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

paddy malarkeyPosted on1:11 am - Jan 11, 2017

OK , I will put my hands up to being both retired with a lot of time on my hands , and having a moniker that the unsuspecting and unwary might attribute to  an orientation towards one side of the West of Scotland / Norn Eyeland sectarian divide . For the avoidance of doubt , OTIG . One of my Irish Grandas gave me the name when I was young because I could find trouble before it found me . Yer man obviously peruses this site on a regular basis, and hopefully will contribute to the current fundraising drive (only kidding – he appears to be trying to turn his blog into a livelihood ). So he’s worked abroad (me too)been to exotic places(me too) knows people of wealth (me too) speaks Thai (got me there).  I used to view and occasionally contribute mince to the LSE site he often refers to , and knew one of the mods . She had no idea of the sectarian vitriol that could be unleashed  by the unsuspecting making negative comments on the prospects of RIFC shares -it is the London and South East share forum, not to be confused with the London Stock Exchange .He appears to be like PMG – both want the truth about the demise and death of RFC to to be brought to the attention of the general public in Scotland (nobody else cares, apart from NI, where it is a  significant  part of one sect’s raison d’etre – esteem issues, as they say nowadays ) as the Scottish mainstream media and The Establishment would rather pretend that nothing untoward happened . He also appears to have an issue(as we say currently) with the courts’ attitude to the rights of fathers, in a way that suggests that he has lost access to his children , either by dispute or by (enforced ? ) relocation . I, for one , am happy to see any truthful revelations about the corruption in Scottish football,  and can honestly say that I was an innocent before about 2011. 
As I say , I may be the feckless and dissolute retired person he is pointing the finger at ,but see the smile on my face knowing that I might have no work and not a lot of money, but also no debt at all (not even a credit card ) and a mortgage -free house. Living within your means brings its own blessings .  
Best of will to him, but I feel his frustrations may be predominately financial .
PS If he were to elevate me to greatness  by mentioning or alluding to this post , could somebody take a screenshot, please ? I am of carousing again tomorrow and will be offline until about Saturday( I switch off my phone and leave it rather than lose it ).
The Mighty Jags  –  coming at you fierce 

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upthehoopsPosted on6:52 am - Jan 11, 2017

I see the Daily Record award winning tiger of sports journalism is saying Walter Smith has been ‘blisteringly honest’ in his interviews with the paper. Of course, the devil is always in the detail of what he was asked, but clearly we are all too stupid to think that! 

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SmugasPosted on7:26 am - Jan 11, 2017

Funny.  I don’t recall Bill Miller’s man’s rapid deconstruction of the oldco’s finances ever being referred to as “blisteringly honest”. Not RTC’s for that matter.

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SmugasPosted on9:02 am - Jan 11, 2017

Not that I want to feed their click bait but Walter Smiths revisionist history in the Record and, of course, Jackson’s breathless questioning (read fawning) is worth a read.  In summary Rangers went through a catastrophic period due to the bank being in control and there was nothing he could do, and his solution now is to recreate that set of circumstances!

Auldheid, in particular, I would spare your blood pressure!

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incredibleadamsparkPosted on10:20 am - Jan 11, 2017

Even by Daily Record standards that Walter Smith interview is awful. From the very beginning on here the analysis of the Rangers situation is closer to the truth than anything I’ve read in the SMSM.

I also noticed an article on the Record online that has David Low saying Rangers need to think less about 10 in a row and more about the financial situation they find themselves in.

It’s worth a read but will be familiar to many of us. SFM has given David Low a platform, again from the very beginning, to share his experiences. He has done so a number of times in articles and on podcasts that are informative and honest.

This is what the SFM does well. Working at its own pace, refusing to play to the galleries, and offering a welcome alternative to SMSM. Big Pink and Tris, it is appreciated. 

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easyJamboPosted on11:38 am - Jan 11, 2017

Reports on twitter that the Supreme Court appeal is now listed in the current cases.

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tykebhoyPosted on11:47 am - Jan 11, 2017

JusticesLord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hodge
Hearing start date15 Mar 2017
Hearing finish date16 Mar 2017

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John ClarkPosted on12:07 pm - Jan 11, 2017

easyJamboJanuary 11, 2017 at 11:38
Reports on twitter that the Supreme Court appeal is now listed in the current cases.

Yes, eJ
for anyone not familiar with this kind of thing, the details are at

“Judgment appealed[2015] CSIH 77
PartiesAppellant(s)RFC 2012 Plc (in liquidation) (formerly The Rangers Football Club Plc)
Respondent(s)Advocate General for Scotland
AppealJusticesLord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hodge
Hearing start date15 Mar 2017
Hearing finish date16 Mar 2017 ”


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The_SteedPosted on12:37 pm - Jan 11, 2017

I’m disappointed that another site seems to have a bit of a vendetta against SFM, when as far as I can see we all want the same thing.  So, in the spirit of sharing, here’s a link to a blog which I haven’t encountered before but has absolutely nailed it with regards to what is going on at the moment down Ibrox way;

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John ClarkPosted on1:59 pm - Jan 11, 2017

