Socrates MacSporran

Socrates MacSporran
No I am not Chick Young, but I can remember when Scottish football was good

Friday, 16 February 2018

Good Luck Eck - You're Going To Need It

THE continuing ability of the SFA to get things wrong is astonishing, and few events better exemplify this than the arse-about-face decision to appoint the National Team Manager BEFORE appointing a new Chief Executive, at a time when both positions were vacant.

He's back - Alex McLeish

In any normal business, when two such-important roles were vacant at the same time common sense would dictate, the main leadership role, that of Chief Executive, was filled before the subsidiary role. But, as we are all too well aware, football is not “normal” business.

Of course, there are some within Scottish football, and two clubs in particular, who would rather the national association was not run well, did not have a dynamic, charismatic, out-going leader, determined to make football better. Such a leader just might ask uncomfortable questions, put in place processes which upset the long-established status quo and, perish the thought, made Scotland bigger than their own club brands.

Others, further down the food chain, fear a moderniser and improver just might ask them, what their club was all about, and what right it had to be as-influential.

No better we do something, fill what is, let's face it, a bit of a non-job, with someone we know, and worry about the more-important job later.

Nothing against Big Eck – if he can have the same wins record as he had first time round, but maybe with the bonus this time of actually qualifying for something, I will be happy, but, I am not confident.

He has done nothing in management since quitting Scotland last time round, indeed, I would say, he needed to be Scotland manager a lot more than Scotland needed him. He is, to be fair, I feel now the ideal age to be a national boss. He has served his time in the club game, this would be a good job from which to hang-up the bench jacket and retire to a life of punditry, having seen us back to one or other of the big shows.

So, it is a risk, but, I fear, as ever with Scotland, the in-built and continuing failings of the Scottish football system will stymie him. But, good luck Eck – you will need it.



AND, when it comes to the new CEO, the man the SFA is looking for is sitting slightly to their left, at the other end of the M8.

Mark Dodson - the man for Hampden

Given the way he has ridden rough-shod over the feelings of his member clubs, totally-ignored their protests and done his own thing, emasculated the elected officers, virtually blown asunder years of: “Ye canna dae that son, it's aye been done this way and aye will be”, SRU CEO Mark Dodson is surely the right man for Hampden.

Along the way, he has turned around the SRU's finances and been key in recruiting two world-class coaches in succession to the SRU's top job. He's the man for Hampden. Why, a lot of SRU club guys will happily vouch for him, and even help him to make the move.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Don't Kick The Messenger - Kick The Guys Causing The Problem

I YESTERDAY received the printed equivalent of a Tam Forsyth tackle, from an esteemed member of the Lap Top Loyal. This Real Rainjurrz Man, who is incidentally a bloody-good journalist, took umbrage at my latest sally against the “churnalists and stenographers” of the msm.

The Tam Forsyth tackle, but, like Mic Channon, I'm still standing

We will not irredeemably fall-out over the matter, but, I still feel - there is no way Rangers, in their current financial condition, could turn-down a £7 million bid for any player. The whole story stunk.

That's the trouble with covering Rangers at the moment, sure, “the Donegal Blogger” and the other forces of the Celtic apologists have an agenda, but, that does not mean old Phil, who has been more-often right than wrong, was wrong in this one. Also, for as long as the Chairman at Ibrox is: “A glib and shameless liar”, every public pronouncement from that club will be questioned.

The GASL has enough problems of his own right now, having all but booked a season ticket at the Court of Session for the rest of this season, and, I fear, until he is ousted, Rangers will continue to be a tainted brand.

You know, it would all have been so-much simpler if old Chuck Green had just had a bit of vision about him. I suggested back at the time he took over, Portsmouth were up for sale, cheaply, if he had bought them as well as Rangers, and created a new team: playing out of Ibrox in the English League, Rangers might by now be a Premiership club.

And don't think it could not have been done. Restraint of trade legislation would have seen them through and clear. I am sure of that.

Let Walter enjoy his retirement in peach

And, I do wish the msm would drop this Walter Smith for Scotland nonsense. Sure, being an international team manager is really an old man's job. You need lots of experience to do it, but, Wattie will be 70 later this month, and, take it from this already 70-year-old, sure, you still miss the daily cut and thrust; of course, you still think you could do the old day job; but, it's nice to wake-up some mornings and think: “Ach! I'll just lie here a wee bit longer.” It's great to not be tied to someone else's agenda.

