Mr Green and Opportunity Knocks— For Aberdeen?

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Mr Green and Opportunity Knocks— For Aberdeen?

Good Morning,

In the last week, we have seen a number of strange occurrences in Scottish Football, which if taken together might just point to a very different land than the one we were lead to believe we live in just two short years ago.

First of all there was the report from a firm of well known accountants which pronounced that a significant number of Scottish Football Clubs had, in fact, sold more season tickets for this coming season than they had in the course of the last several years.

Then we had the spectacle of the National team travelling to Wembley and playing very well AND being cheered on by a very large travelling support who appear to have been full of fun and who acquitted themselves well in the big smoke.

This morning I read that today’s match at Pittodrie is a sell out — with the old stadium being packed to the rafters for the visit of Celtic. This is the first time that Aberdeen have been able to sell out the fixture for some 6 years!

Not only that, various Celtic supporting websites have lead with articles saying that the return of a strong Aberdeen and Dundee United are to be welcomed– in fact not only welcomed but positively wished for.

In contrast, stories abound about the in fighting on the Ibrox Board. There are surreptitious share dealings and all sorts of company jockeying being deployed by the rival factions who are trying to gain control of The Rangers. Further, there is the suggestion from some well informed parties that not only will Ibrox and the Albion be sold and leased back to the club to generate much needed immediate cash, but that Murray Park has been sold off completely and will no longer be available to The Rangers for any purpose whatsoever!

Clearly, there are big troubles at the club which will not assist in the stated intention of rising to the very top in Scottish Football.

In between all of this, the debate goes on about Campbell Ogilvie, Press manipulation, the correspondence  between Media House and the SFA, and between The SFA and Ibrox re the relationship between Charlie Green and Craig Whyte and so on.

Standing with my business hat on, I looked at all of this and wondered what it all meant, and pretty quickly reached the conclusion that we are now in a time of supreme opportunity for some of the clubs in Scottish Football—- particularly Aberdeen FC.

There is a view abroad, that in the absence of the “Strong Rangers” that Celtic Football Club will win the SPFL title for almost evermore — or at least until they are toppled from the top spot by the rise of a strong Rangers club somewhere towards the end of this decade or early in the next– because we are assured that they will be back– in one form or another– in a rather Arnold Schwarzenegger  like fashion.

That return or initial rise if you like– its timing and its manner— is dependent on a number of things– not least the exit strategy of Charlie Green and his cohorts.

If it is true that The Rangers are going to part company with Ibrox and the Albion, that they have taken on a loan of funds which attract a rate of interest that amounts to 15% per annum, and that there are set figures for buying the old ( and decaying ) stadium back any time soon, and that they have yet again hawked the season ticket money, then the already flawed Ibrox business plan is burdened even more by interest and rent payments of an additional £3M per annum and rising!

It should also be noted that the accounts for old co from the mid naughties onwards boasted that season ticket sales, merchandising, corporate hospitality and so on had reached unprecedented levels—- but—- the club still did not make an operating profit without strange internals transactions such as the repurchase of media rights which added £15M on to the P&L’s AND the sale of Jean Alain Boomsong!

Accordingly, the current position will not make for good financial reading.

So– let’s presume that in the current climate Celtic are out of sight and will always be champions for ever and a day. What do the rest of the clubs say in the absence of the Ibrox club without whom they have been told they will perish?

Well, If I were in charge of Aberdeen FC I would look out across a city with an inherent population of some 220,000 souls sitting in a county which takes the population up by another 40,000 or so. I would note that the compact city also houses two universities and a number of colleges — all of which attract visitors to the city— and that its position as the oil capital of Europe also draws in a substantial number of itinerant workers.

Further, personal knowledge shows that many who studied at Aberdeen University or Robert Gordon’s in the 80’s left the city as Aberdeen FC fans and no matter where they have ended up in life they still make the journey back to Pittodrie when they can– especially in good times!

Alas, however, Aberdeen has not enjoyed ” Good Times” of late— in fact not really since ……….. the arrival of David Murray at Ibrox!

If you cast your mind back to the pre Murray era, Aberdeen were a force not only in Scotland but Europe as the recent nostalgia re Gothenburg has reminded us.

The city has an economic micro climate which suggests that it can ride economic hardship better than most and so all things considered this current period provides a great opportunity for the Dons.

Unlike Dundee United, Hearts, and Hibs, Aberdeen FC sits in a large one team conurbation and should be on the doorstep of a populace which can fill Pittodrie every single week …… IF that fan base can be motivated.

And there lies the rub– how do you get a notoriously fickle fan base out of the armchair and into the stadium?

The late Bob Crampsey once described Pittodrie by saying ” And there are the masses of Aberdeen fans, masquerading as rows and rows of Empty seats!” yet in their heydey an Aberdeen crowd on a visit to Glasgow were among the noisiest– and to this football fans eyes — the scariest ( in a good sense ) supports to be seen.

Well, at this juncture, Derek McInnes and team need only look at every other football club in the land ( bar Celtic ) and determine that come next May those others will be below them in the league. If Aberdeen maintain a strong league run keeping everyone behind them then there is the possibility of a huge revenue swing in favour of the Dons– such a swing that would put them in an even stronger position for the following year.

Further, Aberdeen are a European name. Perhaps a European name from yesteryear and not the recent past, but the pedigree is there and as such there will be those who remember the heady European Nights both home and away. Reviving those memories and that reputation– at least to an extent– is not beyond the club, and with no disrespect to Motherwell and St Johnstone both of whom are liable to lose key players or even a manager between seasons, Aberdeen may just be of a size to consolidate each year rather than scramble to maintain the momentum of one good season which comes along every now and then.

Financial management and football rewards can go hand in hand when combined properly, and of all the clubs in Scotland who can benefit from a level playing field in terms of proper football governance, Aberdeen FC are uniquely placed in my opinion.

That is not so say that The Arabs, or the Hibees or anyone else cannot benefit– on the contrary— but the Dons are the most obvious candidates in terms of potential structure to really motor forward and regain a by gone status.

