Date: 11th May 2024


Summat is happening. On the 8th of May 2024, the Scottish government had invited people round to talk. It was always likely to be awkward.

Then the Scottish Government got in a tailspin, and it got postponed but Maree Todd is still the Sport Minister so we shall meet again…

Not quite sure where…

Not quite sure when…

But we have an idea of the agenda…

We may not need Francis Rossi to play us in, but we know that The Alliance – not from Star Wars – shall promote the Down, Down, Deeper and Down keeping everything as it is just now message. The way that the SPFL and SFA seem to be that right cosy the now is less than a comfort to those who want to see things move on from a three-chord boogie. (I shall now stop the Status Quo references to move on with the times myself and appeal to a younger audience…)

Now I am not a businessman. I run a business and do so poorly. As it is not the main income to the house, I believe it is called a side hustle amongst the young, I claim not to use business principles in everything that I do.

I do, however, manage a team in my day job. They are great. Filled with enthusiasm and the experience I do not possess. That is not to say that I am the least inexperienced in the room. I just do not have the same experiences as them. It enriches the team. I may think I am rarely wrong, but oftentimes, I reflect upon a viewpoint which comes from them rather than me, because they know, and I am watching, and adopt a change. They have experienced things that I have not.

They are an invaluable resource.

I know that the people who run the business in my day job, are more businessmen than I. I get asked my opinion frequently. I do not expect to rule the roost nor to have my opinion accepted without challenge, debate or investigation. It’s healthy and respectful.

It’s different.

I have often been excluded for my views. Seen as a maverick, who may have awards for taking risks but can be too risky, in this current climate to trust. Or so I get told. When I get blackballed. I then get on with my work and, over time, people realise that to survive, you need to engage with as many voices as you can.

If I may quote a sage businessman, “honest research, facts, transparency and collaboration always trump bluster, short termism, politicking and corporate bullying.”

And so, how shall the SFA/SPFL tryst react to having to share a room and a table with the Scottish Football Supporter’s Association (SFSA)? We have been blackballed by the two of them and despite trying to give awards out, support referees, respectfully offer advice on change and support the game, they appear to be refusing to accept the legitimacy of this organisation which means they feel they can ignore it when it speaks.

The SFSA has more members than shall attend an Auld Firm final.

And they want nothing to do with you.

That’s the real issue.

Whether me or the chair, or Chief Executive or any office bearer has any right to speak is down to the democratic process within any organisation; it is, though, not immune from criticism or influence from outside of the organisation. Unless you are the Garrick Club and are acting illegally, until the build-up of pressure forces changes.

Most of us offer opinion.

Some of us back it up with fact.

The SFSA puts funds and effort into proving those facts.

The SFA/SPFL love in has now begun the process of refusing any form of polyamorous advance.

It has refused to learn from the past.

If anything, fans are beginning to look like those pesky women did all those years ago. The off handed and dismissive manner that both the SFA and SPFL have exhibited is to refuse to contemplate, not that they may be wrong, but that they may be challenged. It’s poor business, it’s poor social practice, it’s poor strategising, it’s poor.

But they will have their game face on when the summit happens. And so shall we. Let’s hope they have the improving our game face on rather than a mask. The future of the game needs to be engaging and less awkward.

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