the views of supporters of many clubs. I further made the point that many sports administrative bodies had come under the spotlight in current times and people were naturally concerned that the governance of football should be above suspicion: and that substantial numbers feel that the Football Authorities have been at fault, in permitting a new club to claim to be an old club and pretend to the honours and titles etc etc.

Reference was made in the passing to some allegations that had been made that certain evidence relating to the Discounted Option Scheme had been withheld from the LNS commission, which occasioned Lord Nimmo Smith to be misled; and to the apparent negligent performance of the SFA administration under the previous President, who, both on account of his personal knowledge of the use of the DOS by Sir David Murray, and as a subsequent recipient of an EBT, might reasonably have been expected to ensure a thorough and diligent examination of the information provided by clubs about payments to players.

Mr Broadfoot ruled out discussion of the first of these matters because ‘there was no evidence’, and the second matter was also ruled out because, he asserted, the previous president is a man of the highest integrity.

I replied that work was in hand to provide evidence, and that the question of negligent performance of duties was not a question of ‘personal integrity’.

Mr Broadfoot opined that the future would show whether Scottish Football supporters were really concerned about the old club/new club debate, if huge numbers turned their backs on the game.

I replied that a sport based on a false proposition, on what could be seen as a lie, no matter on what pragmatic reasons, would certainly wither if and when people thought the sport could be rigged.

As the meeting drew to a close, I was asked if, coming from Edinburgh, I was a Hibs or Hearts supporter, or perhaps a Celtic supporter? And whether I was going to tonight’s (Celtic were playing that evening at home) game?

I replied that as my name suggests, I was of Irish extraction and perhaps conclusions could be drawn from that. Also that I would not be going to tonight’s game, and that my interest in the present matter was rather more academic and objective than partisan.

The meeting ended cordially at about “


I think I can say that Mr Broadfoot, opening the meeting, explained that

“for the purposes of this meeting, I am the SFA.”

Mr McRae’s personal contribution to the conversation was therefore very little more than mentioned above, Mr Broadfoot doing most of the talking.

I will say further that I spoke to BP, and consulted one or two other posters before I went to the meeting, in order to make sure that my general understanding both of the principal events of the ‘saga’ and of the thrust of most of SFM’s contributors, who are drawn from supporters of many clubs, was sufficiently sound.

I give it as my opinion that I may have been invited to a personal meeting only because it might have been thought in some quarters that I was in possession of an electronic recording of what I told Mr McRae that he was reported as having said.

And, finally, I declare here that my note of the meeting was written within two hours of the meeting, and reflects the substance of the conversation. It is exactly the note I sent by email to Broadfoot, except that I corrected a typo in the spelling of Darryll (I had ‘Caryll’), have omitted my own surname, and changed references to myself from the third person to the first person.



1,392 thoughts on “John Clark Meets “The SFA”

  1. tayred 16th February 2016 at 8:45 am #  P.S. Chris Sutton is an awful commentator.
    . . . and an even worse pundit!

  2. I would welcome any proposed new set up if it meant escaping the vile clutches of the totally incompetent/ corrupt SFA/SPFL.

  3. The comments directed towards mr collum are understandable but who made him a top (cough) ref,this guy makes huge clangers in almost every game i’ve seen him in,yet there he goes off to the euros as our representitve.
    Perhaps it’s time to look at what role the referees assessors play in all of this,we saw last night how bad WC is,it would be interesting to get ahold of the assessors scorecard to see what points he gave the ref.My own guess would be that wullie collum got a good score because that’s how it works.You scratch my back etc etc..

  4. ThomTheThim 16th February 2016 at 12:06 pm
    The thing is your club is well represented in the SFA/SPFL and is part of the decision making process on all the important issues so would surely play their own part in that incompetence and corruption?

    They’re the wealthiest club in the country. Have the largest stadium with possibly the highest average attendance and can afford to buy any of their rivals players, win more trophies than most clubs and continue to be favourites for every domestic competition.

    And yet many Celtic fans still think the authorities/media/referees/society has it in for them…. and plenty of Rangers fans think likewise about their club too. Can they both be right?

    The ‘old firm’ have dominated Scottish football for years and wanted/want it to benefit them to the detriment of all others. Scottish football is promoted on the back of this. A Pan-European league would be a different prospect altogether.

