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 ( 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

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:

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

837 thoughts on “Questions, questions, questions

  1. What I don’t get with Strict Liability is the accepted difference from our clubs on the rules for domestic games versus European matches.
    UEFA has not been slow to penalise clubs for fan misbehaviour, regardless of the local rules and laws. When you look at the repeat offences though it does question whether the bampots who cause the problems pay any attention – the use of flares and pyrotechnics would appear to being worse. Said fans are clearly not supporters of the clubs they purport to support given the penalties and costs they impose on their club. Would closing stands and playing games behind closed doors provide sufficient deterrence? I’m not so sure. Maybe the clubs putting in place comprehensive CCTV and the Courts really coming down hard on hooligan behaviour with big fines and match day community service might have more impact.

  2. I see strict liability rearing its head again. My view has always been that Scotland is not a fit nation to have such a system. You only need to take a look at how arbitrary the application of the disciplinary process is to fear that the application of punishment under strict liability would be exactly the same. We can’t have the media deciding which incidents deserve punishment and which don’t by choosing what they highlight and what they ignore. Strict liability is also wide open to abuse by rival fans. It’s not for me.

  3. Big Pink 4th April 2022 At 12:03
    ‘..It leads one to the conclusion that Strict Liability is perhaps the only solution.’
    I have the greatest difficulty in accepting the principle that any company or business in the entertainment/sports industry can be held responsible for the criminal actions of its customers/patrons.

    They are of course responsible for the safety of their patrons by taking all the legally required measures relating to the physical safety of their premises , crowd control , fire prevention ,first aid facilities, stewarding and all that important stuff.
    And it is right that they be called to account if they are remiss in any of that and people sustain injury or loss on that account
    But it seems to me to be very questionable whether a company of any kind ( a cinema or theatre or football, rugby club or other such ] which has done all that is statutorily required in relation to the control and safety of its patrons should be held responsible for the criminal actions of any its patrons simply because those actions happen on their premises!
    If some lunatic in a theatre stands up and yells ‘Fire! Fire!’ as a wicked act of malice and causes a stampede that results in injury or death, no rational , reasonable person could possibly argue that the theatre company was liable [except for things like inadequate emergency exits or lack of training of their staff]
    Some sad soul[s] / psycho bast.rd[s] clearly waited until half-time at Ibrox yesterday to throw either a bottle which broke on impact (or perhaps, pre-prepared handfuls of broken glass?] into the goal-mouth area that would be occupied not by TRFC’s goalie, but by Hart.
    Now, unless I’m gravely mistaken, stewards at football grounds do not have powers of body search ( nor do the Polis, I think].
    If some nutter has a shiv up his sleeve and runs on to the Ibrox pitch to stab a Morelos/ Tavernier or a Kyogo/ Jota, in what possible way could it be’ just’ that RIFCplc/TRFC be held responsible? ( Who was responsible for killing Abraham Lincoln? the guy that did it, not the owners of the feckin theatre where it happened]
    If Parliament ( question: does the Scottish Parliament have pre-eminence in this area?] wants to apply ‘strict liability’ in spectator sports, it would have to give greater legal powers to clubs and impose obligations on them that would cost them money to comply with. To do what is the job of the Polis-prevention of crime!
    Responsibility for criminal actions lies with the criminal[s].
    But sadly, even sophisticated CCTV coverage seems not really able to make identification of the particular hooligan basta.ds involved in any particular incident.
    However, I am no politician or lawyer or businessman. Just an individual whose very soul recoils at the idea of anyone or any organisation being held criminally/civilly responsible for the crimes they do not commit and could not prevent.

  4. Was it a penalty or was it not a penalty. The shirt tug in Sunday’s game is open for debate. It appears in a picture in the DR that the Ranger player also had a hold of the Celtic player’s jersey. Might have been a good no call.

  5. I note in passing, and with some amusement, that 3 film distributor LLPs failed to pin the blame [for their difficulties with HMRC in the matter of their tax avoidanc/evasion schemes] on Mr Thornhill QC,
    Thornhill featured in the RFC plc/Murray International Metals EBT Tax Tribunal and UK Supreme Court cases.

  6. John Clark 5th April 2022 At 00:29
    I have the greatest difficulty in accepting the principle that any company or business in the entertainment/sports industry can be held responsible for the criminal actions of its customers/patrons.
    While I fully understand your point of view and have some difficulty in arguing against it, I think that there comes a point when drastic problems require drastic solutions.

    Your theatre analogy illustrates the problem perfectly, but it doesn’t take a massive leap to imagine the site of that theatre instead housing a raucous nightclub filled with noisy, over-exuberant, drink and/or drug-fuelled patrons fighting, smashing bottles and glasses and damaging the property before spilling out onto the surrounding streets and debasing the neighbourhood.

    Any such law-abiding club (or its operating company) could hardly be blamed for the actions of its clientele, yet it would be in danger of having curbs and restrictions imposed and, ultimately, facing closure. Why should football clubs be any different, particularly clubs with decades-long histories of trouble?