Walter has done his time on the grass, let him enjoy his retirement and give the job to someone younger. In any case, going back rarely works as well as first time around.

The other thing wrong with the msm's obsession with filling the manager's job first is good management of any business tends to depend on the right guy at the top. OK, I accept, the SFA is not a normal business, but, get the CEO in-situ first, then have the new guy involved in getting the new manager.

As I have said before the system in Scotland is so wrong, it would not matter who we got as national manager, we would still be hovering around the 40% wins mark and be also-rans in Europe. Scotland has NEVER, since the 1920s and 1930s been as good as we thought we were. If we ever get to where we think we should be, it will be a long haul.

At the moment Scotland is ranked 32nd in the FIFA International Rankings, which is 20th in Europe. So, equating world terms to the Scottish League – we are Albion Rovers. In European terms – we are Falkirk. Either way, it's a good comparison.

If we look on ourselves as Albion Rovers – we are in the shadow of more-successful neighbours, our infrastructure is a bit run-down, we've been around for a while, but, have never won much, but, we keep plugging away.

The story is much the same if we look at the Falkirk comparison. We have a flashy stadium, which we struggle to fill. We have a long history of finding good youngsters, and selling them on to our richer neighbours, and, while we can cause the occasional upset, we've been fairly mediocre for years.

Great expectations - or delusions of adequacy

Now, since we all know neither Albion Rovers nor Falkirk is going to win the Scottish League or Scottish Cup, far less make an impact in the Champions League or the Europa League any time soon – why should we have great expectations about Scotland?

Further more, we are dominated by two clubs (or maybe at the moment one and a bit), who, if given a free choice, would move to the next-door league; our national team is something of an after-thought and we have too-many “senior professional” clubs whose whole outlook and manner of working is amateurish.

But it has aye been this way, and if football has its way, probably aye will be. Slowly, the word is getting through, in the wider political arena, Scotland being tied to England is past its sell-by date – well, Scottish Football as it is presently run, is longer past its sell-by date.

The current situation, whereby the SFA needs a new CEO and a new national team manager would appear to be the ideal opportunity to stop, think, and try a new tack. But, this is Scottish football, the chances of that happening are virtually nil.

I say again, what I have said before – often: Scottish Football – we are all doomed, doomed Ah tell ye.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

The All But Lost Art Of Writing Sensibly About Football In The Mainstream Scottish Media

I AM in journalistic parlance: “an old hot metal man”, or, if you are one of today's youthful graduates with a diploma in media or journalism studies - “a dinosaur”.

I had to contort myself and jump through hoops to enter the Fourth Estate, when I left school, nine in every ten would-be journalists was unable to get his or her foot on the bottom rung of the ladder; then, if you did get in, it was a hard, unrelenting school.

Back then, we didn't have 24-hour rolling TV news stations and, while opinion was free, facts were sacred. You had to be able to stand a story up, and accuracy was everything.

Some of today's so-called top talent would not have got over the threshold back then, in the days when the Sunday Post was read by over two-thirds of the Scottish population, the Express was a serious and high-selling newspaper up here and journalism was a proud craft.

Sure, stories were spun, no journalist who wanted to remain in a job in Glasgow would dare rip into the Old Firm, but, there were two or three Partick Thistle fans to give a modicum of perspective on events.

Oh! And while former players were occasionally asked for their opinion and quoted, being an average Old Firm striker, with a couple of Scotland caps, or, being “a character” would not guarantee you a cushy number as a media pundit – because, we didn't have media pundits when I was a boy.

I blame Chick for the deterioration in standards

I don't remember when the rot set-in, maybe around the Millennium, when the Press Association decided former players knew more about covering football than trained journalists with years of experience. Around that time too, if you were an ex-player, knew Chick Young and had had a game for Dukla Pumpherston, you would be pontificating on the BBC within the month.

Now, to be fair, some of the guys who got in that way have become rather good, but, the lack of genuine journalistic talent continues to hinder the way the media covers Scottish football.

Today, we are in the era of the churnalists and stenographers. OK, the likes of Graham Spiers is still going, Alan Pattullo at The Scotsman has grown-up from being the Future of Scottish Football Writing in 2000, to the man today. But, some of the younger guys have me channelling my inner David Francey: “Oh dear! Oh dear! Oh dear! Disaster for Scotland.”

Let's have a look at this week's big idea. Now, you are aware of the protocol, whereby a “bevvy” of football writers, mainly from the red top tabloids, get together in Glasgow on a Monday and decide what will be the agenda for the week – with everyone else falling into line.

