In my time of watching Scottish Football, dating back to 1971, the SFA have never been far away from farce or corruption, and not necessarily in that order.
I’d read of stories about George Graham, the former SFA President who tried to force Celtic into removing the Irish Tricolour from the ground in 1951 and about the ridiculous team selection for Scotland internationals, where prominent Hoops players were regularly overlooked in favour of players from Ibrox.
The governing body also sat on their hands and did nothing to support the club in our various struggles with FIFA and UEFA, namely after the Racing club debacle, and the Atletico Madrid and Rapid Vienna farces.
On all three occasions, the SFA could have backed Celtic, but chose to do nothing.
We’ve also had the dubious refereeing appointments over the decades. Unexplained, blatantly bias decisions, season after season. An official lying to our manager, only to be rehired a few years later. Record fine for Fergus McCann for allegedly ‘tapping up’ Tommy Burns.
The Jorge Cadete scandal, where SFA President Jim Farry deliberately withheld the Portuguese strikers registration, so he would miss the Scottish Cup semi-final, against Rangers (IL).
And we’ve had a player found guilty by the ‘law of probabilities’, a first for any sporting body.
Meanwhile they turn their heads to deliberate systematic tax evasion, improper player registration, law and rule breaking, admitted to in a court of law. Participate in a secret five-way-agreement to meet the demands of the same rule breaking club.
Allow career criminals to take office in member clubs, or should I say a member club. Ignore a conflicted President and let him to stay in office while his former club, where he was in charge of all administrative duties, was liquidated.
Add to that successive Presidents have openly expressed their dislike, or even hatred of Celtic. I’m sure Gordon Smith even blamed the schools for the games’ ills. Particularly Catholic schools.
This weekends comments from the current President Alan MacRae about ‘bringing Celtic back down to earth‘ must surely provoke some response from the club.
Or will we, as a club, and the rest of Scottish Football stand idly back while these dinosaurs ruin OUR game?
Judging by the initial reaction, it looks to me like the SFA aren’t answerable to anyone. And serve merely to accommodate any entity that plays out of Ibrox, where most of the committee would prefer to be….
Speaking in an article in today’s Herald, SFA chief Alan MacRae expresses his dismay at Celtic’s wonderful, unbeaten, treble winning season, hoping it’s never to be repeated.
Trying to hide his bitterness behind the ‘need more competition’ guise, MacRae’s comments wouldn’t look out of place in a Sevco fanzine.
“It’s difficult for the other clubs to compete with Celtic because at the moment they are flying high”, said MacRae.
That, in itself, is a fairly obvious observation from one of the high heid yins at Hampden but as he peered ahead to next season, McRae suggested he would like to see Celtic brought back down to earth.
That will be easier said than done, of course. Like a Colossus of London Road, Celtic are standing head and shoulders above them all and, under Rodgers’ managerial nous, the club’s tyrannical rule over the Scottish scene would make some of the world’s most strident dictatorships look like a series of fairly timorous regimes.
It’s a major ask, of course, and McRae certainly wouldn’t be losing sleep if he saw Celtic knocked out of next season’s Bet Fred Cup in the last eight. His observations on Celtic’s dominance may have been delivered with a wry grin but the message was clear.
“They had fantastic achievement to come through both cups and the league being undefeated, especially on the 50th anniversary of the Lisbon Lions and it’s quite amazing that it happened,” said McRae. “They have done it once, hopefully it won’t happen again next season because we’ve got to have challengers. They know you need to have people challenging, otherwise it will get very boring and dreary.”
This from the man who’s supposed to be impartial in his position of President.
MacRae follows in the footsteps of previous bitter SFA chiefs, Farry, Ogilvie, Smith and Graham before them, none of whom hid their animosity towards Celtic.
Instead of thanking Celtic for lighting up the Scottish game with a fantastic brand of football, providing the nucleus of yesterday’s Scotland team, including the goalscorer, and representing Scotland on the European stage, all to the benefit of the dinosaurs on Hampden’s sixth floor, he chooses to let his club allegiances poison his mind.
And while MacRae and his cronies might find Celtic’s domestic dominance hard to swallow, the focus is now turning full circle back on the governing body itself.
While they try to deflect attention of their own corruptness onto Craig Whyte and demean the achievements of the champions, their own positions are under scrutiny after they turned a blind eye to the cheating of former establishment club Rangers(IL).
The term ‘fit and proper’ has been bandied about a lot this week, in respect of Craig Whyte and Dave King, when in fact it should have been ‘fit for purpose’, the very question asked about the SFA.
I was totally dumbstruck yesterday when I started following a conversation on Twitter between Paul Brennan of CQN and Graham ‘Britney’ Spiers.
The conversation began with Paul posting a ‘Persistence Beats Resistance’ image, in regards to the Resolution 12 campaign, when Spiers, a well known bluenose and journalist, called Paul out, suggesting the right of every football fan to demand justice for Rangers (IL) cheating ‘tedious’.
