Regular readers know exactly how I feel about the paper’s favourite “football finance expert” Kieran Maguire.
I think for a finance guy he seems to have an unusual understanding of the income-expenditure equation, so often has he praised Ibrox for how the club is run.
No business running on director’s loans deserved that much praise and positivity.
But as a much smarter man than me once wrote, “It doesn’t take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”
And when Maguire spoke the other day on the SPFL’s dilemma as they enter the latest round of contract talks with commercial partners, he saw what is perfectly obvious to the readers of this site but has somehow eluded the mainstream press.
This, by the way, was one of the only times he’s spoken recently that didn’t see him trending on social media for a full day, because the hacks generally ignored it.
If you heard what he said you wouldn’t have to wonder why.
Maguire has pointed out that potential sponsors and business partners will, rightly, be concerned in light of what’s happened with the cinch deal. We’ve said the same, all of us.
The media has steadfastly refused to draw any conclusions but those which Ibrox and the SPFL wanted them to.
As I said earlier, “no harm done, let’s move on.”
But Maguire knows what we do; it’s not as simple as that.
It might not appear that there is any damage to the clubs as a result of all this, but that’s only because the medium to long term impact of that crisis isn’t yet clear, in the way the disaster of swine flu wasn’t clear until COVID hit and we realised that everything we needed to learn had happened ten years before but we just hadn’t bothered to take the lessons onboard.
Is the media determined not to see this?
Some of them are, because they backed Ibrox from the start and can’t be made to believe that this might have been the wrong thing to do from the perspective of our game.
They simply cannot accept that their club might have behaved with appalling pettiness and selfishness.
Moreover, their fear of saying that would outweigh any desire they had to do it anyway, in light of their “partnership” with the Ibrox club. This is only part of the problem.
Nevertheless, the risks remain real.
The fears that all genuine commercial organisations who contemplate working with the SPFL are well founded.
Even Sky have had to read leaks from Ibrox that they might vote no to the latest TV contract … the campaign of destabilising the governing body continues apace with no sign of letting up.
Maguire has praised Ibrox so much that it’s not even clear if he’s taking their side on this or not, but he is saying that the SPFL is going to have a hell of a time convincing people to part with their money, and in this he’s 100% right for once.
Where he doesn’t go, and where no-one seems to want to, is to take that to its conclusion; this is a club that should have been harshly dealt with and punished for its behaviour, and sanctioned heavily for their stance over the cinch contract.
The SPFL’s failure to do that is why those risks and fear exist, and why they remain.
The SPFL is simply not trusted, because it could not protect itself or its partners from unscrupulous attack.
Only robust action against the club responsible will change that.