Time For Leadership at SFA & SPL


Scotland has a seven hundred year history of asking for help from south of the border in times of trouble and internal squabbling. It has rarely gone well. When King Alexander III died in 1286 without an heir, Scottish nobles asked Edward I of England to referee. Things went so badly, Mel Gibson made a film about it.

More recently, both the Scottish Football Association (SFA) and the Scottish Premier League (SPL) have reached across the border to find executives who could breathe new life into the moribund bureaucracies that were strangling our national game. It seemed a good idea at the time. There were no natural candidates within the Scottish game and the sectarian divide leaves any executive with a history with either of the Glasgow giants facing immediate accusations of bias. Casting the net for executive vision beyond the Solway Firth just made sense.

However, both Stewart Regan at the SFA and Neil Doncaster at the SPL have been major disappointments. In the face of repeated warnings about the greatest crisis in the history of Scottish football, both have been found asleep “on stag”. Stewart Regan’s petulant and immature responses to legitimate questions on his twitter feed have done nothing to suggest that he is a man braced for action. Neil Doncaster just seems to have gone missing altogether. Both men seem to be intent on giving the impression that they came to Scotland to enjoy some good golf and our peerless fishing.

The Daily Mail today quotes former Rangers director, Hugh Adam, as confirming that Rangers had operated with players routinely being issued with secret second contracts going back to the mid-1990s in direct violation of SFA regulations. Despite many warnings that a crisis was brewing, both Regan and Doncaster seem to have shown determination only in burying their heads deeper in the sand. They have had ample opportunity to investigate and to get out ahead of these issues. In my opinion, both have failed, thus far, to lead their organisations in their hour of greatest crisis.

I even tried to alert Stewart Regan.  All I got in return were impertinent and insulting replies as the following Twitter dialog shows from 23 January 2012 (including original typos):

RTC:                    @Stewartregan What penalty would apply to an SPL club that failed to provide SFA with accurate player contracts?

StewartRegan: @rangerstaxcase more ifs buts and mayes

RTC:                    @Stewartregan ?? You have me confused with others on other subjects. Now can you answer the question?

RTC:                    @Stewartregan Darrell King, a respected journalist, says he has seen side contracts for RFC players. Did SFA get copies?

RTC:                    @Stewartregan if / WHEN 😉 it becomes a matter of public record that side contracts existed, do you have a plan if action?

StewartRegan: @rangerstaxcase you have me confused with the SPL. Why not ask them?

RTC:                    @Stewartregan So the governing body of football in Scotland would abdicate its role in the face of falsification of player contracts?

StewartRegan: @rangerstaxcase inappropriate to speculate on such matters.

RTC:                    @Stewartregan It would be wrong to speculate on specific clubs, but you can clarify the rules for the people who pay your wage- fans.

RTC:                    @Stewartregan does SFA get copies of player contracts as part of UEFA licensing process?

StewartRegan: @rangerstaxcase there is no point in answering hypothetical questions and I’m certainly not going to speculate on it.

RTC:                    @Stewartregan fair enough Stewart, but I would get ready to answer this for real if I was you.

We now have two ex-Rangers employees: Darrell King and Hugh Adam confirming the existence of these second contracts. The Sun has published a redacted version of a player’s second contract. For the avoidance of doubt, let me assure the SFA and the SPL that there is more to come in this story- much more.

If Messrs. Regan and Doncaster are to salvage their reputations they need to get out in front of the seemingly never-ending series of revelations about flagrant rule breaking and illegality at Rangers FC. Their organisations are implicated in these scandals: inaction and failure to investigate over a period spanning decades undermines confidence in the SFA and the SPL. Many will say that this was part of an institutional bias that favoured Rangers. Others will say that this was more a fear of challenging the mighty David Murray and his expensively procured media lackeys. I am prepared to believe that it was just rank incompetence.

So far, all we have in the way of an inquiry is an investigation by Lord Nimmo-Smith of the Rangers takeover. The parameters of this work have not been made public to my knowledge.  However, its timeline is too short to include any of the accusations about rule breaking before the Craig Whyte era. The odour emanating from Ibrox in recent months would cause any neutral observer to fear foul play. If Regan and Doncaster have not seen and heard enough to suspect that Rangers FC, by far the most successful Scottish club in the last 25 years, has been operated as a corrupt enterprise during that period then they are unfit for their posts. The integrity of football as a fair competition is in their hands. If these questions are not addressed, we lose any reason to continue to spend our time and money on the Scottish game.

