Peace – Not War

ByTrisidium

Peace – Not War

We normally don’t talk about on-field stuff on SFM, but given the over-optimistic coverage of the prospects of TRFC (particularly in the ESJ © The Clumpany  and DR) it is worth noting that since they beat Celtic on penalties in last year’s Scottish Cup semi final, they have played in four huge games which were real barometers of progress ;

  • Hibs in the Scottish Cup Final: 2-3
  • Celtic in the Premiership: 1-5
  • Aberdeen in the Premiership: 1-2
  • Celtic in the League Cup Semi-Final: 0-1

On each occasion, they have failed the test, not only by failing to get a result, but by being second best in most on-field departments.

The point is not one of wider Schadenfreude, or even an in-depth critique of the abilities of the team or manager, but of how the TRFC board and the MSM, in falsely inflating their side’s prospects, do a disservice to TRFC fans. Aided and abetted it seems by the manager who – even allowing for the positive spin managers need to put on things post defeat – is refusing to accept reality.

We often talk about turnover as the yardstick by which performance can be (roughly) measured. If that were the only yardstick, one would expect TRFC to be right up there with Celtic. But it is more complicated than that. For Celtic and TRFC, there are massive overheads (e.g. stadium costs) that have to be dealt with and taken out of the equation before Glasgow apples can be compared with Aberdeen and Edinburgh varieties.

Even allowing for that it seems pretty clear to me that TRFC have more disposable income (for spending on players and contracts) than Hearts or Aberdeen for example, but the gap is now not as great as raw turnover figures would suggest  – and the margins are probably slim enough that they can be easily blurred by managers at other clubs who have a good grasp of tactics, an eye for a player, and a proper understanding of football psychology.

To compound the problem for TRFC, there are two rather large eggs in the TRFC transfer basket which are now cracked or broken.  A dangerous waste of resources in fact. Whether it was Warburton or King who went to the market for Barton and Kranjčar is irrelevant. More relevant is the reason marquee signings like these were made.

Once a manager is recruited, you stay out of his domain

Yes, Barton’s signature in particular has used a huge chunk of the already scant budget, and that is a real blow to the manager’s planning, but the real problem is that the club has deliberately pushed fan expectations skyward, all of which is counter-intuitive given the rough calculations in the preceding paragraphs. More worryingly for Rangers fans, the board’s own expectations for the playing side are unrealistically high – and given the business expertise contained therein, puzzlingly so.

TRFC is a focal point for tens of thousands of people. The people who run the club are also influential opinion formers and how they set the tone for those thousands is important.

Tub-rattling, dog-whistling, and the WATP mentality have been employed almost exclusively thus far in the ‘journey’. All of which may have rallied the troops and provided a welcome injection of funds, but it also antagonised almost every football fan in the country who wasn’t a Rangers follower. And in view of how those funds (including the £21m IPO) seemingly disappeared into the ether, did it really help the club realise any ambitions going forward?

TRFC are looking up at the north face of a financial Eiger today

I can’t help feeling that had they been replaced with humility, some regret, and gratitude to those who smoothed their path into the leagues, then the view from the club deck would a lot more attractive today than it is.

The journey could have been an expansive one bent on winning friends along the way, clearly differentiating itself from the Murray era, and carrying assurances that the new Rangers would never treat the game in Scotland as shabbily as its predecessor.

Seems intuitively obvious to me that a mission statement like the following would win hearts and minds;

“The latter-day custodians of Rangers have destroyed our club and shamed its traditions of sporting integrity, fair play, and honest endeavour.

“However the ethos and identity of our club will not be allowed to slip into obscurity.

“We will build a club worthy of the traditions of sporting integrity and fair play. It will be open and accessible to people of all colours, creeds and nationalities,

“It will be a long journey, but it is one which we relish, and one which will in time restore Rangers to the upper echelons of the game“

Managing expectations realistically with a ‘we are thankful to keep the Rangers name alive’ would have played better with the bears.

I don’t believe there is a football fan in the world who wouldn’t sign up to that had they found their club in the same circumstances as 2011 Rangers. I don’t believe that Rangers fans are any different either, but the problem is that their moral compass is being calibrated by people whose past records make them least qualified for the task.

Instead of a plan to win Scottish football over, we got boycotts, victim-hood, denial, and that wonderful new oxymoronic idiom, post-liquidation. Really though, it should all have been so different.

Water bills notwithstanding, TRFC are looking up at the north face of a financial Eiger today, but they chose to climb an Eiger instead of a Munro, and they sold false hope and snake oil to the fans on the way.

They have no money with which to recruit players of sufficient quality to challenge at the top. They are facing a massive bill for repairs and maintenance of a stadium that has atrophied under six or seven years of neglect. They have similar infrastructure problems at their training ground. They need to build a scouting infrastructure which currently consists of one man and several local volunteers. Their income from merchandising is non-existent due to a testicles-drawn dispute with Sports Direct. They owe several millions of pounds of soft loans which they cannot convert to equity because of that same dispute, and the people they have gone back to again and again for top-up finance have ever shortening arms and lengthening pockets.

.. we understand the value that Rangers can bring to the to the Scottish game and we want it to be realised.

Miracles of course do happen, perhaps in the shape of a magician manager who can get them access to European cash almost immediately. Unless that comes to pass, there is no way forward for Dave King and his board, other than to make peace immediately with Sports Direct and actually stump up the cash he promised two years ago; cash he promised to bridge the resources gap which is widening by the week.

A widely accepted wisdom in many football boardrooms these days is that the main recruitment priority of any board is an excellent manager. A really good manager can make a team out of ordinary players, but a poor manager will have difficulty sculpting a winning side from even very good players.  So in a club with limited resources, it makes sense to spend a major part of your budget on a very good manager.

Another widely accepted wisdom in boardrooms (even if not always followed) is that once a manager is recruited, you stay out of his domain.

The boardroom at Ibrox is not awash with wisdom it seems. First of all they put their faith in a manager with little or no experience in the game. That may well have worked out with a bit of good fortune, but does anyone really believe, after his disappearing act in the wake of the Cup Final defeat and his absence at the Barton signing conference, that Mark Warburton is master of his own domain?

If not, does the ‘come hither’ curled finger of fate attached to Jimmy Traynor’s hand at last week’s press conference convince you?

I would guess that there are at least half a dozen experienced managers with a track record of success who would relish the challenge of putting TRFC on the map at the opportunity cost of a Barton for example. Instead it seems – if the rumours are true – that Warburton’s autonomy was breached so that said Joey could be hired to boost ST sales.

No group of fans is entitled to expect success. Rangers fans, and Celtic fans, have historically come to expect that very thing. It is understandable to some extent, but it should never be confused with an actual entitlement to success – and that is what the board at Ibrox are selling to the fans in return for their cash – which as we have seen is not being converted to the promised on-field successes.

the ‘come hither’ curled finger of fate attached to Jimmy Traynor’s hand should convince us that Warburton is not his own master

To a large extent, I think some of the online comments in fan sites in the wake of the Celtic match have been sensible and mature. Reality amongst Rangers fans is at last beginning to bite, and that can only be a good thing for TRFC. Rangers fans are beginning to understand that too many liberties have been taken with their loyalty to and love of the jersey. The problem for the fans is that whilst they come to terms with what may be a realistic timetable and roadmap towards success and parity with the top clubs, the current board and their chums in the press are invested in having them believe the opposite.

Already the cheerleaders in the red tops are proclaiming their ‘gulf-denial’ credentials in the hope that enough fans will be convinced of it. The problem is that the fans know the gulf exists – and not only that does exist, but it is unrealistic to expect it not to.

The Level5 effect is wearing off. In the past five years, £21m quid in investment, £6m in loans, and five years worth of ST sales have all come and gone. Will Rangers fans really do those sums, observe that in each of the four milestone matches mentioned at the beginning of this article there is nothing to show for it, and agree that there is nothing to concern them?

Rangers fans will no doubt call us obsessed to produce an article like this – about them. But football is uniquely interdependent – we all need each other. It is a game where we benefit from the traditions, the colour and the fanaticism of rivals. The fact is that we understand the value that Rangers can bring to the to the Scottish game and we want it to be realised.

