LNS – A Summary


LNS – A Summary


cropped-sfmSquare.pngLNS is currently back in the headlines. It might therefore be a good time to try to set out a timeline describing correspondence we had with the representatives of the authorities over discrepancies and anomalies that appeared to have arisen. None of this is necessarily predicated upon the recent findings of the CoS in the Big Tax Case, but stands on its own.

Back in February 2014 The Scottish Football Monitor wrote to Harper MacLeod, the law firm that the SPL had engaged to gather evidence for the Lord Nimmo Smith (LNS) Commission investigating the full and proper registration of players paid by Rangers Football Club under Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) arrangements.

The initial set-up of the LNS Commission on 5th March 2012 by the SPL (View File) charged LNS with a look at EBTs from 1st July 1998 (when the SPL came into being).

In practice though, the Commission only looked at EBTs from 23 November 2000 onwards.

This change of date was based on the earliest side letter supplied by Duff and Phelps, although Harper MacLeod had requested ALL documentation from 1998 to March 2012 relating to ALL EBTs.

This prompted a series of letters to Harper MacLeod from The Scottish Football Monitor, although Harper MacLeod’s replies failed to address the issues raised.

The passage of time blurs memories but this archive is designed to remind readers of those blogs and correspondence, and the key points contained in them.

It also highlights the apparent inability or unwillingness on the part of the SPL and SFA to engage with us in any meaningful way.

NB: The SFA were informed of our correspondence by Harper MacLeod in October 2014.

It is extremely difficult to be concise in this situation. There are various strands of argument and details seemingly small, but vitally important – however the following is an attempt to make the material accessible and provides links to the relevant files in chronological order (links are in green).


  • Item 1: The first SFM letter of 19th February 2014 to Harper MacLeod
  • Item 2The Annexes containing the documents apparently not supplied to Harper Macleod in the spring of 2012 along with other pertinent information about the testimony given to LNS during the Commission.
  • Item 3The SFM response of 29 March 2014 to Harper MacLeod’s reply to the first letter.
  • Item 3.1: An SFM analysis of Harper MacLeod’s initial reply attached to response at 3.
  • Item 4: An SFM blog of 5th September pointing out how the documents not supplied had a direct impact on the advice given to the SPL Board to accept The Decision of The LNS Commission.
  • Item 5: The last letter of 4th October 2014 to Harper MacLeod answering points raised by them (see next) and thanking them for passing our correspondence to the SFA Compliance Officer who has so far deigned not to reply.
  • Item 5.1Harper MacLeod’s actual response to SFM 5th September letter.
  • Item 6: An SFM Blog (Inc. a transcript of an interview between Alex Thomson and Stewart Regan).
  • Item 6.1: Truncated version of above blog.
  • Item 7: A clearer extract of key document from Item 2 Annexes


Having no locus to demand answers from the SPL or the SFA, all we can do is provide information – information that we believe presents a prima facie case that LNS was deeply flawed even before the latest developments in the Tax Case came to light. The challenge for us is this: what can we do about it?

It is clear from the meagre response we have received that the authorities are unwilling to engage with us, so it is fair to assume that further correspondence will be met with the same lack of response.

Are we merely a bunch of obsessed nut-jobs with our own take on the Flat Earth conspiracy? If that is the case, surely a few words of explanation to dispel our doubts would have had traction with the rest of the football public. Indeed the lack of any reply undoubtedly serves as confirmation of our belief that something may be seriously wrong.

The questions have been posed. The SFA appears to think that not answering them is a wise course of action. Given that anecdotal evidence presents a compelling case that the general football public are widely in agreement with us, are there any journalists out there who will take the time to look at what we have observed and what we seek clarification on?

There are undoubtedly inferences to be drawn from the evidence we have, and from the silence of the authorities.

The statement by Celtic on Friday 13th November is certainly a start in the process we wish to begin, but it only mentions the elephant in the room. It gives no clue about how it could be transported to another place.

In the first instance we at SFM seek only explanations, and despite the inferences mentioned earlier, we are still eager to be satisfied that rules were followed and justice done.

Is there really  nobody in the MSM who has the courage to seek the answers we seek? I suspect not. What we do in the absence of that courage is important. We are at a crossroads. Either we give up on the game altogether and spend our Saturdays and Sundays doing other things – or we find a way to get these questions out of blog pages and into the mainstream.

We need an alliance of fans of all clubs to do that, and we will be looking to build that alliance. I would urge fans of all clubs to give this material to fan sites of their own clubs.

These are not just words. There can be no movement on this issue unless our reach is extended. SFM alone does not have the clout required to bring the clubs to the table or the MSM to fair and balanced reporting. We need that alliance of fans desperately. We don’t seek leadership of that alliance – but we are happy to provide it if required.

This is not a campaign to have Rangers punished. I understand that Rangers fans (since their club is in the middle of this mess) are reluctant to see us as anything other than a bunch of Rangers haters.

That is unequivocally not the case from the perspective of the moderators of this blog. SFM is committed to justice, and to the integrity of the sport we all love.

Justice is ON THE SIDE of Rangers and their fans – it does not conspire against them. A growing number of Rangers fans are coming round to our way of thinking and our tone must reflect that. This is not a Celtic or  Hearts or Aberdeen or anybody else v Rangers issue. This is a fans v corrupt authorities issue.

We all deserve answers, and hopefully our alliance will compel each individual club to act in the interests of the fans .






About the author

Trisidium administrator

Trisidium is a Dunblane businessman with a keen interest in Scottish Football. He is a Celtic fan, although the demands of modern-day parenting have seen him less at games and more as a taxi service for his kids.

2,349 Comments so far

mungoboyPosted on6:47 pm - Dec 7, 2015

I can assure you that when I posted the link to Alan Stewart’s article there was NO way that I was mischief making. So there was NO must be an element of that at all.
To be honest,I kind of resent that insinuation.
You only have to  look at my comments about Michael Bentine’s emotional reaction to see what I feel about this incident.
just because it appeared on a Celtic centred site doesn’t make it wrong.
I’ve been aware of its existance for a few years now. It was just the comments about David Hope that prompted me to link it here.
Incidentally, Prohibby, the obituary link was also posted in the Den but,predictably, it only got the denizens commenting on the religious beliefs of Mr Hope’s wife. Jack Webster certainly knew the script.
end of comments

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bfbpuzzledPosted on6:59 pm - Dec 7, 2015

Mungoboy I must apologise if that is how you read it, there was no intention to suggest that you were making any mischief by your link. These matters are too important for that and if I have caused any offence please accept my abject apology.
I was referring to the tendency of some supporters groups to make mischief about perceived and actual sins of the other side, that might dissuade some from reading the article to which your link reads my comment was to urge following of the link.

