A Question of Trust (Updated)

by Auldheid for the Scottish Football Monitor

On these pages at least there is a mounting lack of trust that the Scottish Football Association can or will govern our game in a fair and honest manner that recognises the principle of sporting integrity as paramount.

This mistrust is equalled only by the frustration at being unable to do anything to change the attitude and action of those at the SFA (and Leagues) responsible for that governance, a frustration compounded by the reluctance of the mainstream media to focus on the very issues of trust and integrity that concern us.

Back in early 2010 Celtic supporters represented by the Celtic Trust, various Association groups and individuals felt the same frustration and found a way to make their voices heard at the SFA – by using their club as a channel of communication to articulate their concerns.

A resolution was agreed and passed to Celtic to convey to the SFA and it was heeded by the club. There is no reason in why a similar conduit cannot be used by supporters groups of all clubs.

The enormity of the task, to get the majority of trusts and associations of all clubs to support this approach and give it sufficient weight, should not be underestimated, but in the interests of amplifying our voice, it is worth the effort.

Based on that 2010 experience, and on the discussion that has taken place on TSFM we have arrived at a (now amended) resolution below under the auspices of TSFM and which has been sent to all representative club supporters groups.

We believe one of the reasons the SFA and SPL were able to mislead (or simply fail to provide leadership) was because of the lack of clarity surrounding who should take provide that leadership and what principles should have been paramount.

The SFA were as tied to the commercial impact of Rangers demise as the SPL and indeed had to be reminded by the supporters of the importance of that sporting integrity. In the aftermath of the Rangers implosion, both the SFA and Leagues on the face of it appear still too commercially oriented to act in a way that balances commercialism and sporting principles.

We have attempted to address this in the resolution below. It also contains additional points raised already on TSFM and elsewhere. It is designed to assist in the widening of accountability in the sport.

We are not wed to the draft or the language. It is there to be revised but we hope it contains enough food for thought to be acceptable to the supporters groups and the clubs.

As recently as today, the SFA has published a Fans Charter. We welcome this development, and although it does not address our specific concerns with respect to governance it is a step in the right direction (http://www.fanscharter.com/).

Some of the principles published are;

  • Challenge is to make a National Fans Charter known, accepted and influential
  • Getting fan involvement in drafting charter important to acceptance,  influence and growing awareness.

We think our resolution is an even bigger step in the direction of those principles.


DRAFT Proposal for Representative Supporter Groups e.g. Trusts or Associations to send to their club to convey to the SFA/SPL/SFL Boards.

We [Insert Association/Trust name here] and in association with fans’ groups of other clubs, ask [Insert Club name here] to convey the following to the Scottish Football Association, SPL and SFL on our behalf.

1         We believe that the commercial viability of Scottish football at the professional level depends absolutely on the belief by supporters that sporting integrity is at the heart of all competition, and that those governing them and the rules by which they exercise governance, must hold sporting integrity as paramount above ALL other concerns. This belief can be summed up in the one word “trust” Without trust in those responsible for governing Scottish Football, commercial viability will suffer, to eventual ruin of our game.

2         There is a perception (accompanied by some dismay and anger) among football supporters throughout Scotland that those who were charged with upholding the rules of the SFA and SPL/SFL, only did so partially – and even then only because of the threat of supporter action if they did not.
3         There appears to be no distinction or order of hierarchy between those governing the game (the SFA) for whom we believe preservation of sporting integrity should be the prime purpose, and the leagues (SPL/SFL) for whom commercial aspects are (understandably) uppermost. As a result sporting integrity lost its primacy and it was left to supporters to insist on it.

4         Consequently many Scottish football supporters have lost confidence that the Scottish Football Association will fulfil their purpose of safeguarding the sport. Indeed their silence following the revelation of a 5 way agreement last summer on the future of the liquidated Glasgow Rangers has exacerbated this loss of confidence in the SFA’s ability to administer professional football in Scotland in a manner that reflects their duty of care to all aspects of the game and everyone who takes part in it.

5         Decisions and deals have been taken by the SFA, SPL, and SFL without any public scrutiny. The operations and decisions of those bodies lack transparency and they are not accountable in any recognisable form to the football supporters throughout the land, without whom there is no professional association.


6         In our view this loss of trust can only begin to be restored by the SFA publically committing  itself to:

(i)                  The production of an unequivocal “mission” statement of purpose/intent which will state (in whatever form they may exist) that maintaining sporting integrity is and will always be their prime goal. The statement will also describe how they intend to ensure this principle is followed in their interactions with Leagues and Clubs, particularly when commercial decisions that might undermine sporting integrity are implemented by the Leagues. (e.g. In the case of TV contracts, sponsorship or any significant league reconstruction).

(ii)                Further: in recognition of the inability of some individuals to provide leadership during the past year simply because of conflicts of interest, take steps to remove any such conflict, and in doing so enable the organisation and its office bearers to function unhindered.

(iii)               In the interests of transparency, publish the “five point agreement” that allowed The Rangers entry into SFL and SFA, provide a supporting rationale for entering into the agreement, and confirm that the terms have been or are being complied with.

Along with other trust restoring measures (see attached Annex) these steps should mark the end of the continuing lack of trust in the authorities.

7.         We appreciate that it may be the start of next season before there is any visible evidence of our concerns being addressed although the statement of purpose/intent by the SFA (i) and action at (ii) can be readily put in place – would be a welcome early development.

8.         All club’s supporters groups will be watching closely for signs of progress before advising our members and our other supporters if we feel the necessary trust restoring steps are being taken and advise that they can purchase their season books for 2013/14 knowing that sporting integrity is once more absolutely paramount in Scottish football to the betterment of our game.

Signed __________________________ on behalf of

[Insert supporter trust/association name here]

Date ______________

Annex to resolution.

The following is a list of other measures that the SFA should take in order to satisfy supporters that they should be entrusted with the job of governing Scottish football.

  1. To increase transparency and accountability in a meaningful way – possibly via creation of an active supporter’s liaison group drawn from representative supporter groups of each club. Its remit, using an agreed consultative mechanism to generate dialogue, to hear supporters’ concerns and consider them before key decisions are made. In an industry that is totally interdependent it is folly to exclude a major stakeholder from key decision making.
  2. A tightening of and an annual and independent audit of the process for granting UEFA Club (FFP) and National Club licensing reporting to the representative supporter liaison group as well as other SFA members to ensure all clubs are living within their means.
  3. Introduction of a rule requiring all Scottish football club directors to declare any financial interest/shareholding in any club other than their own and to rule that disposition of those shares/interest should be a part of a fit and proper assessment of a person’s qualification to hold office at an association club.
  4. A feasibility review of Scottish refereeing to assess the potential for creating a professional service that the SFA provide to the leagues by recruiting and training referees, but where the leagues monitor and reward consistently good performances to an agreed standard. Given the sums dependent on referee decisions, the current system must change for everyone’s sake including the referees.
  5. A full explanation about the circumstances (including dates) surrounding the award of a UEFA Club licence to Rangers in spring/summer of 2011 when there was unpaid social tax that prime facie did not meet the conditions for deeming the granting of a licence acceptable under the UEFA FFP rules on unpaid tax (the wee tax bill).

The [Insert Club Name here] Trust/Supporters Association asks [Insert Club Name here] to convey our concerns above with their provenance to the appropriate authorities as they see fit viz:

    • Football Authority in Scotland (The SFA)
    • Europe (UEFA)
    • Scottish Government (on the issue of accountability to supporters and       proper checks and balance governance.)
Advertisements

About SFM
The Scottish Football Monitor is following the lead of RangersTaxCase in an attempt to hold the Scottish mainstream media to account and to question. If they do not ask the difficult questions, we will.

1,894 Responses to A Question of Trust (Updated)

  1. wottpi says:

    We seem to be getting ahead of ourselves with regard to the LNS inquiry/commission.