Such a situation, and the recognition of that potential, should be borne in mind by all at Celtic Football Club, as last year they struggled for a period in the league while they concentrated on their European exploits. If Celtic want to go further and further in Europe ( and why shouldn’t they ) they will have to be wary of any club which is capable of reigniting its fortunes from a lowly position or a position of having to look back at glory and potential glory rather than looking forward.

Further, with the way things are being organised at Ibrox, there is absolutely no guarantee ( some would say likelihood ) that an eventual challenge to a perceived dominance by Celtic will come from that quarter, and life in the top flight for any returning Rangers could prove very difficult if the likes of Aberdeen get their act together and start to produce the type of home grown team of old.

For now, I sense a degree of optimism about the Dons– not just on the playing front either.  They have a fan base, they have a business model and a good young manager, and any comparative business exercise must conclude that they have every chance of rising above most of their rivals in the league, in terms of revenue, in terms of brand development and business expansion.

If I were an Aberdeen fan I would like to think positive and be ambitious in this climate, whilst at the same time casting an eye back to the days when they were top of the tree.

As one Aberdeen supporting ( but now Edinburgh based ) friend put it to me:

” Ah, those were the days my friend, those were the days……………”

About the author

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broganrogantrevinoandhogan author

Boot wearing football, sport & total nonsense fan-- Gourmet, Bon Viveur and eedgit! - Oh and I write a bit occasionally!

2,310 Comments so far

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bluPosted on11:51 am - Aug 28, 2013


In relation to the AGM/EGM it seems to me that posters are arriving at conclusions that don’t directly relate to the information available. All this talk of, “They don’t know who the shareholders are,” is a diversion. The RIFC Board has said to the requisitioners (McColl et al), “Show us your share certificates.” Chances are this is arm wrestling or stalling (which is where all the interesting speculation can begin).

Here’s the relevant section of the notice to the Stock Exchange this morning:
“The Board wishes to reach agreement for the withdrawal of the Requisition without delay but is waiting for certain Requisitioners to authenticate details of their holdings pursuant to the Companies Act 2006 before being able to finalise the agreement.”

Is the Board required or entitled to require that those requisitioning a General Meeting verify that their grouping (as listed in the CF scribd doc) has the collective shareholding necessary to call the meeting?

Note the complaints about Jane Lewis too – not so long ago no journalist would have been looking at the LSE site at the opening of business to keep up to date with matters RIFC. Chalk that up as a victory to the bampots.

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Drew PeacockPosted on12:04 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Auldheid says:
August 27, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Either we have lost the place ( a thought that often crosses my mind) or there are darker deeds at play I would have dismissed as nonsense 2 years ago.
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I too often have that thought but as more information becomes publicly available I’m not so sure. It is now apparent that the SFA/SPL have gone to great/any lengths to keep Rangers in the Scottish game. Conflating and ignoring the Wee Tax case liability in the LNS “enquiry” and allowing them into Europe to access much needed cash are but two examples of this.

My belief is that the SFA/SPL were well aware of the financial state they were in in early 2011and signed off the Euro licence in the hope they could access the cash they required to complete the season. Of course with the Big Tax case looming they also knew there would always have to be an insolvency event.

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Not The Huddle MalcontentPosted on12:34 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Drew Peacock says:
August 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm

My belief is that the SFA/SPL were well aware of the financial state they were in in early 2011and signed off the Euro licence in the hope they could access the cash they required to complete the season. Of course with the Big Tax case looming they also knew there would always have to be an insolvency event.

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I don’t think it is even as nefarious as that, i think they just gave them the license as they won the league and were told everything was going to be fine. Probably threats of civil unrest and disorder should THE RANGERS win the league and then be told they couldn’t play in the CL

in fact, if the SFA HAD with held the license, they’d probably be the ones getting the blame for putting Rangers out of business.

Rock and a hard place.

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Jack JarvisPosted on12:36 pm - Aug 28, 2013


The SPFL transfer window closes at 23.00 on August 31st.
(http://www.epfl-europeanleagues.com/leagues_transfer_window.htm)

The Rangers’ transfer ban runs from Sept 1st 2012 until August 31st 2013
(http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/scottish_fa_news.cfm?page=2566&newsCategoryID=1&newsID=9718)

(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/9416156/Rangers-newco-accept-12-month-transfer-ban-in-order-to-secure-SFA-admission.html)

Apart from the obvious answer “Because it’s Rangers and normal rules don’t apply”, can anyone explain why McCoist’s seemingly endless list of “signings” and “trialists” can be registered with The SPFL on September 1st, after the window “slams shut”?

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theoldshedPosted on12:40 pm - Aug 28, 2013


In case of interest here’s an opinion piece in today’s Herald about governance in the sport of cycling. Pity the same analysis couldn’t have been applied by a Herald journalist prior to the recent SFA election.

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Restoring cycling’s credibility will never happen on McQuaid’s watch
Doug Gillon, 28 August 2013
http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/opinion/restoring-cyclings-credibility-will-never-happen-on-mcquaids-watch.21993180

PAT McQUAID is seeking a third term as president of cycling’s world governing body, the UCI.

Despite having presided over one of the bleakest chapters in the history of any Olympic sport, there remains a chance that the Irishman may thwart Brian Cookson, his only rival for the job. The election will take place at the UCI congress in Florence, on September 27, during the UCI Road World Championships.

I hope McQuaid’s power-crazed attempt to cling to office fails, otherwise he will become the sporting equivalent of Robert Mugabe.

It was less a change of personnel when McQuaid succeeded Hein Verbruggen in 2005, more a seemless transfer of administration and ethos. He is Verbruggen’s man and their joint regime has been characterised by weak governance, lack of transparency, and pathetic leadership. Not to mention allegations of corruption and the darkest doping chapter in the sport’s history.

Verbruggen, a Dutch Olympic delegate, is famed for having said: “Lance Armstrong has never used doping. Never, never, never. I say this not because I am a friend of his . . . I say it because I’m sure.” McQuaid called two riders who tried to out the cheating Texan: “scumbags”.

