Date: 18th August 2020
The latest blog from SFSA writer Donald Stewart:
Mr Aberdeen and Mr Bolongoli get their test results…
The Budge has the hump. Somebody has tellt her tae stop something and she is not best pleased…
Picture the scene…
It is mid morning in Gorgie. Usually at this time of the morning the glaur has lifted but around the board room of the Hearts O Mid Table Lothian, things are no gid.
The glaur is very real in the room as the Budge is fuming…
In her hand is the latest email from them. Them are the SFA. Them are imbeciles. Them are dead lucky no tae be in the jail apparently. Them are themenemy.
Themenemy has tellt The Budge that all training has tae stop because Mr Aberdeen and Mr Bolongoli have failed an exam…
The Budge sits in silent contemplation of it all…
Many miles north the Mellon is unhappy too…
He is also paused and his Tangerines are getting a wee bit stale. Themenemy has been in contact with all the clubs as something called the JRG gets the message out that if more people fail this exam there shall be… consequences. Nobody likes consequences. The Mellon once had consequences and he is sure there was ointment for it. It is not as his mum would say, palatable.
The Mellon is brandishing the same piece of paper as The Budge has and is similarly unhappy. He quotes, “…worked to ensure that existing rules will be strengthened to include the provision of sanctions for players who do not adhere to Covid-specific football protocols or government public health guidelines… it says… measures are needed in order to provide government health officials with the necessary confidence that Scottish football can return safely it says… and then, and this is the cracker, the Scottish FA has agreed that the return to training for clubs outside the SPFL Premiership – which includes all organised adult football over-18 – will be delayed until at least 24 August, pending updated government guidance on the 20th… I mean how is that helpful? I even had to have a meeting on Zoom and were told a few things. You know what, we need to start talking about those that haven’t stepped out of line and do the percentages on that and talk about the people who have got it right. Nae training?!”
At this point someone in the office pipes up, “But we are in the Premiership, so it doesn’t affect us.”
The Mellon looks down at them and realizes his mistake since coming up from The Tranmere. “I knew that! But if we don’t pause things, how are we going to get Shankland ready in time for our next game?” With that he storms out the room and out the Stadium, into his car and off for the day to fume some more…
But he is a mere amateur in fuming in comparison to Big Jim of the Good but rare Paisley win who fumes in Paisley. Fuming in Paisley is an art form and Big Jim has always kept most of his fuming for on the park. Since he stopped playing fuming has been difficult because he doesn’t collect enough cards now to feel as if he contributes to the team. The fact that the entire sport has just got a yellow card makes him happy and he can now happily fume again with everyone else…
He is fuming they are punishing all the clubs. He wants a yellow card for himself. He is fuming at himself in the mirror as he shouts, “It’s difficult to punish clubs as a whole because of one individual. We have had promising dialogue with the players and staff – they are well aware of what’s expected of them. We have asked everybody for the time being to stay away from restaurants, pubs and nightclubs – and just make good choices.”
Now he is ready for his interview with the BBC. He feels calmer now that he has done his solo fuming…
In a pub somewhere midway between Aberdeen and Glasgow a Mr McInnes and a Mr Lennon arehaving a quiet pint. They have the big problems that have led to the fuming and are now trying to find a way round it…
Mr McInnes starts talking first, “Eight! I mean eight!”
“Nine? You mean there is someone in the squad who hasnae owned up yet? Ah’ll kill the wee…”
Mr Lennon looks at him quizzically, “Naw, we have nine titles in a row, no eight.”
Mr McInnes looks at him and sighs, “I meant eight players at my club, mind you your one does make nine.”
“Be ten this year.” Says Mr Lennon.
“Not if the whole thing gets shut down.”
Mr Lennon perks up. “It cannae be!”
“It might be!”
“It cannae be!”
“Then what are we gonnae do?” Mr McInnes thinks a call to Mr Lennon’s practical side would help.
“I have an idea…” Mr Lennon looks conspiratorially around him remembering that as he is from the Green side of the Brigade, there are forces of oppression working against him at every turn, especially people dressed all in black. But there are no referees in this pub. Unless they are under cover so that might be a possibility so he puts his hands round his mouth so that people cannot see him talking. And then he talks.
“You know how they failed this exam.” Mr McInnes nods and says, “I suppose it could be said it was more like a test. I mean there have not been any real exams this year and we are all working from what these guys have done over the past year, taking into account their performances and how they have dealt with everything we have thrown at them and tried to come up with an overall assessment that allows us to confidently predict at what grade they should be credited.”
Mr Lennon looks at him, thinks carefully, takes in all the information and then says, “Aye that.”
Mr McInnes waits. Mr Lennon is silent and then remembers it as his turn to talk. “I have an idea.”
Mr McInnes has been waiting for this… “OK, what is it?”
Mr Lennon smiles. “IF the assessment isnae right I have heard that aw ye need tae do is to wait and the SQA will wipe out aw these results and give ye better ones. Job done. Problem solved.”
Mr McInnes sits back and thinks to himself, this might be worse than I thought. Elsewhere the rest of Scottish football are in silent agreement.
Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an almost original tale, any similarities to persons real or imagined are deliberate. However as there is little or no evidence that a Mr Lennon nor a Mr McInnes have ever met together in a pub to discuss the machinations of SQA, as far as he is aware, this is clearly fictional and never actual happened, though some of the words attributed to the characters were said.
The fact is that during the week the SFA were forced by the Scottish Government, following the actions of eight Aberdeen players and Boli Bolingoli, who broke the COVID 19 guidance, to create sanctions for players who break the rules. Presumably the SFA thought this unnecessary as all players usually abide meekly with their rules, particularly on the field of play. Furthermore the SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority) were forced by the self same Scottish Government to put the marks for the young people who didn’t sit the exams that were cancelled back to what their teachers said they ought to be. It was not a good day for independent bodies responsible for thingmies.
Posted in: Latest News