Sadly though, the current people in charge at the club are people who revel in making war on fellow clubs and business partners as well as the national broadcaster and BT Sport. They have also failed to deliver on promises of investment and success to their own fans, and escaped press scrutiny of that failure. Whilst they are there, we see only division in Scottish football with no coming together possible for generations.

I believe that the vast majority of fans who love Rangers, like the rest of us, have had enough of a war on too many fronts to count. It’s time to make peace – with everyone. Football in this country can’t be fixed until that happens.

About the author

Trisidium administrator

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

1,368 Comments so far

tonyPosted on5:46 pm - Dec 7, 2016


BOGS DOLLOX
why should celtic give the prize money away?is this a serious posthttp://www.skysports.com/football/news/11787/10549555/celtics-champions-league-berth-brings-cash-to-scottish-rivals

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Big PinkPosted on5:47 pm - Dec 7, 2016


Bogs Dollox,

You may be correct about Celtic’s focus, but the size of any gap between Celtic and the rest of Scottish clubs will make no material difference in any deliberation over where they will play their football.

Like it or lump it, Celtic will be in Scotland – if the game survives – for another 130 years at least.

I’m not so sure that Euro money is the proper target if we are to archive greater equality in income share either. I still think sharing of domestic gate receipts is by far the most intuitive answer.

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Big PinkPosted on5:51 pm - Dec 7, 2016


Tony,

Of course it is  serious post and not a million miles away from what Auldheid has proposed on a few occasions in the past – and with which I don’t agree.

I am worried about the tone of what you say though.

The first part of your post is fair enough  – addressing the issue – but the last bit is best left for twitter and the likes.

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rougvielovesthejunglePosted on6:01 pm - Dec 7, 2016


O/T

So there I was listening to Ken Bruce’s popmaster on radio 2 this morning. Innocent stuff passing the time of day. Anyway, it was all ruined when the first contestant was making his special requests following answering his questions. I quote – “and good luck to the mighty Rangers at the weekend”. Needless to say, Sevco minded Ken didn’t correct him but I will;
1. They’re certainly not mighty and
2. They’re definitely not Rangers.

I’m very tempted to phone in tomorrow and try my luck and at the end say to Ken, good luck to the proper 
football club, Hearts on Saturday against Scotland’s youngest senior football club, Sevco.

I’m also glad to report that the ‘The Rangers*’ supporter managed a measly six points and was properly pumped!

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erniePosted on6:12 pm - Dec 7, 2016


Well done Celtic.  They have 40k plus season ticket holders and can fill their stadium in big European nights.  Their only previous serious competition could also do this but were so badly managed (shafted?) that they were liquidated.  The aspirations of both sets of fans are the same so the difference is therefore in management. Hence, well done.
I have to admit that I’ve long believed that a wider distribution of the cash in Scottish fitba would benefit Celtic/Rangers almost as much as the rest but heigh ho, That’s only my view.  However, I have to laugh at how it appears to be a problem now that we’re looking at a monopoly rather than a duopoly.  To the diddies it’s irrelevant and it won’t stop people supporting their team: otherwise we’d all support Barcelona or whoever.

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easyJamboPosted on6:19 pm - Dec 7, 2016


Interesting snippet from the Press Association.

Matt Slater ‏@mjshrimper 1h1 hour ago HMRC’s Jennie Granger says 43 players & 12 football clubs in UK, plus 8 agents, are under inquiry around the issue of image rights

Who are these people? 07

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Big PinkPosted on6:58 pm - Dec 7, 2016


Ernie,

Celtic and Rangers traditionally complained about lack of competition as they lobbied English chairmen for a wee piece at the door.

It’s not a stretch to suggest as you have that if money was distributed more equitably there would be greater competition, thus benefiting those who bemoan the lack of it.

The glory days of Scottish clubs in European competition after all occurred at a time when gates were shared.

Trouble is you will see fans of clubs who would lose in absolute terms from such a system come on in high dudgeon about “why should we give up our hard earned gate money?” 

It is short sighted to view it from that perspective. I am a Celtic fan, always have been and always will be, but it’s just not healthy for the game, or for Celtic, to be winning all the time. To experience the real highs of the game, you also have to experience the lows.
I think my club owes its status in the game to the environment in which it grew and flowered, and consequently it owes a debt of gratitude to its historic opponents. I fear that as long as the club have a larger eye cocked in the direction of Ingurlund, they will be less motivated to concentrate on fixing the game in Scotland.

If only the majority of clubs grew a pair and took charge themselves. Don’t forget that gerrmandered voting structures only exist in the SPFL – not the SFA.

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Charlie_KellyPosted on7:19 pm - Dec 7, 2016


Celtic have played 17 domestic fixtures so far this season. They have won 16 & drew 1.
If that’s them “not being focussed on Scottish football” then heaven help the others if Celtic ever decide to fully focus on Scotland!

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erniePosted on7:22 pm - Dec 7, 2016


BP.  Add to the mix that fairer distribution of wealth has been well and truly partitioned in the wider world as a no go area and I believe any chance now of it being adopted in fitba is as remote as in politics: i.e. nae chance.  We’ve had 30 or 40 years of “there is no alternative” to making the rich richer as the foundation of our political system.  Trickle down economics is the accepted scam as much in fitba as in society as a whole. 
My club has been as complicit in this as the Labour party has in politics.  Shame really.

(4 posts in 24 hours?  I’ll get back in my box.)

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Charlie_KellyPosted on7:35 pm - Dec 7, 2016


Taking money off of a person/company that has earned that money fair and square and played by the rules and handing it over to someone who hasn’t earned as much, isn’t “wealth redistribution” it is theft plain and simple. 

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erniePosted on7:44 pm - Dec 7, 2016


CK.  That’s your opinion and one that is the majority view in fitba and politics.  In tha case of fitba, as I’ve said it’s no big deal to me, the big clubs around Europe are on board with it and the diddies go along with it (i.e. turn up) so you’re backing a better horse than I am!

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tonyPosted on7:51 pm - Dec 7, 2016


BIG PINK
really don’t know what you mean,valid question was part 2 imho,your leave it for twitter was a tad worse considering the posters on here who are on twitter

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jean7brodiePosted on8:08 pm - Dec 7, 2016


ernieDecember 7, 2016 at 19:44
____________________________________________
I think it is the majority view in more than football circles.14

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goosygoosyPosted on8:51 pm - Dec 7, 2016


BIG PINKDECEMBER 7, 2016 at 17:47 Like it or lump it, Celtic will be in Scotland – if the game survives – for another 130 years at least.
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
This is one of those statements you are dying to challenge
But won`t live long enough to see if you are right

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Bogs DolloxPosted on8:55 pm - Dec 7, 2016


CHARLIE_KELLY

 
 
 
 
 

 

22 Votes

Taking money off of a person/company that has earned that money fair and square and played by the rules and handing it over to someone who hasn’t earned as much, isn’t “wealth redistribution” it is theft plain and simple. 
========================$$$$$$
I think the point I’m making is simple. It is actually in Celtics interests for income in the game to be redistributed either through gate sharing or more spreading of the Euro money. I’m not advocating criminal acts by stealing Celtics hard earned cash. If the money was shared other teams could use it to strengthen and raise the standard of the Scottish game making all clubs more able to compete in Europe.
BP – it remains to be seen whether Celtic can engineer an exit to England. Weakening the already shot to pieces credibility of the SFA and creating a competition gap on the pitch are certainly two tactics in that quest,

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Cluster OnePosted on10:13 pm - Dec 7, 2016


BOGS DOLLOXDECEMBER 7, 2016 at 20:55       5 Votes 
CHARLIE_KELLY
DECEMBER 7, 2016 at 19:35
I think the point I’m making is simple. It is actually in Celtics interests for income in the game to be redistributed either through gate sharing or more spreading of the Euro money.
——————–
The only problem i see with redistributed of any money celtic earn by europe is. Celtic train players at a cost the players train at their trainning ground that may cost more to run than many training grounds in the country. if they buy a player it will most likely to cost the club a lot of money from the market they look at.What i am saying is getting players to play in europe costs a lot of money.if they shared out more of the money they earn.Who helps out celtic in getting players and training players to reach europe to share out more money? 

