Launch of SFSA Fans’ Survey

ByAuldheid

Launch of SFSA Fans’ Survey

LAUNCH OF THE FIRST INDEPENDENT EVALUATION OF SCOTTISH FOOTBALL GOVERNANCE BY THE SCOTTISH FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS ASSOCIATION (SFSA)

 

Representatives from various fan groups, including the Scottish Football Monitor took up the invitation to the above event which is largely self-explanatory. The scene was set with the following agenda

 

 

 

 

Media Briefing.

SURVEY TO SET BENCHMARK FOR FUTURE EVALUATION OF NATIONAL GAME

 WHEN:                             Thursday, 20TH July 2017 at 11AM

WHERE:                           Scottish Parliament – Committee Room 4

WHO                                Simon Barrow (Chair of the SFSA), Henry McLeish (Board member of the SFSA), Richard Leonard MSP (member of Scottish Parliament for Central Scotland and host of event) and Dr Joachim Lammert (The Department of Sports Economics and Sports Management at the University of Leipzig)

 

The first independent evaluation of Scottish football governance will be launched by The Scottish Football Supporters Association (SFSA).

 

The SFSA’s nationwide survey will assess, for the first time, supporters’ views on the current position of the game, including the performance of the game’s governing bodies in Scotland.  The research will become an annual benchmarking & reporting exercise looking at all aspects of the game.

 

The SFSA’s online survey has been created in partnership with Prof. Dr. Axel Faix and Dr. Joachim Lammert, two experienced German academics who have undertaken similar evaluations on a national level in Germany and on a European level on topics including 50+1 (German football’s rules that a parent club must own at least 50% plus one share of the football company) and Financial Fair Play.  Their research has been backed by Football Supporters Europe and by German fans organisation, Unsere Kurve.

 

Fans will also be able to provide comment on their own club’s performance.

 

The SFSA, whose board includes former First Minister Henry McLeish; former MP and MSP Cathy Jamieson and Maureen McGonigle, Founder of Scottish Women in Sport and first female Scottish FA Council Member, has over 67,000 members supporting clubs across Scotland.

 

The SFSA is Scotland’s fans’ representative in The Football Supporters Europe network (FSE), an independent, representative and democratically organised grass-roots network of football fans’ in Europe with members in currently 48 countries across the continent.

 

The SFSA might be best thought of as movement appearing at a time when Scottish Football supporters are desperately seeking an alternative to the attitudes and events that have seen our game at best stand still and at worst decline, as changes in the way football has grown as a global industry  have left us marooned on our own small patch of God’s earth.

 

If the two maxims that

  • a problem cannot be solved by the mind that created it and
  • if you cannot manage (and therefore improve) what you cannot measure

are true, then the SFSA professional idea to making change happen offers a different approach to the past by introducing new thinking and using tested scientific metrics on a survey model used successfully in Germany, where the game is light years ahead of Scotland’s by any measure.

The arrival of this movement is crucial, and in the words of SFSA Board member Henry McLeish, ex footballer and former First Minister of Scotland; “Scottish Football is at a Watershed”.

Few if any who love our game would argue with that. We love football because it is in our blood, it plays a key part in the social interplay of Scottish society and it is too important not to now say  “Enough!”

It is clear that the medicine of the past, an approach to the game which excludes it’s life blood, (no wonder it is ill) is no longer efficacious – if indeed it ever was.

To continue with that same prescription would fall foul of that other maxim; “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”.

Thus the SFSA, who are independent of current Scottish football authorities (SFA/SFL), offer an opportunity to break that insane cycle by offering a new approach, which sees it’s first duty as asking the fans what they think, and they are seeking to do exactly that by enacting a comprehensive nationwide survey of fans’ views and attitudes. The survey, created by a team of research academics at Leipzig University will present, in a cohesive way, the views and thoughts of Scottish football fans concerning the health of the game in Scotland through their own own clubs, the SPFL, and the SFA .

The higher the number who complete the survey and articulating their views, the more weight and authority the survey’s outcomes will carry when the SFSA presents them to current authority and government.

 

SFM hopes that as many people as possible will take part in an exercise that offers real hope of change by clicking below

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/sfsa-benchmark-2017

and visit the SFSA page at

http://scottishfsa.org/have-your-say-now/

where the survey is explained and you can join the SFSA individually.

 

This may be our last chance as lovers of Scottish football to restore its integrity and trust in our football authorities who have lost sight of those values in pursuit of commercial concerns.

 

To the cynics whose past experience of calling for change discourages them (and who can blame them for it’s taken lifetimes) one last maxim.

 

If you don’t buy a ticket, you don’t win the lottery.

 

Roll Up, Roll Up https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/sfsa-benchmark-2017

Big Pink Comment:

Like Auldheid, I am encouraged by the birth of the SFSA and its determination to procure the views of supporters. There are enough people involved in the initiative with clear views about the harm that inherent self-interest on the part of the clubs has brought to our game.

I was less encouraged by the conciliatory tone of Henry McLeish, in public at least, towards those in power at Hampden. For example he said that Scottish football folk viewed outside bodies with suspicion, and that was often understandable.

My take is that they only view anyone wishing to become proactive with that suspicion (and fear). They have never viewed my cash with anything other than hungry eyes, far less suspicion.

The feeling in the room, when less formal discussion was taking place, was that the authorities and the clubs have refused to take fans’ views into account for too long.

Governance (particularly the lack of and the ‘making it up as we go’ varieties), FFP and Strict Liability were all subjects of those discussions. These are all nettles that MUST be grasped in public, and the sooner the better, if fans’ views are to be properly reflected.

I am hopeful that the weight of dissatisfaction I expect to see as a result of this ambitious survey will compel a change in tone by McLeish and his colleagues.

One final note of concern is that a group like SFSA, which after all hopes to represent fans at the top table, appears to have a board overly comprised of folk from the political, business and academic spheres. Some grass roots participation is vital moving forward. Hopefully that is also on the agenda.

About the author

Auldheid author

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

629 Comments so far

SmugasPosted on3:05 pm - Jul 30, 2017


AJ,

i queried this the other day.  Resolution 1 in the SFL vote of July 13 was:

(i) That the Scottish Football League Members agree to admit Sevco Scotland Limited as an Associate Member and agrees to permit Rangers F.C. to play in the League during Season 2012/13.

Notice the all or nothing nature.  Either Sevco play with their Rangers Ball or they don’t play at all.  You don’t have to look far when researching that resolution to come across multiple clubs under the misapprehension that this was a new club that just happened to be called Rangers FC.  Attached titles whether by default/ purchase or whatever weren’t even considered.

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SmugasPosted on3:54 pm - Jul 30, 2017


Re the above post ref the SFL resolution, the relevant excerpt from Auldheids article is below.  At what point was the Rangers FC ethereal thingy transferred to Sevco Scotland to allow resolution 1 to be voted on?  And was it done from a position of solvency per the rules?

Did Duff and Phelps mean Newco would be a going concern, which with the debt dumped by Oldco would be true, but the language suggests the legal entity that was Oldco, (or is it its identity as Rangers FC?) never went bust.

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upthehoopsPosted on5:56 pm - Jul 30, 2017


HIGHLANDERJULY 30, 2017 at 14:42  

Whatever next? A ‘no relegation for Rangers’ clause written into the rules to safeguard the much vaunted but over valued blue pound?

I see Rangers have got yet another home cup draw. I’ve always believed the notion a draw is fixed to be fanciful and still do. I very much doubt whether Michael Stewart, who drew the Rangers ball out, would be party to any shenanigans. However, the authorities fully deserve to be treated with the utmost suspicion now regarding every single aspect of that club.  We are more than entitled to wonder what lengths they would go to to assist them to the detriment of all others. Naturally that will lead some to wonder if they are getting home draws at a time of financial need.  Hard lines if the authorities don’t like people saying that because they’ve brought it all on themselves. 

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easyJamboPosted on7:04 pm - Jul 30, 2017


Auldheid – I read your recent comment on CQN re the “fix”
http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/toppings-who-knew-what-when/comment-page-39/#comment-3095451

I had previously re-read the LNS report and there are a couple of points which link to the content of your CQN post that you may find relevant.

Even if we stick to the non registration of the side letters, LNS described Rangers actions as follows:

“While there is no question of dishonesty, individual or corporate, we nevertheless take the view that the nondisclosure must be regarded as deliberate, in the sense that a decision was taken that the side letters need not be or should not be disclosed.”

Ian MacMillan’s denial of the existence of side letters in 2005 (attached) demonstrates Rangers approach with HMRC, and one would assume it was the same with the SFA. You decide if it was “dishonest” or “deliberate”. Of course, LNS will not have had sight of this letter.

