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Frankie S

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Everything posted by Frankie S

  1. Having just read the board's justifications for voting "Yes" I have a number of observations. Firstly, I'm prepared to cut them some slack over this. I could be wrong, but this doesn't really sound like a glib ex post facto cover up for their decision to vote in favour of Rangers newco's elevation to the first division designed to throw the fans off the scent. If we accept it at face value then it suggests that they came to the wrong decision for, largely, the right reasons (restructuring, the good of the Scottish game) rather than the wrong decision for the wrong reasons (greed, the hope of getting invited into SPL2). I still think they got it badly wrong, but I'm at least partially assured that they got it wrong with good intentions. The Scottish game is badly in need of root and branch reform and I am in agreement with many of the points alluded to in the board's statement - the requirement for play-offs to the top flight in addition to the automatic promotion place, the complete failure of the SPL and the need to look at integration of the SFL and SPL structures in one league structure and the needless proliferation of governing bodies and the need to assimilate the SFA, SPL and SFL as one unified body. I am also in agreement with the board's assessment of the compromise in sporting integrity that was represented by the automatic elevation of the Rangers newco into the SFL structure when other clubs were asked to join the queue. I agree that integrity would have been better served by asking the newco to sit out the 2012-13 season and letting them apply for the SFL bottom tier in the normal fashion further down the line. So far so good. I start to take issue however when the route of asking the newco to join the queue for admission to the SFL is labelled "real integrity." While the route of admitting them to the SFL's bottom tier with immediate effect was by it's nature a compromise, the argument that sporting integrity would be better served by by allowing them to start off at the bottom of the SFL pile rather than elevating them straight into the second tier is not invalidated. Integrity (like the lack of it) is a relative concept and there are greater or lesser degrees of both. The greater degree of integrity involved in consigning Rangers newco to the bottom tier of the league structure is not illusory, it is real. If the board really did believe that integrity could only have been upheld by voting to exclude Rangers newco from the league structure altogether then they should have voted with the other club who did so. It's not much use to cite a "principled" justification for abandoning your principles if the vote is clearly going to be lost, the "greater good" was unlikely to be secured by this method so why not stand up for what you believe in? My own view is that integrity is not a bargaining chip to be surrendered opportunistically for strategic advantage in a negotiation. If you regard integrity as a mere pawn that can be sacrificed to secure some incremental advantage then perhaps it's time to take a step back from the table and ask yourself if the game is really worth playing? It might be a trite observation but those most likely to sacrifice integrity are generally those who value it the least. If you have to sacrifice your integrity to win a prize then the value of the prize should be questioned. Reconstruction of Scottish football should be pursued as an end in itself not grasped gratefully as some tawdry inducement in a rigged game. If the board couldn't trust the authorities to deliver on excluding Rangers newco from the first division how could they trust these same discredited authorities to deliver on their vague promises of reconstruction? And who's to say the drawbridge wouldn't have been drawn up again once newco had been allowed to scramble back to the top flight? The board ask us to believe that they took a calculated gamble by accepting the inducement (reorganisation) as they believed the outcome of the game was already rigged. This fatalistic view strikes a chord of recognition, but the game is changing. For the first time the voices of the fans are being listened to and the board showed they are completely out of step with the "Supporter Spring" by ignoring them. I have little doubt that were it not for the influence of social networks and the new media that Rangers newco would have been ushered back into the SPL with barely a slap on the wrist. But thankfully the shabby machinations of bureaucrats and executives in smoke-filled rooms are becoming a remnant of the past. Accountability is not a fleeting fad it's here to stay. The Realpolitik that formerly prevailed, rooted as it was in self-interest and appeasing the Old Firm, now looks irredeemably "old school. " Sadly just as it's going out of fashion Queens seem to have embraced it. "Voting contrary to the opinions of the fans is not the same as ignoring them" is a euphemism for saying "we know best" or "thanks for your support but you don't really know what you're talking about." To acknowledge that the cumulative weight of supporter' opinion was insufficient to sway the board is to imply that the board were either completely entrenched in their views or that the fans opinions carried very little weight, neither of which is a particularly flattering insight into the collective mind-set of the board. Of course this brings us back to the "greater good" argument. Perhaps it would be acceptable to disregard the fans completely if the greater good (reconstruction) could be secured? The decision of the Queens' board to vote "Yes" strikes me as a curious combination of cynicism and naivety: cynical in their belief that that outcome was rigged and that voting Rangers newco anywhere other than into Div 1 was futile