The Last Thing Scottish Football Needs Right Now ..

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.. is More Secrecy

We all now know Lord Clark’s judgement on Friday has kicked off an arbitration process to solve the case raised by Hearts, Partick and their sleeping partner, Stranraer.
He seemingly had no option and did this because it is the “pre-decided” SFA procedure for football disputes.
Accordingly three qualified persons will be chosen from an existing SFA list and in effect become the judges and jury tasked with coming to a decision on a complex and complicated situation.
Be cogniscant that this is a situation where relegation will have huge financial impact to the three clubs and their members of staff at a time of pandemic related economic hardship.

Real people and real jobs cast aside by what could be classed as myopia and lack of leadership.

And potentially exacerbated by a decision made in secret, in an unreported process, with no avenue to appeal.

Did Hearts and Thistle and Stranraer deserve to be relegated I hear you ask?
Yes so far, and on points per game, but there were enough games left and all three could easily have avoided the drop.
By the same judgement Hearts should already have been awarded the Scottish Cup as they were statistically the remaining club with the best cup record and goal difference!

The three Arbitrators will now hear the SPFL case and the Hearts and Thistle case put forward by their expensive legal teams and then decide.

Simples.

Maybe not.
From press reports the SPFL even tried to block their own members, Hearts and Thistle, getting access to their co –owned SPFL documents but Lord Clark seemingly stopped that.
It seems being aware of the severe time constraints, and maybe also possibly suspecting downstream game-playing, he also offered his and the court’s availability if required.

Let me clarify something that I didn’t know until last week.

Arbitration is not the same as mediation.
Not even close.
From what I’ve read since, mediation would have been better for all concerned but progressing that way that would have taken a less dysfunctional corporate structure across our game.
It could and should have been the best way forward for us all.

If only.

But fair enough we all need a result and arbitration we’ve been told can maybe deliver that in around 10 days.

In the meantime ask yourself if an arbitration decision made and dished out without any kind of public scrutiny or redress is the way to go?

What if deep inside the system there is any kind of unseen bias?
By the way that’s just a question.
I’m not suggesting that there is inherent bias.
Surely no biases in Scottish football exist.

Being positive I can see the advantages of coming to a conclusion in a process that is quicker and less costly to our game than going to the courts but something about the whole thing is wrong.

My instinct says it’s the secrecy.

Most of the people I have spoken with agree.

We all live in Scotland where our government is open to the public and where government committees are on the public record.
The fourth estate is all over everything they do.
Likewise our courts are generally open to the public and to the media to report on what is happening within.

There is nothing in this dispute that should be kept secret from the real stakeholders in the game, the fans.

We all have a stake in the game.

There is nothing healthy about this closed doors charade.

It should all be out in the open.
Any judgement made without the presence and scrutiny of the media and SFM’s very own Easyjambo and John Clark is open to retrospective revisitation ad infinitum and will never bring the fairness and closure we all need.
It is not in any way the formula for the reconciliation that is needed across all 42 clubs.

Football fans don’t always have to agree but we need to know that it is refereed fairly. Arbitration rules laugh at that basic requirement.

How The Hell Did We Get Here?

As I write the countdown to the new season is underway and a sans-Hearts fixture list is imminent.
I have no idea what will happen if the three wise arbitration men decide to block the Hearts, Partick and Stranraer SPFL enforced demotions.
They might indeed.
The majority of fans wouldn’t disagree with them if they did even if it becomes a mess.

Yes that would be a doomsday scenario for all but we’d bounce back.
If it is the right thing to do for our game then a bit of hassle for Neil and Co should not stop it happening.

10 days or so will tell.

Were the Leagues Called Too Soon?

Chick and Tam on the radio certainly, and indignantly think so.
Most fans concur with many of us already watching English football nightly and wondering what if?

I think only four countries in Europe ended their leagues early.

We’ve been told the SPFL came to the decision to trigger payments because of our new TV contract.
Seems plausible enough and to be fair there was great club impecuniosity and huge amounts of uncertainty at the time.
I’ve since also heard that the old broadcast contracts were renegotiated and compensation paid for the lost games as the new Sky deal became the focus and probably the driving force.
Money rules and Sky calls the tune in their 4 old firm games view of our world.

This combined and meant two big decisions were immediately on the horizon.

First Hearts, Thistle and Stranraer were to be relegated.
(“Bye-bye guys, tough luck and take your medicine”, from your erstwhile football family friends, almost certainly avoiding eye contact in the zoom meeting)!

Secondly Brechin City, or another, was spared the play offs and with the pyramid chain broken the top team from the play offs was told to forget their hopes of joining the SPFL.

Outrageous.

Someone at the SFA should have thrown a hissy fit and done something for their 2 disadvantaged members but I don’t think they ever did.
A real insight into how heartless our game can be.

Along the way
We all sat back in amazement as Neil’s “Good Friday Disagreement” evolved when John Nelm’s Dundee’s vote got first lost, then found and then changed over the weekend.
Didn’t smell right then.
Smells even worse now.
Along the way Dundee somehow became the casting vote.
(I hope there are full records of what really happened for the Arbitrators).

At the time, and rumbling still, there was huge criticism of the SPFL board for conflating approval of something or other to the much-needed payments due to the clubs.
(Apologies for the brevity but it all merges. So much was going on and a lot we never heard about too).

Rangers then came in live on radio demanding Neil D and Rod McKenzie to be spanked very hard but never quite being able to tell us why.

Other stuff happened after the vote too.

Maybe it was clever diversionary tactics, maybe something else, but for two or three weeks it was all go in all directions.
We had task forces set up here, there and everywhere.

So many I can’t actually remember their remits and to be honest like so many I can’t quite be bothered now.

It seemed we had the game looking at the genuine change that fans want and even us the independent SFSA were asked to help by Les Gray one of the task force co-chairs.

We did by taking it to our members and to the SFM too, in good faith even though deep down we thought it was all part of a game and said so.

Sadly it was a waste of effort and time moved on but fair play to Neil and the SPFL board.
Fair play because at the 11th hour they tried to get approval from their members to temporarily extend the leagues.

Neil’s attempt to do that wasn’t an actual formal vote.
That never happened.
What was termed by the SPFL as an “Indicative Vote” was heavily defeated.

Several weeks on and 18 of our 42 clubs still won’t even tell us their fans how they voted.
I had already asked Neil Doncaster how clubs voted and he told me it was secret ballot.
So it’s still mostly secret and like all secrets has the inherent ability to fester.

None of us can blame the clubs for voting the way they did.

A couple of weeks ago when trying to analyse the vote I highlighted that Hibs inexplicably voted against an Edinburgh Derby.
Having enjoyed many I still don’t get that.

I’m also on record recently stating that Ross County also voted no and effectively sentenced their two nearest neighbours and friends, ICT and Brora, to significantly less revenue in the next year.
And at the same time their no vote helped stymie the pyramid that was introduced to allow clubs like Ross County of old access the higher leagues.
(I well remember them in the Highland League – and played against them at the time).
I haven’t spoken with Roy MacGregor about his vote but I know that if I was a chairman of a bottom six club I too would have foreseen the approaching tsunamic, post-Covid crunch coming down the tracks. That was the season when the Covid induced “temporary league” of 14 had to be reduced back to 12, meaning 3 clubs get relegated, and 1 goes into a play off position.
4 out of 14!

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! and ouch!

Not good business for anyone.

Like Roy, I’d have said “Sorry” to ICT and Brora and voted the same as he did. Roy’s fiduciary duty is to his club not to his neighbours.

Roy, I respect your position and all other chairmen too but it should never have come to this in our totally unnecessary football civil war.

And you know after hearing John Collins say on the radio today asking “Where’s the fairness in any of this”? I can’t disagree.

Words Of Wisdom For The 3 Wise Men

Fairness would be my starting point.
We know fans will never all agree about anything because we love our clubs and they will always come first.
But we crave fairness, openness and transparency.
That’s probably the first time I have written the transparency word since Stewart Regan nearly wore it our 8 years ago.

Out message to our Arbitrators is as follows.

