Latest Plan to Save “Rangers” Is An Abdication of Responsibility by the Football Authorities

In which I offer a few thoughts on the SFL plan to save Scottish football by putting “Rangers” into SFL1. It does not impress me…

In 2010 the former First Minister, Henry McLeish, was commissioned to prepare a major report into the state and future of Scottish football. His report is very comprehensive and accessible on the SFA website. It included recommendations that the SPL and SFL should merge to have one unified four-division league structure. There were dozens of proposals and theories, backed up by research and evidence.

It was announced to great fanfare in 2010, and then…

It is not true to say that nothing happened, but nothing noticeable. The football authorities might have been working away vigorously in the background on the plan, but there was little outward sign. In the same way as Royal Commission reports provide lots of interesting material, and a fine set of bound volumes for the library shelf, but no action, the McLeish Report seemed destined for the same fate.

Then, for no apparent reason ( 😉 ) the football authorities had the scales fall from their eyes. They had a Damascene conversion. Suddenly they were inspired by the path of righteousness. Mr McLeish’s report was dusted off and action commenced!

There followed this SFA Press statement 23rd June 2012

Scottish FA leads reconstruction talks

Saturday, 23 June 2012

The following statement has been issued on behalf of the Scottish FA, SPL and SFL:

“All three parties have been involved in productive discussions for some time on the subject of league reconstruction. This culminated in a positive meeting last night, out of which the two league bodies will now engage in a wider consultation with their member clubs.

“The discussions are based on the key principles for reconstruction outlined in the Henry McLeish Review of Scottish football:

* One league body in the senior game
* Promotion/relegation play-off between SPL and SFL First Division
* Single financial distribution model
* Pyramid system, with the potential for relegation from and promotion to the fourth tier

“Further consultation will take place in the near future, with the aim of reaching a positive outcome on a new model to take Scottish football forward.”

Good to see the report being actioned. Clearly it would take some time to canvass the opinions of the members of the SPL and SFL. Discussion would be needed amongst the members to avoid rushing them into ill-considered decisions.

So, five days later…

Press statement by the SFL 28th June 2012

YOUR GAME  –  YOUR CLUB  –  YOUR FUTURE

The Scottish Football League, for the last number of days, has been involved in intensive discussions with The Scottish Premier League, The Scottish Football Association and other crucial stakeholders in our game, to try and address, in a positive way, the current critical issues affecting our game.

The Scottish Football League will today send a briefing document to its member clubs – a logical and positive communication which will hopefully eliminate some of the understandable doubt, threats and insecurities that are apparent within the game at the moment.  The consultation document will fully explain the short and long-term benefits of a number of scenarios which we will be considering at a full Club Meeting next week.

The Scottish Football League is trying to address the question of whether we are in a position to accommodate a solution to the Rangers F.C. scenario.  We are trying to achieve a solution which will be in the best interests of The Scottish Football League and the wider game.

David A. Longmuir
Chief Executive, SFL
28th June, 2012

And also…

Statement by the SPL 28th June 2012

Press Statement ~ SPL Update

The SPL today held constructive talks with 11 member clubs ahead of the General Meeting on 4 July.

Following today’s meeting, the SPL will continue to work with the Scottish FA and SFL to discuss the best way forward for Scottish football.

All member clubs will meet on 4 July to formally decide whether to approve the transfer of Rangers FC share.

I like the comment by David Longmuir – these intensive discussions have taken place over the last “number of days”! Someone would think that there was some out of the ordinary development provoking this sudden burst of activity.

I will repeat Mr Longmuir’s description of what was being sent out to the SFL clubs

“a logical and positive communication which will hopefully eliminate some of the understandable doubt, threats and insecurities that are apparent within the game at the moment.  The consultation document will fully explain the short and long-term benefits of a number of scenarios which we will be considering at a full Club Meeting next week.”

Excellent. Who can fault a “logical and positive” document? And, in the present climate, the league members would benefit from something which will “eliminate” some of the “doubt, threats and insecurities”. A full explanation of various scenarios facing the SFL will be of help to the members. Excellent. I wonder what this document had to say?

