Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?

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Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?

A Guest Blog by Auldheid for TSFM

Honesty requires both transparency and accountability. In pursuit of honest, transparent and accountable governance of Scottish football, and only that objective, the following letter, with attachments, has been sent to SPFL lawyers, CEO and SPFL Board Members.

An honest game free from deception is what football supporters of all clubs want. It is the action the letter and attachments prompt that will tell us if there is any intention of providing it.

It is a response on behalf of readers here on TSFM, but the sentiment which underpins it is almost universally held amongst fans of all clubs.  Importantly it is a response directly to all clubs, especially those with a SPFL Board member, that will make the clubs and the football authorities aware just how seriously supporters take the restoration of trust in an honest game, honestly governed.

The annexes to the letter contain information which may be published at a later date. We thought it appropriate to first await any response from any of the recipients.

Please also draw this to the attention of friends who are not internet using supporters and love their football and their club.

Auldheid

__________________________________________________________________

Harper MacLeod
The Ca’d’oro
45 Gordon Street
Glasgow
G1 3PE
19 Feb 2014
Copy sent to SPFL CEO and Board Members *
Dear Mr McKenzie
We the contributors to The Scottish Football Monitoring web site write to you in your capacity as the legal adviser employed by Harper MacLeod to assist the Scottish Premier League (now the Scottish Professional Football League) to gather evidence and investigate the matter of incorrect player registrations involving concealed side letters and employee benefit trusts as defined in the eventual Lord Nimmo Smith Commission.
We note from the then SPL announcement that set up an enquiry that the initial date range to be covered was from the inception of the SPL in July 1998, but that was changed to 23 November 2000 because, according to our understanding, that is the date of the first side letter supplied by Rangers Administrators Duff and Phelps. It is also our understanding that the SPL asked for all documentation relating to side letters as well as the letters themselves.
It is a matter of public record that Rangers Administrators failed to supply the SPL all relevant documentation. Indeed the seriousness of not complying with SPL requests was the subject of an admonition of Rangers/Duff and Phelps from Lord Nimmo Smith under Issue 4 of his Commission.
Quite how serious that failure to comply or concealment was in terms of misleading the Commission and so Lord Nimmo Smith can now be assessed from the information contained at Annexes 1 to 10 attached.
We think that as legal advisers to the SPL (now the SPFL) you have a responsibility to make them aware that their Commission was misled by the concealment of documents starting on 3 September 1999, and signed by current SFA President Campbell Ogilvie, whose silence on the ebt matters referred to in the attached annexes* is questionable at the very least.
This letter but not attachments is being posted on The Scottish Football Monitor web site as this is matter for all of Scottish football and support for the issue being pursued to establish the truth can be gauged by responses from supporters from all Scottish clubs once the letter has been published there.
A copy of this letter with Annexes has also been sent to the SPFL CEO and members of the SPFL Board.
Acknowledgement of receipt and reply can be sent by e mail to:
(Address supplied)
Yours in sport

On behalf of The Scottish Football Monitor contributors and readers. http://www.tsfm.org.uk/

Addressees copied in
Neil Doncaster CEO
The Scottish Professional Football League
Hampden Park
Glasgow G42 9DE

Eric Riley (Celtic),
The Celtic Football Club
Celtic Park
Glasgow G40 3RE

Stephen Thompson (Dundee United),
Tannadice Park,
Tannadice Street,
Dundee, DD3 7JW

Duncan Fraser (Aberdeen);
Aberdeen Football Club plc
Pittodrie Stadium
Pittodrie Street
Aberdeen AB24 5QH

Les Gray (Hamilton),
Hamilton Academical FC
New Douglas Park
Hamilton
ML3 0FT

Mike Mulraney (Alloa)
Alloa Athletic FC
Clackmannan Road
Recreation Park
Alloa FK10 1RY

Bill Darroch (Stenhousemuir).
Stenhousemuir F.C.
Ochilview Park
Gladstone Road
Stenhousemuir
Falkirk
FK5 4QL

About the author

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Trisidium administrator

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

3,234 Comments so far

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Angus1983Posted on10:55 am - Mar 21, 2014


Do Celtic fans really think that referees don’t favour Celtic, particularly in Glasgow against provincial teams? Really?

Such favour is probably not deliberate or premeditated, but partisan crowds of the size reported by the media 😉 – along with the subconscious fear of complaints being made (not an unusual thing from CFC’s management), and an inherent feeling that Celtic are the “better” team – are bound to have an effect on the referee.

Persons ask for lists of such decisions. Someone may have compiled one, but I doubt the obsession required for doing so exists. The view, which is common among fans of provincial teams, has been formed by years of debatable small refereeing decisions going in one direction. Whether it’s throw-ins, fouls, dodgy advantages – they all add up.

Certainly Rangers appear to benefit from such things to a greater extent than Celtic, but to deny that Celtic get more than their fair share of “luck” is disingenuous.

Anyway, as neep says above, it’s probably OT here given that CFC fans think one thing and everyone else thinks another. Neither will be swayed by a few t’internet posts. 🙂

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Campbellsmoney

CampbellsmoneyPosted on10:57 am - Mar 21, 2014


Greenock Jack says:
March 21, 2014 at 10:48 am
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CM

1. There is a great deal put forward in social media and beyond that can only be educated guesswork/hunches based on the interpretation of various facts, TSFM included.

2. The numbers on attendences are approximately correct (within a percentage point). It was the season when they went from the high 50′s down into the 40′s. Since then they have been fairly steady although this is now down to ST sales rather than bums on seats. Last year the PLC decided to offer a large discount on ST tickets and may well repeat that for next season.

3. “Siege Mentality” is a popular tactic within football clubs.

4. Issues don’t have to be connected but equally they obviously can be. Policy has to have a reason/background. It’s not unreasonable to presume a PLC will look to protect it’s main income stream.

5. If Neepheid is right about refs. then I’ll drop that side of things regards lists but I repeat that this involves the boardroom (sending SFA videos) and IMO subsequent policy decisions regards “approach/reactions”. This I believe is very much relevent to TSFM.

