Podcast Episode 5 – Hibs Takeover ? – The Scottish Football Monitor

Podcast Episode 5 – Hibs Takeover ?

A consortium led by David Low has been in talks with Sir Tom Farmer seeking to purchase Hibernian Football Club. The story has been embargoed for a few weeks, but David agreed to speak to TSFM to give us an exclusive interview and provide us with information about his intentions for the Edinburgh club.

Highlights of the interview include the similarities and differences between the Hibs situation and the one he found at Celtic Pak in 1994; how Scottish Football’s “new level playing field” as Low calls it has created an opportunity for a club like Hibs to be the main challenger to Celtic for honours; the contrast of his consortium’s approach to that of the recent debacle at Ibrox; the role of the fans at every level of the club; the future of Allan Stubbs and Leanne Dempster; and the journey back to the Premiership.

Low is frank about his reputation as a well-known Celtic fan, but highlights his Hibbee credentials and his affection for the club, eschewing the “I was always a Hibbee” line taken by so many people seeking to ingratiate themselves with the locals at various clubs.

Certainly, the experience and finance rolling around Low’s consortium is something that any club could do with, but the fans are crucial to their involvement and interest.

He says he won’t go ahead with the purchase unless the fans are behind them.

“Fans have never been so powerful as they are today, especially with the advent of social media like TSFM”

“We have seen in recent years what a body of fans are capable of when they re together”

“We want to have that togetherness at Hibs, because the only way forward is to have trust between the boardroom and the fans, you only have to look at the levels of distrust between board and fans at Rangers to see that it is a recipe for disaster”


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Big Pink

Big Pink

Big Pink is John Cole; a former schoolteacher based in the West of Scotland, He is also a print and broadcast journalist who is engaged in the running of SFM . Former gigs include Newstalk 106, the Celtic View, and Channel67. A Celtic fan, he is also the voice of our podcast initiative.

2,528 Comments
  1. JimBhoy


    Regards AMcC’s summons last night.. Not sacked, apparently. Players out? Downsizing?

    If true…Why would they wait until after pre-season, 2 games into the new season to talk about squad downsizing.. If AMcC wants to talk about bad timing as an excuse to detract from a bad performance then forget big ‘ands BS, talk about being forced to downsize 2 months too late.. I think the board know AMcC will play the players side as he did the last time they were asked to cut costs, playing to the ibrox faithful telling them they should be increasing the squad to get into the SPFL, he may even throw in a DK, competing with Celtic remark, all to hide the fact that his legendary status finished on the park and not at the side of the park.

    I am not sure how the fans will take to his claims, time seems to be running out but can they afford to pay off his onerous contract.

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  2. JimBhoy


    I don’t know the Legia squad at all but the suspended guy seems quite important to them, unfortunately he misses the Europa qualifiers too. One thing is for sure big Berg will be checking the teamlines from now on. I can’t see by Berg to blame on this, he would need to give out his 16 players to be typed up for the match teamlines indicating a suspended player, so he clearly did not know the rules. Unfortunately he seems to have cost Legia a considerable sum of money.

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  3. upthehoops


    Carfins Finest says:
    August 10, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    IbroxLoyal ‏@IL_Official · 36m
    RANGERS Boss Ally McCoist has been summoned to a meeting with the clubs board tonight at Ibrox Stadium.

    Is the end nigh for Mr McCoist?
    ========================================

    Having watched Rangers struggle badly against their two main rivals for the title this year, added to the poor quality fare of the past two seasons, I doubt there are too many fans who would shed a lot of tears were McCoist given his marching orders.

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  4. ecobhoy


    Raymac says:
    August 11, 2014 at 12:07 am

    Romance has no part in this decision. It’s just business, and I know it shouldn’t be just that.
    =====================================
    I agree with everything you say but I would amend your comment above to read: ‘Romance has no part in this decision. It’s just business and knowing and following the rule book although I wistfully look back to the days when Rangers and Celtic lent each other players if one team was short on the day.

    These were the good old days before the subtle and sometimes not so subtle use of bigotry to drive commercial success was warmly embraced. Looking back in time often tends to generate a warm fuzzy glow especially for people who don’t actually know their history in its entirety.

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  5. ernie


    Oh come on guys, at every level of fitba if you field an ineligible player it’s 0-3 or forfeit the tie if that doesn’t do it. Should we make exceptions? I don’t think so, that’s the only way this works. It may be draconian and may even be unfair at at times but it fairly cuts down the “honest mistakes” to hardly ever, funny that isn’t it?

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  6. ecobhoy


    Big Pink says:
    August 10, 2014 at 11:53 pm
    Campbellsmoney says:
    August 10, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    I have a bit of a difficulty with the description of the position that Celtic have been put in as being an aspect of the debate on sporting integrity. Celtic did not do anything by which they sought to gain an advantage.
    _______________________________________________________________

    I’m certainly not suggesting that Celtic did do anything wrong – of course they didn’t. Nobody is even suggesting that Celtic are acting improperly either. However as an embarrassed Celtic fan, my point is two-fold;

    1. On the face it and with the information available, it doesn’t appear to me that justice has been done here at all.

    2. Celtic had (have) a great opportunity for a PR coup here by offering to swap places with Legia (arguments about seeding in the subsequent draw being of minor import IMO). They get that PR whether or not the situation changes. The key may be that the PR goodwill is not be worth the net £10m cost of dropping out of the CL.

    I am also surprised and disappointed that some posters are echoing the Jimmy Traynor “Sporting integrity et j’en passe” attitude in this matter, which appears to me to be the adoption of double standards – and a sign of that same cognitive dissonance that we so often accuse TRFC fans of.

    The sporting integrity argument is appropriate to me. Legia won fairly and comprehensively over the two legs. The 24 v 25 squad thing gave them no tangible advantage. They still could not use the player for three matches.

    Had Legia knowingly failed to register the player for the previous three matches, they would have also have know it would be suicide to bring him on in the last few minutes of a tie that was over. They made a mistake which gave them no sporting advantage whatsoever.
    ================================================
    I think we have to remember that success in football isn’t gained by pulling-off PR Coups. What the fans want is success on the football field pure and simple.

    In the current climate that means having the money and facilities to attract better players than your rivals and the facilities and personnel to improve their performance. If a club fails in that objective then there will probably be a loss in support which can sometimes financially cripple or destroy a club.

    I wonder whether those urging Celtic to ignore EUFA Rules and Decisions think it’s Sporting Integrity for cynical fouls to be routinely accepted as the offender merely ‘taking one for the club’?

    However enough supposition let’s deal with the facts. You say:

    1. On the face it and with the information available, it doesn’t appear to me that justice has been done here at all.

    A. Celtic has done nothing wrong and UEFA has applied its rule book to the letter. So where does the ‘injustice’ come from? The rule and penalty attached has been used previously so it wasn’t somethink conjured-up in SFA-style for the benefit of one team over all others in Scottish Football. Is that the kind of ‘justice’ that should have been meted out? I would have thought we have had enough of that for decades and that partiality is a major factor in poisoning our game. Personally I’ll stick with the crystal-clear EUFA dispensation of justice in this case.

