SPFL Myopia Flares into Civil War

The Covid 19 Pandemic is a truly serious game-changing situation for us all.
We are all currently staring into a future with no declared road map exit of
how we might move back to normality and the certainty of disruption now and
long into the future.

Against the background of lockdown to curb the virus spread we have all run smack bang into economic and social chaos.
We have gone from normality into unheard of times virtually overnight and with horrendous economic consequences coming every which way into the future.

Football is not important in the greater scheme of things but still has issues that need attention and urgently because it affects people’s lives.

 This Week’s SPFL Plan to Move On

The SPFL are simply the members association who run our leagues on a “for the members, by the members, for the members” kind of way in theory.

For reasons known to them they collectively took the decision to start to draw an end to season 2019 – 2020 with its Covid 19 uncertainty.
This was probably to allow them and all their members (our clubs) to at least
start to plan for the future when income streams will return.

From speaking to those involved from the club side and reading and hearing more at a truly astonishing pace since Wednesday 8th of April, just 3 day ago, the SPFL decided in their wisdom that the best solution was to conflate two particular issues. 

To back their case quite forcibly they also provided a dossier of over 100 pages of supportive material.  All good bedtime reading for our club’s boards I have been told, but i haven’t seen it.

The issues the SPFL decided to conflate were to ‘pro-rata’ all games played so far this season so they could equalise and close the Championship and Leagues 1 and 2, with the Premiership going the same way if it became clear that fixtures could not be completed.

If and only if the motion was agreed by the members then the end of season prize money would be forthcoming from the SPFL bank almost immediately.

Money desperately needed by some members. A real lifeline in troubled times.

There was also another possible wee carrot dangled.

This might have been of a sort of half-hearted agreement to look at re-organisation of Scottish Football. This because despite the dossier urging clubs to vote yes, the SPFL knew some clubs would not be happy with their proposals and would not agree.

 In the Real World of Challenged and Stressed Football Clubs

 The SPFL conflation of “do this or no money” meant things like.

The title would be handed to Celtic eventually if Premier Clubs then followed suit, despite Rangers having a mathematical, albeit statistically unlikely, chance of catching their rivals.

Hearts would be relegated despite having enough games to catch their nearest rivals and stay safe possibly by a play off (if they hadn’t already been cancelled).

Partick Thistle would be relegated because they failed to play one league game while playing another SPFL competition and also had a bunch of games left to save themselves.

Stranraer would go down despite being proven late season successful relegation fighters.

Brora (declared Highland Champions) and Kelty (current leaders in Lowland League, by a bawhair over Bonnyrigg) would have no play off with a likely game against Brechin or whoever was going to be bottom of the SPFL2 league.

And these are just the tip of what football chiefs I’ve spoken with have termed an ill-considered iceberg of matters arising from a hapless attempt to bring some certainty to the SPFL membership. 

72 Hours of Mayhem as Peter was Played Against Paul

People are interconnected today and from the moment clubs were pushed into a corner they discussed it together and in depth.
They all know who voted how why and when and have WhatsApp records too.

They all feel they could have done it better. I can’t try to sum up the sheer enormity and quantity of what has happened since Wednesday night but after I had penned a piece for SFM on Friday with suggestions that there was a civil war brewing that is just indeed what happened.

Every club effectively had a moral and economic choice and sometimes they were conflicting.

Friday was too close to call

I was in a few communication loops sitting at home on Friday afternoon as the vote unfolded.

I had been warned how close it was going to be and it was fascinating with first Inverness seen as the potentially key vote then an acceptance just before 5 that the whole thing had failed.
Then, 5.30ish, a different and quite hopeful view came out that after the vote had been seen to have failed that a 14, 14, 14, compromised was likely. Sense seemed to be prevailing. Then later and very late in the day a view that 1 vote (Dundee) had still to come and was in effect now the casting vote with all the power that casting votes carry.

Since then we have first seen Dundee castigated in the press and by unthinking media pundits as the villains for holding everything up.

(But that’s now old news).

Today (Sat 11th April), ICT Chief Executive Scott Gardiner was on BBC Sportsound alongside Richard Gordon, Michael Stewart Tom English, Kenny Miller and later on Willie Miller. It wasn’t a normal filler show in a period with no football.

It was truly amazing with some hard facts and honest insights. Uncommonly so. 
I should have been forewarned after one well know football finance insider had tweeted last night (Fri) ahead of the curve that “Dundee will have earned some concession and will now change their vote” or words to that effect.

Wow he was ahead of the tsunami that burst this afternoon. If you haven’t heard BBC Sportsound at 2 pm today then the first hour or so is unmissable.

Since then matters have gone on apace we have now heard that Douglas Park, interim Chairman of Rangers, wants the SPFL CEO Neil Doncaster and legal counsel Rod Mackenzie (Rangers links) to stand down ahead of an independent inquiry.

So less than a day after a yet to be agreed vote outcome and genuine internecine war is brewing and exploding with Mr Parks claiming he has damning information from a whistleblower.

In turn he has been asked by the current SPFL Chairman Murdoch MacLennan to substantiate his “very serious accusations”. .

So Who Scored the Own Goal and What Can We Do About It?

As of now I actually don’t care who did what and when.
Stuff has happened and in the fullness of time we can look at how it happened and what we can do to avoid it into the future.
Today we need to move forward and that needs leadership.

Here is a 5 point roadmap.

Ditch this divisive plan
It doesn’t matter how Dundee vote just consign all this crap to history.
Pay all the monies due
This week no strings and if that needs a vote then vote on that and that alone.
Agree what happens and how to end the season
Scottish Football Supporters Association say this must include no relegation and pyramid winners should be included. Don’t penalise anyone at this time.
And an interim plan would be fine of three leagues like nearly got agreed for 20 minutes on Friday.
Take time
End the season properly and fairly and plan for the future to reinvigorate our game for the greater good. The world has changed but we haven’t.
Involve all stakeholders especially the fans 
This should all be on the record and transparent. 

The Time To Stop The War is Now 

851 thoughts on “SPFL Myopia Flares into Civil War

  1. 'redlichtie 22nd April 2020 at 15:27

    Bizarre that a member club should launch such an initiative. Indicative of the level of trust in the SPFL (and SFA)?…'


    AFC voted in favour of the SPFL's resolution, didn't they?

