Why the Beast of Armageddon Failed to Show?

ByTrisidium

Why the Beast of Armageddon Failed to Show?

A Blog for Scottish Football Monitor by Stuart Cosgrove

At the height of summer of discontent I was asked to contribute to a BBC radio show with Jim Traynor and Jim Spence. ‘Armageddon’ had just been pronounced and if the media were to be believed Scotland was about to freeze over in a new ice-age: only a cold darkness lay ahead.

To get the radio-show off to a healthy and pretentious start I began by saying that Scottish football was experiencing an “epistemological break”. It was an in-joke with Jim Spence, who I have known since we were both teenage ‘suedeheads.’ I was a mouthy young St Johnstone fan and Jim was an Arabian sand-dancer. But even in those distant days, we shared a mutual distrust of the ‘old firm’ and in our separate ways wanted a better future for our clubs. We both grew up to become products of the fanzine era, Jim as a writer for Dundee United’s ‘The Final Hurdle’ and me as a staff writer for the NME. Without ever having to say it, we had both engaged in a guerrilla-war against what Aberdeen’s Willie Miller once characterised as “West Coast Bias”.

The term ‘epistemological break’ was shamelessly borrowed from French Marxist philosophy. It means a fundamental change in the way we construct and receive knowledge and although I used it on air as a wind-up to test Spencey’s significantly less-reliable Dundee schooling, deep down I meant it.

Social Media has proved to be one of the greatest disruptions in the history of the football supporter – greater than the brake clubs of the 19th century, the football specials on the 1970s; or the fanzine movement of the post-punk era. The pace of change in the way we send, receive and interrogate information has been so dynamic that it has wrong-footed administrators, asset strippers and sports journalists, alike. No matter who you support we are living through media history.

2012 had just witnessed an unprecedented summer of sport. The Olympics provided a snapshot of how sudden and pervasive the shift to social media has become. Over 40% of UK adults claim to have posted comments on websites, blogs or social networking about the Olympics and in younger age-groups that figure tips conclusively to a majority – 61% of 16-24’s posted Olympic comments. Think about that figure for a moment. Well over half of the young people in the UK are now participants in social media and pass comment on sport. The genie is out of the bottle and it will never be forced back. That is the main reason that Armageddon never happened: we no longer live in an age where the media can guarantee our compliance.

On the first day of the 2012-13-season, Rangers were in the deep throes of administration and facing certain liquidation. With no accounts to meet the criteria for SPL membership, one among a body of rules which the old Rangers had themselves been an architect of, the new Rangers could not be granted entry without a wholesale abandonment of the rules. It was not to be.

St Johnstone launched their new season at Tynecastle so I travelled with misplaced hope. We were soundly beaten 2-0 and both Hearts goals were entirely merited. On the day, I did a quick if unscientific survey of two supporters’ buses – the Barossa Saints Club, a more traditional lads-bus and the ‘208 Ladies’ a predominantly female and family-friendly bus. On both buses, over 75% of fans had mobile phones with 3G internet access and the majority of them posted updates or pictures before, during or after the match. They mostly posted via micro-blogging sites such as Facebook or Twitter, many commenting on the game, their day-out and the surroundings. Most were speaking to friends or rival fans. Some were publishing pictures and updating forums or blogs. And when he second a decisive goal went in some were undoubtedly taking stick from Gort, Webby DFC and DeeForLife, the pseudonyms of prominent Dundee fans, who as the newly promoted ‘Club 12’ were suddenly and very temporarily above St Johnstone in the SPL.

By my rough calculations, well over half the St Johnstone support was web-connected. I have no reason to think the Hearts supporters were any different. This small experiment reflects an unprecedented shift in the balance of communication in Scottish football and in the truest sense it is an ‘epistemological break’ with past forms of spectatorship. Social media has been widely misrepresented by old-style radio ‘phone-ins’ and by journalism’s ancien regime. The presumption is that people who are connected to the web are at home, in dingy rooms where they foam at the mouth frustrated by loneliness and mental illness. The term ‘internet bampots’ (coined by Hugh Keevins) and ‘keyboard warriors’ (Gordon Strachan) speaks to a world that is fearful of the web, irked by alternative opinions, and the threat that the new media poses to the traditional exchange of knowledge.

It further assumes that opinion from social networks is naïve, ill-informed, or unreasonable. Whilst some of this may be true, mostly it is not. No one would dispute that there are small enclaves of truly despicable people using social networks and comment sites, but they are overwhelmingly outnumbered by the multitude of fans who simply want to talk about their team and share their dreams and memories.

Social media is porous. By that I mean it has cracks, lacunae and fissures. This inevitably means that information leaks out. It can be shared, released and in some cases becomes so energetic it becomes a virus. It is no longer possible to ‘keep secrets’, to withhold information and to allow indiscretions to pass unnoticed. Newspapers have been caught in a whirlwind of change where views can be instantly challenged, authority quickly questioned and pronouncements easily disproved. Many papers – almost all in decline – have been forced to close down their comments forums. Undoubtedly some of that is due to breaches of the rules, the cost of moderation, and the rise in awareness of hate crimes. But another significant factor is that ordinary fans were consistently challenging the opinions and ‘facts’ that newspapers published.

Talking down to fans no longer works and we now have evidence – Armageddon did not happen. The beast that was supposed to devour us all was a toothless fantasy. In the more abrasive language of the terraces – Armageddon shat-it and didn’t turn up.

In one respect the myth of Armageddon was an entirely predictable one. Tabloid newspapers make money from scaring people – health scares, prisoners on the run, fear of terrorism, anxiety about young people, and most recently ‘fear’ of Scottish independence is their stock in trade. Almost every major subject is raised as a spectre to be fearful of. Most newspapers were desperate to ‘save Rangers’ since they themselves feared the consequences of losing even more readership. It was easier to argue that a hideous financial catastrophe would befall Scottish football unless Rangers were fast-tracked back into the SPL. Newspapers found common cause with frightened administrators who could not imagine a world without Rangers, either.

So we were invited to endorse one of the greatest circumlocutions of all time – unless you save a club that has crashed leaving millions of pounds of debt, the game is financially doomed. You would struggle to encounter this bizarre logic in any other walk of life. Unless Rick Astley brings out a new album music will die. That is what they once argued and many still do. That is how desperately illogical the leadership in Scottish football had become.

Armageddon was a tissue of inaccuracies from the outset. It tried to script a disaster-movie of chaotic failure and financial disaster and at the very moment when senior administrators should have been fighting for the livelihood of the league, they were briefing against their own business.

Armageddon was a big inarticulate beast but it faced a mightier opponent – facts. One by one the clubs published their annual accounts. Although this was against the backdrop of a double-dip recession and fiercely difficult economic circumstances it was not all doom and gloom. The arrival of Club 12 (Dundee) meant higher crowds and the potential for increased income at Aberdeen, Dundee United and St Johnstone. To this day, this simple fact remains unfathomable to many people in the Glasgow-dominated media. The arrival of Ross County meant an exciting new top-tier local derby for Inverness Caley Thistle and a breath of fresh air for the SPL. St Johnstone insisted on the first ever SPL meeting outside Glasgow to reflect the new northern and eastern geo-politics of the Scottish game.

European football meant new income streams for Motherwell. Of course times were tight, football is never free from the ravages of the economy and some clubs predictably showed trading losses. But the underlying reasons were always idiosyncratic and inconsistent never consistent across the board. Inverness had an unprecedented spate of injuries and over-shot their budgets for healthcare and so published a loss £378,000.

Meanwhile Dundee United published healthy accounts having sold David Goodwillie to Blackburn. Celtic reached the Champion’s League group stages with all the new wealth it will bequeath. St Johnstone – led by the ultra-cautious Brown family – had already cut the cost of their squad, bidding farewell to the most expensive players Francisco Sandaza and Lee Croft. The club also benefited from compensation for their departed manager, Derek McInnes and player-coach, Jody Morris. Paradoxically, Bristol City had proven to be more important to the club’s income than Rangers. Again this was not part of the script and proved unfathomable (or more accurately irrelevant) to most in the Glasgow media.

Hearts failed to pay players on time due to serious restraints on squad costs and internal debt. They were duly punished for their repeated misdemeanours. Motherwell and St Mirren despite the economic challenges were navigating different concepts of fan ownership. By November most clubs – with the exception of Celtic – were showing increased SPL attendance on the previous season. Far from the scorched earth failure that we were told was inevitable what has emerged is a more complex eco-system of financial management, in which local dynamics and a more mature cost-efficient reality was being put in place.

It may well be that Armageddon was the last desperate caricature of a form of media that was already in terminal decline. Flash back to 1967 when Scottish football had a so-called ‘golden age’. There was European success, we tamed England at Wembley and names like Law and Baxter brightened dark nights. Back then access to knowledge was a very narrow funnel. Only a small cadre of privileged journalists had access to the managers and players, and so fans waited dutifully for the Daily Record to arrive at their door to tell them what was happening. That system of ‘elite access to knowledge’ was in its last decadent throes nearly thirty years later, when David Murray would dispense wisdom to his favoured journalists. We now know they drank fine wine and ate succulent lamb in Jersey and the most loyal attended Murray’s 50th birthday party at Gleneagles. One journalist was so proud of his invite he danced round the editorial office mocking those who had not been invited. This was the early height of the Rangers EBT era but it is now clear that difficult questions went unasked by either journalists or by football administrators.