    2. Celtic had (have) a great opportunity for a PR coup here by offering to swap places with Legia (arguments about seeding in the subsequent draw being of minor import IMO).

    A. I have dealt wit the PR issue above. On the swapping of places – don’t you think there is a stronger case for St Pats to demand that they should have gone through? Also you might think the ‘seeding’ issue is of minor issue. However seeding is an integral part of the CL competition – so because it doesn’t suit your position let’s throw it aside just like the forfeit rule. Why not the whole rule book just like the SFA Approach?

    You have lost me on the Jimmy Taylor reference btw. Where have Celtic shown a lack of Sporting Integrity in this affair. They entered a competition and played – very badly right enough – in accordance with the rule book. They other team didn’t and were punished within the rule book and have a right to appeal. Celtic have absolutely no mandate to try and overturn or subvery the UEFA decision and could possibly face a European ban if it tried to do so and quite rightly IMO.

    Our business should be playing football within the rules and that’s what we should stick to. By so doing we will hopefully be successful and in that way support the charities of our choice. I do not regard Legia Warsaw as a suitable charity for inclusion as I don’t think the club has any real conception of Sporting Integrity and as for some of its fans – well enough said.

    You say:

    Legia won fairly and comprehensively over the two legs. The 24 v 25 squad thing gave them no tangible advantage. They still could not use the player for three matches.

    Personally I don’t think LW won ‘fairly’ as they broke the rules and also used the situation to gain a sporting advantage over St Pats IMO. As to no ‘tangible advantage’ I fail to follow your reasoning.

    If the ineligible player had been named on the team sheets for the St Pat matches then he obviously couldn’t play but that reduced the 25-pool the LW manager could pick from down to 24. And yet you don’t understand the Sporting Advantage that brings through the obvious ‘tangible advantage'[] Why bother even having a 25 squad limit then – Let’s just allow the richer clubs to be able to have hundreds on their team lists to choose from.

    You end with the question of whether the LW was ‘knowing’ or not. The problem is that the rule quite correctly takes no account of whether a breach is deliberate or not because UEFA are experienced enough to know that almost every club will lie through their teeth to escape punishment because of the financial rewards involved.

    UEFA aren’t the European Court of Justice – they organise a football competition and time is often of the essence when issues like this arise. So they operate a no-fault rule – quite simply if a rule is broken there is a set penalty and the total onus is on the clubs to ensure they comply with the rules or suffer the inevitable consequences.

    If only this were so in Scotland with the SFA. However this whole exercise has been very useful to me as I now realise how easy it is for the SFA to get away with their gerrymandering of the rule book as excuses can always be found to subvert the rule book or insert new ‘interprtations’.

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  7. upthehoops


    ernie says:
    August 11, 2014 at 8:44 am
    3 0 Rate This

    Oh come on guys, at every level of fitba if you field an ineligible player it’s 0-3 or forfeit the tie if that doesn’t do it. Should we make exceptions? I don’t think so, that’s the only way this works. It may be draconian and may even be unfair at at times but it fairly cuts down the “honest mistakes” to hardly ever, funny that isn’t it?
    =================================
    I have yet to speak to a fan of any other team who would not have accepted their club being reinstated in this way. Morality is always a one way street in football and that says it all. Legia messed up and Celtic benefited. Life really is a bitch at times.

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  8. loamfeet


    I do not understand the level of angst that this UEFA decision is generating, although I can certainly see that the media are gleefully whipping it up. The root of the problem lies in the Polish club’s administrative processes, which failed.

    It is a bit like getting done for driving 71mph on a motorway with 9 points on your license already and getting banned for a year. A whole year? for 1mph? Easily fixable: drive within the speed limit.

    As for justice, well I fear we are looking in the wrong places for justice. As Gordon Strachan said during the world cup, there is no morality in football, only money. The most we can hope for is that the rules, such as they are, are applied without fear or favour. In this case, the rules have been applied.

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  9. Big Pink


    ecobhoy says:

    August 11, 2014 at 8:51 am

    You have lost me on the Jimmy Taylor reference btw. Where have Celtic shown a lack of Sporting Integrity in this affair.

    ___________________________________________________________________

    Well we are equally lost. I have no idea where Celtic have demonstrated a lack of sporting integrity – I never claimed that they had.

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  10. Miss Tread

    Miss Tread


    Got to admit I’m a bit surprised by the amount of negativity towards a team who played by the rules.
    Which UEFA rules mentions “sporting advantage”?
    Which UEFA rule mentions “sporting integrity”
    Also which UEFA rule allows teams to negotiate who should go through where there has been a dispute?
    I felt a lot of sympathy for LW going out due to an administrative error.
    Maybe they need a new company secretary – perhaps the world’s greatest administrator? 😉

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  11. tomtom


    It would be interesting to see how different the attitude of folks would be if the result of the Celtic v Legia Warsaw tie had been LG going through on a contentious decision and then being thrown out for the “admin error” Justice being seen to be done would be the cry.

    Suggesting that Celtic should knock back the opportunity to progress simply because they played badly over the two legs is plain stupid.

    Rules are rules, we’ve had enough bending of them to last us a lifetime.

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  12. jockybhoy


    PigPink & others: integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. Other definitions also include the state of being whole and undivided, something that happens if everyone is aware of rules and all stick to them.

    Celtic have been entirely honest and by adhering to the rules of the competition in question show strong moral principles. Now we can all accept Legia Warsaw’s version of events, after all the use of the player in question for 3 minutes of an already won game would be a ludicrous course of deliberate action, but as (most) clubs have found before, “a mistake” is not a valid excuse for breaking a rule.

    I am happy about the state of affairs? No, but as soon as we start down a subjective route of morality we are in difficult territory, after all is it fair that an incorrect refereeing decision knocks a team out of a competition? Or that it might suspend a player that should be eligible? Should those games get replayed? Or should the integrity of the competition be paramount.

    Look, I get it – as a Celtic fan we were rightfully spanked, over 2 legs, and the team that beat us deserves to go through. However that’s not Celtic’s decision. It’s UEFA’s. UEFA has spoken. And to be in UEFA’s competitions, guess what, you have to abide by UEFA’s rules.

    It is my view (and I am sure I am not alone in this) that unless something changes radically in terms of personnel & attitude, Celtic will be in the Europa League in precisely one round’s time. Am sure the footballing Gods will conspire for Celtic & Legia Warsaw to meet again, if not this year than sometime in the near future. Given the attacks on Celtic fans in Poland before a ball was even kicked I am certainly not minded to go to Warsaw if that does happen.

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  13. Big Pink


    Auldheid says:

    August 11, 2014 at 1:08 am

    Perhaps the thinking behind the rule never envisaged that a club would play a suspended player other than to gain sporting advantage?

    A suspended player has already broken a football rule and been subject to disciplinary action which causes his club to be denied his services for a number of games. They lose any advantage he brings to his team (in theory)

    How those games are counted in order to keep track is in the rules to stop a club thinking of sneaking a player in before his sentence is up because why else (in disciplinary think terms) would a club play a suspended player?

    How could you write a rule that said a game will not be forfeit and a club face a penalty without the deterrent value behind the rule being compromised?