    Lest we forget that, a la the FTTT, when it comes to legal matters the lawyers like to get into the nitty gritty fine nuances of the law and that does not often lead to a common sense verdict but merely a finding being arrived at on purely technical matters.

    As far as it looks no-one else had ever paid their players in the way Rangers did and it is highly likely that the footballing rules are written to cover this scenario.

    I still fear it is touch and go as to what the outcome will be.

  2. wottpi says:

    sorry

    ………….it is highly UNlikely that the footballing rules are written to cover this scenario.

  3. StevieBC says:

    iceman63 says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 16:05

    Some of the most disturbing aspects of the LNS enquiry are these:

    7. The failure of the SFA to tackle Rangers despite breaking the rules of association by taking them to the Court of session…
    ====================

    Amongst the many questionable in/actions of the SFA over the last year in particular, it is your point 7. above which IMHO is incontrovertible proof that the SFA is institutionally biased towards Rangers.

  4. I may be wrong here and I am sure will be corrected in due course if I am.

    It is my understanding that there is no defence to the charges before the LNS enquiry. Sevco refused to attend or even acknowledge the hearing and Oldco has no one other than BDO to fight it’s corner and I believe they have decided that there is no reason to do so.That would mean to me that the only legal represantitives at the hearing are the SPL’s lawyers who found enough evidence originally to allow the SPL to arrange the independant hearing in the first place. With no arguments to be heard should this hearing not be over rather quickly? As I said this is only my understanding of affairs and will probably be miles off the mark.

  5. neepheid says:

    Carfins Finest. (@edunne58) says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 16:28
    0 0 Rate This
    I may be wrong here and I am sure will be corrected in due course if I am.

    With no arguments to be heard should this hearing not be over rather quickly? As I said this is only my understanding of affairs and will probably be miles off the mark.
    =====================
    I thought that the RFFF were paying for legal representation at the hearing? Since it isn’t a court of law, it is open to LNS to hear anyone he chooses to. If it was a court of law, RFFF probably wouldn’t be heard, as having no locus in the matter.

    Even if nobody attends for the “defence”, I am sure LNS will take great care to put the defence case for them, just to be seen to be fair. He’s wasting his time, of course, because if the finding is perceived to be “anti- rangers”, then all hell will break loose no matter how scrupulously fair the conduct of the proceedings has been.

  6. allyjambo says:

    iceman63 says:

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 16:05

    Can’t disagree with what you say, but have one abiding hope, and that is: that Lord Nimmo-Smith and his two QCs are far better men than those in the corridors of power at Hampden. That means that, not only will they come up with a just verdict, with suitable punishment/penalty should that verdict be guilty, but they also ensure that the SPL and SFA act upon it by wording their verdict in such a way that the football authorities have little, or no, option other than to abide by their findings and to act accordingly – or be seen, beyond any shadow of doubt, as the (at best) weak cowards we all consider them to be!

  7. neepheid says:

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 16:38

    1

    0

    Rate This

    Carfins Finest. (@edunne58) says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 16:28
    ========================================

    Thanks Neepheid. I know that the RFFF made noises about paying for a lawyer but that was just recently and would give their chosen legal eagle no time to prepare. Heard no more about it and so presumed that it was all just the usual bluster.

  8. nowoldandgrumpy says:

    Interesting

    http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/the-year-of-the-share-issue/#more-3519

  9. A lttle off topic, but a simple answer to the common problem of unsavoury chants and the like, at least when a club decides to act:

    “Eurosport Football
    30/01/13 – 16.43
    Den Bosch to punish fans after racist chants in cup match

    Dutch second division soccer side Den Bosch will punish fans who shouted racist chants at United States international Jozy Altidore during the Dutch cup quarter-final against AZ Alkmaar on Tuesday.
    Those responsible had a week to turn themselves in to the club, Den Bosch said in a statement on Wednesday.

    “If they don’t then we will use the pictures from our security system to find out,” Den Bosch director Peter Bijvelds said.

    “The perpetrators will receive a ban, while we will also investigate what the possibilities are for legal prosecution.”

    During the game, won 5-0 by Alkmaar, referee Reinold Wiedemeijer twice warned the home fans via club officials to stop their racist chants and he was set to suspend the match five minutes before the interval.

    The referee spoke briefly with Altidore and the Alkmaar striker said he wanted to play on.

    “We were playing a good game and wanted to go on,” Altidore told reporters. “I decided not to react to this stupid behaviour and that is better, although it is sad that things like this still happen.”

    Wiedemeijer suspended the match briefly early in the second half after his assistants were pelted with ice and snowballs.

    The Dutch Football association (KNVB) have opened an investigation into the behaviour of the Den Bosch crowd.

    Den Bosch still have a conditional fine hanging over them after crowd violence during a relegation match in May 2012 at Willem II Tilburg.”

  10. jonnyod says:

    nowoldandgrumpy
    found it interesting also ,am I getting Phil right ,is he saying that the 17m boast from city investors will not materialise and CG will have to declare such .
    Does this tie in with CG rumoured news to the hordes in a meeting last week that the share issue had only brought in 10m .If so that would be 5.5m from the fans and 4.5m from investors .
    If I have it right and this indeed turns out to be the case then surely CGs honeymoon period will be well and truly over regards the fans

  11. goosygoosy says:

    nowoldandgrumpy says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 16:51

    Interesting

    http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/the-year-of-the-share-issue/#more-3519
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    RIFC reportedthat the RIFC share issue raised £22.2m

    Spivs never tell the truth

    So we can be certain that this statement didn`t mean that RIFC held £22.2m in cash immediately following the share issue

    Maybe Phil is hinting that some of the Asian Spivs have not paid for their RIFC shares on the date promised?

  12. StevieBC says:

    goosygoosy says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 17:22

    nowoldandgrumpy says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 16:51

    Interesting

    http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/the-year-of-the-share-issue/#more-3519
    ==========================
    Assuming correct, is Phil alluding to a required ‘going concern’ announcement ?

    I.e. if backers have done a runner I presume any ‘mandatory announcement’ must be significant ?

    Or is that just wishful thinking on my part ?

  13. Humble Pie says:

    How Deep is the Rabbit Hole?

    As we await the outcome of the Lord Nimmo Smith enquiry into breaches of SFA regulations on players registration by Rangers FC PLC (since renamed and placed into liquidation), I thought it worth taking time to consider the context in which this failure of governance has played out, or the ‘bigger picture’ if you will.

    I don’t know about you but any childhood illusions that I may have had that ‘the authorities’ were there to ‘look after us’ has been well and truly shattered over the last two decades or more. In recent years almost all of our ‘most trusted’ institutions have been shown to wear no more than a wafer thin veneer of honesty and integrity. Break through that slim membrane of deceit and we are faced with the startling reality that self-serving corporate corruption is now absolutely endemic in our society.

    The corporatisation of our civic life in particular has been imperceptibly slow and deliberate. While our little heads were filled with dreams of ‘change for the better’ with each new dawn and each new government, behind the scenes, men who care only for personal profit have been allowed to usurp our most coveted ideas of peace, justice, education, health, wealth and ultimately happiness. Almost all of the once venerated institutions that we entrusted with guardianship over our ‘public services’ have now been found to be morally bankrupt.

    Successive governments have lied the people into wars of conquest, taking hundreds of thousands of innocent souls while our citizens slept on the streets and elected ministers claimed for second homes and £60 light bulbs.

    The big banks gambled with our hard-earned money and lost the lot, then the government borrowed the same amount from the same banks (created out of thin air) and gave it back to them to gamble with some more.

    The mainstream media continually distorts our view of the world and its people, distracts us with flashy advertising, sensationalist flannel, celebrity gossip and naked breasts, while fermenting discord and division among the citizenry and intruding on the lives of the innocent victims of crime.