    The problem is that strict liability can only be introduced in Scottish football if there is a will among the clubs to bring it in, but that would be like turkeys voting for Christmas, particularly for the bigger clubs. The alternative involves political intervention, which itself is fraught with danger as UEFA and FIFA don’t take kindly to political interference in the game.

    Finally, while recognising they’re not quite comparable, the other minor problem I have with the argument that the club/company did all that it could and can’t be held responsible for the actions of individuals, is that it could be claimed, for example, that a rogue individual such as Craig Whyte was entirely to blame for the demise of Rangers Football Club, while the club itself was blameless. Spurious nonsense on many levels of course, but the kind of verbal diarrhoea that emanates from Govan and the Scottish media nonetheless.

  7. @Vernallen – being based in England I find it difficult to watch any match without having VAR in mind. From how VAR is applied in England (based on available TV footage -coverage is more comprehensive in EPL) then my tuppennies worth:
    1. MacGregor on Maeda – clear penalty on VAR as keeper got none of ball and brought down the player (no card)
    2. CCV shirt pull – clear penalty based on tv pictures (yellow card as competing for ball)
    3. Giakoumakis on Jack – yellow card correct but VAR would have looked hard at Jack’s reaction – forceful hand to face and suggest red card.
    4. Lundstrum on Giakoumakis – I have seen the ref asked to look at the monitor for similar down here and the card being upgraded to red.

    In all of the above it is completely understandable that the ref didn’t see as blindsided/speed of play (although I think Lundstrum may have seen red if he had tackled a smaller/slighter player in same way)

  8. @Highlander

    You raise some interesting questions regarding behaviour at a night club and a football stadium.

    The night club is subject to the Licensing Scotland Act 2005 and the features of this Act are quite heavy for any licensed premises.

    They are responsible for behaviour of patrons outside the premises. Regular police activity at the premises will result in a hearing at the licensing Board.

    Certainly behaviour inside the premises is part of the license. It’s illegal to serve a drunk person. They must be refused. Staff must be trained. CCTV must be available. Police have right of entry as do licensing standards officers.

    As with outside problems, any breach of license discovered by police or LSO results in report to Board.

    I’m aware of premises in Falkirk being required to ticket and have door stewards for football games on TV.

    Why similar requirements can’t be imposed on football stadia is a question that the Scottish govt needs to answer.

  9. Highlander 5th April 2022 At 10:10
    ‘.. I think that there comes a point when drastic problems require drastic solutions.’
    Dom16 5th April 2022 At 17:33
    ‘..Certainly behaviour inside the premises is part of the license. .’
    Good points all in what you both say.

    But I speak about these things kind of from an emotional stance, remembering the days of the ‘belt’ when, against every notion of ‘justice’ everyone in the class got the belt ( geez! how did our Local Authorities and Government, never mind our parents/grandparents, happily allow teachers to assault their kids with a leather strap?!] because the actual ‘baddy’ or ‘baddies’ couldn’t be identified?
    Oh, for the happy days when , as a wee boy, ( and , I think, as an adult still into the nineteen nineties?] I was fascinated by the steady , evenly spaced and evenly paced tread of the polis round the track, and the sudden burst of activity as half a dozen bobbies would get right into the terracing and haul out one or two punters, and march them round the track, arm up the back, to wherever .
    No question of ‘stewards’ with no legal powers (and possibly no inclination either] getting in there among bottle-throwing or pyrotechnic lunatics , as well as not being able to get to them because of the seating!
    But I digress.
    We can see that the preferred option of the Boards of RIFC plc/TRFC and Celtic plc is to save each other expense in stewarding by reducing the number of ‘away’ fans.
    And possibly, they themselves would ask, might have asked, the ‘licensing board of Glasgow city Council’ to MAKE it a condition of their licences that they do not permit ‘away fans’ at all, to any match between 1888 Celtic and 2012 Rangers, so as to be able to shrug their shoulders and say ‘it’s the law’.
    I wouldn’t be surprised by anything the Boards of each club did, after that disgraceful Sydney Tournament nonsense, when Celtic were prepared to play in an ‘Old Firm’-billed match, again putting financial gain above sporting truth, in the same way as they refused to insist on an investigation into the Rangers UEFA licence.

  10. On VAR proposals:
    I am given to understand that current proposals to introduce VAR to the professional game in Scotland will be voted upon by all members of the SPFL. VAR is not mandatory outside of the EPL in England and I presume the same would apply in Scotland. Begs the question, with no dog in the fight, why votes outside the SPL and the Championship would carry such weight?

  11. ‘Pinch of salt , I suppose, but worrying’

    Objects being thrown at Celtic players at Ibrox (taking corners for example) has been a regular occurrence in recent years – although, given the relative lack of coverage by the SMSM, you might not have thought so.
    Sunday’s incidents (assault on CFC physio resulting in cut head, smashed bottle, and coins thrown at Jota) were symptomatic of progressively more sinister, violent and dangerous behaviour at Ibrox – fueled, quite simply, by hatred and desperation (that he league title might be slipping away).