and naive enough to believe that the majority of other SFL clubs would take this view. Surely they must have sensed which way the wind was blowing? I find it hard to believe that they were quite so far out of touch with the "Zeitgeist" or spirit of the times. Why adopt an unpopular position, incur the wrath of your own fans and invite pariah status amongst visiting fans by casting a "Yes" vote to Div 1 when the outcome was clearly going to be "No"? Surely the pragmatic approach here, the avowed strategy of the board, would have been to jump on the bandwagon? I can see the attraction in being a lone beacon of integrity when all around are doing the wrong thing, but when the bandwagon is clearly marked "sporting integrity" it's a huge risk to be left as one of the few dissenting voices on the outside. Surely the board must have sensed the mood? There are well known Queens fans close to the board who seem to spend almost as much time online as Mark Zuckerberg. Claims of naivety at Palmerston were rather more believable under the tenure of dear old Davie Rae but with the advent of the new hard-headed, business-minded board, the idea that Queens are hopelessly out of touch is considerably more difficult to swallow. The irony is that the reconstruction of Scottish football that we purport to desire is almost inevitable anyway and not because it is an effective inducement towards rigging the system to ensure the premature elevation of Rangers newco into the upper echelons of the game (it wasn't) but because the root and branch reform of the game is desirable as an end in itself. If this saga has shown us anything it's how clueless and out of touch the nabobs masquerading as executives running the Scottish game are and how signally the SPL has failed. This issue is the meteorite that will hopefully doom the dinosaurs to extinction. The fans have been empowered, the mainstream media has been marginalised, the authorities have been humiliated. Reform is better served by marginalising the Old Firm and the old ways than it is by re-empowering them. Consigning Rangers newco to Div 3 gives us time to dismantle the iniquitous voting rights and start rectifying the wrongs. The SPL itself is patently not "fit for purpose" in this new world. The fans will keep the pressure up to ensure that reconstruction is delivered in due course even if the clubs drag their feet. Hopefully it will be at least a 42 club solution in the future (ideally with a pyramid system feeding in to the league structure) not a two club or a 12 club solution, a structure that is fair and beneficial to everyone and where income is distributed fairly and voting rights apportioned democratically. It wasn't just the fans who were empowered of late, the SFL clubs, on the whole, stood up quite magnificently to the bullying of the SFA and the SPL. Voices such as that of Turnbull Hutton have resonated with moral authority as the inane utterings of Regan, Doncaster et al have disintegrated into scare-mongering nonsense. The lucid and forensically detailed comments of Clyde FC have put the self-contradictory ramblings of the governing bodies to shame. The "keyboard warriors" of the internet have been more perspicacious than the vast majority of the main stream media. The game really has changed and it ill behoves Queens to disregard the fans or pay lip service to their views. On balance I'm prepared to accept that the board took the wrong decision for the right reasons. I think it was a major miscalculation to vote "Yes", but I accept that it was made honestly and in good faith and not to suit some self-serving agenda. I appreciate that they were the first to stick their head above the parapet and admit that they voted "Yes" (some who voted the same way have yet to do so) and they took the time to explain how, however misguidedly, they came to the decision. I would urge the board to listen to the fans in future and not merely to say that they do. I believe that we might just be standing on the threshold of a brave new future for Scottish football. On reflection I think it would be a great shame if Queens fans gave up on their club over this so I would urge them to continue to support the club. I do not think this is a "sack the board moment", but the board should acknowledge that they got it very wrong this time.
  2. All I can say about the current denizens of the Palmerston board is this: You are sell outs and you have betrayed the legacy of this once proud club: As clubs such as Clyde and Raith Rovers took the moral high ground and resisted the bullying, threats and intimidation from the corrupt nabobs who run the carve-up masquerading as a "sport" that we like to call football in this country, you sat idly by and said nothing. As others were taking the lead you took a back seat. Even as the tide was turning irrevocably in favour of a "No" to Sevco in SFL1 vote, a vote that would have been overwhelmingly backed by the majority of Queens' fans, you still didn't have the savvy to jump on the bandwagon. No, you decided to vote to elevate the carcass of the club formerly known as Rangers FC back into the upper echelons of the game, contrary to principles of sporting integrity, natural justice and precedent. I can only conclude that you did this to curry favour from those same nabobs (Regan, Doncaster et al), who should soon be out of a job, in the hope that they might ask you to join some hastily stitched-up SPL2. Ingratiating yourselves with the "great and the good" (have inverted commas ever been used more ironically?) whilst alienating many of your own fans and embracing pariah status from fans of clubs who did the right thing. Was it really worth it? I await the departure of all those currently on the board at Palmerston before resuming my long-standing support of the club. Thank God they are merely temporary custodians of the club, but one can only mourn the damage they have already caused.
