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The Crazy World of Gordon Smith, CEO.
Report to Moderator Old 09-06-08 09:51 PM
Squiggs Squiggs is offline
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Author: The Mighty Atom
What now have we to make of these latest utterances by Gordon Smith, on the subject of whether he did, or did not, offer to reschedule the Scottish Football Association's seasonal showpiece finale?

Today, in response to Rangers Supporters Trust mouthpiece David Edgar's dark mutterings about his team's perceived mistreatment at the hands of everyone remotely in a position of authority, Smith has again felt the urge to involve himself in the issue of fixture scheduling.

This time, the languidly coiffured pundit turned SFA chief executive, has deftly flip-flopped back to his original position – confirming that he was indeed prepared to move the Scottish Cup final, the most prestigious jewel in the SFA's crown, to facilitate an easing of Rangers' fixture log jam. Whether this press intervention serves best to placate the slobber-mouthed attack dogs of the RST, or further encourage their debased wallowings, only time will tell.

That Smith is so keen to trumpet his efforts at hawking his cup final mutton is puzzling enough, but the fact that on May 24th 2008, he denied, to the listeners of Radio Clyde, that the SFA had offered to do any such thing, makes it not just puzzling, but slightly alarming.

You will no doubt recall that on May 7th 2008, George Peat, and Rangers' media partner the Daily Record, cooperated in a tabloid exclusive detailing the SFA's dismay with the SPL's intransigence over the so called fixture problem, and confirmed that, as far as they were concerned, the cup final was a moveable feast. The SPL resisted the leverage and saved face (the season had already been extended by one week, in an unprecedented, if laughably doomed, SPL accommodation of Rangers' Champion's League ambitions). Where Queen of the South's interests were being served in all of these machinations is yet another story.

So, what are we to make of it all? Why the bouncing from one position to the other, a move that can only mean the chief exec has not always been fully open and honest with the SFA member club representatives, the Scottish media and the country's football fans?

Gordon Smith was appointed SFA COE on June 1st 2007. From the very outset, the former Brighton and Hove Albion hotshot peppered the woodwork of Scottish football with his good intentions. That his professed ambition to deal with sectarianism within the Scottish game was hamstrung by the untimely publishing of 'It's Rangers for me', a book in which he admitted that, at school, he saw Catholics as the 'enemy' and always tried harder when playing against them, can be dismissed perhaps as misfortune rather than misadventure. His unilateral move to adopt video evidence was maybe a little more foolhardy, setting him, as it did, full square against the wishes of newly appointed UEFA president, Michel Platini.


Smith also launched a crusade in support of referees, against a rising tide of complaints and back chat from club managers and unruly players. Then came 'McCurrygate', and the near comical and absolute defence of the referee's integrity – precisely one week before news of the reverend's membership of that other secret society – the car park shaggers – hit the tabloid front pages with a dismal splat.

Given these failures and faux pas, and Smith's obvious incompetence in fulfilling his other work-a-day duties – the unprecedented failure, for instance, to find a sponsor for the competition that is the glittering star in the SFA's sparkling firmament (you guessed it – the Scottish Cup! Step for a hint, Gordon. You'll have a hard job selling the thing you've been trying so hard to give away) – it would be easy to write-off his yoyo-ing on the subject of the Cup Final as just another example of his fecklessness.

But still, the suspicion remains that there are other factors at work. That Smith was willing to suborn his role as SFA Chief Executive to his campaign to ease his former club's burden, even when such an intervention was completely outwith his remit, leaves a sour whiff of partiality in the air.

Employees of the SFA aren't only required to be impartial. Just like their referees, they are governed and judged by stricter criteria – the need to be seen to be impartial. In lobbying the SPL on Rangers' behalf, Smith has once again failed in his duties.

There have been rumours of late that Smith longs to return to the gentler times of his TV and radio punditry. Don’t ignore those whispering voices within, Gordon – they are telling you what you most need to hear.
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