John Clark Meets “The SFA”

ByJohn Clark

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 http://www.sfmonitor.org/whose-assets-are-they-anyway/?cid=20786

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 2.45.pm “


 

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.

 

 

About the author

John Clark author

1,392 Comments so far

oddjobPosted on9:20 pm - Jan 27, 2016


Woodstein
The philmacgiollabhain post referred to by Wottpi was a follow up to the return of the Spurs player. It has disappeared from the site.

View Comment

gerrybhoy67Posted on9:21 pm - Jan 27, 2016


woodstein 27th January 2016 at 8:35 pm #
wottpi 27th January 2016 at 10:40 am # &ldquo

;Phil Mac’s latest post was related to a loan player heading homewards is apparently not available on his site”
This was Phil’s latest but it has disappeared!
http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/checking-in-and-chequeing-out/
It was a story relating to the player having to move hotel 2 or 3 times and also having to pay for dinner one night.
He was asked about his loan spell when he was a guest at a supporters Q&A evening – also mentioned a problem with wages and the young guy was glad to be out of it.
Phil had asked Tottenham a list of questions to confirm or deny.
Maybe it’s been removed for legal reasons?

View Comment

wottpiPosted on9:25 pm - Jan 27, 2016


Spiers standing by his story and opinion.
Graham Spiers ‏@GrahamSpiers 29m29 minutes agoMy statement on Rangers FC and The Herald’s apology: https://spiersstatement2016.wordpress.com 

THE HERALD’S APOLOGY TO RANGERS FC
I feel I need to explain the context of The Herald clarification/apology published today regarding my column about Rangers FC and the fight against bigoted chanting.
Rangers took exception to a column I wrote in which I questioned “the mettle” of the current club board in tackling offensive chanting.
This opinion was based on the fact that, at a meeting I attended at Ibrox Stadium on August 31st 2015, a Rangers director told me that he thought The Billy Boys was “a great song”.
I subsequently expressed my dismay at the director’s comment in an email exchange with Rangers. There was, and is, no question of me calling any Rangers director a bigot.
Rangers duly complained to The Herald about my column. As the weeks passed a dispute arose, and the pressure brought upon the newspaper became severe.
The Herald told me repeatedly that they now had to find a way to a public resolution with Rangers. Having searched many avenues to reach an agreement with the club, the newspaper ultimately denied my request to withhold any clarification/apology until my own position was clearer.
The Herald has never told me that they disbelieved my version of events.  I also retain the highest regard for Magnus Llewellin, the paper’s editor who has tried to resolve this problem.
My opinion – as expressed in my column – was based on a truthful account of my meeting with a Rangers director.

A  case of “Hello hello, we are the BULLY boys”?

Another notch in the belt for the most offended football club in the world.

View Comment

neepheidPosted on9:28 pm - Jan 27, 2016


This morning the Herald printed an apology for a recent Graham Spiers piece regarding sectarian singing, that the easily offended (who don’t mind offending anyone else) had complained about in their usual threatening manner.. Here is his personal response-
  https://spiersstatement2016.wordpress.com/
Sometimes I do actually feel sympathy for journalists in Scotland, 2016.

View Comment

HomunculusPosted on9:39 pm - Jan 27, 2016


I’ll leave the debate on “The Billy Boys”, a glorification of a Glasgow “razor gang” led by Billy Fullerton, a well known fascist, sectarian, racist to other people. I couldn’t possibly comment.

However why anyone would think that a song about being up to your knees in anyone’s blood is “great”, in the context of watching a game of football is totally beyond me. I would rather not be knee deep in blood, no matter whose blood it is. The mere suggestion makes me rather queasy.

As to a failure to surrender being fatal, can I at least try to take it to extra time and possibly penalties.

I really don’t think football should be about people dying or lakes of blood.

View Comment

essexbeancounterPosted on9:44 pm - Jan 27, 2016


friendlybear 27th January 2016 at 7:48 pm #
….Would you and other opposition fans be more accepting of rangers…
========================================
Friendlybear…belated welcome to the site and do please hang around for a while…
However, longer term posters and contributors to this site should not merely be regarded, in your own description as “other opposition fans”…we are not in opposition to, or haters of any other club.
From my perspective, we are striving, and will continue to strive to seek the truth, as expounded by my professional body in its motto “quaere verum”, not that some of its members chose to do so over the last couple of decades in their employment or association with the Govan side, commonly referred to as RFC(IL)
PS I do hope you are a genuinely “Friendlybear” and not one of those giant squirrels, particularly of the grey variety, which have over-run this part of Essex 14

View Comment

DutchmulPosted on9:46 pm - Jan 27, 2016


friendlybear 27th January 2016 at 7:48 pm

Hi Friendlybear, the issue surrounding the titles/cups won during the ebt years has absolutely nothing to do with whether ebt’s were tax evasion or tax avoidance, legal or illegal and has nothing to do with any appeals re HMRC.
All of the players who had ebt’s were not registered correctly and therefore they were ineligible to play, as the sfa were not informed nor received any paperwork relating to contractual payments to these players from ebt’s.
It’s as simple as that and the sfa simply need to apply their rules as they would whenever anyone else breaks the rules. See the spartans cup incident in 2011 for what happens when a simple clerical error is uncovered – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/15672375 .
I hope this improves your understanding of what fans of other clubs are unhappy about.

BTW, i’m a Jambo.

View Comment

Cluster OnePosted on10:02 pm - Jan 27, 2016


and the pressure brought upon the newspaper became severe.
WHAT KIND OF PRESSURE?
The Herald told me repeatedly that they now had to find a way to a public resolution with Rangers.
WHY, IF THEY BELIEVED Mr Spiers ACCOUNT OF WHAT HE SAID.

View Comment

oddjobPosted on10:06 pm - Jan 27, 2016


I posted earlier today about the players of RFC being able to walk away on the demise of their employer.
They were able to register with other clubs following cancellation of their registration by the SFA.
at the time Charles Green hubbled and bubbled about legal action, action which never came to fruition.
From JohnClark’s excellent report, the SFA maintain that they had legal advice which maintained the same club status.
Why then, did they cancel the player’s registrations and deny the “club” any transfer income?
I think it is important now, that the SFA say exactly when that legal advice was given.

View Comment

neepheidPosted on10:22 pm - Jan 27, 2016


Cluster One 27th January 2016 at 10:02 pm #and the pressure brought upon the newspaper became severe. WHAT KIND OF PRESSURE? The Herald told me repeatedly that they now had to find a way to a public resolution with Rangers. WHY, IF THEY BELIEVED Mr Spiers ACCOUNT OF WHAT HE SAID.
=================
I understand that the pressure came from a Herald advertiser, who was unhappy with Spiers piece, and threatened to pull 30k of advertising unless an apology was forthcoming. I can’t reference this right now, so it’s just from a very wonky memory. I’ll post a link if I can, probably tomorrow. (nurse is here with the cocoa).

