Tag Archives: SFA

Investment Direct?

29 Oct

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Mike Ashley buys shares in Rangers and supplies a temporary loan.  He owns less than TEN PERCENT of shares but has control or ownership of certain assets.  Due to his loan he decides to appoint a few key memebers of staff and two board members.  There seems nothing that wild about the Owner of the very Sucessful Sports Direct doing this.  It seems to the casual observer that a Multi Millionaire investing and lending money to a business and ensuring he has representation to protect his shares, investments and loans.

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Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley happens to have a rather sucessful resume.  Owner of a very profitable Sports retailer and owner of a English Premiership club.  The man’s money and assets are not on doubt.  Mike is not morgaging his mansions to finiance his interest in Rangers.  His credentials are public and accepted in principal by all.  The real debate is not if Mike Ashley has a million pounds but how many millions he actually does have.

So it’s with interest that the Scottish Football Association are asking for clarification on Mike Ashley’s influence at Ibrox.  It is well within The powers that be at Hampden to ask these questions and they even have a right to waive their rules and not wait until a shareholding exceeds ten percent.  What I find strange is Mike Ashley has an unimpeachable record as a Businessman and Club Owner yet he is subject to demands for clarity.  What exactly are the SFA concerned about? Mike Ashley does not want any public smear on his character or good name. He is at best ensuring his retail business has a series of assets of a big club and access to the hundreds of thousands of fans. His business needs to convert this fan base of a Fottball Club into a Consumer base for his Retail Group. At worse he is investing money into a company that is hemorrhaging money at a very alarming rate.

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Craig Whyte

Was not that many years ago that a Conman talked his way into Scottish football and the institution that is Rangers with little more than a forked tongue and a barely hidden morgage of assets.  Yet I do not remember any SFA concern yet alone anything that led to an investigation. How many others slipped in under the guise of saviours allowed to work a “long con” as Regan, Doncaster and pals look the otherway.

From a casual observers point it could be seen as SFA interfering with a Positive investment after allowing a very negative one.

What concerns can they truly have Mike Ashley has clearly invested his money and loaned money to a club.  He has the funds to do so.  Yet SFA and SPFL seek to investigate this investment rather seek a League Title Sponsor to benefit the whole of Scottish football.  Seems Neil Doncaster has put his Crayons down just long enough to look at the prospect of Rangers being well financed and stable with envious green tinted spectacles.

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The influence that Mr Ashley can impose at Murray Park and Ibrox is considerably less than he has at Newcastle United but slightly more than he has a numerous clubs and national associations. By the power of his retail empire he can if he choses to play hard ball regards the sale of replica strips and the like. The sheer size of Sports Direct means effectively in the United Kingdom Mike Ashley can hurt sales of every Clubs merchandise. He can also negotiate down the cost of wholesale items. Sports direct and Mike Ashley can effectively control a percentage of every club and nations income stream. So the prospect of the Scottish Football Association finding Mr Ashley as having undue power and influence at Rangers is indeed a moot point.

As for the motivation and reasons for this investigation I know the SFA like to be seen to be doing something at any time. A self justification of their position and salary. It is a two pronged public relations own goal though.

For Rangers Fans there is a case for suggesting why are the SFA concerned about Mike Ashley when they were not concerned about Craig Whyte, a man who took control of Rangers with genuine concerns about his background at the time and now proven almost daily in courts around Scotland. For Rangers fans it has a element of victimisation as the Ibrox club works it’s way back to the top league.

For fans of other clubs and the national team the question has to be. “why? When the game in Scotland is screaming out for investment. Are you so publicly making investing in the Scottish game such a impossibility”. It is little wonder that there is no league title sponsor two years after the Clydesdale Bank sponsorship ended and Irn Bru were dumped via the rushed reconstruction. Eighteen months on the SPFL have achieved nothing but creating a new logo!

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Neil Doncaster                                                                    Stewart Regan

The Dynamic Duo of Regan and Doncaster (remember him) seem to of melted into the undergrowth. Maybe they were buried under the Commonwealth Games Running track who knows. What we do know though is that when the silence is only broken by the likes of this investigation then in the unlikely event any blue chip company wishes to invest in the Scottish game they will hold fire until The blockers and mis-management of Doncaster and Regan leave their posts.

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Casting Stones

13 Sep

Ian Black stands in front of a tribunal the weight of the evidence or and having the regulations explained to him mean he had no other choice but to plead guilty.  The punishment is handed down Black takes the punishment and censure on the chin. Matter closed? Not in Scotland.

