Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Questions, questions, questions

 

As SFM folk will know, Scottish Football authorities can be enigmatic at best, puzzling and corrupt at worst, and downright crazy and incompetent in either situation. On this blog over the years, we have asked questions constantly of the authorities and the clubs, but like anyone with a fan-centred interest at heart we get ignored. “Fans are not a homogenous entity”, they say, “there are more opinions than there are fans”. This artful premise gives the clubs an excuse to ignore fans’ input, and other than on platforms like this, fan opinion is seldom gathered or curated.
The following blog, put together by Andy Smith, the Chairman of the Scottish Football Supporters Association, asks a lot of simple questions that don’t get asked often. He also invites fans to raise their own questions and opinions.
Of course, there are headline atrocities committed by the people in charge of the game.
The Five-Way Agreement, the continuity myth, the refusal to punish the biggest incidence of systematic cheating ever experienced in the game, and the casual adoption of the post-truth model introduced so successfully by venal politicians on both sides of the Atlantic.

But what enabled those assaults on the integrity of the sport? In order to get away with the big con, there have to be wee cons. Ticket allocations, kick off times and dates for set-piece occasions which make it difficult if not impossible for fans outside of Glasgow to participate, refusal to hold match officials accountable in the way an underperforming player or a misbehaving fan would be, and countless other incidences where fans are inconvenienced, or even put at risk. 

The only way to combat that level of arrogance is to unite where we can, and although in a partisan sport that can be difficult to achieve, SFM is testimony that it can work. This blog is an invitation for us to begin to look forward, and not get distracted by the past. I  hope SFM-ers participate and make their views clear.

Big Pink

 

What did Alan Dougherty, Gordon Harvey and Eddie Hutch have in common?

They were teachers who gave their time, to thousands of kids, including me, and asked for nothing back. To a man they gave up, overnight, as part of a ‘work to rule’, in an ugly pay dispute in the early 80s.
They were never thanked properly by the game?
They were and are sair missed.
Why did football let that happen?
Why has nobody ever grasped this particular nettle since?



Should you be able to have a beer at Bayview watching East Fife play Clyde on Feb 5th?

Just like the fans at Murrayfield, just over the Firth can and will, at the sell-out game vs England on the very same day.



Should you be allowed to enjoy a beer at Celtic Park watching Celtic vs Rangers on Feb 2nd?

A smaller crowd than Murrayfield too, and very few away fans. But some history and maybe a different situation altogether.

 


Are our leagues too small, leading to constant pressure and short termism by clubs?

Club CFO’s say the pressures are brutal and when their team is in trouble everything else gets sacrificed to avoid the financial chaos of relegation.
Many CFO’s dread the thought of promotion too knowing full well the seesaw implications of our small leagues.



Should the bottom of SPFL be an automatic relegation to open up the pyramid?

Our unique, one league only, convoluted play-off formula was only ever a last minute switcheroo/deal by the SPFL2 clubs at the time to protect their places in the SPFL ‘old boys network’.
I’d suggest East Stirling, Brechin and Berwick would change their votes if asked again.

 

Your Invitation to Say What You Think


Scottish Football Alliance Fan Survey January 2022

The Scottish Football Supporters Association is an independent and growing fans organisation in Scotland with circa 80,000 members. We have members from all senior clubs in Scotland and throughout the pyramid.
Many of those members regularly visit the SFM site.

We have been asked by the new Scottish Football Alliance (http://scottishfootball.org/) to provide an independent insight into what fans think about various aspects of our game, in particular what fans think our game needs to move forward. It is time for change, and football seems incapable of change from within.

Scottish Football might not acknowledge it, but it really needs the input of supporters like you. The fact none of us have been asked our opinions in the past says a lot.

We need to help and tell those running our game and other stakeholders like the Scottish Government what football needs to do.

Scottish football certainly has to think longer term and get closer to its fans.
In any business overview we are the core stakeholders.
The way we are treated and ignored is quite commercially bizarre.

To that end we have commissioned a short two minute survey, but we’d also welcome and appreciate any more detailed insights into what Scottish Football needs to do or do better. Please email those insights (in addition to participating in the survey) to me, at andrew@scottishfsa.org

I know from experience that when you get a group of fans in a room to talk about football, after the local rivalries and stuff gets dealt with, usually with humour, we can all see what the game has done for us, the power of good it can be for our communities and the things that need to change.

I constantly find that most fans not only see the bigger picture but also collectively want to give something back.

When this survey ends we will aggregate and analyse the results and share them far and wide inside the game and to other interested stakeholders like The Scottish Government.

