Look Back to Look Forward

Everyone on this site has football experiences, views, stories and opinions. Everyone also wants things to be better in the future too. These are bonds that make us who we are and this forum what it is.

I’ll share a few experiences with you now.

I will never forget an impromptu and inspirational 60 minute Q. and A. masterclass by Davie MacParland to a group of relative youngsters at Hampden in 1975 after Scottish Unis had played a friendly with his team.

It was “over the moon Brian” time for me on finding a £5 note in my shoe. This was after I played my first game (unexpectedly) as an S form in the Highland League when my club’s  Aberdeen-based players had been held up by a road incident.

So happy and corrupted was I that I never questioned the widespread practice of giving money to amateur players thereafter so I’m part of the problem.

I also sat next to a young Jim Leyton who came to Butchart to watch himself on a match video after he had let in two goals when we dumped Deveronvale (where he was on loan) out of the Aberdeenshire Cup.  It was the very early days of video and Jim had never seen himself on a tv before.

Every person in the SFM community will have equally diverse and interesting experiences and I’m going to share one more with you now in a little more detail.

In the mid 90s I was given an amazing insight into how Scottish football really worked. In many ways it hasn’t changed much since.

Back then I was part of a small group brought in to help find funding for the upgrade of Tynecastle with the urgent need to construct three new stands. At the time it was a massive requirement for a very financially challenged organisation and at a push there were potentially just about enough pots of monies available from several sources to trigger the investment from the Football Trust and squeak over the line.

The most critical pot was mobilising the fans.

My role was to find a way of getting them to come aboard working with some fine lifetime Hearts fans like the late Alex Kitson so it would all look like a Hearts Community rather than a Mercer initiative.

The then, colourful Hearts majority owner was under constant pressure on other fronts at the time.

The team was not really performing with relatively new manager Jim Jeffries trying to get best out of predecessor Tommy Mclean’s mixed bag of old pros and kids. Making things worse was a growing, highly critical and very vocal consortium of local business people trying to get Mercer out (and themselves in).

I guess you could say in today’s parlance that they were RHM and civil war was very much happening down Gorgie way.

Anyway I can’t now recall all the detail and apologies if my memories have fused a little but a key AGM type meeting for Hearts shareholders at Ingliston was coming up and there was an agenda that looked like it might hurt “The Chairman” as Wallace liked to be called.

Never any flies on him though, he had seen the danger signs and was ready in his own way.

He turned up with his trusted few and simply yet quite brilliantly hijacked the negative agenda and ignored the real issues. He didn’t have a solution for them and couldn’t implement the changes that were in reality needed but quite simply he kicked all the trouble into the long grass.

He did this because he fundamentally understood that most shareholders in the room were just ordinary football fans and wanted nothing more than to be able to talk about football the game, Hearts their club, who they were due to play next and who would be playing.

It was that simple.

Mercer’s message to all that night was “Yes things have been tough but our best possible future is with me”.

He rammed this home by confidently telling the assembled body that Hearts were on the up because we had a new manager who needed time and then blew everyone away by announcing he just signed three amazing new players for them, Giles Rousset, Bruno Pasquale and Hans Eskilsson. After the applause and mayhem died down he had won.

Bruno and Rousset were newsworthy in any Scottish football context one being a French International and the other an ex Juventus tough guy with a EUFA and a couple of Coppa Italia winners medals.

Oh and Eskilsson had amazing hair.

Mercer’s simple bit of insight, showmanship, brinksmanship, call it what you like, led to the survival of his regime.

In a parallel maybe to what the SFA did after their meeting with Craig at the Hotel Du Vin in Glasgow, Mercer had enough time to be ready for the trouble he knew was coming and used his power to ignore the real issues and the detail and move on with a big gamble.

Looking back Wallace got a lot right .

He understood what the majority of ordinary football fans wanted. He’d also learnt that good press was needed and came from feeding the football writers enough tasty exclusives so they’d look after him in a symbiotic relationship, the kind of relationship that remains much the same today.

Even back then in the days when there were less full-colour pages pre-allocated to certain teams to fill and  more able journalists to fill them, the sports pages were about game reports and gossip rather than insight.

The packs of hacks all craved being handed tasty semi-exclusive stories.

It was and ever is thus and in those days the Daily Record was a wee gem with circulation nearer 700K than the 200K-ish today and amazingly all its costs were covered by it’s advertising revenue alone. The proud boast of Endell Laird was the purchase price was pure profit.

With hindsight Wallace may only have postponed the inevitable campaign by the RHM rebels that night at Ingliston. History tells us that the Robinson/Deans rebellion eventually forced their chance. They did have to dig much deeper financially than they ever wanted when their time eventually came, and soon fell out too, but that’s another story.

Wallace’s long grass was just never going to be deep enough to hide the issues he wanted to ignore but to his credit on his watch the stadium was upgraded and the first Scottish Cup since 1956 was paraded to the fans.

Mr. Mercer was an operator who like others before and since could see personal and business value in owning a club.

He cultivated friendly football writers.

He learned that the SFA could be difficult to deal with but much less so when you placed people on their various management boards. That was key to the inner power sanctums and brought you at best influence and at worst early warnings.

He may have been autocratic but knew you needed powerful friends at other clubs too and was always close with David Murray in particular.

So what has this little piece of retrospection and a handful of Finloch football stories got to do with a blog on SFM?

Last week I met Big Pink for the first time over a few coffees.

It was like meeting an old friend in the pub because of all the stuff we’ve lived through and shared over the last 5 or so years.

We talked about stuff and traded stories and opinions on life, football and about SFM what it does and what we are.

We got on to the subject of it’s future and with my business background he asked me to consider a piece for the blog about where the SFM, our fledgling business might go from here.

I maybe agreed too hastily because I have found it challenging to gather and spell out my thoughts.

So this is very much a starting couple of steps to bring in the SFM minds and set up future discussions following this blog and when we meet in Perth in April.

My starting point was to first consider what we are today.

It’s a personal view but to me SFM is a valued medium I come to most days. It’s for when I want to find out or to discuss what is happening.

It is populated with a bunch of people with different backgrounds, skills and insights, is always polite and often very funny.

I’d actually like to see more headline blogs because I enjoy them but our biggest value will always be analysis discussion and good humour.

SFM is fundamentally different to the MSM back pages that still offer us all a mono diet of whatever day-to-day gossip they have been spoon-fed by the Level 9’s of this world or made up and maybe embellished with a random phone call for a quote.

Yes their world is declining and will inevitably see fundamental restructure and change but that change has in reality nothing to do with how they cover and will continue to cover Scottish football.

I’d even posit (to use a wee word I’ve learned from the excellent JJ site I visit sometimes) that the red tops currently see their style of football coverage as a way of slowing their inevitable declines because it delivers the difficult to reach male audience their advertisers crave access to.

As a spectator I’d say the MSM in Scotland mostly seem to suffer from a polarised demographic focus/ bias too but that can never excuse their revisionism or the Spiers and Haggerty episodes we’ve just witnessed.

There is one benefit though. One you maybe hadn’t thought about from all the dreadful MSM football reportage.

The stuff they collectively generate enables all of us to have daily conversations with friends and strangers without actually saying anything about anything.

It gives us our daily top-up for the international language of football minutiae we all converse in every day.

I’ve been able to speak it fluently since I was in my teens. You know the kind of thing – the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the comings and goings and the toings and froings.

The good news, the bad news the made-up news – its all part of being involved with a team or indeed just being a football fan and it’s all conversation for the males of our species.

There are plenty of places I can and do get access to that kind of stuff but SFM isn’t and never has been a source.

I quickly found out that most of my pals don’t want to talk about side letters in the pub on a Friday, or the need for asterisked titles because they are more interested in tomorrow’s match and who will be out of contract at the end of the season.

