Why We Need to Change

ByTrisidium

Why We Need to Change

Over the past couple of years, we have built a healthy, vibrant and influential community which recognises the need to counter the corporate propaganda spouted by the mainstream media on behalf of the football authorities.

The media have, not entirely but in the main, been hostage to the patronage of those in charge of the club/media links, and to the narrow demographic of their readership. Despite a continuing rejection of the media’s position by that readership (in terms of year on year slump in sales) there is an obstinate refusal to see what is by now inevitable – the death of the print media. The lamb metaphor in fact ironically moving to the slaughter.

The football authorities in Scotland, once the country that gave the world the beautiful game, are rigid with fear that their own world will fall apart – because they are wedded to the idea that only one football match actually matters. To that end they will do whatever it takes to ensure that it continues. They have long since dispensed with the notion that football is an interdependent industry, and incredibly, even those who are not participants in that match follow like sheep towards the abattoir.

The argument is no longer that one club cheated and got away with it. The debate that we need to have is one about what is paramount in the eyes of the clubs and the media . Is it the inegrity of sporting endeavour, or box-office?

For out part, independent sites like this have accelerated the print media’s demise, and there have been temporary successes in persuading the clubs to uphold the spirit of sport. However our role has up to now been to cast a spotlight on the inaccuracies, inconsistencies and downright lies that routinely pass for news. News that is imagined up by PR agencies and dutifully copied by the lazy pretend-journalists who betray no thought whatsoever during the process.

Despite our successes, it really is not enough. We have the means at our disposal to do more, but do more we need to change ourselves, because the authorities sure as hell aren’t gonna.

We need to provide meaningful insight into the game that removes the Old Firm prism from the light path. We need to provide news that has covered all of the angles. We need to entertain, inform and energise fans of sport and all clubs.

We need to do that from a wholly independent perspective. None of this refusing to tell the truth about club allegiances. There is no reason why intelligent men and women can’t be objective in spite of their own allegiances (although the corollary absolutely holds true).  Our experience of the MSM in this country is that the lack of arms-length principles in the media has corrupted it to such an extent that they barely recognise truth and objectivity. We need to be firm on those arms-length principles.

In order to do that we have put together a plan (with enough room to manoeuvre if required) as follows;

We will rebrand and re-launch as the Independent Sports Monitor. We have acquired the domains isMonitor.co.uk and IndependentSportsMonitor.co.uk, and those will be the main urls after the re-launch, hopefully later in the summer.

The change in name reflects the reality of our current debate which is not always confined to Scotland or football. It will also give us the option in future of applying the success of our model to other sports and jurisdictions through partner sites and blogs. This should also help in our efforts to raise funds in the future. However any expansion outwith the domain of Scottish football is some time away, and will depend on the success we have with the core model.

Our mission statement will be;

  1. ISM will seek to build a community of sports fans whose overarching aim is the integrity of competition in the sport.
  2. ISM will, without favour, seek to find objective truths on the conduct and administration of sport. We will avoid building relationships with individuals or organisations which would bring us into conflict with that.
  3. ISM will provide a platform for the views of ALL fans, and guarantee that those views will be heard in a mutually respectful environment.
  4. ISM will also endeavour to inform and entertain members on a wide range of topics related to our shared love of sport.
  5. ISM will seek to represent the views of sports fans to sporting authorities and hold the authorities to account.

We have estimated our (modest) costs to expand our role as per recent discussions. The expanded role will take the form of a new Internet Radio Channel where we hope to provide 24/7 content by the end of the year. It will also see a greater news role  where we will engage directly with clubs and authorities to seek answers to our questions directly.  And we will seek to contact the best fan sites across Scotland with a view to showcasing their content.

We have identified individuals who we want to work (initially on a part time basis) towards our objectives, we have identified premises where we want to conduct our business, and we hope to move into those premises during this summer.

To finance these plans there are a couple of stages;

  1. Initially (as soon as possible) we need to pay accommodation and hosting costs for the first year. To do so,  we hope to appeal to the community itself. Our aim is to raise around £5000 by the end of August.
  2. There are salary costs (around £15,000) attached to our first year plan, but these have been underwritten by Big Pink, and equipment costs (est. £3000). These will be reimbursed if the advertising campaign we recently started bears any fruit (we will not know about that for a few months).
  3. It will not be too discouraging if we make losses in the first couple of years, so if necessary we will seek crowd-funding to finance our plans if the resources of the community itself prove inadequate to smooth a path to break-even point.

Our first year may be a perilous hand-to-mouth existence, but I am certain the journey will be an exciting and enjoyable one. We will also need to search our community resources for contacts at clubs; players, officials, ex-players, local journalists etc. Please get in touch if you have any in at your club.

We also hope to tap into the expertise of our community for advice, comment and analysis of developments, and we will be looking for any aspiring presenters, journalists, sound and video editors, graphic designers (and lots of others) to help us find our feet. Any offers of assistance would be gratefully accepted.

We mustn’t lose sight of why we are doing this. It is because we love our sport, because we want to be able to continue to call it that, and because the disconnect we find in Scottish football, that of the conflicting interests of the fans and the money men, will never be addressed as long as the fans are hopelessly split.

The ultimate goal is to allow sport – not our individual clubs – to triumph over the greed and corporate troglodyte-ism of those people who run it. I am confident that we as a community desperately want to be able to make a difference. That is why I am confident we can achieve our aim of becoming a significant player in the game.

 

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.

3,978 Comments so far

jean7brodiePosted on9:14 pm - Aug 15, 2015


Hi Brenda, great to hear from you. Hope you and your family are well and would love to see you back in an active role.

