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Scottish Clubs Are Worried About The Cinch Standoff. And They Should Be.

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“And as things fell apart, nobody paid much attention …” – The Talking Heads.

The news yesterday that Scottish clubs are viewing the standoff between Ibrox and the SPFL over the cinch deal with extreme disquiet is not in the least bit surprising, and nor was the bizarre spin that the pro-Sevco media tried to put on the events at Fir Park, which are the cause of the latest bout of high anxiety from the rest of the teams in the league.

According to The Record (but of course; who else?) the decision to tape over the name of the league sponsor when the manager at Ibrox was being interviewed on Sky was a decision taken by the broadcaster itself and not by the clubs. This is an attempt to absolve the away club from any of the blame for what we all rightly regard as a pitiful stunt.

But whether the Ibrox club demanded it or Sky did it to appease them it is no less pathetic anyway and a sterling example not only of how everyone has come to accept their pettiness as a matter of routine but also of how the rest of the game has – shockingly – sought to come to terms with and even to accommodate their behaviour as if they were an unruly child that requires added supervision.

It is this bizarre and dangerous “normalisation” of their conduct that should worry other clubs the most, and it will certainly worry commercial partners now and in the future.

There are things that should never be normalised, or permitted to become normal. There are things which need to be stopped in their tracks before they get to that point, long before it in a case like this where so many clubs depend on that sponsorship cash..

The clubs fear that cinch could either withhold some of their sponsorship cash or ditch the deal altogether; either of those is a distinct possibility, but they aren’t even the darkest or most worrisome potential consequences of this.

If cinch pull out, where in God’s name does the league go next? Potential sponsors and partners are watching this and they must be aghast that Ibrox has been given the latitude to behave like this, and the way it is now apparently just something that the governing bodies and broadcasters accept and make allowances and compromises for.

Ibrox’s behaviour is only a small part of the problem now; the other clubs are entitled to ask why they haven’t been gotten back on the leash, and cinch themselves must be asking the same thing. The next time the SPFL sits down with sponsors the Ibrox question will be foremost on people’s minds, and what can our governors say when they are asked it?

“Oh we’ll do our best but … you know …?”

It is the way that those in authority roll over for them that will worry people with money to spend more than the club’s conduct does, because sponsors and other partners know they will not get the benefits of protection or assistance if Ibrox decides not to play ball.

This whole thing is a manufactured controversy and that has been clear from the very beginning of it when the club’s initial reasoning became public.

Their “pre-existing deal” is with their own chairman and he could have respected this deal as he saw fit, as I am certain other clubs have in the past in spite of similar “conflicts”.

Christ, the Scottish Cup has been sponsored by a betting firm for long enough; that hasn’t stopped their club and ours from having separate betting companies on our shirts.

The recent deal the SPFL signed with a company in the NFT business, and which Ibrox immediately renounced on the same flimsy grounds, is all the warning other clubs need that this was not a one of but is now a point of policy with them.

And where does that leeave us? Well, even in the best case scenario where the SPFL gets deals across the line, does this only happen after their club approves it?

Does Ibrox get an automatic veto now or what?

Who the Hell would do business with the league under conditions like that?

Because if Ibrox has a veto then so does Celtic Park, and if that’s true then every club in the league can spit out the dummy if they find a commercial deal in any way clashes with something they’ve got going on peripheral to it.

See, whether willingly or not, whether by accident or by design, the conduct of Ibrox threatens the fabric of the game in Scotland now. This affair isn’t just about this one deal, it destabilises everything the league does going forward and that is why club’s are worried and why they are right to be and its why the appeasement policy poses a clear and present danger to Scottish football … and still it is the one that our governing bodies pursue.

The insanity of this should be obvious, but it’s as if it just hasn’t sunk in for some people yet and unfortunately these are the people who run the game here. Individual clubs have started to grasp it and that’s all to the good … but unless those who are in charge get a grip on this (and they should have done so well before now) dire times are coming.

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18 comments

  • scouse bhoy says:

    sky sevco sports. scotlands sports media shame.

    • Brian says:

      Split sevco money between the clubs who upheld the advertising. But that aside why have all the other clubs not got together on this issue before now.

  • Robert Jenkins says:

    Worryingly for the clubs, this has been going on since August. The other clubs must be thinking that this should have been sorted by now.

