Fergus McCann v David Murray

How Celtic Turned the Tables on their Glasgow Rivals by Stephen O Donnell:
A Review by Auldheid.

Stephen’s previous publication, Tangled Up In Blue provided a detailed history of the rise and fall of Glasgow Rangers FC PLC from 1872 until their demise in 2012. Clearly a lot of research had been done to cover the period in such detail and his follow up publication Fergus McCann v David Murray etc carries on with that tradition. It is a smorgasbord of a book with many different issues succulently served up in its 350 pages.

It tells of events under David Murray’s tenure at Ibrox which began in November 1988 and ended in May 2011 when he left Craig Whyte holding the rope that became a noose just under a year later in April 2012 when Whyte was found guilty of bringing Scottish football into disrepute whilst Murray claimed he was duped.

Readers of the book will come to the conclusion that if anyone did the duping it was David Murray and it wasn’t just Craig Whyte he duped but Scotland’s national game. If ever Murray were to be tried for crimes against Scottish football then this book would be cited as evidence.

It was against the background of David Murray’s tenure at Rangers that Fergus McCann first arrived on the scene in April 1989 with proposals to inject £17M of New Capital into Celtic that the Celtic Board rejected as per minutes:

Proposals put forward by Fergus McCann to provide finance for various capital expenditures were unanimously rejected by the Directors’; and then again in August of the same year: ‘Mr McCann’s latest proposals were discussed and it was hoped that this was a final discussion on the subject. Latest proposals were rejected by Directors.
Fergus later returned to the fray and the chapter on how he was successful in ousting the Board in 1994 is an informative read, particularly if in that period single parenting cares took precedence over caring for Celtic.

I was amused reading the tale of discontent aimed at the old Board after a Ne’erday 4-2 defeat to Rangers in January 1994 when a bemused Walter Smith was watching the hostility aimed at the Celtic Directors box, one fan in the main stand screamed at him, ‘What are you looking at, it’s got fuck all to do with you.”

For me anyway there were a few “not a lot of people know that” moments like that in the book.
The contrast between Fergus McCann’s and David Murray’s style was immediately evident, but the impact of Fergus’s shorter tenure from 1994 to 1999 became more than evident after McCann left and the author does not miss the role servile journalists played and hit the wall for turning Celtic supporters against McCann during his tenure, whilst they dined on Murray’s succulent lamb. A role that in the end helped bring about Rangers end, but not the culture of servility when covering the activity of Rangers FC PLC successor club from 2012.

Sky TV get it in the neck too and if David Murray played the part of Colonel Mustard in killing Scottish football through his financial recklessness and duplicity, Sky are the lead pipe whose toxicity still dictates the nature of the current state of play.( I said it was a Smorgasbord)

Fergus kind of did what it said on the tin. In his case a tin of nippy sweeties, but it was interesting to read about his early years when even then he was described as “a cheeky upstart” but his “idiosyncrasies” and appearance under a bunnet, disguised a sharp if impatient business mind where for him getting straight to the point was akin to procrastination.

So too has Murray’s early years been covered including his rejected attempt to buy Ayr Utd, a rejection by Ayr Directors, who considered Murray was too hot headed and most volatile, that infuriated him.

Their conclusion that he was trying to get Ayr United on the cheap with only £125k of his own money involved was an indicator of his strategy of using other people’s money to invest and not his own. Other people including unsuspecting taxpayers to a tune of £50 million or so.

As you follow the narrative of both Fergus McCann and David Murray and the events that surrounded them, you end up wondering how so many could have been fooled for so long by one guy, but when you have the Scottish media in your pocket it was difficult to separate fact from fiction during the tenure of both. You also wonder how Murray remains a Knight of the Realm since.

Luckily for Celtic Fergus knew business fact from PR fiction and avoided the illusion in which Celtic’s main rivals continue to struggle to this day.

The great pity is that few, if any of the Scottish main stream media will even give this book a mention, because if you don’t write about it, it never happened, except it did and this book is proof.

I therefore recommend anyone interested in the future of our game buys it and asks, is it not now time to revisit the purpose of Scottish football?

Auldheid

1,240 thoughts on “Fergus McCann v David Murray”

  1. John Clark 25th July 2020 at 22:46

    “..’The clubs however have voted.

    They said NO!’

    They were not willing to give the SPFL board this power.

    Was this a vote of no confidence?

    Many have said that to me.

    So yes, it probably is sort of and informally.”

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

    So, did they get a vote proving the member clubs had confidence in them when their resolution to finish the league was passed, with something like 80% of the clubs agreeing to it. That must be the case using the same logic. 

    Of course not, people were voting on one thing. They supported that resolution. 

    Did the member clubs have a vote of no confidence at their AGM under a week ago, not that I have heard. That would have been the time to do it. Was it even put forward as a proposal. 

    How many of the permanent members of the board have been sacked because the clubs don’t think they are doing their job properly. I haven’t heard of any.

    The members failed to support a resolution, they are perfectly entitled to. It’s as simple as that. 

  2. Nothing in the DR today either from Keef about his “EXCLUSIVE”.

    There is a reference to testing in the readers’ phone-in,  “Hotline” section, with this;

    “…Mick Docherty, Kirkintilloch, said: “Are Rangers ‘a club like no other’? They were allowed to play in Europe – a game which should never have happened at the start of a pandemic.

    Now they are being investigated for the fear the club broke testing protocol for a friendly match against Dundee Utd. Surely they must be sanctioned, the rules are for everyone to adhere to.”
    Besides that, it’s good to see the Hotline returning to normality as we finally start bickering over results on the park…

    ========

    The Scottish Sun has this article today;

    “PATIENCE TESTED

    Several Premiership clubs left seething that costly twice-weekly Covid-19 tests have been ordered by SFA

    EXCLUSIVE

    TOP clubs were on a collision course with the SFA last night as the Covid-19 testing fiasco plumbed new depths.

    SunSport can reveal several Premiership sides are seething that costly twice-weekly tests have been ordered by Hampden…”

    indecision

  3. ‘reasonablechap 26th July 2020 at 09:55

    …Perception is one thing, reality is another and the main point I was making stands…’

    #########################################

    Actually, I think you’re confusing the two.

    The ‘reality’ is:

    The last Board of the SPFL identified a gap in their powers to deal with exceptional events like Covid19. As is common in business (& as a responsible Board should do in these circumstances), they attempted to gain these powers via a resolution. That resolution failed. The likely reason it did so was that the members believed the actions of the (19-20) Board in utilising a Director’s Written Resolution was the correct thing to do in the circumstances, enabling each club to vote for its preferred outcome. (The actual nature of the DWR used is subject to current debate/appeal, of course. )

    Your ‘perception’ is that, in rejecting the resolution, the clubs gave a ‘bloody nose’ to the board:

    My perception is that the clubs actually supported the actions of the (19-20) Board (however imperfect & rushed those actions were) & have indicated that by not giving the Board ‘carte blanche‘, the route offered by individual, as required DWRs is the proper, more cautious way to proceed in similar circumstances. If such a method is required to be used again, then I’d expect a more robust examination of the wording & scope before being put to a vote.

  4. Jingso.Jimsie 26th July 2020 at 11:23

    ———————————————

    My take on the failure of the Board to get the executive powers they sought is indeed a lack of trust in a Board that has majority representation from half a dozen clubs.  That is down to the self interest exhibited in the end of season vote debacle.  

    It is the governance model that is wrong. There should be an executive Board appointed to promote the league for the benefit of all teams without undue influence from individual clubs.  That Board should primarily comprise of skilled professionals with commercial and marketing skills. They should be contracted for fixed periods with renewal dependent on performance. 

  5. easyJambo 26th July 2020 at 12:56

    Jingso.Jimsie 26th July 2020 at 11:23 

              My take on the failure of the Board to get the executive powers they sought is indeed a lack of trust in a Board that has majority representation from half a dozen clubs. That is down to the self interest exhibited in the end of season vote debacle.

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

          Couldn't agree more Easy. The diversity of the SPFL association is huge, ranging from clubs that can generate or spend 10's of millions on a transaction, to dinner/dances of a few hundred quid. A "one fits all" solution scenario is a practical impossibility to achieve considering the varying hopes and needs and aspirations of all involved. This can occasionally result in conflict and even farce, as each club is affected by change in differing ways.      Often this may be detrimental to individual clubs, while favouring others, but all the while becomes detrimental to the overall direction of the collective. Short term-ism and self interest runs rife and unchecked to the long term benefit of no-one.      As things stand I have my doubts gaining structural change within the current structure would be unachievable, as without doubt, some clubs will be left out of the frame in a restructure.      The main problem being it may say, "Professional" on the tin, but too many biscuits will be discarded by quality control…….That is just business.      If ACME quick fit-fitters had 42 branches in Scotland, with many garages failing, HQ would take the appropriate action. It wouldn't ask the garages what it should do. It would issue KPI's to be met with the edict,  "fail at your own peril".      Football can be run as a business, or a sport/hobby, but they can't both be run from the same office. 

  6. Homunculus 25th July 2020 at 21:04

    Cluster One 25th July 2020 at 20:21

    Surely it ultimately has to be the match referee who is responsible for the game going ahead or not.

    Other people may have the opportunity to stop it before him, for example the officials of the team whose results have not been received. Who should presumably then go to him and declare that they were not clear to play.
    ………………
    If it is the match referee who ultimately has the say if the match should go ahead. If he was doing his job right he would have asked have the players been tested and are the results back.
    If the Ref never asked these questions and the match got the go ahead, the SFA should be punishing the ref.
    If the Ref asked these questions and was given the answer that the ibrox tests were not back yet and he let the game go ahead, the SFA have to punish the ref.
    If the Ref asked these questions and the answers he was given were not the correct answers then the SFA have to punish the club for putting everyones life in danger.
    Just because the results came back negative does not excuse the failings by the Ref or the club.

  7. Cluster One 26th July 2020 at 18:35

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

    I agree.

    I would go further and say everyone involved should be held to account.

    The referee should not have played the game if the tests results had not come back as negative. It should even be open to any form of debate. 

    If he did not ask then the clubs should have gone to him anyway and made the declaration that they did not have the results back and therefore could not play.

    Everyone involved is responsible for getting this right.

    As you say them ultimately coming back as negative is irrelevant in this instance. The game should not have gone ahead without them. 

    This is an enormous story which seems to have gone very quiet. 

  8. Homunculus 26th July 2020 at 18:47
    This is an enormous story which seems to have gone very quiet.
    …………..
    I noticed that.

  9. Cluster One 26th July 2020 at 18:59

    We will just have to see what action the SFA choose to take.

    Presumably both they and the SPFL will wish to demonstrate to the Scottish Government that they are serious about this issue and that they and the clubs can be trusted to follow the Scottish Governments instructions.

    If they fail to do that there must be a prospect that the Government will simply ban them from allowing games to be played.

    It strikes me as madness, particularly when a private individual put up millions of pounds to assist the game deal with the Covid crisis. Though I believe a few of the clubs chose to pass that money on to charity instead. 

  10. Homunculus 26th July 2020 at 21:25
    We will just have to see what action the SFA choose to take.
    …………..
    Still waiting on them taking action on the ibrox club for bringing the game into disrepute,with their dossier saga and Stewart Robertsons Gross breaches of confidentiality.

  11. Homunculus 26th July 2020 at 21:25

    Cluster One 26th July 2020 at 18:59  

       We will just have to see what action the SFA choose to take. Presumably both they and the SPFL will wish to demonstrate to the Scottish Government that they are serious about this issue and that they and the clubs can be trusted to follow the Scottish Governments instructions.    ===================================  

          I believe they have H, and have instructed that the tests be bi-weekly as opposed to weekly. At a cost of approx £4.5k per club, it has now doubled….They should have invested in their own machines with the charity donations. They never !….I don't see that it can be in any way the fault of the governing bodies, other than failing to instruct clubs to use the donation wisely.   

          There was, (I believe), a list of do's and dont's came with the donation, but I doubt investing in a machine would have been on the don't list.. The unprofessionalism in not having their own testing facilities cannot be understated. What next?…Turning up withoot a ba'. 

        It was an action beyond rank stupidity. It is a basic H&S requirement for games to be played.. 

  12. What's it all about , Alfie ?  (from L'Equipe ).

    Tracked for two good years in Ligue 1 (Nice, OM and Rennes in particular), left-hander Alfredo Morelos has never been so close to landing in France. As announced earlier today, LOSC has reached an agreement with the player who is obviously very keen on playing for the Mastiffs . If the salary offered by Lille to the player has not leaked, we can reveal to you that it is a four-season lease. But while Luis Campos and the player have struck a deal, that's not quite the case between LOSC and Rangers. According to our information, the northern club offered € 15 million (+ € 2 million bonus) to afford the talents of the Colombian international (7 selections – 1 goal) under contract with the Scottish club until June 2023.

    Insufficient to convince the Rangers who hope at least 20 M € to release the striker much appreciated by Steven Gerrard. As a reminder, the formidable Colombian striker with warm blood (6 reds and 26 yellows in all competitions over the 3 seasons spent in Scotland) is above all a scorer. Since arriving from HJK Helsinki, Morelos has scored 56 goals in 118 appearances for Glasgow Rangers. This would be an excellent pick for the club coached by Christophe Galtier in search of offensive reinforcements since the official departure of Loïc Rémy and that of Victor Osimhen.

  13. Corrupt official 26th July 2020 at 22:44

    Homunculus 26th July 2020 at 21:25

    Cluster One 26th July 2020 at 18:59 

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

    I spoke to my match official friend in the pub tonight. He told me that the match officials have no responsibilities for club testing protocols. Apparently each club has a nominated Covid-19 person who has responsibility to ensure that the club adheres to the testing protocols agreed between the SFA and the Scottish Government.

    He could understand the issues resulting from the delayed test results that meant that the Hibs v Ross County friendly was cancelled and the Rangers v Motherwell friendly was delayed, but considered that the Rangers (B) v Dundee Utd friendly to be a much more serious issue, particularly if Rangers had failed to adhere to the protocols.

     

  14. 'Fergus McCann v David Murray

    By

     Auldheid

     -26th July 2020'

    ' .the author does not miss the role servile journalists played and hit the wall for turning Celtic supporters against McCann during his tenure, whilst they dined on Murray’s succulent lamb. A role that in the end helped bring about Rangers end, but not the culture of servility when covering the activity of Rangers FC PLC successor club from 2012.'

    """"""""""""""""""""

    Indeed.

    The 'succulent lamb' diners lied to protect the arch-cheat of Scottish Football, and continue to lie in their propagation of the untruth that TRFC is the same identical cheating club that was RFC of 1872 .

    We really must call out those 'journalists' who , basically, are liars-and who know themselves to be liars and as morally bankrupt as RFC of 1872 became financially bankrupt to the point of Liquidation and death as a football club.

     

  15. easyJambo 27th July 2020 at 00:16

    “..He told me that the match officials have no responsibilities for club testing protocols.”

    “”””””””””””””””””””

    And really, when you think about it, it would be a bit absurd if football referees were to be expected to be covid-19 health authorities and adjudicators any more than they are expected to be crowd safety or fire  or hygiene authorities.

    Mind you, it might have been sensible for the SFA to instruct refs to satisfy themselves that all the covid testing requirements had been met. 

    If they had done, then of course the referee of the match in question is hung out to dry.

    But I think that not even our dysfunctional SFA would seriously have contemplated imposing that duty on the refs.

     

  16. For those interested in purchasing Fergus McCann v David Murray here is a link.

     https://t.co/qcZSt7dKTx 

     

    Although the book obviously focuses on a part of the history of Celtic and Rangers,  all of Scottish football lives with the outcome today, hence posting a Review on SFM.

    The impact of decisions that put the fate of our game in the hands of Sky for example. 

     

  17. As you follow the narrative of both Fergus McCann and David Murray and the events that surrounded them, you end up wondering how so many could have been fooled for so long by one guy,
    Whyte was found guilty of bringing Scottish football into disrepute whilst Murray claimed he was duped.
    …………………….
    Like Murray pretending to be Duped, so many were not fooled. They went along.
    They went along with Murray and did not care, who was going to complain?
    Murray knew he was cheating scottish football. Even back then people were asking where is all this money coming from? Who cares would be the reply. As long as an ibrox club was winning no one cared if they were being fooled or duped The glory years* was all that mattered. The problem now is that most of the ibrox fan base and SMSM look on those years as the height of scottish football and not the steroid using junkie that it should be looked upon.Ask any ibrox fan if they would give up those titles they won during the cheating years they would say NO, Ask any other fan in any sport if they knew titles or trophies won by cheating would they like to see them kept and celebrated the answer would be shove them up your ar**
    When you idolise a cheat and you know they have cheated but you go along with it you are not fooled, you are part of the problem of seeing a fair game ever being fair again.

  18. easyJambo 27th July 2020 at 00:16
    I spoke to my match official friend in the pub tonight. He told me that the match officials have no responsibilities for club testing protocols. Apparently each club has a nominated Covid-19 person who has responsibility to ensure that the club adheres to the testing protocols agreed between the SFA and the Scottish Government.

    John Clark 27th July 2020 at 00:40
    And really, when you think about it, it would be a bit absurd if football referees were to be expected to be covid-19 health authorities and adjudicators any more than they are expected to be crowd safety or fire or hygiene authorities.
    ……………………..
    Jesus! i can’t leave the house without a “Have you got your mask, have you got your hand sanitiser. If a club nominated Covid-19 person at ibrox never set alarm bells ringing when the players took to the field, that club should be punished. Like when i leave the house there are many questions asked, how many people were at ibrox that day? did no one ask any questions?
    Have (you got your mask) Have the players been tested? have the results came back should have been questions everyone at that ground should have been asking no matter what there job was that day, that should have been the first question on anyones lips even if you have no responsibilities for club testing protocols. Hiding behind not my place to ask or not my job does not cut it. Everyone and their granny should have been asking those questions that day.
    Even a couple of don’t know answers should have set alarm bells ringing.

  19. Deja vu… again? indecision

    Could it be, that the SFA has repeated a simple mistake, regarding testing results and protocols:

    it trusted ALL clubs to honestly self-certificate?

    The Hampden blazers simply don't do 'learning from experience' and steadfastly remain stoopid…   smiley

  20. easyJambo 27th July 2020 at 00:16

    I spoke to my match official friend in the pub tonight. He told me that the match officials have no responsibilities for club testing protocols. Apparently each club has a nominated Covid-19 person who has responsibility to ensure that the club adheres to the testing protocols agreed between the SFA and the Scottish Government.

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

    Thanks very much, I find that absolutely extraordinary.

    Rather than have the match official confirm that the players have been tested and are negative they are leaving it up to the clubs themselves. What happens, that is then abused almost instantly.

    The SFA really do need to take strong action in relation to things like this. We are talking about the safety of the players, the officials, anyone they come in contact with etc etc.

    Absolutely appalling.

  21. I would have thought that  the Coronavirus Joint Response Group  might have had something to say about TRFC's breach of testing protocol?

    Have I missed it? There's nothing from them on the SFA website later than 23 July.

  22. It is being reported that Hearts and Partick Thistle have lost the arbitration hearing and they will play in the lower divisions next year, with the promotions of Dundee Utd etc standing.

    I have no idea what happens next, if anything. 

  23. I find it odd that none of the parties involved have said anything as yet, but the MSM appear to have been advised of the outcome, despite the lack of leaks earlier in the process.

    If that is indeed the final outcome, then everything just moves on.  I would like to see the reasons for the decision though.

  24. SPFL Statement

    https://spfl.co.uk/news/arbitration-panel-hands-down-unanimous-judgement

    ARBITRATION PANEL HANDS DOWN UNANIMOUS JUDGEMENT

    MONDAY, 27 JULY 2020

    SPFL Chairman Murdoch MacLennan said: “The formation of this SFA Arbitration Panel was an important step for Scottish football and one which enabled a minutely detailed examination of the entire process of ‘calling the season’.

    “Directors and officials from the SPFL co-operated with the panel to the fullest possible extent, during which they were subjected to forensic examination by QCs, all under the scrutiny of a Senator of the College of Justice and two experienced Sheriffs.

    “No-one should be under any illusion about the rigorous and challenging nature of this process. I would fully expect all those involved to agree that no stone was left unturned, no allegation left unanswered. Every aspect of the various arguments put forward by both Heart of Midlothian and Partick Thistle was examined minutely, with full access to all relevant documents, records, emails and telephone logs. 

    “The panel heard from many witnesses, including senior figures from across our game and three members of the SPFL executive team. Thousands of pages of evidence were considered.

    “I’m therefore very pleased that the tribunal unanimously held that the challenges to the written resolution of 15 April 2020 failed, and that the SPFL were entitled to pass, and give effect to, the written resolution and all that flowed from it.

    “Throughout the process, and whilst under the most severe pressure, criticism and media scrutiny, the SPFL has followed appropriate legal guidance and acted in accordance with the best interests of the SPFL as a whole at all times.

    “It is regrettable that the league had to be concluded in the way that it was. However, despite calls to the contrary from some parties, subsequent events, including the virtual shutdown of our entire country for months, confirm that there was no viable alternative. With contact training only being allowed to resume on 29 June, it was simply impossible for games to be played or for Season 2019/20 to continue. 

    “I want to make clear that it is unfortunate the early curtailment of the season relegated Hearts, Partick Thistle and Stranraer. However, in circumstances where reconstruction was comprehensively rejected by SPFL member clubs, there was no viable alternative. I sympathise hugely with all three clubs, but given this clear and unequivocal tribunal decision, it is imperative that everyone accepts it and works together to ensure that our game can move forward and tackle the enormous and continuing challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

    SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “This is a clear, comprehensive and unanimous decision.

    “I am absolutely delighted that our approach has been vindicated throughout, following an intense period of legal scrutiny and review.

    “It has been a very demanding process, but I had complete confidence in the actions and decisions of the SPFL board and the SPFL executive team.”

  25. McClennan:"I would fully expect all those involved to agree that no stone was left unturned, no allegation left unanswered,"  

    Oh that the President of the SFA could say as much of that 'governance' body's own  LNS Inquiry, and of the Res 12 matter, where there were and are plenty of stones left unturned , and plenty of allegations not even looked at let alone 'answered'. 

     

     

     

  26. MacLennan:”I would fully expect all those involved to agree that no stone was left unturned, no allegation left unanswered,”  

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

    In that case…….I would fully expect all those involved to agree that the full detail of the arbitration hearing be made public.

    To have any hope of moving-on, we need full transparency.

     

  27. John Clark 27th July 2020 at 14:52

    McClennan:"I would fully expect all those involved to agree that no stone was left unturned, no allegation left unanswered,"…

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

    There must be quite a few stones – piled high – at Hampden, which are clearly marked;

    "DON'T TURN OVER!"  indecision

    The SFA website has a current virus update – which specifically mentions St.Mirren.

    However, there is specifically NO mention of a club fielding 9 untested players.

     

  28. Arbitration is a confidential process. 

    I would be surprised if much comes out by way of details on the deliberations.

    Apparently that confidentiality is backed up by legislation, I do not know enough about it to say more than that. 

    "Arbitration in Scotland is a confidential process, and unlike the position in most jurisdictions, the duty to treat proceedings as confidential is backed up by legislation.  The obligation to treat all matters relating to the arbitration confidentially is enshrined in the Scottish Act, and is has been strongly backed by the Scottish courts."

  29. https://www.heartsfc.co.uk/news/article/joint-club-statement-1-2-3-4-5-6

    Response to Scottish FA Article 99 Arbitration: Determination – 27.07.20

    Arbitral Tribunal:

    “The tribunal appointed in terms of Scottish Football Association Article 99 issued its decision today. It unanimously held that the challenges to the Written Resolution of 15 April 2020 failed, and that the SPFL were entitled to pass, and give effect to, the Written Resolution and all that flowed from it. Accordingly it refused to grant any of the orders sought by Heart of Midlothian FC and Partick Thistle FC and continued the arbitration for submissions about expenses.”

     

    Joint Statement by Heart of Midlothian FC and Partick Thistle FC:

    “As all Parties have been requested not to comment on the tribunal’s decision or reveal details of the hearings on the grounds of confidentiality, all we can only say is how disappointed and surprised we are at the outcome.

    “We don’t regret taking this action as it was the right thing for us to do. There were better ways to deal with ending the season, fairer ways other than putting the burden of a pandemic on to three clubs.”

  30. In addition to the joint statement, Partick put out their own, and much more emotional, statement, in which Jacqui Low seeks use the decision to galvanise the club and its supporters.

    https://ptfc.co.uk/ptfc-news/message-to-the-partick-thistle-family/

    Extract:

    But I ask everyone associated with Thistle to never forget today. To never forget how it feels to be relegated unfairly. To never forget that there are many good decent people and clubs in Scotland who stood with us, publicly and privately – but there are some whose fear and self-interest got in the way of doing the right thing.

    The Board, CEO and I are grateful for the unwavering support as we have navigated our way through this crisis. This is now a defining moment in our history, it’s time to stand together and make season 2020/21 a winning one regardless of what the rest of football says or does.

    We have every right to be angry. So let’s use that anger as the fuel that drives our campaign in 2020/21. This is now about Thistle, no one else. Our fate and our success once again lies in our own hands and our hands only.

  31. The correct resolution under extremely difficult circumstances was reconstruction in my opinion.

    Without that it was inevitable that someone had to lose out. Whether it be the clubs which were relegated, as has been confirmed by the arbitration, or the clubs losing out on promotion, which they will now get. Someone was going to lose out.

    Promotion with no relegation was achievable, the SPFL board wanted it as far as I could see.

    The clubs rejected it, and that was the matter dead.

     

     

  32. Homunculus @ 19.12

    The correct resolution under extremely difficult circumstances was reconstruction in my opinion.

    ——————————————————————————-

    The best decision would have been to complete the season behind closed doors resulting in nobody losing out.  If this was not possible, and I'm not convinced it wasn't, the second best solution would have been reconstruction, if only on a temporary basis. What we have ended up with is a nonsense.

     

  33. bordersdon 27th July 2020 at 19:48

    Homunculus @ 19.12

    The correct resolution under extremely difficult circumstances was reconstruction in my opinion. ——————————————————————————-

    The best decision would have been to complete the season behind closed doors resulting in nobody losing out. If this was not possible, and I'm not convinced it wasn't,

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

       There wasn't a reliable test available until quite recently BD, and even when one was discovered, the equipment required was naturally prioritised in directions it would do most good. 

        In addition there were legal matters such as player and partner contracts to consider, and furloughed groundstaff etc, One club even ripped its pitch up. 

  34. bordersdon 27th July 2020 at 19:48
    The best decision would have been to complete the season behind closed doors
    ………..
    When?
    There were no test kits avaliable, even when they became available only two clubs bought them. Even now we can’t even get a club to follow the right protocol for a friendly with testing never mind a real game. So just when would these games be played behind closed doors? and at what cost? Remember one club refused point blank to play games behind closed doors. So just when and how do you think the season would or could be played behind closed doors?

  35. bordersdon 27th July 2020 at 19:48
    Homunculus @ 19.12

    The correct resolution under extremely difficult circumstances was reconstruction in my opinion.

    ——————————————————————————-

    The best decision would have been to complete the season behind closed doors resulting in nobody losing out.

    No doubt that was the best option at that time and that it was what every club wanted and every set of supporters wanted.

    However they had to work within the confines of what the Scottish Government would allow, even behind closed doors, in addition to what could be afforded by the clubs. It is only fairly recently that the clubs were allowed to play at all. Even then they seem unable to stick to fairly simple instructions.

    Once it was decided the league would be finished, by a resolution voted on by the clubs, the correct way to go was reconstruction. Which this time the clubs would not support.

  36. Sorry if my previous is a bit confusing, the edit function has gone.

    I was responding to

    “The best decision would have been to complete the season behind closed doors resulting in nobody losing out.”

  37. Ann Budge has now issued a statement which includes a couple of barbs.

    https://www.heartsfc.co.uk/news/article/a-message-from-ann-budge-1

    What has been allowed to happen in Scottish football, where fellow member clubs and our governing bodies have stood back and allowed totally disproportionate financial damage to be imposed on 3 of its members, can only be described as shameful… as indeed, should the SPFL’s recent self-congratulatory statement.

    For too long, Chairmen and Owners have stood on the sidelines bemoaning the decision-making processes, the perceived lack of leadership, the lack of commercialism; the general shortcomings, as they see it, of Scottish football. However, if they really want things to change, it will take more than words. They will have to stand-up and be counted.

    We tried to do just that. Unfortunately, the very fact that we tried and lost, will cause many others to be even more wary. I can hear them now… “You can’t fight the rules; you can’t fight the establishment; we must support the centre.” Sadly, I see little cause for optimism that things will improve any time soon in Scottish football. I hope I am wrong.

  38. Homunculus

    You have captured my feelings completely.

    I would add that I think reconstruction could have happened if Ann Budge hadn’t suggested what sounded like pre-conditions and the ICT CEO hadn’t been exposed as a truth twister. Both did their clubs and Scottish football a disservice.

  39. It looks as if the clubs who have suffered most from this episode are preparing to ‘move on’.
    If that is the case, then it reflects more favourably on them than the authorities. Sadly it also means that the opportunity to get some laundry aired has again been lost.

    My problem with the SPFL board is not that they have been found to be doing anything wrong. Despite our knowledge of the systematic corruption that pertains in the Scottish game, I was never convinced that this was a legal hill high enough to die on.

    Even if the original vote had been carried out legally (though not professionally) and all protocols were followed to the letter, here was an opportunity for a statesmanship to emerge that recognised the spirit if not the letter of the rules. That statesmanship is absent in the game, and whilst many will observe that Hearts and Thistle probably would have been with most of the rest if they had not been at the sharp end of the Covid19 stick, that matters little to me – because someone – anyone – would have been at the sharp end of that stick.

    There was for sure a way out to prevent or mitigate the damage to those clubs. The spirit of sportsmanship and fairness had an opportunity to emerge, but that spirit is as scarce in Scottish football as an ice sculpture at a bonfire.

    Compare and contrast the casual, offhand dismissal of these three clubs’ pleas for help to the demented Armageddon calls of 2012 – set up to try to enable and reward a club who had actually cheated.

    And consider that the rationale for that demented leap down the rabbit hole was to “protect the game’s finances”.

    Perhaps an Edinburgh derby or four isn’t a money maker?

    No matter what happens next season, I hope (and I know that this is inexplicably not the consensus view on here) that Hearts, Partick Thistle and Stranraer win their respective competitions comfortably, and that they can use this episode to galvanise their staff and fans and use this as a springboard to greater success in the future.

    For the rest of Scottish football, they will have to be content with the realisation that they are as small and parochial as the English media have long characterised them.

    For once in Scottish football, nobody cheated. Perversely though, this time five clubs were punished.

  40. Corrupt Official
    There’s not a reliable test now!! Legal matters? Yeh we avoided them! Not.
    Cluster one.
    As soon as possible, even if it impacted on season 2020/21.
    Don’t recall any club saying they would not play BCD’s

  41. Am I correct in thinking that there is no financial compensation for the clubs involved?

  42. Big Pink 27th July 2020 at 21:02

    For the rest of Scottish football, they will have to be content with the realisation that they are as small and parochial as the English media have long characterised them.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I would be loathe to say that without knowing the views of all 39 other clubs. How many of them would have supported reconstruction for example. Or how many would have supported it if it did not have to be a temporary arrangement.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52822935

    Would reconstruction be permanent?

    Budge is very keen to stress her proposal is a short-term measure and reconstruction is only temporary. Unless enough clubs vote otherwise, the structure would return to 12-10-10-10 in the summer of 2022.

    This idea is not popular with several clubs contacted by BBC Scotland, who point out that it could mean three clubs being relegated from the Premiership that season, and six demoted from the Championship. Are those who that would endanger going to support that?

    One senior club official said that he was “sad” about the proposals, adding: “We had a real chance for change – but a two-year deal?”

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

    I’m afraid that Hearts, Partick Thistle and Stranraer good, everyone else bad is too much of a sweeping generalisation for my liking.

  43. I started out with a deal of sympathy for Hearts suggesting early on that clubs suffering through premature call of seasons end should perhaps have been offered some financial compensation at the least. The opinion of the majority was against reconstruction and no sweetening of the pill seemed to be forthcoming.Hearts and Thistle have both issued statements that wouldn’t have been out of place if posted by an entity that has a deal of experience in statements.I have just finished watching Fear City on Netflix , a documentary series on the pervasive influence of the mafia in New York during the 70/80’s. The ‘Commission’ was a gathering of the most influential gangster families at the time and they turned on one of their own ,Carmine Gallante.Nothing personal Ann,just business.

  44. bordersdon 27th July 2020 at 21:04
    As soon as possible, even if it impacted on season 2020/21.
    Don’t recall any club saying they would not play BCD’s
    ……………………
    https://twitter.com/ClusterOne2/status/1287848105581465600/photo/1
    …….
    Uefa have stated that all leagues must finish on Aug 3 at latest. scottish clubs are not allowed to play until Aug 1. so when would you expect the games to be played behind closed doors?
    Also if the SPFL does not start on time there will be penalties from sky

  45. bordersdon 27th July 2020 at 21:17

    Am I correct in thinking that there is no financial compensation for the clubs involved?
    ………………….
    Clubs involved have been hit with a letter of complaint for bringing the game into disrepute they could end up with a fine.

  46. Cluster one @ 21.38

    Uefa have stated that all leagues must finish on Aug 3 at latest. scottish clubs are not allowed to play until Aug 1.

    Did we consider taking a year out from UEFA competitions? Nah I don’t suppose that would work for all!!

  47. adam812 27th July 2020 at 20:56

    I would add that I think reconstruction could have happened if Ann Budge hadn’t suggested what sounded like pre-conditions and the ICT CEO hadn’t been exposed as a truth twister. Both did their clubs and Scottish football a disservice.

    I think you misrepresent what actually happened.

    The SPFL Board knew that there was a risk of litigation (their QC told them). They knew that reconstruction would largely have removed that risk, but deemed it a difficult sell to clubs who have historically opposed it. As a result the composite resolution proposed by the Board did not include reconstruction as part of package to be voted on.

    There was a token commitment to explore reconstruction if the resolution was passed. A working group was set up, including representatives from a third of SPFL sides plus HL and LL representatives. That should have been sufficient to come up with a proposal that should have had a chance of getting through, but what happened? They didn’t even get the chance to present their proposals, because half a dozen Premiership clubs had already indicated that they would not support ANY reconstruction proposal. Reconstruction was doomed to fail before it started. I don’t see how that was of Hearts and ICT’s doing.

    There remains a “closed shop, old school, gentlemen’s club and blazer” mentality by owners and CEO’s of many Scottish Clubs. While that remains Scottish Football will remain the parochial, backward looking and insignificant entity it has become over the last decade and more.

  48. bordersdon 27th July 2020 at 21:45
    …………………..
    Did we consider taking a year out from UEFA competitions? Nah I don’t suppose that would work for all!!

    I believe you have to give two years notice, happy to be corrected. It is not just the clubs that take part in UEFA competitions that make money. Every SPFL club recieve solidarity payment funds. if clubs do well in europe. A good cash boost for many clubs

  49. Cluster one
    I’ll leave it at that. A big cash boost for some. Maybe in these “unprecedented times” even uefa would have been willing to change the rules (if indeed that is a rule)? Just wondered if that was considered.

  50. JC, having an early night?
    I like to read your midnight-ish post to put an end to the day.

  51. easyJambo 27th July 2020 at 21:57

    There remains a “closed shop, old school, gentlemen’s club and blazer” mentality by owners and CEO’s of many Scottish Clubs. While that remains Scottish Football will remain the parochial, backward looking and insignificant entity it has become over the last decade and more.

    If Hearts had not been in the position they were in, I am quite sure Anne Budge would have been happy to be part of the closed shop, old school mentality. I am also quite sure had other clubs been in Hearts position, they may well have taken the same route as Ann Budge. What I can’t accept is the notion that only Anne Budge cares about the greater good of the game. She has had a longer honeymoon in Scottish football than anyone I can remember other than David Murray, who was on permanent honeymoon!

  52. easyjambo
    So much has happened during lock down that I cannot be sure what information became available to us in real time and what has come after the event.

    A lot of my knowledge came from Sportsound where it seemed to me that Ann Budge and people like Scott Gardiner were treated with reverence and Neil Doncaster the complete opposite.

    If my memory serves me correctly I believe Ann Budge told Tom English that she wanted temporary reconstruction a long time before we heard anything about the legal advice the SPFL received.

    Media people and others, including myself, seemed to fail to understand fully why Neil Doncaster spoke about the need to put forward single issue resolutions. If you put forward multiple options you will struggle to get concensus and I would respectfully suggest Ann Budge, by voicing her opinions to Tom English, muddied the waters too much.

    Many posters on this site will have realised this. You state black is black and white is white and get thumbs up all round (maybe one or two “awkward” people will go thumbs-down!) but if you included a comment about green or blue it was very different! The result was that you didn’t know if there were lots of people disagreeing that white is white!

    One final question from me on this subject is to ask was there really a need for Ann Budge to end her statement with the comment “I am sorry we did not win this battle but as we all know, it is winning the war that counts”?

  53. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger , and we’ve not died a winter yet . Onwards and upwards (etc !) Back to football , please .

  54. jimbo 28th July 2020 at 00:51
    ‘..JC, having an early night?
    I like to read your midnight-ish post to put an end to the day’
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Ha, ha, jimbo.
    At about 22.00 last night I read adam812’s earlier post of 20.56 , and then I graciously had to hand over the pc to Mrs C, for her to communicate with Australia. (In any case, I didn’t have anything to say that would have been worth the bother of using my phone to do so)

    And that was that. By the time she was finished it was bedtime.

    I’ve read the rest of last night’s posts ,and this morning’s, of course.

    I think my general position is expressed by BP in his post (Big Pink 27th July 2020 at 21:02):

    “Compare and contrast the casual, offhand dismissal of these three clubs’ pleas for help to the demented Armageddon calls of 2012 – set up to try to enable and reward a club who had actually cheated.”
    together with eJ’s (“easyJambo 27th July 2020 at 21:57)
    “There remains a “closed shop, old school, gentlemen’s club and blazer” mentality by owners and CEO’s of many Scottish Clubs..”

