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.

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About Auldheid

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 thoughts on “Sweet Little Lies

  1. ‘John Clark 27th June 2020 at 22:13

    What a dab hand you are at finding source material, Cluster One! Thanks for that.

    I’m not aware of any sanction having been applied by the SFA to any Scottish club for going to Court, or to the SFA for not taking action in any such case…’


    There have been several references to RFC’s (now RFC2012) court action against the SFA in 2012.

    This was a Judicial Review of the process and reach of the SFA in giving RFC a transfer ban & fine. It was not an appeal against the result of the process, but a legal examination of the method used to decide the extent of the punishment, given the SFA’s published protocols.

    Over to Lord Glennie:


    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.’

    Lord Glennie found with RFC. The SFA had given RFC punishments which were beyond the scope/scale of those included in their current (at 2012) JPP. The SFA were to reconsider said punishments. Did they? I’m not sure (from memory) that they did. 

  2. Homunculus 27th June 2020 at 23:37

    While Hearts and Thistle are the 2 petitioners it is still  3 v 3 in terms of those affected by the SPFL board's resolution. That's why Stranraer are named in the petition along with Dundee Utd, Raith & Cove.

    The court has been asked to weigh up the level of prejudice by electing to relegate 3 clubs without a whole season being played. The simple corollary of that position is that promotion for 3 other clubs can't happen either. (Without as you say- some other solution such as reconstruction)

    For the petitioners the test of unfairness, as viewed by a reasonable person, has been aided by the public utterances of SPFL board member Les Gray.

    While the vote to alter articles/rules is legitimate it may be considered unfair and prejudicial if key information has been withheld or underhand tactics were used. That's the thrust of the petition.

    Football done away with games of chance (tossing of a coin) long ago in favour of deciding matters on the pitch. Eg The unfinished Euro ties will go to a single leg but it is still on the pitch.

    That being said the PPG approach could be seen by the court as being reasonable.  It is interesting the petitioners avoid making a play on that and focus on a cackhanded process for the resolution

    I think the petitioners can prove unfairness but, like you I think the prejudice issue is a bit harder.

    You could even see Lord Clark giving the SPFL a slap across their wrists for their handling of the resolution but still say the result would probably have been the same regardless.

    In the petitionrs favour is that, given the EU wide principles in the Companies Act,  even without a Doncaster in charge, other countries have seen courts side with relegated clubs. Compensation has been paid or court action is likely to be ongoing even if the footballing authorities have pushed ahead.

    Not counting any chickens though as the law can be a funny old thing in Scotland!!

  3. We all like a bit of irony on here.

    How many times have you heard Doncaster say "The SPFL are the club's and if they want something we in the board will do it"

    Now clubs want to see the papers but Doncaster says he must fall in line with the law ( or his and Mackenzie's interpretation).

    That is because the SPFL is not a members organisation. It is a company with shareholders – the clubs.

  4. Jingso.Jimsie 28th June 2020 at 10:03
    Lord Glennie found with RFC. The SFA had given RFC punishments which were beyond the scope/scale of those included in their current (at 2012) JPP. The SFA were to reconsider said punishments. Did they? I’m not sure (from memory) that they did.
    The judge accepted the club’s case that only the specific punishments laid down under the related rule should be imposed on the club for bringing the game into disrepute.

    The explicit punishments stated in the SFA’s rule 66 are a maximum £100,000 fine, suspension or expulsion from participation in the game, ejection from the Scottish Cup or termination of membership.

    The independent three-man SFA disciplinary panel had considered ending Rangers’ membership, saying they viewed the offence second only to match-fixing in terms of seriousness,
    Any one of these punishments that were in the rules would have killed the new club.
    The SFA appeal tribunal, decision that a transfer ban was appropriate punishment for a failure to pay more than £13million in tax , was the softest of punishments that they could give the ibrox club, and they still never agreed to it, only when they had no other choice to agree to a transfer ban or face the choice of the punishments that were in the rules that would have killed them did they comply.
    The choice was. Agree to the softest of punishments of a transfer ban that never kicked in until later in the year and you could still play trialists, and you get your membership.
    And if you don’t agree we have no other choice than to give you the punishments that are in the rules, that will kill you.
    You can see why they agreed to a lesser punishment of a transfer ban in the end after all their sabre rattling.

  5. John Clark 27th June 2020 at 22:13

    Cluster One 27th June 2020 at 14:47, 14.32, and 14.17

    ‘..Again to late to edit’


    What a dab hand you are at finding source material, Cluster One! Thanks for that.
    Would have gave a wee thumb up there.;-)

  6. Cluster One @ 1144hrs:

    Perhaps I should have used the word ‘outwith’ rather ‘beyond’ when referencing the scope & scale of punishments available.

    However (to me, at least), the simple fact is that the SFA were adjudged to have acted ‘ultra vires’ in the punishment of RFC.

    The rest that followed from the SFA was panicked little men, out of their depth, splashing about hopeful that their feet would strike some solid ground before the big wave rolled in.  

  7. wottpi 28th June 2020 at 10:59

    The court has been asked to weigh up the level of prejudice by electing to relegate 3 clubs without a whole season being played.


    The whole season was played. No matter how many times people say otherwise.

    The rules do not specify a number of games or dates for the season. The length of a season can be varied, and the clubs agreed that the rest of the games could not be played. The season was therefore curtailed. 

    People clearly don’t like this concept and it may be counter intuitive but it is also in the rules. 

    The bottom line for Scotland is we simply don’t have enough money to do what some other countries have done. Play the games behind closed doors with frequent Covid testing for players, staff, match officials etc. The clubs could not afford to do this, they also needed the prize money paid out, just to keep trading, so the difficult decision was made. The season was finished.

    Yes some clubs lost out on this, Rangers were arguable the biggest losers, as it was still possible that they could have won the league, and made it into the CL. However what Hearts and Partick Thistle are now doing is saying that other clubs should take the hit, not them. Either that or every club in the league should pay them compensation.

    So the Hearts and Partick Thistle proposal is this. Rather than prejudice us, prejudice three other clubs, who have done nothing wrong. Or prejudice absolutely everyone else.

    I do not see on what basis a Court would do that.

    The other solution I suppose is the SPFL inviting both clubs to find another league to play in. 


  8. Jingso.Jimsie 28th June 2020 at 12:12
    They had a few choices and all brought panic.
    1. To make it believable you are the same club, for your crimes we have to punish you and the rules state that these are the punishments. But anyone of these punishments will kill you.
    2. You are a new club and wee can’t punish you. But you don’t want it known you are a new club.
    3. We will get a panel together that can come up with a punishment that is not in the rules that won’t kill you.
    Again it was just another SFA balls up, and make rules up as they went along to try and save a club playing out of ibrox. the ibrox club were that stupid they were trying for as less of a punishment as they could get for all their cheating instead of looking at it as we won a watch keep our heads down and get on with it.