Further to my last post ( ha! I hope not!) you can read a little about the Supreme Court judges who will ( and, I hope, will do so ‘live to view’) hear the the appeal.
We ‘know’ Lord Hodge, of course, because he has had to deal with RFC matters, having raised a wee query about the D&P fellas, and having been the one who ended the Administration and appointed the “Liquidators”.
Lord Reed , as far as I know, has had no judicial dealings with the saga as a former Court of Session judge.
Nor have the other judges.
Interesting that the President of the SC , Lord Neuberger, is involved, in so far as that may signify the degree of importance , from a public policy perspective, attached to the question of law that is to be considered.
Which, basically, as I understand matters, is whether what Parliament intended to do by its tax legislation was actually translated into law, or whether  the feckin legislators drafted the laws so badly that even struck-off lawyers turned porno-film actors could drive a coach and horses through them, and convince an all-too-willing-cheat  of a knight -of-the- realm that paying football players via a wee ‘trust loan’ , that did not ever have to be repaid,had certain tax advantages ( but for God’s sake, don’t tell the SFA or SPL. And make no mention of things like ‘side-letters’)
And make sure that a certain SFA official , who as an employee, was put in funds of an amount just about sufficient , we are told, by one Charles Young, of BBC Radio Scotland notoriety, to afford a ‘good night out’, does not even think of becoming ‘poacher-turned-gamekeeper!’
After all the waffle of the First Tier Tax Tribunal, and the Upper Tier Tribunal (Lord Doherty), I had the pleasure of hearing Mr Ghosh QC using simple words: guys got paid for doing their job as footballers under contract, the money due to them was at their request paid to somebody else, for them to pick up later.Simples. And all the crap about ‘Trusts’ was just that, crap.
And such crap as to make a reputable company have nothing to do with it because it was so obviously to them a tax  scam.
And having the pleasure of hearing our own Scottish Supreme Court agree with Mr Ghosh.
A pleasure reduced a little, in my opinion,  by the too ready decision  [for domestic ‘political’reasons?] to allow an appeal to the UK Supreme Court and thus kick the decision that SDM and RFC(IL) were  indeed the cheats and liars that they , and we,and the SPL and the SFA KNOW that they were, into another Court.
But who am I to underestimate the power of even disgraced knights of the realm when an appeal is made for brotherly help in difficult times?
The distribution of some choice succulent lamb washed down by choice vintages from certain vineyards owned by a knight of the realm managed to buy virtually the whole of the SMSM, including such stalwarts of BBC Radio Scotland as James Young, Charles traynor, ….and so on , and on, and on.
[ As an aside,my eye was caught this morning by a headline in ‘ The Australian’ newspaper;
“That’s game, set and match-fixing”
Professional tennis in Australia,it seems, would put one in mind of Scottish Profesional Football.
Maybe that’s just me, and the heat.
Here is an email to heat you all up!
“From: Colin Jensen CEO Sent: Wednesday, 11 January 2017 4:27 PM To: CouncilNews Subject: Be prepared for hot weather 
11 January 2017  The Bureau of Meteorology have forecast Brisbane will experience severe hot weather conditions over the coming days. Temperatures of 34 degrees are predicted from now until Friday with temperatures expected to rise again over the weekend to 36 degrees.
We are all at greater risk of heat-related health problems in hot weather, including dehydration, heat stroke or worsening of existing medical problems.
All employees, no matter where we work, are at risk from hot weather. In keeping with Council’s Zero Harm Policy and to help stay safe, employees are reminded to take appropriate measures to avoid heat-related conditions.
In particular, employees should:
·         minimise sun exposure by staying out of the sun where possible and remember to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide
·         reduce heat stress by:
o   staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water regularly during the day
o   wearing light coloured, loose fitting clothing
o   pacing yourself and limiting strenuous outdoor activity
o   avoiding caffeinated and high sugar drinks
o   seeking an air-conditioned environment if possible.
For more practical advice about staying healthy in the heat, please visit the Queensland Health website.
Colin Jensen Chief Executive Officer’
I don’t know about Edinburgh, but my brother-in-law is snowbound in bloody Southern Italy!

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AllyjamboPosted on2:29 pm - Jan 11, 2017

HomunculusJanuary 10, 2017 at 21:01 
ALLYJAMBO JANUARY 10, 2017 at 20:30 =================================
It really depends how good the pension was from your first career, and if you were able to start collecting it from the date of your retirement.
Of course you may be independently wealthy, in which case I trust the work you are now doing is of an altruistic nature. In which case good on you.

Got a decent pension and redundancy payment, only the pension left, though09, so wealth I have none, but a part-time job, where no one makes profit from my labours – which pleases me greatly – keeps me in sunny holidays a few times a year while leaving me with plenty of time on my hands to pass the time away on sites like this22

Must be my befuddled brain (of a pensioner), though, that makes it difficult for me to work out how pensioners’ opinions on matters football should be of any less value than that of the kind of people who would see being a pensioner as some kind of impediment on having a valuable opinion (many of whom will have put into the game much more of their hard and honestly earned money than those much younger)! I suspect only a pensioner will be able to work out what I mean, or, at least, have the time on their hands to try21

Ah well, off down to the post office now, anyone seen my stick..?

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John ClarkPosted on4:01 pm - Jan 11, 2017

incredibleadamsparkJanuary 11, 2017 at 10:20
…This is what the SFM does well. Working at its own pace, refusing to play to the galleries, and offering a welcome alternative to SMSM. Big Pink and Tris, it is appreciated.’
Exactly so.
It’s only the bad guys that have to sweat, trying to remember which lie was which so that they don’t contradict each other.
Those of us who have nothing to hide, and no fear of being exposed as liars and/or corrupted pressmen, simply advert to the actual, simple truth.
Truth,always, everywhere, and at all times, is the  winner, even if it takes a while.
In the language of a man I deeply admire, but  would love to question in depth, ‘ye canny whack’ Truth.
SFM is about truth.In the simple, uncomplicated field of sport, and sports governance.
We haven’t had truth, it would seem, from our football governance people for a long, long time.
And from the SMSM, including BBC Radio Scotland, we have had nothing but support for the myth, the Big Lie.

Other ‘football blogs’, or club blogs, or the SFA official site, can chunter on about ‘Scottish Football’ or their particular clubs.
That may be important to them.
But, SFM  is the most important blog:  non-partisan, seeking a return to any kind of acknowledgment of the very principle of integrity in sport.
The emperor Nero was ,literally,a madman to imagine that he won chariot races against professional charioteers.
Our football governance people have not the excuse of insanity to begin to attempt a justification of the Big Lie.
Unlike Nero, they are sanely wicked, and deserve to be punished for their betrayal of Scotttish Football.

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wottpiPosted on5:09 pm - Jan 11, 2017

I am sure that, like many others, I have found the contributions to SFM on all manner of subjects relating to Scottish Football, T’Rangers, business, finance, the law, the SMSM interesting and enlightening. Every day is a school day.
Yes we have a few zoomers and some posts from left field from time to time but a great deal of the contributions are well written and knowledgeable. 
Some folk have their own particular hobby horses but that’s life. The actions of others either prove or disprove such beliefs and  conspiracy theories.
If something doesn’t look right then we are prepared to say so, or ask questions, seek reasons, justifications and evidence etc, regardless of who is saying it, be that the sainted Phil Mac or even one of our own.
Generally such debates are well mannered and people are allowed to put forward opposing views without any abuse or animosity.
If people get out of hand due to having a bad day or indulging in one to many a glass of red then it is normally the case that folks agree to disagree or an apology is forthcoming.
Yes T’Rangers get it tight but all in all this site is civilized when compared to  many others.
If people wish to go down the ‘Trump’ type route of believing it is big and clever to insult, bully and try to be Billy Big Baws then so be it. That way lies madness and a padded cell along with the likes of Katie Hopkins!! 
More than happy to keep avoiding ‘back of the taxi talk’ and trying to seek the truth via a healthy dose of scepticism and reality.

