Wednesday, October 5, 2022

The Last Thing Scottish Football Needs Right Now ..

.. is More Secrecy

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

If only.

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

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

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

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

My instinct says it’s the secrecy.

Most of the people I have spoken with agree.

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

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

We all have a stake in the game.

There is nothing healthy about this closed doors charade.

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

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

How The Hell Did We Get Here?

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

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

10 days or so will tell.

Were the Leagues Called Too Soon?

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Other stuff happened after the vote too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! and ouch!

Not good business for anyone.

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

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

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

Words Of Wisdom For The 3 Wise Men

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

Out message to our Arbitrators is as follows.

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

We collectively want and will welcome bigger leagues.*

We want no extra damage to any club from Covid.

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

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

What would be wrong with that?

What harm could it do?

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

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

No Closed Door Festering Secrets in Scottish Football

  • Arbitrators we are happy to share our research with you.
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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  1. Dom16

    He/she is just lonely and comes here with opinions because there is nowwhere else that would air them without recourse to s square go challenge .  You're better than that – pity the poor thing as there but for the grace of God etc .smiley

  2. There may be trouble ahead….

    From BBC

    Scottish Premiership clubs have been warned they risk their right to play if Covid-19 testing rules are not met.

    Due to test delays, Rangers' friendly with Motherwell was pushed back two hours while Ross County's match with Hibernian was cancelled. 

    The Scottish government has given approval for the top-flight season to start on 1 August.

    But the Scottish FA/SPFL joint response group has told clubs that permission may be revoked if there is a breach.

    The issue of Covid-19 testing and protocol is scheduled to be discussed at an SPFL board meeting on Friday.

    • St Mirren on lockdown amid positive tests

    "Any failure to adhere to the agreed testing protocol will risk removal by the SG [Scottish government] of the approval for the dispensation given to Premiership clubs compared to the general public in Scotland," said a letter seen by BBC Scotland.

    "Continued positive relations with SG are particularly important as the JRG [Joint Response group] works to progress plans with SG to permit spectators to attend matches."

    Current protocol requires clubs to test players once a week, including a temperature check and a swab of their nose and back of throat. Only when a negative test is recorded can the player be allowed to play.

    The joint response group also stressed to clubs that it is their responsibility to:

    • Arrange testing dates and times
    • To carry out the test no more than seven days/168 hours after the previous test
    • To confirm results with their opponent and the Scottish FA 24 hours in advance of a fixture
    • Ensure only players with a negative test carried out within seven days/168 hours play in a fixture

    A Scottish government spokesman told BBC Scotland: "These tests are not carried out by the Scottish government but by private laboratories contracted by the clubs.

    "We are aware of some issues with delays on test results. Although unfortunate, it is encouraging that clubs have taken the appropriate action in cancelling or postponing matches when the necessary tests haven't been cleared." 

    Meanwhile, Livingston manager Gary Holt says we should expect "bumps in the road" when it comes to testing for Covid-19. 

    He said: "If a game is put back or a game is called off for the right reasons, then you have got to accept it. While we have no fans coming into the ground, I think you can run with it as such. You can say the game is off Saturday, somebody's come back with an invalid test, fine. 

    "Would I be happy at that time? Probably not because I have prepared and the players are hungry to play but I am not going to throw my dummy out the pram or kick and scream for the safety of everybody involved."

    and St Mirren report 7 back room staff test positive. 

  3. bordersdon 23rd July 2020 at 21:11

    Cluster One 21st July 2020 at 15:13
    Aug 1st will be interesting, will it be only shirt sales from sports direct? will shirts be on sale anywere else? if there is, could it be a cash and grab movement,kick the can down the road but get the money in now and to hell with any consequences that may come down the line?

  4. Arbitration 'secrecy' in the piddling matter of the business of football is made to look ridiculous when one reads this ( which I've just read) on:

    "A federal judge on Thursday unsealed civil court documents related to Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite arrested earlier in the month on charges of aiding the sexual abuse of minor girls by the now-dead investor Jeffrey Epstein.