Without being disrespectful in any way I think they are cut from the same wood as the majority of Mr. Mercer’s Hearts shareholders and if I’m honest part of me is too.

That has given our administrators and clubs too easy a ride.

Beyond the gossip it is fair to say in the last 40 or 50 years football has changed beyond all recognition.

It has become a source of power and money and as we know proverbially and in real life power can corrupt and money can be the root of all-evil.

The stuff happening at FIFA now can be no surprise to any fair-minded fan and I’d be inclined to think that there have been finagled decisions at the top for longer than the current stewardship of Mr. Blatter.

Way longer.

Football-land is a dirty world. A world where all the transparency is for show and real stuff has always been controlled and rewarding for those in the right places.

Closer to home football in Scotland is no different. Power and money have been the origins of our own North of the Border soap opera saga.

Its sometimes been very funny, often been entertaining too but is ultimately tragic and a sad indictment on our country.

Being Scotland nothing is ever as simple as it should be.

We started from a unique kind of place where for over a century we have had to live with an unhealthy, quasi-tribal, two-club duopolistic domination of all things football including the fans, the trophies, the money, the media attention and the administrators controlling our game.

The stark reality of 2016 is our biggest club/economy now finds its real ambitions thwarted, potentially forever, by its location in our restrictive league structure. It has nowhere currently to go and annoyingly the biggest league in the world is just over the border and part of the same country in political terms.

This is a destabilising influence on our game that won’t go away until change allows the next evolution.

Our second biggest economy as we now know had to cheat a little to keep up, post Fergus, and is now making its way back to the top end but with some truly nuclear baggage that I guess we still really only know the half of. Nothing will be simple in its return to what we’re told everyday is its rightful place. It too is a latent destabilising influence awaiting like a grumbling volcano.

What depresses me is the fact that the much-vaunted return of our dysfunctional duopoly is not a formula to recreate  the European success we all took for granted for so long. Those days will never return.

The decline of the Scottish giant that was and is Rangers has dominated our thoughts because it encapsulates so much more than what is wrong with our game.

It is a huge business and establishment fall from grace. A shocking story that has become an elephant in the room to our politicians, our media and many of our fellow fans and is still playing out to deafening silence in some quarters.

In the manic run up to the decline of David Murray’s club we benefitted from insights from the seminal RTC and were bombarded with mass denials from almost everywhere else.

We witnessed the £1 sale to Craig Whyte, the subsequent McCoist European failure, the eventual slide into messy liquidation with tax issues etc.

Our administrators failed us all the way through because they had a different agenda.

Our MSM didn’t want to know partly because it involved more than regurgitating press releases and partly because it was real news for real reporters and not back pages gossip.

Their editors failed us there too, big time.

Now the revisionism and invention of the post-liquidation ephemeral club and company scenarios has been creative to say the least.

I remember Mr. Traynor’s  initial headline and smile how he and others are now wading in a contradictory swamp of their own making. It’s all confusion when it needn’t be.

I only know the kind of stuff that really happened because of this site and its RTC predecessor.

Four or five years on and I think these guys (SFA, SPFL) acted like Wallace Mercer did at Ingliston and ran roughshod over process to “win”.

These well paid admin staff were never off-piste though and our clubs share complicity for their actions to varying degrees.

If I was Regan’s or Doncaster’s devil’s advocate I could just about comprehend that they acted because they feared for their TV revenues. The prospect of being without half of their duopoly ace card and the blue fans scared them and they were mandated by the clubs to maintain the status quo.

I don’t mean all the clubs but if we look at the key committee structures we’ll easily see who were in that inner sanctum at the time. They collectively decided to throw their rulebook out the window and there is no grass long enough to bury their collective actions because truth always outs.

Cast yourself back a few years not long before the St Valentine’s day 2012 news when the push was all for a 10 club league.

I remember Stewart Milne aggressively trying to sell us all a 10-club league because of the TV revenue it delivered (to the few).

At that time there seemed to be a collective “TV Gold Fever” prevailing in the cabal of top club chairmen that makes the real decisions and tells our administrators what to do.
Luckily they failed.

They nearly failed again too in 2012 with their tawdry 5 way agreement  and we all owe a debt of gratitude to the late Turnbull Hutton whose personal integrity, bloody-mindedness and leadership meant a significant change to the premeditated 5 way plan that our top clubs had all signed off.

Since then we’ve all suffered from Armageddon and long may it stay.

SFM has been at the forefront of the last five years. A place where fans from all the clubs come together to question, analyse, give insight, balance, consciousness on all aspects of the meandering road that has been this story so far.

It’s all recorded on our archives somewhere too. We’ve noted and discussed the following and more –

  • Two different signatures from the same club on the 5-way agreement
  • Two different and concurrent memberships of the SFA
  • Players TUPE-ing for free and no lawyers getting rich in trying to get them back
  • Pre-season games being cancelled because of registration and insurance issues
  • The Brechin game coming too soon for the paperwork
  • The entry-round in The Ramsdens Cup for the old club or is it the new club?
  • Record crowds, an even more aggressive songbook
  • Ian Black getting a surprise call-up and a bit of a game to legitimise  The New Rangers with their first cap
  • Millions raised from a gullible city and desperate fans but still several last gasp saves needed to avoid new financial stramashes
  • A charity that pays for holidays in America
  • Quasi-legal stuff with dodgy parameters for questionable enquiries like Nimmo Smith
  • Bryson and his logic that Spartans could and should have used to stay in the cup
  • A “Hopelessly Conflicted Chairman” re-elected and a new one who has fitted in seamlessly
  • Real legal stuff like HMRC appeals, and phrases like side-letters
  • Charlotte Fakes and maybe even Fake Charlotte Fakes
  • Fit and proper persons running our clubs
  • Recorded conversations
  • Onerous contracts
  • Metaphysical concepts of what football clubs in our courts with big bucks being spent on our behalf by our administrators

There is and has been a whole lot more and more to come on the schedules too.

How much of this would I have found on our MSM?

Very little – so thanks to those who go the extra mile for us including John Clark, EasyJambo and others at the courts,  Phil who will never go away, James Doleman and others too including JJ – all playing blinders where the hacks don’t dare.

Finally fast-forward to today.

Most Scottish fans probably know a little about the stuff I’ve touched upon and we’ve debated in depth. Not enough though.

But we have Darryl Broadfoot who is the SFA so we can all sleep rest assured each night.


Going forward we must address how we communicate as a medium to spread the word.

Ask yourself – Is what we do more important than knowing Rangers signed Dean Windass’s son from Accrington Stanley on a free because he’s going to play for England one day and stuff like that?

I’d say it is different although both have a place.

Our challenge is to create more impact with ours.

In finishing I have one serious starting proposal to make as a community but first a thank you.

Thank you to all the blog writers and posters because we have collectively created a site where real stuff can be dissected and discussed politely and in a non-partisan way.

Well done to the mods in particular and to our community In general


My simple proposal as our first step forward is to start a Wikipedia style library of the facts and keep it on our site.

Dates, happenings, people and all the stuff that will not allow any of it to stay buried forever in the long grass. The kind of detail that is in Auldheid’s amazing and resolute Resolution 12.

Chapter and verse whys and wherefores with dates and names.


This will achieve three things.

  • It will create bedrock for us as a trusted media channel whatever we decide to become.
  • It will put stuff factually into the public domain forever.
  • It will contradict any highly paid revisionists trying to change what really happened for their own agendas into the future.


Finloch has been a member of SFM since it's inception. A Hearts fan, he also penned the blog, Look Back to Look Forward

  1. neepheid



    This article may shed some light on Whyte’s court appearance today. I must say I was surprised to learn that there are phones which  even the FBI can’t access. Every day a learning day, clearly CW is well ahead of me on such matters0505.