    Let’s assume Celtic and Rangers would be included in an Atlantic league. They’d have no more influence on matters than Ajax, PSV, Benfica, Porto, Anderlecht and I can’t see them liking that.

    I think the novelty would soon evaporate for the clubs and supporters if they were not winning as much as they’re used to and with those clubs mentioned, amongst others, who’s to say they should.

    What of the other Scottish clubs? Would Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibs, Dundee Utd be invited into any Atlantic League and if so what would the Scottish domestic scene look like? How would that affect the Scottish national team? Can’t see much benefit there.

    Strong domestic national leagues with qualification for European competition, even if that’s split into its own sections, with equal and fair access for all clubs and more equitable financial distribution that’s not rigged to enrich the already wealthy clubs. That’s what I’d like to see. Never. Going. To. Happen.        

  5. easyJambo 16th February 2016 at 1:15 pm #John James’ latest blog is getting close to crossing the line once again naming individuals and discussing evidence that may be disclosed at the Fraudco trial. However the message behind the blog could well have some plausibility in it.

    I read that and wondered- what’s the agenda here? Naming an important crown witness in an imminent criminal trial? Why? I think there is more to this than meets the eye. 

  6. So Jack Irvine was engaged in spreading black propaganda about Celtic to the press?  No surprise there then.  But it’s just paranoia by Celtic’s support.  Why do it?  Why not just talk up your own club?  Still it sells newspapers I suppose.  And it is still going on.  I go on to ‘news now’ everyday.   Have a look over a few days and see how many negative stories are reported by the newspaper links regarding TRFC.   And then see how many positive stories there are about Celtic.   Let me put it in a nutshell.  TRFC is heading towards Europe.  Celtic are in crisis.

    This is not a dig per se at TRFC, they employ Level5 effectively to spin on their behalf.  But the editorial policy of the newspapers who encourage this stuff and nonsense to be printed slavishly,  is so one sided as to be laughable. 

    On the other point that Jack Irvine has some juicy stuff on certain journalists in Scotland, I read something about that last year.  No names were mentioned but their ‘sins’ were.
    You would need to be on ‘something’ to compose some of the rubbish that is printed. I have already made my mind up who they are.

  7. On the afternoon of Saturday 30 January 2016, I nearly crashed the car.
    I was driving the M8 and unadvisedly had Radio Scotland playing when they broadcast an interview with the SFA’s chief of Refereeing Operations, John Fleming.
    To describe his defence of current refereeing standards as “bullish” would be a massive understatement.
    He went out of his way to laud the improvement in refereeing in Scotland in recent years.
    I understand the importance of standing up for colleagues, especially those for whom one might have supervisory responsibility, in difficult circumstances.  There are many ways of doing this that can be suitably bullish without becoming unsuitable bullsh*t:  “We accept there have been difficulties… it is a challenging situation/job… everyone is doing their best… we are committed to continuous improvement… we are working hard to address any previous short-comings… blah… blah… blah… etc.”
    But if the view from the SFA’s man with oversight of these matters is a Panglossian “All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds,” there is little hope for the actual improvements that we need in the standard of refereeing in this country.
    This is not just about Willie Collum and his abysmal performance last night.  I watched the Dundee v St Johnstone game on Friday night and was taken aback at the systematic incompetence of Craig Thompson.  Most of the errors which littered his performance might not have been game changing in the way that last night’s penalty decisions could have been, although Saints did have a decent penalty shout which he missed.  Two examples (of the many possible) that fall into the “how could he have got that wrong?” category would be:  Darren O’Dea was knocked unconscious in an accidental collision towards the end of the first half, causing a stoppage of almost three minutes, there having previously been a goal and at least one other injury stoppage; ONE MINUTE of stoppage time added at the end of the half; Saints’ player flattened by Dundee defender, nothing given, leaving even Chris Sutton to comment “That’s a foul all day long.  I don’t know what game Craig Thompson is watching.”
    At games I’ve attended or watched on TV in the last couple of years, I can think of astonishingly poor performances from John Beaton, Kevin Clancy, Bobby Madden and Alan Muir, to name but four.  And then, of course, there was last season’s Celtic v ICT cup semi-final refereed by Steven McLean… probably best not mentioned in view of the extent to which views were aired on SFM (and elsewhere) at the time.
    This is my forty-fifth season regularly attending top flight football in Scotland.  I moaned about lots of decisions in the first forty of those seasons, mainly when they went against my team, but my perception of the last five years is that there has been a collapse in refereeing standards in Scotland and that they now stand at an all-time low.
    John Fleming’s comments from last month take us back to what John Clark’s meeting with the SFA was all about and to some of the key objectives of this site.
    The fact that Mr. Fleming could pontificate, almost unchallenged, as he did from the studios of our national broadcaster shows how much the SFA are out of touch with the feelings of ordinary fans and with the reality of the performances that we see from our referees:  simply not good enough; must do much better.
    Do any of our regular readers or contributors really expect our footballing authorities to take that on board?
    I for one will not be holding my breath.

