Redistribution of Football Income – The Human Dilemma

ByAuldheid

Redistribution of Football Income – The Human Dilemma

“Anyone read Michael Grant’s article in The Times? Only saw a pull-quote but the headline is about not everyone cheering for Celtic to European success since the financial windfall will put them too far ahead of the other clubs. It’s that old UEFA distribution thingy. Auldheid had a sensible alternative a while back.”

Thanks Danish Pastry for giving Big Pink the opportunity to nudge me (over a coffee I paid for – so how’s that for redistribution of income? 🙂 ) to blog again on the issue of redistribution of UEFA money whilst he was advocating gate sharing as an alternative.

I recall the redistribution debate being discussed on the first TSFM podcast Episode 1-01 of 9th Feb 2014 which can be found here:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/scottish-football-monitor/id817766886?mt=2

Listening to it again (I used “View in I Tunes”) I heard many of the recent comments on the previous blog being made in that podcast at or around:

  9.58:   The interdependent nature of the business of football. Why it is different from normal business.

10.50:   Celtic/Rangers leaving the Scottish League making it immediately more competitive.

11.30:    Clubs as a community resource (like museums or libraries not run for profit, providing a community service and staying solvent).

12.48:    People have to let go of the notions that they have held about the nature of football and recognise it is a totally interdependent business.

13.55:    Changing the Champions League format to European and Regional Leagues and raising the standard of all, not dropping standards of one to bring about competiveness.

25.50:   A rethink at the top level with NEW thinking about redistribution of income using Champions League money.

27.50:   The human dilemma.

So rather than repeat what was said originally and very well developed in the comments on the Michael Grant article on the previous blog, I thought I would look at what I think is the greatest barrier to change which was the last item above – the human dilemma. *

 

Modern football reminds me of 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 analogy is bent a little but not broken in the sense that there are fat and emaciated folk in the football version of the lower room but it is not a healthy place as the fat can themselves become emaciated over time (see Liverpool and even Man Utd) but, generally speaking, self-interest or rather what is perceived as self-interest, holds sway.

Human nature that causes the human dilemma is well reflected in normal business where dog eats dog, then eats the food of the dog it ate if it comes out top dog. Football however cannot exist on a dog eat dog basis because it is interdependent as a business. Dog eating dog is bad for business because over a period of time even the top dog will die of starvation.

Now without abusing the dog metaphor any further and risk attracting dog’s abuse, why is it that something which should be as self-evident as looking after each other is good for business, be such a hard sell?

I said in the podcast around 12.48 that folk need to let go of the notions they have clung on to about football, but why is that so difficult?

Perhaps the resistance to that change can be found, at least in the case of Celtic, who at present are asked in the current debate to make a sacrifice for others, either in the form of gate sharing or giving up some Champion Leagues winnings (if/when they qualify) can be found in the genesis of the club and the memory of that genesis passed from generation to generation.

Everyone knows that the original purpose that Brother Walfrid had for Celtic was to feed the poor in the East End of Glasgow and many of that poor had come from Ireland to be strangers in a strange land.

As a Calton man born in the Gallowgate, as was my grandfather (my dad was found under a cabbage in Well St) I’ve never really identified much with the Irish context of Celtic’s history, although I do recognise its importance to many supporters with Irish family ties, but that dimension adds a further layer to the human dilemma.

Think of it, you form a football club to raise money to feed yourself because you live in an environment where welcome mats are in short supply. That money raised is YOUR money. Your life depends on it as does your family’s as well as your close neighbour (usually in the same close). How prepared are you to share what income you have had to raise yourself with others who you believe have been less than charitable towards you?

Add that folk memory to the human selfish trait of wanting what you spend on football spent on meeting your own desire, which is to make you happy watching an entertaining and successful team on the park and you get an idea of where the resistance to a more equitable sharing comes from and how deep it goes.

I use Celtic here because they are my club and part of my life experience and I have no idea if other clubs experience that added layer of resistance to sharing, if indeed they are in position to share. But if we are ever to be able to introduce gate sharing or what I see as the easier alternative of redistribution of UEFA geld because in not coming direct from supporters pockets it has less of the Celtic folk memory layer to overcome, then those who will be asked to make a sacrifice have to be given the confidence that the aim is not to impoverish them (and the Celtic community memory of poverty and fighting it is as strong today in the form of The Celtic Foundation, The Kano Foundation and the numerous charity events organised by supporters and prominent blogs) but to enrich their neighbours, but doing so in such a way that they enrich themselves. That is the challenge.

In the upper room in the earlier hellish description, the occupiers present the ultimate example of charity in that in feeding each other they feed themselves.

  • PS the podcast covers other issues that some 18 months later might still be of interest.

 

 

About the author

Auldheid author

Celtic fan from Glasgow living mostly in Spain. A contributor to several websites, discussion groups and blogs, and a member of the Resolution 12 Celtic shareholders' group. Committed to sporting integrity, good governance, and the idea that football is interdependent. We all need each other in the game.

1,442 Comments so far

upthehoopsPosted on6:35 am - Sep 17, 2015


easyJambo 17th September 2015 at 1:00 am
=======================

I did not actually mean to kick off another debate on what Neil Lennon suffered during his time in Scotland. I also take your point that in a convoluted way the aggressor at Tynecastle that night ended up with a custodial sentence of some duration in any case.

My point was to highlight a concern that for this forthcoming Rangers trial the defendants are as entitled to a fair trial as the rest of us. Selecting a Jury from Scotland to ensure that fair trial will have its difficulties to say the least. Angry mob scenes outside court buildings before guilt is established are never a good sign in my view and it is over to the authorities to explain why they made such a public show of it all, given such scenes were inevitable. The defendants must be presumed innocent as it stands. Equally importantly some UK court verdicts over the past four decades have placated angry public opinion, but have since been shown to be huge miscarriages of justice. This one is right up there in what many of the public already want as a verdict, but ultimately only justice itself must prevail.

