Football negotiations against backdrop of joblessness, poverty and death


Uefa’s videoconference yesterday moved the prospect of domestic league football in late summer a step closer.  It is likely the lockdown across Europe will be lifted gradually, with mass public events like football games being the very last permitted activity.

That being the case, it is likely that some leagues will be underway behind closed doors in July, with many more in August.  Football will be back, TV contracts will be compromised but not completely discarded, so there will be some income, but without ticket revenue, the consequences for most Scottish clubs will be significant.

Most Hearts players have taken a lead from the (odious, remember) Gordon Taylor, PFA chief in England, by offering to defer their wages, not take an actual cut.  Ticket revenue is almost an irrelevant figure for the English top flight, becoming less so as you go down the divisions, so a deferment works at the top level there.

But it is pointless to Hearts.  There is a real prospect that clubs will not be allowed to sell a match ticket this year.  As with England, those at the top of the tree will cope better, but all will face consequences and even the likes of Hearts will do well to survive without an insolvency event unless they can significantly cut their wage bill.

Gordon Taylor’s >£2m salary is not sustainable if his members are not earning full wages and paying significant union fees.  It is against his financial interest to acquiesce to calls from the English Football League for an across the board wage cut.  While this battle goes on in England, the same debate will happen in Scotland.

The crisis is likely to come to a head in the English Championship, which operates in normal times to the norms of voodoo economics, but will be wiped out without their normal income streams.  There, some well-off footballers will lose their incomes.  Below the Championship, it is hard to see a viable employer.  Ironically, lower league clubs in Scotland can furlough all their staff, including players, who will not be offended by a £2500 monthly cap.  The crunch in Scotland will come in the top flight, where valuable contracts are at stake.

It could take weeks for this to play out, with millionaires holding firm against the backdrop of horrendous levels of anxiety, joblessness, poverty and death in the community.  I predict Steven Naismith, who unilaterally accepted a 50% wage cut, is one of the few footballers you admire when this is all over, despite his personal history.  A phrase I never expected to type, but these are exceptional times.

I was shocked then angry when I heard the UK death figures yesterday, weeks before the peak is due.  Our governments and their advisers have no master plan out of this one, and there are too many people still taking risks.  Each household is on its own, so stay at home.

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  1. Neustadt-Braw on




    stand tall …look the crowd in the eye …and sing like your folks are the only ones in front of you…


    (and you really need that birthday dosh)



    smileyand they will nae go wrang thing



    keep us up to speed ….and hoops hoops hoops




  2. !!Bada Bing!! on

    On the Sunderland programme on Netflix, if you thought Martin Bain was David Brent,wait till you see the new guy😳

  3. Neustadt-Braw on

    mate is a Dandy Don (meh meh) I call him ..season ticket etc…AFC just called to ask if he was ok …and could they help in any way….awfy braw …



    smiley we should be the first club to sell out our stadium …what a statement of trust thing



    and who wants to miss 10 in a row (Linear Growth …not to be confused with Exponential Growth )




  4. Guyfawkes – great monikor coming from a 5th November born bhoy



    Corpus Christi was my primary many moons ago and was in St Paul’s chapel many a time with my brothers and deceased father.






    D. :)

  5. i'vehadtochangemynamebacktojackiemac on

    Weird as fugg that the Tory motto has ‘save the nhs’ before ‘save lives’. Scum find opportunities in crises.

  6. Melbourne Mick on

    Hello again all you young rebels.



    Just catching up as usual.


    REBUS 67 condolences for the loss of your brother Drew.



    Hope everyone else is safe and well.


    H.H . Mick

  7. Melbourne Mick


    sorry but i havent read much,


    what is the coronavirus situation in Australia like,


    you in lockdown situation ?

  8. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    Many thanks for passing that on.


    Delaney`s Dunky is another former parishioner of San Pablo.

  9. Neustadt-Braw on

    Mick you have had a lot of catching up to do recently …you have nae caught that Criketeery virus thing ?



    Frankie said it was known in Scotland as a homosexual martial art …



    smiley keep that fence protected thing




  10. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    GENE on 2ND APRIL 2020 9:29 PM





    Everyone was a bit later than that.






    Except me .

  11. Scottish Players I would like to have played for Celtic.


    John Robertson ( Notts Forest)


    Willie Miller


    Martin Buchan


    Alan Hansen


    Billy Bremner


    Denis Law


    Gordon Strachan


    Jim Baxter


    Dave McKay

  12. I have no idea about anything, never had, likely Never will.



    One thing we All ain’t to have…is a spirit of fear.



