A Level Playing Field?

I must admit I am surprised that nothing has been done about the TRFC party guys. It is especially puzzling that other clubs who have had games cancelled and players suspended as a consequence of breaches haven’t pointed out the apparent lack of consistency.

In August of last year, following a non-socially-distanced night out after an Aberdeen v Rangers game, eight Aberdeen players were banned for three games by an SFA-convened independent panel.

Jonny Hayes, Mikey Devlin, Scott McKenna, Matty Kennedy, Sam Cosgrove, Dylan McGeouch, Craig Bryson and Bruce Anderson were accused of breaking public health guidelines when they visited an Aberdeen pub on August 1.

Celtic defender Boli Bolingoli, who had made a midweek three-day trip to Spain for some R&R faced the same charges

The panel held hearings before ruling that the players had broken the rules and delivered a three match suspension to each of the eight Aberdeen players, suspended in lieu of similar breaches until February 28, 2021.

In Bolingoli’s case, a five game ban was delivered with only two of those suspended until February.

Bolingoli was of course disciplined by Celtic before being sent out on loan, his Celtic career seemingly finished as a consequence, whilst the Aberdeen players were also disciplined by their club.

Both Aberdeen and Celtic were also subjected to damaging match cancellations as a consequence of both incidents.

On February 14, Police were called to an unlawful house party and handed out fixed penalty notices for breach of Covid regulations to Rangers players Bongani Zungu, Nathan Patterson, Calvin Bassey, Dapo Mebude, and Brian Kinnear. Rangers say they have disciplined the players, but the SFA have yet to say anything, fourteen days after the incident.

No match bans, no game cancellations.

The lack of comment in the media is not surprising since everyone in the MSM lives in terror of TRFC reprisal and behaves accordingly.

In fact, a quick Google search on the matter yields nothing after 17th February, suggesting that an Ibrox D-Notice has been issued and obediently complied with by the MSM. Of course one must always guard against cognitive bias in these matters. None of us are completely free of it, and are afflicted to some extent, but by any subjective measure that I can see, the MSM opprobrium directed (quite correctly) at Bolingoli and the Dons’ players, and the storm of publicity surrounding those earlier incidents is absent in the case of the TRFC five.

Even the Scottish Government’s response appears to have treated the TRFC breach with the equivalent of a raised eyebrow, in comparison to the angrily pointed finger at Aberdeen and Celtic (and subsequently with Celtic after the Dubai farce).

Consider today the yellow card. The next time it will be the red card because you will leave us with absolutely no choice

Nicola Sturgeon (after the Aberdeen/Boligoli incidents)

I say this as someone who has never agreed with those who alleged that Alex Salmond tried to help The Old Club with the tax bodies, believing the government’s actions at the time to have been nothing more than what would be expected of them – to express a wish that a resolution could be found – but not putting pressure on HMRC as was alleged.

However, as any schoolteacher will tell you, if you threaten discipline against a recalcitrant pupil, you bloody well MUST carry the threat out – or face the immediate and irretrievable loss of credibility. I’m sure Nicola Sturgeon is as well aware as anyone that a second yellow card is in fact a red.

So yes, the MSM silence is not surprising, and government indecision is not altogether a new thing, but the lack of reaction from other clubs – even the fans of other clubs – is very puzzling.

That is maybe the only thing that makes me doubt (slightly) that there is some serious and deliberate “inconsistency” afoot.

It is this type of beahaviour by the authorities and the media that led us to the brink of Armageddon in 2012.

If it can’t be changed, then those of us who have been constantly warning that a repeat is inevitable, will be saying “told you so” in the not too distant future.

If a level playing field is too much to ask for, then the implications for the sport, and society are many and serious.

228 thoughts on “A Level Playing Field?”

  1. Anyone else puzzled why the five players from Rangers who breached covid rules have had no action taken against them by the SFA? In all other cases, including the previous two from Ibrox, action was taken to issue suspensions fairly quickly, yet these players are already back in the fold as if nothing happened. The fact the media and the Scottish Government have not condemned Rangers for the immorality of that is no surprise at all. Their anger is reserved for other clubs.

  2. There is a constant moan from both sets of fans of “he can only score against so & so” ..Is there a statistics form or info available that can display who, say, Morelos or Edouard garner their goals against in league play, shows the importance of said goal, i.e, winner, tying goal, penalty..I think most fans might be surprised at the outcome..

  3. While I voted to return to the original set up of the site I miss the banter especially for ones chosen team. The new set up was too open to abuse but I think a half way house might be well received. How do other members feel?

  4. Upthehoops 27th February 2021 At 14:01
    ‘..Anyone else puzzled why the five players from Rangers who breached covid rules have had no action taken against them by the SFA?..’
    Mrs C asked me this very afternoon what punishment had been meted out to the party-going 5.

    “My dear”, I replied, “have you been with me since forever and still do not understand? The ‘rules’ simply do not apply to TRFC any more than they did to RFC plc. Not just ‘football rules’, but the rules governing the BBC and the SMSM generally in relation to the concepts of impartiality and truth.”

    ” Whit?”[there’s a wee private joke between us there about my speech] she cried in alarm ” Are you saying that there is any kind of suggestion that the SFA is “tainted with apparent bias”, [a phrase she had picked up from Lord Pentland in one of his [unconnected with football] recent judgments.]

    “Sadly, my dear ” replied I, ” the track record of the Governance body of Scottish Football suggests that that indeed is the case”

    ” Oh, John”, she cried in horror, ” you cannot be serious! Surely you are mistaken?”

    ” Whit?” replies I ,” Have you not wondered whit the hell has oftimes kept me at this flaming keyboard late into the night in spite of hearing your enticing calls of ‘come to bed?’

    But of course you are absolutely right, uth.
    The SFA is a failed ‘institution’, incapable of any kind of proper governance because it has lied, and continues to lie ,and the liars cannot agree among themselves because each individual knows that every other individual who lied along with him cannot now be trusted not to lie to him!
    As said before , a fish rots from the head.
    And the SFA rotted in 2012, with the SMSM’s wholehearted participation and support.
    May every one of the liars not rest as easily in their beds this very night as I go!

  5. It’s a strange one. It’s also worth pointing out that in November last year Jordan Jones and George Edmundson attended a party after Rangers played Killie and they were heavily criticised by the club. They also received 7 game bans from the SFA and Rangers then sent them out on loan.

    On this occasion the lack of any punishment is baffling to me. I read a vomit inducing article in, I think the DR, where the players apologies were reproduced and the general tone was one of sympathy for young lads making a mistake. I’m afraid too much has happened for people not to know the rules now.

  6. I’m quite taken by the new look folks. Not fishing for compliments, but I think it looks quite sleek. The new mobile theme is also looking good.
    There is also a ten minute timer which engages on all comments, so you have a bit of time to edit any typos – or rashly chosen words 🙂

    If anyone has any technical difficulties with either PC-based or phone-based access, please let me know by email

  7. Incredibleadamspark

    Yes, I should have mentioned the Jones/Edmundson situation – although the FM was untypically silent on that one from memory?. Why it is all the more puzzling of course, because there is a glaring differential in the treatment of players involved in the same club.

    The cynic in me says that the MSM were green-lighted on those two, who were perhaps just daft enough to give an excuse to an employer who already deemed them costly surplus to requirement liabilities.

    I am sure you won’t agree with me, but I am leaning very heavily on the pandering angle – both by the authorities and the MSM.

  8. I can’t believe that no punishment has been meted out and there is such silence from clubs and fans who should be crying out for consistency. When TRFC announced that the players had apologised; were back in the squad and that was the end of it, I tried to contact the SFA through their website as I have done on numerous issues in the past. I cannot find any way of contacting them. I’ll keep looking, but if anyone has a way to do so, please share it….and please ask them the question too.

    It’s interesting, BP, that apart from Incredible Adams Park (who has to my knowledge always been fair and unbiased on here – like Dark Before Dawn, generally) none of the other regular TRFC-minded posters have chosen to contribute to this thread and previous ones where the breach was raised. The usual 3 from the discontinued forum (Albertz11, the Oban one and Cameron-whatever) choose only to comment whenever Rangers/protetantism is seen by others to be in the wrong – I had to laugh when Albertz11 jumped in to harangue Boab16 for pointing out the Covid/Ian Paisley issue.

    That approach is precisely the reason I have disagreed with BP’s wish to grow the membership here to an all fans approach so as to increase the numbers against corruption. I want people alongside us who will fight corruption no matter who benefits from it. I don’t want those guys fighting against the SFA because I know they’ll drop the fight as soon as any corruption suits Rangers/TRFC. It is typical of their broader fan base (hate Alan McGregor (“the Rat”, remember!) for walking away but now that he is in good form helping them win the league, all is fine; Nathan Patterson ‘should never play for the club again’, but when he scores after his early recall, “That’s the way to get it up them, son!”). They pick and choose what they want to fight for/against, but have no principles which they will stand. I recall on SFM and elsewhere how vehement they all were re the Bolingoli or Dubai incidents, but silence now is no surprise. At least, CFC fans largely agree that both these incidents were stupid; wrong; dangerous and punishable. I don’t believe they would have been glad to have got off with it, whereas TRFC fans are delighted about the inconsistency. That is why I don’t want the 3 above, Lawman, Steerpike etc here to fight corruption alongside us.

    I realise this could get deleted/get me banned, but the silence on here re the breach is just the latest example of how they view the world. It’s not about silencing anyone or creating an echo chamber – it’s about having people alongside me who are genuinely anti-corruption in an non-partisan manner.

  9. Nawlite,

    I don’t disagree at all with the tenor of your sentiment, however your core theme reminds me that we lost some credibility as an anti-corruption platform when we were not taking seriously the concerns of the Jambo contingent on here when their club was at the pointy end of the self-interest stick last year.
    Sadly, EasyJambo and AllyJambo, two individuals whom I regard (through my association with them on this blog) as friends, and for whom I have the greatest regard, have been lost to us.

    A great pity in my opinion.

  10. Big Pink, the pandering angle by the authorities doesn’t make any sense to me. There has been punishment of their players before and I did read the SFA was investigating the incident and the compliance officer was gathering information (no laughing at the back….) so perhaps punishment will be on the way. Why pander now on this issue when they haven’t in the past?

    The FM, like most politicians, will take their cue from the level of media outrage on a particular subject. The lack of media outrage is a debate that fuels these pages and I’m not sure if a general consensus will ever be reached. Conspiracy, economics, favouritism or Sectarianism…. take your pick.

  11. BP, I too am sad about the loss of the Hearts guys, but to be honest I didn’t see anyone on here disagreeing with them or failing to support them. I wasn’t conscious of anyone arguing that the season should be finished so that CFC could win the title or so that Hearts, Thistle etc would be relegated. As far as I was aware, any CFC fans wanted the league to be concluded as they believed their team would only have extended their lead given TRFC’s form.

    The only disagreement (fomented more by the usual TRFC fans) was the idea that the season should be null and void and certainly CFC fans didn’t want that, but neither did EJ or AJ so far as I can recall. My memory of it is that EJ, AJ and, indeed, Hearts were happy for the league to be called early but wanted structural change which would result in no relegation and I felt the forum was largely supportive of that. I am sorry and disappointed that when that was rejected by the clubs/authorities, EJ and AJ decided to stop contributing.

    That brings me to my other issue with the site as it stands – our lack of voice/ability to campaign or pressurise. I realise this will go against what I said about not wanting (some) TRFC fans on here, but I do accept that our small numbers mean that, in essence, this is not much more than a site that gives a small number of people a chance to moan about stuff. Sorry, but I’m being honest. When SFM was first set up and we had the meeting at McDiarmid Park, it felt like perhaps it could be the start of a groundswell, but we have never worked out how to grow or use our voice and I’m not sure how we can.

    The SFSA and Supporters Direct have the numbers but don’t appear to have a campaigning/pressurising stance so for the moment there is no one representing the views of anti-corruption football supporters. I wonder how it would go if we took a more overtly anti-ALL-corruption stance and sold the forum on that.

  12. If Scottish football were a confection it would be a Curleywurley but bitter not sweet.

    Sustained by a media who drink from the same bitter trough, have had evidence of wrong doing served on a plate but have looked elsewhere as they feed off the crumbs of corruption.

    Given Celtic accepted a 5 Way Agreement that to all intents and purposes has turned the industry into a franchise and it’s Celtic’s turn to step aside lest the other franchise partner goes under, then unless their supporters force Celtic to come clean on the 5 Way the game will remain corrupt with no leadership to end it.
    The departure of Lawwell who accepted the 5 Way Agreement might remove a barrier to restoring integrity, but at the end of the day it all depends on the weight all supporters give to integrity v a day out with their family or mates.

    Congrats to St Johnstone on their Betfred Cup victory.
    A level playing field, if ever attained, will see more of that.

  13. Nawlite 14.25

    I simply asked why he thought his link was appropriate on a forum discussing the governance of Scottish football. Boab answered with his reasons. No problems.
    My stance on the 5 Rangers players is exactly the same as it was with the players from other teams. They should be punished heavily for their inexcusable behaviour.
    Finally the actions of less than 12 months ago should tell you how fickle supporters can be when challenging the authorities,, depending on who is on the opposite side of course.
    As BP says the site lost two of it’s best contributors around this time which i believe was a result of the partisanship displayed by some on here who had previously been their biggest critics.
    ps New look is an improvement so congratulations to those involved.

  14. Albertz, as far as I can see you only ever comment to defend. Doesn’t work for me.

    I genuinely don’t recall any partisanship re the calling of the league, other than TRFC fans calling for it to be null and void to avoid 9 in a row. At that point, I recall “the opposite side” arguing back. I’ll see if I can check back to see who supported the authorities and who displayed partisanship. I’ve never searched the site historically, but I’ll try.

  15. I have already made my feelings known on the lack of punishment for the Rangers five. The only thing I will add is that I was appalled to hear Michael Stewart say the other night it was ‘great management’ by Steven Gerrard to bring three of the players back into the fold for their European tie, and of course one of them scored. Stewart I always felt was a fair minded pundit, not afraid to speak his mind, but of course he has already been suspended by the BBC for upsetting Rangers last season.

  16. Having a search back to last Summer in search of bias over the early calling of the league. Haven’t yet found the right OP, which I assume deals with the issue, or comments thereon. What I have found is that there was a lot of unhappiness over the lack of comments about Scotland beating Ukraine on penalties to qualify for the Euro Championship finals. Each of Ernie, Bordersdon and WOTTPI (all excellent posters imo) complained about no one congratulating the team and stated they were done with SFM as a result. There were quite a few posters commenting that they were personally so fed up at the (corrupt) SFA that they would not support/congratulate the national team as the ‘blazers’ would take the credit and generate positive publicity for themselves. This led to the 3 named posters accusing SFM of being a one trick pony before leaving.