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shugPosted on5:35 pm - Jan 11, 2017

Hey anyone know if parkhead has a safety certificate.

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jean7brodiePosted on5:36 pm - Jan 11, 2017

AllyjamboJanuary 11, 2017 at 14:29
Unfortunately AJ my experience as a, supposed to be retired, WASPI woman has been a great impediment to me. Done out of tens of thousands of pounds having paid in 40+ years of NI contributions etc.!!! They are bas****s. 0311
Anyway good luck to you in your retirement and thanks for all your great comments on here.

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SmugasPosted on5:42 pm - Jan 11, 2017


‘mon the zoomers! 

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Cluster OnePosted on5:53 pm - Jan 11, 2017

THE_STEEDJANUARY 11, 2017 at 12:37       12 Votes 
I’m disappointed that another site seems to have a bit of a vendetta against SFM, when as far as I can see we all want the same thing.  So, in the spirit of sharing, here’s a link to a blog which I haven’t encountered before but has absolutely nailed it with regards to what is going on at the moment down Ibrox way;
Just in and catching up (some of us have work you know)…. Mr smith can refute it from the safety of his retirement as much as he likes
that was a good read. as was JOHN CLARKJANUARY 11, 2017 at 13:59

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Cluster OnePosted on6:41 pm - Jan 11, 2017

Reminder to myself…take march off..SD v king court case.
SC court case.
and celtic to win league maybe in a derby

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Corrupt officialPosted on7:27 pm - Jan 11, 2017

CLUSTER ONEJANUARY 11, 2017 at 18:41
Reminder to myself…take march off..SD v king court case.SC court case.and celtic to win league maybe in a derby
    You no retired yet?…There’s me thinking I was the site pup.  15

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Corrupt officialPosted on9:22 pm - Jan 11, 2017

One for our roving court reporters to keep an eye on.  21
    I have been reading a twitter exchange where a “punter” is suing a bookie for a quarter of a mill payout, that Rangers would be “relegated”.  
    Its always been a puzzle to me how a club with a similar sounding name appeared in the lowest division, whilst Rangers(I.L.) simultaneously disappeared from the Premier. 
   I should add, It might not get to court.

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Cluster OnePosted on11:19 pm - Jan 11, 2017

You no retired yet?…

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upthehoopsPosted on7:17 am - Jan 12, 2017



That will be an interesting one if it goes to court. I’m sure a decent Lawyer could easily convince a court Rangers were not relegated in 2012. However, it will not stop their fans or the media (mostly one and the same?) saying their were ‘kicked down the leagues’. 

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Charlie_KellyPosted on11:57 am - Jan 12, 2017

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.

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bobcobbPosted on12:53 pm - Jan 12, 2017

All anyone would have to do to prove Rangers were not relegated in 2012 would be to present the minutes from the meeting when the SPL voted on whether or not to allow Sevco 5088 to enter the SPL.  Although Sevco 5088 were unsuccessful in their bid, they did enough to receive one vote in their favour from a then SPL member.

The member? That’s right – Rangers.

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Billy BoycePosted on12:53 pm - Jan 12, 2017

Charlie_Kelly January 12, 2017 at 11:57
Anyone with access to google could convince a court that rangers were not relegated in 2012
Agreed, but the ‘over simplified’ Coral text does cause some (false?) optimism for those who clutch the OC/NC straw.  where it mentions that Rangers were relegated. Sorry that the text may be too small to read.

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Corrupt officialPosted on1:01 pm - Jan 12, 2017

UPTHEHOOPSJANUARY 12, 2017 at 07:17
       “That will be an interesting one if it goes to court. I’m sure a decent Lawyer could easily convince a court Rangers were not relegated in 2012.”
   A decent lawyer would advise his client he is on to plums, and save his money. I doubt it will see daylight in a court-room. A shame for the old guy, but the bottom line is his betting slip is just another crumpled bit of paper thrown at the telly. His bet fell through.

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The_SteedPosted on1:58 pm - Jan 12, 2017


I think that a lot of the time the word ‘relegated’ has been used in a non-football sense (i.e. like doing the washing gets relegated to the bottom of my to-do list when there’s football on the telly) rather than literally meaning ‘relegated’ in the footballing sense where they went to the bottom league via a procedural mechanism.

However, by using the word ‘relegated’ it has enabled the continuity myth to be perpetuated by those who want to believe it as they could just say that they didn’t mean it in a footballing sense if they were questioned.

I guess the bottom line of my rambling is that it’s nae luck to the boy with the betting slip as I doubt Coral are going to pay out a quarter of a million on semantics…

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HomunculusPosted on2:23 pm - Jan 12, 2017

I have to agree the chap has little chance of success.

There was no rule in force for either the SPL or SFL (separate leagues at that time) which would allow a club to be relegated from the SPL to SFL3.

It didn’t happen because it couldn’t, certainly not when the Rangers which are currently in liquidation a, was second in the league and b, still exists.

Rangers weren’t relegated, and that’s not just semantics. 

Neither did they go into the bottom league via a procedural mechanism. The applied to the top league and were rejected. They applied to the bottom league and were allowed entry, into it’s lowest division. The place was there because two clubs were promoted from the SFL (div 1) to the SPL and only one was relegated.

If there is a hearing it will be interesting to see what conclusion is drawn by the Court of Session and their rationale for that conclusion.

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John ClarkPosted on2:48 pm - Jan 12, 2017

The_SteedJanuary 12, 2017 at 13:58
‘… it’s nae luck to the boy with the betting slip as I doubt Coral are going to pay out a quarter of a million on semantics…’
Nothing at all to do with semantics, I’m afraid, The _Steed, but with legal, commercial and sporting fact.

It is absolutely beyond dispute that ‘Rangers’ ceased to exist as a football club with a membership share in the SPL and, consequently in the SFA.

It is absolutely beyond dispute that a new creation, Sevcoscotland, changing its name in a deceitful attempt to masquerade as ‘Rangers’, APPLIED for the first time as a football club for admission to a Scottish Football league. It was denied admission to the SPl. It was , reluctantly, admitted to the bottom tier of the SFL.

