SPFL Myopia Flares into Civil War

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myopia

The Covid 19 Pandemic is a truly serious game-changing situation for us all.
We are all currently staring into a future with no declared road map exit of
how we might move back to normality and the certainty of disruption now and
long into the future.

Against the background of lockdown to curb the virus spread we have all run smack bang into economic and social chaos.
We have gone from normality into unheard of times virtually overnight and with horrendous economic consequences coming every which way into the future.

Football is not important in the greater scheme of things but still has issues that need attention and urgently because it affects people’s lives.

 This Week’s SPFL Plan to Move On

The SPFL are simply the members association who run our leagues on a “for the members, by the members, for the members” kind of way in theory.

For reasons known to them they collectively took the decision to start to draw an end to season 2019 – 2020 with its Covid 19 uncertainty.
This was probably to allow them and all their members (our clubs) to at least
start to plan for the future when income streams will return.

From speaking to those involved from the club side and reading and hearing more at a truly astonishing pace since Wednesday 8th of April, just 3 day ago, the SPFL decided in their wisdom that the best solution was to conflate two particular issues. 

To back their case quite forcibly they also provided a dossier of over 100 pages of supportive material.  All good bedtime reading for our club’s boards I have been told, but i haven’t seen it.

The issues the SPFL decided to conflate were to ‘pro-rata’ all games played so far this season so they could equalise and close the Championship and Leagues 1 and 2, with the Premiership going the same way if it became clear that fixtures could not be completed.

If and only if the motion was agreed by the members then the end of season prize money would be forthcoming from the SPFL bank almost immediately.

Money desperately needed by some members. A real lifeline in troubled times.

There was also another possible wee carrot dangled.

This might have been of a sort of half-hearted agreement to look at re-organisation of Scottish Football. This because despite the dossier urging clubs to vote yes, the SPFL knew some clubs would not be happy with their proposals and would not agree.

 In the Real World of Challenged and Stressed Football Clubs

 The SPFL conflation of “do this or no money” meant things like.

The title would be handed to Celtic eventually if Premier Clubs then followed suit, despite Rangers having a mathematical, albeit statistically unlikely, chance of catching their rivals.

Hearts would be relegated despite having enough games to catch their nearest rivals and stay safe possibly by a play off (if they hadn’t already been cancelled).

Partick Thistle would be relegated because they failed to play one league game while playing another SPFL competition and also had a bunch of games left to save themselves.

Stranraer would go down despite being proven late season successful relegation fighters.

Brora (declared Highland Champions) and Kelty (current leaders in Lowland League, by a bawhair over Bonnyrigg) would have no play off with a likely game against Brechin or whoever was going to be bottom of the SPFL2 league.

And these are just the tip of what football chiefs I’ve spoken with have termed an ill-considered iceberg of matters arising from a hapless attempt to bring some certainty to the SPFL membership. 

72 Hours of Mayhem as Peter was Played Against Paul

People are interconnected today and from the moment clubs were pushed into a corner they discussed it together and in depth.
They all know who voted how why and when and have WhatsApp records too.

They all feel they could have done it better. I can’t try to sum up the sheer enormity and quantity of what has happened since Wednesday night but after I had penned a piece for SFM on Friday with suggestions that there was a civil war brewing that is just indeed what happened.

Every club effectively had a moral and economic choice and sometimes they were conflicting.

Friday was too close to call

I was in a few communication loops sitting at home on Friday afternoon as the vote unfolded.

I had been warned how close it was going to be and it was fascinating with first Inverness seen as the potentially key vote then an acceptance just before 5 that the whole thing had failed.
Then, 5.30ish, a different and quite hopeful view came out that after the vote had been seen to have failed that a 14, 14, 14, compromised was likely. Sense seemed to be prevailing. Then later and very late in the day a view that 1 vote (Dundee) had still to come and was in effect now the casting vote with all the power that casting votes carry.

Since then we have first seen Dundee castigated in the press and by unthinking media pundits as the villains for holding everything up.

(But that’s now old news).

Today (Sat 11th April), ICT Chief Executive Scott Gardiner was on BBC Sportsound alongside Richard Gordon, Michael Stewart Tom English, Kenny Miller and later on Willie Miller. It wasn’t a normal filler show in a period with no football.

It was truly amazing with some hard facts and honest insights. Uncommonly so. 
I should have been forewarned after one well know football finance insider had tweeted last night (Fri) ahead of the curve that “Dundee will have earned some concession and will now change their vote” or words to that effect.

Wow he was ahead of the tsunami that burst this afternoon. If you haven’t heard BBC Sportsound at 2 pm today then the first hour or so is unmissable.

Since then matters have gone on apace we have now heard that Douglas Park, interim Chairman of Rangers, wants the SPFL CEO Neil Doncaster and legal counsel Rod Mackenzie (Rangers links) to stand down ahead of an independent inquiry.

So less than a day after a yet to be agreed vote outcome and genuine internecine war is brewing and exploding with Mr Parks claiming he has damning information from a whistleblower.

In turn he has been asked by the current SPFL Chairman Murdoch MacLennan to substantiate his “very serious accusations”. .

So Who Scored the Own Goal and What Can We Do About It?

As of now I actually don’t care who did what and when.
Stuff has happened and in the fullness of time we can look at how it happened and what we can do to avoid it into the future.
Today we need to move forward and that needs leadership.

Here is a 5 point roadmap.

Ditch this divisive plan
It doesn’t matter how Dundee vote just consign all this crap to history.
Pay all the monies due
This week no strings and if that needs a vote then vote on that and that alone.
Agree what happens and how to end the season
Scottish Football Supporters Association say this must include no relegation and pyramid winners should be included. Don’t penalise anyone at this time.
And an interim plan would be fine of three leagues like nearly got agreed for 20 minutes on Friday.
Take time
End the season properly and fairly and plan for the future to reinvigorate our game for the greater good. The world has changed but we haven’t.
Involve all stakeholders especially the fans 
This should all be on the record and transparent. 