    For such an inter-dependent aggregation of businesses to have accepted the ‘Big Lie’ to try to save one club from the ordinary consequences of its decade-long deliberate and calculated cheating and yet perversely refuse to find some way of recognising the truly extraordinary circumstances brought about by Covid19 ,is a measure of the rank rotten ‘values’ cherished by the ‘SPFL’ ( and, of course, shared by the SFA).
    Frankly, Scottish Football as the antithesis of any kind of soundly and honestly administered ‘sport’ deserves to die.

  55. adam812 27th July 2020 at 20:56

    I would add that I think reconstruction could have happened if Ann Budge hadn’t suggested what sounded like pre-conditions and the ICT CEO hadn’t been exposed as a truth twister. Both did their clubs and Scottish football a disservice.

    easyJambo 27th July 2020 at 21:57
    I think you misrepresent what actually happened……

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

    I agree with EJ for the same reasons he presents in the same post referenced above. I`d also like to point out how ‘faulty’ narratives can appear and if favourable to general views on X or Y, are easily and eagerly adopted #confirmationbias

    IMO, this has a lot to do with why throughout this omnishambles, the SPFL executive have prioritised a spin campaign in the media, rather than consider or be in a position to be able to show considered leadership. As far as the print (& online presence) were concerned, it was mainly done through Keith Jackson at the DR.

    Going back to something I mentioned yesterday….

    MacLennan:”I would fully expect all those involved to agree that no stone was left unturned, no allegation left unanswered,”

    In that case…….I would fully expect all those involved to agree that the full detail of the arbitration hearing be made public.

    I know secrecy can be a regrettable part of the arbitration process but I seem to recall it being reported, that if all sides were willing to have the details made public, then it could be done.
    Can anyone give a definitive on that, please. EJ ?

  56. reasonablechap 28th July 2020 at 11:1
    “””””””””
    Arbitration(Scotland) Act 2010 Schedule 1
    “Rule 26 Confidentiality D
    26(1)Disclosure by the tribunal, any arbitrator or a party of confidential information relating to the arbitration is to be actionable as a breach of an obligation of confidence unless the disclosure—
    (a)is authorised, expressly or impliedly, by the parties (or can reasonably be considered as having been so authorised),

    (b)is required by the tribunal or is otherwise made to assist or enable the tribunal to conduct the arbitration,

    (c)is required—

    (i)in order to comply with any enactment or rule of law,

    (ii)for the proper performance of the discloser’s public functions, or

    (iii)in order to enable any public body or office-holder to perform public functions properly,

    (d)can reasonably be considered as being needed to protect a party’s lawful interests,

    (e)is in the public interest,

    (f)is necessary in the interests of justice, or

    (g)is made in circumstances in which the discloser would have absolute privilege had the disclosed information been defamatory.

    (2)The tribunal and the parties must take reasonable steps to prevent unauthorised disclosure of confidential information by any third party involved in the conduct of the arbitration.

    (3)The tribunal must, at the outset of the arbitration, inform the parties of the obligations which this rule imposes on them.

    (4)“Confidential information”, in relation to an arbitration, means any information relating to—

    (a)the dispute,

    (b)the arbitral proceedings,

    (c)the award, or

    (d)any civil proceedings relating to the arbitration in respect of which an order has been granted under section 15 of this Act,

    which is not, and has never been, in the public domain.”

  57. In the spirit of moving on could I please recommend a very useful location app to fellow posters.

    Thinking about a time in the not too distant future when mass attendance football is once again safe and you are planning to pick up a friend in Inverness before you travel on together to watch Ross County. Your friend suggests a retail park car park as a good place to meet.

    When you’re travelling up the A9 you get a text from him saying “foster.bumps.song” which you enter into the what3words app. You can download the app from the Play or App store and try the words out to see how it works.

    It’s more than just a friend finder as I have used it to get an ambulance to an otherwise difficult to explain location following a serious accident.

  58. John Clark 28th July 2020 at 11:46

    “””””””””
    Arbitration(Scotland) Act 2010 Schedule 1
    “Rule 26 Confidentiality D
    26(1)Disclosure by the tribunal, any arbitrator or a party of confidential information relating to the arbitration is to be actionable as a breach of an obligation of confidence unless the disclosure—

    (a)is authorised, expressly or impliedly, by the parties (or can reasonably be considered as having been so authorised),

    (e)is in the public interest,

    ==========================
    Thanks JC !

    The HMFC/PT joint statement had this to say about it……. “As all Parties have been requested not to comment on the tribunal’s decision or reveal details of the hearings on the grounds of confidentiality, all we can only say is how disappointed and surprised we are at the outcome.”

    The SPFL statement was very keen to sell the process as having been rigorous, thorough and leaving no stones unturned but never mentioned the restrictions in giving us the detail to back that up.

    Who made the decision to tell the parties not to comment or reveal details ?
    Given the level of public interest (ie. the main stakeholders:fans), why ?

  59. reasonablechap
    I am happy to accept that I have likely viewed the events of the last few months with more than a little bias but I try to acknowledge it. Indeed when I share concerns about events at Ibrox with my Rangers supporting sister I always acknowledge that I am wearing green tinted specs!

    I do struggle with your comments about media spin by the SPFL though as there seemed to be very little support for them. Maybe the North of Scotland gets a different online product from the DR!

  60. John Clark 28th July 2020 at 10:34

    Frankly, Scottish Football as the antithesis of any kind of soundly and honestly administered ‘sport’ deserves to die.

    IMO, Scottish football doesn’t need reconstruction,
    but some form of creative destruction.

    Initially, I was thinking that the pandemic could be the external / unexpected catalyst which finally forced wholesale changes on the game.
    Mibbees it still will…?

    But, so far in 2020 events have only reinforced the position that our clubs and the blazers just want to preserve the status quo.

  61. Have we lost the ‘edit’ facility, and the scroll back to previous pages function? Or rather, I seem not to have these .Am I alone?

  62. Me too JC.
    Lost edit facility and the icons, and the separator indicator of ‘=’ signs.
    What did you do JC… ? 🙂

  63. reasonablechap 28th July 2020 at 11:17
    I know secrecy can be a regrettable part of the arbitration process but I seem to recall it being reported, that if all sides were willing to have the details made public, then it could be done.

    Can anyone give a definitive on that, please. EJ ?

    Maybe if you emailed the parties involved asking, "If the others grant permission, will you?", you may get a response. If nothing else it may help you narrow down the circle of suspect secreteers.

  64. Testing Time for Prem 12.
    By kenny MacDonald.

    The aim is to make sure there’s no repeat of TWO issues which caused problems during pre-season bounce games last week.
    The SPFL wrote to rangers after their B-Team game against Dundee utd last week to make sure all players had been given the all clear.
    Hibs and Motherwell also recieved letters from Hampden requesting clarification on testing delays.
    ST Mirren then reported seven of their staff had tested positive – but after further tests it emerged onlyone had the virus with the other 6 being false positives.
    ……………………………………………….
    One. I see THREE issues here, the ibrox one The Hibs and Motherwell and the ST Mirren one. But being reported that there is only TWO.
    Do they deem one of these are not an issue?
    ……………………
    easyJambo 27th July 2020 at 00:16
    I spoke to my match official friend in the pub tonight. He told me that the match officials have no responsibilities for club testing protocols.

    The SPFL wrote to rangers after their B-Team game against Dundee utd last week to make sure all players had been given the all clear

    Your friend may be correct. Why would the match officials have any responsibilities for club testing protocols, when the SPFL will write to you to make sure all players had been given the all clear.

  65. Whilst a recurring theme on SFM is the disconnect between Hampden / clubs and the supporters, this is an example – IMO – where supporters themselves can be disconnected from reality.

    It’s being reported that the proposed takeover of Newcastle United is still being stalled by the FA. A BBC quote caught my eye;

    “…More than 97% of Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust members are in favour of the takeover, and many fans have dismissed the manner in which the media has raised issues which could derail the Saudi bid…”

    I appreciate that the Toon Army is desperate to see the back of Mike Ashley – but is the Saudi state really a ‘less bad option’?

    Do they expect that NUFC will quickly become like Man City or PSG – awash with cash and a team full of superstars?
    Saudi has its own economic woes, and it’s surprising, to me anyway, that it wants to splurge on a football club at all.

    Mibbees NUFC supporters are just desperate, but I thought there would be more opposition to a Saudi takeover.

    [Disclaimer: I’m assuming that the BBC has not simply copied/pasted a press release from the Saudi side!]

    Moot point I suppose, as the FA will undoubtedly rubber stamp the transaction, eventually.

  66. I have it on good authority (JC & EJ) that Big Pink is not restoring the Edit and Emoji options until the Summer Fundraiser target is met!

  67. John Clark 28th July 2020 at 10:34

    For such an inter-dependent aggregation of businesses to have accepted the ‘Big Lie’ to try to save one club from the ordinary consequences of its decade-long deliberate and calculated cheating and yet perversely refuse to find some way of recognising the truly extraordinary circumstances brought about by Covid19 ,is a measure of the rank rotten ‘values’ cherished by the ‘SPFL’ ( and, of course, shared by the SFA).
    Frankly, Scottish Football as the antithesis of any kind of soundly and honestly administered ‘sport’ deserves to die.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I haven’t been on here lately but agree that because of the circumstances more should have been done to prevent the Hearts, Partick and Stranraer relegations.

    However, my understanding is that the SPFL leadership had it in mind to implement some sort of reconstruction but this was cut across by other agendas opposing any reconstruction and the “Null and Void” Brigade.

    Clearly they made an arse of handling the situation but the bottom line is, it was the clubs themselves who vetoed any reconstruction.

    I will finish with a question which never seems to get answered. What should replace the incompetent SPFL Board/leadership? Many call for them and the SFA to be disbanded but what next?

  68. bordersdon 27th July 2020 at 22:35
    ….
    Looking back at the comments yesterday i feel my tone towards your posts was harsh, Sorry for that.

  69. Having completed an online course and exam , and having the results delayed by the current pandemic , it crossed my mind that I still haven’t heard of Alastair Johnston passing a fit and proper examination . Any news on this ? A new season is upon us and you would normally clear the decks before venturing forth .

  70. Bogs Dollox 28th July 2020 at 14:14

    I will finish with a question which never seems to get answered. What should replace the incompetent SPFL Board/leadership? Many call for them and the SFA to be disbanded but what next?

    ++++++++++++++

    It’s a very valid point. Who decides what format the replacement organisation(s) would take, and how do we know the decision would be made free of influence and bias? It would be very difficult in Scotland.

  71. upthehoops 28th July 2020 at 21:12
    Bogs Dollox 28th July 2020 at 14:14

    I will finish with a question which never seems to get answered. What should replace the incompetent SPFL Board/leadership? Many call for them and the SFA to be disbanded but what next?

    ++++++++++++++

    It’s a very valid point. Who decides what format the replacement organisation(s) would take, and how do we know the decision would be made free of influence and bias? It would be very difficult in Scotland.

    I’ve given my thoughts about this a couple of time recently, but I’ll summarise them as follows.

    You create an Executive Board of maybe 3 or 4 professionals not connected to any club. A CEO figurehead, leader, thinker, strategist, a Commercial director to do all the contract negotiations with broadcasters, sponsors etc. A Marketing director whose job is to promote the “brand”, seek out new investment and growth opportunities, delivery channels etc. You may also want a football administrator type to look after the Leagues themselves, the rules, fixtures, discipline etc., although it is not necessary for the football person to be on the Exec Board.

    Those individuals should be contracted for fixed terms or for the duration of specific projects, e.g you may want to co-opt someone to deliver a new league structure. Contracts should only be renewed based on performance and delivery of the expected change.

    The Execs would have been given the power to make changes without further referral to the clubs, although they may wish to consult with a Clubs Board when bouncing ideas around, but the Exec has to be autonomous and allowed to implement any changes they see fit, e.g. reconstruction.

    The Clubs Board responsibility would simple be a sounding board and as a conduit for communication between the Exec and the clubs. They may also participate along with the Execs on nomination and remuneration committees.

    In order to set it up, it would need all the clubs to sign up to the new structure and see their individual rights diluted, but to set the objectives for the first Exec appointees, e.g. raise income by x% a year, review the league set up and implement a new structure in two seasons time. There would be no final votes by clubs on the key changes on contracts, league structure etc.

    Such changes could well be radical and mean significant change for some clubs, e.g. part time clubs in regional leagues, full integration with the pyramid.

    Probably all just wishful thinking I’m afraid, but that’s the way I see it working. Something needs to change, or the game will ultimately die a death with few full time clubs left.

  72. Arbitration(Scotland) Act 2010 Schedule 1
    “Rule 26 Confidentiality D
    26(1)Disclosure by the tribunal, any arbitrator or a party of confidential information relating to the arbitration is to be actionable as a breach of an obligation of confidence unless the disclosure—

    (a)is authorised, expressly or impliedly, by the parties (or can reasonably be considered as having been so authorised),

    (e)is in the public interest,

    ==========================
    Thanks JC !

    The HMFC/PT joint statement had this to say about it……. “As all Parties have been requested not to comment on the tribunal’s decision or reveal details of the hearings on the grounds of confidentiality, all we can only say is how disappointed and surprised we are at the outcome.”

    The SPFL statement was very keen to sell the process as having been rigorous, thorough and leaving no stones unturned but never mentioned the restrictions in giving us the detail to back that up.

    Who made the decision to tell the parties not to comment or reveal details ?
    Given the level of public interest (ie. the main stakeholders:fans), why ?

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

    I note that the recent arbitral award by CAS on Manchester City/UEFA has been made public, all 93 pages of it.

    https://www.tas-cas.org/fileadmin/user_upload/CAS_Award_6785___internet__.pdf

  73. easyJambo 28th July 2020 at 22:00
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    Finding anyone in Scotland ‘not connected to any club’ would not be easy. Any perceived connections would be leaked to the media by clubs for whatever reason, just like Rangers did with Murdoch Maclennan and his perceived connection to Celtic. Journalists with a gripe may then support the views . Just like several journalists did with the MacLennan issue. Even Graham Spiers said Gordon Smith and Campbell Ogilvie were fair and honest, but Dave King was right to raise the issue about MacLennan. Look how the BBC attacked the SPFL constantly during recent events. You may disagree as a Hearts fan, but the BBC failed to present a balanced case. The media let Rangers off completely with their accusations about corruption then failing to provide the promised evidence. I’m sure you can see the difficulties we would face in Scotland. where in my view there are still too many who see there being a natural order.

    As for the game dying a death with more part time clubs. As a teenager in the 1970’s I used to read that often in newspapers. Decades on we have less part time clubs now than we did then. Even some top flight clubs like Kilmarnock and Partick were part time in those days.

  74. upthehoops 29th July 2020 at 06:50
    easyJambo 28th July 2020 at 22:00
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    Finding anyone in Scotland ‘not connected to any club’ would not be easy.
    ==================================
    For structural change, I don’t deem it necessary for a new set-up to be staffed by “fitba’ men” of any allegiance UTH, and as you point out, probably better if they didn’t. For example I don’t know if Barry Hearn is any good at snooker or has ever thrown a treble 20.
    It’s not even necessary to be Scottish. ……. I made a comparison the other day with ACME quick-fit fitters running 42 garages, but I doubt if such a company existed it would be run by mechanics. Best in class at running a similar organisation is all that is required. From which industry is of far lesser importance.
    Just an opinion though. More important than my opinion, is how the paying public would prefer to see the sport run, and would it be accepting of the changes required. There would need to be many.

  75. As set out in previous posts, the Arbitration Act 2010 provides the legal route to making the arbitral judgement public #PublicInterest

    This is what Lord Clark said about public interest in his recent judgement from the Court of Session case HMFC/PT v SPFL

    18)”…I accept entirely, as Mr Thomson submitted, that the media and the general public have a great interest in this dispute and would prefer to have the issues aired in open court. However, as a matter of law, the parties have agreed to the terms of SFA articles of association and to be bound by them…”

    22)”The 2010 Act sets out its founding principles, including: a)….(b) that parties should be free to agree how to resolve disputes subject only to such safeguards as are necessary in the public interest…”

    https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/docs/default-source/cos-general-docs/pdf-docs-for-opinions/2020csoh68.pdf?sfvrsn=0

    The question I’d ask is, are the fans considered to be interested stakeholders who deserve and have a right to be informed or just revenue streams who can be kept at arms length ?

  76. easonablechap 29th July 2020 at 06:09
    ‘..I note that the recent arbitral award by CAS on Manchester City/UEFA has been made public, all 93 pages of it.’
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Yes, indeed: but again, only with the permission of all parties, or so it would seem from this:
    “Tribunal Arbitral du Sport Court of Arbitration for Sport
    Code of Sports-related Arbitration
    In force as from 1 July 2020

    “Statutes of the Bodies Working for the Settlement of Sports-Related Disputes
    “S1 In order to resolve sports-related disputes through arbitration and mediation, two bodies
    are hereby created:
    • the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS)
    • the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)
    …….
    R43. CONFIDENTIALITY

    Proceedings under these Procedural Rules are confidential. The parties, the arbitrators
    and CAS undertake not to disclose to any third party any facts or other information
    relating to the dispute or the proceedings without the permission of CAS. Awards shall
    not be made public unless all parties agree or the Division President so decides…”

    Since there appears to be no explicit mention that the Division President used his power to decide on the matter of disclosure in this case, the assumption is that all the parties had agreed to disclosure.

    (This brings me back to Lord Clarke’s reservations about the extraordinary penalty powers that the SFA has to punish clubs who take a football matter to Court without the SFA’s permission.

    If the Board of a private business organisation (such as the SPFL) were to act in an arbitrary way and in breach of, say, the Companies Act, against one of its members, can it be right that the SFA [ another private business organisation] should have the power to threaten the member with, ultimately, expulsion if it seeks redress in the Courts without the SFA’s permission?
    I think that that Article really needs to be looked at again. It cannot be right that citizens/businesses can be allowed as a condition of membership of a business organisation to sign away their absolute right to the protection of Law!)

  77. reasonablechap 29th July 2020 at 07:49
    18)”…I accept entirely, as Mr Thomson submitted, that the media and the general public have a great interest in this dispute and would prefer to have the issues aired in open court. However, as a matter of law, the parties have agreed to the terms of SFA articles of association and to be bound by them…”
    ………………………….
    Funny how these same parties had agreed to the terms of SFA articles of association that they are bound to state i believe that clubs should not take the governing bodies to court, but they did anyway

  78. Cluster One 29th July 2020 at 11:26
    ‘..Funny how these same parties had agreed to the terms of SFA articles of association that they are bound to state i believe that clubs should not take the governing bodies to court, but they did anyway’
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    That’s maybe a tad harsh, Cluster One.

    It is entirely possible (and indeed it was done) to argue that a dispute over whether the board of a company was in breach of its statutory duties is not at all a football dispute even if the businesses in dispute are involved in the business of football.

    It was therefore entirely reasonable for Hearts and PT to have initiated ‘pukka’, full legal action in the Courts without the permission of the SFA!( I wonder did they ask for permission and was it denied?)

    The fact that, in the event, Lord Clarke was persuaded by the Responders to accept that the question before him was indeed a’ football dispute’ that the Court had no business hearing doesn’t imply that Hearts/PT were acting rashly or foolishly: just that they lost that particular legal argument.

    They subsequently lost at the Arbitration Panel, presumably on the ‘merits’.

    We have to assume ( despite the unseemly gleeful and self-congratulatory tone of the SPFL’s statement [ which put me in mind of the raised fists and yells of ‘YEEEESSS’ when dirty wee tykes are, to their own surprise, acquitted of drug dealing offences]) that all was properly and fairly done by a truly independent Arbitration panel with no stake of any kind in the outcome.

    But it would do the SPFL a power of good if they and other parties agreed to allow publication of the whole judgment! ( they obviously don’t think so!)

  79. If the clubs don’t like the way their business is being operated, or the structure of the board, they would have brought it up at the AGM.

    I have not seen anything reported that they did. Did Hearts / Partick Thistle ? Stranraer for example propose any change. Either in the structure or the permanent members of the board.

  80. ‘..I note that the recent arbitral award by CAS on Manchester City/UEFA has been made public, all 93 pages of it.’
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    JC

    Yes, indeed: but again, only with the permission of all parties, or so it would seem from this:

    JC
    But it would do the SPFL a power of good if they and other parties agreed to allow publication of the whole judgment! ( they obviously don’t think so!)

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

    Yes, it would need all parties to ok it but in the circumstances, why would any say no ?

    The SPFL executive claim that the arbitral judgement provided ‘vindication’ and that there is absolutely nothing untoward to be seen. Why would they protest against the main root stakeholders (fans) being able to read the full judgement? If it is how they describe it, then it is clearly in their own interests to give a thumbs up to public release.

  81. Just to add……

    MacLennan:”I would fully expect all those involved to agree that no stone was left unturned, no allegation left unanswered,”

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

    In that case…….I would fully expect all those involved to agree that the full detail of the arbitration hearing be made public.

  82. Unlike LNS, the arbitration process is a legal mechanism undertaken under legal conditions, in a legal setting, in the name of the law. There is no appeal, therefore all arguments have been concluded and settled in law. No wrong-doing was found to have taken place, so that is the end of it.
         At one stage compensation was mentioned, and I assume confidentially sensitive materials disclosed by some, or all of the parties, if it was required. I have no idea if it was.
         However or for whatever reasons the law grants confidentiality, as a legal right to the parties involved. For whatever reason, whether the afore mentioned or not,  the parties involved have agreed to it. In fact they were telt !…. By a real judge. There is little point bitching about it now, unless one wishes to lobby for a change in the law.

  83. Headline from The DR;

    “5 reasons Alfredo Morelos leaving Rangers could be backed by Steven Gerrard

    Why would you want to sell your top scorer on the eve of the most important season in a generation?

    It’s a question some Rangers fans have been asking as news of Lille’s interest in Alfredo Morelos begins to percolate…”

    A prime example of a straightforward copy/paste PR job by an obedient, SMSM ‘journalist’.
    This new TRFC PR ‘expert’ is just as subtle as the previous ‘expert’!
    🙁

  84. StevieBC 29th July 2020 at 15:53

    Headline from The DR;

    “5 reasons Alfredo Morelos leaving Rangers could be backed by Steven Gerrard
    ………………………..
    You could file that alongside. SG never won anything but he brought back the smiles.
    Always trying to put a positive on any bad news coming down from ibrox way.

  85. So there we have it. The Arbitration process has been completed and the SPFL have been found to have done nothing unlawful or that contravened company law.

    Proving prejudice was always going to a high bar to get over, and for Hearts, Thistle and Stranraer it was not to be.

    What cannot be in doubt is that the resolution and the resulting effect on three clubs in particular was unfair. Even SPFL Board member Les Gray said so publicly. Various representatives from other clubs and within the game have voiced similar opinions and passed on their sympathies.

    It is clear that players, managers and ex-players and managers (and indeed anyone who has played competitive sport) would have wanted the season to be played out. It is what happens on the pitch that should decide matches and a season or a cup, because sport can throw up all sorts of situations. There are plenty of examples of teams at the bottom of tables down south avoiding relegation after battling back to safety once football restarted.

    It is of course the situation that perhaps starting back football in Scotland was a bit more difficult given that lockdown started a bit later than in England. Clearly there were issues with the changing of TV contracts from one deal to the new one with Sky. That perhaps meant flexibility that one would have thought should be available in unprecedented times was not available. But once again the concern is that we find our game being dictated by the TV companies.

    However, it is of interest to note that Celtic just managed to play 5 games in 12 days and T’Rangers played 4 in 10. They even went abroad to do so. If there is a will to play – there is a way.

    As we all know Hearts, Thistle and Stranraer did nothing wrong, they didn’t cheat, they didn’t cook the books, they didn’t give a bung to referees or play ineligible players. They merely found themselves at the bottom of the table at the time when football was suspended of the way by the pandemic.

    As some on here have said, reconstruction would have been a possible and fair solution. I cannot see why a temporary reconstruction to deal with a (hopefully) temporary situation is so distasteful to some. If it was such a problem then what better time to look at a long discussed permanent change. What will it take for Scottish Football to finally review the situation? There is something wrong with the ‘Professional’ game in this country when major decisions can be partially based on whether or not Albion Rovers can afford the bus fare to Brora!!

    Anyway, that boat has sailed and we are where we are. That place being one where a member’s organisation has voted to place the burden of the pandemic squarely on the shoulder of three clubs. Yes, others have maybe missed an opportunity of a play-off place and a couple of clubs have lost a bit of prize money but enforced relegation is really a sickner. If relegation was such a breeze, then why do we see so many clubs trying to avoid it with all their might over the course of a full season.

    And for ‘taking one for the team’ what has been offered in mitigation? Absolutely Hee-Haw. No review of final prize monies to see if even a smidgeon of compensation could be offered to those being relegated in such unique circumstances. Or, as was the case in the Netherlands, not even a bung of a few quid to those who missed out on promotion play-offs in recognition of teams missing out. As I understand it only two swaps of position resulted from the points per game formula. Why did Hibs and St Johnstone not think to split the difference?
    No, the vast majority took their money and ran while turning a blind eye to those fellow members losing out.

    As Ross County’s Roy MacGregor has said Hearts should just “take their medicine”.
    For some unknown reason that seems to be the attitude of many.

    There has been an inordinate focus on Hearts and Ann Budge and very little comment regards Thistle who, were arguably, even harder done by given the points situation and game in hand.
    I really have to wonder what Hearts and Budge have done to deserve this.
    The club has no doubt made mistakes in terms of managerial appointments but, given the topic of Auldhied’s Blog, even Fergus McCann didn’t get it right appointing a relative rookie in Tommy Burns. It took a good few years for Celtic to get the right formula.
    McCann came in to save a club who were at deaths door. Budge did the same.
    McCann was criticised for focussing on developing Celtic Park instead of watching what was happening on the pitch. Budge has done the same at Tynecastle.
    McCann’s idea was to increase fan ownership through shares issues. Budge is going the same way with Hearts and the Foundation of Hearts group.
    McCann, who came across as a far more a prickly no nonsense character, had no time for the Footballing Authorities and called them out. Budge has done the same.
    McCann put Celtic on a firm base on which it could succeed in the future. Even with enforced relegation Budge has ensured Hearts will rise again given the solid foundations she has laid.
    The fans will be even more committed to the club. Hearts will still be the third best supported team in the country. The aims and objectives of fan ownership via the Foundation of Hearts will continue and come to fruition.
    There will be no David Murray, Craig Whyte, Charles Green. Dave King shenanigans down Gorgie way. It will all be above board with the fans being kept abreast of matters in an open and transparent manner.

    For the rest of Scottish Football will however continue with an inherent lack of trust in both its leadership and also how clubs now treat each other. The recent Whatsapp groups have shown a good amount of people speaking with forked tongues.

    Be in no doubt that despite what is said in public, those running the game have no intention in letting the paying customer see how they manage their grubby deals.

    In relation drawing a line under the Rangers EBT scandal Neil Doncaster said the following:-

    “Football matters – and it probably matters more in Scotland than anywhere else in the world.
    “In that environment, you have intense focus on every move you make and syllable you utter. You shouldn’t be surprised if you get criticism or scrutiny.
    “That goes with the job, goes with the territory. That hasn’t surprised me and it doesn’t deter me.
    “I think that’s why transparency and openness are the themes of this morning. I think the only way you can possibly try and draw a line under the events of the past is to understand precisely what happened.
    “There is so much misunderstanding about everything that has happened involving Rangers over the past six years or so. That openness and transparency is, I think, important to trying to move on.
    “We absolutely welcome dialogue with clubs and supporter groups. We welcome their questions and scrutiny of the legal opinion. We will be as open as we can.”

    https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/sport/15436214.neil-doncaster-hopes-scottish-football-can-move-on-after-spfl-have-final-say-on-rangers-ebt-issue/

    Nice words, however yet again, like the 5 Way Agreement, like the SPFL and SFA kicking the Res 12/Euro licence issue into the long grass we have yet another major decision, this time via Arbitration, made behind closed doors with not even a whiff of the much talked about openness and transparency.
    MacLennan and Doncaster may be ‘delighted’ with the result of Arbitration but they are no further forward in explaining or justifying how and why we have got to where we are now.

    Let’s not forget the SPFL even argued against allowing two of their own members to see papers and other information relevant to the case and had to do so kicking and screaming only after Lord Clark got involved.
    If that’s how they treat their ‘football family’ what hope do we, the fans, have.

    This time it was Hearts, Thistle and Stranraer. However, there will be a next time and it will probably end up being someone else in the firing line. Don’t be surprised if we end up going through another fiasco in the near future.

    For those putting trust in the Arbitration process need to remember people can commit all sorts of crimes and other acts but still get away with it if the law and technicalities can’t pin it on you. The Arbitration decision simply implies that due process was followed. We have no detail if the Good Friday resolution was indeed the only way forward? What happened to the Dundee vote and what was said to Nelms? Was reconstruction (as part of the resolution), mitigation and compensation ever discussed? Were decent attempts made to try and get Sky to accommodate finishing the 19/20 season?

    On my mobile app for the site it says:-

    About Us
    SFM is a community of football fans who want to see the game is Scotland run fairly and in a manner that befits true sporting endeavour.

    Can’t say I’ve seen much of that on here over the last few months.

    Its been fun while it lasted, and I thank everyone for their efforts , especially Big Pink and the Mods. Thanks to everyone for all the posts, banter, debates and even the disagreements. Everyday has indeed been a school day.

    However, I think I’ve run my course in terms of posting on anything of a regular basis. I’ll keep looking in on you guys to see what is happening as it’s a hard habit to break. However, just now, I can’t see myself emerging from the shadows any time soon.

    Best wishes to you all and I hope you all stay safe and healthy in these strange times.

    Hopefully grounds will be full again sometime soon and we can see each other behind the goals!!

  86. In relation drawing a line under the Rangers EBT scandal Neil Doncaster said the following:-
    “..“There is so much misunderstanding about everything that has happened involving Rangers over the past six years or so. That openness and transparency is, I think, important to trying to move on…”

    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Even more important to ‘moving on’ , of course, is a readiness to apologise for and UNDO any and every wrong that was done, and to investigate allegations of wrongdoing.
    The “recognition” of TRFC as being RFC of 1872 and to allow it to proclaim itself deceitfully as being RFC of 1872 is such an offence to Truth, Sporting Integrity and plain common sense as to make a nonsense of any claim by either the SFA or the SPFL that truth and honesty is important.

  87. Thanks Wottpi.

    Insightful accurate and depressing.

    SFM and Scottish Football needs Wottpis, Red Lichties, Easyjambos, Auldheids, Allyjambos, John Clarks, Danish Pastries, Bogsdolloxes, Brenda’s Clocks, Jean Brodies and countless others who care deep down and have shown the desire and ability to elevate the debate above the partizan nonsense that can predominate.

  88. wottpi 29th July 2020 at 16:44

    Excellent post. I can certainly align myself with your sentiments.

  89. StevieBC 29th July 2020 at 15:53
    Headline from The DR;

    “5 reasons Alfredo Morelos leaving Rangers could be backed by Steven Gerrard

    Why would you want to sell your top scorer on the eve of the most important season in a generation?

    Because you already had serious money problems even before covid cut your income streams dramatically.

    Because the people previously providing loans aren’t willing or able to do it any more.

    Because you have deferred wages to come up with.

    Because your income for the foreseeable future is down.

    Because you have to.

  90. wottpi 29th July 2020 at 16:44
    ‘..However, I think I’ve run my course in terms of posting on anything of a regular basis.’
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Well, I’m sure I’m not the only one who will miss your posts, wottpi!
    I ,like you , have been a bit disappointed at the apparent lack of agreement on the blog that the SPFL made as much of an absolute bolloks of their approach to the pandemic as they did in their dealing with SDM’s/Whyte’s liquidated ‘Rangers’.
    I suspect that there may have been fears that if the SPFL did not relegate, then neither could they declare league titles( groundless fears, in the event)
    Stay safe and stay concerned about getting Scottish football governance back to integrity.

  91. John Clark 29th July 2020 at 18:16
    wottpi 29th July 2020 at 16:44
    ‘..However, I think I’ve run my course in terms of posting on anything of a regular basis.’
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Well, I’m sure I’m not the only one who will miss your posts, wottpi!

    I ,like you , have been a bit disappointed at the apparent lack of agreement on the blog that the SPFL made as much of an absolute bolloks of their approach to the pandemic as they did in their dealing with SDM’s/Whyte’s liquidated ‘Rangers’.

    I’m not really sure why a lack of agreement would “disappoint” you.

    I for one think what you posted is inaccurate. To suggest that they made as much of a “bolloks” of recent events as they did with regards the Rangers situation to me is entirely wrong.

    They put forward resolutions and took votes in relation to current events. Given the position with the Scottish Government rules and with the costs involved I think there was little choice but to finish the league. They tried for reconstruction in order to assist the clubs, and the other clubs rejected it. They did what they could as far as I can see.

    They had much more choice with regards Rangers’ liquidation, however they entered into secret agreements to get Rangers what they wanted, if anything they supported (if only by ignoring it) the reality of the situation. They tried to force new Rangers into the top league, they tried to force them into the top division of the lower league.

    Recent decisions, whether people like what they were or not, were much more with the consent of the majority of the members. It has now been unanimously decided, by an arbitration panel, that they did nothing wrong.

  92. John Clark 29th July 2020 at 18:16
    I suspect that there may have been fears that if the SPFL did not relegate, then neither could they declare league titles.
    ………………..
    League titles were declared before any conclusion on relegation or promotion was decided. I don’t believe the two were linked JC

  93. I’m sorry that you are choosing to not contribute wottpi. I agree that diverse voices are what makes this forum.

    However that’s where my credits end. We must view the works as we find it not how we would like it to be. The decisions on restarting football are not in the gift of the football authorities and teams. Neither was the decision to stop.

    As of now competitive football is allowed to resume in the Premiership from 1st Aug. That’s after a rigorous testing regime (no laughing!) clears players and coaches to train. That is unaffordable in lower leagues.

    So when would Partick play out those remaining matches? There is no guarantee that there will be any football under the Prem in the rest of 2020. Personally I doubt it.

    The curious thing about “stakeholders” is typically they actually don’t have a stake. The league clubs all have a share in the SPFL. Fans don’t, players don’t, neither do non league clubs. They are a trade body masked as a company. They set their own rules (within the context of company law). Change has to be made by getting the correct majorities. Why did Hearts and PT not get those?

    We can weep for what could ah/should ah/would ah. It still doesn’t resolve how football resolved it’s problems in advance of the 3 Aug deadline for euro places. Or got 8 or so matches played to a conclusion in a country whose Govt didn’t allow competitive sport.

  94. Homunculus 29th July 2020 at 19:23
    ‘…..I’m not really sure why a lack of agreement would “disappoint” you.’
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Because it showed an acceptability of the inflexibility of mind of a governance body to find a way to avoid penalising innocent clubs in a truly unforeseen situation when in the past that body was ready to be super-flexible in its support of the lie that TRFC is RFC of 1872.

  95. Cluster One 29th July 2020 at 20:54
    ‘..League titles were declared before any conclusion on relegation or promotion was decided. I don’t believe the two were linked JC’
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””
    Not linked in reality, perhaps, but there was a move by one club which certainly was seen by some people myself included as being at least in part trying to re-open debate on whether the season should have been declared ‘null and void’
    The way the ‘written resolution’ was being handled reinforced my belief that this SPFL Board would be capable of anything, including back-tracking on decisions already made.

  96. John Clark 29th July 2020 at 21:48
    And you are disappointed that everyone doesn’t agree with you on that? Surely you don’t think everyone will agree with everything. That would make the discussion pointless.

    They tried to secure reconstruction, which would have achieved that end, it was the clubs who rejected it, not the governing body.

    I find it rather disappointing that you think current events are as bad as what they did with regards Rangers. But again that’s just my opinion you clearly disagree.

  97. Homunculus 29th July 2020 at 22:03
    ‘.I find it rather disappointing that you think current events are as bad as what they did with regards Rangers’
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Ok, I’ll happily agree that ‘incompetent, inflexibility of mind’ in a time of pandemic panic is not on quite the same scale of UTTER BADNESS as is the accepting by the members of the SPFL and SFA of the deliberate deceit involved in the creation and propagation of the legal and sporting untruth that TRFC is Rangers of 1872 by RIFC plc.
    Essentially, there is a lie at the heart of Scottish Football.
    And our football governance people simply cannot be trusted, whatever the other issues, until that lie is acknowledged, apologised for, and Truth is told.

  98. Oh wad Pow’r a giftie gie us.
    Look !… Hearts were relegated because of their league position. So were Thistle and Stranraer. The divisions were called prematurely because people were dying, with the potential to accelerate that via contact sports and mass gatherings.
    As a body the actions taken by the SPFL saved lives……Think about that !.
    What followed the natural process of the curtailed season, was the natural process. Clubs won, clubs lost. Without doubt the SPFL decision not only saved clubs, by delivering funding, it prevented an acceleration of casualties from a despicable, and I hope, naturally occurring virus.
    No malice was intended,by the curtailment, in fact quite the opposite, but malice was created. It was created not by the SPFL decision, but by lies from certain quarters, dodgy dossiers, poor statesmanship, and rabble rousing, after the fact. After the vote.
    Plans for reconstruction were swayed, not in the interests of Scottish fitba’, but by a load o’ shite. Personalities clashed, battle lines were drawn, but it doesn’t alter the fact that what followed, was a load o’ shite. Proven shite !.
    The SPFL decision to call the divisions prematurely, saved lives. That is an inarguable fact. Who, hand on heart, can say that contact sport and mass congregation could be allowed to continue?
    The aftermath was not driven by the SPFL. It was driven by bullet-makers hiding in the newly dug trenches………But that wasn’t what the SPFL decision was about….. Not 9 in a row, not doon yeez go !
    It was about saving lives !. Individuals who tried to make it about anything else should be ashamed of themselves for pouring poison in the water supply……There’s yir culprits right there. The tainters and the thirsty.
    Personally I don’t care if a million rules were broken if it was to save one life. The facts are, that the rules were followed, and it saved a great many more.

