Les Says It is Time to Ask The Audience?

ByAndrew Smith

Les Says It is Time to Ask The Audience?

Saying the last couple of weeks has been colourful for Scottish Football would be an understatement.

We are now in a position where we have a Taskforce co-chaired by the heads of two clubs to look at what needs to be done in the Covid 19 landscape right now and into whatever future unfolds.

Representatives of the clubs first convened last Monday and Graham Tatters, Elgin City chairman told BBC Saturday Sportsound that the 2nd division has already agreed unanimously to back 3 leagues of 14 as their preferred option.

On the same show Iain McMenemy, Chairman of Stenhousemuir effectively told us among other things that nothing in Scottish Football is ever easy, and mentioned that he believed the fans should be involved in any process.

Around the same time a very welcome conversation was underway between Les Gray, Taskforce co-chair and Paul Goodwin of the SFSA with Les asking for and welcoming fan input.

Dave Allen Called Our Future Years Ago

His oft quoted “I wouldn’t be starting from here joke” is a remarkable insight into where we find ourselves.
Our game is on the cusp of internecine war following the confusing combination of events we’ve all see playing out.

The hastily convened Taskforce has co-chairs who have also been quoted in the MSM as having different agendas, one for an immediate solution and one for a long-term plan.
Nothing wrong with that, in fact brilliant, we need both because they are interrelated.
Collectively we have to ask not just how do we minimise the economic and social impacts of the pandemic but also how do we start to shape our game for a better future?

Both these needs are right nows and both are the remit of the current Taskforce.

Now is the Time to Circle Our Wagons

This unique, open-ended, revenue-winter hit our clubs unexpectedly and overnight.
It is already brutal and will get worse with no current exit plan and no future certainties.
We know Dave Cormack’s Aberdeen is currently burning £1M per month.
No club has Covid immunity and a world of salary reductions, deferrals furloughed staff, little in the coffers and no exit strategy or road map out is a stark reality.
It’s hard to imagine that footballers have become liabilities rather than assets in a blink of an eye.
But it’s not hard to foresee that the financial stress on our clubs will see casualties.
Never before have we needed inter and intra-club teamwork for the common good.
But not in Scottish Football where an internecine spat is about to flare big time.

Civil War Breaking Out?

The record will show the recent SPFL Good Friday vote got an 80% plus backing vote from the clubs but in reality became a farce as Dundee eventually changed their “casting” vote.
This was paralleled by the “whistleblower” outburst by Rangers interim chairman Douglas Park demanding immediate suspension of Neil Doncaster and Rod McKenzie and an independent inquiry that sort of happened but not to the satisfaction of some.
One week later it rages on in the media with words today like “damning evidence, serious concerns, lack of fair play, coercing and bullying” being the vocabulary fed to the MSM to share with their audiences.

It seems some clubs have become unhappy with how our game is run and want to do something about it, so welcome to our world guys, – us fans have been saying that for a long time.
Our game needs big change but it won’t happen overnight and a pandemic crisis is maybe not the best timing for internecine strife.

Closing Down 2019 – 2020

This season is already ended for all Scottish clubs outside the Premiership.
UEFA didn’t do much to help and could have been more proactive in stopping inter club squabbling but plus ca change.
Most football people I have spoken to (with their self-interest hats off) were not totally happy with the implications of closing the season early and pro rata-ing points to decide champions but pragmatically accept it is the best answer or the least worst solution.
Asked about teams being relegated while having a bona-fide chance of fighting back there is less support and indeed genuine heartfelt pushback.

Some more enlightened leagues like the Lowland League who took the decision to avoid further damage on some of their members at this time through a no relegation policy and a wait and see what’s best are seen as wiser.

What Needs To Be Done Today?

We all know that out of the Budge/Gray Taskforce there will be a few options put on the table.
There is always the status quo of 4 leagues 12, 10, 10, 10.
A 14, 14, 14, setup was discussed and voted on by the current second division clubs last Friday.
Our own similar suggestion published on your SFM was 14, 14 and a bottom league of 16 to keep the integrity of the pyramid.

Two weeks on, a more pragmatic option and one to be considered by all might be to agree no relegation for now and to wait until more is known over the next crucial weeks.
We have time on our hands and no need to rush.
Why not take our lead from the sages at the Lowland League?

As a fan what do you think?

Should we plan for an interim period?
Should it be status quo?
Do we apply parameters (like no relegation) but accept that any other plan has to be kept flexible till more is known and agreed?

Your insights and views are welcome by Ms. Budge, Mr. Gray and their team either on this forum where I’ll read and collate them or if you prefer sent to me at
andrew@scottishfsa.org

What Needs To Be Done for Our Tomorrows?

We live in the real world and that means money is and always will be the prime driver and starting point.
Money is entwined with self-interest, status, power, politics and sometimes greed.

A given is every club will always want more and that is the easiest of several elephants in any room when looking at change to impact positively on the future of our game as a whole.

But maybe, just maybe now is different.
Post Covid many clubs will be on their knees financially and it will be a different world.

Les Gray’s Million Pounds Question For all Fans

No surprise it’s not an easy one
If you were charged with helping to create a sustainable and healthy future for Scottish Football is what would you do?

How would you advise Les, Ann and their Taskforce team about the right moves to make?

Once again insights welcome on SFM or to
andrew@scottishfsa.org

As a starter for 10 some stuff that has come up in previous SFSA fan surveys about our game (in alphabetical order) includes –
Better Communication, Bigger Leagues, Community Involvement, Council Telly live games, Gate Sharing, Grass Roots Investment, Fairness, Family Friendly, Fewer clubs, Integrity, Kids Free, Leadership, Less leagues, No Bigotry, Openness, Outside expertise, Same rules for all, Schools Football, Simplicity, Standing Sections, Summer Football, TV Kick-off times, Regional Lower Leagues, Reserve League, Strict Liability, Transparency, Wholesome Sponsors etc.

The list is not exhaustive. Please feel free to add any others.
Some will be contradictory, some nice to haves but the crucial thing to do is to find the smartest moves and build on them.

We’re responding to Les and Ann in good faith

Never before have we the fans been asked in such an open way.

Collectively we have a short-term end of season issue and a need to set up our game for what comes next which might include an interim period.

The background to any responses you offer is uncertainty exacerbated by growing internecine chaos and increasing vitriol.

I’ll end with some wise and hopeful words by a Taskforce Co- chair

Without openness, transparency and pragmatism we will simply keep making the same mistakes.

Ann Budge

About the author

Andrew Smith subscriber

708 Comments so far

Corrupt officialPosted on1:44 am - May 9, 2020


Bogs Dollox 9th May 2020 at 00:46

Corrupt official 9th May 2020 at 00:34

Why do you assume Broadcasters will be less able to support the game. They are coining it in. It might not be the same ones who buy the game after reconstruction..

I suspect that subscriptions will reduce, both domestically and commercially, and the reduction in viewing figures to have a knock-on effect with advertisers and sponsors. It is not just fitba' that will feel the squeeze. It stands to reason that if fitba' is bricking it that broadcasters will claw-back for lack of viewing hours, broadcasters will suffer a similar claw-back to their income streams.

————————————————————

With their cost base and no income they are most at risk.

—————————————————-

    I would say they have most to lose, but not the most at risk, having decent comparable cash reserves.  They do have the highest cost base but not zero income. Gate money may be lost, but incoming transfer instalments, sponsorship and limited retail movements all prolong the absorption sustainability period. Additional cash would most likely be made available if there is a league to play in. Assets may be sold to play in it. but enough assets retained to maintain a quality threshhold over the remaining opposition.   

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Corrupt officialPosted on2:25 am - May 9, 2020


easyJambo 8th May 2020 at 22:25

   Sorry for the delay in getting back to you EJ.  I think the important bit is the bit in bold.

       “As you know I have been working with the SPFL reconstruction group over recent weeks and I received a call late this afternoon informing me that six Premier League clubs had indicated they would not support any league reconstruction at the present time.