    Thus the absolute position is regardless of the reason a club forfeits a game if it plays a suspended player because the only reason it would do so is to gain sporting advantage.

    In football there is the referees decision is final rule of thought. It is there because without it games would be replayed forever and results overturned when mistakes are made.

    When a club gets the advantage of a referee’s incorrect decision when after a game it can be seen that a clear penalty should have been awarded , the team losing out accept it because football becomes unmanageable if they do not.

    This seems to be the position Legia have put themselves in.

    No question of any advantage or disadvantage just the rule of football producing the equivalent of an honest mistake that either costs or benefits clubs every game.

    Or does the amount of money lost or gained make it more than an integrity issue?

    _____________________________________________________________________

    Can’t argue with any of that auld yin. The only thing I would say is that there probably should be a mechanism (perhaps the appeal system) which would make it possible to correct honest mistakes in a way that is not possible if the mistake is made on the field (although in this case logistics make that increasingly difficult).

    I am disappointed that the injustice of the situation is not recognised and that we are not struggling a bit more with the outcome. It seems to me that there is too much certainty in supporting the outcome, and that sporting integrity has been spat out in some cases as being an irrelevant naïve ideal. As I said earlier, sporting integrity et j’en passe.

    I do realise that I am in a minority of one here, but my fear is that the consensus on the blog over this will damage it. Of course it’s not my right to have the blog merely mirror my views, but I think we have stumbled upon a seam of double standards here that sees us lose much moral authority.

    I will resist further response to the inevitable epistemological riposte, and leave the matter there.

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  14. Danish Pastry


    Big Pink says:
    August 11, 2014 at 10:00 am
    1 1 Rate This

    … I do realise that I am in a minority of one here …
    ————

    No you’re not BP.

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  15. blu


    Big Pink says:
    August 11, 2014 at 10:00 am

    BP, two points:

    1. The unfairness (not injustice) of LW going out on away goals in a tie that they actually won 6-1 on the pitch has been widely acknowledged.

    2. The general view of the blog (that LW broke the rules and paid the (very hefty) price is entirely in keeping with the track record of TSFM contributors – wasn’t that interest in seeing rules applied without fear or favour what saw us all gravitate to RTC and TSFM in the first place?

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  16. oddjob

    oddjob


    Celtic have committed no offence here,and find themselves under intolerable pressure, because their opponents made a mistake. That mistake is likely to prove costly and someone in the Legia set up should be sacked.
    Celtic will rightly wait for UEFA`s final decision and abide by that. No more should be asked of them.

    Meantime , it appears that Hibs are not “actively” for sale.

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  17. Two three three two


    One point I haven’t seen mentioned so far (but maybe has)regarding Legia is that they seem to have got the process right during the first Celtic leg as in how to properly have a player serve a ban. So someone at the club was aware of the rules. Should it not have dawned on them at that time that the player had not served any ban so far? Perhaps different people were involved but surely the management should have asked “Wait a minute. I had 25 players to choose from last time and now I have 24. Oh! He has to be in the squad to serve the ban, I see….etc”

    There was a full week for this realisation to occur and the player himself must have been aware of the difference. Perhaps someone thought “I’m sure it’ll be ok.”

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  18. wottpi


    Question?

    If there was no appeal process and the FTTT result had been the final outcome of the rules being applied without fear or favour being both sides had an opportunity to present their case, do you honestly think some contributors on this blog would have accepted the 2-1 verdict and moved along without comment?

    Debating the justice or injustice of the existing rules, decisions and processes used by the footballing authorities, tax bodies, courts, the ASA, land deals etc etc is a proud tradition of this blog and RTC before it and we should continue to do so – without fear or favour.

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  19. A Tall Monitor


    Big Pink, you are not in a minority of one. I would dearly like to see Celtic having the magnanimity to sound out with UEFA whether or not there is any realistic possibility of allowing Legia Warszawa and Celtic to swap places in the Champions League and the Europa League, if it was a genuine administrative error on Legia Warszawa’s part.

    What I am confused by, though, is in not knowing what names they did and should have registered before the St Patrick’s Athletic tie (i.e. before the first leg of the tie) and what names they did and should have registered before the Celtic tie (i.e. before the first leg of the tie). And that’s my dilemma: I genuinely don’t know if this was an administrative error for the Celtic tie or a cack-handed attempt to cover up a previous genuine error. Allowing the player to go on the field, though, in the second leg of the Celtic tie was sheer stupidity at worst, or rank bad management/administration.

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  20. fara1968


    Sending an open letter is an absolute disgrace and no way to conduct your business. Why also address this open letter to Celtic? If anyone can tell me how Celtic caused the plight of LW or have the power to do anything to address their situation I would really like to know.

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  21. ecobhoy


    jerfeelgood says:
    August 10, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    I suppose with the LW debate we have to clearly define what constitutes gaining a sporting advantage. Uefa rules clearly state that any fielding of a suspended player under any circumstances will constitute a sporting advantage.

    So one of two advantages were accrued to LW.

    1. By not placing the player on the list for the St Pats games they gained an extra player on the roster. This advantage was mitigated by the fact that the players suspension doesn’t tick off. They could have left him off the list for the celtic match and all would have been fine for them. At some point he would actually have to serve his suspension though. I’m unaware of whether they actually rostered another player in that tie in his place.
    ————————————
    I think you hit the nail on the head as the St Pats matches is where the unfair sporting advantage appears to have been gained. I think not having him on the team sheet became an obvious tactical error on LW’s part. They thought they gained an advantage by not having their squad reduced to 24 against St Pats.

    But they realised their mistake after the first game against Celtic and the near certainty they would get to the 3rd Round qualifiers. They knew that under the rules their player would be out for the 3rd round matches.

    So was playing him at Murrayfield really an honest administrative mistake by LW or was it a ploy that failed but was initially designed to give a sporting advantage? Who knows and how could any outsider to the inner-circle at LW establish the truth of the matter? LW may well have taken a gamble that the situation would not be picked-up and even if it was that given the first-leg score they wouldn’t lose the match.

    They might be good at football but it seems they ain’t so good on the maths – never mind the paperwork – and possibly forgot the importance of away goals. A fatal error which many managers have fallen into.

    UEFA have a very clear no-fault rule to deal with the situation. It really is that simple. They have no intention of getting dragged into a debate about the fairness of whether the problem arose by design or accident. Deid Simple – break the rule and the set penalty is applied no matter the circumstances. Job Done! Great Pity and all that but every team is treated the same – what more can one ask for?

    Gawd Celtic have more to worry about than its fans getting diverted down a false route based on a false premise.

    We don’t need to define what constitutes a sporting advantage – that has already been done by UEFA in clear and very simple language that every club who plays in its competitions is well aware of. And if they aren’t then that is their problem alone.

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  22. ecobhoy


    I should have added of course that if LW were ‘at it’ and wanted their man to be able to play in the 3rd leg qualifiers they had to create the impression that he had served his three suspensions – 2 against St Pats and 1 against Celtic and he was good to go in the 3rd round.