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Drew PeacockPosted on12:49 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Jack Jarvis says:
August 28, 2013 at 12:36 pm

The SPFL transfer window closes at 23.00 on August 31st.
(http://www.epfl-europeanleagues.com/leagues_transfer_window.htm)

The Rangers’ transfer ban runs from Sept 1st 2012 until August 31st 2013
(http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/scottish_fa_news.cfm?page=2566&newsCategoryID=1&newsID=9718)

(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/9416156/Rangers-newco-accept-12-month-transfer-ban-in-order-to-secure-SFA-admission.html)

Apart from the obvious answer “Because it’s Rangers and normal rules don’t apply”, can anyone explain why McCoist’s seemingly endless list of “signings” and “trialists” can be registered with The SPFL on September 1st, after the window “slams shut”?
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Is it because the players concerned are “free agents” and therefore as they are not registered with any club no “transfer” is involved?

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scapaflow

scapaflowPosted on12:49 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Firstly, thanks to everyone who pointed out that the SFA are not required to abide the FOI legislation, you are indeed correct. Although if an org takes public money they should be just as accountable as any other org that takes public money.

Secondly, on JT and JI. I agree that the “management” may prefer to keep both inside the tent. However, Mr Traynor does appear to be preparing a principled, (stop laughing at the back), departure. He has had a very public dust up with Mr Mather, and his mini mees in the blogosphere have been very active of late in burnishing his rather tarnished halo.

What odds on Mr Traynor returning to the inky trade in a column near you sometime soon?

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fara1968Posted on12:50 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Jack Jarvis on August 28, 2013 at 12:36 pm
2 0 Rate This

The SPFL transfer window closes at 23.00 on August 31st.
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I’m pretty sure that you can sign free agents after the deadline, which all the govan sides new players are. After all they have had extensive “trials”.

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fara1968Posted on12:56 pm - Aug 28, 2013


I would much prefer an elephant in the room with me than JT in the same tent. Claustrophobia safety first.

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torrejohnbhoyPosted on1:02 pm - Aug 28, 2013


scapaflow says:
August 28, 2013 at 12:49 pm

What odds on Mr Traynor returning to the inky trade in a column near you sometime soon?
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I can see him back in the print trade soon:

“BIG ISSUE,GET YOUR BIG ISSUE” :mrgreen:

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bluPosted on1:06 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Jack – it’s in the rules, of course! You would guess that Daly, Law et al failed to find employment. Philadelphia lawyers may argue otherwise.

Handbook – Registration Procedures
http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/football_document_libraries.cfm?page=3213

1.1 To those Clubs to which Registration Periods apply, a professional Player may only be registered to play for such a Club during one of two Registration Periods per year as determined by the Board from time to time. Notwithstanding the foregoing provision, a professional Player who has failed to find employment during a registration period may sign and be registered for a Club outwith the Registration Periods.

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scapaflow

scapaflowPosted on1:15 pm - Aug 28, 2013


torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958) says:

August 28, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Wishful thinking I fear :mrgreen: but I love the mental image of JT sleeping under the Heilan Man’s Umbrella

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CastofThousandsPosted on1:25 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Cerdan says:
August 27, 2013 at 5:17 pm

“Been having a think about the possible identity of Charlotte…Now using the ancient and very useful approach ‘who benefits?’”
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I have been an advocate of the critical analysis of the Charlotte material from her earliest postings on here and have felt that the input provided us with valuable information. Your interesting analysis however provokes me to describe an observation I made some time ago but have not previously highlighted.

Charlotte made 19 posts on TSFM before deciding to utilise twitter rather than endure blog scepticism. The posting history is as follows :

Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 20:23
Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 21:29
Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 22:15
Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 03:07
Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 16:43
Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 21:23
Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 22:52
Monday, May 13, 2013 at 00:03
Monday, May 13, 2013 at 00:44
Monday, May 13, 2013 at 03:00
Monday, May 13, 2013 at 03:20
Monday, May 13, 2013 at 03:30
Monday, May 13, 2013 at 13:22
Monday, May 13, 2013 at 13:41
Monday, May 13, 2013 at 15:16
Monday, May 13, 2013 at 16:17
Monday, May 13, 2013 at 17:59
Monday, May 13, 2013 at 18:29
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 12:45

The average of these times computes to 1:20 pm GMT
The window is roughly 6.30 a.m. to 7.55 p.m. GMT

I like you thought Monaco also but that would be for an ‘early to rise, early to bed’ given only a one hour time difference.

Understanding who benefits is an intriguing quandary but we will probably not perceive this until after the gain has been achieved.

GallingFiver commented that the CO DOS document must have come from Ibrox. Why would Craig Whyte have possession of this via a recent e:mail account?

The Charlotte information has certainly been enlightening for the blog but like the true sceptics we are it is wise to raise our gaze from the page now and again to glimpse any wider picture.

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AuldheidPosted on1:35 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Scapaflow
Re Mr Traynor’s mini mees burnishing his tarnished halo. They should be told you cannot polish a turd.

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fara1968Posted on1:37 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Not only does Phil have questions to be answered re oldcos European license it was apparent to other less obvious journalists. I know this has been played to death but just listen to Roddy Forsyth from around 3:20. Just staggering.

http://youtu.be/z94TIJIqSOM

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on1:38 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Reluctantly, wrt Traynor, have to admit he has a great / valuable story to sell, (I know. :roll:) .

He has had a unique perspective over the years in the MSM and as prime lamb muncher – and more recently from within the Ibrox walls.

Assuming he told the truth (?!) and he got someone to write it properly for him ( 😉 ) he could have a book / paper serialisation that even us Bampots would feel compelled to read.

Also agree it’s probably wise to retain Traynor within the Ibrox ‘tent’ for the time being.