I have many other thoughts on this but will not raise them on here.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:12 am - Sep 17, 2015


Re the rumours HMRC have lost the latest big tax case appeal.

Going back to Rangers Tax Case days I was only an interested reader then. I do remember informed comments at the time this may have to go all the way to the highest court. My layman’s view has always been it needs to be heard outside of Scotland.

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yakutsukiPosted on7:56 am - Sep 17, 2015


Auldheid 17th September 2015 at 3:04 am #

Good read on the purpose of Res12 . I hope supporters of all clubs share its aim.

Rangers & The UEFA License. Cock-Up or Conspiracy

http://celticunderground.net/rangers-the-uefa-license-cock-up-or-conspiracy/

Personally I think the SFA cocked up the conspiracy.

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

I’m not sure at all if it was ‘just’ a cock up. Someone said a while back that something sinister abounds in this country and it’s tentacles go right through society.
(Jim Spence? I forget.)

Nothing would surprise me any more – absolutely nothing!

I seem to remember at that time that the official
stance at the time was “Nothing’s happening, just act normal.” Even the sfa were scared to ruffle the feathers and go public on oldco doing anything that was anything but above board.

The silence from officialdom and the SMSM was deafening then, yet the dugs in the street even knew that RFC were at it.

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causaludendiPosted on9:31 am - Sep 17, 2015


Is anyone able to post the text (or PM it) of Auldheid’s link? I can’t access the site due to a ‘bluecoat filter’ 👿 :irony:

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Corrupt officialPosted on10:22 am - Sep 17, 2015


causaludendi 17th September 2015 at 9:31 am

Check PM.

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AuldheidPosted on1:16 pm - Sep 17, 2015


Yakutsuki 7.56

There was a conspiracy they just cocked up how they went about it.

The cock up was the nature of the wtc ebts. They were illegal but I’m not sure if that was fully appreciated whilst divising the conspiracy. It all depends on who was involved.

If one was Andrew Dickson then he had full knowledge of the rules and the paperwork.

With that he would know the importance of burying the wee tax case which meant not providing the SFA with any documentation related to it. That occurred in 2011 and 2012.

However somehow the Flo side letter of 23 November 2000 was provided to Harper MacLeod and it was this that governed the date LNS was commissioned to begin his investigation from.

What could not have been provided was the De Boer side letter of 30 August and had it been I doubt anyone would have been much the wiser that it and Flo’s related to an illegal ebt type.

So I reckon there was a conspiracy on hiding the nature of the wtc ebts but there was a cock up in not hiding that nature in plain view by providing the De Boer letter.

What definitely was not provided to SPL lawyers was HMRC letters setting out the true nature of the wee tax case. Turns out there was more than the one that SFM provided to Harper MacLeod last year. I am waiting to hear if that other has been sent to them.

So a conspiracy cocked up is my guess.

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easyJamboPosted on2:00 pm - Sep 17, 2015


Companies House notice that the dissolution of TRFCG (aka Wavetower) has been stopped.

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jimboPosted on2:46 pm - Sep 17, 2015


Big Pink, good news (I think)

Merlin from Rangersupportersloyal is amenable to TSFM providing a link to them. My post is on the article ‘defending the Ninja’ if anyone wants to have look although it says it is awaiting moderation so not sure if it will available for all to see.

https://rangerssupportersloyal.wordpress.com/2015/09/13/defending-the-ninja/comment-page-1/#comment-3010

His reply to me was ‘sounds good’

It’s the best Rangers site I know. Many of their posters are articulate and have huge knowledge, they wouldn’t be amiss on here.

They posted a good article from James Forrest recently who also admires them.

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causaludendiPosted on3:10 pm - Sep 17, 2015


Cheers for that CO (your original moniker appears as the email sender – a blast from the ‘busting’ past! 😉 )

As a side note, all my PMs have disappeared? 😯 🙁 I take it this is due to the format switch?

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zerotolerance1903Posted on3:47 pm - Sep 17, 2015


I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise. 😐

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/34242317

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Big PinkPosted on4:18 pm - Sep 17, 2015


causaludendi 17th September 2015 at 3:10 pm

Cheers for that CO (your original moniker appears as the email sender – a blast from the ‘busting’ past! ? )

As a side note, all my PMs have disappeared? ? 🙁 I take it this is due to the format switch?

Sorry folks. I should have said that you can still access old PMs if you log on to radio.sfm.scot. It’s basically the old site.

BP

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billyj1Posted on5:43 pm - Sep 17, 2015


Test

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causaludendiPosted on8:38 pm - Sep 17, 2015


Cheers BP, slightly ‘off grid’ due to work just now & trying to keep up – no’ easy!

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ianagainPosted on9:41 pm - Sep 17, 2015


jimbo 17th September 2015 at 2:46 pm #

Big Pink, good news (I think)

Merlin from Rangersupportersloyal is amenable to TSFM providing a link to them. My post is on the article ‘defending the Ninja’ if anyone wants to have look although it says it is awaiting moderation so not sure if it will available for all to see.

https://rangerssupportersloyal.wordpress.com/2015/09/13/defending-the-ninja/comment-page-1/#comment-3010

His reply to me was ‘sounds good’

It’s the best Rangers site I know. Many of their posters are articulate and have huge knowledge, they wouldn’t be amiss on here.

They posted a good article from James Forrest recently who also admires them.
————————————————–

JJ

I always keep an eye on your excellent assessments anyhow, as one of the true blues I believe have their eye on the ball.

Keep up the good work. All of you.

Eventually you guys will be rid of the chancers but only if you prevail over the level 5 PR.

How DCK can get away with pouring that much of the outfits money into them is beyond my ken.

