Comment on Look Back to Look Forward by Taysider.
I see Livingston FC have had to apologise after a quite shocking post on their official twitter feed!
I’m not clear what was more offensive, the suggestion that second tier rules would accommodate the needs of Sevco (by re-scheduling the final game for tv) or mis-naming of Sevco as “The Rangers.”
It is extraordinary the contrast between the MSM triumphant return propoganda stuff and how a low profile tweet on the feed of a second tier club can lead to such a rapid retraction. It’s a funny old world.
Look Back to Look Forward
JOHN CLARKMARCH 23, 2016 at 17:20
No I didn’t hear that JC. I find that periodically I change station or turn the volume down almost as a reflex action.
Not surprised by the anecdote of course, that is “well behaved” journalists getting the juicy stories along with the juicy lamb! As for Kenny Mac becoming a journalistic truth seeker, well I guess anything is possible but I won’t get my hopes up!
Look Back to Look Forward
I maybe wrong but I sense a slightly dispirited mood on SFM recently. A few big picture thoughts:
In terms of the authorities, there is disappointment at what has amounted to a minimise, deflect and it’s time to move on and not be obsessed approach to concerns raised by the years of systemic cheating by one club. This has to be put in context. These authorities attempted an unprecedented course of action in 2012. A club had broken the rules for years on player registrations, paid players without accounting for tax on their earnings, notwithstanding that had spent more than they could afford in trying to out-compete their main rival and as a result gone bust, many creditors losing large sums in the process. We all knew what would happen in these circumstances, given precedents. Except we didn’t. The authorities attempted to have a club with the same name continue in the top flight of Scottish football. That was pretty amazing and led Turnbull Hutton to use the “C” word! Authorities capable of that cannot be expected to accept that there have been faults in the way they administered the rules, not after such brazen attempts at distortion to arrive at a totally unjustified outcome given the facts of how we got there.
As for the MSM, well maybe we shouldn’t be totally surprised at the narrative that has been established. When it needs a highly respected war correspondent to ask the right questions, when Mark Daly (I believe?) was encouraged to think it was time to investigate other stuff, when a manager could ask who are these people and it led to all sorts of intimidation… Remember this:
Most of us I’m afraid don’t have the courage of Mr Thomson to the extent that they will risk invoking such a response by their words, especially if their boss / editor has no interest in supporting them. What could happen to a BBC Sports reporter who dared to comment that some people regarded a club as having died!
I applaud those like Auldheid who have the resolve to pursue Resolution 12 but sense that tactics involving delay, deferral, deflection whatever to drag this out will continue to be deployed n a hope that this all fades away. If it took 30 years to get a proper enquiry on Hillsborough, how long do we expect in a no fatalities situation?
In other words, in respect of the authorities and the MSM nothing has changed nor appears likely to change and that should unfortunately come as no surprise. Years ago I was taught that in terms of a business negotiation you have to consider where the power lies. Power is often entwined with money. So the one time when the authorities didn’t get what they wanted was as a result of No to Newco which threatened the clubs’ money. They had to change their plans. Ultimately that threat may be required again.
The fact that the authorities could not be trusted was widely appreciated in 2012, so it will be far easier to accept if they try again to create an uneven playing field. If they blatantly attempt to do so, we know what works. Fans of virtually all clubs were involved in No To Newco. It wasn’t a Celtic / Rangers issue. It wasn’t a kick them when they were down issue. It was an apply the rules fairly issue. Simple.
2012 demonstrated the power of alternative media. If we hadn’t had the internet I very much doubt No To Newco would have happened. For many out there the MSM is broken. We know about the declining newspaper sales. I don’t know what the listening figures are for Sportsound but I wouldn’t be surprised if they are also plummeting. I listen for light entertainment to stuff like the Michael Stewart / Billy Brown chumble fest last night. But I don’t listen to it for analysis of the serious issues. If it had any authority it has lost it.
If I want the latest I come here, a site with a track record for thoughtful, considered analysis of the facts. If the authorities are blatantly trying to interfere with the principle of operating the rules without fear or favour I’ll look here to first be alerted to it. I’m sure fans of most clubs now trust the internet more than anywhere else to find out what is happening.
Here we will continue to find out what the media forget to tell us, especially if the authorities again forget what the rules are for. The MSM, the authorities, they may not have changed… but we have.
History, Neighbours and Made Up News
I’m usually in lurker mode these days but I’m puzzled by this Barton story.
If I was working for any self respecting media organisation, especially one allegedly national and objective, then I would be wondering why has this story appeared in the newspapers now, who is responsible for it being leaked and what is their objective in doing so?
I’d also observe that based on recent precedents (see examples in BBC article, link) Barton should surely be expecting, IF guilty, somewhere in the region of a six match ban, three or four of which would be suspended.
Instead Radio Shortbread, based on the postings here, is busy already deciding the fate of the guilty (allegedly) one. I write based on postings here as I stopped listening a while back. Maybe one or two others have done the same.
Incidentally rest assured that any decline in season ticket renewal at Celtic will be put down to the fans voting on the future of Deila by the MSM. Of course that could be true. But I’d be astonished if Res 12 gets any mention as a possible factor!