  9. Homunculus 28th June 2020 at 12:21

    wottpi 28th June 2020 at 10:59
    The bottom line for Scotland is we simply don’t have enough money to do what some other countries have done. Play the games behind closed doors with frequent Covid testing for players, staff,
    Think i read somewhere 20 to 30 grand a week. a lot of money with no income through the gates. how many SPFL clubs could afford that. Not many, and if many can’t afford it there was no other choice than to call league.

  10. To late to Edit. Again.
    Even at that there was no test kits available months ago.

  11. Homunculus28th June 2020 at 12:21

    I agree that the SPFL board seemed to  have it in their power, within the rules, to call the league.

    Main questions are, did they have the rights/powers to promote and relegate in the circumstances with a significant number of games still to play and did they go about giving themselves such powers regarding the follow on  of ending the league early the correct way.

    Last week, in potentially looking to seek executive powers, Doncaster admitted the SPFL rules were not fit for purpose to deal with events such as this Covid 19 situation.

    Their own QC advice was that what they were proposing held the risk of legal challenge. The vote on the resolution  was designed to lessen that risk should the matter come to court, because, as you point out, the board could have tried to fly solo without reference to the club's.

    They and now you seem surprised that the potential legal challenge has emerged.

    If there wasn't questions to be answered the I doubt there would have been any petition.

    Yes a vote took place but, rules is rules and the law is the law. The petitioners are wholly within their rights to challenge the SPFL. Whether they win or lose is another matter. 

    As discussed previously the emotion needs to be taken out of this. The petition seeks to address the unfairness and predjudice allegedly suffered by Hearts and Patrick.

    That is their sole objective. However there is a natural legal consequence for others if the petition proceeds and  then  succeeds. That will not be Hearts & Patrick's doing but merely the outcome of the legal process. That is why four other clubs are mentioned in the petition.

    I would assume, if it comes to it,  Lord Clark will weigh up the pros and cons for all six clubs. Indeed he will also no doubt have to consider if the compensation being requested is reasonable and the effect on the league as a whole.

    (BTW with a five year £160m TV deal agreed there is plenty monies available to pay £10m. Maybe not now in one go but easily done in the future and in easy instalments).

    If the court finds for the petitioners who is it that the three promotion candidates or the whole 40 clubs having to pay compensation will go after? 

    I cant see it being Hearts and Partick. It will be either the SPFL or an appeal against the legal ruling.

    Hearts/Partick owned a car. It is alleged  SPFL took the car when they had no power to do so and passed it onto Dundee Utd/Raith. Hearts/Partick want their car back or if not now possible  seek monies from a compensation scheme. Court reviews evidence and  tells D Utd/Raith to hand back the car. In that scenario are we to see Hearts/Partick as the bad guys? To whom would DUtd and Raith be best to direct their fury to?

    Court finds SPFL had a right to take the car back and do what they want with it. Probable result –   end of story for all parties, move along, nothing to see here……..Until the next time !!

  12. wottpi 28th June 2020 at 14:40

    I am not surprised that Hearts and Partick Thistle are attempting a legal challenge. I'm not sure what makes you think that. Hearts have pretty much said that, or at least implied it, for quite some time. 

    However, no matter how you try to spin it what they are doing is saying "prejudice every other club in the league, not us".

    Your "There's plenty money there anyway" argument is specious. The question is not, is there £10m there to give to two clubs. It's what else would you do with that money to benefit all 42 clubs.

  13. Homunculus28th June 2020 at 16:38

    I'm not spinning anything.

    As you say both Hearts & Partick were quick of the mark in mid April saying they believed they had a legal challenge.

    At that time I can't recall them saying no promotion or relegation was their aim or even in their sights.

    A temporary adjustment was Budge's preferred option.

    Now it is where it is the lawyers will have simply put forward what they believe is the best approach to win the case.

    Are you suggesting they back down because now, at the 11th hour, folk now realise others might get hurt because of a potentially flawed process.

    The SMSM have spun that's it all about trying to do harm to the majority but ignore the principle of the majority being able to do harm to the minority.

    As mentioned plenty times, if you are expected to 'take one for the team' then mitigation is nearly always offered.

    Be it the minority Res12 shareholders or querying why Dave King is always diluting the fans minority shareholding, this site has always had a soft spot for David v Goliath battles.

    I don't see any difference here.

    The relegated teams have been treated unfairly and been told to take their medicine, so of course they are going to fight back and to hang with the consequences.

    A decent organisation would not have put members in a 'nothing to lose and everything to gain' scenario.

  14. wottpi 28th June 2020 at 17:35

    There was a no (or little) detriment option, which the SPFL board tried to get through.

    Reconstruction with no relegation, and promotion going ahead. In fact in that Scenario ICT would probably have been promoted as well.

    The fact that is not going ahead is not the board's fault. They tried to get it agreed.

    It is  the clubs who did not want it, insisting on it being a temporary move would not have helped the argument.

    So "A decent organisation would not have put members in a 'nothing to lose and everything to gain' scenario." is a bit unfair on the board. 

    The only "no detriment" option was taken away from them. The only option then available is to minimise the damage and in this instance they did the best they could. If a Court decides the two teams should get £10m from everyone else then so be it. 

    For clarity, I have no issue with Hearts or Partick Thistle doing this. I do have a bit of a problem with Anne Budge's attitude towards the others.  I don't think she won much support for the reconstruction plan.

  15. Homunculus28th June 2020 at 17:52

    Reconstruction was an after thought, not a first 'do no harm' option for all members.

    As such there was no leadership on the matter fron the SPFL board.

    If it was a serious consideration wouldn't you normally have expected a £400k a year CEO leading the charge?

    No, even then he shat it and passed the buck to Budge and put in Gray as his lackey!

    The leadership of the SPFL in terms of leadership and legal advisor are the same corrupt bunch that Turnbull Hutton called out in 2012.

    If it's the club's opinions / wishes that matter then they don't need to pay anyone £400k to just do the admin work.

    I didnt hear all of Saturday's Sportsound but am led to believe Falkirks guy said in the latter stages Livingston promoted 14,10,10,10 then voted against it.

    This is what we are having to deal with!!


  16. wottpi 28th June 2020 at 19:12


    I disagree, from the start the feeling I got was that reconstruction was the desired outcome for the board. Maybe that was just me. 

    They certainly gave the impression they wanted it when it got to the stage of asking the clubs. If anything people seemed to think they were going to try to push it through. 

    The clubs have decided against it. Hearts and Partick Thistle are seeking to have the relegation /  promotion put aside, with other clubs losing out. Alternatively being compensated by everyone else. Though agreeing the league could not be finished on the park hasn't really helped their case in my view. 

    There is no going back now, neither side (three if you count the other three clubs) look like backing down.

    We will just have to see what the Court has to say, if it is willing to get involved at all.

    It will be up to the Scottish football authorities to decide what action they take against the clubs. I believe the rules limit their options. 

  17. wottpi 28th June 2020 at 14:40

    Homunculus28th June 2020 at 12:21

    I agree that the SPFL board seemed to have it in their power, within the rules, to call the league.

    Main questions are, did they have the rights/powers to promote and relegate in the circumstances with a significant number of games still to play and did they go about giving themselves such powers regarding the follow on of ending the league early the correct way.

