A spectre is haunting Scottish Football

From the TSFM Manifesto 🙂

A spectre is haunting Scottish Football — the spectre of Sporting Integrity. All the powers of the old firms have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Billy and Dan, Blazer and Cassock, Record and Sun, Balance Sheet and P&L.
Where is the football fan in opposition to these that has not been decried as a “sporting integrity bampot” by his opponents in power?

Two things result from this fact:

I. Sporting Integrity is already widely acknowledged to be itself a power for good.

II. It is high time that Lovers of Sport should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, and meet this nursery tale of the Spectre of Sporting Integrity with a manifesto of fair play.

To this end, Lovers of Sport of various partisanship have assembled on TSFM and sketched their manifesto, to be published on tsfm.scot.

Those who love sport though are challenged not just by the taunts of the monosyllabic automatons in the MSM, but by the owners of our football clubs who have displayed an almost total disregard to our wish to have a fair competition played out in the spirit of friendly rivalry. In fact the clubs, who speak those fine words, are not nearly as outraged as we are by the damage done to the integrity of the sport in the past few years .

In fact the term Sporting Integrity has become, since the latter stages of the Rangers era, a term of abuse; a mocking soubriquet attached to those who want sport to be just that – sport.

Sporting integrity now lives in the same media pigeon-hole as words like Islam, left-wing, militant, Muslim – and a host of others; words which are threats to the established order now set up as in-jokes, in order to reduce the effectiveness of the idea.

In fact, a new terminology has evolved in the reporting of football by both club officials and The Succulent Lamb Chapel alike;

“.. Sporting Integrity but …”.

For example

“We all want sporting integrity, but finance is more important”

Says who exactly?

Stated in such a matter of fact way that the obvious question is headed off at the pass, it is sometimes difficult to re-frame the discussion – perhaps because crayon is so hard to erase?

This is the backdrop to The Scottish Football Monitor and the world in which we live. Often the levels of scrutiny employed by our contributors are far in excess of any scrutiny employed by the MSM. Indeed our ideas and theories are regularly plagiarised by those very same lazy journalists who lurk here, and cherry-pick material to suit their own agendas; regularly claiming exclusives for stories that TSFM and RTC before us had placed in the public domain weeks earlier.

This was going to lead into a discourse about the love of money versus the love of sport – of how the sacred cows of acquisitiveness, gate- retention and turnstile spinning is far more important to the heads of our football clubs (the Billys, Dans and Blazers of the intro) than maintaining the traditions of our sport.

However events of Friday 14th November have given me cause to leave that for another day. The biggest squirrel of all in this sorry saga has always been the sleight of hand employed instil a siege mentality in the Rangers fans. The press have time and again assisted people (with no love of football in general or Rangers in particular) to enrich themselves – legally or otherwise – and feed on the loyalty of Rangers fans.

A matter for Rangers fans may also be the identity of some of those who had their trust, but who also assisted the Whytes and Greens by their public statements of support.

Our contention has been that rules have been bent twisted or broken to accommodate those people, the real enemies of the Rangers fans – and fans everywhere.

Through our collective research and group-analysis of events, we have also wondered out loud about the legality of many aspects of the operating style of some of the main players in the affair. That suspicion has been shared most notably by Mark Daly and Alex Thompson, but crucially now appears to be shared by Law Enforcement.

I confess I am fed up with the self-styled “bampot” epithet. For the avoidance of doubt, the “bampots” in this affair are those who have greater resources than us, and access to the truth, but who have lacked either the will or the courage or the imagination to follow it through.

We are anything but bampots. Rather, we have demonstrated that the wisdom of the crowd is more effective by far than any remnants of wisdom in the press.

I have no doubt that the police investigation into this matter is proceeding in spite of great opposition in the MSM and the Scottish Football Authorities – all of whom conspired to expose Rangers to the custodianship of those for whom football is a foreign language.

I have no doubt that the constant exposition of wrong-doing on this blog, in particular the questions we have constantly raised, and anomalies we have pointed out, has assisted and enabled the law enforcement agencies in this process.

If we are to be consistent in this, our enabling of the authorities, we MUST show restraint at all times as this process is followed through. People who are charged with a crime deserve to be given a fair trial in the absence of rumour or innuendo. We must also, if we are to continue as the spectre which haunts the avaricious – and the real bampots – be seen to be better than they, and give them no cause to accuse us of irresponsibility.