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paddy malarkeyPosted on10:30 pm - Dec 7, 2016


I don’t think anybody is advocating splitting the gate 50/50 . I would suggest 80/20 . It helps attract a travelling support as they would know that their club and not just the hosts benefit by their expenditure and attendance . It only becomes a problem ,in my eye, when the two cheeks are involved . I don’t know about other stadia, but at Firhill , when the attendance is announced, the number of opposition fans is announced , and they are thanked for their efforts .  I can see CFC being talked into something like 80/20 but there is no way TRFC could presently afford it .

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JoeninhoPosted on11:08 pm - Dec 7, 2016


Of course Celtic will remain in Scotland, but should we remain in Scottish football?
Maybe the other clubs should petition UEFA to remove us?

I’m all for sharing income.
With one exception of course!

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HomunculusPosted on11:29 pm - Dec 7, 2016


SPFL gate sharing is an interesting concept.

If it was 50/50 any slim hope of Rangers surviving would die overnight (assuming it included season ticket income). If they have 40,000 season ticket holders at say £250 (net) then that’s £10m. If they lost half of that then what they got back from their games against other clubs would be nowhere near making up the difference. 

I have never considered doing the arithmetic, however if anyone could be bothered how would say Hearts and Aberdeen do out of it. They would lose out on excellent season ticket income, the bedrock of the business. The other side of the equation, including 2 games at Celtic Park and Ibrox Stadium, are unlikely to compensate for that in my opinion. However like I said I haven’t actually tried to work it out. 

Hibs and Dundee Utd would almost certainly take an enormous hit, as they are in the championship just now and losing out on half of their season ticket income would almost certainly be a disaster.

I suspect, and it’s no more than that, the boards at clubs like Aberdeen, Dundee Utd, Hearts, Hibs and Rangers would really balk at such an idea. 

As would the Celtic board, however people already know that. It’s kind of the subtext. 

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AuldheidPosted on12:04 am - Dec 8, 2016


On redistribution of CL Money

A good analogy is in order here.  Modern football is like a description of a scene from hell where a visitor looks into one room and sees an emaciated group around a table on which is set a large pot full of stew. They cannot eat because their arms have been set straight at the elbow and elongated so that they cannot get a spoon in their mouths. It is a miserable place. Then the visitor goes upstairs and enters a similar room with occupants similarly handicapped, but where everyone is well fed and contented. “How can this be?” he asks his guide. “Well downstairs all their energies are spent in the nigh impossible task of feeding their insatiable hunger, whilst up here they simply feed each other.”

The answer is not to redistribute what Celtic get but increase the amount paid out in solidarity payments BY reducing the prize money that goes to clubs that mainly ends up in players pockets anyway.

The analogy came from this article for Not The View:

Evolution Soccer – Revolution Soccer.
 

“The socialism I believe in is everybody working for the same goal and everybody having a share in the rewards. That’s how I see football, that’s how I see life.” Bill Shankley. Liverpool FC.
 
Football has experienced a curious phenomenon over the last ten years. Neither the fans nor the clubs can be considered the owners of the game. If we define ownership as the ability to dictate terms then it becomes self evident. The world’s best players and those who hang on to their coat tails now run the show and it filters down to the lower levels. These people are football’s new owners.
 ow has this happened for it would be impossible in normal business? It happened because the player’s paymasters, the support, set no price on their desire for glory and success. The paymasters have become the slaves of glory and football is paying the ultimate cost.
 Along with the desire for glory at any price is the working man’s thinking that a player, like any working man, has the right to negotiate as high a reward for his labour as he can. As a left leaning Glaswegian who has had to strike for improved conditions in normal business, I subscribe to that notion and paid my dues to defend that right. However football is not like normal business. In normal business if a worker negotiates a wage that makes the company uncompetitive because the rise exceeds the income it will generate, that company will eventually go out of business. Thus a reality wage ceiling is in place. This is a good thing because it means the company can continue to offer employment to all its workers and continue to serve its customers.
 However in recent football history the influx of TV and sugar daddy money has enabled a wage to be offered that goes way beyond the business’s ability to sustain, but unlike normal business, clubs do not, by and large, go out of business. They find ways of reforming and carry on, but at a cost to those players not in the top earning bracket, or to the workers in companies who served them. It has meant smaller squads, fewer players able to earn.
It is a curious socialist philosophy that supports a player’s right to get as much as he can from the game, but ignores the consequences for his fellow players/workers without whom there would be no game.
 A good analogy is in order here.  Modern football is like a description of a scene from hell where a visitor looks into one room and sees an emaciated group around a table on which is set a large pot full of stew. They cannot eat because their arms have been set straight at the elbow and elongated so that they cannot get a spoon in their mouths. It is a miserable place. Then the visitor goes upstairs and enters a similar room with occupants similarly handicapped, but where everyone is well fed and contented. “How can this be?” he asks his guide. “Well downstairs all their energies are spent in the nigh impossible task of feeding their insatiable hunger, whilst up here they simply feed each other.”
 The thankless job of managing the downstairs room falls to the custodians of clubs, but their hands are tied by the players’ real paymasters, the support, demanding the custodians throw more food into the room, rather than teach the occupants the benefit of feeding each other for the good of all.
Not all players and agents are greedy men, John Kennedy’s magnificent gesture to give his testimonial money to famine relief is a demonstration of this, and there are other players who also carry out charitable acts. However, overall, it is players who exploit the support using the support’s desire for success to demand from custodians wages that starve lower reaches of the game. There is   more than enough finance to satisfy both players and supporters needs, it just needs to be distributed more equitably.
Hopefully this phenomenon will end when the unconscious paymasters – the support, who should be the owners, waken up and realise that they are being exploited, not by the custodians of clubs, but by their fellow workers the players. When this realisation finally dawns about who currently owns football a consensual wage ceiling might emerge to allow football to again become the people’s game. There is no natural ceiling to ensure wealth generation is preserved or that the wealth created is more fairly distributed. One must be created.
 At some point the age old class struggle of exploited worker versus owner will be repeated, except the battle will be between a more aware and responsible support and the new owners of soccer, the players.
 These are not to be confused with the players of the past, fellow workers of their time exploited by then club owners. Players like Bobby Evans, Willie Fernie, Jimmy Johnstone, Bobby Murdoch etc. These guys and their fellow professionals were working men all their playing lives.
 Those days, however, have gone.  

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Paulmac2Posted on12:20 am - Dec 8, 2016


Charlie_KellyDecember 7, 2016 at 19:35       
39 Votes
Taking money off of a person/company that has earned that money fair and square and played by the rules and handing it over to someone who hasn’t earned as much, isn’t “wealth redistribution” it is theft plain and simple.

……………………………………………………………..

The type of redistribution being suggested by some is what communism was based on, whilst in theory it sounds good….in practice it is unworkable.

There is no easy solution to the current problem of wealth difference between Celtic and the rest…giving away Celtic’s money is not the answer…

Firstly…how much would you have to give in order to make a meaningful difference?

What guarantee would there be that the cash would be used to improve a clubs performance/stadium and not just sink into a clubs finances?

Does that constitute financial doping?

It creates a clear conflict of interest…would financial assistance bring into question the result of a game?

No…it is a non starter.

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Paulmac2Posted on12:28 am - Dec 8, 2016


Gate sharing again is another possibility but has a lop sided application depending on certain factors…

Certainly the suggestion by Auldheid of solidarity payments being greater from UEFA is one workable way to close the gap…

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Paulmac2Posted on12:47 am - Dec 8, 2016


In terms of Celtic departing Scotland to play in England is a non starter no matter how many times it is discussed or mentioned…

I have covered this before…the only possible way for this to happen is for the 4 home nations to be dissolved and a single UK Football association created…this would only come about if the 4 home nations agreed to do this? They will not…FIFA would love to see them dissolved as this would see them lose their 4 separate voting rights on the main FIFA council to just 1…which a lot of nations currently see as unfair…as they view the UK as one country and not 4.

