Bigger questions loom than reconstruction


We now know that Craig Whyte met Neil Doncaster and Ralph Topping, directors of the SPL, in London in October 2011 and informed them of the likelihood that Rangers would go into liquidation.  Whyte’s plan, to start a Newco and have it parachuted into top flight football was only taken seriously as a result of these three having a head start on everyone else and doing some preparatory work.

Charles Green has no such plans.  If he loses Ibrox, becomes embroiled in IPO-related troubles or fails to bridge the gap between money-in and money-out, an unplanned liquidation could follow with a potentially protracted period where physical assets are moribund and playing assets and other staff are released.

The SPL and SFL would do well to consider ‘what next?’ when they hold separate meetings next week.  The century-old ways are gone, things will never be the same again.

I’m really pleased the aforementioned Charlie issued an apology for his offending comments, even if he did so under duress from the SFA.  This kind of rhetoric has taken control within football in some European countries.  Once the door is open it is hard to close it again.
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  1. vale bhoy


    11:48 on


    12 April, 2013


    Basic arithmetic would suggest that £137k is half of the £250k







    I blame Kafolik skools i do.

  2. The Battered Bunnet on

    I read Iain King’s column in the Sun on the Sandaza/Tommy story.



    Like many on here, I was uncomfortable with Tommy singling out a regular footballer for the hoax treatment, when previously he has targetted people who are in a position of influence behind some of the biggest stories in the game.



    Iain King goes after Tommy in strong terms, and is very clear that in his view, Sandaza was sacked because of what Tommy did, Tommy being a low life for doing so. King does not consider the approach adopted by the Sevco management in his discussion of the outcome for Sandaza.



    Leaving that aside, there is a rather incongrous “Glass Houses” reflection on Iain King and The Sun, given News International’s long and discredited use of similar techniques. Let’s not forget than a number of NI executives are currently facing criminal procedings associated with unlawful and contemptible ‘news gathering’ practices.



    From phone tapping to corrupting public officials, from publishing Craig Whyte’s recorded converstations last week, to the nasty sting carried out on John Higgins, The Sun and its associated publications have demonstrated over many years that the means of getting the story should not be coloured by ethics or moral judgement.



    In condemning Tommy as “a thoroughly cynical and nasty individual” Mr King should perhaps reflect that he tars himself and his colleagues with the same brush.

  3. swatson Neil Lennon's 6ft skinny twin! on




    11:42 on


    12 April, 2013



    How depressingly true!



    But if none of the football clubs chairman will do it why don’t the fans do it?

  4. Radio Clyde News ‏@RadioClydeNews 27m


    The #SFA have confirmed to Clyde News there is no intention of asking Charles Green to explain ‘no surrender’ comments.


    Retweeted by Scotzine




    You can all relax now guys.

  5. Heart of Midlothian Football Club today


    outlines in detail the new proposed


    league structure for the professional


    game in Scotland.


    The Board of the club will support the


    proposals for positive changes to the


    game in this country.


    Article continues




    Hearts believes, as one of the most


    established and largest clubs in Scottish


    football, that it has a responsibility to the


    game in this country and that the new


    proposed 12-12-18 structure, while by no


    means perfect, delivers a series of


    important improvements. These are


    improvements we, along with many other


    clubs and their supporters, have lobbied


    for in recent years. It is incumbent on us


    to deliver change for the game as a whole


    and in turn improve the longer term


    prospects of all clubs, at all levels, within


    the game.


    Most notably, the new structure will




    – increased competition amongst the top


    24 professional clubs in Scotland with


    almost every game at every stage in the


    season having value to spectators,


    broadcasters and sponsors.


    – fairer distribution of wealth across


    teams in all leagues. The top two


    positions alone in the current SPL will


    give up £1 million in prize money in order


    to facilitate a new 24 team professional


    league in Scotland.


    – increased financial protection for


    relegated clubs from the SPL.