View Comment

Bill1903Posted on9:16 pm - Aug 15, 2015


AllyjamboAllyjambo says:
Member: (1160 comments)

Might I suggest Manchester? Neutral ground and has one or two pubs…oh, and is a 40 minute train ride from my abode ?
——————-
Maybe we could have a North West/Midlands gig for us exiles 😎

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on10:18 pm - Aug 15, 2015


I have once or twice expressed my wish that the SFM could move to the stage of having a recognised, upfront, legitimate place as a responsible,representative media voice on matters relating to how the business of Scottish Football governs itself in relation to its customer base.
And, of course, great strides have been taken in moving to that position.
Ryan G’s suggestion that we have a social gathering is brilliant. I hope it is endorsed by the those who founded the blog and are ‘running it’.
My hope is, and my suggestion would be, that, if possible, such a gathering would be in celebration of the ‘legal’ founding of a legal entity 0f which those of us who wish to be were legally members.
I’m away out of my depths in these kinds of matters, and might be talking mince (quiet, there, the boy who said’as usual’!)
But it would be nice to be open and honest and to some extent protected by being members of a recognised ltd company, charity (if possible!), with an official address and appointed officers etc etc.
And my wish would be that we wait till that day, and come together then to celebrate.
Not that I’m averse to having a swally wi’ the rest of youse before then, to help raise the funding for the ideal!

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on10:21 pm - Aug 15, 2015


Whit? the word ‘swallow’ as used in the glaswegian demotic, is ‘banned’ by the machine? 😀

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on10:33 pm - Aug 15, 2015


jean7brodie says:
Member: (343 comments)
August 15, 2015 at 9:14 pm
‘Hi Brenda, ..’
_____
Yes, indeed, Brenda.I join with jean7 in saying’Hi’.

But I can’t remember which of you it is that might have a Spanish venue to suggest to Ryan G for a gathering! 😀
Or do you both live part of the year in warmer climes?

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on11:33 pm - Aug 15, 2015


Allyjambo says:
Member: (1160 comments)
August 15, 2015 at 2:56 pm
‘..Might I suggest Manchester? Neutral ground and has one or two pubs…oh, and is a 40 minute train ride from my abode ?’
________
Great and wonderful place as Manchester is ( and I was a frequent

View Comment

jimboPosted on11:35 pm - Aug 15, 2015


Good to see you back again Jean7Brodie, wondered where you were.

View Comment

Methilhill StrollerPosted on11:36 pm - Aug 15, 2015


Ryan

I join with others in saying what a great idea.

I don’t get home very often due to work and travelling around the world but if ever I am close and a meeting is arranged it would be brilliant to attend.

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on11:43 pm - Aug 15, 2015


visitor to our regional office on Bridge St (which was maybe Salford!),
my strongest memory is of the day my son, who had started work after Uni and had moved into a a wee flat created by a D.I.Y householder , narrowly missed death when he went for a shower.The wiring was all to cock, and only by some miracle of not having stepped in to the shower is he alive today!

View Comment

jimboPosted on11:48 pm - Aug 15, 2015


Carfins Finest, I could tell you stories of the Grotto. Canon Taylor – a saint. A beautiful place to visit. As you go in ‘ Open to all’ like Celtic! Sorry if that’s a bit partisan, but it’s actually the opposite.

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on11:54 pm - Aug 15, 2015


My posts of 11.33 and 11.43 should, of course, be read as one. I hit the ‘post comment’ button too early by mistake. Or perhaps because I was seized by retrospective agony at the thought that we might so easily have lost our son.(And, if he’s reading this just now in Brisbane, we’ve got your brother, so don’t get too carried away 🙂 )

View Comment

yourhavingalaughPosted on7:40 am - Aug 16, 2015


Checked out some decent places in the city yesterday then a thought occurred ,this could lead on to more gatherings in the future,so why not make the first one the ice breaker of all ice breakers and book a suite at the big bunker and invite some of its inhabitants to the get together ,now that would be some day.

View Comment

tykebhoyPosted on9:09 am - Aug 16, 2015


John Clark says:
Member: (1104 comments)
August 15, 2015 at 10:21 pm
Whit? the word ‘swallow’ as used in the glaswegian demotic, is ‘banned’ by the machine?
——————————

Too close to, or did you miss the w to make it exactly, the name of the Aunt in Worzel Gummidge. Also used in cerain parts along with an adjective indicating rotundness as a derogoratory nickname for a very well paid Gardener of this blog’s aquaintance?

View Comment

yakutsukiPosted on9:48 am - Aug 16, 2015


A get together seems a good idea, but if this becomes public knowledge, safety springs to mind. I’m sure members are pretty high up on ‘The list.’ Hello there Brenda!

View Comment

BarcabhoyPosted on10:38 am - Aug 16, 2015


Nuclear Sheep says:
Member: (18 comments)
August 15, 2015 at 12:08 pm
Simplistically, but in hard turnover of cash, Celtic are roughly 3 times bigger than Rotherham, but Rotherham are twice as big as Aberdeen

——————-

Rotherham’s turnover is £10 Million ,which makes them less than 1/6th of the size of Celtic and roughly the same size as Aberdeen

The total wage bill at Rotherham is £5.4 million. Celtic’s total wage bill is £37.7 Million.

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on10:52 am - Aug 16, 2015


yakutsuki says:
Member: (78 comments)
August 16, 2015 at 9:48 am
‘A get together seems a good idea, but if this becomes public knowledge, safety springs to mind. ‘
________
Aye, ye never know whit thae sports hacks might get up tae!:smile:
But your point is a serious one, in that the kind of nutters who had a verbal go at Jim Spence and his wife are exactly that – nutters and unpredictable.
However, a closed-room venue in a reasonably respectable hotel ( for preference, and for symbolism’s sake,not in the central belt!)would probably be safe enough unless there is a real nutter. And of course, nobody anywhere is safe from a real madman.

Mind you, given the difficulties a certain Board had in finding a venue for their EGM, Ryan ( or whoever) might have to be circumspect in describing the nature of our social gathering and the kind of people who might have an interest in it!

View Comment

BarcabhoyPosted on11:08 am - Aug 16, 2015


So far this season , i’ve watched a fair bit of Football on TV, and the aspect that jumps out is what poor value the EPL IS for the Broadcasters £.

I have watched both Man Utd games and the entertainment value has been practically zero. Given Man Utd have an enormous impact on the decison by broadcasters on how much they bid, poor quality products affects the value and future returns on investment.