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mungoboyPosted on7:09 pm - Dec 7, 2015

Accepted. My apologies for the reaction. All bampots together!
Actually, when I first read it, my reaction was ‘how come I never knew this’?
we now know why that was.
We Must never take our eye aff the ba’. 
One day these *^#%#{} will be held to account.

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HomunculusPosted on7:36 pm - Dec 7, 2015

I think we tend to forget just how influential the papers, tv and radio were not that long ago in forming opinion. How many people got what little information they managed to get from the likes of the Daily Record, the Sun etc. People tended to have their paper of choice and their 6 O’Clock news programme of choice. Whoever controlled the content of those controlled the information available to their reader / viewer and to a huge extent controlled opinion of the time.

On the other side of that, if certain parts weren’t reported at all, or were reported in a certain way then the thing may as well not have happened at all.

I realise that is very much a generalization, however I think it was true for a fairly large proportion of the population and in particular football’s natural following at that time. I would suggest that was working class men, and that for the majority of them they read tabloid newspapers on a regular basis.

Things have changed a lot since then, particularly with the advent of widely available internet, social media, blogs, forums etc. We still have to be careful about what we take from these things, but at the very least we have a lot more sources to choose from in forming an opinion.

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StevieBCPosted on7:45 pm - Dec 7, 2015

So King will shortly be back in the UK to do some Christmas shopping – and make a court appearance about breaching a gagging order.

Couple of questions arise;
1) Who is paying for King’s trip back to Blighty, [& legal fees / covered by insurance] ?
2) As a Director, does King not have some personal responsibility re: observing confidentiality ?
Blabbing to a Sky reporter would guarantee widespread communication of any information he was releasing.  And as White had to fly to SA to speak to King, then shirley it was all pre-planned, as opposed to e.g. impudent, off-the-cuff remarks made as King was rushing to get into his car outside Ibrox / Stamford Bridge ?  22

I’m guessing RIFC/TRFC will be picking up the tab for all of King’s expenses anyway ?
But the SMSM could be asking these questions of a cash-strapped club…

[and where has the sheep icon gone ?!]

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Jimmy BonesPosted on7:57 pm - Dec 7, 2015

Homunculus at 7:36pm
“I think we tend to forget just how influential the papers, tv and radio were not that long ago in forming opinion”.
You’ve phrased that in the past tense.  Following on from the article link from “Foul” posted earlier today, which I enjoyed, a little bit of “research” took me to the RFC etc wiki pages.  In the page on the Administration & Liquidation (which was not too inaccurate) there were about 60 references.  Without counting, I would estimate that 50% were BBC News references, there were  quite a few from the DR, Herald & Scotsman and quite a few more from rangers.co.uk would you believe.   I think we underestimate the pernicious influence of the MSM – it has infected one of the supposedly more reliable online sources go information almost totally – or am I being far too naive?
How can this be countered ?

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StevieBCPosted on8:03 pm - Dec 7, 2015

Homunculus 7th December 2015 at 7:36 pm #I think we tend to forget just how influential the papers, tv and radio were not that long ago in forming opinion. How many people got what little information they managed to get from the likes of the Daily Record…
Yes, and I have to confess that when I started buying my own daily newspaper as a teenage student, my choice was the DR ! Although it was a poor paper even in the late ’80’s, I bought it as I believed the football coverage was superior !  15
I was blissfully ignorant !
[In my defence: the paper content was so bad though, that I had to change my choice of daily read, regardless of footie coverage.]

And it does make one wonder what has gone on in Scottish football in the past – but which was obligingly kept out of the media by a compliant SMSM ?  
Based on what we know now about ‘football news management’ in Scotland there must be a good few shocking stories over the years which were ignored by the SMSM ?

Following RTC and then SFM has indeed made me even more cynical about the media, and when a big story breaks, I routinely try to guess ‘the spin’ the media will be fed / accept.
A generally more informed population can only be a good thing…and even for Scottish football…eventually.

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HomunculusPosted on8:23 pm - Dec 7, 2015

Jimmy Bones 7th December 2015 at 7:57 pm


My emphasis was on “… just how influential…” and juxtaposing it to the current situation.

I would not suggest for a second that they do not still have influence, however again my point was that there are many more sources on information now. That people have other choices, be it social media, carrying out their own research or whatever.

Things may not be perfect, far from it, however I honestly believe they are better now.

If knowledge is power then more people having easier access to, and more people sharing it with others it can only be a good thing.

How often have you seen people on here or elsewhere taking a bit of propaganda from the likes of Keith Jackson and saying “that simply isn’t true” then going on to show why. That would not have happened as often in the past because a, fewer people would have know it and b, even those who did would have had a very small audience to tell, almost always by word of mouth.

Things are not perfect but they are getting better and the more knowledgeable people willing to share their knowledge, skills and experience on places like this make it better still.

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alexander276Posted on8:28 pm - Dec 7, 2015

Maybe I am missing something but has John McBeth been sufficiently rehabilitated in the media for his FIFA allegations being well and truly sustained? Is the media a bit sheepish that he was hung out to dry?
On the  limited information I know about him he beat SFM by a decade and a distance in terms of sporting integrity.

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ThomTheThimPosted on8:29 pm - Dec 7, 2015

bfb, mungobhoy,

I, too, have been aware of the article for a few years and it was to this that I alluded to a few days ago.

I was at the game and I recall the reporting of the Inquiry at the time.
It was shocking then and remains so.

The significance today is the due to the same prevailing arrogance and impunity which runs through those clubs, like lettering on a stick of rock; plus the extent of the Establishment’s facilitation of same.

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redlichtiePosted on9:48 pm - Dec 7, 2015

Recent posts by PMG and JJ suggest that all is not well at RIFC/TRFC Board level. Despite what we hear from the smsm (BTW I’m thinking of using lower case for them from now on – these guys are truly journalistic pygmies) this consensus smacks of the truth.