The Scottish Fans are the bona fide stakeholders in the game and fund the clubs.

We collectively want and will welcome bigger leagues.*

We want no extra damage to any club from Covid.

We believe that there should be transparency in everything in football.
We abhor and have no trust in closed doors and secrecy.

Please publish your results and allow access to the process along the way.

What would be wrong with that?

What harm could it do?

A significant majority of fans don’t agree with these enforced relegations and would prefer either to finish the season or enlarge the leagues permanently.

And finally fans demand to be listened to because it seems we are the only ones who are able and willing to see the bigger picture for the good of the game.

No Closed Door Festering Secrets in Scottish Football

  • Arbitrators we are happy to share our research with you.

327 COMMENTS

  1. stifflersmom 13th July 2020 at 23:32

    '.I 'picked' on Ralston's piece becasue it stank. It was a press release, akin to something dictated over the phone and hurriedly scribbled and remoulded – in the sense of a tyre being given a new tread.'

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

    Question: If I am a journalist, and get handed a 'press release' from any business's PR person, do I get paid by my newspaper per column inch of that 'press release'  that I manage get into print in the newspaper as well as by the PR person's business? 

    In recent years the concept of the 'advertorial' has emerged.

    You know the kind of thing: a newspaper report, written exactly in the style of a pukka newspaper factual report but which has the word , in tiny wee print, 'advertorial' somewhere on the page?

    Hugely expressive of the lying, cheating nature of a 'Press' that is but a tool of deception happily resorted to by those who would deceive us by using the 'power of the Press' to 'authenticate' their message.

    In so many ways  have we to be distrustful of our newspapers generally, and of our 'sports' reporting by those newspapers!

     

  2. John Clark 14th July 2020 at 00:03

    Question: If I am a journalist, and get handed a 'press release' from any business's PR person, do I get paid by my newspaper per column inch of that 'press release'  that I manage get into print in the newspaper as well as by the PR person's business?

    Well considered JC. I'm mindful that your question was rhetorical, but here's my opinion. 

    Nowadays it's difficult to monetize a story, mainly because there's never much of a story nor 'exclusive' to be had. The tinternet put paid to that. What's not difficult to grasp is the need to be continually fed a story to survive, for so long as the story is printed. So you keep going to the trough that feeds. 

    It's no secret that the trough is far deeper in Govan than it is East of Dennistoun. 🙂 

    eg. Celtic choose to engage less with the MSSM and channel their 'news' through the recognised club outlets. This route is so much more dependable. Don't get me wrong, bait is often thrown and the fish bite. But there tends to be less dirty washing.

    Contrast this with the dung flung over the Govan stands. There's an abiding stench from the laundry down there.

    So, in answer to your rhetorical question. You don't get paid twice. You add a day to your notice period every time you come up with 8 column inches of pish that the shoal swallow.  

     

     

     

     

  3. 'John Clark 14th July 2020 at 00:03

    Question: If I am a journalist, and get handed a 'press release' from any business's PR person, do I get paid by my newspaper per column inch of that 'press release'  that I manage get into print in the newspaper as well as by the PR person's business?' 

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

    One of my guilty pleasures is to read the 'output' of a certain journalist in the 'Lifestyle' area of the Scotsman who appears to do nothing but C'n'P press releases: mostly food- & drink-related. I doubt if she's written more than a couple of hundred words of her own devising in the past year. 

    Are 'freebies' involved? What do you think?

  4. reasonablechap 13th July 2020 at 16:54

    I won’t reply directly to the individual posts about going after journalists and others who dare to call a football team by it’s name as I’m sure the posters will be busy writing to so many people and organisations. That said, it’d be interesting to know if Peter Lawwell was one of those who didn’t reply and how JC classified him (using his own chosen options) “useless tosser” or “betrayer” kiss

    ………………………………………………………………………………..

    Perhaps it would not be deemed so bad if Ralston and his ilk did actually call a football team by its name, that name in this case being The Rangers.

    As you well know, there was a team called Rangers, (Rangers Football Club PLC) who entered liquidation in 2012 and remain there.

    The new club manufactured by the big hands of Charles Green in 2012 were not called Rangers Football Club Limited, they were called The Rangers Football Club Limited. Therefore their correct name is The Rangers.

    Why so-called journalists and other media reporters erroneously call them Rangers is either laziness, stupidity or deliberate deceit. I know which one I believe…. 

  5. paddy malarkey 13th July 2020 at 21:30

    Come now , don’t be hiding your light under a bushel – you know if PL replied or not , don’t you ? You are forever telling us how and what Peter Lawell thinks ,and how he organises events to benefit his club to the detriment of all others . Or is it all just your opinion masquerading as fact ? (again ?).

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

    The first question to be answered is if JC sent one of his letters to Peter. I made the assumption that Peter/the PLC came under the JC classification of “others” but don’t know if he’s been ticked off the long list or is still pending.

    Regarding Peter and what you termed “..organising events to benefit his club..”, I’m almost surprised you seem to be asking for some kind of evidence, as it is very obviously, a big part of his job remit. What is also obvious, is that it wouldn’t necessarily be to the “..detriment of all clubs..”. Will come back to that.

    The real issue is how exactly, the most powerful individual in Scottish fitbaw, at the most powerful club in Scottish fitbaw, goes about exerting influence. Being from what is now very definitely the establishment club, puts him at the axis of decision-making/policy. He will, on behalf of his club be the most influential driver of what is going-on, eg. who did Eric Drysdale (leaked whatsup) think Neil would first talk to once the Dundee vote issue become apparent, yes…”Peter“.

    It is my contention that Peter was very much part of pushing the SPFL to conflate and railroad the infamous resolution. This was a route that would eventually rubber stamp the title award and importantly, secure access to the CL qualifiers and potentialy, tens of millions of pounds. When it comes to that type of money, CEO’s on big bonus packages will do all that is within their grasp to secure, in this case, the opportunity.

    It’d be a bigger ask, to believe that he didn’t get involved with his allies on the SPFL executive to help shape events. 

    As for detriment to other clubs, some are affected more than others and we are yet to see the end result. Hearts and Partick Thistle took it to court/arbitration and Rangers will be keeping an eye on what happens. Why? Because they were disadvantaged aswell. However, HMFC/PT were in a better position to challenge it because they have a stronger case given they have materially lost out compared to Rangers main disadvantage (opportunity to secure CL monies) dependent on what would be future football match results.

     

    Moving on to the top tier fixtures. One team got the best deal and in this case, it was very much to the detriment of the majority of other SPFL clubs.

    Celtic had made noises both directly and indirectly regards what they wanted, they got it.

    The needs of a collective of 30 lower league clubs were ignored.

    Easyjambo wrote the following…..”I’m sure that everyone will be astonished to find that the first Celtic v Rangers fixture has been scheduled for Round 11 of the first round of fixtures.  That of course offers the best opportunity for the game, scheduled for the weekend of 17/18 October, to be played in front of a live (possibly restricted) audience.

    Now, for Celtic, what league game would be their best opportunity of maximising revenues from the sale of tickets, hospitality, merchandising, advertising etc. Isn’t it an amazing coincidence any such game should end up being scheduled to offer Celtic their best opportunity to boost their income after having to deal with a number of games against other Premiership clubs behind closed doors.

    Where is Peter ?……..#FollowtheMoney

     

    The main reason Peter Lawwell doesn’t come under more scrutiny on this board is that he doesn’t work from Ibrox and hence can’t be seen when looking through the Rangers Prism. 
     

     

  6. normanbatesmumfc 14th July 2020 at 11:41

    Perhaps it would not be deemed so bad if Ralston and his ilk did actually call a football team by its name, that name in this case being The Rangers.

    As you well know, there was a team called Rangers, (Rangers Football Club PLC) who entered liquidation in 2012 and remain there.

    The new club manufactured by the big hands of Charles Green in 2012 were not called Rangers Football Club Limited, they were called The Rangers Football Club Limited. Therefore their correct name is The Rangers.

     

    Thing is though, the original club was also called The Rangers Football Club, (in it's case it was PLC although it had previously been The Rangers Football Club Limited). The addition of 'The' as a differentiator was nothing more than a Charles Green fiction. He used exactly the same name as that under which the original club was incorporated.

