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Scottish football needs crisis

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It was only in February this year that the proposed Russia-Ukraine joint league first reached the stage of formal meetings between clubs to discuss the viability but tonight a showcase tournament between top clubs from each country gets underway tonight.  It is hoped the formal joint league will start this time next year when the top nine teams from each country will form the Unified First League.

Despite discouragement from Fifa, Uefa have insisted only that proper procedures are followed to give their ascent to the league.  Gazprom, the Russian energy giant and Uefa Champions League sponsor, has underwritten the project with a commitment of 1 billion euros per annum.

As we know, in football, money talks, and the Russian and Ukrainian clubs, together with their national associations and Uefa, have been talked happy to make change possible.

In order to become competitive with their rivals in the west while meeting Uefa Financial Fair Play rules, Russian and Ukrainian clubs need to increase income, which the Unified First League would go a long way towards.  Uefa president, Michel Platini, has long accepted that regionalisation was a viable way forward for domestic leagues, while former powers in smaller leagues have become disenfranchised from the game’s top table.

What does it mean for us?

Well, we don’t have a Gazprom, not yet, anyway, but once Gazprom’s financial and political muscle establishes the principle of regionalisation, that principle is available to all.  Former Yugoslavia countries are already in talks, while Scandinavian countries have already had a few abortive attempts at (underfunded) regional cup competitions.

The British region.

Welsh football has managed to retain its national identity, provide an infrastructure for provincial and community clubs, while federating with the FA in England to allow their larger (sic) clubs to find their competitive level.

The model is already established for Scottish football, which has realised living with one (or two for that matter) massive club which completely invalidates their league competition as a ‘competition’ is no longer the best way to order their affairs.

Financial recklessness caused the collapse of one club a year ago while the recklessness of a Lithuanian bank has put another in jeopardy.  A handful of other top-flight clubs now realise their financial commitments, not to mention sporting objectives, are no longer viable, with or without the crumbs from the table thrown in their direction when TV cameras and a few thousand fans arrive a few times per season.

Federate with England, just as the Welsh did.  It will bring ‘competition’ back to our competitions, put thousands of everyone’s gates and provide access to viable commercial contracts.

Why are our leagues and Association not speaking to the English about this right now?  The Football League in England is every bit as much a basket case as Scottish football right now, they also need to change the structural model and, unlike the equally lunatic (English) Premier League, appear to be self-aware in this respect.

Go talk to the Welsh FA, Cardiff City, Swansea, Wrexham or New Saints FC (!) and ask them what organising their game along the lines of the Scottish model would do to them.

Scottish football must federate or it will die.  As such, if we stand on the precipice of crisis, let’s make it a good one.  It’s the only thing which will get things moving.

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  1. lilys grandpa on

    Jungle Jim,

     

    I know one thing, this guys share of the 5% of the wealth is greatly reduced !!! :)

     

     

    Lilys Grandpa

  2. @BarryAnderson_8: Breaking news: #Hearts sponsors Wonga pay this year’s sponsor money up front by giving #HMFC close to £1m to help fight for survival.

     

     

    @alextomo: …as we know it’s July 19th Edinburgh Tribunals Centre, George St, Edinburgh

  3. It’s only when you are bored and read some other sites that you realise the quality of this site and of other Celtic fan sites. The level of posters knowledge and the ability to write top class articles and stories.

     

    This drivel looks to have been written by a kkid of 11 years old!

     

    ****Warning – This is poor quality***

     

     

    I remember Newcastle coming up for Ally McCoists testimonial in 1993 and being truthful their fans blew me away. Superb support.

     

     

    Dad and I went down to Newcastle in 2004 on a spur of the moment thing on the Friday night. My dad was a bit annoyed and drunk that night. He was seeing some married woman at the time, something had happened, they never hooked up that night as usual on a Friday when I was always banished for the night lol

     

     

    I came home a bit the worse for we after the pub closing (where I would keep out the way till she had gone) to my dad sitting there, steaming and down in the dumps. So I said hey, first thing on the morning we’re getting up and getting a train to Newcastle for the Rangers game.