  17. Oh and congratulations to St Johnstone for their league cup win. I saw Chris McLaughlin reporting on it and was surprised that he made a point of stating that this (their second recent cup win) made them the second most successful team in Scotland over the past 10 years. Seemed unnecessary to me and I would imagine this would fuel the fire of TRFC fans who would take it as a dig.

  18. While we are on this subject it has been raised again yesterday on social media that Celtic are having to take 5-6 buses to away games post-Dubai, yet yesterday at Celtic Park Aberdeen had only one bus. Neil Lennon referred to this issue a couple of times in press conferences but was labelled paranoid. If Celtic are being made to work to a different set of rules than other clubs then I don’t see how any justification for that can be made. I have today written to the club in an attempt to have the matter clarified. Some people say surely the board would speak out. Really? Look at everything else they have accepted without a cheep, even though it disadvantaged their club.

  19. Upthehoops, Stewart wasn’t suspended for upsetting ‘Rangers’ he was suspended for upsetting Jim Traynor, was he not?

  20. I like the new site very much , but I notice that the facility to use BOLD or ‘italics’ or ‘undo’ doesn’t seem to be there.
    Or is that just me?
    And I clicked to give thumbs up to some posts but succeeded only in removing the figures that were already there, leaving 0’s!
    And I’ve just used the new edit facility; great to be able to see how much time one has left to get an edit job done. I’ve frequently in the past had to delete a post because I couldn’t get the edit job completed.

  21. Nawlite 28th February 2021 At 21:03

    Traynor was PR head at Ibrox at the time. Michael Stewart was highly critical of him for stories appearing in the media regarding Alfredo Morelos. One where it was falsely claimed the brakes on his car had been tampered with, and one where an inaccurate translation of an interview appeared on Sky, which led to Celtic complaining to Ofcom.

  22. Upthehoops 28th February at 20:58

    Not enough information here to reach an informed opinion. How many buses do Celtic take to away games? Is it 5 or 6 or less or more? Is it their own COVID protocols that means they travel in more buses or is it at the insistence of the SFA/SPFL? Do they have a larger travelling party and support staff than other teams? How many times have they actually travelled in multiple buses?

    I don’t know the answers to any of these questions but would be interested to find out before coming to any conclusions. I would be very interested to read any response you get from the club.

  23. Incredibleadamspark 28th February 2021 At 21:39

    I am hoping that the club will provide clarification, and I will have no issue sharing it if they do.

  24. Nawlite 19.02

    Perhaps the constant need to defend Rangers is due to what easyjambo described as every subject being viewed through ” a blue prism”.
    As an aside not one of my Rangers supporting friends was in favor of the null & void option last season.

    Agree with your comment re – CML. Uncalled for and added nothing.

  25. Paddy Malarkey 28th February 2021 At 23:13
    ‘What happens when owners lose interest .

    Today’s ‘Sun’ has a piece about the death of Jungsu FC.
    The piece , by Marc Mayo, updated at 13.13, also has this nice little line :
    “Only weeks earlier, Chinese FA Cup winners Shandong Luneng were thrown out of the AFC Champions League for ‘overdue payables’.”

  26. When it rolled out, I joined the SFSA thinking it might be a likeminded forum to SFM, seeking fairness, integrity etc. I know BP thinks the same as he has allowed them to publish OPs on SFM and tried to encourage SFM posters to join them in his laudable efforts to get a wider anti-corruption voice. SInce then I have been incredibly, incredibly disappointed with them. They don’t seem to care at all about the corruption in Scottish football.

    I am beginning to really despise the way they approach such instances, with the latest blog from them (Donald Stewart) preferring to have a ‘cheeky chappie’ type laugh at serious issues of inconsistency instead of crusading against such lack of fairness, as I thought they might. A lot of this guy’s blogs for them are in a similar vein. Here is the one that has annoyed me today….

    The latest blog from SFSA writer Donald Stewart:

    Just who has caused the most upset in the water, who has been mucking about in the sand pit and who shoved Lego up wee Nathan Paterson’s nose?

    Mr. Christopher and Mr. Alastair are at the Nursery Headteacher’s office as the investigation begins.

    Picture the scene…

    They have not been in the school two minutes, as lockdown is easing, before the two tykes have been at it again and are now in big trouble.

    The headteacher, Ms. Doncaster is towering over them with a GI Joe haircut reminiscent of that horrible teacher in Matilda, but both boys seem to be unrepentant.

    Ms. Doncaster tries in her best voice, her inside voice, to ask one of them to own up. “Right boys, tik tok, who has been naughty in the sand, the water and caused Nathan such… an upset.”

    Defiantly both boys fold their arms and jut out their chins.

    Ms. Doncaster waits…

    Eventually, as she expected, Mr. Christopher breaks first. “It’s no fair.” He begins, “I mean Jordan and George didnae get this big trouble last time round.”

    Ms. Doncaster, though aware of the incident with the boys Jones and Edmundson fails to see what Mr. Christopher might be getting at.

    Mr. Alastair, with his cheeky wee grin, simply says, “It’s no, no fair.”

    Ms. Doncaster has to move between them as Mr. Christopher reacts and tries to grab Mr. Alastair.

    “Now, Mr. Christopher, this is not how we behave.”

    Deciding to take a firmer tone Ms. Doncaster tries to be more authoritative. Right boys, I am going to ask again, and I want a straight answer from either of you. Who did that in the sand pit, who spread the water everywhere and who stuck Lego up Nathan’s nose?”

    Mr. Christopher smirks. He likes to smirk.

    He asks. “Please miss, see if yous find out who has done them things, will they get into the same trouble as what Jordan and George had got before, miss?”

    Thinking she was smart, Ms. Doncaster enters negotiation mode.

    “Well, Mr. Christopher, do you think they should get into the same kind of trouble?”

    Mr. Christopher smirks once more and answers, “I fair think they should cos it’s the same kind of thingmy they done.”

    Mr. Alastair decides to intervene and says, “Aye but it isnae the right same but, sure it’s no. I mean it’s like the kinda same but it isnae really but.”

    Mr. Christopher can spot a cue when he sees one and joins in. “Aye but, it is but, isn’t it no?”

    Mr. Alastair further joins in with, “Aye but it isnae really but, I mean it wouldnae be the same thingmy but it might no be the wrang thingmy…”

    Mr. Christopher, realising how well things are going continues with, “Aye but you wouldnae want anyone tae worm their way out but.”

    Losing control to a couple of tousled haired, four year old tykes sees Ms. Doncaster lose it and she shrieks at the top of her voice, “Would you pair cut it. I have had enough of the pair of you wee snotters thinking yer smart and yer clever and yer untouchable but I am not, and I repeat I am NOT here to be entertained by a couple of four year old clowns who think it IS FUNNY TO STICK LEGO UP A CHILD’S NOSE. AND BEFORE YE TELL ME WHO YER PARENTS ARE I AM NOT IMPRESSED. HEAR ME? I AM NOT IMPRESSED BY FOUR PEOPLE WHO WERE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TAE MEET ON TINDER AND HAVE THE LIKES OF YOU THANKS TO A KNEE TREMBLER AT THE BACK OF THE GARAGE SO SPILL YA FANNIES!”

    Just then the school secretary, opens the door visibly shocked as she and her two guests, aforementioned parents of two fannies and wee snotters, summoned by her at the headteacher’s insistence, have witnessed the last few moments. As the door is opened a red faced Ms. Doncaster has her back to it as she hears the school secretary announce, “Ms. Doncaster, as requested, Mr. and Mrs. McCoist and Mrs. and Mrs. Sutton are here to see you.”

    Ms. Doncaster turns slowly and as she tries to smile, she hears a couple of wee fannies, who know their audience, start to wail in mock derision and she thinks about how she might spend her early retirement…

    Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an original tale, there is no evidence that Chris Sutton and Alastair McCoist ever went to Nursery School together, so this is therefore not true, though both did fall out during the week on BT Sport.

    On a Friday night edition ofBT Sport’s Scottish Football Extra things got pretty heated as Chris Sutton and Ally McCoist just about came to blows over Rangers’ treatment of their seven COVID rulebreakers. Nathan Patterson, Calvin Bassey and Bongani Zungu were all named on the bench for the win over Antwerp in the Europa League with Patterson coming on at half-time to score and Zungu featuring later on. Ex-Celtic striker Sutton accused Rangers of a lack of consistency in dealing with the players. Ally McCoist was having none of it, but the last words were left with Sutton as he said, “I’m not disagreeing with you, I’m just saying it’s a massive double-standard. Even you, and you worm your way out of a lot of things, have to accept that there’s been different treatment.” There is no VAR evidence of what happened in the sandpit, in the water or with the Lego once the cameras stopped rolling.

    I ask what is the point of the SFSA?

    • Nawlite
      I have done sympathy for the Sfsa. Not for that article of course, which doesn’t necessarily reflect their policy, but for the tap dancing on eggshells exercise they have to undergo when bigger clubs are involved. Get there time wrong and they can alienate 25% of the Scots fanbase.
      I think we realised very early on that they were never gonna be a campaigning bulwark, but my own take on Paul Goodwin, well intentioned as he is, is that he has treated the whole Rangers scenario like a hot potato.
      Like many others, he has conflated going after corruption at the SFA (over the licensing issue for example) as a hostile anti Rangers act.
      I understand the need for a broad church, but if you don’t have basic principles that you are willing to stand by, you have no foundation, never mind a roof, for that particular house of worship.
      It is to be fair, a great difficulty living in our environment. More effort still required though, because as you say, at the minute, I can’t see the point.

      • John C
        Will try to get the formatting options restored. Sadly the plug-in that provided the functionality is now obsolete and causes problems with newer versions of WordPress.
        If anyone knows of a plug-in that does the job, let me know.

  27. With the number of league games dwindling nd the lack of action by the SFA will any potential bans be carried forward to next season. Would be a red face for the SFA if some of the Covid 5 were moved and out of reach for punishment. The longer it takes for a decision the worse the optics appear. It is interesting to note that the staunch Rangers supporters in the media are posing questions as to the length of time it has taken to react.

  28. Vernallen 1st March 2021 At 17:40
    I think their days may be taken up trying to find acceptable wording for a requested apology .

  29. Paddy Malarkey 1st March 2021 at 19:31

    Maybe they’re awaiting invitations to a victory celebration before deciding.

  30. Big Pink 1st March 2021 At 17:54
    ‘..John C
    Will try to get the formatting options restored……’
    Thank you.
    It’s not a huge problem, but it was a useful facility.

  31. Big Pink 1st March 2021 At 17:52
    ‘..Like many others, he has conflated going after corruption at the SFA (over the licensing issue for example) as a hostile anti Rangers act..’
    And, of course , he is quite wrong in so doing.

    Allegations of corruption that ,prima facie ,[where are the italics when you need them ? ha ha], have some apparent basis of fact are not aimed expressly in hostility to either RFC plc or RIFC plc/TRFC in themselves , but aimed at the very governance of the Sport.

    An allegedly dirty deed of the SFA , of even more emotional importance to ordinary folk than any dirty [allegedly] deeds of politicians, simply has to be investigated.

    It is an absurdity to imagine that Scottish Football could seriously be considered as an honest Sport , governed by honest people, given the sporting nonsense of ‘continuity Rangers”
    I have mentioned before the connection between the no doubt well-meaning chap in the SFSA and RFC plc as was and is , perhaps, continuing with TRFC.
    Facts are chiels that winna ding: RFC plc was liquidated, ceased to be part of Scottish Football.
    And for the SFSA to ignore that truth puts it in the camp of those who propagate the Big Lie.

  32. So in terms of the subject matter yet another day passes and no sign of any SFA action against these players. One of the questions asked in the blog was why other clubs and their fans just accept this. It s a very valid question, and one that should be raised again when some of these players take the field again for Rangers against Livingston on 3rd March.

    To be honest though, given ‘Rangers’ have never even conceded it was wrong to illegally withhold tens of millions from HMRC, why should we expect them to think there is an issue with this? It is arrogance beyond belief.

  33. This is the same team that played a friendly/closed door game earlier in the season without the testing results available before game time. Perhaps another club should produce a dossier on the actions of the SFA, play it up as an explosive condemnation of the ruling body, throw out broad hints the changes that will follow the release of said dossier, etc .. Oops somebody beat them to the punch and it went nowhere.. Would be interesting to look at some of the articles for Jan/Feb last year as Celtic pulled away to see the reaction of Ranger fans at that time ..

  34. I promised incredibleadamspark that if Celtic responded to my question regarding buses to away games I would share it. See below.

    “The number of buses is wholly dependent on the number of personnel travelling to ensure compliance with the Joint Response Group’s COVID regulations. For our recent match against Ross County the Club were forced to take six buses to comply with social distancing regulations and with the match taking place at Dingwall on Sunday evening I don’t think anyone travelling wanted to use their own transport as is often the case with matches played at some of the Stadiums in the Central Belt.

    In the case of Aberdeen, they used two buses, this would have been deemed sufficient based on the numbers they had travelling and one of their coaches was a double decker so essentially had roughly the same capacity and socially distancing opportunities as three coaches, I believe that some of their staff also used their own transport.”

  35. Cluster One

    thanks for the reminder nothing ever seems to change with their fans. the celebration surrounding their first title could get quite messy and disorderly if you follow some of the thoughts/ideas posted on some of their websites .. good luck to the police on that day.

  36. Upthehoops 2nd March 2021 At 19:42

    Looks like there isn’t any issue here and the club has been very helpful in explaining the reasons and circumstances behind the travelling arrangements.

    I didn’t see the press conference you mentioned in a previous post but if Lennon was questioning this and implying Celtic were being disadvantaged then that’s really disappointing as that’s clearly not the case here. I’m guessing he would’ve known perfectly well the reasons why.

    Well done on getting a swift response from Celtic on this and thanks for posting it on here.

  37. Incredibleadamspark 3rd March 2021 At 07:19

    As I recall Lennon’s main beef was that post Dubai there were restrictions put in place regarding team buses that were not in place before they travelled. Given that there was almost a demand for public hangings by the Government and the media I am prepared to cut him some slack given the torrents of abuse that were coming his way. Wherever he is right now he must also be wondering why the same Government and media are going so easy on Rangers. There is still no news of a punishment for these five players!

  38. Upthehoops 3rd March 2021 At 08:21
    0 0 Rate This

    Incredibleadamspark 3rd March 2021 At 07:19

    Wherever he is right now he must also be wondering why the same Government and media are going so easy on Rangers. There is still no news of a punishment for these five players!
    Nor any attempts by the govt’s political rivals to create a hulllabaloo and gain some mileage out of it UTH. It’s most unlike politicians !…..It’s almost like Sevco have unofficially Giggsed it.

  39. Steven Gerrard’s latest, covid 5 treated like earlier players, same fine, same punishment, etc. Jones and Edmundson asked to go out on loan to continue playing. Would anyone in the media attempt to contact these two to see if that is actually the case. Who did the actual asking would seem to be the issue here ..They moved rather quickly if memory serves right..

