The Fans’ Manifesto

manifesto“Scottish football needs and deserves a future. ” Given the widespread dismay and negativity about, it’s a good start, and the @scottishfsa manifesto to transform football from the grassroots up goes from strength to strength outlining nine key changes needed to “reclaim the game”, though it doesn’t say who from.

It’s a brilliant breath of fresh air, much needed, much overdue and should be supported by all who care about our neglected national sport. The launch today at Holyrood was supported by Alison Johnstone MSP and former First Minister and footballer, Henry McLeish. The crowdsourced manifesto comes at the end of a prolonged period of decline in finance, attendances and performance. McLeish outlined how in terms of the European coefficient, Scotland has dropped from 10th out of 54 in 2010 to 25th out of 54 in 2016. Paul Goodwin, the SFSA CEO explained that this was “The start of the journey, a tipping point and important moment in time where we begin to address the crisis facing the game.” In the context of criminality, secrecy, profiteering and a profound failure of leadership by Stewart Regan and Neil Doncaster this is genuinely inspiring stuff.

sfsa-minceHere’s the nine key ideas:

1. Bring back the fans through competitive pricing and family facilities at every club
2. Make Scottish football media-friendly and innovative at every level
3. Re-market the Scottish game, pressing for financial fair shares and transparency
4. Rebuild the game with larger divisions, more variety and improved competition
5. Equip every club to be a ‘community hub’ for wellbeing and entertainment
6. Re-invest in youth through fresh plans for training and education
7. A ‘diversity drive’: 25% fan representation on all governing bodies in five years, 50% women, a permanent place for the national fans’ body
8. Regular, independent auditing and review of the performance of governing bodies and clubs
9. Extend community and collaborative ownership, create a fans’ right to bid or buy when clubs are for sale, create a fans’ bank or fund

The panel cited Bayern Munich and the Bundesliga as examples of openness, transparency and fan-focused football that we can learn from. In the spirit that they have started the SFSA will be inviting fans to join a series of forums to take forward key ideas. The focus is on practical and demonstrable change.

Simon Barrow, chair of the SFSA said: “SFSA is launching a range of initiatives alongside this Manifesto – which will be expanded and developed in the coming months. It is the first document of its kind to be crowd-sourced from fans themselves.  SFSA is Scotland ’s first independent national fans network, and has already received recognition from the European supporters’ network. Our message is that we believe Scottish football has a positive future, and that the voice and contribution of fans is vital and central to renewing, reforming and reclaiming the national game in Scotland.”

Why do Sky and BT have a bigger say than you in Scottish football? Why is it such a rip-off to go and see a game? Why can’t I know whats going on at my club? Why am I treated like a criminal as a football fan? Why is the stadium so crap? Why don’t we get a better deal from the BBC?

sfsa-bt-skyIt’s a brilliant and ambitious programme, but it will have its work cut out. Most of the key institutions in Scottish football simply long for a return of the old failed model of duopoly.

Taking just three of the ideas we can see the challenges ahead. First the idea of ‘Regular, independent auditing and review of the performance of governing bodies and clubs’ – this is an absolute necessity given the shambles at Hearts and Rangers in recent years, but the entire culture of complacency at the SFA and SPFL and secrecy at club boardroom level means this will be a huge obstacle to overcome vested interests.

Second, the idea that we need to ‘Make Scottish football media-friendly and innovative at every level’ is spot-on but given that the entire budget for BBC Scotland coverage for a season is spent in just one episode of Match of the Day, the spectacular inequality form the state broadcaster is the first port of call.

Third, the idea that we should ‘Equip every club to be a ‘community hub’ for wellbeing and entertainment’ is quite right, but this in the context of our youth football being sponsored by MacDonalds and you know you have a mountain to climb.

But the SFSA should be supported and congratulated. Their focus on young people, on improving the quality of the fan experience, of welcoming and celebrating women to the game and of demanding a fair price is all moving in the right direction. None of it will be easy, but with goodwill, good energy and an openness to innovate it’s all possible.

The question you are left with though is: what the hell is the point of the SFA and the SPFL?

 

Download the full manifesto – which launches in print next weekright here.

