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Stewart Milne Sells Out His Own Fans With A Pro-Sevco Speech

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One of the longest standing, and most pervasive, beliefs amongst the people who run the game here in Scotland is that there is a huge groundswell of opinion in favour of a return to the duopoly which has almost destroyed our national sport; the restoration of the “Old Firm” rivalry and the re-emergence, as a force, of a team calling itself Rangers.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Before I get to the point, let me tell you that I consider that, along with the Survival Myth and the Victim Myth, to be the other most dangerous in our game.

It allows all manner of mendacity and deceit and it promotes this “too big to fail” nonsense that entitles the club to do as it likes.

In many ways, I understand where this idea has come from.

It’s been fed by the media and a steady stream of pro-Sevco PR, and by the leaders of the governing bodies themselves, who we know were up to their necks in the Craig Whyte saga and let Charles Green take over the ruins of the oldco in what were less than transparent circumstances.

Some of it is self-preservation for people who can’t afford to be asked, far less answer, serious questions about their conduct.

The idea that they did this on behalf of the fans gives some breathing room, or so it seems.

The motivations of others are harder to explain.

Yesterday, Stewart Milne went in front of his own supporters at the Aberdeen AGM and delivered the most spectacularly offensive performance since Ian Bankier’s catastrophically dire display at our own.

Before I move onto Milne, I am going to say this about Bankier; I don’t care that he tried to roll some of those comments back. People are too focussed on his branding a few fans “racist”, but I prefer to focus on the part where he said “The messages posted, in quite a few cases are criminally and in all cases the vocabulary chosen is base and highly abusive.”

In all cases?

What, including where some of us wrote in very clear, concise language about why we supported the motion, and gave good reasons for doing so?

I refute his disgraceful allegation that my language, or that of many, many others, was “base and highly abusive” and we’ve received no apology for that dreadful slander and I don’t expect we ever will.

Milne clearly feels the same contempt for the Aberdeen fans, and yesterday that arrogance and lack of concern for their wishes was on full display.

To the horror of the shareholders, he launched into a full-throated rendition of the Survival Myth, and put on record his fervent hope that the club would soon be in the top flight, where presumably his side can soon thereafter take up its historic position of playing third fiddle – or worse – to the Glasgow duopoly.

To say that his club’s own supporters aren’t terribly impressed is an understatement.

The weblogs and forums were filled with fury, and that’s not surprising when you consider that his club hasn’t been this healthy in decades – a direct consequence of being the second biggest in the land and challenging for the league title.

Over on On Fields of Green, I recently wrote that there are a lot of people in our game, people at the clubs themselves, who are going to have to answer to their own shareholders and supporters should the day ever come when a new Glasgow rivalry skews the whole of our sport once more.

I said that those running the game out of Hampden would scorch the earth and everything on it in pursuit of that goal, and that the well-being of other clubs would be sacrificed if need be.

Milne appears not to care; in fact, he seems to be keen to lend a hand to those who’re seeking the restoration of the old order, and what’s worse is that in order to do it he’s equally happy to leave aside the catalogue of offenses against sport which have characterised the last few years.

In an interview with STV he was asked if title stripping should be pursued if the guilty verdict in the is finally set in stone, and his answer would have shocked his own fans and it fired a warning shot at those fans of other clubs who think the mood in their own boardrooms is still focussed on sporting integrity.

“Scottish football has to move on,” Milne said. ‘I think most people want to see our top clubs playing in the top league. We want to have the top league perceived in the best possible light. What’s happened in the past has happened. We all have to be focused on what can we do to take Scottish football forward.’

If this is the thinking of the other club chairmen then, truly, our campaign of the last three years, to reform the Scottish game, is dead on its arse because too many of those running the clubs hanker after the destructive past and are all too ready to abandon justice and fairness.

Once again, its clear that the only people in Scottish football who care enough to pursue these things are the fans themselves.

Without that justice we’ve been watching a rigged game for nearly 20 years and we’ll be watching the same for the next 20, or until the clubs themselves say “enough is enough” and actually work to reform things.

Milne’s comments were a disgrace, and this subservient attitude towards the Sevco operation is a dire statement on the level of ambition he has for his own club.

We can only hope that the passionate and committed Aberdeen supporters, who have spent too long in the of “Glasgow’s big two” and have been enjoying life in the new era, can make their voices heard and their disgust fully known, or before they know it they’ll once again find themselves in a footballing environment that isn’t in the least bit kind to them.