  3. For some the threats to abandon Scottish Football if Sevco are elevated to the first division may be empty posturing, but for others it's a matter of principle. Don't underestimate how strongly many people feel about this issue. If Sevco are put straight into the first division or a newly-created SPL2 then the game is up. For decades we've known that the Scottish game has been run for the benefit of the Old Firm and that those running the game are merely Old Firm sycophants and errand boys. The idea of an independent Scottish footballing authority is an oxymoron - there is no autonomy and precious little independence. They are in the pockets of the Old Firm and like bargain basement pimps with a third rate portfolio they spend all their time promoting their most marketable girls (the gruesome twosome) and hiding the rest away in the shadows. One of the gruesome twosome comes down with AIDS and expires so they spend all their time trying to tart up the carcass in the hope that that nice Rupert Murdoch fellow won't notice rather than, God forbid, talk up the others. If Sevco are elevated to the second tier next season then it's not because the "authorities" want them in the first division, it's because they want them back in the SPL within a season at worst and one season of "exile" below the top tier is considered more than enough of a sop to the fans and those pesky idealists who cling to such spurious and commercially indefensible concepts as "sporting integrity." So what happens if Sevco are in Div 1 next season and they don't get promoted? The "authorities" have already shown that they are prepared to bend, manipulate, finesse, or however you wish to describe their relationship with, the rules to get the club formerly known as Rangers FC back into the top division as quickly as possible so you can rest assured that the playoffs, the league size, everything will be fair game as the rule book will be ripped up to welcome Sevco "back" to the top table in 2013-14. The SPL was formed to maximise the revenue from as many Old Firm encounters per season as possible and the drawbridge was pulled up with idiotic criteria regarding building seats that clubs couldn't afford for fans that didn't exist implemented in true Catch 22 style. The SPL has never had one thin dime from me since it's inception and not just because my club has never been in it. Suddenly we're meant to believe that the SPL are coming over all expansive and meritocratic when they were formerly restrictive and a closed shop. Oh, it's for the "good of the game" of course that 16 team leagues that were "commercial suicide" before are now the prospective panacea. No, it's not altruism, forward-thinking or a vision of a Brave New World, it's just the same old myopic, duopolistic thinking that has hamstrung Scottish football for generations. It's a blatant attempt to drag the carcass of the club formerly known as Rangers FC back to the summit of Scottish football by any means necessary. And when they finally get them back there you can be pretty sure the drawbridge will be lowered again soon enough to keep the riff-raff out. So, if the authorities are blatantly willing to abandon policies that they formerly held to be axiomatic, completely disregard precedent, embrace changes that they formerly labelled suicidal, rip up the rule book and start again for the benefit of one club (and you can guarantee that they would do all this for precisely two clubs in the Scottish game) then you can be sure of absolutely nothing when it comes to fixing, rigging or generally corrupting the game for the benefit of the untouchable duo. Perhaps we could rely on referees, the last bastions of fair play? Presumably they'd be unimpeachable beacons of integrity in a morally bankrupt world, the last virtuous men in Sodom? There will be no point in going to Scottish football anymore. It would be a game played with loaded dice being supervised by craven sycophants and enablers of the Old Firm. A sordid pantomime masquerading as a sport prostituted for a few shekels from the execrable Rupert Murdoch. It wouldn't just be a few giving up Scottish football as it is presently constituted, it would be many, myself included. On the somewhat illogical point that those giving up going to Scottish games should refrain from posting on a football forum: I'd still follow football, I'd still watch EPL, La Liga, Serie A, international football etc, it would merely be Scottish football as it's presently constituted and run that I'd parted company with. It would still be possible to criticise from without, to lobby for change within the Scottish game. The present "authorities" are merely the temporary custodians of the game in Scotland, why should we allow them to annex the game that we love? Force them out, Doncaster, Regan et al or begin again. It's hard to believe that there wouldn't be a breakaway soon enough if Sevco are accorded special treatment. Starve the charlatans out and start again from the bottom up with a fair, meritocratic system instead of a structure dictated from above by slavish adherents of an outdated duopolistic model rooted in bigotry and sectarianism. The public appetite is for change, there is no point in going back to the despised ways of l'Ancien Regime, the old regime has lost it's legitimacy. Vive la Revolution!
