The Day I was on the Scotland U-23 Bench

ByBig Pink

The Day I was on the Scotland U-23 Bench

It’s been a crappy year. If you don’t believe me, look at the two lists below this piece – full of people who have left us since Jan 1 2016. Some might say in a post Brexit/Trump world they are all better off, but that is neither here nor there.

In addition we have witnessed yet another year of the “black is white – new is old” suspension of disbelief argument from the football authorities. The same dysfunctional crew who gave us the 5-way agreement and whose cerebral CPU cycles are dominated by a strategy to choose the correct term to use for various concepts like; liquidation, Rangers FC, pitch invasion, independent inquiry, (to name just a few).
They now think we will be satisfied with what their crack investigation into child sex abuse – and its no doubt cherry-picked and narrow terms of reference – will come up with.

Still in place at Hampden, is a Press Officer who thinks he IS the SFA, and a chief executive who should BE the SFA, but who prefers, in his own words to do “nothing”. These are the people who, in the midst of a public debate over concerns for racism and homophobia in the game, have given a coaching job involving young people to a man who has been proven a racist and a homophobe.

These are the people who constantly have their hands out for public funds, including one to fund a grade-A bonkers facial recognition scheme to root out sectarianism (and all the other ISMS that they have just endorsed by appointing Malky Mackay).

Yet we complain about the Americans when they elect an insane man to power?

All is however not lost. Within living memory, and since it is Christmas, I’d like to relate a warm, cuddly, sentimental and very true story about the late Jock Stein. It is proof that there was a time before the madness that has enveloped Scottish Football when real people of quality, blessed with empathy for fans, roamed these lands.


Rewind to 13th May 1975. Myself and three great friends, two teenagers from each half of the Old Firm, decided to walk over to Hampden Park to see Scotland playing a friendly match against Portugal. Two of the guys – ironically the Rangers ones – lived in a wee street right across the road from Celtic Park, and we set out from ‘their bit’, walking through Strathie’s Park and down Springfield Road into Dalmarnock Road. We were a bit behind schedule and of course we were all skint so we had to walk. As my mates dithered, I walked on ahead shouting at them something like ‘hurry up!’ (although a tad less politely).

As I approached the junction of Dalmarnock Road and Adelphi Street, I absent-mindedly did a bit of jay-walking and was nearly hit on the backside by a ton of German tin making a left turn. The passenger window of the car was rolled down, and I prepared an impetuous come-back to what I was sure was going to be a rollicking.

Instead, a strangely familiar man in a thick Irish brogue poked his head out of the window and said; “Where you going?”

As my brain registered “Sean Fallon”, I made a quick connection, turned to the driver and saw that it was Big Jock. Thoughts of “what an honour to be knocked down by Jock Stein” flashed through my befuddled between-ear mass.

Recovering quickly;  “To the game” I said.

“Jump in!” shouted Mr Stein

“My pals are just behind me”

“Tell them to jump in as well”

I never asked the guys when they realised it was the greatest living Scotsman driving the car, but we didn’t know many folk with a Merc, so I suppose they knew it wasn’t a relative who had stopped me.

The four of us climbed into the spacious big bench seat in the back of the car for the fifteen minute journey. Immediate questions.

Yes Jock (we were pals by now 🙂 ) was going to the game and so was Sean, but they were going home for something to eat first. Yes, it was a great perk of being a manager that you didn’t have to queue, but what did we think of the team?

The chat at the time was that Kenny Dalglish hadn’t hit it off with Scotland because Bremner was cramping his style. Bremner was injured that night, so my pal Gerry Connor (permission to use his name has been granted!) told The Boss (we were really close by now) that we expected KD fireworks.

What did we think of Hutchinson? Since it definitely appeared to be posed in rhetorical fashion we chose “not very much”.
The Gaffer concurred.

One of the Rangers guys (Big Jimmy) wondered aloud why Alfie Conn, by then of Spurs, was not selected. It was a ridiculous situation said my mate. Probably keeping him for the U-23s he thought out loud, before realising that Jock was the then Under 23 manager.

“Oh, eh, um, sorry! I forgot that was you!” said Big Jimmy. “No worries, he’s a very good player” said Big John (by now we felt we had known him forever).

Truth is, we were scared shitless; totally in awe of the man driving, DRIVING US, to the match. He really wanted to know what we thought, who we liked to see play, who we would pick who wasn’t in the squad.

Another thing was that despite it being huge for us all, we all wanted it it over with as quickly as possible so we could talk about it. But it wasn’t over yet. The final flourish was when we got dropped off at the Beechwood. We got out of the car as the crowds were descending on Hampden. Stein’s car was noticed right away, but who were these young scallywags emerging fro the back?

“Thanks Boss, thanks Sean!” we all shouted so the bystanders could ear. Stein smiled, waved at us and sped off to Kings Park for his dinner.

“See you in the morning Gaffer!”

Chests puffed out, we all assumed the pose of Scotland Under-23 starlets. Scotland won 1-0, but I can honestly say I don’t remember a bloody thing about that match. I do remember being on the Scotland U-23 bench though 🙂

The moral of the story is clear to me. In the background of Dave Scott’s claim in our podcast that the SFA needed to get its act together, and to engage more with the fans, the men of the Stein mould, our greatest football generation, are perhaps the last generation to possess the ability to do that.

He could have just beeped loudly in frustration and went off home for his dinner that evening, but he saw four young fans – guys who loved the game anyway – and made us love it a bit more after that fifteen minute ride. For a few minutes out of his time, Jock Stein gave us all a lifetime of a cherished memory, which I have dined out on, and will continue to dine out on, forever.

Many years later, footballers of that era told me that it was commonplace for the likes of Billy McNeill and John Grieg to do the same in Glasgow, for Pat Stanton and Davie Holt in Edinburgh, and for Alex Hamilton and Jerry Kerr in Dundee.

Sadly, three decades later, I regularly witnessed footballers go to extraordinary lengths to avoid autograph hunters, ducking out of back doors and having stewards deliver their cars to remote places away from the public gaze.

Of the four lucky boys who chanced upon Jock Stein that night, I am still in touch with two. Big Jimmy has fallen of the radar, last heard of in England somewhere – as is Gerry, condemned to a purgatory of watching Blackburn Rovers!

Despite that, we will always share the bond of the night we were on the Under-23 bench seat in the back of Big Jock’s Merc.

We should remember that the game in this country prospered when it was more in tune with the people who followed it. Perhaps market equilibrium will one day bring it back, who knows, but for now, football is an industry where no-one in control at the clubs gives a flying doo-doo what we think.

 

At least we still have our memories. Of the great Jock Stein, to whom I was briefly related, of his assistant Sean Fallon, who I got to know a bit in later years, and of many football folk I was privileged enough to know, and who are no longer with us.

Just like the class of 2016 below, we miss them all.

 

Non Football Deaths in 2016

Date Name Age
04 Jan Robert Stigwood Producer 81
08 Jan David Bowie Musician 69
14 Jan Alan Rickman Actor 69
15 Jan DanHaggerty Grizzly Adams Actor 74
18 Jan Glen Frey Musician 67
28 Jan Paul Kantner Musician 74
19 Feb Harper Lee Author 89
28 Feb George Kennedy Actor 91
08 Mar George Martin Producer 90
09 Mar Robert Horton Wagon Train Actor 91
10 Mar Keith Emerson Musician 71
17 Mar Larry Drake LA Law Actor 66
18 Mar Joe Santos Rockford Files Actor 84
22 Mar Richard Bradford Man in a Suitcase Actor 81
24 Mar Garry Shandling Comedian 66
06 Apr Merle Haggard Musician 79
21 Apr Prince Musician 57
24 Apr Billy Paul Musician 81
19 May Alan Young Mr Ed Actor 96
03 Jun Muhammad Ali Boxer 74
14 Jun Ronnie-Claire Edwards Waltons Actor 83
28 Jun Scotty Moore Musician 84
19 Jul Garry Marshall Actor/Producer 81
13 Aug Kenny Baker Star Wars Actor 81
20 Aug Gene Wilder Actor 83
06 Sep Hugh O’Brian Wyatt Earp Actor 91
25 Sep Arnold Palmer Golfer 87
28 Sep Shimon Peres Politician 93
14 Oct Jean Alexander Coronation St Actor 90
24 Oct Bobby Vee Singer 73
24 Oct Pete Burns Musician 57
03 Nov Kaye Starr Singer 94
07 Nov Leonard Cohen Musician 82
11 Nov Robert Vaughan Actor 83
13 Nov Leon Russell Musician 74
25 Nov Fidel Castro Politician 90
06 Dec Peter Vaughan Porridge Actor 93
07 Dec Greg Lake Musician 69
08 Dec John Glenn Astronaut 95
18 Dec Zsa-Zsa Gabor Actor 99
24 Dec Rick Parfitt Musician 67
24 Dec Liz Smith Royle Family Actor 95
25 Dec George Michael Musician 53
27 Dec Carrie Fisher Actor 60
28 Dec Debbie Reynolds Actor 84