Milne has done very little to develop and grow that club over the years; it is the fans themselves who have rebuilt the finances and the standing of Aberdeen FC, and I fully commend for that. Three years ago, when Rangers collapsed, it fell on them to lend support to their team and get them through a lean period … and they did that and much more.

The task of maintaining what they’ve created now falls on their shoulders too.

I wish well in it, because having a rival club on your tail, but one which plays it straight and respects the rules, has been a breath of fresh air.

We’re approaching the four year anniversary of Craig Whyte putting Rangers into administration and the people who torched our national sport in the aftermath are all still in post, albeit except Ogilvie, who retreated with his pension – but not his reputation – intact.

Yesterday we caught a glimpse of why that remains the case.

Our national sport drifts further away from the supporters every day.

Only they can drag it back from the brink of a fresh disaster.

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20 comments

  • schoosh71 says:

    I’d suggest that Mr Milne along with Mr Bankier, believe they have more in common with Mr king than the ‘punters’ who keep THEIR clubs solvent without the need to cheat HMRC. HH

  • owen dolan says:

    Oh so so true JP.
    I have been saying it for the last three years,the only way to get the right people to sit up and take notice,is vote with their feet.I don’t mean just one club,I mean every club’s supporters.
    When there is no cash coming in they will have to listen and then ACT.

  • John Fallon says:

    Hi James I share your thoughts on what will real fans of all clubs be thinking,
    me I would seriously think of stop following Scottish Football and PROTEST at what is getting pushed for,
    Today we had spokespersons of Falkirk and Morton now talking about going back to 16 team league, that would mean more nothing to play for games, I played in these games and in truth, it made me stop playing because there was no feel good playing them,
    This brings me back to pre Fergus days do we show our power and vote with our feet, or sack the board,SFA, SPFL, I know await the back lash from sevco and some of our own fans saying bring these games back, in all honesty I don`t miss them, Iam happy to go and feel safe with my grandkids and enjoy bigot free football, hail hail,

  • john j. says:

    Well said john.I dont want to be anywhere near this train wreck of a tribute act.Hail hail!

  • Frank Brown says:

    Hi James, the powers that be are so desperate to get Sevco back up, they have and will resort to anything for this to happen. Football fans need to take a stand to get rid of the SFA/SPFL mandarins who are corrupt. John Fallon is right maybe we need to start organised protests to remove these people from power.

  • M67 says:

    Great writing again James, really look forward to your posts.
    This is a sinister development, we have all been cheated over a ridiculously long period by ineligible players being fielded and now being told to move on
    What is to stop any club cheating the rules if there are no sanctions? Is there a club currently doing the same? Who cares, it doesn’t amount to disqualification apparently! It turns the game into a farce year in year out – only a mug would pay to watch Scottish football until the SFA deal with it properly and give a clear signal to cheats

  • Wullie Tracey says:

    I sincerely hope that this is not the start of a groundswell of opinion amongst officials of Scottish clubs in favour of a return to the bad old days. I just can’t understand why they would want this.

    If we do not have sporting integrity then what is the point?

    To have that integrity we must address the wrongs of the past and then address them. I ask a simple question. Why do the people who say that Oldco have nothing to answer for and won the relevant trophies fairly resist so strongly the calls from others, such as myself, who state quite clearly, and with ample proof to back up the claims, that they were won as the result of systemic cheating? Surely they should welcome the opportunity to put this to bed and ‘clear’ the name of Oldco?

    I too will be watching very carefully what occurs in the future with a view to wether I will be inclined to continue to support Scottish football bodies who are totally bereft of integrity.

  • Jimmy1940 says:

    All we ask for is fairness for all teams in all Leages of Scottish leagues and if those who are in charge of them cannot run the game honestly must be sacked.

  • Pablo says:

    I’ve sat for 3 years waiting on this day coz EVERY second rate clubs got the money on their mind desperate for the day when the mighty sevco come out like a Phoenix from the ashes and put money into their coffers but do they realise the Phoenix is a skanky pigeon fae some shitty scheme that won’t pay their way like some junkie looking for a fix

  • Frank McGaaaarvey says:

    I can well imagine the Dandy Dons ultras, having staged their own protests at Hampden recently, being somewhat miffed at Wiggy’s comments. We also have to remember our own esteemed absentee landlord’s comments when it comes to Sevco. The Hibees are definitely my 2nd team this season but in reality I am pretty sure Sevco will be in the top league next season (by hook or by crook, it will happen) and it will be ‘business as usual’ signs up, the thought of which turns my stomach. The game will well and truly be a bogey then.

