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. Homunculus 28th May 2020 at 20:37


    I think we also have to ask what favours Rangers actually did for Morelos, in particular during the aftermath of the game at Celtic Park on 29th November. Clearly by the reaction of the Rangers Management, players and the media, they thought that was their Rubicon crossing. In fairness they were well deserved winners at a place they had to win if they were going to win the league, and it put them in a great position. Yet right at the end Morelos was sent off following an umpteenth case of ridiculous simulation since coming to Scotland, and then went on to make a throat slitting gesture towards Celtic fans. Rangers management of the situation was quite incredible, and what followed was accusations of sustained racism towards Morelos, an interview broadcast with the player where the subtitles were deliberately altered to demean Celtic fans, and accusations that the brakes on his car had been tampered with which were also shown to be lies. All of these falsehoods were backed by many in the Scottish media, but who was feeding it to them? The upshot was that the form of Morelos flipped completely. I just can’t help thinking a club with more humility, and a manager of more experience, would have handled things differently from what was at the time a position of strength. Perhaps if their pals in the media made it clear they were not going to be part of it in future things would change. After all, it takes two to tango!

  2. Upthehoops

    With all the covid stuff , governance of the game , title getting called , Res 12 being killed off etc etc it took your post to remind me about all the other stuff . Stuff that has once again been ignored and in Celtics case probably  happy that it has been swept under the carpet . Im talking about Morelos throat slitting gesture , Kent firing imaginary bullets at fans. Sky TV doing an assasination job on Celtic PLC and fans . We have come to expect the SFA to turn a blind eye , but it is sickening that my own clubs bosses are such a cowardly spineless lot. And while Im at has Douglas Park been set a date for by the SFA to answer questions about bringing the game into disrepute ? Naw /… I didnt think so

  3. It would seem the Ibrox club are not alone in having over inflated valuations for their players.  Yesterday social media (not the tabloids yet!) were reporting on Kristoffer Ajer of Celtic having a transfer value of £25m!  Now he is a good young player with potential but £25m? Really?  

    Hope Celtic get it yes   Not holding my breath though.

  4. Having said that, it might lead you to wonder why the tabloids have not picked up on that rumour?
    Hyping up his price.

  5. jimbo29th May 2020 at 10:51

    The difference is supposed to be that on social media people can post what they like, while the mainstream claim they only print what a reliable source has told them, and that there is substance to it. 

    On the subject of Ajer I am as sure Celtic would get nowhere near £25m as I am that the tabloids wouldn't run with it any case. 

    Going back to Hagi, I see there is a story in today's Herald that he 'will be even better' next season. I have given up trying to work out conclusively what that means, but most likely it means he has already increased in value according to them. 


  6. Barry Anderson@BarryAnderson_
    Scottish football clubs can begin training in June after a meeting with Government today. Plan is to start the new season on 1 August but not all leagues will be able to play then.


  7. easyJambo 29th May 2020 at 17:16
    That means a safety-first approach, with games initially played behind closed doors and a range of measures to protect players and staff.

    “The return of crowds is something we all want to see and we will be working with clubs, Government and medical professionals to return safely to playing in front of fans as soon as we can.”
    and a range of measures to protect players and staff.
    Just how much is that going to cost clubs with no match day income, with games being played behind closed doors.
    Was their not a club that were strongly apposed to playing games behind closed doors.

    I can see a statement coming.

  8. upthehoops 29th May 2020 at 15:31
    Going back to Hagi, I see there is a story in today’s Herald that he ‘will be even better’ next season.
    It is always next season with this ibrox thing, someone should award them a can kicking trophy as they are the champions of it. Last season after winning nothing again it was ok because Gerrard had put the smile back on the fans faces.
    If anything down ibrox way they know how to flip a bad news story on it’s back and make it sound a good one.

  9. With maybe no fans at the start of the season? could this be the first time the ibrox club get a lot of away fixtures for the start of the season? seam to remember the last few seasons they started with a few home games first (get that income in) happy to be corrected. Interesting to see when the fixtures come out, (but it is all computerised apparently anyway)

  10. Cluster one – 27 May

    Thanks for the acknowledgement.  I’m not really that bothered if everybody scrolled passed my debut and penultimate post as I was just putting thoughts down and the act itself was cathartic. 

    Gracious – did you really choose the correct word there however?

    It might have been more gracious to just scroll on past.  Enjoy the belly button fluff!


  11. QF 29th May 2020 at 20:10
    gracious definition: 1. behaving in a pleasant, polite, calm way
    I believe i did both. It would have been easier just to scroll past, but as you say a long time lurker and first time poster, i believe i was Gracious in my reply.

  12. I see that Alex  Rae  EBT was on the wireless and referenced an article/post by a Bruce Archer (an ITK TRFC man) suggesting that the vote to end the season was not unanimous , and that two clubs were against that scenario playing out . Anybody here got info ?

  13. paddy malarkey 29th May 2020 at 22:34

    '….an article/post by a Bruce Archer (an ITK TRFC man)……Anybody here got info ?'


    Have a look at 


    from which I extract this :

    "The SPFL ended the season on Monday with a statement claiming that Premiership clubs had reached a ‘unanimous agreement that the top flight cannot be finished’.