     

     

    7am on the Saturday, I was up and banging his bedroom door, getting him up with a strong coffee. He was like WHAT?!! I was like, “we’re going to Newcastle can ye no remember?” He was like, “eh…. no”.

     

     

    Well we are.

     

     

    We got ourselves ready, my dad spent half an hour on the phone trying to get my brother to get him to jump in a taxi over and come with us. Him being him, never answered the phone. Pity for him as my dad got the train fare down, I got the tickets for the game, I got the better deal to the tune of £40 lol My brother had he answered his phone would have got the train and his ticket for free.

     

     

    We got down there after a few drinks on the train with other Bears. Was a good journey. Got into Newcastle, I went for the tickets, got them, then off for a couple more pints before we went in for the game. It was brilliant. Great atmosphere. Must have been about 20’000 Rangers fans there that day.

     

     

    We’d decided we’d stay the night and go to the next day’s games as well. After the game we got into a pub and asked for their yellow pages. Went through that book phoning up every hotel, they were all fully booked, not really surprising considering the amount of Rangers fans in the city that day. or they heard a Glasgow accent and thought god no, not another one lol

     

     

    So we had to head back up on the train there and then. These two young ladies came on and sat across the table from us. One was nice, the other not so nice. But it was clear they were up for it. Only, the nice one was opposite my dad and they two were getting on like a house on fire. I am sorry though, I was not being a good wingman for my dad, no way. So the not so nice one got the brush off.

     

     

    My dad was none to happy when we got off the train and went our separate ways from the young ladies. Taking a hit for a mate is bad enough, but my old man getting the nice bird and me getting the ugly one, Wasn’t happening.

     

     

    Anyhow, ended up back at our local and had a good night in there, and the next afternoon and night also, when we finally got a hold of my brother and he came over to meet us for a drink and he was absolutely gutted he ignored the phone call.

     

     

    A great weekend that one. A real bender when you wake up on the Monday morning outside the apartment door looking up at the keys hanging from the keyhole.

     

     

    I met the current missus that Sunday night in the local who was over visiting her dad and that started the end of my adventure in Singledome.

     

     

    LB

  4. voguepunter

     

    15:09 on

     

    27 June, 2013

     

     

    I’ll do my best to live up to that!

     

     

    Last week’s release:

     

     

    http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1960236.html

     

     

    Derry City have 1.465 points.

     

     

    Current coefficient table (to be updated after next round of matches):

     

     

    http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/uefarankings/club/index.html

     

     

    Derry City have 2.475 points.

     

     

    Therefore, Derry City have been credited with less points than the old Derry City already had.

     

     

    I would expect when the coefficient rankings are updated, there may be two clubs called “Derry City” on there.

  5. Livibhoy

     

     

    The WIFI opens up all sorts of opportunities

     

     

    Betting in play, comps, spending money, spending money & spending money !

  6. pabloh_AKA_NEIL LENNON on

    Apparently the new sevco top has ‘1872’ on it. The myth continues. Have they no shame?

  7. .

     

     

    Celtic_First

     

    15:24 on

     

    27 June, 2013

     

    unew mike

     

    15:22

     

     

    I quite like him (Milliband).

     

     

    I really liked Ed Balls yesterday, with his references to Zippy, George and Bungle. I’ve been laughing at that all day.

     

     

    Was that Rainbow..

     

     

    Also..Who was it that Said..”My Names Pig and I’m Hungry..” in a Brummie Accent..?

     

     

    Summa

  8. lilys grandpa on

    Livi Bhoy 15’28

     

     

    I was quite impressed, could certainly hold his drink for an 11yo!! OH! right. it wasn’t written by an 11yo!! haha…. Reading between the lines, his missus must be a beauty!

     

    Lilly Grandpa,

  9. adi_dasler

     

     

    I would imagine Dermot Desmond will be rsamping up the recruitment drive for new customers to his betting company.

     

    Makes business sense for him. Club is a business. Have no problem with them wanting to make more cash. Actually think the App is a great idea.

