Football is indeed a funny old game.
In a year of pandemic misery our national sport has lifted the spirits of a tired and cynical nation.
Dominic Cummings is leaving number 10, the Brexit deal hasn’t been done, lockdown is on the horizon in the West of Scotland, etc. BUT all we want to do is talk about and relive our team finally doing the business.
For once lady luck came down on our side.
If we been the team to miss our last penalty and had the Serbians scored then Serbian Football would be £10million plus better off and it would be their team heading for Hampden and Wembley.
We’d still be in the doldrums and a Pandemic-accelerated financial basket case.
Scotland is now in their first finals since France 1998 and the nation is smiling and talking positively.
There is no doubt that Steve Clarke’s influence has been huge and we all owe him a real debt especially the bean counters at Hampden who must have been hiding behind their settees hiding their eyes through extra time and into the shoot-out.
Scotland is playing more like a club team with a binding spirit rather than a group of individuals who have just met, are there for the match fee and want to stay in their previous cliques.
The dark side is never far away though.
Overconfidence is always an issue when Scotland wins a few games.
Journalists are now filling pages talking about our 9 game unbeaten run and digging up statistics from the past about what 10 in a row would mean.
The fact that since we got humped 4-0 by Russia we’ve been playing second and third level teams rather than the big boys is somehow never mentioned as a counterbalance.
That we have qualified after 2 penalty shoot outs with a statistically unlikely 10 out of 10 consecutive strikes is put down to practicing penalty taking better than Israel and Serbia.
The two games in the next 4 days might extend our run or not – it doesn’t really matter.
We have the big prize for now and qualified against the odds.
Records will show the much higher ranked Norway and Serbia teams will be at home.
Ok we’ll be at home too but playing at Hampden and Wembalee.
Scottish Football on the park has rediscovered and is redefining teamwork.
Nothing else in our game or set up has changed
(That is a discussion for many another day though).
The success of our team is to a great extent serendipitous.
It’s not something anyone in a suit at Hampden has facilitated or can take credit for outside of hiring Mr Clarke who as Chic was telling us yesterday was the obvious candidate.
The right manager, Steve has gathered a promising group of players and with them negotiated a series of testing challenges.
The stark reality is sometimes the recent games have been painful to watch but progress in baby steps has been noticeable and we genuinely played well against the more fancied Serbia.
Teamwork has been our bedrock.
Teamwork that has been missing for a long time in our international set up and I would argue throughout our game behind the scenes.
Yes we lost a silly goal at the death but Serbia is some 15 places above us in the FIFA rankings and on the night we were by far the better side.
The same Serbian team that had just returned from Oslo having taken apart the much-vaunted Norwegian side.
Steve Clarke has been the catalyst that has facilitated the unforeseen move from Scotland being a team of self-interested individuals into one with the team spirit.
Yes Steve We Can Boogie.
The Scottish team has moved on and the future is brighter on the international stage.
I understand too why many previously ardent Scots fans had distanced themselves from the team as a personal protest against The SFA and their actions over the last few years.
I get that.
But listening to Ryan and Andy and Lyndon and Steve was enough to demonstrate that these guys are playing for the country and their folks back home and not the blazers or the system.
I buy into their passion and that alone is enough to bring even the stubbornest fans back aboard.
When Big Pink asked me to write a blog about the future of this site a couple of weeks back I said I would like to lurk for a few weeks and do some digging.
I have lurked and gone even further back too.
Top line is the SFM blog is not what it was but you all know that.
Here is Some Feedback
Bit by bit; imperceptibly over the months and years the site has entrenched into the home of the anger and the facts against what John Clark has come to call “The Big Lie”.
Its about how the authorities dealt with the financial collapse of Rangers and set the scene for a series of mayhemic events since.
It’s a big Scottish football story and a good insight into how the game managed itself
But other things have been happening since and football has broken out.
One of you said just yesterday
“This site has become a single issue site only becoming alive when something IBROX is current”.
That is partially true and is something to address because it diminishes what this site can achieve.
The number of posters has eroded since the RTC days and the number of clubs represented by posters has also diminished. The site was always a little Celtic minded but open and welcoming of all clubs at the same time.
Some of that goodwill leaked away in this summer’s SPFL pantomime season when self-interest and the quest for 10 became a subconscious position for some of your group.
The level of politeness and the moderation on the site has however remained a huge asset and is almost unique.
This openness has led recently to one serial troll reappearing after several previous monikers and he/she/they have been playing games with several well know posters. The resultant “dancing on a head of a pin” conversations are not so much “Monitoring Scottish Football” as “doing people’s heads in” and this episode has not helped.
That being said I wish salmon were as easy to hook as some on here.
I don’t think there are enough Headline Blogs like this one and in the past I’ve been told many new blogs are simply skimmed politely and ignored as the discussion reverts to the ongoing various fall outs of the consequences of the infamous secret 5 way agreement and all that has ensued following that particular monumental administrative cock up.
I well remember too and liked Stunney and his papers every morning and even though most of what is written in the back pages of the red tops is there to fill space it was still fun to read.