    However the unanimous part of that statement is understood to be factually incorrect. At least two clubs were against curtailing the season and saw no reason why a decision needed to be rushed through so soon."

    Well, where does that  leave us? 

    Where else but in the position of  having to choose whether the SPFL are lying, or whether the SMSM man is making uncorroborated insinuations?

    We know from the experience of the past that neither the SPFL nor the SMSM rags and their (generally) embarrassingly inadequate 'sports journalists' operate on the basis of Truth!

    It is fun to see the one lot being criticised by the other!

    Honest to God: that I should have lived so long only to see the perverted nonsense at the heart of Scottish Football governance being supported by a perverted, distorted 'sports Press'- when in Minneapolis and Hong Kong even as I write there are real journalists  being arrested or in risk thereof  for factual reporting or for trying to investigate!



  14. Headline and quotes extracted from The DR;

    “SFA and SPFL chiefs concerned over getting fans back into stadiums as bosses point to European examples.

    [Doncaster said], “The return of crowds is something we all want to see …to playing in front of fans as soon as we can.”


    [Maxwell said], “As the governing body, we will continue to engage with government and key stakeholders to provide a similar plan for the return of the game at all levels of Scottish football.”


    Whilst Hampden – and the clubs – continue to ignore the fans’ demand for improved governance, they are now desperate to get us back into the stadiums – with our cash of course!

    And does Maxwell now regard fans as “key stakeholders”?

    I know it’s wishful thinking, but just like in 2012, the long suffering, paying punters are in a rare position to dictate change – to their liking – to the governing bodies and clubs, by simply threatening to withhold their money.

    Must admit, I’m not in any rush to return to a football stadium – regardless of the virus.

    The SFA’s CAS decision last week has just left me scunnered with the whole, senior game to be honest.

  15. In my post of 23.34 I mentioned the SMSM .

    I have had a wee read at


    And  I ask: did Jane Lewis 

    go to our Donald ?

    or did he come to her, cashing in on his fame and status?

    Did she go to any other club to seek their views on Anne Budges’ proposal? 

    Did she attempt any kind of objective analysis of the views, and the reasons for those views, of all the other clubs?

    Or was she simply handed a wee script , to be faithfully passed on, with minimal effort on her part, as ‘journalism’  at £x per word, or column inch, or whatever way hacks get paid?
    She’s with the BBC, of course, and presumably follows the party line, like English and the others


  16. QF 29th May 2020 at 20:10

    “I’m not really that bothered if everybody scrolled passed (sic) …”

    So just a tad bothered?

    No need to be at all bothered.

    218 folk were ungracious enough not to scroll past and afterwards awarded the post a Thumbsdown.

    Pity QF has gone (and I’m sure he’s a man of his word and we’ll hear no more from him) as we will never find out how reasonable a chap he is.

    I wonder if he lives in Eastwood?

  17. Hi Folks

    Apologies for our absence the past few days. We have been spending most of our time dealing with a less deadly – but still potent – virus as both SFM websites have been attacked on a daily basis by a Trojan Virus, exploiting some weaknesses in the PHP platform (which the site runs on).

    It is (so far) not a problem to put the site back together again within minutes of being alerted to the attack. The trouble is preventing a repeat of the attack – or if either of us are asleep when the alarm goes off 🙂

    So far we have been lucky regarding the timing, but if there is any unexplained downtime, please avail your yourself of this explanation in advance 🙂


  18. My attention was drawn via another forum to a call last night on Radio Clyde, which I then listened to on the Podcast. The caller directed a question at Alex Rae about people deeming Celtic’s title this year ‘tainted’. Rae danced all over the place with his answer, but would not distance himself from the notion there should be an asterisk against it. The caller then neatly moved on to the five titles Rangers won when millions were illegally withheld in unpaid taxes, of which Rae himself was a beneficiary. The host of the show, Alison Conroy, got very agitated when the point was made. The call descended into slight farce as they tried to hurry the caller on claiming they had little time left.

    My point is this. Why does a media which spends so much time focusing on and criticising illegal tax avoidance and evasion by individuals and companies, completely flip over as soon as the illegal tax avoidance/evasion Rangers were found guilty of is mentioned? What is it that they can’t discuss? There are no unproven allegations being made, and no-one is being slandered. It is a matter of historical fact that Rangers illegally withheld tens of millions in unpaid tax. That fact has been determined by the highest court in the United Kingdom and cannot be challenged. So why do the Scottish media get so agitated when this legally proven fact is raised? It is truly bizarre.

  19. I've been thinking (I know, I know)

    If I were a Celtic fan I wouldn't be too upset if people refer to 9 in a row as 8.75 in a row.

    If (when) you win the title next year that will be 9.75 in a row.

    Still greater than 9.

    Still the record.



  20. Tony.


    My tongue was firmly in my cheek as I think most people will realise.



  21. Correct Tony. There is no tarnish attached..It's not even an argument. 

      However, like the SFA announcing they consider the Res12 allegations are closed, after the SPFL refused to bow to Sevco's groundless demands for an inquiry, the baseless asterisk demands next to this title are sauce from the same bottle…….They SMSM have set up the two cheeks of the arse scenario quite nicely. 