    Last week, in potentially looking to seek executive powers, Doncaster admitted the SPFL rules were not fit for purpose to deal with events such as this Covid 19 situation.
    SPFL, SFA the then SPL and SFL rules are never fit for purpose, when something out of the ordinary happens it’s panic stations no forward thinking whatsoever, no planning ahead for different senarios that might happen. Just what is it they do all day?
    Was watching something the other week about Tesco i think and the thing is that they had a senario planned if ever such a thing as a pandemic was to occur, and when it did they were ahead of the game in every aspect. They had a group of thinkers that plan ahead for every thing out of the ordinary.
    The governing bodies of our game do not have this intelligence to think this far ahead they just sit in their bunkers and wait for the next unexplained thing to happen then hit the panic button and make up some rules as the go along.

  18. Cluster One28th June 2020 at 21:11

    Thanks CO. Thought for a while I am the only one thinking this.

    The footballing authorities in this country, and admittedly, some of the club's have no long term view.

    Its all short term fixes for whatever problem presents itself from season to season.

    Our record in Europe and the National team performance is evidence of failure.

    The resolution was just another short term fix to get money to the teams with apparently little or no thought of the future consequences. 

  19. I have tried to stay out the debate on the court case, but I’d like to clarify some things that have been discussed earlier today.

    From the Briefing Paper to the SPFL Board (pre vote)

    “Neither the SPFL Articles or the SPFL Rules make any provision for the Season completing prior to the playing of 38 Premiership Matches per Club and 36 such matches in the other Divisions”

    It goes on to discuss how the season may be ended, citing Articles 64.1 (a written resolution) and 99.9 (Powers of the Board).

    Rod McKenzie had reservations about the use of 99.9 to end the season.

    “Rod McKenzie is not convinced that Article 99.9 can be employed to bring the season to a premature end, although he is satisfied that it can be used to determine the outcomes of such a determination”

    That seems to be the substance of why the option of a written resolution was used, although the consequential outcomes would appear to have been at the behest of the Board.

    The Briefing Paper also gives some background of why reconstruction was not included directly as part of the resolution, but only as something to be considered should the resolution be passed.

    The Paper recognises the possibility or restructuring

    ” ……. an enlargement of the Premiership, might offer the opportunity for champion Clubs to be determined in each division, for promotion to be retained in the Championship, League 1 and League 2, and for relegation to to be avoided for all Clubs.”

    However, the Paper goes on to outline several reasons not to restructure.

    “……   a 14-team Premiership would require a very early split ………. any such restructuring involves substantial problems”  

    “It would require the consent of our media partners”

    “It is extremely doubtful whether any agreement to restructuring ……… could be achieved quickly”

    “It is highly likely that any such discussion with our media partners would be linked to discussions around compensation for properties not delivered in Season 2019/20”

    “League Restructuring would require a very high threshold of votes to be received in favour of any model of restructuring. Experience has shown that it is very difficult to achieve consensus behind any reconstruction proposal, let alone quickly.”

    “The result …… would almost certainly be a substantial delay to any resolution of Season 2019/20 and a consequent delay in our ability to make further Fee payments to Member Clubs – perhaps resulting in a number of them suffering an Insolvency Event” 

    “As a result League restructuring is considered incompatible with the assumed (and in some cases stated) objectives of our Member Clubs, i.e. early resolution of Season 2019/20 and accelerated fee payments for the same Season”

    A number of the above claims and reasons appear to be inconsistent with what has happened subsequently.

    I hope that the above adds some clarity about why the SPFL Board included some elements in the written resolution and left out others. Rule changes were required to end the season. The SPFL Board chose which rules they wanted to change and equally so, not to change others.

    I have not touched on the financial considerations about the early termination of media contracts or the implications for the new contracts, although I would expect these to be covered by the petitioners in the court case.

  20. The ND letter to clubs suggested that they will be asking the court to "sist" proceedings to allow the SFA to arbitrate the dispute.

    The Briefing Paper also includes extracts from the opinion of the SPFL's own QC, Gerry Moynihan, where he states:

    "Given the serious financial consequences for clubs I fear that any course of action may result in one club or another litigating. Waiting may simply defer the inevitable. Even declaring the season void would require a decision to that effect from someone and would be controversial for some. Invoking Artcle 64.1 at least gives the comfort of a democratic mandate and if the outcome is challenged then the ultimate decision will lie with the courts"  

    So we have the SPFL's own QC advising the Board that ultimately it will be for the Courts to decide if the outcome of the resolution is challenged.  There is no suggestion of such a challenge falling within the remit of the SFA's arbitration process.

  21. Cluster One

    I would suggest that to compare the SPFL contingency planning with that of Tesco is very unfair. There is no doubt that Tesco has performed well but they “play” for 52 weeks every year, 24 hours a day. They had revenue last year of nearly £64 billion pounds. They have over 3000 stores in the UK and for example Inverness has 4 with another 20 minutes further north in Dingwall, which helped keep me and my family fed during lockdown. 

    If looking for comparisons it might be fairer to compare Tesco and the other supermarket chains with the response of Governments but I’ll not go any further with that on SFM. 

    My personal opinion is that our football administrators, faced with events that brought the footballing world to a standstill overnight, had a lot more foresight than the agenda driven media will ever give them credit for.

    That said mistakes have been made but even Tesco had difficulties with keeping some goods on the shelves in the early weeks! Remember also that Tesco are ultimately motivated by self interest too! 

  22. adam812 28th June 2020 at 23:26
    I would suggest that to compare the SPFL contingency planning with that of Tesco is very unfair. There is no doubt that Tesco has performed well but they “play” for 52 weeks every year, 24 hours a day.
    Very busy then, but still have time to plan ahead.SPFL should have all the time in the world then for contingency planning. 2012 would have been a wake up call, or should have been a wake up call that their rules were not fit for purpose.
    The comparison may have been off, but if you want to play with the big boys and act like a big company you have to get people in that can plan ahead, like Tesco did and not sit back and hope that a disaster will not befall you, because if you do it most certainly will.
    That said mistakes have been made, but do they ever learn from them? 2012 has shown that the don’t.

  23. Cluster One28th June 2020 at 23:51

    Even the events of 2012 have been forgotten by the SPFL.

    From the bit I heard on the radio on Saturday SPFL secretary was speaking about how the made up the fixtures.

    Without  any pause,  hesitation or qualification he mentioned the need to cater for the  "4 Old Firm Games" as if neither team can finish bottom six or could suffer an event such  as poor on field performance, financial or otherwise, that results in points loses, demotion, liquidation, etc.


  24. wottpi@various

    I still have difficulty with you claiming that a temporary reconstruction should have happened.

    The reconstruction issue was handed to Ann Budge to run with without a "temporary/permanent" restriction on it. The first thing she did was insist that it could only be temporary. In doing so she immediately alienated those in the "permanent" camp, pretty well guaranteeing the failure of the working group. Yes, it probably would have failed anyway but, through the legal action, she is saying that it was all the SPFL's fault. A strange viewpoint. I know next to nothing about the law but surely the SPFL could say to the court that they DID give Hearts the opportunity for reconstruction but they hampered a successful outcome by their stance.