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ianagainPosted on10:04 pm - Sep 17, 2015


See the things people say (very rich people)

No need to go to 2nd hearing:

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/120730

And the reality:

Court tomorrow:

Not before 12 o’clock

GENERAL LIST

Part Heard

5528/2015 In the matter of Lotus F1 Team Ltd

Between: The Commissioners for HMRC v Lotus F1 Team Ltd

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gunnerbPosted on11:16 pm - Sep 17, 2015


Don’t know if anyone else has had issues with accessing the site lately.404 page not found error. I am using Waterfox (firefox 64bit) on Windows 10 and have had to clear the cache in order to restore everything. Options/Privacy/ clear recent history.

cheers

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Corrupt officialPosted on12:01 am - Sep 18, 2015


I wonder what them thar Dutch folk will talk about tomorrow with no O**F***. 🙂

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Big PinkPosted on12:36 am - Sep 18, 2015


Lots of people having issues today with the site – logon, posting and navigation issues. The problem is caused by us having moved to a new server.

Consequently, browser caches are serving up old pages. Anyone experiencing issues should clear their browser cache and all will be well.

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Big PinkPosted on12:52 am - Sep 18, 2015


Had an interesting conversation with David Low yesterday about the situation facing the RIFC board, particularly with regard to the new revived Oldco squirrel.

Don’t want to trailer it, but we have arranged to do a Podcast on Monday morning so he can explain his assessment, diagnosis and prognosis – all contingent to a great extent on the outcomes of the forthcoming criminal trials, some unexpected Companies House activity, and to a lesser extent on the expected HMRC loss in their appeal.

I will do a written blog with the main points as a wraparound to the podcast, and the podcast itself can serve as the full and exhaustive list of views.

Like much of the Rangers saga, David’s assessment of the situation raises even more questions.

For Rangers fans, the news is not all bad though. Realism and the posing of relevant questions may not yet have infected the Daily Records and Heralds of this world, but it is gaining traction with a growing number of eminently sensible and increasingly vocal Rangers bloggers.

Watch this space.
Podcast available by Monday teatime.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:27 am - Sep 18, 2015


Big Pink 18th September 2015 at 12:52 am #

For Rangers fans, the news is not all bad though. Realism and the posing of relevant questions may not yet have infected the Daily Records and Heralds of this world, but it is gaining traction with a growing number of eminently sensible and increasingly vocal Rangers bloggers.
========================

Having been directed to the RSL Forum from the blogger ‘John James; Twitter account, I have been pleasantly surprised at the quality of some of the posters and the questions they are willing to ask. It is the only Rangers Forum I’ve seen which does not slap down anyone who questions the ruling party. Some of them could make a significant contribution on here, although I did notice our old friend Steerpike frequents it!

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upthehoopsPosted on7:39 am - Sep 18, 2015


Corrupt official 18th September 2015 at 12:01 am #
I wonder what them thar Dutch folk will talk about tomorrow with no O**F***. 🙂
=========================

Our own media may have a problem too. They took a leaf out of Robbie Neilson’s coaching book and very publicly and sometimes gratuitously prepared all week for a particular scenario. Trouble is their astuteness did not match that of Neilson’s, who was spot on with what he predicted would happen. Presumably that was because Neilson based it on a professional judgement compared to a frenzy based attack on a manager, a group of players and a Chief Executive who have done enough in the past to avoid such disrespectful reporting.

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Matty RothPosted on9:13 am - Sep 18, 2015


So after Waghorns blatant dive a few weeks ago, how many games did the compliance officer ban him for? Did I miss it?

That’s the precedent set for players of other teams.

Or do we have to get the compliance officers contact details and start calling him every monday to remind him he has a job to do with compliance for ALL teams.

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high beeswaxPosted on9:34 am - Sep 18, 2015


Burns 250 years on

But Bear thou art no thy lane
In proving foresight may be vain
The best laid schemes o’ bears an’ sfa men
Gang aft aglay
An’ lea’ve nought but grief an pain
For promised joy…..

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neepheidPosted on10:41 am - Sep 18, 2015


From City AM -http://www.cityam.com/224657/could-football-transfer-fees-be-banned-players-union-fifpro-files-legal-complaint-against?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

“Should football transfers be banned?

That’s the revolutionary idea being put forward by world players’ union Fifpro who have lodged a legal complaint against Fifa with the European Commission over the current system in place.

Read more: Football’s last chance saloon – the Fifpro tournament where unemployed players duke it out for a contract

Fifpro believe the current transfer system breaches EU competition law and that beyond the big, cash-rich leagues in Europe “there is almost slavery taking place” where players are unfairly bound to contracts and denied the freedom of movement granted to other workers.

The union also argues that the current system is anti-competitive as only a handful of clubs are able to pay for and afford rocketing transfer fees while the majority of clubs are left behind.

It has filed the legal complaint after it said negotiations with Fifa failed to yield any results.

Fifpro represents around 70,000 footballers across the globe and argues the reality of life for the majority of players is a far cry from the financial security enjoyed by those in the Premier League.

The group claims that round 35 per cent of the players they represent are not paid on time, yet clubs and agents still profit from the transfer of players.

If the Commission rules in favour of Fifpro, its proposed reforms could fundamentally change the football industry.”

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HomunculusPosted on11:42 am - Sep 18, 2015


Can I just make a couple of points of the “players transfer” issue.

Firstly, as I understand it, it is actually players’ registrations which are transferred, as opposed to the player themself. The player actually has a fixed term contract with the club as an employee. So it is the contract which determines who he can work for and it is the registration which decides where he can play.

With regard to restricting his ability to trade, I really don’t see that as any different to any other professional with a fixed term contract. If for example an Architect has a 5 year contract with a specific firm and during that 5 years wants to go to work for another firm in another country then it is entirely possible that the current firm would seek compensation for their contract to be broken.