    Some theories have emerged that the bottle first hit the crossbar, and, on smashing, scattered over a considerable part of the penalty box – a view that I don’t find credible, given the area covered by the splintered/broken glass.

    Regardless of the ‘steward source’, to me, the idea of a pre-smashed is more likely – and alarming.

    If this had happened in a European game, UEFA would have come down heavily on the club, and I have found Doncaster’s feeble response pathetic.

    I realise some (many?) might disagree, but the club must, in some way, be held accountable here.

    p.s How did all those ‘buckie’ bottles get smuggled in?

  12. Big Pink 6th April 2022 At 09:31
    “Guy on Twitter claiming to be a steward at Ibrox says bottle thrown on to pitch at half time was pre-smashed.
    Pinch of salt I suppose, but worrying.”
    The Glasgow Times had this:
    “SPFL address Rangers bottle throwing incidents during Celtic clash
    THE SPFL have issued their response to yesterday’s events at Ibrox in the derby clash between Rangers and Celtic.

    League chiefs are urging supporters to contact Police Scotland after a number of crowd-related incidents at the game.

    Broken glass was thrown from the Copland Road end of the stadium onto the pitch before the re-start of the game at half-time, as Celtic keeper Joe Hart alerted referee Willie Collum and his officials to the situation. … ”
    And I heard on the radio one of the commentators say ‘broken glass’ not ‘bottle’.
    A further advance into savagery.”

  13. MercDoc 6th April 2022 At 19:00
    “Instead, I argue that the social reality of Rangers Football Club continued, and this continuity should be the test we use to decide how many titles Rangers has won.”
    I wonder was it Dr Hardman who briefed the QC who wittered in Court a few years ago about it being the ‘what-ness’ of a football club, the ‘what-it-stands-for’ , the ethereal essence ,the passion and belief of its the supporters, that make a football club?
    We laughed in Court at such blethering nonsense!
    And I laugh, now, at Hardman’s meaningless phrase ” the social reality of Rangers Football Club continued”
    He really is playing silly buggers – disgracefully so ,in my opinion.

    He knows damned fine that, as a matter of law, Rangers Football Club plc entered Liquidation in 2012:there was no holding company:-the football club was the company, and the company was the football club.
    The kudos of having the capitalisation to admit of ‘going public ‘ did NOT create another entity: the same football club that had been Rangers Football Club Ltd simply changed its status in the market place, not its identity.
    Hardman knows equally well that in consequence of suffering the insolvency event of liquidation, that same Rangers Football Club, now a plc, had to surrender its share in the SPL in 2012.

    And he KNOWS or should know, that a football club that is no longer a member of a recognised Football League ceases, ipso facto, to be entitled to membership of the SFA, and therefore ceases to exist as a professional football club entitled to play in any League recognised by the SFA.

    And he knows , or should know, that under the rules and constitution obtaining at the time, such a club is DEAD and unable to add one little bit of sporting success to the tally of such successes it had already earned by its sporting efforts when alive.

    HE FURTHER KNOWS THAT Charles Green did NOT buy RFC plc out of Administration, and therefore did not own RFC plc, . but merely a bunch of human assets ( all of whom, whether player or admin etc staff, were legally entitled to break their contracts and walk away) and some real estate.

    It follows that Hardman knows, or should know, that there was NO transfer of RFC plc shares to the new RIFC plc: that new entity was created by the one-for-one swap of the SevcoScotland/TRFC shares for shares in the new RIFC plc.
    SevcoScotland /TRFC became a football club only when it was admitted as a new club to the SFL , and to the very bottom end of the bottom division- just as every successful new applicant for admission has had to do.

    ‘Social reality’, if it means anything at all, means that thousands of people so wish that RFC of 1872 had not died that they live in a fantasy world, aided and abetted by people like Hardman and the cynical , or partisan, or self-deluded ‘journalists’ of the BBC and print SMSM.
    Reality is, however, no matter what any liar in football governance may say, and no matter what fantasy any ‘bereaved’ and suffering supporter of the dead RFC plc may create to comfort himself, TRFC is not, and cannot possibly be the Rangers Football Club that was founded in 1872.
    And I’m sure that there are still plenty of creditors who would very much like them to be, so that they could get all of the money owed to them by the liquidated club!
    Now, it’s bad enough that ‘businessmen’ should play fast and loose with truth and reality to make money.
    And it is unacceptable that ‘journalists’ should play loosely with objective fact.
    But It is unforgiveable that an academic lawyer should join their ranks.

    I will copy this post to Dr Hardman just as it is. I couldn’t be arsed creating an email specially addressed to him.

  14. “Incidentally, Celtic undertook a corporate reorganisation in 2002.
    “So if we used such a narrow technical legal reading, Celtic has won 14 titles rather than 51.
    “This reorganisation was within the same corporate group, rather than to a totally new ownership structure, but shows the danger of relying too closely on this technically narrow test.”

    Is this guy high?