    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/SC004276

     

  7. reasonablechap 14th July 2020 at 11:59…… Celtic had made noises both directly and indirectly regards what they wanted, they got it.
    ………………..
    Celtic did push against Title Declaration (April 5, 2020) They wanted that but never got it.
    ………….
    Rangers will be keeping an eye on what happens. Why? Because they were disadvantaged aswell. However, HMFC/PT were in a better position to challenge it because they have a stronger case given they have materially lost out compared to Rangers main disadvantage (opportunity to secure CL monies) dependent on what would be future football match results.
    ……….
    You could also have stated Motherwell were disadvantaged aswell.On what would be future football match results. Finishing second and a missed (opportunity to secure CL monies)

  8. reasonablechap 14th July 2020 at 11:59

    Please don't be surprised by me asking for some kind of evidence – that's how we separate the wheat from the chaff . You do have it ? And you don't know why Eric Drysdale would think anything- just opinion again . 

    You contend that Peter Lawell/CFC exerted pressure but again offer no evidence . I contend they sat back and let others try to find an amicable solution , probably for presentational reasons . I offer no evidence either .

    And here is a c&p from one of the two cheeks fanzines , The Daily Record , that appears to give CFC's viewpoint .

    A source said: “Celtic’s position is very clear. We have always wanted the league season to be completed and that remains our view. If there is any chance of playing the games and finishing the season over the summer then that’s what we would prefer. But we also understand the financial problems are piling up for clubs all across the country the longer this crisis continues. If the season has to be ended early in order to stop clubs from going to the wall then, of course, we would go along with that. It has to be all about the greater good.”

    I support Thistle but don't support their stance on this , and that's got nothing to do with any Svengali , real or imaginary . Peter Lawell isn't making us make an ars* of ourselves .

     

  9. reasonablechap 14th July 2020 at 11:59

    "..The main reason Peter Lawwell doesn’t come under more scrutiny on this board is that he doesn’t work from Ibrox and hence can’t be seen when looking through the Rangers Prism."

    ________________________

    Oh, for heaven's sake! 

    There is no comparison, no possible comparison, between whatever sins of 'influence' 'Peter' may have committed and  the decade of cheating both in sport and in tax matters of SDM and his 'Rangers Football Club' with the assistance of the Football Governance bodies at least to the extent of their failure to examine how it was possible for that club to sign such big name stars who were ready to play for a fraction of the wages they could have commanded!

    I have issues with 'Peter', certainly, but they relate not to any cheating perpetrated by him or by Celtic but to the failure to force the Governance bodies to follow through on the Res 12 and nail the RFC of 1872 and those in 'governance' who were and are happy to let a new club masquerade as RFC of 1872.

    But he's a long way from being as black with sin and deceit as those associated with the 'saga', may they never prosper.

  10. reasonablechap 14th July 2020 at 11:59 ……..Easyjambo wrote the following…..”I’m sure that everyone will be astonished to find that the first Celtic v Rangers fixture has been scheduled for Round 11 of the first round of fixtures. That of course offers the best opportunity for the game, scheduled for the weekend of 17/18 October, to be played in front of a live (possibly restricted) audience.
    ………….
    You picked up on EJs post and may have missed this reply.
    …. Cluster One 8th July 2020 at 10:04

    easyJambo 6th July 2020 at 13:41
    ………..
    Since 2002 there have been, including this year 5 October derby games as a start date.
    8 September start date since 1998. and 4 Aug start date since 2000 and 1 November since 1999.
    But for this season coming and because of the pandemic, if i was a betting person like Albert Kinloch i would have had a bet that the Derby game would not take place in Aug or Sep. May have even had a flutter on no game in Oct.
    If only the bookmakers were open before the fixture list came out, could have booked a holiday to nowhere with the winnings.

  11. Well I don't need to go far to follow the spouted urine again just seems to flow from a paranoid one.

  12. Now the blazers have circled the wagons.

    Notice of Complaint | Partick Thistle FC

    Tuesday 14 July 2020

    Alleged Party in Breach: Partick Thistle FC

    Disciplinary Rule allegedly breached: Disciplinary Rule 78 – No member or Associated Person shall take a dispute which is referable to arbitration in terms of Article 99 to a court of law except as expressly permitted by the terms of Article 99. 

    Principal hearing date: Thursday 6 August 2020

    Notice of Complaint | Heart of Midlothian FC

    Tuesday 14 July 2020

    Alleged Party in Breach: Heart of Midlothian FC

    Disciplinary Rule allegedly breached: Disciplinary Rule 78 – No member or Associated Person shall take a dispute which is referable to arbitration in terms of Article 99 to a court of law except as expressly permitted by the terms of Article 99.

    Principal hearing date: Thursday 6 August 2020

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

    The two clubs have responded with a joint statement as follows:

    We are incredulous to have received a Notice of Complaint from the SFA in the circumstances. 

    It is oppressive of them to require submissions from both clubs by 20 July when we are, in terms of their own articles of association, actively engaged in arbitration.

    As our focus must be squarely on that, we have already requested the SFA to review the timing to allow us to be properly prepared and represented. That is the very least we should expect from the process.

  13. The Hearts / PT joint statement looks as if was penned by a lawyer.

    The use of “oppressive” is very much a legal term. 

    “the traditional conception of oppression in Scots law is any one of a wide variety of situations in which prosecution (or continued prosecution) of an accused will give rise to unfairness.”

  14. Surely it's been known by Hearts and Partick from the start that their decision to go directly to the Court was a risky decision in light of SFA rules? I have picked up knowledge, mainly from SFM contributors, over the last few years so was not surprised. As to the timing would there ever be a right time?

    Like many I am sure I want it to be all over as soon as possible and maybe then I'll get my love for football back. 

  15. easyJambo 14th July 2020 at 16:26

    "..Now the blazers have circled the wagons.."

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

    Doncaster sits on the SFA Board as representing the SPFL on that Board.

    What an ugly, incestuous, vindictive , bullying  deceitful ,corrupt 'governance' body the SFA has shown itself to be by this action. 

     

     

  16. Let me get this right.

    The same SFA did nothing that anyone knows about to protect the rights of their members Brora and Kelty when the SPFL decided by themselves not to honour the pyramid.

    The same SFA are now taking sides in an SPFL dispute which was always coming after three of the SFA's members were being pushed into lower divisions and taking severe revenue haircuts and resultant job losses.

    The same SFA whose members Hearts and Thistle are currently following complex SFA guidelines and taking part in the time consuming secret SFA "Arbitration" process.

    The same old SFA.

     

     Scottish football has had better days.

      

  17. paddy malarkey 14th July 2020 at 13:24

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

    I have not spoken to one football supporter, Celtic or any other team, who did not want the games finished and the league settled that way.

    With regards the European football and prize money. I think if anything what happened put Scottish football at the risk of losing out. The European authorities could have decided that our teams would not be allowed in next season because of the way this was dealt with.

    In my opinion, even if it was only about that, Celtic would have taken their chances on winning the league on the field of play. Rather than UEFA's attitude towards the "smaller" nations. I think some people are forgetting how big the lead was, in both points and goal difference, and the form of the teams at the time. Celtic were totally dominant from January onwards. 

  18. John Clark 14th July 2020 at 18:37

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

    Are you joking.

    The rule is there, the clubs knowingly broke it.

    Everyone knew they were going to be charged for it.

    Did you, or anyone else, expect them not to take this action.

  19. Homunculus 14th July 2020 at 20:12

    Are you joking.

    The rule is there, the clubs knowingly broke it.

    Everyone knew they were going to be charged for it.

    Did you, or anyone else, expect them not to take this action.

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

    Technically, they didn't get the chance to put the issue to the court. They were prevented from doing so by the SPFL motion that it should be "sisted" pending arbitration.

    The bigger issue to me is why now.