I don’t really see that as any different for a football player, the only real distinction is that the compensation in their instance is in the form of a payment being made to buy his registration, which then as a matter for course will move to the other club, allowing him to play in their country and in European competition for them.

That may well be a bit restrictive, but is it any more restrictive than for anyone else on a similar type of contract. Indeed, is the fact that most people have to work some form of “notice” as per their contract now considered restrictive as well. Should people on a contract simply be able to walk out on that.

I think this may well be just another example of professional footballers being a bit precious and special.

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MoreCelticParanoiaPosted on1:48 pm - Sep 18, 2015


ianagain17th September 2015 at 10:04 pm#
See the things people say (very rich people)
No need to go to 2nd hearing:
http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/120730
__________________________________

This sentence caught my eye:

“The team was forced into the High Court on Monday as a result of failing to pay one month’s PAYE (income tax and national insurance) to HMRC, only for the case to be adjourned until Friday, September 18.”

Whereas some sporting “companies” are allowed to rack up half a year’s worth of PAYE & NI with no action, yet claim to be the victims of some sort of vindictive persecution.

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upthehoopsPosted on2:46 pm - Sep 18, 2015


Matty Roth 18th September 2015 at 9:13 am #
So after Waghorns blatant dive a few weeks ago, how many games did the compliance officer ban him for? Did I miss it?
==========================

A lot seems to depend on how much fuss the media make over an incident. I guess that’s your answer!

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Ex LudoPosted on3:07 pm - Sep 18, 2015


The post re transfer fees and restrictive practices is interesting in itself but I wonder if anyone has watched the BT Sport ad involving lots of football stars having a party which has scenes straight from Hogarth and where it seems no expense has been spared to entertain the boys? Complete lack of self awareness on the part of the ad company and BT. The underlying and unintentional message is “look at what you’re paying for” Own goal methinks.

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upthehoopsPosted on3:21 pm - Sep 18, 2015


Just noticed an interesting screenshot on Twitter.

For those of you who don’t know there has been a recent outcry among Rangers fans (yes, another one!) regarding their team being excluded from the EA Sports FIFA 2016 game. For the past couple of seasons they have been included in the ‘rest of the world’ section, as the game only includes the top Scottish League. It means gamers can’t include them in formal competitions, but they can use Rangers to play friendlies against any other team in the game.

Anyway, the Twitter Screenshot shows a live chat conversation between a Rangers fan and EA Sports, where it is confirmed Rangers would not issue EA Sports a licence to use them in the game. Phil MacGiollaBhain has said perhaps it’s an issue with Crests & Trademarks, but he is sure Sevco will clarify the position!

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scottcPosted on4:13 pm - Sep 18, 2015


upthehoops 18th September 2015 at 3:21 pm #
Just noticed an interesting screenshot on Twitter.

For those of you who don’t know there has been a recent outcry among Rangers fans (yes, another one!) regarding their team being excluded from the EA Sports FIFA 2016 game. …

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They have a petition going on change.org, being pushed on RM. Apparently up to 6 million fans worldwide now that EA are missing out on. Nice to focus on the important things

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wottpiPosted on5:01 pm - Sep 18, 2015


upthehoops 18th September 2015 at 3:21 pm
scottc 18th September 2015 at 4:13 pm

I suppose petitions are better than boycotts.

Anyway folks looking at the article in Fifa 16 in the DR have a bigger conundrum to get the grey matter working

At the bottom of the article some trickster from the paper has put in a wee polling question.

“Have you ever answered a Poll – Yes or No” 🙂

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Gym TrainerPosted on6:09 pm - Sep 18, 2015


6 million fans? Where are the other 494 million? We should be told!

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neepheidPosted on7:30 pm - Sep 18, 2015


http://news.stv.tv/west-central/316649-rangers-badges-transferred-to-mike-ashley-as-security-for-5m-loan-deal/

This link probably explains why “Rangers” can’t deal with the computer games company regarding FIFA16- it is Ashley’s call, as current registered owner of the trademarks etc, and maybe he doesn’t feel favourably inclined to people who boycott his shops and generally give him nothing but grief?

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ThomTheThimPosted on7:56 pm - Sep 18, 2015


neepheid 18th September 2015 at 7:30 pm #
http://news.stv.tv/west-central/316649-rangers-badges-transferred-to-mike-ashley-as-security-for-5m-loan-deal/

This link probably explains why “Rangers” can’t deal with the computer games company regarding FIFA16- it is Ashley’s call, as current registered owner of the trademarks etc, and maybe he doesn’t feel favourably inclined to people who boycott his shops and generally give him nothing but grief?

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*******
Perhaps with the upcoming court cases, the IPs may not actually be in MA’s gift to deal with.

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HomunculusPosted on8:18 pm - Sep 18, 2015


ThomTheThim 18th September 2015 at 7:56 pm #

Would you mind elaborating Thom, I’m not really sure what you are suggesting. Is there a Court case which is likely to remove Mike Ashley’s control over the intellectual property, surely that is tied in to his outstanding loans.

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ThomTheThimPosted on8:26 pm - Sep 18, 2015


Homunculus 18th September 2015 at 8:18 pm #
ThomTheThim 18th September 2015 at 7:56 pm #

Would you mind elaborating Thom, I’m not really sure what you are suggesting. Is there a Court case which is likely to remove Mike Ashley’s control over the intellectual property, surely that is tied in to his outstanding loans.

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********
Firstly, I have absolutely no business or legal acumen.

My musing was based on the query as to who actually has/had ownership of Sevco 5088/Scotland.

I understand that this is the basis of some of the court proceedings, therefore, if the ” deeds” legally belong to Whyte and/or his associates, then surely they were never in Green’s power to pass them to MA or anyone else as a loan security.