The legal challenge and disruption to English football for Celtic to simply leapfrog the majority of clubs means it is a non starter…the pyramid structure will not allow it and more importantly morally it would be wrong.

What would be the purpose for Celtic to do this? Money? The Premier league money will not last for ever…it has the potential to destroy a club in every way you can imagine.

There is more opportunity for the 4 home nations to hold a UK league cup competition…that would generate the interest and to a degree the money some clubs need to improve and progress. regional knockout before there is cross border fixtures could take off.  

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GabbyPosted on1:54 am - Dec 8, 2016


Paulmac2,
I disagree with your assessment of financial redistribution.
Many professional sports do this very successfully.  The first thing to be acknowledged is that all clubs contribute to the game.  As a result all money dispersed by the governing bodies should be divided equally amongst clubs in the league, afterall, they are equal shareholders.
Paying clubs according to where they finish in the league perpetuates the status quo. Same club wins everytime. The reward for winning the title is the prestige of winning the title plus Euro qualification.
I don’t believe in gate sharing becuase this is a club organised activity and clubs should be rewarded for their efforts.
This is not a quick fix.  
It is easy to see we clubs appear to be not supporting Res 12, when they don’t stand up for a deal that is clearly inequitable.  This doesn’t mean it is Communism, it is about Shareholder all being treated and rewarded the same.

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joburgt1mPosted on5:48 am - Dec 8, 2016


PADDY MALARKEYDECEMBER 7, 2016 at 22:30

HOMUNCULUSDECEMBER 7, 2016 at 23:29

Re Gate sharing, just a thought.
What if clubs kept their season ticket money and split the walk up on the day income 50/50 or 80/20 or some other combination??
Not done any calculations so feel free to shoot it down if i’m missing the obvious.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:01 am - Dec 8, 2016


Re the talk about sharing of gate money. I am personally not in favour of it but I do remember when it was the case in Scotland. It definitely wasn’t a 50/50 split IIRC. 

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wottpiPosted on7:50 am - Dec 8, 2016


Tom English ‏@BBCTomEnglish 11h11 hours ago
Joey Barton on @5liveSport: “I don’t regret joining Rangers” And in the Guardian in Sept:”Would I have made the same decision? Probably not”
——————————————————————————————————–

Funny how folks like Tom can dig out old and new statements like this to highlight contradictions, inconsistencies and a change of heart but fail to acknowledge that back in the day the SMSM, to a man, said the old club was deid.

If the biggest scandal is Scottish Football is all a bit boring, pointless and not worthy of full debate. What is the reason behind anyone such as Tom wanting to give air time to a nonentity of a player on gardening leave?

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AllyjamboPosted on9:12 am - Dec 8, 2016


wottpiDecember 8, 2016 at 07:50
…If the biggest scandal is Scottish Football is all a bit boring, pointless and not worthy of full debate. What is the reason behind anyone such as Tom wanting to give air time to a nonentity of a player on gardening leave?
_____________________

Because, just like TRFC, Tom English needs to appear relevant, so must fill column inches with stories that avoid the biggest story, ever, in Scottish football/sport (even bigger than Celtic’s European Cup win, for the biggest stories, the ones that really need covering to the ‘nth’ degree, always involve corruption). He is, I’d say, one of the more eloquent hacks, so avoids the important issues with more aplomb than the likes of Keith Jackson. He is still a hack and is only employed to sell newspapers…while maintaining the ongoing agenda!

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erniePosted on10:16 am - Dec 8, 2016


I note JJ believes that the answer is for more teams to employ better coaches, dearie me.  A fairer distribution of the huge amounts of money sloshing around in fitba (and I personally would exclude gate sharing, that would always be the justifiable differentiator) is never going to happen.  On the contrary it is getting worse and will continue to do so.  It has been decided (or have you missed it) that the type of fitba we want is for a few really, really big teams to get bigger and bigger and for the rewards to shift around a few superstar managers, players and their agents.  This is evidenced this season in the ongoing talks to create a super euro league thus formalising the exclusion of all eurodiddies from accessing the trough.  Countries such as Scotland need not apply.
The business model is replicated in the leagues across Europe.  Remember, “there is no alternative”, apparently.

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wottpiPosted on10:25 am - Dec 8, 2016


ALLYJAMBO
DECEMBER 8, 2016 at 09:12

As far as I am concerned Barnton himself is an irrelevance. 
How he got through the doors at Ibrox, who made the decisions, what was his heinous crime, why was his mental health situation leaked, what exactly is his compo deal and what effect does it have on a club running at a loss and struggling for investment? – Those are all relevant and plenty material for Tom to get his teeth into.

But of course- he and the others won’t go there. Far better to print the thoughts of an ill-informed and lazy striker who is well past his best and will probably have little to offer with regard to putting something back into the game when compared to Cathro & MacPhee,  who have already contributed more than enough to youth development and kids enjoying football in this country with their coaching businesses.

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occamPosted on11:36 am - Dec 8, 2016


Just watched QC Richard Gordon in the Supreme Court – ‘You can’t revive a corpse by tearing up the death certificate’..

Now where else might that apply, I wonder?!

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Paulmac2Posted on2:20 pm - Dec 8, 2016


GabbyDecember 8, 2016 at 01:54 
Paulmac2, I disagree with your assessment of financial redistribution. Many professional sports do this very successfully.  The first thing to be acknowledged is that all clubs contribute to the game.

……………………………………..

No, the first thing that needs to be recognised is Celtic FC PLC is a business.

There is no Business sector I can think of where a Company is asked to financially support a competitor in the hope it makes their own business less successful and their competitor more successful…it is madness beyond explanation.

Scotland has too many top flight clubs…there is too much cost imposed on most of these clubs in terms of travelling…number of fixtures…midweek games…

At best we have a population that can support 2 divisions of 12 or 14 clubs, with a regional structure below this.

Wealth distribution has to come from the SFA, UEFA OR FIFA

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CrownStBhoyPosted on2:24 pm - Dec 8, 2016


Somewhat verbose and lengthy but a good read explaining HMRC’s stance re: CVA’s and insolvency.

http://www.entsportslawjournal.com/articles/10.16997/eslj.203/

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jockybhoyPosted on2:44 pm - Dec 8, 2016


Ahh and there it is. Regular as clockwork, thanks to BogsDollox and Tony for firing the starter’s pistol… the Annual Revenue Sharing Debate is underway, with the usual sub-head, “what have Celtic done to deserve all those Champions League millions they get every year?”
It conflates the gate distribution suggestion (regression?) with the success of the team as well as the money earned (and I do mean earned) for getting into the Champions League proper (3 sudden death rounds, 6 crucial games to navigate whilst other teams complete their preseason training), which requires investment from n many levels with, as Celtic have demonstrated themselves many times, no guarantee of return.
Big Pink – I note you link revenue sharing with Scottish clubs success in Europe. I am sure it was only a lack of time that stopped you from also saying that the game of football has moved on in many ways since those halcyon days of yore and that isolating gate sharing as being the root of that success – rather recognising that the legendary managers of that era, Stein and Ferguson for example – may have had a greater bearing on Scottish success? In those days of course Celtic couldn’t (or wouldn’t) afford to keep the guys born within 10 miles of the stadium, as a procession of stars headed South. The shared money didn’t trickle down much better in those other teams I am sure…
I’m interested in what the % revenue splits were back in the old days, back when kids were lifted over turnstiles and priests got in for free (at one club at least ?)… the top division decided this process was stifling them and launched the Premier League. What’s changed for the top clubs? Obviously all the best supported teams would lose under. 50:50 gate split and the lesser supported teams would win, so as has been noted, there’s a huge element of turkeys voting for Christmas.
the suggestion of stripping out season tickets is interesting (how many Celtic season ticket holders would want to see a farthing going to keep Sevco afloat?h but that would completely strip out the vast majority of the benefits for every club not playing in Hoops in the East End of Glasgow and I suspect might even increase Celtic’s earnings given the size of their travelling support. (In true post-truth style, no calculations were made in the formation of this belief).
As for leagues operating shared revenues – American sports have shared revenues for gates as well as merchandise (Cleveland Browns make as much as the Dallas Cowboys do for merchandise!). They also have salary caps, a draft system and easier schedules for poor teams and harder ones for better teams all in place to artificially simulate (no spelling error) competition. There is also a prequisite that all teams have stadia of a minimum size and standard….Some teams do luck out on a star coach or a nucleus of players that gel and end up with a “dynasty”, but the owners of these teams are just that – they buy a franchise and that gets them guaranteed revenues that exceed their cost-base. Even Craig Whyte could run that type of sports franchise. They feel little to nothing to their local communities, often moving them hundreds, even thousands of miles, to get new stadia built with public money or a extra tax breaks, shopping rentals or revenue from luxury boxes ( areas not under a sharing agreement).
32 teams in a country of what? 350 million? And no other leagues in the world to compete? Seems to work for them: http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeozanian/2016/09/14/the-nfls-most-valuable-teams-2016/#392e8a4e373b

the fact I have written this entirely off the cuff on a tube into Oxford Street to do some Christmas shopping goes to show how well worn these annual discussions have become (and also absolves me of fact-checking errors). As another Tim might say: God bless us, one and all….