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So – no evidence then?

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JimBhoyPosted on11:00 am - Mar 21, 2014


@GreenockJack What do you mean mate, the Scottish media make things up? Shirley Knot? 😆

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neepheid

neepheidPosted on11:03 am - Mar 21, 2014


JimBhoy says:
March 21, 2014 at 10:50 am

rangers have some good young talent at the club for that not to be exploited is an absolute sin… McCoist at this moment in time with the rangers predicament is the worst man they could have in the job..
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In my opinion, McCoist is a total failure as a manager in any circumstances. However much money is available, he will overspend, and he will never gamble on youth. The young players at Ibrox must have had great hopes of getting a chance in the first team 18 months ago. Unfortunately for them, their manager would rather go all the way to Honduras to sign a not very good player on wages the club could never afford, than give them a game. Now it’s Kenny Miller time again. Any decent young player should be thinking of moving on. McCoist must be destroying some promising careers- not that he cares.

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Greenock JackPosted on11:09 am - Mar 21, 2014


CM
I have presented what amounts to circumstancial evidence.
If you asking for a tape of the conversations in the Celtic boardroom, no I haven’t got one. Nor have I found a green version of Charlotte.

The threshold for posting “X” theory on the internet isn’t stoneclad evidence.

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Campbellsmoney

CampbellsmoneyPosted on11:19 am - Mar 21, 2014


Greenock Jack says:
March 21, 2014 at 11:09 am
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CM
I have presented what amounts to circumstancial evidence.
If you asking for a tape of the conversations in the Celtic boardroom, no I haven’t got one. Nor have I found a green version of Charlotte.

The threshold for posting “X” theory on the internet isn’t stoneclad evidence.

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GJ – what circumstantial evidence have you presented? As far as I can see you have said – attendances down – complaint made and that is all.

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Campbellsmoney

CampbellsmoneyPosted on11:22 am - Mar 21, 2014


Angus1983 says:
March 21, 2014 at 10:55 am
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Do Celtic fans really think that referees don’t favour Celtic, particularly in Glasgow against provincial teams? Really?

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I agree – the view seems to be – RFC get decisions in their favour for 2 reasons – big Glasgow club and corruption. CFC get decisions in their favour — one reason – big Glasgow club. That’s no fair – they get 2 reasons.

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Esteban

EstebanPosted on11:29 am - Mar 21, 2014


Campbellsmoney says:
March 21, 2014 at 11:22 am

Why were Rangers the establishment club, the toast of Charlotte Square?

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SmugasPosted on11:30 am - Mar 21, 2014


CM, have a 😆

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BigGavPosted on11:34 am - Mar 21, 2014


Angus1983 says:
March 21, 2014 at 10:55 am

Persons ask for lists of such decisions. Someone may have compiled one, but I doubt the obsession required for doing so exists. The view, which is common among fans of provincial teams, has been formed by years of debatable small refereeing decisions going in one direction. Whether it’s throw-ins, fouls, dodgy advantages – they all add up.
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For what it’s worth, I remember around 20 years ago a guy called Peter Burns decided to investigate the issue ‘scientifically’ by examining press reports of controversial decisions in Old Firm games over a period of decades. He found that a large majority of these decisions (I can’t remember the exact figure) went in favour of the Ibrox club, suggesting a consistent bias in that direction.

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Campbellsmoney

CampbellsmoneyPosted on11:35 am - Mar 21, 2014


Esteban says:
March 21, 2014 at 11:29 am
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Campbellsmoney says:
March 21, 2014 at 11:22 am

Why were Rangers the establishment club, the toast of Charlotte Square?

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Eh?

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Esteban

EstebanPosted on11:38 am - Mar 21, 2014


Campbellsmoney says:
March 21, 2014 at 11:35 am

In the context of discussing the additional reason for bias in their favour. You said part of it was being a big Glasgow club, which they shared with Celtic, but that there was a second reason particular to them.

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Greenock JackPosted on11:41 am - Mar 21, 2014


CM
What circumstantial evidence have you presented? As far as I can see you have said – attendances down – complaint made and that is all.
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Will get back to you with a more comprensive list later on (have to go) but for now, you could read the posts and you’ll find more.

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Arabest2Posted on11:59 am - Mar 21, 2014


Angus1983 says:
March 21, 2014 at 10:55 am

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First up, many congratulations on the weekend’s triumph, there is nothing like a cup win to reinvigorate the labour of love that is following a team from outwith the big two!

IMO the semi final fiasco is a consequence of the great unspoken dynamic that plays out again and again. Hampden must be the only neutral ground where the two biggest clubs have their own end. The moment that very ‘neutral’ ground was out of reach the SFA had a headache. The decision to award CP the final could only be tenable if Ibrox was used for the semis, remember Ally’s snide remarks being given widespread copy, in a shameless display of faux-victimhood. The subsequent chain of events (Celtic being knocked out) has disturbed the ‘natural order’ of things, but as usual the ramifications for Dundee United matter not, and will not be considered relevant. This balancing act is utterly toxic for the integrity of the game. Murrayfield was the obvious choice for the final, the allocation or the semis should have been decided in the manner they were for decades….wait and see who is participating and work out logistics accordingly. Most Utd fans would have accepted a trip to CP for the semi as it is as near neutral as possible………a trip to Ibrox is a scandal…another one!

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Campbellsmoney

CampbellsmoneyPosted on12:10 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Esteban says:
March 21, 2014 at 11:38 am
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Campbellsmoney says:
March 21, 2014 at 11:35 am

In the context of discussing the additional reason for bias in their favour. You said part of it was being a big Glasgow club, which they shared with Celtic, but that there was a second reason particular to them.

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OK

What I meant was that:-

CFC fans think RFC get all the decisions for 2 reasons (corruption and cos they are a big Glasgow club)
Everyone else thinks CFC get decisions cos they are a big Glasgow club

If you are not a CFC or RFC supporter – it seems a bit stupid arguing about the reasons why you get decisions you shouldn’t get.

