Panto Season – RFC Registration Sorted? “Oh Yes It Is” – SFA. “Oh No It’s Isn’t” – Sevco + SPL!

Rangers FC still has no licence to play football. Their season is due to start in six days. There have been long discussions this week with the SFA about the terms for transferring the membership in the SFA from Rangers Football Club PLC to Sevco Scotland Ltd.

All looked well on Friday when the SFA produced the statement copied below. However this was immediately contradicted by Mr Murray of Rangers.

Some thoughts arise which are addressed at greater length below.

Had an agreement been reached between Sevco Scotland Ltd and the SFA?

Does Mr Murray face disciplinary action for stating that Rangers FC is being forced “under duress” to accede to the SFA’s demands?

Did Sevco Scotland Ltd and the SFA reach an agreement, express or implied, that Mr Murray could be publicly critical of the “agreement” reached as an effort (a) to gauge his customers’ response or (b) to put pressure on the SPL to step back from having the “dual contract” disciplinary process move forward?

Was Mr Murray making his statement to show that the new owners of Rangers FC had done everything possible to fight their corner, but that the twin bogeymen of the SFA and SPL had them over a barrel as a result of the actions of Messrs David Murray and Whyte?

Was the speed with which Rangers FC responded an indication that, in fact, it knew what was coming?

We shall see.

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Apparently the “Rangers Story” since David Murray decided to sell up will be told in panto at the King’s Theatre this Christmas…

On Friday night the SFA announced as follows, with emphases added:-

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“The Scottish FA can tonight clarify the position surrounding the outstanding Appellate Tribunal related to Rangers FC Oldco.

It has been agreed with Sevco Scotland Ltd that the registration embargo will be accepted as a primary condition of a transfer of membership.

It is necessary to complete the judicial process following the determination by Lord Glennie in the Court of Session that required the Independent Appellate Body to revisit available sanctions relating to Oldco, having been found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute.

The Scottish FA indicated to Sevco Scotland Ltd that they had to accept responsibility for any sanctions arising out of this case as a condition of transfer of membership.

Rather than convening the Appellate Tribunal to determine from the sanctions available to it, the company directors of Sevco Scotland Ltd have chosen to accept the 12-month registration embargo. This embargo will begin on 1st September 2012 and end on 31st August 2013.

Sevco Scotland Ltd have also undertaken to accept all other outstanding conditions relating to Oldco’s charges of bringing the game into disrepute. The conditional offer of transfer will now be submitted to the Appellate Tribunal for its consideration. This will form part of the approval process for the transfer of membership which, once approved, will enable Rangers FC to take a considerable step towards participating in Irn Bru Division Three.

In addition to the above, the Scottish FA has also received the necessary financial information requested and this is being considered as part of the application process.

Subject to the completion of all legal documentation, we anticipate transfer of membership next week.

The imposition of conditions relating to transfer of membership was made on the basis that the Scottish FA, as the governing body, has an obligation to protect the integrity of the national game and to ensure that all member clubs operate within the Articles of Association.”

——————————————–

An unnamed SFA official brandishes the SFA membership to be transferred to Sevco Scotland Ltd

So what does this tell us? It was interesting that the SFA spent a while on Twitter “clarifying” the statement.

The process as described by the SFA seems to run as follows.

1                    Sevco Scotland Ltd accepts certain conditions on the transfer of the SFA membership from Rangers Football Club PLC. This includes accepting the registration embargo. This has been accepted by Sevco Scotland Ltd.

2                    Sevco Scotland Ltd supplies all necessary financial information.

3                    The application for transfer of membership will be passed to the Appellate Tribunal, which will require to be newly constituted.

4                    The Appellate Tribunal, if satisfied that the conditions are accepted, and that this imposes appropriate sanctions, concludes proceedings by imposing no further penalty, and the matter is remitted back to the SFA Board.

5                    The SFA Board approves the transfer of membership.

6                    Rangers FC, owned by Sevco Scotland Ltd, embarks on its new life in SFL3, the League Cup and Ramsdens Cup.

The registration embargo will not have immediate effect however. Instead it applies, if accepted, from 1st September 2012 to 31st August 2013. Therefore Rangers FC can sign whoever it can in this transfer window, without restriction. The embargo applies to the mid-winter transfer break, and next summer’s transfer window.

This would seem to be a recognition that Rangers FC is in difficulties with players at present, and that some clemency should be shown to them. If Sevco Scotland Ltd is accepting the disrepute and associated convictions of oldco, then frankly it seems odd to start the embargo in January, rather than now! If the concern is that the numerous players on Rangers FC’s books are not good enough for SFL3 competition, then that is a consequence of Rangers FC’s actings and choices.

The SFA statement suggests that all required financial information has been handed over. This ought to include details regarding the beneficial ownership of the shares in Sevco Scotland Ltd, including the mysterious Blue Pitch Holdings and the elusive, at least to Indonesian authorities, Rafat Ali Rizvi. Presumably this also includes the clearance certificate issued by Duff & Phelps vouching that Sevco Scotland Ltd is made up of “fit and proper” persons.

So, if everything is together, and the Appellate Tribunal is prepared to accept this as a solution to the problem, then the regulatory hurdles have been cleared, and we can think about actually playing football again…

I may have jumped the gun though!

