The Day I was on the Scotland U-23 Bench

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The Scottish Parliament are today discussion the issue of some …

Comment on The Day I was on the Scotland U-23 Bench by Charlie_Kelly.

The Scottish Parliament are today discussion the issue of some (as yet unnamed) clubs who are not paying their players the national minimum wage.
My first thought was, what is there to discuss or debate? It’s the law so just enforce the law! Why is there a debate about it? 
But then that got me thinking, well just exactly how do you work out how many hours per week a footballer “works” ? Is it game time or game time plus hours spent training? What about overnight stays in hotels? Or what about the fact that everything you do is done under the banner of “professional footballer” so if you tweet the wrong thing or give the wrong opinion you could be fined by your club… You could argue that football is a 24/7 contract.
So how exactly is a footballers “minimum wage” actually calculated in the first place? How many hours do footballers work?

Charlie_Kelly Also Commented

The Day I was on the Scotland U-23 Bench
I see the rangers PR strategy has taken yet another bizarre twist as they have decided to re-ignite a story about their own fans vandalising the toilets at Celtic park and all because CFC have had the audacity to bill them for it (as was the custom for years and is now in fact in the SPFL rules) and when no payment was forthcoming Celtic have simply deducted the money from the £350,000 or so, that they owe to rangers for the hogmanay fixture.
That really should have been the end of the matter but no no no… Those PR geniuses over at ibrox have decided to put their own fans’ disgraceful behaviour that day (and the fact that they as a club are clearly financially embarrassed if the equivalent of a fortnights wages for Scott Sinclair has them screaming blue murder) front & centre in the SMSM.
Of course the Celtic support did not exactly cover themselves in glory that day either and this would possibly explain why Celtic have not pursued this money via the media or the SPFL or the courts but instead just sent rangers the bill for the repairs. The fact rangers have ignored this for months and now want to have a “they did this/but they did that” back and forward in the press, really does say everything about the folk in charge at ibrox just now.

The Day I was on the Scotland U-23 Bench
I supposed it depends on how you interpret the word “relegated”. In a football context we all know what it means and what it is specifically referring to. So on that basis the punter is “on tae plums” as they say because RFC were quite clearly not relegated. They finished 2nd.
HOWEVER – The press report on this says that the girl in the shop phoned head office and that the punter demanded the call be on loud speaker etc…. Could this have been because they were thrashing out what “relegation” would mean for the purpose of this bet? For example if he bet that “Rangers will not play in the Scottish top flight in the 2012/13 season” then his bet is a winner. But try fitting all that on to a betting slip! So maybe the word “relegated” was used as a catchall to cover various scenarios ?
Probably not but just a thought… and it would at least explain why it’s become a matter for the courts to resolve as opposed to a simple glance at the 2011/12 league table.

The Day I was on the Scotland U-23 Bench
Anyone with access to google could convince a court that rangers were not relegated in 2012
2011/12 final league standings
Dunfermline were relegated in 2012. Rangers finished 2nd.

Recent Comments by Charlie_Kelly

Launch of SFSA Fans’ Survey
Found this response from Rod McKenzie rather interesting:

Q: If there was another insolvency event at Ibrox would that be considered as a first or second offence?ROD McKENZIE: “Second. As it stands. There is a time period between insolvency events which I think is five years. So it might not now be 25 points. I think it is a five-year period between, and if you have a further insolvency event within the five year period then you get a further 25 point deduction. At Rangers in 2011 was the administration but they went into liquidation in 2012. We are just still within the five year period.”
Now forget the fact he doesn’t even know what year rangers went in to administration, and focus on why there was no points deduction for going in to “Liquidation”. This was a second insolvency event within the 5 year period.
So why was there no further 25pt deduction carried forward to the 2012/13 season? Those of us who deal in reality know why there was no further punishment. There was nothing there to punish! The football club in question ceased to exist and a new club took it’s place in the bottom tier of the Scottish Football League.
The SFA/SPL tried to get around this by claiming that it was the holding company that had gone in to administration/liquidation and not the club.
OK fine but what happens going forward if a club is facing financial ruin? Take a hypothetical scenario, let’s say a random top flight club (Ross County for example) is owned & operated by “Company A ltd” and the club/company have run up massive debts chasing on field success. It becomes obvious to everyone at Ross County that the end is nigh and that gong in to administration is the only solution. In this scenario what is to stop them setting up “Company B ltd” and selling the “club” to Company B Ltd BEFORE placing Company A Ltd in to administration?
What would happened if a club tried to pull a stunt like that now in 2017 or does it still depend on which club we’re talking about ?

