Les Says It is Time to Ask The Audience?

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Saying the last couple of weeks has been colourful for Scottish Football would be an understatement.

We are now in a position where we have a Taskforce co-chaired by the heads of two clubs to look at what needs to be done in the Covid 19 landscape right now and into whatever future unfolds.

Representatives of the clubs first convened last Monday and Graham Tatters, Elgin City chairman told BBC Saturday Sportsound that the 2nd division has already agreed unanimously to back 3 leagues of 14 as their preferred option.

On the same show Iain McMenemy, Chairman of Stenhousemuir effectively told us among other things that nothing in Scottish Football is ever easy, and mentioned that he believed the fans should be involved in any process.

Around the same time a very welcome conversation was underway between Les Gray, Taskforce co-chair and Paul Goodwin of the SFSA with Les asking for and welcoming fan input.

Dave Allen Called Our Future Years Ago

His oft quoted “I wouldn’t be starting from here joke” is a remarkable insight into where we find ourselves.
Our game is on the cusp of internecine war following the confusing combination of events we’ve all see playing out.

The hastily convened Taskforce has co-chairs who have also been quoted in the MSM as having different agendas, one for an immediate solution and one for a long-term plan.
Nothing wrong with that, in fact brilliant, we need both because they are interrelated.
Collectively we have to ask not just how do we minimise the economic and social impacts of the pandemic but also how do we start to shape our game for a better future?

Both these needs are right nows and both are the remit of the current Taskforce.

Now is the Time to Circle Our Wagons

This unique, open-ended, revenue-winter hit our clubs unexpectedly and overnight.
It is already brutal and will get worse with no current exit plan and no future certainties.
We know Dave Cormack’s Aberdeen is currently burning £1M per month.
No club has Covid immunity and a world of salary reductions, deferrals furloughed staff, little in the coffers and no exit strategy or road map out is a stark reality.
It’s hard to imagine that footballers have become liabilities rather than assets in a blink of an eye.
But it’s not hard to foresee that the financial stress on our clubs will see casualties.
Never before have we needed inter and intra-club teamwork for the common good.
But not in Scottish Football where an internecine spat is about to flare big time.

Civil War Breaking Out?

The record will show the recent SPFL Good Friday vote got an 80% plus backing vote from the clubs but in reality became a farce as Dundee eventually changed their “casting” vote.
This was paralleled by the “whistleblower” outburst by Rangers interim chairman Douglas Park demanding immediate suspension of Neil Doncaster and Rod McKenzie and an independent inquiry that sort of happened but not to the satisfaction of some.
One week later it rages on in the media with words today like “damning evidence, serious concerns, lack of fair play, coercing and bullying” being the vocabulary fed to the MSM to share with their audiences.

It seems some clubs have become unhappy with how our game is run and want to do something about it, so welcome to our world guys, – us fans have been saying that for a long time.
Our game needs big change but it won’t happen overnight and a pandemic crisis is maybe not the best timing for internecine strife.

Closing Down 2019 – 2020

This season is already ended for all Scottish clubs outside the Premiership.
UEFA didn’t do much to help and could have been more proactive in stopping inter club squabbling but plus ca change.
Most football people I have spoken to (with their self-interest hats off) were not totally happy with the implications of closing the season early and pro rata-ing points to decide champions but pragmatically accept it is the best answer or the least worst solution.
Asked about teams being relegated while having a bona-fide chance of fighting back there is less support and indeed genuine heartfelt pushback.

Some more enlightened leagues like the Lowland League who took the decision to avoid further damage on some of their members at this time through a no relegation policy and a wait and see what’s best are seen as wiser.

What Needs To Be Done Today?

We all know that out of the Budge/Gray Taskforce there will be a few options put on the table.
There is always the status quo of 4 leagues 12, 10, 10, 10.
A 14, 14, 14, setup was discussed and voted on by the current second division clubs last Friday.
Our own similar suggestion published on your SFM was 14, 14 and a bottom league of 16 to keep the integrity of the pyramid.

Two weeks on, a more pragmatic option and one to be considered by all might be to agree no relegation for now and to wait until more is known over the next crucial weeks.
We have time on our hands and no need to rush.
Why not take our lead from the sages at the Lowland League?

As a fan what do you think?

Should we plan for an interim period?
Should it be status quo?
Do we apply parameters (like no relegation) but accept that any other plan has to be kept flexible till more is known and agreed?

Your insights and views are welcome by Ms. Budge, Mr. Gray and their team either on this forum where I’ll read and collate them or if you prefer sent to me at
andrew@scottishfsa.org

What Needs To Be Done for Our Tomorrows?

We live in the real world and that means money is and always will be the prime driver and starting point.
Money is entwined with self-interest, status, power, politics and sometimes greed.

A given is every club will always want more and that is the easiest of several elephants in any room when looking at change to impact positively on the future of our game as a whole.

But maybe, just maybe now is different.
Post Covid many clubs will be on their knees financially and it will be a different world.

Les Gray’s Million Pounds Question For all Fans

No surprise it’s not an easy one
If you were charged with helping to create a sustainable and healthy future for Scottish Football is what would you do?

How would you advise Les, Ann and their Taskforce team about the right moves to make?