 

 

Football Deaths in 2016

Date Name Club Age
22 Jan Tommy Bryceland St Mirren 76
22 Jan John Dowie Celtic 60
04 Feb Harry Glasgow Clyde 76
24 Feb Jim McFadzean Kilmarnock & Hearts 77
11 Mar Billy Ritchie Rangers Goalkeeper 79
20 Mar Alan Cousin Dundee, Hibs & Falkirk 78
24 Mar Johan Cruyff Ajax, Barcelona 68
31 Mar Jimmy Toner Dundee 92
06 May Chris Mitchell Queen of the South 27
11 May Bobby Carroll Celtic 77
14 May John Coyle Dundee United 83
20 Jun Willie Logie Rangers, Aberdeen 83
03 Jul Jimmy Frizzell Morton 79
06 Jul Davie Nicol Falkirk 80
08 Jul Jackie McInally Kilmarnock 79
21 Jul Dick Donnelly East Fife Goalkeper/Journalist 74
05 Aug Joe Davis Hibs Captain 75
21 Aug Rab Stewart Dunfermline 54
05 Sep Max Murray Rangers 80
13 Sep Matt Gray Third Lanark 80
01 Oct David Herd Man United & Scotland 82
10 Oct Eddie O’Hara Falkirk & Everton 80
16 Oct George Peebles Dunfermline 80
18 Oct Gary Sprake Leeds United 71
08 Nov Ian Cowan Partick Thistle, Falkirk & DAFC 71
16 Nov Daniel Prodan Rangers 44
25 Nov Jim Gillespie Dunfermline 69
26 Nov Davie Provan Rangers 75
10 Dec Tommy McCulloch Clyde Goalkeeper 82
11 Dec Charlie McNeil Stirling Albion 53

About the author

Big Pink administrator

Big Pink is John Cole; a former schoolteacher based in the West of Scotland, He is also a print and broadcast journalist who is engaged in the running of SFM . Former gigs include Newstalk 106, the Celtic View, and Channel67. A Celtic fan, he is also the voice of our podcast initiative.

653 Comments so far

AllyjamboPosted on2:05 pm - Dec 18, 2016


Hi JC, hope you are having a great time with your family in Oz, and managing to find some decent daytime shade in which to enjoy your Aussie beer 04

A wee thought that might help that beer go down; a week or so ago we were reading of fairly strong rumours that someone of substance was about to enter the Ibrox frame. Now it has emerged during yesterday and today that the Worthington Group are issuing fresh ‘Letters Before Claim’ this coming week, with legal action about to commence two weeks later. Assuming RIFC/TRFC are included in these Letters Before – it’s unlikely they’re not as therein lies the most prominent heritable assets – can you imagine anyone other than men of the Whyte, Green, King ilk (who tend to only use other people’s money) risking their own money while such uncertainty exists over what might happen at the end of what will, in all probability, be a long and rather protracted piece of litigation?

I’d suggest that should anyone be daft enough to want to take over such a mess, then their only way forward would be to first settle with Worthington, who might very well be hoping that this is what happens!

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John ClarkPosted on2:30 pm - Dec 18, 2016


valentinesclownDecember 18, 2016 at 13:43
‘….Here is a link to the Worthington report.’
_____
Grateful to you, valentinesclown, for the link.

But I’ve just read a few pages of the crap that these ‘city trader’ types write, and I measure the kind of of a wee shite-bag what I have seen against the kind of shite-bags what are writing about shite-bag number one( or should be that be ‘number 2?)

To think that most of us thought that ‘being in the City’, being a ‘stockbroker’, being in’banking’ , being a ‘city trader’ was being anything more elevated than being a Del-boy feckin chancer with other people’s money!

Just read the feckin crap they semi-literately write. Puts me in mind of the guff that came from from Shitehouse and my namesake!

Bast.rds both.

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bfbpuzzledPosted on2:57 pm - Dec 18, 2016


Fiat banking is worse than using other people’s money -the bankers said let there be money and there was money thereafter there was usury upon that and thus the others let the bankers store more and make more up until the financial Chernobyl 

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John ClarkPosted on3:02 pm - Dec 18, 2016


AllyjamboDecember 18, 2016 at 14:05
‘..Hi JC, hope you are having a great time with your family in Oz, and managing to find some decent daytime shade in which to enjoy your Aussie beer ‘
_________
Aj, thank you.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would be snorkelling on the Great Barrier reef with just about to become 4 years old , fearlessy aquatic twin granddaughters, and two others aged 7 and 5 , who each have their swimming badges for hundreds of metres. The just turned 7 year old can do 1000metres, and the five year old is not far behind her.

I look at them with grandparently pride,

And in the knowledge that I am not a bent football financier, or agent, or football club director, or on the Board of the SFA or SPFL, or an employee of the SMSM.

When in a few tears time,my grandaughters ask me, ” Grandad, did you accept the Big Lie?’, I will face them with the Truth: no, I did not. Death cannot actually be denied.RFC is as deid as that wee ant you just stood on.That wee other ant that you see on your toe is quite a different wee ant.’

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StevieBCPosted on3:23 pm - Dec 18, 2016


This SFA’s ‘Project Brail’ sounds like horse sh1t to me…

I’ll get ma poop scoop.  22

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CrownStBhoyPosted on3:54 pm - Dec 18, 2016


JOHN CLARKDECEMBER 18, 2016 at 15:02

JC you are in the form of your life!

A Fat Yak (or 2 or…) to you 10

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SmugasPosted on3:55 pm - Dec 18, 2016


If it’s the Record report you’re going by Steve my favourite quote so far is (referring back to good old colt teams once more) “surely everyone can see the benefit of Rangers and Celtic having the best 19 year olds playing competitively?”  Em yes I can see the obvious benefit (and beneficiaries) thank you but you mentioned something about Scottish football?  Still waiting…

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upthehoopsPosted on7:07 pm - Dec 18, 2016


SMUGASDECEMBER 18, 2016 at 15:55

========================

I am a Celtic fan, but believe me that type of reporting annoys me as much as you. Equally, when the two clubs are mentioned in the same article I fail to understand why it’s always ‘Rangers and Celtic’ when ‘Celtic and Rangers’ would surely be the most appropriate in alphabetical order. Actually I’m talking nonsense about not understanding. To most in the media Rangers are viewed as having a higher social status than Celtic, therefore must always be placed in a sentence before Celtic. It can’t be for any other reason. 

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jimboPosted on9:02 pm - Dec 18, 2016


UTH,

Funny you should say that I have been picked up on that many times over the years.  I always say Celtic and Rangers even when Celtic are playing away!  0221

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bordersdonPosted on9:11 pm - Dec 18, 2016


nah this not a Celtic forum 121212. We should always be mentioned first A?

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jimboPosted on9:21 pm - Dec 18, 2016


Bordersdon,

Fair point, but I think you will  struggle with it when you get your upcoming new sponsorship with Zentiva Pharmacueticals. (SP)

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billyj1Posted on10:49 pm - Dec 18, 2016


Test

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easyJamboPosted on11:07 pm - Dec 18, 2016


Re King and the hacked emails:

Here is a DR article from October 2014 which gives the full text of a King statement about his proposed £16M investment in the club.
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/peace-talks-continue-rangers-over-4494908

The last couple of paragraphs are a bit of a giveaway (and a tad ironic given the Levels that the current Board employs to get their message across):

On that point, I have recently had the amusement of reviewing over 100 email communications between Mr Irvine and Craig Whyte during the period that Mr Irvine was attempting to advance Mr Whyte’s business interests.