I am probably way off the mark here, but that was the basis of my post.

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HomunculusPosted on8:57 pm - Sep 18, 2015


Thom

Thanks for the reply, makes absolute sense.

If Sevco Scotland never owned the intellectual property then they could hardly use it as security against loans.

If it transpires they didn’t I assume that Mike Ashley could actually sue them for his £5m, as they secured it against things they didn’t own (the IP as well as the properties).

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neepheidPosted on9:41 pm - Sep 18, 2015


Whatever the courts may decide at some future date, in the here and now companies which deal with anything “Rangers” can only work on the basis that everything is as it is stated to be. EA, the creator of the contentious game, must deal with the registered owner of the rights to the name and branding of “Rangers” if they want to include such a club in their game.

Right now, Sports Direct are registered as owners of all the IP, and remain so until King decides to pay Ashley off, or until the whole shambles is unpicked by the courts. So EA can’t use “Rangers” in their game without Ashley’s consent. If they asked, the answer must have been “no”.

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AuldheidPosted on9:42 pm - Sep 18, 2015


Homunculus 18th September 2015 at 11:42 am # Edit

Agreed and if players would honour their contracts instead of seeing them as another quick stepping stone to a bigger pig trough I might have some sympathy.

Removing a transfer fee might encourage a club not to agree to an early release and hold a player to his contract and that would reduce churn and help planning. However the underlying problem remains the disparity in players wages fuelled by the disparity in the sharing of the income (mainly TV) football generates.

Now if the Players Union wanted to do something about that and share their income more evenly with fellow pros/workers on whom the very well paid depend to provide opposition. I’d be much more sympathetic to the poor souls.

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AuldheidPosted on9:50 pm - Sep 18, 2015


Abolishing Transfer Fees.

I’m afraid I have a rather jaundiced view of footballers as set out in the following article on a CQN Mag blog a while ago.

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.

How 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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parttimearabPosted on10:20 pm - Sep 18, 2015


Auldheid 18th September 2015 at 9:50 pm #
Abolishing Transfer Fees.
==================
Good article – personally I find myself conflicted on this.

Fipro, despite their protestations only seek to line the pockets of the richest players – and by the odious pretext of caring for all – b******t pure and simple.

Having said that I cannot argue against the fact that footballers should enjoy the same employment rights as everyone else.

How do we achieve this while mitigating the effects on clubs who currently rely on transfer fees as a major income source?

One obvious solution would be a redistribution of tv monies, greater solidarity payments, more access to European competitions…..the list goes on….and nae doubt EUEFA and the national associations will be right onto this…only the cynical could doubt it….. 🙄 🙄 🙄

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ekt1mPosted on11:06 pm - Sep 18, 2015


Perhaps O/T, Watching the Davis Cup tennis at the Emirates Arena today I was struck by the sight of the Aussie fans enjoying a bottle of beer during the matches. Also some female spectators sipping a glass of wine. As it all seems perfectly legal it shows how far behind football is in this country.

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AuldheidPosted on12:28 am - Sep 19, 2015


parttimearab 18th September 2015 at 10:20 pm # Edit

The real problem is the income distribution and anything else is deck chairs on the Titanic stuff.

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whispererPosted on8:32 am - Sep 19, 2015


Regards the glamorous EPL …
This weekend the only fixture that captures the eye is
Chelsea v Arsenal
As for next weekend
Spurs v Man City at a push !!!
It really is shocking that so much money gets thrown at that league !

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jimboPosted on8:45 am - Sep 19, 2015


Whisperer, I’m not a betting man myself but you have encouraged me to put £1 ew on Arsenal.

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jimboPosted on8:58 am - Sep 19, 2015


Seriously though Whisperer, hope you are not a Gunner, but I remember coming out of Parkhead many years ago, I wasn’t that big into football at the time, was dragged along by mates and family.

Anyways, we were going up to the supporters bus and this guy heard the English results and said ” Imagine getting beat by a Bum team like ARSEnal”

I didn’t get it.

I still don’t.

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Madbhoy24941Posted on9:30 am - Sep 19, 2015


whisperer 19th September 2015 at 8:32 am #

Regards the glamorous EPL …
This weekend the only fixture that captures the eye is
Chelsea v Arsenal

——————————–

I am not a fan of the English game, nor have I watched a full game from The EPL for as long as I can remember.

I agree that this League is potentially killing the game and I cannot understand why so much Money is invested/wasted there.

But, to state (even if it is only an opinion) that there is only one interesting game is to view The EPL in the same light as many view the SPL, i.e. Only the big teams matter.

How can you hold the opinion that Aston Villa V’s West Brom is not an attractive game for the fans, I have to disagree.

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John ClarkPosted on11:51 am - Sep 19, 2015


What a joy ( for me at least) to be able to post again.

My thanks to BP for what amounted to 1-1 tuition on what ‘clearing the browser’ meant and how to go about it. I got there in the end.

I like the new look, but see these techy things?-do ma heid in, reducing me to blithering idiocy in front of my keyboard ( even worse than IKEA flat-pack assembly instructions).

I was actually away for a couple of days in non-free-wi-fi territory when the change was made, so didn’t know about it until I came back on Thursday night.

But all’s well that ends well.

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John ClarkPosted on12:26 pm - Sep 19, 2015


Just listening to Tam Cowan trying to treat the devious, deceitful, cheating behaviour of SDM/RFC(IL) and the ‘fun’ that the rest of Scottish football have had with it, with the merriment of TRFC fans over the ‘reeking football fans’.

He continues to minimise, dismiss, trivialise, seek to ‘normalise’ the hugely damaging actions of a twisted, perverted Board ( SDM’s board) as being of no more significance than an idiotic response by a functionary at Celtic Park to a trivial ‘complaint’ about some poor sod’s personal hygiene problem!

