Sweet Little Lies


Sweet Little Lies

Tell me all your sweet, sweet little lies
All about the dark places you hide
Tell me all your problems, make them mine
Tell me all your sweet, sweet little lies

The stridency of Scottish journalist/pundits, particularly coming from those on the BBC Sportsound platform from where they cry out for an investigation into what took place behind the scenes before and after the SPFL put forward a resolution to SPFL clubs, subsequently accepted by the majority, that allowed SPFL to pay out needed prize money to sides below the Premier level is, to quote an old saying, “the talk of the steamie”.

Whilst those cries are ostensibly in support of a demand led by The Rangers FC for a need to change the governance at the SPFL, it is not clear if they mean the way the SPFL conduct business or the way individuals inside the SPFL go about the conduct of that business.

During on-air interviews, questions are being put to clubs about the degree of confidence they have in individuals rather than the processes, systems and structures. This suggests it is individuals who are being placed under scrutiny, and not the dysfunctional processes and structures themselves. A pity, since there is little doubt the governance is dysfunctional.

SFM has long been asking questions about the system and processes of governance and in fact tried to elicit the help of a number of journalists (in 2014) after information which had not been made available to the then SPFL lawyers Harper MacLeod during or after the LNS inquiry had surfaced.

Information that had it been made available would have changed the charges of Old Rangers’ mis-registration of players contracts, and to the more recent and unresolved matter of their failing to act in good faith to fellow club members (which the SFA Compliance Officer made in June 2018 in respect of non-compliance with UEFA FFP regulations relating to tax overdue in 2011).

Following the last Celtic AGM a detailed independent investigation by an accountant was provided to Celtic who passed it to the SFA where the matter has been overtaken by world events but not forgotten. That report can be read here.

It only adds to the mountain of evidence on https://www.res12.uk that suggests the need for reform of both governance bodies, their structures, systems and process.

Instead the media have given us a narrow head hunt to remove individuals for reasons that can only be guessed. This from individuals in the media whose motivations are as questionable now as they were in 2014, when they and their organisations ignored stronger evidence of greater wrong doing than has so far been presented by those currently advocating change.

The current media clamour for heads on a plate carries with it more than a whiff of hypocrisy.

During week commencing 22 September 2014, some volunteer SFM readers posted a bundle of documents that had surfaced to a number of journalists. SFM had previously sent these documents to Harper MacLeod, the then SPL lawyers. These were important documents pertinent to Lord Nimmo Smith’s inquiry into Rangers use of EBTs, documents which had not been made available to Harper MacLeod by Rangers Administrators Duff and Phelps despite being requested in March 2012 as part of the commissioning of LNS.

Earlier SFM blogs provide the details of communications with Harper MacLeod and can be read from the same link(s) provided to 12 Scottish media journalists in the draft below.

Some of the addresses may have received more than one copy but apart from one for whom only an e mail address was known, they should have received at least one hard copy of what Harper MacLeod/SPFL had been provided with which the latter passed to the SFA Compliance Officer in September 2014 according to their last reply to SFM. It is unlikely none were received by the organisations they were addressed to.

The draft to the journalist which the volunteers were at liberty to amend said:

I am a reader of The Scottish Football Monitor web site and attach for your information a set of documents that Duff and Phelps, acting as Rangers Administrators in April 2012, failed to provide to the then Scottish Premier League solicitors Harper MacLeod, who were charged with gathering evidence to investigate the matter of incorrect player registrations from July 1998 involving concealed side letters and employee benefit trusts by Rangers FC as defined in the eventual Lord Nimmo Smith Commission.

The failure to supply the requested information in the form of the attached documents as clearly instructed resulted in incorrect terms of reference being drawn up by Harper Macleod and a consequent serious error of judgement by Lords Nimmo Smith in his Decision as regards sporting advantage.

The information in the attached was provided to Harper MacLeod and the SPL Board in Feb 2014 and it was pointed out in subsequent correspondence that SFA President Campbell Ogilvie had failed to make a distinction in his testimony to Lord Nimmo Smith between the already confirmed as irregular Discount Option Scheme EBTs paid to Craig Moore, Tor Andre Flo and Ronald De Boer from 1999 to 2002/03 under Rangers Employee Benefit Trust (REBT) and the later loan EBTsfrom 2002/03 onwards under the Murray Group Management Remuneration Trust (MGMRT), having initiated the first DOS EBT to Craig Moore (as shown in the attached) and being a beneficiary of a MGMRT EBT as widely reported in national press in March 2012 at the time investigations commenced.
The complete narrative was set out in a series of blogs on The Scottish Football Monitor Web Site that are accessible from

(Edit: The links to the original SFM blogs were listed but some have been lost but original sources have been uploaded to Google Drive accessible from the above link)

However in spite of the correspondence sent to Harper MacLeod, there has been no response from them or the SPFL, save their answer to the original letter. (Edit: There was subsequent correspondence with Harper Macleod after the package and this letter was sent to the journalists which can be read from the above index to the original blogs.)

These points suggests that the SPFL, Harper MacLeod and Lord Nimmo Smith were misled by Duff and Phelps failure to supply the attached documents as instructed as well as Campbell Ogilvie’s failure to correct Lord Nimmo Smiths decision to treat all EBTs as “regular” when the DOS EBTs are not, as the attached evidence clearly demonstrates.

You are one of a number of journalists to whom this letter and attachments is addressed either electronically or hard copy. We are hoping that some journalists will prove themselves worthy of the challenge and investigate the story, even if only to refute it and stop suspicion of a cover up.

A copy of this letter and responses from addressees (or failures) will be published on The Scottish Football Monitor web site for the Scottish football supporting public to note. The e mail address for your reply is press@sfm.scot and we hope that you will investigate what appears to have been the corruption of the very process set up to establish the truth or you will explain why you cannot.
Yours in Sport

Note: The letter above was drafted and distributed with the documentation before a reply from Harper MacLeod was received, but as the reply did not address the issue of the nature of the irregular DOS EBTs, the request to journalists to investigate was even more valid.
The following were the journalists to whom documentation was posted/delivered.

Mr Richard Gordon
Mr Richard Wilson
Mr Tom English all at the BBC.

Mr Grant Russell
Mr Peter A Smith. At STV

Mr Andrew Rennie Daily Record Sports Editor

Mr Paul Hutcheon
Mr Graham Speirs
Mr Gerry Braiden at The Herald

Mr Mathew Lindsay Evening Times (belatedly)

Mr Gerry McCulloch Radio Clyde

Ms Jane Hamilton Freelance ex-Sun Sunday Mail (by e mail)

Only three individuals showed an interest but it is inconceivable to think that the media outlets they worked for were ignorant of the information provided or that the Scottish media sports departments are unaware of the narrative and its implications which were subsequently picked up by The Offshore Game but drew no refuting comments with the exception of Tom English.

He opined that the TOG report was ‘flawed’ although he did not specify how he came to that conclusion.

Darren Cooney of the Daily Record did take an interest in November 2015 when he met an SFM representative, who explained the case then sent him a summary to give to his editor but The Daily Record did not publish the story nor give any reason why they didn’t.

Grant Russell was with STV at the time and a meeting with him was arranged with a fellow SFM contributor but he failed to show up.
He subsequently did show an interest when The Court of Session ruled the Big Tax Case unlawful in July 2017, when he was provided with the a note of the consequences for the LNS Commission. However Grant moved jobs to join Motherwell in late October 2017.

Why bring all this his up now?
Because currently, the existence of texts and e-mails and unsubstantiated claims of skullduggery appear to have energised a media (and BBC Sports Department in particular) that had ‘no appetite’ to investigate actual evidence presented to them in 2014. There seems to be little doubt that an agenda is being followed, but as the preceeding paragraphs demonstrate, it casts doubt that their motivation is reform of the governance of Scottish football, and raises a suspicion that replacement of individuals (whose steerage of the good ship Scottish Football into the RFC iceberg was deemed adequate a decade ago) is what is important. A meaningless powerplay. No more no less.

One may jump to the conclusion that the foregoing is a defence of the individuals at the centre of this controversy, and that it defends the SPFL position in respect of the requisitioners review of governance. That would be the wrong conclusion. The point is that a wide-ranging review of the SFA/SPFL governance is way overdue.

The time window covered by any review should the very least cover the tenure of those accused of malfeasance and mis-governance. The media, and the requisitioners are cherry-picking their poor governance. That is poor governance in itself.

About the author

Auldheid author

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

1,118 Comments so far

John ClarkPosted on1:14 am - Jun 20, 2020

And now this stuff


Honest to God. 

All kinds of dishonesty by all kinds of Scottish football people! 

What a wreck of Sport. 

Bad bast.rds all, basically, with absolutely no principles. Tearing at each other savagely , each as guilty as the the other.

Bad, and very bad, cess to them all!



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Mickey EdwardsPosted on7:58 am - Jun 20, 2020

I have never considered myself a prophet and when I asked earlier if we were watching the death throes of Scottish football I did so as a means of overstating to emphasise a point.