I hesitate to use the exact analysis, but watching Man Utd under Van Gaal is a bit like putting lipstick on a pig. It doesn’t work, it isn’t the real thing and as sure as Barca would very quickly lose universal appeal if they played like Sunderland, the value of the EPL is tied, even if a little loosly , to an exciting product.

So far it’s not exciting. It is frankly pretty boring. Skill has been trumped by athleticism. Most EPL teams now resemble a Rugby team. The players are huge,they are physical , they are quick. They however are not technically as good as they should be .

It is not just Tony Pulis who puts out a group of muscle bound giants. His success in avoiding relegation,mand keeping the TV money flowing in to whichever club employs him, has spawned an army of imitators. The result is not attractive on the eye , no matter how good the production values of the broadcasters with the enormous budgets for making this kind of fare look as attractive as possible.

Yet failing because of the lack of entertainment value on the pitch. The Scottish games broadcast so far this season , have been immensely more entertaining,despite the lack of revenue and the broadcasters allocating a tiny budget for presentation and production.

View Comment

Corrupt officialPosted on11:12 am - Aug 16, 2015


yakutsuki says:
Member: (78 comments)
August 16, 2015 at 9:48 am
A get together seems a good idea, but if this becomes public knowledge, safety springs to mind. I’m sure members are pretty high up on ‘The list.’ Hello there Brenda!
————————————————————————–
A personal email from the mods, printed out or shown on a phone would verify attendees are who they claim to be.

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on12:24 pm - Aug 16, 2015


tykebhoy says:
Member: (224 comments)
August 16, 2015 at 9:09 am
‘…Also used in cerain parts along with an adjective indicating rotundness as a derogoratory nickname for a very well paid Gardener of this blog’s aquaintance?’
_______
I have to say neither of those references came to mind when I posted.I sse them now that you’ve pointed them out.Just goes to show unobservant I can be!

View Comment

yakutsukiPosted on12:25 pm - Aug 16, 2015


John Clark and Corrupt Official – it was more about outside the building I had in mind. Witnessed attacks outside venues by these types before sadly.

John Clark – outside the central belt may be sensible. Much to consider, or maybe I’m being over cautious?

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on12:41 pm - Aug 16, 2015


yakutsuki says:
Member: (79 comments)
August 16, 2015 at 12:25 pm
‘..outside the central belt may be sensible.’
________
I’m attracted to the symbolism of having a first physical meeting of ‘SFM Ltd’ ( or whatever kind of legal entity might be possible) in some kind of middle-of-the-country location, some place like Perth, perhaps?

View Comment

smallchangePosted on2:12 pm - Aug 16, 2015


John Clark

You might have to be careful there. The sudden arrival in Perth of a group, however loosely associated with football, is likely to raise suspicions in the MSM. After all, and some folk might not be aware of this, for years Perth has regularly been described as a ‘Non football town’. A status usually awarded by various pundits and sections of the MSM.

(An honour we now apparently, as of last week, have to share with Edinburgh 😕 ).

View Comment

Cluster OnePosted on2:12 pm - Aug 16, 2015


Disappointed in the Richard Gough article in todays SMSM.
Not one word about Scott Allan going to celtic after he championed the bit for his 3 bears top wanted list 😥

View Comment

TincksPosted on3:13 pm - Aug 16, 2015


Think it is worth remarking on Hearts excellent start to the season. 12 points out of 12. After last season’s triumph the squad is clearly flying with confidence.

A lot of the MSM narrative both in Scotland and England is of the gulf between the divisions and of the inevitability of the teams that go up coming straight back down.

Whilst I would still put my fiver on both Celtic and the Dons finishing above Hearts over the course of a season they are clearly set to comfortably make the top six and perhaps press for Europe.

From where they were two years ago this is a fantastic achievement starting with the CVA.

I’m sure when I check today’s sports pages this fantastic achievement will be fulsomely recognised :irony:

My cap is doffed to the supporters and new management of Hearts.

View Comment

TartanwulverPosted on3:45 pm - Aug 16, 2015


Mark Warburton seems to be the best thing to have happened at Ibrox in a very long time. Not only does he seem to be able to craft an actual team out of the players at his disposal, but he seems to be very sharp politically, in that he keeps the ‘chip on shoulder’ stuff at arm’s length (if you can keep a shoulder at arm’s distance that is). In the case of the Scott Allan fiasco, despite being given several chances to pour petrol on the flames, he played the whole thing down, with the result that he’s one of the few at Ibrox that didn’t come out of it with egg on his face. I wonder how long before a big club comes in for him?

View Comment

HomunculusPosted on4:34 pm - Aug 16, 2015


It can be interesting looking at how people’s perspective can influence their opinion, particularly in relation to others.

Take for example Chick Young, a lot of people would suggest that he has a bit of a soft spot for Rangers. Indeed there was the famous spat between him and Jim Traynor where Traynor famously described him as something like “Rangers biggest cheerleader”.

However I take this from a well known Rangers forum, from someone who has been a member for 9 years with almost 7.5k posts there. He seems not to be of the same opinion. Though why he seems to be suggesting that being against “Anti-Irish racism” is a bad thing is a mystery to me. Is some racism OK in his book.

View Comment

neepheidPosted on5:17 pm - Aug 16, 2015


Homunculus says:
Member: (206 comments)
August 16, 2015 at 4:34 pm

An interesting list, but I do feel for poor old Chick. He has certainly tried hard enough, but there’s no pleasing some “peepil”. I just wonder why so many members of the SMSM try.

One puzzling point though- “Celtic’s fictional tour of Japan”. What’s that one all about, and why is it clearly such a sensitive topic? I genuinely haven’t a clue.