  15. Nawlite 6th April 2022 At 23:15
    ‘..That lucky, but perfectly honest, Mr Murray/……’
    Would there ever have been any doubt that that wretch who killed the Rangers football club of my grandfather’s day wouldn’t get his way?
    I don’t think so.
    He and his like are too powerful behind the scenes, as witnessed by the fact that he , whose stupid, arrogant loud-mouthed ,hubristic tax -evading nonsense was the ultimate cause of the death of RFC of 1872, walked away unscathed and uncriticised by fans or by the succulent lamb eaters!
    Never was there such a phoney ‘ I was duped’.
    As if !

  16. Referring to my post of 6th April 2022 At 22:10, in which I said
    ‘.I will copy this post to Dr Hardman just as it is. I couldn’t be arsed creating an email specially addressed to him.’
    I did email that post to him, but with a word to explain that, having put my opinions in print on a football blog which has a considerable readership, but which he himself may not be aware of, I felt obliged to let him know; so that he may, if he chooses to do so, ‘defend’ himself by showing how exactly , in terms of the Law, TRFC can be the liquidated RFC of 1872,
    If he replies, I will of course-as I told him- post his replies.

  17. JC 7th April @ 23.05

    If you do get a response JC (I’m a bit dubious if you will), he will ignore the indisputable legal fact and go down the ‘hearts and minds’ route as justification for his argument (?!).

  18. Bect67 8th April 2022 At 10:36
    ‘… he will ignore the indisputable legal fact and go down the ‘hearts and minds’ route as justification for his argument (?!).’
    Heh, heh: I think you’re .
    I’ve some abstract sympathy for the supporters of any club that dies, of course.
    But I cannot pretend to them or to myself that RFC of 1872 did not die, and say encouraging things like ‘it’s all right, don’t greet ,son, we’ll all kid on that they’re still alive and well and that it’s no really them that are in the morgue of Liquidation,”
    Supporters can think what they like if it eases the ache,
    But the SFA and SPL/SFL have no power to award the titles and trophies won by a dead club over its 140 year life span to a brand new club that did not exist over that time.
    The whole idea that the sporting successes of one club can be transferred to another club makes a nonsense of sporting competition and sporting success.
    Most of us know that instinctively.
    Our SFA betrayed its office as Guardian of the sporting ethos of our game, They are as despicable in my eyes as any blowhard of a cheating knight of the realm ,
    Their allowing TRFC to claim 54 titles etc has made liars of them and truly brought the game into disrepute as being governed by persons unfit for their office.

  19. Nicely summed up by Dermot Desmond
    “We do not want the club to get into a financial state where the club goes into liquidation and there is going to be a new Celtic. We want our history to be continuous, not to be curtailed through financial mismanagement.”

  20. Well spotted Paradiseboy – I just wished he had been a tad more specific with his ‘dig’ i.e :-

    “…where the club goes into liquidation – just like the erstwhile other half of the so called ‘Old Firm’ did in 2012”

  21. My post of 8th April 2022 At 14:50 is missing the word ‘right’ in the first sentence, which I am sure most people will have understood, Apologies.

  22. Paradisebhoy 8th April 2022 At 15:52
    ‘..Nicely summed up by Dermot Desmond..’
    I hadn't been aware of that remark by DD, Paradisebhoy. The man has gone up a notch or two in my estimation for saying as much.
    But words are cheap, and I think he ought to have insisted on the Celtic plc board forcing an independent investigation into the Res 12 matter , because bad and all as it is for a club to false information, it would be very much serious if the SFA or one of its officer connived in deceit.

  23. John Clark 8th April 2022 At 17:31
    My take on it is that he’s saying that it’s a dead club and can’t be sanctioned . Once it died , CFC’s interest in their alleged misdemeanours died too .

  24. Paddy Malarkey 10th April 2022 At 18:19
    ‘..My take on it is that he’s saying that it’s a dead club and can’t be sanctioned . Once it died , CFC’s interest in their alleged misdemeanours died too .’
    At least, PM, Dermot Desmond is( I would say] the highest placed board member of any club to say out loud that RFC of 1872 is dead, and its history dead with it; so I give him some credit for that.
    But he was quite wrong if he thought that the main point was that sanctions could not be applied to a dead club.
    The much more universally important question was/is whether the SFA board may have been party to a deceit that cost Celtic shareholders a few million quid.
    That is still a question that needs a definitive answer after independent investigation.
    And in my opinion ,the SFA showed that they had something to hide by refusing to allow such investigation.

    Celtic, for the good of Scottish football should have pursued that question regardless of whether RFC of 1872 could, as a dead football club, be sanctioned.
    NO, a strong enough possibility existed that a crime may have been committed, possibly even warranting criminal investigation.
    So, demerits to DD on account of not going down that path.

  25. If it was revealed that the SFA decieved the public which in turn had implications for shareholders, would DD not been in breach of his duties to his and the clubs shareholders, which would make DD gulty, IMO, within the companies acts regulations.

  26. So Dave King finally gets his “lost” cash back…. wonder if he will now do walking away and leave the club in peace. His attack dogs have served their purpose then.