If Ian Black had walked out of Hampden’s glass doors to face the media he would of been confronted by stone clutching masses.  All taking aim at the Rangers midfielder.  Ian had afterall admitted his errors, taken his punishment like a man.  He may even as we speak be talking to counselors at Gamblers Anonymous. He may be quietly dealing with a problem he has developed.  Is this even included in the questions regarding Black’s Gambling?

So in the absence of compassion, empathy or hunger for facts. Let’s examine the people and organisations who are so quick to and perfectly qualified to judge and insist Ian Black is ran out of Ibrox. 

We have one organisation who broadcast nightly week days giving a platform for pundits to insist Ian Black is sacked.  Interesting at a time when Bill Walker (ex MSP) is deposed for Domestic Abuse Crimes, this nation wide broadcaster retains the services of someone guilty of similar crimes not as a self employed presenter no as staff.  So if Black should be sacked maybe this broadcaster should contact their own Human Resource department rather than urging others to do so. Possibly even consider that if gambling is so bad why do they take thousands of pounds from bookmakers.  Smacks of triple standards to me.

Next we have another organisation that seems to of been used as a hide for some of the nation’s biggest sex criminals in the last fifty years.    Despite many staff members having concerns these criminals hide in plain sight maybe their Human Resources department need to look at their own procedures. 

Then we have a print press pack tarnished by hacking spying and invading peoples private telephone calls, email accounts and other personal information.  Such was the extent of this in the media culture it was not a question of how many should of lost their jobs but actually easier to find those untarnished by the evils of hacking.
Wheeled out other team managers who advocate Rangers sacking players etc.  Sorry but this,is the same club that allowed police investigations to stand alone rather than take objective action when scandal and shame visited their club.  A incredibly lazy Human Resource Department unless it was instructed to ignore from above.

Then Ian Black’s Union join in following their failure in educating their members.  They come out with damming comments.  So much for a Union supporting its members failed once Ian Black is then damned by his union.  He must be considering the odds of him refusing to pay the union fees.

As for the authorities if gambling on football is such a evil then I would guess the Scottish cup will be looking for a new sponsor.  

Let Ian Black serve his ban and let them without sin cast the first stone. 

Neil and Stu – Trotters not so Independent Traders

7 Sep

Followers of my words will know that neither Neil Doncaster or Stewart Regan are on my Christmas Card list.  I am acutely aware that I am not on theirs.  Safe to say I won’t hold my breath for a invite to hampden ivory towers for tea and crumpets.  I try to be fair and chatitable to the leaders of Scottish Football but the latest freshly baked batch of news to emerge from Hampden is beyond reason.

Let’s take all the statements from Neil and Stu.  Turmoil, financial instabilities, needing investment just some of the paraphrased comments.  From member clubs you hear the need of two things

1 financial income/investment

2 support from the associations and league.

So why did Stewart Reagan’s SFA close TWO DAYS before the rest of the world on transfer deadline day. 

This suicidal move to restrict trade has 41 clubs wondering why they didn’t benefit from the HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of Pounds swilling around European Football.  The only club to benefit seems to be Hamilton who cashed in on a Scots born Irishman via a sell on clause.  We’ll done them.  The sale that keeps on giving, just male sure Stewart Regan isn’t your bank manager because you wouldn’t get your money till Christmas. 

There is a Christmas theme what the sfa did by closing is the equivalent to marks and spencers closing on the 21st of December!  Why because it’s a working day! 

It’s a reason that does not stack up, not now not then not ever.  Much talk of Pyramid systems well by shutting up shop early the sfa cut the player pyramid off in its prime.  Directly hurting ambitious players, destroying the possibility of clubs making survival til January easier.  I hope a club does not fold potentially because it wasn’t able to sell a player on.

The merrigoround of transfers traditionally spins and drags in some Scottish interest.  Player A goes from Scotland to England, player B goes from lower league to Scottish  Premiership. Players develop clubs survive.  Simple that’s what happens on transfer deadline day. 

Celtic for example fresh from Champions league qualification suffered a potentially long term injury blow with Lustig, even with a early Saturday Kick off Neil Lennon had no time to find a replacement.  This proves that the SFA have no intrwst in supporting or developing clubs and players in Scotland.  Let’s make no bones about this,  Supporting and Developing The Game (clubs & players & officials) is The Foundation of the remit of the Association it is not a opt in.