    There were not any Bagpipes playing in Barrow tonight. Lots of air horns and general Loud appreciation of the NHS. Just the noise was Good to hear again.



    God Bless all those that have the Brilliant ideas.



    Praise the Lord we get through this.



    Praise the Lord.

  13. Melbourne Mick on




    News last night trying to be optimistic saying it looks like we are


    flattening the curve , and that we are testing more


    people than anywhere else?


    The cruise ship in NSW causing a lot of concern, letting off hundreds


    with the virus which apparently caused 10 per cent of the nations


    infected figure, big enquiry ongoing.




    Wee grace has a video thing linked to us and she’s on every 5 mins


    telling me to show her things , and do things funny as Papas are supposed


    to do, made chocolate pancakes yesterday while she watched and thought


    they would be bowfin, but they were yummy lol.


    Today will be a singing day, think Celtic songs will be very prominent.


    H.H . Mick

  14. Melbourne Mick on

    My players i wished played for Celtic



    Joe Jordan


    Tony Green


    Joe Mc Lauchlan


    Billy Bremner


    Martin Buchan


    H.H . Mick

  15. Melbourne Mick,


    hopefully as you say you are over the worst,


    cruise ships seem to be a big problem all over.

  16. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Euro champs 67.



    David Narey , Eddie and Frank Gray , Arthur Graham , Alex Cropley , Eric Schaedler, Bobby Graham , Jim Leighton (only because his wife is my dad’s cousin’s daughter), Jim Holton, Peter Lorimer.



    One Scottish player who I never thought would play for us but I’m so glad he did was Pat Stanton. Someone not given the credit he is due for the fantastic player he was.

  17. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Eurochamps , I forgot Willie Miller who I loathed at the time but a terrific player.

  18. Scotsmen that I wish had played for Celtic….



    Jobo Baldie ;-)



    Stay safe and sleep peacefully.

  19. Neustadt-Braw on

    MELBOURNE MICK on 2ND APRIL 2020 10:47


    braw….. can almost see her wee face …..here in Germany we have Nutella …..choco hazelnut creme ..I brought my patch work family up on it ..as long as they are smiling let them dip …



    smiley how many times do you see bairns playing with the boxes instead of the pressies thing



    bairns are awfy braw ….(when I was a child I once saw it..out of the corner of my eye)



    comfortably numb



    aff tae ma scratcher




  20. Melbourne Mick on




    Yes ! Eddie Gray, and Arthur Graham the man who terrorised the best right


    back in the world… Daniel Fergus.


    Amazing when you see the names you have forgotten.


    H.H . Mick

  21. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Willie Pettigrew I remember him as lightning fast and always scored against us

  22. Melbourne Mick on




    Pettigrew… think we were linked to him, he always seemed


    to score whenever he touched the ball.


    wherever did he end up.?


    H.H . Mick

  23. A Layman’s look at the figures



    UK are supposed to be 2 weeks behind Italy in terms of infection rate and deaths.



    I thought i’d take a look at the figures for comparison. I have not included testing as figures are sketchy from country to country. UK however, appears to be lagging behind every major power.



    South of Tunis reported that the first reported cases were a couple of tourists from Wuhan and one other who had worked in Wuhan but had returned to Italy (hope that’s accurate SOT) – This was on 31st January 2020.



    WHO figures show NO change in those 3 cases up to 19th February. Then something changed.



    Friday 20th February was the first reported death. I include this for the record from Global News.



    “Italy reported its first death from COVID-19 from China early Saturday and the number of people infected more than quadrupled due to a cluster of cases that prompted officials to order schools, restaurants and businesses to close.


    State-run RAI television reported a 78-year-old man, one of two people in northern Veneto region to have been infected, died Friday. Italian news agencies ANSA and LaPresse also reported the death, citing the Veneto regional president, Luca Zaia.


    In Lombardy, at least 14 new cases were confirmed, representing the first infections in Italy acquired through secondary contagion and bringing the country’s total to 19. The cluster was located in a handful of tiny towns southeast of Milan, said Lombardy regional health chief Giulio Gallera.


    The first to fall ill was a 38-year-old Italian who met with someone who had returned from China on Jan. 21 without presenting any symptoms of the new virus, health authorities said. That person was being kept in isolation and appears to present antibodies to the virus.