    Since a software update released in September 2014, data on Apple devices – such as text messages and photographs – have been encrypted by default.
    It means if a device is locked, only the passcode can be used to access the data. If 10 incorrect attempts at the code are made, the device will automatically erase all of its data.
    No-one, not even Apple, is able to access the data – a move the company, like several other tech firms in Silicon Valley, made following the Edward Snowden revelations into government surveillance.

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  2. bfbpuzzled

    The SFA have an issue with differentiating RFC and TRFC. However they no such issue with The Bully Wee and Bully The Wee they disregard the former and practice the latter. 
    ICT were Clyde’s nemesis at the last push of the SDM type season perhaps mr Collum is a closet Clyde man thanking ICT for saving us from promotion to the top league with a non compliant pitch and stadium- work had already started on the extra stand when the season petered out and the contract was cancelled- as an NLC council tax payer that was a good thing because it was my money being used to build several thousand seats which would be used only very rarely.

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  3. wottpi

    I note much talk over the last few days regarding referees.
    I for one am all in favour of the game doing what it can to up the standards, especially with regards to consistency.
    Last night Jason Cummings got booked for celebrating his goal in a provocative manner in front of the Hearts fans.
    Sam Nicolson received a yellow in the first tie for the same, as did Andy Halliday the other week at Morton and Leigh Griffiths got one at Tynecastle in the league cup.
    The rules being applied to four ‘big’ clubs without fear or favour. – What’s not to like?

    However I think we all agree that standards can improve and we have all seen things that make the blood boil.

    We all have our issues with refs however I fear that the talk of conspiracies and some form of handed down grudge through generations of refs against certain clubs to be a bit tiring.

    Many of us will have played the game at some level or another but my guess is very few will have taken the whistle in hand. Keeping order in a ten years olds five a side kick about  is mad enough so just imagine trying to deal with 22 professional athletes running about at full speed on a massive pitch.

    Players and managers make mistakes and poor decisions week in week out. Aberdeen didn’t deserve to have a penalty awarded against them but from the highlights big Taylor sold the equalizer, was clumsy at the penalty incident and headed the ball back across his own goal for the third because he jumped just about high enough to get a sheet of paper under his feet. Yet Collum gets the blame for the defeat.

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  4. goosygoosy

    Don`t know why people expect top quality referees in an organisation that is corrupt to the core
    These Refs know fine well they work for people of no integrity who ignore, bend or invent rules to suit their own agenda
    Thats who they take their lead from

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  5. Bawsman


    I see the Daylate Record have a poll to get Wullie Collum removed from the Euros. He IS a terrible ref but this is surely not right?
    will the refs circle the wagons around their colleague? Instigate a strike perchance?
    We Celtic fans are astounded that Mr. Collum’s ‘indscretions’ on the field of play are arousing such passions, at least he actually saw these incidents. Why not the usual platitudes? Even out over the season, he didn’t have the benifit of 5 cameras blah blah blah.
    much fun and hypocrisy.

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  6. tayred


    wottpi 17th February 2016 at 9:49 am #

    I wasn’t blaming Collum for ICT defeating Aberdeen. Not many Aberdeen fans are, certainly not on SFM (on some of the more rabid fan sites then yes to a point, but even then not entirely).

    Aberdeen were awful, ICT deserved it.  

    Collum, however, was worse than awful and made numerous ridiculous errors – importantly here while we are talking about the 4 penalty/non-penalty incidents there were numerous “smaller” errors that were every bit just as unbelievable. This is not an unusual occurrence for Mr Collum. He has a long history of this yet is lauded as our top referee. He isn’t, and he shouldn’t be held up as such by the SFA. He simply shouldn’t be a referee again, not unless he undergoes some serious re-education.

    I was going to say not be allowed to referee in top-flight football, but no, why should anyone have to suffer his constant cocking up of games!!

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  7. billyj1

    Excellent work Finloch

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  8. The Ungrateful Dead

    Agree 100% Finloch ! Who’s writing it up?!!!!!!! ( wee smiley guy)!

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  9. Christyboy


     Finloch. When you list some of the discussions we’ve had, there is a right pile of stuff that I had forgotten about. Your right, we need to keep a hold of it. Nice work mate .04

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  10. jimbo


    Great blog Finloch, a very enjoyable read.

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  11. easyJambo

    Doncaster and the SPFL at their spinning best?


    New deals with Fox Sports, Japanese TV, Canal+ and BeinSport help SPFL showcase Ladbrokes Premiership games to growing international audience
    Scottish league football is being screened in more than 100 international countries for the first time, thanks to a raft of new international broadcast deals struck in territories around the world.
    This season’s Ladbrokes Premiership action is now being shown in 102 territories across the globe – up from 61 during the previous campaign – with a host of new broadcasters involved in taking the game to an ever-increasing audience.
    New contracts which began this season include Fox Sports broadcasting to Latin America, two deals in Japan with Perform Media & Sky Perfect TV and LeTV increasing reach in China, the single biggest international broadcast contract.
    In addition, coverage across Europe has risen from 13 to 18 countries in 2015/16, with Hungary and Romania via DigiSport both new additions and French SPFL coverage now led by Canal+, while in the Middle East and North Africa BeinSport has increased its reach of SPFL games.
    SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “The SPFL is hugely popular across the world, reflected by the significant increase in the number of countries now showing games from our league and cup competitions.
    “While in Scotland we constantly and rightly scrutinise our national sport and consider ways to further improve it, I think there is an under-appreciation of just how highly respected and liked Scottish football is by fans, other clubs and football authorities in all corners of the globe.
    “This increased international exposure helps open up all manner of possibilities for our clubs from marketing and developing new commercial partnerships to opportunities to sell into what can often be a lucrative transfer market.
    “The SPFL and its commercial team will continue to work closely with our broadcast partners to further expand awareness and coverage of our game for the benefit of supporters and clubs alike.”
    In season 2015/16 Ladbrokes Premiership matches are being shown in 102 countries, Scottish League Cup games – presented by Utilita – in 29 nations, and Petrofac Training Cup contests in 12.
    Domestically, the SPFL recently agreed extensions to existing contracts with Sky Sports and BT Sport which will see both channels continue to show live Scottish league football across the UK until and including season 2019/20.
    MP & Silva, a leading international media rights company and SPL’s overseas broadcast partner since 2013, has been instrumental in helping to grow the league’s international audience.
    Marco Auletta, CEO of MP & Silva, said: “Bringing the best of football to fans across the world is in the DNA of MP & Silva, and we are extremely proud of the increased visibility for the SPFL internationally.  The partnership has gone from strength to strength and we are looking to increase the popularity of Scottish league football even more.”

    Others are already querying the “deal”
    Grant Russell ‏@STVGrant
    So is this £10m SPFL international TV deal actually new money, or is it like the China deal which raised no additional £ for the league?

    Grant Russell ‏@STVGrant
    @martingrantross Hi Martin. You’re clued up on the SPFL/MP & Silva deal… any idea if today’s announcement guarantees new cash?

    Martin Ross‏@martingrantross
    @STVGrant No, it’s a 9-year deal. Revenue share over & above MP & Silva’s minimum guarantee (£2.5m/year). So unlikely. PR exercise really

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  12. neepheid


    I very seldom praise anything. A cultural thing, or whatever.
    But I can do nothing but praise Finloch’s superb post today.  Can he be the next SFA President, please? That is the best piece that has ever been posted on SFM (and there have been some crackers).

