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> The Beautiful Game, Made In Scotland
iancameron
post 23rd Sep 2003, 07:48am
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Thanks for your reply Hubert, and I agree with you that football is on the increse in other area,s of the World, but in fact it is on the decrease in England, at grassroots level that is. Here in the Plymouth area in Devon we had over 80 teams playing non pro football on a Saturday, and we had two Sunday leagues with about 60 team each, that was around 10 years ago. Today I have 36 teams on a Saturday, and one Sunday league with 42 teams. There are numerous reasons for this,ie, Saturday is now for most a normal working day, the cost of running a team has gone up, especially for those teams who use Council pitches and last but not least there is no advancement for these players. As I said, 10 years ago you would get several pro club scouts coming to matches to watch local players, that is.nt the case today as most scouts will be at youth matches, and when I say youth I am talking about from 11 up to 15 years of age, and unfortunatly the player who is in the late teens, early twentys has passed his sell by date ( apart from a few acceptions). This situation has had a knock-on effect all the way up to pro,s. The main growth in football is in the African nations, where poverty has made the determination of their up and coming footballers more determined to make the grade. I can remember as a young boy, my grandfather took me every week to watch our local club in Pollokshaws, The Pollok, and remember Bobby Collins and Bobby Evans moving from Pollok to Celtic for a transfer fee of 50 each, this being the maximum at the time. This would not happen now as both of them would have been too old. In my opinion those in charge of the national game should bring back wage capping, this would deter foreign players coming over for the money, it would also give clubs the benifit of using that money saved in wages to go on better facilities in recruiting and training of home grown youngsters. Also if we had a national training school we could improve the ability of all our senior clubs youngsters, not just the few who have the cash. Finally I would say that football is a peoples sport, and no matter what team we support, there is nothing better than to see our national team do well.

Ian Cameron
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Tusker
post 23rd Sep 2003, 03:20pm
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Much of what iancameron says makes a lot of sense with regard to the state of the game today in the U.K. Hubert also points out that on both Celtic & Rangers teams "home-grown" talent is almost non- existent. Other U.K. clubs are equally guilty of hoping to succeed by signing high-priced imports to the detriment of the "local" player.

But what price success? Kill the game in the U.K. so U.K.-based teams can win the Champions League, using foreign players? Will the fans appreciate this? Will they follow teams that don't have a single U.K. player on board?

The simple answer is a resounding "Yes". Because most U.K. soccer fans don't think about the club game on a national level. They're only interested in seeing the team they support win European cups and championships -- and to hell with all of the other U.K. teams. If their club has to sign eleven exorbitantly-priced foreign players to do so -- then so be it! If that wins cups while killing soccer for U.K. players, then that's just tough. So long as "their" team wins.

A salary cap unfortunately won't help in the slightest. Let's face it, would any of the British players now employed by foreign clubs return to play for U.K. teams if they were forced to accept lower wages and play on a "lower-class" team? (And with the exception of a few teams, most U.K. clubs are considered lower-class on the European circuit whether you're prepared to accept that fact or not. I'm not prepared to argue this point.) Even worse, would future rising stars in the U.K. remain in a salary-controlled market, or would they take the opportunity to make more money and play on a "better" team elsewhere? A salary cap isn't the answer.

Also, take a look at the popular sports in North America, if you want to see the face of U.K. soccer in coming years. Pro basketball, baseball and ice hockey all have numerous foreign players -- despite the immense size of the population base in the U.S. And the U.S. mainland apparently can't even provide enough talented U.S. citizens to play their National Sport at a major-league level -- despite the immense population base and the fact that they have an extremely well-organized baseball system from the kindergarten level up. They're now importing Japanese players, and the Pro Leagues are filled with players of many other nationalities. The same applies to basketball and ice hockey.

The average sports fan will support "their" team. It doesn't matter if they live in St. Louis, New York, Manchester or Glasgow. And if their team is staffed by high-priced Ethiopians, Tiawanese, Hindustani's and Eskimo's -- who cares?? So long as their team wins.