  99. wottpi 29th July 2020 at 16:44

    even Fergus McCann didn’t get it right appointing a relative rookie in Tommy Burns.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    Tommy Burns went through an entire league season losing only one game, and came close to winning the league. I may add that was against a Rangers who were backed by a Scottish owned bank way beyond a level they should have been. The very bank who tried all they could to put the final nail in Celtic’s coffin, and rid Scottish football of them forever. A comparison using Burns against the very poor appointments made by Anne Budge is ridiculous in my view.

    • Not everyone has to agree with the interpretation of events as described in recent posts but thankfully our footballing authorities took the decisions they did backed up and then led by the Government.

      “We’ve got to have crowds” and “we must finish the season” have been common cries but think for a minute the likely result of doing that? Bluntly could I suggest that there would have been memorials outside football grounds around the country to all the fans, players and officials who lost their lives in the Great Pandemic of 2020!

      To get it off my chest and being blunt again I believe Roy Macgregor has been given bad press for his honesty. Whilst nobody can be sure what would have actually happened if Ross County had been bottom of the league there is historical evidence to show he would have taken firm action with regards his manager(s) with no dithering about!

      Looking to the future we have to hope a vaccine will be developed shortly but until one is available the risk is there that the upcoming season will be adversely affected by Covid-19 too. If reconstruction had been agreed for last season would we doing the same again in 2021?

      All that said I agree that the relegation outcome for the clubs affected is rubbish!

  100. Aston Villa are surely pleased they don’t play in Scotland or they’d be in the championship and not as unfolded.

    Our own blog from April 8th advised a fairer solution before any votes and any mayhem.

    This is what is there in our archive, seems so long ago but we would have been in a better place.

    Time for Cool Heads and Clear Thinking

    The Scottish Football Supporters Association don’t profess to have all the answers and have no vested interests but here we have created a 3 point strategy that we feel will help guide Scottish Football to best ride this crisis and allow the real planning and budgeting at all clubs ahead of whatever is coming our way.

    Parameter 1
    This is Not a Time for Own Goals.
    Covid 19 and the aftermath will cause enough financial hardship and stress to clubs and fans.
    This is not a time to pitch clubs vs clubs or fans vs fans. And not a particularly good time to offer a possibility, of a possibility, of a possibility of reorganisation in time for Hearts and others not to get unfairly relegated.

    Parameter 2
    We Need an Interim Plan Where There Are no Losers

    This could be a 1 year’s solution, possibly 2 at most, where every club (and fan) gets a positive post Covid 19 start allowing the best possible financial move into the new season 2020 – 2121 for all.

    See our plan starter for ten below (insights and other plans welcome)

    Parameter 3
    Scottish Football Desperately Needs a Re-launch (But not in a manic rush)
    How best should we set up our league structures to help our domestic and international game move into the future?

    How do we look at an updated list of McLeish insights and incorporate them?

    How do we involve the Scottish Government and the real stakeholders, the fans?

    How do we capitalise on our football community for the greater good?

    The recent surge of clubs coming into the fairly new pyramid system both in the Highland area but especially in the central and southwest regions is screaming out for a new and fairer framework.

    Any long-term solution is likely to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary and grounded but it must be fit for purpose and fair for all from day 1 for all the members.
    It has to work and be seen to work top down and bottom up.

  101. Like Wottpi, whose post yesterday made refreshing reading on SFM, I have refrained from commenting until the Hearts/Partick Thistle process came to its conclusion.

    Just as I haven’t moved on from the events of 2012, I won’t be moving on from this matter while many questions remain unanswered. For example:

    Would the SPFL have ‘called’ the league while either Celtic or Rangers* were 4 points adrift at the foot of the table with 24 points still to play for? If that bottom of the table scenario is too difficult to envisage, would the SPFL have ‘called’ the league if Celtic or Rangers* were only four points ahead of the other at the top of the table with 24 points still to play for?

    Those are of course rhetorical questions, because there would have been riots on the streets if the football authorities had the audacity to apply the same rules equally to all clubs. If you think the big two don’t have a rulebook to themselves, just ask yourself why the current club playing out of Ibrox is uniquely exempt from the disciplinary regime that applies to every other Scottish club, or why a computer managed to randomly select the perfect October date for the first Glasgow derby match of the new season at Celtic Park, or why referees openly talk of officiating at such matches ‘differently’.

    If, as they acknowledged, the SPFL board thought that Hearts, Partick Thistle, Stranraer, Brora Rangers, Kelty Hearts etc were unfairly treated as a result of the cornavirus pandemic, why didn’t they simply tie mandatory reconstruction into the Good Friday vote in the same way that they guaranteed the passing of their proposal for ending the season early by linking it conditionally to the release of end of season payments?

    As a Hearts fan, I was delighted to see my club take the squirming SPFL to court, but I have to hold my hands up to being extremely uncomfortable about involving Dundee Utd and the other promoted clubs in the action. I can only assume there were sound legal reasons for pursuing that particular avenue, and that the desired result would have seen the SPFL being forced into confirming those promotions while simultaneously cancelling relegations.

    Celtic and Rangers* recently managed to play several pre-season friendlies within the space of just a few days, which begs the question, why couldn’t the 2019/20 season be played to a finish, even if it meant delaying the new season by a week or so? Many other leagues did so, including the EPL and Championship. If the SPFL is so tightly controlled by broadcasters that a little latitude isn’t available following an unprecedented pandemic, what does that say about Doncaster & Co as negotiators? Covid testing wouldn’t be an issue thanks to James Anderson’s philanthropic financial donation to every club in Scotland that equated to more than the cost of the testing equipment purchased by Ross County, as I understand it.

    Finally, for those who keep churning out the line that Hearts/Partick Thistle/Stranraer were woeful on the pitch (no arguments from me there) and deserved to go down because they were in last place when the season was called early, here are some related facts I’ve copied from Kickback:

    In England, Aston Villa were 4 points away from safety with only 4 games to go – and survived. Man Utd were 7 points behind Leicester with 8 games to go and finished 4 points ahead of them. Werder Bremen were 4 points adrift in the Bundesliga with 8 games to go – and survived. The bottom 5 teams in the English Championship with 9 games to go all survived. Last season in Scotland, St Mirren were 4 points adrift with 8 games to go – and survived (a matter that inexplicably escaped Tony Fitzpatrick when recently telling Hearts to suck it up because they could never have turned things around in the last 8 games…..when just 4 points behind!).

  102. Extracted from a piece by Iain McMenemy ( Stenhousemuir) in today’s ‘The Scotsman’:

    “….But let’s not kid ourselves; there were no winners in any of this. All that has been established is that the league rules weren’t broken when the decision to end the season was taken by clubs. Whether or not it was fair is another matter. What is beyond doubt I believe, is that the whole thing was poorly handled, badly executed and a total embarrassment for Scottish Football.
    No one could have predicted a Covid-19 scenario. But it happened anyway. As a league body we should have been the first to react to protect our organisation and all of our members.
    We failed to do so. We couldn’t find consensus to save ourselves from harm…
    …Should we find ourselves in a similar [covid] scenario the infighting will start over…….This is where we need leadership. If one solution fails we need to find another. We need to do it now, before we get headlong into the season and before it gets personal…
    ..let’s not forget that 30 per cent of clubs supported recent calls for an independent investigation into the SPFL’s handling of the vote to end last season. The number disaffected is growing…. Let’s review how we go about our business and where change is needed let’s get it implemented…..”

    The full article is a bit longer , of curse, but I think McMenemy has summed matters up in a way that I wish I had been able to do!

  103. wottpi

    I couldn’t agree more with what you say – except where you express your wish to go into lurking-only mode.
    I share your disappointment that many (but certainly not all) of those who have expressed a desire for fairness and sporting integrity when the issue was the 5WA, EBTs or misregistration of players, have apparently had a Damscene conversion and restoration of faith in the authorities when it comes to what most of us perceive as unfairness – and an unnecessary unfairness at that.

    Fans of RFC/TRFC have in the past – understandably – been keen to characterise the actions of their club as errors of judgement and not of wilful rule-breaking. Whilst there has been no rule-breaking in this instance, it is worth remembering that pretty much the same bunch of people (that is ALL of them) who turned a blind eye to the cheating that went on up to 2012, are now turning the same blind eye in the direction of the unfairness that has gone on with respect to Hearts, Partick Thistle, and Stranraer.

    As a Celtic fan, my wish would have been for Celtic to take a principled stand on the injustice facing the aforementioned three clubs, but given (among other things) their attitude to LNS and their duplicity involving Res12, I can hardly pretend to be surprised.

    I could say the same about almost very other club in the top tier, but criticism of those clubs for their inaction is hardly appropriate for me when my own club have acted in the way they have.

    The basic outcome of this affair for me anyway is that despite it being obvious to all and sundry that football is a hugely interdependent undertaking, the one group of the demographic who haven’t accepted that are the people who run the clubs.

    I hope wottpi, that you remain with the blog, because without folk like you, without folk who can see beyond partizan self-interest, then there is no space in the websphere for an SFM.

    The answer to the trolls is to ignore them. No point engaging with someone whose cannot see past their own club self interest. Doesn’t make them bad people of course, but there is little point in engaging.

    I think I speak for most of us when I say I hope you change your mind.

  104. Interesting article in The Guardian;

    “As implausible and preposterous as it may be, let’s imagine a post Covid-19 world where football fans are finally allowed back into Premier League grounds but elect en masse not to go.

    …because after months spent locked out of stadiums match-going supporters have realised the importance of their role cannot be overstated and unilaterally opt to stay away until certain conditions are met…”

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2020/jul/29/imagine-fans-wielded-power-staying-away-grounds-reopen-fa-cup-final

  105. The vote to call the league could have been rejected by 3 clubs in the Championship voting against, as nearly happened with Gardiner at ICT, Eric “solemn undertaking” Drysdale at Dundee and PT at the foot of the table , (and the really important conversation here is the one between Drysdale and Nelms regarding DFC’s original decision to vote against). That would have left the options of completing the fixtures, which at that time in the lockdown seemed remote, or null and void. Even had things unexpectedly improved with the pandemic, delaying tactics to prevent matches being played could have been effectively employed and would no doubt have been supported in the msm.
    The decision to attach the financial package to the resolution was, I believe, an attempt to minimise the likelihood of a rejection, and the emergence of a null and void campaign. This has been typical of the modus operandum of the SPFL and SFA since 2012 at least. It appears to me to be the way Doncaster and McKenzie operate and on this occasion at least Peter Lawwell would have had an influence.
    With the decision to call the league having been made, the reconstruction debate immediately became confounded by self interest. Probably only HMFC, PT, Stranraer and, one would have thought ICT, felt they would benefit.
    The executive proposed by EJ above seems to me like a good idea. Firstly it would get rid of Doncaster at last, secondly it might improve the commercial performance and internal governance of Scottish football, and thirdly it might remove, or at least mediate, disproportionately influential vested interests, including those of CFC, the club I support. Those same interests are not going to allow it to happen though, at least not without pressure from other clubs and supporters.

    9 in a row has been in the background throughout all this, 10 in a row will be next season. Perhaps the season after that positions will be less entrenched in Glasgow, but I doubt it. If clubs wish changes to be made this is the season to prepare, the time to talk and organise.

    Any club that fails to comply with COVID testing requirements should be removed from all competitions immediately.

  106. Big Pink 30th July 2020 at 13:54

    I share your disappointment that many (but certainly not all) of those who have expressed a desire for fairness and sporting integrity when the issue was the 5WA, EBTs or misregistration of players, have apparently had a Damscene conversion and restoration of faith in the authorities when it comes to what most of us perceive as unfairness – and an unnecessary unfairness at that.

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

    Or people are using the notion of “play the ball not the man”.

    It is entirely possible for a group of people to get something badly wrong, but then to get something else right. For people to support their action on one thing and not the other.

    What would your solution have been, in order to be fair to everyone. Please don’t say reconstruction, they tried that and the clubs rejected it.

    It was the only fair solution I could think of but clearly you have a better idea.

    Oh and just when I am typing anyway, for the people saying that Celtic and Rangers have been playing friendlies so the season could have been finished on the park. I assume you mean that everyone else, all 42 clubs, could have played the remainder of their games behind closed doors, whilst following the rules as set by the Scottish Government.

  107. macfurgly

    Interesting observations there. The trouble is that there is no smoking gun in the timeline here. No hard evidence that anything illegal or untoward happened. Consequently, the accusations from the likes of English about what ‘must have happened’ are hollow. Not saying I don’t think there were immoral goings-on, but in the absence of an accurate interpolation, extrapolation is all we were left with. Consequently, the focus of the strategy to minimise damage to Hearts, Thistle and Stranraer should have been centred on the unfairness of the outcome and on a blueprint to mitigate that – not a full frontal attack on guys who knew that they were legally in a safe place.

    To me, that was the mistake they made. They got caught up in the emotion of the amoral way they were shafted, and it became personal for many of them. I think Rangers opportunistically jumped on that bandwagon because it gave them cause to throw around innuendo and make what ultimately became a failed powerplay.

    The same goes with accusations of Lawwell exerting undue – and nefarious – influence over the rest. Lawwell’s job is not to look after the interests of Celtic though. It is to look after the interests of Dermot Desmond. I would argue (and I acknowledge that it is subjective) that the two only occasionally coincide.

    Given Lawwell’s answer to the Res12 guys at the Celtic AGM (when asked about having sight of the 5WA agreement), I would have trouble believing him if he told me there was a ‘C’ in Celtic. So when he claims he has no special influence on the SPFL (or others claim that on his behalf), I am sceptical. I reckon he does have influence incommensurate with his voting power, but again, I’m only extrapolating from what I know about him, with no recourse to evidence.

    Of course I am keen to see Celtic lift the title next season, but I must confess to having the feeling that Celtic have lost a bit of their soul over the last eight years – and I would prefer that they had retained that even it meant TIAR remaining a pipe dream.

    TIAR is after all a fleeting achievement, a snapshot. Standing up for sporting integrity on the other hand, actually making a stand on its behalf, that would have been a huge legacy. But they failed to grasp that opportunity.

    They failed to call out the cheating, they failed to be truthful to their own fans who spend thousands of pounds of their own cash to try to achieve what it was their (the club’s) duty to achieve. They failed to rally round the three clubs who were unjustly punished.

    Of course, when they do not act in their own self-interest (over the cheating and the licence scandal), it is hardly surprising that they would act when they had no self interest to satisfy.

    I think EJ’s idea for a reconstituted board is one most football fans would support, but I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance that the clubs would cede that much power to people working in the interests of the game.

    We can but hope though 🙂

  108. Big Pink 30th July 2020 at 17:38
    ‘..Standing up for sporting integrity on the other hand, actually making a stand on its behalf, that would have been a huge legacy. ‘
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Yes, in the face of the evidence of the EBT sports cheating indulged in by SDM , Celtic plc should have got real about what the RES 12 resolutioners had unearthed, and it is to Celtic’s abiding shame that they did not absolutely demand, DEMAND a full, independent investigation, calling in the Police if necessary.
    A really independent investigation might have reassured us all that Hampden was not a modern day equivalent of the Augean stables

    Celtic’s failure to insist on such investigation leaves the suspicion that our game is still at heart rotten, and that there are people still involved in Scottish Football who may have got away with a crime; and tarnishes the Celtic board with the mark of moral cowardice and/or as greedy, grasping individuals as little interested in Sporting Integrity as any board that ever sat at the top of the marble staircase.

  109. I notice that Michael Stewart has not been yes-man enough of a yes-man for BBC Scotland sports chiefs’
    This is from the online DR. (now I have to go and wash my hands, of course)

    “.The BBC has revealed its Sportscene line-up for the Premiership’s big return – and there’s no place for Michael Stewart.

    Steven Thompson has been installed as the new host of the Sunday show, with Jonathan Sutherland leading Saturday’s broadcast.

    They’ll be joined by guests Marvin Bartley, James McFadden, Craig Gordon, Shelley Kerr, Julie Fleeting and Shaun Maloney.

    The shows will feature coverage of every top-flight fixture as competitive football returns following a five-month absence.

    That includes Rangers ‘ trip to Pittodrie on Saturday afternoon and Celtic hoisting the league flag at home to Hamilton the following day.

    Regular contributor Stewart, however, will not be among the pundits this weekend.

    He’d only returned from a ban back in February having been taken off-air following a blast at former Rangers PR Jim Traynor.”

    confirmation that there is no genuine freedom of expression and opinion on football matters on Pacific Quay.

  110. John C,

    Of course at the heart of this, if indeed Stewart is being edged out, is the stark reality that having an opinion critical of Rangers is enough to threaten your livelihood.
    I sincerely hope it is not the case, because if it is based on some kind of professional assessment, the notion that Thompson (and I mean no disrespect to him) is a better broadcaster than Stewart is as ludicrous as it gets.

  111. JC

    The bold Michael has, I believe, joined the Premier Sports Team as co-commentator of Celtic games thereon.

  112. Change of subject by way of light relief!
    I think I have mentioned before the difficulties I have had in corresponding with the FCA? Most recently
    I had emailed on June 30, and receipt of that was ( automatically) acknowledged on the same day, with the automatic ‘we aim to reply within 5 days’ pious aspiration!

    I emailed a wee short reminder very early this morning, remarking that something more than 5 days had elapsed and could I expect an early reply.
    I got an early reply- it came in at 12.38 this afternoon!

    “Complaints Scheme complaints@fca.org.uk
    To:(me)
    Cc:
    Complaints Scheme

    Thu, 30 Jul at 12:38

    Dear …
    Thank you for your email and apologies if my previous correspondence has not been clear.
    In order to reconsider my decision on your complaint I would need to see the original emails, which you can send to me as attachments (as opposed to forwarding them). This would allow me to reconsider my decision on your complaint that your correspondence was ignored by the FCA. However, your concerns about Rangers International Football Club are not something we can consider under the Complaints Scheme. The Scheme is in place to deal with complaints that arise from the exercise of or failure to exercise, any of the FCA’s relevant functions. This is set out in paragraph 1.1 of the Scheme and Part 6 of the Financial Services Act 2012 (https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/corporate/complaints-scheme.pdf). As your concerns relate to the actions of a regulated firm, it would not be considered one of the FCA’s relevant functions.

    Although this cannot be investigated under the Scheme, I explained in my decision letter of 11 May 2020 that I had passed your correspondence about Rangers International Football Club to the FCA’s Supervision Hub, the area that deals with general consumer and firm correspondence. They confirmed that the information you provided would be reviewed and, if necessary, passed onto the relevant team within the FCA to form part of their supervisory work. Due to confidentiality and policy restrictions, I am unable to tell you what action, if any, is taken as a result of this. Further information can be found here – https://www.fca.org.uk/freedom-information/information-we-can-share/.
    If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further, please feel free to call me on 02070669870.
    Alternatively, if you are unhappy with my decision, you have the option to refer your complaint to the Complaints Commissioner. His contact details can be found in my previous correspondence.

    Yours sincerely

    C.. K.

    Associate / Complaints Team / Risk & Compliance Oversight Division

    Financial Conduct Authority

    12 Endeavour Square

    London

    E20 1JN

    Tel: +44 (0)20 7066 9870
    http://www.fca.org.uk

    Here is my reply:

    To:
    Complaints Scheme

    Thu, 30 Jul at 15:34

    Dear Ms K…
    That was a quick response, and I thank you for it.

    So, the FCA need not respond to complaints from the public that it may itself have acted in breach of the law and no one can complain?

    Sounds like a wonderful place to work, where one would be safe to act unlawfully without being hauled up for it.

    It wouldn’t happen in the pukka Civil Service!

    Anyway, thank you personally for your efforts.

    I shall now leave you in peace and withdraw, crushed and dispirited, while hoping that if any officer of the FCA did in fact knowingly breach his statutory duty he will have no peace and will ,sooner or later, come to career grief.

    Cheers,
    (me)

    [ this is not part of my reply: ‘crushed and dispirited’ ? Ha, ha, no way!
    I shall try another approach by and by.
    I mean, whoever heard the like, an organisation which can’t deal with complaints that its officers may have been in breach of the organisation’s statutory duties?
    My reference to the ‘pukka ‘ Civil Service is because the FCA is NOT part of HM’s home Civil Service, being funded by the business world, and is only very, very loosely answerable to Parliament and to you and me.]

  113. Highlander 30th July 2020 at 12:42
    Would the SPFL have ‘called’ the league while either Celtic or Rangers* were 4 points adrift at the foot of the table with 24 points still to play for? If that bottom of the table scenario is too difficult to envisage, would the SPFL have ‘called’ the league if Celtic or Rangers* were only four points ahead of the other at the top of the table with 24 points still to play for?
    …………….
    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon advised that events of more than 500 people should be cancelled. The Scottish Professional Football League acted on this advise. The Scottish Football Association has suspended all domestic professional and grassroots football until further notice as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.The Scottish FA Board made its decision in the interests of the health and safety of players, match officials, staff, supporters and the general public
    Like the cancelling of the Glasgow derby, it had to be done. No matter where any team may or may not have been in the league. the league would still have to have been called. would you have expected the SPFL and the SFA to turn round and say hold on a minute Nicola Sturgeon can you give us a week or two more to play some games as the gers are near the bottom and could get relegated if the leagues are called now.. They HAD NO CHOICE TO CALL THE LEAGUE no matter what club may have been in what position.
    ……………………………
    Celtic and Rangers* recently managed to play several pre-season friendlies within the space of just a few days,
    …………….
    Friendlies are played to get fitness back. would you expect the clubs to come straight out of lockdown into competative games. even these friendlies have been hit by set backs and cancellations. THERE WAS NO TIME FOR COMPETATIVE GAMES TO BE PLAYED IN SCOTLAND. And not enough tests or test equipment for competative games to be played.

  114. Big Pink 30th July 2020 at 17:38

    This is all very subjective, but:
    Is there a need to find a smoking gun?
    I do not believe that Lawwell was blindsided on the 5WA. That is not credible, therefore Celtic are complicit and I agree that tarnishes the soul of the club. Regarding the cheating and the licence issue, I suspect, based on no evidence whatsoever, that Celtic did a deal with UEFA, received adequate compensation and Lawwell has been stonewalling ever since, which in my view is not good either.
    As for 10 in a row, I am coming to a weary acceptance that the best thing is to get it done and out of the way so that once it is recorded in perpetuity in the record books, (for what they are now worth), then perhaps the air will clear, the dust will settle and in a less tense atmosphere a freshening breeze will blow through the game as the storm fades away from the west. With the red herring of total trophies won hoving into view perhaps not, but how long will PL remain? How long will DD remain? Doncaster? If there is a latent desire for change among other clubs, and principally among SPFL clubs, then season 21/22 offers the best opportunity. If such a desire does not exist, then it’s on like this forever, which to me seems like a continuing slow decline into European irrelevance.
    I am not sure about amorality here. Regarding the vote to close the season, I don’t like it, it seems sneaky in the same way that Governments attach controversial clauses to otherwise innocuous legislation, to slip them through, but it’s no more than that. I’m not convinced about unfairness either. Pretty much everyone will agree that Thistle have been unfortunate because of the game in hand, but they were bottom. Regarding HMFC, with 4 wins and 6 draws in 30 matches it is possible to complain too much. Budge and Levein made a mess of it, (and I have none of the cultural antipathy towards them implied on here some time ago, I used to enjoy going to Tynecastle to watch the likes of Thomson, Anderson, Brown, Ford etc.), and with the possibility of playing the remaining games remote they go down, as do Stranraer. They were bottom. That’s fair, surely, when a decision had to be made. It may or may not be be that this was arranged by a self interested few, but it was ratified by all.
    If this had been perceived to be unfair, then reconstruction would have been the way to go. I would like to see a 14 team top league, mainly because the old so called meaningless games were when young players got a chance, as there was not the current fear of relegation throughout at least half the division, but when it was proposed it was shot before it got out of the traps. Again, there is now perhaps a chance to consider it in a less fevered environment, and to develop something that will gain the necessary support. Do the majority of SPFL clubs really want to keep playing Russian roulette?
    Regarding English’s frenzied tilting at the SPFL, I would listen to him if I had seen any evidence of him saying the same things in 2012, which I have not.
    I try to remain optimistic, but it’s difficult at the moment.

  115. Ps. UEFA want all leagues that can be completed by Aug 3, as the scottish top flight can only be deemed to be safe to begin by Aug 1 that would leave just a couple of days to complete thousands of tests and eight or nine games each for every club.

  116. StevieBC 30th July 2020 at 14:08

    Interesting article in The Guardian;…because after months spent locked out of stadiums match-going supporters have realised the importance of their role cannot be overstated and unilaterally opt to stay away
    ………………….
    Stay away and have found other interests. Something we have spoken about on SFM some months ago.

  117. Cluster One 30th July 2020 at 23:39
    Ps. UEFA want all leagues that can be completed by Aug 3, as the scottish top flight can only be deemed to be safe to begin by Aug 1 that would leave just a couple of days to complete thousands of tests and eight or nine games each for every club.

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

    Indeed

    Furthermore the SPFL is not just the top division, it is all four divisions. If UEFA wanted leagues completed by that time then it would have meant all 42 clubs completing their games behind closed doors. Not just the Premiership.

    The league was finished with the agreement of the majority of the clubs in it because there really wasn’t another option. Most clubs could not even have done the necessary testing, far less afforded to play the games with little or no income.

    If you have a Postman as your centre back how often do you need to test him before you can allow the game to go ahead on the Saturday. When does he have to stop doing his rounds and self-isolate to allow that. Who pays him during that self-isolation, who does his “day job”.

    People talking about team playing friendlies, therefore the games could be played are missing the point, the league is not the top clubs, it is all 42.

    Am I not right in saying that whilst the top division intends starting this weekend, the lower divisions won’t be and that they are looking a couple of months down the line. We have one league, but four divisions, the difference between the top and bottom is enormous.

  118. macfurgly 30th July 2020 at 23:36
    ‘..Regarding English’s frenzied tilting at the SPFL, I would listen to him if I had seen any evidence of him saying the same things in 2012, which I have not”
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    You and me both, macfurgly.
    Apart from Mark Daly’s tv documentary about the EBT cheating, not a single journalist based in Scotland has undertaken any serious journalistic work into the whole Res 12 business, the 5-Way Agreement, the apparent dishonesty of the RIFC plc prospectus, the collapse of the trials (of various kinds) of people associated with RFC/ TRFC, the suggestions made from time to time in various court proceedings, etc etc.
    They have all either been shut up under threat, or are ‘succulent lamb eaters’ and temporisers with Truth.
    Bad cess to them all!

  119. Cluster One 30th July 2020 at 23:49
    StevieBC 30th July 2020 at 14:08

    Stay away and have found other interests. Something we have spoken about on SFM some months ago.

    +++++++++++++++++++++

    Celtic have just had record season ticket sales.

  120. Through all the calls on here as to what could have been done to ensure a fair end to the Covid hit season there is one consistent – reconstruction. It is the outcome that would have been my preference but please do not let us ignore the facts in the failure to have it implemented. There was only one person/club that publicly put restrictions on the consideration of that. Sure, many privately would have objections, but in these unprecedented times a blank page was required to encourage the opening of minds in the discussion. I find it strange that those that would suffer most are the very ones opposed to that blank page.

  121. Highlander@12:42

    “As a Hearts fan, I was delighted to see my club take the squirming SPFL to court, but I have to hold my hands up to being extremely uncomfortable about involving Dundee Utd and the other promoted clubs in the action. I can only assume there were sound legal reasons for pursuing that particular avenue, and that the desired result would have seen the SPFL being forced into confirming those promotions while simultaneously cancelling relegations.”

    The gist of all the comments here is to look for a fair outcome unfortunately being “uncomfortable” does not mitigate the fact that including the promoted teams in the action was to reverse those promotions not to force the SPFL’s hand. No-one goes to court with a stated aim in their case with the hope that the court ignores that aim and instead reads the complainants mind and gives an outcome not on the petition.

    The court action from the off was one that flew in face of any fairness.

    • Mickey Edwards

      I find it somewhat ironic that it was during a radio interview with Mr “Move On” that the blank page was spoiled!

      Even more ironic that following scrutiny by 3 unimpeachable legal individuals who have confirmed that the SPFL, on this occasion, followed the rules agreed by the organisation the same Mr “Move On” seems unwilling to accept it unless he is allowed to scruntise the evidence himself!

      The BBC needs to tell Mr “Move On” to apologise to all those he suggested were truth twisters and carry out an indepth review of its, I would suggest, damaging and rabble rousing output during lock down.

  122. adam812@09:28

    Can I say firstly that I am completely in tune with your earlier posts and we seem to be of a like mind on the situation.

    If you mean Tom English as Mr Moveon then again I totally agree. One thing is stuck firmly in my mind that is his comment to Michael Stewart on Sportsound after the Budge interview. Stewart questioned some of Budge’s comments and English responded with “Are you calling Ann Budge a liar?”. It struck me that he did so when the whole gist of his reporting was to call Doncaster a liar. For me Doncaster has been party to a lot of wrong doing and mismanagement in Scottish football but while we are stuck with him the best we can do is hold him to account. That means we also do not take part in unfounded accusations and that is what the whole promotion/relegation farce is. The arbitration process was not of the LNS type and found in favour of the SPFL’s actions.
    I also believe that to remove Doncaster would be to change nothing, he would be replaced like for like. What is needed is a complete change of the whole administrative structure. For me the replacement should see the separation of powers with the SPFL replacement having only involvement in the business side. It would be answerable to the SFA replacement in all else. That would include fixture dates and times and in any negotiations with TV companies the SPFL replacement would have no power to sell away these things.
    But how we see any changes is the $64,000 question. It is beyond my ken how we do that.

  123. From the About SFM page on this site
    The cosy relationship that has existed, and continues to exist between the media and people at the top of Scottish Football has dissuaded those who may otherwise be moved to blow the whistle on wrongdoing…..
    We have sought to ask the questions in public which are often not asked by a mainstream media which has become in our view merely a broadcaster of PR issued by the financial and other vested interests within the sport. By doing so we believe that information is now in the public domain which otherwise would not.

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

    So now we have the general targetting of a journalist (Tom English).

    He hasn’t looked for cosy relationship with the heid yins in the Scottish football authorities but has very much looked to hold power to account. For some, that is a highly hypocritical stance to take and one that goes against what is written on the tin of the SFM.

    We even have a poster mocking him for looking to have the arbitration judgement published (in the public interest) so as to provide transparency and thus a more solid platform to move-on from.

    Self-Interest (clubs/PLCs) and Tribalism (fans) dominate throughout the Scottish game, from the authorities board rooms to messageboards (including this one). Easyjambo’s suggestion would be a start for the Scottish game, to swim against what will be an ever stonger current. However, realism has me sharing his pessimism for the future of the game.

    The SPFL and it’s lack of leadership is failing the Scottish game on various levels. A third of it’s members wanted an investigation of them. There is no league sponser and TV deals have been paying relative buttons for too long, but they do pay extremely well for failure and don’t seem to do accountability.

    But hey, let’s forget all that and go after the journalist who is actually on their case.

    ps. twitter thread that has a critical take on SPFL marketing
    https://twitter.com/alexmarr98/status/1288578645926318081

    • Reasonablechap
      Michael Stewart was taken off air for telling the truth. Tom English having told those of us concerned about the cover-up of earlier concerns re our footballing authorities to move on listened to the conspiracy thearists and poured scorn on responses from the SPFL week after week. The fact that he is still seems unwilling to be admit the SPFL acted within the rules and that it is time to move on is the most disappointing thing.

      The SPFL are far from perfect but the lynch mob going after Neil Doncaster was unedifying.

      Granted he has done some great interviews with a variety of sports people but I’m not so sure as a journalist. Can we really trust the accuracy of his stories when he persists in calling Murdoch MacLennan MacLellan? Is this to deliberately antagonise?

  124. “So now we have the general targetting of a journalist (Tom English).”

    Targeting as in the banning of a BBC reporter from Ibrox, or forcing a public apology from another who reported that no offer for Morelos was placed from China, or how about demanding an apology from Michael Stewart for being honest about Jabba, and of course there was the case of two Herald journalists who were involved in honestly reporting goings on inside the Ibrox boardroom. That is targeting.

    But then again, as is your wont, you over exaggerate a description of comments on Tom English. Targeting is an emotive word that fits well with your intentions much more than the accurate word criticising.

    Other words that we should read on here are disruptive, divisive, deflective, argumentative, persuasive and insightful should you be succeeding with your intentions on here. Unfortunately if you perceive yourself as succeeding with these attempts then we need to include one more word – delusional. The truth of the matter is that more appropriate words are futile, dishonest, deflective and corrosive.

  125. An independent arbitration panel has looked at all of the material, presumably taken evidence from witnesses, carried out whatever investigations which were required and unanimously agreed that the SPFL did nothing wrong. Well insofar as the accusations made against them.

    People called for an independent investigation. It has now been done, you have your result.

    People are now saying that is not satisfactory because they themselves have not seen all of the papers, looked at all of the evidence. However in Scotland arbitration is a confidential process, not in some nebulous way, confidential because the relevant act makes it so.

    So we now have, “but it’s in the public interest”. I’m afraid “in the public interest” and “of interest to the public” are not the same thing.

    There is a good argument to say that what is “in the public interest” is for these things not to be released, as to do so would reduce people’s faith in the confidentiality of the arbitration process. A process which is there for a reason.Some football reporter / supporter demanding to see confidential documentation is not as important to the public as maintaining the integrity of the process.

  126. reasonablechap 31st July 2020 at 12:04
    ‘..But hey, let’s forget all that and go after the journalist who is actually on their case.’
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    My strictures against English and the SMSM in general is that he and they are very, very selective in what they choose to ‘investigate’ and ‘report’ upon.
    As sport journalists they have been little more than (hopefully, unpaid) PR people for the biggest lie in Scottish Football by not insisting that the Governance bodies should make it absolutely clear that TRFC are Not RFC, and that they ought publicly to forbid them to claim to be so or to market themselves as such.
    English is as much an Ibrox ‘yes-man’ as the worst of them, and what he has to say on any subject is as worthless as any utterances of the Ibrox board.

  127. After all the off field shambles in recent weeks/months, we actually get back to league football tomorrow.
    Whatever our gripes with clubs and/or Hampden, it seems that nothing is going to significantly change or improve in the short to medium term.

    So, now we can get back to the “quality of the product”.

    Without fans in the stadium creating an atmosphere – football is indeed nothing without the fans. It’s painfully obvious, and try as I might, I have yet to watch a closed doors game from start to finish.
    But, that is hopefully a temporary restriction to enjoying the game.

    And that leads onto the match officiating standards.
    The ‘Referees’ Summit” was held in Perth with SPL managers and the SFA to discuss poor standards. That was in January last year: over 18 months ago.

    Has anything changed since then?
    Is anything changing this season WRT improving match officials’ standards and decision making?

    At one end of the Scottish senior game we have fundamental issues with governance: no easy fix, no political will from the clubs, and the problems will remain for the duration.

    At the other end of the spectrum, we have the management of the games. Relatively speaking: a much easier fix, there is/was political will from the clubs – so why have the paying customers not been informed of what has been actioned since the “Referees’ Summit”?

    And what about VAR…?
    No, it’s certainly not perfect, but is Scottish football just to pretend it doesn’t exist?
    Is there scope to implement the VAR-lite version – used in leagues like Cyprus, Portugal – to help our match officials improve?

    I know… 🙁

  128. reasonablechap 31st July 2020 at 12:04
    So now we have the general targetting of a journalist (Tom English).

    He hasn’t looked for cosy relationship with the heid yins in the Scottish football.
    …………………….
    But will have a pop in the press at someone if requested to do so.
    …..
    but has very much looked to hold power to account.
    … still waiting on his big articles on the granting of rangers euro licence and Res 12 issue.

    ……………………………………
    But hey, let’s forget all that and go after the journalist who is actually on their case.

    Wake me up when he gets on their case for everything and not just the one subject that he backed the wrong side on and is trying to save face.
    ……………………..

    ps. twitter thread that has a critical take on SPFL marketing
    https://twitter.com/alexmarr98/status/1288578645926318081
    ……..
    The Tread lost all credability the minute English retweeted it and they came out with this cracker.
    Alex Marr
    @alexmarr98
    ·
    29 Jul
    Level 6:
    Foreign Broadcasting Rights #1:

    Despite the SPFL having its biggest star (arguably) be a Colombian, Alfredo Morelos, the league never sold its rights to that country. With his transfer to Lille, the SPFL has now completely lost the chance to gain an audience in South America.
    …….. Biggest Star how? The guy has left the field of play more times than the ball. Has scored once all year.
    With his transfer to Lille? What transfer, he is still at ibrox.

    the SPFL has now completely lost the chance to gain an audience in South America.

    Really missed the boat there. Aye right, morelos has been touted for a move ever since he stepped in the door at ibrox, the player himself even said he wants to play in a bigger league, if his valuation had been half realistic he may have already have gone by now.

  129. Cluster One
    When you say players would be unfit to restart playing matches from the earliest date permissible by the Scottish Government, I personally would prefer league positions to be determined following matches featuring semi-fit players than being decided via mere guesswork, which, at the risk of labouring a point, would’ve seen Aston Villa, Werder Bremen, St Mirren last season, amongst others, incorrectly and unfairly relegated. Which method do you find more acceptable, playing matches or having a hunch?

    Furthermore, there might be no need to complete all eight or nine remaining games to establish final league positions with 100% accuracy, since two or three games may be all that would be required to enable Celtic to be mathematically certain of being crowned Champions (I’ll leave the arithmetic to others), Motherwell and Aberdeen to guarantee their UEFA spots and Hearts or whoever to be relegated, thus removing all doubt whilst simultaneously removing the threatening power of the fabled asterisk. I’m sure UEFA would be obliging if indicative nominations were proposed for their competitions, given the unprecedented circumstances.

    Before someone mentions that all clubs signed up to ending the season early, it’s worth pointing out that there is a world of difference between the need to finish the season, however long it takes, and a need to finish the season without affecting the precious new and seemingly non-negotiable broadcasting deal. It beggars belief that the SPFL is prepared to move the goalposts part-way through a season rather than complete that season and make appropriate adjustments to the season which hasn’t yet started! Surely it’s not beyond the £388,000 pa Chief Executive to negotiate a favourable deal with the same broadcaster who has allowed the EPL to delay the start of their new season to the 12th September without penalty?