The Time To Stop The War is Now 

851 COMMENTS


  1. John Clark 27th April 2020 at 17:41

    I wonder, BD, has it ever happened that a football club went into Administration,

    -and the firm of Insolvency Practitioners appointed to handle that Administration managed to find a friend of the chap who owned that football club in distress

    and being  unable to arrange a CVA , were  happily able to sell  some of the principal assets of that football club quite cheaply to that friend, while they handed the club over to the Liquidators  

    – while that friend who did not have the will or resources just to pay all the creditors and buy the football club and ALL its assets (club A)  but who did have a (nudge, nudge) wee plan to set up a brand new football club (club B) and persuade the Football Authorities, by paying some of the monies owed to the Football Governance body by the liquidated Club A to agree that he was actually buying Club A with all its football history etc etc.

    Could that ever have happened?

    Could a football governance body ever admit a new club and then lie to all and sundry that it was not a new club but was actually the very same club as a club had been liquidated?

    Surely that could never have happened, and couldn't happen anywhere!

     

    while that very Governance was body was itself freshly admitting Club B as a new club into its Association

    ………………………………………………..

    Now there's a story for the BBC to get down and dirty with John.

    And something for clubs (with the greater good at heart) to ask for an independent investigation into.


  2. Of course, if said potless friend arrived 12 months earlier and took out out the present lender and his troublesome floating charge that would be just inordinately handy, if somewhat disappointing for whichever mug had provided him the funds to do so.


  3. easyJambo 27th April 2020 at 17:48

    '…If and when normal Court of Session proceedings resume in the cases we have been following.'

    """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    I've been missing the whole business of looking out for Court proceedings!

    It's an interesting development. I would imagine that the Press wouldn't have to pay, and the fact that the news item doesn't mention a charge is maybe a good sign that it will be a freephone number.

    I hope so, just for the interest of the experiment, even if there was nothing in the near future ( I haven't looked at the 'Roll' yet to see) relating to RIFC/TRFC or damages claims.

    Thanks for spotting that, and letting me know. 

     


  4. SPFL EGM on 12 May at 11am.

    TRFC, Hearts and Stranraer made the request.

    At least it’s not going to take the full 7 weeks that the SPFL Board had to schedule the meeting.

    Over to you TRFC. Publish the dossier now.


  5. easyJambo 27th April 2020 at 19:29

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

    The Rangers support are already planning the Court case in the event that under 75% support the resolution.

    Apparently there are feet on throats and they aren't stopping now.

    It will be interesting to see if they provide their evidence to the papers as well. No doubt someone will leak it whatever happens. 


  6. Lets say TRFC gets enough support for an independent inquiry.

    Who decides on the composition of, and who is appointed to the inquiry tribunal?

    Further to that, who sets the terms of reference and who determines the powers of the inquiry to call witnesses, view or take other evidence?  Would witnesses be compelled to give evidence?

    The SPFL?   

    So many questions, and that’s before we get to the answers.  


  7. I'm hearing that Alex Rae on SSB tonight has called for no points reduction for any club going into administration due to  the current situation . One way to solve the shortfall would be for Alex and his pals to pay back the loans to the same club* that issued them. So the agenda is very clear and the direction they are headed is baked in the cake. I would fully support Alex' call for any clubs who were solvent before this outbreak occurred , unfortunately the only club he is concerned for had a large going concern warning in their last audit. So we can all sit back now and await the evidence that they promised to display well in advance of the 12th of May . 


  8. So there was enough said by the requisitioners  to persuade the necessary number to ensure that the required majority was achieved. 

    What fun! Shall we see allegations of greater 'skullduggery' than, say, the 5-Way Agreement was? Or allegations of breaches of Financial Conduct rules more serious than 'concert partying', or of major breaches of the Companies Act 2006,or might there be allegations of bribery and corruption,or of threatening behavior, or of blackmail…………

    This could be a soap opera greater than the TRFC saga itself. 

    And the good thing about it is that there are no goodies! Every club in the SPFL is guilty of having accepted or at least tolerated the Big Lie. 

    And if the SPFL tears itself apart even before covid-19 wreaks any more damage-hell mend them.

    Our withers are unwrung.


  9. easyJambo 27th April 2020 at 20:03

    To be truly forensic , all media would have to be investigated , not just the clubs' or authorities' phones and laptops , but also the personal devices of all those involved . That's the way to establish the narrative and  time line . I'd be saying "no" if I was involved , though .


  10. Homunculus 27th April 2020 at 17:47
    Caught up i think.
    It was more the no relegation and it was now up to the board and not the clubs i was trying to point out in my haste.
    Your reply is correct and i believe “the source” was going down the rabbit hole.


  11. I would imagine that the evidence dossier would have to be in the hands of the clubs in pretty short order to allow them to do their own due diligence and properly investigate the claims' authenticity . Keeping the "evidence"  confidential will be close to impossible .


  12. The SPFL could hold votes on reconstruction, how to end the season and facilitate an independent inquiry, all at the same EGM.   

    Indeed, they might even wrap everything into a single resolution and vote, with a Board recommendation for each element of Yes, Now and No respectively, to either be accepted or rejected as a package. 

    All votes to be lodged by 5pm on 14 May, except for no votes which will be liable to change for the next 28 days.

    Is that how it will work? 


  13. So TRFC has forced through it’s initial request for an EGM on 12th May?

    So that’s over 2 weeks away.

    IF an inquiry is voted for, then how long would it take to agree the details – and then how long to actually complete?

    Ball park timeframe: end of June, at the very earliest?
    [Plus an appeal window and submission/review?]

     

    But this whole drama just doesn’t feel right, IMO.

    Mibbees other events will have caught up with TRFC before any inquiry… or even before the 12th of May?

    Fingers crossed.

     

    But, there is absolutely one thing that’s guaranteed, regardless of any inquiry going ahead.

    The Ibrox club has created further confusion, hostility and ill feeling across Scottish football which will linger – and be of no help whatsoever at this time of crisis.


  14. easyJambo 27th April 2020 at 20:03

    ‘…Who decides on the composition of, and who is appointed to the inquiry tribunal?………

    ……The SPFL?  ‘

    “””””””””””””””””””””””””

    I doubt if the SPFL -the very ‘accused’ -would be entitled to any more say in the composition of any Tribunal of Inquiry than TRFC.