View Comment

4424mePosted on10:22 pm - Jan 27, 2016


Not only when but who gave it….I would love to know in case I might need to seek legal advice in the future and could dismiss one company without further thought

View Comment

4424mePosted on10:24 pm - Jan 27, 2016


 parks of Hamilton motoring section in the herald must cost a right few quid

View Comment

goosygoosyPosted on10:25 pm - Jan 27, 2016


So why have the squirrels appeared on the site?
Options
1. An insolvency is on the cards if insufficient cash comes in from player sales in Jan 2016. This may be exacerbated by having to pay costs in upcoming court actions by Easdale and CG
 Perhaps there is a one off issue lurking in the background which needs funding fairly soon like Stadium repairs or an unpaid major Creditor or maybe a hefty payment is due on  Warburton`s contract.
2. JC was served up some porkies by the SFA Ventriloquist that were disowned after the meeting.This lead to an urgent squirrel chase to get the topic off the SFM pages before some “nonconformist” like Alec Thomson puts it in the press 
Or its both
 It may even be that Level5 was jointly instructed by our corrupt governing bodies and their favourite club to join the Blog in order to limit discussion of the JC meeting, Hampden corruption and some upcoming embarassment at Ibrox

View Comment

4424mePosted on10:32 pm - Jan 27, 2016


Didn’t rangers actually vote for rangers to get their spl share …..why if they are one and the same ? 

View Comment

Cluster OnePosted on10:33 pm - Jan 27, 2016


neepheid 27th January 2016 at 10:22 pm
I’ll post a link if I can, probably tomorrow.
—————–
thanks

View Comment

ianagainPosted on10:35 pm - Jan 27, 2016


Ah John
So may controversies and questions served up in an “open” interview.
Great style.
Thanks for visiting the lofty towers.
Its likely been asked, but when I used to visit the (now defunct DTI) often, they had tea ladies on each floor and always Rich Tea bics and a distinctive “civil service” tea set in pale green. Any similarities?

View Comment

StevieBCPosted on11:15 pm - Jan 27, 2016


goosygoosy 27th January 2016 at 10:25 pm #

So why have the squirrels appeared on the site?
Options

an urgent squirrel chase to get the topic off the SFM pages…
============
We have a winner!  22

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on11:20 pm - Jan 27, 2016


Well, we all wanted transparency, and now we’ve got some.

This spat that Graham Speirs finds himself caught up in is turning into something I’m sure TRFC didn’t want. I’m sure, too, that neither Graham, nor his newspaper, wanted it too, but what has come out today is unequivocal proof that TRFC, as with RFC before them, have the power to rule the press. Something has come out of the box that can never be put back in again.

We, and thousand like us, have never doubted, throughout this whole Rangers scandal, that the Govan clubs had the power to hire and fire at the sports desks in the SMSM, and used it to their advantage. Charlotte Fakes released emails that proved that, but because of the nature of the evidence, the media were not put in a position where they had to publish that proof, well not yet.

But here today, we have the proof, from within the media itself, that editors will bow down to the pressure and apologise for what has been printed to make it look like an error/lie. In what can only be an embarrassing mess for all concerned, as it happened after publication, it could only be the gullible of the gullible who would fail to be convinced that much more serious and damaging news has been withdrawn before it was too late! How much news of a financial nature is being, and has been, withheld if this relatively undamaging criticism of the club results in this intimidation of a newspaper and it’s employee, not by some half-wit fans this time, but by the club itself?

To those newcomers to our blog, welcome, but now do you see how easy it has been to keep the truth from you?

View Comment

neepheidPosted on11:25 pm - Jan 27, 2016


Cluster One 27th January 2016 at 10:33 pm #neepheid 27th January 2016 at 10:22 pm I’ll post a link if I can, probably tomorrow. —————– thanks
=======================
Found it! An unimpeachable source.

http://www.vanguardbears.co.uk/article.php?i=91&a=rangers-withdraw-business-from-the-herald

Written by: AdminMonday, 11th January 2016 

 

Vanguard Bears understands that Parks Motor Group has withdrawn £40,000 worth of advertising revenue from The Herald newspaper due to persistent and unwarranted attacks on the Club by its article writers.
Only last week, a Rangers Director voiced Club concerns regarding biased reporting with Herald Editor Magnus Llewellin.
These concerns were totally ignored, and Friday past saw a deliberately inflammatory article with the headline “Crooks at Rangers” appear in the aforesaid newspaper.
VB welcomes this move, and that of other Rangers-friendly companies who previously have withdrawn financial support to this newspaper, which clearly has no intention of being impartial.

View Comment

StevieBCPosted on11:32 pm - Jan 27, 2016


John Clark…could you add a little bit of detail to my mental picture of your audience with the SFA ‘untouchables’…

Was the SFA President sitting compliantly on the Head of Communication’s knee for the duration of your meeting?
(i.e. for ease of manipulation.)

I really think we should be told!  09

View Comment

oddjobPosted on11:54 pm - Jan 27, 2016


Stevie BC,
Funny you should say that.
Yesterday, someone mentioned Debbie McGee, but reading John’s report, I pictured Peter Brough, that famous radio ventriloquist, with the even more famous , Archie Andrews, sitting on his knee.
When they eventually appeared on TV, it was difficult to work out which one was the dummy.

View Comment

StevieBCPosted on11:57 pm - Jan 27, 2016


neepheid 27th January 2016 at 11:25 pm #
Found it! An unimpeachable source.
http://www.vanguardbears.co.uk/article.php?i=91&a=rangers-withdraw-business-from-the-herald
“Written by: AdminMonday, 11th January 2016 
Vanguard Bears understands that Parks Motor Group has withdrawn £40,000 worth of advertising revenue from The Herald newspaper due to persistent and unwarranted attacks on the Club by its article writers…”
========================
If true, then to a reasonable person, it would appear that a member club of the SFA / SPFL has resorted to extortion to manipulate the media – and then one of its supporters’ groups openly boasts about this action ?!
We always suspected this to be the case – but the public arrogance is breathtaking.
Disreputable behaviour – allegedly – by a supposedly ‘fit & proper’ director of the Govan club?
Doesn’t reflect well at all on TRFC, or The Herald – or Scottish football for that matter either. 06

View Comment

HirsutePursuitPosted on12:00 am - Jan 28, 2016


Now, if I was a busy communications professional and thought that my organisation’s President had a meeting that needed my attendance, I’m pretty sure that I would want agreed minutes of the meeting.
It seems strange therefore that JC’s contemporaneous notes of his meeting with Mr Mcrae and Mr Broadfoot have not been acknowledged as accurate nor returned with corrections and/or additions.
It’s almost as if there is something extremely dangerous contained within those notes that cannot be officially commented upon. 
My personal bet is ‘legal advice’.

View Comment

StevieBCPosted on12:06 am - Jan 28, 2016


(Edit)
“…resorted to extortion – allegedly -…”
😉

View Comment

oddjobPosted on12:08 am - Jan 28, 2016


HirsuitePursuite,
I most definitely agree !

View Comment

goosygoosyPosted on12:17 am - Jan 28, 2016


I wonder if top car dealers  in the West of Scotland  have a song contest when they recruit staff?
Wouldn`t be a bit surprised
 Its only a bit of fun after all
for them
 
 

View Comment

oddjobPosted on12:19 am - Jan 28, 2016


HirsuitPursuit,
My apologies for misspelling!

View Comment

redlichtiePosted on12:43 am - Jan 28, 2016


Just thought I’d like to welcome Roscoe64 and Friendly Bear – great to have fans of another diddy club join our forum.

Please engage with the various posters commenting on your valued contributions. We do want to hear your views.

With regard to Mr Spiers he has to a great extent brought this on himself. If he and his journalistic colleagues (I use the term loosely) had not been so mealy-mouthed in their reporting then the Govanites might not be in a position where they feel able to act as they apparently have.

Scottish Football needs the President of the SFA to stand up and start doing his job free of his puppet-master’s strings.