     I think reconstruction in some shape or form is guaranteed, but quite simply cannot be agreed on at the present time. Everybody has a preferred configuration as to a way forward, but I genuinely believe working to a framework of 42 clubs is running before we can walk. There may not be 42 clubs, so any configuration proposals “at the present time” will be for nought if 42 don’t make it. When more is known I think it inevitable that change will follow. I don’t see it as misleading, and don’t believe disingenuous of the league. I reckon they know it to be inevitable too, but need to let the dog see the rabbit first.. It’s the not knowing that is causing the cloth touching, but the reality is nobody knows…

Not yet.

   

    

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Cluster OnePosted on9:52 am - May 9, 2020


Not a Fan of the Daily Record but i thought Chris Suttons Article hit the nail on the head.
The great pretenders and great deflectors.

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redlichtiePosted on10:40 am - May 9, 2020


easyJambo 8th May 2020 at 22:25

I’m not disheartened by it, as it was an inevitable decision, particularly when you look at the self interest of a number of Premiership clubs.

See Falkirk’s statement, which refers to six clubs not willing to consider ANY reconstruction at this time.

https://www.falkirkfc.co.uk/2020/05/08/club-statement-12/

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

EJ, I read the Falkirk statement with mounting anger.

“You will share my anger at this latest injustice, the failed promises and the general mismanagement that has occurred at the top of Scottish football for many years.

The handling of this entire situation has been farcical ranging from the decisions made by the SPFL board to those clubs who have, what could only be charitably described as, misled and deceived.

This current situation has its roots in 2012 when a new club was allowed to claim the history of a cheating club consigned to liquidation. A new club that was ushered into the Scottish Leagues in total contravention of rules and regulations.

Warnings given by fans at the time went unheeded. Problems do not go away, they just fester and grow.

This is the time for the long awaited announcement of the investigation into Rangers* being granted a European licence. This is the time for the publication of the 5WA, the announcement that club histories cannot be bought, that tax cheating brings undoubted footballing advantage and trophies won by such means are illegitimate.

This is time for Rangers* becoming Asterisk FC.

Scottish Football needs the courage to grasp this nettle.

 

 

 

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StevieBCPosted on10:46 am - May 9, 2020


Gordon Bennett!  smiley​​​​​

Or more accurately: John Bennett, the vice-Chairman of RIFC.

In a Q&A article in the DR today he has turned the vitriol up to ’11’.

No conciliatory noises – at all – in the run up to the EGM on Tuesday: just doubling down on the discredited dossier contents – and the permanent, Ibrox victimhood.

This aggressive approach might sell a few more ST’s in the immediate term, but TRFC is rapidly burning any bridges left at Hampden and other clubs, IMO.

Desperate times in the Blue Room?

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bect67Posted on10:54 am - May 9, 2020


redlichtie @ 10.40

Quite frankly, there’s no point in Falkirk, and like minded clubs, cryin’ over spilt milk noo.

Where in tarnation have they been this past decade in particular during the ‘general mismanagement … for many years’ of this member organisation- as they themselves put it?

A bit late (morally speaking) to ‘put their head above the parapet’ ?

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John ClarkPosted on11:03 am - May 9, 2020


Homunculus 9th May 2020 at 01:16

'…Comparing any of this to what happened with Hitler, the holocaust and in particular what Mengele did is appalling.'

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

Come now, Homunculus!

I don't think I was making any comparison between the evil that Adolf, Mengele and the Nazis generally perpetrated: there has never been such evil as came from such as those!

The comparison I make is with the lying state of mind and the mad-dog lashing out of frustrated cheats whose 8- years- long nonsense ( the propagation of which was aided and abetted by the SMSM) is perhaps about to end in the same way as SDM's nonsense ended.

I feel the same revulsion for those besuited 'businessmen' (and the 'journalists' who propagandised on their behalf) as I do for the Nazis, whose defeat we celebrated yesterday.

I do not equate the sufferings and deaths of millions with the piddling matter of football!

 

 

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easyJamboPosted on11:12 am - May 9, 2020


Corrupt official 9th May 2020 at 02:25

 “As you know I have been working with the SPFL reconstruction group over recent weeks and I received a call late this afternoon informing me that six Premier League clubs had indicated they would not support any league reconstruction at the present time.

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

As far as I'm concerned this is the ideal time, while we have a hiatus with no clear indication of when it will end.

Scottish football made a big mistake in 2013 when it merged the SPL and SFL.  In doing so the SPL moved away from a single league of 12 full time clubs, to four divisions comprising 42 clubs, with around 20 full time and 22 part time clubs. 

The apparent and laudable inclusivity of that step created unintended consequences. The financial settlement (primarily to accommodate TRFC) and the voting structures put in place left a disproportionate amount of power in the hands of the part time clubs, e.g the votes of six lower league clubs can block efforts to change the financial distribution or league structure.

Immediately before RFC's demise, there were moves to create an SPL 2.  It would have created a much more compact league structure comprising of a large majority of full time clubs. The number of clubs in the new league structure would be appropriate for of country of Scotland's size. It would be sustainable with the financial backing of the broadcasters.  

Don't get me wrong, those smaller clubs have a place in Scottish football, but not at the top table.  As semi professional clubs, they are primarily community focused and do provide an opportunity for players to find a level appropriate to their ability and for fans to support their local clubs.  To that extent they are little different to the 240 or so clubs (Senior and Junior) that survive outside the SPFL

The SFA, to their credit for once, established in 2013 a league pyramid below the SPFL involving the Highland, Lowland, East of Scotland and South of Scotland Leagues. It also allowed Licensed clubs direct entry to the Scottish Cup and eligibility for promotion to the SPFL. In recent seasons the pyramid has strengthened and developed immeasurably with the inclusion of 25+ former East Junior clubs a couple of seasons ago, and will expand further next season with the 63 former West Juniors and another 8 East Juniors making the switch.  There will be approximately 195 clubs in the non-SPFL pyramid next season. 

The carrot of Licensing to the ambitious clubs among those ranks has led to a huge improvement in facilities at many of those grounds, involving the provision of cover, seats, floodlights, toilets and disabled facilities. 

Why does all that matter?  The reality now is that the best of the clubs in the non league pyramid now present a threat to the standing and future of the part time clubs in the SPFL.  We have seen Cove Rangers and Edinburgh City and both join the SPFL in the last few years and now top League 2, with East Stirling and Berwick Rangers going in the opposite direction. In the Scottish cup this season, Bonnyrigg, Broxburn and Penicuik all beat L1 or L2 sides. Once clubs such as Auchinleck and Pollok get their SFA Licences then the pressure for change will become irresistible. 

This season has seen more than £1.4m in SPFL fee payments go to L1 and L2 clubs (ranging from £125k to a minimum of £45k). The HL and LL sides get nothing from that cake. Access to those sort of sums could be transformational for the non league clubs, or their absence would see traditional L1 and L2 clubs lose their financial advantage. 

So what does the SPFL do in the current circumstances? The lower league sides close ranks and, for reasons of self interest, block off entry to L2 and protect their future fee payments for another season, leaving Brora and Kelty kicking their heels. They also joined fores to reject any reconstruction proposals that would allow for the entry of new clubs at the bottom tier of the SPFL. 

Getting back to the original point, I think that now is exactly the right time for radical change to the league structure and make the split between the full time and semi professional games, while maintaining the means of progression for ambitious clubs to move up from any point in the pyramid right to the top tier. However, I can't see it happening anytime soon while the tail retains the ability to wag the dog.

      

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upthehoopsPosted on11:28 am - May 9, 2020


StevieBC 9th May 2020 at 10:46

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

Their strategy will pay some sort of dividend though in my view. They almost certainly won't get their resolution through, but they have managed to get permanent stains on the integrity of Doncaster, McKenzie, and Maclennan. I expect over the next few months all will move on. Rangers have enough public and media support to make the mud stick. It's probably already job done on that count.  