    But Judge Loretta Preska postponed the release of the documents in U.S. District Court in Manhattan by up to one week to give Maxwell’s lawyers time to file an appeal of her decision.

    Preska reportedly said during a hearing that the public’s right to see the documents “far outweighed” Maxwell’s right to avoid being embarrassed by their contents."

    I would say that all of us who even merely as 'members of the public' never mind as those who have over the years helped to fund the Scottish football industry, are going to be affected by the decision made by the Arbitration Tribunal have a right to see the facts relied upon by the Tribunal and the reasons for the 'award' they arrive at. 

    There is a place for privacy in matters that do not bear on the dispute. But  not for secrecy as regards the deliberate acts taken by the governance body of a sport and the reasons put forward for those acts. 

    The Maxwell woman might well be 'embarrassed'. The judge in that case is ready to say "So what?"

    The SPFL board might well be embarrassed if we all heard the evidence…. But so what? If they got things wrong while acting in good faith, fair enough. That can be sorted.

    If they knowingly acted improperly in order to secure their desired objective….let them suffer the consequences. 

    For all its many, many faults the USA has a 'Press' and a Judiciary still ready to have a go at those who try to hide from truth. 

    (for the avoidance of doubt, the Maxwell referred to above is not at all our own SFA Maxwell! The SFA is not a party in the 'Hearts and others v the SPFL '  dispute currently being heard by an Arbitration Tribunal.!)

  5. John Clark 23rd July 2020 at 23:03

    (for the avoidance of doubt, the Maxwell referred to above is not at all our own SFA Maxwell! The SFA is not a party in the 'Hearts and others v the SPFL '  dispute currently being heard by an Arbitration Tribunal.!)


    Speaking of whom, if you go back to an interview he (Maxwell) had with BBC Radio 5 Live as the Covid crisis took centre stage in late March, it is self evident that he has no influence over major decisions affecting Scottish Football.

    From the ET on 23 March:

    IAN MAXWELL, chief executive of the Scottish Football Association, says that cancelling the league season is not being considered as he outlined his desire for the remaining league fixtures to be played.

    The SFA chief cited concerns around the fairness of awarding league titles or relegating clubs before the intended number of games had taken place, as well as a potential loss of income if broadcasting contracts are unfulfilled, as the reasons why he believes the season must be played to its conclusion.

    How or when that can be achieved is unclear, with Maxwell himself dismissing UEFA’s aim of a resumption of action by June as unrealistic, but he maintains that completing the season – whenever that can be done – is still his preference.

    “I don’t think there is a consideration for cancellation,” Maxwell told BBC 5 Live .

    “I think it’s the same concerns that the English Premier League have in terms of broadcast contracts and contractual obligations that will apply to every league across the world.

    “The income is vital regardless of what the headline number is and it’s important we get games finished.

    “Everyone wants to get the games played, the guys who get the winner’s medals at the end of the season want to know they’ve played every match and no-one can come back and say they didn’t deserve it in any way.

    “Clubs who are potentially in relegation spots, if they're going to go down at the end of the season then it’s because they’ve been given every chance to avoid that and it’s something we need to try and work through.” 

    Yet just two weeks later clubs were voting on ending the League season. 

  6. I am amazed now at the depth of my ignorance in 2011/2012 in so many areas of life!

    I mean, who knew anything about 'administration', 'liquidation' ,'insolvency' ,accountants in bankruptcy' ,the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010, 'concert parties', and all that stuff! 

    I certainly did not.

    The whole dirty RFC saga has made me aware of my ignorance.

    So, without ( I hope) being too OT, can I say that in my inbox today there is this:

    "4. Company Insolvencies in Scotland

    Legislation relating to company insolvency in Scotland is partly devolved. Accountant in Bankruptcy (AIB), Scotland’s Insolvency Service, administers company liquidations and receiverships in Scotland.

