Comment on Accountability via Transparency. by easyJambo.

    The SFA's (Ian Maxwell) response to Bonnyrigg's latest appeal.

    Reply to direct appeal
    “Having checked internally, I can confirm that there is no appeal route available for clubs going through the application process.

    The Board rejected all applicant club derogations as a matter of policy. All applications must be treated equally with the minimum criteria being met in full rather than the Board subjectively deciding which clubs have met ‘enough’ of the criteria enough to allow approval.

    Additionally, in the build up to a new season, leagues and clubs require certainty around their membership to allow proper planning on and off the pitch. Situations where league membership requires to be changed last minute are impractical and must be avoided.

    I appreciate that the floodlighting criteria was added during your application process. We found ourselves in the unusual position of having 12 clubs apply for membership at roughly the same time and had to consider the impact this influx would have.

    One major consideration is the Scottish Cup and we receive consistent feedback from members that postponed/replay fixture dates which, due to a lack of floodlighting, are required to be Saturday afternoons as opposed to midweek evenings are hugely problematic. Clubs are required to cancel league fixtures, with associated hospitality and match income being severely impacted. We have also had issues – one such this season – which meant that a 5th round tie would have to have been played on a midweek afternoon had it gone to a replay, which would have had a serious impact across a number of areas.

    As you are aware the new Scottish Cup broadcasting contract includes televised fixtures in rounds 1, 2 and 3 which will provide an excellent platform for the lower levels of the game in this country. The BBC have the right to choose matches at variable kick off times, which may well require floodlighting at venues given the time of year, meaning that the number of games available for selection could be severely limited.

    Please be assured the decision wasn’t taken lightly. We were aware of the implications for your club in particular and I understand the frustration and disappointment you must feel, however the Board must take decisions considering the impact on the Scottish game as a whole, rather than considering individual circumstances.

    I appreciate this is not the reply you were hoping for however trust you can appreciate the Boards position.”

    The bit I've highlighted is a shocking admission by the SFA that they don't want significant numbers of new members despite their supposed support of the "pyramid". In simple terms, Rod Petrie lied to them at the meeting in April.

    Needless to say, Bonnyrigg has responded with the following statement.

    Direct appeal to SFA rejected.

    As an update to our statement released last week we received a reply from SFA CEO Ian Maxwell yesterday to our direct appeal and are disappointed but not altogether surprised to reveal that it has also been rejected. (Full reply to direct appeal at the foot of the page). This is despite testimonials sent on our behalf by MSPs, our council and not least the platinum Quality Mark Community Club of which we are an associate who have previously represented the SFA at the Scottish Parliament.
    We have invested upwards of six figures in ground and facility improvements at New Dundas Park over the past four seasons, not counting the work completed and substantial capital purchases made by our two main sponsors (The McDermott Group & Grant Fitzsimmons & Son) as part of their sponsorship. It also doesn't count the labour costs which a lot of the friends of the club have given free gratis. A significant element of that investment was with licensing criteria in mind, for example when we had to make several costly adjustments to our changing rooms in order to meet the criteria.
    This is however not the end of the road for us, as despite the labyrinthine nature of the different articles and licensing documents, there is still one option open to us which we are seeking guidance on from parties outside of the club whether to pursue. We owe it to our players and supporters to explore every available option open to us until each of those options have been exhausted. We sold a vision to our supporters at our EGM last March of what the future would look like if we joined the East of Scotland league after 120 years of Scottish Junior Football membership, but the stark reality at present is that we have swapped one glass ceiling for another.
    In parallel we are pleased to announce that we have received planning consent from Midlothian Council today for our floodlights installation. We agreed several months ago to acquire floodlights from Midlothian Council which were previously used at the old Newbattle High School campus and have concluded that purchase as a result of receiving planning consent today. Work will commence early next week on the installation of these floodlights, which means that we will have to forego some grant funding which we could have availed of had we stuck to our original plans. We feel however that it is imperative we have these in place as soon as is possible. G Fitzsimmons and Son are covering a significant portion of the costs as part of their sponsorship for next season and we are extremely grateful for their continued support of the club. There is still a substantial figure to cover so we are asking our supporters and local businesses, indeed any supporters for their help with this by donating to our funding page that we have set up this evening on this link. We are indebted to our supporters for the response received in our fundraising efforts so far.
    People can draw their own conclusions on the reasons given for our direct appeal rejection but at a very high level:
    – On the subject of the Scottish Cup there are seven clubs with National Club License awards that currently don’t have floodlights. In addition there are several other clubs who will enter the preliminary rounds as winners of other leagues/cups who also don’t have floodlights, based on the current Scottish Cup format. We are one of those having won the East of Scotland League (but we will have lights by then)
    – Still on the Scottish Cup the last time an actual game was held on a midweek afternoon was eight years ago. Also under the current format Scottish Cup replays up to and including round 3 are played the following Saturday.
    – Changes made at short notice to the Licensing system is one of the reasons the derogation procedure exists. We were given an undertaking as recently as April at a meeting of Lowland League & East of Scotland League delegates at Easter Road by the SFA VP that derogation requests would be reviewed and assessed based on the requests submitted; i.e. if there were plans in place to meet the criteria. This is completely contrary to what has actually taken place.
    – The biggest concern for all clubs at our level should be paragraph four, where it appears that the board of our national association have taken proactive steps in order to curtail a membership ‘influx’. This has meant that five clubs along with ourselves were denied membership by the actions of the SFA board. This is despite scope to allow up to 200 members, with only 90 member clubs at present. This is completely at odds with the SFA values and their overarching principle to help develop clubs at all levels.
    We should be celebrating our league title, looking forward to a cup final next Sunday against the Lowland League champions and promotion to that league, wondering along with the rest of the country who the next manager of the men’s national team will be and getting ready to cheer on Shelley Kerr’s side at their first World Cup.
    What we shouldn’t be doing is this – it isn’t right, fair or proper.

