Archive | July, 2013

DONCASTER TO EDINBURGH

30 Jul

It’s funny I held off writing this weekend so I could try and round up a few outstanding issues in one post.

I had forgot that the new SPFL had quietly changed the trialist rules. Now some may say that this change is solely designed to stifle one club. I will hold back on this have a feeling that how Hampden deals with Hearts will answer this. With reported debts of £28.8 million and now only two rejected bids of less than £4 million it is no wonder Lithuanian Administrators threw the bids out. It’s a shame but listening to the Scottish Premiership clubs is a bit like decoding a Enigma machine. Words and letters emerge yet it never appears to be the whole truth.

A season without a League Sponsor and with at least two clubs closing sections of their stadia down for what they say is too improve the atmosphere in the ground. On this note the winner of the “Best Euphemism Award” goes to Aberdeen Football Club (Media Department). Yes following consultation with fan groups they decided that closing the rear section of the Richard Donald Stand on the grounds of improving atmosphere is a peach. Let’s be radical here would selling more tickets not improve the atmosphere! Not to mention the clubs finances. Consultation with fans groups did not produce a club line it woke up a few sleeping members. Aberdeen simply can’t justify offering 24,000 tickets for sale when at best they will only ever well somewhere between 12 and 16 thousand. So a plea to fans groups to up their game and go to more matches etc was met with a firm no way. Therefore to improve the atmosphere a decision to close down a section of the ground. This is when the enigma machine was used to print the press release.

Then we have Neil Doncaster explaining that the Scottish football is in good shape. Season tickets sales up on last year (last year attendances were 28% down so surely the only way is up) even though his figures are subject to interpretation and exaggeration. Scotland has more fans per capita than anywhere else in Europe (scotland only had a population of 5 million never has a balance sheet compliment per capita profit). Then the best one from Doncaster, the league is only 3 weeks old and sponsors want clarity and stability. Er Neil you spent last year saying that you had all the sponsors media deals in place in principal. In three weeks of practice however it appears these statements where full of conjecture and false hope. Doncaster is so full of himself he even turned up at the Albion Rovers v Rangers Ramsdens Cup game, what did he expect a warm welcome from the Ibrox faithful? As his first foray into the world as Chief Executive of the SPFL this has to be one of his less bright ideas. Now he is saying that its because of the lack of stability in the structures of Scottish football that have prevented a sponsor coming forward. Sorry Neil are you such a “donkey” that you can say that without thinking that it was you who caused the instability or do you blame others and accepts no blame on yourself.

Now thankfully it appears that Dunfermline are to come out of administration via a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA). This CVA has to get through fast in order for the Fife club to build a sensible structure without the Idiotic hands of Masterton and Yorkson. Two people the whole of the East Neuk should be wary of. Sadly it appears Hearts are quietly going into Liquidation the gap of several millions between the offers and the acceptable valuation from Ubig’s own administrators seems a bridge too far. Total debts fast approaching £30 million including Football debts of around £500,000 that need to be paid in full, a tax bill of £1.3 million (need I remind the HMRC that there conduct is being watched for consistency too), and a group of preferential debtors it means simply that one bidders offer of £3 million is offering other debtors as little as 1p in the pound the other bidder is offering little more. These bidders are either cheapskates or this is really all the money they can muster or justify via a business plan. A timely announcement regards a sponsor would possibly help the two remaining bidders to have a business certainty to be able to raise their bids. Sadly for all concerned Doncaster’s Doom laiden statement seems to end hope of a additional income stream appearing to help the prospective heart savers.

The strange thing about Hearts is the distinct lack of comments from others. No “financial doping” “sporting integrity” or even “moral integrity” being shouted from the rooftops of Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness, Dunfermline or the east end of Glasgow. The silence speaks volumes “there but for the grace of god” maybe but personally this lack of consistency seems to speak of the basic hypocrisy and jealousy that inhabits the so called top 12 clubs in Scotland. In addition to this it was Hearts who publically and privately lied to a SPL tribunal two days before the close of last season. I can say lied now because David Southern privately and publically said Hearts would not go into administration due to Ubig folding. A signing ban til 1st February 2014 seems a tad lenient and with the future of the club still in the balance I feel natural justice and recent history shoes that should Hearts if Midlothian survive in any shape or form then there is certainly more fines and sanctions in the post. I mentioned also that the SFA MUST investigate Hearts last game of season 2012/13 as it was patiently not in the clubs interest to win against Aberdeen and this must bring into question Hearts desire to win or,compete fully in that game. Anything less than full and frank investigations into events at Gorgie means that instead of Neil Doncaster and Stewart Regan in charge of the authorities it may as well be the well known defenders of truth, justice and democracy Robert Mugabe and Vladimir Putan!

