Strict liability when playing to gallery


Being responsible is not always easy, especially when it comes to running a football club, where playing to the gallery offers vastly better short-term returns, and no doubt a rush of endorphins.

If your fans are engaged in an activity which regularly brings them to the attention of the courts, and your club into disrepute, it doesn’t matter what you think of the apparent offense.  You may chant an offending song in the shower every morning month, but your only public comment on the matter can be to chastise and urge fans to desist.

Clubs in Scotland voted against what is known as strict liability.  This means they are not held responsible for transgressions by their fans – and who wants to be held responsible for the actions of others who protected from personal liability by hiding in a crowd.

Part of the deal on not having strict liability is that clubs must demonstrate that they take all steps necessary to dissuade and educate their fans from carrying out criminal or regulatory offenses.  It’s simply not possible for club to tell fans their illegal actions were justified, as this would place the club itself in the firing line.

The nonsense following the Scottish Cup final is all background noise as far as we are concerned, but be aware the contagion will spread beyond those you could consider highly dysfunctional operators.

Solving Kids Cancer in memory of Oscar Knox

Our own Bundoran Bhoy will run the Edinburgh Marathon on Sunday on behalf of Solving Kids Cancer.  He has put in an enormous amount of work ahead of the event, for a cause which you are only too familiar with.

26 miles is a long way to run.  You can give him some encouragement on his Just Giving page.

Good luck, Tommy.

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  1. From previous…






    Hahaha, thank god the season is over, I can finally concentrate on the blog. Everyone will be talking about Brendan, I’ll be talking about Bratwurst…

  2. traditionalist88 on

    ‘The nonsense following the Scottish Cup final is all background noise as far as we are concerned, but be aware the contagion will spread beyond those you could consider highly dysfunctional operators.’





    Can you expand on this??




  3. Hail! Hail! on this fine Friday!



    Finish work in 20 minutes and off til Tuesday. Lovely!

  4. glendalystonsils on

    TRADITIONALIST88 on 27TH MAY 2016 12:23 PM



    Aye…..a bit too cryptic for me too.





    It seems that in the rush to deflect from their fans’ usual behaviour they have overlooked some possible ramifications.



    Big hoose didnae thinka the big picjur,in other words.

  6. thetimreaper on

    I wonder if Robertson is that daft or if it was a strategically placed comment. Make no mistake the Newco are playing to the lowest depths of their gallery. Their Board will realise they cannot compete with the Celtic machine. What we have seen recently might be an attempt to shift them from sense of entitlement to victim mentality, thus softening the blow just a little bit.

  7. The point made by the Scottish Players Union that professional football players have a right to go about their work without being pushed, shoved, slapped or assaulted by spectators is valid.



    However we have yet to hear from the Manager’s Union who will no doubt state that Alan Stubbs had a right to go to his work on Saturday without 25,000 bigots screaming that he is a ‘”sad Fenian bas***d”.



    And to be clear I hated it when we sang that same chant with Orange replacing Fenian to the Ajax manager last year.

  8. Paul 67 Et Al,



    My only interest in what happened after the Scottish Cup final is how it will affect Celtic and our supporters.



    If it even causes a handful of non SNP MSP,s to rethink their opposition to the OB act then I fear the worst.



    In my opinion neither Sevco or Hibs ( Clubs and supporters ) come out with any credit and have played right into the SNP,s hands.



    Still awaiting the date of The Scottish Government summit that must surely follow.




  9. traditionalist88 on

    glendalystonsils on 27th May 2016 12:26 pm



    Thought it was just me ;)






    Good point, no measured comment in the aftermath and managed to fan the flames further




  10. From previous blog.


    Jungle jim on madmitch.


    You need the enigma mchine to read his blg.


    I use the rosetta stone but when he mentioned RC, thought it was Roy Croppie and it’s not even Friday night. Thank god you worked it out to me Ryan Christie.





    Wish I’d met you in yer Wimbledon CSC days,bud.