    17 June – The petition was presented to CoS.

    20 June – SFA write to Hearts & Partick seeking clarification on why they went down the court route

    1-3 July – Hearing at the CoS re motion to "sist" 

    6 July – SFA announce that the matter has been referred to Arbitration. Included in the announcement was "As this process is entirely independent, the Scottish FA will make no further comment."

    w/c 13 July – Arbitration expected to start some time this week, although some elements may already be in progress, e.g. written submissions, witness statements or other documents may have been submitted to the panel in advance of the oral hearing.

    14 July – SFA issues note of complaint.

    20 July – Deadline for Hearts and Partick to respond to complaint 

    So why issue the note of complaint now, and not a week or two earlier or later?  Is it an attempt to influence the Arbitration panel by portraying Hearts and PT as the serial bad guys? 

    Given that at least two thirds of the "independent" Arbitration panel will drawn from a list of individuals maintained by the SFA, there is at least a perception of a conflict of interest at this stage in the Arbitration process.  That conflict of interest is exacerbated by the dual SPFL/SFA Board roles of ND and club representation on both Boards from Alloa Athletic.  

  20. easyJambo 14th July 2020 at 21:03

     

    Technically, they didn't get the chance to put the issue to the court. They were prevented from doing so by the SPFL motion that it should be "sisted" pending arbitration.

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

    Sorry, that is just sophistry. 

    If it was sisted then the Judge made a decision. Even if that decision was that the matter should be dealt with elsewhere. 

    To argue that "Technically, they didn't get the chance to put the issue to the court." is just playing with words.

    Hearts, Partick Thistle and everyone else knew this was going to happen.

    Are people suggesting that the SFA should have watched two member clubs break the rules and not taken action. That is unacceptable, whoever the clubs are. 

  21. Homunculus 14th July 2020 at 21:14

    Sorry, that is just sophistry. 

    Are people suggesting that the SFA should have watched two member clubs break the rules and not taken action. That is unacceptable, whoever the clubs are.

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

    If you read my post fully you would note that my concern was with timing, not whether or not they should face a complaint.

    Do you have a view on the SFA’s comment on 6 July when the matter was referred to arbitration?

    “As this process is entirely independent, the Scottish FA will make no further comment.” 

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but is issuing a “notice of complaint” directly related to the matter being referred to Arbitration not making a “comment”.

  22. easyJambo 14th July 2020 at 21:19

    Do you have a view on the SFA’s comment on 6 July when the matter was referred to arbitration?

    “As this process is entirely independent, the Scottish FA will make no further comment.” 

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but is issuing a “notice of complaint” directly related to the matter being referred to Arbitration not making a “comment”.

    ———————————————————-

    No, it isn't

    It is reacting to the clubs breaching the rules, it is not a comment on the case which is going to arbitration. Basically an attempt to have their relegation reversed, or be paid £10m in compensation as an alternative.

    The petitioners could win their case at arbitration, wholly or in part, and still have breached the rule on taking things directly to a Court. 

  23. There can be no doubt that PT and HMFC breached the SFA's Articles by taking their grievance with the SPFL to the Court of Session.

    In mitigation, the clubs may claim that the nature of the dispute left some dubiety as to whether or not it was a true 'football' matter. That, I believe, was the thrust of the argument that was ultimately rejected by the court.

    If it is determined that the clubs could not have reasonably believed that the dispute was NOT a football matter. i.e. the threat and actual legal action was taken as a mere strategy to force the SPFL to come to some compromise, the panel may well decide that the offence deserves the highest available tarrrif as punishment.

    In my opinion, suspension of membership for both clubs is a very real possibility. 

    Whilst I have some limited sympathy for their plight with regards to relegation, I think that they have been very badly advised in attempting to bypass the arbitration process.

    I do not wish either club ill, but I wouldn't be completely outraged if both sit the coming season out.

  24. HP

    If it is determined that the clubs could not have reasonably believed that the dispute was NOT a football matter. i.e. the threat and actual legal action was taken as a mere strategy to force the SPFL to come to some compromise, the panel may well decide that the offence deserves the highest available tarrrif as punishment.

    In my opinion, suspension of membership for both clubs is a very real possibility.

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

    Given what Lord Clark had to say about it at the time, I think it was without doubt a reasonable legal route or at least extremely difficult to show it had no merit.

    IMO, the timing of this SFA complaint & hearing, associated media briefings (6th floor Hampden source) and "yir oot the game" threats, give the impression of a unified 6th floor pincer movement somewhere between blazer bluff and bullying.

    It all comes back to the forcing of Pandora's box with a a crowbar and I don't think the blazers want the full story to come out.

  25. HP

    I do not wish either club ill, but I wouldn’t be completely outraged if both sit the coming season out.

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

    That line doesn’t make sense to me.

    If one doesn’t wish ill on the clubs, one simply wouldn’t consider or contemplate such a draconian punishment.

    It’s almost as if you’ve captured in one sentence the approach to this by many in the game (many clubs, SPFL). Express a public wish for fair and reasonable then privately, be prepared to throw others over a cliff.

  26. HirsutePursuit 15th July 2020 at 00:53

    '.In mitigation, the clubs may claim that the nature of the dispute left some dubiety as to whether or not it was a true 'football' matter. That, I believe, was the thrust of the argument that was ultimately rejected by the court.'

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

    Correct. There was so much nonsense and haste about: the formulation of the 'Written resolution' which ran essentially separate points together to be voted upon as one,

    the urging of a vote by a deadline date far short of the statutory date, 

    the publication of results to date before even the 'requested'date

    and the buggeration factor of the vote that went into quarantine,

    that there were  certainly strong grounds for bringing action against the SPFL board for breaching the Companies Act. 

    Especially, as I believe Lord Clark hinted, there is the suggestion that Article 99  might run counter to the public interest in  so far as to give a private company's Board the right to deny to the company's members access to the Courts without that Board's permission and under threat of unconscionably draconian powers if they do so when the dispute in question might very well be about abuse of process rather than about ' a football' dispute. 

    Basically, society should not allow its citizens to sign away their absolute right to seek redress under law in the event that they have a dispute unless they receive permission from a third party!

     

     

  27. From my understanding of Lord Clark’s comments, it seems the ‘no litigation’ rule could be held to be illegal if tested.
    It also seems to me that a previous legal challenge to football authorities took place without any reaction by the authorities.
    The rule certainly appears to have been broken in this case, but the management of the situation has again attracted the world class decision making of our football administrators and the result is an escalation of the problem.
    The authorities have already shown themselves to be corrupt, time and time again. I am not prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt now, simply because the ‘no harm’ option was available as was a compensation scheme.

    Worth remembering that nobody cheated in the construction of this shambles.

  28. Should also add that in view of Hearts and Thistle and Stranraer having done nothing wrong, they deserve a bit of empathy beyond mere words.
    Self interest is certainly at the root of this, no matter which side of the argument you are on, but self interest is also at the root of our climate crisis, our child poverty crisis, and also nearly every challenge facing us today.

  29. Self interest to the point of self harm.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    John Clark 15th July 2020 at 08:19

    Especially, as I believe Lord Clark hinted, there is the suggestion that Article 99  might run counter to the public interest in  so far as to give a private company’s Board the right to deny to the company’s members access to the Courts without that Board’s permission and under threat of unconscionably draconian powers if they do so when the dispute in question might very well be about abuse of process rather than about ‘ a football’ dispute. 

    ……………………………………………………
    The SFA move yesterday to adopt what can be seen as an unnecessary bullying tactic that may actually not be legal is interesting and will have long term implications.
    This kind of “rule” is as incongruous as the existing “football debts first” internal rule.

    Everything about the SFA and the SPFL  action though this has been found lacking.

    If I was Brora or Kelty I’d be asking the SFA why they were not worthy of legal action against the SPFL.

     

  30. An interesting piece in today's print edition of 'The Scotsman' by  Iain McMenemy , Chairman of Stenhousemuir FC – " SPFL needs a whole new system not board change".