    Just being an old cynic I think that is the more likely scenario than an admin error. If so they were caught-out and if that was their intention then justice has been done 😉

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  23. johnnymanc


    wottpi says:
    August 11, 2014 at 10:52 am
    Question?

    If there was no appeal process and the FTTT result had been the final outcome of the rules being applied without fear or favour being both sides had an opportunity to present their case, do you honestly think some contributors on this blog would have accepted the 2-1 verdict and moved along without comment?

    Debating the justice or injustice of the existing rules, decisions and processes used by the footballing authorities, tax bodies, courts, the ASA, land deals etc etc is a proud tradition of this blog and RTC before it and we should continue to do so – without fear or favour.
    ———————————————————————-
    There is a very clear difference in the 2 cases. The FTTT was and continues to be about interpretation of laws governing tax, and both sides have clearly put forward an argument that laws were either upheld or broken and we all have our view on this.

    On the other hand the LW case is very black and white, no-one is debating whether the law was broken, the debate is whether or not the punishment fits the crime; 2 completely different scenarios

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  24. Galling fiver


    Spot on Blu.

    Mr platini has been quoted as having an opinion on this, can he offer an opinion on the other topic that brought us all here. Maybe if he did, I could agree that we should “rise above it” even though I can’t stand that phrase. Selective on what he sees as a FairPlay issue, surprised he’s said anything since he knows the opinions of FairPlay amongst Celtic followers, he must have thousands of emails and letters, what we need is an ex teammate to contact him it appears.

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  25. A Tall Monitor


    A Tall Monitor says:
    August 11, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Allowing the player to go on the field, though, in the second leg of the Celtic tie was sheer stupidity at worst, or rank bad management/administration.

    …hmmm, or, as ecobhoy has suggested, trying to pull a flanker.

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  26. ecobhoy


    wottpi says:
    August 11, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Debating the justice or injustice of the existing rules, decisions and processes used by the footballing authorities, tax bodies, courts, the ASA, land deals etc etc is a proud tradition of this blog and RTC before it and we should continue to do so – without fear or favour.
    ==================================
    I agree with everything you say, However I have yet to see any hint of injustice in the UEFA Rules on this issue.

    They are clear and appear to always previously have been applied without fear or favour and indeed were clarified after the Newcastle case IIRC.

    It would appear that this isn’t a case over the rule but a rather esoteric debate as to whether Celtic should make a ‘grand gesture’.

    As I have posted above there is an argument that LW was well and truly ‘at it’ from the get-go against St Pats and when it seemed they needed the player for the 3rd round qualifiers – which they may not have thought they would get to – they knowingly hatched the ploy to cover-up their decision not to list the player on the team sheets against St Pats.

    I am quite satisfied there may well be more to this than meets the idea. One thing I am absolutely certain of is that the LW ‘situation’ has absolutely nothing to do with Celtic or the Parkhead club’s sporting integrity.

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  27. ecobhoy


    Galling fiver says:
    August 11, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Mr platini has been quoted as having an opinion on this
    ===========================================
    Was that an official quote from Platini? If so I would love the link but, if not, it’s in the succulent lamb department IMO.

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  28. Galling fiver


    Aye, ur right. Welcome back BTW.

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  29. Gym Trainer


    Viewing it purely from the outside (as an Englishman with no team and no axe to grind or indeed smoke to blow up any orifice of any club) – Legia broke the rules and are suffering the consequences.

    The rules are quite clear, the consequences of doing so are quite clear. The discussion is at an end. Should you wish to play in a competition organised by (in this case) UEFA, you agree to abide by their rules. If you break their rules, accidentally or willfully, then if you are detected as doing so, you will suffer the consequences defined by the rules that you agreed to by partaking in the competition. My only surprise is that UEFA actually detected it and have stuck to the rules in the book. Seems to me that some other governing bodies would do well to do the same with their own rules.

    I can see that Celtic might be “embarrassed” by the circumstances in which they have found themselves in the CL “proper” – but it is not a circumstance of their making, no different to Lynsey Sharp being promoted to be 2012 European 800m Champion after her Russian opponent was detected as breaking the (doping) rules in the competition. She didn’t ask for it – it’s a consequence with a positive outcome (for Ms Sharp – although she was denied the opportunity of receiving the victrix’s applause on the day)

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  30. Tincks

    Tincks


    Celtic got humped over two legs and the suspended player being on the pitch for a handful of minutes made no difference to the outcome.

    Yet, there is a UEFA rule – clearly set out, stating what the punishment is for fielding a suspended player.

    I have tremendous sympathy for the players ad supporters of Legia. They’ve lost a place in the next round that they won by dint of their skill and efforts. Lost by the misadministration (accidental or deliberate the rule makes no distinction) of their club officials.

    It is unfortunate for Legia that the rule does not allow wriggle room to tone down the punishment. It is however to the benefit of the integrity of the competition that this is the case.

    Surely, it is the TSFM community above all others who should be able to see the folly of rules/punishments that can be trimmed to the circumstances.

    What has happened to Legia’s players and supporters is an injustice. Injustices sometimes happen even when good rules are applied as they are meant to be. There is no perfect system.

    But rules and punishments that can be trimmed and bent to the circumstance. Not for me, that way leads to Bryson, LNS and favoured clubs with compliant administrators.

    Celtic fans might feel embarrassed by how their team played but have no need of embarrassment about being in the next round. A clear rule has been applied as per how it is written.

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  31. vivitron


    Regarding the LW decision…

    I wonder what the UEFA decision would have been if the “error” had been discovered after LW had won the Champions League(unlikely I know).

    Would the Bryson doctrine apply and LW could not be stripped of their title?

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  32. ecobhoy


    wottpi says:
    August 11, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Question?

    If there was no appeal process and the FTTT result had been the final outcome of the rules being applied without fear or favour being both sides had an opportunity to present their case, do you honestly think some contributors on this blog would have accepted the 2-1 verdict and moved along without comment?
    ===================================================
    Courts of law – and I speak in very general terms to include tribunals dealing with tax affairs – have a long history of making mistakes which sometimes takes decades to come to light and for the truth to be revealed usually after those responsible have received their honours and shuffled off their mortal coil.

    Some mistakes will be of little consequence. However others where the death penalty has been imposed or innocent people have been incarcerated – sometimes for decades – are a tad more serious.

    The beauty about a Democracy is that we don’t need to accept the decisions of a state-controlled court but can question, probe and attack legal decisions within and outwith our legal appeals process.

    Long may that freedom be protected and continue.

    View Comment
  33. woodstein

    woodstein


    Tincks says:

    August 11, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Spot on.

    This is waht happens when you muck about with rules.

    ——————————————————————————————————————————

    Disciplinary Proceedings Outcome

    Monday, 23 April 2012

    A Judicial Panel Tribunal convened to hear the cases against Rangers FC and Craig Whyte today concluded their findings and set out the following outcomes:.

    In the tribunal’s findings, published earlier today (Friday), the judicial panel concluded Rangers’ actions meant that “only match fixing in its various forms might be a more serious breach” of the Scottish FA’s rules.

