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Posts posted by harry94

  1. 10 hours ago, Hursty said:

    Arbroath have made a couple of signings so would that not mean Campbell must surely be back?    Actually a bit of a grey area - furloughed manager who is being paid by the Govt happens to say in a Zoom call with a player and his agent that he likes him as a player, has a 3 year plan and suggests to the player they might want to give the chairman a call, does that still count?

    I don't think that's a grey area, it would very blatantly be the manager working. I guess that's why QotS Raith Rovers have went down the part-time route.

    I doubt anyone is going to report a couple of conversations though. They'll just say one of the BoD processed it.

  2. 20 hours ago, ArabianKnight said:

    The sale of the oil company and its retail stores was $200 million plus. Ogren had several lucrative contracts and a whole load of smaller ones for supply deals etc. 

    There was over 10 retail shops sold to a different company from the one that bought the oil supply but dunno if that's including in the figure. 

    Obviously he's got other investments too, I'm sure he still owns a big mall in Florida? 

    Where is that figure coming from?

    Just from the snippets of articles I can find in the US, I don't get the impression that the business was nearly that lucrative, the sites with any sort of account data from that period seem to come back with revenues that are relatively low and any press reports on the sale of his stations suggested a cash transaction of something in the low millions. If he's taken in money into the hundreds of million for his contracts, he must have been trading in an astronomically massive amount of money to handle that risk, the business these contracts were listed as being sold to just appear to be a small affair and list row revenues.

    His current software venture looks to me to be a small distributor with a few employees. If there's something which takes him up a scale to what is being suggested, it's all got to be hidden in property.

    I've always been curious as I've always tried to track Keyes and it looks particularly difficult to get a real sense of wealth in the US. Much harder without companies house!

  3. 28 minutes ago, Spikethedee said:

    Has to be Fin - can't see Ness, Byrne or McDaid being of serious interest to anyone on the topflight.


    I do presume that the whole story is crap, admittedly...

    Byrne was widely regarded as a bit of a coup when we signed him, wouldn't be surprised if he went on loan to a top flight team to save on his wages.

  4. 17 minutes ago, Sugar_Army said:

    Just done a very unscientific poll among Arab friends and colleagues.  These are people who are either season ticket holders or who have regularly attended Tannadice for over 20+ years.

    Asked them to put aside a the Hearts issues and vote between1-10 on how disappointed they were at losing Neilson.

    After 12 replies the average score so far is 5.

    Hardly a ringing endorsement for a manager who just got us promoted.


    There were a few added comments such as...

    Football uninspiring despite winning.

    Hard to watch a lot of time.

    Without Shankland's goals we would have struggled.

    Biggest budget is a poor league but hardly set the heather on fire.

    Yeah he got us up but think his tactics and formation would have seen us struggle next year.

    He signed some duds.


    As I say, very unscientific but nothing that was not aimed at Neilson throughout last season by more than a few fans online.


    I don't know what reality some fans live in. United have had a management team who have operated like complete diddies for 5 years, they finally get someone who is competent, taking 58 points from three rounds of fixtures this term (which only Rangers and Hearts have bettered in the last decade) and then he's still getting plenty of stick at the manner of winning. Teams don't stroll the second tier and win it playing brilliant football, it's a shitfest.

    Losing your manager in the window after promotion has potential to be disastrous, just look at St Mirren a couple of seasons back who accumulated a very good points total heading up and were only saved by a historically bad Dundee after the Stubbs debacle. Not only have United lost a good manager, it's the worst possible time for it to have happened.

  5. That's a cracking appointment. Hearts have never really recovered from his departure and his return to Scottish football has seen him do the business with United in first full season of asking (and his contribution the season before seeing a form equivalent to decent league winners who were already far ahead).

    Prediction is for him to similarly do quite well but then be hounded out the club again for not winning cup competitions within 2 seasons and then him to head down south and fail again, the cycle will then repeat.

  6. No matter what system they came up with for deciding final placings Hearts would still be bottom - you can't get away from the fact thgat they were pish for the best part of the season.

    No solution was ever going to be fair - all we hear is how hard done Hearts are - what about those teams who've been denied the opportunity to get promotion through the play-offs? They haven't really complained (bar Falkirk).
    That's kind of what I'm getting at. The default to PPG and no play offs killed any opportunity of a compromise to take account of anyone else.

    Moving on to the reconstruction phase we did was going to be impossible to navigate as it returned everyone to their basic self interest in trying to bring things to a default mode. There was nothing to leverage against it.

  7. What suitable compromise do you think should have been developed?

    It's a fair point.