     

     

    LB

  10. Celtic_First on

    Summa of Sammi….

     

    15:38

     

     

    Don’t know the pig thing.

     

     

    Ed Balls had a shot at asking Osborne about the spending cuts. He said at one point: “His friends call him George, the president of the US calls him Geoffrey, but most people in the real world just know him as Bungle.”

     

     

    It said on Today in Parliament that Osborne was mad at this but that David Cameron started laughing. At which point, Ed Balls pointed at him and said: “No wonder Zippy can’t stop smiling.”

  11. Tis the wrong Milliband at the top

     

    The very fact that it was balls yet again and Not Milliband vindicates my point

     

    Useless opposition

     

    The government should be on the ropes but Milliband is too afraid to upset the applecart

  12. Not my work………Get it sent to…………..

     

     

     

    Dear Mr Regan,

     

     

    I write to you as a concerned supporter of Scottish football regarding the SFA’s handling of the issues surrounding Rangers FC. I appreciate that you have publicly expressed your desire to, “move on,” from what has been a traumatic period in the history of our game, but many people feel that this will not be possible until several issues have been resolved.

     

    I believe that one key declaration by the Scottish Football Association would enable supporters of all clubs to feel that a line has been drawn under the issue and, as you wish, “move on.”

     

    The plunging of Rangers FC into liquidation in June 2012 should have brought a resolution to the problem. We could have then accepted that many questionable actions had been carried out by both Rangers FC and the Scottish Football Association (dual contracts, improperly registered players, the granting of a UEFA license to Rangers for season 2011-12 despite overdue tax payments etc.), on the basis that Rangers FC was no longer with us.

     

    What has made “moving on” almost impossible for many people since then, is the Scottish Football Association’s handling of the new Rangers FC. The rules of the Association were not applied “without fear or favour,” with regards the new Rangers FC. To give but one example, the SFA’s Articles of Association, 6.3 states:

     

    A club or association desiring to qualify for full membership of the Scottish FA must first be admitted as an associate member. A club cannot be admitted as an associate member unless it meets, and commits to continuous compliance with, the Membership Criteria and amendments thereto as shall be promulgated by the Board from time to time in connection with the membership of the Scottish FA. You do not need me to point out that Rangers FC has not been given associate membership of the SFA, but full membership.

     

    Article 6.6 goes on: An associate member who has been an associate member for 5 complete successive years may apply at the expiry of that period to become a full member. All applications for full membership shall be considered and decided by the Board and the Board’s decision on the matter shall be final. It seems clear therefore that Rangers FC should not be eligible for full membership of the Scottish Football Association until the beginning of season 2017-18.

     

    I know you will protest that Rangers FC were not granted a new membership, but rather the SFA transferred the existing membership to Sevco Scotland, who were to become, in the SFA’s words, “the new owners of The Rangers Football Club.” Here we come to the crux of the matter. The Scottish Football Association has attempted to rewrite Scots law on incorporation, under which a football club is indistinguishable from its corporate identity.

     

    For whatever reason, the SFA has allowed an ambiguity to grow over the status of Rangers FC. Are they recognised by the SFA as a football club founded in 1872 with a long list of honours won? Or are they recognised by the SFA as a new club, founded in 2012 with one Scottish Football League 3rd Division title to their credit?

     

    The first position is incompatible not only with Scots law, but with UEFA statute. I refer you to UEFA’s Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations (2012 Edition), specifically Article 12:

     

    Article 12 – Definition of licence applicant

     

    1 A licence applicant may only be a football club, i.e. a legal entity fully responsible for a football team participating in national and international competitions which either:

     

    a) is a registered member of a UEFA member association and/or its affiliated league (hereinafter: registered member); or:

     

    b) has a contractual relationship with a registered member (hereinafter: football company).

     

    2 The membership and the contractual relationship (if any) must have lasted – at the start of the licence season – for at least three consecutive years. Any alteration to the club’s legal form or company structure (including, for example, changing its headquarters, name or club colours, or transferring stake-holdings between different clubs) during this period in order to facilitate its qualification on sporting merit and/or its receipt of a licence to the detriment of the integrity of a competition is deemed as an interruption of membership.