    The 38-year-old is now hospitalized in critical condition. His wife and a friend of his, who was a member of his running club, also tested positive for the virus. Three patients at the hospital in Codogno where he went with flu-like symptoms on Feb. 18 also have infections, as do five nurses and doctors. In addition, another three elderly people, who frequented the same cafe as the runner’s father, also tested positive Friday, Gallera said.


    Tests were under way, meanwhile, on the 38-year-old’s doctor, who made a house call on him, as well as on 120 people he worked with in the research and development branch of Unilever in Casalpusterlengo, Gallera said.


    Word of the contagion sparked fears throughout the region, particularly given the closure of the emergency room at the Codogno hospital.”


    1st March



    By 1st March Italy reported 34 deaths and 1694 reported cases.


    UK in comparison had 0 deaths and 35 reported cases.



    UK reported it’s first death from Covid19 on 5th March.



    14th March



    In the intervening 2 weeks Italy had went from 34 deaths to 1441 deaths and 21,157 reported on 14th March. The day Scotland were meant to be playing Wales in Cardiff. UK was up to 21 deaths and 1140 reported. Although the rugby was canceled on the 13th I was already there. To my astonishment the concert by the Stereophonics went ahead on the Saturday night, indoors in Cardiff. Not sure of numbers so won’t speculate. But mind-boggling all the same.



    The next day was the biggest jump in cases in Italy, up to 1809 deaths and 24,747 reported.


    This was the first time that UK had matched the published figures from Italy from 1st March – 35 deaths and 1372 reported – exactly 2 weeks. I guess this is where the `2 weeks behind Italy’ figures come from.



    19th March



    By 19th March, Italy had overtaken China in the number of reported deaths.


    3405 deaths, 41,035 reported. The UK in comparison 144 dead and 3229 reported.



    2nd April



    Italy currently stands at 13,156 deaths, 115,242 reported.


    UK currently sits at 2,921 deaths. 33,718 reported.



    Whatever the reason we appear to be on the same sliding scale of deaths in the population. Worth remembering that Italy basically shut down the North, however they did give 24 hour notice of the lockdown. Many escaped South. UK has been far too lackadaisical in its approach to social distancing. Our parks, canals and suburbs show no sign of appreciating the scale of the problem. It’s going to take a death in the family before we react/comply with the self isolation guidance. God help us.

  24. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Melbourne Micjk , Arthur and Eddie two Celtic daft boys from Castlemilk.



    Canamlar , on the goals front a yes for Willie Pettiegrew but a no on the looks front. A Motherwell supporting colleague of mine liked Pettiegrew but believed Bobby Graham was more important as he made so much space for Pettiegrew and created lots of chances for him.

  25. As a kid watching Celtic, Peter Weir , Eric Black and Paul Sturrock were three Scottish I admired.

  26. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Melbourne Mick , Willie Pettiegrew joined Dundee United around 1980. He scored for them when we won the league at Tannadice in 1981 . We won 3 2 that night. Tommy scored a fantastic goal.



    I’m not sure where he went after United. I know he has been coaching some of the Motherwell youth teams over the past 5 years.

  27. glendalystonsils on

    Wee Gordon Strachan would have been great for us as a player , but I doubt very much if the Celtic support would have welcomed him at the time.


    Who could have foreseen him then as a future Celtic manager who would come to love the club.

  28. Melbourne Mick on




    You know of course Franky Gray played for Celtic


    or am i gibbering as usual?


    H.H . Mick

  29. Melbourne Mick on

    Think i must be gibbering, maybe it was Eddies son that played


    for the bhoys.


    Embdy confirm?


    H.H . Mick

  30. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Stuart Gray. He never played that often for the first team.

  31. Melbourne Mick on




    Thats him lol.


    Right ghuys and ghals thats my two weeks self isolation over


    today, time to don the Celtic attire and go hurtin hun huntin.


    Oh wait……




    H.H . Mick

  32. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Melbourne Mick, Stuart was a leftie like his dad.



    Jobo, your reply earlier to the Scottish player you wish we had signed, put a smile on my miserable coupon. A much needed bit of good humour at this traumatic time for many.

  33. Frank Gray played for St. Margaret Mary’s school team. Eddie made sure he was going to Leeds- he was always locked in there. Aberdeen had a strong scouting set up in Glasgow and Arthur Graham was picked up by them. Two boys from Castlemilk did go to Celtic, Tommy Livingstone as a reserve goalie and Frank Welsh who played a handful of games but was mostly on the treatment table for a mysterious groin complaint. He was a better CH than big Roddy McDonald but could not stay fit enough for long enough to prove it.



    So much wasted talent from the boys of the 60s and 70s

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