Peter Lawwell must be realising his position on the sfa board. He must wish that he was appointed earlier. He like every other club in Scotland must look at England with envy.  Then again Greg Dyke etc were not insidiously employed by a Lawyers firm masquerading as a employment/hr firm.  I doubt that even former employee of the month Lawwell will ditch his former employers and his friends though because he is part of the problem even though Celtic have been indoubyably disadvantaged by the SFA.

If Neil and Stu’s motivation to close the case and run off to the three wheeler van was aimed at Rangers then that is not just bad but cause for absolute horror.  If the vendetta against one club Rangers, allows for the REST OF SCOTTISH FOOTBALL to suffer then that my friends is a crime beyond Jim Farry.

Ian Black The Heart of The Matter

20 Aug

Ian Black cited for breach of betting rules. Well if the evidence stacks up then get any accused into the tribunals and the truth will out. Keep to the principal held dear in all good democracies – INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I do hope we won’t get the usual Scottish fare of let’s just call them the usual suspects procrastinating about Ian Black being guilty before he has been given a opportunity to prove otherwise. If this happens and we all expect it too in some form or another then I am afraid that the lessons that should of been learned by media outlets from the “Top Tier Tax Tribunals” original decision have not been realised.

Quick Question. Who is is line for Scottish Bafta for making up untruths this time?

Like me though do you wonder who discovers any possible breaches.  I mean is this the bookmaker upset that Ian Black possibly won money?  A fellow gambler upset that he was not included in the syndicate.  To be honest I have no clue who but what does it take to be the catalyst for investigation.

Notice I say investigation not citing or punishment but inveatigation. What does it take to be looked at by the authorities. Is there a Crimewatch style hotline to the SFA special branch. If so it must be a secret (hardly a good template for a hotline) because no one seems to know how you inform on a Club, Player, Official, questionable match or dodgy character.

So we are left with the only route to justice being exposed by the press.  A press who appear to be suffering from their own hypocrasy issues regards their mandate of purity and truth.  The print media suffering from Levingson/hacking scandals and the broadcast media suffering shock from becoming a camouflage for a number of abusing employees.  They are hardly in a position to become the moral judges. 

In truth a story to the press is not based on how the truth will out but how much it will increase their circulation or kudos. 

The SFA react, they appear not to be proactive.  As long as no one says different Hampden thinks nothing is wrong.  It’s a definition of bunker syndrome. Nothing said and nothing done till the postman delivers bad news. Then they engage the systems and hope the defendant does not employ a hot shot lawyer to help in his defence.

Ian Black may be innocent he may be guilty time will tell but waiting to be informed makes the sfa a sitting duck for informants with,agendas rather than actively attempting to root put any law breaking itself.

For example no one in the SPFL SFA Hampden Hide away appear to be even vaguely suspicious of one of the last round of games of the SPL season 2012/13.

One team had a reasonable motive not to try to win and accrue three points.  Points that would directly hurt this club in season 2013/14.  A club already possibly guilty of bending the rules in the days previous to this match. Not sure about teams selling the jerseys more about no one raising the issue.

Maybe its just me but the last week of last season requires careful investigation if only to remove suspicion.

Will anyone at Hampden do this I doubt it, the information is hidden in plain sight not delivered in a brown envelope signed with love “Deep Throat”

Scotland’s Shamful Supporters – Who Sainted The Tartan Army

18 Aug

Right it seems that if you criticise The Tartan Army for being abusive, offensive and generally racist then you have to be prepared for a deluge of abuse, offensive and racist comments from the tartan army foot in mouth Soldiers.

Show them this sheet music
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Or better still play it on a instrument and it kind of becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.  Sing it and you could find yourself facing down legions of louts wearing plaid.

Such is the egos of the Tartan Clad Clots that they assume the Tartan Army can do no wrong, not now not ever. You even get the excuse if we are not as bad as …. This "wee bit pregnant" style excuse fails right off the bat. Even just banter fails as the authorities and tartan army fans have ignored this reasoning from old form and Edinburgh clubs. So for the Tartan army to it now is evidence of a special kind of hypocrisy. This is not to mention the excuse of non violence well sorry words can be violent too and to compare any member of the Tartan Army to Rosa Parks and M.L.K. is nothing short of delusion.

I wonder who sainted these ambassadors of abuse. What evidence mandates the self classification of the Scottish National Teams Loud Mouthed fans. I look at scenes from the last 50 year's and I am not seeing much evidence that backs up the "Angels In Tartan Tammies" tag.