That was all – I was completely nonplussed by your reference to Charlotte Sq. I know where it is and who is/was there but I wasn’t sure how it related to my post.

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Campbellsmoney

CampbellsmoneyPosted on12:11 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Greenock Jack says:
March 21, 2014 at 11:41 am
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CM
What circumstantial evidence have you presented? As far as I can see you have said – attendances down – complaint made and that is all.
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Will get back to you with a more comprensive list later on (have to go) but for now, you could read the posts and you’ll find more.

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Thanks GJ – I have read them, that is why I posted as I did.

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martin cPosted on12:14 pm - Mar 21, 2014


apologies if already commented on, (I’ve been on the nightshift)

“The unfortunate position we are in is that we can’t offer anyone anything,” said McCoist

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/26665827

sell those season tickets

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Esteban

EstebanPosted on12:16 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Campbellsmoney says:
March 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm

You call it corruption. Do you mean corruption like the corruption in Italy for calciopoli et cetera? I don’t think that has happened in Scotland. To be specific, I don’t think Rangers received preferential treatment because they made payments to officials. I don’t think they needed to.

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easyJamboPosted on12:16 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Greenock Jack says: March 21, 2014 at 9:56 am

However I take it back to the then new policy decided upon by Celtic FC, supposedly based upon this matter (refs) when IMO the more pertinent matter for the PLC board and main reason behind new policy was the 20% drop in home attendences in 1 season.
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Where do you get the 20% drop in attendances in one season from?

Celtic and formerly Rangers helpfully published their average attendances (paid for seats) in their accounts. Here are the last 5 seasons’ numbers for Celtic, Rangers and Sevco where available.

Season – Celtic Att (STs) – Rangers Att (STs)
2008/09 – 57,570 (54,252) – 47,076 (43,107)
2009/10 – 53,228 (50,826) – 44,091 (40,306)
2010/11 – 49,719 (44,734) – 42,671 (37,918)
2011/12 – 49,019 (44,975) – ??,??? (37,367)
2012/13 – 46,754 (41,716) – 39,335 (38,228)

I can’t see any 20% drop for any season.

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wottpiPosted on12:19 pm - Mar 21, 2014


March 21, 2014 at 10:14 am
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I note above reference to ‘a horribly poisonous affair at Tynecastle. ‘ I must have missed that . Are there reports from press witnesses present at the game or perhaps the report of an official investigation? Or is this a myth growing by the week?

By way I think Tom English of BBC, among others have a cheek suggesting Thompson of DU has no reason to worry about his safety at Ibrox. The BBC alone spread the story that a manager was seriously abused and endangered at a neutral ground. It was the BBC that raised the ante.
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I also thought it rich that on Sportsound English said he wasn’t aware of Steven Thompson’s gripe in October with regard to the early announcement of semi and cup final venues in the newspaper group he was then employed by.
I know many journo’s and pundit’s poo poo the internet and us bampots but all too often it appears that they never seem to do any background research on the day’s hot topics before spouting forth in print and on the airwaves. Then they wonder why people don’t take them seriously.

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alexander276Posted on12:20 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Someone suggested a two leg semi. What a great imaginative solution. No it was not from Hampden.

This thread has been demonstrating a default victimhood tendency. I just want to remind colleagues here that Scottish football is not same as Glasgow football.. The great Aberdeen pre match display was the second attempt after the first was vetoed by the police as it featured a sunburst back ground. I think uniformly the reaction of anyone from outside the bubble is ‘What the heck’.We just are not party to the codes, the symbols and historical feuds. I suppose I could find out what was offensive about the sunburst on Google but I DO NOT CAREenough. So don’t trouble telling me – unless of course this is nonsense and they just ran out of yellow card.

And while I am at it, the wasted seating at the final was an insult to two good natured provincial supports.. It was Glasgow rules for a teuchter day.

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erniePosted on12:55 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Esteban says:
March 21, 2014 at 10:45 am
17 0 Rate This

ernie says:
March 21, 2014 at 10:24 am

Sectarianism isn’t a scam. It’s a part of real life, unfortunately.
==================================
I ken, but connecting it to loyalty to a fitba team is a scam and a financial one at that. One or both perpetrators could demonstrably and publicly walk away from it at any time. They choose not to.

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bogsdolloxPosted on1:00 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Greenock Jack says:
March 21, 2014 at 9:56 am

Campbellsmoney

That’s kind of my point.
It always cuts two ways and football supporters will be able to bring up instances when their team were “robbed”.

However I take it back to the then new policy decided upon by Celtic FC, supposedly based upon this matter (refs) when IMO the more pertinent matter for the PLC board and main reason behind new policy was the 20% drop in home attendences in 1 season.
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Perhaps it would have been better at the time if Celtic had joined together with other clubs to complain about the general poor quality of our referees which was giving rise to poor decisions.

However, they didn’t and chose to try and apply pressure to referees by pre warning them of conflict to try and gain an advantage on other teams. Mainly in the key “six pointer” games against Rangers as there were no real challengers to them. That it was a “policy” concocted and implemented by political bully and failed politician John Reid tells us all we need to know

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bogsdolloxPosted on1:13 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Esteban says:
March 21, 2014 at 12:16 pm
Campbellsmoney says:
March 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm

You call it corruption. Do you mean corruption like the corruption in Italy for calciopoli et cetera? I don’t think that has happened in Scotland. To be specific, I don’t think Rangers received preferential treatment because they made payments to officials. I don’t think they needed to.
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A recent post from FPC MB

‘Black Wednesday’

Just picked up on ‘LawSteelman’s incredible posts on “Wee Rovers done well” topic.
He obviously wasn’t present at Hampden on Wednesday 31st March, 1976, Scottish Cup Semi-Final when Motherwell were ‘comfortably’ leading Rangers 2-0 halfway through the 2nd half, having just had a stonewall penalty turned down when John Greig almost ‘halved Willie Pettigrew in two’, when referee John R.P.Gordon of Newport on Tay invented a penalty for Rangers with 20 minutes to go and the rest is history i.e.2-3. This is the most corrupt match I have attended in nearly 60 years of following Motherwell FC.
The aforementioned referee who has been a Rangers season ticketholder was later banned from refereeing for accepting gifts on trips to officiate in European competitions.
If LawSteelman was too young or not even born at that time, I am amazed that no one has recounted the scandal to you. I’ve even ranted to Tommy McLean(in Rangers’team) about it and he couldn’t reply but at least he made up for it bigtime in 1991 ha ha.
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Ahm never gonnae forget that blatant piece of corruption, No way.

