Scottish Football, SFA

Mutual Exclusivity

Good Evening.

Naturally, being an obsessed no-hoper with no life, I followed today’s courtroom tweets from the excellent @jamesdoleman and @STVGrant with some interest.

They were at the Court of Session making maximum use of their season ticket, and perhaps acquiring more stamps on their loyalty cards in the cafe as they covered yet more of the many legal actions affecting one Ibrox club or another.

You can read James Doleman’s full account here. And a report from STV here.

I am not going to go over the details of the two petitions that were heard. However, I will note that His Big Mikeness prevailed. 

I will also note that next year’s proceedings over the SFA’s decision to deem Dave King ‘fit and proper’ promise to be absolutely fascinating! As do those over the SFA’s imposition of a £1,000 fine (reduced from £7,500) on His Big Mikeness for contravening ‘dual ownership’ rules.

But what I am going to do is comment on the one quote that really stood out today. To the extent that each time it appeared on The Clumpany’s Twitter timeline I noticed it. In the ‘sharp-intake-of-breath’ kind of way.

Here it is, via James Doleman:

When considering a quote in isolation there is always a danger of taking it out of context and arriving at a misleading interpretation. If I do so in this blog then I will gladly withdraw my comments and apologise.

However, the above quote (which came during argument about whether to expedite the court’s consideration of SFA decision-making) appears to equate the fortunes Scottish Football as a whole with that of Ibrox-based clubs.

Which seems to be quite extraordinary, given that 

  1. Scottish football with its wonderful history, quirks, foibles, drama and hilarity is so much more than any one entity; and 
  2. the SFA is – quite literally – an association of its members and therefore so much more than any one of them. No matter how many times that a particular one ‘comes back from the dead’.

I do not presume to know what Counsel was thinking in offering his point of view, and will therefore posit [hi JJ!]] no further thoughts on it.

However, I will comment upon how the above quote has been received by me, and (I suspect) others too.

Frankly, the quote seemed to resonate. I thought about it and then realised that it seemed to strike a chord because (in my own limited mind) I have an inkling of a view that the governing bodies may feel that Scottish football without the ‘Rangers*’ brand is worthless. 

We all remember the ‘Armageddon’ and ‘slow lingering death’ chat in 2012, and the attempts to gerrymander Sevco into the top two tiers of our game without any other potential contenders such as Spartans getting a look-in.

And who can forget Stewart Regan’s comments to the BBC on 2 February 2013 when reflecting back on the previous summer:

“It’s OK having sporting merit but if you haven’t got any money to run your game and you end up with clubs going down the tubes, that doesn’t help anybody”

“Yes, Scottish football was unable to deliver. The people who said this is the plan we would like to take forward, that provides the greatest security for the game, that plan was overturned and that is what a democracy is all about.”

Yes, all things considered, the above remark by the SFA’s representative in court appeared to ‘speak’ to a wider perception of one particular club being integral to the game.

And if that is the case, then you will hopefully agree that a governing body that purports to speak for the whole game ought to be rather concerned about that perception.

Shouldn’t it?

After all, a national sport for all the football fans in Scotland is something that any aspiring administrator should be proud to lead.

Without fear or favour.

Shouldn’t it?