Although it may not suit the narrative of this particular blog my first realisation that David Murray’s empire was living on leveraged debt was from a small cadre of Rangers fans. It was around the early years of the Rangers Supporter’s Trust (RST) and they were determined to shake more democracy from the Ibrox boardroom. Whilst real fans of the club argued from the outside, the press took Murray at his loquacious word. He was in many respects their benefactor, their visionary – their moonbeam.

By the 1990s onwards, football journalism had ritualised and festered around the inner sanctums at Ibrox. This was an era where relevance meant being invited to a ‘presser’ at Murray Park, having Ally’s mobile or playing golf with ‘Juke Box,’ ‘Durranty’ or ‘Smudger’. Many journalists, showing a compliant lack of self-awareness, would use these nicknames as if conveyed closeness, familiarity or friendship. It is desperately sad that careers have been built on such paltry notions of access and such demeaning obsequiousness.

Around this period I had become a freelance radio-presenter and was presenting Off the Ball with my friend Tam Cowan, a Motherwell fan. We both wanted to fashion a show which saw football not trough its familiar narratives, but through the lens of the ‘diddy’ teams, a term so demeaning that we tried to reclaim it. Refusing to peddle the inevitability of ‘old firm’ power we sensed that journalistic compliance at Ibrox was now so ingrained that it was ripe for satirising. This was the main reason that Off the Ball branded itself as ‘petty and ill-informed.’ It was a self-mocking antidote to those journalists that could ‘exclusively reveal’ breaking stories from ‘impeccable sources,’ which usually meant they had heard it on the golf-course, from Walter, a man who needed no surname.

Many fans are astonished when I tell them how the journalism of this era actually functioned. On Champions League nights, journalists from opposing papers gathered together to agree what to write. Circulation was in decline, money was tight, agency copy was on the increase and foreign trips were under-scrutiny. No one dared miss the ‘big story’. So sports journalists who commonly boasted about their toughness and who ‘feared no one’ were often so fearful of returning home having missed an angle, that they agreed by consensus to run with variations of the same story. Celtic fans may wish to recoil at the image – but journalists would go into a ‘huddle’ at the end of a press-conference to agree the favoured line.

So the summer of 2012 witnessed an ‘epistemological break’ in how knowledge and information was exchanged. But let me go further and taunt Jim Spence one more time. It was the summer we also witnessed an ‘amygdala-crisis’ exposing the way the media works in Scotland. Amygdala is the nuclei in the brain that manages our tolerance for risk and is the key that often unlocks creative thinking. Many people in relatively high places in the media – a creative industry – demonstrated that they could not conceive of change, nor could they imagine what football would look like if Rangers were not playing in the SPL. They not only resisted change but lacked the imagination to think beyond it. A common language began to emerge that tried to ward off risk and an almost a childlike fear of the dark. ‘Scottish football needs a strong Rangers,’ ‘But there will no competition’; ‘other clubs will suffer’; ‘Draw a line in the sand’; ‘It was one man – Craig Whyte’, ‘They’ve been punished enough’ and of course, the daddy of them all – ‘Armageddon.’

The biggest single barrier to change was the lingering and outmoded notion that Rangers subsidised Scottish football. As a supporter of a club that had spent seven economically stable years in a league that Rangers have never played in made me deeply suspicious and I was in the words of the we-forums ‘seething’ that St Johnstone were portrayed as somehow ‘dependent’ on a club that was already fatefully insolvent. Because so little is known about the experience of the fans of smaller clubs, they are often misrepresented. For seven years my friends and I, travelled home and away in the First Division, often narrowly missing out on promotion as rival clubs like Gretna, Dundee and Livingston all used money they did not have to ‘buy’ success. It remains an incontrovertible fact that St Johnstone FC has been among the most consistent victims of fiscal misdemeanour in Scottish football. That is the irreducible issue. Several clubs have very real reasons to loathe financial mismanagement, rogue-trading and those that gain unfair advantage on the back of unserviceable debt.

Social media has allowed these smaller incremental versions of history to be told when the established media had no interest in telling them. Blogs can dig deeper than the back pages ever can and fans are now more likely to meet on Facebook than on a supporter’s bus. Many players now bypass the press completely and tweet directly with fans. Rio Ferdinand’s recent attack on racism in English football has been conducted entirely via social media, over the heads of the press. In the Rangers Tax Case context, restricted documents are regularly shared online, where they can be analysed and torn apart. Those with specialist skills such as insolvency, tax expertise or accountancy can lend their skills to a web forum and can therefore dispute official versions of events.

Not all social media is good. Open-access has meant a disproportionate rise in victim culture. The ‘easily-offended’ prowl every corner of the web desperate to find a morsel that will upset them but that is a small price to pay for greater transparency and even the most ardent bore is no excuse for limiting the free exchange of information.

We have witnessed a summer of seismic change. A discredited era that largely relied on ‘elite access to knowledge’ has all but passed away and information, however complex or seemingly unpalatable, can no longer be withheld from fans. The days of being ‘dooped’ are over.

It has been a privilege to participate in the summer of discontent and I yearn for even greater change to come. Bring it on.

Stuart Cosgrove
Stuart Cosgrove is a St Johnstone fan. He was previously Media Editor of the NME and is now Director of Creative Diversity at Channel 4, where he recently managed coverage of the Paralympics, London 2012. At the weekend he presents the BBC Scotland football show ‘Off the Ball’ with Tam Cowan. He writes here in a personal capacity.

About the author

Trisidium administrator

Trisidium is a Dunblane businessman with a keen interest in Scottish Football. He is a Celtic fan, although the demands of modern-day parenting have seen him less at games and more as a taxi service for his kids.

3,744 Comments so far

torrejohnbhoyPosted on8:47 pm - Nov 19, 2012


Grant Russell ‏@STVGrant

SPL’s plans identical to format used in Austria from 1985-1993. Austrian journalist tells STV: “It was really boring”. http://bit.ly/TMUHND

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FinlochPosted on8:54 pm - Nov 19, 2012


The SPL should not be countenancing expansion.
Quite the opposite – It should be shut down by the 12 members because …
It is not fit for purpose now and never was.
It does not do a good job for its members.
It is not good for Scottish football.

Just think what all that overhead costs and the good that would come if it was invested in grass roots.

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nowoldandgrumpyPosted on8:56 pm - Nov 19, 2012


http://garryjbmacinnes.com/2012/11/12/what-is-the-point-in-rearranging-the-deck-chairs-on-the-titanic-when-no-one-is-fixing-the-hull/

A TRFC blogger who thinks Hearts problems is the biggest story in Scottish football at the moment. He comments on Celtic and reconstruction also.

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posmillPosted on9:05 pm - Nov 19, 2012


Reconstruction talk at this point reminds me of the old joke about the boss not wanting to take a holiday. His wife asks, “Are you afraid they won’t manage without you?” He responds, “No, I’m afraid they will.” Must be an awful lot of dirty clothes piling up methinks. Pity the washer’s on the blink.

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Danish PastryPosted on9:05 pm - Nov 19, 2012


monsieurbunny on Monday, November 19, 2012 at 20:11
3 1 Rate This
justshatered says:
Monday, November 19, 2012 at 19:52
—————————————————–
Lee Harvey Oswald.

Just saying.
———

If you’d followed the career and writings of US attorney Mark Lane you might have just stuck with the Moon landings mon ami 🙂

Not everything that looks like a conspiracy is, but some things that at first glance do not appear to be, sometimes turn out to be part of a cunning plan. However, I doubt that Doncaster was anywhere near Dealey Plaza.

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torrejohnbhoyPosted on9:11 pm - Nov 19, 2012


Fan power rules :mrgreen:

http://www.sport360.com/article/walk-outraged-al-wasl-fans-steal-team-bus-keys

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campsiejoePosted on9:14 pm - Nov 19, 2012


So the Donkey has reared his head again, in an effort to have his love child fast tracked into the SPL
For several years re-organisation has been ignored, bar one feeble attempt following the McLeish report
Now with the demise of RFC(IL), and Sevco being voted into the lower reaches of Scottish football, Donkey and his mates are telling us it must happen for “the good of the game”

Have these morons learned nothing from their summer of disgrace ?
The proposals put forward by both bodies are bizarre, and not very well thought out, which is hardly surprising given who the main beneficiary is going to be

Donkey in particular will not give up on having Sevco back in the SPL in short order, and in association with the two other members of Stooges Inc, will bend and break every rule, and ignore every moral and ethical principle to achieve that aim, even if that means destroying Scottish football in the process

I fear we are going to have an even bigger fight on our hands than we had in the summer, and we had better be ready for it, and also be right up for it

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Humble PiePosted on9:16 pm - Nov 19, 2012


“Football without the fans is nothing” – Jock Stein

There have been a number of sensible suggestions on here in the past few days that the fans of all Scottish clubs should come together to exert their ‘combined muscle’ and demand that their views be considered in any proposed restructuring of the game and that clubs should agree to be bound by certain rules and obligations or face being subject to boycott. Whilst I certainly agree, in principle, with the notion of ‘collective bargaining’, I am not at all sure, at this stage, that we could achieve the necessary consensus nor that it wouldn’t backfire.

