.. and they wonder why nobody buys papers – The Scottish Football Monitor

.. and they wonder why nobody buys papers

As most of you will be aware, the Guardian recently agreed to and accepted payment from CQN for an advertisement which was intended to raise awareness of the Resolution 12 issue, an issue pursued determinedly by Celtic shareholders for the last three years. Subsequently, and citing the thinnest of excuses, they decided not to run the ad. This developed hard on the heels of the Herald actually soliciting the business from the advertisers for their own paper, and then without even seeing the copy, refusing to move forward. (See CQN story here)

guardianGateA troubling aspect of GuardianGate is that CQN were lied to. They were initially advised that the ad was to be removed after editorial scrutiny. Subsequently they were advised that the decision came from an intervention by senior officials.


We are now focused on a media conspiracy to impose censorship in favour of a multi-million pound industry –  to the detriment of its small investors and paying customers.

So which was true – and which was the lie?

Here’s a thing about the truth; it is seldom complicated, which is why the failure by the Guardian and the Herald to deliver a straightforward answer implies that there may be more to this nonsense than any of us first imagined.

At this point, it is worth noting that the Guardian is currently running an ad campaign by Toyota, a company who have admitted lying to environmental regulatory bodies for years about emissions from their cars (the Guardian professes to be a major campaigner on environmental issues), but won’t accept a paying ad that asks some polite and important questions about the conduct of a multi-million pound industry.

The denial  of the Res 12 guys’ right to ask questions (no accusations – just bloody questions) via the once assumed to be pluralist and free press, should be ringing alarm bells all over the country, and the substantive issue has become largely irrelevant as a consequence. We are now focused on a media conspiracy to impose censorship in favour of a multi-million pound industry –  to the detriment of its small investors and paying customers.

Two so-called quality newspapers, have mysteriously, after touting for advertising business, refused that very same business, and have given no good reason for doing so. If  the Guardian refuse to accept an ad, I don’t believe that is censorship in itself, but when the dwindling number of newspaper proprietors in this country conspire to arrange an effective blackout of ideas, that is quite clearly censorship.

And for something so relatively inconsequential as football, I can only assume that we have all stumbled on to something far more serious.

Given the recent media rhetoric about Russia Today and their forthright coverage of Chilcot and Tory Election Fraud, it seems that like so many of the players in this saga, the irony circuit in the collective press brain is now as devolved as a human tail.

There are dark forces at work in our country, and they are running riot with basic freedoms.  However it is important to put the football issue into the proper perspective; if the media can go to these corrupt lengths for a game of football, what will they do to protect the capital interests of arms manufacturers, food producers and media dictatorships?

They may have lost the war, but through fix after fix at the SFA and the SPL, in the press and in the media, the authorities are winning the peace – basically by denying that any peace is possible until we all accept the notion that black is white, right is left, and wrong is right

Support for the SFA © Scotsman

Migrant fruit-pickers
© Scotsman

Back in soccer La-La-Land’s Mount Florida Fruit Factory, the football authorities most definitely lost the recent war. RFC went out of business and failed the fundamental task of any football club – to sustain itself. In allowing that to happen on their watch, the authorities failed in their most fundamental role – to keep RFC alive.

However through fix after fix, at the SFA and the SPL, in the press and in the media, they are winning the peace – basically by denying that any peace is possible until we all accept the notion that black is white, right is left, and wrong is right.

And still, even in this atmosphere, the major shareholders at all of our clubs sit and do nothing. Are they part of the problem, an integral part of the conspiracy? Or are they scared witless of the forces that may line up against them if they dare to grow a pair, like the Resolution 12 guys?

Sporting integrity has taken a back seat recently. Season ticket sales are up all over the place; Celtic provided a marquee manager; the red tops are ablaze about the ‘return’ of the Rangers; Hearts and Aberdeen are newly emerged from financial difficulty, and now enjoy the realistic prospect of new eras of success; and another competitive and exciting year beckons in the Championship.


In normal circumstances this would be fantastic news. But all of it is based on a Lie – the Lie that the game is run according to the rules, and for the benefit of all clubs. When the euphoria at Parkhead dies down; when TRFC are reinstalled (actually it will need to be with a shoehorn, but it will be done) as part of the old duopoly that sees the vital contribution made by the likes of Hearts and Aberdeen and others as insignificant; when the next major ‘bending’ of the regulations becomes necessary; all we will be left with is that Big Lie.