With thanks to STV.tv, the full statement sent to the SFL members today, 28th June 2012 is shown below.

———————————————-

The proposal to SFL clubs, titled “Your Game, Your Club, Your Future

WHY DOES RESISTANCE TO CHANGE IN FOOTBALL EXIST?

•Fear of the unknown

•Lack of involvement

•Lack of information

•Threat to power, or status

•No perceived benefits

•Fear of failure

•Unless behaviour changes, nothing changes

UNDERSTANDING RESISTANCE TO CHANGE

•Perceptions of being “worse off”

•If the reasons for change are not clear

•If implementation plans are not clear

•If there is no clear “link” with your own objectives

•If a change is seen as a threat to your long term security or well being

WE THEREFORE NEED SOME CLEAR COMMUNICATION PRIORITIES FOR THE SFL

•Logical and positive communication to eliminate doubt, threat and insecurity

•Fully explained in terms of short and long term benefits to you and the organisation

•Not left to the last minute

•Involving you at an early stage

•And seen in the context of a wider strategic plan

CURRENT REALITY

•Rangers have no where to go

•SPL Clubs have indicated their voting intentions

•SFA wish to see a solution in the interests of the game

•Moral/sporting question vs financial collapse

•Are The SFL are in a position to accommodate a solution?

WE HAVE CONSIDERED FIVE SCENARIOS

1.Rangers stay in SPL

2.Rangers to Third Division

3.Rangers to First Division

4.Rangers to SPL2

5.Rangers terminated or suspended

1. RANGERS STAY IN SPL

•Not an option

•SPL clubs have indicated no

2. RANGERS TO THIRD DIVISION

•Takes approximately £16 million out of the game

•Commercial partners walk away and seek compensation

•The settlement agreement becomes a major risk

•The sporting opportunity is quashed for other clubs

3. RANGERS TO FIRST DIVISION

•Reduces SPL income by approximately 30%

•Balances short term need for redemption with a least worst case financial scenario

•It is financially possible to recover from this scenario

4. RANGERS TO SPL2

•Currently not supported by the SFA

•Creates a bigger divide

•Leads to some short term commercial losses

•A legal challenge could paralyse the game

•The overall pot would be much less than anticipated

5. RANGERS TERMINATED OR SUSPENDED

•Complete financial meltdown

•Settlement agreement is obliterated

•Fans are lost to the game forever

•The game survives but where?

SO WHAT EXACTLY ARE WE BEING ASKED TO CONSIDER?

•Rangers in the IRN-BRU First Division this coming season

•A one off fee to buy out the Rangers media value. (£1million) thus protecting the current contracts in place.

IF WE AGREE THEN WE REQUIRE THE FOLLOWING

•Play-Offs immediately, based on our format

•A new distribution model with the settlement agreement value protected and future proofed

•An amalgamation of the SPL & SFL

•A more balanced governance model (as circulated)

WHICH WILL DELIVER BENEFITS TO THE SCOTTISH FOOTBALL LEAGUE

•Immediate cash benefit for all 30 clubs!

•Gate receipt uplift in Division 1

•Potential hospitality & advertising values increase

•Sponsors receive added value through additional exposure

•Scottish Government remain committed to our community strategy

•SFL has more influence at the top table

•Play-Offs restore the sporting meritocracy and deliver additional value

AND BENEFITS TO SCOTTISH FOOTBALL

•A unified plan presented to the Scottish footballing public which offers real possibilities for the game

•Keeps all 42 clubs together avoiding a divisive SPL2 split

•Deals with the need for sporting integrity with regard to Newco

•Delivers innovation in the form of a single league, Play-Offs and a pyramid plan

•Delivers new value for the game

•Potentially narrows the financial gap between Scottish Premier League & Scottish League

•Shows leadership for the game in Scotland

•Allows fans to engage in the bigger picture

•A positive media outcome

———————————————-

What a remarkable document!

How does it do in hitting the aims set for it by Mr Longmuir?

Logical and positive – I don’t think so.

Eliminate doubt, threats and insecurities – rather than eliminating these factors, it seems to make threats and increase doubt and fear.

