Look Back to Look Forward

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Good Morning. My latest blog is posted below in full, as …

Comment on Look Back to Look Forward by TheClumpany.

Good Morning.
My latest blog is posted below in full, as it may be of interest. It is a reaction to John Clark’s excellent account of his encounter with Stewart Regan.
Keep up the good work. And as usual, you can find me at https://theclumpany.wordpress.com/
TC
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If you only read one thing today (other than this blog…), make it this post on the Scottish Football Monitor by John Clark [link provided]. Mr Clark attended an event at the University of Edinburgh which was graced by the presence of Stewart Regan who was giving a talk on International Football Governance.
Mr Regan is of course the Chief Executive of the Scottish Football Association. And the SFA is one of the privileged few to be a permanent member of the International Football Association Board, which makes the laws of the game around the world.
Yes, Mr Regan not only runs football in Scotland, he also has influence on the way the game is played across the globe. Bear that in mind when you read Mr Clark’s report of the event and his later conversation with Regan about Resolution 12.
Regular readers will be aware that The Clumpany recently wrote to Mr Regan about Resolution 12, and encouraged you to do likewise. Hopefully you will feel extremely motivated to do so by the end of this blog! 
Clearly Mr Clark’s account is his personal recollection and cannot in isolation be taken as a definitive account of what was discussed. In an ideal world Mr Regan would go on the record about all the issues raised by Resolution 12 and put them to bed one way or another.
Nevertheless, bearing in mind the above caveats, Mr Clark’s account is truly extraordinary. Here is the key extract:

“I said I had sat listening to him talk about values , transparency and integrity and the FIFA and UEFA governance problems and I wanted to mention that the SFA had problems in its own governance.I said that UEFA had been misled, whether intentionally or through incompetence,about RFC’s state of social taxes indebtedness and as a result that club had been granted a European licence they were not entitled to.
The Grant guy said ‘Oh , there’s a bit of background there, Rangers/Celtic”I put my finger up, told him this wasn’t a Celtic-Rangers matter, and said that I wanted to hear Regan state categorically that RFC was not in debt to HMRC at the deadline date.
Regan said that the matter was complex, and explained to the class ( with a smile) that , as he had mentioned earlier, the West of Scotland threw up particular problems), and that this wasn’t really the place to discuss it, but he would see me after the meeting.
After the meeting, when only he and I and Harvey were present, (Harvey said he had seen me before at Hampden , but couldn’t say in what context) I again asked Regan whether he would categorically state as the official SFA position that RFC were not in debt to HMRC at the deadline. He said that the SFA had met the requirements of Art. 66 and that the club had been ‘in negotiation’ with HMRC. I said that , no, in fact the club was actually in debt in respect of social taxes, and the SFA were derelict in duty, intentionally or otherwise.
I said: if I were to provide incontrovertible evidence that the club was actually owing money to HMRC , and the debt collectors had been in, what would you do ? His reply was “Nothing”.
I said I would report that back to my people. He asked ‘and who are your people? People who don’t use their real names?
I said ‘I use my real name, and I have written to UEFA using my real name, so that there would be evidence that at least someone had raised the issue before any artificial deadline. I added that we, who pay our money, are the people.
His reply was “if you’ve made your mind up, and that’s your opinion,there’s no way I’m going to convince you’
I said it was not a matter of opinion but of fact, and it won’t go away.
And that was that. No great surprise, but at least the satisfaction of speaking face-to-face.
The business began at 12.30, and I left the building at around 2.30. ( I walked from the St Leonard’s Land building in the Cowgate to the Turkish barber at Nicholson Square and it was 2.45 when I sat down.Interesting experience: he used a kind of blow-torch on me. I never felt a thing, so maybe I’m fit and proper to become an SFA blazer or a RIFC director?)”