In the coming weeks and months, particularly once the FTT decision is announced, it will be vital for the ‘keyboard warriors’ to counter the pro-Rangers propaganda we can expect from the compliant msm, which will seek to ‘manufacture consent’ by pretending to represent the voice of the fans. In my humble opinion, rather than try to develop cross-support agreement to oppose this (which would likely be portrayed as ‘ anti-progress’ and the application of ‘unnatural pressure’ by ‘Internet Bampots’ with an ‘anti-Rangers agenda’), instead, I would suggest that each individual makes their personal views regarding restructuring known to their own club, the appropriate governing bodies and any other agency they see fit to include. If they feel they are not being listened to, they should simply let it be known that they intend to vote with their feet and, more importantly, with their wallets.

The truth is that the fans have always held ALL the cards they need to influence the power-brokers in the Scottish game, if only they would exercise their power more often. It is the fans, after all, who are the customers in this business relationship. It is they who buy the season tickets, pay to attend the games, buy the merchandise, pay the TV subscriptions (armchair supporters), heck they even buy the pies, as a wise man once said. It is also the fans who create the interest and atmosphere surrounding a match that makes the sport an exciting spectacle to write about and a viable proposition for investment from a media company. Any business that ignores its customers is destined to fail.

There are already well-established rules of the game to which all member clubs have to sign up. All we really need insist on is that our club chairmen follow the agreed rules and procedures and that the governors of the game enforce and apply these rules ‘without fear or favour’. If not, fans across the board are free to exercise their right ‘to buy or not to buy’. If the fans don’t turn up in numbers or if they refused to buy the shirts and the Sky packages, there would very soon be no game to write about or for TV companies to negotiate over. In my view, all we should demand is fairness in any proposed changes to the current system and equality in the application of the rules…without rules football is no more than expensive entertainment and we’d be as well supporting WWE wresting ?

The other alternative would be to just disband the SFA, SPL and SFL and let Jabba dictate what we should all do. In his less than humble opinion, the fans should have no say in deciding what happens in the game which they, alone, support financially. This immoral derider of sporting integrity (ha ha) and self-appointed ‘voice of authority’ seems to know best about absolutely everything to do with Scottish football. Why we even have ‘secret’ chairmen of unnamed clubs meeting privately with him to seek to enlist his ‘undue’ influence on the minds of the gullible. This unprincipled typist doesn’t care about ‘fair play’ his only concern is the survival of the toxic ‘old firm’ brand with which he lines his outsized pockets and inflates his outsized ego, while stirring up suspicion and intolerance amongst the supporters.

This morning’s puff piece in the Daily Ratbag certainly raised the hackles of decent-minded supporters (as it was meant to) but it also sought to ‘big up’ his presumed power over the game. We should all know by now where his allegiances lie. His attempt at derisory humour regarding the fact that someone ‘dared’ sport a moustache (I recall he also did something similar with Craig Levein’s sunglasses) smacks of childish name-calling of the playground bully variety for the crime of being different. Unfortunately it is this kind of puerile crap that encourages the hard of thinking. By failing to ignore this ‘star-bellied sneetch’, all we do is give him the oxygen he requires to allow him to keep spouting his pash and continue to sell his unworthy rag.

I’ve got an idea, why don’t individual posters on here copy and paste entire articles from the Daily Retard (appropriately referenced) instead of just links to their website. That way anyone who reads TSFM will not have to buy this putrid paper and won’t even need to click on their rotten website. This will deprive them of sales and advertising revenue and will, hopefully, hasten the demise of their contemptible narrative. It might also act as a catalyst to get more people logging on to TSFM and other alternative media sources to get their news and read people’s honest opinions.

The Scottish Football Monitor – We read the Daily Record, so you don’t have to!

This star-bellied sneetch cares nothing for sport
At least not as much as the plain-bellied sort

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tomtomPosted on9:17 pm - Nov 19, 2012


Danish Pastry says:

Monday, November 19, 2012 at 21:05

monsieurbunny on Monday, November 19, 2012 at 20:11
3 1 Rate This
justshatered says:
Monday, November 19, 2012 at 19:52
—————————————————–
Lee Harvey Oswald.

Just saying.
———

If you’d followed the career and writings of US attorney Mark Lane you might have just stuck with the Moon landings mon ami

Not everything that looks like a conspiracy is, but some things that at first glance do not appear to be, sometimes turn out to be part of a cunning plan. However, I doubt that Doncaster was anywhere near Dealey Plaza.
===================================

Apparently NASA worked out the cost of faking the moon landings against actually going to the moon. By the time they had built and launched the Saturn V rocket (that bit had to be real) and set up the fake set the only difference was the catering costs 😀

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easyJamboPosted on9:20 pm - Nov 19, 2012


nowoldandgrumpy says: Monday, November 19, 2012 at 20:56

http://garryjbmacinnes.com/2012/11/12/what-is-the-point-in-rearranging-the-deck-chairs-on-the-titanic-when-no-one-is-fixing-the-hull/

A TRFC blogger who thinks Hearts problems is the biggest story in Scottish football at the moment. He comments on Celtic and reconstruction also.
==============================
I would agree with his general points about Hearts and that the major issue is the large debt due to Vlad, although on specifics he links Liquidation to a CVA. (obviously hasn’t read enough of RTC or SFM blogs).

However, despite his opening comment that Hearts are the biggest story in Scottish football at the moment, he goes on to write 473 words on Hearts, then follows it up with 868 words on Celtic. 🙁

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goneinthemorningPosted on9:21 pm - Nov 19, 2012


I must admit that I am perplexed about the whole topic of restructuring. What precisely is wrong with the present set up?
It is not fit for purpose? What does that mean?
It does not do a good job for it’s members? In what ways?
It is not good for Scottish football? Aren’t Celtic close to being in the last 16 of the CL? Is that bad? Other teams in Scotland will get European chances and can build year on year from there. What is wrong with that? The fact that those who cannot be named, will not be there makes this a certainty. Didn’t Aberdeen get an 18k crowd at the weekend?
I see two points.
One: There has been bad management of the SPL. (Voting structures, TV sales, youth development) That can be fixed. Without “them” it will be easier.
Two: The SFL can be set up in a pyramid structure allowing promotion/demotion from/to the juniors.
Can anyone give me an example of a league structure anywhere in the world which betters the existing structure?
All the posts here seem to relate to “them” being given favourable treatment to get back to the top flight. I more than sympathise with these feelings. It still doesn’t make me think the existing structure is wrong in any fundamental way.

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wottpiPosted on9:22 pm - Nov 19, 2012


Ok folks its is getting a bit heated in some quarters.

We seem to have been at sea for a few weeks now and it is understandable that cabin fever is setting in.

Lets hold the ship steady and regather our sea legs.

All this reorganisation stuff is just a minor swell before the big strom hits. Of course it could be the song of the mermaids trying to steer us off course.

There will be plenty time to pick the bones of the SFL and the SPL proposals in the new year and no need for folks to fall out at this time.
Frankly both appear to have been thought out on the back of a fag packet and I doubt if one of the proposals or alternate solution will be chosen any time soon.

Steady as she goes me hearties.

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StevieBCPosted on9:26 pm - Nov 19, 2012


wottpi says:
Monday, November 19, 2012 at 21:22

We seem to have been at sea for a few weeks now and it is understandable that cabin fever is setting in…
=========
Phew !

Was getting worried you where going to start making ‘fish’ references… 😉

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ikiPosted on9:27 pm - Nov 19, 2012


We should be organising a ‘no pies, no bovril’ * day.
We can support our team on the pitch and make a point at the same time.
Be it Celtic, for me, or ANother Fc for you, …… we need a way to tell the custodians that we are not mugs!

*other beverages and cholesterol-rich consumables may be substituted, of course.

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angus1983Posted on9:33 pm - Nov 19, 2012


iki says:
Monday, November 19, 2012 at 21:27

We should be organising a ‘no pies, no bovril’ * day.
We can support our team on the pitch and make a point at the same time.
——-

An honourable idea, sir, but not workable at Pittodrie in November. A pie and hot drink at half time is the absolute minimum requirement for survival.

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manandboyPosted on9:36 pm - Nov 19, 2012


Is it just me,

or is there a little less stress around every week-end

I’m sure I feel it in myself

It’s probably been growing slowly

Since August I’d say.

I haven’t noticed it in myself till just lately

But now I sense it’s stress free fragrance

Rather pleasant

Breathing easier. and I think

There’s less bawling and drunken shouting in the streets as badgers fans return from the game.

And the royal blue’s now not quite everywhere as before

No longer worn with quite so much pride perhaps.

I do like a little less stress.

The more the merrier

Or is it just me

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twopandaPosted on9:39 pm - Nov 19, 2012


wottpi says: at 21:22
Ok folks it`s is getting a bit heated in some quarters [ed]
____

Respected commentary there WP

– we`re just trashing the SPL Anschluss with attendant `peace in our time` at the mo – many of us are awake to mediahoose timing of SPL 3 Dec will try to distract/ deflect from Liquidators Creditors meeting scheduled the 4th and such and so forth – especially if some football creditors show up – and that SPL have given no new date for LN – or that institutional investors rushing in have caused problems on the M8 😉

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arabest1Posted on9:41 pm - Nov 19, 2012


No offence taken Ordinary fan These arenas can bring out the worst in us all sometimes, I am as guilty as anyone

monsieurbunny

I would agree with you regarding the use/misuse of the term ‘race’, I was quoting an earlier post.(I think)

To be clear, Celtic have in the past, and continue to represent one of the most powerful and influential constituencies within Scottish football, to suggest otherwise is plain bizarre. Off the field their commercial muscle and blue chip facilities make this inevitable, on the field………well remember what Alex Ferguson used to say…. ‘you need to win 2-0, to get a draw in Glasgow’ most fans of provincial diddies will instantly relate to that statement, and then some.