    Essentially, a member of an organisation is alleging malfeasance on the part of a governance body in the matter of a ballot being conducted under the rules of the organisation. The member thinks the result of the ballot was in effect ‘rigged’ because the ballot was not carried out properly under the rules. The member seeks to have the vote annulled. 

    That to me suggests that it is a matter for the Courts.

    The aggrieved party should seek  Judicial Review of the Organisation’s actions and how the ballot was held: only the Courts have the powers necessary to compel witnesses and assess the factual evidence and decide whether the Organisation whether wittingly or unwittingly acted perversely and/or ultra vires. 

    I would, therefore, suggest to the SPFL general meeting to be held on 12 May that their only possible response to the TRFC requisitioners is that the meeting does not have the authority or power to determine in law whether the Board of the SPFL exceeded the legal powers and authority conferred on it by the Articles of Association; and that it falls to the aggrieved member to seek redress in the Courts.

    [I will charge no fee for providing that advice moved as I am by a desire for truth, peace, harmony , sporting integrity and goodwill at every level of Scottish Football]


  15. @C1

    Park has a simple choice , keep writing cheques or pull the plug . After putting in so much cash it will be a tough decision to say enough is enough . Even with a %age of wages deferred there will still be a hefty amount to stump up in a few days time . He is sitting at the table with heehaw and all the other players sense he is bluffing . A wise player would fold and accept the loss , does he really want to put more cash in the pot knowing he has nothing of substance to declare. The saying that "if you want to make a small fortune in football then start with a large one" has never rung truer.


  16. Cluster One 27th April 2020 at 21:06

    Nothing to do with Mr Park . He's chair of RIFC not TRFC . Who has the dossier ? 


  17. paddy malarkey 27th April 2020 at 22:17
    ………………………………… Park was the one calling for an independent inquiry, then it became rangers will produce evidence.
    ….
    Who has the dossier ? ….indeed?


  18. John Clark 27th April 2020 at 20:18

    'Our withers are unwrung'.

    John C, I'll see your Hamlet and raise you Julius Caeser:

    Integrity! Integrity! They're all out to get me!

    Stay safe.

     

     

     

     


  19. Of course the SPFL shouldn’t have anything to do with appointing a tribunal to investigate itself. You might think it would go up a level higher to the SFA to deal with this. But look what happened the last time the SFA tried to act like an appellant body. Lord Nimmo Smith!

    I reckon JC is correct, it would have to go to court. CAS?

    But to be honest I think the whole idea will be flung out at an EGM and we won’t get to this stage.


  20. paddy malarkey 27th April 2020 at 22:17

    '… Who has the dossier ? '

    """"""""""""""""""""""""""""

    The 2020 echo of 'who has the deeds?'    Naughty boy, pm!

    John Brown at least knew that there were 'deeds' that would show ownership of the stadium. 

    Who knows that there even is a 'dossier'? broken heart

     


  21. Smart money would still seem to sit with the SPFL having granted the meeting. There seems more chance of an unsatisfactory dossier putting the lid back on the box of one particularly troublesome requisitioner than there does of unheard evidence blowing the doors off everything.

     

    one question occurs.  In line with others querying who defines an enquiry boundaries, do Deloitte get paid for theirs and if so, will the sanctioning authority within the SPFL still be receiving his 100% bonus this year?


  22. stifflersmom 27th April 2020 at 23:10

    ‘.I’ll see your Hamlet and raise you Julius Caeser:..

    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

    Quite serendipitously, stifflersmom, I tuned in to a BBC radio 4 ‘Henry IV (part one)’ last night.

    And when I am reminded of Shakespeare , I am reminded of my 15/16/17 -year old self -, and the realisation that the guy knew a thing or two!

    What a wonderful play he could have written about the ‘saga’!

    And my favourite play was ‘Hamlet’. And because I liked it,  I found it relatively easy to learn and remember some of the quotable quotes.

    Your Caesar was, of course, stabbed to death by those he thought were his ‘friends’!

    Just as the SPFL is in danger of being stabbed by those it thought were friends enough to lie for in 2012.

    What goes round comes around, as Shakespeare may have said!

     


  23. easyJambo 27th April 2020 at 21:35

     

    The SPFL could hold votes on reconstruction, how to end the season and facilitate an independent inquiry, all at the same EGM.   

    Indeed, they might even wrap everything into a single resolution and vote, with a Board recommendation for each element of Yes, Now and No respectively, to either be accepted or rejected as a package. 

    All votes to be lodged by 5pm on 14 May, except for no votes which will be liable to change for the next 28 days.

    Is that how it will work? 

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

    No, it isn't.

    25% of the members have put forward a resolution and asked for a general meeting to vote on it.

    That is what is now going to happen. They will vote on that resolution.

    I hope it is accepted and the independent inquiry takes place, however if it doesn't I am willing to accept that as well.

    That's how it works as far as I am aware.

     


  24. Homunculus, I am confused.  3 members asked for an EGM.  In order to vote on a resolution for there to be an independent inquiry.  A resolution put forward by TRFC.

     

    Where is this 25% coming from?


  25. Brian from East Kilbride (seemed like an erudite guy) phoned into ‘the river radio football show’ earlier:

    Brian: What do Rangers (sic) actually want’? Gordon Duncan acknowledges that this is a good question (fair play)

    Brian asked the same question three times(!) as Alex Rae attempted to avoid the question.

    So then, he (the IBT  recipent of £569K Alex) answered; (but only on the firm insistence of Brian from EK):

    ‘Maybe they want honesty of a process’ Alex Rae (frontline staff and taxpayers wont argue with this Alex!)

    Brian: ‘Forget the process’… (which you’d have thought Alex EBT would agree with)!

    ‘Naw, naw, naw, is that not a legitimate  question to you?’…’maybe they (TRFC) want honesty and transparency and they (TRFC) don’t think that’s been done and if they fight their case on that surely that’s a reason in itself’?  Alex Rae (who’s asking the questions tonight Alex?)