    It appears from the BBC report (I don't see any statement on the club website) that they've had second thoughts.

    I wonder why?


  2. JJ, I didn't see anything particularly wrong with what Cormack was saying. He's only advocating what everyone would like to happen i.e. play the games to complete the season. I think that's what absolutely everyone would want in an ideal world. 

    I don't see that as 'having second thoughts' about his vote, or threatening the approved  'finish it with current standings' vote that would lead to Celtic being champions.

    I think most everyone with an interest in Scottish football will think he's being overly optimistic and naive to think the games can be played, but unless his call for further exploration causes one of the Premier teams to fail before they get their prize money, I don't think anyone will have a problem with what he has said.

  3. JJ – My take on it all is this…..

    The SPFL serves the clubs. Particularly the big clubs. Doncaster does nothing without a club mandate to follow. The model has served to run our game to permanent brinksmanship that falls over when the next crisis comes along but none of the owners want to change it as that means fiscal responsibility.  The clubs drove the game to this precipice. Whenever the model fails the easiest way to duck their own responsibility is to sacrifice the head of the hydra. Point the finger and the broken model may survive. Do nothing and fans may realise that they have been played for mugs and the SPFL is nothing more than an arse covering operation for club owners.

  4. Jingso.Jimsie 22nd April 2020 at 19:44

    ''..that they've[Aberdeen] had second thoughts.

    I wonder why?"


    Interesting, when read with what the "National" reports about the contribution 'Football' makes to the national economy of Scotland -£214 million+ .

    The SPFL will clearly be making a pitch for Government money, and perhaps Aberdeen have got down to seriously trying to devise a workable system for getting the rest of the Premier division games completed, in the hope of demonstrating to government that the Sport needs help and that government can provide support by relaxing some of the covid -19 controls in line with other countries. 



  5. Corrupt official 22nd April 2020 at 18:49
    Memorial walls could be added, the compensation to repay celtic fans for a game that did not go ahead.And a package will need to be put together to offer their own fans compensation for games not going ahead.
    All in all it does look bleak for the ibrox club.

  6. paddy malarkey 22nd April 2020 at 22:21

    '.Nice to know that the DUP have our backs .'


    Leaving the content to one side, has there ever been such an appallingly badly drafted, barely literate early day motion on the order paper at Westminster?broken heart 

    Absolutely appalling!

     Where's my red pencil till I give that Gregory  zero out of ten for his use of the English language in trying to express his mind. We do expect Members of Parliament to be ordinarily good at that. 

    Honest to God. While many of yer man's opinions are repugnant to lots and lots of people, like Churchill I will defend his right to air them.

    But ffs, let him learn how to express them in decent English composition or get the help of others to do so.





  7. Martyn Ziegler@martynziegler

    Hearing UEFA's executive committee has just decided that if leagues do not finish then qualification for Champions League/Europa League should be on sporting merit (which sounds like points per game)

  8. paddy malarkey 22nd April 2020 at 22:21

    To be fair it's clearly a big issue with the conservative member for Blackpool South as well.

    In other considerations, he says " … all of which have led to a serious loss of confidence in those charged with governing Scottish Football …"

    I thought that was the SFA. 

    Why is he calling for an investigation into "… the actions and correspondence carried out by senior SPFL officials who oversaw the process."

    He really needs to make his mind up. It's almost as if he didn't know what he was talking about.

    He seems to be a fairly outspoken chap. Here he is discussing homosexuality.

    "It's an evil, wicked, abhorrent practice. My opposition to that is based on the Bible and also based on natural justice and I know many people who do not share my Protestant faith but who would share my opposition to homosexuality because they believe it is something which would corrupt society as a whole and is something so radically awful as to merit total and utter opposition. You're not even talking about something which is a run of the mill sexual practice but something which is totally and utterly depraved, and to me anyway the AIDS scare which is currently running through America is proof that homosexual practice is something which calls upon the curse of God."

  9. Be nice to get an amendment added that extended the truly independent investigation to include the SFA and the whole SevcoGate saga – the goings on back in 2012, the 5WA, imperfect registrations and the asterisk years.

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

  10. From today’s Scottish Government paper on easing the lockdown


    We are likely to require that gathering in groups, for example in pubs or at public events, is banned or restricted for some time to come. And good hand hygiene and cough hygiene must become fundamental habits. We cannot afford to have exceptions. Each one of us will have to adapt to this as the new normal, at least until we are sure that we can be more protected by a vaccine or treatment.

    It seems increasingly likely that there will be no 2020/21 football season as we know it.

  11. easyJambo 23rd April 2020 at 13:02

    '..It seems increasingly likely that there will be no 2020/21 football season as we know it.'


    Assuming only minimum wage and insurance costs (.eg,  caretaking, routine maintenance ) have we any idea  whether most clubs would be able to meet the other fixed costs attaching to their premises for the length of a season?

    Or would many of them have to give up the ghost?

    Fearful  prospect.

  12. I think player wages is the big question mark.  Not just here in Scotland.  I can only see 2 possibilities for the short to medium term.

    No football


    behind closed doors.  (Doubtful)
    Until there is a vaccine or treatment.

    There is no way clubs can keep on paying a squad their huge wages.  Even a minimum wage – no bonuses etc.   I think players will be offered a choice of a club in danger of going bust or accepting a retainer wage.  Much much less.   If they don’t like it, where they gonna go?

    Even a retainer wage will have a shelf life. There could be redundancies.

  13. John Clark 23rd April 2020 at 13:35

    Assuming only minimum wage and insurance costs (.eg,  caretaking, routine maintenance ) have we any idea  whether most clubs would be able to meet the other fixed costs attaching to their premises for the length of a season?

    Or would many of them have to give up the ghost?

    Fearful  prospect.


    The clubs best placed to survive are actually the smallest ones. All their staff and players will be part time so most will have  other sources income, whether its through the government's scheme or their continued usual employment.

    The fixed costs of rates, insurance and other utilities remain, hence we have seen those clubs appeal to their fans for support. 