  8. incredibleadamspark 16th February 2016 at 1:11 pm #ThomTheThim 16th February 2016 at 12:06 pm

    …..even though Celtic have reps on these boards, their vote add up to the sum total of one.
    I presume that you have not read any of Auldheid’s documentation on the actions/inactions of the SFA/SPFL.
    The media uproar following Willie Collum’s handling of last night’s game is almost unprecedented.
    He had a poor game and one team suffered.
    However, WC has had bad games before with narry a mention. Why?
    Was it because of who the main beneficiary is?
    I don’t want to indulge in “whateaboutery”, but the tales of refereeing incompetence (?)involving my team are generational and our complaints have been dismissed as paranoia.
    Anyway, bottom line. The Scottish football authorities have been demonstrated to be at best, incompetent.
    It is not that the Rules are wrong, as devised by the board members, including those of my club.
    It is the failure of the officers to apply those rules properly and fairly, without fear or favour.
    Ask Clyde FC,

  9. I think we can all agree that the standard of refeering in general is poor and above all inconsistent. That therefore makes you wonder what the Assessor is reporting back to the SFA after each match and what action (if any) they are taking and on what basis.

    From Flemings comments, summarised above, the answer seems to be not much because they are getting it pretty much right. A typical head in the sand SFA approach bordering on being dismissive for questioning them in the first place.

    A while back there was a referee who made a bit of a stand over the process for advancing and promoting referees. Needless to say he stopped refeering. I vaguely recall he appeared on Radio Scotland Sport to discuss the matter.

    He was pretty candid but for the life of me I can’t recall his name. He seemed to suggest that the referees are drawn from a narrow base i.e. the professional classes of lawyers, accountants etc and that advancement is not always down to ability. Can anyone remember his name and maybe he would be willing to write for SFM blog.

  10. Bogs,

    Was it Mr. Craven, the unfortunate fall guy in the Dougie Dougie Affair.
    He was hung out to dry and Dallas even went on Radio Scotland and made a liar of himself in trying to cover up Mc.Donald’s crime.

  11. incredibleadamspark
    “Strong domestic national leagues with qualification for European competition, even if that’s split into its own sections, with equal and fair access for all clubs and more equitable financial distribution that’s not rigged to enrich the already wealthy clubs. That’s what I’d like to see. Never. Going. To. Happen.  ”

    Agreed particularly when you look at the last transfer window and the money being spent in China, a lot of the top European teams are going to be running scared of the money being spent there and looking for other ways to compete for players. Making sure you have access to the Champions League cash bonanza regardless of domestic league position will certainly help (Although EPL riches now seem to dwarf the CL), removing the diddy nation teams will also help. Giving the Europa league over to the smaller nations and allowing the winner (only) access to the Champions League the following year is definitely the way things are heading.
    What that does to the domestic leagues is anyone’s guess. Jumpers for goalposts anyone?

  12.  A lot of talk in recent posts about how the ‘top clubs’ have too much money yet still want more. This short video clip is interesting , talking about how the ‘top clubs’ no longer look for good players, but for various reasons (fan expectations, shareholder perception etc) now won’t spend on bargain players with potential.
    What really interested me was how the host tried to introduce the question of too much expectation because of the amount of money they have, yet it was the journalist (I think he is a journalist anyway) who seemed determined to avoid that debate and took the view that it was right for those big/rich clubs to ignore the bargains. I always thought it was beneficial to clubs to unearth a gem, but he seemed more interested in protecting the environment of big money sales for ‘big’ players who presumably deserve their big salary.