The message to the authorities and clubs is simple prove yourselves. Anything less than your loud shouting from last year makes you nothing less than Jealous Vindictive Hypocrites. Stewart Milne – silent on Hearts, Steven Thompson – silent in Hearts, Rod Pitrie – silent on Hearts, pick your club see what they say about Hearts and juxtapose it with what was being said about Rangers last year. The pleasure sections of fans and boardrooms took last year with Rangers seems now to of evaporated. I put it to Aberdeen, Celtic, Inverness, Dundee United, Hibs, St Johnstone, Motherwell and Kilmarnock. All clubs who couldn’t say enough last year. Either continue your “fair play” crusade or offer help to your friend in need in Edinburgh. Anything else smacks of hypocrisy or even shock. Hardly ingredients for stability in Scottish football.

I am genuinely saddened by Hearts plight. But the bidders are offering less than the land tyncastle sits on is worth. The club name is worth something but the real value attached to the club is the real estate value. It does not take Alan Turing to figure out that unless agreement can be sorted out between BDO the two bidders and Ubigs administrators then tyncastle is prime for redevelopment and any reformed Heart of Midlothian’s first job will be to find a pitch to play at. It’s second will be to get out of the new Lowland League.

If Hearts do fold then the big question is when and what happens. In the last days before the season begins then Hearts fold go into lowland league and Morton do what’s being called a “dundee” move up. Either a quick play off will be arranged to fill a place in league 2 or League 2 drops to nine teams. If Hearts go into liquidation after Saturday then the Scottish Premiership’s first season us one it starts with twelve teams ends with eleven, has no team relegated automatically and splits into a top six and bottom five. Auspicious start for any league. Some calming words from the head of the league required but if you wait for any press release then it will either be so filled with nonsense that it looks like Barbara Cartland wrote it or it requires Bletchley Park to run it through their computers to get it to make sense.

Sometimes I would be glad just to comment on football but apart from European joy in Perth there has been precious little to celebrate. It seems football football in Edinburgh is in its last throws of life.

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DONCASTERS DELAYS

25 Jul

At last Neil Doncaster breaks cover.

 Doncaster Regan and Longmuir

In the weeks since his appointment he has been conspicuous by his absence from the sports pages.  The first announcement from him bearing in mind that this is his big chance to set the tone for his leadership of the football leagues.  The names of the leagues.  Ok I will concede they have to be called something and their names do have to reflect the level they inhabit in the system so it is important.  given that Englishman Neil has obviously spent weeks thinking about this it was a surprise that the answer to the league names is.  Wait for it,  showing imagination and modern thinking Neil goes with…….

THE SAME NAMES USED IN ENGLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not so much imagination more intellectual theft!  Funnily enough these Names have been mentioned for weeks while Neil pondered.  He could of came out after being awarded the job and announced them not hide in Hampden mulling over the options.  This is not good.  Its bad management and worse than that shows that Neil will continue in much the same vain as he did with the debt ridden SPL.  The only excuse for this delay is if Neil was announcing new sponsors for the league structure then the delay becomes understandable to all.  Sadly Neil delays fuddles and fudges every issue he ever has to deal with.  he is after all a man with baggage and history.  The buck must stop a Doncaster and someone (anyone know a good lawyer) must get rid of this hopeless administrator and run him out of Scotland.  If you have read any of my blogs on Doncaster you will know he is not on my Christmas Card list but as much as I have said I do not want to add I TOLD YOU SO to my blogs.

Doncaster was unfit for purpose at SPL and is already showing the signs of getting the SPFL job as taking his appointment as a vote of confidence in his (lack) of skills.

Brand Targets

21 Jul

The attack on the Rangers bus at its depot is sickening.

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There is no excuse for this but obviously a reason for it in the sad minds of the criminals who carried out this act. I am though slightly concerned that this will not be the first attack on a team bus.

Bayern Munich began this trend for seriously luxurious branded team transport. Their bus actually their two buses play leap frog with the team on European trips one bus drops the team off at airport while another left days before to pick them up on arrival. This statement from the German club is that they are self contained.  It is a bubble that modern day players seem to live in either by choice or expectation.