    The loosening of constraints on mass outdoor gatherings could see a limit of 500 imposed for a few months. That would suffice for everyone in League 2 downwards (maybe even some in League 1).

    Full time clubs have different problems, almost all of them related to player wages.  Despite most clubs opting of deferment of a proportion of wages, that is only a sticking plaster solution.  The clause in contracts allowing clubs to suspend payments while no are being games being played will eventually have to be invoked.  Players will have to be released, but they too will have difficulty finding new clubs if they can't play with them either.

    I think the football authorities need to show some leadership and direction, in being flexible about contract arrangements, transfer windows, football creditors and other sanctions. That might allow clubs to effectively become dormant (in abeyance), perhaps within an administration process, protected from creditors, while contracted players are released, then being able to re-engage players when "normal" football can resume and allowing creditors to be paid late.  

  14. UEFA statement re access to UEFA club competitions and completion of leagues


    The UEFA Executive Committee met today via videoconference. It received updates on the Working Groups established in partnership with the European Club Association (ECA), European Leagues (EL) and FIFPRO Europe. Of the two scenarios being examined by the Calendar Working Group, both envisage domestic football starting before UEFA club competitions, with one seeking to run the competitions in parallel and the other to complete domestic matches before re-starting UEFA matches in August.

    The Committee heard of the work of the newly-established Medical sub group, chaired by Professor Tim Meyer, examining the health issues surrounding a return to football, which is working alongside the ECA and EL to link the work already being done by leagues and clubs to produce a set of guidelines which will align with the best health protocols available. The Committee valued the unity shown across European football and the emphasis being placed on prioritising health in trying to establish a path to football’s return.

    As a result of representations made by the football authorities in Belgium and Scotland, the Committee recognises the issues raised and approved the Guidelines on eligibility principles for 2020/21 UEFA club competitions. The Guidelines reflect the principle that admission to UEFA club competitions is always based on sporting merit.

    Therefore, UEFA urges National Associations and Leagues to explore all possible options to play all top domestic competitions giving access to UEFA club competitions to their natural conclusion. However, UEFA stresses that the health of players, spectators and all those involved in football as well as the public at large must remain the primary concern at this time.

    The ideal scenario, should the pandemic situation permit it, is to have the currently suspended domestic competitions completed enabling football clubs to qualify for UEFA club competitions on sporting merit in their original format. Should this outcome not be possible, in particular due to calendar issues, it would be preferable that suspended domestic competitions would restart with a different format in a manner which would still facilitate clubs to qualify on sporting merit.

    While using best efforts to complete the domestic competitions, National Associations and/or Leagues might have legitimate reasons to prematurely terminate their domestic competitions, in particular in the following cases:

    • existence of an official order prohibiting sports events so that the domestic competitions cannot be completed before a date that would make it possible to complete the current season in good time before the next season to start.

    • insurmountable economic problems which make finishing the season impossible because it would put at risk the long-term financial stability of the domestic competition and/or clubs.

    If a domestic competition is prematurely terminated for legitimate reasons in accordance with the above conditions, UEFA would require the National Association concerned to select clubs for the UEFA club competitions 2020/21 based on sporting merit in the 2019/20 domestic competitions:

    • the procedure for selecting clubs should be based on objective, transparent and non-discriminatory principles. National Associations and Leagues, should otherwise have the ability to decide the final positions in their domestic competitions, having regard to the specific circumstances of each competition;

    • the final determination of eligible places for the UEFA club competitions should be confirmed by the relevant competent bodies at domestic level.

    UEFA reserves the right to refuse or evaluate the admission to any club proposed by a National Association from a prematurely terminated domestic competition in particular where:

    • the domestic competitions have not been prematurely terminated based on the reasons given in these UEFA guidelines or on the basis of any other legitimate public health reasons;

    • the clubs were selected pursuant to a procedure which was not objective, transparent and non-discriminatory so that the selected clubs could not be considered as having been qualified on sporting merit;

    • there is a public perception of unfairness in the qualification of the club.

  15. surprise mail 

    UEFA reserves the right to refuse or evaluate the admission to any club proposed by a National Association from a prematurely terminated domestic competition in particular where:

    • the domestic competitions have not been prematurely terminated based on the reasons given in these UEFA guidelines or on the basis of any other legitimate public health reasons;

    • the clubs were selected pursuant to a procedure which was not objective, transparent and non-discriminatory so that the selected clubs could not be considered as having been qualified on sporting merit;

    • there is a public perception of unfairness in the qualification of the club.


  16. Dear UEFA,

    You're usually excellent at making decisions involving trivial matters. This ain't trivial: time to pull on your big-boy pants & make a Europe-wide decision, not (as my auld maw wid hae said) 'hum & haw aboot it'.

    Your competitions start in July. (Yes, I know that teams, even actual champions, playing in the early rounds don't really matter to you: it's all about the second, third & fourth in the big boys' leagues, isn't it?) Apart from the knotty question of timescale regarding playing leagues to a conclusion before then, do you actually expect that there will be no travel/quarantine restrictions in place by the Glasgow Fair? If you do, you're deluded.

    Yours in fitba' lockdown,


    (BTW, the UEFA motto is 'We care about football'. What a crock that is…)


  17. Partick offering ST refunds


    With the official end of the 2019/20 Ladbrokes Championship season, Partick Thistle FC will now make partial refunds available to all 2019/20 season ticket holders in line with the five home league matches not played. The club fully appreciates that a refund may be much needed in some households at this time. So those season ticket holders should request a refund, instructions for doing so are below. Refunds should be applied for no later than Friday, 1 May.

    However, to put it in to context, should all 2019/20 season ticket holders claim a refund the total cost to the club would be in excess of £80,000 –  so any fans who can afford to consider not taking up the offer would help assist with the club’s current financial considerations.

  18. I’ve just come across this when I was trying to see the latest in the ‘Herald’ online. 

    “Uefa hand SPFL power to award Celtic Premiership title and relegate Hearts”

    You know, there are bad basta.ds and bad bast.rds !

    And the Herald folk are in among the baddest bast.rds.