Fully explain the short and long-term benefits of a number of scenarios – Mr Longmuir must have a different dictionary from me, if he thinks that “fully” explains the scenarios. And indeed all the scenarios relate only to “Rangers.” That is an issue facing the SFL just now, but there are others. The McLeish Report was not a document designed only to deal with Rangers, was it?

Review of the Document

Introduction – Why are people resistant to change?

I like that. It is a positive start. After all, why should people stand in the way of change. Change is good. Change is progress. Progress can only be positive. Therefore you do not want to be an old reactionary, resistant to change – welcome it!

Therefore what is needed is “Logical and positive communication to eliminate doubt, threat and insecurity”. Communication is important. That seems reminiscent of the mantra of failing governments over the years – the electorate would support us, if only we communicated better, say the politicians. Sometimes the electorate do not support politicians because they are talking rubbish!

Current Reality

Now we see where this is going. The first issue addressed regarding the current reality is about Rangers, as is the second, third, fourth and fifth. In fact the whole issue is about Rangers. Why did the statement by Mr Longmuir not be up-front and state that this is what it was to be about? His statement mentions Rangers, but only in the third paragraph, implying that it was only one of the issues facing the SFL.

I hesitate to call the document one which is partial and seeking to advocate one position, but it is. Look at this factor in the “current reality” – “Moral/sporting question vs financial collapse”.

That looks like a closed mind – not integrity v financial issues, but “moral/sporting question v financial collapse!”

We then have five scenarios. All of course fail to recognise that, as matters stand, Sevco Scotland, or Sevco 5088 or RFC 2012 are not members of the SFA, SFL or SPL. In fact none of those is yet the operator of a football club within the meaning of the rules.

But let that pass for just now, although it again skews the document and indicates it is leading to a particular conclusion.

Scenarios

I have made my comments in bold throughout the scenarios.

1. RANGERS STAY IN SPL

•Not an option

•SPL clubs have indicated no

Correct. Actually “Rangers” cannot stay in the SPL as they are not there now, but we will let that pass.

2. RANGERS TO THIRD DIVISION

•Takes approximately £16 million out of the game

Where does this figure come from? If it is the money that Rangers lose by dropping to Division 3 then that is their problem. It is not as though there is revenue sharing in Scottish football. Therefore this, unquantified, sum represents the loss to “Rangers” and not to the SFL members. After all, what does the SFL lose of Rangers enter the SFL? That must be a positive for the SFL, mustn’t it?

•Commercial partners walk away and seek compensation

Who? And why? Again this cannot affect the SFL. This seems to be a call for the SPL to rescue “Rangers”. If the SPL or SFA have been stupid enough to sign contracts where they have to pay damages for a member going out of business or being relegated, then that is a perversion of fair play, and makes no sporting sense at all.

•The settlement agreement becomes a major risk

By this I assume the SFL refers to the agreement whereby it receives the crumbs from the SPL table. How is this at risk. The “full” explanation seems rather lacking.

•The sporting opportunity is quashed for other clubs

I assume this means that “Rangers” in SFL3 means that they would be guaranteed promotion, so that penalises the SFL3 teams. But I do not see that as “quashing” the opportunity. In fact the thrust of this document, namely that “Rangers” ought not to be relegated, is “quashing” sporting opportunity.

3. RANGERS TO FIRST DIVISION

•Reduces SPL income by approximately 30%

As with the points above, what does that have to do with the SFL? And most of the lost money is “Rangers” turnover, which was not being recycled down the leagues by Rangers buying lots of players from SFL teams. Where are the figures justifying this bald assertion?

•Balances short term need for redemption with a least worst case financial scenario

Tosh

•It is financially possible to recover from this scenario

How? The implication is that this is the only one which leads to “survival”. How is that calculated? Where are the figures? Posters on RTC have gone into great detail analysing the figures to see how the remaining SPL teams would be affected. Surely the SFL can do the same?

