Today Neil Doncaster and Stewart Regan dragged our game one step closer to the abyss.
Today they disgraced themselves and football in Scotland, when they appeared in front of the Scottish Parliament to defend teams who make footballers in this country sign the equivalent of zero hour contracts. It was a shameful display from two morally bankrupt men, who the clubs continue to let run this morally bankrupt sport.
In any other association, anywhere in world football, there would simply be no argument in favour of leaving these men in office. It just would not happen. These guys would not be permitted to sit at the pinnacle of the national sport and heap disgrace onto disgrace in it.
These guys have always infuriated those of us who believe their conduct in 2012 should have seen them run out of the national sport. But this is Scotland, where normal rules don’t apply.
Let’s not forget that these two men were perfectly happy to let Craig Whyte defraud people, running Rangers as if it was still a business and not something he was preparing to crash. Doncaster actually spoke as if what Whyte was attempting was perfectly valid, and legitimate, instead of potentially criminal and morally reprehensible.
We should not be surprised to see these men abrogate any sense of social responsibility today, but it turns the stomach nonetheless. They have no decency whatsoever.
The practice of clubs paying young players £1 a week contracts is appalling.
The Scottish Parliament select committee who these two appeared before were incredulous, and disgusted, at their remarks, and their efforts to suggest that bonuses and enhancements somehow got around the law of the land.
“Just simply looking at the weekly wage will not tell you the information that you need in order to ascertain whether the national minimum legislation is being complied with or not,” Doncaster said, in a bizarre attempt to justify it. He was shot down by Johann Lamont and by James Dorman who asked whether or not these practices “are bringing the game into disrepute.”
Incredibly, Regan attempted to argue the point, using a truly mind-bending justification.
“”No, it’s not. You are assuming that the club has done it deliberately. The club may well be ignorant on the contract that has to be used.”
That old argument again. Clubs are ignorant of the rules.
It’s his damned job to make sure they aren’t. It’s his damned job to make sure they follow them.
But clubs just piss all over them … and he and his office bearers allow them to.
Clubs are treating young footballers like shit; the practice simply cannot be supported in any way, shape or form, and it embarrasses our sport that these muppets defend it.
Doncaster and Regan have utterly outstayed their welcome in our game, but I now understand why certain clubs want to keep them in place.
The disgrace of this is indefensible, and only people with no values at all would try to.
These two are not only useful idiots, they are prepared to do what other administrators wouldn’t be in bending regulations, exploiting people and disgracing their offices. That clearly suits a lot of other people in our sport.
Shame on every single one of them.