    To imply, as that headline clearly does in intention, that in some way the relegation of Hearts is because of the awarding to Celtic of the league title is such a filthy ‘journalistic’ trick as to make one wish that the ‘Herald’  and all who sail in her may sink beneath the waters of the Clyde, preferably along with BBC Scotland, and round about Pacific Quay!

    Honest to God! 

    Freedom of the Press, they cry!

    Balls to that, and to any and all propagandists for the biggest untruth in sporting history!

    If my political freedoms were to depend on the lying bast.rds in the SMSM…..where might I end up? in jail, ja? They are of the same stamp as Josef’s men, propagandists of untruth in their very hearts.


  19. According to the Daily Record Rangers are backing Aberdeen's plan to finish the season behind closed doors. Yet they are already on record as saying they will not accept closed doors games. Not that I expect the media to point that out to them of course.  

    I wonder what their final statement on all of this will read like?

  20. John Clark 24th April 2020 at 00:28

    To imply, as that headline clearly does in intention, that in some way the relegation of Hearts is because of the awarding to Celtic of the league title is such a filthy ‘journalistic’ trick as to make one wish that the ‘Herald’  and all who sail in her may sink beneath the waters of the Clyde, preferably along with BBC Scotland, and round about Pacific Quay!

    Honest to God! 


    Every online newspaper site has a flyer on it basically begging people to buy newspapers. I feel sorry for anyone whose job is under threat, particularly Journalists who spend time researching the truth, but are prevented from telling it by Editors who are scared to upset a particular demographic, or are scared to upset the newspaper owners. They will always exist in online form at least, but surely the time has to come when they have to realise that the truth is out there, and Social Media gives people an opportunity to tell it.  That is not to say Social Media does not have as many cranks, made up stories, and liars among it as the mainstream of course. It is also worth saying that the lies and made up stories in both forms of media extend way beyond reporting on Scottish Football. 

  21. upthehoops 24th April 2020 at 07:08
    The ibrox clubs record of backing anything and everything, is not a good record to have (could be another world record to add to their collection of meaningless records)
    This backing is another failure to add to their collection.

  22. upthehoops 24th April 2020 at 07:17

    '…I feel sorry for anyone whose job is under threat, ..'


    I use the acronym 'SMSM' as a reference to those in football journalism who chose and choose still, not to challenge the Big Lie or any of the deceitful trash that spouted forth from Ibrox PR at any time in relation to sports and tax cheating, and the liquidation of RFC of 1872.

    There are, of course, whole crowds of folk working in the newspaper industry, and, of course, I wish no evil upon them.

    It's a matter of deep regret, though,  that the baddies cannot be got at! broken heart



  23. There are reports this morning that the Bundesliga is to re-commence on 09.05.20, with matches being played behind closed doors. Apparently, the Deutscher Fussball-Bund has requested 25k test kits to be issued to it to enable this resumption.

  24. Slightly off topic …I find footballers spitting to be the a disgusting, and unnecessary, habit.

    Hopefully, with the eventual resumption of games, and primarily from a health and safety point of view, someone in authority (Government/ Football?) will issue directives for this to cease – with punishments for ‘miscreants’

    I notice that concerns are being expressed as to the use of saliva by bowlers on the cricket ball when their own sport returns.

    This filthy habit also seems to be on the increase with golfers too.

    With apologies to the community for a ‘bee in the bonnet ‘ moment!


  25. Jingso.Jimsie 24th April 2020 at 11:16

            There are reports this morning that the Bundesliga is to re-commence on 09.05.20.


         As UEFA have pointed out, there are no one glove fits all solutions to this pandemic. Various countries have adapted response solutions in line with available resources they possess, or can subsequently put in place. This is also variable in relation to where they consider themselves to be within their spread and growth spectrum graphs.

         If Germany can do so safely, whilst not depriving front-line combatants of equipment or adding to their present and future burden, then all good and well. However other countries face their own individual decision making and contingency planning, related to their individual circumstances. 

         Monitoring other nations responses, figures and effects,  has been an important tool in combating the virus, but I would suggest the UK is further behind Germany in the curve. 

        Available time frames will be the biggest governing factor should the UK govt decide to follow suit, wrt to closed door matches.

        Comparitively Germany is in a better place in relation to the UK, in their infection rates and control, according to WIKI.

        WIKI figures for Germany……….(updated 10 mins ago.)

         Confirmed 153K… Recovered 95,817….. Deaths 5,575

  26. Not a club statement as such, but as near as you can get, from Club1872

    We are aware of the frustration felt by supporters, not just of Rangers but of many other Scottish clubs, over the refusal of the SPFL to properly address the serious allegations made against their executive team and Chairman over the conduct of the vote to potentially end the 2019/20 Scottish Premiership season prematurely. It is clear that the SPFL strategy is to bury their heads in the sand and refuse to address the serious, publicly articulated problems with the way in which the voting process was conducted and the information given to clubs as part of that voting process. These issues have not just been raised by Rangers but by a number of other clubs across all leagues in Scotland. As a result of this intransigence, the matter can now be addressed only by an independent inquiry or in a court of law.

    We would like to reassure supporters that, despite the refusal of Neil Doncaster, Rod McKenzie and Murdoch Mclennan to address these issues voluntarily, options remain open to Rangers to make progress without their cooperation. We know from ongoing, detailed discussions with the club that they are actively pursuing those options. It is quite correct that care is taken to do that in order to provide the best chance of a successful outcome.

    At the very least, Scottish football supporters deserve decisions taken about the future of the Scottish game to be made in a transparent and competent way. That has not been the case in this debacle and it reflects badly on the entire game in this country. We hope that other Scottish clubs will support Rangers in cleaning up the way our game is governed when the time comes. If not then every club will suffer the repercussions as sponsors and supporters alike turn away from the game.

    We have also been in close discussion with Rangers about the status of season ticket renewals and the unique situation created by the ongoing restrictions and uncertainty over the Covid-19 pandemic. We know the club is working extremely hard to provide the best possible options for supporters with regard to purchasing a season ticket for next season – including payments options, deadlines and payment methods. Clearly season ticket revenues are crucial to the club and we are sure supporters will do whatever they can, within their own personal circumstances, to back the club financially through these uncertain times. We aim to provide supporters with as much detail as possible on their options both prior to and following the launch of season tickets, which we expect to take place within the next 7 days. We will update our members and the wider support on this again when we have further information.