4. RANGERS TO SPL2 (I misread this as SFL2, so have revised accordingly. I apologise for the inaccuracy.)

•Currently not supported by the SFA

Does this imply that the SFA support one of the earlier options? Presumably Mr Regan can tell the public, as he seems to have told the SFL. Is the option the SFA does not support that of “Rangers” to SPL2, or SPL2 itself? As it was a solution which would have accorded with the ideals of the McLEish Plan, then one wonders, apart from the fact that there is no SPL2 just now, when the SFA expressed a view on this?

•Creates a bigger divide

What?!

•Leads to some short term commercial losses

Short term financial losses in connection with punishing wrongdoing. A moral dimension…

•A legal challenge could paralyse the game

From whom and about what?

Would that be from Sevco, on the basis that the rules do not presently permit that, or would it be from the SFL to stop its members leaving without serving notice? Presumably the SFL has some legal advice on this. Why not make it clear to its members, rather than the vague threat of legal challenge “paralysing” the game. That strikes me as similar to the lines spouted by extreme fans of Rangers who would see stopping the whole of Scottish football as justice. I assume Sevco do not agree with that idea.

•The overall pot would be much less than anticipated

Let’s see some figures! How will the figures be “less than anticipated”? Less than if “Rangers” stay in the SPL1? That is off the tablke, as acknowledged above.As I said before, this document seems to be pleading the SPL case for “Rangers” not the SFL case.

 

5. RANGERS TERMINATED OR SUSPENDED

•Complete financial meltdown

Nothing like a positive and logical look at matters! Complete financial meltdown! Armageddon! Infamy, infamy…they’ve all got it infamy! Woe, woe and thrice woe! Let’s be frank. What would the demise of Rangers cost the rest of Scottish football?

As the SPL teams keep their home gates, that does not affect the global balance sheet. Would there be a reduction in visiting fans, and if so could the increased chance for SPL teams to win prizes and European places not increase interest and attendances? Now that Sky has confirmed that it will not rip up the TV deal if RFC expires, then there will still be some reduction in TV income, but not enough to wipe out the SPL.

Does the demise of RFC affect the SFL? Hardly.

•Settlement agreement is obliterated

“Obliterated” and “meltdown”! Nothing like restraint, is it!

•Fans are lost to the game forever

Maybe some will be, but Rangers fans will not disappear into a black hole. And the disappearing fans which affect other teas are the ones who travel to away games. If there is no “Rangers” then another team will replace them and the ripple will move up the league system.

•The game survives but where?

If this blue print is adopted, I think it will cause even more harm than the apocalyptic prognostications of the SFL suggest!

What Is The Plan?

It is simple. “Rangers” admitted to SFL1, and there is a £1 million “bung” from the SPL to accommodate them, under the guise of a payment for TV rights. Er, that’s it…

Just a thought to be explored later – when does a legitimate “commercial inducement” cross the line into being a breach of the Bribery Act 2010?

What Benefits Will This Bring to the SFL?

My comments are in bold.

•Immediate cash benefit for all 30 clubs!

I like the exclamation mark! If shared equally, which it will not be, that amounts to £33,333 per team. That is a lot to SFL3 teams, but enough to exceed the benefit to them of RFC being in SFL3 – I doubt it.

•Gate receipt uplift in Division 1

But if RFC goes into SFL3 there will be higher gate receipts in SFL3, then SFL2 and then SFL1.

•Potential hospitality & advertising values increase

“Potential” “values” increase. But not for SFL2 or SFL3.

•Sponsors receive added value through additional exposure

But not for SFL2 or SFL3.

•Scottish Government remain committed to our community strategy

So the Scottish Government will NOT remain committed to the strategy unless RFC is in SFL1? When was this said? If so that is governmental interference in football administration. Call UEFA! Or maybe this is just nonsense…

•SFL has more influence at the top table

Possibly…although the mere addition of RGC to SFL1 does not show that. If the McLeish plans were being adopted in full, then there would of course not be an SFL. Therefore this plan is simply a RFC parachute, not one to restructure Scottish football.

•Play-Offs restore the sporting meritocracy and deliver additional value

We will restore “meritocracy” by destroying “meritocracy!