    Mickey Edwards
    It may surprise you to know that I was not apprised by Hearts’ QC of the legal technicalities involved in the recent court case and subsequent arbitration, but was simply showing some contrition for the actions brought against the promoted clubs. Similarly, I don’t have any insider knowledge as to why Ann Budge exercised her right to change her mind on the permanence or otherwise of league reconstruction, or any other matter, just as I wouldn’t expect you to be able to explain on Ron Gordon’s behalf why he appears to have backtracked on not signing any new players until all of Hibs’ deferred wages have been repaid. Forgive me if I’ve misunderstood.

    In general
    It still bemuses me that an acknowledged failing by our football authorities can be brushed off as insignificant when it doesn’t drastically impact either of the big two, explained away on the basis that a majority of member clubs voted for it, yet here we are, almost eight years after Rangers went into liquidation and 100% of member clubs have provided tacit approval for the club continuity myth, but that is somehow different and it is acceptable to continue highlighting it. For the purposes of clarity, I’m not in any way suggesting we should abandon the fight to report the death of a cheating club, merely that we should stop employing double standards.

  130. If we are to believe the SMSM, Morelos is ‘just about to sign’ for a new club, whether Lille, West Brom or whoever.

    In this ‘imminent’ scenario the player concerned is – typically – excluded from playing until a transfer deal is concluded, or not.

    So, Morelos shouldn’t be anywhere near the TRFC squad in Aberdeen tomorrow. You would think?

    However, if he is included tomorrow then we’ll all know for sure that Morelos is not going to be leaving Ibrox any time soon.

    …and it would be further validation that the SMSM is just doing what it always does: obediently copying/pasting Ibrox, PR mince… 🙁

  131. Highlander 31st July 2020 at 17:45

    What about the clubs in the lower divisions of the SPFL, particularly the part time clubs with part time players, players with other jobs.

    Could they have afforded the testing and playing games without any income. Could their players have placed themselves in isolation after getting a negative test result, up until the games had been played. What would their employers have thought about that.

    You are comparing Scotland to England, an extremely poor league to arguably the richest in the World. They could afford the testing, the quarantine, their players are full time and don’t have other jobs to worry about. The vast majority of their income is apparently from broadcasting not from ticket sales. They also are working to the UK rules, the Scottish clubs are working to the Scottish rules. They could go back to playing, albeit behind closed doors, sooner.

    The leagues was finished because that was the only real option at the time.

    Re – “It still bemuses me that an acknowledged failing by our football authorities can be brushed off as insignificant when it doesn’t drastically impact either of the big two …”

    Your argument is that Hearts could have avoided relegation, fair enough. Rangers could have been crowned champions and secured a Champions League spot with the possibility of earning tens of millions of pounds. How exactly are the unaffected.

    Oh and it may be acknowledged by some people however that is not universal. They did what they could under the circumstances. They even tried to implement the sensible remedy, the clubs rejected it. Hearts played their part in the rejection.

  132. Highlander 31st July 2020 at 17:45

    Cluster One
    When you say players would be unfit to restart playing matches from the earliest date permissible by the Scottish Government, I personally would prefer league positions to be determined following matches featuring semi-fit players than being decided via mere guesswork,
    ……………………..
    And what if a semi-fit player pulls a hamstring and is out for months, or gets an injury because he is not fully fit. Would you be willing (oops sound a bit like Mel Gibson there) willing to compensate the club for the semi fit player that got an injury because you wanted to see him play fit or not?
    …………………………..
    Furthermore, there might be no need to complete all eight or nine remaining games to establish final league positions with 100% accuracy, since two or three games may be all that would be required to enable Celtic to be mathematically certain of being crowned Champions.
    ……………………..
    Might is like if. Celtic win after playing two or three games, second and third is not secured yet keep playing. They could not fit two or three games anywhere and HOPE that second and third don’t drag on.
    ………………………
    I’m sure UEFA would be obliging if indicative nominations were proposed for their competitions, given the unprecedented circumstances.

    They were obliging by saying all leagues to be complete by Aug 3.
    …………………………..
    a favourable deal with the same broadcaster who has allowed the EPL to delay the start of their new season to the 12th September without penalty?
    …………………………
    The EPL was able to start back and play games they now have a rest before they start their New season. The broadcaster may have allowed the new season to start later because it’s contracted deal for the previous season was delivered.

  133. Highlander
    “I was not apprised by Hearts’ QC of the legal technicalities involved in the recent court case and subsequent arbitration, but was simply showing some contrition for the actions brought against the promoted clubs.”

    I totally accept that but your comment –

    “I can only assume there were sound legal reasons for pursuing that particular avenue, and that the desired result would have seen the SPFL being forced into confirming those promotions while simultaneously cancelling relegations.”

    appears to be an acceptance that there could be good reason to drag the other teams into the fray. Also, you are intelligent enough to realise that the only positive outcome for the relegated teams would be to win what their submission was written to achieve, no promotion of the teams named.

    I must make one more point –

    ” I don’t have any insider knowledge as to why Ann Budge exercised her right to change her mind on the permanence or otherwise of league reconstruction”

    but you speak with apparent authority on why the SPFL and the other clubs relegated your team.

    These are extraordinary times and in all spheres of our life the proportion of losers to winners has increased radically. Most have no way of turning things around and are left trying to make the best of a bad lot. So it is with the relegated teams. My point has always been that your club’s executive has not acted fully in the best interests of the club. She had the opportunity to persuade the other clubs to enter into a reconstruction but immediately alienated one section by introducing conditions. It was probably an impossible task anyway but she guaranteed it would be so.
    I think a great deal of the belief in Budge from the Hearts fans is based around her involvement with bringing the club out of administration and rightly so. Unfortunately, it is blinding them to the damage she has been doing. The persisting with the failing Levein involvement not just for one season too long but many. The over running costs of the new stand, a project the management exercise that was awarded to a family member who had no experience in a venture of that scale. Through it all a number of dates for hand over to FOH were put back not because the finance was not available to the foundation but because Budge wanted to put in place certain things first. Even now she is saying that she will not hand the club over until Covid is no longer a threat. This might be a sensible move but surely it is one for FOH to make, hopefully after communicating with the members.
    I think it is now time for Hearts supporters to believe that they have show enough gratitude to Budge and to recognise that it is time to move on. Reconstruction would have kept Hearts and the others in the appropriate divisions but its failure should fall as much at your executives door as the doors of those that you feel are the ones to blame.

  134. No EDIT anymore so. Highlander, i like your posts when you post. But you have to look at the scottish game not make comparisons with other leagues. Remember when the games were stopped in scotland. Remember when players were only allowed to return to trainning but no contact. Remember when players could start to get tested. Remember some clubs could not even get that right.Remember the cost of all this to the scottish game.
    Doncaster did an interview with sky on May 20 explaining that there was just no time to get games played. He has done a few other interviews since then still explaining how games could not get played. I would have loved to see celtic go on and secure a points tally or a record goals scored, but for health and safety reasons there was just no time or money to do it.

  135. I wonder if Steve Carson, who has been named as the successor of Donalda MacKinnon as the Director of BBC Scotland will allow free discussion on air of the ‘Big Lie’, or whether he will follow the established policy of the last 8 years and allow the BBC to carry propagating the untruth that TRFC is somehow the RFC of 1872?
    No, I don’t really wonder!
    He’d never have got the appointment unless Ken MacQuarrie believed him to be a safe pair hands.

  136. It may be that we are about to see the sense of the lower leagues’ shortened seasons. Yesterday the Chief Health Officer in England stated, in a rare piece of honesty at Westminster, that we are probably seeing that the limit to return to “normality” has been reached. It kinda shows that steps taken in Scotland were more realistic but it also shows that if choices are to be made as to which crowd gatherings are to be allowed then what chance that football is one that won’t. Could the game here survive that?

    Perhaps Hearts supporters will have the last laugh.

  137. reasonablechap 1st August 2020 at 08:00
    Rangers don’t like that and want some real political power but can’t get a foot in the door.
    …………..
    Was Stewart Robertson not on the SPFL board? not bad for an 8 year old club getting someone on the SPFL board.
    ……………………………….
    Generally, money flows to the top, money buys power, more money, etc, etc…

    But money does not buy you a sporting Advantage. So we have been told.

  138. Will the SMSM now dial down the ridiculous coverage of Morelos’ ‘transfer speculation’?

    Not only was Morelos in the TRFC squad, but he played from the start – and for the whole game.

    Ergo, no club is about to buy the player.

    IMO, they’re no closer to shifting Morelos than when they received those, erm, Chinese offers…

    That Ibrox PR chap is making Traynor look competent! 🙂

  139. Wottpi

    I can imagine your despair that nothing will change what is a setup wide open to corruption.

    When CEO’s lie to their shareholders/stakeholders and get away with it, giving up hope is natural.

    Now although Res12 is Celtic based the consequences affects the integrity all of Scottish football and in spite of the death pronunciations it is a Resolution at Celtic AGM adjourned indefinitely.

    Adjourned means ” break off (a meeting, legal case, or game) with the intention of resuming it later.”
    Indefinitely: for a period of time with no fixed end.

    No fixed end which means no time limit set against when it can be resumed.

    Only Celtic shareholders can end Resolution 12 by a vote. Then and only then is it dead.

    The underlying principle of accountability is one society at large is beginning to appreciate more , without accountability those in charge can do what they like.

    Accountability : the fact of being responsible for what you do and able to give a satisfactory reason for it, or the degree to which this happens:

    The Celtic Board are accountable to shareholders.

    Hang in there.

  140. John Clark 1st August 2020 at 08:06 Edit
    I wonder if Steve Carson, who has been named as the successor of Donalda MacKinnon as the Director of BBC Scotland will allow free discussion on air of the ‘Big Lie’, or whether he will follow the established policy of the last 8 years and allow the BBC to carry propagating the untruth that TRFC is somehow the RFC of 1872?
    No, I don’t really wonder!

    He’d never have got the appointment unless Ken MacQuarrie believed him to be a safe pair hands.

    The BBC have a copy of Fergus McCann v David Murray. If nothing comes of it, then you have your answer.

  141. Reasonable Chap 31 July 21.04

    “So now we have the general targeting of a journalist (Tom English).”

    English is only one of the many journalists who have played the three monkey trick about the skulduggery in Scottish football that began under David Murray who still hangs on to his knighthood (that I’ve removed 🙂 )

    Have a read at a previous blog that names them all

    https://sfm.scot/sweet-little-lies/ and if English is now focussed on then its because his “campaign” against the SPL just highlighted the depth of his hypocrisy.

    He is the guy who read the Offshore Game Report on SFA and said it had flaws but never identified them. If he really wanted SFA/SPFL change, as opposed to ousting the green placemen at Hampden, then his stock would have risen that much higher than the depths his hypocrisy, he would have needed a spacesuit to breath.

    Since those listed at previous blog were contacted, there are more of the green hue who also got the full narrative but have written nothing and I’m betting on a “D” type notice from Celtic Park at play.

    For the games’s governors its all about power, and after 12 years of Murray’s cheating under the Nelson eye of the SFA, who can blame Celtic for wanting to keep hold of the reins?

    I’d much rather they used that power to modernise the game, but once bitten etc.

    For journalists it about feeding off the crumbs that fall from the table and where the biggest crumbs fall is where they gather. In the most current case involving English it wasn’t crumbs he was thrown it was a whole “ootsider”.

    When it comes to governing with integrity, in this case one is as bad as the other.

  142. Just a thought provoked by the discussions.

    Did Celtic primarily, but others too, fear there would be an attempt to negate all their efforts up to lockdown and so influenced the decision to make payment of SPFL prize money conditional on drawing the curtain.

    My view back then was to complete the fixtures TO A SETTLEMENT POINT in the couple of weeks before this season started and pay out in March/April a sufficient percentage to meet the bills but hold some in reserve in case adjustment required.

    However was there a fear that a pause would only add time for the null and voiders to gather momentum in the media, hence the approach taken?

    In short did the null and voiders contribute to the mess?

  143. easyJambo 28th July 2020 at 22:00 Edit
    upthehoops 28th July 2020 at 21:12
    Bogs Dollox 28th July 2020 at 14:14

    I will finish with a question which never seems to get answered. What should replace the incompetent SPFL Board/leadership? Many call for them and the SFA to be disbanded but what next?

    ++++++++++++++

    It’s a very valid point. Who decides what format the replacement organisation(s) would take, and how do we know the decision would be made free of influence and bias? It would be very difficult in Scotland.

    I’ve given my thoughts about this a couple of time recently, but I’ll summarise them as follows.

    You create an Executive Board of maybe 3 or 4 professionals not connected to any club. A CEO figurehead, leader, thinker, strategist, a Commercial director to do all the contract negotiations with broadcasters, sponsors etc. A Marketing director whose job is to promote the “brand”, seek out new investment and growth opportunities, delivery channels etc. You may also want a football administrator type to look after the Leagues themselves, the rules, fixtures, discipline etc., although it is not necessary for the football person to be on the Exec Board.

    Those individuals should be contracted for fixed terms or for the duration of specific projects, e.g you may want to co-opt someone to deliver a new league structure. Contracts should only be renewed based on performance and delivery of the expected change.

    The Execs would have been given the power to make changes without further referral to the clubs, although they may wish to consult with a Clubs Board when bouncing ideas around, but the Exec has to be autonomous and allowed to implement any changes they see fit, e.g. reconstruction.

    The Clubs Board responsibility would simple be a sounding board and as a conduit for communication between the Exec and the clubs. They may also participate along with the Execs on nomination and remuneration committees.

    In order to set it up, it would need all the clubs to sign up to the new structure and see their individual rights diluted, but to set the objectives for the first Exec appointees, e.g. raise income by x% a year, review the league set up and implement a new structure in two seasons time. There would be no final votes by clubs on the key changes on contracts, league structure etc.

    Such changes could well be radical and mean significant change for some clubs, e.g. part time clubs in regional leagues, full integration with the pyramid.

    Probably all just wishful thinking I’m afraid, but that’s the way I see it working. Something needs to change, or the game will ultimately die a death with few full time clubs left.

    This business like approach is exactly what is needed. To it I would add what I’ve already said about introducing a service provider (The SFA) to the customer (The SPFL, but other leagues too ) approach with suggestions for #:

    A Refereeing Service
    A Licensing Service
    An Ownership Service.

    Now this is from a June 2011 blog and might need updating but without such change the game will die if Covid19 doesn’t get there first.

    http://celticunderground.net/sfa-reform-one-down-three-to-go/

    The Referee Service

    This would be split with the SFA doing the recruitment, training and match appointments (having taken the nature of the game to be officiated into account). However the monitoring and evaluation would be the province of the customer, using referees or ex refs from anywhere to mark to a standard set by the customer. This spilt of responsibilities would prevent any one person being in a position to exert his own influence on referees as a result of being part of the appointment and evaluation process. It would safeguard the SFA from the kind of suspicion that led to the referees’ strike and lead to a higher standard of referee because the customer would be setting the standard not the supplier (as happens everywhere in business but football) If it did not, it would free the SPL/SL to hire their own referees from wherever they could get them. A bit of competition never did anybody any harm and that includes our referees who, if they reached higher standards, would be in more demand outside Scotland.

    The Licensing Service

    This needs to be more transparent. As it stands it is likely to approve Rangers licensing application that enables them to play in next season’s UEFA competitions. This, despite question marks over Ranger’s ownership; the intent of that ownership; (an intent that has still to be conveyed to the other small shareholders in Rangers), not to mention (Scottish media style) a potential crippling tax bill.

    Not only is it likely to approve a license this year in spite of the above, its role in not preventing Rangers getting into the situation they now find themselves in has surely to be investigated and changes made to prevent Rangers, or any Scottish club, endangering themselves and their fellow clubs in the future. In short the Licensing Service that is supposed to protect the financial well being of Scottish clubs has failed and that failure has undermined the integrity of our game.

    The process the SFA use is governed by UEFA and the new UEFA Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules that stipulate amongst other things what is to be treated as allowable income and allowable debt come into force for the new season. The problem with the FFP rules is that they are designed to stop rich owners putting money into clubs and thus help restrict player wages, the high cost of which is why so many clubs are carrying so much debt.

    Whilst an indirect wage cap will indirectly help Celtic (and Rangers) by making us more wage competitive with our neighbour’s in the Championship and lower EPL, neither ourselves nor Rangers are particularly high wage payers nor do we get income Abramovic style from our major shareholder.

    However what Celtic have had to compete with in the last decade is our main rivals Rangers first indulging in a questionable method of paying player wages (EBT’s) and then borrowing beyond their means to repay. This has all but destroyed the integrity of our game, something that can be inferred from the Scotsman article where it says,

    ‘which last season led the SFA’s legal and moral authority to be undermined by constant challenges.’

    It is therefore clear to any observer that the processes that have allowed Rangers to damage themselves and with it the game that the SFA is supposed to protect must be tailored to reflect the reality of the SPL not the EPL.

    In Scotland, unlike England where 4 clubs can qualify, the risk of failing to get CL money means the loser can be condemned to being the perpetual bridesmaid or not getting a wedding invite at all, forcing them into taking risks/gambles that can seriously damage the well being of each club, if not end it. So the licensing processes in Scotland have to be tighter to take more of an account of a clubs debt and to confirm that all players at all clubs are contracted on a basis that complies with standard tax law principles. ( a tick against “ Are your players wages subject to PAYE should suffice)

    A way of balancing debt with income and expenditure would be a triangulation profile for all clubs. A triangulation profile would have income (A) in one corner, players wages (B) in another and debt (C) in the third. The triangle has to be equilateral and kept in balance and the figures from the accounts supplied to the SFA by clubs have to feed each of the balance points.

    It gets more complicated in that what is counted as income has to be defined because some has to be allocated to non football costs,but as these need to be met they have to be included in the formula to set (A). What can be allowed as income will be defined by the UEFA FFP rules but is generally gate money, TV income, merchandising and UEFA money.

    Players wages including PAYE and NI should be easy to arrive at and the debt level would have to bear some relationship to the income and wages.

    So say for arguments sake (and the multiplier would have to be argued) the debt allowed was 3 times the difference between income and wages (like they used to do in my young days when mortgages bore some relationship to income) then everyone would know if a club was overborrowing if (C) > (A)-(B)*3

    A simple spreadsheet drawing on the figures from the accounts with a pie chart to present the picture could be published for each club without divulging the figures beneath and any club not meeting the result of the formula would have their licence to play in UEFA competitions refused as well as it triggering an SFA audit of their accounts.

    There is for Scottish Clubs (usually Celtic and Rangers) however an additional issue of what is allowable income for triangulation purposes because of the “skew” affect of Champions League money and the fact that it cannot be depended upon.

    Because of the consequences of the proposed profiliing, a club borrowing would have to take a risk that they were always going to have that money as guaranteed income as its loss would risk a refusal of a UEFA license or an audit under the proposed profiling rules.

    So what any sensible club would do is not to include money that could not be depended upon in the income, and if they get a windfall (like CL money) that is used it to avoid or to reduce debt levels, not to keep using debt to try and ensure they get the money that enables them to stay in debt, as Rangers have done.

    In fact any sensible measure of governance in Scotland with only two realistic competitors for CL money should insist on the CL money being excluded from the debt affordability calculation by removing it from the allowable income. (since Euro Cup money is more dependable and a lot less this could be included as allowable but not CL money)

    The principle of limiting debt to what you can afford is one which our banks abandoned to everyone’s cost and is a principle that needs to be restored everywhere never mind being introduced to football. The triangulation profile is a simple representation of that principle and a more detailed one looking at what is and is not admissable as income and what the debt multiplyer might be in the context of Scottish football is required. Any club who wishes to operate as if CL money is guaranteed and is allowable for financial profiling purposes could only do so if they have good reasons to believe that this is the case. Those reasons should be supplied and made public.

    Whatever approach is adopted Scottish football needs a more relevant process and the SFA should be saying something about the lack of transparency in the Licensing process and what they intend to do to address it.

    Ownership. If the Rangers takeover has highlighted anything it is the need for scrutiny of any new owner or majority shareholder to be a fit and proper person to hold such a position. Their wealth and its sources have to be checked and ownership has to be part of the licensing process. The English F.A have such a test and the background can be found here:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/6271777/What-exactly-is-the-Premier-Leagues-fit-and-proper-person-test.html

    It is not clear if the SFA have an equivalent process in place but if not they should have and they should have at least been a party in the Rangers takeover process and gave Craig Whites “ownership” its approval.

  144. Along with other Hibs supporters I think the threat of Covid has suddenly become greater. So let’s call the league now and announce Hibs the champions. Unfortunately Celtic will have to be relegated but that’s the fairest way.

    Black humour I know but please give me credit for the skill used in smiling with my tongue in my cheek and winking at the same time. It hurts.

  145. Auldheid 1st August 2020 at 17:09
    It is not clear if the SFA have an equivalent process in place but if not they should have and they should have at least been a party in the Rangers takeover process and gave Craig Whites “ownership” its approval.
    …………………………….
    I believe the SFA fined the ibrox club because Craig Whyte was not fit and proper something that took them months to come to that conclusion.They were also fined £50,000 by the plus stock exchange for failing to disclose whytes previous disqualification as a director when the takeover of the club was completed in May 2011.
    The SFA compliance officer issued charges against the ibrox cluband it’s owner following an independent inquiry led by our friend lord Nimmo smith. Whyte was issued with two notices of complaint over breaches of two disciplinary rules whilr the ibrox club had been accused of 5 breaches including failing to abide by SFA regulations over the fit and proper persons test.
    The case was to be heard by a SFA judicial panel on March 29, 2012.
    I CAN’T FIND THE OUTCOME OF THE SFA JUDICIAL PANEL as nothing was reported about it on March 30, 2012.
    Happy for any help on this;-)
    Any way by this time line it took the SFA almost a year to find out that craig whyte was not a fit and proper person to run the ibrox club, but they waved charles Green through the door. Was no lessons learned by the SFA?

  146. Cluster One 1st August 2020 at 18:51
    I CAN’T FIND THE OUTCOME OF THE SFA JUDICIAL PANEL as nothing was reported about it on March 30, 2012.
    Happy for any help on this;-)

    CO Paul McConville reported on it.

    The Judicial Panel Disciplinary Tribunal Hearing took place over six days: 29 March, 6 April (Procedural Hearings) and a Principal Hearing on 17, 18, 20 and 23 April 2012 at Hampden Park, Glasgow. The Tribunal heard the conjoined hearings of the complaints against The Rangers Football Club plc (“Rangers FC”) and Mr Craig Whyte.

    First Complaint
    1 Breach of Disciplinary Rule 1: Not Proven
    2 Breach of Disciplinary Rule 2: Proven A fine of £10,000 payable to the Scottish FA within twelve months.
    3 Breach of Disciplinary Rule 14: Proven A fine of £50,000 payable to the Scottish FA within twelve months.
    4 Breach of Disciplinary Rule 66: Proven (subject to deletion of the sixth element) A fine of £100,000payable to the Scottish FA within twelve months.

    In addition, the Tribunal imposed a prohibition in terms of Articles 94.1 and 95 of the Articles of Association, prohibiting Rangers FC for a period of 12 months from the date of Determination from seeking registration with the Scottish FA of any player not currently with the club, excluding any player under the age of 18 years.

    5 Breach of Disciplinary Rule 71: Proven The Tribunal imposed a censure.

    Second Complaint
    1 Breach of Disciplinary Rule 325: Proven The Tribunal imposed a censure.

    Full Text
    https://scotslawthoughts.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/the-sfa-judicial-panel-verdict-on-rangers-full-text/

  147. “Cluster One 1st August 2020 at 18:51
    I CAN’T FIND THE OUTCOME OF THE SFA JUDICIAL PANEL as nothing was reported about it on March 30, 2012.
    Happy for any help on this;-)'”

    fitbawfan 1st August 2020 at 19:38
    ‘.CO Paul McConville reported on it.’
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    fitbawfan, not being any kind of techy, I’ve repeatedly failed to find that source material.
    If I ever did copy it I long ago lost it somewhere in the ether.
    I’m so glad you have provided the link.

    I shall read it through as bedtime reading, as reflecting part [but only part] of the dirtiest episode in Scottish football history, brought about by the Sports cheating of a man once deemed worthy of being touched on the shoulder by a sword wielded by Her Sovereign Majesty, Elizabeth II, instead of having it shoved up his fundament, as it subsequently ought to have been in 2012!

  148. fitbawfan 1st August 2020 at 19:38
    ……..Thanks for that. I was looking at March and not a later date. That was a lot of fines on top of the, They were also fined £50,000 by the plus stock exchange for failing to disclose whytes previous disqualification as a director. Don’t know if they were ever paid. Then you can add the LNS fine that was not paid but the offset rul was used.
    ………………..
    JC . I look foward to what you find and maybe remind us of.

  149. Auldheid 1st August 2020 at 17:10
    ‘..That’s all Folks. ? ?’
    “”””””””””””””””””””””
    And may Fred Quimby, Auldheid, who was born on 31st July 1886 ( when one of my granpappies was 34/35 years old and the other grandpappy was 12 or thereabouts: the former married very late!)) be enjoying his just reward for the great happiness and pleasure that his genius as a producer gave to us all with his ‘Tom and Jerry ‘ and the whole wonderful world of cartoons.
    His birth date was mentioned in yesterday’s ‘Scotsman’.
    He died in 1965, when I was in my early 20s.
    What joy it was to see in the mid to late ’70s my own kids enjoy the same ‘Tom and Jerry’ cartoons that I had enjoyed.

  150. Cluster One 1st August 2020 at 23:07
    ‘…They were also fined £50,000 by the plus stock exchange for failing to disclose whytes previous disqualification as a director. Don’t know if they were ever paid.’
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Now there’s a point that needs looking at!
    Were any fines imposed actually paid? Do ‘fines ‘ count as debts owed by a club in administration/liquidation?
    Someone out there will come up with the answer!
    Like the little difficulty I have had with the FCA : how do we get to the truth when we are dealing with bodies like any of the market stock exchanges when they are not in any ordinarily democratic way accountable to Parliament or to us?
    The ‘regulatory’ bodies are composed of people of the same breed and stamp as those whom they are supposed to ‘regulate’.
    The TOP made sure that King was not convicted of contempt of court.
    The FCA appear not even to have to respond to complaints that they themselves may have acted in breach of their statutory duties!

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?, as ma granny used to ask.
    Oh, what a cynical auld wumman she was, fluent in Latin as she was!

  151. John Clark 1st August 2020 at 23:48

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?, as ma granny used to ask.
    Oh, what a cynical auld wumman she was, fluent in Latin as she was!
    ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

    Your Granny would then have had a suitable phrase for the regulators too.
    Tanta stultitia mortalium est.
    🙂

  152. fitbawfan 1st August 2020 at 23:57
    ‘.Your Granny would then have had a suitable phrase for the regulators too.
    Tanta stultitia mortalium est.’
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Her very words! ( but she sourced Hesiod as Seneca’s source..)
    She declaimed that sentiment from the windae of her flat at the bend in London Road ( where years later, in the 1960s, they couldn’t use the ‘Liverpool’ trams because they could not negotiate the bend, just where the ‘Barras’ is).
    That granny , God rest her, died n 1952.

  153. And, afore I go to my kip, can I say that I was not terribly impressed by the football offered by Arsenal and Chelsea today?

    Very basic, pedestrian stuff really, not in any way much above the skill levels of the SPL.

    No. It was worse than pedestrian: it was nondescript sh.te!

  154. John Clark 2nd August 2020 at 00:12 Edit
    fitbawfan 1st August 2020 at 23:57
    ‘.Your Granny would then have had a suitable phrase for the regulators too.
    Tanta stultitia mortalium est.’
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Her very words! ( but she sourced Hesiod as Seneca’s source..)
    She declaimed that sentiment from the windae of her flat at the bend in London Road ( where years later, in the 1960s, they couldn’t use the ‘Liverpool’ trams because they could not negotiate the bend, just where the ‘Barras’ is).

    That granny , God rest her, died n 1952.

    Was that where Ross St joined the London Rd? My gran lived there.

  155. On the CW Verdict one noticeable omission from the charges that included failure to pay HMRC VAT and PAYE tax owed, was his failure to pay the wee tax bill which by the spring of 2012 was a well known liability to HMRC.

    It was also a an overdue payable to HMRC at 31st March 2012, which the SFA were aware of in Feb 2012 when Rangers applied for a UEFA licence just before they went into administration. That application was refused as there were no accounts and HMRC were known to be pursuing payment since Aug 2011 when Sherriff Officers called to collect.

    Its as if the SFA didn’t want that particular item investigated away back in 2012 and yet LNS helped them draw up the Terms of Reference for the March Judicial Panel in Feb 2012.

    The same LNS who later treated the DOS ebts as continuous with the big tax case ebts even they the DOS ones were not lawful.

    The fix was in early doors. It was all about damage control later manifested in the 5 Way Agreement.

  156. It was a hugely important day yesterday: the opening of the new SPFL season.

    It was a big day for the clubs, the SPFL, the SFA, Sky & the fans. What did we get?

    Sky gave us AFC v. TRFC in the marquee game, live & with no competition from other televised matches.

    A turgid affair; AFC looked like 11 strangers had turned up a party wearing the same outfit. They gave the ball away with abandon & in doing so made TRFC look adequate. Four (four!) shots on target in 90 minutes, all from TRFC. The officials had (to be kind) a very ‘ring-rusty’ performance.

    I’ll declare that I didn’t listen to the commentary. (I enjoyed playing Terry Reid’s ‘The Driver’ & Tom Petty’s ‘Wildflowers’ albums vice Crocker & McCoist.)

    I wonder what non-Scottish viewers made of it? I saw a far better (technically & with greater passion) non-league game, in terrible conditions, on BT last weekend.

    We carp about the monetary value of the SPFL’s broadcast deal, but the poor product on offer is just cheap filler for Sky.

    …and remember folks, the SPFL has no sponsor this season.

  157. FYI; The comedy sketch linked above is called…”The new fragrance for bhoys”

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

    Back to other business

    Homunculus 31st July 2020 at 13:25
    “An independent arbitration panel has looked at all of the material, presumably taken evidence from witnesses, carried out whatever investigations which were required and unanimously agreed that the SPFL did nothing wrong. Well insofar as the accusations made against them.

    People called for an independent investigation. It has now been done, you have your result.

    People are now saying that is not satisfactory because they themselves have not seen all of the papers, looked at all of the evidence. However in Scotland arbitration is a confidential process, not in some nebulous way, confidential because the relevant act makes it so.

    So we now have, “but it’s in the public interest”. I’m afraid “in the public interest” and “of interest to the public” are not the same thing.

    There is a good argument to say that what is “in the public interest” is for these things not to be released, as to do so would reduce people’s faith in the confidentiality of the arbitration process. A process which is there for a reason.Some football reporter / supporter demanding to see confidential documentation is not as important to the public as maintaining the integrity of the process.”

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

    Here we have Homunculus, a prominent poster on here, a site that has as it’s M.O., a wish to hold the footballing authorities accountable to the fans, starting a post by saying “….the SPFL did nothing wrong. Well insofar as the accusations made against them.”
    Yet ending with “There is a good argument to say that what is “in the public interest” is for these things not to be released, as to do so would reduce people’s faith in the confidentiality of the arbitration process”.

    That is some leap for an SFM poster…..ie. putting forward a flawed argument in favour of secrecy. I say flawed because the Arbitration Act itself provides a route to publication.

    I accept that the Arbitration Act indicates confidentiality BUT IT ALSO PROVIDES A ROUTE TO PUBLICATION. If all parties agree to it, IT CAN BE PUBLISHED.

    Arbitration(Scotland) Act 2010 Schedule 1
    “Rule 26 Confidentiality D
    26(1)Disclosure by the tribunal, any arbitrator or a party of confidential information relating to the arbitration is to be actionable as a breach of an obligation of confidence unless the disclosure—
    (a)is authorised, expressly or impliedly, by the parties (or can reasonably be considered as having been so authorised),
    (e)is in the public interest,

    Andrew Smith put up a blog post that touched on this back in early July entitled….
    “The Last Thing Scottish Football Needs Right Now is more Secrecy”

    Neil Doncaster had this to say two years ago on EBTs/Rangers
    “….I think that’s why transparency and openness are the themes of this morning. I think the only way you can possibly try and draw a line under the events of the past is to understand precisely what happened…”
    https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/sport/15436214.neil-doncaster-hopes-scottish-football-can-move-on-after-spfl-have-final-say-on-rangers-ebt-issue/

    I have just listened to a podcast of yesterdays Sportsound (link below) which started with Neil Doncaster getting an easy interview from Richard Gordon. What was interesting was ND stating that the SPFL would be okay with publication of the arbitration process. So no apparent contradiction with what he said 3 years ago….Only, the question….WHO DOESN’T WANT IT PUBLISHED ?

    Note to Richard Gordon, WHY NOT ASK HIM ?
    Note to BBC Scotland,.. Why not let Tom English do the interview ? Did Neil present conditions to his appearence, as per earlier in the summer ?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08mhgsh

    I return the Doncaster quote from 2017
    “I think the only way you can possibly try and draw a line under the events of the past is to understand precisely what happened”

    Lord Clark at the Court of Session saw the public interest and taled about it in court

    The Scottish Arbitration Act 2010 provides a legal route to publication.

    Doncaster has said the SPFL don’t have a problem with publication

    The HMFC/PT joint statement mentioned “As all Parties have been requested not to comment on the tribunal’s decision or reveal details of the hearings on the grounds of confidentiality, all we can only say is how disappointed and surprised we are at the outcome.”

    WHO REQUESTED CONFIDENTIALITY ?

  158. It seems that Neil Doncaster is quite happy to make the arbitration decision public, or so he has told the BBC.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/53621389

    Welcoming the outcome, Doncaster said the SPFL would be happy for the legal proceedings to be made public.

    “We would have no issue with that whatsoever,” he told BBC Scotland.

    “The advice that we’ve received is that they are confidential and the only way that could come into the public domain would be for all the parties to agree to make it available.”

  159. easyJambo 2nd August 2020 at 11:50

    Presumably one of the other parties wouldn’t agree to it then.

    Or no-one asked for the confidentiality to be lifted.

  160. reasonablechap 2nd August 2020 at 10:26

    Here is a link to a bit of BBC comedy that hits a spot and elps illustrate one of my points from a post, yesterday. The BBC themselves put it out on twitter, so there should be no problem posting the link here.

    https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1289508924752900097
    ………………………………………..
    There is nothing to beat an Obsession when it is driven by a simple desire to find the truth.

  161. Cluster One 2nd August 2020 at 16:21

    They can’t use “paranoid” any more because it turns it it was all true.

  162. Homunculus 2nd August 2020 at 17:20
    …………………..
    Not Obsessed enough, some would say. Wonder what team the person made the video supports? Obsessed enough to make a video.

  163. Auldheid 2nd August 2020 at 01:09
    ‘…Was that where Ross St joined the London Rd?’
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    My grandparents moved from Motherwell in the 1920s into a tenement flat in the block (demolished a number of years ago)which was on the corner of London Rd /Greendyke St, almost directly across London Road from Ross Street.
    The grandad died in 1951, and the granny a year later.

  164. Auldheid 2nd August 2020 at 01:03

    Cluster One 1st Aug 18.51

    This may be the investigation into CW that you refer to:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6uWzxhblAt9UkNvbkxocFUtbFU/view?usp=sharing
    ………………………………..
    Thanks for that.
    Mr Craig Whyte was found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute, and the
    Tribunal was in no doubt that he, together with a number of business associates,
    had engaged in scandalous business activities, which, if not illegal, of which in
    certain matters there may be a doubt, had a corrosive effect on the reputation of a
    proud football club. The Tribunal was left in no doubt that Mr Craig Whyte did not
    engage in his activities in Rangers FC with any view to the interests of Rangers FC or
    Scottish football in the wider context.
    …………………
    You could change the name of Graig whyte to David Murray and wonder why the later has never been charged with bringing the game into disrepute.
    Or has he and i missed it?

  165. Cluster One 2nd August 2020 at 23:07
    “..You could change the name of Graig whyte to David Murray and wonder why the later has never been charged with bringing the game into disrepute.”
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Certainly, the sentence
    “The Tribunal was left in no doubt that Mr Craig Whyte did not
    engage in his activities in Rangers FC with any view to the interests of Rangers FC or
    Scottish football in the wider context”
    could equally have been applied to the dirty night of Scottish football.

    One can only speculate why the Tribunal fingered the wee Del Boy, when the rest of us know that compared to some, his part in the death of RFC of 1872 (which caused the death of Integrity in Scottish Football governance )was , at most, marginal, and inevitable as being merely the consequence of a decade long cheating by SDM.

    It was that decade’s worth of sports cheating and tax cheating by a knight of the realm that killed RFC of 1872.
    And it is to the everlasting shame and disgrace of the SMSM that they failed to report the truth as they stuffed themselves to obesity level with succulent lamb and vintage wines like Odysseus’ companions who were turned into swine by Circe as they gorged themselves on the island of Aeaea
    Honest to God!
    What lousy, cheating rats they were then and are now, as they propagandise the lie that RFC of 1872 did not die the football death of Liquidation!

  166. From the DR this morning
    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/craig-whyte-up-old-tricks-22458834

    ““Tom” – who we believe to be Craig Whyte – pledged to help us avoid the peril posed by enemies such as lawyers and insolvency practitioners, who might try to get struggling creditors some of their cash back.

    And, in the end, he would simply shift all assets to a new company, leaving the debt with the oldco, which would “quietly drift off”.”

    Aaahh! that’s what happened to RFC of 1872…it “quietly drifted off”!!

    And where was Mark McGivern and the DR in 2011/2012 when there was real investigative journalism to be done, and where are they now with their acceptance and propagation of the Big Lie?

  167. Cluster One 2nd August 2020 at 16:21
    There is nothing to beat an Obsession when it is driven by a simple desire to find the truth.

    https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1289508924752900097

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

    You should start by telling the truth regarding ‘the driver’.