  27. Weescotsman 12th April 2022 At 17:06
    3% of NOALs holding . He’s got me confused as well .

  28. Bigboab1916 11th April 2022 At 21:14
    ‘…If it was revealed that the SFA decieved the public which in turn had implications for shareholders,’
    Paddy Malarkey 12th April 2022 At 17:22
    Your reference to gives this “..Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini to go on trial in June to face corruption charges”
    As ever, we have to remember that the fact that they have been charged does not mean they are guilty of the charges.
    What it does mean is that ‘suspicions’ were INVESTIGATED, and that people think there is a case to answer.
    If we look in our own backyard, the award of a UEFA licence to CW’s RFC of 1872 threw up some facts that gave rise to suspicion about how they could have been perceived to be entitled to that licence.
    Quite properly, an independent investigation was sought.
    Farcically, it was the very governance body on whose ok the licence was granted who refused to have an independent investigation carried out.
    Now in a society in which not even the Prime Minister of the UK can block an investigation into his alleged personal breaches of the law, I find it extraordinary that the governance body of Scottish Football can be allowed to do so.
    How very convenient!
    But how damaging to trust in the integrity of the SFA that refusal was and remains.
    The charges against Blatter and Platini seem not even to be related to interference in immediate football matters , matters affecting the actual sport of football and football competitions!
    Whereas , in the case of the SFA, the suspicion is that one football club was awarded a competition licence to which it was not entitled, bilking the shareholders of another club of some guaranteed millions of pounds and the possibility of many more millions.
    In years to come, of course , the truth will out.
    It always does, even if only after the deaths of the people involved!

  29. Today we are treated to another world reacts to Rangers win. It was somewhat disappointing to see the Guardian of London lending credence to the continuity myth with their statement of reaching their first European SF since 2008. Either they don’t follow Scottish football that close and aren’t aware of the events of 2012 and the birth of a new Rangers/Sevco/TRFC or whatever name they choose to attach to their operation. Now we have concerns being raised about a jammed schedule. What’s next, repealing the rule regarding goal difference.

  30. If my memory serves me well , RFC asked for rescheduling help in 2008 , and managed to get one game delayed/postponed . I would imagine TRFC will be asking the same , but their fans all say that no help was given to the old club . False memory on my part ?

  31. I am not so naive as to believe that taking one for the team doesn’t happen as a method of defence but for this quote from the Fulham manager to go unquestioned in the media and apparently not draw a charge of disrepute is sad. Maybe a difficulty with translation? Straight out of the special one’s playbook.

    “Back-to-back defeats for the first time this season, that is not a matter of focus. Tonight we needed to be more aggressive. We had to stop attacks with tactical fouls.”

  32. Gunnerb 16th April 2022 At 01:49
    ‘.. We had to stop attacks with tactical fouls.’
    At least that was only the manager of a club demonstrating his lack of belief in the sporting ethic.
    Our very GOVERNANCE body demonstrated their personal moral weakness, their corporate venality and their utter contempt for the concept of sporting integrity by creating the monstrous lie that TRFC is RFC of 1872, and by aiding and abetting the Board of RIFC plc to trade (possibly illegally] on the sporting successes of a club that is in Liquidation.
    The FA might well ‘do’ Marco Silva, the Fulham manager, for bringing the game into disrepute or some such. I hope so.
    But who is going to ‘do’ the lying, cheating SFA?
    That’s what we are up against: a Boris/Putin sort of SFA-absolutely without principle when it really matters.

  33. Paddy Malarkey 16th April 2022 At 18:57
    ‘Prescient or what ?!
    As if, PM, there could be any doubt that the bully boys at Ibrox would not get what they demand-at any time!
    Their very club lives on a LIE of monumental proportions, claiming as it does, with the blessing of the governance body, to be 150 years old when that very self-same governance body admitted it into Scottish football only in 2012!
    A lie supported and propagated by the sports hacks and sports editors of the SMSM- all of whom who would get a job with Putin’s press with no bother at all as deniers of actual truth and fact!
    Clearly, if one lies in order to sell newspapers, or for partisan reasons, in a matter of Sport, what might one not lie about in really serious matters of life and death when it is a matter of war?
    There are no Orla Guerins in the SMSM when it comes to reporting the truth in relation to the death of RFC of 1872.
    No, we expect nothing from the SMSM except propagation of the Big Lie.
    The one or two journalists who attempted to report truthfully [honour to them] suffered for attempting to do so.

  34. I’m on holiday at the moment and was wearing a Thistle top down the beach and enjoying the usual banter with the fans of the cheeks , especially given the score yesterday . We did , however , reach consensus that today’s game and others between them should be referred to as “The Scum Game” , as that’s how they often reference each other.

  35. Anyone know when Brother Madden’s “Freedom of Govan” ceremony is??

  36. What an odd weekend.

    Matt Lyndsey writing drivel on how VAR would have The Rangers 1 point ahead simultaneously avoiding any scrutiny of other controversial decisions in matches with Motherwell and Aberdeen.

    I wonder how VAR would have impacted yesterdays semi final match where some “robust” challenges went unpunished?