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borussiabeefburgPosted on1:38 pm - Aug 28, 2013


blu says:
August 28, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Jack – it’s in the rules, of course! You would guess that Daly, Law et al failed to find employment. Philadelphia lawyers may argue otherwise.
Handbook – Registration Procedures
http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/football_document_libraries.cfm?page=3213
1.1 To those Clubs to which Registration Periods apply, a professional Player may only be registered to play for such a Club during one of two Registration Periods per year as determined by the Board from time to time. Notwithstanding the foregoing provision, a professional Player who has failed to find employment during a registration period may sign and be registered for a Club outwith the Registration Periods.
=======
But Daly, Law and the rest have not “failed to find employment during a registration period”, and you can bet if Spartans, Brechin City, Annan Athletic or the ‘Shire tried to pull this same stunt, they would be facing a charge of bringing the game into disrepute.

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Tif FinnPosted on1:55 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Free agents can be registered at any time, it does not need to be during a window.

This is a good thing as it allows unemployed players to get a club and to ply their trade.

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FinlochPosted on2:07 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Two thoughts in response to some of the discussions.

Firstly I think everyone who signed the 5 way agreement (and everyone who was behind its creation) is bound in a kind of blood oath to protect their accomplishment.
They all know in an individual, a joint and also in a several way where a bunch of bodies are buried because the 5 way agreement origins lie way back in the SDM tenure.
And sadly this unlikely cabal are collectively using their areas of influence to stop the real story emerging.
It is a complex story of corruption, tax dodging and incredible self interest among the Scottish financial, business and I’d venture political communities too.
It explains the lack of (to quote Mr Regan’s favourite word for a while before he was gagged) “transparency” at the SFA.
It explains why they won’t respond to Phil’s incisive questions. Honest answers would hurt them.
It explains why they constantly handle the Sevco Rangers tantrums and misbehaviour with kid gloves.
And it explains why Sevco Rangers know they can get away with real stuff and I don’t mean the betting squirrel.
I think Mr Green and Whyte and Murray can still hurt the SFA and all the others in the chain.
Thats why there is deafening silence.

Secondly I enjoy her wee presents but think Charlotte is just playing chess.
I don’t even know with whom but do know If she just wanted to reveal the stuff she knows we could have had a wiki leaks type dump.
That makes me feel that Charlotte has a pre meditated objective and truth for the sake of a fairer and better game and society (which is what we probably collectively want) is sadly not her end target.
I think she has been devious enough to cover her tracks but the people she is briefing against will all know she is in a position to hurt them.
She’s keeping others in line and when she gets the result she wants she will hitch her skirts and move along.

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Galling fiverPosted on2:18 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Castofhtousands.

Thank you, I think. I may have taken a wee dig here and there about my thoughts on the CO leak (?).

FIFA and UEFA have all but turned their head to all of this, who would be bothered about what he knows. Most probably so corrupt it would never see the light of day, just like the rest of the dodgy dealing we are trying to out.
We are all aware none of it will be printed unless its good for sevco. So the buried bodies theory does not hold water with me. More likely he’s holding on for a job back at sevco after a big payoff. And if they don’t take him, he probably knows nothing useful at all. Only my opinion, but he’s been part of everything, and in the loop since he helped with the DOS or EBTs, through to being the only recovery plan to reinstate normal service, right through the whole farce in a critical role.

The leaks are designed to assist those within the farce, or the warring factions. If he’s getting dropped in it from the dark side, it’s either by request to force his broon envelope/payoff or he’s being taken out the picture. The only bodies he’ll be able to identify are of the big zombie variety, the rest would be nowhere near as frightening.

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bluPosted on2:43 pm - Aug 28, 2013


borussiabeefburg says:
August 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm
================================
borussiabefburg – I don’t know if they’ve signed a contract with TRFC. The question of strict interpretation of the wording of the rules i.e. the phrase you highlight , is interesting – particularly if they have signed a contract and simply haven’t been registered because TRFC can’t do this until 1st September. It may be that they’re so desperate to play for the world’s most successful club that they’re working for nothing just now.

Other clubs, particularly in the lower leagues, will do this to save money. An unemployed player just wants a contract and SFA have made provision for this. The TRFC action would seem to be within the letter of the rules, if not the spirit.

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manandboyPosted on3:12 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Re Stewart Regan. For amusement only.

I’ve been trying to trace Stewart Regan’s whereabouts as he does appear to be having one of his quiet periods.

During the search, I came across a piece in the DR dated 21 June 2013, link below, on the subject of clubs in Administration, in which he said:-

“But we can’t be seen to be rescuing individual clubs.”

Regan later said: “I come from a business background and know you can’t spend more money than you earn. You create major problems if you try to do so.”

I suspect Mr Regan is a cross between an unconscious incompetent and a stand-up comedian.

I’m also beginning to wonder if he’s currently living in a submarine somewhere, afraid to come to the surface.

Now where’s that lead . . .

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/sfa-chief-stewart-regan-ready-1973726 21 Jun 2013

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smartie1947Posted on3:17 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Finloch @2.09
It is a complex story of corruption, tax dodging and incredible self interest among the Scottish financial, business and I’d venture political communities too.

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Personally I would like to add the word “judicial” to that sentence.

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bluPosted on3:18 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Apropos of nothing:

Share ramping
What is share ramping?

Share ramping (also known as ‘pump and dump’ and ‘book ramping’) is where criminals influence the share price of a company and then take advantage of it.

•It is commonly done by bringing a company to the market with false expectations of its profitability.
•Alternatively it can be done by buying shares in a company when they are at a low price and then starting a rumor that the company is being taken over. When the share price rises, the shares are sold at a profit.

Where can I get more information?

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is the primary organisation that investigates share ramping.

If you have information on share remping that fits our acceptance criteria, then you can also report it in confidence using our secure online reporting form. You can also send details to us in writing at: SFO Confidential, Serious Fraud Office, 2-4 Cockspur Street, London, SW1Y 5BS.

Case example

Three British directors of an American mining operation deliberately concealed personal interest in a new share issue.

Two of the three guilty men were Board members of the mining company. Due to their professional involvement, they should have declared their personal stakes in the company when new shares were being issued on the London Stock Exchange – but they did not. The flotation was presented as a ‘chance to strike gold’. A consultancy firm produced an attractive report on the company’s prospects. However, the value of precious metals and base ore to be extracted from the mine workings at the company were overvalued and the shares soon tumbled in value.