  4. One minute you're bemoaning the lack of "quality debate" on the subject and the next you're coming over all Danny Dyer and extolling the virtues of intimidation and suggesting that all that has been lacking from this saga so far is the cynical exploitation of criminal and paramilitary connections by a proper "Rangers-minded" consortium. The most disgraceful aspects of the history and following of the club formerly known as Rangers FC', the very aspects that make them so unpalatable to most right-thinking people, seem to possess, for you at least, some spurious glamour. Grow the f*** up!
  5. What a glorious statement from Turnbull Hutton. I wish he'd gone a bit further and said that Servco would have to join the queue of applicants for the 3rd Division rather than suggesting that their election to the bottom tier of the SFL was likely to be a formality, but nevertheless an admirable and powerful statement that bristles with moral indignation. How refreshing after so many years of listening to club chairmen defend the indefensible on the grounds of "commercial imperative. " There has been something of "the Arab Spring" about this populist uprising (and kudos to all the fans who have expressed their opinions eloquently and forcibly on this and other sites) but it also reminds me of the recent and surely inexorable decline of Murdoch's press empire. Everyone knew that Murdoch's rags were toxic and corrupt but for too long too few dared speak out. The News of the World was an outdated institution run by wide boys and borderline criminals, a dinosaur that thrived on exploiting the basest human instincts, pandering to the bigoted, reactionary dregs of society, but we feared their bully boy tactics and their thuggish threats. Cowardice made us accomplices in their malign hegemony. But then something changed. People began to speak up against Murdoch and his corrupt empire, the threats lost their power as more and more people spoke out. The vile tyrant's aura of omnipotence slipped and we wondered why we were ever in the thrall of such a pathetic old man. We'd given the bogeyman his mythic status and unrivalled power by our collective inaction and passivity, we'd allowed his minions and his sycophants to do their dirty work and never held them to account. But slowly at first, and then quickly as the anti-Murdoch movement achieved critical mass, things changed and they would never be the same again. The world is changing and much for the better. In the age of the internet and social media vile regimes can no longer cling onto power by annexation and monopolisation of the main stream media and the corruption of politicians and beaurocrats. Those who were formerly disenfranchised now have a voice and that voice will be heard. On the subject of disenfranchised groups, there's no doubt that Scottish football fans have occupied that lowly position on the social hierachy for far too long. Football clubs, managers, players and the media have traditionally treated the people who pay their wages with thinly-veiled contempt at best. The nadir of this old school mentality is surely Jim Traynor's execrable "Your Call" show where fans are offered the opportunity to call in and be condescended to by an idiot. For too long Scottish football has been firmly rooted in the noxious Old Firm duopoly, a false dichotomy of pantomime villainry exploiting outdated stereotypes and prejudices that should have been consigned to the dustbin of history long ago. Scottish football has for too long been a parochial backwater where lumbering giants steeped in bigotry, discrimination and divisiveness have been accorded pre-eminent status and the rest of us consigned to the roles of also-rans, submissive servants happy to accept the scraps from our masters' table. Whatever happens now it's clear that we've finally stripped one of Scottish football's dinosaurs of it's mythic power. Like the News of the World, Rangers weren't too big too fail, they were simply too bigoted to survive in the modern world. The duopolistic axis of evil has finally been broken, the inequities of a system designed to benefit the elite and discriminate against the rest will be rectified. Better late than never. Let's hope the other Glasgow giant, freed from the burden of having to set up in perpetual opposition, like some pathetic WWF-style Nemesis, can divest itself of some of it's paranoia and re-integrate itself as part of the broader community of Scottish football. Suitably chastened former tyrants are welcome in this Brave New World, but their mystique and power will have been largely stripped away. Like the senile, impotent Murdoch stuttering before the Leveson Inquiry, we're left wondering why it took so long to see through the conceit that was Glasgow Rangers. The greatest trick this particular Devil pulled was in convincing us not only that he did exist, but that he had to exist. We won't make that mistake again.