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  13. naegreetin

    As a long time lurker from RTC days I would like to add my congratulations to Finloch on a fine contribution – his idea of a “Lest We Forget” file is an excellent one but quite an onerous task to compile with the subject matter of this extraordinary story spread (& spreading) so far .
    O/T but as a lifelong Arab supporter (over 50 years) these are stressful times but strangely , there is some comfort in the fact we probably won’t have the “pleasure” of meeting The Rangers FC 4 times next year but looking forward to returning to the Premiership in season 17/18 possibly with the aid of League reconstruction !

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  14. valentinesclown


    Great post Finloch
    This statement is my concern “Most Scottish fans probably know a little about the stuff I’ve touched upon and we’ve debated in depth. Not enough though”
    We are lucky to access information on this blog that the msm will never print, there are not enough sites like this IMO.  I await the COS decision on BDO’s appeal decision, if this appeal is denied I expect all football fans to address their clubs to have any trophies or titles removed from the club that cheated, (will they? as I certainly will).
    I want all football fans to recognize and never be swayed at any time to the truth of they are a new club. The club called Rangers FC  were liquidated.  
    I cannot wait for the trials to begin concerning this club, and to here the word Sevco openly stated in court and how our beloved press are going to manage not to print the word Sevco( to be honest they managed not to mention  the liquidation word fine).   I also await the fit and proper trial with SFA and MA and hope this aired trial will show how our game is incorrectly run.
    Fan power is what matters, we just have to stick together and we can make a difference.

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  15. tony


    brilliant post mate the reason i pop in here is for stuff like that 0404

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  16. Cygnus X2

    Cygnus X2

    Loving the post from Finloch.

    The wiki idea is a great idea, because it does not rely on anyone to do the whole job.  I’ve suggested before that we can create a SFM timeline of the whole sorry shambles.  A wiki is the perfect way to do this.

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  17. shug


    Superb read Finloch.

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  18. redetin

    My simple proposal as our first step forward is to start a Wikipedia style library of the facts and keep it on our site.
    Dates, happenings, people and all the stuff that will not allow any of it to stay buried forever in the long grass. The kind of detail that is in Auldheid’s amazing and resolute Resolution 12.

    Great idea, Finloch.
    I occasionally trawl through RTC, Paul McConville sites to find details and dates, and I keep a partial timeline in an old notebook,  and some forward trial dates in my diary.
    I’ve also saved some files, D&P letters, Prospectus etc, in Dropbox. Would be great to have a central archive for all such material.

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  19. smartie1947


    Finloch -great blog and your Wikipedia idea is first-class. My only reservation would be the security of any content-it seems too easy for unauthorised individuals to revise entries at will.
    Turning to the current refereeing controversies and “it’s who you know” attitude that seems to prevail in all things SFA, I had an old friend who was a referee in the 70s-80s. My friend (henceforth MF) had worked his way up the leagues from junior to senior football and in the early 80s had reached the required standard to take charge of Division 1 games as they were called in those days. It was a labour of love. Twice weekly training sessions and all for a pittance of a fee. MF used to look forward to games at Stranraer or Q.O.S as he made more money on the generous mileage allowance than he did on his fee.
    In those days, all new Div 1 refs were assessed on every game they took charge of. Most were happy to receive a 6 or a 7 out of 10 as that was deemed an acceptable performance.  In all the games MF was acceptable bar two. On each occasion he received a marking of 2 from the assessor who was also president of the Referees Association at the SFA. Suffice it to say this individuals 2 sons were also referees, and although barred from assessing their games, he simply gave atrocious marks to those he felt were inexperienced or were not likely to rock the boat. The 2 marks of 2 were enough to see MF downgraded to linesman’s duties in the lower leagues the following season with no right of appeal. Needless to say he tendered his resignation rather than accept his public humiliation. By never receiving any adverse markings they deserved on occasions the careers of the two sons flourished.
    Anyway 2 stories to illustrate that all was not doom and gloom in those days. MF was picked by a well-known referee to accompany him as linesman to a UEFA cup match in Stockholm. As was the norm in those days, the local referees association  used to get two or three of their members to take the visitors out on the town the night before the game. So it fell that a party of 6 or 7 referees Swedish and Scottish, visited this rather exclusive strip club in the capital. The management in the club could not understand how this party were getting merrier and merrier as the night wore on having bought only one round of drinks, until on their departure they found a stack of empty miniature bottles of whisky underneath the table. I forgot to mention MF’s f/t job was as a Custom’s official in a well-known distillery.
    The other tale involves a match at Tynecastle at  which MF officiated. A goalmouth collision in the opposition box, involving John Robertson and the away goalkeeper resulted in both lying flat on their backs with ball bouncing near them. MF indicated for them to play on and although still on his haunches Robertson made contact with the ball but unfortunately skied it over the crossbar. MF awarded a goalkick and ran back to the halfway line, with the home crowd going ballistic. As he neared the dug-out area, Alex McDonald, the then Heart’s manager, gave him dog’s abuse claiming it was an obvious penalty. MF, swore to us afterwards that this is what he replied to McDonald, “look if he cannot score from six yards, he’s hardly likely to score from twelve”   

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  20. neepheid


    Statement From The ChairmanFebruary 17, 2016
    Stephen Thompson, Chairman of Dundee United Football Club, issued the following statement this morning:
    “As Chairman of the Club, I would like apologise to all Dundee United supporters for the abysmal performance last night against Motherwell. The current position at the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership is wholly unacceptable. It is not where Dundee United should be under any circumstance.
    “The board and myself have made certain decisions in the last eighteen months which in hindsight were incorrect but were made for the greater good of the Club and with the ambition of maintaining our position at the top of Scottish football, something we have done successfully for the last eight years. This included supporting a playing squad that commands the third highest wage bill in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
    “However, we have failed miserably on the pitch with only three wins in 25 league matches and an early exit from the League Cup. Performances such as last night simply cannot be tolerated. The current playing squad now have thirteen matches to preserve the Club’s premiership status and redeem their own professional reputations.”

    Is that Thompson actually admitting that selling his best players to Celtic last season might have been a very bad move? (only with hindsight, of course!)

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  21. jimbo


    Scottish refereeing bias?  Surely not.
    Any statisticians on the site?

    Penalties awarded this season in the Championship:

    ‘Rangers’ – 12
    Hibs – 3
    Falkirk – 3
    Dumbarton – 3
    Raith Rovers – 2
    Alloa – 2
    Morton – 1
    Q of T S – 1
    Livi – 1
    St. Mirren – 1

    Make your own mind up.

    From Hibs downwards there is a muchness.  But at the top of the tree 12 (twelve).  That’s almost as much as much as the next 5 combined. 

    Really it’s a straight game.

    And it kicks out the argument that Celtic get the same favours, in the top league they are sitting in 4th. position with 5 (five) awarded.

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  22. Christyboy


    naegreetin 17th February 2016 at 2:23 pm #

     Relegation is different  here.  You can get relegated and end up in the fourth tier. No Kidding mate I’d check it out. You might need to revise  that return date  21.  

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  23. jimbo


    Sorry can’t leave this alone, I will after this.

    In the absence of a Stat. person replying I have worked out that after 232 games in the Championship, 12 out of 17 penalties awarded were to the SFAs favoured club.  That is 70% of all penalties go to TRFC.

    And this doesn’t even begin to take in to account the penalties that were denied to the competitors of TRFC.

    If anyone read JohnJames site today he is making the co-relation case of why Regan & Doncaster are desperate for the ‘Blue Pound’.  Money. simple as.  Their income is connected.
    Jambos, you are top of the awards chart in the top league with 7 penalties awarded.  But do you see the difference?  2 of a difference between Hearts & Celtic.  And you are still 5 behind TRFC.

    I think it needs to be investigated by the European court of Football rights.  Or at least set up a Lord Nimmo Smith Commision.