    ‘..the word wrongdoing has to be investigated…if you’re suggesting the governing body is guilty of wrongdoing….then surely that in itself is justification for having a hearing to establish who did what’? Hugh Keevins (awww, Hugh! Really?)

    The word wrongdoing HAS to be investigated! Hugh (time for online confession) Keevins

    ‘…having spoken to a sports lawyer the other day….’ Alex Rae (eh, not for the first or last time Alex!

    ‘A certain level of wrongdoing..’ Gordon Duncan (what level of wrongdoing is acceptable Gordon)?

    The only comparable event HK could conjure up was the Jorge Cadete transfer 24 years ago. (yeah, we need to bring Celtic in to this discussion Shug! That’s how far we all need to go back to find precedent Hugh! Or, we could just rewind to Valentines Day 2012)!

    ‘Wrongdoing has to be investigated’! Gordon Duncan (Ok Gordy, let’s have a grown up discussion about wrongdoing!)

    ‘It’s not all about Rangers..’ Gordon Duncan (finally, we’re reading the same hymn sheet Gordy!)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


  26. Do we know for certain that TRFC has put forward a resolution to actually vote on?

    Common sense says that it should have done so; but, some may think TRFC and common sense are not well known to one another.

    My understanding is that notice of a resolution to be voted on at a general meeting must be given with 14 days clear notice. If I am correct, the resolution should have been notified to the clubs on Monday (yesterday). Was it? Does anyone know?

    It is perfectly possible to requisition a general meeting simply to discuss concerns with fellow shareholders and guage support – rather than commit to having a formal vote right now.

    If, following the general meeting, the requisitioners are confident that a vote will pass, they can request a second meeting for the vote or put forward a written resolution to force the company to hold an enquiry with such terms of reference as is necessary.

    If TRFC has a genuine concern around corporate governance, one would expect that it will want to bring matters to a conclusion as soon as possible.

    If this is the case, the 42 clubs will all have a copy of a resolution that details the terms of reference for the enquiry being proposed.

    But, what does it say if no such resolution has been submitted?

     

     


  27. John Clark 27th April 2020 at 23:54

    …What a wonderful play he could have written about the ‘saga’!

    Not wishing to question Mr JC… one could have mistaken 'saga' for 'Saggara'?! 

    I'll get my coat….

     

     


  28. J.C.  RE: Sheakspeare " the guy knew a thing or two"

     

    quite simply John, the greatest psychologist the world will ever see.

    HS


  29. stifflersmom 28th April 2020 at 01:09

    Apologies, I forgot to make my point! Despite Brian (from East Kilbride] asking the same question 3 times, not one of them answered it, unless answering his question with their question is an answer. 

    My point is, each time the pundits on the ’river radio show’ are asked a pertinent question by someone they feel uncomfortable with (by that I mean someone with more insight  and a modicum of footballing knowledge in comparison) they persistently dismiss them and refuse to address the question. You’d have thought by now that they’d have managed to neutralise guys like Brian (from EK) before they’d given him clearance to take the stage!

     

    Peace and good health to all around us. 


  30. stifflersmom 28th April 2020 at 01:09 and 02:55

    I also heard Alex Rage EBT deflect from the fairly reasonable question: “What do T’Rangers actually want?”

    Answer came there none but Alex Rage EBT was clear he was a man mighty concerned about integrity, honesty and transparency. Good to hear in these taxing times. Mr Rage also opined that Clubs entering Administration should not suffer points deductions. Good to hear his concern when he is obviously not referring to his own team of choice as the Most Successful Wonderful Club In The Cosmos wouldn’t have to worry about such piffling details. The Company might have a worry or three but not the Club. After all this the caller still didn’t get a simple straight answer to a simple straight question.

    I have to admit I was slightly distracted because at one point I was sure Hugh Keevins expressed his opinion on League Reconstruction in a way I had just convinced myself I must have misheard as it was a) so stupid and b) no-one in the studio commented on it. Moments later I had confirmation my hearing was fine when the Bold Shug repeated his presumably prepared line, which must have sounded good in his head; a warning that “We were in danger of putting the horse before the cart.” Wise words, Shug. That’s the last place you want to put the horse. Especially if you don’t want to get anywhere.

    Almost up there with another Master Wordsmith, James Traynor, who once observed on a BBC Radio Scotland show that he knew that in relation to a Managerial vacancy a certain party was “going to throw his ring into the hat”.

    Professional word users.

    How bad can the Amateurs be?

    Better than the Professionals it would appear.


  31. In my humble opinion, with no inside knowledge at all, some things are now beginning to line up, and the comment by Mr Alex Rae last night is what is swinging it for me. An insolvency event is on its way at Ibrox and the rabble rousing is to ensure when it happens there is no points deduction. Such an event would of course be blamed by Rangers and the media on the Covid-19 crisis, when it is a matter of fact they needed several millions to see out the season in any case, as documented in their audited accounts. However, wouldn't safety in numbers be required, i.e more than one club will have to suffer such an event for a no points deduction outcome?

    I will state again that I am of the firm belief that if Rangers had truly damning evidence, it would already have been released via the media. Most great genuine scandals in life are played out in the media, yet in this case the media have nothing to go on, other than the many Rangers fans among them keeping the rabble rousing bubbling up with no evidence to back it. 

    Given their quest for honesty and transparency, I wonder how the media would react if they were provided with slam dunk evidence that a club should not have been awarded a European licence in 2011? crying


  32. With all the Shakespeare appearing on the site I found myself back at school again. 

    Thou art a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood”  King Lear Act II Scene IV

    “Hoist with his own petard” Hamlet Act III Scene IV

    Not only was Shakespeare a clever playwright but he could rival Nostradamus in prescience.

     

     

     


  33. upthehoops 28th April 2020 at 07:02 

           In my humble opinion, with no inside knowledge at all, some things are now beginning to line up, and the comment by Mr Alex Rae last night is what is swinging it for me. An insolvency event is on its way at Ibrox and the rabble rousing is to ensure when it happens there is no points deduction.

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

          UTH, I am no accountant, and it would take somebody with more knowledge of accounting than I, but a points deduction may not be a concern if the company that owns a company that runs a club is liquidated, rather than the company that runs the club….(Which is merely an asset and can be "auctioned" off, by a friendly administrator). Much would depend on which company now holds the debt. A wee peek at the accounts would be handy. 