The clubs will eventually have to deal with that – and the complicit roles they played in ramming it down each and every one of our throats.

I hope we make them pay.


Another thing about the truth though is this;

Everyone with skin in this game, with the exception of the mentally deficient, know exactly what the truth is;

  • RFC cheated;
  • RFC evaded, avoided, and deliberately withheld payment of tax;
  • RFC failed to register players properly over (at least) a decade;
  • RFC lied to the SFA, the SPL and LNS;
  • Whilst all the above was happening, RFC won over a dozen on-field prizes;
  • The SFA rewrote the terms of LNS to better tailor their preferred outcome;
  • RFC were punished by way of a £250k fine. No other penalties were suffered by RFC;
  • RFC entered liquidation and a new club, which co-existed with RFC, began playing in competition BEFORE RFC’s SFA/SPL membership lapsed;
  • That club (TRFC for differentiation purposes) just achieved promotion to the Premiership;

As long as we keep reminding everyone of those truths, as long as we continue to give them a voice, they won’t go away.

And what if, next time, it is Hearts or Aberdeen or Celtic, who make a desperate attempt to get an edge over their rivals (an emergent TRFC perhaps)?

The irony (and I exclude the TRFC fans who frequent this site) is that TRFC, despite having the weight of the football and press establishments behind them, are being done no favours at all.

The increasing pariah status of their club is a sad but inevitable consequence of the wrong-doing by the old club, because the fans (understandably to be fair) seek to side with their own partisan interests in the face of outside hostility.

But think of this. If the initial-ism ‘RFC’ above was replaced by the name of any other club in the country, wouldn’t TRFC fans be complaining as loudly as the rest of us?

And what if, next time, it is Hearts or Aberdeen or Celtic, who make a desperate attempt to get an edge over their rivals (an emergent TRFC perhaps)?

What if they run roughshod over the same rules that were broken before but remain unfixed? What if, as a consequence, a compliant TRFC are denied an opportunity to play in Europe, or compete in a final, or win a league?

Will we then still be ‘Rangers haters’ if we protest about that or merely Hearts or Dons or Celtic haters?

This is not about revenge – it never has been – and no amount of wishful thinking will make it so. For most of us on SFM, there is no RFC to have our revenge on anyway, so the accusation makes no sense.

What we are about, what we are all about, is weeding out the clucken wort in Scotland’s football garden on level six at Hampden.

And it appears that some extraordinarily powerful individual or group, with enough muscle to bend the fourth estate to their will, wants to keep us all away from that garden..




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. upthehoops

    It is always worth periodically reminding ourselves of just what the rest of Scottish football was up against in David Murray’s heyday. Below is an article from the Glasgow Herald written in 2000 by the late Ken Gallacher.