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  24. incredibleadamspark


    jimbo 17th February 2016 at 4:18 pm

    I don’t think those numbers on their own tell us anything. Take Rangers as an example and how many of the 12 pens were soft and how many were stonewallers? How may times have they not got a pen when they should have? How often are Rangers in the opponents box compared to Hibs? How many chances do they create in the box compared to the other teams? 

    Same questions apply for all the other teams. I don’t see how these numbers ‘prove’ anything. 

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  25. John Clark

    I regret to have to report that a family matter popped up which prevented me attending the Court this morning to see what was what with the Crown Office/Whyte business. My apologies05

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  26. Reiver

    If we succeed in changing things at the top in Scottish footballs perhaps one of the things we should look into is a referee exchange system between the SPFL and the English championship. The referees are struggling here but I don’t think it is their personal quality that is the problem but more how the are handling, emotionally, the high level of criticism from the fans and media. An exchange system would take them out of this atmosphere and remove the accusations like “Madden is an RIFC ST holder”.
    To restore confidence in referees here is going to take more than a little tinkering. We need some major adjustments.

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  27. BigGav

    jimbo 17th February 2016 at 5:08 pm #

    In the absence of a Stat. person replying I have worked out that after 232 games in the Championship, 12 out of 17 penalties awarded were to the SFAs favoured club. That is 70% of all penalties go to TRFC.

    According to the figures you posted earlier, it’s 12 out of 29 (12 to TRFC and 17 to all the rest put together). Still suspicious though!
    Also it’s 116 games (you counted twice – two teams play in each match!).

    OMG! Just seen I have a photo of Spiers as my avatar.
    How do I choose a different one?

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  28. Auldheid


    You have hit the nail on the head.

    Let’s call it “The Heineken Project” which is to reach the supporters we currently cannot reach. Those  who just want to watch and argue the toing and froing of the match and stuff of redtops, but  in a practical way in language they will understand.
    I’ve a rough prototype  for doing so in an attempt to get around the provenance  issues (that most definitely WILL evaporate) surrounding the Charlotte Fakeovers material, but would be easier to construct if the need for privacy constrictions did not apply.
    I’m hoping to make the next SFM event in April by which time and depending on circumstances I might have put the mechanism to the test. I can always expand on it there if BP wants me to.
    I can see it tieing in with your Wikipedia idea, for facts are chiels etc.
    What we have to change is the thinking that supporters addiction to their own club can be totally relied on to ignore core issues of substance. That treating as fools an ever growing group of more enlightened supporters, who know more about issues than those in charge do, is not a good business strategy.

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  29. StevieBC


    1) Just curious John Clark: can you share with us – have you received any further communication from the SFA since your Blog was posted ?
    And when is your follow up interview with the SFA President scheduled ?  09

    And for what was definitely a valuable scoop – as far as I’m aware – none of the SMSM print media attempted to plagiarise any of your content, as an ‘Exclusive’ – as is their wont !

    2) Good effort Finloch.
    Agree that there is a need for a central reference repository.
    We have noticed how e.g. embarrassing articles have ‘disappeared’ from papers’ archives – and we are well aware that further revisionism will be attempted by the SMSM, whenever possible. 191919
    …and there has been so much happening over the last 4 years that typically only the ‘really bad’ stuff springs easily to mind – whereas the plentiful, other dodgy stuff has got lost in the noise.

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  30. jimbo


    I just knew I should have waited until the clever guys came for analysis, but no, I had to jump in with my half baked maths.  Sorry.

    However I stand by the thrust of my point.  12 awards is a bit weird.

    Wish I could say maths is my weak point, literature my strong one.  But it’s not . It’s music. And lego – I built a single story bungalow when I was 12 (twelve). It was all Red & black, just like in Kensingston (I played In the Royal Albert Hall you know!)

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  31. easyJambo

    The results of the Rangers First CIC elections to their Board have been announced. The turnout was just over 16%. The top seven candidates are expected to be appointed to the Board.

    Candidate Votes
    1 .Richard Gough 2,009
    2. Ricki Neill 1,652
    3. James Blair 1,147
    4. Greg Marshall 974
    5. Brian Donohoe 941
    6. Kelly Johnstone 864
    7. Peter Ewart 843
    8. Stuart MacQuarrie 835
    9. Derek Miller 701
    10. Marc Alexander 668
    11. Graham Campbell 665
    12. Graeme Henderson 627
    13 .Iain Martin 531
    14. Ronnie Johnstone 521
    15. Brian Bowman 501
    16. Richard Scott 492
    17. Andy McLintock 432
    18. Chris Smith 386
    19. Alan Harris 338
    20. Calvin Campbell 330
    21. Adam Campbell 270
    22. Darren Thomson 210
    23. Ryan Thomson

    With Gough, Neill, Blair and Donohoe all making the cut, I suspect that Paul Murray will be delighted that the RIFC Board will be able to influence the decision making re fan contributions. 

    I think that it compromises the independence of the Fans group and is not in the short to medium term interests of the organisation.

    I also note that Greg Marshall (connected with the Louden Tavern in Copland Road) is also behind the setting up of a new company, Edmiston House CIC. Reading between the lines, it looks as if the Louden people want to open Edmiston House as a match day venue, with the Club’s agreement, and the profits going back into the club.

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  32. Cluster One

    Cluster One

    StevieBC 17th February 2016 at 8:13 pm
    Agree that there is a need for a central reference repository.We have noticed how e.g. embarrassing articles have ‘disappeared’ from papers’ archives – and we are well aware that further revisionism will be attempted by the SMSM, whenever possible. 191919…and there has been so much happening over the last 4 years that typically only the ‘really bad’ stuff springs easily to mind – whereas the plentiful, other dodgy stuff has got lost in the noise.
    not lost, at all if someone just happened to have a small store room with the last 4 years embarrassing articles stored in a neat bundle,…just for reference mind, to see what was on the TV back then14
    obsessed me,10not at all

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  33. easyJambo

    An interesting development from the lack of TV coverage of the Cup replays last night.  I’ve never watched anything on Periscope before so I don’t know what the quality or the nature of the coverage was.

    ScotlandTonight ‏@ScotlandTonight 2h2 hours agoAlso on #scotnight this eve – filming the fitba. How Hearts, Hibs & Rangers fans used periscope to bypass a TV ban.
    Grant Russell ‏@STVGrant 1h1 hour agoScottish football’s top dogs should be looking at popularity of last night’s Periscope feeds and evaluating how they can exploit that domain
    Grant Russell ‏@STVGrant 1h1 hour agoI’m on @ScotlandTonight at 10.30pm discussing the Periscope of the Scottish Cup. Will Scottish football see opportunity? Or scream “piracy”?

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  34. jean7brodie


    John Clark 17th February 2016 at 5:25 pm #

    Hope all is well JC.

