Own Goal Time in Scottish Football?

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In these difficult Covid 19 dominated times with no apparent roadmap for escape we are all on the cusp of financial pressures that will only get worse for our clubs and football communities.
Ahead of writing this I spoke with a couple of club insiders this morning looking for extra insight.

No surprises that both are genuinely disturbed about the current crisis and especially fear the financial implications.

Both commented without much prodding that we have never more needed leadership from the SFA, SPFL, UEFA and also the government.
“Making it up as they go along” and “Playing Peter off against Paul” were interesting quotes on the current plans to bring a partial end to our season.

There was in particular a lack of support for what they have been asked to cast a vote on tomorrow and how it has been packaged.

For those who have been gorging on Netflix here is an extract that summarises the SPFL position and plan.
the SPFL has therefore today circulated a written resolution to its 42 member clubs recommending that SPFL clubs approve:

  • the immediate termination of Season 2019/20 for the Ladbrokes Championship, League 1 and League 2, without the remaining fixtures in the League being played;
  • all play-off competitions being cancelled; and
  • final season placings to be determined by the number of points per game earned by each club in the matches they have played. This would result in the following final divisional tables for Season 2019/20 in the Ladbrokes Championship, League 1 and League 2:

if approved, this would result in the promotion of Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers, and the relegation of Partick Thistle and Stranraer.
if the resolution is approved, the SPFL has also committed to consulting with clubs over the possibility of league restructuring ahead of season 2020/21.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Like This

The Scottish Football Supporters Association Board (all volunteers) is a mix of fans of different clubs, some big and some diddy. No club or club attitude dominates our thinking in any way.
As a group of fans we have been discussing the deepening crisis because the moment lockdown came into place all football fans suddenly became faced with a different world.

  • Not just no football to watch.
  • Maybe clubs disappearing.
  • And a very uncertain future when things start happening again.

None of us know how much things will have changed if, or rather when, new normality returns but it is not difficult to challenge the SPFL proposals in tomorrows vote.

To us as a group they are perhaps well meaning to get closure but deeply misguided and will potentially drown in unintended consequences and hubris.

Our SFSA board member Henry McLeish is probably most proud to be an ex East Fife semi-pro, but also a well respected ex Scottish First Minister and also author of the insightful (but mostly ignored) McLeish Reports outlining where change was most needed.
Henry said that in his view there is no merit in going ahead with Friday’s vote as it currently stands.

His main reasons are it is confrontational between member clubs some with vested- interests. Furthermore it will damage the whole ethos of our burgeoning and vibrant football pyramid.

Maybe worst of all it is ultimately open to on-going expensive and damaging arguments and litigations because of financial claims and counter claims.

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.

How Might an Interim Plan Look for 2020-2021?

Here is a starter for ten that doesn’t change very much from what works today and incorporates the following.

  1. No relegation for season 2019-2020
  2. No need for play-offs.
  3. No Covid-driven negative vote on Friday 10 April

Scottish Premiership 2020-2021
14 Clubs (This year’s 12 plus the top 2 in the Championship)

Scottish Championship 2020-2021
14 Clubs (The 8 remainers from this year’s championship plus the top 6 from the current first division)

Scottish Division 1
16 clubs (4 remainers from current division 1, + all ten clubs from division 2 + the champions from Highland and Lowland Leagues.
Current number of senior clubs 42 Number in interim plan 44

Looking Ahead
League Reconstruction season 2021 onwards in a wide and open process involving the clubs, the Scottish Government and the fans and looking at how to best run professional and semi professional men’s football across Scotland.

In Summary
Times are and will become hard enough
All 42 Clubs and Fans Should Be Working Together

Together We Can Stop the Own Goal Vote

Andrew Smith

112 COMMENTS

  1. easyJambo 9th April 2020 at 15:31 

    Finloch 9th April 2020 at 14:51 3 Whats in these difficult times.

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

           I’d echo those three “whats” With regard to your second “what” and “expensive solutions”: There is something that is fundamentally wrong with the process, when your club can be relegated simply by the votes of competitor clubs, thereby cutting your club’s future revenue from all sources. 

      ————————————————————-

       EJ, is a club in 3rd, but could possibly have gained 2nd, not being disadvantaged?, likewise the club awarded 2nd advantaged, from its potential to drop to 3rd. That goes through the card, 5th to 6th, 6th to 7th etc…Both ways, up and down.

       If Hearts are to be relegated, it represents a drop of only one position from that previously held. The same advantage or disadvantage faced by all 42 clubs. 

        Of course human nature will encourage tactical voting, but only a couple of clubs have any reason to vote tactically for or against Hearts. For the remainder of the 42, whether Hearts are relegated or not has no impact on them. They have their own wee battles.

       Hearts position though does highlight the disparity between the percentages paid through the divisions, but tactically speaking, every club only has the club immediately above and below them as a  concern….. Positions earned on the field of play to date.