    The TV broadcasters have covered up the most heinous abuses against children perpetrated by their own staff, while we were busy being ‘programmed’ to become disengaged, disinterested and opinionated voyeurs of so called ‘reality shows’.

    Hospitals now care more about bed space and cost benefit analyses than looking after the sick and the elderly, our nurses are overworked and undervalued while many doctors have become hopelessly corrupted by financial kickbacks from the pharmaceutical industry.

    Education has again become more of a privilege than a right with the increased cost of hidden fees, accommodation, transport and the lack of any real, meaningful edification and purpose for our young people. Most of the good teachers have left what used to be a ‘vocation’, many of the rest are bored, disempowered and underpaid for the role with which we entrust them (developing the skills of our children).

    The Police which used to provide the public with a ‘service’ has now become a ‘force’. No longer do we have policemen and policewomen, now we have ‘officers’. Each individual police force is now an separate corporate entity (look it up on Companies House) their officers obliged to generate income by issuing ever more fines and charges to balance their dwindling budgets.

    So the question is, why should I expect football be any different?

    Football is governed by a set of rules or customs, which serve to ensure fair competition, and allow consistent adjudication of the winner. These rules are encompassed by the principles of respect, fair play and sportsmanship and are agreed to by all participants….or so Sepp Blatter would have us believe.

    During the last couple of years, particularly throughout the Rangers saga, I have become more and more disillusioned by the lack of morality and integrity that has been displayed by the Scottish football authorities. They have ignored their own rules when it suited them and applied them with full ferocity when it suited them. At times their obfuscation and outright hypocrisy has been breathtaking. Compare and contrast the SFA’s treatment of Spartans for accidently failing to put a date on a form twice, and the former Rangers, who deliberately withheld information from the SFA, failed to pay millions of pounds to their civic taxes nor their many creditors (football related and otherwise) and have brought the entire game into disrepute in this country on more than one occasion.

    How can they possibly get away with it? I hear you ask.

    That the SFA, the president of which is ‘heavily conflicted’ in the entire shenanigans, has fobbed this enquiry off to the SPL (who have no real jurisdiction over the breaking of SFA rules) who in turn fobbed it off the retired Lord Nimmo Smith’s ‘independent panel’ tell us what exactly? That they want justice to be done and to be seen to be done? Perhaps.

    However, that the same SFA still fails to state categorically the status of the club called The Rangers currently plying their wares in SFL3, even though the answer to this simple question remains fundamental to the integrity of the sport and any hope of reconciliation among the now deeply divided supporters, doesn’t fill me with confidence in their governance of the game.

    What do I expect to happen? Well my experience has taught me to expect the worst and to hope for the best. No doubt, whatever the outcome of this enquiry, that will not be the end of it. In my humble opinion, ‘interested parties’ will seek to make this a long drawn out affair (ain’t it always been so) with judgements and appeals, claim and counterclaim, appeals to the SPL, SFA, CoS, CAS, UEFA perhaps even finally ending up on Sepp Blatter’s Louis XIV style oak desk in Zurich. Where we can expect………………………..?

    Michael Ellner noted, “Just look at us. Everything is backwards, everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, psychiatrists destroy minds, scientists destroy truth, major media destroys information, religions destroy spirituality and governments destroy freedom.”

    Will we have to add ‘and the SFA destroyed Scottish football’?

    I hope not but I am beginning to expect so.

  14. nowoldandgrumpy says:

    Humble Pie says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 17:36
    ——————

    Fantastic post.

  15. Humble Pie says:

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 17:36

    Wonderful piece of writing.

  16. hangerhead says:

    Humble Pie says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 17:36
    11 0 Rate This
    How Deep is the Rabbit Hole?
    ———————-

    Savagely brutal and strikingly well written. Many thanks for delivering one of must read posts of the month.

    It reminds me of a song by The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy – “Satanic Reverses”

  17. neepheid says:

    goosygoosy says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 17:22
    0 0 Rate This
    nowoldandgrumpy says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 16:51

    Interesting

    http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/the-year-of-the-share-issue/#more-3519
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    RIFC reportedthat the RIFC share issue raised £22.2m

    ==============================
    If Phil Mac’s article is factually based, then Green may be in big trouble on two fronts.

    Firstly, he needed that money to keep the ship afloat, and if he didn’t get it, or most of it, then I can see RIFC heading down the tubes PDQ.

    Secondly, as PMac points out, there are rules about such matters, and as a potential investor (that’s a joke, by the way!), I’m entitled to know if the company did not in fact raise £22.2m. I might have bought shares this week thinking that I was piling into a successful flotation behind a load of smart Asian investors, and then suddenly find that I’m standing alone, waving my share certificate, with only a few thousand Bears around me. Now there’s a thought to bring the nightmares on. Anyway, even Green must know he has to come clean on this (if it’s true) very soon, or he could be in real trouble with authorities who couldn’t care less about any reaction from the WATP brigade. Now that would be a novelty.

  18. Humble Pie says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 17:36
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Humbs.., an absolutely stunningly accurate & brilliant post…
    If anyone reading is involved within in the various “organisations” mentioned… TAKE NOTE. !!
    ..nuff sed

  19. neepheid says:

    Humble Pie says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 17:36

    That piece deserves a far wider circulation than this forum can offer. A profound insight into the ills and evils of modern society generally, and not just our particular small corner of that great cesspit. Thank you.

  20. allyjambo says:

    Humble Pie says:

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 17:

    Humble Pie,
    That was one of the best summations of our modern world that I have read in a long time, putting those so called journalists in the MSM, on both sides of the border, to shame. A sad indictment of how the spivs have taken over from men of integrity! Perhaps AT could highlight it in one of his blogs!

  21. jean7brodie says:

    Humble Pie says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 17:36
    Excellent writing, excellent points clearly stated.

  22. gazpops says:

    Lovely stuff, HP.

  23. Senior says:

    Humble Pie

    To contemplate writing a post after this brilliant piece is the equivalent of being asked to sing after Andrea Bocelli.

  24. StevieBC says:

    From KDS

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/837/img2440z.jpg/

    When will the apology be demanded… 🙄

  25. nowoldandgrumpy says:

    BBC Sportsound ‏@bbcsportsound
    Rangers refused arbitration move: Rangers newco is refused permission to continue an arbitration process establi… http://bbc.in/TbVsp2

  26. Captain Haddock says:

    nowoldandgrumpy says:
    Gratifying that a non SFA panel is able to abide by the rules in relation to CG’s crazy attempt to suggest that TUPE legislation doesn’t apply to him or Ally. I seem to remember they claimed they tried to meet their obligations by trying to phone a few players or having a wee chat in a dressing room!

  27. famoussong says:

    The (fairly predictable, though I’m not a lawyer), failure by Sevco to treat Oldco employees as serfs recalls a golden moment in Simon Schama’s History of Britain. Commenting on the sad loss of life in the Black Death of 1348-50, he tells us that not all the consequences were bad: indeed, agricultural wages doubled, due to supply and demand. “And if your lord and master wouldn’t pay up”, characteristic wobble of the head, “you were free to find a new one. With a firmer grip on the new economic reality”.

  28. highlandjaggy says:

    Who is this arbitration panel, I demand to know.

  29. briggsbhoy says:

    Well said Humbie.

    A thought ! I tried to pose this question a day of so ago but it got lost somewhere and apparently not in moderation. The issue of insurance claims by Oldco for injured players. It was suggested that Oldco would have put in a claim for the basic salary plus EBT earnings. If that is the case then
    1) Were the EBT’s not a one off annual payment rather than monthly and only issued on request?
    2) Were EBT’s not a loan in the strict sense of the scheme and not salary ?
    3) If a loan were they manipulating payroll figures to fleece the insurance company
    4) Surely if the insurance company has paid out on what was technically a loan, should they not be seeking recompense because it is not salary?
    5) If HMRC win their appeal case should Insurance companies not be looking at what they paid out and why ?