    McMenemy references the voting structure, and observes: "If you need to carry 90 per cent support for any change then that change will never happen. So nothing goes forward"

    I lift this quote from it " We couldn't even agree on a solution to support our own members during a pandemic"

    And his plea is " If we do one thing, let's address the fundamental issues in our league structure and fix it"

    I suspect that the structure is actually irreparable because of the extent of underlying dishonesty, deceit, double-dealing and disagreement amongst the members of the SPFL and between members and the Board, and the parallel underlying dishonesty , deceit, and double-dealing of the over-arching  'governance body' of Scottish Football , the hugely questionable SFA.

    Rats in a weighted  sack cast into the Clyde are nothing in it, when it comes to panicked self-interest without thought of principle!

  31. We’re still at it! Hearts/PT attempts to reverse the voted position has got nothing to do with the ambition , however fine, to reorganise the SPFL and SFA. They are not on a crusade and their latest “incredulous” stuff is straight out of the statement o’clock circus we’ve been entertained by in recent years. They were 100% aware that SFA action was the outcome of their court approach. 
    For anyone who believes they are fighting the good fight here is some other stuff all clubs sign up to that makes association football remotely possible to operate but could be challenged in court. 
    Edouard goes self employed. Plays for Celtic one week, PSG the next etc. Basic employment rights. 
    Dons sign up a cup tied Liverpool reserve one week before the cup final. Windows? Freedom of movement/restriction of trade and all that. 
    Cove Rangers go to court because the league is reorganised so they don’t get promoted. Oh hold on. 
    All of this may be made ok within SFA rules at some time of course. By voting through resolutions. Hearts/PT are bang out of order. They’ve been poorly advised and I hope they get a minimal fine rather than drag it out. 

  32. I think there is some confusion over the Scottish football arbitration procedure. Although the framework is set out in the SFA's Articles of Association, when utilised, the process is not 'managed' by the SFA. It is completely independent.

    This may provide some useful insight:

    https://shepwedd.com/knowledge/arbitration-scotland-act-2010-0

    Whatever comes out of it, it will not be an LNS predetermined outcome by any stretch of the imagination.

    The contractual agreement to resolve disputes by arbitration (instead of litigation via the courts) does not diminish either party's rights or obligations. An arbitration panel can make the same orders (to do or refrain from doing something) or award for damages that could be made by the court. Such decisions are legally enforceable as if made by the court.

    Partick Thistle and Hearts obviously feel aggrieved by their respective demotions.

    Do they have the right to challenge the SPFL resolution that confirmed the manner in which final league positions were determined – and the consequential promotion/relegation outcomes? Yes, of course they do!

    Does the obligation to make that challenge via arbitration provide a reduced chance of justice being served? No, I don't believe so. I don't think the clubs have even suggested that to be the case.

    Have the clubs breached the SFA's Articles? Yes.

    In light of the general purpose of resolving disputes via arbitration (see the enclosed link above), can the clubs make a reasonable case for choosing to ignoring their obligations under the Articles? Not as far as I'm aware. 

    Could the clubs have their SFA memberships suspended for raising proceedings at the Court of Session? Yes. If the SFA panel decide that the clubs (in this specific action) behaved in bad faith.

    The primary question for the panel may be, what did the clubs hope to gain by bypassing arbitration.

    From what I understand, it doesn't appear that the clubs have a particularly strong legal argument for having the SPFL decision overturned. There is no evidence, that I am aware of, that would suggest the board acted outside of its powers. The resolution was passed within the 28 day period allowed. I cannot see why Dundee (or any other club that had originally indicated it was rejecting the resolution) could not change its mind within the statutory time limit. Legally, it appears to me, it was perfectly entitled to do so.

    I don't think the argument of unfair prejudice holds up to proper scrutiny. Unless you are arguing that decision to finish the league season was invalid or the method of determining final places was inherently unfair, what reasonable argument can there be that the team occupying the automatic relegation position is relegated and the team occupying the automatic promotion position is promoted?

    I feel sympathy that teams weren't able to fight out final positions in the usual way, but, unless you are advocating for voiding all league positions, I don't see what arguments even exist for cancelling promotion and relegation.

    Arbitration could (and I am sure will) settle these matters in short order.

    Court action would be a much more protracted affair. Indeed, a real risk to the start date of the new league season would have ensued. It may have been many weeks/months before a full hearing could have begun. Who knows what temporary arrangements would have had to have been put in place?

    Were Partick Thistle and Hearts seeking justice? Or were they seeking to strategically use the court to stymie the start of the new season, risking the TV revenues and disrupting everyone's plans at a particular vulnerable time.

    Can we really say they have done nothing wrong?

     

     

  33. Mibbees it could be this stramash between clubs and Hampden which will help – eventually – to produce the unintended consequences: restructuring of the SFA & the SPFL?

    This arbitration & Notices of Complaint- together with the other shambolic events of Spring/Summer 2020 – could prove to be the catalyst for long overdue change in governance at Hampden.

    …but, there could also be several more years of simmering mistrust, public mud slinging and general ill will across the senior game – before we reach that final tipping point for implementing change…

  34. I think Hearts/PT, having failed to restructure to their benefit, are going for compensation. All the to and fro, from Hearts/PT and the SPFL, is positioning. It’s all about how much. I can’t see the league being reorganised to suit Hearts/PT. if it is we can look forward to multiple arbitration appeals regarding anything that might affect income: re scheduling of games, post Europe weekend fixtures, allocation of referees etc. 
     

  35. HirsutePursuit

    …Have the clubs breached the SFA’s Articles? Yes.

    In light of the general purpose of resolving disputes via arbitration (see the enclosed link above), can the clubs make a reasonable case for choosing to ignoring their obligations under the Articles? Not as far as I’m aware. 

    Could the clubs have their SFA memberships suspended for raising proceedings at the Court of Session? Yes. If the SFA panel decide that the clubs (in this specific action) behaved in bad faith.

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

    Lord Clark

    On the advice of responsible counsel, Hearts and Partick Thistle brought these proceedings in court alleging unfair prejudice on that and several other grounds. In my opinion, questions may arise as to whether in that context a bar on raising legal proceedings without the permission of the Board of the SFA, subjecting a club which does so to the potentially extreme sanctions mentioned by senior counsel for the SPFL, can be viewed as contrary to public policy and hence unlawful. In the absence of detailed submissions, I cannot reach any concluded view on that matter. It is something which would require to be addressed in a proper legal debate on this issue.[8]I conclude that the nature and relative complexity of these issues makes it inappropriate that I deal with the question of dismissing the petition at this early stage. I therefore refuse the motion on behalf of Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers to have this petition dismissed.

     

    HirsutePursuit

    The primary question for the panel may be, what did the clubs hope to gain by bypassing arbitration.

    From what I understand, it doesn’t appear that the clubs have a particularly strong legal argument for having the SPFL decision overturned. There is no evidence, that I am aware of, that would suggest the board acted outside of its powers. The resolution was passed within the 28 day period allowed. I cannot see why Dundee (or any other club that had originally indicated it was rejecting the resolution) could not change its mind within the statutory time limit. Legally, it appears to me, it was perfectly entitled to do so.

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

    Lord Clark recognised a need for the appropriate documents, etc. to be made available so as to clarify the dubious circumstances around the Good Friday Vote. Would an arbiration panel do or even be able to do so ?

     

    HirsutePursuit

    Court action would be a much more protracted affair. Indeed, a real risk to the start date of the new league season would have ensued. It may have been many weeks/months before a full hearing could have begun. Who knows what temporary arrangements would have had to have been put in place?

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

    Lord Clark

    If for any reason, difficulties arise with whether the arbitration tribunal is able to deal with the issues in the time available and the parties change their minds and wish the court to deal with, time will be made available for that to happen

     

    HirsutePursuit

    Were Partick Thistle and Hearts seeking justice? Or were they seeking to strategically use the court to stymie the start of the new season, risking the TV revenues and disrupting everyone’s plans at a particular vulnerable time.

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

    That is quite a leap in thought and alongside the sentence I highlighted this morning *, IMO almost makes it sound as if you have a horse in the race, so to speak.

