There’s nothing quite like making a bold assertion and then offering absolutely nothing to back it up.
Step forward Gerry Hassan, whose Twitter profile describes himself as
“Writer commentator academic; co-director Scotland’s Festival of Ideas. Author ‘Caledonian Dreaming’ & ‘Independence of the Scottish Mind’. Sunday Mail columnist”.
Which is fair enough.
But let’s have a look at what he has been saying today.
First of all, fair play to him for approaching the Scottish game in a positive frame of mind.
As we all know, there is not enough of that from the commentariat.
The Clumpany agrees that Sevco’s presence in the lower leagues has raised their profile. And let’s face it, it damn well should have done given that the authorities were paying TV companies to show Sevco games at one point!
However, I remain to be convinced of his point about the ‘redistribution of revenues’.
We have heard about the benefits of the ‘Blue Pound’ quite a few times over the past three years, but no one ever seems to get beyond making assertions about it…
And of course there are additional costs to take into account, such as enhanced policing.
But it is Mr Hassan’s comments about “Ethically rebuilding” that are truly remarkable, and I would love to know what he has to back them up.
There are – after all – a number of flies in the ointment that he would need to address.
- The fact that Sevco claims to be the same ‘club’ that stiffed 276 creditors (including the ambulance service and taxman) for millions of pounds.
- Their admission into senior football through a still-secret Five-Way Agreement.
- The creation of a hitherto-unknown ‘Conditional Membership’ of the SFA to allow someone pretending to be Rangers to play Brechin in the Challenge Cup in July 2012.
- Their fast-tracked admission into the league ahead of other potential candidates such as Spartans.
- The efforts made by the Scottish football authorities to gerrymander the newly-created Sevco into the top two divisions with no regard for sporting integrity.
- The tens of millions of pounds spent during three years (and counting) of lower-league football. Sums which other ‘clubs’ bar Celtic can only dream of.
- The debts that have been built up during the course of that spending. Most notably a loan from Sports Direct that the Chairman says he doesn’t view as a loan, and which the ‘club’ has yet to repay despite requests; and
- The Chairman [who has of course been deemed ‘Fit and Proper’ by the SFA] having a long list of convictions for tax offences, and having been on the board of the club that went into liquidation.
Over to you Mr Hassan.
This should be good.