    “It appeared to the Tribunal that in a case such as this the punishment should relate in some meaningful way to the unpaid taxes arising from high wages and salaries amongst certain players. It appeared to the Tribunal that a temporary prohibition on registering any new players during a period of twelve months was a suitable, relevant and proportionate sanction.

    “The Tribunal was of the view that whilst the sanction was severe it was not excessive and that the period covered only two signing windows.”

    —————————————————————————————————————————–

    A ban on signing players imposed on Rangers by the Scottish Football Association has been overturned by the Court of Session.

    At a hearing on Tuesday, the judge ruled a registration embargo was not a sanction available to the governing body to impose upon a club which had brought the game into disrepute.

    The matter will now be heard again by the Scottish FA’s appeals tribunal, which has been informed it must apply only the punishments listed as available to it in the organisation’s protocol. Rangers were also awarded expenses by the court.

    Rule 66 allows for a maximum fine of £100,000 to be imposed, as well as ejection from the Scottish Cup, a suspension, expulsion from participation in the game and/or termination of SFA membership.

    —————————————————————————————————

    This in part led to the 5way agreement.

    An omnishambles.

    View Comment
  34. ecobhoy


    Gym Trainer says:
    August 11, 2014 at 11:24 am

    no different to Lynsey Sharp being promoted to be 2012 European 800m Champion after her Russian opponent was detected as breaking the (doping) rules in the competition. She didn’t ask for it – it’s a consequence with a positive outcome (for Ms Sharp – although she was denied the opportunity of receiving the victrix’s applause on the day)
    ======================================
    Good point – she may have missed the applause on the day but the record books – for ever – will show her as the winner as she undoubtedly was not having broken the rules.

    View Comment
  35. ecobhoy


    http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/photographs-you-were-not-meant-to-see/

    Oh dearie me 😉

    Looks as though SMSM is still swallowing succulent lamb 🙄

    View Comment
  36. TBK


    I find it incredulous that some (including some media outlets) appear to be knocking Celtic for their ‘good fortune’…. Was the same “sporting integrity” shown to Spartans in 2012 having another club(12) take a place in the lower league Division 3 ahead of them?

    View Comment
  37. TBK


    ecobhoy says:
    August 11, 2014 at 11:52 am…. that was the last time with Old Rangers 😀

    View Comment
  38. Smugas


    Eco,

    Sorry if I’m being slow – that’s a 2011 link re sheriff’s officers? Relevance?

    as for Warsaw, its an open and shut case in my eyes. They broke a rule. It cost them. As for proportionality, they did not forfeit the tie (although there is some confusion if there was a secondary tier of punishment) the lost their away tie 3-0 which saw them lose over all but of course rejoin the gravy train at the next platform by virtue of being ‘put down’ to the Uefa Cup now that all those pesky diddies, there on merit have been knocked out. A uefa league incidentally, where, following a 6-1 demolishment of CFC yuoiu would think they would be quite excited about their participation?

    View Comment
  39. wottpi


    ecobhoy says:
    August 11, 2014 at 11:16 am
    2 0 i
    Rate This

    ecobhoy says:
    August 11, 2014 at 11:33 am

    I agree with what you are getting at.

    I believe in the LW case the rules have been applied appropriately and that it is not really an issue for Celtic. I have already said the best thing to do is to keep their heads down and let UEFA deal with it. I said that given the humping received they should feel embarrased about goung through and appreciate that folks like upthehoops says its more a feeling of being lucky than embarrasment.

    What I am dissspointed about is my feeling that those who are raising the appropriatness of the penalty, ‘sporting integrity /advantage’ issues and the possibility of Celtic making a magnanimous gesture are having the without fear or favour argument rammed down their throat.

    As you rightly say there could be a number of different scenarios as to how the situation arose. Therefore the punishment may indeed fit the crime if they were at it. Then again if a simple administrative error then it seems very harsh given the result on the pitch.

    Frankly I am happy for Celtic to go through as long as they catch a grip and don’t let themselves and Scottish Football down with such dire performances in the future rounds.

    I am just wary that some on the blog do not appear to be open to debate and discussion on this one.

    The beauty about a a fans blog is that we don’t need to blindly accept the decisions of a dictating footballing but can question, probe and attack such decisions because we are paying customers and like a bit of craic.

    Long may that freedom be protected and continue.

    wottpi says:
    August 11, 2014 at 10:52 am

    View Comment
  40. ecobhoy


    In view of the fact that Sheriff Officers have been calling at Ibrox this morning I wonder if this will spark another return to court by Imran Ahmad?

    If I was Imran I think I might be starting to worry about the semi-guarantees not quite given to the court about the financial position at Ibrox last time.

    So Phil was spot-on and the guy at KDS as well it seems. Looks as though Ibrox is leaking like a sieve. Still Charles has arrived to stick his finger in the dyke – aye right 😆

    View Comment
  41. Danish Pastry


    ecobhoy says:
    August 11, 2014 at 11:52 am
    3 0 Rate This

    http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/photographs-you-were-not-meant-to-see/

    ———

    Not at all sure why Phil re-tweeted that last night. A type of nostalgia? Or something similar is on the cards?

    View Comment
  42. ecobhoy


    Smugas says:
    August 11, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    0Eco,

    Sorry if I’m being slow – that’s a 2011 link re sheriff’s officers? Relevance?

    ==================================================
    It would appear absolutely none – oops 😳 Apologies to all 🙁

    No excuses but I mistook this for the latest link when it should have been the Maribor one.

    View Comment
  43. manchesterbhoy


    First time poster but avid reader of TSFM.

    Understand the position of Big Pink and Danish Pastry and A Tall Monitor but must take issue with Big Pink saying it would be a minor issue if LW were to simply switch with Celtic and play against Maribor.
    Now let’s suppose this happens and Steau beat Ludogerets in one of the other qualifiers.Surely Ludogerets would protest as they lost to a seeded team when they should have played an unseeded team(as would have happened if LW were in original draw).

    However if Ludogerets beat Steau then surely Steau would protest as they lost to a team who should have been seeded and they should have played a non seeded team! (Or is no-one bothered what they think as they are not Real Madrid?)

    Can of worms!

    View Comment
  44. ecobhoy


    wottpi says:
    August 11, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    if a simple administrative error then it seems very harsh given the result on the pitch.
    ===========================================

    I either agree or accept I think everything you say except the above.

    The penalty is neither soft not harsh IMO. It is simply the prescribed penalty and has nothing to do with the results on the pitch.

    Obviously application of the penalty (3-0) to a particular game has consequences dependant on the result of the other leg which was further complicated by the Celtic away goal.

    I suppose if clubs think the rule is unfair then they have the the opportunity to decline to participate in the competition or ask their home association or the ECA is it? to raise the issue with UEFA.

    I think it’s impossible to determine on the info available whether this was LW ‘at it’ or whether it was an innocent error and I am quite convinced that’s why EUFA applies a single standard penalty because of the near impossibility of determining whether the breach was deliberate or not.

    This is further affected by the time factor which would come into play to reach a fair decision based on the evidence and the need to allow appeals to that decision. I’m afraid running the CL doesn’t allow for that luxury. So it’s follow the rule or pay the price.

