Questions, questions, questions

ByAndrew Smith

Questions, questions, questions

 

As SFM folk will know, Scottish Football authorities can be enigmatic at best, puzzling and corrupt at worst, and downright crazy and incompetent in either situation. On this blog over the years, we have asked questions constantly of the authorities and the clubs, but like anyone with a fan-centred interest at heart we get ignored. “Fans are not a homogenous entity”, they say, “there are more opinions than there are fans”. This artful premise gives the clubs an excuse to ignore fans’ input, and other than on platforms like this, fan opinion is seldom gathered or curated.
The following blog, put together by Andy Smith, the Chairman of the Scottish Football Supporters Association, asks a lot of simple questions that don’t get asked often. He also invites fans to raise their own questions and opinions.
Of course, there are headline atrocities committed by the people in charge of the game.
The Five-Way Agreement, the continuity myth, the refusal to punish the biggest incidence of systematic cheating ever experienced in the game, and the casual adoption of the post-truth model introduced so successfully by venal politicians on both sides of the Atlantic.

But what enabled those assaults on the integrity of the sport? In order to get away with the big con, there have to be wee cons. Ticket allocations, kick off times and dates for set-piece occasions which make it difficult if not impossible for fans outside of Glasgow to participate, refusal to hold match officials accountable in the way an underperforming player or a misbehaving fan would be, and countless other incidences where fans are inconvenienced, or even put at risk. 

The only way to combat that level of arrogance is to unite where we can, and although in a partisan sport that can be difficult to achieve, SFM is testimony that it can work. This blog is an invitation for us to begin to look forward, and not get distracted by the past. I  hope SFM-ers participate and make their views clear.

Big Pink

 

What did Alan Dougherty, Gordon Harvey and Eddie Hutch have in common?

They were teachers who gave their time, to thousands of kids, including me, and asked for nothing back. To a man they gave up, overnight, as part of a ‘work to rule’, in an ugly pay dispute in the early 80s.
They were never thanked properly by the game?
They were and are sair missed.
Why did football let that happen?
Why has nobody ever grasped this particular nettle since?



Should you be able to have a beer at Bayview watching East Fife play Clyde on Feb 5th?

Just like the fans at Murrayfield, just over the Firth can and will, at the sell-out game vs England on the very same day.



Should you be allowed to enjoy a beer at Celtic Park watching Celtic vs Rangers on Feb 2nd?

A smaller crowd than Murrayfield too, and very few away fans. But some history and maybe a different situation altogether.

 


Are our leagues too small, leading to constant pressure and short termism by clubs?

Club CFO’s say the pressures are brutal and when their team is in trouble everything else gets sacrificed to avoid the financial chaos of relegation.
Many CFO’s dread the thought of promotion too knowing full well the seesaw implications of our small leagues.



Should the bottom of SPFL be an automatic relegation to open up the pyramid?

Our unique, one league only, convoluted play-off formula was only ever a last minute switcheroo/deal by the SPFL2 clubs at the time to protect their places in the SPFL ‘old boys network’.
I’d suggest East Stirling, Brechin and Berwick would change their votes if asked again.

 

Your Invitation to Say What You Think


Scottish Football Alliance Fan Survey January 2022

The Scottish Football Supporters Association is an independent and growing fans organisation in Scotland with circa 80,000 members. We have members from all senior clubs in Scotland and throughout the pyramid.
Many of those members regularly visit the SFM site.

We have been asked by the new Scottish Football Alliance (http://scottishfootball.org/) to provide an independent insight into what fans think about various aspects of our game, in particular what fans think our game needs to move forward. It is time for change, and football seems incapable of change from within.

Scottish Football might not acknowledge it, but it really needs the input of supporters like you. The fact none of us have been asked our opinions in the past says a lot.

We need to help and tell those running our game and other stakeholders like the Scottish Government what football needs to do.

Scottish football certainly has to think longer term and get closer to its fans.
In any business overview we are the core stakeholders.
The way we are treated and ignored is quite commercially bizarre.

To that end we have commissioned a short two minute survey, but we’d also welcome and appreciate any more detailed insights into what Scottish Football needs to do or do better. Please email those insights (in addition to participating in the survey) to me, at andrew@scottishfsa.org

I know from experience that when you get a group of fans in a room to talk about football, after the local rivalries and stuff gets dealt with, usually with humour, we can all see what the game has done for us, the power of good it can be for our communities and the things that need to change.

I constantly find that most fans not only see the bigger picture but also collectively want to give something back.

When this survey ends we will aggregate and analyse the results and share them far and wide inside the game and to other interested stakeholders like The Scottish Government.

The results will also become the foundation of policies The Scottish Football Alliance will publish and circulate.

At each stage moving forward we will work closely with The Scottish Football Alliance providing then with further fan insight.

