Journey’s End?

It has taken a year longer than predicted, but a critical appraisal of  TRFC’s progress through the lower leagues must include recognition of the improvements on the playing field made under the new manager Mark Warburton. SFM usually precludes lengthy discussion on subjective issues like relative abilities of players and managers and referees, but on this subject, and by any objective standard, that is a given.

It is therefore right that he and his players should receive the congratulations of us all at SFM.

It has to be said that, despite the pitfalls, man-traps and honey-pots that remain to be successfully negotiated by the Rangers board, they have implemented their own stark version austerity, contrary to their rhetoric, whilst managing the expectations of their supporters. Perhaps some of what we have come to term “reasonable” Rangers fans would argue that the lack of humility still evident in the demeanour of the TRFC board is an essential part of managing those fans whilst imposing the austerity package on them.

Much like a political party conference, a football board has to play to it’s core support as well as the rest of the country.

How that will pan out is anybody’s guess, just like the random bagatelle that is the “TRFC in Court” saga.

There is also the existential problem to deal with. Many TRFC fans bought into the ‘same club’ myth at the outset, not because they actually believed it, but because it suited them, and because it served as an understandable GIRUY to the rest of us. With the passage of time, the suspension of disbelief, even in that constituency, is now complete and arguably irreversible. The problem for them is that the rest of have not subscribed to that rather bizarre set of contradictions. No other club has to have the “company that operates” prefix. Nor does any other club compel observers to skirt around the facts and search for a form of words acceptable to both sides of a mutually exclusive argument.  In short, and existentially, the new Rangers don’t fit into the same kind of comfortable groove that other clubs do.

All of these problems for the new club, and many more, will exercise our minds to a greater or lesser extent moving forward, depending on how sensitive our outrage thresholds are to the various legal and Jungian issues. However we at SFM need to focus our sights on those whose maladministration of football gave rise to those problems in the first place – the SFA, SPFL, and by extension, the clubs – all of them.

Here are some facts;

  1. The SFA award clubs a licence to participate in UEFA competitions.
  2. The licence is only to be awarded if the applicant club has no unpaid tax debts.
  3. Both the club and the SFA have responsibility to notify UEFA of any debts (belt and braces routine in case the club ‘forgets’ to notify the SFA).
  4. In 2011, one club applied for and was awarded a UEFA licence.
  5. That club had accepted debts to HMRC – which were outstanding and overdue.
  6. These facts have been in the public domain since 2012,and were brought to the attention of ALL clubs in Scotland as well as the SFA.
  7. Nothing has been done by any club, or the SFA, to investigate the claim at #5
  8. SFA Chief Executive Stewart Regan, when asked by an SFM member what he would do if these claims could be substantiated, said; “Nothing!”
  9. All clubs will be within a few weeks, issuing season ticket renewal forms.

The story contained in points 6 and 7 above is a lengthy and protracted one.

From sources inside two clubs I have been informed that the problem here is subversive and obsessive fans, who don’t represent the vast body of fans generally. On points 1-5, my sources refused to comment. Conversations with SFA officials and print journalists yield the same reaction, with the addition that it is “just Celtic fans obsessed with Rangers” making the claims.

The lesson, if there is one worthy of the name, is that the bearers of the message need to attacked, and the message itself ignored. We could speculate why that is, but that would be to fall into the trap, taking our eye off the ball.

Perhaps I am being naïve, but my inference is that the SFA and clubs have no intention of doing anything about what was at best incompetence on an unbelievable scale, or at worst corruption. A source at Celtic Park  was complaining in victim-like fashion to SFM that many Celtic fans were threatening to close their season book accounts over this issue, and that Rangers might have 45,000 SBs next season whilst Celtic could be down to as low as 20,000.

It had never occurred to him that actually supporting an investigation into SFA malpractice would add another 10,000 to the SB takeup.

Overall, the clubs and the SFA want us to believe that an investigation into this licensing issue is a Celtic or Rangers thing. It is neither of those.

An investigation, even if finds that corruption or incompetence has taken place cannot harm Rangers – old or new. There are no titles to strip here. The licence has been used and thrown away, so it cannot be “un – awarded”.

The only people who have anything to lose out of this are those individuals who allowed it to happen – those who our clubs seem so keen to protect.

More importantly, an investigation may be the catalyst for changes in procedures at the SFA to ensure that rigorous accountability is enforced -accountability that the clubs are eager to avoid.

Are we wrong? I hope we are not foolish enough to imagine that everything we believe is set in stone. I am confident that we are correct in our assumptions and in our interpretation of the facts, but please, let’s hear the counter-argument. Thus far, not one word of rebuttal save the usual invective reserved for the messenger has been uttered.

So what do we do? For me it is simple. If we really love our sport, and do nothing, the sport is lost to us completely and irrevocably.

If our view that sporting integrity has been killed off by those in charge of the game is correct, we lose nothing by embarking on a season ticket boycott. However by doing so we may awaken those in charge to the realities of our power as fans and prioritise in their minds the need to listen to what we say.

My view? if they ignore us, they can take their industry that they pretend is sport, and put it somewhere away from my reach. I neither want it nor need it.

If enough of us feel the same way, we WILL get a clean game. If we are as few as the MSM claim we are, at least we will have freed ourselves from a bent one.

I won’t be buying any more season books until I see these issues addressed. It certainly is tough love, but it is the only way for me.  And it is driven by love – a love of the game I spent decades supporting, thinking that on the whole it was played on a level playing field. Certainly not driven by a sneering disregard for truth and integrity and a worship of acquisition.

Maybe it’s not just the end of Rangers’ journey then. Certainly if it’s not the end of ours, we find ourselves at a crossroads. The fans, the clubs, and Rangers too. The decision we make over the next few months may determine the future of our clubs, our sport, our Saturday afternoons.