    There’s a cracking Thai restaurant just round the corner.



    STEINREIGNEDSUPREME and I were mightily impressed. And he’s a right dodgy difficult-to-please sod.




  12. Nil By Mouth have repeated their call for strict liability to be brought in. Here’s a thing – bring in the same policy around the 1000 Orange marches every year and see what happens. Any misbehaviour around their events to result in a ban. Would our politicians have the cojones for that? Of course not.

  13. F19 @ 12.32



    If you know your history — it all makes sense.


    Apart from the typos, the grey moments and the frontier gibberish.



    That is north of the frontier — on the Pict side of the border.


    As is always pointed out by anyone from the Holy City.



    San Moritz — a true melting pot of educational dynamism.

  14. BOBBY



    I still threaten to pay a visit to SW19 every now and then, aiming to actually go for flag day! I think I know the restaurant you mean – never been but heard good things.



    Here in Bury St Edmunds we’ve got a new Thai restaurant called The Giggling Squid – think it’s a chain – but that’s a belter of a restaurant name.





    Not possible in Scotland. No-one has the balls to make that decision.



    The numbers involved with Orange Lodges have shrunk over the years,to the extent of being an irrelevance in terms of potential votes-or lost votes.



    Their sympathisers remain,however.



    There is a significant part of our electorate whose response would be-



    “They canny f…… dae that! It’s wur right!”



    Hence nothing. Ever.

  16. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Paul 67



    Pedantry Alert!



    I think people only take offense when they are in the USA. English speakers on the eastern shore of the Atlantic take it offence ;)



    SpellCheckToEnglish(UK)NotEnglish(US) CSC

  17. Bobby Murdoch – I agree. It’s the hypocrisy that gets me though. Fitba fans are easy pickings – the OO are untouchable. Having said that, I think the current policy of ignoring them is working fine and they’re dying a slow death. Strict liability in fitba is a nonsense when put in that context though.

  18. winning captains on 27th May 2016 12:27 pm



    However we have yet to hear from the Manager’s Union who will no doubt state that Alan Stubbs had a right to go to his work on Saturday without 25,000 bigots screaming that he is a ‘”sad Fenian bas***d”.



    And to be clear I hated it when we sang that same chant with Orange replacing Fenian to the Ajax manager last year.






    WC, I don’t believe they have any right to equivocation betwen the term ‘Fenian’ and ‘Orange’.



    They use ‘fenian’ in the context of perceived catholicism – Stubbsy getting it large for his Celtic history.



    Orange is not a religion.



    Orange’ism’ is their Hobby of Hate.



    To be an Orange Bastard is no religious slur – it is without ANY religious connotation at all. It is simply a comment on their Klan allegiance and demented celebration of what they rejoice in – their fantasy of the ethnic cleansing of Scotland.



    To refer to somebody as an Orange Bastard is a comment on their pride in membership of an organisation founded on hate and bigotry. F’ck ’em.

  19. My kids’ school the latest to be evacuated today due to bomb threat.



    I expect a statement from Jim Traynor sometime this afternoon blaming the Hibs fans…

  20. Sandman, that’s not how thw law sees it. And I have a couple of Sevconian friends who are anything but Orange and who despise all that stuff. Blanketing them all as Orange b*stards is wrong.

  21. The problem is that when it come to the TFOD 1, 2 or even 3 — excuses will be made, blind eyes turned or exceptions developed.



    However the current mob are doing all their talking, their arm twisting, their influencing out in the open, in public rather than in ludges, golf clubs or Auld Reekie dinner parties.



    Consequently this level of publicity will hurt them as their intended and unintended targets — PS / Nat establishment — will not want to be monstered in public. Things might calm down or scores might be settled but whatever happens the TFOD2 leadership will be much dismished as cards will have been marked.



    With everything now out in the open it could get messy.

  22. Chavez on 27th May 2016 1:12 pm



    Sandman, that’s not how thw law sees it. And I have a couple of Sevconian friends who are anything but Orange and who despise all that stuff. Blanketing them all as Orange b*stards is wrong.