    easyJambo Also Commented

    Accountability via Transparency.
    Confirmation that Andrew Dallas is to step down as a FIFA ref.


    He cites personal/work reasons, although others have suggested it was because he was going to be demoted in any event.

    Accountability via Transparency.
    Not a huge amount to report on the Grier v Police Scotland case at the CoS this morning.

    Both parties and Lord Bannatyne were content to have the case heard at the CoS. It was previously being heard at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

    There appeared to be some confusion about how the parties wished to proceed, to a procedural hearing, then a summary decree motion, debate or a proof before answer. We didn't get a decision other than a procedural hearing will be scheduled on 12 July, for which both parties were asked to provide notes on the issues they wished to pursue in advance.

    What did come out was that DCI Robertson (remember him) has apparently, as recently as February this year, admitted that errors were made in bringing the fraud / conspiracy case forward against Grier. For their part, Grier's team is still waiting for disclosure of documents requested many months ago.

    As I suggested in a post a week or so ago, Grier, Whitehouse and Clark are all seeking to show malice and lack of probable cause when they were arrested, detained and charged. Reading between the lines it appears that Robertson has acknowledged in the last few months that didn't have an evidential basis for the arrests. I don't know how Police Scotland will seek to defend those "errors" other than they were made in good faith and not malice. The alternative would be to seek immunity from prosecution on the basis that they were acting on the instruction of the Lord Advocate. 

    Police Scotand's QC seemed somewhat put out by something that Grier's team had submitted to the Court about the former Lord Advocate, Frank (now Lord) Mulholland, describing a misrepresentation of Police Scotland's position as "outrageous".

    I'm sure that JC will be along later with his verbatim account of proceedings.


    Accountability via Transparency.
    Yes  …. I mean no …… well maybe yes

    Sky Sports Scotland‏Verified account @ScotlandSky 

    BREAKING NEWS: Celtic are set to sign David Turnbull despite it looking like the deal had fallen through earlier this week. The midfielder had visited Norwich in the last few days but is expected to sign for the Scottish Champions tomorrow.

    Recent Comments by easyJambo

    Bad Money?

    Bosses at Rangers have lost the latest round of a long-running High Court fight over merchandise with Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley.

    A company in the Sports Direct Group, SDI Retail Services, has said bosses at the Glasgow football club have been in breach of obligations under a deal relating to replica kit.

    Bosses at Rangers disputed claims made against them.

    Judge Lionel Persey finished overseeing the latest in a series of hearings at the High Court in London earlier this year.

    He said on Friday, at a High Court hearing in London, that he had ruled in favour of SDI after analysing a number of issues in the latest stage of the dispute.

    The judge has not yet published a full ruling outlining the detail of that dispute or the reasoning behind his decision.

    In June he ruled on the meaning of one agreement after lawyers representing the rival camps were unable to agree the terms of that agreement.

    A ruling outlining the reasoning behind that decision has recently been published online.

    Rangers lost a round of the fight in October.

    Another judge ruled Rangers had breached the terms of an agreement made with SDI.

    Mr Justice Teare concluded bosses at Rangers had made a new agreement with another firm without giving SDI a chance to match that firm's offer.