I can tell you this though. Even when the dark facts are laid before us starkly as this, and when football is at the mercy of those who really do hate sport for its own sake, it is worth mentioning the common thread of decency and purpose we have all shared here on SFM, the friendships we have forged, and the love of football we have demonstrated.

Trisidium

Trisidium

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.

1,108 Comments
  1. scottc

    scottc


    ALLYJAMBOMAY 7, 2016 at 07:37 2 0 Rate This
    …Well done, Scott – …

    Not me, AJ. It was ThomtheThim (and I believe JC) who wrote to Matt pointing out the inaccuracies. That’s where credit belongs and with Matt for making the changes. So well done guys

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  2. Allyjambo

    Allyjambo


    scottcMay 7, 2016 at 08:26  
    ALLYJAMBOMAY 7, 2016 at 07:37 2 0 Rate This…Well done, Scott – …Not me, AJ. It was ThomtheThim (and I believe JC) who wrote to Matt pointing out the inaccuracies. That’s where credit belongs and with Matt for making the changes. So well done guys
    ________________________

    Thanks for pointing that out, Scott, and my apologies to ThomtheTim.

    So well done Thom, and to SFM for keeping the game alive 04

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  3. CliffHanger


    Even for our SMSM it is difficult to believe the lack of comment on The Offshore Game.  In the past month Tom English has been quick to point out the issues facing Golf (Augusta the real truth not the PR) Tennis (wretched) Cycling (in a right old state) yet nothing about the biggest scandal in UK football. 

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  4. valentinesclown

    valentinesclown


    Snippet from offshoregamereport which sums up who runs our game and who does not.

    From: Stewart Regan [mailto:Stewart.Regan@scottishfa.co.uk]Sent: 07 December 2011To: Ali Russell; Andrew DicksonSubject: PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIALImportance: High** Confidential **** High Priority **Ali/AndrewFurther to my discussion yesterday with Andrew on the matter of Rangers FC’s European licence Iwould like to release the following statement. I believe this will be in the interest of both the club andourselves and I hope you agree. Please can you confirm that you are happy with the content. If so, Iwould propose to issue this later today at an agreed time with yourselves.ThanksStewartIn light of persistent speculation across all media, the Scottish FA would like to clarify the position inregard to Rangers FC’s licence to play in Europe as governed by Article 50 of the UEFA Regulations.It is noted from the report submitted to the Licensing Committee by Rangers FC’s advisors GrantThornton UK LLP, dated 30th March 2011,that: “All the recorded payroll taxes at 31 December 2010 have, according to the accounting recordsof the Club since that date been paid in full by 31 March 2011, with the exception of the continuingdiscussion between the Club and HM Revenue and Customs in relation to a potential liability of £2.8massociated with contributions between 1999 and 2003 into a discounted option scheme. These amounts have been provided for in full within the interim financial statements.”Since the potential liability was under discussion by Rangers FC and HM Revenue & Customs as at31st March 2011, it could not be considered an overdue payable as defined by Article 50.We are satisfied that the evidence from all parties complied with Article 50 and, on that basis, alicence was awarded for season 2011-12.Add editor’s notes. (Include Article 50 here from UEFA Regulations)Stewart M. ReganChief ExecutiveThe Scottish F.A.

    From: Craig Whyte <ctw@libertycapital.biz>Date: 7 December 2011Subject: Re: PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIALTo: Andrew Dickson <AndrewDickson@rangers.co.uk>Cc: Ali Russell <AliRussell@rangers.co.uk>, Craig Whyte <CraigWhyte@rangers.co.uk>It would be crazy for them to put this out. Ali, please call me on this.Sent from my iPad

    From: Ramsay Smith <Ramsay@mediahouse.co.uk>Date: 7 December 2011Subject: RE: PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIALTo: Stephen Kerr <StephenKerr@rangers.co.uk>, Carol Patton <patton_carol@rangers.co.uk>, AliRussell <AliRussell@rangers.co.uk>, Craig Whyte <ctw@libertycapital.biz>, Craig Whyte<CraigWhyte@rangers.co.uk>AllWe should put some pressure on the SFA from a high level, from Ali or Andrew to say we do notbelieve this is a good idea the SFA putting out such as statement. It stirs up the issue again. Whatthey should do is if they get a legitimate media inquiry respond to it by saying there is no issuewhatsoever with Rangers licensing arrangement with the SFA.If they persist they will only cause issues for themselves as much as Rangers.Ramsay

    From: Ali RussellSent: 07 December 2011To: Stewart Regan; Andrew DicksonCc: Ramsay Smith (Ramsay@mediahouse.co.uk); Stephen Kerr (StephenKerr@rangers.co.uk)Subject: RE: PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIALStewart,Tried to phone you. Would prefer no comment or the following“We have looked at this matter and there is no issue with the licence granted to Rangers from theSFA. “I look forward to speaking to you later,Ali

    From: Ali Russell <AliRussell@rangers.co.uk>Date: 7 December 2011Subject: RE: PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIALTo: Craig Whyte <ctw@libertycapital.biz>, Andrew Dickson <AndrewDickson@rangers.co.uk>, FionaGoodall <FionaGoodall@rangers.co.uk>Cc: Craig Whyte <CraigWhyte@rangers.co.uk>, Ramsay@mediahouse.co.uk,StephenKerr@rangers.co.uk, Gary Withey <gary.withey@collyerbristow.com>All sorted – Held until further notice and I have agreed we will meet Stewart and Campbell for dinner inthe next couple of weeks to discuss bigger issues. I also made it clear we were very unhappy with theapproach the SFA took last week! Hopefully we can move forward now.Kind Regards,Ali

    Subject: Dinner with Stewart Regan/Campbell Ogilvie/Craig WhyteDate: Thu, 15 Dec 2011 11:31:30From: Ali Russell <AliRussell@rangers.co.uk>To: <CraigWhyte@rangers.co.uk>Craig, just to confirm that the dinner with Stewart Regan/Campbell Ogilvie, yourself and Ali will be onthe 20th @ 7.00pm.I have booked the Glengoyne private dining in Hotel du Vin, and also provisionally booked a hotelroom for you (if you’d require?)