I now look at this escalation and find my self wondering if I was nearer the truth than I thought. Scottish football is not in a financially healthy position, and I am not talking a just about the clubs here but the SFA and SPFL. Homunculus is correct in pointing out that , if the SPFL face a fine, it is the clubs that will pay it. But how many can afford to and can those with money withstand the outcome? It's all very well saying that Celtic's healthy bank balance will see them ride out the storm but what to they do afterwards. To make money they need to play games but who against if a number of the top clubs go to the wall? Be assured it is the top two leagues that are most exposed in this. Smaller teams with small wage bills can literally hibernate until the carnage is over. Those with larger wage bills have nowhere to hide other than administration and liquidation unless their players agree to play for nothing. Who believes that that would be likely? There will be no Lazarus like resurrection of the type we are meant to believe happened in 2012 or even of the type we KNOW happened then because there will still be no means to pay the wages.

I believe that this truly is a critical time for Scottish football.

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Cluster OnePosted on11:10 am - Jun 20, 2020

Reading back at the link i posted yesterday.
Despite attempts by Rangers to suspend the additional sanction or at least revert the case back to the judicial panel, the judge proposed it return to the SFA appeal stage.

That leaves the club open to more severe sanctions, which they would struggle to overturn given that CAS has effectively been ruled invalid for Scottish disputes and that Lord Glennie admitted his only jurisdiction was whether the SFA applied their own rules properly and not their guilt.
Not had my coffee yet so a little help here is required. What does it mean where it say’s (given that CAS has effectively been ruled invalid for Scottish disputes)?

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on11:49 am - Jun 20, 2020

Cluster One @ 1110hrs:

All is made clear when you read the findings of Lord Glennie's Judicial Review.


Para. 8 applies:

'This matter is, in any event, to my mind, made clear by Rule of the Judicial Panel Protocol to which I have referred, which provides that the Appellate Tribunal's determination "shall be final and binding on the parties and there shall be no further right of appeal." That excludes any appeal, including an appeal to the CAS. I note, as was submitted by the Dean of Faculty, that the present application to the court, by contrast, is not an appeal but an application to the court in its supervisory jurisdiction to correct what is alleged to be an excess of jurisdiction by the Tribunals.'

Hope that helps!

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StevieBCPosted on1:26 pm - Jun 20, 2020

Must admit I've not followed the latest SPFL legal threat closely.

But, neither the clubs nor the supporters should be surprised at all at the current chaos in the SPFL.

The SPFL, (and SFA), are seemingly doing their best to mismanage a crisis in the Scottish, senior game.

Just like they did during the crisis in 2012.

With both Doncaster and Petrie STILL calling the shots at Hampden…why should anyone expect anything different?

ALL the clubs have kept both these characters at Hampden.

ALL the clubs have looked the other way, and avoided pushing for radical changes and improvements at Hampden.

ALL the clubs have – explicitly or implicitly – supported the status quo since before 2012.

So, Hell mend them.

Maybe, this crisis will prove to be the necessary 'external influence' which ultimately forces change on the game – after a lot of pain?

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SmugasPosted on8:16 pm - Jun 20, 2020

Thank you Stevie BC.  Saved me typing it.  Authorities are struggling due to a simple lack of experience or competence.  But in addition they have now lost any sense of authority they may once have held.  All they now have is a type of mob rule, hiding behind a veneer of democracy.  Hell very much mend them.

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Cluster OnePosted on10:02 pm - Jun 20, 2020

Jingso.Jimsie 20th June 2020 at 11:49

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John ClarkPosted on10:25 pm - Jun 20, 2020

Smugas 20th June 2020 at 20:16

'..But in addition they have now lost any sense of authority they may once have held. '


The world and his wife know that the Football Authorities allowed themselves to be panicked by what they 'believed'  would be a disaster if RFC of 1872 had been expelled on account of the monumental cheating by SDM into betraying their office  as guardians of Sporting Integrity in Scottish Football.

By accommodating the most bizarre nonsense attached to the LNS inquiry ( such as the idea that being able to buy the services of better players did not confer a sporting advantage, and the idea that an ineligible player is not ineligible if his ineligibility is not discovered until long after he has played several games ), and by then accommodating CG's new club by allowing it to claim to be, and to market itself as, RFC of 1872, they forfeited any right to be regarded as 'legitimate authority'.

Having behaved like any corrupt person in 'office', they can be told to stuff their 'rules' and 'rulings' up their jaxies by any member of the SPFL which may have just reason to feel aggrieved.

The cry quite reasonably must be :

' A club that cheated both football and HMRC on an industrial scale was not expelled.

A new club was/is  allowed to maintain that in fact it isn't itself  but another club entirely, that is in liquidation.

Why in heaven's name, therefore,  should clubs innocent of any sporting 'crime' be expected to  have their very existences threatened by a bunch of deeply compromised charlatans masquerading  in 'office' as 'The Football Authorities'

particularly  in circumstances which make the 'disaster' that it was thought would have been the expulsion of RFC of 1872 seem like a mere temporary inconvenience when compared to what covid-19 might still do, even to the club which Brian McLaughlin referred to ( apparently on good authority) this afternoon on 'Sportsound' as 'leaking millions of pounds a month'.

Not that I am implying that covid-19 is in way the fault of football, or of the boards of the SFA and SFL.

No, the point is that neither of these Boards has any moral authority and a state of quasi-anarchy subsists, which renders abortive any attempt at leadership or any believable  drive to get clubs to pull together to ensure the survival of all 42 ( but only in so far as the survival of any is threatened by covid-19!)

The time to worry about the future is in the future.

It is the present that has to be dealt with, so that all 42 clubs will have a future!

Do we have trustworthy leadership capable of uniting clubs in the battle against covid-19?

Sadly, no.



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reasonablechapPosted on7:02 am - Jun 21, 2020

John Clark

RC , to use your shorthand ,in my opinion, seems to be an instrument of those bad guys who foisted the Big Lie on Scottish Football. 

What he has to say is in line with the whole rotten mentality of those who so perverted Scottish Football governance. A mentality that in effect said ‘bugger sporting integrity’ , TRFC is ‘Rangers of 1872’

The tragedy is that they know they are illegitimate and baddies but like the ‘Wild Bunch’ exult in their badness!

May they (metaphorically!) come to the same bad, inglorious end.


Easyjambo has been IMO, the best all round poster on here by some distance and when he said “I have become increasingly frustrated by the blog. Rather than debate the rights and wrongs of the article, it appears that everything that is discussed on the blog has to be viewed through the prism of RFC.”….he again, hit the nail on the head.

So when I come on here on Friday to give the SPFL both barrels and remind posters of where this current omnishambles started. That is, holding the governing authority of the game to account, as per the stated aim of this blog, I am called all sorts.

I standby what I posted on Friday and yesterday, on Sportsound, heard many of my thoughts echoed by Tom English, who is a lot closer to the ongoing clusterf**k. A journalist, who is actually doing what journalists are supposed to do and what this blog has been desperate to see, attempting to hold power (governing body) to account.

Going back to what Easjambo pointed toward. I think if you continually view everything through the same particular prism then tunnel vision is inevitable. If you can’t or don’t want to get out of the tunnel, you won’t see much light or be capable of making rational judgements on the here and now.

I wouldn’t expect you to listen to me but I would hope you all take note of what Easyjambo had to say.





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Mickey EdwardsPosted on9:49 am - Jun 21, 2020


Unfortunately, taking our adminstrators to task as you appear to want while not wanting it to include two decades of cheating and their involvement in that is what makes me immediately reject whatever you have to say.

My own feeling is that these administrators have a lot to answer for and should be held to account. Not just for 2012 but all malfeasance they have been responsible for. Their incompetence too should be confronted. What I don't want, unlike you, is for them to be pilloried for wrongs that are NOT of their making. For us that would be a foolish mistake that would detract from the gravity of their mismanagement. For you it would be perfect and it would undermine the calls for action we wish to see to punish the crimes against sport undertaken by the club you back. Like your club you wish us all to forget crimes against our clubs and fall into line and support a club who, through false dossiers and lies, want the administration overhauled, not to right wrongs, but to ensure "compliant" personnel. Pardon me if I for one oppose you to the maximum.

Easyjambo, like wottpi, highlander and apparently allyjambo, will be missed on here and I am disappointed by their decision as their contributions were vital. Easyjambo is much respected on here, as he is by me, particularly with regards to what appears to be his expertise – finance  but like us all they can allow emotion concerning our teams to blinker us. I hope they change their minds.

I cannot agree with his "RFC prism" allegation as having taken over the site although it no longer appears to have same degree of balanced views. No matter who is correct it is no reason to walk away from the fight. It may be that the reaction to his club joining forces with a club who epitomise not only all that is wrong with the sport but also society has increased the opposition to his clubs actions. Personally I feel that they were wrong to enter into the alliance especially when it very quickly became obvious that the "dossier" of proof was no such thing.

