By Hugobaws 14/11/2017
Roberto Savioni lives his life surrounded by armed Police Officers.
His book Gomorrah is a brutal real-life story of the Camorra, southern Italy’s version of the Cosa Nostra, and their influence on life and business in the Naples region. Savioni grew up in Naples among the gangs, and is one of around 10 Italian journalists who have written about the mafia and who are under permanent protective guard. Investigative journalism often carries a heavy price.
Of course, writing about organised crime is a little different from writing about Scottish football. I’m not suggesting Scottish Sports journalists should put themselves and their families in danger but the odd bit of actual reporting of the facts wouldn’t go amiss.
We are five years on from the liquidation of one of our largest and best supported clubs, but you wouldn’t know it if you bought a newspaper or tuned into TV or radio coverage. The past Chairman of Rangers (IL) used ‘offshore’ Trusts to pay players they could not have afforded otherwise, and therefore gained a sporting advantage over all other teams.
According to the last set of audited Accounts for RIFC, the current Chairman of the loss making and FFP busting club would appear to be the lender of last resort, keeping the lights on through an ‘offshore’ Trust held in the British Virgin Islands (just google tax avoidance and secrecy). Savioni calls this kind of activity “criminal capitalism” and says the UK is the most corrupt country on earth, letting companies thrive through this form of ‘offshore’ holdings.
The past and current owners of the Oldco/Newco have backed the club into a corner, and unless there is a sugar daddy waiting in the wings or a favourable (unlikely) judgement from Lord Bannantyne on the TOP, it might just all go KABOOM!!! It matters not a jot to Stewart Regan and the SFA, FFP is self-policing and our governing body is happy to turn a blind eye.
The SFA treat the fans with the same amount of disdain as the rules. “Football without the fans is nothing”, said no one ever at the SFA Hampden offices. The fans don’t have a voice, but that may be slowly changing. A relatively new organisation, the SFSA have attempted to address that but the SFA response has been to try and rubbish their Survey and Report. Co-founder of the SFSA and one of the architects of the Survey/Report Paul Goodwin was invited onto a BBC/RIFC show (Sportsound) to talk about the results. Kenny McIntyre (fan), Gordon Smith (ex-player/SFA Chief), Ian McCall (ex-player) and Darryl (I am the SFA) Broadfoot (fan/cheerleader/SFA lackey) were all waiting to pounce. The Podcast is here;
Darryl of course led the attack (without the wit or intelligence of a Malcolm “I’ve come across some psychos in my time but none as f*cking boring as you” Tucker) on the Survey. A poorly presented set of arguments and name calling (as well as a few sneers) resulted in a rather calm Paul Goodwin ripping Darryl a new one. The SFA’s defence;
- Survey poorly constructed, questions loaded to get pre-determined results
- Why not use Scottish Academics
- It’s a Celtic thing (40% of respondents were Celtic fans) because of “the Rangers* thing”……err don’t you mean tax avoidance/unfair advantage/cheating ‘thing’ Kenny??
- Petty point scoring against rival SDS
- Paul held a grudge (reference to Paul’s previous membership of the SFA funded SDS)
- The SFA Congress (who) does this already across a wider stakeholder group
Far from being a Celtic thing, the Survey’s 16,000 respondents came from a cross section of Scotland’s fans/players/coaches. Celtic fans were “Extremely Dissatisfied” (scoring 1/5) while all other fans (including Sevco) were “Dissatisfied” (scoring 2/5). Despite the SFA’s best efforts to keep RIFC afloat and relevant their fans despise the SFA as much as Celtic, Aberdeen, Hibs and other fans. Sadly, the MSM are part of the problem and the truth can only be found by engaging with the secret society of ‘Internet Bampots’.
Savioni quotes the late Stephane Charbonnier, murdered Editor of Charlie Hebdo.
“Pompous as it may sound, I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees”.
Scottish Sports journos won’t die on their feet anytime soon, unless lamb induced gout takes them out while they are at the bar.