Learnings Difficulty At SFA

One of the most surprising takeaways from the Celtic v PSG game was an overriding sense of schadenfreude in the SMSM. There were those who compared the gap between PSG and Celtic as analagous to the gap between Celtic and their Scottish rivals. There was a palpable sense of ‘how do Celtic like it when the shoe is on the other foot.’

My personal takeaway is that the gap between Celtic and other clubs is not big enough. Prior to the game I abandoned the preview I was writing. I just could not envisage any scenario where Celtic could prevail or emerge with a point. Cavani, Neymar and Mbappe are probably the three most deadly strikers Celtic will face all season. Rabiot at times was unplayable as was his replacement after an hour (62 minutes) in Draxler. Rodgers asserted that his team played like their under-12s and although they did not turn up PSG looked as if they had another gear.

The games between PSG and Bayern Munich will be instructive. Even at this early stage Celtic appear to be in a dogfight with Anderlecht for a Europa Cup berth.

Would Celtic benefit from a strong Rangers Lite as many have suggested? When Celtic won the European Cup in 1967, Lite’s predecessor Rangers were a force to be reckoned with. However Rangers cheated, went bust and its fire sale assets don’t look like challenging Celtic in the short term.

Lite need an injection of capital immediately, with estimates ranging from £3m-£4m, to avoid trading whilst insolvent. ‘Emphasis of matter‘ has become ubiquitous in their audited accounts. King and his cronies have replaced an unfavourable retail deal with no retail deal whatsoever. Sports Direct and Puma are distancing themselves from the career criminal whose day of reckoning is fast approaching. King has stepped down from the board of his criminal corporate enterprise in South Africa to mitigate its exposure to The Cold Shoulder. However he has left Rangers Lite out in the cold. Should he continue as Chairman they will almost certainly go under. How long can the Parks throw good money after bad? If reports that Graeme Park will venture no more than £1m to the current deficit are accurate, then the wheels will come off the Lite charabang.

It’s more likely that Lite will go bust this season than for Celtic to progress to the last 16 of the Champions League.

The stitch-up to create a competitive rival to Celtic is unravelling. Celtic have bigger fish to fry than Bayern, PSG and Anderlecht. They were cheated out of their rightful CL place in 2011 by two of the most corrupt individuals Scottish football has ever seen, namely Campbell Ogilvie and Andrew Dickson. Ogilvie and Dickson were abetted by Petrie, Regan and others including dyed-in-the wool RRM ménage à trois Ballantyne. Ogilvie and Dickson perpetrated a fraud on every tax payer and Scottish football as a whole. Quite incredibly Dickson continues to cast his malevolent spell at Mount Florida.

The Rangers-facing SFA are corrupt from top to bottom. They are refusing to cooperate with an independent inquiry as they are all to a man severely compromised. How they could confer any titles, including the bent 17, to Rangers Lite is unconscionable.

The response by lickspittles Petrie and Milne was coordinated by the SFA. Regan is telling anyone who will listen, with our broadcasters bending to his will, that it’s time to move on. Petrie is asserting that one cannot please all of the supporters all of the time. However he is only appeasing the supporters of Rangers Lite who cling to the LNS findings as much as they cling to their WATP delusion of supremacy.

Lawwell in his letter of 7th September to the SFA points out that so much more information has recently come to light and given that the SFA are prepared to look at the decision which allowed Rangers to participate in UEFA tournaments in 2011/2012, surely they should also consider tax evasion and unfair competitive advantage.

Does anyone doubt that the SFA will conclude that Rangers were imperfectly registered but eligible? Referring this matter to the Compliance Officer is a squirrel. Regan and his bent cabal have been rehearsing their objection handling for six years. They will conclude that there a number of ‘learnings’ that they will use to the benefit of the game.

They will then state that the SFA have acted with integrity at all times with the regularity of Huns chanting We Are The People.

