Media, Scottish Football, Sevco, SPFL

Thinking About The Fans

  Good Afternoon.

Once again, it is time to dip a toe into the murky waters that pass for punditry in the Evening Shark-Jump.

And who better to catch our eye with words of wisdom than Derek ‘I Don’t Know Much But I Won’t Let That Stop Me’ Johnstone?

Rangers boss Mark Warburton won’t be fooled by Alan Stubbs’ prattle of words before Hibs clash

His latest column is is pretty standard vacuous fare, and mainly focuses on the ‘Mind Games’ which Alan Stubbs is apparently trying on Sevco. I assume ‘Mind Games’ is another way of saying ‘getting on with the job, not being drawn into the circus around Sevco and absolutely not giving in when Hibs’ main Championship rivals oh-so-respectfully tried to unsettle Scott Allan’.

After a shaky start (not helped by injuries) Stubbs has done very well so far this season, brushing off the Allan saga, turning over Aberdeen in the League Cup, and staying close to Sevco in the World’s Most One-Sided division.

I am sure he won’t be disappointed to see so much commentary on how unconcerned Sevco are about him. From…errr…Sevco commentators such as DJ.

“I would think the manager, Davie Weir, Jim Stewart and Ian Durrant will be telling them to forget whatever Hibs say. If Rangers win all their games, they are champions.

If Alan Stubbs has something to say, the manager can deal with it. Mark doesn’t get involved in wars of words, he is very respectful.”


There’s that magic word again. It has already long-since gone past the point of having any meaning as far as the Warbmeister is concerned. He bandies it about as if it conveys some sort of superiority or dignity, when all it does is prompt the rest of us to laugh heartily.

Warbo’s ‘respect’ is now almost as much of a cliché as DJ’s empty rhetoric, which was again demonstrated by his claim that

I don’t know the squad individually but I do know how mentally strong they are. They have got off to a great start and they appear to be a good group.”

He doesn’t know them but he knows their frame of mind! Dear me!

But my favourite part of his latest piece is when he discusses the late call-off of Sevco’s game at Raith last weekend. To be fair, DJ makes a very valid point on not messing the fans about. They are put-upon enough with awkward kick-off times and silly pricing etc, without the added hassle of late postponements for bad weather.

However, it was the nature of his argument which caught my eye:

“We have got to start thinking about supporters in Scottish football. They are leaving the game in their droves just now and situations like that don’t help at all.”

“The SPFL have got to start thinking about fans. We need people to turn out and watch games and incidents like that don’t encourage punters back to Scottish football.

For too long, people in the game have taken fans for granted. We need to start taking them into consideration and stop treating them so poorly.”

I am sure I have heard those kinds of arguments before…

Ah yes! In relation to the vexed question of whether our game was a complete sham for a decade owing to Rangers’ use of EBTs and side-letters, and in relation to the woefully inadequate Lord Nimmo-Smith Commission. And let us not forget the issues raised by Resolution 12 where the legitimacy of one club’s participation in European competition is being questioned.

As many of us noted following the latest ruling in the Big Tax Case, Scottish Football really has got to start thinking about the supporters. We shouldn’t take them for granted, and should ensure that they aren’t treated poorly.

A situation where the game was probably a lie for a decade and involved fans spending a lot of money under false pretences is the absolute epitome of taking them for granted and treating them poorly. 

And allowing such issues to remain unresolved is a sure-fire recipe for driving them away for ever.

We can’t be having that can we Derek?



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