First shots fired on post-Covid Scottish football


After the phony war, the first shots were fired on restructuring Scottish football post-Covid with the news that the SPFL have considered curtailing not starting Leagues One and Two until January.  With one or two under-performing exceptions (Falkirk, Partick), clubs in the bottom two leagues are community clubs in the truest sense.

They exist to serve their local towns, provide physical and intellectual resources local youth clubs can use and aspire towards, allow a large the local employer put their brand on a hoarding and give grandparents somewhere to take the new generation without having to travel.  They do not harbour ambitions of promotion to the Premiership, reaching that height would only skew cash flow and risk the entire venture.

These clubs are probably the most secure in British football right now.  They don’t care if their players go out of contract, the vast majority of them will in June anyway.  Wages are mostly below furlough levels, so they have been able to cut costs down to basic insurance and maintenance.

They could survive for a decade like this, if SPFL payments continue to trickle down, as I assume they will, they could even come out of the crisis cash positive.  Opening for business behind closed doors, without pay-at-the-gate customers, reintroduces the bulk of their costs without corresponding income.  It is not tenable.

The old Steinage, ‘Football is nothing without fans’ is being tested right now.  Having stood at the side of fields in Wishaw, Cumbernauld, Brechin and Milton, I know it is not true; football matters to someone, whenever and wherever it is played.  The more interesting questions, is can we have football clubs without fans or games?

It happened during the great 20th Century crisis.  Not all survived the war, some may perish this time.  The SPFL needed to overcome their recent divisions to move onto this conversation.  Furlough will end before it is safe for fans to return to the game, the bottom two leagues should be parked until at least January.

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  1. BRTH



    “ When clubs gather under the auspices of the SFA or the SPFL it is like a conclave of Cardinals in the Sistine Chapel. While the world is outside, it is only their rules and their votes on the inside that matter.”



    Good simile, wrong type of brethren chosen to illustrate it!



    I’m in…….



    HH jg




    Thank You for all the efforts.



    It is quite mad and just a bit mental that the Sevco support scream and shout about the SFA.



    The SFA like BBC Scotland are so pro WHOEVER is in situ at Edmiston Drive. It quite frankly is lamentable.



    Again Thank You, morrissey23, canamalar and last but not least Auldheid for all your efforts trying to cleanse the game in Scotland.

  3. IniquitousIV on

    BRTH @12:59


    Simply wonderful post. I fully concur with the comments of HebCelt and Turkeybhoy. In your third last paragraph, I think you meant the rules would be ‘flouted’ again, but ‘flaunted’ is not necessarily incorrect.



    You and Auldheid have just been magnificent in your indefatigable and articulate efforts on behalf of the largely blissfully aware Celtic support. You will be the best judges of the most strategic time to call for crowd support. I think you may be pleasantly surprised at the level of support you will receive from those on this site, Sentinel Celts and other forums. We will dig deep to help you in overcoming this corruption. Keep on keeping on!



  4. Anyone genuinely surprised at this outcome is either naive or hasn’t being paying attention.



    And so far as court action is concerned its main attraction is that it allows people to pretend to themselves that they are doing something positive whilst avoiding doing the one thing they know might have an effect, but which would be too high a price for them to pay.

  5. EL {‘m not genuinely surprised so not naive but have been paying attention Frankly I’d sooner listen to thoughts from BRTH or Auldheid both of whom I have the pleasure of meeting and being very impressed with.Unfortuneately. I don’t get the same vibes from you. H H Hebcelt


    MNCELT on 21ST MAY 2020 2:33 PM



    Thankyou — and I am just to head off do some work stuff — and that really is a crusade because there people were cheated out of millions of pounds.



    Please note that my post is not about corruption in any shape of form and that word is never used.



    What it is about is the fact that the SFA administration is so flawed, so self serving and so lacking in transparency and sporting integrity that the very wealthy and well run Celtic cannot protect itself, you or me from such ineptitude and failure.



    I am absolutely fine with those who choose to accept that these are no more than the conditions we play and trade under, and accept the fact that should there be deception in the future it may well go unnoticed, un policed and unpunished.



    You play to the best of you abilities, win or lose, and if the SFA want to change the rules to accommodate another club’s irregularities then carry on regardless.



    I am absolutely fine if you or anyone else is happy to go down that route. We may all be forced to accept it at the end of the day.



    What I am not fine with, and never will be, is when no one looks at what’s happening and points out the irregularities and potential consequences of those irregularities.



    However, what has happened here over a long number of years is that a few, and I really do mean a very few, people have asked searching, polite professional questions with the result that where there was once nothing to see or discuss, there were eventually disciplinary charges based on evidence in-gathered and presented.