The Bring Back Walter campaign is in full flow

Well, this week, is let's boot the SFA week, and, somebody, perhaps with an IQ in single figures, has decided – Walter Smith is THE MAN to be the next Scotland boss.

Nothing against the man with no surname, but, I reckon, he would not have been half as successful away from Ibrox – as his spell at Everton proved. But, 18 days shy of his 70th birthday, is the Scottish Football Writers Association's “brains trust” really trying to tell us – Wattie's Da Man.

For Fuck Sake, (and pardon me swearing), if they must punt a geriatric for the job, go the whole hog and ask Fergie back. In any case, given that they have two hugely-important posts to fill, does common sense not dictate, the SFA ought to fill the more-important job, that of Chief Executive, first?

We are told, the SFA has an eight-person “short list” to consider for the job. Whoa! That's an awfy long short list to me, so, who else?

  • Alex McLeish – good course and distance record in the job before, but, his star has since waned, he's been out of a job for a while, and is probably tarnished goods.
  • Scot Gemmill - has impressed as Under-21 boss, but, no real club managerial record – which might be a good thing. Already on the payroll, so, the cheap option.
  • Malky Mackay – Stewart Regan didn't fancy his
  • m for the job, but, Regan is now history, might the situation have changed. Again, already on the payroll, so, another cheap option.
  • Neil Lennon – has been mentioned in despatches. Will be a divisive figure, however.
  • Felix Magath – has been mentioned as “interested”, but, after Berti Vogts, is Scotland ready for another foreign boss?
  • Stevie Clarke – the Killie boss is being strongly touted, but, no way Jose, he's got a job to finish at Rugby Park.
  • Ally McCoist – naw, cannot see that one either.
  • Stewart Baxter – well, he always got mentioned before, why not this time?

Not exactly an Oscars nominations list, is it? As I have said, CEO first, then Team Manager is the logical way to go, but, this is the SFA, the place where logic does not exist, anything could happen.



A DOFF this morning of Socrates's trusty Aussie bushman's hat to two giants of football comment, very much on opposite sides of the fence.

Firstly, to Airdrie's second-finest, that Intergalactic Media fixer Wee James Traynor, for keeping so-many of the churnalists and stenographers onside with non-events at Rangers throughout the January transfer season.

In particular, his success in persuading the hack pack that Rangers could turn down a £7 million Chinese offer for Alfredo Morelos. That club is skint, they are living hand to mouth, they don't have a credit line from any bank and are reliant on the largesse of some directors and fans for survival.

Oh! And their Chairman was described as: “A glib and shameless liar” by a leading South African judge.

 The Donegal Blogger - called it right again

There is no way Rangers could have turned down a serious £7 million offer for Morelos. If the hack pack had done their jobs, they would have easily found out that the Chinese club supposedly looking to sign him already had their full quota of overseas players and were in no position to try to recruit him.

So, chapeau to Wee James for keeping the boys on-message and in-line with that “fake news”, and a further doff of the hat to "the Donegal Blogger" - Phil Mac Giolla Bhain, who did speak to someone in the know in China and discover how absurd, not forgetting false, the whole “fake news” about Morelos was.

Monday, 5 February 2018

It Was 60-Years Ago Today - Socrates Remembers Munich

I WAS just starting to get into football on 6 February, 1958. That was half-way through my only season as a regular in my primary school team; I hadn't yet caught the Rugby Park bug, and had only been to one Scotland game.

 Still my favourite football picture - Duncan Edwards playing for England against Scotland, at Wembley, in April, 1957, Willie Fernie is the Scot in the back-ground

But, I had read a couple of editions of Billy Wright's Book of Football, the same number of Hugh Taylor's annual Scottish Football Books and, the pink Evening Times sports final was a Saturday night staple in our house – even though my Dad had stopped using his Ibrox season ticket by then.

If I had a football world, its boundaries were those of Rosebank Park, then as now, home of Lugar Boswell Thistle. In truth, in 1958, Lugar had already crested the hill of achievement and were on the downward slope, although still some way short of the foothills they inhabit today.

Through these Billy Wright Books of Football, I was aware of Manchester United. Thanks to the annual BBC broadcast of the FA Cup Final – the SFA had yet to put in place the blanket ban on that show-piece being broadcast to Scotland – I was aware that “the Busby Babes” were a special team.