Let me help them in case they have been listening to the wrong people: this story is not going away. There is a lot more to come out. They can choose to lead their respective organisations in cutting out the cancer or they can become infected by it.

About rangerstaxcase
I have information on Rangers' tax case, and I will use this blog to provide the details of what Rangers FC have done, why it was illegal, and what the implications for what was (updated) one of the largest football clubs in Britain.

3,164 Responses to Time For Leadership at SFA & SPL

  1. Oor Wullie says:

    That ‘Davie Weir’ character is a Celtic fan at the wind-up.

    Has to be.

  2. Harry Tuttle says:

    I will be most surprised if the rangers v Celtic game is.

  3. the hitch22 (@john_mityboosh) says:

    Maybe time for a new blog RTC, there must be a wee gem you could throw out, the aministrators have done my head in, clueless imo and no nuts, till now maybe? whats been new recently, theres not been anything in the media that we dont know already,alot of old ground covered to death, thats imo… 🙂 cheers

  4. HirsutePursuit says:

    the taxman cometh says:
    07/03/2012 at 9:53 pm
    0 0 Rate This
    I will be most surprised if the rangers v Celtic game isn’t pay at the gate
    ————————————————-
    Unlikely that the new stadium owners will honours ANY season tickets sold by RFC(IA) or Ticketus.

  5. Brendan says:

    I know this will probably be seen as lowering the tone, but seriously this is just too funny not to be posted…

  6. JJ says:

    the taxman cometh says:
    07/03/2012 at 9:53 pm
    I will be most surprised if the rangers v Celtic game isn’t pay at the gate

    ———————————————————————

    I will be most surprised if the rangers v Celtic game is on.

    (unless the Administrators want a last pay day to fund their fees)

  7. Paulie Walnuts says:

    I remain somewhat surprised at the approach taken by Duff & Phelps. They must have known pretty much on day 1 that an early CVA was a non-starter because no one would commit without a definite number on the big tax case. Ditto a European license for next year even if they could get the cost base down to the level where they could keep the business on life support until the tax case result is known. They must have known that, even assuming for the moment that a CVA was possible, Ticketus would not be sidelined without litigation so the value of the business moving forward would be hugely impaired. They must have known that to get a CVA the new owners would have to agree terms to get the shares from Whyte. They must also have known that the floating charge would have to be resolved. They must have known what the income sources to the end of the season were and what the running costs were.

    That being so liquidation was pretty much inevitable. Why not just say so, cull everyone in the first couple of days and open discussions publicly and openly on the issues surrounding newco so as to try and get some clarity for prospective purchasers? The cynic in me suggests that they wanted to spend three weeeks ripping a cracking fee out of it first. I find it hard to imagine that they are entirely deluded which is the only other explanation.

  8. Hugh McEwan says:

    resinlabdog says:
    07/03/2012 at 9:52 pm

    ==========================

    I will, but to each their own.

  9. Jean says:

    If someone buys a first div team (with license) and takes it to ibrox under a new name i.e Rangers 2012 what real benefit will that be to them? Here we will have a first div team in a great big mausoleum playing to 1st division crowds for 1st division money……..how will they manage to afford the upkeep? CW has sold everything that hasn’t been nailed down so how will they make the money? I just don’t believe that tens of thousands of Rangers fans will go to Ibrox week in and out for that product.

    Or have I got that all wrong?

  10. Hugh McEwan says:

    the taxman cometh says:
    07/03/2012 at 9:53 pm

    I will be most surprised if the rangers v Celtic game isn’t pay at the gate

    =========================

    For who, the Rangers supporters presumably.

    You aren’t suggesting that the Celtic support would go to the portacabins and buy tickets on match day are you.

  11. JoeMc says:

    campsiejoe on 07/03/2012 at 9:30 pm said:
     1 0 Rate This
    Huge lavvy @ 9.27pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised, if in court tomorrow, it emerges that the money belongs to Group

    I suspect that too. That to me is the only way the ticketus deal stacks up. If not, either ticketus are the worst run VCT vehicle ever and they are up the proverbial creek without a paddle or Craig whyte has been advised to implement a deal structure that would effectively wipe out his floating charge. And That is even before we look at any issues about illegal deemed distributions or undervalue related party transactions to the detriment of existing creditors.