    Thanks Finloch, brilliant stuff04

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  35. justshatered


    I’m quite a simple guy really and I just call things as I see them (a bit like dear old Willie Collum).
    Poor Willie (on remember £800 a game) if he isn’t giving penalties with his back turned that he can’t see, or penalties with no contact that he can see and no one else can, or penalties outside the box, or penalties to even up the one inside the box, he is having red cards rescinded all over the place.
    Sadly though he is no better or worse than most of the referee’s. They all have had red cards reduced to yellow and they have all given dubious penalties or given penalties and not booked or sent off a defender. Some players can score and body surf into the crowd with no yellow card while some can simply stand with their arms outstretched and that is considered inflammatory. Soon you will only be able to celebrate a goal by calmly walking to the centre spot and shaking hands with your team mates.
    Michael Stewart made a good point last night when he was talking about Collum, and how he is perceived within the Hampden bunker, when he said ‘Too many people have skin in the game’. When he said this he was talking about the people above Collum; the supervisors and the structure that creates and re-enforces the philosophy within the refereeing fraternity.
    That I think is the issue in a nutshell. These people CANNOT be seen to be wrong. Their ego’s will not permit it. They promote people above their capabilities and back them to the hilt regardless of how indefensible there displays are. The worst that can happen is that they are demoted for a couple of games and then they are back with their own unique interpretation of the rules.
    As well as the referee’s John Flemming should be in the dock. He is in charge of this runaway train. He is the guy responsible for the standard of refereeing we have today and yet we hear him, only a few weeks ago, saying that referee’s moral was being damaged by the criticism. We their moral may be bad but I’ve almost had an embolism watching some of these guys trying to control a game of football…… and I’m the guy, and thousands like me, paying for the privilege.
    We keep hearing that the referee’s need respect. Well how does this sound for respect; a junior referee deliberately lies and fabricates evidence to have a manager charged with misconduct. It is the referee’s word against the manager so obviously the manager will be found guilty as the referee is beyond reproach. Unfortunately the manger, in this case Kenny Shiels, has the confrontation taped. When the recording is played the case is dropped but worse is still to come; the referee gets off. So he can bring the game into disrepute and make up a charge against a manager on a whim and nothing happens.
    Now forgive me but if referee’s want respect surely they should be demanding that this guy, who has brought shame on their entire profession, is sacked. Not a bit of it they back him to the hilt. They are happy to support this guy as a paragon of virtue or just misunderstood.
    Could it be that the reason that his surname was Dallas allowed him to escape unpunished.
    That is unacceptable.
    Every time he now makes a decision that is questionable you just wonder, ‘Does he have another motive?’
    The culture of ‘I know your dad’, ‘Your Uncles a grand guy’ simply means that the good referees are overlooked simply because they do not have the contacts. That is a shame and our sport is worse off because of it to the detriment of us all.

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  36. jean7brodie


    Cluster One 17th February 2016 at 8:50 pm #

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  37. Den

    A 17 year old Norwegian player signs for Celtic, and BBC reports:
     The midfielder did not seek assurances about Deila’s long-term future at the club before committing to a contract, though.

    What on oversight !
    First thing on every player’s mind is the future of his manager.

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  38. easyJambo

    @ John Clark
    It looks like we missed another court appointment today, a Case Management Conference at Glasgow Sheriff Court re the Wifi bill.


    8  802 Works Limited -v- The Rangers Football Club Ltd
    Anderson Strathern LLP CA215/15  HBJ Gateley – LJM/WOR0214.00001/LJM 

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  39. John Clark

    StevieBC 17th February 2016 at 8:13 pm
    ‘..Just curious John Clark: can you share with us – have you received any further communication from the SFA since your Blog was posted ?..’
    Drawing, with their permission and collaboration, on the researches of others, I very recently sent a follow-up letter to Mr McRae expressing regret  that I am not  able wholly to accept that my assertions were made on a non-evidential basis, and asking him  to let me know whether the SFA received  from a certain legal firm copies of certain documents that we know (from that legal firm itself) were sent to the Compliance Officer.
    I must in decency await their reply before putting my letter on here. I will not wait too long, of course.
    And let me add my appreciation of Finloch’s blog.
    I entirely agree that every established fact and circumstance relating to the cheating of SDM and the resulting bloody-minded, perverse refusal of our football authorities to make Sporting Integrity their highest aim in dealing with the fall-out of that cheating, must be carefully preserved. The truths that RFC was liquidated and that The Rangers Football Club LTD  is a new club which is masquerading ludicrously as RFC as a result of a cheating, devious, unprincipled deal, must not forgotten.
    History must not be re-written simply to allow  a bogus entity can claim a history it simply does not, as a matter of fact, have any entitlement to.

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  40. John Clark

    easyJambo 17th February 2016 at 10:04 pm
    ‘.. 802 Works Limited -v- The Rangers Football Club Ltd’
    _______Would we, as members of the public, have been entitled to  ask to be allowed to observe the case conference via conference call facilities? Seems to be implied that anyone could observe by asking the Clerk to make arrangements?

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  41. John Clark

    jean7brodie 17th February 2016 at 9:15 pm
    ‘..Hope all is well JC…’
    yes, Jean7b, thank you.( I was at a cousin’s funeral yesterday and there was a bit of business to be attended to this morning that I couldn’t get finished in time to make it into the city.)

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  42. Corrupt official

    Corrupt official

      A cracking blog Finloch, and you highlighted a pretty serious issue IMO.   I bumped into an old bluenose pal last week, and he asked me if I was looking forward to “The Rangers coming back” …”Hardly coming back”, was my reply. 
        Anyway, as the conversation grew on, I was amazed at what he didn’t know….Or falsely believed would be a better way of putting it.   He had no idea LNS had found them guilty of all charges.   He was completely in the dark that TRFC was the result of a name-change, and the change never happened until 6 days after the Brechin game. He had heard about the EBT’s, but that was “All sorted noo!” but was completely lost when I explained the player registration procedures to him.  
        His jaw was visibly getting closer to the deck, as with practically every comment, I was saying, “Naw!, That’s not what happened”. 
      He is a nice guy, and runs his own business, so no Dumbo, but it was almost becoming a very school teacher, “You’ve no done yir homework” type of conversation.  Charlie’s recent comments in court re Sevco pay the wages etc, courtesy of JD  actually had me feeling very sorry for him, as he was totally unaware of them. 
        I changed the subject, partly as a result of me feelng like I was breaking the news of his grannies death, and partly because I think he was beginning to feel a bit stupid. I advised him to log in here for a wee read, and confirmation that I was not at the wind-up. 
       His reply?……..”Ach yir no wan o’ thon Bampots ur ye?”
      I hadn’t the heart to point out to him that he was the one standing there feeling silly.
       I will find out soon if he has logged in, as we arranged to go for a wee swally, but it is evident that a barrier needs broken down if we are to make progress. At the end of the day, we can only lead the horse to water. The rest is up to the horse.
       Not an easy task when the SMSM is quenching so many thirsts. 

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  43. StevieBC


    Interesting (frustrating ?) anecdote Co.

    The Bampots v. the Willfully Ignorant ?!

    A match with no final whistle…  11

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  44. scottc


    Nice one Finloch.

    This has been suggested a few times in the past. I guess the problem would be hosting stuff that may or may not be of dubious provenance. Maybe Auldheid’s plan will be the answer. I started a timeline on TikiToki some time ago to try to capture the story but it was a lot of work for one person as I think the story probably has to go right back to SDM buying the original club. I since abandoned it. Happy to start again though, if there are willing and able contributors.
    That, of course, is the other problem; control. Wiki’s generally have open access and are thus open to abuse, so edit access to any sort of wiki would need to be by invitation or by submission which means it needs an editor. Still think it’s a great idea

    Basic start with three BBC reports only.
    An Insolvency

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  45. naegreetin

    I presume a decision will be issued in the near future re Charles Green’s appeal re his legal expenses – a potential game changer for RIFC’ financial projections for 2016/7 .
    O/T I miss the regular contributions of the Danish correspondent – always interesting & thought provoking . I hope all is well in Mr Pastry’s world .

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  46. incredibleadamspark


    Den 17th February 2016 at 9:54 pm
    It appears having Deila as manager was a contributing factor in the player choosing Celtic. Given the unhappiness of a number of their fans and the media speculation over his future I think it’s a fair enough question to ask in that context.
    I listened to the player talk and I’m amazed he is only 17, especially thinking back to my own monosyllabic mumblings at that age. In a second, possibly third language too. He’s captained his team and has played over 50 games already which is incredible. Will be interesting to watch how he develops.  