The resulting gains made by the fraudsters out of the flotation, over £60 million, were hidden in an intricate network of offshore companies. This was only discovered during a raid on a Jersey accountancy firm.

A joint investigation between the SFO and the City of London Police followed. The paper trail, which had started in Jersey, led investigators to Hong Kong, New Zealand, Monaco, France, Switzerland and Canada as well as where the company was located in the USA, in order to unravel the ownership of a web of offshore companies.

An eleven-month trial finished with the conviction of three out of four men on conspiracy to defraud charges in relation to a gold, silver, lead and zinc mining business in the USA

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pilgrim1888Posted on3:23 pm - Aug 28, 2013


I see The Rangers have released(sacked) Darren Cole for failing to turn up for a reserve team fixture. I wonder if they will take the same stance with Ian Black should the SFA find him guilty of the the far more serious offence of betting against his own club?

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AllyJambo

AllyJamboPosted on3:35 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Drew Peacock says:

August 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm
Drew
I agree with what you say, but would add my own musings on it, in that I think/believe that Regan, and of course Ogilvie, knew the correct tax position, but Whyte told them that European football would enable them to pay the crystalized tax bill. In Regan’s mind, a justifiable whyte lie; Rangers saved and the taxman happy. In the event, it all went pear shaped in Europe…

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TallBoy Poppy

TallBoy PoppyPosted on3:42 pm - Aug 28, 2013


StevieBC says:
August 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm
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Jabba will have enough of the taxpayers’ cash salted away to ‘retire’ to Australia when the fan and the brown colloids finally meet. His work is nearly done.

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Drew PeacockPosted on3:50 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Allyjambo says:
August 28, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Drew Peacock says:

August 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm
Drew
I agree with what you say, but would add my own musings on it, in that I think/believe that Regan, and of course Ogilvie, knew the correct tax position, but Whyte told them that European football would enable them to pay the crystalized tax bill. In Regan’s mind, a justifiable whyte lie; Rangers saved and the taxman happy. In the event, it all went pear shaped in Europe…
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I agree – by March 2011 the tax position was cut and dried – it was illegal. When the DOS scheme was sold to Rangers it would have come with a health warning to the effect that it was aggressive tax avoidance that was bound to be challenged by the tax man. However, they will have been told it should survive that challenge because the sellers would have obtained Tax Counsels opinion saying that technically it held water. CO would have known this.

In that Chic/Traynor/Forsyth discussion from Radio Shortbread posted above it is interesting to note that Traynor says Whyte had only learned of the Wee Tax case at the last minute and if the deal wasn’t restructured so that someone else paid for it then it was no dice.

For something as substantial as that to come out at the last minute is unusual. Normal practice is for the seller to disclose and warrant against such “hidden” liabilities. Either it wasn’t disclosed by the seller or Whyte was lying.

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beanosPosted on3:56 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Allyjambo says:
August 28, 2013 at 3:35 pm
—————————————————————————————————————————————–

thats a good line of thinking actually and ties in with Whyte’s claims that the SFA knew all along about the financial difficulties at the time.

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BorisPosted on4:00 pm - Aug 28, 2013


There are probably lessons for other clubs in what author Declan Hill has to say about Fenerbahce, after their UEFA suspension was confirmed today:

http://www.declanhill.com/blog

*******************************************************************************
Well done! Good work. Full kudos to the judicial decision makers at CAS.

Full congratulations to Michel Platini and UEFA.

Full congratulations to UEFA’s former integrity officer Pierre Cornu.

Here is what happened.

Turkish football and politics are corrupt (No surprise to anyone in that sentence).

The Turkish met an international institution that could not be corrupted (at least, not in this case).

To sum up: Turkish police and courts discovered that the richest and most powerful team Fenerbahçehad, two seasons ago, indulged in a pattern of match-corruption. They had been joined in their disgraceful behaviour by a wide-range of other teams.

Many Turkish politicians and football officials did not deal with this problem in a way that would have made Kamal Ataturk proud – cleaning up the sport, jailing guilty people, rewarding innocent heroes who had made a stand against corruption.

Instead the majority of Turkish federal politicians overturned a Presidential veto to punish the guilty. The majority of Turkish sports officials twisted and turned desperate not to admit the truth that is obvious to all – Turkish football is deeply corrupt. And sadly, the majority of Fenerbahçe fans engaged in a pattern of absolute denial.

Here is what anyone connected with Fenerbahçe should now say,

‘We are sorry. This is not behaviour that makes us proud. We are Fenerbahçe. This corruption was an exception. We shall not do it again. We will play in a way that will make all Turks proud of us.’

If they did that one simple action – ask for forgiveness – we could all move on and Fenerbahçe’s name and reputation could begin to climb back to its true glory. But while they engage in childish denial of the obvious they continue to besmirch the history and reputation of their club.

I repeat – well done to UEFA, well done to CAS – justice was done internationally. When will it be done in Turkey?
****************************************************************************************************

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wottpiPosted on4:25 pm - Aug 28, 2013


pilgrim1888 says:
August 28, 2013 at 3:23 pm
6 0 i
Rate This
I see The Rangers have released(sacked) Darren Cole for failing to turn up for a reserve team fixture. I wonder if they will take the same stance with Ian Black should the SFA find him guilty of the the far more serious offence of betting against his own club?
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I think I may have selected him as one for the push when the SFL over 21’s rule was being discussed being his contract was up at the end of last season. However he was given a one year contract in June this year.
http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11788/8793818/Scottish-Darren-Cole-signs-new-one-year-contract-with-Rangers
5 years at the club and brought up through the youth system.