    View Comment
  45. ThomTheThim

    ThomTheThim


    Even if the player never came on as a sub, I think that the fact that get was a named sub breached the rules.

    If the Rule needs changing, it should be to consider both games as one tie.

    That would mean that the 3-0 scoreline would not be required, as the club would forfeit the tie and not just one leg.

    Had LW scored one more at home, then the second leg forfeit score would have been ineffectual.

    UEFA were spared a difficult decision.

    When the teams took to the field at Murrayfield, it was only the start of the second half.

    View Comment
  46. tykebhoy

    tykebhoy


    DP/Eco yes the pictures are 3 years old and there is confusion given the 2nd sentence of Phil’s Blog say this morning but I think it is hinting at things about to happen or that have already happened. At the moment little more than rumours but there is a suggestion RIFC have been or about to be served papers over an unpaid debt.

    Has that nice Mr Letham been repaid yet? 👿

    View Comment
  47. TBK


    http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk

    “I’m not convinced that any meeting of minds between Celtic and Legia Warsaw to allow the latter to take the place of the former in the Champions League play-off round would be recognised by Uefa. Having researched as thoroughly as possible, I’ve found no precedent for such an arrangement to be invoked.

    It would, therefore, probably be safe for Celtic to take the high moral ground and acquiesce with Legia, but that would be a cheap shot at being generous, Celtic have no intentions of becoming involved, whether they have the opportunity or not.

    The utter distress Legia are enduring because of an administrative oversight will cause untold damage. The club have to try everything possible, including an appeal which invokes Willie Maley and Jock Stein, but they must find a clear path through Uefa, which does not appear to exist.

    What Celtic can do, is appeal to Uefa to have processes changed, just as we did in 1970 when we profited from the toss of a coin. Instead of clubs having the responsibility of checking available players, they could be issued with the same list the Uefa observer had on Wednesday, making this mistake less likely.

    Current processes allow a minor infraction to cause disproportionate harm to a football club, and the tournament itself. Celtic should not hesitate in saying so….”

    ……..sensible approach from Paul Brennan IMO

    View Comment
  48. bobcobb


    I find some of the arguments with regard to Legia’s re-instatement rather odd, notwithstanding the respect I have for some of the posters who are advancing it. It seems some are advocating that sporting justice would be better served by allowing the team that broke the rules to advance at the expense of the team that played by the rules. The fact that Legia hammered Celtic 6-1 and that the substitution made no material difference is not relevent – it really isn’t; a key rule was broken. (It leads me to wonder what an appropriate score would have made it acceptable for Legia to forfeit the tie without complaint. Only winning 4-1? 3-1? Does the size of the winning margin matter when the rules are not adhered to?) Neither is the fact that it appears to have been an honest mistake relevent either; the only way to be sure is by not differentiating in the rule book between a cock-up and a pre-meditated rule breach. How can UEFA tell the difference? They can’t so must legislate accordingly.
    A recurring theme of this blog is that our football administrators enforce the rules without fear or favour and that they draft the rules so that there is no scope for “discretionary” judgements as this serves only to make lawyers rich and allows the culpable to get away with it. UEFA have acted exactly as I would want any football governing body to act; with alacrity, decisiveness and with an absolute adherence to their own rule book that puts the SFA to shame. To suggest Celtic make a gesture by forfeiting the tie is to undermine these very same rules.
    One other thing; I dont get the “forfeit the tie for good PR” argument either. Surely if Celtic were to step aside, one would want it to be for the sake of sport and not from a selfish desire to improve their image? Not that it matters; the worst thing Celtic could do to act against the interests of the game would be to withdraw from the competition in order to let a team through who have clearly been in breach of a fundamental rule of football.

    View Comment
  49. Danish Pastry


    ThomTheThim says:
    August 11, 2014 at 12:33 pm
    1 0 Rate This

    Even if the player never came on as a sub, I think that the fact that get was a named sub breached the rules …
    ———

    Very wary about getting involved in this again for the reasons Wottpi outlines above in para 2&3.

    But the point you mention does show some of the confusion. From what I read of Legia’s own defence, they understood the player to be suspended so left him out of their squad for three matches (the 2 v St Pats and the home leg v Celtic).

    I’ve no idea if they were at it or how they could manipulate the situation to their advantage. To me it looks like a very unfortunate misunderstanding on their part.

    The letter of the law favours Celtic, no doubt, that’s not even being debated here.

    View Comment
  50. Two three three two


    Why should Celtic suddenly and unilaterally decide to “right wrongs” in this way. With the unfair decisions that have gone against them in the past. I’ll get the ball rolling with the thrown missile against Rapid Vienna.

    View Comment
  51. Danish Pastry


    Woof! ( (c) James Richardson)

    Looks like someone got a bit of instant karma yesterday:

    http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/regarding-alistair/#more-4948

    View Comment
  52. Galling fiver


    Yip 100% lamb. Translated ZB’s statement. He didn’t get a response from Platini, apologies, I know you PL and hector are busy, carry on. :mrgreen:

    View Comment
  53. ernie


    The LW thing is a no brainer. I’ve been a supporter of TSFM to date but really, the Celtic love in is getting way OTT. They have the winning outcome, they are not the victim. I’m amazed at the angst; sounds like a cause looking for something to be indignant about and for that reason I’m out.

    View Comment
  54. wottpi


    ecobhoy says:
    August 11, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Once again I agree and said the other day that the 3-0 award was probably chosen as a one size fits all approach.

    However that doesn’t mean that it has to stick for all time as situations like LW will always come up.

    At times like this I recall the skier Alain Baxter who IMHO was clearly denied a well earned but unexpected Olympic bronze because of the one size fits all approach which ended up with evidence in the appeals process all getting caught up with the drugs habits of US Athletes when all he did was use an American Vicks inhailer of a slighlty different compostion to one which he had used before without issue.

    View Comment
  55. Paulmac2


    I have not posted for a while due to moving house and the liek, however I have read with interest the Legia situation..

    The thing everyone needs to keep in mind is, as soon as you believe a breach of rules can be viewed differently to the stated punishment then you are on the slippery slop to chaos.

    At what point in time during the game does the sporting advantage cease to exist? depending on the circumstances some clubs may argue 10 minutes…5 minutes…when the score is beyond one club…after 15 minutes..

    To suggest the rules if breached can be given degrees of interpretation will encourage the rule to be breached.

    As it stands if you play a player who is suspended, you forfeit the match 3-0. that is as simple as it can be and has to be, regardless of the surrounding factors such as the score…the influence the player had in achieving that score…did he score..etc etc. the rule was breached.

    Now let me give you a scenario of where this could lead to by applying degrees of sporting advantage..

    Lets say Messi is suspended and Barcalona are in a CL play off and lose the first leg 2-0…in the second leg Barca score 5 in the first 15 minutes..and bring Messi with 45 mins to go…he gets 45 minutes game time under his belt and the score finishes 5-0..did he influence the score line ..no…did he gain sporting advantage…yes…he gained 45 minutes of game time against their next opponent.

    Regardless of whether we like the rules or not or whether we believe there should be degrees of punishment…you can be sure that as soon as you open up the can of worms that this will….then other clubs will push the rules…to the disadvantage of honest clubs.

