Showing posts with label hearts of midlothian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hearts of midlothian. Show all posts

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Who are scoring the goals?

In Scotland, there are approximately 414,000 people currently paid below the Living Wage.

Heart of Midlothian Football Club has become the first football club in Scotland to become an officially accredited Living Wage Employer. The move will see all staff employers at the club paid the Living Wage. The Living Wage was uprated to £7.85 per hour in November, £1.35 per hour more than the National Minimum Wage.

Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said: 
“Congratulations to Heart of Midlothian on becoming Scotland's first Living Wage Accredited football club.  We are delighted that Heart of Midlothian will pay all staff who work at the club the Living Wage, and that they have opted to have their commitment to the Living Wage recognised through the accreditation mark. This is an important step forward for the campaign to end poverty pay in Scotland. Almost two in three children in poverty in Scotland live in a household where someone works, and the Living Wage is a vital tool in lifting people out of in work poverty. Football clubs have an important role in communities across Scotland. With thousands of people turning out every week to support their local clubs, they can play an important leadership role, not only for fans but for the businesses they work with. I hope that more clubs will follow Heart of Midlothian's example but not only giving their staff a pay rise this Christmas, but by showing real leadership on this issue on and off the pitch.”

Chelsea FC has become the first English football club to be accredited as a Living Wage Employer. At the same time the club will also start the process of ensuring staff of external contractors will also receive the Living Wage for working at Stamford Bridge, Cobham training ground and all areas where the club operates. Chelsea will also ensure any additional agency employees not currently meeting the criteria to recieve the Living Wage will also get the same rates of pay.

In contrast, in the Observer, Kevin McKenna writes:
“Last month, Celtic, the richest sporting organisation in Scotland, had to be dragged screaming and protesting by its own fans to a decision to pay the living wage to its full-time employees. The club still refused to budge on a similar rate for its hundreds of part-time workers and was still bleating about remaining competitive and not allowing its wage policy to be influenced by a third party (the Living Wage Foundation). This club was established by poor people for poor people and receives loyal backing still from many poor people. The entire board of directors, a gentrified assortment of CV-embellishers, ought to be made to resign"



Monday, November 19, 2012

The Capitalist Game

The biggest football story recently has been the financial collapse of  Rangers and now a similar impending fate for Hearts. This is not just a sporting story but involves many of the failings that have been played out in the wider economy. Corporate failure, greed, arrogance, criminality and cheating are included in the list of accusations.

Jock Stein said that “football without fans is nothing”. Capitalist ideology tells us that the consumer is king and that the decisions of millions of consumers decide what production takes place. If companies fail it is because they don’t sell goods or services that people want or at a price they are prepared to pay. There is just enough truth in this to give it the credibility to make it widely accepted. What it leaves out, among other things, is that production also has to make a profit and that indeed this is the main reason any production takes place at all. Given the ownership of the means of production in the hands of only one group of people, these people thereby being called capitalists, and the exclusion of others, who must be required to provide workers for these owners, it is the relations of this production that, more than anything else, determines the wealth and income of the respective classes. This in turn determines to a large degree the pattern of consumption, which is further conditioned by advertising and monopoly suppliers etc.

Commodification and all its contradictions have since spread over an increasing variety of human activities. Sport has for some time become a global industry, more and more determined by the demand for profit. Sport must have room for chance, accident, unexpected triumph and unexpected failure while sporting contest subject to the requirement for profitability more and more implies certainty and the elimination of the possibility of monetary loss.

Adapted from here

Friday, November 09, 2012

Football Capitalism


Rangers only narrowly escaped extinction and now bankruptcy is the prospect facing current Scottish Cup holders Heart of Midlothian. The Jambos have been issued with a winding up order from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs over an unpaid £450,000 tax bill. Hearts supporters have been urged to find £2m to help the Edinburgh club survive until the summer. The club has already faced disciplinary action from the Scottish Premier League over its failure to pay some players and coaching staff which is a breach of the leagues rules. That breach led to the SPL side being hit with a player signing embargo.

Now the fans are  being asked to pay to keep their club afloat, having already paid for their season tickets, their strips and scarves. Hearts fans are being bled dry.

 Former Hearts captain Paul Hartley has accused Vladimir Romanov of “holding a gun to fans’ heads” after the stricken club yesterday begged for a financial lifeline from their followers. Hartley insists owner Romanov has unfairly shifted the burden of safeguarding Hearts, who are £22m in debt, on to the fans. “It’s basically holding a gun to the fans’ heads and saying, ‘We need a couple of hundred quid off you or else’. It’s not as simple as that. Supporters have had to dig deep already. It’s before Christmas and how do they expect the fans to pay that? It’s totally unfair for them to ask the fans to put their hand in their pocket or else you won’t have a club. “But you can’t see any way out of it. If they pay this bill where is the next one going to come from? It’s a quick fix but it’s a long-term one you’re looking for. Hearts are £20-odd million in debt. They can’t just keep asking supporters to bail them out.”

Players, managers, sponsors and owners come and go. Only the fans stay. Once a week for 90 minutes footbal fans leave their worries on the other side of the turnstiles but the reality that football is just another business obliged to pay its taxes has come home to roost. Today after well over a century of professional football we can clearly see the price fans have paid for the role capitalism has played in the game. Clubs like Manchester United and Chelsea have become giant faceless corporate brand names with the ubiquity of McDonald and Coca-Cola.

Capitalism has given fans a stark choice for the future. Will football be just another way to make profits and for advertisers to reach consumers? Just another another product to be bought and sold? Or will fans fight so football can be something which will unite people, build community spirit, celebrate sportsmanship and enrich the lives of working people?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Businesses as usual

Rangers has filed legal papers at the Court of Session to appoint administrators. Rangers awaits a tax tribunal decision over a disputed bill, plus penalties, totalling £49m which the club would be unable to pay.

Celtic has announced a big fall in pre-tax profits for the second half of 2011, profits of only £180,000 compared to a £7m profit at the end of the previous year. Cash from player sales also fell from £13.2m to £3.1m. Bank debt is £7m.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-17009960

And in the east, Hearts still struggle off-field as much as they do on-field. Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov told RIA Novosti on Wednesday that all wage arrears with the debt-stricken Scottish club have been settled (Hearts players have suffered late wages since October), but admitted to an outstanding tax bill that threatens their future. British tax authorities lodged a petition with a Scottish court earlier this week saying Hearts had eight days to settle the bill, reported to be around £150,000 , or face liquidation. Romanov put Hearts up for sale in November along with Belarus' Partizan Minsk and Lithuanian side FK Kaunas, saying he wanted to leave the football business. Authorities in Belarus expelled Partizan Minsk from the Top League due to Romanov's refusal to keep bankrolling the team. Romanov's decision to withdraw cash backing to FBK Kaunas saw the Lithuanian FA demote the ten-times champions to the second tier.

http://en.ria.ru/sports/20120208/171218453.html

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