View Comment

tykebhoyPosted on5:53 pm - Aug 16, 2015


Neepheid the bitterness surrounds the 2007-8 season where Celtic tried to organise a tour of Japan at the end of the official season becuase of Nakamura and Mizuno. The greatest team in the world (SIC) faced a fixture pile up due to failing to beat the opposition put in front of them at the first time of asking and progressing to a match in a city Ryan is still banned from (Joke). The SPL have obviously soon lost the pair they grew at that time and refused an extension to the season for the one team and their opponents to “Protect Sporting Integrity”

View Comment

bfbpuzzledPosted on5:54 pm - Aug 16, 2015


The Chico Young list is certainly counter what most on here believe. To be fair to the list maker he does not say that what he says Mr Young is against are necessarily bad things. But lumping being against anti Irish racism with being anti Rangers would suggest so. To be in favour of the fictitional tour of Japan why ever it is does suggest dementedness of some kind. I am in favour of Tolstoy’s fiction but would hope that no one would regard that as counting against me.

View Comment

neepheidPosted on6:46 pm - Aug 16, 2015


tykebhoy says:
Member: (225 comments)
August 16, 2015 at 5:53 pm

Neepheid the bitterness surrounds the 2007-8 season where Celtic tried to organise a tour of Japan at the end of the official season becuase of Nakamura and Mizuno.

=======================
I was still working in Englandshire back then, so stuff like that passed me by. So it wasn’t a fictional tour, it simply never took place? And someone is getting worked up (for reasons I still really can’t understand, since there was no tour) about it 8 years later? Is unhealthy obsession the correct choice of words in such circumstances? Worrying.

View Comment

tykebhoyPosted on7:10 pm - Aug 16, 2015


neepheid, correct the tour wasn’t fictional it just didn’t pan out. I think “they” believe the “fictional tour” cost RFC the championship. A bit of :irony: that they also think the very much non fictional EBTs didn’t win them championships

View Comment

HomunculusPosted on7:17 pm - Aug 16, 2015


The real issue is whether or not Celtic gained a sporting advantage by not going on a fictional tour of Japan.

View Comment

weejoePosted on7:28 pm - Aug 16, 2015


The league season 2007/8 was indeed extended as Rangers were behind in their fixtures. The season was supposed to end on a Sunday but they had to play a delayed game v St. Mirren(on the Monday night iirc) so the weekend fixtures were delayed until the following Thursday. History records a 2-0 defeat by Aberdeen for Rangers and 1-0 victory over Dundee Utd for Celtic.

View Comment

al62Posted on8:01 pm - Aug 16, 2015


Folks. If not Manchester, might I suggest a suitable alternative of similar neutral status, without Ryan’s bad memories. Sheffield is a fantastic city. Happy to find y’all a venue here. There are many.

View Comment

Big PinkPosted on8:09 pm - Aug 16, 2015


STICKY

There seems to be a consensus in favour of Ryan’s idea of having a wee group get-together.

If Ryan was to organise it even better 🙂

To test for numbers and locations, can anyone who would like to attend such a gathering please send me a PM giving me their location. Perhaps somewhere like Stirling or Perth may be more suitable than either of the two metropoles.

View Comment

There’s Only One Willie MillerPosted on8:58 pm - Aug 16, 2015


There hasn’t been a new blog for nearly 2 months. That really doesn’t do anything for the blog being a success in the future.

View Comment

Big PinkPosted on9:24 pm - Aug 16, 2015


There’s Only One Willie Miller says:
Member: (7 comments)

August 16, 2015 at 8:58 pm

There hasn’t been a new blog for nearly 2 months. That really doesn’t do anything for the blog being a success in the future.
___________________________________________________________

Well what have you got for us toowm? Feel free to contribute. There is often a sizeable gap between blogs (pay attention please 🙂 ), but even at that, right now our regular blog writers are in the middle of organising the new SFM, so instead of complaining, why not participate. You obviously think enough of this blog to express concern – why not jump in with your thoughts?

On related matters, you may find that donations via PayPal go to “Heavenly Sound Media” a name we will use for business purposes going forward.

As part of our plans to add income streams to the SFM enterprise, we plan to try to sell the capacity we now have (for producing podcasts and live radio) to third parties.

As a consequence of redesigning our hosting to take account of our planned radio-style broadcasts we will also have the capacity to host websites and email for companies and individuals. More on that later as the thing develops.

View Comment

Big PinkPosted on9:27 pm - Aug 16, 2015


Forgot to add – if There’s Only One Willie Miller doesn’t come through, there will be a new blog this week 🙂

View Comment

wottpiPosted on9:34 pm - Aug 16, 2015


There’s Only One Willie Miller says:
August 16, 2015 at 8:58 pm

Was thinking similar the other day but on the basis that I try not to complain unless I am going to do something about it myself then I usually keep schtum.

Personally, despite the fairly regular postings, at this moment don’t have the time to start thinking about how to contribute to a decent sized piece and not really sure what I would even have to say that was of any importance but sure there may be plenty out there who could give it a go.

Therefore Mr Willie Miller or anyone else with the time and inclination and who is fed up of not seeing a new blog on the site why not fire something into the mods and get the ball rolling?

View Comment

jimboPosted on9:58 pm - Aug 16, 2015


Do you know who I would like to be a guest blogger? Or even better a guest on a future Radio show, Mark Wilson. I could listen to him for ever and a day on the radio. So knowledgeable and articulate but not stuffy and I think anyway, very fair. He has played for Celtic, Dundee Utd., Dumbarton, and in England so has a wide range of experience. Big Pink, you got a contact there? please try.

(I’ll donate another tenner if it seals the deal!)

View Comment

gunnerbPosted on10:03 pm - Aug 16, 2015


I have recently donated to the SFM fund raising initiative and would urge others who have kept their powder dry to now do the same.I have forsaken
any interest in supporting Scottish football, especially eschewing season tickets but the SFM seems to be the only way fans have a chance to be heard.
Last season I attended only one game , Celtic 4 v Aberdeen 0. I couldn`t resist the chance to see a resurgent NE challenge and as it turned out I didn`t.
Not because of the final score but because my better half took ill before kick off and as we exited the stadium the young steward was at pains to point out to me that I couldn`t return.
Initially angered by his lack of concern for my wife, I then realised that a few years back I would have been desperate to get back in ,this would have really annoyed me but now ? There are more important things in life.
Do I miss the atmosphere, the camaraderie, the witticisms and shared joy at a great goal? Yes, but this has been deprived of me by corruption. It would seem as a consequence I have a few bob to spare this season and for the forseeable future too.Make use of it SFM and don`t ever stop asking the right questions !