    "No, even then he shat it and passed the buck to Budge and put in Gray as his lackey!"

    Now you really are stretching it too far. You have no proof of the thinking behind the decision to have a working group and instead use an invented reason that is tainted by your view of being hard done by. Your  reference to Gray's position is insulting and shows you in a very poor light.

    Stick to the facts.

  25. adam812 28th June 2020 at 23:26

    “..My personal opinion is that our football administrators, faced with events that brought the footballing world to a standstill overnight, had a lot more foresight than the agenda driven media will ever give them credit for.”


    I respectfully disagree,adam812.

    A glance at the 7 reasons cited by  the SPFL board for not restructuring [seeeasyJambo 28th June 2020 at 22:31 ] shows a disgraceful level hand-wringing  spineless, gutless negativity and lack of any kind of  leadership quality at a time of great crisis. 

    Around the world bold, but careful leadership found ways, or at least tried to find ways , to harness the ‘we are all in it together’ readiness to survive the effects of Covid-19.

    The SPFL in panic mode charged recklessly down a divisive and (probably unlawful) path without even an attempt to encourage and maintain effective harmony in the face of a crisis which was not occasioned by Football and really has to be dealt with by extraordinary means, for the good of all.

    And they made an absolute  farce of it, as even they now realise.

    The members of the SPFL Board should do the decent thing and resign en bloc.

    But accustomed as they are to having helped create and sustain the Big Lie  decency is not one of their attributes. 

  26. The other thing I can't get my head around is the lose/lose situation that Hearts could find themselves in at the end of the legal action.

    In attempting to stop the promotion and relegation for this season through the courts they can either –

    Lose the case and be faced with the legal costs


    Win the case and have a potential bill from Stendel. They took advantage of a clause in his contract that allowed termination if they were relegated and have since signed a new manager. That clause will not be applicable if they win in court. Stendel remained at Hearts without taking his wages to help the club during the pandemic and stated he would be prepared to stay with the club in the championship. If I were him I don't think I would still be filled with good will towards the club and be would looking for recompense. But then I am not him and maybe he doesn't the same appetite for revenge.

    It doesn't matter if you argue that what the clubs are looking for is compensation. It is what is being asked for, a halt to relegation/promotion, from the court.

    It's a strange situation, accepting the relegation with regard to their manager and not accepting the relegation with their legal action.

  27. Mickey Edwards 29th June 2020 at 10:03

    My  point, possibly clumsily made, was that if reconstruction was a priority you would expect a £400k CEO to take a lead on the main issue affecting our game.

    I am questioning what exactly is it that Doncaster does to earn his salary. He hasn’t shown any particular leadership or dynamism in dealing with this crisis.

    From what Easyjambo has posted, of course trying to deal with this crisis was never going to be easy but the league’s CEO seems to have body swerved it and fallen back on his ‘get out’ excuse of ‘ I just do whatever it is the clubs want”

    If you want facts regards self interest and double speak here are the thoughts of Falkirk Chairman Gary Deans. Comes across as an honest broker who has been in the game one year and has it sussed already.

    A FORMER partner with accountancy giant KPMG and a business advisor for over 30 years, Gary Deans is vastly experienced when it comes to dealing with challenging figures.

    But never has a single calculation caused the Falkirk chairman as much anguish as the one confirmed by the SPFL on April 15, 2020.

    When the 42 league clubs voted to curtail the season early, due to Covid-19, Falkirk sat one point behind League One leaders Raith Rovers.

    Under the points-per-game formula, the Bairns missed out on promotion to the Championship by just 0.36 of a point — a fractionally smaller margin than the 0.37 of a point that saw Partick Thistle relegated from the second tier while two points adrift of second bottom Queen of the South but with a game in hand.

    With uncertainty over when — or, indeed, if — the season would restart in the lower two divisions, Thistle and Falkirk both found themselves staring at a spell in the sporting wilderness in the middle of a global pandemic.

    Yet, while Thistle’s plight has since taken centre stage as the Firhill club launched legal action against the SPFL in tandem with Hearts, Falkirk feel they have taken on the role of forgotten victims in the saga.

    First appointed to the Bairns board last summer, Deans’ first year in football has been an ugly eye-opener into the double-speak and self-interest that he believes scars the national game.

    The manner in which talks over league reconstruction, aimed at ensuring no team was left punished by the pandemic, crashed and burned even left him briefly considering — but ultimately rejecting — personally boycotting other League One clubs next season.

    However, after rejecting launching legal action of their own, Falkirk now plan to put all available resources into wreaking revenge on the pitch in the new season. ‘Are Falkirk the forgotten victims in all of this? That’s how it feels,’ Deans told Sportsmail.

    ‘We’ve been left behind and I’ve told (SPFL chief executive) Neil Doncaster and others that. But to be fair, Inverness, Airdrie and Edinburgh City would probably all say the same.

    My real disappointment is that when they called the season early, they also cancelled the play-offs. ‘Look at England, they are now playing the play-offs. Other countries are managing to do it as well.

    ‘So, without having too much of a chip on our shoulder, once again Falkirk feel like the victims.

    ‘We did think about legal action.

    But the arguments for Hearts and Partick Thistle is about unfair relegation and the consequences of that unfair relegation.

    ‘I’ve a lot of sympathy with that argument and I understand why they are doing it because it’s the last card they have got to play.

    ‘But our position is different. We have not been relegated and we have not suffered the same financial hit as Hearts or Partick Thistle and we didn’t feel we had a strong enough case. Do we spend money on lawyers or on the playing squad? We would rather concentrate on winning the league next season.

    ‘But I do genuinely feel aggrieved with some clubs and with some of the individuals and some of the statements that have been made in the past three months.

    ‘I think the lack of feeling (towards fellow clubs) has been astonishing. ‘I’ve only been in football a year but it’s been ugly at times. ‘People saying one thing and then doing another seems to be the norm. I think in some instances we have seen the worst possible behaviours.

    ‘I know there have been rumours of fans boycotting certain clubs and I thought maybe I’ll boycott the odd club that has said the odd thing — and I’ll not name them.

    ‘But then I thought: “Would I rather turn up and see them get humiliated?”. Yes, I would. If I am sitting in the stand and we are winning 5-0 then that’s going to give me a better feeling than sitting in the house and nursing my grievances.

    ‘I don’t want to see any team suffer financially. But I would like to see them suffer (on the park) because Falkirk are giving them a hiding.’ As Sportsmail exclusively revealed earlier this week, League One and Two are set to start a shortened 27-game season on October 17, playing three times against each opponent. It’s further understood the Betfred Cup is due to commence on October 3. The failure of reconstruction means Falkirk won’t meet Raith Rovers on league duty next season but the Fife club are one of the clubs Deans (pictured left) was left dismayed by during the revamp talks.