    In June 2020 there were 46 company insolvencies in Scotland, a reduction of 32% in comparison to June 2019. This comprised of 21 compulsory liquidations, 19 CVLs and six administrations.

    There were no company voluntary arrangements or receivership appointments.

    Figure 4: Company insolvencies decreased by one-third in June 2020, compared with the same month last year Scotland, June 2019 to June 2020,

    Not seasonally adjusted."

    I very much look forward to exploring the 21  compulsory liquidations for signs of resurrection!broken heart

    In the confident belief that , bar a miracle ( or a deceitful, dishonest Companies House) there will be no resurrection of any of the 21 liquidated companies!

    ( and for the avoidance of doubt, I accept that honest businesses honestly run by decent people can fail try as they might due to factors not in their control)

  7. And from a DR article / Jackson;

    "Rangers are facing a top level SFA probe over fears the club broke coronavirus testing protocol.

    Record Sport understands Hampden top brass suspect as many as nine of Steven Gerrard’s first team squad played in a bounce match against Dundee United without having been given the mandatory all clear by medics.

    SFA stand in president Mike Mulraney was alerted to the developing situation on Wednesday night and it’s believed he has demanded the Ibrox club are asked for a full explanation of the events…"


    And the curious point is why the stand-in President was informed – and not the SFA CEO?

    Even if Maxwell is currently on holiday, the seriousness of this breach should necessitate the CEO to be immediately, hands-on… 

  8. easyJambo 23rd July 2020 at 23:56

    "… if you go back to an interview he (Maxwell) had with BBC Radio 5 Live.'


    I hadn't seen your post, eJ, before I posted at 00.14.

    But the point you make is clearly valid: if the overall governance body of a sport has no power over a subsidiary member body then where the hell are we?

    The worrying thing is that there seems  now to be no generally accepted and supported 'authority'




  9. Sevco fielding untested players?……Obviously all the details unknown at the moment but that is a move that put lives in peril…. Another potential disaster !…..A sine die ban would not be considered harsh if reports are true.. 

  10. The Last Thing Scottish Football Needs Right Now ..
    Is a club with a 5 way agreement that will not stick to rules.

  11. The alleged rule breaking in respect of the Covid-19 testing rules is really serious but what's the likelihood that it's not covered in the rule book and as a result no punishment for clubs concerned will follow?

    The Scottish Government will be able to take action and I have no doubt will have no hesitation in removing permission for the season to start unless ALL clubs get their testing done properly. 

    It seems possible that a club playing out of Ibrox, not for the first time, doesn't appreciate that the rules are for everyone! 


  12. To combat flak coming their way, allegedly, The Rangers has this morning announced the immediate launch of a new Ibrox initiative called;

    “Rules are for Everyone Anyone”.

    The Rangers is a club committed to following the rules from any source and encourages everybody else to follow follow the rules as well.


  13. Ex Ludo 24th July 2020 at 10:47

    'think you’ll find that the tests were imperfect and in any case the SFA didn’t know about it at the time. 


    ha, ha, the good old Bryson defence!broken heart Is he standing by to give evidence? More than any other piece of nonsense attaching to the LNS Inquiry, his took the biscuit. It's a wonder that he did not die with shame at coming out with that. 

    But of course  NS didn't die with shame for his nonsense statement that having lots of (illicit )money with which to buy better players than other teams could afford did not give any sporting advantage.

    I doubt if any retired judge has ever made  a pronouncement so off-beam since  old dotard Denning!

  14. Now it’s the SFA’s turn to shaft the licensed sides in the lower tiers of the pyramid

    The Scottish FA has put forward proposals for a major revamp of this season’s Scottish Cup, STV can reveal.

    Clubs are being consulted on plans that would see a maximum of 52 entrants – less than half of those currently eligible – competing over seven rounds from Boxing Day.

    Under the present format, 112 clubs can compete – including all 42 SPFL sides, all Highland and Lowland League teams, clubs from the East, South and West of Scotland leagues and invited members.