     

        

  2. Corrupt official 9th April 2020 at 17:44

    ————————————————

    While I acknowledge the points you have made, I don't think that they answer the point I was making that it is fundamentally unfair for clubs to be able to impose relegation on a competitor.

    You suggest that "tactical voting" may be at play. I would just describe it as "self interest". The alternative is to seek a collective solution that minimises the impact on all clubs.

    That collective responsibility is not apparent, particularly when three of the SPFL Board members  represent Hamilton, Alloa and Brechin, all three being clubs that benefit by securing their league positions, when relegation would remain a possibility if the season had run to a normal conclusion.    

  3. Call me ignorant but someone isn't getting it. Whether it's FIFA, UEFA, SFA OR SPFL, it's only 8 weeks to June the 10th, Europe is not gonna be open for football and Scotland Still got a long way to go. 

     

  4. easyJambo 9th April 2020 at 18:18

          Corrupt official 9th April 2020 at 17:44

    ————————————————

    While I acknowledge the points you have made, I don't think that they answer the point I was making that it is fundamentally unfair for clubs to be able to impose relegation on a competitor.

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

        I'm happy to use "self-interest", to replace "tactical voting", EJ, but it is the same self-interests faced equally, right through the card by every club. As has been pointed out, it is only one league, with divisions. Hearts are technically dropping one place (potentially), being placed in seeding pot 2, for lack of a better way of putting it. It's difficult to argue against it being merited.

        Hamilton, Brechin & Alloa may be represented on the SPFL board, but so are other clubs. No matter who was represented by the board, or "on" the board, a claim of self-interest could be made against any one, (or some) of them, by practically every club in the league jostling for a position.

        Hearts are not unique in that

        However, I agree the conflict of interest potentially exists, but everyone on the board should be wearing their board hat, and not club hat.

       As this decision to be reached impacts every club, the only way around it would be to have a board with members with zero club connections…… That's simply not going to happen. 

        Every club is in the positions held through their own endeavours on the field thus far.

       The SPFL board was in place before Covid 19 was heard of. 

       In fact every club was in the position they put themselves in,,,,, prior to this pandemic

       If you are too far away from a seat when the music stops?. 

       More importantly for me is, "How many seats will be taken away?."

       

         

  5. easyJambo 9th April 2020 at 15:31

    '.There is something that is fundamentally wrong with the process, when your club can be relegated simply by the votes of competitor clubs.'

    $$$$$$$$$$$$

    Yes. I'm struggling to think of any other field of business in which one member of an interdependent but inter-competitive association of businesses can have its fate determined by other members some of which are in very direct competition with it, while others may benefit indirectly.

    It's not like turkeys voting for Christmas, but some turkeys voting some for other turkeys to save themselves!

     

     

  6. Corrupt official 9th April 2020 at 19:24

    As this decision to be reached impacts every club, the only way around it would be to have a board with members with zero club connections…… That’s simply not going to happen. 

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

    You are correct that the decision reached will impact every club. My issue is that the impact of the decision is not distributed equitably.

    We are in uncharted territory and in circumstances that were not envisaged by the SPFL’s rules.

    Hearts is not in a false position on their performances to date, but do they deserve to have their lifeline removed by the stroke of a pen (or the press of a key)?

    The fact that other clubs had the potential to move up or down a place is a much more marginal call than one that sees a club relegated, e.g. £125k between 6th and 7th.

    Edit: if you go back to my posts from a couple of weeks ago, you will see that I said that I thought Hearts deserved to be relegated. I’ve no issue with that. My issue is how the SPFL Board has gone about things, not just relating to the Premiership, by failing to consider all alternatives and putting them to the vote, such as reconstruction. We are led to believe that “reconstruction is difficult”. That is an abdication of responsibility to the wider game.

  7. easyJambo 9th April 2020 at 20:47

        I'm happy to concede the funding difference and highlighted it in the division pay-out disparities. I'm also ok for league reconstruction, but that will take time. Not due to league starting frames.

        If I was on the SFA I would be sending auditors into every Scottish club. Before reconstruction ideas are thrust forward, we need to do a head-count of what will be left to play with when this episode resumes some normality. Was it Rabbie Burns who said, "Ye can only p*ss with the c*ck yir given."?

      There are clubs who have much more to worry about than a relegation….Some might be happy to take it, if downsizing or whatever, eventually saves them long term. 

        Relatively speaking even my club, Celtic, will have to downsize…..As will all others, but thems the breaks.

       For the record I wouldn't even hazard a guess how many clubs we will be left with, or new start-ups, or what, but I'm not optimistic.

        I think even the SPFL board are aware of that. Thats why imo, reconstruction is not on the agenda yet. There are more prescient issues need attending first.