There are clearly some very serious issues facing the Directors even before suggestions of issues arising from the AGM voting. I cannot believe though that Board members would jeopardise their careers and reputations by participating in any underhand scheme. The results in personal terms could be of truly Armageddon-like proportions.

However, what amazes me is that the Board appear to be holding together despite all that seems to have happened (or not happened, in terms of investment). Perhaps Benjamin Franklin has summed it up for us : “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”

I wonder if MA is just waiting for that first schism to appear so that he can manoeuvre DCK & PM out of the door.

Perhaps at that point his anger would abate and he would become the white knight so needed down in Govan. NUFC ‘B’ team here we come?

Who knows? Perhaps only MA. Certainly not the smsm.

Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

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John ClarkPosted on10:04 pm - Dec 7, 2015

Interesting that BBC Radio Scotland ‘sportsound’phoned Jim Spence this evening for his views on that eejti Roger Mitchell’s account of the ‘merger’ between Dundee and Dundee Utd in 1998. Mitchell eariler today was reported as sort of breaking it as new story, hitherto unheard.It was , of course, all old hat to Spency, and according to him, everybody in football at the time knew about.
The man is a buffoon (Mitchell, that is, not Spency!)

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John ClarkPosted on10:11 pm - Dec 7, 2015

 ‘ eejti’ Roger,….. ‘ eariler’ ???
Swear to God, not a drop has passed my lips this evening!
[ I’ve forgotten how to get my font back to normal size! If someone could oblige ,please, with a simply worded instruction (as someone kindly did the last time this happened), i’d be obliged]

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nawlitePosted on10:42 pm - Dec 7, 2015

With Regan suggesting summer football, albeit without much in the way of detail, is this the time to start making noises again about bigger leagues? It’s what most people want and to my mind is the only way to allow a decent sized winter break. Continuing with this 3 or 4 meetings per season set up doesn’t allow them to cut the length of the season, so reverting to decent sized leagues playing only once home and away seems sensible and meets the needs of (most) fans.
If TRFC* reach the end of the season, could it be done without it being seen to favour them? If they survive, they might win the Championship anyway; if they finish in the play off places and, say, second to fifth were allowed to join the top league would anyone have complaints about that?
I hope the SFA/SPFL approach this seriously.

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jimboPosted on11:08 pm - Dec 7, 2015

I don’t like the Scottish Media and  to the point where a week ago in fact after anger I felt a bit ashamed later at how I signalled out one person in particular Keith Jackson.  Regardless of his reporting, he is a person sorry Keith if you read that.

Read the two links above posted earlier today. It should make most modern journos. ashamed.

The thing is with the press in Scotland, they are still a base line for opinions even on sites like this.  It’s a starting point for argument.   There hard copy sales are diminishing and as a result their budget has fallen to a mere ability on passing on press releases.  I suspect this is the same for the front page editors too.   

So, I think to myself,  you do not have the resources to dig deep, to go whither and thither, into the current issues around TRFC ? but still after all these years, in built it would seem, WHY the IN-BUILT BIAS towards Ibrox?   The Establishment Club?  Part of WHICH ESTABLISHMENT?  Grow up and start reporting on modern Scotland and Britain where your ancient methodologies are no longer appropriate.


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John ClarkPosted on12:06 am - Dec 8, 2015

jimbo 7th December 2015 at 11:08 pm
‘…I don’t like the Scottish Media and to the point where a week ago in fact after anger I felt a bit ashamed later at how I signalled out one person in particular Keith Jackson. ‘
jimbo, your humanity and fairness of mind do you credit.
However, you must learn to take into account that people like some of our football hacks  do not share that humanity and fairness of mind.
Column inches is what they are governed by: they will trash you, me, any non -Rangers manager or Board, your granny, my granny, without regard for any kind for ‘Truth’.
They are not interested in ‘Truth’ ( their watch cry is “Truth? What is that?”) but only in getting column inches without landing their paper in a defamation action.
And so,  sadly,we have BBC Radio Scotland ( funded by you and me and  other folk who pay their licence fee), on their Sportsound programme this evening, foisting an utterly ‘unbalanced’ team of Speirs, McIntyre, Wilson, and Jackson.
So very, very, very assured of themselves in their ‘Rangers’ allegiance that they can indulge in little mocking in-jokes about what Graham must have eaten that he should feel a little out of sorts.Ha ha.
The BBC( i.e BBC Radio Scotland)  has a serious problem of bias and unbalanced reporting( or non-reporting, rather) of the whole appalling Rangers/SDM/Sevco/saga.
It has been like that since the days of Peter Thomson in my memory, and probably since day one of football reporting on BBC radio.
In my opinion.

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John ClarkPosted on12:24 am - Dec 8, 2015

nawlite 7th December 2015 at 10:42 pm
‘…If TRFC* reach the end of the season, could it be done without it being seen to favour them? If they survive, they might win the Championship anyway; if they finish in the play off places and, say, second to fifth were allowed to join the top league would anyone have complaints about that?’
“Without prejudice” as careful lawyers tend to say, if TRFC win the Championship title,then, if
league reconstruction comes about that might benefit the game as a whole, fair enough.
But the idea that , them failing to merit promotion to the premier League and therefore being consigned to another season in the Championship , the league structuring should be done to bring them by an artificial contrivance into the ‘top’ division is simply absurd.
It would be such an obvious fix  that it would make the 5-way Agreement look almost honest by comparison.
In my opinion.

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tonyPosted on12:39 am - Dec 8, 2015

John Clark 
Don’t they have to give a seasons notice for any change to league structure 

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SmugasPosted on12:41 am - Dec 8, 2015

Exactly John.

Any organisation with proper leadership would have seen that coming and announced a ‘decision pending’ situation at the start of the season specifically so that any allegation of making it up as they go along could then be countered.

Incidentally, I see a new innovative League cup structure is announced for next summer.  Certainly innovative.  Not clear if the groups are regionalised – they would surely have to be?

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jimboPosted on1:18 am - Dec 8, 2015

JC, to put my post and apology into a wee bit of context. 

