So today – Friday the 13th – the eejits and numpties of Scottish football (c) Craig Burley will sit down at their diddy table (c) Craig Burley and make HUGE decisions about a game they know little about (c) Craig Burley.
Let me just run through a few things as things stand as I write, which by the time you read this may well be right out of date….
The SPL is a failure
Sorry guys but the 10 league that became 12 failed. 14 years of elite development has delivered us bankruptcy. We do not have youth development that allows young players to reach their pinnacle within a highly competitive league. We do not have income securely coming into the sport that does not line the pockets of foreign nationals who then leave after gracing our turf. We do not have excitement as part of the game in a regular way. The title is decided between two areas of one city annually. The best you can hope for is a Cup run. We have had a few of them but that has been because of SFL sides as much as SPL ones… The sooner this edifice of failure is swept away from the game the better. I pity Neil Doncaster because he is employed by people whose minds appear to change like the panic that comes with each daily revelation.
The McLeish Report was right
The intervention of oor ‘Enry to tell the poor misguided souls in charge of the diddy teams (c) Craig Burley that they should dae whit they are tellt is quite embarrassing. OK, before we all end up in a big debate that is not precisely what he said or indeed it may not be what he meant BUT the SFL have been asked to make a decision that neither the SFA nor the SPL can manage. And they are the ones whose great idea we are now supposed to embrace. The McLeish Report had much to commend it but it got one thing wrong. We do NOT need a 10 team top division. (See above)
£14Million will disappear from our game and it will melt down
I have no idea how much money will be lost. What I do know is that the doomsday scenario has been created without the relevant “other side.” It presumes ALL will be lost. I have a funny feeling though that whatever amount it may amount to will be about the same amount that would have been lost if Rangers and Celtic had gone off to the English leagues or been admitted to that Europa League or Scandinavian wotsit they were negotiating. In fact it may have been a lot more cash that would have gone missing as both would have disappeared. There seemed at that time to be less about Armageddon and more about – wouldn’t that be great cos aw they diddy teams could win something and the big two would get better…. One thing I do know. Scottish Football, one of the most passionately supported games in Europe and per head of population the best supported in Europe WILL survive. Oh and the product down the leagues is pretty good. That’s why the SPL relegated teams struggle to get back out the SFL…
The NEW Rangers IS the OLD Rangers in disguise
It is not actually in disguise. It is the same players (minus a few who are disgracefully looking after their families and developing their careers as internationalists – apparently to some eejits this helps the Scottish game…), same coaching staff, same management structure and the same fans. To pretend it is NOT is just nonsense. However the issue for the SFA and UEFA is the requirement for new applicants to Football Associations to have three years of accounts… You couldn’t make this up. If it is completely new then Spartans, Gala Fairydean etc should call foul because it is a foul. It may even be a red card offence… Mind you UEFA think they are above the law and ask all Associations to bind their members to never going to the Courts to dispute the Association’s authority whilst FIFA will give you your opinion back for a fee… (Allegedly… though the accusations of corruption appear as clear as the lack of funds in Craig Whyte’s bank account… allegedly)
There are genuine Rangers fans who are hurting
I know quite a few that are football supporters. Not just Rangers fans but genuinely go and support Scotland and who follow other Scottish teams in Europe – disappointingly not Celtic. Some have spoken of whether they would be able to go back to a game again if their team was wound up, relegated to Division Three or punished any more. There is, dare I say it, a bunker mentality. I can hear their cry and it is No Surrender. It is a worry that the team who has attracted genuine diddy’s who have threatened footballing volunteers like the Raith Rovers Director involved in the independent tribunal, rampaged through Manchester, refused to listen to their own manger and Chairman and continued to sign sectarian and racist songs and have threatened so seriously a rival manager that he has/had 24 hour protection for himself AND his family. Even now Bomber Brown talks of Green being “hunted down” if Brown had disclosed things that Green said to him. All colourful language. These people do genuine fans no service. If Rangers fans want to know why other genuine supporters find it hard to feel for them then above are four reasons in the recent past as to why we struggle. Their cause is not helped by the media giving air time to the clowns burning scarves when they signed Mo Johnston or the youtube clips of a Company Director singing the Sash with gusto it is perhaps an unfair representation of the majority? Is it?