Once again insights welcome on SFM or to
andrew@scottishfsa.org

As a starter for 10 some stuff that has come up in previous SFSA fan surveys about our game (in alphabetical order) includes –
Better Communication, Bigger Leagues, Community Involvement, Council Telly live games, Gate Sharing, Grass Roots Investment, Fairness, Family Friendly, Fewer clubs, Integrity, Kids Free, Leadership, Less leagues, No Bigotry, Openness, Outside expertise, Same rules for all, Schools Football, Simplicity, Standing Sections, Summer Football, TV Kick-off times, Regional Lower Leagues, Reserve League, Strict Liability, Transparency, Wholesome Sponsors etc.

The list is not exhaustive. Please feel free to add any others.
Some will be contradictory, some nice to haves but the crucial thing to do is to find the smartest moves and build on them.

We’re responding to Les and Ann in good faith

Never before have we the fans been asked in such an open way.

Collectively we have a short-term end of season issue and a need to set up our game for what comes next which might include an interim period.

The background to any responses you offer is uncertainty exacerbated by growing internecine chaos and increasing vitriol.

I’ll end with some wise and hopeful words by a Taskforce Co- chair

Without openness, transparency and pragmatism we will simply keep making the same mistakes.

Ann Budge

708 COMMENTS


  1. UptheHoops at 19:11

    I understand on Sportsound today it was stated that what is currently happening is ‘far worse’ than anything that happened in 2012.

    They are going to get someones head on a spike with their continued allegations, innuendo and smears. We should expect better from the BBC, but perhaps that ship sailed some time ago. They can’t even say what they actually want out of this.

    I heard that too and shouted at the radio.                                            

    In 2012-13 Doncaster and McKenzie along with Blair, Bryson and Regan were the blue-eyed, brown-brogued boys. Player registration offences for all those seasons and all those games. Cups and league titles. “Guilty. But keep the trophies”. A disgraceful insult to the word ‘sport’.

    And Doncaster, McKenzie and the others made it happen. But I still hope that Auldheid (hero) can help them come to their senses and deliver an appropriate sporting penalty for the already declared guilty verdict. It is too important. And now we’re supposed to believe this kiddie-on spat is worse than LNS. No chance.


  2. adam812 9th May 2020 at 20:28

    What would SFM contributers think if clubs were to asked give a commitment to contribute to a compensation scheme with the expectation that they would contribute on a pro rata basis in line with their league placing next season? Payments would be made when funds were distributed by the SPFL.

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

    Why would any club want to do that when they have voted themselves into the current situation? 

    I would doubt very much if any club has a guilty conscience and wants to make amends for making a wrong decision.

    I would add that it is likely that, notwithstanding the new Sky deal, the SPFL’s end of season income will be down as they will miss out on their cut of the revenue from the play off matches. It is that revenue that is used to pay the parachute payments, so those payments will have to come from the bigger pot next season, which in turn will cut the fee payments to all clubs.


  3. Abbot of Clonmacnois 9th May 2020 at 21:21

    '….And Doncaster, McKenzie and the others made it happen.'

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

    Yes, indeed,AoC.

    The SFA, the SPL, and the SFL were in arms-linked lockstep decisive power mode when it came to creating the grubby, disgusting, Integrity-shafting Big Lie. 

    No difficulty in showing 'leadership' then, to their eternal disgrace, in accommodating a hectoring, bullying upstart of a new club and failing to deal with the monstrous sporting crimes of RFC of 1872.

    There is a lovely irony in the fact that TRFC are giving them cause to rue the day they cobbled up the lie that RFC of 1872 had not died. 

    I have no sympathy either for the Board of the SFA or for the board of the SPFL. 

     


  4. Always thought the idea of parachute payments ridiculous. It seems to reward failure and have the effect of persuading clubs to overreach themselves comforted by the knowledge that should the gamble fail they would stiil have a head start over the competition in the lower league.This is the one season I would find no complaint with such softening of the blow of loss of premiership status.


  5. Good Evening,

    It is many months since I have posted.

    Strange how things never seem to change. In 2012 after Rangers went into liquidation, I together with many on here, stated that if Sevco were allowed to come into the League , they would come back twice as vile bitter and  twisted as before.

    Roll on all these years and the vitriol is ten times more bitter. 

    They have no money and pretend that they want things changed for the good of the game. We all know it is about stopping Celtic becoming Champions.

    I was no fan of Neil Doncaster but he was the very person who stated that there was no mechanism to do what they were trying to do i.e. let Sevco into the League, in other words there were no rules so they made them up and allowed Sevco to come into the League and they have come back to bite their saviour. Don't get mad Neil, get even-sink them.

    The only thing I agree with "The Rangers" formerly known as Sevco Ltd on, is that there should be an inquiry into Scottish Football, provided it encompasses everything that has transpired from 2012, the EBT years before that, the fraudulent awarding of a Champions league spot to Rangers and al the cheating during the SDM years.

    It won't happen.

    At a time when people throughout the world are dying and society as we knew it may not return in the foreseeable future "The Rangers" indulge in self centred self serving rhetoric without substance to deflect from their own failings.

    They wanted a loan and couldn't make the maths stack up.

    Liquidation awaits and if had been any other business in the UK, irrespective of the pandemic, they would have gone down the tubes long ago.

    It is important to stay safe and follow the science. Life is more important than football. 

    Support your club, renew your season ticket if you can, because football will come back and if you help your club , it will be there when we come out of this.

     

     

     

     


  6. Abbot of Clonmacnois9th May 2020 at 18:44

    There were strong hints today on Sportsound that  the 2019-20 premiership will indeed not be re-started. For example, Accies Chairman suggested that they won’t have enough players in June or July to play if they were required to re-start. Are Celtic to be denied a chance to win the title on the park and Hearts to be relegated because some clubs can’t field a team?