        Funnily enough, the company that runs the club, may be in for a couple of million windfall in a few weeks.,,,,,,,But that's not official.

    https://companycheck.co.uk/company/SC437060/RANGERS-INTERNATIONAL-FOOTBALL-CLUB-PLC/companies-house-data


  34. Looks like the SPFL has util 25 May to advise UEFA of a restart date or whether the season is terminated.

    Extract from a UEFA document in today's Times.

    Image


  35. I’m slightly bemused that the consensus view on here remains that the contentious actions of the SPFL board surrounding the recent vote barely registers a raised eyebrow amongst posters, far less condemnation, and that it is somehow considered an outrage that the AGM requisitioners should dare to try to hold the board to account for what at face value appears to have been deliberate deception allied to gerrymandering. I am especially surprised considering this forum’s noble intention of holding our football authorities accountable to the fans.

    I recognise that the SPFL is not a governance body, rather it is a trade organisation whose prime motivation relates to the financial well-being of its members.

    I also recognise that ‘the requisitioners’ have a vested interest in establishing an independent inquiry into the vote – in Hearts and Stranraer’s case, the avoidance of relegation – in Rangers’* case, an attempt to stop, or at least be seen to attempt to stop, Celtic’s nine in a row.

    However, so too do the other 39 clubs have their own vested interests, including Celtic, and I defy anyone to say that if the boot was on the other foot they’d be entirely happy and supportive of a process carried out by one of our football authorities that was reeking of controversy and a stitch-up.

    The questionable motives behind the requisitioners' call for an inquiry don't alter the fact that the SPFL showed an appalling disregard for ethics, morals and principles of fairness that would normally have this forum in uproar – if it negatively affected the majority demographic.

    Perhaps, as others have rightly pointed out, nothing illegal took place, but as far as we know nothing illegal took place in 2012, yet eight years later we still visit SFM daily to record our displeasure at those events.

    Can I remind you of just three of the matters that to my mind justify an independent inquiry on their own, regardless of whether or not Rangers* hold further evidence of wrong-doing?

    The decision to announce the result of an incomplete vote before all votes had been received – it is inescapable that they would only do that to influence the outcome and pressurise those whose votes were awaited;

    The decision to disregard the vote submitted by Dundee and allow them to vote a second time – again, it is patently obvious by their u-turn that undue pressure was applied on Dundee to change their decisive vote;

    The pressure applied on other clubs, tantamount to bullying according to some, by SPFL executives during the voting process, including the disclosure to clubs of how other member clubs had voted.


  36. An interesting snippet picked up from a comment on JJs site this morning (apologies if already stated here and I missed it).  That dundee secretary Eric Drysdale currently close to the action of the Friday night votegate crisis was one of the three panel members of Mr McCoist’s “who are these people“ dog whistles.

    Apologies if i am, as is likely, behind the curve here.

    Can someone quickly remind me, what it was the three man (person?) panel was voting on that so attracted his cheeky chap pie ire.


  37. Highlander,  In my own defence I stated on here several times that I couldn’t care less for what reason nor by whom if any of the suits at Hampden are brought to rights and get their comeuppance I would be fine with that.  I mentioned Doncaster especially by name.

    I think the underwhelming reaction to this bun fight on SFM is because by comparison, it is small scale with the corruption that has gone on in the past.

     

    You mention a lack of illegality?  The EBT payments went to the Supreme Court and were deemed to be unlawful.  Why have the suits at Hampden not stripped these titles?  

    The award of European football to Rangers in 2011 was FRAUD!

    As you know there is much more.  

    This current episode is small scale even if the reasons you give are perfectly worth looking into.

    It’s only top of the back pages because of who the main complainer is.


  38. Highlander,

    i understand your concern.  But in my own defence the issue around the vote smells badly.  But my perception is it is not as in your face, outright, fully evidenced beyond all probability, wrong as some other issues, equally ignored, have been.

    Calling the vote was wrong, period, but as others have said it was the question asked, not the result, where the principle fault lay.  I’m also not entirely clear what set Dundee’s vote apart from the other abstainers.  The ability to change a no to a yes is, I understand, acceptable in the 28 days allowed (which of course again calls into question the SPFLs unseemly readiness to call it as failed).

    Similarly ref your second point it may well be “patently obvious” that pressure was brought to bear, but “patently obvious” simply isn’t enough I’m afraid.  

    And ref your third point – yes the formulation of the vote has subsequently been shown to be wrong.  It is possible that there were ways to distribute some/all of the cash without calling the leagues first and I repeat my point of what seems like weeks ago that there was equally nothing to stop them splitting the issues of champions and relegation contenders just as they did leagues 1 from 2,3 and 4.  It was complicated for sure, inevitably led to the reconstruction discussion but that’s equally no excuse to deliberately conflate the two issues and simply hope no-one noticed.  

    Returning to the cash disbursement everyone seems to agree that the clubs were told pre vote that it was the way outlined in the vote or no way.  The accuracy of that is therefore their concern.  Graeme Tatters and (sorry Stenny lad forgotton his name – Ian?) knew that on Saturday but that noticeably wasn’t their focus of concern.  It doesn’t mean to say they weren’t concerned. It was to say, and Graeme said it several times, that there were other priorities to be considered first.  The example they gave in response to the calling the leagues question Ie call it now or extend playing was, “(paraphrase) well on the 1st July I’ve no contracted players so it’s a bit of a moot point is it not.”

    I can only echo what the show correspondents said in response.  “…and that’s where you need true leadership.”

    so, yes I’m concerned, I’m routinely suspicious anyway and I’m watching on with dismay that we continue to pay handsomely for such ineptitude.  But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m sitting back watching all of them squirming in their own stench at the moment.  And I’d equally be lying to say that relative to my passion for the game pre 2011 that I’m struggling to say I even care any more.


  39. jimbo 28th April 2020 at 11:58

    You mention a lack of illegality?  The EBT payments went to the Supreme Court and were deemed to be unlawful.  Why have the suits at Hampden not stripped these titles?  