     

    This article presents the Scottish Football Association with several problems if it recognises Rangers FC as a club formed in 1872.

     

    First of all, if the club and company are separate, then Rangers FC is not a legal entity. Indeed, in his Reasons for Decisions of September 2012, Lord Nimmo Smith said of “clubs”:

     

    “This is not to say that a Club has legal personality, separate from and additional to the legal personality of its owner and operator. We are satisfied that it does not…” Rangers FC therefore cannot be granted a UEFA license, as it is not a legal entity.

     

    Secondly, as it is not a legal entity, Rangers FC is incapable of being a member of the Scottish Football Association.

     

    Thirdly, as it is not a legal entity, Rangers FC is incapable of entering into a contractual relationship with the SFA member, The Rangers Football Club Limited (formerly Sevco Scotland).

     

    In relation to The Rangers Football Club Limited, if we are to accept that it constitutes the football club, then it is a different legal entity to the original Rangers FC (The Rangers Football Club PLC), now known as RFC 2012 (In Liquidation).

     

    Article 12.2 cannot be used to claim an interruption of membership for Rangers FC, because the original Rangers has not changed its legal form, it is in liquidation. Only the assets of the original club belong to The Rangers Football Club Limited, not stake-holdings.

     

    Returning to the Scottish Football Association’s Articles of Association, I draw your attention to article 3.1:

     

    3. The Association is a member of FIFA and UEFA. Accordingly, it is itself obliged to:-

     

    (1) comply with the statutes, regulations, directives, codes and decisions and the International Match Calendar of FIFA, UEFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the Laws of the Game issued by IFAB;

     

    The Scottish Football Association has a statutory obligation therefore to abide by all UEFA rules. Clearly, any recognition by the SFA of The Rangers Football Club Limited as being a club formed in 1872 is in conflict with Article 3 of its own Articles of Association.

     

    To come to the point, I believe that despite the unhappiness, even anger, that the SFA’s handling of the Rangers situation has engendered, things can be resolved very quickly and easily by one, simple statement from the SFA, to the effect that the SFA member club, The Rangers Football Club Limited, is a new club with no claim on the history and honours of The Rangers Football Club PLC (In Liquidation).

     

    The original Rangers won numerous honours over a period of two decades from 1986, on the back of completely unsustainable spending. From at least the turn of the century, this was aided by questionable tax schemes, which are still the subject of appeal by HMRC.

     

    The original Rangers spent money they could never afford to pay back in pursuit of trophies and titles, and the inevitable result was liquidation. It is unpalatable for most Scottish football fans therefore to watch the new Rangers hold celebrations of their “140th anniversary,” and claim to be, “the most successful club in Scotland.”

     

    A declaration by the Scottish Football Association that Rangers FC is a new club would allow us all to, “move on.”

     

    Please advise me if it is the intention of the Scottish Football Association to make such a declaration?

     

    If the Scottish Football Association does consider Rangers FC to be the club founded in 1872, please advise me of the basis for this recognition, and how it relates to Scots law and UEFA statute?

     

    I look forward to hearing from you.

     

    Yours sincerely,

  13. South Of Tunis on

    Edinson Cavani ——

     

     

    Rumors ———-

     

     

    Heading to Napoli for ” definitive talks ”

     

     

    Wants to play for Real Madrid .

     

    Doesn’t want to play for Chelsea ..

     

    If he has to go to England ,it has to be Manchester United.

     

    Napoli’s owner has repeated that the price is 63 million euros and then it’s between Cavani and whoever .

  14. lilys grandpa on

    LiviBhoy

     

     

    And his maw must Sally!!! haha….. loved the story though, as I was reading it and picturing it in my minds eye, as Celtic First said……….. Holy God, haha

     

     

     

    Lily Grandpa

  15. Summa I blame Tony and Cherie Blair for the explosion of Spiv culture especially in the labour party Nye Bevan would be spinning in his grave to see the shennanigans that Labours socialism has become

  16. cavansam \o/ on

    themightyquinn

     

     

    Unirea Urziceni also appear on that list despite being dissolved in 2011.