Go join them here.

Comments (40)

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  1. Alan Munro says:

    Actions not words.

  2. David McCann says:

    One thing missing from these proposals (I have not yet read the manifesto) is who owns the clubs.
    Lets take FC Barcelona as an instance, as nobody actually owns the club
    The club has over 155,000 “socis” (“socios” or “members”) who each pay up to €140 annually for the privilege.
    The socis govern the club by electing a president of the board of directors every four years.
    Randomly selected members are appointed to serve as delegates to the general assembly, which approves the annual budget.
    Most Spanish clubs, including Real Madrid, are run in the same manner.

    Among the many advantages Barcelona members receive include…
    — up to 20% discount on tickets for most matches.
    — 5-10% off merchendise from FCBotiga, the club’s store.
    — free stadium and museum tours.
    — free access to open training sessions held at the Mini-Estadi.
    and many other perks.
    So, as a start, can we democratise our Scottish clubs, and take it from there?

    1. Jim Alexander says:

      You forgot to mention the massive State Aid provided by the Catalan Government supporting FC Barcelona on every possible level – you forgot to mention the fact that the President is always Rich Male & Middle Class and puts up a 1Million Euro Bond – you forgot to mention the fact that Barca use Catalan Nationalism as there unique selling point (just like the Old Firm use religion ) and were fined by EUFA for chanting Political Slogans during a Champions League Match

      You forgot to mention they were fined by EUFA for breaking the rules on Youth recruitment

      You forgot to mention the fact the sign every decent Young Player in Catalunya dumping 98% but stopping other teams from developing a decent Youth System

      You forgot to mention that Barca & Real Madrid stitch up the majority of TV Money in Spain between them – you forgot to mention that they have dominated Spanish Football for decades ( two Teams dominating a league – never) – the stitch up of TV Money means smaller teams can never match them

      You forgot to mention the Tax Evasion cases against top Barca Players by the Spanish Tax Man

      Are you seriously putting Barca forward as the model we should try & copy

      As for Fan input – Nike call the shots at Barca – Fan involvement and influence is an urban myth

      1. Interesting Jim, thanks. I think though that it was one aspect of a fan ownership model mentioned in a substantial document involving 10,000 Scottish football fans. Have you got nothing to say about any of the rest of it?

        1. Jim Alexander says:

          Ok – in simple terms the document states nothing new – its a wish list – no real plan or strategy as to how to improve the game

          It doesn’t mention the fact we play the Game in the Winter – who wants to sit in a freezing Cold half empty Stadium with minimal facilities in January – yet No mention of Summer Football

          It doesn’t mention the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act – Scotland is the only Country in Europe with a law aimed at Young Working Class men and Special Police Teams with no other job but to target them – lack of atmosphere is killing Football – yet no mention of a key part of the reason stadiums are soulless

          Fan ownership – Stirling Albion are owned by there Fans – it has made zero difference

          50% representation on Supporters Bodies to be Woman – despite the fact less than 10% of Football Fans are Female

          Right to Buy when Clubs are up for Sale – St Mirren attempted to create a Community Owned Club for 3 Years – they have no debt – Brand New Stadium and were in the SPL at the time – they couldn’t get enough Supporters to buy in

          How do you fix Football – you start with the Product – its poor quality on the Park – the Matchday Experience is woeful and you have draconian over the top Policing with Special Police Units recording every song – shout or chant

          The report is poorly written and states nothing that will change the Game on any level

      2. Redguantlet says:

        Good post, Jim, you´re right.

        You forgot to mention too though that Florentino Perez asked the local government of Madrid to re-classify the land Real Madrid used to have their training facilities on, so that it could be deemed land to be built upon, which Florentino then proceeded to sell for a vast profit and install the “galacticos era”. Is there anybody more creepy than Florentino Perez out there?

        Why do Real Madrid sack a manager more or less once year? Well, just think about all the commissions people get when a new manager is signed…Spanish fitba is corrupt, from head to toe, and given Spain is in general, that is no surprise…

      3. David McCann says:

        What I suggested was a bit more democracy in the ownership of clubs, and that a look at the Spanish model a good starting point.
        As stated, most clubs in Spain operate this model.
        I certainly did not suggest that the corrupt practises you mention (and shared by some of our own clubs) are in any way acceptable.
        In the absence of any constructive suggestions as to the way forward for Scottish football, I assume you think that the ownership, and running of our game requires no remedy.