At the same time there has been so much going on that would have benefitted from the forensic discussion that SFM posters brought to the party.
The court reporting by John Clark, EasyJambo and others has been quite dogged, incredibly insightful and shown up the media on many an occasion.
As the subjects under discussion on SFM became narrower I think the site stopped attracting new blood and also accelerated the departure of valued posters.
The diminishing site then became easier for serial disrupters to play with and the ever-decreasing circles metaphor has probably become a reality.
Finally, the adverts on the site that appeared, as if by magic, a few years ago do not deliver enough revenue to justify the inconvenience to readers.
I can’t read the site on my phone without clicking into people trying to sell me stuff I have no interest in.
That’s just a summary of my views as someone who values what this site has brought over the years.
Is it Time for a Reboot at SFM?
I’d say yes and here are a few suggestions to get you thinking and to start a discussion ahead of Big P and his monitors taking some decisions.
Scottish Football needs an independent conscience.
Scottish Football will be the stronger for it.
SFM can be a huge part of that.
Not all fans will want to be part of it because many just want to support their teams and that is fair enough but without a fan voice and without real analysis of what is really going on all that will happen is we’ll get more of the same that took us into the football wilderness.
And without the right changes even Steve Clarke will run out of steam one day when the penalty gods favour some other side.
So here are 5 ideas for SFM to consider
1 A Regular Blog
This doesn’t have to be written for us like in the past– it can just be a weekly news pick that we highlight to set a discussion agenda.
2 The Creation of a John Clark Wall where we hold the facts about the run up to and the creation of his “big lie”.
Set it all our logically and leave it alone for a future date.
It won’t go away because the action created issues for everyone involved.
It should be constructed for all fans with no jelly and ice cream flavouring.
This action would makes SFM the experts and place to go to read what really happened, helps get that monkey off everyone’s back and can be revisited every February 14th or when something turns up.
It might throw more light too in why we are rejoicing about Scotland getting a £10M windfall from qualifying while nobody is talking about the £80M court case costs heading our way as a nation.
All out of a secret 5 way construct back in 2012 and good for nobody whoever you support.
In the meantime SFM should broaden the discussion on other areas like the dropping of the pyramid, the secrecy inherent at the SFA, SPFL and their JRG, Strict Liability, etc. etc. etc.
3 The return of likes for posts that are good or if you agree but with a difference.
I occasionally post on another site which is free to read for anyone but if you want to post or like another post you have to be registered and all likes show the name of the person who has posted.
4 A consideration for different threads at the same time.
5 No ads.
Sponsorship is fine and banner ads for sponsors too but no commercial links that wheech you off to pastures unknown.
Evolution rather than Revolution
I look forward to the debate and to working with Big Pink and his team.
As chair of the largest Scottish group of fans the SFSA (If you’re not a member please join) I know that the only certainty is that fans will never agree about everything or sometimes even anything.
The tribal and competitive nature of football sets us against each other and causes divisions and disagreements that can become entrenched.
Some would say that is part of the fun of it all.
That being said we do generally agree and care deeply about the following.
We want vision, leadership and most of all fairness and transparency.
All alien words in our game as is.
OK Scotland has qualified for a major championship but our game is still locked in a self-interest framed self-imposed wrestling hold and the fact is that escape will never happen without change.
SFM and SFSA can both be part of that.
452 thoughts on “Moving On Time?”
In case anyone is having the same problem I was having with the registration form, the last field is "location". I discovered this when I put in some gobbledegook and received an error message telling me to enter a "…valid location."
as far as I can see you are now a member. Did you get things sorted?
I’ve filled in the fields successfully, to the extent that my user-name shows up, but I’m awaiting the should-be instantaneous, automated, confirmation email to activate my account. I’ve submitted a request to have it resent, but I’m still waiting. It’s about an hour now (and no, it’s not in my spam folder)…
Fortunately, Jimmy Cliff’s ‘Sitting In Limbo’ is playing on repeat in my head…
Two mails sent this morning. One at 10:52 and another at 10:54
I’ve manually confirmed you and Shug though, but mails were definitely sent, and no bounce back
Thanks BP: still nothing received though!
You are cleared for posting though
There's nothing like a wee bit of history!
I was fiddling about looking back on the SFM blog, and came across this:
Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 11:39
"It’s started folks….
SANDY JARDINE reckons Rangers are well on their way to being in their best shape for 30 years off the pitch.
On it, he’s convinced Ally McCoist will lead the club back to the top.
But the Ibrox legend won’t forget the turmoil they’ve had to suffer – until shamed ex-owner Craig Whyte is behind bars.
It’s been eight months since Gers were plunged into administration and 18 weeks since the liquidation process was started.
Jardine is just grateful they’re still alive but every time Whyte’s name is mentioned he can’t help but look back in anger.
In an exclusive interview, he told Record Sport: “I now feel even more bitterness towards Whyte than I did at the time. What he did to this club was an absolute disgrace and I still can’t comprehend it.
“It doesn’t surprise me he rarely shows his face in Scotland. He couldn’t try to defend what he did. He decapitated Rangers.