  40. It surely can’t be possible that as soon as Tavernier is available again, the SFA might suspend the breaching players? Until then, it appears that TRFC need Patterson – in particular – available, to stand in at right back. I saw most TRFC fans absolutely slating Balogun (the original choice as Tavernier’s cover) for his dire first half performance in the first half of the Antwerp 2nd leg.

    I can’t believe that will happen.

  41. nawlite 28th February 2021 At 21:03

    “Upthehoops, Stewart wasn’t suspended for upsetting ‘Rangers’ he was suspended for upsetting Jim Traynor, was he not?”

    Yep and even though other people who are criticised constantly are never there to defend themselves, don’t dare rock the boat eh.

    BBC establishment Erse lickers

  42. Vernallen 3rd March 14.30.

    Both players were punished by Rangers on November 2nd 2020.

    George Edmundson joined Derby County on January 31st 2021

    Jordan Jones joined Sunderland on January 29th 2021.

    Your “moved rather quickly” comment is therefore in my opinion inaccurate.

    Steven Gerrards comments were of course made in response to Chris Suttons own inaccurate and speculative claims. Sutton in his usual uninformed manner claimed the situation “stinks of hypocrisy and double standards” and that “Edmundson and Jones will feel betrayed”.

    SGs reply in full.

    “The boys are back within the group and it’s important to say they are NOT being treated any differently to the previous two.
    “Contrary to what i’ve read in certain reports, they have been dealt with exactly the same way in terms of fines
    “They all had to self-isolate for the correct amount of time under the government guidelines. They were suspended by the club for the same amount of time and fined the exact same amount in terms of weeks wages.
    “I told them all in terms of what i thought, and that they had a second chance to play for Rangers again.
    “I think that the only difference is the two previous lads were desperate to play and wanted to go out on loan. That was their decision as much as mine. But it’s important for me to stress no one is being treated differently to anyone else. That’s important for me to get that across”.

  43. Nawlite 3rd March 15.44.

    If anyone, myself included, makes an inaccurate, in my opinion, comment then should it not be corrected or challenged?

    Is there anyone else on the forum who will do this when anything Rangers related is concerned.?

  44. I just see you automatically defending TRFC without knowing that Vernallen’s comments are inaccurate. The dates you quote are accurate, I’m sure, but that in itself doesn’t give the true context.

    Both Jones and Edmondson were still at least excluded from the TRFC group (they may well have still been suspended) by the time the January window came around. The window would of course have been the first opportunity to ‘get rid’ and TRFC took that opportunity.

    I see no need for you to defend Vernallen’s suggestion that someone in the SMSM should ask Jones or Edmondson for clarification….but as I said, that’s all you are here to do imo.

  45. Upthehoops 3rd March 2021 At 08:21

    The criticism, as I recall it anyway, towards Lennon came from many different sources and not just Government and media, including a significant number of Celtic supporters. I personally thought his response post Dubai was needlessly confrontational and utterly tone deaf. It certainly wasn’t endorsed by his employers.

    I don’t know the posts you were referring to on social media about these travel arrangements but the implication seems to be that Celtic are being singled out somehow. You certainly thought they might be. This is clearly not the case and you have proved this by contacting your club and asking a few basic questions about the situation.

    The illusion of truth can be achieved through repetition so hopefully you have put to bed any doubts people may have about Celtic’s treatment with regards to COVID travel protocol.

  46. Albertz11 3rd March 2021 At 17:09
    I don’t view the world through a blue ,or , for that matter , a green prism . My opinion is that there are massive differences between the treatment of the two cheeks this season , especially in relation to covid compliance . And , also in my opinion , certain hacks are expectorating nine years of pent up phlegm in celebration of their club’s arrival at the top . All heading in one direction .

  47. Well, that’s 8 hours of my life I’m not going to get back, watching the FM giving evidence in Parliament!

    Still, I wouldn’t have missed it because the whole business is about really fundamental matters like Truth in Government (governance) and the supposed checks and balances that are needed to be seen to be operating.

    On the party-going-5, I have to say fairly that Halliday in ‘The Scotsman’ reports that Gerrard is still waiting to learn what action the Scottish FA will take against the recent five culprits but insists Rangers have been consistent in their approach. He quotes Gerrard as follows:
    “The boys are back in the group and it’s important to say they are not being treated any differently to the previous two. They have been dealt with exactly the same in terms of fines. They all had to self-isolate… they were suspended ..for the same amount of time and fined exactly the same amount in terms of weeks’ wages……….It’s important for me to stress that no one is being treated differently from anyone else.”

    But , curiously, Gerrard went on to say ” There is definitely contact between the SFA and our club. I’m not sure whether we are waiting for them or they are waiting for us, to be honest…. I’ve left it to the people who deal with these things”
    What the heck is there to keep the Compliance Officer from issuing complaints in the ordinary way, without any other contact?

  48. ALBERTZ11 3rd March 15:38

    Thank you for clarifying the time line. I still feel it would be worthwhile to ascertain if the players went voluntary or were volunteered for on loan duty. Team has form for volunteering people for resignation in the past.

  49. Incredibleadamspark 3rd March 2021 At 17:01
    0 0 Rate This

    The illusion of truth can be achieved through repetition so hopefully you have put to bed any doubts people may have about Celtic’s treatment with regards to COVID travel protocol.

    I’m glad you said ‘travel’ protocol, given that Celtic were fined £30k by the SFA for a player breaching Covid rules, who also received a three match ban. Add to that the First Minister ordered that Celtic have two matches postponed as a punishment for something the club knew nothing about and acted upon as soon as they knew. Meanwhile those five Rangers players and Rangers themselves go untouched by the same people. Such discrimination does not have a good look to it.

  50. I’ve just been reading Lord Tyre’s 24-page decision (reported on 16th February on the ‘Court of Session Judgments’ page) in the ‘malicious prosecution’ Hearing of David Grier v The Lord Advocate .

    At Para 45 , the Judge says:
    “It appears to me to follow from the decision of the court that, on an objective assessment, there was no
    “case fit to be put into court”. Nothing further is relied upon in the defences, and I
    accordingly hold that there is no relevant defence pled to the pursuer’s case that the
    prosecution was initiated and continued in the absence of reasonable and probable cause”

    In para 46, the Judge says
    “.It is acknowledged by the pursuer [that is, Grier] that a finding of absence of reasonable and
    probable cause does not necessarily imply that the prosecution was malicious, and that, at
    least on the law as currently understood, the pursuer will require to prove malice before his
    claim for damages can succeed…
    Dates have been reserved for a proof before answer, but before pronouncing any interlocutor I will put the case out by order in order that parties may address me on any matters arising from this opinion”
    The case was indeed put out ‘by order’ to be heard on 25 February – I missed that [if it was held ‘virtually’], and so far there is no ‘judgment’ or report on what may have transpired at the Hearing, assuming it was held.

    I will try to remember to look at the Rolls for sign of any further hearing or judgment.

    (I note in the passing that the opening para has this:
    [1] The pursuer is one of a number of individuals who were charged with various
    offences, including conspiracy to defraud, in connection with the acquisition in 2011 by a
    company controlled by Mr Craig Whyte of a controlling shareholding in Rangers Football
    Club plc (“the Club”).2]
    No mention of any ‘holding company’ being purchased!! It was the football club that was bought, and allowed to run into Administration by Whyte, and left to sink into Liquidation by its Administrators.
    There is absolutely no getting away from that, whatever ‘prism’ may be used!]

  51. Upthehoops 3rd March 2021 At 19:04

    Obviously I wrote ‘Covid travel protocol’ because that is what we were discussing. False narratives, like the one you read elsewhere and brought to our attention, can become accepted all too easily if not questioned. I think you’ve done the correct thing in writing to your club for clarification and perhaps you will now revisit these social media sites and share your information to clear up any inaccuracies. I hope so.

    I don’t think all COVID breaches are the same and punishments will vary, to put it mildly. Players attend a party and get a 7 game ban. Players attend a party and do not get banned, Players go out and fail to socially distance, catch Coronavirus and get 3 match bans, suspended until the end of the season. A player jets off to Spain, fails to tell anyone or quarantine, is then involved in a match and receives a 3 game ban with a further 2 suspended until the end of the season. And on and on and on…..

    And the fines….. Aberdeen and Celtic were fined £30,000 (£8,000 to SPFL Trust the rest suspended until the end of the season), Killie and St Mirren were fined £40,000 (suspended until end of season) then reduced on appeal to £20,000 (£10,000 suspended until end of the season) and there may be more…..

    Dundee Utd pose for team photo days before a COVID outbreak at the club and do not get punished.

    Celtic go to Dubai…. we all know what happens next

    Matches have been postponed, rearranged, teams have been given 3-0 walkovers then those walkovers have been reversed…..

    Basically it’s all a bit of an omnishambles and the apparent inconsistencies in punishments make fertile breeding ground for the predictable conspiracies.

  52. SPFL & SFA with decisions to make. If I was a betting man I suspect Dumferline will know their punishment sooner than the Rangers Covid – 5. And, to muddy the waters we have the Liverpool gentlemen swearing at a referee ( apparently caught by the TV mikes), what will befall him in regards to punishment.

  53. Incredibleadamspark 3rd March 2021 At 20:58

    Basically it’s all a bit of an omnishambles and the apparent inconsistencies in punishments make fertile breeding ground for the predictable conspiracies.


    I also think Rangers missed an incredible PR opportunity here. The league is done and dusted and has been for a while. If they had banned the players themselves then subsequent action by the SFA was a simple paper exercise. Instead Rangers have been allowed to control the entire narrative and are now freely playing these players, while the SFA say nothing. It really is quite appalling at best and looks downright biased at worst.

    This does not surprise me at all, and you will no doubt disagree, but specifically the notable differences in treatment of Celtic and Rangers over covid breaches by the media, the SFA, and the Scottish Government show that deep rooted attitudes in Scotland remain.

  54. Paddy Malarkey 3rd March 17.42.

    I quoted a former contributor Paddy. You may not view the world through a blue prism but many on the site do. For example Steven Gerrard’s red card last night was commented on within a few hours, whereas Motherwell manager Graham Alexander was red carded and yellow carded in successive games without as much as a mention on here.
    St Mirren commission a ” forensic review of it’s operations” after possible financial irregularities came to light during their annual audit.
    Aberdeen apply for a Government crisis loan.
    Dundee United request help from their Supporters Foundation for the second time in seven months.
    Not one of the above came in for any monitoring.
    Can you honestly say that had it been Rangers involved there would a similar level of noninterest?.

  55. Absolutely fair points, Albertz, and your final question is undoubtedly pertinent. I would rate your input more highly if you took the opportunity to raise those matters for discussion at the time to see how other posters react to it. I think SFM is mature enough to discuss such issues no matter the team involved. There may be some pushback from those who follow any team concerned and if SFM’s anti-corruption stance holds firm, it might not sit well with those fans if they feel unsupported. Overall, though, I agree those are the sort of things that should be commented on here.

  56. Just in, in the lunchtime post: a reply dated 3rd March from the Lord Advocate’s office to my letter to him of 11 February 2021. (Well done to their correspondence unit- a reply within 3 weeks is pretty good going for a relatively small government department with probably a very small ‘administrative’ as opposed to legal staff)

    The reply is short enough for me to give the text in full, as below:

    “Dear Sir or Madam ,
    Thank you for your letter of 11 February 2021 to the Lord Advocate. Your correspondence has been passed to this unit for consideration.

    The Lord Advocate’s statement to the Scottish Parliament on 9 February 2021 concerned malicious prosecution. During the statement the Lord Advocate commented on several matters including the prosecution process in these cases and the costs in terms of damages paid to the pursuers. The acquisition, administration and liquidation of Rangers FC has been well documented in many other forums.

    The Lord Advocate made clear in his statement of 9 February, and during the opposition debate on 10 February, his commitment to ongoing public accountability in respect of these matters.

    I hope this is helpful.
    Yours faithfully,
    X.Y.( but not signed]
    Head of Litigation & Inquiry team ”

    Not quite sure quite why mention is made of the prosecution process and costs in terms of damages: I never mentioned such stuff! ( Perhaps the Whitehouse/Clarke damages and the Salmond pay-out are pressing on COPFS minds currently?]
    However, a statement such as ‘ The acquisition , administration and liquidation of RANGERS FC (my block letters] has been well documented in many other forums’ serves me well, as being a proper lawyer’s understanding that it was the FOOTBALL CLUB that was liquidated, with no wriggling , farcical nonsense about it having been a ‘holding company’ that lost its membership of the SFA!

    I’m quite pleased with that result and will, whenever necessary ,cite the Lord Advocate as my authority.

  57. I see last night a significant number of Rangers fans gathered outside the ground and let off fireworks, which required the intervention of Fire and Police Officers, as well as social distancing laws being broken. I have a picture of it but can see no way to post it on the forum. The point is that yet again there is media and Scottish Government silence. The double standards are all too obvious. Just wait until the planned mass breaches once the league is won, even though tier 4 restrictions specifically prohibit it. Perhaps the Scottish Government will put it in the ‘understandable’ category.

    • Yes indeed Nawlite. A very rude response to what was a supportive post I thought. Removed.

  58. Albertz11 4th March 2021 At 10:44
    I know you quoted another poster on the subject , but , at the end of the day , it’s just somebody else’s opinion that you’re propagating , and not one that I agree with . I think the demographics of the site dictate the responses , and that the major prisms are blue , green , red and maroon , in that order . Nothing wrong with that , people should be fighting their corner . If you think the subjects you mention were worthy of further scrutiny , why not post on them yourself ? Smacks to me of whitabootery .

  59. Thoughts , anybody , on the firework display that halted the game last night ? Livi fans with Sunday’s unused celebratory rockets ? 55th minute ?

  60. Still nothing on the Covid 5, but, Morelos’s yellow card on the agenda tomorrow.. One is fast tracked the other moves at glacial speed. Maybe they are hoping out of sight out of mind.. Based on comments on Ranger blogs and forums, I think the fireworks are a low level showing of bigger things to come. Would be best to stay at home when the fun starts..

  61. I still can’t understand why there has been no punishment for the 5 Rangers players. 7 match bans were handed out to the last Rangers players to break COVID protocols so what’s the difference this time?

    As for Morelos yellow card I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s overturned. Having watched it a few times there is definitely contact but he does go down way too easily. Reckon it could go either way and that’s probably the correct decision, if that makes any sense?

  62. paddy malarkey 4th March 2021 At 21:16
    Who sells fireworks in March?

  63. Cluster One 5th March 2021 At 17:07
    People with something to celebrate ? I’m thinking you must be aged like me and don’t fully understand the attraction of fireworks and other pyros and smoke bombs . It may be a youth thing .

  64. On the BBC national news at 6pm tonight

    Sophie Raworth refered to (The) Rangers on the brink of first title in 10 years (sic) after coming back from, not liquidation but, “financial” liquidation.