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  47. Allyjambo


    easyJambo 17th February 2016 at 9:15 pm #An interesting development from the lack of TV coverage of the Cup replays last night.  I’ve never watched anything on Periscope before so I don’t know what the quality or the nature of the coverage was.
    ScotlandTonight ‏@ScotlandTonight 2h2 hours agoAlso on #scotnight this eve – filming the fitba. How Hearts, Hibs & Rangers fans used periscope to bypass a TV ban. Grant Russell ‏@STVGrant 1h1 hour agoScottish football’s top dogs should be looking at popularity of last night’s Periscope feeds and evaluating how they can exploit that domain Grant Russell ‏@STVGrant 1h1 hour agoI’m on @ScotlandTonight at 10.30pm discussing the Periscope of the Scottish Cup. Will Scottish football see opportunity? Or scream “piracy”?
    EJ, I watched the game on periscope 11

    Seems half a dozen guys used their phones to upload the video of the game, live, each covering around 15 to 20 minutes. Though it wasn’t nearly up to TV standard, they did an amazing job, though I’d obviously have enjoyed it more had Hearts won.

    I hate listening to games on the radio, though that would improve if only they’d concentrate on what was actually happening rather than showing the listener how much they know about, well, everything. Despite the frequent lack of focus, or loss of coverage, I at least knew what team had the ball and what end it was at. 

    In short, it was far far better than radio, but has a long way to go before (backed by the clubs?) it is something that could be said to ‘work’.

    Hats off to the guys who came up with the idea, they were brilliant!

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  48. helpmaboab


    Brilliant post Finloch. I am constantly amazed at the breadth of knowledge,insight and commitment shown by posters on this site. No matter how hard our football administrators aided and abetted by their media lackeys try to  tell the fans that ‘there’s nothing to see here’,the Scottish Football Monitor continues as a beacon of truth. 
    Corrupt official. I have had the same experience with Sevco fans. However,more worrying is the fact that a lot of non Sevco fans are as much in the dark also. All the more reason to get the timeline of events (particularly the LNS summary) up and running. I’m not tech savvy but scottc’s Tiki Toki timeline ( can’t believe I just wrote that)looks good.I’m convinced that the had work and perseverance of SFM will one day pay off and everyone will know the truth.
    ps When do we get the t shirt PROUD INTERNET BAMPOT?

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  49. tony


    next years league cup final will be in november….which means 2 league cup finals in 2016what a farce this mob are 

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  50. tony


    “He is the just the latest penniless charlatan to darken our door in the four years since administration”
    has he forgot liquidation,poor

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  51. Smugas

    Don’t agree with your first point Tony. There is no denying the league cup has got in the way of the big cup and meaty end of what are excitingly close leagues.  The shift back to November is logical.  Am I right in thinking the shift to the spring was supposedly to accommodate bigger clubs in Europe?

    Plus with BT’s extraordinary, surely self defeating CL black out period it was going to be very difficult to garner any interest in it at all in the spring.

    Two finals in a year is small price, especially given the new format. 

    We have to try something.   

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  52. sickofitall

    Quick question is it unusual to have the same referee do a Scottish cup game then do the replay aswell

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  53. easyJambo

    sickofitall 18th February 2016 at 2:00 pm #
    Quick question is it unusual to have the same referee do a Scottish cup game then do the replay aswell
    That’s the normal arrangement, unless the original referee was unavailable for the replay date due to injury or other reasons.

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  54. easyJambo


    The rumours of Motherwell’s pending slide into administration, a couple of weeks ago, may have had a grain of truth in it.

    Their accounts, which have just been published by Companies House, show that a critical point in their ability to meet their liabilities was due to hit the club in January.  See the attached. 

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  55. jockybhoy

    The MSM’s focus on Martyn Waghorn’s prowess at kicking a ball a distance of 11m into a 17.86 sqm area guarded by only one man has thrown up some curious interesting points.
    FYI. I’m only going to look at this from a team basis and league only (top 2 divisions) because that was what I saw published (Record) and TBH I haven’t go the time or inclination to drill deeper. :o)
    So Rangers (top og the Championship) have indeed been awarded the most league penalties in the top 2 divisions, with Hearts only a fraction behind (12 versus 11), Aberdeen next with 7.However, when it comes to success from the sport, Hearts have scored the most league goals from the spot, 10, followed by Rangers (9) & Aberdeen are not far behind by dint of their 100% record from 7 spot kicks.
    Rangers (AKA Waghorn) in fact ranks only 17th of 22 teams in terms of % success from  league penalties (75%, just behind Celtic at 80% with 4 from 5). 14 teams have a 100% record (led by Aberdeen @ 7 as mentioned previously), yet the press are blowing more smoke up his Keith Jacksie than Ivor the Engine with a Havana.
    Percentage of total league goals scored from the spot throws up a fascinating anomaly. Dundee United, with only 14 league goals, have scored 6 from the spot (a staggering 43%). The next highest is Hearts with 10 out of 45 league goals (22%) then Dumbarton of the Championship, who, whilst only scoring 3 from 3 from the spot, have pens accounting for 16% of their league goals. “Rangers” are “only” 5th – 9 of 12 out of 66 (14%).
    “Poor” Partick, do deserve sympathy in having had no league pens awards but in fairness they’ve still scored the same as the Buddies…

    Pens as a % of league goals scored. “p” designates premiership “c”  championship of course.

    1 p Dundee United – Awarded: 6. Scored: 6. Out of total: 14 or 43%
    2 p Hearts – Awarded: 11. Scored: 10. Out of total: 45 or 22%
    3 c Dumbarton – Awarded: 3. Scored: 3. Out of total: 19 or 16%
    4 p Aberdeen – Awarded: 7. Scored: 7. Out of total: 45 or 16%
    5 c Rangers – Awarded: 12. Scored: 9. Out of total: 66 or 14%
    6 p Inverness CT – Awarded: 4. Scored: 4. Out of total: 33 or 12%
    7 c Alloa Athletic – Awarded: 2. Scored: 2. Out of total: 19 or 11%
    8 c Raith Rovers – Awarded: 2. Scored: 2. Out of total: 24 or 8%
    9 c Hibernian – Awarded: 3. Scored: 3. Out of total: 38 or 8%
    10 p Dundee – Awarded: 4. Scored: 3. Out of total: 39 or 8%
    11 p Ross County – Awarded: 3. Scored: 3. Out of total: 40 or 8%
    12 c Falkirk – Awarded: 3. Scored: 3. Out of total: 40 or 8%
    13 p Motherwell – Awarded: 3. Scored: 2. Out of total: 29 or 7%
    14 p Kilmarnock – Awarded: 2. Scored: 2. Out of total: 29 or 7%
    15 p Hamilton – Awarded: 4. Scored: 2. Out of total: 30 or 7%
    16 p Celtic – Awarded: 5. Scored: 4. Out of total: 66 or 6%
    17 p St Johnstone – Awarded: 3. Scored: 2. Out of total: 39 or 5%
    18 c Queen of the South – Awarded: 1. Scored: 1. Out of total: 22 or 5%
    19 c Greenock Morton – Awarded: 1. Scored: 1. Out of total: 23 or 4%
    20 c Livingston – Awarded: 1. Scored: 1. Out of total: 24 or 4%
    21 c St Mirren – Awarded: 1. Scored: 0. Out of total: 23 or 0%
    22 p Partick Thistle – Awarded: 0. Scored: 0. Out of total: 22 or 0%

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  56. StevieBC


    easyJambo 18th February 2016 at 2:29 pm #Attachment

    Their accounts, which have just been published by Companies House, show that a critical point in their ability to meet their liabilities was due to hit the club in January.  See the attached. 
    I am fairly ignorant of the current details about Motherwell FC, but have had a soft spot for them since being a young kid during their ‘Willie Pettigrew days’.