  37. Dom16, answer is ‘Not at all’ as VAR doesn’t look at challenges other than for penalties. It might have looked at offside for the winning goal, though I personally feel that was so close that it should have stood.

  38. I think VAR is used for serious foul play review such as red card incidents. Given that the referee yesterday was erhm….relaxed about many robust challenges then again, VAR would not have been employed outside of the third goal and I agree with Nawlite on that.

  39. Nawlite 18th April @ 14.53

    As I understand things, the 4 categories are:-

    1. Goal/no goal
    2. Penalty/no penalty
    3. Direct red card
    4. Mistaken identity

    Are you saying that, with VAR, a direct red card is only associated with a penalty kick incident? If so, my humble apologies for questioning, in my ignorance, your reply to Dom16

    I’m thinking particularly about Goldson’s tackle on Kyogo – so does that mean that VAR would not look at the incident?

  40. Didn’t see the game, so not sure what the Goldson incident was, Bect67. I’m no expert, but I think if the ref misses an OBVIOUS red card anywhere on the pitch, VAR might intervene, but from what I’ve read, I don’t think there were any individual tackles that might have fitted the bill. Most complaints seem to be that Lundstram or Aribo had so many ‘bad’ ones that they should have eventually seen red.

  41. Thanks nawlite

    I take your point about that haven’t read about Goldson’s tackle. This is probably due to the fact that it was not widely reported on (this is not sour grapes btw!).

    However, I witnessed the tackle, and there are images of it to be found, which make it look very much like Goldson deliberately targetted Kyogo’s ankle (I accept that this is my version!).

    I have opined before that such a tackle deserves a red card (irrespective of who commits it – from any team (e.g Starfelt should have seen red for his season ending tackle on Scott Nisbet at Easter Road), and I would hope that such behaviour would warrant a look by VAR – regardless of where it occurred on the pitch.

    It’s one of the most dangerous, and increasingly widespread, fouls in the game.

    Anyway – rant over – and thanks again for your post.

  42. Twenty thousand fans sing the banned “Billy Boys” song, twice that I heard = 7 arrests.

    Not much of a deterrent????

  43. Well by all accounts VAR should be voted in today. I didn’t see either semi-final other than brief BBC highlights. The decision that truly baffled me was the booking for McGregor. The commentary (and suggestion from Madden’s gesture) was that it was for a failed attempt from McGregor to trip the TRFC player where ref played advantage. This being the case the booking was. Issued in error as in such a circumstance the laws of the game are quite clear: law 12, section 3 – where advantage is played and foul was an attempt to stop a promising attack the player is not cautioned. Now you might not agree with the laws of the game, but they are what we play to. I completely get marginal offside calls being made/not made as at the pace of play it’s completely understandable. But for a FIFA referee to go back and make a decision that is contrary to the laws as stated in the Laws of the Game is a new level of incompetence.
    What VAR does bring is a wider critique of the referee’s performance than of the narrow areas of its application – using it to support decisions in some areas but not others gives an after-match “compare and contrast” session for the pundits – and it should “encourage” referees to raise their game.

  44. Just seen that VAR has been voted in favour. Picking up on earlier posts of when it will be used, of the seven areas listed on BBC website, I think #4 is somewhat open-ended:
    “For serious misapplication of the laws – such as a goal scored direct from a dropped ball or throw in.”

    Who defines what is a serious misapplication? I would argue booking a player against the explicit laws of the game is a serious misapplication. I would also suggest stopping the game to allow a player treatment when not a head injury (as happened with Jota earlier in the season against (I think) Hearts was a serious misapplication.
    With the levels of refereeing incompetence on show on a regular basis, games could take forever to complete with VAR checks…

  45. Wokingcelt 19th April 2022 At 12:38

    Well I will go to the foot of our stairs! The number of times I have witnessed a referee being lauded for allowing the game to flow and then hearing the commentary team state that the referee will book that player when the ball goes out. I never knew about law 12, section 3 .Thanks Wokingcelt .As they say everyday is..etc

  46. Re VAR. Personally I’m all for it, however the people operating it need to be competent. How are they going to manage that?

  47. UTH – the obvious answer would be to take advantage of the experienced VAR refs from some of the leagues that implemented earlier. I am sure the setup / experience at Stockley Park could be used at least for next season to upskill our refs in the application of VAR (and the Laws of the Game!)

  48. How long will it take for managers to complain about the rulings from VAR. How long will it take for one set of fans see another team benefitting from VAR decisions, while they moan about decisions not going their way. Will VAR put to rest the notion of one club getting all the decisions. VAR could possibly open another can of worms. Will the SFA provide full instruction to the operators and will some of the head strong referees fall into line when they are consistently overruled. Interesting times ahead.

  49. Vernallen 19th April 2022 At 22:44
    ‘…Will the SFA provide full instruction to the operators .’
    Short answer: the SFA will do SWFA to defend the integrity of the game if push comes to shove.
    By ‘recognising’ the new 2012 TRFC as being the undead RFC of 1872 they lost any credibility as a sports governance body.
    We may be sure that honesty and integrity are concepts as foreign to them as they are to Putin.
    Truth is indivisible.
    The SFA lie about RIFC plc/TRFC.
    They will lie when it suits them.