So there you have a one off reply to you RC do not expect any further responses.

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Mickey EdwardsPosted on10:22 am - Jun 21, 2020

As I have indicated before my wish is for the SFA and SPFL to be dismantled and rebuilt but unlike others I would have two bodies replace them not one.

My reasoning is much like the ideals of the US government systems to hold each one to account. I see the ideal being a separation of the business and the sport with sport having the senior position. At present the SPFL is the business related body but it also controls all that is involved in the running of the leagues. As a result league structures and kick off times are controlled, not by football, but by whoever a deal has been made with to broadcast matches. We end up with the ridiculous situation where league rules may have to be distorted to provide four "OF" matches to meet with guarantees to the broadcasters

To my mind control of all matches and leagues should be the responsibility of whatever replaces the SFA. They plan  the leagues, days and times of matches and everything that is game related. This is then passed to business body who can then go to the broadcasters and say this is what is on offer who will pay what for it? Our games are 60% funded by through the gate income and the organisations should reflect this. The fans should not be disadvantage because broadcasters want rearrangements so they can fill "dead" spots in their schedules. Be assured, that is how broadcasters view Scottish football.

The argument will be that we need their money but is that totally true? Our 60% fan funding of the sport could surely be increased by pre-fixed kick-off times and the ability for a clubs to plan better for their match day experience. The broadcasters will still pay to broadcast matches and I am not convinced that it will be less than at present. If one thing we are learning from behind closed doors games is that the atmosphere created in the ground is as much a necessity for a TV game as the value of the players on the pitch. This is an area that matches in Scotland can outperform the EPL. Put in place conditions that will increase the attendances at the "smaller" games and we will have a product with a very strong selling point. The sterile matches of the EPL do nothing to stir the crowds and the atmosphere becomes sterile also. This comes across in the televised product.

These are just fag packet ideas based on my strong feelings that we need to reverse the corrupting of our game by the increasingly damaging control of the business side of the game. Surely the professionals can come up with something that is satisfactory for the business and the sport but one thing should be non-negotiable, the sport MUST be the senior partner.

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John ClarkPosted on10:59 am - Jun 21, 2020

reasonablechap 21st June 2020 at 07:02

'..So when I come on here on Friday to give the SPFL both barrels and remind posters of where this current omnishambles started. That is, holding the governing authority of the game to account, as per the stated aim of this blog, I am called all sorts.'


Ever since RFC plc (IL)was exposed as a club guilty of an incredible degree of sports and tax cheating , there have been people (among whom I include your good self, rc) who have sedulously and assiduously tried to get us all to 'move on', to ignore and forget the fundamental untruth at the heart of our football and let a new club claim sporting honours that it did not win and  could not have won.

Our football authorities foisted that untruth on us. That act of deception cannot be forgotten or forgiven until truth is restored.

The acts of blinkered incompetence by the Board of the SPFL and the SFA in their dealing with the effects of Covid-19 on clubs innocent of any football crime are rightly being powerfully challenged  by eJ and some other posters. I support that challenge.

There is nothing to say that the Football Authorities cannot be both deceitful and incompetent, being not fit for purpose on either account!

As for English and the SMSM, there was not a cheep of complaint from them about the ridiculous nonsense of the 5-Way agreement or the decision not to investigate the Res 12 matter, or any serious questioning of the integrity of the whole rotten Admin/Liquidation scandal.

As sharers in an infamous squalid act of betrayal everlasting unforgetful disgrace  will be theirs. 


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Cluster OnePosted on11:51 am - Jun 21, 2020

reasonablechap 21st June 2020 at 07:02
everything that is discussed on the blog has to be viewed through the prism of RFC.”….he again, hit the nail on the head.
Every club and every fan should start any point of grievance through the prism of RFC.
Why should they adhere to the rules when the rules can be bent and a blind eye turned to the goings on down ibrox way.
So when I come on here on Friday to give the SPFL both barrels and remind posters of where this current omnishambles started. That is, holding the governing authority of the game to account, as per the stated aim of this blog, I am called all sorts.

Was a crosshair aimed at the SPL and SFL and SFA when the bent the rules for an ibrox club? or is it just now both barrels have been pointed at the Spfl as an ibrox club hold no sway?
I standby what I posted on Friday and yesterday, on Sportsound, heard many of my thoughts echoed by Tom English, who is a lot closer to the ongoing clusterf**k. A journalist, who is actually doing what journalists are supposed to do and what this blog has been desperate to see, attempting to hold power (governing body) to account.

Is this the same Tom English who had his arse handed to him on a plate during the dossier shambles? The minute you start to use Tom English as a referance point you have lost the argument.
I think if you continually view everything through the same particular prism then tunnel vision is inevitable.
a transparent solid body, often having triangular bases, used for dispersing light into a spectrum or for reflecting rays of light.
Tunnel vision.
tunnel vision is a term meaning that the edges of your vision are lost and only central focus remains, as if you were looking through a tunnel.
Would rather a light was shone in all directions rather than one.Like Tom as a journalist he should not get to pick and choose his battles to suite.

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wottpiPosted on12:16 pm - Jun 21, 2020

In terms of significant developments I believe copies of the Hearts/Thistle petition have been doing the rounds but I have not seen one.

I have seen a paper (possibly an extract) that is purportedly the SPFL’s QC's opinion given prior to the Good Friday resolution.

The main thrust of the opinion  is that the resolution could fall foul of the Companies Act 2006 on the basis that a minority shareholder has been disadvantaged by the actions of the majority.

Counsel concluded that due to the financial implications on the minorities, the SPFL could see litigation being pursued by one club or another.
The use of a members vote was then put forward as a means of showing a democratic decision was made by the organisation and then hope the courts would be minded not to interfere in an internal footballing matter if a legal challenge was made.

So, if this is genuine,  in effect the SPFL board knew full well there was a good potential for a legal challenge by a member club or clubs, if the resolution was passed.

It is unclear if the member clubs were informed of this legal opinion before voting.

If not, then should they have been told?
If yes, then why is anyone within the game surprised the matter is going to court, given what is at stake?

In my view the SPFL board has been left with taking a gamble.

While a legal challenge was possible they have perhaps anticipated  that, while raging, the likes of Stranraer and Partick Thistle (as appeared to be the case on Monday) would not have the means and resources to mount a legal Challenge.

Hearts of course are a different matter, being a larger club, but if they are flying solo far easier to portray them as the troublemakers via leaks to the SMSM.
Thistle joining the party changes things somewhat given, as my wee vote the other day shows, the wider fan base tend to have have a greater degree of sympathy for them.

Would the gamble been safer if St Mirren or Ross County had been in position 12 and less likely to take action?
Would the gamble have been considered if board member Les Gray's Hamilton had been in position 12?

As far as I can see the Hearts/Thistle petition attacks the SPFL for a) rushing through the resolution with inadequate information being provided, b) the issue of the Dundee ‘No' vote, c) the lack of alternative solutions, especially in relation to conflating paying out monies with final places and the ‘take it or leave it approach".

How it will play out in court is anyone’s guess but as this site should well know, the emotion, rivalries,  personalities, turbulent past etc of a membership organisation will hold no sway in the court. Either side will win on the basis of points of law in a real court and not the mickey mouse ones set up by the footballing authorities.

If the petition gets past the first hurdle of the Court of Session believing it is a matter for them to consider, things could become very interesting in terms of seeing how our footballing authorities operate.

Just a pity that, if it gets to that stage, this site's intrepid court reporters may not be able to attend proceedings.


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Mickey EdwardsPosted on1:21 pm - Jun 21, 2020


If the legal advice that you have seen is genuine I would guess that you are not getting to see it all. I would guess, I am no legal expert, that they will have been made aware that other clubs would also have a legal case if changes were made. It is probably why they were so hands off at the decision made after the reconstruction working party conclusion.

I think also they will point to the fact that the clubs concerned were given the chance to prevent their relegation by having the lead point on the working party. Ms Budge's insistence on the party not being allowed to consider a permanent change could be used to show that the end result was in part self inflicted. She annoyed more than her co-chair with that move and I guess, again, that could lead Hearts open to law suits for placing restrictions that killed any chance of reconstruction. The thing is that in modern society anybody can sue for just about anything. Fortunately the majority see it as inappropriate. As I have stated before other teams in the league could sue on the same grounds as is being used against the SPFL – that the final decision has left them worse off because of what they might have been able to achieve. Fortunately they haven't.

My own preference of a larger league would have seen no-one disadvantaged so please don't take the attitude that this is another attempt by a Hibs supporter to attack the enemy. The place football has in my life means that I do not hate things like teams or supporters of certain teams. I hate any attempt to undermine the sporting nature of football as a means of securing success and I hate fans of all teams that are party to violence and any other antisocial practices.

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StevieBCPosted on2:16 pm - Jun 21, 2020

CO, remind me never to fall out with you online!

100% on point, IMHO. 