    Absolutely fair enough if it is still not safe to play in 6 or 8 weeks time, but surely not because of not having enough players in your squad? That can’t be right for a professional football league.

     

    i genuinely don’t get what people are struggling with here (and I’m not having a go directly at you Abbot).

     

    One of the Lower league Chairmen used Stranraer as an example on or around the 10th APRIL to put the point that we could wish for a conclusion all we liked but if it was after 10th June the player registration thing was going to become an issue.  And nothing that’s happened since, particularly the lack of leadership shown would convince a Chairman to start throwing new contracts around.  Why would you?


  7. adam812 9th May 2020 at 22:20

    '..Bundesliga restart blow after entire Dynamo Dresden team quarantined..'

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

    That is a bit of a bugger! Very disappointing news indeed. 

    I don't particularly want to die, but I was hoping that the Germans' effort would succeed and that other nations could begin to progress in the same way and that some safe way of having football played would be found sooner rather than later.

    Very disappointed, but maybe not surprised. 

    I won't shoot the messenger, adam812-thanks for flagging that up!

     


  8. Donald Park now saying that Rangers will foot the bill for an independent investigation into the SPFL! Lets get them to pay for the 10 year plus investigation! 


  9. Timtim 9th May 2020 at 23:48

    More hot air and double bluffing from Windbag Central.

    ——————

    Maybe, but I'm getting the sense that this is about more than season book sales. They are after the SPFL. What have they been refused?


  10. easyJambo 9th May 2020 at 22:03

    '..I would doubt very much if any club has a guilty conscience and wants to make amends for making a wrong decision.'

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

    Mightn't it be the case, eJ, that the fault lies not so much in the making of a wrong decision as in the failure to acknowledge that some clubs are innocent victims of factors that are not in any way of their creation? 

    It seems to me that Scottish Football should be prepared to pay the financial price of applying the 'rules' in the extraordinary circumstances of covid19. 

    The interdependence of the businesses in the 'football industry' really requires that each individual business in that industry should be prepared to contribute to a fund to assist the clubs that will be relegated because of their present position from which they might very well get out of if the fixture list could be completed in the normal season.

    [In sharp distinction, of course, from assisting any cheating club to survive the consequences of that cheating!]

     


  11. @macfurgly  my guess is they aint getting that euro licence because they are basically trading while insolvent , no euro licence ends any very slim hope of investment and exposure for selling players. Park is watching the millions he has invested turning to dust , King has done a bunk and left him holding a grenade with the pin missing. This is the desperate and irrational behaviour of a man who is watching everything he has worked for disappear. It's all over bar the shouting , as far as I know lawyers don't accept vouchers for the Ibrox megastore as payment for services although they could always ask Donald Findlay. 


  12. Rangers have offered to pay for something that isn’t going to happen.

    One has to admire that level of manipulation. The support would appear to be lapping it up.

    Very well played actually, if shafting your own supporters is the goal you are aiming for.


  13. macfurgly 9th May 2020 at 23:53

    '…I'm getting the sense that this is about more than season book sales. They are after the SPFL. What have they been refused?'

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

    We could have a lot of fun with that, macfurgly!

    Mmmm. Let's see.

    Could they have been told that there is no chance of a TRFC 2 if TRFC 1 crashes and burns?

    That the dirty wee arrangement of the 5-Way agreement will not be repeated? 

    That if they go bust, they go as bust as Gretna, Third Lanark…..?

     

     

     


  14. macfurgly 9th May 2020 at 23:53

     

    Timtim 9th May 2020 at 23:48

    More hot air and double bluffing from Windbag Central.

    ——————

    Maybe, but I’m getting the sense that this is about more than season book sales. They are after the SPFL. What have they been refused?

    Ok I will say it again.

    Money.

    Also no prospect this time of a Sevco2.

    They have backed themselves in to a corner. For a reason.


  15. Timtim 10th May 2020 at 00:08

    John Clark 10th May 2020 at 00:24

    Timtim – possible, likely in my view, but there has to be a plan for the future in there somewhere.

    JC – Indeed we could, but fun though it may be, there is a rationale behind this somewhere.

    Incidentally, your Gombeen Man got it in the neck again today. For a professional journalist (?) there can be few things more humiliating than being “shushed” on national radio because your interventions have become too embarrassing.


  16. Hoopy 7 9th May 2020 at 22:36

    Good Evening,

    It is many months since I have posted.

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

    I’ve not posted for ages (much longer than a few months!) and I was trying to work out something to say to reintroduce myself but your post hit the nail on the head and saved me a lot of typing.

    Thanks for that Hoopy 7.

    Hopefully I’ll be able to join in the as-ever excellent discussions, although I was a bit concerned the other day when an old pain in the proverbial resurfaced and threatened to upset the decorum of the site.
     

    The Cat NR1


  17. Bogs Dollox 10th May 2020 at 00:56

    Ok I will say it again.

    Money.

    Agreed, but which and how?


  18. …. but there must be more than that. The SPFL doesn't have enough money to give them for what they need. They need "regime change" I think.


  19. adam812 9th May 2020 at 23:27

        Pinsent Mason on speed-dial Adam?……What's to investigate. Sevco have uncovered all evidence, engaged a top QC and everything,  then wrapped it up neatly in a 200 page dossier. ….It will be discussed and voted on by the clubs.

