6 May 2012

This is the time for leadership from Scottish football

So now the dust has slightly settled and we are on the eve of another Scottish Premier League vote (barring another postponement), let us strip away all the froth and hype and see where we really are.

On Thursday, Ibrox was a deeply bizarre place. Over the phone Rangers tried to make out their “press conference” was for “sports reporters only”. Even over the phone they quickly realised from my incredulity, this was a non-starter.

So we got a “press diktat” instead. It’s a press conference where they read at you from a prepared statement and you are not allowed questions. A press conference without the conference, if you like.

The charming Ba’athist thugs in Baghdad used to do this in the 90s, I recall. Bosnian Serb commanders likewise. Congolese child-soldier commanders do it. Duff & Phelps did themselves no favours. Of course, they’re neither criminals nor mass murderers. But questions were banned, the Rangers press officer said, “Because we don’t want this turning into a circus.”

So why do Rangers FC and Duff & Phelps think the normal rules of a press conference are a “circus”?

I suggest because of all the difficult questions they cannot answer.

They cannot explain how the Old Rangers company will somehow be “cleaned up” when it is left, toxic, mired in debt and – according to three insolvency experts I’ve now spoken to – inevitably heading for liquidation by the back door.

They cannot explain how a club banned from European football for three years, and with a one-year player-buying ban, is supposed to retain its key players who can – and very likely will – move elsewhere in the summer.

Nothing was said of the Sky/ESPN Premier League TV deal. SPL boss Neil Doncaster says it’s up for renegotiation this summer, but four Old Firm fixtures are the lynchpin of it.

So how does the shiny new, non-toxic Rangers team fulfil that next season? They’d have to stay up there with Celtic in the top half of the league with their squad of well-motivated 17-year-olds and has-beens.

So what will Sky/ESPN want? Equally, why should anyone in Scottish football listen or let them dictate the game?

Answer? Money. And if anything represents Oscar Wilde’s definition of the cynic as a man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing right now, it’s Scottish football with its Glasgow media cheerleaders.

Consider Michael Johnston, chairman of Kilmarnock FC, who is quoted by the BBC as saying: “Members (of the SPL) see the commercial benefits of having Rangers, even as a newco. The clubs are mindful of a sporting integrity aspect but the commercial benefits may outweigh that.”

That is, Scottish football clubs know there’s a thing called integrity out there but it’s money that matters. What a world you are in, Mr Johnston.

Of course, it’s turkeys and Christmas and all that, and if club chairmen see an escape route for Rangers after their catastrophic lack of financial fair play (yes, financial fair play, Mr Platini and Uefa), then such kid-glove treatment will also come their way when they’re in trouble (as several clubs are).

And what of Craig Whyte? We speak frequently, though as yet off the record.

In all our dealings he has remained adamant that, as the major shareholder, he wants a return. Clearly, Bill Miller is openly antagonistic to Craig Whyte personally and financially – the Miller plan is designed to squeeze Whyte out. Put two and two together and you can quickly work out how all this is playing chez Whyte.

So be in no doubt, huge obstacles are being ignored in public by the administrators of Rangers, Duff & Phelps, who never mentioned by name either Craig Whyte or the major creditors, Ticketus or (incredibly) the taxman, in their press-diktat on Thursday at Ibrox. Funny, that.

So here, with apologies to Jonathan Swift, is A Modest Proposal. Crazy, I know, but I’m going to imagine a world where Scottish football is about sport, sporting values – integrity, morality, justice – all the kinds of things people care so much about in Scotland but see so little debated in their media.

The Scottish media, many clubs and all kinds of powerful voices seem to want Rangers kept in the Premier League at all costs. Life itself appears untenable without this. To any outsider, looking beyond money, this is ludicrous. Why?

If Rangers lost the (currently unmentioned) Big Tax Case, what’s the point of staying, without European football, with a wrecked squad in the SPL?

Why not (assuming by some miracle the Miller idea even works) opt to start with the new Rangers (Newco) at the bottom of the Scottish football league and work your way back?

Thus Rangers would be morally unimpeachable. They’d send a memorable message that Scottish football has, after all, got integrity. Newco and Oldco “cleaned up” at a stroke. Uefa proud, delighted and trumpeting the Rangers stance to Fifa and beyond.

Moreover, if my Scottish football-watchers are right, they’d be back at or near SPL status around the expiry of the Uefa ban. They’d attract new, affordable young talent whose agents would sniff European competition just around the corner.

So what if the TV deal goes into the ground? Either Scottish football runs Scottish football or the toxic hand of Rupert Murdoch does? Time to decide.

Were I a Rangers fan, were this my beloved Newcastle United, I’d be actively campaigning for this. The way to cleanse Rangers, cleanse Scottish football and cleanse big sporting governance in this country. The way for fans who don’t walk away to stay with a club they – and all of us – would be rightly proud of.

Or fight on, toxic, tainted and hated in the SPL – a club without an ounce of sporting integrity, helped back in by others who see only money and the short-term.

And likely the cause of significant fan protest and boycotts as well.

The choice for Rangers, football governance, sport and – yes – politics in Scotland is obvious. If Rangers really is “part of the fabric of Scottish life” as First Minister Alex Salmond says, let that fabric be about values supremely, not money.

Sport celebrates competition – business seeks to eliminate it.

This is the time for leadership, from Scottish football’s governing bodies, from the chairmen of the SPL clubs – but above all from Rangers Football Club.

As yet, I see little sign of leadership emerging, of men who see values, not just figures.

Tweets by @alextomo

134 reader comments

  1. tiltic says:

    Again well said. However the SPl like much of the developed world is guided by chasing the buck.They don’t want to listen to the fans much like most governments don’t listen to their electorate.All our lives are much poorer for it.

  2. Angie says:

    I think you would find a lot of Rangers fans believe they should go to the 3rd Division too Alex. Super Ally has said it too so it must be true.

  3. Paul N says:

    Nailed it, Alex !

  4. Rangers Till July says:

    Excellent blog as usual Alex

  5. Mark says:

    It seems incredible to me knowing how morally corrupt those running the game have been shown to be. No supporter of any club outside Rangers, is important and by inference rational enough to have their opinion recognised. Its a wonder they don’t expect us to doff our flat caps and tug our forelocks. It seems to me that the SPL are floundering in a morass of their own inaction, going back decades.

  6. MosesMcNeil says:

    Why have you omitted the fact that the vast majority of Rangers fans have been calling for the club to go to Div3 for weeks now? We accept the need to be penalised despite the fact that WE were not complicit. Every single one of us would do our utmost to restore the honour of our great club that has been let down by so-called ‘captains of industry’.

    Once again you are trolling forums and REPORTING OLD NEWS. What a half-wit.

    How is the police investigation into the alledged assault threat going by the way? I hear you were frightened of the tooth-fairy too.

  7. Lord Wobbly says:

    The argument for allowing Newco to parachute directly into the SPL is for money. But has anyone stopped to think what level of cash would be generated by a Newco living within its means? It would certainly be nothing like Rangers in their financially manipulated pomp. Regardless of what form Rangers takes in the next three or four years, the club will be severely hamstrung with a poorer product on the park as a result. If history tells us anything, it is that Rangers fans will not turn up if they are not winning.
    Newco must apply to join the Scottish football ladder at the bottom rung and, if accepted, work its way up. Within its means.

  8. doug says:

    Rangers in division 3 would suit Rangers and other division 3 clubs, no-one else.
    As a Rangers fan I would welcome it.

  9. Dundee Dave says:

    Excellent blog Alex.

    I’m a Dundee Utd fan and I cannot believe that SPL chairmen are actually considering allowing Newco Rangers back into the SPL.

    You mention that the TV deal hinges around the product of 4 Old Firm games a season. Does this mean that no matter what happens to Rangers the SPL will ensure that they make it into the top six?

    Why should I pay £300 for a season ticket to watch a league where my team are not on a level playing field with others? Surely there must be harsh punishment for living outside your means.

    Such short term sightedness may cause many fans (like myself) to leave this ‘sport’ altogether.

  10. IndefiniteArticle says:

    Well said sir. If only the journalists (not only sports!!)in Scotland printed the truth then this shambles could may well have been averted.