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FinlochPosted on3:30 pm - Jun 21, 2020

The unfolding mess we are was predictable and inevitable.

Our very blog predicted the civil war ahead of the first botched vote but the tram lines had been set.

Since then it has been chaos and deep down no fair minded fan can criticise Hearts and Thistle for their final flings when facing what most fans out there feel is premature and unfair relegation.

Nor can any of us criticise the others like Raith and Cove for fighting back when fingered by the Hearts/Thistle Petition.

Its a right old circular b uggers muddle that never had to happen.

It still has a distance to run and is testament to how badly run our game is.

The SFA and the SPFL are over-puppeted and hamstrung by our clubs and our clubs interests as well as the petty politics and constant need to get more money that both unites and divides them all.

Imagine in a parallel world if Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods,  Colin Montgomery, Gordon Sherry, Tony Jacklin and Raymond Floyd dominated and called the shots at the R&A and the USGA.

That's what we have.

It doesn't work in football any more than it wouldn't work in golf.

Change of the model won't come from within but an increasing inevitability is that the current confusion will lead to thoughts on a more perfect version of what we currently have with some kind of breakaway to protect what the bigger clubs see as rightfully theirs.

That might take a while and in the short term some kind of messy compromise will ensue.

That is what happens. 

Plus ca change.



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wottpiPosted on6:42 pm - Jun 21, 2020

Mickey Edwards 21st June 2020 at 13:21

Think you may be getting ahead of yourself by conflating decisions and actions being taken before and after the resolution.

Even if you are correct and they had a crystal ball,  the SPFL has created a situation where there was a potential legal challenge from at least five/six member clubs and two sets of three going after each other!!!


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FinlochPosted on7:01 pm - Jun 21, 2020

Be aware guys our site is under attack by thumsdowners with an agenda. 
I’d guess it is to destabilise 

A wee post earlier as as test was in reality a wiggly worm under a float to see how long it took.

It was Riding 13 to 0 after almost 3 hours of normal people And blog readers and is now 13 to 26 as I update.

Statistically almost impossible.

WTF is going on?


How do some posters get scores off the radar and others like Easy J get thumbs down pelters?

Who is trying to sway our arguments and destroy what we are doing
Stop press
Within a minute it’s now 14 to 40 and under attack
Who is so scared of the fans having a voice?

Everything on line is traceable guys

 Still climbing. Wtf!

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MercDocPosted on7:42 pm - Jun 21, 2020

Rangers unveil new shirt sponsor: https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-unveil-energy-check-partnership-22229692

Looked them up at companies house: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/search?q=The+Energy+Check

They seem to be different companies that link to one man. Something isn't passing the sniff test?

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wottpiPosted on8:42 pm - Jun 21, 2020

Finloch 21st June 2020 at 19:01

Can go with that.

Noted TDs seem to increase overnight.

Will be first to offer apologies if I have read the site mood wrong, outwith those directly involved in healthy one to one  debates.

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macfurglyPosted on12:35 am - Jun 22, 2020

Finloch 21st June 2020 at 19:01


Firefox doesn't show thumbs up or down, and the blog is no less readable for that. It's easy to get used to not seeing them.

Express your view without regard for the opinion of others.

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shugPosted on8:14 am - Jun 22, 2020

I have noticed that the TUs and TDs have disappeared from the site when using chrome now but for a while the TDs really went a bit mad.

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Cluster OnePosted on8:47 am - Jun 22, 2020

MercDoc 21st June 2020 at 19:42
Good work.

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Mickey EdwardsPosted on9:46 am - Jun 22, 2020

Neilson replace Stendel at HMFC because relegation triggered a cancellation clause in Stendel's contract.

What happens if Hearts manage to stop promotion/relegation as appears to be their aim if United, Raith and Cove's statement is to be believed?

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Mickey EdwardsPosted on9:49 am - Jun 22, 2020


I can never see the value of these as the point of posting is to put an opinion across not to seek approval from anonymous readers.

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Big PinkPosted on10:08 am - Jun 22, 2020

TDs were removed because logs showed that there was considerable activity from one or two IP addresses. Visits which did not last long enough to read a comment, never mind the blog itself.
We’ve said for a long time that TU/TDs are irrelevant, and have never been a reflection of the debate taking place.

In the past, when new posters have appeared, particularly the incredibly prolific ones, there’s been similar activity on the ratings, which tended to suggest the newbie‘s popularity.

There is no doubt that it frustrates and emboldens respectively.

Of course when folk are being honest the TU/TD system can be a good indicator of what’s happening on the blog, but for the time being, no false indications of popularity/infamy are appropriate.

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Big PinkPosted on10:16 am - Jun 22, 2020

Following up on ‘prolific’ posters, I normally, invite those folk to condense their contributions into a headline blog. Never been taken up on it, but that invitation still stands.
Anyone with strong feelings either way on the Hearts/Thistle shambles, why not commit your thoughts to a blog, as opposed to being limited to reacting to what others say?

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Mickey EdwardsPosted on10:53 am - Jun 22, 2020


I must admit to some concern over your recent posts. As the only new poster on here they read as an accusation against me.

If as you say you know the IP addresses of those causing the disruption then obviously you know my IP and know that I am not involved. So can I ask that you clarify that there is NO connection between the two.

Secondly, your last post, again suggesting me, reads that there are now limits on what you wish to be discussed on here. I find this strange as, with the infrequency of new blogs, it is the comments section that attracts visits to the site. I would have thought increased activity would have been your aim. If on the other hand you would prefer this to be a private club for a select few of the "right type" of poster I would think that is something that would be a headline part of the site.

You could of course just request that I go away.

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bect67Posted on11:23 am - Jun 22, 2020

For my post of 19th June @ 19.44, I received around 110 TUs

I must say, with tongue firmly in cheek, this pleased me no end (for fair points which I thought were well made!), but now I’m reading about the gremlins (?) re TDs, and wondering if the same thing is happening with TUs!!!??? Could be my paranoia playing up again.

Seriously, having received my fair share of constructive criticism on the blog, I am generally in favour of being ‘rated’ by fellow posters. Part of the learning process for me anyway.

In conclusion, TDs are good for the soul and thickening the skin – also reminding us that we’re not the only ‘show in town’!

So… reinstate them if you can?

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HomunculusPosted on11:55 am - Jun 22, 2020

Mickey Edwards 22nd June 2020 at 09:46

I think if Hearts / Thistle were trying to get the relegation rescinded they would already have applied for an interim interdict to prevent the league from starting. It would also be a good bargaining position.

The reason they haven't, in my view is that they would be unlikely to get one. 

The executive of the limited company put forward a resolution, which was passed by the members. That is now being acted upon. I really don't see an issue with the executive lobbying for their own resolution to be passed, it would make no sense for them to do anything else, they think it's in the best interests of the members. 

Likewise others lobbied for it to fail, again no problem with that.

So, and avoiding personalities here, what was done wrong. What would be the basis on which a Court would agree to prevent things simply proceeding in the way the members agreed.

Compensation is a different matter, and I think that's what the clubs really want. For me that is more open to interpretation. However I really don't see a good argument for it. I can understand why the clubs want it, whether they deserve it or not is a different issue.

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on11:58 am - Jun 22, 2020

A little help from our members who are versed in civil engineering/surveying/DIY:

In today’s DR, as part of Alex Rae’s (heartfelt, no doubt) TRFC advertorial, there’s mention of lowering the pitch at Ibrox to increase spectator capacity.

Could someone explain to me, a man who would struggle to knock a nail into the middle of a doughnut, how would lowering an area of fixed dimension which is surrounded by extensive infrastructure increase the usable area for spectators? Wouldn’t that require extensive work on (possibly) all four stands to alter the gradient of the seating areas to expand capacity (& maintain sight lines)?  

Economically practicable, or moonbeams?

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StevieBCPosted on12:08 pm - Jun 22, 2020

We’ve seen this several times before when the blog is being distracted / deflected in the expectation of some news to be announced in the game.

With this latest influence on the TU/TD’s it could be something similar?  But it could also be viewed as a compliment: that we’re not all just talking nonsense to each other!

Personally, I’m not bothered either way about ratings – but it does add some level of interaction / participation for those who may not particularly want to add a comment?

But, ultimately the admin. of the site shouldn’t be burdened with any extra work on managing TU/TD’s – IMO.

(Naturally, I’d have to give myself a TU for this comment. laugh )


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HomunculusPosted on12:16 pm - Jun 22, 2020

Jingso.Jimsie 22nd June 2020 at 11:58

Around a year ago today



Gary Ralston

  • 00:01, 27 JUL 2019

Rangers in talks over Ibrox capacity increase as Stewart Robertson details ambitious plan

The club have taken consultation on extending the stadium to house 55,000 supporters.


Amongst other things … "The most ambitious project would be lowering the pitch again, which last happened in the mid-nineties, although the level of the water table so close to the Clyde could be an issue."