  13. ThomTheThim 16th February 2016 at 2:33 pm #Bogs,
    Was it Mr. Craven, the unfortunate fall guy in the Dougie Dougie Affair. He was hung out to dry and Dallas even went on Radio Scotland and made a liar of himself in trying to cover up Mc.Donald’s crime.

    I’ve had a search online and in the period where H Dallas Esq was the heid honcho no less than three refs turned in their badges.

    Craven was one because he had some integrity. Steve Conroy was another who after being demoted to the lower leagues after some poor performances resigned and expressed disastisfaction with the selection and advancement process at the SFA.

    But I believe the guy who was on the Radio and who resigned back in 2012 was Charlie Richmond. He too expressed disatisfaction with the hierarchy.

    This was all around the time of the referee strike and as we know Dallas resigned just after that and Reagan promised to sort it all out but that task must have fallen to the bottom of his “to do list” as the standard and governance of referees remains shambolic.

  14. ThomTheThim 16th February 2016 at 2:06 pm #Ask Clyde FC,

    Clyde FC’s error appears to be that they followed the rules and clyped on themselves. Not that they didn’t pay HMRC at all, that they paid them late. The SFA will be making a rod (flexible when they want it to be) for the space where their backbone should be if they penalise Clyde FC heavily – so I fully expect Clyde FC to get the maximum punishment allowable.

  15. The problem with the refereeing in the game last night is not that it was poor (shocking would be more accurate), it is the fact that it was Willie Collum again.  I made a quick £20 on the result – a bet I would not have made had it been any other referee !.  All Aberdeen fans know that when he is the ref then Aberdeen will do well to get anything out of the game.

  16. Bogs,
    You’re right, it was Charlie Richmond.
    After Dallas resigned/was sacked, John Fleming stepped into his shoes.
    His appointment was endorsed by Phil Mac, who seemed to have knowledge of him.
    Paul Larkin’s book, Anyone But Celtic, describes the power and influence of the Lanarkshire Branch of the Refs Association.
    It makes for interesting reading.

  17. jimmci  16th February 2016 at 2:46 pm #Thoughts on last night from this Celtic supporter….Now I don’t fancy Willie Collum that much and I think there is something fundamentally wrong about our referees training, appointments, supervisors’ ratings, fast track processes, etc. but I see a witch hunt starting here. Why? He’s just been involved in a game where Aberdeen’s title challenge has been derailed.

    So, last night demonstrates a bias against Celtic? Ok dokie. 

    ( incidentally I wonder when McInnes’s disrepute charge will come from the Compliance Officer for accusing a player of conning referee but suspect it won’t arrive.)

    I’m sure it will come. Why would you think it wouldn’t? Or do you think that only happens to Celtic managers!? Good grief!

    Last nights performance by Collum was stunningly inept, the most stunningly inept performance I have seen in a plethora of inept performances by Scottish referees in recent times. I was stunned by just how stunning the ineptness was. I’m not just talking about the headline making decisions the game was littered with stunningly inept decisions and frequent lack of decisions – just wave play on. I hope the SFA do cite McInnes and Aberdeen arrive with video evidence of all the shenanigans that went on last night and from numerous other previous games. I would hope actually that Aberdeen contact other clubs and compile a dirty great dossier of other ludicrous decisions made by this gype – anything to at least rule him out of going to the Euros.

    This isn’t about bias, or being anti-Celtic or Pro-Aberdeen. This is about referees making the game pointless. We all come on here and rant about how useless the SFA are, and then willingly stand-by and ignore the ineptness of their representatives on the pitch. If last night finally brings the media spotlight onto Collum then great, lets celebrate! Not bicker about how it only happened cos it happened to Aberdeen! 

  18. Last month, Ross County were denied a penalty in a game v Aberdeen . Jim McIntyre, the Ross manager said he questioned the referee at half time. The ref told him he saw the incident but decided it was more advantageous to Ross to allow play to continue. 
    I don’t recall who the referee was, but his idea of advantage seems a bit odd.
    Strangely enough there was no furore after that one.