“But I know the police and fraud squad are continuing to look at things and hopefully they will put him in jail.”
Jardine has seen it all at Ibrox during a four-decade association with the club but nothing could have prepared him for the year they’ve just had to endure.
And it pains him trying to explain Rangers’ plight to icons of the past, who will soon be celebrated at ‘Legends Lunches’.
He said: “I’ve been through hard times but there was never a situation when I thought the club could die, and we could have done this year. When I meet the older ex-players, they can’t believe what has happened.
“I met Bobby Brown last week and when he played here, Rangers were known as the biggest club in Britain and one of the biggest in Europe.”
Jardine feels his club have been treated badly by the SFA and SPL, whose indecision left Gers waiting to find out which league they’d be playing in this season.
They are now plying their trade in our game’s bottom tier but former Scotland full-back Jardine is adamant Rangers’ new chief executive Charles Green is the right man to steer the club back to prosperity.
He said: “We’re now in a far better financial position than we’ve been in a long time. It looks as though the share issue will go really well and if it’s successful, we’ll be in our healthiest position for 30 years.
“It’s still early days but Charles has delivered what he said he would.
“The club has been treated abysmally by the governing bodies. We’ve been let down by them and I include the SFA, SPL and the tax authorities in that.
“We know we deserved punishment and if the SFA and SPL felt we merited punishments, they could have done it within a few weeks.
“But it was left to the last minute, just 24 hours before our first game at Brechin we still didn’t know if we had a licence and that’s disgraceful.”
Jardine is convinced Rangers will return to the top of Scottish football and is adamant boss McCoist is the man to take them there."
I drank in the same pub as Sandy.
I'm glad that he appreciated that the new club did not exist as a recognised professional football club in Scottish Football before the nonsense of 'conditional' membership that allowed 'Club 12' to play Brechin!
Honest to God, what were they all about? pitiful in their frantic efforts to deny the death, a death as absolute as was suffered by the corpses on the cold marble of the the morgue in the vicinity of the Court in which Whyte was tried.
Sandy not the brighest, the SFA should have been jailed
Chapter 2: Licence Applicant and Licence Article 12 – Definition of licence applicant
1A licence applicant may only be a football club, i.e. a legal entity fully responsible for a football team participating in national and international competitions which either:
a) is a registered member of a UEFA member association and/or its affiliated league (hereinafter: registered member); or b) has a contractual relationship with a registered member (hereinafter: football company).
2The membership and the contractual relationship (if any) must have lasted – at the start of the licence season – for at least three consecutive years.
Any alteration to the club’s legal form or company structure (including, for example, changing its headquarters, name or club colours, or transferring stakeholdings between different clubs) during this period in order to facilitate its qualification on sporting merit and/or its receipt of a licence to the detriment of the integrity of a competition is deemed as an interruption of membership or contractual relationship (if any) within the meaning of this provision.
Article 13 – General responsibilities of the licence applicant
1The licence applicant must provide the licensor with:
a) all necessary information and/or relevant documents to fully demonstrate that the licensing obligations are fulfilled; and b) any other document relevant for decision-making by the licensor.
2This includes information on the reporting entity/entities in respect of which sporting, infrastructure, personnel and administrative, legal and financial information is required to be provided.
3 Any event occurring after the submission of the licensing documentation to the licensor representing a significant change to the information previously submitted must be promptly notified to the licensor.
Article 14 – Licence 1Clubs which qualify for the UEFA club competitions on sporting merit or through the UEFA fair play rankings must obtain a licence issued by their licensor according to the national licensing regulations, except where Article 15 applies. 2A licence expires without prior notice at the end of the season for which it was issued.
13 3 A licence cannot be transferred.
4A licence may be withdrawn by the licensor’s decision-making bodies if:
a) for any reason a licensee becomes insolvent and enters liquidation, as determined by the applicable national law (where a licensee becomes insolvent but enters administration during the season, for so long as the purpose of the administration is to rescue the club and its business, the licence should not be withdrawn);
b) any of the conditions for the issuing of a licence are no longer satisfied; or c) the licensee violates any of its obligations under the national club licensing regulations.
5As soon as a licence withdrawal is envisaged, the UEFA member association must inform the UEFA administration accordingly.
The new forum won't allow me to reply to posts. It claims, "Your account is currently awaiting confirmation. Confirmation was sent to …..(my email). I have not received an email or a requested duplicate, please advise.
As an aside I prefer the old format.
There are some domains which appear to be losing our emails. I have enabled your new account on the forum and you are free to post. I will also send you an email to see if you receive it.
Anyone who is having this problem (and I guess there are half a dozen or so), please mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will sort it
I have not registered for the new site, but feel it is cumbersome and unwieldy.
It also looks to me much less straightforward than this – so please consider a return BP.
The new forum is far too busy. Has no appeal to me at all. Hardly any of the heavy hitters have appeared. Easy and Ally Jambo. Homunculus etc. I am swithering about donating anymore. Feel a bit sad but the coronavirus situation is making me feel that way anyway. Good luck for the future