My review of these emails indicates to me that he carefully identifies journalists that he believes lack journalistic integrity and ability and can therefore be fed by him for the benefit of whoever pays him. I urge fans to continue to ignore the nonsense that comes from these sources.

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nawlitePosted on11:20 pm - Dec 18, 2016


In-laws staying this weekend and they still buy a paper. Just had a look at Saturday’s Herald and saw a column by Neil Cameron. He’s written it because of Mark Warburton’s response to SMSM coverage of Malky MacKay’s appointment. I didn’t see Mr W’s defence of his friend MM, but it seems he accused the press of ‘lazy journalism’ by cutting and pasting old reports about the comments that caused MM’s demise at Cardiff a couple of years back.
Neil Cameron seems pretty angry at being accused of laziness and assures us all that investigative journalism is alive and well!!
A few choice paragraphs (I’m sure you can probably find the full article online)
“….So when someone accuses a journalist, or journalism as a whole, of being lazy, then those of us who every day – that’s weekends, bank holidays and at all hours – chip away at the coalface of truth are rightly going to be offended”  “The coalface of truth” oh ma sides!!!
“Warburton doesn’t like the Scottish media: that much is certain. We should, as an industry, be able to cope with that – much of our job is holding people to account – but to suggest….” “Much of our job is holding people to account” How we laughed!

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StevieBCPosted on1:00 am - Dec 19, 2016


Thanks for sharing that BP – didn’t know you were ‘besties’ with Mr. Stein!

As for today’s lack of empathy with the paying punters, what always irritates me is when you see players rush in/out of buses/stadiums with their big headphones over their nuts.

May as well carry a sign that says;
“I’m too important to talk to the little people!”
(Based on being paid decent money for kicking a ball around a field.)

I’m guessing there is much more empathy on display at the lower league clubs?
And not forgetting Turnbull Hutton who actually replied personally to emails.

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StevieBCPosted on1:04 am - Dec 19, 2016


Nawlite, Neil Cameron is obviously wasted in Scottish journalism.

He should get himself a gig at the Edinburgh Festival with his own stand up routine.
The guy’s deadpan style is hilarious.  10

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AuldheidPosted on2:58 am - Dec 19, 2016


BP
Encouraging to hear the views on the lack of leadership in Scottish football from David Scott in the latest podcast.

” I think Scottish football really needs to waken up or die”  http://podcast.sfm.scot/e/twm-episode-8/ 

I can well understand his frustration and hope the Justice Minister shares it.  A problem cannot be fixed by the mind that created it and only external intervention is going to introduce new thinking.

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FinlochPosted on8:33 am - Dec 19, 2016


A hat trick of changes John.

Oh for the days when …
We had a team who could send Portugal home to think again.
We could ignore players who were starring for Spurs.
And people like Big Jock were grounded, part of our communities and willing to work as unpaid taxi drivers.

You missed one trick and should have asked him for tickets!

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AllyjamboPosted on10:08 am - Dec 19, 2016


What a terrific memory to have, BP, and as you rightly say, there were other giants of that era who were only too pleased to get close to the supporters, true football men. Thanks for sharing it. An era, though, like those on the rather long list at the end of your post, sadly gone forever.

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AllyjamboPosted on10:19 am - Dec 19, 2016


Regardless of how ludicrous this proposal for both Celtic and TRFC to enter colts teams into the lower league of the SPFL is, wasn’t it the Ibrox club who, only a few years ago, were bemoaning the fact that their highly paid, but very experienced, journeymen were having to play against the hammer throwers of Scottish football? So much so that the SFA/SPFL donated top (a rather loose description) referees to their cause!

Now, that same club (along with Celtic) seems to be embracing the idea of pitching their, very inexperienced, youngsters into that cauldron of flying size 12 boots! Yet another inconsistency in the journey our football authorities are on with their young pet club!

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Mark CPosted on11:51 am - Dec 19, 2016


UPTHEHOOPS
I am a Celtic fan, but believe me that type of reporting annoys me as much as you. Equally, when the two clubs are mentioned in the same article I fail to understand why it’s always ‘Rangers and Celtic’ when ‘Celtic and Rangers’ would surely be the most appropriate in alphabetical order. Actually I’m talking nonsense about not understanding. To most in the media Rangers are viewed as having a higher social status than Celtic, therefore must always be placed in a sentence before Celtic. It can’t be for any other reason. 

A very quick google search disproves this theory to be fair.

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-transfer-news/celtic-rangers-target-conor-hourihane-9483056

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/celtic-rangers-want-u20-colts-8776536

https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/sport/football/322717/celtic-and-rangers-target-conor-hourihane-offered-new-deal-by-barnsley/

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/celtic-rangers-playing-england-not-9477041

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/21850351https://stv.tv/sport/football/1358378-celtic-and-rangers-u20s-learn-challenge-cup-first-round-opponents/

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/celtic-rangers-were-ready-join-9081189

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wottpiPosted on12:33 pm - Dec 19, 2016


ALLYJAMBODECEMBER 19, 2016 at 10:19

Yes indeedy, inconsistencies abound.

Not seen any details but I suppose it may help young players to develop. 

Of course Celtic and Rangers will be the main beneficiaries but many of these lads end up playing at other clubs as their careers progress so it can be argued that other clubs could benefit in future years.

Not wanting to sound like a UKIP Brexiteer but while the current ‘colts’ squads are generally full of Scottish nationals what safeguards are there to ensure future squads playing in the lower leagues will be full of the Scottish players were are seeking to develop. That is after all the main aim of the initiative – developing home grown talent.

I don’t see much point if it ends up the ‘colts’ are used to help older pro’s coming back from injury etc and develop foreign youngsters who have no intention of wearing the blue of Scotland.

Some form of restriction of the squads will surely be needed to ensure the aim of developing young home grown talent is achieved.

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erniePosted on12:51 pm - Dec 19, 2016


Reference the Celtic Rangers colts.  I have these tourette type mental outbursts when I just wish they would, as they say, “get a room” and let the rest of us get on with it (fitba that is). In fact, given that my previous plan for Scottish fitba (someone buys Celtic and Rangers) didn’t fly and a big two escape to England appears to be no more than a wet dream what about the rest of us bugger off to the juniors?  They could have two colt teams each and the six could play each other, say, 6 times for 30 super saturday/sundays.  As the BBC said in November 2011, “the only game that matters”.  The rest of us would be a bit more skint for a while but it would sort out, eventually. Whatja think?  
Seriously, in a business relationship being part of the supply chain that is tolerated but not essential to the business plan is ok up to a point but to thrive such organisations need to understand when they are actually a core element of the enterprise and act accordingly.  In the case of Scottish fitba there is no league without the clubs so I trust that the diddies will have the cojones to tell the SFA to shove it.

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Bogs DolloxPosted on1:00 pm - Dec 19, 2016


imboDecember 18, 2016 at 21:02
UTH,
Funny you should say that I have been picked up on that many times over the years.  I always say Celtic and Rangers even when Celtic are playing away! 
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Its a fairly innocous thing or at least it should be but people are too quick to make assumptions and add meaning to it.

For example, I was once in a taxi from Dublin Airport with some friends on the day of an “Old Firm” clash (not a game of football or a match but a war simile) and the driver asked if we would be watching the game on telly.
I asked “is that the Rangers v Celtic game you’re talking about?”. “Aye he says it is and I can tell you’re a Rangers man”.

I was baffled as to how he would know that from such a brief exchange but he kindly explained that I had named Rangers first so I had to be a Rangers fan. I pointed out that I had only put Rangers first because they were at home and that I supported a diddy team from Motherwell. Assumptions can be misleading. At least he never asked me who my big team was!

One of my friends in the taxi was a Celtic fan and so he and the driver had a good football chat all the way to the hotel.

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Charlie_KellyPosted on2:03 pm - Dec 19, 2016


Re “Colts” teams playing in the lower leagues. I think Celtic got a bit of an eye opener in this years challenge cup. The common wisdom prior to entry, was that Celtic would most likely cruise through the early stages and then have some real competition when the likes of Hibs, Dundee Utd, Falkirk and the Welsh/Irish sides entered the fray.
The fact that Celtic’s U20’s took an absolute pasting from League 1 Livingston (5-1 down at halftime) I think has highlighted just how big the leap is now from youth football to serious football played by grown men. You will always get the odd exceptional talent who will come through (regardless of the format and coaching methods) like Kieran Tierney for example but how do you get a conveyer belt of talent coming through? I don’t honestly have an answer for that but I think Celtic (and Rangers, Hearts, Aberdeen…) should be seriously considering this option. If the best U20’s side in the country cannot live with the likes of Livingston then there really is some serious work required.

