Andy’s Sting In The Tale (24/06/22) “100 Not Out?”

Date: 24th June 2022

(Photo:@Homesoffootball)

 “Andy’s Sting in the Tale” Hit a Historic Milestone Last Week

It started out as my amateurish, very, for one week, attempt to share some SFSA fan research and to try to explain Neil Doncaster’s “Good Friday Disagreement” when Scottish Football’s internecinal tribalisms and in-fightings made some shocking, but predictable decisions.

It got an encouraging reaction.

‘Sting’ even in those early days was different and talked about stuff that the media mostly ignores.

And it has continued on a rich stream/feed of the nonsense that happens here and elsewhere in a game dominated increasingly by money in the quest for media power, and more money and status too.
That is why the Saudis are buying in, why Qatar bought their World Cup, why Russia and Gaz Prom bought their World Cup and were also all over Fifa and Uefa like a cheap, demob suit.

Football is not in a good place and we are all being constantly blind sighted by who is ‘winning’ who is ‘losing’ and what our clubs are doing to get to the top of what they think is the tree.
It is all moonbeams like David Murray’s floating pitch and ‘succulent lamb journalism’ was never confined to Scotland even though we are good at it still.

A hard fact is we have been let down by those who run the game for us.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan, still a fan.
Have been since I was 6.

I want my club to do well, and every club I ever played for too, but I’m now of a view that I don’t actually care too much about the “ins and outs” at my club or elsewhere or even the “toings and froings” of my team or even those at ‘once deadly rivals’ because in the long run ‘plus ca change’.
I’d rather they had good kids programmes, walking football, proper reserve teams and a real pyramid for the natural progressions up and down.

I’ve become a huge fan of community stuff too and realised that without their community football clubs are nothing.

See the source imageI’d actually like to see every club have its day and our Premier League recent Role of Honour is a sad indictment to scale and the financial powers of socio economic and cynical tribal differentiation and manipulation.

“Stuff” and “Breaking News” will continue to happen and be barked at top volume in fans’ directions.
Most of it will be unimportant and surface only but it will keep the red tops busy enough and well enough supplied too, to fill their pre-designated daily column inches for club-assigned journos with sore necks from looking round to avoid the next round of redundancies.

The self-same hollow and meaningless column inches that fewer and fewer will read.

We represent the silent, mostly apathetic majority who might be passionate about their own side but who also want to see the game in a better place.

I’m only chairman of the SFSA because I agreed to come in and help my old friend Henry for an hour about 5 years ago.

Outside Season-Book week, Scottish fans really have no voice and that suits the game.
But it is a situation that damages everything.

It is not a Scottish problem but it has allowed our clubs and the game itself to be hijacked by the wrong power-seeking people.

So you can ask me – Has ‘Sting’ changed the game in 2 years?
No, but it has a following of fans who will become a snowball for change.
Knowledge is power.
And our snowball is getting bigger all the time.

Has Sting discussed a lot of ‘nonsense’ and ‘stuff’ and put it into the public domain for ever?
Yes and ‘stuff’ that should be given much more daylight and review.

SPFL issue fierce response to Rangers and Park's and vow to 'set the record straight' over cinch sagaEmbarrassing ‘stuff’ like the £100M plus cost to our public purse after the 2012 collapse of Rangers and the abysmal and illegal, maybe, Police Scotland and Crown Prosecution responses.

Sting has evolved into a weekly insight into things that should be discussed more and every week’s column right back to day 1 is available on our web site.
A nice way to pass the time if you find yourself in Cowdenbeath on a wet Tuesday afternoon.

Sting is actually more about life and human nature than football.

It has been weird looking back on what I’ve covered and the journey we’ve taken.

Football has long been hijacked by money and the trend is exacerbational and not good for what our game needs.

We have to be realistic.
We’ll never counter the corruption at Fifa and Uefa.
So we don’t play that game.
We can however concentrate on looking after our own knitting in our own backyard and make our segment of World Football brighter and better.

I’d be happy with that.

We need to collectively realise that we can change Scottish Football in a way that big clubs can continue to be big but that grass roots and recreational football can also thrive.
Both are actually synergistic rather than competitive but in football ‘big always wants more’.

Tynecastle Stadium evacuated ahead of Hearts game against Hamilton | Glasgow TimesAnd the recent Lowland League nonsense demonstrates that the ‘me, me, me’ fall-back is endemic at all levels.
That episode has been particularly pathetic but insightful.

Why?

Partly human nature but mostly because football and football power broking doesn’t just allow self-interest – it actually rewards it

Our problem remains that clubs run the game and self-interest frames their every decision.
Those who run Scottish Football do so at the behest of their members and are hamstrung, every day, in every meeting and in every action.

At least they are well paid.

Scottish Football needs outside help and guidance but the nonsense is it will inherently fight any move that might lead to that kind of change.

The kind of change that is needed.
The right solution, whatever it is, will need to be multi supported and political.
Schism is almost inevitable.
We need your input.