    *I do not wish either club ill, but I wouldn’t be completely outraged if both sit the coming season out.
    #doublespeak

     

  36. HirsutePursuit 15th July 2020 at 11:36

    I think there is some confusion over the Scottish football arbitration procedure. Although the framework is set out in the SFA’s Articles of Association, when utilised, the process is not ‘managed’ by the SFA. It is completely independent.
    ……………….
    And that panel must stick to the rules for any punishment that may be due in the SFA’s Articles of Association. If they don’t we could end with a similar situation that we had with the ibrox club back in May 2012.

    The club succeeded in their application for a judicial review at the Court of Session in Edinburgh as Lord Glennie backed their assertion that a Scottish Football Association judicial panel had exceeded its powers in administering the ban on registering players.

    The judge accepted the club’s case that only the SPECIFIC PUNISHMENTS laid down under the related rule should be imposed on the club for bringing the game into disrepute.
    The
    SFA appeal tribunal, which had upheld the decision that a transfer ban was appropriate punishment for a failure to pay more than £13million in tax last season.

    The explicit punishments stated in the SFA’s rule 66 are a maximum £100,000 fine, suspension or expulsion from participation in the game, ejection from the Scottish Cup or termination of membership.

    The independent three-man SFA disciplinary panel had considered ending Rangers’ membership, saying they viewed the offence second only to match-fixing in terms of seriousness, but decided a transfer ban was more appropriate.

  37. I think that Peter Lawell is playing a blinder here . He knows his club can't be seen to challenge decisions for/against his main rivals , but has learned something in governance that he wants exposed to the courts and is using us and Hearts as proxies  to have the courts examine previous agreements .   More than one way to skin a cat . (insert tongue firmly in cheek emoji here ) . 

  38. paddy malarkey 15th July 2020 at 16:06

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

    Peter Lawwell’s direct counterpart at Rangers is Stewart Robertson.

    Stewart Robertson has been on the board of the SPFL throughout this whole situation. Part of the decision making process.

    As have Alan Burrows (Motherwell), Les Gray (Hamilton Academical), Ross McArthur (Dunfermline Athletic), Graham Peterkin (Ayr United), Ken Ferguson (Brechin City)

    Yet it seems it is Peter Lawwell who has been controlling things, for some people.

    So it’s not the board of the SPFL, or the member clubs, who are the SPFL who did all of this. Put the resolutions forward, voted on them, agreed to finish the season. It is one man.

    Thank goodness he is at my club, running all of Scottish football. 

  39. Just been dipping my toe in and out of here because if Im honest Im totally scunnered with how all this stuff has happened over the course of Covid shut down . The country as a whole has united to stay sane and get through lockdown  but Scottish football has surpassed itself , with how badly they have behaved through this crises .We really are a backwater when it comes to running our game . I , like most people  would love to see the SFA and the SPFL chased out of our game once and for all. But we should remember the clubs sit on their hands and do bugger all about it , they have it in their power too change things but year after year they do the square root of  Feck All . The latest carry on with Hearts and Partick is just crazy . Anne Budge is a total IDIOT . I get lost with the legal stuff etc at times but even I knew that the crazy road she chose to go down was just madness and was always gonna end up in tears . If  I was a Hearts fan I would be shi@@ing myself that this woman is running the club. I hear she has now got Jim Jeffries in now as well . Jeeeezo . Personally I think the easy and most sensible option was a 14 team league but hey it was the clubs that indicated no apetite for it , so what was Budge thinking about with the latest charade . God help the Jambos

  40. While Im here , Regarding Peter Lawell , as a Celtic fan I have many issues with the man , mainly the Res 12 Debacle . But I,ll tell you one thing, if we had people the calbre of Peter Lawell running Scottish football we would be in a far better place

  41. roddybhoy

    If we had anybody running Scottish football we would be in a far better place . 

  42. roddybhoy 15th July 2020 at 20:04 

    ….but Scottish football has surpassed itself…

    Nah, surely not. Scottish Football has a few marathons still to run before it surpasses 2012 and all that ensued? I’d proffer that Ann Budge is not a total idiot. Ann never got where she is today ‘without recognising a completely useless machine’ when she sees one. Ann chose to go down that ‘crazy road’ knowing full well that i. The shareholders (in Hearts case the supporters) demanded it. ii. Hearts had more to win than lose and iii. when it all kicked off Ann thought that the ‘Hearts & TRFC Alliance’ was binding and they’d see it all the way through together.

    Alas, if Ann is guilty of anything, it is placing Hearts’ trust in the likes of Douglas Park; but we all know he jumped on his own bus, pressed firmly on the accelerator and drove it back down TRFC’s own ‘crazy road’ as soon as the SPFL released the prize money before he had to pull the plug.

    As for the ‘easy and sensible option’ for a for a 14 Team League, you’ll find that you and that ‘total idiot’ Ann are on the same page. She fought tooth and nail for a 14 team league. If you ‘were’ a Hearts fan with your views on Ann running the club, I’d suggest you get on a different bus.   

     

  43. Homunculus 15th July 2020 at 17:54

    ‘.Thank goodness he is at my club, running all of Scottish football.’

    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

    Well, of course ‘Peter’ does not by any stretch of the imagination ‘run’ all of Scottish Football.

    My concern is that he 

    did not stand up for integrity in football governance against the 5-Way Agreement,

    and buggered about on the Res 12 issue , meekly accepting without challenge  the possibility ( to put it no higher) that his club had been stiffed by  RFC with the collusion of  the SFA and cheated out of some millions of pounds,

    and allows the use of the term ‘Old Firm’ for sordid commercial reasons. 

    While not being mired in the real filth that SDM created by his cheating, oor Peter is by no means the clean potato, putting the financial success of his club above principle. 

    There are no goodies in the saga of RFC’s Liquidation: just different degrees of badness.

    And Scottish Football is in terminal decline.

     

     

     

  44. JC –

    …..putting the financial success of his club above principle'

    Befittingly, this prompted a memory of an old saying: 'A man is usually more careful of his money than he is of his principles'.

     

  45. The inability of our SMSM football writers to distinguish between fiction and fact aided and abetted the creation and maintenance of the 'Big Lie'.

    The most recent example is to be found in Alan Pattullo's piece ( about the Veolia tournament) in 'The Scotsman' this morning.

    He writes "The Old Firm concept perished with the bankruptcy of Rangers in 2012 is how the thinking goes. There's no need to go into the whys and wherefores of that argument here"…

    Towards the end of his piece ( which is about the two cheeks -of -the- same-arse syndrome ) he concludes  

    " The Old Firm concept remains strong. It's just that some refuse to refer to it  as the Old Firm- their choice entirely, of course. But whether people like it or not, Rangers and Celtic have been a package since the early 1900s. And they continue to be so."

    The basic flaw in his argument? His failure to recognise that  the 'rangers'of the Old Firm package ceased to exist, and that TRFC is not 'continuity Rangers'.

    Whatever the relationship between Celtic and TRFC may have been  that  relationship ended in 2012 with the death of RFC as a participant in Scottish Football. 

    Intellectual honesty and emotional balance require that people recognise that fact, and refrain from suggesting that one can choose to describe Celtic's 12-year-old 'relationship' with a new TRFC as being a continuation of the relationnshipthat existed between RFC of 1872 and Celtic (of 1877.. continuing).

    There may be marked similarities ( one cheek of an arse looks and behaves pretty much like another ) but it is definitely not the same total arse that existed up till 2012. 

    [Alan Pattullo, p.60 , 'The Scotsman' print edition, 16/07/20]

  46. JC, frustrating as it is, we have to play the long, long game IMO.

    Yes, it’s been 8 years so far, of the SMSM hacks obediently repeating ad nauseam the continuation lie, the ‘Old Firm’ lie, etc. 

    However, what is encouraging is that every time they lie, several readers correct them in the article’s ‘Comments’ section, (if the Comments section is enabled, of course).

    But, give it say 5 or 10 years tops and the likes of Pattullo, Jackson, English, Jack, Spiers, etc. will no longer be reporting on Scottish football – due to retirement or to the demise of their newspaper.

    The Internet Bampots just have to wait a bit longer…  heart 

    [And that’s assuming that Scottish football doesn’t cannibalise itself meantime!]