This affair has now evolved way beyond one club gaining unfair advantage over others. For all the understandable Schadenfreude of many among us, the real enemy is not Rangers, it is about those who enabled and continue to enable the farce at Ibrox.

This is now about systematic cheating at the heart of the Scottish game (in the name of cash and in spite of lip service to sporting integrity), and how the greed of a bunch of ethically challenged officials allowed another group of ethically challenged businessmen free rein to enrich themselves at the expense of the fans.

Whether laws were broken or not, the players at Rangers have come and gone and are variables, but the malignant constant at the SFA and SPFL are still there. Last night, even after the news that four men had been arrested in connection with the takeover at Ibrox in 2011, they were gathered together at Celtic Park with their Irish counterparts, tucking into succulent lamb (perhaps) and fine wines, doing some back slapping, making jokes about the vulgarities of their fans, bragging about the ST money they have banked.

The revolution won’t be over until they are gone, and if they remain, it is Scottish Football that will be over.





Trisidium is a Dunblane businessman with a keen interest in Scottish Football. He is a Celtic fan, although the demands of modern-day parenting have seen him less at games and more as a taxi service for his kids.

  1. mungoboy

    So…… Is A££y now home, home on the range???

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  2. jean7brodie


    essexbeancounter says:
    December 21, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    Big Pink says:
    December 21, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    Ah! You mean shared cludgies!! I had one of them when I first married, no indoor one though! The next door neighbour had a problem with imbibing and was prone to the skitters!! Bronco would have had no use whatsoever 😯

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  3. easyJambo

    redlichtie says: December 21, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Big Pink – that wouldn’t be Joe Kinnear, would it? 😀

    Having said that might not Roy Kinnear be a good role model for an aspiring manager in terms of his comedic value and girth?
    Roy Kinnear? One of the immortals.

    Of course he’s dead now. 🙁

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  4. wottpi

    Given cowboy references is Ashley singing

    “I shot the sheriff but I did not shoot the deputy”

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  5. Peter22

    Can’t understand some people accusing MA of a lack of ambition because he has not appointed a new manager. Everyone is aware that he has been summoned to meet the high heid yins of Scottish Football, just as the transfer window closes at the end of January . At this meeting, I have no doubt that he will explain his plans for The Rangers and seek SFA ( interpret as you wish) approval for same. I am also sure that big mike may even be forced to “jump through hoops” (couldn’t resist that one) in order to gain any approval from CO and the gang , this will ensure that everyone knows who is in charge up here in Scotland . Until then there is not much the the poor soul can do.

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  6. occam

    So a couple of rolls of Izal might clean out everything in sight.

    The memory of the half landing shared toilet up the gas-lit winding stair in South Portland St. will always be with me. Having a bath in the sink with the midden down below.. Do I love my parents and where I (all 6 of us) came from – you bet!

    Played football in the street between the cars parked down the middle – when not getting leathered for playing ‘chicken’ between the 2 lanes! 😉

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  7. Big Pink


    My apologies to the late Roy K. It is late after all and I was reminiscing – sitting in the half landing beside my box of Bronco, in the cold, looking up at the window of our warm living room 🙂

    Didn’t Roy die in a horse-related accident?

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  8. easyJambo

    Big Pink says: December 21, 2014 at 11:05 pm
    Yes – From Wiki
    On 19 September 1988, Kinnear fell from a horse during the making of The Return of the Musketeers in Toledo, Spain, and sustained a broken pelvis. He was taken to hospital in Madrid but died from a heart attack the next day. He was 54 years old.

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  9. justshatered


    I wonder how the German press are reporting the current state of the Bundesliga?
    Bayern Munich are undefeated and 11 points clear at the winter shutdown but it is the teams propping up the league that are the problem:
    13 Hertha BSC
    14 Hamburger SV
    15 VfB Stuttgart
    16 SV Werder Bremen
    17 Bor Dortmd
    18 Sport-Club Freiburg
    Five of the bottom six teams are some of the largest in the country.

    If that was Scotland I wonder what our press would say?
    “The game needs to be protected from itself”, “for the good of the game”, “league reconstruction”, “utterly uncompetitive”.