    – one merged organisation superseding


    the SPL and SFL to run league football


    – the introduction of a true pyramid


    system – featuring promotion and


    relegation play offs at all levels – for


    Scottish football rewarding ambitious


    teams while protecting those that are


    more “community / regionally” focussed.


    The Q&A below explains more about why


    Hearts will vote in favour of change for


    Scottish football. Hearts wants you to


    have a clear picture of the importance of


    committing to these changes. We can now


    present the positive detail and we hope


    that supporters will see the opportunity in


    adopting a new approach to the game. As


    such, we are rejecting the status quo


    which is no longer adequate in meeting


    the needs of the nation’s game.


    There is only one possible opportunity for


    change in the game after years of


    deliberation, discussion and negotiation.




    League models based on 10, 14, 16, 18


    and 20 teams have been examined, as


    well as the current 12-team model. What


    were found to be the drawbacks of each?


    Structures with a smaller number of clubs


    have proved to be undeliverable (i.e. the


    clubs will not vote in sufficient numbers


    to reduce their number). Additionally, this


    would not be of interest to supporters who


    would rather see more games against


    different clubs if possible.


    Structures with a larger number of clubs


    do not provide the required number of


    league matches (i.e. there are too few


    league matches), do not deliver improved


    commercial opportunities, can lead to


    more meaningless (and therefore less


    attractive to fans) matches and would


    have a negative impact on the revenues of


    clubs from both match day and central




    On average it would costs Hearts


    £250,000 minimum lost revenue per


    home game. So, for example, the 16-team


    league would result in a loss of more than


    £1 million to Hearts in ticket revenue


    alone based on a 30-game season with


    teams playing each other home and away




    Why not keep it the same then? Why




    Change is constant. Over the last eight


    seasons, more than half of the European


    leagues have changed their league


    format. It doesn’t mean it is always right


    but we do believe that there are some very


    compelling reasons to change as we


    outlined above.


    But we should also ask – ‘What happens if


    we don’t change’? Crowds are dropping


    at games, audience figures are dropping


    with broadcasters and commercial


    income is dropping as a result of both


    these factors. Quality on the pitch is being


    affected by the pressure on clubs’


    revenues and we are in real danger of


    speeding up the demise of the game if we


    don’t change to the new model.


    In the proposed 12/12 model, how would


    the league structure for the top 24 teams




    12 Team ‘Premiership’


    – The 12 Premiership clubs each play 22


    games in the first half of the season.


    – These first 22 games determine which 8


    clubs go forward to the ‘Premiership 8’


    competition; and which 4 clubs go


    forward to the ‘Play-off 8’ competition.


    12 Team ‘Championship’


    – The 12 Championship clubs each play


    22 games in the first half of the season.


    The winner is awarded the Championship




    – These first 22 games determine which 4


    clubs go forward to the ‘Play-off 8’


    competition; and which 8 clubs go


    forward to the ‘Championship 8’




    8-8-8 split


    – The ‘Premiership 8’ clubs play off home


    and away over the remaining 14 fixture


    rounds for the Premiership trophy and


    European places.


    – The ‘Play-off 8’ clubs play off home and


    away over the remaining 14 fixture


    rounds for promotion / relegation. Top


    four play in the Premiership next season,


    bottom four in the Championship.


    – The ‘Championship 8′ clubs play off


    home and away over the remaining 14


    fixture rounds to battle against relegation,


    with two automatic relegation places (7th


    and 8th place) and a further two play-off


    places (5th and 6th place) Sounds like we need a degree in Maths to


    understand that! And in English please…


    OK. Let’s say it was this season. Hearts


    would now be playing in the Play-Off 8


    having finished ninth after 22 games this




    We’d currently be playing Morton,


    Dunfermline, Partick, Livingston, St


    Mirren, Ross County and Dundee to retain


    our Premiership status.