     

     

    False hope for Sevco.

  17. Dammo Lennon

     

     

    Between yourself and whoever is responsible for the most recent letter to the SFA, not to mention canalamar attempting to use due process to make football (clubs and associations)accountable to supporters/shareholders, I look forward to retirement :)

     

     

    On canalamar’s initiative one of the issues it raises is how much effort is required to get a resolution tabled and it need not be like this.

     

     

    There are two issues:

     

     

    1. It has been left to the CST to use the AGM avenue and many shareholder supporters, for whatever reasons, are not CST members and thus the mechanism is underused or not fully understood or seen as the CST’s sole territory when in fact they are more than happy to help/facilitate.

     

     

    2. In relation to 1 the process itself is more labour intensive than it needs to be but with a bit of co-operation between Celtic and the CST (acting as a service provider to supporters/shareholders) the process could be a bit less labour intensive.

     

     

    With more pressure being put on clubs through initiatives that Supporters Direct are authorised to push to allow supporters a greater say in the business of football,

     

     

    http://www.supporters-direct.org/homepage/what-we-do/europe-2/supporter_liaison_officer

     

     

    even PLC’s are going to have to look at how that can be achieved. Clubs now have to appoint a Supporter Liaison Officer which is a step in the right general direction, but in keeping with the spirit behind the UEFA policy, issues that cannot be settled without requiring a mandate require a smooth mechanism for doing so and since Celtic are looking to fill such a post to meet UEFA requirements my hope is that willlead to having a proper co-operative system in place, throuh which the feeling of being ignored or having no say will eventually fade away.

     

     

    The key word here is “co-operative” which requires absolute abandonment of adversarial attitudes on both sides of the table with a consequent build up of trust as both “sides” find that at the end of the day they are actually on the same side and want Celtic to be a world class organisation.

     

     

    I look forward to hearing what canalamar1 has to say in due course as a result of his experience of trying to make something happen using a clunky system.

  18. lilys grandpa

     

     

    No wonder they are thick reading dross like that. I wrote better and more believable stories when I was at primary school!

     

     

    LB

  19. lilys grandpa on

    unew mike 15.53,

     

     

    I saw a Ken Loach film the other night, Spirit of 45, it was honestly insprational, and should be compulsory veiwing for all modern day labour mps.The present members are but a shadow of some of those guys.

     

     

    Lilys grandpa

  20. lilys grandpa on

    Livibhoy’

     

    What??????? you didnt believe it? I certainly did, haha

     

     

    lilys grandpa

  21. Auldheid

     

     

    Pal.

     

     

    The Term..

     

     

    “Pushing on String”

     

     

    Describes .. Perfectly.. whit wull be the fate of Canamalar’s Grand Initiative.

     

     

    PLCs.. are Past Masters at dealing with Complaints.. lodged by..

     

     

    Nettlesome and Over-Inquisitive.. SMALL SHAREHOLDERS( Note the Capitalization )

     

     

    Kojo

     

     

    Still..Laughin’

  22. How many of us realised we had to leave the U.K. to make a living

     

    M.P.s capitalists and bankers

     

    The ruination of modern Britain !

  23. Bawsman

     

     

    That is a bloody good letter and between it and Phil Mac Giolla Bhain asking the SFA to cough on the UEFA licence (I think it was more an attempt to get them to prove they had nothing to apologise for than get an apology) then the pressure for change is continuing.

     

     

    http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/a-legacy-issue-that-must-be-finally-dealt-with/

     

     

    There is a book published this month by Edinburgh University Press called Bigotry Football and Scotland.

     

     

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bigotry-Football-Scotland-Perspectives-Debates/dp/0748670378

     

     

    Most of it is from an academic angle but a Celtic supporter (me) and a Rangers supporter were asked to provide a chapter each.

     

     

    I am reminded by the current situation of the final point of a number I wrote last October with regard to the SFA.