The results will also become the foundation of policies The Scottish Football Alliance will publish and circulate.

At each stage moving forward we will work closely with The Scottish Football Alliance providing then with further fan insight.

And we will keep you and all other fans involved.

Survey Notes
You can participate in the survey by follwing this link:
https://s-f-s-a.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/scottish-football-alliance-survey

The questions are simple Yes/No and there are no right or wrong answers, just opinions and insight into what fans think.

Previous articleIn the Service of Fools
Andrew Smith
Andrew is the chairman of The Scottish Football Supporters Association Scotland’s Independent fans Association. An ex semi-pro footballer with two resultant artificial hips after too many slide tackles Andrew legitimately supports at least 4 of our senior clubs.

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944 COMMENTS


  1. @UTH – I would expect a comment on any such payment along the lines of the final casting off of the “bad guys” who hijacked the “idea” that is Rangers and that all is now harmonious with real Rangers people in charge (with or without moonbeams…)


  2. UTH

    They are now ‘reaping what they sowed’ in borrowing/ begging etc (!) to halt 10IAR – living way beyond their legitimate means.

    I recall opining (?) that Sevco’s ‘chickens would come home to roost’ wrt their financial affairs.
    And so we have it! How will they try and ‘pockle’ the accounts this time round?

    Nero fiddled – and Rome is burning – and Big Mike is still haunting TRFC.

    I don’t know how bright Kenny Miller was at school, but there we had him – berating his beloved bluenoses for not spending ‘big’ in the transfer window (They’re skint son!).

    We also Have UEFA with their ‘beady eyes’ on clubs like this ‘misbehaving’ financially.

    Any news on the final date for Liquidation?


  3. Bect67 21st September 2022 At 19:51
    ‘.Any news on the final date for Liquidation?’
    +++++++++++
    As far as I can judge all that we have seen from BDO is their expenses claims every six months or so. What exactly they are doing to justify those claims seems to be something of a closed book.
    I assume that they must exhaustively and diligently pursue every source of monies that may have been due to RFC plc from any quarter in order to maximise the amount that the creditors are due.
    I understand that some liquidations can take 10 years or more to be concluded.
    BDO’s pattern of reporting their expenses seems to be on a roughly 6-months basis. The most recent report was dated April 2022. (That report said nothing about the work they had done or the work that was still to be done, just the man-hours and rate per hour of the employees involved]
    I expect therefore that there will be a report of the same kind fairly soon.
    Having said that, I confess to having given up on trying to understand what exactly and how often the Liquidators are required to report about outstanding debts they are chasing up.
    They surely are not allowed to fanny about claiming expenses if they are not actively working on the case!
    I suppose that their remuneration comes from the ‘pot’ that RFC plc’s assets manages or managed to raise.
    It would be good if a SFM blogger who knows about things like that could find the time to enlighten us.


  4. Stewart Robertson.
    …………………………………………………………..

    There are myriad benefits to Rangers’ recent runs in Europe; financial, sporting and, less heralded, informational.

    Being around other top clubs has been a veritable treasure trove for the board as they seek to push forward with new ideas.

    The upcoming Blue Sky Lounge, an informal hospitality space in the Sandy Jardine Stand, is one example of where European travels have influenced policymaking.
    Another eye-opener has been open discussions on the money Rangers currently make from the SPFL TV deal.
    That the likes of Ajax and Napoli receive bigger sums isn’t news but when Malmo directors explained their broacast agreement in Sweden was vastly superior to that of Scotland, managing director Stewart Robertson took notice.
    “The one that really stuck with me was Malmo,” Robertson explained. “Their TV deal was more than double the Scottish TV deal. You sit with Ajax and Napoli and they are all receiving far more from their TV and sponsorship deals and their league commercial deals as a whole.

    “It put Scottish clubs at a disadvantage when you are playing other European clubs because you know they are all taking bigger sums out of their leagues and TV deals than we can.”
    That sense of frustration is exacerbated by the huge sums earned by clubs across the border for their own deal with Sky that has seen £2.5bn paid out for last season alone. Rangers’ next Champions League opponents will be Liverpool at Anfield, a club obviously on a different financial stratosphere.
    Robertson points out: “To highlight the extent of the challenge facing us soon, Liverpool received £151m from the Premier League last season for finishing second and we received £2.7m from the SPFL for finishing second.”
    Of course, TV revenue is not the be-all and end-all for Rangers that it is for many of the other teams in Scotland. Only a small percentage of the turnover comes from the current Sky agreement, and that won’t change regardless of any new contract with the broadcaster.