I read an interesting article on BBC News website (the good bit of the BBC) the other day, it was titled ‘why are feminists subject to so many trolls on social media’.  To cut a long story short, there was a part of it where they spoke to an academic who studies this type of phenomena in this day and age.  The person they spoke to said that some people when they go on line they forget they are ‘speaking’ to real people, I think I forgot that on the occasion of my post.  Usually I don’t mention writers by name other than to praise them, for instance I mentioned Jim (Scoop) Rodgers and Kevin McKenna.  But I pointed some bile towards KJ instead of engaging his remarks rather than the man.  I don’t know him, for all I know he is a loving husband/ partner and father.  In future I will keep it to the ‘SMSM’ After all there is more than one biased journalist in Scotland.

For all my contrition, I like everyone on here will be keeping them to account when they talk smelly stuff as usual.   (The sheep icon HAS disappeared)  010711 

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John ClarkPosted on2:20 am - Dec 8, 2015

tony 8th December 2015 at 12:39 am
‘..Don’t they have to give a seasons notice for any change to league structure .’
Indeed, they do, under the ‘rules.’
But there is always a Brysonesque view of rules, and a wonderfully powerful capacity to use ‘discretion!’
And we have already seen how malleable and compliant our clubs can be when lectured and hectored by their elected/appointed officers.
Oh, for a Turnbull Hutton to rally the general run of clubs to the flag of Integrity!
There must, surely, be guys out there who feel like us: that the whole game is turning into a farce, a charade, a mockery of the idea of Sport and genuine sporting competiveness.
How many of us now laugh innocently at the jokes about  the ‘warm balls’ when draws are made?
How many are now asking, was it always like this? A rigged game? Have we been mugs for decades? Is Scottish Football administration in there in the shitty stuff along with the crap dumped by  FIFA and UEFA?
God Almighty! That we should have to put up with the lies and deceits of Press, Radio and our Football Governance people  is not acceptable.
 I call upon Mr McCrae to declare where he stands in relation to the truth.
And when he has done so, I  call upon him to begin the process of stripping titles from RFC(IL) that were not honourably won, and withdrawing any official SFA support for the proposition that Charlie green’s new creation is SDM’s/Craig Whyte’s ‘Rangers’

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Cygnus X2Posted on2:51 am - Dec 8, 2015


Sometimes the right thing can be done for the wrong reasons.

I believe that one of the fundamental problems with the game in Scotland is that clubs play each other too often, due to our absurd league set up.  This season my team (The Pars) will play Ayr Utd at least 5 times and could potentially play them 7 times if we both end up in the play-offs.  It’s just boring.

I would actually be willing for the larger leagues to be gerrymandered to assist Rangers’ ‘promotion’.  In fact, I can’t actually see any other circumstance in which the football authorities would expand the size of the leagues.

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scottcPosted on5:25 am - Dec 8, 2015

John Clark 7th December 2015 at 10:11 pm # ‘ eejti’ Roger,….. ‘ eariler’ ???Swear to God, not a drop has passed my lips this evening![ I’ve forgotten how to get my font back to normal size! If someone could oblige ,please, with a simply worded instruction (as someone kindly did the last time this happened), i’d be obliged]

Zoom controls can be found by clicking the 3 bars (or cog wheel depending on your browser) in the top right hand corner, John  19

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yourhavingalaughPosted on6:33 am - Dec 8, 2015

Lets start with McCrae giving his inaugural speech,although long overdue,on Scottish Football,where it was,where it is and where he sees it in the future,as is the norm with all leaders,only then we will know what we have in charge of our game,I won’t hold my breath for this,in fact I missed Campbell departing speech also.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:06 am - Dec 8, 2015

I see one of my favourite subjects has been getting some debate, that being the influence of the mainstream media. While It is good that the web provides a route for the alternative view (or even the factual one!) it still seems to hold firm that unless the mainstream want a scandal brought to light then it doesn’t happen, even if said scandal is happening before their very eyes. Whether it be bias, fear, or commercial, they most certainly are not going to bring to light much of what we know has happened. I think the various upcoming court cases are our only chance of truly getting to know much of what has happened these past few years. 

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wottpiPosted on9:41 am - Dec 8, 2015

For anyone interested last night’s Panorama re Fifa was a good watch.

Andrew Jennings, a true investigative reporter, seems to be in the mould of David Walsh of the Lance Armstrong saga. A relatively lone voice trying to seek out the truth with regard to potential corruption.

With the help of relative newcomers to the world of football, the USA and the exposure of contract documents akin to ‘side letters’ things seem to have at least come to a head and now everyone’s eyes are suddenly open, including Gary Lineker!!

The amounts of money and influence is of course staggering but the whole Fifa saga shows that it takes a few loners and ‘outsiders’ to break down the barriers put up by the establishment who are all now struggling to save their necks.

Cycling has had its own problems as has the IOC and now the IAAF appears to under more scrutiny.

Surely any sporting body, no matter how small in terms of the world stage,  would learn from all these cases and happily operate in an open and transparent manner so that all fans and paying customers can have faith that the sport they love is being administered and controlled in the appropriate manner.

If that were the case then lone reporters and internet bampots would have a lot of spare time on their hands. 

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neepheidPosted on10:27 am - Dec 8, 2015

From Twitter-

    Scottish Fans ‏@ScottishFans We are at @Hampdenpark for the @ScottishFA’s Convention. Looking forward to speaking about fan involvement later!

Am I the only one who didn’t have a clue that this event was happening today?

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Ex LudoPosted on10:56 am - Dec 8, 2015

@ScottishFans. Probably a surprise for the SFA too but smacks of being somebody’s pet project that offers the illusion of influence. Cynic? Moi?

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Big PinkPosted on11:05 am - Dec 8, 2015

More Mammon I’m afraid, but can you all remember to “investigate” some of the ads further?

Kliks mean revenue for us, and despite the fantastic numbers of visits to the site, quite understandably there is a reluctance to click on ads when there are interesting things elsewhere on the page.

As you may have seen from the splash page, we still have a few mugs left. Very nice Christmas present for unbelievers 🙂

Thanks again for your support.

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bad capt madmanPosted on11:24 am - Dec 8, 2015

Shhh! don’t mention the fans…
Not anything about it on the SFA site either. In fact the latest news item was posted on the 19th Nov so nothing of note concerning Scottish football happening it would seem.
Sorry, I have to say it…”who are these scottishfans people?”

