Sweet Little Lies

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Tell me all your sweet, sweet little lies
All about the dark places you hide
Tell me all your problems, make them mine
Tell me all your sweet, sweet little lies

The stridency of Scottish journalist/pundits, particularly coming from those on the BBC Sportsound platform from where they cry out for an investigation into what took place behind the scenes before and after the SPFL put forward a resolution to SPFL clubs, subsequently accepted by the majority, that allowed SPFL to pay out needed prize money to sides below the Premier level is, to quote an old saying, “the talk of the steamie”.

Whilst those cries are ostensibly in support of a demand led by The Rangers FC for a need to change the governance at the SPFL, it is not clear if they mean the way the SPFL conduct business or the way individuals inside the SPFL go about the conduct of that business.

During on-air interviews, questions are being put to clubs about the degree of confidence they have in individuals rather than the processes, systems and structures. This suggests it is individuals who are being placed under scrutiny, and not the dysfunctional processes and structures themselves. A pity, since there is little doubt the governance is dysfunctional.

SFM has long been asking questions about the system and processes of governance and in fact tried to elicit the help of a number of journalists (in 2014) after information which had not been made available to the then SPFL lawyers Harper MacLeod during or after the LNS inquiry had surfaced.

Information that had it been made available would have changed the charges of Old Rangers’ mis-registration of players contracts, and to the more recent and unresolved matter of their failing to act in good faith to fellow club members (which the SFA Compliance Officer made in June 2018 in respect of non-compliance with UEFA FFP regulations relating to tax overdue in 2011).

Following the last Celtic AGM a detailed independent investigation by an accountant was provided to Celtic who passed it to the SFA where the matter has been overtaken by world events but not forgotten. That report can be read here.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1NeNzADsUAXkcFQ6QtehK5QqNsFa6he8V

It only adds to the mountain of evidence on https://www.res12.uk that suggests the need for reform of both governance bodies, their structures, systems and process.

Instead the media have given us a narrow head hunt to remove individuals for reasons that can only be guessed. This from individuals in the media whose motivations are as questionable now as they were in 2014, when they and their organisations ignored stronger evidence of greater wrong doing than has so far been presented by those currently advocating change.

The current media clamour for heads on a plate carries with it more than a whiff of hypocrisy.

During week commencing 22 September 2014, some volunteer SFM readers posted a bundle of documents that had surfaced to a number of journalists. SFM had previously sent these documents to Harper MacLeod, the then SPL lawyers. These were important documents pertinent to Lord Nimmo Smith’s inquiry into Rangers use of EBTs, documents which had not been made available to Harper MacLeod by Rangers Administrators Duff and Phelps despite being requested in March 2012 as part of the commissioning of LNS.

Earlier SFM blogs provide the details of communications with Harper MacLeod and can be read from the same link(s) provided to 12 Scottish media journalists in the draft below.

Some of the addresses may have received more than one copy but apart from one for whom only an e mail address was known, they should have received at least one hard copy of what Harper MacLeod/SPFL had been provided with which the latter passed to the SFA Compliance Officer in September 2014 according to their last reply to SFM. It is unlikely none were received by the organisations they were addressed to.

The draft to the journalist which the volunteers were at liberty to amend said:

I am a reader of The Scottish Football Monitor web site and attach for your information a set of documents that Duff and Phelps, acting as Rangers Administrators in April 2012, failed to provide to the then Scottish Premier League solicitors Harper MacLeod, who were charged with gathering evidence to investigate the matter of incorrect player registrations from July 1998 involving concealed side letters and employee benefit trusts by Rangers FC as defined in the eventual Lord Nimmo Smith Commission.

The failure to supply the requested information in the form of the attached documents as clearly instructed resulted in incorrect terms of reference being drawn up by Harper Macleod and a consequent serious error of judgement by Lords Nimmo Smith in his Decision as regards sporting advantage.

The information in the attached was provided to Harper MacLeod and the SPL Board in Feb 2014 and it was pointed out in subsequent correspondence that SFA President Campbell Ogilvie had failed to make a distinction in his testimony to Lord Nimmo Smith between the already confirmed as irregular Discount Option Scheme EBTs paid to Craig Moore, Tor Andre Flo and Ronald De Boer from 1999 to 2002/03 under Rangers Employee Benefit Trust (REBT) and the later loan EBTsfrom 2002/03 onwards under the Murray Group Management Remuneration Trust (MGMRT), having initiated the first DOS EBT to Craig Moore (as shown in the attached) and being a beneficiary of a MGMRT EBT as widely reported in national press in March 2012 at the time investigations commenced.
The complete narrative was set out in a series of blogs on The Scottish Football Monitor Web Site that are accessible from

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6uWzxhblAt9dnVHSl9OU3RoWm8/view?usp=sharing
(Edit: The links to the original SFM blogs were listed but some have been lost but original sources have been uploaded to Google Drive accessible from the above link)

However in spite of the correspondence sent to Harper MacLeod, there has been no response from them or the SPFL, save their answer to the original letter. (Edit: There was subsequent correspondence with Harper Macleod after the package and this letter was sent to the journalists which can be read from the above index to the original blogs.)

These points suggests that the SPFL, Harper MacLeod and Lord Nimmo Smith were misled by Duff and Phelps failure to supply the attached documents as instructed as well as Campbell Ogilvie’s failure to correct Lord Nimmo Smiths decision to treat all EBTs as “regular” when the DOS EBTs are not, as the attached evidence clearly demonstrates.

You are one of a number of journalists to whom this letter and attachments is addressed either electronically or hard copy. We are hoping that some journalists will prove themselves worthy of the challenge and investigate the story, even if only to refute it and stop suspicion of a cover up.