    A deal with Sky worth around £30m each term that lasts until 2029 is now on the table with Premiership clubs reportedly keen to sign off and ensure continuity of budget.

    Robertson, a former director at Motherwell, understands more than most smaller Scottish clubs’ desire for security but the failure to establish a proper market value for the rights clearly vexes him.

    “I don’t think we sell it. We just go along and nudge it up a little bit. This is no criticism of Sky who are a good partner for Scottish football.

    “We didn’t market-test this deal. We have no idea what else is available in the market so we don’t know whether it’s the best deal or not. There’s an advisor the SPFL have used and he’s telling us all the reasons why he thinks it’s a good deal.

    “We have contacts with other organisations. James Bisgrove worked with a company who are negotiating the deals for the Champions League and the Europa League for the next cycle. We get market feedback from there that doesn’t really hang together with the other stuff we are being told.

    “My problem is we haven’t gone and sold it. We haven’t sold it whatsoever. That’s no secret. I’ve been reasonably vocal about it when I was on the SPFL board. James and I made the point when this new deal was presented to the clubs.
    While TV revenue often takes much of the focus, there is also the matter of the SPFL’s commercial activities. The league’s deal with cinch needs no introduction and while Rangers’ position not to provide the used car website with advertising inventory has been vindicated, the bitter taste from some of the aspects of the deal linger for Robertson.

    Not least the £600,000 pounds being taken out of an £8m deal by the agency who brought the SPFL and cinch together.

    He said: “In relation to commercial revenue of the SPFL, the cinch sponsorship which there has been a lot of noise about to the point the SPFL have gone and renegotiated it because there’s now that admission that we did have a contract in place and we didn’t have to provide the rights despite all of the steps they have tried to take against the club and the flawed arbitration they have tried to take against us.

    “Something that highlights where I get frustrated is the organisation that takes the second highest amount out of the cinch deal is the agency that brokered the agreement. So the champions get the biggest slice of it, then there’s the agency, then it’s every other club in Scotland getting less. So that just can’t be right and there is something badly wrong when that’s the situation and they are taking more money than 41 other clubs. That’s just an example where we need to be smarter as an organisation.”

    And it’s not just Rangers who feel the SPFL can sharpen up its act. Dundee United, Aberdeen, Dundee, Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian teamed up to commission consultancy firm Deloittes to review where Scottish football can improve. It produced an action plan to increase distributable income from £28.4m to £50m over the course of the next five years.

    “Without breaching any confidences, I still think we are underselling Scottish football. I get frustrated by it.

    “We have to focus on what we are doing at Rangers. It is a small proportion of our revenue so we have to maximise the revenues that come from other areas.”

    Robertson wants to know how the league’s leadership team, led by chief executive Neil Doncaster and chairman Murdoch MacLennan have allowed nearly a decade to pass without a robust plan to move the finances of the game forward.

    He said: “There was a strategy group set up by the SPFL that was driven strongly by Hibs owner Ron Gordon to look to grow the revenues. Ron has done all the heavy lifting on that. It’s not been the SPFL executive.

    “It’s been Ron doing the bulk of the work on that. He’s come in with new ideas and is looking at things freshly which is great. We will debate what some of the ideas are and whether they work or not but that’s been driven by the clubs, it’s not been driven by the SPFL executive and that frustrates the life out of me. We should have someone who is really driving that business forward and maximising commercial revenues for the clubs.

    “The SPFL has had no strategic plan since the merger in 2013 and only as a result of the probing by the five clubs initiating the Deloittes report have the clubs now pulled together a strategic plan. Why have the SPFL executive not had a strategic plan for the past 10 years, surely that’s a dereliction of duty?”


  5. Albertz11 22nd September 2022 At 10:25
    ‘..Why have the SPFL executive not had a strategic plan for the past 10 years, surely that’s a dereliction of duty?”
    +++++++++++++
    Yes, as I have previously remarked, what a nonsense it is that a small handful of the individual clubs which constitute the shareholders of the SPFL Ltd shareholders in a company felt they had the right to ‘commission’ Deloittes without, it seems, the Board’s formal approval!
    On what basis of authority can that handful of clubs take executive action to implement any changes? Or enter into any binding commercial contracts on behalf of all the shareholder clubs in the SPFL?
    A board of directors which allows such a situation to arise clearly is failing in its basic duty.

    But of course, in my opinion, has connived for ten years in an act of sporting dishonesty by allowing a new club to claim to be what it is not.
    I think there is no depth of misgovernance/ dereliction of duty to which they would not stoop.
    If Scottish Football implodes it would be condign punishment.


  6. Assuming a “standard” level of football, the market value of any TV deal will primarily be driven by the number of potential viewers within the range of the company bidding for commercial rights.

