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Soor Plooms

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About Soor Plooms

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    Gala Fairydean

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  1. I think the reasons are varied and complex HJ. It is true that the Borders remains one of the only areas of Scotland where football is not the number one sport. (Perhaps shinty rivals football in parts of the Highlands?) It is important to understand what that means in reality and compare it to the experience of football clubs in places elsewhere. Rugby being the number one, (and perhaps more importantly the “establishment”) sport manifests itself in a number of ways. The first is that rugby is compulsory at Secondary Schools in the region. At least for the first two years a child attends. There are little or no football courses across the region. It tends to be played intermittently if at all in schools. Added to this the SRU has invested in a schools programme that covers a number of things helping to alleviate the cost of professional coaches, travel and kit, indeed many of the costs that football has to find from sponsorship or membership fees charged to children. Basically it is cheaper and more accessible to play rugby if a child demonstrates talent either through their school or local clubs. Junior football clubs across the region will tell you how on countless occasions, their best players, those with natural athleticism, balance, speed and a sporting brain are lost to rugby once a child is forced to choose one or the other. The child doesn’t have to travel to Edinburgh to improve and the parents do not have to fork out as much in fees, travel or kit. In terms of coaching, rugby has many more experienced and qualified coaches and ex-players in association with a governing body that helps develop the grass roots game. Football tends to be delivered by a handful of volunteer parents with a governing body which beyond delivering the most basic of training to coaches may as well be 1,000 miles away never mind the 80 miles to Hampden Park. Whilst primary school aged football is relatively thriving thanks to a magnificent volunteer effort, it is a struggle to maintain inter-town 11 aside Youth football at a decent level. In order to keep a hold of their better players some clubs are forced to play in Edinburgh leagues adding to the cost and travel involved. Another impact is in terms of sponsorship money available to football in Borders towns. Whilst football clubs do get loyal and generous sponsorship, rugby has historically taken the lion’s share of finance in the towns where it is available. A company may pay for advertising boards at both their local rugby and football clubs but normally you can be assured that the rugby club will receive more. Compare that to the sponsorship finance that may be available to teams in towns either comparable in size or smaller than Galashiels or Hawick. You can be assured that in Auchinleck, Bonnyrigg and Penicuik then more local businesses will be giving to their football clubs than they do in comparable towns in the Borders. And if we are honest, then money talks even at non-league level. There is a reason that the clubs at the top of the Lowland League and the East of Scotland Conference are where they are. In the main they offer players the most money. Being the establishment sport has led to much greater coverage in local and national media along with help and support from local professional bodies and rugby has clearly enjoyed an advantage on accessing local and national funding. Finally, in terms of numbers through the gates then rugby has always attracted much bigger crowds, even when local football clubs were performing well in the East of Scotland League in the past. That doesn’t mean there is nothing Border clubs can do. When I was involved at Gala we began the process of for the first time challenging rugby for supremacy in the town. By becoming a genuine community club we increased the number of players, volunteers and supporters in the orbit of the club, made us more attractive to local sponsors. For the first time the number of children playing football has begun to have a detrimental effect on rugby. Added to the fact that the professionalisation of rugby has meant that the Borders clubs no longer dominate the domestic game as they once did then there is an opportunity for football to thrive and flourish. However, this would be despite of, not because of the governing body the SFA. The clubs are pretty much on their on in this regard and will have to stand or fall on the merits of their own efforts. Another reason is a geographic isolation. Whilst the likes of Gala have invested heavily in youth development it will be a number of years, (if at all) before they produce enough quality players capable of making an impact in the Lowland or East of Scotland Leagues. That means in the interim that Borders clubs require to bring in players from the Lothians and further afield. This is a very competitive market at the moment. Even if money was not the main issue, then persuading players to train twice a week and play matches on a weekend incurring 70 or 80 mile round trips each time can prove a barrier to recruiting players. The alternative is for a club like Gala to train in Edinburgh or the Lothians, risking breaking the community ethos of the club in doing so. Finally, the problems of Border football cannot all be laid at the door of rugby, geography or the SFA. There remains an excruciating parochialism, lack of ambition and vision amongst some players and clubs which added to the problems outlined above perhaps explains why the region is currently struggling. In every town, the Lowland or East of Scotland League clubs or even the Border Amateur clubs must have a relationship with the junior and youth teams in the towns. They should all be encouraging walking football and the woman's and girls game in a bid to maximise the number of people coming into contact with their clubs. The Borders clubs, committee's and players should strive to be the best they can be. You would hope that players should aim to play at the highest level they can rather than taking the easier option of winning some Amateur trophies whilst club's need to have a longer term vision of the way they approach the future rather than short-term solutions to complex problems and issues.