A copy of this letter and responses from addressees (or failures) will be published on The Scottish Football Monitor web site for the Scottish football supporting public to note. The e mail address for your reply is press@sfm.scot and we hope that you will investigate what appears to have been the corruption of the very process set up to establish the truth or you will explain why you cannot.
Yours in Sport

Note: The letter above was drafted and distributed with the documentation before a reply from Harper MacLeod was received, but as the reply did not address the issue of the nature of the irregular DOS EBTs, the request to journalists to investigate was even more valid.
The following were the journalists to whom documentation was posted/delivered.

Mr Richard Gordon
Mr Richard Wilson
Mr Tom English all at the BBC.

Mr Grant Russell
Mr Peter A Smith. At STV

Mr Andrew Rennie Daily Record Sports Editor

Mr Paul Hutcheon
Mr Graham Speirs
Mr Gerry Braiden at The Herald

Mr Mathew Lindsay Evening Times (belatedly)

Mr Gerry McCulloch Radio Clyde

Ms Jane Hamilton Freelance ex-Sun Sunday Mail (by e mail)

Only three individuals showed an interest but it is inconceivable to think that the media outlets they worked for were ignorant of the information provided or that the Scottish media sports departments are unaware of the narrative and its implications which were subsequently picked up by The Offshore Game but drew no refuting comments with the exception of Tom English.

He opined that the TOG report was ‘flawed’ although he did not specify how he came to that conclusion.

Darren Cooney of the Daily Record did take an interest in November 2015 when he met an SFM representative, who explained the case then sent him a summary to give to his editor but The Daily Record did not publish the story nor give any reason why they didn’t.

Grant Russell was with STV at the time and a meeting with him was arranged with a fellow SFM contributor but he failed to show up.
He subsequently did show an interest when The Court of Session ruled the Big Tax Case unlawful in July 2017, when he was provided with the a note of the consequences for the LNS Commission. However Grant moved jobs to join Motherwell in late October 2017.

Why bring all this his up now?
Because currently, the existence of texts and e-mails and unsubstantiated claims of skullduggery appear to have energised a media (and BBC Sports Department in particular) that had ‘no appetite’ to investigate actual evidence presented to them in 2014. There seems to be little doubt that an agenda is being followed, but as the preceeding paragraphs demonstrate, it casts doubt that their motivation is reform of the governance of Scottish football, and raises a suspicion that replacement of individuals (whose steerage of the good ship Scottish Football into the RFC iceberg was deemed adequate a decade ago) is what is important. A meaningless powerplay. No more no less.

One may jump to the conclusion that the foregoing is a defence of the individuals at the centre of this controversy, and that it defends the SPFL position in respect of the requisitioners review of governance. That would be the wrong conclusion. The point is that a wide-ranging review of the SFA/SPFL governance is way overdue.

The time window covered by any review should the very least cover the tenure of those accused of malfeasance and mis-governance. The media, and the requisitioners are cherry-picking their poor governance. That is poor governance in itself.

517 COMMENTS


  1. Rangers seal huge Castore kit deal as details of new partnership confirmed

    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-announce-huge-castore-kit-22040424

    How do they know it's a huge deal.

    From the details supplied by Castore

    "In a clean break from how things have been done in the past, Rangers Football Club will benefit directly from every product we sell. The more we sell, the more money flows straight back into the club."

    That reads to me like the income will be based on a percentage of sales, rather than a fixed sum with bonuses for exceeding target sales. I'm not sure how that can be described as "huge" before it even. It may well be, who knows, that's the point.


  2. The article did note that there was no image of the new kit.

    Like all things Ibrox it is huge, until it ends in tears.

    Why put out an announcement on Sunday morning, most of which was known, and not even have an image of the product. 

    Did Sports Direct pass on their opportunity to match the deal or will they hold fire and then demolish it in court.

    On the bright side, it will be ready for the 150th anniversary, in 2162.  

     

     


  3. Re Castore deal:-

     

    “The more we sell, the more money flows (!) into the club”. Aye right!

    What dae ye think o’ that Mike?

    Off the radar sales to fund war chest screams DR?


  4. Hi JC 16th May 00.21

    Sorry if my post was unclear it looked fine to me when writing it and even as I checked it, maybe I should have had my Lagavulin after I wrote it🤔. 

    What I was trying to say was, the fans should be asking questions about Scottish football governance but if they think back to at least 2012, then they should realise that their respective clubs boards have failed them. While the boards always talked the talk about changes they ultimately always backed down if they had followed up their talk then things today covid 19 apart Scottish football could and should have been in a better place. 

    In regards to the CFC board I think they have handled things well in the recent weeks but that is not to say their hands are spotlessly clean in regards to the now infamous 5 way agreement and of course thanks to Auldheid and others we know about the delaying tactics with resolution 12 answers to these to problems need to be given not only to CFC fans but to all fans.

    About Hearts being a manager at a big club is difficult but to be the DoF aswell seems a strange choice especially when a blind man and his dog could see he was struggling as the manager so it made it difficult to sack him because would you have to sack him as th DoF aswell. In regards to the threat of legal action it was Homonculus I think who showed the rule about the SPFLboard having the right to call the league so how can anyone state it would be unfair to relegate a team who is bottom when the league is called, I think it is maybe a bit of a smokescreen to cover for her mistake in keeping levein as the manager when struggling if that is wrong then I apologise but that is what it seemed like to me. 
    Hope this is clearer this time no Lagavulin was involved this time
     


  5. Den 17th May 2020 at 08:14

    The board will deliver the statement to the SPFL tomorrow; by brick.

    In essence.

