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The sectarian crime stats they forgot to destroy

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I’ve just caught Joe O’Rourke’s article on the Association site about the long-awaited released of statistics on sectarian crime in Scotland.  Joe suggests that the data from 2003 – 2010 was has been destroyed by the Crown Office.  I also hear that the Scottish Government will release entirely irrelevant ‘information’ today, specifically, where offences took place, not which groups were responsible or which groups were targeted by the offenders.

It takes a lot of effort to make sure you destroy data these days, you need to ensure not only that prosecutors permanently delete backups (which I really doubt they do) but also that the police similarly comply.

Fortunately all is not lost.  While it’s just about believable that regional police forces across Scotland and the Crown Office have acted in symmetry on this issue, I could have helped the First Minister, Alex Salmond’s, search for clarity by pointing him in the direction of British Transport Police (BTP).  The Transport Police are a separate force who operate across Britain and are run by the Home Office in London.  They are also a lot less proficient at destroying data.

They previously gave me detailed statistics on all incidents they record in connection with Scottish football for season 2007-08.  One of the most pleasing aspects of the information is the complete eradication of sectarian offences from all but one Scottish club, so the First Minister will be delighted to learn he has a smaller problem on his hands than he perhaps knew.  According to BTP, 11 arrests were made for sectarian offences in total, 10 Rangers fans and one Northern Ireland fan.

You can see the detail figures for all recorded incidents here (the majority of which are for non-sectarian issues).  From a total of 99 incidents (not all of which resulted in arrest), there were six involving Celtic fans, six for Dundee United, seven for Motherwell, four for Hibernian and five each for Aberdeen and Hearts.  Rangers fans were involved in a total of 48 incidents.

The BPT figures also make it clear that most incidents occur when fans travel to away venues.  The Force also confirmed that incidents surrounding the 2008 Uefa Cup final in Manchester were not included in these statistics.

To further aid Mr Salmond in his search for clarity on this issue, he can contact British Transport Police with a Freedom of Information request here, where they will be able to provide him (or you) with up to date stats.

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  1. Paul

     

     

    Is there any chance the TV and Radio will be rattling your door for an interview today regards the above?

     

     

    I’ll understand if you’re too busy fielding media questions to reply…

     

     

    U

  2. Greenjedi:

     

     

    Re KKK and section 74: In theory at least but you would have to prove that the KKK were a group with a perceived religious affiliation. There would also have to be a statutory or common law offence committed first for it to be aggravated by religious prejudice. Mental, I know!

     

     

    The only obvious offence I can see the police trying to charge Celtic fans with is breach of the peace and if we stick to the rebel songs without using the terms “IRA” or “Orange B” there is nothing they can do to us.

     

     

    Craiginho

  3. I believe from my old days of protesting and picketing that police are more likely, encouraged even, to report injuries etc.

     

    And so the news would be, according to police briefing, 15 police officers injured (scraped knuckles included) but only 2 protestors hurt (incapacitated).

  4. Estadio says:

     

    18 November, 2011 at 11:27

     

     

    Googybhoy

     

     

    You responded for some reason to an earlier post of mine as follows….

     

    Indeed had we been sharing a pint , I would rather I had a full pint of my own , you would have seen a glint in my eye. That may also have been dependant on the time and how many pints.

     

     

    I was being facetious in my reply. I hope I spelt that big word right.

     

    Any way I emailed SNP govt last night.asking why Scotland has no major cultural celebration of Irish culture around St.Patricks Day.

     

     

    Their reply was that they were promoting St.Andrews Day.

  5. hamiltontim

     

     

    Ki trained yesterday and will be assessed later today, so says Laura Brannan. She didn’t say if he’d be wearing his trackie.

  6. Dontbrattbakkinanger says:

     

    18 November, 2011 at 11:36

     

    Saint Patrick’s day is a public holiday on Montserrat, which any fule kno is in the Leeward Islands.

     

     

    Also form part of the greater Antilles islands

     

     

    Bigjoeplanni gonTakingtheBoatthere1day

  7. Awe NAw

     

     

    philvis’ podium-grabbing software has developed a bug.

