Is a bit of Game Theory too much to ask?


SFA member clubs Hearts and Partick Thistle are “incredulous” that the SFA charged them for breaking SFA member club rules. In a joint statement of 83 words, which surely indicates that Ann Budge has lost her ability to both type and dictate, the clubs do not dispute the clarity of the rules, or that they broke the rules, or that when they raised an action at the Court of Session, the Court affirmed the action was against the rules.

In going to the Court of Session, Hearts, claiming £8m and Thistle, claiming £2m, wanted next season stopped, holding the Sword of Damocles over the game, hoping to force the SPFL to cave into their demands or see a scorched earth landscape for Scottish football.

I can only assume the plan sounded plausible when it was hatched by Hearts chief exec Budge and Thistle’s Jacqui Low, but before embarking on any action, you should always run through all options available to the other side, not just the fanciful ones you hope will happen.  Is a bit of Game Theory too much to ask?

The plan was brutally flawed from the off.  Had they read the rules, they could have gone straight to SFA arbitration, instead of incurring an unnecessary threat of expulsion from the SFA on the road to SFA arbitration.

Today, they complain about “escalating legal costs”.  If only they had spent money earlier on a lawyer, asking for advice on how to proceed within the rules.  Hearts and Partick Thistle were relegated for two reasons: Covid-19 ended Scottish football early and both clubs were outclassed on the field by every other team in their division, many of whom did so on a fraction of their resources.

They are possibly the two worst run clubs in Scottish football, and given some of the competition, that’s an incredible achievement.  This fiasco was an unnecessary self-inflicted wound.  It shows a lack of insight, poor forward planning, insufficient experience of the industry and a failure to take appropriate advice; features that are common in failing organisations.  All the polite media coverage of these two clubs has done them no good, it just emboldens them to ever-more dangerous positions.  It is easy and the popular thing to sound like a fan and act without consideration of the consequences, but when you are in charge, if you don’t run every scenario before acting, I can guarantee you will lead your club into turmoil.  The Budge and Low legacies will not be the fawning retrospectives you have heard until this point.

In taking their action, Hearts and Partick threatened the viability of the entire Scottish game.  Sanctions should be appropriate: suspend them from the League for one season.  I would let them continue in the Scottish Cup, four years on, Hibs fans deserve another fun day at Hampden.

And I’ve not even started on Jim Jefferies’ new position at Hearts, as they postpone the search for a sporting director.  A recent heart attack survivor who was sacked by Hearts nine years ago and went on to manage Dunfermline to two consecutive relegations, clearly demonstrates Ann Budge knows what she is doing.

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  1. GENE on 15TH JULY 2020 6:32 PM


    Through the browser on the TV – he’s got a log-on routine to Access the game via the Stoke city website.




    Sounds good. I’m assuming that’s how ours will be. I’m had initially thought that the virtual ticket (using sunset & vine production) was going to be separate from Celtic TV (and better). However, the announcement about using Sutton & co to supplement the usual Celtic tv team, suggests not.

  2. Bristol 1-1 Stoke – not a bad game , Stoke should be ok- there’ll be an open top bus through Stoke a week on Sunday

  3. Late to the party but on the CAS Decision on Man City TBB said



    THE BATTERED BUNNET on 13TH JULY 2020 11:20 AM



    FFP-wise, UEFA have found that the combination of time bar, obstructive members and slow coach processes add up to diluted outcomes.



    Man City obtained a financial benefit from both the undeclared income and the revenue from participation that amounts to £100’s of millions. A €10M fine is irrelevant.



    The bottom line is, so long as penalties are financial and not sporting, nothing is against the rules if you can afford to pay the fine.



    UEFA look terribly foolish. Expect any attempt to redraft the rules to be vigorously resisted by the ECA and the FAs of the big leagues.



    Given that the football economy is being trashed by Covid-19, the likelihood is that there will be no effective FFP applied for the foreseeable future, whether there was any before or not.







    Celtic shareholders pursuing an answer to Res12 from 2013 are with UEFA findings in that the combination of time bar, obstructive members and slow coach processes add up to diluted outcomes or in the case of Res12 no outcome.



    All of which would have been avoided had Res12 been passed instead of adjourned. Another delaying excuse was the provenance of the evidence presented that led to the adjournment in 2013, whilst leaving the resolution on the agenda where it lies still.



    The very point about Canalamar’s resolution was that it got around this provenance excuse because the CFCB investigating body had the power to obtain all the evidence.



    Even the 5 year time bar is challenageable for Res12 because, unlike the Man City case, there is hard evidence that the UEFA Licence 2011 was obtained by false pretence, ie corruption and there is no statute of limitations in UEFA rules where that applies.



    So after 5 years of doing the paddy ba , in 2018 the SFA finally get around to making charges under their own investigative process, only to find they had surrendered their authority to do that under The 5 Way Agreement that Celtic were also knowledgeable of in 2012.



    So forgive me if I find it a bit rich if Celtic are complaining about being disadvantaged by UEFA’s inability to police FFP when Celtic are as guilty of the combination of ruses used as every other club to dilute outcomes.



    Having a trust based system like FFP for football, is like putting the fox in charge of the hen house making UEFA FFP is as useful as a chocolate tea pot in an ice cream tea cosy.



    I have no problem with ” taking the Knee”, none whatsoever. The point I was making was that people should stop and think for themselves and NOT be pushed into thinking, well everyone else is doing it, so I must. Absolute bollocks. Personally I think there should be more made of inequality but it is so deep rooted, particularly in the US, but now it is more underground. Notice how quiet the Ku Klux Klan have been, but they are still there with their bitter hatred.


    I’m off for a pint, I ‘ll gladly buy you one of you’re around.