  11. quickdraw says:

    Excellent summary. Finally someone in the mainstream giving voice to the views of the vast majority of the fans of Scottish football.

    The money men lookingat short term financial projections could deal a fatal blow to Scottish football. We have an ideal opportunity to remake our game but that’s going to be squandered for the sake of a few quid.

  12. alec lindsay says:

    alec i sat two seats away from you at parkhead last week you are a very fair man who speaks the truth a breath of fresh air in scotland ive been a season ticket holder there since 89 if a newco waltz right back in scottish footballs finished i wont be going back to get cheated at every turn by a morally corrupt spl and rangers football club but thanks for putting this in the spotlight

  13. Richie. says:

    Spot on, Alex. don’t let go now. Hear Daly from the Beeb is joining in. you need to make sure this is your story. It is the biggest sports scandal of all time. go get em.

  14. adundeemonkey says:

    All I can say Alex is thanks for making the effort. I fear though that Scottish football is on the cusp of dying. Scottish football is corrupt to it’s core. As a Dunfermline Fan i am proud that my club has came out and said that a NewCo Rangers should not gain entry directly into the SPL.

    I also do not understand why HMRC are standing back and letting this happen. Surely they should be able to step in and prevent the assets being moved out of their reach?

    I hope the SPL owners do the right thing, but sadly i think it is too late.

  15. Joe Mckenna says:

    Excellent piece Alex…….excellent!

  16. Nuclear Sheep says:

    Excellent piece of work, very well written. That is exactly how I feel about the situation. It would seem Scottish Football’s destiny lies in the hands of ten chairmen. How will they be remembered?

    I think that they will probably cancel once more and wait for Hector the Hangman to decide.

  17. Slaneybhoy says:

    I don’t think Rangers should be allowed to stay in SPL , they should be relegated to the 3rd teir of Scottish football , it’s a matter of principal ! I hope the law change means they still have to pay the full amount back to the tax man! They think they will wake through the leagues I’d love to see them try !

  18. john clarke says:

    Another excellent piece.
    If only our football authorities and civic leaders had had ‘sport celebrates competition-business seeks to eliminate it’ inscribed in their hearts this horrendous mess would not have arisen.
    The really guilty men have still to be pilloried and made to feel the anger of so many at the huge trouble they have caused.
    In other walks of life ( e.g. banking) formal honours have been stripped for large scale wrong-doing. Sir David Murray’s mismanagement of RFC(IA) is not, of course, on the same scale as Fred Goodwin’s, but he ought not be allowed to pass the buck to a minor character.

  19. 2 Canadian soldiers says:

    Thanks for the post,Alex. Your analysis is correct,it probably is ‘all about the money’,but at the same time I can’t help thinking there’s more to it.
    I grew up in Glasgow in the 60’s and 70’s so I’m well aware of the ‘establishment’ and how they perceive themselves, the peeple if you like.
    Could be a perfect time to redress the balance but I won’t be holding my breath.

  20. SanguinePar says:

    Great post Alex, amazed there are no comments on it. You’ve nailed the issue and the correct course of action.

    Arguments (actually threats) about how Rangers leaving the SPL would hurt the other clubs (and Scottish football generally) hold no weight. They certainly weren’t being deployed when Rangers (and Celtic) were trying to head to any league that would take them.

    One little exception to the line about “Scottish football clubs know there’s a thing called integrity out there but it’s money that matters.” – Dunfermline’s John Yorkston spoke in today’s Scotland on Sunday about sporting integrity mattering more to him than the finances – http://t.co/SLwMBT0e. Possibly worth adding as an honourable exception.

  21. Armed Forces says:

    Excellent article, “Scottish football clubs know there’s a thing called integrity out there but it’s money that really matters”, perfectly sums up this sad state of affairs.

    1. Marty says:

      Kind of suns up the world in gemneral. It’s called realism. If you’d rather get hysterical because you want a certain team to be hammered, so be it.

    2. LawArab says:

      Miller time…..

      Peoples jobs & mortgages relied on the tax Rangers didn’t pay too.

      I’ve had enough. I will not be attending another SPL game.

  22. andy meighan says:

    another great article from mr thompson these r the questions the scottish media should b asking but will never so thank u for doing there job

  23. mac says:

    Spot on Alex – well said. Why does it need an Englishman to state the bloomin obvious?

    1. Professor R Goldberg says:

      Because all the Scottish journalists are scared of losing their jobs. If they were to admit this, I’d have some sympathy for them. But they won’t. It’s all about the future of Scottish football. No it not. It’s about their future that they are worried, and the exposure of their relationship with the press.

  24. andrew meighan says:

    ther is a video on my time line if u had 2 mins to look at from the last old firm game wich has been sent to strathclyde police bbc and itv at inept of such police force with regarding secterian sing ing this is scotland and to its shame will never change thanks

  25. Parsfan says:

    Another fine unbiased blog there Alex. Oh for journalism of this standard amongst the Glasgow media in this country.
    At least one SPL chairman, John Yorkston, has broken ranks today though; in the Scotland on Sunday interview he’s quite clear in that he wouldn’t be supporting Govan Newco getting the league share.
    Don’t imagine that any of the rest of the chairmen will have the balls to follow his leadership there though.

    1. Chris says:

      Did you hear Niel Donchaster on Clyde Superscoardboard tonight….. I was beside myself, and really just underlines what Alex has said.

    2. KPN says:

      Sorry to shoot you when you’re (as good as) down, but would that be the same John Yorkston who will next season be a chairman in the First Division? Pretty easy for him to break ranks.

    3. macscotieuk says:

      Call me cynical but Yorkston can afford to break ranks as it was obvious that Dunfermline were getting relegated. I’m certain it would have been different if they were staying up

    4. Paisley Saint Doug says:

      I am glad Yorkston has spoken out and wish Stewart Gilmour at my own club would do the same, however, Yorkston could look a bit opportunist given that Dunfermline are the club currently in the relegated spot and have nothing to lose from hoping to see RFC relegated in their stead.

  26. Concerned says:

    Alex, you speak of a one year player buying ban but as far as I was aware this is actually an embargo on registering players over the age of 18. Could you use your influence to find out if this would include the ‘zombie Rangers’ registering ‘toxic old Rangers’ players to the new club? My reading of the situation is that the players would have to be registered again to the new club.

    1. Carntyne says:

      Rangers present squad are on 25% of their full wage at the moment.

      This reverts to full 100% wages on June 1st.

      Rangers are and will be unable to pay the players full wages so those players will be free to find other clubs.

      So no need to worry about players signing for NewCo.

    2. FraserP says:

      They would also have to be paid. What is Miller proposing to pay them with if all the season ticket money has to be paid to Ticketus? Or even if he only has legitimate income with which to pay them sustainable wages, not excessive borrowings and EBTs? Toxic old Rangers players will show their loyalty to the club – and go elsewhere.

    3. macscotieuk says:

      My reading of it is that “oldco” Rangers would be barred from registering players but there is no ban on a “newco” Rangers. a Newco Rangers wouldn’t have broken any rules therefore they couldnt be punished under the current rules

      1. Bruce says:

        When it was announced, it was explicitly stated that the ban would apply to Newclub.

  27. John Murray says:

    I wholeheartedly agree Alex and I thank you for taking time to shine a light on the shameful and amoral shenanigans we are currently witnessing in Scottish football.
    I can only hope that M Platini is keeping a close eye on this and is preparing to act as it appears certain that the SPL chairmen will allow a liquidated Rangers to remain in the SPL.
    I do not see how these chairmen can be allowed to participate in such decision-making as there is a clear financial conflict of interest for them in making a decision based on sporting integrity or naked commercial self-interest.
    One other interesting point to note – if New Rangers field an under-18 team in the SPL next season and are flirting with relegation, will the SPL chairmen change the rules to prevent New Rangers falling out of the SPL. Or will they instruct their players to let New Rangers win against them, thus ensuring they are not relegated.
    I agree with Alex that the best way out of this shambles is for Rangers to voluntarily go to SFL Div 3.
    I hope that there is sufficient integrity within the Rangers management team and support for this to happen. However, the disgraceful public utterances of Messrs McCoist and Jardine in the last week do not fill me with confidence.