    Dortmund were in the Champions League final two years ago but this is the natural evolution of sport.

    The big become complacent, the complacent become over confident, the over confident become arrogant, the arrogant become over ambitious.

    I’m not for one minute saying that these teams will go down but could you imagine the panic in our media if say Aberdeen, Dundee United, and Celtic were at the bottom of our league with Hibs and Hearts already in the Championship.

    Crowds and fan base size are nothing if your tactics are poor and your financial costs too high. We are seeing all of the above manifest in one team currently in the Championship.

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  10. GoosyGoosy

    “RANGERS would like to announce that Ally McCoist is relinquishing his duties as manager and will serve out the remainder of his 12 month notice period on gardening leave.

    We would like to thank Ally for all his hard work and dedication over the last few years, but we feel it is now in the best interests of all parties to move on.”

    Or put another way
    Ally has told us he is writing a book and agreed not to mention anything to do with the upcoming Liquidation

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  11. John Clark

    easyJambo says:
    December 21, 2014 at 10:52 pm
    ‘.Roy Kinnear? One of the immortals.
    Of course he’s dead now. 🙁 ‘
    Apologies, eJ, if you did not mean to be funny, but I laughed at the conjunction of ‘immortal’ with ‘he’s dead now’. ( Kind of an RFC(IL)/TRFC philosophical construct).
    No disrespect to the late Roy Kinnear, of course, who was a very, very, fine actor,who, like Harry Andrews, always gave a superb performance.
    Both appeared in ‘The Hill’ (with a pre-Bond Connery) which I thought was a superb movie.

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  12. essexbeancounter

    jean7brodie says:
    December 21, 2014 at 10:50 pm
    2 0 Rate This

    essexbeancounter says:
    December 21, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    Big Pink says:
    December 21, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    Ah! You mean shared cludgies!! I had one of them when I first married, no indoor one though! The next door neighbour had a problem with imbibing and was prone to the skitters!! Bronco would have had no use whatsoever 😯
    Jean…at least I have the luxury of looking forward to seeing a “roll of puppies” in my (indoor loo/lavvy/bog/cludgie) in the morning…and I thank my late beloved parents for their investment in me, not to mention the Scottish Education Department and ICAS.

    Off to bed singing “…across the Texas plain”…complete with mental image of a pack of Bronco…!

    Nite nite!

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  13. woodstein


    Danish Pastry says:

    December 21, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    essexbeancounter says:

    December 21, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Sign of a miss-spent youth ? Naw ABC Minors 😆


    occam says:
    December 21, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    Izal, “izal medicated strong toilet paper” you knew it had not run out because of the aroma from the cludgie. It was awfy slippy tho’ 😳


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  14. redlichtie

    John Clark – the “immortal” line was used on Only An Excuse and they probably nicked it!

    Scottish Football needs mair immortals! They’re a dying breed!

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  15. MercDoc

    Garden leave, is that like the Beechgrove Garden.

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  16. MercDoc

    He always preferred TV work.

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  17. John Clark

    woodstein says:
    December 21, 2014 at 11:34 pm
    ‘.Izal, “izal medicated strong toilet paper” you knew it had not run out because of the aroma from the cludgie. It was awfy slippy tho’ :oops:’
    Slippy? FFS, it cut the ar.e aff ye!

    I once found myself in charge of an office in a foreign country which had strong UK connections. On a walk round the premises, I saw to my astonishment, in a basement room, some hundreds of boxes of Izal.

    it transpired that the ‘supplies’ officer in the 1940s thought that he was ordering 1000 toilet rolls, when in fact he was ordering 1000×100!

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  18. John Clark

    GoosyGoosy says:
    December 21, 2014 at 11:14 pm
    ‘…Ally has told us he is writing a book.’
    I wonder if he had the prescience to begin logging and diarying events as they happened? Or, maybe, I wonder when he might first have been approached by a ghost-writer who suggested that he keep a log of meetings and discussions with the various fly-by-night directors, with a view to ‘writing a book’? And by whom that approach might have been made?