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on1:17 am - Jan 28, 2016


 1. Before I went in to Glasgow this very wet morning, I was in Court 6 in Parliament House at 8.50. The clerk to the court informed us ( Counsel for MASH, Mr McColl, counsel for RIFC plc, Mr Dawson and their bag- gents and girls, and me and the chap who is the Courts Administration kind of press liaison chappie) that Lord Tyre was held up in traffic, would not get to Parliament House before 9.15, and had another case to deal with first, so it might be 10.00 a.m before he could deal with the MASH Petition matter.
At 9.30 two other chaps arrived who were told by the clerk that they would have to wait for their case to be called. And a minute or two later, the cry of ‘Court’ was heard, and Lord Tyre made his entrance. Un-robed, un-bewigged ( as were Messrs Dawson and McColl). And the proceedings, well, proceeded.
Mr McColl, for MASH, gave a brief summary of the reason why they were here: it related to the  petition to the court for an an order under Section 996 (of the Companies Act 2006), and a procedural matter arising from the answers lodged previously by his learned friend, Mr Dawson.
He referred to para 9.3.2 ( presumably of the ‘answers’) and read out what that para said..( which was about what the company (RIFC plc) stated, namely, that it was necessary to restrict voting rights to safeguard the company …. the dual interest rule..the purpose of Res 11…..In the interests of the Company it was necessary that such a resolution should be tabled at the AGM…
Lord Tyre: There is an element of unreality in this…
Mr McColl:The company is saying they were under the necessity of bringing a resolution of this type…
Judge: And I granted interdict…These elements seem to be related to the AGM that is gone..
Mr McColl:The basis of the rationale is that it it is in the interests of the Company… but we we are not in that position..The Petitioners are willing to meet with the Respondents to discuss, and I have put forward proposals
Judge: In terms of Resolution 10 I refused to grant interdict.. Resolution 9 was passed.. [Resolution ] 10 was not passed.[Resolution ] 11 , an interdict is in place…It’s all over, is it not?
Mr Mc Coll: I have given advice in relation to the need or desirability……I suggest a period of adjustment…
Judge: Appealing to past history…… Mr Dawson?
Mr Dawson: the purpose of the Petition was to interdict the Company in November.The order sought to extend the nterdict to covering subsequent meetings, but there is no  basis for assuming that these resolutions will be brought forward later..if another meeting were to come about, notice of resolutions would have to be given. There is therefore no merit in this petition…We discussed what was the point of this petition…..Is it a matter for the Court?
Judge: What about 9.3.2—-this is ongoing by the defender trying to get a Resolution passed/
Dawson:…….
Judge: Isn’t it odd that these are drafted in the present tense?
Dawson: This was drafted by me, I take responsibilty for that..
Judge: Mr McColl says that there is a point in carrying on..
Dawson: But there is no necessity, because if an AGM was called notice of resolutions would have to be given.But I think we should drop the business.[ referred to an English case relating to ‘abuse of process’]
Judge; the proceedings put in 9.3.2 haven’t helped!
Dawson:It is not the intention that these resolutions will be tabled at a future meeting..
Judge: ( with conviction and a degree of asperity[ kind of like Justice Smith in the Royal Courts of Justice]: I see no practical utility in the Petition, no use in continuance of this action. So I am not going to allow a period of adjustment.
I leave it to the parties to sort it out among themselves.
Dawson: In the matter of expenses….
judge: I’m not going into that.
“Court rise”……
And that, whatever, was that.
I caught the Glasgow bus at about 10.15, paid a courtesy call to SFM Central( nice cup of coffee, conversation interrupted by el Supremo having to run out in a mild panic to feed the meter), and made my way [ by taxi, with a cab driver who, having had fifteen cruises experience, told me that his very recent one to the Caribbean on the new ‘Britannia’ was a feckin disaster; he’d never use P&O again. I suggested Trip Advisor might be an idea] to my monthly meet with old friends and former colleagues .
I got home at about 9.00 pm, and have had the most hellish slow laptop since being fed and watered. It was taking a full 12 seconds for any key depression to produce a letter of text.
But when I re-started about five, ten minutes ago, it’s back to almost instantaneous response.
2.There have been some posts earlier that I would like to reply to,and would have replied to if the feckin machine had been behaving itself. Too late in the night to reply now, but I’ll get on to it in the morning.
but there is time enough for me to say, aw, shucks, thank you for the kind words, and for the cogent arguments reinforcing our shared belief that our Football Authorities have been bouncing us into accepting an untruth that , in effect, is the very denial of Sporting competition.An act that is much, much more unacceptable than even the totally reprehensible behaviour of SDM…. and the succession of chancers who made money by, basically, lying.

View Comment

Billy BoycePosted on1:34 am - Jan 28, 2016


Allyjambo 27th January 2016 at 11:20 pm
__________________________________________________
 Will we ever get to find out how much censorship is going on in the SMSM and broadcast organisations?  According to Graham Spiers, the paper’s apology has come from the Herald boardroom and not the editor.  I hope Graham receives the unreserved support from his NUJ colleagues – unlike poor old Jim Spence who has just given Spiers his.
 
Jim Spence has just tweeted his support for Spiers.
 
Robbie Dinwoodie the former Political Editor of The Herald has also tweeted  “I fear for the trade I joined 42 years ago.”
 
And Alex Thomson gets in on the act with “Would be a crying shame if the Herald joined the ranks of other Glasgow papers intimidated by their local football club.”

View Comment

Corrupt officialPosted on2:43 am - Jan 28, 2016


 John Clark 28th January 2016 at 1:17 am
 John, You will need to pass on the secret of where you get the energy from.  Your old work colleagues must be missing you by their side, and their workload is now off the radar.

HirsutePursuit 28th January 2016 at 12:00 am 
    “My personal bet is ‘legal advice’.” 
    ————————————————————————————————————
   I’m with you on that one, but as pointed to earlier, it is only advice, and may be subject to challenge.
    More important I feel is when they sought it, and why. Was it for e.g. During administration, after liquidation, a result of a UEFA inquiry or other member club, Pre or post LNS, …..A day after receiving John’s first letter?.  
   From where I’m standing, I would guess it was sometime after they tried to shoehorn them into the leagues, or they would simply have got on with it. Then byed them through the preliminary cup draws. All factors that point to them NOT being the same club (along with numerous others), and believed not to be. 
    Can Sevco now sue them for that?
   And why?, well just because why? Who asked? Apart from John. Why did they feel the need to seek legal advice on what their own feckin rules say, and how they should be interpreted?  Has some whizz-kid wordsmith lawyer recently found a loop-hole so they decided to creak open the bunker to John, after years of obfuscation?. Maybe I’m over thinking it and he was talking cow-splat.
   btw,  If any well known Herald writers are reading in, and any emails are leaked…Just make sure you have reported your phone missing to the police. Sorry old chum, but it’s a dirty game with a weak referee, and you are playing away from home. Sometimes you need to break the rules and kick them back.   
    

View Comment

jimboPosted on2:53 am - Jan 28, 2016


john clark, thanks for the report from the court, even although it is 12 hours late!  but since you were obviously boozing with BP and your old mates you are forgiven.0304  (The story about mild panic & meters is stretching it too far, BP went out for a carry out).

btw, I know how you feel about unresponsive keyboards, my lap top hates me!