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ikiPosted on9:45 pm - Nov 19, 2012


angus1983 says:
An honourable idea, sir, but not workable at Pittodrie in November. A pie and hot drink at half time is the absolute minimum requirement for survival.
==========
You are nothing but a sissy, says I, at the moment, speaking from the Turkish Mediterranean coast.

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spanishceltPosted on9:48 pm - Nov 19, 2012


Reconstruction or no reconstruction the amount of money in the game will stay the same and the quality of players afforded will also stay the same.
We have what we have which is a country with a small population an the only way our game can improve is fairer distribution of the money already in it.
We can create leagues of 10,12,14,16 but it wont make any difference if no one has any money except Celtic and eventually The Strangers f.c.
Spread out the money, help improve the other teams, increase their support and get some real competition going.

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parttimearabPosted on9:49 pm - Nov 19, 2012


I’m all for exerting pressure on clubs/chairmen in order to resist a blatant attempt to “restructure” the league system for the benefit of one club.
The problem is that without alternative proposals we will be characterised as a bunch of rangers haters carping from the sidelines with nothing posotive to add to any debate on ghe way forward for Scottish football.
We need to articulate what we are for and not just what we are against, in the specific context of league reconstruction.

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justshateredPosted on10:00 pm - Nov 19, 2012


The proposal of two leagues of 12 that then break into 3 leagues of 8. What are the second and third leagues of 8 playing for?
It can’t be a title as the league only lasts for 14 games.
Is it promotion to the league that you spent the first half of the season playing in?
What happens to the points totals gathered during the earlier part of the season for the middle group of 8?
They can’t be kept as the teams from SPL1 have been playing at a higher (supposedly) standard than the league below.
The third league of eight could keep the points won but the amount of meaningless games here is beyond the pale. And for what purpose. The fans are not going to pay to watch the worst 8 teams out of 24 play15 meaningless games.
This proposition is an absolute shambles that should be ridiculed rather than debated seriously.

In some ways you might even admire the honesty of the cowards putting forward these ideas if they at least came clean and told us all why it was being done. To get a morally and financialy bankrupt club back up the divisions.
At least be honest with the fans and then let us have a true debate.
The problem they have is that everything we were warned about over tthe summer has failed to materialise. The SPL is getting by, crowds are roughly the same, there is a tight league, and three or four teams fighting for top and second spot.
Have they never heard of the saying “IF IT’S NOT BROKE DON’T FIX IT.”
The SPL teams had better be prepared because if they thought they were facing a boycott last year then, judging by this proposition, they have not seen anything yet.

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broadswordcallingdannybhoyPosted on10:14 pm - Nov 19, 2012


goneinthemorning says:
Monday, November 19, 2012 at 21:21

Could not agree more.
To seek change now, no matter how well intentioned is folly.

Scottish football has had a major problem for the last 20 years, but the plague is past (copyright etims I think). Remember the pre-Murray 80s? The New Firm and Gothenburg?

More clubs are going to share in the silverware now that the cheats have had their wings clipped.
The early signs are good, crowds are up and the SPL looks competitive for once.

In the past a cup tie against an old firm team was a much needed windfall for the lower league teams, well now there’s a chance that every team outwith the SPL will get to play Rangers twice at their home ground over the next few years. If they were offered that a few years ago would they have voted against it?

I can’t for the life of me understand why those ruining our game cannot see this.

Well actually I can.

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SeniorPosted on10:16 pm - Nov 19, 2012


Scotland on Sunday poll
Monday, 19 November 2012
Is Scottish football missing Rangers in the SPL?
Yes
1108 (23%)
No
3636 (77%
_________________________
TSFM poll

Ok the final tally for the poll was, between the original 376 votes for, and 6 against. The second posting 197 for and 4 against giving a total of 573 for against 10. Allowing that perhaps 50 people voted twice which were in favour and 2 voted no. we can assume roughly around 500 voted for and 8 against.

1. Do genuine fans wish to see the return of old firm games: 500 (99%) against 8 (1.5%) for.

2. Should Servco been admitted to any Division without fulfilling the prescribed criteria: 500 (99%) against 8 (1.5%) for
3. Should the people at the top of Scottish football – at the moment – be removed : 500 (99%) yes, 8 (1.5%) no.
___________________
Unlike the Scotland on Sunday poll, this poll is a pretty conclusive result from a genuine cross-section of the Scottish football community.
This, by any stretch of the imagination, is a phenomenal response to what was a hastily organised poll.
The readership is huge. Thanks again to TSFM for facilitating these decent fans (what would we have done without this blog?)
In conclusion the poll is a sample of the feelings of all genuine fans right across the spectrum of Scottish football with the obvious exception of Servco fans…………but of course they don’t care they are related to da peeple

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nowoldandgrumpyPosted on10:25 pm - Nov 19, 2012


justshatered says:
Monday, November 19, 2012 at 22:00
0 0 Rate This
=========

This split can only work if all teams go back to 0 points.The first group of 8 play for the league and European places. The second group of 8 play to be in SPL1 the following season. The third group of 8 play to avoid relegation out of SPL2.

What is strange is that there would be a league, SPL2, that could never be won. Now that is something new, with the winners of the first group of 8 being crowned as champions of SPL1 and SPL2.

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coineanachantaighePosted on10:28 pm - Nov 19, 2012


iceman63 says:
Monday, November 19, 2012 at 20:19

Some folk can overcome their prejudices when there’s money involved and CFC generate money (and as a powerful club they also gave RFC as was a raison d’etre). So reasons for the powers to support Celtic – just never anywhere near as much as they supported RFC.

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essexbeancounterPosted on10:30 pm - Nov 19, 2012


ianagain says:
Monday, November 19, 2012 at 15:10
10 1 i
Rate This
FTT – not published – fact
=========================================================================

And just to re-emphasise that”fact”, I have had the privilige of listening to a current chairman of the FTT(T) who adressed our group of beancounters this evening. He refuted all possibilities that the decision in the RFC had been issued. This learned chap, superbly well versed in such matters, also has the status of a High court judge, so he is not to be “messed with”.

All the false dawns re the decision being made but known only to the immediate parties, redaction, typos etc are just that…false dawns.

There is no way that such a protracted process could be allowed.

I think Slimshady’s post earlier, regarding the final outcome still being some time away, displays more than a hint of realism.

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goosyPosted on10:47 pm - Nov 19, 2012


Prediction
Sevco may be in a race against time.
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
On 3 Dec BDO will hold a Creditors Mtg
On that date Creditors will learn whether any Creditors have disappeared from the Creditors List
If some Creditors have disappeared then it`s good news for those who remain.
There will be fewer Creditors to share the pot
However
The disappearance of Creditors is extremely bad news for any Sevco fans gullible enough to believe their club is debt free.
Any Creditors no longer on the RFC list will be Creditors of Sevco.
The prime Candidates for a “disappearing act” are:
Ticketus………. who hold a contract for RFC STs worth £40m
Whyte…………..who holds a floating charge over Ibrox and MP worth £27.5m
Close Leasing.. who holds a floating charge over Ibrox and MP worth £xm

Of these, the most likely candidate for a re appearance is Ticketus. It makes no sense for them to lie down and give up when £40m was at stake. For a modest investment of say £8m they could have acquired Ibrox and MP and thus ensured their ST contract was moved away before RFC were legally liquidated.
One simple clue in all of this is the Octopus Investments accounts for the year ending June 2012. If Octopus thought they had lost money on the Ticketus2 RFC contract they would be obliged to make some kind of provision in their annual accounts
No provision was made. All Octopus did was register a floating charge over Ticketus on March 14 2012.This means that when the time is right Octopus can liquidate “Ticketus” thus liquidating all the little Ticketus sub cos. This will include the largest sub co called Ticketus2 who specialise in RFC STs. When Ticketus is liquidated all funds and profits are repaid to dozens and dozens of investors in all the Ticketus sub cos. Buried among these investors are the names of the people who have been investing in RFC STs since 2009
So
On 3 Dec it is possible that one or more of the Creditors may leak the fact that Ticketus are no longer on the RFC Creditor List
Thus begging the question.
What happened to the RFC debt to Ticketus of £27m associated with the RFC/Ticketus ST Contract worth £40m ?
If Ticketus are still owed this money because the debt was transferred as part of the RFC Sale Agreement then Sevco have a £40m millstone round their neck. This has to be disclosed sooner or later. Questions will be asked if Ticketus are no longer and RFC Creditor on 3 Dec
This rather suggests that the goodwill Green has enjoyed may be about to evaporate. He may be forced to pre-empt a leak by announcing that a major reason for the fund raising is to reduce the debt owed to Ticketus
Not long to wait

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corsicacharityPosted on10:53 pm - Nov 19, 2012


All this nonsense about avoiding meaningless games…can anyone give me an example of a meaningless game before the Easter fixtures in the EPL or Championship?