     

     

    To the SFA as governors I say

     

     

    • Above all ‘Be Honest’, you have nothing fear

  24. FAC

     

     

     

    Hocus FoCUS Strike Again

     

     

    My name is Chris and I’m a Celtic fan in public service in my mid twenties. I have no criminal record and my only experience of dealing with the Police is at football matches when cameras are routinely put in my face simply because I want to watch and support my team.

     

     

    I was arrested in January as I came through passport control at Glasgow Airport. Cuffed and dragged out by four police officers in front of several hundred travellers and my crying girlfriend. My supposed crime was that I allegedly held up a satirical banner shown at a pre season friendly match between Celtic and English premiership side Norwich. I still to this day don’t know if I did or not as no evidence was ever shown to me. I do however know that the charge was absolutely ludicrous and the Procurator Fiscal obviously agreed as this case was dropped before I was required to appear at court.

     

     

    I am involved in the campaign against criminalisation and a couple of fan groups at Celtic. It seems that I was singled out for this treatment because of that. I asked one of the Police officers why they choose to arrest me so publically in the airport, embarrassing my family. I was told it was because I had recently moved address and they didn’t know where I now lived. The officer didn’t respond when I said they knew where I stood at matches and no doubt where I drank and how I got to the games.

     

     

    I was then taken to Govan Police station where I was eventually un-cuffed. In the three hours I sat in the police cell all I could think about was my arrest at the airport and how it was nothing more than harassment and an attempt to humiliate me. I was charged under the Offensive behaviour at football act and released from custody late at night with a court date set for February.

     

     

    I never had to go to court as my case was dropped within weeks. In that respect I was much more fortunate than many of my fellow fans who have to attend court on multiple occasions and have cases and bans from matches hanging over them for months and beyond. However even in those few weeks it’s difficult not to think of the impact a court case and a possible conviction might have on your life. I work with vulnerable adults and a conviction for football related offenses in the current climate would see me lose my job and I would struggle to find another to provide for my family.

     

     

    With football fans being demonised by the SNP Government particularly when they falsely claim the act is about anti sectarianism and tackling bigotry clearly having a court case hanging over me could seriously harm my career. From the recent statistics which showed only sex crimes have more conviction rates have lower conviction rates it’s clear that a lot of fans will go through the hassle of going to court, only to be found not guilty. It’s also clear that many of the conviction rates are based on guilty pleas as people like me want to avoid their employers finding out or the hassle and expense of defending yourself against charges under the act.

     

     

    Almost all fans like myself would not be near a police station or a court room if FoCUS wasn’t in their faces at football matches and football fans had not been criminalised by the SNP.

     

     

    Chris

     

     

    Chris’s statement was transcribed from an audio recording I made at the FAC press conference. It is a correct representation to the best of my knowledge.

     

     

    Keep up to date with Fans Against Criminalisation and keep an eye on Hocus FoCUS.

  25. !!Bada Bing!! on

    On the huns Slushfund ,could we find a few ex referees? One who gets wheeled out to defend refs when a blatant decision goes against us,and one at UEFA? How about a couple of managers?One who just retired up north and one who got relegated with a club who’s paymaster was pally with Minty ?

  26. The Battered Bunnet on

    I see Gordon Smith is putting on an “evening with…” event at the Louden Tavern next month. Sounds like a blast.

     

     

    Tickets cost £10, and a donation from proceeds will be made to the Former Players Benevolent Fund.

     

     

    I wonder if he qualifies for support these days?

  27. More people wanted to watch Spartak Moscow:Dynamo Kyev than the stadium could offer the seats. People near the stadium were selling the tickets at seven times face value prices.

     

    The game started 15 minutes back.

     

    One of the posters has four names of the clubs playing in the tournament and “Back In The U.S.S.R.” on it.

     

    I think it’s less about the Beatles, more the Police involved.

  28. The Battered Bunnet

     

     

    How that guy gets air time is beyond me. A failure at everything he has ever done!

     

    Anybody brave enough to go see what he says? I reckon I would get busted in seconds. Anyone not permanently raging would be eyed with suspicion.

     

     

    LB

     

     

    LB

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