        What would happen with a freebie independent investigation?………Errrrrrrrr, It will be discussed and voted on by the clubs.

        Are Sevco saying they have made a right arse of their own dossier?…They had plenty of time, so whose fault is that? 

        I  better phone my daughter….. She has never seen a one-armed man with an itchy arse, hanging on the edge of a cliff before. She'll want to put it on youtube.

     

     


  20. Timtim 10th May 2020 at 00:08

    Incidentally, your Gombeen Man got it in the neck again today. For a professional journalist (?) there can be few things more humiliating than being “shushed” on national radio because your interventions have become too embarrassing.

    Yes, but any long term listeners would surely agree how much more vociferous, numerous and openly stated his interventions are this time around.  Thats not to infer Rangersness, or bias or corruption or whatever.  It is to say that he's spent the last 8 years of the media game missing sitters handed to him on a plate in open goals from 3 yards and is now, in injury time, trying difficult speculative efforts from 35 yards when an easier, and more effective pass is on for him 


  21. It seems Rangers are back down the line of loans to keep operating.

    This answer by the interim chairman is significantly shorter than the rest. 

    https://rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/interim-chairman-douglas-park-qa/

    The fact that the business model in the Scottish game renders the English route of behind-closed-doors games not viable means the club could be without important tranches of income for up to nine months. The last Rangers accounts said an additional £10m would be required to cover the season. How will Rangers meet their financial obligations in this unprecedented situation?

    The funding gap referred to has already been filled by existing investors


  22. Homunculus 10th May 2020 at 09:38

    The funding gap referred to has already been filled by existing investors

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

    That got me thinking why they haven't gone down the route of issuing more shares.

    Does one shareholder not want his holding to be diluted below the 25% blocking stake that he currently holds?


  23. Homunculus 10th May 2020 at 09:38

    It seems Rangers are back down the line of loans to keep operating.

    This answer by the interim chairman is significantly shorter than the rest. 

    https://rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/interim-chairman-douglas-park-qa/

    The fact that the business model in the Scottish game renders the English route of behind-closed-doors games not viable means the club could be without important tranches of income for up to nine months. The last Rangers accounts said an additional £10m would be required to cover the season. How will Rangers meet their financial obligations in this unprecedented situation?

    The funding gap referred to has already been filled by existing investors

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

    Does this provide an answer as to why Rangers* are behaving in this way?

    Black hole ‘investors’ tapped again for huge sums thus increasing their exposure then….

    Euro licence still refused? (Why was this not disclosed?)

    COVID-19 has major negative impact on finances.

    SPFL refuses loan.

    League has to be called before funds released – between the devil and deep blue sea of 9IAR.

    Close Brothers starting to get closer?

    Potential investors “remain fully engaged and we will be in a position to announce something in the next couple of months.” Do they have a couple of months? Will those investors be immune to the financial implications of the pandemic?

    Squeaky bum time as SAF would say?

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

     PS Still nae interims.

     


  24. Smugas 9th May 2020 at 22:38

     

    I genuinely don’t get what people are struggling with here (and I’m not having a go directly at you Abbot).

     

    One of the Lower league Chairmen used Stranraer as an example on or around the 10th APRIL to put the point that we could wish for a conclusion all we liked but if it was after 10th June the player registration thing was going to become an issue.  And nothing that’s happened since, particularly the lack of leadership shown would convince a Chairman to start throwing new contracts around. Why would you?

    ……..

    Smugas, thanks for your reply and I appreciate your point about the cost of new contracts for players who can’t actually play because of the emergency.

    But if football re-starts because the government allows it to, clubs have to play. I don’t agree that releasing players when you still might need them to play at some point is a valid position. Certainly not for me when it comes to the premier league.

    The only valid reason (and it’s a huge one of course) not to re-start is the continued risk to the health and ultimately the lives of participants.

    All the best.


  25. If the funding gap has already been filled by original investors why was it not announced publicly ? Surely if it had been it would have calmed the fans ,investors and creditors . I'm sure some friendly journalist could have got the message out or even their own PR Dept could have included it in one of their many statements. Call me cynical but this one liner of " it's been dealt with" doesn't ring true. The far East investment hasn't gone away either , apparently and no doubt that share issue will be up and running just as soon as the situation normalises. 


  26. The final answer in the Q&A from Park today in the DR;

    “This episode is far from finished. Rangers will never hesitate in shining a light on poor corporate governance. I’d like to think the SPFL might recognise its failings and accept an investigation is necessary. It is not too late for them to do so consensually.”

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

    Would have been interesting if Park – or Bennett yesterday – had been asked about what they thought of the SPL, and Doncaster, performances in 2012…?  indecision

     

    And for Park to drag up again;

    • allegations contained in a satirical magazine 3 years ago
    • from an unnamed source
    • claiming what Chairman McLennan had said about Rangers
    • whilst McLennan was working at the DR, 30 years ago

    is both embarrassing and desperate stuff.

    And for balance:
    the RIFC Chairman should also be enquiring if any other current, SPFL Board members – during the last 30 years – have made any openly negative, (or even positive), comments about any another SPL/SPFL club?

    Mibbees that could be added to the scope of any SPFL investigation…? enlightened

     


  27. "The funding gap referred to has already been filled by existing investors"

    (Douglas Park)

    If that is the case, surely that would be an encouragement to publish the interim accounts?