View Comment

jimboPosted on10:23 pm - Aug 16, 2015


gunnerb, that’s a disappointing experience from Celtic Park, I would have fired in a very strong worded complaint if it was me. On the other hand you are to be commended for keeping some kind of hope in Scottish Football via this forum. I share your belief that this site and RTC before it (and others) are beacons of truth in the face of corruption. Agree too that we should all donate as we are able to.

View Comment

justshateredPosted on10:29 pm - Aug 16, 2015


weejoe says:
August 16, 2015 at 7:28 pm

It always makes me laugh when I hear all the theories regarding the 2007/8 season;
The league should have been extended? The final league game was on a Thursday night! when has the league ever finished on a Thursday night? It just wasn’t extended by as much as RFC fans wanted.

All joking aside 2007/8 was quite a strange season with RFC’s run to the UEFA cup final while getting to the Scottish Cup final after two replays which meant more games. The replays were brought about in the first place by weakened teams being played in the initial ties. They also competed strongly in the league only to stumble at the last. RFC also had a league game cancelled to prepare for a Champions League fixture with Lyon which they lost three nil leading to one of the most embarrassing post match press conferences ever seen in Scotland where Walter walked in, Chic Young asked three timid questions, no one else asked any and Walter left. Utter scandal.
Throw into this mix Queen of the South getting to the Scottish Cup final. Their league finished in early May and they had not played a game for three weeks before the final. That didn’t stop the SFA via Gordon Smith (remember him) offering to put the final back a week without consulting anyone. As I remember Queen’s were certainly not happy at that.
Throw into that mix the European Championships in which Samaras was going to take part for Greece, Boruc for Poland, and Venegoor for Holland; Australia were going to take Scot McDonald for international fixtures and I also think Nakamura was also due to play for Japan. I think Samaras had already been granted an extension from Greece to play on the Thursday.

It was quite an unusual season but, like the Celtic team a few years earlier, RFC simply ran out of steam and the congested fixture list certainly did not help. There must also have been other delays as I seem to remember two Celtic RFC games at Celtic Park in the space of 10 days so one of those games must have been cancelled from early in the season.

View Comment

gunnerbPosted on11:36 pm - Aug 16, 2015


jimbo says:
Member: (69 comments)
August 16, 2015 at 10:23 pm

gunnerb, that’s a disappointing experience from Celtic Park, I would have fired in a very strong worded complaint if it was me.
—————————————————
Thanks Jimbo for your empathy but as I said there are more important things in life and we were not occasional visitors to Celtic park.

View Comment

RaymacPosted on11:37 pm - Aug 16, 2015


I sugggest Stirling. It’s central, there are some great bars and restaurants,and road links are excellent. Fly if needs be into Endinburgh/Glasgow. Glasgow airport is about 30 minutes away, and Edinburgh 40/45.We could use the William Wallace. Ryan would like that, though I’ve been winding up the Bears there since Sevco2012.

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on11:42 pm - Aug 16, 2015


gunnerb says:
Member: (43 comments)
August 16, 2015 at 10:03 pm
‘… my better half took ill before kick off and as we exited the stadium the young steward was at pains to point out to me that I couldn`t return…’
__________
gunnerb, let me first express the hope that your better half was only temporarily ill and made a full and early recovery at the time.

Jimbo at 10.23 pm expressed the very sensible view that he would in similar circumstances have fired off a strong letter of complaint, as I also would have done.

But the trouble with letters of complaint is that, if the company ( any company,not particularly Celtic FC) respond at all, the response will be the kind of bog-standard generalised crap about how the company cares about their customer service and is ‘committed’ to excellence on that front, etc etc et cetera, and how it regrets any temporary lapse due to this that or the other specious reason….

There is, generally, a huge gap between what any company’s ‘mission statement’ says [ even IF its Board are sincere!]and what actually happens on the ground!

Where a company has outsourced some functions, such as security or stewarding, or ticketing, the gap can be absolutely Grand Canyon wide!

Undeniably, there have been ‘tremendous advances’ in the treatment of Football supporters as paying customers. I mean ,we’ve had toilets and physically safer stadia for some years now, and family areas, and half-time entertainment and big-screen replays and so on.

But somehow, there still seems to be a degree of insensivity when situations such as yours, gunnerb, arise.

And we’re entitled to ask : what exactly is the problem about re-admitting someone to the ground if he’s had to exit it temporarily?

But much more importantly, why is a steward not immediately thinking about the possible need for medical help, or the need for even a glass of water, or a quiet space, or of reassuring words, or of sending for a supervisor to ask for guidance and help?

I would hope that this blog will in time be able to explore these kinds of deficiencies in the Scottish football customer experience with a view to encouraging clubs to have their own staff, and the staff of any out-sourced contractor,trained to think positively about true customer service.

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on12:12 am - Aug 17, 2015


justshatered says:
Member: (144 comments)
August 16, 2015 at 10:29 pm
‘…All joking aside 2007/8 was quite a strange season..’
_________
It may be fairly argued in hindsight that that was the season when it became possible to see the beginnings of the wholesale abandonment of ‘sporting integrity.’

Scottish Football governance was caught in an admittedly difficult set of circumstances.It was not wholly up to that challenge, and, in effect, tried to make a half-ar.ed compromise. This really pleased nobody.

But more importantly, it encouraged a belief that integrity could be abandoned in the interests of finance if the need was thought imperative enough.

And we have seen where that has led us, have we not?

View Comment

jimboPosted on12:17 am - Aug 17, 2015


John, I was in retail management most of my life, and it is cut throat. So many competitors. We took customer complaints very seriously. On an occasion like that at the least I would have offered two hospitality tickets to the game of gunnerb’s choice, and the steward would have been ‘interviewed’ and spoken to accordingly.

The problem is, if you are a e.g. a Celtic supporter, where else do you go?