  5. Kinglubo – “The point I was making was that people should stop and think for themselves and NOT be pushed into thinking”…



    Hold on fella. Before you patronise us all with yoiur superior ‘contrarian is always best’ view, maybe bright, intelligent people here and elsewhere have stopped, have thought and have decided that solidarity with our black friends and players is the least we can do.

  6. Recently Celtic have been very good with communications. We have received plenty of E Mails from them.



    If our players are to make a political or moral statement then it may be prudent to ask the supporters via their registered E Mail accounts. What could be more simple ?




  7. David66: belated wedding anniversary congratulations.



    PCS: Belated birthday greeting to you.



    I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m not sure which event I’m more excited about: Celtic playing tomorrow or Big Jimmy’s big day out.



    Whichever, I hope we win tomorrow (Timmy’s in Torreblanco for me) and Jimmy enjoys his few bevvies on Friday.

  8. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    Have u been in Donmacs yet


    Not sure if u are close to it or not

  9. BT: Yes. I passed by it the other day but I met Simon Donnelly in it when I was over before last Christmas. Nice place, good memorabilia in it and decent food. Lots of competition around it. Will watch a match in it before I come home.

  10. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    My dad is 80 next month and we had hoped to get a trip to either costa del sol or Portugal for golf


    Next year now hopefully

  11. GREENPINATA on 15TH JULY 2020 8:18 PM


    Recently Celtic have been very good with communications. We have received plenty of E Mails from them.



    If our players are to make a political or moral statement then it may be prudent to ask the supporters via their registered E Mail accounts. What could be more simple ?






    Hi mate can you expand? Frimpong??




  12. BT: Keep me informed. All going well, I will be out here for the whole Summer.



    Locals are very compliant re COVID 19. Not many tourists here either.

  13. Yo BT 😊



    Well done taking a hurl over to see oldtim.excellent bit o Celticness there😊.




  14. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    No objection to showing support for a good cause in the way deemed relevant to that cause…



    …but can we not describe it as just kneeling – bliddy Americanisms invading at every turn.



    I mean ‘take the / a knee’!?!?



    Take it where – ffs!!!



    It is ‘kneel down’.



    Misalettes being re-written in parishes everywhere:


    ‘All take the knee’






    I’m watching too much CNN – need to reduce my blood pressure.



    Bliddy Americanisms.






  15. Kinglubo


    Although I am in general agreement with your view that people are easily led, I found this part of your post a tad ironic: ` I was always brought up to think for myself`.

  16. BT


    Last time i saw him, he was looking very good for someone approaching 80.


    `night all.

  17. no’ bothered about Hertz or Thistle……..


    ……..how come the Blazers haven’t done anything about the serial shameful keech kickers o’ scoddland?



    Fix Fitba: Empty Hampden.

  18. ……..and how come the Blazers aren’t asking about hun money and the apparent lack thereof?

  19. My mate told me that he failed his Aboriginal music exam.


    I said “ Didja redo it”.

  20. After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, British scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 200 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 150 years ago.



    Not to be outdone by the Brit’s, in the weeks that followed, an American archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet, and shortly after, a story published in the New York Times: “American archaeologists, finding traces of 250-year-old copper wire, have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network 100 years earlier than the British”.



    One week later, the Irish Department of Agriculture reported the following:


    “After digging as deep as 30 feet near Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, Mick O’Connor, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely fuck all…..



    Mick has therefore concluded that 250 years ago, Ireland had already gone wireless.”



    Proud to be Irish!


    Leigh Griffiths has been given more chances than anyone at Celtic – but fitness problems wouldn’t fly with pub team




    CELTIC only get headlines when it’s a negative story about them.

  22. Stairheedrammy on

    I’ve been watching BT’s The Big Match most mornings- English games from the 70’s and 80s. There have been some eye openers that I don’t remember picking up on at the time. Chelsea were on earlier this week with a team that included Davie Hay, Ray Wilkins, Chopper Harris and Charlie Cooke- and they were fighting relegation at the time. Chelsea’s latest signing came on midway through the second- he cost £50k from East Stirling. Changed days.

  23. Good morning friends from a dry but grey East Kilbride.


    On Saturday 7 March 2020 Celtic beat St Mirren 5 – 0. That was 131 sleeps ago. But today we get the chance to, yet again, see the Champions play. Nice v Celtic at 5.15pm.


    But first, work…. ;-)

  24. Good morning cqn from a rather grey looking Garngad



    This trying to work in garden in between rain is a nightmare.



    Sadly my son in law got back to me and basically said I was talking shite about codes as there was nothing on the email saying how many we would get. I don’t know where I got that from, apologies again bhoys.



    Might try the pub tonight for the friendly.






    D :)

  25. David 66


    No worries, thanks for confirming that I wasn’t going even more doolally…!


    Oh, and good morning.



  26. The SPFL is considering changing rules to allow Premiership clubs to loan two players to other top-flight teams, and up to four to those in the Championship






    Could really benefit some of our youngsters.

  27. KINGLUBO on 16TH JULY 2020 9:34 AM



    Thanks for the offer, maybe some time – when we’re celebrating the 10 maybe? :-)

  28. AN TEARMANN on 15TH JULY 2020 9:42 PM



    Apologies for the late reply.


    What I was alluding to was ” taking the knee” for BLM.


    Many persons and organisations are shying away from a just cause because of the politicization of it. ( just look at sky and it’s presenters )



    Before we compel our players to ” take the knee” we should gauge our supporters reaction. It’s easily done and we can then comfortably abide by the majority decision.




  29. Greenpinata


    Doesn’t stop Sky, or other, presenters, wearing poppies. With the honourable exception of Jon Snow on C4.

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