The second point was that LNS actually acknowledged a causal link between the EBT arrangements and the non-registration in Para 107 of his report.

The evidence of Mr Odam (cited at paragraph [43] above) clearly indicates a view amongst the management of Oldco that it might have been detrimental to the desired tax treatment of the payments being made by Oldco to have disclosed the existence of the side-letters to the football authorities.

Douglas Odam’s evidence read as follows:
[43] Mr Odam said that none of the side-letters was sent to the SPL or the SFA. He discussed this with Mr McMillan and David Horne, the Murray Group internal solicitor during the 1990s.
He said:
“My understanding at the time was that the letters were non-contractual and I did not believe that the letters had to be lodged with the football authorities as part of the player registration process. I understood that lodging the letters could have been misinterpreted as indicating a contractual commitment to the player thus potentially prejudicing the effectiveness of the [scheme]”.

So there we have Rangers Financial Controller admitting that disclosure could have prejudiced the tax treatment of the scheme.  LNS accepts that Rangers management knew that the two were linked, but proceeded to ignore the (then lawful) EBTs for the purpose of sporting advantage.

It is also worth reminding folk that it was the decision of the Inner House that was appealed to the SC.  That appeal was rejected by the SC, which actually leaves the Inner House decision as the definitive judgement to be implemented in the EBT case.  That judgement included the following statement:
“The assessments to PAYE have been correctly made, for the reasons already discussed.  On that basis we will recall the orders of the First-tier and Upper Tribunals”

That “recall” instruction effectively sets aside the FTTT and UTTT as if they hadn’t happened. At the very minimum, any element of LNS’ reasoning or findings that relied on the FTTT judgement should now be invalidated. 
 

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Cluster OnePosted on7:16 pm - Jul 30, 2017


UPTHEHOOPSJULY 30, 2017 at 17:56       5 Votes 
HIGHLANDERJULY 30, 2017 at 14:42  
Whatever next? A ‘no relegation for Rangers’ clause written into the rules to safeguard the much vaunted but over valued blue pound?
———————-
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster believes the days of Scotland’s biggest clubs going bust is a thing of the past.
“The rules within the league were changed in the aftermath of what happened with Rangers in terms of taxes payable being paid and players being paid on time,” said Doncaster. “That was a dramatic change.
 http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/sport/15335678.SPFL__Big_clubs_are_less_likely_to_go_bust_under_new_rules/
———————-
Would have to look up on SPFL rules if a Big club does go bust

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SmugasPosted on7:26 pm - Jul 30, 2017


Two things stand out there EJ.  He checked during the 90’s?  I wonder why, never mind when, that was then?

Secondly I love the view of the Financial Controller.  I obviously paraphrase for effect but really, I don’t need to:

we didn’t want to describe the contracts as contractual as we clearly found it more advantageous to treat the contracts as non contractual.  We thought that was blindingly obvious but thankfully everyone was just blind.

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woodsteinPosted on8:20 pm - Jul 30, 2017


http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/the-sun-mirror-and-daily-star-all-lose-sales-by-more-than-10-per-cent-year-on-year-in-june/
 
To paraphrase Oscar Wilde,

“In old days men had the rack. Now they have the Press. That is an improvement certainly. But still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralizing. Somebody — was it Burke? — called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time no doubt. But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three. The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it.
We are dominated by Public relations pretending to be Journalism”

2020202020202020202020202020
 

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PortbhoyPosted on8:41 pm - Jul 30, 2017


A little over an hour ago, … from ssb on Wednesday.
Joe McHugh @videocelts16 minutes 45 seconds in and Raymond from Plains exposes most of the SPFL whitewash, great listen http://podbay.fm/show/307483087/e/1501027200?autostart=1 …

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bordersdonPosted on9:02 pm - Jul 30, 2017


I see Rangers have got yet another home cup draw. I’ve always believed the notion a draw is fixed to be fanciful and still do.
———————————————————–wonder who else got a home draaaaaaaaaaaw

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AuldheidPosted on9:25 pm - Jul 30, 2017


easyJamboJuly 30, 2017 at 19:04 (Edit)
Good man.
What is becoming clear from a response from McKenzie elsewhere that the questioner will no doubt run with to a wider audience,  is that dishonesty was excluded from the LNS Terms of Reference.
SFA Articles 5.1 a,  and f in particular, referring to good faith  were avoided simply by putting the Commission in the SPL’s hands. Lucky that eh?
Whilst concentrating on what took place between Andrew Dickson and Ian McMillan  the same significance of Odam”s testimony was not recognised absorbed as you have drawn to attention.
It all adds to the idea that whatever happened dishonesty (aka cheating) was not going to be addressed by LNS and Rod McKenzie who drew up the ToRs also took Mr Dickson’s written testimony for the LNS Commission.
Note written: that ruled out any more questioning on the discussions that the LNS Report says took place between Dickson and McMillan.
What Dickson said at the FTT was he had no knowledge at all that HMRC had asked McMillan about the DOS ebts.
Note that McMillan in his reply to HMRC says he looked in players personal files at Rangers.
So did he do it at all? Did he do it when Dickson was asleep at the wheel or tell Dickson why or tell a porkie in terms of why he was looking at personnel files.
If Dickson had any inkling that HMRC were involved and that the McMillan reply was untrue, whilst Dickson himself was sitting with personal files for 14 players still at Rangers with side letters and another 12 who had side letters but had left by April 2005, exactly how credible is the idea that Dickson or McMillan thought there was no need to tell the SFA on the grounds they stated, or at the very least ask the SFA if the use of EBTS infringed registration rules?
LNS did not probe that point because it wasn’t in his brief but that did not stop him saying there was no question of honesty, (just as his thoughts on the immortality of RFC were not part of it either).
That argument put forward that ebts were not paid to players so the SFA need not know about them or the side letters depends totally on the credibility of both McMillan and Dickson and the FTT described McMillan as an incredible witness and Dickson was treated by scepticism by FTT lawyers acting for HMRC.
The SC Decision, applying Brysonthink or separately, can now be given the construction the SC court did not believe in the honesty of both parties either. Funny how LNS did not go there but accepted Rangers word.
When SFM wrote to Harper Mcleod in 2014 it was on the basis that they might have been duped by Duff and Phelps, that does not mean the idea that they might be in on the fix did not cross minds, and now we know thanks to RTC that a meeting took place between Rod McKenzie and Gary Withey in October 2011 to discuss the implications of an upcoming insolvency  it looks as if the suspicion was not too far from the truth.

Its pretty clear why lawyers back the case for not investigating.

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AllyjamboPosted on9:38 pm - Jul 30, 2017


PortbhoyJuly 30, 2017 at 20:41

I found it quite interesting how a football man, considered worthy of a spot on a radio show discussing all things football, would have kept himself entirely ignorant of the goings on in the biggest scandal in Scottish football.

Jim Duffy was unable to discuss Rangers use of EBTs because he hadn’t been paying attention. He categorically stated that Rangers hadn’t been cheating but followed that up, by way of reasoning, it seemed, by telling Raymond that he never had any interest in the matter as he had had other things to do. Maybe he did, but then, if he hadn’t been interested in what was going on, how could he possibly say, in a program he was supposedly on as having some expertise in the issues currently surrounding Scottish football, that Rangers hadn’t cheated? So he knows absolutely nothing of what Rangers did, but he knows it wasn’t cheating! No wonder he is prepared to accept the SPFL excuses without question, it’s easy if you don’t pay attention, and it gets even easier if you don’t ask questions, or read up on the matter.

And that’s one of the problems surrounding this scandal, people seem to be holding positions in the media that give them a platform to help form the footballing public’s opinions, while being totally ignorant (according to Duffy) of the biggest issue within Scottish football today – and let’s hope there never appears an even bigger one! What’s more, those supporters who would agree with the ‘let’s move on’ mantra have all shown the same level of interest as Jim Duffy has (or claims he has).

As can be expected of a man who has paid no attention to what’s been happening over the past five years, Duffy is happy to accept the SPFL’s explanation of why they can’t revisit LNS, and is an example of the kind of people who are also so accepting of PR deflection. The kind of people that are happy to accept an explanation that doesn’t explain anything.

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AuldheidPosted on9:55 pm - Jul 30, 2017


Easy Jambo

Forgot to add that I think any admission of dishonesty raises the issue from being a series of honest mistakes in registration over 10 years to a fundamental defect that according to LNS renders players ineligible from the outset, but I’d gladly leave RFC as was with those titles if it meant we got governance fit for purpose. 
It is good to see Gordon Waddle taking the idea of total governance reform main stream.
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/time-come-entire-governance-scottish-10899410

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AllyjamboPosted on10:03 pm - Jul 30, 2017


Possible reasons for the SPFL not revisiting LNS or instigating a fresh inquiry:

a) They do not want to risk further reputational damage to Rangers.
b) They do not want to upset Rangers supporters.
c) They fear further, independent, findings would show that RFC died and that even the complicit SMSM would have to publish that fact.
d) They are aware that the SPL could be shown to have been part of a sham and/or incompetent.
e) The SPL acted dishonourably or even illegally in their handling of the LNS inquiry and that would likely come out in a fresh inquiry.