    "We will scream and scream until we make ourselves sick".

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

    Den, was that quote from Just William of Orange?

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.


  6. So Morelos is staying at Ibrox for now then. indecision

     

    And could CFC be named SPL Champions tomorrow?

    Otherwise, why all the good news, TRFC stories today across the SMSM?

    The 'huge' kit deal – but with negligible detail shared.

    TRFC being 'linked' with 2 new transfer targets!

    A £250K refurbishment of the Megastore.

    And the best one: when Minty 'missed out' on signing that great player back in the day: Gianlucca Vialli!

    It's all going great down Govan way… enlightened

     


  7. Sorry about the politics (and lack of competence to import the image !)

    So Scotland , Wales and Northern Ireland are to satay at home ?

    Sounds more like the World Cup finals .

     


  8. Ex Ludo 17th May 2020 at 15:23

    I think they have just committed suicide . No apology will remove the stain .


  9. Ex Ludo 15:23   totally out of order , they should be hammered for that but they wont be. Gutter Press does'nt come close to describing that . Thank god I stopped buying that "newspaper " years ago .


  10. Perhaps, the Sunday Mail is copying TRFC tactics ?

    Create a commotion out of nothing to gain attention, to still feel relevant – and maybe even generate a much needed, financial boost?

    A last throw of the dice before this pitiful rag disappears?

    Hopefully. broken heart


  11. Yes StevieBC so many similarities when comparing the 2 of them, they deserve each other


  12. Kentes 17th May 2020 at 12:12

    ‘..JC 16th May 00.21………………………..

    ..Sorry if my post was unclear ..’

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

     Thank you, Kentes, and apologies. 

     I was reading it through the bottom of my wee glass of cheap hooch!

     My fault entirely for not grasping the point. 


  13. Hi John Clark 17th May 19.32.

    Not a problem it is a reason that I don't post so often as I find it easier to say what I think rather than writing it down. When I look at some of the posts I think geez I feel as though I couldn't hold a candle to some of you guys with most things being written so concisely. 

    Anyway glad I wrote it out again I was just getting a bit frustrated seeing a fair few posts popping up complaining about governance etc and again some I felt were trying to make it into the usual 2 cheeks of the a**e drivel.

    Right hopefully that's cleared it up now I can enjoy my wee malt

    Cheers


  14. With them not being in the 'football' loop, do you think Castore might be completely unaware of the possible issue regarding Sports Direct? I can hardly imagine so, but equally can't imagine SD having walked away from their court-approved matching arrangement. We all know how easily a desperate TRFC can be for cash/good news to announce that I CAN imagine them forgetting to mention it if Castore were unaware. 

    I take it SD has made no comment either way?


  15. Almost absolutely and entirely OT on this quiet night,  let me say that I am by no means a man of business, as I think I've mentioned before.

    But I do have an enquiring mind, always ready to learn by questioning.

    Recently, as I also mentioned before, I was researching 'Castore' in relation to TRFC, and learned that it is a two -man outfit which just has a clothing 'brand' , and does not actually itself manufacture clothing.

    I concluded (I can be quite sharp, at times!) that Castore must therefore get a manufacturer to produce the clothing  that will carry the 'Castore' brand name. 

    Tonight, it being very quiet, I had some interesting and educational fun looking into that world- the world of the production of clothing.

    On the fringes of my mind was the possibility that an Asian business newspaper may have carried a story about a company in the UK that had won the contract to produce 500 000 000  football tops etc for the self-styed 'most successful club in the world'

    But of course there is no way that I am equipped ever to find out whether an Asian manufacturing company/companies (where a huge percentage of the world's clothing is manufactured) or a European company, may be in contract with Castore to produce the Castore brand of football clothing for TRFC.

    However, I enjoyed learning , as an intellectual exercise without any reference to the 'saga' , that there is an organisation called Clothing Manufacturers Asia (CMA Ethical Manufacturing, so probably wouldn't ever deal with  unethical clients) 

    If, like me, you are beginning to feel some slight effects of the 'lockdown', you might enjoy a visit to 

    https://www.clothingmanufacturersasia.com/about-us/

    and read through its interesting and informative pages.

    Its FAQ page must be one of the best of its type that I've seen.

    Their PR people know what they're about. 

     

     

     


  16. I should maybe say that my reference to it being a 'quiet night' (my post of 23.46 last evening) does not signify that I am indifferent to the scabrous, venomous choice of images that appeared in a dirty rag of a newspaper ,that were  aimed at and would appeal to feeble minds easily stirred to violence.

    There are some very, very  bad folk in the newspaper world, whose children will be ashamed of what they did for a living.

    May the Sunday Mail die the death of Liquidation.


  17.   The manufacturers appear to be in Portugal John. They must be a super efficient outfit, having gone from replying to Sevco's advert just three months ago, to having their name leaked in connection only last month. (I think Spee & Dee Gonzales handled the negotiations and legal matters, and Roe Drunner will be the preferred courier service.  ). 

    https://www.drapersonline.com/people/the-drapers-interview/castore-the-brand-chasing-sporting-glory/7033416.article

         There are of course two similar sounding companies listed. "Castore Ltd", and "Castore Limited". One was a mail order company, now dissolved, and the other a newly incorporated……errrr mail order company….(unless somebody is giving them a wee lend of a pop-up superstore or something).

         I expect the pre-order, money up front, details will be released as soon as somebody draws a wee picture of a jersey.

    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/09967258 https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/12540295

         Looks to me like the two brothers are going to be performing FRONT of house duties. Wyle e Coyote will be much too busy for interviews and the like.

        . 


  18. John Clark 18th May 2020 at 01:02

    May the Sunday Mail die the death of Liquidation.