    Including preliminary rounds, there are usually a total of ten stages that run from August to May.

    However, the coronavirus pandemic has put severe pressure on the fixture calendar, forcing the Scottish Football Association into a drastic rethink of how to stage the historic competition.

    The preferred option would see 42 SPFL clubs being joined by ten other clubs who are capable of fulfilling their fixtures.

    If more than ten clubs are able to take part, lots will be drawn to decide who goes into the competition.

    While the Premiership is scheduled to get under way on August 1, the Championship, League One and League Two won’t return to competitive action until October.

    It’s not known when clubs in the fifth and sixth tiers will compete again.

    Over the years, the Scottish Cup has become synonymous with shock results and fairytale stories.

    Eighteen months ago, junior outfit Auchinleck Talbot earned a glamour tie against Hearts after defeating Championship side Ayr United. Last season, Lowland League side BSC Glasgow reached the fifth round, where they faced Hibs.

    But this season some clubs may not get the opportunity to perform a giant-killing act.

    How would the new-look Scottish Cup work?

    Round One would take place on Boxing Day, just six days after the rescheduled season 2019/20 final League Two clubs would compete at this stage.

    League One clubs would enter in Round Two early in the new year, with all Championship and Premiership clubs joining the competition in Round Three at the end of January.

    Any change to the competition would have to be agreed at a general meeting.

    Clubs who are unable to compete or not selected to take part will receive a payment of £5000 from the governing body, the equivalent of reaching the second round of the current format.

    Other proposals being discussed include a 32-club competition with only Premiership, Championship and League One sides participating, or a 42-club tournament including League Two teams.

    But STV understands the Scottish FA hierarchy favour a 52-club tournament.

    Now why should one licensed club have any more of a right to participate in the Scottish Cup than any other licensed club e.g. why should Brechin get in ahead of Brora, or Elgin ahead of East Kilbride?

  15. I just want to know how the all powerful 'Peter' managed to tamper with the The Rangers testing protocol?

    I think we should be told.  

  16. StevieBC 24th July 2020 at 19:21

    I just want to know how the all powerful 'Peter' managed to tamper with the The Rangers testing protocol?

    I think we should be told.


    I would imagine, Stevie, that 'friends of Peter' were involved in some unseen way


  17. easyJambo 24th July 2020 at 18:49

    Fans Without Scarves has provided an update on the grant of a UEFA licence to RFC in 2011.
    Secondly, that Rangers did not follow rules.

    And the New rangers are keeping with the habits of the old rangers.
    Without transparency and accountability the SFA is akin to a cartel protecting its own interests rather than the good of the sport. It is not the fair and transparent regulator it presents itself.

    Secrets i read somewhere.


    It is reported on BBC Radio Scotland that Doncaster confirmed that the SPFL Board has failed in its attempts to get ‘express powers’ to deal with future problems that might be occasioned by Covid-19 .

    What does that tell us of the depth of distrust and suspicion that the SPFL member clubs have for the Board? 


  19. Yesterday saw the old late Friday release of those negative vibes by the SPFL.

    The failure of the Enabling Act was sandwiched between updates on Testing and the Use of 5 subs for 2020/21.

    Part of the text below

    Several SPFL Clubs requested that the SPFL Board bring forward a resolution, which would give the Board the express power to manage Covid-19 related disruption during Season 2020/21, without the need to seek Rule amendments approved by Clubs.  Accordingly, a written resolution was circulated to all Clubs, but this did not attract sufficient support to pass.  Following a discussion at this morning’s SPFL Board meeting, the Board have agreed to move forward in line with the clear will of the Clubs.  As a result, the existing Rules will remain in place for Season 2020/21, unless any member decides that it wishes to bring forward their own resolution in this area.

    Neil Doncaster, chief executive of the SPFL said: “As a members’ organisation, it is vital that the Board listen to the voice of our member clubs.”


    What does this tell us ?

    Effectively, the SPFL executive have lost a vote of confidence but carry on regardless.