    Celtic did not create this situation and should have no part in EUFA’s decision…it is for EUFA to either stick by the decision or for Legia to appeal the decision.

    Keep it simple

    View Comment
  56. nawlite


    ernie says:

    August 11, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Ernie, if you’ve not gone yet, can you clarify what is driving you out? I can’t tell from what you wrote if it’s because most posters seem to take the view that Celtic should do nothing re LW, or if it’s because some posters think they should?

    View Comment
  57. Castofthousands


    I’ve been messing around with some data scottc linked me to concerning football statistics. I worked up a file of analysis but am finding difficulty in forwarding it by PM. The details have therefore only been viewed by one set of eyes and require verification. Perhaps posters would point out anomalies to me.

    It is a bit detailed in its raw for. If you like staring at pages of numbers it may be of interest. I’ve concentrated on red cards since these change games. I didn’t have the data on penalties on the source information but perhaps I can look at this later.

    If you look at the ‘Referees’ tab you will see the typical (average) values along the top and then individual refs numbers listed alongside their name. I’ve concentrated on the last six columns; fouls, yellow cards, red cards.

    On the ‘Teams’ tab I’ve worked up the averages per team. Three teams had fairly high values for away team red cards; Rangers at home, Hibernian at home and Hearts away. I’ve therefore looked at referee data concerning these three categories on separate tabs.

    My gut reaction is that D. Somers gives Hearts a hard time at away games. However values accrued through a relatively small number of games may not be representative. The most important numbers are that home reds average at 0.08 per game and away reds at 0.13. The other numbers may prompt the thought process but the likes of shots and corners will be out of the control of the referee. They may however indicate the disposition of play.

    There might be a wee bit of data corruption in the attached file.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/p4uq1q870mun8sw/0010.xls

    View Comment
  58. jw hardin


    I’m really enjoying the LW debate going on right now. Waiting for Michael Buerk of the Moral Maze to log-in and put us all right.

    It’s like those BIG debates
    chaos – order
    dionysian – appollonian
    mercy – justice
    capitalism – communism
    heck even male – female.

    If I were a Bhuddist I’d say ‘it’s all a bit ying yang to me but as I’m not I’d say that, for sporting integrity, form (rules) takes precedent over innovation.

    View Comment
  59. oddjob

    oddjob


    I see Stuart Milne has announced plans to set up a new training facility within the next few months. He also hopes to have Aberdeen playing out of a new stadium by 2017. What do the Dons fans think of giving up Pittodrie?

    Also are Hibs for sale or not?

    View Comment
  60. Bill1903

    Bill1903


    oddjob says:
    August 11, 2014 at 2:46 pm
    0 0 Rate This

    I see Stuart Milne has announced plans to set up a new training facility within the next few months. He also hopes to have Aberdeen playing out of a new stadium by 2017. What do the Dons fans think of giving up Pittodrie?
    ————————————
    He’s been saying this on and off for a long time.
    I’ll believe it when it happens.
    Pittodrie is a dump but I like it’s location compared to ‘out of town’ options

    View Comment
  61. Bill1903

    Bill1903


    “It is a great disappointment that we’ve got Hearts, Hibs and Rangers in the Scottish Championship, but this is the league we’ve got for the season ahead…”

    Stuart Milne talking from his wallet rather than his head!! 😳

    View Comment
  62. oddjob

    oddjob


    I thought the attendance at Pittodrie yesterday, just short of 17,000, was pretty healthy. Also, when you look at the team’s which are reasonably “local” for Aberdeen, there could be some interesting fixtures ahead.

    View Comment
  63. ecobhoy


    Danish Pastry says:
    August 11, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    From what I read of Legia’s own defence, they understood the player to be suspended so left him out of their squad for three matches (the 2 v St Pats and the home leg v Celtic).
    =========================================================
    @Danish – I think we have to be careful about definitions here. As I understand it a team is allowed to register a 25-strong squad with UEFA eligible to play in the CL.

    A player carrying a ban from a previous UEFA game can be part of that 25 strong squad however to work that ban off – as I understand it – they have to be included in the 18 players – selected from the 25 – who go on the match sheet for a game but obviously they can’t play. If they ain’t on the match sheet then they don’t reduce their ban.

    The logic seems to be that the number of eligible players available to the coach to play on the pitch would be reduced to 17 with the 18th name sitting out the game.

    In this case it seems clear that the player in question sat-out the 2 St Pats games and the first Celtic game and didn’t appear on the match sheet for any of the three games. The result was that in each of these 3 games the LW manager had the ability to name 18 Players on the match sheet and not be restricted to 17.

    Obviously being cut to a choice of 17 players and not 18 is a sporting disadvantage to LW. Whether it was an error or deliberate to leave the banned player off the team sheet is open to conjecture so I simply don’t accept it as an open and shut case of an innocent mistake as there was a clear sporting advantage to be gained by the ‘error’.

    And in my experience the vast majority of clubs and players are capable of anything to gain any advantage which allows them to win a game especially at CL Level with the wealth involved.

    As I have said above that is my understanding of the rules and what happened but if anyone has any contrary info I would be glad to hear it as it would be useful to have all the facts hammered-out on this one.

    View Comment
  64. scottc

    scottc


    CoT. Nice. Not to add complications but I wonder if there is a database somewhere telling which teams our whistlers grew up supporting. 😈

    You have a PM by the way

    View Comment
  65. oddjob

    oddjob


    Scott says
    August 11 @ 4pm

    I think that such a list was suggested to the “powers” a number of years ago and there was a great stushie about it.

    Ultimately I think the suggestion was killed off.

    View Comment
  66. ecobhoy


    I think it’s worth remembering that a lot of the heat in the Celtic – Legia situation was fuelled by our useless SMSM and even the MSM declaring that Celtic had to have complained for LW to have forfeited the match.

    That is simply wrong and a lie and either sloppyness or a darker agenda being pursued by our favourite hacks 😆

    These are the relevant grounds which UEFA’s Disciplinary Committe list for forfeiting a match:

    2. A match is declared forfeit if a player who has been suspended following a disciplinary decision participates in the match.

    2. A match may be declared forfeit if a player who is ineligible under the regulations of the competition concerned participates in the match, as long as the opposing team files a protest.

    Put simply an opposing team doesn’t need to protest as the rules allow for the match to be declared forfeit by UEFA. I would think that the right is included in the Regs in case UEFA fail to spot any infraction of the rules.

    Again a very clear rule from UEFA which the journos ignored so eager were they to have a dig at Celtic and blame them for LW’s problem. And they wonder why no one is buying their papers 🙄

    View Comment
  67. wottpi


    ecobhoy says:
    August 11, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Was it not the case that similar things were discussed in relation to Scotish Football.

    Part of the problem seems to be that if the system is so simple why is it not made clear on the team sheets/registration froms etc that have to be handed in.

    I’m hoping that the CL forms were foolproof so that LW have no excuses but knowing how our own authorities can muck up the simplest of issues I am not holding my breath.

