Accountability via Transparency.

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Where transparency exists accountability inevitably follows.​


This is an extract from a post on SFM from 2015. The subject was Transparency and Slow Glass.

The message then was that football governance has to catch up in realising that football has to become more transparent in its dealing with supporters and so more accountable to them.
That transparency is already here via social media because of the ability to share, but the light of truth is constrained by Slow Glass.
Slow Glass from a short story by Bob Shaw slows down the light passing through it.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_of_Other_Days
In the story and others, you have Slow Glass of different thickness in terms of the time it takes for the light to emerge.
You have Glass a day thick/long to Glass ten years thick/long and more.

Resolution 12, if measured from the Celtic AGM in 2013 when it was tabled and adjourned, has taken 6 years for the light of truth to emerge, although it could have happened sooner had main stream media removed the dust of PR that slows the light, but light is inexorable and it is emerging at an archive of events since 2011 that can be read at

https://www.res12.uk/ 

It is in two parts.

Part One
relates to events in 2011/12 including a very interesting link between UEFA Licence 2011 and the commissioning of Lord Nimmo Smith to investigate use of EBTs with side letters by Rangers FC where non-disclosure benefited Rangers FC in 2011 AND 2012.


Part Two
concentrates SFA activity (or lack of it) from 2014 to date as result of the adjournment of Resolution 12 in November 2013 that provided shareholders with the authority to seek answers.
The archive has been constructed in chronological sequence to help readers understand better the detail and separate what took place in 2011/12 which is in the past, from the SFA handling of shareholders legitimate enquiries from 2014/15 to date, which remains current and is a mirror of SFA performance in respect of the national football team.
Many narratives will emerge as a result of the transparency, some Celtic related, but a system of governance, that is accountable in some way to supporters as stakeholders in the game, can only benefit the supporters of all clubs and they are encouraged to read through the archive.

As Phil Mac Giolla Bhain has written here in respect of Celtic and the SFA


https://philmacgiollabhain.ie/2019/04/03/resolution-12-information-on-new-website/


accountability has to be the outcome of transparency to wipe the face and soul of Scottish football clean.

How that is achieved will be up to Scottish football supporters everywhere to take forward via their Associations and Trusts, in collaboration with the clubs they support, but it does seem to me, and I know others with more legal experience, that the SFA would find it difficult to resist a challenge to their refusal to engage with people (in this case minority shareholders of member clubs) who are affected by decisions that they make.

743 COMMENTS


  1. Ex Ludo 7th May 2019 at 08:54

    ..'refused to join the new club'….'

    *********

    Acknowledged, Ex Ludo. The sub-editor who missed that probably got his jotters!broken heart

    Maybe I was a bit too harsh on McLaughlin, though,who is by no means the worst of the scribes.

    But the pernicious lie has got to be contradicted at every turn  and those who propagate it are to be refuted until truth prevails.

    View Comment

  2. Rejected several times by lower league clubs, the SPFL leadership now tries to divide and conquer: no relegation from the Championship guaranteed for a season, while League One clubs get two slots instead of one for promotion, again for a season.

     

    Meantime, two 'mystery' colt sides get dumped into League Two.

     

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/48179898 

     

    I wonder who the two colt sides could be? 

     

    The BBC report by Brian McLaughlin has been replicated in several papers. Articles claim talks have been going on for prolonged periods. 

     

    It's a one sided discussion: the lower league clubs have rejected the colt idea many times: why does the SPFL keep on bringing it up every few weeks? I'd have thought they had more pressing matters to attend to.

     

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  3. https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/celtic/no-plans-to-change-the-format-spfl-dismisses-championship-expansion-claims-1-4922309

     

     

    'The Scottish Professional Football League say they have ‘no plans’ to extend the Ladbrokes Championship to 12 teams amid fresh reports of Celtic and Rangers’ under-20 sides joining a revamped senior league set-up.

    The SPFL responded to claims the Scottish second tier could be expanded for the 2020/21 campaign by having no relegation from it next season, and granting automatic promotion to the top two clubs from Ladbrokes League One.

    That would mean a 44-game league season in Scotland’s second tier. Changes to League One and League Two could see automatic promotion to the bottom tier for both the Highland League and Lowland League champions, while two “colt”, or under-20 teams from Premiership clubs could be included.

    But while talks over any potential alterations to the current SPFL set-up are ongoing within the organisation’s competitions working group, they insist a 12-team Championship is not on the agenda.

    “Whilst we regularly review our competition formats, there are currently no plans to change the format of the Ladbrokes Championship,” said an SPFL spokesperson.

    “We always want to ensure fans enjoy competitions that are dramatic, exciting and compelling – just as this season’s Ladbrokes Championship has been.”

    Celtic and Rangers have been actively seeking inclusion for their under-20 sides in the SPFL for some time now.

    In January 2018, the Old Firm clubs made a joint proposal for a two-year pilot scheme which would see their “colts” play in League 2.

    They suggested their teams would play all of their fixtures away from home and offered to guarantee the purchase of 250 tickets per match at £10 per head to the other 10 clubs.

    The move was rejected by several clubs, including Annan Athletic and Stenhousemuir, after consultation with their supporters.

    Several European countries – including Spain, Germany, Portugal and Norway – allow reserve or youth teams from major clubs to participate in the lower divisions of their senior leagues with restrictions on how far they can be promoted and which cup competitions they can enter.

    Under-20 sides from the Scottish Premiership clubs have taken part in the Irn-Bru Scottish Challenge Cup in the past three seasons.'

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  4. They could ask West of Scotland Juniors to admit the colt teams into their set up . Players were sent to Junior clubs in the past as part of their mental and physical development , and their are some good teams there that would be more than capable of giving them a game . And the guaranteed ticket sales would be a boost for the clubs .

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  5. You may recall me voicing my concerns about how the SFA was conducting the licensing round for new applicants who played in the East of Scotland League this season. Well, the SFA have surpassed their usual incompetence with this one.