And we will keep you and all other fans involved.

Survey Notes
You can participate in the survey by follwing this link:
https://s-f-s-a.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/scottish-football-alliance-survey

The questions are simple Yes/No and there are no right or wrong answers, just opinions and insight into what fans think.

About the author

Andrew Smith subscriber

836 Comments so far

MordecaiPosted on5:31 am - Aug 17, 2022


Upthehoops 16th August 2022 At 18:16
I agree with you insofar as the BBC is paid for (currently) by the Licence Fee which is paid (mostly) by members of the public. I would have thought that the manner in which licence fee monies are used by the BBC is rightly a matter of pubic interest and in the interests of transparency, I believe, like you, that they should have disclosed this information. I haven’t read their response, but to say journalism is not covered by the Act seems nonsensical when a large percentage of their entire business is involved with journalism. In any event, this is less about “journalism” and more about financial accountability.

I’m afraid, if I were you, I would contact the Scottish Information Commissioner and seek guidance from him on the BBC’s reply to you. It would put your mind at rest if he agrees with the BBC that you have no right to see that information.

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Big PinkPosted on11:47 am - Aug 17, 2022


Some access problems rearing their head again folks. The ‘login to comment’ just above thecommnt box is giving some folk a hanging dark screen. The workaround is to click on the “login” menu item at the top of the page.
The site needs a good spring clean and fresh look, so I’m gonna do exactly that over the weekend/early next week. I will get rid of the ads too, as I think they may be contributing to the general ague with the look and function of the site.
Thanks for your patience folks, but since we no longer have multiple moderators, I’m pretty much doing it all myself.
Really would be keen to hear from anyone who would like to contribute some written work?
John

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John ClarkPosted on12:38 am - Aug 18, 2022


Big Pink 17th August 2022 At 11:47
‘..The workaround is to click on the “login” menu item at the top of the page.’
++++++++
Well done, that man! It’s good to be able to post, and thanks for the ‘workaround’

I had wanted to post yesterday[Tuesday, now] because, pursuing my curiosity about how the Board of the SPFL can( apparently] accept that 5 of the member clubs, Hibs, Aberdeen, Dundee, Dundee United, and Hearts, could without Board authorisation, commission a ‘review’ into the business of the SPFL, I had read in the Scotsman that
” As a follow-up to the [Deloitte] report, an innovation and strategy group of representatives from Aberdeen, Celtic, Hearts, Hibs and Rangers has now developed a five-year strategic action plan”

All of a sudden, two clubs that were not part of the ‘commissioning’ group are in there , grubbing away!
Is the SPFL Board really and truly operating as a Board of Directors?
What kind of numpty organisation is the SPFL?
Geez, it’s surely bad enough to be defenders and promoters of a lie: to be in addition useless toss-pots that are not in charge as any kind of board of directors should be is quite, quite telling.

Not immediately related to that, was I alone in thinking that the ‘Asset and Undertaking Transfer Agreement’ between the SPL and the SFL occasioned extinction of the SFL?
I learned today that the SFL was never an incorporated company registered with Companies House.

If you look up Scottish Football League on CH, you will see that there is indeed a company of that name; but
incorporated only on 27 June 2012, with share capital of £2.00, 2 shares both owned by the SPFL! with Neil Doncaster as CEO.
Not at all sure why the SPFL should want to own a new SFL?
Anybody explain?

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wokingceltPosted on9:30 am - Aug 18, 2022


I see that Graham Spiers is interviewing Alex Thompson on Friday 26th August at the New Town Theatre in Edinburgh. I can’t make it myself but tickets are available and GS promises to cover the scandal in Scottish football (not sure which one he is referring to!).

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John ClarkPosted on12:22 pm - Aug 18, 2022


Wokingcelt 18th August 2022 At 09:30
‘..I see that Graham Spiers is interviewing Alex Thompson on Friday 26th August.’
+++++++++
As to which ,Wokingcelt, Spiers had his chance in 2012 to speak the truth about the Big Lie created by the football authorities and eagerly supported and propagated by the football hacks of the SMSM and the BBC. And didn’t take his chance.
Alex Thomson began well and bravely enough, but either his courage failed him or he became so disgusted with the Scottish media sports hacks and editors that he despaired of their biased/frightened/ partisan/ lying hearts being willing to tell the plain, simple sports AND business truth: namely, that RIFC plc is not the holding company of RFC of 1872 foundation, but of the football club that was set up by CG’s consortium and newly admitted into Scottish football in 2012, and that it’s a monstrous fiction that TRFC is 150 years old and laden with sporting honours.
It’s with this in mind that I read a piece by Alistair Grant in ‘The Scotsman’ this morning, and laughed hollowly, as you will too, I’m sure when you read this excerpt in which he quotes with approval these words of the First Minister:
” Hurling abuse at journalists is never acceptable. Their job is vital to our democracy and it is to report and scrutinise, not to support any viewpoint”
Apparently, BBC Scotland editor James Cook was the target of abuse at some hustings in Perth on Tuesday evening, being called among other things ‘a liar’.
I know him not.
But he works for BBC Scotland, which propagates , deliberately, an untruth- in a mere matter of Sport!
I don’t know Alistair Grant either: but I have never heard him, or read of him, ripping into any of the Scottish football hacks for failing in their ‘vital to democracy’ job of ‘reporting and scrutinising’