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Ex LudoPosted on12:24 pm - Jun 22, 2020


From memory there is still a “track” around the pitch at Ibrox so there would be some room for manoeuvre and potentially increase the seating capacity. Making such alterations would certainly be expensive and require a potential closure of the ground. I’m calling moonbeams.

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Mickey EdwardsPosted on12:56 pm - Jun 22, 2020


I think I tend to agree with you but the petition submitted by Hearts and Thistle appears to want promotion/relegation stopped. At least if we are to believe the BBC in this quote –

"Their petition asked for a judge to scrap promotions and relegations for last season – meaning United, Raith and Cove would stay down despite being crowned champions of their divisions. "

Like you I don't rate their chances of success especially as the lead club was given the opportunity to head the working group set up to right the wrongs. Arguments could be made that they thwarted an outcome from that working group by taking the stance that they did.

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paddy malarkeyPosted on2:23 pm - Jun 22, 2020

Mickey Edwards 22nd June 2020 at 12:56


I think the problem that concerns us (Jags)  is the prospect of having no league to play in , if clubs mothball due to covid-19 and aren't viable to play bcd . The future of/for all Scottish clubs is uncertain and we're basically asking to be given the chance to survive . What happens if League 1 doesn't proceed ? Would the clubs able to compete be absorbed into the Championship ? An invitational league for those below Championship level who need/wish to play ? It shouldn't have been beyond the wit of our game's administrators to concoct a plan that works . Maybe they are only any good at doing these things away from scrutiny .

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wottpiPosted on2:43 pm - Jun 22, 2020

Mickey Edwards 22nd June 2020 at 12:56


Like you I don't rate their chances of success especially as the lead club was given the opportunity to head the working group set up to right the wrongs. Arguments could be made that they thwarted an outcome from that working group by taking the stance that they did.

And is that not the key point and presumably the thrust of the Hearts/Thistle petition. They view that the  resolution was wrong, ill informed and cack handed from the outset. Added to that is the shambles of the Dundee vote. Anything thereafter has been back peddling by an SPFL board who knew and were advised there was a potential for a legal challenge given the consequences of the resolution they favoured and championed.

Oh and BTW where does this 'lead club' come from. Thistle and Hearts are joint petitioners as far as I can see. I don't see anyone calling Dundee United the 'lead club' in any potential counter legal action as if Raith and Cove are some lesser entity.

Tom English said on Saturday that he discussed with Doncaster, before the vote, on what he would do if the resolution failed and his answer was to do a 'Teresa May/Brexit job' and just keep resubmitting it until it passed.

I fully appreciate the complexities involved trying to work their way through this unique situation. It would have been a difficult decision to make but the SPFL hitched themselves to one particular wagon and may now have  to deal with the consequences depending what the Court of Session decides.

The Companies Act 2006 was influenced by EU directives which is why in the Netherlands, Belgium and France the same/similar challenges made by Hearts/Thistle have been possible. Are those clubs on foreign shores somehow guilty of the same apparent offense caused to some by Hearts/Budge? Or is this all just a natural legal progression of what can be seen by many as an unfair situation both in Scotland and elsewhere. As discussed if Stranraer could afford it they would be in on this as well.

The constant moaning about what Budge said at the start of the reconstruction task force process is a mere bagatelle.  In court any accusation of her pursuing self interest and being hypocritical will be set aside and simply be viewed from the point of view of (as the SPFL's legal opinion said) have a minority group of shareholders been disadvantaged by the actions of the majority to the point that the court takes a dim view of the matter.

If we are getting bogged down to who has said what  I am led to believe the  petition makes several references to SPFL board member Les Gray's public utterances that (possibly including his role in assisting with the reconstruction task force) he was trying to prevent Hearts, Partick Thistle and Stranraer from being treated 'unfairly'.

Therefore, there appears to be evidence and acknowledgement from Gray that the resolution made by the board he was a member has resulted in an unfair result. To my mind this is far more devastating than anything Budge has said or done in terms of protecting her club/business.

If the petition gets past the first hurdle, it  will be down to the court decide if that 'unfairness' was of such a disadvantage that the petitioners have a case to reverse the resolution or seek compensation.



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wottpiPosted on3:03 pm - Jun 22, 2020

paddy malarkey 22nd June 2020 at 14:23

Yes, the outcome of the League 1 & 2 meetings this week will be interesting.

My guess is that pressure will be being applied to get as early a start as possible. The longer the restart or potential mothballing just helps the petitioners highlight the degree of disadvantage that can be suffered.

O noted on Saturday the Peterhead chairman was keen to get going with fans in attendance ASAP as he clearly viewed playing behind closed doors was not an option for his club. However he could not say when that would be but seemed disappointed little had been discussed by the way of using the lager stadiums as hubs.

He then said he knew/guessed  Falkirk and Partick could probably be ready to play next week if need be, and at worse would be able to stream games to paying customers etc.

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reasonablechapPosted on3:13 pm - Jun 22, 2020

The replies I received to my post on Saturday morning all backed up what Easyjambo said about the "RFC prism". 


A noteworthy observation was that apparently the SPFL are blameless for the current fiasco, this almost made me laugh as much as when later the same day, Tom English sarcastically congratulated Neil Doncaster on his appointment to the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body.

That brings me to the priorities and influence of Peter Lawwell (ECA board). Rather than forever let events of 8 years ago always get in the way of the here and now, I'd direct your complaints regarding res12&similar to the heid honcho at Celtic PLC, rather than getting on my back.

Let me get on with holding Scottish football administration to account. It shouldn´t be for Scottish football fan X to tell Scottish football fan Y, how exactly he has to go about it or what he has to say….and John, I'm not trying to get you to move on because I know I'd be wasting my time given my suspicions that you actually own the IP rights on what Easyjambo called the "RFC prism" angry

Regards more recent events, someone mentioned that Rangers don't want better administration of the game, they only want "compliant personnel". Of course, politically, the two big Glasgow clubs will actively seek good working relationships with administrators but why not with better goverence. The present model is holding Scottish football back, including, in pounds and pence and that negatively affects all clubs…. By the way, can we ask Peter in what direction the compliance is currently aimed ?

ps. looks like an unscripted live Q&A with Peter Lawwell would be interesting.






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reasonablechapPosted on3:17 pm - Jun 22, 2020

psII. I missed the TU/TD drama but don't miss the TU/TD.

More importantly I think the site is better for it.

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StevieBCPosted on3:17 pm - Jun 22, 2020

I’m just surprised that it has taken this long for another club to seek legal redress against the game’s governance.

I’m even more surprised that a player, (with the cash), hasn’t tested the legal route before now on an individual basis / restriction of trade (?) – as a result of a disputed, disciplinary decision.

A scenario where a member club feels the need to refer to the Court of Session – for any reason – is a clear indication that the governing body concerned is a failed organisation, regardless of the outcome, IMO.

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Mickey EdwardsPosted on3:53 pm - Jun 22, 2020

Paddy@ 12:56

I appreciate that concern and how far Thistle have slipped now sees them mixing with clubs whose financial structure means that mothballing would be better for them financially but to answer you means I have to repeat what I have said a couple of times previously. This seems to concern some people but here goes. I do not believe that there will not be business casualties from this need to play without fans therefor there will be a trend to move up into the empty spaces created by such events. How the leagues look at the end of this no-one can predict but, should no club go under, I would imagine that there will be rearranging of the lower division with those that want to mothball able to do so with proviso that when they return they will start at the bottom. That way those who continued playing will not find themselves disadvantaged.

I have to say though that I can see Thistle facing severe problems should they have to play behind closed doors, but you are in a better position than I to judge that.

No matter what happens I can't help feeling that making plans just now that will have to change later, maybe even a couple of times, would create more problems for the clubs.

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paddy malarkeyPosted on4:23 pm - Jun 22, 2020

Mickey Edwards 22nd June 2020 at 15:53

Have to disagree with your last sentence there . We need a roadmap now , with a defined strategy . Firstly , though , we need to audit what we have , get the views of all the clubs as to when/if they can compete and under what circumstances , and cobble something together to get us to the next branch in the road . Too many variables to set things in stone .I think , though , that pissing off sponsors will be a deciding factor in proceedings .

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Mickey EdwardsPosted on4:34 pm - Jun 22, 2020


Short part out of the way first. I use the term "lead" because it was HMFC that was first to head for the courts and Thistle joined them when someone agreed to fund their part.

As to the rest of what you say, I take it when you refer to the "resolution" you are referring to the proposal to end the leagues. If so then, cack-handed or not, those from all but the smallest clubs who dealt with it are professionals who should, and in my opinion did know, about the time scales to deal with such things. There was a preferred shorter time scale placed on getting a desired result and that, as far as I'm concerned, was the right thing to do. The belief was that money was needed by some clubs rather quickly but any of the clubs' administrators who disagreed with that knew that they could request that the SPFL rules were adhered to. Instead we had clubs maneuvering and plotting. I find it strange that Nelms of Dundee has taken it in the neck when all he did was change his mind to the advantage, he thought, of his club. Whether he promised anyone else that he would do it differently is of no matter. This is a group of businesses and in this case we should not forget that. What were some of these business doing conspiring to all put their vote in at the same time and with the same result. For one in particular to then conspire to be some sort of pseudo whistle blower to help concoct a "dossier" that gave facts on nothing of concern should be more worrying than what Nelms did. Ms Budge denied that she had ever witnessed any bulling but still the accusations went on and Hearts joined the dossier authors in calling an EGM. To this day I have seen no proof of bullying or coercion nor have I seen signs of inducements. What I have seen is what we should expect from Scottish football a bungled process that was as much the fault of the clubs as it was the administrators.