View Comment

Carfins FinestPosted on7:09 am - Jan 28, 2016


I think it is blindingly obvious why TRFC get an easy ride from the SMSM compared to the almost daily dissection of Celtic FC and the basic ignoring of any other team. Threats. That’s how you do it. Constant Threats. Celtic seem to be prepared to let most things slide without comment so they can receive full frontal opinion pieces cobbled together by semi literate hacks and aimed directly at the Club or its supporters. Because they don’t complain much they are deemed fair game. Outside this the SMSM hardly seem the need to acknowledge that there are other teams in Scotland. 3 or 4 pages daily filled with feelgood puff pieces and press releases does nothing to address the real issues that we know are being covered up but they are becoming more and more pertinent on a daily basis. Just don’t mention them though or the inevitable Threat will be heading your way.

View Comment

essexbeancounterPosted on7:20 am - Jan 28, 2016


StevieBC 27th January 2016 at 11:32 pm #John Clark…could you add a little bit of detail to my mental picture of your audience with the SFA ‘untouchables’…
Was the SFA President sitting compliantly on the Head of Communication’s knee for the duration of your meeting?(i.e. for ease of manipulation.)
I really think we should be told!  
==============================================
This brings to my mind memories of the Spitting Image sketch where one David is sitting on the other David’s knee…ensuring that  exactly what wants to be said is said…12

View Comment

upthehoopsPosted on7:20 am - Jan 28, 2016


Well done to Graham Spiers for clarifying his position re the Herald. However, it has to be a real concern to yet again see evidence of the power Rangers hold over the media. I am always very quick to criticise the media on these pages over the standard of reporting on Rangers but I am willing to concede that the non-reporting in some cases may be ordered from above Editorial positions, as the Herald apology to Rangers appears to have been. All that will happen though is circulation will continue to decline even further.  I have no idea of how financially secure Graham Spiers is, but if he were to write for the Herald again would certain topics be off limits. A shocking state of affairs and from a member of an industry that very loudly demands its freedom to report the truth without fear or favour.  

View Comment

Big PinkPosted on8:20 am - Jan 28, 2016


jimbo 28th January 2016 at 2:53 am 

john clark, thanks for the report from the court, even although it is 12 hours late!  but since you were obviously boozing with BP and your old mates you are forgiven.   (The story about mild panic & meters is stretching it too far, BP went out for a carry out).

I am appalled that you would ascribe behaviour such as that to JC, the poster boy for temperate behaviour.

On the subject of my participation, and temperance, how very dare you! I should point out that my boozing days came to an end more than two decades ago 14

View Comment

friendlybearPosted on8:21 am - Jan 28, 2016


Friendly bear / squirrel here (delete as appropriate).  In no way would I want to detract from the probing of the SFA and their inability to engage on the same club / conflicts of interests / Res 12 issues. 
As a Rangers fan, I just want to see my team succeed and enjoy watching them play.  I am uncomfortable about being labelled as cheats and with the cosy relationship that does seem to exist with Rangers, the SFA and Scottish football media. 
While Graham Spiers has a bit of a troll element to him at times, his reporting is usually pretty good,  it looks like the club board has forced the herald into making this apology with the threat of removing financial support perhaps.  I find the whole episode embarrassing to be honest.  I think they are using this to distract from their lack of investment in the team and other financial problems

View Comment

Big PinkPosted on8:50 am - Jan 28, 2016


Friendly bear,

I think there is an element of the troll in most journalists these days. Attracting notoriety/fame is self publicity and readily convertible into earning power.

It is a shame that any football club or organisation can so easily shape and frame the news agenda – welcome to capitalism. I think Graeme Spiers has shown courage in sticking to his guns, and in the current financial climate prevailing in the media,  I think the threat of £40k of advertising income disappearing put the Herald in a seriously difficult position.

Ironically, The Herald and Spiers have made clever use of social media to get the real story out there, whilst still complying with Rangers’ wishes in print.

This incident though highlights the inherent weakness in the media structure in this country. Ultimately, money talks louder than truth – and not just on matters relating to football.

At least the Herald bosses can point out their responsibility to employees and shareholders, even if truth is compromised somewhat.

What then is the BBC’s excuse? 

View Comment

Corrupt officialPosted on9:12 am - Jan 28, 2016


friendlybear 28th January 2016 at 8:21 am   
   ” I think they are using this to distract from their lack of investment in the team and other financial problems”
    —————————————————————————————————————-
  Perhaps FB, or it could be something else. What is clearly evident is the way any club operating out of Ibrox operates.  From Minty’s floating casinos and hover pitches through Craigy’s wealth off the radar, to Charlie and his Rangersitus………….Next we will be reading Dave Cunningham King reached a favourable settlement with SARS and he has squillions of squids to squander. 
    Maybe a pattern will eventually emerge and it will become clearer. 21
   Although there is clear evidence here that the Herald board of directors either bottled it, or have some other reason to hang their staff out to dry, but the rest is speculation. Until all is revealed we can only treat the SMSM with disdain. 
   I believe that pressure was brought to bear over a £30/40K advertising contract. Hardly a King’s ransom. What else, outside of fitba are they holding from us?
    As Spiers is standing by his comments, do you think the SFA compliance officer should be investigating, given that the allegations are about a director, and BB is a banned song? I believe “Balance of probabilities” is enough for them to act upon, and Spiers may not even have to produce the email correspondence as evidence. One word against another is fine. Then it will be up to the un-named director to produce the emails to prove his innocence. 
    It seems an easy one to get to the bottom of. 
 

View Comment

TBKPosted on9:15 am - Jan 28, 2016


friendlybear 7:48 pm

Many thanks for the response FB. Yes, I believe if the EBTs are found to be deliberate withholding/ evasion then action should be taken. The DOS schemes clearly point to that by way of the HMRC Tax inspectors comments and letters.  An asterisk against the titles would suffice. As CG and the Newco purchased the titles, they could lay claim to the others (as they currently do)….. I have no issue with that.
‘Moving on’ would need to take other issues in hand: as in SFA Governance & involvement/ resolution 12 etc before the hearts and minds of many are won.

View Comment

HomunculusPosted on9:24 am - Jan 28, 2016


friendlybear 28th January 2016 at 8:21 am # 
As a Rangers fan, I just want to see my team succeed and enjoy watching them play.  I am uncomfortable about being labelled as cheats and with the cosy relationship that does seem to exist with Rangers, the SFA and Scottish football media. 
====================================================================

I can understand that you just want to watch your team play. However as you appear to believe them to be the same one which involved itself in tax avoidance and fielding players who were not properly registered then they are proven cheats.

The law has accepted that and the Scottish football authorities have accepted that. They have been fined by both the SFA and by HMRC for their cheating.

View Comment

neepheidPosted on9:28 am - Jan 28, 2016


I suppose that the Herald/Spiers situation reflects the current economic reality of the newspaper business. As circulations slump, advertising revenue becomes a larger slice of a rapidly shrinking cake. This gives advertisers enormous leverage over editorial decision making. Maybe 25 years ago the Herald could ignore pressure from its advertisers, since it sold enough copies to cover its costs. Now the newspapers are so financially weakened that they are open to all sorts of coercion from their advertisers. Maybe that’s just the way things are, but I would hardly call it a free press.
Anyway, I would have more sympathy for the financial plight of the Herald/Times newspapers if a certain football business wasn’t being given free advertising space by Chris Jack in almost every article he puts his name to.

View Comment

tayredPosted on9:29 am - Jan 28, 2016


Firstly JC – superb. That Daryl hasn’t responded to your minutes tells us as much if not more than the meeting itself. The bunker door has obviously been well and truly screwed down again.

Friendlybear – welcome. I’ve felt for long enough that the weakest part of SFM has been the pretty much complete lack of representation from fans of a certain club (with a couple of well-thought of exceptions, although they unfortunately have been very quiet recently). That it is that same club that is most debated here means that a large hole in the narrative was always present.