Celtic and every other clubs should stop thinking they have a monopoly, fans can become disengaged, watch matches on illegal streams, listen on the radio etc. All money lost on the match day at the stadium.

View Comment

gunnerbPosted on12:26 am - Aug 17, 2015


Where a company has outsourced some functions, such as security or stewarding, or ticketing, the gap can be absolutely Grand Canyon wide!
_______________
Thanks JC , she is fine and to reassure all pie eaters nothing to do with the catering. You make a wider and yet valid point regarding customer service. This distancing from liability is pernicious and is affecting all walks of life….whoops political and naughty step.

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on12:43 am - Aug 17, 2015


jimbo says:
Member: (69 comments)
August 16, 2015 at 9:58 pm
‘… Mark Wilson. I could listen to him for ever and a day on the radio. So knowledgeable and articulate but not stuffy and I think anyway, very fair…..’
__________
Not disagreeing with you in any way,jimbo.
I would merely add that the ex-player pundits on Sportsound (Willie Miller, Murdo, Billy Dodds[when he was a pundit], Derek Ferguson, Packie Bonner, and the other regulars whose names have for the moment (senior moment!) escaped me)when they are speaking and talking of football, the game, not the ‘politics’, always and without exception speak objectively from their professional insight.

Clearly, being of the ages they are, we might think from time to time that their firsthand knowledge of the game today might be as suspect as, say, mine! And they might be talking mince.But it is honest mince!

Mark Wilson with much more recent experience of today’s football is a welcome addition.

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on1:16 am - Aug 17, 2015


jimbo says:
Member: (70 comments)
August 17, 2015 at 12:17 am
‘… and the steward would have been ‘interviewed’ and spoken to accordingly.’
_________
Yes, of course. But the poor steward will in all probability have been given nothing in the way of customer service training, just told ‘ don’t allow any pass-outs’.

Yesterday, I was waiting in Edinburgh bus station for the bus to Glasgow. The inward bus arrived, the passengers disembarked, and the driver came out and went to have a word with the hi-vis-jacketed time-keeper.

Some of the queue of passengers went aboard the bus. The driver came back, and in the most ungracious, insulting manner shouted at them to get aff the bus, ye shouldny be oan the bus, get aff!

Some of the passengers were foreign tourists, and I cringed with embarrassment at this cheeky wee bast.rd of a driver.

And then, quite separately, a German-sounding tourist was loading a bicycle into the open luggage space. Geez, didn’t the hi-vis-jacketed timekeeper/supervisor not outdo the driver in his aggressive ‘hey, you can’t put that bike on without a cover’ ‘Naw, you can’t, company policy. You’ve got to cover it.’
The German said ‘nobody told us that’.
‘Well I’m telling you now’ was the aggressive, really aggressive, reply.

I later discovered that if the pedals and handlebars and saddle had been covered by a couple of bin liners, there would have been no problem in putting the bike into the luggage space.

But instead of simply explaining that to the utterly confused customer, and suggesting that he might have time to dive along the road and get a few bags and still have time to get that particular bus, the supervisor chose the ‘company policy’ line.

Now, that is a training problem ( and maybe a recruitment selection/promotion problem). No real use in blaming the individual employee.The blame lies at a much higher level in the particular bus group’s management structure.

View Comment

gunnerbPosted on1:17 am - Aug 17, 2015


Any former pro footballer
————————–

Do you miss the “old firm games?
yes
Do you think Scottish football needs “Rangers” in the top league?
Yes
These are obvious questions and would be honest answers in the main.
Do you think Rangers as a football club are in liquidation?
..errh
Do you think the SFA colluded with the administrators of RFC to
produce the 5WA.
…rhh
How do you think Celtic will do in the CL
“Well they have an anodyne chance against an anodyne team and I think they will do anodynely..

Sadly, it is now how I view msm.

View Comment

Big PinkPosted on2:19 am - Aug 17, 2015


jimbo says:
Member: (70 comments)

August 16, 2015 at 9:58 pm (Edit)

Do you know who I would like to be a guest blogger? Or even better a guest on a future Radio show, Mark Wilson. I could listen to him for ever and a day on the radio. So knowledgeable and articulate but not stuffy and I think anyway, very fair. He has played for Celtic, Dundee Utd., Dumbarton, and in England so has a wide range of experience. Big Pink, you got a contact there? please try.

(I’ll donate another tenner if it seals the deal!)
_______________________________________________

Well I used to teach him at school 🙂 He was also the first pupil to wish me well when I left teaching, and almost (but not quite) the first player to wish me well when I left CP. (Probably glad to see the back of me!)

There was a very odd dynamic the day he arrived at Celtic. He kept referring to me and John Cushley as “Sir” whilst being on first name terms with the manager 🙂

Mark is a good kid, and as you say, he speaks well (especially well for somebody taught by myself and Cushley), but as gunnerb says above. We already have the answers to all of these questions 🙁

Having said that, he has been on my mind to speak to.

However there is also the Celtic connection that I worry about here. When we had Jim Craig on recently there were lots of accusations that we were showing Celtic bias. I didn’t get involved in the debate but I have to admit I felt like chucking it in at that point.

Now that we have more time to devote to this thing, we will be making strenuous efforts to get people who have been heroes at other places 🙂

View Comment

yakutsukiPosted on8:49 am - Aug 17, 2015


Big Pink, I cannae understand how you took so much flak for Jim Craig.

I know Jim personally and a more eloquent, knowledgeable guy would be hard to find. Jim always plays fair and has a constant thought for others.

A sad day when people can’t get over pettiness when men like JC and BP are selflessly trying their best for us.

View Comment

SmugasPosted on8:54 am - Aug 17, 2015


On the pundit thing my personal choice would be Michael Stewart (sp) over Wilson. Wilson still seems a bit ‘old-school.’

From the MSM interview techniques 101 class I do notice (even from a non old firm perspective) that the standard question to Deila seems to be “I put it to you that your opinion is…and would you care to comment/agree?”

I’m sure they’re just helping with the language thing of course!