  50. Dom16 20th April 2022 At 12:54
    ‘…Does make me wonder why people on such significant income levels seek ways to avoid paying tax.’
    I think the word ‘greed’ comes into it somewhere, Dom16!
    BUT in saying that , I have reminded myself of two famous sayings:
    “Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes”
    Gregory v. Helvering, 69 F.2d 809, 810 (2d Cir. 1934)
    ” Over and over again courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging one’s affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everybody does so, rich or poor; and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands: taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant.”
    Commissioner v. Newman, 159 F.2d 848, 851 (2d Cir. 1947) – dissenting opinion’

    The problem with SDM’s EBT scheme was that it was such a try-on that he had to disguise the truth from the taxman and the Football Authorities; the problem for McCann [ who , I am ready to believe, was not deliberately trying it on] was that he simply could not show that he was ‘in business on his own account’ rather than just a paid employee.
    Unlike the very smart Kaye Adams ( or her smarter lawyers] who found a legal way of demonstrating that she was not an employee of the BBC, to the satisfaction of the Upper Tier Tax Tribunal.
    She herself is not paid by the BBC: it is the company of which she and her life- partner are the sole shareholders that has the contract with the BBC, and it may have contracts with other businesses to which it offers its services.
    It is that company that is paid.
    But of course, as she and her partner own the company, they get the dosh!

  51. From the DR:
    Robbie Copeland Live Sports Writer
    20:02, 21 APR 2022 UPDATED20:54, 21 APR 2022
    “Gerrard led Rangers to a famous 55th league title last season but after only adding to the championship-winning squad with free transfers he voiced his frustrations in a thinly-veiled press conference jab – complaining that the club “hadn’t spent a penny.”
    And while he takes responsibility for the club failing to qualify for the Champions League, the Aston Villa boss admits he was frustrated and “wanted a bit more” from the board.”
    There goes the good old lying DR!
    Completely dependable in the matter of propagating untruth!
    Kind of reminds me of the Pravda of former times- a messenger and propagator of lies, denying as it does the death of RFC of 1872 in 2012 and therefore denying the truth that the in no way did RFC of 1872 even exist to make it possible that it won 55 titles!
    Really and truly, I see no distinction between the ‘journalists’ who propagate the Big Lie and the really , really evil sods of ‘journalists’ who report the lies of madman Putin.
    The fact that the DR lies do not have the same terrible consequences as those of madman Putin does not change the fact that the DR guys are propagandists of an untruth.
    They know it.
    But put their pay cheques and/or personal bias first and foremost.
    To their eternal shame.

  52. Today’s leader in ‘The Scotsman’ has this:
    “ MPs’ decision yesterday to ask the Privileges Committee to investigate whether Johnson misled them over Partygate is a welcome sign of hope that a Prime Minister who lies blatantly and breaks the law will ultimately not be allowed to stay in office”

    What a perfect example of ‘holier than thou’ hypocritical cant!

    ‘The Scotsman’ [ along with the rest of the SMSM] sedulously fosters and propagates the absurd LIE that a 10 year-old football club named The Rangers Football Club is the self-same club as the football club named the Rangers Football Club that died the death of Liquidation [aged 140 years] in 2012 , and is somehow entitled to claim the sporting history of that liquidated club!

    A newspaper that lies in the relatively [ peace to the shade of Shankly!] trivial matter of football is in no position to throw stones at any other liar.

    The editor of ‘The Scotsman’ should face up to his journalistic/editorial duty to honour the promise made by the ‘Conductors’ of the newspaper in 1816 who ‘pledge[d] themselves for impartiality, firmness and independence…their first desire is to be honest….’

    Truth is indivisible.
    If the ‘The Scotsman’ wants lying Prime Ministers to be called out, it should also want lying sports clubs/governance bodies to be called out, exercising the requisite impartiality and ‘courage and industry’ for the task.

  53. I had to chuckle at Barry Ferguson’s comment on Celtic bottling the title run in. What team enjoyed a six point lead earlier this year and all the chat surrounded the title staying at Ibrox and the club rolling in the riches of the CL. What team is now six points behind. And, is there not pressure on them to win on Saturday to stay within touching distance of first place.

  54. Here I am, sitting drinking [coffee!] from my SFM mug which has the mantra ‘ Scottish Football needs a Strong ARBROATH’ emblazoned on its side.
    I honour the poster on this blog whose cry that was. [ was it Red Lichtie? or some such?- he/she seems not to have posted for quite a while?]
    I watched the first half of tonight’s game live., but had to vacate the tv room at half-time so that Mrs C could have her nightly phone chat with her friend in Glasgow, so have only just watched the recorded second half.
    For ‘red lichties’ sake[ as a fellow poster on the blog] I would have wished that his team had won, without particularly wishing that Killie would lose!
    Whatever, it was a very entertaining football game that I would have happily paid as a neutral to go and see.