        Sevvies have something to shout at Timmy, and both organisations will hide behind the firework display. 

        Truth and reality don't enter into it. A secret 5 way agreement is still in existance which guarantees that one member club is permitted to exist outside of the jurisdiction under which every other club resides. Sevco are quite literally a law unto themselves.

  22. upthehoops 30th May 2020 at 14:26
    I then listened to on the Podcast.
    I knew as soon as the questions were being asked by the caller, a we are running out of time was coming down as fast as they could.

  23. theredpill 30th May 2020 at 20:56

    Below is a very cautious Jason Leitch,can't remember the expert on channel 4 but he raised a good point in what happens if we restart and two teams set to play and one team gets covid 19 infectionballs up in the air I would say ?



    17 positive tests in the EFL. How many positives will it take to cancel games?


  24. Easyjambo,  I've been wondering all along about that scenario.  Even if they manage to get the football re-started, behind closed doors, how long will it take before it all goes belly up.  All it takes is one player to be tested positive within a few days for quarantines to kick in for 50 or 60 people involved in one match!  If that were to happen once a week?

  25. easyJambo 30th May 2020 at 21

    17 positive tests in the EFL. How many positives will it take to cancel games?


    There are so many unknowns, and what 'expert' should we believe? I didn't know so many Professors existed until this all happened!


  26. UTH @ 00:25

    "There are so many unknowns, and what 'expert' should we believe?"

    It is where so many people in the country are making the mistake. The "experts" at Covid pressers are the ones that back up what the politicians want to happen. Sure, the politicians take on board scientific advice but they then balance it with the political needs. The main need is that the public do not get agitated. Look to the past couple of days in the US where the rioting is happening. The trigger was the killing by the police but it is well recognised that much of the rioting is the venting of the public regarding the destruction of their finances and the loss of millions of jobs. It is what every politician dreads, not because of the violence or the damage but because they will be remembered for this when election time comes round.

    It is the answer to the big "why" at the start of this. Why did politicians the world over decide that they preferred to bankrupt their countries by handing out billions to Joe Public than follow the herd immunity policy?

    The truth is that the experts we choose to believe should be selected based on the scientific facts if we are concerned with our own safety and less so the society in which we live. The political pronouncements should only ever be the starting point.

    For Covid 19 the main facts are the R value(and what it really means) and the real "social distance".

    The R value has a lot of emphasis placed on it just now but it really does not tell us anything about the disease. It actually tells only how many people are in social contact with each other because it states the average number of people that one person with the virus will pass it on to. At the height of the pandemic it was sitting at around 3. That makes it more than 3 times more infectious than flu which sits at just under one under our normal circumstances. The covid19 R value has been reduced to just below 1 now but that does not mean that its potency has reduced but just that less people are in contact with the person who is infected. What they do not tell you is what the current value of the flu R value. My guess, and it is only a guess, is that it stands somewhere below 0.3.

    Social distancing too is a political decision. Yesterday's sportsound had people calling for it to be reduced from two metres to just one as seen in other countries such as Sweden. Once again the science says something different. It all depends on your desired outcome. For the politicians to adhere to a policy that holds an individual's safety as opposed to the best financial and social outcome would be a huge headache for them.

    The scientific research shows that different circumstances give different values. The 2 metres(or 1 in other countries) is probably an average for enclosed space and open space contact. What is more important is that is for normal breathing conditions in still air. The research shows with normal breathing a single virus will not reach as far as two metres under still air conditions. But they also take their research further in that the measure for other conditions . If someone coughs then a virus can travel about three metres and for a sneeze it is about four metres. Of course that is for still air but a head wind or tail wind will reduce and increase that.

    So the decisions about to be made by our football authorities will reflect what? Their desire to keep players and spectators safe or to accept a level of risk to satisfy the requirements of the football business to make money?

    What's the old saying?

    It's only a game.

  27. Sorry, I'm on a roll this morning.

    Again on Sportsound yesterday.

    Ann Budge's announcement that philanthropists were prepared to inject millions of pounds to help Scottish football resulted in the expected anti-Doncaster reaction. Especially as Ms Budge's suggestion that she was asked to put that in writing and produce a report. Now I am very much of the belief that Doncaster has a lot to answer for over the last decade and that he should be hounded out of our game but it should be done for the right reason.

    For anyone to accept that amount of money into any sport then they MUST take many precautions. Not just for the sport but for themselves. To take a verbal communication on this and then run with it leaves no paper trail with which to defend yourself should the source of the donation prove to be illegal. Also, at this time where personal contact is to be kept at a minimum would it not be better that Budge, who already has contact with these "philanthropists", takes the lead on this. This latter point is trivial I know but a complete picture of the personal risks should still include it.

    We, in this country, tend to believe that there is no "dirty" money or organised crime involvement in our game, and we may be right, but the odds say otherwise. We have already seen Romanov here and we subsequently have learned, as recently as the last two months, of his criminal background. Add to that the financial condition of our game. In there we see many of the signs that make a business appealing for use by money launderers.

    If any administrator, at club or association level, does their work without paying heed to that then we do have a serious weakness in our sport.

    This money, if kosher, should be grabbed with both hands and we all should fall at these benefactors' feet in gratitude but not until all the due diligence is performed.