  8. The problem is as EJ says a matter of self interest, but how else are clubs going to vote? Even if an average points allocation to decide placings was followed by a pre season relegation mini tournament for the bottom six how many would sign up to that? 14 team league? too many games or clubs lose twice a season visit from Celtic and TRFC.I suspect Hearts unfortunatley will be the big losers at the end of the day but as I suggested in an earlier post the blow might be softened by financial assistance.One thing I am unclear on. Regarding the votiing,Is it a complete spfl majority for all matters or does the top leagues(s) have a separate conclave in other words does Brechin have a say in what happens to Hearts?

  9. gunnerb 9th April 2020 at 21:18

    The problem is as EJ says a matter of self interest, but how else are clubs going to vote? Even if an average points allocation to decide placings was followed by a pre season relegation mini tournament for the bottom six how many would sign up to that? 14 team league? too many games or clubs lose twice a season visit from Celtic and TRFC.I suspect Hearts unfortunatley will be the big losers at the end of the day but as I suggested in an earlier post the blow might be softened by financial assistance.One thing I am unclear on. Regarding the votiing,Is it a complete spfl majority for all matters or does the top leagues(s) have a separate conclave in other words does Brechin have a say in what happens to Hearts?

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

    The voting requirement for the current proposals is 75%.  In practice it requires all of the following:

    75% of Premiership clubs (9/12)
    75% of Championship clubs (8/10)
    75% of Leagues 1 & 2 (15/20)

    Reconstruction requires three phases
    90% of Premiership clubs (11/12)
    then:
    75% of Premiership & Championship clubs (17/22)
    then:
    75% of Prem, Champ, L1 and L2 clubs (32/42)

     

  10. easyJambo 9th April 2020 at 22:02

    The voting requirement for the current proposals is 75%.  In practice it requires all of the following:

    75% of Premiership clubs (9/12)

    75% of Championship clubs (8/10)

    75% of Leagues 1 & 2 (15/20)

    ———————————————————————————

    So 3 dissenting clubs in the championship OR 6 from lgs 1&2 and the games a bogey? Can't see any way this will pass.I would love to be a fly on the wall at these meetings , what a bunfight!

  11. Looking Ahead.
    Times are and will become hard enough.
    £20 IS PLENTY.
    Clubs will find it hard next season, but so will many many fans. Thousands may be lost to the game because of this situation, Even if a £20 is plenty just for one season, it could keep many fans onside so that clubs and fans can come out this the other side. I know many may say but clubs need as much money as they gan to survive, but many fans through no fault of their own may be just surviving and football will be the last thing on their minds.

  12. Well written and argued blog.

    I wouldn't disagree with any of the suggestions, although there are alternative reconstruction configurations that would work equally well. 

    The primary consideration should be to ensure the continued existence of football clubs at all levels following this crisis, inflicting as little damage as possible on their long term viability..

    The level of self interest displayed by individual clubs to date is alarming. Those in charge of the game need to demonstrate that they are working for all the clubs in their league structure or under their jurisdiction, without casting anyone aside. That includes individual clubs and lower leagues.

    There have been number of positive developments in the pyramid below the SPFL in the last couple of years. Much of that has been achieved through good leadership and governance that allows the clubs to develop their own solutions to issues.  The SPFL should learn from their experience of implementing change, accommodating new entrant clubs, league reconstructions, play-offs, licensing and much more besides. 

  13. The plan as set out by Andrew Smith appears to be a solution that ensures no team can justifiably claim to be victims despite pure sporting integrity having to be set aside.

    Finishing all the outstanding games looks to be an impossibility and in fact no one even knows if next season can start on time! In view of this the season needs to be ended so that funds can be distributed. 

    Jobsworths say rules are rules that have to be followed but in the unprecedented times we find ourselves it is necessary to take unprecedented steps to protect the game we love.

    Lets not have any special bailouts though. Clubs that have tried to buy success really don't deserve to be given special treatment. I expect some thumbs down for this part of my post but surely no club should be gaining benefit on the back of people dying? 

  14. Just to repeat this very import potential loophole that needs to be addressed – which I am sure it will…..

    From the reported Rangers* proposal : “…..member clubs shall be entitled to effect repayment by written confirmation to the League that the loan provided to that member Club may be set against the equivalent amount of the payment to be made to such member club on such determination.”

    Note the use of the word 'entitled'.

    Why would this not be an automatic deduction from the prize money when that is decided?

    What if a club elects not to have their loan set against the prize money? How would the loan then be recovered? Would the club still get their prize money?

    I can see problems ahead if there happened to be a cash-strapped club without access to other lines of credit.

    Scottish Football needs to keep their eye on this ball!

  15. I think the reconstruction proposals in this blog have merit. 

    However, I for one place no special prominence on views by Henry McLeish, another public figure who sat in silence in 2012 as every rule in the book was bent or broken, and some were just made up. Interestingly the 'club' every rule was bent, broken, or made up to suit, are the ones doing most wailing right now, and have the audacity to mention corporate governance in their statement. Interestingly they were the only club with audited accounts (produced well before Covid-19) which stated they needed several million to get to the end of this season. 