    • As I said previously, Peter doesn’t stroke a white cat and have absolute power within the Scottish game. He does have a lot of friends, influence and pulls a lot of strings at the SFA and the SPFL. My guess is that he was very much part of putting this resolution on the table but the club vote didn’t go the way he and the PLC would have liked.
    • That it would have been better to have already had an Independent Inquiry on the SPFL executive to either clear them or get rid of them. As it is, we are in limbo and a significant number of clubs don’t trust them. 
    • For 2020/21, this may well lead to major issues and controversies that become more complicated than they should be.

    The Omnishambles has a way to go…………..

    and don’t forget the upcoming judgment on arbitration !!


  20. John Clark 09.29

    I trust that you will have fact checked the accuracy of this report from the "truth twisting" BBC Scotland Sports team!

    With all that has happened it is not surprising that members have not allowed express powers to be granted but I fear it may be a mistake. I hope that I am wrong but the risk of problems arising remains high.

    Media reports of sportsmen breeching lockdown/testing protocols have occurred fairly regularly putting colleagues and thereby teams at risk. The bigger problem will come if teams don't follow the protocols! 

  21. Neil Doncaster, chief executive of the SPFL said: “As a members’ organisation, it is vital that the Board listen to the voice of our member clubs.”

    Then take on board the loss of what was effectively a no-confidence vote and leave the building.

    Neil or Mr.Vindicated, you have become central to the issue of distrust. This no-confidence vote compounds the omnishambolic months that led up to it. Season 2020/21 has the potential to be hugely problematic and to have SPFL leadership (!!!), who aren’t trusted by a significant number of member clubs is a recipe for disaster.

    Just GO……..


  22. adam812 25th July 2020 at 10:48

    '..I trust that you will have fact checked the accuracy of this report from the "truth twisting" BBC Scotland Sports team!'


    Ha, ha,Adam812, believe me when I say that I listen to anything uttered on 'football'  by anyone on BBC Radio Scotland with an ear ready to believe that what I hear may be something less than the plain, objective truth!  

    They have not been above  completely shutting down free discussion on the nonsense of  'continuity Rangers' for the last 8 years. God knows ,they would be like putty in the hands of a would-be repressive government.



  23. It seems that the dark forces at Ibrox are killing a potentially, massive public interest story about covid.

    This morning, I was interested to read Keef Jackson’s follow up article in the DR on his “EXCLUSIVE!” about TRFC failing test procedures.


    Can’t find anything related to his article posted late on Thursday night, (11.07pm).

    Shirley, an “EXCLUSIVE!” deserves a follow up article(s)?

    Additionally, his article has been ‘lost’ on the DR website: it doesn’t appear chronologically – you have to do a search on the DR site.

    It’s as though the DR is trying to hide the article…

    The article was “Updated” 12 hours after posting – and it is obvious that the original headline has been significantly toned down, with “9 players” omitted and “potentially” added.


    So, this morning I looked at The Scottish Sun to get an update.

    There is one article – by Kris Boyd – which does talk about testing.  The focus is mostly on St.Mirren. 

    The only reference to TRFC is this;

    “…And Rangers’ test results all came back negative — eventually — so there was no big problem after all…”

    This just raises several, other questions about the effective control of the virus… which the SMSM won’t ask.


    Everything about this club is dishonest and malevolent: a toxic cloud hanging over the Scottish game.


  24. The members of the SPFL board were voted in about a week ago. The employees on that board were not removed at the same AGM, they were left in place.

    The members have not supported a resolution proposed by the old board. 

    How could the resolution not being supported possibly be considered a "vote of no confidence" in the board. It's a different board.

  25. Homunculus

    How could the resolution not being supported possibly be considered a "vote of no confidence" in the board. It's a different board.


    – Effectively, the SPFL executive have lost a vote of confidence but carry on regardless.

  26. Reasonablechap

    Just because you deem it to be a vote of confidence doesn't make it so .  To me it was just a vote . 

