Wibble Down Under

No Moore please…
Good Afternoon.

No, The Clumpany hasn’t started writing a niche brand of erotic fiction.

The title of this piece refers to the content of today’s extravaganza from the Evening Times.

Scottish football urged to bring in spending controls – and stop more clubs suffering financial meltdown

Wherein former Rangers captain, EBT recipient, and now-Football Operations Manager at ‘Brisbane Roar’, Craig Moore gushes forth a substantial amount of drivel, unably supported by Matthew Lindsay.

Moore suggests that having stricter controls on finances, and adopting a salary cap like that in the A-League could benefit both Scottish and European clubs. [I assume that UEFA always listens to what Moore has to say…]

Moore explains that “It makes for a more level playing field. Some Australian clubs have done consistently well. But nobody has enjoyed total dominance”.

“I think it is important because it means clubs develop their own players and operate with a sound business model. I think it is something football has to look at more”.

The hypocrisy of an EBT-recipient (£1.1m) and captain of the most financially-doped team Scotland has ever seen coming out with this stuff is truly incredible!

However, it isn’t all completely wonderful… 

Mr Lindsay tells us that 

“The salary cap hasn’t prevented all of Australia’s top clubs from experiencing off-field problems and Brisbane Roar are currently facing”.

Ah yes those off-field problems. Matthew doesn’t go into those. But do feel free to have a read of this informative piece from Australia

Brisbane Roar slammed by FFA as players and staff are not paid [NB thanks to @SkwerrWheels for the link]

Unpaid wages.

Very serious financial liabilities.

Possible legal action.

Oh dear…

To be fair to Moore, he has only just taken up post, so is inheriting someone else’s mess.

Indeed The Clumpany admired his cheery optimism:

“It’s great to be back at the club at such an exciting time”.

However, for Moore to be lecturing anybody given what happened at Rangers and given the mess of his current club is pretty amazing!

But what really grates about his comments, and the narrative in which they are placed by Mr Lindsay is the unsubstantiated trashing of the Scottish game, and the brazen rewriting of history.

Moore says that:

“Rangers being lost from the Premiership was never going to be good for Scottish football,” said Moore.”

“Sure, there have been some positives. Derek McInnes, for example, has done a great job at Aberdeen, and Dundee United, who are a fantastic club, have produced some excellent young players and done well.”

“But I still feel Scottish football needs a strong Celtic and a strong Rangers. The competition, the standard and the financial health of the Scottish game all flows from that.”

No it doesn’t, Craig. The ‘strong’ Rangers to which you refer was a souped-up lie which ultimately died at its own hand.

Mr Lindsay is seemingly in no mood to challenge these assertions. Indeed he enthusiastically expands upon them.

“Our entire national game has suffered badly as a direct result of the Ibrox club’s well-documented financial meltdown three years ago.”

This is of course an outright distortion of the truth. But Matthew hasn’t yet finished with the woe!

“Average attendances in the Premiership have fallen dramatically from 13,861 during the 2011/12 campaign to just 8,865 last season”.

“Money banked from advertising, broadcasting and sponsorship has also diminished as a result of Hearts, Hibs and Rangers playing in the second tier.”

There is of course an alternative view to this. If, for example, you strip out Celtic and Rangers games, average attendances for the majority of clubs are up. [Hat-tip to @MattLeslie74 for the information].

And it is certainly the case that more and more clubs are putting their finances on a sound footing now that the Rangers-led financial arms race is a thing of the past.

The picture in relation to advertising, broadcasting and sponsorship is far more complex than Mr Lindsay’s simple tale of Hearts, Hibs and Sevco being outside the top flight.

For example, our esteemed administrators have not exactly shown themselves capable of getting great deals for the game (and in the case of league sponsorship ANY SORT OF DEAL AT ALL until fairly recently). 

Trashing the game with talk of ‘Armageddon‘ and ‘slow lingering death‘ in 2012 didn’t help either. Nor does the proximity of the English Premier League, which remains a complete obsession for Sky, the BBC and others.

As for Rangers themselves, Matthew has this to say…

“The Glasgow giants had a multi-million pound tax bill from HMRC hanging over them for their use of EBTs to pay their players and senior members of staff.”

“Craig Whyte bought the 140-year-old institution from Sir David Murray for £1 in 2011 and within a year the parent company had been put into administration and then liquidated due to non-payment of NIC, PAYE and VAT.”

Well done Matthew for getting in the mention of the 140 years! It’s good to confront insecurity head-on!

But as for the ‘parent company‘ being liquidated… The Lie would be laughable if it wasn’t being peddled by an apparently serious journalist.

Thankfully the only people that believe The Lie are those for whom the truth is too upsetting, or for whom the need to keep selling newspapers to Sevco fans is an overriding priority.

The likes of the Clumpany haven’t got tired of calling out The Lie

And never will.

So thanks for the article Craig and Matthew, but I don’t think we’ll be taking on board any of its content.