Yesterday, shortly after Stewart Regan crawled out from whichever rock he’s been lying underneath, the other half of The Brains Trust had popped up with a media conference.
Yes, Neil Doncaster is alive and well folks and my God how lucky we are to have this guy, this visionary, who’s contribution to the national discussion in our sport is so well known.
He was asked to comment on the Whyte case and declined to. He did comment on the “reforms” the league passed in the aftermath of that scandal though, for what little they were worth. I’ll get to them momentarily; for now I want to ask a question.
Why is The Daily Record lying, brazenly, openly, shamelessly, lying about what Doncaster actually said?
According to the headlines, which, of course have been copied by other media outlets apparently without a single one of their journalists looking for the quote that would have justified them, Doncaster has said there will be “no more Craig Whyte’s” in Scottish football; this is ironic as there’s one of them sitting in the chairman’s seat at Ibrox right now.
It’s a guarantee that Doncaster cannot give until there are more robust checks in place at the SFA – not the organisation he runs – so I had a feeling when I read that headline that those words never actually came out of his mouth, but in fact he said nothing at all that could even be remotely construed as that.
So why is The Daily Record gilding the lily on this one?
Did Doncaster himself, or a certain PR company, give the paper a steer here? Is this an early effort to close down any fit and proper person discussions, and if so why?
Doncaster is a clown, but even he is not stupid enough to have claimed successes he’s not due.
He was very careful in what he said yesterday, outlining very specific reforms the league made after the Rangers crisis. They are toothless, but they do exist.
The league passed “reforms” which guarantee tax authorities and players will be paid.
That was it. Big deal.
In fact, these are already inflexible UEFA licensing requirements so, in fact, all the SPL did was drag our game up to the level at which nearly every other major European league was also at, so forgive me for being decidedly unimpressed by this.
There are other UEFA licensing criteria of course, but those aren’t to be talked about because we know one particular club pisses all over them.
Had we moved towards passing those on top of the tweaking around the edges Doncaster’s talking about we would be somewhere, and we’d have taken a giant step towards preventing the next meltdown.
The changes that were brought in after Whyte’s reign are so weak as to be virtually meaningless. They won’t stop clubs racking up ruinous debt, because they deal with issues after the fact. A club that’s stopped paying its players on time or which is withholding tax is already deep in crisis. The point of real reform is to stop them getting there in the first place.
But these moves do nothing to prevent dodgy geezers from coming in to football here, and quite why The Record is trying to pretend they do I simply do not know, except that it blows smoke over the decision to give Fit and Proper Person status to a crook.
King should never have got the nod; that was a disgrace which is compounded with every day he spends in office, ignoring regulators, breaking rules, holding his blackmail box and running up new and crushing debts and all the while the SFA and SPFL play dumb.
These people are watching as the next tsunami sweeps up, and those of us who’ve got no vested interest in wilful ignorance can see exactly what will happen when it hits.