    I am a Celtic fan. and Celtic need opponents to play. The other clubs are as dear to the heart of their fans as mine is to me. As fans we are in this together. I hope every club survives this. I also hope when it's over the the authorities implement domestic financial fair play with severe penalties for not adhering to, although I doubt that very much. 

  16. “…How do we involve the Scottish Government and the real stakeholders, the fans?…”

    ========

    Good blog.

    Probably like many, I only became aware of the SFSA a few years ago – when it promoted a widely publicised online poll / survey.

    IIRC there was a significant number of participants, producing fairly clear messages to take to the governing bodies, gov’t., and clubs.

    But, following completion I don’t remember what actually happened with the results, and don’t remember receiving any e.g. auto e-mail updates?

    Unless I just missed it, but what actually happened with the survey results?

  17.     Sevco cannot get  a loan for love nor money via any recognised banking corporation. How ironic the club that seeks to be another club, wants to tap the clubs the other club stole from. ………

       And get this………All they have to put forward by way of  security, should it eventually transpire they received too much, is the promise to pay it back from, errrrrrrr, …..errrrrrrr…..?

         I wonder what my bank manager would say offered those terms and conditions in the current elimate.

         

  18. Latest statement from TRFC
    https://rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/rangers-football-club-members-update/

    RANGERS have received confirmation from the SPFL board, that the SPFL’s legal adviser did not deem our Members Resolution as competent.

    We prepared this update in advance of the scheduled SPFL board meeting this morning, in the full anticipation that the SPFL board would rule our proposed resolution was not competent.

    As a member club, we sought assistance from the SPFL Executive on several occasions yesterday, to ensure our resolution was deemed competent. For the avoidance of doubt, no advice was forthcoming prior to the meeting starting.

    Now that the SPFL have belatedly identified the reason why our members resolution was not competent, we will immediately resubmit our resolution, based upon their advice. If this advice had been forthcoming earlier, we would not have lost valuable time in this process. We are confused as to why attempts have been made to slow the progress of Rangers’ resolution.

    Over the last 36 hours, we have received numerous reports from fellow Scottish clubs relating to attempts to coerce and bully them into voting for the SPFL’s own resolution. We are proud that many fellow clubs will stand strong and not be swayed.

    Our resolution was simply intended to urgently address the financial hardship faced by clubs whilst allowing more time to discuss and evaluate all options for completing this season, in line with UEFA advice. This is in the interest of every football club in Scotland and the wider Scottish game.

    We trust that when we resubmit our resolution, no impediments will be placed in the way of clubs voting on this matter in a swift manner.

  19. 'easyJambo 9th April 2020 at 20:47

    …We are in uncharted territory and in circumstances that were not envisaged by the SPFL’s rules…'

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

    We've had a virtual (extraordinary) general meeting by conference call & the solution offered (average points per game to decide final league placings) for a vote by all member clubs (importantly, not just the board) wasn't an existing option by their own rules, which never,ever envisaged partial abandonment of a season for all clubs.

  20. easyJambo 10th April 2020 at 11:00

    "…we have received numerous reports from fellow scottish clubs relating to attempts to coerce and bully them…"

    =======

    Psychological Projection: TRFC accusing others of bullying tactics!

    And yes of course, when another club is 'bullied' they immediately contact TRFC!

    enlightened

     

    "…spfl’s legal adviser did not deem our members resolution as competent…"

    Nevermind the resolution.

    As a club/company, RIFC/TRFC is incompetent – and insolvent.

    And everybody knows.

    Karma.

    broken heart

  21. Jingso.Jimsie 10th April 2020 at 11:06

    We've had a virtual (extraordinary) general meeting by conference call & the solution offered (average points per game to decide final league placings) for a vote by all member clubs (importantly, not just the board) wasn't an existing option by their own rules, which never,ever envisaged partial abandonment of a season for all clubs.

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

    The problem with the proposals is that no alternatives are offered that might be equally or more appealing to member clubs.

    What is on offer is being driven by the Board and not the clubs.

    They have also put several different elements together as a package to be voted on as an all or nothing option. 

     

  22. “Over the last 36 hours, we have received numerous reports from fellow Scottish clubs relating to attempts to coerce and bully them into voting for the SPFL’s own resolution. We are proud that many fellow clubs will stand strong and not be swayed.”

    (TRFC Statement)

     

    Not sure how to read this.  I hope and trust the ‘fellow Scottish clubs’ are not ‘reporting in’ to the Ibrox club as if to an inspirational leader?   For a brotherly moan or, perish the thought, for guidance!

  23. Whilst we await the outcome of today’s vote, here is my Internet Bampots team to take on the SMSM for the Sporting Integrity Trophy:-

                                                         John Clark

                                Stevie BC           Easy Jambo        Allyjambo          

    Red Lichtie (C)   JingoJimsie   Upthehoops  Corrupt Official     HirsutePursuit

                        Auldheid                Paddy Malarkey

    On the bench; Shug; Bordersperson; Smugas; Macfurgly; Timtim

    Manager ; Big Pink

    Thanks to all (plus others eg NormanbatesmumFC – my favourite blogger name) for what continues to be a fantastic sporting integrity education!

