Is there anyone in Mr Regan?

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Joe O'Rourke
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Is there anyone in Mr Regan?

Postby Joe O'Rourke » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:45 am

There has been a lot of changes to the ruling bodies in recent weeks in Scottish Football, like the appointing of a new Board at the SPFL. They have said that they welcomed a review of Scottish Football, and passed the issue over to the SFA. Going by past performances by Stewart Regan I wouldn’t be holding my breath waiting on him getting out of his chair to make the effort to implement such a review.

I have written to him again this morning, but I’m getting very close to the time when I stop wasting my time and energy writing letters, and look at other ways to force change for the better of all of Scottish Football. As the saying goes “For the benefit of the many, not the few”

Mr Regan,
It’s now been a week since the statement from the SPFL with regards to a review of Scottish Football. Once again what we have from you is silence. I suppose you may be too scared to say anything in case you might incriminate yourself.

I can fully understand the need for a financial plan to run a football club, part of that plan would be projected income from visiting supporters, but we cannot let bullying and intimidation triumph over honesty and integrity, if we do Scottish Football is finished.

Chairmen and COE’s seem to be doing what suits them best in terms of their own club and their finances, rather than doing what is right in the real sense of the word. We have heard recently from three major shareholders at Aberdeen, Kilmarnock, and Hearts, their comments seem to be out of line with their own supporters.

For instance Ann Budge of Hearts threatened to be a breath of fresh air for Scottish Football when she took over at Tynecastle. She claimed she would stand up to the blazers at Hampden for the greater good of the game. Below I have shown you a few of her comments which seemed to support her stance.

"When I came into football, I said I would like to make a contribution in the wider sense, so you’ve got to put your money where your mouth is" - Ann Budge, December 8th, 2015

"When it also became apparent to us that our fixture (the final game of the 2014/15 season) was the only game to be moved, we were equally alarmed as, rightly or wrongly, this casts a shadow over the sporting integrity of the Championship" - Ann Budge, April 15th, 2015

"The way in which Scottish football is being run really does need to be examined and explored. The whole way in which Scottish football is run is something we do need to look at and keep challenging if things are wrong. The attitude of 'well that's the way it's done in football' needs to be challenged" - Ann Budge, April 17th 2015

It would appear for some reason Mrs Budge has had a change of heart (excuse the pun). Maybe it’s the big fancy new stand at Tynecastle which has changed her thought process, the need to have her stadium full when they play against the big boys has clouded her judgement.

She also seemed to be a bit confused on the steps of Hampden, while on one hand she was happy to see a review, she was then quoted as saying it time to move on for the benefit of all of Scottish Football.

The same could be said of Stewart Milne at Aberdeen, his comments are a polar opposite of his own supporters comments, but there again, Mr Milne will be hoping to able to fill a new stadium in a couple of years’ time, that’s if he gets permission to build it.

As for Billy Bowie at Kilmarnock, I doubt if anyone will know who he is never mind pay any heed to him, and I include the supporters of Kilmarnock in that comment. Mr Bowie says he doesn’t walk away, I wonder where he got that line from.

The blunt fact is clear to every honest football supporter in Scotland. A broad independent judicial review is needed urgently in Scottish Football. The big problem for me would be how far back we go to investigate the processes and decisions that were made.

It is clearly not a Rangers/ Celtic inquiry, although some of the issues needing investigated do involve Rangers. Most supporters would ask why a man described by a Judge as a “Glib and Shameless Liar” would be passed “Fit & Proper” to be in charge of a professional football club. There is also great interest amongst supporters in regards to using tax evasion as a policy for signing some of the best players in Europe, players that would not be affordable otherwise.

In the broader sense of the inquiry. Supporters want to know what has gone wrong with the Scottish International Team, why have they not qualified for a major tournament since 1998? Why did Brian Mc Clair resign from his post? Why are there very few young players coming through the ranks to the top team?

The pricing and timing of matches every weekend to suit live television is very concerning for supporters, especially when we are expected to fill the stadiums of Aberdeen and Ross County by catching a coach at 7am on a Sunday morning, for a match live on television, and pay top price for the experience.

Even the Scottish Government has reservations about your ability to protect young players involved in football at all levels in Scotland. Instead of good facilities improving and increasing, the complete opposite is happening. There are players playing in professional football in Scotland who would be far better off stacking shelves in some corner shop, I bet there is no shortage of the best coffee at Hampden.

There are so many things wrong in Scottish Football, and you in your capacity at the SFA have failed miserably in your duty. I know the SFSA has given supporters a chance to air their views through an opinion poll, and I believe your rating through that poll is extremely low, you would appear to be as welcome in Scottish Football as a duffle coat in Dubai in July.

You have had ample opportunity to bring transparency, honesty, and accountability to Scottish Football, you have failed to do that. Through the Supreme Court decision in favour of HMRC you had an opportunity to show Scottish Football that sporting integrity would be uppermost in the SFA ethos, again you failed.

The SPFL have handed the baton to you to carry forward for the betterment of Scottish Football. You seem to be trapped in the bad old days when one club controlled Scottish Football, a club that until the late nineteen eighties had a sectarian signing policy, a policy that was strangely ignored by both the SFA and UEFA.

You and the rest of your colleagues at the SFA are only interested in yourselves, you have no desire to see justice done, and for that you should be ashamed of yourselves. Having said that, that is the same people who are happy to sit in First Class on a plane while the Scottish International players travel in Cattle Class. That probably just about sums you all up.

Joe O’Rourke,
General Secretary,
Celtic Supporters Association.

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