  12. Andy says:

    Paulie Walnuts says:

    they are still playing with words and denying it is liquidation

  13. Brendan says:

    I’ve missed a lot of traffic over the last couple of days, so apologies if I’ve missed this already.

    If Rangers liquidate before the seasons end, is it in any way possible for a new Rangers to emerge from this mess with their league place intact, as the rules presently stand?

  14. Dun D Bhoy says:

    Thanks Paulie. Clarity at last.

  15. Tangerine Taysider says:

    At the moment the media discussion about the potential direct entry of a newco into the SPL misses a vital element. While the existence of secondary contracts has been put out there, we have yet to see the detailed evidence, nor has the FTT announced its judgement.

    It is therefore at present more difficult to make the argument for sporting integrity. If however detailed evidence emerges, whether from the FTT decision, the SFA or SPL investigations that leaves no doubt that “within Rangers the knowledge that what they were doing was illegal was both widespread and explicit” (RTC blog 22nd April 2011) and the FTT verdict is adverse then the tone of the debate will surely shift, even if the loyal sycophants keep bleating the same old tune? How can we have the newco version of tax cheats voted straight back in the SPL etc?

    However what if it was possible to get a newco up and running in the SPL before the evidence did emerge, by a very rapid liquidation and asset transfer? I’d be very happy to be told that there is no possibility this could happen in such a short time scale.

  16. MJR88 says:

    HirsutePursuit says:
    07/03/2012 at 9:28 pm
    If transfer of SPL share is refused, a 1st division club will be purchased (if not already done), renamed and relocated to Ibrox.
    ——————————
    Or a soon to be promoted 2nd division club with an old school singing chairman who still has deep underlying feelings for his first team.

  17. scapa says:

    Chris McLaughlin‏@BBCchrismclaugReply
    Retweet

    Favorite
    · Open

    #Rangers administrators have held initial discussions with one consortium keen on taking over the club. Talks with others tomorrow.

    No word on who they talked to yet

  18. JakeC says:

    JoeMc says:
    07/03/2012 at 10:06 pm

    campsiejoe on 07/03/2012 at 9:30 pm said:
    1 0 Rate This
    Huge lavvy @ 9.27pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised, if in court tomorrow, it emerges that the money belongs to Group

    I suspect that too. That to me is the only way the ticketus deal stacks up. If not, either ticketus are the worst run VCT vehicle ever and they are up the proverbial creek without a paddle or Craig whyte has been advised to implement a deal structure that would effectively wipe out his floating charge. And That is even before we look at any issues about illegal deemed distributions or undervalue related party transactions to the detriment of existing creditors.

    —–

    Is it possible that HMRC are one of the parties staking a claim to the cash?

  19. Paulsatim says:

    Tangerine Taysider says:
    07/03/2012 at 10:09 pm

    This might put your mind at rest!!

    http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/the-battle-for-the-big-house/#more-2228

  20. Andy says:

    can HMRC do anything to scupper a newco switcheroony

  21. campsiejoe says:

    Scapa @10.11 pm

    Probably themselves

  22. scapa says:

    campsiejoe says:

    07/03/2012 at 10:13 pm

    That thought had occured………

  23. Lord Wobbly says:

    the taxman cometh says:
    07/03/2012 at 9:53 pm
    0 0 Rate This
    I will be most surprised if the rangers v Celtic game isn’t pay at
    the gate
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Maybe they should try pray at the gate. It will be as worthwhile as anything else I’ve heard/read.

  24. Galling fiver says:

    Heard somewhere Platini asking questions already , ‘ Have youi gat a lassence fooor da moongkey’s’.

  25. Lord Wobbly says:

    Brendan says:
    07/03/2012 at 10:07 pm
    0 0 Rate This
    I’ve missed a lot of traffic over the last couple of days, so
    apologies if I’ve missed this already.
    If Rangers liquidate before the seasons end, is it in any way
    possible for a new Rangers to emerge from this mess with their league place intact, as the rules presently stand?
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    How would newco lay claim to oldco’s league place?

  26. lurchingfrompillartopost says:

    mixing mythology – tantalus and prometheus – 2 special tortures…

    tantalus = the grapes are eternally just out of his reach

    prometheus = his liver grows back everyday for eternity for the crows to peck

    prospective buyer (tantalus) knows there is a captive market (grapes) right there but just can’t quite get at them

    fans (and any earnings) of rfc constantly regenerate (liver) to be harvested by a succession of dodgy businessmen (murder of crows)

  27. Tangerine Taysider says:

    Paulsatim says:
    07/03/2012 at 10:12 pm

    Thanks. Hopefully means I can consign to the neurotic conspiracy theory scrapheap!