     

     

    He will no doubt be back with a vengeance soon enough.

  8. Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov has confirmed he wants to sell the Edinburgh club.

     

     

    Romanov earlier this month declared his growing disillusionment with Scottish football and has now issued instructions to sell Hearts as well as his majority share holding in Lithuania’s FK Kaunas and Partizan Minsk in Belarus.

     

     

    The Russia-born Lithuanian businessman first invested in Hearts in 2004 but the club are around £30million in debt and in need of new investment, with their Tynecastle Stadium home previously labelled unfit for redevelopment, and Romanov is apparently unwilling to stump up the cash.

     

     

    Romanov told Russian news agency RIA Novosti: “I want to leave football. I have given the order to find buyers for all my clubs.

     

     

    “I want to buy a theatre and sell the clubs.”

     

     

    The news came on a day when Hearts announced 33 players had received their salaries and the remainder will be paid “as soon as practically possible” following a second consecutive month of overdue wages.

     

     

    Senior squad members had to wait 19 days for last month’s overdue wages, which were eventually paid on November 4 and the players should have received their November income yesterday.

     

     

    A club spokesperson said onwww.heartsfc.co.uk: “More than half of the Hearts squad has been paid and we will pay the remaining players as soon as practically possible.”

     

     

    The Edinburgh club admitted they were trying to “obtain funding” after settling a tax bill of more than £1million with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs on Tuesday.

     

     

    Financial concerns are not the only issue at Hearts, with manager Paulo Sergio today hit with a five-match ban for misconduct by the Scottish Football Association.

     

     

    The Hearts boss was sent to the stand in Hearts’ ill-tempered 1-0 loss to Kilmarnock at Tynecastle on October 29.

     

     

    And, following a second disciplinary appearance at Hampden in a fortnight, Sergio has been handed a touchline suspension, beginning with Saturday’s match against Dundee United at Tannadice.

  9. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    PAUL67

     

     

    Smashing article,a real GIRUY response.

     

     

    However,the stats may be skewed by us not being allowed near the trains on derby days-they are the sole preserve of the hingmies.

     

     

    Or they were when I were a lad.

     

     

    I’d love someone to come up with that as a genuine answer,btw.

     

     

    Right. Off to drink and gamble for a while.

  10. Published on Friday 18 November 2011 01:43

     

     

    Romanov only has himself to blame for Hearts’ financial woes, writes Stuart Bathgate

     

     

    THE statement about players’ wages which Hearts released yesterday was an illuminating one – although not in the way the club intended. By saying that 33 players had been paid – and that “the remaining players will be paid at the next earliest opportunity” – Hearts sought to downplay the problem of unpaid salaries. Instead, by reminding us of the bloated size of their football staff, they highlighted the wastage which continues under Vladimir Romanov.

     

     

    The 33 are all, or nearly all, young fringe players. The unpaid remainder are not just an unlucky few: they are nearly every member of the first-team squad. According to the club’s own website, there are 53 players on the books at Tynecastle, including some who are currently out on loan.

     

     

    Romanov has come to the conclusion over the last month or so that the cost of running Hearts is too high, but anyone could have told him that. Indeed, lots of people have been telling him that for years, with particular reference to the unmanageable size of the squad, and the money they earn compared to the club’s turnover.

     

     

    As far back as 2007, the PricewaterhouseCooper annual report on the SPL warned that Hearts’ wages-to-turnover ratio was perilously high. Using the figures for season 2005-06, that 2007 report said the ratio had increased to 97 per cent, with the wage bill topping £10million. Turnover had gone up by £1.8m, but the net debt had increased by almost £7m.

     

     

    In 2008, it was reported that Hearts had had the largest loss in the SPL at just under £13m. That was mainly due to a £12.5m wage bill, which vastly exceeded the club’s income for the year of £10.3m.

     

     

    In other words, the wages-to-turnover ratio had crashed through the 100 per cent “barrier”. The players alone were costing more than the club was bringing in.

     

     

    The 2009 report said that the ratio remained above 120 per cent. Last year it was up to 126 per cent – a ratio that the report said was “wholly unsustainable in the medium to long term”.