There are several points in that account which grate:
* The blithe dismissal of the issue by characterising it as a “West of Scotland”thing. 
* The unwillingness to discuss the issue at hand and the reliance on simpleassertion about what happened when Rangers were granted their UEFA licence for season 2011-12; and
* The use of the “people who don’t use their real names” deflection. This is a particularly spurious argument given the strenuous efforts of those pursuing Resolution 12 to confirm their bona fides to the SFA, and given Mr Clark’s use of his own name when meeting Mr Regan face-to-face!
But the most remarkable part of Mr Clark’s account was Regan’s apparent response when asked what he would do if provided with “incontrovertible evidence that the club was actually owing money to HMRC, and the debt collectors had been in”. 
According to Clark (and as I said above, we only have his word to go on, although I have no reason to disbelieve him), Mr Regan said he would do “Nothing”.
If true, that really is extraordinary and someone in the media should be all over it. Did the Chief Executive of Scottish football’s governing body really suggest that if presented with evidence that one of his members wrongly gained access to club football’s premier (and most lucrative) competition at the expense of another he would do nothing?
Are rules, due process, and level playing fields of no concern to the people running our national sport?
Assuming that Mr Clark’s account is correct, it would be utterly shameful if Celtic FC failed to throw their weight behind Resolution 12. They must accost the SFA directly and pointedly, and if Regan won’t involve UEFA, the club must do it themselves, by writing in the strongest possible terms.
And let us not forget that if Rangers shouldn’t have been awarded a UEFA licence in 2011-12 it wasn’t only Celtic who were victims. An extra Europa League place would have been freed up for another club. Resolution 12 is therefore relevant toany Scottish fan who hopes to see their club play in Europe. Because it raises the crucial question of whether the SFA is an even-handed gatekeeper of the licensing process. 
Resolution 12 should also concern fans of clubs who may never be in contention for a European place. Because it raises the fundamental issue of whether the SFA administers its (and UEFA’s) rules without fear or favour. In short, it questions whether Scottish football is a genuine sport, or a freakish sort of light entertainment. And if that doesn’t trouble you, then I politely suggest that you need to wake up and ‘smell the coffee’.
This particular ethereal entity is appalled by what was apparently said at the University of Edinburgh. If true, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that anyone who pays a single penny into Scottish football prior to fundamental change at Hampden is an absolute mug. 
We all want to follow our club, but if that means subsiding the set-up that brought us the 5-Way Agreement, the Lord Nimmo-Smith Commission, and troubling questions about the awarding of UEFA licences, then it is hard to avoid concluding that we are wasting our time.
I hope you enjoy subsidising our governing bodies. I won’t be joining you.
#KeepOnClumping

TheClumpany Also Commented

Look Back to Look Forward
Comment on Look Back to Look Forward by woodstein. , April 5, 2016 at 23:28 https://theclumpany.wordpress.com/
That’s what I wanted to say at April 5, 2016 at 10:16
5 stars to The Clumpany *****03
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Many thanks! A quick glance at last night’s reporting and through today’s newspapers following Sevco’s promotion demonstrates the extent to which our sports media is little more that a cesspit of apologias for rule-breaking, creditor-stiffing and one apparently indestructible football ‘club’. For some (but not all) in our media (an industry which – at its best should speak truth to power and investigate things that others would rather keep hidden), Scottish football only has any value whatsoever if there is a Rangers-flavoured entity at or near the top of it. The tiresome ‘Old Firm’ nonsense can be churned out endlessly and oh-so-lazily, and the rest of the game can GTF.
Scottish football has become an embarrassment to the world’s greatest sport, and to Scotland as a nation. No morals, no regard for rules or level playing fields and absolutely no serious consequences for a team in Light Blue which went to the wall owing creditors millions and having systematically screwed the taxman.
It really is an extraordinary thing when the media is willing to dispense with the norms of society and systematically lie in order to preserve a dead football ‘club’ while the authorities look the other way. It suggests that there is something truly rotten in this country.
Some folk are doing good work to try and bring about some sort of accountability and justice (including people on TSFM and those behind Resolution 12). But right now it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that you are an absolute moron if you pay a single penny into any part of Scottish football. And yes, that does includes attending matches in support of your own club (NB I know that comment will upset a lot of people). The people in authority with the wherewithal to make it a genuine sport and deal with the misdeeds of the past seem unwilling to do so, and the media which could give them a kicking for resting on their laurels would seemingly rather talk about the ‘Journey’ and the ‘Old Firm’…
It’s a farce. But a farce that seeks to get your money under a false pretence of genuine competition, and which is slowly but surely destroying our game.
Finally, you might be interested in reading yesterday’s piece “Death, Hypocrisy and Taxes” which systematically dismantles the Daily Record over its differing attitudes to the ‘Panama Papers’ and Rangers. You can find it on my blog site at the usual address.
Have a great day!
TC


Look Back to Look Forward
Good Afternoon.