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  19. John Clark

    And as I typed that post a minute or so ago I was listening to ‘The Wichita Lineman’, which took me straight to Lauder’s , which was one of the pubs my three snooker playing mates and I would visit in the early seventies, after Sammy Dows, and before we made the “Iron Horse”, mentioned earlier.
    One of my mates was as good as Glen Campbell at singing ‘Wichita Lineman’ in those early days when singing in pubs was allowed, and he always insisted that we include Lauders in our crawl.
    Happy days.

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  20. John Clark

    occam says:
    December 21, 2014 at 11:03 pm
    ‘.So a couple of rolls of Izal might clean out everything in sight.’
    I mentioned Sean Connery……..

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  21. occam

    John Clark says:
    December 22, 2014 at 12:02 am
    1 0 Rate This

    Now that would have needed a gas mask! The chlorine from that many rolls would overcome many an unsuspecting nostril!!

    Strange thing – nothing stuck!! 😳

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  22. John Clark

    occam says:
    December 22, 2014 at 12:27 am
    ‘..Strange thing – nothing stuck!!’
    Absolutely right. It was not only uncomfortable, but basically useless-the original ‘not fit for purpose’ commodity. a haunfu’ o grass would have been more effective!:smile:

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  23. easyJambo

    John Clark says: December 21, 2014 at 11:23 pm
    No problem JC – it was meant to be humorous in the way you interpreted it.

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  24. Billy Boyce

    John Clark says:
    December 22, 2014 at 12:13 am

    I wonder if he had the prescience to begin logging and diarying events as they happened? Or, maybe, I wonder when he might first have been approached by a ghost-writer who suggested that he keep a log of meetings and discussions with the various fly-by-night directors, with a view to ‘writing a book’? And by whom that approach might have been made?

    I would not be at all surprised if Jim Traynor will be ghosting McCoist’s book. Did I read that Traynor and ‘Walter’ had emerged last week to represent Ally in his hour of need? If Traynor has been engaged by Ally to do his PR then it would make sense if Traynor also got the gig for Ally’s kiss-and-tell revelations, particularly as Slim Jim was at Ibrox for quite a time during the recent troubles. He, too,must know where some of the bodies are hidden. It was rumoured some time ago that Traynor would be writing Walter’s book for him when the time was right for the final chapter i.e. when Her Maj uttered, “Arise, Sir Walter”.

    I was not impressed with the ‘Club’ statement this evening. I’m sure it could have stated McCoist being relieved of his duties more tactfully than being put on “gardening leave”. It was also unprofessional to refer to their manager simply as “Ally”. He should have been afforded his proper title and name. On the other hand the new C.E. might not care a XXXX how he puts it.

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  25. bad capt madman

    Re the gardening leave for the TRFC manager, where are the financial savings? Not the salary, so is it a loss of the perks? Phone, car, expenses? Might amount to quite a bit I suppose, but are they that skint they have to do that?
    If it’s not savings they want, is it better performance? If so that’s quite a slap in the face for the manager, and nothings been said about that so far by the board and presumably a step too far without the board risking constructive dismissal? so if it’s not financial or performance related, then it has to be tactical / strategic in some way against a cunning plan…
    Me? I haven’t a scooby do, but its fun to watch ( unlike the real scooby do).
    Night night all.

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  26. StevieBC


    McCoist on gardening leave with McDowelly as manager (interim?)…

    The Internet Bampots called that several weeks ago.

    Will that make any difference to the team performances?
    I would suggest no.
    A new face/manager would force the players to play for their positions – IMO.

    So Ashley is playing the percentages: TRFC ‘should’ qualify for the play-offs and ‘should’ get promotion to the SPL?

    From what I have seen of TRFC in games so far, that is high risk: IMO the players will buckle under the pressure of expectation. But I could be wrong.

    And will McDowelly boost home attendances?

    IMO, TRFC will remain in the Championship next season.

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  27. StevieBC


    I would love to apply for the position of TRFC manager…on gardening leave.

    I would be most happy to fulfil that role for a fraction of what McCoist is charging: £50K for the year should ensure that I never darken the door at Ibrox or Murray Park.
    Cheap as chips… 😉

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  28. StevieBC


    Would you rather be the leader of a soon to be defunct Scottish political party…or the manager of a soon to be defunct football club/company?

    No names mentioned of course. 😉

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  29. Cygnus X2

    Cygnus X2

    Anyone attending today’s AGM?