I had, after all, supported them from our living room in 1957, as they just missed out on a league and cup double, after Ray Wood was injured by a challenge from Aston Villa's Dave McParland, which would today earn the perpetrator a red card, but was allowed to pass without censure back then.

Of course, I was aware of Duncan Edwards, I think everyone with even a passing interest in football knew of the 21-year-old man mountain who ruled the United midfield. But, the tragedy of February, 1958, was to turn the already famous man child from Dudley into a player of myth and legend.

Big Doug Baillie, top player himself with Airdrie, Rangers and Third Lanark, later a legendary football writer with the Sunday Post, faced Edwards in the second-half of the first Scotland v England Under-23 international, at Shawfield, in 1955.

At six foot three and 15 stones, Doug, even then, was a big guy, but, as he freely admits: “I was blown away, I could not handle Duncan, who scored a hat-trick in the second-half; he was easily the best player I ever faced.”

Harry Gregg in his Manchester United pomp

It also gave me a new hero – Harry Gregg, the United goalkeeper who rescued several fellow passengers from the wreckage, once he realised, he had himself survived the carnage.

Gregg was the new boy in the United team. Already a Northern Ireland internationalist, while playing behind future top comedian Charlie Williams for Doncaster Rovers, Gregg had cost United a then world-record transfer fee for a 'keeper of £23,000 in December, 1957.

He was a phenomenal goalkeeper, voted the world's best following his heroics for Northern Ireland in the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden. But, surely the best saves he ever made were when he pulled those fellow survivors from the wreckage of the crashed aircraft 'Lord Burleigh' at the end of that Munich runway.

That crash, the tragic events of that day cost United almost an entire team. Captain Roger Byrne, the entire Eddie Coleman, Mark Jones and Duncan Edwards half-back line along with centre forward Tommy Taylor, inside left Liam Whelan and outside left David Pegg died, as did reserve full back Geoff Bent, the club trainer, the first-team coach and the United club secretary.

Winger Johnny Berry and centre-half Jackie Blanchflower were so badly injured, they never played again, while other surviving players were never the same again following the crash.

The last surviving players, Bobby Charlton and Harry Gregg, pictured together at the 50th anniversary service in Manchester

Today, of the players, only Gregg and Bobby Charlton survive, and, as his big brother Jackie famously commented: “6 February, 1958 was the day Our Kid – the future Sir Bobby – stopped smiling.

Byrne, Edwards Taylor and Pegg were England caps, and all bar Pegg were England regulars. Their loss seriously hampered England's 1958 World Cup campaign. Charlton won his first England cap against Scotland less than three months later, marking the occasion with one of the great Hampden goals, but, after returning with England to the stadium in Belgrade where he had played for the last time with his dead teammates, he had a stinker, was dropped and did not kick a ball in Sweden.

As we digested the terrible news on TV that night, we didn't realise how the ripples from that crash would fan out. If Munich cost England a possible five players from their World Cup squad, its effect on Scotland was equally catastrophic.

Sir Matt Busby with the European Cup in 1968.

Matt Busby, the United manager, was due to manage Scotland in Sweden, but, after sustaining injuries so-severe he as given the Last Rites of the Roman Catholic Church, he was still convalescing when that sorry tournament began. The SFA left the running of the team to trainer Dawson Walker, while the selectors made their usual nonsense of selection. With Busby in charge, what might have been.

The crash made United “different”. Tragedy those it was, it perhaps sparked-off the feeling that the Old Trafford club was somehow special. The way assistant manager Jimmy Murphy, aided by Gregg, Charlton and Bill Foulkes, suddenly promoted to replace full back partner as captain, plus a gaggle of callow young reserves, and some cheaply-acquired journeymen, surfing a tide of emotion, took the fractured club to a second successive FA Cup Final captured the public's imagination.



The Holy Trinity Statue

Busby's ten-year quest to finally land the European Cup which had seemed United's for the taking prior to Munich further captured football's imagination, while the arrival of George Best and Denis Law, to join Charlton in the “Holy Trinity” further emphasised – this club was somehow special.

On 5 February, 1958, Old Trafford was just another provincial football ground. The events of the following day was the start of the emotional journey towards the “Theatre of Dreams”, the “Class of '92” and “Football – Bloody Hell”.

It was a disaster, but, from this tragedy, greatness emerged. Today, 60-years on, we do well to remember Munich.

Sensational Saturday - Did All These Unusual Things Really Happen?