The above is not exhaustive, but ‘a QC advised against it’ cannot be included as a reason for not reviewing LNS, it is just a statement that there exists a reason for not doing it! 

That’s a bit like phoning your boss and saying, ‘I can’t come into work today, because my wife, who is one the Scotland’s leading wives, advised me against it.’ Only the most foolish of bosses would accept that without insisting you tell him what that wifely advice was based on ie, ‘I’ve got a broken leg’.

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upthehoopsPosted on11:15 pm - Jul 30, 2017


PORTBHOYJULY 30, 2017 at 20:41  
A little over an hour ago, … from ssb on Wednesday.Joe McHugh @videocelts16 minutes 45 seconds in and Raymond from Plains exposes most of the SPFL whitewash, great listen http://podbay.fm/show/307483087/e/1501027200?autostart=1 …

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

In true Radio Clyde fashion, when faced with an articulate and well prepared caller, they said they have to go to the ‘travel’ and ‘we’re not going to agree.’ Why do so many in the media feel they have to defend the SPFL’s case? The presenter said she was not doing that, but she very much was.  It reminds me of when the Court of Session ruled against the EBT’s, and the media had a collective sigh of relief when BDO appealed on the last day they could. If there is a Judicial Review of this case, I suspect the media will be as scared of the potential outcome as the authorities will.  

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easyJamboPosted on11:25 pm - Jul 30, 2017


Allyjambo July 30, 2017 at 22:03
======================
Just look at this part of the Gerry Moynihan’s opinion, particularly the part in bold.

The first possible complaint relates to failure to disclose the full range of payments when players were registered. That complaint was ‘prosecuted’ before the LNS Commission. The decision of the Commission was subject to certain limitations. Principally, it proceeded on the assumption that the EBT scheme was lawful. Secondly, there has been some suggestion that the Commission had an incomplete understanding of the full range of undisclosed payments (though this has not been demonstrated). Notwithstanding these limitations, it is now too late to appeal the decision of the LNS Commission; and, applying the general principle of finality in litigation, it is not possible for the SPFL to bring a new or second complaint in respect of essentially the same matter.  

The main arguments we bampots use to support revisiting LNS are the “EBT scheme was lawful” and an “incomplete understanding” (of the DOS element).  GM recognises these “certain limitations”, but starts his opinion piece with “Notwithstanding these limitations”.

If you look up a dictionary meaning for Notwithstanding, it gives you “despite” or “in spite of” as synonyms.  In other words, even if the complaint/limitations were valid then it makes no difference, as the LNS decision can’t be appealed or repeated.

What he didn’t give an opinion on was the validity of those complaints in light of the SC / Inner House decision………… which is the bloody question we wanted answered in the first place!

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upthehoopsPosted on12:02 am - Jul 31, 2017


EASYJAMBOJULY 30, 2017 at 23:25

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

Anyone might think the SPFL directed the QC to come up with reasons why they can’t revisit LNS, but that couldn’t possibly be the case. I’m sure they simply handed him the task and thought ‘well if he says we actually can revisit it then so be it!’ 

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bigboab1916Posted on12:25 am - Jul 31, 2017


http://www.espn.co.uk/football/news/story/_/id/1126424/glasgow-rangers-continue-sfa-membership-talks
Rangers are calling on the SPL to drop their investigation into alleged dual contracts at the old club. The SPL wants an independent commission to rule on whether the club broke the rules by paying players with “side contracts” during previous seasons.
The club fears that if the commission – due to reveal its findings on August 10 – rules against it, trophies won during the period in question could be taken away.
The club and supporters claim they have already been punished enough without that happening, and the Rangers manager Ally McCoist has publicly said he would “never accept” Rangers being stripped of titles.
There needs to be a five-way agreement between the SFA, the SPL, the SFL, the old Rangers and the new Rangers before any deal is sanctioned. The newco are due to play Brechin in the Ramsdens Cup next weekend, but that match cannot be played unless they have SFA membership.
The delays over Rangers’ SFA membership have forced Fife-based side Kelty Hearts to postpone a testimonial against them.
Rangers have only been able to play matches behind closed doors at their training ground – they are not yet licensed to play any other type of fixture.

1. Why would you wish to have dual contracts charges dropped, would there be a rule against this?
2. Why does the SPL need an independent enquiry to see if rules have been broke, you are not allowed two contracts that’s why above want them dropped. Surely this is common knowledge to all teams and the association.
3. They fear trophies been stripped why would that be, would it be dual contracts?
 4. They have been punished enough they think, what starting life as a new club, allowed to rip off creditors and be debt free with a new identity and denying other clubs a chance to enter the leauges, tax abiding clubs.
5. Needs to be a 5 way agreement which includes old club and new club, (new club ESPN will be getting a visit from billy goat society)
Due to no club and no licence Kelly cannot have a testimonial game, was not Kelty who had to postpone was the SFA as no team called Rangers (1872) was available for the fixture.

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HirsutePursuitPosted on12:59 am - Jul 31, 2017


Auldheid,
You may remember this discourse from early 2013 – before LNS had delivered its verdict, but after its terms of reference had been released.

I know that this is from some time ago – but it seems relevant to the current theme.
https://scottishfootballmonitor.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/a-question-of-trust/comment-page-1/#comment-32748
 
In this comment, I set out how I believed LNS had been set out on a false premise. Central to his confusion, is the rather odd term ‘undertaking of a football club’ within the definition of Club.

At the time of writing, I hadn’t seen the original SPL articles. I had assumed that the Club definition had been written in from the very beginning. I wasn’t aware of the time they had changed and why they had changed. Those recent details make the conviction in my assertions even stronger.

It is worth repeating that words and expressions in the SPL (and indeed SPFL) articles should be given the same meaning as those used in the Companies Act.

The companies act has a very appropriate definition of ‘undertaking’.

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Big PinkPosted on12:59 am - Jul 31, 2017



The syntax, grammar and word-choice surrounding this whole mess is farcical. There’s a new idiom coined every other day to stick a finger in the TRFC anomaly dyke.
Normal conversation has to be suspended whilst people grasp in the dark for ways to describe fairly simple concepts like ‘football club’, ‘relegation’, ‘liquidation’, ‘registration’, ‘opinion’ and ‘cheating’.
There is a war going on, waged principally by the criminally insane and chronically corrupt officials at Hampden, and aided and abetted by the anti-journalists at EVERY media outlet within the boundaries of Scotland.
There is a war being waged against Reason itself, and for our own sanity we can’t let them win.

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John ClarkPosted on1:02 am - Jul 31, 2017


Probably most of you remember that numerous complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority(ASA) about the false claims of SevcoScotland to be the original 140-something year-old ‘Rangers’.
And will remember that the complaints were ‘not upheld’.
This evening I spent some time composing a letter to the soon-to-be Chairman of ASA.
Here is what I have written.
I propose to print it out and post it tomorrow.

“Dear Lord Currie, 
ASA Adjudication on the The Rangers Football Club Ltd 18 December 2013
May I begin this letter by offering you my congratulations and best wishes on your appointment as Chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority? 
I note that you will not take up post until 1 October of this year,and I apologise for writing to you before then.  
However, on re-reading the “Assessment” in the above-cited Adjudication, I am compelled to share with you my two-fold astonishment that such a poor piece of work should have seen the light of day
The first cause of astonishment is the shallowness and one-sidedness of the ‘investigation’ into the complaints made.
 The club complained against was, of course, allowed their say.
 But the investigation into the arguments the club advanced on its own behalf consisted ,it seems ,of merely asking the Scottish Football Association and the European Club Association for their views and accepting uncritically what they had to say!
Both of these bodies were and are ‘interested parties’ with good reasons not to want to see the complaint upheld. And what they said did not actually answer the complaint with reasoned argument based on the true facts. 
I would hope that the standard of investigation has greatly improved since 2013, and that you in due course will wish to satisfy yourself on that front when you take office. 
The second cause of astonishment is the conclusion that was reached, that the complaints should not be upheld.  
I refer you to the following excerpts from the Assessor’s adjudication
“. we noted, having read its report in full, that both an Independent Commission appointed by the SPL and the ECA had reached the conclusion that the football club RFC was a recognisable entity in its own right, and that it had continued in existence despite being transferred to another owner and operator. We consulted with UEFA, which explained that its rules allowed for the recognition of the “sporting continuity” of a club’s match record, even if that club’s corporate structure had changed. ( my emphasis). [lines 3 to 7 , page 2 of the document enclosed]
 