I have written to the Scottish Football Supporters Association about the current Supporters Direct Scotland survey and the issues of good governance which are inadequately addressed therein. The email is pasted below and forms part of a longer blog which you can find over on my site.

Cheers.

TC

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Dear Mr Goodwin.

I wanted to draw your attention to my concerns about the survey which is currently being run by Supporters Direct Scotland in partnership with the SFA. These are set out in the attached blog.

Surveying The Damage?

You will see that while I welcome much of the ground covered by the survey, I think it is woefully lacking in material about improving the governance of the game, which I believe to be the single biggest problem we face. I am also hugely sceptical about the action that the governing bodies will take in response to the survey. The SFA and SPFL remain aloof, unresponsive and seemingly utterly unaccountable to fans, and this is helping to create a poisonous running sore in our game.

Whilst the Scottish Football Supporters Association is not responsible for the Suporters Direct Scotland survey, I would be very interested to know your views on it, whether you intend to take an interest in its findings, and whether you will put pressure on the SFA to genuinely listen and act upon them.

I ask this bearing in mind your recently-published Fans’ Manifesto. In particular point 8, which is headed “Regular, independent auditing and review of the performance of governing bodies and clubs”. The detailed wording of point 8 pretty much hits the nail on the head as far as I and many others are concerned.

I would also be interested to hear more about any activities that the SFSA itself has in train to promote better and more accountable governance in Scottish football.

I will post this email on my blog site and would also like to post any reply that I receive from you.

Many thanks in advance.

Yours sincerely,”


Look Back to Look Forward
CORRUPT OFFICIALMARCH 23, 2016 at 18:05 12 0 Rate This
Interesting. A seminar on Rangers(I.L.) tax. Info courtesy of Clumps
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Thanks Corrupt Official. The first place I tried to post details of that seminar was on SFM as it seemed of interest to members. Posted it at 1603 but it is still in ‘moderation’!


Recent Comments by TheClumpany

Small Price to Pay?
Good Afternoon.

Just to say I really enjoyed the podcast with David Low. Great stuff. 

TC


Small Price to Pay?
BIG PINKMARCH 12, 2017 at 16:13
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Ah Sorry Big Pink I see you beat me to it!


Small Price to Pay?
Good Afternoon.

If you haven’t yet seen it, do take a moment to look at the Record’s shameful article/tweets about the Celtic ballgirl who allegedly swore at Sevco players after their goal today. It’s disgraceful stuff which risks making her a target for the lunatics. Links herein. https://theclumpany.wordpress.com/2017/03/12/please-help-to-name-and-shame/

But do come back here to debate the issues! ?

Cheers.

TC


Small Price to Pay?
UPTHEHOOPSFEBRUARY 28, 2017 at 07:10
Sportsound was another joy to behold last night.
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Great post! They seem not to even care that the show often resembles a Sevco fans’ podcast.  Endless earnest discussion about the latest manoeuvrings as if they were talking about a military campaign, and ALL based on the assumption that the latest Ibrox outfit is the same entity, with the same “success”, status and expectation of dominance as its pre-2012 predecessor. You will never hear a conversation about Sevco on any radio or TV programme which is thoroughly grounded in the reality of that basket case’s true position. A large part of the audience doesn’t want to hear such blasphemous talk and the pundits certainly doesn’t want to be the ones to utter it. Meanwhile the rest of us are left hanging.
Still, it entertains in a “cringe-making” sort of a way!
I had a bit of fun imagining the implications for Sportsound and Kenny Macintrye if Barry Ferguson ever got the Sevco manager’s job. If anyone wants to look it it is here. https://theclumpany.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/barry-ferguson-sevco-manager/
Keep up the good work!
TC


Peace – Not War
…and those of us with an interest in Resolution 12 will marvel at the sight of the SFA taking an interest in the detail of whether an Ibrox-based entity should get a UEFA licence…


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