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Campbellsmoney

CampbellsmoneyPosted on1:30 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Esteban says:
March 21, 2014 at 12:16 pm
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Campbellsmoney says:
March 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm

You call it corruption. Do you mean corruption like the corruption in Italy for calciopoli et cetera? I don’t think that has happened in Scotland. To be specific, I don’t think Rangers received preferential treatment because they made payments to officials. I don’t think they needed to.

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No no no no no no – sorry that is not what I meant at all.

I meant that the CFC fans say RFC get decision cos the referees and SFA are somehow “at it” in favour of RFC cos they are RFC (and all that RFC are meant to stand for establishment, that part of society, blah blah west of scotland blah blah blah repeat until bored sh1tless)

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Hoopy 7Posted on1:39 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Good Afternoon
So [TSFM Filter]is now super scout.
Who are these two players he has spoken to. We want to know.
Surely tapping up is against the rules.
Silly me, its the Rangers, they dont need to abide by the rules.

Since the days of RTC and now through TSFM we have all pointed out what is rotten within our game.

Nothing seems to have changed and the SFA remain entrenched in their bunker.

Sometimes I wonder whether there is any point in complaining but complain we must. The fans must be the driver for change but that change can only come about through our clubs and their chairmen.
In the final analysis the state of our rotten to the core SFA is the fault of the clubs who seem uninterested in changing anything and who put the conflicted ones in charge.

What can we all do to convince our chairmen that all is not well?

Where are TRFC accounts?

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Esteban

EstebanPosted on1:42 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Campbellsmoney says:
March 21, 2014 at 1:30 pm

I put it to my learned friend that the SFA manifestly are at it.

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Esteban

EstebanPosted on1:52 pm - Mar 21, 2014


bogsdollox says:
March 21, 2014 at 1:13 pm

A travesty. However, that post also suggests that while JPR Gordon was banned for accepting “gifts”, Rangers didn’t have to give him any because he was a signed up fan of their club already.

The point I have been trying to make is that it was never a question in Scotland of Rangers, as a wealthy club, using its wealth as Juventus did to buy favours. Rangers never needed to. It had people queuing up to offer favours. And the question I am asking the blog is: what is the reason for that favouritism? Every club witnessed it, but what was the reason behind it?

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EKBhoyPosted on1:53 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Greenock Jack

Work got in the way this morning …… Ref-ing in the modern game is very difficult as tackling has been virtually outlawed and players from all sides go down at the drop of a hat. You could go on all day about individual decisions, but to draw on one decision and make a case for Celtic winning the title because of this, is a bit of a stretch.

I do not buy that Celtic moaning about refs actually provides any relief on the pitch, remember Eduardo being shot by a sniper in the Champions league against Artur , next game McGeady sent off by Dougie , Dougie at Easter Road for avoiding an assault in midfield.

The refs are mediocre and can randomly make poor decisions for all teams , see Bobby Madden.

GJ just accept that you get the rub of the green from the SFA and the refs , just enjoy it, if it where to the contrary then I’m sure we could all read about it everywhere, and you would not be required to go and dig up information on all the favours Celtic get.

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AuldheidPosted on1:54 pm - Mar 21, 2014


The season of Honest Mistakes was 2010/11.

It coincided with Walter Smith admitting the bank were running Rangers. The term I believe came from Craig Thomson who admitted as such on denying one stonewall penalty at Ibrox and at least two good shouts.

Now it may have been a coincidence that the number of questionable decisions came at this time of declared financial woe at Rangers but it certainly gave cause to wonder on any relationship between the two.

There is a document of 40 Honest Mistakes, some of which are stretching a decision to prove the point beyond breaking but the number suggest bias as in the track of a bowling ball shows bias at play.

The decision that got the Celtic support up in arms was the ordering off of Scot Brown at Ibrox in Feb 2011 for a handbags incident when Kyle Lafferty was allowed to remain on the park. Fury was further stoked when the referee, under the flawed Review Panel process where bye the referee could veto what was reviewed did just that.

The referee was Dougie McDonald appointed by Hugh Dallas later of Dougie Dougie fame when Dallas presented a version of the truth to Clyde listeners on the Monday after the Tannadice game in Oct 2011 which subsequently was demonstrated to be disingenuous. It was at the AGM in Nov 2011 that John Reid stated those days have gone. Those days being when Celtic took being deceived on the chin.

Back in March 2011 Celtic supporters presented Celtic with the equivalent of a resolution to be sent to the SFA asking for transparency and accountability and a change to the Review Panel process.

The latter was conceded fairly quickly in April 2011 and the whole Disciplinary process overhauled after the Celtic AGM in the summer of 2012. ( Great credit to Regan on this btw).
The fight for transparency and accountability continues.

So if Celtic supporters think referees were not acting even handedly in that period from Oct 2010 to Nov 2011 they had good reason to, because whilst not referees are dishonest the man in charge of referees at the time was.

No question on that with narratives to support but this is a subject best moved off main blog and I suspect the mods will, but I thought it necessary to present a narrative from experience at the time.

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Esteban

EstebanPosted on1:55 pm - Mar 21, 2014


ernie says:
March 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm

I would argue most forcibly that the Celtic mission statement contradicts what you have said because, in it, Celtic “publicly walk away” from sectarianism and make the point, as the club does repeatedly, that Celtic is a club that is and has been open to all since its inception.