    Where there was once absolute resistance to investigate or enquire there was, eventually, at least a limited investigation and an attempt to have a legally convened hearing which would examine the evidence and pronounce guilt or innocence after inquiry — only to be told that the supreme body in Scottish Football had apparently signed away any right of inquiry several years before without anyone knowing.



    If that is the case then Celtic are being forced to play by Football Association rules which don’t exist in Holland or Germany or Belgium or Sweden and by any logic it puts their entire business model at a disadvantage at least in theory. And that is not good going forward for our directors, shareholders, fans and sponsors.



    This is not about chasing the past — all of that is long gone — it is about what happens tomorrow and next year and about trying to ensure that the rules of today and tomorrow are applied evenly and consistently.



    If Scottish Football fans are happy with the SFA not doing this or that for fear of the “implications” that might result as opposed to pursuing and enforcing the rules by which it asks it clubs to play each season, then so be it – carry on.



    But the consequence of that long term is no faith in the business or sporting rules of the SFA and the reputation of Scottish Football, and all who participate in it, being seen as mickey mouse and second rate.



    Last I heard Celtic don’t want to be seen as second rate either in Scotland or abroad.

  7. HEBCELT on 21ST MAY 2020 3:33 PM



    No problem.



    All I would say is the outcome is as I predicted it would be.



    Also, don’t assume everyone involved is playing with a straight bat.





    I think many would want to run into court if they can and do what they can to bring the SFA to book.



    I could not, in all conscience, encourage such a plan unless I had every faith in the purpose and the potential (at least) outcome.

  9. To reitterate, this is not the time to rock the Celtic boat.


    Consequences: Absolutely. Will they harm our own club and bring succour to our enemies ?



    Rightly or wrongly, will or should we be forgiven for that. ?



    Now is not the time.



    HH to all.

  10. IniquitousIV on

    BRTH @ 3:36


    Given your comment to MNCELT on the subject matter, I should have said “fight this injustice” rather than “fight this corruption.”



  11. GREENPINATA on 21ST MAY 2020 3:57 PM



    ‘To reitterate, this is not the time to rock the Celtic boat.’







    When was it ever the time?



    When will it ever be the time?

  12. BRTH – I think you and all the other folks who have shone light on what went on before have already made sure that this won’t happen again in Scottish Football.

  13. Shareholders of the World Unite


    You have nothing to lose but your debentures……

  14. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Happy to read about the three year contract signed by Brody Paterson today. He was an interesting player introduced in a game against Huddersfield earlier this season, looked to be a left winger putting in some minutes as a wing back. The look was from youtube highlights.



    Hope Daniel Church comes in from the touchline and earns a shot as a left centre back.



    The crazy non-fixture fixture schedule our 2nd XI operate is a frustration to me. Names are appearing in the team I’ve never seen on a pitch. Secret, behind closed doors is the new normal for that squad.

  15. Jordan Ibe has been released by Bournemouth.



    Worth a shot? 92 games for Bournemouth 5 goals 9 assists. He was a disaster for them.

  16. Oscar Wilde…


    The final trial was presided over by Mr Justice Wills. On 25 May 1895 Wilde and Alfred Taylor were convicted of gross indecency and sentenced to two years’ hard labour.[153] The judge described the sentence, the maximum allowed, as “totally inadequate for a case such as this”, and that the case was “the worst case I have ever tried”.[156] Wilde’s response “And I? May I say nothing, my Lord?” was drowned out in cries of “Shame” in the courtroom.[157]





    When first I was put into prison some people advised me to try and forget who I was. It was ruinous advice. It is only by realising what I am that I have found comfort of any kind. Now I am advised by others to try on my release to forget that I have ever been in a prison at all. I know that would be equally fatal. It would mean that I would always be haunted by an intolerable sense of disgrace, and that those things that are meant for me as much as for anybody else – the beauty of the sun and moon, the pageant of the seasons, the music of daybreak and the silence of great nights, the rain falling through the leaves, or the dew creeping over the grass and making it silver – would all be tainted for me, and lose their healing power, and their power of communicating joy. To regret one’s own experiences is to arrest one’s own development.


    Wilde was incarcerated from 25 May 1895 to 18 May 1897.



    He first entered Newgate Prison in London for processing, then was moved to Pentonville Prison, where the “hard labour” to which he had been sentenced consisted of many hours of walking a treadmill and picking oakum (separating the fibres in scraps of old navy ropes),[158] and where prisoners were allowed to read only the Bible and The Pilgrim’s Progress.




    At an earlier Trial… Wilde V Queensferry in which Wilde was “Prosecutor, the Jury failed to come to a verdict and Wilde had to pay the expenses to Queensferry, which left him bankrupt.




  17. Ernie,



    I think we all know when the optimum time was.



    It may be time later on ( And i hope it is ) when we see who has come through this crisis and we see the shape of football post covid 19.