        1. Jim Alexander says:

          Most Spanish Clubs are not fan owned – Real Madrid and Barcelona are more the exceptions than the rule – the majority have an owner are poorly run – very few fans and have a combined debt to the Spanish Tax Man nearing 1 Billion Euros

          Take away the State Subsidies of Real Madrid & Barca and they can’t compete – the are quasi national teams

          The majority of Spanish Government money in Sport goes into Football – in the 2012 Olympics Spain was 24th in the Medal Haul Scotland on its own was 14th – what it demonstrates is that the UK government spreads support across many sports – Spain backs football

          Two Teams dominate Spanish Football – they have the tactics support of the two main Political Parties they use politics rather than religion as there main selling point

          Thats the reason for the success NOT because the two large teams let there Fans get a vote – the President of Real Madrid is one of the Richest Men in Spain.

        2. Auldheid says:

          Would the Malmo fan membership scheme that gives fans a vote be a model to check?

          1. Jim Alexander says:

            Fans Voting doesn’t improve anything – you have to improve the Product – we have voted in Labour in Glasgow for 50 years has it changed anything – improved anything – No

  3. duncan says:

    Football is the real opium of the masses. It promises an unrealistic escape from poverty for millions and misdirects them from learning and education -the real way to change the world they live in- into mass idolatry. I cant believe the obsession the left has with the media and doesn’t allow it to see whats going on here. A few thousand overpaid tossers driving around in fancy cars justifies mass salary inequality. Schemies who made it as a justification. Nurses work for four hundred and fifty pounds a week, Gareth Bale gets 288,461 quid. The mass manipulation of billions of people to swear allegiance to players who don’t come from anywhere they know or have anything to do with them is a stoke of genius. It is one of the greatest conjuring tricks of the mass media. I’d like to think it may be one of the reasons Scotland has emerged as an individual political voice in Europe because their football teams are so shite and they have no capital. A Spanish friend once told me if there wasn’t football on the tv in Spain, the politicians would start to worry.

    1. C Rober says:

      Nail on head , if i dont do the sport I dont watch it. I dont golf , so dont watch it just the same.

      For long enough I had the body of an sportsman , treated like a temple while I did sport. Now though like those that actually do sit and watch it its somewhat reversed , I have the body from a temple the local taj mahal , and treat my body like an sportsman = darts player.

    2. Black Rab says:

      I totally agree with you Duncan. I posted something like that some time ago on a similar theme. People should join them dots up

  4. C Rober says:

    I note that there was not one single article on covered stadia , while this might be outwith the cost of most clubs at the very least surely there should be a timeframe for doing so? If no intention then we really need to change the game to summer season , whatever that may be in Scotland.

    Now that America is getting its money clasping mitts interested in Soccer by the backdoor , investigations etc , then we shold be very worried for some major changes in football. Things like games of an hour , with four quarters will once again become talking point , for the advertisers benefit.

    One thing I would like to see is the sin bin introduced , yes someone has to say it , where a team of cheats would and could easily be beaten through their own cheating. Yellow card 5 min sin bin , 10 mins if in the box. And of course the ref actually using the camera feed in the top league for decision making. Some of those worlds best footy players will be shown to be not that great without the hand of god , or their swan dives.

    The writer mentions that clubs become community hubs , perhaps they meant change back to being exactly that. Many of the clubs of Scots history were multi athletic clubs , not just football.

    How about that there arent any women playing football with men , from what I see from Glasgow city there is simply no reason today why sexual equality hasnt caught up with FIFA and Eufa.

    Then we need to ask why the likes of SFA arent using their income to fund after school academies for all , not just those with talent , which would in turn enrich those with talent further , only for them to become mercanaries with a one way ticket to the lower premiership in England. We need to lock in talent , go through a new academy and be expected to play in scotland for at least 5 years before moving on , which would mean lower income teams get bargain basement players.