    What the average fitbaw fan digs deep to seek ‘the truth’ for, depends on what club they support and/or hate. In this case, hate is the true driver of the ‘obsession’. Had it been any other club in Scotland, the obsession that some engage in would have faded long ago.

    I read various posts about Alfredo Morelos and how the media supposedly help or are used by Rangers to inflate his market value with others focusing on his lack of goals. I haven’t engaged on those types of issues until now.

    I’m sure all Scottish fitbaw fans will wish the player well this week as Rangers resume the Europa League campaign 2019/20. Alfredo was top scorer in the competition during the qualifying rounds and is joint top scorer since the groups started, 11 months ago.

    In other summer ‘news’ that wasn’t picked up by SFM, the Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer, is apparently worth 50 Million.

    ANYONE INTERESTED IN WHO DOESN’T WANT THE ABITRAL JUDGEMENT PUBLISHED ?

    • reasonablechap

      I love your comment “Had it been any other club in Scotland, the obsession that some engage in would have faded long ago.” The answer to that is we still talk about Gretna and Third Lanark, to name but two, and remember them as clubs that died. I am sure that they are missed by some/many but they paid the price for financial mismanagement! Without corruption and, what many would suggest as, criminality the discussion on here, without doubt, would be very different!

  168. adam812 3rd August 2020 at 12:53

    My answer is simpler, it wan’t any other club.

    The only club in liquidation because they cheated the tax man out of millions of pounds and left many more creditors losing further millions is Rangers. It was only Rangers who were the subject of a Supreme Court ruling in relation to disguised remuneration which led to the whole farce being exposed.

  169. I suspect that the party (or parties) who do not wish the proceedings of the Appellate Tribunal published may well be one, two or all of the three panel members.

    I cannot envisage any situation where it is to the benefit of the anonymous panel members’ to have their ruminations publicly examined, particularly since there is no right of appeal to any of the parties involved.

    (Before someone plays their ‘transparency’ Joker, remember that the rules of the Tribunal only allow for the release of the findings when all participants agree. Obviously, at least one party hasn’t given consent. That’s why it’s a doddle for Doncaster, vindicated by the result, to state that he has no issues with publishing the proceedings. Just like in Scooby-Doo, ‘If it wasn’t for those pesky kids’…)

  170. There is an argument to say that someone like Auldheid isn’t obsessed. That he and others directly involved are simply following through on a legal/company process and that the many, many others who involve themselves in the everyday scan, review and automatic critique on all things blue are the more obvious target of the BBC comedy sketch.

    Here’s the thing though !
    What’s the root motivation for Auldheid and the others involved ?
    What/who is blocking them ?

    If the motivation is for what they see as ‘sporting integrity’ to be upheld, then why would you continue to support who was blocking it.

    If they continue to support the PLC who block it, then it isn’t ‘sporting integrity’ that is the only big motive involved.

    Trying to seperate the football club from the PLC would see them engaged in a thought process that some might say is hypocritical.

    For me, the obsession sketch is more about those Sevco threadsters who just can’t get enough of the everyday Rangers fix, whether that be historical, up to date or midnight posts that send everyone off to dream about Green and Whyte.

    The biggest irony of all, is that it is what this ‘group’ do, that ridicules their own mantra of new club, no Old Firm, etrc.

  171. Jingo Jimsie

    I suspect that the party (or parties) who do not wish the proceedings of the Appellate Tribunal published may well be one, two or all of the three panel members.

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

    Could do with a lawyer here but

    Is a panel member referred to as an ‘arbitrator’, opposed to ‘party’.
    Wouldn’t another potential legal route to publication be e) ‘in the public interest’

    Arbitration(Scotland) Act 2010 Schedule 1
    “Rule 26 Confidentiality D
    26(1)Disclosure by the tribunal, any arbitrator or a party of confidential information relating to the arbitration is to be actionable as a breach of an obligation of confidence unless the disclosure—
    (a)is authorised, expressly or impliedly, by the parties (or can reasonably be considered as having been so authorised),
    (e)is in the public interest,

  172. Rangers FC died in 2012: that is indisputable.

    No Ibrox should have been allowed anywhere near Scottish football thereafter: that is debatable.

    But, to put our own shameful state of affairs in Scottish football into perspective, we have FIFA outdoing every FA on the planet in terms of corruption – and with an absolute disregard for public perception;

    “Gianni Infantino: Fifa president to continue in role amid criminal investigation

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/53634191

    Hampden is full of amateurs, in every sense. 🙁

  173. reasonablechap 3rd August 2020 at 15:05

    ‘Could do with a lawyer here but

    Is a panel member referred to as an ‘arbitrator’, opposed to ‘party’.’

    Well, in the case under discussion the SPFL, HoMFC, PTFC & SFC are referred to as ‘respondents’, not ‘parties’. The use of ‘party’ & ‘parties’ by me was loose language, but still conveyed my point. The panel members are afforded confidentiality/anonymity by the SFA’s JPP, Section 17.5.
    ::
    ::
    Again, from your post, “Wouldn’t another potential legal route to publication be e) ‘in the public interest’.”

    I believe that the ‘public interest’ in this case is decided by the SFA, as detailed in their JPP, Section 17.5.

  174. Jingso.Jimsie 3rd August 2020 at 15:35

    I think the confidentiality of the arbitration comes directly from the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010. There are exceptions of course, for example if the parties agree to it or “is necessary in the interests of justice” or “is in the public interest”.

    Forgive me for saying it again but, “is in the public interest” is not the same as is “of interest to the public”

    What public interest would be achieved by releasing this information, against the will of the parties involved, which would outweigh the inherent confidentiality of the arbitration process. The confidentiality is enshrined in law in Scotland so there would have to be a good reason to breach it.

  175. reasonablechap 3rd August 2020 at 12:10

    Cluster One 2nd August 2020 at 16:21
    There is nothing to beat an Obsession when it is driven by a simple desire to find the truth.

    https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1289508924752900097

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

    You should start by telling the truth regarding ‘the driver’.
    …………………………
    The Driver crashed the bus here.
    Stuart Hay
    @stuhay89
    Comedy Writer // Bonafide Rock and Roll Star // Horror and True Crime Enthusiast // Big Hun // El Mosher // Stoater Abouter // Tap Scranner // Dug Clapper.
    ………………………………….
    Had it been any other club in Scotland, the obsession that some engage in would have faded long ago.
    ……
    Not if it was any other club that had a rival.
    ………………………
    I’m sure all Scottish fitbaw fans will wish the player well this week as Rangers resume the Europa League campaign 2019/20. Alfredo was top scorer in the competition during the qualifying rounds
    …..
    Uefa don’t include goals scored in the qualifying rounds when they announce their top goal scorer in their competition.

  176. reasonablechap 3rd August 2020 at 14:54
    For me, the obsession sketch is more about those Sevco threadsters who just can’t get enough of the everyday Rangers fix, whether that be historical, up to date or midnight posts that send everyone off to dream about Green and Whyte.
    ………..
    Maybe if there was not such a comedy show from the ibrox club every day,those Sevco threadsters would not have so much material to mock the comedy show.

  177. easyJambo 3rd August 2020 at 16:17

    According to the DR, it is Hearts and Partick who are now blocking publication of the judgement.

    I don’t know if the judgement is perhaps a two page summary or a more extensive document giving reasons for the decision.

    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/hearts-partick-thistle-hammer-spfl-22461694
    ………………….
    Now why would Hearts and Partick thistle not want publication of the judgement? Did something turn up under a stone that they don’t want made public?

  178. Cluster One 3rd August 2020 at 17:40

    Now why would Hearts and Partick thistle not want publication of the judgement? Did something turn up under a stone that they don’t want made public?

    We already know what the “judgement” was. The panel deemed that the SPFL’s actions were lawful.

    I’m more interested in how they got to that determination. What was the evidence that the panel accepted or rejected and why, e.g. re the Dundee vote. Were there precedents for a “reject” vote being reversed, or did the panel simply determine that the Companies Act provisions didn’t preclude such a reversal? Similarly, on what basis did they treat the omission, from the SPFL’s briefing notes to clubs, of the potential liabilities to broadcasters should the season be ended prematurely? Did they make a judgement that there was no guarantee that the result of the vote would be any different had that information been made available?

  179. easyJambo 3rd August 2020 at 18:09
    “We can confirm that the SPFL requested that the judgment, and judgement alone, from the recent arbitration be shared with other member clubs,” a spokesperson told Record Sport exclusively. “A request we opposed.

    “Hearts and Partick Thistle always wanted this matter to be heard in open court in the interest of total transparency.
    ………………………
    Note to myself. Don’t rush through anything until you have read it all in full.

  180. easyJambo 3rd August 2020 at 18:09

    It could be as simple as the resolution is supported or it isn’t. If it gets the required support then it is passed. If it fails to get that support within 28 days then it fails. As such there really isn’t such a thing as an irrevocable no vote. People can change their minds if they don’t support it in the initial stages.

    The SPFL asked people to have their vote to them by 5 OClock on the Friday. However it wasn’t a “deadline”, no matter how many times people describe it as such.

    I think people thinking of this as a yes or no vote, on the Friday are missing the point. The simple question is did the resolution receive sufficient support within 28 days, it did. A subsequent discussion with the premiership clubs unanimously agreed that the games could not be played, which would have supported the position.

  181. Jingso.Jimsie 3rd August 2020 at 14:45
    ‘.. suspect that the party (or parties) who do not wish the proceedings of the Appellate Tribunal published may well be one, two or all of the three panel members’
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    At 12.49 today, Jingo.Jimsie, I emailed the following to the Scottish Arbitration Centre:
    “In Scotland can an individual member of an Arbitration Tribunal refuse to give consent to making the proceedings public even if the parties have given consent?”
    I have not yet had a reply.
    [I can’t imagine that the members of such a Tribunal WOULD object as long as their names etc were not disclosed .
    However the fact that each member is BOUND by the ‘confidentiality’ might as a corollary suggest that they could well have the RIGHT ,personally. to withhold their consent, and thus block publication?]

    ps. It’s a damned nuisance not having the ‘italics’ and ‘underlining’ and ‘bold’ facilities! Where did they go? Or is it just my non-techiness? Anybody?

  182. Am I surprised? “Confusion” they say.
    I’m sure that won’t apply to Hearts and Partick when they have to respond to an SFA notice of complaint later this week.

    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-motherwell-hibs-escape-sfa-22463659

    Rangers, Hibs and Motherwell escape SFA testing punishment as Hampden chiefs accept Ibrox ‘misunderstanding’
    The clubs had their testing habits investigated after incidents relating to pre-season friendlies.
    Rangers, Motherwell and Hibs are set to escape SFA punishment for breaching coronavirus testing protocol.
    All three clubs are in the clear after issues with their test results in the run-up to the start of the season.
    Last month Rangers were asked by the SFA to explain why nine of their top-team squad featured in a B team clash against Dundee United without medical clearance.
    The rule breach only became clear later that same day when Steven Gerrard’s first XI had to delay a friendly against Motherwell by two hours while they waited on test results to come back.
    Rangers have replied to the compliance officer describing the incident as a ‘misunderstanding of protocol’ and have upped testing to twice a week.
    The SFA have accepted the explanation. A source said: “Yes, Rangers should have been well aware of the rules but in the circumstances it does seem as if there was some confusion.”
    Hibs will also avoid punishment for testing players and coaching staff less than 24 hours before a friendly with Ross County that had to be cancelled.
    And Motherwell have been cleared for a 24-hour lab delay which meant their players were still waiting for results before making that trip to Ibrox – despite having given swabs more than 50 hours earlier.

  183. Just a thought:

    Is it possible that the Arbitration Panel, in its judgement, has been highly critical of the legal case Hearts and Partick Thistle put forward?

    My own view is that those clubs’ had offered no sound legal arguments. Their public proclamations were not really based on the rules, regulations and the legality of the SPFL’s actions. Their complaints seemed to centre around a moral outrage that they were being unfairly ‘punished’. Principally, they seemed to be contending that despite finishing in last place in their respective divisions – following the determination of the final league positions on an average points per game basis – it should not result in their relegations.

    Since the 42 clubs had rejected various attempts at reconstruction, HMFC & PTFC seemed to be asking the arbitration panel – on no obviously sound legal basis – to order that the clubs in the automatic relegation place are not relegated and (even more alarmingly) the clubs who won their respective divisions were not promoted.

    You would expect that the panel will have forensically dissected the facts of the ‘case’. If the legal position is as clear cut as I believe it to be, the judgement will have laid bare the sheer folly of raising the proceedings in the first place.

    If there are particularly adverse comments in the arbitration judgement, it may not be helpful when the clubs answer the SFA charges later in the week.

    If HMFC and PTFC really do not wish the judgement to be published, is it because they are concerned about how it may affect the outcome of the SFA charges?

  184. (Batten down the hatches Big Pink).

    You know what? By definition, we’re here to question many things of Scottish football, most of all journalism.

    I’ve made no secret of my frustration with Phil.

    Phil is no stranger to flashing his NUJ card nor does he shy away from questioning many others that subscribe to the same organisation.

    The NUJ code of conduct ‘strives to ensure that information disseminated is honestly conveyed, accurate and fair’.

    In my opinion, Phil should remind himself of this.

    Like all of us, Phil has an opinion. But unlike Phil, few of us are members of the NUJ. And unlike Phil, most of us have a balanced opinion.

    I’ve just read his most recent posts on his own website. And I haven’t cringed so much since I last read One of my own last posts.

    Really Phil: “Apropos any replacement for Alfie the player would need to be within £1.5M – £2M range, and that’s a stretch”?

    This aside, his ‘rugger man’ is as dependable as a horse tip at Hamilton races.

    Sticking with Phil’s rugger analogy, his blog is more tired than a French hooker.

    Phil – I’m in WS2, where are you?

  185. reasonablechap 3rd August 2020 at 14:54

    There is an argument to say that someone like Auldheid isn’t obsessed. That he and others directly involved are simply following through on a legal/company process and that the many, many others who involve themselves in the everyday scan, review and automatic critique on all things blue are the more obvious target of the BBC comedy sketch.

    A. Correct

    Here’s the thing though !

    What’s the root motivation for Auldheid and the others involved ?

    A, Accountability via the legal/company process. ( accountability = a situation in which someone is responsible for things that happen and can give a satisfactory reason for them)

    That reason has been avoided by SFA in whose tender care Celtic left it)

    What/who is blocking them ?

    A. Every club that are SFA and SPFL members who do not want to be accountable to their supporters/shareholders, plus the media who have failed in their accountability role as they sup from the same trough as the clubs/SFA/SPFL.

    If the motivation is for what they see as ‘sporting integrity’ to be upheld, then why would you continue to support who was blocking it.

    A. Indeed.

    If they continue to support the PLC who block it, then it isn’t ‘sporting integrity’ that is the only big motive involved.

    A. Accountability remains the constant.

    Trying to separate the football club from the PLC would see them engaged in a thought process that some might say is hypocritical.

    A. There is no separation in reality, just as there is no separation between a club and its support. One cannot live without the other. The separation you refer is a legal construct devised by Doncaster based on a rule change to deal with Romanov that introduced the concept of owner separate from the club that did not exist until Romanov behaviour required the addition. There was another reason to do with the way Brechin? were constituted and the subject was discussed a few years ago on SFM.

    For me, the obsession sketch is more about those Sevco threadsters who just can’t get enough of the everyday Rangers fix, whether that be historical, up to date or midnight posts that send everyone off to dream about Green and Whyte.

    A. Correct

    The biggest irony of all, is that it is what this ‘group’ do, that ridicules their own mantra of new club, no Old Firm, etrc.

    A. They might argue the new club mantra is an invention that treats them as stupid and it is that which angers them.

  186. It seems like dodgy Dave (Murray that is) having never been brought to account for his misdeeds at Rangers is still at it, and why wouldn’t he has never been held accountable.

    Today more than ever we need accountable governance at all levels civil and football. From CQN:

    I had to smile this morning when I saw we were back reading about Oldco Rangers’ old chairmen. Craig Whyte has been exposed by the Daily Record for allegedly trading under his father’s name in a business designed to do pretty much what he did to Oldco Rangers back in 2012.

    I wonder if we will ever see Sir David Murray’s reruns given the same treatment? No investigative journalism is needed, just read Sir David’s company, Murray Capital Group’s most recent financial statement on a challenge by HMRC “regarding the tax treatment of payments made under the Group’s Share Based Payment Scheme”.

    No provision was made in earlier accounts, as “management considered it unlikely that additional tax would be payable to HMRC.” However, “following further legal consultation….. and communication from HMRC… it was now more likely than not that a future cash outflow would be required.”

    Never mind, we should let David discretely get on with being David. Share Based Payment Scheme! Honestly! The company also extended it’s year end from 31 December 2019 to 30 June 2020; always a good sign.

  187. easyJambo 3rd August 2020 at 23:40

    Yes but one is life or death, the other is clearly much more important than that.

  188. I think today is a good day to put things in perspective.

    Thousands of teenagers will receive pieces of paper that will determine how their lives proceed from here. THEIR seasons were called before the football season was. They are now being judged on THEIR performances with one quarter of THEIR season still to be completed. There are no points on a league table that indicates how they performed, they will be judged partially on assessment by teachers who carry all the same prejudices that the rest of us have. There are no calls for the last school year to be declared null and void and no calls for the school year to be completed at a later date
    Will teenagers resort to court action to have the C pass that they have been awarded bumped up to a B because they could have improved greatly during the period after the schools were closed?

    There is no fairness about any pandemic and that is something we have to accept no matter how much it disappoints us. Football clubs will have the opportunity to reverse the unfairness over a year or two on the pitch. How many teenagers will have that same opportunity in a world that is going into the severe economic and employment decline that fighting the pandemic is bringing on?

  189. Looks like the SFA has had to wake up Bryson to deliver some creative spin.

    “Imperfectly registered” has been topped by “Misinterpreted protocol”.

    [I’m just surprised that Hampden even mentioned the ‘incorrectly tested’ players at all.]

    • Luckily the Scottish Government was either in a forgiving mood in relation to the ‘misunderstanding’ or are they still viewed as the establishment club and not allowed to be punished by our political leaders!

      Although suggesting the possibility of conspiracy I doubt that the present First Minister would have been hesitant in taking action if it was not for our football governing bodies hadn’t quickly taken pre-emptive action.

      Just a thought I wonder if the previous FM would have got involved in the relegation debate. I suspect he would have!

  190. What exactly was the “Misunderstanding”……Something that could have resulted in the increase of fatal casualties in the wider community, and a banning order slapped on fitba’ nationwide…………Noo that IS in the public’s interest !.

  191. Cluster One 4th August 2020 at 13:12
    The sale of Hampden Park is now complete,
    https://twitter.com/queensparkfc/status/1290618486637510656

    ‘=====’
    Good Luck to QPFC.
    Looks like a good move for them, with a developed Lesser Hampden giving options for the future.

    IMO, not a good deal for Scottish football which is now burdened with an obsolete stadium.
    Never going to get sufficient government funding to replace it: cheaper ‘tinkering’ at best.
    (And the SFA doesn’t deserve to receive taxpayers’ money for anything.)

    Why couldn’t the SFA copy the Saudis and blame covid for pulling out of the deal…?

  192. I’m sure others will already know about this form of ‘censorship’,
    but I’ve just realised that I have been “Shadow Banned” on The Scottish Sun for my Comments!

    I post there as StevieBC, and post similar nonsense to what I post here: nothing dodgy or bad words, etc. More banter-like than I would post here.

    Whilst logged in to The Scottish Sun to post a Comment, I can then see my posted Comment under the relevant article. Fine.

    But, when I have logged out, I can see all the other Comments – but my own, tame Comment is missing.

    I suppose it’s a back handed compliment of sorts to be banned?

    I’d like to say that I’ve been banned from better rags than The Sun, but this is my first time…that I’m aware of anyway.

    It is quite pathetic that the SMSM censors its own output on all things Scottish football – but this paper drags itself down even further by censoring Readers’ Comments.

    …I’m guessing all papers do this now…?

    Yet another reason why the print industry won’t be missed much…

  193. Ha!
    Just realised that I might have a long wait for any other comment on the above…if I’m Shadow Banned from SFM too! 🙂

  194. StevieBC 4th August 2020 at 18:16
    ‘…Just realised that I might have a long wait for any other comment on the above…if I’m Shadow Banned from SFM too! ?’
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    I don’t think you have anything to worry about, StevieBC
    Indeed, it’s a badge of honour to be proud of-, being banned by the ‘Sun’.
    It means that you ‘re saying something that contains ‘truth’, a concept that has been beyond the ‘Sun’s” intellectual and moral capacities since the Hillsborough disaster.

  195. StevieBC 4th August 2020 at 18:16
    Whilst logged in to The Scottish Sun to post a Comment,
    …I’m guessing all papers do this now…?

    Yet another reason why the print industry won’t be missed much…
    ……………………………..
    They are getting you use to the way things will be when you log on. This will be the way, when the print media has gone.

  196. It is a quiet night, so maybe some people might want have a look at a CAS judgment that was in my inbox yesterday evening, with as much puzzlement as I at how an apparently straightforward matter of fact such as the question of the nationality of a player’s birth-mother could have involved two Appeals in the world of Football!
    How difficult could it be to establish an individual’s nationality?

    That leads me on to say that while I’m not at all well up in ‘Asian ‘ football in terms of the monetary significance of the Asian Cup to participants therein, but I imagine that the loss of face and dignity might be significant when the cup you’ve ‘won’ is deemed not to have been honestly won because you fielded ineligible players.

    Astonishingly, the writ of Bryson appears not to have reached the middle east!

    Was there no one there to to suggest to Qatar that since the question of the player’s mother’s nationality and therefore of the player’s eligibility to play for the country had not been raised before he had actually played, he was not ineligible at the time he played, and they were wasting their time and money in appealing?
    Brysonism worked a treat before LNS.
    If there were any rhyme and reason justifying that, it should have worked for Qatar FA !
    But of course, Bryson was not only philosophically unsound, but talking absolute sh.te, as any Qatari football fan would know.

    https://www.tas-cas.org/fileadmin/user_upload/CAS_Media_Release_6343.pdf

  197. Hopefully the covid spike in Aberdeen isn’t linked to a football match that was played there bcd .

  198. I’m no Samuel Pepys, but I was up betimes this morning: couldn’t believe my eyes when at 6.50 I counted 30 geese flying over head on their way south.
    6th of August!
    That’s the earliest I’ve ever seen them. Is Scottish Football in for an early winter?

  199. Aberdeen player tested positive. I hope he recovers, but what happens noo?….Squad isolation for Aberdeen and Sevco?…..Non-contact training?……Government intervention?……Anybody know or hazard a guess.

  200. A second Aberdeen player has tested positive for COVID-19
    Hope it does not get traced back to ibrox

  201. Hearts and Partick Thistle have been fined £2,500 each by the Scottish FA for taking the SPFL to court rather than referring the case to arbitration.

  202. Corrupt official 6th August 2020 at 14:58
    Aberdeen player tested positive. I hope he recovers, but what happens noo?….Squad isolation for Aberdeen and Sevco?…..Non-contact training?……Government intervention?……Anybody know or hazard a guess.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Surely the same test, trace and isolate rules will apply to everyone the two players have come into contact with. How can that not be the case?

  203. Edit: “Six”, not siz.

    I’m sure that the decision to let the game go ahead has nothing to do with it being live on Sky, or is the SPFL really that stupid.

  204. Club statement

    Further to tonight’s JRG statement, Aberdeen FC confirms that two first team players, who have tested positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic, are self-isolating for ten days.

    In line with government guidance and procedures from the football authorities, six other players, who were in close proximity with the two positive cases, are also self-isolating for 14 days.

    The Club has been in open discussions with the football authorities since this came to light.

    As a result, the Club will be missing eight players for the St Johnstone game, which the JRG has confirmed will now go ahead on Saturday.

    AFC Chairman, Dave Cormack, said: “After Saturday’s game, with all eyes on Pittodrie, we were once again commended on the stringent processes and measures we had in place. Given the efforts of everyone at the Club and our investment in protecting our most valuable assets, this is a bitter blow.

    “With two first team players testing positive for COVID-19, plus six others having to isolate for 14 days, it is also a harsh reminder of the severity and speed of spread of this virus.

    “The Club will be carrying out a full investigation but, as an immediate first step, we have reinforced the Club’s COVID-19 protocols and the governing bodies’ guidance with every player and member of staff and will continue to regularly educate and remind everyone of what is, and what is not, acceptable in the current climate.

    “We now have to focus on preparing for Saturday’s game under extremely difficult circumstances.”

  205. Short of confining the players to the stadiums in complete isolation, I don’t see how the players can guarantee not becoming infected.
    This will result in many more weak teams (and mebbe none) being fielded before the season’s end, (whenever that may be).
    Personally I don’t think we’ll get there.
    Last season the virus arrived and the divisions were called. With the virus already upon us prior to resumption, it’s not so clear cut when such a decision can be made now, other than govt intervention.
    No contingencies appear to have been reached, i.e, more than 20 played, call it. Less than 20 N&V, or whatever. X amount of infected, it’s over. Y amount of game backlog, Nothing. Nada.!
    It’s all very patch-up and make-do, keep all digits crossed and we’ll have a big argument aboot it, when the time comes.
    I have to admire the will to continue, but Jeezo, the practicalities are immense.

  206. Aberdeen will carry out an investigation as they are set to be without eight self-isolating players for their next three matches after two tested positive for coronavirus.
    ……………………
    And there were calls by some to continue playing last seasons games. How stupid do these people look now

  207. CO, agreed there is plenty of scope for an even bigger bun fight this season in the SPFL.

    IMO, the rules regarding if/when games can be played, and if/when the league(s) should be called – should have been clearly publicised before now.
    For clubs and fans/paying customers alike.

    No room for negotiation or subjectivity: clear, hard rules and no chance of a repeat of last season end.

    As the season progresses, whatever happens with the pandemic and restrictions, you just know that the SPFL is going to cock it up – again.

  208. Aberdeen loose 8 players. what are the odds on the other team winning the next match against them?

    • Those who criticise the SPFL for the method they used to decide the end of last season should look at the system the system used by the SQA to change teacher predicted exam grades for tens of thousands of Scottish schoolkids. The method used by the SQA to decide exam grades is a real national scandal.

      I appreciate that this is not the forum to discuss the SQA in any depth but football clubs have a chance to recover their position within a year but many of the kids affected are likely to be disadvantaged for years to come and possibly never will recover.

      Our young people are being treated shockingly!

  209. StevieBC 6th August 2020 at 22:33

    CO, agreed there is plenty of scope for an even bigger bun fight this season in the SPFL

    To be fair to the SPFL they did try to get extraordinary covid powers to adapt on the hoof, but the clubs said naw. They would have been wide-ranging powers.
    The truth is though that to whack out legally binding rules to catch-all possible scenarios would be impossible in the time-frame we had. An "On the hoof what we say goes", was all they could do, not only to avoid a legal/arbitration challenge, but to do the best for the game, without the influence of club self interest or shit stirrers.

  210. Cluster One 6th August 2020 at 20:06

    Hearts and Partick Thistle have been fined £2,500 each by the Scottish FA for taking the SPFL to court rather than referring the case to arbitration.

    So if anyone wants to ignore that rule they can, it only costs £2,500.

  211. Homunculus 7th August 2020 at 00:36
    Cluster One 6th August 2020 at 20:06

    Hearts and Partick Thistle have been fined £2,500 each by the Scottish FA for taking the SPFL to court rather than referring the case to arbitration.

    So if anyone wants to ignore that rule they can, it only costs £2,500

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Or in the case of Oldco Rangers, no fine at all.

  212. Cluster One 6th August 2020 at 22:16
    ……………………
    And there were calls by some to continue playing last seasons games. How stupid do these people look now?

    …………………………..

    Presumably equally as stupid as those who were clambering for a 1 August start to the Premiership and specific clubs trying to put pressure on the Scot Gov to allow fans into stadiums.

  213. adam812 7th August 2020 at 00:23
    Those who criticise the SPFL for the method they used to decide the end of last season should look at the system the system used by the SQA to change teacher predicted exam grades for tens of thousands of Scottish schoolkids. The method used by the SQA to decide exam grades is a real national scandal.

    I appreciate that this is not the forum to discuss the SQA in any depth but football clubs have a chance to recover their position within a year but many of the kids affected are likely to be disadvantaged for years to come and possibly never will recover.

    Our young people are being treated shockingly!
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    The parallel is definitely there. The methodology failed to deal with the circumstances of individual pupils performance. (a bit like PPG failing to deal with the relative merits of the opposition already played or still to be faced by an individual team, current form etc.). However there is an appeal process to right the wrongs. The SQA previously dealt with a few thousand appeals. This year it may be tens of thousands and rightly so.

    However it is how the MSM is portraying the results that generates much of the heat. It was initially reported as being disadvantaged kids being disproportionately moderated when compared to the schools in more affluent areas, but the bulk of new coverage has moved on to highlight individual cases.

    The statistics show that the teachers’ predicted grades, compared to last year’s results, were inflated for all social groups, but with the biggest increase for the most deprived pupils. It is therefore unsurprising that any moderation would have the greatest impact on that group. However, the final year on year increase in Higher pass rates was greater for the most disadvantaged than that for the most affluent kids, so as a group they did not lose out.

    https://twitter.com/paulhutcheon/status/1291282720891580417

  214. “…But Minister for public health and sport Joe Fitzpatrick had called a meeting with the Scottish FA and SPFL for Friday to discuss the situation after what a government statement called “a clear breach of the rules…”.

    (From the BBC report).

    On the face of it, and in contradiction to previous football generated statements, the Govt. has forced this decision…?
    The original decision to continue with the (televised) game didn’t make sense.
    IMO, I don’t think fans will see the inside of a stadium this side of Christmas.

  215. wottpi 7th August 2020 at 09:45
    ……………………
    Stupid people don’t know they are stupid.

  216. easyJambo 7th August 2020 at 11:58

    So the St Johnstone v Aberdeen game has been called off. I assume that their subsequent games against Hamilton and Celtic will follow.

    https://twitter.com/BBCSportScot/status/1291684214912552960

    The SPFL wouldn’t want to disproportionately disadvantage individual teams after all
    ………………………
    Would have to. Now we have a back log even before the winter kicks in. A strong worded letter sent is what is needed here.

  217. wottpi 7th August 2020 at 09:45

    Presumably equally as stupid as those who were clambering for a 1 August start to the Premiership and specific clubs trying to put pressure on the Scot Gov to allow fans into stadiums.

    That was / is a Scottish Government decision.

    They allowed games to be played when they thought it appropriate.

    They will allow fans back when they deem it appropriate.

    Interested parties lobbying is hardly an unusual thing. Even if parties with different agendas are lobbying at the same time. At the end of the day the Government will make the decision.

  218. Cluster One 7th August 2020 at 12:15
    ‘Stupid people don’t know they are stupid.’
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Well, I’ve just discovered that I have to own up to being stupid.
    Just discovered that Bayer Leverkusen is just a works team!
    In so far as I thought about them at all, I kind of assumed that Bayer was a place- like ‘Bayern’. Silly me.

    “Now Bayer, maker of the weedkiller Roundup, whose primary ingredient is glyphosate, has agreed to pay more than $10 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits which claim that the chemical causes cancer’

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanstrickler/2020/06/25/bayer-to-pay-more-than-10-billion-in-roundup-settlement/#6d1f0dae60da

    One lives and learns!

  219. Aberdeen players clearly being blamed for the postponement of the game by the govt.

    Should the players involved be punished?

    Just the other week, Hampden declined to punish clubs for ‘misinterpretating protocols’ with testing…so how can individuals be held accountable?

  220. For all Celtic fans’ reservations, in the 25 years since Desmond effectively took the reins, it has won the Scottish title 15 times compared to 10 for its rival Glasgow Rangers. Celtic has won the last eight in a row, a period during which Rangers almost went bust and had to fight back from a forced spell in the bottom tier of the Scottish league pyramid.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/business/media-and-marketing/why-is-dermot-desmond-investing-2m-in-shamrock-rovers-1.4053798

    Where do these people get this mince from ?

  221. StevieBC @ 1334hrs:

    I suspect that the Scottish Government’s involvement will prevent AFC from receiving any ‘football’ punishment, or St.J being awarded the three points.

    As quoted in the DR:

    ‘Following the postponement, the Joint Response Group issued a statement explaining how the decision was reached.

    It read: “Following a meeting this morning between the Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing, Joe FitzPatrick, the Scottish FA chief executive, Ian Maxwell, and the chief executive of the SPFL, Neil Doncaster, to further examine the circumstances around the self-isolation of eight Aberdeen FC players, a request was received from Scottish Government – and agreement reached – to postpone Saturday’s Scottish Premiership match against St Johnstone.

    “There is an evolving public health outbreak in Aberdeen and the minister conveyed the need for additional work to provide further assurance around Aberdeen FC’ s adherence to the agreed protocols.

    “Given the overriding responsibility to public health, the subsequent advice and discussion with the minister this morning means that the Joint Response Group must adhere to the request to postpone the match.”‘

    The important bit being, ‘…a request was received from Scottish Government…to postpone…’, which nicely covers the SFA’s & SPFL’s erchies. I expect AFC will quietly discipline the players (medical confidentiality, natch!). The loser here is St.J, who may face a stronger, more in-form AFC when the fixture is re-arranged.

  222. I have it on good authority that the Aberdeen players only went to the bar to test their eyesight!

  223. As a Dons fan I think we should forfeit the points as it was clearly a breach of the protocol.

    If it had been an individual player who unwittingly picked it up then that’s different matter, but 8 players going to bar that’s different

    Mind you 8 turning up was better none that turned up for the Rangers game itself

  224. Menace 7th August 2020 at 16:03
    As a Dons fan I think we should forfeit the points as it was clearly a breach of the protocol.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I agree.

    I don’t see the reasoning on the decision to only postpone Saturday’s game, but allow the Hamilton and Celtic games to me played with a weakened team. Either all or no games should be played.

    I’d hope that it is nothing to do with both Celtic and Hamilton both having representatives on the SPFL Board and are acting in their self interest.

    • Sorry easyJambo but to even suggest that there is some conspiracy going on at the SPFL in relation to the response the breaching of the Covid-19 protocols by the Aberdeen players makes you sound like another poster who describes himself as reasonable!

  225. I think the reasoning for the game being postponed is straightforward, the government has overruled the SPFL on this occasion. Last night, the SPFL stated that tomorrow’s game would go ahead. I wonder how clear the specific regulations were made to the players, eight is quite a number to transgress and it wasn’t as if they went somewhere quiet, away from prying eyes?

  226. And yes, having Aberdeen as my big team I’ll do the gag. No, there is no risk of cross infection to the Ibrox side last Saturday since to do so would have required us to get within 2m of them.

  227. Joking apart I understand the decision to cancel the game on health grounds. I equally understand the impression, the fact even, that St Johnstone are the bigger losers here. It has opened a raft of questions though as to what players can and cannot do and what the SPFL’s response ordinarily, untouched by Scottish Government’s hand, would have been. One assumes it will now require to be the set response for similar instances going forwards. Asking a team missing probably 6 first team players to fulfil a fixture? I’ll be amazed if we can navigate a season with that hanging in the background. An excellent threat for sure, but a nightmarish reality if it actually has to be applied. Our very own nuclear deterrent.

  228. The lack of authoritative and strong governance of Scottish football is now bordering on farcical.The SFA fine for Hearts and Partick Thistle is paltry and has been pointed out is hardly a warning to other clubs not to do the same.Ealing comedy like mismanagement of the CVID protocols starting with TRFC and now Aberdeen is laughable if ’twere not so serious.Aberdeen FC are responsible for their players and in this instance I agree a 3 point forfeit in favour St Johnstone and the same for the following games AFC cannot complete. The selfish actions of the players has put not only the football season at risk but more importantly lives.They should be named and shamed.Utter disgrace.

  229. Gaslamp 7th August 2020 at 16:52
    I think the reasoning for the game being postponed is straightforward, the government has overruled the SPFL on this occasion. Last night, the SPFL stated that tomorrow’s game would go ahead. I wonder how clear the specific regulations were made to the players, eight is quite a number to transgress and it wasn’t as if they went somewhere quiet, away from prying eyes?
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Football lobbied for and was granted an exemption for elite sport/training/contact/bubbles, all subject to testing and adherence to the same controls as the rest of the population when outside their working environment.

    Part of the general advice is groups of 8 from 3 households indoors. Eight people from eight different households is not within the current guidelines.

    The risk is that any infection inadvertently picked up outside football will be more likely to be transmitted because of their “work” environment.

    Here are some extracts from Phase 3 – Step 3 guidelines for the resumption of elite sport.

    https://sportscotland.org.uk/media/5907/phase-3-resumption-of-performance-sport-step-3-final-draft.pdf

    c) All individuals must agree to abide by Scottish Government and Health Protection Scotland guidelines whilst away from the Competition Venue.

    d) Any personnel with known or suspected COVID-19 are not permitted at the Competition Venue and should be placed or remain in isolation and follow the latest Scottish Government and HPS guidelines. Personnel should follow the protocols put in place by the Competition Organiser and/or Performance (Elite) Sport Organisation.

    3. Competition Delivery Partners and Performance (Elite) Sports Organisations should:

    a) Appoint a named COVID-19 Officer (CO) for each party. The CO appointed by the Competition Organiser should be responsible for oversight of the risk and mitigation planning, communicating information to all User Groups and ensuring that the necessary standards are met. This individual does not necessarily have to be medically trained.

    c) The Competition Delivery Partners, in collaboration with the Performance (Elite) Sports Organisation(s), should develop a COVID-19 competition venue operations plan, and a COVID-19 risk assessment and mitigation plan. These should include the following considerations as a minimum:

    I. A code of behaviour which provides guidelines for all User Groups and the details of sanctions in place for breaches of protocol.