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

    While I agree the photo yesterday was over the top, the same paper years ago had a hearse and undertaker photographed outside Celtic Park, with the headline RIP Celtic. The media thought that was fine and other fans thought it was a hoot. That completely ignored the fact that a Scottish owned bank was trying its hardest to put Celtic out of business, while affording an almost limitless overdraft to Rangers. There has been much talk recently of investigations. The Bank of Scotland's involvement with Rangers when under Scottish ownership is due one of its own in my view. 

     


  19. So, Castore isn’t a cultured Italian sweeper seeing out the golden years of his career in Glasgow then? I obviously haven’t been paying attention.

    Seriously though the kit deal of the century has all the hallmarks of a Kirstie Allsop make do and mend operation fronted by two young guys from the Barra’s. I’m no PR guru but appearing in a publicity photograph wearing Adidas training shoes is a bit of a faux pas. 


  20. It's worth remembering that the company run by the Beahon brothers is not called 'Castore', but the J. Carter Sporting Company Ltd, company number  09670915 : 'Castore' is the brand name, and the Beahon boys have , presumably , made a deal with a manufacturer to produce the gear on their design.

    It was when I saw that the J Carter Sporting Company had only 2 employees (i.e, the two brothers) that I went exploring how that all works, and that led me on the visit to the CMA .

    I looked at Asia rather than Europe because it's in Asian countries that the cheap, sweated, labour force is found. 

    Not that I would suggest for a minute that the Liverpudlians would enter into  contract with manufacturers who exploited their labour forces.

    It should be easy enough to identify which manufacturer in Portugal won the contract? I think it may be that there is a middle-man there on an agency basis, who in turn will be linked via CMA ( which embraces lots of bigger manufacturers).

    A pleasant hour or two of 'lockdown boredom'  time-passing beckons. 

    Here's to it!


  21. John Clark 18th May 2020 at 11:07 

            It's worth remembering that the company run by the Beahon brothers is not called 'Castore', but the J. Carter Sporting Company Ltd, company number 09670915 : 'Castore' is the brand name, and the Beahon boys have , presumably , made a deal with a manufacturer to produce the gear on their design.

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

       You might be interested in this JC. 

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EYNdk7VWsAAocnN?format=jpg&name=360×360 https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EYNdkkrWkAAgWpi?format=jpg&name=360×360


  22. Today's herald sport section. Mark Hendry going big on the £25m multi year deal. Quote from Tom Beahon.

    "The largest shareholders in Castore, other than myself and Phil, are one of Britain's wealthiest families. Despite what I have read a couple of weeks ago, it's not Mike Ashley! They are very private guys, multi-billionaires who have really given us their backing".

     

     


  23. Those are a couple of interesting links, CO. What can they mean? I like David Low’s tweet from within the 11.58 one – “Well, if there’s no kit deal, there’s nothing for His Mikeness to match? That would mean Castore is just a flag of convenience, wouldn’t it?”. When Castore was first announced (and so being investigated), I think I remember reading on here and on TRFC sites that Castore had taken a big loan at the start of the year with the implication taken that this was to finance their expanse into the football mass-market world, starting with TRFC. That soothed many a worried head on TRFC sites as it seemed to explain how this small company could possibly support the HUUUUGE fanbase of “the Rangers”. What if those funds (£7.5m from memory) weren’t a loan but a takeover, hence the ‘Cessation of interest’ documents you posted at 11.40? It couldn’t seriously be Big Mike, could it, but that could explain my query from last night as to why he appears to have walked away. Is that just naughty wishful thinking on my part? Bordersdon’s post seems to be Castore still saying “It’s kosher, guys, honest”.


  24. I think there are a couple of possibilities Nawlite. My guess is that the Sevco Superstore has replaced the pop-up shops, (a dry-run?), and Castore have just put El-mich-Eal Ashlee, an Istanbul market-trader, out of business.

        Or dodgy Dave has done a £20 for me, £2 for you, deal via David Jason (Delboy, believe it or not) McLaughlin, of  Castore Limited, using Castore Ltd branding….Links on my post of 02:27 last night.  

          


  25. Corrupt official 18th May 2020 at 11:58

    Remember when they done the switcheroo?…..Would this be as funny, or funnier? https://twitter.com/Heavidor/status/1262318611928145921

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

    Absolutely!

    I'll stick with my original guess: TRFC will play in unbranded kit next season, if at all!

    It is shocking – even for the Ibrox omnishambles – that such a high profile contract which the supporters would take particular interest in – has supposedly been handed to a tiny business without the required experience, sales channels, partnering network, etc…

    I wouldn't guess that Big Mike has any involvement though.

    However, it's such a weird / amateurish set-up that I could readily believe that someone at Ibrox, (or SA?), is trying to pull a fast one to skim off a personal cut?


  26. StevieBC 18th May 2020 at 13:29

    '..It is shocking – even for the Ibrox omnishambles – that such a high profile contract which the supporters would take particular interest in – has supposedly been handed to a tiny business without the required experience, sales channels, partnering network, etc…'

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

    If you have a look at the link I gave earlier, Stevie, and read through,

    https://www.clothingmanufacturersasia.com/about-us/

    you'll see what seems to be a normal practice followed by designers of clothing : they will patent their design, and send it off to manufacturing companies (perhaps using CMA) which have the mills, and the fabrics, and the labour forces and machinery, using the manufacturer's specifications sheet showing exactly what they want -the fabric, the colours, the logos, lettering , the sizes range.

    The manufacturers will take it from there.

    Even I could fill in the specification sheets, I suppose, if I was a dress-designer familiar with the trade language, and knew a seam from a gushet. 

