SPFL Myopia Flares into Civil War

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The Covid 19 Pandemic is a truly serious game-changing situation for us all.
We are all currently staring into a future with no declared road map exit of
how we might move back to normality and the certainty of disruption now and
long into the future.

Against the background of lockdown to curb the virus spread we have all run smack bang into economic and social chaos.
We have gone from normality into unheard of times virtually overnight and with horrendous economic consequences coming every which way into the future.

Football is not important in the greater scheme of things but still has issues that need attention and urgently because it affects people’s lives.

 This Week’s SPFL Plan to Move On

The SPFL are simply the members association who run our leagues on a “for the members, by the members, for the members” kind of way in theory.

For reasons known to them they collectively took the decision to start to draw an end to season 2019 – 2020 with its Covid 19 uncertainty.
This was probably to allow them and all their members (our clubs) to at least
start to plan for the future when income streams will return.

From speaking to those involved from the club side and reading and hearing more at a truly astonishing pace since Wednesday 8th of April, just 3 day ago, the SPFL decided in their wisdom that the best solution was to conflate two particular issues. 

To back their case quite forcibly they also provided a dossier of over 100 pages of supportive material.  All good bedtime reading for our club’s boards I have been told, but i haven’t seen it.

The issues the SPFL decided to conflate were to ‘pro-rata’ all games played so far this season so they could equalise and close the Championship and Leagues 1 and 2, with the Premiership going the same way if it became clear that fixtures could not be completed.

If and only if the motion was agreed by the members then the end of season prize money would be forthcoming from the SPFL bank almost immediately.

Money desperately needed by some members. A real lifeline in troubled times.

There was also another possible wee carrot dangled.

This might have been of a sort of half-hearted agreement to look at re-organisation of Scottish Football. This because despite the dossier urging clubs to vote yes, the SPFL knew some clubs would not be happy with their proposals and would not agree.

 In the Real World of Challenged and Stressed Football Clubs

 The SPFL conflation of “do this or no money” meant things like.

The title would be handed to Celtic eventually if Premier Clubs then followed suit, despite Rangers having a mathematical, albeit statistically unlikely, chance of catching their rivals.

Hearts would be relegated despite having enough games to catch their nearest rivals and stay safe possibly by a play off (if they hadn’t already been cancelled).

Partick Thistle would be relegated because they failed to play one league game while playing another SPFL competition and also had a bunch of games left to save themselves.

Stranraer would go down despite being proven late season successful relegation fighters.

Brora (declared Highland Champions) and Kelty (current leaders in Lowland League, by a bawhair over Bonnyrigg) would have no play off with a likely game against Brechin or whoever was going to be bottom of the SPFL2 league.

And these are just the tip of what football chiefs I’ve spoken with have termed an ill-considered iceberg of matters arising from a hapless attempt to bring some certainty to the SPFL membership. 

72 Hours of Mayhem as Peter was Played Against Paul

People are interconnected today and from the moment clubs were pushed into a corner they discussed it together and in depth.
They all know who voted how why and when and have WhatsApp records too.

They all feel they could have done it better. I can’t try to sum up the sheer enormity and quantity of what has happened since Wednesday night but after I had penned a piece for SFM on Friday with suggestions that there was a civil war brewing that is just indeed what happened.

Every club effectively had a moral and economic choice and sometimes they were conflicting.

Friday was too close to call

I was in a few communication loops sitting at home on Friday afternoon as the vote unfolded.

I had been warned how close it was going to be and it was fascinating with first Inverness seen as the potentially key vote then an acceptance just before 5 that the whole thing had failed.
Then, 5.30ish, a different and quite hopeful view came out that after the vote had been seen to have failed that a 14, 14, 14, compromised was likely. Sense seemed to be prevailing. Then later and very late in the day a view that 1 vote (Dundee) had still to come and was in effect now the casting vote with all the power that casting votes carry.

Since then we have first seen Dundee castigated in the press and by unthinking media pundits as the villains for holding everything up.

(But that’s now old news).

Today (Sat 11th April), ICT Chief Executive Scott Gardiner was on BBC Sportsound alongside Richard Gordon, Michael Stewart Tom English, Kenny Miller and later on Willie Miller. It wasn’t a normal filler show in a period with no football.

It was truly amazing with some hard facts and honest insights. Uncommonly so. 
I should have been forewarned after one well know football finance insider had tweeted last night (Fri) ahead of the curve that “Dundee will have earned some concession and will now change their vote” or words to that effect.

Wow he was ahead of the tsunami that burst this afternoon. If you haven’t heard BBC Sportsound at 2 pm today then the first hour or so is unmissable.

Since then matters have gone on apace we have now heard that Douglas Park, interim Chairman of Rangers, wants the SPFL CEO Neil Doncaster and legal counsel Rod Mackenzie (Rangers links) to stand down ahead of an independent inquiry.

So less than a day after a yet to be agreed vote outcome and genuine internecine war is brewing and exploding with Mr Parks claiming he has damning information from a whistleblower.

In turn he has been asked by the current SPFL Chairman Murdoch MacLennan to substantiate his “very serious accusations”. .

So Who Scored the Own Goal and What Can We Do About It?

As of now I actually don’t care who did what and when.
Stuff has happened and in the fullness of time we can look at how it happened and what we can do to avoid it into the future.
Today we need to move forward and that needs leadership.

Here is a 5 point roadmap.