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StevieBCPosted on3:34 pm - Dec 8, 2016


For all the benefits of revenue sharing, as long as CFC is a plc, then I don’t see how it can happen.

As far as Celtic ‘moving’ to England, again I can’t see that happening in the medium term- due to vested interests in England amongst many other obstacles to overcome.  
However, I could see a situation where the EPL bubble bursts, TV money drops, and the TV companies demand changes to boost viewing figures.
Introducing a UK-wide cup competition might be much more doable than changing league memberships, and sounds like a good idea.

In terms of maximising revenues for Scottish clubs, we have observed that the SPFL is happy to accept relative buttons from the TV companies, when compared to other Euro leagues.
IMO, the SPFL should be focusing on getting back to mainly Saturday 3pm kick-off times, and making the match day experience most enjoyable for the whole family – and not too expensive either.
It’s not rocket science: if kids don’t attend matches on a regular basis, then they are highly unlikely to do so as adults.

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scottcPosted on4:37 pm - Dec 8, 2016


On the issue of gate sharing, I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong in it, though I would agree that the days of 50:50 are behind us. After all, without two teams on the park, there is no game. 80:20? Maybe, though I would prefer to advocate the 20% going into a common league fund for a more equitable distribution still.
On the issue of CL money, then I can only agree that that is money Celtic (or another team) have earned. I can only assume that there is no gate sharing element in UEFA competitions, since Forfar never seem to qualify. 🙁

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Carfins FinestPosted on5:04 pm - Dec 8, 2016


Gate Sharing. In my opinion money won from tournaments like CL and UEFA Cup should be retained by that Club. There are huge costs involved in participating in these tournaments so when we say Celtic gained £X Millions there is still a large cost to be deducted. Its not cheap. However, the cost of home based tournaments are not anywhere near this and so I would say that what is required is a fairer break down of cash available domestically. 1. League games. Easy to find out how many visiting fans are at the match on any given day. The money received from the visiting fans be returned to the away Club after a slight handling charge. 2. Scottish & League Cup Games. Same as league games but the SFA/SPFL taking a percentage for running costs. 3. Television Cash. I understand some clubs are shown more than others but this is the whole point I think. This is money injected into the game for the good of all and not just the top earners. I would ensure TV money is shared equally between ALL top flight Clubs. The top clubs will obviously gain more by going further in cup competitions but the wee diddies should be the beneficiaries of TV Money. All we need is a sales team to sell the game and get us a better TV DEAL. Please feel free to shoot holes in this post.

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bfbpuzzledPosted on6:15 pm - Dec 8, 2016


At least some parishes were sent free RFC season tickets for their Priests, some of those might not have been used tho’
There is a group of priests who claim TRFC tendencies either out of thrawnness or in at least one case because he came from an RFC family.
I cannot understand it myself it is probably an ecumenical matter.

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Corrupt officialPosted on7:27 pm - Dec 8, 2016


CARFINS FINESTDECEMBER 8, 2016 at 17:04
    “1. League games. Easy to find out how many visiting fans are at the match on any given day. The money received from the visiting fans be returned to the away Club after a slight handling charge.”
    ——————————————————————————————————————————–
   A vast majority of the smaller clubs would be worse off under this arrangement, as larger clubs take numbers to their stadiums than they could ever hope to achieve. Or are you suggesting some clubs should give, but not receive, when it is their turn to play away?

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neebs67Posted on8:55 pm - Dec 8, 2016


Apologies if this has already been raised. Re the distribution of European monies, what happens if Aberdeen / Hearts/ St Johnstone lose money on a European venture, would the other SPFL clubs need to make a contribution to cover the losses?

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bordersdonPosted on9:15 pm - Dec 8, 2016


This is the Scottish Football Monitor. We (rightly) condemn the inaction of the governing bodies about a number of things (on this forum mainly TRFC related). Do we all agree that the SFA should hold an enquiry in to historic child abuse in football? Gordon Smith (I know) has said as much and surely it is hard to argue against.

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HighlanderPosted on9:45 pm - Dec 8, 2016


Regarding the debate on financial distribution, the way Scottish football operates effectively creates a closed shop or cartel. The cartel has only one member at present – Celtic. Office bearers and supporters of Celtic wish to see the status quo maintained so that their club’s total domination of league titles continues, and who can blame them for wanting this? If I was a Celtic supporter, I’m sure I’d insist that the most successful team should take the lion’s share, with little thought or concern given to our rivals.
 
No Scottish club outside Celtic or Rangers has won the top league title since 1985 when Aberdeen won it and nobody else has come remotely close to challenging for the title since my club, Hearts,  did so the following year in 1986 – a massive 30 years ago! What was a long running duopoly is currently a monopoly. Monopoly could easily turn to monotony, even for the Celtic support.
 
It looks likely that Celtic will win several more titles in the coming seasons, creating an even bigger financial chasm between themselves and the top league’s also-rans. Meanwhile, supporters of these also-rans look through the closed shop window, wishing they too could have a taste of success. However, they realise that the only way to achieve that is to create a more level playing field through the distribution of prize and TV monies and possibly gate receipts. Who can blame them for wanting this?
 
Personally, I can’t provide a solution that would be acceptable to all, but I’d certainly advocate a change of direction from the present flawed system. At the risk of broaching a highly contentious subject, Celtic (and Rangers) have a massive numerical and financial advantage over their domestic rivals by virtue of historical allegiances based on pseudo-religious and Irish political doctrines. There is no obvious way that the other clubs can ever hope to address the imbalance that has established itself over many decades, regardless of whether you may think those doctrines are less evident in current times.    

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Corrupt officialPosted on9:52 pm - Dec 8, 2016


BORDERSDONDECEMBER 8, 2016 at 21:15
This is the Scottish Football Monitor. We (rightly) condemn the inaction of the governing bodies about a number of things (on this forum mainly TRFC related). Do we all agree that the SFA should hold an enquiry in to historic child abuse in football?
    ——————————————————————————————————————————-
  And give themselves a clean bill of health?
   Seriously I find it difficult to believe that any family man would want to protect anyone who was in any way complicit, but only highly trained professionals  should investigate matters of this nature. It’s hard to see such skills would exist within a football organisation. It is for the law to deal with. 
   And we must trust that the law WILL deal with it, both against any perpetrators, and any guilty of not reporting a crime to which they were made aware. I’m sure plod will be following up every allegation and conducting on the record interviews with any names that arise.  
  If anything they should keep their beaks out.  

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bordersdonPosted on10:16 pm - Dec 8, 2016


Corrupt officialDecember 8, 2016 at 21:52    And give themselves a clean bill of health?   Seriously I find it difficult to believe that any family man would want to protect anyone who was in any way complicit, but only highly trained professionals  should investigate matters of this nature. It’s hard to see such skills would exist within a football organisation. It is for the law to deal with.    And we must trust that the law WILL deal with it, both against any perpetrators, and any guilty of not reporting a crime to which they were made aware. I’m sure plod will be following up every allegation and conducting on the record interviews with any names that arise.    If anything they should keep their beaks out.  
================================================
Sorry I should have been more clear. They should commission experts to carry out a review (without telling them what the findings should be of course).