    In the meantime, please continue to direct any questions to info@club1872.co.uk. We have longer than normal response times due to the personal circumstances of our volunteer board members at this time but please rest assured that all emails are being read and although we may not be able to respond to them all individually we will raise pertinent issues with the club and work the response into future updates where we are able.

  27. Is it actually a good idea to play any games at all behind closed doors?

    (TV companies and sponsors’ pressure aside.)

    We’ve all watched games on TV when there has been a sparse crowd in the stadium: e.g. maybe a dead rubber, end of season game, or perhaps a pre-season friendly.

    There is no atmosphere and you can easily hear the players / coaches shouting instructions during play.

    It – typically – is dire to watch on TV and the views of the empty stands seems to suggest subliminally: nobody is here, so why are you wasting your time watching this game on TV?

    IMO, the players are also very aware of an empty stadium and the overall quality of the game experience suffers.


    After a game or two, would fans just switch off – and even if closed-door games are free to view?

    And, it might not be the best advert to get punters rushing back to stadiums when the restrictions are eventually lifted, IMO.

  28. ej, from that VERY wordy Club1872 statement, the phrase which jumps out for me;

    "…the matter can now be addressed only by an independent inquiry or in a court of law…"

    Assuming that this statement is really expressing TRFC sentiment, then it's just another brazen threat.

    "Do what we demand or we could go to the Court of Session!"

    Even in a time of crisis the Ibrox occupants can't tone down their behaviour.

    They won't be missed.  broken heart

  29. How funny would it be if the SPFL commissioned an independent inquiry, chaired by a former judge, who exonerated them saying that whilst mistakes had been made they did not materially affect the outcome.

  30. StevieBC @ 12.18


    Behind closed doors matches would be far from ideal (nothing will be in the circumstances) but surely better than not completing the season as has been imposed on the other 3 divisions. I personally think that priority should be given to completing 2019/20 which started off as a 38 match competition and if necessary curtailing 2020/21 at which point clubs would know how many games the league is over. I know this disregards the commercial consequences and no doubt, as always, they will prevail. Celtic supporters, I believe, would much prefer to win the league by say 18 points over 38 games than on a PPG basis. If Hearts are still relegated then so be it but they would have had a fighting chance to turn things around in their final 8 games. The WATP lot would just have to shut the f**k up! Oh and we would have at least a fair chance of overtaking Motherwell.

  31. How about determining match results by the toss of a coin ? We could have all the captains on Zoom or Skype calling their club's matches on a game by game basis e.g. Aberdeen v Hibernian . David Gray , as the away captain gets to chose either to call or let his opposite number do so .  No drawn games . This method has been used in the past to select clubs in the latter stages of European competition and would be easy to televise . We could finish the season in an afternoon .

  32. If you have ever watched a closed door game you would probably decide you would be better watching your local pub team.I watched a couple of games from the top league in Norway and Germany like that and even though I was trading the game you could see right away that it was a total loss so BCD is not for me just finish it now and see if next season can start on time which I seriously doubt.IMHO we will not see football in this country this year.

  33. StevieBC 24th April 2020 at 12:18

    All valid points, Stevie, regarding the potential longterm impact of televising BCD games.

    However, in the unlikely event that the SPFL and the broadcasters agreed, and decided that the welfare of the game in Scotland would be better served by playing the outstanding league games BCD, but not televising them, then any match which might impact upon the final destination of the Premiership Trophy would require one additional component……







  34. The EoSFL clubs (40) have just completed voting on their Board's proposals to end the season.

    The result of the ballot on finalising the season is as follows:

    Question 1: Do you agree the season should be finalised now?​
    YES – 37 votes
    NO – 3 votes

    Question 2: Do you agree the season should be concluded as per the Board’s proposal?​
    YES – 29 votes
    NO – 11 votes

    This vote means the Board's proposal has been supported by a majority of member clubs.

    For info, the proposal was:

    • Final EoSFL standings for season 2019/20 be decided on Points Per Game (PPG)​
    • Not to relegate any club from the Premier Division this season​
    • Temporarily increase the Premier Division for one season to allow the two First Division Conference winners to be promoted​
    • Should the Premier Division champion be promoted to the SLFL they will be replaced by the Conference runner-up club which has the highest PPG​
    • At the end of season 2020/21 to promote each First Division Conference winner and relegate as many clubs as necessary to restore the Premier Division to 16 clubs.​

    The vote means that Bo'ness Utd has been awarded the Premier League title and will be considered for promotion to the Lowland League subject to licencing, play-offs and acceptance by the LL. Tynecastle FC and Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale will be promoted to the Premier league. No-one will be relegated.

    It all seems a perfectly reasonable arrangement when there is no proposed relegation or pressing financial considerations.    

  35. Details of Deloitte investigation into SPFL vote. They say no evidence of improper conduct.


  36. Ann Budge makes her intentions clear to the playing staff.



    I wish there was an option other than a temporary wage cut but after careful consideration it is the only way for the club to proceed with financial certainty.

    Having paid the players’ wages in full for March, I have written to them today to request the formal notification of their acceptance of the temporary wage cut proposed in order that we can process salaries next week. I remain hopeful that the players will accept for the reasons outlined above, as the only viable alternative is that their contracts remain suspended under Clause 12 of the standard SPFL contract which means that they will not receive any wages during the period of suspension.

    To reiterate, this is the least palatable of the viable options available to us and even if this is ultimately the route we have to take, we would continue to be open to dialogue with individual players on a month-by-month basis.

  37. Re the Deloitte “investigation”

    No acknowledgement that the SPFL’s own articles determined that the vote is effective as soon as it was “sent” (ref Partick’s QC opinion)

    No mention of what was discussed between Doncaster and Nelms.

    No mention of the withdrawal of the Dundee vote following those discussions.

    As one poster on a Hearts message board pointed out

    “An investigation in which literally no stone was touched !!!”

  38. Deloittes?…..One time Sevco accountants who resigned their tenure due to threats and intimidation?. 

    Deary me, they do like to place themselves in the firing line.  

