Borrow and not pay back

Date: 13th July 2020

The latest blog from Donald Stewart:

When I was training to be a teacher I had to relearn how to subtract. Adding up hadn’t changed but the methods we were showing our kids how to subtract had. I was told that the way that I had been taught was illogical.

I was a child of the seventies and we were taught the borrow and pay back system where if you couldn’t subtract the bottom from the top, you borrowed from one and paid to another – simples… If you know how…

And they were right, it made no logical sense.

In an attempt to be amusing – never always worked for me – I stuck my hand up and suggested I could make it, make sense. A weary lecturer accepted my challenge. I explained that in the seventies we always borrowed from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and never paid them back, so it made sense then! He at least did me the courtesy of smiling.

If I thought it was an amusing explanation and one that would seem funny, I should have waited until now for some real mathematical illogicality…

Now, I have no problem at all with either Cove Rangers, Dundee United OR Raith Rovers mounting a defence to what Hearts and Partick Thistle are doing. It is their right to do so. I would not want to take that away from them. I think it is perfectly justified AND perfectly fair that they challenge anything in which they are named and feel they are so named unfairly.

I also have no problem with Hearts and Thistle mounting their challenge to what the SPFL have done. The current state of legal moves and claims is a tremendous muddle and at the heart of it all – if you pardon the pun – is the behaviour of our league governing body.

Believe me, I have a few ideas about what should be subtracted from them and added, and it is all entirely logical.

What irks me is the request by Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers for financial backing from the other clubs in the leagues. On the one hand, good on them for making people sit up and realise that this is a whole league issue.

On the other hand, I was always taught that you take responsibility for your own actions – not just a seventies thing – and if they have started on a course of action, they should continue with that course of action – especially as someone MUST have warned them about what it would, could or should entail? Why the request from other clubs to fund their point of view?

If they believe that the SPFL is right, then perhaps they should fall in behind the SPFL and support their defence?

Of course they have been named in the papers procedurally so they feel they have to make a case for themselves but as we all try and unravel what the hell is going on, we are now looking at what can only be called a complete mess of it all.

As a child of the seventies I never thought I would be wanting to go back to simpler times when borrowing and paying back would makes sense now that I have learnt the new rules of subtracting but this just seems to increasingly be taking away from our game. We are on the cusp of a 1stof August come back and once again the fan who has refused a refund for their previous season ticket, contributed to the save our club campaigns on various platforms and now is looking to watch their club from a vantage point provided by a camera, bought new replica strips, saved the money from furlough to afford another season ticket for a year they don’t know how it will happen and is now watching in horror as their game is being run like a raffle dispute.

Who can sort this out? ACAS? The UN? The courts? I never thought I would hanker after a loan from the IMF… I winder if the three cubs will ever pay their supporters back…


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