    C, never said anything about blanketing them all as OBs.



    Just the OBs.



    Fly wi’ the craws…

  23. Extraordinary statements from Ibrox



    Condoning violence and the singing of sectarian songs all in the same week,

  24. clogher celt on




    I agree with you but given the statement after Saturday’s game, Stewart Robertson Q&A in The Herald yesterday and the recent Graham Spiers affair.Do companies that sponsor Sevco know about their director’s views on offensive, criminal chanting at soccer matches?



    From a brief look at the Sevco website, household names such as Coca-Cola (and their subsidiary Powerade) are sponsors. So are Puma, 32 Red, & Ladbrokes.



    Here’s Coca-Cola’s Mission Statement. Plenty of talk about Integrity and Diversity. No mention of Fenian Blood anywhere.




  25. Astounding statement from the huns, especially when they have bigger issues to deal with…



    Where’s Wharbie?



    He may have escaped inside that large goat that’s on the rampage…

  26. leftclicktic on

    Noticed on Sky sports news during week on the upcoming spl fixture announcments a shared picture of Brendan and warbs,seen it earlier today and the just have a pic of Brendan .

  27. Warbo has gone to Disney World and was last seen disappearing into the Magic Kingdom.

  28. Clarification from The Offshore Game People today –








    Over the last week, someone operating an anonymous twitter account and an anonymous email account has claimed repeatedly that the Offshore Game withheld evidence in our report. He/She/It also claimed that because we did not immediately reply to his/her/its accusations, we were not committed to ‘transparency’. Seriously? But we do think it’s useful to discuss the evidence, when people have obviously put a lot of time and thought into engaging with our report, so here’s the claim, and why it’s wrong.





    In summary, the accusation relates to an email between Keith Sharp, Financial Accountant at the SFA and Ken Olverman, the Financial Controller at Rangers. In the email, Sharp says that UEFA have verbally indicated that they ‘are satisfied with [Rangers’] submission in respect of Overdue Payables as at 30 June’.



    Claim 1: The email is said to undermine our case that the Rangers did not “meet the rules” with regard to their UEFA submission, because our anonymous he/she/it is working on the premise that all that is required is some form of declaration to UEFA in order to meet the rules.



    Claim 2: In addition, it has been suggested that the email was omitted from our report because it undermined the case we were making.





    Both claims are wrong. The report already reflects the content of the email; and the contents of the email do not change the case.



    In the report we show that the declaration to the UEFA committee, as accepted, was entirely misleading. (As we’ll reiterate at greater length, in the following section, what UEFA require by is a correct declaration.)



    To be absolutely clear, for benefit of him/her/it: The report does not suggest that Rangers did not make a declaration. We clearly state that they did. In fact, we even publish the declaration made by Rangers to the SFA on March 31st 2011, because it is quoted in an email from Stewart Regan to Rangers which we include in the annexes to our report. That declaration characterises the liability under the DOS scheme as ‘potential’.



    This is what we wrote (emphasis added):



    By March 31st, the deadline for reporting an overdue tax liability, Rangers did report that they had a ‘potential’ liability to HMRC arising out of the DOS scheme in their declaration to the SFA. The SFA issued a UEFA licence to Rangers on the basis that the ‘potential’ liability was not an overdue payment under the terms of the UEFA rules.


    Unsurprisingly, the board of Rangers thought Stewart Regan’s later suggestion of making that claim public was ‘crazy’ – as indeed it would have been, given that HMRC were at the time of the correspondence taking legal action over non-payment. Releasing that statement might have provoked more difficult questions about how the license was awarded in the first place, for both Rangers and the SFA. In the words of Ramsay Smith, “They [the SFA] will only cause issues for themselves as well as Rangers”.