  28. SpecialsWon says:

    Jean says:
    07/03/2012 at 10:00 pm

    I just don’t believe that tens of thousands of Rangers fans will go to Ibrox week in and out for that product. Or have I got that all wrong?
    _____________

    They don’t, apparently, do ‘walking away’. So yep, they’ll be there all right…

  29. Derek says:

    JakeC says:
    Rate This
    JoeMc says:
    07/03/2012 at 10:06 pm

    campsiejoe on 07/03/2012 at 9:30 pm said:
    1 0 Rate This
    Huge lavvy @ 9.27pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised, if in court tomorrow, it emerges that the money belongs to Group

    —–

    Is it possible that HMRC are one of the parties staking a claim to the cash?

    ====================================
    No

  30. HirsutePursuit says:

    MJR88 says:
    07/03/2012 at 10:10 pm
    1 0 Rate This
    HirsutePursuit says:
    07/03/2012 at 9:28 pm
    If transfer of SPL share is refused, a 1st division club will be purchased (if not already done), renamed and relocated to Ibrox.
    ——————————
    Or a soon to be promoted 2nd division club with an old school singing chairman who still has deep underlying feelings for his first team.
    =======================
    Indeed!!! Definitely the most likely scenario.

    Though there may be another possibility. League reconstruction with “big” clubs allowed a colts team entry into the 3rd division.

    Based in the west of Scotland, Dumbarton might be a “better” donor club if they get promoted to SFL 1 via the play-offs. Newco would then replace the original Dumbarton SFL place – but of course would (re-)start in SFL 3.

  31. TheBlackKnight says:

    I may have had too much sugar or caffeine today, but do my ears deceive me?

    Did I just hear on national news (ITV) that Duff and Duffer (copyright acknowledged but looking increasingly likely it will end up in the Court of Session) have asked for special dispensation from the footballing authorities for their Euro License!

  32. Paulsatim says:

    Tangerine Taysider says:
    07/03/2012 at 10:23 pm

    We all know what this best small minded country in the world can throw up in the way of curveballs but feel there are no balls left, I hope!

  33. timtim says:

    There is one option for them to keep top league status ,retain the majority of their history that matters and continue unhindered in singing their cultural ditties
    If Newco amalgamate with Linfield as Linfield Rangers they can thumb their nose at the SPhell
    automatically gain 50 league titles (erra 5*) and claim to be formed in 1886
    After 3 yrs banging their lambeg they apply for the spare place in the SPL magically created
    by league reconstruction. Banned from europe in the meantime ? dont think so
    Whats in it for the fans? well half of them will save a fortune on ferry fares for starters

  34. nowoldandgrumpy says:

    In regard to someone buying Rangers as a going concern, would they not have to do due diligence first and how long would that take, months?

    IMO D&D will be talking to interested buyers about a Newco only.

  35. JakeC says:

    Derek says:

    JakeC says:

    Is it possible that HMRC are one of the parties staking a claim to the cash?

    ====================================

    No

    ————————–

    Thanks Derek.

  36. Brendan says:

    Lord Wobbly says:
    07/03/2012 at 10:21 pm

    Brendan says:
    07/03/2012 at 10:07 pm
    I’ve missed a lot of traffic over the last couple of days, so
    apologies if I’ve missed this already.
    If Rangers liquidate before the seasons end, is it in any way
    possible for a new Rangers to emerge from this mess with their league place intact, as the rules presently stand?
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    How would newco lay claim to oldco’s league place?
    ———————————–

    Well, that’s what I’m asking? However, that seems to be the line spouted by MSM, and others. I’ve always thought that for Rangers in the SPL next season to work they need to get to the end of the season intact. Then, after promotion and relegations take place, the switcheroo happens and they all live happily ever after. If they can’t get to the end of the season then the 13 team problem arises, and without league reconstruction there is no avenue back in.

  37. HirsutePursuit says:

    Jean says:
    07/03/2012 at 10:00 pm
    1 0 Rate This
    If someone buys a first div team (with license) and takes it to ibrox under a new name i.e Rangers 2012 what real benefit will that be to them? Here we will have a first div team in a great big mausoleum playing to 1st division crowds for 1st division money……..how will they manage to afford the upkeep? CW has sold everything that hasn’t been nailed down so how will they make the money? I just don’t believe that tens of thousands of Rangers fans will go to Ibrox week in and out for that product.