    Anyone blow this out of the water ?

  30. whisperer18 says:

    Humble Pie

    How Deep is the Rabbit Hole?

    Chapeau Sir !!! ……… Big Time !

  31. torrejohnbhoy says:

    nowoldandgrumpy says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 20:30

    BBC Sportsound ‏@bbcsportsound
    Rangers refused arbitration move: Rangers newco is refused permission to continue an arbitration process establi… http://bbc.in/TbVsp2
    ====================================================
    Must be me.
    Did CG not claim last week that RIFC had won this case?.
    P.S. The Daily Record agreed with him.No wonder Leggo calls for a boycott!

  32. goosygoosy says:

    Humble Pie

    How Deep is the Rabbit Hole?

    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Not deep enough to fill the praise your post deserves

    Absolutely magnificent HP

    No wonder there`s a sauce named after you

  33. HirsutePursuit says:

    torrejohnbhoy says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 21:58
    nowoldandgrumpy says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 20:30

    BBC Sportsound ‏@bbcsportsound
    Rangers refused arbitration move: Rangers newco is refused permission to continue an arbitration process establi… http://bbc.in/TbVsp2
    ====================================================
    Must be me.
    Did CG not claim last week that RIFC had won this case?.
    P.S. The Daily Record agreed with him.No wonder Leggo calls for a boycott!
    ======================================================
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/mobile/sport/football/rangers-well-keep-fighting-for-compensation-for-oldco-players.1359577114?_=e74f0f1f0934fe0ab10af864e8ea13c69913a897

    Seems that the arbitration panel has correctly ruled that OldGers and NewGers are different clubs.

    I wonder how this will go down with the LNS commission?

  34. nowoldandgrumpy says:

    StevieBC says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 20:16
    ===========================

    This probably about the only tweet that can be shown

    Ulubatli Souness ‏@sounessg
    I demand an apology from Berwick Rangers over their agenda driven slight on our club.

  35. HirsutePursuit says:

    I know it’s only rules; but:
    http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/resources/documents/SFAPublications/ScottishFAPublications2012-13/SFA_HANDBOOK_53-136_Articles_of_Association.pdf

    99.16 Any Dispute decided under the procedure referred to in this Article 99 shall be final and binding on the Parties. For the avoidance of doubt, the parties to any arbitration established pursuant to this Article 99 agree to renounce their respective rights of appeal, save in respect of the mandatory provisions of the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010 in respect of challenging awards, or as otherwise expressly provided in this Article 99.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/mobile/sport/football/rangers-well-keep-fighting-for-compensation-for-oldco-players.1359577114?_=e74f0f1f0934fe0ab10af864e8ea13c69913a897

    “This was always a possible outcome of what was purely a procedural hearing.

    Suspecting this would be the outcome, the club had already filed a further Notice to Refer under SFA article 99.”

    Anyone care to speculate how it may be possible for “a further Notice to Refer” to be in accordance with the regulations?

  36. HirsutePursuit says:

    HirsutePursuit says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 22:38
    0 0 Rate This
    I know it’s only rules; but:

    Anyone care to speculate how it may be possible for “a further Notice to Refer” to be in accordance with the regulations?
    ================
    Only messin!

    Of course they have the right to give Notice to Refer. The NewGers were not involved in the arbitration case that has just been decided. It was the old club (the original Rangers FC) that started that case.

    For the new club to get involved, they have to raise a case of their own.

  37. Humble Pie says:

    Guys, I am honestly humbled by your kind comments but more than that I am comforted by being in the company of so many like-minded souls. This is one of the sites where I come to get a regular dose of integrity, one of my five a day.

  38. nowoldandgrumpy says:

    David Longmuir gives an exclusive to TRFC TV on his thoughts on reconstruction. He lets his neutrality slip with his comments. Also why is he talking exclusively to TRFC TV. No doubt most SFL club supporters subscribe to this channel no?

    http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/3261-longmuir-on-reconstruction#.UQlnifg22Gw.twitter Longmuir

  39. newshedenvy says:

    Apparently, SFL clubs are to propose reconstruction to four leagues of 12, 12, 10, 10 thereby introducing two more ‘professional’ clubs to the league structure. This idea is even worse than the ridiculous SPL proposal. There are already too many clubs struggling to get enough fans through the gates.
    Two leagues of sixteen would be plenty. We could call them Scottish League Division 1 and Scottish League Division 2.

  40. Humble Pie says:

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 17:36

    You have brilliantly described the loss of ethics. The word ethics is from “ethos” in Greek meaning spirit. What has been lost is the sense or awareness of the spirit that binds one human being to another and on which a civil society is based.

    Ethics get lost when ego takes over. Ego thinks only of self, sees only self and others as ego fodder. It is a blind man, hoarding in the dark.

    But my experience of the grand design of life tells me that it is self correcting in that the consequences of forgetting create the painful circumstances where what we have forgotten is restored (maybe only until we forget the next time from a higher awareness level than last but restored nevertheless, making a platform for a new generation to stand and grow on in their own forgetful way.

    We will win this ethical battle on all the society stages you described.

    Gerry Rafferty “got it right”.

  41. chipsandblog says:

    Good post humble pie. We are in an era of poor leaders whether its football, business, innovation or politics.

    We had our Bankers gambling with the countries cash and when they messed up its the middle class down to the poor who have to bail them out. We gave them a new balance sheet and they kept it. Lets remember that every pound, shilling and pence still exists somewhere.

    We have politicians who can find cash for war and defence but plead poverty for anything else. We had young people looting TVs from our shops and rightly punished whilst politicians purchased Tvs on expenses.

    The Americans got rid of the shuttle before they had a replacement, we got rid of Concorde and we even got rid of the Harrier whilst purchasing aircraft carriers that we had no planes for.

    Politicians are the new religious leaders trying to control and frighten the population with regards any major decision, for example, independence or Europe rather than put together a positive case for their views. They announce a delay in their 3p petrol price rise and tell us how much they are saving us. They are the sole reason petrol is expensive.

    As for Scottish football, we have imported a cricket boss and a failed Norwich boss to run our game. These guys promised transparency but failed to deliver. In fact they have been drawing up agreements that are anything but transparent. They have been fundamental in the encouraged confusion of newco and oldco and tried to pretend that the game would cease to exist if TRFC were not in the SPL.

    Yes we live in strange times, where are the good decent upstanding leaders of our communities ?

  42. Humble Pie says:

    Auldheid sir, I salute your indefatigability (and your choice of tune). We need more like you prepared to stand up for what we know is right. As Gandhi said, “even if you’re in a minority of one, the truth is still the truth”

  43. manandboy says:

    Humble Pie, you have given us quite a few clues in the past that yours is a more than capable brain. But none of us, I would bet, had any idea that ‘Rabbit Hole’ was on it’s way.
    But Wow! Have you not just given us a truly outstanding piece of work.
    I think it’s awesome!
    Very well done! And thank you so much.

    I am quite sure this piece will be for all of us, not only a source of inspiration but also a much needed boost to confidence, as well as a timely encouragement to continue the good fight till integrity is
    re-established in Scottish Football.

    May your words be read throughout the land.

  44. nowoldandgrumpy says:

    newshedenvy says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 23:54
    ————————

    Two comments on Longmuirs interview, the 12 12 10 10 set up would allow TRFC to celebrate a league win and they could then claim to be promoted into the top 10 group, with them being guaranteed entry into the bottom 12 the following year.

    Also the hint that he would like 12 12 18 delayed for a year, that would again allow TRFC to win the league and get promotion, however that would also ensure them into the second group of 12 the following season.

    So not for the benefit of your favourite team then?