Ditch this divisive plan
It doesn’t matter how Dundee vote just consign all this crap to history.
Pay all the monies due
This week no strings and if that needs a vote then vote on that and that alone.
Agree what happens and how to end the season
Scottish Football Supporters Association say this must include no relegation and pyramid winners should be included. Don’t penalise anyone at this time.
And an interim plan would be fine of three leagues like nearly got agreed for 20 minutes on Friday.
Take time
End the season properly and fairly and plan for the future to reinvigorate our game for the greater good. The world has changed but we haven’t.
Involve all stakeholders especially the fans 
This should all be on the record and transparent. 

The Time To Stop The War is Now 

851 COMMENTS

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  1. StevieBC 11th April 2020 at 17:50

    TRFC has demanded the SPFL CEO suspension, plus an investigation.

    Yet, Stewart Robertson is still on the SPFL Board?

    His resignation should have been announced simultaneously.

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

    If I was TRFC I would want SR to remain in situ so that he remains part of any discussions going on in response to Park's complaint. If he is excluded from such discussions, then that decision would in itself lead to further accusations of secrecy or lack of transparency.

  2. Douglas parks claims. if he does not come forward with any evidence, will the ibrox club be fined for bringing the game into disrepute, and any prize money they recieve will be gone to pay a fine?

  3. easyJambo 11th April 2020 at 16:44 

    Big Pink 11th April 2020 at 16:20 EJ, you are correct about the eschewal of tribalism, but the messenger does matter. We should approach everything on a ‘true facts’ basis. Immorality is no stranger in any boardroom in Scottish football, and we can do little about it. Breaking rules however is something else. A wide ranging review of the entire game is more appropriate than the narrower one championed by TRFC. In fact it is entirely arguable that the handling of the 2011 crisis has led directly to the games ability to deal with thus one. I hope we don’t cherrypick our crises. Interesting though to see if the SFA dance to the Rangers fiddle after running a mile from the last request. ==============================

         I don’t think that Douglas Park would make such serious allegations without having some substance to back up his claims. If they were false, then his credibility could be seriously damaged and would potentially have an impact on his business interests outside RIFC.

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

        I'm not so sure EJ. Park D'Bus was quite happy to be part of an illegal concert party, and stood beside every action taken by said party. 

        I recall the days when crooked Minty was lauded as above reproach, courtesy of his position held.

    I can't get the ridiculous situation of the Lying King suing Rangers retail, when he was himself was on the retail board. We have not a dissimilar situation developing here with Robertson.  

       My problem is a question of trust, and Sevco have done hee-haw to have earned it….Quite the opposite.

       I'll be waiting to see what their evidence is. 

  4. Whistleblower or fifth columnist ?  (how would you get your hands on this stuff ?).

    From Follow Follow –

  5. Things appear to be getting quite nasty, as the folk at Ibrox keep pushing to be deemed relevant and important. In their paranoia, they still believe themselves to be so hard done by all those imagined, unsympathetic forces ranged against their sense of entitlement, lashing out at all and sundry, as they throw yet another tantrum when they not are regarded as the most important element in Scottish football.

    A great many clubs voted for this deal, far more than the few who oppose and opposed it. The club at Ibrox has but one vote, so why is it howling at the moon over others daring to oppose. It is time that the other clubs took TRFC to task over its over-inflated ego and remind it how great a favour it was given back in 2012.

    If the present setup is to be re-organised and with many of the FAW now on the margins, maybe the SPFL/SFA should bring TRFC toheel by publishing the FAW for all to read, just to remind everyone how badly RFC were NOT treated back then.

    "Who are these people?" is a weel kent phrase in this ongoing fiasco of  deluded rage. The way the voting numbers appear at the moment, I cannot envisage, in the least, that SR's and Park's protestations have anything other than minimal support.

    TRFC continue to be a permanent embarrassment and a regular disgrace in the way they conduct themselves.

  6. Was the record not claiming this morning something like this.

    Dundee have confirmed that they did not cast a vote on the SPFL resolution,  Record Sport  understands.

    Record Sport can confirm that Dundee did not cast a vote, and have confirmed as much to the SPFL.

    So someone is lying.

  7. eJ, I hear what you’re saying WRT Robertson hanging on at the SPFL, absolutely!

    But, it is such unconventional – dare I say, undignified indecision – behaviour by someone who is allegedly one of the more professional characters at TRFC?

    I’d still bet he’s gone by Sunday night / statement o’clock?

  8. easyJambo 11th April 2020 at 15:51

    In my opinion no-one on that Rangers board has earned enough respect for people to take the stance you say. They have all been in position while some of the most outrageous statements imaginable have emanated from Ibrox over the years, so for me unless they come out with evidence to back up this latest one, I have every right to be suspicious of the real motives behind it. The SPFL are already asking for that evidence I see.

    The statement below is allegedly from a Director of Morton, which was taken from a newspaper comments column. The last three lines are in my view what Rangers problem really is. That and the fact they have a desperate need for cash. 

    I am a director of a championship club and have seen the SPFL circulars to clubs first hand. They appear to have been absolutely open and honest and came to a reasoned recommendation that a vast majority of clubs agree with and voted for. I can understand objections from potentially relegated clubs like Hearts and Thistle but these clubs are bottom of the league after approx three quarters of the season because of their performances on the park. In all the circumstances it is inevitable that there will be winners and losers – it is nobody’s fault and there is no alternative solution that is any fairer! Rangers objection seems to lie mainly in declaring Celtic champions! No fair minded person can grudge Celtic that but when they think of Celtic, can anyone expect Rangers to be fair minded?

  9. Saw this tweet from “Inside The SPFL @AgentScotland

    The complete lack of self awareness & superiority complex is stunning even by Rangers standards, calling for the head of a man who in 2012 did everything to get new Rangers into the SPL then queue-jump the SFL at expense of clubs like Spartans is wild, plenty of tinfoil at Ibrox.”