    The award of European football to Rangers in 2011 was FRAUD

    ———————————————————–

    Jimbo – I agree with you wholeheartedly that the suits should've stripped titles over illegal EBTs, but the football authorities failure to do so doesn't make their inaction illegal.

    Perhaps I wasn't clear enough but I meant that the football authorities hadn't acted illegally (as far as we know), not that Rangers hadn't.

    As for the 2011 UEFA licence issue constituting fraud, to my mind that is still only an opinion at this stage rather than an incontrovertible fact and I appreciate the SFA is deliberately stalling on it likely because of its own culpability.

    I stand by the rest of what I said regardless of the inevitable barrage of thumbs down, on the basis that a soundly based complaint should be judged on the veracity of that complaint rather than who made it.


  40. Smugas 28th April 2020 at 12:12

    —————————–

    I can't argue with most of that – I was simply pointing out that there would be uproar on here if the SPFL board had bludgeoned its way to its desired outcome in the manner it did if the vote had instead negatively affected Celtic.


  41. Highlander 

    What I believe your earlier post highlights is the problem caused by having the simple thumbs-up and thumbs-down way of responding to comments.

    When multiple points are raised, I would suggest, it is sometimes hard to decide which way to go. 

     


  42. Highlander 28th April 2020 at 11:25
    Perhaps, as others have rightly pointed out, nothing illegal took place, but as far as we know nothing illegal took place in 2012, yet eight years later we still visit SFM daily to record our displeasure at those events.
    ……………..
    If nothing illegal took place in 2012? there would be no need for a secret 5 way agreement, and if there was no secret 5 way agreement, eight years later we would not have to visit SFM daily.


  43. Highlander 28th April 2020 at 11:25

    15  24

    I’m slightly bemused that the consensus view on here remains that the contentious actions of the SPFL board surrounding the recent vote barely registers a raised eyebrow amongst posters, far less condemnation, and that it is somehow considered an outrage that the AGM requisitioners should dare to try to hold the board to account for what at face value appears to have been deliberate deception allied to gerrymandering. I am especially surprised considering this forum’s noble intention of holding our football authorities accountable to the fans.

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

    The thumbs up/down count will confirm you belief.

    Posters on SFM are every bit as tribal when it comes to their own clubs and their closest rivals. 


  44. An interesting development today re the new West of Scotland Football League at tier 6 in the pyramid.

    The SFA has been in touch with the Lowland League, who have in turn informed the clubs of the following change to what was originally planned, i.e. for all clubs to participate in Tier 6 conferences next seasons.

    Image

    Going by tweets from people in the know, the SFA has been lobbied by just two clubs, Auchinleck and Pollok to retain the former West Region Super League club set up, despite the WOSFL being a brand new league.

    So it seems that the influence of the two biggest clubs in a new league setup has much the same effect as that in the SPFL.

    It is not clear who will make up the “17 team” top division, although most expect it to be this season’s 16 clubs from the WR Super league plus Bonnyton Thistle who is already at Tier 6 in the SOSFL. That being the case, then there is no “promotion” in the junior ranks, despite them having called the leagues and awarded third place Auchinleck the title on a PPG basis, although they still had 14 games to play.

    It’s not the best start for the WOSFL when the SFA rides roughshod over agreements made between the LL and the 67 clubs who applied.


  45. The pressure applied on other clubs, tantamount to bullying according to some, by SPFL executives during the voting process, including the disclosure to clubs of how other member clubs had voted.
    ………….
    I have read elsewhere that a few clubs were late, by the deadline of 5 o’clock, one was the ibrox club, also have most clubs not came out and stated there was no bulling? maybe if there was bulling? it was to get their vote in by 5pm
    …………
    EDIT.
    I’m slightly bemused that the consensus view on here remains that the contentious actions of the SPFL board surrounding the recent vote barely registers a raised eyebrow
    ……….
    I myself stated who knew the rabid dog would come back to bite them,serves them right. or something to that effect.


  46. With all these references to the Bard,

    I just wonder what Billy Shakespeare would have written about the latest, Machiavellian manoeuvring in Scottish football…?  indecision

    And this latest ‘demand’ by TRFC for a vote to have an SPFL investigation could be construed as a ‘vote of no confidence’ in the SPFL management…

    whilst their very own MD, Stewart Robertson STILL remains on the SPFL Board.

    cheeky


  47. Avataradam812 28th April 2020 at 12:56

    An excellent point, Adam, and one of the reasons I choose never to give a thumb-down without having the decency to respond to the post I am thumb-downing. I am of the opinion, though clearly don't know it as fact, that a lot of thumb-downs are given when the point is not liked rather than that it holds, in the thumb-downer's opinion, no merit, and so they are unable to make a challenge that, itself, holds merit, or shows the original post to be wrong or just balls.

    I personally like the TU/TD facility as it gives the poster an idea whether or not his post makes sense and/or is appreciated as holding merit by the blog. It has a negative effect, though, if TDs are not followed by a challenge/response and shows the blog up to be, at best, rather petty.


  48. Smugas 28th April 2020 at 11:38
    Can someone quickly remind me, what it was the three man (person?) panel was voting on that so attracted his cheeky chap pie ire.
    ……………
    McCoist faces three counts of breaching disciplinary rules for calling into question the independence of the judicial panel that sat in April to hear a case against Rangers and their former owner Craig Whyte.

    The Light Blues manager is also charged with “not acting in the best interests of Association Football” by calling for the panel members to be named in public.

    Rangers were hit with a 12-month signing embargo and fined £160,000 after the hearing into the club’s financial affairs. Speaking the day after the verdict was delivered, McCoist told Rangers TV: “I found out the decision last night and I was shocked and absolutely appalled by the way this supposedly independent judicial panel was coming down on us in this form.

    “Who are these people? I want to know who these people are.
    ……………….
    https://twitter.com/ClusterOne2/status/1255114818614419456/photo/1
    ……..
    Death threats because of McCoists actions.
    sorry for late reply to your question.


  49. Smugas 28th April 2020 at 12:12

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

    I'm very much of a similar mind to you on all of this. Been highly scunnered with the lot of them for some time.