    The EoS season concluded on Saturday after an emotional roller coaster of a game at Broxburn (I was there), with Bonnyrigg Rose winning the conference play-offs and with it a promotion to the Lowland League …….. well maybe not.

    Clubs have to have at least an "entry level" licence to participate in the LL. Many prospective clubs paid the fee, carried out ground improvements etc.,  to obtain a licence in good faith, only for the SFA to change the licence criteria after the application process started.  The key change was that floodlights were now required.

    Clubs have just been advised today of the outcome. Those with floodlights appear to have been accepted, while those without them have been rejected, including Bonnyrigg. 

    Now I know that Bonnyrigg have acquired lights and their erection is going through the planning process with the work due to be carried out during the close season. The SFA, at this point, appear not to have granted any derogation for Bonnyrigg or anyone else.

    The likeliest promotion/relegation scenario (which also depends on the outcome of the Cove v Berwick SPFL L2 playoff), is that Whitehill Welfare will not be relegated as they can only be replaced by the "EoS Champion Club", i.e. Bonnyrigg.

    Fair enough if they don't meet the licensing criteria you may say ……… well changing the rules part way through the application process isn't ideal, but two "licensed" clubs in the LL (Vale of Leithen and ….. wait for it …….. Whitehill Welfare) don't have lights. Are they going to be thrown out the league?

    Who knows?   It's the SFA that we are talking about.  

    I think this story has some way to run, but the initial take on it is that the SFA have again shown themselves once again to be not fit for purpose.

    Here's a statement from Tranent who were also rejected for the lack of floodlights:

    Club Announcement

    It is with huge disappointment the club have been notified by the SFA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell that we have been refused our full SFA licence because we do not meet the criteria by means of having no floodlights.

    This requirement was a change to the original licensing criteria and was brought in 34 hours before our final assessment, which we would have passed otherwise. This is all the more galling considering the hundreds of hours spent on the regeneration of our ground and the amount of time completing paperwork.

    I am absolutely gutted and saddened to be telling our loyal fans this news.

    We are at an advanced stage to install floodlights after the upgrade of 3 phase power at a cost of over £15,000.

    The committee will now meet tonight to discuss the best way forward for the club.

    Congratulations to the clubs who successfully obtained their licenses and commiserations to the others, like ourselves, who didn’t, especially our friends at Bonnyrigg and their players who are without doubt the biggest losers after an amazing season.

    The club welcome any suggestions or guidance on how to quicken the process of getting floodlights installed.

    Yours,

    David Innes
    Club Chairman

       

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  6. Apart from not wanting the yob elements of their support, what are the objections of the clubs to these teams joining their league.

    Assuming  of course that promotion is not a factor.

    Other countries, e.g., Spain, seem able to accommodate such an arrangement.

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  7. Here's Bonnyrigg's reaction to their Licensing rejection.

    Update on club licensing.

    I can confirm that earlier this afternoon I received an email from the Chief Executive of the SFA that following consideration by the Board, our application for membership of the Scottish Football Association has been rejected on the grounds that we are not complaint with current Entry Level criteria – specifically provision of floodlighting and therefore our application for derogation (which would allow us a period of twelve months to remedy this) has also been rejected.

    Everyone at the club is extremely disappointed with the outcome of this decision, as we believe we provided a compelling case for derogation which would allow us time to install floodlights at New Dundas Park as planned during the summer in time for the start of the new season.

    As a reminder, we applied for SFA membership on October 26th based on the criteria published in 2018 and the application fee was paid on the same date. November 22nd I received notice from SFA licensing that they would audit the club on December 12th at 10 a.m. At 6 p.m. on December 11th I received notification from SFA licensing of revisions to the SFA criteria for 2019 which now included a provision for the existence of floodlights. On the day of the audit it was confirmed by the licensing officers that despite applying for a license in 2018 (which would have been several months earlier has there not been an embargo in place allowing us to) we would be audited on the 2019 criteria. This gave us approximately 16 hours to ensure floodlights were in place which wasn’t achievable.

    Since the time of the audit we submitted a planning application for floodlights & pending a decision from the council we will have them in place for this summer.

    To go from the highs of the last seven days where we had close to 2,000 people watch us successfully navigate the Conference playoffs and win a place in the Lowland League based on sporting merit, to the news that reached us today which means at this moment in time we aren’t eligible for promotion is a massive low.

    To the players, management and supporters, the only solace I can give is that we are currently reviewing every option of recourse available. We have already been in conversation with our league who will back our case and we will write to the SFA asking for a further review. We are also exploring whether there is a benefit of bringing in outside assistance to review the whole process we have been through. There are no options at this stage which we have discounted.

    Finally, we would like to pass on our warm congratulations to the clubs that were successful in their license application today, which is a testament to their hard work over the course of several years.

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  8. Haddington Athletic, who also had their licence application rejected, have highlighted the unprofessional nature of the SFA by reproducing an extract of Ian Maxwell's correspondence.

    More will be said on the subject in due course. Meanwhile, some might think it speaks volumes of the SFA's level of professionalism that they couldn't even take the time to ensure their correspondence was composed correctly. "I am write", "not complaint", etc, The second paragraph in particular stands up to little scrutiny, given everything.

    "Regarding the above, I am write to confirm that following consideration by the Board, your application for membership of the Scottish Football Association has been rejected as your club is not complaint with current Entry Level criteria – specifically provision of floodlighting.

    I appreciate this is disappointing news however I’m sure you can understand the Scottish FA’s desire to continue to improve standards within our game.

     

    Regards

    Ian Maxwell
    Chief Executive

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  9. It's disturbing reading easyJambo's recent posts, the details of which I'm only fleetingly aware. 

     

    As a fan of lower league football, it would be quite easy for me to simply think the SFA don't really give a 'F' about the clubs playing in these levels, but the truth is probably closer to the people representing the organisation being totally and utterly out of their depths. 