  28. Miller time says:

    Mr Thomson it is well known that 4 maybe 5 spl clubs could go bust if Rangers are not in the spl that is why most if not all will vote for Rangers to ratain it’s league place. If there was not any risk to jobs or clubs then we would not be voted back in but that is not the case.

    It’s ok for you sitting behind a computer telling people what to do, but are you or anyone else going to pay people’s bills or mortgages when clubs fold and they don’t have jobs?

    What if Sky took over CH4 and in doing so it would cost 500 people at your organinsation their jobs? would you vote for this if it was up to you.

    It’s ok for some rich news reporter to tell people what to do but in the real world people need to feed familes and pay bills, the spl is not like the epl very few players are on huge money outside Rangers and Celtic. As for the non playing staff at clubs try telling their kids they can’t go on holiday or get new clothes cause their parents have no jobs.

    1. Ignoranceisnodefence says:

      And at the same time as telling their family and kids they wont be going on holiday or be getting new clothes……….they should make sure they tell them it was because their employer and the team they were so loyal to didn’t pay their bills, lived outside their means, cheated unswervingly for year after year, left others families with no money and without a care, operated tax avoidance schemes, and those that should have questioned it had their heads up their own backside— including themselves!

    2. Sandy says:

      Nonsense. Hamilton, Inverness and Dunfermline have all been relegated from the SPL in the past few years, thus losing home games against both Celtic and Rangers, and none of them have gone bust. Hysterical scare mongering isn’t going to help your case to be let off with more than a decade of cheating.

    3. Cheats seldom prosper says:

      Going bust ? How many teams who have been relegated from the SPL have gone bust ? Ross County ? No. Raith Rovers, No. Hamilton Accies No.

    4. Yarmy says:

      What about the numerous creditors who are about be stiffed for zero pence in the pound? What about their employees and their mortgages and bills? What about the 75m+ that you, me, and everyone else on here and in Britain is owed?
      Pay your debts or take your medicine: it’s simple.

    5. Neil says:

      Is it well known that 4 maybe 5 spl clubs couldn’t go bust if Rangers ARE in the SPL?

    6. Brian (Irvine '90) says:

      Where is your evidence for this Miller Time?….

      Its OK, I’ll answer for you… You have none!

      SPL clubs would simply cut their cloth to suit.

      Do yourself a favour and stop reading Glasgow-centric redtops. Sporting integrity at any cost or all is lost.

    7. AJ Dons says:

      There were no tears from the Rangers fans or the media when Sir David Murray sold the merchandise rights to JJB. Hundreds of employees from Rangers stores lost their jobs and their was no ‘fighting fund’ to compensate them. As long as Rangers were winning titles- by hook or by crook- the masses were happy. A club with no class, no morals and no dignity.

      The clubs in the SPL, Celtic included, will have to cut their cloth accordingly, just as they did when Setanta went bust. It will be painful, established players will be sold and youth players will be promoted. If that is the price of the league retaining any shred of credibility then so be it. Otherwise, close the doors as the SPL will forever be tainted by the stench of corruption

    8. Yojimbo56 says:

      Miller time,

      Tell all thi to David Murray not Alex Thomson!

    9. Carntyne says:

      Nice sob story on behalf of Rangers F.C.

      Putting businessmen in prison for fraud could also mean redundancies at the business they own.

      Those people also won’t be able to pay their mortgages.

      If we applied this across the board no one would be punished for wrongdoing.

      But I’m sure you think Rangers ‘are different.’

    10. Stop Being Deluded says:

      Miller Time, would you care to explain how every single year a team leaves the league that contain both Celtic AND Rangers yet they do not go bust?

      No team needs you, no team wants you, rot in hell RFC

    11. Neil says:

      Is it well known that 4 maybe 5 spl clubs would NOT go bust if Rangers WERE in the SPL? I think not!
      If they then go bust when Rangers are demoted then of course it will be everyone else’s fault for not bending over backwards to keep the cheats in the top flight when realistically, the financial damage to these clubs was done in previous seasons when they were trying to compete in a fair manner against opponents who were not.

    12. Duff Twatter says:

      What utter nonsense! As many smarter people than me have pointed out, this is the same argument as saying “Billy beats his wife and abuses his kids, but we dare not put Billy in jail because he’s the main breadwinner in the family and they’d go hungry without him.”

      There are times that integrity and justice need to come before financial concerns, and this is one.

    13. Estoril says:

      The amount of debt owed by rangers would cover sky money over almost 15 years. If rangers pay their bills and due taxes then think of the number of jobs this would create/save. This is a problem of rangers making and they are making absolutely no attempt to rectify it nor show any remorse, actually they are being quite bullish amazingly, only in Scotland.

    14. Seanthesheep says:

      Absolute scaremongering by the media. Teams that get relegated seem to survive without Rangers. I know for a fact my team would survive without Rangers. I don’t think ANYBODY believes the media driven line “we need Rangers” anymore!

      If Rangers Newco did by some chance get voted back in then Scottish football will be destroyed!

    15. jasbhoy says:

      OK Mr Miller Time, all very admirable that you feel keeping Rankers in the SPL through all the tax dodging and cheating would do the other clubs a favour? what about all the 200 odd businesses who have to lay off staff (including other football teams Europewide) because of Rankers’ failure to pay them what they owe? just a note to the other SPL chairmen, if you think losing Rankers’ fans twice a season would put you out of business, just think what you’ll do when Celtic fans decide to boycott your home fixtures for the foreseeable future? IMO integrity always outweighs finance, but apparently not in the most bigoted wee country in the world.
      It would’ve been admirable if these clubs could dump Rankers, keep the integrity, cut their cloth accordingly and maybe, just maybe, win a trophy and/or qualify for Europe which would make up for any financial shortfall, ignore your own fans at your peril.
      I hope to god Mr Platini is watching these shenanigans and that Celtic can find a way out of this cesspit of a footballing tinpot backwater.

      1. Tom Hall says:

        If Celtic do find a way out of the SPL, I hope it doesn’t involve playing anywhere in England. I saw Celtic’s fans in action in London a few times when I worked on London Underground. It got to the point where we station staff would try to time one or two days of annual leave to coincide with the Boys visiting London, if we could. The stories we heard through the grapevine about Celtic’s visit to White Hart Lane a few years are not for the fainthearted. No, you stay out of England, because we sure don’t want you. We don’t want Rangers either, but I’m assuming that won’t happen.

    16. John Sloan says:

      I understand the frustration of clubs maybe losing income and having to “cut there cloth to suit” in future but Rangers have already done that to many small businesses and the public purse which I’ve already heard has led to job losses and also house repossessions

    17. Hydraargyrum says:

      By risking the ire of UEFA then I could argue that more than just 4 or 5 clubs could be lost….. Is this a risk that is acceptable to bail-out one particular club’s self-inflicted financial meltdown? I also say this as a Kilmarnock supporter, will knowing my side could well be the first to go to the wall.

    18. Althetim says:

      Miller time

      “it is well known that 4 maybe 5 clubs could go bust if Rangers are not in the spl….”

      Nonsense. It is only “well known” because Ally McCoist says so. I believe Ally may have ulterior motives for spouting this rubbish but do yourself a favour, don’t swallow it.

      Rangers(IA) have a hugely exaggerated opinion of their worth to Scottish football. NOT ONE club has gone bust as a direct result of being relegated from the SPL. They may have to downsize but certainly no more than Rangers(IA) do.

      Accept the situation. Scottish football does not NEED Rangers(IA). The vast majority of Scottish football fans don’t WANT them either.

      Your reference to paying bills is rather ironic Miller time, considering what landed Rangers(IA) in the soft and smelly in the first place.

      Liquidate and start again, from the bottom. Assuming of course the SFL create a space.

      Keep up the good work Alex, this disgrace has to be brought to the attention of a wider audience.

    19. scottishstephen says:

      But any club going bust could do a rangers though. So why are the other clubs worried

    20. George Bailey says:

      Scottish football is not run for the benefit of 5 or 6 clubs. If football clubs are run so badly that their survival is dependent upon the existence of one other club then changes are needed structurally as it is only a matter of time before their position becomes untenable.

