Farewell Gretna?

The place to discuss Scottish football
Scottish
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Post by Scottish » Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:11 am

I thought Bill 'Voice of a football' Leckie was slumming it these days giving thirty-second match summaries for the BBC. At any rate I haven't see him in print or online for some time.

No need to post any links.

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Post by lbb » Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:21 pm

The fairytale continues -

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Hop off, sunshine.

Hard-up Gretna have released injured Uruguayan playmaker Fabian Yantorno after admitting that they cannot afford to pay for his rehabilitation.


Poor show that a Premier League club can discard an injured player like this. Perhaps one of the other SPL clubs, or collectively, will pick up the tab for this guy's recovery.

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Post by Scottish » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:38 pm

To be fair to them he isn't the first and he won't be the last player to be offloaded by a club seeking to reduce its outgoings.

In this particular instance I think Yantorno is unlikely to be without a club for long as he was undoubtedly the pick of the bunch.

Let me think. Are there any Scottish clubs with a track record of signing long-term injured foreign players?

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Post by lbb » Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:08 am

I must have missed the number of instances a player has been dumped by his club whilst injured because they can't/won't pay for his treatment. This is slightly different from a player being out of contract and injured - though, even in that scenario, I think the club has a certain responsibility to the player. As I understand it, Gretna didn't even pay their insurance so the guy isn't even covered by that. As I said, the SPL need to do something about this as I don't believe this kind of thing happens regularly - certainly in the top flight. I have vague memories of Steve Archibald, when he was at East Fife, taking one of his players to Barcelona for treatment on the grounds he'd have to wait on the NHS in Scotland for it.
scottish wrote: Let me think. Are there any Scottish clubs with a track record of signing long-term injured foreign players?
Yes, Kilmarnock - David Fernandez, Eric Skora, Momo Sylla, etc. Or were you thinking of someone else? 8)

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Post by Skyline Drifter » Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:11 am

lbb wrote:I must have missed the number of instances a player has been dumped by his club whilst injured because they can't/won't pay for his treatment. This is slightly different from a player being out of contract and injured - though, even in that scenario, I think the club has a certain responsibility to the player. As I understand it, Gretna didn't even pay their insurance so the guy isn't even covered by that. As I said, the SPL need to do something about this as I don't believe this kind of thing happens regularly - certainly in the top flight. I have vague memories of Steve Archibald, when he was at East Fife, taking one of his players to Barcelona for treatment on the grounds he'd have to wait on the NHS in Scotland for it.
He asked to be released though.

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Post by lbb » Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:30 am

Skyline Drifter wrote: He asked to be released though.
Yeah, that's what Mick Wadsworth said but only because Gretna weren't paying for any treatment for him. He asked to be released so he could find a club that would pay for his treatment. Doesn't get Gretna off the hook, does it?

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Post by Scottish » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:06 pm

lbb wrote:Yes, Kilmarnock - David Fernandez, Eric Skora, Momo Sylla, etc. Or were you thinking of someone else? 8)
Touche! Skora is actually a good example of another player let go because of injury. Though in his case he was fully insured by the club and had spent almost two seasons trying to return to fitness.

Both Fernandez and Sylla were injury-free when signed by Kilmarnock. The former's injury problems at Rugby Park came when he was the recipient of one of the worst "tackles" I have ever seen. Sylla was - allegedly - unable to resist the multiple delights of the many fleshpots of Ayrshire and consequently let go.

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Post by Scottish » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:57 am

The whole Gretna business just gets worse. Moving to Almondvale because Fir Park is unplayable. Now back to Fir Park because they can't afford to pay the rent at Livingston. Yet they still owe Motherwell the rent for earlier games! Of course it's very much in Motherwell's interest to give them Fir Park for nothing to help make sure Gretna's record stands as Dundee United would gain six points on 'Well in the event of it being expunged.

The SPL will move heaven and earth to make sure Gretna's remaining outstanding match with St Mirren is played. That gets them to the split and maintains equilibrium, having played every side three times.

If Gretna are then unable to fulfil their remaining fixtures (and in this farce of a league, no one knows the schedule for the final five games of the season*) it doesn't matter to the SPL. They will have achieved their principal aim - that's not to save Gretna as to prevent their collapse from impinging on the rest of the league, particularly the title.

The SPL could then let Gretna's pre-split results stand and the remaining bottom six sides would be reduced to four post-split matches. There is a precedent of sorts for this. In 1928-29 both Bathgate and Arthurlie were unable to complete the season. Bathgate's record was wiped but Arthurlie's was allowed to stand. There was no effect on promotion either way.

* Gretna will be entitled to two home post-split games. Based on the current bottom six these would be against St Mirren & Hearts. Should Hearts make the top six then Gretna's other home game would be against Aberdeen.