    Despite initially expressing sympathy towards the plight of the Bairns, the Stark’s Park side voted against the proposed 14-10-10-10 set-up, which ultimately gathered the backing of just 16 of the 42 clubs.

    I was really disappointed (by the Raith Rovers vote),’ said Deans. ‘We had good conversations with (Raith chairman) Bill Clark on the reconstruction group and we spoke about making sure we could get league reconstruction through to benefit all clubs.

    ‘So for that to happen — and other clubs, not just Raith Rovers — to vote against league reconstruction was disappointing. That was not what we believed was going to be the case.’ For Deans, recent events have shown that the way the professional game is run in this country does not stand up to scrutiny.

    Yet, if even a global pandemic is not enough to effect meaningful change in Scottish football, then he fears reform to be an impossible dream.

    ‘It’s been a mess,’ he said. ‘There’s not many neutrals in Scottish football but anyone looking in from the outside would find it incredible.

    ‘The structure has been found not fit for purpose and the inflexibility and inability to be able to cope with a crisis has been shown up.

    ‘This was a structure that was put in place in relatively good times and it suited a particular purpose at that time.

    ‘But when structures are stress-tested that’s when you find out how good they are — and this one is poor.

    ‘I’m conscious about saying “it’s a mess” and “let’s fix it” but then saying: “I don’t know what the answers are”.

    ‘I think a proper working group needs to be put together. You get external consultants in from other leagues, other sports, people with real expertise, and find out how they operate and how to get a structure that’s commercially better as well as fairer for all clubs.

    ‘I think it needs reformed but whether you can ever get that reform is another matter.

    ‘It needs proper thought and consideration to change things — but I do fear that change is almost impossible.

    ‘If you’ve got the voting structures that we currently have in Scottish football then it’s extremely difficult to get change.

    ‘The thing is, everyone you speak to seems to think that Scottish football needs fixed — just not right now.

    ‘But, if you are not going to change amid a global pandemic, then when are you going to change? ‘There are regular debates on the radio and newspapers about improving Scottish football and raising good, young players.

    ‘Now we’ve got a situation where academies are being cut — and Falkirk have done that in the past — and youth development is going to be set back for a couple of years.

    ‘What we have is a chance to draw a line, start again and rebuild Scottish football. But I’m not optimistic that chance is going to be taken.

    ‘There are good people in Scottish football but the good people get lost when the other people start shouting.’

    (This article first appeared in the Scottish Daily Mail on June 25, 2020)

  28. wottpi 29th June 2020 at 00:33

    '..Without  any pause,  hesitation or qualification he mentioned the need to cater for the  "4 Old Firm Games" as if neither team can finish bottom six '


    Ach, wottpi, an organisation which can blatantly lie about a new club being one and the same as a much older club that died as a consequence of serial sports cheating would not find it too difficult to accommodate the failure of either cheek of the stinking ar.e of football to remain in the top six. 

    Any necessary re-jigging would be arranged without a blush, believe you me. 

  29. Mickey Edwards 29th June 2020 at 10:20

    As it stands Hearts are relegated. That's it – contract over. Players have already been let go to prepare for life in the Championship and the new financial position. Hard decisions have to be made.

    I think Hearts performance re Stendel was perhaps on the poor side with regard to the manner in which Neilson was appointed but his contractual position will be sorted one way or the other behind closed doors regardless of how the petition goes.

    I doubt you will see any more spoken of the matter.

    If you were so interested in the goings on at Hearts you would have known Stendel tweeted on 23 June as follows:-

    Due to Covid-19 and the decision of the SPFL to end the league and send Hearts to the Championship my contract at Hearts is not valid anymore.  

    Although my stay at this wonderful club was rather short (and much shorter than expected) I really appreciated working for that club.

    "I was working trustfully together with the board, enjoyed that city and the enthusiastic supporters and sportive-wise we were on the right track also. Unfortunately we couldn't follow up and continue our path together.

    "I wish this great club, all their employees and fans all the best for the future, hopefully you can promote shortly again and we will see each other again one day at Tynecastle. Stay safe and healthy everyone, Daniel

    I don't get the impression he is a man to be too worried about this. Probably glad he got out of Hearts and Scottish Football when he did.

  30. It doesn't matter who is wheeled out to say how hard done by they feel because the leagues were called as result of COVID19 my position is still the same – I support reconstruction.

    My point is that the opportunity was given for the affected teams to get the reconstruction they requested. Probably an impossible task but it was guaranteed to fail by them placing restrictions on the outcome. Other peoples' u-turns or, as in the case of Doncaster, failure to commit is no more than par for the course and, while frustrating, neither here nor there.

    As to Stendel, I read his farewells, which was before the legal action was started, and I also read his interview stating that he was prepared to work in the championships.

    Now, back to my genealogy.

  31. From the BBC


    Budge is very keen to stress her proposal is a short-term measure and reconstruction is only temporary. Unless enough clubs vote otherwise, the structure would return to 12-10-10-10 in the summer of 2022.

    This idea is not popular with several clubs contacted by BBC Scotland, who point out that it could mean three clubs being relegated from the Premiership that season, and six demoted from the Championship. Are those who that would endanger going to support that?

    One senior club official said that he was "sad" about the proposals, adding: "We had a real chance for change – but a two-year deal?"

  32. Change is needed and the fans want larger leagues and not just for a season.

    The change won't come from within though.

    The current set up is not capable of change because of the voting structure and the entrenched and entwined power bases.

    We have effectively a two club top league and a gentleman's club structure stopping any significant or structural change and dominated to all purposes by a few clubs with placemen and friends in all key positions.

    TV money and one fixture four times a year is all that seems to matter to our well paid administrators.

    What we've seen since covid has been predictable and the end, whatever the detail after the spat that starts on Wednesday, will leave us all the poorer.

    Scottish Football has itself and our clubs turn by turn into Lose-Lose land with no preferable options and no sensible outcomes or compromises.

  33. "Major changes to insolvency law come into force

    The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act has received Royal Assent and came into force on 26 June 2020."



    There may be some in the world of football who will be glad of this:

    "The Act also provides temporary relief until 30 September 2020 from being subject to a winding up petition and from wrongful trading provisions where a business can demonstrate its difficulties arise from trading conditions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. These easements are explained in more detail in a series of factsheets.

    Changes to company filing and meeting requirements have also been introduced to relieve the burden on businesses during the pandemic and allow them to focus all their efforts on continuing to operate.


    Published 29 June 2020


  34. It's been a quiet day on the blog but with some perceptive posts. 

    So I've had a minute or two to return to my weary  saga with the FCA!

    I give you (free of charge) the text of an email I intend to send tomorrow to the FCA( I can't do it now  because there has been a fuse upstairs where the printer is! I had a lousy wee dribble of a shower a little earlier on!)

    "Dear Ms ____

    Thank you for your email of 19 June in which you observe that  "however, without seeing an original copy of the email (as an attachment), I do not have enough information to reconsider my decision on your complaint"

    I am sorry to appear to be  a bit dense, but I'm afraid you've rather lost me there! Of which email do you need to see an original copy?