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

    Should we start a charitable drive to donate supplies of tinfoil to Ibrokes? I’m thinking they must be running out of supplies…..

    WATP – We Are Tinfoil People?

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

  10. Paddy malarkey

    the explanation of the voting slips, for those who didn’t hear Sportsound this afternoon, was essentially that Caley Thistle, Partick Thistle and Dundee agreed to vote no (or at least conferred that they would each be voting no).  Both Thistles did as indicated.  Dundee voted (but the vote was allegedly not received just as, I understand, hearts wasn’t).  However Dundee then followed up with a communication that their vote was rescinded which should have alerted the SPFL to the fact they had voted and secondly that doing so would alter the result since a yes or no from Dundee was then sufficient to see the resolution stand or fall – and they have 28 days to make that decision if they so wish.

     

    Park’s coercion point is widely rumoured to be a certain Mr Doncaster’s role WITHIN that decision to rescind and or to decide the vote in a particular direction.

  11. watcher 11th April 2020 at 12:07

    Macfurlgy. The only deal on the table Proposed is.

    14 teams . Play home and away =26 games. Split.

    play home and away 12 games. 38 games total as now.

    ———–

    Thanks for the reply. I wasn't advocating any of the options, but that one would give 4 derbies, though not if the season is delayed, as would be the case with the present set up. The question was whether or not the Sky deal was dependent on the 4 and whether that was the motive behind current decisions.

  12. to the bits of paper , 11th April 2020 at 19:47

    Cheers !

    I'm thinking that if someone has access to the bits of paper , could they possibly manufacture a situation where one disappears , especially if that benefits your club or helps further it's agenda ?

  13. Paddy Malarkey
     

    Again, for clarity Scott Cameron confirmed each of the three “no” clubs whatsapped their completed slips to each other.  So there’s at least 4 disparate sources for starters.

  14. Smugas 11th April 2020 at 20:16

     

    0

     

    0

     

    Rate This

     

     

    Paddy Malarkey
     

    Again, for clarity Scott Cameron confirmed each of the three “no” clubs whatsapped their completed slips to each other.  So there’s at least 4 disparate sources for starters.

     

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

     

    He means they whatsapped photos of said forms.

    Dundee say they did not send their vote seemingly who to believe.

  15. upthehoops 11th April 2020 at 19:04

    The Morton director’s comments re TRFC are perfectly fair and well founded. However I disagree with his previous sentence.

    In all the circumstances it is inevitable that there will be winners and losers – it is nobody’s fault and there is no alternative solution that is any fairer! 

    I think that misrepresents the actual situation, although that may have been the way it was portrayed. There doesn’t have to be winners and losers (or only in a relatively modest way), but there are certainly alternatives that are fairer.

    I understand that clubs were given papers extending to over 100 pages explaining the proposals 48 hours before the self imposed deadline. That is not sufficient for any club to firstly digest the information, seek further information, evaluate alternatives, disseminate the information to other club execs and come to a reasoned conclusion on how to vote.  

  16. Well, that was some achievement by the SPFL.

    In the middle of an unprecedented crisis, the SPFL has managed to generate even more confusion – and even more uncertainty – for clubs and supporters alike.

    The SPFL is even making the SFA look slightly competent… smiley

  17. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52256506

    According to this, there is some confusion about whether or not Dundee voted. According to Scot Gardiner, Eric Drysdale, the Dundee FC Secretary, believes he voted no. It is not clear from the report who told Gardiner that John Nelms had intervened to tell Drysdale not to resubmit the vote that had apparently, and unknown to Drysdale, not been received.

     

  18. easyJambo 11th April 2020 at 20:30

    I understand that clubs were given papers extending to over 100 pages explaining the proposals 48 hours before the self imposed deadline. That is not sufficient for any club to firstly digest the information, seek further information, evaluate alternatives, disseminate the information to other club execs and come to a reasoned conclusion on how to vote.  

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

    I'm with you EJ. The SPFA manufactured a short 'deadline' in contravention of their own rules. My guess is that was intended as an expedient way to get their other objectives passed without due scrutiny and comment.

    I can understand clubs voting for the 'take it or leave it' proposal but I suspect it was through gritted teeth and thoughts of lots of red ink.

    This kind of behaviour by the executive of a football authority is unacceptable and in any other sector they would be preparing their letters of resignation.

    Scottish Football needs an outbreak of integrity – and some self-awareness from those in glass houses.

  19. Speaking as a Celtic supporter, and making no bones about that. Pure self interest.

    I hope my club just sits back, says little or nothing, and just let's the SPFL and Rangers get on with this shambles.

    For me it is looking pretty much like the perfect storm, leave them to it.

    What's the worst that can happen for us, the season is somehow abandoned. I simply don't see how that is a position which can be taken and as far as I am aware no association or governing body want that to happen. It is more likely that they will either wait until the games can be played or just call the league finished.

    I can wait.

     

  20. Can I also add, on a separate note.

    "… as soon as signed and, if possible by 5pm on Friday 10th of April 2020" is not a deadline by any stretch of the imagination.

    "… if possible" does not a deadline set. It is a request.

    If the rules on these things is 28 days, as people are suggesting, then the deadline is 28 days.

    The SPFL, if the documents are accurate, are asking for earlier submission. Presumably they can act as soon as all of the votes are in. However they are not setting a deadline. 