  28. Stevie BC

    I'm all for an independent investigation – so long as the terms of reference are historical (no chance right?).

    I'm also most cynical about the offer by Desperate Dan to pay for said investigation.

    This idiotic utterance is meaningless, as he knows he won't get one – or, even if he does, SEVCO might not be around to 'pony up'.


  29. Homunculus 10th May 2020 at 09:38

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    Rate This

    It seems Rangers are back down the line of loans to keep operating.

    This answer by the interim chairman is significantly shorter than the rest.

    https://rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/interim-chairman-douglas-park-qa/

    The fact that the business model in the Scottish game renders the English route of behind-closed-doors games not viable means the club could be without important tranches of income for up to nine months. The last Rangers accounts said an additional £10m would be required to cover the season. How will Rangers meet their financial obligations in this unprecedented situation?

    The funding gap referred to has already been filled by existing investors
    …………
    A £10mill gap has been filled by loans(so much for debt free)
    Add to that the defered wages,at some point this all has to get paid back. What do they intend to pay it back with, more loans or £25 vouchers?


  30. adam812 9th May 2020 at 23:27

    Donald Park now saying that Rangers will foot the bill for an independent investigation into the SPFL! Lets get them to pay for the 10 year plus investigation! 

    ———————————————————————————————————

    What is the old saying?

    "Whoever pays the piper calls the tune"

    I'm sure the SPFL will ignore this offer, but if they did agree, it would be a very narrow, low-cost investigation aimed squarely at achieving everything on the 2angers wish list.

     

    I really believe Celtic missed a great opportunity at the start of all this, when 2angers cried their crocodile tears regarding doing what's best for all clubs and Scottish Football in general.

    I would love to have seen Celtic put forward a resolution, with a suggestion that all remaining prize money across all divisions, should be split equally to help support all clubs through this very difficult time. I'm not sure exactly what the split would be as to winners and losers, but would hazzard a guess that maybe below positions 1 to 3 or 4 would benefit, with Celtic as the biggest losers closely followed by the "community-spirited" 2angers.

    Not only would Celtic gain kudos from this magnanimous offer, it would have the board atop the marble staircase beside themselves with rage, but unable to vote against the resolution, without having their "concern for fellow clubs" shown as the bluff it was. As the vast majority of clubs would be better off, the resolution may have been passed. Boy would that have been amusing….


  31. redlichtie 10th May 2020 at 10:14
    Does this provide an answer as to why Rangers* are behaving in this way?

    Black hole ‘investors’ tapped again for huge sums thus increasing their exposure then….

    Euro licence still refused? (Why was this not disclosed?)
    ………………..
    https://twitter.com/ClusterOne2/status/1259427509336248320/photo/1
    ……
    Maybe it has been refused, and the rangers want that desicion put on hold as club licensing provisions have been suspended.
    The ibrox club may be trying to buy time.


  32. Cluster One 10th May 2020 at 11:25

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

    In my view it reads more like the SFA are suspending the need to meet certain requirements before issuing a licence. Not that there is any chance they would ever refuse one to Rangers anyway. 


  33. @EJ 10;14

    Good point , King has worked very hard to get his 25%  holding , I doubt he would relinquish this degree of control easily and without his nod of approval debt for equity swaps won’t happen and neither will share issues .This leaves a buyout of his shares the only way to free them of his influence and his cold shoulder contagion and realistically the only way for King to recoup his investment. Funding the shortfall (or repaying those who have filled in the hole) buying out King ,paying off Close,Hummel,Elite and Memorial Walls , paying the outstanding transfers and sorting out the deferred wages before even thinking about providing Gerrard with a transfer kitty is an eye watering amount of money that even a full ST uptake gets close to addressing . As for issuing a licence , should the sfa do so and should the club* go bust mid season then there really will be an investigation that exposes unprofessional behaviour and heads will roll , I doubt they will take that very real risk.


  34. Very interesting to note when I was searching through Twitter from 2017 that a certain Ewan Murray was dead against an Independent Review of the SFA and how they handled the Rangers EBT situation, despite the highest court in the land ruling Rangers had acted illegally. That is the same Ewan Murray who is demanding an Independent investigation of the SPFL right now. 

    The media's attitude only goes to show how an independent investigation is simply not possible in Scotland. Everything hinges on what club is perceived to be losing out, and what club is perceived to be benefiting. It is certainly not about fairness, and ensuring all clubs are treated the same. 


  35. What a waste of time with the Neil Doncaster interview on Sportsound. Once again Doncaster has insisted on a  1 v 1 wishy-washy interview with a weak minded presenter who has no ability to 1) ask searching questions and 2) fails to follow up on the answers given.


  36. What is the gombeen man like? Why, nothing other than a gombeen man, talking gobshite.


  37. Regards player contracts and clubs being ready to play. Was 'certainty' and being able to plan for next season not one of the main driving forces behind the SPFL resolution.

    Therefore player contracts should not really be an excuse in terms of not being ready to play.

    Players on contracts that go beyond June 2020 are retained.

    Those players whose contract ends in June 2020 can be let go.

    To be ready to play you have to determine what you need for a squad and then decide if you want to resign players you had on your books and/or bring new players in.

    The mechanisms for how you sign and register any new players required is up in the air. However I am sure the SFA and SPFL are planning on how to deal with matters such as registration processes and deadlines.