Cowan is as much a part of the continuing propaganda,disguised as light-hearted humour (it’s only fitba’) aimed at quickly moving on, denying the truth, and the gravity of the truth, about what RFC (IL) did, and the extent to which Scottish Football Governance was and still is compromised.

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neepheidPosted on12:44 pm - Sep 19, 2015


Merlin (McMurdo) has just announced the closure of his forum-

https://rangerssupportersloyal.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/statement-from-merlin-and-ninjaman/

Statement From Merlin And NinjaMan

September 19, 2015 by Merlin

It is no secret that we have serious misgivings about the present regime at Ibrox and some ideas about how the future will pan out.

In a period where some much-needed progress is being shown on the football side, these views are for many an unwelcome and somewhat irritating distraction.

We get that.

Which is why we are moving on to new projects in a wider football context. Our warnings are in the public domain so if they start coming to pass people can’t say they weren’t warned.

What has to be understood is if time proves our dire predictions wrong no-one will be more delighted than us as this means Rangers will not be in any kind of peril.

We would like to thank those who have supported our labours and hope you continue to follow our work on different platforms.

All the best…

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redlichtiePosted on12:59 pm - Sep 19, 2015


O/T though please don’t complain I am winging it!

Today’s BBC Gossip page carries a nice story about Swansea defender Angel Rangel who they claimed showed his ‘David Attenborough’ side on a day out in the Mumbles, Swansea Bay.

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

Apparently Angel Rangel said “Average day in Mumbles. I married two pigeons today.”

I was wondering if they said “I doo”? 😀

Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

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redlichtiePosted on1:03 pm - Sep 19, 2015


Photo to go with the above……

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jimboPosted on2:49 pm - Sep 19, 2015


http://www.footballbloggingawards.co.uk/vote-now/

Sorry to hear RSL closing down. After I tried to build bridges too.

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jimboPosted on3:02 pm - Sep 19, 2015


Redlichtie, When I was young we used to go to the big caravan site in Arbroath. there was a miniature railway at the front. Happy days.

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neepheidPosted on4:39 pm - Sep 19, 2015


“John James” has decided to fly solo.

https://t.co/0vJRi8LEsS

Not a word as to what lies behind McMurdo and Ninjaman walking away. Maybe threats of legal action from the current Board?

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ianagainPosted on5:34 pm - Sep 19, 2015


Good to see that your not giving up JJ. great summary in your first personal blog.

Also clocked the Worthington/ Ware/ Whyte stuff from the now defunct site. VV interesting 🙄 is all I can say at this juncture.

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AuldheidPosted on5:34 pm - Sep 19, 2015


John Clark

I contacted the author of the idiotic response that Cowan makes fun of and suffice to say a well intended attempt to deal with a delicate matter with discretion over a period of time backfired because the person whose lack of personal hygiene and resistance to dealing with those attempts went public.

There may be lessons to be learned from the chosen route but the response wasn’t idiotic.

What was done with it was.

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John ClarkPosted on5:59 pm - Sep 19, 2015


Auldheid 19th September 2015 at 5:34 pm #
‘.. a well intended attempt to deal with a delicate matter with discretion over a period of time backfired because the person whose lack of personal hygiene and resistance to dealing with those attempts went public.’
_________
Grateful for that additional information, Auldheid.

I withdraw my use of the word ‘idiotic’ and substitute the word ‘ sensitive’, with full marks for the attempt by the club to be discreet and delicate.

The actual idiot did not, in the event, appear to merit such consideration!

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easyJamboPosted on6:05 pm - Sep 19, 2015


jimbo 19th September 2015 at 2:49 pm #

http://www.footballbloggingawards.co.uk/vote-now/

Sorry to hear RSL closing down. After I tried to build bridges too.
====================
Another site that has closed down is the Scottish Football Magazine which was great for non league fixtures and results. I only found that it was closed when I went to check the junior results today.

I don’t know who ran the site, but they have left it with a powerful message, which many on here could empathise with.

http://scottishfootballmagazine.yolasite.com/

This site has now closed and we`d like to thank all who joined us on site or in print over the years, particularly, our regular subscribers, who helped to keep the ball of change rolling and to achieve some progress in crusty old SFA-land.

It was, however, not nearly enough to halt the decline of Scottish Football, which … quite contrary to some popular opinion .. will quicken with the return of Rangers to Premier level (.. no-one outside Old Firm will then be able to compete .. and few on the periphery of the SPFL will be allowed to). Sadly, we haven`t been able to persuade Scottish Governments to do their job, to insist that SFA must act for all 7000 clubs .. not just the 42 and a few sycophants.

This is what has been killing our game .. and will continue to. The 1872 version, perverted to sick ambitions of the few instead of the many, leave far too many tiny clubs and the almost complete absence of competition and development. The creation of new `Community Club` standards we called for and the re-organisation of SJFA, which we initiated, should have moved on to much healthier platforms. They have not … because we still do not have proper rules for the establishment and management of `clubs`, nor reasonable management of competition and access to SFA and SPFL, while the Government is in total denial of its crucial role in ensuring that propriety applies here, as it does in almost every other country in FIFA. We have become the rogue football state .. the new `mugs` of international football ..

There`s much debate recently about Scotland`s future and the ambitions of those who wish an independent liberal democracy. Unfortunately, the leaders of this refuse to act on ensuring that we are a liberal democracy within the powers they have. They allow football and other organisations to be arranged and managed in such a way as to be diametrically opposed to principles they claim to espouse … not good enough for any place we want to live in ..

Scottish Government failure to act reasonably in the case of football also denies the country many jobs and much investment, certain to be created if real (open) competition were to exist .. not good enough today, or tomorrow ..

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torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958)Posted on8:10 pm - Sep 19, 2015


Glad to see that JohnJames has gone solo.He seems well informed and whether you agree with him or not,he puts his points across in a fair & articulate manner.
I wish him well.