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wee_alphaPosted on2:16 pm - Dec 19, 2016


STEVIEBCDECEMBER 19, 2016 at 01:00 
Thanks for sharing that BP – didn’t know you were ‘besties’ with Mr. Stein!
As for today’s lack of empathy with the paying punters, what always irritates me is when you see players rush in/out of buses/stadiums with their big headphones over their nuts.
May as well carry a sign that says;“I’m too important to talk to the little people!”(Based on being paid decent money for kicking a ball around a field.)
I’m guessing there is much more empathy on display at the lower league clubs?And not forgetting Turnbull Hutton who actually replied personally to emails.
——————————————————————————————————————
At Motherwell this season on they have implemented a Signing Zone at home games, where 2 first team players turn up about an hour and half or so before the game starts and sign shirts, programmes, scarves etc, and also pose for photos with the kids (of all ages). Its proved to be very popular.

A few weeks ago they had a calendar signing where the whole first team squad turned up and signed calendars and again posed for photos with the kids. Afterwards there was a “pub” quiz in which quite a few of the players entered teams along with supporters, again much enjoyed by all.

Our new Fan Engagement Officer who has worked with clubs in England, said that he was really impressed by the players willingness to take part and engage with supporters, as at some of clubs he has been at they get wrapped up in cotton wool and kept away from the fans.

I am sure a lot of “smaller” clubs do similar things and benefit from it. 

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StevieBCPosted on3:22 pm - Dec 19, 2016


Extracted from The Herald / M. Lindsay article today;

“THE SFA and SPFL are “unwilling or incapable” of safeguarding the rights of children in the pro-youth set-up and must have the regulation of the heavily-criticised system taken away from them.
That is the recommendation of Tam Baillie, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People…”
========================================

The SMSM should start with the basics, [I know];

“THE SFA and SPFL are “unwilling or incapable” of governing the professional game in Scotland…”

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PortbhoyPosted on4:12 pm - Dec 19, 2016


The latest report from BDO re. the liquidation of Rangers.

https://www.bdo.co.uk/en-gb/rfc-2012-plc

Apologies if it’s been posted already.

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BopsterPosted on4:40 pm - Dec 19, 2016


Your experience with Jock Stein is a little at odds with my own experience with a footballer in a car.
my brother and myself arrived early in Aberdeen for the Hearts match and we were strolling towards the ground with our fish suppers.  A car pulled up , the window rolled down and a head popped out. “Hearts ba…..s”!! He yelled. Then drove off at speed.  Me and my brother could only stand there and laugh.  I hold no grudge against Davy Dodds.  The amount of abuse that guy took for his er…. lack of visual appeal .. must have taken it’s toll.

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John ClarkPosted on4:52 pm - Dec 19, 2016


I try again, having fallen foul of the mods’
I sent this email  to the brisbane Courier Mail.

“Dear Sports Editor,
I know, I know, I know! …the match report cited above came to you via the AAP and not from one of your own journalists.

However, bearing in mind the very recent pronouncement of an instantly forgettable sports hack in bonnie Scotland to the effect that journalists “chip away at the coalface of truth”, I think you have some responsibility for ensuring that the AAP chaps or chapesses are making sure that what they send you is actually factually accurate.

The match report in question has the phrase “…as the Hoops secured an 11th consecutive victory to take them 11 points clear of Old Firm rivals Rangers….”

Absolutely factually incorrect!

Rangers Football Club , the club that was one half of the ‘Old Firm’, went into Liquidation in 2012.
It lost its membership of the Scottish Premier League, and its membership of the Scottish Football Association.

It ceased to exist as a football club.

Its ‘Old Firm’ connection died with it.

There is now in fact , and has not been for 4 years, an ‘Old Firm’.

On the contrary, the folk who bought the assets of the Liquidated football club founded a brand new club in 2012.

So much was this a new football club that it had actually, really and truly, to APPLY for membership of a league.

Despite every bit of dishonourable and duplicitous pressure by the SFA on the then Scottish Premier League, that body turned down the new club’s application.

The Scottish Football League divisions one and two also refused to have the new club as member.

With some reluctance ( following extremely heavy pressure), the third division finally agreed to admit the new club.

Because of the ‘phoenixing’ provisions of the UK Companies Act 2006, this new club could not legally call itself ‘Rangers Football Club’.
It therefore began life as SevcoScotland and ended up with the deliberately and shoddily deceitful “The Rangers Football Club Ltd”!

Of course,it is no more the famous club that was ‘Rangers Football Club’ , founded in 1872, than I am Atla the ..n.
In the view of many, it sails very close to the legal wind in marketing itself as if it were the same club that is currently in liquidation.

I write to you because I think that it is important that these little truths be made known to your readership generally; especially these days when the integrity of sport as a whole and of soccer in particular has come under severe scrutiny.

There are liars and distorters of Truth , not to mention convicted criminals,when it comes to making a fast buck out of sport.

It is simply not good journalistic practice to ‘cut and paste’ and accept ,without intelligent questioning, whatever comes over the wires.

One must remember that duty lies in ‘chipping away at the coalface of Truth’- at least according to one Neil Cameron of this parish, who has been laughed to scorn by those who suspect that he is not perhaps the best ‘chipper’ in the world.

Yours most cordiallyJohn Clarke,from ( at the moment) the beating heart of Birkdale, Qld, but bearing season’s greetings from Auld Scotia

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StevieBCPosted on5:00 pm - Dec 19, 2016


Good to see you’re on a ‘busman’s holiday’ JC !

You’re now a global force for truth !  22

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ChristyboyPosted on5:08 pm - Dec 19, 2016


JC, yer some man, keep at ’em. On another note, that’s some amount for Stephenson Harwood? 

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jean7brodiePosted on5:13 pm - Dec 19, 2016


http://bit.ly/2hZP7jg 11

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John ClarkPosted on5:29 pm - Dec 19, 2016


StevieBCDecember 19, 2016 at 17:00
‘..You’re now a global force for truth ! ‘
—————
There is an Australian grand-dad with whom I had a conversation in Queen St Mall ( brisbane) while we were waiting for the Christmas Parade, who now knows a certain truth about Christmas in Glasgow.
I told him the story of the guy who goes into the off-licence on Christmas eve.He orders up ten bottles o’ Bell’s, a dozen bottles o’ Gordon’s, couple o’ bottles o’Bacardi, and two or three crates o’ beer.
The shop assistant , tallying up the bill, remarks ” aye, Christmas can be expensive”.
And the guy replies, ” Too right! If it wisnae for the weans, we widnae bother”.
It took a second or two before he got it, but, my goodness, he and his adult son fairly creased themselves laughing.

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easyJamboPosted on5:34 pm - Dec 19, 2016


Christyboy December 19, 2016 at 17:08 
JC, yer some man, keep at ’em. On another note, that’s some amount for Stephenson Harwood? 
============================
That was their share of a “No Win No Fee” arrangement in the claim against Collyer Bristow.

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easyJamboPosted on5:39 pm - Dec 19, 2016


jean7brodie December 19, 2016 at 17:13 
http://bit.ly/2hZP7jg
==========================
That indeed is a sad state of affairs and one hell of a slap in the face for the Res 12 guys.

Looks like they have been strung along all the way and that the Board have successfully avoided a public humiliation at the AGM by taking the final(?) meeting out of the media spotlight.

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StevieBCPosted on5:48 pm - Dec 19, 2016


EASYJAMBO
DECEMBER 19, 2016 at 17:39 
jean7brodie
December 19, 2016 at 17:13
http://bit.ly/2hZP7jg
==========================
That indeed is a sad state of affairs and one hell of a slap in the face for the Res 12 guys.
Looks like they have been strung along all the way and that the Board have successfully avoided a public humiliation at the AGM by taking the final(?) meeting out of the media spotlight.
==========================
If this is the end – or near the end of the Res.12 efforts – you would think that, at the very least, CFC would issue a statement to the support explaining the Board’s stance ?