Here’s a clue…there aren’t any because the leagues are so competitive right up to that point. Not everyone is battling to win the league for sure but teams are either battling for a European place (EPL) or the play-offs (Championship) or to avoid relegation.

I went back to the Scottish 1973-74 season just out of interest to see what the situation was back then. I don’t have the actual results (anyone know where I could find these?) but in a league of 18 just 7 points separated the bottom 9 teams, 6 teams finished in mid-table obscurity and 3 teams were battling for the title. That pretty much corresponds with the current situation right now in England (“the world’s greatest league”…allegedly) and suggests that it was pretty tight right through until Easter at least.

Not only that but, as we all know, the national team began to regularly qualify for tournaments and push the leading nations all the way. Nowadays, we struggle to beat Luxembourg For goodness sake.

Isn’t that what we want? A competitive league and a vibrant national team?

If it is competitive, fans will come because it will be an exciting product (although they really need to get realistic with ticket prices as well). If there is some security against relegation for more clubs, then they will bring through younger home-grown talent which will help the national team as well as lead to more competitiveness.

To me therefore reconstruction is fairly simple:

1. A top league of 18 playing each other home and away once with 3 clubs relegated.
2. A second division of 20, playing each other home and away once with two clubs automatically promoted, positions 3 – 6 in play-offs to determine final promotion spot, and 3 relegated.
3. An amalgamation of the Highland and Junior leagues if they wish to be part of the pyramid and three promotion spots up for grabs (I’m not sure how they would rank everyone).
4. Scrap the League Cup but perhaps minimise the loss of games by having a round robin start to the Scottish Cup rather than just knock-out rounds (the way the League Cup used to be).
5. Introduce Financial Fair Play regulations that actually are fair (unlike UEFA’s).
6. One member, one vote with 50% majority required on decisions.
7. Fairer distribution of central income (TV, sponsorship) but no gate sharing.
8. One governing body with one management board consisting of 7 members chosen by clubs, 1 member chosen by Junior/Highland League, 1 member chosen by Women’s League and 3 independent non-executives (including chair) chosen through open and public recruitment. All positions up for renewal every three years.

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Stifler’s MomPosted on10:54 pm - Nov 19, 2012


Humble Pie

You beat me to it and I agree with the sentiment. That piece in today’s scrapbook was designed to antagonise and was written safe in the knowledge that they no longer allow readers to post comment. This gonzo journalist wannabe merely portrays an image of a hookworm as he all but name drops imaginary friends in high places. It’s time the current SPL Boards refused him entry to all the grounds and made it clear to his employers that his personal attacks, on chairmen and fan groups, will not be tolerated.

To be fair tho’, his partner in crime (Auld Shuggy), penned an astonishingly balanced report today on the Celtic and even managed a few backhanded compliments. What’s going on there..?

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ordinaryfanPosted on11:07 pm - Nov 19, 2012


arabest1 says:
Monday, November 19, 2012 at 21:41
8 2 Rate This
No offence taken Ordinary fan These arenas can bring out the worst in us all sometimes, I am as guilty as anyone

monsieurbunny

I would agree with you regarding the use/misuse of the term ‘race’, I was quoting an earlier post.(I think)

To be clear, Celtic have in the past, and continue to represent one of the most powerful and influential constituencies within Scottish football, to suggest otherwise is plain bizarre. Off the field their commercial muscle and blue chip facilities make this inevitable, on the field………well remember what Alex Ferguson used to say…. ‘you need to win 2-0, to get a draw in Glasgow’ most fans of provincial diddies will instantly relate to that statement, and then some.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

That is true. Football has become a business and Celtic is a profitable brand, we are a good bargaining chip for sponsorship and TV deals also. That has afforded us a strong position. But I wouldn’t say we were part of the Establishment in any way. The Establishment are the people who put all of us in this position. They are a group of supremacist crooks who have cost Celtic more than anybody else financially.

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briggsbhoyPosted on11:20 pm - Nov 19, 2012


martybhoy says:
Monday, November 19, 2012 at 20:12

I know exactly what you are talking about there but in my case it was not on the boat going to Ireland but in the outdour seating on my small apartment complex in Portugal. Partways through my holiday this old character from NI arrived with his wife. She would go to the pool each day but he just sat in the outdoor seating at the bar. He wore the same clothes everyday and never moved from his seat but would interact with whoever sat close to him. One day in particular I came up from the pool for a drink with my wife and for the next hour I listed transfixed to the utter bile that came out his mouth. That afternoon he had this poor couple from Birmingham and he proceeded to tell them everything from that it was a well known and proven fact that the RC Church was no more than a peado ring to the fact that the Unionist of Ulster and in particular the 36th Division had fought in so many gloroius battles in WW1, the Nationalist population were cowards and if it wasn’t for the Orange men of Ulster the war blah blah, you will get my drift. My wife had to say to me gonna you stop listening to that conversation and don’t dare say anything. She had to threaten me with violence should I not stop listening an dare to get involved. By the end of the week all the residents avoided him, which for me said everything.

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briggsbhoyPosted on11:29 pm - Nov 19, 2012


corsicacharity says:
Monday, November 19, 2012 at 22:53

Rangers showed that at the right price you can increase your season ticket sales substantially. If you know the home attendance figures at SPL grounds for clubs other than CFC what percentage would you have to increase numbers by to show growth if you dropped ticket prices? Does anyone know what the results for Thistle have been on free entry for kids, have food & drink sales gone up to cover this and has it brought in more adults v LY. ? anyone know?

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liveinhopPosted on11:39 pm - Nov 19, 2012


liveinhop says:
Monday, November 19, 2012 at 15:22
467 3 i Rate This

okay quick poll thumbs up if you will walk away from scottish fooitball if there are 2 leagues of 12 to include sevco.Thumbs down if you will carry on supporting scottish football no matter what THERE IS YOUR ANSWER RIGHT THERE

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liveinhopPosted on11:41 pm - Nov 19, 2012


Sorry 467 v 3 says it all really

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ordinaryfanPosted on11:47 pm - Nov 19, 2012


We don’t even know if the current League set up can be successful. It has been corrupted since its inception. Not to mention the FACT that every single person running the game right now, believes and has publicly stated that Scottish football needs a Rangers.
They have insisted that without them the game in Scotland is dead! They do not have any belief whatsoever of a brighter future for Scottish football, they aspire for the same unbalanced culture we have had for years. No matter the League set up, it will not change anything, because it will still be the big 2.
All they are proposing to do here, is hasten Tribute Acts rise to the top of the pile, where they will ensure they stay as they always have done. This will not change by changing the League structure, this will only change by getting rid of those in charge, by weeding out those at Hampden who have always lingered at the heart of Scottish football, whispering and conspiring whilst they lord it over us.
Get rid of these Dinosaurs and the strategically placed eyes and ears. Complete overhaul at the top is needed. Oust the lot of them and lets get some energetic, enthusiastic football lovers like Turnbull Hutton to bring us forward.

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nowoldandgrumpyPosted on11:54 pm - Nov 19, 2012


The Scottish Premier League’s plan for reconstruction is nothing new. An identical format was tried over 20 years ago in Austria, and was scrapped after eight seasons.

On Monday, Scotland’s top 12 clubs gave their approval towards working on plans to introduce a further 12 sides into their gang, as part of wider talks on league reconstruction.

Under the proposal, the two tiers would merge and then split into three divisions after 22 games. The top eight clubs in SPL1 would contest the league title, and vie for European spots.

The middle tier would consist of the bottom four SPL1 clubs and the top four SPL2 sides, with points gathered in the first part of the season being reset to zero. The clubs finishing in the top four of eight after 14 further matches would play in SPL1 in the following season, while the bottom four would participate in SPL2.

Still with us? The bottom group would seemingly fight it out to avoid relegation out of the SPL structure over their remaining 14 matches. That said, no firm plans have been forthcoming yet on whether the SPL would relegate any club and, if it did, to what structure, be it a redefined SFL or a regional, pyramid setup.

Revolutionary? Certainly in Scotland, but the same idea was given experimented with in Austria in the 1985/86 season, as the nation’s clubs tried to find a long-term solution to a top flight which had fluctuated between comprising 10 and 16 clubs since its inception in 1974.

The verdict? “It was really boring,” Kurier’s Stephan Blumenschein recalls. “Especially in the bottom league.

“For those in the top eight, there was very little competition to win the title, and no chance of relegation.”

Looking through the records, Blumenschein’s recollection seems a touch unfair in certain campaigns. The 1991/92 campaign, for instance, went down to a three-way fight for the title on the final day in the top group.

The so-called “play-off league”, which would see SPL1’s bottom four and SPL2’s top four start again on zero points and fight it out over 14 matches, has been the most intriguing part of the proposal.

“In Austria, it didn’t work. The reality was, everyone wanted four games against our two big clubs – Austria Vienna and Rapid Vienna.

“When you created three leagues, only six clubs had games against those two. It created a financial disparity. Attendances were not as high when those teams weren’t coming to town to play.”

Indeed in six of those seasons, either Austria Vienna or Rapid won the title. Only Swarovski Tirol bucked the trend, winning twice in succession. Yet it was the previous two who brought the crowds.

“All of the clubs knew they had 18 games to find out whether they would play the good teams, the teams who would make them money, or the not so good teams.”

Since 1993, Austria’s top flight has been made up of just 10 clubs. Closing off the top league and abolishing promotion and relegation has even been considered since.