  5. florian albert says:

    The main problems facing Scottish professional football are; the poor quality of football, the shortage of good players and (linked to these) a shortage of money.

    The changes proposed are unlikely to make much of an impact on them. Some, such as bigger leagues, might make things worse.

    The idea of copying Bayern Munich, ‘FC Hollywood’, is bizarre.
    It dominates German football. At least in Scotland domination is (normally) shared.
    Its President, Uli Hoeness, was jailed in 2014 for dodging tax. The sum involved being 28.5 million euros.
    Whenever its status is threatened it buys the best players from the potential rival. Dortmund won the Bundesliga. Bayern bought their star players and regained control.

    1. Have you actually read the manifesto?

      The mention of Bayern was one aspect of a substantial document and process, to dismiss it on the grounds of one reference is absurd

      ‘At least in Scotland domination is (normally) shared.’ What does this mean?

      1. florian albert says:

        Have I read the manifesto ?

        No. I am commenting on an article in Bella Caledonia.

        ‘The mention of Bayern was one aspect of a substantial document’.

        An aspect which Bella Caledonia chose to highlight.

        ‘At least in Scotland domination is (normally) shared.’ What does this mean ?

        It means that there are two teams which have, between them, won the league every year since 1986.

    2. Jim Alexander says:

      Where does money equate to better Players – the Young People who represented Scotland in the Commonwealth Games were in the main amateurs – it didn’t stop them competing on an International stage

      Money does not equal better performance in Sport

      1. florian albert says:

        I agree that the problems of Scottish professional football go much, much deeper than a simple shortage of money.

        That said, the absence of money is contributing to the downward spiral of the game. When there was more money in the game, Scotland could attract players of the calibre of Laudrup, Larsson and Moravcik. Their presence enhanced the game. Now the best players playing in Scotland are enticed away by clubs such as Southampton and Swansea. Scottish football fans are well aware of the mediocrity of so much of what is on offer.

        I am not as certain as you are of the lack of importance of money in sport. UK Sport invested tens of millions of pounds in a handful of sports – cycling, rowing, sailing and equestrianism – with the aim of winning Olympic medals in them. It regarded the results at the 2012 London Olympics as vindication of its strategy.

        1. Jim Alexander says:

          Point taken on the targeting of Sports – but those Athletes had minimal or zero funding as Youngsters and managed to become World Class

          As for more Money Yes it will attract better Foreign Players – but thats not a solution – plus it only applies to he Old Firm not the rest of Scottish Football

          Lindsay Sharp won Commonwealth & European Silver whilst gaining a Law Degree all the while helping support her Dad Cameron ( she trained in a disused Railway Tunnel in the Winter ) – our National Team can’t qualify for Europe never mind get a Silver Medal and they are highly paid full time Proffessionals – Money isn’t the route to success in Sport – at the very very top levels i.e. best in the World it has a major impact- BUT below that its limited

  6. Black Rab says:

    Get rid of leeches Like Lawwell and Desmond who do fuck all bar rake in money and bonus themselves while they do so. Shareholders put nothing in and take everything out. Fans are always there so take control of what you rightfully own. Direct democracy will see your football team prosper instead of capitalist leeches running your team as a business only to invert it’s footballing potential into a short term financial money gain by taking your money and investing in cheap imports only to sell to the first club that offers a big return.
    In case you don’t get it……..they’re taking your ticket money to invest for their profits in player purchasing and selling and you get fuck all in return.

  7. FiferJP says:

    Total BS report. MacLeish the go to numpty on this? He did a report in 2010 backing plans for 10 team leagues, now it’s ‘larger divisions’? But this is a ‘fans manifesto’ so that’s different eh?

    After over five years how much of the 2010 report has been implemented? Zero methinks, and I’m pretty sure it was similar bullshit in the 2010 report that’s in this one – i.e. vague slogans and weasel words.