“The SFA further pointed out that, following RFC’s transfer to a new corporate owner, Newco did not take a new membership of the Scottish FA [ my emphasis]but rather that the previous membership was transferred across to them so they could continue as the same member of the Scottish FA. ( lines 4 to 5 , page 3)
These statements are factually untrue. 
The Rangers Football Club was incorporated in 1899 , company number 004276.( Allow me please to refer to this club as Rangers 1899). There was no ‘holding company’ set up in 1899. There was one , single entity, in business as a football club. 
There was no ‘holding company’ set up when Rangers 1899 became a PLC in 1992.There was one, single entity, in business as a footbal club.  
On 22 February 2012, Rangers 1899 fell into Administration. 
The Administrators failed to find a buyer prepared to take on the actual and prospective levels of debt owed to HMRC. 
It happens that a new company was set up on 29 March 2012.This was incorporated as Sevco 5088 Ltd, company number 08011390. 
It is a fact that the Administrators , in the process of seeking to arrange a Company Voluntary Agreement, made an arrangement with this new company. They reported to the Creditors of ‘Rangers 1899” as follows :
“4.17 Following the extensive marketing of the Company[ ie. the football club, which was the only legal entity ] and the extensive sale process, an offer was made by Sevco 5088 Limited (Sevco) to make a loan on certain terms (explained below) in conjunction with the purchase by Sevco of the Group Shares.
……….
4.23………In the event that either this CVA is not approved, or the other Conditions of the loan are not satisfied or waived by 23 July 2012, Sevco is contractually obliged to purchase the business and assets of the Company for £5,500,000 by 30 July 2012. All further terms of that sale have been agreed in advance and are confidential.”
 Surprisingly and confusingly to many, another new company was set up on 29 May 2012, company number 425159. This company was called SevcoScotland Ltd.
In some highly questionable way, it was to this company that the ‘business and assets’ of Rangers 1899 were sold.
Essentially, Rangers 1899 were not sold out of Administration as a ‘going concern’.
There was no simple change of ownership, or ‘change of corporate structure’.
Rangers 1899, the football club, died the death of Liquidation.
In direct consequence, they lost any entitlement to participate in Scottish Professional Football and to continue trading as a football club.
So the new company, if it wanted to operate as a football club, had to apply for membership of a professional Football league in Scotlan  new membership.
Their applications to become members of the then Scottish Premier league(SPL), and of Divisions 1 and 2 of the then Scottish Football League(SFL) were successively rejected.
They were eventually accepted into Division 3 of the SFL ( by that time having changed their name to The Rangers Football Club Ltd).
Only then did they become a football club.
And only then could they be given the vacant membership of the SFA that had been created by the Liquidation of Rangers 1899.
Had ASA done some simple research, they could not honestly have arrived at the conclusion that SevcoScotland Ltd , incorporated in 2012and renamed as The Rangers Football Club Ltd, was the same club as the club then ( and still) languishing in liquidation, Rangers 1899.
The shareholders of The Rangers Football Club Ltd became shareholders of a club incorporated on 16 November 2011 as ‘Rangers Football plc,’ company number 437060.
On 27 November this became ‘Rangers International Football Club plc” which launched itself , falsely, as the holding company of Rangers 1899.
This was absolutely untrue.
Rangers 1899 was in Liquidation, their long history ended.
The issuers of the Prospectus for the IPO of ‘Rangers International Football Club plc’ claimed in that Prospectus to be the holding company of Rangers 1899 .
That was patently untrue.
And the IPO was issued on the basis of a lie, deliberately to mislead potential investors into thinking that they would be investing in a football club with a long and great history of sporting success!
When in truth, in sporting and commercial truth, they would be investing in a brand new football club.
For the ASA to choose not to recognise that fact says something not terribly reassuring to the public about their readiness to stamp out deceitful advertising.
Clearly, Lord Currie, this all happened before your time.
I think, though, that you might wish ( even if only privately) to have a wee look at how the complaints about the false advertising of ‘Rangers’ were handled.
Yours sincerely,
me ( real name) 
ps. I should add that , in relation to a quite different matter, the Head of Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play at UEFA wrote the following ,in a letter dated 8 June 2016, and in reference to The Rangers Football Club Ltd:
“ … there is clearly no need for UEFA to investigate this matter [of licensing for participation in UEFA competitions] any further since the club was not granted a licence to participate in the 2012/13 UEFA club competitions,the new club/company entered the fourth tier of Scottish Football and it was not able to play in UEFA competitions for the next three years in any event.”

Lord David Currie of Marylebone is a crossbencher in the House of Lords. And, although he doesn’t take up post till October, he is being paid now! So I feel quite entitled to write to him now!
Of course the ASA is not a public body. It is, like the Press complaints crowd, funded by those in the industry. And we here in bonnie Scotland know how self-protective the SMSM are!

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John ClarkPosted on1:20 am - Jul 31, 2017


my immediately preceding post:
the link to the ASA’s ‘adjudication’ is
https://www.asa.org.uk/rulings/the-rangers-football-club-ltd-a13-224466html

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AuldheidPosted on1:49 am - Jul 31, 2017


HirsutePursuitJuly 31, 2017 at 00:59
What I do remember was the reference to the Companies Act and now you have made the reminder it is another question to aim at Doncaster.
Was he aware of the genesis of the SPL Article?
Was he aware of the Companies Act?
Was he aware of UEFA’s position designed to protect sporting integrity?
I’ve always thought of the 5 Way as a Curley Wurley: It cannot stand on its own and eventually someone will eat it.
After you19

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John ClarkPosted on2:03 am - Jul 31, 2017


Big PinkJuly 31, 2017 at 00:59
‘…we can’t let them win. ‘
____________
They themselves , the ‘them’ know that they do not, and cannot, ‘win’.

Objective reality, actual truth ,is invincible and always, always, always wins in the end. However long it may take

And, seriously, how sad it is that our SMSM people ( with the occasional exception) are so pusillanimous or so in thrall to ‘Rangers’as to support the Big Lie.

If I were a journalist ..I would look on the ‘saga’ as my journalistic ‘watergate’ opportunity, to get right in there and expose corruption and deceit.

Mark Daly made a good attempt. But was shut down.

Jim Spence was similarly shut down for being too truthful.

There are some twisted buggers in the BBC and the SMSM generally,unquestionably.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:05 am - Jul 31, 2017


BIG PINKJULY 31, 2017 at 00:59  
The syntax, grammar and word-choice surrounding this whole mess is farcical. There’s a new idiom coined every other day to stick a finger in the TRFC anomaly dyke.Normal conversation has to be suspended whilst people grasp in the dark for ways to describe fairly simple concepts like ‘football club’, ‘relegation’, ‘liquidation’, ‘registration’, ‘opinion’ and ‘cheating’.There is a war going on, waged principally by the criminally insane and chronically corrupt officials at Hampden, and aided and abetted by the anti-journalists at EVERY media outlet within the boundaries of Scotland.There is a war being waged against Reason itself, and for our own sanity we can’t let them win.

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

BP, due to your past associations I assume you may know some of those in the media currently playing their part in  all this. Have you any idea what the initiator was for them to do such an about turn on their previous stance that liquidation meant new club? Did the authorities hold private briefings with them where it was agreed the same club stance would be in their mutual best interests? 

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PortbhoyPosted on8:23 am - Jul 31, 2017


I know some of you guys are not JJ friendly, but I think this is a must read this morning.
https://johnjamessite.com/

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HirsutePursuitPosted on8:50 am - Jul 31, 2017


Auldheid,
The continuity myth is 100% founded on the meaning of ‘undertaking’. 

Since 2012 we have been presented with the fiction that the meaning would be the same as found within the TUPE regulations – essentially that it means the activities and assets that allow a business to trade.

Of course, the relevant Companies Act would be the 1985 Act for the original SPL articles and the 2005 update.

The first definition of ‘undertaking’ came with an update to the 1985 Act in, I think, 1989.

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AllyjamboPosted on10:00 am - Jul 31, 2017


A timeline that may mean nothing outside of my own cynical mind.

2004: RFC (Murray) becomes aware that they are under investigation for tax fraud with the potential to bankrupt the club.

2005: The rules of the SPL are amended to include, for the first time, ever, in any of the governing bodies’ rules, mention of the liquidation of a member club with the ludicrous notion that it didn’t mean the death of a liquidated club.

2006 (or maybe it was 2007): Campbell Ogilvie leaves RFC to joing Hearts to further his career (aye right) and, at the same time, create the veneer of detatchment from the club he loves. Oh, and he takes an EBT with him.