    Effectively it’s a Play-Off League


    guaranteeing 14 meaningful games, large


    match day crowds, extra TV income and


    more associated commercial backing. It


    also satisfies those fans who want to see


    us play more new teams. And, if as we


    hope, we achieve Top 8 status when the


    new system is introduced, yes we’ll be


    playing the same seven teams home and


    away again but we’ll be in the mix for a


    European place so again there will be


    meaningful games right through until the


    end of the season.


    But it seems there is an increased risk of


    relegation to all but one club in the


    current SPL?


    That’s one way of looking at it. It is also


    true that there is an increased chance of


    survival for the team that finishes in 12th


    place as they are no longer certain to be


    relegated given that the Play-Off 8


    provides them with a survival chance.


    It’s true, though, there is a greater risk of


    relegation for every club in the current


    SPL with, being realistic, the exception of


    Celtic. This, together with the acceptance


    to redistribute base income across 24


    clubs as opposed to 12, shows just how


    seriously SPL clubs view the need to


    change the game as a whole for the


    betterment of Scottish football.


    Every game in the SPL will matter with


    teams 1 to 12, right from the start of the


    season, all going for a Top 8 place and


    trying to avoid the drop into the Play-Off


    8. The Championship will also have


    almost every game meaningful with clubs


    vying for a top four finish in order to be


    promoted into the Play-Off 8.


    In any one season up to 4 new teams


    could enter the Premiership. Alternatively,


    all four Premiership bottom 4 teams have


    a chance of surviving.


    Will there not be difficulties in playing 22


    rounds of fixtures before the New Year


    split? What if games are postponed?


    Consideration can be given to adjusting


    the start date of the season to ensure that


    the required number of games have been


    played when the split occurs.


    It is also possible that additional midweek


    fixtures may be scheduled in the summer


    and early autumn months to capitalise on


    better weather. In an extreme situation it


    would be possible to use the period of the


    winter break to complete phase one




    Better weather! Now there’s a thing, and


    what about the chances of summer




    This is something that we as a club are


    very keen to explore. However, this is a


    more general topic and will be dealt with


    separately from league reconstruction.


    It is Hearts’ view that there is a very


    strong case for summer football although,


    in reality, it is essentially “four seasons”


    football with the season starting in


    February or March and ending in




    It seems only natural that we should be


    playing the majority of our season in the


    better weather with lighter evenings and


    increase the appeal of live Scottish


    football amongst the supporters. The


    advantages from an attendance point of


    view are one aspect but the footballing


    arguments are also paramount and for


    those teams competing in the early


    rounds of Europe it will be advantageous.


    Also the costs of staging a match at


    Tynecastle can in theory be reduced due


    to less use of under soil heating and


    floodlights as well as better ground care




    While we’re on the subject, any chance of


    more sensible fixture scheduling?


    Yes, one of the benefits of the new


    proposal is that it allows for regular


    fixture scheduling with ideally sequential


    home and away matches for the first 22


    games and then again for the next 14




    The new proposal also allows better


    planning of fixtures at the conclusion of


    the Premiership and Championship in the


    first week in January. This gives


    supporters more time to plan their


    attendance and related travel and


    financial plans for games in the


    Premiership 8 or the Play-Off 8.


    We’ll also be lobbying for early


    announcement on games that are


    scheduled for television to allow


    supporters more advance notice.


    Sounds to me like TV could be calling the


    shots again and we’ll be having seven-


    night-a-week football.


    There has to be a balance struck with the


    TV companies and this is an ongoing


    discussion with the broadcasters. It will


    also be of importance should any other


    entrants come in to the Scottish football


    broadcast marketplace in the seasons




    The new proposed league will allow the


    game to benefit from potential new


    revenues that do not currently exist. This


    in turn provides valuable additional


    income that is distributed amongst the


    clubs. This is guaranteed income which is


    crucial for clubs when predicting cash


    flow projections for the new season.


    There should be no reason, however, why


    suitable agreement can’t be reached on


    establishing a much better template for


    kick-off times that also suits the majority


    of supporters and this is something that


    Hearts and many other clubs are keen to




    Even so, the footy’s a bit expensive so


    surely you’ll need to do something with


    the pricing to attract crowds?