BETWEEN blue moons, red moons and super moons, astronomers, and let's not forget astrologers, were having a field day. But, the thing nobody saw coming was surely Saturday afternoon's events, when, amazingly, both Bigot Brothers lost in the Scottish League; and, for extra spice – an event which sent the football historians racing to check when last it happened – Rangers conceded a penalty AT IBROX.

Oor Wullie - was that Ibrox penalty an effort to say: "See, Ah'm no a Hun?"

I can only assume, in awarding the penalty from which Jamie Maclaren scored Hibs' winner – note the name, he will be a sports quiz answer in years to come – Willie Collum was making what was probably a vain attempt to divert accusations of a pro-Rangers bias.

Then, a Rugby Park, Youssouf Mulumbu's goal sent the whole of Ayrshire, other than the Honest Men sector, into raptures and they were dancing in the streets of Cumnock, Drongan and Kilwinning as Celtic were beaten – a result which allowed Scott Brown to again display what a thoroughly decent cove and great sport, who can take the twin imposters and treat them both the same, he is.

The down side to the Killie win over Celtic is, the churnalists and stenographers of the SFWA will, this week, go into panic mode to try to have Stevie Clarke installed as the next keeper of the poisoned chalice as Scotland national team boss.

 Stevie Clarke in his Chelsea days - we would like a similar picture at Rugby Park, so: Hands off SFA

I have no doubts that Stevie would do a sterling job as Keeper of the Poisoned Chalice, but, not yet, we need him for a wee while longer at Rugby Park, his task there has barely begun. No, better perhaps that we allow the winds for change to blow a little longer along that sixth-floor corridor of power at Hampden, to bring a bit of fresh air and sanity into that benighted corner of the football kingdom.

The SFA board has three huge choices to make between now and the end of the season:

  • They must appoint a new Chief Executive
  • They must appoint a new National Team Manager
  • They must decide between Murrayfield and Hampden as our home for the really big games.

And, that, as I see it, is the order in which they must dispose of these problems. Getting the right CEO in is the most-crucial job, and, it will be the hardest to fill. The SFA, as it currently works, is not fit for purpose. To his credit, Stewart Regan managed to bring in some much-needed changes. But, his problem will still be there, confronting his successor.

That problem is simple – the low quality of club official with which he or she, will be dealing with. There is not, we are told, a lot of talent from which to pick a Scotland team these days – well, there is even less talent in the board rooms of Scottish Football, from which the men to actually drive the game forward come. And sorting-out this lack of leadership talent, this paucity of people with clear vision for the future and how we turn-around the fortunes of the game in Scotland, will not be an easy fix.



HERE'S a wee thought for whoever the next CEO might be, why not have a look at something your pals across at the SRU have come-up with?

Mark Dodson, Capo di tuti Capo of the Murrayfield Mafia is trying to railroad through a new set-up, just below the elite PRO14 level, which will see the current ten BT Premiership sides reduced to just six “super franchises”.

The SRU will take a share in each of these six clubs, and have a say in their management, with the idea of seeing more, and better battle-ready Scottish players coming through into the top flight.

 The SRU's Mark Dodson - massive  opposition to his plans but, he insists - the new set-up WILL happen. The SFA could do with that type of firm leadership

Now this plan has hit a whole truck-load of opposition; not because it is a bad plan, indeed, most within Scottish Rugby see it as the basis of a good idea – they just don't like the particular model being touted, and can see a lot of flaws in the plan, or, as much as is in the public domain. However, the bold Mr Dodson has said: "Super Six WILL happen." That's the sort of definite management the SFA needs.

I know it probably would not get him the gig, but, imagine a potential CEO pulling something similar out of his executive briefcase. The SRU plan calls for six super-clubs, covering the four traditional Districts in Scottish Rugby, plus two floaters. Well, six is too-small a number for Scottish football, but just supposing, someone was to suggest a cut in the number of senior clubs, so we have super clubs covering the following areas:

  • Glasgow East (Celtic)
  • Glasgow West (Rangers)
  • Edinburgh East (Hibs)
  • Edinburgh West (Hearts)
  • Aberdeen
  • Dundee
  • Fife
  • Lanarkshire
  • Ayrshire
  • Renfrewshire
  • The Lothians
  • Central Scotland
  • The Borders
  • The Highlands

These 12 clubs would be centres of excellence within their franchise area, but would be required to meet certain standards as regards stadium and pitch facilities and standards. They would have a grass-roots development function as well.