The abuse of  EBTs has never been considered by the SFA. Despite lies to the contrary, no evidence on EBTs was led to the LNS Commission. The SFA refused to release documents that could have resulted in an informed debate on unfair competitive advantage.

The SFA chose not to cooperate with LNS. Their decision not to instigate or cooperate in any review is a shocking abnegation of the principles that one would expect from those charged with football’s governance.

Lawwell uses strong words such as ‘disturbing’ and ‘distrust.’ He should go further and state that the SFA are institutionally corrupt.

The SFA are not fit for purpose. I would transfer the running of the Scottish Cup and the International Team to the SPFL. We don’t require two governing bodies to oversee 42 professional football clubs.

The SFA, like the bent titles, should be stripped.


27 thoughts on “Learnings Difficulty At SFA”

  1. I realise that some of our site’s Celtic supporters will be down this morning, but their support of The Sitonfence Speakeasy has never been more vital. Contributions make it possible.

  2. I have been clear from day one that New and Old Rangers will not be punished for this and no titles will be stripped.
    Why ? Because it has always been about the Who. All corporate or government decisions are about Who is making them. The people making the decisions can and do daily make up the narrative with management speak to suit their agenda. None of the leaders in Scottish football or the Scottish press are big enough or have the integrity to make the right call. Budge Milne Petrie Reagan Doncaster all of them. What surprises me is anyone would think it would be any different. JJ you do a great job but you have misread how decisions are made in governance in large organisations. Its always about finding a line to take to justify the decision. If the people making the decisions have integrity and stand up then you get good decisions. If the leaders are weak you do not. For months you have rightly told us how bad the leaders are so by definition we should expect poor decisions. It has always been about Who will stand up. I do not see a real leader among them.

    1. I believe it would be naive to expect leadership at the SFA. What I am proposing is the end of Regan and Petrie. No-one is going to stand up and be counted unless compelled to do so. Regan told John Clark that even if he could prove that Rangers should not have received a 2011 UEFA berth, nothing would happen. The matter has now been referred to The Compliance Officer. I anticipate that he will fumble it but it represents progress. It’s easy to be cynical but you would be surprised by the heavy hitters and journalists who read this site. It is much more influential than you seem to think.

  3. Hi jj

    Hope you well.
    Regarding last night. A sense of realism. I just wish that scottish football would accept the reality.

    I was awestruck by psg and accept that Celtic may win the occasional battle but will not win the war due to the financial gap.
    I wish the Scottish media would accept this analogy and stop telling the clan that they are competing.
    Was more down by the dimwit who ran onto park and had a boot at one of the best players i have seen ever at Celtic park…..

  4. I was wondering what will be the stance of the SFA if there is another administration event down Govan way. After all, they have changed the rules apparently to better govern the game and see that financial fair play is applied haven’t they?

    It will be interesting to see their position if their number one club bites the dust again.

    In the meantime I am going on to the website of the Pawn Stars shop in Vegas and buying myself 5 Superbowl rings, an assortment of Olympic medals and Ali’s gloves in order to convey those titles to myself and become Britains most decorated sports star. After all it worked for them.

  5. JJ,

    You can’t disband the SFA, without disbanding football altogether in Scotland as it is the affiliated football association to that hands out licences to play football and nominate clubs for Europe.

    No SFA and Scottish football gets it’s very own cold shoulder treatment.

    And they damn well know it.

  6. Don’t want to say too much about the financially doped PSG except to say to those having a laugh,how far ahead of your team are Celtic?
    P.S.Should your byline not read “Learning difficulties at SFA”?Go easy on me ,didn’t have a very good night for some reason I seem to have erased from the memory banks….

  7. I’ve lived in Paris for quite a few years now. I used to go to see them play in the 80s, then I would take my boys along to see their local club.
    My two boys grew up supporting PSG and Celtic.
    So sitting watching the game with them last night was a weird experience (well, I was actually behind the sofa…).
    None of the goals were cheered: the boys know how I feel about the Qatar involvement in the club, not to mention UEFA’s powder-puff FFP…
    However, I know that they have both bought into it, reluntantly at first.