Two thousand and thingummybob: Campbell Ogilvie begins his climb to the top of the SFA.

2012: Three of these events come together to help (with various levels of success) RFC through the inevitable storm that was set in motion by the event in 2004.

In my opinion, one of the main differences between the David Murrays of this world, and the more obviously spiv-like Craig Whytes, is their ability to not get carried away and be blinded by their moments of glory, and so remain able to spot potential long term future crises then prepare for the day that their own spivery leads to potential disaster, usually by getting themselves, or their dogsbodies, into position to influence and manage the consequences.

Rangers always had an overly large influence in the corridors of power of Scottish football. Murray seemed able to increase that influence and use it to ever greater effect – possibly down to his masterful use of PR  22

I am certain that in 2004 he realised that the time was approaching when he needed much more control than even a funny handshake could procure.

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jimboPosted on11:01 am - Jul 31, 2017


“Britain will not become a tax haven after Brexit, Philip Hammond insists”

A certain Glasgow football club tried being a ‘Tax Haven’.
It turned out very messy (Messi?)

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PortbhoyPosted on11:51 am - Jul 31, 2017


Ah’ll get yir coat Jimbo, 19

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causaludendiPosted on11:53 am - Jul 31, 2017


JIMBO JULY 31, 2017 at 11:01
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

And instead ended up in heaven?! ???

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SeanthesheepPosted on12:32 pm - Jul 31, 2017


John ClarkJuly 31, 2017 at 01:20   17 Votes 
my immediately preceding post: the link to the ASA’s ‘adjudication’ ishttps://www.asa.org.uk/rulings/the-rangers-football-club-ltd-a13-224466html

The link has gone already!

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woodsteinPosted on1:04 pm - Jul 31, 2017


Seanthesheep
July 31, 2017 at 12:32
 
——————————————————————————————-
 
https://www.asa.org.uk/rulings/the-rangers-football-club-ltd-a13-224466html
 
. (dot) missing before html in above try this.
 
https://www.asa.org.uk/rulings/the-rangers-football-club-ltd-a13-224406.html
 

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SeanthesheepPosted on1:16 pm - Jul 31, 2017


Thanks Woodstein. That worked 04

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John ClarkPosted on1:23 pm - Jul 31, 2017


SeanthesheepJuly 31, 2017 at 12:32
‘…The link has gone already!’
_____________
Sorry, Sean, that was my fault.
Thanks to Woodstein for spotting the missing dot ( or spotting that there was a dot missing!)
I should maybe just add that I have made a few amendments to  my letter to Lord Currie of the ASA to correct/clarify  one or two little points and tidy it up generally.
I am just about to sprint down to the PO to send it off.

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HirsutePursuitPosted on2:59 pm - Jul 31, 2017


http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/6/section/259/1991-02-01?timeline=true
The first definition of ‘undertaking’ in the companies act was given in 1991.

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easyJamboPosted on3:57 pm - Jul 31, 2017


I’ve had a look at the RRL accounts for 2016, just published today.
https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08142409/filing-history

Turnover fell by £1.7m and net profit was down by £1.2m to £968k on reduced sales.  There is an outstanding “onerous contract” provision of £152,000, which I assume has been settled post year end from a final(?) dividend of £620,000 which would have been shared between TRFC and SD.

There is also confirmation of the June agreement to settle all the remaining disputes between the various parties. 

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jimboPosted on4:54 pm - Jul 31, 2017


A couple of interesting things I noticed in a quick scan of RRL y/e accounts.  Value of Inventory (goods for re-sale) £39k.  Even at cost price values, that is very low.  The weekly turnover during the year was £49k per week.  So they can only have been sitting with about I weeks stockholding.  Their shelves must have been very bare.  I presume the mountain of unsold stock (strips) at the time had been carried by Sports Direct at their warehouse.

Another is Wages & Salaries.  RRL do not employ staff, SD does and recover the costs from RRL.  To April 2016 £110k.  Again very low (half of what is was in the previous year’s accounts).  Assuming their was a full time manager & deputy manager that would account for at least £40-£50k.  I guess the vast majority of staff are match day employees with a few part timers mid week.  I suppose at 4% – 5% wage costs it’s ok and within the norm.  I’m surprised that halving the wage costs was kept under wraps or else maybe the staff who were let go were on the infamous SD zero hours contracts therefore no redundancies announced.

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Cluster OnePosted on7:34 pm - Jul 31, 2017


JOHN CLARKJULY 31, 2017 at 13:23
I should maybe just add that I have made a few amendments to  my letter to Lord Currie of the ASA to correct/clarify  one or two little points and tidy it up generally.I am just about to sprint down to the PO to send it off.
—————
First,what a great writer of letters and the way you can put it down in words.
Second, i hope you did manage to attach the Duff and Phelps letter dated the 27 july 2012 that they had no objection for players to play football for sevco scotland ltd Trading as The Rangers football club

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The_SteedPosted on8:02 pm - Jul 31, 2017


I received a thoroughly depressing, but ultimately unsurprising letter back from the Scottish Government to tell me that whilst they are aware of the Supreme Court judgement it’s matter for the football authorities to deal with.

On the plus side, at least they bothered to reply which is more than can be said for everyone else – including Hearts (which I am very disappointed about).

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tonyPosted on8:30 pm - Jul 31, 2017


THE_STEED
when did non-payment of tax become a football problem

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SmugasPosted on9:58 pm - Jul 31, 2017


So is it the governments view that non payment of tax does materially affect footballing performance then?

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TrisidiumPosted on10:25 pm - Jul 31, 2017


Auldheid

comments working ok here

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AuldheidPosted on10:59 pm - Jul 31, 2017


Test test Test

Test

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AuldheidPosted on11:01 pm - Jul 31, 2017


Another letter to Traverso. Maybe he might just ask exactly went down in the LNS Commission.
Its from an E Tims article.
A Celtic shareholder and supporter has sent this to Mr Traverso, the head of club licencing at UEFA.
He’s right to do so.
After all, all we all want is a game with a level playing field, where cheating is punished and everyone has a chance to win something, to make great memories, and above all, to have a good time.
We’re paying for it, so we should have some say in how its governed.
With the SPFL last week sweeping the last few years under an already mountainous carpet, its time for us to draw a line so we can move on.
FAO: Mr TraversoOn 8th June 2016, you responded to a letter from lawyers employed by Celtic shareholders, of which I am one, on the matter of processing a UEFA licence application from Rangers FC in 2011. I thank you for the reply but I am not writing about that matter but to make a general point arising from it about the lack of sporting integrity in the governance of Scottish football as a whole.
 