    I've no personal animus against the Beahon brothers and their shareholders (except that they are prepared to deal with a business that I myself wouldn't touch with a barge pole, and buy into the untruthful crap that emanates from Ibrox.

    What would be of interest is how much per shirt, shorts, stockings , jackets on which the brand name 'Castore' is stitched does the J Carter Sporting Club get from the selling price.

    I read that they have a hoodie or a jacket that is silver coloured by day, absorbs the light of the sun, and turn green at night which will sell for £600.

    They'd need to watch that their brand name doesn't lose value by being on a common or garden fitba'tap  available to much lesser figures than Andy Murray. 


  27. ‘John Clark 18th May 2020 at 15:07

    …They’d need to watch that their brand name doesn’t lose value by being on a common or garden fitba’tap  available to much lesser figures than Andy Murray.’ 

    #######################################

    The auld cynic in me thinks that they’ve discovered the market for ‘mid-level’ clothing is very tough to break into, even with/despite a non-playing Andy Murray’s support. If last year’s figure of £750k turnover is accurate, that’s not a lot of sales at their quoted prices.

    I suspect that their fitba’ related gear will be treated as a cheaper, ‘diffusion’ or ‘bridge’ line (more fashion lingo for you to assimilate, John!), with prices perhaps less than half of their current ‘signature’ (ooops, mair lingo!) offerings. We’ll see in the coming weeks.   


  28. Let us hope the SPFL clubs agree to reconstruction, even if only for a season or two. It is the right thing to do and suits the majority of the member clubs. Well causes detriment to the lowest number is probably more accurate.


  29. Celtic now offering refunds for the cancelled games now that the league has been called. If you do not request a refund your money remains in the club. Personally I won’t ask for a refund but not everyone can afford to do that.

    I imagine any season ticket holder from any club will have a statutory right to a refund should they wish. 


  30. Homunculus 18th May 2020 at 18:16

    I think I may have inadvertently started an SFM  Poll on the reconstruction issue.

    Should I thumb up myself, it just seems wrong. 


  31. upthehoops 18th May 2020 at 18:51

    I would imagine that would depend on the individual T&Cs people agree to when they got their ticket. However I suppose some could do it as a gesture. I just don't see clubs being able to afford that just now. 


  32. From a SFM point of view I will be glad when all of this stuff from the past month is no longer a hot topic.  I want the Jambos back for instance.

    I can understand that the blog has appeared more Celtic centric recently.  Because of the connections between;

    Hampden – Rangers/sevco – governance – 2011 onwards – corruption – mistrust – club's self interest – priorities – etc etc.

    But mixed up in all that was relegation.  Personally I feel for PT more than any other.  Sorry Jambos!  The least worst option for me would have been the temp. solution.  14 team premiership.  But the whole set up needs a longer look and permanent.  With FORESIGHT.  


  33. And we had the weird feelings with a lot of Celtic supporters, like me, who had as much love for Neil Doncaster in his roles at Hampden as we did for Regan et. al., but almost supporting him because the club from Ibrox were the ones who had the bare faced cheek to be leaders in the demand for better governance.   Anne Budge got caught up in this for her own reasons.  But does not come out of this smelling of roses.   She should have distanced herself and Hearts much, much more forcefully from the dubious reasons and ambitions of TRFC.  Whatever they were.  (chuckle).  She should have stuck to her guns on relegation.   To blindly support TRFC, by her own admission, was foolish. Would have been better if she came up with her own resolution.


  34. I know I'll not be speaking for other Thistle supporters in saying that , although we weren't the worst team in the division , we'd played ourselves into the position we were in when the season was ended . We actually looked like we were turning the corner , and if we'd turned the draws into wins , especially at home , we would have been safe . It's not nice to be relegated (again!) but it gives you hope that we might win a game or two when football resumes (thought that this year too !) . Apart from the financial setback , I don't see where Ann Budge is coming from – Hearts were by far the worst side I've seen in the past couple of years , including us , and she should accept that it was her loyalty to an incompetent manager that put paid to their season – we had one in Caldwell . Look to the future !


  35. Homunculus18th May 2020 at 19:04

    ========

    I never really considered the terms and conditions question. It's a fair point.

    TBH I think most fans if they can afford to will not ask for a refund. It's what fans do when their club needs help, and the season tickets will have been paid for some time ago.


  36. John Clark 18th May 2020 at 11:07
    I looked at Asia rather than Europe because it’s in Asian countries that the cheap, sweated, labour force is found.
    ……………
    Looking for some help here with the memory.
    I seem to remember David murray i think switched the manufacture of the ibrox replica kit to a far off distant land, but never told the fans as they were still paying top dollar for a kit made for a small outlay. Problems arouse when the replica kit after one was started to bobble (looked as if it had been worn and washed a hundred times) the material looked the same as the official kit but the material was of a lesser quality and could not stand up to the wash.
    If i remember hand wash only was the remedy but most wanted a cash refund or a better quality shirt for the price they paid.
    Any help with this memory, or is the mind playing tricks?


  37. Homunculus 18th May 2020 at 19:04
    upthehoops 18th May 2020 at 18:51
    …………..
    Celtic and the ibrox club’s terms and conditions.
    https://twitter.com/JBLuvsCeltic/status/1262453415898001408/photo/1
    Celtic. If the club is umable to complete a match fixture to provide a result for the purpouse of the football authorities due to causes beyond the control of the club,and the match fixture is not re-scheduled, the holder will be compensated for any corresponding reduction in services.
    …..
    The ibrox club. The club cannot eccept any liability for any expense incurred even in the event that the match is cancelled.