  65. Paddy Malarkey 5th March 2021 At 17:42
    Your link to the SFA disciplinary page .
    I don’t see any mention of the party-going Covid-19 rule-breaking chaps.
    Apart from anything else, it means that the email I sent at 17.33 this evening was not supererogatory!
    Here is what I sent :
    “Dear First Minister,
    I heard you say that you would be at Hampden Park to cheer Scotland on IF it became safe to lift the present covid-19 restrictions on pubic gatherings before the upcoming European Championship games.

    One would have thought that the Scottish football Association would by now have issued due punishment to the 5 party-going players of The Rangers Football Club who, three weeks after their serious breach of the restrictions, have still not had a complaint raised against them by the Compliance Officer.

    Are there special circumstances which require some kind of negotiation between the Compliance Officer and the new Club before the Compliance Officer is free to exercise his independent duty?

    If professional footballers, openly and publicly known to have breached the covid-19 rules, are not penalised under their Governance body’s rules ( especially given the fact that Governance body was granted special privileges by the Scottish Government in order that football could continue at all) why the heck should anyone else at all keep the rules ?

    If those 5-and their club- get special treatment, all the verbiage in the world from you and your medical advisers will be seen to be mere hot air, and not to be taken seriously.
    And the possibility that you will be able to attend a match at Hampden will be even more remote than it is today.

    Yours in some concern,
    me ..”

  66. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/56298459
    From Mr Gerrard’s response –
    “After the game, I immediately apologised for my part in the incident at half-time.

    “We expect to have the ability for managers and officials to have discussion, but frustratingly, the referee was not forthcoming. This has also been noted by other managers in recent weeks.

    “After my apology post match, I expected the referee to call to apologise for his part in the incident but I didn’t hear from him.”
    A manager breaks the rules by confronting match officials on the field of play , breaks them again by swearing at said officials , and expects an apology ? What prism makes viewing that acceptable ?

  67. Albertz11 5th March 2021 At 20:02
    ‘..Compliance process ongoing John. 0.25 in.’
    Thank you for that, Albertz11: I had not seen that clip -is it within the last day or so ? Or longer ago?

    Whatever, the first place that I go to see what the SFA is doing is the official site of the SFA. It is on there that they should communicate to the football public at least at the same time as they communicate by other means.

    Interviews with particular sectors of the media, or messages on any of the modes of communication commonly referred to as ‘social media’ , are likely to be missed by those who cannot ,or who choose not to, use ‘social media’ or who do not access those particular sectors of the MSM.
    I had checked the ‘disciplinary’ update on the SFA site a very short while before I sent my email. There was no mention of the covid-5.
    If I had seen that Sky interview I would have been content to learn that it was under consideration.
    That kind of ‘communications policy ‘ weakness in the SFA really needs to be looked at, I think
    It may be that fears of being seen to interfere with the independence of the Compliance Officer lies at the bottom of it.
    I can understand such fears.

    But where the world and his wife are aware that there has been a breach of not only ‘rules’ of the SFA and the SPFL relating to the pandemic but of national public health rules, mechanisms should be such that the Compliance Officer is made aware by the SFA board/CEO that there is something to be looked at; and the rest of us should be told that they have done so!

    There will now be some official in the FM’s office having to check , sooner or later, with some other more senior official about the terms of the reply they now have to make my email, when they might both have other more pressing replies to make to much more important persons than I, and on much more important business than football!

  68. Steve Gerrard looking forward to replacing the 54 with a 55 at Ibrox. Will this 55 have an asterisk with an underlined reference to the EBT years. Also an old Liverpool buddy makes reference to Gerrard staying and filling Ibrox with trophy laden years. With 12 trophies in play for the last three years he has won one, how many years at that pace will it take to fill the trophy room at Ibrox. One area I have difficulty in understanding is how suspensions/bans are offered, you can have two games now and two more maybe down the road. Having played semi pro sport, with a governing body in place, if a suspension was warranted, it wasn’t offered it was given in no uncertain terms, and ran its full term. If you have a suspension policy in place it must be black and white.

  69. Albertz11 5th March 2021 At 22:55
    ‘..As far as i know it was today John.’
    Thanks for that: I’ve just this minute read Cluster One’s post of 22.44!
    And I think I am confirmed in my view that the SFA’s PR department really has to get a grip!
    What Maxwell had to say was of interest not just to Sky sport or whatever, but to every citizen of this country never mind football fans.
    God Almighty, if Maxwell had put that statement on the SFA official site he might have saved himself from my criticism.
    I don’t criticise for the sake of it, ffs.

  70. Bigboab1916

    What part of the infraction does Gerrard not understand?

    He verbally abuses an official (twice) who then does his job (twice).

    That’s what he got done for!!!

  71. A bit late to the Covid 5 debate so apologies if any of this has been covered before! I have issue with both the SFA and my own club with this.

    Firstly, I don’t see why there is not a three tier punishment system within the SFA covering breaches from minimal “silly boy” lapses of judgement up to serious breaches of protocol. With the punishments then ranging from a fine and 2 match ban, to a 6 match ban and bigger fine and finally a 12 match ban and large fine for either dangerous serious breaches, or multiple offences. This way the only question would ever be which category to put the offender in and could be done much quicker.

    Secondly, I am not happy with how my own club have acted here. It’s often forgotten how serious this could have been. Were the players not to have got caught, picked up Covid and took it to training the following day our entire season could have been derailed! We would have either had to take youths to Europe or forfeit it. We may have also lost some games in the SPFL and started a spiral. The impact this could have had doesn’t bear thinking about. As a result I would have rather seen us absolutely hammer them as a warning to others. Yet because we needed Paterson it seems they were let of lightly in comparison to Jones and Edmundson. This isn’t a good look for the club as it shows that a Greg Stewart will likely be sacked yet a Morelos or a Goldson will get a slap on the wrist. What happened to “no one is bigger than the club”? Well those 5 put our club at risk and had next to no punishment.

    The only area I may come back and retract the above is if, as some rumours have suggested, they were only meeting with people inside their own bubble. This is still a breach (I.e the lowest of my proposed SFA punishments appointed) but not as bad as I have suggested. Either way there has been no transparency from either the league or the club to state why said punishments were appointed.

    • DBD
      Your tier system is interesting. Perhaps too sensible for the authorities to pick up on.
      What I don’t understand about the Rangers Five case is why is it necessary, given the league situation, to do nothing. With the players involved, it seems to me that their absence will do no significant damage on the field.
      And still the lack of reaction from other clubs who have suffered swifter judgments for (ostensibly) similar offences compounds the puzzle further.

  72. Paddy, I wonder how much of this had to do with SG’s comments yesterday about everyone having to understand how TRFC fans are feeling. Tbf, he does say they should respect the Covid rules, but the rest of it is mealy mouthed and certainly seems worded in such a way as to allow fans to take the message as it’s okay to party however you like.

    ‘We all have to continue to try and abide by the rules and respect social distancing. I know a lot of rumours are going about but my job is to focus on the game and try and get three points. People have to understand the situation our fans are in and what they’ve been through and the priority is that they stay safe. The fans are the priority here and we totally understand and we can certainly relate to how they’re feeling at the moment. We know there’s a real excitement and rightly so. We want them to really enjoy this time and really revel in the moment.”

    For me, comments like “The fans are the priority here” and “We want them to….really revel in the moment” are unnecessary and potentially dangerous. I hadn’t seen any organising of this type of party before his comments…or, tbf, since. Will the FM comment on this or avoid it like she has the Covid5?

  73. Bet67 6th March 11.34

    Pity he never done his job in the first place.
    Had he correctly awarded a penalty then Steven Gerrard would have had no reason to enter the field of play.
    Had he arranged to explain his decision at half-time, as he did with Derek McInnes the previous month, then there would have been no reason for Steven Gerrard to use foul language.

  74. Darkbeforedawn 6th March 13.28

    Agree with you 100% but as BP said way too sensible for the authorities.
    I can confirm that it was the partners of the players concerned who were also in attendance on this occasion which was certainly not the case with Edmundson & Jones.

  75. Albertz, you’re right to an extent. It was definitely a penalty given the contact which is clear when viewing replays, but looking at it with non-TRFC blinkers on, I can genuinely see why it might not be given in real time. Morelos is already leaping over the onrushing keeper when the contact is made and the angle of his body in that leap (chest and head well ahead of his feet) makes it look like a diving position, rather than a jumping position to avoid the keeper and reach the ball. In real time, I can see why it might be seen as a dive.

  76. Albertz, in your reply to DBD, you say you can confirm it was partners only. I’m not sure how? While it could well be true, unless you were there are you taking what you have read as fact?

  77. Nawlite 6th March 14.19

    This was arranged through various social media platforms during the week and before Steven Gerrards comments.
    No different to the Celtic fans outside Hampden in the recent SCF.

  78. Nawlite 6th March 15.05.

    Was told of the incident very early the following morning, players involved were correctly identified along with the location, which was the residence of one of the 5.I have no reason to doubt any other information given including the identity of the others present. Person who told has no allegiance to Rangers whatsoever.
    Can’t really say much more than this Nawlite.

  79. Thanks, Albertz. Hadn’t seen any comments re this morning’s event – no reason why I would, of course. Fair enough re the Covid5, thanks.

  80. Nawlite 6th March 15.03

    I once had a conversation with a current top referee who explained why they occasionally get it wrong. Not having the correct angle to view an incident, player/players crossing the line of vision at a vital moment, history of the player involved can subconsciously also play a part, which may be relevant in the Morelos incident.
    Steven Gerrard did say that he could have gone with one person making a mistake but not three.

  81. Albertz11 6th March 2021 At 14:50
    Had he correctly awarded a penalty then Steven Gerrard would have had no reason to enter the field of play.
    No matter the reason, he should have not entered the field of play. There is a little line drawn around the managers dug out for a reason

  82. In terms of the massive Covid breaches at Ibrox today with thousands of fans outside I am under no illusions that if Celtic had got the ten this season, then similar issues would have occurred without a doubt. However, there are various videos and photographs on social media of Rangers players and management doing nothing to discourage these breaches, and actually encouraging them. If the Government and Police don’t come down hard on this then we face possible carnage at Celtic Park in two weeks time. It’s time they grew a pair, because right now it seems one group of players and their management, and one group of fans can do what they like, It’s no surprise to me having grown up in Scotland that they are getting a free pass, but if there is serious social disorder in two weeks they can’t say they were not warned. Idiots exist everywhere, and if enough Rangers minded idiots gather at Celtic park in two weeks, then there is a good chance there will be enough Celtic minded idiots arriving to tell them where to go. Rangers should be held accountable for this, because it is a fact they encouraged it.

  83. Upthe hoops 6th March 22:27

    Wouldn’t it be ironic due the actions of Sevco/Ranger fans in their celebration of their first title caused UEFA, who appear to have no problems in making decisions regarding Covid, unlike the SFA take the Euro games from Scotland causing more financial hardship for the SFA. Celtic fans may not be immune to this if they decide to go head to head with Sevco fans at Parkhead. Both groups cannot see the forest for the trees. What will the FM do if there is a major spike in Covid cases in and around Glasgow due to today’s and, what appears to be a largely maskless gathering. Is not statement time again.

  84. Vernallen 6th March 2021 At 22:51

    I think a significant number of Rangers fans (not all of course), would be delighted if their actions meant UEFA taking away the Hampden games. They hate the SFA.

  85. Albertz11 6th March 2021 At 15:40
    I’ve been told by someone in the game that there’s no way Stevie G should have expected a conversation wit the ref within reach of pitch microphones . Vrey unprofessional , he said .

  86. Upthehoops 6th March 2021 At 22:27
    ‘..if Celtic had got the ten this season, then similar issues would have occurred without a doubt. ‘
    But what would be the Police Scotland reaction? Or the nature of the SMSM reporting? or TV coverage by the BBC?
    Or what would Nicola have to say?
    You got it in one!
    Something quite, quite different .

  87. No huge media condemnation this morning of what happened at Ibrox yesterday. I can only assume we will all be getting out for a pint and a meal this week as lockdown might as well be over, because yesterday was not the last of it. Let’s be quite clear here, the Rangers players and management team were actually encouraging the mass law breaking, and the media are fine with that. What we saw yesterday was far worse than Celtic players having a pint in Dubai in their own bubble, but that was almost deemed by the media to be a hanging offence. I write before Celtic play today, so the league may officially be over today. If it is then more public disorder and law breaking on a mass scale will follow. If Celtic win I dread the potential carnage outside Celtic Park in a fortnight.

  88. Criticism yesterday and today of the Rangers fans gathering outside Ibrox from Barry Ferguson, Chris Sutton, Steven Gerrard, Mark Sutherland (chief superintendent of Glasgow), Humza Yousaf (justice minister), Jason Leitch (national clinical director), SMSM, Scottish Government, Scottish Tory party, Scottish Police Federation and has been widely condemned on social media.

    I can understand the excitement but fans are idiots for behaving like this. The rules are really clear and next week could see a major disturbance as Celtic and Rangers fans, both notoriously well behaved groups, descent on Parkhead to embarrass themselves.

  89. Incredibleadamspark 7th March 2021 At 11:48

    I have not seen a level of viciousness from anyone like the way Celtic were attacked. As for Gerrard, he was encouraging it, as were his players. Also, there should have been arrests made for lawbreaking, Different rules for Rangers and their fans. I want to go for a pint and a meal this week. If Rangers fans and players can do as they please, we should all be able to.

    I am under no illusion that if Celtic had won the league the same thing would have happened, however in this case Rangers are condoning it by their actions. I sincerely hope they are paid a visit by Police this week and warned about their future conduct.

    As for the game at Celtic Park, I hope the Police are planning on setting up an exclusion zone around the stadium.

  90. It’s all too easy to view the Covid breaches yesterday through a Scottish lens. But remember clubs across the whole of Europe have seen fans do the same. I don’t recall Liverpool fans being as heavily criticised in the summer as either half of the old firm have in the media this year.

  91. Paddy Malarkey 6th March 23.31.

    I don’t believe he expected a conversation with the referee to be broadcast live to the nation Paddy, but more in line with the way Derek McInnes was accommodated by the same official the previous month.

  92. Dark before dawn 7th March 13.21

    Sorry, but the Liverpool fans were vilified in the English media for their behaviour and were also castigated by the Mayor of Liverpool. And a major difference for me – LFC were also quick to condemn and were very clear that fans should not gather. TRFC have condoned the law-breaking in no less public a fashion as Trump was the cheerleader to the mob in Washington.
    My English born wife is amazed that they feel able to do this. Being from the west of Scotland myself, I am not surprised but continue to be deeply saddened.

  93. Upthehoops 7th March 2021 At 12:59

    Can’t really see any difference in the response to the scenes at the Cup Final when a large number of Celtic fans turned up to celebrate outside. The only difference was in the colour of the scarfs and the behaviour was almost identical.