     

    From the Haddington Athletic statements as an example (Customer service & professionalism seem of little interest to the SFA) there seems to be little faith in the clubs who have taken a leap of faith to become involved with the SFA.

     

    Yet an argument against any complaints raised is often that the SFA is composed of the clubs.

     

    Is it that those who attain positions at the SFA from the clubs only do so if they keep quiet and accept any amount of dysfunction in order to get a free lunch?

     

     

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  10. ThomTheThim 7th May 2019 at 18:59

    Apart from not wanting the yob elements of their support, what are the objections of the clubs to these teams joining their league?

    ———————————————————————–

    As usual only two teams really matter.

    Its all about Celtic and Rangers

    View Comment

  11. ThomTheThim    7th May 2019 at 18:59

    "Apart from not wanting the yob elements of their support, what are the objections of the clubs to these teams joining their league.

    Assuming  of course that promotion is not a factor.

    Other countries, e.g., Spain, seem able to accommodate such an arrangement."

    _____________________________________

    TTT, no club wants to see ‘yob elements’ visiting, at any level, I’d hope, but I don’t think that is a major concern for the lower league supporters. It’s doubtful that, if implemented, colt sides would carry much of a support, as evidenced by their inclusion in the Irn Bru Cup, and also one of the initial carrots to League 2 clubs of 250 tickets at £10 being purchased by visiting colt sides. A bribe, in any other terms.

     

    The Dutch example is held up by those in favour of colt sides in Scotland: the Young Ajax away support last season averaged five fans in the Dutch Championship. In the Netherlands, supporters generally shun matches involving colt/’Jong’ sides (PSV, Utrecht, Ajax and AZ away supports all numbered lower than 10 last season). FC Twente carried an average away support of 485, as a comparison.

     

    You state ‘assuming that promotion is not a factor’: unfortunately, there are no guarantees of this. In leagues held up by advocates of Scottish colts, promotion is permitted to level two in almost all cases. Thus there is a distrust that entry into the league system would be the thin edge of a wedge, as there is a suspicion that, should two clubs in particular move into another league system elsewhere, these colt sides would morph into fully blown Scottish replicas (although that has happened already down in Govan).

     

    In any case, the SFA has been at pains to introduce a pyramid system, where success is rewarded but a penalty exists for struggling clubs, with the likes of East Stirlingshire and potentially Berwick paying a hefty price. Montrose almost went through the trapdoor a few years back. Yet here are the authorities attempting to by-pass their own system, for the sake, in the eyes of lower league fans, of the two giants of that set up.

     

     

    There are many other arguments against allowing colt sides easy access to the levels mooted, but presently I’ll leave it there, and ask, what would be the positives for lower league clubs, with evidence where possible?

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  12. Bill1903 8th May 2019 at 10:12

    I've no real problem with colt sides but would Hearts,Hibs Aberdeen etc not be included or interested?

    _______________________________

    Exactly. I wonder if any of the 28 (at present) thumb-downers could enlighten us as to why they took objection to your post at 7.47?

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  13.  

    • View Comment
    • ThomTheThimThomTheThim 7th May 2019 at 18:59

       

      24

       

      9
       

      Rate This

       
       

      Apart from not wanting the yob elements of their support, what are the objections of the clubs to these teams joining their league.

      Assuming  of course that promotion is not a factor.

      Other countries, e.g., Spain, seem able to accommodate such an arrangement

    • ********
    • I have reposted from earlier, as, in spite of the thumbs up/down responses, I never got an indication of the objections.
    • It is a genuine request.
    View Comment

  14. borussiabeefburg 8th May 2019 at 09:59

    ********

    I have just noticed your response, which I will now go back and read,

    Thank you.

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  15. Borussia…., Bill1903,

     

    Thanks again.

    If visiting fans is not a consideration, then the main concern appears to be the threat of promotion or relegation, should the new guys be eligible for promotion. Fair enough. 

    I can understand other top league clubs wanting a competitive league for their colts also.

    It makes the decision to scrap the reserve leagues strange.

    It also raises the question as to why top clubs have youth development programmes at all.

    They could invest in feeder clubs, where young players can be developed and the sponsor club have first option on the player.

    Effectively, that is what all Scottish clubs are nowadays, with the voracious monster across the border.

     

     

     

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  16. ulyanova 8th May 2019 at 10:27

    Exactly. I wonder if any of the 28 (at present) thumb-downers could enlighten us as to why they took objection to your post at 7.47?

    ___________________________________________________

    Rule 1

    Thou shall never be critical of Celtic or lump them in with the other lot

    Schoolboy error on my part

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  17. Allowing colts sides as quasi-senior clubs into any league will only strengthen the parent clubs at the expense of their competitors and I just don't buy into the concept of any benefit to smaller clubs of vast travelling supports and turnstiles spinning overtime.

     

    I really don't care if Colts teams exist in bigger leagues elsewhere like Spain or the Netherlands or who is doing it or why.

     

    I personally am totally in favour of a genuine open and fair pyramid system (Not the one we currently seem to have),  although it is better than what existed in the past and I wish Cove Rangers well against Berwick as I wish Berwick well against Cove).

     

    In time I would rather see and indeed expect to see bona-fide community-based clubs from real parts and towns of Scotland like Linlithgow, Bonnyrigg, East Kilbride, Dunbar, Galashiels etc in our leagues in a proper pyramid system and the concurrent development of strategic community based initiatives through the football clubs.

     

    This is preferable to any colts team from any particular existing member, especially our two dominant teams whose business models sadly rely on recruiting fans from these very same places and not just their own cities.

     

    A real pyramid structure with a properly integrated national, yet also regional leagues will be good for all as long as those who fall out have a genuine chance to come back.

    Right now I don't think we are even close and I smell another SFA stitch up to protect and strengthen its two vip members.