    The executive come up with the PPG settlement and worked very quickly to legitimise it into something actionable and gave advice on this, as they are entitled to do.


    They were also briefing that pay outs were absolutely impossible without this specific wording and didn't really have an opportunity to be properly critiqued. We were told that any sort of method of paying out early and realigning in future seasons or even just resolving to pay out in full on PPG but formally leave the season partially open was completely impossible. When some of the chairman did make references to this sort of action as an alternative, they were quickly derided as not having a credible plan as they hadn't yet had the opportunity to arrange for the relevant groundwork to actually properly assess it.


    I'm not saying it was necessarily the wrong decision but there simply wasn't any time to actually consider alternatives and the advice was still coming out on Friday. If the board had actually allowed a few days for another resolution to be properly constructed, I think the rifts would have been more resolvable, especially if the alternative naturally run out of steam and was methodically dismantled.


  8. 5 hours ago, Empty It said:

    Yet with better teams in the championship and a less than average squad it took us until March to get a loss.

    The season before, Hearts had a streamlined squad with a team of departures after admin and then only Danny Wilson in (after that debacle re his registration), quite a few promising youngsters had their chance that season and looked promising.

    Levein and Neilson come in on 12th May after a long time plotting for the end of the season and Hearts clearly had their house in order with quite a bit of early business that had then 7 or 8 additions before pre-season started more than a month later. Neilson is a very good manager at this level and moulded a very good squad together which could consistently dominate games and had goals in them - similar to his changes at United.

    A big thing that fucks over relegated teams more than anything else is when they come down with the management situation up in their air and then have a squad of players on the books who consist of has-beens who are draining top 6 wages and little prep in place for how they are going to move them on (or indeed uncertainty about some important players staying) and recruit. Hearts should (and probably will) win the league very comfortably with their respective size and October is long enough away but I think there's real potential for this to go quite badly. The smaller season as well could be a particular disadvantage, not as much time to claw back a deficit after a bad start.

  9. 2 hours ago, invergowrie arab said:

    "Compensation" is built into the rules by way of parachute payments. They won't get a bean 

    They may be able to argue that the SPFL are liable for additional costs in terms of player contracts which have relegation clauses in them which the clubs struggle to activate in these circumstances (and may see other legal battles with some players and staff emerge if they try to take it up), I could maybe see some compensation for that sort of issue.

    I broadly agree though. If Hearts are theoretically down £8 million in income from being in the top flight, that's fundamentally linked to a cost model that also sees increased spending from playing at that level. The SPFL can't be held responsible for losses, especially when there's a level of control clubs have to approach financial restructuring. Hearts could make drastic cuts and still have a side that would be considerably better financed than Dundee next term.

  10. 13 minutes ago, Green Day said:

    No Harm Done Solution..............................🤔

    "It is understood that a minimum of two teams would be relegated each season under the proposed format"



    In the fuckin bin with this utter shite

    Two automatic relegation places from a 14 team division is very reasonable IMO.

  11. 15 hours ago, Trogdor said:

    Yeah, the indignation from Partick and Hearts is quite annoying. They were both bottom of their respective leagues on merit (or lack thereof). Its a fecking pandemic with no ideal solution to conclude the football season. Just accept it rather than accusing every other club of shafting them. They've been moaning for too long. I loved Thistle's latest statement - nothing says tears and snotters quite like providing a definition of self-interest and then saying that's not our motivation.

    It almost annoys me as much as the opportunism of Brora & Kelty. Just promote both of us its only fair. 🤣

    Well they were relegated before the end of the season in a situation where it's reasonably conceivable that they could have worked out. Of course they are going to moan about that. It doesn't necessarily mean that there was a better overall solution that could have been achieved but they've very blatantly been shafted.

  12. 27 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

    Apologies for asking a hypothetical question, but IF reconstruction is voted out and IF Mrs Budge then takes the SPFL to court and IF this results in season 20-21 being delayed until (say) November and IF Hearts subsequently lose their case, can the SPFL then sue Hearts for costs, loss of revenue, or whatever it takes to plunge Hearts into extinction ?

    How can that happen? Does a court have the power to actually do that?

  13. 3 hours ago, stumigoo said:


    I’ve seen one or two on social media say that this is actually Michael Morrison in the background.


    That's what I thought when I just clicked through Wikipedia. I don't see any obvious links and I assumed teams would be under some sort of controls to limit squad sizes etc and trialists.

  14. 17 minutes ago, Ludo*1 said:

    Danny Rogers has left Aberdeen.