    2010 report part one and two:

    http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/resources/documents/SFAPublications/HenryMcLeishReviewofScottishFootball/Review%20Scottish%20Football%20Pt1FINAL%20220410.pdf

    http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/resources/documents/SFAPublications/HenryMcLeishReviewofScottishFootball/Review%20Scottish%20Football%20Pt2%20FINAL.pdf

  8. Auldheid says:

    Recovery has to start somewhere and when the SFA and SPFL’S part in allowing the debacle at RFC, beginning in 2001 when the ebts mentioned in accounts wasn’t questioned (and don’t tell me no one at Hampden didn’t know) begins to be revealed in the upcoming trials, there will never be a greater opportunity to bring about the reform needed.
    The Manifesto is a large elephant and if it is not to become a white one it has to be eaten like any elephant – a bit at a time.
    There are two huge obstacles to progress. The SFA/SPFL culture of governance and the red top football culture pandering to the worst in human nature to sell their wares.

    The SFA/SPFL will be at their the most vulnerable and if any of the other points in the manifesto are to be realised then that is where the battle to reclaim begins.

    With luck the revelations from the trials, which social media will report because the red tops and SFA/SPFL are co dependent, will coincide with ST renewal time and by then, if as many supporters as possible are aware what went on with regard to the LNS Commission, the 5 Way Agreement and UEFA 2011 licence, then the SFA/SPFL and Red Top alliance can be brought to the negotiating table.
    If crisis represents opportunity then the opportunity is coming soon.

    1. Jim Alexander says:

      So its because of Rangers the majority of Stadiums in Scotland are empty and they are the reason Scotland hasn’t qualified for a major tournament since France 98- seriously ?

      1. Auldheid says:

        I’m not talking about conspiracy I’m talking about incompetency, stupidity and dishonesty. No idea if that is a masonic trait or not.

        1. Jim Alexander says:

          So what have Rangers got to do with falling Crowds and Standards in Scottish Football ?

          -the SPFL /SFA answer to the Clubs – if there is a desire for change then the Clubs have it within there Power

          So if there is mismanagement of the Game the Clubs can resolve it – but they aren’t – fans can let there Clubs know they want change by Financial pressure – but none is applied

          Maybe people just don’t fancy the product and the Clubs decide the Product not the SFA/SPFL

          1. Auldheid says:

            Football is based on interdependent relationships which require trust. Trust that opposition will play by the rules that the rest do.

            RFC broke that trust and whilst not the only reason for crowds dropping, unless fans of other clubs are confident they can trust the SFA who failed to police the rules properly (which contributed to RFC’s woes) and TRFC will be different and play by the rules then the fans will stay away.

            Better transparency and accountability will act as a deterrent to rule breaking if those tempted know they are being watched.
            Apart from which a mechanism for doing so, like UEFA have with future financial forecasts, will tell fans if their club is entering stormy waters.

  9. john young says:

    Black Rab through my being part of the Celtic Trust who,s aim was to have a representative as a non exec member of the board,I well know what like it is trying to engage the above in dialogue,going from outright dislike to almost tolerable they treat the fans with utter contempt and have done from the clubs inception well almost,after all who the fcuk do we think we are turning up forking money out whenever they need us,then appointing right wing opinionated people as far removed from the ethos of the club with a tenuous connection at best with the club,that is another issue.The first move should be to remove the SFA/SPFL cohorts and bring in some new fresh forward looking people.Barry Hearns son told them a few home truths and how to move the game upwards and onwards,what would he know?he,s only got the pub game darts elevated away beyond what it ever hoped for,typical of the entrenched outlook in Scotland the auld “handshake” has a solid grip in every area of this country,try shaking it loose no effin chance.

    1. Jim Alexander says:

      So Celtic Park is half empty every Home Game because of a Masonic Conspiracy really ?

  10. john young says:

    Nothing to do with Celtic or the attendance Jim,half empty because they are rubbish,I take it that you do not agree about “conspiracies” but Scottish football cannot/will not move forward until there is an even playing field, after everything underhand that has been openly revealed about the SFA since “Farrygate” people like yourself are still in denial,ffs why can,t we be open and honest in how we administer or govern our institutions,it bedevils society and not only in the field of football,it is entrenched in our society and is a plague.