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on11:27 am - Dec 8, 2015

Re the League Cup:

Is ‘Donc’ taking us ‘Back To The Future’?

Didn’t we have very similar in the late 1970s & early 1980s? My crystal ball tells me that there will be an announcement about the competition being run with no offside outside the penalty box & possibly free kicks instead of throw-ins.

Scottish football deserves better.

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oddjobPosted on11:38 am - Dec 8, 2015


I remember the league cup being played in sections way back in the fifties . Sections were of four teams who played each other home and away, similar to today’s Champions League.
The final was played in October.

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valentinesclownPosted on11:45 am - Dec 8, 2015

I have just watched Panorama from last night concerning FIFA corruption. Mr Andrew Jenkins chased this story for 15 years and I assume he now feels vindicated.  How would we all like to feel vindicated in the pursuit of honesty and the real truth of what has gone on at Ibrox say for talking sake since the DOS payments till now.  How during this time have the SFA really governed our game to the benefit of ALL clubs. The closing sentence from Mr Jenkins (when the photo of Sepp Blatter was on his TV screen) was “I told you he was a crook” I would like to say the same but I have to many people that this term would apply to in this saga.  Why have we not got a Mr Jenkins.  
Maybe members of our SFA watched Panorama (Dr Who style behind the couch) or maybe our press watched this last night and today just went to work proud of their contribution to how they portray the Ibrox tale (knowing full well there are bits kinda missing) shame on them all.   
But like FIFA the courts will decide the facts of wrongdoing in some matters Ibrox related. Justice and fair play for all.

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yourhavingalaughPosted on12:14 pm - Dec 8, 2015

Did you also notice that it was BBC Northern Ireland that funded the programme,it would be good to ask Andrew Jenkins if he was interested in a similar gig with another Football Association a bit nearer home,but strangely I doubt the funding would come from the same shores,funny that.

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ianagainPosted on12:51 pm - Dec 8, 2015

Getting blocked by spam filter on PM replying to sanofymess.

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Ex LudoPosted on12:54 pm - Dec 8, 2015

On the BBC website the new improved League Cup is discussed. The new format has an automatic penalty shootout should there be a draw after 90 minutes. What intrigues me is that the team winning on penalties accrues a bonus point presumably then being awarded 4 points for a win. I might be missing something but this just doesn’t sound right. If I’m understanding this correctly then a team scraping through on penalties would be rewarded more than a team which perhaps won by 5 goals in the 90. Mm…

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bluPosted on1:02 pm - Dec 8, 2015

Ex Ludo 8th December 2015 at 12:54 pm #
Ex Ludo, I read that as 2 points for shoot-out winner and 1 for the loser.

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oddjobPosted on1:05 pm - Dec 8, 2015

Beat me to it !!

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ianagainPosted on1:06 pm - Dec 8, 2015

Fixed ta

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Ex LudoPosted on1:21 pm - Dec 8, 2015

Thanks for the insight. It isn’t clear though from the BBC site.

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neepheidPosted on1:53 pm - Dec 8, 2015

From the Daily Record!

Rangers will come to regret letting in Dave King … how can he be fit and proper? Former SPL chief Roger Mitchell brands Ibrox chairman “damaged”


Can the tide be turning against King? When you read stuff like that in the fiercely loyal Record, you have to wonder. Have Park & Co finally chucked King under the bus?

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oddjobPosted on2:19 pm - Dec 8, 2015

Surely Mitchell made a mistake !
He should have said the SFA will come to regret letting King in for it was that body`s decision to declare the man “fit and proper” and thus open the door.
There is no doubt that TRFC will suffer because of the decision at the EGM to oust the previous Board.

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nawlitePosted on2:24 pm - Dec 8, 2015

John Clark and others who TDed my post re league reconstruction, sorry, I should have been clearer!
I would gladly accept reconstruction to provide larger leagues if that meant, say, the Championship top 4 or 6 being added to the top league. If TRFC* didn’t win the Championship, I would still be happy for them to be added IF they were in that top 4 or 6 on merit. BUT, and this is a very important BUT, I would only be happy for them to be added if it had already been made clear that they are a new club, so that there would be no suggestion of it being done to aid the old club and get them “back where they belong”. I would have no problem with a club that started out 3 years ago reaching that top 4 or 6 on merit and being fortunate enough to be there when a (good for the game imo) reconstruction took place. However, I wouldn’t be happy if (perceived) old Rangers were seen to be helped into the top tier through that same type of reconstruction.
Do I see the authorities confirming it’s a new team? At the moment I doubt it so maybe I don’t want reconstruction!
One other thing; to get to a) Summer football and b) larger leagues to remove the 4-times-a-season crap, I would actually be prepared to allow them to do it as soon as next season if that’s what it takes. I know they should announce it beforehand as Tony pointed out, but I’d personally be prepared to accept that to get us to a better place. I see Cygnus agrees with me (it must be a Dunfermline thing). I realise that might be seen as picking and choosing which forms of rule bending by the authorities we’re willing to accept, but I think it’s about playing the ball (the particular rule bend) as opposed to the man (the authority), similar to how I think Roger Mitchell’s latest message about King will be welcomed here, while the same man’s ‘move on’ message last week was derided.

Tin hat on a bit! 

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Ex LudoPosted on2:46 pm - Dec 8, 2015

The DR does seem to be changing horses in midstream. There’s even a handy cut out and keep guide to forthcoming court cases. Very helpful.

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SmugasPosted on2:58 pm - Dec 8, 2015

Three separate issues nawlite.

1/  OC/NC should never be mixed with Reconstruction.  It would only muddy the waters further.

2/  I started writing a piece here about the merits of an immediate reconstruction.  I stopped.  They, the SFA, have lost my trust.  They now ask for it to force through their change.  Their loss.  I want to be convinced first, before offering my support.

3/  OC/NC aside the simple rule of financial sustainability should apply to all of the clubs, certainly those applying to the upper tier where the publicity on failure would be greater.  These rules should be applied to all of these clubs equally, without fear.  Or favour.  Especially favour.