    I liked him the limited amount of times I watched him whilst at Falkirk but with Ramsbottom at times keeping him out the Morton teams, maybe another one best avoided?

    Ooft, that's mental. Always thought Rogers was ridiculously overhyped when he had a few good games on loan at Falkirk but he's reasonably experienced at this level now and not far off his prime years. Probably needs a two year deal somewhere, not really got a chance to settle.

    I wouldn't mind Nicky Cadden from Morton, reasonable goal and assist record for a winger this term with 5 goals and 9 assists in 21 starts (missed around a month injured). He seems to be really well liked there and come on a fair bit. We've relied way too much on McDaid in games this season, pre the defensive changes near the end, there were too many games where he was just our only flair player.

  15. 3 minutes ago, Alternative Title said:

    What makes them look like bad parents to me is working against the police department that was trying to find their child.

    Well, they were being accused of murder? If they are genuine, they should be using every tool at their disposal to resist a police investigation going down a route that they'd know themselves to be false.

  16. Loads of them are farmed out on loan at the moment and usually at significant subsidy to the loaning club. The point is that would dry-up if the Old Firm were able to give them regular competitive Saturday football without having to do so.

    The difference, Harry, is that whereas maybe 5 or 6 youth prospects are kept full time at Celtic Park and Ibrox right now, with the rest playing for other clubs on a Saturday and training with the Bigots midweek for the Development League, a Colts team means that they will now keep more than 20 youngsters each: 5 or 6 for the first team then a 2nd XI with full subs for the Colts.

    Just taking Rangers reserve squad in the most recent term and going through wikipedia quickly, it's compiled of 22 players who are in that bracket of being above that u17 level.

    Of them, 8 spent some time on loan. Of these loans, a few were very short term.

    At Celtic, they have 29 and about 10 who I could see had loan spells.

    Both teams could clearly have retained a similar no of loans and fielded b teams with their numbers this term, I don't think it would have massively altered the dynamics (and re the point re loaning being a failure, this just isn't the case anywhere this is done - you're more promising players may still go a tier above).

    The loans are a good route for teams to source cheap players receiving full time training but it is still a level of risk in terms of taking players on who are maybe a bit of an unknown quantity and may leave in the windows. As a result of that, you are easily looking at least 50 top flight players who simply will just not find suitable loans and then those numbers aren't sufficient enough to create a competitive reserve league. That's before considering that many of the loans are very short term rather than season long deals etc.

    Regardless of what has driven it, there is a bit of a vacuum there.

    Nonsense. The wages the Old Firm pay their youth players totally dwarfs what the teams they're loaned to would pay for them. Sometimes by orders of magnitude.

    I was just talking here re this providing another financial stream to further monopolise their grip on youth, they aren't really extracting cash from this venture.

    Pish and nonsense. You cannot compare the football pyramid of a country 9 times the size of Scotland, where geographical subdivisions are viable, to one where that is not the case.
    The only clubs for whom a fully-fledged Reserves or Colts team is financially viable are the Bigot Brothers and they are also the only clubs for whom it promises any meaningful benefit. Other provincial clubs can get all the benefits of a youth pathway either through boys clubs or through existing youth set-ups. They barely have the money to put up a fight in terms of putting a first team on the park: being expected or encouraged to sustain two will just dilute their position further.

    I don't think I explained my point well re the comparison piece. I was actually passing comment that our geography and make up of national set-up is unique and quite different from other set-ups so implementing the Colts concept is probably near impossible. I wasn't calling for any massive reorganisation (though it may eventually happen organically).

    Re the point of extending this to other clubs, you have about 5 sides in the top flight who could field a squad of that sort of 18-21 year old bracket today who are not on long term loans. It would maybe be a push but I am pretty certain Hearts, Hibs and Aberdeen would follow through and possibly a wildcard or two.

    How about:
    (a) requiring every club to register a maximum of 25 players for the league campaign
    (b) requiring that no more than 20 of those can be over the age of 23
    © impose a ban on any club signing more than 15 players between the ages of 16 and 22 on a full time contract
    (d) make it a mandatory condition of every player registration that the contract includes a no-fault termination clause able to be exercised by the player if they are under 22 and have not played in a league game that season
    Basically, force the Old Firm to recruit fewer young players and force clubs to play the young players that they sign.

    I think those are potentially good steps, I like the squad limits. I half wonder as well if maybe actually imposing a limit on loans out per club (as Fifa are trying to force) might actually be helpful for the smaller full time sides as well in getting more development opportunities for their players.

    Ideally, I'd just force the excess 18-21 type players into made up teams and play a competition that way but how you force clubs to loan them into that, I don't know.