  39. No easy way round this for Ann Budge and very many other clubs.  A wage cut is the least worst option.  I hae ma doots that some of these deferrals we hear about will ever be paid out in full! At least a reduced wage is money in your hands.

  40. So what's the plan now, keep having independent inquiries until we get one that Rangers and their support approve of.

  41. Homunculus 24th April 2020 at 16:42 

          So what's the plan now, keep having independent inquiries until we get one that Rangers and their support approve of


       H.  In the real world a disrepute charge should follow, to which only a guilty verdict can be arrived at, from what were, and are, very loud and very public official statements.

        The only way out for Park D'Bus, is to produce his evidence, or be exposed as a liar and sabre rattling blaw-hard….Not a very fit and proper person..

         As it stands, thats what the report from Deloits shows.

  42. Corrupt official 24th April 2020 at 16:52

    Not a chance in the World.

    Park knows he is bombproof, they are never going to do that now. It would be seen as an act of revenge.

    However as you say if no "evidence" is forthcoming it will be obvious that a, they thought the stuff in the public domain was more damning than it actually was or b, he was bluffing.

    No, not bluffing … lying. 

  43. It looks like that pesky whistleblower is now going to have to step up to the plate:



    You will all be aware of reports in the press, calling for an independent investigation and for the suspension of SPFL’s chief executive Neil Doncaster and SPFL’s legal counsel Rod McKenzie in relation to the resolution that enabled the payment of nearly £2 million to Championship, League One and League Two clubs. The focus of the questions raised in the press concerned the events of the evening of Friday 10 April, when Dundee FC attempted to return a voting slip to the SPFL in connection with the resolution.

    In order to ensure complete probity and independence during this process, on Thursday 16 April, Deloitte LLP, a leading global provider of audit and assurance services, was appointed by the SPFL’s independent non-executive directors to carry out a comprehensive and independent investigation into the factual chronology relating to Dundee FC’s return. Deloitte has completed its forensic investigation and the findings confirm the following sequence of key events on 10 April 2020.

    Sequence of key events on 10 April 2020.

    1. An SPFL Board Meeting commenced at 17:00 on Friday 10 April 2020. At the start of the meeting 38 returns had been identified as received, and 1 further return was received during the meeting at 17:10, bringing the total number of returns to 39.
      Ladbrokes Premier: 10 returns in favour, 1 against
      Ladbrokes Championship: 7 returns in favour, 2 against
      Ladbrokes Leagues One and Two: 16 returns in favour, 3 against

    It was noted during the meeting that one vote remained outstanding from the Premiership,
    one from the Championship, and one from Leagues One and Two.

    1. The Board meeting concluded at around 17:15.
    2. At 17:15, Neil Doncaster called Dundee FC Managing Director, John Nelms, and left a message asking whether Dundee FC intended to submit a return.
    3. At 17:39, Neil Doncaster had a conversation with John Nelms and confirmed that as far as he knew, no vote had been returned from Dundee FC. John Nelms thought Dundee FC’s vote may have been returned, but would make enquiries.
    4. At 17:50, Eric Drysdale (Dundee FC Club Secretary) spoke to Iain Blair (SPFL’s Company Secretary and Director of Operations) asking whether Dundee FC’s return had been received. Iain Blair confirmed that it had not.
    5. At 18:00, a text was received by Iain Blair, from Eric Drysdale, intimating that the Dundee FC vote should not be considered as cast.
    6. At around 20:30, Ian Blair accessed the SPFL’s email quarantine system (which is a feature of the email system operated by a separate third party) at the suggestion of Rod Mackenzie and identified an unread email from Eric Drysdale that had been sent at 16:48 on 10 April 2020. Iain Blair released the quarantined email and it appeared in his SPFL email inbox at 20:55. Prior to identifying the quarantined email at around 20:30, no one from the SPFL had seen the email from Eric Drysdale.

    Deloitte’s examination of phone records, mobile communications (including texts) and email data has identified no evidence of improper behaviour by SPFL personnel concerning the submission of the Dundee FC vote.

    I hope that Scottish football will now focus on the significant issues that face our game, otherwise many clubs may not survive this period.

    We will have to be forward-thinking, and work collegiately to quickly present ideas and proposals to Scottish Government and others which will enable Scottish football to recover and progress.

    Make no mistake, this is a critical time for all clubs, and we must concentrate on what is important to the future of our game.

    Yours faithfully,
    Karyn McCluskey
    SPFL Independent Non-Executive Director


  44. Earlier today, KNVB (Dutch FA) decided on how they will end the Eredivise season

    *  No Champion

    *  No Relegation

    *  Champions League: Ajax, AZ Alkmaar

    *  Europa League: Feyenoord, PSV, Willem II

    Ajax and AZ were level on points with 9 games to play, with Ajax having a superior goal difference, although AZ had a better head to head record having won both previous games v Ajax.  However, Ajax has been given #1 status and will have direct access to the CL, while AZ will enter at the play-off round.

    The top 10 or 11 Eredivisie teams all had a theoretical chance of winning the league.

    Similarly 14 clubs still had a chance of being relegated.

    There is normally one automatic promotion/relegation place, with two potential others dependent on the results of play off games with the lower ranked sides in the Eredivisie and the teams in second and third in the Erste Divisie.

    It seems that no team will be promoted. The team at the top of the Erste Divisie, SC Cambuur, expects to take legal action against KNVB, although 10 teams had a theoretical chance of topping the table.

    In an earlier vote by the clubs:
    16 clubs voted for relegation
    9 against
    9 abstained.

    The matter was referred to the KNVB Board to make the final decision.


  45. Homunculus 24th April 2020 at 17:14 

    Corrupt official 24th April 2020 at 16:52

    Not a chance in the World.


        I doubt it will happen either H…..But as I said, The "real" world. Not a world normally inhabited by Scottish fitba'. 

        If the SPFL think this is a strong enough, "Wheesht!", to issue, they obviously haven't been paying attention. I know the SPFL have more to occupy their minds at the moment, but you would think Sevco would too, considering what is known of their cash-flow difficulties. 

        Then again, I don't suppose it takes too long to count to nothing. 