      If you look at the average crowds of these clubs it would take a modest increase in attendances per game to balance any temporary loss of income from RFC supporters. Increasing home supporters through the gate are the future for all clubs.

      As for TV, this only accounts for a %age of SPL income and is heavily weighted towards the Old Firm. In the absence of RFC a greater split of a smaller pot may not be the worst scenario either. This would also be the opportunity to approach TV companies on the basis of providing an increasingly competitive product. Who is to say the best deal has been obtained so far? Giving the desperation for cash are we sure we are currently receiving full value.

      I’d like to know where penalising Rangers for their blatant disregard for fair competition, integrity and creditors will cost 500 jobs?

  29. AMS says:

    As usual you shamelessly pilfer ideas carried in the scottish media you so blatantly plagarise. This has all been written countless times Alex. But your approach appears to be that, until you have written something it’s not a story. Your ego is quite something.

    1. Yarmy says:

      Deflect, deny, ad hominem attack. Predictable.

      Pay your debts or take your medicine.

    2. Euan says:

      Alex Thomson has actually reported on a current event. The ‘Scottish media’you refer to is interesting, the last time I checked there wasn’t much of a credible line of mainstream newspapers/tv news up here in relation to the corruption happening in our game.

      This journalist doesn’t have an ego, he has the intelligence to report what your ‘media’ prefers to ignore, it is an overwhelmingly good thing to have the coverage, I feel it has supported a growing common movement amongst non OF fans.

      Boycott’s are being discussed within every club fanbase more and more each day, laughably, within Rangers as well.

      I am sure Alex Thomson will continue to offer an un-biased, intelligent review.Hopefully you won’t have hurt his feelings just too much with your drivel.

      COYR.

    3. jinky44 says:

      AMS

      Wake up and smell the coffee!! Rangers have disgraced Scotland,disgraced Scottish football on a massive scale in different forms. From “winning” trophys by spending money they didnt have not even the infamous tenner. Keeping PAYE payments, not paying income tax,oweing transfer money to clubs all over the world.

      Then you get parades to Hampden in protest about the punishment they themselves agreed too.

      What a pityful lot they are!!

  30. Davy says:

    Alex, What is the prospect of them being stripped of all titles during the cheating years?

  31. Nick says:

    Seems to be the best way now for Rangers to retain some dignity; fight back from the third. Public opinion is well and truly against any SPL parachute deal..it’s time to stop this fiasco and move on.

  32. Broomhill Dons says:

    Can we knock this on the head about Scottish football dying without Rangers in the SPL. The shortfall in crowds and reduced TV money,through a revised deal,will be more than made up from the increase in support of between 500-1000 per game driven by a highly competitive SPL,which if it consisted of 14 clubs,
    would reintroduce latent big supports from teams such as Dundee, Falkirk etc!

  33. petescully says:

    Alex, Sir. its about saving face.
    The result is all that matters.
    Rangers and there fans, love a fix, by fix i mean,
    they will look you right in the eye, and tell you its all in your head,nothing wrong hear.
    and when you understand, when they know, you know
    that’s what makes them special, that’s what rocks there boat.

  34. Vlad says:

    Hearing the TRUTH from a non Glasgow based journalist is very refreshing. Thank you from the rest of Scotland.

  35. Neil says:

    Surely having a Newco Rangers starting in division 3 would be good for Scottish football as a whole. There will be a few seasons of extra publicity and revenue for the lower leagues which could help the game immensely. Rangers will be seen serving their punishment while spreading their love all round small town Scotland. The SPL may earn a modicum of respect from non-Rangers fans. Clubs in the SPL will have a chance of winning stuff.
    The positives outweigh the negatives massively.

  36. Gaavster says:

    On top of this Alex, there are flyers circulating from the ‘Jardine Camp’ urging Rangers fans to boycott all away matches next season, ‘because of the way they’ve been treated’ if they retain SPL status….

    You really couldn’t make this up…

    Disgusted Killie fan (yes at Rangers and Michael Johnston)

  37. patrick h says:

    Alex I have waited years for a report like that to appear.
    You sir are a credit to your profession I DOFF MY CAP TO YOU.
    Altough mentioning Rangers the SFA & the SPL along with the words sporting values, integrity, morality & justice shows you still have a wee bit of work to do. :)
    KEEP SHINING THE LIGHT OF TRUTH & JUSTICE ON THEM ALEX,
    I could say so much more but two simple words cover it Alex THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. Drue Bremner says:

    What would happen if the ordinary person in the street decided to stop paying tax? Jail? Fine? Both? Rangers have cheated the SPL and the opposition for years and it’s the scale of the despite that could save them. Fans across the land have had the chance of any glory robbed from them and these clubs should be asking for compensation not voting to keep their assassins in the same league. How much money has been lost over the years from Cup runs, winning the League, runs in Europe? That’s what we should be getting back and Rangers stripped of EVERY SINGLE Cup and Title they ever won during that time, they should be paying every club cheated from that revenue and if that means they never kick another ball as Glasgow Rangers FC then so be it……. It’s the very least they should be paying!

  39. Malcolm says:

    The irony, of course, is that if the value of the TV deal drops like a stone without Rangers, it is the other clubs who have been parasitic on the Old Firm, and their supporters, for years. But what price the Third Division TV deal next season?

  40. tambo says:

    This is the corruption that governs Scottish football Alex.

    There is nothing new here I`m afraid.

    1. BillCo says:

      Vladimir Romanov has been ridiculed since he took over hearts for saying the same thing: Mafia and Media Monkeys. Damned right, he was too!

  41. Deansy says:

    Miller time – I can’t see SKY buying C4 because C4 have NOT PAID THEIR TAXES so that they HAVE to be sold, do you ?.
    And as for “but in the real world people need to feed familes and pay bills” – Well in the real world, governments need TAXES PAID to help the country operate so that jobs can be created/maintained to enable people to feed their families, pay their bills AND THEIR TAXES, hospitals can be kept going, vital public services can continue etc, etc. Governments DO NOT expect THEIR taxes to help fund a football teams need for trophies !!.
    This whole situation is rangers fault – NO-ONE else. Rangers owe EVERYONE in Scotland £20 so it’s DO THE CRIME – DO THE TIME !!

  42. Billy Carlin says:

    These people that say 4 or 5 clubs would go bust if Rangers are shoved out of the SPL are condoning theft. If Rangers are allowed to stay these other clubs will copy Rangers and rip off their creditors in the way that Rangers are aiming to do. If Rangers cannot pay their debts to their creditors then they should sell off their assets to pay what they can and liquidate – anything else like transfering assets to another newco and liqidating the old is just theft and fraud. They should not get away with this – no-one else would and these other teams would just follow suit and rip off their creditors.

  43. Roy says:

    I’ll say this as a Rangers fan, if we end up in division 3 it’ll be for pure footballing reasons determines by either sanctions or what kind of squad we’re going to end up with.

    There simply isn’t a club owner in existence that is going to choose the morally correct choice over the financially correct choice. To believe any club would do this is ridiculously naive and ignorant. Ignorant to the fact that football is close to being more of a business these days than it is a sport.

    It’s easy to sit behind a computer and romanticise about taking the moral high ground but in the real world morality cannot be and is not the only factor, in business epecially.

  44. florian albert says:

    Anybody journalist who writes about ‘my beloved Newcastle United’ – or Celtic/Arsenal/Tranmere Rovers, should be punished by being waterboarded with lumpy custard and then sent for remedial training to the Sunday Post.

  45. The Iceman says:

    You are right Alex. But this is Scotland and Rangers are the people.This is still the 18th century and this is still about the inculcation of an anti-catholic Scotland – That aspect explains the inexplicable here. It is simply unthinkable for many in this country that a club with catholic origins becomes the undisputed major force in the National game. The bottom line is that for many – possibly most – of those involved in the governance of Scottish football – their allegiance is firstly to Rangers and only secondly to the game.

    It’s not actually about money at all – the damage caused financially by losing RFC is probably equivalent to the damage that will be caused by the loss of income from CFC fans boycotting all away venues indefinitely – and they will – and possibly all fans boycotting the national side – coupled with the unquantifiable risks of UEFA action. Financially the only smart move is also the right one legally.