    Presumably, because we are talking about contracts, then as they are already used in common practice, some form of agreed pre-contract could tie a player to a club but he will only start getting paid (if clubs cannot afford to do so) once football recommences.

    If all teams (who are still solvent) are not ready to play as soon as it becomes possible then, to me, it means one of the major strands of the SPFL resolution was nonsense.


  38. Love him or loath him Neil Doncaster is able to respond effectively to all the questions asked of him on BBC Sportsound today. Of course not good enough for Tom English! He has become Mr Angry. 

    Alan Preston passionate but showing the self interest he is complaining about!

    Questions are answered but not good enough for Tom if he doesn't hear the answers he wants!

    Incredibly Chic Young is the voice of reason. 

     


  39. Don't know why The Rangers is attacking Doncaster.

    He should have his portrait on the marble staircase – as one of the 'gallant saviours' who came to Rangers rescue in 2012 – and who personally supported the Ibrox club with its "Going for 55" propaganda.

    The guy deserves a debenture seat "for life" indecision at Ibrox, with his name on it, for services rendered.

    That Govan mob is very ungrateful.


  40. adam812 10th May 2020 at 12:55

    Love him or loath him Neil Doncaster is able to respond effectively to all the questions asked of him on BBC Sportsound today. Of course not good enough for Tom English! He has become Mr Angry. 

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

    Tom English, when asked to comment on what was said by ND, gave David Currie a list of questions and follow ups that I would have liked to hear ND answer, but the listeners did not get that opportunity because of the way that ND has insisted the interview would be conducted.  He did exactly the same with Richard Gordon a couple of weeks ago.

    Personally I'm progressing from being Mr Frustrated to Mr Angry, so perhaps its time for me to take a chill pill and step away from the debate for a while. 


  41. I stopped following The Telegraph and the Daily Mail on social media during the Brexit debate for the good of my health . I should explain I used The Telegraph to try to ensure that I considered alternative views to my own and the Daily Mail because they had good online competitions but the lies and the bias become too much for me!

    BBC Scotland Sportsound should not be a media outlet that falls into the same area, though I know many consider it has been for some years, but today I came close to switching off!

    I will check my blood pressure later but I suspect the voice of reason, Chic Young (listen to show if you doubt me but be prepared for Tom), has brought it under control! 


  42. JC,  Tom English – The Gombeen Man?   That’s a polite version of what a lot of folk in his native Ireland are calling him!    

    He tries too hard to be seen to be a neutral in the tribal rivalry between the two Glasgow clubs.  The problem for him is that he comes over as silly, trying to defend the indefensible at times.


  43.    Jeezo Lads…….Pop out to the shop, and everything I was going to say has been said in some shape or form. lol.  Perhaps maybe one thing…………Timing. 

       The £10m ?……A pre or post Euro application arrival?……Was it a loan, or an "Advance", against projected gate income…..The not so subtle difference is important to Sevco. The SPFL have insisted monies change hands the legal way, or the Highway. 

         The undated £10m arrival, either in the shape of a loan, share purchases from the club itself,  or a donation, may well be covering the shortfall mentioned in the accounts. But it will be largely tanned on deferred wages which was originally the domain of the now lost home gates.

        The community chest has just dealt them a Go to jail card. Do not collect £200 passing GO. ….. In other words, Back to where they were, but £10m poorer, and collecting zero income from hooses and hotels, missing out on the next three rolls of the dice to boot. 

          It is not the job of the SPFL to dress up monies transferred to clubs, to suit those pesky UEFA FFP requirements…….It is the job of the SPFL to transfer those monies in its legally recognised form. It is not their job to dish out, "Get out of jail free", cards. 

        Is the £10m in Sevco's account, or "Resting" in some other laundrette…errrrr, account, awaiting the arrival of next years accounting period?.   Traditionally they do experience difficulties transferring wedges, and we all know how they like to uphold traditions.

        What boxes on that pesky Euro form have they ticked, that are going to stick out like a sore thumb, come the monitoring period checks?. 

        It reeks !, and merits an independent investigation….. It should be included in the remit terms, seeing as Sevco have kindly offered to pick up the tab. ……There is yir smoking gun right there.    


  44. ICT statement out now really has put the cat among the pigeons!

    All out civil war now

    God knows who's going to win in the end or are there only losers?


  45. A interesting paragraph from the ICT statement (my bold to highlight).

    "We believe that serious questions remain over the actions of the MD of one club during the now infamous vote on April 10th and what happened between the submission of their legally binding ‘No’ vote before the fake 5pm deadline and 5 days later when they became the only club out of 42 to have 'negotiations' with the CEO and Chairman of the SPFL and with 'big hitters' or persons unknown, before being allowed to vote for a second time. This time to carry the SPFL Board’s resolution with a Yes vote. A genuinely independent investigation is the only possible route to try and uncover what happened and it may or may not reveal the reasoning behind their apparently contradictory statements since then."

    I saw there were comments at the time about their CEO/spokesperson being a TRFC fan and perhaps angling for a job there. Is this hint at the famed 'unseen fenian hand' a sign that there may be some truth in that, or am I reading it through the wrong filter?


  46. easyjambo @ 13.16

    I gave you a ‘thumbs down’ only to show that I hope you don’t ‘step away’! However, it’s your call.

    I’m sure the regular and also respected bloggers certainly don’t want you to cease and desist!