    Since Sweden has roughly double the population of Scotland and the level of its top clubs is (I think!) broadly similar, you would expect the Swedish TV deal to be worth approx double that of Scotland. That’s just simple economics!

    If Stewart Robertson wants to use an example, he really should choose one that helps his case!

    Not sure citing Liverpool’s TV income does much for him either. Comparing the EPL and the SPL is like comparing Disney World in Florida with M&D’s in Strathclyde Park.

    That is no disrespect to M&D’s. It just is what it is. You can’t compare the two by the number of customers, when the respective perceived values of each experience are so vastly different.

    £15 per visit for M&D’s compared to around £100 for a day pass at Disney World. It is just what it is. It’s what the market says the price should be.

    If you accept that English football is perceived to be of a considerably higher level it will be assumed that the average TV viewer will be prepared to pay a considerably higher price than they would to watch Scottish football.

    If the value is perceived to be six times higher and the population is twelve times greater, the English deal SHOULD be more than 70 times the value of what can be achieved by the Scottish football authorities. To be clear, I am not saying it is six times better, but it may well be perceived to be so by those TV executives who are involved in the deal making.

    If TRFC gets £2.7m and Liverpool achieved £151m why would anyone think that strange? Some may even argue that the Scottish club is achieving more than the market value!

    Of course those connected to the 10-year-old club may be so delusional to believe that there actually are 500 million supporters in the world, just itching to watch its team.

    What really boils my piss about Mr Robertson is the sheer brazen cheek of criticising the commercial effectiveness of organisation that he and his cohort have been doing their best to undermine for the entirety of his club’s existence.

    The nonsense about cinch – really? Does anyone, even the most ardent fan, think that the situation was not maliciously manufactured by the club?

    It appears to me that every time the Ibrox board start this rabble rousing nonsense, there is something coming over the horizon and they are seeking to create a distraction.

    Annual accounts due to be published shortly?


  7. HirsutePursuit 22nd September 2022 At 16:33
    ‘..The nonsense about cinch – really? Does anyone, even the most ardent fan, think that the situation was not maliciously manufactured by the club?’
    +++++++++++++
    That’s an interesting observation, HP. It prompts me to remind myself that RIFC plc satisfied the Court that it had a pre-existing contract before the SPFL contracted with cinch and was therefore not legally free to be part of that contract.
    The question arises: was the Court hoodwinked and misled as to the facts?
    Or did the SPFL not even ask RIFC plc (and other clubs) about any pre-existing sponsorship contracts that they might have?
    Or was the SPFL deliberately not informed by RIFC plc that it already had a sponsorship deal with Park’s of Hamilton? Or was only informed after the cinch contract was signed?
    It’s difficult to see how the SPFL board would ignore their own rules if they had been informed of the pre-existing Park’s contract. (Mind you, they ignored truth and common sense in 2012!]
    I suspect that there was a mixture of Board incompetence and a bloody-minded seizing of an opportunity to be disruptive.


  8. John Clark 22nd Sept 18.46

    Or was the SPFL deliberately not informed by RIFC plc that it already had a sponsorship deal with Park’s of Hamilton? Or was only informed after the cinch contract was signed?
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Rangers informed the SPFL before any deal was signed. The question you should be asking John is did the SPFL inform cinch prior to the contract being signed that it could not perform all of the rights it was contracted to provide due to one of their own rules ( Rule 17?


  9. John Clark 22nd September 2022 At 18:46

    Stewart Robertson is MD at TRFC who are members of SPFL . RIFC is the holding company for 100% of the shares in TRFC . They confuse things by having both companies share web pages . If you didn’t know better , you’d think that Rangers International Football Club was a football club in Scotland .


  10. Albertz

    Rangers informed the SPFL before any deal was signed. The question you should be asking John is did the SPFL inform cinch prior to the contract being signed that it could not perform all of the rights it was contracted to provide due to one of their own rules ( Rule 17?)

    —————————

    I think both questions need answering, but given the pathological mendacity of both organisations, it really is a case of ‘he said, she said’. Unless of course there is one explanation which is clearly more plausible than the other.
    I reckon the charge of SPFL incompetence is plausible, but the fact that Rangers* clearly have a hard-on when it comes to undermining that same organisation and so
    E members of its board, makes subterfuge on their part at least as plausible, if not more.
    The notion that the SPFL have dropped the ball on TV rights seems ridiculous given the economics of the situation.

    The tipping point for me is that not all constituents of the SPFL are Rangers*.
    They can’t all be pathologically dishonest.