    Celtic will never play as poorly again this season, and French team were streets ahead and deserved their 5 goal win.

    Years ago, I knew that PSG (of QSG as I prefer to call them now) was a sleeping giant. I couldn’t understand how they struggled to fill their 48000 stadium from a catchment area of 5million souls (QSG the only top level club in the Paris region).
    For a few years, the rival kops behind the Boulogne and Auteil brought a bit of noise and atmosphere until they were banned (too rowdy doncha know).

    Now the oil men have arrived with unlimited funds and everybody is a QSG fan.
    Difficult and expensive to get tickets: the stadium is practically filled with VIPs and corporates.

    Pumping unlimited money into the game with no real FFP regulations is killing the sport. Notably the “Champions” League.
    Strange to think that last season, QSG finished runner’s up in the Ligue 1 and “only” got to the last 16 in the CL.
    The necessary “investment” has been made to ensure they will win both those league titles this season.

  8. Jabba better get those journalists in check… having way more money available doesn’t confer any competitive advantage remember? I’m sure Mbappe and Neymar would have played for petrol money.

  9. FFP is totally non-existent and football, as a competitive sport has been ruined by money, big corporate involvement and corruption. While the game itself can still excite and enthrall, there are far too many games that can only be described as “premium mediocre” i.e. over-hyped, billed as top-notch quality that turn out to be at best, average and at worst, dull. Until a level playing field can be established, this situation can only get worse. I have loved football for 50 years since my dad took me to see Celtic when I was 7 years old. All too often, these days, I am disappointed by the lack of genuine challenge, the gulf between teams and the total nonsense uttered by so-called “pundits”. It seems to me that professional football is no longer a SPORT- how sporting is it when the worlds most expensive player refuses to shake hands with a young talented player learning his trade?- I could go on, I won’t- rant over.
    Yours depressingly,

    1. Things have changed since 11 local boys rocked the world. Watching a game in your living room, pub or supporters club is progress. Some leagues are better than others and command a premium. The tribal Punch and Judy show is as close as most other countries get to a perspective on Scottish football. Celtic matched Man City last season, so hopes were high that the latest Arab plaything would be up for grabs. There is no shame here. It was a poor night but have you forgotten that Celtic have now gone 54 games without defeat. CFC are a decent side. The financially doped PSG are on a different level.

  10. JJ imo, spot on with the actions of Regan, pass onto some other body, deflect, admittance that past procedures were poor and they will be addressed making promises of a better system going forward whilst leading the PR offensive through the complicit media.

    Those other teams who lost out on potential revenue should be representing their shareholders as Lawell is obliged to do and should be chasing this. When the likes of Milne and Petrie do a reverse you wonder if they are in some way complicit.

    With budge, she didn’t have the stomach to raise concerns about Sevco’s inclusion in the Europa this season at the exclusion of her own club so I wouldn’t expect much from her.

    1. Jim, Petrie is not only complicit but played an integral part in Oldco gaining their UEFA licence in 2011 – he was Chair of the Licencing Committee at the time.

  11. It is my understanding that the matter of RFC licence in 2011 only is being referrred to the SFA Compliance Officer. No mention of titles, tax evasion, wee tax case, big tax case etc. Only the Licence. Would this Compliance Officer be Tony McGlennan. Future CEO of the SFA and rightfully seen as next generation /continuation of the previous SFA alongside Andrew Dallas, he also of the previous “quoted” father?
    Do you expect impartiality and an unbiased outcome?

    1. OIS – that is totally correct. In a different place or time that investigation may be expected to actually look at the SFA role in it. Unfortunately the evidence will undoubtedly be restricted to that which shows the SFA applied the rules diligently and not negligently but were mislead by someone they can no longer punish. No transparency will be on offer and one hand washed the other. Sorry lads, can’t be revisited as found guilty even if you aren’t happy with the punishment. Time to move on etc. It’s as predictable as a hearing on whether if illegal payments were actually legal, would things have been okay?