The question is who would replace them though? Effectively if they don't meet with Rangers approval do they become a moving target right away? 

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on11:35 am - May 9, 2020


‘StevieBC 9th May 2020 at 10:46

…Desperate times in the Blue Room?’

#################################

I posted the following on 27.04.20 at 1109hrs:

‘I don’t think that RIFC/TRFC (whichever entity is driving this scheme) is any more upset than is the norm for that organisation. What’s different at the moment is how that ‘upset’ is being managed, particularly without the input (Steadying hand? Ah-ha!) of DCK & Traynor. 

I think RIFC/TRFC’s actions are driven, like many bullies, by fear; fear of being seen as ordinary, fear of their perceived WATP lead-dog position being replaced by being one of the pack, fear of losing ‘credibility’ with their foot-soldiers (and hence the ‘Ulsterisation’ that’s occurring to ‘spice up’ their following), fear of skeletons tumbling out of closets &, perhaps above all, fear of being skint to the extent that they seemingly are.  

I suspect that things are very-much on the knife-edge at Ibrox. World events have diminished the perceived/inflated values of Morelos/Barisic/Tavernier/Kamara/Goldson et al. Those same world events have chased away the blessing of unicorns, all with £10m bank drafts impaled on their horns, which were almost ready to be corralled for ‘fresh investment’. Debts are due to be serviced, but the cupboard’s bare.

They’re in the sh!t up to their oxters & they know it. They think their best way out is to splash about & spread the contaminant over anyone close by. It really isn’t & D. Park & co. should know that, but their mindset sees that as their only option.’

It’s now two weeks further along the road with minimal/zero cash coming in. The financial pressures that TRFC was feeling then has been ramped up even higher. Their dossier appears, in the main, to be a busted flush. D. Park has worries with his other business interests. Robertson has been scapegoated by his own employers. Gerrard is understandably absent, but where’s McAllister? They have no functioning PR (although it appears Jimmy Bell is doing his utmost in the role!). 

They are currently depending on lashing out & deflecting. They’re doing both with the utmost vigour, assisted by their SMSM placemen.

Edit: I read somewhere that one of Robertson’s complaints about the SPFL board was that he was often the only dissenting voice & that votes were frequently 8-1. He seems not to understand that’s how committees & boards work. Perhaps TRFC’s one vote should have counted as 10 votes to ensure that his/their view always prevailed? Sobering not being the ‘big dog’ in the kennel?

 

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LUGOSIPosted on11:44 am - May 9, 2020


Two days after the Order (colour unknown but suspected to be Orange) from the top of the Marble Staircase to “Unleash Da Dossier” I don’t know which bit, coupled with subsequent commentary, impresses me the least.

One bit which catches the eye is T’Rangers fulminating about Rod McKenzie making four Cease and Desist requests to Douglas Park, Not The Chairman Of The Football Playing Wing Of …T’Rangers…, on 10th and 11th April 2020. 

After trying to jigsaw what T’Rangers are on about I’m none the wiser. Which may, in and of itself, be a good thing. However, between Robertson, MD/CEO but sadly no EBT, stating on radio T’Rangers have never used certain words only to have those very words pointed out in a Club (or was it Company?) Statement and the SPFL letter outlining what happened on 10th and 11th April 2020 I now know slightly more.

T’Rangers (or Douglas Park) got four STFUs. T’Rangers issued “We will not be bullied into silence”. T’Rangers reissued about five minutes after the SPFL gave their “Is that it?” response to Da Dossier. The SPFL have had to disclose Douglas Park said something to Neil Doncaster and threatened some course of action which led to Neil Doncaster consulting Rod McKenzie to issuing said STFUs.

What I find striking is that four weeks on from 10th and 11th April 2020 we’ve heard nothing. Silence. T’Rangers have desisted. T’Rangers have ceased. It’s almost as if Neil Doncaster had a point and Rod McKenzie was well-entitled to make the four requests.

We have the word of T’Rangers that the silence is not the result of bullying so it must be the result of something else. Like prudence. We can only hope that we hear nothing further. It would be unfortunate if someone were stupid enough not only to fail to let sleeping dogs lie but to rouse them and jab them with a sharp stick. It might be the case that the dogs had legal training, or were currently legal practitioners, or had professional and personal reputations to maintain, or were fed up listening to pish being spouted (sound familiar?) and decided one way to sort it out would be a very public retraction and apology and a big cheque. Such might or might not require the involvement of a Court. It all depends on what sort of chap Douglas Park is. Maybe he’s the reasonable sort.

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Cygnus X-1Posted on12:03 pm - May 9, 2020


Apart from Hibs, who are the six clubs who voted against reconstruction at this time?

Asking, because I still think it's wrong and should not be beyond the wit of man( even within Scottish Football) that teams are being relegated. Wrong is wrong, wrong ain't right just because someone wears a blue jersey or a green jersery or even a maroon one

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Jake CantonaPosted on12:36 pm - May 9, 2020


Good afternoon everyone. It must be about six years since I last posted on here although I'm still a regular reader.

Apologies if I've missed this, but has anyone anywhere suggested a transitional league structure for next season with 14 top division clubs and then three divisions of 10? This would obviously avoid any relegations this season while still maintaining promotions, including those from below the SPFL.

All hypothetical anyway if the Falkirk statement is an accurate reflection of the position among top division clubs.

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upthehoopsPosted on12:50 pm - May 9, 2020


Cygnus X-1 9th May 2020 at 12:03

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

The relegation issue in my view is grossly unfair. Perhaps if Anne Budge had not tied her flag to Rangers mast without even seeing their so called evidence, who knows. 

However, I don't believe reconstruction is completely dead yet. Once the season is decided and the economic impact is more established, reconstruction might become necessary to give the game a boost. Although right now self interest is a primary factor, events may simply force clubs to get together and genuinely work for the good of the game. Broadcasters I am sure would rather have a top league with Hearts in it. Only my view. 

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dpjPosted on1:22 pm - May 9, 2020


Official statement from Thistle

https://ptfc.co.uk/ptfc-news/board-update-on-reconstruction-and-relegation/

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Cygnus X-1Posted on2:23 pm - May 9, 2020


dpj 9th May 2020 at 13:22

Brilliant statement from The Jags.

Hibs, St Mirren, Ross County, Dundee Utd & Aberdeen against reconstruction according to BBC Sportsound.

What an absurd and miserable mess. 

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nawlitePosted on2:24 pm - May 9, 2020


So much for “Les Says It is Time to Ask The Audience?” then!

I wonder how Andrew Smith (writer of this blog and Chairman of the Scottish Football Supporters Association) feels? Let down? Betrayed? Duped? A little bit silly? After all, this is a man who trusted Scotland’s football authorities, when we all knew on here they weren’t to be trusted.  

He believed that ‘the SFSA has established a positive dialog with the SPFL’S league reconstruction task force’ and that Les Gray and Ann Budge were now realising that the voice of the fans had to be heard. Remember we all contributed to their survey, whose outcomes were trumpeted that 84% of fans don’t want to play the same teams 4 times a season; 64% of fans think relegations as planned by the recent SPFL vote is unfair and should be revisited; 70% of supporters say now is the time to restructure the game – not just a quick fix. These were the messages that were to be taken on board by the SPFL.

When will fans (and fans organisations) realise that being nice is seen as being weak by the authorities and clubs in charge of the(ir!!) game? I realise I’m sort of playing the man (SFSA) and not the ball here, but I had concerns about the SFSA as soon as their first inaction on trumpeting their arrival was to NOT call out the 5WA, RES12, use of EBTs, the Big Lie etc. Their rallying cry of being independent – unlike the equally useless Supporters Direct – means nothing if they won’t tackle the issues that most of their membership want them to attack. Being nice means you get ignored by the sort of people running our game, as Partick Thistle’s letter today proves.

Sorry, I’m angry!