The U.K. soccer clubs are faced with a Catch-22 situation. If they don't sign foreign players, they can't compete against the European teams, who scoop up most of the good players by offering them a king's ransom. If U.K. clubs can't compete in Europe, they don't make the money they need to sign, or keep, expensive foreign players to maintain or "improve" the club. And if U.K teams DO sign foreign players, then U.K. players have to be displaced to make room. This in turn causes a trickle-down effect, in that young U.K. players are no longer considered for positions on professional teams, unless of course they're truly outstanding. And the Dennis Law's, Jim Baxter's and Ian Beckham's of the UK soccer world are few and far between. So foreign players are then signed in an effort to "fill the gaps" and maintain a high enough standard to compete at a European level.

It's a never-ending circle and the whole crux of the matter comes down to one thing and one thing only. MONEY! The club boards want it, the players want more of it, and the club's shareholders want it. Soccer's a business, plain and simple, and fans are just a means of making money. What do they want for their money? Team success at home and in Europe. To compete in Europe you have to pay higher wages to attract quality players. That takes money. Money is earned by competing in the lucrative European theatre. How do you earn the right to compete there? By winning at home, and this requires signing quality players. What does this take? Money! How do you earn money. By competing in European........Whoops! Here we go again....

It's really simple. The days of yesteryear are gone. Big business is the face of today's soccer, whether we like it or not. Weaker clubs will fold, or amalgamate with stronger clubs. If smaller clubs do survive, they'll probably end up playing in the non-professional Junior leagues with Petershill and Maryhill. We may not like it. But that's the future....
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hubert
post 24th Sep 2003, 06:11am
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I sure would like to reply in detail to both your posts Ian and Tusker, but alas I dont have the knowledge or memory to do so, where I would make much sense?
Yes Bobby Collins did play for Pollock, an uncle of mine on my mothers side played against him, and I was told he played him oot the game? Well Collins to me was a star in fitba at the highest level!
Even the national game has changed immensely, there are many players on teams throughout the world that were not born in their respective countries. I dont need to go into details here?
So in essence there is a correlation to club and country?
Yes there are many fans that dont give a hoot about their country team, then also for many years there have been many players that for one reason or another have refused to wear the jersey of their country, including comments like its the club that pays my wages. Something I dont agree with, the country should have certain rights to players?
Ian you say football is a peoples sport, lots of people cant afford the price of a ticket. And I doubt this will change?
Scottish players continue to go to England for the money, and I dont blame them, what happens in alot of cases, they dont get into the first team, so what chance do they get to play for Scotland?
Tusker you are decrying the average fan, in regards to club versus country, I dfont disagree, but take Celtic for example their fans want new signings, McFadden could have been one of them, and stayed in Scotland, but no, Celtics board inmy opinion are the problem, fans really dont have much say in anything, look who are buying into teams, not fans but money people from everywhere but the country of the club?
This will continue, fitba is no longer a sport its business!
Your comments on the US sports is a good analogy, but although America is huge in population, they have and are continuing to expand teams in all sports to all cities, this is also going to continue, again its big business.
When I came to Canada in 59 there were only 6 major hockey teams, dont know how many there is now? Same with the growth of baseball and basketball, also the average family cant afford the cost of going to these games?
The world is getting smaller, noo theres an understatement, look at the work and companies that people once worked for, and where are the jobs, its in another thread elsewhere in the GG, Tumchie touches on it and others, in other threads?
I remember working Saturday morning in Scotland regular shift, then that was stopped, now work weeks all over the world are not regular but staggered, good lord I am glad I was born when I was?
Och lives no bad, its great being retired, living a life o Riley.
Jist a couple of other things coming to mind, Englands national team coach is Swedish and oors is German! LoL
And Dunfermline have artificial turf, jist heard Hibs want to get it tae!

This post has been edited by hubert: 24th Sep 2003, 06:13am
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Tusker
post 24th Sep 2003, 05:37pm
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QUOTE: "Tusker you are decrying the average fan, in regards to club versus country, I dfont disagree,...."

......Well...I think I'm only stating the obvious, so I'm glad we agree on this.

QUOTE: "...but take Celtic for example their fans want new signings, McFadden could have been one of them, and stayed in Scotland, but no, Celtics board inmy opinion are the problem,...."