     

    The current SFA treatment of the aspirant junior clubs into the Lowland League is also a disgrace.

    This is the league where several clubs already play as lodgers on grounds of existing SPFL clubs to "qualify" for their current licences. 

    The self same Lowland league where currently BSC Glasgow play at Alloa's ground, East Stirling play at Falkirk's,  EduSport play at Gala's and Stirling with all their wonderful sports facilities on campus have just moved back home to play At Stirling Albion's home Forthbank (and who knows one day might amalgamate with the Binos).

     

    Finally after the demise of the hapless Selkirk and the running of the league for a year with one club less the plan taken last Autumn to relegate  the bottom team seems premature and harsh on Whitehill who would have been second bottom and safe.

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  18. Is this suggested 'colt teams' idea being driven by clubs…

    or is it being driven by paying customers' demands?

     

    I know: a stoopid, rhetorical question.

     

    Point being – even with a new CEO and a new President elect the SFA is simply continuing to do what it has always done:

    ignoring the fans.

     

    With such an attitude towards customer focus, or customer engagement…

    Armageddon could indeed make an appearance in due course – at the offices of the Hampden athletics stadium!

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  19. Just had a revelation…

     

    Whilst the future of Hampden is still up in the air, the SFA should consider another option they might have overlooked.

     

    It's another stadium based in Glasgow, so no major upheaval for the blazers.

    A stadium which is ultra modern, so no need for expensive remedial works to improve the customer experience.

    AND this stadium is fully covered, so no weather related issues affecting games.

     

    The SFA could relocate from their athletics stadium…

    to the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome!

     

    I'll get on my bike now.  enlightened

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  20. Bolton Wanderers given 14 days by High Court to appoint administrator

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/48199290

    Bolton Wanderers are set to go into administration after the club appeared in the High Court over a £1.2m unpaid tax bill.

    The case on Wednesday was adjourned until 22 May to allow the club enough time to appoint an administrator.

    Administration would result in Wanderers having a 12-point penalty imposed on them next season.

    The club will play in League One next season after they were relegated from the Championship this term.

    Former Watford owner Laurence Bassini had made a takeover bid, but Wanderers said on Thursday that the deal was off. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/48140125

    Bassini, who had been given 48 hours to prove to the English Football League he had the funds to take over, https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/48146128 later claimed he had control of the club, but it was reported on Monday that his bid was on the brink of collapse. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/48186060

    Prospect of administration a 'massive disappointment'
     

    In a statement published while the club were awaiting their case to be heard in the High Court on Wednesday, owner Ken Anderson said administration was the only possible outcome following the collapse of Bassini's takeover bid.

    "This has been a massive disappointment to me as I understand the serious implications administration will bring to the businesses," he said.

    On Bassini's bid, Anderson added: "Regrettably his continued time wasting and empty promises have caused a great deal of heartache and frustration for the staff and supporters alike and now leave the Eddie Davies Trust and I with little or no choice other than for one of us to place the businesses into administration, as any likelihood of finding any resolution in the High Court hearing is not possible."

    It was the sixth time in the past 18 months that Bolton have faced a winding-up petition. Their latest case, originally brought by HM Revenue & Customs in February, https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/47306565 has now been adjourned by the High Court on three occasions, with Wednesday's decision the latest in a string of off-field issues at the club this season.

    Players are still owed wages for March and April, while the club could face further sanctions from the English Football League after their final home match of the season against Brentford on 27 April was postponed when the playing staff went on strike. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/48151016

    Meanwhile, Bolton Whites Hotel, which adjoins the University of Bolton Stadium and is owned by the club, also appeared in the High Court over a separate winding-up petition and was also given an adjournment until 22 May.

    Analysis

    BBC Radio Manchester's Jack Ranson at the High Court, London
     

    Judge Clive Jones said it was "rather strange" that Bolton did not have a representative in the High Court.

    Nonetheless, the major creditors were petitioning for a short adjournment, in the hope that an administrator could be appointed in that time.

    Former owner Eddie Davies' trust fund, Fildraw, has served a notice with that intention and the club has been given until 22 May to see that it is done.

    Only once an administrator has been appointed will we be able to start thinking about who could be in the frame to rescue the club.

     

     

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  21. Thanks to all who responded and shed some light into a situation where light was required, on my part.

    If the SFA are involved, then it must be questionable.

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  22. ThomTheThim 8th May 2019 at 11:13

     “Thanks again.

    If visiting fans is not a consideration, then the main concern appears to be the threat of promotion or relegation, should the new guys be eligible for promotion. Fair enough.”

    ________________________

    TTT: thank you for your responses.

    The new teams would already have had several promotions without merit or even playing a game, given the plans to parachute them in at the fourth level. I think that is a major concern for all fans, not only in the recognised League system of four divisions, but throughout the Highland and Lowland Leagues, into the South of Scotland and EoS levels.

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  23. Couple of points on what's recently been posted. The colts thing is just about making TRFC more relevant – whether it happens or not – and people who give thumbs down without justifying them with posts arguing their displeasure are just cowards.

     

    Please give me loadsa thumbs down and then hide!

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  24. Ex Ludo 8th May 2019 at 18:31 Former Rangers manager Mark Warburton has been named as QPR’s new boss.
    ……………….
    Not the England job the SMSM would have us believe he was destined for then.

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  25. Allyjambo 8th May 2019 at 17:27

    Couple of points on what's recently been posted. The colts thing is just about making TRFC more relevant – whether it happens or not – and people who give thumbs down without justifying them with posts arguing their displeasure are just cowards.

    ========================================

    I don't care if Colts teams are allowed or not, other than to agree that if it is genuinely viewed as a benefit to bringing on younger players, then it should definitely not be restricted to only two clubs. Any club that can afford it should be allowed a chance. 