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parttimearabPosted on9:09 pm - Sep 19, 2015


jimbo 19th September 2015 at 2:49 pm #
http://www.footballbloggingawards.co.uk/vote-now/

Sorry to hear RSL closing down. After I tried to build bridges too.
=========
Very odd – the site was seen (in ursine circles) as largely a McMurdo vanity project.

If it continues without him it’ll be interesting to see what line (if any) it takes wrt Dave King

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jimboPosted on9:42 pm - Sep 19, 2015


I don’t know if there is future for RSL or not. What I do know is it was more than vanity project for Merlin. There were many of their posters who took issue with DK & mini Murray and esp. DKs preposterous assertions. They were a breath of fresh air amongst the Gers support. Not idiots following breathlessly towards their doom. Hope JJ site is a success.

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John ClarkPosted on9:43 pm - Sep 19, 2015


easyJambo 19th September 2015 at 6:05 pm #

‘..Another site that has closed down is the Scottish Football Magazine …… but they have left it with a powerful message, which many on here could empathise with.’
____________
For my sins, I did not at the time really read the McLeish Report. I intend to do so, but can anyone at the moment tell me whether the specific problem of inequality in ‘football finances’, as between ‘big’ clubs and others, was addressed? And if so, were any conclusions drawn, or recommendations made?

I find myself trying to harmonise the fact that our football clubs are, mostly, private businesses which are in a peculiar relationship of competitive mutual interdependence! And in a business akin to show-business where the product is enhanced and profits enlarged by the talents of ‘superstar’ performers.

And, I suspect, the nature of ‘contracts’ is probably the same as those of the old film studios, or, as Stuart Cosgrave describes in relation to Motown , contracts which potential/actual superstar singers and film stars sign.

Achieving ‘equality’ of income distribution between ‘competitor’ clubs, and fairness and equity as between ‘superstars’ and the general run of talented-but-not-superstar players would seem to present insuperable problems.

Surely McLeish must have had something to say, even if answers could not be produced?

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The Cat NR1Posted on10:33 pm - Sep 19, 2015


whisperer 19th September 2015 at 8:32 am #

Regards the glamorous EPL …
This weekend the only fixture that captures the eye is
Chelsea v Arsenal
As for next weekend
Spurs v Man City at a push !!!
It really is shocking that so much money gets thrown at that league !
===========================================
Ouch!
No love for Liverpool v NCFC tomorrow? 🙁

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John ClarkPosted on10:54 pm - Sep 19, 2015


jimbo 19th September 2015 at 9:42 pm #

‘…I don’t know if there is future for RSL or not. What I do know is it was more than vanity project for Merlin. There were many of their posters who took issue with DK & mini Murray and esp. DKs preposterous assertions. They were a breath of fresh air amongst the Gers support. Not idiots following breathlessly towards their doom…’
________________
Personally, I have tried to remain indifferent to the utterances of the various factions supporting or challenging the many different Boards that have been in charge at Ibrox.

The internal squabbles and rivalries of RIFC/TRFC are none of my business.
They are all kind of irrelevant or at least secondary to the original cheating of SDM,
and not at all relevant to the complicity in that cheating, whether through negligence or something else, of the Football Authorities, in either allowing that cheating to happen, or in condoning its happening by failure to take the appropriate action, and by their weakness in allowing false claims by a new club to be accepted as the sporting truth.

The arrest of certain people has perhaps made the more socially responsible support realise that there are serious, really serious, matters involved here.

Matters that go far beyond the yah-boo ‘banter’ of rival fans.

Some have begun to question just what the heck SDM was up to:
and to begin to question whether they can accept the fundamental cheating he indulged in ( not the alleged tax cheating as such, but the cheating of the other clubs and the Football authorities by the breaking of the rules about disclosure of all payments made to players);
and to question the real significance of Liquidation, and the reasons why their various subsequent Boards HAVE to try to maintain the fiction of ‘continuity Rangers’;

and to question the reasons why the SMSM have thus far let them indulge in fantasies that bear (no pun intended, and only just noticed) no relationship to reality.

In the widest perspective, true ‘rapprochement’ between the genuine, honest supporter of the Rangers of old and the rest of mainstream Scottish Football, requires that that questioning will lead to recognition of the simple truth.

Your earlier post, jimbo, about creating bridges, might have been an encouraging step on the road to creating an opportunity for sensible, evidence-based dialogue.

You never can tell, and we live in hope.

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easyJamboPosted on11:14 pm - Sep 19, 2015


John Clark 19th September 2015 at 9:43 pm #

For my sins, I did not at the time really read the McLeish Report. I intend to do so, but can anyone at the moment tell me whether the specific problem of inequality in ‘football finances’, as between ‘big’ clubs and others, was addressed? And if so, were any conclusions drawn, or recommendations made?

I find myself trying to harmonise the fact that our football clubs are, mostly, private businesses which are in a peculiar relationship of competitive mutual interdependence! And in a business akin to show-business where the product is enhanced and profits enlarged by the talents of ‘superstar’ performers.

And, I suspect, the nature of ‘contracts’ is probably the same as those of the old film studios, or, as Stuart Cosgrave describes in relation to Motown , contracts which potential/actual superstar singers and film stars sign.

Achieving ‘equality’ of income distribution between ‘competitor’ clubs, and fairness and equity as between ‘superstars’ and the general run of talented-but-not-superstar players would seem to present insuperable problems.

Surely McLeish must have had something to say, even if answers could not be produced?
===================
I have only had a quick skim over the documents again, but from memory, I don’t think McLeish made many recommendations, it seemed that he made observations, with comments about how it would be good if there was more money to spend on the game.

There were observations on the advantages of smaller leagues (10 teams) but disadvantages with larger leagues because money would have to be found for more teams.

