Celtic Fan Media Welcomes The MSM To The Fight Against The “Culture Of Secrecy” At Hampden.

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“I believe if there is no transparency then there is secrecy. If you have secrecy then there is suspicion. And if there is suspicion then you have mistrust. A national football association can’t have allegations of wrongdoing, or cover-ups, hanging over its head.”

Who do you think wrote that? Me? Joe McHugh? Dave Faulds over at The Celtic Star? Was it something I cribbed from one of the brilliant podcasters? Something that came from the pen of the ever-brilliant Tony Haggerty or Phil Mac Giolla Bhain?

No, that was Hugh Keevins, this morning. Hugh Keevins, who to the best of my knowledge has never given a damn about the SFA reform agenda, who has spent the better part of his career telling those of us who talk about “allegations of wrongdoing or cover-ups” to go away and spend some time in a dark room. The about-face is staggering.

“Everyone is sick of VAR. The SFA’s refereeing department is a self-protection society that is underperforming badly …”

Who wrote that? Gotta be a Celtic fan writer, yeah? Cause that phrase about a “self-protection society” sounds too close to the kind of stuff Alan Morrison, myself and others have been saying not just for weeks or months but years about the SFA’s culture of secrecy not permitting any dissent and the way that creates the conditions for corruption.

That was The Mail On Sunday’s resident goon Gary Keown, still trying to master the written word after years as a mainstream journalist, but smart enough to borrow enough insight from the Celtic bloggers he scorns to put together his latest masterpiece.

That’s just two of them, and those are just from today.

“There is a lack of transparency, a lack of openness ….”

That one is from Tom English, on the BBC Radio Scotland podcast. It’s as if all these people have finally opened their eyes after a long period of sleep, as if they are finally seeing what we’ve been looking at this whole time.

We’ve had this for the whole week. All of a sudden everyone wants to point out the obvious failings at Hampden. Everyone now wants openness and transparency. Everyone is clamouring for the SFA to make statements, release audio, clarify every decision and there are even hints that officials should be scrutinised more closely. It’s incredible.

For years we’ve been pushing this agenda, and all of a sudden, the media which has scorned us for the whole of that time are all on the same page we are, and all over a marginal call and a misunderstanding over a graphic.

I just listened to a small clip of the Radio Clyde commentary from the moment of the incident and not one of them is 100% sure it’s a penalty. Indeed, Gordon Daziel is adamant that it isn’t (although he changes his mind later on after being relentlessly browbeaten over it).

The SFA has clarified that it sent the offside image to Sky as a “supplementary” update. One of the most nonsensical allegations here is that the SFA did not clarify the penalty decision at the time; the VAR screen at Celtic Park announced the check and the result of it, so it’s not even as if there hasn’t been the minimum amount of transparency in this case.

But not enough. Tom English has claimed that there are two clubs in the top flight who are in favour of abolishing VAR entirely. That’s not unexpected. But that’s problematic as long as the SFA wants to defend the technology, and they have to because their officials only get to do European games if they are using it. English claims that one of the clubs has contemplated just telling the SFA they aren’t willing to continue paying to use VAR … and that shakes things up.

What’s clear is that the reform discussion is going on in places where it never has before, or at least not to this extent. How amazing that in a year plus of highly contentious decisions that it took one to go against Ibrox to finally move the needle.

But you know what? We’ll take it. We’ll welcome it. And because we are fair minded people who recognise that this is about the big picture, we will even welcome certain people over to our side. Yes, including Keevins, English and Keown.

Provided, that is, they are serious about it. I know we are. But their Damascene conversion to the cause is a lot harder to trust.

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  • Bob (original) says:

    “A national football association can’t have allegations of wrongdoing,

    or cover-ups, hanging over its head.”

    Yes, I did laugh in disbelief at that quote in Keevins’ column.

    To be fair, the SMSM churnalists do excel at revisionism.


    Yes, the SMSM were calling out the SFA about it’s preferential treatment,

    leniency and rule breaking for the benefit of the ibrox clubs.

