It was almost as if Stewart Milne could not wait to get out there and say his piece.
He gave a statement to the Press Association last night saying he supported the SFA’s “decision” not to proceed with an inquiry. He’s given an interview to STV saying he does not believe that there is any evidence that warrants title stripping.
And there you have it.
Listen, Stewart Milne is a smart man.
He has to be.
He runs a multi-million business and has quite the personal fortune.
So I am not going to allow him the excuse of being dense, of not getting the point, of missing what it is that’s at stake here.
Stewart Milne has not misread this. He has not mistaken it for something else. He is, instead, gutless and without a shred of integrity. He is lying to his own supporters and to the wider Scottish game when he comes out with this shtick about “moving on” being something that benefits the sport. You do not work around a shit-pile. You do not pretend it’s not there and put out the lawn furniture. He knows this is not about “title stripping”. He knows that what’s happened at Ibrox and Hampden cannot be allowed to go unanswered. He knows that this is about major corruption at the SFA. He knows they are engaged in a cover-up.
He just doesn’t care about these things.
Has he been got to? By who? The guy can’t be bought off because he’s independently wealthy already. Is there pressure coming from somewhere? I’m going to say no, because Milne hasn’t actually told us anything we didn’t already know about him. He was in favour of seeing Sevco put straight into the SPL. He is a “bottom line” kind of guy. He was only moved from that position when Aberdeen fans made it clear how unacceptable that was.
Stewart Milne is a selfish sod. He doesn’t care about the game at all. If he did he would never leave it like this. He does not care about Aberdeen’s supporters; why should he? He has their money for the season. He can now do what so many other chairmen and owners do and treat them with contempt. Under normal circumstances that would be a matter for him and for them but this, unfortunately, is bigger than that.
Aberdeen is a progressive club.
Some will say it’s Milne himself who’s moving it in the right direction.
There is much to admire about the set-up over there and the way they are run. When they continually refer, in their pristine accounts, of how they would comply with any FFP regulations that’s a dig at the SFA and a certain club for their own chaotic practices …. but it’s all talk. Milne never actually has the guts to see it through and demand FFP as a standard for the game. It’s ring and run. It’s fundamentally cowardly.
On the bigger issues he’s nowhere at all.
He refuses point blank to see what’s in front of us his eyes, because then he actually would have to do something about it.
If you want to know why Scottish football continues to be run by a corrupt cabal, it has nothing, really, to do with the Hampden cohort who in 2012 (and probably before that) put the well-being of Rangers, a club that had cheated our sport and spent its way into the darkest, deepest financial hole in Scottish football history, ahead of everything else including the integrity of the game. They’ve done what they’ve done, they are past redemption or forgiveness for it, but as long as the clubs tolerate them they will be there.
Scottish football is here because of men like Milne, men who looked the other way, pretending it isn’t happening, pretended not to notice. They just don’t care. If Aberdeen were run by someone like Turnbull Hutton instead of this coward they would be a leader in the game. Instead they are run by a small man with a small man’s mentality, content to forever sift around on the margins. Just Another SPL Club. No more, no less.
He and those like him are Scottish football’s climate change deniers.
They think moving on will secure the future of our sport? Wrong.
Unless the issues here are tackled head-on they will haunt this game forevermore. There is no moving on from blatant corruption and that’s what we’re talking about here. People broke the rules, and I’m not talking about those who were – and some who still are – at Ibrox. I’m talking about the regulators. I’m talking about those who’s duty of care to the whole game was abrogated, who violated its most fundamental principles of fairness and even-handed justice.
And that … we’re not moving on from that, not until those responsible are gone, until the game has been restructured so that what they did can never happen again, not until the colossal sins of the past have been examined, and dealt with, and punished.
Aberdeen fans have contributed a tremendous lot to the progress supporters have made in the last five or so years.
They found their voices in 2012 and were staunch and brilliant and loyal friends and allies with the fans of other clubs. It was incredible to see, back then, how united we all were, tribal loyalties put aside, the good of the game came first.
And just as I write this, the Aberdeen FC shareholders organisation, Dons Supporters Together, has issued its own response to the SFA’s call … and their own chairman’s despicable pandering. I am delighted to offer it here in full, and wholly commend them for it and for continuing to be the leaders at their club.
“In reaction to the SFA’s statement outlining their intention not to get involved in any inquiry into Rangers’ use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs), we issued the below correspondence to the SFA:
“We – as Aberdeen FC’s only democratic and constituted fans’ organisation, existing to represent the views of Aberdeen supporters – would like to express our bitter disappointment at your decision not to participate in any review of Rangers’ use of Employee Benefit Trusts.
“To decline an invitation made by SPFL clubs appears tantamount to a dereliction of duty.
“We also find the statement you issued is close to insulting.
“It could be argued that “raking over the coals” is fully justified in the circumstances. Indeed, this is an issue that has not been put to rest for any one of the six years in question and still burns brightly. Turning a blind eye to injustice damages ‘the image of the game in Scotland’ further than any inquiry ever could.
“We cannot contest that ‘it will be impossible to satisfy every supporter, every club official and every member club’. In the work we do it is ever-apparent that you cannot even satisfy every Aberdeen supporter! However, our engagement with supporters and supporters groups affiliated to Aberdeen and other clubs would suggest that the vast majority would welcome an inquiry and expect the SFA to be part of it.
“It is more beneficial to act on the behalf of the majority rather than drop the case altogether. Indeed, we polled our members (of which we have over 2,000) to find that over two-thirds want an inquiry. In addition, 44% of respondents would contribute financially to fund an independent review. As it is the majority view our members and the Aberdeen support, we have long taken the position that merit of the Rangers team’s success be thoroughly challenged and it is why we send this email to you.
“We argue that your flagrant disregard for justice, as sought by the majority of Aberdeen supporters and those elsewhere in Scottish football, represents a complete lack of the integrity you defend at the tail of your statement and we invite you to reconsider your position on the matter.”
Those fans deserve better than a gutless fraud like Milne.
They deserve better than the current corrupt leadership of the SFA … and they are determined to get it.