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John ClarkPosted on3:03 pm - Dec 8, 2015

nawlite 8th December 2015 at 2:24 pm
Your clarification, nawlite, is kind of weakened , I think, by your readiness to accept league restructuring for next season.
In the event that TRFC merit promotion by their success on the field of play, that would be fine( leaving aside the title stripping/records amendment questions).
But for restructuring suddenly to be decided upon while there is a  possibility that TRFC might NOT win the title outright and NOT  get through any play-offs, it would undoubtedly be seen as restructuring to save TRFC rather than for the good of the game. And I  imagine it would actually be being done for that reason.
Another season under present arrangements will do just fine.No need to rush. [And, besides, it may well be that there will be no TRFC to have to concern ourselves about]

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bobferrisPosted on3:31 pm - Dec 8, 2015

In my early days of following Hamilton Accies we had League Cup sections in 1981/2 and 1982/3. In 1980/1 (my first season) we beat Stranraer then faced Celtic, both matches were over two legs. Anyway in 81/2, Accies won all their games, 6 out of 6 and then faced Dundee United in the Quarter Finals. Over two legs, we lost 9-0. Would’ve been oh so different had Joe Craig not missed a one on one at 0-0 in the first leg!
Next season, sections again and we drew the first two games, won the next but lost the final three. Even at that age I wasn’t interested in going to the final home game against Berwick as we were already out. There were always far too many dead rubbers and after just two seasons the authorities came to their senses and we went back to two legs for one season then straight knockout football from 1984/5 to the present day.
I cannot for the life of me see the attraction in four games just to get to the second round! I also cannot see what audience is waiting there for BT Sport. Currently, you win a penalty shoot out, you go through. Next season, it gives you two points instead of one. Will these two home games be on the season tickets? If not, crowds will be dire. Are these just glorified pre-season friendlies? If so, it completely devalues the competition. Why can’t we hold the final in October or November? And if our European clubs could do with some competitive football before they play the Euro qualifiers, why give them a bye in the first round?

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Bogs DolloxPosted on3:31 pm - Dec 8, 2015

JC it will undoubtedly be done because TRFC cannot survive financially another year in the Championship and may not even get to the end of this one without an insolvency event.

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Corrupt officialPosted on3:35 pm - Dec 8, 2015

It looks like they just thought of reconstruction last night…..Probably when everybody was watching Panorama. 


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StevieBCPosted on3:58 pm - Dec 8, 2015

valentinesclown 8th December 2015 at 11:45 am #I have just watched Panorama from last night concerning FIFA corruption. Mr Andrew Jenkins chased this story for 15 years…
1) And depressing as this may sound, it could take 15 years for the SFA walls/bunker to be finally breached !  As time has gone on, the SFA seems ever more firmly entrenched in its position, and its refusal to engage with the customers.
IMO, the only ‘unknown’ variable is Ashley’s Judicial Reviews threat, and possible unexpected outcomes.
[Assuming these reviews actually happen of course.]

2) And wrt King.
If he does a runner, and leaves RIFC/TRFC high and dry, then I presume the bears will be growling at the SFA for accepting his ‘fit & proper’ submission.
No responsibility will be taken by the Ibrox club, and they will be portrayed as ‘victims’ in the SMSM. 191919
I think we’ve seen this movie before, several times…

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SmugasPosted on3:59 pm - Dec 8, 2015

Bogs dollox.

Show me how restructuring would help the greater good in that though?  (It goes without saying on here that we all see how it benefits the 1). 
Would average crowds go up?  Almost certainly yes because you start to fill fifty thousand seater stadiums again to distort the average.  But tell me how a more all-encompassing league (I avoided the lazy “more competitive” mantra of the msm) will get more along on a Friday night to St J versus Dundee (purely for illustrative purposes, picking up on a Cosgrove discussion thread the other week)?
Genuinely interested.  The hunch, in fact more than a hunch, was always that the SPhell was being run for two clubs, or 1 club with one riding on coat-tails, or 1 riding a wave of rebellious upstart versus the establishment 1 – whatever, the point is it benefitted 2 clubs.  It didn’t benefit the others as ably demonstrated by R Mitchells comments a few weeks ago.  Show me how this changes that for mid table SPL clubs whose vote will be required to carry it off?Security to plan ahead, not looking over their shoulder for relegation?  Perhaps.  But that smacks of a Spurs-esque comfort zone complacency, not a fantastic base for growth and excitement which is kind of the point.
Top ex SPL clubs I can see supporting it because, mercenary to a fault, it clears their way slightly for Europe.  Top four championship clubs I can especially see the benefit.  But all those in between? 

Not convinced.  As ever, show me the numbers!   

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bfbpuzzledPosted on4:08 pm - Dec 8, 2015

I would hope without expectation or even hopelessly that any reconstruction would include rules for any club unfortunate to be under the cares of a liquidator. In such events it must be made clear that if any assets are bought out of liquidation to form another company that any application to join a league will be regarded as unequivocally one from a new club. That any records for such a Club will be new. That any history an old club may have is finished, dead not to be added to.

Without such rules we might in extremis and if one stretches ones imagination into parallel universe fantasy a Club may claim a dead Club’s history but deny any involvement in the activities which caused liquidation. Clearly that would be risible and nobody would either try it or buy it (I am unsure which is worse). At least there would be no danger of SMSM declaring the death of a club then followed by the mistaken idea that their own reports of that death were exaggerated-it would call for some with criminality in their DNA to try this ectoplasmic extraction and revivification and so I am sure it would never be tried in douce couthy unco guid Scotia.

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StevieBCPosted on4:13 pm - Dec 8, 2015

Extracted from Keef’s latest DR effort;
“…Finally, it seems real football people are being given the authority [in the SPFL/SFA] to make key football decisions and that amounts to a shift in strategy which can surely only be for the betterment of our beaten up game…”
That’s an incredibly presumptuous statement to make.
“Finally…” – really ?!  
Looks like Keef is now the official cheerleader for the Hampden blazers, in their attempts at improving their public profile – and without any meaningful customer engagement of course.  

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normanbatesmumfcPosted on4:15 pm - Dec 8, 2015

If Ann Budge, Les Hutchison or any other disgruntled club officials are so disappointed with the SPFL’s conduct, why don’t they propose a motion of no confidence in Neil Doncaster. Who knows perhaps it could be the crowbar required to force him out the door????

I won’t hold my breath……….