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easyJamboPosted on3:55 pm - May 9, 2020


dpj 9th May 2020 at 13:22

Official statement from Thistle

https://ptfc.co.uk/ptfc-news/board-update-on-reconstruction-and-relegation/

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

I agree with Jacqui laugh

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Cluster OnePosted on4:06 pm - May 9, 2020


LUGOSI 9th May 2020 at 11:44
T’Rangers (or Douglas Park) got four STFUs. T’Rangers issued “We will not be bullied into silence”. T’Rangers reissued about five minutes after the SPFL gave their “Is that it?” response to Da Dossier. The SPFL have had to disclose Douglas Park said something to Neil Doncaster and threatened some course of action which led to Neil Doncaster consulting Rod McKenzie to issuing said STFUs.
………………
I always read the Park, Rod McKenzie exchange as, McKenzie trying to do park a favour.Basically, if you keep this up without any evidence produced you will be fined or worse for bringing the game into disrepute, this is not the right way to do things.
And we have not heard from park since instead each day brings out a new poodle from ibrox, i wonder if they have a game of musical chairs to see who is puting out the next crazy statement.

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Bill1903Posted on6:18 pm - May 9, 2020


Clubs vote in their own interests i don't think reconstruction had a chance.

Sorry mess we are in with no happy ending in sight heart

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easyJamboPosted on6:26 pm - May 9, 2020


I can't see Hearts taking legal action directly at this time, mainly because of the risk and cost of losing the case.

However, there is always the possibility of getting legal advice then submitting a "letter before claim" to the SPFL outlining the reasons for and an indication of the quantum of any claim (the value of the full claim might not become clear until the end of next season, or even the following season). It should also leave open the possibility of a settlement figure being agreed through mediation.

Hearts could then sit on it for as long as they want to see if it prompts the SPFL into some action.  It would require the SPFL to acknowledge the claim in their accounts and possibly delay or reduce the distribution of funds to all clubs as a result of the contingent liability. It might not achieve much in the long run, particularly if Hearts gets promoted at the first time of asking, but it would certainly serve to disrupt the operation of the SPFL in the short term.

The cost of taking such a course of action would be a fraction of that if they were to take the case to court and lose. 

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redlichtiePosted on6:30 pm - May 9, 2020


Nawlite 9th May 2020 at 14:24

So much for “Les Says It is Time to Ask The Audience?” then!

I wonder how Andrew Smith (writer of this blog and Chairman of the Scottish Football Supporters Association) feels? Let down? Betrayed? Duped? A little bit silly? After all, this is a man who trusted Scotland’s football authorities, when we all knew on here they weren’t to be trusted.  

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

I've just had an e-mail from the SFSA pointing to their news story 'Are The Fans Revolting".

This e-mail says : "So reconstruction has been kicked into touch wether (sic) we like it or not. At least there were positive signs along the way that fans might  just have more say in future. We can but hope!"   

Are these guys on the same Deludamol as those of a blue persuasion? 

I commented at the time of Andrew Smith's podcast that the SPFL, etc have nothing to fear from his organisation. I was hugely underwhelmed by what he said.

The complete ignoring of their letter to Les Gray provides categorical evidence that his organisation is seen as irrelevant.

Instead of seizing the initiative ('Together We Can Make A Difference' they claim) and telling the SFA/SPFL that the fans are revolting and demand representation otherwise there is the potential for a boycott which Scottish Football can ill afford, the SFSA just rolls over. "We can but hope!" they say!

The positive for clubs is that getting fans properly engaged can lead to initiatives to provide some fan funding and other support in the difficult months ahead. And fresh ideas from outwith the 'smoke filled rooms' that haven't worked well for a long time.

Scottish Football needs a fan organisation that actually stands up for fans in a time of crisis. Speak truth to power.

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nawlitePosted on6:34 pm - May 9, 2020


Yeah, I got it too, RL, just after my post. I joined thinking they might be willing to carry the fight. Was I duped too?!

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redlichtiePosted on6:37 pm - May 9, 2020


We're all duped!

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Abbot of ClonmacnoisPosted on6:44 pm - May 9, 2020


There were strong hints today on Sportsound that  the 2019-20 premiership will indeed not be re-started. For example, Accies Chairman suggested that they won’t have enough players in June or July to play if they were required to re-start. Are Celtic to be denied a chance to win the title on the park and Hearts to be relegated because some clubs can’t field a team?

Absolutely fair enough if it is still not safe to play in 6 or 8 weeks time, but surely not because of not having enough players in your squad? That can’t be right for a professional football league.

View Comment

FinlochPosted on6:56 pm - May 9, 2020


There is no doubt that our clubs don't deserve us.

This is a copy of the SFSA letter to Les Gray from the stuff they sent me today.

Listening on BBC Shortbread to the anger today from the Brora Chairman, the Stranraer Chairman and others who all feel let down by the clubs, the SPFL and the SFA.

 

I wish we could bottle it.

 

Maybe Les and Ann Budge were duped too and we need a right good civil war to clear the decks.

 

And who knows where dry land will be whenever the new normal emerges.

 

Between now and then there will be a lot of pain and heading into our most challenge have no leadership 

and dominant self interest driven clubs especially at the top.

 

 

Are the customers revolting?

Date: 7th May 2020

Are the Customers Revolting?

 

Thanks to all those at SFM who along with many others completed our recent FANQ research in astonishing time and also responded both through the SFM blog or direct to my email address.
I’ve had several conversations subsequent with fans as far away as Vancouver, Australia, Kazakhstan, over the border in England and from all corners of Scotland.

 

I have also discussed our survey results and pointers with people running SPFL clubs

 

Scottish fans will seldom agree about anything or everything but it is loud and clear that both those running the clubs and the fans share deep concerns about where we have been, where we are now (if anyone actually knows) and most of all with where we are heading.

 

Ann Budge’s “keep making the same mistakes” statement was oft commented on and mostly liked.

 

Nearly all fans agree100% with what she is saying, especially her “openness, transparency and pragmatism” plea to the SPFL, and I guess the SFA too, but some were more cynical saying that words are cheap.

The kind of words we only seem to hear when there is a crisis before it all gets forgotten.

 

In the meantime our game and our clubs are blindfolded, wheeching down the slippiest steep slope to the biggest full-blown crisis our game has ever seen.

 

All are deeply concerned but there is no hindsight or experience to look back on.

It’s all scary and very, very real new territory.

 

Panic is on the horizon.

Perhaps the biggest manifestation of this is the current war of words and posturing in the MSM that has erupted since the SPFL Good Friday vote.

 

At the same time the well-respected Dr John Mclean was talking recently in deeply chilling terms about just what social distancing means for our game. Without a vaccine or other game changer there is no easy path forward.

Dr Mclean’s vision of a dystopian world should be all we’re all talking about and preparing for.

Players will not be able to play.

Fans would not be able to attend.

Paying customers will have less money to spend because the economy will have a tumble            after an initial sharp boom.

Club revenue streams will be decimated from all directions.

Long established clubs will run out of money.

 

In the meantime we continue to see a lot of running round like headless chickens trying to achieve all manner of things based on historic thinking and practices that have been rendered as useless as Andre Maginot’s famous line.

A defence line that became obsolete overnight and useless when needed.

 

That is where we are right now.

No real defence or strategy as a football community against the indeterminate financial chaos that is descending.

 

A world with extreme revenue challenges about to hit a system that some feel is dominated by self-interested members trying to play by the old mantras and allegiances.

 

Not a great place to be for all of us.

 

It was against this and in good faith that we submitted our collective response to Les Gray last Friday.

 

We know our football world will have to be rebuilt bottom up and we don’t pretend to have all the answers.
We do know that independent fan involvement will provide a framework that ensures Ann Budge’s plea for openness, transparency and pragmatism becomes more than rhetoric.

 

Not so Much as Revolting as Never More Needed

 

(Draft Response on behalf of Scottish Football Supporters Association)

 

Hi Les,

 

In a time where you will be being bombarded with stuff from all directions here are the abbreviated findings and recommendations from our fast research FanQ panel with further qualitative insights from two group sessions.