What Benefits Will This Bring to Scottish Football?

•A unified plan presented to the Scottish footballing public which offers real possibilities for the game

What “real possibilities”? The possibility of chasing away many committed bit disgruntled, or indeed scunnered fans?

•Keeps all 42 clubs together avoiding a divisive SPL2 split

Or else this could be phrased as giving into blackmail by the SPL. Presumably this is coming from the SPL Chief Executive and his cohorts. It cannot surely be that the SPL clubs, having made clear that they will not accept RFC in the SPL, want to railroad them into SFL1? When did they decide that? If this is Mr Doncaster’s great plan to “save Rangers”, he is sadly out of tune with the prevailing opinions, it appears.

•Deals with the need for sporting integrity with regard to Newco

Ha ha ha ha ha …

•Delivers innovation in the form of a single league, Play-Offs and a pyramid plan

So the SFL will disappear – that is not what it was saying above…

•Delivers new value for the game

How? From where?

•Potentially narrows the financial gap between Scottish Premier League & Scottish League

“Potentially”. Figures please!

•Shows leadership for the game in Scotland

•Allows fans to engage in the bigger picture

•A positive media outcome

All three above seem to be entirely misjudged. The leadership being shown if this plan is adopted will be craven surrender to a vested interest. It is clear that many at the top of Scottish football cannot yet envisage a system with RFC not there, or at the bottom. The problem is that RFC is where it is, wherever that is, AS A RESULT OF ITS OWN ACTIONS.

For all the criticism of Messrs Murray and Whyte, the proximate cause of administration was the failure to pay PAYE and VAT in 2011-2012. That money did not, as far as we are aware, leave Ibrox in big sacks labelled swag for delivery to a castle in the north of Scotland. Instead it stayed in the company AND WAS SPENT BY RANGERS FOOTBALL CLUB PLC to pay the bills, and players’ wages and to avoid needing to sell players…

Even if not directly culpable, even though morally, legally and ethically Rangers Football Club PLC is so, it benefited to the tune of many millions of pounds.

As an organisation Rangers, if not Sevco, has many friends in football administration. My goodness, they are all busting a gut to save them, with no thought to the mess that this will cause to Scottish football. One would be forgiven for thinking that Rangers funded the whole of Scottish football…

 

Posted by Paul McConville

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108 Comments

Filed under Football, Football Governance, Rangers, SFL, SPL

108 responses to “Latest Plan to Save “Rangers” Is An Abdication of Responsibility by the Football Authorities

  1. SouthofWatford

    Thanks for your comment, George. It really is an eye-opener for me. I have always enjoyed my long weekends at SFL games (Peterhead, Berwick etc), but not now if this goes through. Another thing, it looks like the worst sort of “accommodation” of the type I have seen in Eastern European football and other places which are a byword for a lack of footballing gravitas. Seriously, to an outsider like me the SFL is looking on a par with Georgia or Cyprus or some other “controversial” league, rather than the western European ones they no doubt think they resemble. Seriously, who are the pigmys running your game? Is there no big character to impose sanity, clarity and sporting morality?

  2. WeeAndyBhoy

    John McGhee,

    I see you’ve studied the SPL in some depth.

    Oldco RFC to visit teams twice & this formed the basis of the £80 million deal?

    There’s a split John at the end of each season at the moment.

    This means some clubs don’t get their “2 visits”

    To quote a phrase…….keep up!!

  3. Niall Walker

    An outsiders perspective:

    Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned:

    Rangers fans have to be the most unpopular in Scotland by miles, the level of pent up malice is almost tangible. A lot of fans don’t just want a divorce for catching Rangers cheating on them, they want the death penalty for all the years of abuse they received during the relationship. Rangers and their fans have behaved like an arrogant bully of a partner since SDM took over. He added universal conceit to the selective bigotry and success on the park endorsed both attitudes, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Too many fans believed they were the chosen people and simply the best, and were not shy in rubbing this into the nose of all and sundry. It wasn’t enough to torment Catholics or Irishmen, they had to expand their circle of superiority to everyone bar none.
    When you catch your wife cheaing and she doesn’t even say sorry but is more concerned about the divorce settlement, then passions run high.
    Bill miller turned up as a marriage counsellor and got short shift from the loyal, as did anyone who adjudged Rangers culpable of infidelity.