    Scottish Football needs a reset.


  50. Smugas 28th April 2020 at 11:38
    …….
    Forgot to add.
    The club succeeded in their application for a judicial review at the Court of Session in Edinburgh as Lord Glennie backed their assertion that a Scottish Football Association judicial panel had exceeded its powers in administering the ban on registering players.

    However, he proposed that the decision be referred back to an SFA appeal tribunal, which had upheld the decision that a transfer ban was appropriate punishment for a failure to pay more than £13million in tax last season.

    The explicit punishments stated in the SFA’s rule 66 are a maximum £100,000 fine, suspension or expulsion from participation in the game, ejection from the Scottish Cup or termination of membership.

    The independent three-man SFA disciplinary panel had considered ending Rangers’ membership, saying they viewed the offence second only to match-fixing in terms of seriousness, but decided a transfer ban was more appropriate
    Having already administered the maximum fine, an SFA appeal would therefore only be entitled to throw them out of the Scottish Cup for a spell or else stop the club playing football altogether in Scotland.
    …………
    And after a lot of sabar rattling and noise (sound familiar?)
    They agreed to the signing ban, and you can see why.
    …………
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/9298583/Rangers-risk-fresh-sanctions-after-wnning-transfer-embargo-ruling.html


  51. From President Macron today

    “La saison de football ne pourra pas reprendre. Les grandes manifestations sportives et culturelles ne pourront se tenir avant le mois de septembre.”

    …… or 

    “The football season cannot resume. The major sporting and cultural events cannot be held before September. ”

    That might cause a bit of a rethink by UEFA when one of their big 5 leagues is forced to abandon their plans to complete their leagues during the summer.


  52. The latest SPFL statement (or is it the start of the next round of lobbying)

    Tuesday, 28 April 2020
    Open Letter To All 42 SPFL Clubs

    Dear Colleagues,

    Following the SPFL, directors written resolution, which was passed with a large majority of SPFL clubs, we now need reconciliation and contrition from all parties if we are to safeguard the future of Scottish football.

    We face huge challenges to ensure we can get the new season up and running on target and safely for all involved, and it is vital that all stakeholders collaborate and engage meaningfully with the Joint Response Group’s task force working groups, pooling our knowledge, experience and resources for the greater good.

    As SPFL directors, we have volunteered our time freely, in uniquely difficult and challenging circumstances and have participated on a fully-functional SPFL Board, which we believe has operated in an entirely fair and even-handed manner. We have each put our own self-interests behind us, to do what is best for Scottish football but have had to endure our professionalism and integrity as well as our compliance with our legal duties to the Company being openly called into question in recent weeks.

    All of the SPFL Board meetings have been conducted in a fair and even manner, with everyone being able to voice their opinion and fully digest the many and varied issues that we have had to consider in forming our decision making.

    In an attempt to reduce its own costs, ultimately for the benefit of all 42-member clubs, the SPFL furloughed several staff and a number of the executives voluntarily took salary cuts. As a result, only an executive team of five remain to administer and manage the on-going business of the organisation as well as planning for the end of the current Season and for Season 2020/21. Their workload has been extremely onerous, managing a huge number of additional tasks – liaising with the SFA, medical officers, the Government, UEFA, other league bodies, our commercial partners and clubs.

    As a consequence, has everything been done perfectly and has it always been fully communicated? Of course it has not, and this is a point we have already raised to ensure the organisation is future- proofed for subsequent boards after we stand down. Indeed, at our request, the SPFL Chairman will be issuing a comprehensive Q&A document within the week, addressing many of the claims or questions that have been put into the public domain. We trust that this will give you, the members whom we have been appointed to represent, the same high level of comfort each of us has in the actions of the SPFL executive team.

    We are unaware of any impropriety or any disregard for appropriate qualities of corporate governance. If Rangers Football Club has a dossier of evidence which shows anything to the contrary, then we would repeat the call for it to be brought forward immediately, because we, as club representative directors, have a clear duty to interrogate any allegations of misconduct or the like which it contains.

    The SPFL Board is dealing with a fast-moving set of circumstances, with a skeleton staff trying hard to prioritise matters. It’s an unenviable job, and we are sure the many fair-minded people in Scottish football fully understand this.

    All of the executive team retain our full support and admiration. Further recrimination and division will only decrease our chances of playing football matches in Scotland any time soon. The players, fans and officials deserve our best collective efforts. At a time when thousands of people in our communities are dying of Covid-19, Scottish football needs to reflect and consider how this looks to the outside world.

    In keeping with SPFL Rules, we will now have a general meeting on 12 May, when clubs will have the chance to either support or reject the resolution requisitioned by Heart of Midlothian, Rangers and Stranraer. We live in a democracy and the SPFL Articles are clear – if 75% of the clubs in the Premiership, as well as 75% of the clubs in the Championship and 75% of the clubs in Leagues One and Two vote that we should spend our executives‘ time on matters other than Seasons 2019/20 & 2020/21, and clubs’ money on lawyers’ fees, then we will. 

    But if the resolution fails to gain the support of enough Members and the requisitioners nonetheless continue on their current course, the cost to our game will be incalculable.

    Yours faithfully,

    Alan Burrows, Motherwell FC
    Les Gray, Hamilton Academical FC Ewen Cameron, Alloa Athletic FC
    Ross McArthur, Dunfermline Athletic FC Ken Ferguson, Brechin City FC
    Peter Davidson, Montrose FC


  53. Not the best statement in the circumstances.

    We are doing the best we can, while although we admit some failings, everyone should just get together and stop the recriminations.

    Aye right.


  54. Last paragraph is the most enlightening.

    Im also intrigued if they thought their inaction in 2012 was “incalculable.” 

    Sorry EJ – To add for “Requisitioners” I read Rangers* in so far as Anne Budge has certainly said publicly that she wasn’t personally aware of impropriety, but was happy to support a club who genuinely felt they did. I therefore assume – which is always dangerous – that if the members vote naw that she will not “pursue her present course.” I cant speak for Stranraer of course!  