  11. Paddy Malarkey 22nd September 2022 At 19:22
    ‘ They confuse things by having both companies share web pages ‘
    +++++++++
    The whole thing, PM, was beautifully contrived to help manufacture the myth that the historic Rangers Football Club of my grandad’s youth somehow did not enter Liquidation but had been bought outright and brought out of Administration by CG as a going concern!
    Old Big Hands was clever but was EITHER not clever enough to realise that the player contracts lapsed automatically on Liquidation of the club, and that players were entitled to walk away rather than sign a new contract with the new SevcoScotland/TRFC. OR not quite influential enough to find a way to circumvent that legal problem.
    That was a right bummer for him! ending up with a nameless ‘club 12’ status while the governance body sh.t itself in panic and good old Turnbull Hutton spoke truth on the steps of Hampden!
    Sadly, the SFA hadn’t the moral fibre to take the action that was required of them in their duty to defend the concept of Sporting Integrity.
    Those responsible for the creation and propagation of the untruth at the very heart of Scottish Football know who they are, and each knows the moral degradation of the others.

    .


  12. Albertz11 22nd September 2022 At 19:22
    ‘..Rangers informed the SPFL before any deal was signed.’

    Big Pink 22nd September 2022 At 21:52
    ‘The tipping point for me is that not all constituents of the SPFL are Rangers*.
    They can’t all be pathologically dishonest..’
    ++++++++++++
    Now, where does that leave us, I wonder?
    Your statement, Albertz11, may be your opinion and genuine belief but, of course, would require corroboration before it could be taken as a proven fact. [ no offence intended, of course- you will genuinely believe what you may have been told or actually KNOW first-hand that what you say is true]
    BP, it is a sad fact that the Board of the SPFL propagate and foster the ‘Big Lie’
    In my opinion, the governance bodies of Scottish Football countenanced the most outrageous nonsense from one [now 10-year-old] club, which now holds them in the same contempt as I.

    It would seem to me that it is a case of a compromised governance body being suckered by an entity which they meekly accommodated in a base act of cowardly and/or venal, dereliction of duty.
    Which baddy is worse?
    In my opinion, Scottish Football will not be an honest sport unless and until the nonsense that TRFC is 150 years old is firmly hit on the head, and its claim to be continuity ‘RFC of 1872’ in terms of sporting history and sporting success is officially rejected.


  13. JC
    Just for clarification…

    I have no doubt that a contract existed between TRFC and Parks of Hamilton. I believe that it was stated that the current contract has been in place since 2015.

    The court acknowledged that the contract existed, but made no finding (that I am aware of) that the contract contained an exclusivity clause meaning the stadium or team could not have displayed cinch branding.

    That determination could only have been made after a full hearing. It didn’t go that far.

    The problem with an exclusivity clause is this…
    https://www.scottishdailyexpress.co.uk/news/scottish-news/rangers-stadium-closure-sweat-controversial-27756324

    In 2019 (four years after the PoH contract was allegedly signed) the section of Ibrox closed by EUFA was photographed with advertising from Central Car Auctions and soldmycar.com – companies which operate in exactly the same sphere as cinch.

    I wouldn’t trust what either party says without verifiable evidence. The only evidence I am aware of in relation to the alleged “exclusivity” is that it did not exist in 2019.

    That is my understanding of the situation.

    As an aside to this…I don’t know for certain it is true, but it has been reported that TRFC had been in advanced talks with cinch (how would that have worked with PoH?) but cinch decided instead to do a deal with the SPFL for the entire league.

    If this is true would anyone be surprised if TRFC, as is its wont, then spat the dummy?


  14. John Clark 22nd Sept 23.18

    From Stewart Robertson’s statement on August 4th.

    Rangers made it clear to the SPFL there was an issue BEFORE the deal was signed.
    Robertson has written: “We have been in private dialogue with the SPFL Executive since 8 June on this topic.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    This has , to my knowledge, never been refuted by the SPFL.
    The pertinent question remains though John. Did the SPFL inform cinch that Rangers were unable to provide them with many of the rights due to a pre-existing contractual obligation before the deal was signed?. There are a few scenarios at play here.
    YES they did and cinch were happy to proceed. YES they did with the proviso that Rangers would be browbeaten into playing ball, POH’s involvement was crucial in ensuring this was avoided.
    NO they weren’t informed and thus threatened to rip up the deal unless a more favourable one was re-negotiated on their behalf.
    The SPFL were/are incompetent and the fact that it was Rangers who exposed them shouldn’t cloud anyone’s judgement in this particular case.