    The only other explanation I can come up with was that the eight players went to the pub to check that their eyesight would be OK for the trip down to Perth at the weekend.:)

  230. I take the point GunnerB. But I suspect it will not be difficult to photograph 4 players (not even from the same team who live apart) out together socially in the very near future. The Aberdeen players have no excuse – they appear to have been in flagrant breach and the only thing to be determined is what level of knowledge of their plans the Club actually had (Oh for Sir Alex and his network, and in the days before mobile phones too). But the proposed solution by the SPFL prior to Nicola’s input – to enforce in this case 3 matches with 6 first team players missing and hell mend em – that would have been a very interesting precedent to set and to maintain. I suspect it will be revisited and for what its worth I think the chances of it being consistently applied are almost nil. Home many League 1 and 2 teams could even field a team for instance?

  231. Im rather concerned re the FMs and the SGs response to some young men going to the pub. There has not been a cat 1a worker told not to go to the pub.

    These young men are being victimised for catching a virus- could’ve happened anywhere. They are being blamed, we are being told its their fault, they are being portrayed as part of a wider problem of antisocial behaviour within the context of the global pandemic in Scotland.

    They have done nothing wrong- why the big fuss- im sure you couldn’t enforce anyone not to do what is legal despite what a contract says or “rules”?

  232. martin c 7th August 2020 at 18:10
    Im rather concerned re the FMs and the SGs response to some young men going to the pub. There has not been a cat 1a worker told not to go to the pub.

    These young men are being victimised for catching a virus- could’ve happened anywhere. They are being blamed, we are being told its their fault, they are being portrayed as part of a wider problem of antisocial behaviour within the context of the global pandemic in Scotland.

    They have done nothing wrong- why the big fuss- im sure you couldn’t enforce anyone not to do what is legal despite what a contract says or “rules”?

    The first problem that they have is that professional footballers (rightly or wrongly) are seen, as Nicola Sturgeon said today, to be “role models”. In the current circumstances, role models arguably carry a greater responsibility (again, rightly or wrongly) for the consequences of their actions.

    The second problem that they have is that their actions appear to have been outside of what is permissible in their workplace and occupation at the present time. That in itself should be the basis of disciplinary action from their employer.

    If eight pilots went on the lash the night before attempting to fly transatlantic 747s (other aeroplanes are available) no one would bat an eyelid at the inevitable tribunals, sackings and possible criminal charges. Likewise HGV drivers (with something more earthbound than a Jumbo). Circumstances have changed, and none of us can behave exactly as we did before.

    Professional sport has been allowed to restart partly under sufferance and partly, I think, as an experiment. It behoves all involved professionally to behave professionally and to adhere to all the relevant guidelines/rules/advice at all times.

    Two quick final points:

    You could argue that going drinking after their weekend performance is unprofessional in the first place.
    I’d favour awarding a 3-0 to St Johnstone, and any other teams involved in games needing to be cancelled under circumstances such as this. Aside from anything else, why give the players involved a chance to get appearance money or a win bonus for a fixture that had to be rearranged because of their own indiscipline and/or stupidity?

  233. As a Dons fan I too believe the outcome here should have been 3-0 St J or perhaps a radical 1-0 to keep some balance in the league as I can not see us getting through this season with this being the only case. Lower divisions should get more leeway given the number of part timers involved. I’m not trying to defend the guilty 8 but when you see scenes around beaches, pubs, footballl celebrations etc around the UK I’m frankly amazed that this is the first spike of it’s kind. Postponing games will only clog up the fixture list and it won’t take much to make it difficult to finish this season. The players broke the protocol, the club need to take the hit.
    For those seeking name and shame, public floggings and bans I would be cautious, it could be anybody next.

  234. One or even two individuals with differing contact points is understandable and hopefully containable. Eight!! naah name and shame. If another group of so called professionals are similarly compromised then name and shame and flog away.Fines and opprobrium might make others see sense.

  235. Gaslamp 7th August 2020 at 15:18

    I have it on good authority that the Aberdeen players only went to the bar to test their eyesight!
    ……………………
    I laughed at that. Not often you get a post on SFM that can make me smile.

  236. Cluster One 7th August 2020 at 21:35
    ‘… Not often you get a post on SFM that can make me smile.’
    “””””””””””””””””””””
    Oh, I don’t know, Cluster One!

    I’ve enjoyed a good few laughs at the clever wit of some posters

    as well as at the foolishness of the attempts by the occasional ‘Knut’ , whose posts try as INEFFECTUALLY to tell us that TRFC of 2012 creation is the very same as RFC of 1872 birth and 2012 death, as KNUT [King Canute ] tried to hold back the incoming tide!

    Knut’s [Canute’s] ridiculous foolishness was at least recorded as being such by the scribes of the day.

    Sadly, our ‘recorders’ , the scribes of the SMSM, do not cherish Truth, and continue to propagate the untruthful absurdity that a football club first given entitlement to a place in Scottish Professional football in 2012 is the very same football club that in 2012 lost its entitlement to play in Scottish Professional Football by being Liquidated after 140 years, for its sports cheating for a decade before 2012.

    Lots of good laughs at that

  237. I stumbled upon this relatively interesting site a few minutes ago, while having another look at ‘Castore’

    https://pitchbook.com/profiles/company/180720-10#overview

    See trying to find out who actually makes money out of whatever high street store ,or any feckin business? Closed book.

    I could go innocently to buy a pie tomorrow from ‘Peggy’s pies’ doon the road [fictional business!] only to find that I’m putting money into the pockets of ,say, some totally undesirable person that I would sooner see hanged because ‘Peggy’s Pies’ are ultimately owned by some feckin bad article.

    Not that I suggest for a minute that Castore is a bad article, or that the Beahon boys are the same kind of people who would try all kinds of dodgy tax evasion schemes favoured by some sports clubs, or that Andy Murray would ever allow himself to be associated with such.

    Just that the impenetrability of ‘business’ leaves us all in a kind of no-man’s land in which we may be unintentionally supporting businesses, causes, ideologies that are repugnant to us!

  238. The Aberdeen games should go ahead, with players from both sides tested and only those who were clear of covid allowed to play.

    Everyone knows the rules, if you break them you should suffer the consequences. If a club has players not available because they test positive, then play someone else.

    That’s what every other business is doing. If someone is not available because they have covid then the business has to adapt.

    This should be the case for all of the clubs.

  239. Absolutely Homunculus, particularly the last line. Which is what I suspect will make it completely unworkable.

  240. I think the lesson of the Aberdeen players’ issue is that the level of intelligence of footballers is not uniformly high. Yes, there is a degree of self-entitlement inherent in those who ignore guidelines, but I also believe that lack of understanding is also a big factor.
    The problem for footballers is that they are talking about their very livelihoods, so the level of stupidity which allows them to indulge in that sort of behaviour causes me to think that there needs to be some kind of audit process introduced.
    My admiration for Derek McInnes grew a bit yesterday too. Contrite on behalf of the wrondoers, empathetic to the plight of the rest of the country, willing to accept responsibility for things. Gracious, dignified and an example of how to react when you are bang to rights.
    Graham Spiers on the other hand, chose to blame the Scottish Government. My admiration for that is inversely proportional to that of McInnes.

  241. A few folk contacted us regarding the absence of the edit facility in the past week or so. It had been turned off (as many other functions were) to try to identify a problem with the site code.

    The site really urgently needs an update which I hope to address soon. The plan is to start with something minimal, and build on it. Crucially it will contain new updated code, and should be less buggy and a bit quicker and more responsive. That is on the timeline for September.

    Anyway, the edit facility is now reactivated, so I hope that is a result for John C and others 🙂

     

  242. I’m getting confused with this one, it’s Aberdeen and the Aberdeen players who have broken the rules. However postponing the game seems to be doing them a favour. They should be forced to play the game, with players who are tested and negative, surely postponing the game is good for them.

    I could understand it if there was an issue with fans travelling from Aberdeen, but that’s not the case just now. 

    A genuine question, can someone tell me what I am missing. 

  243. Big Pink 8th August 2020 at 10:28

    '. the edit facility is now reactivated, so I hope that is a result for John C and others..'

    """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    I an bery gratfil that thee etid factility has bein ristord. Thank you.broken heart

  244. Homunculus @ 1034hrs:

    Quite.

    It’s St. Johnstone who are being penalised for matters which are, essentially, internal to AFC.

    St.J had the chance to play an AFC team that was rubbish last week & weakened (by their own players!) this week. They’ve prepared all week physically & the ground has been set up at a cost of several thousand pounds. Through no fault of theirs, they’ve now got an even-more compressed playing schedule.

    Who knows what sort of AFC will show up for the re-arranged fixture? A different, probably tougher opponent, from that which would have turned up today; that’s for sure.

  245. John Clark 8th August 2020 at 10:37
    ……………..
    I laughed at that. More than i should have.
    …………..
    Crucially it will contain new updated code, and should be less buggy.Two big smiles in two days.I feel i have had an update code;-)

  246. Homunculus 8th August 2020 at 10:34

    I’m getting confused with this one, it’s Aberdeen and the Aberdeen players who have broken the rules. However postponing the game seems to be doing them a favour. They should be forced to play the game, with players who are tested and negative, surely postponing the game is good for them.

    I could understand it if there was an issue with fans travelling from Aberdeen, but that’s not the case just now. 

    A genuine question, can someone tell me what I am missing.

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

    It is a difficult one as there are two conflicting views on the situation.

    One is that the Aberdeen players broke the rules and should be punished (by the club or the SFA?). Also that the club should be forced to play with a depleted squad, as the situation was of their own making.

    The alternative view is that the players were only guilty of breaching the government guidelines like many others who went out on the town last Saturday, but failed to social distance or met indoors in groups of more than three households. Two players tested positive for the virus, so that is a no brainer in terms of their exclusion. However for the other six, they have tested negative, and therefore are fit and able to play, but are being prevented from doing so because of government restrictions.  In that situation there is a case for the game being postponed (a bit like have three players unavailable because they are on international duty).

    My personal view is that the players involved are fortunate to be "back at work" at this time.  Football, the clubs, the players, the SPFL and the SFA all signed up to a framework that would allow them to get back to playing once again in advance of other activities that remain restricted (other sports, gyms,  swimming pools etc). The players have abused the trust that has been placed in them. The club has a responsibility to ensure that all their players knew what was required of them. There was nothing to stop any individual player going out for a meal and a drink with their partner, but for eight of them to go out as a group was irresponsible.  In my view, the club should be made to play the game with a weakened squad, or to forfeit the points.

  247. …and a follow up question is: what happens if/when another group of footballers is caught breaking the agreed regulations?

    Is their next game automatically postponed, or not?

    Are there are any repercussions for the offending players/club?

    IMO, there is a strong argument for Aberdeen forfeiting the 3 points – for effectively 'not turning up' for the St.Johnstone game due to their own 'mismanagement'.

    And, why can't Hampden communicate clearly what would happen with a similar set of circumstances in future – so the fans know what the rules are?

  248. If only the clubs had agreed that the SPFL board had the delegated powers to make decisions in light of Covid-19 issues arising!

    This is a blunt reminder that Covid-19 has not gone away yet and that the Scottish Govt has the final say no matter what anybody might suggest. 

     

  249. StevieBC 8th August 2020 at 11:57

    And, why can't Hampden communicate clearly what would happen with a similar set of circumstances in future – so the fans know what the rules are?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That would be my own question. The SFA and SPFL must have considered the various scenarios of what they would do if one, or two players, or worse still a whole squad was put in isolation.  If their answer was that they would wait and see the circumstances before deciding what to do, then that is complete failure of leadership.  

  250. StevieBC 8th August 2020 at 11:57

    And, why can't Hampden communicate clearly what would happen with a similar set of circumstances in future – so the fans know what the rules are?

    ————————————————————————-

    Am I not tight in saying the footballing authorities wanted the game to go ahead. 

    To me this looks like the Scottish Government sending out a strong message to football, we are in charge, follow our rules.

    Maybe they should have done it sooner, when a game took place when the test results weren't even in. 

  251. Homunculus 8th August 2020 at 13:11

    To me this looks like the Scottish Government sending out a strong message to football, we are in charge, follow our rules.

    +++++++++++++++++

    I have to say this 'clear message to football' theme I find a little disturbing. This is one incident involving one football club, and there is is no evidence of widespread flaunting of the rules involving players from other clubs. Politicians love to grandstand when it comes to football as we saw early lockdown when footballers were the only wealthy people targeted for criticism by politicians. If it becomes clear there is widespread abuse of the rules within the game then fine, but in my opinion this Scottish Government in particular hold football and football fans in very low regard, and will never miss a chance to have a go. Remember this Government were perfectly happy for football fans to be prosecuted for 'crimes' that other citizens were free to commit without punishment, just because they were not doing it within a football ground. 

  252. I agree UTH, sacking players, long bans or public flogging(and that’s just the Dons fans’ forum!) is just Mr angry sound bites. Three points to the opposition is the only way otherwise we are in for a convoluted Barney every time this happens. If it’s a player or players testing positive then play on but if it gets to the stage that the game is off as directed by govt medical guidance then it’s a forfeit. That way it’s the club responsibility to manage their staff. It’s only fitba. 
     

  253. upthehoops 8th August 2020 at 13:31

    This is one incident involving one football club, and there is is no evidence of widespread flaunting of the rules involving players from other clubs.

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

    There were previous issues involving testing by Hibs, Motherwell, St Mirren and Sevcovoid.

    Those were apparently swept under a carpet of misunderstanding.

    I suspect that several clubs have been stretching the rules.  I think that the new SG message is one that no further “misunderstandings” of what is required will be tolerated, otherwise Football will be consigned to a “Phase 4” easing of restrictions and forget all thought of the early return of fans .  What is more important, football, the hospitality industry or schools?  I suspect that football will come last in that ranking.

    Edit: A statement from the Aberdeen players.
    https://twitter.com/AberdeenFC/status/1292092282246766594/photo/1

  254. There is also the "role model" issue.

    Whilst I do not even remotely consider the vast majority of football players suitable as role models there is little doubt they have influence on quite a lot of people. In particular the young and the easily influenced. 

    The Scottish Government will probably have factored that in to any action they have taken.

    However, the game should have gone ahead. The wrong people are being punished here. Primarily St Johnston and their support. 

  255. Homunculus @ 15.12

    However, the game should have gone ahead. The wrong people are being punished here. Primarily St Johnston and their support. 

    —————————————————

    AFC wanted the game to go ahead. It was a government decision. Anyway players now named and statement issued.

    Hayes
    Devlin
    Anderson 
    Bryson
    McGeouch
    McKenna
    Kennedy
    Cosgrove

    Image

  256. That’s a rather poor statement issued on behalf of the players. ‘We’re daft laddies & it’s too complicated for us simple footballers.Who knew there wis a pandemic? Restrictions? We hudnae noticed, like. We didnae ken it wis wrang, honest!’ Aye right. 

    PFA Scotland has a snazzy mission statement, part of which reads:

    ‘PFA Scotland is run by players for players and the experience within our team means we are committed to providing our members with the best possible advice and representation.’ 

    Michael Devlin is on the Management Committee of PFA Scotland. He is also the official AFC union representative. 

  257. I see that while the last 16 ties in the 2019/20 CL are being completed, qualifying rounds for the 2020/21 tournament started today, with Linfield progressing to the Preliminary Round final in a one off tie agaist a side from San Marino.  Celtic should find out their first qualifying round opponent tomorrow.

    I note that UEFA has already advised what will happen in the event of one or both clubs being unable to complete their fixtures because of Covid restrictions imposed by their governments, or in the event of positive tests. To put it simply, those clubs will forfeit the tie.  If the whole qualifying tournament is curtailed then UEFA will determine who makes the group stages. 

    The lack of similar guidance from the SFA and SPFL is in stark contrast.

  258. easyJambo 8th August 2020 at 20:06

    Saying you will call games off is much easier than saying you will definitely play them. The former is fairly straight forward, the latter isn't.

    From what I can see the football authorities wanted the Aberdeen game to go ahead, however the Scottish Government said, no it won't. If there are recurrences the Scottish Government may well just stop football in Scotland altogether. 

    That left the football authorities with two choices, postpone it or Aberdeen forfeit. The justification for them forfeiting would be that it was the Aberdeen players who caused the problem, therefore the club should suffer the consequences. 

    It should have been play the game or Aberdeen forfeiting, however we now have a precedent. The wrong one as far as I am concerned. 

  259. If Aberdeen had eleven -ve testing players available, I don't see any reason why the match with St J could not go ahead.

        If the game was postponed due to govt intervention there were two reasonable ways forward. 

        Forfeit, and the game awarded to St J…. Or, as has happened, the game be rescheduled, Aberdeen should only be permitted to field players who were eligible for the original fixture date.

        

  260. SG said the match with St. J could not go ahead because of the risk of players and other staff leaving Aberdeen and possibly transmitting the virus to other parts of Scotland. Leaving aside that this is inconsistent with their own guidelines as there is no restriction on anyone else travelling to and from Aberdeen from surrounding areas in the course of their employment, the principle and precedent seems to be that teams may not travel from areas with high COVID incidence to play matches away from home. That requires some consideration, to say the least.

    The SPFL are going to have to come up with some hard and fast rules here, firstly to try to take the initiative from the SG and secondly in anticipation of clubs having multiple players unavailable, or games postponed by the SG. The next flare up could be anywhere, and on the SG's logic, I can't see how AFC can play any matches until there is a respite in the outbreak there.

  261. Corrupt official 8th August 2020 at 23:20

    '…  If the game was postponed due to govt intervention there were two reasonable ways forward. ..

    """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    Who remembers 'There's only one team in Tallin' ?

    That remarkable occasion in 1996, when Estonia literally did not turn up for the kick-off at the revised time ( afternoon , rather than evening, because we complained that their lousy floodlighting was farcical) and instead turned up at the originally scheduled time?

    There was no question of there being a postponement! No, the game went ahead! Remember?

    I wonder whether that ought not to have been done in the St J /Aberdeen case? 

    One football club , by the actions of some of their players, rendered itself incapable ( by breaching agreed conditions with Government and the Joint Response Group) of  legitimately 'turning up'.

    Perhaps St J should have been allowed to take the field, kick-off on the whistle, with the ref blowing for full-time a second or two later?

    Or is that just too, too ridiculously far out?

    Whatever, it was fun looking back to that bizarre episode, and realising that there was firm 'governance' that dealt with an out-of-course situation.broken heart

     

  262. John Clark 9th August 2020 at 00:04 Corrupt official 8th August 2020 at 23:20

    '… If the game was postponed due to govt intervention there were two reasonable ways forward. .. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Who remembers 'There's only one team in Tallin' ?

    ≠========

        That makes three reasonable ways John. ☺ 

  263. macfurgly

    "SG says the match with St J could not go ahead …"

    What's it got to do with him?!

  264. Big Pink mentioned something negative about the general level of intelligence amongst footballers in Scotland. Time for Leigh Griffiths to enter stage left……..

    Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has received another warning over his conduct after holding a gathering at his house.

    Pictures emerged on social media of a get-together at the Parkhead star’s house that appeared to breach the Scottish Government’s current social distancing guidelines.

    Full article at link below
    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/leigh-griffiths-warned-celtic-again-22488912

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

    It seems very apparent that all clubs need to get their employees together and painstakingly go through all the guidelines that need to be followed. Emphasizing exactly how important it is to them as individuals and the club. 

    We are talking about an existential threat to clubs and actions have to start to reflect that.

    The lack of leadership coming from the SPFL is very apparent. They will soon be using the time honoured line of we can only do what the clubs tell us,… makes it short odds that we’ll be seeing another omnishambles coming down the line. It seems as if requesting more power from the clubs was more a box ticking exercise to have the excuse ready to go. Reminds me of efforts towards reconstruction.

    When the SPFL complained of cost regarding an Independent Inquiry, I said that it might prove more costly not to have one and follow through on any subsequent reforms suggested/considered. I reckon I’ll be proven correct.

    All things considered, there is an air of inevitability regards where this will end up. Unless an effective vaccine is developed, I think 2021 will be a very bad year for Scottish football clubs.

     

     

     

  265. The issue would have been (I think) how does the SPFL order a game to be forfeit if “the offending side” is standing there ready to play? 

    What will happen if for instance in the hypothetical match City versus Utd, 4 of City’s players and families are pictured in Dobbies having lunch in close proximity and the pictures hit the Rags websites?  Or, as is perfectly possible, 2 from each side?

    i assume that’s the purpose of tomorrow’s zoom call with managers and captains.
     

    Similarly I’m not sure on what grounds the SG could act.  They can order the postponement, as they did, not the forfeit.

    and of course, if City happen to be top 5 premiership and Utd are part time, is it even fair to apply the play or forfeit rule?
     

  266. Happy to corrected but I believe the Good Friday resolution only applied to season 2019/20.

    Last month the SPFL board failed to get special ‘Covid powers’ for going forward.

    Therefore effectively the majority of clubs have voted to go with a rule book that has no specific rules for dealing with Covid related issues.

    My reading of the SPFL rule book is that, due to a strong request from the Scot Gov, the St J v Aberdeen game was technically called off by the SPFL board. As such the game has simply been rescheduled for a later date in line with the agreed rules.

    End of story, move along, nothing to see here. Rules is rules, the majority of clubs have spoken and all that kind of stuff.

  267. Agreed wottpi.  Aberdeen in a way actually called their bluff and said ok we’ll play.  The approach now seems to be that we’ll all simply avoid there being a repeat rather than address what I personally think is inevitable at some point.

    and FWIW I still wouldn’t agree with giving “them upstairs“ executive powers to do what they deem fair.  They negated that possibility a long time ago.

  268. Smugas 9th August 2020 at 11:18

    Similarly I’m not sure on what grounds the SG could act.  They can order the postponement, as they did, not the forfeit.

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

    I don't imagine they ordered either.

    More likely they said the fixture would not go ahead at this time. It's none of their business what the SPFL and clubs do in order to comply. Postponing the game and forfeiture both achieve that end.

    However I do take your point with regards the basis for forfeiture if both teams are ready to play but not allowed to. I have been thinking about that myself and I don't think there is an easy answer.

    Just another example of a pretty much no win situation. Bearing in mind it is the players and the clubs who have caused this, it would have been perfectly easy to avoid, just stick to the rules. 

  269. Further to my earlier comment stating AFC should forfeit the match, I had a thought – dangerous I know

    What if none of the players had caught the virus, would we have known they were out at all ? Ok there may be some pictures on social media going about, but I reckon it would have been quietly deal with behind closed doors, as many a footballers misdemeanours are done

    Which begs the question, were there any other football clubs players out for a beer on Saturday night but by luck not resulting in a positive test

     

  270. You have to remember Menace the “being out” and the positive test are not necessarily related.  As I understand it, Players 1-4 can be out and player 5, who is within just one of 1-4’s training bubble can test positive for the fan to struggle. 

  271. At the very least , I would have thought that the AFC players would be charged with bringing the game into disrepute , because that is what they have done .

  272. Two players have tested positive for coronavirus as a result of the outing.

    I hope these players make a full recovery, their family’s must be in turmoil.They won’t give a feck if a game is postoned or abandoned or rescheduled. They will just be praying that their family member gets through it.

  273. Could I respectively suggest that people try their best, and I know it's not always possible, to stick to the facts.

    I know that the nature of conspiracy theories is such that for many the facts prove nothing and just add to their sense of injustice to the extent that some reasonable people will probably claim that one club chairman not only controls Scottish football but also Judges and Sheriffs on the Sfa arbitration list!

    Have we not had enough of false claims over the last few months? 

    It would be helpful if someone could find out and share the rules our football clubs, players and officials are supposed to be following for a start. 

    There's nothing wrong with pointing out that a player was seen in the pub or had a party for a child's birthday but that doesn't automatically mean that they have breached any lockdown rules. We need to know if they are subject to different rules from the rest of us too. 

  274. I know I have just suggested sticking with the facts but think about this conspiracy theory. 

    If a Government had a problem it wished to move off the front page what better than a group of footballers breaching social distancing rules?

    For those not convinced look at last week's headlines which I will paraphrase as "Scottish Government SQA Exams Fiasco!" 

  275. Why would football players be subject to different rules than everyone else. Do you have any reason to believe that. I haven't seen anything. 

     

  276. Lille handed FFP restrictions by UEFA
    https://www.getfootballnewsfrance.com/2020/lille-handed-ffp-restrictions-by-uefa/
    The agreement lasts until the 2023/24 campaign, the date by which LOSC must have balanced their books. As a result, they will face four major restrictions during this period.

    Firstly, Lille will have to pay UEFA €9m a year from the money they make in European competition. This is a sum that will come down to €3m the moment that LOSC reaches budgetary equilibrium, should they do so before the 2023/24 season.
    ……………………
    I don’t hold out much hope of a big transfer from the ibrox club to Lille anytime soon

  277. Cluster One,  It has been reported that the two Aberdeen players who tested positive for Covid 19 are asymptomatic.  Their families may be experiencing turmoil but at least they know exactly where they stand – the player has to isolate from other family members and nobody is unwell.  Contrast that to most other families with members going out to work who can only get a Covid test if they exhibit symptoms.

     

  278. Gaslamp 9th August 2020 at 16:30
    Contrast that to most other families with members going out to work who can only get a Covid test if they exhibit symptoms.
    ………………
    Been there done that.

  279. From The Guardian;

    "Tax affairs of 246 footballers being investigated by HMRC in 2019-20

    – Tax authorities increasingly concerned by tax loophole

    – Players pay 19% tax on image rights, but 45% on wages

    HMRC believes that lots of lesser-known footballers are effectively avoiding tax by getting paid huge sums for image rights that HMRC views as overpriced…"

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/aug/10/tax-affairs-of-246-footballers-being-investigated-by-hmrc-in-2019-20

  280. Gaslamp 9th August 2020 at 16:30
    Contrast that to most other families with members going out to work who can only get a Covid test if they exhibit symptoms.
    ===================

    Our Primary school teachers return this week and can have a class of up to 33 children who don't have to wear face coverings or keep social distancing. Their Secondary colleagues have to deal with young adults who again don't have to wear face coverings or distance. 

    Schools seem to be deemed some kind of magical places where unlike shops etc. no protection is necessary.  I don't think enough thought has been put into the opening of schools as it is a fact that children are carriers of the virus without being affected themselves. We'll just have to wait and see what happens next.

  281. StevieBC 10th August 2020 at 15:03

    "..HMRC believes that lots of lesser-known footballers are effectively avoiding tax by getting paid huge sums for image rights that HMRC views as overpriced…"

    """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    '..Players pay 19% tax on image rights, but 45% on wages.'

     I wonder if there is another part-time porn movie actor/tax adviser in the background?

    Does the English FA have people able to ask, and more diligent and willing to ask than their counterparts in the SFA,  searching questions of clubs about the wages they pay to their players, if the wages seem a disproportionately low relative to the transfer value of a player?

    Is there another little dirty cheating scheme in operation?

     

  282. John Clark 10th August 2020 at 18:01

    StevieBC 10th August 2020 at 15:03

    "..HMRC…

    Does the English FA have people able to ask, and more diligent and willing to ask than their counterparts in the SFA, searching questions of clubs about the wages they pay to their players, if the wages seem a disproportionately low relative to the transfer value of a player?…

    =======

    There has been discussion in the past on SFM about players' image rights payments.  IIRC, that was about foreign players in England receiving image payments to an offshore trust(?)

     

    On the face if it, it looks like a simpler scheme than an EBT.

    Just tweak the income / image proportions on a player's contract – to generate the required 'netto' amount to obtain the player's signature.

    A club could acquire a player which it wouldn't normally be able to afford…?!

    And the dumb question: do SPL players, (and not just those on big money in Glasgow), typically receive this type of 'tax efficient' arrangement?

    From experience, we know of at least one SPL club which would find this tax ruse quite appealing…?

    indecision

  283. On the ‘Image Rights’ matter, it’s worth having a look at some of the relevant pages in the HMRC manual :

    for example, this suggestion about what football clubs as ’employer’  should do in the matter of record keeping of any contract with an Image Rights Company  [set up by a player, or by a player who has a stake in it]
    https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/employment-income-manual/eim00739,

    “Employment income: general: payments for “image rights”: examples of issues to consider

    Commerciality should be at the heart of an agreement between an employer and a company established by an employee for the exploitation of image rights. Without being prescriptive, HMRC expects this to be demonstrable.

    The employer may consider keeping records covering:

     consideration given by the Board of Directors to the active use of image rights as a benefit to the commercial activities of the employer, whether to seek new agreements, reviews of the outcome of existing agreements, and the possibilities for increased value additional to rights existing under the employment contract

    a business plan for promotional activities involving the exploitation of image rights and the outcome of reviews of performance against that plan, including details of actions taken if the employer is not realising a commercial return from an image rights agreement

    negotiation of the terms of each image rights agreement to demonstrate consideration on an individual basis and to reflect any differences between the exploitation of image rights within and outside the UK

    details of independent advice received regarding the valuation of the image rights, or internal analysis of value based on previous experience

    due diligence regarding the image rights company and any advice provided to the employee regarding the establishment of an image rights company

    records of activities performed and any subsequent discussions about the performance of services under the image rights agreement and actions taken…”   

    From what I’ve read in the ‘manual ‘ I would guess that HMRC will be looking at the ‘contracts’ between ‘Image Rights Company’  and whether there is any evidence that the  ‘player’ actually did anything in the way of meeting the terms of the contract, and evidence of commercial evaluation by the club of the effectiveness of the contract, by way of increased sales,  higher club profile etc etc.

    I daresay that HMRC will be looking for a suitable case (like the RFC of 1872 EBT tax dodge case) to take all the way to the UK Supreme Court, so that the bad guys can be nailed.  

    As , for other reasons, Lille has been nailed. 

    [curiously, and in the passing, I note that apparently there is no concept in English law of ‘image rights’. 

    “…  As it was agreed that in England there is no property in a person’s image we do not find the expression “image rights agreement” as being sufficiently descriptive of the contents of the agreements in issue in this appeal..” 

    see  https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/employment-income-manual/eim00734  for that observation ]

    Maybe Scots law is different? Mind you, HMRC operates on the basis of UK-wide tax legislation (apart from the Scottish Government’s limited powers to set a different income tax rate)

    And it’s unthinkable that any Scottish club would dream of trying to work a tax dodge that might lead to its demise in ten years time or so!

    What fun, in times of limited access to other sources of fun! Will there be any Scottish cases , with First Tier and Upper Tier tax tribunals, and appeals to the Court of Session, with people like the wonderful Dr Heidi Poon, and Mr Ghosh, QC? broken heart

    Happy days indeed, when the arch-cheat’s cheating was exposed.

  284. Corrupt official 10th August 2020 at 22:56

    Bolingoli….. A clear sacking offence. 

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The government should just say to the SFA and SPFL that there will be no football for the next two weeks, then tell them to use those two weeks to get the message over to the imbeciles in Scottish football that the whole shebang will be shutdown if they don't adhere to the government directives.

  285. Corrupt official 10th August 2020 at 22:56

    '..Bolingoli….. A clear sacking offence.'

    """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    Well, I wasn't at the game, caller, just listened to the radio commentary.

    On the basis of that, there was no way from the off that there was any desire on the part of the Celtic team as a whole to win the game. 

    That  might have been down to any of many acceptable reasons. 

    But, God forgive me, I was reminded of the old 'joke': Why is a toley tapered? To prevent the cheeks of your a.se shutting with a bang!

    The level of my distrust in anything to do with Scottish Football is quite high, the more I see things not as being a supporter of a sport, but as being an exploitable mug duped and milked by fecking cynical businessmen who would not recognise a moral principle if it beat their fecking head in!

    Honest to God! 

    That it should come to this!heart

     

     

  286. adam812 9th August 2020 at 12:13

    Could I respectively suggest that people try their best, and I know it’s not always possible, to stick to the facts.

    I know that the nature of conspiracy theories is such that for many the facts prove nothing and just add to their sense of injustice to the extent that some reasonable people will probably claim that one club chairman not only controls Scottish football but also Judges and Sheriffs on the Sfa arbitration list!

    adam812 9th August 2020 at 12:35

    I know I have just suggested sticking with the facts but think about this conspiracy theory. 

    If a Government had a problem it wished to move off the front page what better than a group of footballers breaching social distancing rules?

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

    Thank’s for the comedy !

    Seems as though Celtic PLC are in on the conspiracy theory. According to Neil Lennon, the club are conducting an investigation into events around the party held at the Griffiths residence.
    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/leigh-griffiths-facing-celtic-investigation-22494036

    Now Bolingoli will be the subject of what appears to be an open and shut case investigation. At this stage, a consistent zero tolerance approach is required in dealing with players/others who are found to show flagrant disregard to the new guidelines/rules.

    The Simon Ferry podcasts have generally been entertaining and insightful as to players attitudes. If only to help confirm what many have already thought about them. The general observation I’d make, is that conforming with the strict anti-COVID rules for an extended period will prove to be very difficult. A parrallel to footballers in Scotland following the lifestyle of a professional athlete, with NO lapses. In other words, it ain’t happening and it’ll be about not getting caught.

     

  287. Reasonablechap 

    All the great conspiracies have to be very complex so of course a new stooge was needed to take the press attention away from the John Swinney announcement today ?

    Of course the truth is that the eminent QC who once described some footballers as being, in non PC terms, "as thick as mince" is being shown to be accurate in his assessment! 

  288. The Hampden blazers have consistently shown over the years that they can quite happily be incompetent / corrupt, display zero leadership – and steadfastly refuse to learn from past mistakes.

    They can get away with that behaviour within the confines of the bubble that is Scottish football – but problems can arise when the blazers have to deal with those outside their bubble.

    Is any Bampot surprised at all at the latest shambles WRT observing protocols?

    The clubs couldn’t comply with testing, the players can’t comply with social distancing, quarantine, etc.

    And hell mend Hampden, as their lobbying of the SG to allow supporters back into stadiums ASAP will now be dropped to the very bottom of the pecking order – and rightly so, IMO.

    Payback for the continued absence of effective leadership at both the SFA and SPFL.

    smiley

  289. JC    "Why is a toley tapered"

     

    Just realised John, that after 50 odd years on the planet that's the first time i've ever seen the word "toley" written down

    ……..I must say it looks strange.

    HS

     

  290. Higgy's Shoes 11th August 2020 at 10:04

    '.…..I must say it looks strange..

    """""""""""""""""""""""""""

    I've never seen it written down either, Higgy's Shoes , so it's anybody's guess as to the 'correct' spelling!

    There's bound to be someone on the blog who can give us its etymology ( but the moderators might not wish to set off  runs of lavatory jakes!)broken heart

  291. Higgy's Shoes 11th August 2020 at 10:04 

    JC    "Why is a toley tapered"

     

    Just realised John, that after 50 odd years on the planet that's the first time i've ever seen the word "toley" written down

    ……..I must say it looks strange.

    HS

     

    Mine toocool

  292.  

    Not questioning the spelling JC.

    Seeing it written for the first time, it just looks a bit weird.

    Big Pink

    Very droll!

     

    HS

  293. With regards Bolingoli if the stories are true that is totally unacceptable.

    It's bad enough that players are seeing fit to breach the rules in the UK. The reports are saying that he went to Spain, didn't inform the club, then played without going through the quarantine period.

    Can I just say though that the BBC report has the apostrophe in the wrong place.

    "Mr Yousaf said the player's … " should be "Mr Yousaf said the players' … ".

    That's just sloppy grammar. 

  294. Corrupt official 11th August 2020 at 11:52

    """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    Corrupt Official, that was quick!laugh

  295. John Clark 11th August 2020 at 12:17 Corrupt official 11th August 2020 at 11:52 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Corrupt Official, that was quick!laugh

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

        Quicker it seems than Celtic can announce Bolingoli will never wear the hoops again. And while we're at it, they should also accept the fact that we fielded an ineligible player.

         I'm not sure of any legal ramifications, whether breaking quarantine rules is a law, or recommendation, or what?….. But the book should be thrown at him, only after it is used to skelp him about the heid. 

  296. Bolingoli/Celtic development means Scottish football receives “yellow card” from First Minister.

    Next would be a “red card” and a halt to Scottish football for the time being.

    She doesn’t expect to see Aberdeen or Celtic play in the coming week.

    What about the CL qualifier scheduled for the 18th ? #forfeit

  297. Bolingoli can't defend himself against the tsunami of opprobrium coming his way.

    But he can't defend, full stop.

    Should have been left back in Spain!

    Stoopid boy.  

  298. Does Bolingoli have a language problem understanding briefings from the club ?

    Does Griffiths have a comprehension problem when it comes to understanding briefings from the club ?

    Do Celtic need interpreters and crayons when it comes to communications with players ?

    Have Celtic PLC done all that they could to effectively communicate with players  on COVID related guidelines/rules ?

     

    Peter has to get his own house in order before he next decides to put public pressure on the Scottish Government. At a time when Scottish football faces an existential threat, his bonus may be reduced if the game is closed down because of the actions of Celtic players.

     

     

  299. Corrupt official 11th August 2020 at 12:35
    Quicker it seems than Celtic can announce Bolingoli will never wear the hoops again. And while we’re at it, they should also accept the fact that we fielded an ineligible player.
    ……………..
    Imperfectly quarantined. Sandy Bryson.

  300. reasonablechap 11th August 2020 at 13:18
    …………….
    Maybe if the SFA had not just sent out a letter after the first rule breach by a scottish club, more players and clubs would have taken more notice.

  301. Cluster One 11th August 2020 at 13:30

    Bolingoli did what he did without the knowledge of the club. I assume the same is true of the Aberdeen players, it is unlikely they contacted club officials and asked if it was ok for them all to go for a meal and a few pints together,

    The SFA / SPFL should have acted immediately against the clubs who breached the rules. Those breaches and the lack of real action against them didn't send out a particularly helpful message in my opinion.

     

  302. Homunculus 11th August 2020 at 13:48
    The SFA / SPFL should have acted immediately against the clubs who breached the rules. Those breaches and the lack of real action against them didn’t send out a particularly helpful message in my opinion.
    …………..
    Agreed.
    ….
    Wednesday 12 August
    Aberdeen v Hamilton Academical
    St Mirren v Celtic
    Saturday 15 August
    Aberdeen v Celtic
    All postponed
    Now that same SPFL and SFA have a fixture pile up because of their inaction in the first instance.