Instead of doing a proper journalists job and DEMAND answers from the SFA and indeed the club, now that three former directors are involved with Sevco at board level, he went along the lines of ‘let’s move on’, which later on in the thread turned to ‘whataboutery’, when he claimed Celtic CEO Peter Lawwell was as much to blame to Rangers(IL) demise as the real culprits Murray (s), Johnson, King and Bain!
Talk about unbelievable!
Here we have, and I’ll use the term former now, respected journalist, advocating that the Celtic CEO, because he’s on one of the SFA boards, is somehow responsible for the establishment club cheating using side letters, and evading tax with DOS and EBT’s!
He went on to suggest they’d suffered enough embarrassment, or words to that effect, and we should stop pursuing justice.
Spiers, is already on record in 2013 as saying any stripping of titles would be a mess that Scottish football could well do without. This goes along with the ‘move on’ narrative of his Radio Scotland colleague Tom English, who himself, was exposed during the Charlotte Fakes recordings, of working in cahoots with Craig Whyte to discredit former director Paul Murray.
It’s fair to say both Spiers and English have NO interest in the integrity of our game.
Both are also golf correspondents, their obvious forte, where they might be used to a bit of cheating here and there, thinking we’re all the same. That aloof clubhouse mentality to responsibility, and playing by the rules, doesn’t have a place in football according to this pair.
In a nutshell, they have NO IDEA how we feel towards the SFA, the cheating Rangers (IL) and the complicit media who want us all to toe the line with their OLD FIRM, same club, ‘let’s move on’, bullshit.
Well, Britney, and Tom, it ain’t going to happen.
You keep taking your forty pieces of silver, being the son of a preacher man, you’ll know what that entails…
What used to be one of the biggest clubs Scottish Football, and the governing body have been dragged through the courts this last month.
Charges were brought against former Rangers (IL) owner Craig Whyte, accusing him of fraudulently gaining ownership of the now deceased club. Thanks to the ‘Billy Liars’, witnesses for the prosecution, Whyte was cleared by a 15 man jury at Glasgow’s High Court yesterday.
However, the evidence given, when they could remember, by Messrs Murray, McGill, McCoist et al, has given rise to more questions than answers, particularly in reference to ‘who knew what and when’ about the WTC (wee tax case).
Dates given about when the tax bill contradict previous versions, made available to the SFA, who should have done a lot more due diligence than just accept the word of a Rangers (IL) employee.
The case also threw up many other contradictions, and put the integrity of every witness on the line, including a reference to incoming Sevco board member Alistair Johnson, who was chairman at the time of the bill. His actions were described by one witness as ‘probably illegal’ when he raised CEO Martin Bain’s salary and notice without the knowledge of his fellow board members.
Now, WE all know this was disclosed in a court of law, and so do the SMSM.
As much as we will keep the pressure on those who are corrupting our game, surely the SMSM have a right to do the same? They have a duty to protect the game that gives them such a comfortable living. They can no longer turn a blind eye, like they have done for so long.
They must, on behalf of EVERY football supporter, including the Gullibears, demand answers. Now is the time to clean our game up once and for all.
Or will they follow orders and be as complicit as ever?
I know what my money’s on….
SFA Chief Executive, Stewart Regan is either being worked by someone, or he’s a complete idiot with no respect for the law in this country, or any other for that matter.
We haven’t heard a peep from him for weeks, maybe months, but when a Scottish court of law finds Craig Whyte NOT GUILTY of fraud in obtaining Rangers (IL), he comes out from under his rock to declare the defendant, and now innocent man, not fit and proper to run a football club.
Yet, the same Regan found in favour of Dave King, a former director of the now deceased club, and a man found GUILTY of 41 charges of fraud and deception by a South African court, where a judge described him as a ‘glib and shameless liar’, fit for proper to run the new club.
King, who only managed to stay out of jail by agreeing to pay £45M in back tax, is lauded around Hampden and has been seen in talks with the current SFA Chief Executive.
Regan, who has already dismissed claims former SFA President, and EBT recipient, Campbell Ogilvie was conflicted when the tax case was being heard, is clearly being influenced by someone.
He’s also chosen to emerge from his bunker on the day another former director of the cheating dead club, Alistair Johnson, is moved onto the club board. Coincidence? Don’t you believe it.
The notion the SFA is a governing body for the whole of Scottish Football is pure fantasy. It’s being run FOR the benefit of one club, and controlled by the same club.
Something HAS to change. And now.
Summing up for the defence at the High Court today, former vice-chairman of Rangers (IL) and counsel for Craig Whyte, Donald Findlay, basically told the court that the survival of Rangers (IL) as a club depended on winning a Champions League qualifying tie against Swedish side Malmo.
So basically, when Craigie Bhoy took over at what was already a financial basket case of a club, he had to be assured that beating Malmo to progress to the lucrative group stages of the Champions League, was not only possible, but probable, given how much the survival of the club relied on the result.
He’s already inherited a manager that the court was told would cost millions NOT to appoint, the real Rangers Man Ally McCoist, who, like the rest of them who profess to love the club, love their bank account more, much more.
And let’s not forget the fact they were given a licence to compete in the competition in the first place is under scrutiny, certainly more so after the evidence of this trial. The SFA have to be made answerable as to how a club with a CONFIRMED tax liability was granted a licence to play at all?