  15. HirsutePursuit 22nd September 2022 At 23:53
    ‘JC
    Just for clarification…’
    +++++++++++
    That was a very helpful and necessary clarification, HP, and thank you for it.
    I am chastened to remember that the matter before the Court was the question as to whether PoH and cinch were ‘interested parties’ with a right to be present/represented at any SFA-arranged Arbitration Tribunal. The Court decided that they were, and the SPFL withdrew their request to the SFA that an Arbitration Tribunal should be set up.
    I was therefore incorrect in saying that the Court had been satisfied that RIFC plc had a pre-existing contract: that question was not before them.
    I apologise to the blog readers for that careless mistake.


  16. Albertz
    It’s not THE pertinent question. It’s simply one of them. Few kites hoisted there too😊
    I don’t think Rangers* “exposed” anybody either. Although the characterisation of them, that they are intrepid crime fighters seeking to right wrongs and extinguish dishonesty and malpractice in Scottish football; that’s irony 101🫤


  17. Albertz11 23rd September 2022 At 11:09
    I prefer the one whetre TRFC had opened negotiations with cinch on their own behalf only to be usurped by SPFL and then spitting the dummy out .


  18. I know its well past the hour for delivering bad news on a Friday in Scotland so one would anticipate the financials for Rangers to be released late next Friday. Will this lead to another round of blue sky style interviews with members of the board, similar to the interviews pushed through this week. Perhaps someone should point out to Stewart Robertson that comparing tv money in Scotland to that of Liverpool was perhaps a result of additives to the drinking water at Ibrox. Now they want to scuttle the proposed tv deal, which hasn’t been handled all that well and are lining Livingstone up as a partner. What’s in for Livi, sweet heart loan deals for some of the up and coming starlets from the academy. Since they can’t seem to get their own way almost all the time, perhaps they could stage a hostile takeover of the SPFL board. They do have history in that regard and in that way could set the agenda to suit themselves, i.e. referee selection, home and away games, cup draws, etc.


  19. Albertz11 23rd September 2022 At 11:09
    “Rangers made it clear to the SPFL there was an issue BEFORE the deal was signed” [Robertson]

    ‘This has, to my knowledge, never been refuted by the SPFL.’ [ your observation]
    +++++++++
    Yes
    The fact that the SPFL withdrew their request that the SFA should set up an Arbitration Tribunal strongly suggests that they did not dispute Robertson’s statement.
    You ask: “Did the SPFL inform cinch that Rangers were unable to provide them with many of the rights due to a pre-existing contractual obligation before the deal was signed?”
    The answer to that we don’t know.
    However, we can infer that whatever cinch was or was not told, they were happy to adhere to the contract.
    And, indeed, they got a degree of advertisement [that would have cost thousands of pounds] free,gratis and for nothing from the action brought by PoH!
    And perhaps PoH might have done themselves no marketing good in bringing the action!
    Certainly, though, the SPFL cocked things up against a background in which a ‘governance’ body already compromised in terms of Integrity is called to account by a football club that it allows to claim to be what it is not!


  20. “SPFL in danger of self-destruction as break-away faction calls for action!”
    That is not a headline in any newspaper this morning: I made it up.
    I’ve just read what Cormack of Aberdeen FC has to say in this morning’s edition of ‘The Scotsman’ about the Sky TV deal and the cinch dispute which threatens it.
    It’s my bit of ‘truthful hyperbole’, which I think is justified by the extraordinary set of circumstances brought about by the sheer incompetence, pusillanimity and consequent lack of authority of the Board of the SPFL.
    Who is in charge of the SPFL? Who gave Cormack and the other disaffected clubs the authority they seem to have?
    Where is the appointed, elected leadership of the SPFL as a 40-club membership body?
    Cormack calls for an end to the cinch dispute, RIFC plc/TRFC demands an apology before signing up to the Sky deal.
    The SPFL board is silent.
    Surely the way forward is for an Extraordinary General Meeting to be called to sort out who is in charge?
    But, as Shakespoke makes Hamlet say, “Let the galled jade wince, our withers are un-wrung” [ never been sure what that means, but I’ve always taken it to mean something like ‘bugger them, I wouldn’t give a damn if the SPFL fragments ”
    [ the item in the paper is not credited to any particular journalist. Wonder why?]


  21. Elite, JD Sports and Ibrox Club fined for merchandise price fixing. Surely not. It was a cinch that they were up to no good. A new club that seems to be in competition with RFC (IL) traditions.