Launch of SFSA Fans’ Survey
I’d love for someone from our MSM to simply ask the SFA/SPFL the following question.
Do they regard the “Improper registration of players” over a sustained period of around 10 years, as cheating?
Depending on their answer I’d also like to know if this answer applies equally to all clubs past/present/future and if not why not?

Time for Scots Government to Take Bull by the Horns
I was just thinking a bit more about Gordon Smith’s hankering for the good old days of EBT’s and Helicopters changing direction, red white & blue ticker tape parades etc… It got me thinking about ways to make the top flight more competitive. By “top Flight” I of course mean “rangers”.
I would like to propose that as of next season that rangers be given a 1 goal start in every league & cup match. This is sure to make the title race between Celtic & rangers far more competitive and therefore far more interesting to fans of all clubs in Scotland.
Looking at last season as an example. Had this been applied (Yes I know games may have panned out differently had rangers had a 1-0 lead going in to the game but just forget that for the moment) then rangers would have achieved 25pts more giving them a final total of 92pts.
Celtic would have had 3pts less by virtue of drawing the hogmanay derby 2-2 and losing 2-1 at home to rangers in March, giving a final points tally for Celtic of 103.
So that’s a final gap of 11pts. Not quite a nail biter but certainly way more competitive than a 39 point gap and having rangers in 3rd place. A couple of decent signings for rangers and maybe an injury or two at Celtic and who knows we could have another end of season cliffhanger on our hands for the 2017/18 season like the good old days of EBT’s.
I now propose that the SPFL board & SFA convene an EGM to have these measures in place for the start of the new season. I just hope there are no petty and small minded complaints from clubs like Aberdeen or Hearts complaining about rangers being given an “unfair advantage”. How can it be an unfair advantage if Celtic still won the league by 11 points last year?

Time for Scots Government to Take Bull by the Horns
Yeah Gordon Smith appears to think “Sporting Advantage” = “100% certain to win”
So the fact that RFC never won the league in every season in question is proof in his mind that there was no “sporting advantage”
This of course is an absolutely ludicrous interpretation of the term “Sporting advantage”. Just because you have an inbuilt advantage does not guarantee victory it merely increases your chances of victory.
So if Motherwell (for example) signed a top drawer defender tomorrow via some sort of illicit tax dodging scheme, then their chances of winning the league will have increased. This however does not guarantee that they will win it or that they will even finish any higher than they did last year.
The same applies to all sporting competitions. Cheating/Breaking the rules does not guarantee victory. and just because you finish 2nd/3rd/4th….. does not mean that you haven’t broken the rules or that rule breaking is no big deal so long as you don’t win.
It is complete idiocy from Gordon Smith.

Time for Scots Government to Take Bull by the Horns
Yeah Gordon, it was great when Celtic/Rangers were at each others throats in the mid 00’s. I’m sure the Aberdeen/Hearts/Hibs/Dundee Utd etc.. fans were absolutely besides themselves with excitement and no doubt they all hanker for a return to the days when they had to fight it out for third place as opposed to now fighting it out for 2nd place.
Why doesn’t Gordon hanker for the days like the climax to the 82/83 season I wonder? We had three clubs going in to the final day of the season who could all still be crowned champions. One of those clubs (the one that finished 3rd as it turned out) ended that season with a European trophy in their trophy cabinet! But of course the thrilling finale to the 82/83 season didn’t actually involve rangers in any meaningful sense so that cannot be remembered as an “exciting time”.
Only close run races with Rangers eventually prevailing, by fair means or foul, can be remembered fondly as the “good old days”

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