The clubs of the SPFL are due to meet for their elections today; you know, those which Sevco pulled out of and which are essentially uncontested. At the same meeting, the latest proposals for Strict Liability will be pushed, as part of a politically driven agenda to sanitise all football stadiums in this country. Our political class is determined to make this the worst country on earth to be a football fan, they really are.
Take the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act. It still stands, despite every major political party other than the SNP vowing to scrap it. With the SNP majority gone, there’s no excuse for that bill that criminalises free expression being on the statute books for one more day, but our gutless frauds in Holyrood put the idea of abolishing it on the backburner because of the behaviour of a few neds at the Scottish Cup Final.
I can see that idea being allowed to die as a consequence.
What’s more though, today’s vote comes after the new Justice Minister threatened Scottish football clubs and the governing bodies with further legislation should they refuse to enact Strict Liability. This website was not alone in condemning that threat, nor pointing out that it’s essentially without teeth. The opposition parties might be gutless about repealing the Offensive Behaviour Act but they’re certainly not going to vote to pass another one.
The clubs themselves are about to call their bluff. I understand that the idea of government interference in the running of the game has been met with universal hostility and the Strict Liability plans are about to be kicked into the long grass again.
What the Scottish Government chooses to do about that is anyone’s guess, but they ought to be very careful. The SNP majority went because they alienated a lot of their potential supporters by passing OBAF in the first place; they dare not try to railroad another such bill through.
In the meantime, Hampden watches all of this carefully. Regan is known to support Strict Liability, although the SFA has done precisely nothing to tackle sectarianism in the game here up until now. Sevco’s managing director defended sectarian singing and a pitch invasion; that was the very definition of bringing the game into disrepute. No charges were made against him for doing so, which shows what appetite there is for real action.
I’ll believe these people are serious when they get real about this stuff.
And on top of this, with the co-efficient reeling from the scandalous result in Gibraltar, the SFA has decided to do its bit to help … the Lincoln Red Imps. Yes indeed; our governing body decided to turn over the national team training camp to those guys on the eve of our second leg game with them. Now, I don’t expect it to do a shred of good; the first leg was an outrage but we ought to have enough to turn them over at Celtic Park … but what the Hell?
Since when does the national association give aid to a team playing against one of our sides? Sevco has done this a few times in the past, but the SFA is allegedly an independent body which works for the good of the Scottish game.
This is the sort of thing that really pisses our supporters off.