  303.  Coronavirus Joint Response Group Update – 11 August

    “The JRG members were astounded to learn of the recklessness demonstrated by Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo in his breach of government public health guidance and football protocols. We echo the sentiments of Celtic FC in their condemnatory statement and commend the club’s swiftness in opening a disciplinary investigation.

    Rod Petrie

    Full statement @

    https://www.scottishfa.co.uk/news/coronavirus-joint-response-group-update-11-august/?rid=13929

    What are the SFA/SPFL doing about it in terms of investigations ?

    I guess Peter will just tell his friends how the internal investigation goes.

    Just as he will have been ok with the paragraph pasted above.

    ===============&&&

    When exactly did anyone at Celtic know Bolingoli had taken a mini break in Spain ?

    Did the club not inquire about players plans for a couple of days off / give them instructions on what NOT to do ?

     

  304. Cluster One 11th August 2020 at 14:25

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    When is a punishment not a punishment? ……… When the football authorities fail to take appropriate measures.

    Aberdeen would have been without a minimum of 8 first team players for three games had they gone ahead as scheduled. They will now be able to play those games at a later date, but at full strength. 

    For all clubs affected, some of these games may have to be played later in the season, perhaps after fans are permitted back in the statdiums, thus increasing the home clubs' revenue.

    IMO both clubs should have suffered points penalties, e.g. 2 points. That more than anything would have served to discourage players from breaking the protocols.  Clubs cannot absolve themselves from the actions of their employees, as they have a duty of care to all their employees to ensure that everyone is aware of the restrictions that are imposed on them following the return to competitive ganes. There have been enough warnings.

    As for the lack of leadership by the SFA and SPFL on the subject of disciplinary action for breaches of the protocols, their silence is palpable, but unsurprising.   

  305. Neil Lennon quote from a Daily Record article on the club investigation into Griffiths.

    Lennon reckons it’s not a huge deal and, when asked if Griffiths’ career Celtic was under threat because of it, he said: “No. 

    “The club are conducting an investigation. I’m not convinced it’s a big issue, so, hopefully, it will be resolved in a couple of days.

    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/leigh-griffiths-facing-celtic-investigation-22494036

     

    IMO it shows the First team manager disregarding the seriousness of the issue and/or knowing the result of an internal investigation before it’s finished.

    I’l repeat my question from an earlier post…

    Have Celtic PLC done all that they could to effectively communicate with players  on COVID related guidelines/rules ?

    ===============&&&

    Players are getting thrown under a bus (Bolingoli and Aberdeen Eight) and to whatever degree, ok…BUT are the clubs going to take more responsibility / be held accountable ?

    We’ve heard all the jokes about the lack of player gumption (off the pitch). Have clubs made absolutely clear in underlined and repeated crayon what they have to do and NOT DO ?

  306. Celtic's statement earlier today was a strong one but, other than throwing Bolingoli under a bus, it is undermined by previous comments by Peter Lawwell about Scottish football having an "exemplary" approach to the return to action.

    Here is an article and extracted quotes by Peter Lawwell from mid July.

    https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11787/12030858/celtic-ceo-peter-lawwell-wants-scotland-to-be-involved-in-fans-pilot-scheme

    "As a club, we have put enormous thought and effort into making Celtic Park fully compliant with all public health-related requirements while allowing our supporters to return to watching football.

    "It is acknowledged that Scottish football has been exemplary in implementing all the safeguards required of it, first to get back into training and, from August 1st, to playing competitive SPFL matches.

    :

    "Alongside other sporting bodies, Celtic will continue to engage in constructive dialogue with the Scottish Government and look forward to early progress."

  307. At the height of lockdown we saw some nurses not return home for 10 weeks to avoid passing covid to their families.

    Likewise, a fair few care home workers remained on-site to reduce risks to their elderly patients.

    Grossly underpaid workers who made their own decisions to safeguard their families, patients and others.

     

    WRT to the SPL specifically, it would seem that the ‘best’ chance of avoiding a SG imposed shutdown is for each club to keep their players in one place, where they can see them.

    Like an extended, overseas preseason training camp: keep the players in a hotel or university campus or whatever.  It won’t be foolproof but it would clearly indicate to the SG that the SPL is doing its best to manage risks.

    All it might take is for another few daft players to risk possibly the full completion of the league?

    Something radical is needed to ensure fixtures can be completed this season.

    The SPFL management – and the SFA – have to come up with a solution to protect the domestic competitions.

  308. reasonablechap 11th August 2020 at 14:35
    What are the SFA/SPFL doing about it in terms of investigations ?
    …………..
    easyJambo 11th August 2020 at 14:45
    As for the lack of leadership by the SFA and SPFL on the subject of disciplinary action for breaches of the protocols, their silence is palpable, but unsurprising.
    ………………..
    A strong worded letter from the SPFL and the SFA should do the trick.

  309. Just heard on Radio Scotland that there has been an SFA independent investigation via an internal arbitration process.
    Held in secret of course and proper legal too by one of the self declared SFA Laws that aren’t really legal but fair play to our administrators for taking the initiative and saving the season.

    Fear not Scottish clubs One and all.

    The conclusion on this occasion was that Sandy Bryson as first expert witness declared the Celtic player in question was simply  imperfectly quarantined and therefore innocent as per precedent.

    Move along Scottish Government.
    Nothing to see here.

    We have our own laws and Sandy on standby.

     

     

  310. Are all the Celtic followers, who were calling for Aberdeen to forfeit the points for the game against St Johnstone last weekend, now seeking a similar sanction against Celtic, or are they now content with the precedent that was set last week?

    It's a tad ironic that the only sanction for breaching the Covid protocols is a wee cough, sorry a week off.

    angel

    • I  think we should be concerned that a player who makes a genuine error of judgement may be scared to own up to it in case he becomes the person who causes Scottish football to be halted. Prior to Covid-19 the person who admitted guilt would normally get a lesser sentence but it's not like that now. 

  311. StevieBC 11th August 2020 at 15:41

    At the height of lockdown we saw some nurses not return home for 10 weeks to avoid passing covid to their families.

    WRT to the SPL specifically, it would seem that the ‘best’ chance of avoiding a SG imposed shutdown is for each club to keep their players in one place, where they can see them.

    Like an extended, overseas preseason training camp: keep the players in a hotel or university campus or whatever.  It won’t be foolproof but it would clearly indicate to the SG that the SPL is doing its best to manage risks.

    All it might take is for another few daft players to risk possibly the full completion of the league?

    Something radical is needed to ensure fixtures can be completed this season.

    The SPFL management – and the SFA – have to come up with a solution to protect the domestic competitions.

     

    Like the NBA are doing at Disneyworld, albeit they have all the teams in one 'bubble'. It would be expensive but if the teams can't trust the players, or the players are too thick to do the right thing, then maybe it is something some of the larger teams could look at.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_NBA_Bubble

  312. I have to agree with you EJ, and Celtic should be forfeiting to St M, (but not Aberdeen). I suggested the same for St J v Dons. 

        Postponement is not a punishment, but a consequence. Although its clear Bolingoli went rogue, he still represented Celtic.

        Lennie said as recently as last week, (after the Aberdeen example) that for the players, it had to be training ground or match, home, sleep, repeat. I dont think instruction comes much clearer.

       Cluster…(13:27). C'mon bud, we're better than resorting to a Brysonism.  

  313. The SPFL is behind the curve, as per…

    IF the clubs – and supporters – were clear about tough rules BEFORE the season kicked off,

    such as 3 points forfeited by any club which breaches the agreed protocols with the SG – and which impacted the fixture schedule,

    then it is arguable that neither Aberdeen nor Celtic would be dealing with these incidents in the first place, IMO.

    IMO, both clubs should have forfeited the 3 points for unplayed matches.

    But, this stems from the inaction at Hampden a couple if weeks ago – following clubs "misunderstanding protocols". 

    Doesn't seem like all the SPL clubs were taking this seriously: now the players are taking the p!ss.

    In a really perverse manner, if the SG is forced to 'cancel' the league… it just must force change and improvement at Hampden!

    Every cloud,  etc…  indecision

     

     

     

  314. Just to recap.

    In relation to Covid there is Scot Gov GUIDANCE. For some specific issues this will be backed up by laws.

    There are the agreed PROTOCOLS to allow professional football to return.

    There are SPFL RULES, that I believe simply state that games postponed by order of the Board are rescheduled.

    Now clubs may punish players with fines and even sacking. The football authorities may even stretch themselves to bring charges of bringing the game into disrepute. However, currently, they have no power to deduct points, award games etc for these Covid related matters.

    Cant see why folks are getting their knickers in a twist or are surprised.

    It's the same nutters who were in charge at the end of last season- Scottish Football has the governance it deserves.

     

  315. StevieBC 11th August 2020 at 19:00

    The SPFL is behind the curve, as per…

    """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    The Joint Response Group failed at the first hurdle by taking no action against the first club that played any kind of match without knowing the results of Covid-19 tests.

    Who is on the JRG? Petrie, Doncaster , Maxwell and  a doctor.

    Two of the most deeply complicit  chaps in the construction of the Big lie, and a useless weakling of an SFA CEO: as for the doctor, what chance has he against those three in their support for the TRFC board?

    The failure to discipline TRFC by making light of a rogue decision made not by idiots of football players but by managers who knew the score marks the JRG as being not fit for purpose. 

    (Did Nicola and the Professor have anything to say at the time?)

  316. I see no difference in the failure of CelticFC to control their player(s) and that of AberdeenFC. Both clubs are ultimately responsible for their employees and both should have forfeited points for any and all matches they were not permitted to fulfill. The completely inadequate response of the JRG to the initial compliance failure by TRFC has led to this fiasco and now any serious sanctions by the footballing authorities will be called out as unprecedented and £2.5K is all it will cost to overturn in court.

  317. wottpi @ 19.43

    There are the agreed PROTOCOLS to allow professional football to return.

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

    Indeed. I am not sure what these are and whether they relate just to clubs (anent testing etc) or whether they include restrictions on player (or other staff ) activities? Club staff are clearly covered by the same rules/laws/recommendations as the general public are but if these are transgressed are clubs responsible? Have they been robust enough it applying the government policy? I may be wrong but I wonder how many players of any club were, for example, not out in groups of 3+ at the weekend? Does not make it ok I know. My view is likely influenced by my take on the whole Covid thing which is not an appropriate topic for this forum!!

     

  318. easyJambo 11th August 2020 at 18:38

    Are all the Celtic followers, who were calling for Aberdeen to forfeit the points for the game against St Johnstone last weekend, now seeking a similar sanction against Celtic, or are they now content with the precedent that was set last week?

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

    This is what I said earlier and I still think the same.

    “It should have been play the game or Aberdeen forfeiting, however we now have a precedent. The wrong one as far as I am concerned. ”

    The game should go ahead, failing that Celtic should forfeit the points, they can’t do that now. 

     

  319. easyJambo 11th August 2020 at 18:38

    Are all the Celtic followers, who were calling for Aberdeen to forfeit the points for the game against St Johnstone last weekend, now seeking a similar sanction against Celtic, or are they now content with the precedent that was set last week?
    …………….
    If Aberdeen were punished with forfeiting points by the SPFL i would have no complaint if celtic had to forfeit points also, that would be a similar sanction. But Aberdeen did not forfeit points so why should celtic. Celtic don’t have a 5 way agreement that gives them rules different from any other club.

  320. Cluster One 11th August 2020 at 23:27

    If Aberdeen were punished with forfeiting points by the SPFL i would have no complaint if celtic had to forfeit points also, that would be a similar sanction. But Aberdeen did not forfeit points so why should celtic. Celtic don’t have a 5 way agreement that gives them rules different from any other club.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That's all well and good, but the problem I see going forward is what happens to the next miscreant, if the the SPFL creates a code of conduct (with a set of sanctions) and the club involved is not Aberdeen or Celtic. Would it be fair if Motherwell or Kilmarnock had to face a points penalty for similar breaches of protocol, while other clubs had previously escaped similar sanctions?

    It wasn't rocket science for the SPFL to anticipate that there would be issues with positive tests or breaches of the agreed protocols, but it is apparent that they have failed to plan for the inevitable, by sticking to their mantra of making the rules up as they go along.

    We are left with a situation of no-one knowing how any future incident will be handled.  I think that the SG has allowed the football authorities a bit too much slack. I fear that the failure of the SFA and SPFL to put robust procedures in place to deal with such incidents will result in more draconian measures being imposed on football generally. That in turn will impact of the prospects of the resumption of football in the lower divisions and at grass roots levels. 

  321. From the editorial in today's 'The Scotsman' :

    " The stupidity of a handful of young men, however, is no reason to bring the shutters crashing down on our national sport just as it stutters back to life"

    __

    I agree.

    But perhaps the  failure of the JRG right from the off to deal with the first football offenders against Covid-19 protocols  (TRFC) may well be reason enough to do so. That failure sent a very clear signal that the covid-testing regime was not taken anywhere near as seriously by th Board and manager of TRFC  as it ought to have been. And nothing was done about it.

    As others have remarked, the JRG/the SFA Board/the SPFL Board have lost any moral authority to discipline any other club that breaches the protocols. 

    But then, Scottish Football governance lost all such moral authority it had when it allowed the Big Lie and continues to foster and protect it.

    Who can seriously support a sport based on untruth?

     

     

  322. Uncertainty: how long will restrictions last for, will they be eased, will they be tightened, will the SG shutdown domestic football during this season…?

     

    Certainty: the longer the season progresses – with restrictions in place – other players will be caught flouting the rules, IMO.

     

    Worst case: the SG is forced to step in yet again.

    To send out the right signals now – and try to add some certainty and/or flexibility – mibbees the SPFL & SFA should reduce the fixture list further this season?

    This could provide some gaps during, or at the end of the season to stage any postponed games resulting from further breaches AND/OR adverse weather.

    As it stands right now: if another group of SPL players was reported as having flouted the restrictions – would any 'non-football' person be bothered if the SG simply shut down the whole game from next week?  Some/many football supporters might also agree with such an SG decision.

    The SPFL & SFA blazers can't just keep snoozing in the Hampden bunker: they have to be seen to be doing something tangible, to reassure the SG and to – attempt to – minimise possible further sanctions for future player breaches, IMO.

  323. easyJambo 12th August 2020 at 00:23
    Would it be fair if Motherwell or Kilmarnock had to face a points penalty for similar breaches of protocol, while other clubs had previously escaped similar sanctions?
    ……………
    No it would not be fair. And for maybe a fine of £2500 any club punished more than any other club can take the SPFL to court, if they believe they are being hard done by.
    ……………….
    It wasn’t rocket science for the SPFL to anticipate that there would be issues with positive tests or breaches of the agreed protocols, but it is apparent that they have failed to plan for the inevitable, by sticking to their mantra of making the rules up as they go along.

    All about the money. It is always about the money first. If it is making the rules up as they go along.They will. Money first is what we must have learned about the scottish football governing bodies by now.

  324. Does anybody know;

    what would happen if the SG had shown Scottish football a straight red card instead the other day?

    Where would that leave those supporters who had paid high prices for a TV/season ticket?

    Would they get a refund or is there small print which e.g. negates a refund in certain scenarios?

  325. Big Pink 13th August 2020 at 07:26

    fishnish 13th August 2020 at 09:21

    """"""""""""""""""""""""

    What is this new word 'scunnered'? 

    Where I'm from , the depth and intensity of the disgust, revulsion, odium, and anger I feel when , say, expressions or words like 'the 5-Way Agreement' or 'SDM' or JRG , or, more broadly 'SFA' and 'SPFL'  are mentioned ,can only be conveyed by the word '"scunnert" said with absolute contempt, and followed by (metaphorically, of course) a hawked up spit from the depth of the lungs!broken heart

    IN 2012 the integrity of the Scottish Football industry was sabotaged first by the relentless cheating of RFC of 1872, and then by the unbelievably ridiculous deceit of the 'governance' bodies. 

    TRFC continues that deceit, and 'governance' continues to support the deceit.

    'Scunnert' needs to be replaced by a much stronger word.

     

     

     

     

    • John C
      We could start a competition to find one ?
      Something suitably graphic or onomatopoeic would be a good starting point.

  326. I think that Scottish football governance is  failing because covid is not susceptable to funny handshakes or gerrymandered " solutions ". It is beyond their ken to deal with something that can't be bullied or coerced .

  327.  

    https://www.scottishfa.co.uk/news/coronavirus-joint-response-group-update-13-august/?rid=13929

    So the fallout from the Aberdeen and Celtic players protocol violations is that “Players” can now be sanctioned (not clubs?).

    Also that non Premiership clubs are banned from training until 24 August at the earliest.

    Given that Hearts have been training for the last 10 days or so, while fully adopting the testing protocols, it seems that they are being punished for the actions of other clubs’ players.  Will Hearts be refunded the costs of the testing that they have undergone over the last couple of weeks.

    What a shambles of an organisation.

  328. Further to my previous post:

    Additional guidance notes now on SFA statement…

    Additional guidance notes

    1. Glasgow City Women’s FC can continue to train in preparation for their UEFA Women’s Champions League tie against Wolfsburg on 21 August and will be visited to audit and verify compliance.
    2. Heart of Midlothian FC has been informed of the need to pause their current training programme until at least 24 August.
    3. Adult (over-18) recreational football will not be permitted to participate in any form of organised training.
    4. Youth (under-18) football can continue in line with current Scottish Government guidance."

    As I said before …… "SHAMBLES"

  329. easyJambo 13th August 2020 at 17:19
    ……………
    Given that Hearts have been training for the last 10 days or so, while fully adopting the testing protocols, it seems that they are being punished for the actions of other clubs’ players. Will Hearts be refunded the costs of the testing that they have undergone over the last couple of weeks.

    What a shambles of an organisation.
    ………………
    Rangers, Motherwell and Hibernian have all been asked to detail their coronavirus testing protocols after pre-season games were cancelled and delayed this week.( and even a game played when 9 players test results were not known)

    The Scottish Football Association and Scottish Professional Football League’s Joint Response Group (JRG) have written to the three Scottish Premiership clubs seeking clarification on the procedures used to keep track on the spread of the virus.
    It comes after St Mirren were forced into lockdown after seven members of the Paisley club’s backroom staff were confirmed to have contracted coronavirus.
    As a result, Scottish Premiership clubs have been ordered to reintroduce twice-weekly testing for the first time since July 8.
    ………………
    it seems that they are being punished for the actions of other clubs’ players. Will Hearts be refunded the costs of the testing .

    Every club was punished from the very start with the cost of twice weekly testing instead of the cost of tests only once a week.

  330. Cluster One 13th August 2020 at 18:11

    Every club was punished from the very start with the cost of twice weekly testing instead of the cost of tests only once a week.

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

    IMO that’s a pretty weak defence for today’s decision. 

    Scottish Premiership clubs sought permission to resume playing in advance of other sports and businesses, for their own reasons, e.g. participation in UEFA competitions and distribution of TV money. They went into that arrangement with open eyes to the conditions of doing so. That being adherence to the testing and other protocols, including costs. 

    Hearts sought and were given permission to resume training from 1st August, as long as they adhered to the same protocols as Premiership clubs. They incurred costs for wages (off furlough) for players and staff.  

    Players from Premiership clubs have caused the latest issues, so the response of the JRG is to stop adult football everywhere, except the Premiership, WTF.

    Hearts have been unfairly treated in this situation.  It is clear the the JRG considered Hearts position as they are specifically mentioned, as are Glasgow City women’s side, but they are allowed to play.   

       

  331. Dearie me bring back the thumbs up/down

    At least some posters who are posting utter bollocks would realise the feelings in sfm land

  332. easyJambo 13th August 2020 at 18:27
    IMO that’s a pretty weak defence for today’s decision.
    …………….
    It was not ment to be a defence.
    ….
    That being adherence to the testing and other protocols, including costs.

    And because of the actions of some clubs at the start of this not following protocol other clubs and players seen no real punishment for not following protocol, and the floodgates opened.
    Hearts have been unfairly treated in this situation.as to other clubs because of the inaction of the football goverment bodies to take action when clubs did not follow protocol at the start

  333. Cluster One 13th August 2020 at 22:35

    And because of the actions of some clubs at the start of this not following protocol other clubs and players seen no real punishment for not following protocol, and the floodgates opened.
    Hearts have been unfairly treated in this situation.as to other clubs because of the inaction of the football goverment bodies to take action when clubs did not follow protocol at the start

    ++++++++++++++++++

    I can't disagree with that.

    The bottom line is that the JRG has chosen a path that has a disproportionate impact on a single club, when they have been adhering rigourously to the protocols (as far we know).

  334. easyJambo 13th August 2020 at 20:54

    'We have done nothing wrong and yet, once again, we are being disproportionately disadvantaged by a decision which has been described as “the fairest”'

    """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    I am coming late to the blog this evening ( I've spent several hours on 'Scotlandspeople' trying to do a 'family tree' for Mrs C's brother) and have just tuned in afore I go to my kip.

    But no reasonable person could deny the essential truth of the HoM statement. 

    And your own use of the word 'shambles' in relation to football governance at this time of real crisis is easily justified.

     

  335. I have yet to see any valid reason why Kilmarnock’s game was allowed to go ahead on Wednesday night. Bolingoli was in the building and will have been in close proximity to Kilmarnock staff. Of course, it is perfectly feasible that Sturgeon has no public health concerns and just decided she wanted to punish Aberdeen and Celtic (and their opponents by extension). Yet there appeared to be no question of Aberdeen’s game not going ahead had the Bolingoli incident not been exposed.

    It might not be a popular view on here but I don’t do the ‘Saint Nicola’ thing, and I do not believe her or her Government have handled this matter properly. In fact, I am of the view her Government have a real dislike of Scottish football. The only thing I can ever recall them saying in support of it was a demand for Rangers in 2012 to be let off with illegal non tax payment. I think any football fan who has Sturgeon on a pedestal over current matters would do well to remember that. It would also have been helpful if they had commented on the earlier clear breaches where some clubs (not players) did not stick to testing rules and played games anyway. It all looks rather arbitrary at the moment, but then again it wouldn’t be Scotland if that wasn’t the case! Throw in the obvious bias of the media in what they choose to highlight and question and it becomes quite dirty all round. 

  336. Sturgeon is it?  I was just getting used to it being Doncaster.  For a wee while I did think it could be Lawell but as the campaign against Hearts (and PT presumably) now includes Aberdeen and Celtic it seems unlikely.  Unless it's a bluff of course?

    I'll have a go at a theory.  Sturgeon is worried that the indy vote might not hold up and, having an unnatural disinterest on who might win the SPL, creates a sh*tstorm that she will be seen to fix.  She enrolls Lawell with sweet talk on how StevieG is poised to win the league with his audacious signings and the need to set in motion a scheme to close the league as soon as Celtic have a lead.  Lawell gets Hayes up to Pittodrie and he talks 7 of the gullible diddies into a team booze up to get the ball rolling.  Doncaster, having briefed Sturgeon on what the SPL is etc, spills the beans to Dave King who gifts Boli a return ticket to Spain and then releases the story.  Sturgeon is now in a bit of a quandary and has no option but to bring Celtic onto the naughty step. More to come. Worth a few seasons on Netflix I reckon.

    If you think that is unbelievable there is the extraordinary alternative theory that we are in a global pandemic.  Whole countries have shut down, re opened and shutdown again.  Whole industries, competitions and even the Olympics have been cancelled.  Last week, with a few hours notice, my home town was partially locked down, my staycation (motorhome) cancelled.  My two hip ops cancelled a week prior to appointment date in March.  I'm going from global to personal, the pandemic has affected everything in between.  Do we really think anyone outside our wee bubble is targeting fitba, the SPFL or specific teams?

     

     

    • During lockdown and since unlocking I have been impressed on a daily basis by the clarity of delivery of information from the Scottish Government and its advisors. Difficult messages have been presented in an understandable manner and the willingness to admit to making mistakes is to be admired.

      I don't believe that it is possible, however, to say that mistakes are always admitted or that all decisions are made without considering the political consequences.

      The exams fiasco seems to me to be a great example where admitting a huge mistake and correcting it brings a largely positive reaction from the public and the media.

      The fact that they allowed the SQA to use an algorithm to downgrade results is being corrected but they will not change the results of the kids, with rich parents, attending high achieving schools who had their grades upped.

      They did this because on the basis of historical results the computer says the teachers underestimated their results. No apology for that unbelievable decision although I expect you wouldn't want to upset rich parents who might consider court action! 

      I would suggest that it is likely that political thinking comes into a lot of the decisions relating to football not just by the Government but also by the governing bodies. Whatever decisions they take what is guaranteed is that not everyone will be happy. A player heading to Spain makes it easy for the politicians though! 

      One final thought. If the SPFL used the SQA algorithm to decide this year's league placings taking historical standings from the last 10 years into account just imagine the outcry. Maybe it would be karma though! 

  337. ernie 14th August 2020 at 10:07

    Well said Ernie and served up in the best SFM fashion with a bit of humour.

    Saved me from penning a long piece trying to justify why UTH’s post is one of the biggest pieces of illogical nonsense (or as some would say ‘conjecture’) I’ve seen on the site for a long time.

    All governments of all persuasions across the UK currently have more to worry about than football. It is the football authorities, clubs and players who have a moral duty to do their best to manage themselves in a responsible manner given the concessions given to them to restart. Simples!! Daft conspiracy theories help no-one.

    While I am on,  I note the decision to stop Hearts from continuing with their planned and agreed training regime. Like a cowardly ‘Souness/McCluskey kick from behind’  this time the ‘footballing authorities’ have their hands out by his sides and are trying to put the blame of the straight taking Prof Jason Leitch.

    What lily-livered cowards we have running our game.

  338. Ernie 20th August 2020 @ 10:07

    +++++++++++

    So I will ask again why Kilmarnock were allowed to play the other night? It would have been unfair without a doubt, but if public health was the only concern then so be it. It's to punish Aberdeen and Celtic. 

    I think it's naive to think Sturgeon is not flexing her muscles, and with Aberdeen and Celtic being the two clubs it's unlikely there would be too much outcry. Maybe both should stop paying their tax to elicit some sympathy. 

  339. Purely for balance I hope another poster will be along soon to offer us the other cheek of the conspiratorial derrière….

     

    • incredibleadamspark

      I look forward someone doing just that.

      On twitter there are so many people who abuse you for comments made just because they seem to think the politicians they support don't ever make decisions that are political but on SFM it has generally been different.

      I have been thinking for a while whether or not I wish to continue being part of the noble cause of the SFM. 

      Over the summer many people had different opinions but were normally treated with respect but not by everyone. Some people showed intransigence and some were just blinkered.

      Thumbs up and down were removed for an understandable reason but they allowed people to express opinions, albeit not always easily, about others posts

      A few on here seem to feel that they now can be blunt to the point of rudeness – not incredibleadamspark I should stress –  but it spoils it for me. 

      I worked with many wonderful people to support them in times of need and distress but I also with abusive people, some who threatened to kill me, some who committed heinous crimes but I always tried to deal with them all professionally. This may leave me over sensitive but it is who I am and I struggle to cope with rudeness no matter who to. 

      Thank you all for some great reading.

       

       

  340. Why are the Dons and Celtic not playing this week?  Because they evidently (i.e.the evidence is actual) do not have the processes in place to comply with the specific requirements of the arrangement that enable their "elite" sport to continue.  As we go forward I suspect they will be seen as having got off with it lightly.

    I said, prior to a big team getting involved. that Aberdeen should have had the points forfeited to St J and that by not doing so the SPFL were creating a problem for the future.  That has happened and it only took days.  It will happen again.  But a conspiracy?

     

  341. Police lawyers have spent more than a week interviewing a detective who allegedly “manipulated” the legal system during an investigation at Rangers, a court has been told.

    Andrew Smith, QC, told Lord Tyre during a procedural hearing at the Court of Session yesterday that lawyers acting for Police Scotland had spent 200 hours speaking to Detective Chief Inspector Jim Robertson.

    Mr Smith is acting for David Grier, 58, a business restructuring expert who is suing Police Scotland for £2 million.

    Mr Grier says that he was wrongly arrested during an investigation, led by Mr Robertson, into allegations of criminal behaviour during the sale of rangers in 2011.
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/lawyers-spend-200-hours-grilling-rangers-officer-b0h622vsn
    Aug 12, 2020
    …………….
    Don’t know if the court guys would have been to this if every thing was normal as such.
    …………………………..
    Small comment if i may?
    I always laugh when anything to do with this case it will be mentioned as something like, during the sale of rangers in 2011.
    Everything pre 2012 and Craig whyte is mentioned as the sale of rangers.No company myth or anything else.
    Anything after Feb 2012 and you will have ibrox fans and the media try and tell you it was the company that went bust.
    How any ibrox fan or anyone in the media with half a brain don’t look at themselves and say What the feck am i doing, and who am i trying to kid, with the company went bust.
    The only people they are trying to kid are themselves, and they must know how stupid they look.

  342. WOTTPI @ 19:42

    Mock me all you like. By allowing Kilmarnock to play on Wednesday was akin to the track and trace system identifying people who were in a pub and close to someone who failed to quarantine and then saying only some had to isolate. I don’t really care what anyone thinks about conspiracy theories or whatever. Kilmarnock were allowed to play so the whole thing is farcical in my view. It was political.

  343. Kilmarnock players were either in the vicinity of someone who may have been exposed to the virus, and the officials, more so the 4th official who was right beside him for a length of time, or they were not. No ifs, no buts, no maybes. Their players and staff and the match officials should be isolating. The same as everybody in that pub who were there when the dons players were in having their player of the game awards ceremony, they’ve had to quarantine along with those other punters too. Why do Kilmarnock Fc, the match officials, especially the 4th official, and their staff get a bye? Why?

  344. Cluster One 14th August 2020 at 12:35

    Don’t know if the court guys would have been to this if every thing was normal as such.

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

    Yes. It was one of the cases we were following. I hope that the courts are fully reopened by the time the case reaches the proof (trial) stage, as I would like to see DCI Roberson in the witness box explaining why he did what he did.

  345. upthehoops 14th August 2020 at 13:06

    POR CIERTO 14th August 2020 at 13:30

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

    You both seem to miss the main difference in the circumstances of the Aberdeen and Celtic players.

    Two of the Aberdeen players tested positive, so it was correct that those in their vicinity had to self isolate.

    No Celtic player tested positive so there was no need for self isolation. It is simply an offence not to quarantine on return from Spain, for which I believe the player has been given a fixed penalty by the police, plus whatever the club/SFA/SPFL choose to do.

    Contact tracing in Scotland only kicks in when someone has tested positive.  

  346. Aberdeen FC@AberdeenFC

    Our internal investigation is now complete & has confirmed a breach of AFC COVID-19 protocols and government guidance. As a result, players have been severely reprimanded and fined heavily. The Club has chosen to donate these fines to NHS Grampian.

    http://bit.ly/3kM2dxt

  347. ‘easyJambo 14th August 2020 at 13:40

    …No Celtic player tested positive so there was no need for self isolation. It is simply an offence not to quarantine on return from Spain, for which I believe the player has been given a fixed penalty by the police, plus whatever the club/SFA/SPFL choose to do…’

    ################################

    Why, then, did the the Nation’s Micro-Managing Mammy get involved? Isn’t failure to observe quarantine a matter for Police Scotland? Did she comment on a live police case? It’s possible to think that Bolingoli received his FPN because of the FM’s involvement, rather than the judgement of Police Scotland.

    All the St.Mirren players were Covid19 clear. All the CFC players were too. Bolingoli wasn’t available for selection as he was self-isolating: yet the match was called off

    Ms. Sturgeon has little or no interest in sport. ‘Recommending’ postponements to the SFA/SPFL isn’t about football & its failings, it’s about optics & political grandstanding against an all-too-easy opponent.

  348. adam1820

    I really hope the sarcasm of my post didn’t make you think it was in any way critical of any of your comments. I agree with them 100%. I was responding to the same post that you were. Clearly not as eloquently as you so I really hope there isn’t a misunderstanding here.
     

    There has been quite a bit of conspiracy theories recently regarding Peter Lawwell and I find them as tedious as ones coming from the others side. 

    Please do continue to post and I’ll dial down the sarcasm and try to be as informative as you have been. 

    • incredibleadamspark 

      Sorry I tried to make it clear it wasn’t you and I’d like to stress the majority of contributers treat others with respect but just I struggle when it doesn’t happen whether it’s to me or someone else. 

  349. adam182

     

    Agreed. We should all be respectful of others and that’s generally what happens on here. That does not stop us disagreeing agreeably when it comes to the fitba. I think we’re all looking for the same thing. 

  350. Jingso.Jimsie 14th August 2020 at 14:26

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The real irony for me is Sturgeon's comments about footballers thinking they are subject to different rules. It seems they are, but not in the way she means. I doubt she would stand there mouthing off about every MacDonalds closing down because one employee failed to observe the rules on quarantine. I doubt also she would threaten to close Holyrood if one of her MSP's did likewise. 

    While never losing sight of how irresponsible Bolingoli's actions were, the media's thirst for blood gave Sturgeon the opportunity to politically grandstand. It was also quite an eye opener just how many in the Scottish media seemed very keen for Celtic to be thrown out of Europe, with many bombarding UEFA in the apparent hope it would happen. Meanwhile Athletico Madrid were participating in the Champions League despite two of their squad having tested positive. Like most things in Scotland it seems to depend on what club is involved. As has been said earlier other clubs failed to adhere to testing rules but the media and Sturgeon were absolutely fine with that. Why? 

     

  351. Fairly predictable statement from AFC.

    Aberdeen Football Club has completed its internal investigation into the actions of eight players last week. The investigation confirmed that these players breached the Club’s COVID-19 protocols and government guidance.

    AFC Chairman, Dave Cormack, said: “These players made a huge mistake. They not only went against government guidance but also breached our own COVID-19 procedures, set out by the Club to all players and staff. Due to the privilege that has been afforded to professional footballers, and having witnessed the outrage and anger their actions provoked, they are in no doubt that they have let themselves and the Club down. They are truly sorry and have apologised unreservedly to the First Minster, health and footballing authorities, the fans, the Manager, the rest of the squad, our staff and board and the wider community.”

    “As a result of our investigation, these players have been severely reprimanded and fined heavily. Contractually, the specifics must remain confidential between the Club and each player but, rest assured, the financial fines are in line with the severity of the consequences of their actions.

    “The Club has chosen to donate these fines to NHS Grampian.

    “We fully appreciate the outpouring of dismay and anger by those who have been impacted by this virus, by those who have worked selflessly to protect us and by our fans, who have, despite health and financial worries, supported the Club with their hard-earned cash during this period.

    “Their actions were indefensible but the investigation has been completed, they have apologised, they have been punished by the Club, and are suffering the humiliation that goes with making a mistake in the public eye.

    “The Club, like every employer, has a duty of care to its staff and we must also consider the wellbeing of these players, who continue to face an ongoing barrage of criticism and personal abuse from many quarters. They’ve been taught the harshest of lessons and have the chance to redeem themselves and help demonstrate that the Club is better and bigger than this regrettable episode.

    “I can only hope that Dons fans and the Aberdeen community will remember the tremendously positive work the Club and Trust, including staff, volunteers and the players, have delivered during this pandemic, and help us all heal from this."

  352. Jingso.Jimsie

    Why, then, did the the Nation’s Micro-Managing Mammy get involved? 

    ++++++++++++++

    I don't think this is the right forum to express political views, but perhaps she felt that there were concerns about the level of compliance and education among those who are only permitted to work as a result of special arrangements.

    That might be the reason that the JRG has acknowledged such a need and implemented sanctions and an education programme appropriate to the maintainance of the special status that football enjoys at this time. 

  353. easyJambo 14th August 2020 at 13:33
    Yes. It was one of the cases we were following. I hope that the courts are fully reopened by the time the case reaches the proof (trial) stage, as I would like to see DCI Roberson in the witness box explaining why he did what he did.
    ………………
    lOOKING FOWARD TO SEEING YOU GUYS IN COURT. IN A GOOD WAY;-)

  354. Cluster One 14th August 2020 at 12:35

    'Don’t know if the court guys would have been to this if every thing was normal as such.'

    """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    I think I can safely say that there is not one aspect of

    the sports and tax cheating by RFC of 1872 under SDM,

    the sale of the cheating club to CW,

    the subsequent asset-stripping Administration which resulted not in the saving of the club by payment of its debts but in  its Liquidation and death as a participating cub in Scottish Football,

    the admission of a brand new  football club  and the lie that was created that the new club was continuity RFC of 1872, its sporting record seamlessly surviving Liquidation while its huge debts remained unsettled,

    the subsequent setting-up of  a plc which went to the Market on the basis of a very questionable Prospectus that appears not to have been questioned at the time by the FCA

    and the various criminal and civil court actions associated with all of the above,

    that is not of absorbing interest to me

    I miss the visits to Court. They can be illuminating and quite fun. 

    And I hope that in one way or another I shall soon  be able to hear/see any further 'live' actions involving former Administrators, or Liquidators, or Police officers, Crown Agents, Lords Advocate, Advocate-Deputes and uncle Tom Cobley and all  in any case bearing on the disgraceful 'saga'.

     

     

  355. reasonablechap 14th August 2020 at 23:00

    Bang on cue, reasonable chap!

    I love it when any post of mine that reminds folk of the deep rottenness of the cheating RFC of 1872

    and of the fact that it is in Liquidation

    and the fact that TRFC are essentially a living sporting lie by claiming to be what they are in law and in sport and in common sense most certainly not!

    immediately brings you and your alter egos into deflective mode!

    You must know that all the deflection in the world cannot hide the Truth, try as you and the RIFC plc board and the TRFC board might.

    TRFC is a living untruth, trying to make money on the back of a now dead club that was formed in my grandfather’ time.

    Truth always prevails. 

    And I quote again that wonderful sotto voce remark of Galileo Galilei  in relation to his difficulties with the authorities on the question of whether the earth is central and the sun moves round it :’ eppure si muove

    i.e. you can say , and force me to say, that the earth does not move round the sun, but whatever you say, it does in fact move round the sun!

    The SFA and the SPFL can lie with all their might, but TRFC is not RFC of 1872, because RFC of 1872 is there in front of their very eyes, alongside Third Lanark and Gretna in the grave of football Liquidation.