    It’s not even whataboutery merely confirmation, if anymore were needed, that both cheeks are alive and well and Scotland just has to put up with it.

  94. Incredibleadamspark 7th March 2021 At 14:24

    You are welcome to show me evidence of Celtic players and management taking part in it, Irresponsible fans do what irresponsible fans do. Rangers endorsed the behaviour yesterday.

  95. Upthehoops 7th March At 14:33

    Rangers players and management celebrated inside the stadium and waved to the supporters outside, who should not have been there in the first place. Steven Gerrard called for COVID restrictions to be respected but also said he could understand the fans reaction. That is a very long way from endorsing anything or taking part in breaking social distancing rules.

    I agree with you that irresponsible fans will do what irresponsible do and add that Celtic and Rangers have quite a large number of them within their support.

  96. Albertz11 7th March 2021 At 13:33
    Maybe he should have with live microphones around ? I didn’t see the Derek McInnes one to which you refer , ,but how many wrongs make a right ? Is that hopw we are to judge things now , whitaboot Derek McInnes ? Stevie G shouldn’t have entered the field of play to confront the officials , and he shouldn’t have verbally abused the referee regardless of whether the decision was deemed acceptable or not . My opinion is that there wasn’t enough contact to warrant a penalty and Alfredo was just being professional , so no booking .

  97. Incredibleadamspark 7th March 2021 At 14:48

    If I could post a picture on here there are fans leaning in the dressing room window. Players were engaging with them. Gerrard was leaning out the window. They were encouraging them by doing so. Every bit as bad as two guys having a pint by a poolside within their own bubble I’d say, but not drawing the same attacks from the media or the government. I guess the establishment will always go easier on their own though. I’m done, because as this article suggests, it’s not a level playing field, but then again it never has been in Scotland.

    Anyway, sticking to the football your team certainly deserved it, enjoy whatever you are doing to celebrate.

  98. Paddy Malarkey 7th March 15.11

    The same official spent time the previous month to explain a decision to Derek McInnnes.

    Why not afford Steven Gerrard the same courtesy?

    That word consistency again.

  99. Upthehoops 7th March 2021 At 16:04

    The article asks some pertinent questions but does not reach a definitive conclusion. It’s a good start for debating the issues and that is what we’ve been doing here. The 5 rangers players may yet face punishment with investigations apparently ongoing. I’ll await the reasons for the delay, and the judgement, with interest.

    I’m just not quite sure that this is an issue on a broader societal level within Scotland. Possibly just the football authorities being a bit rubbish.

  100. incredibleadamspark 7th March 2021 At 11:48
    I can understand the excitement but fans are idiots for behaving like this.

    They are not fans and niether idiots they are part of social media groups hell bent on destruction and carnage all clubs have them, that’s obvious. Any decent fan would put their parents family and close friends first and not attend a super spreader event, how do fans know where the meetings are taking place to attend. Today flares threw over the wall at Tannadice, Last week fireworks and crowd on the wall in attendance acknowledged bt team at end. Yesterday full attendance at Ibrox and today Bridgeton and Glasgow green with police in heavy number all down Gallowgate, all for the so called fans.
    When we speak of genuine fans we do not include them in with these fans, you buy rockets and set out to attend a super spreader then you are not a fan and you are clearly not giving a fcuk about anyone regards Covid.

  101. Some interesting items in the media today. We have the oft repeated line of being demoted in 2012, apparently writers love that angle. And, the undefeated season, is he referring to just the league or the compete season. Shame on St,Mirren raining on their parade. I would look for a lapse in standards on Thursday as the euphoria of finally winning something and a few days of celebration lead to some taking their eye off the prize. A short week of preparation maybe only Tuesday for a full workout and a travel day Wednesday could make for an interesting outcome.

  102. After watching what has gone today, how it has been facilitated by the Police, added to the very weak statement from the First Minister, it is as clear as day that certain groups enjoy special treatment in Scotland. Has anything really changed over the decades?

    I think tomorrow I will go and have a haircut in the morning. Then I will take my wife out to lunch. In the afternoon I will pop into the pub for a couple of pints. Perhaps I will just meet up with a lot of friends from different households without facemasks on as that is clearly allowed now, or perhaps I will just realise I can’t do any of that because it’s against the law right now. Tomorrow the Police will be fining people for breaking lockdown, but if anyone wants to get way with it, just put a Rangers scarf on and it will be fine.

      • To be honest I can’t grudge Rangers fans the crowing that is going on. That’s expected, and acceptable. The stuff that makes the shoe on the other foot so satisfying too.
        But the breaches of regulations are a self entitlement step too far – as is the fact that the QE A&E is at the moment bursting with folk suffering from injuries sustained at the celebrations.
        I do understand how difficult it is to enforce these kinds of laws, but the sensible folk amongst football fandom can stay at home and still be over the moon when their team is successful.

  103. It is only fair that I point out the First Minister has now issued a far more strongly worded statement.

    Nicola Sturgeon
    I share folks’ anger at this. Everyone has made so many sacrifices in the past year & seeing a minority risk our progress is infuriating & disgraceful. It is deeply unfair to the entire country, and the police have a hard enough job already. Please ask fans to go home

  104. Big Pink 7th March 2021 At 19:41

    Crowing is part of being a fan. I have already said that if Celtic had won the league the same problems with crowds gathering would have happened. However, the Police response to yesterday and today’s gatherings were inadequate in my view, and basically facilitated the celebrations. As someone pointed out on Twitter the Police cancelled a planned celebration by Celtic fans in 2019 due to safety concerns, but are allowing all this to go on. How much is it costing into the bargain, and Rangers have done nothing to discourage it. Glad to see the First Minister has finally decided to stop stop tip-toeing around them.

    • UTH
      The brain dead walk among us all to a greater or lesser extent. What is troubling is that the recklessness has infected not just the halfwits within the fan group, but the players and management also- if the reports of the behaviour of players and management at Ibrox on Saturday are true. Common sense would have been to take a dignified step back and do their celebrating on camera at Celtic Park in a fortnight.

      As someone said earlier, the responsible approach taken by Liverpool last year was a good benchmark. Silence would have been less effective, but still sensible. Joining in though is poor.
      Unless of course there is agreement that celebrating a single trophy win takes precedence over a disease that has claimed the lives of over 7000 Scottish citizens.

  105. UTH 7th March 19.58.

    Should point out that several announcements were made today at Ibrox over the PA System asking fans to return home.

  106. Big Pink 7th March 2021 At 20:15

    Did the players and management join in though? They celebrated, somewhat prematurely, inside Ibrox, waved and fist pumped as a large group of fans celebrated outside. I honestly don’t see a problem with that.

    The problem is those fans who travelled to Ibrox and other parts of Glasgow. They have been rightly condemned by politicians, police, media and on social media. Fines and arrests are happening. These people are completely reckless and are making a difficult situation even worse.

  107. IAS
    As I said, if reports were true. Perhaps they didn’t meet fans at the gates and accept scarves a la lap pf honour style?
    Any encouragement at all is problematic though and I very much do have a problem with that. Perhaps though the stories and pictures are inaccurate.

  108. Albertz11 7th March 2021 At 17:00
    On the pitch at half time ? Couldn’t wait until the ref came off the park ? If McInnes entered the fields of play and swore at the ref , he deserves sanction as well . Link ? I haven’t seen it ti
    to judge if it’s the same or similar .

  109. Incredibleadamspark, I would have to disagree. Surely, you can see that opening the stadium doors to allow that unlawful gathering to see that the players and officials appreciated them being there was wrong and would clearly be taken as encouragement for further unlawful gatherings. Similarly, opening the dressing room windows to join in with chants and positively acknowledge the fans for being there did likewise. Also, as I posted earlier, SG’s comments on Friday about really wanting the fans to “revel in the moment”; that the fans took priority and that people should understand if the fans misbehaved ALL helped trigger the Saturday events imo, whereupon the club’s behaviour then triggered the unlawful gatherings today. Poor from Rangers imo.

  110. Big Pink 7th March 2021 At 20:39

    I don’t see why the pictures or videos of the players would be inaccurate but what stories are you referring to? Maybe there is something I’ve missed or I’m unaware of.

  111. Big Pink 7th March 2021 At 20:15

    Celtic Park in two weeks is now the worry. There is already a social media campaign for Celtic fans to be there in numbers to greet the players arriving. Rangers fans have had a long standing intention to march in numbers from Bridgeton Cross to the stadium. The Police facilitated today’s march and have made a rod for their own back by being so soft. It’s worth saying the Celtic fans plans are based only on the fact ‘they can get away with it, so why can’t we!’ Some hard thinking for the Government and the Police is required to avoid trouble.

  112. Nawlite 7th March 2021 At 20:47

    No. That looks like police officers and members of the public being put in an impossible situation by a large group of Rangers fans. Basically they should be ashamed of themselves.

  113. Upthehoops 7th March 2021 At 20:49

    If Celtic fans chose to assemble en masse at Parkhead then that is their own choice and they are entirely to blame for that. I can’t get my head around why that might be someone else’s fault. Rangers fans are being rightly criticised for their actions so why would Celtic fans not be to blame for arranging that?

  114. IAP 7th March 20.35.

    Agree with the condemnation of supporters flouting the rules, however the Scottish Government led by the First Minister has had more than enough time to plan for this inevitability in conjunction with Rangers FC, Police Scotland, Glasgow City Council etc.
    Having said that she will probably have forgotten about it tomorrow.
    Serious point being did no-body see this coming. If so, then why not?.
    In reply to Paddy Malarkey on the 4th i alluded to a foretaste of what was to come, Paddy agreed, so if we can see it, then why didn’t anyone in a position of power?.

  115. Upthehoops 7th March 2021 At 20:49

    Any fan that chooses to travel to Parkhead on that day is personally responsible for their actions. It’s very easy to look elsewhere for blame but both sets of fans need to behave themselves. I really hope it passes without incident but I’m not optimistic. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

  116. Incredibleadamspark 7th March 2021 At 21:15

    Of course Celtic fans assembling are responsible for their own actions, and personally I think it would be idiotic. I am merely pointing out they have watched the Police treat Rangers fans with kid gloves and are using it as an excuse. It’s worth noting that in 2019 Police Scotland cancelled a Celtic treble treble party on safety grounds. Yet in the middle of a tier 4 lockdown and a global pandemic they basically just wave the Rangers fans through. I’m really glad there is nothing unsafe about it all.

  117. IAS 7th March 21.20

    If any supporter chooses to travel to Celtic Park then they must be held responsible for their actions and suffer any consequences of their decision to flout the lockdown rules.
    Both clubs should also unite to make their position on any gathering crystal clear.
    Like you i am not optimistic at all.

  118. There can be no excuse for the scenes at George Square tonight. I shrugged off yesterday and to an extent this afternoon as football fans doing what football fans do. But to extend it for 8 hours is pretty much rubbing it in the faces of everyone else who is abiding by the lockdown rules. Not a good look.

    I do hope there are better measures put in place for the Old Firm game in a fortnight as you can be sure fans from both sides will attend and it could get nasty ?

  119. Upthehoops 7th March 2021 At 21:30

    I’m not sure the two situations are comparable. Are you referring to the open top bus parade? If you are, that was an organised event and thousands of fans gathered on Saltmarket and Gallowgate and spilled onto the road. They were asked to move for safety reasons, refused to do so, meaning the bus could not pass and the parade was subsequently rerouted.

    The Rangers fans gathered outside Ibrox and other locations in a disorganised and unofficial way making it very difficult, if not down right impossible to police.

    The only thing these events had in common was the stupidity of the fans involved.

  120. Darkbeforedawn 7th March 2021 At 21:56

    Agreed. These fans need to have a word with themselves. Disgraceful scenes in Glasgow.

  121. It’s not the platform to debate wherever right or wrong, only to point out that all the recent anti lockdown marches have been met by a far more severe police response than today. It really shows the ineptitude of the police. They will show a heavy hand to a few hundred people but run a mile from tens of thousands.

  122. Both clubs should put out a joint statement making their feelings crystal clear regarding any potential gathering outside Celtic Park on the 21st.

  123. Albertz11 7th March 2021 At 17:00



    Rate This

    Paddy Malarkey 7th March 15.11

    The same official spent time the previous month to explain a decision to Derek McInnnes.

    Why not afford Steven Gerrard the same courtesy?

    That word consistency again.
    Maybe the ref was repromanded for that and told not to do it again,and stick to the rules, hence his reluctance to engage with Mr Gerrard

  124. In the city/province where I live gatherings of 10 people or more in a residence result in $1,000 fines/tickets handed out by the police. We don’t have to rely on police to watch over large gatherings as our health officials have been straight forward on what is tolerated and what is not tolerated. Our area has very low numbers of covid infection and a gradual return to normal is slowly coming. The scenes from Glasgow are very disappointing and with “plans” of a march to Parkhead in two weeks surely the police, Sevco/Rangers can speak out about such a scene. Or failing this the government can step up with a stringent lock down and deny people any outside access. Time will tell what impact these gatherings have on anyone involved as in most cases the virus surfaces within 10 to 14 days. Good luck to your hard pressed NHS should the numbers spike.

  125. Upthehoops 7th March 2021 At 20:49
    ‘.. The Police facilitated today’s march and have made a rod for their own back..’
    Clearly, any rules in relation to Covid restrictions and the enforcement of such rules were forgotten about.

    Wimpish , with the emphasis on ‘pish’ , statements about a few arrests and some on the spot fines are a very very poor reflection on Police Scotland’s willingness to deal with one substantial section of Scottish society.

    I’m an old man.
    I’ve seen it all before.

  126. Suppose the video under the bridge was just a bunch of guys taking their drums for a walk. No big deal eh.

  127. “They’re not allowed to, But how can we stop them?”!


    Now far be it for me to instruct a braided cap police officer how to do his job, but it is for the people of Scotland to tell him that if he can't keep our streets safe, then he is not fit for purpose, and should be immediately "resigned"

  128. So the Scottish Government claim they warned Rangers weeks ago about all of this happening, asked them to take proactive action to try and stop it, but Rangers ignored it. There are also more videos appearing on social media of Rangers players packed in a car, with no masks on, and windows down interacting with fans. This is on top of the interactions with fans on Saturday. If clubs have to take several buses to games by law, why are they freely allowed to do this? They are now going to travel out the country this week. Surely they should be getting ordered to self-isolate whether that affects their European tie or not?

    When I think that Celtic as a club were almost put up for public hanging regarding Dubai, why is the same not happening here? Idiot, irresponsible fans do what they please, and they are not the only fans who would have acted in that way. However there is an arrogance about Rangers that their mealy mouthed statement today does nothing to dispel. I remember David Murray once bragging they were the biggest institution in the country bar the Church of Scotland. It certainly looks like that attitude still prevails, and yesterday showed they and their fans have the power to do whatever they please, and neither the Police or Government can stop them. They appear to be above the law.

