A question of trust

Trust is broken on planet fitba.

The governed do not trust those appointed to govern.

All of the people who were in positions of power in Scottish football during the omnishambles last summer are still in post.

I suppose that is the starting point.

The people who made a crisis for one club into everyone else’s problem are still there behind the same big desks on the sixth floor at Hampden.

Of the three Neil Doncaster has probably made the best attempt to claw back some credibility.

Regan’s defence of Campbell Ogilvie needs no further editorialising from me.

Because those two were in the main gaze of the media David Longmuir largely escaped scrutiny.

Now the man from the Scottish Football League appears to be centre stage.

Over the past few weeks Doncaster has made it clear to several SFL 1 club chairmen that he was concerned about the lack of urgency being shown by his SFL opposite number David Longmuir on the subject of league reconstruction.

The 12-12-18 proposal was meant to go through for next season.

Of course this would mean that the Ibrox outfit would remain in the bottom tier of Scottish football.

This plan sent Sevco’s new PR chap James Traynor into rant mode on the holding company’s website.

The ex-Daily Record man had, of course, known for some time that he was heading for Edmiston Drive.

Any reasonable person would now look back at his copy for that title and wonder if he was able to keep that out of his head when he was writing at Sevco and Charles Green.

We do know that he submitted copy to Craig Whyte for approval and had asked the Motherwell born billionaire for a job.

I know that certain well-placed sources in the SFL genuinely believe that Mr Longmuir is not acting in the best interests of all clubs in the football league.

Mr Longmuir can easily deal with this speculation that he is currently working in the interests of one SFL club and not all 30 of them.

If they are mistaken in that view then he should try and put their minds at rest.

Here, in an interview with award winning journalist Keith Jackson of the Daily Record, he attempts to do just that.

It is undeniable that the colts teams bombshell came very late to the league reconstruction party and it is hard to see the sense in any of this at this stage.

I was certainly puzzled by it.

Why now?

Cui bono?

Who benefits from 12-12-18 being scuppered for good or at least delayed for a year?

Who benefits from the 12-12-10-10 next season?

In a 12-12-18 Charles Green’s outfit remains in the bottom tier next season.

If it is delayed for a year then his new Rangers will be promoted and, perhaps, higher ticket prices can be charged.

12-12-18 next season appears to be what Mr Green considers to be unacceptable to his new club.

Subsequently, the optics of this are rather unfortunate for Mr Longmuir.

Actually 12-12-18 IS a very good deal for the SFL, especially those clubs in SFL1.

There is more money going down into the second tier of the professional game from the top flight.

One would have thought that Mr Longmuir would be grabbing at this opportunity.

Not so it would appear.

To several SFL 1 chairmen Longmuir, at the very least, appears reluctant to move the 12-12-18 project forward with appropriate haste.

Here Tom English tries to put an “Old Firm” spin on the colts manoeuvre, but there is a slight problem with this.

It’s bollocks.

The idea that Celtic and Sevco are colluding on anything at the moment is utterly risible.

Indeed I am told that Peter Lawwell was rather grateful at a recent meeting of the European Club Association (ECA) that Charles Green did not approach him.

One man is a CEO of a team that was in the last 16 of the Champions League and the other is running a team in the bottom tier of Scottish football.

Those are the facts.

I am informed that only last week Longmuir was trying to arrange a lunch between Charles Green and Peter Lawwell.

My sources  said that the SFL man thought that it was very important that the Celtic Chief Executive and Charles Green establish a relationship as they have never had a business meeting.

The colts team idea itself has been discussed in Scottish football, on and off, for over a decade.

Celtic are, in principle, in favour of the concept and have said so on numerous occasions.

However this recent move came as news to people at the highest levels in the Parkhead outfit.

I spoke to Mr Longmuir today and I put Turnbull Hutton’s accusation to him that his late introduction of the colts idea was about him acting in the interests of New Rangers.

His said that Hutton’s specific allegation was “unworthy of a response”.

He said that:
“I have a duty of care to the 30 clubs in the Scottish football league and I will discharge that duty.

“That is all I have done since I came into post in 2007.

“And on Sunday I will discharge that duty to all 42 clubs in the country so that the competition is a huge success and a fantastic showcase for Scottish football.”

I then put it to him that he had been trying to facilitate a meeting between Green and Lawwell.

His response was:

“I don’t know where you get your information from.”

Well I do and I’m happy with the integrity of that source.

I then informed Turnbull Hutton that Longmuir had declined to respond to his comments that the SFL man was acting primarily in the interests of New Rangers.

The man from Raith Rovers said:

“Then why bring this up now? This is just a diversionary tactic to muddy the waters of league reconstruction.”

I suppose in the end it comes down to who you trust.

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