     

  356. John Clark 14th August 2020 at 23:58

    Bang on cue, reasonable chap!

    I love it when any post of mine that reminds folk of the deep rottenness of the cheating RFC of 1872

    ===============&&

    Hate to break it to you but seeing as you lke the truth, I gave up reading your predictable and repetitive posts a good while back.

    A glance suffices, to note a couple of the customary words/numbers and I pass. 

     

  357. Pictures all over social media of the Rangers management team and coaching staff in a pub, failing to socially distance as they cosy up with fans for photos. The media are not interested. The problem in a nutshell. It all depends what club is involved. 

    Scotland – the most bigoted wee country in the world. 

  358. upthehoops 15th August 2020 at 08:25

    Pictures all over social media of the Rangers management team and coaching staff in a pub, failing to socially distance as they cosy up with fans for photos. The media are not interested. The problem in a nutshell. It all depends what club is involved. 

    Scotland – the most bigoted wee country in the world. 

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

    Also unconfirmed rumour from phil of an other spfl player also in spain recently on family business who may not have followed the correct protocol if true let us hope that in the interests of sporting integrity that the media will release this information as well but don't hold your breath.

    https://philmacgiollabhain.ie/2020/08/13/the-pandemic-season/

  359. Shug 15th August 2020 @ 08:41

    ++++++++++

    You could provide the media with screenshots of flight bookings and they still wouldn't run with it. Also, imagine Neil Lennon was breaking social distancing rules and cosying up for photos with fans in pubs outwith his 'bubble'. Imagine also that after doing so Lennon then sat in front of the media and piously claimed everyone at his club stuck to the rules 100%. Imagine also that the First Minister had internet access and was able to see these breaches for herself, yet said nothing. What an absolutely f*cked up nation we live in. 

    No doubt the usual suspects will be out to tell me I am just paranoid, and that our saintly Government treat everyone equally.  So I hope everyone keeps safe and well over the coming months. I'm out. I don't see anything here for me anymore. I wish you all well.

  360. JC, you're very naughty!

    Bear-baiting is illegal, (and too easy).

    As long as Scottish football supports the continuation lie, the game will never learn – and will never "move on".

    One deviant club, (pretending to be a much worse, dead club),  is perennially holding back Scottish football.

    Karma and/or hubris will get the club in the end though…

    broken heart

     

  361. I’m hearing 8 game ban for the 8 Dons and Celtic also punished, they have to play Boli every game. 
     

     

  362. I like the odd puzzle and enjoy the occasional riddle so my morning was brightened when I read this :

    ”  The correct thing that should have been  done is that in these matches Aberdeen and Celtic should both have forfeited the game…And indeed the game between the two of them, Celtic v Aberdeen, should also be shown as having been played in the played column, with both handed a 0-3 defeat

    Has Leslie Deans’ very understandable emotional state upset the balance of his legal mind? or is it actually in the rules that a game that is deemed to have been played can be deemed to have been lost by both the teams? 

    (page 47, ‘ The Scotsman’ today., no author byline)

  363. John Clark 15th August 2020 at 10:45
    And indeed the game between the two of them, Celtic v Aberdeen, should also be shown as having been played in the played column, with both handed a 0-3 defeat”
    ………………..
    That is a cracker

  364. ' That's all down to the compliance officer' says Maxwell.

    I've just listened to the podcast of today's 'Sportsound'. 

    Honest to God! was there ever an organisation so ready to claim to have regard for 'judicial impartiality' as the lying SFA?

    That  the CEO of a 'governance' body which sanctions the most monstrous sporting lie  in sporting history can even pretend that Scottish Football governance believes in 'judicial impartiality' is an insult to anyone of the most meagre intelligence!

    The sheer feckin hypocrisy of it all is apparent. 

    Scottish Football?

    As dirty an enterprise as anything that an Al Capone might have been interested in!

     

     

  365. John Clark 16th August 2020 at 00:23

    ‘ That’s all down to the compliance officer’ says Maxwell.
    …………………
    the compliance officer will be busy just now with collecting the charges against the ibrox board and players for bringing the game into disrepute during the summer. Or is she still in shock reading the ibrox dozzier that will bring down scottish football?

  366. As discussed it doesn't really matter regards Aberdeen v Celtic as the Board has postponed and rescheduled as per the existing rules.

    However the Leslie Deans argument of both teams having to forfeit the game 3-0 is technically interesting.

    It is almost always the case that if something has gone wrong it is one team that is the subject of wrong doing. I can't think of an example of two teams doing wrong at the same time.

    So, let's say a game went ahead and both teams were found later to have played ineligible players. You would expect the same punishment to be dealt out to both. 

    Say the above scenario  was a league game that ended in a draw. It would not be fair on the rest of the league that both teams gained a point and the result was left to stand just because the outcome was 'even' with both teams being  guilty of the same offense. 

     A fine alone wouldn't resolve the unfairness to the rest of the league as the offending teams would still have gained a point that could be crucial come the end of the season.

    One solution would be to replay the game. But is that not just giving the offenders a second chance? Another option would Deans' suggestion that both forfeit the match thus not gaining any points and being 'punished in terms of goal difference (0-3) in recognition of their offence. 

    Clearly his lawyerly view but perhaps not as daft as it first seems.

    • wottpi
      I personally don’t think it is daft at all except for the notion that a club might be sanctioned for playing ineligible players?
      It is an interesting debate though. The players involved have been involved in off-field activity which transgresses the law. So should their clubs be punished?
      On the other hand, the SPFL have deemed that transgression worthy of postponement, so it does impact on other clubs.
      I must confess that the cut and dried nature of my response to the Aberdeen situation gave way to a more nuanced approach when my own team became embroiled in it.
      I suppose it comes down to whether or not we agree that the clubs should be culpable or not. On balance, I feel they should be, but as I say, I’m not as convinced as I was when Celtic weren’t in the middle of it?

  367. The idea of punishing Aberdeen and Celtic for player transgressions regarding Covid is not just daft – it's preposterous claptrap!

    If, say, a teacher breaks the guidelines, does the education authority get punished?

    No – people have to see thorough this 'agenda driven' nonsensical suggestion – aimed primarily (though admittedly not exclusively) at harming Celtic's 10IAR efforts by those with allegiance to the liquidated outfit..

    While I'm on, could anyone who feels Aberdeen and Celtic should be deducted points (whit?!) remind me where Sevco's recent flaunting of the law come in all of this ?

  368. bect67 17th August 2020 at 09:52

    “people have to see thorough this 'agenda driven' nonsensical suggestion”

    _____________________________________________

    Might I suggest there may be two ways of looking at this, the second of which involves an entirely different agenda, that 10IAR must be achieved at all costs, therefore Celtic must not suffer a points deduction?

    When seen through tinted specs that are not of a green or red hue, Bolingoli and the eight Dons players broke rules which were specific to their employment as footballers whose clubs had obtained special dispensation to play during a pandemic – providing those rules were strictly adhered to. It matters not a jot whether they were on or off duty, the nine offenders broke rules which not only affected their own clubs, but others too, and could have had life or death consequences in a worst case scenario.

    The argument that the club should not be held accountable for the actions of one rogue player/employee gives credence to the notion that Rangers FC shouldn’t be punished for the actions of individual rogues such as David Murray or Craig Whyte, for example.

    While I totally agree we should be asking what happened to Sevco’s flouting of the law, unfortunately your comment smacks of whataboutery. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Finally, while I’m briefly here, I was sorry to read that UpTheHoops has decided to retire from posting on here, because I genuinely enjoyed his input. I mean no disrespect therefore when referring to his final post by saying that if everyone has it in for Celtic to the extent that UTH reported, then they’ve done a pretty pathetic sabotage job considering Celtic have won nine in a row, are odds-on favourites for 10IAR and have won a treble-treble and eleven consecutive trophies.

    As I’ve said on here before, try being a ‘diddy-team’ supporter for a month or two and you’ll maybe appreciate only being the second most cosseted club in Scotland.

  369. Big Pink 17th August 2020 at 08:54

    It is indeed a difficult one as there are plenty of examples of players breaking the law or doing something stupid across the years.

    However these 'infringements' by Aberdeen and Celtic players have had a direct impact on the league and other clubs, therefore have to be considered in a different light from a player being arrested for a fight in a kebab shop. A second wave and fixture congestion later in the year may become very interesting.

    The issue is that the football authorities and the SPFL in particular have only came up with a short term idea of 'give us executive powers' with apparently no explanation to anyone what that may have entailed.

    If they had spent an appropriate amount of time explaining what powers, rules and punishments they may have been considering, then clubs may have been more inclined to pass a resolution.

    As it is we have Scottish football in limbo, once again, with daft and inconsistent decision being made.

    (Hearts (& PT , Stranraer) did no harm to anyone but got relegated. Hearts did no harm to anyone but now can't train.)

  370. Highlander

    Nothing personal – but sometimes I feel I just have to respond!

    My comment is indeed about whataboutery – a perfectly legitimate ‘weapon’ in challenging what, in this situation and in my humble opinion, an idiotic argument (I meant to include the subtle digs from SMSM).

    To compare  Murray/Whyte criminal actions to this health issue – which we are all powerless over – is, frankly, in itself nonsensical. Please note that neither Celtic nor Aberdeen were complicit in, indeed were ignorant of,  the actions of their players. The same could not be said of Oldco, the Banks and the SMSM.

    Finally, give me a break about my ‘green tinted specs’.  – which I have proudly worn my entire life in the face of, let’s just call it anti Celtic factions, in Scotland.

  371. bect67 17th August 2020 at 12:44

    Similarly, nothing personal, but 'Whoooooshhhh!', in my opinion – a differing opinion which we're each entitled to hold.

    I wasn't intent on likening the seriousness of the Murray/Whyte offences to those of Bolingoli etc, only attempting to highlight the feeble defence that the players 'went rogue' so the club is blameless; that's the club that is supposedly commited to educating its staff about the serious consequences of failing to follow protocols as per the terms of restarting the Scottish Premiership.

    I'll leave it at that.

  372. Highlander 17th August 2020 at 11:34
    The argument that the club should not be held accountable for the actions of one rogue player/employee gives credence to the notion that Rangers FC shouldn’t be punished for the actions of individual rogues such as David Murray or Craig Whyte, for example.
    ………………
    Every thing they signed off on would have been signed off on rangers football club headed paper.David Murray ran up a huge debt in rangers name. 276 creditors would not be looking to craig whyte for their money.
    …………………….
    While I totally agree we should be asking what happened to Sevco’s flouting of the law, unfortunately your comment smacks of whataboutery. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    What is wrong with asking for a level playing field? Are you suggesting it is ok to punish some clubs for rule breaking and not others?
    If the SFA or the SPFL want to rake over old coals to dish out punishment, what is stopping them going back to the start?
    Or rather why would they not go back to the start?

  373. Cluster One 17th August 2020 at 13:48

    "Aye but it wuznae wur club that overspent pyoor mullions, it wiz that wee shyte Whyte that went rogue and put the holding company into adminiliquidation."

    No, I'm not suggesting it's ok to punish some clubs for rule breaking and not others – that's why I specifically said "I totally agree we should be asking what happened to Sevco’s flouting of the law." 

  374.       All of the infractions in protocols carried identical risks if not followed. That risk being the further transmission of the virus. In that respect they are all equal and there are no mitigating factors. We have all been living, and attempting to deal with it for long enough to know the score and transmission causes. 

          Retrospective action, if it is to be taken,  should include all retrospective infractions. It is not rocket science. The game was shut down in March, and that is where the calendar of retrospective action should begin. 

        Personally I don't agree with retrospective action for a multiple of reasons, but, for the game to continue, action MUST be taken to move forward. (again I don't agree with all of "must")

         Any action should be from now going forth, and clearly defined, or from a calendar start of March. There cannot be a selective calendar of exclusion.  

       

  375. According to Tom English , TRFC spent the followng on players 

     £7m Kent, £4m Ianis Hagi, £3.5m Kemar Roofe, £2.5m Cedric Itten 

    Not according to Steven Gerrard ,

    He told the PA news agency: “The numbers for Kemar and Cedric that have been suggested in the media aren’t right. The figures suggested are inflated.

    Who to believe .

  376. Corrupt official 17th August 2020 at 15:34

    As people have pointed out, if preventing transmission of the virus was the point in postponing games then why did the other games go ahead.

    Kilmarnock played in their next game, presumably the match officials were available for selection. If prevention of transmission was the point then everyone in contact with Boligoli should have been involved.

    Am I not also right as saying he was confirmed as being negative prior to the next scheduled game going ahead.

    I'm afraid it's all getting more confusing for me, postponing the games served no purpose that I can see. Other than to worsen the potential backlog of fixtures, and the innocent clubs will be involved in that as well.

    Forgive me if I am missing something obvious here. 

  377. paddy malarkey 17th August 2020 at 17:16

    Narrative beginning to unravel ?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-53806944

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    It would not surprise me if Charles Green was to achieve a similar result to Imran Ahmad for wrongful prosecution.

    It could also be a precursor to the D&P guys being successful in their actions against the LA and Police Scotland, although I'd like to know what it was that has triggered this volte-face by the Crown.

  378. Can anyone remember who Imran Ahmad was supposed to have defrauded and how he was supposed to have done it. 

  379. Homunculus 17th August 2020 at 17:54

    Can anyone remember who Imran Ahmad was supposed to have defrauded and how he was supposed to have done it. 

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

    It was the fraudulent acquisition of the club’s business and assets from the administrators via Sevco 5088/Scotland

    you CRAIG THOMAS WHYTE, DAVID JOHN WHITEHOUSE, PAUL JOHN CLARK, CHARLES ALEXANDER GREEN and SHEIK IMRAN AHMAD, known as IMRAN AHMAD, did conspire together to defraud the creditors of the Club of funds and assets lawfully available to them and to allow you CRAIG THOMAS WHYTE, CHARLES ALEXANDER GREEN and SHEIK IMRAN AHMAD, known as IMRAN AHMAD, to fraudulently acquire from the Joint Administrators, control, de facto control and ownership of the business and assets of the Club through Sevco 5088 Limited, a company incorporated under the Companies Acts with company number 8011390 and having its registered office at 35 Vine Street, London and Sevco Scotland Limited, a company incorporated under the Companies Acts with company number SC425159 and having its registered office at Capella, 60 York
    Street, Glasgow for a consideration significantly below the true market value of the said business and assets and in furtherance thereof:-

  380. Homunculus 17th August 2020 at 16:31

    Corrupt official 17th August 2020 at 15:34

           As people have pointed out, if preventing transmission of the virus was the point in postponing games then why did the other games go ahead.

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

        I don't think you're missing anything H, from political interference to PR fire-fighting, or even from internal fitba' politics. 

        My point was simply about going forward. Each and every "offender", is guilty of the same offence, namely, creating, or being involved in a situation of potential virus transmission. There are no "levels" of guilt. One either did, or didnae. Firing a gun into a crowd is no less serious just because one missed everybody. 

         Neither should there be a starting date for retrospective reprisal, other than the closing down of fitba'. 

          It's either nobody or everybody retrospectively acted upon, or its everybody equally faces punishments going forward under clear mandates. 

        I happen to think retrospective punishment on Celtic, (my club) harsh, because I genuinely do think they have done everything possible (and more), to progress the game safely.

        The fact is other clubs have had harshnesses exacted upon them due to the pandemic through no particular fault of their own also. 

         I will leave the politics to others, but the govt can shut the game down, and I recognise that. The governing bodies need to "appear", to be no-nonsense governors, the general public are aggrieved after much personal sensible sacrifices following govt recommendations. Appeasements must be made.

         I doubt there are any ballers now unaware of the seriousness of further breeches. All it takes is somebody to write down what's what, and circulate it. The player is personally responsible for his own behaviour outside work….Job done !… I said we should have sought to agree clear covid rules weeks ago.

        Retrospective punishments can only be applied fairly, (despite the fact it is unfair), if it is unfairly invoked since the onslaught of these unique circumstances in March. It must be all-inclusive.

        I support your Killie argument, but will extend it to Sevco v Aberdeen. Who can honestly say that the Aberdeen players who tested +ve never took the virus quite innocently to the pub/restaurant with them, and were potentially the source of the spike? 

        There is no doubt Celtic and Aberdeen had their games cancelled for reasons other than potential transmission transgressions……But I do get it…..It was a yellow card of public awareness, and a warning to the other offenders who escaped under the radar. 

        Mobile cameras are everywhere, as are rival fans with a grudge. If a ballers personal license/ authority to play is at stake, then more fool he for thinking a Groucho Marx nose would be a good disguise.

        Govt involvement is wrong, but it was also right…..and measured.   It is the governing bodies response to that govt "threat" that is unbalanced.      

          

  381. Highlander 17th August 2020 at 14:08

    Cluster One 17th August 2020 at 13:48

    “Aye but it wuznae wur club that overspent pyoor mullions, it wiz that wee shyte Whyte
    ………………
    Big smile

  382. easyJambo 17th August 2020 at 17:43 although I’d like to know what it was that has triggered this volte-face by the Crown.
    ……….
    Mr Grier says that he was wrongly arrested during an investigation, led by Mr Robertson, into allegations of criminal behaviour during the sale of rangers in 2011.
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/lawyers-spend-200-hours-grilling-rangers-officer-b0h622vsn
    Aug 12, 2020
    …….
    200 hours must have turned something up, or was it 200 hours spent trying to get a narattive right.
    ……………

  383. easyJambo 17th August 2020 at 18:06

    Thanks for that, so they had them all as co-conspiritors. I suppose Whyte being acquitted wouldn't help the case against the rest. 

     

  384. easyJambo 17th August 2020 at 18:06

    '.you CRAIG THOMAS WHYTE, DAVID JOHN WHITEHOUSE, PAUL JOHN CLARK, CHARLES ALEXANDER GREEN and SHEIK IMRAN AHMAD, known as IMRAN AHMAD, .

    """""""""""""""""""""""

    "Mr easyJambo, which iteration of the charges is this?Do I have a copy?"  

    Oh, the memories!broken heart

     

  385. easyJambo 17th August 2020 at 17:37

    Interesting appointment as CEO at Hearts as Ann Budge takes a step back, although she remains as chairman.

    https://www.heartsfc.co.uk/news/article/andrew-mckinlay-appointed-chief-executive

    Andrew McKinlay former Director of Governance and Football Regulation at the SFA

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

    Very interesting indeed.

    He will know stuff. 

    Maybe a poacher turned gamekeeper gambit?

     

  386. To talk of fairness in the punishment of clubs for the actions of players is neither here nor there.

    Football clubs were who appealed for dispensation from the SG to restart the sport and they did so by giving assurances that they would be able to put in place procedures that guaranteed that there was no risk. That was an assurance that was impossible to make as can be seen by the recent action of players but they made it anyway.

    Having given those assurances then they have no defense of "Naw, it wis the players!". The clubs have made themselves responsible for the subsequent events, events that could cause lives.

    As to "Whit aboot Killie", there seems to be a total lack of understanding of track and trace procedures here. Aberdeen players tested positive and therefore all the people that they came in contact with would have to isolate for 14 days hence no football. To my mind there should be no football for them even if they tested negative – as a punishment with a 0 – 3 loss for that game. The same for Celtic because of Bolingoli but there is a difference on this occasion. Bolingoli tested negative and so track and trace was unnecessary and so Killie were in the clear.

    This season will be next to impossible to complete should everything run smoothly but we now have games to reschedule after only two weeks of the season starting. And these are the best climatic conditions to tackle COVID.

    Instead of hammering your keyboards with complaints about how your team is being victimised why not reading up on track and trace, the after effects of COVID or, to give some insight into what could happen to football in mid winter, check out what is happening in the southern hemisphere where it is winter now. Whole States in Australia being blocked off or New Zealand who are now seeing a return of COVID after having succeeding in making their country COVID free.

    If you want to complain about anything in football then complain that no action was taken against The Rangers when they put Dundee United players at risk. The other two games that people seem to be so exercised over were actually handled correctly. Rangers-Motherwell didn't start until the results came through and the Hibs game was cancelled because the lab didn't supply the results in time.

    COVID is part of our lives now and actions will always appear unfair to people but perhaps it is time to accept it and be more selective in what we see as an injustice.

  387. Mickey Edwards 18th August 2020 at 10:03

    As to "Whit aboot Killie", there seems to be a total lack of understanding of track and trace procedures here. Aberdeen players tested positive and therefore all the people that they came in contact with would have to isolate for 14 days hence no football. To my mind there should be no football for them even if they tested negative – as a punishment with a 0 – 3 loss for that game. The same for Celtic because of Bolingoli but there is a difference on this occasion. Bolingoli tested negative and so track and trace was unnecessary and so Killie were in the clear.

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

    It's not a "lack of understanding" it's exactly the point. If there was no reason to postpone the Kilmarnock game based on containing the virus what was the reason for postponing the Celtic game.

    If it was a punishment it punished St Mirren every bit as much and they had done nothing wrong.

    It just doesn't make any sense that I can see, I am happy to be educated though.

  388. Mickey Edwards 18th August 2020 at 10:03

    To talk of fairness in the punishment of clubs for the actions of players is neither here nor there…

    ‘=======’

    Absolutely!

    Scottish football agreed a deal / special dispensation with the SG.

    Scottish football failed to honour the agreement.

    And, like a broken record…

    this sits at the door of Hampden, and is just further proof that Scottish football has woefully incompetent and inept leadership.

    “Misunderstanding protocols” my @rse.

    Mistakes made and nothing learned, as per.

  389. Homunculus@11:12

    You are right that there is no sense but should we be expecting sense?

    Still too little is known about COVID and that is one side of it but more importantly is the accuracy of the testing, in particular the ones with speedy results. St Mirren employees tested positive on the "quick" test but the majority of those were reversed on the more thorough tests.

    In my own family my grandson and the rest of his platoon in the US were tested after one member showed symptoms, found negative and returned to duties. 3-4 days later my grandson started showing symptoms, was retested and proved positive as did others. Fortunately he appears to have none of the long term after effects and is recovering well.

    The government, in particular Westminster, are spouting forth about the benefits of testing and tracing neither of which are performing to an effective level. Politicians will always tell you how well they are performing and underplay the problems. Little by little the full effects of COVID are coming out but never through the briefings or press reports.

    Those are the conditions under which football are guaranteeing a return is safe. To me this is an impossible guarantee to fulfill.

    The Killie game against Celtic was not postponed because Bolingoli's trip was still not known about and his testing happened after the game was played. It proved negative and so no track and trace was necessary leaving them to play their next game.

    As far as I'm concerned Celtic's game was rightly stopped but for the reason that every team must find a way to be able to stick to what they guaranteed so basically it was a punishment.

    If football is to be completed this season then I do not believe postponements under these circumstances are the way forward. There will be many as we go into the winter season and that's not counting weather postponements. The only way to give any chance of completion is to award the points to the non-"offending" team or no points if both have been responsible.

    Screams of "that's no fair" will no doubt follow but as we saw last season an unfinished season isn't fair either.

    What we need to concern ourselves with is tackling where the authorities do not treat every offending team the same.

  390. Mickey Edwards 18th August 2020 at 12:17
    What we need to concern ourselves with is tackling where the authorities do not treat every offending team the same.
    ……………….
    That is all anyone is asking. They are also asking and wondering why every offending team is not being treated the same.Something that the SMSM should be at the forefront of, but you will wait a life time for that.

  391. Mickey Edwards 18th August 2020 at 12:17

    As far as I'm concerned Celtic's game was rightly stopped but for the reason that every team must find a way to be able to stick to what they guaranteed so basically it was a punishment.

    ———————————————-

    Equally St Mirren's game was stopped.

    Which goes right back to the point, why are St Mirren being punished.

    The system makes no sense. 

    With regards "Screams of "that's no fair" …" is there a facility within the system to award the points in the way you suggest. Clearly points can be removed, for example in an insolvency event. However is there any facility within the system for St Mirren being awarded the points in that game. 

    We talk about the authorities "making up the rules as they go along", would this just be another example of them doing that. 

  392. Homunculus 18th August 2020 at 20:11

    ‘..We talk about the authorities “making up the rules as they go along”, would this just be another example of them doing that. ‘

    “””””””””””””””””””””””””

    I am coming late to proceedings tonight.

    I am so computer/tech illiterate that when I forgot my SFM password, and hunted for it in bits of paper here and there, and then did the ‘forget password’ carry on, it took me on a feckin journey that lasted more than an hour.

    Word Press emails to my John Clark(e) address, text messages with code numbers or last two numbers of my mobile.

    And I always got it feckin wrong. A message comes up: enter password below. 

    So I enter what I decide will be my new password, on the basis that what’s already in the box is an example!

    FFS! It’s not an ‘example’: it’s what they are asking I should enter!broken heart

    I finally twigged that.  

    And I am so enraged at the guys in computer world who haven’t the feckin language communications skills to realise that there are at least two generations who speak a different language. 

    But that’s just me, maybe: In the words of T S Eliot ” I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear my trousers rolled”

    But to the point. 

    Was there ever a more astonishing decision made by the members an association of business enterprises, at a time of huge crisis, that they should not authorise some executive authority of their choice to consider the dire consequences of a pandemic and come up with some agreed plans as to how any of all the possible effects should be dealt with? All the ‘what if ‘ scenarios?

    There should not be any kind of ‘making rules up as they go along’.
    Every single possibility should have been considered, ranging from complete abandonment of the season all the way down to determining how games that were affected by covid , or by the wilful actions of individuals , were to be assessed  and so on.

    Scottish Football made a pig’s ear of itself in its failure to deal with the cheating and the effects of that cheating by RFC of 1872.

    It has made a bigger ars. of things by its inadequacies in squaring up to the virus and its ramifications.

    Feckin eejits, them in  ‘governance’, as well as being ,essentially, liars ‘governing’ an already corrupted sport.

    And, really, who could be arsed with any of them?

     

     

     

     

    • John Clark
      In the case of the folk who run out clubs, the difference between 2012 and now is that in 2012 they had the authority and expertise to deal with the systemic cheating by Rangers-of-old but choose not to. In the current situation they simply have no skills at all to respond.
      Of course one could argue that they lack the skills to manage a sport in either case.
      In the case of the MSM, they are no more qualified than you or I to proselytise on either situation, and in most cases no more qualified than you or I to talk about even about the game on the field – a qualification that one assumes should be a prerequisite for employment in that area of endeavour.

  393. Compounding the Covid19/Scottish football conundrums, it appears Craig Napier, who made his Premiership debut at Dingwall last Saturday, was also the lead official at Murray Park when a "Rangers XI” took on Dundee United in a pre-season match in late July.

     

    It’s now common knowledge that at least 9 Ibrox players hadn’t received Covid clearance, but also unusual in that match’s circumstances was Napier officiated without assistants, as they were refused entry to Murray Park, having been tested at Motherwell’s Fir Park earlier in the week. The results weren’t back from the laboratory.

     

    The failure of TRFC to follow procedures was put down to a ‘misunderstanding’ in the media, but that excuse appears hollow given the conditions which prevented the assistant referees participating. Did the SFA release an official statement absolving the club of blame, as I can’t appear to locate one?

  394. borussiabeefburg 19th August 2020 at 09:23

    It indeed seems to be a mystery. However T’Rangers may not be the only guilty party. If T’Rangers were unable to prove their players were Covid free then are Dundee Utd not just as guilty for going ahead and playing the friendly game?

    Either Dundee Utd were lied to that everything was A-OK or the visiting club went ahead and played, fully in the knowledge that no testing results were being produced by the home side.

    For what its worth,  the way I see it was the friendlies were a bedding in system. In football terms, like the first 5-10 minutes the game has been allowed to flow and the officials have not been too heavy handed. The cancelling of the Aberdeen and Celtic games was ‘political’ but was indeed a yellow card from the officials as it was feared things were quickly getting out of hand. The next infraction will be a straight red.

    Within the rules the SPFL board have it within their powers to cancel and reschedule games as they see fit. I have no doubt political pressure was put on them to postpone matches.

    The issue is that, apart from postponement,  they have no other agreed rules and associated ‘punishments’ on how to deal with infractions of the Covid Guidance and the agreed protocols.

    Personally I think punishing players and clubs for someone testing positive is harsh being the virus could be caught through potentially irresponsible behaviour (such as going out on the town in large groups) or simply by a unsuspecting family member bringing the virus into a player’s home.

    To me the best parallel is the current rules on gambling. Society can gamble but football officials, coaches and players can’t as it potentially brings the game into disrepute. Essentially they are expected to be held to a higher standard than the rest of society.

    Failure to confirm to the general Covid guidelines and the football protocols should be seen in a similar fashion. 

    If a person or persons involved in professional football is alleged to have breached the guidelines/protocol then (as long as they are Covid free) they play on until such time they are brought before the beak, the case is heard and, if found guilty,  punishment handed out if necessary. This would normally be a ban for ‘x’ number of games.

    If the club then also wishes to fine/discipline/re-educate a person internally then that is up to them.

    All that being said I can see why the Scot Gov may have wanted to place down an early marker to put across a serious public health message. 

    I am sure as this ‘new normal’ continues then other major events in the public eye, such as concerts and the like,  will receive similar treatment as this issue goes well beyond football.

    While it would be good to have answers to everything, people and organisations are still finding their feet as this pandemic progresses. Therefore,  more of a cock-up and/or lack of knowledge and planning as opposed to conspiracy.

    However, the problem with the football authorities, once again, is a lack of openness and transparency as to how they are dealing with matters that are clearly within the public domain.

     

     

  395. borussiabeefburg

    Good points, but there really is no mystery – Sevco and Sevconians require no absolution from their ‘sins’.

    It is generally acknowledged on this site that both incarnations of the outfit fae Govan were/are treated differently (i.e more favourably) from others (Divine Right of WATP?) – to put it mildly, but I would dearly love SPFL/SFA to ‘try it on’ with points deductions (oh – unless it included SEVCO for their flaunting of the rules!). ‘Fairs fair’ after all – isn’t it!?

    We would then, I believe, see a backlash from RC’s  pal Peter. Injustice, inconsistency preferential treatment are screaming at us, and it wouldn’t take a Philadelphia Lawyer to ‘sort them out’.

    Doncaster et al know this, and I believe the football authorities are trying (in vain) to show how tough they can be, in a futile attempts to impress wee Nicola and/or save face regarding their shambolic handling of the whole ‘breaking the rules’ Covid scenario.

    Just a final question for/dig at Sevco 34 game legend ‘what’s the score’ Alex Rae …

    When was the last time Celtic scored at Rugby Park? and Who do you think might have scored it?

  396. Mickey Edwards 18th August 2020 at 10:03

    wottpi 19th August 2020 at 11:03

    ————-

    The agreement with the SG that football could only resume under conditions of special dispensation was a hostage to fortune from the off. I trust the suggestion that NS could or would cancel the season or otherwise stop matches being played until further notice is wide of the mark, although I have my doubts.

    The SPFL need to have clear, agreed rules, and pronto.

    I initially thought that postponing the Aberdeen games against St. J. and Hamilton was unfair, because the other teams were being disadvantaged, but I have now changed my view. As wottpi points out above, testing positive is in itself not an offence. As Mickey Edwards says, the Aberdeen players had to self isolate because they had been in contact with a positive person. That is not the fault of the club or the players, no offence has been committed. Postponing the games was correct I think.

    The Aberdeen 8 themselves however breached COVID regulations with their night out. I again agree with wottpi above that he punishment for this should be an x game suspension.  I would also expect them to be fined by the club for breaching the special dispensation, however flawed that may be, as it shows the club accepting a share of the responsibility, and I suspect the players themselves could be found to be in breach of contract by effectively breaking conditions of employment.

    More serious I think are the cases of the TRFC 9 and Bolingoli. In both instances players took the field when it was not known if they were positive. They risked the health of everyone associated with the match.  They were ineligible to play. TRFC should not have let them play, they knew the results had not been confirmed. CFC should have known about Bolingoli; they have a duty to ensure that no-one takes the field who has not tested negative. If he concealed his trip, then the club have to accept responsibility nonetheless, and he is out the door. All the players should face suspensions and fines.CFC should have had 0 points for the match, and 3 deducted, and TRFC should have started the season on -3 points, in both cases for fielding ineligible players. I think it would be harsh, albeit amusing, to deduct 27 points from TRFC.

    Hopefully no player will take the field and subsequently be found to be positive. There needs to be a rule for it though.

  397. John Clark 18th August 2020 at 23:49 

    But that’s just me, maybe: In the words of T S Eliot ” I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear my trousers rolled”

    Feckin eejits, them in  ‘governance’, as well as being ,essentially, liars ‘governing’ an already corrupted sport.

    And, really, who could be arsed with any of them?

    ———-

    The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot

    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when 
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    or rats' feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar

    Shape without form, shade without colour, 
    Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

  398. Macfurgly

    It's my understanding that Boli Bolingoli, along with all the other Celtic players, had been tested twice prior to the Killie game and all tests were negative. If so why should Celtic and St. Mirren be punished with a match postponement?

    Could it be that one positive test by a St. Mirren player was the reason that this match was postponed? 

  399. weejoe 20th August 2020 at 15:07

    ————-

    If Bolingoli was known to be negative then no points deduction but a suspension for him for his trip to Spain.

    Re the St, Mirren player, they would then be in the position Aberdeen were in, isolate for 2 weeks and matches are postponed for that time.

  400. Just about everybody has a just point in their arguments to whether a club and/or players should / should not recieve a certain punishment. For me it always comes back to the fact  once again that the SFA are not  fit for purpose . How many more chances are these bufoons gonna get until clubs take action and give them a vote of no confidence and chase them out our game forever . They are  a cancer in our game . Until we stop paying thier huge salaries for being brilliant at imcompitence  our game will never move forward . SURELY the owners/ chairmen of all clubs must recognise this . Or do they think eventually they might get things right in the end , if so they will have a loooooooooooooong wait. They need chased ASAP

  401. “Could it be that one positive test by a St. Mirren player was the reason that this match was postponed? “
     

    it was one of Saints’ coaching staff. Not a player.

  402. roddybhoy 20th August 2020 at 17:01

    Just about everybody has a just point in their arguments to whether a club and/or players should / should not recieve a certain punishment. For me it always comes back to the fact once again that the SFA are not fit for purpose . How many more chances are these bufoons gonna get until clubs take action and give them a vote of no confidence and chase them out our game forever. 

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

       I couldn't agree more with you roddybhoy regarding the incompetence of the SFA, but how can the clubs chase them, when it is the clubs players that are breaking the covid restrictions. ……That will be some argument ! 

        "Yooz broke the covid rules and are getting punished !"

        "Whit rules?!… yooz dinnae huv any rules"

        "We didnae think we'd need thum"……"Anyway, the league tried tae get rules and yooz widnae let them"

        "Aye, but wur no talkin' tae them because o' the stramash ower the league calling. We dinnae like it when they applied the rules, an' some o' us telt thum !" 

        So yir beef wi us is that we don't huv any rules fur ye no tae like. 

        "Correct-e-mundo !

         "So yeez waant us tae huv rules and apply thum?" 

         "No chance !……. Ye mental?!

    ——————————– 

        Our game is stark raving bonkers roddy. From my Celtic point of view, it's time we baled. Any clubs (well, almost any) who feel they have the professionalism and capabilities to fit in somewhere else,  are more than welcome to try with us, for there is no fixing the mess that it has become in Scotland.     Every man for himself has become the prevalent murmurings. The wummin and children are fecked.

        I doubt this season will be completed, and next season will see the survivors in other countries hastily attempt to cobble something cross-border together….I'd rather the SFA are nowhere near it.         

          

  403. macfurgly 20th August 2020 at 14:34

    '.The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot'

    """""""""""""

    Took the words right out of my mouth, macfurgly!laugh

     

  404. The super duper castore replica kits are not all the hype they were made up to be, and a bit of a backlash from the ibrox fan base won't do the castore brand much good in branching out into the football world. And yet not one complaint from any bought from a sports direct store. Either no fan of ibrox has bought a replica kit from sports direct, or they have and have found nothing wrong. Or sports direct are selling a better quality of replica kit or they have a better quality control. No doubt the ibrox club will issue a statement on Friday and clear everything up for the not very happy ibrox fan base.

  405. John Clark 20th August 2020 at 20:46
    …………..
    I always think of this when i see the Hollow man mentioned.
    https://uk.video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=yset_ff_hp_cnewtab&p=youtube+Marillion+Hollow+man#id=11&vid=4a8afc5caf1b17570192039e38a7bcff&action=view
    …………
    I think i have become one of the hollow men as i shine on the outside more these days. I can feel the outside feeding on my inside leaves a growing darkness in it’s place.
    …..
    Bit OT but it’s quite.

  406. Cluster One 20th August 2020 at 21:25

    I think i have become one of the hollow men as i shine on the outside more these days. I can feel the outside feeding on my inside leaves a growing darkness in it’s place.

    ————–

    While one would like to think that Doncaster et al may develop such a sense of self awareness, don't hold your breath.

    Cue Stevie BC.

  407. I’m no stranger to Phil. Nor am I a stranger to the occasional regrettable post. But I find it interesting that the comments on Phil’s blog are mostly restricted to trumpet blowing. So I posted this; albeit the censorship on his blog prevails:

    Phil, you advocate fair and balanced journalism, yet you continue to blow the same whistle. Is it not beyond time that you stopped K’ing ‘clan base’ and turned your focus on something other than T’rangers? Your Klan references are offensive to every decent minded person, not least to those supporters of T’rangers that support their club and remain opposed to the quasi-religious beliefs of the beleaguered. You’ve exhausted your one trick pony status. I can’t help but picture some geezer in a pub slabbering about how he ‘once jigsawed a book together’ and then sought out a similar, single minded ‘stenographer’ to edit it. It’s time you moved on, at least until your rugger chap transcends the agility and improvisation of a Gareth Edwards try.

    ‘He who establishes his argument by noise and command, shows that his reason is weak’.

    TSFM never loses sight of the bluff. I can’t help thinking that Phil should trade in his ‘circus mirror’ and take a long hard look at his tired reflection. Scottish Football has more ‘trying’ times ahead than a debate over a club that means more to him than it does to the true proletariat of the game. They died. Get over it Philip.