Beneath them would be regional leagues, at the head of regional pyramids, while the 14 franchises would be guaranteed ten-years of operations. Of course, this is a broad brush-strokes suggestion, the devil would be in the detail, but, since the present set-up, which is as it has “aye been” with minor tweaks clearly is not working, why should we be afraid to try something else?







Friday, 2 February 2018

Farewell Stewart Regan - Who's Next For Mission Impossible?

FAREWELL then Stewart Regan – don't let the door skelp you on the erse on the way out. That appears to be the consensus as the now resigned Chief Executive of the Scottish Football Association takes his leave.

 Stewart Regan - has quit an impossible job

I did something I do not usually do this morning, I had a swatch at the Daily Record, to read the thoughts of their Chief Football Writer – you know, they guy who told the world Craig Whyte's wealth was “off the radar” - Aye well, that's 30 seconds of my life I will not get back.

The piece was, of course, written from an Old Firm perspective – doesn't do to upset the Bigot Brothers. The analysis is, Regan upset wee Peter, who made the bullets, then got Mike Who?, or Mike Mulraney as he is known along Hampden's sixth floor corridor of shame, to pull the trigger.

OK, I can accept, the Regan reign was not Scottish football's greatest era, but, for my money, the SFA has been a disaster zone since Sir George Graham retired 60-years ago. You could have Steve Job, Bill Gates, whoever, running the SFA under the present rules and protocols, and it would still be making a mess of the game up here.

The SFA is not fit for purpose, Scottish football is a joke, and, we are, I am afraid stuck with it. For change to happen, the turkeys at the top would have to vote to abolish Christmas, and, that aint gonna happen any time soon.

Apparently, what did for Regan was his decision to go ahead with this planned summer mini-tour to Latin America. Celtic don't like it, it compromises their efforts to qualify for the Champions League, so wee Peter decided, Regan had to go.

Well, pardon me, but, Regan, as CEO runs the secretariat of the SFA. Sure, he is board member, but, he is the servant of the board, who are the representatives of the clubs, who actually own the association. Sure, Regan might think the tour is a good idea, but, he is but one man, with one vote.

For the tour to be ON, it needs to have the support of a majority of the board, not just the CEO, so, maybe Wee Peter should be having a word with the others who supported it.

Apparently too, this is pay-back for the shambles of Rangers liquidation. Again, Regan was a party to this, but, he could not have acted alone.

My advice to Celtic is, be careful what you ask for; you might end up with a CEO prepared to stand up to your bullying, to that of your partners in crime across the city and to put the interests of Scottish football as a whole, ahead of that of the two greediest, most-grasping clubs in the land, and their media cheer-leaders.

And, a wee word to the lovely and talented Leeann Dempster: don't go near that job with a barge pole, it is another poisoned chalice.



Aye well, I await the Regan memoirs with interest. And, above is a picture of maybe the only man who can sort-out the mess.



THERE was a definite twinkle in Craig Levein's eyes when he had his wee dig at Scott Brown this week. He knew exactly what he was doing, and I bet he enjoyed himself.

Craig Levein - definite mischief-making this week

Scott Brown is, of course, the latest beneficiary of what I call the John Greig Law. This is an unwritten stricture which decrees, if the captain of Rangers or Celtic is also captain of Scotland, he can kick who he likes, when he likes, without penalty.

He can only be cautioned every 100 fouls, and sent-off every 500. This of course, only applies in domestic Scottish games – in Europe, he gets found-out.

Scott Brown is a thug. Celtic cannot admit to this, but, maybe Brendan Rodgers should have merely said: “Mr Levein is entitled to his opinion”, instead of trying to pardon the unpardonable.



I MUST say I was distinctly unimpressed by the activity during the January transfer window, as a lot of very average players moved around for very little money – most of the deals being, as far as I could work-out, loans.

Why cannot Scottish football accept reality. There isn't a lot of money sloshing around, better by far to work with home-grown talent, work harder in coaching and fitness, and, for a start, the SFA should bring-in a sort of three foreigners rule, which insists at least 75% of any match-day squad should be Scottish-qualified.

Graeme Souness - he started the rot

Graeme Souness hadn't a clue about Scottish football, which is why he imported so-many players from England and abroad. The other clubs did not have to follow his lead, but they did, and, over 30-years on, we are still paying the price for this.

Believe in Scottish talent and the Scottish work ethic, it is the way ahead.