SFM is often poked fun at as being nothing more than a nest of “obsessed” bampots, all apparently dedicated to their hatred of all things “Rangers”. I don’t deny that there will be some passers through that are driven by that, but to most of us the target is actually the SFA/SPFL. It is the behaviour of those two “regulatory bodies” throughout this saga that really makes our blood boil. It is their complete disregard for the rules and of the football fan that leaves the bad taste in the mouth. Perhaps most importantly for you, the ignoring of, the twisting of and breaking of their own rules that has led to TRFC (&/or RIFC) becoming the basket case that it has become (not to mention the initial collapse of RFC under the noses of the SFA, despite the presence of Ogilivie who must have known exactly what as going on!). Murray destroyed the old club, but they only did so through the SFA/SPFL not doing their job.

For that reason SFM will be all the stronger for a strong TRFC fan representation. We actually have a common enemy. The fans of 41 clubs have watched the league their team plays in being all but destroyed, but actually we are perhaps better off than you. You have had to watch your club actually being destroyed, and the risk is clear that it might yet happen once more (I’ll avoid the debate as to whether the same club can be destroyed twice 22) – and the SFA/SPFL are as much to blame for that as Green, Whyte or anyone else you want to point the finger of blame at!!

View Comment

friendlybearPosted on9:36 am - Jan 28, 2016


Ah Neepheid, give Chris Jack a break 😉 The reality is any stories about Rangers will generate big hits. Rangers fans looking for good news and everyone else looking for bad news 😉

View Comment

Big PinkPosted on9:51 am - Jan 28, 2016


FB

At least you are not making it a Celtic v Rangers thing 🙂

I also get Chris Jack’s (and others’) position. My reaction though i similar to that of the state of the game in Scotland.

If you want to rig the competition, or introduce a virtual franchise system in favour of big bucks, then by all means do so, but please don’t pretend it is sport.

If you want to tailor your output only for the purposes of attracting visitors to your website or sales at a counter, then by all means do – but please don’t pretend that it is news, or journalism.

View Comment

essexbeancounterPosted on9:52 am - Jan 28, 2016


Big Pink 28th January 2016 at 8:50 am #Friendly bear,
This incident though highlights the inherent weakness in the media structure in this country. Ultimately, money talks louder than truth – and not just on matters relating to football.
=======================================
BP…I do recall one of the national “quality” newspaper being accused, and found guilty, of such behaviour, whereby declining to running critical articles on one of the remaining big banks which threatened to pull their substantial advertising spend…
The power to control the media indeed 06

View Comment

redetinPosted on10:01 am - Jan 28, 2016


Shortly after The Rangers Football Club PLC entered Administration (14 Feb 2012), Rangers were beaten 0-1 by Kilmarnock at Ibrox (18 Feb 2012).
On Monday 20th Feb, I listened as usual to the lunchtime news programme on BBC Scotland; it’s called the John Beattie Show. Rugby folks will remember John as an outstanding Scotland international player in the 1980s.
On that programme, John interviewed Graham Spiers. John mentioned that he had attended the Rangers-Killie game as a guest and he made some comments about the atmosphere. I put a wee comment to the Rangers Tax Case website at the time, and there were a couple of follow up comments confirming what I heard. John was clearly taken aback by what he saw and heard at Ibrox.
https://rangerstaxcase.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/amateur-humiliates-mainstream-media/comment-page-77/#comment-56679
What astounded me was that live on air Graham Spiers gave John Beattie a warning to be careful what he said or he would be faced with unwanted attention from RFC fans.
If this exchange had taken place on a prime time BBC news programme more would have been heard of it. Nevertheless, it gives an indication of the “unwanted attention” that Spiers himself has received.
When one journalist feels the need to give a none too subtle warning to another journalist on air, it tells something about the state of our media in regard to reporting events at Ibrox.

View Comment

neepheidPosted on10:07 am - Jan 28, 2016


friendlybear 28th January 2016 at 9:36 am #Ah Neepheid, give Chris Jack a break The reality is any stories about Rangers will generate big hits. Rangers fans looking for good news and everyone else looking for bad news
==============
I can accept the concept of having a journalist “embedded” at Ibrox, but if there are free ads going for season tickets, club shops, etc, maybe Partick Thistle, Queens Park, St Mirren or, say it quietly, even Celtic would appreciate a wee free plug now and then.
I’m afraid that most fans of other teams are well past the point of looking in the Herald or ET for bad news about Rangers, because that’s the very last place you’ll get it. Certainly the ET exists in a curious sort of parallel universe, where only positive things can ever happen to the mighty gers.

View Comment

SmugasPosted on10:16 am - Jan 28, 2016


Corrupt official 28th January 2016 at 2:43 am #  John Clark 28th January 2016 at 1:17 am
HirsutePursuit 28th January 2016 at 12:00 am “My personal bet is ‘legal advice’.”————————————————————————————————————I’m with you on that one, but as pointed to earlier, it is only advice, and may be subject to challenge.More important I feel is when they sought it, and why.

I would not be shocked and stunned that it went right back to the cosy wee dinner meeting in (was it?) the Devonshire in the back end of 2011 pre admin.

I base this on the fact that an experienced bus crasher like CW would not not pay HMRC and think they wouldn’t notice.  The second Ally dumped him out of Europe, twice, he knew he had only one option (it remains a moot point how voluntary this unsatisfactory state of affairs actually was).  Equally, an experienced pre packer would have known that admin and resultant CVA was a non starter.  He only had to read RTC for any sake.

No, from November 10 project Charlotte (I think it was called) knew the actual inevitable outcome – the business equivalent of Ctrl, Alt + Del.  It would have been positively remiss of them not to then look into the scenario of how do they make two become one.  The legal advice would have been sought then and on that basis.

View Comment

neepheidPosted on10:33 am - Jan 28, 2016


I see that John Clark and SFM have reached the pages of the SMSM. Here is an article in “The National” today-
http://www.thenational.scot/sport/the-kicker-greater-freedom-but-bloggers-must-still-beware.12989?utm_medium=social&utm_source=Twitter&utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_term=Autofeed#link_time=1453964661

January 28th, 2016 – 12:30 am The Kicker No commentsTHIS column from the outset has sought to solicit the views of Scottish football fans about the state of the game. Too often nowadays those views are expressed via befuddled internet websites, some of which are notorious for vitriol, bigotry, sectarianism and downright hatred.
An exception has been the Scottish Football Monitor (SFM), while the johnjames WordPress blog has been interesting, to say the least – probably the best single-issue sporting blog since the Rangers Tax Case was produced by a well-connected anonymous author, though that blogger saw the “omen”, so to speak, and discontinued operations before the sequel…
Both these current sites and many others enjoy the luxury of having the time to look into things which their operators find interesting. Believe me, a lot of sport writers found them interesting long before the bloggers got to them, but either they don’t have the time to chase up these items, or have lawyers standing over them saying “No you can’t write that”.
Bloggers have a freedom that the sporting media just does not enjoy – ask Chris McLaughlin of the BBC, disgracefully banned from Ibrox, about press freedom.
Yet the best of the bloggers have a legitimate point of view, as do all those fans’ websites and blogs which keep matters to football and kick out any charlatans and trolls.
Which is a roundabout way of saying that the latest blog on SFM followed up on the johnjame site, is a lulu. It appears that SFM blogger John Clark got an interview with two very senior SFA figures. The meeting was entirely about the status of Rangers, and the issue boils down to whether the club is actually a new entity called Sevco founded by Charles Green or the club which was formed in 1872.
For legal reasons not unconnected with a forthcoming trial, some of the matters reported on his blog by John Clark cannot be published in a newspaper – the contempt of court laws are pretty strict, and you can take it The National’s lawyer has checked this column.
The substantive point in the blog can be printed: “I (Clark) 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.”
The SFA two’s reply can be summarised as follows: they wouldn’t discuss the matter, and felt “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,” in Clark’s words.
Clark’s views are shared by many fans, even some Rangers fans. If his account is accurate, there must surely be some club in membership of the SFA who will take up this matter, if only for the attitude its representatives displayed, if only for the attitude its representatives displayed.
If his account is wrong, then the SFA have to take the matter up with SFM. We await the outcome with interest.