  21. Thanks for the very sensible blog Andrew – especially Point  5….

    After all:-
    “Football is nothing without fans” (Jock Stein)

  22. Smugas 11th April 2020 at 20:16

    I am not disputing Scott Cameron's statement , other than to say that it looks to me that Dundee's slip had indeed been received , was copied then pasted online (if that image is genuine) along with the two Thistles' .  If it has been received , how can it subsequently be rescinded . ( Unless maybe it was received but not registered so that pressure could be applied to "do the right thing") . It amazes me that , in this day and age , things like this can be ars*d up , even when the Board know the scrutiny they will be under . Three no's in our division suits me , but I worry that temptation could cross Dundee's path and their point of view changes .

  23. Homunculus 11th April 2020 at 22:09

    Speaking as a Celtic supporter, and making no bones about that. Pure self interest.

    I hope my club just sits back, says little or nothing, and just let's the SPFL and Rangers get on with this shambles.

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

    The only way I can see Celtic becoming involved is if Peter Lawwell is implicated as one of the "heavyweights" referred to in the Whatsapp screenshots. There was a suggestion (not proof) in the Whatsapp stuff that he had been in discussions with Neil Doncaster shortly after 5pm on Friday. 

  24. The Time To Stop The War is Now 

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

    One club needs a war to keep their fans onside. 

  25. Homunculus 11th April 2020 at 22:19

    Can I also add, on a separate note.

    “… as soon as signed and, if possible by 5pm on Friday 10th of April 2020” is not a deadline by any stretch of the imagination.

    “… if possible” does not a deadline set. It is a request.

    If the rules on these things is 28 days, as people are suggesting, then the deadline is 28 days.

    The SPFL, if the documents are accurate, are asking for earlier submission. Presumably they can act as soon as all of the votes are in. However they are not setting a deadline. 

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

    You are absolutely correct Homunculus. The thing is that the context given for the request was that of needing an urgent response. The implication that clubs should not be tardy in responding.

    And the evidence is that the message was clearly received by it being acted on in the requested timescale by what appears to have been ALL of the clubs.

    No club will have wanted to be guilty of causing delay in such a serious situation.

    If a manager had tried to pull such a fast one with me or others I know then they would soon learn that was not a sensible move to have made.

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath – and governance.

  26. StevieBC 11th April 2020 at 19:00

    '….I’d still bet he’s gone by Sunday night / statement o’clock?….'

    Smugas 11th April 2020 at 19:47.

    '.Park’s coercion point is widely rumoured to be a certain Mr Doncaster’s role…'

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

    If indeed the allegations are allegations against the uninstructed actions of a paid employee of the SPFL, Robertson would be derelict in his duty as a director if he resigned from the SPFL board.

    His club allegiance would, of course, to protect him, rule him out as having any control over such investigation as may be undertaken by the employee's employers.

    But he ought to be in post to examine whatever evidence is presented to the board after that investigation so that the SPFL membership as a whole could be satisfied that there was no jiggery-pokery, and that TRFC's proper rights had been safeguarded.

    If the allegations are that some elected members of the Board instructed improper actions……. where would that leave us?

    eJ's point @11th April 2020 at 17:55 is very sound.

    If Robertson quits the Board, then 'tainted investigation!' would be the cry, if the allegations are shown to be soundly based.

    If they are found to be false, then he would have to go- and if he as MD had authorised the allegations, he would have to go in even more disgrace than any of the wretched types who have been directors of TRFC.

    The new PR guru has thus far been even more of a disaster than oor JT.

  27. redlichtie 11th April 2020 at 23:08

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

    Indeed.

    It wasn't a deadline, no matter how many people try to say that it was.

    If any vote wasn't received then no final decision can be made until the deadline is reached.

    Unless the required majority is already achieved, or is arithmetically impossible. 

    In which case it makes sense to act as quickly as possible, given the circumstances. 

  28. An excellent summary of the shambles we r now in. Goodness knows what might follow and how this might be resolved but be assured a certain team and their cousins will do everything in their power to prevent nine in a row.

    One small further point. Basing any argument on the need to start the new season because of the Sky Contract is a red herring. Sky are in no position to fulfil their side of the contract because they simply don’t have the money. The vast majority of subscribers have either cancelled or frozen their subscriptions and Sky no longer have the income.

  29. Homunculus 11th April 2020 at 23:24

    "In which case it makes sense to act as quickly as possible, given the circumstances". 

    —————

    If that is happening now, with Doncaster talking to Dundee FC to get the deal over the line, then there is going to be a hell of a stushie if Dundee change their vote. Even if they communicate with Partick and ICT to get an agreed better deal for them somehow, the eruption elsewhere is going to be of volcanic proportions, and not only from TRFC.

     

     

  30. Ex Ludo 12th April 2020 at 00:16

    '…Sounds like a job for Mr Bryson..'

    macfurgly 12th April 2020 at 00:25

    'In that case it will be eligible. "No" it is.'

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

    I enjoyed that.

  31. Can I just clarify…

    Legally, it makes absolutely no difference if Dundee had submitted a No vote or not.

    Votes in favour of a written resolution cannot be revoked. See…

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/46/section/296

    However, there is nothing to prevent a member who had voted against a resolution to withdraw that vote within the timeframe allowed.

    Unless there is significantly more to this than has been shown, I suspect that the hysterical allegations of corporate malfeasance are born of a simple misunderstanding of company law.

    Dundee were perfectly entitled to submit a written no vote and subsequently ask for that vote to be disregarded.

    From what I can tell, that is what appears to have happened.

  32. Also, why shouldn't board members speak to Dundee about a resolution that has board support?

    Board members shouldn't be neutral on resolutions they are supporting.

