BBC BLOGS - Jim Spence

Archives for November 2010

Dallas: the Scottish football soap opera rumbles on

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Jim Spence | 12:18 UK time, Saturday, 27 November 2010

Things may never be the same again in Scottish football after the departure of Hugh Dallas.

On the field he was one of Scotland's top refs and with the work he also did for Uefa in helping to choose officials for the Champions League, I would lay money on him ending up with Europe's governing body in some capacity sooner rather than later.

An email concerning the papal visit appears to have been at the root of his downfall, with the Dallas family understood to be devastated at what was felt to be a witch-hunt over the last month over the issue.

One man's tragedy then, but what mark will it leave on the wider canvas of the Scottish game?

I think a seismic shift is underway in our game with the events of recent weeks.

The tectonic plates of Scottish football are crashing together throwing the game into a state of upheaval.

Celtic's doggedness in taking on the Scottish Football Association over what they felt were wrongs done to them over the Dougie McDonald affair and indeed at perceived injustices served up by the SFA itself, could herald a change in attitude by other clubs who might previously have run scared from a scrap with the powerbrokers.

The Parkhead club have shown an unwillingness to bend the knee and others will have watched and learned.

Those in power at Hampden suddenly look to have an Achilles heel.

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You can only push referees so far

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Jim Spence | 09:30 UK time, Monday, 22 November 2010

If referees strike, do you think Scottish football should, or will, support them?

The withdrawal of labour is one of the most fundamental rights of any group of workers.

Given that in Scotland we like to brag that our football is rooted in a sense of community, and that we cherish the working class values of our footballing managerial giants like Bill Shankly, Jock Stein and Sir Alex Ferguson, will those involved in the game feel duty-bound to support a group of fellow workers in struggle?

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Players must act with caution in contract talks

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Jim Spence | 20:28 UK time, Friday, 19 November 2010

A well-known Scottish Premier League chairman sent me a text after a Sportsound programme this week saying that it had been good to hear some intelligent discussion of football's current financial woes.

He had been listening to the interview I did with Stephen Thompson in which the Dundee United chairman painted a sober picture of the budget cuts he'll have to make next season.

Chairmen may have liked what they heard, but many players and agents would not have.

Contract negotiations are under way for players who are free agents next summer and money's too tight to mention at most clubs.

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Dundee penalty is misguided and disproportionate

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Jim Spence | 18:06 UK time, Tuesday, 2 November 2010

The Dundee fans are revolting.

You know what I mean...

The Dark Blues, who carry the biggest away support in the First Division, are contemplating a boycott of away games and it's understandable considering how they've been treated.

With Dundee fighting for their very existence, their fans have been royally shafted - once by their own board, and now by the SFL board.

It wasn't the fans who didn't pay the tax bill, but they're the ones who stand to lose their club.

Because make no mistake, Dundee FC are very close to going out of business, and it wasn't the fans that put them in that position.

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