I think this recognition in the printed press represents a tremendous development for SFM- and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to John Clark, who has actually shaken the tree with great vigour- we’ll soon enough see what falls to the ground.
   

View Comment

SmugasPosted on10:55 am - Jan 28, 2016


Seconded!  Understandable that “the National” highlighted the contempt issue which is fair enough.  Saying we accept there’s a story but we have to tread warily is far far removed from fingers in ears, no story here, damn those bampots la la la la la…

Interesting though that he didn’t pick up the intriguing “legal advice” part. I’m not clear why that element would have contempt issues.  Guessing IPO?

   

Sorry post above at 10.16 should have read back end of Autumn 11.

For what its worth by the way, I actually agree with the initial TRFC standpoint on the cheap shot “Crooks at Ibrox” headline (although it was hardly a headline).

View Comment

bfbpuzzledPosted on11:16 am - Jan 28, 2016


John Beattie came out in the Herald many years ago as a Rangers supporter this included the wee gem that he had a teddy bear with a Rangers top when he was a baby.  Given his involvement in Rugby perhaps it was only an inherited family thing but he went out of his way to make the point.

View Comment

LUGOSIPosted on11:45 am - Jan 28, 2016


Life is full of uncertainties, e.g. you can never be certain who visits this site.
Sometimes you can have an educated guess.
Hiya Darryl!
Hiya Pal!

View Comment

Jingso.JimsiePosted on11:54 am - Jan 28, 2016


Smugas 28th January 2016 at 10:55 am
For what its worth by the way, I actually agree with the initial TRFC standpoint on the cheap shot “Crooks at Ibrox” headline (although it was hardly a headline).
================================

Want to look stupidly pompous? 

Take a blunderbuss to shoot the flea that was a tiny little Herald Diary item repeating a quip that had been all over social media.

In a Stuart Cosgove voice: “Dignity; ye cannae whack it!”

View Comment

Billy BoycePosted on11:56 am - Jan 28, 2016


Here is an article by Spiers from 30th October 2012.  This was published just before the then Rangers FC owner, Craig Whyte, had his cosy, candle-lit dinner with Messrs Ogilvy and Regan.  I wonder if the intimidation from Ibrox was on the menu.  Then it was the so-called fans – now it seems to be the directors who are turning the thumbsrews.
 
http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/13079037.Spiers_on_Sport__coming_under_threat_for_criticising_Rangers/
 
My heart sank as I watched last week’s Channel Four News item about critics of Rangers FC coming in for threats or menacing intimidation from either fans or rogue elements with links to the Ibrox club. I’ve been there, had the treatment, received such threats myself. It was all highly familiar, even if I’ve never written publicly about it until now. One of Channel 4’s interviewees was Gary Allan, the Scottish QC, who said that, after his involvement with an SFA panel which punished Rangers for bringing the game into disrepute, Strathclyde Police had summoned him to an urgent meeting due to threats being made against him. Allan spoke of the subsequent threats to himself and his family. It was obvious he regretted ever getting embroiled with Rangers in the first place. My own story of covering Rangers – and being critical of certain aspects of the club – has incurred similar menace. It all started around 10 years ago when, as chief sports writer on The Herald, I began focusing on the bigoted singing issue over which the club was then wearyingly engaged with its supporters. After a number of pieces highlighting this blight upon Rangers, the threatening letters, the phone calls and the internet poison on Rangers fans’ sites all began to build in momentum against me.
Round about 2005, my then editor at The Herald phoned me and said: “How do you feel about this? We have a concern about it at the paper. We think we should speak to the police about your security.” I was pretty nonplussed to hear this, not least because, in truth, I had never been that bothered by it. “I don’t think we need to go that far,” I told my editor. “I really don’t think it’s that bad, is it?” In the end, we agreed to let it lie in terms of police involvement. Yet the threats towards me grew. It seemed to me they came from a kind of rogue, angry underclass which appeared to have attached itself to the club. Any sweeping generalisations about Rangers fans, however, were both futile and inaccurate. The fact was, whenever I engaged in pub debate with Rangers fans – which was often – the conversation was normally civil, if combative. But then came another incident, when the press bus stopped 200 yards short of the Villarreal stadium on a Champions League night with Rangers in 2006. I got fairly bumped around and was spat at as we made our way through the Rangers throngs to the arena. That was the night when the Villarreal team bus got pelted and suffered a smashed window, and just months before Uefa censured Rangers for bigoted chanting. On the latter, a few Rangers fans on the fervid message-boards blamed me for somehow “shopping” the club to Uefa via my critical editorials on the subject. Fast forward to 2011, by which time we’d had the disturbances in Manchester involving Rangers fans, and their offensive singing at the 2011 League Cup final, both of which caused the club further headaches. Again, I’d written critically on these topics, which only kept the poison flowing in my direction. Then, on the morning of April 21 last year, colleagues began texting me about a fresh alarm. The Daily Record had published a picture of me with an accompanying story, claiming I was one of a number of people being targeted by cranks, because of my criticisms of Rangers. That particular day I had other family concerns on my mind, and I more or less ignored the Record story. But the next day I received a phone call. “Graham, this is Detective Chief Superintendent [xxxxxxx] from the counter-terrorism unit at Strathclyde Police…” I was incredulous. “You’re kidding me, right?” I said. “You are kidding me on, surely?” “No, I’m not,” he said. “And we think we need to come and see you at home pretty soon.” I duly spent two hours listening to police security specialists explaining to me that they had information about threats being made against me, and that these threats were linked to my writing and broadcasting about Rangers. And so it has gone on, the threat of intimidation rising and falling in line with my writing about this football club. The context, I believe, is this. Rangers FC have had supporter issues to deal with over the years. Many of these issues have seen great improvement in fans’ behaviour. But among the Rangers hard core there is resentment. Their faux Protestant culture around Rangers is something many Ibrox fans want to bin but the “traditionalists” want to preserve.
It often seems to me that a modern, liberal Scotland has abandoned this section of the Rangers support; left them behind, and even actually mocked them for their out-dated beliefs. Whatever the context, in my own experience, Channel 4 got it right. You sometimes mix with Rangers at your peril.