  17. Just now, Ludo*1 said:

    I'd rather Letheren!

    There's really a lack of decent keepers available in Scotland just now.  It's a case of which shite will we sign?

    I could see Hazard coming back, Celtic may let him go on similar terms as Rangers have done with a couple of youngsters recently with a sell on + first option clause. He's not really been close enough to first team football there for his age and time he's been there so you'd think they'd be thinking about his future.

    He's had two or three moments where he's made mistakes but I think his sort of issues are fixable rather than that worrying aspect of being a bag of nerves (which is hard to train for) or having a horrific weakness taking high balls. I'm maybe been watching a different 'keeper but I was a bit surprised at some of the stick he was getting when he re-joined, the defence has consistently been much calmer around him than Hamilton.

    It's looking like there will be a ton of free agents though with plenty down south and further afield as well so I think we could do OK in this position if we do have finance behind us to recruit.

  18. Why would any "diddy team" ( I can use that term 'cos Falkirk is a diddy team now) voluntarily surrender their identity to be any other teams "B" team? I'd far rather we languish in the lower leagues forever as Falkirk FC than be any other club's "B" team or feeder team in the hope of getting some of their colts or reserves.

    It's mentalist but you just had the Stemhousemuir chairman come out and basically endorse that a couple of days ago.

  19. 6 minutes ago, Ad Lib said:

    Colts teams can get so far to f**k. I’d sooner Thistle were in the fourth tier of Scottish Football than Old Firm Colts are admitted to the pyramid.

    One of the few things still going for Scottish Football is that both the Old Firm and some young players see non-Old Firm clubs as a viable part of the player development pathway.

    As soon as you provide 36 or whatever weekend games a season for a Colts team you totally kill that off. The ambition for the country’s best will be even more concentrated with the Bigot Brothers, who can then offer more money and a much clearer route to progression for several times as many youth players.

    At the moment the Old Firm has to loan out its “not first team standard yet” youth players so that they don’t rot. This is an important counterweight against their ability financially to sweep up the overwhelming majority of youth talent. This advantages other clubs as they typically get subsidised loan arrangements for underdeveloped prospects.

    At the moment you also get a small number of players who don’t sign for the Old Firm at all. They are willing not to take a big pay check early in their career calculating that promising playing time will give them a chance to ply their trade in England. This means genuine talents like John McGinn, Andy Robertson, Robert Snodgrass, James McArthur, James McFadden etc. actually do play against the Old Firm in proper football and give other clubs a glimmer of a chance of delivering them a bloody nose.

    And when those players do move on, there is a proper market for those players rather than just two domestic bidders. So teams like Hamilton actually do get a million for a player instead of £250k or some risible training compensation. That money sustains and rewards non Old Firm youth set ups that are run well.

    Colts strangles that nascent alternative. The Old Firm will loan out fewer youths, release fewer youths surplus to requirements, and far more easily reap the financial rewards of discovered talent to the exclusion of other Scottish clubs.

    Even if you put an age limit on their Colts you are at best encouraging more players to be released in their mid 20s from the Old Firm instead of in their late teens. That’s bad for their development.

    If Clubs are drawn in by this promise of four years of paltry admission fees they are total mugs. We know fine well that money is just going to be spent on signing an extra journeyman in most cases and will not in fact support grass roots or youth development.

    Get it in the fucking sea where it belongs.

    In all honesty, I don't really think it would change the market dynamics that much. The OF have a large number of players in their reserves, it's really not as easy to sort out loans for all of them . I guess you could argue it may be a tad more attractive for the prestige of playing for Celtic B or whatever to influence their pulling power but that's already near infinite already, as much as we get the 'gid young player learning his trade' talk whenever a player thrives elsewhere away from the OF, it's very rarely the case that they've actively picked a non OF club intentionally. You aren't increasing their income by anything that couldn't be considered a rounding error either so I also don't see that sparking a huge recruitment drive.

    Don't get me wrong, throwing this OF exclusive arrangement into the current small national set-up right now is lunacy and a really terrible idea at a terrible time which has been well covered but I think if we actually had a set-up that could support the full-time clubs fielding sides further down the set-up without completely destroying teams fixture calendars (i.e. a firm limit on no of colt teams v relative league size), there could be reasonable benefits reaped from it. In Spain, they have a third tier of 100 teams (as of next season) and well defined geographical territories. We've had this fragmentation with the juniors in this country which is finally eroding but as much as people scream the mantra 'too many teams in Scotland', we don't actually have that big of a national pyramid (Norway for example have 144 teams down to level 4).