That’s about 4 years the Board has had so far to take some action.

And rather than let it hang there, push for a definitive ‘yes/no’ – now – from the club, and a subsequent public explanation ?

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Cluster OnePosted on7:22 pm - Dec 19, 2016


PORTBHOYDECEMBER 19, 2016 at 16:12       8 Votes 
The latest report from BDO re. the liquidation of Rangers.
https://www.bdo.co.uk/en-gb/rfc-2012-plc
—————–
I had a read of it yesterday. Confirms The Joint Liquidators have recently been advised that theSupreme Court will hear the appeal on 15 and 16 March 2017. There is also a Notice of an annual meeting of creditors to be held on 9 January 2017
Appendix 3 – Notice of Annual Meeting on 9 January 2017RFC 2012 P.L.C. FORMERLY THE RANGERS FOOTBALL CLUB P.L.C (IN LIQUIDATION)Company Number: SC004276NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN pursuant to Rule 4.13 of the Insolvency (Scotland) Rules 1986 that theAnnual Meeting of Creditors of the above named Company will be held at BDO LLP, 4 AtlanticQuay, 70 York Street, Glasgow, G2 8JX on 9 January 2017, at 11am, for the purpose of receivingthe Joint Liquidators’ account of the winding up.James Bernard StephenJoint LiquidatorDate 8 December 2016BDO LLP4 Atlantic Quay70 York StreetGlasgowG2 8JX
————-
just a bit of confirmation there that the club is in Liquidation.
Does anyone have any knowledge of what this part means? is Wavetower still in the mix for some money.
Wavetower subsequently submitted a new secured claim of c£3.5m on 12 July 2016. No supportingdocumentation was provided with the claim, which the Joint Liquidators rejected on 22 August2016.Under the Rules, Wavetower had until 16 October 2016 (14 days before the end of the next relevantaccounting period) to appeal against the rejection. It failed to respond and, as such, a creditorwould generally be excluded from the benefit of an interim dividend. As the Wavetower claim
purports to be secured, however, the Joint Liquidators have been liaising with their legal team tounderstand what further steps are required before they can prepare a fresh Scheme of Division anddeclare a first dividend to creditors.Once this matter is resolved, we intend to consult with the Committee to agree a new Scheme ofDivision to allow a first dividend to be declared and paid to unsecured creditors with agreed claims.The quantum of the dividend is currently uncertain as provision will need to be made for a numberof potentially significant claims which have not yet been agreed by the Joint Liquidators, including
the claims of HMRC and Ticketus
sorry for long post..

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easyJamboPosted on8:10 pm - Dec 19, 2016


Cluster One December 19, 2016 at 19:22
=========================
The claims against the Oldco’s assets remain alive and, based on recent publications by Aiden Earley on behalf of Worthington Group, seem likely to be ramped up in the near future.

Coincidentally Earley has once again ripped into Shareprophets Tom Winnifrith in an item on his website today.
http://www.aidanearley.org/news/

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Cluster OnePosted on8:35 pm - Dec 19, 2016


EASYJAMBODECEMBER 19, 2016 at 20:10       1 Vote 
Cluster One December 19, 2016 at 19:22=========================The claims against the Oldco’s assets remain alive and, based on recent publications by Aiden Earley on behalf of Worthington Group, seem likely to be ramped up in the near future.
Coincidentally Earley has once again ripped into Shareprophets Tom Winnifrith in an item on his website today.http://www.aidanearley.org/news/
———————
That reads as if things are going to get messy

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HomunculusPosted on9:08 pm - Dec 19, 2016


Interestingly the concept of Tort as in Tortious is an English (rather than Scottish) one. 

The closest to it in Scots Law is Delict. So I suppose it should be Delictious* Interference.

*Of course the word would be Delictual, but that doesn’t amuse me as much. 

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killie1962Posted on9:23 pm - Dec 19, 2016


Enjoyed the blog and it did indeed remind of times when things were completely different in football. I too was lucky enough to enjoy a similar experience but with a different manager and to my utter shame and embarrassment(well I had a partial excuse, travelling all night after a heavy session) I did not recognize the gentleman in question till my friend whispered in my ear. It was back in 1981, the year of the Wembley ban and in those far off days there was two weekends, the first one in Wales and then London the following week.Scotland were playing Wales in Swansea(usually it was Cardiff or Wrexham but this was a first for us, a wee trip to Swansea) and as everyone piled into the hotel and got their rooms my friend and I were the odd men left out, it seems the Hotel staff were having trouble getting rid of the person who had booked our room for the previous evening(hangover??)They asked us to kindly wait in the Hotel tea room where we were given a couple of complimentary beverages for our trouble. Obviously the scarves and bunnets were still on and as we were sitting this older gentleman asked if he could join us. Pleasantly surprised that anyone would want to sit next to two tired members of the Tartan Army we said “no problem”. The football talk began in earnest and it was obvious this guy knew what he was talking about. He was harping on about West Ham United and Bobby Ferguson-we had mentioned we were from Kilmarnock and then turned on to tactics and International football. He asked if we were going to next week’s game at Wembley and jokingly asked where we got our tickets(via Johnnie Walker’s London Office on St James Street). We ordered up some more beers, despite the early hour, but the gentleman took a cup of tea. He took his leave after an hour or so and also picked up the tab for the extra beers, the cheapskate hotel only giving us one free round,and told us both to enjoy the game. Turned out the gent was Ron Greenwood the England manager and he was down on a wee spying trip for the upcoming games against both Wales and Scotland. I learned more about football in an hour than I ever had in my (at that time) previous 19 years on this planet!!. He was indeed a gracious and courteous man and I always thought he was too nice to be the England Manager as despite good results the press was always crucifying him. In typical Scottish fashion we got gubbed 3-0 by Wales and then won 1-0 the next week at Wembley!!

yours in sport
Gaun the Killie

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Cluster OnePosted on9:54 pm - Dec 19, 2016


Re the football story
As a kid if my memory is correct and it was long ago, late 70’s. celtic were playing a team from europe in a game at parkhead.As kids we were playing in the street the night before the game and some very smart dressed gentlemen came walking down the road (Kinnear road) They said they were players from the team who were going to play celtic the following night and asked us the way to the city centre.We pointed them in the right direction as they were going the wrong way and only Dalmarnock was at the end of this road. They gave all the kids badges of their football club and then went on there way.Can’t remember for the life of me who the team where or if my memory is just playing with me.But it was a story we often told as kids how we met european players,and a memory i had not thought about for years until it came to me after reading the Blog

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easyJamboPosted on10:48 pm - Dec 19, 2016


I’ve had a read through the latest BDO Creditors Report. It’s scary how the creditors pot has diminished by over £3M in the last 18 months, mainly down to liquidators and legal fees. The Oldco is still losing almost as much as the Newco.

Here’s the trend
Date ……..  Creditors Pot
30/04/2015 18,771,756
30/10/2016 17,434,150
30/04/2016 16,663,016
30/10/2016 15,707,399

In the last 6 month period alone the balance has fallen by £955k.  The bulk of it due to a whopping £728k in Legal fees. 

The liquidators own costs since liquidation are currently standing at around £3.3M

Legal fees incurred in respect of the EBT case, since they first got involved at the CoS appeal stage, currently stands at £183k, and they have just spent £25k in legal fees related to Ticketus, for reasons that are not disclosed.

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HomunculusPosted on11:04 pm - Dec 19, 2016


Jarndyce v Jarndyce

It was ever thus.