    It is important to recognise that because


    of TV revenues in the game, clubs can


    resist increasing season ticket or match


    day ticket prices as much as they might


    need to in order to maintain a self-


    sustainable football club.


    Without TV income, Scottish football


    clubs and the game in general would be


    in a much worse condition. A better


    product on the park – which is something


    we all want to see – requires funding and


    this is why a balance must be struck in


    order that supporters can benefit from


    football at times and locations that suit


    them while also allowing for the


    requirements of TV companies


    scheduling. We must establish a harmony


    between both as both are integral to the


    game in this country. Hearts is highly


    active in incentivising season ticket sales


    and match day ticket sales and we would


    plan to continue this. But no club can


    balance the books based on ticketing


    revenue alone and we do have to work


    with many stakeholders to keep the club


    competitive in the professional game in


    this country.


    What about the next 18 clubs below the


    top 24? What will the league structure


    look like?


    The Scottish Football League has


    proposed that the remaining 18 senior


    clubs should compete in a single division.


    18 team ‘First Division’


    – The remaining 18 clubs each play 34


    games per season. The winner is


    awarded the First Division trophy.


    – The top two clubs at the end of the


    season would be promoted automatically


    to the Championship, replacing the two


    clubs relegated from the bottom of the


    Championship 8.


    – Clubs in positions 3 to 6 of the First


    Division would play-off against each


    other and then against the clubs fifth and


    sixth in the Championship 8 for a


    possible two additional promotion places.


    – The clubs finishing in 17th and 18th


    places in the First Division would play-off


    against two teams from the leagues


    below (from season 2014/2015 onwards)


    for possible relegation out of the First




    – The Scottish FA should work with the


    East of Scotland League, the South of


    Scotland League, the Highland League


    and the Juniors to ensure the existence of


    a league structure appropriate to the


    smooth operation of such play-offs.


    One of the key issues with the current


    system is that the lion’s share of revenue


    generated in Scottish football is


    distributed among the top 12 clubs only.


    What would financial distributions be


    under the 24/18 model?


    Key aspects of the new fairer, revised


    distribution model include:


    – the top two positions in the SPL will


    reduce their share of base revenues from


    a total 32% to a total 23% equating to


    approximately £1m based on historic and


    projected figures.


    – teams 3 to 8 in the SPL will reduce their


    share of base revenues by approximately




    – the team that finishes top of the


    Championship (after 22 games) is


    projected to earn £387k as opposed to


    the £68k it would gain for winning the


    current SFL1.


    – every team in the Championship will


    earn more revenue when compared to the


    equivalent position in the current SFL1.


    From a competitive point of view, would


    clubs who believe they will finish in the


    bottom four of the Premiership not just


    rest their best players and wait until the


    Play-Off 8 to spend money on new


    players and make a push for promotion




    You can never judge how individual


    managers may choose to play. However,


    after 22 games this season only five


    points separated 5th and 11th place in


    the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.


    Further, eight teams were within four


    points of what would have been the


    Premiership 8 points threshold. This


    suggests that even in the latter stages


    before the split there will be plenty to play




    Austria and Switzerland tried similar


    systems and both were deemed to be


    unsuccessful. Why will it work in




    Both countries ran with similar league


    systems for a number of years and, whilst


    the format proved to be very exciting and


    competitive, they have now changed to


    smaller ten-team top divisions for other


    reasons. Different leagues face different


    challenges, and the 12/12 structure has


    been designed to address the specific


    challenges faced currently by Scottish




    What progress has been made to date


    and what are the next steps to be taken


    to approve league reconstruction?