  2. It’s this post that’s shameful. Bitter and resentful, smacks of someone having a few too many and having a rant when it would have been better to step away from the phone. I think the club should have publicly thanked last seasons squad and wished them the best where ever they end up. That would have been the right thing to do before moving on to welcome the new intake.
  3. Its one thing to discuss the rights and wrongs of a managerial sacking at a club, style of play, number of locals etc, but when serious accusations of financial impropriety start to be made then its facts and not opinions that are important. The reason that the POTY awards were held in the clubrooms had absolutely nothing to do with spending of any budget first team or otherwise. The Fonz is correct when he says it was simply a consequence of one booking, (at Gala Academy) falling through for reasons outwith the club's control and then not being able to book another suitable venue (The Volunteer Hall) as a replacement before the Autumn. Rather than not have any event it was agreed to go ahead with the awards ceremony in the clubrooms and hold the bigger Hall of Fame style event later in the year. That's the only reason. Simple. To suggest otherwise or that it is related to budget overspending is a disgraceful slander based on ugly rumours. In terms of a budget for season 2019/20 then it was/will be the largest in the club's short history because of the success in reaching R3 of the Scottish Cup, money brought in from transfer and loan deals along with the continued revenue streams from sponsorship, bar income, lottery sales etc My understanding is that increased budget was agreed through the democratic structures of GFR. I also understand that there will be no significant reduction in the money being made available to the new manager. So the budget for next season remains the biggest in the club's history mainly thanks to the increased monies brought in by the football department last season. Whilst I cannot speak for the former manager or his staff then I do not believe he was ever formally challenged over any alleged overspends or financial mismanagement? I do not know of any formal meetings the club held to discuss such a serious accusation? Surely you would think if such serious allegations were to be levelled then there would be some kind of due process and the club's formal internal structures and elected officials would have been involved in discussing them? If there were no formal process then I would suggest that anything subsequently raised regarding budgets deserves to be treated with the contempt it deserves and the manager and his backroom staff who never took a penny from the club deserve to move on with their reputations intact and with the best wishes of all those at Netherdale.
  4. I write this post just to let you all know my experiences of the SFA Club Licensing process and why, (without knowing all the details) it may not be the end of the road for Bonnyrigg just yet. (Unless of course they have officially been told different???) When either applying to get a license for the first time, or in renewing an existing one, there are virtually no grey areas in the process at all. It is very black and white. If , at the time of your SFA visit, a club has not complied with one of the stipulations within a set timescale, then it is very unlikely that any club would be granted a license in the first instance. However, you may be granted one later if you can prove that the work is complete and compliant. As an example, say a club needed to install toilets and plumbing works into dressing rooms. On the day of your visit, if the required work is not complete then the SFA are not interested if the plumbing company has been delayed, or if you are waiting on a part arriving in the post, or that it will be finished in the next few weeks or whatever. At the time of the visit if the club is not compliant then a license would not granted. (Unless the works were literally completed within a few days.) However, the club may be given a set timescale to complete the work and the licensing committee may confirm the award at a later date. I cannot imagine a circumstance where the SFA would have awarded Bonnyrigg a license today if they stipulated in advance that floodlights were a requirement for new applicants and the lights were not fully installed and signed off as being compliant. So today they fail their application because they are not compliant as the floodlights are not operational on the day the committee makes its decision. However the bigger question I suppose is have the club been told that they have a deadline to complete the works and the licensing committee will revisit the application? Or have they been told that the process is now complete and they cannot be granted a license prior to the commencement of the new season?
  5. It’s not at Gala Its at Peffermill.
  6. Selkirk’s SFA Membership was terminated yesterday.
  7. Ours is not bad but would have been better if our stand had been open. We’ve really noticed a drop off since the temporary closure especially with the older supporters who were previously very loyal. We’ll get it resolved soon though.
  8. Roses are red, violets are blue, it was Gala Fairydean “Rovers” that gave them to you!
  9. Roses are red, violets are blue, it was Gala Fairydean “Rovers”, who gave them to you
  10. Absolute morons! https://www.bordertelegraph.com/news/17409151.football-club-vandals-leave-trail-of-sectarian-slurs/
  11. We hope and expect that the intrusive drilling will show that the stand is substantially structurally sound and that it only requires repairs to the eroded concrete on parts of the exterior along with a general facelift, clean up and repair of the drainage etc. A great deal of work has so far gone into securing in excess of £200k to fund these repairs. If the costs are higher then we are confident we can secure the extra money needed.
  12. Headcount at Edusport v GFR = 42...with half the crowd from Gala.
  13. An update on what’s been happening; https://www.bordertelegraph.com/sport/17296135.only-way-back-for-selkirk-is-as-a-grassroots-community-club/?ref=fbshr
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