View Comment

Corrupt officialPosted on11:59 am - Jan 28, 2016


Smugas 28th January 2016 at 10:16 am #Corrupt official 28th January 2016 at 2:43 am #  John Clark 28th January 2016 at 1:17 amHirsutePursuit 28th January 2016 at 12:00 am “My personal bet is ‘legal advice’.”————————————————————————————————————I’m with you on that one, but as pointed to earlier, it is only advice, and may be subject to challenge.More important I feel is when they sought it, and why.I would not be shocked and stunned that it went right back to the cosy wee dinner meeting in (was it?) the Devonshire in the back end of 2011 pre admin. 
    ———————————————————————————————————-
    I was thinking they would have needed some sort of advice to wangle through the maze (Is it the Hotel du Vin meeting you refer?) but can’t help feel that if they had anything decent, they would just have said, “NAW ! It’s  legal and they are in the SPL”
      They wouldn’t have gone to the trouble of, in the words of the late Turnbull Hutton, “Bullied, threatened, lied to, blackmailed” to pitch their sale. They would have entered the cup at the later stages, and that would be the end of it. (As far as they were concerned) 
    Now that they are saying they have legal advice pointing tro them being the same club, I don’t know why Friendly Bear and his fellow fans are not banging on the bloo room door demanding “justice” of the SFA. 
   They can be hoisted by their own petard on this. 
   C’mon friendly bear, take up the baton and demand answers of your club and the SFA. If the SFA say they have legal advice pointing to Sevco being the same club, then why were you treated as a new entrant to the lowest division with no prior history of being in the Premier league?

View Comment

FinlochPosted on11:59 am - Jan 28, 2016


I was out last night with an old Hibby pal.
A heavy hitter who had been on their board a few years back.
Got to talking about the cup semi at Tynecastle this weekend.
He said he and many other Hibbies can see beyond their own club ‘s needs and think the ticket allocations are disgraceful.
I agree.
The Tynecastle ticket allocations are just plain wrong and for what its worth I don’t think this site has given the matter enough analysis and comment.
But I kind of understand why because we’ve had quite a week or so with our administrators.
We’ll never forget the phantom cup tie at Hamilton without asking Hamilton if it was really available.
Or the rearranged cup tie at Airdrie dumping a bona fide charity booking when no doubt other nearby grounds were free on the day.
And our brand spanking new Chairman who arranged (or was coerced into agreeing to)  a meeting and then doesn’t speak and lets his minder claim to be The SFA in both legal matters and also for the purpose of finding out if JC our superstar is a Celtic fan.

We the fans are the real stakeholders in Scottish football and without us there would be no overpaid jobs in the various administrative roles, and no self important club representatives in all the various “board” sub groups who seem to have forgotten the fans.
Their fans and all fans because rivalries apart we are all in this together and need each other.

My old Hibby pal said he thinks our administrators have divided and conquered all of our clubs and are getting away with proverbial murder.
They have done this by getting clubs to constantly think just about themselves rather than the bigger picture and the common good. 
I’d agree with his sentiments.

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on12:23 pm - Jan 28, 2016


John Clark.

Did you get my e mail with evidence?

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on12:35 pm - Jan 28, 2016


Corrupt official 28th January 2016 at 11:59 am #

Yup. and how about the transfer fees lost when SFA said players were free to leave?
I made this point earlier but it gets caught up in TUPE.
Unless the contracts between RFC and the players who left had a clause in them that said the players had to remain under contract to RFC if RFC were unable to pay them then as soon as RFC were unable to pay them the players were contract free if their employment was dependent and conditional on being paid.
TUPE just meant that had they chosen to sign for TRFC, they could turn down any contract that did not match the previous one.
The SFA could not have ruled that the players were free to play elsewhere if the SFA also ruled RFC and TRFC were the same club employing them They couldn’t because they weren’t.
I don’t know where the SFA got their legal advice but if DB is right they got it, it appears inconsistent.

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on12:42 pm - Jan 28, 2016


Billy Boyce 28th January 2016 at 11:56 am #
Here is an article by Spiers from 30th October 2012.  This was published just before the then Rangers FC owner, Craig Whyte, had his cosy, candle-lit dinner with Messrs Ogilvy and Regan.  I wonder if the intimidation from Ibrox was on the menu. 
Clarification Billy. That dinner took place in December 2011. That does not detract from the Herald Article that stands on its own.

View Comment

AmFearLiathMòrPosted on12:57 pm - Jan 28, 2016


Interesting reading the comments about an ‘unnamed business’ threatening to pull advertising from the Herald.  This will probably go down like a lead balloon, but those advertisers have a right to withdraw their money as they see fit, much like we have the choice as consumers as to whether we buy that paper or not.
I don’t like a company having this much influence over the editorial direction of a paper, but it is an unfortunate facet of modern life.  The real culprits here are the Herald themselves.  They’ve made themselves too dependent on one source of money, and have allowed a situation to come about whereby they can be effectively blackmailed. Although, to be fair, if I were running a paper, and an advertiser offered to put in tens of thousands, I don’t think ‘Am I leaving myself open here?’ would be top of my list of concerns.
 To compound this, by publishing their week kneed retraction, they’ve raised the white flag as far as press freedom goes and , as pointed out by the Clumpany blog amongst others, left their subscribers wondering how much credibility each and every story in the paper now has.  That’s every story, not just the sport pages. 
So their choice was lose tens of thousands of advertising, or lose thousands of readers.  I would have said, given the choice, the advertiser would be the way to go, because without the readers they wouldn’t have advertisers or a paper, but it’s their choice.

View Comment

SmugasPosted on1:08 pm - Jan 28, 2016


CO,

To be clear, in my earlier post where I proposed that the request for the legal advice was following that hospitable wee chat in Autumn 11 as reported by Charlotte, I did not mean to infer that said advice was actually received.  Instead,  the bullying and intimidation that subsequently occurred suggests to me very strongly that the advice received was a firm “Eh, Naw!”  

View Comment

junglemikePosted on1:13 pm - Jan 28, 2016


Very pleased that John Clark’s excellent interview with the SFA two has sparked so much interest. And I am still chuckling at D Broadfoot’s pretentious arrogance in making ‘ex cathedra’ statements on behalf of SFA.
If it does not interfere with the current legal processes involving Rangers, I think that SFM should now write officially and formally to the SFA, with a copy to every club chair, asking for publication of the source and content of the precise legal advice that DB asserts proves that old and new Rangers are one and the same club

View Comment

woodsteinPosted on1:22 pm - Jan 28, 2016


AmFearLiathMòr 28th January 2016 at 12:57 pm #
Your post reminded me of this:-
http://www.theguardian.com/media/2009/oct/16/stephen-gately-jan-moir-complaints

View Comment

Corrupt officialPosted on1:31 pm - Jan 28, 2016


Auldheid 28th January 2016 at 12:35 pm #Corrupt official 28th January 2016 at 11:59 am #
Yup. and how about the transfer fees lost when SFA said players were free to leave?    
    —————————————————————————————————————-
   Auldheid, Further to that, They want to turn it into a TRFC/Celtic thing. (I disagree it is, but trying not to digress)  lets give them it. An attack from all sides to see this legal evidence. Two different tacks, seeking two different outcomes,  on the same target, namely this legal advice. 
    If they were given such advice, why did Regan say it was a matter for the fans? Why were TRFC demoted 4 leagues, under which rule, If we (all fitba fans) can unite on this, albeit from different perspectives, the bunker door will come off its hinges.  
   If the legal advice is solid, then TRFC fans have every right to be frothing at the mouth, because on the surface it would appear they have been treated beyond harshly. If it is flimsy, it can be challenged and decided upon under that challenge.
   Either way, They must meet  such a weight of calls for transparency head on. Whatever way you look at it, If the team in blue survive, we will all be meeting up again at some stage, so nobody is losing the team they currently follow, and no-one is losing what may become am intense rivalry. In that respect nothing will probably alter,  but a lot of issues may be finally put to bed and not only decent rules of governance put in place (such as FFP), but decent governors too.  
   So C’mon bears, get your marching boots on. We can sort this mess and get what we all want…..A game free from shysters, fraudsters, and allegedly,organised criminal gangs. 
    Then every team in Scotland can have a wee go at giving you a right good tanking on the park for all the trouble you have caused. 21
   Or are you feart that DB was talking mince?

