BBC BLOGS - Jim Spence

Archives for October 2009

Banks must invest trust in Scottish clubs

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Jim Spence | 21:39 UK time, Friday, 30 October 2009

Scottish football needs help from the banks - and it should be given. But there has to be a cost.

With Dundee United the latest club to admit that they need help from the bank, the plight of the full-time clubs in particular is grievous. However, the debt problem afflicts clubs of every shape and size.

Many have been paring back their expenditure for a few seasons now and are trying hard to live within their means.

They've been caught cold, though, with the collapse of Setanta.

Having budgeted for income that has suddenly been withdrawn, they are struggling to pay off debts rashly accumulated in a period of fiscal insanity a few years back.

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Welcome to BBC iD

BBC Sport blog editor | 16:46 UK time, Thursday, 29 October 2009

Early next week, there will be a change to how you leave comments on this blog - we're upgrading our current registration system to a new and improved one. When you log in to the new system, you will be prompted to upgrade your existing account, and you should be able to do that with a minimum of fuss. More details on this can be found on the BBC Internet Blog.

Melville's millions can restore Dundee

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Jim Spence | 20:44 UK time, Monday, 26 October 2009

Calum Melville has put his money where his mouth is at Dundee.

A lifelong Aberdeen fan, the multi-millionaire responded to the Dark Blues' newspaper advertisement for new investors and Dundee found themselves with a man of sufficient means to ensure that they have out-spent Rangers in the transfer market this season.

Melville, who is listed at being worth around £130m, has been a whirlwind of activity since walking through the doors of Dens Park.

Dundee, previously cash-strapped, snapped up top players from their First Division rivals, like Leigh Griffiths from Livingston and Gary Harkins from Partick Thistle, for a combined outlay of £250,000.

He has also has not been shy of offering opinions, noising up neighbours United, with claims that Dundee are the bigger of the two city sides.

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Scottish football needs 'czar'

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Jim Spence | 20:23 UK time, Friday, 23 October 2009

Two dire results for Scottish football this week should send an icy shiver down our spines.

As the dark nights draw in and the wild winter winds whistle round our ankles, two defeats in two big games should chill Scottish football fans to their very souls.

Forget Rangers' undoing by Unirea and Celtic's humbling at the hands of Hamburg, the two defeats which leave me with that icy feeling are our under-17 side's defeats by Cyprus and Georgia in the Uefa Under-17 Championship qualifiers.

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Old Firm flight not so fanciful

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Jim Spence | 17:12 UK time, Friday, 9 October 2009

In July 2001 the BBC website quoted the then Celtic chairman Brian Quinn saying he thought the Old Firm would be playing in England in three years' time.

Fast forward eight years and the Glasgow pair are still bemoaning their lot in their SPL prison cell, while claiming their escape hatch is close to being sprung.

Cynicism is an ugly emotion, so I'll dispense with it and admit that the Old Firm's eventual jail break to the financially sunny uplands of English football is not as fanciful as it sounds, nor as ruinous to the Scottish game as some would suggest.

If human nature follows its usual course of self interest, if money, as it normally does, determines behaviour, and if enough English clubs see financial advantage in it for themselves, then it could happen.

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Scots football bodies should hear McLeish out

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Jim Spence | 19:01 UK time, Thursday, 1 October 2009

Henry McLeish has promised to put radical proposals on the table for the Scottish FA when he issues the first two parts of his report into the state of Scottish football in January.

Some cynics think the report will lie on a shelf gathering dust, but I think Mcleish intends to shake the game to the core.

The former First Minister was asked by the SFA to chair the Scottish Football Review Committee, but anyone who thinks that he will be some kind of patsy is likely to be nutmegged.

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