I love my football, it is that first, my club second. I played at amateur level myself for a number of years and managed two amateur clubs starting from scratch. When my family arrived and from age 10 the boys and girls followed in my football boots playing and winning trophies, managing, coaching and probably best of all making many, many friends on their travels and I am certain football played a huge part in their development as civil balanced human beings of whom I am very proud.Those are my football loving credentials and it from that basis that I write to you.
At a Commission conducted in 2012/13 established by the then Scottish Premier League, the SFA registration officer came out with an interpretation on player eligibility after a series of improper registrations over ten years which staggered me as an ex amateur team manager. At amateur level team lines are important, they deter teams from using ineligible players, they are a deterrent in that respect.
That deterrent is significantly weakened by the decision of the Commission led by Lord Nimmo Smith based largely on the advice of the SFA Registration Officer. There are other aspects about that commission that are questionable too, but on my general theme and why I am writing to you…
It is my view that Article 12 of UEFA FFP has been ignored by Scottish football authority, to me Article 12 is fundamentally about protecting the integrity of UEFA competitions. It seems to me that since 2011/12 the last thing on the minds of our football authority is sporting integrity. I also believe that as a result they have been blind to their duties to football at all levels as cited earlier.
I appreciate national associations have some autonomy and UEFA have limits to their involvement, but surely if a national association does not have an equivalent of Article 12 in its regulations and the mechanism to see that it is observed as UEFA intend, UEFA cannot remain silent?
This is no longer a matter as raised by Celtic shareholders solicitors about the processing of the Rangers FC application for a UEFA licence, there is no need to pursue that as what took place is apparent (and if you want to see what did happen check this update to Celtic shareholders at
http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/official-update-to-res12-july-2017/ [
with apologies this is not an electronic document you can click on). The matter now lies with Celtic FC.
This has now become an issue about restoring the integrity of Scottish football lost because of commercial considerations taking precedence over sporting integrity starting in 2011 in violation of UEFA Value One.
The game of football in Scotland needs help and it has to come from the outside. I am unsure of UEFA’s jurisdiction in such an important issue, but it must surely be in your particular interest to be satisfied that your rules that depend on integrity are not undermined by its lack, but more importantly to uphold values One, Four, Five and Eight (see below). Values that appear to have escaped the attention of those responsible for good governance in Scottish football.
If UEFA really care about football as the footnote on your letters say then his crie de couer to save Scottish football from itself will not fall on deaf ears. 
The UEFA Values Violated by Scottish Football Authorities.
Value One
Football firstIn everything that we do, football must always be the first and most important element that we take into consideration. Football is a game before being a product, a sport before being a market, a show before being a business.
Value FourGood governance and autonomyUEFA and its member associations are committed to good governance. Good governance means openness, democracy, transparency and responsibility. In this spirit, UEFA defends the autonomy of sports structures, so that football bodies – with national associations in the lead – are the ultimate decision-makers in matters concerning football, with no undue interference from governments.
Value FiveGrassroots football and solidarityFootball is based on the grass roots, played everywhere by men and women, boys and girls. The top professional level is just the tip of the iceberg. UEFA will continue with, and even strengthen solidarity, both to protect the future of football and to deliver the wider benefits that our sport brings to society as a whole. And it is also because the strength of football lies in its grass roots that we have to preserve the local, regional and national identities of our game, always in accordance with the law.Value 8Financial fair play and regularity of competitionsUEFA supports fair play both on and off the pitch. Financial fair play means that clubs operate transparently and responsibly, to protect both sporting competition and the clubs themselves. Financial fair play means clubs not getting into a spiral of debt to compete with their rivals but rather competing with their own means, ie the resources they generate. 
At the time of writing, there has been no response, and perhaps there’s a good reason for it.
Maybe you could prompt him..
Mr A Traverso
Head of Club Licensing
UEFA
Route de La Geneve 46
CH 1260
Nyon2
Switzerland. 
Whilst UEFA are probably aware that there is a little problem with Scottish football, it wouldn’t do any harm at all for as many of us as possible to let him know we are also aware of it.
We’re at a crossroads now.
Either we can move on and let them get away with it, or we can find a place to make a stand.
This is merely one action in what will need to be a massive concerted effort to rid the game of the stench that has pervaded throughout ever since someone at Ibrox said he wanted to streamline the way wages were paid…
Of course, it all goes a little deeper than just Ibrox, and perhaps thats why certain establishments want to drae a line and move on.
Thats maybe why certain people in certain positions would rather we all stopped moaning and were good citizens and accepted that although some wrong was done, there’s no chance of it ever happening again.
although by admitting there was something done wrong, their refusal to do anything about it means that they weren’t fit for office then, and therefore sure as hell aren’t now.

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AuldheidPosted on11:02 pm - Jul 31, 2017


Link to E Tims

http://etims.net/?p=11763

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John ClarkPosted on12:12 am - Aug 1, 2017


The_SteedJuly 31, 2017 at 20:02
‘..I received a thoroughly depressing, but ultimately unsurprising letter back from the Scottish Government to tell me that whilst they are aware of the Supreme Court judgement it’s matter for the football authorities to deal with.’
__________
Extraordinary, eh, what?  ( and well done for writing: your letter is there, on file,and so is the reply!)

And that reply might be rather too facile for comfort, from the Minister’s perspective.

We have to keep in mind that
“sportscotland is the national agency for sport in Scotland. We see a Scotland where sport is a way of life, where sport is at the heart of society, making a positive impact on people and communities. 

At sportscotland we believe:…Competition should to be fair and take place within the spirit and rules of (the) sport.  Success should result from honest endeavour, training and preparation by the athlete and impartiality by those who officiate….”

And the minutes of  the Sportscotland Council meeting of 19.04.17, attended by Ms Aileen Campbell, Minister for Public Health and Sport show this:

“10.2 Investment in to Scottish Governing Bodies
Mr Roberts noted that offers had gone out to SGBs based on the Board’s February 2017 discussion but conversations were now in progress around the Scottish Government’s £2m.

It is envisaged that this investment will be used to address the Scottish Government’s conditions attached to the funding which focus on delivering equalities and inclusion outcomes.

The Minister was keen that this opportunity be used to stipulate what was expected fromSGBs in receipt of additional or reinstated funding……”

It seems to me to be singularly irrresponsible of a Government Minister both
to airily toss aside the loss of millions of pounds of tax through the sports cheating in a particular sport  which  the Governing body’s wholly inadequate control mechanisms allowed to take place, and which the same Governing body  weakly claims not to be able to  to penalise, as being a matter for that Governing body

and in effect, p.ss on the notion that ‘Competition should to be fair and take place within the spirit and rules of (the) sport’

Scottish Football gets our money, in various ways ( Didn’t Sportscotland under its former name put up some money for the Auchenhowie place?)

It ill behoves a Government Minister to ignore the manifold and manifest failures of an SGB such as the SFA has proved itself, and continues to prove itself to be.
Ms Campbell should tak tent of just how bloody seriously damaging was SDM’s cheating, and how much more damaging has been the conspiratorial, conniving, collusive defence of that cheating by the SGB that is the SFA.

Honest to God!

View Comment

Cluster OnePosted on7:16 am - Aug 1, 2017


JOHN CLARKAUGUST 1, 2017 at 00:12
Scottish Football gets our money, in various ways ( Didn’t Sportscotland under its former name put up some money for the Auchenhowie place?)
————–
If the former name was THE Scottish Football Partnership? then they did.
THE Scottish Football Partnership’s Stuart McCaffrey was at Auchenhowie this afternoon after they provided Rangers with a grant to relay the club’s synthetic indoor surface.
The group contributed £45,000 to the total cost for the new state of the art pitch, having also helped the club to relay their outdoor synthetic surface Monday, 26 October 2015
https://rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/club-receive-grant-for-pitch/

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Corrupt officialPosted on10:18 am - Aug 1, 2017


 First casualty of the season…..And terrible timing. 

https://twitter.com/BBCchrismclaug/status/892306185528987648

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jimboPosted on10:20 am - Aug 1, 2017


Have to admit I feel a bit sad this morning on the news of Ian Cathro’s sacking.  I had high hopes for a new young manager who seemed to say the right things.  Perhaps a job the size of Hearts was too early in his career.  About 6 months ago or so, I felt good for Hearts. A new stand being built which will increase capacity and revenue. I also mentioned my hope too on what Ann Budge would bring to Hampden.  Not being part of the old boys network I assumed Ann Budge and L. Dempsey would be like a new broom.  Sadly after last week statements from Ms. Budge it would appear not to be the case.  Disappointing.

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AllyjamboPosted on11:35 am - Aug 1, 2017


I am very saddened by Ian Cathro’s departure from Hearts, though not surprised. I had high hopes for the young man, who appeared as a breath of fresh air on the Scottish football scene, but was pilloried from the off – by the very people who’s ilk he threatened to replace.

There can be little doubt that the status quo in Scottish football has to change before our game can progress from, at best, mediocrity, and I saw Ian Cathro as a potential change to that status quo. Sadly, football is a results driven game, and there can be little doubt that Hearts’ results since Cathro’s arrival have been less than satisfactory. The supporters had gone past the level of restless and were actively calling for his head; if there is anything to say in Hearts’ favour in this sad episode, it is that they’ve listened to the supporters and acted before the season gets seriously underway.

I have to admit, I thought Ian Cathro was bringing a new system to Hearts, but I never saw it (I have thoughts on why I, an armchair supporter, in the main, am not best placed to be critical of any team’s system) and read nothing of what was meant to be different, so maybe his ideas were never going to work, but the castigation he continually suffered from the thickos in the media could not have helped him, certainly not in winning the supporters minds.

Ian Cathro may have always been destined to fail, but we will never know if he could have made that much needed step forward in Scottish football that could have heralded a new style of manager/coach with the wherewithal to take the game forward. 

Today the dinosaurs have won, and Scottish football has taken another step backwards into, and perhaps beyond, mediocrity.

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AmFearLiathMòrPosted on1:11 pm - Aug 1, 2017


I do feel a bit sorry for Cathro.  He was on a hiding to nothing when he’s got the media stirring things up for him from the off.  However, I also suspect that his age may have counted against him as far as taking the squad along with him on what he was trying to do.  The old playground mentality is still present in football.  Had he been older, then I have no doubt that his players would have bought into what he was trying to achieve. I also think that may be why he was so successful as a youth coach, where there was that natural distance between himself and the players.

However, his appointment did at least serve one useful purpose – it outed those who should never be trusted with the reins of club management.  Kris Boyd is the obvious example, scoffing at the idea of using a laptop to track player stats.  I mean, the team that drinks together wins together. That’s all you need!  And tactics? You what? Just shout at the players to get rid of it and give it to the guy who’s pretty good with ball tricks, job done!  Meanwhile, the concept of ‘marginal gains’ can get tae…..