  27. paddy malarkey 25th July 2020 at 14:20

    Exactly it was a vote on a specific resolution, put to the members by the previous board.

    It isn’t even a vote of no confidence in the board who put it to the members, that’s just nonsense.

    There was an AGM under a week ago. The permanent members of the board are still in place, and new representatives from the league have joined them.

    If there was going to be a vote of no confidence in anyone it would have been the previous board, who presided over the vote to finalise the league. 


  28. H

    It isn’t even a vote of no confidence in the board who put it to the members, that’s just nonsense.


    I was referring to the Executive, not club reps on board, including Mr. Vindication. Leadership that is supposed to be worth 388,000 pounds Sterling.


    Regardless, for those dismissing my description  of this vote being,.. effectively a vote of no-confidence, answer the following….

    Why did so many clubs vote against the resolution (for it to fail) ?

  29. reasonablechap 25th July 2020 at 16:40

    OK , I'll bite – what's the answer ?

    Why did so many clubs vote against the resolution (for it to fail) ? Did they respond to a silent whistle from Peter , somebody's imaginary friend . Did they decide that it was in their best interest to vote as they did ?

  30. I'm not aware of anyone voting against the resolution.

    I think that, on this occasion, clubs were only required to indicate acceptance of the resolution, rather than accept or reject it.  On expiry of the prescribed 28 day period specified for such resolutions in the Companies Act, the resolution had not received the required level of acceptances, therefore was deemed to have failed.

  31. StevieBC 25th July 2020 at 12:28
    “…And Rangers’ test results all came back negative — eventually — so there was no big problem after all…”
    That makes everything ok then,came back negative — eventually. The game should never have gone ahead if the test results were not there. Who gave the green light for the game to go ahead with no test results back?
    It would be a simple step to ask. “Has everyone been tested? (yes.) Are the test results back? (yes) ok play away.
    What we had from ibrox could have been.
    It would be a simple step to ask. “Has everyone been tested? (yes.) Are the test results back? (No) ok we can’t play.
    …Either No questions were asked.(That would be the height of stupidity) Or rules were broken.

  32. Cluster One 25th July 2020 at 20:21

    Surely it ultimately has to be the match referee who is responsible for the game going ahead or not.

    Other people may have the opportunity to stop it before him, for example the officials of the team whose results have not been received. Who should presumably then go to him and declare that they were not clear to play.

    Basically people were prepared to risk their own and other people's health, and even lives, for a non competitive game of football to go ahead.

    That is shameful. As is anyone excusing it, as they were negative anyway.

  33. Homunculus 25th July 2020 at 21:04

    Surely it ultimately has to be the match referee who is responsible for the game going ahead or not.


    I spoke to one of the match officials who were lined up to officiate at the Hibs v Ross County game last weekend. Hibs had already alerted Ross County (who had reached Perth) about delayed test results before the officials got to the ground. A quick check with the SFA confirmed that the game could not go ahead.

    However Hibs then asked the officials (who were going to have to be paid anyway) if they would ref a bounce game between two Hibs squads. The officials sought to clear that with the SFA, but were told no way. 

  34. easyJambo 25th July 2020 at 21:22

    Thanks for clearing that up.

    It's quite stunning that a game was allowed to go ahead under those circumstances. The SFA have to be hard on this or they are just reinforcing the awful message which has been sent out.

  35. Cluster One 25th July 2020 at 20:21

    StevieBC 25th July 2020 at 12:28

    ….. What we had from ibrox could have been. It would be a simple step to ask. “Has everyone been tested? (yes.) Are the test results back? (No) ok we can’t play. …Either No questions were asked.(That would be the height of stupidity) Or rules were broken.


        The fact that certain Sevco players were ineligible to be named on the team-sheets, let alone take to the field, matters not when there is a secret agreement in place stipulating that they cannot be punished for it. 

       Unfortunately the linesmen did not have such a luxury, but really shouldn't have needed it, as apparently the SFA had purchased their own testing machine.   