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upthehoopsPosted on2:48 pm - Aug 18, 2022


Mordecai 17th August 2022 At 05:31

++++++++++++++++++++

The BBC did provide me with the Information Commissioner’s contact details in the event I wanted to take the matter further and I have indeed done just that! I really can’t see how in the event that a publicly funded organisation has used public money to gain media access to a football club that we don’t have a right to know. If they haven’t done so I believe we also have the right to know given this payment for media access was a known issue last season.

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John ClarkPosted on3:52 pm - Aug 19, 2022


Further to my post of 18th August 2022 At 12:22, I had to look up where exactly the New Town Theatre is.
I had a chuckle to myself when I discovered that The Strand’s New Town Theatre (venue 7) is in the Freemasons’ Hall, George St Edinburgh!
Unbidden , a couple of lines from T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” sprang to mind:
” I grow old…I grow old
I shall wear my trouser bottoms rolled”
Incidentally, the last Festival Fringe thingy I attended was Spiers ‘chatting’ with Stuart Cosgrove-in 2015, I think.
Cosgrove was flogging his new book “Detroit ’67” at the time. I bought a copy , of course, and he happily scribbled ‘ To John Clark, SFM ‘ seemingly aware of the blog.
I’ve half a mind to go see Thomson. I wonder is he flogging a book?

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John ClarkPosted on10:30 pm - Aug 19, 2022


” There are shades of Mandy Rice-Davies in this explanation – ‘They would say that,
wouldn’t they ?’ ”
So remarks Mr Justice Julian Knowles in the judgment issued today in the case
between
Ghanem Al-Masarir – Claimant
– and –
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – Defendant.”

Boy, that took me back a wheen of years- Christine Keeler, Stephen Ward, John Profumo and all that.
I mention it partly from nostalgia for that period of my life, in which Cabinet Ministers who lied to Parliament were not able to brazen it out, but mostly because of the delight I would feel if I were to hear a Judge of the Court of Session say those words in relation to the out-thrust-chin and/or whining , aggrieved assertions by the Ibrox Board and the SMSM that ‘it’s the same club’!

Oh, for a ‘litigation-expenses-worth’ of a Lottery win!

[the case is about whether the Kingdom of Saudi is immune under The State Immunity Act 1978 and cannot be sued in the UK in an action for damages etc brought by a Saudi national granted asylum in the UK some years ago who claims that the Saudi government authorised the hacking his iPhones etc, eavesdropping on him remotely by means of ‘Pegasus’, harassment of him , and the ‘ beating him up’ in London.
If you are interested the link is
https://www.judiciary.uk/judgments/al-masarir-v-kingdom-of-saudi-arabia/ ]

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paddy malarkeyPosted on10:59 pm - Aug 20, 2022


I watched Sportscene earlier and noticed that both Kenny Miller and Michael Stewart mentioned a lack of malice as a reason why a card should be yellow rather than red . Genuine question – where is this in the rules ? I’ve never seen the word in IFAB or SPFL rules and regs .

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wokingceltPosted on11:54 pm - Aug 20, 2022


@PM – the word malice does not appear in the laws of the game. Whilst I didn’t think that Lundstrum was a red card, it can only have been given because the referee assessed the foul as serious foul play. The ref saw more force than I did in the foul.
My bigger issue today was Neil McCann (being paid by us) not understanding why the Hibs defender was not sent off – a foul committed by the defending team in the box is a penalty (leaving aside indirect stuff) but not every foul is denying a goal scoring opportunity. Is it too much to ask that the pundits I (we) are paying for know the freaking rules????

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John ClarkPosted on2:52 pm - Aug 21, 2022


Wokingcelt 20th August 2022 At 23:54
‘..Is it too much to ask that the pundits I (we) are paying for know the freaking rules????.
++++++++
What I have often wondered is why ,when refereeing decisions are being hotly debated on TV or radio football programmes , the text of the relevant rules of the game aren’t flashed up on screen or quoted verbatim on the radio, so that the discussion is based not on what people THINK the rule says or on what they think it SHOULD say but on what the rule ACTUALLY says
(I’ m listening to Michael Stewart wittering on just now on Sportsound)

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