    This is not bitterness over them winning the league. They were the best team by a huge distance and my team deserved nothing. I have been impressed by their tactics and organisation and they are more than worthy winners. This is bitterness over lockdown possibly being set back for weeks. A lockdown many of us have tried hard to stick to, and that will also include many Rangers fans. Today, many of those involved yesterday will be in the workplace, they will be meeting friends, and their family, and they could not care less about the potential consequences of that. It has also become clear this morning via anecdotal evidence that several large house gatherings took place. I imagine that will have been replicated in many other towns and cites. I fear the post-Christmas spikes will have nothing on what is coming, and it can only be hoped the number of vaccinations carried out already may help to mitigate that.

  129. With the potential for problems (another unlawful gathering AND violence) and the fact that the upcoming derby match is effectively a dead rubber anyway, does anyone think the game should be cancelled? If it is cancelled, that would probably have to mean the season overall is ended now.

    Could the SFPL handle it better than they did at the end of 2019-20? Premiership top 4 for European places looks settled already. At the bottom, could last season’s Points Per Game approach work. The bottom 3 are adrift to an extent while the Championship top 5 have a clear gap to 6th. Could they allow a playoff approach where Bottom 3 and Championship top 5 play to settle 1 or 2 promotion/relegation spots?

    Accept that Leagues 1 & 2 haven’t played enough to merit promotion/relegation?

  130. Nawlite 8th March 2021 At 13:20

    As many people have pointed out, the Police can easily close off areas of the city when they believe there is a risk to public safety. It was pointed out this morning by a MSP that George Square has quite easily been closed off in the past, Instead the party was facilitated by the Police to get to George Square. It does not help when videos appear of Police Officers joining in with ‘The Bouncy’ or when they pose for pictures with fans. All of this stuff just takes me back to dark times when there were places allocated either at the front or the back of the bus depending on which foot you kicked with. We have repeatedly been assured in Scotland this no longer exists, and of course it doesn’t in an official sense. However, one entity being regarded as superior over all others for over a century is not an easy thing to change. Yesterday was more evidence of that.

  131. Upthehoops march 8th 13:11

    Wasn’t another football team taken to task for a number of their players travelling to games and practices in violation of covid rules. What further evidence is required of this disregard from rules starting with the manager sitting in a car in close proximity to another person in the same vehicle, both without a mask. If you had dropped in on any of the Sevco/Rangers forum you had numerous fans boasting of being drunk and calling in a “sickie” on Monday. Thankfully they may have presented further spread than those who gathered in George Square.

  132. Albertz11 7th March 2021 At 17:00
    Derek McInnes entered the field of play to confront the referee and they had their conversation there , within reach of the pitchside microphones ? If that’s what happened then there is a definite lack of consistency regarding Stevie G , but , as I wrote , I never saw that incident and you haven’t provided a link , so I’ll need to take your version as gospel . Do you think the players who ran to the gates should be charged with bringing the game into disrepute , as some are suggesting ?

  133. I think we should have a bit of sympathy for Police Scotland . I would imagine that their numbers have been severely reduced due to covid and they would have struggled to have a more robust response to events yesterday AND keep us uninvolved yins safe . However , I think yesterday has set a bar in some people’s minds as to what is allowable even if proscribed . Whitabootery , anyone ?

  134. I wonder what the Polish authorities make of yesterday scenes of players breaching their covid bubble to interact with fans . Will Slavia Prague’s players be willing to risk their health ?

  135. Paddy Malarkey 8th March 2021 At 15:33

    Sadly I see a social media campaign for Celtic fans to turn up at 10:00hrs on 21st March to ‘protect the stadium from Rangers fans’. I really hope not enough are daft enough to take up the offer, and I fully expect that Celtic will urge fans not to come. It will be their decision if they do turn up of course, however the ready made excuse in their minds is that Rangers fans were given a free pass to do what they like (which they were without a doubt). Rangers fans have been planning a march from Bridgeton Cross to Celtic Park for some time. I would hope that Police Scotland are well prepared, have an exclusion zone in place, and officers ready in full riot gear to ensure it is not broken. The disgraceful events of the weekend are bad enough, but with two opposing groups potentially involved on the 21st it simply can’t be allowed to happen.

  136. Well, we’ve seen the ineffectiveness of Scotland’s finest.

    Will David Grier be able tomorrow to substantiate his claim that they that they may have acted ‘maliciously ‘ in the prosecution of him? From the Court Rolls last Friday:
    “LORD TYRE – T Sadler, Clerk
    Tuesday 9th March
    CA72/20 David Grier v The Lord Advocate &c ”
    I note that no precise time is given, and that’s irritating.

  137. I am impressed at the ability of the Scottish media to troll through newspapers all over the world
    to find articles supporting the Sevco/Rangers title win. However such ability to dig into issues in their own backyard go uncovered, ignored, etc. Perhaps they are looking to add to the “record list” compiled by the group from Ibrox. Anything to fill a page.

  138. Having a bit of difficulty with the user avatars folks. If yours is missing, you can go to your profile and remove, then replace your avatar. If you leave the field empty and you have a Gravatar, that will be displayed onlie.
    The problem was a plugin we’ve been using for ages has suddenly gone rogue.

    Apologies for any inconvenience.

  139. Almost a decent piece on BBC Scotland news just then. Chris McLaughlin’s report started really well referring to administration, liquidation (at this point they showed all the RIP front pages and had some Rangers fans bemoaning the loss of their club), and referred to Charles Green buying some of the assets. He then showed a clip of Charles saying something like his job was to bring Rangers back and Chris then said “and he did!”.

    Also in the introduction by the female lead, she trailed Chris’ piece by saying they would be looking at how Rangers recovered from their relegation to be title winners. I’ve emailed already to ask them to apologise for re-writing history re the ‘relegation’. It was especially pleasing to be able to use their own report of the bookmaker case to point out their lying. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-39282487

  140. Nawlite 8th March 2021 At 19:19
    ‘.. I’ve emailed already to ask them to apologise for re-writing history re the ‘relegation’.”
    Sadly, the licence-funded propagators of the lie that TRFC are Rangers of 1872 are, I’m afraid, no more likely to apologise for lying than is the Donald.
    They will, of course, reply to you, with their re-write of history in which they will trot out the party line- that it was the ‘holding company’ [of Rangers FC plc] that went into Liquidation while the football club carried on.

    The Donald was/is a buffoon and seen to be such by the rest of the world.

    The boys and girls in the upper echelons of Pacific Quay haven’t even that excuse.

    I think they are liars who are intelligent enough to know themselves to be such and choose to be such.

    which, of course, makes them not harmless buffoons but wicked people who, prepared as they have been to lie over a simple ‘sports’ matter , would obviously be well ready to lie over serious matters in politics and public life to further an agenda or hide an unpleasant truth.

    Lies from the mouths of politicians and football club directors/backers/supporters are one thing.
    Lies from the national broadcaster are something else entirely.
    The realisation that the BBC, like some gauleiter or Quisling , is ready to follow a party line and deny the truth is a bitter pill to swallow.
    But It is the insulting ABSURDITY of the lie that really gets my goat!

  141. Coincidentally, I’m now this minute listening to BBC Radio 4 where there is a pleasant wee reference to the pleasure of sitting on public benches having a wee natter with pleasant views, which we cannot now do due to covid restrictions. [There’s a guy called Paul Griffiths who goes about photographing public benches, and there was a programme about his hobby a year or so ago]
    Wonder if he has any photos of benches in George Square?

  142. The Harry/Meghan interviews aired last night in North America and I believe the same program ran today in Britain. I now have a better understanding of Rangers love of the monarchy and how it played a a part in the Murray years. Harry states in the interview that the palace/firm/institution controls the tabloid press by hosting media parties at the palace and invitations appear to be issued on the understanding that the palace’s version of events be that ending up in print. Succulent lamb in London, succulent lamb in Glasgow.

  143. Vernallen 8th March 2021 At 17:37
    ‘.. Anything to fill a page.’
    That made me smile.

    I am not any kind of journalist, but away back nearly forty years ago or so [ ( Good Lord! can it be so?] I had two trivial pieces published in different newspapers.

    When I received payment for the first one I was pleasantly surprised at
    a) receiving payment at all , and
    b) at how much I got!

    The second piece was, therefore, considerably longer!
    Every word I wrote was my own.

    I hope that times have changed.
    Because it surely cannot be the case that today’s sports journalists are paid on the same basis as I was paid then, when they simply reproduce, verbatim, lengthy ‘statements’ from football clubs, with only a few words of their own to top and tail their piece?

    Easy money, if so.
    And an absolute incentive to avoid searching questions that might get one frozen out.
    I mean, who is going to risk offending a source of easy money?
    As Wullie Shakespoke might have said “Frailty, thy name is modern [Scottish] football journalism!

    Frailty? or something darker and more venal?
    Sadly, there is no Daphne Caruana in Scotland, even when it comes to investigating and reporting a matter of sport!

  144. Vernallen 8th March 2021 At 22:44
    ‘. Succulent lamb in London, succulent lamb in Glasgow.’
    A wee while ago I took a cup of tea in to the ‘TV room’ , only to discover that Mrs C was watching the absurdity of the Winfrey show.
    I made no comment, of course.
    Like an SMSM or BBC employee I opted not offend a powerful person!

    But what a shower of lick-spittle ,self-seeking , fore-lock tugging yukkies we have controlling the ‘Press’

  145. Is this a harbinger of things to come following recent events. 501 cases of covid reported in Scotland. Time will tell but that number should serve as a stern warning to anyone making plans to meet on the 21st.

  146. I keep reading comments that much of what happened was due to ‘pent up anger’ from Rangers fans. I am genuinely puzzled as to what this means? Do they honestly believe that what happened to their club in 2012 was not the sole fault of those in charge of it then and before? I saw a man on social media who I have great respect for posting ‘to all those who kicked us when we were down, GIRUY’. It’s absolutely absurd. If they want someone to be angry at for the past decade then start with David Murray and Craig Whyte, both of whom refused to pay the tax the club was legally obliged to pay. It is nobody else’s fault.

  147. John Clark 8th March 22.31.

    Whilst the damage to the benches, accidental or otherwise is inexcusable it is important to point out that over £13,000 has been raised by Rangers fans to replace them, with any surplus going to the Anthony Nolan Charity.

  148. Why is no-one from the media, police or government speaking about these blatant covid breaches by Rangers players at the weekend? Unnecessary car sharing, no face masks, and no social distancing from strangers. This follows on from their breaches on Saturday. Yet two guys having a pint by a pool was a hanging offence.

    Oh, and the five partygoers continue to get a free pass.


  149. John Clark 8March @ 22.00

    JC, I know as well as you the thrill of being ignored or standard replied by the BBC (among others) when challenging the same club myth. The ‘relegation’ lie is much easier to disprove, given the Kinloch/Coral court case and the email I hold from the SPFL which I shared with you a while back. As a result, that is why I have challenged them on that specific lie in last night’ 6.30 news.

    “In her BBC Scotland news introduction at 18.30 on 8/3/21, the presenter trailed a piece on Rangers FC’s recovery from relegation to win this season’s title. She specifically mentioned their ‘relegation’. The unarguable fact is that Rangers were NOT relegated. You are aware of the gambler who bet that Rangers would be relegated in 2012 knowing of the impending liquidation, meaning their exclusion from the league. When Coral refused to pay out, he took them to court. He famously lost his case as the court ruled correctly that Rangers were not relegated. You are aware because the BBC reported accurately on this case here. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-39282487

    I ask that the BBC apologise publicly for lying about Rangers FC’s ‘relegation’ on an upcoming news broadcast. In future, the distinction must be clearly made between relegation and starting in the lowest tier after liquidation. It is vital that no club in future feels able to spend money they do not have to improve their chances of winning trophies (as Rangers FC did) while appearing to suffer no consequences e.g. administration and liquidation. Doing so skews any fair competition and UEFA has introduced Financial Fair Play rules to avoid this. NB Rangers FC (David Murray and Alex McLeish) admitted under oath in the series of tribunals/appeal tribunals that the use of illegal EBTs allowed them to buy “better players than they could otherwise afford”.

    If Rangers FC was ‘relegated’ it reinforces the ‘same club’ stance to which the BBC is committed, so I see why you lie about it. You can maintain your stance without the relegation lie by stating the Company and not the Club was liquidated. That lie sits easier with most ‘same club’ adherents. Relegation is a very easy lie to dispel, so you must apologise.

    If I am dissatisfied with your reply., I will raise this lie with Ofcom.

  150. Well, I have just listened to the Grier v The lord Advocate hearing. It began at 10.05 and finished at about 12.35. The phone link was not the best but I heard most of what was said.

    The most interesting thing was that Lord Tyre apologised for not having been aware of an earlier binding judgment at the time he issued his decision on 16 February last. Mr Moynihan QC for the defender hastily took the blame for not having drawn that previous judgment [which I think was ‘Craig v Peebles’ but I may have got my scribbles mixed up) to his Lordship’s attention.

    Apart from that , the proceedings were all about whether there had been both objective and subjective reasonable probable cause to justify the prosecution of Grier.

    There were numerous references to other cases where ‘reasonable cause’ was a matter of legal argument.

    At the wind-up , Mr Smith QC for Grier, said that Mr Moynihan’s submissions dealt only with ‘subjective reasonable probable cause’ i.e that the prosecution had believed on the evidence before it at the time (in particular, the ‘letter of comfort’ provided to the vendor] that they had grounds for prosecuting. Mr Smith stressed that there had to be ‘objective’ cause, and that Mr Moynihan had not gone any way to establish that there had been.
    Lord Tyre said that he had hoped to be able to give extempore judgment to day, but he now felt obliged to consider carefully and include in his judgment a reference to the ‘Craig v Peebles’ judgment. He said that he will do so as soon as possible ‘ given that we are so close to Proof date’
    I take it from that remark that a date has been set for ‘proof’ and examination and testing of evidence.

    [There was one little exchange that I enjoyed: in referring to email exchanges between Bett and Whyte and Grier and some others, one of the emailers referred to ‘ the Armageddon scenario, where MIH lose and HMRC want the lot.’
    I can’t now remember who in Scottish Football governance at the time used the word ‘Armageddon’ Was it Doncaster? Was he the first to use it, and it was picked up by others? O did he pick it up from an earlier user?]

  151. John Clark 9th March 2021 At 13:22

    If I recall correctly it was Stewart Regan who peddled the Armageddon theory. You know, the man who didn’t want to rake over old coals. As an aside he blocked me on Twitter for daring to ask politely why the SFA didn’t want an independent investigation.

    I actually had high hopes for Regan when he took over. He seemed like a guy with new ideas, and was not compromised by his upbringing in Scotland. However, he quite quickly had to fall into line with what is seen to be the natural order. I think if he was ever to able to speak honestly of his time at the SFA he would have some very interesting things to say.