     

     

    A concerted programme of cost-cutting over the past year has got that ratio down to a position where it is now believed to be close to 100 per cent. That is a step in the right direction but there is still a long way to go. The ratio which report author David Glen recommends as a healthy one is just 60 per cent.

     

     

    Under Romanov, Hearts have overspent on players in two ways. First, by recruiting too many, and second, by lavishing money on a favoured few.

     

     

    With just one first team and one under-19 side, Hearts do not need 53 players. A lot of them just get in the way, cluttering up the club’s training facility at Riccarton for a time until being sent out on loan. Manager after manager has complained about excessive numbers, and yet Romanov has continued to recruit them in bulk, most memorably during one transfer window when 11 new signings came in – some, it was said, without even being seen by anyone at the club.

     

     

    In the Romanov era, Hearts have consistently had the biggest squad in Scotland outside the Old Firm. Even now, that 53 is within a handful of the 57 Celtic currently list in their first-team and under-19 squads. And Celtic, it need hardly be said, have a far higher turnover.

     

     

    Hearts legend John Robertson, who was Romanov’s first manager, looked forward this week to a possible leaner, fitter future for his old club once the current problems are over. “I would love to see Hearts going back to being sustainable, with 20 first-team squad players, three goalkeepers and then the rest made up with their good, young players coming through,” the East Fife manager said, comparing that to a “45-man first-team squad on wages they can’t afford to pay and never will be able to afford to pay.”

     

     

    What is more, while the number of players is wasteful enough, the fees paid for some, and the wages then doled out to them, were even worse.

     

     

    Mirsad Beslija, for example, was Hearts’ record signing at £750,000. Dogged by injury, he only played a handful of games, and became the subject of a lengthy wrangle when Hearts got behind in their transfer payments to Racing Genk. Mauricio Pinilla was another costly recruit. Undeniably talented – he is now playing for Palermo in Serie A – he did little at Tynecastle other than collect a very large salary. Laryea Kingston’s salary was commensurate with his great ability but out of all proportion to what he actually delivered for Hearts. Christian Nade cost £500,000 from Crystal Palace and further large sum in wages – for almost nothing in return.

     

     

    If Romanov’s supposed strategy of bringing players through then selling them on at a profit had worked, the inflated nature of the squad would have been excusable.

     

     

    But, while the sales of Craig Gordon and Lee Wallace brought in millions, many other players have failed to live up to their promise.

     

     

    Take Jamie Mole. The striker made his debut in the lofty surroundings of a Champions League tie in Athens, but then drifted down the pecking order and was loaned out to Dunfermline and Raith, among other clubs. He is now at non-league Blyth Spartans in the north east of England .

     

     

    Romanov, tired of football, may now blame the Hearts players for taking too much money out of the club. But they were signed on his say-so, on contracts which also met his approval so, in reality, he has no-one to blame but himself.

  11. Somewhere in the depths of Holyrood, Alex Salmond and Christine Grahame are on a conference call with Campbell Corrigan and Rob Shorthouse.

     

     

    The only words I can pick up are “pesky”, “Transport Police”, “foiled again” and “Brennan”.

  12. .

     

     

    .

     

     

    It’s been a While..

     

     

    But..

     

     

    Strange But True..

     

     

    Rangers to provide Hindi football match commentary on Twitter to ‘attract’ Indian ‘interest’

     

    Glasgow, Nov 18 : Football club Rangers are set to make their presence felt in the lucrative Indian market by providing match commentary in Hindi on the social networking site Twitter.

     

     

    The plan will be unveiled with the coverage of Rangers match against St Johnstone, and football fans will be able to track the action by following @rfc_hindi on Twitter.

     

     

    The move comes in the wake of the club gearing up to take Indian stars Sunil Chhetri and Jeje Lalpekhlua on trial this month.

     

     

    “We are attracting interest globally. A Rangers delegation will visit India later this month to meet key officials from the Indian Premier League,” the Sun quoted Gers” Chief Operating Officer Ali Russell, as saying.

     

     

    “The club already has links to India thanks to the Rangers Charity Foundation”s partnership with UNICEF. There are undoubted opportunities for Rangers in the Asian market,” he added.