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AuldheidPosted on3:58 am - Dec 20, 2016


StevieBCDecember 19, 2016 at 17:48  EASYJAMBO DECEMBER 19, 2016 at 17:39  jean7brodie December 19, 2016 at 17:13http://bit.ly/2hZP7jg ========================== That indeed is a sad state of affairs and one hell of a slap in the face for the Res 12 guys. Looks like they have been strung along all the way and that the Board have successfully avoided a public humiliation at the AGM by taking the final(?) meeting out of the media spotlight. ========================== If this is the end – or near the end of the Res.12 efforts – you would think that, at the very least, CFC would issue a statement to the support explaining the Board’s stance ?
That’s about 4 years the Board has had so far to take some action.
And rather than let it hang there, push for a definitive ‘yes/no’ – now – from the club, and a subsequent public explanation ?
==========================
See http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/colts-and-40-years-of-appalling-development/comment-page-10/#comment-2978958

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upthehoopsPosted on7:31 am - Dec 20, 2016


The Ian Cathro debate has been well aired on here but Sportsound last night really was something else to listen to.  The engineered debate was about who would finish 2nd in the Premiership. Firstly I wonder if they would have bothered devoting so much air time to this just 4 weeks ago – I doubt it. Graham Spiers and Keith Jackson seemed to be delighted at Cathro’s poor start and, unsurprisingly, seemed unwilling to cut him any slack. Warburton appears to have dusted down the magic hat again and slowly but surely their world is becoming at one again. I guess they can see a solid 2nd on the horizon, and the SFA have already used friendly media outlets to assure them a European licence will be granted for next season. Bring on  the Celtic it would seem!

Sorry to post what might be appropriate for other forums but is it too much to ask that the publicly funded BBC starts thinking outside the box in terms of its pundits and the tone of the show.  The host of the show is a self-confessed Rangers fan. He has admitted on Twitter he has some influence over the guests and the content. That’s just not right. 

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FinlochPosted on8:25 am - Dec 20, 2016


AULDHEIDDECEMBER 20, 2016 at 03:58
 StevieBCDecember 19, 2016 at 17:48 /EASYJAMBO DECEMBER 19, 2016 at 17:39  /Jean7brodie December 19, 2016 at 17:13http://bit.ly/2hZP7jg 

Classic stalling tactics by a plc who wants to bury a potential embarrassment.
The Celtic corporate entity, run admirably and profitably by Peter and Desmond, made decisions 5 or so years ago that facilitated everything and helped forge what we have today.

I’d argue they were the most complicit of all the clubs. That’s because their view was and remains that they need the Rangers counterbalance.
Without it the peculiar Glasgow/Scottish/Irish fan recruitment model, that brings the financial dominance beyond Celtics fair share as just another Glasgow football team, might not work.
Celtic in our decreasing fishbowl of a league need a believable and real Rangers threat to mobilise their fans and the subsequent revenues or tedium will start to erode future steams.

It is really all just about pound notes to Peter and Desmond. 

To me it comes down to business versus soul.

Celtic Supporters take your pick.

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HomunculusPosted on9:24 am - Dec 20, 2016


I would argue that it is the SFL (as was) clubs who are responsible for their being any Rangers at all in senior football in Scotland. I doubt the new club with it’s overheads would have survived in the lower leagues of junior football in Scotland. Particularly if they had to wait for years to get a place in senior football.

The SPL (as was) clubs, other than Kilmarnock, voted not to allow the new club to join their league. There was a system already in place where teams were promoted and relegated. They were asked to simply allow a new club in and said no. In spite of threats of the World spinning off it’s axis if they didn’t agree to it.

The SFL (as was) clubs were asked if the new clubs could join their league and on a majority (a large one) agreed to this. It is as a direct result of that decision that Rangers are now playing in the SPFL. 

People can argue all they want that Celtic are responsible for Rangers being in senior football in Scotland. Some would even seem to believe that Celtic have the major blame for it. That Celtic somehow engineered this to suit their own business model. The reality is Celtic voted no, the majority of SPL (as was) clubs voted no. The majority of the SFL (as was) clubs voted yes.

I have no problem with that, it was their league and their democratic decision to make, however it is the reality of what happened. The SFL (as was) clubs saved the new Rangers by allowing them direct access to senior football in Scotland. 

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Big PinkPosted on10:17 am - Dec 20, 2016


Homunculus,

The debate is not about who voted for TRFC inclusion in the leagues, but on Celtic’s alleged duplicitous behaviour towards their own shareholders.

The reality is that Celtic have strung along a group of people – people with great integrity – in an attempt to allow a legitimate question to go unanswered.

The question is not whether Celtic have applied the letter of the law, but whether their behaviour lacked integrity and a desire to maintain sporting tradition.

Factually you are correct about the SFL, but the reality is that pressure was applied to the SFL by the same cowardly bunch who backed down, in the face of a fans revolt, from allowing the new club to enter the SPL.

I don’t agree with Finloch that Celtic were any more complicit than the others, but they certainly had most to gain from quick hassle-free introduction of TRFC into the top league.

Celtic were also cast into the light thrown on matters by their own support, who came up with Resolution 12, and those guys are a credit to their club. That raised the bar of expectation on Celtic compared to other clubs, and the club have done everything in their power to frustrate the Res 12 guys, and failed to live up to even the lowest of those expectations.

I believe they stretched the truth at times, played for (long periods of) time, and often misinformed the Res 12 people as well as giving them advice they surely knew would delay matters further.

Of course we can resort to legalese to demonstrate how blameless the club are. I believe that is exactly what we have been combating over the past five years or so.

The tenacity of the Requisitioners over that period of time has only served to demonstrate the lack democracy inherent in corporations. The world that rails against the block vote in certain arenas appears to be happy to approve of it elsewhere.

I wonder what a show of hands would have given us at the Res 12 vote?

Celtic’s board have calculated – thus far correctly – that success on the park and recruitment of the likes of Brendan Rodgers will quell the peasants’ tenedency to revolt. The majority of their fans have voted with their feet this year.

I think that is extremely short sighted.

I also think that those guys on SFM who immediately seek to defend Celtic when they are criticised should remember that the criticism emanates not from angry fans of other clubs (who are healthily engaged for the most part in criticising their own clubs’ inaction), but from Celtic fans.

This isn’t case of Celtic v the rest. It’s a case of fans v boardrooms

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normanbatesmumfcPosted on10:46 am - Dec 20, 2016


Keep up the good work JC, the truth needs to be spread far and wide, away from the “lockdown” on facts employed by the SMSM. May I suggest an addition to your paragraph below, to further shine a light on the same club myth?

“Despite every bit of dishonourable and duplicitous pressure by the SFA on the then Scottish Premier League, that body turned down the new club’s application.” The only club willing to accept Charles Green’s Sevco Scotland Club, was RFC PLC, with Kilmarnock’s abstention, the remaining ten clubs voted against.
The very fact the new club applied for SPL membership, while the old club not only existed, but actually voted on the application is incontrovertible proof of the new club status. How can anyone argue that 2 clubs in existence at the same time, can possibly be the same club! 

Apologies for going over OC/NC ground but it’s probably news to the rest of the world!

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HomunculusPosted on12:12 pm - Dec 20, 2016


BIG PINKDECEMBER 20, 2016 at 10:17

============================

I was replying to this.

“I’d argue they were the most complicit of all the clubs. That’s because their view was and remains that they need the Rangers counterbalance.”

Which is a different debate, I thought that was clear, apologies if it wasn’t. 
==============================

You then say

“Factually you are correct about the SFL, but the reality is that pressure was applied to the SFL by the same cowardly bunch who backed down, in the face of a fans revolt, from allowing the new club to enter the SPL.”

==============================

That’s you opinion and I respect it. However I would also say, in my opinion, the main driver for the SFL teams to vote the new club in was the gates they were going to get. A lot of them saw two home games with many thousands attending rather than hundreds. Some even extended their capacity to allow for this. Again I have no problem with that, their league their decision. I’m sure a lot of them cleared debt based on the additional income.

It seems a lot of people think that big bad Celtic are “the most complicit of all the clubs” and the lower league teams are some sort of brave David figure. Let’s not re-write history in order to support that belief.

Rangers are alive and playing in the SPFL today because the SFL clubs accepted them in. Probably ahead of teams from the junior leagues who would gladly have taken the place when the old club died. 

None of what has happened subsequently would even matter if they had not done it. 

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AllyjamboPosted on1:18 pm - Dec 20, 2016


An interesting wee blog on the colts nonsense.

http://terracepodcast.net/six-myths-about-colt-teams-people-need-to-stop-repeating/#comment-3478

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AllyjamboPosted on1:26 pm - Dec 20, 2016


HomunculusDecember 20, 2016 at 12:12

Not arguing with your point re Celtic being no more complicit than any other club, but, from memory, the SFL clubs were given a very serious threat (from Hampden) that if they didn’t vote TRFC into their league, then there would be a restructuring that would leave many of them out in the cold. I’m sure it was Turnbull Hutton who made us aware of this.