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Corrupt officialPosted on10:53 pm - Dec 8, 2016


    “Sorry I should have been more clear. They should commission experts to carry out a review (without telling them what the findings should be of course).”
   ————————————————————————————————————————————
   No need to apologise, but I still feel they should keep their distance and not be allowed anywhere within a PR release. Let alone any victims. It will be traumatic enough for them speaking to the authorities, let alone independent investigators. 
   Perhaps a time of inquiry might be appropriate for when the full scale is known, but GS just sounds like he is rolling out the fire-fighting equipment at the moment. Almost in too much of a rush to appear pro-active, when the reality is, it is actually more reactive to historical allegations. 
   Plod will sort it, and the courts will decide what is sound evidence. The last thing they will want would be an outside organisation in their way. 
    I believe in this day and age, the SFA will already be compliant with the safe-guards required for any organisation working with kids, and an inquiry will throw up very little they could alter, (other than personnel who slipped the nets).
   If they have not been compliant…..That is another matter, and again, one for plod to deal with.  

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wottpiPosted on12:49 am - Dec 9, 2016


BORDERSDON
DECEMBER 8, 2016 at 21:15
Not sure what is the best way for the SFA to handle it but would welcome them doing something if merely to highlight the seriousness of the situation and reinforce that the pain suffered by victims is a real and horrible tragedy  and that for fans  to use the subject as a point scoring exercise is beyond the pale.
I am sad to say I have recently had the displeasure of standing with fellow so called football supporters of both club and country and having to listen to bile re Big Jock Knew (Tynecastle) &  Saville – he is one of your own (Wembley)
Over on the Bears Den fans of T’Rangers have a current  thread wondering if their club should use the issue to set loose the attack dogs to shame the club from the East end.
When I see and hear such behaviour is it any wonder folks who have little interest in football see us as a bunch of embarrasing knuckle dragging neanderthals.
As someone who helps out with my son’s team the last thing I need in my busy and demanding life is parents having second thoughts re my motives for wanting to be. coach when I am giving up a few precious hours per week to help kids to play and enjoy their football.

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Big PinkPosted on12:50 am - Dec 9, 2016


The SFA absolutely cannot be trusted to hold an enquiry into child abuse. I think the Scottish government should though.

In the wake of the Celtic boys club scandal in the 90s, Fergus McCann set up an inquiry to discover the extent of abuse, where victims were asked to come forward. I don’t know the details, but although the sentiment was honourable it wasn’t fully independent.
My feeling at that time was that the Torbet affair and Celtic’s subsequent inquiry would lift a stone on a mass of snakes – but it never happened. My hope was that this might indicate the boys’ club affair was an isolated one.
News breaking recently sadly suggests not.

As a Celtic fan I was embarrassed by that affair, but not nearly as much as being horrified and sickened by the suffering endured by those kids. I think as human beings we should not be concerned by the possibility of negative PR for our clubs over this.
The real priority here should be to root out the offenders whoever and wherever they are, get justice for the victims, and ensure that it can never happen again.

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John ClarkPosted on5:07 am - Dec 9, 2016


Crown St Bhoy Dec 8 @ 14.24
” Somewhat verbose and lengthy……”
——–‘—————–
that’s a very useful link, CSB.
But there seems to me to a kind of self-contradictory almost SMSM-like reluctance to face up to reality in relation to “Rangers” when they are cited as an example.
The author says variously:
“” Of the various potential outcomes of formal insolvency proceedings, only Liquidation terminates an entity.”
and again ” Conversely to Administration and CVAs, Liquidation,also know as ‘winding up’, is a terminal process involving the ” CESSATION of business..”
but earlier he has this canting nonsense 
“Rangers,meanwhile,were unable to successfully exit administration, with the underlying business sold to a new company set up with the purpose of continuing football as Rangers FC..”
The absurdity of a terminated business somehow ‘continuing’  in business is so glaringly apparent that anyone who can  write that sentence is clearly suspect in the reasoning department.
As so many of our truth denying hacks are.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:15 am - Dec 9, 2016


Re the abuse scandal. Like so many others my  primary concern is for anyone who suffered, and for them to get justice, not the negative PR associated with it.

There is however a responsibly for all football fans to act like decent human beings and stop using this issue to point score. I have read some bile on the web where people almost seem to be hoping there has been more abuse, in order to target particular clubs. I have also been disappointed in how some of it is being reported in the media. In a most recent high profile case the individual who has admitted his crimes worked for three Scottish clubs. Many media outlets highlighted one club more than others, and even headlined it. Just because they work for the mainstream doesn’t mean their motives can’t be questioned. 

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Charlie_KellyPosted on8:52 am - Dec 9, 2016


“There is however a responsibly for all football fans to act like decent human beings and stop using this issue to point score.”

At time of posting there are ten (yes TEN!) active threads on page 1 alone of ‘Bears Den’ devoted to this subject. It is obviously a subject worthy of discussion and is a current news story, so there’s no issue with it being up for discussion but ten separate threads on page 1 would suggest that there’s something more than a concern for victims & the desire for justice going on here. 

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SmugasPosted on9:09 am - Dec 9, 2016


JC at 5.07

The ceased entity did not continue Rangers playing football.  Rather, it continued football as Rangers.  It is a fine but crucial distinction.  Beyond phoenixing law HMRC can’t really do anything about that.  You could reasonably assume of course that HMRC could wonder, as many have, why a game’s authority would prefer the continuation story, and ignore a  barrel-load of welched debt (non title related of course!) in the process.  Simply because that changes the narrative from liquidation = bad and to be avoided at all costs (no pun intended) to liquidated = bit of a rinse for all concerned.  It positively encourages it in fact.  Why bother with a CVA if the downside risk is (only) a trip to Div 4, bearing in mind in all likelihood you will be heading down a div in any case due to footballing penalties.  If you’re restructuring a club under a normal administration, dropping 2-3 leagues instead of just one might in fact help.   But that won’t affect HMRC per se.  It’s not their look out. Until the next one. 

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bordersdonPosted on9:20 am - Dec 9, 2016


There was an excellent interview this morning (about 08.20) with someone (can’t recall name) who was involved in the Hillsborough enquiry regarding what should be done about an independent enquiry in to the abuse situation in Scottish football.
Basically let the police proceed regarding specific allegations but have an independent enquiry in to the role of the governing bodies (SFA, Club boards etc) and how “issues” were handled (or not).
Worth a listen if you can find it.

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neepheidPosted on9:28 am - Dec 9, 2016


The SFA are not capable of organising an “independent” inquiry into any aspect of Scottish football. That is a certainty. So let’s forget that one, please.
The alternatives are a Government “judge led” inquiry, or no inquiry at all.
The history of “judge led” inquiries over the last 40 years inspires in me only feelings of dark despair. Bloody Sunday, anyone? Hillsborough? Dunblane? The current farce being passed off as an inquiry into historic child abuse in high places?
Those are just the ones that spring immediately to my mind. I’m sure many could add to the list.
Common features of judge led inquiries are-
1) inordinate length- we’re talking decades in some cases
2) everyone involved employs a team of lawyers
3) the costs are eye watering- see point 2
4) clear, specific conclusions are the exception rather than the rule
5) Sometimes a second inquiry has to be held years later
So, not being a lawyer looking for a job for life, I am not a fan of judicial inquiries.
Of course victims deserve justice. That is what the justice system is for. The police and the courts should do their jobs. That is the best route to justice. I do appreciate that victims have a problem in obtaining justice where the alleged perpetrator is dead. I don’t have an answer to that, other than possibly  suing employers through the civil courts.
What we need is to have systems in place to ensure that current and future generations are properly protected from these disgusting predators. Surely a group of normally intelligent individuals could immediately recommend obvious stuff such as always having at least two coaches present at all times, and does it really have to be said, no interaction with children whatsoever away from the workplace. Every club that deals with youngsters should immediately publish their own policies in this area, and make sure they are rigidly adhered to.
I don’t think we can wait for the outcome of a probably 5 year long inquiry to ensure that children are properly protected.