    Why should this be seen as a problem?

  33. HirsutePursuit 12th April 2020 at 01:27

    Also, why shouldn't board members speak to Dundee about a resolution that has board support?

    Board members shouldn't be neutral on resolutions they are supporting.

    Why should this be seen as a problem?

     

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

    It would be a problem simply because some didn't get their own way. Interest free loans and Celtic not getting the title. I see the lunatic fringe vgb want Celtic stripped of every title since 2011.

    We will just have to wait and see what happens I am still of the opinion that unless you call the leahues then no money is due.

     

  34. The problem I have is this so called proof at this point consists of screen grabs of photos or conversations on whatsapp that may or may not be what Dundee eventually wanted to do. My other problem is with the credentials of the person who gave out the info scot gardiner ex Dundee chief exec, ex Hearts chief operating officer and was linked with sevco in 2013 as ceo his dream job which he turned down as he wasn’t given assurances that he would be calling the shots and is now at Inverness. Just read he worked for the blue pound in their commercial dept. Something just doesn’t smell right.

     

  35. Gavin Wallace

    @gav_wallace1

    ·

    15hThe

    @AyrUnitedFC

    chairman

    @lachlancameron

    quoted on BBC Radio Scotland Sportsound as saying he felt “cohersed” in to voting they way they did…He won’t be the only one. This is very troubling.

    32

    15

    36

    Lachlan Cameron

    @lachlancameron

    ·

    13h

    I wasn’t coerced into anything. I didn’t speak to any other club about this (other than a casual conversation with Ian McCall) and I have never been in a WhatsApp group with any other spfl clubs.

     

    Looks like not everyone was in the whatsapp group then.

  36. HP @ 1.16

    Exactly.  Dundee can withdraw their vote (apologies I think it was me who used the word rescind) although I’d be interested in comparable situations where a firm deadline is constituted (28 days) but an earlier indicative time is requested and understandably in these exceptional circumstances, preferred. The potential to create a king maker is obvious.  What is more important are the discussions that have gone on around that withdrawal, both before and after.

    Dundee’s role is interesting.  They don’t benefit or are penalised by this vote.  They’re (think) 4th so wouldn’t be promoted or relegated by this proposal, wouldn’t benefit or be penalised by any realistic restructure (12 or 14).  That sets them apart from both Thistles. The other group whom, to me, are affected is a significant number or League 1 who would be distributed between what would be the middle tier with 8 of the current championship and 4 joining the lowest league. This was EJs point yesterday both in terms of equitable spread versus self interest (the Forfar CEOs point) and also the pyramid HL/LL factor. Noticeably that group didn’t have the same problem vis a vis this group.

    For what it is worth I don’t see how Lawwell benefits either.  Those of a blue persuasion will, of course, say he’s running scared but this proposal didn’t advance Celtics claim as champions anyway.  I’d also have thought him far too long in the tooth to be caught out in a WhatsApp sting given, again, that there was no benefit to him or his club in coercing anything unless it was something around next seasons Sky deal which, with respect, will have his fingerprints all over it.

    i quite expect Mr Doncaster to believe what is entirely his own hype however.  I’d fully expect him to be around the periphery.  I do wonder if the Teflon kid has eventually pushed his own boundaries too far.  Good riddance in my view.  I look forward to his no doubt heavily edited memoirs.  The title ?

    My Brutally Frank and Open Expose of how I Very Much Wish Things Had Been.

    i have my pinch of salt at the ready.

  37. Shug @ 7.04

    again from Sportsound.  It was Tom English who brought Lachlan Cameron into the discussion.  Something like “I spoke to Lachlan during the week…..they need payments just to make wages” or words to that effect.

     

    Lachlan himself made no contribution that I’m aware of.

  38. What is it Rangers actually want? They say they want the league to finish but can't offer a realistic proposal as to how and when. Despite not wanting the league to finish they want prize money right now. The proposal they put up for that was deemed legally incompetent.

    I suspect (and it's only my view) that what they really want is for Celtic not to be awarded the league title. The one sure way for that to happen would be to declare the season null and void, which has been declared a non-starter. Despite that I read one prominent blogger, who has access to people within the game, claim on Twitter that Rangers continue to lobby clubs to push for null and void. No idea if true, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was. In the almost certain knowledge they won't get their preferred option, creating a scenario where there was bias in the decision making would be an ideal situation to ensure that season ticket sales are maxed out to 'show the haters'. Yet if Celtic are awarded the title would it be out of bias on the part of the SPFL? Ergo, would it mean anti-Rangers bias? Could any club who feels they have lost out claim it was all down to bias? 

    I suspect league reconstruction is on its way, which would mean Hearts would remain in the top flight. What it wouldn't mean is Celtic not getting the title. I just wish Rangers would come out and say

    'Stopping Celtic getting the title is our prime motive. Failing that we will do everything we can to create the impression it is completely discredited and was unfairly awarded by an incompetent, biased governing body'

    In answer to my own question, the above is what I seriously believe Rangers want out of all this. 

  39. Loving the debate 're the new debacle in Scottish Football.

    I appreciate some may have a laissez faire attitude to all this but wonder if that would be the same had the coronavirus lockdown had hit us on 30 December 2019?

  40. The reason TRFC are so scathing of the SPFL’s proposal?

    It only pays prize money when league positions have been finalised.

    Although Championship, League One and League Two clubs would get the cash now, Premiership clubs still have to wait.

    Desperate times!

  41. HirsutePursuit 12th April 2020 at 09:39

    —————————–

    Hand out prize money but forget the prizes!