  19. oddjob  16th February 2016 at 4:23 pm #I made no reference to Celtic .

    No, indeed you didn’t. My clumsy point was that SFM seems to be heading down the path of whataboutery on this point, when in actual fact I think we all kinda agree! Apologies.

  20. tayred 16th February 2016 at 3:41 pm #
    This isn’t about bias, or being anti-Celtic or Pro-Aberdeen. This is about referees making the game pointless. We all come on here and rant about how useless the SFA are, and then willingly stand-by and ignore the ineptness of their representatives on the pitch.

    The SFA are useless- let’s start right there. How many examples of utter uselessness and unfitness for purpose have we seen from the SFA in recent years? The recent cup draw fiasco? The East Kilbride cup tie venue fiasco? The flight from Tblisi fiasco? The disabled stuck behind the billboards at Hampden fiasco? And many more.
    There are honestly too many monumental screw-ups to remember, much less mention. All symptomatic of a totally failed organisation. The referees are just part of that. The fact that Collum, probably agreed by most fans to be the worst of the top flight referees in Scotland, has been nominated by the SFA to officiate at the Euros, is just another pointer to the total inadequacy and incompetence of the SFA. This has been going on for many years. How long before the clubs take action? I won’t hold my breath.

  21. I think a start to the Scottish refereeing problem would be to separate it from the dead hand of the SFA.  The SPFL should announce that it is putting a contract out to tender to allow new organisations to step forward with plans.  I don’t know how referees are trained, monitored or promoted but I think a points system, maybe independent monitors, should be used to decide the level they officiate at. Do away with salaries, match fees only.   To be honest I’m thinking on my feet, but anything has to be better than the omnishambles we have at present.

  22. The root cause of the dearth of good referees (in Scotland & in England, because there are some terrible refs in the EPL) is the modern day insistence on ‘game management’ as the overarching requirement, rather than equitable application of the laws to both teams.

    The game often isn’t refereed to reflect what happens on the pitch. It’s refereed to impress the assessor in the stand.

    1 P1140/15 Note: HMA for Order re: failure to comply by Craig Whyte – COPFS
    I see that tomorrow’s Court of Session action is “Unstarred”, which means it is unopposed for the moment.  That’s not to say that it won’t be opposed at a later date. 

    COPFS stands for Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service which suggests that the Crown is seeking permission or guidance to do something in response to Whyte’s non compliance.

    I’m not free to attend tomorrow and I don’t know how long the proceedings will last, so it will be up to JC or others to decide whether or not it is worth going.

  24. tayred 16th February 2016 at 3:41 pm
    I’m sure it will come. Why would you think it wouldn’t? Or do you think that only happens to Celtic managers!? Good grief!—————-
    Sorry, Tayred, I think we are in broad agreement on refereeing standards. My earlier comment was not so much on refereeing standards – I did say I thought they are awful in this country – but more the way the media then report said refereeing howlers!
    As to McInnes being called up before the beaks? We agree he should be. The fact you think he will while I suspect he won’t is just another example of the arbitrary and discretionary approach to these things at Hampden and our lack of trust in them to behave consistently.

  25. Auldeid, I swear I didn’t read that before I posted!  I notice the article was from 2011, it’s a pity that these ideas are put about but never explored by the authorities (I think).

  26. I think the poor standard of refereeing in football is magnified by current version of the rules. To many decisions a referee has to make now have a large subjective area of uncertainty.
    Simplify the rules so that there can be no doubt to any decision. Hand ball, don’t have the ref consider whether it was deliberate or the arm was in an unnatural position. Hand ball, ball touches hand a straight foul no excuses. Unfair? Maybe, but under those conditions decisions WILL even out over a game never mind a season. Offside, drop the “not interfering with play” and the decisions are straight forward. Obstruction, not given if the ball is being ushered out for a goal kick. Why?
    The rules nowadays have too many grey areas and it is that that leads to claims of bias aimed at a referee and leaves the players frustrated.

    Our problems aren’t really with the refs but the administrators.


  27. Re: refs / a personal observation.
    Can’t remember if I am repeating myself here but…

    I used to work with a chap a few years ago, who was promoted to refereeing SPL games.
    He is a very clever, amicable guy, in a highly demanding senior role – and as far as I am aware a decent ref. 
    When he got his first game as ref at Parkhead, I asked him afterwards when he would get top ranking, [FIFA ranked ?]