  38. To keep with the Fleetwood Mac theme of the blog title – I am someone who has been running in the shadows for many years.

    I can't help feeling that clubs are getting their knickers in a twist over who are in which leagues next season for no reason. We will not know for a few months what teams will be playing in Scottish Football next season. For now all teams should be listed in one table top to bottom as the concluded leagues state. Planning should be undertaken by the leagues on the basics like the hows and whys football can be played here, the safety of players, officials and fans. Most importantly, the clubs should be considering whether putting additional stress on our front line services by playing is morally and socially justified. The composition of the leagues can wait.

    We are being driven towards finalised league structures not by the sport but by the businesses. The teams that are being relegated are complaining of the loss in revenue brought about by playing in a lower league but at the same time are accepting the money from the broadcasting deals. It is the finalisation of these deals that would appear to be the driving force behind the league structures being known now. Is that what we want for our sport?

    Our fight against COVID19 is with us for the long run and all the talk of starting the new season should not be driven by financial necessity. Football is no different from any other business in the country and those involved in it deserve no preferential treatment. So when chairmen or players bleat about the possible loss of income our view in return should be to balance their concerns against the same threat to tradesmen, factory workers our council employees. In fact, the bigger earners in our sport should be treated with a lesser concern as, if they were unable to build a rainy day fund, their profligacy is what has put them in the position the find themselves.


  39. Cluster One 18th May 2020 at 23:18

    omunculus 18th May 2020 at 19:04
    upthehoops 18th May 2020 at 18:51
    …………..
    Celtic and the ibrox club’s terms and conditions.
    https://twitter.com/JBLuvsCeltic/status/1262453415898001408/photo/1
    Celtic. If the club is umable to complete a match fixture to provide a result for the purpouse of the football authorities due to causes beyond the control of the club,and the match fixture is not re-scheduled, the holder will be compensated for any corresponding reduction in services.
    …..
    The ibrox club. The club cannot eccept any liability for any expense incurred even in the event that the match is cancelled.

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

    C1, I saw and commented on the Rangers* clause some time back. I’m not a lawyer but it didn’t seem to me to be a clear cut statement that there would be no refund if matches were cancelled. What it did say was that they accepted no responsibility for any “expense incurred even in the event that the match was cancelled’.

    Does that imply that they DO have responsibility for a partial refund of the season ticket? If not, why not also make that crystal clear in the same clause?

    Rangers* only appear to exclude a responsibility to cover an expense incurred. There was no definition of ‘expense’ or ‘expense incurred’ in the passage I saw. Does ‘expense incurred’ include the cost of the ticket? Is the “expense incurred” the costs resultant on the changed match timing or cancellation? Arguable I suspect – any legal precedent?

    The Celtic* clause covering this seems fairly clear to me. “If the Club is unable to complete a match fixture to provide a result for the purposes of the football authorities due to causes beyond the control of the Club, and that match fixture is not re-scheduled, the Holder will be compensated for any corresponding reduction in services.” 

    For reasons beyond Celtic’s control the matches cannot be completed and are not being re-scheduled = a refund.

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

    Celtic* – joshing, folks… 🙂


  40. I believe the basic rule with any contract is that if there is an area of dubiety then it should be read to favour the party which did not draw up the agreement.

    That could however just be something I got into my head, I have no way of substantiating it whatsoever. 

    It might be called contra proferentem.


  41. Homunculus 19th May 2020 at 10:38

    I believe the basic rule with any contract is that if there is an area of dubiety then it should be read to favour the party which did not draw up the agreement.

    That could however just be something I got into my head, I have no way of substantiating it whatsoever. 

    It might be called contra proferentem.

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

    I’m with you on this Homunculus.

    The Competition and Markets Authority might have something to say about that clause too.   https://www.coronavirus-business-complaint.service.gov.uk/    (“Report a business behaving unfairly during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak”)

    Rangers* will have insurance to cover it anyway. Won’t they?

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.


  42. Cluster One 18th May 2020 at 23:02

    '..Looking for some help here with the memory………I seem to remember David murray i think switched the manufacture of the ibrox..'

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

    Sadly, Cluster One, I can't recall : but it sounds like the kind of flanker a loyal  knight of the Realm who used a dodgy tax scheme would pull!


  43. Further to my post @ 9:25

    The fans of the teams that are "disadvantaged" by the final league placings should consider why they are objecting. Their teams are disadvantaged at a business level to a degree that changes could be called for to compensate that but at the football level I do not believe there is a fairer alternative. The rules are clear that the leagues can be called and I do not believe that there can be any more straight forward reason to call them than the risk to the health of a large amount of people. Accept that and how the positions have been decided is far and away the least unfair. This has not been done by "freezing" the place that all teams are at the time the league is ended. It is working the positions from the average performance of the teams over a  seven month period. To argue "Aye but we could have …." is delve into the unknown. Those that argue this way would be happy, in the main, to have the leagues finished at a later date and not called now. That would have definite "known" disadvantages for some teams who may have to field weaker teams because player contracts running down. There is no method that would be completely painless.

    Of course we are hearing calls for changes to the leagues but this too will adversely affect some clubs. The call by teams like Hearts to make the changes, but only if it is guaranteed to be temporary, are forcing clubs to adjust their financial model to play in a higher league only to be forced to return to the lower league when we have a 3 or 4 team relegation in a couple of seasons.

    Many teams will be disadvantaged by the calling of the leagues (my own, Hibs, will lose c.£100K) but what we have at present is far and away the fairest to my mind.


  44. Mickey Edwards 

    Thank you for putting into words what I've struggled to do! Agreed that relegation might not be fair but any temporary change, which Ann Budge was promoting, will inevitably lead to more unfairness in the future. 