    The first email I sent in this matter was my email in response to Mr Pete Scrivener's letter of 6 September 2019 , in which he said that neither the Chairman nor the then CEO had received my posted letters and reminders to them, and asked me to  provide copies either by letter or (' for a more timely response') by email. (I attach a copy of that letter from him as evidence of the existence of the earlier letters I had written to Messrs Bailey and Randell)

    I responded by email, and subsequently copied that email (with the texts of the original snail mail letters) to you, on 18 May. 

    To keep things relatively simple:

    I complained that the FCA had breached its statutory duties when it authorised the issue of what I consider to have been a misleading IPO prospectus by Rangers International Football Club plc[RIFC plc] in 2012.

    That is a serious matter, a serious complaint.

    [And I de novo make the same complaint afresh, to keep the pot boiling.]

    It would not have taken too much investigation for the FCA to look again at that prospectus in light of the fact that RIFC plc was the holding company NOT of Rangers FC ( founded in 1872) but of 'The Rangers Football Club Ltd', freshly admitted into Scottish Professional Football in 2012, while Rangers FC of 1872 died the death of entering Liquidation , from which it has not yet emerged!

    In the opinion of many, the prospectus clearly implied that potential investors would be investing in 'the most successful football club in the world' when in fact they would be investing in a newly created football club, which had only just been accepted into Scottish Football ,and  into the bottommost division thereof to boot!

    I have had no response to that complaint, and no assurance that it is being investigated by persons not involved in the authorisation of that prospectus. 

    I'm not too bothered about complaining about how long this matter is taking, except in so far as it might possibly indicate reluctance to investigate for reasons that would be quite unacceptable.

    [I know that  the FCA was singularly slow to pursue the majority shareholder of RIFC plc in the matter of his 'concert  party' share purchase]

    In what is not all a criticism of you personally, Ms__, who have been very helpful, I will copy this email to my MP , and will arrange to have an interview with him presently, Covid-19 and his free time for constituency work permitting!

    Thank you, best regards, and stay safe,




  35. As it’s quiet…

    I’ve tried to watch a few games on TV but still finding it a challenge.  It may become more watchable if my own team is involved?

    I planned to watch the Norwich v. ManU cup game on BBC1 but had to give up before half time as it was truly dreadful!  To be fair, even with a full crowd I don’t think it would have made that particular tie any better!

    But that was a Cup game, for a semi-final place: like the games/highlights I’ve seen do far, there seems to be a distinct lack of intensity amongst the players.

    The ‘canned crowd noises’ are getting better, but still feels like watching a preseason friendly.

    I still have to try out watching a game with volume off and music playing instead, as suggested by others.

    Ironically, despite all the technology around the games played, and the TV services provided… some aspects remain unchanged in over 100 years: the professional game is indeed “nothing without the fans” actually being there – to create the event.  crying

  36. Good luck JC. Your perseverance knows no bounds!! As you point out though the FCA has form.

  37. bordersdon 30th June 2020 at 14:50

    '….As you point out though the FCA has form.'


    As I mentioned yesterday I couldn't use the printer upstairs because there was a fuse blown when I had earlier in the evening turned on the power shower.

    I  fixed the fuse today and scanned the letter I had received from Scrivener, and tidied up my email to Ms Knight ,added the attachment and sent the email on its way.

    It really was such an outrageous bit of evil cleverness, the concept setting up a company to buy some of the major assets of a football club In Administration, run that club  into Liquidation to get shot of the debts, call your wee company a football club, and then cast a magic spell to induce the Football authorities to admit your new creation into Scottish Football and tell the world that the new football club is really the old football club in every respect except that it is not liable for tens of millions of pounds debt!

    And the next clever wheeze- go to the market looking for investment by  trying to con potential investors into believing they will be investing in a highly successful football club laden with honours and sporting titles!!

    The sheer unadulterated bare-faced cheek is  insultingly shocking in so many ways that it is very easy to persevere in trying to draw attention to it!

    And when one begins to think that perhaps even the FCA may not be an entirely clean potato, conveniently losing mail/emails that they would rather not have to deal with.,  .. well..

    Not that I think that, at the moment!broken heart


  38. I see that Rod Petrie has stepped down from his role as SFA President temporarily for health reasons.

    While I may have issues with some of the things he has been involved with, I wish him a full recovery.

    Mike Mulraney will take over RPs resposibilities for the time being.

  39. https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/sport/18551796.steven-naismith-claims-rangers-chiefs-tried-bully-players-signing-new-deals-clubs-administration/
    Steven Naismith claims Craig Whyte and the Rangers higher-ups tried to bully players into signing new deals following their slump into administration in 2012.
    As the word Bullied was in sharp focus during the last few months, i thought i would post this article.
    Now the claims Craig Whyte. From what i remember Whyte walked out the door on Febuary 14,2012 never to return.
    The Rangers higher-ups. Gordon Smith and Ali Russel had left by the end of Febuary.
    Just who were these rangers higher-ups?

  40. John Clark 30th June 2020 at 00:00
    Great work again JC.

  41. easyJambo 30th June 2020 at 18:33

    '…Rod Petrie has stepped down from his role as SFA President temporarily for health reasons.'


    If he is genuinely ill then I wish him well, of course.

    But such is the desperate state of things 'governance' in Scottish Football , I would be ready to believe that it might simply be an engineered , diplomatic temporary demittance of office to get him out of the way while some sensible person takes charge.


  42. John Clark30th June 2020 at 20:39

    easyJambo 30th June 2020 at 18:33

    Never nice to hear of anyone getting ill to the point they are unable to do their job. Regardless of who it is.

    On another subject I know at least one of you looks like they are planning to ensure their mobile is fully charged overnight.laugh

  43. wottpi 30th June 2020 at 21:00

    '…planning to ensure their mobile is fully charged overnight.laugh'


    I would of course be in Lord Clark's court-room tomorrow , notebook in hand, keen to see which QCs are in action, and find out if there is any possibility of Lord Clark deciding [God forbid!] that the business is not for the Court, but for an appeal tribunal under the SFA Judicial Protocol;

    and to renew and refresh my nodding acquaintance with various Court personnel, and cause at least one 'Macer' (if I were to pass him in the corridor) to remark that there must be something on to do with 'Rangers'!

    [I'll try to find out tomorrow whether there is any possibility of members of the public seeing the proceedings via webcams or whatever]

    And that "whatever" tells you that I'm of the pen and ink , steam radio and red telephone box generation, although, mark you, I bought a smashing wee leather-cased tranny {tranny radio, ffs] in the flea market in Rome in 1961, on which I first heard (on Radio Luxembourg) Chubby Checker's "Let's Twist Again' as I typed on my 'Olivetti Lettera 22' my lecture notes of the day.

    Oh, I've come over all nostalgic!broken heartheart


  44. Homunculus 26th June 2020 at 14:25


    reasonablechap 26th June 2020 at 13:34

    The very simple fact of there being an curtailed season, with the title still undecided is why an asterisk or suitable footnote needs to be attached to the 2019/20 Scottish League season.