    This is about the preservation of a sectarian supremacist institution in Scotland and nothing else. The absence of this in your otherwise excellent blog is the explanation of all of the actions both of the football authorities and of the MSM in Scotland

  46. George says:

    Four or five teams going bust if Rangers get put down to Division 3. Who’s kidding who.

    Name the last team to get relegated from the SPL / Premier league to the 1st division who went bust.

    The drop in income is much bigger with little or no tv revenue and no big gates from the old firm or anyone else.

    Hibs, Dundee United, Dunfermline, St Johnstone Dundee, Falkirk…. i think they all still exist.

    More scare tactics from the west

  47. michael mccahill says:

    Well said Alex, excellent work just wish you had come to investigate sooner or wish the Scottish press would grow a set…balls…

  48. Jam says:

    Forgetting that Rangers haven’t actually been found guilty yet aren’t we all? Don’t be so eager to jump on a bandwagon and grab the pitchforks. Scottish football would be NOTHING without both of the old firm teams.

    Also, nice link between football and people who force children to fight in war. These articles make me sick, and it’s high time “journalism” like this was called out for the one-sided drivel it really is.

    Enjoy your Sunday league love affair…

    1. John Reid says:

      Jam, are you serious? Rfc have appealed against the decision! Readit agian and then think before you reply! Appealed!! Rfc have already been found guilty, hence appealing against the ruling? Your club has been caught with it’s hand in the cookie jar, accept it. No other fan in Scotland cares what you all ‘think’ will happen to their clubs, rfc will probably not be here so it should matter not a jot ot you iether!

  49. Rangersforever says:

    Rangers fans will largely be happy to go to DIV3. But you can bet your bottom $ Celtic will be voting for us to stay in the SPL. Hypocrites with the same lack of sporting integrity you accuse Rangers of. You need to wake up Alex nothing you say is new. You just seem to be getting fed lines by your ‘sources’. Any arrests yet re the threats?

  50. ExpatScot says:

    Miller time: Nonsense to say that just because 4 or 5 clubs “might” go bust because Rangers are no longer in the league is a good execuse to keep them there. That’s like saying we shouldn’t be arresting drug dealers because otherwise the junkies wouldn’t be able to get a fix. Here’s a great opportunity to press the reset button on Scottish football, of having teams living within their means, or fairer competition and more opportunity for teams outside of the Old Firm to win trophies and get rid of the dependency culture in Scottish football.

  51. cc says:

    Excellent article. Really sums up the feelings of all supporter outside Rangers, who let’s face it shouldn’t be trusted with a spoon let alone an opinion.

  52. Jim Wood says:

    Mr Thomson, on another site the whole affair was described as akin to ” trying to pick up a jobby(I paraphrase) by the clean end”. Enough said. Thank you for the intellect integrity and (dare I say it) dignity with which you have approached this whole fiasco.
    Keep up the good work.

  53. James says:

    “in the real world people need to feed families and pay bills” – irony at it’s very best!

  54. FraserP says:

    “Or fight on, toxic, tainted and hated in the SPL – a club without an ounce of sporting integrity…” So, no change there, then…

    Alex, everybody hates them already. A wee matter like this isn’t going to bother Rangers one bit.

  55. Dray Talon says:

    Oh dear people, come on, look at what you are saying. If Rangers stay in the SPL and fans of the other 10 clubs, excluding Celtic here, boycott games, then these other clubs will inevitably go to the dogs. Now, if Rangers drop into the lower echelon of the leagues, fans of the other 10 clubs will still flock to there grounds to watch there beloved team weeek in and week out, hoping that there team can at least try to best the other half of Glasgow and win the league, but in reality European football would be the best they can get, but hey, getting about 3,000 fans per game without Rangers is better than getting 0 fans. I, for one, say that we still need a Rangers team in the SPL for financial reasons, but i am also in agreement that they should be demoted to the 3rd division as punishment for there misdemeanors. This would of course be the integrity thing to do, but with the bigwigs all about money, then they will probably keep Rangers or a newco in the SPL for there financial gains only to realize that when the fans boycott games, this will hurt them harder than losing Rangers to the 3rd division.

  56. mark wylie says:

    If rangers newco is allowed back into the spl …..then mob rule and bully tactics work , so I ask all the fans of the other teams who have played by the rules to protest , the rules being broken , were rules that were voted in by all the teams in the spl , rangers included

  57. John Reid says:

    Great article again Alex, if only there was one person invovled with Rfc who would come out and say this?? It is the only logical/fair thing to do. I predict there will be another delay today and we will be guessing for some time to come? Pathetic, makes me ashamed to be a Scotsman!

  58. Invisible Integrity says:

    Surprised you have not been accused of been a Celtic Supporter yet, there is so much paranoia that people actually believe Craig Whyte was a Celtic supporter and it was him alone who killed of rangers. If you keep writing articles like this don’t be surprised if threats are made to your life or some suspect package is sent to you in the post, integrity in Scottish Football ? don’t make me laugh.

    All the media attention around this issue over the past few months and one person is reporting the truth – Keep up the good work

  59. Dougie says:

    If the governing bodies allow Rangers to stay in the top flight then they are directly condoning Rangers cheating ways, and making themselves as guilty in the process.

    They will share the shame.

    I truly fear for Scottish football if this happens.

    But we have seen the preamble and posturing over recent weeks and anything seems possible.

    Thanks for your article Alex, again you put Scotland’s so called journalists to the sword.

  60. George A says:

    I’m not much of a football but I have been following this whole saga since a friend alerted me to the rangerstaxcase blog.

    The same friend has just texted me that if SPL/SFA allow Rangers FC to walk away from more than a £100m of debt then this will amount to a direct subsidy to Rangers FC of at least £6,000,000 per year.

    That is a truly staggering fact and figure and you have to imagine that the European football authorities would intervene.

    Otherwise what you have is theatre rather than competition. And frankly there are better places to see drama than SPL grounds.

  61. C J says:

    Thanks for good honest reporting why has the scottish media taken a back seat in all of this they were like hungry lions when celtic nearly went to the wall before mccann took over

  62. Dave Scott says:

    The big issue, already mentioned, is whether the other SPL clubs have the ‘cojones’ to try and play on without the Ibrox-driven wonga.

    It all so much like banking on ‘futures’ and lacks humility. Just accept that the whole of Scottish, and not just Scottish, football is in a parlous state.
    If we want to save the game in Scotland we need to sweep with a new broom, and maybe revert to two ‘Leagues of 20’ – surely even a ‘new Rangers’ would welcome that – back in the top tier in a year!
    Even though we’re all meshed together and many clubs will feel it in the pocket – we cannot bail out one club no matter how ‘big’.
    Hearts and Hibs are just as old as Rangers but they would not be treated so sparingly if the same thing happened to either of them.
    Rangers have, effectively, been caught cheating and that affects us all … teams they have beaten on the way to their ‘purloined’ glory.
    As Scots, when we’re feeling independent-minded enough, bang on about the 1707 lot selling out for money … 3 centuries on and our ‘top dogs’ are still contemplating it. (I’m not making a political point here – it’s more to do with hypocrisy and double-standards)
    If we don’t have the rule of law then our whole society will be infected with corruption and then we will start crawling for money again.
    I say this without rancour to Rangers FC …. just aware that they are dragging the game and the national reputation through the mire.

  63. Agent One says:

    Hi All

    Where to start so many points on the issue of Glasgow Rangers FC that never get answered so many points that go on forever,The Big Tax Case,The Wee Tax Case,The Second Contracts,The Rules and Regulations Changes,The Challenge to the SFA from Mr Sandy Jardine with the RFF Chaps and of course ADMINISTRATION.
    Who will play who in the movie of this continuing SAGA
    I have never known so much press about a club who have Failed in so many ways. If you or I had made such a mess of our financial situation we would have been taken to task long long ago.Mr Murray lead the club down the Road of Dreams and turned it in to a Nightmare for his Loyal Fans.Where is he ? he handed it over to Mr White who is a Nightmare, where is he?.
    Administrators of Glasgow Rangers can only do what they can with the pack of cards they have before them but they will get every penny owed to them so time is of no great importance to them every day is another load of money for them.
    The Second contract is REAL its not part of any Dream it was real,away to attract players from all parts of the world to Glasgow Rangers to allow Mr Murray pursue his DREAM for his club,how else could you convince players to leave a country were tax was less on there wages to a League of poorer quality.
    Every player and every Agent and every official who had a part of completing the Player Contract would know what was in the Player Contract agreement to be lodged with The SFA and SPL as all get copies of the final contract,so to make it simple if you were to receive £20,000 a week and your Final contract only had £10,000 on it ,you would be saying,wait a minute where is my other £10,000 well we all know where it was, don’t we Boys and Girls its in the very Special Contract.