    Just as promised, Rangers are moving on to another level from the rest of Scottish football, as chairman David Murray announced a new investment of #53m for the Ibrox club, with a further massive cash boost soon to follow.
    The eventual cash injection could soar as high as #80m as Murray guides the club into what he believes will be a new, golden era for the Scottish champions.
    The money involved, the biggest financial boost for any Scottish football club, will enable them to move into Europe’s elite over the next few years.
    Yesterday, however, Murray maintained, as always, that he will not turn his back on Scottish football to play in any other league, and that while he remains in charge of the club, he will retain a responsibility to the domestic game.
    It is clear from this latest move, however, that the Glasgow giants are setting an agenda that no other Scottish club can match – and that appears to include their Old Firm rivals, Celtic, who are trailing by 15 points in the Premier League championship and are now looking at a financial gap which the Parkhead club might not be able to bridge.
    There have been hints around Glasgow that Celtic could be ready to attempt a share flotation of their own, but it would seem unlikely they would be able to match the financial clout that Murray has put together.
    The Ibrox chairman promised his shareholders good news and a more prudent financial strategy at the last annual meeting of the club.
    He has now delivered this by taking on board several very heavy financial hitters, South African-based David King is worth around #300m – #20m of which he is investing in the club he followed as a young man in Glasgow.
    Trevor Hemmings is worth even more – around #500m – and he is also on board. Tom Hunter, also worth several hundred millions, is liable to join up soon and Murray himself is investing in excess of #9m, which is more than he spent when he took control of the club.
    Back then, Murray paid #6m to assume ownership and has seen the value of the club rise to #200m with a further hike in the estimate sure to come.
    The Ibrox chairman has spent several months and many sleepless nights piecing together the plans which will eliminate Rangers’ debt, currently sitting at around #40m, provide finance for the new training centre and the soccer academy which will be housed there, and still allow cash to invest in new players.
    Yesterday, as he saw the months of delicate negotiation culminate in the announcement of a one-for-three rights issue of more than 15m shares being valued at #3.45p and the further news that he and King, as well as Alastair Johnston, a senior vice-president with IMG, the giant sports’ management group, also taking up a number of shares, Murray was ready to talk about the new future for the club and his dreams for European success.
    He said: ”I want to make it clear from the outset that while our small shareholders, our supporters who have an interest in the club, will have the opportunity to invest again if they want, there is no pressure on them to do so.
    ”The bulk of the rights issue is being taken up by myself and David King and some other smaller investors, including Alastair Johnston, who is a long-time Rangers’ supporter.
    ”We also have Trevor Hemmings coming in as an investor and Tom Hunter will join us some time in the future.
    ”Essentially, the investment we require is in place and we also have a major media deal in the pipeline which is very exciting and will bring in further serious investment to the club.
    ”I told you earlier this week that I had run the club up to now on a high-risk strategy which has involved carrying large debt.
    ”These days are over. The whole method of running the club is going to change, because we are in a situation right now where we do not need to take the risks we have had to take in the past.
    ”We don’t have to spend the same money on players, for example, as we have had to do over the past two years when we were restructuring the team after the arrival of Dick Advocaat.
    ”At the moment, we have two new players set for next season, Allan Johnston and Fernando Ricksen, and Dick is looking for another quality striker. He is working hard on that right now.
    ”Dick and myself know what we are aiming for. We want to be in the Champions League every season. This is what we want for the club and this is what we have been working towards.
    ”However, we shall not be going on any wild spending sprees in the transfer market.
    ”We have a player or two to add to the squad – a top-class international front player, as I said, but we don’t need to buy Numan, van Bronckhorst, Mols, Reyna, or McCann – because we have these lads in place already.
    ”Believe me when I tell you that we are going for it this time – we want to be successful in Europe, and the money we are raising now will take us there.
    ”This is the last part of the jigsaw for me, but we shall always be a part of Scottish football and we will take our domestic responsibilities seriously.
    ”We respect the other teams in the Premier League and we know this news will make them try even harder against us. But, so be it.
    ”Barcelona don’t win every week. Bayern Munich don’t win every week. Manchester United don’t win every week. Yet, our supporters expect us to do so and we shall always try to do that.
    ”What we do know is that to be in the Champions League, we have to win the Scottish title, and that is our aim every season.
    ”We shall always be here with our roots.”
    However, the mega-deals Murray has been working on are sure to carry Rangers out of the reach of their rivals here at home and unless Celtic can somehow find the means to strengthen their own financial standing even the age-old rivalry between the Glasgow giants will be threatened as the Ibrox men grow ever stronger.

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  2. Smugas

    ”We shall always be here with our roots.”

    oops.  He was doing so well too!

    i also like (I paraphrase) “We’re going to use our unmatchable £50m to repay our £40m debt, build a £10m football academy AND buy international players. ”

    Well with a robust business plan like that and critical press what could possibly go wrong?

    i wonder if the follow up article the next week was the Lawell of his day saying don’t panic bhoys, we’ll borrow £160m, ignore the rules and stop them in their tracks that way.