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bogsdolloxPosted on1:57 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Esteban says:
March 21, 2014 at 1:52 pm
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I know your point and my point clearly demonstrates that a man expelled from the referees list for accepting gifts when refereeing in Europe is more than capable of doing what you suggest.

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Greenock JackPosted on1:58 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Easyjambo
The figures I got at the time were from the SPL website which provided historical data.
I used them (with links) on RTC in a conversation with Auldheid.
The current SPFL website doesn’t provide the same data or at least I can’t find it.

Figures I used from the SPL website.
2008/09: 57,671
2009/10: 45,582

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upthehoopsPosted on1:59 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Hmmm…didn’t know my post at 7:53 AM was going to spark a huge Refereeing debate. I have my own views on Refereeing but it’s clear from the replies many others from other clubs do too. My post was more leaning towards insitutionalised bias towards Rangers which gives them an advantage over others, without needing biased (perceived) or poor Referees to assist them. For example, had Jim Farry not deliberately blocked the registration of Jorge Cadete, Celtic may have had a better chance against Rangers in the game Cadete could not play in. The game in itself was not controversial and Rangers won 2-1. Farry is not here to ever explain his actions but the SFA legal team had conceded his guilt which is a matter of record, and Celtic were paid compensation.

What really grinds with me is the number of media commentators who concede Rangers are the ‘Establishment club’ but recoil in horror at the thought they benefit from establishment bias. That particular type of bias is how Britain operates I’m afraid.

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AuldheidPosted on1:59 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Too late to edit to say

Whilst not all referees are dishonest ….

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Matty Roth

Matty RothPosted on2:05 pm - Mar 21, 2014


andygraham.66 says:
March 21, 2014 at 7:46 am
17 7 Rate This

The comments about how many seats can a two year old new club sell who have never been in a semi are pointless. For once we are talking solely about available support and although we are all agreed, sane people anyway, it’s a new club. It’s the exact same support.

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

I agree that the comments about Sevco being a new club etc aren’t really relevant to the debate on ticket allocations. But then that’s because I think previous attendances aren’t relevant to the debate on ticket allocations for a neutral cup tie anyway.

I disagree that those attending Ibrox are actually the same support – fans will come and go, just as at all other clubs. Given the level of turmoil, a return to some bad bahaviour from certain sections of fans and the piss poor performances on the park, I’m quite sure there are a lot of Rangers fans staying away at the moment. So who can predict how many will actually attend this game and based on what evidence?

As Mr Thompson has said himself attendances vary from game to game, they can rise or fall dramatically dependent on exactly what is on offer to the fans, at each game. (not a surprise really is it)

Without wishing to offend season ticket holders at any club, I don’t really buy the notion that because a fan buys a ticket for all the league games he/she has more right to expect a ticket for a Cup Semi or Final (that clearly isn’t covered by the season ticket).

All on all we come back to the principle of tickets for neutral games being issued on a neutral basis and where take up is poor, then redistributed to those who want them.
Anything else simply isn’t neutrality.

Favouratism based on a club having a bigger support is still favouratism.

I know its quite possible (perhaps even likely) that Dundee Utd wouldn’t sell 20,000 tickets anyway but I still think Thompson is correct to make a stand – this should be settled now for all such games going forwards.

In fact might Dundee Utd consider it quite damaging to the success of their business to find it restricted by a kind of SFA enforced “monopoly”. After all success on the park = more fans following a team (part of the reason of course that Rangers and Celtic have such large supports).

How exactly are Dundee United supposed to grow their support in future if both long suffering or new fans alike can’t be welcomed along and potentially enjoy their team winning something.

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Campbellsmoney

CampbellsmoneyPosted on2:09 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Esteban says:
March 21, 2014 at 1:42 pm
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Campbellsmoney says:
March 21, 2014 at 1:30 pm

I put it to my learned friend that the SFA manifestly are at it.

——————————————————————————————————————————————-
I would revert to my learned friend that while I do not wholly disagree with the statement postulated by him/her in his/her correspondence of 1.42pm of the 21st inst., my previous comments related to the fact that, for those of us who are unlucky enough not to support those teams who habitually get the benefits previously alluded to, it is tiresome to listen to the gripes of those who do.

Its like being the runt of a 3 litter family and listening to the second biggest pup whinging about how unfair the world is.

I have no great love of either RFC or CFC. For a long time I have seem them dominate Scottish football (on and off the park) to the obvious detriment of other teams, often the national team (IMO – sorry GJ – couldn’t help that) and (I say with some trepidation) society as a whole. In days gone past however I have spent many an enjoyable evening in the pub cheering for them in Europe.

Theyhave brought benefits too. That I think is undeniable. Whether the upsides are greater than the downsides I think depends who you are and where you sit.

I can’t buy into “Scottish fitba needs a strong RFC because we need competition at the top”. Utter pigsdrivel.

I think the people who say that think only in RFC and/or RFC/CFC terms. Let’s be honest when we had an apparently competitve RFC Scottish fitba was permanently in decline/crisis/ on last legs etc etc McLeish report etc etc , falling ratings, crowds whatever, anyway.

I don’t need competition at the top. Previously I couldn’t care less who won – RFC or CFC – all the same to me. Same team – different strips – I couldn’t care less – one bully or another bully was what I saw.

Now however my eyes have been opened and its not difficult to see that one of these bullies has played far fairer than the other.

The only people who need a strong competitive RFC are RFC. CFC would obtain some upside from a competitive RFC but also downsides. I see no benefit for anyone else.

Anyway – rant over.

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AuldheidPosted on2:10 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Bogs dollox

I was at that game and remember Motherwell were two up and cruising. No doubt had I been a Motherwell fan I would have remembered the decisions you refer to with feeling.
I was a fan of Willie Pettistree who scored some great goals, one v Celtic at Motherwell in the Scottish when he took one touch to control a pass just inside the Celtic half chased the ball and turned it past the Celtic goalie with his second touch.