  24. I hope that I am wrong but cannot see the resolution being passed. The self interest of the few is being pursued to the detriment of the many. What one particular team could not do on the playing field they are determined to scupper off it by any means, even to the extent of appearing to offer support to their cousins from the east. The same cousins who equally failed to perform adequately on the field to ensure their survival. A parcel of rogues.

  25. I see Henry McLeish’s name has cropped up on here. While there is much merit in his reports nothing changed.

    I was in the studio audience when Radio5 did a live programme on the Rangers crisis in 2012. The panel consisted of Henry McLeish and Pat Nevin amongst others. Mr Mcleish was given the last word from the panel. He declared, “Rangers will survive, they are too big to fail “

    I wonder if his view had changed since 2012?

  26. There are very few fiercer critics of Rangers* than me, but sometimes our constant clamour to discredit the current club playing out of Ibrox blinds us to the occasional sensible idea coming from Govan.

    The unprecedented coronavirus crisis has created an urgent need for the release of funds, without which some of our clubs could well go out of business. I care not a jot if Stewart Robertson’s plan is simply a poorly-hidden attempt to furnish his own club with desperately needed funds, if the immediate release of those funds saves even one other club.

    Similarly, Celtic FC and its fans rightly claim that their preference would be to see the remaining league fixtures played in their entirety IF POSSIBLE, yet Rangers’* proposal to do just that is shot down in flames at a point in time when it is not yet impossible to play them, even if the passage of time reduces the likelihood.

    A poster above pointed out that unprecedented steps have to be taken to save the game we love and that Jobsworth’s rules should be ignored to facilitate that, yet that is precisely the argument the football authorities used to justify ‘resurrecting’ Rangers* by concocting the five way agreement for TV and other contractual reasons.

    I don’t claim to have the solutions but clubs are currently indulging in self-interest (as a Jambo I hold my hands up to having a vested interest), but the SPFL board will try to bludgeon its way to serving its sole master – money, and will do everything in its power to preserve the new multi-million pound Sky contract. An unblinkered and progressive board led by a progressive leader would consider all the available options, including playing the outstanding games whenever it is possible to do so, if indeed such a time ever arrives, even if doing so affects the start of the new season. God forbid that Doncaster & Co had to earn their salaries and re-negotiate a deal!       

  27. bect67 10th April 2020 at 11:43

    Whilst we await the outcome of today’s vote, here is my Internet Bampots team to take on the SMSM for the Sporting Integrity Trophy…

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

    We'd win 36-0!

    Sccotish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

  28.    Sevco bleating about getting the money, but Celtic not getting the trophy?………As highlighted in their own accounts. Sevco have never been guaranteed to finish the season anyway. Not by a very long chalk.

       How about they produce documentary evidence they could afford to see out the season, inc full payroll, BEFORE they ask for a tap ?

       Just a thought.

  29. Redlichtie,   For the sake of clarity the Bon Accord that Arbroath beat 36-0 was NOT Shotts Bon Accord!

    btw, I still love your smokies. Could have been doing with a pair for Good Friday.

  30. Postpone until mid june final placings and in the time allowed discuss reconstruction.Prize money could be halved this year and released immediately.A contingency fund of £12m established to allow all troubled clubs to apply for zero interest loan to assist during these unusual times. The fund to be administered by independent accountants/trustees and applications to be supported by audited interim/full accounts. In the meantime the clubs would have to cut their cloth accordingly.

  31. The SPFL responds to TRFC in the latest game of statement tennis

    https://spfl.co.uk/news/board-update-on-rangers-resolution

    This isn't going to end well, whatever course is eventually taken. There are clear divisions between member clubs and the SPFL Board which is not good for the future of the game.

    BOARD UPDATE ON RANGERS RESOLUTION

    SPFL STATEMENT

    The SPFL Board received a requisition from Rangers, supported by two other clubs, that the Board must issue a further resolution to members.  This resolution sought to compel the SPFL to lend money to all 42 Clubs.

    The Board took legal advice from a leading QC on the proposed resolution.  By law, the members of a private company can require their Board to circulate a resolution, unless such resolution would be ineffective if passed. 

    The clear and unequivocal legal advice received by the SPFL is that the resolution received from Rangers is ineffective in terms of company law. As a result, the Board determined this morning that it cannot be circulated to members.

    We have seen a statement from Rangers that they “sought comment from the SPFL Executive on several occasions yesterday, to ensure [their] resolution was deemed competent”.  For the avoidance of doubt, only at 10.18pm yesterday did the SPFL’s lawyer receive an email from Rangers seeking advice on the content of their resolution, which was put before the SPFL Board first thing this morning.

    Rangers have expressed a desire to submit a further resolution.  The SPFL’s lawyers will work with Rangers, as they will with any other member club, who wishes to put forward a resolution.  The offer to help clubs with the drafting of their resolutions was made during the divisional conference calls on Wednesday.  Rangers chose to proceed without seeking that help, with the result that their resolution was ineffective.