    That's not a "fact" though. The rules don't say that a season consists of 38 games. They say this

    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

    So the season is complete…



    Sorry for the long delay in replying.

    I accept that by hook or by crook the season is finished but it is as plain as day that it was curtailed prematurely without having completed the fixtures. Not forgetting that the matter is in the Court of Session.

    I would ask you how many times in Scottish League history has a season been called without completing the fixture list ?

    The exceptional circumstances of an incomplete set of fixtures being played when the league was called, quite obviously should be recorded with due prominence in the history books.

    It is exactly what an asterisk is often used for 


    It's obviously through no fault of Celtic that a pandemic struck this year but it did and we need to inform those who come after us of it's consequences.

    SPFL Premiership Winners

    2017/18: Celtic

    2018/19: Celtic

    2019/20: Celtic *


    * Incomplete fixture list due to Pandemic

  45. paddy malarkey 26th June 2020 at 14:39

    Where did you see that , or whose word are you taking ? It was dug up when the league was still in progress . I dare say all pitches in Scotland will be rested enough to allow games to be played.  


    It was in the press (with pics) on the 10th of June.

    Look it up on google, 'Rangers new pitch' takes you straight to article on first page of results.


  46. Homunculus 28th June 2020 at 12:21

    The bottom line for Scotland is we simply don’t have enough money to do what some other countries have done. Play the games behind closed doors with frequent Covid testing for players, staff, match officials etc.

    How much will it cost the SPFL to go the route they have embarked upon ?

    Including Deloitte UK, BT Sport, Sky Sports, etc., etc.

  47. John Clark 30th June 2020 at 20:39

    Rod Petrie has stepped down from his I would be ready to believe that it might simply be an engineered , diplomatic temporary demittance of office to get him out of the way while some sensible person takes charge.


    Agreed, but where will this "sensible" person you mention be found…?

    And – presumably – in Petrie's absence, the unqualified, inexperienced, but 'useful' Maxwell becomes the combined CEO and 'Executive' President?!

    This ludicrous scenario is the direct result of ALL the 42 clubs' complacency and/or acquiescence.

  48. reasonablechap 1st July 2020 at 12:44

    Thanks for the reply – I'd completely forgotten about asking . I followed your advice and the first link was to the Daily Record , and if I believe that article , I need also to believe the one where RFC is liquidated and 140 years of history went down the drain . 

    By doing the work in the first week in April , they were effectively signalling that they would be unable to play at home  post split . I didn't see any contingency plans to play their fixtures elsewhere (there may have been , but kept quiet), so to me the message they were communicating is that they were unprepared to play out the season .

  49. Paddy

    The Record article you mention is from April and is about starting the work on the pitch. If you go to the next one down, an article by The Sun from June 10th, you’ll see the pics and that it was ready for games at that point.


    You say…”By doing the work in the first week in April , they were effectively signalling that they would be unable to play at home  post split . I didn’t see any contingency plans to play their fixtures elsewhere

    No, they weren’t.

    When work on the pitch began, there was no realistic possibility of a quick re-start to the Scottish Leagues. They carried out the work at that point because there was always going to be enough time to have it ready for any re-start (for example, the EPL restarted on the 17th June).

    I note that Peter has another one of his men (Mulraney, vice president SFA) now taken over from Rod Petrie, who unfortunately is unwell. That’s both the SPFL and the SFA that are green and it nothing to do with the environment.

  50. reasonablechap 1st July 2020 at 15:53

    Just your opinion – mine is that they conceded .

  51. For those interested,  as opposed to the 1-2 hours quoted a few days back, the CoS action went all day and will spill into tomorrow afternoon.

    Even then we could still see some play on Friday.


  52. Paddy

    Your opinion is dependent on what would have been a totally unrealistic restart date.

    Starting work on the pitch in April was simply common sense.

    Had the League restarted, the pitch would have been repaired and ready to go. In such a restart scenario, there probably wouldn’t have been time to do the work at the eventual end of 19/20, in time for the beginning of 20/21.

    Sounds like a timeline for a cricket match #bodyline

  53. The Petition.

    Well, that was an interesting experience, listening on the phone in the comfortable surroundings of my own kitchen to the the lawyers in Lord Clark's court-room from 11.00 am until 4.00 pm, with an hour's break for lunch. Sound only, no visual. 

    Borland QC (for Dundee Utd, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers) was easily audible although I lost sound a couple of times and twice briefly lost connection (having to redial on each occasion). Moynihan QC for the SPFL was also clearly audible without strain. But Thomson QC for the Petitioners was largely  inaudible or heard only with the ear close to the phone. His microphone was possibly a bit too far from him , or he kept turning his head away.

    I was able to make some notes which I'll maybe try to make sense of . 

    I don't know who set the original time-slot of 2 hours, but he or she was very far out!

    At one minute to 4 pm, Lord Clark had assurances from Mr Thomson that he would be able to recommence at 2.00 pm tomorrow, and would need about an hour; from Mr Borland that he too would be available and would (subject to what might come up) need about 30 or 40 minutes; and from Mr Moynihan who said that as tail-end Charlie, he'd accept being guillotined at 4.00 pm.

    A number of cases were cited by parties- Partick Thistle's own approach to Courts in recent years, Fulham, Exeter City, Capital Trusts Investments, St Johnston, Bridgehouse, Patel v Patel, Eagle Star, Babcock Rosyth, on the right to go to Arbitration, on whether the 'public interest ' requires  that access to the Courts was ultimately  available, or whether in any 'football dispute' a club could only go to the Courts with the permission of the SFA, on whether the contract between members of the SPFL and between the membership collectively and the SPFL , and the relationship between the SPFL and the SFA necessarily means that Art 99 of the SFA's Articles is binding on the members of the SPFL and the SPFL collectively…….and so on.

    There were opinions expressed on whether reference to Arbitration would enable the dispute to be resolved before the 1st August, and opinion given that the court, already familiar with the case was better placed to provide an early decision whereas the selection of two Tribunal members would take time, and then those two would have to agree on whom they want to be Chair, and availability would have to be checked out and so on…

    And it was observed that if the Court did decide and decided in favour of the Petitioners, there might be a reclaiming motion that would have to be heard by the Inner House.

    Tomorrow might be quite interesting. 


  54. reasonablechap 1st July 2020 at 12:37
    SPFL Premiership Winners

    2017/18: Celtic Champions.

    2018/19: Celtic Champions.

    2019/20: Celtic Champions.
    That is all anyone looks for when looking at who won the league in those seasons

  55. reasonablechap 1st July 2020 at 12:44

    paddy malarkey 26th June 2020 at 14:39

    Where did you see that , or whose word are you taking ? It was dug up when the league was still in progress . I dare say all pitches in Scotland will be rested enough to allow games to be played.


    It was in the press (with pics) on the 10th of June.