As much as Craig Whyte’s ‘back of a fag packet’ business plan was a shambles, was he really to blame for the impending death of the club and cessation of 140 years history?
Or was it down to the ‘cheeky chappy’ who spent as much time trying to make enemies, and piss everyone off, in order to save his own skin?
Ultimately, they cheated to try and prosper, and cheats never win….or so we’re told.
The sale of Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk to one of the EPL ‘big boys’ will trigger a sell on clause for Celtic.
It’s estimated the fee for the Dutchman could reach £60/70M, with the Hoops share of the sale in the region of £6-9M, depending on who you believe.
That money, according to reports down south is being used to fund Brendan’s attempts to lure Manchester City’s Patrick Roberts back to Celtic Park, on a more permanent basis.
Roberts, a huge success during his loan spell at Paradise, knows all about the club and has already a great attachment to the support, being a fan himself.
But what EPL club will fund Brendan’s spending?
Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City are all vying for the classy defender’s signature, with rumours of £150,000 a week wages, in a truly over inflated market.
No matter who eventually captures the player, Celtic will run out winners. A player we signed in 2013, paying around £2.5M for his services from FC Groningen of Holland, we sold on to the Saints for a fee in the region of £12M only two years later.
With Virgil’s impending move, Celtic will have ‘made’ in the region of £15-16M, absolutely fantastic business for the club,
A real model for success.
Listen to the interview below, Scott McDonald recalling how a referee called him a cheat when he wore the Hoops!
Although Skippy doesn’t tell us who the official was, it’s a shocking indictment of the people who run our game that they think they can get away with calling a player a cheat.
McDonald mentions his team mate Lee Naylor, also heard the incident in the interview, and he claims the manager, who would have been Gordon Strachan, heard it too.
The referee in question was forced to apologise to the Australian striker, otherwise the club were going to take it further.
This incident came BEFORE referee Dougie McDonald lied to Celtic manager Neil Lennon after denying the Hoops a penalty at Tannadice when Gary Hopper was brought down.
It’s clear there’s an agenda against Celtic, our management, and our players from the officials and the governing body.
My only regret in this instance is Scott McDonald’s failure to name the referee in question. I’m sure we have a right to know…
Interview here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/scotland/40139403
Not for the first time midfielder Stuart Armstrong has been tipped to be a future captain of Celtic.
This time it’s coach and former player John Kennedy, who’s tipped the 25 year-old to take the armband when Broonie gives it up.
There’s no doubt Stuart has come on leaps and bounds under Brendan, probably playing the best football of his career as he showed at Hampden last week with his brilliant equaliser.
He’s also become a fixture in the side, playing in his favourite middle of the park role, a position he rarely played under Ronny, who signed him for the club, mainly due to the form of Broonie, and the then player of the year Stefan Johansen.
He also had a few niggling injuries to contend with.
Much of the talk about Armstrong future will depend on him penning a new contract with the Treble winners, although the management seem to be confident he will, fairly soon. Fingers crossed.
Vying for the captain’s armband with Stuart will be dye-in-the-wool Celt, Kieran Tierney.
Although a good five years younger, Tierney has shown great consistency and passion for the Hoops, epitomised last Saturday when he dashed from hospital to see his team mates lift the Scottish Cup.
Who can forget the sight of KT with the cup in one hand, and his other grabbing the badge showing how much it means to him to be a Celtic player?
While both players attract interest from clubs, far and near, maybe it would be a good idea to appoint one vice-captain to Scott Brown?
I don’t know if there’s the same prestige in being vice-captain of the club as there used to be, but it would be an honour just the same.
Over to you Brendan…
The great Pedro revolution is well and truly under way, with the Sevco manager bringing into the new club his first two signings.
With a reputed war chest of £30M from his philanthropic chairman, Dave King, sitting largely untouched, the Portuguese gaffer chose to ignore the many player who would cost money and stick to the tried and tested transfer policy of his predecessor.
And like the Magic Hat before him, the signing of ‘oldie’ fellow Portuguese defender, Bruno Alves from Sardinian cracks Cagliari and ‘freebie’ former Aberdeen captain Ryan Jack, means the new club have yet to spend any money on transfer fees.
Despite the aforementioned King telling the Gullibears he would do ‘whatever it takes’ to topple Celtic from their lofty heights.
To be fair to the bold Pedro, this strategy worked so well for the Ibrokes club last season, they managed to finish third in a so-called two horse race!
And right on cue, the rank and file silly Billys are lapping up their new signings, like they always do. Such is their stupidity, they are already issuing the usual ‘Rangers (IL) are coming’, pish, that you wonder if even they REALLY believe it.
Alves, at 35 has a decent pedigree but is in the twilight of his career, Cagliari shipped 76 goals with him in their defence, and he won’t fancy facing a hungry young Moussa Dembele, or a Leigh Griffiths putting him through his paces.
Where as Jack knows the Scottish game but hasn’t really set the heather on fire.Neither would get anywhere near the InVIncibles team, so from that perspective, nothing has changed.
So normal service has resumed, the Sevies keep spouting, and Celtic keep winning. Here’s to number SEVEN!