I have made it more than clear that I believe that the SFA and SPFL are not fit for purpose but on this occasion I can see nothing that I would add to the evidence needed to have them disbanded.

I can see why until the vote was concluded restructuring was kept off the table. It would have been inappropriate to do otherwise but the speed with which it was introduced after leads me to believe that it was always part of the plan. How it was handled after that was where my criticism lies. You should be asking your own club's chief executive why she placed obstacles in the way of success. The probably would have arisen anyway but as someone who wanted her club to stay in the top league she should have placed all her efforts towards that end without concerning herself with personal preferences.

Let me repeat that my preferred outcome would have seen Hearts remain in the top division. Likewise the two other disadvantaged clubs would not have been.

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Mickey EdwardsPosted on4:57 pm - Jun 22, 2020


We should agree to disagree on that.

Too many variables around that we cannot define. If clubs go under it won't happen in an orderly fashion. The level of disruption when any player or official tests positive will be unmanageable. Outside the playing bubble a threat of a new peak will see the bubble burst. Clubs will have spent money for planned matches that never happen and will not be able to recoup it.

Too chaotic for plans to make sense.


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paddy malarkeyPosted on5:37 pm - Jun 22, 2020

Mickey Edwards 22nd June 2020 at 16.57

 I know it's not a matter of life and death , but I'll leave it with WS (not Walter Smith !)

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

And, by opposing, end them.

That's where we are – fight or acquiesce .

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AuldheidPosted on5:38 pm - Jun 22, 2020

I posted this on a Celtic Blog (Sentinel Celts) because the stimulus to do so came as a result of Celtic's approach to ST Renewal and use of Virtual TV as a replacement for attending in person.

However it does branch into community ownership via a Membership Scheme, a path other clubs are treading so if you remove the green tinted angle I offer it here as a way forward for Scottish Football.


Losing The Sense Of Community

Football clubs are merely the totems around which different communities gather to sing their songs and dance their dances, but in trying to become big  business this essential point has been lost. Football as a business has grown too big for its boots.

At the end of the chapter “The Worst Business in the World” in their book Soccernomics (2009) Simon Kuperand Stefan Szymanski say

“Soccer clubs need to know what they are. They shouldn’t kid themselves they are Titanium Metals (a small company in Big Business Terms but a behemoth compared to any soccer club –  https://www.timet.com/about/   ) . Rather they are like museums, public spirited organisations that aim to serve the community, whilst remaining reasonably solvent.”

Few would argue that Celtic have managed the latter in laudable terms that has led to long term football success and long may it continue, but in becoming a PLC has that aim of serving the community not so much been lost as reversed? 

Celtic started as a community club and, I would argue still are, but that community has spilled out from its origins in the east end of Glasgow to become global. Wherever you go in the world you are likely to bump into a fellow Tim and a friendly connection is often made. We make friends easily, we commune. However is the current PLC model the right fit for the global Celtic community of today? Has the PLC model caused Celtic custodians to have grown apart from its community rather than being a part of it?

The most recent issue caused by the CoVid Virus has been the sale of season tickets for games that at the outset fly in the face of the very reason for buying a season ticket which is  To Be There when the team runs on to the park. Celtic’s approach to the problem caused by CoVid19 is constrained by the very model that has sustained Celtic as a solvent, indeed very profitable business, which is the degree of reliance on actual match day physical attendance that brings the sense of community back to the place where it first began. 

However that community whilst metaphorically and emotionally lives in the shadow of Celtic Park physically it does not. In having to offer regular match day attendees  the opportunity to watch from afar ,will that be a cause for many to rethink the current model in a world where we are being reminded nothing is certain , so be ready to change?

In that respect I looked into my crystal ball (a spreadsheet actually) that can be viewed here for an alternative model that recognised not only how widespread the Celtic community has become but also offered a path to a place where the lost sense of community at one with itself could be reborn.

It is one of life’s cosmic ironies that as I was developing the new model last night the same idea of giving the community a greater say via a Membership Scheme had emerged on CQN on Tuesday 

https://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/season-tickets-renewed-of-course/comment-page-2/#comment-3480841  by CELTIC1MEMBER1VOT

that BMCUW pasted on Sentinel Celts and if you have not read it everyone should. It makes the very valid point, particularly in light of the lessons Resolution 12 has taught us ,  that the PLC model not only does not reflect the values that the  Celtic community hold dear but prevents any changes to that model happening and is prepared to go to unacceptable lengths to do so.

The great thing about a spreadsheet is the ability to ask“What if?” and each answer offers a potential new realitythat might be attractive enough to try to create call it Back to the Future.

The model at this link contains various assumptions thatare challengeable and the purpose in presenting it is solely to get us thinking about what about Celtic is important to us? 

That will obviously vary according to each individual’s experience, but hopefully in sharing those thoughts a consensus might emerge as to the direction the community rather than the PLC wish Celtic to head.

The spreadsheet model has notes to reveal the thinking behind the figures but this bit of text from the model is worth setting out here to provide a bit more context.

Key assumptions

Ditch Sky and form SPFL TV as streaming channel​​​​​​

Celtic matches played either Sat or Sunday fixed KO and not in competition with other SPFL games. The Rangers FC Ltd do same​​​​​​​​

Other clubs keep income from their supporters viewing​but are guaranteed a bottom figure.

Objective ​​​​​​​​​​​

To make Celtic a recognised well run NOT For Profit GLOBAL COMMUNITY CLUB that truly reflects the ethos of that community​​​​​​​​​

To pave the way to giving all Membership Scheme participants a single vote on Celtic business policy based on Celtic’s greatest resource – its supporters and their values as a community.​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The spreadsheet for a Membership Scheme model can be viewed at 



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wottpiPosted on5:46 pm - Jun 22, 2020

Mickey Edwards 22nd June 2020 at 16:34

Sorry but I just can't get my head around this idea what Budge did scuppered the process.

Various reports indicated many were never going to go for it even if Nelson Mandela had come back from the grave to lead the process.

Even when it came to the SPFL's own final option of 14,10,10,10 Peterhead's General Manager  Martin Johnston  on the radio on Saturday said he believed 41 out of the 42 clubs responded to the SPFL's request for an indication on how clubs may view, what was first a proposal and then a working paper.

He then said a they received a memo from the SPFL that there was 'clear enough support for a permanent 14,10,10,10 structure to merit a vote'. 

On that basis you would expect a closer vote than the 16 who said yes to such a plan.

So either some clubs were lying in their initial response or the SPFL were being somewhat loose in their interpretation of what constitutes 'enough support'. Especially given the way votes need to be counted per division.

As Tom English then questioned, was this all just a back covering exercise?

Johnston then pointed out he felt the Reconstruction Task Force got shot down before they even managed to present any papers or proposals and he saw the whole thing as a waste of time and effort.

As Johnston then questioned, why did the SPFL  not just get the mood of everyone regards reconstruction right from the off, it was indeed their next step in the plan.

16 clubs or around a third were in favour of reconstruction to deal with the current situation.

13 clubs supported a review of the SPFL's handling of resolution (also 2 abstentions)

Yes the minority but significant enough to say all is not well with the game in this country.

As I said the Hearts/Thistle petition may not get past the first hurdle but if it does fans should be cheering to the rafters that the court process may help give us some real insight into the workings of a failing organisation.

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AuldheidPosted on6:04 pm - Jun 22, 2020

On the matter of the impact of Covid19 on Scottish football and Hearts/Thistle reaction at fighting their corner, the fact is there isn't a corner, its a circle and Scottish football is in it.

I've posted this link before.


Hearts/Thistle are the guy whose spoon is broken.  It is time for club allegiances to be set aside and look for a collective solution. 

This isn't like a normal relegation, it has been akin to a game of musical chairs where not having a chair when the music stops, is having much more serious consequences than was the case before the music started.

My previous community club post requires the dependence on Sky money to end. Had that not been a consideration would the current dilemma exist ? 

We can either feed each other or starve.