Incident seems to have occurred earlier in the month thus giving the club plenty time to see how they could try and save some wages.
http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/latest/rangers-defender-darren-cole-told-to-stay-away-1-3054420

As Tom English observed well at the weekend where is McCoist and his ‘one of ours’ speech. Give youth a second chance, building our squad from within is our future etc etc

Instead its “Darren’s contract has been terminated and he goes with our best wishes,” Rangers boss Ally /McCoist told the club’s official website.
http://sport.stv.tv/football/237623-rangers-release-darren-cole-after-defender-failed-to-show-for-reserve-game

As was pointed out the other day McCoist thinks some players are possibly going to be leaving but he doesn’t actually know who. Looks like a bit of russian roulette in the Ibrox changing room for those and such as those..

Next thing we know someone will be leaving for picking their nose and flicking it!

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CastofThousandsPosted on4:31 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Allyjambo says:
August 27, 2013 at 10:50 am

“It might well be possible for them to appoint the administrators as they, themselves, will probably be, or are fronting for, the main creditors, and so, unless the courts smell a rat, and we know their noses are blocked with all things ‘Rangers’, their choice will be allowed.”
——————————–
Reading over the last few days of comments and speculation the possibility postulated by Allyjambo, that RIFC might do a voluntary administration and appoint their own administrators, had the resonance of plausibility about it. If RIFC have extended monies to TRFCL then this looks like a viable tactic to wrestle the wounded animal to the ground.

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jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on4:33 pm - Aug 28, 2013


wottpi says:
August 28, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Next thing we know someone will be leaving for picking their nose and flicking it!

————————————————————-
Yuck, what a thought!!!
Who would do such a thing?

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BrendaPosted on4:46 pm - Aug 28, 2013


As discussed here a few weeks ago could some of the ‘trialists’ be ‘let go’ before 1 sept even although it was well publicised that they had signed contracts ??? Going on the general consensus that sevco don’t have a lot of ££££ I take it daly, law etc are not being paid at the moment ❓ just where is the £££ coming from to pay theses guys from 1 sept? Will mr Wishart and co have to get involved again??

Regan and Doncaster still very quiet?? are they as confused as the rest of us 😕

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wottpiPosted on5:10 pm - Aug 28, 2013


jean7brodie says:
August 28, 2013 at 4:33 pm

==============================
Seems that sort of thing goes on in Spain!!

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HirsutePursuitPosted on5:12 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Tif Finn says:
August 28, 2013 at 1:55 pm
11 0 Rate This

Free agents can be registered at any time, it does not need to be during a window.

This is a good thing as it allows unemployed players to get a club and to ply their trade.
====================================================================

I wonder if anyone has actually asked if their application to register the trialists is likely to be successful. The registration of players outside of the transfer window only applies to professional Players who are unemployed.

1.1 To those Clubs to which Registration Periods apply, a professional Player may only be registered to play for such a Club during one of two Registration Periods per year as determined by the Board from time to time. Notwithstanding the foregoing provision, a professional Player who has failed to find employment during a registration period may sign and be registered for a Club outwith the Registration Periods.

It is important to remember that holding a contract of employment with a football club is not the same as being registered with that club.

The trialists, if they are already employed by TRFC as professional Players, cannot by the letter and spirit of the SFA’s Registration Procedures be registered with the club once the transfer window has closed.

It appears to me that the only method by which an employed professional Player’s registration can be officially sanctioned outside the transfer window is under the “exceptional circumstances” rule:

1.4 The Scottish FA may in its absolute discretion, in exceptional circumstances, sanction an application for registration of a professional Player outwith the Registration Periods subject to specific conditions, Board approval and, where required, approval of FIFA.

Which of course means, that the SFA Board would have to sanction the circumvention of the signing ban that they imposed. The irony of which will, no doubt, be totally lost on them.

It seems also that the trialists signed from foreign shores will require FIFA clearance and presumably official support from the SFA Board before their registration could be sanctioned.

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briggsbhoyPosted on5:22 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Re: the return of JI to Ibrokes

Just thinking that they were stung for quite a bit of cash first time round. There was an opportunity to recoup losses if you were still working for that customer by overcharging or doing less for more money. If however you are no longer involved with that company it becomes impossible to recoup any cash, hence his possible desire to be back at Ibrokes.

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Drew PeacockPosted on5:33 pm - Aug 28, 2013


HirsutePursuit says:
August 28, 2013 at 5:12 pm
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I see where you’re coming from and your analysis depends on them being employed. What if they are on some kind of pre contract agreement? Would that allow them to be registered?

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paulsatimPosted on5:34 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Tif Finn says:
August 28, 2013 at 1:55 pm
12 0 Rate This

Free agents can be registered at any time, it does not need to be during a window.

This is a good thing as it allows unemployed players to get a club and to ply their trade.

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

So if they are “unemployed” how are they surviving without money? They signing on? Surely RIFC cant be “paying” them, cos then they would be employed.

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thirdmanrunningPosted on5:52 pm - Aug 28, 2013


paulsatim says:
August ,28, 2013 at 5:34 pm

You’re confusing two things, I believe; an employment contract and a football registration.

If you’re unregistered you’re a free agent.

Almost every footballer has an employment contract AND is registered to play football for their employer.

You can be both a free agent and employed. Especially if you work for Sevco.

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taxman comethPosted on5:54 pm - Aug 28, 2013


1.1 To those Clubs to which Registration Periods apply, a professional Player may only be registered to play for such a Club during one of two Registration Periods per year as determined by the Board from time to time. Notwithstanding the foregoing provision, a professional Player who has failed to find employment during a registration period may sign and be registered for a Club outwith the Registration Periods.

nowt there to say that the professional football player has to find employment as a football player, if he were to be employed as a groundsman he would still have found employment ergo can not be registered outside the window

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gc58Posted on5:57 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Hypothetical question.
Had DM finagled his way to champions league glory then how many stars would be on the current strip?

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briggsbhoyPosted on6:08 pm - Aug 28, 2013


gc58 says:
August 28, 2013 at 5:57 pm

More than the best seller on Ebay 🙂 I wonder in fact how many stars and what feedback DM, CW or CG would have got if they had sold The Rangers on Ebay. Feedback would have been great

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on6:11 pm - Aug 28, 2013


gc58 says:
August 28, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Hypothetical question.
Had DM finagled his way to champions league glory then how many stars would be on the current strip?
=================
I was going to ask – how long before TRFC move the ‘5 stars’ from the side of their tops to the front of their tops – above the crest like the old club ?
…but having checked their 2013/14 kit, it already has the stars on the front !