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on9:47 am - Aug 17, 2015


I do wonder if there is any great value to the blog in inviting ex-players along for an interview unless they are not in a postion within the media. I actually wonder if it is, in fact, fair to expect them to be open and honest about anything other than strictly football matters and their memories of their playing days. I’m pretty certain, that for most, giving their honest opinion would be career threatening if not career finishing, as there’s bound to be many more ex-players waiting in the wings to take their place, all with the ‘right’ credentials and happy to toe the line, which is why so many are drawn from a club that is so neutral – because it no longer exists. (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

I doubt very much that we will ever be able to get any high profile figure to speak out against the party line, unless they have secured a good living from outwith football or the media. At best we might be able to pin a journalist, or football official, to try to justify their oposite view to the majority of the blog, but I would be very surprised if anyone would be prepared to put themselves into such a position.

This, though, is where any Celtic connection of BP, or anyone else, might come in handy! If we could have someone with strong views on, say, Resolution 12, prepared to start the ball rolling and, hopefully, forcing the media to come out from behind (under?) their rock and bring it to the attention of the wider public.

Resolutionn 12 is Celtic’s alone. It holds serious consequences for all of Scottish football but only Celtic ‘own’ it. It is one issue that nobody could realistically say shows any overly partisan bias from the blog. It is Celtic versus the football governors, though all the SPL was affected by it’s subject matter.

As there seems to be a lack of enthusiasm amongst the Celtic hierarchy to take Resolution 12 forward, perhaps someone with a high profile, who wants to see the charge it contains investigated, or even just see the board act on the shareholders wishes, might give us the interview the MSM are too cowardly to even contemplate!

View Comment

neepheidPosted on10:11 am - Aug 17, 2015


https://t.co/PdUVamgcCc

Maybe a bit off topic, but a link to an article on Speirs’ chat at the Edinburgh fringe with Hugh McIlvanney, a real sports journalist and genuine writer. If only we had more like McIlvanney in the Scottish press, speaking truth to power.

Instead of which, we get the likes of Chris “please,please buy more Ibrox STs” Jack and Keith “radar” Jackson, whose piece in the Record today centres on his total incomprehension that Allen would sign for Celtic rather than Jackson’s heroes. I won’t post a link to that, if you don’t mind.

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on11:01 am - Aug 17, 2015


neepheid says:
Member: (730 comments)
August 17, 2015 at 10:11 am

Thanks for the link to that peice, neeps, to memories of journalism passed. I can only think that either of the two hacks you mentioned must be responsible for the failure of your post to maintain a five star rating, for who else could find fault with it?

View Comment

grecian urnPosted on11:24 am - Aug 17, 2015


Is this really the ethos of this blog, supporting companies like this.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3200220/Staff-tears-regular-sackings-button-make-sure-don-t-waste-time-loo-workers-say-s-like-work-Amazon.html

View Comment

jimboPosted on11:33 am - Aug 17, 2015


Grecian urn,

The mods have addressed this concern re. Amazon, in fact just recently said the ads might be disappearing altogether.

Think it went along the lines of they sell? the space to an ad agency who decide on which firms they display and our mods had limited control over that. Remember it’s early days and there is a learning curve for our folk.

View Comment

bluPosted on11:40 am - Aug 17, 2015


grecian urn says:
Member: (18 comments)
August 17, 2015 at 11:24 am
Is this really the ethos of this blog, supporting companies like this.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3200220/Staff-tears-regular-sackings-button-make-sure-don-t-waste-time-loo-workers-say-s-like-work-Amazon.html

Grecian, I’ve some sympathy with your view and never click the link to Amazon (nor your link to the Daily Mail) but given that the owner of the DM has forgotten more about tax dodging than the pornographer tax-adviser, SDM and the man who would be king put together, it’s a bit rich of them to attack any other company about its business practices. Still that’s never bothered them before.

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on11:50 am - Aug 17, 2015


Keith Jackson has been claiming on twitter that TRFC offered SA the same wage, £7K pw, as Celtic. A Peter Kelly made this good point:

@tedermeatballs @ETimsNet how could they offer him anything given Hibs refused permission for them to talk to him? Tapping up. Surely not!!!

I do hope the redoubtable award winning journalist will take this point on board and either admit it is all hot air from someone desperate to make his club seem more credible, or do some proper journalism and do an article investigating TRFC’s tactics in the saga, with particular emphasis on any ‘tapping up’ of a rival’s player.

Whatever might be claimed to be what TRFC were prepared to pay SA is irrelevant, as they can claim any amount they choose. Unless, of course, they made a definite offer to a player they are not allowed, under SPFL rules, to talk to, and definitely not even hint at, even through a third party, how much they’d be prepared to pay him.

I’d suggest that KJ has heard it on ‘good authority’ that that figure was indeed offered; for even a ‘bairn wae a biscuit bum’ would know not to bandy about what he took to be a ‘what might have been’ in the way Jackson has.

View Comment

Cygnus X-1Posted on12:22 pm - Aug 17, 2015


On the topic of potential speakers/interviews etc, I don’t mind if they represent a viewpoint similar to or different from mine, as long as there is balance over the piece. And that’s the one thing guaranteed with this site, there would be balance, because we’re all so sensitive to and encouraging of different viewpoints and perspectives.

And whomever it is, if they’re mildly engaging & entertaining and it stimulates debate and discussion then even better…….what about Graham Souness next 😯

View Comment

tayredPosted on1:35 pm - Aug 17, 2015


Cygnus X-1 says:
Member: (58 comments)
August 17, 2015 at 12:22 pm

And whomever it is, if they’re mildly engaging & entertaining and it stimulates debate and discussion then even better…….what about Graham Souness next ?

——————————————————————-

Barry Hearn? Doubt he would do anything gratis mind you. If his dealings with our leaders got his back up sufficiently he might enjoy a chance to let rip.

I agree though, we all enjoy (surely) hearing differing viewpoints. Sometimes when they are so far removed from your own they can lead to the most startling realisations – sometimes to raise a smile, sometimes to recoil in horror!