It is absolutely the case that RFC was NOT relegated. It died.

And Coral would be, as a matter of law,  ill-advised to take any different view.

There is not a lawyer in the world, not even the QC who spoke airily about the ‘what it’s all aboutness’ of a football club, and about ethereal entities that are somehow substantial, and such like absolute crap ( I’m sure he knew that he was demeaning himself even as he uttered the crap, and was making   an absolute arse.ole of himself in so doing), who could seriously argue that RFC were’relegated’.

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SmugasPosted on2:49 pm - Jan 12, 2017

I think the key part of “relegated” is the assumed connection between the two parties pre an post relegation.  So YOU relegate the washing when the footballs on the common understanding that YOU will eventually do the washing when the football’s finished.

There is no connection in this particular case.

However I wouldn’t discount commercial realities coming to the fore either.  Coral could tear the guys slip up in front of him with no fear of legal recourse whatsoever.  But they could also, even with a posturing £5k payout, receive the raptures of the blue based betting world by not stirring up a nest (that goes way beyond Coral) unnecessarily and being subjected to the standard boycott and intimidation that would surely follow.

Edit: sorry JC, our posts crossed.

“And Coral would be, as a matter of law, ill-advised to take any different view.”

Why? What would happen TO CORAL? The guy is hardly going to sue that he shouldn’t have been paid? And as I said above. They don’t need to pay out in full to avoid the disreputable nonsense that would come their way when certain factions are backed into a corner. Such is life.

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John ClarkPosted on3:11 pm - Jan 12, 2017

SmugasJanuary 12, 2017 at 14:49
‘…Edit: sorry JC, our posts crossed. ‘
Not for the first time,Smugas, I think I may have got hold of the wrong end of the stick.( Maybe it’s the heat here in Birkdale, still 26 degrees celsius at 01.33 on 12/01/17!).
I thought that Coral were arguing that ‘Rangers’ were relegated. Silly ars.hole me!
If the punter was betting that ‘Rangers’ would be relegated, then bad cess to his case, and well done Coral in telling him so.
( This pale ale of which I have had, in this heat, a mouthful or two, and which is not Fat Yak, but “One hundred and fifty Lashes”, clearly ,in conjunction with the heat, has addled the brain somewhat. But at all events, I have re-stated the truth: RFC were not ‘relegated’. They were not in existence enough to BE ‘relegated’.19

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SmugasPosted on3:22 pm - Jan 12, 2017

No worries JC.

Fundamentally there will be a Coral junior Marketing Exec somewhere who on Monday will have been tasked that ‘them upstairs’ want some kind of measurable revenue surge or even just current level protection since its dog eat dog in that market just now.  They’ll want it on the back of some kind of a campaign but note they’re not willing to spend more than 5k doing it.  Have your  report on my desk by Friday.  Its now here Thursday 3pm (and definitely not pissin 26 degrees either!).

Principles and integrity aside it wouldn’t take a huge imagination to come up with a solution to their most immediate problem. 

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The_SteedPosted on4:32 pm - Jan 12, 2017

Watch the .gif and then read this;

And then go for a lie down…

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on5:00 pm - Jan 12, 2017

@ The_Steed:

The disciplinary charge is poorly worded. It should have read ‘by attempting to strike, or striking an opponent’.

There’s only two people who know what contact (if any) was made & the panel chose not to believe the Saintees player that he was punched.

The fact that Kiernan struck out at Anderson on purpose is undeniable.

It really should not have have been a question of ‘contact’, but of ‘intent’.

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SmugasPosted on5:05 pm - Jan 12, 2017

I don’t actually have that big a problem with the judgement.  Abundantly clear that the actual offence (as opposed to the perceived one, the point of impact if you like) now has to be caught on camera from an appropriate angle assuming the officials don’t see it.  So an opponent clearly head butting you but with a camera angle from behind will be chucked out and only if the camera catches it at a verifiable and confirmatory side-on angle will the charge be upheld.

I look forward to that new principle being upheld with honesty and consistency across the board.  And good luck refereeing in that environment too.  Oh, and I’m not entirely clear how it’ll be applied to the 32 teams that aren’t filmed week on week.  The referee supervisor is sure to pick up every incident with that degree of clarity whilst sitting in the stand I’m sure. 

And yes I am being facetious   

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smallchangePosted on5:14 pm - Jan 12, 2017

Thank you for bringing this up The Steed.
I, as a follower of Saints, would have been inclined not to comment. for a number of reasons.
1. Lest there arose the stench of Sour grapes.
2. I haven’t seen the video footage and therefore could not comment accurately either way.
3. I don’t normally have the time to engage in lengthy debate so normally refrain from opening a topic.
Unsurprisingly the decision of the (ahem) tribunal has prompted a flutter of activity on the Saints W.A.P. site.

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easyJamboPosted on5:27 pm - Jan 12, 2017

Tuesday 17th January
Proof Before Answer (3 days)
At 10.00am
CA90/16 Albert Kinloch v Coral Racing Ltd t/a Coral – Drummond Miller LLP – Brodies LLP

I’ll try and get along on Tuesday

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Corrupt officialPosted on5:41 pm - Jan 12, 2017

EASYJAMBOJANUARY 12, 2017 at 17:27
Tuesday 17th JanuaryProof Before Answer (3 days)At 10.00amCA90/16 Albert Kinloch v Coral Racing Ltd t/a Coral – Drummond Miller LLP – Brodies LLP
I’ll try and get along on Tuesday
   EJ. I expect Corals will use something from their trustee catalogue of “How to avoid paying a bet” handbook, rather than risk a boycott and panned windaes.

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scottcPosted on5:58 pm - Jan 12, 2017

EASYJAMBOJANUARY 12, 2017 at 17:27  
Tuesday 17th JanuaryProof Before Answer (3 days)At 10.00amCA90/16 Albert Kinloch v Coral Racing Ltd t/a Coral – Drummond Miller LLP – Brodies LLP
I’ll try and get along on Tuesday

I return to live in Edinburgh again this weekend and am so looking forward to joining yourself and John C at some of these court cases (work permitting, of course)

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easyJamboPosted on6:05 pm - Jan 12, 2017

scottc January 12, 2017 at 17:58
The more the merrier. It is always useful if one or more of us can’t make it. e.g. JC is still in Oz.

I should have added that it is Lord Bannatyne, who has presided over the Fraudco criminal hearings, who will be hearing the arguments next week..