    To be continued!!!

    Agent One

  64. Jade says:

    Keep going Alex. I am very distressed at the thought of Rangers getting away with everything, it just stinks of bias. We would not be having this discussion if Celtic had cheated to sign players and win trophys. Where are UEFA in this? The SFA is a laughing stock.

  65. WeeAndyBhoy says:

    Miller time
    If the 5 or 6 SPL clubs you mention are so reliant on rangers staying in the top league, otherwise they would go bust, do you not think their business strategy is somewhat flawed??

    Dunfermline took the stance of closing one of their stands this season & moved their supporters into 2 of the other 3 stands. This was done for financial reasons & proved to be a positive step financially.

    The fact that rangers never paid the ticket money for the last game at East End Park had a devastating effect on their finances. To this day, rangers STILL haven’t paid that bill, it took the rangers supporters fund to clear that debt. Did D&P pay that money back to the supporters fund??….I think not.

    What staggers me about all of this carry on is that rangers fooball club, the directors (past & present), the management staff, the playing staff & the supporters have yet to issue any form of apology for the wrongdoings of the recent past. Instead, as soon as some action or proposed action is taken against them, everyone linked with this club feels they’re being unfairly punished

    People inside football (& people on the outside looking in) state that rangers going bust will be the death of Scottish football. For me, the actions of rangers over the past 10-20 years have DIRECTLY caused Scottish football to end up in the state it’s in.

    Perhaps taking some form of ownership of this might go some way to saving the game in Scotland, however if previous events are anything to go by, I don’t see that changing at all.

    1. Andy proffitt says:

      Weeandybhoy

      An apology from the playing staff and the supporters. What exactly would the apology be for/about?

  66. Wullie says:

    Miller – Time ?? a lot of brain cells used to think of that name eh. Maybe if your club had not cheated by using money that should have been paid to her maj (ironic eh) the other clubs would have had a better chance of winning, thus more money in their coffers. There would be no need to spend more money trying to win, or even stay on the SPL. So I cannot feel sorry for clubs that can go under for living way beyond their own means. Rangers have brought football here to its knees and should be punnished for it. If not then the whole league is a laughing stock in europe. Take the punnishment like men and rise back up if you can. And dont start your argument by crying about people loosing their jobs. The week Rangers went into administration a company in govan folded, they had more staff than all of rangers staff combined yet no uproar about them.

  67. Drew Adamson says:

    The upshot of thinking along the same lines as Michael Johnston is that, if you’re big enough, i.e. “too big to fail”, you can do what you damned well like and you’ll get away with it this time. Is that not called “bullying”. Well, we’ve already seen that with Sandy Jardine’s attempts at intimidation last weekend. Throw in All McCoist’s arrogance of last week, “We are a special case”, and I don’t seee any doubt as to the question of whether RFC have gone far too far. But what happens next time a RFC owner decides to indulge in some creative accountancy practices? Or another SPl club gets caught with its financial breeks around it knees? Same rules apply or different rules for one of the Big Two? Time to draw a line, and to hell with the consequences. If Scottish football has to cahnge dramatically to allow it to look itself in the shaving mirror, so be it. It may be the shanke up it needs. Do you wish to die on your feet or live on your knees?

  68. Mark says:

    Alex has shown more backbone and passion for sporting integrity, than the entire scottish media.
    Of course now CH4 News is being added to that wall of shame, that is the Rangers boycott list.
    And his welcome in some parts of our country will be as warm as the deep depths of space.

    Can we remember the outcry of Rangers supporters when the staff at Livingstone or Gretna were made redundant, well no, of course not.
    Nobody gave them a second thought, myself included.

    How long till the all powerful Ally puts a Fatwā on your head, only to apologise tomorrow, then recant that on Wednesday. Ally doesn’t “do” sucking up to the die hard faithful.

    I’m just glad D&P have earned every penny for their pure professionalism in dealing with their first sporting administration, oh wait.. cue the next entry on that list.

  69. Johnny says:

    delay till 30/May to make a final decision on Rangers fate. Poll over past 3 weeks show 98.7% want dermotion to 3rd div.
    Ilike byour articles Alex

  70. the Rabbi says:

    miller Time. tell me ONE club who has gone bust from being relegated from the SPL and not had to rely on FC Cheats money

  71. Ian Mac says:

    It any other organisation ignored the will of their customers as often as the SPL does, they wouls soon be out of business. Fans’ polls regularly show overwhelming support for summer football, 16 team league etc, yet the SPL chairman continue to ignore these wishes. little wonder then that the league is struggling financially. Can they not see that any financial gain accrued from admitting a newco Rangers could be wiped out at a stroke by fans’ boycotts of season-tickets, merchandise etc, or simply stopping going to games altogether. Why would fans put money into a product they see as corrupt? The lack of leadership and creative-thinking from SPL chairman on all these issues is truly depressing.

  72. El Bimbo says:

    Well said Alex,I think ur point on Sport celebrating and Business eliminating competition is spot on!We all have to deal with nonsense business ethics most of the time.(dodgy politicians/media moguls etc.)
    Sport should be an escape!!

  73. Barry says:

    This is the biggest one side load of dribble I’ve heard yet , a press conference without the conference ? Do you crazily read back the stuff you write before you print or is it just impulse posting like a quivering 14 year old girl of Facebook ?
    First off , the press conference was called to address the issue of preferred bidder not to answer questions and had you done your homework like your suppose to before you wrote this article nd took a look on STV’s web site you would have seen an exclusive interview with diff and phepls ask just such questions as you want answers for you will also find that his answer to most of the question not relating to the preferred bidder issue where answered with the same reply more to follow , Secondly had you asked your 3 insolence experts ” is it the place of the administration experts to answer such questions as , how will the toxic debt be cleaned up or how will rangers bring in money with no European football for 3 years …chance are try would have told you to stick your question where the sun don’t shine !
    It is the place of Mr Bill Miller to however answer these questions and giving he hasn’t taken control of ten club yet I feel he doesn’t need to tell anyone anything as yet , not until he knows for certain that all he need to do is sign the papers .
    While I agree with your statement that the Scottish governing body have to make a stand on the administration issues , I think it’s misconceived and ill informed to assume to punish clubs heavier for struggling financially in a time where the economy is at its worst in over 50 years and when you glance at other associations across our border name your own EFA while imposing penelties on the club they also helped as much as they possible could to give teams like Portsmouth the second chance they possible deserve to sort things out , even if it was only to lift the transfer ban for 2 weeks to allow players to be sold to make funds available .

    Irresponsible reporting and as someone else has already said this has already been covered a number of times in the Scottish press

    And another thing to all asking the question about history etc … The reason the history and titles stay with the club is the registered number ( membership ) for rangers FC will remain with the newco not the Trading number . And to answer your question about titles being stripping for the “cheating years ” .1) you won’t know until end of tax case if it was even the cheating years 2) even if they do lose case No they won’t be stripped of the titles as they didn’t bribe any officials take any dives or throw games so in footballing terms ….Rangers never cheated ever

  74. db says:

    This blog should be forwarded to the hierarchy of every club in Scotland and also to the Scottish football authorities.

