SFM – The Next Steps

As we all know, this site emerged from the ashes of RTC. The wish of the original administrator of the site, one which I wholeheartedly share, was to keep together the wonderful community RTC had built, in terms of both personnel and spirit. There are still many individuals around who were also part of RTC, and regrettably many who are no longer with us. The RTC spirit however, that of a cross-party football site where issues can be discussed in a respectful and insightful manner remains. The “wisdom of the crowd” phenomenon is also with us to perhaps an even greater extent than before, and consequently SFM’s credentials as a formidable alternative to the print media have grown.

In recent times, many contributors have expressed frustration that we are pretty much a talking shop and little else; characterised as “a lot of gum bashing and no teeth”. I think that is fair comment up to a point, but then again our aim – up to now – has been to simply present an alternative view – a view that has increasingly become the fan view as opposed to the industry view (the industry being made up of club officials, players, and press).

In fact the way I see it personally, SFM has evolved to a point where it has become the watchdog (monitor if you will) of an industry which is subject to very little oversight. The Rangers situation will eventually be done with (no laughing at the back please), and like everything else will be consigned to history (albeit more than one). The same self-interest and lack of regard for sporting integrity though will still remain, and the need for oversight will remain also.

Having arrived at those conclusions,  we have two alternatives; the first is to remain as we are (which is not a bad place to be), and the second is that SFM has to expand its role.

In recent weeks, the mods have met to discuss this, and we think that we ought to give the latter option a try. As to how we want to achieve that, and we have come up with a skeleton plan as follows;

1. We need to move into the area of gathering news content as well as commenting on what appears elsewhere;

2. We should act as a cross-club portal to get good fan site content from all clubs to a wider audience;

3. We need to highlight the positives in the game as well as the negatives;

4. We should become an actively campaigning body, aligning with fan groups to lobby for the changes we think important.

 In order to achieve these objectives, more time will need to be spent on communication like podcasts, adding news content, expanding membership and building links with other fan groups. Time will also need to be spent  setting up features, attending press conferences etc. Later in the year, one of the mods will have much more time on his hands to help achieve this.

Podcasts, premium content, labour, organisation and all of the above costs money, and ultimately a subscription based model backed by sponsorship seems to be our best way of achieving that. In order to give us a head start, we will in the next few months be putting together a business-plan and a pitch for Crowd Funding investment.

This is not to say that our existing model has been a failure. We have successfully managed to keep ourselves afloat through the ad-hoc generosity of people in our community, although the inability to keep the podcasts going has been a bit frustrating. Finding income streams which are more solid will allow us to respond to events more quickly (for example mounting an ad campaign to respond to some event or other, or buying new equipment), and hopefully achieve all of our objectives – and build a bigger audience base for our message.

Of course a move of this nature will require that, in the interests of transparency, anonymity of SFM will have to be set aside. That will not affect any of our contributors, and our practice of using (sometimes) imaginative names on the blog will remain. However, for crowd funding to be successful, we will require to have a board in place, and there is no hiding place from Companies House. The make up of the board is also crucial, and in addition to consideration of blog members for that role, we will be looking to have respected people from without.

I imagine there may be a consequent subtle effect on moderation policy to take into account.

The reason I have made this post is to keep the community up to speed with events. Although we have decided to move forward to see if we can get support for our business plan, that plan is by no means finished. As I said earlier, the “wisdom of crowds” has made our community unique and given it its credibility. There’s a lot more wisdom out there we hope to tap into before we go ahead with our initiative.

We already had someone in mind for chairman of the new board, but events have conspired tragically to rob us of that – and had the effect of postponing this announcement. However we would like to hear suggestions for suitable outside candidates for board and committee places.

We also want to hear from you if you have a suggestion to be added to our wish list of SFM function above – or even if you think it is a mistake to embark on this course.

This is a very big move for SFM, so we don’t want to rush into anything. We need to listen to what you folks have to say, because if the merging SFM is not considered a better SFM by our community there is very little point in looking to fund it.

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About Trisidium

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.

3,023 thoughts on “SFM – The Next Steps

  1. nawlite says:
    Member: (152 comments)
    June 19, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Sorry just seen your post

    Everyone has an opinion but to say I’m completely wrong?