    1. Jim Alexander says:

      No I don’t believe there is a Conspiracy at the heart of the demise of Scottish Football – I believe that people have found alternative outlets for the Free Time and disposable income and the Product both on the Park and on Matchday aren’t competing with other Leisure offers

      As for level playing Field what you really mean is that you think that Rangers had an Unfair advantage over Celtic – the fact that the Old Firm had an unfair advantage over the rest of Scottish Football is of no concern to you – its about the Masonic Conspiracy that allowed Rangers to dominate

      As long as Fans are more concerned about looking for Non Existent Plots than actually questioning the value for Money they pay to watch there Team then we cant move forward

      As you correctly state – Celtic Park is half Empty because the Product isn’t very good – nothing more- nothing less.

  11. john young says:

    15+ years ago while watching my son play for Clyde u 12s,I got into a conversation with one of the parents from the opposition,as it turned out they were from Iceland though it was “baltic”.He told me that the then government had decided that they were falling behind the rest of Europe in the field of sports,they had sent coaches all over the continent to appraise what was required,they set aside £10mill pounds of investment,their national footballing side has come on leaps and bounds,easily qualifying for the European Championship in a group that had the Netherlands in it,not bad going.

  12. Jim Alexander says:

    Auldheid

    It took three levels of Appeal all involving High Court Judges to decide if Rangers use of EBTs were illegal – now if the most respected Judges in the land have differing views on an extremely complex legal case how do you expect the SFA to “Police” the rules when the Courts are divided on what they are ?

    For rules to be broken the SFA would need to know this at the time – they didn’t – Dundee went into Administration – Twice – Motherwell once – Hearts once – they all gained unfair advantage by overspending whilst Clubs who didn’t were relegated- so why are Rangers different from the other three Clubs that in reality blatantly broke rules by over spending

    – it could be argued that given the fact it took three Appeals rulings( two of which they won )Rangers believed they were within the Laws on Taxation – or is it that it allowed them to dominate over Celtic and it has nothing to do with general Fair Play in Scottish Football – simply that Rangers did it

    Not one Fan non Old Firm Fan has stopped going to watch Football because of Rangers use of EBT – it only impacted on the Two Horse Race – so we are back to the core Reason – Poor Quality Product on the Park – Poor Quality Matchday experience.

    1. Auldheid says:

      The difference is that whilst other clubs overspent and arguably were forced to in order to keep up with a financially doped up RFC, they did not breach player registration rules for 10 seasons.

      That breach was necessary to get players to sign on ebt terms but had the extension to contracts been revealed earlier then HMRC would have been able to challenge their illigitimate use and stopped the advantage the ability to sign players other clubs observing registration rules couldn’t.

      Nothing to do with nature of ebts. The registration rules depended on trust and RFC broke it and, as evidence will show, the football authorities since it became known have done their best to minimise the damage resulting from that decision by RFC in 1999 to use a system to pay players that was never intended for a contract ridden industry.

      I doubt even if you saw the evidence it would change your view but if SFA and SPFL have nothing to hide why do they act as if they have when presented with evidence? Better they don’t so that you don’t have to change your view.

      1. Jim Alexander says:

        First the other Clubs were not “forced to overspend” they could never ever ever compete with the Old Firm who have 10 times the support of any other Club – they did however overspend against the smaller Clubs of a similar size a number of whom were relegated – the impact on the Financial doping of the three Clubs mentioned was actually more detrimental to the Clubs that were relegated than the two Horse Pissing Contest between Rangers & Celtic – the only Club impacted by Rangers were Celtic and even there we are talking bragging rights – the demise of Rangers affected Celtic – no one else as its now a one Horse Race and Crowds and Revenue at Celtic reflect this.

        as for Registration you have to deal with the actual facts Rangers would have been given legal advice that they were operating within the Law – it took three appeals two of which they won to prove otherwise – the evidence was reviewed by an Independent Law Lord – so unless you are suggesting he was also part of a Grand Conspiracy – the outcome of the review was that the rules hadn’t been broken.

        There has been zero impact on Scottish Football apart from Celtic ( even then its subject to debate ) by Rangers using EBTs – Scotland not qualifying for a Major Tournament in 18 Years or falling Crowds have nothing to do with Rangers – once people start looking at the bigger picture away from the Old Firm obsession then maybe we will start dealing with the problems.