......But Celtic's board only reflects the overall face of modern-day soccer. They can't dictate the path the soccer world will follow, outside their own club, although they're part of the herd heading along that path. The fans want new signings? Yes, but who do they want? Alonzo Bertolini, Jean-Claude L'Arousse, Dagmar Olafson or Tommy McGregor? The fans are every bit as guilty as the board of directors in adopting the "if it's foreign, it must be better" line of thought. And incidentally, if the board of directors don't give the fans what they want, the club starts losing market share -- and that's why board executives are voted out of a job by the shareholders. Lower fan base = lower income = lower shareholder dividends, and of course, less money to sign expensive players. It all revolves around MONEY.

QUOTE: ".....fans really dont have much say in anything,..."

.....Without the fan base, the clubs don't make MONEY -- which is the prime reason for their existence these days. Would a large company pay let's say Alloa or Stirling Albion as much money to wear their logo on their team jersey, as they would pay Celtic or Rangers? How about in-ground advertising? How about fees paid to televise games? If your team can only draw a support of a few thousand fans every week, you're also not going to sell a lot of programs/souvenirs etc compared to the clubs with the larger fan base.....MONEY!

QUOTE: "....look who are buying into teams, not fans but money people from everywhere but the country of the club?"

Agreed. But soccer clubs aren't run to provide an opportunity for "the wee boay doon the road" to put on a fitba' display in front of his worshipping parents. They're a business, and like any other business that requires the influx of large amounts of capital, a certain financial return is expected on the capital injected. Cups and championships are purely incidental, from a business standpoint. They'd be totally unimportant if the same amount of cash could be generated without them. And there's absolutely nothing stopping you or I from taking over Celtic, Rangers or any other club, and running it the way we think best. Other than money -- or lack of it. The same applies to IBM or Microsoft or any other business.

I'm sure the boardmembers on any club don't think, "Maybe we should offer as much money as it takes to sign Beckham. I think the fans would like that." The investors may love the game, but they also don't invest their money with the idea of losing a few hundred thousand quid every year. If they put their money in the bank, at least they'd be sure of earning some interest. So they want as high a return as possible on their investment.

So ideally, the team wins trophies, the games are televised and TV rights are sold, the advertisers pay more, more fans pay higher prices to attend games and buy food, drinks and souvenirs at the concessions - so more money can be charged for concession/souvenir/team shirt rights. etc. etc.

As I said...It all boils down to one thing. MONEY! If someone can figure out how to play eleven U.K. players on a U.K. team, keep the fans, players and shareholders happy, win lots of domestic and European trophies and make money as well -- they could name the club they want to manage. Sell star players or fail to win trophies, and excuses can be, and are made. But remove money from the equation and the whole thing collapses.....Soccer is a business. If a business can't make money, it collapses....
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hubert
post 25th Sep 2003, 06:13am
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I have mentioned this before, a friend of mine in Toronto, called me on the phone when I was living in San Diego, this was the early 70s, he was complaining about Rangers signing English players, him being a Gers fan, well I told him then, if the player came from Timbuktu, or outer Mongolia, and was good he would play on my team, well I still feel that way!
Football wont go back to what it was, I even remember in the 50s fans complaining about Anglos playing for the national team,
I accept the present conditions. cause frankly its the way its going to be.
If Celtic need to sign foreingers, to win trophies, I will accept that.
Heck I have said often enough Celtic get out of Scottish fitba!
Also Rangers are in big debt I believe, they also won the treble, good for them!
I want Celtic to win the treble this season, if it takes debt, thats Ok by me!
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Tusker
post 25th Sep 2003, 12:15pm
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"I accept the present conditions. cause frankly its the way its going to be."

.....Yes. Unfortunately, I think you're right.

"If Celtic need to sign foreingers, to win trophies, I will accept that."

So if you accept this, then you have to be prepared to accept the eventual demise of football for the greater majority of U.K. players, as most teams will be composed almost entirely if not totally, of foreign players. And the fact that any good U.K. players won't be seen playing for U.K. teams, as they'll be playing for European teams. So "Scottish" football will exist in name only. It's almost like moving Athletico Bilbao to Glasgow and re-naming them Townhead Athletic.

Good Scottish/Irish/Welsh players have been going to the English leagues for years, so it's only the next step up for the best of these players to get into European soccer

Further, as the U.K. clubs don't have the finances of the Europeans, the U.K. teams will be composed almost predominately of "over-the-hill" aging European stars, and young Europeans trying to make their name so they can move into the "big leagues".