    The claim that we have somehow excluded evidence that was relevant does not therefore stack up. The report states clearly that a declaration was made, and that Rangers were allowed to enter European competition on that basis (i.e. the declaration was accepted). Our report states that the declaration was misleading, and we stand by that claim 100%. Here’s what we wrote:



    This description of the liability being ‘potential’ appears to be at the very least misleading. The liability went back 10 years. Rangers were aware of their liability since at least 2005 when they attempted to conceal the payments. Rangers had been in discussions over the amount due since later 2010 and the club had been advised the settle the matter by their barrister before 31st March. It appears that the club had taken that advice and told HMRC that they accepted the liability either before or shortly after 31st March.



    For the record, though, we are grateful for all the engagement on the detail of the report – anonymous and otherwise. It may be useful for some to provide a little wider context.





    The correspondence we’ve had with our anonymous friend suggests some confusion over the operation of UEFA’s rules on declaring overdue payables. We’re grateful to a (different) anonymous correspondent who highlighted this UEFA report from the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB), which details the organisation’s response to false declarations.



    First, here’s the review of the relevant season:



    During the 2011/12 season, 237 clubs in total submitted the required overdue payables information as on 30 June 2011. The amount of overdue payables declared amounted to €57m. As a result, 31 clubs were requested to provide an update as on 30 September 2011.


    From the Sharp-Olverman email, we know Rangers was not one of the 31 – although it did include some, such as Bursaspor, which like Rangers had already been knocked out by 30 September.



    Out of the 31 clubs under monitoring, ten clubs – AEK Athens FC (GRE), Beşiktaş JK (TUR), Bursaspor (TUR), FK Crvena zvezda (SRB), PFC CSKA Sofia (BUL), Gaziantepspor (TUR), Panathinaikos FC (GRE), PAOK FC (GRE), FK Partizan (SRB) and NK Varaždin (CRO) – were referred to the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body in December 2011 as the Investigatory Chamber alleged that they were in breach of the enhanced requirement on overdue payables as laid down in the 2010 UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.



    In February 2012, UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body fined the above-mentioned clubs and imposed the following sporting sanctions:



    straight exclusion from the next UEFA club competition for which the club would otherwise have qualified in the next three or four seasons; or


    suspended exclusion from the next UEFA club competition for which the club qualified in the next three/four seasons, subject to certain conditions (settlement of past and current commitments) being met by March 2012. […]


    Where UEFA investigated after initially accepting declarations, and found breaches relating to overdue payables, the sanctions were severe. The CFCB also sent out a pointed reminder to all clubs:



    Further to the review of overdue payables declarations by the clubs since June 2011, the Investigatory Chamber would remind clubs that:



    At its own discretion and/or based on complaints received, the Investigatory Chamber can ask a compliance audit to be performed on the declarations submitted by the clubs. Should the information submitted by a club be considered as incorrect or misleading, due to overdue amounts being incorrectly disclosed as “deferred” or “in dispute” and/ or being concealed by a club, the case will be automatically referred to the Adjudicatory Chamber for appropriate measures to be taken. In fact, five out of eleven compliance audits performed during the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons were referred to the competent body due to incorrect or misleading information. The Investigatory Chamber expects full transparency as well as true and accurate declarations from clubs. Therefore, the submission of false or inaccurate information by a club is considered by the Investigatory Chamber as unacceptable behaviour for which harsh sanctions will systematically be imposed.


    The Investigatory Chamber noticed in several cases that the interpretation of a “deferred” overdue payable was inconsistent. In particular, it wishes to emphasise that for an overdue payable to be considered as validly “deferred” in accordance with Annex VIII of the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations, the debtor must propose a deferral agreement which must be accepted in writing by the creditor before the applicable deadline (i.e. 30 June or 30 September for the monitoring process).


    Finally, note that the CFCB found a number of licensing bodies (i.e. football authorities of various member countries) to be in breach, although at this point they had not looked at the Scottish FA. One to ponder…




  29. Burgas Hoops on





    The OO the odious & vile underbelly of Scotland.




    Post of the week.



    And if all the huns aint “Members” they certainly “Lean” towards the bastards.

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