    In terms of Rangers and relevance it was a joy to hear the pundits on Radio Clyde tonight trying to justify how vital Sunday's Od Frm game is to Celtic. A lady caller offered the view the game meant nothing to Celtic but they were not having it. In my view it means very little to Celtic OR Rangers and anyone who tries to use it as a barometer for anything is clutching at straws.  I am also waiting for the Press Conferences before the game to hear some in the media somehow trying to associate Liverpool's incredible result last night with Rangers, just because of Gerrard. I guarantee there will be some sort of slavering nonsense spoken. 

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  26. I'd rather see East Kilbride and Cove Rangers (other teams that have worked their way up the system are available) in the SPFL than some reserve team personally.  At the moment the bigger teams hoover up all the talent anyway, giving them SPFL status for their excess squads is just a way to consolidate no one else getting a look in.

     

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  27. ernie 8th May 2019 at 20:29

    ============================

    I too like the idea that football success is based purely on a meritocracy. Sadly though that is becoming less and less of a case. A glance at the two 'Champions' League finalists shows that to be the case. At the very least the tournament should be renamed. 

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  28. The Champions League final in Madrid on 1st June 2019 will see Tottenham Hotspur compete with Liverpool for the honour of lifting the cup first raised by Billy McNeill. Cesar was not just the first Briton to lift the cup but due to Real Madrid being awarded the previous Champions Cup 1967 was the first year the current cup was the trophy. Accordingly Cesar was the first person, from any country, to lift the cup.

    I hope that any comparisons which may be made include the fact that in 1966/67 Celtic were in the competition as Champions of Scotland.

    Neither of this year's finalists are Champions of England. The last time one of them were Champions of England was thirty years ago and for the other you have to go back sixty years.

    Whatever this cup stands for now it has little or nothing to do with Champions. If it did all Champions would be in it and any team which was not its League's Champion would not.

    Maybe the time has come for some honesty and a rebranding for the EUFA Euros, Pounds, Petro Dollars and Sugar Daddy Financed Cup.

    On 1st June it may look like the same cup raised aloft but it's not. A Champions League trophy awarded to one of two teams neither of whom were Champions might be at the end of a fabulous game of football but it can never determine which Champions prevailed over the other Champions.

    I look forward to the inaugural EUFA European Clubs From Countries With Vast Television Audiences Cup.

    That would put an end to such unsporting unseemly sights such as a club from a small country mustering a team from within a thirty mile radius on modest means and then sweeping all before them.

    On the other hand maybe "Champions" has another meaning?

    A Brysonic meaning such as "my team"?

    A Reganesque meaning such as "if you're going to cheat that much you're Champions in my eyes."?

    A Doncaster meaning such as "look at all those honours; and I know because I gifted them to them, they must be Champions."?

    A King meaning such as "we're in tangible distance so all we have to do is touch them and then, following The Royal and Ancient Rules of Tig, we're Champions."?

    A SMSM meaning such as "…[insert lie as required/dictated by Mr Traynor]…"?

    O what a tangled web we weave

    When first we practise to deceive.

    And that's just at first. When you continue to deceive the web becomes tangled to the point that it is scarcely recognisable as a web. However instead of trying to extricate themselves from the tangle the usual suspects continue to deceive and entangle and we are expected to stand back and pretend that this sort of behaviour is normal.

    A Hard Rain Is Gonna Fall and many are going to be angry because nobody told them that preparing with wellies and umbrellas would be prudent.

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  29. LUGOSI 9th May 2019 at 07:35

    "..look forward to the inaugural EUFA European Clubs From Countries With Vast Television Audiences Cup…"

    **************

    That's a fine piece, LUGOSI. 

    It seems remiss of UEFA and the TV moguls to allow mere geographical classification to prevent them including India and China as belonging to 'Europe'- what audiences might they not attract were they to decree that for football purpose, those countries are in Europe.

    Surely, if a little Governance body like the SFA has the power to alter the birth certificate of a new club in such way as to make it 140-odd years older and award it the sporting honours and titles of a dead club , the mighty UEFA can surely play fast and loose with reality, truth and common sense?

     

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  30. And before I leave the house to get the bus in to Glasgow for a  rogan josh and a Wetherspoons' pint and for an afternoon of setting the world to rights with two other auld geezers, let me give you the text of a letter to 'the Scotsman' this morning:

    ".Just before he died Professor Sir Stephen Hawking completed his paper on a parallel universe.

    In it, Rangers clap Celtic on to the pitch for winning the league"

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  31. JC there is also another universe where there is an honest SFA.

    There is no 'Rangers'.

    And either Kilmarnock or Aberdeen are sportingly clapping CFC onto the pitch.

     

    I think we just have to send the SFA through a black hole… 

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  32. reading the local paper to learn that Camelon Juniors have had the same letter as Haddington et al. 

    They dont mention if the same typos were present. 

    Does anyone have a count of the clubs rejected by the SFA?

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  33. Back in 2012 the SFA fixed it so that no other non-league club, especially The Spartans, would go up against Sevco for election to Div. 3 of the then SFL.  If The Spartans had put their name forward, the outcome of the vote of the 39 EFL clubs would have been interesting.      

    Flywheel 

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  34. Shyster Flywheel Shyster 9th May 2019 at 12:44

    Back in 2012 the SFA fixed it so that no other non-league club, especially The Spartans, would go up against Sevco for election to Div. 3 of the then SFL.  If The Spartans had put their name forward, the outcome of the vote of the 39 EFL clubs would have been interesting.      
    ………………………………………………………………..
    Flywheel 

    The curious thing is that in 2012 there was never a vacancy.

    I have since asked some of the directors of both the two obvious aspirant clubs, Spartans and Cove, and also existing SFL clubs and am certain there was never any opportunity or situation to "invite" clubs to apply in the manner of the previous invitations to apply that brought in clubs like Ross County, Inverness CT,  Elgin City FC, Peterhead Meadowbank Thistle aka Livingston and Annan.