         Having said that, clubs were each provided with a 50 grand donation. Testing machines at 35 grand a pop, with only a 20 minute turn around, should have been a compulsory purchase for every club, given that it is the single most vital factor in ensuring games can commence, and continue to be played.

        Even if some clubs opted to go haufers and share, would have been a hauf-decent viable option…..But naw !.  

        Maybe Peter Lawell bought the last two tae scunner them and claim the league by default?. indecision

  36. Homunculus 25th July 2020 at 21:04


    I've been staying off the forum these past few weeks, basically because I felt I had nothing of value to add. I was tired of circular arguments around the decision to end the season, and the subsequent court case etc. In my view self-interest is every club and fan's primary motive, so I decided to keep out of it – I am as guilty as anyone! 

    However, I was moved to post again over the issue of Rangers late test results and the lack of a sensational scandal being made of it. The fact that the results eventually came back negative is irrelevant. They could just as easily have come back positive and where would that have left things? Why are the SFA doing nothing about this? In answer to my own question it is in my view because of the club involved, who they seem reluctant to take action against for anything. Perhaps the Five Way Agreement covers it, who knows!

    The fact Hearts and Partick have already been cited by the SFA for going to court while zero action was taken against Rangers in 2012 for doing exactly the same proves my point. Yet the media think that's okay. Wow!


  37. Logically, it would seem most probable that someone from TRFC “was economical with the truth” about the test results of 9 players before kick-off.

    An ex-Ibrox player has since “indicated” that the results came back ok.

    Why should anyone believe this to be true?

    And has anyone from Ibrox actually apologised to the opposition club – Dundee United – and to the opposition players?

    Some things don’t change.

    Where, exactly, is the outrage from the other 41 clubs… and from their players…?

    Or do they not give a monkey’s about the pandemic now?

    Will the 42 clubs even care about the safety of supporters, whose matchday money they so desperately want? 

    To borrow a song title from a French chanteuse I quite like;

    “F### Them All !”

  38. easyJambo 25th July 2020 at 18:50

    "…the resolution had not received the required level of acceptances, therefore was deemed to have failed."


    The SFSA has this to say:

    "..'The clubs however have voted.

    They said NO!'

    They were not willing to give the SPFL board this power.

    Was this a vote of no confidence?

    Many have said that to me.

    So yes, it probably is sort of and informally."

    Even I would have to say that it's going a bit too far to take the non-voting as being the equivalent of a vote on a formal  'no confidence' motion, as I think you rightly point out.

    The experience of the relegation/promotion 'written resolution' ( now before an Arbitration Tribunal) undoubtedly has caused there to be a ( justified) level of suspicion in the ranks of the membership about what the Board might do with any extra powers given to them. 

    No club is  willingly going to give powers to a Board which might in effect be the equivalent of allowing that Board to  pass sentence of death on it!



  39. upthehoops 25th July 2020 at 22:15

    Homunculus 25th July 2020 at 21:04

          Why are the SFA doing nothing about this? In answer to my own question it is in my view because of the club involved, who they seem reluctant to take action against for anything. Perhaps the Five Way Agreement covers it, who knows!


        I doubt it matters too much whether the 5WA covers it or not. Sevco only have to claim it does and threaten to take it to CAS to pass judgement on. …..SFA pants would quickly turn brown.  

  40. upthehoops 25th July 2020 at 22:15

    ‘.The fact that the results eventually came back negative is irrelevant. ‘


    And I noted that on ‘off the ball’ today no mention was made (that I heard) of that incident, though I think the St Mirren case was mentioned? (I was jumping about today , what with Mrs C’s hairdressing appointment and what not so may have missed something. Happy as ever to be corrected, of course)

    It is unquestionably the case that TRFC is treated as a protected species by the SMSM, just as SDM was treated as the golden eagle and lynchpin of Scottish Football while he cocked a snook at and marvelled at how easy it was to cheat for a decade every one of his football club counterparts- and me and you!