  45. newshedenvy says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 23:54
    0 8 Rate This

    Apparently, SFL clubs are to propose reconstruction to four leagues of 12, 12, 10, 10 thereby introducing two more ‘professional’ clubs to the league structure. This idea is even worse than the ridiculous SPL proposal. There are already too many clubs struggling to get enough fans through the gates.
    Two leagues of sixteen would be plenty. We could call them Scottish League Division 1 and Scottish League Division 2.
    ———

    To me, saying that there are too many clubs is like stating there are too many small towns and local communities. Even wee towns are still afforded roads, schools and other opportunities. I don’t subscribe to the theory that their sporting aspirations should be denied merely because they are not Dundee, Aberdeen or Edinburgh. I’d say there’s probably more old-fashioned football ideals among the wee clubs than in many of the business ventures at the top end. Regardless of whether 12-12-10-10 has any merit as a structure, it’s certainly encouraging to see one organization in Scotland look out for the wee clubs and not just continually pamper to the elite.

  46. Parson St. Bhoy says:

  47. Parson St. Bhoy says:

    The above was courtesy of Night Of the Living Rednecks on KDS.

  48. Parson St. Bhoy says:

    Humble Pie says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 17:36
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Tremendous post. Worthy of censorship. Welcome aboard the good ship SS Cynic. Glad to see the post has started to do the rounds.

  49. madbhoy24941 says:

    Danish Pastry says:

    Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 06:46
    __________________________________

    Good morning Danish!

    It is very stormy in my little part of pastryland this morning, that short walk from the car helped clear out any fluff that was stuck between those 2 satellite dishes of mine that masquerade as ears and got me thinking…

    I agree with you on this one, it is a subject I have thought about for a long time. Like you, I also hate this “too many teams” statement, when really it means “too many smaller teams than the one I support”. But I also see the logic behind not diluting the current fan base too much so we must do more to increase the fan base and maybe community teams is one of those avenues.

    But it got me thinking about when I was younger and first playing football, as a player, you only ever thought about the team you were playing in and doing your best for that team. The dream of course, was to play for the team you supported and score the winning goal in The Scottish Cup at Hampden (the real one).

    So why was that? Why did we not dream of scoring at Hamden for Harmony Row or The Ants?
    Maybe for the same reason lots of kids (including my own) have a Barcelona shirt along with that of the team they go to watch every week, we all want to be the best, play with the best, watch the best and ultimately see our team compete with the best. That will never change and it should not but without a proper pyramid footballing infrastructure that supports the development of many players (and teams) at various skill levels, eventually the best teams would be pretty mediocre.

    Take Gary Hooper, a good example. Discarded by Spurs he dropped to lower leagues including Sunday League and eventually worked his way up, now he is being courted by teams playing in the EPL. We need teams and leagues at all levels.
    While it is true that we could have 1000 teams playing football, they should all fit into a system that matches the quality of each team, this is the principal of the league system. Unfortunately that system does not currently work effectively and never will as long as we run the clubs and system as a business, only when that mindset changes, can we honestly look at increasing the number of top level teams.

  50. manandboy says:

    ” In 1953, President Eisenhower nominated GM’s CEO Charles “Engine Charlie” Wilson to be Secretary of Defense. During the hearings, when asked if as secretary of defense he could make a decision adverse to the interests of General Motors, Wilson answered affirmatively but added that he could not conceive of such a situation “because for years I thought what was good for the country was good for General Motors and vice versa.” (Wikipedia)

    “What’s good for General Motors is good for America” (paraphrasing Charles Wilson)

    “What’s good for Rangers is good for Scottish Football” (paraphrasing David Longmuir)

    David Longmuir, on TRFC TV, explaining the latest ‘fix’ and how he totally understands Gers fans.

    http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/3261-longmuir-on-reconstruction

    “So if the time is now then we have to play our part.

    I will try to – steer our clubs – to a sensible solution that’s good for the game.

    Perhaps there is a way of phasing this in and we will discuss that too.

    “I can understand Rangers fans being unhappy with the prospect that Rangers could win SFL 3
    and not be promoted.

    “I am – surrounded by Rangers fans at home – so I know their feelings.

    I know where they are coming from – but if we can put something sensible together then hopefully that issue will not arise.”

    I wonder how long we will have to wait before David Longmuir ( or SR or ND) says,

    ‘I completely understand how the vast majority of Scottish fans feel about New Rangers.’

  51. angus1983 says:

    Off topic …

    Saturdays when I was young consisted of two weekly highlights.

    The obligatory trip to Pittodrie when the lads were playing at home was generally preceded by a visit to 1-Up record shop on Rosemount Viaduct. In this wee shop, one could pick up everything from Japanese import Led Zep singles to the latest indy punk offering (I eventually sold two Jap Iron Maiden singles purchased in 1-Up for approx 100 times the £3.50 they cost me in 1982 or so … American collectors evidently have way too much cash!).

    A fine selection of 2nd hand LPs and 45s was flicked through regularly, very often turning up a gem. The staff (several of whom remain to this day, some 30 years later) were helpful, chatty, and possessed of fine punk hairstyles.

    1-Up is finally closing its doors today. A sad loss to the music scene in Aberdeen. Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it into town for a final rake, but I am deeply saddened by its passing.

  52. neepheid says:

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/opinion/league-reform-fans-must-be-ready-for-club-and-tv-boycott-to-ensure-long-term-survival.1359533810

    An interesting debate, I thought. Apologies if it has been posted here already.

  53. abigboydiditandranaway says:

    regarding Longmuir’s comment:

    “i am surrounded by rangers fans at home so i know their feelings. i know where they are coming from…”

    i’ve been surrounded by rangers fans too…

    i knew their feelings…

    i think i knew where they were coming from…

    i was lucky…

    i got away…

  54. Not The Huddle Malcontent says:

    neepheid says:
    Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 09:47
    3 0 Rate This
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/opinion/league-reform-fans-must-be-ready-for-club-and-tv-boycott-to-ensure-long-term-survival.1359533810

    ———————————————————-

    i think looking at football as a business 1st then as a sport is what is killing the game.

    You need to have the sporting basis correct – a set of rules that are evenly applied for the benefit of the GAME – not for finances.

    If the game is seen to be fair and competitive people will attend.

    Obviously clubs have set overheads and costs now which means any immediate reduction in income could be catastrophic, therefore, the clubs need to be given time to prepare for a drop in incomes.

    This could be done quite easily, for example, player costs are the biggest single expense to a club. Usually in excess of 50% of turnover. Most contracts with players are for less than 5 years.

    So, any change to the rules need to be planned in for 5 years time.

    what changes can be made? Well, don’t shake up the leagues and finance distribution models right away.

    Instead – merge the number of governing bodies – do we really need 3 chief execs/chairmen for the SFA, SFL, SPL? Top heavy management, we need a cull. Merging the bodies would do that.

    At this point in time that can be done without changing the league /finance distribution model.

    we can then introduce rules relating to maximum squad size, maximum wage to turnover rations – essentially a wage cap on a club (not individual player)

    we can introduce rules about the number of home developed players – that is players under 21 who have come through the ranks at a scottish club (the player doesn’t have to be scottish – just had 3 years at a scottish club before they turn 21)

    Any Scottish national or player who has come through the ranks would be considered a home player for the rest of his career (even if they go down south and come back) – there should be maximum number of players in a clubs squad and within that a set number of HOME players. However, each club would be allowed to include any number of under 21 year old players in their squad – so, a squad of 25 in total, with 15 HOME players – but you could have 30 under 21’s in your youth academy who could be called up if needed.

    then we get onto the touchy subject of finance.

    1st off, clubs should get “prize money” based on

    1. position they finish in league
    2. # of youth players they field in a season (i.e. take all the possible palyer minutes for the season and express as a % how many of them were were played by youth players)
    3. # of Home players fielded in a season – as above for home players
    4. maintaining the wage to turnover ration agreed – i.e. 50%

    How do we make up the PRIZE MONEY pot?