Mainstream media has been rubbish and succulent Lambs to the slaughter
I always like to be on the side of a Channel Four intellectual. Stuart Cosgrove called it right. The new media – bloggers and twitterers – have been at the forefront of all this. The BBC and Channel Four can partially claim some mitigation, after all it was the BBC documentaries that blew the lid on Craig Whyte and the work of Alex Thomson has been exemplary. However I would refer you to two recent BBC Scotland podcasts from their Scottish Football cannon. I listened to these live and had them on podcast later. In one Jim Traynor thumps the tub for the mainstream media against the previously referred to Cosgrove. Prior to his entry into the studio Stuart had tub thumped for the new media though had given the mainstream some credit. Traynor was having none of it. The new media was full of crazies whose postings were full of nonsensical rantings. Cosgrove then pointed out the work of sites like Rangers Tax Case where people with expertise in fiscal and tax affairs had been vocal and more importantly right. Ah, says Mr T, they are experts in tax and money so they were bound to be right, the mainstream media are only mere footballing folks… And then the cuts in newspapers have removed dedicated experts in their field for people like JT to refer to. Mr Cosgrove merely pointed out that if you don’t have the expertise it is better to say nothing. I think the teenage phrase is clamped. Therefore the mainstream media according to Sunny Jim was unqualified.
The next wee podcast also involved Jim Traynor. He was going on about how, in the best interests of Scottish Football it has to be Division One for newco. They then played Steven Pressley’s interview. Pressley was passionate, (Yeah I know…) erudite and more importantly clinically clear in his thinking. Right after Jim Traynor praised him, claiming he was right. Pressley’s analysis lead to a call for Division Three… On went the bold Jim undeterred, claiming the opinion as his own and claiming Division One was best for all. I like Traynor and like his programmes a lot but times like this get you nicknames like Jim TRangers…
Rangers have been punished enough
The old Rangers have been punished by a 10 point deduction – sanction for going into administration; a fine of £160,000 – which will go unpaid; Craig Whyte has been banned from getting involved for life and fined – the fine will never be paid and who would touch him now?; and there was a signing embargo. The first was applied as it was with Gretna before them. It is not a punishment but a sanction. As for the other three punishments – the first two will never now be applied and the third as been ruled outwith the scope of the independent tribunal. They have still to have the tribunal re-sit and there are on going legal investigations which may lead to Criminal prosecutions. THAT would satisfy Rangers fans AND fans of other clubs as the real villains have been the people in charge. But to quote someone else, they have been supported slavishly at times by the people who “buy the pies and buy the season tickets.” When the BBC said Whyte is a bit dodgy, the vitriol spilled out and marches were planned and held.
The apology was necessary
Yes it was. It was important that people acknowledged what had happened and what had been created by the actions of the company over a period of more than a decade had lead to this critical period in the Scottish game. Rangers may feel like they are being portrayed as victims. There are 41 other clubs, institutions in their own communities, who can lay claim to that description before them.
Craig Burley is a genius
I have neither the inclination nor the energy to answer the ridiculous piece carried by the Record that apparently came from the pen of Mr Burley. Let me just say that Scottish Football was insulted by his comments and if the Daily Record was the voice of Scotland it ought to have whispered his comments rather than shouted them…
The vote will be close…
It will be by secret ballot. At present there is a view that people in the SFL Division One don’t want the newco and those in Division Three who feel the same from their position. 15 votes for are required. Dundee have been allowed to abstain. Raith Rovers, Falkirk, Albion Rovers, Alloa Athletic, Ayr United, Clyde, Peterhead, Cowdenbeath, Arbroath, Elgin City, Morton, Stranraer, Berwick Rangers Dunfermline and Stirling Albion have publicly come out and said it should be Division Three. Stenhousemuir and Dumbarton have come out – reluctantly – in favour of Division One. It stands 15-2 with 1 abstention. That means there are insufficient votes to make it Division One. But it IS a secret ballot…