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Ex LudoPosted on4:22 pm - Dec 8, 2015

The league cup restructure is basically a very pale shadow of the CL. Hardly innovative or exciting. Why not simply a knock out competition with a final before the winter sets in?

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StevieBCPosted on4:29 pm - Dec 8, 2015

Ex Ludo 8th December 2015 at 4:22 pm #The league cup restructure is basically a very pale shadow of the CL. Hardly innovative or exciting. Why not simply a knock out competition with a final before the winter sets in?
Absolutely !
And who agrees that the CL has been seriously devalued in entertainment quality since the knockout approach was replaced with the money-focused, initial group stages ?
And IMO nothing beats a straightforward, one-leg cup tie, which gives the ‘minnows’ and their fans a chance to dream ?
…and also gives the neutrals exciting games to watch.

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wottpiPosted on4:34 pm - Dec 8, 2015

Re the reformatted SL Cup

By playing the group ties in July surely this ups the anti a wee bit instead of the drudgery of meaningless pre-season Friendlies. 

Plucked out of the air St Johnstone and Hibs friendlies  from this year.
St Johnstone – Linfield and Glenavon away, Aberdeen,  Real Sociedad, Blackpool at home
Hibs – Berwick Rangers, Dunfermline and Ayr away.

Many punters stay away from these ‘training games’ because there is nothing at stake.

In a LC competition a team from the lower divisions may just hope to catch a bigger team napping while the bigger team may not want to be seen to get off to a slow start.

Not that I did it myself but I know some Jambo’s who loved the experience of going to other grounds last year, some they may have not visited at all or for ages. Similarly Hibs and T’Rangers fans seem to have enjoyed the same experience.

If marketed and priced properly then I think there is some mileage in making these fixtures attractive to folks and getting people out on a (hopefully) nice summers day/night

The bigger clubs and those in Europe will still have the time and ability to set up glamour matches or friendlies with an appropriate opposition.

Seems from Ms Budge that the planning has been a bit ham fisted but worth a go IMHO.

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zerotolerance1903Posted on4:39 pm - Dec 8, 2015

Apologies in advance if these reconstruction thoughts come out not quite fully formed.

FWIW I agree with restructuring the League Cup.  I much preferred it when it was a quickfire tournament with a final in October/November that rewarded early season form.  

As for restructuring our Leagues it’s a major conundrum, we’ve tried almost every variant possible in my lifetime and they all have their drawbacks.  IMHO we make too much of it being all about the Premier and not enough about the whole league system in Scotland.

Back in 2012 there appeared to be an opening to properly discuss this stuff, but it died a death – i.e. what happened to the pyramid?

IMHO if we’re going to make any progress we have to look at it from grass roots up, create a system where a Club can rise from whatever junior, amateur or regional league all the way to the top if they are sufficiently successful.  

One structure worthy of looking at in this regard would be the English Rugby leagues where there are national leagues, then semi-regional then fully regional leagues.  Back in the early 2000s when London Scottish went bust they reformed and started in something like Middlesex 3 and have now climbed back to the Championship.
Linear leagues (Level 1 – 3): Premiership – Championship – National League 1
Semi-Regional (Levels 4 & 5): National 2, North and South; National 3 N, S, W, London and SE
Regional Leagues (Level 6-12): e.g. London 1 South through to Surrey 4

I personally would be inclined to move towards two leagues of 18 as our national linear leagues with Semi-Regional leagues below.  We would have issues with quality in an 18-team premier but there’s a reason why most of the major leagues have gravitated towards this – it has the “right” number of fixtures and teams only play each other twice.

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AllyjamboPosted on4:40 pm - Dec 8, 2015

This sudden restructuring of the League Cup, and talk of reconstructing the league, are just squirrels. It’s not so long ago that the top clubs, who qualified for Europe, wanted out of the League Cup altogether, and the change was made whereby the top clubs enter later than the rest. So why is increasing the games to be played on the agenda now?

These section games won’t, I would imagine, be included in season tickets, either that or STs will be priced out of the market for some/many supporters, so crowds will be embarrassingly small for all clubs. As bobferris rightly pointed out, when the section system existed before (he, I think, is referring to a re-introduction of the original format), as soon as a club was ‘out’ their support died to ludicrously low levels. What Celtic will think of this, with lucrative pre-season friendlies, as well as European qualifiers to think of, I can only imagine. It might provide the other clubs in Europe with competitive matches prior to their games, but they might actually prefer a friendly or two against European teams rather than run-outs against a club two or three divisions below them.

As for the reconstruction of the leagues, anyone who believes it will improve Scottish football must surely be too young to remember the last few years of the old 18 team league. There was a very good reason why it was changed – crowds were dwindling at an alarming rate, and crowds were dwindling because there were too many meaningless games against teams the supporters of the larger clubs weren’t interested in seeing, whether they’d played them already or not. In truth, the gap between the top clubs and the bottom was growing each season and so more and more games were becoming ‘must-miss’ rather than an intriguing fixture against a club not already played. 

I have to admit to having been very sceptical of the proposed change to a 10 team league, but eventually realised that, without being a soar-away success, it had halted the decline (or maybe just slowed it down). 

One thing’s for sure, any genuine interest from the Hampden bunker, in changing the league format, is not driven by the belief it is required, it is because the governors are not confident that their pet club will make it into the top league before it implodes, perhaps taking them with it. It also gives them something to say to sports ‘journalists’ that excites some of the target audience and deflects, like all good squirrels, a media desperate to be deflected.

This could well be a good week for squirrels, filling column inches in the red tops with something not (directly) TRFC related, while allowing the lambmunchers an excuse to sidestep what really matters.

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on4:42 pm - Dec 8, 2015

blu 8th December 2015 at 1:02 pm #Ex Ludo 8th December 2015 at 12:54 pm #
Ex Ludo, I read that as 2 points for shoot-out winner and 1 for the loser.
So, if it’s a draw at 75 minutes (for example, it could be earlier in the game) , it would be better for a team to park the bus (and not lose), rather than going for the win (and possibly losing), knowing that they could still earn one or two points in the shoot-out after the final whistle?

Reads like a ploy to make the actual game more boring/less interesting, with TV hoping for the ‘drama’ of penalties to redeem poor games.