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So who could of had motive to carry out the Rangers Bus attack is actually not a question, there is I am sure a long list of possible motives ranging from jealous rival fans to jealous rival bus companies. Whatever the motive, this branding of the transport will unfortunately and rather inevitably lead to further attacks.

When Rangers arrived in a black bus with a cherished registration plate they were no real attacks on it miles away from grounds. The black Parks of Hamilton livery camouflaged the team into the road infrastructure. This aided by Celtic sharing the the same bus supplier and you need a pretty sharp sighted vandal to attack the right team bus or even a bus load of Grannies on a day out. 

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Years ago in Aberdeen you used to get local celebrities and Players driving cars with their names on the side and name of car dealership. Such and such drives a ford from Cordiners emblazoned on the doors.  Even in the less angry times of the 1980’s there was one local celebrity who seemed to always have various scratches on the side of his sponsored car.

I saw the Rangers bus it was lovely very swish and dripping with luxury.  I also recently saw the Aberdeen Bus same standards both with club crests draped over the side. Sadly though for everyone with a sense of pride in seeing their team bus they are 10 who want to put a brick through the window.

It is a sad comment on today’s twisted society but one we all know to be true.  I worry that “Team Bus Bashing” will lead to incidents similar to the miners strike in the 1980’s with missiles being thrown from motorway bridges etc. There are only a few solutions to this.

Improve security around the trinket of team busses.

Have police escort the team from start of journey to end. Including patrolling every motorway bridge the bus travels under.

Or Radical idea tone down the paint jobs because at present you may as well paint a target on the side of the vehicle so the neds and thugs can hit their target.

I am all for celebrating the brand. As I am also enjoying the PR battle of the Coach Companies. Sad to say though the decision by Parks Of Hamilton not to Brand the buses they used for Celtic, Rangers and Scotland National Team seems to be proved to be prudent and safe.

Where Is The Boss?

17 Jul

It has been a week or so now since Neil Doncaster was put in post. The new SPFL body has much to do.

First has to be stability to let the world know what is happening and more importantly what is planned. From the supposed big plans and high ideals from the single league body big noises to silence. It is after all not as if Neil Doncaster was new blood needing time to assess the landscape, he should at least know the landscape. If getting the big job meant that Neil would quickly establish what’s needed then he has re-established a kind of chaotic status quo.

League Football in Scotland is business wise a mess. With absolutely no assets and debt. (http://companycheck.co.uk/company/SC175364#history-tab) New company new league same old problems. Add to this the promises given to the lower 30 clubs and you get issues lots of issues.The top division has no sponsor. Are the top 12 going to steal money from Irn Bru’s successful sponsorship of the lower three divisions. Barring the soft drinks manufacturer investing more money then this option is nothing more than theft. These events mean that the merger is a nothing more than a coup d’tat and Doncaster’s corrination nothing less than a Putsh. Facing these concerns from what now must amounts to at least 70% of his constituents Neil disappears. There has been no leaks or reports if big news coming from Hampden so unless suspiciously the information seals have been reinstated at Hampden HQ the only conclusion is that Neil is still sitting in his office laughing that he has got away with it again still.

Hearts and Dunfermline are on sale with prospective new owners investing big money but with no idea what the income stream of these clubs will look like. Clarity the rescued Chilean Miners had more clarity in the days after the mine collapsed.

Regular readers will know I am no fan of Doncaster in my opinion he is some kind of puppet, a donkey but surely even buoyed by the confidence of his appointment he knows he has to at least talk the talk attempt to walk the walk instead he is hiding.

Dont Ignore The Warnings

6 Jul

Following up my blog http://wp.me/p2X3r5-7C

The voices of hind sight are always invalid in a sense.  Its easy to say “I told you so.” Harder to predict and even harder to be listened to.

I am reminded of a conversation I had with a old timer well he was in his 60’s or 70’s.  This old guy was in my company with a couple of others.  The broad church of Scottish football was represented.  Around the table was a Rangers Fan, a Celtic fan, a Aberdeen fan and a St Mirren Fan.  Sounds like the beginning of a joke but happily for me it reflects my social life and football discussions.

During the conversation the Celtic Fan said to the group that Rangers Administration was the worse day in the history of the club. A simple statement and to many it may be seen to be true.  The old timer Rangers fan corrected him “listen son” he said with a tinge of anger ” Administration does not even make the top 10 of Rangers darkest days.”