    I wonder if just by chance Craigy boy recorded this meeting?
    I am getting more confident that the truth will prevail and we will all have played our part.  Shame on all of our smsm as they played the only way they way they always play, succulent lamb is alive and well. Enjoy your meal as we will all enjoy the forth coming feast.

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  5. John Clark


    valentinesclownMay 7, 2016 at 11:14
    ‘…Snippet from offshoregamereport..’
    ______
    How nice to see those emails again!
    And how prophetic was the Ramsay boy with his “…If they persist they will only cause issues for themselves as much as Rangers.”
    It is unbelievable that so many of our football clubs ( who MUST know of this fix,) were/are so ready to be like the succulent lamb eaters and sell their their personal integrity and the integrity of our Sport rather than kick the whole rotten shower out of the game for their  calculated, conspiratorial  deceit.

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  6. fan of football


    VALENTINESCLOWNMAY 7, 2016 at 11:14
    The other interesting part for me is the arranging of the hotel meeting 
    What if at this meeting CW told SR that they had run out of cash thanks to allys european failures and what if SR told CW I don’t care where you get the money from but just get the club to the end of the season.
    Tax taken and used to run the club till seasons end and therfore ensuring no CVA and the death of the club .
    I wonder if the BIG LIE was discussed that night
    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm 

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  7. Allyjambo

    Allyjambo


    A email sent to Ann Budge today, via her PA.

    Dear Ann, I am a long time Hearts supporter, shareholder and FOH member. Like many Scottish football supporters I have been disgusted in recent years by the actions and inactions of the SFA over the now historic scandals surrounding Rangers FC, to list them and detail them would make this communication far too lengthy and, I’m sure, you’ve heard much of what I’d say already from other sources.  I would, however, like to draw your attention to two recent articles written by people not connected, in any way, to Scottish football, and who are definitely not people who could be dismissed as ‘internet bampots’ or ‘Celtic bloggers’.  The publications involved are, in fact, dedicated to outing those who would cheat on their tax liabilities, using properly researched facts, and can, in no way, be dismissed as having an agenda supporting one side or the other within Scottish football, unlike those within the Scottish media such as Keith Jackson of the Daily Record and so many others. You will see, should you choose to read the articles (if you have not already), that they are very scathing of the roles played by the SFA in the highlighted examples of maladministration and, in particular, by Campbell Ogilvie. Sadly, though Mr Ogilvie has now left Hampden, there are others who continue in the same vein. I am not requesting you to become a campaigner for justice within Scottish football, nor that you take any leading role in ensuring our game becomes one we can all accept as honest (few informed supporters do at present), I would just like to know that you are as aware of the standard of football governance we currently have and that, after years of cover ups involving the Scottish based media, you are aware that the facts are becoming available further afield.  I should welcome a response, but know it is generally standard within Scottish football that such is not normally the case, but do hope you take the time to read these articles and, if appropriate, re-assess what you have hitherto taken to be the ‘truth’. If nothing else, please use it as a catalyst for your own research into the matters.  The links to the articles are: http://www.insideworldfootball.com/2016/05/06/rangers-tax-case-draws-calls-independent-inquiry-scottish-football/ http://www.theoffshoregame.net/475-2/ I am a regular contributor to Scottish Football Monitor, under the pseudonym Allyjambo, and shall be copying this email to it. I will, however, observe any request for confidentiality should you choose to reply, save mention that said reply was satisfactory or otherwise. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and for the terrific job you are doing at the club I love. 
    AJ

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  8. jimbo

    jimbo


    I see The Evening Times have managed to attribute Patrick Roberts with saying he is looking forward to Rangers ‘return’ to the top league, except he didn’t actually say that as far as I can see from the link.  He was asked a loaded question.  He was asked ‘are you looking forward to……’  He replied that he was but it was more in relation to having played them at Hampden.  (I think he will be wanting to make up for missing a sitter)

    He is a 19 yo English lad who in all likelihood knows next to nothing about how they set up a trap for him. Never mind they have managed to get another Celtic player to ‘encourage’ the continuity myth.

    And just for good measure they managed to squeeze in that despite Celtic fans denials, TRFC ‘return’ will be good for Celtic’s squad.

    Honestly what can you say?

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  9. timabhouy


    http://www.theoffshoregame.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Web-edition-Doing-SFA-for-Fair-Play-Main-report.pdf

    Hi Allyjambo I clicked on your link to Ann Budge nothing came up , hope Ann hasn’t clicked on a ”  nothing ” my link is a web edition have a read

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  10. jimbo

    jimbo


    I’m hoping against hope that The Offshore Game Report will be picked by one of the English Sunday papers tomorrow, it would seem to be a good fit for a Sunday paper with all the extra column inches.  Maybe it’s a bit early.

    I also think Private Eye might run with something like this, right up their street.

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  11. John Clark


    AllyjamboMay 7, 2016 at 14:09
    ‘…A email sent to Ann Budge today, via her PA.’
    ________
    Nice one, Allyjambo.
    If there is one thing that should make Ms Budge tear her hair out it is the absolute nonsense of the SFA Board submitting to the ‘authority’ (or blackmail) of one club, and refraining from issuing a statement!
    Talk about the tail wagging the dog!