Again, not saying that the SFL clubs wouldn’t have voted them in through self-interest, but we may never know that for sure.

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FinlochPosted on1:42 pm - Dec 20, 2016


Club Chairmen didn’t just start running alternative scenarios on Feb 14 2012 to see what the absence of the blue pound would mean in the short medium and long term.

The collapse of Rangers was long-predicted in a prolonged open-secret decllne.

Plenty time for scenario plotting and agreements to be made.

A solution was agreed and a plan put in place.
Regan, Doncaster and their select club chairmen puppetmasters in their inner circles had first agreed to “sell “new Rangers straight into the top league.

This solution was presented to those club chairmen who were not important enough to be in the inside cabal as a “done-deal”.

“For the good of the game”.
“For the good of us all”.

But it was season book time and fans voiced their displeasure.
I was one of them as were most of us.

The Regan and Doncaster proposed compromise became “next league down” and it was by hook or by crook-  (remember the SPL2 threats).

That didn’t wash either (thanks Turnbull, Stenhousemuir and a couple of principled others).

They were left with a Hobson’s Choice, basement option with the new club joining at the bottom level to replace the club in liquidation who still had membership.

There was never a membership vacancy in any of the leagues.

There was never a proper membership discussion with presentations and a vote like had happened when Annan got in a few seasons before.

The SFL sell-in was an embarrassing, amateurish Powerpoint (that we saw on rtc I think and someone will have a copy of) at a really badly managed meeting at Hampden where tweets were first allowed then stopped.

Spartans and Cove and Edinburgh City and anyone else were not even given a sniff because the deal had been agreed from the very top who had failed with plan A and plan B and had to deliver plan C.

So yes, Fair Play, the SPL clubs may not have voted the blue team into the SFL and yes the SFL clubs technically voted them to become a member anticipating an eventual vacancy but it was a North Korean election.

No vacancy at the time and no story there – just the same club about to leave rejoining.

That’s Scottish Football for you.
It couldn’t countenance losing its biggest club and was driven by financial fears.
I get that.

But don’t tell me Lawwell, Petrie, Milne, et al were not the real drivers who were thwarted twice to their collective angst and frustration but so resolute on getting their way that one Chairman (SG of SM?) even put out an all points bulletin for Harmony ahead of the non vote.

And ask yourself.
Which club stood to lose most if the Scottish League lost Rangers.
Was it Annan or one of the other rabbits who would lose two home gates?
Was it Caley or County up north who would miss the Rangers fans from their own towns coming along twice a year?

I’d suggest we all know who needed the blue club the most.

As they say in business.

Follow the money.

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John ClarkPosted on1:50 pm - Dec 20, 2016


Big PinkDecember 20, 2016 at 10:17
‘..This isn’t case of Celtic v the rest. It’s a case of fans v boardrooms..’
______________
In the sense that the whole of Scottish Football was badly let down by
-the cheating of SDM, 
-the undoubtedly worse cheating of the Football Authorities,
-and the moral cowardice of the general run of club Boards,
all of which has left fans with the conviction that Scottish Football is not a fair, competitive sport, but has been rigged by bad people who spout hypocritical lying cant about FFP,
I can agree with that observation.
Now, bear in mind that I am in a towering rage as I write, and weak and feeble septuagenarian as I am, I think I would stick one on on any of the Celtic Board if I happened to have the opportunity.
In the Celtic Res 12 issue there was a golden opportunity for the muck in the byre to be pitchforked into the light of day, and for the full truth of the dirty, lying ‘arrangements’ that were made to try to give SDM’s treacherous, cheating club some undeserved European dosh to be exposed. ( Or not, if the truth lay that way)
That opportunity has most cynically NOT been taken by canting hypocrites who were brave enough to raise a populist titter among the lieges about ‘the ‘no history’ of the new club, but were even at the time secretly working  away to aid the cheats in RIFC/TRFC and in Scottish Football Governance.
Bad bast.rds, really, and cowardly with it to boot. Never a considered public statement, never even any kind of ‘piss off, it’s none of your business’ aggressive reply, no, just a cowardly ‘put it on the long finger’ lying approach.
They’ll no doubt ‘survive’, quietly rubbing their hands in the Boardroom at how smart they were at duping their shareholders  etc etc (like the members of another Board).
But, of course, when the history gets written, the true history, names like Desmond, Lawwell, Bankier will evoke memories of their betrayal of any kind of proper regard for Truth, and will be as desperately despised as the name of Quisling.
Notoriety and infamy, rather than honour and respect will be their portion.
As for the boards of the other clubs?
Well, they all seem to be in same boat as regards lack of principle.
I think that that lack of sporting integrity has caused the not-so-distant sounding of the death knell of Scottish Professional football.
I mean, who can be arsed heping crooked men run a crooked sport?

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ChristyboyPosted on2:28 pm - Dec 20, 2016


Howdy,
            I just can’t figure out why Celtic wont follow through with the Res 12. If they don’t, it will come back and bite them. Maybe not now, but it will. The Res 12 was about shining a light in the tunnel created by the SFA, where those in the darkness wouldn’t see the moves made to keep one club above every other through illegal means ( Cadette Affair and EBT’s )  and when that failed, to keep one club in existence in full knowledge of the financial state of that club and it’s tax affairs and conferring  with them in managing the impact this would have on Scottish Football not caring a jot about those who would be shafted by such behaviours. Is this the type of SFA that we want to govern Scottish Football ? The key guys are still in place and as long as they are, there can never be confidence that the they wouldn’t do the same again.
            

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John ClarkPosted on2:56 pm - Dec 20, 2016


normanbatesmumfcDecember 20, 2016 at 10:46
‘..May I suggest an addition to your paragraph below, to further shine a light on the same club myth?..@
________and a very good addition that would have been, nbmfc, pointing up the sheer ridiculosity of the ‘same club’ nonsense. I wish I had thought of putting it in!

as an unconnected aside, I had a fairly long post blocked by the mods  ( because I used the phrase ‘ At.ila the …’).
I had added the fact that that day, driving ( or rather, being driven) into Brisbane city centre,I saw a shop premises painted entirely blue and orange. As we got nearer, I saw that the business was styled ‘Liquidation Center (sic)’. I smiled for some reason.
I tried to amend my post to get rid of the accidentally used h word, and lost interest, so re-posted anew. but I think I left out the orange and blue liquidation center!

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BadgerbhoyPosted on3:07 pm - Dec 20, 2016


JC, your post at 1.50pm mirrors exactly how I’ve been feeling about the situation.

I have been in a self imposed exile from Celtic Park for a few years now due to the boards obvious duplicity and inactivity in disputing the LNS fiasco.

Its now clear to me that I made the right choice and will not invest any more money into a corrupted game.

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paddy malarkeyPosted on3:25 pm - Dec 20, 2016


Re  meeting famous football people, we  were in Italy for Italia 90 and drove through the nightafter the Sweden game from Genoa to Borgo a Mozzano,north of Lucca,where we were staying in a mate’s family property .After we parked up the car about 6 am, two of us went for a walk still in kilts and tops, with a beer in one hand and something aromatic in the other(it had literally just been made illegal days before).We crossed the river and were walking up an undeveloped part of town towards The Devil’s Bridge when a big black limousine pulled up beside us and the back window slid down .A voice with a Scottish accent asked “Are you alright,boys?”. To which my mate replied “Aye,mate.. We stay here ” .  There was laughter from within the car,the window went back up and the car sped away . It was Andy Roxburgh and the Scotland management team (imagine the folly of letting them travel in the same car !).
Once saw Mr Roxburgh score direct from a corner at Kilbowie Park ,left footed from the railway side .

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HomunculusPosted on4:01 pm - Dec 20, 2016


FINLOCH
DECEMBER 20, 2016 at 13:42  
“No vacancy at the time and no story there – just the same club about to leave rejoining.”

==========================================

I totally disagree, in my opinion it is an entirely different club which joined the SFL.

I don’t think they should have been given the place, however like I said the actual members of the SFL democratically made that decision. 

===========================================

“That’s Scottish Football for you.It couldn’t countenance losing its biggest club and was driven by financial fears.I get that.”

============================================

Seriously, by what measure are or were Rangers Scotland’s biggest club.