So..........Taking all of the above into account, why would a U.K. club spend money to support youth teams and scouting sytems in Britain, to find "prospects" who may require years of polishing, when the money can be spent to help purchase an aging European who can step into the first team immediately?

Not a pretty picture for U.K. football in general, and Scottish football in particular.....but there lies the future.
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jimmyd
post 30th Sep 2003, 12:54am
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For the past number of years ,I have been unable to watch Scottish football.Recently had satellite TV installed.Watched Celts and Motherwell,then Last week.,Gers and Dundee.Found it hard to relate to the teams,there seems to be little passion in the game.All very technical stuff.Some good players ,but to me it was not Celts and Rangers.Will probably take me a wee while to tune into it.The Crowds could hardly be heard ,and it was American commentators{ ESPN}. sad.gif

Wee Mentor,I don't have rellies there ,lived in B'rheid,and worked in Shanks for a few years, back in the late 50/60s.
Hubert have a closer look at the pic Wee Mentor posted,you will note a very young Dixie Deans.


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" If during a lifetime ,you bring happiness and pleasure to just one person ,then your time on earth has been worthwhile indeed ! " Jimmyd
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hubert
post 30th Sep 2003, 05:11am
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I am afraid not Jimmy, I left a long time ago, and its only recently three years that I have seen the team on a regular basis, I always got the scores but never seen games, worked all over, and games years ago were not televised as like now!
The morra I will see the Lyon game live beamed over by Setanta, at the casino!
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Melody
post 30th Sep 2003, 08:27pm
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Hail Hail! to my bhoys, hubert jimmyd and all the rest! It's a good night in the old town tonight! Happy faces coming home!
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hubert
post 1st Oct 2003, 03:58am
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Yes Melody I posted in the CL thread cause this was a CL game, but thats ok Melody, Larsson was great, and Celtic did great after missing a penalty once again.
Saturday its an OF game, first this season should be a doozy, widny surprise me if it was a draw?
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hubert
post 1st Oct 2003, 05:42pm
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Uefa I think it was unprecedentedly gave a fair sports award to all the Celtic fans for the marvelous behaviour or the thousands that went to Final of the Uefa Cup.
The Scottish national fans are recognized as being well behaved and sporting, but this Celtic award is to me more than a faither in the caps of Celtic and Scottish football fans throughout the world!
I type this with great pride although I dont go to games. Hail Hail!
If anyone wants details of this go to Sky spoirts or the Scottish football, the presentation was just before the Lyon game last night.
Scotland can continue to be proud in regards to football!

This post has been edited by hubert: 1st Oct 2003, 05:44pm
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hubert
post 4th Oct 2003, 03:09pm
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Just got back from the Casino, Rangers 0 Celtic 1, what a game both teams did themselves proud very good football, Celtic defense was immense, and the Rangers goalie Klos was brilliant.
The atmosphere at the Ibrox Stadium appeared to be out of this world.
Unfortunately for Scottish player participation, there were 18 different nationalities on the park maybe one Scot canny mind?
However the performance from both teams fitba wise was superb!
Lindzeh any comments? LoL
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betty2
post 4th Oct 2003, 05:09pm
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Great game at ibrox the day i applaud both teams rolleyes.gif


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hubert
post 11th Oct 2003, 12:12am
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Scotlands under 21s beat Lithuania 3-2 Friday, sure hope the big team can follow suit, Saturday 3pm Hampden i think?
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weementor
post 5th Jun 2004, 09:47am
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Caley fray
ANGRY Inverness Caley Thistle fans have begun an internet petition protesting about the vote excluding their club from the Scottish Premier League. The petition's authority is fatally undermined by numerous signatures from cartoon figures ranging from Bugs Bunny to George W Bush.
Dr Who joins them, pledging: "By the horns of Zanthropay, my two hearts bleed for Inverness Caley! In a bid to put time back on a stable continuum I have consorted with my learned friend, Professor Thoscales, who agrees the following formula is the only remedy unfortunately, I cannot time-skip and influence the vote as the Tardis is in for its MOT: SPL minus dissenting chairman plus ICT equals fairplay. I must go now, earthlings, as K9 requires walkies."


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weementor......Neilston Village, Scotland
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