  47. I haven’t contributed for a while but have been following the conversation. Getting all rather circular folks if I may say. 

    as way of contrast don’t think that the SFA/SPFL have a monopoly on poor administration. The SRU could show them a thing or two. 

    the leagues were voided. This was after two clubs achieved promotion and were awarded the league trophies. Those clubs appealed the decision but the Board has the ultimate authority as conferred in it by the Union byelaws and the articles of the limited company (Scottish Rugby Union ltd are the legal structure that employees staff and undertakes contracts as the Union is a unincorporated association). This was rejected and the decision stood. 

    the two clubs were very upset about the decision and the rejected appeal. The only resolution they could use is to call a Special General Meeting. This requires the support of 20 clubs to trigger said SGM. The petitioners achieved this aim. The difficulty is in arranging this meeting during the current circumstances. The AGM is now to be held virtually but only for transactions. Any debate will be held a a reconvened adjourned meeting. 

    The result of the null and void is that there is no promotion or relegation. No winners or losers. And no prize money will be divied up either. This is very small beer in comparison with Scottish football but the comparison still holds.

    and it looks like season 20/21 could be similar though if any rugby gets played it will be a miracle!

     I get all the coulda, woulda, shoulda discussion needs to move on. Given the knowns – the Scottish Government are the ones who stopped football. It only recently permitted the game to restart in 1 Aug. 
     

    what other outcome was possible than what we have?

  48. John Clark 16th July 2020 at 00:14

    Homunculus 15th July 2020 at 17:54

    ‘.Thank goodness he is at my club, running all of Scottish football.’

    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

    Well, of course ‘Peter’ does not by any stretch of the imagination ‘run’ all of Scottish Football.

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

    Of course he doesn't. Neither does he run Celtic, he is the Chief Executive, employed by the board, to run the PLC on a day to day basis. He is also there to put the strategies and policies they decide upon in place. To do what they tell him, if he didn't he would get sacked.

    The Celtic board have three committees to deal with important business. Audit, Remunerations and Nominations. Peter Lawwell does not sit on any of them.

    Do people think that Stewart Robertson actually makes the important decisions for Rangers. Or that he just implements the decisions made by the (PLC) board. In my view the perception is that he is a paid employee doing what he is told to do and implementing what he is told to implement.

    My guess is that Rangers have had such high profile owners that people understand they are "in charge". David Murray, Craig Whyte, Charles Green, Dave King (a charming group). People know a bit about the main players behind Celtic, but they tend to stay in the background and let Peter Lawwell be the front man. The high profile figure who people see as "running Celtic".

  49. Homunculus 16th July 2020 at 20:26

    ' Neither does he run Celtic, he is the Chief Executive, employed by the board, to run the PLC on a day to day basis. He is also there to put the strategies and policies they decide upon in place. To do what they tell him, if he didn't he would get sacked.'

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

    You're quite right to make that observation, of course.  Any  CEO is but an employee and a spokesman for his Board.

    I know that my issues with 'Peter' are not with him personally as 'Peter Lawwell' but with him as speaking for the Celtic Board/majority shareholder.

    I use 'Peter' as shorthand for 'Celtic' in pretty much the same way we use 'SMSM 'as shorthand for the sports editors and football writers who we believe are failing us ,and not as referencing , say, the political, arts, crime, or farming and fishing  reporters.. and, of course, there are many excellent reporters on and contributors to those areas of journalism in the SMSM.

    My fundamental position in relation to the saga is a simple one:

    a cheating club whose offences for a decade against the Sport merited expulsion was, in a collusive act of secret corruption, NOT expelled for its misdeeds 

    Instead, the most ridiculous statement any person 'sober as a judge'  ever made ( that a sports club having bags of illicit money did not have any sporting advantage over its immediately competitive clubs) was accepted without a blush, and was followed up by the  equally ridiculous Bryson's observation that , in effect, a player who is ineligible to play at the times he plays is not ineligible at those times if that ineligibility is not discovered until after he has played!

    That was pantomime enough, one would have thought.

    However, it was followed by (and I can still hardly believe it) the super-Pantomime of the Liquidation of RFC. This was  duly and properly acknowledged (fair do's) by the loss of its share in the SPL, and consequent loss of membership of the SFA.

    But then the pantomime was staged, which involved the pretence that the Liquidated 'no-longer-shareholder in the SPL' and 'no-longer-member of the SFA' was actually still magically alive as Club 12, out there strutting its 140 year old stuff against Arbroath (was it?) while SevcoScotland tried to become a football club!

    The sheer foolish dishonesty of it all , in the end!

    Initially, men were inclined to be honest; no way was Club 12/SevcoScotland/ TRFC getting admitted into the SPL!

    Or into Div 1  or Div 2 of the SFL!

    Something happened then.

    Suddenly, a good fairy , pantomime fashion ,appeared and waved his wand and, hey presto, admission into Div 3 was granted not to Club 12/ etc, but, magically to RFC of 1872, while that dead club was lying dead in Liquidation.!!! 

    Miracle of miracles, that.

    My first beef with 'Peter' or the Board of Celtic is that Celtic bought into that 'miracle' for sordid commercial reasons and at the cost of losing any moral high ground against lies and cheating in sport

    My second beef relates to the Res 12 issue ( which had its origins before the 5-Way Agreement but about which I was ignorant until well after the Liquidation saga).

    I believe the Celtic Board have behaved disgracefully in refusing to insist on independent investigation into  the possibility that RFC  of 1872 ,with or without the collusion of the SFA's Licensing Committee, lied to UEFA and obtained by that lie a few million quid to which they were in no way entitled. 

    Worse, I believe that 'Peter' ( as representing the Board) misled/ lied to the AGM on the matter. 

    I can temporise, compromise, adjust, adapt, make allowances, see other angles, other ways of looking at things: 

    I cannot accept being lied to ( by anyone, really, no matter the cause or 'reason' for the lie)

     

     

  50. A propos my post of 23.40, can I say that I have since then made some toasted cheese for Mrs C and myself, and only just this minute ago went in to see what the SMSM are saying, and have come across this:

    "Even with (Jurgen) Klopp or (Jose) Mourinho at the helm, Rangers wouldn’t have challenged Celtic, because of the players and finances available."

    M'Luds, John Barnes knows that the money available to a club really gives a sporting advantage, no matter what a superannuated judge may have been told.!broken heart

    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/sport/premier-league/john-barnes-makes-jurgen-klopp-rangers-title-claim-as-he-urges-steven-gerrard-to-keep-focus-on-ibrox/ar-BB16P8Hn?ocid=msedgntp

     

  51. It seems as though Peter became a topic of discussion yesterday. I quote two responses below.

    —————– %%%%%—————-

    Thank goodness he is at my club, running all of Scottish football.

    ————————–

    Well, of course ‘Peter’ does not by any stretch of the imagination ‘run’ all of Scottish Football.

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

     

    Firstly, there seems to be a strong rebuttal of claims that he runs Scottish football. Who made those claims? I can’t remember typing that in my posts where Peter was referenced. But regardless, let’s change from what he isn’t/doesn’t do to something more interesting and constructive, what he is and consider what he does.

     

    My position

    • he works as CEO for the most powerful club in Scotland, Celtic PLC. Over the last decade, they have clearly become the establishment club, so to speak. The renumeration committee award him with a seven figure package of responsibility to act on behalf of the interests of the PLC. Above all, the main interest of the PLC is the bottomline.
    • Peter is the clubs main political interface, negotiator and enforcer. He has been in the job for nearly 17 years and had previously worked at Celtic as Financial Controller in the early 90’s for a relatively short time.
    • Alongside the clout of  representing the most powerful interests in the land, those 17 years have seen Peter make a lot of friends, some of whom enjoy periodic influence and can sometimes help Peter further the interests of the PLC he represents. Peter is reputed to be a strong individual when it comes to politics and negotiations. He attempts to bring his considerable influence to bear on decisions/negotiations that may affect the interests of the PLC.

    – he is the single most powerful and influential man in Scottish football when  it comes to the day to day (often machiavellian) politics and currently enjoys having important friends at the SFA (eg. Mulraney & Maxwell) and SPFL (eg. the executive).