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  12. neepheid

    neepheid


    The silence on Twitter from our sports “journalists” regarding the offshore game report can only be described as deafening. “Radar” appeared briefly yesterday to  tell us that the atmosphere on Twitter was “poisonous”. Today he tweets about Andy Murray’s exploits. Oh, and taking time to reassure Ibrox fans about how great this lad from Liverpool is, if he signs. Uncharacteristic silence from STVGrant, who is generally very open on Twitter. And Hugh Keevins simply says we don’t understand the legal difficulties!!! (to much mockery, it must be said).
    So what is going on? Is there really a conspiracy of silence? It looks like it to me. And as for there being legal difficulties in simply reporting on a detailed article by a reputable body, which is already in the public domain, Keevins must think we all button up the back. 

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  13. jimbo

    jimbo


    That’s an email sent to Private Eye along with a link to The Offshore Game Report. 

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  14. Allyjambo

    Allyjambo


    timabhouyMay 7, 2016 at 15:34

    Thanks for pointing that out, Tim. I’ve checked sent email and it’s OK, I think the two links were joined together when posted on here causing the problem. I am, in fact, having problems posting here recently, and it’s particularly bad today11

    It’s taken me a number of attempts to post this03

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  15. timabhouy


    Hi Allyjambo anything to help , a good idea is to get your 4 year old niece to do this cut and paste malarkey for you 21   

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  16. ianagain

    ianagain


    The ghost of Sevco past visited Fir Park today. The management bowed to threats from Sevco and aided by their lackeys at the SPFL to ensure we wasted about 50k we don’t have to police the game v Saints like a “high risk” game. Despite the fact the Sevconianians started the whole thing a year ago.
    The management have badly badly judged this and treated the support like shit all because of remonstrations from the deid club.
    Absolutely raging.
    And Tam Cowan your wrong we didn’t all want to play Hibs last year. Your a Well fan minus 20 years experience on me (and many others).

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  17. CrownStBhoy

    CrownStBhoy


    timabhouy

    AJ’s link somehow continued into the start of the next sentence adding an “I” to the end.

    This works:

    http://www.theoffshoregame.net/475-2/

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  18. jimbo

    jimbo


    Ianagain,

    What’s the story behind your post about Sevco/policing?  I’m lost, although that’s not unusual!

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  19. ianagain

    ianagain


    jimboMay 7, 2016 at 18:27 0 0 i Rate This 
    Ianagain,
    What’s the story behind your post about Sevco/policing?  I’m lost, although that’s not unusual!
    ___________________________________

    Jimbo

    Sevco took the piss after we humped them last year and claimed our fans invaded the pitch and “acted threateningly” (despite the fact that  they (Sevco mobs) were already punching each other in the visiting stand well before the end).
    The young guys had for about 6-8 years happily came on the park and all meet up with the players families mums dads kids etc (got many pics of this if in doubt). Its just a Fir Park thing.
    So of course SPFL put us under a threat of “unknown” sanctions if we “celebrated” again.
    Therefore draconian measures employed today.
    Likely we would have been “relegated” to the lower leagues.07

    Naughty Motherwell I cant wait till we play the bread mans eleven16

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  20. jimbo

    jimbo


    I understand now but that match last year was a crucial game for them and they took offence at what, as you say, a normal harmless tradition.  So your club is still being punished at a scenario like today !  You cross TRFC at your peril it would seem. 

    I don’t know the numbers but I would have thought your stewards backed up by a minimum of PCs would have handled it.  And let’s face it your almost across the road from a huge police station if anything was ever to go wrong, God forbid.

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  21. ianagain

    ianagain


    jimboMay 7, 2016 at 18:57 0 0 i Rate This 
    I understand now but that match last year was a crucial game for them and they took offence at what, as you say, a normal harmless tradition.  So your club is still being punished at a scenario like today !  You cross TRFC at your peril it would seem. 
    I don’t know the numbers but I would have thought your stewards backed up by a minimum of PCs would have handled it.  And let’s face it your almost across the road from a huge police station if anything was ever to go wrong, God forbid.
    ________________________
    Excuse me was it not a crucial game for us?
    As we have seen as small club all this season ( I think most of the support would cite St Mirren as a stand out) the polis turn up heavy handed.
    Celtic Rangers go – nothing.
    Feart Polis almost certainly.
    Be seen to  “police” a Well or “smaller” team they will turn up in absolutely disproportionate  numbers.
    Easy statistics for Police Scotland.

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  22. ianagain

    ianagain


    Oh and the Lanarkshire Polis are all  policing Rangers and Celtic games.

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  23. incredibleadamspark

    incredibleadamspark


    IANAGAIN, at the playoff last season hundreds of Motherwell fans chose to head over to the away end and goad the opposition support. The potential for trouble was obvious and placed stewards, police and innocent fans from both sides in a bit of a situation. 

    Thankfully nothing happened but this is why Motherwell were punished. If the Motherwell fans behaved as they normally did at the end of season fixture, as you described, then there wouldn’t be an issue. They did not and only have themselves to blame for the situation today. 

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  24. John Clark


    ianagainMay 7, 2016 at 19:19
    “……Be seen to “police” a Well or “smaller” team they will turn up in absolutely disproportionate numbers.”
    ________
    I heard Stuart and Tam discuss this.
    I heard that there were 200 stewards, who marched with military precision into the ground to take up their positions.I couldn’t be sure whether this was a sarcastic remark, or whether ( as I would like to think) the Motherwell Board were making a point about the absurdity, the utter absurdity, of the SFA’s heavy-handedness, by marshalling an army to deal with the gentle folk frae Paisley.
    Let’s hope the Board make damn sure that the new club  has  paid that fine they were to pay.
    ( Apparently , a steward gets £13.50 an hour for a minimum of 5 hours? which company does Motherwell use?)