    Take the words of Stephen Pressley, in the Daily Record online, where he has criticised the SPFL for their decision to relegate Hearts and promotes the idea of 14 team leagues as being the fairest way forward. He then goes on to suggest it'll be just one of those things that 3 or 4 clubs may have to be relegated in a season or two! Not a surprise that he also accuses others of self interest!

     


  45. Adam812 @ 14:36

    In a business context self interest is not only acceptable but should be encouraged as it is what is expected of directors of any company. Where it becomes unacceptable is when a handful of companies hold power over the majority by having a de facto monopoly written into the conditions of a trade organisation that itself can prevent non-members from operating the same business in the country.

    It gets worse when that business is responsible for running a sport. The two are incompatible.

    The sport is not considered when chairmen argue over loss of income. This is most glaring when a business signs contracts that guarantee conditions that the sport cannot provide with the certainty that contract law requires. Four Celtic/TRFC league matches in one season spring to mind.

    In the case of Hearts, Ann Budge is looking for the sport's rules to be altered to compensate for the dent in the company's balance book that this season's mismanagement has created. It goes further back than one season with uncontrolled personnel spending and a new stand that is c.£10M over-budget. Perhaps she should look not to the sporting administrators for monetary recompense but to the business associates and contractors that allowed a building project to run so far out of control. The fact that the control of this project was awarded to one of her own family might be an appropriate starting place.

    But we are talking business again and the sporting aspect is being ignored.

     


  46. The Scottish FA has dropped charges against Rangers over alleged irregularities in paperwork which allowed them to compete in the 2011/12 Champions League.

    It had been considering legal action in the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland, but has now effectively killed off any prospect of disciplinary action over the long-running issue.

    The saga began when “contradictions” were found between information in Rangers’ application for a licence to play in UEFA’s premier club tournament and testimony given during the fraud trial of former owner Craig Whyte.

    Rangers claimed in the application they had no tax debts – which must be declared to qualify for a licence – but former directors said in court that the club knew they had an overdue bill.
    ADVERT

    The Scottish FA brought charges against the club, but due to the ‘five-way agreement’, which allowed Rangers to play in the Scottish Football League after liquidation in 2012, any dispute between the parties has to be heard by the specialist sports court.

    An SFA-convened independent panel upheld that jurisdiction agreement 18 months ago, with the governing body sent away to consider its next steps.

    After a lengthy internal review and receiving legal advice, the Hampden board has now decided to drop the charges rather than fight a lengthy and expensive legal battle.

    The club were originally charged under the 2011/12 rulebook, which only allowed for a standard fine of £5,000 for breaking the rules, or a top end fine of £10,000 in extreme circumstances.
    ADVERT

    The Scottish FA hierarchy felt the costs of pursuing the case in Lausanne, which could run to six figures, were prohibitive to a charge that would merit only a maximum £10,000 fine. The board were also advised that the prospects of victory at CAS were not high.

    A brief statement on the Scottish FA website read: “A Judicial Panel convened to consider a Notice of Complaint raised against Rangers FC in 2018 – in relation to alleged new evidence regarding representations received prior to the awarding of a European licence for season 2011/12 – determined at a preliminary hearing that it did not have jurisdiction to determine the matter.

    “Instead, it concluded that jurisdiction lay with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    “Following consideration of the implications of such a referral, including legal opinion, it was the board’s unanimous position that this matter should not be referred to CAS.

    “The Scottish FA now considers the matter to be closed.”
    ……………..
    The cost is too nuch and are afraid of the implications, is that what they are saying?


  47. Cluster One @ 16:13

                                          Oh well,  at least big Peter vill be happy.. 


  48. And all perfectly timed , while Celtic fans are celebrating their title win and Rangers fans crying in their beer. , says it all really about the SFA . Im sure Celtic knew about this and hoped that there wouldnt be too much of a stink as their as their fans would be distracted by title celebrations . .Come to think of it ,  How the hell have Rangers been allowed to play in Europe next season ( if they are still with us ) . No way do they meet UEFA ffp


  49. "The Scottish FA brought charges against the club, but due to the ‘five-way agreement’, which allowed Rangers to play in the Scottish Football League after liquidation in 2012, any dispute between the parties has to be heard by the specialist sports court."

     

    Confirmation the SFA has no jurisdiction over 2angers. 


  50. normanbatesmumfc 16.51

    crowd fund Res 12 guys to take it to court……..I think that be a popular proposal laugh I wonder if Auldheid and the gang would be up for that


  51. Well, there we have it then! "..“Following consideration of the implications of such a referral,"

    Gutless wonders , feart that some people might have to face criminal charges. Proof positive that  our Football Governance is based on fear, greed, falsehood and moral turpitude. 

    Bad cess to the wicked , wicked unprincipled swine. May their personal rewards/fortunes  from the business of football die with their football clubs! 

    What absolute mugs we would be to think of contributing even one penny to line the pockets of such as those.


  52. Mickey Edwards 19th May 2020 at 15:10

    “Ann Budge is looking for the sport’s rules to be altered to compensate for the dent in the company’s balance book that this season’s mismanagement has created.”

    No, she’s looking for the opportunity to address the unfairness of being punished for the entirely random acts and timing of an unprecedented global pandemic, a situation other clubs agree nobody should suffer as a result of, yet bizarrely vote in financial self-interest against the only action which would avoid such unfairness.

    Yes, Budge and Hearts have been abysmal in most of the thirty league games played, but not one single person can say with guaranteed certainty that they weren’t going to haul back a four point defecit within the 24 points available to play for.