    1. TV and Sponsorship money

    and now the controversy starts….

    2. gate sharing income (not suggesting we go straight back to 50/50 gate shares, but maybe if 25% of the gate money for any game is put into the prize pot)

    3. UEFA income – clubs who play in europe generate income from UEFA, a % of that income (again, 25 – 50%) goes into the prize pot.

    4. a transfer tax – all players sold outside scotland will carry a transfer tax – say 5%-10% which goes into the pot.

    Now, before all the celtic and fans of well run clubs start greetin, remember, the gate share is NOT simply handing 25% of your gate money to your opponents on that day. the moeny goes into a prize pot. the pot is divided up based on finishing position, number of home/youth players fielded – and all it essentially does is increase the total prize pot. So, a large chunk of that “gate money” will come back to the club who does well in the league/plays more youth/home developed players.

    All in all, this will be a hit to a club like Celtic with a HUGE support and CL income, but the flip side is that it will be a boost to all other clubs in the league – and those clubs will have had 5 years to get their house in order financially and will have to operate the club on a break even basis with costs under control.

    The focus will be on developing our own players – and not putting money outside the game

    Then we can tinker with the league set up – once we have a number of financially viable clubs with a more stable income stream than simply relying on home gates/tv dross.

    the league structure can then have more teams in it – again, allowing for the development of clubs own talent.

    I think the above financial model will provide longer term stability for the league as a whole and individual clubs as well. Multiple income streams mean that ifa club has a poor season and fans drop off, they don’t necessarily loose the bulk of their income. Likewise, if doncaster fecks up the tv deal by talking the league down – there are other income streams available.

    I would like to see the TV taken in house and put on a PPV basis – all games played on sat at 3pm and people can pay to watch at home if they want – but match price for PPV would be the same as a ticket price. Alternatively, have an SPL channel with NO live games broadcast, everything played on sat at 3PM and then MON-FRI every game would have a full 90 minutes broadcast on SPL TV – could have pundits/refs/players/manager interviews after each game

    Would need to show 2 or 3 games a night.

    there, thats my vision

  55. wottpi says:

    neepheid says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 18:11
    63 0 i
    Rate This
    goosygoosy says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 17:22
    0 0 Rate This
    nowoldandgrumpy says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 16:51

    Interesting

    http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/the-year-of-the-share-issue/#more-3519

    ———————————————————————————————————————–

    Very interesting indeed.

    Not being up on such matters, the questions on my mind were always

    1. Did the named investors along with Charles and his mates actually invest £17m in hard cash
    2. When did hard cash get transferred to confirm the deal.
    3. Does the floatation have to be based on the cash on the bank or just the pledges, which may have a cooling off period?

    Like any charity event it is easy to get a pledge a tenner but often more difficult to collect the cash when it comes to the crunch.

    If anyone with experience in such matters can answer these questions then I am sure myself and other would be interested.

  56. Not The Huddle Malcontent says:

    neepheid says:
    Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 09:47
    4 0 Rate This
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/opinion/league-reform-fans-must-be-ready-for-club-and-tv-boycott-to-ensure-long-term-survival.1359533810

    ——————————————–

    also, i take issue with the writer of the above, a rangers fan (not neepheid), now telling us sporting integrity is best for the game and and in the process:

    throwing in a dig about the Irish league which he regards as inferior

    and

    calling for boycotts

    Not at all surprised at the media having a sevconian with a poorly hidden agenda as their inaugural fans opinion piece.

  57. jimlarkin says:

    angus1983 says:

    Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 09:01

    Off topic …

    Saturdays when I was young consisted of two weekly highlights.

    The obligatory trip to Pittodrie when the lads were playing at home was generally preceded by a visit to 1-Up record shop on Rosemount Viaduct. In this wee shop, one could pick up everything from Japanese import Led Zep singles to the latest indy punk offering (I eventually sold two Jap Iron Maiden singles purchased in 1-Up for approx 100 times the £3.50 they cost me in 1982 or so … American collectors evidently have way too much cash!).

    A fine selection of 2nd hand LPs and 45s was flicked through regularly, very often turning up a gem. The staff (several of whom remain to this day, some 30 years later) were helpful, chatty, and possessed of fine punk hairstyles.

    1-Up is finally closing its doors today. A sad loss to the music scene in Aberdeen. Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it into town for a final rake, but I am deeply saddened by its passing.

    ——————————————————————————–

    angus,
    since the record shop will close and you won’t get the pleasure of going in tere ever again,

    why don’t you offer to buy their history for maybe a £1 and you can reminisc all you want.

  58. newshedenvy says:

    It is a shame that discussion about league reconstruction is continually dragged into debate about how any proposal might affect The New Rangers. I am not interested in how it affects them. Frankly, I wish they would just go away. I am interested in the long term well-being of scottish football as a whole. I have always been against the idea of small leagues playing four times a year. It is possible to be near the top of the league, have two or three bad results and then be in a relegation battle. The argument for such a structure is that there are less ‘meaningless’ games. I would argue that it is hard for clubs, many of whom operate on a shoe string, to attempt to improve their team when the margin between pushing for promotion and fighting relegation is so small. It has lead to stagnation.
    With larger leagues there is less chance of relegation therefore, slowly, more teams would be likely to attempt to improve themselves with less risk. It is a long term view. I have believed this to be true since before the original 10, 10, 10, 10 structure was introduced. I think that if two larger leagues had been introduced then, our football now would be far better than it is. By the way, to real fans who turn up week after week to support their club, there is no such thing as a meaningless game.

    Any change to the league structure should be implemented at the start of season 2014/15. It is not a matter of delaying reconstruction. On the grounds of sporting integrity all clubs should know, before any competition begins, what the outcome of the competition will be.

    My favourite team is currently playing great football and is in an exciting fight for promotion. Unfortunately we lost our manager yesterday. He has done a fantastic job for us. I wish him well (especially in his first match against The New Rangers) but fear his departure will severely dent our promotion hopes.

    There are many wee clubs in this country whose sporting aspirations are denied by the current league structure. There is no automatic right of entry to the lowest league through promotion from a feeder league structure. This is wrong and should be addressed in any proposed reconstruction. There should be a single organisation that looks after the whole structure of scottish league football from the top of Scottish League Division 1 to the feeder leagues.

    My hope is that scottish football can reorganize itself for the benefit of all.

  59. neepheid says:

    Not The Huddle Malcontent says:
    Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 10:49
    ============
    A lot of sensible ideas in that post. Sharing of gate receipts will be the big issue for fans of the big clubs, but speaking as a Celtic fan, to me there are only two options. Sharing of gate receipts on same basis, to ensure a good competitive environment in Scotland. or leave Scottish football.

    I am totally opposed to the latter option. Let TRFC toddle off to England if they want, good riddance I would say to that, but Celtic are a Scottish club, and proud to be one, unlike a certain club who seem to be ashamed of their own nationality.

    So as far as I’m concerned, Celtic just have to give up some income. I can understand that for the directors of a PLC that presents enormous difficulties, but the current arrangements are killing the game. A dead game will produce zero income for anyone. Change is essential.

    All TV rights should, I agree, be taken in-house and sold on a pay to view basis. That must produce more money than the abject deals that Doncaster negotiates with Sky. There was a feasibility study done on this a couple of years ago. Has anyone seen the report? In this age of transparency, surely it should be on the SPL website?

    But the first step must be a complete clear-out at the top, a merger of the leagues, and a genuine review of how much these “authorities” cost, compared to the set-up in Norway or Portugal, for instance. Does anyone truly believe that Doncaster, Regan, Longmuir and Ogilvie represent value for money? Or that we couldn’t get better people for less money?