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nawlitePosted on6:10 pm - Jan 12, 2017

Today’s Sun (I know, I know) also reporting the case is going ahead. According to their report Mr Kinloch will win…”Months later they were liquidated and a new Rangers formed, but SPL clubs voted to relegate them to the Third Division.”
How can presumably intelligent people write such nonsense? They can get it right in the first part of a sentence, then don’t realise that the second part of their sentence can’t happen if the first part they’ve written is true!?!?!?!
By the way, it took two of them to write that – Thomas Brown and Douglas Walker. Maybe that’s the problem with that sentence – one truth believer and one myth believer.

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Cluster OnePosted on6:21 pm - Jan 12, 2017

Tuesday 17th JanuaryProof Before Answer (3 days)At 10.00amCA90/16 Albert Kinloch v Coral Racing Ltd t/a Coral – Drummond Miller LLP – Brodies LLP
was it Coral who had this in their window before the cup final

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smallchangePosted on6:21 pm - Jan 12, 2017

Charlie_KellyJanuary 10, 2017 at 09:3250 Votes
I must admit to a wee chuckle at Walter Smith’s comment along the lines of “There are a couple of people there just now who were previously on the board at rangers and they know what it takes to make rangers successful” Yes Walter they know what it takes. WE ALL KNOW WHAT IT TAKES! We all know what it took from about 1986 onwards! It takes massive spending of money you don’t actually have, running up unsustainable debts and engaging in illegal tax avoidance. THAT’S what it takes Walter! Lance Armstrong knows what it takes to win the tour de France
Catching up today and I know this is a bit late but having read the above and then listened to the Bob Newhart clip, I could imagine him doing a good one on oor ‘Walt’.

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tonyPosted on7:03 pm - Jan 12, 2017

EJ. I expect Corals will use something from their trustee catalogue of “How to avoid paying a bet” handbook, rather than risk a boycott and panned windaes.

no need for corals to do that as there is no bet to pay out,it’s really very simple,sevco where promoted to the 3rd division not relegated,shouldnt even be at court,well done SFA and SMSM for putting the big lie out there but then you need idiots to believe it

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Cluster OnePosted on7:07 pm - Jan 12, 2017

Nawlite….I believe that is Coral on the phone.Do you still have that email?

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Cluster OnePosted on7:22 pm - Jan 12, 2017

The Question that should be asked is
Why has it taken the guy 5 years to try and cash in his line? or have i missed something?
So the ibrox fans and some smsm  can claim they were relegated,demoted, kicked down and whatever else they can come up with on an Accumulator line of defence.And now it may be a Bookmaker and a punters line that will put all those claims to bed for them.
My money is on first past the post which was liquidation and start anew.
And first past the post is the best bet out there

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nawlitePosted on7:22 pm - Jan 12, 2017

Cluster OneJanuary 12, 2017 at 19:07

CO, of course I do and I’ll be happy to share it with the writers of that article once they reply to my email asking for an explanation. 

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Cluster OnePosted on7:32 pm - Jan 12, 2017

NAWLITEJANUARY 12, 2017 at 19:22
You will be a Bookies favorite
Bookmakers always win they say

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HomunculusPosted on7:32 pm - Jan 12, 2017

Personally I think the most interesting thing will be the rationale behind the Court of Session decision.

They could simply say that there was no process by which Rangers could be relegated, therefore they were not relegated therefore the bet is not a winner.

If it’s a simple as that then no-one is really any further forward as we already know that anyway.

I don’t really see the need for them to go into huge detail about what happened to come to a reasoned decision. It would be nice if they did, but I just don’t see it. The question is not what happened to Rangers, it is much narrower, it is were they relegated. I think the simple answer is no.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:46 pm - Jan 12, 2017

HOMUNCULUSJANUARY 12, 2017 at 19:32


I agree. The decision, should it go to court, will make it clear Rangers were not relegated but certainly won’t set any case law for the same club argument etc. 

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Charlie_KellyPosted on7:49 pm - Jan 12, 2017

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.

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HomunculusPosted on7:58 pm - Jan 12, 2017

Sorry but I could easily fit  “Rangers will not play in the Scottish top flight in the 2012/13 season” on a betting slip, along with the stake and the odds agreed with the bookmaker. Though you could than argue about what “top flight” meant as, if anything, it is more open to interpretation than “relegation”. 

With regards, “relegated”, I believe the Court of Session will take it’s meaning to be the normal meaning within the context of football. That is clearly the context in which the bet was placed.

They will use the “common sense” interpretation if you will. They have form for that.

I’m offering 1/3 on a win for the bookie.

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StevieBCPosted on9:04 pm - Jan 12, 2017

Extracted from DR today / a Fraser Wilson article;
“SPFL languishing 16th in table of TV money across European football – behind Poland, Denmark and Romania”

Scottish football is lagging behind nations including Romania, Denmark and Poland in broadcast revenue levels, a UEFA report has revealed…”

That’s not bad for the DR.

IIRC, ‘Stevensanph’ posted the analyses which showed us just how undervalued the Scottish TV rights were, in relation to other Euro leagues.

That particular Bampot posted his very credible report about 4.5 years ago

[ Found it at; ]

Suppose better late than never for the SMSM.

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nawlitePosted on9:29 pm - Jan 12, 2017

HomunculusJanuary 12, 2017 at 19:32  Personally I think the most interesting thing will be the rationale behind the Court of Session decision.They could simply say that there was no process by which Rangers could be relegated, therefore they were not relegated therefore the bet is not a winner.
Homunculus, do you really think they could say something like that without someone asking ‘So how come they ended up in the fourth tier then?”
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think even a court case will give a definitive answer re old club/new club, but I think they will be forced to say at least that Old Rangers lost the right to be in the SPL due to liquidation and a new ‘something’ was allowed to enter the fourth tier after a vote by all member clubs.
Where I think they’ll spin it and allow the same club myth to continue is, of course,the claim that there was a holding company available to go into liquidation while the eternal and ethereal club sails on now, then and forever.
Harrumph!(As us old, retired, grumpy men say.)
That’s how the SPFL confirmed to me that “Rangers were not relegated” ; by saying the company had gone into liquidation. My follow up failed to get them to change that to the club!

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Cluster OnePosted on10:18 pm - Jan 12, 2017

That’s how the SPFL confirmed to me that “Rangers were not relegated” ; by saying the company had gone into liquidation. My follow up failed to get them to change that to the club!