  47. nawlite 10th May 2020 at 16:15

    I appreciate there is often a desire form some to make it all about Celtic or T'Rangers but the ICT chairman has been pretty clear (from early on) regards his feelings on the matter and presumably this reflects that of the board he heads.

    https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18377251.baffled-inverness-chairman-claims-dundees-shock-spfl-vote-u-turn-doesnt-smell-well/

    Their CEO (regardless of his persuasion)  is just the monkey to their organ grinder, otherwise he would be getting the sack for misrepresenting his board in public.

    The board are all local Inverness men and long time supporters of the club (and those who came before it). Not one hint of having any sympathies with the Glasgow clubs. However if you want to delve deeper the Secretary Ian McDonald's bio suggests he went to St Joseph’s Primary School.

    https://ictfc.com/the-board

    Hopefully that may be of help to those with certain filters in terms of balancing things out re 'unseen fenian hands'.

    Can we not just accept that some people in the game truly see the whole affair as a shambles and that a good number of teams have been unfairly treated with little or no acknowledgement of the subsequent fallout from those promoting the resolution.

    A competent body would have managed the situation far more pro-actively but as usual the footballing authorities are left firefighting a situation they had a big hand in creating.

     


  48. nawlite

    I had copied the same paragraph intending to make a comment too! You might be right with your comments.

    I wonder too if a boundary might have been crossed in respect of the degree of criticism of a fellow SPFL club and in particular its MD.

    That said I might not be the best judge of the statement as I have to acknowledge a degree of bias when it comes to ICT. My footballing allegiances mean that the only time I want ICT to win is when they are playing Rangers!


  49. easyJambo10th May 2020 at 13:16

    ….

    I agree with your suggestion that Neil Doncaster had the easiest of rides today with Sportsound. The Rangers line of questions was classic sideshow given top billing. David Currie would not do well on BBC Hardtalk. But then again David might reasonably say he’s never pretended he is Zainab Badawi.

    The priority has to be to re-start and finish the season unless the public health emergency makes it impossible. Hearts deserve that and so did Thistle. But so too Dundee Utd and Celtic.

    It’s very disappointing and worrying to me that it feels like they are going to rob Celtic of the chance to create a new historic mountain high achievement of 11 and possibly 12 trophies in a row. Hearts I appreciate have different worries but to me from the exact same apparent lack of effort and desire from the SPFL.

    Did David Currie ask Neil Doncaster if every avenue to play is being explored? Did he ask him about plans and progress on that at all? Did he block.s.


  50. Wottpi, I agree completely and, for clarity let me say again that despite how it has been raised I DO want to see an independent enquiry into the SPFL's incompetence or whatever over the years. FWIW I lived in Inverness at the time ICT came into the leagues and went along for the first season or so – I have until now no axe whatsoever with the club.

    I highlighted that part in bold only because I thought it a very strange thing to say. Other than those at FF etc, I haven't heard anyone even hint out loud that there might be someone above it all pulling the strings. We all know who those nutjobs on FF etc think it is and I just thought it strange that Gardiner put that in his statement. Do you have any thoughts as to what he might have meant, if I've taken it wrong?


  51. Abbot

    To me the question of league games being played seemed, from almost the start of lockdown, to be unlikely and without vast resources of some of the big leagues now seems impossible.

    Even with lots of money there is a risk of clubs having outbreaks when could mess up the made plans.

    In Scotland there's considerable doubt as to when any football will be played. It really is an impossible question to ask for a date

    Any plans being made can only be tentative and giving false hope at this stage would seem to me to be falling unto the trap that some, eager to please, politicians readily seem to do.

    To me the pragmatic suggestion made in an earlier post, which was not universally met with thumbs-up, increasingly looks like the only solution which could actually bring most clubs together is a compensation fund for those relegated. 


  52. Abbot of Clonmacnois 10th May 2020 at 16:56

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    In what respect will Celtic be robbed of “…the chance to create a new historic mountain high achievement of 11 and possibly 12 trophies in a row” if the Premier League is “called” and Celtic are named League Champions.

    Under those circumstances, the record books will attest to the fact that the 2019/20 Scottish Premiership League Championship was Celtic's ninth successive league title and also their ninth consecutive major Scottish trophy.

    If this season's Scottish Cup competition is somehow played to a conclusion, and Celtic win it, that will be their tenth consecutive major Scottish trophy. If it isn't played to a finish then it hasn't been won by any club, so Celtic would have the opportunity to add to their run of consecutive trophy successes when they compete in whichever trophy (2020/21 Premiership or 2020/21 League Cup) is next to be contested.

    Absolutely no need for you to be "very disappointed and worried".

    Phew..


  53. Adam812

    no problem at all with your analysis. A re-start may be impossible and it is right for govt to focus everything on public health. But football-wise, and accepting it is only football, I’m just increasingly irritated with all the talk, time and energy being wasted on handbags in the SPFL boardroom when it should be about planning, organising and everything else needed to try to re-start.

    Best to you.


  54. Another day, another statement but this time from another club. To me, it feels like there is something pretty sinister going on at the current time and it looks like a small cabal of teams have joined together to try and disband the SPFL, although for different reasons. For one particular club, they are not happy about not getting the prize money (without there being any prizes awarded) and then free money in the form of a non-repayable loan, for others they don’t want to be relegated despite being in the relegation place on merit and instead insisting that all the leagues are reconstructed immediately to avoid this from happening. 