     

    You might assume that the reason there never was a vacancy was because because The SFA had pre- agreed with all in their inner sanctum that after the intended pre-pack that Rangers had become would purge and cleanse their debts and continue unscathed.

     

    That didn't quite happen as we know and liquidation was the outcome of the vote by people and companies owed money.

     

    The 5 way agreement contained a way forward to keep Rangers at the top (and the commercial revenues in place).

     The subsequent rebukes by both the SPL clubs following fan rebellion at season ticket time and then by the SPL clubs (despite the outrageous threat of an "invitees – only" SPL2) was wonderful and we have people like the late Turnbull Hutton to thank.

    So the plan for a no change Rangers after a short long weekend pre-pack failed and in time the previous club became nothing more than a basket of the playing assets and a management team who didn't want to do walking away. 

    They morphed first into The Rangers (Charles Sevco Business) and they would soon replace the Rangers FC in liquidation and play in the 3rd division.

    Oh and they bought the history and all the silverware for £1 or something like that but its all a bit secretive.

     

    No vacancy for aspirant clubs ever existed.

    Neither Alan Macrae of Cove nor Craig Graham of Spartans the respective and well connected chairmen or others were even given a sniff and may even have been advised not to rock any boats during the period of uncertainty.

     

    7 years on.

    Did Longmuir and Doncaster and Regan follow the rules as laid out in their constitutions over the acceptance of Sevco into division 3 and the cup game at Brechin as an unseeded entity?

     

    I'd say they certainly did not but the baddies as John Clarke would call them held rank then and they and their successors are still holding rank today some 7 years on.

     

    So move along now.

    Nothing to see there and just be glad that Scottish football has the big Glasgow clubs and their 4 times plus a year derbies because that is what fuels the TV money top to bottom. 

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  35. With respect to the play-offs from the EoS League.  Of the 3 conference winners only Broxburn Athletic's Albyn Park has floodlighting.  If the possession of floodlights was a mandatory requirement for promotion to the Lowland League then this should have been made public well before season's end.

    In which case Whitehill Welfare should have been replaced by Broxburn in the LL.  Although, it should rightly have been Bonnyrigg with dispensation to get floodlights installed by end of 2019-2020.

    The SFA stinks.      

    Flywheel

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  36. Finloch 9th May 2019 at 13:50 

    No vacancy for aspirant clubs ever existed.

    Neither Alan Macrae of Cove nor Craig Graham of Spartans the respective and well connected chairmen or others were even given a sniff and may even have been advised not to rock any boats during the period of uncertainty.

     ———————————————————————-

    I recall at the time that Craig Graham was questioned by the Edinburgh Evening News about The Spartans applying for the SFL should a place become vacant with the promotion of Dundee to replace Rangers in the SPL.  I thought his response was that they would not apply.  I must have wrongly read between the lines that the SFA had influenced that decision. 

    Flywheel

    View Comment

  37. Shyster Flywheel Shyster 9th May 2019 at 12:44

    Back in 2012 the SFA fixed it so that no other non-league club, especially The Spartans, would go up against Sevco for election to Div. 3 of the then SFL.  If The Spartans had put their name forward, the outcome of the vote of the 39 EFL clubs would have been interesting. 

    _________________________     

    The pyramid system was promised to clubs below league level. The Spartans could have rocked the boat, but didn’t, obviously convinced that their silence was in the interests of Scottish Football as whole.

     

    Finloch 9th May 2019 at 13:50

    The curious thing is that in 2012 there was never a vacancy.

    ­­­­­­­­­­­______________

    That’s correct, in the sense that applications weren’t invited. There was a space, but no advertised vacancy.

     

    Shyster Flywheel Shyster 9th May 2019 at 13:55

    With respect to the play-offs from the EoS League.  Of the 3 conference winners only Broxburn Athletic's Albyn Park has floodlighting.  If the possession of floodlights was a mandatory requirement for promotion to the Lowland League then this should have been made public well before season's end.

    ______________________________

    As I understand it (and easyJambo has a better handle on this than me) clubs had to apply including a bond of £2000, and they did so in good faith, with Haddington Athletic, as an example spending £30,000 getting their ground tidied up. As an aside, Camelon Juniors stumped up the two grand, this a club which was reported to have only £4 in the bank at the end of last season. However, rather late in the day the SFA introduced a floodlight criteria which did not previously exist. Thus several clubs lost their deposit and chance of registration at a higher level.

    Meanwhile, political opportunism or not…………………

     

    Motion Number: S5M-17235
    Lodged By: Neil Findlay
    Date Lodged: 09/05/2019

    Title: SFA Moves the Goalposts on Bonnyrigg's Application

    Motion Text:
    That the Parliament expresses its concern at the decision of the SFA to reject Bonnyrigg Rose’s application for full membership; believes that the club, which won the 2018-19 East of Scotland league, applied to join the Lowland league, but that, due to a lack of floodlights at its home ground, New Dundas Park, this application was rejected; understands with concern that the membership condition regarding floodlighting was brought in after the club applied; considers this to be a very unfair way to treat a team that has invested heavily in its stadium, with fundraising ongoing to install floodlights within the next 12 months, and squad and that applied in good faith under the existing rules at the time, and calls on the SFA to think again in relation to Bonnyrigg’s application.

     

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  38. Shyster Flywheel Shyster 9th May 2019 at 14:22

    Finloch 9th May 2019 at 13:50 

    No vacancy for aspirant clubs ever existed.

    Neither Alan Macrae of Cove nor Craig Graham of Spartans the respective and well connected chairmen or others were even given a sniff and may even have been advised not to rock any boats during the period of uncertainty.

     ———————————————————————-

    I recall at the time that Craig Graham was questioned by the Edinburgh Evening News about The Spartans applying for the SFL should a place become vacant with the promotion of Dundee to replace Rangers in the SPL.  I thought his response was that they would not apply.  I must have wrongly read between the lines that the SFA had influenced that decision. 