  28. Lastly, I promise.

    The benefactors, although unnamed, are reputable businessmen we are assured.

    In our Scotland is do the majority consider David Murray as such?

  29. Mickey Edwards 31st May 2020 at 10:25

    Lastly, I promise.

    The benefactors, although unnamed, are reputable businessmen we are assured.


    Assuming that the benefactors are the same ones who have put money into Hearts, there was a string attached. Apparently they requested that the dress code for the hospitality suites were relaxed, as they didn't like wearing ties.

    I don't honestly know if this offer will actually come to anything. It was discussed from early last week on a Hearts message board when it was described as an offer to help pay for Covid testing requirements.  Yesterday it was described as a "no strings" offer to help lower league clubs. By definition, that excludes the Premiership, but if the SPFL is not looking to restart the lower leagues then why would they put cash in.

    I can see ND looking to take the cash only on a totally "no strings" basis, i.e. he would want it to go into the bigger pot for distribution to all 42 clubs. If that is the case, then the cash may not be forthcoming.

  30. Makes sense EJ.

    I have no issue with the benefactors being reputable. I'm just wary about who in this country are regarded as reputable. With or without having wealth off the radar.

    My other concern is that, if there are millions available from benefactors, why the hell are they giving it to football when so many other areas are screaming out for help.

    As I said earlier, it's only a game.

  31. Mickey Edwards 31st May 2020 at 12:30

        Mickey, Buy a wee club with its membershippy bits, get a bargain bigger club's stadium from administrators.  Change your name if you want…….. Boab's yir auntie.   

  32. From todays rags:

    "£300k of watches stolen off footie ace.

    It seems Riyad Mahrez of Man City has had 3 watches costing
    £300k stolen from his house whilst there was no one at home.

    One of these watches cost £230,000.
    The cheapest, worth more than a nurse's yearly salary.

    I know burglary is wrong.

    I also appreciate people should be allowed to buy whatever they want
    with their own money (as long as it's legal).

    But sometimes its hard to sympathise.


  33. Corrupt official 31st May 2020 at 13:16

    CFC seldom make a statement just to hear the sound of their own voice. Looks like they are keen to know who is still standing.



    The cynic in me says that Celtic is desperate for an early return to competitive action in order to be able to take up a place in the CL, whenever UEFA announce what they are planning for season 2020/21 competitions.

  34. easyJambo 31st May 2020 at 14:32

    The cynic in me says that Celtic is desperate for an early return to competitive action in order to be able to take up a place in the CL, whenever UEFA announce what they are planning for season 2020/21 competitions.


        It seemed a bit of an odd release, and had the cynic in me going too EJ. I'm sure every club is keen to get up and running, but I don't get why the fixture list has any importance. The game will start when it is permitted to, regardless of who plays who. Looking for a hasty fixture list is running before walking, and I think the closest to a fixture list anyone can get is an undated,  game 1= X v Y,  game 2 =Y v Z etc. 

        Personally I think we should hold off until it is safely possible to get bums on seats. Some clubs might get a return from live streams, but others not so much. If ST's get you a free-view, (as has been mooted), I doubt even the larger clubs will get much pay per view revenue, although a lot of ST holders will have to get the sausage rolls in.

        Albeit there may be reduced stewarding costs for smaller clubs, how can they be expected to absorb full matchday costs, i.e. wages, travel, ground-care, etc, but also the additional £4K per match testing process, and sanitation expenses, with not a pie sold.? How will player isolation be guaranteed in the interim tween test and actual match?

        Then there is the possibility of a spike throwing the whole shooting match in the air. 

    Better to start a couple of weeks late, than a day early methinks. The danger of throwing caution to the wind is too great.  

  35. Another thought just crossed my mind (not a long journey I admit)


    This point may have been mentioned before so apologies… but I don't remember it coming up.


    If the Sky contract stipulates that there must be 4 Celtic v rangers* games per season

    what would happen in the future if one of the 2 (Not liable to happen to Celtic, I know)

    comes in 7th before the split?


    i suspect some sort of jiggery-pokery would come into play.



  36. I gave up listening to BBC Sportsound yesterday. Not everyone will agree, but I think many will, that the Sportsound crew are a gullible bunch!

    Once again they have allowed Ann Budge the opportunity to attempt to publicly embarrass/shame Scottish football administrators by her comments about her philanthropic acquaintances. 

    Just like Scott Gardiner she gives information to the Sportsound team that leads to them having another opportunity to blast Neil Doncaster and the cynic in me asks how come these statements always seem to come when things are not going Hearts way? 

    If she felt that ND was ignoring her why not directly share with other clubs after all they are the SPFL? Apparently it was on Hearts websites earlier in the week but that’s not the best way to share the information. 

    The Sportsound conspiracy theorists of course then had the Aberdeen manager saying he had heard about the Budge offer adding to their condemnation of ND.

    They must have been so disappointed with the Dundee United interview with a carefully worded response making it clear that they knew nothing about this possible source of funding.

    Have the Sportsound crew not learned that Ann Budge interviews more often than not have a hidden agenda and give an inaccurate representation of events? Every time they are taken in hook, line and sinker! 