    A spokesman said: “These are extremely difficult times for the people of Scotland and for every club in the land.

    “The SPFL Board has worked hard to propose a clear way of quickly delivering much-needed fee payments to the 30 clubs in the Ladbrokes Championship, League 1 and League 2. 

    “The alternative is further weeks, and possibly months, of uncertainty and financial hardship for dozens of clubs which are desperately looking for a way to survive.”

  32. Homunculus 10th April 2020 at 14:09

    The SPFL have responded

    https://spfl.co.uk/news/board-update-on-rangers-resolution

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

    Assuming this response is accurate, I think it is fair to assume Rangers are rabble rousing with the tone of their statements. Not like them!

    Also (and this is only my view), it's time they got to the real crux of the matter, and it's not the 'abhorrent' potential relegation of Hearts. In my view they want a solution where the league title is withheld this year, like so many of their fans have been pressing for. However, I think they probably know that won't happen, so with the aid of their many media friends they want to show how anti-Rangers (and ergo pro-Celtic), the SPFL are. It has been a tactic since the days of Charles Green, and it helps keep the season ticket sales up. 

  33. upthehoops 10th April 2020 at 14:18

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

    The difficulty is they can't just finish the season and not declare champions, the one thing follows the other.

    I got this from Scottish Football Monitor a wee while ago.

    ========

    A4
    Season means the period of the year commencing on the date of the first League Match in a Season and ending on the date of the last League Match in the same Season or otherwise as determined by the Board and which excludes the Close Season;

    C38 
    The Club occupying position one in the League at the end of a Season shall be declared the Champion Club of the League and shall hold the "The Scottish Professional Football League Championship Trophy" until the next Season's League Competition is concluded

    ===========

    As soon as they decide the last match has been played then everything else just falls into place. There is no "awarding the title" involved. 

  34. I think that the statements attributed to the SPFL spokesman, demonstrate a similar level of spin as is being attributed to Rangers.

    A spokesman said: “These are extremely difficult times for the people of Scotland and for every club in the land.  Agreed

    “The SPFL Board has worked hard to propose a clear way of quickly delivering much-needed fee payments to the 30 clubs in the Ladbrokes Championship, League 1 and League 2. Agreed

    However, why add the determination of promotion, relegation, cancellation of play-offs, impact on the Pyramid leagues and a woolly commitment to reconstruction, as part of the proposal to deliver payments to clubs?

    “The alternative is further weeks, and possibly months, of uncertainty and financial hardship for dozens of clubs which are desperately looking for a way to survive.”

    There is no reason why a resolution to the other outstanding issues cannot be progressed in quick time with good leadership, communication and a desire to do it. 

  35. You know whenever  I read a Rangers statement or peruse the insane ramblings of their prominent  fans and bloggers a quote of Jimmy Hoffa's comes to mind

     

    "Always  watch what others  accuse you of because quite often  it's  what they most suspect about themselves"

     "tainted  title Declan,pure tainted".

    Use the quote for Sevco and its fans,it also works a treat for President  Trump. 

     

     

  36. paddy malarkey 10th April 2020 at 15:36

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

    I make of it that Rangers have an "unofficial outlet" which allows them to send out messages they don't want directly attributable to the club. 

  37. uth, agreed.

    It looks like TRFC is leveraging the SPFL uncertainty to generate ill feeling – and to enable Ibrox to circle the wagons.

    Get the bears agitated, foaming at the mouth – whilst the Blue Room occupants point outwards at all the "Rangers haters".

    Solidarity and all that: and buy your ST's here!

    We've seen this low brow strategy many times before.

    If it was a movie, it would be;

    "A Nightmare on Edmiston Drive VII" (or IX?  )

  38. paddy malarkey 10th April 2020 at 15:36

    Make of this what you will .

    https://twitter.com/4ladshadadream/status/1248619176047964161

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

    I’ve seen posts from that twitter account previously and generally it does seem to be in the know.

    Let’s assume for a moment that the timeline in the twitter thread is accurate. 

    How does Neil Doncaster explain why the SPFL Board put out a statement that only referenced the email contact with Rod McKenzie and omitted to mention the contact made with himself (the SPFL’s Chief Exec and others in the SPFL management group.

    If the Rangers account of the timeline is correct, then it does demonstrate a level of misinformation and coercion in order to achieve the Board’s aim. 

    As ever when governing bodies attempt a cover up, the consequences of that can be just as serious.    

  39. It’s surprising that TRFC hasn’t summoned its – currently – under utilised legal team(s).

    A wee legal threat towards the SPFL?

    A refusal to vote / to delay the vote until legal arguments have been resolved?

    Another visit to the Court of Session?

    There’ll be quite a few furious headlines for the SMSM to copy/paste tomorrow.