All was not what it seemed, as Mr Murray, Chairman of Sevco Scotland made clear on the official club website shortly after the SFA statement came out:-

However Mr Murray pointed out that nothing had been signed…

Board members, the Manager and senior executives from the Club have been meeting with the SFA this week with the sole purpose of ensuring the long term future of Rangers.

“For clarity, we have not signed any agreement yet and therefore believe the SFA’s statement to be premature.

“We have had days of discussions with the SFA and it is important for everyone, but most importantly our fans, to understand that the SFA said it would only transfer the membership to play football if we accepted some form of additional sanctions for the sins of previous regimes.

“The choice is stark – take sanctions or risk not playing football at all. We do not wish to gamble with the Club’s future so, under duress, we have taken the difficult decision to accept some sanctions in order to move forward.

A delayed transfer ban would be a bitter pill to swallow and will only be agreed to if the alternative is no football.

“We would have a window in which to sign players enabling the manager to strengthen the squad which is critical for the Club to start the process of rebuilding.

“We also regret that any agreement with the SFA appears not to have the support of the SPL and, as such, it (the SPL) still wishes to impose further sanctions on the Club for the actions of previous regimes despite already voting us out of its league. This is truly astounding to everyone at the Club who is now in charge of rebuilding Rangers from Division 3, particularly as the SPL are still trying to benefit from our media rights.

“Whilst we are deeply frustrated that the Club and the new owners will have to accept some punishments for the sins of previous regimes, we are at the point where we have to move forward and get back playing football.

“We will all continue to work hard over the coming days in order to begin the season and play our first match next Sunday.

“Rangers fans around the world have been tremendous in their support for the Club over the last six months – through what has been an horrendous period in our history.

“Supporters have been badly bruised by recent events and they more than anyone deserve to see their team playing football again. To move forward we must all now rally behind the Manager and Club through this rebuilding process.

“We have a long road ahead but every one of us involved in taking the Club forward is committed to restoring Rangers to greatness again and we will not falter in our commitment.”

——————————————–

I might be accused of reading too much into things, but I think that the words used are very important. Note that Mr Murray does not say that there is no agreement. Instead he says that no agreement has been signed.

That implies that there is in fact an agreement, but that it has not yet been finalised yet.

He also says that the SFA statement was “premature” rather than simply denying that it is the case.

He went on to say that, under duress, certain sanctions had been accepted. These seem to include the delayed transfer ban, but only on the basis that the alternative is no football being played at all.

So as far as the SFA is concerned, Mr Murray’s statement suggests that, at the point of a metaphorical gun, Sevco Scotland Ltd is accepting the SFA conditions because the refusal to accept them leads to no football at Ibrox in the coming season.

Taken from notes found at the SFA meeting – believed to be Rangers FC’s view of the negotiation process

It could be argues that such strident criticism of the ruling body is equivalent to criticising a referee and thus brings the game into disrepute.

The view of many Rangers FC fans is that there have been enough penalties inflicted on their team in the form of “relegation”, banishment from European competition, loss of many players etc. There is a mood that acceptance of further sanctions would be a surrender, and this from an organisation not known for doing so.

From the point of view of not alienating even more of the clientele, Sevco Scotland needs at least to put up a fight on the sanctions before conceding at the last minute to preserve the right to play football next season.

Picking a fight with the SFA, but then backing down as the alternative was not to play football at all seemed actually quite a wise PR strategy.

There was one paragraph which clanged dissonantly with that overall message. That was as follows:-

“We also regret that any agreement with the SFA appears not to have the support of the SPL and, as such, it (the SPL) still wishes to impose further sanctions on the Club for the actions of previous regimes despite already voting us out of its league. This is truly astounding to everyone at the Club who is now in charge of rebuilding Rangers from Division 3, particularly as the SPL are still trying to benefit from our media rights.”

What could it be that the SPL wanted to do to Rangers FC, apart from buying the media rights to Rangers FC games off the SFL, as originally proposed?

The only ongoing matter regarding the SPL is the so-called “dual contract” investigation. Here the SPL has found there is a prima facie case to answer. The intention was to proceed with a disciplinary case before the start of the season.

Is the SPL demanding sanctions, or is it asking to be allowed to carry out due process, and then for penalties to be imposed in the event that guilt was established? If it is the former, and the formality of a trial has been skipped, then Mr Murray is right to be astounded. On the other hand, if it is simply that the SPL want to conduct the case through the correct procedures, and impose any penalties in the event of a guilty verdict, then what is the complaint Mr Murray has?

It should also be noted by Mr Murray that Rangers FC was not “voted out of the SPL”. Sevco Scotland was not admitted to the SPL. Same outcome – very different import.

The SPL want to benefit from media rights? If the SPL buys these at a fair price from the SFL, then what complaint can Mr Murray have, except to paint the SPL too as a bogeyman?

The statement by Mr Murray therefore seemed to have hit the spot – telling the SFA that they would play ball, but making it clear to the Rangers FC fans that, in a Churchillian sense, they were fighting the SFA and SPL on the beaches, on the landing grounds, in the air and on the sea…

This left matters in the position where, notwithstanding the SFA’s “premature” statement, they could say that a membership transfer would be competed in the coming week. Either the SFA knew that Mr Murray was blustering, or the SFA had agreed with Mr Murray that a warlike declaration could be made from which Sevco Scotland would, under heavy fire and facing inevitable defeat, back down. The speed with which the Murray statement appeared suggest that the latter is a possibility, and possibly was evidence of a combined SFA/Sevco strategy to force the SPL to back down.