     

     

    The plan follows footsteps of Manchester United and Chelsea, which command huge foreign fan support.

     

     

    Rangers have drawn attention in the US after American players Carlos Bocanegra and Alejandro Bedoya joined the team at Ibrox.

     

     

    India, which has over 1.2 billion population, is likely to be the promising market for Rangers.

     

     

    .

     

     

    OK..After you Have all Stopped Laughing..Name the Commentator..

     

     

    Summa

  13. Paul67:

     

     

    Excellent article as ever. I still think we can control this debate. Arguments such as this one and a bit of discretion by our fans can shift the focus back onto the real perpetrators of hate crime.

     

     

    Off to get some work done now.

     

     

    Craiginho

  14. Manipulating Data

     

     

    Manipulating data seems to be the flavour of the day,

     

    Twisting facts to suit your plan, Is there any other way?

     

    The data that doesn’t suit your cause you put into a file,

     

    Mark up for incineration and take full mark for your guile!

     

     

    Manipulating data as you produce something to taste,

     

    Mixing in false evidence, standing there barefaced,

     

    The data now seems better as it begins to suit,

     

    Time to get it out there, to tarnish the dispute.

     

     

    Manipulating data in a sad country just like this,

     

    Tampering with the facts, no one thinks remiss,

     

    The data now corrupt, seems they just don’t care,

     

    The establishment, now way beyond compare!

     

     

    Suits You, Sir!

  15. Paul 67………..

     

     

    Good work me old pal

     

     

    Have u trill got the same email address

     

     

    Bigjoewanting2know

  16. With the news today that CERN have redone their expirement and found again that neutrinos can travel faster than the speed of light and in theory go back in time. Can we not just send these neutrinos back to before the records were destroyed and bring them back to us?

     

     

    Problem solved.

     

     

    Mort

  17. Celtic were obviously targetting the emerging Indian Market back in the 1930’s!!!!

     

     

    Anyway – crime stats – is it possible to get a Freedom of Information request regarding WHY statisitics were destroyed, who took the decision to do so and on what authority? This is the perfect story for an investigative journalist.

     

     

    Who destroyed the stats? Why?

     

     

    We should be told. Even if w ealready know the answer to the ‘why’ – i for one would like to hear the excuses.

  18. The world is you Coister – It Aint Half Hot Mum

     

     

    By Mark Hateley on Nov 18, 11 07:25 AM in rangers

     

     

    It’s important clubs leave no stone unturned in attempts to unearth footballing talent and exploit commercial markets – which is why Rangers and their manager Ally McCoist are right to see what India and other countries have to offer.

     

     

    I remember going to Senegal every mid-season with Monaco more than 20 years ago and what I saw then was plenty of raw talent crying out to be nurtured and guided in the right direction.

     

     

    Of course, my manager there Arsene Wenger wasted no time in getting into that particular market. He signed Liberian striker George Weah and many other successful African players who starred for Monaco during that era.

     

     

    Africa has since developed into one of the fertile breeding grounds for talent that has been pretty much sewn up by French clubs who have a strong connection with the continent.

     

     

    But is India the Africa of 30 years ago in terms of development? Having studied this in depth for years I can safely say that time must be coming. If it happened with Africa then who is to dispute me that it can’t happen now in India with the right support and the right coaching?

     

     

    The Indian market and the Far East, as far as a lot of people are concerned, are untapped resources.

     

     

    It’s all about going out there and exploring different avenues, especially for clubs such as Rangers and Celtic. The South American market, the Middle East, India – the world is your oyster. We cant keep relying on just the Northern Irish market that´s just plain silly. The right type of lads but the market is far too small.

     

     

    But you need to give it time, money and expertise. It’s not about whether Rangers can make the Indian market work for them it´s whether the Indian market can work for Rangers. They’re certainly trying to make it work off the park with the ground breaking news and a world first that a Hindi Twitter commentary will be offered on tomorrow’s game against St Johnstone. How many millions of Indian Rangers fans will follow is open to speculation.

     

     

    Fans, though, are more interested in what happens on the park.