To answer my own question and to despel the accusation of West of Scotland bias. I will repeat my veiw. The lack of Supporters from the big two metropolitan multicultural centres of Scotland means that Scotland is now followed by the backward country bumpkins that defend Bernard Manning! Uneducated bigots who armed with one piece of correct if bot unused information will still manage to embaress themselves.

So with the Commonwealth Games Tickets going on sale I would urge the Tartan Army to stay away from the events next year. The games will have athletes from nations the tartan army don't like. England will be represented as will India, Pakistan and several African nations. In fact Tartan Army Soldiers a lot of the athlete's and visitors will not be like petty minded Scottish bigots, a lot of people present in arenas won’t even be Scottish.
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So why can I make the statement that the tartan army is populated by sub humans outwith the main multicultural centres of Scotland. Simple most Celtic fans do not support Scotland due to a mistrust of the SFA going back to Jorge Cadette! Rangers fans don’t trust the sfa going back to unofficial use of tv evidence to punish a Graeme Souness. That is not to mention the ethnic cleansing employed by the Tartan army to get rid of old firm fans. Edinburgh fans are similar they tend not to be so happy that to see Scotland at home they have to travel along the M8. These matches should in their view be played in the Capital not 40 miles away.

There is of course an additional reason. Glasgow and Edinburgh have large multicultural populations and have developed into tolerant societies. Now I am not going to hold up the old firm as paragons of virtue. Nor am I going to suggest that Edinburgh is a Martin Luther King City of tolerance. Yet in comparson to The shires within the shores of Scotland the advancement of Glasgow and Edinburgh is undoubted.

In Glasgow and Edinburgh folk respect the anthems of others and at least realise that if you play a verse and a chorus it is easy to assume it to be verse one. Certainty the Metropolitans don’t automatically assume that the unsung lyrics that could cause them offense is the very silent words being sung in their own heads. As I said in previous posts the Lichtenstein Anthem being booed automatically discredited any anti-Marshall-Wade-ism, unless someone shows me that the first verse of “Oben am jungen Rhein” (Up above the young Rhine) is actually a battle cry for the men of Lichtenstein to attack Dundee!

To decry a musical score is akin to the burning of Beatles records by rednecks. I wonder how many of The Tartan Army have spent the last week burning all their Nike Clothing and Footwear because England wore Nike stripes. It’s ludicrous to extend a genuine rivalry the oldest rivalry in international football to this level.

Sadly though I think by decrying the big city teams branding Rangers, Celtic, Hearts and Hibs as bigots/racists and bad eggs the Tartan army has failed in its much vaunted intention to police itself.

As seen at Wembly last week the tartan army is devoid of the big city fans and filled with educationally sub normal bigots who fueled by alcohol and ignorance continue to embaress Scotland.

Much lauded laws were introduced to combat ignorance. Yet they are hardly used outside Glasgow or on Non Old firm fans and not on the Tartan Army. The Tartan Army are all members of the Scotland travelling fans and as such are on a database so they are easily traced. They booed they embarrassed they caused it so BAN THEM ALL. The twenty-five thousand who misrepresented the Scottish Nation should be at least shamed by association.

Strange thought though how does Englishman Stewart Regan feel having his national anthem booed by fans paying his wages. Wonder how new league chief Neil Doncaster feels about this too. Oh sorry Regan and Doncaster have I just reminded the loudest bigots in Scotland that your not Scottish.

Watch your inboxes.

Twenty five thousand went to Wembley and three arrests showing that not only is ignorance not a excuse for breaking the law but ignorance is not against the law, well not in England anyway. In Scotland there is a task force looking into it. Maybe they should look into the self-beatification of the Tartan army. The same Government who are bringing in minimum pricing for alcohol units because it wants to reduce alcohol abuse in Scottish society celebrates, indeed uses a whiskey fuelled mob of ignorant bigots as “Cultural Ambassadors” what next Andy Murray as a stand up comic!

Scotland’s Shameful Supporters – The New Order Tartan Army

15 Aug

I don’t get embarrassed often. Then again I am pretty much unshockable.  I am shocked and embarrassed today though. Its not by a single incident though its more the accumulation of events. Sadly though these feelings I have and the history make me have real concerns.

Those who read my blog on team busses will know I already have concerns about the quality of sports fan and society in Scotland today (not John Mckay). Events at Wembley last night take these concerns further.