    Remember…? 🙁

    You know that sort of BS is coming – eventually.

    I’d bet on Spiers being the first to brazenly claim that

    he ‘was all over the Rangers FC liquidation story from the very beginning’.

  • Mick says:

    They’d (msms) will only be involved in this as long as it doesn’t affect their wages or reps.
    As soon as either looked threatened they’d leg it sharpish.

  • Tam says:

    You are right to ask do they really mean it… because for years keevens said…if you believe cheating and secrecy is going on in Scottish football we should “pickup the ball and all go home” …. well Mr keevens had you had the “china dolls” all those years ago…we would have transparency that we all are asking for…now… We would have transparency and would be asking for more

  • Roddybhoy says:

    Now more than ever all the top clubs including Celtic should be clamouring to get on board with this. If you had all clubs and just as important the media and politicians then we would have a real chance of a modern thinking SFA. I would go even further and take the SFA out of Glasgow. HOWEVER I bet you right now in a smoke filled room there will be SFA officials and Rangers officials plotting a peace treaty between the 2 hoping of a back tracking because we all know Rangers or the SFA don’t want everytmhing out in the open . They will both be shitting themselves right now. They all need to get on board now before this opportunity disappears as I’m sure it will. Rangers have the power to make the media back track

  • Paddybhoy67 says:

    Keevins has more faces than a townhall clock.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Brilliant journalism yet again James and Thank You…

    KEEP SHAMING THEM (the ones you name and the rest as well)

    Even though they don’t have the most tiny shread of shame in their rank rotten stinking bodies !

  • Johnno says:

    James isn’t it amazing that we have been calling out the level of corruption that exists within Scottish football, for which the SFA are responsible for?
    Corruption is cheating, nothing else, and especially when it suits an agenda where only a shower of scum have benefited from it?
    Yet now the shower of scum have thrown there toys out of the pram and all of the scum cheerleaders are backing them all of a sudden over the whole issue?
    What is most ridiculous is it has started over a penalty, that never was, because of an offside, that VAR was bought into the game to clear up such matters?
    Never heard of the likes of the carry on from the scum and its cheerleaders since the introduction of VAR, and even more so when the scum have benefited so hugely from its introduction?
    So great for ourselves to sit back and watch the scum calling for something we have spent years calling for?
    How the shower of shit have conducted themselves over the issue is nothing more than you would expect from a shower of shit, just hilarious how contradictory all of these scum cheerleaders seem to be now?
    The so called victims calling for a cleaner game, while they have benefited so hugely from keeping the Scottish game as dirty as its always been with the secrecy of the corruption within it?
    Couldn’t make it up, so the scum cheerleaders never fail to deliver with the amount of shite they promote, but has there ever been a time we are actually in agreement with them shitehawks?
    Certainly can’t recall such a situation within my lifetime anyway.

  • William Melvin says:

    These assholes will be “all in” with regards to full disclosure and transparency at the SFA &SPFL. !!
    But here’s the kicker……ONLY as long as it suits their twisted agenda AND that of the tribute act from South of the Clyde.
    As you stated,James; They have been telling us all in no uncertain terms to basically go to hell in a handcart and to take our fenian paranoia with us.
    Just wait and see as their bravado turns to dust once they hear the lbrox dog whistles calling them back to heel.
    Spineless bastards,to a man….and l use that description in the loosest possible term.
    Disgusting !!!


    The problem regarding the ‘volte-face’ is the media’s agenda.

    Are we to believe that the SMSM after, let’s face it, generations, of pro Ibrox backing for both clubs are now seriously advocating full transparency from the Game’s Administrators?

    I would posit that this interjection by people who we know not to be our friends or with our interests at heart is merely the first step in fire-fighting the growing clamour from all fronts.

    They will row it all back, drip fed from Ibrox and Hampdump to a point where the SFA/SPFL will agree to a limited investigation into the ‘ pro’s and con’s ‘ that will be protracted well beyond the end of the Season and eventually disappear into the bowels under the
    6’th Floor.