    Maybe the new social networks have enabled grievances to be shared by all the victims of the bears, and we are now seeing the desserts. Any sympathy for Rangers quickly vanished when the exact same arrogance was portrayed by spokespersons such as Ally,Jardine and Brown.

    Thankfully I have met many Rangers fans who are themselves embarrassed by the attitudes of their fellow fans, and for their sakes alone I hope Rangers survive and prosper.

    Someone once said: ” I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.”

    I am a Scotsman and Rangers( good and bad) is a Scottish football team.

  4. Brian Jeffrey

    Bottom line here is that the restructuring/amalgamation of the leagues should stand or fall on its own merit. Attaching a condition to considering it which requires that Rangers are allowed to enter SFL1 is nothing short of bullying and gerymandering. It detrays a lack of any moral fibre and is corrupt flagrant in equal very good measure. Those who are proposing it should hang their heads in shame.

    • Niall Walker

      Could it not be just a case of timing and opportunism, they are using Rangers to push through changes that would be impossible under normal circumstances., its the perfect storm for the SFA-SPL-SFA to restructure Scottish football and reduce the influence of the OF.

      Rangers is more use to them wounded than dead.

      • michty

        I would have some sympathy with that as a theory, and in fact in practice, if it set a precedent that all Newcos would start from the lowest professional tier (subject to acceptance) therefore placing Rangers in SFL3 next year and then restructured the leagues. This may then offer the happy coincidence of allowing Rangers to progress back to the top tier (subject to their League placing) in two years instead of three.
        That would be a compromise; a pragmatic step and a much needed shift in the national game, but done with integrity.

  5. JimBhoy

    I feel the club wi no name will be in admin before ANY season..!

  6. Manwitwoheids

    A friend recommended this site. I’m glad he did – it’s absolutely hilarious! I can’t make up my mind whether it’s sectarianism that’s the bane of Scottish life or the obsession of so many people with what’s supposed to be a game. I fully understand, by the way, that what’s happening with the craven attempts to accommodate Rangers, in spite of their wrongdoing, is repugnant but you’d need to have lived in a bubble all your life to find that surprising. “Welcome to Scotland – Welcome to the 17th century!” Keep up the good work, though – we all need humour in our lives!

    • Bill C

      That’s why we need independence to escape the 17th century. Roll on 2014 and the opportunity to bin sectarianism, corruption and the toxic WATP attitude of some in the west of Scotland.

  7. Niall Walker

    If Rangers go down to Div 3 then their average attendance will be 15,000. This is about the same as Hearts, Hearts with SPL prize money, sponsorhip, SKY money and smaller overheads LOSE money.

    It is commerially impossible for Rangers to survive the 3 years in the wilderness.

    Bill Miller was right, it would cost 30 million and no Scottish club is worth 35 million to a commercial investor, not even Celtic, Scotland is a small restricted market.

  8. p groom

    paul, I think more attention has to be paid to the name change. at present the continual reference to “rangers” is skewing the debate and decisions. the new owners and fans cannot have it both ways. they were happy to see the insolvency laws neatly allow the old club to shed its entire debts and obligations by the simple expedient of changing its name to something else.
    now they want to re-adopt the old name as if nothing has happened. this is hypocritical and the scottish football authorities are just as guilty. we all know why of course but thats no reason to ignore the facts. am I correct in thinking that the insolvency laws do not allow the name of a liquidated entity to be used by someone else for the very reasons of avoiding confusion, let alone trading on a previous reputation, however dodgy? I suggest there would be less of this too big /to famous to fail if we were referring, correctly, to the position of sevco …… (fill in as appropriate). could have quite a ring to it eventually anyway…. ” here is james alexander gordon : forfar five sevco scotland nil “. ( sorry, being unkind).

  9. ecojon

    @Bill C – I am amazed that you believe that Independence will provide a panacea for ‘sectarianism, corruption and the toxic WATP attitude of some in the west of Scotland.’