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jimboPosted on1:30 pm - Aug 1, 2017


I thought at the time of Ian Cathro’s appointment that he was young and lacked managerial experience but this might have been compensated for by having a DOF above him.  Let him concentrate on the coaching which seemed to be his forte.

Who will replace him?  Therein lies a possible problem.  I could easily imagine some potential candidates being out of the race because of a DOF being in place regardless of whether it is Crag Levein or not.  A lot of managers want all the responsibility in team affairs.  I remember feeling a bit embarrassed for him when notes were being sent down to the touchline from CL.

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jimboPosted on1:53 pm - Aug 1, 2017


12 men have been arrested by police over the banner/s? on display by the GB at the Linfield game in Celtic Park.  I mentioned on here that Linfield FC were going to ban any of their supporters who were found guilty in court for their actions at the tie in Belfast. 

I suggested Celtic should do likewise but a poster on here put doubt into my mind that there was anything illegal about the banners.  It seems Police Scotland think otherwise.  I suspect it comes under the offensive behaviour act whether we agree with it or not.  They are of course innocent until proven guilty.  If found guilty however, they should be sine died, especially after the GB statement where they expressed no remorse nor apology nor a promise to wind their necks in.

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paddy malarkeyPosted on2:18 pm - Aug 1, 2017


Nice to see Police Scotland intervene wrt alleged offensive banners Let’s see what happens with the singing .

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John ClarkPosted on2:18 pm - Aug 1, 2017


jimboAugust 1, 2017 at 13:30
‘..I could easily imagine some potential candidates being out of the race because of a DOF being in place regardless of whether it is Crag Levein or not. ‘
_________
I seldom  in my posts mention actual ‘football’ as in the game  on the pitch ( I know my limitations!).

One of those limitations is my utter cluelessness as to what the function of a ‘Director of football’ is meant to be.I’d love to see the’job description’ and key tasks and what-not.

Anybody got a specimen?

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jimboPosted on2:25 pm - Aug 1, 2017


JC,  I reckon the job description will differ from one club to another but here is Wiki’s description which sounds about right to me:
“The presence of a director of football acts as an intermediary between the manager and the board and may relieve pressure on a manager by handling aspects away from day-to-day coaching, allowing a manager to focus on on-pitch performance. The director may also help to stabilise the club – many examples exist of director stepping in as a caretaker manager on the departure of the manager. The director – often an experienced football figure – may also positively advise a less experienced manager or the board of a less well developed club.
In contrast, there are many examples of tensions arising between director and manager, often due to questions over the remit and powers of the two positions; particularly with regard to control over transfer policy.”

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wottpiPosted on2:33 pm - Aug 1, 2017


ALLYJAMBOAUGUST 1, 2017 at 11:35
There is no doubting Cathro has a role to play within the game.

All reports I have heard, even from Hibbys who have contacts within the game, point to him being well respected in terms of his ideas and coaching.

The problem is that he wasn’t able to transfer any of this onto the pitch and take the team along with him.

I am all for the technical approach, improving skills, looking at stats, improving fitness, diet etc, etc. In fact these days it is a must.

However the reality is that in Scottish Football the type of game played and the standard of most players mean that a fit, physical side with a half decent quick and direct passing game can rip you apart.

On Saturday Hearts resembled Warburton’s T’Rangers, passing across the back and midfield trying to hold possession and looking for an opening. All that does is allow a fit and physical team to get everyone behind the ball.

Openings are therefore few and far between and if you don’t have the quality of players required to pass or accelerate/dribble  through the smallest of gaps then you end up having nothing to offer up front.

The fact that he clearly knew how to beat that system with ease in the 4-1 trashing of T’Rangers should have been a lesson to him. That night Hearts pressed hard but also attacked quickly. Possession was 50 – 50 but shots at goal were 16 – 7 and 7 -3 on target.

Trouble was when Dunfermline got the ball on Saturday they moved it quickly and saw advances of 40-50yds in no time and got into positions where shots and crosses always looked on. It wasn’t hoofball either, there was good accurate passing and plenty pacey movement off the ball to find space.
(possession 56-44, shots 13-9, on target 5-4 and most of those from Hearts only came in the last 5 minutes) 

While I would like to see a much more skillful game, as a Coach you need to be able to adapt tactics to suit the situation and have more than Warburton’s do Plan A better. However that doesn’t mean going crazy and altering things every game.

I don’t think anyone on the pitch or in the stands had any idea of what Carthro’s ideal system was and he was certainly unable to put a blood and guts team when required for games like those against Hibs, even when everyone one and their uncle knew that was what was required in the cup. Same goes for Saturday, if the intensity of the last five minutes had been shown at the start The Pars would have had nowhere to go.

The lack of realistic ideas, leadership and planning, added to full scale panic, showed when on Saturday with a few minutes left Hearts got a free kick at the edge of the box. Martin, brought in as I understood for his deadball skills, was allowed to be pushed aside by Lafferty who then, rather unskillfully, just fired the ball into the wall.

Sums up poor Ian’s reign for me.

To some extent the dinosaurs may have won this one but I don’t think Cathro helped himself much.

I wish him well but hopefully he will take the lessons learned on board and push on at his next club.

 

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jimboPosted on3:02 pm - Aug 1, 2017


Wottpi,  You have missed your vocation, you should be writing match reports for a national Daily!  Enjoyed reading that. 04

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John ClarkPosted on3:36 pm - Aug 1, 2017


jimboAugust 1, 2017 at 14:25
‘..“The presence of a director of football acts as an intermediary between the manager and the board ..;
_______
Thanks, Jimbo.
Not your fault, of course, but Wiki doesn’t take us to much of an understanding of what, say, Craig Levein  actually does on a day and daily basis. Talk money with the Board? Run the scouting system? Tell the manager who to buy or sell? Design new strips, talk to sponsors? What?

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bigboab1916Posted on4:28 pm - Aug 1, 2017


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2KpJXQPtVk&spfreload=10
Must have listen as it is now becoming relevant and now making sense that all media and the SFA are colluding to decieve.

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bluPosted on4:29 pm - Aug 1, 2017


CRAIG LEVEIN
POSITION: Director of Football.
RESPONSIBILITIES: Executive role, principally responsible for setting the strategy to achieve success on the field and for the day-to-day running of the football side of the business, supported by his management team based at Riccarton.
BACKGROUND: Former Hearts star and Scotland international, whose playing career was cut short by injury. Began managerial career at Cowdenbeath and went on to successfully manage Hearts between 2000-2004. He has also been in charge of Leicester City, Raith Rovers and Dundee United and was Scotland manager between 2009-2012.
PASTIMES: Enjoys a game of golf now and again.

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jimboPosted on4:44 pm - Aug 1, 2017


Paddy Malarkey,

I detest sectarian, racist, bigoted singing or chanting at football matches.  So far the legislation from the Scottish Parliament has failed spectacularly to wipe it out.  The feeling is, how can the police go into a crowd of thousands and make the arrests?

Well the arrest of 12 Celtic supporters today without the need to enter the stand kind of blows that out the water.  It can be done retrospectively.  We don’t know yet how they have gathered the evidence.  Corroboration between two officers who witnessed the event, aided by CCTV and the ticket office to identify seat holders.  We don’t know yet how this will play out at the Sherriff Court.

Then there is Strict Liability, used by UEFA in their competitions.  But Scottish Clubs are unanimously against it.  I wonder why?  Start docking points from the offenders and fans will soon get the message.  Fans might actually start policing themselves (within reason).

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The Ungrateful DeadPosted on4:56 pm - Aug 1, 2017


OK, quick question. Do you think CFC will take this “slam dunk” of a case re 11 years of ineligible players and deliberate rulebreaking “all the way” or do they hope we can all move on? Unfortunately I’m of the opinion that they favour the latter. 

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AmFearLiathMòrPosted on5:43 pm - Aug 1, 2017


I think the main role of a DoF, whatever the ‘official’ job description is, is to provide continuity.
In the past, you’d have a management team, then when they were sacked or resigned to go another job, everything that was put in place around them and they were responsible for would be ripped out as a result, and whoever came in would have to start again from square one.  The DoF’s role was meant to make this not so traumatic for the club.  They would oversee the non-coaching side, so that essentially, all that would change would be the tactical approach to the football.  Everything else, the nutritional programmes, the signing of players, the access to facilities, the handling of players medical needs, the physical conditioning side, the relationship with players and their agents etc. etc. etc. would stay the same.
Just as an illustrative example, look at the difference Brendan Rogers approach to Celtic has made, certainly in comparison to Ronnie Deila.  He has total control over team affairs, and whilst that has obviously made a massive difference, were he to leave, then Celtic would be in a very difficult position, as anyone coming in would be expect to fill all the roles that Rogers has.