    View Comment
  68. Danish Pastry


    ecobhoy says:
    August 11, 2014 at 3:40 pm
    1 1 Rate This
    ———-

    Well, it’s a level of rule technicality I’m unused to given that on here we’ve been reading about SFA fudge, discretion trumping rules and creative rule interpretation for quite some time.

    I understand that a suspension is a punishment. If Celtic had Chris C. suspended, to me that would a punishment. They would draft someone else into his position but not having him available would be a blow.

    I had no idea that the squad size including on-the-bench substitutes was effectively reduced, and that to work-off the suspension you have to be in the squad, but unused. News to me. But it must be the same in Poland, I take it? And football clubs must be aware of this, suppose.

    My angle on this is that in cases like this mercy and common sense should trump millimetre justice and the patently absurd. UEFA need to sort this out.

    No one is saying Celtic are in error or not rightfully entitled to inherit that CL place.

    View Comment
  69. ecobhoy


    wottpi says:
    August 11, 2014 at 4:11 pm
    ecobhoy says:
    August 11, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Part of the problem seems to be that if the system is so simple why is it not made clear on the team sheets/registration froms etc that have to be handed in.

    I’m hoping that the CL forms were foolproof so that LW have no excuses but knowing how our own authorities can muck up the simplest of issues I am not holding my breath.
    ————————————————————–
    The UEFA Rules go into great detail about what the Team Sheet must contain and how it should be completed and any errors obviously are the responsibility of the club official and captain who sign for the accuracy of the info contained in the form.

    I personally might not agree with some UEFA decisions but in terms of professionalism I don’t think the Scottish Football Authorities have a patch on UEFA in terms of drafting and adhering to the rules.

    View Comment
  70. bobcobb


    Danish, I hear what you are saying and the Corinthian in me agrees, to a point. But we live in a world where if “mercy and common sense should trump millimetre justice and the patently absurd,” then the rich and powerful employ expensive legal people to drive a coach and horses through the rulebook. Not everyone shares your values, alas. But Uefa HAVE sorted this out; they have done so by having a strict, no exceptions, rulebook that they rigourously enforce. In the world we live in, it is the only way to do it.

    View Comment
  71. upthehoops


    ernie says:
    August 11, 2014 at 1:28 pm
    19 22 Rate This

    The LW thing is a no brainer. I’ve been a supporter of TSFM to date but really, the Celtic love in is getting way OTT. They have the winning outcome, they are not the victim. I’m amazed at the angst; sounds like a cause looking for something to be indignant about and for that reason I’m out.
    ===================================

    They are not the victim? They are being blamed by LW for something not of their doing, and the Scottish media are happy to keep stirring the pot.

    View Comment
  72. Danish Pastry


    bobcobb says:
    August 11, 2014 at 4:23 pm
    1 0 Rate This

    Danish, I hear what you are saying and the Corinthian in me agrees, to a point. But we live in a world where if “mercy and common sense should trump millimetre justice and the patently absurd,” then the rich and powerful employ expensive legal people to drive a coach and horses through the rulebook. Not everyone shares your values, alas. But Uefa HAVE sorted this out; they have done so by having a strict, no exceptions, rulebook that they rigourously enforce. In the world we live in, it is the only way to do it.
    ———-

    And in the context of this blog that is to be applauded, as many have pointed out.

    I suppose the plus in all this is that it shows the SFA what strict rule adherence means. They, on the other hand, would no doubt point to their draconian justice towards ‘wee diddy teams’ who forgot to add a signature.

    Like BP I also wonder if UEFA would have treated a Man U or Barca in the same way if it were them in a fix and not Legia.

    View Comment
  73. ecobhoy


    Danish Pastry says:
    August 11, 2014 at 4:14 pm
    ecobhoy says:
    August 11, 2014 at 3:40 pm
    ————————————
    Well, it’s a level of rule technicality I’m unused to given that on here we’ve been reading about SFA fudge, discretion trumping rules and creative rule interpretation for quite some time.

    I had no idea that the squad size including on-the-bench substitutes was effectively reduced, and that to work-off the suspension you have to be in the squad, but unused. News to me. But it must be the same in Poland, I take it? And football clubs must be aware of this, suppose.

    My angle on this is that in cases like this mercy and common sense should trump millimetre justice and the patently absurd. UEFA need to sort this out.
    ===================================================
    @Danish – As I said I have given my understanding of the situation. I don’t actually think there a lot of ‘technicality’ involved in the relevant UEFA Rules as they are very clear and simple unlike the murky shape-shifting slime which oozes out of Scotland’s football rule books.

    Btw the squad size isn’t reduced and remains at 25 – all that’s reduced is the number of players available to actually play in specific matches being reduced dependent on the number sitting-out to run-down their suspensions.

    These afaik are the UEFA Rules which apply to all teams competing in the organisation’s competitions and it’s up to teams to ensure they are au fait with the rules and regulations. If they aren’t that isn’t UEFA’s fault.

    I’m afraid that allowing emotions to dominate how Scottish Football is governed has led directly to the morass we now inhabit. Give me clear-cut ‘millimetre justice’ any day where you know exactly what the rules are, what they mean and when and how they will apply. That to me is commonsense and transparency and – on this issue – I see nothing that UEFA needs to sort out.

    However there are established routes that clubs and Associations can take if they are unhappy with any UEFA Rules.

    Personally I believe that Celtic would face UEFA punishment if it did not complete matches it has been drawn in with various other possible sanctions and punishments which I won’t waste time with as they ain’t going to happen.

    Personally I believe that the Celtic Board would be acting illegally if it took any such action which is clearly against the financial interests of the shareholders and also IMO the club supporters and charities supported by them and Celtic.

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  74. Aquinas


    Since no one pointed out to me prior to Legia wiping the floor with Celtic on the second ‘floor wiping’ event that their was an administration error, or potential error in the registration of one of LW players, I cannot be expected by any reasonable person to have a red face even in an extreme close proximity bonfire event. I have had this reasoning validated by the SFA’s Top Brass(neck).

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  75. Barcabhoy

    Barcabhoy


    I don’t agree with the principal of degrees of severity for rule breaking. We have seen clubs , most famously Spartans, handed very severe punishment for minor breaches.

    Once you start to introduce “someone’s ” view on what is more serious than something else you leave open the possibility of unfair punishments.

    Now of course in Scotland we are all well aware that the SFA and SPL have always historically been very keen to allow themselves to make decisions in private , without providing reasons .

    That has moved on in theory, but not really in practice as the farce over Rangers players eligibility to play in games where Rangers had not provided full contract details to the relevant administrative bodies.

    So allowing “discretion” can get you a favourable decision for providing a player with a letter guaranteeing him a lump sum over the period of his contract , including for inconsistent items such as appearances and bonuses. Especially incredible when you also provide him with a letter saying the lump sum as a loan never has to be repaid.

    Only in Scotland , and only for Rangers , would the clearest possible breach of not providing full contract details , result in a decision that was an insult to all other clubs and was in direct contravention to UEFA & FIFA precedent.

    Thats the risk in allowing a discretionary punishment to be handed out. If it’s discretionary , then Legia would probably get thrown out anyway whilst Real Madrid, Barca, Bayern & Man Utd would almost certainly get a fine and a suspended sentence .

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