Look Back to Look Forward

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John Clark March 16, 2016 at 22:15 ======================= John, chapeau! I wonder …

Comment on Look Back to Look Forward by Kopweb.

John Clark March 16, 2016 at 22:15
John, chapeau! I wonder if the professor chap who referred to it as a Rangers/Celtic thing may actually have been Professor Grant Jarvie, Chair of Sport at Moray House? His details are here.

Amongst other things, Prof Jarvie is current Chair of the Sportscotland Trust Company, formerly the Scottish Sports Council which had a standard security over Auchenhowie. Interesting that he thought he had seen you at Hampden. Maybe you were on CCTV… 21

Seriously though, Prof Jarvie is obviously an influential guy in an important position. Would there be any merit in inviting him to do a guest blog on the role of effective football governance in the long-term development of the sport in Scotland?

At the very least, John is right – something like “Farry to Regan: Scottish Football Governance from 1990 to 2016” would make a belter of a doctoral thesis.

Kopweb Also Commented

Look Back to Look Forward
Off topic, but some of my fellow old-timers (and even some younger dudes) may be interested in this brilliant article about the ‘other team’ in what many see as the greatest game ever played: Eintracht Frankfurt.

Brought back memories for me as I was one of the 70 million who watched it live on TV (in glorious monochrome), and then again several times over on the 16mm film that our school-team coach sourced to show us how football should really be played.

Some things never change though. Watch out for the comments about the arrogance and hype surrounding Frankfurt’s semi-final opponents, and for the “ridiculous” penalty decision in the final by the SFA referee…

Look Back to Look Forward
I have a sense that we are in danger of being split apart by a blame culture and inter-club rivalry. We run the risk of losing the common purpose and consensus about poor governance that has been SFM’s great strength and distinctiveness.

We cannot and should not blame one specific club or even a group of ‘big’ clubs. All senior clubs have been complicit to a greater or lesser extent. The uncomfortable truth is that the SFA and SPFL are both reflections of their members. Doncaster, Regan et al have survived because their members go along with the omnishambles and fraud for their own narrow interests.

Isolated decisions about whether to withdraw support may be heart-wrenching for individuals but are unlikely to have much impact. Only some form of collective action is likely to produce change.

There’s an interesting article in today’s Independent on how supporters put tribal loyalties aside in favour of the greater good to persuade BPL clubs to cap away ticket prices.

We made a multibillion pound global industry listen to people they treated as mere consumers. People they underestimated and took as turnstile fodder. We did all this on top of our day jobs. People paid, very well, were not able to stop volunteers who put skills, experience and expertise to good use. We made banners, marched, contacted sponsors, boycotted, walked out and used days off to sit in meetings with club officials and the Premier League.

But even that single-issue battle took 3 years to win (and arguably would not have been won at all without the sudden shock of the Anfield walkout).

Let’s not kid ourselves that the likes of Peter Lawwell, Stewart Milne, Stephen Thompson, Rod Petrie (and yes, even Ann Budge) are going to leap to clean the Augean stables at Hampden just because a few dissatisfied consumers threaten to withdraw their custom. Only sustained, organised and focused action is likely to make a difference.

Look Back to Look Forward
Homunculus 10th March 2016 at 3:37 pm #
But, but, but… What are you saying? You mean that CFC is NOT a metaphysical construct? 13

I agree entirely. It’s business. But you do have to weigh that against the possibility that (professional) ‘Football Without Fans Is Nothing’.

I suspect that club boards might soon start to behave very differently if ST renewals and walk-up attendances slumped dramatically because fans walked away from the professional game. Because the business imperative would become very different.

It’s not just about income at the gate. The TV companies sell games for crowd atmosphere as much as football content. That’s why the BPL can command such huge broadcast-rights deals. And sadly, that’s why the SMSM, $ky, BT, etc. want to stoke the fires of ‘old firm’ games.

It’s business. No intense ‘atmosphere’, no big bucks.

Recent Comments by Kopweb

.. and they wonder why nobody buys papers
voiceofreasonJune 9, 2016 at 10:29

I am neither a lawyer nor a Celtic fan, and tend to treat all conspiracy theories with extreme caution.  But if the Grauniad and the Herald pulled the advert on legal advice, surely that would have been easy for the sales people to explain to those placing the ad?

And I’m fairly sure that the SFM’s ‘original values’ have always included being both club-neutral and trying to shine a light on the murkier waters of Scottish football governance, in the absence of proper investigative reporting by the MSM.

On the subject of club loyalties, it seems very strange to infer that we should not poke the SFA nest just because it now works in Celtic’s favour…

Sorry AJ – you were making much the same points while I was typing 🙂

The Offline Game
Distracting and entertaining as the debate may be, why should this forum be remotely interested in whether Leeds United is a parallel case? The FA and Football League are hardly model exemplars of football governance. If the debate was about the treatment of Gretna, Airdieonians or Third Lanark it might be of more relevance.
All the debate does is fester inter-club hostility. I assume and hope this was not TLM’s intention.
There seems to be broad consensus that the SFA, SPFL (and its predecessors) and many of the member clubs have been incompetent at best, and have colluded to bury sporting integrity for commercial gain at the expense of the fans. All fans, regardless of club. Investors may have also been collateral damage along the way.
We are where we are. Maybe we need to focus on what can be done to avoid further damage to our game by governance that is not fit for purpose.

John Clark Meets “The SFA”
Isn’t the Kieran Prior piece just a regurgitation of a story that did the rounds in January 2015? That would explain the lack of quotes and the reference to his investment ‘in the last year’.
Maybe I’m too cynical but I suspect a high-Level squirrel. 13

John Clark Meets “The SFA”
Must add my support for Bill1903 and tayred. In the north-east sectarianism was always seen as a peculiarly West of Scotland issue. It just never arose in daily life.
With my mates, I was a regular at Pittodrie in the early 60s – before segregation and when you could move freely round the terraces from Merkland Road to the Beach End. Despite widespread drinking, there was very rarely any trouble, even in 20,000 crowds for games against Celtic or Rangers (I was next to Rangers fans during their 6-1 drubbing in 1961). Any neds were usually calmed down by their mates or the police. The only sectarian singing I can remember hearing was by Gers fans parodying ‘Hail! Hail!’
It does make me wonder whether segregation in the grounds has actually increased the problem by making tribalism the acceptable norm. It’s not so easy to brand opposing fans as scum or whatever when you’re right next to them and realise they are actually real people…

John Clark Meets “The SFA”
It is worth re-reading the Spiers article, bearing in mind this was an opinion piece in a supposedly ‘quality’ newspaper. Compared to what Ian Archer wrote about the old club in the same newspaper 40 years ago, the degree of criticism is very mild indeed. The only potential block on a legal defence of veritas would have been Spiers’ desire to protect source confidentiality.
But the newspaper appears to have crumbled at the slightest whiff of legal action and/or loss of advertising revenue. Can you imagine one of the London-based ‘quality’ papers backing off that easily? And I fail to see how Angela Haggerty’s tweet could in any sense be seen legally as within the control of the Herald.
What seems to have slipped under the radar is that the ban is across all Newsquest publications. So the decision must have been taken at group level, not within the Herald. The Newsquest CEO is ex-Scotsman so there may be some connection there that we don’t know about – or more likely it was a commercial decision in an environment of drastic cost-cutting (as Roy Greenslade’s article implies).
Either way, it does not bode well for the future of ‘quality’ print journalism in Scotland.

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