    Peter protects relationships. He vocally supports his friends at the SPFL, at a time when they are knee deep in an omnishambles that smells badly. But as some have already pointed toward, Peter doesn’t do principles. He has in the past enjoyed talking about sporting integrity when it suited but in reality, he doesn’t actually do that either. The PLC interest trumps all and Peter likes to keep his friends on the renumeration committee happy.

     

    He doesn’t sit behind a desk, stroke a fat white cat and control the whole shooting match.

    He has many people where he wants them and when required, attempts to bring his influence to bear on behalf of the PLC interest

    Hence the previous use of ……#FollowtheMoney

    Peter, is by miles, the most powerful and influential lobbyist in our game and this in turn drives many important decisions as we have seen these past few months. Some of which, I’ve already mentioned several times.

     

     

     

  52. Roddy

    Regarding Peter Lawell , as a Celtic fan I have many issues with the man , mainly the Res 12 Debacle . But I,ll tell you one thing, if we had people the calbre of Peter Lawell running Scottish football we would be in a far better place

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

    That is some twisted logic.

     

  53. Homunculus

    Neither does he run Celtic, he is the Chief Executive, employed by the board, to run the PLC on a day to day basis. He is also there to put the strategies and policies they decide upon in place. To do what they tell him, if he didn't he would get sacked.

    ——————————————————————————

    It should also be noted though that Peter is not only CEO but is a member, and no doubt one of influence, of the PLC main Board that agrees the strategies and policies he then has responsibility to implement. 

  54. Just a slight deviation / minor observation.

    I note that Ryan Kent was sent off yesterday.  I didn't see the game and only saw a photo of him following the red card incident.

    What I did notice is that he had his socks pulled up and over his knees. 

    And it's the height of summer…?

    As a player I think the only time I ever did this was if it was mid-winter, with a morning kick-off – and the red blaes pitch was frozen solid! A futile attempt to preserve the skin on my knees…

    I just don't get it.

    Socks pulled up above your knees is just not a good look, IMO.

    (And not having a go at Kent, as others – even Sergio Ramos – does the same.)

    …and don't get me started on gloves and tights…  crying

  55. StevieBC @ 11.36  — I can give you an insight into this reason for the socks pulled up over the knees – 

      Some people believe it's all to do with the red band being above the knee and the lines of their favourite anti- Fenian song and if you see the individual players who partake of this practice it becomes believable especially in games against Celtic FC – whether this is true or not is open to conjecture and maybe at some point the players who regularly take to the field like this will come out and enlighten us all? 

    As you say it's a bit odd so we're left to speculate 

  56. bordersdon 17th July 2020 at 10:59

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

    Of course he has influence, he is really good at his job.

    It would be madness to employ him, pay him the money they do, then not take his opinions on board.

    There really isn't anything unusual about a highly paid, very experienced Chief Executive having boardroom influence. 

     

  57. reasonablechap 17th July 2020 at 09:17
    He has many people where he wants them and when required.
    …………….
    Many people also have Peter Lawwell where they want him, and know he is there when required.
    …………….
    Peter, is by miles, the most powerful and influential lobbyist in our game.
    … But still could not get the push against a Title declaration through.

  58. Homunculus 17th July 2020 at 13:57
    …………..
    He is that good at his job, that a few clubs are interested in taking him away from celtic, if he was not so good at his job no one would be looking at him.

  59. Homunculus @ 13.57

    There really isn't anything unusual about a highly paid, very experienced Chief Executive having boardroom influence. 

    ——————————————————————————

    Indeed. I think that was the point I was making and one that I felt was understated in your earlier post (IMO).

  60. Cluster

    He is that good at his job, that a few clubs are interested in taking him away from celtic, if he was not so good at his job no one would be looking at him.

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

    I agree !

    If you think about it, that actually supports my first post of this morning.

    The root of the problem has been the neoliberal economic model that Thatcher brought to the UK and the ways in which it has evolved.

    PLC’s have adapted to it, often sail close to/beyond the wind and as far as Celtic PLC’s interests are concerned, Lawwell does a good job.

    However, that doesn’t make things right.

  61. borderson

    Indeed. I think that was the point I was making and one that I felt was understated in your earlier post (IMO).

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

    Your use of “understated” is IMO, understated angry

    I’d humbly suggest that omitted is the word given that Homunculus tends to be careful with his language.

  62. reasonablechap 17th July 2020 at 14:50
    PLC’s have adapted to it, often sail close to/beyond the wind and as far as Celtic PLC’s interests are concerned, Lawwell does a good job.

    However, that doesn’t make things right.
    …………………
    A lot of things are not right in scottish football.

  63. I tried   to take the following absurd comments from one Nikola Katic seriously – but failed miserably!

    “If we had played every game against Celtic last season, we would have been Champions…In the Cup Final we were impossibly good (!) but just couldn’t score” (How does one become impossibly good?)

    Where do you start with that?

    Indisputable FACTS from the three Celtic v SEVCO games:-

    CFC – 2 wins

    SEVCO – 1 win

    The bold boy’s prizes for his profound and totally illogical remarks are courses in English Language, Grammar and Basic Arithmetic.

    Oh – and stay off the ‘Bucky’ Niki!

     

  64. Peter Lawwell seeking to exercise his influence on the Scottish Government?  Is it an appeal on behalf of the whole Scottish Football, or a dressed up appeal on behalf of Celtic plc?

    Should such a statement not be coming from the SPFL or the SFA?

    http://www.celticfc.net/news/18332

    CELTIC have expressed the hope that Scottish football will not be left behind as grounds re-open to supporters around Europe.

    Following the indication of ‘pilot’ games with spectators in the rest of the UK from next month, Celtic believe that the same approach can safely be adopted in Scotland.

    Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell said: “We have discussed the idea of ‘pilot’ games with the Scottish Government and believe it provides a safe, sensible way forward. As a club, we have put enormous thought and effort into making Celtic Park fully compliant with all public health-related requirements while allowing our supporters to return to watching football.

    “It is acknowledged that Scottish football has been exemplary in implementing all the safeguards required of it, first to get back into training and, from August 1st, to playing competitive SPFL matches.

    “We are convinced that this should now be accompanied by a phased return of spectators which would be good, not only for the game of football but also for public health and morale in Scotland more generally.

    “Scottish clubs are much more dependent on matchday revenues than other, larger leagues. That factor should be taken account of, so long as the public health obligations are met, to which we are entirely committed.

    “We also have an obligation to our own supporters to make the case for them to be allowed to watch live football, particularly when they can see the steady progress towards this in other European leagues.

    “Alongside other sporting bodies, Celtic will continue to engage in constructive dialogue with the Scottish Government and look forward to early progress.”

  65. easyJambo 17th July 2020 at 19:00

    '..Should such a statement not be coming from the SPFL or the SFA?'

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

    The issuing of such a statement by an individual club is really a powerful  indictment of the petty-minded, pettifogging and hopelessly blinkered and embarrassing incompetence of the governance body of Scottish Football.

    It should not be the place of an individual club to engage with the national and civic authorities as if in a representative capacity on behalf of Scottish Football!

    But it is not surprising that it should happen given that  the SFA Board is  up its own posterior, external orifice invoking its own Articles to try to punish clubs that have been put in great difficulty through no fault of their own instead of concentrating on saving all of Scottish Football .

    Fiddling while Rome burns isn't in it!

     

     

  66. easyJambo 17th July 2020 at 19:00

    Peter Lawwell seeking to exercise his influence on the Scottish Government?  Is it an appeal on behalf of the whole Scottish Football, or a dressed up appeal on behalf of Celtic plc?

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

    It's on behalf of Celtic.

    If they agreed that Celtic could start getting fans back in, but no-one else could, the club would do it.

    So would every other club.

    None of them would say "No, it's all or nothing, if everyone cant get fans back we won't be doing it".

  67. Well ryan kent got his marching orders last night straight red for apparently raising his hands to an opponent. My questions are will the SFA man up and will he be suspended for the first 2 games at the start of the new season?

     

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