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Cluster OnePosted on6:13 pm - Jun 22, 2020

Jingso.Jimsie 22nd June 2020 at 11:58
Jingso.Jimsie 22nd June 2020 at 11:58

Around a year ago today

Was just about to say just before i read Homunculus 22nd June 2020 at 12:16
from what i remember reading it can’t be done as it is something to do with drainage, that is why Charles Green wanted to build a bigger ibrox.
The reason why the ibrox pitch is always so bad was the dranage. happy to be corrected.
Build a bigger ibrox has always been the pipe dream down ibrox way ever since Celtic built a bigger stadium, the only way they will get more bums on seats is if God left me a chair many times over;-)
Ps. I never really looked at the TU/TD. now that they are not there,i am looking for them.
And Mickey Edwards 22nd June 2020 at 10:53 as a new poster and a Hibs fan, i have found some of your posts interesting. Just my thoughts.

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Cluster OnePosted on6:16 pm - Jun 22, 2020

StevieBC 22nd June 2020 at 12:08

We’ve seen this several times before when the blog is being distracted / deflected in the expectation of some news to be announced in the game.
I thought it was just me who noticed that.

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Big PinkPosted on7:21 pm - Jun 22, 2020

Sorry to report that the company which is trying to leverage several hundreds of pounds from us for the use of an image (which was only a crowd-shot on a hot day illustrating a comment about record temperatures last August) are not going away and are now threatening legal action.

I think our status as a limited company, which is simply there to avoid mods being held personally responsible for any libellous remarks that could be made by a malicious poster. has drawn some ££££ signs up on this company, (PicRights).

I have explained that we never served or hosted the image, and that it was merely an embedded link in a comment that went unnoticed. When we received their follow-up to our explanation they have demanded £600 that we do not have. I am not so sure that getting the £600 is their overarching aim here reading between the lines of the communication so far.

The dilemma is that although I am not at all sure we have breached any IP rights, the cost of seeking legal advice is almost exactly the same as the cost of settling with these shysters – and of course there would a double hit if legal advice showed that we were in fact liable.

So the bottom line is that on top of the recent trojan attacks, DoS episodes, and other stuff, if we don't get a favourable reply from PicRights (something I am not sure a debt collection agency will provide), we may have to close up shop.

There is an irony in us being forced to liquidate to avoid debts, but we have always been on the margins cash-wise. 

Please let me state that this not a plea for financial assistance. If a spurious image-use is being used as a stick to beat us with, I am not sure it will end there.

I will of course keep you all posted, hopefully with some good news.

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Mickey EdwardsPosted on7:30 pm - Jun 22, 2020


I don't know how many way I can say this but one more.

She was given the opportunity to chair a group to restructure the leagues which in turn would ensure Hearts would stay in the top league. Her first action was to state that she would only accept that if it was temporary.

If you cannot see anything self defeating than that then I have no more to offer.

It doesn't matter what was set in other clubs' minds, given the opportunity no-one should expect success if they immediately create opposition.

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Cluster OnePosted on7:57 pm - Jun 22, 2020

Remember now, the lowering of the pitch was all about the 8 year old clubs 150 year aniversary.
Will post the link and the mods can remove if they want. All about the drainage and the water table and cost and the view from the club deck that i found interesting. lower the pitch at a cost that would not pay for itself for many years and the ones at the back of the club deck get a restricted view and shafted for their old car park space as half of the Albion car park has been sold off.
Those old debenture holders in the club deck must be wondering why did i ever bother.


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easyJamboPosted on7:59 pm - Jun 22, 2020

Big Pink 22nd June 2020 at 19:21

Sorry to report that the company which is trying to leverage several hundreds of pounds from us for the use of an image (which was only a crowd-shot on a hot day illustrating a comment about record temperatures last August) are not going away and are now threatening legal action.



So the bottom line is that on top of the recent trojan attacks, DoS episodes, and other stuff, if we don’t get a favourable reply from PicRights (something I am not sure a debt collection agency will provide), we may have to close up shop.


That all seems a bit out of order BP, but threats and litigation are the way of the world these days. Keep us up to date with developments, particularly for those making regular contributions.

If the worst comes about then a voluntary liquidation would appear the sensible way out. You can always resurrect the site as “The SFM”, and transfer the posting history. blush  I believe that it is a perfectly normal process.

I’ll return to my “mothballed” status meantime.

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Cluster OnePosted on8:18 pm - Jun 22, 2020

Big Pink 22nd June 2020 at 19:21
Some very jealous people out there see this site has a very healthy daily contribution from old and New posters.

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Cluster OnePosted on8:24 pm - Jun 22, 2020

Big Pink 22nd June 2020 at 19:21
There is an irony in us being forced to liquidate to avoid debts, but we have always been on the margins cash-wise.
easyJambo 22nd June 2020 at 19:59
You can always resurrect the site as “The SFM”, and transfer the posting history.
Irony? change to The SFM.
poetic licence i would call it.

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Big PinkPosted on8:56 pm - Jun 22, 2020


Will keep everyone posted. The company concerned is of the "scour the internet in search of images" variety and appear to be ruthless in pursuit of cash.

Trouble is I really don't believe that this is an IP infringement, but we can't afford the legal fees to find out.

Again, I would ask if there are any legal types on here who could give me a steer on what our rights and responsibilities are. Not sure if good faith arguments come into it, but it is a public forum and I don't see how we should be held liable for something a poster put in a comment.

I know the law is often counter-intuitive. Would like to know if this is one of those instances.

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scottcPosted on9:33 pm - Jun 22, 2020

BP, You might be interested in this article, if you have not already read it. It mentions PicRights specifically. they sound like carpetbaggers




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Big PinkPosted on10:12 pm - Jun 22, 2020

Thanks Scott. On that basis, we’re fecked ?
On the bright side it’s not all that clear what someone putting an embedded link on a comment is. Is it deep linking or is it a frame. It’s neither from my perspective. There is case law in England that suggests it’s not a rebroadcast if we couldn’t be expected to know the source site had published illegally. And the fact that we didn’t use it to make profit.

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easyJamboPosted on10:24 pm - Jun 22, 2020

There appears to be some EU case law that suggests that there is no copyright infringement merely by posting a link to a publicly accessible site.


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Big PinkPosted on11:15 pm - Jun 22, 2020

It was an embedded link that the poster added. Had it been a clickable link it would have been fine, but it was a piece of html injected into the post.
File was never served by us. I get the feeling that the site that was serving the file is beyond the reach of PicRights so they’ve come after us.
If it was £50 I wouldn’t mind, but £600 is not feasible for us.

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stifflersmomPosted on11:15 pm - Jun 22, 2020

32,000 tickets sold. Cash paid and credit applied for. Ordinarily I'd have my doubts; but then companies have a responsibility to investors and shareholders to report the facts; so the MSM cannot be blamed for reporting inaccuracies; if said company issue statements to this effect. Whether they stack up or not is for another day. Based on the inaugural post old-co uptake, the numbers are feasible as much as they are gullible. Gullible 'Math' is important, for example: 1891* – 2003 –  2005 – 2009 – 2010 to ∞ (infinity) = 50. 

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bigboab1916Posted on11:27 pm - Jun 22, 2020

Big Pink 22nd June 2020 at 23:15


Advise them that the image should have contained a protected piece of code in its it's HTML blocking the copying and pasting option or should have contained the copyright infringement notice therefore the person copying and pasting the HTML link to the image on your site was intending or was unintentially causing malice.

Advise you wish to see the copyrighted HTML text and its warning notice that should have alerted  sites the consequences of copyright, however ask them to show their policy regards a third party attaching to another site and the consequences and what filters they have inbedded to alert sites of malicious behaviour. 

The onus is not on you to prove anything and you already have a disclaimer that you are not liable for the actions of others that post standard HTML or any URL that may appear without your knowledge as a copyrighted image, there was no warning when the image appeared that it was an an image that infringed copyright and if it was and brought to your attention then you took the approriate action to remove it.

Fucking chancers

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wottpiPosted on11:54 pm - Jun 22, 2020

Mickey Edwards22nd June 2020 at 19:30

I think that's my point. You keep harping on about it thinking it is going to change anything.

Maybe Budge wasn't tactful in this instance but for me it rates a 2 out of 10 in terms of importance when assessing the cluster£&@k the game finds itself in, not a mention every few posts.

You will of course note that the SPFL are reported today to be considering what is effectively a "temporary adjustment" to the lower divisions "as a consequence of these exceptionsl circumstances".

I wonder where that idea came from? mail

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AuldheidPosted on12:08 am - Jun 23, 2020


Check a post in moderation with advice on the image issue. Looks useful.

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stifflersmomPosted on12:15 am - Jun 23, 2020


I've just read Phil's latest piece and it saddens me. Why the need to consciously and seemingly deliberately, in carefully arranged manner, to single out Morelos?

'Senor Alflredo Jose Morelos Avilez'? '..good to see him back from Columbia and out of quarantine looking suitably svelte and ready for action.? QUARANTINE? Really? Does Phil really not know the difference between quarantine and 'self isolation'? But then, far be it from me to explain the difference in definition between this, I could go on and explain the difference between stenography, journalism and fact. 

Why not just 'Morelos' or 'Alfie' ('Alfie' as he entitles his piece). I for one couldn't have given John Humphreys his full name on Mastermind.