    St Johnstone spent many weeks firmly rooted to the foot of the table before a six game golden spell saw them leap up the table to the safety of sixth place. Ross County couldn’t buy a win before the season was ended early.

    Rangers* looked like leapfrogging over Celtic at the top of the table at the tail end of December, yet Celtic pulled 13 points clear a handful of games later, further demonstrating that nobody can accurately predict what would happen in the final eight or nine matches.

    Do Partick Thistle deserve to be relegated despite being only two points behind with a game in hand on Queen of the South, or did their off-field business not contribute to their perilous league position in the same way as Hearts?

    If the SPFL genuinely wanted to look after all its 42 members, rather than just 39 of them, I’m sure it could have found a way of tying such a proposal into the release of prize money, just as it did a few short weeks ago amid such acrimony. 

    I know it must be difficult for the Celtic-minded majority on here to put themselves in Hearts, Partick Thistle and Stranraer’ position, but I can assure you there isn’t one club or support who would sit back and do nothing in the face of the expulsion forced on those three clubs in such unprecedented circumstances.     


  53. Highlander 19th May 2020 at 18:04

    '…to address the unfairness of being punished for the entirely random acts and timing of an unprecedented global pandemic'

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

    …whereas our wretched Governance people are rolling over , happy to let RFC of 1872 (RFC 2012) and people associated with the Res 12 issue escape any scrutiny, in spite of that club and at least some of its officers being definitely guilty of sports cheating and possibly guilty of much worse.

    Hearts indeed are innocent of any charge of cheating and are deserving of better consideration. 

     RFC of 1872on the other hand  and its then officers were guilty of sports cheating on a grand scale yet will escape any kind of forensic investigation into their murky actions a decade ago. 

    It's pitiful that we are so incapable of finding honest brokers in our Sports governance.


  54. The SFA continues to take the p!ss out of the paying punters.

    Can us fans not agitate to ditch both the SFA and the SPFL from the Scottish game?  indecision

    It might not be our ball but it’s definitely our game – and these 2 bodies continue to fail US spectacularly season after season, and nothing seems to change or improve.  smiley


  55. Highlander 19th May 2020 at 18:04

    Thistle ST holder here , Highlander , who reckons that we might be taking one for the team , but also reckons that it's time to accept that this  league season has ended . The unplayed matches have been decided on a points-per-game  basis , and the tables finalised . By all means look at reconstruction , but let it be for the right reason , and not to save poorly performing clubs from being relegated . Are we to go through reconstruction every time a "big" club underperforms and finds itself relegated ? My sympathy, if any , lies with the clubs denied a chance of promotion . We should accept that we are where we are , and be working , as a single ,disciplined unit , on plans to take us where we want to be . Unfortunately , all I see are vested interests and selfishness .


  56. RES12 wasn't about Sevco, or Rangers(I.L.), but their co-accused, The SFA. 

         The fact that the SFA bottled out of charging their co-accused, has no bearing on the allegations the SFA faced. The SFA may well consider the matter closed, but that is not their domain to decide. The RES12 bhoys will be the ones who decide if the matter is closed. I hope they pursue the matter further. Fraud is fraud.

        Imagine the scene.

        PC Plod….."Did you smash that windae?"

       Wee ned….."Aye, but the matter is closed!"

        PC Plod…."Fair enough, On yir way then".


  57. Time for an SFM petition open to any other stakeholders to join?

    "Scottish football supporters have no confidence in the SFA and SPFL."

    Scottish Football needs to register dissatisfaction with the football authorities at this critical time.


  58. Highlander,

    The season is what it is because of an unprecedented world event. In any sport you can only work with the known knowns to settle the outcomes. In a sporting context there can only be an end to the uncertainty by framing the result within the rules at the time of the cessation. The rules do not have anything about extending the leagues to prevent "unfairness". To blame self interest as the reason for Hearts possible relegation is turning a blind eye to Budge's assertion that she would chair the restructuring group only if they stuck to her demands- the change MUST be temporary. What were you saying about self interest?

    As a olive branch may I offer what I said in my first post. I believe that Hearts will be in the top division when hostilities resume. For just one top tier club to go to the wall will mean every other club will move up one place in the structure and every team that fears they are about to be relegated will still be in their current league.

    Of course, if today's events are anything to go by a spanner may head into the works if it is TRFC that hits the buffer. I expect everything possible to be done to ensure a team is playing out of Ibrox next season. I suggest that that is the time to sharpen up your pitchfork.


  59. I think efforts should be made to force the publication of the five-way-agreement , as it seems to supersede all football rules and regs in Scotland . I would suggest that TRFC and CFC fans are united in wishing to see this aberration in the public domain as they see it as being detrimental to their club's wellbeing . and the rest of us see it as being detrimental to the game up here as a whole . If I recall correctly (quiet at the back!) , we were told that it was BDO who had objected , and don't know if anything can be done , if that is the case .


  60. I wouldn't like to guess what Auldheid's reaction to this news will be.  He has, I think, not ruled out going to court in the past.   His group do not have direct access to the CAS, so without the co-operation of eg Celtic then the Court of Session it would have to be.  I think!

    If crowd funding is required count me in!   Likewise a petition.

     

    A court case might just be the tool or spark to see significant reconstruction on football governance in Scotland.


  61. The Scottish FA brought charges against the club, but due to the ‘five-way agreement’, which allowed Rangers to play in the Scottish Football League after liquidation in 2012, any dispute between the parties has to be heard by the specialist sports court.
    ……………..
    The question now is if any other charges for anything are brought against an ibrox club, will the 5 way agreement come into play?
    A lot of journalists these last few months have been crying out for transparency, i wonder if we will hear their voices in the coming days?

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