    2. Although Tony McGlennan was the Compliance Officer in 2011 (and note he was not the UEFA Licencing chap that UEFA half funded when they introduced Enhanced FFP in 2010) he has gone and has been replaced by Andrew McKinlay and it will presumably be him who is investigating.
      Given we are talking about a breach of UEFA FFP, which UEFA know all about having been given details in 2016 by Res12 lawyers, any investigation that does not involve UEFA in some credible way could result in what will then be perceived as another whitewash by Regan.
      Certainly if the focus is only on events in March 2011 and not Jun and September 2011 and, just as important, Regan’s handling of the matter from December 2011 to June 2016, when UEFA finally got involved after the SFA had dragged their feet in addressing the issues brought to their attention much earlier.

      It could be argued their attitude pushed any investigation outside of the 5 year time limit.

      Fortunately where corruption is involved there is no time limit so no reason not to conduct a full independent investigation over the full period, even if only from a learnings perspective for the SFA and UEFA.

      Anything else will be perceived as one more sham.

  12. Just wondering, do you suppose Regan knows something we don’t? Like an insolvency event on the horizon over at IOUbrox? What a clusterfuck that would be in the middle of an investigation? I mean, he was told about the death of Rangers before it happened. Maybe he’s been told again.

    Donation made xxxxxxxx88204A.

    Keep up the good work

    JJ: Thanks

  13. Feeling a bit down today not at the defeat but the margin and the realisation that Celtic could have been much better. Some of the 5y/o’s beside themselves with glee. Weren’t we lucky we were not playing the 4th best team in Luxenbourg?.

    I have managed to overcome my temporary depression to forward a donation 7JW98422NS652XXXX

    JJ: Thanks. My brothers in green are evidently too upset to contribute which is unfortunate as things are beginning to unravel. Tomorrow’s blog will be explosive.

  14. Please… can someone explain how a football pitch can be INVADED by a single numpty, no matter what the match?

    I hate when “journalists” are sloppy with their vocabulary – and believe me, it does nothing for their already-dodgy credibility.
    For example, see BBC Sport Scotland’s article(s) on this unfortunate incident.

    However, constant bad usage of the language permeates into our own writing.
    We end up thinking like them… (punishment & consequences, for example).

    Not the hottest topic at the moment I know (I have commented about last night’s game and the other big issues CFC face on this and other blogs …).

    Never underestimate the power of words.
    Gardez la foi.

  15. 2483-4280-9668-xxxx

    Yip, like others contributors I’m more down about the numpty who ran on the pitch than the result. I also accept the analogy that this is how much of the rest of the SPFL must feel when comparing their resources to that of Celtic. Fair comment. Nevertheless, donation made because we need you to keep going JJ. All of us need to keep going, the heat of fan power is all they will listen to. Now the season ticket monies are in, and in order to avoid setting Celtic V the rest, then its the Scottish cup that should be the target of a fan boycott. Separately, I can’t help wondering if Regans trying to outlive the latest incarnation in Govan with the aim of tackling the issues at that point (it shouldn’t save him) and why the cold shoulder is taking so long to be implemented.

    JJ: Thank you.

  16. I watched it on telly.
    I applaud the Celtic players. Head up Mikael Lustig, no shame.

    They played their normal expansive attacking Celtic style football. They had several shots and forced a few saves.

    When Lennon was manager he and Mjalby put our guys out to nine man defend with one outfielder. That might keep the score down but it’s not Celtic football. It’s terrible to watch.

    There’s no shame in this. I’m disappointed by Rodgers comment about 12 year olds. It’s quite simply not true. Rodgers is distancing himself from the defeat and keeping his managerial credentials up. He’s also cleverly stating Celtic can play much better. This is a psychological play on the other opposition to come.

    Heads up guys. No shame there.

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