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  25. Kicker Conspiracy

    Kicker Conspiracy


    Seems like a lapse in class from United to announce this.
    Especially on the day Rovers fate for next season was determined.

    Desperate to appear to be doing something maybe?

    Or am I being over sensitive?

    http://dufc.co/news/club-statement-17/

    http://www.raithrovers.net/25036/response-to-dundee-united-fc-news-release.htm

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  26. John Clark


    Kicker ConspiracyMay 7, 2016 at 23:03
    ‘..Seems like a lapse in class from United to announce this. Especially on the day Rovers fate for next season was determined.’
    _________
    Could be that Jim Spence has advised the DUFC board to be open and transparent,after, of course, checking with Raith that they would be equally open and transparent. There doesn’t seem to be any annoyance or irritation in Raith’s response.
    It might be the sign of a bit of agreement between the clubs that the (generally malicious) speculation of our dear friends in the SMSM has to be countered by honest men in an upfront honest way. Give the bast.r.s nothing to lie about, or allow information vacuums that their cheap, grubby minds can use to invent stories!
    I hope that’s the case, anyway.

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  27. Auldheid


    Given that our media are playing ostrich with the report on the SFA by The Offshore Game and given the previous First Minister expressed a view of the importance of RFC to the fabric of football and by extension of football to Scottish Society, is it not time the Sports Minister in the new parliament was asked what the government was doing to protect that fabric given those currently charged with doing so have made a pigs ear of it from 2000 to date?
    The government’s position in the past has been they cannot interfere in the running of football which was backed by fear of action by UEFA or FIFA if they did.
    Really? The fear of what two discredited organisations might do to stop taking necessary corrective action on an association that is viewed with the same suspicion?
    It’s simple. Scottish football is an industry in danger of eating itself on a diet of incompetence and duplicity. 
    If football is that important for the well being of Scottish society then there can be no excuse for the TOG  report not to become a political issue and a popular one at that.
    Only external pressure will produce an accountable SFA with structures checks and balances to make sure it becomes so.
    Who better to advise on the mechanics and structures of good governance than those who have experience of what is required? 

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  28. John Clark


    neepheidMay 7, 2016 at 16:20
    ‘……And Hugh Keevins simply says we don’t understand the legal difficulties!!! ..’
    ________
    There used to be a humourist columnist in the old ‘Daily Express’ ( you’d need to be about my age to remember “Beachcomber”), who would write about the doings of the ‘great Clam of Chowdah’  and other such creations.
    One of his characters was  a certain “Dr Strabismus of Utrecht ( whom God preserve)….”
    And anytime I see dear old Shuggy’s name mentioned, ,I think of ‘Dr Strabismus’ , who, if I remember correctly, expounded at great length on matters of which he knew absolutely sod all. And, sadly, was known by all and sundry to know sod all other than his prejudices.
    And to think of the days when guys like him in the sporting press were accorded respect, because we did not have the means we now have of checking the truth and validity of the crap they fed us! And did not think that what they told us had to be checked, because we believed they were honest reporters.

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  29. John Clark


    AuldheidMay 8, 2016 at 00:15
    “…Scottish football is an industry in danger of eating itself on a diet of incompetence and duplicity.”
    ______________
    And the truly astonishing thing is that the constituent parts of that industry seem to be happy to accept being consumed by their own ‘head’ , just as that snake that consumes itself supposedly does.

    That any member of a business association could  accept that one member of that association should be so spectacularly favoured that lies are told to protect and safeguard its financial fortunes at the expense of the rest of the members of the association is quite incredible.

    Business is supposed to be business. How can any football club cheerfully accept being done out of considerable sums of money because of some ‘governance’ LIE that allows a competitor club to cheat its way to a lucrative competition?

    Beats the hell out of me.

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  30. upthehoops


    NEEPHEIDMAY 7, 2016 at 16:20 45 1 Rate This
    The silence on Twitter from our sports “journalists” regarding the offshore game report can only be described as deafening. “Radar” appeared briefly yesterday to tell us that the atmosphere on Twitter was “poisonous”. Today he tweets about Andy Murray’s exploits. Oh, and taking time to reassure Ibrox fans about how great this lad from Liverpool is, if he signs. Uncharacteristic silence from STVGrant, who is generally very open on Twitter. And Hugh Keevins simply says we don’t understand the legal difficulties!!! (to much mockery, it must be said).So what is going on? Is there really a conspiracy of silence? It looks like it to me. And as for there being legal difficulties in simply reporting on a detailed article by a reputable body, which is already in the public domain, Keevins must think we all button up the back. =======================================
    I think there is no doubt at all there is a conspiracy of silence. Whether or not every journalist actually agrees with that we will never know but it is clear they are not allowed to speak or write about any of this stuff. Taking Tom English as an example he is forever harping on about one sporting scandal or another. It’s okay as long as it’s cycling, boxing or tennis. However, when a credible organisation produces a report alleging that the Scottish football authorities actually conspired to ensure cheating by Rangers was overlooked, he doesn’t want to know. I don’t agree with you about Grant Russell. He sat in courts earlier this year tweeting live about the proceedings. When very pointed remarks were made abut Rangers status as a club his smartphone stopped working for some strange reason. He has also been recently very supportive of the SFA and how they made the decision to allow Dave King into Scottish football. If it was not for people like John Clark and Easyjambo on here, and others like James Doleman, we would never know much of what was said in these court cases. Like everything else with Rangers, the media pick out the good bits, then just pretend the bad bits don’t exist. Sadly there is going to be major issues in getting this raised to the right level if the media keep the wagons circled. There may be declining circulation, but it seems they still hold the official stamp to declare something a scandal.