  55. Come to think about it,

    perhaps the Internet Bampots are being too harsh on the SFA, the SPFL and the 42 senior clubs, with our unrealistic expectations?

    Back in 2012 everybody and their dug saw how they all totally mismanaged an, arguably, self-inflicted crisis WRT the collapse of Rangers.

    Today we have an externally created crisis for them to manage.  

    Just like in 2012, the Ibrox club is not being helpful whatsoever.

    …and just like in 2012, nobody at Hampden or the clubs seems particularly interested in what the paying punters want…

    It does make you wonder how the professional game has survived this long in Scotland – despite the governing bodies.


  56. Smugas 28th April 2020 at 16:06

    Last paragraph is the most enlightening.

    Im also intrigued if they thought their inaction in 2012 was “incalculable.” 

    Sorry EJ – To add for “Requisitioners” I read Rangers* in so far as Anne Budge has certainly said publicly that she wasn’t personally aware of impropriety, but was happy to support a club who genuinely felt they did. I therefore assume – which is always dangerous – that if the members vote naw that she will not “pursue her present course.” I cant speak for Stranraer of course! 

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

    Just to correct the highlighted bit. She said that she wasn't personally aware of "bullying".  She did however believe that there were issues with, or abuse of, process that merited further investigation.


  57. Every day we get closer to an unnecessary civil war.

    Every day we see the ugly side of football politics, the hypocrisy and the very short memories people in football and the various hangers-on including the media have.

    I’m minded of two songs that sum it up.

    “It ain’t what you do but the way that you do it” by Sy Oliver and James Trummy Young 

    and

    “The lunatics have taken over the asylum” by Fun Boy Three.

     

    And to sign off one song by Sam Cooke bearing hope.

    “It’s been a long, a long time coming
    But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will”

     

    But as I sing the verse in my head I just don’t know whether to believe our clubs either really want change or are capable.

     

     

     


  58. Another Joint Response group statement just issued. Lots of people on lots of committees.

    https://www.scottishfa.co.uk/news/coronavirus-joint-response-group-update-28-april/?rid=13929

    Rod Petrie :  “We will continue to adhere to the government advice but equally we have an obligation to undertake the necessary preparatory work to ensure the national game is ready to return at the appropriate time.

    “We are also mindful of the crucial role football can play as the national sport during the recovery period and have noted the proposed return of the Premier League in England by the Department of Culture Media and Sport in England ‘to raise the spirit of the nation’.


  59. easyJambo 28th April 2020 at 15:47
    …………
    No Stewart Robertson signature on that letter.
    The ibrox club did state that they would show their evidence well in advance of an EGM. That will be any time in the next week to be well in advance.


  60. Easyjambo @ 15.47 and CO @ 17.13

    Thanks for the posts. May I make an admittedly pedantic, but crucial, point about the following extract from the letter?:-

    “… clubs will have a chance to either support or reject the resolution requisition from Heart of Midlothian, Rangers and Stranraer”

    I might be wrong in my assumption that there is no Rangers (admittedly, leaving the SEVCO thingy aside, there has been a The Rangers since 1912). Did the liquidation, and subsequent shenanigans with  5WA not happen? Or are they feart to mention it?

    Next whinge (my favourite word of the day so far – thanks Charlie), and I accept I might just be having an off day here, but is Stuart Robertson not inevitably conflicted by dual Directorship in this whole charade? Is he basically looking to ‘shaft’ an organisation he is part of (by extension of SEVCO’s anti Doncaster, McKenzie and McLennan campaign)

    Finally, it would appear to me that UEFA have just been ‘telt aff’ by Macron (no football in France till September?). Lives come first, and if they, in their greed, don’t get that, then they really are living in  ‘cloud cuckoo land’. They will just have to accept that the politicians and health experts will ultimately decide and , after all:-

    ”A Smith and Wesson beats a full house ” (can’t recall who said that!).

     


  61. bect67 28th April 2020 at 17:20

    ”A Smith and Wesson beats a full house ” (can’t recall who said that!).

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

    It's attributed to a Yorkshire born riverboat gambler from the mid 19th century called William "Canada Bill" Jones. He emigrated to Canada in search of a fortune which he made, and lost, working on boats in the USA.

    Among his attributed quotes are:

    • "It's immoral to let a sucker keep his money"
    • "A Smith and Wesson beats four aces"
    • "No, son, you lose. 'Cause this is a Smith & Wesson I'm holdin' here."
    • "Nobody ever went bowlegged carrying away the money they won from me."
    • "Tie? You want me to wear a tie?"
    • "Yeah, but it's the only game in town!" 

     


  62. StevieBC28th April 2020 at 13:25

     

    14

     

    1

     

    Rate This

     

    StevieBC 13.25

    With all these references to the Bard

    The currently very appropriate 

    “ a plague on both their houses” seems apt. 

     


  63. I don't suppose it would be worth even trying to find whether there's a freephone number!

    "Court of Session Rolls

    Friday 1st May

    Preliminary Hearing

    CA9/20 David Whitehouse v the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland

     

    CA10/20 Paul Clark v the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland &c   "

     


  64. John Clark 28th April 2020 at 18:56

    I don’t suppose it would be worth even trying to find whether there’s a freephone number!

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

    Probably not.

    I note that new case numbers have been allocated.  I don’t know why that would be required.

    I would’t imagine that there will be anything of great interest in the cases until the proof hearing is scheduled.


  65. Jingso.Jimsie 28th April 2020 at 19:34
    TRFC is desperate to crash the bus & to do it now. Why? That’s the question for me. What’s so rank-rotten at Ibrox that someone thinks the way out from under is to attempt to destroy the SPFL & its board?
    ………….
    Maybe they were told to do one in their application for a european licence, it’s the only thing i can come up with, the second placed prize money was never going to keep the lights on,so why the hissy fit? they were never going to win the league, so why the hissy fit?
    They have went in some mood about something.


  66. Tom English demanding that Murdoch Maclennan puts himself in front of a group of journalists. Presumably so they can all ask him if he’s a Celtic fan who can’t stand Rangers. There is no way Maclennan would be given a fair hearing. Their mind is made up.

Comments are closed.