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Post by StAndrewsHMFC » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:02 pm

I wonder about the legallity of all this, as mentioned above the SPL are desperate to get Gretna to 33 games, but if they go bust before the end of the season does that not mean all there results are void anyway?

More importantly if all the SPL are doing is forwarding money due to Gretna in the long run, while Gretna accrue further loses, does this not mean that Gretna are knowling continuing to trade from an insolvent position. If this is the case and noone has come forward to buy out Gretna the insolvency practioner would have no choice but to wind the club up and distribute any monies to the creditors. Yet despite this it would appear Gretna are to be kept going and accrue further loses (unless thousands of supporters are found from somewhere for the weekend)

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Post by Scottish » Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:45 pm

StAndrewsHMFC wrote:I wonder about the legallity of all this, as mentioned above the SPL are desperate to get Gretna to 33 games, but if they go bust before the end of the season does that not mean all there results are void anyway?
It's up to the SPL whether or not to allow Gretna's record to stand. The relevant section of the rulebook is under Section H Miscellaneous on page 104 - which was cited here previously when Broadfoot, Traynor & others were talking rubbish about Killie or St Mirren going down.

Rule H5 states: "If any club in the League ceases to operate or to be member of the League for any reason, its playing record in the League may be expunged and the number of relegation places in the League shall be reduced accordingly."

The key words here are 'may' - giving the SPL carte blanche to decide whether or not to expunge the record - and 'shall' which reduces the number of relegation spots from one to zero in the event of a club folding during the season.

If Gretna get to 33 games then fold the obvious course of action is to keep their record intact. Dundee United might wish otherwise. The other potential difference is for sixth place. If Gretna's record is expunged then Falkirk and Hearts would be level on points, two ahead of Aberdeen, going into the final pre-split match.

Now, say Hearts beat Killie 2-0 and Falkirk beat Aberdeen 1-0. At present that gives Falkirk sixth place (45pts to 44). But in a league without Gretna that position would go to Hearts. Both clubs would have 37 points and a goal difference of minus six but Hearts would have scored more goals (40-46 as opposed to 34-40)

If Mad Vlad is a litigious mood then there may be more fun and games yet to come.

As far as the money advanced to them is concerned, my understanding is that they have received cash which would be due to them at the end of the season. Presumably, if they fold then the SPL joins the creditors list.

The big query is over the 'parachute' payment to relegated clubs - whether or not that can be paid in advance.

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Post by StAndrewsHMFC » Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:35 pm

Thing is whether or not the money is due to them if they are only accruing more losses by continuing to trade then it suggests that the administrator is not acting in the best interests of the creditors. This could leave to fun and games if they go under.

Mad Vlad wil be up for it- things are never dull on Vlad's ship (or submarine)

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Post by Scottish » Tue May 20, 2008 6:28 am

It's not pinin'! It's passed on! This football club is no more! It has ceased
to be! It's expired and gone to meet its maker! It's a stiff! Bereft
of life, it rests in peace! It's metabolic processes are now 'istory! It's off
the twig! It's kicked the bucket, it's shuffled off this mortal coil, run
down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!!
THIS IS AN EX-FOOTBALL CLUB!

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Post by Ramalhete » Fri May 30, 2008 1:33 pm

Gretna was today demoted to the SFL 3rd division. I doubt that the potential buyer that the press spoke about want a club in the bottom division of the SFL.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/footbal ... 426281.stm

Probably this is the last nail in Gretna’s coffin.

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Post by Scottish » Sat May 31, 2008 5:24 pm

Ramalhete wrote:Probably this is the last nail in Gretna’s coffin.
I think the lid was screwed on some time ago and Gretna have been six feet under since their final SPL game. They were demoted because they couldn't guarantee completing the SFL season in the 1st division. I appreciate the finances necessary to compete in the 3rd are nowhere near the levels needed for the 1st but it's difficult if not impossible to see how they can give guarantees at that level either.

The comparisons made with Third Lanark are accurate in one respect - the levels of debt that sunk both clubs are comparatively minute. In Thirds case it was the going rate for a decent striker. For Gretna, not even that. They owe around one-third of a Tore Andre Flo.

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Post by lbb » Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:18 am

scottish wrote: The comparisons made with Third Lanark are accurate in one respect - the levels of debt that sunk both clubs are comparatively minute. In Thirds case it was the going rate for a decent striker. For Gretna, not even that. They owe around one-third of a Tore Andre Flo.
I'm sure I read a list of Gretna's creditors and Brooks Mileson has, inadvertently it seems, ended up owing money to himself.

Shades of Eric Manchester here - for any Rutles fans out there.

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