  46. I have no idea how the Dutch league works, however it is relatively straightforward in Scotland.

    If the SPFL board decide to finish the league and they already have done for 3 of the  4 divisions, then there isn’t really an option not to have champions as I understand it.

    Season means the period of the year commencing on the date of the first League Match in a Season and ending on the date of the last League Match in the same Season or otherwise as determined by the Board and which excludes the Close Season;

    The Club occupying position one in the League at the end of a Season shall be declared the Champion Club of the League and shall hold the “The Scottish Professional Football League Championship Trophy” until the next Season’s League Competition is concluded. 

    The first bit would appear to be discretionary, the second isn’t, it simply follows on. 

  47. Corrupt official 24th April 2020 at 16:52

        The only way out for Park D'Bus, is to produce his evidence, or be exposed as a liar and sabre rattling blaw-hard….Not a very fit and proper person.


    Not so sure. Tom English, and ergo the BBC, are still very much backing his claims for an independent inquiry. Yet not once have they questioned whether he actually has any evidence. They just keep promoting his statement there was bullying.

    I expect that normal relations between Rangers and the BBC will resume at a time where they both don't think it looks so damned obvious. Quite frankly, the BBC have been so biased in their reporting of this matter that perhaps OFCOM should be having an independent investigation into THEM.

  48. Friday night is statement night


    RANGERS, alongside other Scottish football clubs, have submitted a Members’ Requisition to the SPFL.

    The requisition requests that a General Meeting of all 42 member clubs be held to consider calling an independent investigation into:

    1. The preparation and content of the briefing note and papers sent to member clubs with the resolution;
    2. The decision to announce the result of an incomplete vote before all votes had been received;
    3. The decision to disregard the vote submitted by Dundee FC and allow them to vote a second time;
    4. The appropriateness of communications between the Executive of the SPFL and other football governing bodies in relation to completing season 2019/20;
    5. The interaction of SPFL executives with clubs during the voting process including the disclosure to clubs of how other member clubs had voted;
    6. Compliance by the SPFL’s directors with the statutory and common law duties owed by them in relation to the resolution; and
    7. Any other matters which the independent expert considers relevant.

    We have received the SPFL’s open letter referring to the narrow scope of their investigation which alarmingly failed to examine wider fundamental issues.

    Rangers have made it very clear that we have a dossier of evidence which we will make readily available to an independent investigation.

  49. SPFL Articles re members requisitions


    46 The Board shall be entitled to call General Meetings and shall normally convene General Meetings on four occasions during the Season on dates to be fixed by the Board. Additionally on the requisition of any three (3) Members, the Board shall as soon as reasonably practicable proceed to convene a General Meeting of the Members for a date not less than thirty five (35) days after receipt of the requisition.

    Can we guess that Rangers, plus any two of Hearts ICT and Partick may have put their names to the resolution?

  50. In a crisis, we normally try to pull together.

    You might not particularly like the decisions or restrictions – but you quite deliberately bite your tongue and typically go along with the consensus: for the greater good.

    …unless you happen to be an insolvent, new club – pretending to be a club which died following many years of industrial scale cheating…

    To quote a topical, YouTube video: "Its disgusting!!!" heart

  51. Surely the SPFL should just let it run? Nothing to hide nothing to fear? Announcing the result before all votes were received was wrong but in context not material.


    Instead of showing gratitude to a governing body that allowed (and still permits) them to make or try to make money on the strength of a  sporting lie, TRFC like a snarling Govan guttersnipe of a hydrophobic cur wants to bite the SPFL's hand!

    Oh, happy days! when one enemy of Sporting Integrity falls out with another enemy of Sporting Integrity.

    Let there be (metaphorically, of course) blood spilled over the conference table. Perhaps each will kill the other, and clear the decks for the cleansing out of the dirty bins of each. 


  53. As I understand it Rangers need three clubs, including themselves, to get an EGM. They would then need 75% of clubs to vote for an independent inquiry. What are the chances of that if they don’t let other clubs see the damning evidence they claim to have. Surely if it is so bad, enough clubs would back them.

    Right now this just looks like a huge smear campaign which is being fully supported by the media, and sadly the one outlet supporting it more than any other is doing so using public money.  

  54. If TRFC has nothing of substance to justify its complaints,

    then, Shirley, to save face someone will eventually have to go for a long walk off a short plank?  enlightened

    And I would doubt very much if anyone at Ibrox would do the decent thing either.

    Which reminds me: is the TRFC MD, Robertson STILL on the SPFL Board?

    Mental, so it is…

  55. easyJambo 24th April 2020 at 12:16



    Rate This

    Not a club statement as such, but as near as you can get, from Club1872
    A sales pitch for season tickets more like than a club statement.

  56. I think  that what we will see will smack of Norn Irn politics . A dossier will be placed unopened on the table and pushed towards the office bearers . The contents will be examined by them under severe scrutiny . It will be pish . The requisitioners will stand aloof until that decision is delivered . Then the toys will leave the pram , there will be accusations of hidden agendas and a lack of respect for culture and tradition , threats of boycott then a retreat to a dignified conclave followed by silence until they ask supporters to  desist from protest , although they fully understand the depth of feeling at the slurs and hatred displayed against them . "All we ever wanted was a level playing field " ,. Or it could go badly .

  57. Is it a good thing that TRFC are trying to destabilise the League in the middle of a disease out break?


    Are there any other leagues in Europe where that is happening.?

  58. paddy malarkey 24th April 2020 at 21:32

    '…I think  that what we will see ..'


    I'm interested in 'when' we will see! 

    I've read this

    "….the Board shall as soon as reasonably practicable proceed to convene a General Meeting of the Members for a date not less than thirty five (35) days after receipt of the requisition."

    It's not the clearest of language, but I interpret it as meaning that the General Meeting sought by the 'requisitioners' [ where have I heard that word before? Ah, yes,  in reference to a much more serious matter that might involve allegations of crime having been committed by folk in RFC of 1872 and/or in football governance. I thought it sounded familiar!] has to be called for a date not later than, what? 35 days from today-29 May?

    I would suggest that the SPFL folk should choose that day; when another 4 weeks of no gate-money has begun to bite the dog in the manger ( and sadly, every other club)a wee bit nearer to the bone.