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HomunculusPosted on10:29 pm - Jan 12, 2017

JANUARY 12, 2017 at 21:29

Homunculus, do you really think they could say something like that without someone asking ‘So how come they ended up in the fourth tier then?”


What someone asks is pretty much irrelevant. If the question before them is whether the bookmaker should have paid out on a bet which related to Rangers being relegated then the first thing they have to decide is whether or not Rangers were relegated.

If the answer is no then anything after that becomes irrelevant. They really don’t need to consider anything else.

i would love them to go into it further, however in my opinion they won’t have to.

If they choose to, fantastic. 

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HirsutePursuitPosted on12:35 am - Jan 13, 2017

For what it’s worth, a few thought on the “relegation” of Rangers to SFL3 in 2012.

Firstly, I think there is at least an arguable case from the punter’s perspective. 

Sometimes, we can look at a document and key words are given a specific definition to avoid possible confusion. Often something can be so obvious that no specific definition is necessary.

In the rules and articles of the SPL no particular definition was provided for “relegation”. We can therefore assume that the word has no specific meaning beyond a “real world” meaning.

The Cambridge dictionary describes relegation as: “the act of moving a football team to a lower division”

Merriam Webster says: “to transfer (a sports team) to a lower ranking division”

The Oxford dictionary says: “The transfer of a sports team or player to a lower division of a league”

Now, if you subscribe to the idea that Rangers the “Club” (or “team”) continued – though its original “owner and operator” is currently being liquidated – you will have no problem in accepting that the “Club” (or “team”) was transferred to a lower division. The 5 way agreement linked the transfer of “Rangers” SPL share to Dundee with “Rangers” acceptance within the SFL and the transfer of the SFA membership. LNS and the warblings of Neil Doncaster start from the basis the the “Club” continued despite its change in “owner and operator”

Of course there are the “normal” methods of relegation – and promotion – but there are also powers to promote or relegate teams in “abnormal” circumstances. It is, for example, within the powers of the board of the SPFL (as it is now) to relegate a team to a lower league if found to be in contravention of the rules.
I think it is important not to confuse the mechanism of relegation with the meaning of relegation.

In my view, for those in the world of the continuity myth, I think it will be unquestionable that Rangers, the “Club”, was relegated. If it is the same Rangers, it clearly did transfer “to a lower ranking division”.

If Coral are to successfully defend this claim, I believe the only argument it can utilise successfully, is that the “Club” (or “team”) that played in SFL3 was not the same “Club” (or “team”) that played in the SPL.

This is why I think Coral will win:
Sevco Scotland applied for membership of the SFL and were granted associate membership. The SFL articles say:

“Member or Member Club” means a football club however constituted which is a member of the League as provided for in Section 2 of these Rules and includes an Associate Member or Members where the context so allows or requires;

To give additional context, the articles also say:

13. MEMBERSHIP NOT TRANSFERRABLEMembership of the League (whether full or associate) shall not be transferrable, save that (a) a Member wishing to change its legal form (whether from unincorporated association to corporate body or otherwise where the ownership and control of both bodies are or will be substantially identical); or (b) a transfer within the same administrative group for the purposes of a solvent reconstruction only; may be permitted by the Board upon prior written application for consent and giving such details of the proposed transfer as the Board may reasonably request for the purpose of considering such transfer. The Board may refuse such application or grant same upon such terms and conditions as it shall think fit.

So the SFL says:
a member is a football club
a member can be an unincorporated association (e.g. Brechin)
a member can be a corporate body (e.g. Sevco Scotland Ltd)

The SFL articles are clear that Sevco Scotland Ltd was a member. That Sevco Scotland Ltd was a football club – though trading as Rangers FC.

As Sevco Scotland Ltd (trading as Rangers FC) had not previously been a member of the SPL, it certainly could not have been relegated from the SPL.

In the real world Rangers the “club” (or “team”) remained a member of the SPL until it ceased to exist as a football club on 3rd August 2012. It was on this date that its SPL membership was passed to Dundee.

By this time, Sevco Scotland (trading as Rangers FC) had already been accepted into the SFL (13th July 2012) and played its first game against Brechin (29th July 2012) in the Ramsden Cup. 

Unfortunately, for the punter, Rangers were not relegated in 2012. They simply ceased to exist.

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SmugasPosted on9:29 am - Jan 13, 2017

Thanks HP.  Appreciate the technical input and measured tones (see Herald yesterday for comparison!).

Could I request – Could one of the jambo lads provide some context also?  Did the Anne Budge consortium (apologies for simplistic terminology) buy over Romanov’s company post admin (in the same way Whyte bought out Murray in 2011 minus the admin obviously) or is the “owner and operator” (Budge) now a completely new company operating the same club?  (warned you it was simplistic!) 

Just so I can fully get my head round the difference!

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bluPosted on10:28 am - Jan 13, 2017

Smugas, Companies House records show that BDO secured a CVA on 11th June 2014 whereby Bidco(1874) – Budge group, nominees for Foundation of Hearts, bought the club as a going concern, buying the UKIO Bankas and UBIG shareholding.

Link to Administrators final report to the Court of Session here: 
Document dated 7 July – Notice of voluntary arrangement supervisor’s abstract of receipts and payments to 3 July 2014

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wottpiPosted on10:44 am - Jan 13, 2017

I note there was a report the other day that the Premiership (from last season) was in good financial health but that compared to our European cousins Scottish top flight clubs rely heavily on the fans gate money.

Therefore despite the predictions of Armageddon the game has survived due to the loyalty of fans as opposed to highly paid administrators being unable to secure decent TV deals.

The mantra has of course been that Scottish Football needs T’Rangers and their presence in the top league would improve ‘competition’.

So as a little exercise when comparing this weeks Premiership to last year at the same time I note that for the top six
1. Celtic were top with 49 points from 21 games (this season 58 from 20).
2. Aberdeen had 43 from 21 and are currently (37 from 20). Therefore if the Dons win there next two they are at the same point as last year.
3. Hearts are the losers with 40 from 22 compared to (31 from 21) this outing. A win next outing has them 6 points adrift.
4. St Johnstone were 32 from 21 so currently at (28 from 20) they are eeksy peeksy if they win their next match
5. Ross County are not as hot this season were 30 from 20 compared with (23 from 21)
6. Dundee were 29 from 22 so have dropped form a little as they opposed to now being on equal points with Patrick in the 7/8 slot with (22 from 21)

Slotted into this year is of course T’Rangers in the current second position with 39 points from 21 games.