The conversation quickly got round to what was the darkest days at Ibrox.  The old timer answered clearly with sadness “January 2 1971 and the hundreds of days that followed”

He was right the loss of 67 lives that day are without doubt the darkest days.  There was no question death and human tragedy trump all.  Now how does this apply to my blog http://wp.me/p2X3r5-7C simple.  In the aftermath of the Ibrox Disaster Rangers Willie Waddle toured Europe.  Hunting for safe stadia templates to bring back to Ibrox.  Mr Waddle had 67 reasons, 67 families motivating him in his quest to make Ibrox the Safest place to watch football it could be.  In all his words he said that stadia design was out dated and unsafe.  He championed alone the benefits of bringing Stadiums into the 20th century and on into the 21st. No one really listened in UK filled with relics from the 1800s calling them safe and blaming fans when injuries happened.  Only Richard Donald in Aberdeen listened and at lowest cost made his stadium all seated, all be it with areas of concern.  At least The Great Mr Donald listened partially no other club did. For 16 years through Football Violence and fan legislation no one considered the infra structure of where the now heavily policed fans stood.  Rangers insistence on safer stadia never wavered though.  Rangers never forgot sending Players and officials to 67 funerals in early 1971.  The rest of Scotland and the UK did forget though.  It took Hillsbourgh for the UK to listen.  Ninety six deaths, Police cover ups and years of families fighting for justice but sadly the world listened and Willie Waddle’s ignored words came back to haunt football.  It was no accident Lord Justice Taylor toured Ibrox during his quest to produce a blueprint for safer stadia.

Now we get to voices unheard today.  Gretna financial meltdown was a warning, despite promises to tighten the ship this didn’t stop Dundee, Motherwell, Livingstone, Rangers, Dunfermline and Hearts. Last year in scenes of farce and criminal negligence Rangers hit the financial wall.  Rangers fans warned “This is just the beginning.” sometimes not worded as clearly but basically this is the essence of what was said and meant.  Maybe the celebratory often jealous often vindictive voices of the loud others in the SPL drowned out the warnings but they were clearly there to be listened too if you chose.  Like Mr Waddle in the 1970’s though the warnings were ignored.  Now Hearts and Dunfermline are suffering.  The template for what has to happen to Hearts and Dunfermline is set and remembered.

Neil Doncaster has a hell of a job to get money into the game in times of austerity. Good luck I doubt the combined brains of Donald Trump, Dragons Den and Lord Sugar could sell that pup. Certainly not for the income required. Doncaster allied with SFA Regan are the lame ducks paddling like hell under the water trying not to look nervous above it.

Rangers are not immune from only hearing what they want.  Many warnings about Craig Whyte went unheard.  Was he a Fit and Proper person to run a football club?  At the time he must be he had passed the SFA/SPL test.  Whyte had passed the due diligence tests that every business being taken over has to go through.  That should be enough to give confidence.  Well hind sight says no it wasn’t.  Can’t point a finger at the Bank (Lloyds TSB) they got their money and ran for the hills whooping and hollering.  Seems that sometimes you reap what you sow.

So now today we have where any word of warning from Rangers fans is ignored.  The SPL does need the old firm clearly the customer base alone provided just enough money to keep the banks away from the clubs door.  The top division needs the draw of the Derby.  This is to separate the two strands of this.  Rangers required punished for the misdemeanours committed in its name by well known persons.  The punishments dished out will be measured in hind sight.  On the whole no Rangers Fan disputes that punishment was required. There is a concern that the punishment of effective relegation to SFL3 was seen as fair enough.  The accompianing signing bans and loss of votes etc are seen as examples of jealous vengeance.  In truth we all have to wait till a club hits the same wall as Rangers did.

The truth of the matter really is that Rangers fans feel the pain.  Know the situation have seen it, felt it, and bought the t shirt.  Just because you don’t like Rangers does not mean you can ignore the views of the fans.  The Rangers Fan Base still out numbers nearly every other club in Scotland put together.