View Comment

bfbpuzzledPosted on1:31 pm - Jan 28, 2016


There would appear to be a wee gap in the market for “I am the SFA” tee shirts.
The unnamed advertiser made the commercial judgement that placing advertisements in the Herald provided value for money given its demographics. Is there a suggestion that mr Spiers article made that judgement wrong? Or is this simply a further WATP moment and I think that it is, that is thoroughly disreputable. Mr Spiers told the truth and the advertiser is implicitly condoning the sectarian songs and breaches of the law. In that action and if the advertiser is somehow connected to TRFC in a senior capacity they are bringing the game into disrepute at least and potentially facilitating criminality. 
i await the response of the SFA…

View Comment

ReiverPosted on1:35 pm - Jan 28, 2016


John, with the disdain with which you were treated by these two blazers, the abandonment of Spiers by his employer and the increasing failure of Mike Ashley’s legal tussles it makes all the clearer that the only people that can make a difference is the fans themselves. Can I ask you therefore to encourage all those who believe that action is needed before our sport’s administrators destroy the game to sign the petition.
https://www.change.org/p/scottish-football-association-return-integrity-to-football-administration-in-scotland-673d2730-4863-4499-8b6d-b4c6e908318f
NOW is the time to act.

View Comment

yourhavingalaughPosted on1:45 pm - Jan 28, 2016


Surely further requests for a meeting cannot be refused to some of the other sites to challenge the Clarkgate episode,how can they refuse,unless they know the are heavily in the dog poo of their own making,McCrae must be shitting himself in case a request comes in,what would be his grounds for refusing.

View Comment

Kid GlovesPosted on1:48 pm - Jan 28, 2016


The Spiers/Herald/Parks of Hamilton debacle show why more than ever we need a strong BBC.

A media that relies on advertisers is also completely at the mercy of advertisers. Don’t expect to see anyone looking into the dodgy practices of any company who could pull their precious pounds at any minute.

You only have to look at what’s happening right now in the US Presidential Election. The media are wetting themselves in case Bernie Sanders wins as he’s pledged to publicly finance elections, meaning the very TV stations that carry the news will lose billions every election cycle. They are so frightened about this that they won’t even go near the subject in the debates. Expect all out war on Bernie should he get the nomination (which I sincerely hope he does).

In the very same way the oil, pharma and military companies fund the US TV stations through massive advertising with the return favour being that you never see any critical reporting of them. In fact, the media act as a ringleader to whip the nation up into a frenzy of support for the next money spinning war.

Watch any commercial break on American TV and you’ll see loads of ads for specialist heart/lung medications, oil rigs and ground to air missile systems. Not exactly the type of thing you see here during Coronation Street…

Through the licence fee the BBC should be 100% immune to this type of bribery and should be taking the lead, forcing the rest of the media in the direction of truth as the result. What we have in the lickspittals at BBC Scotland is nothing short of a national disgrace. BBC banned from Ibrox. So what? Ignore them. Rangers and their advertising partners need the publicity more than the BBC needs Rangers. Let them be the ones who give in. I am truly, massively sick of letting Rangers bully boy tactics win time after time.

Sorry for the rant but the BBC must grow and pair and stand up for itself. I suppose though when you see the make up of the on air ‘talent’ you realise that the major part of the problem must lie in the fact that BBC Scotland was, and still would appear to be, a very Rangers orientated organisation.

View Comment

dj7Posted on2:02 pm - Jan 28, 2016


BigPink is action being sought against https://exposingtherhats.wordpress.com/2016/01/26/sfm-meet-the-sfa-sfas-notes/ which has cut and pasted JC article ?
That wordpress site should post link to article or small samples – not entire cut and paste, removing advertising revenue from this site.
As a business if you let one blogger steal your copy – all will.
Suggest you raise complaint with wordpress regarding copyright infringement and article will be taken down.

Second biggest page referrer yesterday was that site. Not complaining 🙂
Tris

View Comment

Bogs DolloxPosted on2:09 pm - Jan 28, 2016


AmFearLiathMòr 28th January 2016 at 12:57 pm #
Interesting reading the comments about an ‘unnamed business’ threatening to pull advertising from the Herald.  This will probably go down like a lead balloon, but those advertisers have a right to withdraw their money as they see fit, much like we have the choice as consumers as to whether we buy that paper or not. I don’t like a company having this much influence over the editorial direction of a paper, but it is an unfortunate facet of modern life.  The real culprits here are the Herald themselves.  They’ve made themselves too dependent on one source of money, and have allowed a situation to come about whereby they can be effectively blackmailed. Although, to be fair, if I were running a paper, and an advertiser offered to put in tens of thousands, I don’t think ‘Am I leaving myself open here?’ would be top of my list of concerns.  To compound this, by publishing their week kneed retraction, they’ve raised the white flag as far as press freedom goes and , as pointed out by the Clumpany blog amongst others, left their subscribers wondering how much credibility each and every story in the paper now has.  That’s every story, not just the sport pages.  So their choice was lose tens of thousands of advertising, or lose thousands of readers.  I would have said, given the choice, the advertiser would be the way to go, because without the readers they wouldn’t have advertisers or a paper, but it’s their choice.
_________________________________________________________________

As with all events and actions there is a downside and an upside, a silver lining if you like.
We now know that if you give the Herald 40 big ones they will give you editorial control of their content and probably assign one of their hot sports scribblers to give your company/organisation a big up a minimum of three times a week.

I say we immediately start a “fighting fund” to raise £45k and advertise in the Herald!! That way the cause of democracy and the free press will be saved.

View Comment

BawsmanPosted on2:09 pm - Jan 28, 2016


Who controls ALL of the Scottish media with such a firm grip?
It’s pretty telling that not a peep about John Clark’s (SFM Website) interview with Darryl Broadfoot (“I AM the SFA”) and Mc Rae has appeared in the SMSM, that’s 2 days passed.
Even these Broadsheets are rammed with puff pieces about red cards, non-transfers, EURO leagues and other assorted general dross, yet that MONSTER of a story floats on by.
We live in an annexe of North Korea it would appear, thing is, who is our Great Leader?

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on2:11 pm - Jan 28, 2016


Auldheid 28th January 2016 at 12:23 pm
‘..
John Clark.Did you get my e mail with evidence?
______
Yes, thanks, Auldheid, just accessed a wee while ago.I’ll print it off and study it and get back to you, to make sure I’ve got a proper understanding of detail.

View Comment

Corrupt officialPosted on2:18 pm - Jan 28, 2016


yourhavingalaugh 28th January 2016 at 1:45 pm #Surely further requests for a meeting cannot be refused to some of the other sites to challenge the Clarkgate episode,how can they refuse,unless they know the are heavily in the dog poo of their own making,McCrae must be shitting himself in case a request comes in,what would be his grounds for refusing.
     ——————————————————————————————————-
   He can say he is a wee bit tied up….They marionette strings can be a bugger to untangle. 21  Especially after JC tied him in knots 21  
   Three words was all he had to remember. The total sum of all he could offer ……….Is “goodwill” one word or two?

View Comment

junglemikePosted on2:22 pm - Jan 28, 2016


April 1655                  Louis XIV    L’Etat c’est moi
January 2016             Broadfoot  I am the SFA

View Comment

Comments are closed.