    That is exactly what the Daily Record journalist is saying in the article I posted.  Incidentally the same guy 'understands' Rangers have more evidence against the SPFL. How strange they didn't strike while the iron is hot and give it to him to publish with the subsequent boost to online hits and paper sales, while destroying the SPFL into the bargain. 

     

  42. The whole point is, given this most unique set of circumstances, it would have been better to keep the issues of money and league positions separate.

    I liked Michael Stewart's idea of issuing 80% prize money now based on current positions to try and ensure no club goes under and hold back 20% until it is more clear if the season can be played out. The appropiriate balance can then be paid out later rather than have a club being overpaid and spending all their cash.

    If football was still being played then some teams would have no idea where they may be playing next season.

    Potential play-off teams have to wait until the very last game to see where they will be playing. Such teams should already be thinking about budget  plan A and plan B for 2020/21.

    The rest in the middle already know their league status will be the status quo.

    Therefore why the rush 're settling League positions?

     

  43. In my understanding of it Rangers* wanted no calling of the leagues but the equivalent of the prize money paid out now as a loan – with clubs able to elect to repay it when the actual prize money distribution takes place.

    To me that seemed to create a possible (and surely unintended) scenario of a club electing not to repay the loan due to their financial circumstances at the time but still being due and expecting to receive their share of the prize money i.e. the SPFL effectively becoming a banker of last resort.

    In my view it would be fair to hold on calling the leagues for a little longer (end April?) but I feel it also fair to distribute 75% of the prize money now to help alleviate short term financial problems. The balance can be distributed when/if the leagues are called.

    And as Wottpi says, keep early prize money distribution separate from reconstruction or any other issue.

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

     

  44. Smugas

    By default, a written resolution expires after 28 days if no timescale is mentioned in a company's articles.

    The SPFL's articles say…

    WRITTEN RESOLUTIONS 
    74. A resolution of the Members or as the case may be the eligible Members (as defined in section 289(1) of the 2006 Act), as provided for in these Articles, may be passed as a written resolution in accordance with Chapter 2 of Part 13 of the 2006 Act by such number of Members as may be equal to or greater than the number of Members required for a Qualified Resolution, Commercial Resolution, Ordinary Resolution or special resolution (as the case may be) to be passed and shall be as valid and effective as if it had been passed at a General Meeting duly convened and held. A proposed written resolution lapses if it is not passed by the requisite majority of such eligible Members before the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the circulation date (as defined in section 290 of the 2006 Act).

    So, written resolutions (for SPFL purposes) will always be resolved when either:

    Sufficient members vote to approve such resolution(s)

    or 

    28 days from the issue of such resolution(s) have passed.

    The board have no power to set a different hard deadline. 

  45. Appreciate the input on the legal position of the resolution HirsutePursuit. I actually don't mind the request for an early response where circumstances truly require them. As you say, the legal position will remain at 28 days whatever transpires in early voting.

    My beef is that the SPFL executive bundled separate issues together and made it an apparently 'take it or leave it' vote with a pressing 'deadline'.

    That is plain wrong and there should be consequences for that. 

    With regard to next steps, how about :

    1. The existing resolution is withdrawn and voting cancelled.

    2. A new simple resolution is put forward offering immediate distribution of 75% of the prize money with the balance on the eventual calling of the leagues.

    3. A representative task force immediately set up to discuss reconstruction options with proposals being put forward for consideration within one month.

    4. Calling of the league to be reviewed at the end of April.

    Scottish Football needs proper leadership to get out of this mess.

     

     

  46. Note : 4. should read “Calling of the leagues to be reviewed at the end of April.”

    SFNASA

  47. One of the main reasons for the skullduggery and behind closed doors collusion is 9/10 in a row.

    Rangers are desperate to stop it hence ‘null and void’

    Just like the ‘going for 55’ nonsence nobody else in Scotland or the real world really cares.

    I have real sympathy for Partick and Hearts who had a realistic chance of avoiding relegation.

    Ive no real solution apart from the fact I’d like the season completed sometime even if that means 3 games a week behind closed doors. 

     

     

  48. redlichtie 12th April 2020 at 10:30

    Surely it would be wrong to withdraw the resolution until the 28 days are over.

    I think I am right in saying that a significant proportion are in favour of it. Something like 85% of the votes cast to date.

    There is a decent prospect of a resolution being voted on and passed. Why would it be withdrawn now because a small minority don't like it.

    That would just be pandering to the child who screams the loudest and wants her own way.

  49. In their statement, Sevco say they will not be bullied into silence regarding the League body's handling of the members' ballot, but are refusing to hand over "compelling evidence"! Whit?

    They are all consumed by their obsession (ably supported by the SMSM) with stopping 10IAR.

    Desperate times in Govania right enough.

    However, perhaps I should not judge them and Mr Parks (on whose watch this is all taking place) too harshly, since Barry Ferguson endorsed his appointment (on PLZ Soccer -The Football Show) with the comforting reassurance for the supporters that, since he knows Mr Parks personally, the club's immediate future is in capable hands. Well see.

    Finally, I await an intervention from CFC (which I believe will be forthcoming this time).

     

  50. bect67

    agreed,i think celtic would have been waiting to see how this unfolds,game of poker comes to mind

  51. Homunculus 12th April 2020 at 10:56

    redlichtie 12th April 2020 at 10:30

    Surely it would be wrong to withdraw the resolution until the 28 days are over.

    I think I am right in saying that a significant proportion are in favour of it. Something like 85% of the votes cast to date.

    There is a decent prospect of a resolution being voted on and passed. Why would it be withdrawn now because a small minority don't like it.