    But quick glance at the attached seems to show that a certain Mr.Hutchison needs to be wrapped up in cotton wool, kept very happy – and have his cheque book available at all times.  😉

    Hope the ‘Well do OK though.

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  57. tony


    no problem whatsoever with anyone taking issue with any points i make,my problem was in your point that they moved it to suit teams in europe,so why change it ?,have the league cup in november if they choose but allow teams in europe to field reserve or unused players as it is a meaningless trophy for all but smaller teams requiring a bit of silverware,just my opinion of course

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  58. Jingso.Jimsie

    When you compare like for like, TRFC’s total of twelve 12 penalties awarded compares favourably with Barcelona’s eleven awards, doesn’t it?


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  59. Allyjambo


    On TRFC’s penalties.

    Last season, and this, my club, Hearts, seem to have more penalties than I can ever imagine they’ve had before. There haven’t been many, if any, that were hotly disputed, and, I’m glad to say, few, if any (from memory) resulted in red cards. So I have to accept that, from time to time, a team will get an unusual number of penalties.

    TRFC are following in the Rangers tradition of the lion’s share of spot-kicks awarded; but, then, maybe all of them are justified! The thing is, though, that, added to all those Rangers’ benefits of the past, TRFC seem to have had even more assistance from those who run, and adjudicate, Scottish football. They also need, and the governors need (in their skewed minds), TRFC in the top tier, and also to show the world that they are a force to be reckoned with, as well as the added revenue, from cup runs and full houses.

    The penalties are just one more traditional ‘benefit’ that seem to accrue when you are the club that plays it’s home games at Ibrox. They may all be justifiable this season, but when everything is added together…penalties, home cup ties, 12 month registration embargoes that are effectively reduced to one month, the world’s least fit and proper person being passed as, well you know… in fact, everything that the authorities, in blazers and black outfits, can help them with, somehow work out well for them (or rather, how they wanted it to), then that’s when our suspicions are raised, even higher!

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  60. easyJambo

    Some sense from the (Sunday) Herald at last.

    Trouble Haggerty ‏@AngelaHaggerty 23m23 minutes ago
    Great news folks *drumroll*: Delighted to say I’ll be returning to my column in @newsundayherald from this Sunday. Smashing.

    sunday herald ‏@newsundayherald 28m28 minutes ago
    We’d like to let readers know @AngelaHaggerty will be returning to the Sunday Herald as a columnist from this weekend. Read her every Sunday

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  61. ianagain


    The ‘Well’s financial position is ever thus. Not much change from last position tbh. Relies on Les being repaid and recruitment to Well Society. Unfortunately many die hards remain unconvinced about fan ownership. Hopefully this set of numbers will help convince the doubters. Les is very definite about not wanting to remain owner indefinitely.
    As was said we keep him close!
    So we hope to find develop and sell. That’s the name of the game for us.

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  62. AOB

    Two League Cup Finals in 2016?   Wimps.
    There were 3 League Cup Finals in 1979 and I went to all 3. (Losers medals for my team though).

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  63. The Ungrateful Dead

    re “SAME CLUB’S ” unhappiness with the Killie playing surface. Why are an artificial club complaining about an artificial pitch?

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  64. upthehoops

    I see Alex Thomson has been tweeting today that even if BDO lose their leave to appeal case with the CoS they can still appeal direct to the Supreme Court. I was under the impression the CoS word would be final if they refuse. Can anyone clarify?

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  65. redlichtie

    The Ungrateful Dead 18th February 2016 at 6:20 pm #re “SAME CLUB’S ” unhappiness with the Killie playing surface. Why are an artificial club complaining about an artificial pitch?
    Has Green grassed them up? (His lawyer that is…)

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

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  66. paddy malarkey

    paddy malarkey

    Re penalties awarded .  We don’t need them . We’re Partick Thistle – we score when we like  !

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  67. scottc


    upthehoops 18th February 2016 at 6:30 pm #I see Alex Thomson has been tweeting today that even if BDO lose their leave to appeal case with the CoS they can still appeal direct to the Supreme Court. I was under the impression the CoS word would be final if they refuse. Can anyone clarify?

    Pretty sure that was stated at the time, but without the CoS referral their case is very difficult to make.

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  68. tykebhoy


    UTH AT’s interpretation is how I understood it.  BDO can effectively appeal to the Supreme Court the CoS;s refufsal to allow an appeal, if indeed the CoS do refuse.

    That series of AT tweets also ellicited a response from Roger Mitchell that it would delay a decision on cheating.  I don’t think he gets that the dead club cheated regardless because they didn’t provide all remuneration details to the SFA, as required, for an awful lot of players. 

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  69. Homunculus



    How to appeal

    Unless one of the courts listed in the Role of The Supreme Court section (for Scotland read Court of Session- my addition) has made an order affecting you, you will not be able to take your case to The Supreme Court. Furthermore, not all orders made by lower courts can be appealed to The Supreme Court.

    Only after this court has refused to grant you permission to appeal against its judgment can you then apply to The Supreme Court.

    In most cases, to bring an appeal to The Supreme Court, you must first apply to the court which handed down the judgment to ask for permission to appeal.


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  70. John Clark

    tykebhoy 18th February 2016 at 7:02 pm
    ‘.. a response from Roger Mitchell that it would delay a decision on cheating. I don’t think he gets that the dead club cheated regardless because they didn’t provide all remuneration details to the SFA, as required, for an awful lot of players. ‘
    The spin machine went into overdrive to insist that the tax dodge  was legal, that the knighted cheat did not cheat, that ‘side-letters’ were not evidence of cheating intent, and that even if they had been, the tax dodge was legitimate, on the best legal advice, etc etc etc.
    The dirty and unfortunately successful attempt by that monumental cheat ( and in my opinion, an attempt that was known about by some in Authority, who kept schtum) to cheat his fellow SPL club owners/directors was even ignored by them!-all of whom lost out in one way or another.As did all of Scottish Football, by the destruction of any belief that it is not rigged.
    And the SMSM more or less air-brushed that direct sporting cheating out of existence- knowing damn fine that SDM was calculatedly and cynically in fundamental breach of a fundamental SFA and SPL rule. They  focused instead on the ‘legitimacy’ of the tax dodge, and not on whether it was legitimate!
    And I won’t dignify the idiot you quote by dirtying my fingers in typing his name.

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  71. StevieBC


    “A court in Brazil has frozen assets of football star Neymar.
    The federal court in Sao Paulo announced it was issuing warrants to freeze almost $50m (£34.5m) worth of assets belonging to the Brazil and Barcelona striker.
    They include a yacht, a jet and several properties.
    Neymar, 23, is accused of tax evasion between 2011 and 2013 and faces legal proceedings. He has denied any wrongdoing…”
    A very wealthy young 23 year old !
    And with these sorts of numbers involved, it perhaps supports a view that the ‘mega’ Euro clubs will want/need to do something different to maximise their income – and to sustain their ability to buy evermore expensive ‘superstars’.

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  72. causaludendi


    🙄🤔🤔… 😶

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  73. tykebhoy


    Sorry malfunction in my last post.  It was Jolyon Maugham QC not Roger Mitchell that tweeted the cheating was a moral judgement.  The point still stands though, as JC points out, it is spin.  The cheating started when the first guranteed payment for playing was not revealed to the SFA,  It went on for 10 years give or take regardless of whether a court of law decides it was illegal avoidance of social taxation or not

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  74. paddy malarkey

    paddy malarkey

    From Popbitch

    The British Embassy in BuenosAires has its own pub. CalledThe Hand of God.

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  75. causaludendi

    Too late to edit but my above post is supposed to also say: I take it Stranraer were trialling this much vaunted facial recognition technology?! How else do you explain this follow-up?

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