    That a club founded on a lie should dare even to use terms such as 'level playing field' is an indication of the rottenness of heart and the expectation of the Ibrox board,  that what they want will be granted, an expectation founded as it must be on the basis that, like the defunct RFC of 1872, they have as of right the support of the SMSM: in which belief they are undoubtedly correct.

    There are no goodies here: only slightly lesser baddies.

    Such have been the consequences of the 5-Way Agreement: absolutely no trust in the integrity of a new lying club, and no trust in the integrity of the governance body which was party to the creation of the myth on which that club makes its money.


  59. Bogs Dollox 24th April 2020 at 23:25

    '..Is it a good thing that TRFC are trying to destabilise the League…'


    We mustn't forget that SDM was the arch-destabiliser of Scottish Football, ably supported by the general run of football journalists of the SMSM for at least a decade( and if we were to include Peter Thomson of the BBC  of my boyhood) for  6 decades!

    SDM got away with his cheating. 

    The present TRFC Board clearly assume that they will get away with their attempts to destabilise.

    And they may very well be right in that assumption.


  60. Perhaps the directors of TRFC really do want an independent enquiry.

    Perhaps they do have some evidence of illegal or immoral behaviour by SPFL office bearers.

    Perhaps, without divulging that damning evidence to the other clubs, they will be able to persuade 9 in the premiership, 8 in the championship and 16 between leagues 1 and 2 that they should have sufficient concern that an independent enquiry should take place.

    Perhaps they will have already prepared a ‘competent’ draft terms of reference for such an enquiry.

    Perhaps they will do all of this in the name of integrity and good governance.

    …or perhaps they simply have season tickets to sell to the hard of thinking and permanently outraged.

    Perhaps they can give their club’s supporters some hope that the requisition can prevent Celtic being crowned champions this season.

    Perhaps, if I was a long-term supporter at Ibrox, I’d feel insulted that they would consider me to be so gullible.

    …but then again, perhaps history has proven them right!

  61. HirsutePursuit 25th April 2020 at 01:01

    …or perhaps they simply have season tickets to sell to the hard of thinking and permanently outraged.


    A killer of a line, and at the very heart of the matter.

  62. Where’s Dr Heidi Poon when you need her.

    We have received the SPFL’s open letter referring to the narrow scope of their investigation which alarmingly failed to examine wider fundamental issues.

  63. HirsutePursuit 25th April 2020 at 01:01

    Perhaps they can give their club’s supporters some hope that the requisition can prevent Celtic being crowned champions this season.


    That, in my opinion, is their hoped for end game. I believe it is also the end game of those in the media who are providing them with unquestioning support. 

    It is really sad. Although as a Celtic fan I am obviously biased, there is a huge chance my club would have been crowned champions anyway had the pandemic never happened. Now that it has happened we see people seizing on it in order to achieve an outcome their team looked highly unlikely to achieve on the pitch, despite being in pole position on December 29th 2019. 

    It truly is awful, and if Rangers were 13 points clear none of it would be happening in my opinion, no matter what protests Celtic or any club made. We most certainly would not see public money being spent in support of Celtic’s case the way the BBC are spending it in support of Rangers.

    I even read somewhere on the mainstream recently that Celtic need the nine to equal Rangers record. Words fail me. 

  64. Smugas 25th April 2020 at 08:01

    Where’s Dr Heidi Poon when you need her.

    we have received the spfl’s open letter referring to the narrow scope of their investigation which alarmingly failed to examine wider fundamental issues.


    Aye, like the Wee Tax Case previously…… clearly imperfect investigations!

    Scottish Football needs a a strong response to an organisation that completely lacks self-awareness.

  65. I'm hearing Rangers* will hand over all the evidence shortly after their new Nomad takes up his position . Of course the real issue at hand here is to paint themselves as the victim so when they do have to apply for re-admission to senior football then they can claim that the sfa/spfl owe them big time . Straight back into the top league , debt free and all the players tupe over to the new company that runs the eternal club* . Of course that won't sort out the football debts or the new kit deal but these are desperate times which is echoed by the desperate behaviour of their Board. The tail is wagging the dog and it is time it was docked more than the regulated 15 pts .

  66. UTH

    I genuinely don't think that TRFC have an 'end game' as such.

    In common with many other stressed businesses, it is likely to be all about short term cashflow.

    The SPFL 2nd place prize money (that has not already been advanced) would probably cover less than a fortnight of its running costs. In the grand scheme of things, that just scratches the surface of what is needed right now.

    The number one priority has to be to open up an income stream and try to secure its immediate survival. What happens in a month's time is immaterial if the company ceases to trade in the next couple of weeks.

    Don't be surprised if STs go on sale early next week and there is no simple credit card option. Instead, I'd expect an 'offer' or suggestion to purchase next year's season tickets in an unusual way.

    Something that will tick the 'staunch' box. Something that is likely to be easily swallowed by the raging mob, fuelled by its misplaced sense of injustice.

    But, most of all, something that allows TRFC to get its hands on the cash without waiting for those pesky games to be played.

  67. ‘Bogs Dollox 24th April 2020 at 23:25

    Is it a good thing that TRFC are trying to destabilise the League in the middle of a disease out break?’


    What else have they, at this time?

    No football, no money in the bank, a pressing requirement to sell next season’s STs to cover this season’s outgoings, the desperate need to appear (mostly to themselves & their fans) to be influencers/Billy Big-b*ws within the Scottish game, blah blah blah… 

    TRFC: Scottish football’s resident seagull – squawks a lot, bites the hand that feeds it, sh!ts on anyone & everyone, then leaves others to clean up the resultant mess…  

  68. @HP

    Have they considered a form of debenture scheme ? "a seat isn't just for Saturday it's for life" , fool me once….

    ST's are held in escrow and released as games are played so I don't see the ST money being of any real help when a lump sum is required . If they could somehow circumvent this then there would be criminal charges following if the gamble didn't pay off. Someone needs to write another large cheque to keep the show on the road , if they don't then all that previous investment is lost , however there comes a point where throwing good money after bad becomes unsustainable. There are no far East investors , there are no sugar daddies, King was smart enough to get out when he saw the writing on the wall and  Douglas Park is left holding the ginger step child. 

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