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erniePosted on2:24 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Esteban says:
March 21, 2014 at 1:55 pm
2 0 Rate This

ernie says:
March 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm

I would argue most forcibly that the Celtic mission statement contradicts what you have said because, in it, Celtic “publicly walk away” from sectarianism and make the point, as the club does repeatedly, that Celtic is a club that is and has been open to all since its inception.
=================================
That’s not how the diddy supporters see it and that was the point of my post. We do not lump you two together because of bias, to be honest I’ve forgotten which ref did what over my 50 plus years of supporting. We lump you two together because of the irrelevant quasi religious/nationalistic gobbleygook churned out and paraphanelia on display at the fitba.
However, I am also aware that I’m way out of my depth in this subject.

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Esteban

EstebanPosted on2:24 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Campbellsmoney

“my eyes have been opened and its not difficult to see that one of these bullies has played far fairer than the other … .”

Thank you.

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Esteban

EstebanPosted on2:26 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Ernie
You said in your earlier post: “One or both perpetrators could demonstrably and publicly walk away from it at any time. They choose not to.”

This is not true, whether it’s “how the diddy supporters see it” or not.

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Campbellsmoney

CampbellsmoneyPosted on2:26 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Esteban says:
March 21, 2014 at 2:24 pm
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Campbellsmoney

“my eyes have been opened and its not difficult to see that one of these bullies has played far fairer than the other … .”

Thank you.

————————————————————————————————————————————————-
No problem – I just calls it as I sees it.

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Alan PricePosted on2:31 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Esteban says:
March 21, 2014 at 10:50 am

Does he think he (McCoist) can just do and say what he likes?
___________________________________________

I think the short answer is yes.

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Esteban

EstebanPosted on2:34 pm - Mar 21, 2014


I am logging off as I have posted much more than I usually do and I do not want to over-stay my welcome. The only reason is that I feel there has been a bit of a return in recent days of “both sides as bad as each other”, which I think is grossly unfair to Celtic.

Celtic are a big fish in a small pond and sometimes that makes life uncomfortable for others, but it’s not Celtic’s fault. Competition at the top of Scottish football is less keen than we have been used to so far this century, but that’s not Celtic’s fault either. Some fans, some players, some board members probably share the Sky TV opinion that it would be better for the old keenness to return (fans and players for the buzz, board members and broadcasters for the booty). I would like the football to be more exciting too, but not if the price is pretending that the cheats did not cheat or that their cheating should be swept under the carpet for the good of the game.

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causaludendiPosted on2:43 pm - Mar 21, 2014


bogsdollox says:
March 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

I’m very far from being a fan of the chap but I think it’s stretching it a bit to call someone who served as Secretary of State for Health, Secretary of Defence, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Home Secretary, Secretary of State for Scotland, as well as other positions in the cabinet / Parliament a failed politician?

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RaymacPosted on2:45 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Referees? I had a post removed for mentioning them. It was simple. How many decisions against Rangers(2–or Sevco if you prefer) can you find on Google/Youtube? How many against Celtic/Aberdeen/Hearts etc? I rest my case M’lud.

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upthehoopsPosted on2:53 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Re the use of the term ‘diddy’ clubs/fans.

My recollection is this term was borne from ‘Only an Excuse’ at a time Rangers were riding high on the Bank of Scotland’s money, while the Bank of Scotland were trying to remove Celtic from the face of the earth. It was supposed to be a reference to all other clubs other than Celtic and Rangers, while in truth it was nothing other than typical Rangers arrogance. That’s why I never subscribe to the term.

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CastofthousandsPosted on2:54 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Esteban says:
March 21, 2014 at 1:52 pm

“And the question I am asking the blog is: what is the reason for that favouritism? Every club witnessed it, but what was the reason behind it?”
————————————-
I feel your pain Esteban but its a bit like asking; does God exist? People will have views, some of them very heated, both ways but proof will be hard to come by.

If God really existed you’d think he’d tell us and put us all out of our misery.

If the Rangers bias really exists you’d think they’d own up to it with a few triumphalist whoops.

The issue with the blog is that it is interested in investigating perceived institutional bias. There is a lot of hearsay evidence to suggest that such a bias does indeed exist. However it is unlikely that this will ever be proven. That is very frustrating, understandably so. However two wrongs don’t make a right so just because you are fighting a bias (either real or perceived) shouldn’t mean you adopt a biased attitude in response to it. Instead you need to be a wee bit detached, otherwise the frustration will burn you up.

TSFM will comment on refereeing decisions. I don’t think this should be off topic. For such commentary to be meaningful it would have to be measured and controlled.

I’ve encountered establishment bias throughout my life. I think I kinda attract it, which is something I shouldn’t be proud of. Letting that bias distort your own perspective presents the danger of making yourself part of the problem.

There is no easy answer but of all the options, banging your head against a brick wall should not be resorted to at any length.

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erniePosted on3:58 pm - Mar 21, 2014


upthehoops says:
March 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm
9 0 Rate This

Re the use of the term ‘diddy’ clubs/fans.

My recollection is this term was borne from ‘Only an Excuse’ at a time Rangers were riding high on the Bank of Scotland’s money, while the Bank of Scotland were trying to remove Celtic from the face of the earth. It was supposed to be a reference to all other clubs other than Celtic and Rangers, while in truth it was nothing other than typical Rangers arrogance. That’s why I never subscribe to the term.
==========================================
I use it on here as shorthand for everyone except Celtic and Sevco, I’ll be flabbergasted if that meaning is not understood. I (and all the other posters) use it on an AFC forum to mean everyone below us in the league and outside Scotland.
Irony, ken?

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upthehoopsPosted on4:16 pm - Mar 21, 2014


ernie says:
March 21, 2014 at 3:58 pm
======================
…and that is absolutely fine by me Ernie. I merely point out that I associate the term with something else, but what a boring world it would be if we all thought the same.