 

To use the old adage I’m not going to bore you with statistics because these are not boring statistics.

 

 

Headlines 

 

87% of fans believe their on-going representation in what happens would be a benefit to Scottish Football.

 

84% of fans believe they currently have no say.

 

75% of fans agree that ending the season under UEFA guidelines is the best path.

 

64% of fans think relegations as planned by the recent SPFL vote is unfair and should be revisited.

 

 

 

When interrogated further we see that fans accept that there are two requirements.

 

 

1 An end to season 2019-2020 and a plan for football returning.

 

2 Changes to how the game is set up and run.

 

 

1 Ending Season 2019 -2020

 

(Set against the reality that right now nobody knows what the situation really is or will be. With no certainty of any start date or how social distancing might evolve pre-vaccine, fans believe we should build in flexibility to agree the specifics for next season when more is known and indeed it might be more like the first season after WW2 than a normal year. 

The better-informed fans think the situation is much more complex than the reported discussions so far).

 

 

SFSA Recommendations 

 

Award titles on a pro rata basis as per UEFA

 

Agree a no relegation status for all clubs.

 

Respect the pyramid at the bottom end.

 

Consider providing extra help for clubs (in the way a parent company would help out a subsidiary at time of strife).

 

 

Football Returning

 

Having last week hear that League 2 have already endorsed a 14,14,14 set up fans are confused to where their certainty to do this has come from.

 

As of now there remain too many unknowns.

There is now a deep seated and growing point of view that the first season back will have to be interim because of the start date uncertainties and to allow for any club casualties in this economic winter.

 

By all means have a plan to keep status quo of 12,10,10,10 if that is what clubs want or 14,14,14 as voted last Friday by some clubs.

We would advocate a 14,14,16 to respect the pyramid as a starting point and indeed fourteen team leagues would stop the iniquity of the current 2/3 home game options post-split we have now.

 

But we would counsel SPFL not to commit in anything more than principle and to build in flexibility to avoid chaos downstream. An open plan is fine.

 

Truncation with clubs not surviving or being severely damaged is more likely than not and government driven fan control and safety policies will have a huge impact on logistics and revenues.

 

There are just too many unknowns to come up with anything more than guidelines.

 

 

2 Changes to how our game is set up and run into the future.  

 

(All fans deep down accept that money has become the main driver in any football business discussion and have a love hate relationship with the power of TV.

There is a body of opinion that thinks post Covid 19 revenue streams and business plans will be different. Footballers wages will fall and at some clubs previous player assets will have become liabilities).

 

Consumer spending power will have fallen, sponsorships and hospitality will be harder to engage, fans will drift away and big contract game-changing providers like Sky may even play hardball and seek to reduce the agreed payments.)

 

Larger leagues would be welcomed by fans as 83% of fans don’t like playing the same opposition 4 times a year.

 

But a successful future has to be based on more than a tweaking of the current leagues.

 

Ann Budge, Task force co-chair recently was quoted as saying “Without openness, transparency and pragmatism we will simply keep making the same mistakes”.

 

Fans like what she has said but there is cynicism that the last things people in power in football want are openness, transparency and pragmatism rather than the current self-interest driven scenario.

 

Elephants in the Football Room of Change

 

These are in alphabetical order and have all come from various SFSA surveys. Some are contradictory.

 

Better communication from SFA and SPFL, Bigger Leagues, Community involvement, Different allocation of prize-monies, Fairness, Family Friendly, Fan Friendly, Full financial fair play, Gate Sharing, Grass Roots investment, Kick off times, Fewer Clubs, Independent national referee provision out-with SFA, Integrity, Kids free, Leadership, Less leagues, No Bigotry, Openness, Outside expertise, Same rules for all, Schools football, Simplicity, Standing sections, Summer Football, Regional lower SPFL leagues, Reserve Leagues, Strict liability, Transparency, Wholesome Sponsors……

 

There are so many issues but unaddressed they will all keep coming back and sucking up resource and energy.

 

It’s the openness transparency and pragmatism thing again.

 

 

SFSA Don’t Have All the Answers

 

We are independent and that is important.

 

We understand that in every winner/loser champion/relegation situation we have fans on both sides.

 

We advocate the only way to address any situation now or moving forward is logically and openly.

 

We know fan input can make a positive impact to the current SPFL issues and into the future.

Share this:

 

View Comment

upthehoopsPosted on7:11 pm - May 9, 2020


I understand on Sportsound today it was stated that what is currently happening is 'far worse' than anything that happened in 2012.

They are going to get someones head on a spike with their continued allegations, innuendo and smears. We should expect better from the BBC, but perhaps that ship sailed some time ago. They can't even say what they actually want out of this.

View Comment

adam812Posted on8:28 pm - May 9, 2020


I struggled to listen to today's Sportsound but persevered. After lots of the usual unhelpful discussion it did become clear that the way forward MAY be for some financial compensation scheme to be created for those teams suffering loss due to relegation.

What would SFM contributers think if clubs were to asked give a commitment to contribute to a compensation scheme with the expectation that they would contribute on a pro rata basis in line with their league placing next season? Payments would be made when funds were distributed by the SPFL. 

Maybe Celtic could show willing first of all on the understanding that all the other clubs would follow suit. 

View Comment

macfurglyPosted on8:54 pm - May 9, 2020


nawlite 9th May 2020 at 14:24

Finloch 9th May 2020 at 18:56

———-

I also receive emails from the SFSA. They aren't the first to have been listened to, patronised and ignored by the people with the power. Perhaps the lesson has now been learned and they realise that the only way to loosen a grip on power is to demonstrate one's strength, and that they will have to organise and muster that strength and show a willingness to exercise it if the SPFL and SFA are to be persuaded to pay attention. They need to find their Lenin.

View Comment

upthehoopsPosted on9:10 pm - May 9, 2020


adam812 9th May 2020 at 20:28

————————

As I said earlier I don't think reconstruction is dead. We are still dealing with many unknowns, particularly how club finances will be affected. Reconstruction to boost things may well appeal to some clubs who are against it right now. In my opinion. 

View Comment

Abbot of ClonmacnoisPosted on9:21 pm - May 9, 2020


UptheHoops at 19:11

I understand on Sportsound today it was stated that what is currently happening is ‘far worse’ than anything that happened in 2012.

They are going to get someones head on a spike with their continued allegations, innuendo and smears. We should expect better from the BBC, but perhaps that ship sailed some time ago. They can’t even say what they actually want out of this.

I heard that too and shouted at the radio.                                            

In 2012-13 Doncaster and McKenzie along with Blair, Bryson and Regan were the blue-eyed, brown-brogued boys. Player registration offences for all those seasons and all those games. Cups and league titles. “Guilty. But keep the trophies”. A disgraceful insult to the word ‘sport’.

And Doncaster, McKenzie and the others made it happen. But I still hope that Auldheid (hero) can help them come to their senses and deliver an appropriate sporting penalty for the already declared guilty verdict. It is too important. And now we’re supposed to believe this kiddie-on spat is worse than LNS. No chance.

View Comment

easyJamboPosted on10:03 pm - May 9, 2020


adam812 9th May 2020 at 20:28

What would SFM contributers think if clubs were to asked give a commitment to contribute to a compensation scheme with the expectation that they would contribute on a pro rata basis in line with their league placing next season? Payments would be made when funds were distributed by the SPFL.

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

Why would any club want to do that when they have voted themselves into the current situation? 

I would doubt very much if any club has a guilty conscience and wants to make amends for making a wrong decision.

I would add that it is likely that, notwithstanding the new Sky deal, the SPFL’s end of season income will be down as they will miss out on their cut of the revenue from the play off matches. It is that revenue that is used to pay the parachute payments, so those payments will have to come from the bigger pot next season, which in turn will cut the fee payments to all clubs.

View Comment

adam812Posted on10:20 pm - May 9, 2020


Probably not really needed but a wake up call from Germany! 