  6. Yeah, I'm one of the others. I've been disillusioned with Scottish football for a long, long time. Too many reasons to go into too much detail here: the restrictive cartel that is the SPL; the closed shop that is the SFL; the myopic self-interest that seems to govern the game up here and the perennial elevation of pragmatism over principle that ensures that the right decisions are rarely taken, and almost never for the right reasons; the ever-increasing price of watching football of an ever-diminishing quality; the patent contempt for fans displayed by most clubs (from the stop and search/zero tolerance policies shown by the police and stewards at Dens Park to the deteriorating facilities and the inedible fare presented as "catering" almost everywhere); the supine attitude of the authorities, and the submissive deference of the other clubs, towards.the Old Firm, evident in everything from the indulgence of that boorish ned Lennon to the patent unwillingness of all concerned to even consider demoting Rangers from the SPL if they start up again as a newco. The fans' loyalty is taken for granted, so much so that those within the game barely bother to varnish their contempt for the people who pay their wages with even a thin veneer of respect. Scottish clubs seem to think that the way forward in a recessionary economy is to treat the fans with even more contempt and charge even more for the "privilege" of wearing their shoddy merchandise and watching their terrible football. The standard of football on display in the first division has been deteriorating for years, now it's at a level that wouldn't look out of place on a public park, assuming the public park "footballers" were completely bereft of anything resembling talent. I took one look at the squad Queens assembled at the start of the season and immediately wrote off the entire campaign. It was a squad that would hardly have illuminated the second division. Lack of creativity, pace and goal threat were evident and the prospect of a season-long rearguard action against inevitable relegation, led by a manager hardly renowned for his free-flowing, attacking football, was just too dismal to contemplate. It didn't take the addition of a Rangers-supporting director to the boardroom to recognise a "bear market" when I saw one. After investing thousands of pounds in entrance fees, sponsorship draw entries, season tickets, catering, programmes, shares etc over best part of 40 years the time had come to cut my losses. If ever there was a time to "sell" Queens it was at the start of this term. So for the first time since the mid '70s I haven't attended a single game in any competition this season. Throughout years of profound disillusionment with Scottish football, Queens were a consolation, an irrational indulgence. Following Queens was a guilty pleasure that seemed just far enough away from the toxic influence of the Old Firm to be insulated from the most pernicious aspects of the game north of the border. There comes a time, however, when you have to question if there aren't better ways to spend your time and money than watching imposters masquerading as footballers dismally failing to entertain yet again. I no longer think Queens exist in some sort of idyllic bubble - the faults of the Scottish game are too far-reaching. The enthusiasm I once had for Scottish football had long gone and my enthusiasm for Queens was always destined to follow suit, eventually. I cut my ties with the game at the start of the season. So far I haven't missed it.
  7. FYI Gary Grant who reached this year's mastermind final is in his early 30s I think. He's a GP in the Bolton area, he came from Aberdeen originally.

  8. Did he? The only "evidence" I've seen for that claim is on the notoriously unreliable TAMB. The following tweet was cited as evidence (there was also mention of an alleged tweet on the Chelsea youth twitter feed but no link provided): "I will not be playing for Scotland against Serbia I've passed the U17s stage 2/3 years ago and i will not be stepping down a few levels!!" Only problem is that this was dated 4.23 pm on 17th Feb and several subsequent tweets confirmed that he had changed his mind and was indeed travelling to Scotland for the game. Can't be bothered cutting and pasting the whole saga but it's there for all to see. Loathe as I am to follow the ramblings of any 16 year-old on Twitter, I think we have to cut him some slack here. Mark Wotte tweeted after the game that he allegedly "refused to play in" that there was "no problem" and that Feruz would definitely be involved in upcoming games with the under 17s. Seems from the comments of Wotte and Sbragia recently that neither are concerned about Feruz's commitment and that the decision to let him fly back to London was a mutually agreed one. No point in stirring up antagonistic feelings towards a clearly highly talented young player on the basis of a few immature tweets and some half-arsed internet speculation.
  9. Good interview. What a refreshingly level-headed and modest guy. Good to see. An excellent attitude allied to his undoubted ability should ensure that he's got a bright future ahead.
  10. Yeah, a guy who couldn't cut it at a mediocre Championship side and can't make the international squad at a time when we're, arguably, suffering the greatest dearth of striking options in living memory (and the one striker we do have that's playing and scoring at a decent level has fallen out with the manager). With 45 goals in 94 games at League One level with Huddersfield already we can only hope that Rhodes aspires a little higher...
  11. Not the worst idea to beef up the Under 21s for the games against the Dutch, just as Iceland did against us in the play offs last time round. We've got a few decent prospects at the moment and the inclusion of Hanley, Wilson, Rhodes, Forrest (maybe even Bannan, who is presumably still eligible) might mean we can give the Dutch a decent game. On the subject of Rhodes, I noticed Levein was damning him with faint praise in the media this weekend. According to our ever-insightful manager, Rhodes could be "the new Kris Boyd." God forbid!
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