If you have the time listen in to our conference this Sunday at 3pm.

“Reviewing the Game”

Half an hour, 45 mins tops on Zoom and then on U Tube.

There will be no bullshit or ‘scripted nonsense’ by mercenary PR agencies who don’t give a toss about what they are being asked to message.

No ‘scent-marking’ quotes.

Our session will be just football people like us who want to put something back and mould the right changes.

The panel of guest speakers all support football teams but have also risen above the “self-interest shackles” that dominate.

Aberdeen boss Craig Brown to retire in the summer - BBC SportCraig Brown, Ian Murray and Kevin Miles, CEO of the Football Supporters  Association in England who is involved in the ongoing “Fan-led-review’ down south.
Henry McLeish and Simon Barrow also make up the list and presenter Heather Dewar will get the best out of them.
Especially if you help too.

Change starts with a full and honest review and at SFSA insight is always welcome.

Contribute or just spectate.

Sign up here: SFSA Annual Conference 2022 – A Review of the Game Tickets, Sun 26 Jun 2022 at 15:00 | Eventbrite

Now finally, This Week’s Sting

A wee Gaelic flavour because maybe we need a “BBC Alba” view of the football world. (Self interest for fans and apologies for my Google translate Gaelic too)

  1. Air an t-Slighe Australilia Agus Sealan Nuadh
  2. Stein’s Aon-Deug
  3.  Aite cinnteach aig an ath Chupa na Cruinne
  4. Tha Asterisk Confusion a cur dragh air a BhBC
  5.  Co dha a bhios luchd-reiteachaidh ag obair?
  6.  Farce Frangach air a ghlacadh air na meadhanan soisealta
  7.  Julie Fowlis agus an t-eun dubh

 

  1. The Start of a Long and Confusing Road for Our Scottish Women’s Team


Scotland 1-1 Ukraine: Scots' Women's World Cup hopes on track after late equaliser - BBC SportTonight we play Ukraine at the Stadion Miekski in Rzeszow, Eastern Poland not far from the Ukraine Border.
There will be sympathy and support for the Ukrainian nation, but I think our girls will deliver second place from their last two games against Ukraine and the Faroes away.
Second place ahead of Hungary and Ukraine wins a space in the most complicated play off process I have ever seen.

Here is the process as per ‘Wiki’ which came from the Fifa site.
“Group Stage – Nine groups, nine group winners (our one will be Spain) taking 9 out of 11 places available. (That is easy enough.)

But how about this?
Play Offs: The 9 teams play two knock out rounds of single leg matches, with the best three runners-up entering in the second round, to determine the two additional qualified teams and one inter-continental play-offs entrant from Uefa based on combined records in both the group stage and play offs.”

WTF?
And way-above my pay grade but somehow or other it will be our only chance and for now that is enough for now.

2. Steins’ 11 Idea, Evolving

Jock Stein, 'The coal miner who Won the Biggest Cup of them all'BBC Alba and Gaelic Might be the Answer  

Our women’s game in Poland tonight was screened live on BBC Alba.
In Gaelic unless you press the red button.

So this could be a cunning plan for showing Scottish men’s international matches almost live, delayed by 11 minutes, on council telly.
And teaching a nation one of our ancient languages too.

What is not to like and support?
Why did nobody at the Scottish Government think of that one?

BBC Alba needs Scotland’s men’s games live (minus 11 minutes).
For the sake of the language.

Scottish fans need our politicians to see the ‘West coast’ light.

3. We Have a Guaranteed Spot at the next World Cup Finals.
Guaranteed!

Concert Ground Regulations | Hampden ParkThis week saw the SFA AGM.
We were not there.
Why would fans be invited to be part of something where they are the core stakeholders anyway?
Among other things Ian Maxwell released an 8 minute ‘scripted’ “interview”.
It’s worth a look and it was well thought through and well done by his team

I do have one or two issues about what was said.
My biggest single issue was when Ian mentioned the Lowland League, Player Pathways and Colts teams.

I’d have liked him to acknowledge the sheer anger in all the feeder leagues underneath but he didn’t.

His members at the bottom of his pyramid.

All shafted.

Shafted by the greed of the Lowland League board.

And disguised as for the good of the game because the SPFL, aka the clubs who are also members of the SFA, have failed to think about what is right for both their player pathways and the good of football.
Like a reserve league, or a combination of some sorts.

It is all an absolute disgrace but there is one good spin off.

Scotland guaranteed in the World Cup Finals 2026.

Ian didn’t talk at the AGM about a ‘secret mission’ just signed off by the SFA Board which involved Thomas Brown, Lowlife League Chair, heading first to Switzerland and then northern Mexico.

Lowland League make U-turn to allow Celtic, Hearts and Rangers to enter B teams into the division | Daily Mail OnlineThe outcome is we are guaranteed a world cup spot in 4 years.