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Cluster OnePosted on5:54 pm - Dec 20, 2016


This may be what some are looking for
https://stv.tv/sport/football/clubs/rangers/108463-in-full-document-sent-to-sfl-clubs-to-put-rangers-into-the-first-division/
part of the document.
CURRENT REALITY

•Rangers have no where to go

•SPL Clubs have indicated their voting intentions

•SFA wish to see a solution in the interests of the game

•Moral/sporting question vs financial collapse

•Are The SFL are in a position to accommodate a solution?

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PortbhoyPosted on6:02 pm - Dec 20, 2016


PMG little over an hour ago, ….
Like Hector, Worthington is not going away.

http://www.philmacgiollabhain.com/

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SmugasPosted on7:04 pm - Dec 20, 2016


“I don’t think they should have been given the place, however like I said the actual members of the SFL democratically made that decision.”

apologies, I forget who made the above comment else I would acknowledge it accordingly.  Something that’s always intrigued me about the ‘democratic’ SFL vote.  Prior to voting were the chairmen fully appraised of what a ‘Rangers’ (sic) entrance would fully entail?  In summary were they told they were voting on A ‘rangers’ or THE rangers.  It simply interests me because one would think that if it were the latter, as current heirarchy would have us believe one would have expected ONE out of THIRTY accompanying Finance Directors to say ” eh boss, if that route is now technically available then no bank will touch us ever again unless you mortgage the ground or you personally guarantee the club debt!”

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CrownStBhoyPosted on7:29 pm - Dec 20, 2016


Test

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CrownStBhoyPosted on7:39 pm - Dec 20, 2016


I sincerely hope the Celtic board have given long term thought to their duplicitousness.
Res 12 will never be forgotten!
It will return to haunt; every Celtic fan will become an expert and this board will never be forgiven.

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Big PinkPosted on10:28 pm - Dec 20, 2016


CROWNSTBHOY

I think you are right. In fairness though, Celtic have been somewhat handicapped in this matter by the extent of their shareholder pool;victims of Fergus McCann’s success in increasing stakeholder-ship in the club.

I think the original stated intention was to extend it in such a way that no “one individual or family” could control the club. Whilst that laudable aim has failed, the wide shareholder base has been able to cause serious problems for the board.

Arguments about corporate democracy and duplicity aside, I am pretty sure that the board think they are acting in the best interests of the company so it doesn’t necessarily indicate fatal character flaws.

I do think that it indicates a PLC/Football club dichotomy. That is why I think it worth considering here because that dichotomy extends to most of the clubs in the top division. The only reason this ridiculous mess, this rejection of sporting integrity has come about is because the interests of “sport” are often seriously at odds with the interests of shareholders.

In almost every form of entertainment where money flows freely – the doping can be chemical or financial.

Why is circumvention of drug tests in sport a boom industry? How many UK nationals in F1 pay UK tax? What about tennis players? Does Andrew Neil do PAYE – or is he paid as an offshore supplier? Tony Blair. Is he a UK tax payer?

In many ways it is a cultural belief that they are entitled to take these measures – and that criminality or dishonesty plays no part in it.

But the thing that gets me most is this. If they really believe in their own position, why not just tell us what they are doing and why? Is it because they know that what they want to do with the sport would not survive public scrutiny in an honest debate, or is it because they think we are all too stupid to be allowed an opinion.

Such is the detachment of boardrooms from the fans, I believe it is a bit of both.

I don’t know if there is another industry anywhere which holds its customers in so much contempt. The WATP mentality is not confined to the stands at Ibrox. You will find it in boardrooms all over the country.

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woodsteinPosted on11:40 pm - Dec 20, 2016


Big Pink
December 20, 2016 at 22:28
“I don’t know if there is another industry anywhere which holds its customers in so much contempt.”
—————————————————-
I would agree, the image above comes to mind.

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gunnerbPosted on12:03 am - Dec 21, 2016


BIG PINKDECEMBER 20, 2016 at 22:28
——————————————————-
The board has been handicapped by wider share ownership….hmm not a turn of phrase I would have adopted but I agree with the broad sentiment of the post. Celtic plc majority are abusing their power to the detriment of….well no one if they believe that Resolution 12 is not in the best interests of the company. That, as you highlight BP is the crux of the matter. will they ‘fess up and admit such blasphemy . I sincerely hope they are forced to make such a declaration.

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upthehoopsPosted on6:28 am - Dec 21, 2016


BIG PINKDECEMBER 20, 2016 at 22:28

I don’t know if there is another industry anywhere which holds its customers in so much contempt. The WATP mentality is not confined to the stands at Ibrox. You will find it in boardrooms all over the country.

We often complain about the contempt the SFA and the SPFL hold their customers in. They wouldn’t be able to if the clubs didn’t allow them. That is the crux of the matter.

On the specific Resolution 12 issue though the Celtic Board will at some point HAVE to formally respond to shareholders.

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jimboPosted on7:10 am - Dec 21, 2016


Something I don’t understand.  Shareholders in Celtic come in many sizes.  There are the thousands of people like the Res. 12 folk.  With a love for the club and a drive to see that we all play on a level playing field.

Then there are the shareholders like Dermot Desmond.  To be honest I don’t know of the other big heavy hitting corporate voters.

Dermot Desmond?  The profits from Celtic are like a splash in the ocean.  In fact, and I don’t know if this is true, he doesn’t uplift his profits from the PLC.

We are lead to believe from Brendan that DD loves Celtic.

Which leaves me to thinking,  why does the board not support Res.12? 

What are they afraid of?

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upthehoopsPosted on8:15 am - Dec 21, 2016


JIMBO
DECEMBER 21, 2016 at 07:10  
Which leaves me to thinking,  why does the board not support Res.12? 
What are they afraid of?

==========================

It’s so easy to speculate on this matter, but unless you are on the inside at actual board meetings you will never know the actual truth. Okay, my turn to speculate! There can be no doubt that if Celtic choose to go after the SFA full on over this matter the media will go after them with every bit of dirt and venom they can muster. We only need to look back at the utter rage towards Fergus McCann for driving an issue to an end point to prove beyond doubt the SFA deliberately disadvantaged Celtic. The media don’t like people they have spent a lifetime telling they are paranoid actually being proved right. Do the current Celtic board not have the stomach for such an onslaught? I really do hope that’s not the reason for their apparent inactivity. 

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jimboPosted on8:39 am - Dec 21, 2016


If I had the wealth of Dermot Desmond I would chase the SFA and the media all the way.  Definitely have the stomach for it.  What is the printed media nowadays anyhow?  The Record – 160k copies per day in a country the size of Scotland!  They are NOTHING!

Regan? A nobody. Only kept in power by suits on the gravy train.

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Corrupt officialPosted on9:04 am - Dec 21, 2016


Letter to CFC
=============
  Good afternoon JP. I have repeatedly read remarks from Mr Peter Lawell stating that “He will always act in the best interests of Celtic Football Club” and subtle variations of that theme depending on the source of reportage. I have no reason to doubt these words attributed to Mr Lawell, and frankly I would expect nothing less from our CEO. However clearly I am missing something. I will not troll over the issues relating to Resolution 12, of the 2013 AGM, as I am sure you will be very familiar with them Nonetheless, can you explain to me, under what set of circumstances, it may better suit the interests of Celtic Football Club, to let this highly contentious issue drop, rather than to pursue it to a natural, and openly transparent conclusion? Yours sincerely 

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bobcobbPosted on10:19 am - Dec 21, 2016


While not Dermot Desmond’s biggest fan I think it is fair to say that his investment in Celtic is purely emotional. In an interview a few years ago he stated that he bought into the club to ensure that it would never face the threat of extinction as it did back in the early 1990’s (when a club folding meant the death of said club without anyone pretending otherwise).
I believe he has actually set up a trust to look after his family’s interest in the club after he is gone from this world.
BP makes the excellent point above that the board are acting in what they believe to be the best interest of the shareholders – or the “company”. The fans want them to act in the best interest of the club and the wider game (I am aware that the club and the company are the same thing but for the purposes of this discussion it makes it easier to explain the different mindsets). Problems may arise if enough fans decide to vote with their feet, believing that the board’s decision to prioritise the business rather than the game is the wrong one.

Personally I think that any business in any industry won’t go far wrong if it behaves ethically. I just wish those running Scottish Football would realise that.

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