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And so it seemed that the script had been written. Mr Murray and Mr Green would have had no chance at all of keeping Rangers FC sanction free this coming season, but would be able to replenish the stocks of players to take them up through SFL3 and SFL2. The PR pressure might also be enough to force the SPL to let football rather than football governance take centre stage.

Am I suggesting some great SFA/Sevco Scotland Ltd conspiracy? No. I am not. However over the tea and biscuits, as the meetings progressed, there surely would have been some discussion, however informal, about how the “agreement” should be presented.

In the ways familiar to viewers of “Yes, Minister” and “The Thick of It” if a government wants to close two hospitals, it will announce plans to shut six, and after a public campaign be seen to be “listening” by reducing the “hit list “ back to the two initially intended. The campaigners feel there has been some success and compromise, and if spun correctly the government enhances its reputation for paying attention to the people whom it is in place to serve.

A Communications expert offers some gentle advice on how to manage the story …

As I discuss in my next post however, the next step by Rangers FC, namely the intervention of Mr McCoist, was either a very risky escalation of the plan, or an attempt by Mr McCoist to put a warning shot across the bows of his own Board.

To follow therefore – Panto Season II – “He’s behind you!”

 

Posted by Aladdin McConville

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59 Comments

Filed under Football Governance, Rangers, SFA, SPL

59 responses to “Panto Season – RFC Registration Sorted? “Oh Yes It Is” – SFA. “Oh No It’s Isn’t” – Sevco + SPL!

  1. riw1

    I cannot perceive the SPL sweeping the dual contract matter under the carpet. It is the most important issue at the heart of this farce that has united clubs & supporters like never before.

    Primie facie evidence dictates there is a case to answer. If proven, the import means these clubs & supporters have been cheated & rightly want the sporting entity punished for these grave offences. For justice & ethics to prevail, the determining independent panel must sit.

    To me this is not a negotiable commodity.

    • John Summers

      Paul, is it just me that finds the idea of “punishments” that, if found guilty, should be automatic i.e. dual contracts, being negotiated with the perpetrators is rather sordid and underhand?

  2. M_A_R

    six days to the start of season.
    with ibrox being a huge venue, won’t the newco also need health and safety permits, and insurances, under the owner’s name, before the season starts?

  3. Martin

    Ecojon,

    another excellent post, looking forward to Panto Season II.

    I’m assuming your either a night owl or a morning Lark, in any case keep up the good work.

    We live in interesting times in the world of news reporting. I hear Rupert Murdoch has quit as NI director. Apparently he just couldn’t hack it any more.

    • ecojon

      @Martin

      I would love to be able to claim the piece but it assumed it must be Paul’s as it has that incisive feel to it and depth of detail – I as you may have notice more favour the tabloid style of broad brush and shockaroony :)

      I am working on something at the moment with someone overseas and the time difference is a pest so my hours are a bit confused. Nothing to do with Scottish Football I hasten to add before I set the paranoids running :)

    • ecojon

      @Martin

      Oh meant to say about Murdoch and NI. Media Moguls are so similar to Billionaire Football Owners in so many ways ie power trip, vanity and all the rest.

      But strangely they are even more similar in the reaction of their fan/readership base – it doesn’t matter how much money they pour into their personal ‘baby’ it’s never perceived as enough.

      • Martin

        couldn’t agree more.

      • David C MacKenzie

        Talking of Billionaire Football owners:

        Craig Whyte is back in business.. as a debt collector

        http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sunday-mail/2012/07/22/ex-rangers-owner-craig-whyte-is-back-in-business-as-a-debt-collector-86908-23911276/

        Actualle he doesn’t have far to go to look for potential clients.

        First client Ticketus, perhaps? Maybe not.
        What about Paul Martin from First Stop?
        Maybe not. Hector? Maybe not.

      • ecojon

        @David C MacKenzie

        What a great old-fashioned Sunday Mail investigation by a great wee reporter – a pie to that man ASAP.

        Could be troble ahead if Whyte or anyone else is acting on his behalf on any Court Orders as they are ‘agents of the court’ and I don’t see them passing the fit and proper test :)

        No doubt someone will be making sure the Legal authorities are aware of developments. He’s probably got dungeons in his castle kitted-out to torture debtors into handing cash over. We know he’s already got the heavies from what his wife told the court about the car the other day.

        I smell ‘a woman scorned’ in the debt collecting story as well and who knows what other goodies could be coming as follow-ups mmmmmmmmm

      • David C MacKenzie

        @ecojon

        Here is the company that he has bought up It was started by the Benjamin Binks mentioned in the newspaper article:

        http://www.credit-control-services.co.uk/index.php

        Client feedback includes:

        CCS demonstrated a sound receivables background from which he was able to draw from, and apply his intuitive nature to get to the source of the many complex and challenging queries he had to…

        RBS Insurance RBS

        Just a short note to thank you for successfully completing your assignment at Fuji Xerox Australia Pty Ltd. Brad Park has expressed appreciation for the results achieved.