    The SFA absolutely must retain hold of the issue or else it’s finished. As long as the concept of an Independent Ombudsman/ Regulator grows they lose the argument.

    So short term appeasement, Sevco reminded ‘careful what you wish for’ and prolonged obfuscation will be the order of the day.

    As long as they can keep it ‘in House’ or within Scotland’s borders they will survive with only a sticking plaster here or there being applied.

    Even a call to arms from the Scottish Parliament is not guaranteed. Too many Politicians have too much to lose personally on this issue so I won’t be counting on too much aid from that arena.

    • Christina says:

      That’s exactly what I think JimboH this ‘call for reform’ will be murdered in the cradle. As others have also suggested there will a meeting down the local Masonic as we speak trying to compose a joint statement that gets both sides out of the mess they have created with their posturing. I’m sure I read somewhere that the refs “are raging” about this and backing Collum – of course they are how the hell are they going to award their favourite club all the penalties etc if there is going to be ” transparency & accountability”? This will all be sorted down the Ludges, a few wee token gestures and all will be as it ever was as the old saying goes ‘turkeys don’t vote for Christmas’!

  • Roonsa says:

    Well done to sevco and their fans for getting the MSM to wake up to this problem. Celtic fan blog sites. What the hell have you been doing for the last God knows how many years? For shame!!!!


    As Richard Littlecock once said, you couldn’t make it up.

  • John Copeland says:

    If and when there is proper reform of the authorities in Scotland ,how will the next version be installed as a fairer system? Yes ,we have to get rid of the omnipresent ‘establishment’ in Scottish football ,but won’t the next one just be a modern SFA/SPFL with new officials but with the same old allegiances to a certain clumpany ? I mean we are talking about a system with it’s own DNA regarding who gets preferential treatment . This will require major surgery with no guarantees of success afterwards .I believe it would be essential to include broadcasters ,the media and the like to be part of the reformation too . None of the old half baked attempts at change but omitting a serious part of the problem ! Root and branch severance!

  • SSMPM says:

    Humility, integrity nor honesty is not something that can be applied to this lot of charlatans’ intentions. Them that have argued for years against SFA and refereeing scrutiny are all jumping on the midden’s popularity bandwagon simply for the adulation they think it brings them as contemporary trailblazers. Keevens actually and rightly from their perspective stated many years ago not to ask too many questions of the SFA, because of the answers that might be found therein.
    This is no ship called dignity they’re presently sailing along and once they’ve come off their current high tide they’ll realise it could be a portal to a subterranean depth of orange institutional anguish and self harm. When they’ve finally cottoned onto the reality of their actions and what said scrutiny could unveil the parameters of any requested independent investigation will suddenly and very quickly become angry, polarised and lessened.
    Soon there will be no cries for a desired political independent examination over there particularly of an historical Rangers, SFA or refereeing perspective. Their silence on this matter will become deafening.
    Any questions that club might want investigating will be considerably tailored back and limited to that of internal footballing scrutiny. Certainly not ones to include an independent, political or historical angle but to that of a more currently focussed and targeted internal football agenda. History is not their friend. Humility, integrity and honesty doesn’t apply to their character. Protectionism will. HH

  • Johnny Green says:

    If jumping the dyke was an olympic event Keevins would have a few gold medals by now. He is an idiot and I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him. The other two also speak with forked tongues and are best ignored, no matter what they say.

    Give them no credit and no credence, I will never seriously accept anything they say.

    I would be looking for better and more honest media examples than them.

  • Gerry says:

    I don’t read any of the msm publications…but one of the journalists you mention, Keown is regularly
    mentioned by my elderly father. Not for any excellent sports journalism, but by his constant criticism and snidy, anti Celtic columns! Fans with typewriters ? They are a disgrace and anything they say is taken with a huge pinch of salt ! Their volte-face is very convenient !

  • Albert Kidd says:

    The mistrust is deeper than VAR. I have feeling this will be brushed off by offering a full VAR report three days after the game or some nonsense like that and the true reforms needed will remain untouched. As you were.

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