        1. Auldheid says:

          I said arguably but the wages RFC paid would result in pressure to try and match from the fans of other clubs, it certainly did with Celtic fans.

          On your other point it’s a great pity RFC never thought to get advice on player registration issues from the one authority on the matter – the SFA.

          They had an argument ready if they did, the one Dickson gave to the FTT that the payments were not to players but into Trusts, but they never tested that with the SFA when they started using side letters. Why not? The SFA were the appropriate authority to get advice from yet never were asked. It’s in the FTT and Poon points it out.

          When the SPL were eventually asked to rule 12 years later the LNS Commission said that as far as registration rules are concerned RFC breached them but on the advice of the SFA added the ludicrous judgment that basically says because you never asked us in the first place the players you registered were eligible to play until we found out they were incorrectly registered 10 years later.

          If you think the rest of the supporters of other clubs, not just Celtic, don’t see this as cheating and minimising the consequences then you must think our heads button up the back.

          If the final judgement is RFC used ebts in an unlawful manner then the issue can no longer be considered as an administration error for 10 years but of paying players illegally outside the rules which gave RFC an advantage when competing with other clubs trying to sign the same quality of player.
          What the rest already think will no longer have to contest the points you make. They will become officially irrelevant.

  13. john young says:

    Plainly and simply Jim you are in denial,you didn,t need to go to court to see that the EBTs were a ruse,do you think that you get honesty and openness because it goes to the high court possibly one of the most corrupt bodies in the land.I have followed Celtic for a lifetime and in that time or most of that time Rangers didn,t need to use underhand tactics as they were a better run team than Celtic on and off the field,that does not allow you or anyone else to say that the SFA were not corrupt,as I said Farrygate/Dougie Dougiegate/Dallasgate to name but 3 of the most recent episodes,do you agree that there is an anti Catholic/Irish element in Scotland and not a small one at that that is fact,so why wouldn,t it exist further up the ladder,as I said we are looking to be a country standing on our own two feet,there is no room for bias/favouritism if we are to grow up.Nobody saying the root cause is Rangers or anyone football has been on the slide for a long time,boys just do not play the game in any numbers and if you don,t play you can,t simple.

    1. Jim Alexander says:

      Of course they were a “ruse” thats the whole point of tax avoidance schemes – lots of Players used other schemes – Murray International used EBT throughout the Group – Rangers were owned by Murray International – no one said they were upfront BUT at he time they were not illegal – thats the key point they were only deemed illegal after three Court Appeals two of which ruled they were as for the High Courts being corrupt – show me one iota of evidence that supports that statement

      Farry was an arrogant tosser – Dougie McDonald got a decision wrong but didn’t have the balls to admit it – Dallas forwarded a joke about Child Abuse in the Catholic Church ( which given the facts was fair comment ) – three unrelated actions over a 25 Year period- but this somehow confirms a grand conspiracy against Celtic ?

      There was an anti Catholic baise in Scotland but Catholics have had equal opportunity for the last 40 Years – there is no evidence whatsoever that they are discriminated against in modern day Scotland -poor people are discriminated against – poverty has no religion

      And getting back to the subject matter – Scottish Football is failing due to not matching alternative leisure time products for people to spend there time & money on – Rangers & Celtic are finished – Young people don’t care about the nonsense anymore – so there unique selling point is gone – Crowds will continue to fall unless they wake up and smell the Coffee

  14. john young says:

    Jim they gained an unfair advantage to me that is cheating,just the same as taking drugs are cheating,it was just 3 issues? Dallas was just tongue in cheek,no mention of all the other abusers “Kincorra House” Belfast for one,a huge silence where the establishment were deeply involved,the Catholic Church have a horrible record in this field and should rightly be exposed at every turn,pity the others seem to slip silently by.Enough of this,all sport is being ruined by cheats/cheating by making excuses about the issues doesn,t augur well for sport.

  15. cmk says:

    Excellent work by Alison Johnstone, The Greens and the rest. The manifesto is sensible and can help right the wrong turns that modern football keeps taking. The 2 Green Msps have done very well and I hope we see a lot more of them in parliament after May.

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