So, why where the stars moved to a discreet position on the top last season…
[Nothing to do with pretending to be the same club, and/or anticipating the loss of a star ?]

….and why have the stars being moved to the shirt front for this season ?

And where will the stars be positioned on next season’s kit ?
I think the fans have a right to know… 🙄

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fairshoutPosted on6:52 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Hello boys & girls,
finally tuped over (again) and re registered, managed to keep my old username.
i have been reading every day , saves buying one of the rags, keep up the good work!

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patsymcd1888Posted on7:00 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Hate admitting it, but listening to SSB just now, caller asked the panel, Did the rest of the Scottish football not benefit from CFC CL run, and they all said they honestly did not know GD doubted it, and then JD said wait a wee minute am sure there was a small amount of cash given to Scottish football.

I know myself there was, but could someone please refresh my memory please. 😕

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Danish PastryPosted on7:15 pm - Aug 28, 2013


@Patsy

Seems to have been a pool of about £1.5m for the top-flight clubs. Nice, if it was actually distributed.

http://sport.stv.tv/football/clubs/celtic/204469-no-extra-uefa-cash-boost-for-spl-clubs-despite-celtics-progression/

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patsymcd1888Posted on7:28 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Thanks for that Danish

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gc58Posted on7:44 pm - Aug 28, 2013


briggsbhoy 6.08pm
Great answer.
Do Ebay accept offers of less than £1?

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Not The Huddle MalcontentPosted on9:47 pm - Aug 28, 2013


so, everyone was watching the Celtic game then?

congratulations Celtic.

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aramintamoobeamqcPosted on9:53 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Aye, I was watching the fitba. Well played. CL group stages 2 seasons on the trot is a great achievement.

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ianagain

ianagainPosted on9:54 pm - Aug 28, 2013


I was watching the text believe it or not as a Scot in England you either get Sky (which I never will), or watch txt updates.
Well done Celtic (majorly) & St Johnstone & Scotland (slightly)for keeping the Scottish co – efficient pointed upwards.

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thirdmanrunningPosted on9:58 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Well done Celtic. Good for the Scottish game that result.

Unless of course you subscribe to a different, tired and defunct agenda…

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wokingceltPosted on10:05 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Patsy – the 11 SPL sides got two payments last year following celtic’s run. Believe it was about £130k for getting to the group stages and the a second payment of about £80k for getting to last 16. Every little helps 😀

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wokingceltPosted on10:07 pm - Aug 28, 2013


That being £130k and £80k for each one of the 11 clubs – just to be clear 😳

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TSFMPosted on10:10 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Neil Lennon just called the bampots “pseudo-intellectuals” 🙂

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Tif FinnPosted on10:16 pm - Aug 28, 2013


I fully support the notion that this blog should be non partisan and should not discuss the results of a specific club. That is part of the ethos of the blog.

Notwithstanding the above can I extend my congratulations to a Scottish club which has reached the group stages of the champions league after three qualifying rounds and as such will improve the country’s co-efficient, whilst at the same time raising both the profile of our league and much needed funds for everyone in it.

Can I humbly suggest that this can only be good for our game.

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ianagain

ianagainPosted on10:28 pm - Aug 28, 2013


TSFM says:

August 28, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Neil Lennon just called the bampots “pseudo-intellectuals”!!
===============================================

What us fellows like? How dare he.
Get him in front of as many judges as you care.
I’m pure affronted.

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TSFMPosted on10:28 pm - Aug 28, 2013


TBH, I’m being a bit naughty. I don’t think Lennon meant TSFM 🙂
More like having a pop at the people on boards who were having a go at him last week.

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aramintamoobeamqcPosted on10:40 pm - Aug 28, 2013


I suspect NL was having a dig at the keyboard warriors on Twitter and KDS etc, who have been getting their knickers in a twist over the poor result in the first leg. Apparently, he had a big dig at ITV/STV for their match summarising, which I am totally on board with – their coverage of Scottish football is atrocious.

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NawlitePosted on10:45 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Saw this detail for the pots in respect of the Group stage draw. No surprises that CFC are in Pot 4, as was the case last year. Finishing 2nd from that position will be difficult, but they managed it last year and already will have pushed their and Scotland’s coefficient a little higher (as well as earning some money for all the other clubs.

Pot 1 coef. Pot 2 coef.
———————— — —————- ———————— — —————-
Bayern München (TH) Ger 146.922 Atlético Madrid Esp 99.605
FC Barcelona Esp 157.605 Shakhtar Donetsk Ukr 94.951
Chelsea Eng 137.592 AC Milan *4 Ita 93.829
Real Madrid Esp 136.605 Schalke 04 *4 Ger 84.922
Manchester United Eng 130.592 Olympique Marseille Fra 78.800
Arsenal *4 Eng 113.592 CSKA Moscow Rus 77.766
FC Porto Por 104.833 Paris Saint-Germain Fra 71.800
Benfica Por 102.833 Juventus Ita 70.829

Pot 3 coef. Pot 4 coef.
———————— — —————- ———————— — —————-
Zenit St. Petersburg *3 Rus 70.766 FC København Den 47.140
Manchester City Eng 70.592 Napoli Ita 46.829
Ajax Ned 64.945 Anderlecht Bel 44.880
Borussia Dortmund Ger 61.922 Celtic ** Sco 37.538
FC Basel *3 Sui 59.785 Steaua Bucuresti ** Rom 35.604
Olympiakos Piraeus Gre 57.800 Viktoria Plzen ** Cze 28.745
Galatasaray Tur 54.400 Real Sociedad *4 Esp 17.605
Bayer Leverkusen Ger 53.922 Austria Wien *3 Aut 16.575

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NawlitePosted on10:47 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Sorry about the formatting of the pots table. I can’t fix it! 8 teams on top right are pot 1, 8 0n top left are pot 2, etc.

