14 January 2013

Unfit for Purpose (Always and forever)

by Graeme Barr | CRO Guest Writer

Scottish Football thrives on drama, drama which feeds the relentless frenzy. Facts matter little and nor does any sense of pragmatism. We have become accustomed to rumour, familiar with conjecture and well acquainted with hyperbole.

The easiest thing to do is blame the media who are without doubt worthy of some criticism in the spreading of misleading information. Indeed, if they carried out their duties, then most of this soap-opera-style reporting would never reach our breakfast tables.
Ed's note: Their new logo is such an affront
to design I couldn't include it here.

The real issue though goes beyond the media. One of football’s oldest organisations has plummeted to new depths in recent times. The Scottish Football Association’s failure to rejuvenate our national game, protect one of its oldest members (yes, protect) or even adhere to its own rules is there for all to see. In fact, it’s undeniable.

The SFA has recently become a parody of itself: unable to lead, organise, show any form of integrity, or just function with some level of dignity. When such an organisation fails, who do we look to for guidance and leadership?

Yes, that's right, the Chief Executive. In this case we have Stewart Regan. The man from the world of cricket rather likes talking himself up and blindly ignoring any negatives. In the past week alone for example Mr Regan has desperately tried to go on the charm offensive. He persistently praised himself, listed his apparent achievements and described how he faced challenges and overcame them. The truth however seems to have been lost in translation.

Let’s briefly look at Stewart Regan’s comments in the written media, starting of with a piece in the Daily Record.

In this interview he brushed aside criticism like it was a completely groundless accusation. There was no mention of walking out on a meeting with the Rangers Fans’ Working Group; why he blackmailed Charles Green with an ‘unlawful’ transfer embargo; the sacking although continued employment of Craig Levein; the inept performance of the national team; the social networking behaviour of an adolescent teenager.

Speaking of which, do you remember his Twitter account? Mr Regan, the man who preached to us about transparency, blocked countless Rangers fans for having the audacity to ask reasonable and relevant questions yet continued to converse with Celtic fans despite their use of the sectarian term ‘Hun’. (And that little bit about favouring Jig hung from a tree.)

Have I forgotten to mention that our national game’s first ever referees’ strike was on his watch? Of course only “one club," as many were advised to report, ever complained and they were allowed to do so unchallenged. They didn’t just question the competence of the officials, they went as far as to question their integrity. The men in the middle were subsequently left to rot. To add insult to injury the SFA, under the guidance of Stewart Regan, recruited foreign referees. Talk about being spineless.

Now let’s look at this short interview from The Sun. It doesn’t disappoint.

I should perhaps warn you, if you do indeed follow the link above then the chances are you’ll either despair at the contradictions or cry. But this following quote is relevant:

“The SFA can’t be seen to be dealing with Rangers in one way and other members in another way and that frustrates Charles simply because of the profile of Rangers.”

I must say Mr Regan, I am very glad to hear this. You see, you already have treated Rangers differently. Just think back to August, it was not that long ago. Yup, is it coming to you? Nearly there? Nope?! Okay, I will jog your memory for you.

Just before the season started you blackmailed Rangers FC by imposing a transfer embargo deemed “unlawful” by the Court of Session in Edinburgh. Yes, that’s correct, a sanction deemed to be illegal. Are you hearing me correctly? Unlawful!

Now, you can talk yourself up until you are blue in the face however the facts do not lie. Mr Regan, you are an abomination of a CEO and quite frankly the worst thing ever to happen to our game. Ever since you darkened the door of our national stadium our game has been tarred with bigotry, corruption and sheer negligence.

You may well be wondering quite why I said that Mr Regan failed to ‘protect’ one of Scottish Football’s oldest members. Well, as matter of public knowledge, the SFA Chief Executive was fully aware that Craig Whyte wasn’t fit for purpose as far back as October 2011. He disgracefully refused to take action until we were at our lowest ebb, almost at the point of no return.

Why did he wait to we were defenceless? I suppose I’ll leave that up to you.

Our game will never move forward while we allow such incompetence and corruption to reign supreme. Mr Regan and his cronies are completely unfit for purpose. It’s about time they were removed.