BBC BLOGS - Jim Spence

Archives for November 2011

How do we choose which team to follow?

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Jim Spence | 18:03 UK time, Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Was Kilmarnock boss Kenny Shiels right to say that you should follow your local team?
Are those who follow the Old Firm from Ayr to Aberdeen and from Dundee to Dumfries, just glory hunters?

If so, what about those who traipse from Montrose and Forfar to follow Dundee United instead of heading to Links Park or Station Park on a Saturday afternoon?

What of those who eschew the Fife sides to head to Gorgie or Leith to enjoy the delights of Hearts and Hibs, rather than Cowdenbeath or East Fife?

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The Saints are marching in the right direction

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Jim Spence | 16:06 UK time, Friday, 25 November 2011

Danny Lennon's new deal at St Mirren is a good bit of business for the club, the manager and the fans.

Lennon, ably assisted by the wise head of Tommy Craig, is well down the road to producing an entertaining and productive Saints side.

But what might the future of that side and indeed their manager be?

Lennon has made some sound signings, like Stephen Thompson and Nigel Hasselbaink, who have fitted in neatly at St Mirren Park.

You don't have to be Methuselah to remember when the crowds in Paisley, watching Alex Ferguson's brash young marauders, were large and noisy.

Can Lennon's side recapture a flavour of those halcyon days?

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Hibs can blossom with bold thinking

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Jim Spence | 16:52 UK time, Friday, 18 November 2011

There has never been a better time for Hibernian to blossom under a new manager.

The right appointment could set the Edinburgh club on the path to real success.

Whether it is Michael O'Neill, Billy Brown, Pat Fenlon, or a mysterious rabbit from the hat appointment, if the new man can reshape the Easter Road side, then, given the state of our game at present, the Scottish football world could be Hibs' oyster.

Hibs are in good financial shape by comparison to most Scottish Premier League clubs.

Their great rivals Hearts are in turmoil, Rangers are financially strapped and there are signs that Dermot Desmond's interest in Celtic may not be as strong as it once was.

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Small fish are swiming towards the big pond

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Jim Spence | 17:30 UK time, Tuesday, 15 November 2011

This weekend's Scottish Cup third round matches offer non-league clubs an opportunity to put a few noses out of joint.

The Highland League, junior and east of Scotland outfits, all have the chance to vindicate the Scottish Football Association's plans for a pyramid league system.

The ties offer some ambitious clubs a chance to prove their worth and to show that the case for a new set up is compelling.

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Scottish football needs two strong capital clubs

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Jim Spence | 10:05 UK time, Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The crisis at the capital's two football clubs is bad news for Scottish football.

The revolving managerial door at Hibs needs regular oiling, having seen seven bosses whizz through it in ten years.

Meantime, down Gorgie way, Vladimir Romanov's often zany stewardship of Hearts is surely heading to a conclusion.

Hearts and Hibs are two great Scottish institutions, who have underachieved in recent years.

Each has a potentially huge support base in Scottish terms, and given Edinburgh's financial status as a city, it is a surprise that neither has been able to mount a more robust challenge to the Old Firm.

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Brown leaves great legacy at Saints

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Jim Spence | 18:53 UK time, Thursday, 3 November 2011

Geoff Brown's contribution to St Johnstone is enormous.

Standing down today after 25 years as chairman, the man who made his money building houses, can take enormous pride in having rebuilt a very fine football club with rock solid foundations.

Geoff took over as chairman in 1986 when Saints were in dire financial straits and languishing in the lower reaches of the game. He oversaw their relocation from the crumbling but highly atmospheric Muirton Park, to the state of the art McDiarmid Park in 1989, and set Saints on the path to being one of the best run and finanancially sound clubs in Scotland.

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Is it time for fans to take control of their clubs?

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Jim Spence | 18:09 UK time, Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Are our football clubs too important to be left in the hands of private individuals?

Vladimir Romanov's interest in Hearts seems to be on the wane, while David Murray's stewardship of Rangers has left the Ibrox club facing a highly uncertain future.

Has the time come for a new form of ownership to ensure the survival of what are effectively community institutions?

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