Bundesliga restart blow after entire Dynamo Dresden team quarantined

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/may/09/bundesliga-restart-blow-dynamo-dresden-team-quarantined-covid-19?

 

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on10:23 pm - May 9, 2020


Abbot of Clonmacnois 9th May 2020 at 21:21

'….And Doncaster, McKenzie and the others made it happen.'

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

Yes, indeed,AoC.

The SFA, the SPL, and the SFL were in arms-linked lockstep decisive power mode when it came to creating the grubby, disgusting, Integrity-shafting Big Lie. 

No difficulty in showing 'leadership' then, to their eternal disgrace, in accommodating a hectoring, bullying upstart of a new club and failing to deal with the monstrous sporting crimes of RFC of 1872.

There is a lovely irony in the fact that TRFC are giving them cause to rue the day they cobbled up the lie that RFC of 1872 had not died. 

I have no sympathy either for the Board of the SFA or for the board of the SPFL. 

 

View Comment

gunnerbPosted on10:25 pm - May 9, 2020


Always thought the idea of parachute payments ridiculous. It seems to reward failure and have the effect of persuading clubs to overreach themselves comforted by the knowledge that should the gamble fail they would stiil have a head start over the competition in the lower league.This is the one season I would find no complaint with such softening of the blow of loss of premiership status.

View Comment

Hoopy 7Posted on10:36 pm - May 9, 2020


Good Evening,

It is many months since I have posted.

Strange how things never seem to change. In 2012 after Rangers went into liquidation, I together with many on here, stated that if Sevco were allowed to come into the League , they would come back twice as vile bitter and  twisted as before.

Roll on all these years and the vitriol is ten times more bitter. 

They have no money and pretend that they want things changed for the good of the game. We all know it is about stopping Celtic becoming Champions.

I was no fan of Neil Doncaster but he was the very person who stated that there was no mechanism to do what they were trying to do i.e. let Sevco into the League, in other words there were no rules so they made them up and allowed Sevco to come into the League and they have come back to bite their saviour. Don't get mad Neil, get even-sink them.

The only thing I agree with "The Rangers" formerly known as Sevco Ltd on, is that there should be an inquiry into Scottish Football, provided it encompasses everything that has transpired from 2012, the EBT years before that, the fraudulent awarding of a Champions league spot to Rangers and al the cheating during the SDM years.

It won't happen.

At a time when people throughout the world are dying and society as we knew it may not return in the foreseeable future "The Rangers" indulge in self centred self serving rhetoric without substance to deflect from their own failings.

They wanted a loan and couldn't make the maths stack up.

Liquidation awaits and if had been any other business in the UK, irrespective of the pandemic, they would have gone down the tubes long ago.

It is important to stay safe and follow the science. Life is more important than football. 

Support your club, renew your season ticket if you can, because football will come back and if you help your club , it will be there when we come out of this.

 

 

 

 

View Comment

SmugasPosted on10:38 pm - May 9, 2020


Abbot of Clonmacnois9th May 2020 at 18:44

There were strong hints today on Sportsound that  the 2019-20 premiership will indeed not be re-started. For example, Accies Chairman suggested that they won’t have enough players in June or July to play if they were required to re-start. Are Celtic to be denied a chance to win the title on the park and Hearts to be relegated because some clubs can’t field a team?

Absolutely fair enough if it is still not safe to play in 6 or 8 weeks time, but surely not because of not having enough players in your squad? That can’t be right for a professional football league.

 

i genuinely don’t get what people are struggling with here (and I’m not having a go directly at you Abbot).

 

One of the Lower league Chairmen used Stranraer as an example on or around the 10th APRIL to put the point that we could wish for a conclusion all we liked but if it was after 10th June the player registration thing was going to become an issue.  And nothing that’s happened since, particularly the lack of leadership shown would convince a Chairman to start throwing new contracts around.  Why would you?

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on11:04 pm - May 9, 2020


adam812 9th May 2020 at 22:20

'..Bundesliga restart blow after entire Dynamo Dresden team quarantined..'

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

That is a bit of a bugger! Very disappointing news indeed. 

I don't particularly want to die, but I was hoping that the Germans' effort would succeed and that other nations could begin to progress in the same way and that some safe way of having football played would be found sooner rather than later.

Very disappointed, but maybe not surprised. 

I won't shoot the messenger, adam812-thanks for flagging that up!

 

View Comment

adam812Posted on11:27 pm - May 9, 2020


Donald Park now saying that Rangers will foot the bill for an independent investigation into the SPFL! Lets get them to pay for the 10 year plus investigation! 

View Comment

TimtimPosted on11:48 pm - May 9, 2020


https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/rangers/rangers-offer-pay-independent-investigation-spfl-2848074

He can head to Switzerland and take it to the court of arbitration for sport , bet he doesn't . More hot air and double bluffing from Windbag Central.

View Comment

macfurglyPosted on11:53 pm - May 9, 2020


Timtim 9th May 2020 at 23:48

More hot air and double bluffing from Windbag Central.

——————

Maybe, but I'm getting the sense that this is about more than season book sales. They are after the SPFL. What have they been refused?

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on11:59 pm - May 9, 2020


easyJambo 9th May 2020 at 22:03

'..I would doubt very much if any club has a guilty conscience and wants to make amends for making a wrong decision.'

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

Mightn't it be the case, eJ, that the fault lies not so much in the making of a wrong decision as in the failure to acknowledge that some clubs are innocent victims of factors that are not in any way of their creation? 

It seems to me that Scottish Football should be prepared to pay the financial price of applying the 'rules' in the extraordinary circumstances of covid19. 

The interdependence of the businesses in the 'football industry' really requires that each individual business in that industry should be prepared to contribute to a fund to assist the clubs that will be relegated because of their present position from which they might very well get out of if the fixture list could be completed in the normal season.

[In sharp distinction, of course, from assisting any cheating club to survive the consequences of that cheating!]

 

View Comment

TimtimPosted on12:08 am - May 10, 2020


@macfurgly  my guess is they aint getting that euro licence because they are basically trading while insolvent , no euro licence ends any very slim hope of investment and exposure for selling players. Park is watching the millions he has invested turning to dust , King has done a bunk and left him holding a grenade with the pin missing. This is the desperate and irrational behaviour of a man who is watching everything he has worked for disappear. It's all over bar the shouting , as far as I know lawyers don't accept vouchers for the Ibrox megastore as payment for services although they could always ask Donald Findlay. 

View Comment

HomunculusPosted on12:22 am - May 10, 2020


Rangers have offered to pay for something that isn’t going to happen.

One has to admire that level of manipulation. The support would appear to be lapping it up.

Very well played actually, if shafting your own supporters is the goal you are aiming for.

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on12:24 am - May 10, 2020


macfurgly 9th May 2020 at 23:53

'…I'm getting the sense that this is about more than season book sales. They are after the SPFL. What have they been refused?'

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

We could have a lot of fun with that, macfurgly!

Mmmm. Let's see.

Could they have been told that there is no chance of a TRFC 2 if TRFC 1 crashes and burns?

That the dirty wee arrangement of the 5-Way agreement will not be repeated? 

That if they go bust, they go as bust as Gretna, Third Lanark…..?

 

 

 

View Comment

Bogs DolloxPosted on12:56 am - May 10, 2020


macfurgly 9th May 2020 at 23:53

 

Timtim 9th May 2020 at 23:48

More hot air and double bluffing from Windbag Central.

——————

Maybe, but I’m getting the sense that this is about more than season book sales. They are after the SPFL. What have they been refused?

Ok I will say it again.

Money.

Also no prospect this time of a Sevco2.

They have backed themselves in to a corner. For a reason.

View Comment

macfurglyPosted on12:59 am - May 10, 2020


Timtim 10th May 2020 at 00:08

John Clark 10th May 2020 at 00:24

Timtim – possible, likely in my view, but there has to be a plan for the future in there somewhere.