  55. JC 22nd April 23.58

    ‘Whatever, it was a very entertaining football game that I would have happily paid as a neutral to go and see.’

    JC – I was the lucky recipient of a ‘comp’, courtesy of a Killie sponsor, for last night’s game. Some of the football wasn’t pretty in the first half but the atmosphere was terrific and it was fantastic to see such a large crowd, including a large Arbroath contingent.

  56. After ALL clubs contributed to the cost of VAR for the good of the game, do you think there might be a will after last night’s result for perhaps all Premiership clubs to contribute to replacing both carpets with grass for next season.

  57. Andy Walker was a game or two early with his comment, when do Rangers get their penalty. Sure enough 10 minutes to go that get the penalty that puts the game out of reach. How will the official in tomorrow’s game react.

  58. So, The Rangers have refused all season to promote Cinch, the league sponsor. Even to the petty point of covering up the sponsors name at an away venue today. Surely then the SPFL should withhold any money due for 2nd place finish?

  59. Weescotsman 24th April 00.37

    The SPFL signed a contract with cinch knowing that Rangers had a pre- existing contract that precluded them from fulfilling parts of this deal. What exactly have Rangers done wrong?
    You should instead be questioning the competency of those representing the SPFL in this case.

  60. Weescotsman 24th April 2022 At 00:37
    ‘.. Even to the petty point of covering up the sponsors name at an away venue today’
    The Court of Session seemed to be satisfied that TRFC had indeed a prior contract with Park’s of Hamilton, and had informed the SPFL of that fact before the SPFL entered the deal with cinch
    For the SPFL either to be unaware of its own Rule I (7 (i)] or to be ready to ignore it is an indication of unacceptable incompetence or sheer bloody stupidity.
    The Rule puts TRFC in the clear in its refusal to advertise cinch at Ibrox.
    But I doubt if TRFC has the authority to forbid Motherwell ,or any other club in the SPFL that is bound by the cinch contract, to dishonour that contract by not exhibiting the agreed level of cinch advertising in its own ground.
    cinch now has two clubs in breach of the contract with the SPFL.
    A right sodding mess that can only cost the SPFL dear?
    cinch would be well within their rights to call for a drastic revision or cancellation of a contract that is not being honoured in full.
    And someone’s head at Hampden should be rolling.

  61. John C
    Rangers* get away with so much I think because they have balls the size of the moons of Jupiter. It may lack class and display a brazenness associated with “wee man” syndrome, but it goes unsanctioned. Perhaps the reason they will escape such sanction on this occasion is the fact that it may bring the incompetence of the SPFL into relief.
    Sticking a middle digit upwards in the direction of the SPFL (if the claims they make are true) is one thing; assuming ownership of a host team’s possessions in order to vandalise them is quite another.
    The parallels with the National situation where people see the damage the governing rabble cause, but just shrug their shoulders and forget it ever happened, is very stark.

  62. John

    I’m unable to recall if the wording was on the advertising after the last Old Firm FC visit to Celtic Park, and am wondering if GVB presented himself for interview with Cinch as part of his backdrop (I haven’t read if this was the case). Hopefully, CFC would not have been part of any taping shenanigans.

    Notwithstanding that, who, In the name of the wee man, who are the ‘eejits’ who sanctioned the Fir Park Tapegate? All just to appease the unappeasable (the peepul ye ken). Motherwell should have said NAW!

    I appreciate that we would not have had a TRFC interview had they done so (big deal) – but what would the ‘punishment’ have been for Motherwell – who would have risen certainly in my estimation?

    A real ‘riddy’ for Scottish football – and I imagine Cinch (who will also be ‘ragin’)…

    … and a final poser – who stuck the tape up? Wiz it the wee Ibrox handyman? I demand to know his name!

  63. Big Pink 24th April 2022 At 19:56
    ‘..assuming ownership of a host team’s possessions in order to vandalise them is quite another.’
    Bect67 24th April 2022 At 19:58
    ‘.. who, In the name of the wee man, who are the ‘eejits’ who sanctioned the Fir Park Tapegate? All just to appease the unappeasable (the peepul ye ken). Motherwell should have said NAW!
    I am a little unclear whether the cinch advertising stuff was vandalised by supporters of TRFC and the vandalism was not undone by Motherwell FC ground staff for fear of causing a riot;
    or whether it was deliberately taped-over PRE -match by Motherwell ground staff on instruction from their CEO?
    In either case, Motherwell’s hands are not clean.
    cinch can have some fun and games in the matter of failure by the SPFL to ensure that its member clubs honour the sponsorship contract.
    And Motherwell FC could be called to account for any vandalism: and called even more to account if they themselves were responsible for ordering the cinch advertising not to be visible.

    Ach, what am I saying? Called to account? By whom? A Board that lost its integrity in 2012, and is in no position to sanction anyone when it itself should be sanctioned as having no moral authority whatsoever on account of having created the nonsense of the Big Lie, that a 10 year old club is somehow the undead 140 year old RFC of 1872?

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