        Fuji Xerox Fuji Xerox

        CCS have contacted our debtor and followed up on their payment in a friendly but obviously very effective way as they have paid now and their account does not have any outstanding payments

        MB Careers Ltd

  4. ecojon

    When the loaded dice have finished rolling and the high-rollers have departed Glasgow all that will be left is tumbleweed at Ibrox and the writing of the history of the debacle’s.

    As in all human calamities there will be a clamour to identify the panto villains responsible for the mess and there certainly is a wide cast of characters in this case.

    In the fullness of time most like Whyte & Green will be rightfully identified as bit players in this tragic-comedy.

    The real stars of the production will be the Ibrox Supporting Choir & Orchestra with the anti-Hero firmly be cast as Sally in the Blind Alley.

    What a waste – he is possibly the only character actor who could have played the performance of his life by telling the massed audience whipped up by the tunes and songs of the Choir & Orchestra that if you don’t pay the price you have to leave the auditorium.

    Instead Coist is playing a bit-part walk-on walk-off role and he seems to be wearing a blindfold with hearing selectively tuned-in to the lowest frequency blue channel.

    How dare he think he can walk out on negotiations and come back to the next set to lead them because the man with the money (need a bit of artistic licence here) seems to have disappeared at a critical stage in proceedings.

    I agree with everything Paul has said and there really is no need to rehearse the sound arguments. Every Ibrox Knight who looked at the finances walked away as they knew it would take a Banker’s Bail-out to save Rangers as is.

    Sadly the Knights didn’t have the courage to tell that basic truth to the fans and I blame them more than any unreconstructed fans who are incapable of being dragged into the 20th C let alone 21st and will eventually have to be abandoned on what is turning into a long march for survival.

    Ally may fancy himself cutting a Napoleonic figure at the head of defeated army as the walk away from Moscow SPL and head for ‘home’ possibly nearer to an Ayrshire village of the same name or similar.

    But Ally has proven himself to be no Napoleon who had the power to lead armies of men and bend them to his will based on personal charisma which was rooted in his own personal courage which started at whilst a young officer at the Siege of Toulonne.

    Ally you don’t have the guts to put the stake in the heart of the Zombies who are sleep-walking Ibrox to extinction and we all know the only drumbeat you hear and are marching to.

    You will be judged one day and your ineptness in the face of adversity will be recognised as is your failure to walk away which curiously enough is about the only thing that might save Ibrox but with new tunes and songs which glorify football triumphs,

    One thing walking away would achieve is no season ticket sales to Green which would trigger a sale at an acceptable price and allow the Blue Knights to come back with money and the opportunity to create a new untainted past free of the old well-worn score and sheet music of the previous.

    You may even see the curtain rise on the Second Act – Do you have the courage Ally?

    • Re McCoist’s comments yesterday: Maybe, just maybe, he is acting the idiot because if you look at all his utterings in the past few months, he has been remarkably consistent – something that would, I reckon, be to his advantage in any future court cases arising out of the EBTs and related matters.
      He can then prove he knew nothing,indeed does not have the mental capacity to understand anyway – and comments like yesterday’s will go a long way to prove his point! The man’s a genius, if you think about it…

    • James Tweedie

      McCoist is either stupid (and i don’t think that he is, despite evidence in the last few months to the contrary) or he’s looking for a way out with “dignity” (that much abused word in this whole episode) in the eyes of the rabid hardcore of the clubs fans. It would be better for all concerned IMO if he were to leave, allowing the club to make a fresh start with one less bit of baggage from the old, tainted regime.

  5. Paul, i await your next post re. Ally with interest !.
    Ally’s ‘Walk Away’ during the mtg and subsequent statement gives insight into the fractious mood of the mtg. And with the speed of release of new Rangers statement suggest you are right – A shot across the bow – Possibly Ally threatened to walk for real ?.

  6. NeilR

    Sevco is due to become an SFL club, so the SPL is not a party to the negotiations between Sevco and the SFA regarding Sevco’s application for SFA membership. That means the SPL will not be a signatory to any formal agreement regarding the investigation into incorrectly-registered players.

    Indeed, as the SFA has accepted this investigation is in the first instance a matter for the SPL only, and that it (the SFA) cannot be involved in any way in the investigation due to its potential role as the appellate body, it would be entirely inappropriate for the SFA even to allow the matter to be discussed in the course of its negotiations with Sevco. Perhaps some enterprising journalist will ask the SFA to confirm that has been its position during the discussions.

  7. Martin

    Some thoughts on EBTs from a non expert.

    When the tax inspectors get through with Rangers Oldco and conclude (if they do) that the scheme was simply illegal tax evasion, they may as I understand it be able to pursue former directors of the club for monies due.

    In addition, they may not stop there. If it is shown that employees who received ‘loans’ were in fact receiving payments for services rendered might the tax man want his cut of that money too?

    If any of the above stands up, the SPL are going to look rather silly if they agree not to pursue the matter of dual contracts themselves.

    I don’t think the tax inspectors will give second thought to any deals currently being discussed between the football authorities and Rangers Newco.

    Whatever is agreed, may soon be swept away by a much harsher reality.