     

     

    Honduran Emilio Izaguirre at Celtic is proof there are gems out there. Whether Awul Dasfilshabeda and Nowaynayda Zheet, due at Murray Park for a trial spell, will be a success remains to be seen.

     

     

    My gut feeling is this venture is unlikely to reap instantaneous immediate dividends, although Rangers could eventually break the ice in India, Taiwan possibly even North Korea. It could be a longer-term project. And if you could get into what is a massive country with a network of scouts and coaches then you might just see the benefits years down the line. So there is no reason to be despondent if Rangers have to replace the likes of Alan Mc Gregor and Nickia Jelavic with up and coming stars like Makollig Jezvahted and Levdaroum DeBahzted.

     

     

    If we’re talking about the here and now and whether these two Indian trialists can make an impact at Rangers then I can’t answer that just now. And you can’t take them just for what they might be worth commercially regardless of how good they are at helping with the cleaning and domestic chores.

     

     

    By all means bring players over and have a look but if they don’t make the squad stronger then you move on. The players go back and you start again. Alistair will run the rule over everyone – but the same rules must apply to them as applies to Sone Aluko.

     

     

    If Aluko has the chance of making the squad stronger then he has the chance of a contract – the same must go for the Indian duo. India has a huge population – 1.2 billion people – and as yet we’ve yet to see any player from there make it big. Alistair can reverse that trend and India will surely be thankful for this intervention.

     

     

    Top European clubs are very thorough and have scouts all over the planet. The reports that have come back on the Indian market haven’t been too positive. It’s about trying to get in there to reach the younger kids at a stage where they can be developed further. I think the big clubs would have tried to investigate the Indian market and look at the standard of football and decided not to bother but Alistair sees something there that can be exploited and I tend to agree with him.

     

     

    The only worry for me would be Alistair giving up too much of his time and resource to this project and having his head turned and becoming an Indian holy man or high priest he is that charismatic. Rangers need him here in Glasgow in the front line trenches.

     

     

    But if you look hard enough and deep enough sometimes you unearth those gems. Out of such a huge population, there must be millions who have a real interest in Rangers Football club.

     

     

    Cricket is and probably always will be the No.1 sport in the country – but football is second and I know from my translation work with Arabic-language news network Al Jazeera and speaking to other people that there are diehard Rangers fans out there.

     

     

    If you can get out and explore, possibly with an air conditioned car who knows what you can unearth? Until we see results that question mark will always be there. We need to see an Indian come through and establish himself in a top league.

     

     

    I’ve spoken many times at the UK Asian Final dinner about the lack of Asians who have come through due to their laziness and religous practices interfering with training. A new attitude would need to be instilled in them but with a massive cricketing culture it’s down to the backing of parents to try to get them into football.

     

     

    Let’s be clear – if Rangers plan on getting into India there’s going to be a lot of hard work to establish any sort of network. It will need investment of both time and money.

     

     

    The UK Asian Final is always a big occasion and you can see some talent there. But is that talent good enough to break through into professional football? The cross breed players are undoubtedly better and that has to be a worry.

     

     

    Football is certainly growing throughout the world. In the Arab Emirate of Qatar, in the Middle East, they are bringing in European players and European coaches to help develop the homegrown players.

     

     

    Qatar, of course, will stage the World Cup in 2022. And off the park Al Jazeera have already invested heavily in world football and are associated with Malaga and PSG – so it’s all about the promotion of football.

     

     

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they took live coverage of the Premiership from Sky when it’s up for grabs again, such is their investment in football. Just imagine if the Indian sub continent were to take the Scottish Premier League coverage too, that could possibly save our game.

     

     

    Everyone is watching and the interest is spreading to other countries such as India.

     

     

    Can Rangers reap the benefits by the Januray transfer window ? We´ll just have to wait and see what Santa might belatedly bring us for Christmas.

  19. Paul67

     

     

    Excellent article again mate, I only wish the paid journalists in Scotland had half as much professionalism in what they do. I honestly cannot believe they destroyed the stats from 2003. I live in Belfast so nothing the government do surprises me but the blatent way in which they have acted is truely hunbelievable.

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