BIG PINKAPRIL 19, 2016 at 08:54 39 8 Rate This
The successes Rangers have had on the field of late have seen SFM numbers down. In fact, and worryingly for the future of SFM, over a third of our monthly subscriptions have been cancelled in the last two months and our daily traffic has reduced by a commensurate 35%.
I’d echo the comments of others on here that the decline in SFM numbers (fact) may not be an outcome of The Rangers recent success on the field (conjecture). For many if that club have won the Championship with the best team and without the benefit of financial doping (which I hope is true) then fair enough. I think it is at least as likely that there is a sense of fatigue with the continued strategy of the MSM, authorities and clubs to ignore and attempt to marginalise those who have justified ongoing concerns at the governance of our game given the events of 2011 / 2012. The recent torrent of MSM propaganda which would suggest that Scottish football is all about one rivalry with all other clubs just so much blank canvas on which to paint blue and green brush strokes doesn’t really help and indeed ignores and is an insult to the many positive aspects of what many would see as something of a renaissance over the last few years.
If what we have seen over the last four years is a war for the soul of Scottish football, it may be tempting to be concerned with the current position, but we need to take a long term view. Some battles will be won, some not. It may be that Resolution 12 is too technical to galvanise a large number of supporters of all clubs in the way the blatant attempt at re-writing the rules in 2012 so that a form of a liquidated club could be in the top flight was. But given that we KNOW the authorities have a bias towards special treatment for those that that they see as the essence of what Scottish football is all about, that we KNOW the MSM including the BBC are lickspittles to that agenda, then the role of those who continue to independently and objectively scrutinise is all the more important. Whatever the outcome on Res 12 there will be other issues. If any club is again intended to benefit from the largess of authorities more concerned with what they consider to be important instead of the fair application of the rules we have to be ready. The MSM are in decline. This is the age of the bampots.
John Clark Meets “The SFA”
Trisidium 1st February 2016 at 1:34 pm #I think that there is a plan at work here with respect to the off message members of the press.
Not such a subtle plan? As far as I’m aware no mention of the Spiers / Herald story on Sportsound over the weekend (happy to be corrected, I listen to it less and less). No Tam and Stuart at the least sending up a situation involving a regular guest on their programme?
Maybe there is a line out there in BBC management and elsewhere that it is time to move on. It’s not unreasonable though to think that an element of at best the desire for a quiet life, at worst fear, is at play here. Heggarty, Spiers, Jim Spence, Mark Daly, you’re either with us or against us for some sad folk. I actually thought Spiers was an Ibrox club supporter FWIW (apparently not much).
So where are we heading? I can only see mistrust of the MSM continuing to grow with this story, not just for the action by the Herald but also for how the rest of the MSM have either ignored it or given it low billing. So is it unreasonable to wonder if all Scottish papers are a waste of time in terms of impartial coverage. Is the same increasingly true of Sportsound? For the state broadcaster to have Richard Wilson, Keith Jackson, Kenny MacIntyre all on at once on an evening suggests a lack of concern over credibility and balance. I’d be curious to know what their audience figures have been in recent years.
There again, if fear is increasingly an issue, if a London based respected journalist who proved his mettle reporting from war zones is one of the very few I look to for honest reporting, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.
Two wrongs and a right
Thank you Auldheid and John Clark for the feedback from the launch of the SFSA Manifesto.
Potentially this could (emphasis on could) be an important step forward, in particular with the eye catching call (which could have come from a contributor to this blog) for a:
“regular, independent auditing and review of the performance of governing bodies and clubs”
It’s an encouraging step forward for fans of all scottish clubs who wish the best for the future of the game to hear this fundamental concept promoted by an organisation able to get some profile on the issue with a former first minister amongst those at the launch.
I was curious to see what media reaction there had been to the launch. There seems to be quite a spectrum: The Scotsman have a decent, comprehensive article from Andrew Whitaker, comments including:
“However, in a keynote demand it called for the “regular, independent auditing and review of the performance of governing bodies and clubs” that would see organisations such as the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) forced to submit to outside scrutiny.
The report said the radical move was needed due to a “complete lack of transparency throughout the game”, stating that it “often it is only when a crisis emerges that we get to see how a club is actually managed”.
In a scathing criticism of the sport’s two main governing bodies Scottish Football Association (SFA) and the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL), it said the attitude of fans to those in charge was “revealing and concerning”.
Former First Minister Henry McLeish, who spokes at the manifesto launch, said the plan for independent audits of clubs, the SFA and SPFL could help prevent a “vast international shadow overhanging” the game such as the Rangers case.
Rangers three divisions in 2012 after the Oldco Rangers went into administration, and ultimately liquidation, over a separate tax debt which eventually reached £21million.
The current Rangers club, which has won two promotions on the field since 2012 and is potentially just months away from a return to the Scottish Premiership.
STV do also give a fair bit of coverage on line but essentially quoting from the Manifesto, no particular prominence or added context to the call for greater transparency but at least they do have coverage.
While The Record does have an article on the Manifesto it manages to make no mention of the audit of clubs and the governing bodies that got headline billing in the Scotsman’s article.
I’m still looking for the national broadcaster’s coverage. I assume a panel of Chic Young, Richard Wilson and Keith Jackson will be desperate to spend a lot of time discussing a proposal that has come from a body speaking on behalf of the fans that are the audience of the BBC as well as the customers of the national game?