He made one recommendation on improving parachute payments for lower league clubs.

He also expressed a view that Community Interest clubs might be the way forward for lower league clubs.

You also have to think about the timing of the report within the worst of the financial crisis.

The grass roots and youth development parts of the game were mostly covered in part 1 of his report and the professional game in part 2.

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easyJamboPosted on11:15 pm - Sep 19, 2015


Part 2 of the McLeish Report attached.

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John ClarkPosted on11:52 pm - Sep 19, 2015


easyJambo 19th September 2015 at 11:14 pm #
easyJambo 19th September 2015 at 11:15 pm #
_________
Thanks for that, eJ.

I quickly googled, and found that
‘ The Review of Scottish Football was commissioned by the Scottish FA in May 2009’
and that the review included a visit to Rangers FC.

And I thought: how ironic, that a club guilty of the most monumental sporting cheating ever known in Scottish football would have been commenting on the state of Scottish football!

Never could two fingers have been so cynically shoved up the a.se of Scottish football as they were then, whether by SDM personally or any of his board or management team! ( I can’t remember who was President of the SFA at the time)

Master cheat daring to air an opinion on how the sport stood!
Priceless!

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upthehoopsPosted on8:18 am - Sep 20, 2015


I’ve just read the first individual blog by John James on Dave King. I note he has a go at the SFA as well in terms of allowing King the convicted criminal into Scottish Football. Is anyone else of the same view as me in that there is probably nothing the SFA would NOT do to assist the club from Ibrox? Perhaps this upcoming court case may provide the answer.

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jimboPosted on8:40 am - Sep 20, 2015


JC, I couldn’t argue with you on any of the points you make. Most of the sites I visit are Celtic ones. And this one which is more neutral than any other, despite some attempts to call it Celtic centred because of the lack of Rangers supporters.

I’m not obsessed with Rangers I read about Celtic 90% and Rangers 10%. My 10% was RSL to get their perspective.

Believe me, you earlier post could easily have appeared on RSL, but written by a decent Rangers supporter.

It is important to look over our shoulders because, as you know, what Murray et. al. did inflicted/ infected on the whole of Scottish football.

Keep reminding us JC.

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yourhavingalaughPosted on9:02 am - Sep 20, 2015


Club licences are awarded annually from the SFA,different levels from Gold down depending on how clubs tick the four required boxes,Hibs &Celtic are the only gold award holders,two of the required Standards are Governance & Stadia ,now wouldn’t it be interesting to know who carries out the inspections and passes our clubs fit for purpose,it wouldn’t be the three wise monkey’s per chance

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neepheidPosted on9:17 am - Sep 20, 2015


upthehoops 20th September 2015 at 8:18 am #

I’ve just read the first individual blog by John James on Dave King. I note he has a go at the SFA as well in terms of allowing King the convicted criminal into Scottish Football. Is anyone else of the same view as me in that there is probably nothing the SFA would NOT do to assist the club from Ibrox? Perhaps this upcoming court case may provide the answer.

=====================
I think the JJ take on that is that the SFA have in fact done “Rangers” nothing but harm, by letting a succession of chancers gain access to the Blue Room.

Of course the SFA’s motivation behind everything it has done was to favour their pet club, but sometimes in life you really do have to be cruel to be kind. The SFA have managed to produce the ultimate spoilt brat, which I confidently forecast is going to cause serious problems for years to come, as those seeking revenge return to the top flight with their sense of entitlement inflated to unprecedented levels.

As regards Craig Whyte, the finger of blame should be pointing at Sir David Murray, not the SFA. SDM assured the world at large that he had done “due diligence” on CW. Can anyone imagine the howls of outrage had the SFA tried to block the sale in those circumstances? Or the even greater reaction if Dave King had been declared unfit and improper by the SFA?

Of course should it ever become clear that King is a complete charlatan who makes Whyte look like a club benefactor, the SFA will be blamed for going along with the wishes of the fans. What the fans will never do is blame themselves. I’m referring to the 90% of fans who consider King to be a messiah, of course. For the 10% who still have their eyes open and their brains functioning, I have a lot of sympathy.

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wottpiPosted on9:42 am - Sep 20, 2015


Off topic a bit but had my first experience of a Sports Direct outlet yesterday. Can’t argue with a reasonable price for the laddies’ new boots and a couple of cheap balls for kicking around the park. However what a stack em high and sell em cheap sh!tehole. Run by disinterested kids, apart form the one helpful lad I managed to tag and hold onto once I realised he was the only one with a bit of life in him.

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torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958)Posted on10:12 am - Sep 20, 2015


wottpi 20th September 2015 at 9:42 am #

Off topic a bit but had my first experience of a Sports Direct outlet yesterday. Can’t argue with a reasonable price for the laddies’ new boots and a couple of cheap balls for kicking around the park. However what a stack em high and sell em cheap sh!tehole. Run by disinterested kids, apart form the one helpful lad I managed to tag and hold onto once I realised he was the only one with a bit of life in him.
—————————
He was probably the only one with a full time contract.

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HomunculusPosted on10:26 am - Sep 20, 2015


neepheid 20th September 2015 at 9:17 am #

I think the JJ take on that is that the SFA have in fact done “Rangers” nothing but harm, by letting a succession of chancers gain access to the Blue Room.

—————————————————-

Going back to basics, can you imagine how the Rangers support would have reacted if the SFA, or anyone else, had done anything to prevent the billionaire Craig Whyte from taking over at Ibrox and pumping tens of millions of pounds into the first team squad. Repeat for later owners.

And just for the record and to put things into perspective. Whyte owned about 85% of Rangers. Green (and his consortium) owned all of the new club, then parted it out. King owns about 15%. People who suggest King owns Rangers are way off the mark, no matter that he behaves as if he does.

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