  152. The Scottish media appear to be dragging anyone with a connection to Sevco/Rangers into print interviews. Dave King commenting on Neil Lennon’s woes and then suggesting Celtic need to up their game to improve the Scottish co-efficient. Does he not recall they carried the ball for a good number of years and now the Rangers enjoy the result of those endeavors, along with the national team. Then along comes Paul Murray looking for his moment in the sunshine, this being one of the people ( sorry about the pun) led to the “coup” ousting Ashley’s people and consequently helping the team accumulate 60 million in debt..

  153. Nawlite at 13.12

    I’ve sent a formal complaint to the BBC over the same issue (i.e. relegation v liquidation etc), pointing out the inaccuracy and sheer dereliction of reporting the legal facts. I also asked for an explanation as to why they reported such nonsense.

    I further stated that I had no confidence in their ability/desire to tell the truth, and have given them the opportunity to ‘lay the Big Lie’ to rest and give me an HONEST answer to my query.’. This, I suspect, will not be taken!

    Should the BBC continue to bury the truth, I believe that I would have, at the very least, a moral case for not renewing my TV licence fee as they would dishonestly be colluding with other perpetrators of said Big Lie.

    I finished up by asking what else might they lie about, if they cannot acknowledge such a basic absolute fact as the one that Rangers ‘died’ in 2012.

    Well see. However, I think I’ll be cancelling my over 75 TV fee! – confidently armed with such information as provided by you good self above.

  154. Glad you’ve done it Bect67. While the Continuity Lie is the big one, it is definitely a harder one to force them to correct. All the institutions are just SO committed to it. Given the Relegation lie is demonstrably so easy to prove wrong, that’s what I decided to focus on at this point.

    I posted my complaint not to impress anyone, but rather because I’m still struggling to figure out how SFM can become more of a campaigning group. I guess showing that I’m at least doing something is hoping that others will follow suit, if they aren’t already. The true campaigning stalwarts like Auldheid, John Clark etc are the real stars of this site imo. As well as BP, of course, for allowing us the forum to begin with).

  155. Albertz11 9th March 2021 At 09:45
    To me , that gives it a worse look . They are prepared to go on a spree of wanton vandalism and destruction , then think throwing money at it makes it alright ? I don’t see any contrition , either from the fans or the club .

  156. Upthehoops 9th March 2021 At 13:34
    ‘…If I recall correctly it was Stewart Regan who peddled the Armageddon theory.’
    Ah, yes, I think you’re right.
    I believe that on one occasion he sought guidance from CW on how to word a letter to HMRC relating to tax matters?
    Perhaps he used the word ‘Armageddon’ in some other communication with the Ibrox board, and it was picked up by others involved in the acquisition ?

  157. Response today from my local MSP following my complaint about the events of the weekend….

    Thank you for getting in touch with me regarding your concerns about the scenes in Glasgow over the weekend.

    I want you to know I take this extremely seriously.

    Winning the Scottish Premiership title was a special moment for Rangers FC, but that does not excuse the disgraceful behaviour of those fans who broke lockdown restrictions and risked the progress we have made in suppressing COVID-19.

    To see so many people deliberately flouting those rules with no regard for the safety of others, is shameful. Events like this risk spreading the virus.

    The behaviour of those who broke restrictions show no regard or respect at all for the millions of households across Scotland who have been sticking to the rules – unable to meet up with friends and families, to fully celebrate birthdays and in some cases to attend funeral services for their loved ones.

    We must be clear however that the majority of Rangers fans did celebrate from the safety of their homes. The Scottish Government and Police Scotland reminded Rangers of the need for the club to advise fans to adhere to the current restrictions during discussions on 26th February and 5th March.

    The First Minister spoke on this matter today in Parliament and yesterday during the Covid Briefing. The Scottish Government will be making its extreme disappointment at the club’s lack of leadership clear and will be speaking to the authorities about what further assurance they can offer going forward.

    I also understand that many people have questions regarding the operational decisions of the police and why they did not prevent people from gathering.

    The Justice Secretary, Humza Yousaf, has spoken to the Chief Constable and Rangers FC and will be doing so again – to understand why the events over the weekend took place as they did and what more can be done to try and ensure we do not see a repeat of those scenes.

    I completely understand and share your anger at the actions we all witnessed.

    Thank you again for raising your concerns, if I can be of any further assistance on this, or any other issue, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    I have already gone back to her asking what will be done about both Rangers as a club and Steven Gerrard homologating/encouraging the fans’ behaviour (Club by opening stadium doors, joining fan celebrations at that point and from the dressing room, as well as from cars through the throng; SG by his comments on Friday that any breaches would be understandable because he wanted the fans to really enjoy the moment and that the fans take priority).

  158. Paddy Malarkey 9th March 2021 At 16:52

    I assume Tavernier must be fit by March 25 then?

  159. I posted above the response from my MSP. Here’s how I have gone back. Sorry, it’s quite long……

    Thanks for your quick response.

    I was heartened to see some strong and specific criticism of Rangers FC and its fans by both the FM and DFM among others over Monday and Tuesday.

    There appears to be a grey area over how Rangers FC handled the likely breaches. The club claims that it was pro-active in liaising with the appropriate bodies while the DFM in particular was highly critical of Rangers’ lack of action. I agree with the DFM and those stating that the club did not do nearly enough in advance to help prevent these absolutely predictable events (I could see them being organised on social media in real time).

    Not only did they not do enough beforehand, but in my opinion the club actively homologated and encouraged the breaches by their fans over the whole weekend in question and that is what I find most annoying – and to my mind, punishable in some way.

    On Friday, 5 March Steven Gerrard was asked in his pre-match press conference about the possibility/likelihood of fans congregating in breach of Covid regulations. His response was incredibly mealy mouthed and, I believe, gave tacit approval for fans to come to Ibrox Park on Saturday, 6 March. He started well by stating that fans should respect the rules and celebrate safely at home, but he then went on to say “…but at the same time it’s out of my control….” and “People have to understand the situation our fans are in and what they’ve been through….”. He also said “The fans are the priority here and we totally understand and relate to how they are feeling at the moment. There’s a real excitement and rightly so. We want them to really enjoy this time and revel in the moment.”

    In my opinion, this helped trigger the large unlawful gathering at Ibrox before, during and after the St Mirren match the following day.

    On arriving at the ground on Saturday morning, Steven Gerrard and the players drove through/past the crowds happily taking the applause of the fans, giving the clear impression that their unlawful attendance was appreciated. Gerrard commented after the match “I’ve got to get my words right here – we are still experiencing and are involved in a pandemic. It’s important fans try to stay humble and safe. That’s the priority – people’s safety. I totally understand that but at the same time, if you’ve got anything inside you or any part of your heart can understand what the fans have been through, you can totally understand what’s gone on outside this stadium. Safety is paramount at the moment but it’s tough because it has been an emotional three years for me. The fans have been here for much longer than that and have been through a lot in 10 years. So you can certainly understand it.” Again, at best a mixed message and very far from the clear, stay away message that Rangers FC claims to have made. Instead, I am convinced that this acted as a trigger for the larger scale unlawful gathering on Sunday, 7 March.
    After their win against St Mirren, knowing of the large scale unlawful gathering outside, someone at Rangers FC decided it was appropriate to open the stadium gates so that all of the players could go toward the fans and dance in celebration in sight of the fans. Indeed some fans threw scarves to them, which the players were happy to pick up and place around themselves. Steven Gerrard reportedly commented later that “I totally understand why the players wanted to go to the corner, but at the same time the priority is the fans’ safety.”

    This club-condoned appreciation of the fans being there unlawfully was, in my opinion, yet another trigger for fans to turn out in even greater force on Sunday 7 March.

    After the win against St Mirren, Rangers players celebrating in the dressing room decided it was appropriate to open windows so that fans could see and hear them celebrate. As fans chanted their names, individual players appeared at the small windows singing/chanting along with celebratory drinks in hand. Yet again, this desire to have fans involved in the club’s celebrations signalling they appreciated the fans being there only encouraged or triggered the larger scale unlawful gathering on Sunday, 7 March.
    When leaving Ibrox park after the win against St Mirren, Rangers players and Steven Gerrard drove through the crowd with windows open celebrating along with the fans, signalling that they appreciated the fans being there. Again this only triggered the larger scale unlawful gathering on Sunday, 7 March.

    Even now, after the “shameful” and “disgraceful” scenes over the weekend, Rangers FC has not taken responsibility for, nor apologised for, the events at Ibrox and George Square. Instead, they claim the moral high ground by stating they were proactive in engaging the authorities…and, of course, their statement of 8 March reiterates Steven Gerrard’s stance throughout that they can’t control fans and everyone else should understand the emotions that drove such large numbers of them to break the law.

    In normal circumstances, I would share their view that individuals are responsible for their own choices and a club should not be punished for the actions of their fans. In this critical instance, however, items 1. to 5. above clearly show that Rangers FC, its Manager and its players at least contributed to the weekend’s breaches, undoubtedly enabled them and may indeed have actually caused them. As a result, I feel it is vital that responsibility be placed where it sits and these specific examples of Rangers FC’s culpability called out in Parliament and Rangers FC punished in some way over these events.

    While I agree that Police Scotland were caught in an invidious position on Saturday and Sunday, they and the Scottish Govt must accept their failings in not developing a proactive plan for handling the entirely predictable law breaking – should heads be rolling? My only addition to this is that the Scottish Govt should be very aware of the PR damage done by the sight of Rangers fans being ‘helped’ to break the law by Police Scotland when compared to how Celtic fans were dealt with when attempting to celebrate a title – batons drawn, mounted police etc are still vivid comparisons.

    I truly hope you will share points 1. to 5. with the FM and DFM so that the media does not get the chance to run with Rangers’ claim that they did everything right.

    Thanks again. I look forward to an update.

  160. Gerrard swears from the bottom of his heart that Sevco/Rangers did everything possible to prevent the weekend’s happenings. In a nice touch by the DR they mentioned to find a photo of Garrard wearing a mask. Hypocritical does not come close to describing the article and the effort to portray Garrard as a leader in the fight against covid .. Shame on the DR …

  161. Vernallen 9th March 2021 At 22:50

    It is beyond dispute he and his players encouraged the fans to gather, sing and shout. The evidence is out there. They also ignored rules on car sharing, social distancing, and wearing masks. Again, the evidence is out there. They, and their fans, are above the laws that everyone else has to stick to. That much is obvious to anyone. The Police gave the club and its fans a free pass. Meanwhile the First Minster chooses once again to attack Celtic for something she relentlessly kicked Celtic for in January, and something she personally ensured the club had to pay the price for. Rangers prepare to travel abroad this week after being involved in the worst ever super spreader event in Scotland, and the media and Government say nothing about that. Meanwhile us inferior people are supposed to be eternally grateful at being allowed to meet a couple more people outdoors. Perhaps we should just put on a Rangers scarf and we can meet as many as we want. If we fancy a drink, no problem. Keep that scarf on and the laws about outdoor drinking don’t apply. No public toilets, again no problem. Just use the street, you won’t be challenged. Fancy a good cuddle with several strangers at a giant street party? Go ahead, only lesser people are not allowed to do that.

    The mob rules, and if they want to do it again they will. If we learned anything this week it is that one football club is more powerful than the Government and the forces of law. Let that sink in. This country makes me truly sick at times.

  162. Vernallen 9th March 2021 At 22:50
    ‘… Hypocritical does not come close to describing the article and the effort to portray Gerrard as a leader in the fight against covid .. Shame on the DR …’
    The DR is by no means the worst , Vernallen.

    For nine years the SMSM have supported TRFC in its fundamental lie that it is RFC of 1872.

    There is not a journalist who does not KNOW that liquidation killed RFC of 1872 as a football club and that the 5-Way Agreement was an act of ridiculous, fear- and -money driven corruption of Sport.

    People who know the truth and ignore it—–I leave them to their individual shame and private disgrace .

    They will sooner or later either lose their jobs, be pensioned off, or retire, and grow old and eventually die-KNOWING in their hearts just what they were : people of straw, devoid of moral principle, earning their living by compromising with the Truth.

    And for the sake of what? Some great ideal, some cause of Truth and Justice?
    Not at all ! for the sake of a new football Club steeped in lies at and since its conception.

  163. Not being a Celtic fan , I don’t know how they’ll think , but one of my mates says he won’t renew unless the club states officially that the Old Firm died with Rangers and that renewing the trademark was only to stop others taking ownership . Much in the same way that Charlie had to say he’d bought the history before he could sell any ST’s .

  164. I think it’s fair to say that the title of this blog was prescient given recent events. Strikes me that whilst much may have changed in Scotland over the years, somethings haven’t at all or not very much.
    Is there a way to effect the changes needed to make things better for all (as it surely would be)? Holding a mirror up to the MSM doesn’t appear to make any difference. Agitating the authorities doesn’t appear to have an impact. Maybe pointing out the absurdities and pettiness to those beyond our shores may cause sufficient levels of embarrassment to make a difference – after all no one likes being laughed at! Of course it’s no laughing matter for those at the sharp end in Scotland who suffer the consequences of these behaviours.

  165. Upthe hoops March 10th 8:08
    John Clark March 10th 12:00

    On this side of the Atlantic we are not immune to a slanted view in the media, and, sports generally leads the way. Play by play announcers can be described as “homers” as they follow their team through a schedule and no matter how bad the team, or, a player performs, it is never pointed out. I can’t recall any sports league in North America suffering a team in liquidation, or other misfortunes that befell Rangers and so shabbily have it reported on or the league governors bending over backwards to accommodate the illusion the team survived liquidation, bankruptcy of players registered somewhat imperfectly. The media is so interested in gathering quotes from around the world regarding a tainted 55 th title, perhaps they could harness that energy and reach out to baseball, football, hockey or basketball and ask how they would handle such a situation. And, finally at least the sports hacks on this side of the ocean truly attach the word “star” to those truly deserving of such an accolade, not every tom, dick, or harry on a team.

  166. Alexander McCall Smith is a wonderfully entertaining writer. I can say that much ,truthfully, from my own reading of his stuff.

    He is also something of a poet. I am not qualified to pass comment on whether he is a ‘good poet’, not myself being clear on what constitutes a ‘good poem’.

    He has a poem published in ‘The Scotsman’ today.

    The third section ( or is it ‘stanza’? ] begins :
    ” A newspaper exists to
    shine a light
    Into these dark corners, to
    say to us:
    This is what happens if you are too trusting ”

    The poem is entitled ” Daily Paper” and the dedication is ‘for The Scotsman’

    There was ,and is, little light being shone by ‘The Scotsman’ on the murky, deceitful actions surrounding the creation of SevcoScotland/TRFC or the Big Lie that TRFC is the self-same club as a football club that went into Administration, failed to exit Administration , entered Liquidation -and ceased to exist as anything other than a liquidated football club unable to participate in Scottish Professional Football.