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ianagain

ianagainPosted on10:49 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Having seen first hand the guff SMcC got after building a team in a matter of weeks to play in Europe.for once I do agree with NL.
Thankless task very little time to pull the trick off and he’s done it again.

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briggsbhoyPosted on10:51 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Celtic reaching the CL group stages is good for Scottish football because
+ it raises the profile of the game in Scotland
+ With greater interest there is more chance of sponsorship, TV deals etc
+ It gives teams in the SPFL the opportunity to test themselves against a team who is playing in CL
+ Supporters of any team want to see players who play in CL so as Celtic play away from home it should increase crowds
+ Teams in the SPFL benefit financially
+ The co-efficient improves
+ It will hopefully attract more quality player not just to Celtic but to Scotland
+ It may encourage more good Scottish players to stay in SPFL

It’s a pity St Johnstone, Motherwell, Hibs didn’t get the results we all wanted, maybe next year. The opportunity knocks for other teams in the SPFL, we have just got to work out how we get them all past the knockout entry rounds.

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fairshoutPosted on10:54 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Araminta Moonbeam QC says:
August 28, 2013 at 10:40 pm

I agree , they should try and talk it up for once, we have enough doom & gloom on the front pages!
far to negative for my liking.

also I demand to know, who gave me a TD, it must have been a so called journalist lol
well done to Celtic tonight, that is a massive result for club & country.

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bluPosted on10:54 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Araminta Moonbeam QC says:
August 28, 2013 at 10:40 pm
Apparently, he had a big dig at ITV/STV for their match summarising, which I am totally on board with – their coverage of Scottish football is atrocious.
====================================================================
Shame he even bothered to watch it. It was appalling ill-informed nonsense from the ITV1 commentator. Disrespectful to both teams and irritating for the viewers as he arrived at conclusions unrelated to what was on view. I understand NL’s desire to have a go back tonight but would have preferred that he just allow his team to provide the perfect riposte. Nonsensical jingoism is a feature of that company’s CL broadcasts.

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andyPosted on10:58 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Celtic qualifying for the Champions League ensures all 11 other Scottish Premiership clubs will get a minimum of £150k from Uefa #SPFL

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aramintamoobeamqcPosted on10:59 pm - Aug 28, 2013


Was it not the ITV Football Twitter feed that disgraced themselves last year, when the groups were drawn at this stage? IIRC, they tweeted ‘Bye Bye Celtic’, after Barca came out of the pot. So clearly, they don’t know so much about the football.

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ecobhoyPosted on11:46 pm - Aug 28, 2013


I think it is worth remembering that no animals, or even sheep, were sacrificed in Celtic’s glorious victory tonight 😮

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broadswordcallingdannybhoy

broadswordcallingdannybhoyPosted on11:47 pm - Aug 28, 2013


In the future Celtic will have similar ties and will fail to go through, but it’s matches like tonight that will have me believing right up to the end. In any match. Tears. Joy. Hitting the woodwork. Goal line clearances. Wonder strikes and last minute winners. Delerium or defeat and tears. Rollercoasting emotional drama. That’s why we love football. What a beautiful game.

If only one erstwhile team had remembered that. TSFM wouldn’t be needed. Shame on them.

Scottish football needs another team to hit the heights in Europe. We WILL get there!

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briggsbhoyPosted on12:02 am - Aug 29, 2013


gc58 says:
August 28, 2013 at 7:44 pm

0.99p is the minimum bid. If they were to be sold via Ebay how would you describe them
+ New, price labels still attached
+ Nearly new, used
+ Used , retro
The logo on the shirts would have to be shown as (5 *)

One would have to be very careful in your description.
” football team for sale, going cheap, will throw in loads of trophies, unsure how many players included, please check back at end of the month. Stadium and training facility not included but rental agreement can be organised. Outstanding Tax may be due and there may be some hefty pay outs should you decide to get rid of staff. 2 PR gurus included in the deal. Special support line to centre on South side of City, only to willing to help. Loyal support, guaranteed tickets sales

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Lord WobblyPosted on6:02 am - Aug 29, 2013


An interesting piece on the absurdity of UEFA’s seedings…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/23680545

It really is galling that no-mark clubs like Arsenal and Man City are given such a helping hand 😕

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Danish PastryPosted on7:21 am - Aug 29, 2013


Lord Wobbly says:
August 29, 2013 at 6:02 am
1 0 Rate This

An interesting piece on the absurdity of UEFA’s seedings…
————–
Aye M’Lud, all clubs are equal, though in UEFA’s eyes some are more equal than others.

A few of you listen to SSB, which is probably the most down-market football programme on radio. It’s certainly not the thinking man’s show of choice, but there are some interesting callers all the same. This week there’s been a little group phoning in spreading the Celtic debt story. They’ve been quoting Companies House, talking about Co-op debt, and so on.

I just wondered why this ‘debt’ story – that appears on closer examination to be rather misleading – is being promoted now. It could be a classic ‘a little knowledge being a dangerous thing’. But the wee conspiracy theorist in me thinks it could also be a harbinger of upcoming and unwelcome news about financial reality elsewhere. In any case, the seed has now been planted that Celtic have huge debt. I’m wracking my brain to try and think of another club that might turn out to have a huge minus in its accounts.

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essexbeancounterPosted on7:53 am - Aug 29, 2013


andy says:

August 28, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Celtic qualifying for the Champions League ensures all 11 other Scottish Premiership clubs will get a minimum of £150k from Uefa #SPFL
=========================================================================
Such is the way to “Armageddon”…in a commercial sense at least!

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stevensanphPosted on7:54 am - Aug 29, 2013


http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/23680545
A good article from the bbc, let down by this line:

“That was because of Scotland’s plummeting national coefficient, a situation accentuated by the financial crisis at Rangers which saw them fall off the European radar.”

As this article from last year shows, the old Rangers contributed very little to Scotland’s coefficient. Depending on how you want to present the facts you can actually show they hindered it!
http://saintinasia.wordpress.com/2012/08/21/spl-without-rangers-and-how-it-affects-our-coefficient/

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