Rangers fans with experience recognise a scam, a shyster, con men and ineptitude.  They are not so pleased to welcome a number of new members of this select wearing maroon from Edinburgh.  In spite of everything Rangers fans deep down do not wish to join any celebratory club that takes pleasure at watching others suffer.   The overwhelming notion of this group is that Regan and Doncaster are not fit or proper persons to hold office.  Winston Churchill spent most of the 1930’s warning of the dangers of Germany rearming, the appeasers condemned him as a Warmonger and pushed him to the edge of politics.  He was right though. As soon as war broke out in 1939 a fast car and a telegram was  sent to Sir Winston and he was rapidly brought back into the fold. Doncaster and Regan are tuned into listening to David Icke! The madder less realistic the projection as long as it tallys with their barely hidden puppet masters then all is well full steam ahead.

The biggest question on the new boss of the SPFL appointment has to be not really how Doncaster managed to wangle the job.  Not who? why? and what made him the winning candidate.  No the real question is this why was there only two candidates? Was the job advertised? if not why not? If so why did no outside new blood apply?  Is Scottish football that damaged that no one from outside its often twisted system willing to risk their reputation by associating themselves with it.  I think maybe this is the case and if the business administrators of the UK don’t want involved then the companies and Marquee Brands the same people control won’t want involved either.  I can see BDO or Duff and Phelps sponsoring the League but then again why would they they are already on most clubs emergency speed dial.

As long as no one listens and no one learns, and lets face it Regan and Doncaster have a track history of burying their heads in the sand. Then sadly Gretna, Motherwell, Dundee, Rangers, Dunfermline and Hearts fans will not be alone in having to have a whip round to try and keep their Club alive.  Predictions on who will follow Hearts are wide spread,  Dundee United, Kilmarnock and Aberdeen being the favourites to call Brian Jackson maybe its right but the words from today and last year is simpler than that there will be other clubs in trouble and Doncaster/Regan have already shown they are not up for the job.

Light and Shade

5 Jul

It is funny how simply by saying that Neil Doncaster is the wrong man for a job (wrong man for anything other than Car Park Attendant) you can open yourself up to a lot of opposing views.  I welcome debate as long as it is not abusive you will find that I will approve comments and answer them too.  Debate for me is usually always healthy.

To be accused of having a pro club agenda is maybe over exaggerating my view-point.  I am firstly a Proud Scotsman and want nothing more than to be able to be proud of the national sport.  This ideal has been eroded over the years but in my heart I am still hopeful, even if my brain tells me its possibly a lost cause for at least a generation.  The appointment of Neil Doncaster and the continued unopposed tenure of Stewart Regan make me wonder if a generation is a reasonable timescale to get the game of football back to its right place.  To look back at the days of Ernie Walker, David Will and multi layered committees of blazers in smoke-filled rooms is not something I ever thought I would do.  Mr Walker was the Secretary of the SFA between 1974 and 1990.  Or if you like to place that in nicer terms West Germany, Argentina, Spain, Mexico and Italy.  Five consecutive world cup finals.  for sure other countries qualified for these five but in the isles that gave Football to the world only Scotland went to all five world cups.  England sure as hell didn’t.  England lost in the Quarter finals in Brazil 1970 and did not grace a world cup until Spain 1982. They then went on to have a better record than Scotland who to our shame have only managed one visit to the big show since in France 1998.

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Lets not be Scottish about this and say we were unlucky or nonsense like that.  We as a nation were not good enough.

Would a debacle like we are witnessing in Scottish Football happen under Mr Walker,  NO WAY!  Sir Alec Ferguson writes in glowing terms about Ernie.   I would take this son of Govan’s judgement of character any day of the week.  Ernie it seems was a charming assassin able to charm people then if that failed shoot them down with a careful quote from the rule book.   Also as hard as Ernie was he explained and justified his decisions in plain English and thus avoided any confusion. Agree or disagree with Mr Walker he left you in no doubt who was boss and if need be he had the intimate knowledge of the rules and politics of the SFA to back him up.  Where you could question Mr Walker is in his leadership of the Business of Scottish football.  Just look at the infrastructure of Scottish football.  In the halcyon days not one penny profit was reinvested into infrastructure or youth development.  Indeed Mr Walker sowed the seeds of the Think tank culture.

Enter James Farry.  Lampooned for only reading three books – The Rule Book, a dictionary and a Thesaurus!  The red top hacks couldn’t understand him and even the High and Mighty SCOTSMAN newspaper had to edit his quotes to make their readership understand the utterances from The Gardener.  He always gave of the image of a petty bitter self justifying man.  Universally hated and mistrusted,  exposed as such by the digging of Celtic Football Club regards delaying player registration.  Booted out of his job and rightly so.