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StevieBCPosted on4:56 pm - Dec 8, 2015

“Brothers jailed for brutal attack in aftermath of Celtic v Rangers match”
After all the nonsense at Ibrox / Hampden, is this the sort of headline Scottish football fans will see on a more frequent basis if TRFC gets into the top league ?

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oddjobPosted on4:58 pm - Dec 8, 2015

The report on BBC Scotland about the league cup changes looks a bit half-baked to me.
It tells us that the format will be of sections of 5 teams who will play each other once. It doesn’t say where the venues will be or how the fixtures will be made. It is conceivable that 1 club could play all four games away from home. Nor is there any information about the dates of the next round, or even when the final will be played.

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on5:04 pm - Dec 8, 2015

oddjob 8th December 2015 at 4:58 pm

Looks more & more like a diversionary rush job by the hour. (Cf. ‘summer football’.)

I wonder why, though.

Nothing much happening elsewhere for our governing boabies, sorry, bodies to turn their attention towards?

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yourhavingalaughPosted on5:08 pm - Dec 8, 2015

Forget the reconstructed squirrels
Dave….Show us the Money
preferably before court tomorrow 

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bobferrisPosted on5:09 pm - Dec 8, 2015

Allyjambo – the old days of the 18 team league came before play offs had been heard of. If we had a top league of 18 with two down automatically and third and fourth bottom being a relegation play off place with the third and fourth top sides from the division below, interest would be sustained to the end of the season. Teams in mid table in February would have one eye on pushing for a European place while knowing that a bad run could easily see them drop down towards the relegation play offs. That’s my solution, maybe needs a tweak here or there but I don’t see a lot of meaningless matches. The English Championship and League 1 & 2 rarely has meaningless matches for both sides until maybe the last two weeks of the season.

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AllyjamboPosted on5:15 pm - Dec 8, 2015

Well, I’ve just read the BBC report that Ann Budge and others were unaware of these changes; so clearly my club, and others, were not consulted. It is also clear that the changes were not made to benefit Hearts or any other club that was kept in the dark. So, for whose benefit were these very big changes made?

Dave King goes to Hampden then something is plucked from left field to be announced a few days later. Something that has huge implications for all of the SPFL clubs, but pushed through without consultation with these clubs. Sounds like an off the shelf proposal for a time of need, to me!

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ianagainPosted on5:17 pm - Dec 8, 2015

Methinks DCK might have had a bus related accident.
Nowt listed for tomorrow and reported SD folk visiting govan
Ominous I’m thinking.

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AllyjamboPosted on5:22 pm - Dec 8, 2015

StevieBC 8th December 2015 at 4:56 pm # “Brothers jailed for brutal attack in aftermath of Celtic v Rangers match”http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/14130910.Brothers_jailed_for_brutal_attack_in_aftermath_of_Celtic_v_Rangers_match/ ====================== After all the nonsense at Ibrox / Hampden, is this the sort of headline Scottish football fans will see on a more frequent basis if TRFC gets into the top league ?

I presume the perpetrators supported a ‘West of Scotland’ football club as no reference is made to the club supported by either party, but the headline makes it out to be Celtic v TRFC related. What’s more, this is this first I’ve heard of the incident, was it kept under wraps so as to not deflect from the ‘joy’ of the return of a ‘much missed’ fixture?

Hopefully the victim made a full recovery.

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paddy malarkeyPosted on5:28 pm - Dec 8, 2015

StevieBC 8th December 2015 at 4:56 pm 
Taken from ET comments so don’t know if true.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Alex Graham 12:59pm Tue 8 Dec 15 If the journalist actually sets the record straight, you will find that the two brothers are Rangers fans who attacked a fellow Rangers fan. Poor show Evening times. This article appears to carry a sectarian slant when in fact it is pure and simple thuggery.

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AllyjamboPosted on5:39 pm - Dec 8, 2015

paddy malarkey 8th December 2015 at 5:28 pm # StevieBC 8th December 2015 at 4:56 pm  Taken from ET comments so don’t know if true.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Alex Graham 12:59pm Tue 8 Dec 15 If the journalist actually sets the record straight, you will find that the two brothers are Rangers fans who attacked a fellow Rangers fan. Poor show Evening times. This article appears to carry a sectarian slant when in fact it is pure and simple thuggery.

Thanks for that, paddy. So they were, indeed, ‘West of Scotland’ football supporters, which begs the question, what was the Celtic badge doing in the article? Could it be to lead the less enquiring of their readership to presume ‘they’re just as bad as each other’?

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oddjobPosted on5:47 pm - Dec 8, 2015

The assault was widely reported at the time. The victim was said to be a Rangers fan, who had been to watch the match in a local pub.
As he made his way home accompanied by his son he was brutally attacked by two men.
The victim’s wife said that the two men were drunken Celtic supporters.
It was later stated that the men were actually Rangers Fans. Where this information came from is not clear. Perhaps local knowledge came into play.
It was a despicable crime committed by two thugs, regardless of which team they favoured.

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tonyPosted on5:53 pm - Dec 8, 2015

halway down the comments section it says it was 2 celtic fans,tit for tat on that site it seems

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Carfins FinestPosted on5:58 pm - Dec 8, 2015

This attack was thuggery. Nothing else. Not football related although the victim had been to watch the game in the local pub. There was a report in the Sunday mail the day after blaming Celtic Fans. This report was proven to be wrong and was withdrawn from later editions. The SMSM were desperate for any Celtic/TRFC fans clashes on the day and in their haste to publish simply forgot to verify any details. The name of Celtic FC should not in any way shape or form be related to this incident. To stick it under an ‘Old Firm’ banner is disgusting and I would like to see the current board of Celtic stand up for the Club this time.

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neepheidPosted on6:13 pm - Dec 8, 2015


SPFL slam criticism from Hearts and Motherwell over League Cup revamp

Whatever the truth of the matter, the issue has clearly not been well handled. Surely the detailed proposals should have been circulated to all clubs for comment/agreement before any public announcement? Well that’s what would happen in any normal organisation. I await Ann Budge’s response with interest!

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John ClarkPosted on6:13 pm - Dec 8, 2015

Allyjambo 8th December 2015 at 5:15 pm
‘…so clearly my club, and others, were not consulted. ‘
Not only not consulted, apparently, but not even informed ahead of the public announcement, according to Mrs Budge and Motherwell’s chief!

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