    For the past three years work has been


    carried out to examine the issues and


    challenges faced by the current set-up,


    and the possible operation and benefits of


    different structures. This season the key


    dates of progress have been:


    – 3rd December: an all-club SPL meeting


    agreed ‘unanimous in principle’ support


    for the 12/12 model, to be discussed with


    the SFL and Professional Game Board


    (PGB) through the SPL’s Restructuring




    – 27th December: a meeting of the PGB


    agreed in principle that a 12/12 model


    should be examined, including a single


    merged league and an all-through


    distribution model


    – 8th January: a meeting of the PGB


    (including the entire SFL Board and six


    members of the SPL’s Restructuring


    Group) agreed in principle further


    refinements, including a revised


    governance model and a new all-through


    distribution formula, to be taken to clubs


    – 28th January: further detail on the


    operation of the 12/12 model was


    received by an all-club SPL meeting and


    again given ‘unanimous in principle’




    – 31st January: an all-club SFL meeting


    overwhelmingly supported the model


    being taken forward. The SPL confirmed


    that it was entirely comfortable whether


    the SFL preferred a 12/12/18 model, or




    In order to formally approve any change


    to league structure, a new and complete


    rule book (see current SPL http://




    default.asp?page=s43 and SFL http://




    constitution/ rule books) has to be


    written up for all clubs to formally vote


    on. In order to introduce the new structure


    at least 11 SPL clubs and 75% of SFL


    clubs would be required to vote in favour.


    The status quo will remain if this is not




    Could the 12/12 model be introduced for


    next season?


    If the SPL and SFL clubs vote in favour,


    the 12/12 model will be introduced for the


    beginning of season 2013/14.


    If the go ahead is given for season


    2013/14, what would happen at the end


    of this current season?


    At end of season 2012/2013:


    – The bottom club in the SPL would be




    – The top club in SFL1 would be




    – The top club in SFL2 would be


    promoted; positions 2, 3, 4 and 5 in SFL2


    would play-off for a second promotion




    – No relegation from SFL1.


    In summary, what would the 12/12


    proposals deliver?


    The proposals deliver:


    – A single merged league


    – An all-through distribution model


    – Extensive play-offs


    – Pyramid


    – A new league structure


    – Substantial re-distribution of central




    – A fairer governance model


    The 12/12 model addresses the key


    weaknesses in the current model (i.e. lack


    of refreshment in the top tier, lack of


    financial support and re-promotion


    opportunities for relegated clubs, and the


    absence of a pyramid structure).


    These proposals, if adopted, will ensure a


    dramatic, exciting league, with


    meaningful matches at all levels and at


    all points in the season.


    OK. One last thing though, why has it


    taken so long for us to hear the whole




    Fair point. The lack of definitive


    information has led to much ill-judged


    and ill-informed comment, with too much


    of the debate centred on the number of


    teams in the league rather than the


    benefits of the entire new league proposal.


    However, it was important that the 12 SPL


    clubs established which models would


    and wouldn’t be viable in financial terms


    for our businesses before presenting the


    viable option to supporters.


    It was also important to understand which


    one could achieve consensus. Consensus


    requires an 11-1 vote in favour by SPL


    clubs in order for change to be achieved.


    Additionally it has been necessary to


    discuss viable options with the SFL as we


    want to create an “all through” model


    which benefits the game as a whole and


    creates real value and real competition.


    The SFL require to agree by a vote of


    22-7 (Rangers can’t vote).


    Until there was a realistic chance of this


    being achieved there was little point in


    presenting any model. There is now broad


    consensus after months of discussions


    and negotiations although it has to be


    stressed no vote has been taken at SPL or


    SFL level on the final proposal.


    What now?


    We hope you will back the right move for


    Heart of Midlothian Football Club and


    Scottish Football.


    As stated at the start of this feature,


    Hearts accepts its challenge in turning


    Scottish football round and we as a club


    are prepared to take a step forward – as


    we have done on many previous


    occasions when big decisions were


    required and leadership needed to be




    We want you to support us on this


    challenge and this is why we’d ask you to


    support the club as it votes ‘YES’ to


    change on 15th April.


    Remember the only other option is the


    status quo – our 12-team SPL as it


    currently stands.