    Once the authorities have been thoroughly sorted out, then, and only then, should a radical restructuring of the leagues be looked at. I have an open mind on the future shape of the leagues, but I have a totally closed mind on this point- I trust nothing that emanates from any or all of Regan, Ogilvie, Doncaster and Longmuir.

  60. newshedenvy says:

    Oops, re-post with headers

    nowoldandgrumpy says:
    Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 01:02
    28 0 Rate This
    newshedenvy says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 23:54

    ————————————————–

    Danish Pastry says:
    Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 06:46
    18 2 Rate This
    newshedenvy says:
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 23:54
    0 8 Rate This

    ————————————————–

    It is a shame that discussion about league reconstruction is continually dragged into debate about how any proposal might affect The New Rangers. I am not interested in how it affects them. Frankly, I wish they would just go away. I am interested in the long term well-being of scottish football as a whole. I have always been against the idea of small leagues playing four times a year. It is possible to be near the top of the league, have two or three bad results and then be in a relegation battle. The argument for such a structure is that there are less ‘meaningless’ games. I would argue that it is hard for clubs, many of whom operate on a shoe string, to attempt to improve their team when the margin between pushing for promotion and fighting relegation is so small. It has lead to stagnation.
    With larger leagues there is less chance of relegation therefore, slowly, more teams would be likely to attempt to improve themselves with less risk. It is a long term view. I have believed this to be true since before the original 10, 10, 10, 10 structure was introduced. I think that if two larger leagues had been introduced then, our football now would be far better than it is. By the way, to real fans who turn up week after week to support their club, there is no such thing as a meaningless game.

    Any change to the league structure should be implemented at the start of season 2014/15. It is not a matter of delaying reconstruction. On the grounds of sporting integrity all clubs should know, before any competition begins, what the outcome of the competition will be.

    My favourite team is currently playing great football and is in an exciting fight for promotion. Unfortunately we lost our manager yesterday. He has done a fantastic job for us. I wish him well (especially in his first match against The New Rangers) but fear his departure will severely dent our promotion hopes.

    There are many wee clubs in this country whose sporting aspirations are denied by the current league structure. There is no automatic right of entry to the lowest league through promotion from a feeder league structure. This is wrong and should be addressed in any proposed reconstruction. There should be a single organisation that looks after the whole structure of scottish league football from the top of Scottish League Division 1 to the feeder leagues.

    My hope is that scottish football can reorganize itself for the benefit of all.

  61. bawsbustedanatha says:

    So, Green misses out on £6,000,000 worth of assets for a business they bought for £5.5,000,000!
    Sadly, I don’t think BDO will be watching.

  62. spanishcelt says:

    Looks like some expert in competition and commercial law thinks The Rangers have a good chance of getting straight into the EPL!

    Rangers v The FA: Bosman for the Clubs
    Rangers could sue the FA and any other opposing football authorities in competition law for orders forcing their entry to the English football leagues. They could do so in the Court of Session in Edinburgh. It would be Bosman for the clubs.

    A piece by Eoghainn Maclean, an Advocate practising competition and other commercial law.

    Rangers could sue the FA and any other opposing football authorities in competition law for orders forcing their entry to the English football leagues. They could do so in the Court of Session in Edinburgh. It would be Bosman for the clubs.

    That is Rangers’ route to the FA Premier League. In his 14 years of denying that there is one, Richard Scudamore, its chief executive, has been wrong for, at least, 12 of them.

    Rangers’ Charles Green has vowed to explore ways for the club to play in the English game. Since 2009, UEFA have made it clear that it would not oppose that. The SFA has now indicated likewise. The Football Conference has suggested the possibility of the club being admitted to its premier division, England’s fifth tier.

    The English FA, the FA Premier League and the Football League now seem to be the only bodies still insisting on the geographic division of professional football markets in the UK by opposing Rangers’ move. The club’s case in competition law is its prime lever to force or override those bodies’ consent. It seems, however, Mr Green may not have been advised of it. This whole issue is about restrictive trade practices not sex-discrimination.

    Rangers’ case would be founded on two pillars of UK competition law, Chapters I & II of the Competition Act 1998. They are applied in accordance with EU law and are directly enforceable by private undertakings in the ordinary courts.

    No competition case is “easy” but, in my opinion, Rangers would have a good prospect of success. In essence, their case would be that they are a business undertaking that should be free to provide its services as a football club to the buyers of those services anywhere in the UK. That the buyers are, principally, the organisers of domestic football league tournaments, who distribute shares of revenue in return. That the English football authorities are cartels which abuse their dominant position on those markets in the UK by having rules which exclude professional clubs that do not play their home games in England or Wales. That is a hard core competition abuse, worse than price fixing and Rangers would have a good case in principle.

    The English authorities would have two possible defences, on which they would have the burden of proof. Neither would, in my view, succeed.

    The first, “the sporting exception for fundamental rules of the game”, would require them to show that their rules, which exclude Rangers from the English game, are essential to their conduct of the sport and only have an incidental economic impact. That Welsh senior clubs participate in their leagues and that those rules have helped create a vast and growing disparity in income between Rangers and Swansea City, a club with no comparable history of on-field success who can now consistently out-bid Rangers for on-field talent, are facts that demonstrate how difficult it would be to prove this defence.

    The second, “the competition justification” would require the English authorities to prove that those rules are, in practice, more pro-, than anti-, competitive. That is to say, the splitting of UK football markets produces better economic results for clubs, fans and other consumers throughout the UK. For that, the English authorities would, at least, need to prove that Rangers’ admission to the English game would lead to their league matches producing less revenue by attracting smaller crowds and less viewers. Rangers would not have to prove the opposite, though plainly they would have a good prospect of doing so.

    If the court accepts Rangers’ case and rejects the defences, then the club would have been the victim of a civil wrong by the English authorities. Ending anti-competitive practices is a fundamental aim of competition law and a court order requiring them to change their rules and admit Rangers would do that in this case.

    The Court would not require Rangers to enter at the bottom of the English National League System. The victim of a civil wrong must, so far as the court can, be put in the position it would have been had the wrong not been committed. If Mr Scudamore and his colleagues have, indeed, been saying “no” consistently for 14 years, then the club has been wronged continuously since, at least, 2000 when the Act came into force. Had Rangers been admitted then, where, is it likely, they would be now? With evidence of their past achievements, domestically and in Europe, their gates and their revenues, even in a small league and over years, including this season in the Scotland’s fourth division, there would be a strong argument that they should be admitted to the Championship, at least.

    The court could not refuse Rangers a remedy just because it might “open the floodgates” to other cross-border club transfers. Competition law requires the ordinary courts to give private businesses, like Rangers, effective remedies. Its whole purpose in giving them rights is to have them do the job of enforcing that law by obtaining court orders that bring market abuses to an end.

    In any event, the likely number of cross-border transfers would be limited. While Celtic, Aberdeen, Dundee United, Hibs, Hearts and perhaps one or two other Scottish clubs might, on the same grounds, benefit from entry to the English leagues, for many others it would be unwise. Only Celtic would have a similar case for entry to a higher division. Inverness CT, if they got into League 2, would likely find their supporters less interested in fixtures with Exeter City than with Ross County, their broadcast income little higher and their wage, travel and other costs substantially greater. If they stayed, they would be amongst the biggest fish left in the Scottish pool, with better prospects of domestic success and European qualification.

    On the continent, Ajax might well get a transfer to the Bundesliga, relying on the EU competition law from which the UK Act is derived. For most, however, transfers between member states’ leagues would be even less attractive for similar, but more marked, reasons. They would be further restricted by additional hurdles in EU law that Rangers would not face under the Act.

    Football authorities are not above the law. Since the Bosman case, FIFA and UEFA have repeatedly lobbied for EU legislation and, latterly, non-binding declarations that the splitting of domestic football into national territories within the EU is, nonetheless, compatible with competition law. They have been consistently refused.