Yes, Steve and his team will play qualifiers in front of an as yet unpopulated, UK based, Scandi Broadcaster. (I have actually been told they will be legit unlike Premier Sports/Setanta and have new but good broadcast teams already on the continent).

And if we fail to qualify on the pitch then just like Celtic, Hearts, and Rangers Colts we have arranged a pathway where we can buy our Colts side a way into one of the obscure first round World Cup Leagues/ groups.
Probably the group based in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon where the 45 degree summer heat will not make it a popular venue with others.

So well done the Lowlife League, you’ve opened the door and shown us the way.

I hope my sarcasm suitably frames the nonsense of it all.

Other Facts

World Cup 2026 will make Fifa an $11 billion Surplus, which was why it was given to the USA Canada and Mexico bid without the recent brown envelopes being exchanged.
World Cup 2026 host cities announced: Full list

16 Cities who were all squeezed very hard.
Pasadena where the last USA final was held didn’t even get selected as a level 1 host.

And a USA final is on the cards, probably in New York.

Well done, once again,  Thomas Brown for a guaranteed Scottish presence, whether it is Colts or Stevie’s team.

 

One Question

What will Fifa do with the money?
They already have $billions in their bank account.

And what deal did Thomas Brown actually agree with Infantino?
Maybe a years supply of McSween’s Haggis and Stornoway Black Pudding which he has said he loves on a radio Highland podcast?
Or a days fishing on the Junction Pool at Kelso at peak season?

 

4. Asterisk Confusion Baffles the BBC

This week the BBC were talking about the new fixture list for the SPFL leagues known as Cinch for everyone except for Rangers.

Glasgow’s national broadcaster has already stopped calling them the Cinch leagues.
If I was Cinch or one of their advisers, I’d be all over this one.
When you go swimming you can’t get half wet.
If you want kids you can’t be half pregnant.

Sponsorship is everyone or nobody.

 

5. Who Do Referees Work For?

The BBC headline read “Victims abused by referee Hugh Stevenson say the SFA is blocking justice”.
Peter Haynes and Stuart McMillan, two youngsters were groomed and sexually abused by SFA accredited official Hugh Stevenson, now deceased.
Football and his role in it was his modus operandi.

The two victims are currently pursuing a civil case but the SFA are being briefed by their briefs to block the action.
“We have not seen any evidence that Mr Stevenson was an employee of the SFA nor that he held a position that was akin to any employment” was the ‘legalese’ that summed up the GTF letter.

Maxie, at the SFA, a decent guy is hamstrung and said he had sympathy but for legal reasons etc. etc.

What would he have said if one of the victims was his brother or son?

Don’t know but that is a good way to see this.

I am no legal expert but if it looks like a duck, and quacks and lays duck eggs it is usually a duck.

Stevenson was refereeing SFA matches, on behalf of the SFA in an SFA blazer.
He didn’t just go to grounds at the right time with his boots and ask if they needed a linesman.

Victims abused by referee Hugh Stevenson say the SFA is blocking justice - BBC NewsWho trained him?
Who paid him?
Who was he representing?
Who allocated the matches to him?
Who would have disciplined him if he misbehaved at the game or got stuff so wrong that even his local association could not cover up any ‘biases’?

Dotted lines are not an excuse or a failsafe barrier.

Scottish Football really has some dreadful baggage from child abuse coming its way.

It should address the issues openly and fairly and not hide behind expensive lawyers whose only desire is to avoid truth and responsibility simply because they fear compensation claims.
Football should do the right thing.

6. French Farce Captured on Social Media

French senators seek action over Champions League final messThis week we heard the French Senate will launch a full investigation into the CL Final.
After 2 hours listening to Ted Morris of Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association, Joe Blott of fans group Spirit of Shankly, Emilio Dumas and Ronan Evain, representing Madrid fans, and Pierre Balthelemu from Football Supporters Europe the abject nonsense and lies from the French Politicians and Uefa were questioned and shown to be outrageous.
Evidence is on thousands of mobile phones and the session only told them what they already knew.
There was no massive fraud at an industrial level.
Fans were not late or aggressive.
Minister Darmanin should now apologise, or resign, or both.
Fans were attacked by local gangs that the French authorities don’t want to talk about.
Police provided no protection and seemed to hide away.

It was only the exemplary behaviour of the Liverpool fans that prevented a tragedy and deaths.

The Uefa response has been shocking and abysmal.

7. Finally a Macca Classic for Glasto Week

Julie Fowlis :: HebCelt 22 :: Scottish Music FestivalA wee Gaelic number from one of Scotland’s finest singers.
Julie Fowlis with ‘Lon-dubh’ one of Maccas best ever tunes given a Scottish flavour.

Definitely worth the 2 minutes.

Julie Fowlis Lon-dubh / Blackbird – YouTube

Finally, as always, feedback and opinions welcome.

 

Andrew@scottishfsa.org

The SFSA do not claim to own any of the included images which will be removed on request of the owner.


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