    • ecojon

      @Martin

      The one thing about EBTs that I have never seen identified anywhere is whether they are a ‘contract of service’ or a ‘contract for service’. That might have little difference as to how HMRC view Rangers and its directors but it would have a position in whether the recipient was viewed as an employee or self-employed as this might determine whose liability it was to collect any tax payable. Sadly we don’t know the EBT contract terms and Tax is a very compex area of law so I have always thought that we have to be patient and await the pronouncements of the HMRC.

      I think it fair to say without alleging any impropriety on HMRC professionalism that Rangers has become a bit ‘personal’ mainly because of Whye and the Revenue want a result on this case if for nothing else but pour encourager les autres who are standing watching nervously from their own touchlines.

      • Martin

        Ecojon,

        good points well made. As I say I’m no expert. Time will tell.

      • I may well be wrong but (if I had a £ for every time I use that phrase I could put in a rescue bid for the club myself!) is it not the case that, should the EBTs be found to have been used to avoid paying taxes, both parties would be penalised as in effect they would be guilty of conspiracy to defraud HMRC?

  8. Grabthegrass

    Alladin, another excellent analysis of the latest mixed messages coming from the parties to this never ending saga. I thin it’s worth a quick summary of all the latest threads. Using my Dr Who analogy, the Doctor is currently regenerating, but facing some severe difficulties – the tardis is about to explode, the sonic screwdriver doesn’t work anymore and time travel back to the good old days is no longer part of the script.

    Apart from one or two honourable exceptions, it is clear that the current investors are a shadowy bunch which the might of the blogosphere has been unable to unravel so the SFA stand no chance. Failure to get banking facilities from a tier 1 bank should tell them all they need to know, but the fit and proper rule is as flakey and maleable as any “rule” ever invented so I guess the SFA have given up on that one and will rely on the sworn statements of Green and D&P that it’s all ok….

    As ever the real issue is money – it is far from clear if Green / Sevco actually have enough of it to pay D&P, pay July’s wages or keep a highly expensive infrastructure, players, coaches etc going for an ENTIRE season in Div 3. As posted elsewhere, it is clear most in the SFA, SPL, Sevco and the rangers fans still think of the club as this behomoth of scottish football and this is severely compromising their thinking. There has been very little seen form Green lately so it’s clear that his juant around eurpe hasn’t gained much money or he would be trumpeting this from the rooftops.

    A cynical person may think that the recent announcements are just a way of preparing the masses for no football this season, or at all, and just trying to build the barricades against the onslaught of fury that will arrive if that happens. I think Sevco are trying to make the SFA and SPL cack themselves with worry as they would be blamed 100% by Sevco, whilst Green and his not so merry men run off to Tesco and claim their millions.

    What Sally is doing and saying is just unbeleivable and seems to be trying to create more tension and conflict instead of doing his job as manager and coach.

    And all the time the clock ticks on…..

  9. ecojon

    Just read Dodds in the Herald and actually thought he had joined the reconstructed when I saw the headline: Ibrox novelty act has a shelf life

    Here was me thinking that Dodds was going to lay down the law and tell Ally and the unreconstrcuted fans that the mouth music had to stop as well as the fifes and drums and an agreement had to be signed or they would be no football for Rangers next year and possibly ever again.

    What did I get when I settled down to read the article? How much Rangers were going to do to boost the cash finances of SFL3 clubs which provided the mighty Gers on their march back towards World Domination.

    I reckon Dodds must have been in the same rocket as Green that is in a declining orbit over a rapidly waning Blue Planet which is ell-known for creating memory and cash loss in any who venture to the black hole at its centre.

    • Martin

      Rangers desperately need a new spokesperson. Honestly I believe they would come across more coherently if they engaged the services of the great Freddie ‘ parrot face ‘ Davies. He could even pull on the old bowler hat to get the fringe element of Rangers support onside. :)

  10. Cuillin Dreams

    Enjoyable reading Paul…although any panto that I have attended has been well rehearsed and performed by professionals!

    A friend on mine compared RFC (IA) to a gravely wounded rabbit being passed from person to person but no one having the courage to put it out of its’ misery. Afterall who wants to go back to their family at the end of a long day and tell the kids that they hit a defenceless, fluffy creature over the head with a shovel. Similarly who would want to claim the credit for taking a metaphorical shovel to a defenceless and decidedly unfluffy institution.

    Thus the entire performance since 14th February has been conducted under the maxim ‘Don’t scare the Bears’ with a variety of bit players taking centre stage for a brief period before being scarred off when the reality of the situation has hit home. The statement by the SFA and counter statement by Sevco is merely an extention of this although I suspect that we are now well into the third act and the words ‘Is that a shovel which I see before me’ will soon be uttered. Alas, there will however be no crown left to claim and the roadside grass will have grown high around the departed rabbit.

    • Grabthegrass

      I think Hector was the first truck to hit the rabbit and just when it thought the next car would come to it’s rescue it ran it over again, and again until it’s now trying to crawl away on one foot before the nasty man with the shovel turns up. It’s enough to make grown men weep.

  11. Gobsmacked

    This whole farce reminds me (I’m sure it is the right movie) of Bob Hope in Son of Paleface, who when surrounded by gun toting baddies points the gun at his own head and says, “if anybody moves I will shoot”. Green has a game plan and it doesn’t involve football being played. Div3 and his portrayal of SFA is the Big Bad Wolf has given him the excuse to “reluctantly” walk away with a nice profit after stripping the rest of the assets. Always a bad idea to say that the players you are about to sell for Millions aren’t good enough to win a game in Div 3. Brinkmanship requires you to convince the other party that you will walk away. Job done.

