SPFL beg for Government funding to target fans with face recognition tech


The SPFL ruled out goal line technology because of the cost of implementing the system to help match officials – but now they want to spend several million to target football fans and implement face recognition systems across the league system.

It is another half-assed approach from the SPFL to target the life blood of the Scottish game at a time when they should be doing everything in their power to attract fans and market the game. But this latest idea from the corridors of the Monty Python Football League is a belter.

Rather than implementing ‘strict liability’ rules in the game to punish clubs for fan misconduct, the governing body want to beg the Scottish Government to lend them money to blow on a face recognition system – which has all the hallmarks of something from George Orwells’ novel 1984.


Rather than the clubs taking responsibility for their own fans misconduct, club chairmen and chief executives look to pass the buck once again onto the authorities – with their flat refusal to take responsibility a clear sign of not only their complete incompetence but also being not fit for purpose.

Clubs currently can peddle a feeble and generic pre-written statement condemning fans misconduct and how they have done everything they can to minimise such offensive behaviour – and that effectively hands the governing bodies an easy way out from dealing with situations such as sectarian singing, the use of pyrotechnics and much more.

Why plough money into combating sectarianism when the clubs themselves make excuses and crap it at the thought of being fined a few measly thousand for their fans misconduct.

With all fans being treated like criminals or better yet cattle by those proposing such a totalitarian tool – our game is fast becoming toxic. Not because of the fans misconduct – as that is a clear minority no matter the fan base – but by the clubs greed, their pursuit of scraps from the EPL and their wholesale failure to even consult their own fans and hear what they have to say on matters important to the survival of our game.

Alloa chairman Mike Mulraney is one anti-strict liability campaigner, claiming that it is not the answer to solving Scottish football’s problems – but he has not once given an alternative to combating offensive behaviour.

Outside Hampden earlier today, he said: “There is no chance of clubs whatsoever agreeing to strict liability. That’s pretty unanimous. It’s not the answer. It is the one system proven to fail and it will fail again.

“If clubs don’t take the reasonable steps to ensure [unacceptable behaviour]doesn’t happen then there should be punishment. But if they do what’s reasonable should they be punished over something they have no control of? In my view, no.”

‘One system proven to fail and it will fail again?’ Someone call Mike up quick and ask him for the lottery numbers as he has turned into Mystic Meg.

The governing bodies love to copy the Dutch or try to turn our league into some re-worked Austrian league set up in all their grand schemes they roll out in front of the press – on how they will revitalise the Scottish game – but when it comes to adopting UEFA’s strict liability guidelines, that is where the adoption ends. They are happy with some shitty league setup that didn’t work with the Austrians but claiming it will work in Scotland – but when it comes to punishing clubs for their own fans misconduct that is going too far.

How dare we try to adopt other folks ideas when they have proven to fail. I thought Scottish football’s governing bodies could make any auld shite work? After all how else could Neil Doncaster keep his job after making an arse of it consistently for years.

The Scottish Football Supporters Association (SFSA) hit out at the facial recognition proposal.

Chairman Simon Barrow said: “The SFSA would be concerned at a rushed move towards intrusive surveillance. There needs to be careful consultation with fans and clubs, alongside wider consideration of how to deal effectively and proportionately with threatening and insulting behaviour. The best ways forward will involve working with the great majority of supporters who deplore such abuses, rather than making them feel under accusation themselves.”

This has all the hallmarks of the days before the Offensive Behaviour in Football Act was rolled out following the so-called ‘Old Firm shame game’ – which was actually a very tame affair.

The authorities and the clubs want to be seen as doing something to combat offensive behaviour – but they don’t want to lose cash doing it. After all, it is far more appropriate to target their own fans as a whole every match day with draconian watchmen perving over you than the clubs actually growing a pair of balls and doing the dirty work themselves.

And that is the crux of the matter Turkey’s will never vote for Christmas and club chairmen & chief execs will never vote in rules that will see them hit financially for every single piece of misconduct perpetrated by a supporter. They are not safeguarding our game they are safeguarding their bank balances.


Their continued infatuation for chasing every morsel dropped from the EPL table is not enough to alienate their fan base – now they want to go the whole hog and treat Scottish football fans as nothing more than drones – who should be seen and not heard.

Scottish football needs to combat offensive behaviour, it needs to combat the increased use of pyrotechnics from the ned element in our game and it needs to combat sectarian singing. We don’t need half assed futuristic shitey tech to target the fans when a group of coppers in riot gear with cattle prods at the ready would do the job at a fraction of the price and it would see an increase in skid marks among the ned fraternity who think it is okay for them to do what they want – and screw everyone else.

Out of interest how does face recognition software see through scarves [wrapped around the face]? Do the SPFL expect the fans to take off headgear comb their hair in a nice side parting before smiling for the cameras and staying still for a minute while they say cheese? They also had a supply of rain gears from rain gear for work bellevue wa.

The Scottish government should keep the money that the SPFL are begging for and put it towards helping to fund the NHS, Education or better still food banks – where the money should go – rather than funding a hair brained scheme concocted by a governing body that couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery. Teams work optimally when they collaborate and share information. PDF editor from https://online.sodapdf.com and unites workers with knowledge to increase flexibility and results.

Building the Millenium Dome or doing the tram system in Edinburgh all over again would be a better use of funds than this big pile of pish.


About Author


Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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