The seemingly acceptable behaviour of booing national anthems has not just grown arms and legs in the last decade but is now so “Scottish” that this practice sports a Tartan Tammy, ginger wig and a cheap kilt! It has developed into quite frankly racism.  Gone are the days of a welcoming band of alcohol fuelled freindly party lads. You know the photos of tartan clad, Sun burnt Jocks kissing Policewoman has gone.  It’s been replaced by the spectacle of national anthems being drowned out by fans.  Now before I get comments saying this lyric or that verse the same uneducated Scottish fans booed the Liechtenstein national anthem because it shared a musical score with God Save The Queen, so to be honest the pseudo-nationalists taking the hump at certain lyrics has been “sent homeward to think again”.

Its only football fans I hear you say. Yes at the moment but football fans are part of society too. This cultural force walks beside us day in day out. Now in less than a year the same citizens will be taking their families to Commonwealth Games events and whisper it ENGLAND will be represented and stand a good chance of winning some medals. Cue the boo boys passing on their ideals to a new generation and embarrassing a nation live on tv around the world.

It’s not national pride and surely does not reflect Scotland.  It’s just the loud mouthed self appointed cultural ambassadors Scotland has developed over the last few years have let the side down.  In the last year a agenda of anti anything not Scottish has infected sport.  Rangers hired out amazing facilities to a few European teams visiting to play Celtic in European competitions, they were accused of disloyalty to Scottish Sport. Let’s not get into the extra political agendas that were attached to this, just deal with the facts.  Rangers as a business are entitled to rent out their facilities to anyone who asks.  Also on the run up to the Commonwealth Games Rangers promoted the superb sporting facilities around Scotland to the.world.

I do have a theory the Tartan Army has lost a large section of fans and been high jacked by a new breed.  The West of Scotland branch of the tartan army has lost members, they have been replaced by members from the Provences. The members of the tartan army from the main cities Glasgow and Edinburgh has reduced and these places have been filled by provincial fans.  I have travelled around Scotland been to many games at many stadia. In my experience the worse examples of offensive behaviour are outwith Glasgow and Edinburgh. Incidentally and sorry buddies but I include Paisley in with Glasgow.  In my experience you want to experience the mindset of the 1970s complete with its sexist, racist any ist then go visit Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, Tayside or Grampian.  I am not proud of this but I have heard words on a bus in Aberdeen recently that could of came from the script of “Love Thy Neighbour” in 1970s. 

Why is this the case simple the jingoistic nationalist racist disease is infecting society shocking it. As long as the Tartan Army are getting away Scot free (no pun intended) then its only natural that this behaviour is seen as allowable, god forbid normal in the rest of society.

So its time the authorities stopped seeing booing national anthems as examples of the jolly japes of the Jocks and started seeing it as an example of the behaviour we all want to rid society of.

Thems The Rules

3 Aug

Oh dear.

You see if you change the rules enforce new rules to the fullness available to you and make your motive for this rather clear. Then you had better make sure you continue to follow to the letter. Because moving the goal posts about is fine and dandy if not clear and stable. It’s also helpful to remember that your barely hidden target is watching taking notes.

It is illegal within the rules of association to take your national association or league body to court. It’s a rule designed to make the authorities final arbiter beyond contempt. Shame Neil Doncaster and Stewart Regan are now in the dock with contempt the least of the charges.

Rangers began in January looking to use a loophole in the rules regards Trialists. Murray Park planned out how to use this loophole to the maximum and things looked reasonable. Cometh the hour cometh the puppets. Enraged that anyone in G51 would spot a loophole yet alone use it. Scottish Footballs own Nookie Bear and Orville the Duck slam shut the loophole and celebrate their pyrich victory. And it is a pariah victory because by showing willingness to make up rules bend rules change the landscape what have Orville and Nookie achieved.

No business is willing to engage them in any form of contract, why?

If you are willing to move the goal posts about with your member clubs then you are likely to do Yeh same with business partners and they can at least sue. Even if they don’t want too.

In addition to the lack of income (begging the question what is paying Orville and Nookie’s wages) the legality of every word of the SFA SPFL is now tagged with “subject to scrutiny”. The obvious confidence of the two puppets to do as they please will only lead to complacency. A dangerous mix with these two.

The real danger is though if as the pattern seems to show the more you move the goal posts and make up rules to suit a agenda you have is that eventually you paint yourself into a corner and then is when the trouble really begins.

Already Rangers have asked for clarity on rules and decisions. This is just the beginning. In time the Muppets will fond themselves in a position that quiet simply brings down the house of cards.

With teams struggling to make ends meet would it not be better if Doncaster and Regan secured new funds rather than try to settle old scores.