    ND did make a statement in light of what was said but if it was read out on Sportsound I was no longer listening so have no idea how they treated it. 

    My sympathy for Hearts position comes and goes. I have to say Ann Budge approach tends to make it go! 




  37. Sorry EJ but I forgot to mention what I was actually cynical about. Given the pure mentalness of Scottish fitba it may be that whispers are reaching Celtic Park, that some clubs might prefer to stay mothballed until bums on seats are possible…..Hence Celtic's rush to get fixtures confirmed. (as you say to get up to speed)

        Such was the palaver of shutting the game down, I wouldn't be surprised to see a similar palaver as to re-starting and under what conditions. It just seemed to me that Celtic have retaliated first.  

  38. Another possible reason for Celtic’s keenness to see the fixture list for the new season could be to do with ticket pricing: Celtic’s season ticket (ST) renewal prices have been published (with renewal deadline date having already been nudged back a couple of times, to 30 June).  However, my guess is that a big number of ST-holders (not just at Celtic) may be delaying their decision to renew until they have a clearer idea of what they’re being asked to pay for.

  39. How can there possibly be a fixture list whilst there is still discussion of restructuring, which would presumably mean the top division changing size.


  40.     I was just reading that Celtic have ordered two all singing all dancing test machines from South Korea, offering a result within 20 minutes. Also that the SFA have ordered two and Ross County one. At £35K a pop they're not cheap. 

  41. Corrupt official 31st May 2020 at 16:06

    Dunderheid 31st May 2020 at 16:28

    Homunculus 31st May 2020 at 16:48


    In the normal round of announcements, the League fixtures don’t come out until the middle of June at the earliest. Last year it was 21 June.


    It is not unreasonable to suggest that Celtic has other motives than simply to get the league underway.

    I stick to my view that readiness for European games is their number one priority at the moment. In a normal season, training would probably resume in a week or so’s time, with a series of low key friendlies to get rid of the rustiness, then start their CL qualifying campaign in early July (the original schedule would have seen Celtic’s first qualifying game on 7/8 July).

    I can’t see any scope for friendlies before the planned 1 August start date, so it will be straight into competitive action in both the League and the CL qualifying (if there is any).

    UEFA had penciled in the month of August to complete last season’s tournaments. I guess that a qualifying tournament could run in parallel with that, but you could only play two rounds, rather than the normal four if you stuck to midweek fixtures.


  42. adam812 31st May 2020 at 15:54

    I gave up listening to BBC Sportsound yesterday. Not everyone will agree, but I think many will, that the Sportsound crew are a gullible bunch!


    For a publicly funded national broadcaster they simply don't present both sides of a debate, which is just plain wrong. Ironic they went on so much about reform in Scottish football governance. A huge clear out at the BBC would not go amiss either.  I find it particularly baffling why they place so much store on what Stephen Thompson thinks. Clearly his status as an ex-Rangers player and the holder of an illegal EBT overrides everything else. 

  43. Higgy’s Shoes 31st May 2020 at 15:45
    i suspect some sort of jiggery-pokery would come into play.
    A 5 way agreement could play a part

  44. Money from anonymous benefactors cannot be acceptable.Transparency requires that the sources of cash are known and are seen to be reputable. Hearts have had one such donation already and now are at it again. Is there a limit to what may be donated anonymously? £1M?, £10M, £50M? More dodgy unaccountability in Scottish Football.

  45. macfurgly 31st May 2020 at 22:12

    '…Money from anonymous benefactors cannot be acceptable.'


    Would I be altogether off the mark, macfurgly, to understand your statement as indicating that it could not be acceptable that monies should be offered anonymously to an already suspect sports governance body , because there might possibly be the impression that undue influence may be being brought to bear on that suspect governance body in order to bring about an outcome desired by the anonymous benefactors?

    I make it clear that I am in no way impugning the motives of Mrs Budge or of those to whom she makes reference.

    Rather, based on the experience of 5-Way Agreement and the LNS/Bryson nonsense ( not to mention the questionable RIFC plc Prospectus!) , I believe that the SPFL would not be above a shabby thing, and, in effect, understand 'benefactions ' as imposing some kind of demand for a 'quid pro quo'

    If there are folk prepared out of the goodness of their hearts and a genuine desire to save Scottish Football (corrupt as it is) , then let us know who they are, so that we can assess them and their motives, and applaud them -or wonder.

  46. At the behest of my daughter , I read through TRFC's season ticket terms and conditions , ( then compared them with Thistle's ) and can find nothing that exempts them from having to offer refunds for unplayed home games . Same as me wanting nothing back from Thistle , I don't think she's after a refund ( I paid for the fecker so she's on to plums ! ), but doesn't want caught out if there are no games this year, can't accept that they are allowed just to keep the money . Could any TRFC fans looking in point me to the appropriate clause ?  Cheers .




  47. paddy malarkey 31st May 2020 at 23:54

    '. I paid for the fecker so she's on to plums ! '


    The 'fecker' being the season ticket , not your daughter! ( I hope). 

    Ah, you're a hard man, pm, if you don't give your daughter the refund of what you paid!!broken heart

    I enjoyed your post.