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helpmaboab

helpmaboabPosted on4:26 pm - Mar 21, 2014


My late father always said “you have to win by a knockout son,we’re playing against 12 men”.This was in the halcyon days of Tiny Wharton and the like.In earlier times,Rangers Johnny Hubbard’s record of penalty kicks was 54 out of 57.
He only played 238 games for Rangers which worked out that he took a penalty on average almost 1 of every 4 games.I could see where my Da was coming from.

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Matty Roth

Matty RothPosted on4:43 pm - Mar 21, 2014


upthehoops says:
March 21, 2014 at 4:16 pm
2 0 Rate This

ernie says:
March 21, 2014 at 3:58 pm
======================
…and that is absolutely fine by me Ernie. I merely point out that I associate the term with something else, but what a boring world it would be if we all thought the same.

———————————————

I think its one of those that has been embraced by the people it was supposed to belittle. But I didn’t know its provenance was as you describe which does put a different complexion on it I suppose.

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Matty Roth

Matty RothPosted on4:45 pm - Mar 21, 2014


helpmaboab says:
March 21, 2014 at 4:26 pm
5 0 Rate This

My late father always said “you have to win by a knockout son,we’re playing against 12 men”.This was in the halcyon days of Tiny Wharton and the like.In earlier times,Rangers Johnny Hubbard’s record of penalty kicks was 54 out of 57.
He only played 238 games for Rangers which worked out that he took a penalty on average almost 1 of every 4 games.I could see where my Da was coming from.

—————————————
If I can take your name in vain for a moment… Help ma boab!
Those are astounding stats.

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Bill1903

Bill1903Posted on4:45 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Diddy club = not Celtic or The Rangers

Although some clubs are diddier than others 😉

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upthehoopsPosted on4:46 pm - Mar 21, 2014


helpmaboab says:
March 21, 2014 at 4:26 pm
===================
I always find arguing about penalties can be fruitless. Hard stats are available but what is not so clear is the potential influence they had on the game when they were awarded. I read the other day Liverpool have had more penalties than any other team since the inception of the EPL, which they’ve never managed to win!

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upthehoopsPosted on4:49 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Bill1903 says:
March 21, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Diddy club = not Celtic or The Rangers

Although some clubs are diddier than others 😉
========================================
Bill, clearly you have yet to sober up from last Sunday’s celebrations! :mrgreen:

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Campbellsmoney

CampbellsmoneyPosted on4:49 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Raymac says:
March 21, 2014 at 2:45 pm
18 2 i
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Referees? I had a post removed for mentioning them. It was simple. How many decisions against Rangers(2–or Sevco if you prefer) can you find on Google/Youtube? How many against Celtic/Aberdeen/Hearts etc? I rest my case M’lud.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Would I struggle to find many shocking decisions against Arbroath available to be viewed on YouTube? Yes.

Why is that? Is it because they don’t get bad decisions against them? No.

This tells you absolutely nothing about refereeing and something about the numbers of people who can be bothered to post stuff on YouTube and have the ability to do so and something about the fact that Arbroath are so rarely on TV.

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Campbellsmoney

CampbellsmoneyPosted on5:32 pm - Mar 21, 2014


I heard Chic Young on the wireless a few weeks ago – speaking to some Rangers “legend” – a player from the 60s or so – I can’t recall – the name meant nothing to me at all. They were both laughing about the ability of this player to win penalties.

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wottpiPosted on5:35 pm - Mar 21, 2014


It is now clear that CEO Wallace has changed the ethos of the Ibrox club.
Instead of having Jack Irvine launch multiple squirrels to distract us, Wallace is now going for ‘the bore them stupid routine’ by doing and announcing hee haw so that we end up talking drivel about refereering decision to pass the time. Not long before the biscuit preference posts and the fish puns start up again. 🙂

Roll on the end of the 120 day review and the publication of some accounts!!

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easyJamboPosted on5:39 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Campbellsmoney says: March 21, 2014 at 5:32 pm

I heard Chic Young on the wireless a few weeks ago – speaking to some Rangers “legend” – a player from the 60s or so – I can’t recall – the name meant nothing to me at all. They were both laughing about the ability of this player to win penalties.
========================================
I’m sure it was Davie Wilson. In today’s football parlance he would be described as “clever” or “goes down easily”, but not a “diver” because he wasn’t Jonny Foreigner.

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TorquemadaPosted on5:51 pm - Mar 21, 2014


I recall Johnny Hubbard vividly. I’m astounded he only scored one penalty every four games. To my boyish eyes, he seemed to score a penalty at Ibrox every second week. The press in those days gloried in his penalty-taking prowess. Plus ça change and all that. If there was the hint of a question about how Rangers came to be awarded so many, I do not recall it. Still, it’s an easy out for those who do not wish to peer too closely into the realities of Scottish football to pretend that bias is on the basis of geography rather than more uncomfortable factors.

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manandboyPosted on6:03 pm - Mar 21, 2014


TSFM login arithmetic –

9 – 6 = 3

Sort Scottish Football arithmetic –

Sevco – SFA = 0

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Campbellsmoney

CampbellsmoneyPosted on6:04 pm - Mar 21, 2014


I’m about to mention football and religion – for those of a nervous disposition – look away now.

I have often thought that if I came to believe in a supreme being that had created all, I would feel compelled to drop everything I currently do, and instead spend my time worshipping/devoting (or at the very least thinking about that being and nothing much else). The point to me would be that that being would be seriously (and I mean seriously) worth spending time on.

If Scottish Football is as corrupt as some on here obviously think it is, I have to ask myself why they bother with it.

I don’t bother with wrestling.

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TSFMPosted on6:11 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Torquemada,

I don’t think there are too many on this blog who are looking to avoid confronting sectarianism – or any other injustice for that matter. You subscribe to a view of anti-Celtic bias that is held honesty by many people I know, but I hope you are not inferring a character defect on those who – equally honestly – don’t share it.

If I have misunderstood the message contained in your post then I apologise, but I think it could be equally held that turning to institutional sectarianism reflexively is also an easy out.