  40. @Kheredine@Kheredine2018
    Statement due out shortly from@spfl
    As I understand it, at least 3 Championship clubs have voted against the SPFL board resolution. That’s enough to defeat it, as 10 from that division needed to be in favour. @BBCSportScot @BBCScotlandNews

    If only the Championship has voted against then I can see some fudge of a settlement for Championship clubs, then a second vote of Championship clubs only on the amendment ……… or am I just being cynical.

  41. https://spfl.co.uk/news/statement-from-the-spfl-board

    As at 5pm, the SPFL had received 39 responses, 85% of which have been in favour, as follows:

    Ladbrokes Premiership (nine supporting votes needed) For 10 Against 1

    Ladbrokes Championship (eight supporting votes needed)    For 7 Against 2

    Ladbrokes League 1 & League 2 (15 supporting votes needed) For 16 Against 3

    With three clubs yet to vote, the SPFL will issue further updates in due course.

    A spokesman said: “It is very important that clubs consider carefully the resolution and we are grateful to those clubs who have voted already.

    “With the Ladbrokes Premiership and Ladbrokes Leagues 1 & 2 divisions each having approved the resolution, we await the voting slip from the one Ladbrokes Championship club that has yet to vote. We will provide an update as soon as we are in a position to do so.”

    THE SPFL IS STILL TRYING TO GERRYMANDER THE RESULT THEY WANT BY EXTENDING THE VOTING DEADLINE

  42. From the Daily Record.

    The SPFL gave clubs two days to respond as an urgent request, but the rules state that they have 28 days to respond to any such request.

    As a result three clubs simply refused to comply with the request, meaning that the proposals could not be passed.

    Doncaster hoisted by his own petard?

  43. You'll never guess where this comes from

    "Why are we not surprised about this.?
    Said all along, if Hearts get their wish not to be relegated, they won’t give two f***s about anything else..
    We’re up against every club in Scotland and both football authorities.

    No paranoia there. not even a wee bit. 

  44. Compromise after vested interests digging in their heels and an announcement soon 

    I think it will end up three leagues of fourteen.

    Not quite what Andrew Smith said in our blog but still a bloody nose 

    What pyramid?

    What leadership?

    What a way to run our leagues!
     

  45. What sort of organisation requests a secret ballot, with votes to be cast by a specific time (which is not in accordance with their own rules), then goes on to publish incomplete results while showing willing to accept votes beyond their self imposed deadline (now back within the rules if they allow 28 days), unless they are seeking to further influence how any late votes are cast?  

    Incompetent and corrupt to the core.

  46. The bottom line is that this has to come to a resolution (pun intended) sooner or later.

    That is now looking to be a couple of months away, at least, if we have to await the remaining games being played. If they are ever played at all.

    I go back to this

    A4
    Season means the period of the year commencing on the date of the first League Match in a Season and ending on the date of the last League Match in the same Season or otherwise as determined by the Board and which excludes the Close Season;

     

    How can the new season start until this one is over. It can't just be left as things are just now. 

     

  47. So, that would be a £388K salary for a CEO who couldn't organise a vote in a voting booth.

    Shambles.

    Did we expect anything different…?  smiley

  48. Homunculus 10th April 2020 at 18:07

    You'll never guess where this comes from

    "Why are we not surprised about this.?
    Said all along, if Hearts get their wish not to be relegated, they won’t give two f***s about anything else..
    We’re up against every club in Scotland and both football authorities.

    No paranoia there. not even a wee bit. 

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

    So what's the 'anything else' but? Finding a way for Celtic not to be Champions by any chance? Celtic want to complete the league, just like they do. 

  49. The SPFL might be underestimating the power of fans in this if they think when the time is rightto play and be it behind closed door games and also that everyone is just going to take out a SKY subscrption to see these remaining fixtures. If they think fans will be happy if it’s a free to view TV when some have taken out season tickets and paid to witness the same games, then clubs will be hit with demands for season ticket money back.

    My take on this is that if they can have players assembled together to play the games in a contact sport involing groups, then obviously all players will have to be free from the virus and this would have to be done through rigorous testing, if this can be done to serve football commercial interests then all companies are going to demand that all of the workforce is to be tested so they can get back to earning also and, back to profits, anyone who thinks football willl be given prefeerence over other businesses is deluding themselves.

    Litiigations for discriminating against businesses will spring up all over the place and the argument will be football is non essential in this time of crisis.

     

     

  50. bigboab1916

    i'm in a workforce just now that has more people than a bottom six spfl game,if it's ok for me it is ok for games to get back on

  51. Would/could a club say that they had been misled by the apparent deadline and would like to rescind that vote and recast it , having used the additional time to properly consider the proposal ? 

  52. Dundee’s statement is at odds with what the SPFL included in their statement supporting their proposals.

    Dundee said:

    The SPFL Board and Executive freely admit that they focused on the sporting merit of the proposal and did not take into consideration any financial fall out to their member clubs.