  75. Max Bhoys says:

    As a Celtic fan, I have little sympathy for the position they find themselves in. The circumstances which have brought their possible demise has occured because their long-standing flouting of financial regulations for footbal clubs, by means of secret player contacts and tax evasion. These methods have been in operation long before the advent of Craig Whyte; at least over 12 years.
    Their is no doubt that Craig Whtye is a man of questionable business practices, something aparently missed by the Scottish football media when he took over the club, conveniently one could surmise. Craig Whyte for is the “patsy” for the misdemeanours of Rangers FC. The previous owner must take the responsibilities for the arrogant disregard of the rules.
    From all of this, the SPL & SFA, and possibly UEFA, must decide how Rangers FC are to be punished. If precedent is applied, they should be demoted to the bottom tier of Scottish football, like Gretna & Livingston.
    Even as a Celtic supporter, I recognise the detrimental and more importantly the financial impact on the SPL’but they have to be punished.
    Given all considerations, I suggest the following:
    1) The SPL & SFA should declare all trophies won 1999 should be declared null and void.
    2) In lieu of being demoted 3 divisions, they should be deducted 10 points for the next 3 seasons.
    3) The transfer embargo should remain until all outstanding monies are paid to the clubs owed. This should apply whether its Rangers FC, Rangers Newco, whatever.
    These sanctions would limitthe financial impact on the SPL but would demonstrate that Rangers have been punished.

  76. AD says:

    John Yorkson, Dunfermline chairman, who publicly spoke out against the rfc(ia) debacle stating he would vote to demote them now cannot as the meeting has been rescheduled for 30th May and it looks like Dunfermline will be relegated from the SPL and as a consequence he will lose his vote on the issue…timing is everything.

    Jim Ballantyne who is president of the SFL was in full support of rfc(ia)and said football needs rangers in this article…..

    http://www.acadvertiser.co.uk/coatbridge-airdrie-sport/2012/02/22/chairman-says-scottish-football-needs-rangers-65864-30376865/#.T6gm6FLLC5c.twitter

    Strange that, because he had NO sympathy for another club, Livingston, in 2009 when they were DEMOTED for ‘breaching the leagues insolvency rules.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/scottish/livingstone-only-have-themselves-to-blame-for-demotion-1768032.html

    What hypocrisy and duplicity!! The game is rotten to the very core in Scotland.

    AD

  77. michael D says:

    mr Miller oh what irony. You do realise that rangers failed to pay bills and infact continue to do so. so much so that your own admin. have stated that the tax money will in all probability not be paid. Potentially 75m worth. GONE teacher,nurses wages etc. All this because Rangers craved success and the fans and a compliant media backed them to the hilt. time to accept that old rangers are , or rather should be dead and buried in the 3rd division at best.

  78. Bill says:

    Rangers are the sole perpetrators of their own demise. There is no moral or lawful argument that supports their claim to remain in the SPL – none at all. Unless the SPL chairmen grow a pair and vote for integrity over self interest then Scottish football is on the road to ruin and only their actions can help save the day.

  79. Liam says:

    Again today we have a lack of leadership from the people reported to be the administrators of our national sport.

    What I would like to have answered is this:

    If the SPL/SFA and other teams in the Premier League cannot live without Rangers in the top flight due to money constrains and the SPL/SFL uphold their original threat of a transfer embargo, leaving Rangers only a squad of 17/18 year olds, who, then struggle in the Premier League and find themselves facing relegation, will the SFA/SPL and the other clubs agree to not have them leave the league and instead will another club be sent down a division or will a promoted club be denied access to the top tier?

    The Roy Orbison song in my head will just not go away…..Just running scared each place we go….ahhhhhh

  80. Will says:

    What papers do you read AMS? Scottish media wouldnt print this because the blue half of Glasgow woudl take offence & boycott the paper(s) that did. Therein lies the problem in Scotland. If a non Old Firm fan voices an anti old-firm opinion, they are against them, against Scottish football and just jealous that their side cant compete. The reason 4/5 clubs are at risk of going bust is because they have tried to compete on a financial level & failed. The reason other clubs like Aberdeen have had years in the wilderness is because they woke up 10 years ago and smelt the coffee. They realised that they could never compete financially, so started takling their debts then and instead invested in youth. They brought in a wage cap thats lead to many players leaving the club (Kari Arnasson at the end of this season included). Truth of the matter is that an SPL with a Rangers U18 team would be as well being an SPL without Rangers. There thouasnds of extra away fans that they bring – are they really going to head up to Dingwall on a Wednesday night in Novemeber to see their side? Hardly. And what of the first Old Firm game of the season? It really will be men against boys!
    I actually take teh view that the whole of Scottish football would benefit with newco starting in Division 3. For one thing, it would give Rangers a new cup to play for for 3 seasons – winning it their fans would then have a new chant, theyve won a cup Celtic havent!!! Also – the 3 years transfer embargo would allow them to climb the leagues just in time for entering the top flight with the ability to sign overage players! It would also provide 3 years of financial support to the likes of Clyde, Stirling Albion, Stenhousemuir, Alloa & such like if these hoardes of fans that would be willing to go to Dingwall in Novemeber would be happy heading to Broadwood, Recreation Park et al. Lest us also not forget the newco Rangers would also likely have 2 trips to Hampden!! The bulk of the 30 non-SPL clubs manage their finances ok & a cup game against celtic/rangers provides revenue that lasts longer than part-payment on a marquee signing. 3 years of newco, 3 years of their fans travelling all over the country & boosting coffers would surely do more to ensure the greater long term future of Scottish football as a whole, than simply retaining them in the SPL. Also, its failed to be mentioned yet… but would newco not actually be in a position that it could apply to the bottom tier of Engish football for that long anticipated move away from Scottish football altogether?

  81. ScottishStephen says:

    If Rangers get a way with this. The game is dead. No competition. Scottish football is the biggest ponzi scheme in UK history. Except there was no nice guy asking you to invest. Your employer paid it to Rangers.

  82. Billy says:

    Jim ballantyne allegedly in directors box in belfast today Rangers v linfield wearing a rangers fighting fund badge he is president of sfl and serves on board of sfa. I don’t know the strength of this, but it must be check able .

    1. old codger says:

      Are there no ‘sellik’ directors on the same board?
      Wise up!

  83. Jimmy says:

    Alex you are just a lapdog for Speirs and McGiollobhain. Try some of your own thoughts in your next blog.

  84. Honesty In Football says:

    Alex an excellent piece.
    What is your take after yesterdays crazy delay.
    Why or what is Neil Doncaster actually doing?
    (About the so called TV deal.)
    Which by all accounts hinges on the OF guaranteed games. How in a fair sporting environment can anybody guarantee this before a ball is kicked?
    Also I hear SPL Chairmen wailing about the loss, on average of £500k if Rangers are not present.
    Surely SPL players new wage contracts could then be structured more realistically, to take into account the real value of the product. (SPL less TV money i.e. Not having to compete with the huge imbalance between the OF salaries.
    I have calculated that a drop in the guaranteed basic salary of £300 per player on average, with an uplift of 2,000 fans per home match at £20 per fan resulting from the fact that 4 / 5 teams are now having a real chance of competing at the top and the fact that matches are again being played on a home and away basis all at 3-00 o’clock Saturday kick offs. (As wanted by the majority of real attending fans>.)

    Add in a lower level of TV rights money for highlights, with a new fairer split of the money and Bingo the Books Balance.

    Imagine the bonus for the likes of Motherwell if they can progress to the group stages £23,000,000
    GULP.
    The players wages can then be redressed by bonuses for achieving better league positions, attracting higher attendances.

    Keep up the good work.

    Regards A season ticket supporter of an SFL Club.

    1. old codger says:

      You have a future in creative writing if you ever give up your day job! What an imagination.