    • Mel Brookes …….blazing saddles is a better choice of film has the same scene and has the RFC/sevgers theme running through it if you consider the railroad and “fake” town….. great piles of beans which of course are great with pies..

  12. BIG-CUP-WINNERS

    Six months ago my house got burgled. The guy got away with my TV, Lap top and some cash.

    Thankfully the cops caught the guy. Unfortunately, the burglar is a local hood and has a really warped view of his importance.

    He appeared at court just last week and his lawyer told the judge he’d agree to some punishments by negotiation. He’d cut his hand whilst being arrested too and this had caused him some discomfort, inability to support his family during his incapacity and had to make a claim for benefit from the Jobcentre.

    He made an impassioned plea that he’d held my TV, lap-top since the theft and his family had come to think they owned them, so under no circumstances would they be returned.

    My money has been spent and he’s not able to repay me as he’s on benefits.

    Sums it up ?

  13. ecojon

    After Dodds I decided on a Darkside troll and my Deluded Post of the Day Award goes to:

    Sanctimonious jumped up hypocrites

    The SFA I mean with their condescending statement treating Rangers as if they were some newcomer from the ‘Highlands & Islands league’.

    They are only using language such as ‘…will enable Rangers FC to take a considerable step towards participating in Irn Bru Division Three’, because they know that they have their foot on Rangers throat & are relishing the sense of power that gives them; they should remember that in this case at least, what goes down, WILL come up.

    Rangers will rise again to reclaim their place at the head of the top table & when the club are feasting at that table, gobbling up all the choicest morsels on offer, the SFA may well look for Rangers to share their bounty around. But that will be a decision for another day, not one to be made now in anger, remember what it is that is best served cold?

    ——————————————————————————————

    Are you reading All? Is this really the culture that you think will save Rangers from extinction and see it grow as a healthy club to take an honoured place in Scottish Football just like all its Highlands & Islands League colleagues and those from all the airts and pairts of Scotland who keep the beautiful game alive in remote communities with tiny populations under enormous financial and resource pressure.

    These people are the unsung heroes of Scottish Football. You are a pampered little boy – Grow Up although it may be too late to develop a backbone and face the enemy within – Green not the SFA which is being chosen as a patsy – nearly typed pasty which would have had mick and Gideon down on us like a ton of pies :)

    • Martin

      Good god and help ma boab we’re all going to be eaten out of house and home by the ravenous rampaging Rangers! All that will be left to us a share of the Rangers bounty. No mention if its the milk or dark chocolate one. Worst of all a bounty only has two pieces. What will become of us!

      Lets not dismiss this pasty and ton of pies :)

  14. This whole debacle is the making of ALL concerned at RFC/Sevco past and present. No One else. Now who’s paranoid???

    I don’t see why “the rangers are unhappy at the penalties……they are used to receiving them every week during the playing season so why is it any different now??

    None of “main men” including the majority of fans seen to be able to comprehend the situation and proper reasoning behind these desicions that the rest of Scotland and beyond do.

    RFC/Sevgers have not been penalised “enough” “excessively” or are being made to walk any plank. The santions are appropriate. Even less than fair as execeptions are being made.

    The penalties are as follows so far;

    They have been Punished for several misdemeanours that are correctly being applied for;
    entering administration = 10 point deduction
    failure to submit legally aduited accounts, bringing the game into disrepute, failing to pay several football clubs, revenue and customs etc £160,000 fine
    Liquidation and re-registering in league = no european football for 3 year period. Acceptence into lowest league subject to that leagues approval.

    These are clearly laid out penalties in FIFA/UEFA and SFA/SPL articles.
    If any other club in the SPL including CFC had breached the same rules then they would be punished in EXACTLY the same terms. No favour or excess penalties have been or would be applied.

    Transfer ban 1 year, this has already been dilluted in so far as it allows signings now. The justification behind this is that as RFC brought the game to absolute disrepute justifying suspension or expulsion from the league and they as a club were unable to pay any fines then other relative santion had to be found. This under the circumstances is not unreasonable and has been accepted by rangers fans and now it appears with negotiation and compromise sevgers.

    No one has tossed them out, they have FAILED as a club and business.

    The other “penelaty” that still hangs over RFC and Sevco, ( I will come to this in a second) is the dual contracts and implied “cheating”.

    Firstly if RFC appear to have used dual contracts to pay players at enhanced wages and therefore attracted potentially “better class of player” than would be available to other clubs NOT employing these schemes. Thus having a potentially better team/squad than other teams in the same division which is clear to anyone and is in simple terms ……cheating.

    How do we know this? Simply SPL have told us. After a protracted delay by RFC/D&P provided the required evidence of this, (which was already leaked to the general public and MSM).
    Therefore under the process of justice the SPL HAVE to investigate and IF it is found to be true, without preconception of result and based entirely on evidence then the appropriate penalty will be applied. If Sevgers wish to have the perceived continuance of history then they have to accept the precondition of “transfer” or apply as a new entity.