  • Paul says:

    I hope cinch pull out of the deal & sue the league for breach of contract. That would be hilarious. Would like yo see yhe respone to that from Doncaster and the clubs who rely on that money

  • Delbhoy says:

    Allowing all that happens down ipox way ,The SFA is not fit for purpose,they do not stand by the other 41clubs and all of those 41clubs shld abandon the Authoritarian controlled SFA,

  • FSTB says:

    I’ve just had a look at sevco official partners of which there are many and I dont see any mention of parks of Hamilton
    So what is the contract that conflicts and what does park get for his money
    Also are we to believe sky decided to tape over the cinch logo because they were worried the sevco PR dept would veto the GVB interview .surely someone at the club MUST have said something
    I smell fish

  • kingmurdy says:

    agree with paul…hope cinch rips up contract and walks….celtic can suffer the loss, ALL other clubs need the cash, including sevco….then the shit will begin !!
    spfl and sfa are spineless as i have said many times…..and why the fcuk do celtic still deal with parks…..fcuking why ????
    parks should have been shown the door long ago….again….SPINELESS celtic fc…
    our board is every bit as bad as the above organisations and clubs….i fcuking hate our board….

  • Seppington says:

    If cinch walks away fine the scum double the value of the contract and give them zero prize money for this season.

    They don’t say anything zbout there being SKY cameras st their games…is that not competition for GersTV or whatever the clowns call it?

    I agree with DelBhoy…if the league won’t act in the interests of all the other clubs then they should all walk away from the SPFL and form a seperate league system. Let Sevco be champions of a one-team league…they’d probably still release a celebration DVD….

  • Stuart Murdoch says:

    I am not claiming to have the answer to the Ibrox problem, but one thing is for certain, and that should be written in stone – if they don’t want to play by the same rules as the rest of us, then not only should they not be given any of the league sponsor’s prize money, but they should not be allowed to play in the league at all.

  • John says:

    Totally agree with Paul and Kingmurrdy. Hope cinch withhold money. We can deal with it but time for these clubs to put their heads above the parapets and do what’s good for Scottish football. They have been hiding behind us for years. Time to stand up to the scum. Very much doubt it though

  • Scud Missile says:

    So sevco are saying it was Sky who covered the cinch logo up at Motherwell so was or is responsible for cinch not getting the advertising it did from the ibrox klub from August until now.
    Typical sevco blame everyone else but themselves.
    They’ve had more fines this season in Europe than Boris the clown has in Downing Street.

  • Scud Missile says:

    All this garbage talk about Ukrainian clubs or club to get automatic qualification for the group stages of the Champions league,aye right.
    Ok let’s not have Champions league football next season lets just give that title to a Ukrainian club,infact lets not have a World Cup lets just make Ukraine the world champions.
    They will be pushing this s***e next.

  • SSMPM says:

    Personally I hope Cinch walk away. You can blame the huns for their actions all day long if you like or the SFA for supposedly allowing it but my version of the truth is we’re all to blame, every other club, every other set of supporters.
    The pathetic pacifism warrants being walked all over. Their fans come out and parade, march through the streets, campaign, stand up and be counted. The rest of us well just we’re pathetic done to clubs.
    Maybe the best thing that could happen is some of the SPFL clubs agree to resign and a new league is formed without them in it with a new responsible and accountable governing body. If its broke change it. What’s the worst that could happen UEFA don’t recognise the new league, well that’s no great hit, we’re not in Europe for long anyway

  • John Collins says:

    I presume that the team playing at Ibrox who refuse to promote the league sponsor will not want to sully themselves by accepting any prize money that is linked to the funds committed by the sponsor?

  • Olly says:

    I feel a class action in the wind. ?

  • Jorge says:

    I sincerely hope that the spfl are preparing a very robust legal case against sevco and that they are aware that this is an existential threat against them. If the spfl fails to protect their clubs from the undermining actions of another member club, those clubs will rightly turn on the governing body. This is the sevco plan.

  • Scud Missile says:

    As I said previously auld Fred at Betfred will get his way when it comes to logos and names on ribbons of the Scottish Cup,he is a ruthless business man and takes no s***e from nobody.
    So sevco will have his Betting shop logo on their shirts for the final and should they win those ribbons will be displaying Betfred on it whether 32red sponsor sevco or not.
    Now let’s Duggie 5 chins respond to auld Fred.

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