    As for Keith Jackson declaring Rangers signing an out of contract Liverpool teenager would be ‘a major coup’, where does one start!

    View Comment
  31. Bill1903

    Bill1903


    RE Ianagains comments on policing/stewarding

    Its long been the same at Pittodrie
    Over zealous stewards are straight in for any minor misdemeanours but their bottle goes when it’s Celtic or Rangers. 

    View Comment
  32. Reiver

    Reiver


    As one who is so disgusted at the distortion of integrity in the game I regularly find my self questioning how we can have a set up where everyone is able to agree to remain silent on the issue. The authorities, the clubs and the media. How can this happen? How is there not even one who breaks ranks?

    There is one situation under which this could be achieved in the real world while being ignored here in cyberland. The super injunction. Is this the legal issue that Keevins reckons we don’t understand? Of course the only people that know about the existence of a super injunction are those that are served with it, the rest of us are not allowed to be told there is one.

    I wonder????

    I haven’t read a lot about SDM recently. (no connection, of course, your honour)

    View Comment
  33. woodstein

    woodstein


    John Clark
    May 8, 2016 at 00:43
     
    “Beachcomber”
      
    Ah, memories. My parents used to read  the  “Daily Express” and I remember the column.
    John with the amount of Court appearances* you have had (I will rephrase that)  *Court reports you have produced recently,  I would have thought Mr. Justice Cocklecarrot and the twelve red-bearded dwarves would come to mind. 12
     

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  34. woodstein

    woodstein


    Last post  dwarfs, too much Tolkien 07

    View Comment
  35. Big Pink


    Was persuaded to attend the Celtic/Aberdeen game of two halves today. Driven to deep depression and despair by the chat around me surrounding season ticket renewals.

    The argument wasn’t for or against, but on the value for money aspect.

    Fan #1:

    “It works out at £32 a game. We’d be cheaper just paying at the gate when we can get here”

    Fan #2:

    “Includes old firms as well”

    Fan #1:

    “Oh right – of course”

    Fan #3:

    “Mine is only £200 cause I’m a student”

    Fan #1:

    “Does that include old firms?”

    Fan #3:

    “Aye!”

    Fan #1:

    “That’s brilliant!”

    I need to lie down 🙁

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  36. Big Pink


    Woodstein,

    With all the runes on your avatar, I would’ve had you down as a Middle-earther! 🙂

    … or perhaps you are more a Castle Brass devotee ?

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  37. John Clark


    woodsteinMay 8, 2016 at 12:55
    ‘..I would have thought Mr. Justice Cocklecarrot and the twelve red-bearded dwarves would come to mind. ‘
    ________
    Ha ha!
    Out of the great respect I have for their Lordships of the Court of Session I will not pass any comment on which of them might share some characteristics with old Cocklecarrot!
    But one or two can be quite entertaining.

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  38. upthehoops


    BIG PINKMAY 8, 2016 at 15:17
    ====================
    I was there BP. Not guilty of such a conversation. You’d never have mistaken me for a student anyway! 18

    Every day is a schoolday UtH 🙂
    BP

    View Comment
  39. woodstein

    woodstein


    Big Pink
    May 8, 2016 at 15:22
     
    You are of course correct.  Many say my reading tastes are eclectic.
    While on the subject of guitars, ( forgive the outrageous pun),  from your avatar I would have you down as a Gibson Les Paul or Fender Stratocaster player?

    Koss and a strat? Unthinkable – although he did try a Hendrix impersonation in his latter and sadly befuddled days.
    BP

    View Comment
  40. theredpill

    theredpill


    MSM…… it’s not news unless we tell you it’s news …. 😊 

    View Comment
  41. John Clark


    2McKinnon to hold talks with Dundee Utd Raith Rovers agree a financial settlement with Dundee United to hold talks with manager Ray McKinnon.2
    _______
    I knew there was no bad blood between the two clubs!

    View Comment
  42. Castofthousands


    valentinesclownMay 7, 2016 at 11:14

    “I wonder if just by chance Craigy boy recorded this meeting?”
    ————————————–
    Correspondence in the TJN report advises that the press release concerning Ranger’s UEFA license in 2011 was shelved with a view to discussing this matter along with ‘more substantive’ issues at a private meeting at the Hotel Du Vin.
    We know Craig Whyte had a penchant for recording ‘confidential’ meetings. If, as seems entirely credible, Rangers wider concerns were discussed at this meeting then there is no limit to the level of compromise the SFA may have exposed themselves to as a result. It has long been speculated that CW had the dirt on the SFA and that is why such a smooth path was cleared for their entry back into Scottish League Football.
    This may all have seemed like a great ruse at the time. However now we are looking at the possible compromise of UEFA’s marquee tournament by a Football Association who’s clout within the European Association has been waning for decades.
    It may be that this TJN report will prove to be a near miss and no substantial adverse publicity will arise from it, locally at least. However things will be getting a bit hairy in the Hampden bunker and it may not be capable of sustaining many further impacts.
    An interesting parallel in this affair was Ranger’s unwillingness to disclose the full facts to the tax authorities. This led to them sustaining greater sanctions and more scrutiny than they might otherwise have done should they have shown contrition.
    Perhaps the prudent heads within the SFA will be considering a ‘disclosure scenario’ that might limit the potential damage to Scottish Football should UEFA be roused to police their marquee tournament in the absence of sufficient vigilance by one of its lesser associations members.
    If the actions of the SFA transpire to inhibit the ability of Scottish teams to engage in European football then the entire SFA staff might just as well start clearing their desks right now. There will be no hiding place; no excuses; no mitigation.
    These guys are now so out their depth that it would require Marine Boy to locate them.