    If this means that the club is, and in my opinion correctly, is stripped of the titles and trophies they won while employing these illegal contracts then it is only right and proper that they are. This remains to be decided/resolved maybe sometime in the future, it was supposed to be before the end of the season and again before the start of the new season. If RFC had supplied the correct paperwork in full disclosure when requested then it would be finished with but due to delays, created by RFC/D&P and in collusion with the executive principles of the SFA/SPL and SFL the matter still hangs and is no one elses fault other than the people in charge at RFC/sevgers.

    There is a simple option available for mr McCoist and CG etc;
    accept that RFC is liquidated and the club is dead. 1872-2012 the end all santions penalties etc sit with this club/business and the SPL can retospectively remove titles amending the record books accordingly.

    or

    Sevco Scotland Ltd T/a The Rangers Football Club starts afresh, new application to SFA providing ALL required documentation necessary along with other capable clubs for the league to decide the appropriate club to be placed in Div3. This would necessarily entail no european football for 3 years but no other santions. Their history starts now 2012 > .

    On this occasion ally, you cannot and will not be allowed to “have your pie and eat it”.

    There are still more misdemeanours to potentially face as Sevgers and nothing as yet is clear, in truth if I was a fan faced with these options then I would retain my club history and take the medicine, you never no it might actually heal you and make you better……………

    • Martin

      Great work on the post.

    • Marching on Together

      Prediction: The SFA will insist that as a condition of transfer of registration that Sevco accepts any sanctions from the actings of oldco Rangers. The SPL will continue their EBT investigation, find Rangers guilty, strip them of the results of all games where an EBT player played, and remove titles accordingly. They will also kick it to the SFA and the SFL to do likewise with their cups. The SPL as punishment will expel Sevco from the SPL for a period of three years, and levy a fine of £X thousand plus interest, which can be deferred until Sevco want into the SPL.

      They will pass a report to UEFA who will do nothing.

  15. ecojon

    @michaelk1888

    Good post Michael

  16. Dhougal

    BLUE NOSES(To the tune of Paper roses)
    And they called it utter fraud
    They hoped nobody would ever know
    How the Gers had cheated everyone
    And now they’re hated so
    Nobody likes you,nobody cares
    except your loyal dumb-found bears
    So,its the end of the Gers
    Nobody likes you nobody cares
    You cry each night,your team is gone
    Your cheatin was all in vain
    You hope and pray ,you’ll play again some day
    your loss is everyones gain
    So goodbye and good riddance
    we wont see your likes again
    we have cleaned up Scottish fitba
    All your cheating was in vain!

  17. mick

    you cant pick a punishment uefa will hammer the sfa as they had euro teams cheated by the dual contracts to and they will want to know what happened its the next best thing to match fixing the panel summed it up as and as such should be treated that why its serious

    • Marching on Together

      UEFA will do sod all. UEFA have done nothing about proven allegations of their own referees being bribed in their own competition semis and finals.

  18. ecojon

    Fascinating – just been reading the Sundays and the guts of the copy on Rangers obviously comes from one source freelance source.

    So the biggest football story in Scotland and also a major business one isn’t handled in-house. And the freelance copy appears biased in that it does not deal with the childish and innacurate ‘punishment’ tantrums thrown by Ally. Why wasn’t he asked whether he was demanding the alternative of the committee meeting with all the risks that that course of action holds for Rangers.

    And why wasn’t the whole legal concept of ‘duress’ used by rangers chairman and Ally not questioned. Paul could better answer this than I but my belief is that if any party to a contract is acting under duress then the contract is null and void as both parties must freely enter into the agreement/contract.

    I think this is now beyond someone in charge of negotiations being very inexperienced and thinking if you stare the other side in the eye, keep saying NO, stamp you feet, and then walk out, that you will get where you want to be.

    I used to be like that when I was much younger than Coisty but boy did I learn fast that I was even faster being viewed as a joke and someone who failed badly in agreeing a good deal for the people who were relying on me and therefore could be taken apart by those more experienced in the ways of successful negotiating and the world.

    I actually think there is a plan here and the only explanation I can see is it has been cooked up to favour SevGers. Either the SFA are in on it and will either back-down or give some more concessions or they won’t but Ally will have been seen to have fought the good fight until his dying breath and failed gloriously.

    Much more likely is that SevGers are angling to trigger the get-out clause to provide football next season but not their ability to have a fire sale of the assets and depart with the cash which would not be illegal. Meanwhile they gain a bit of breathing space with the fans by turning their attention and ire on the SFA,

    Either way Rangers need someone argiubg their case at the top table and I do hope – and I don’t usually condone this normally – but that secret contingency plans are being drawn up by Blue Knights to regroup the Rangers playing side with some kind of club share. It would be a new club but with goodwill from the SFA and SFL it might work although it would still be in SFL3 and we still have the Cove Rangers et alia argument.

    But for the greater good of Scottish Football I would go for a possibly delayed start to Rangers playing fixtures – not to delay the early ones which would be awarded to the opposing team. I know the rules will probably not allow this but I think we have seen that they are more flexible than ever we previously recognised.

    Let Green depart with the ‘dirty money scraps’ left by Whyte – of course he might not actually make the purchase price which still doesn’t negate my original plan because even playing at Ibrox would be delayed as we went through all sorts of admin and liquidation procedure.