I would prefer it if we could have thee conversations in the spirit of mutual understanding if not empathy, but criticising people for honestly held views is the reason that such discussions eventually head southward. Keeping an open mind is not bad advice whatever your starting point.

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manandboyPosted on6:16 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Campbellsmoney says: March 21, 2014 at 6:04 pm
If Scottish Football is as corrupt as some on here obviously think it is, I have to ask myself why they bother with it.
_____________________________________________________________________________________
C,
Corruption can be sorted so as to enable the re-emergence of the beautiful game – which the fans love.

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TSFMPosted on6:16 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Campbellsmoney says:

March 21, 2014 at 6:04 pm
If Scottish Football is as corrupt as some on here obviously think it is, I have to ask myself why they bother with it.

I don’t bother with wrestling.
_____________________________________________________________

A question I ask myself regularly. I truly do believe that our game is totally corrupt, (although perhaps not for the same reasons as some) but the answer is that we all love the sport so much that we hope it can be saved. As each day goes by the odds on that happening are pushed out a little more.

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Alan PricePosted on6:45 pm - Mar 21, 2014


upthehoops says:
March 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Rangers were riding high on the Bank of Scotland’s money, while the Bank of Scotland were trying to remove Celtic from the face of the earth.
___________________________________________

The the above was a view I used to subscribe to, but after listening to an interview on Radio Scotland with Brian Dempsey I changed my mind.

Dempsey was unequivocal in his opinion that the Bank of Scotland execs he dealt with could not have been more helpful when they heard Fergus McCann’s plans to settle the debt, something the Kellys and the Whytes could not manage.

Strange, but apparently true.

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Palacio67Posted on6:47 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Right Dons fans turn away now…..Sky Sports talking up a return to English football for McInnes….

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Bill1903

Bill1903Posted on7:06 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Palacio67 says:
March 21, 2014 at 6:47 pm
2 0 Rate This

Right Dons fans turn away now…..Sky Sports talking up a return to English football for McInnes….
—————————
Hopefully his record with Bristol City will put a few off

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on7:11 pm - Mar 21, 2014


TSFM says:
March 21, 2014 at 6:16 pm

5

1

Rate This

Campbellsmoney says:

March 21, 2014 at 6:04 pm
If Scottish Football is as corrupt as some on here obviously think it is, I have to ask myself why they bother with it.

I don’t bother with wrestling.
_____________________________________________________________

A question I ask myself regularly. I truly do believe that our game is totally corrupt, (although perhaps not for the same reasons as some) but the answer is that we all love the sport so much that we hope it can be saved. As each day goes by the odds on that happening are pushed out a little more.

_____________________________________________

The sport is crooked. But it needn’t be.

Those who are guilty of the corruption would like nothing better than for people with integrity to walk away. It makes their job much easier.

What I won’t do, though, is anything avoidable that assists those who are corrupt in the SFA.
And I buy only English newspapers (from the Observer group).
But I will continue to support my club for the time being, but this is contingent upon them displaying a level of integrity that I feel entitled to expect from them, and is always under review.

Someone said that sponsors were a way to influence those in positions of power.

So I was thinking I may start to avoid using products from those who sponsor the SFA until they demand it is run with transparancy and integrity.

http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/scottish_football.cfm?page=3305

I think there are alternatives to all of these product providers available that I could choose to prefer with my custom, avoiding those listed on the basis of their association with the SFA, until that institution puts its house in order.

Its only a little bit, but the whole universe is made up of barely detectable atoms. It is an enormous mistake to presume that such small things are of no consequence. Tiny atoms give power to every star in the night sky.

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Angus1983Posted on7:40 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Palacio67 says:
March 21, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Right Dons fans turn away now…..Sky Sports talking up a return to English football for McInnes….
——
Aye, nae doot. The guy only just signed a new contract last week.

The media will print / broadcast any guff to try and destabilise provincial upstarts.

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Angus1983Posted on7:49 pm - Mar 21, 2014


BigGav says:
March 21, 2014 at 11:34 am

For what it’s worth, I remember around 20 years ago a guy called Peter Burns decided to investigate the issue ‘scientifically’ by examining press reports of controversial decisions in Old Firm games over a period of decades …
——
It may well be the case that Rangers got more “luck” than Celtic in OF games. However, I hardly think an analysis of press reports is anywhere near a good starting point!

Arabest2 says:
March 21, 2014 at 11:59 am
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Angus1983 says:
March 21, 2014 at 10:55 am

First up, many congratulations on the weekend’s triumph, there is nothing like a cup win to reinvigorate the labour of love that is following a team from outwith the big two!
——
Cheers min, Arabest. Along with Bill & other sheepies, we appreciate it. Hopefully we can put one over your mob in the SC Final too. 🙂

Your consolation prize is getting to destroy TRFC in the rigged semi. Only the refereeing scandal of the century will be able to stop you.

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Angus1983Posted on7:51 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Nicked from another forum:

Todays Champions League draw from Glasgow …

PSG V Chelsea
Man U v Bayern
Rangers V Arbroath
Madrid v Dortmund

All ties to be played at Ibrox.

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TorquemadaPosted on7:52 pm - Mar 21, 2014


TSFM: I find it bemusing that posters of a particular world view — that refereeing can be biased on the basis of geography or on the size of a club’s support — are allowed free rein to express their views without input from you, but any suggestion that the facts might not bolster that view elicits an immediate response on your part.

I am as aware as anyone of the dangers of allowing this important blog to fragment along predictable lines. I impute no bad faith on many of those who disregard sectarianism as a contributory factor in Scottish football’s ills, but you’ll forgive me if I raise an inquisitive eyebrow, I’m sure. lol!

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ekt1m

ekt1mPosted on7:53 pm - Mar 21, 2014


Noticed a few comments today on AmcC’s admission that he has spoken to 2 players about joining up with him at Sevco. It appears to me that he is relying on not naming said players to avoid accusations of “tapping up”, unless they are out of contract at the end of the current season, as he can speak to them openly.

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