    SDI subsequently made further complaints

    Bad Money?
    John Clark 18th July 2019 at 21:18

    Has this already been posted?

    COURT 1
    Before LIONEL PERSEY QC sitting as a Judge of the High Court

    Friday 19 July 2019
    At 02:00 PM


    CL-2018-000726 SDI Retail Services Limited v. The Rangers Football Club limited"


    Yes …. by your good self 20 minutes ago. laugh

    Bad Money?
    upthehoops 17th July 2019 at 14:35


    Interesting article today by John James on the construct of Rangers European squad and their eligibility under homegrown player rules. If what he says is accurate it is surely worth a challenge by Rangers next opponents or even the ones they will eliminate on Thursday night.  Also, if what he says is accurate then it is shameful by the SFA if they are knowingly allowing it. 


    The fact that Rangers squad is limited to 23 instead of the allowed 25 is an admission that they don't have sufficient club-trained players, although they do have a full quota of association trained players.

    A "club-trained player" is a player who, between the age of 15 (or the start of the season during which he turns 15) and 21 (or the end of the season during which he turns 21), and irrespective of his nationality and age, has been registered with his current club for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons (i.e. a period starting with the first official match of the relevant national championship and ending with the last official match of that relevant national championship) or of 36 months. In the context of this paragraph, the season immediately preceding a player’s 15th birthday may be counted if his birthday is after the last match of the relevant national championship but before or on 30 June (winter championships) or 31 December (summer championships), and the season immediately following his 21st birthday may be counted if his birthday is on or after 1 July (winter championships) or 1 January (summer championships) but before the first match of the relevant national championship.

    The final squad sizes are dependent on the numbers of club and association trained players as per Annex H of the attached document.


    A squad size of 23 suggests that they have claimed two club trained and four association trained players to make up their squad.  The question is who are the two club trained players.  I would guess that McGregor will be one, notwithstanding the old/new club argument. If JJ is correct about the dates and ages of players when they were with the old/new club, then they don't have a second club trained player, so their squad size should be limited to 22.

    The sort of sanction the UEFA would place on the club would be a further restriction on squad size for a future game rather than expulsion.


    Bad Money?
    John Clark 15th July 2019 at 20:46

    BL-2018-002250 DESMOND v Whyte and another "

    Please someone tell me that these are not Dermot Desmond , majority shareholder and Board member of Celtic ,  and Craig Whyte last owner of the original Rangers Football Club of 1872?

    That really would be a coincidence!


    RES 12 finally sees some real action 

    If only. blushsurpriseangel

    Bad Money?
    It was remiss of me to forget to keep an eye on the latest BDO Report to Ceditors for RFC 2012 plc (IL). The document was published just over a month ago, and covers the period up to the end of April 2019.


    There isn't much new information to be had. BDO continue to rack up their own and their lawyers fees, although no further dividends have been paid to creditors.

    However, there is an update on the litigation with HJL on behalf of Wavetower (TRFCG) which may be of interest to JC and others.

    The previous reports dated 5 December 2017, 8 June 2018 and 7 December 2018 set out the circumstances under which various claims have been submitted by Wavetower, and how on each occasion these had been rejected by the Joint Liquidators, most recently a revised claim of £2.8m. In September 2018, HJL had intimated that Wavetower would seek to increase its claim to £18m and consider appointing receivers over the Company. The Joint Liquidators took steps to avoid such an eventuality and obtained an interim interdict in favour of the Company which precluded Wavetower from making a receivership appointment.

    This matter remained a focus of the Joint Liquidators’ attention during the course of the period, and it has continued to progress in accordance with the Court procedure.

    In parallel with the Court procedure, and in order to attempt to reach a consensual resolution of the dispute without further recourse to the Court, the Joint Liquidators agreed to a mediation which took place on 12 November 2018. The mediation occurred following it being agreed between the parties that the proceedings in Scotland, in respect of Wavetower’s appeal of the Joint Liquidators’ decision to reject its claim, would be sisted for a period of 3 months, such period to expire on 13 November 2018 (the day after the mediation date).

    Whilst the mediation did not result in an agreement being reached between the parties, it was agreed that the discussions would continue outside of the formal mediation process, and the parties agreed to continue to sist the Court process. As at the date of this report, the discussions are ongoing, but the Joint Liquidators hope to be able to provide a substantive update in the next report to creditors.

    …. and

    All creditors should note that the quantum and timing of future dividends is unknown and will be dependent on the outcome of the Wavetower claim. Once this is resolved, it would be the intention of the Joint Liquidators to pay a further dividend as soon as possible.