  • buffythecat says:

    Strange to say but it’s the supporters who want to move on with the game and to progress with a game that has sporting integrity as its main theme. It’s the Stewart Milne’s of Scottish football that want us to remain the same. They want us to go back to the bad old days of cheating and doping to suit the establishment club /s and forget about learning the lessons of the past for the good of the game. I smell a rat from Milne – he seems to have been ‘got at’ by someone. What has he been promised if he talks up the new Sevco I dread to think for as we all know Scottish football is a corrupt brand right now and the Milne’s of this world seem to be happy with that.

  • Gerry Graham says:

    I’ve said it all along the game in this country stinks..Were not and have not been playing on a level playing field for years..Its up to the fans now..Do we want to see a rigged game..Well keep going to the game then..Do we want to see a game properly run..Don’t go till it’s sorted and that’s what I’ll be doing..Celtic are as guilty as Milne is..At least he has the guts to come out and say it..I won’t be back till the game is clean..We complained for years that the game was dirty and were told that we were paranoid..We have the best chance we’ve ever had to clean up Scottish football and it looks like we aren’t going to take it..Do u think things will change in The game..NO..Its corrupt and always will be..It pains me to say it but that’s me finished..I’m cutting up my season ticket rite now…I WONT BE BACK..

  • Jamie Doran says:

    Hail Hail from Afghanistan. Just read this splendid dispatch and couldn’t agree more. The corruption of the neanderthals scratching their money-grabbing knuckles on the steps of Hampden, Parkhead, Ibroke and elsewhere has been obvious for decades. Here was an opportunity to prove that morality actually has a place in Scottish football….and they threw it back in the faces of the fans who pay for their privileged arses to sink into the soft seats. These creepy, distasteful individuals will learn nothing until those same arses are removed from power. I pray for the day.
    Special ‘Hail Hail’ to Big John (Fallon). See you soon mate. Jamie

  • joe mccormack says:

    Milne has enraged the majority of Dons supporters with his statement. They just don’t get it do they?
    Thousands of fans will turn their back on the game, the lost income not covered by TV or sponsorship monies.
    I think the Dons support is united enough to send a very strong message to Milne, perhaps 50% of them don’t turn up at the next home game, perhaps the message will start to seep through.

    I’ve written to Lawwell and will hand in the letter at CP today.

    I suggest that as many people as possible do the same.

    The cheated titles have to be stripped now, there is no need to wait for the result of an appeal. Rangers wilfully drove a horse and cart though the rule book for 12 years or more and a number of senior officials at the SFA/SPFL were complicit in this.

    The same officials colluded to ensure a Euro licence for them in 2011.

    As far as I’m aware Celtic never received a reply from the SFA with regards to the performance of the match officials at last season’s Scottish Cup Semi Final. Despite blatantly cheating these officials all remain in place.

    I’ m old enough to remember how quickly James O’Hare and Kevin O ‘ Donnell were removed from their grade one posts after complaints from you know who………their feet never touched the ground.

    Till these matters are resolved or Celtic take leadership in getting them resolved I won’t be spending another penny on Scottish football.

    If it’s all about getting a club back into the top division that has lied, cheated, stiffed creditors and whose Chairman is a convicted criminal then I’m out.

    Let’s see how vocal the Rangers apologists are over the next few months when the extent of the corruption is exposed during the criminal court cases. When Craig Whyte presses the play button on his tape recorder the vibrations will be felt all the way to the Hampden bunker…..hell mend them.

  • Steve says:

    Ever wondered why everyone outside of these blogs has a different point of view? Is it everyone else that is mental or is it likely that the few who spout on these blogs are? The establishment must really have a grip on the world.

  • John Fallon says:

    Steve is this the end of free speech from fans outside the ESTABLISHMENT CLUB ????, that`s the way I respond to your comment, so we are all metal cause we are fed up by this establishment club, who have cheated every club in Scotland, by buying players they could never have bought, without EBTs, oh don`t forget, the one that they sing out load about god saving her where`s the tax money,what if there was a boycott or a fans protest outside and inside Hampden

  • Ron SCSC Australia. says:

    Does any sensible person really want to see the return of the knuckledraggers, with all the horrible bigotry, and sectarian problems, they bring to the Scottish game, as surely their reputation and history must outweigh any money or pleasure to be gained with any return to the Scottish Premier league, especially when you just have to look back to all the horrible incidents and poisonous atmospheres, which their support have created not just in Glasgow but all over Europe, over many many years,
    So the question remains, ”Do we really need or do we ever want see there likes again”

  • Tully says:

    They have a grip on the media Steve.as we all have seen with their propaganda for the dead cheats

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