    As for Vudic yes a lot of TRFC fans would like to sign him

    But it would be another matter if you mentioned the other 4

    As for my point about more loanees from NUFC I stand by my opinion
    That the fans would never except it

    1 miss placed pass,1 miss in front of goal or even an injury the fans would be put with torches lit and pitchfork’s in hand

  2. A thought occurred to me. Did DK “invest” 20M in the old company or the club? After all the two are seemingly separate. If he gets a pay out, how will the bears feel about him NOT investing in the “club” but in oldco?

    Will all his future “investments” be similarly in the newco and not the club?

  3. Rangers and charges. Mike A and Sports Scotland

    So recently we have had MA/SD requesting that te £5m be repaid (or we may not have had that, but he has certainly asked that they pass a resolution to repay.

    At the start of this month Sports Scotland lodged their charge over Auchenhowie (https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/SC425159/filing-history). The question, for me, is ‘why?’

    Looking at the earlier charges between SD and TRFC, section 2 of the various charges appears (and I’m no lawyer) to be a covenant to pay on demand

    2. Covenant to Pay

    2.1 The Company hereby binds itself and its successors and executors whomsoever to pay and discharge on demand the Secured Obligations to the Lender

    Reading on, we arrive at Section 5

    5 Enforcement

    After the occurrence of an Event of Default the Company shall be held to be in default within the meaning of Standard Condition 9(1)(b) of the Standard Conditions and the Lender, without prejudice to any other rights and remedies available or in any other manner, will be entitled to take possession of the Property and to exercise any of hte remedies available to a creditor on default of a debtor by virtue of the provisions of the Conveyancing and Feudal Reform (Scotland) Act 1970.

    For reference

    9(1)The debtor shall be held to be in default in any of the following circumstances, that is to say—
    (a)where a calling-up notice in respect of the security has been served and has not been complied with;
    (b)where there has been a failure to comply with any other requirement arising out of the security;
    (c)where the proprietor of the security subjects has become insolvent.

    So my reading (and help me out here lads and lasses), TRFC have failed to pay up on demand and SD is now entitled to seize the property. ???
    Sports Scotland are ensuring their own claim is in place and properly registered.
    Rumours are extant that DCK et al are looking at ‘alternative training facilities’.
    Is Murray Park a goner?

  4. shawfieldtoteboard says:
    Member: (19 comments)
    June 20, 2015 at 7:55 pm
    A thought occurred to me. Did DK “invest” 20M in the old company or the club? After all the two are seemingly separate. If he gets a pay out, how will the bears feel about him NOT investing in the “club” but in oldco?

    Will all his future “investments” be similarly in the newco and not the club?

    Neither. He invested in Murray Sports Holdings or some such named vehicle

  5. I am still confused over the DCK creditor claim, it is clear that he invested in MSL, he subsequently became the second largets shareholder in RFC, however at the time of the admin there was talk of claim against the club because of Murray’s mis-representation. What isn’t clear is why against the club? surely his beef was with Murray, MIH or MSL? which is where he initially invested. Also the D&P report aug 2012 had no provision for this claim, but the BDO report may 2013 has a £20M directors claim. When and how did his claim become valid? is there any paper trail or court docs?

  6. Scottc ….perhaps the new board have “advised” sports scotland to renew it because it prevents ashley and SD from seizing murray park/ auchenhowie or whatever its name is this week. I was actually surprised at this renewal because i didnt think the original security survived the liquidation process

  7. 4424me.

    I believe the original survived because it was a ‘fixed’ charge over the specific property, rather than Craig Whyte’s ‘floater’

  8. So if it survived , why the need to resubmit? Very strange

  9. That was what set me wondering. I knew it was still in place but they had been very lax in registering it with the new company. By doing so now, it says something, but what? My feeling is that Paul M (or someone else) may have advised them to do this as a spoiler against SD. Don;t know though. I might be reading it all wrong; I’m not a lawyer by any means

  10. the other strange aspect of his claim is that while D&P and BDO expand at detail on the merits of debts/credits in the sums of tens of thousands, a claim for £20M just appears out of nowhere in may 2013 with no explanation in the BDO report. Surely a new development like that deserved some explanation to the other creditors.