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  3. John Clark

    upthehoopsJuly 26, 2016 at 07:19
    “….We want to be in the Champions League every season..’ ( as quoted in the late Ken Gallacher’s report. Sadly, there are many Ken Gallacher-like journalists around today)
    SDM’s  standing order to the SFA: “….We want to be in the Champions league every season, guys, whether we pay our social taxes or not.Got it?”
    SFA:( up-beat) ” You can count on us, Sir David, don’t worry. We can tell porkies to UEFA if we have to .
    SMSM ( deeply hurt)  ” Need you ask, Sir David? We, as ever, will see nothing, hear nothing and certainly say nothing even hinting at the truth”
    How wonderfully right and proper it was that the whole deceitful hubristic attitude of the arch-cheat should have been so wonderfully punished by the death of RFC.
    And what a disgrace it is that the new generation of cheats should thus far at least be getting away with their false claims to be what they are not.

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  4. Corrupt official

    Corrupt official

      I noticed this last night, and clumps has done a short blog about it. 


       Clearly this “slip” came about because he is aware of the truth, and may even be part of his everyday vocabulary. Yet he continually peddles the myth, regardless of what he is aware of. 
       This takes a rare breed of person……But not rare enough !   I am not particularly proud to say I could never do such a thing, in much the same way as I would not be proud to say “I don’t snatch old ladies hand-bags”.  
       It’s just not normal behaviour of someone acceptable to the human race. There is nothing decent or acceptable about it. I don’t care how big his mortgage is. 

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  5. Auldheid

    Up The Hoops 7.19

    Love the references about the domestic game the integrity of which he steamrolled over starting 1999 with first ebt.
    Then that Martin O Neil turned up. I take it the article predated August 2000 when Fernado was substituted after 20 minutes.

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  6. paddy malarkey

    paddy malarkey

    With the new league season upon us, I would have expected the high heid yins at SPFL to be taking a more proactive approach to fans’ behaviour inside the stadia and compliance with the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012. Basic stuff,  like an announcement to be delivered over the p.a. system prior to the start of all matches , reminding the fans of their responsibilities, indicating which songs/behaviour is unacceptable and detailing the consequences of breaching the law . All matches so that nobody feels targeted or victimised . It would be a start .

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  7. wee_alpha


    PADDY MALARKEYJULY 26, 2016 at 14:13
    Isnt this already done? Certainly at Fir Park the stadium announcer reads out a long statement before every league game on behalf of Motherwell, the away team and the SPFL regarding unacceptable behaviour. Although specific songs are not mentioned, sectarian abuse is, along with abuse based on gender, race, disability and sexual orientation. Its quite a long statement, so includes other things as well. Am pretty sure its read out at all League games.

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  8. Kid Gloves

    Kid Gloves

    I remember reading that article and others like it around the same time. The media fawning over Murray at that point was truly sickening.

    Reading it with the benefit of hindsight is a real treat. The fact that only a few weeks after he spoke those words Martin O’Neill checked in at Celtic and won the treble in his first season is really quite hilarious.

    The damage that David Murray has done to Scottish football is huge. Our clubs almost abandoned youth development in the early 90’s as they needed players in fast to compete and almost all ended up spending a fortune on European players little better than we had. In my opinion the rot set in at this point in our national game. Most of our squad from France 98 broke through before the foreign invasion and in the years after ’98 we’ve paid the price alright.

    It might well be a leap too far to connect the two but we produced outstanding players in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s and that just seemed to screech to a halt after Murray got involved. 

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  9. paddy malarkey

    paddy malarkey

    wee_alphaJuly 26, 2016 at 15:02

    I’ve never heard it at Firhill, but then again, I rarely manage to get there much before kick-off. Mibbes I don’t listen too good in my dotage !

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  10. Forfolksake


    I have been saying the same thing for years. The reason that Scotland haven’t qualified since for a tournament since 98 is down to teams filling their teams with imports to try and keep on Rangers coat tales during the Murray years and abandoning youth.
    Lets take the Scotland under 16’s in 1989 World Cup Final 

    Gary Bollan, Neil Murray and David Hagen all started out or were transferred to Rangers.
    According to Wikipedia
    Bollan 11 games (95-98), although it was apparently an injury hit number of years.  Hagen 16 games (92-94) and Murray 63 games (89-96).
    Compare that with Andy McLaren who stayed at Dundee Utd 164 (89-99), or Brian O’Neill 119 (91-97) at Celtic.
    The only one to be capped for the full national squad co-coincidently was Brian O’Neill who played just under an average of 20 games a season over that 6 years at Celtic. 

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  11. Big Pink

    New blog up

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