    I am going to disagree with some posters regarding the Neil Doncaster interview earlier today and thought that he was treated pretty poorly by David Currie. By all means ask him difficult questions but to ask him, more than once, whether his position is still tenable (clearly implying that it’s not) was pitiful – DC’s line of questioning was based upon the allegations contained within a certain “dossier” being accepted as fact, which we know not to be the case. As an aside, not a fan of ND in the slightest in view of his previous actions but find it galling that the BBC have only just found their voice to ask him questions when they have had years to do so about the events of 2012. No wonder people have serious questions about the impartiality and motives of the BBC.

    We then get the statement of ICT, which was not a coincidence and looks like it was deliberately released following the ND interview. In fact on reading the ICT statement, it felt and read like something that a certain JT would have released in a recently held position (or am I being too cynical here?!). The statement was neither professional, nor helpful and just sounded like a bitter, personal attack. Why not follow the correct protocols and make a formal complaint/report regarding any bullying alleged instead of making reference to it in a public statement – it just doesn’t ring true. 

    The conduct of these few clubs is having a hugely detrimental effect, to the point that some sponsors must be seriously considering whether they want to have any association with our game and objectively, it would be hard to blame them. The teams pursuing these actions seem to be determined to prove the opinion held by many that Scottish football is a laughing stock and our leagues are a joke. 

     

     

     

     


  55. The Rangers nil? Who missed the penalty?

    good namekiss

    what you say is fine, of course it is. But for me it has to be plan B. Much better to win it on the field. There has been a vote, a re-construction task force and now there’s an EGM about nothing, where’s the re-start working group / task force?

    Just on the trophy numbers though, we have 10 already, the next one is 11. Cheers.

     


  56. A quick one to lighten the mood.

    As we all know many fans are a bunch of manks when it comes to hand washing at the half time pee.

    If the new normal means folks will be more inclined to wash thoroughly- how long should half time be once football resumes?


  57. nawlite 10th May 2020 at 16:15
    “We believe that serious questions remain over the actions of the MD of one club during the now infamous vote on April 10th and what happened between the submission of their legally binding ‘No’ vote before the fake 5pm deadline
    ………..
    The Fake 5pm Deadline should be in bold. To highlight it. What Fake 5pm deadline? Did he miss the
    PLEASE RETURN AS SOON AS SIGNED AND, IF POSSIBLE BY 5.00 PM ON FRIDAY,10 APRIL 2020


  58. Cluster One 10th May 2020 at 19:02

    More importantly, what the rules are alleged to have said. 

    https://i.postimg.cc/1zfp93tQ/SPFL-resolution-rules.jpg

    From what I can gather the request to have the vote in by 5 O'Clock on Friday was actually a note on the voting slip.

    All of the people claiming that as a deadline are basically saying, I never read the rules before I voted and just made up a deadline myself. I'm sure their shareholders are thrilled by that level of care and attention. 

     

     

     


  59. wottpi 10th May 2020 at 18:55 

             A quick one to lighten the mood. As we all know many fans are a bunch of manks when it comes to hand washing at the half time pee. If the new normal means folks will be more inclined to wash thoroughly- how long should half time be once football resumes?

    ————————————————

        Dunno about you wottpi, but I'm not in the habit of dipping my dick in virus. 


  60. ElCapitano2013 10th May 2020 at 18:14

    '.. As an aside, not a fan of ND in the slightest in view of his previous actions but find it galling that the BBC have only just found their voice to ask him questions when they have had years to do so about the events of 2012. No wonder people have serious questions about the impartiality and motives of the BBC.'

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

    Spot on, ElCapitano. 

     


  61. Hello Scott , just a quick call to let you know that Stewart Robertson may be stepping down from his role here at the club* and was wondering if you would be interested in applying , we are drawing up a shortlist , some doubt has been voiced over whether you are staunch enough for the position so if you could show you were maybe with a formal statement………. excellent.

    Hello Tom , just a quick call to let you know that our PR guru may be stepping down from his role here at the club* and was wondering if you would be interested in applying , we are drawing up a shortlist , some doubt has been voiced over whether you are staunch enough for the position so if you could show you were maybe with some staunch articles in support of our position…………… excellent.

    Hello TSB ? The bank that likes to say Yes ? This is Douglas Park ………What do you mean No ? 

     


  62. Now that we're all focused on doing what's best for what will remain of Scottish football , might it not be of help to split whatever money we can generate in  more equitably to give more clubs a decent chance of surviving ? Top division gets 50% of the pot , split evenly between the clubs  ; 2nd tier 25% ; 3rd tier 15% ; 4th tier 10% . Doesn't have to be forever , but surely a couple of years until we know where we are isn't too much to ask ? We will all have to make sacrifices .


  63. Homunculus 10th May 2020 at 19:54

     

    Rate This

     

     

    Cluster One 10th May 2020 at 19:02

    More importantly, what the rules are alleged to have said. 

    https://i.postimg.cc/1zfp93tQ/SPFL-resolution-rules.jpg

    From what I can gather the request to have the vote in by 5 O'Clock on Friday was actually a note on the voting slip.

    All of the people claiming that as a deadline are basically saying, I never read the rules before I voted and just made up a deadline myself. I'm sure their shareholders are thrilled by that level of care and attention. 

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

    100% correct as well as the slip we gather from their whatsapp messages that they knew the deadline was 28 days as this is mentioned in the conversations by the ICT guy. I did read a breakdown of these messages online however at this time I am unable to find them again I am sure it was one of the bloggers who was comparing them to specific points in the sevco dossier.

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