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GabbyPosted on10:22 am - Dec 9, 2016


Paulmac2
you miss the point entirely.
yes, Celtic are a business as are the other clubs. Each of these clubs have an equal share in another business called the SPFL.
However not all these shareholders are remunerated the same even though the their shareholding is of equal value.
as a result all revenue from the SPFL from TV and other commercial arrangements should be shared equally with the shareholders.
Remember, without the SPFL, Celtic as a business has no access to any revenue.  They can’t play themselves 36 times a season.
Don’t even get me started on joining an English League, the economics just don’t add up. What would they add that would be of benefit to England? Unless they can add an extra 0 to the TV rights then it wont happen.
I have read the people believe a financial explosion at the EPL would benefit Scottish Football, it won’t. There will be no British League, unless the rest if the kingdom is happy to give up their home nations.
while Celtic fans are happy to be the big fish in a small pond, what is in it for fans of other clubs? This is a failing model evidenced by the lack of a descent TV deal in recent seasons (since the Setanta debacle).
So where does the Scottish game see itself in 10 years? If the answer is more of the same then the game will go backwards.

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goosygoosyPosted on10:48 am - Dec 9, 2016


Re Calls for an  SFA Abuse Enquiry
Frankly,
The reputation of the SFA officials has sunk so low that when a former official calls for the SFA to conduct an SFA controlled enquiry we have to question his motives
Why?
Because the lies and spin we have witnessed from the SFA over the past two decades means we cannot rule out  the possibility that individuals within the SFA helped cover up abuse by deliberately supporting actions taken by individual clubs  to deal with incidents off the record instead of reporting them to the police. 
So there certainly should be an enquiry by an independent body

Providing the SFA  have no role whatsoever in running it

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FinlochPosted on12:35 pm - Dec 9, 2016


I think the calls for a proper independent public enquiry into abuse in Scottish Football are understandable and I hope and believe they will win out.
It will happen when the politicians realise that the current political attempts to try to contain and downgrade it as a football matter are not acceptable to the public.

In a cynical moment I’d say the current political reactions are down to costs.

The Cost of undertaking any competent enquiry.

The reputational costs of finding out who in positions of power have been criminally complicit and negligible in burying these sexual assaults in the past and why? 

The final cost of compensation for the victims.

This is one for Nicola and Theresa because it is not a football story and its heading their way because it is societal and bigger than just one sport or one country or one institution.

If they don’t grasp the nettle other politicians will make them look insensitive, stupid and off the pace.

There can be no cover up or it will continue to regroup, and keep looking for closure the same way Hillsborough just wouldn’t go away.

I applaud the bravery of those who have put their heads above the parapet and hope it will encourage more to do the same in football and elsewhere.

And I hope some people who thought they had got away with it finally find out they haven’t.

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Charlie_KellyPosted on2:08 pm - Dec 9, 2016


Here’s a hypothetical (and I stress “Hypothetical” I’m not accusing anyone of anything here) scenario. Let’s say it came to light that a former/current SFA employee was implicated in abuse of kids. I have absolutely zero confidence that the SFA would do the right thing in that scenario. My fear is that they would attempt a cover up.
I am all for an enquiry but the SFA should have “sweet FA” to do with it. They are, at best, not competent enough to carry out an investigation regarding such a grave subject.

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Corrupt officialPosted on2:46 pm - Dec 9, 2016


Re child abuse. 
    This reaction by Gordon Smith, was brought to my attention via twitter. On the 20 minute mark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzO4uKsWhEw

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StevieBCPosted on3:06 pm - Dec 9, 2016


BIG PINK
DECEMBER 9, 2016 at 00:50 
The SFA absolutely cannot be trusted to hold an enquiry into child abuse…
=======================================================
It seems that the majority of Scottish football fans simply do not trust the SFA, period.

The SFA has clearly shown in recent years – in particular – that it cannot be trusted to manage its own affairs in a competent and honest manner – i.e. to govern the game of football in Scotland.

If the SFA believes it has the ability to somehow manage an inquiry – or ‘independent’ inquiry – into these serious allegations, then it is yet another display of utter contempt for not just Scottish football fans – but also for the alleged victims who participated in the game in Scotland as children.

The SFA brand is forever tarnished in Scotland, IMO, and the sooner the blazers realise and accept that, the sooner real change can be effected.

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easyJamboPosted on4:46 pm - Dec 9, 2016


I note that JJ has published a “Cease and Desist” letter from solicitors claiming to represent Richard Gough, with regards to a blog(s) in which it is claimed JJ defamed their client.

I haven’t read the offending blog (it has since been removed), but in the current circumstances it does does not come as a surprise, nor does JJ seeking crowdfunding support to defend any action.

What does come as a surprise though is that the solicitors “Cease and Desist” letter is based on a pro-forma for a US defamation, and does not follow UK guidance for a “notice of complaint” re online defamation. 

A poster on Rangers Media also claims to have contacted the solicitors named and they claim not to have sent out such a letter.

Developing story.

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bfbpuzzledPosted on5:03 pm - Dec 9, 2016


That cease and desist letter does look weird in its wording and some of the terms look transatlantic. Having said that he did seems to go in on Gough like a hammer thrower to use a former Rangers manager’s term.

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bfbpuzzledPosted on5:17 pm - Dec 9, 2016


Netting under roofs to protect fans from falling debris – dark ages stuff. See Phil Mac’s rather sober and sobering latest. It is all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

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wottpiPosted on5:21 pm - Dec 9, 2016


EASYJAMBO
DECEMBER 9, 2016 at 16:46

Given what was said in the withdrawn JJ article I was not surprised that someone may have been persuaded to take legal action of the type posted.

I therefore didn’t pay much attention to the content or tone of the cease and desist ‘letter’.

However given the water stealing debacle you think JJ would maybe be a bit wise to crank stuff and, given he comes over as being worldly wise, he would not fly off the handle and consider such things carefully before reacting.

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Walter NeffPosted on5:42 pm - Dec 9, 2016


I have just posted this on JJ’s site – right minded readers might like to follow.

‘I most certainly would NOT be willing to crowd fund. I thought your comments about Richard Gough were disgusting more so as they seemed to be suggesting that Homosexuality and child molestation are the same thing.
You might like to know that I no longer read you posts – they are over-written, bloated and bloviating. Those who write in so frequently to say that your post is ‘the funniest, the best, the best written’ thing they have ever read should visit a library. Your best bits are the pastes from Wiki. You should read Phil and Hemingway.
I knew you would crash and burn and it seems like it is now. You should publish this and ask your supporters to prove me wrong.’

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woodsteinPosted on6:44 pm - Dec 9, 2016


easyJambo
December 9, 2016 at 16:46
“I haven’t read the offending blog (it has since been removed),”
——————————————————————————
Ah the machinations of the interweb.07
 
“Google takes a snapshot of each webpage as a backup in case the current page isn’t available. These pages then become part of Google’s cache. If you click on a link that says “Cached,” you’ll see the version of the site that Google stored.”

It still exists.
 

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goosygoosyPosted on7:12 pm - Dec 9, 2016


BFBPUZZLED
DECEMBER 9, 2016 at 17:17
Netting under roofs to protect fans from falling debris – dark ages stuff. See Phil Mac’s rather sober and sobering latest. It is all fun and games until someone loses an eye
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Phil quotes the Safety Advisory Group (SAG) as the umbrella organisation who keeps an eye on the safety issues for the 4 Glasgow Stadiums
He makes clear that the SAG have no legal clout 
In other words it is a toothless tiger when it comes to taking preventive action.At best in the event of a court case the SAG can provide a paper trail of meetings and correspondence with Stadium Owners on actions taken or intended to remedy safety issues
 