    Rather there has been concerted effort to deny the fact of the Liquidation of Rangers and instead propagate the nonsensical lie that TRFC ,newly admitted into Scottish Football in 2012 is actually RFC of 1872.

    ‘The Scotsman’ , cynically lying on its sports pages on an almost daily basis, no more deserves to be praised for its professional integrity than does the rest of the SMSM .

    Its ‘masthead’ is not, as McCall’s final verse proclaims,
    ‘ a flag under which
    the weak, the silenced ,
    may muster, ‘ nor is
    ‘The ink that flows in your
    veins….the life blood of liberty, nothing less’
    Its masthead is, on the contrary, a piece of hypocritical cant proclaiming that ‘the ‘Conductors’ … first desire is to be honest’.
    Not when it comes to Scottish Football and football governance…

  167. Paddy Malarkey 10thMarch 18.11

    Can’t comment on the Celtic support , it would however be remiss of me if i didn’t correct your comment regarding “Charlie”. and your assumption that in order to sell STs he had to say he had bought the history of the club.
    The lack of Season Ticket sales was in fact down to the fans backing a rival consortium led by Walter Smith. If memory serves me correct Charles Green was asked to step aside and allow them to proceed with their deal. This of course was unsuccessful and the total STs sold numbered 38228 in total.

  168. It matters not who claimed to have bought history, or for whatever reason. The bottom line is that whoever dreamt it up was obviously mental, and believers obviously lay their eggs in the nests of other birds.

  169. Not being a ‘Twitterer’ or ‘Tweeter’ I’m only just catching up with the “we’re not half of anything-not our problem” tweet from Celtic .

    The reluctance in 2012 to query the award of a UEFA licence to CW’s Rangers ,

    the subsequent obstruction for years of those shareholders who were insisting that the matter be investigated ,

    the readiness after those years of obstruction simply to accept as final , without demur, the SFA’s decision not to have itself and Rangers independently investigated ,
    provide clear enough evidence of there being (metaphorically) an anatomical connection of the fundament.

    And the disgraceful complicity in the Big Lie evidenced by the meek acceptance of such nonsense put the matter beyond question.

    The Celtic tweet is bare-arsed hypocritical crap, in my opinion.

    And the chance to make a meaningful point about being ‘one club since 1888’ was missed by not insisting that the SFA and SPFL officially declare that TRFC are not continuity Rangers and cannot legitimately claim to be such.

  170. Today’s Herald the latest to claim Rangers were relegated. It is a fact, ruled on by a Judge in a court of law, that they were not relegated. What an incredible country we live in when journalists can’t even recognise the findings of a court and just make up their own rules. It’s actually beyond belief but it’s repeatedly said.

  171. Interesting from Phil, BB. I would have expected UEFA’s lack of knowledge to mean they would be looking to check out the implications of the 5-way agreement, but their reply doesn’t suggest they are likely to. What next, I wonder.

  172. Nawlite 11th March 14.21

    Walter Smiths consortium withdrew it’s bid on June 19th.
    Season Ticket sales were suspended as further talks continued in private with only 250-300 having been processed. As the DR article says ” fears over Greens ownership” was a factor in this.
    Assurances were sought by two of the unsuccessful consortiums that in exchange for certain conditions being met they would then, in meetings with supporters representatives, encourage the purchasing of Season Tickets.

  173. Not sure where Phil’s correspondence with UEFA can go.

    As I understand it, UEFA are content with the Italian football authorities method of maintaining ‘continuity’ when an existing football club goes under.

    The Italian FA’s articles allow them to take ownership of a defunct club’s ‘sporting title’ – name, historical titles and achievements – and (subject to the payment of outstanding football debts) pass the name and history on to another club in the same area.

    Think, for example, of the owners of St Mirren buying Rangers’ assets back in 2012. Under the Italian system, St Mirren could effectively have become Rangers FC.

    If UEFA can tolerate this nonsense from the Italians, what would it find objectionable within the 5WA?

    Whilst I find the Italian methodology distasteful, it is at least written in to the constitution that transfer of ‘sporting title’ is permitted under its footballing laws. Of course, no such law exists within the Scottish football statutes – hence the necessity to create the 5WA.

    The question, in my opinion, is not whether UEFA should approve or recognise the 5WA. The real question is whether the parties to the agreement had the power to make such an agreement in the first place.

    If the intended outcome the 5 way agreement is (as I believe it to be) substantially ultra vires then every commercial benefit that flowed from it, is/was gained from a potentially fraudulent document that purports to endow continuity to a now defunct football club.

    The boards of the SFA, SFL and SPL(as was) have/had substantial power to manage their respective organisations – but, those powers are/were not unlimited. The powers of any board are legally bound/limited by their articles of association.

    Did the signatories to the 5WA sign up to agree elements that the board could not deliver without their members specific approval at AGM/egm?

    If so, did they know they had put their names to something that they knew could be challenged and might ultimately have no legal effect?

    What were the financial consequences of the 5WA?

    Did any of the parties financially benefit from the purported outcome?

    Therein lies the real story. imo

  174. Paddy Malarkey 11th March 2021 At 19:29
    ‘.Maybe somebody erudite could raise their concerns here –..[link to integrity.uefa..’]
    Not at all particularly erudite, PM, I nevertheless on Christmas Day 2019 emailed Mr Ceferin , President of UEFA, (I posted that email on the sfmscot blog at the time]

    The subject matter was not as directly related to the ‘5-Way Agreement’ as was PMcG’s query to UEFA, and because I had no direct email address for Ceferin on UEFA’s website, I had emailed him at the law firm of which he is a founder/partner in the expectation, not just hope, that he would receive it either directly or by it being routinely forwarded to him by whoever checked his private legal business emails when he was not personally present in Slovenia.

    I received no reply to that email.

    Having read what PMcG received from ‘UEFA Media & Public Relations’ I was prompted to send the following email this evening:

    “The Manager,
    Čeferin, Pogačnik, Novak, Koščak and partners

    Dear Sirs,

    On 25 December 2019 I sent an email to your firm for the attention of Mr Aleksander Ceferin.

    I have not yet received any reply.

    Can you confirm that the email was received by Mr Ceferin, please?

    A copy is appended for your convenience, lest perchance you have misplaced the original

    Yours faithfully,

    John Clark,

    copy of previous email

    john clark
    To:info@ceferin.si Wed, 25 Dec 2019 at 17:24

    For the attention of Mr Aleksander Ceferin

    Dear Mr Ceferin,

    Can you, as a lawyer and President of UEFA, explain to me in simple lay terms why the club co-efficient of ‘The Rangers Football Club’ which did not exist before 2012 (appears be based on performance in the last 10 years?

    What magic has been worked?

    What lies may have been told to UEFA about the true origins of the club that claims to be the Rangers Football Club that was founded in 1872?

    I am not a lawyer, but I know with absolute legal certainty, that the ‘Rangers of 1872’ went spectacularly bust and died as a football club in 2012, when it was put into Liquidation by its creditors, and lost its entitlement to participate in Scottish professional football!

    I know also with absolute legal certainty that , renamed RFC 2012 plc, it remains in legal existence in Liquidation, until the Liquidators finish their business, when it will be dissolved as a legal entity.

    One need not be a particularly clever metaphysician to be able to reason that an entity cannot be both dead and alive at the same time!

    Rangers Football Club of 1872 played its last football in season 2011/12.

    The Rangers Football Club that was created de novo in 2012 has participated in Scottish football only from 2012/13. Seven seasons in total.

    There is absolutely no way that an honest Sports Governance body can legitimately treat a seven year old member club as having been in existence for ten years.

    If the ‘The Rangers Football Club’ founded in 2012 want to tell lies about their origins, and if the Scottish Football Association (SFA) wants to buy into those lies, it is surely the responsibility of UEFA, and your particular responsibility as UEFA President [committed in your ‘manifesto’ to good governance etc etc] to scotch those lies and deny the false claims made.

    Will you live up to your manifesto, act in accordance with Truth, and tell the SFA that ‘The Rangers FC ‘founded in 2012 are not and cannot possibly be Rangers Football Club of 1872?

    They are therefore not entitled to have a Europa Cup competition ‘club coefficient’ based on a number of years which includes a number of years when they simply did not exist?

    I hope you will live up to your manifesto promises: or at least give a damned good reason why you will not!

    It is Christmas day as I write. On the assumption that you are more honest than the SFA, let me wish you a happy Christmas and my best wishes for the new Year,

    Yours sincerely,

    (and with apologies for sending this to your email address at your law firm: but the UEFA web-site appears to be shy about making things easy for complainants)

    JC ”

    I know of course that Ceferin might argue that as President of UEFA he received no direct communication from me about anything untoward regarding RFC of 1872.
    That would make him a lying sod, of course.
    But European Football as a ‘business’ is scarcely a clean potato. And it took a very irritated USA to kick the cohones of FIFA.

    (Or, maybe, and fairmindedly, there are 2 Ceferins! one of whom, as President of UEFA hears nothing , sees nothing of concern in what others have to say in relation to a football club in Scotland :while ,simultaneously, the other as a private lawyer in Slovenia gets emails ‘alleging’ hanky-panky by the SFA in relation to a football club(s)!
    It’s a mad, mad world out there, with layers and layers of deceit and scarce an honest broker.

  175. John Clark 11th March 2021 At 23:49

    I wouldn’t hold out much hope for integrity in an organisation which employs Hugh Dallas in a senior position.

  176. Albertz, I apologise for the unnecessary dig at you when I posted the BBC link to the Police Scotland/Whitehouse/Clark report. at the time I thought I was being funny, but it was unnecessary and just me trying to be smart. In retrospect, I regret it…..and I hadn’t been drinking!! Just bad late night judgement.

    JC, like UTH I don’t hold out much hope for a (positive) response from UEFA, but I intend today to use PM’s link to ask the integrity unit if they feel they should at review the 5-way agreement. Like you, I’m not erudite – I don’t even know what Dite is…..”Erra macaroon bars, erra chewing gum, erra dite”!!!

  177. Does anyone have a link to what the justice minister said about the upcoming Celtic-TRFC game on last night’s The Nine, either video footage or press reports of what he said. I’m sure I saw some last night, but now can only see reports of what he said on Radio Scotland this morning?

  178. I find the TRFC/RIFC statement to be a bit mealy-mouthed , as if constructed by lawyers . No direct apology to the known victim , and only saying “we said we told the Police” but no confirmation that they did . Better than nothing , I suppose , and definitely worth the wait .

  179. Nawlite 12th March 2021 At 13:22
    ‘..JC, like UTH I don’t hold out much hope for a (positive) response from UEFA, but I intend today to use PM’s link to ask the integrity unit if they feel they should at review the 5-way agreement.’
    I’ve just this minute sent am email to UEFA Media and Public Relations ( media@uefa.ch ], copying my original 2019 email to Ceferin, and my reminder to him of yesterday, to let them see that while I myself not specifically mention the 5-Way Agreement I mentioned other matters that would have let him know that there were questions to be asked about how the SFA dealt with the consequences of the Liquidation of RFC of 1872 and the creation of a new club in 2012.
    If Ceferin received my first email, he clearly didn’t mention it to his media guys. Now that they have seen it ( if the poor chap/lass who first logs today’s email] passes it on , I wonder whether they will have the cohones to mention it to him ? Or if they will even acknowledge receipt?
    It would be great if Phil could get some other European journalists , or even a journalist of the ICIJ, interested in a wee UEFA/SFA question?

  180. I’m not quite sure I’m following what that link regarding Article 12 and the 5WA is trying to get at? I thought UEFA leave that level of governance up to the nations body. Article 12 is only with regards what is seen as the definition of the license applicant. As the member share was moved from oldco to newco then of course this is a transfer of membership and therefore Rangers were unable to compete in Europe for 3 seasons (which we were).

    Article 12 is nothing to do with not being allowed to shed debt and pheonix, it’s a way of ensuring it is not financially viable for the big guns to do it every season without consequence. Like others have pointed out, the continuation is widely accepted by UEFA.

    I imagine if they were to look at T5WA they would be quite satisfied that we were 1) made to pay back all football related debts (that’s the biggy for UEFA and I’d be surprised if this was not enforced by them regardless of their response to Phil!), 2) we were punished (embargo) and 3) all governing bodies in Scotland agreed. Pretty sure it would be an open shut case for them (not that I see them having one slightest bit of interest because a journalist asks and a number of fans send emails.)

    That said it often humours me that UEFA and FIFA are seen in some circles to be the moral hero’s of social justice riding over the horizon to deal with a ten year old bit of paper produced in a backwater country.

  181. Darkbeforedawn 12th March 2021 At 16:02
    I think that’s what most people want , that UEFA look at the 5WA and declare it kosher . Who knows what it may contain – franchising , guarantees against relegation , agreements to bypass UEFA rules to expedite said agreement ? Being commercially sensitive , it’s not going to be made public in its entirety, but if the honest brokers at Nyon say that they’ve scrutinised it and it’s compliant , then I’d imagine that’s that .

  182. DBD, for me Phil’s blog is a little sidetracked by the Res12 issue (that’s what takes up most of the questions) and I agree with your view on that, I think, though I’m sure Phil has a different view. The big issue I see with the 5-way that Phil points out is that it appears to force the authorities to deal with Rangers/TRFC in a different way from all other member clubs when it comes to their role as regulators.

    If that clause is real and the secret 5-way agreement means the authorities can’t treat them as they would in the normal course of business, yet the authorities’ desire to keep the existence/content of the 5-way agreement a secret means they can’t deal with them by publicly going to CAS either, then how can that be fair on the other member clubs.

    In the interests of transparency, which UEFA must surely support, and fairness to all its member clubs, UEFA must review the content of the agreement imo and that is what I have just sent to the Integrity Unit per PM’s link……..in longer, more boring form than that, as usual, of course!!

    One other thing, that supposed clause talks about it applying in matters pertaining to the agreement and no one really knows just what that might cover, so I definitely believe it needs reviewed by some independent, hopefully supervisory body to see just how acceptable it is.

  183. Darkbeforedawn 12th March 2021 At 16:02
    ‘.. As the member share was moved from oldco to newco’

    No. Rangers Football Club plc was the shareholder in the SPL.
    It had to return its share when it went into liquidation.
    No longer being a member of a recognised league, it therefore ceased to be eligible for membership of the SFA.
    SevcoScotland/TRFC in order to become a recognise professional football club had first to become a member of a league.
    It was eventually accepted into the then SFL.
    Only then did it become eligible for membership of the SFA.
    There was no simple transfer either of existing league membership (CG did not become the owner of RFC plc , because that no longer existed as a football club in membership of a league , or of eligibility for membership of the SFA]
    The 5-Way agreement was a liars’ charter to get round the truth by creating nonsensical fictions .
    It was a way of allowing a club with huge ‘social taxes’ debts to shed those debts to its great financial advantage without the consequences that follow ‘liquidation’.
    It was a monstrously deceitful piece of work, far removed from any notion of Financial probity, let alone Financial Fair Play.

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