Andy’s Sting In The Tale (09/02/24) “The Talk of the Steamie”

Date: 9th February 2024



Stenny and Other Leading Clubs Unhappy with SPFL Governance

After Last Week’s Holyrood Humbling for the SFA, it’s the SPFL’s Turn This Week

It seems the recent ‘Independent’ Governance’ report that the SPFL clubs commissioned from accountants Henderson Loggie is causing a stooshie.
The report was announced last summer and was sparked by the disastrous ‘cinch’ sponsorship episode, (screw-up) with Rangers which led to lies to members, an apology and an unspecified compensation package to Rangers and both sets of legal costs too.
Sadly for all 42 clubs, cinch then buggered off citing a mid contract break clause and so far haven’t been replaced.

The actual detail of what beancounters HL were specifically asked to review and assess was never shared and won’t be until it is published and then leaked as per normal.

Their report took circa 3 months to investigate and produce and we now bizarrely know only 1 club, Aberdeen, had any input.

The SPFL subcommittee behind the report was reported as being, Ross County’s James Macdonald, who is on the SPFL board, Celtic’s Chief Financial Officer, Chris McKay and the group was chaired by current SPFL non-exec board member, Karyn McCluskey.

We also now know that a draft report was made available recently first to the SPFL executive who are said to have made changes before sending it to the wider SPFL board.
We don’t know what those changes were.

Murdoch MacLennan told he MUST resign SPFL chairmanship after accusations from Rangers and others - Football ScotlandThe SPFL chairman, Murdoch MacLennan, for reasons unknown, pre-emptively felt the need to come out ahead of any dialogue with his clubs.
He did this with what is said to be an “inaccurate and misleading” press release in which he effectively gave the SPFL governance a  clean bill and “thumbs-up”.
I’m sure we are all also delighted by Murdoch specifically telling us he was “reassured, but not complacent”.

That statement though lit the blue touch paper of top club discontent.

We now know it led to this open response from 6 clubs so far, Aberdeen, Livingston, Motherwell, Rangers, St Johnstone and St Mirren,

“We are deeply concerned about the report’s independence and we have serious concerns about transparency and the overall governance of the SPFL”.

So internecine battle lines have been drawn in the SPFL boardroom and between the SPFL board and members.

Read the open letter in full here

Today, in a telling development, runaway SPFL2  League leaders and all round top community club Stenhousemuir got righteously grumpy and issued this statement.

It’s a cracker.

It paints a very vivid picture of disillusion.
And I’ve lifted it verbatim and hope they don’t mind.

Partnership Opportunities - Become part of our club - Stenhousemuir FC“The board of Stenhousemuir Football Club welcomes and supports the statement issued yesterday from six Premiership clubs citing serious concerns regarding the handling of the recent Independent Governance Report.

This report was initially deemed necessary following the SPFL’s apparent botched handling and subsequent dispute between the SPFL and one of our member clubs regarding the league’s main sponsorship partner.

Our Chairman, Iain McMenemy, raised this at the SPFL general meeting in July 2023 and received verbal assurances that this review and report would get to the bottom of what happened, how much it cost clubs financially, and, that this would all be handled independently and reported back to all clubs.

It appears that these assurances have not been met.

Iain McMenemy commented,
“After being assured for almost two years that the SPFL were in the right in continuing this dispute with Rangers, we were surprised to receive, without warning, a copy of a news release that seemed to be an embarrassing climbdown.
The SPFL had to apologise to Rangers, pay compensation and legal costs, and admit that they got this wrong.

Seething Stenhousemuir chief Iain McMenemy accuses SPFL of silencing clubs by turning off their microphones - Daily Record“Quite rightly, we wanted to know why we had gone down this now discredited route, how much this had cost the league, and in turn how much less would be paid out to clubs because of this?
Knowing this was essential to ensure that we don’t make these mistakes again in the future.  This was the basis and catalyst for the Independence Governance Report.

“Far from drawing a line under this issue, the entire handling of this review and report raises fresh questions and concerns regarding the judgement of those running our game.

“It’s time for complete transparency with all member clubs who are the shareholders of the SPFL.  We welcome this intervention from six of our largest clubs and will support them in any endeavour to achieve transparency, clarity, and accountability as a matter of urgency.”


Well done Iain, well done Stenny too.

As a concerned outsider looking in and only being fed scraps I’d be happy if this top down spat escalates into a movement for genuine change for the common good of Scottish football and the benefit of all the Stenhousemuirs, Cove Rangers, Raith Rovers etc as well as the 6 Premiership signatories.

Simples and thanks Iain McMenemy.


This Week’s Sting

Hampden Park, Glasgow – Football | VisitScotland1.  Five Home Games at Hampden

The draw for the Nations League sees Croatia, Fifa world ranked 15 , Portugal, 9, and Poland, 26 heading for Hampden along with Euros warm ups vs Northern Ireland and Finland.

What is good is the SFA ticket sale for North and South Stand seats for 5 upcoming home games at £175.
Compare that to Scottish Rugby who are brazenly charging £140 for one seat at the French game tomorrow and £150 for the Calcutta Cup game on the 24th.

2. The Best Idea Since Hibs Were Going to Build and Run a Pub Chain?

I remember sitting on the next seat to David Duff, the then Hibs owner, on a plane journey and speaking about a whole range of stuff
including his plans to build a pub and hotel empire starting in the south west of England.
I didn’t quite understand why a publicly listed Edinburgh football team had decided to diversify into a new business away from home.
I listened politely and wished him well.
Time shows the ‘inns and hotels dream’ lost the club millions.

So when I heard that my boyhood team Inverness were boxed into a corner and heavily and critically dependent financially on getting planning permission for a brand new green energy Battery Storage facility at a community site at Fairways Business Park three miles away on a hill above Inverness I was just as confused.
Seemingly the club couldn’t stay full time without diversifying in this way.
That is what they were briefing.

The council and local community were not said to be in favour and a lobbying war had broken out.
Anyway there was a crunch council meeting last Wednesday.

Extra time for battery plan that could help Caley Thistle financesAfterwards club Chairman, Ross Morrison said “Now the club has a more secure future’.
ICT Battery Storage Limited, a wholly owned venture plans to store excess electricity and release it back into the national grid at periods of high demand.
What I’ve been told swung the plan with a 3-2 vote at the council meeting was the promise of significant funds being channelled into the club’s ‘Community Development Trust’.
I wonder out loud if that is real or just a community led council pressure point.
Probably both and my old pal Colin Baillie played a blinder for the club.

Whatever, we’re now into the next phase and I and all ICT fans just hope it works out.
I also hope I’m wrong but I have to say I have that same feeling I had back in the day listening to David Duff on a British Midland plane.


3. A Simple Pyro Question

Shocking moment Celtic fan's hair set on FIRE after wild pyro display at Hibs game | The Scottish SunAfter the display at Easter Road this week what would have happened if Celtic had 3 points docked retrospectively for the pyro actions of their fans?

Would pyro displays and the growing pyrodemic cease overnight?


Feedback welcome and the wee-est of stories you send aren’t always wee.




Andy’s Album of the Week

Can't Buy a Thrill - WikipediaIt’s Steely Dan’s ‘Can’t Buy a Thrill’.
But first, you’re a bad lot, or at least three of you are.

I’ve had three emails from different alleged East End, erstwhile, thieving scumbags offering to sell me back my cassette recorder that each says he stole from my Hillman Imp in 1976 along with all my cassettes.
You can’t all be the culprits.

Anyway this week I revisited a marvellous album from around that time.
An album that simply has not aged.
I had never heard of the band, well it was their debut album, until Radio One’s worst ever DJ, Tony B, announced a new song by ‘Steeleye Dan’.
It was obviously on his playlist because he never had any respect for the music he played, and at the end he remarked it was to him a new sound from the well-known folk band who would be better doing what they used to do.

The track that he played hooked me in after one listen.
It was ‘Do it Again’ and I went out that very day to ‘The Other Record Shop’ on Market Steps and bought the album.
I love ‘Dirty Work’ in particular but there are no duff tracks.
In time I also bought it on Cassette for the car and later on CD too.
And yes it was one of my cassettes stolen in 1976 outside Parkhead along with my white Adidas bag that I got free with green shield stamps.

Posted in: Andy’s Sting in the Tale, Latest News