    When the full story is( as it will be) fully published many people of current ‘good repute’ will be shown up as the liars and cheats and betrayers and temporisers that they have been.

    They may of course be dead and buried by that time, as will I.

     But their children and grandweans  will read about them.

    But even if they live to be in their nineties their dishonourable names will be forever linked with cheatery and deception and breach of faith. 

    And, they know it!

    That’s the killer! They know.



  41. easyJambo 25th July 2020 at 18:50

    I’m not aware of anyone voting against the resolution.

    I think that, on this occasion, clubs were only required to indicate acceptance of the resolution, rather than accept or reject it.  On expiry of the prescribed 28 day period specified for such resolutions in the Companies Act, the resolution had not received the required level of acceptances, therefore was deemed to have failed.


    Thanks for that EJ ! Could I ask where you picked up on this, please ?

    Doing it this way could be seen as a way to mitigate the perception of negative vibes around the levels of confidence that a significant number of clubs have in the SPFL leadership/executive.

    Perception is one thing, reality is another and the main point I was making stands.

    Enough clubs didn’t accept the resolution for it to pass and instead, it failed.

    A significant number of clubs don’t have enough confidence in the SPFL executive/leadership to allow them the extra powers they were asking for.

    You can’t dress it up any other way…….. #NoConfidence

     We start a very unpredictable season next week (arbitration and covid-19 allowing) and the leadership of the league can’t be trusted.

    When you think of what I’d consider a medium to high probability of further significant problems arising from Covid related issues during 2020/21, this is a serious situation, primed to create more omnishambolic nonsense.


  42. reasonablechap 26th July 2020 at 09:55

    Thanks for that EJ ! Could I ask where you picked up on this, please ?


    From the Scotsman on Tuesday 21 July.

    However, with the deadline for voting on handing the SPFL board power to act on all issues related to Covid-19 falling at midnight last night, the result looks set to reflect continued distrust of the board – whoever it consists of.

    A statement confirming the resolution has failed is expected today.

    A 75 per cent majority is required from three different sections: the Premiership; the Championship; and a combined Leagues One and Two vote. Clubs were sent a reminder last week to submit their voting slips by Monday 20 July if they agreed with the resolution. If they did not agree, they did not have to do anything.

    …. And from Thursday 23 July

    Clubs had until midnight on Monday to inform the SPFL whether they would support a resolution which would “give your board the authority to make decisions in relation to season 2020-21 in the event Covid-19 causes disruption”, including calling time on the campaign and cancelling play-offs.

    If clubs did not agree with such a resolution, they did not have to provide a response.

    It is believed that the responses provided did not constitute sufficient support to achieve the 75 per cent majority in favour required from each of the Premiership, Championship and combination of Leagues 1 and 2 to pass a resolution.

  43. Thanks EJ !

    Had a look back at a Jackson/DR article from the 8th, updated on the 23rd and it mentions the 75% threshold but doesn’t go into the same detail as The Scotsman.

    It did include the following quote….

    But one top flight chief executive told us: “It’s pretty clear from the discussions we’ve had between Premiership clubs that this plan is not going to have enough support to be passed.

    “While no-one wants to go through all of this pain again – and clubs realise it would be easier to hand over the power to the board – it seems like the right idea but at entirely the wrong time.

    “In some quarters there’s an obvious distrust of the SPFL board because of everything that’s gone on over these last few months. While many clubs would rather not have to contemplate another vote to end the season, they are clearly struggling with the idea of empowering the SPFL board to take that decision for them.

    “When you add into the mix the fact that Celtic are going for 10 In A Row and Peter Lawwell will most probably be voted onto a new look SPFL board, the potential problems are obvious.

  44. Homunculus

    The members failed to support a resolution, they are perfectly entitled to. It’s as simple as that. 


    Why didn’t they support such an important resolution ?

    1. Not enough confidence/trust in the SPFL leadership/executive
    2. Acceptance vote got caught up in a yet undiscovered quarantine adventure
    3. Forgot to vote
    4. Your go…..

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