JC – Indeed we could, but fun though it may be, there is a rationale behind this somewhere.

Incidentally, your Gombeen Man got it in the neck again today. For a professional journalist (?) there can be few things more humiliating than being “shushed” on national radio because your interventions have become too embarrassing.

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The Cat NR1Posted on1:04 am - May 10, 2020


Hoopy 7 9th May 2020 at 22:36

Good Evening,

It is many months since I have posted.

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

I’ve not posted for ages (much longer than a few months!) and I was trying to work out something to say to reintroduce myself but your post hit the nail on the head and saved me a lot of typing.

Thanks for that Hoopy 7.

Hopefully I’ll be able to join in the as-ever excellent discussions, although I was a bit concerned the other day when an old pain in the proverbial resurfaced and threatened to upset the decorum of the site.
 

The Cat NR1

View Comment

macfurglyPosted on1:05 am - May 10, 2020


Bogs Dollox 10th May 2020 at 00:56

Ok I will say it again.

Money.

Agreed, but which and how?

View Comment

macfurglyPosted on1:22 am - May 10, 2020


…. but there must be more than that. The SPFL doesn't have enough money to give them for what they need. They need "regime change" I think.

View Comment

adam812Posted on1:23 am - May 10, 2020


I missed this yesterday. Apologies if it has already been posted.

An interesting approach being considered as to how to end the EL Div 1 and 2 – it'll never catch on!

 

https://talksport.com/football/efl/703590/leagues-one-two-abandoned-next-week-efl-promotion-relegation/

View Comment

Corrupt officialPosted on1:27 am - May 10, 2020


adam812 9th May 2020 at 23:27

    Pinsent Mason on speed-dial Adam?……What's to investigate. Sevco have uncovered all evidence, engaged a top QC and everything,  then wrapped it up neatly in a 200 page dossier. ….It will be discussed and voted on by the clubs.

    What would happen with a freebie independent investigation?………Errrrrrrrr, It will be discussed and voted on by the clubs.

    Are Sevco saying they have made a right arse of their own dossier?…They had plenty of time, so whose fault is that? 

    I  better phone my daughter….. She has never seen a one-armed man with an itchy arse, hanging on the edge of a cliff before. She'll want to put it on youtube.

 

 

View Comment

Ex LudoPosted on8:15 am - May 10, 2020


https://twitter.com/thescotsman/status/1259372882771271680?s=21

For my next witness, I call Mr Ian Hislop. 

View Comment

SmugasPosted on8:44 am - May 10, 2020


Timtim 10th May 2020 at 00:08

Incidentally, your Gombeen Man got it in the neck again today. For a professional journalist (?) there can be few things more humiliating than being “shushed” on national radio because your interventions have become too embarrassing.

Yes, but any long term listeners would surely agree how much more vociferous, numerous and openly stated his interventions are this time around.  Thats not to infer Rangersness, or bias or corruption or whatever.  It is to say that he's spent the last 8 years of the media game missing sitters handed to him on a plate in open goals from 3 yards and is now, in injury time, trying difficult speculative efforts from 35 yards when an easier, and more effective pass is on for him 

View Comment

HomunculusPosted on9:38 am - May 10, 2020


It seems Rangers are back down the line of loans to keep operating.

This answer by the interim chairman is significantly shorter than the rest. 

https://rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/interim-chairman-douglas-park-qa/

The fact that the business model in the Scottish game renders the English route of behind-closed-doors games not viable means the club could be without important tranches of income for up to nine months. The last Rangers accounts said an additional £10m would be required to cover the season. How will Rangers meet their financial obligations in this unprecedented situation?

The funding gap referred to has already been filled by existing investors

View Comment

easyJamboPosted on10:14 am - May 10, 2020


Homunculus 10th May 2020 at 09:38

The funding gap referred to has already been filled by existing investors

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

That got me thinking why they haven't gone down the route of issuing more shares.

Does one shareholder not want his holding to be diluted below the 25% blocking stake that he currently holds?

View Comment

redlichtiePosted on10:14 am - May 10, 2020


Homunculus 10th May 2020 at 09:38

It seems Rangers are back down the line of loans to keep operating.

This answer by the interim chairman is significantly shorter than the rest. 

https://rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/interim-chairman-douglas-park-qa/

The fact that the business model in the Scottish game renders the English route of behind-closed-doors games not viable means the club could be without important tranches of income for up to nine months. The last Rangers accounts said an additional £10m would be required to cover the season. How will Rangers meet their financial obligations in this unprecedented situation?

The funding gap referred to has already been filled by existing investors

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

Does this provide an answer as to why Rangers* are behaving in this way?

Black hole ‘investors’ tapped again for huge sums thus increasing their exposure then….

Euro licence still refused? (Why was this not disclosed?)

COVID-19 has major negative impact on finances.

SPFL refuses loan.

League has to be called before funds released – between the devil and deep blue sea of 9IAR.

Close Brothers starting to get closer?

Potential investors “remain fully engaged and we will be in a position to announce something in the next couple of months.” Do they have a couple of months? Will those investors be immune to the financial implications of the pandemic?

Squeaky bum time as SAF would say?

Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

 PS Still nae interims.

 

View Comment

Abbot of ClonmacnoisPosted on10:21 am - May 10, 2020


Smugas 9th May 2020 at 22:38

 

I genuinely don’t get what people are struggling with here (and I’m not having a go directly at you Abbot).

 

One of the Lower league Chairmen used Stranraer as an example on or around the 10th APRIL to put the point that we could wish for a conclusion all we liked but if it was after 10th June the player registration thing was going to become an issue.  And nothing that’s happened since, particularly the lack of leadership shown would convince a Chairman to start throwing new contracts around. Why would you?

……..

Smugas, thanks for your reply and I appreciate your point about the cost of new contracts for players who can’t actually play because of the emergency.

But if football re-starts because the government allows it to, clubs have to play. I don’t agree that releasing players when you still might need them to play at some point is a valid position. Certainly not for me when it comes to the premier league.

The only valid reason (and it’s a huge one of course) not to re-start is the continued risk to the health and ultimately the lives of participants.

All the best.

View Comment

TimtimPosted on10:33 am - May 10, 2020


If the funding gap has already been filled by original investors why was it not announced publicly ? Surely if it had been it would have calmed the fans ,investors and creditors . I'm sure some friendly journalist could have got the message out or even their own PR Dept could have included it in one of their many statements. Call me cynical but this one liner of " it's been dealt with" doesn't ring true. The far East investment hasn't gone away either , apparently and no doubt that share issue will be up and running just as soon as the situation normalises. 

View Comment

StevieBCPosted on10:50 am - May 10, 2020


The final answer in the Q&A from Park today in the DR;

“This episode is far from finished. Rangers will never hesitate in shining a light on poor corporate governance. I’d like to think the SPFL might recognise its failings and accept an investigation is necessary. It is not too late for them to do so consensually.”

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

Would have been interesting if Park – or Bennett yesterday – had been asked about what they thought of the SPL, and Doncaster, performances in 2012…?  indecision

 

And for Park to drag up again;

  • allegations contained in a satirical magazine 3 years ago
  • from an unnamed source
  • claiming what Chairman McLennan had said about Rangers
  • whilst McLennan was working at the DR, 30 years ago

is both embarrassing and desperate stuff.

And for balance:
the RIFC Chairman should also be enquiring if any other current, SPFL Board members – during the last 30 years – have made any openly negative, (or even positive), comments about any another SPL/SPFL club?

Mibbees that could be added to the scope of any SPFL investigation…? enlightened

 

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jimboPosted on11:04 am - May 10, 2020


"The funding gap referred to has already been filled by existing investors"

(Douglas Park)

If that is the case, surely that would be an encouragement to publish the interim accounts?

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bect67Posted on11:09 am - May 10, 2020


Stevie BC

I'm all for an independent investigation – so long as the terms of reference are historical (no chance right?).

I'm also most cynical about the offer by Desperate Dan to pay for said investigation.