Therefore at this time all that has happened is that T’Rangers have taken points off clubs in the lower reaches of the league and are providing no more competition to Celtic than Aberdeen or Hearts did last year.

Given that they are running at a loss, operating on soft loans, have had limited or no productivity from a lot of  this years signings (Barton-gone, Kranjcar-injured, Senderson-posted missing, Crooks- Loaned out to Scunthorpe, Rossiter-reoccurring injuries) and rumours of O’Halloran and Gilks probably being shown the door and possibly needing to get future cover for the ageing stalwarts Kenny Miller and Clint Hill, where exactly is the money going to come from to not only maintain the current squad but develop it further?

To be fair Warburton getting his fairly average squad to second is to be applauded, although I think in part that is down to a poor showing from Hearts in relation to their performance against teams in the lower half and Aberdeen’s ‘lying down’ in the last encounter with the Ibrox side as opposed to the efforts of the teams currently sitting 5th and downwards.

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easyJamboPosted on11:07 am - Jan 13, 2017

Smugas January 13, 2017 at 09:29  
Thanks HP.  Appreciate the technical input and measured tones (see Herald yesterday for comparison!).
Could I request – Could one of the jambo lads provide some context also?  Did the Anne Budge consortium (apologies for simplistic terminology) buy over Romanov’s company post admin (in the same way Whyte bought out Murray in 2011 minus the admin obviously) or is the “owner and operator” (Budge) now a completely new company operating the same club?  (warned you it was simplistic!) 
Just so I can fully get my head round the difference!
The Hearts situation is as follows:

Heart of Midlothian Plc is the “Club” which trades as Heart of Midlothian FC (“Hearts”)

Ann Budge formed a company called Bidco (1874) Ltd of which she is the sole shareholder.  She personally funded her company to provide a loan to Heart of Midlothian Plc of £2.4M which was used to meet the primary CVA requirements of releasing the securities over Tynecastle and other Hearts assets which were held by Vlad’s banking arm, Ukio Bankas, to whom Hearts owed £15M. Ukio Bankas was the only party who received anything money from the CVA pot. 

Separately Bidco purchased the 79% of Heart of Midlothian Plc shares held by Vlad’s main holding company UBIG and Ukio Bankas for £100,000.  Hearts also owed UBIG £8M.

Bidco was then obliged under takeover rules to offer to buy all remaining shares in the company, and is now the major shareholder in Heart of Midlothian Plc with approx 88.5% of the shares in issue.  Bidco is effectively Hearts holding company.

In May 2014, the Foundation of Hearts (8000+ fans currently donating around £125,000 a month) entered an agreement with Bidco to fund the club’s initial working capital needs and then for a further two years, handing over £4.05M in the process.  It was then planned that the FOH funds would be used to pay off the £2.4M Bidco loan, then purchase 75.1% of the club’s shares for a further £100,000.  Had that plan been followed through, then ownership would have passed to the fans by the end of this year.

However in May 2016 Bidco and FOH agreed a change to the plan, in that two years worth of funds (£3M) from donations would be used to help fund the new main stand, before repaying the Bidco loan.  That will put the timetable for Fan Ownership out to the end of 2019 assuming fan contributions are maintained as current levels.  In return Bidco has agreed to transfer 20% of the shares in the club to FOH once £1.5M of the stand funding has been reached (April/May 2017) and a further 15% when the £3M target is reached (April/May 2018).  The remaining 40.1% will be handed over once the original loan is repaid in full. 

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bluPosted on11:42 am - Jan 13, 2017

SMUGASJANUARY 13, 2017 at 09:29
Smugas, as expected, full answer from Easyjambo. BDO reportto the Court of Session on CVA being agreed can be found on Companies House website: – document is, “Notice of voluntary arrangement supervisor’s abstract of receipts and payments to 3 July 2014” and dated 7 July 2014.

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HomunculusPosted on11:44 am - Jan 13, 2017

Heart of Midlothian PLC (SC005863) was incorporated in April 1905.

It was previously known as 

Heart of Midlothian Football Club PLC, from April 1905 to July 1997.

The club therefore has a continuous history, albeit the ownership has changed as shares have been sold or transferred from one person (entity) to another. 

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Charlie_KellyPosted on12:14 pm - Jan 13, 2017

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.

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SmugasPosted on1:25 pm - Jan 13, 2017

Thanks EJ for the description. From a supporter of a club that finds a stadium and training complex as akin to our personal Moon launch with a Mars jaunt thrown in what you say is very impressive albeit I appreciate the project and the urgency was forced on you all somewhat!

So fundamentally, if I’m getting this right, the corporate member Heart of Midlothian PLC was bought over by new majority shareholder Bidco.  So the company holding the membership of the SFA/SPFL didn’t change per se, just the ownership of that company (which is, of course, “the club” as we know/knew it).  This is permissible, even under conditions of insolvency as long as the creditors accepted a CVA (making the insolvent solvent and this transferrable again) which then allowed the company/club to continue.  The CVA payment (which got the agreement of the creditors including, crucially, the return of the securities) was funded by the loan from Bidco since all other club monies were gone.  An insolvent company/club/member is essentially powerless.

In the TRFC situation a completely new company entered the fray – Sevco Scotland – and it is that company that had to apply for membership. For the absence of doubt this had to occur as the old company/club RFCplc could not get the agreement of their creditors to allow it to continue and thus to be transferred.  It was, therefore, not available to be taken over in a Bidco/Whyte2011 scenario but it was still sufficiently alert, if failing rapidly, that it was able to fulfil its last act as member – to vote on the admission of the proposed new member Sevco Scotland and to participate in the 5WA that brought SFA agreement on old Rangers becoming new Rangers (but not necessarily the SAME Rangers) subject to various criteria, football debts etc.  Finally, the players were presumably registered to RFCplc so they either had the option to TUPE on equivalent terms over to Sevco Scotland as part of the asset takeover, or to walk away released from their contract to the soon to be liquidated party.  This of course was the final nail in the oldco coffin as their remaining assets walked away.  I’m still not quite clear when those contracts are shredded?  Once Liquidation is inevitable i.e. CVA fail?  Entering Liquidation?  Are those different?  The ‘Hearts’ players meanwhile were presumably contracted to Heart of Midlothian PLC who either honoured those contracts or terminated them, again to improve the solvency of the company/club to achieve the CVA.  Can a player object to said termination?  Presumably he could but then his objection/legal action/claim for cash would simply be added to the pile at the CVA since, as you say, only UKIO Bankas got residual cash anyway on the strength of their security (and said cash was only there because Bidco put it there).
And the continuation myth is simply whether “the club” (the recognisable brand if you like) sits apart from the companies unaffected by the success or otherwise of those companies and available to be tossed between the companies at the behest of the companies (as opposed to someone affected by the success or otherwise of those companies) [[and just writing that suggests I’m stretching it somewhat]], that “the club”is instead intertwined within the companies (a bit like holding a franchise) or indeed is the company period (and hence subject to the solvent transfer rules above).