    Flywheel

     

    ……………………………………………………………………………..

    No I think you are calling it just about right.

    The record shows no vacancy* ever existed for any club to "apply".

    A little bit of paper speculation occurred around the public demise of Rangers FC but the then unholy trinity of football authorities wanted to keep a Rangers Institution as high up the leagues as they could.

    And part of the plan was some well informed, well regarded and also well briefed chairmen not rocking any boats during the period of crisis and instability.

    Quite how the fast forwarding of Charles of Normandy's basket of assets, under the Sevco project, fitted in with the league and association constitutions has always been beyond me.

     

    *WE ALL KNOW THERE WAS A VACANCY AND SEVCO WHO DID NOT MEET THE CRITERIA FOR SFL LEAGUE MEMBERSHIP WERE SHOEHORNED INTO IT ON THE BACK OF THE SECRET 5 WAY AGREEMENT AND NO OTHER CLUBS GOT A CHANCE

    But nobody important enough asked the questions then in the stampede to move on and since then Sevco has become Rangers and even organisations like the BBC are not allowed to mention the Sevco name or question the provenance of the truly wondrous transmogrification.

     

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  39. One for the lawyers. Do Bonnyrigg have any legal case they could pursue.

    Effectively they and the other clubs who lost their bond money have been the subjects of a scam.

    It cannot be acceptable that the rules can be changed retrospectively as it's contrary to natural justice and legal convention.

     

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  40. WRT the SFA and its underwhelming performance – especially since 2011/12 ;

     

    Has the SFA excelled at anything in recent years…

    in relation to either the national team (men's) or in relation to the senior clubs?

     

    Like a drunk after chucking out time, the SFA seems to just listlessly stumble along – from one self-inflicted shambles to the next.  

    Never learning, never improving.

     

    Everybody (?) now seems to despise the SFA, for varying reasons.

     

    Does the Scottish game actually need such an organisation?

    Hypothetically, could the majority of clubs not sack the SFA – and start another, professionally run, national association?

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  41. Finloch 9th May 2019 at 13:50

    Motion Number: S5M-17235
    Lodged By: Neil Findlay
    Date Lodged: 09/05/2019

    Title: SFA Moves the Goalposts on Bonnyrigg's Application

    Motion Text:
    That the Parliament expresses its concern at the decision of the SFA to reject Bonnyrigg Rose’s application for full membership; believes that the club, which won the 2018-19 East of Scotland league, applied to join the Lowland league, but that, due to a lack of floodlights at its home ground, New Dundas Park, this application was rejected; understands with concern that the membership condition regarding floodlighting was brought in after the club applied; considers this to be a very unfair way to treat a team that has invested heavily in its stadium, with fundraising ongoing to install floodlights within the next 12 months, and squad and that applied in good faith under the existing rules at the time, and calls on the SFA to think again in relation to Bonnyrigg’s application.

    ————————————————————–

    This is not shoehorning Sevco into the SFL, this is about winning promotion fairly from level 6 to level 5.  My own club LTHV were previously denied promotion from the EoSL to the LL due to not making ground requirements, but the rejection of Bonnyrigg Rose is unfair and stinks of cheating by the SFA.  Could this rejection be due to Bonnyrigg being a Junior Club up until last season.   As were the other EoS conference winners: Broxburn and Penicuik.

    Interesting to see what happens when the West Juniors join in.  

     

    Flywheel

     

     

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  42. Shyster Flywheel Shyster 9th May 2019 at 13:55

    With respect to the play-offs from the EoS League.  Of the 3 conference winners only Broxburn Athletic's Albyn Park has floodlighting.  If the possession of floodlights was a mandatory requirement for promotion to the Lowland League then this should have been made public well before season's end.

    ================================

    Penicuik also has floodlights and was granted a licence earlier this week.

    As I understand it, the Lowland League does not require clubs to have floodlights. However in order to join the LL, you have to be a licensed club. It was the licensing requirements that changed in December 2018 to introduce the floodlight requirement into the "Entry" licence award.  All LL clubs current have an "Entry" level licence.

    That being the case, then Civil Service Strollers, Vale of Leithen and Whitehill Welfare will not meet their current "Entry" status when they are next audited  CSS were last reviewed in December, VoL in December and WW in October. Should any other these clubs fail their audit, then the probability will be that they will be given time (a derogation) to meet the requirements.  It's "time" that hasn't been offered to Bonnyrigg, Tranent, Camelon, Haddington and St Andrews.

    It's almost Brysonesque that a Licence can't be revoked without clubs being given the opportunity to put it right, while new applicants can't get their foot in the door because the SFA won't give them an appropriate amount of time to comply.  

    I hope that the five clubs get together and see if they can find a legal firm to represent them, on a "no win no fee" basis and seek compensation for all expenditure incurred in seeking to bring their facilities up to the required standard, in good faith, only for the SFA to move the goalposts, literally on the eve of the assessments.

    What should have happened in December 2018 was that the SFA should have said that floodlights would become mandatory in 12 months time, allowing all licensed and unlicensed clubs time to to meet the new requirement, rather than the 16 hours notice that Bonnyrigg and Tranent got.

    Bonnyrigg and all the other unlicensed clubs now face the dilemma of the same thing happening again in the next licensing round. Let's say they put up their floodlights then, the day before they are audited, the SFA puts out newly updated licensing criteria for 2020, but this time it requires a minimum of 100 seats under cover, which none of the the last group of applicants (successful and unsuccessful) have at present.

    SFA not fit for purpose.