This idiotic utterance is meaningless, as he knows he won't get one – or, even if he does, SEVCO might not be around to 'pony up'.

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Cluster OnePosted on11:11 am - May 10, 2020


Homunculus 10th May 2020 at 09:38

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It seems Rangers are back down the line of loans to keep operating.

This answer by the interim chairman is significantly shorter than the rest.

https://rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/interim-chairman-douglas-park-qa/

The fact that the business model in the Scottish game renders the English route of behind-closed-doors games not viable means the club could be without important tranches of income for up to nine months. The last Rangers accounts said an additional £10m would be required to cover the season. How will Rangers meet their financial obligations in this unprecedented situation?

The funding gap referred to has already been filled by existing investors
…………
A £10mill gap has been filled by loans(so much for debt free)
Add to that the defered wages,at some point this all has to get paid back. What do they intend to pay it back with, more loans or £25 vouchers?

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normanbatesmumfcPosted on11:14 am - May 10, 2020


adam812 9th May 2020 at 23:27

Donald Park now saying that Rangers will foot the bill for an independent investigation into the SPFL! Lets get them to pay for the 10 year plus investigation! 

———————————————————————————————————

What is the old saying?

"Whoever pays the piper calls the tune"

I'm sure the SPFL will ignore this offer, but if they did agree, it would be a very narrow, low-cost investigation aimed squarely at achieving everything on the 2angers wish list.

 

I really believe Celtic missed a great opportunity at the start of all this, when 2angers cried their crocodile tears regarding doing what's best for all clubs and Scottish Football in general.

I would love to have seen Celtic put forward a resolution, with a suggestion that all remaining prize money across all divisions, should be split equally to help support all clubs through this very difficult time. I'm not sure exactly what the split would be as to winners and losers, but would hazzard a guess that maybe below positions 1 to 3 or 4 would benefit, with Celtic as the biggest losers closely followed by the "community-spirited" 2angers.

Not only would Celtic gain kudos from this magnanimous offer, it would have the board atop the marble staircase beside themselves with rage, but unable to vote against the resolution, without having their "concern for fellow clubs" shown as the bluff it was. As the vast majority of clubs would be better off, the resolution may have been passed. Boy would that have been amusing….

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Cluster OnePosted on11:25 am - May 10, 2020


redlichtie 10th May 2020 at 10:14
Does this provide an answer as to why Rangers* are behaving in this way?

Black hole ‘investors’ tapped again for huge sums thus increasing their exposure then….

Euro licence still refused? (Why was this not disclosed?)
………………..
https://twitter.com/ClusterOne2/status/1259427509336248320/photo/1
……
Maybe it has been refused, and the rangers want that desicion put on hold as club licensing provisions have been suspended.
The ibrox club may be trying to buy time.

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upthehoopsPosted on11:29 am - May 10, 2020


Cluster One 10th May 2020 at 11:25

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

In my view it reads more like the SFA are suspending the need to meet certain requirements before issuing a licence. Not that there is any chance they would ever refuse one to Rangers anyway. 

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TimtimPosted on12:10 pm - May 10, 2020


@EJ 10;14

Good point , King has worked very hard to get his 25%  holding , I doubt he would relinquish this degree of control easily and without his nod of approval debt for equity swaps won’t happen and neither will share issues .This leaves a buyout of his shares the only way to free them of his influence and his cold shoulder contagion and realistically the only way for King to recoup his investment. Funding the shortfall (or repaying those who have filled in the hole) buying out King ,paying off Close,Hummel,Elite and Memorial Walls , paying the outstanding transfers and sorting out the deferred wages before even thinking about providing Gerrard with a transfer kitty is an eye watering amount of money that even a full ST uptake gets close to addressing . As for issuing a licence , should the sfa do so and should the club* go bust mid season then there really will be an investigation that exposes unprofessional behaviour and heads will roll , I doubt they will take that very real risk.

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upthehoopsPosted on12:30 pm - May 10, 2020


Very interesting to note when I was searching through Twitter from 2017 that a certain Ewan Murray was dead against an Independent Review of the SFA and how they handled the Rangers EBT situation, despite the highest court in the land ruling Rangers had acted illegally. That is the same Ewan Murray who is demanding an Independent investigation of the SPFL right now. 

The media's attitude only goes to show how an independent investigation is simply not possible in Scotland. Everything hinges on what club is perceived to be losing out, and what club is perceived to be benefiting. It is certainly not about fairness, and ensuring all clubs are treated the same. 

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easyJamboPosted on12:40 pm - May 10, 2020


What a waste of time with the Neil Doncaster interview on Sportsound. Once again Doncaster has insisted on a  1 v 1 wishy-washy interview with a weak minded presenter who has no ability to 1) ask searching questions and 2) fails to follow up on the answers given.

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John ClarkPosted on12:42 pm - May 10, 2020


What is the gombeen man like? Why, nothing other than a gombeen man, talking gobshite.

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wottpiPosted on12:50 pm - May 10, 2020


Regards player contracts and clubs being ready to play. Was 'certainty' and being able to plan for next season not one of the main driving forces behind the SPFL resolution.

Therefore player contracts should not really be an excuse in terms of not being ready to play.

Players on contracts that go beyond June 2020 are retained.

Those players whose contract ends in June 2020 can be let go.

To be ready to play you have to determine what you need for a squad and then decide if you want to resign players you had on your books and/or bring new players in.

The mechanisms for how you sign and register any new players required is up in the air. However I am sure the SFA and SPFL are planning on how to deal with matters such as registration processes and deadlines.

Presumably, because we are talking about contracts, then as they are already used in common practice, some form of agreed pre-contract could tie a player to a club but he will only start getting paid (if clubs cannot afford to do so) once football recommences.

If all teams (who are still solvent) are not ready to play as soon as it becomes possible then, to me, it means one of the major strands of the SPFL resolution was nonsense.

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adam812Posted on12:55 pm - May 10, 2020


Love him or loath him Neil Doncaster is able to respond effectively to all the questions asked of him on BBC Sportsound today. Of course not good enough for Tom English! He has become Mr Angry. 

Alan Preston passionate but showing the self interest he is complaining about!

Questions are answered but not good enough for Tom if he doesn't hear the answers he wants!

Incredibly Chic Young is the voice of reason. 

 

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StevieBCPosted on1:13 pm - May 10, 2020


Don't know why The Rangers is attacking Doncaster.

He should have his portrait on the marble staircase – as one of the 'gallant saviours' who came to Rangers rescue in 2012 – and who personally supported the Ibrox club with its "Going for 55" propaganda.

The guy deserves a debenture seat "for life" indecision at Ibrox, with his name on it, for services rendered.

That Govan mob is very ungrateful.

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easyJamboPosted on1:16 pm - May 10, 2020


adam812 10th May 2020 at 12:55

Love him or loath him Neil Doncaster is able to respond effectively to all the questions asked of him on BBC Sportsound today. Of course not good enough for Tom English! He has become Mr Angry. 

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

Tom English, when asked to comment on what was said by ND, gave David Currie a list of questions and follow ups that I would have liked to hear ND answer, but the listeners did not get that opportunity because of the way that ND has insisted the interview would be conducted.  He did exactly the same with Richard Gordon a couple of weeks ago.

Personally I'm progressing from being Mr Frustrated to Mr Angry, so perhaps its time for me to take a chill pill and step away from the debate for a while. 

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adam812Posted on1:18 pm - May 10, 2020


I stopped following The Telegraph and the Daily Mail on social media during the Brexit debate for the good of my health . I should explain I used The Telegraph to try to ensure that I considered alternative views to my own and the Daily Mail because they had good online competitions but the lies and the bias become too much for me!

BBC Scotland Sportsound should not be a media outlet that falls into the same area, though I know many consider it has been for some years, but today I came close to switching off!

I will check my blood pressure later but I suspect the voice of reason, Chic Young (listen to show if you doubt me but be prepared for Tom), has brought it under control! 

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