    I will always remember his rather matter-of-fact response: he wouldn’t get to the top because ‘his face didn’t fit’ in the SFA’s refereeing hierarchy, [to paraphrase]. I chose not to inquire further.

    I was surprised to say the least that this very capable guy would accept this state of affairs – but I think he just loved the game and being involved.

    Just another little anecdote that mibbees the refs set up at the SFA is also dysfunctional ?

  28. up the hoops,

    I would be less interested in a referees religion but there is an argument to be made in it being known which team they support/ supported.  They should make a declaration at the outset of their career and be recused from those games which involve their chosen team.  Of course when this has been mentioned in the past their was outrage at the thought that a referee could be influenced in any way even subconsciously.  Ask any psychologist if that could be true or not.   Or is the concept of a referee being a ‘homer’ complete nonsense.

    Remember the famous (notorious to Celtic fans) referee who requested that his last match would be at Ibrox.  But of course that is my paranoia kicking in again.  Must have a word with that psychologist 21.

    And before anyone says it, I know and realise that clubs outside Glasgow have legitimate complaints too.

  29. jimbo 16th February 2016 at 7:34 pm 
    I would be less interested in a referees religion but there is an argument to be made in it being known which team they support/ supported.  They should make a declaration at the outset of their career and be recused from those games which involve their chosen team. 

    Should the same standard be applied to football journalists?

  30. Quick pen for sevco but didn’t lead for long  1-1

    1-0 hibs v hearts

  31. Jingso.Jimsie,

    Funny you should mention that but I was talking to someone at the weekend who has a bit of knowledge on the subject.

    I think the answer is it would make no difference with sports hacks.  If they want to be in a job they will follow the party line regardless of who they support or are known to support.  The editor/ publisher will decide the general direction of the paper.  It’s all about demographics.  We can see that in the Glasgow papers.  Celtic supporters have all but abandoned the Daily Record, so they know where their bread is buttered.

    It’s probably the same with Edinburgh Evening News which I used to buy a lot – full of news about Hearts & Hibs! The Press & Journal etc.

    I don’t know how many pundits from a Celtic background jump on to the gravy train and rarely have a good word to say about Celtic.  They follow orders, even at Sky & The BBC.

    Happily it just makes it all the sweeter when we win something. 03

  32. Not a lot in both replays,early pen for Rangers given by Ref Bobby Madden season ticket holder at Ibrox in charge of his Fifth Rangers game this season,I wonder how many Mr Collum has taken charge of.

  33. easyJambo 16th February 2016 at 5:54 pm
    ‘..I see that tomorrow’s Court of Session action is “Unstarred”, which means it is unopposed for the moment. That’s not to say that it won’t be opposed at a later date. ‘
    I defer to your greater knowledge, of course, eJ;although I think if one side is being heard about anything , the other side must be present simultaneously. Since no Counsel will be present there won’t be any rehearsal of legal arguments, of course,but I’ll go along anyway just to see what’s what, and maybe get a date for the next hearing!

  34. Bogs Dollox 16th February 2016 at 2:19 pm # He seemed to suggest that the referees are drawn from a narrow base i.e. the professional classes of lawyers, accountants etc and that advancement is not always down to ability.
    I’m sure many of us have seen and still see advancement in the workplace which is quite frankly undeserved and down to other factors. The Scottish Refereeing fraternity will be no different. The media never help of course, because their outrage at poor refereeing can be selective at times. Treating people like Hugh Dallas as some kind of mystical demi-god doesn’t help either. Rightly or wrongly Celtic fans perceived Dallas as being against their team. I am in no position to say that is true and there is every chance it isn’t, but he was involved in several major controversies. The more he was involved in the better a Referee he became according to  the media.  In my humble opinion had Dallas had a history of controversy against Rangers, we would never hear of him now. I know of only two Referees in Scottish football history who have been publicly hung out to dry. One was Mr Hugh Callaghan, who Rangers complained should have sent off a Celtic player but didn’t. The other was Mr Kevin O’Donnell who Hearts complained should not have allowed a Celtic goal. Neither game was televised.

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