    View Comment
  43. John Clark


    CastofthousandsMay 8, 2016 at 22:43
    ‘…Perhaps the prudent heads within the SFA will be considering a ‘disclosure scenario’ that might limit the potential damage to Scottish Football…’
    ______
    That’s a very good post,CoT, if I may say so.
    We come back to old Wullie Shakespeare and the knowing folly of his Macbeth, who reached the fatal point where, in his own mind, there was no way back: he had to go on maintaining a fiction against every  canon of truth and decency, continuing to kill others rather than  admit guilt.
    There are, I fear, not even any  ‘prudent’ men in the ‘SFA’.: only desperately guilty people who thought they could lie to UEFA and get away with it, and thought  they could bludgeon us all into believing that nothing had happened at Rangers FC other than that its ownership changed hands a couple of times, knowing that they had a Press and Broadcasting service only too eager to help them in denying that Liquidation equals footballing death.
    The 41 other clubs must themselves now be regretting their readiness to accept the BIG LIE , seeing it as a continuation of the  mind-set that was ready to sacrifice, by lying to UEFA, the fortunes of any one of them for the sake of the most despicable SDM!
    They really have to get a grip on this.
    As we have said often enough, we know that individual sportsmen/women may cheat. We know for sure that individual clubs may cheat.
    What we do not expect, and never expected to know, is that governing bodies in Sport may cheat.
    Nay, we know that one such body has cheated. And our 41 other clubs know that, too.

    View Comment
  44. jimbo

    jimbo


    Bill1903,

    Your a great poster my friend.  But I am very happy tonight.  Looking forward to next season. 
    Best wishes,
    Jimbo

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  45. wottpi


    UPTHEHOOPSMAY 8, 2016 at 07:0
    As for Keith Jackson declaring Rangers signing an out of contract and injury plagued Liverpool teenager would be ‘a major coup’, where does one start!

    There, sorted that for you 🙂

    Hopefully the young boy can recover from his recent injuries to have a good solid career but there seems to be an ongoing problem with his hamstrings.
    Liverpool blamed the first one on him playing too may games. Not really looking that good if he is needed to put in a fair number of shifts when a small tight squad is Wabrs preference. Even if used in the Academy, they got shot of six lads last week so numbers there could be thin as well. 

    Anyway I note the DR got a full House in T’Rangers Bingo in their ‘The next Steven Gerrard’ article
    Associate T’Rangers with an EPL club.
    Associate potential signing with possibility of ELP teams and a Euro club being interested in signing.
    Mention it all has to do with McParlands connections.
    Inflate the lads worth to £8m when the transfermarket website has him listed at £563k
    Mention the lad played in the Next Gen series founded by Warbs.

    http://www.thisisanfield.com/2015/10/jordan-rossiter-joins-liverpools-lengthy-injury-list-after-england-blow/

    http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/liverpool-fc-injury-news-jordan-10611739

    http://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/first-team/205950-jordan-rossiter-gives-latest-on-his-injury-progress

    View Comment
  46. Big Pink


    Attachment

    Great pic for ‘Well fans. The 91 cup team reunion. I think two players are missing (Arnott and Nijholt?)- and of course Davie Cooper and Phil O’Donnell no longer with us.

    View Comment
  47. John Clark


    Mrs C asked where the cheque book was ( we have a plumber to pay).
    Neither of us could remember when a cheque was last written.
    So there am I hunting through the usual suspect places- this drawer, that drawer, maybe in a handbag, or a jacket pocket, or, perchance, swept up in the bundle of assorted print-outs, folders, and miscellaneous stuff that we always mean to sort and tidy.
    Not found yet, I have to say.
    But what was found among the miscellaneous stuff was a page or two that was printed off, that relate to ‘Roosevelt’ and options A and B.
    This seems to relate to some legal advice provided to the owner of a football club.
    With some interest, I read the following :
    “….. The SFA Articles of Association also have a membership requirement and permit that membership to be transferred intra-group as part of a solvent restructuring.Again the position will need to be reviewed, explained and any necessary approvals obtained.”

    Not ‘asked for’ or ‘requested’……….no, ‘obtained’! Like it would be  a sure thing.
    The date of this advice is September 2011.
    What does it all mean, I ask in wide-eyed wonderment. Roosevelt? What did he have to do with Scottish football?

    View Comment
  48. upthehoops


    WOTTPIMAY 8, 2016 at 23:42
    =====================
    I know nothing about this lad Rossiter but like you I hope he recovers from whatever injury issues he has. It is not his fault how the Daily Record have chosen to report on him but in my view if he was an £8M player he would be nowhere near Ibrox, especially given he is available for a tiny fraction of that. As for McParland’s connections, they are so good he was sitting twiddling his thumbs before Warburton gave him a job. If he was a talent spotter extraordinaire, he would have been out of Rangers reach.

    The Daily Record are a joke. As a Celtic fan I gave it up after the ‘thugs and thieves’ lies years ago, however being online you do become aware of how they report. I know they often remind Celtic that they can’t ‘compete with the big boys’ in the transfer market. Yet here we have Rangers signing an £8M player for £250k and all because their chief scout is brilliant!

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  49. Allyjambo

    Allyjambo


    I’ve a question I’d like to ask the writer of the Offshore Game’s piece on the SFA, but can’t find an email address. If anyone knows it can you either let me know it, or ask them something along the lines of the following?

    ‘Unsurprisingly, the Scottish media have completely blanked your story, ensuring that, within Scotland, nothing will be done to investigate the matter and right the wrongs. I was wondering, therefor, if you have contacted anyone at UEFA to ask their thoughts on the matter?’