Additionally, and I’m sure the Jambos on here will correct me if I’m wrong, Levein was also trying to get a succession plan in place – were the current manager to leave, then the coaching hierarchy would step up one place.  That is, the assistant would move into the manager’s role, the assistant coach would move to assistant manager, youth team coach to assistant coach etc.  Again, so that the whole plan wouldn’t need to be ripped up every time a manager left, and there’d be seamless continuity in the football approach.

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wottpiPosted on6:27 pm - Aug 1, 2017


JIMBOAUGUST 1, 2017 at 15:02

Thanks Jimbo, but I won’t be giving my day job up any time soon.
(Far too honest, have integrity, etc etc 🙂 , along with being poor at using the spell checker and having far too many grammatical errors)

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John ClarkPosted on7:10 pm - Aug 1, 2017


bluAugust 1, 2017 at 16:29

‘…”CRAIG LEVEINPOSITION: Director of Football.RESPONSIBILITIES: …”

AmFearLiathMòrAugust 1, 2017 at 17:43
‘…They would oversee the non-coaching side, so that essentially, all that would change would be the tactical approach to the football. Everything else, the nutritional programmes, the signing of players, the access to facilities, the handling of players medical needs, the physical conditioning side, the relationship with players and their agents etc. etc. etc. would stay the same.
_____________
Thank you, gentlemen both. I think between you ,you have answered my qeries comprehensively.
I wssn’t, of course, being critical of the ‘concept’ of Director of Football, let alone being critical of Craig Levein in that role.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:17 pm - Aug 1, 2017


Re Ian Cathro. Who knows whether he would ever have made it given more time but after the weekend it was unlikely Hearts were going to risk a poor start to the league season. 

How he was treated by the Scottish media is far more worthy of debate. I recall him being spoken of highly from his time with Dundee Utd, and while with Valencia. BBC even flew a reporter to Spain to get an interview. However, let’s not forget he was linked with a job at Ibrox at the time.  One of his most vociferous critics was Kris Boyd, a man who has achieved nothing in coaching himself, but who has many friends and much respect in the media due to a past association. He was not Cathro’s only critic of course but he highlighted the problem of Cathro not being in the gang, and not having previous associations that buy you time and many friends.  The Hearts job is one of the biggest in the Scottish game. I’m sure jealousy also played a big part in the media savaging this young man received before he had even started the job in earnest. 

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easyJamboPosted on7:37 pm - Aug 1, 2017


Levein is actually a Director of the Club, in addition to having an executive management role as DOF.  He is not paid as a Club Director, but is paid for his executive role (£154k from the 2015/16 accounts).

In his DOF role, he is a budget holder for the footballing side of the business.  That includes responsibilities for scouting, coaches, players, contracts, transfers, recruitment etc. He brief extends across the first team, development squad and the Academy.

To be fair to him, he also spends a lot of time watching games and training at all levels.  I watch a lot of Academy and Development games. I’ve probably seen him at 90% of the games I’ve attended.

Personally, I don’t think the role is necessary for a club of Hearts size, although I was willing to give it a go.  For a club with aspirations to be at the top of the Scottish game, my biggest gripe is a willingness to risk its first team coaching capability by recruiting and developing unproven coaches in situ. He has also stated an intention of succession planning from within, using coaches developed in house.

Levein has recruited Robbie Neilson (left of his own accord), Stevie Crawford (left with Neilson), Jack Ross (U20 coach left “under a cloud”), Liam Fox (U17/U20 coach – unsuccessful management “loan” spell at Cowdenbeath), John Daly (U20 coach), Andy Kirk (U17 Coach), Ian Cathro (1st team coach – sacked), Austin MacPhee (1st team assistant coach).  It’s not been a great success rate to date.

I was actually at Riccarton this morning. The first team’s training was taken by Fox and Daly, while MacPhee looked after the balls and the water supplies.  Levein was looking on from the sidelines.  Andy Kirk took the training for the Development squad. 

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MercDocPosted on7:40 pm - Aug 1, 2017


I like a wee bet, a couple of shekels on a Goals galore, nothing major. Came across a team from Belgium, R.W.D.M. Brussels F.C. A very interesting history to say the least, their fans remind of this attitude of too big to die. This amalgamation of other teams, absorbing them. Then folding and then coming back to life. The subtle difference, these fans admit they died but the love for the aetherium entity brought it back to life.

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easyJamboPosted on7:43 pm - Aug 1, 2017


Rangers Tax-Case‏ @rangerstaxcase   
Judicial Review funding update. The ‘button has been pushed’ on this process. Keep your money at hand. We hope it will be needed soon.

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tonyPosted on7:51 pm - Aug 1, 2017


EASYJAMBO
here we go,at last,the start of a long (i hope not)journey to the truth

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roddybhoyPosted on8:00 pm - Aug 1, 2017


The Unngrateful dead
                               I really do think Celtic will  come out and challenge this corruption , I have lost patience with them over this as they seemed to be dragging their feet but the fact that they have recently came out with a statement , they have to follow it up with something. More a gut feeling on my part but the cheating cant go on , it gets more ridiculous day after day,  its killing our game and love em or hate em the Celtic Board are clever people . Hope its been the long game they have been playing and they are now lining up the ducks…..Fingers crossed……Could Celtic make this personal ? By that I mean , could they go after the likes of Regan and Doncaster and leave the SFA (for now ) and all the potential trouble that would maybe come their way with Uefa .  In my mind they  ( Regan/ Doncaster) have committed fraud , never applied the rules and done Celtic Shareholders out of potential dividends that may have come their way had Celtic been given the Champs league spot. If Regan / Doncaster etc were the focus would they in their panic sing in open court and show the SFA and SPFL up for the cheating lying ( add your adjectives here) b@@@@@ds that we all know they are . I could of course be talking mince but just wondered if Regan and Doncasters heads were in the dock maybe the dam would finally burst. Im not turning this into a Celtic thing as I know its not only Celtic who have been cheated but it would seem that no other club seems to be bothered that their own fans have been cheated bigtime. Paul over on CQN has hinted at meaty things are on the horizon so heres hoping………………….Gotta add too that I am pig sick with Anne Budge….High hopes with her but looks like she just wants to be part of the establishment.. probably good for your all your business interests Anne !!  Puke

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easyJamboPosted on8:37 pm - Aug 1, 2017


A further update from RTC

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easyJamboPosted on9:14 pm - Aug 1, 2017


Any of you Glasgow based guys interested?
Grant Russell‏Verified account @STVGrant  
What’s the future of Scottish football media? I’m hosting this @TheTwoPointOne panel. Want a free ticket? DM me http://thetwo.one/drygateevent 

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justbecauseyoureparanoidPosted on10:45 pm - Aug 1, 2017


RODDYBHOYAUGUST 1, 2017 at 20:00

Wish I had your faith.
Here’s an extract from a letter I sent to Celtic’s chairman around three weeks ago

Dear Mr Bankier
I have been a Celtic supporter all my life and, along with my son, a shareholder since the Fergus McCann days.
We both had season tickets in the early 1990s and upgraded them to Investor Club membership in 1996.
Unfortunately a change in my circumstances meant that I had to cancel our memberships around 10 years later.
During that period I lived in England and together with the cost of the tickets I spent literally tens of thousands of pounds supporting the team.
The recent decision in the Supreme Court has confirmed that around half of that money was spent watching a sport that was essentially rigged as the club’s biggest rivals cheated not only the taxpayer but every football club in the country.
I welcome the club’s measured statement to the findings of the Court, but given the past record of the Scottish football authorities I have no great confidence that they will be keen to see justice done.
As football fans we lost out on the joy of winning trophies and as shareholders we have seen our company cheated out of millions of pounds.
Can I have your assurance that in the event that the authorities, once again, try to sweep this matter under the carpet, Celtic will contest this to the utmost extent?

Here’s the reply

Dear Mr …………….
Thank you very much for your letter regarding the decision of the Supreme Court.
We have taken notice of the response of the Scottish Football Association and will continue to assess the situation. 
I do appreciate the time you have taken to contact me with your comments and can assure you that these have been notice.
Kind regards

It has long been suggested that Celtic were keeping their powder dry until the illegality of the tax schemes was finally proven.
The Supreme Court nailed that. The SFA and the SPFL have both said, in effect, “tough”, with statements which appear to have been prepared well in advance.
My simple question is this.
If Celtic have any intention of standing up to the cheats what are they waiting for?
Can you imagine a Fergus McCann / Paul McBride double act sitting back and allowing this farce to continue? 

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