    That would just be pandering to the child who screams the loudest and wants her own way.

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

    So just to be clear, you are happy with the bundling of issues in one resolution?

    You see nothing wrong with that?

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

  52. Null and void certainly gets us talking. Ignoring the debate about whether it is a legal option please let me put forward a suggestion about how it might just help football around the world! Please humour me! 

    Null and void means all games have not taken place therefore all teams are on zero points. Zero points means no winners and no losers so any prize pot must surely be shared equally. Each division has its own prize pot of course. It feels good helping the smaller clubs doesn't it! That's Scotland sorted! 

    How might this help the rest of the world I hear you ask? 

    Well how about I pick another league say the Europa League, entirely at random of course, and we give it the "null and void" treatment too! You know how it goes! No games played, won or lost so the prize pot has to be shared equally amongst all the competing teams. It feels good supporting teams all round Europe doesn't it! 

    So ther you have it null and void is a blueprint (some may be concerned that I am trying to give credit to a particular team when using this word but I'm not!) that can be copied around the world. 

    Sporting integrity and financial worries sorted! A crisis does bring the best out in us all! Or does it? 

  53. Homunculus 11th April 2020 at 22:09
    ……
    I am with you on that one.I can wait also.
    “If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by.”
    ……………
    John Clark 11th April 2020 at 23:21
    …..
    His club allegiance would, of course, to protect him, rule him out as having any control over such investigation as may be undertaken by the employee’s employers.

    But he ought to be in post to examine whatever evidence is presented to the board after that investigation so that the SPFL membership as a whole could be satisfied that there was no jiggery-pokery, and that TRFC’s proper rights had been safeguarded.
    …………….
    I remember a certain Cambell Ogalvie was allowed to remain on board even due to a conflict of interest.
    Ogilvie admits it has left him unable to fully carry out his duties as SFA president and he is now keen to try and facilitate peace talks with the outspoken Green.

    “Over my years in football, it is not the first time a club has had issues with the governing body,” said Ogilvie. “I wasn’t party to the discussions which took place over the last six months. I’ve been standing back from it, which has been awkward for me because I feel that, fundamentally, I’ve not been doing my job properly.

  54. Are the votes of ICT & Partick valid?

    They've appeared to spoil their papers by marking with a 'cross' instead of the required 'tick'.

  55. redlichtie

    How can you separate the issue of distributing prize money with final league positions?

    Genuine question.

    The SPFL board cannot simply 'decide' to distribute it's prize money funds.

    It would need to rewrite a number of its articles and rules and seek approval for all of those changes through a members vote. Even then (depending on the scope), such changes could be subject to a successful challenge by judicial review.

    It could be many months before those significant additional powers are made available to the board.

    However, the board has a readymade solution through the existing rules – apart from one issue. The current resolution seeks to address that.

    The board can already say the season is over and decide on final positions, relegations and promotions. It has that power under the existing rules and no vote is required for that to occur.

    Its problem is the recent UEFA statements saying that top leagues should keep the option of finishing their schedules this season.

    The current resolution seeks to finalise league positions in the lower leagues without formally calling the season to a halt.

    If those clubs – including Dundee, ICT and Patrick Thistle – are successful in defeating the resolution, it only achieves a delay in distributing the prize money until the board officially call time on the season.

    The SPFL board has – through this resolution – already told us how it will ultimately decide on final league positions.

    I am genuinely struggling to understand, in these circumstances, why any lower league club would vote against.

     

  56. adam812 12th April 2020 at 11:31

    Null and void certainly gets us talking. Ignoring the debate about whether it is a legal option please let me put forward a suggestion about how it might just help football around the world! Please humour me! 

    Null and void means all games have not taken place therefore all teams are on zero points. Zero points means no winners and no losers so any prize pot must surely be shared equally. Each division has its own prize pot of course.

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

    But they don't, there is one league and one prize pot, split amongst all 42 teams based on their position in the league, not the division.

    So the issues I have include

    1, Why are people getting prize money at all, if the competition is ruled void, then why give out prize money. 

    2, Why would you award prize "money", but not anything else. It cannot surely be "prize" money.

    3, If the season is void, however it is agreed to split the money evenly (call it what you will) it has to be split 42 ways. That is how the system works.

     

     

  57. redlichtie 12th April 2020 at 10:07

    10

    3

    Rate This

    In my understanding of it Rangers* wanted no calling of the leagues but the equivalent of the prize money paid out now as a loan – with clubs able to elect to repay it when the actual prize money distribution takes place.

    To me that seemed to create a possible (and surely unintended) scenario of a club electing not to repay the loan due to their financial circumstances at the time but still being due and expecting to receive their share of the prize money i.e. the SPFL effectively becoming a banker of last resort.

    In my view it would be fair to hold on calling the leagues for a little longer (end April?) but I feel it also fair to distribute 75% of the prize money now to help alleviate short term financial problems. The balance can be distributed when/if the leagues are called.
    ………….
    Ask all clubs who want money now to state openly why they need the money now and let the rest of the clubs decide if each clubs plea for cash is justified in said clubs getting a handout.

    SPFL effectively becoming a banker of last resort.

    If i was the SPFL i would take Mike Ashleys stand, I am not a bank.

  58. Please humour me!
    adam812 12th April 2020 at 11:31
    ………..
    Null and void means all games have not taken place therefore all teams are on zero points. Zero points means no winners and no losers so any prize pot must surely be added to next seasons prize pot, a rollover some may say,Null and void means all games have not taken place therefore there can be no prize handout if nothing has taken place.
    Let us see how the Null and void crackpots like that one.