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David Taylor replaced Farry.  A trained solicitor for 8 years he done a good enough job.  Managed the politics well and went on to a position with UEFA.  Such was the respect for this man as an administrator that UEFA head hunted him.  Fair enough a couple of European Championships and no world cup qualification but his time passed without any great crisis.  He was instrumental in bringing the Champions League Final Zinedine Zidan and all to Hampden in 2002.

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You also always got the feeling from Mr Taylor that he cared more about Football than he did for himself.  I personally never thought he was protecting his own position out of self-interest unlike his predecessor.

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If Taylor stabilised the mess and mire left by disgraced Farry when he left for the marble corridors of UEFA his replacement brought petty agendas and conspiracy theorists out the woodwork.  Bring on a ex player, Coach, Business degree holder, Media Pundit and Football Agent.  A mix of everything you would consider for the role.  Did I forget to mention he was Scottish too.  The Scottish bit is important not as important as Gordon Smith’s association with Rangers.  This and a mis-speak or misquote regarding sectarianism.  My view on this is that Smith was concerned that the focus solely  on Rangers was an unhelpful smokescreen.  Depending on your view Rangers at this time did have its fair share of hatful songs and language at this time.  Smith was only saying that to say that this only happened at Rangers games was not helpful in eradicating this from the game in Scotland. He certainly was not defending the Hate speech at Ibrox he was in my opinion attempting to widen the scope from simply concentrating on G51 to the wider concerns of Racism, Sectarianism, Sexist comments prevalent at many other Scottish football Stadia. Making football a family friendly environment was his motive.  Ranger may well have been perceived as the leading offenders in this simply by media and UEFA concerns and the defence by many Rangers Fans of they are doing it too had legs.  Gordon Smith none the less had all the credentials to succeed but could never drop the connotations of being a Rangers man.  Smith’s leadership and the direction he took the SFA was surprisingly successful even though the accusation and conspiracy suspicions never left Smith’s tenure. His vast experience in every area of the game though often got him into the headlines.  His comments on events some would think should fall into specialist committees left some in the game surprised.  I would maintain that as a former player he was well placed to refer “Simulation” to the committee tasked with this.  In fact as a man of experience some could say that Smith was the one man experienced enough to modernise the structures at same time respect the traditions.   He resigned from the post to look after his ill aged parents.   Sadly if you think about it take away perceived connections to one club and I think that Smith certainly had all the right ingredients to drive the SFA into a better place.

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Gordon Smith’s petty back stabbers certainly got their wish when the SFA came to replace him.  They went global advertising around the world.  The appointing panel mindful of the pettiness surrounding Smith went for a perfect counter.  Stewart Regan, with the rule book thrown out the window, making rules up as he went along. Never has so many decisions made by the SFA been so challenged.  The only man to allow a Strike by SFA Grade 1 Referees.  I mean to have men who give their time to create a game of football, get abuse by the bucket load week in week out to feel so strongly about an issue that they withdraw their services.  Sorry but failure to support your employees in that manner is bad management.  The SFA were dictated to by a member club was that club sanctioned not nearly enough.  The fact is that mercenary referee’s were flown in from around Europe to cover a match day program.  The SFA invest heavily in its referee training structure but it hung the products of this out to dry. Rightly or wrongly the treatment of Referees at this time was handled badly.  Celtic attacked and succeeded but as an outsider looking in if a club, a manager, a player ever says that they have never made a mistake then I will show you a bare-faced liar.  The events after the referee error by the officials themselves were wrong but the whole incident had no winners, only a collection of losers, everyone involved lost.  Not one shred of credit could be placed on anyone embroiled in drama that became a crisis.  Regan had set the tone for being a dead  in the water. A lame duck Chief Executive.  Then comes Rangers.