    View Comment
  50. Reiver

    Reiver


    Ally

    There is a contact us link at the top of their web page that links to a web form.

    Alternatively info@theoffshoregame.net is their email address.

    View Comment
  51. Corrupt official

    Corrupt official


    ALLYJAMBOMAY 9, 2016 at 11:17
        “I’ve a question I’d like to ask the writer of the Offshore Game’s piece on the SFA, but can’t find an email address.”
       ———————————————————————————————————————–
    Maybe this will help Ally. 
    P iv
        “Authors of this report. George Turner was the lead author of this report, working with Alex Cobham.  
       ————————————————————————————-
      The report provides this address and a secure contact form. 
    The Offshore Gamec/o The Tax Justice Network38 Stanley AvenueCheshamBucksHP5 2JG
    info[at]theoffshoregame.net
    Secure contact form 

    View Comment
  52. Reiver

    Reiver


    OK, so I just spoke to Claire at The Scotsman’s editorial content section regarding the Tax Networks report and, unless she is a very good actress, she had genuinely never heard of it. In fact when I prompted her to bring it up on screen she did and it caused her on a number of occasions to lose track of her conversation with me. There were long pauses.
    Did it get us anywhere? I don’t know. It was left with her ensuring me that it would be passed on to be reviewed. That seems to be the norm for a lead up to it being ignored but who knows. I think I shall phone a few more newspapers though.

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  53. wee_alpha

    wee_alpha


    BIG PINKMAY 9, 2016 at 00:40
     Great pic for ‘Well fans. The 91 cup team reunion. I think two players are missing (Arnott and Nijholt?)- and of course Davie Cooper and Phil O’Donnell no longer with us.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————–
    Certainly brings back memories. Bobby Russell and John Philliben stood in for the 2 great players sadly no longer with us.

    View Comment
  54. CrownStBhoy

    CrownStBhoy


    Reiver

    Your tenacity has no bounds it appears, as does my admiration.

    Go’an yersel’   22

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  55. Allyjambo

    Allyjambo


    Thanks to those who gave Offshore Game contact info. I have emailed the following, and will, of course, post any reply I receive.

    Subject – Doing SFA For Fair Play… ‏

    To those involved,   I have been an avid follower of the scandal surrounding Rangers FC and the treatment of that club by the SFA, SFL/SPFL and the Scottish media and, after years of very biased reporting, and so very often non-reporting, by said Scottish media, I can’t express fully my delight that the Offshore Game has published a hard hitting report of the part played by the SFA in what must be the biggest scandal upon scandal to ever hit British football. 

    Sadly, however, the Scottish media has been true to their chosen style of ‘journalism’ and have completely blanked the story, with one of the few to raise their head above the parapet even claiming, on twitter, it’s ‘old news’ – but, of course, news they never saw fit to report in anything other than in minimal and most dismissive of terms! 

    The conspiracy of silence continues. 

    With that in mind, I do wonder if you have approached UEFA for comment on the matter, and, if not, do you intend to approach them? As you may well know, UEFA have refused to engage with Celtic shareholders over ‘Resolution 12’, which creates an effective block on those who would like to see them get involved and create an effective challenge to the SFA’s stance of ‘nothing to see here, let’s move on’.  Perhaps you would have more success. I do hope you will be able to engage with UEFA in this and also continue to monitor the effect your article has on Scottish football, which, so far, is delight amongst those seeking openness and transparency, but total silence from the SFA and it’s compliant media. Many thanks for your excellent article. Best regards,
    (Proper name given and note that I am happy to give my address if requested) 

    PS I am a Hearts supporter and post on the Scottish Football Monitor under the pseudonym Allyjambo.

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  56. Allyjambo

    Allyjambo


    I see Alex Thomson is engaging on twitter. He says Channel 4 News is examining the Offshore game article looking to see if there’s anything ‘new’ in it. Seems to me that that’s a rather short sighted view of it; of course there’s nothing ‘new’ in it, many have been challenging the SFA, the SMSM and others for years over the issues, but no one has dared to engage other than with put-downs on twitter. What’s more, not one journalist has ever dared hint at the complicity of the SFA to the level that this article has.

    If Channel 4 News decides there is nothing ‘new’, then perhaps they should consider doing a story asking why such old news remains uncovered in Scotland! And, more importantly, start chasing the SFA for answers! They could, also, do as I suggested to OTG earlier, contact UEFA for comment!

    You’d think in the current climate surrounding FIFA and UEFA along with billionaire tax cheat revelations that news agencies, particularly like Channel 4, would want to take this story up and run with it all the way.

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  57. jimmci


    During a discussion with my brother the topic off James Traynor’s final column came up.At the time I remember wondering what sort of editor would allow such an open attack on fellow journalists, presumably including his staff, to be passed as fit for purpose.Having read it a few times my conclusion was said editor was setting up Traynor for a mighty fall and that the Jacksons, Leckies, Waddells of our media would be over Traynor like a rash seeking some form of revenge.
    How wrong I was as he set up Level5 and drives their daily agenda.
    As we see the overlooking of a massive story at the minute negatively affecting the SFA and Rangers again and hear the sound of silence from all and sundry in the Press, TV and written media, I look again at Traynor’s final three lines and conclude, sadly, that he was spot in. Why is Theoffshoregamestoty apparently off limits.
    “Good luck to you – and be careful about what and who you read in the future.
    There are people out there calling themselves by different names.
    But that’s not the bit that should worry you. They are calling themselves journalists.”
    Read more at http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/james-traynor-why-this-is-my-last-ever-newspaper-1470050#Etd6ExkGtRb1ttLT.99
    I’m still trying to fathom why the newspaper editor allowed such invective space in his paper. Personally, I’d have fired him.

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  58. Big Pink


    New blog up.

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