Many sides who once participated in the split league are now no longer there, the result of similar financial problems which continue to dog Scottish teams. Some have ceased to exist, or have returned as reincarnations. Austria’s top league, however, appears to be thriving.

Blumenschein continues: “Now we have our highest attendance figures since the 1970s. It is a closer league, although not many clubs can now afford to play in the top league.

“The reality here is like it is like Scotland was until lately. Everybody wants to play the two biggest clubs, in our case Rapid and Austria Vienna. Clubs have four games against them, two home games. That’s the reason for the 10 club league.”

The game in Austria has adopted a mantra that the leading clubs must retain a significant bulk of the wealth to have a thriving competition.

The result of the 10 team model in Austria has created a competitive top flight, but other clubs have been ruthlessly left to fall by the wayside.

Of the eight clubs who finished in the top group of the last ever season of the three-tier, 24 team Austrian league, four formed phoenix clubs and one, Admira Wacker, lost their license in 2007/08 and were plunged down the divisions, although have since returned.

Of the eight who contested the play-off group, four went out of business, while three others had serious financial trouble which threatened their existence. The majority of the bottom eight survived, today having found their level in regional leagues.

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ordinaryfanPosted on12:01 am - Nov 20, 2012


Nowoldandgrumpy Says: Of the eight who contested the play-off group, four went out of business, while three others had serious financial trouble which threatened their existence. The majority of the bottom eight survived, today having found their level in regional leagues.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Yeah but Rangers will be at the top of the SPL alongside Celtic by then so lets not let details like that bother us.

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nowoldandgrumpyPosted on12:04 am - Nov 20, 2012


Sorry could not post link from my phone

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Danish PastryPosted on12:05 am - Nov 20, 2012


corsicacharity on Monday, November 19, 2012 at 22:53
13 0 Rate This
All this nonsense about avoiding meaningless games…can anyone give me an example of a meaningless game before the Easter fixtures in the EPL or Championship?
——

Couldn’t agree more with your post. Bravo.

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ayrjagPosted on12:06 am - Nov 20, 2012


I think pricing is a crucial aspect in the current climate. For me and 2 10 year olds to got to Firhill costs £17 – the price of my ticket. To go to Somerset, which we probably do more often, sets me back £31 (1 x 15 + 2 x 8). As far as catering is concerned, I don’t know if the price differential is significant or not but the admission price alone must enough to tempt others along.

I can’t understand why more clubs don’t offer a similar incentive. Personally, I know we’ve been to many more games since it was introduced …….

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corsicacharityPosted on12:06 am - Nov 20, 2012


briggsbhoy on Monday, November 19, 2012 at 23:29
********
I will have a look at corsica’s figures tomorrow which seemed to be fairly accurate. However, if I remember correctly, to offset loss of Rangers ticket prices needed to increase by between £0.50 and £1.50 so I would have thought the reverse would be true (ie a reduction of £1.50 would require c4,000 additional fans per season).

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ordinaryfanPosted on12:15 am - Nov 20, 2012


Can I just say good luck to Celtic for tomorrow. A really tough 2 games so it won’t be easy but I hope we can do it and fly the flag for Scottish football in the last 16.

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Danish PastryPosted on12:26 am - Nov 20, 2012


goneinthemorning on Monday, November 19, 2012 at 21:21
13 1 Rate This
I must admit that I am perplexed about the whole topic of restructuring. What precisely is wrong with the present set up?
———–

Playing 4 x a season, then some in Cups. The simple home/away fixture list is the most vibrant and interesting.

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ordinaryfanPosted on12:35 am - Nov 20, 2012


James Traynor, Daily Record, 2 November 1996
£80m TO SPEND
Kenny will be given a roving role to go out and recommend – and try to attract – the best.”We’re not talking about young or middle of the road players – we’re talking the VERY best. Dalglish will be given an open chequebook to make sure the big names are made an offer they can’t refuse. Murray knows the name of King Kenny will not only help capture top stars, but will increase interest from potential investors.

That Dream Team in Full

Ajax attackers PATRICK KLUIVERT and MARC OVERMARS would immediately create a £15 million hole in the Ibrox funds – but would no longer be an impossible prospect.

Paris St Germain’s brilliant Brazilian RAI would also come into the equation and players like JURGEN KLINSMANN and PAOLO MALDINI would become targets.

Dalglish’s brilliant record in England could prompt moves for ERIC CANTONA and ROBBIE FOWLER.

Top agents like Edinburgh’s Jake Duncan reckons even Barcelona’s RONALDO would not be out of Dalglish’s reach.

If Rangers are making millions then the sky is the limit.
…………………………………………….

You have to admit, is entertainment value is top notch!

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ordinaryfanPosted on12:37 am - Nov 20, 2012


*his entertainment value

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ordinaryfanPosted on12:55 am - Nov 20, 2012


The Herald, May 2000
KEN GALLACHER
Murray’s Blueprint
Just as promised, Rangers are moving on to another level from the rest of Scottish football, as chairman David Murray announced a new investment of £53m for the Ibrox club, with a further massive cash boost soon to follow. The eventual cash injection could soar as high as £80m as Murray guides the club into what he believes will be a new, golden era for the Scottish champions. The money involved, the biggest financial boost for any Scottish football club, will enable them to move into Europe’s elite over the next few years. Yesterday, however, Murray maintained, as always, that he will not turn his back on Scottish football to play in any other league, and that while he remains in charge of the club, he will retain a responsibility to the domestic game.”

It is clear from this latest move, however, that the Glasgow giants are setting an agenda that no other Scottish club can match – and that appears to include their Old Firm rivals, Celtic, who are trailing by 15 points in the Premier League championship and are now looking at a financial gap which the Parkhead club might not be able to bridge. There have been hints around Glasgow that Celtic could be ready to attempt a share flotation of their own, but it would seem unlikely they would be able to match the financial clout that Murray has put together. The Ibrox chairman promised his shareholders good news and a more prudent financial strategy at the last annual meeting of the club. He has now delivered this by taking on board several very heavy financial hitters, South African-based David King is worth around £300m – £20m of which he is investing in the club he followed as a young man in Glasgow.”

THE IBROX CHAIRMAN HAS SPENT SEVERAL MONTHS AND MANY SLEEPLESS NIGHTS PIECING TOGETHER THE PLANS WHICH WILL ELIMINATE RANGERS DEBT, currently sitting at around £40m, provide finance for the new training centre and the soccer academy which will be housed there, and still allow cash to invest in new players. He said: ‘I want to make it clear from the outset that while our small shareholders, our supporters who have an interest in the club, will have the opportunity to invest again if they want, there is no pressure on them to do so. The bulk of the rights issue is being taken up by myself and David King and some other smaller investors, including Alastair Johnston, who is a long-time Rangers’ supporter.’

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Parson St. BhoyPosted on12:59 am - Nov 20, 2012


iceman63 says:
Monday, November 19, 2012 at 20:19

There has always been a distaste and residual hostility to Celtic within the sfa but this has never been translated into systematic cheating against them.
“””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
Jim Farry and the subsequent investigations by the SFA which cleared him. And we know how that ended up thanks to the integrity and single mindedness of The Bunnet.

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stevensanphPosted on3:44 am - Nov 20, 2012


RE: the article about Dalglish and 80m, I had to laugh.

Isn’t that exactly what he did last season at Liverpool, spunking 80m on Carrol, Downing, Adam and Henderson…??

That worked out just about as well as Murray’s plan at Rangers did 🙂

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jockybhoyPosted on4:32 am - Nov 20, 2012


Arabest/Ordinary fan – thanks for running with this, am out in Asia so timezones interrupting my flow but yes, OK, Celtic have won more titles than many teams, less than others ( or an other). and as OrdinaryFan states that is as much off the back off greater resources and better use of them than many other teams. Why is Glasgow Celtic better supported than Dundee Utd? Demographics. It also goes back to my reference to ghettoisation and the way that Celtic has connected to and motivated fans to support them (or conversely been seen as a lightning rod for groups which are a significant minority in Scotland – do people in the modern day really see Dundee Utd as a product of the Irish diaspora?). Again, I say “like it or not” because there obviously there are problems with being seen to be such a focus for these minorities.

But we are off on a tangent from my original post – it’s not about trophy counts than run as far back as 125 years – it was asking for more detail onFinloch’s “shared revenue pro-rata depending on some fair pre-agreed criteria between the divisions where top league teams get a slightly larger share than bottom league” – is this envisaged as one big tv contract running through the whole of Scottish football? SPL to Div3 or was this revenue sharing from other sources also?

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doontheslopePosted on5:50 am - Nov 20, 2012


Jabba has indeed penned some drivel in his time.

I try not to allow his present utterings to irritate me (a difficult task.)

I prefer to think happy thoughts like the look of mocking embarrassment on Graham Spiers’ face as he explained the term ‘succulent lamb’ to Alex Thompson on CH 4’s National News.

So ‘off the radar’ cringe-worthy was that particular offering from Jabba, he will never be allowed to forget it. References to lamb must surely be made to him, or whispered around, him on a daily basis.

You shag one sheep, eh?

This, coupled with his inability to be self-depricating (remember his reaction when Stuart Cosgrove goaded him with ‘that’ poem), must be driving the poor man insane.

He certainly writes like he is.