And then he (Phil) in his piece, goes on to refer to the 'Ibrox Klanbase' and … 'Fascists have feelings too you know'. Klanbase? REALLY?

C'mon folks. Besides his racist overtones, Phil's rugger man has kicked his last penalty.

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Big PinkPosted on1:11 am - Jun 23, 2020


Thanks for that. I did see a piece on a legal site that seems to back up what you say.

The problem is that the embedded link in the post was to a site 


I don't know who or what that site is, but if it belongs to the rights holder, there was no warnings about use. Of course if it was a site using an unauthorised copy there is no way we could be expected to know that.

Also worth noting that the site will not serve the image any longer, which suggests that it possible they have belatedly denied access to their own image – something they should have done in the first place.

Being non-legal though, it just seems to me to be unfair that they should expect a fee that is so high for something that is of little consequence. It is a standard shot of football fans at a match.

Not a good exercise in talking up the positive side of human nature

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wottpiPosted on1:32 am - Jun 23, 2020

Big Pink

23rd June 2020 at 01:11

Is it worth reaching out to other football forums and individual clubs fans forums Mods to see if they have encountered a similar issue?

While a believer in cock ups as opposed to conspiracies has hanky panky been ruled out. That being the offending post wasn't placed as a 'sleeper' for these sharks to come along and take action at a later date?

On a lighter note maybe James Anderson might like to help the site out!

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stifflersmomPosted on2:05 am - Jun 23, 2020

Big Pink – PM 


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reasonablechapPosted on7:46 am - Jun 23, 2020

Reading Auldheid's ideas to take the PLC out of Celtic makes you wonder if Peter Lawwell will ever be seen as a positive force by anyone other than the PLC board and DD, the main preference share holder, who rakes in a large six figure sum each year.

There is no chance the PLC will be at all open to conversation of such change as long as the chance to somehow gain access to more lucrative pastures remains in the orbit of Lawwell at the European Club Association (ECA).

Societal shifts nearly always filter downwards. From economics to the age of in your face spin. The broad aims of the main players at the ECA runs more or less parallel to neoliberal economics and unless the whole economic shooting match was to undergo fundamental change away from forever pushing the flow of wealth and power upwards then that same power will, by hook or by crook, hang on in there.


The known unknown is the question of just how bad will the economic situation become in the next few months/years, what it will look like and what actions/changes will result from it.

My guess is that those with far too much concentrated power have known that sooner or later something nasty was coming down the track and if not completely prepared, will have a good broad idea of how to react. In fact, it's probably a matter of speeding up measures already being put in place . It will involve technology and look to better control the population at various levels and different ways.

How would that filter down to football clubs ?

I'd venture that the big PLC's will dominate and those others that manage to continue will significantly downsize becoming part-time/amateur. New generations of supporter will be pointed towards the PLC's and as far as Scottish football is concerned, it'll be unrecognisable compared to today. 

At the moment, there is an upsurge in community spirit and collectives have sprung up and in some cases football clubs have been at the centre of it, eg. Stenhousemuir FC. This is a big positive but the powers that be won't want the idea of collectives to gain much traction and will look for ways to prevent people from coming together and using that power to try and better their lot. Think Thatcher, partly destroying trade unions back at the onset of neoliberalism. The 80's, the last time a club outside the big two Glasgow clubs won the league. 

Generally, it's going to be a period for major shifts/changes and after four decades of accumulated wealth and power, agendas at the big PLC's will be difficult to stop. As far as Celtic PLC are concerned, they have the main bulk of the support where they want them and will point to eg., charitable foundations, in an effort to justify links to the past




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Cluster OnePosted on10:03 am - Jun 23, 2020

Big Pink 22nd June 2020 at 20:56


Will keep everyone posted. The company concerned is of the “scour the internet in search of images” variety and appear to be ruthless in pursuit of cash.
Let’s say i work for said company and in my spare time have a wee read of some sites. Not a lot of cash at the moment so why don’t i post a pic on a site and when i go back into work chase that site up for £600.
Chancers i would call it

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Mickey EdwardsPosted on10:06 am - Jun 23, 2020


"I think that's my point. You keep harping on about it thinking it is going to change anything."

I know that talking about will change nothing but I do believe that there are differing views on the matter that are worthy of respect by all.

In that post also was the first time any acknowledgement from you as to the in/advisability of her stance appeared. From the off you echoed her cries that everyone else was acting under self interest and that was punishing HMFC. Her stance on taking the chair of the working group, by insisting on a temporary fix, was immediately to make public that what she was concerned with was self interest on behalf of her club.

No matter what you think about others already having made up their minds there is no proof of that but what we do have is proof that Ann Budge entered into a no preconditions review insisting that the self interest of HMFC should be accepted as a restriction.

My problem has never been whether the working group would have successfully resulted in reorganisation but the accusations and assertions that followed in which Heart's stance was that everyone else were at fault through their self interest but not Hearts. This is the sort if attitude that we see on a regular basis coming from Ibrox, it is not one that I would expect from Tynecastle.

If the premise made by Hearts that they "could have" reached safety is accepted then we cannot ignore the fact that many other clubs "could have" achieved better. Are we then to accept that they all deserve compensation or that they all should take legal action? Or do you want TRFC to go to court to have Celtic stripped of the title because it "could have" ended up at Ibrox?

What Hearts, Partick and Stranraer have suffered in an attempt to deal with a situation that the pandemic has created is the extreme end of the scale, although it could be argued that TRFC's denial of Champions league income is worse, but all clubs are financially disadvantaged by the pandemic and a good number further disadvantaged by the ending of the leagues. We need to accept that these are exceptional times and how we deal with them can never be perfect. How we move on from here will decide what future damage Scottish football will face.

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wottpiPosted on11:20 am - Jun 23, 2020

Mickey Edwards 23rd June 2020 at 10:06

I agree, due to these unique circumstances,  everybody probably needs to take a hit one way or the other.

The question is how big should that hit be and is it reasonable for the biggest part of that hit to be focussed on a minority of members. (see Auldheids video contribution)

Hearts and Thistle feel the ‘ask’ by the SPFL is far too big. It really is that simple.

On the radio on Saturday it was mentioned that a start of season payment was usually handed out in August.

Premiership teams will receive £660k a piece. Championship clubs £66k. No idea what the minuscule sums are for the lower divisions. 

Therefore the £100k to £200k drop you mention as being suffered by Hibs moving to 7th spot is but a drop in the ocean when compared to a club being relegated from the Premiership in a curtailed season that did not allow them to win or lose on the pitch.

Hearts and Ann Budge have been ahead of the curve in this pandemic.

They were first to realise running costs such as wages would need to be controlled. They took absolute pelters for it in the MSM from commentators pundits and ex players and low and behold, Hibs, Aberdeen etc are all cost cutting and pleading with players to take a cut like its going out of fashion.

Les Gray talked about seeking permanent reconstruction but as we seen yesterday, regards Leagues 1 & 2, football is facing a situation, which Budge highlighted weeks ago in her interview on Radio Scotland, where some teams might not even be able to play. Therefore it is  ‘temporary adjustments’ that are required for a changing situation.

How daft would it have been if 14,10,10,10 had been agreed last week for season 2020/21  only for the end of this week for the SPFL to say no, we are having to go with with 12,10,16, mothballed? 

If Stranraer say they can play next season and others can’t will they be included in  League 1, expanded or otherwise, or will their relegation stand? If playing in League 1 they will effectively have been spared relegation, through circumstances outwith their control and not by results on the pitch.

Meanwhile they could be playing against Partick Thistle who will have been relegated through circumstances outwith their control and not by results on the pitch.

Now the results may have been exactly the same at the end of the day but I am assuming this is the thrust of the Hearts / Partick petition. 

If getting money to the clubs was the main priority you could have a) dealt with it by loans or advance payments or b) call the leagues and splashed the cash. However, you could have declared champions and  agreed (or at least pencilled in)  the Euro slots but kept promotion and relegation and potential league structures on the back burner until a clearer position on the virus situation was known. That would have given everyone time to assess where they were and how best the league, as a whole, would progress.

Instead we have these piecemeal decisions being made with all the required information regards clubs intentions for 2020/21 unknown and sudden deadlines popping up all over the place. 

Never a good way to make the best decisions.

As I discussed a few weeks ago, in the event of mothballing how do you then deal with promotion, and more so relegation from an expanded League 1 to get back to 12,10,10,10. 

Is it fair that , lets say, Edinburgh City, Elgin and Cowdenbeath could find themselves jumping from league 2 into League 1 for 2020/21 and then, over a shortened number of games, achieve spots in the top of that division thus securing League 1 football for 2021/22 when in normal circumstances they may have still been fighting it out in League 2.

The resolution on 10 April was supposed to be designed to draw a line under things, pay out money and give a degree of certaintly regards how best to plan going forward.

We are now at 23 June and still there is no obvious plan or clear solutions for how the SPFL are dealing with this crisis for the good of the game and their members, as a whole.



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