    IMHO: Football at a number of levels has long recognised the value of sectarianism as a marketing tool to increase profits. Corruption is something that can happen anywhere, at any time and in any system of government. The WATP attitude of some in the West of Scotland is by no means restricted solely to the West of Scotland but can be found throughout Scotland and is not restricted solely to Rangers supporters.

    Any desire or move towards an Independent Scotland should be based on whether a move to separation would improve the future life of ordinary Scots and I have no interest in harping back to the 17th C and I make this statement whilst acknowledging the vital role that commerce and industry, including overseas trade, played in bringing about the eventual Act of Union.

    As to religious differences fuelled by Jacobite and Hanoverian Succession does anyone actually care these days and my impression is that these factors don’t actually fuel the sectarianism that despoils Scottish Football and other aspects of life in Scotland which will continue, even in an Independent Scotland, without all people of goodwill and principle opposing it and the law taking an increasingly tougher stance. Football clubs obviously have a major part to play in this process and yes it does mean that other clubs have to deal with sectarian away-day singing of Rangers and Celtic supporters which so often appears to be ignored on financial grounds.

    I think one of the biggest problems facing Scotland in the future, whether independent or not, is the possible unification of Ireland which I believe could see a large swathe of Northern Ireland Unionists, who have no wish to remain in a United Ireland as is their right, moving to Scotland. In a historical sense this would be just another of the major population moves which have taken place over the centuries between Scotland and Ireland.

    Let’s hope that before this comes about, if indeed it does, that we have moved on in stamping out sectarianism and that we can all live together peacefully, respecting other viewpoints, in what is a very small island.

    I don’t want to sidetrack the discussion on here into an Independence issue but we are where we are in some ways in footballing terms because of historical issues. The solution however lies in how we move forward from this point and the only safe way is one based on integrity and principle.

    This is a pivotal point for fan power in Scottish football and we must keep cool heads. I remember the shambles at Celtic and how close we came to disaster before the wee man from Croy breeze-blocked in 🙂 and saved the day. We were close, within hours, of where Rangers fans have ended up and that is why I can feel for their pain.

    I have spoken to many Rangers fans recently and what is emerging is – and I’m talking about ordinary decent fans and not religious bigots – a stunned realisation of just how universally they are hated. They have lived in an ivory tower bathed and sustained in their hothouse bubble by their success and crushing domination of the Scottish game for long periods albeit with foundations built on financial sand.

    As I have said before these are the Rangers fans who openly state that they should go to the 3rd division and start again to regain their integrity – it really is a pity that the ‘football blazers & suits’ just don’t get it!

  10. Den

    The only thing that this document proves is that Scottish Football desperately needs reform. Any body that can produce this rubbish needs to be disbanded. How can Campbell Ogilvie still be at the head of Scottish Football.

    What is totally unbelievable is that they are trying to shoehorn a football club (?) into the First Divisiion which has not played a game. This club has the premises that belonged to Rangers and their second string team plus a few first team players who are obviously not wanted elsewhere. This club’s fans or more correctly the fans of Rangers as was, are about as hostile to the club’s owner or front man as the rest of the country. This club’s finances are in disarray before it has even kicked a ball.

    This club is not ready for the Third Division.

    As far as financial losses from the loss of Rangers. I have said before that Scottish Football must accept that Rangers are no more and are unlikely to be back. No amount of conniving or plotting will change that, budget for the reality and move on.

    My paranoid side says that they know the situation but are trying to buy some time, maybe a lot of documents require shredding and discs need to be wiped.

    Also note that Rangers have suffered two sanctions, 10 point deduction had no impact and the transfer ban has been appealed. They are in this situation due to consequences of how they were run.

  11. Roy McKeag

    Paul, what status is attributed to the arrangement between the SPL and the SFL. Can the SPL just stop paying? If so, can the SFL refuse to allow an SPL Club to join after relegation or refuse an SFL club to be promoted to the SPL?

  12. Pingback: It`s a mess ! - DAFC.net | DAFC.net

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