View Comment

woodsteinPosted on2:54 pm - Aug 17, 2015


On “Why We Need to Change”

Some interesting information/ideas in here?

http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/scotland-sees-flowering-news-websites-national-press-wilts-north-border

View Comment

tayredPosted on4:50 pm - Aug 17, 2015


Good grief its quiet! Where’s John Collins when you need him!? 😛

Given the lull in topics. Can I ask folks what the situation is at their particular club with respect to pay-at-the-gate? AFC have started this policy whereby you can only buy tickets at the ticket office. You can buy in advance, but if close to match day you then have to queue to pick them up. Last weekend that resulted in a significant number of people missing the start of the match, such was the length of the queue. Complaints have been met with a “we ain’t changing our policy so get used to it” response

Again we re-visit the customer service aspect touched on earlier. Surely you want to make it as easy as possible for folks to decide at 2:30 that they wouldn’t mind taking in the match (sorry to clarify – in sympathy – for those younger Celtic supporters that 3pm is the traditional time for kick-off) .

Now it seems if you haven’t decided by the day before, you’ve had it, or you will need to make sure you get to the ground ridiculously early and face the wrath of the damned seagulls for even longer! It might not put off the die-hards, but I’ll bet over the course of a season that it would amount to a reasonable loss in your occasional casual walk-up “customer” numbers i.e. cash.

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on5:14 pm - Aug 17, 2015


On answer to this question:

“colin jordan ‏@colshy67 · 8h8 hours ago
@tedermeatballs Did Rangers offer Allan a wage?”

Keith Jackson gave this reply:

“keith jackson
‏@tedermeatballs @colshy67 his advisers were completely aware of what would have been on offer in a pre-contract. Yes.”

I am convinced this would be ‘tapping up’ and against the rules, so tweeted this to Jackson:

“Allyjambo ‏@Allyjambo · 5m5 minutes ago
@tedermeatballs @colshy67 Is that not breaking the rules? Why don’t you check up on that and do an article on murky dealings if it is?”

I will, naturally, post any response from the much vaunted journalist.

But if he’s correct, surely this opens a rather large can of worms.

Am I not correct that any offers of wages, while over 6 months of SA’s, then, current contract remained, would be breaking the rules – even if approached via a third party? Though how approaching his agent would be seen as anything other than a direct approach is beyond me.

Surely this is the stuff any true journalist, or even just a wannabe journalist, would be desperate to get stuck into!

If it is true, then this story writes itself for him, if it’s not true, then why the…is he stating, so categorically, that an offer was made?

Level5 making him look stupid, again, methinks!

View Comment

theoldcoursePosted on5:39 pm - Aug 17, 2015


Allyjambo, I was always under the impression that “tapping up” involved a direct approach to a player themselves. I do not know how an indirect approach via an agent is viewed by the rulebook.

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on5:49 pm - Aug 17, 2015


theoldcourse says:
Member: (27 comments)
August 17, 2015 at 5:39 pm

I am pretty certain that the rules cover approaches via a third party, but regardless, giving details of an offered contract to a player’s agent can’t get much more direct.

I’m sure, however, that Keith Scoop Jackson will be checking up as we type 🙄

View Comment

Jingso.JimsiePosted on6:03 pm - Aug 17, 2015


@ theoldcourse:

http://scottishfa.co.uk/resources/documents/SFAPublications/ScottishFAPublications2014-15/Handbook%202014-15..pdf

Page 253 onwards deals with agents & their responsibilities. Clause 8, page 259, may apply here.

View Comment

BallyargusPosted on6:28 pm - Aug 17, 2015


Allyjambo says:
Member: (1165 comments)
August 17, 2015 at 9:47 am
I do wonder if there is any great value to the blog in inviting ex-players along for an interview unless they are not in a postion within the media. I actually wonder if it is, in fact, fair to expect them to be open and honest about anything other than strictly football matters and their memories of their playing days. I’m pretty certain, that for most, giving their honest opinion would be career threatening if not career finishing, as there’s bound to be many more ex-players waiting in the wings to take their place, all with the ‘right’ credentials and happy to toe the line, which is why so many are drawn from a club that is so neutral – because it no longer exists. (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

I seem to remember Tosh McKinlay had a short stint as a pundit and writer in the ET. If I recall correctly he was a bit too outspoken for them and didn’t last long.

View Comment

neepheidPosted on6:45 pm - Aug 17, 2015


http://www.footballbloggingawards.co.uk/blog/win-exclusive-press-access-to-the-spfl-all-season-with-ladbrokes/

Here’s an essay competition from Ladbrokes, with a prize that might interest some of you- rub shoulders in the Press Box with Keith “Radar” Jackson for the whole season! Seriously, though, I’m sure it could give the winner a great insight into how football journalism really works- and maybe an entry into paid journalism?

View Comment

paddy malarkeyPosted on7:12 pm - Aug 17, 2015


tayred says:
Member: (167 comments)

August 17, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Good grief its quiet! Where’s John Collins when you need him!? ?

Given the lull in topics. Can I ask folks what the situation is at their particular club with respect to pay-at-the-gate?

This is also the practice at Firhill, but if the queue is too big, you can always watch kick-off(or all the match for that matter !)from the canal bank .

View Comment

jimboPosted on8:22 pm - Aug 17, 2015


Ok Big Pink lets leave Mark Wilson on the back burner for a while (metaphorically of course). I suppose it comes back to my selfish hopes of the site going forward. The Radio side of it talking about football. All sides without fear or favour. Little politics although the Scott Allan saga demonstrates some stories contain an element of both.
The blog being what it always has been Monitoring the off the pitch stuff. The best of both worlds 😀

View Comment

seanebhoyPosted on8:46 pm - Aug 17, 2015


tayred says:

I used to be a season ticket holder at Celtic Park but could not make it to a lot of the games, I decided to ‘pay at the gate’, we have a fantastic system where you buy your ticket online and print it off at home – you can do this on the day, I have just bought a ticket for Malmo and don’t need to worry about it arriving in the post on time. 😛

View Comment

Comments are closed.