  48. macfurgly 31st May 2020 at 22:12

    Money from anonymous benefactors cannot be acceptable.Transparency requires that the sources of cash are known and are seen to be reputable. Hearts have had one such donation already and now are at it again. Is there a limit to what may be donated anonymously? £1M?, £10M, £50M? More dodgy unaccountability in Scottish Football.


    The mystery benefactor has been connected with Hearts for the last five years and was instrumental in the arrangement that saw Hearts adopt the "Save the Children" shirt sponsorship, as well as helping fund the stadium redevelopment.

    In those five years his identity remained largely unknown (at his request) to everyone outside the inner circle of the Hearts board.

    Now step forward less than 48 hours. He offers support to struggling SPFL clubs and his name is revealed and plastered over the Daily Record.

    Now who has the most integrity, the benefactor, Hearts, the SPFL or the Daily Record?   

  49. easyJambo 1st June 2020 at 09:07

    '…He offers support to struggling SPFL clubs and his name is revealed and plastered over the Daily Record.

    Now who has the most integrity, the benefactor, Hearts, the SPFL or the Daily Record? '


    Prime suspect has to be the SPFL, in my book.

    The DR is incapable of doing any original fact-finding and research, reliant as it is on regurgitating what is fed to it.

    James Anderson would not have provided the details.

    Hearts had kept schtum for years. 

    I think Anne Budge had to tell the SPFL, in confidence, and someone in that outfit fed the story to the DR.

    If the DR had known about the details when Budge first mentioned the fact that people were prepared to help, they sure as hell would have published them then.

    And the SPFL has a track record of lack of integrity.


  50. The SPFL resolution to end the season and distribute monies to the lower league clubs was passed on 10 April 2020.

    The Premiership was called on 18 May 2020.

    At the time many a chairman stepped up and said the resolution was great because 1) It got the last tranche of prize money into the club’s bank accounts and 2) It gave everyone certainty so as to plan for next season.

    We are now at 1 June 2020 and still we haven’t got a clue what is happening with regard to Scottish Football.

    The SPFL chairman has recently been talking about the Bet Fred Cup starting in July while at the same time lower league clubs are talking about mothballing. Therefore, you can’t have both scenarios.

    The Premiership is trying to get started ASAP but there is no obvious pathway for how the Championship and Leagues One and Two are to start up.

    In that circumstance if you thought that promotion and relegation were difficult to decide in 2019/20 what about 2020/21.

    For example if the talked about 18 game Championship goes ahead from January 2021 and, say , Hearts win, will they be worthy of promotion? Will the bottom team in the Premiership, say Dundee United, feel hard done when they will have toiled over a full season only to be replaced by a team playing a limited number of games. Asterisks anyone?

    Presumably there will be no relegation from the Championship to a mothballed League One where no-one will gain promotion. Teams in the lower two divisions could therefore be ‘trapped’ there for a season and maybe even more.

    What came across from Ann Budge’s interview broadcast on Saturday was an apparent frustration at a lack of progress for the footballing authorities.

    Yes there is a degree of self interest in relation to Hearts position but she now seems to be  not only putting forward plans for reconstruction but now also trying to find out exactly what other teams are intending to do.

    Perhaps her tardiness in dealing with Mr Levein has made her realise action needs to be taken and quickly to make progress if football in the lower leagues is going to survive let alone be played anytime soon.

    Where has her co-chair on this group, Hamilton and SPFL Board member Les Gray,  gone – missing in action.

    What have the lower league teams contributed to the debate from all these self-proclaimed experienced business men – nothing but criticism. (See Clyde and Cowdenbeath) As far as I can see not one positive uttering or any alternative proposals for finding a way forward.

    As discussed above they don’t even seem to have considered the future implications of mothballing on other teams in the SPFL or the pyramid system in general.

    Where are these guys in terms of finding  innovative solutions.

    Budge, through her contacts, appears to be trying to bringing potential new cash into the game in attempt to see Scottish Football through this crisis.

    Where is the similar drive to seek out help and use wealthy contacts for the whole of the Scottish game from the big players at Celtic, Aberdeen, Hibs etc.

    Where is the similar drive from the lower league chairmen?

    As the old saying goes, if you want something done give it to a busy person. At least Budge comes across as being passionate about trying to move matters forward – not only for Hearts but for others.

    As always the Scottish Football Authorities have reverted to type and set up a Joint Response group with six sub-groups. Plenty of chatting but no action. Like many initiatives before,  anything coming out of these groups will stifled by the self-interest of member clubs, the can will be kicked down the road and/or a weighty document will be produced that will end up siting on a shelf.

    The game needs real leadership now but I don’t see anyone in a position of authority really trying to get a grip on things.

    Budge, at least, appears to be trying to find a way forward but, for a variety of reasons, seems to be getting little or no support from the wider game and now her contact, who may have been able to help from a financial point of view, has been ‘outed’ and could be more inclined to walk away so as to leave the petty minded to get on with it.

