Andy’s Sting In The Tale (27/08/22) “Ouch, Ouch, Ouch”

Date: 27th August 2022



If the Westminster government don’t do something radical about the energy bills heading all of our ways, we are all going to suffer.
Football like other businesses will lose revenues needed to balance the books.
The broken energy pricing model means the average Scottish house will need more than £50 MORE per week after tax and on top of an already high cost.
Businesses will be hit even harder.
We also have significantly colder winters than the south.
And we are now being told bills will go up again in the spring.

Our SPFL clubs probably won’t go under unless they are over-committed, but outside our 3 Europe qualifiers, all should be planning for less revenue and things will not improve in the short term.

From speaking to insiders in the game this week some clubs are almost in denial mode saying things like, “We will not reduce our prices” to keep fans coming.
I don’t think they get it yet and won’t till the turnstiles for walk ups and away fans click a lot less.

Already there are bigger gaps in our away ends than before and that means revenue shortfalls and the fans have it right with their £20s plenty.

It is estimated that over 1 million Scottish homes are heading for deep fuel poverty because of the current model for fixing prices where prices are set not on the cost of production  but on the cost of world gas, which is a nonsense in the UK.
The price of wind hasn’t changed.
The model never worked, was at best a camel and should be dumped, pronto.

Meanwhile many of us face stark choices about heating or eating.
And as a result, discretionary spend in Scotland for many of us and our families is going to disappear almost overnight.

See the source imageGrass roots sport will be hit hardest with parents unable to afford paying for their kids. (£80-£100 monthly for two kids is typical if pitches have to be hired).

That is a totally unacceptable situation.
And the stark fact is the Scottish Government might talk a good game about health of individuals and communities and the role of football.
But in their interactions with football they seem fixated with the big clubs and don’t seem to value or deliver at the bottom.

They now say they have no money to help out at the grass roots and anyway the fact is they are pre-occupied with other ‘stuff’, the kind that seeps in from 15 years of power.
‘Stuff’ that gets in the way of running our country

‘Stuff’ that is damaging our kids.




A Wholesome Welcome to this Week’s Sting

  1. 3 Clubs and 4 Teams Still in Europe
  2. Buddies Look After Their Own
  3. Homeward Bound in Qatar
  4. A Saudi Derby
  5. Blue Brazil Not Doing Well in the Lowlife League
  6. Tranmere Take a Stand

1. Well Done Rangers

PSV 0 - 1 Rangers - Sky News: The Latest News from the WorldCeltic were already straight into the group stages because of Rangers lifting our coefficient almost singlehandedly.
Now for the first time in 15 years we will have 2 clubs playing Zadok the Priest before big Glasgow nights as they welcome among others, Real Madrid and Liverpool.

The Ibrox club expertly negotiated two tough qualifying ties and had a memorable and special result in Eindhoven.
The Rangers Women’s team are currently one tie away from the Women’s Champion’s League group stages but being unseeded face some tough opponents.

And Hearts will be disappointed but will nonetheless relish the Conference.
It might not offer the same glamour  as Arsenal, PSV, and Bodo Glimt but there are more winnable games against Fiorentina, Istanbul Basaksehir, and RFS.
A sold-out Tynie will rock to the rafters and be a 12th man too just like the Glasgow teams.

Hearts vs Zurich: Live stream, TV channel, PPV, ref, team news and kick-off time for Europa League play-off - Football ScotlandWhat a great first half against the Swiss champions too.

The two Glasgow clubs will get a minimum of around £30M each and that kind of money makes the gap between them and the likes of Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibs too big for any real meaningful competition in our league.
It is and was ever thus.
And because of the qualification of three teams, so far, the Uefa ‘solidarity’ payments will also be a nice present for the rest of the Premier clubs but it won’t be life changing.

When the Uefa new TV deal kicks in in 2024 (4.5 B Euros) it is rumoured that more of the money will be channelled into the “Solidarity’ payments to all leagues including those who have no European presence after the qualifiers.

The quote I read said, ‘Uefa has to make sure it improves competitive balance”.

I’ll believe it when I see it because the big clubs want more, and more and have all the power and Uefa do their bidding.

2. Fan Owned St Mirren Take a Stand

Rangers and Celtic's ticket allocation at St Mirren put to fans as chairman John Needham weighs up stand decision - Football Scotland


The buddies have decided to only give one stand to the big Glasgow clubs when they come to visit rather than two as before.
They know here will be a revenue shortfall but it is reckoned that many of the St Mirren fans who actually avoid the big 2 visiting because of the inevitable chants about Fenians, blood, and the pro IRA songbook will now take their usual seats.

My Dundee pals say the same and one avoids the two biggest away supports because of the bile.




3. How to Get on a Qatari Magic Carpet Home

Real Flying Carpet: Physicist Turning Aladdin's Vehicle Into Reality

Be a migrant worker working on world cup construction.

Stand outside your employers asking for your unpaid wages.

You’re home in no time and they’ll even charge you for the flight out of your unpaid dues.



4. The New ‘Sportswashing’ Derby

Newcastle United 3-3 Man City highlights as Magpies earn draw against Pep Guardiola's side - Chronicle LiveNewcastle at home to Man City, a cracking game with a 3-3 score line.
Both sets of fans seem happy and relaxed having the Saudi Investment fund as owners.
The money flowing in has become their new normal.

And a wee question.

Did you know who was the ‘guest of honour’ at last week’s big boxing match in Saudi?

Gianni Infantino, he of ‘awarding the world cup to Qatar’, fame.

Maybe Saudi now want to host the World Cup too?

5. Our Broken Pyramid?

Bored' Brechin City FC groundsman mows perfect pitch of geometric shapes and it's a thing of beauty - Daily RecordThere are four clubs who used to be in the SPFL and now in the Highland or Lowlife League.
How are they doing?
Up north, Brechin have started well and have 15 points from 5 games and are top equal.
They want to get back and will one day.

In the south, Berwick are mid table having played 6 and won 3.
East Stirling have played 5 and drawn three and are 4th from bottom.
And Cowdenbeath are 2nd bottom with 2 draws from 6 games.
Cowdenbeath should be doing better because they have their SPFL ‘Parachute Payment’ but maybe they are finding their real level.

I’ve said before there should be an easier path back for the 4 and also all other aspirant clubs and that means automatic promotion and a play-off spot.

If that means bigger leagues above then all the better.
10 teams in a league is madness and all it leads to is severe short-termism right through the club, all season long.

A state of play not good for anyone’s business.

6. Well done Mark and Nicola Palios  but Ayr Let the Fans Down  

Tranmere were playing Saudi owned Newcastle in the Caraboa cup on Wednesday.
There was worldwide interest in the game and it was beamed far and wide.
The club decided to block betting ads on the trackside advertising and in doing so lost out on many thousands of pound notes.
Vice Chair Nicola Palios said, “Times are not easy, but we have taken a stance against gambling advertising in football. We have seen the damage it does.
Our match is shown all over the world and we have a moral responsibility not to be part of the process that leads to one person each day in the UK committing suicide.

I couldn’t have put it any better.

Ayr United had a great result last night in a n entertaining game with some cracking goals but I was disappointed to see the gambling dominated advertising on their two pitchside advertising units.
Gambling is not a worthy partner and kills fans guys.

Have a nice week.

Feedback and opinions are always welcome.

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

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