    Look it up on google, ‘Rangers new pitch’ takes you straight to article on first page of results.
    Pitch was ripped up on April 7, 2020.
    reasonablechap 1st July 2020 at 13:00

    Homunculus 28th June 2020 at 12:21

    The bottom line for Scotland is we simply don’t have enough money to do what some other countries have done. Play the games behind closed doors.
    Not just about the money to do what some other countries have done. Play the games behind closed doors.The ibrox club were dead against it and released a few statements to that effect.

  56. Cluster

    That is all anyone looks for when looking at who won the league in those seasons.


    I think your version is what Celtic fans want to see. 

    Rangers fans want to see the asterisk attached.

    Ask yourself this question.

    Why wouldn’t you attach an asterisk/footnote, when the 2019/20 season ended in absolutely exceptional circumstances with the Fixtures incomplete and Celtic not having secured the title when the final whistle blew on matchday 30 ?

    Better to ask someone unconnected to Scottish football. It’s an obvious * from a truly impartial observer.

  57. reasonablechap
    I note that Peter has another one of his men (Mulraney, vice president SFA) now taken over from Rod Petrie, who unfortunately is unwell. That’s both the SPFL and the SFA that are green and it nothing to do with the environment.
    Is Stewart Robertson not on the SPFL board not very Green is he or has he walked away before his dismisal for Gross breaches of confidentiality.

  58. reasonablechap 1st July 2020 at 17:37
    Ask yourself this question.

    Why wouldn’t you attach an asterisk/footnote,to leagues won during the EBT era? We could play this game all day.
    But the Blog is better than that.

  59. Cluster

    Robertson was on the board but I refer to what club actually hold real influence at the SPFL (Celtic) and now at the SFA (Celtic). Their allies are in the positions of power (Doncaster, MacLennan, McKenzie, Maxwell, Mulaney).



    Given you haven’t really a leg to stand on regards the current question, it’s no surprise that you  take what the blog refers to as the whataboutery approach (EBT asterisk).

    Here is the real irony.
    Our old friend Peter is both blocking res12 and pushing the current Celtic political agenda by pulling the usual strings.

  60. It would appear that Rangers are not as free of Sports Direct as they have been claiming.

    Either that or Sports Direct are publicly taking the p155

    This is currently on their facebook page.

    "Be prepared for the biggest season in a decade. New Rangers Kit lands exclusively at Sports Direct 1st August."

    Somebody somewhere is at it. 

  61. John Clark 1st July 2020 at 17:21The Petition.

    Well, that was an interesting experience…..

    Thanks John, EJ and anyone else who shares and shines the light on this confused and confusing world.

    It is much needed and appreciated. 

  62. Homunculus 1st July 2020 at 18:07
    It would appear that Rangers are not as free of Sports Direct as they have been claiming.

    Either that or Sports Direct are publicly taking the p155

    This is currently on their facebook page.

    “Be prepared for the biggest season in a decade. New Rangers Kit lands exclusively at Sports Direct 1st August.”

    Somebody somewhere is at it.

    Do we think sevco fans will be loving this as much as I am.

    Be prepared for the biggest season in a decade. New Rangers Kit lands exclusively at Sports Direct 1st August.

  63. Looks like Sports Direct will be selling the new ibrox kit. Wonder how that will go down with the ibrox fans, kept in the dark by their own board.

  64. reasonablechap 1st July 2020 at 18:02


    Robertson was on the board but I refer to what club actually hold real influence at the SPFL (Celtic).
    And you know this how? Are you part of the SPFL board and know of first hand experiance or is it just hearsay on your part.

    Given you haven’t really a leg to stand on regards the current question.
    Rangers fans want to see the asterisk attached.Gives me all the standing room i need.

  65. reasonablechap 1st July 2020 at 17:08

    Glad you agree that they dug up their pitch before the league was called 

    My opinion is that they were in such a horrendous run of form that they bottled it from playing CFC on the Sunday , having been horsed by Leverkusen on the previous Thursday night , humped by Hearts  , beaten by the Accies at Ibrox , but managing a 1-0 win away to Ross County . They capitulated , in my opinion .

  66. Would anybody know what this refers to ?


  67. If it is one of those word search things, i’m not very good at them;-)

  68. Cluster One 1st July 2020 at 19:23

    Looks like Sports Direct will be selling the new ibrox kit. Wonder how that will go down with the ibrox fans, kept in the dark by their own board.



    RANGERS & Castore are delighted to confirm the new Ibrox Retail Store will officially open on 1st August 2020, which will be operated by Castore as the clubs official retail partner.

    The new Rangers Ibrox Retail Store will be complimented with a number of other key retail sites in Glasgow and further afield, now identified by Castore and Rangers and close to agreement. The Ibrox Retail Store will undergo a £250,000 renovation and become a key venue for all Rangers supporters and on matchdays will be supported with further pop up stores within the Stadium.

    Following today’s unveiling of the 2020/21 home jersey, Rangers continues to look forward to their long term exclusive partnership with Castore, which, for the avoidance of doubt, is a direct agreement between those two companies with no other persons party to the deal.

    As previously stated, it offers a fresh start for the Club and a chance to purchase high quality clothing and other products that directly benefit Rangers.

    As is common practice in teamwear retail, Castore will form a number of wholesale supply arrangements with high street retailers in the UK and overseas because that is key to the global aspirations of both Castore and Rangers but the purpose of these arrangements will always be to maximise the availability and sales channels for Rangers products.

    Rangers exclusive partnership with Castore ensures that Rangers always directly benefits with a royalty from the sale of all of the Rangers products manufactured, distributed and retailed by Castore. This includes all products distributed by Castore to high street retailers.


     They have done well not to mention two particular words in that article "Direct" and "Sports"

  69. paddy malarkey 1st July 2020 at 20:58

    'Would anybody know what this refers to ?'


    Copying just the first line and keying it in to search gives this (about  half way down the results page:

    "22/06/2020 · HTTPS everywhere, soon. You’ll notice that S3 gave us an HTTPS image address. There are initiatives to move as much as possible of the Internet to HTTPS and avoid “mixed content” – such as Google, LetsEncrypt for free certificates, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s “ HTTPS everywhere ”.. SparkPost supports AMP for email HTML. AMP requires HTTPS for content."

    So that suggests it's geek speak about programs for particular technical uses ..

    I've no idea what it all means, of course, any more than I have of what E =mc squared means!( I read recently that Einstein might only have been half right about that!)broken heart



  70. paddy malarkey 1st July 2020 at 20:13

    reasonablechap 1st July 2020 at 17:08

    Glad you agree that they dug up their pitch before the league was called
    First pictures as gers tear up ibrox pitch April 8, 2020
    Take up to ten weeks rangers sources insist it can be done in half the time a rangers spokesman it will be completed in 4 weeks

  71. easyJambo 1st July 2020 at 21:42
    They have done well not to mention two particular words in that article “Direct” and “Sports”
    But mention castore 9 times

  72. paddy malarkey 1st July 2020 at 22:38
    I was looking to find a document here .

    10 Jun 2020 Confirmation statement made on 29 May 2020 with no updates
    View PDF Confirmation statement made on 29 May 2020 with no updates – link opens in a new window – 3 pages (3 pages)
    All blank

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