    I’m like a kid on Christmas Day this morning.

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  30. upthehoops

    Big Pink says:
    December 21, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    I would imagine Kenny McDowall will get the shortest honeymoon period on record. In fact I’m guessing he won’t get one at all. There are still many bears who see the manager of Rangers as too sacrosanct a position for someone who was once in the employ of Celtic. Having said that McDowall was a very successful reserve team coach at Celtic and the fact Walter Smith saw fit to take him on directly from Celtic suggests he has a good reputation within the game. He was a journeyman player as I recall, but I do also recall him scoring a fairly spectacular volley at Celtic Park to win the game for St Mirren. The best players don’t always make the best managers as we well know, and if McDowall is able to turn round on field fortunes it will be interesting to see where it ends up. He will need the support of his senior players though – does he have that?

    On a wider note when I first saw headlines that McCoist was gone I thought maybe Ashley was ponying up with a pay off to get a new man in. The actual course of action suggests Ashley is not willing to have someone with so many media pals around the place who wants to go anyway. If the bears had a few minutes of thinking Ashley was going to start playing a game of sugar daddies then the appointment of McDowall must have brought them crashing back to earth.

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  31. Danish Pastry

    Cygnus X2 says:
    December 22, 2014 at 6:57 am
    2 0 Rate This

    Anyone attending today’s AGM?

    I’m like a kid on Christmas Day this morning.

    Not really Cygnus, but wasn’t there a live YouTube feed last year? Will you be tweeting?

    PS @essex, H.C. Andersen is the usual way he’s referred to here, but yes, it’s an ‘a’ in Christian, I believe.

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  32. Famous song

    Famous song

    Lengthy preview, on AIM, of the statement Somers will make to the RIFC AGM, later today. I’ll leave analysis to those better qualified (and less tired) than I. My initial reaction is that he’s saying the share issue goes ahead and is a big success, or else.
    Where McCoist is concerned, he was a poor manager at Rangers, and his only use to Sevco was as part of the continuity illusion. As such, he sold buckets of season tickets and millions of shares, to the easily led. He’s been worth every penny Sevco paid him, in the commercial sense. Whether the easily led will ultimately agree, is another matter.

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  33. Brenda

    DR saying Mr McCoist was ‘thrown into the long grass’ on gardening leave because of fears of what he might say at AGM??? As a shareholder does he not have the right to attend whether he is manager or not???

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  34. wildwood


    Somers statement is breathtaking. Particularly the paragraph about anti Rangersness in the media, Scottish Football in general and perhaps even (although he hopes not) in the governing bodies. Surely everyone can see that assisting Rangers return to the top would be good for everybody.

    I paraphrase ever so slightly


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  35. Cygnus X2

    Cygnus X2

    The only material part of the AGM statement…

    At this AGM, we are requesting permission from shareholders to enable us to issue shares to improve the long term financial stability of the Club. We were not able to last year and I sincerely hope, for the good of the financial stability and future of the Club, that it will be forthcoming this year.

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  36. Carfins Finest

    Carfins Finest

    How can Somers say Newco has been living beyond its means “for years”and then accept millions in loans from Ashley.

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  37. Carfins Finest

    Carfins Finest

    Helping them in their efforts to recover ??? They burned 70m in TWO seasons trying to win lower divisions. No attempts to recover themselves

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  38. ecobhoy

    Cygnus X2 says:
    December 22, 2014 at 7:59 am

    The only material part of the AGM statement…

    At this AGM, we are requesting permission from shareholders to enable us to issue shares to improve the long term financial stability of the Club.
    And possibly the most important missing bit is whether they will go for a disapplication of pre exemption rights for shares resolution.

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  39. Trisidium

    New post up.

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  40. Massive support from Clumpany Towers, which I know will be echoed everywhere. https://t.co/DYGVxqksu1

    "The words Jackson chose to write today could be potentially damaging to a very small charity like ours"


    50 Years Ago Today: Jinky sees red as poor run continues 23rd September 1967: Celtic v St Johnstone – League https://t.co/IUAcIl73XI

    In hide and seek terms, they have some way to go to beat your lack of comment on BTC outcome & whether there should be an independent review https://t.co/s5SPou4MFD

    Please share folks, especially with those who still don't get it.


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