Therefore
If the SAG is assured by TRFC that fitting netting below stand roofs is simply a temporary precautionary measure to protect fans they will simply note this action. They have no responsibility to check whether or not this is a good technical solution or whether the work must be done now or at some later date
Because
If an accident occurs before netting is fitted the entire responsibility will lie with each and every TRFC Director
i.e.
Advising the SAG of precautionary actions does not secure some sort of endorsement that what is proposed has the blessing of the SAG. They are not a branch of H&S 
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Re the Hogmanay Match
Celtic is under the same SAG as TRFC. They therefore have the contacts to enquire from the SAG as to whether they have had sight of any technical reports regarding safety issues regarding the West End Stand. However SAG would most likely advise that these issues should be taken up directly with TRFC since they are not a conduit between Stadium Owners for safety issues.
So
Celtic will almost certainly have contacted TRFC regarding the safety of the West End Stand for the Hogmanay game. However unless they have been provided with full details of Technical Reports they will be unable to form a technical judgement on the safety issues which lead to the netting proposal.
It will not escape Celtic that the financial mess at Ibrox  could mean that anyone injured through gross negligence may have problems getting a claim for compensation processed quickly. Indeed Celtic may still be awaiting payment for damage done to toilets at Celtic Park  in the previous league match
IMO
Celtic should advise TRFC that they will boycott the match if their external Technical Advisor is not allowed to discuss the latest Technical Reports with the TRFC Technical Advisor who conducted the engineering survey at Ibrox

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CrownStBhoyPosted on9:43 pm - Dec 9, 2016


JOHN CLARKDECEMBER 9, 2016 at 05:07 Crown St Bhoy Dec 8 @ 14.24” Somewhat verbose and lengthy……”——–‘—————–

Agree with your point JC, there are some seemingly ambiguous comments contained within the article and the one you quoted did not go unnoticed but I think the author is less concerned with the specifics of one particular case than might be you and I.

My main focus at the time of posting was on the author’s reasoning behind why HMRC are so determined to ensure they are not overridden in their attempts to claim unpaid obligatory taxes (such as the in the case of illegally shielding earnings for tax avoidance purposes within football eg. incorrectly operated EBTs) by the relegation of their own position of a secured to unsecured creditor in the the case of a solvency event.

HM Revenue and Customs v The Football League Ltd. & The Football Association Premier League Ltd.
“Broadly speaking, the FCR (Football Creditors Rule) entails payment to a certain class of creditors – namely ‘football creditors’, including, inter alia, ‘other clubs in the FL (Football League), the club’s players, managers and other employees and the FL itself’ before other creditors in the event of an insolvency.  This is instituted by a sophisticated mechanism of corporate structure; one, given its efficacy, that is a testament to FL and PL’s (Premier League) lawyers’ drafting skills.”

There is so much more information and accompanying explanation/citation in the said article.  For example, notwithstanding the reference to English Clubs only, the extract below would, to me, be the cause of more than a few raised eyebrows re LNS.

“The correlation between wage bills and sporting success.
Accepting that English football clubs have historically sought to maximise wins, it is necessary to consider the ramifications that this has on clubs’ accounts.
Wage expenditure is highly correlated with success on the field.
Kuper and Szymanski (2012: 14) detail a study of 40 English clubs between 1978 and 1997: ‘clubs’ spending on salaries was extremely telling. The size of their wage bills explained a massive 92 per cent of variation in their league position, if you took each club’s average for the entire period’.

‘no sporting advantage’…aye right

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paddy malarkeyPosted on1:52 am - Dec 10, 2016


Hopefully , now that light is being cast on the depravity of child abuse in football, we  can revert to being adult ,including the perpetrators . These people don’t normally work in a vacuum . They now of each other and often know each other .  There must be one who will decide that enough is enough   , and let the authorities know who the others are .  Even the knuckledraggers on all sides must see the light – this is about the protection of vulnerable human beings, about sick people loose in society and the need to identify them for the greater good . Desperation from TRFC fans if this is the only stick they have to beat CFC fans . And tonight was a doing – I fear for worse teams than us . (in his cups) .

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jockybhoyPosted on9:07 am - Dec 10, 2016


Gabby: I note you bring up the “setanta debacle” – if memory serves three teams were against going with setanta’s extra cash but riskier prooosition, preferring the stability and probably greater global reach offered by Sky. Those clubs? Celtic, OldGers and Aberdeen IIRC.
As for SFA conducting a review into child abuse – it would be absolute suicide to try and coverup or even minimise, any involvement, unwitting or not, in not reporting those accused or even suspected of abuse, to the police. When the English MSM get into a feeding frenzy like this, woe betide anyone that gets in their way… victims could get their story out quicker than the SFA could react and the subsequent spotlight shone on the green Vermont body would be harsh indeed.

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Cygnus X-1Posted on9:35 am - Dec 10, 2016


Catching up on the blog & interested to see, the annual resurrection, of the income distribution debate. My own view has been stated already by many other individuals.
I detest the current imbalance in the Scottish game and beyond. I’d love to see a more competitive league, and as a Celtic fan growing up in the late 70’s/early 80’s, I can remember feeling very apprehensive, about away games at Hearts, Hibs, Dundee Utd & Aberdeen, because I FEARED defeat & knew that these teams were more than capable of inflicting such.
But, it strikes me, that once the money genie has escaped the bottle, it cannot simply be put back…..until the money runs out.
And to get the type of fair income distribution, 50-50 home gates, European prize money spread around, I fear that we’ll have to wait until the system crashes, before any major structural change will happen.
Sorry for being pessimistic, but they are too many vested interests, in the game, at the moment and for the foreseeable future to hope, for the sort of change, that I’d like. But, when players are England now regard a figure of £200,000 a week, as the benchmark, perhaps structural change & system crash, isn’t all that far away, after all, because that figure is clearly unsustainable in the long term….   

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Cluster OnePosted on9:38 am - Dec 10, 2016


IF CELTIC WIN THE TREBLE.
(and trfc finish fourth)

Good headline that for a whole host of questions.
1.If they do Does that give fourth placed team in the SPFL a european place
2. If TRFC end up sitting fourth,will they be cheering celtic on to win the treble
3.Would it be the doard of TRFC/TRIFC cheerning for celtic to win the treble,if TRFC sit fourth
4.Would TRFC/TRIFC not be cheering on celtic if TRFC sat fourth as it would shine a light on FFP rules.
5.would TRFC fans be cheering on celtic to win a treble if they sat fourth.
6.would TRFC fans not want celtic to win a treble if TRFC sat fourth.(such a dilemma)
7.would the SFA rather TRFC never made a european place at the end of the season and they can see any problems arsing kicked down the road.
8.how would TRFC fans and media react if the club sat fourth,celtic win a treble the ibrox fans see europe and then the club are denied a place because of FFP rules.

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upthehoopsPosted on11:38 am - Dec 10, 2016


GOOSYGOOSYDECEMBER 9, 2016 at 19:12

Netting under roofs to protect fans from falling debris – dark ages stuff. See Phil Mac

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If netting is installed it won’t be invisible, but the media will not write or speak about it, that’s for sure. 

I remember heading to Celtic Park when a game against ICT was called off because of a bit of loose guttering and high winds. The media reaction was one of general ridicule and snide remarks. However, history show they can write and say what they like about Celtic, and indeed any other club apart from the one which plays out of Ibrox. If anyone in the media knows for a fact there is a genuine potential safety issue with the roofs at Ibrox and is sitting in silence, then they do not deserve their job.  

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Corrupt officialPosted on12:07 pm - Dec 10, 2016


  A net?…..And what sized mesh would that be, 4 inch, 6 inch?   That still leaves a freefall escape for objects such as bolts, or even a rod falling in the vertical plane.  I have no idea of the height of the roofs, but a 30 metre freefall could provide an impact velocity of almost 90 kph. (56 mph)
    In no way could netting be considered an adequate safety measure.

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Carfins FinestPosted on2:27 pm - Dec 10, 2016


Celtic FC have a duty of care to their supporters an MUST investigate the safety issues at Ibrox Park. There has to be written confirmation that all is well and this has to be made public. I have an ever growing feeling that peoples lives are being put on the line here to save face and ensure income. No life is worth that. The mistakes of the past that caused so many deaths at this stadium are being made again and no one seems to care. Come on Celtic. Stand up for your fans or you may regret your silence.

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bfbpuzzledPosted on2:58 pm - Dec 10, 2016


If it is prudent to wear a hard hat in order safely to attend a sporting occasion then it should not proceed. A bolt dropping from the kind of heights involved might kill. 
And that is to maintain a hubristic myth- the only thing which should die here is the Blue entity.

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