  51. I too think Celtic are desperate to get the footie underway because of the Euro quailifiers , Ive no problem with that. However I am very uneasy about the way Rangers have said before that they dont want to play games behind closed doors . I get that to a certain extent too as playing these games will incur costs , costs that they probably cant meet.  With all the fraud , cheating and down right lies that that club has been guilty of over the years I dont think it would be too far fetched for them to "claim" that a right few of their players have tested positive for covid and no games can be played ………..no footie , possibly not any form of meaningful games  for Celtic to prepare for a shot at the champs leaugue……… the Rangers fans would erect a statue for DP if that came about. … Ok maybe I am being paranoid but I have been guilty of not being paranoid enough in the past

  52. I’m as confused as anyone about self-isolation & the duration thereof when arriving in the UK from a foreign country.

    I understand that a large number of non-Scottish footballers returned to their ‘home’ countries to sit out the pandemic & the consequent footballing hiatus.

    If these players come back to Scotland to commence training on the eleventh of this month how is that possible if they are required to isolate themselves at a specific address for fourteen days?

  53. To echo the cynicism echoed by some other posters, we are supposed to believe that a previously unidentified "off the radar" billionaire is now willing to donate money to the teams in the lower leagues without expecting anything in return. 

    It's obviously got nothing to do with him having a connection with Hearts and Hearts, purely by chance mind you, wanting to gain the support of teams in their attempts to reconstruct all of the professional leagues so that they avoid regulation. Of course, there is no chance these two items could be in any way related. 

    Scottish football does itself no favours sometimes…or should that be all of the time?!



  54. ElCapitano2013 1st June 2020 at 14:04

    As discussed above, all other teams, individually or as a group, are more than welcome to source other streams of income to help resolve elements of the ongoing crisis.

    (Michael Stewart has been banging on about trying to raise the issue of additional broadcasting rights and income for weeks now)

    As Budge said in her interview, yes it is about Hearts being relegated in unusual circumstances but it is also about peoples jobs, not only at Tynecastle but at other clubs. For some it may actually be about survival.

    I’m more than happy for this chap to simply keep on directing his millions towards Tynecastle if his offer is so abhorrent to others.

    Reading between the lines, while there will be hardship playing in the Championship, if it ever gets started, the message is that Hearts appear to be in a reasonable financial position with people, including this philanthropist and the FoH all potentially putting money into the club over and above season tickets and merchandising sales. Whatever this next season brings the club will make the required financial decisions and, IMHO, still come out the other side.

    I’m guessing that some may not be so lucky the longer this crisis goes on.

    While I hope that all teams can survive, if any do fall then I hope they remember who at least tried to offer assistance and who drew up their drawbridges.

  55. easyJambo 1st June 2020 at 09:07

    Now who has the most integrity, the benefactor, Hearts, the SPFL or the Daily Record?   

    I take it from that his name and the nature of his donations was known to the SPFL, who were satisfied as to his aims and integrity. I trust the same was the case with the previous other anonymous donors to Hearts. 


    That being the case, they are not truly anonymous. Anonymity would mean donations from unknown persons, possibly in the £M’s from, possibly and allegedly, Hong Kong or South Africa which may cause UEFA or others to consider the possibility of money laundering or other corruption. The source of funds into football needs complete transparency.

  56. Cluster One 1st June 2020 at 13:40

    I see what you are saying, however an alternate take on that could be that it relates to expenses other than the ticket itself. For example if someone had paid for travelling, a hotel or whatever else.

    In the even of such ambiguity surely it should be read to favour the party which did not draw up the contract.

    Having said that, there is unlikely to be any legal action, so I doubt it will go anywhere. 

  57. wottpi 1st June 2020 at 14:32


    When you say "people putting money into the club", is this actual donations, as opposed to loans, buying shares etc.

  58. Cluster One 1st June 2020 at 13:40

    Thanks for that , but I'd read that and don't think it covers the current situation . The matches haven't been postponed or cancelled , they have been"called" within the competition rules and the points shared between the competing teams . And it's not incurred expenses that you would be looking to recover , but recompense for undelivered product you are being deprived of . 

  59. macfurgly 1st June 2020 at 15:12

    I take it from that his name and the nature of his donations was known to the SPFL, who were satisfied as to his aims and integrity. I trust the same was the case with the previous other anonymous donors to Hearts. 


    I think that you will find that the Hearts donor(s) on each occasion have been one and the same.

    I don’t think that it is within the remit of the SPFL to satisfy themselves that the source(s) of clubs’ income is kosher.  However, Hearts do have a legal responsibility in terms of money laundering regulations to ensure that any funds they receive are legitimately sourced and given. That means conducting due diligence on the donor(s).

    Where the football authorities may have an interest is in relation to UEFA FFP. As Auldheid has previously pointed out that is very much a self certification exercise with the SFA doing next to no diligence on the returns. 

    Unlike other clubs, each tranche of cash received by Hearts was a donation. There were no loans involved, no shares issued, nada.  Any Hearts trading “losses” that may have been covered by the cash sums received were just a fraction of that allowed by UEFA (€39m over three years). 

    No rules were broken, bent or anything else untoward. If  you disagree with clubs being allowed to accept generous donations, then you better have a word with the Boards of the Foundation of Hearts, the Well Society, AberDNA, etc.  

  60. easyJambo 1st June 2020 at 16:50

    Thanks, that is what I was asking, so it was donations.

    I believe I read that all he wanted for that was not to have to wear a tie. Which I have to say is quite cool.

    However if it was allowed it just shows Hearts don't have the same high standards as Rangers, at least sartorially. 