    Right now it is all about surviving our club and preparing for an unknown future.


    Tackle unpalatable and contentious issues from a position of strength, not when we are navigating unpresideded waters.



    Cheers and HH.




    Just read your post, regarding the SFA and the 5 way, is it not the case that Rangers have a clause that indemnifies them against any of the ‘acts’ carried out by Craig Whyte? Would that be the reason why the SFA cannot adjudicate on the issue? If correct this would be limited to acts carried out before 2012 or in other words by the old club. It would be surprising and shocking if this applies to the current club as it stands. Surely if they did something illegal in an application this year, the 5 way couldn’t be used as a shield?



    I also agree that it is surprising that the SFA brought any charges at all. As i have said to you and others in the past, i believe this was done to resist the push for a full inquiry. It was a small but narrow concession that kicked the can down the road far enough, a road that was a known cul de sac. Sadly i am of the opinion, based on some evidence, that Peter has seen the 5 way and has known throughout, how this matter would play out. To make a distinction between ‘knowing’ or having been ‘complicit’ in its downfall is a different discussion all together.


  20. Scottish football is run by masons along with BBC sport. so the chance of anyting being discussed never mind acted upon is zero. Only way CFC would even mention cheating is if fans stopped spending money. the oly people they have called out for illegal actions are the celtic support!

  21. mncelt on 21st May 2020 4:15 pm




    BRTH – I think you and all the other folks who have shone light on what went on before have already made sure that this won’t happen again in Scottish Football.


    Its still happening! and will get worse .. thye know they can do what they want and never be investigated. How the f*** were they not charged with bringing game into disrepute? Why doesn’t Doncater say what threats were made to him?

  22. Thye are beyond reproach. and can never be punished for anything. If they go bust they will not have to start again .. just have all debts ignored by SFA and carry on.

  23. i'vehadtochangemynamebacktojackiemac on

    I supervised 13 keyworker’s kids and vulnerable kids today. Was it different to normal, of course it was. Are they able to socially distance, no not always. About this, listen to Nicola. A great ghirl in work wishes the covid data in the northeast could be treated as scottish!

  24. If I am not mistaken it was RIFC who insisted that the issue must go to the CAS, not Celtic FC, not the SFA. The FA is in the process of appealing against decisions taken by FIFA (the ultimate arbiter re player registrations?) against the Association, for its’ part in Chelsea’s mis-registration of young players. FIFA is on board with the appeal. Not quite the same issue I know, but the end of a process which found both the FA and Chelsea FC in the dock. The end of a process. There is no end to the process in Scotland, nobody has anything to appeal about or against. Nobody including Celtic FC.

  25. A wee vent here.



    It is a disappointment when you realise that to some folk baubles are more important than values, that any price is payable for bragging rights. Each to his own experience.



    However I do know that some folk who gave unthinking support to Celtic are now less inclined to do so and have reset their values. In a world that has lost sight of values that is to be welcomed.



    With reference to the new way of being caused by ConVid, what an opportunity to rid ourselves of a world that causes cynicism to rot the soul. What is wrong with wanting honest proper fair governance when football returns and that will not be for quite some time in Scotland, certainly not in its current form.



    This isn’t about the past, its about the future, but one thing for sure, if you predict the world will never change, yours never will.



    On a personal note I’m more than vexed. Would you not be knowing that at any point Celtic could have said there is no point pursuing this, the 5 Way Agreement stops us?



    When lawyers were engaged that YOU guys helped fund along with others should we not have been told you are wasting time and money?



    BRTH suggests two options. My preference is that Celtic



    1. Make an apology to shareholders and supporters.



    2 Justify their acceptance of the 5 Way, they might find a level of understanding that would surprise them. (PL once said to me “Trust me” – it is a great pity he didn’t reciprocate)



    3. State their own understanding of what happened in 2011 and if deception used to obtain that licence in 2011 (and we have an independent report saying so which both Celtic and SFA now have) explain to shareholders why they have not sought compensation as the injured party.



    4. If no deception took place having consulted UEFA without prejudice to look at the evidence in the report then there never was a case.



    5. Refund the £11k spent on legal fees, some of which can be offered to individuals who donated on the misold basis that what was uncovered would be used by Celtic in the pursuit of SFA reform. The rest raised by you guys to be donated to the Foundation.



    We all know the saying the truth will set you free, well the above is the way to freedom.



    Otherwise you are following a lie.

  26. auldheid



    The only question in my mind which remains unanswered is which version of the 5WA is the final one.


    Maybe Rod Petrie could clarify that?

  27. Auldheid


    Looks like a stitch up , we will never find out why, because money is the God, and now its about Football surviving the agenda has moved on, what people do in response to this stitch up is up to them and the board know it.

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