    2. Barry says:

      Do us all a fav don’t take up a job in statistics …your calculations and theory’s are hinged on what exactly ? ? Motherwell progressing passed 3 different stages before getting into champions league group stages …and even if you do that you don’t have a support of 50k to attend the home games nor do you have a travelling support of more than 10k my point being your gate recipts wouldn’t even be close to that of the OF

      And please you think if rangers weren’t there you would have any chance of stopping Celtic winning the league ?? You all sit there and blame the old firm for the demise of your attendances etc but only need look in the mirror for that one rather than being glory hunters and only going when your team wins or plays in big games ….your gate recipts tell the tale of every other clubs demise outside the old firm . I’ll put my weeks wage on the line you can’t pick a home game out of this season where you had a higher attendance than when either half of the OF where there evern your local derby games which should be your highest attendance every year ! And that there ls your prob with competing with old firm , you either don’t have a big enough stadium to draw a big enough income or you don’t fill it ever week , looks at season rangers had …worst in history year every home game over 40k you do the maths for that at £25 a ticket ;)

  85. Paisley Saint Doug says:

    Hi Alex, yet again your blog raises a lot of issues which the mainstream reports are missing out. As a St Mirren fan I would love it if you can help shed some light on some actual facts and figures about how much money clubs earn from Rangers being part of the SPL as it seems lots of the papers are happy to give ex-Rangers players like Andy Goram pages of space to make claims that the other clubs need Rangers financially but Rangers don’t need them. As far as I can see, as a club in the bottom 6 of the SPL, St Mirren have had 1 home game against Rangers, which was live on ESPN on Christmas Eve, for which St Mirren a sthe home club received a massive £0 fee for hosting the live broadcast of an SPL game (yip, we really get nothing from the TV companies when every time we play the old firm at home and it gets broadcast live on Sky and ESPN) and the game didn’t sell out despite our stadium only having an 8k capacity and despite only being 5 miles from Ibrox and Rangers’ massive fanbase. Whenever we play Rangers at Ibrox or Celtic at Parkhead those games are NEVER on Sky ?ESPN as live broadcasts and the OF home gates are NEVER hit! We had 1 home game against Rangers which was about 1500 above our average home gate and because we were hosting one half of the Old Firm we had massively increased policing costs for the game. It would be great to see some figures on how much a club like St Mirren earn from the Sky / ESPN TV deal (especially since we lose paying customers on the gate in return for our £0 host fee for a home game broadcast live), how much we make on hospitality when the OF visit, what the police and stewarding costs etc compared with other teams in the SPL visiting. Now that Celtic supporters groups are threatening a boycott of clubs who don’t vote for sanctions against Rangers, and Sandy Jardine and Rangers groups are threatening reprisals against clubs that do a club like St Mirren is left in a no win situation in a set of circumstances which are not of our own making. The other figure I think which needs to be put out in the public domain is what percentage of the 10 ‘diddy teams’ support boycotting their own clubs next season if their chairmen ignore their wishes and vote in a newco Rangers into the SPL would wipe out the so-called financial benefit we get from having Rangers in the SPL… one estimate I’ve seen suggests that it would only take 100 adult St Mirren fans to chuck it next season and not attend their 19 home games to wipe out the money we get from playing Rangers… going be feedback from the fans survey and discussion boards on the unofficial St Mirren site and Pie & Bovril forum I think we could easily lose 100 fans from our own support over the Rangers issue.St Mirren are also very close to having a fans buy out of the majority shareholding of the club but since last week’s announcement by the SPL delaying their vote on financial fair play and the announcement of Miller being RFC’s preferred bidder a lot of fans have been contacting the cllub to halt their direct debit agreements or threatening to do so if the club vote in favour of newco Rangers in the SPL.We are just 1 of the 10 diddy clubs in the SPL but thanks to Rangers imploding we look like being hit with at least 4 different financial blows due to their mismanagement 1) Threats of sanctions from Rangers FC and their fans if we vote against them 2) Threats of sanctions from Celtic supporters if we vote with Rangers 3) Threats of season tickets not being renewed and boycotts from our own fans if we vote for Rangers 4) Fans withdrawing their support for the 10,000 Hours fans buy out of St Mirren if the club vote for Rangers newco.

    You seem to be the only journalist with a national audience who is fairly impartial when it comes to loyalties within the SPL and look beyond what it means for Rangers and their fans or Celtic and their fans, so that is why I would love to see a blog from you maybe looking at 3 or 4 of the diddy clubs and the ways the Rangers crisis affects them financially.

    I suspect that with St Mirren being a debt free club, who survived financially (albeit by the skin of our teeth) in te first division without Rangers or Celtic or any TV deals that we could survive financially if Rangers were not in the SPL next season and if Sky / ESPN pulled their TV deals.

    I also suspect that with less live broadcasts and if the voting structure changed along with a fairer division of TV money (OF get 80% of the cash but hardly host any live games at their own home grounds) that the SPL might see crowds at diddy teams grounds increase (partly in shock that they stood up to the OF bullies) and we had a more competitive league where there was fairness and INTEGRITY at the heart of it and where the diddy team supporters felt the SPL valued their support instead of walking all over them. A club like St Mirren might even be well placed to pick up disaffected Rangers fans living in the Paisley area and deciding to support their local team instead of Rangers.

    1. Drew Adamson says:

      Nice comments, Doug. As a fellow Saint, I take a great deal of comfort from your position. All this talk of Killie being the most precarious of the SPL clubs, and going to the wall if RFC don’t bring in the cash, but…..would the situation be any different if Killie had been relegated this season? Would they go to the wall next season or just cut their cloth to suit their income in Div 1? I suspect the latter, so if they have to do without RFC next year, they’ll just have to cut their cloth accordingly.

  86. gerry says:

    sport does indeed need inscrutable integrity- without it the balls burst-or is this about sport at all?

  87. AL1903 says:

    Spot on again Alex!

    If Rangers are allowed to keep their place in the SPL it will be the final nail in Scottish football’s coffin.

    Fans will desert their clubs, who wants to pay good money for a season ticket (I myself am a season ticket holder at Aberdeen) to watch a competition that is so corrupt & has no morals what so ever!

    The clubs & chairmen have to look at the bigger picture than the “commercial value” & do what is in the best interests of Scottish football. This is their one and only chance to stand up to the old firm and break the monopoly these two clubs have on the SPL, from decision making to the top 2 places.

    I would put money on the majority of clubs actually being better off money wise over a 3-4 year period without Rangers in the SPL. Every team will have a realistic chance of extended cup runs, cup finals & even winning a cup! European qualification will also be there to be had for 4 sides out with Celtic.

    With all this to play for the league WILL become more competitive, which will lead to greater interest and higher crowds for all sides (possibly bar Celtic)

    Rangers FC and ” Ra Peepil” should accept any punishment given to them, which should include –

    Stripping all titles & cups won during the period they are found to have been cheating.

    3-0 defeats recorded for all games where players who’s registration is found to be null & void.

    All prize money won during this time to be repaid (with interest) to teams they have cheated out of league placings, cup wins ect.

    Relegation to Division 3.

    A points deduction for the next 3/4/5 seasons, regardless of what division they happen to be in.

    1. barry says:

      hahahahahahahahha how deluded are you ??? as far as footballing terms Rangers FC never cheated anyone… no referees where bribed , no one threw games , and they certainly didn’t pay off any other teams to lay down to them.

      Yes they have been found guilty of breaching rules of contracts etc but as sport integrity goes they won all their cups and titles fair and square.

      The players didn’t know of the goings on behind the scenes and had no control of what was going on , blame has to lay with the owners .

      A points deduction for next 5 season ?? really ?? come on your hate for RFC shines through all your arguments and makes your point so one sided it cant even be taken seriously !!!

  88. El Bimbo says:

    Liquidate now….for goodness sake…any other club ,any other country !!!

  89. james geddes over 60 yrs following gers USA says:

    have rangers been cheating the tax man for over a hundredy years find out who started cheating the tax manthen go from there

  90. Tony Hendrix says:

    Question for the chairmen of SPL teams,are you openly admitting that Rangers FC,cannot be relegated in any way,shape or form,ever?

    If you say ‘YES’ then please put out the light and lock the door,thank you.

  91. Barry says:

    I have to laugh at the comment ..killie will cut our cloth according if we are relegated , rangers would have to do the same …you make it sound like either half of the old firm actually depend in your income , you tell me when the last time anyone outside rangers or Celtic took over 4 k to either ibrox or park head ?? Killie have are the number one cullporite when it comes to cashing in on old firm days so much so that you sell both ends of the ground and half of your main stand to ranges an Celtic fans all of which supports your team for a season, the said matter of a fact is if rangers do go to division 3 they would till get more of a crowd than anyone in Scotland (exception of Celtic home games) and you can sit there and moan and disagree if you want but the fact of the matter you do need a rangers side in the spl to survive, and just because rangers aren’t there won’t make challenging go the league any easier either , even with rangers 10 point deduction the closest team was still 10 point behind , there has to be a compromise somewhere along the line from both sides !

Comments are closed.