  61. I assume that the proposed donation will be to the SPFL who will then 'divvy up' the cash but on what basis?.Football clubs in the top flight are owned and operated by rich men in their own right(with notable exceptions such as Motherwell) and it would be unseemly if said owners sat back to take advantage of this gentlemans largesse.
    As no shares or equity is involved does the recipient have to pay tax on the gift ?

  62. The frustration is starting to show on here. To expect any organisation to plan for the future under the present circumstances is expecting too much. The EPL can take the gamble without financial mayhem worrying them too much but in Scotland we don't have that luxury. 

    So Hearts and Celtic aren't getting the clarity they seem to expect, so what? They, and there fans, are ignoring the threat to the future viability of the other clubs and the health of the players that they expect to bend to their requests just so they can deal with their own predicament.

    Is it really acceptable to risk a number of clubs' existence just so that one club can get its defined number of games or so another club can get match practice to better its chances in Europe and extend its financial superiority over the rest?

    Calm down and let's just be thankful that we are healthy enough to worry about the future.


  63. Mickey Edwards 1st June 2020 at 17:32

    I don’t expect any number of games and nor do I expect players and other members of a team’s staff to be put at risk.

    What I do expect now is, after the resolution was voted through so convincingly over six weeks ago (as we are often gleefully reminded) and many a chairman waxed lyrical about how it was great news as they could now make plans for 2020/21,  that the powers that be and the ‘supportive chairmen’ actually come forward with those plans. 

    If, having considered the options,  they want to mothball then go ahead if that helps their clubs survive. 

    However just say so and those who want and can play can make the appropriate arrangements.

    If you recall it was Hearts asking why the SPFL was in such a hurry and in supporting the T’Rangers motion queried the actions and intentions of the board and the key members of staff.

    Now the first resolution has passed and the T’Rangers one defeated  those same board members and CEO, supportive chairmen etc seem to be dragging their heels.

    Why? Because as usual they had no long term plan beyond dealing with one hurdle when clearly there are at least a dozen ahead.

    The current situation is not one of Hearts or indeed Celtic’s making.



  64. wottpi 1st June 2020 at 18:46

    I don’t think Hearts “supported” Rangers per se. Well any more than they supported Stranraer. 

    Am I not right in saying that Hearts, Rangers and Stranraer together called for an EGM to discuss a resolution that all three put forward. 

    Probably worth also mentioning that both Hearts and Rangers have now accepted that the league could not be played to a conclusion. 



  65. WOTTPI@18:46

    The simple fact is that no-one knows what we are able to do. Our politicians,as always, are making changes that will let them achieve their goals while not upsetting the masses. They want to start the country back to work but that will cost lives. They will use the frustration of people shut up at home to believe that it will be safe to do so and they will pray that it doesn't backfire on them. Should something as trivial as sport take that same attitude? 

    The simple fact is that, just like everyone else, the football governing body does not know what the future holds. They can't predict what will happen once the league restarts. Smaller teams could go to the wall if a single case of covid19 shuts it all down again. They will have committed to contracts while knowing that there is no kitty in the Scottish game that can help them.

    Clubs see a message from the government indicating that we are returning to normal but that is a lie. Do you really think that they should gamble?

    I have no time for the SFA and SPFL but they are on a hiding to nothing in the current circumstances. For Celtic to want clarification so that they can prepare for Europe and Hearts so that they can plan for next season is the height of stupidity. Number one aim is to clarify what, under the worst circumstances, each club needs to survive and whether we can afford it. 

    Having said that, does it really matter what the end result is at a time when we don't even know what awaits us in the new normal. Recession, hyper-inflation, high unemployment, an elderly population that cannot mix with the rest of society for fear of catching a fatal illness and a government has no financial reserves to pay credits to the much higher numbers of poor and unemployed.

    I don't think that knowing next year's fixture list is really going to matter, do you?

  66. Mickey Edwards 1st June 2020 at 20:12

    In the big scheme of things I don't think next season's fixtures are a priority.

    But those matters are for other forums.

    This is a football forum/blog to discuss the matters of the day. Therefore I think it is perfectly, reasonable to comment on current developments.

    Yes there are going to be many hurdles and issues ahead but football is like any other business and it needs to make plans as best it can.

    When things get tough folks like a distraction, be that drink, fags, the movies or sport.

    Football and other sports may not be top of the list in terms of  restoring the countries financial position but it may help with peoples mental health and therefore shouldn't be so easily dismissed.

  67. I note that there are expressions of hope that the SPFL Board will not use the distribution model used for the distribution of Commercial Revenue in deciding how to allocate to the 42 clubs such millions of pounds as may come as a charitable gift from a donor/donors to 'Scottish Football'.

    The Articles appear to give the Board absolute discretion in how other monies or revenue of whatever kind other than 'commercial' are to be dealt with. 

    But it surely would not be right for any division  in the SPFL to be given less than any other? And there would have to be some provision made from the total gift for other areas of the sport, perhaps the women's game and certainly grass -roots football?

    Each division might thereafter decide how to distribute its share among the clubs in that division.

    No club or division ca be assumed to have an 'entitlement'  to a  greater share than any other club of an unearned, charitable gift!


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