  22. Valentinesclown 27th September 2022 At 10:08
    ‘..Elite JD and Ibrox club fined..’
    +++++++
    Yes, VC.
    From ‘the Herld’ a wee while ago:
    RANGERS has been fined £225,000 by a markets regulator for their part in the fixing of prices fans pay for the club’s merchandise.” [Martin Williams]

    And in other news, the SKY Sports deal goes ahead-excluding TRFC participation. [‘The Scotsman’ this morning]


  23. Further to VC’s post at 10.08 this morning and mine at 10.11 here is the Competition and Markets Authority’s judgment
    “Infringement decision and settlement
    On 27 September 2022, the CMA issued a decision finding that Elite Sports, JD Sports and Rangers broke competition law by fixing the retail prices of certain Rangers-branded clothing products. The CMA found that Elite Sports and JD Sports fixed the retail prices of Rangers-branded replica kits and other clothing products, and that Rangers also took part in the collusion, but only to the extent of fixing the retail price of adult home short-sleeved replica shirts.
    The CMA imposed fines totalling over £2 million on
    Elite Sports Group Limited and Elite Corporation Limited (together ‘Elite Sports’)
    JD Sports Fashion Plc (‘JD Sports’)
    The Rangers Football Club Limited and Rangers International Football Club Plc (together ‘Rangers’)
    The penalties include a settlement discount to reflect resource savings to the CMA generated by the companies’ admissions and their agreement to a streamlined administrative procedure. Elite Sports’ and JD Sports’ penalties also include a discount under the CMA’s Leniency Programme.

    Press release: Firms fined for fixing prices fans pay for Rangers FC merchandise (27.9.22)”
    —–
    Leniency and discounts? I’d have kicked their cheating arses really, really hard!
    Sadly, it appears that price-fixing to screw the man-in-the-street or in the football grounds is not a criminal offence.
    BUT those who practice it are little better than spiv-like scum who deserve to be contemned and scorned.


  24. Just reading a wee item about Worcester Warriors, the Rugby Football Union club that has gone into Administration, owing debts of more than £25 million, including at least £6 million in unpaid tax.
    The piece ends with this: ” Two consortiums are so far understood to have expressed interest in buying the club out of Administration”
    Why should Worcester bother trying to find a buyer to take them out of Administration?
    Why not quietly get rid of the debt by slipping into Liquidation?
    Why not learn from the Scottish Football experience? A few secret agreements here and there and hey presto! the owners of a newly admitted ‘The Worcester Warriors’, undead and debt free, could make money on the back of a false claim to be one in identity with a disgraced and busted rugby club in Liquidation, while the creditors suffer? Might even float itself on the Market as a plc?
    What’s to stop them? Not, I imagine, the FCA or the Insolvency Service or any such Regulatory body.


  25. A number of years ago we had Ally McCoist going on about who are these people in regards to the former Rangers’ troubles. Why isn’t this loyal Ranger not asking where the financials are so as to ease or answer questions why more wasn’t spent in the last transfer window. Why is it that the Celtic manager is attached to any vacancy in the EPL while no one seems to be interested in the Ranger’s manager who lead them to a European final which we are constantly reminded of. So many questions, so few answers.


  26. Vernallen 2nd October 2022 At 18:10
    You must have missed the various directors of TRFC ‘s charm offensive/PR exercise recently, doing the groundwork in advance of the release of this year’s financials . And I think that one of the reasons that GVB is manager is linkage to the old club . They are running out of links to the past and Arfield , McGregor ,Davis and Jack are basically all thats left . They really need to get academy players into the team to project the illusion continuity .


  27. Paddy Malarkey 3rd October 2022 At 00:40′
    ‘,,,They are running out of links to the past .’
    ++++++++++++
    Sadly, though, the loyal SMSM and BBC ‘journalists’ will continue to propagate the untruth that RIFC plc is the holding company of TFC of 1872 and that TRFC is the Rangers of the 4 young men!

    I noticed on Saturday that even Liam McLeod in his introductory remarks before the Hearts game referred to this being ‘the 154th match between Hearts and Rangers’ no doubt carefully following ‘guidelines’ from Pacific Quay.

    It is such a damned silly and unnecessary sporting lie [equating in silliness with Putin’s lie that chunks of Ukraine are now part of Russia] that one has to raise doubts about the BBC’s integrity as one raises doubts about Putin’s.
    The whole world knows that Putin lies. WE all know that RFC of 1872 is in Liquidation, as dead as Third Lanark and Gretna, and that TRFC has, and cannot possibly have, any sporting history before 2012.
    There has been no attempt by any journalist to explain why they propagate what even the thickest of them knows to be an untruth.
    They all [including the lugubrious James T ] reported the truth on day one!