    Or have I got that all wrong?
    —————————————————–
    How many Airdrie Utd fans travel through from Clydebank every fortnight?

  38. the Don Dionisio says:

    And I hope that you die
    And your death’ll come soon
    I’ll follow your casket
    In the pale afternoon
    And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
    Down to your death bed
    And I’ll stand over your grave
    Till I’m sure that your dead.

    (Attribution: Robert Allen Zimmerman)

  39. Tecumseh says:

    Shock meeting of Newco board…..all agreed…nearly..!!…..on the way forward……

  40. Andy says:

    money man on stv now is the first person on the tv that i have heard mention cancelling the season tickets

  41. salvomontalbano says:

    the Don Dionisio says:
    07/03/2012 at 10:36 pm
    ———————————

    Let me ask you one question
    Is your money that good
    Will it buy you forgiveness
    Do you think that it could
    I think you will find
    When your death takes its toll
    All the money you made
    Will never buy back your soul.

    ….

  42. triphammer says:

    RTC, a quick question looking for a short answer.

    Is it all out there more or less under discussion now, or ….. is there more to come ?

  43. bjay says:

    Triphammer.
    Go back to the Original Blogs in March last year and ou will find that there is so much more still to come out!!

  44. Lord Wobbly says:

    TheBlackKnight says:
    07/03/2012 at 10:28 pm
    0 0 Rate This
    I may have had too much sugar or caffeine today, but do my ears
    deceive me?
    Did I just hear on national news (ITV) that Duff and Duffer
    (copyright acknowledged but looking increasingly likely it will
    end up in the Court of Session) have asked for special
    dispensation from the footballing authorities for their Euro
    License!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Seriously? I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised, although I’m cognizant of the fact that most Rangers fans like to refer to us (Celtic fans) as beggars. Oh the irony.

  45. the Don Dionisio says:

    salvomontalbano@10.40,

    egregio signore, sono molto d’accordo con lei !

  46. lurchingfrompillartopost says:

    so this first sfa enquiry – 21st feb it was announced would be done within 2 weeks – late then eh?

    still betting one shiny pound that ftt declares result before sfa

  47. Jean says:

    HirsutePursuit says:
    07/03/2012 at 10:32 pm

    Not many I would imagine :Rolleyes:

  48. Triphammer

    A lot of details of who did what and who knew what and when to come out.

  49. timtim says:

    this first sfa enquiry – 21st feb it was announced would be done within 2 weeks – late then eh?
    ———
    be fair ,they were away on International duty thats a 48hr extension minimum

  50. Goosy says:

    Tangerine Taysider says:
    07/03/2012 at 10:09 pm
    1 0 i
    Rate This
    At the moment the media discussion about the potential direct entry of a newco into the SPL misses a vital element. While the existence of secondary contracts has been put out there, we have yet to see the detailed evidence, nor has the FTT announced its judgement.

    It is therefore at present more difficult to make the argument for sporting integrity. If however detailed evidence emerges, whether from the FTT decision, the SFA or SPL investigations that leaves no doubt that “within Rangers the knowledge that what they were doing was illegal was both widespread and explicit” (RTC blog 22nd April 2011) and the FTT verdict is adverse then the tone of the debate will surely shift, even if the loyal sycophants keep bleating the same old tune? How can we have the newco version of tax cheats voted straight back in the SPL etc?

    However what if it was possible to get a newco up and running in the SPL before the evidence did emerge, by a very rapid liquidation and asset transfer? I’d be very happy to be told that there is no possibility this could happen in such a short time scale.

    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    To avoid cilvil disorder, the liquidation statement will be synchronised with the FTT announcement
    That way some of the inevitability is driven home by the enormity of the debt

    But there is no way a Newco will be up and running and in a position to apply for an SPL licence coincident with liquidation

    Much more likely will be the Administrators advising the SFA next week that nobody is prepared to buy an assets without the assurance of an SFA licence and a team paid on new contracts at least 50% below current levels.This news will leak and the licence application cannot be done in secret
    With RFC gone and nobody to fill their SPL fixtures this season the SFA/SPL have the time to defer any application decision until all the sordid details emerge from ongoing investigations
    If they try to rush this issue they will be reported to UEFA by at least one club

    Sporting integrity will have to become the dominant criteria for making SFA and SPL decisions
    Otherwise UEFA will step in

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