    The SPFL said:

    Very regrettably, we must face the reality that it’s simply not possible for the remaining Ladbrokes Championship, League 1 and League 2 fixtures to remain postponed without causing significant further financial harm to clubs in those divisions.  Further, many of our clubs are experiencing very challenging organisational and financial circumstances.

    Either Dundee or the SPFL is telling porkies.  

  53. Following the strongly worded, public response from the SPFL to the TRFC resolution – and subsequent whining,

    Shirley, the TRFC MD, Stewart Robertson, now has to resign his position on the SPFL Board?

    To state the bleedin' obvious. indecision

  54. If the votes were meant to be in by 5pm yesterday and some have not cast their vote or abstained then that's their problem they should now be discounted and the 75% should be from the votes that have been cast for or against end of story.

  55. And with regards the timing of the vote. For the result to be useful it has to be:

    1/ within the rules

    2/. Communicated as within the rules, in the safe knowledge that it would be tested as such

    3/. The proposer has to be trusted (oh dear)

    4/. The proposer has to be competent (oh double dear)

  56. *** apologies I deleted my response to EJ in trying to edit.  Reposted here with edit***
     

    eJ @ 22.40
     

    I don’t quite see it that way EJ to be honest.  What both statements say to me is the SPFL are essentially testing the water to see if what they are trying to do (distribute cash on the basis of sporting merit) is possible ie whether their test of sporting merit (points per game to date) has rigour and is supported by member clubs.  I absolutely take your point that said vote is coloured by self interest, and I also agree that Sevco shouldn’t be castigated for trying to achieve the same result by an alternative method to be at least considered.

     

    i think it is safe to say they are finding those waters somewhat choppy!

     

    to me, as I said previously, you cannot treat the award of championships within the same resolution as relegations without a more meaningful concurrent discussion on restructure. Would for instance Utd have been quite so positive had I floated an idea, to be discussed later, that whilst the championship would be awarded, promotion was not guaranteed.  I guess not. I assume you would similarly be less concerned about relegation if you saw it confirmed what the structure next year would be?

  57. As regards reconstruction what about the upcoming sky deal will they be happy paying for a different product to the one they were supposed to have. What happens to the sky deal if it is based on 4 Celtic v sevco games as a minimum per season and sevco die before the season ends will scottish football be left with no tv deal at all. 

  58. StevieBC 10th April 2020 at 22:50

    Shirley, the TRFC MD, Stewart Robertson, now has to resign his position on the SPFL Board?

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

    Why would he resign? They moaned constantly for years via their media pals that they should be on the board, because they 'are the biggest club in  the country by any measure' (their words, and they were in a lower league at the time). So clearly such arrogance will not lead to him resigning. Neither will it stop them using their media pals to give prominence to stories about 'Rangers depth of feeling', 'Rangers are not happy', 'Rangers have offered a solution for everyone'. 

    Here is my view. Rangers want the league to finish, because their support are demanding nothing is conceded to Celtic. Rangers could not care a toss about Hearts potentially being relegated. Rangers are skint, and expect money now even though they don't want the league to finish. Rangers know the media will never question them. Rangers want to have their cake and eat it. 

    Celtic have been pretty much silent other than to say they also would like the league to finish. My view is they are saying little because the less they say, the less they will get the blame for in the media. Yesterday's Daily Record still implicated them in the blame game despite that. It reminds me of a friend who once told me his wife was angry at him. When I asked why he replied 'because I exist'.

    This whole situation of course is about every club, but I wonder which single club is most desperate for money right now? Seems clear to me which one it is. 

  59. shug11th April 2020 at 09:41

     

    No no no.  The starting point in that discussion now is we currently don’t have to offer what you thought you were going to get.

     

    We will endeavour to provide it IF we can and IF and only if we have 42 clubs in agreement.

     

    What you don’t do is promise them their earth and then come back and try to shuffle some deckchairs by fair means or foul, hope nobody notices because you think you know best.

  60. shug 11th April 2020 at 09:41

    ———–

    The Sky deal and Glasgow derbies crossed my mind as well. For example, a restructuring to 14 teams in the Premiership under the current arrangements would be:

    (3 x 13) + (1 x 6) = 45 matches + cup competitions, which is too many matches.

    In the event that the remaining matches for this season were played in the Autumn, (presumably with UEFA having dropped their requirements for leagues to have been completed before they would accept nominations for their competitions), and season 2020-21 beginning in late October say, then there would have to either be:

    (2 x 11) + (1 x 5) = 27 under the present split system or:

    (2 x 13) + (1 x 6) = 32 under a 14 team league with split, or

    3 x 11 =33 or at a stretch,

    3 x 13 = 39

    with cup competitions added in each case, bar the last.

    None of these would provide 4 guaranteed Glasgow derbies.

    I think the only way to get 4 would be to end the current season now, or very soon, and hope that season 2020-21 can begin close to schedule, or close enough to get by with binning cup competitions and the winter break.

    Would anyone know whether or not the Sky deal specifies 4 derbies?

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