Remember when Barcelona were regarded as the model of an ethical football club? I don’t know if it’s just every time I see Tumbling Neymar that I feel a little less affinity with brand Barca but that image has proven to be a mirage.
The clubs tax affairs, specifically over compensation to Lionel Messi, brought it into more disrepute than could be compensated for by the ethically immaculate (cough) ‘Qatar’ emblazoned across their shirts. Tax is not just for the wee guys.
Now Fifa (you know you have issues when these guys can get moralistic with you) have banned the club from signing players for the next two transfer windows and a fine of 450k Swiss francs after investigations into the signing of 10 foreign minors over the period 2009-2013. Their accomplices, the Spanish FA, were fined 500 Swiss francs for their role in the episode.
We’ll see if the Spanish FA have the equivalent of What-school-did-you-go-to Ogilvie in charge, who is able to arbitrarily change which transfer windows the ban applies to, in order to assist the club.
Speaking of Ogilvie, after leaving now-liquidated Rangers he continued his work at Hearts, who administrator Bryan Jackson yesterday admitted were themselves facing liquidation. Ogilvie had a legal responsibility for Rangers during the period they introduced the ruinous EBT scam, some of which was found to be illegal during the First Tier Tribunal, the remainder of which is currently subject to an Upper Tribunal deliberation.
Indeed, the man, who remains president of the SFA, pocketed a £93k EBT, but he can claim no credit for the liquidation of Hearts, which was brought about by the liquidation of the club’s shareholders and lenders. If there were two clubs in the whole world you would ask karma to liquidate……….
Before you react to this acknowledged possibility, check, are you a fan, or player and fan? If you are a fan, feel free to proclaim the situation loudly. If you are player and fan, stop. The SFA don’t want you proclaiming an acknowledged possibility, as though you were a fan. Hearts are going bust, but the only man in football allowed to say this is the Hearts administrator.
I see a bit of push-back against Beram Kayal, which is harsh. After a very promising start Beram is increasingly out of the picture at Celtic and needs to construct a narrative for himself and potential future employers. Everything he said was almost certainly true: he was ‘done’ by Lee McCulloch, leaving him with a poor first-hand experience of our game. Why would he retain a love for a league which is offers him nothing?
The comments about Liverpool and Manchester United showing an interest in him prior to his injury tells you lots about how the game works. Promising, though he was, he was never in this class, but all clubs watch hundreds of players every year. I see no reason why his agent would be unable to get Beram scouted by a couple of top English clubs. This would have been reported to the player, but should not be confused as being a qualified interest.
Seville – The Celtic Movement:[calameo code=000390171b8e5a2cffbcc lang=en page=114 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]