BBC BLOGS - Jim Spence

Archives for December 2011

SPL right to stand and deliver on fans' standing

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Jim Spence | 17:12 UK time, Monday, 26 December 2011

The proposal for safe standing areas at Scottish football is the best news I've heard for a long time.

I've never been a fan of sitting at a game and improvements in technology mean standing could be a real boon to our game in terms of atmosphere.

Celtic and Rangers both seem ready to embrace the move and others should follow.

At Celtic Park, the Green Brigade has been much maligned, but very often they have provided the only atmosphere at games there.

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Part-time route may be prudent for Scotland's clubs

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Jim Spence | 09:58 UK time, Thursday, 15 December 2011

The news that Hearts midfielder Ian Black is working on the side as a painter and decorator might be a portent of things to come in Scottish football.

While Black's situation arises through circumstances forced upon him, it got me wondering whether our game would be any worse off if we adopted the part-time approach as a model.

With St Johnstone attracting just 1607 fans to their game against Aberdeen, there must be real concerns about where our national game is headed.

Yes, I know that the conditions were shocking, but if people are not prepared to turn out in such weather and we keep refusing to play in the summer, then crowds seem likely to continue to decline.

Can our game go on sustaining full-time players among the 20 or so clubs who currently operate on that basis?

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Motherwell road show should lead to Europe

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Jim Spence | 18:28 UK time, Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Motherwell's last venture into European football came to an end against Odense in August of 2010.

I reckon they will be digging out the passports again next season.

I was with them in Nancy back in 2008 when they lost 1-0, with terrific support from around 2000 travelling fans.

Despite the narrow defeat and subsequent home defeat in the second leg, it was a great occasion.

The way Stuart McCall has his Fir Park side playing, it would be a brave soul who would bet against their return to the European stage.

McCall has produced a side which is mentally very tough, particularly away from home.

Seven wins from nine makes them the most successful travellers in the Scottish Premier League behind leaders Rangers.

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A Fair day's work for a fair day's pay

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Jim Spence | 17:06 UK time, Friday, 9 December 2011

What should Hearts players do about their unpaid wages ?

Withdraw their labour ?

Treat their contracts as repudiated and walk away as free agents ?

Or stick it out in the hope that Vladimir Romanov finds the cash from somewhere ?

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