  11. I agree totally. They have either found someone hot on company governance or they are trying to stick a spanner in SD’s works

  12. on the talk of Celtic mindedness or otherwise, as has been pointed out given the disparity of fan bases even equal representation %age wise from the clubs would mean you would expect more CFC fans on here, looking at the reverse, given the somewhat less than 500M EFFC fanbase, with me and Methilhill Stroller on here, EFFC seem to be punching above their weight 🙂

    what might be fun/educational is for a poll to be run to see which clubs and how well represented they are on here. (with the provision for “none” for the neutrals 😉 )

  13. amongst these speculative injury prone player signings one definately injured signing trfc appear to have made is the second richest man in motherwell as MD. the bbc hacks appear to have him as an injured chartered accountant with his qualifications being described as ” former”….. would have thought once a CA always a CA…. was he ‘ dancing in the streets of motherwell’ when they did their insolvency event ‘ thingy’…… summits up

  14. Just read Phil McG’s latest. Following hot on the footsteps of the SMSM pish this could really open up a can of worms:

    DCK offers shares to MA, asks him not to pull in the security, asks for 5 mil to keep the lights on and some more loanees from Newcastle?? As Phil usually says they can prove him otherwise but the fact they have said nothing about the 12 June meeting sends a deafening silence.

    If this is true then one can only suspect that DCK has seen the writing on the wall and wants a fair price from MA for the rapidly valueless shares. Phil says MA’s response was along the lines that the SFA would not approve but really after the hostile takeover does DCK think MA is a mug or what?

    If this is true and ever gets into the media (doubtless SMSM will ignore it) and into the wider audience (please) then it will be interesting to see the effect it has on the new management team, their ability to bring in new players (as in sorrymate Dave’s jetted out and might not come back) and, oh yes I am sure there will be a real inquisition from the blazers at Hampden – am sure there should be egg on some faces for breakfast tomorrow but I doubt they will raise an eyebrow.

    Where will it all end – always next season to look forward to and future blogs from Phil, Clumpany and Fields of Green. Keep it going gents.

  15. Bayview Gold

    Does that put us 2-1 up agaist Arbroath – a result like that would be great for the new season but am sure Red Lichtie will have someting to say about that!!

    Scottish football needs a strong Arbroath and East Fife – maybe we can both be battling for promotion again?

  16. Methilhill Stroller says:
    Member: (74 comments)
    June 20, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    I was trying to imagine what the SoS chaps would make of it. It really is exposive stuff. It’s been hard to make any sense of King’s own narrative. The inconsistencies in his public statements have already become obvious. Phil is now challenging Ibrox to issue one of their ‘Irish blogger’ denials. A jings moment in the story.

  17. andy says:
    Member: (56 comments)
    June 20, 2015 at 9:44 pm



    Wow! Kaboom!

    This certainly explains Dave’s lack of public engagement with his ‘peepil’ of late.

    It is definitely looking like MASH was the lesser of 2 evils.

    Wonder if ‘Dignity’ Dave’s FPP status will survive an insolvency?

    Nevermind Bears. If you buy enough shirts, just maybe it won’t come to that!

    (sotto voce…. erm sports direct boycott…)

    … DOH!

  18. scottc says:
    Member: (178 comments)
    June 20, 2015 at 8:06 pm
    ‘..At the start of this month Sports Scotland lodged their charge over Auchenhowie .’
    Cost me a pound to get that info from Companies House on Thursday. But I couldn’t open the pdf file! Then I got my IDs and email passwords and webcheck IDs and passwords all hopelessly confused when I used the new experimental CH page!
    Now that you’ve posted it, I don’t think I’ll bother trying to get my pound’s worth. See me, see these online thingies…. 😕
    As regards the apparently late registration of the ‘transfer’ of the original contracts(signed away back in 2001 and 2002) which of course were with the old Rangers, someone in Sportscotland might have twigged that the change of identity of one of the parties to the original contract, although obviously recognised in the transfer contract, should be registered, albeit very long after the 21 days, to remove any possibility of the new party dodging out of the contract.
    On the registration form it seems to say that these charges must be registered within 21 days, and that a court order is required before a late registration can be made.
    Can we find out if such a court order was applied for?

    And the mention of the Scottish Sports Council reminds me: I have not yet had a reply (other than an acknowledgement)to my email of 4th June to the Minister- for-this-that-and-the-other-including-Sport.

  19. andy says:
    Member: (56 comments)
    June 20, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Resin_lab_dog says:
    Member: (487 comments)
    June 20, 2015 at 9:57 pm


    Wow! right enough!!!!

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