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briggsbhoyPosted on8:00 am - Nov 20, 2012


It must be hard for the beaks at the top, not being able to follow their team to top teir games and the novelty of Div3 must be waring thin. No big fancy lunches, players you want to meet, does yir heart no bleed

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Bill1903Posted on8:11 am - Nov 20, 2012


David Beckham announces he’s going to leave LA Galaxy.
I expect Charlie to announce this morning that T’Rangers are seriously interested in him and of course he’d love to come 🙂

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manandboyPosted on8:43 am - Nov 20, 2012


When this is all over, we will all look back, and with the benefit of hindsight, we will be able , quite easily, to put together the big pieces of the jigsaw while discarding the thousands of little pieces.

Then we will all see very clearly how it was all planned and executed and by whom.

And we’ll probably say to ourselves ‘ why didn’t I see that at the time ?’

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arabest1Posted on8:47 am - Nov 20, 2012


jockybhoy says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 04:32
4 1 Rate This
Arabest/Ordinary fan – thanks for running with this, am out in Asia so timezones interrupting my flow but yes, OK, Celtic have won more titles than many teams, less than others ( or an other). and as OrdinaryFan states that is as much off the back off greater resources and better use of them than many other teams.

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Greater resources is an understatement. As for acting as a ‘lightning rod for significant minorities’, this is undeniable but has also instilled a siege mentality that has served Celtic very well and masked their own fans to the power and influence they undoubtedly wield in the corridors of power. It is often indicative of power to mask itself and claim persecution, something the Govan team have down to a fine art, and Charles Green is taking to new levels. How many clubs could merely bear their teeth, and have referees and referee supervisors sacked? OF I cannot agree that Celtic are not part of the ‘Establishment’ in terms of Scottish football they are 50% of the most powerful dynamic in the game, and have sat holding hands with Rangers, albeit under the table for a century and more, looking after their dovetailing interests. The football establishment like the wider establishment, is not a monolithic entity, but an arena of tensions and alliances, to paint Celtic as perennial outsiders fighting the good fight against persecution is at best counter factual.

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fishnishPosted on9:02 am - Nov 20, 2012


bill1903 says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 08:11
3 0 Rate This
David Beckham announces he’s going to leave LA Galaxy.
I expect Charlie to announce this morning that T’Rangers are seriously interested in him and of course he’d love to come
…………………………………………………………..
David’s not that stupid. 🙂

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corsicacharityPosted on9:24 am - Nov 20, 2012


I promised late last night to revisit corsica’s figures to see what effect reduced ticket prices might have on attendances.

Firstly, a quick reminder of what corsica had to say about the number of additional fans required to attend each home game in order to offset the loss of one game per season against Rangers:

Celtic (674), Kilmarnock (323), Aberdeen (320), Motherwell (299), Hibernian (268), Dundee Utd (251), Inverness CT (226), St Mirren (197), Dunfermline (172), St Johnstone (169), Hearts (196).

Alternatively clubs could increase ticket prices by the following amounts to offset the loss of Rangers:

Kilmarnock = £1.23; Motherwell = £1.22; ICT = £0.85; St Mirren = £0.81; St Johnstone = £0.81; Dunfermline = £0.76; Dundee Utd = £0.64; Aberdeen = £0.63; Hibernian = £0.47; Heart = £0.34; Celtic = £0.33.

It is important to remember that corsica’s figures were based upon attendances over the past three years to allow for any variable factors which might impact upon attendance levels and finances.

So, turning to reduced ticket prices…I simply knocked £5 off the average price (again, calculated over three years). This would require Celtic to attract an additional 12,907 fans to each home game which is an awful lot when you consider that corsica’s figures used an average attendance of 51,626 to begin with. The figures are also pretty high for everyone else: Hearts (3,610); Hibs (3,654); Aberdeen (3,249); Dundee Utd (2,581); Kilmarnock (1,706); ICT (1,750); Motherwell (1,588); Dunfermline (1,471); St Mirren (1,633); St Johnstone (1,364).

Whilst I believe that ticket prices are extraordinarily high and additional fans could be attracted back if they were reduced, the figures would suggest that this would need to be done in tandem with significant cost cutting.

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thebasharmilestegPosted on9:26 am - Nov 20, 2012


“they are 50% of the most powerful dynamic in the game, and have sat holding hands with Rangers, albeit under the table for a century and more, looking after their dovetailing interests.”

Very accurate summary Arabest.

Just to return to league re-organisation for a moment there are lots of ideas and I won’t bore anyone with mine (well I might later if the debate goes on). However there is absolutely no point in discussing re-organisation at team level unless we first have a re-organisation at the top. Can we please have ONE ruling body, ONE Chief Executive, ONE secretariat, ONE Administration Team and so on? You can argue whether or not we have too many teams in Scotland, but one thing I know for sure we have far too many administrative bodies.

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wottpiPosted on9:31 am - Nov 20, 2012


fishnish says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 09:02

……and remember David’s best pal Snoop supports the Hoops!!

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smartbhoyPosted on9:32 am - Nov 20, 2012


arabest1 says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 08:47
________________________________________________

This evening Celtic are playing in Lisbon, the city they won the European cup in 1967. With the addition of 2 players from a team that hadn’t won a domestic trophy for 12 years when most teams were nearly all playing on the same level playing field. It wasn’t greater resources that made them win 9 in a row or the European cup in 1967, it was one man, Jock Stein. The same with Aberdeen in the early to mid 80’s who had great Scottish talent and without doubt one of the best Scottish side of all time 83 European Cup winners cup and the European super cup. That success would never have been achieved though if it wasn’t for one man, Alex Ferguson. The same as Dundee Utd who had another squad of fantastic talent who in my opinion and many others were cheated out of a place in the 1984 European Cup Final against Roma in the Semis, they also reached the UEFA Cup final in 87 as most on here already know. The wouldn’t have achieved that feat if it wasn’t for Jim McLean. I assume you’re not from the West of Scotland Arab, but surely you can’t be in denial that the Establishment club Rangers were given a helping hand. It’s common knowledge amongst football historians, good journalists and fans with open minds that referees were biased towards Rangers. It’s not a Timmy conspiracy theory, it’s fact.

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hugozhackenbushPosted on9:41 am - Nov 20, 2012


Having failed to pull the wool over the eyes of Scottish Football fans during the close season, here we are again with the SPL and SFL trying to do it again.

This forum, and others, are proving a vital source for both accurate information and myth-debunking. Nobody who follows this blog should be in any doubt that once the criteria for the new “top flight” league are agreed, that Sevco will be one of the clubs who meet them all and welcomed by all clubs – yours and mine – back into the top flight.

This is the start of the battle to save Scottish Football, if the fans views are ignored, as it appears they are going to be, then Scotland’s main spectator sport is finished.

My local team is Hartlepool United. They are currently bottom of their league and relegation looks very likely. I’ll be going to watch them next season. They may lose more often than not, but at least I’ll know what I’m watching is genuine. The only problem is the blue and white scarf I’ll need to wear – do they chafe?!

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angus1983Posted on9:44 am - Nov 20, 2012


essexbeancounter says:
Monday, November 19, 2012 at 22:30

All the false dawns re the decision being made but known only to the immediate parties, redaction, typos etc are just that…false dawns.
——

Thanks for that info, essex. I wonder, in that case, what happened to the assurances that it was going to be out in October?

What could the hold-up be?

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Sugar DaddyPosted on9:49 am - Nov 20, 2012


So 2 x 12 into 3 x 8 or 3 x 14 or was it 16 x 10 x 16. Frankly none of it makes a blind bit of difference.

The debate should be about standards not structures. How do any of the proposals actually improve the standard of the product?

There might be “less meaningless” games but that doesn’t mean the games will be of higher quality. I find it hard to believe those fighting relegation will be playing silky soccer with the latest crop of teenage prodigies fresh from their academies.

A little more time investigating how countries like Belgium turned around their national side producing several world class players inside 15 years should be the route we take. League structures should then ensure the best players are playing each other in competitive matches.

I’d like to think that the SFA funded centres of excellence could adopt a “draft” system where talent they produce is spread across teams and taking a % of any onward transfer fee in return, the sooner a player is sold by the team he was drafted to, the higher the % paid.

Of course this assumes the powers that be are interested in producing a higher quality product and not just re-integrating one side so there is a bit more short term cash for the larger clubs.

I’d like to think they are but I have my doubts.

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thebasharmilestegPosted on9:56 am - Nov 20, 2012


“The same with Aberdeen in the early to mid 80′s who had great Scottish talent and without doubt one of the best Scottish side of all time 83 European Cup winners cup and the European super cup. That success would never have been achieved though if it wasn’t for one man, Alex Ferguson.”

Not entirely accurate Smartbhoy. While I don’t think any Aberdeen fan would denigrate Ferguson’s achievement, he didn’t do it on his own. He inherited the makings of a good team that both Ally Macleod and Billy McNeil had had a hand in putting together. In fact Willie Miller had been signed when Jimmy Bonthrone was manager. It’s also hard to discount the contribution of the late Chris Anderson who was a visionary Club Secretary during the period. He, for instance envisaged an all-seater stadium long before anyone else. Ferguson had an excellent number two in Archie Knox and they were all supported by Dick Donald, a chairman who ensured the team was properly resourced while keeping the finances prudently in the black.

Aberdeen’s decline may have started on that dark November day when Ferguson deserted us for a no-mark team in Manchester, but it then rapidly accelerated as Knox, Anderson and Donald all left the club.