    I don't know if we can ever get to a system where this can be done in a way that people can live with but we do know that renaming the u20 league back to being a reserve league (and a couple of practically minor rule changes) hasn't dramatically changed the competitive element of second string football and unless we're going to rewrite the loan system to fundamentally change how part-time teams recruit (making Celtic B = Stenhousemuir), I'm not really sure where we go. Maybe another path is to require ringfenced funding for reserve football and some further incentives to compete more seriously but obviously now is not a good time for that either!

  20. Just now, Alternative Title said:

    Thanks, I've already seen the Jersey case discussed. I'm sorry to cop out, but I can't remember why it was disproved, and I don't want to go back and revisit it .

    However if it is water tight, would it not be of use to Gilroy and others who have been convicted on the alerts of the dogs?

    I don't think it's a question of really being 'water tight' or not, there's a bit of a grey area in the science when it comes to assessing their capabilities and at times, they've proven to have made themselves very useful in directing where an investigation should go. If you're deploying them with no appreciation of that limit though (or indeed the lack of a limit with sometimes their abilities being so good to pick up on things from hundreds of years ago), it's not a good usage.

    Re the Gilroy case, I didn't actually know a lot about that apart from the mentions in the Margaret Fleming case. From reading the appeal here and section 63, it looks like the court ruled that the dogs were 1 of 7 bits of evidence used and there was another point about statements he made that could have possibly been inadmissible (but the appeal court didn't feel the need to rule on that). It looks like him being caught going on long trips away with his car (CCTV) to Argyll and subsequent cover ups etc were probably the most compelling parts of the story.

  21. 1 hour ago, Alternative Title said:

    I would be very interested to read whatever evidence you have to back this up. It would play a major part in changing my opinion on what happened.

    Just about everything I have read says the dogs are infallible, and they were used to convict David Gilroy at the High Court in Edinburgh.

    Gerry made the mistake of saying they were "incrrredibly unreliable" (try to imagine his nasal sneer) in a TV interview. He cited a case in the state's but later had to eat his words when it turned out the dogs had been right all along.

    Please post a link to your evidence. It would give me closure.


    This is just an expedited summary of the NPIA report a few years ago that led to Yorkshire Police abandoning their usage . Soon after this, the same dogs were used in Jersey to investigate a sex abuse case. Their indications led to a coconut shell being identified as a human skull. Other dogs were used in the Shannon Matthews case and indicated the death scent as well which took the police down that route. The same report also goes into a bit of depth on handler procedures etc and gives examples of the McCann case and points where there were ripe conditions of false positives (i.e. the calling back to the same particularly spot).

    They are possibly picking up what they are trained for but they can't distinguish different scents from humans and there's just very little understanding on quality control, you've had cases where the dogs are picking up on burial sites from thousands of years ago and material transfer, you can't really define a well understood envronmenta limit. This is even in the handlers own admission and he's even very clear that he would not overstate his findings without corroborating evidence.


  22. So all the thousands of bodies police and rescue agencies have found due to cadaver dogs were a fluke? I’m not sure what I said was inaccurate about the McCanns contracting a US legal firm to specifically try and debunk cadaver dogs as “evidence” based on a precedent of another murder case in the US. It was an example of the resources spent by them to influence opinion and nothing to do with DNA or other evidence.

    Maybe there’s a comparison to be made to Foxy Knoxy. Her behaviour in the aftermath of her friend’s death wasn’t what we’d expect of a stereotypical bereaved pal. Awkward behaviour was mistaken for guilt. 


    There's a massive difference between using them as a policing tool with robust procedures (not followed in this case) and what is being suggested here.


    False positives are very common and hard to quantify, unlike maybe a piece of dna where we can easily determine the possibility of perhaps two people sharing characteristics etc, we are presenting these sorts of tools in different environments and sometimes biased procedures. There have been some remarkably impressive outcomes as well but those are corroborated so there is a bit more attention to those cases rather than the many leads that turn out to be irrelevant.


    Re their PR stuff and defence prep and overall conduct generally, that's obviously a matter of debate but what you can say for it is that they picked a strategy to keep the case in the public consciousness (as was advised to them as giving best prospects of return) and rigorously defended themselves (and keep investigationthe right direction if they are truthful).


    I don't think that in itself is unusual or sinister tbh but it does leave a bitter pill that they've managed to do it so well whereas others have been offered f**k all (like that other case nearby where the police, working with Amaral, beat the shit out of one of the suspects and come up with an absurd theory involving a fridge which they successfully prosecuted).


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