An association is in many ways like a trade union membership brings benefits and restrictions.  An Association is by definition the sum of many parts. No part bigger than the other and no part too small to be unsupported.  Not for one second should the SFA bailed out Rangers in any way but unlike many other members going into administration the Rangers situation was more complex than many of us will ever understand.  Unlike Celtic pre McCann this was a club with undetermined debts.  this was a club fighting for the right of many businesses to of employed tax reduction strategies.  Morally reducing your tax liability is wrong to the vast majority of the population who simply don’t get access to such schemes but legally schemes and plans to do so keep the wheels of commerce flowing not just in football but in every aspect of everyday Britain.  Starbucks, Google, News International, Jimmy Carr, Rangers all MORALLY  guilty as charged in reducing their tax liabilities.  Innocent however of any illegal acts certainly most of what they were accused of.  There is a vast difference between Tax Reduction and Tax avoidance.  If you honestly think this is wrong then look at your own world.  Your employer most likely reduces their tax liability substantially.  I would bet they claim back VAT for example.  I would bet also that you have paid a tradesman cash in hand at a reduced price thus avoiding VAT (illegally) the little deals here and there make us all guilty in some way or fashion.  The SFA stood by and said nothing at a time when stands had to be taken.  As I said not bailing out Rangers but at least finding out about the trouble one of its members were in and offering a clarifying statement to benefit the game.  Standing quietly by was not an option but it was the one Regan took.

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Regan has stood quiet on many issues strange as it may seem the National teams fall down the world rankings does not seem to bother Mr Regan.   As I said Lame Duck in charge.  This could maybe be reversed if the Chief of the League Body(s) were strong leaders.  Even Regan could ride on the wake of someone like Ernie Walker god knows Jim Farry did. The warnings of impeding financial doom were all there for years. Regan and Cronies failed to protect, serve or inform their Customers, the fans and not for the lack of warnings.

You Can’t Be Serious

3 Jul

Oh dear.
I am never sure of who makes these decisions or what criteria they use but oh dear.

Neil Doncaster being rewarded by being handed the job of steering the newly formed SPFL.

I may come to the lack of ambition this shows later but what I would like to know is why? Who? So how about some clarity is this the work of the Harper Macleod company. A company that seems inexorably linked to just one Club in Scotland? Was the employment process handled with due diligence. The time scale seems a little short for this. If you think I am a voice in the wilderness in this then read the excellent Bill McMurdo blog

http://billmcmurdo.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/megalomaniacs-and-pies/

Bill does not pull punches has inside knowledge and contacts but most importantly is not afraid to publish. For those assuming a McMurdo agenda let me remind you he brokered Mo Johnstone’s move to Rangers, hardly the act of a man filled with hatred and bile!

So who in their right minds would hire Neil Doncaster?

Dame Shirley Bassie sung a James Bond song called “Goldfinger” it contained a line “the man with the Midas touch.” We’ll Neil Doncaster is what you get if you take every lyric in that fine song and reverse it. Midas touch? If he fell into a pool of gold he would lose the fillings in his teeth.

The last man to be given such a public job without the ability to see it through was last seen climbing down a rope off the COSTA CONCORDIA!

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Having unsuccessfully piloted a small ship ripping the bottom out of this ship below the water line and leaving it sinking on rocks. Doncaster now gets promoted receives a bigger ship and told to navigate through trickier waters. ONLY IN SCOTTISH FOOTBALL!

The stated ambition of the SPFL was to learn from the past, clean the slate and forge a future. With the Doncaster at the helm learning from the past means covering up. It is rumoured that SPL LTD is heavily in debt with effectively no assets. So whisper it its kind of in Doncaster’s benefit to cover that up. So no lesson to learn. Clean the slate well for at least 27 of the 42 clubs is Doncaster not the guy who just one year ago tried to bully them into parachuting a club onto their top tier? As any victim of a bully will testify its hard to wipe away that tattoo. Forge a future how can you trust a single word this man says. He is the only man I know who sounds nervous in print! He has spent most of the last year rubbishing the very product he was paid to promote and administer. The result no title sponsor for the now dead SPL.

This appointment will only make many think the SFPL is not a merger but a aggressive hostile take over.  Not so much a Union or a marriage but a master and slave.  With this appointment East Fife today may as well be East Africa in the early 1800s. Clubs in former sfl1, sfl2 and sfl3 chained in serfdom to the clubs in the former SPL.

Ambition who ever what ever appointed Doncaster has a ambition all right.

To ruin and wreck scottish league football. Sounds like a perfect strategy to excuse yourself from a mess to play in a league in another country. A bit like the reasons why Swansea and now Cardiff are in the English Premiership?

Sporting integrity died a while ago.  With Doncaster at the helm Integrity is a pipe dream for Scottish football that will not appear for a long time.

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It’s not like Doncaster will be sacked for incompetence, everyone knows or should know what they get off this fly by night. What did he say at the interview? Employ me or I tell all!

I do wish David Longmuir well. I hope he had not signed a gagging order if he has that will not only deprive us the public the truth but will compound the mistrust of the paying public.