  6. swatson Neil Lennon’s 6ft skinny twin!



    I think the supporters are fighting enough fronts at the moment. Not sure what they could actually do. A member club however giving a vote of no confidence in the organisation who run the game in their country would actually get things moving.


    I think they need to state their reasons and I suspect there is a lot more evidence than I have listed. I haven’t even mentioned Hugh Dallas and who knows who else got that email and commented on it. I would go as far as raising that point with UEFA who appear happy to employ him.



    The murky world of Scottish football. It’s amazing we were allowed to win anything. As my old man used to say we have to be twice as good as everyone to win anything. It appears to be truer today than it was when he said it 30 years ago.




  7. swatson Neil Lennon's 6ft skinny twin! on




    11:56 on


    12 April, 2013



    Would be good if for nothing else to make him squirm! Especially in front of all the ‘esteemed’ guests.

  8. Vale boy



    i should have been clearer. 50% of £250k is £125k but there would have to be additional costs for the consortium to operate. £125k covers your 50% investment in achieving preferred bidder status. Additional £12.5k consortium running costs.

  9. TenMenWonTheLeague ‏@TenMenWonTheLea 17s


    Arsene Wenger calls Craig Thomson’s performance in midweek ‘disastrous and completely unacceptable’. “You can’t defend refereeing like that”


    Expand Reply Delete Favorite More

  10. Boring RFC shareprice post – please scroll by.



    I think we’re starting to see some pre-arranged sells coming through. We’ve had two large-ish trades this morning one for 6.5k shares, the other for 7k shares.



    The first went through through at 9:58 at a sale price of 69p. The latter occurred at 11.04 at a price of 69.75p.



    This is the kind of stuff that baffles most people (me included) you expect a bigger sale to occur at a lower price than the first one. However arrangements can be made (an nothing underhand about them) to sell at a certain price if conditions are met eg average share price over preceding days falling below Xp.



    I know I keep saying it and I keep being proved wrong, but at some point this will snowball.

  11. weeminger



    I suspect that the majority of investors would take their money back today if offered.




  12. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    tooheys new



    12:06 on 12 April, 2013



    You should have been a politician ……LOL

  13. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    12:12 on 12 April, 2013



    Keep the updates coming…..not boring at all……..!!!!!!!!

  14. vale bhoy


    11:19 on


    12 April, 2013


    jungle jam67


    “A £35m deal”


    What £35m?




    pmsl at the £35 million deal


    repost of leftclicktic…….hope u do not mind


    We need to tell IA that £137k is 25% of the 10% deposit required of the £5million to buy deadco.


    That is why £137k is important in the scheme of things



    vale bhoy


    the whole scam will be paperwork from duff and duffer to sevco5088 or sevco scotland


    who did duff and duffer sign the assets over to?





    ||. ||


    grier(d+d) ||


    || ||


    duff& duffer===||



    all hear say allegedly




  15. Manchester City defender Micah Richards today became the third player from his club to receive a six-month driving ban this month.



    Too much money and no discipline, no wonder Man City done nothing this season.

  16. ASonOfDan



    Hearts player Ryan Stevenson was done for drunk driving the other day. Very much blink and miss it in the press though.




  17. Left Click



    If Neil had uttered TAL on air, in the duggout…………..any blessed where…………..






    and he’d be gone………..expedited, quickly and efficiently by the msm.




  18. Would like to see bayern do well. I thought they had the better of the match against Chelsea and were indeed unlucky to lose. Again I thought they were dreadfully unlucky against man utd. when they lost two late goals after dominating the game for large spells in 1999. Indeed if anyone can remember their game against Aston villa, they played villa off the park that day. German football is actually of a good standard. It’s disliked by the English press, so they tend to relegate it a wee bit, and unless you take it upon yourself have a look you will never really find out its qualities.

  19. weeminger and the share price



    keep them coming mate(thumbs)



    never boring


    know your enemy


    shine the light into the darkest corners