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torrejohnbhoyPosted on9:57 am - Nov 20, 2012


fishnish says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 09:02

bill1903 says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 08:11
3 0 Rate This
David Beckham announces he’s going to leave LA Galaxy.
I expect Charlie to announce this morning that T’Rangers are seriously interested in him and of course he’d love to come
…………………………………………………………..
David’s not that stupid.
====================================================
I could have seen this deal going ahead a couple of weeks ago,paid for by Chuckles’ mega sponsorship deals.
Unfortunately,Apples share price has dropped,writing approx $16 billion off the companys market value.the price is predicted to fall further,with one analyst predicting a massive two thirds drop.
IMO.there can only be 2 reasons for this decline:

1.Apple were not contacted by CG,thereby missing out on the massive future revenues generated by 500m new customers,

or more likely,

2.Charlie did contact them :mrgreen:

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torrejohnbhoyPosted on10:05 am - Nov 20, 2012


Daniel Geey ‏@FootballLaw

Big news that the FIFA Football Committee has asked FIFA to prohibit third-party ownership throughout the game.
========================================================
Do holding companies count?.

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smartbhoyPosted on10:09 am - Nov 20, 2012


thebasharmilesteg says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 09:56
_________________________________________

I didn’t state he didn’t have support from others. I’m not an Aberdeen fan so I obviouly don’t know the workings behind the club or did I say he signed all the players which played in Gothenburg in 83. All I’m saying is it wouldn’t have been achieved if it wasn’t for Alex Ferguson. History has proved how good a manager he is. My point was being that Celtic aren’t just successful because they had greater resources, at the time in their most successful period in history, they really didn’t have a financial advantage, what they did have was a backing of a huge support and an outstanding manager. But football has moved on and it won’t go back to the days of gate-sharing. It’s grown into a financial corporate monster like most sports.

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verselijkfcPosted on10:26 am - Nov 20, 2012


arabest1
How many clubs could merely bear their teeth, and have referees and referee supervisors sacked? OF I cannot agree that Celtic are not part of the ‘Establishment’ in terms of Scottish football they are 50% of the most powerful dynamic in the game, and have sat holding hands with Rangers, albeit under the table for a century and more, looking after their dovetailing interests. The football establishment like the wider establishment, is not a monolithic entity, but an arena of tensions and alliances, to paint Celtic as perennial outsiders fighting the good fight against persecution is at best counter factual
———–

Certainly with the arrival of a certain Mr Stein, Celtic were able for the first time in their history, through his imposing frame, to exert pressure on the likes of the BBC (the establishment), first, to actually send reporters to their games, and second, to actually send cameras and reporters. Hard to believe now but there was little or no appetite to report or on attend Celtic matches for the previous two-thirds of their existence.

Without wishing to take this discussion off-course, you do raise a very interesting topic; a topic that, like league reconstruction, has to be addressed, before Scottish football can really move on: refereeing

Can someone, anyone in the TSFM community, provide and post the referee’s strike proposal i.e. what it is about, why they are doing it, what conditions must be met for a return to duty, and what changes they want introduced to prevent any future repeat of such action, what sanctions they want to see imposed, etc? I expect a fully-referenced article, attributable quotes, including what persuaded the referees to return “to work”.

From such humble beginnings, it’s a short hop, skip and a jump, to match-fixing and, bearing in mind what was happening in season 2009-2010, there is more than enough justification to suggest that certain referees were not playing with the game’s best interests at heart. PS – What’s your opinion on what happened to S. Craven, as a result of the tawdry little episode on Tayside?

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rangerstaxcasePosted on10:32 am - Nov 20, 2012


essexbeancounter says:
Monday, November 19, 2012 at 22:30
_______________________________________

Sorry that I am not up on your contributions on here, but what is your track record on such matters?
If serious, feel free to contact me with the name of the chairman of such FTT(TC)s that you heard inappropriately discuss cases in which he is not involved but seemingly on top of what is happening…

I have passed along information that I believe to be accurate. I make public what I can, but I do need to protect sources. Therefore, a lot of detail gets retained. The decision- in some form- is in the hands of counsel for both parties.

That does not provide any guidance on when it will be made public.

If some people choose to not believe this information, so be it. However, I would check the track record for accurate revelations of those providing any information on this story. In my experience, those who had no access to information when this story was less developed and less sensitive, will not have acquired any reliable sources recently

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Danish PastryPosted on10:38 am - Nov 20, 2012


arabest1 says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 08:47
5 1 Rate This
_____________

Your post might get a flurry of TDs arabest but I do believe you’re correct in some of your observations. I once asked a very ‘passionate’ Rangers supporter if he had any idea of how people outwith Glasgow and the bluenose fraternity actually perceive Rangers. I drew a blank from him plus a bit of abuse along the lines that I was a Celtic supporter, or words to that effect. Neutrals probably view both Glasgow teams with the same contempt / admiration. I’m sure many supporters of teams throughout Scotland have felt it was just as difficult to get a penalty at Ibrox as it was at Celtic Park, and that the unholy alliance that was the OF was all powerful.

On the deeper issues of historic discrimination involved I personally feel sympathy towards the green end of Glasgow. I grew up in the East End and know the streets and the people. I still have family there. Oddly enough, I reckon the only reason we didn’t actually walk down to Parkhead on match days is because we felt we didn’t ‘belong’, strange as that may sound. Celtic supporters here may not thank me for saying this but the perception – looking in – was that you had to be somehow connected to the Emerald Isle. We have zero family connections with that island and therefore the ethos around Celtic was kind of alien. Our family was ‘mixed’ so religion didn’t enter into it really. Ironic that a few years later I felt even more alienated from the blue side of Glasgow, when it dawned on me how they celebrated their connections to the Emerald Isle. Probably no wonder you can end up spending the greater part of your life as an exile 🙂

On reflection, there is a huge difference in the way the green and blue side of Glasgow celebrate their Irish connections. I would say that Celtic’s is much more natural and benign in its nature. It’s still a bit foreign to me but vastly more appealing than the alternative. I suppose in an ideal world the two big Glasgow teams would put more emphasis on their Scottish identity.

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Humble PiePosted on10:40 am - Nov 20, 2012


rangerstaxcase says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 10:32

Cheers for that RTC, is the length of time between issuing the decision and publication inordinate in this case ?

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torrejohnbhoyPosted on10:41 am - Nov 20, 2012


verselijkfc says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 10:26

Can someone, anyone in the TSFM community, provide and post the referee’s strike proposal i.e. what it is about, why they are doing it, what conditions must be met for a return to duty, and what changes they want introduced to prevent any future repeat of such action, what sanctions they want to see imposed, etc? I expect a fully-referenced article, attributable quotes, including what persuaded the referees to return “to work”.

From such humble beginnings, it’s a short hop, skip and a jump, to match-fixing and, bearing in mind what was happening in season 2009-2010, there is more than enough justification to suggest that certain referees were not playing with the game’s best interests at heart. PS – What’s your opinion on what happened to S. Craven, as a result of the tawdry little episode on Tayside?
===============================================================
WRT match fixing,
I agree it’s easy to accuse but to combat this,surely out governing bodies(don’t laugh) should ensure equal treatment for every club,big or small.
If I recall correctly though,there is one club playing in Div 3 at the moment who get a Grade 1 ref for every game,along with a 4th official.the rest of the league have to make do with whoever they’re allocated,usually from a lower grade.
In a past life,these grade 1 refs earned a crust refereeing games involving a dead club with more than a passing connection to the favoured club in Div 3.
Why did the SFL allow this disparity?.
Why did the SFA sanction this disparity?.

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thebasharmilestegPosted on10:41 am - Nov 20, 2012


OK, I took your point as meaning that everything in those glory days was in each case down to one man. It wasn’t in Aberdeen’s case and I’m sure Jock Stein got a lot of backroom support. As you say football has moved on since then.

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BrendaPosted on10:47 am - Nov 20, 2012


As we await D day of the FTT of the BTC from HMRC, EBT’s and a decision being made on a new date from the SPL about the alleged dual contracts at rfcil, as we await the latest ramblings from DJ, CG, JT, HK, DK etc. About sevco’s poor players who can’t get used to no longer having protection from the refs, about the multiple court cases and investigations going on at whose expense? Let’s see how many words beginning with ‘D’ we can think of to describe rfcil/sevco/newco/cheatsfc/pretendgers or whatever they’re known as now 🙂 just to pass the time……… Deluded
Desperate
Drastic
Defunct
Diabolical
Debt-ridden
Dead
Dreadful. 🙂

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rangerstaxcasePosted on10:48 am - Nov 20, 2012


Humble Pie says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 10:40
___________________________________________

This is not a normal case by any means.
People are frustrated because they think that this case ended in January and have maintained a daily ritual since then looking for the result.
The case did not end in January.

The actual period we have been waiting on the decision is much shorter than people think.
Then the redaction process provides a golden opportunity for any lawyer who is being paid to delay the outcome to slow everything down. (Thornhill did a great job of delaying everything in this case).

In what is likely to be a lengthy decision just getting three judges to read and agree upon a modified version of the full decision is not a trivial process. How long does that take? I don;t know is an honest answer. However, the internet seems to be full of experts in the FTT anonymisation process proclaiming that it is taking too long! 😀

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