  28. my post of a few minutes ago! keyboard errors:
    line 2: ‘TFC’ should be ‘RFC’
    line 10: TRFC has and cannot possibly have ” should read ‘TRFC has NOT and cannot possibly have’.
    Apologies.


  29. Paddy Malarkey — 3rd october 2022 –00:40
    I didn’t miss the recent charm offensive, although I wished I had. Found it strange that they didn’t have D. Parks addressing the issues and also found it strange that Ross Wilson, a few days later, indicated that their European opponents were more interested in their financial dealings than any players they might be interested in shifting. As you know the media seems to think a number of their players are available for “let’s dream about fees”. It’ll be interesting to see the reaction if the Liverpool game turns into another CL nightmare.


  30. Vernallen 3rd October 2022 At 22:50
    ‘ I didn’t miss the recent charm offensive, although I wished I had.’
    ++++++++++++++++
    The ‘propaganda offensive’ is also hard to miss, Vernallen.
    Here is Alan Pattullo in ‘The Scotsman’ this morning:
    “This is Anfield. This is history. You’ll never walk alone. And you’ll certainly never believe that this is the first competitive meeting between Liverpool and Rangers in the 130 years in which both clubs have co-existed’

    How he has the effrontery to trot out the utterly untrue suggestion that today’s ‘The Rangers Football Club’ has existed for even 130 years is an affront to anything that I understand to be acceptable as ‘journalism’ because, since the Rangers of 1872 foundation went into Liquidation and ceased to be a football club, it’s quite IMPOSSIBLE that TRFC of 2012 can be RFC of 1872.
    All the weeping and wailing and sighing and longing or deceitful propaganda cannot change that fact.

    There is a great story to be told about how a new football club has been allowed to make money on false pretences with the connivance of the very Sports governing body who admitted that new club into Scottish Football in 2012.
    In my opinion, Pattullo and his like should grow a pair, show some journalistic courage and fidelity to Truth, or get to hell out of journalism /’sports reporting’ and take up running a supporters’ bus or some such
    Honest to God!


  31. From Andrew Smith, in the online edition of ‘The Scotsman’, reporting on the Liverpool v TRFC game [ not that he uses that description of the away team!]

    “Yet, what could also be said of the two supports when giving vent to songs about their team – as Liverpool did often, Rangers on rare occasions, not helped by the pedestrian nature of the home win – is that they demonstrated why the two cities from which their teams hail are considered among the last bastions of raw football passions. For the populaces of both, the game is more than a game. Which takes us right back to that question of culture”

    He does not of course go on to question the ‘culture’ of Scottish Football, in which was fabricated a monstrous sporting untruth that was and is sedulously fostered by his own ‘The Scotsman’ and the rest of the SMSM.
    Honest to God!
    That we should be so served in untruth in journalism and sport in this wee country of ours’ gars me greet!


  32. From Andrew Smith, in the online edition of ‘The Scotsman’, reporting on the Liverpool v TRFC game [ not that he uses that description of the away team!]

    “Yet, what could also be said of the two supports when giving vent to songs about their team – as Liverpool did often, Rangers on rare occasions, not helped by the pedestrian nature of the home win – is that they demonstrated why the two cities from which their teams hail are considered among the last bastions of raw football passions. For the populaces of both, the game is more than a game. Which takes us right back to that question of culture”

    He does not of course go on to question the ‘culture’ of Scottish Football, in which was fabricated a monstrous sporting untruth that was and is sedulously fostered by his own ‘The Scotsman’ and the rest of the SMSM.
    Honest to God!
    That we should be so served in untruth in journalism and sport in this wee country of ours’ gars me greet!


  33. From Andrew Smith, in YESTERDAY’S online edition of ‘The Scotsman’ updated 11 hours ago, discussing the then still to be played Liverpool v TRFC game [ not that he uses that description of the away team!]

    https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/rangers/liverpools-hosting-of-rangers-sparks-culture-war-in-stands-last-bastions-of-raw-football-passions-chants-flags-3867421

    “Yet, what could also be said of the two supports when giving vent to songs about their team – as Liverpool did often, Rangers on rare occasions, not helped by the pedestrian nature of the home win – is that they demonstrated why the two cities from which their teams hail are considered among the last bastions of raw football passions. For the populaces of both, the game is more than a game. Which takes us right back to that question of culture”

    He does not of course go on to question the ‘culture’ of Scottish Football, in which was fabricated a monstrous sporting untruth that was and is sedulously fostered by his own ‘The Scotsman’ and the rest of the SMSM.

    Honest to God!
    That we should be so served in untruth in journalism and sport in this wee country of ours’ gars me greet!

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