    What, probably, stopped Rangers going to court in the past, were the rules in FIFA’s, UEFA’s and the national associations’ constitutions which prohibit clubs from taking action against any football bodies in the ordinary courts.

    Courts in the UK are unlikely to give effect to such prohibitions, especially in a competition abuse case. The EU Commission has insisted on their removal from the rules of the FIA, motor sport’s governing body and from FIFA’s rules, in so far as they affect player transfers, which was scope of the case it was then dealing with.

    There is always a risk, however, that a court might not be persuaded to grant all the interim orders necessary to prevent FIFA, UEFA and other football authorities from being able to make sanctions against an “offending club” or its parent association in the short term.

    While Rangers were competing at the top level in Scotland and trying to be competitive in Europe, with all the expenditure on players, staff and everything else that that required, they may have assessed the risk as too great. Now, however, that they face being cast even further adrift by Scottish league reconstruction, they have little to lose and much to gain from finally taking this competition case to court.

  63. mercdoc says:

    A bit of topic. I see that the Old Airdrie is just about to be liquidated and the fans are not allowed to buy the old name and crest.

    http://www.acadvertiser.co.uk/lanarkshire-news/local-news/monklands-news/2013/01/30/airdrieonians-fc-trust-can-t-revive-name-65864-32705884/

  64. nowoldandgrumpy says:

    SFL clubs to consider 12-12-10-10 league restructure plan

    By Brian McLauchlin
    BBC Scotland
    Comments (6)
    The Scottish Premier League has told the Scottish Football League clubs gathering at Hampden that they have no problem with a 12-12-10-10 set-up.
    On Monday, SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster said its 12 clubs were “unanimous” in their backing for a 12-12-18 plan , possibly for next season.
    With some SFL clubs fearing an 18-team tier would create too many meaningless matches, a new plan has emerged.
    It would involve expanding the number of senior clubs by two to 44.
    The 30 SFL clubs are discussing the options at their meeting at the national stadium in Glasgow but a formal vote is very unlikely on Thursday.
    PROPOSED SCOTTISH LEAGUE RESTRUCTURE
    SPL proposal is for a 12-12-18 structure
    Top two leagues to split into three leagues of eight after 22 matches then play a further seven home and seven away games
    Leagues will be called Premier Division, Championship and National League
    Top eight teams to play for title and European places; middle eight to contest promotion and relegation in and out of Premier Division; bottom eight to decide who drops into National League
    11 out of 12 SPL clubs need to vote in favour of plans, while the proposal requires approval of 75% of SFL clubs (Rangers do not have a vote)
    One league body to replace SPL and SFL
    Instead, a vote by 29 of the clubs – Rangers, as an associate member, do not have a vote – will most likely take place in March, with 75% needing to agree to the proposal for it to be ratified.
    The SPL says it had suggested a 12-12-10-10 formation to the SFL board but that its member clubs had preferred a three-tier plan.
    Earlier, in mid-November, the SFL clubs had unanimously voted for a 16-10-16 structure for season 2014-15.
    Of course, if the 12-12-10-10 format is backed by the SFL clubs, then there will be five tiers in Scottish football once the bottom four of the top tier and the top four of the second tier form a mini-league after 22 matches in their respective divisions.
    There would be play-offs between the third and fourth tiers but it is not yet known what the movement of teams would be between the second and third tiers.
    Also, the clubs would have to decide how they will add two more clubs to the ranks of the proposed new league that will be run by one body, following a merger of the SPL and SFL.
    For example, will certain clubs be invited to apply, or will there be a general call for applications?
    Ross County and the two teams that formed to create Inverness Caledonian Thistle emerged from the Highland League when the leagues were restructured in the 1990s and that league may provide a new recruit.
    Similarly, the East of Scotland Football League, featuring teams such as Spartans and Edinburgh City, may have clubs interested in switching divisions.
    A 12-12-10-10 set-up may suit Rangers, who currently enjoy a 20-point lead in the Third Division.
    They were angered by the suggestion that they could win the league title but still find themselves playing the same teams next season as they have faced in the current campaign.

  65. iceman63 says:

    The most likely scenario of any practices against cross-border leagues being deemed unlawful – and I genuinely think they are – is that quite simply any club from anywhere within the EU can join any pyramidal structure at its entry level, but no higher – as the competition rules of the leagues involved would forbid it – so Rangers (sic) if they wish, could prove their case and be allowed to join in the bottom ladder of the English pyramid – but only when they have submitted three years of accounts.

    It cannot be retrospective as no application to join the English leagues has ever been considered before in the case of Rangers and certainly not in the case of Rangers (sic).

    In short they could win the right to enter one of the northern regional leagues in three years time- assuming they actually submit accounts for that period and are not palmed off, resold, and reowned in the interim by various other companies ( highly likely imo) in which case three years of accounts may well not have been submitted.

    It might be worth the SFA putting in a clause that applying to join a foreign league would lead to a suspension of membership ( ot in Rangers’ case their associate membership).

  66. Not The Huddle Malcontent says:

    also, THE Rangers are a 4th tier scottish team, why would they get accepted straight into the EPL? surely that is above their current position?

    let TRFC take on the SFA, FA, EPL, SKY, UEFA, FIFA, let them set the precedent – just as Bosman did.

    Look how well it worked out for Bosman – career ended, no huge income, his name on a legal judgement that has made many youngsters rich beyond their dreams, but nothing more.

  67. neepheid says:

    spanishcelt says:
    Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 12:56
    ======
    Very interesting. By the way, I think even this fine legal mind puts them no higher than Championship. However he asks a question which I might be able to answer for him.

    “The Court would not require Rangers to enter at the bottom of the English National League System. The victim of a civil wrong must, so far as the court can, be put in the position it would have been had the wrong not been committed. If Mr Scudamore and his colleagues have, indeed, been saying “no” consistently for 14 years, then the club has been wronged continuously since, at least, 2000 when the Act came into force. Had Rangers been admitted then, where, is it likely, they would be now?”

    The answer is that they would certainly be in liquidation. Which is their only genuine achievement over the last 14 years. And they would not have found the English FA quite so accommodating in their time of need. Although you would need to accept that it is the same club even to get that far. But I won’t go down that road.

  68. valentinesclown says:

    Gordon Strachan includes Lee Wallace in squad for next Scotland game.
    Where are we going with this?.

  69. finloch says:

    valentinesclown says:
    Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 13:53

    Gordon Strachan includes Lee Wallace in squad for next Scotland game.
    Where are we going with this?

    —————————————————————————————————————–
    We have a new manager.
    He might be a well known Hibby but he also has some history with one side of the West of Scotland divide and he continues to polarisesopinion for reasons nothing to do with his capabilities as a football manager.
    His new number two might be also be adjudged to be a Celtic-minded person by people who care about adjudging such things.
    So next move was to get a number 3 to make a statement that the new management team represents more than just one half of the pathetic divide. (Probably after advice from the finest football ambassador in the world and following on from similar “balancing” appointments by previous regimes.
    And the Motherwell manager fitted that bill just perfectly.

    Finally Mr Wallace’s inclusion from left field is a strategic and easily seen through attempt to cement the inclusive nature of our new management team.

    It is just as cynical a move as Mr Black’s call up and late appearance as a wonder sub a few months back.

  70. torrejohnbhoy says:

    mercdoc says:
    Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 13:07

    A bit of topic. I see that the Old Airdrie is just about to be liquidated and the fans are not allowed to buy the old name and crest.

    http://www.acadvertiser.co.uk/lanarkshire-news/local-news/monklands-news/2013/01/30/airdrieonians-fc-trust-can-t-revive-name-65864-32705884/
    =================================================================
    Surely a sad day for Gym Trainer.

%d bloggers like this: