Andy’s Sting In The Tale (18/9/20) “Testing Times For All”

Date: 18th September 2020


Positive Results in Europe


Well done to all the Scottish clubs in Europe. We might not agree with the big four counties consigning us to the meagre rations that are Euro preliminary games where we try to qualify for the European gravy train. But it is what it is, and it is all we have.
Let’s hope that Aberdeen’s vanquishing of the Norwegians is a harbinger for our national side, after Stevie and his boys have done the business versus Israel.

Was the No Goalie Area Fair?

Last week after some positive tests had removed their usual keepers and left them in a proverbial pickle, St Mirren took to the field with a loaned Hearts goalie who was introduced to the rest of the team in the changing room. At least the team had a proper goalie but a few of you are of the opinion that not only should the game have been postponed, but that St Mirren were treated differently to Celtic and Aberdeen earlier in the season.
If we give the benefit of the doubt we might say that things are moving and policy needs to be flexible, but SPFL the fans are watching.

Same Rules for All?

Another post bag discussion was about the fact that while the teams in our top league are tested twice a week, the rest of our game which is just waking up are not subject to the same regime.
Pete from Aberdeen asks “what happens when a non-tested team meets a twice-a-week team?”

Fair question and I don’t know the answer, but it should be in the public domain.

 22 Ground Regulations Work for Both Test Matches 

It was great to see two games with fans last week under the careful watch of all, including the JRG.
My pal was at Victoria Park to see his beloved County against Celtic.
I won’t dwell on the score but he enjoyed the occasion and said it was well run and that Celtic had 5 lucky breakaways.

Shoosh – It’s the Secret Pre Season at a Stadium Near You

Right now every club outside the top league having been in training is gearing up for pre-season friendlies.

But don’t ask who they are playing.
It’s secret and they have been told to keep it so till after the matches.
Not sure why, maybe its on the minutes of the JRG?

On the Trail of the Lonesome JRG

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Last week I told you I had tried to find out who is on the Joint Response Group.

On Monday I emailed the Minister responsible, Joe Fitzpatrick.
Here is part of my email.

“Minister, We have been told the JRG has an important role in decision making and implementation at present but we cannot find out who is on it, what it talks about or how it comes to its decisions. Why are it’s details i.e. members, agendas, and meeting records and minutes not matters of public record and why is the JRG not open at all levels to the real stakeholders in the Scottish game, the fans. This is just the same way the Scottish Government operates so this is not a radical request in any way.”

We got a response.
Well, more a response that isn’t yet a response.
We are officially “Case No 202000088184” and have been promised a reply within 20 working days, which is a month in most people’s calendars.


Keynesian Korner

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The economics of our nation, how Covid is affecting it, how it affects football and how football is changing and has to change will be an unwanted but recurring and regular feature.

This year some of our clubs have had record season book sales on the back of massive fan goodwill during and after lockdown.

Our two biggest clubs have capitalised on their neighbourly wee squabble over something to do with the number 10.

Now it seems more likely that  we might be slipping into a thirties style depression that will impact on consumer spending and have a negative impact on all club revenue streams.
The only thing certain is that change is inevitable and our game has never more needed sage leadership and profound support.

ECB Knocked for 6 

Just yesterday we heard that the England and Wales Cricket Board are cutting 62 jobs because of the financial downturn.

That is 1 in 6 jobs.
What if that happened everywhere?

Clubs Looking for Help

Speaking with a few of my chairman pals it is fair to say that they are managing their finances more than ever before but finding budgeting impossible.
The consensus is that they say they will need more business help from both the SPFL and the SFA .
“Andy, see what Scottish Golf are doing to support their members over the last few years. We need that but with turbo power. But it’s not happening and probably never will as we all seem to be sleepwalking”.

Buried Up Mulholland Cul De Sac

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Thanks to Alan from Stranraer for asking me to change the name of last week’s “Stranded Up Mulholland Drive” into something he thinks more likely.
This week Murdo Fraser, Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, waded in with two juicy quotes.
“The malicious prosecution of Ranger’s administrators must be investigated thoroughly” was one, and “This should send shivers down the spine of anyone concerned about the integrity of the Scottish legal system”.

He goes on and says despite originally denying any wrongdoing, the Lord Advocate has now accepted that large parts of the prosecution were malicious and finally “I will be pressing for a full, detailed and public enquiry”.

Maybe this won’t all get buried after all and most fans, no matter their political persuasion, would agree with Murdo.

Not really a football story I’ve been told – more about power and how some use football to make themselves more powerful.

So maybe it is a football story after all.

Even Ernie Walker’s Report is also in the Hampden Long Grass

Ernie ran the SFA with a rod of iron and after retiring, produced a report in 1995 on the game and how to have a successful future.

This was before the two McLeish reports.

I can’t find it on the interweb anywhere and have asked Ian Maxwell at the SFA and he is doing what he can, but in the meantime…

Anyone out there have a copy?

Beaming Your Way From Gretna

The Gretna FC 2008 Fans Podcast

I had the pleasure of speaking with Iain and Jonathan on their wonderful Gretna Podcast.
It was their 5th and already they have been in the Apple top podcast charts.

Two well informed fans doing their bit for their club.
More power to you guys and I hope I win the bet!—A-chat-with-Andy-Smith-Chairman-of-Scottish-Football-Supporters-Association-ejkqqp

Maxies Groundhog Day

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So far he is never going to get Andie McDowell and is still driving his stolen van over the quarry! with Phil on the passenger seat.

Ian please answer the 4 questions:

  1. “Ian were there 4 sign offs on the binning of the pyramid as per clause c in the appropriate agreement”?
  2. “Ian what have the SFA done on behalf of Brora, Kelty et al in light of what happened?”
  3. “Ian are there any plans to review how the feeder leagues feed into the SPFL so that it is more equitable between the 85% of the population in the Lowland League zone and just 15% in the Highland League”?
  4. “Ian why is the relegation spot from the bottom SPFL league not automatic and the 9th spot above a play off position”?

As always if you want to discuss any issues or want me to look at any story or have something on any aspect you want to share, my email is


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