TV deal latest. Mean Hibs. Dead dotcom.Stinker Taylor. Stinkier Henrik. New mag. New clubs.


Screen Test

When SPL chief Lex Gold hailed the last-minute TV deal, he said that radio and internet rights would be sorted out soon. Well, the new season is now under way and nothing has happened. Ten days ago the BBC was proudly claiming that EVERY SPL match could be heard live via the net. Today, they are asking listeners to tune in to Sportsound on a Saturday where all they will receive are regular updates, half-time and full-time results.

This is just not good enough. Once again, the Old Firm are holding everybody back from a deal. As a result supporters around the globe are denied the live coverage they have enjoyed for the past two seasons. What was all that nonsense being spouted about moving into the future?

Meanwhile, the Setanta TV coverage is as as clear as mud. The Irish satellite sports channel is still advertising GAA programmes for the coming weekend with no mention of the Hearts v Hibs match it is supposed to be covering. I asked Setanta what was happening. Here's their reply in full:

"All detail is yet to be confirmed"

That was received 75 hours before Sunday's game!

The bad news is that once Setanta do get their act together, then watching Scottish football could prove to be an expensive business. They charged almost £8 for the Rangers-Leeds friendly, PLUS a £1-50 booking fee!

As the cost of the sports element of Sky is between £10-£18 per month depending on the package, this is NOT a good move by the SPL and Setanta. Apart from Old Firm diehards who will be able to see their teams in action almost every week, this sort of pricing means that fans will only take out pay-per-view when their own team is in action against one of the big two.

And it's not simply a case of replacing Sky with Setanta. If you want to watch Scotland full and under-21 games or live Scottish Cup action, then you'll have to subscribe to Sky.

Certainly if Setanta intend to charge £8 per game for the 44 matches they're scheduled to show, then there are going to be precious few takers. That equates to £352 (before booking fees) for those matches only whereas Sky's Sportsworld package costs £360 per annum for ALL their sports channels PLUS the family package too.

No wonder they say the detail is yet to be confirmed!

Scotland games will be shown live on Sky

Football Shorts

Let's get this straight. Hibs have taken in a massive amount of cash in the past few months. Compensation for Alex McLeish plus the transfers of Ulises De La Cruz and Ulrik Laursen must come to around £4M. So why haven't they settled with Franck Sauzee yet? Pay the man what he's due and be done with it.


Another dotcom bites the dust. closed down the day before the start of the season. Sad that the parent company - - has pulled the plug while keeping their dedicated golf site open.

It had its critics and wasn't the quickest in the world at providing news and scores but it was a site dedicated to the game and was independent not just of the Old Firm but of traditional media too. Bill Ferret provided incisive comment and Heinz Ravioli raised the odd laugh. It's sad to see it go but here at we'll continue to fight Scottish football's corner as an independent website.


The PFA's Gordon Taylor wants the SPL to merge with the Nationwide League. Is it just me who can't remember him making the same offer when the English clubs thought they were oozing ITV cash out of every pore?


The Henrik Larsson air freshener is getting less fresh by the week. But after a drop in price to £3 and with the offer of free postage, one brave soul has finally put in a bid on eBay. That's only another 23 to get rid of now.


As one dotcom goes, another arrives. is a new website, based in Inverness, which is behind a new Scottish football magazine. We wish them well but the history of football magazines aimed solely at Scotland is littered with the corpses of the well-intentioned, going back to the legendary 'Football Scot' in the 1970s. The most recent was Scottish Football Today which folded while its Rugby stablemate is still available. The best was 'The Punter.' Those with long memories may think I'm a bit biased here as I covered the North-East of England for the magazine. Even the fanzines have suffered as The Absolute Game has appeared only intermittently in recent years.

It may seem strange that in a country with such a strong football culture as Scotland that dedicated magazines fail to flourish. This is mainly down to two counts. Firstly, other countries don't provide football with the same amount of publicity in the daily press, radio and TV. Secondly, while supporters of the Old Firm happily lap up the official line in the Rangers News and the Celtic View, they aren't happy to buy anything which challenges their assumptions and makes them think for a change.

New boys make their debut

All the recent upheavals have prevented us from outlining our predictions for the season so far but we hope this will feature next week. That is, if you don't think its cheating to issue predictions after two games have already been played. In the meantime we'd just like to welcome Airdrie back into the fold (it wasn't their fans or players who were responsible for the death of Clydebank) and also extend a welcome to Gretna.

Old ground. Old colours. New name

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