  59. Lets just forget it. 

       Start the league from where it finished, when the Govt gives the OK to do so. No winners, nor losers… yet !…..No prize money either. 

        If a club can't honour its fixtures, it's a forfeit.

        Who can moan about that? 

       

  60. Homunculus

    Thank you for your comments.

    I used the term prize pot to describe the money to be distributed to the participants normally rewarding success. As we have to accept normal doesn't exist at present I am happy to change the distribution in line with your point 3

    My earlier comments were aimed at pointing out some of the consequences of going down the null and void route if it was adopted everywhere. That said it would help a lot of smaller clubs. 

  61. Can I thank the one or two (now 4) people who seem to, or may, have appreciated my earlier post in the spirit it was intended.

    At the same time I will now listen to my kids when they say that my dad jokes are not very good and shouldn’t be heard or seen!

  62. Surely Null and Void has gotta be taken out  of the whole debate . If null and void is ever passed then we open a can of worms regarding broadcasters claiming their  TV money back also opens clubs up to refunding season ticket holders , possibly corporate sponsors ?  etc etc etc. This is purely about stopping Celtic getting their hands on title number 9 . Thats how crazy that club from Govan is , they are facing financial armageddon ( even without the corona virus ) and still their driving force is their hatred towards everything Celtic, regardless of the cost to themselves or Scottish football in general. I thouhut when King left maybe just maybe we might start seeing some adult thinking coming out of Govan but it seems that Park is cut from similar cloth as King when it comes to all things Rangers . I wonder how Dungcaster is feeling today , the guy who  was a prominent figure at the birth of the poisonous club 8 years ago . Theres the thanks for  you Neil . I do feel for other clubs caught up in this i.e Hearts etc etc . I think a league of 14 for one season makes sense as it pleases just about everyone except you know who. Like probably everyone on here Im sick to the back teeth with Rangers , for a 8 year old club they dont half cause the whole of scottish football a lot of trouble

  63. From a different perspective: rather than trying to find a solution that is best for the clubs,

    what is the fairest solution for the fans, aka the paying customers?

    I can only get to some home games, but I take my hat off to those supporters – of ALL clubs – who commit to attending all home, league games.  They might attend some/all away, league games as well as cup games.  

    These people are the true life blood of senior football across Scotland.

    I don’t have a Scooby what the ‘best’ solution is to the current SPFL impasse.

    But, I think I do know what would be the ‘worst’ solution.

    And that would be ‘null & void”.

     

    ‘Null & void’ is, IMO, the SPFL and the 42 clubs telling the fans they are just financially useful chumps.

    Thanks for buying league tickets, pies and bovril, etc. over the majority of the season.  However, we have all decided that you didn’t actually pay to watch any league games at all.  It was a game of football, but it wasn’t a league game so it doesn’t count.  Thanks for your money, and look forward to seeing you all again next season…

    ‘Null & void’ could also be the worst decision for the future of the game. 

    When the restrictions are lifted, fans could quite reasonably reassess their financial – and time – commitment to a game which continually ignores fans’ opinions and feedback.

  64. Loads of null and void debate here. I too am of the view if that is the case then prize money can’t be distributed. Also, at the risk of boring everyone to tears I am of the firm view only Rangers are pushing for it, and as we can see from the Daily Record article I posted they have also set it in motion via their fans who work in the media. 

    I am also of the view if Rangers were 13 points ahead the league may already have been called, and the media would be forcefully attacking any protest from Celtic. It’s just the way Scotland is.

  65. HirsutePursuit 12th April 2020 at 11:48

    redlichtie

    How can you separate the issue of distributing prize money with final league positions?

    Genuine question.

    The SPFL board cannot simply ‘decide’ to distribute it’s prize money funds.

    It would need to rewrite a number of its articles and rules and seek approval for all of those changes through a members vote. Even then (depending on the scope), such changes could be subject to a successful challenge by judicial review.

    ……………………….

    The SPFL board had choices and time, they just chose a particular path to railroad through.

    At such a time of threat to our clubs I think they failed to find a way to protect all their members and simply chose the wrong option.

    Accordingly and not surprisingly club self interest rather than common good has become the order of the day.

    Ignited and exacerbated by a board that has long been out of touch and fanned by uncertainty and a coming financial depression.

    If the vote stands as is I would expect litigation from the disenfranchised clubs.

     

    Never more has our game needed strong unifying and open leadership that sees beyond the pettiness and shallowness of club politics.

     

     

  66. paddy malarkey 11th April 2020 at 22:35

     

    Smugas 11th April 2020 at 20:16

    “I am not disputing Scott Cameron’s statement , other than to say that it looks to me that Dundee’s slip had indeed been received , was copied then pasted online (if that image is genuine) along with the two Thistles’ .  If it has been received , how can it subsequently be rescinded . ( Unless maybe it was received but not registered so that pressure could be applied to “do the right thing”)”

     

    Cannot see the slip been genuine

    If it was received as part of the bundled docs, it would be an original white background doc like Particks, with black written instruction. If then scanned in colour for upload as attachment including signature aplied in blue ink it would appear in original content,white background blue ink, however this version has greyed background  as may be expected with an exposed to light  scanned copy, but, how can the ink signature still be blue, if a copy is scanned and exposed to light then the whole doc would be grey background and grey ink. And if no light, as stated above, then it would be original content if scanned in colour and blue ink intact, you cannot have it both ways.

    This was never sent, and if sent, it is on a server somewhere, produce it by showing the email and address it was sent to.

     

     

     

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