     

     

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  43. Some court action next week

    LORD BRODIE – L McNamara, Clerk

    Tuesday 14th May

    By Order

    A413/16 David Whitehouse &c v The Lord Advocate – A & W M Urquhart – SGLD

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  44. A court opinion for JC about the "sealed envelope", related to next week’s hearing.

    http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/docs/default-source/cos-general-docs/pdf-docs-for-opinions/2019csoh38.pdf?sfvrsn=0

    Disposal
    [41] In my opinion the defender is entitled to assert LAP in respect of the contents of the sealed envelope. It follows that they should not be made available to the pursuers and, subject to any further procedure, may be returned to the defender. In his letter of 16 April 2019 addressed to the Principal Clerk of Session, the solicitor acting for the defender suggested that while the parties were in agreement that there is no necessary additional stage of procedure to be followed consequent on the motion I might deem it appropriate to issue my opinion before taking any action in respect of the sealed envelope in order to allow parties the opportunity to consider whether they would wish to seek leave to reclaim. I am content to do that and will therefore bring the case out by order shortly thereafter to allow parties to make such representations as they wish.

    LAP = Legal Advice Privilege.

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  45. I've given some thought about how the SFA can resolve the Bonnyrigg (and others) situation.

    The SFA could invoke one of their own precedents to get round the licensing problem, by issuing  a "conditional membership".  I haven't seen a documented process of how to obtain such a membership though, unless it is only written on the back of a few brown envelopes.

    Apparently it was used once, a few years ago, to get round their own rules to permit a new club to join the SFL.  :whistle

    I'm sure it could be adapted for use and documented in a 4-way agreement between the SFA, the Lowland League, East of Scotland League and the club(s).

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  46.  easyJambo 9th May 2019 at 18:38

    '..A court opinion for JC about the "sealed envelope",

    ****************

    Brilliant, eJ. I might have missed that.

    I am happy that what I reported , however limited in scope, seems to relate accurately to some of what actually was said in court.

    But what  a belter of implied criticism of Counsel on both sides is this observation by Lord Brodie:

    "I do not consider that these additional authorities have distracted me from the path delineated by parties’ submissions but, as is apparent from my opinion, I have looked at materials which were not referred to by the parties.  I do not invite re-argument of the motion but if either party consider that they have been unfairly prejudiced by my reliance on any authority to which they did not refer I will consider their representations."

    Geez, if your bloody QCs are not wholly 'learned in the Law', why would you pay them?

    I think it is quite shocking that any QC should not know everything and every case precedent in a matter in  respect of which he has accepted a brief to act.

    For a judge to t be able to tell Counsel that he has read relevant material that they have not?

    Doesn't say a lot for those QCs!

    But quite a lot about the Judge.

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  47. Probably worth saying that, in 2012, there never was a vacancy in the SFL.

    Sevco was admitted to the SFL (and played its first game against Brechin) when Dundee was still in the SFL and Rangers was still a member of the SPL.

    Far from being a vacancy, there was an extra club in the system.

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  48. Many commentators have been ecstatic over the success of 4 EPL clubs reaching the finals of the UCL and EL. There is no doubt that the semi final matches were exciting to watch and have ensured a massive TV audience for the respective finals. Spare a thought for Ajax though. Despite all their efforts in getting to the semi-final they will have to start next season in the second qualifying round. Meanwhile, Atalanta, who have come fourth in Serie A, go straight into the group stages. 

    Champions League? You’re having a laugh. 

    Meanwhile back in Scotland, there’s still no sign of a new national manager and having been following the main thread on here the SFA continue to run roughshod over Scottish football with not a peep from the SMSM about it.

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  49. easyJambo 9th May 2019 at 22:24

    I've given some thought about how the SFA can resolve the Bonnyrigg (and others) situation.

    The SFA could invoke one of their own precedents to get round the licensing problem, by issuing  a "conditional membership".  I haven't seen a documented process of how to obtain such a membership though, unless it is only written on the back of a few brown envelopes.

    Apparently it was used once, a few years ago, to get round their own rules to permit a new club to join the SFL.  :whistle

    I'm sure it could be adapted for use and documented in a 4-way agreement between the SFA, the Lowland League, East of Scotland League and the club(s).

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

     

    Brilliant EJ.

     

    Scottish Football needs less rule changes at the 11th hour and more 'conditional memberships, and more  Secret 4 Way Agreements to clean up what might otherwise be interpreted as a scam to get £2000 out of prospective Lowland League clubs who have their own grounds and don't want to share with Stirling Albion, Falkirk, Alloa, Gala or whoever.

     

    Oh and a chief executive who can spell write or there will be compliants about his competence.

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  50. The SFA attitude to Bonnyrigg et al is a microcosm of the wider European attitude to smaller football nations. And nobody ever fights back. You reap what you sow.

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  51. John Clark

    I've just read Lord Brodie's decision from the hearing on 9th April 2019 in David Whitehouse's action against the Lord Advocate including, at Page 23,:

    "My response was to inquire, perhaps somewhat abruptly, "So what?"…"

    I'm guessing that there was no "perhaps" about it?

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  52. Ex Ludo @ 15:30

    It's just as well that 'Rangers' mob went to the wall and we'll never have to witness that kind of sub-standard refereeing performance again … 

    crying

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  53. Ex Ludo 10th May 2019 at 15:30

    https://twitter.com/ceresarabs/status/1126782740312014848?s=21

    Don't worry about it, these things even themselves out over the season(s)

    ================

    I rewatched the highlights of this RFC V Dundee Utd on YouTube.

    Then I watched Levein's emotional post match interview in full.

     

    Bearing in mind this game was in May 2008 – 11 full years ago – what stood out for me was his assertion,

     

    …that the sooner Scottish football gets referees "from somewhere else" the better!

    smiley

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  54. HirsutePursuit 9th May 2019 at 23:45
    31 2 Rate This

    Probably worth saying that, in 2012, there never was a vacancy in the SFL.
    ……………….
    And it is probably worth remembering spartans put their trust in Regan.
    2012 was not a good year for spartans.
    the Bonnyrigg (and others) should have seen how spartans were treated and expect the worse.

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