I think I’ve got it. 

Have I?

Apologies all as I know its OC/NC.  Think of it as a refresher for me.


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bluPosted on2:33 pm - Jan 13, 2017

SMUGASJANUARY 13, 2017 at 13:25

Smugas, a question on part of your post – does TUPE apply when a company goes into liquidation? Some people who were employed by RFC 2012 were also employed by SEVCO Scotland/TRFC Ltd but that doesn’t mean that TUPE was applied in the case of those employees. From memory, Charles Green used the term in a bizarre attempt to say that employees of RFC 2012 must transfer employment to SEVCO Scotland Ltd, inferring that any contract they had with RFC 2012 was now with SEVCO Scotland. We know how that ended up. It may just have suited those who were employed by RFC 2012 and had no other offers, to work for SEVCO Scotland.


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SmugasPosted on2:53 pm - Jan 13, 2017

Good point Blu.  In the mists of my mind was there not a secretary or something who retired after 20 years from “the club” and discovered her length of service with Sevco was 2 or some such?

Did Lee McCulloch go to Sevco on high wages because he could (via TUPE) or simply because he was offered them by Sevco (with Sevco claiming that he had TUPED to try to encourage others?)

My original query was more directed at at what point could those choosing/accepting neither of Lee’s options above (Naismith for instance) could they walk away and secure employment elsewhere?  What specific point was the trigger some time between February and September 2012?

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bluPosted on3:10 pm - Jan 13, 2017

SMUGASJANUARY 13, 2017 at 14:53

SEVCO Scotland incorporated 29-5-12. Duff and Phelps Administrators report that following the failure to achieve a CVA, they sold the business and assets of the club to Newco on 14 June 2012. 

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upthehoopsPosted on3:23 pm - Jan 13, 2017

Does anyone seriously believe if there had been vandalism at Ibrox by Celtic fans on 31 December we would not have heard about it by now, accompanied with pictures? As far as I am aware Celtic officials were allowed to inspect all areas before and after the game. 

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SmugasPosted on3:25 pm - Jan 13, 2017

OK.  So does that (the reference to “transfer of business” presumably, following on as it does from the failure to complete the CVA in June 12) open the TUPE gate as it were?  Giving the RFC2012 employees the opportunity (but not the compulsion) to TUPE across to Sevco?

But that wouldn’t free those still contracted would it? Despite the fact said contract was essentially worthless assuming they weren’t accepting the opportunity to TUPE. 

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woodsteinPosted on4:26 pm - Jan 13, 2017

Worth remembering that this was an, insolvent TUPE.
This will explain.

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HomunculusPosted on4:36 pm - Jan 13, 2017

JANUARY 13, 2017 at 15:23


Prior to the game at Ibrox stadium Celtic approached Rangers and stated that they would pay for any damage caused by the Celtic support. That was on the condition that they were told about the damage directly after the game and that club officials were allowed to examine it.

No such damage was reported to Celtic and no such examination required.

On TUPE, as I understand it the rules are there to protect employees and apply to an administration (including pre-pack). They do not really apply in a “terminal insolvency event” (liquidation) as there is no job there and no terms and conditions to protect.

I believe this provides a reasonably detailed explanation.

Terminal insolvency proceedings

If the insolvency proceedings are aimed at liquidating the assets of your employer, the protections under TUPE are very limited. Such proceedings are likely to include bankruptcy of an individual and compulsory or creditors’ voluntary liquidation of a limited company.

If your employer is subject to any of these proceedings:

Your employment will not automatically transfer from your employer to the buyer; and

Any dismissal will not be automatically unfair even if the reason for it was the transfer.

Removal of these protections under TUPE will not prevent a buyer from deciding to employ you but it does mean the buyer could make changes to your contract of employment for whatever reason (subject to your agreement).

Non-terminal insolvency proceedings

If your employer is subject to insolvency proceedings that are not intended to liquidate the assets you will have greater protection.


will automatically transfer with the terms and conditions of your employment from your employer to the buyer.will be entitled to protection against certain dismissals which may be automatically unfair.may be entitled to recover some or all of some debts owed to you by your employer from the Secretary of State and the National Insurance Fund (NIF).may be forced to accept changes to your terms and conditions of employment imposed by the buyer.

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bluPosted on4:46 pm - Jan 13, 2017

Always a loophole, as illustrated by advice below. My original point is that we (me anyway) don’t know what happened, and apologies if I’ve set us off down an old trail.

6. Insolvent businessesIf the employer is insolvent and the business is being transferred or taken over by another company, the protection employees get is different from in a normal transfer.
The employees are unlikely to be protected under TUPE if the business is closing down. However, TUPE regulations will normally apply if it’s being rescued and taken over or transferred.

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easyJamboPosted on5:00 pm - Jan 13, 2017

Smugas January 13, 2017 at 13:25
I’m pleased to see that you have correctly interpreted what I posted about Hearts.

When Hearts went into administration in June 2013 it was announced that 14 staff and 4 players would be made redundant. As it turned out the 14 staff and just three players were made redundant, i.e. John Sutton and two youth players.  Three other players, Jamie Hamill, Jamie MacDonald and Kevin McHattie all accepted wage cuts and remained at the club for the following season. 

A number of other players who were out of contract at the end of season 2012/13 did not have their contracts renewed. These included Andy Driver, Andy Webster, Marius Zalikusas, Arvydas Novikovas, Darren Barr, Danny Grainger and Medhi Taouil.

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woodsteinPosted on5:04 pm - Jan 13, 2017

Court Of Appeal Clarifies Application Of Tupe In Administration Proceedings
Since the Court of Appeal decision in Crystal Palace, the TUPE regulations have been amended by the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (the 2014 Regulations).

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