    Now is the time for a friendly knight to be ready to come to the aid of the club if necesarry’ and the fire brigade better be on permanebt duty outside Ibrox in case the fire sale gets outa-hand.

    • Marching on Together

      “my belief is that if any party to a contract is acting under duress then the contract is null and void as both parties must freely enter into the agreement/contract.”

      Absolutely spot on. However, the effect of the contract being null and void is that Rangers/Sevco have no registration with the SFA and cannot play football, so they cannot go down the road of arguing that after the event. A High Court judge kicked that idea into touch in the case of Leeds Utd in 2007.

  19. Tommy B

    McCoist may not be walking yet, but I suggest he is tying the laces on his boots. Anybody who has ever been an employee, will have had times when they have disagreed with decisions and direction of the organisation. When that happens, you bite the bullet and accept that there is nothing you can do, or you leave. You most certainly don’t make a statement that can be interpreted as straying from the party line and threatening that you will not accept the proposal. it looks to me as if Ally wants out, but he also wants to be revered by the support. He can only really walk away if he can demonstrate that he is doing it reluctantly and in support of principles held by the great unwashed.

    • ecojon

      If Ally is getting ready to walk then he has been taking to the Knights – not of the Columba variety – and been given certain employment assurances.

      This is wonderful news in the longer term as he is a totally p*sh manager :)

  20. Martin

    Ally.

    Ok before I go any further with this let me just tell you something. It was a long time ago. I met this girl right, a pretty girl, really pretty, I’m not just saying that.

    Naturally I fancied her like crazy, you know what I mean, asking her out, sending her poems, hey what can I say I was young and she was as I said really pretty.

    Anyway, one day when I asked her why she wouldn’t go out with me, she said, “it’s Ally, super-Ally, he’s the boy for me”.

    Don’t get me wrong Ally, in those days you were like a wee goal scoring cherub with a big smile, I completely understand her reaction given how much she loved your team.

    I’m not bitter.

    But things seem different for you now. You are in a dark place, no longer an angel no longer scoring goals and smiling.

    Criticism from many quarters, people constantly asking questions and I don’t mean Sue Barker. Oh no! It must feel like dear old Sue has suddenly morphed into Jeremy Paxman in Spanish Inquisition mode and you don’t have the answers Ally you just don’t.

    Let it go Ally, let it be. Walk away before the mob turns on you. A mob that will doubtless include that pretty girl I mentioned.

    • ecojon

      Oh dear I have a confession to make. Growing up in a housing scheme I fell head over heels for a girl and at first it seemed I might be in with a shout.

      But she, quite gently now with the maturity of age, explained her family could never ever accept her going out with me. Why? Because they were in the Order of the Eastern Star. I hadn’t a clue what that meant but I soon found out.

      So it was never to be and many times over the years as I watched an Orange Parade I would see her in her light coloured two piece suit, hat, high heels and I think sash but perhaps not and her flaming red hair and would fall instantly in love with her once more. Her religion meant nothing to me.

      But it was one of the things that taught me of the danger of all the ism’s and how they can blight the life of people caught up in them. I moved away from the scheme, saw her a couple of times in the big parade and slowly realised that I could never ever live a happy life with her as there was a presence in her life more important than the shared love that I had hoped for.

      The really wierd thing that, at the time, I genuinely couldn’t see the problem as my parents were of mixed religion and it wasn’t a great marriage but there was no religous intolerance in it.

      I can still see her now throw the mists of time and wonder if our kids would have had red hair.

  21. ADM

    This is just bizarre. I’ve been sceptical of the idea that Sevco didn’t really want to play football and it was basically just a front for asset stripping but this does give you pause for thought… I mean, they have 6 days to get a licence, a timetable that’s faintly believable if everyone pulls out all the stops (in particular the AT, two of whose members are currently unknown), but they still seem to be operating under the peculiar fantasy that they’re in a position to dictate terms. The SFA have taken a lot of flak for (i) letting Sevco choose not to risk the AT’s judgement but accept the transfer embargo; and (ii) then varying the dates on the embargo to allow Sevco to get in a couple of proper experienced SFL3 players. (I’m actually fairly comfortable with that, in a general sense of trying to help a club recover from a bad place – not that kind of support has been common in the past.) However, the SPL’s ongoing dual contracts investigation has no relevance to the SFA licensing discussion – the SFA, as the appellate body for goodness sake, are in no position to offer a suspension of the investigation. So if the SFA or the SPL take a step back now, the response from football fans across Scotland will be fury (and/or despair). I think most fans are willing to accept Rangers back in their new Sevco guise, and accept (reluctantly) that Sevco can’t be held responsible for the debts of oldco (incidentally, what happened to idea that Sevco would be held liable for oldco’s football debts?), but nobody’s going to buy the idea that they can keep the history but not face the consequences of the bad bits of that history. As many, many people have said now – it is this simple: Rangers can’t have it both ways.

  22. Gobsmacked

    @ejocon
    Delay Newco season start by denying a team a home gate and giving them a 3-0 win ? How about Option B, if they can’t put a team on the park due to license or whatever, then get the teams who rightfully would be entitled to apply for the free place in Div 3 and do a quick Shuffle. The idea that we await the next volume of TBK, Bomber or any syndicate (that SFA don’t have time to check out – but who cares) that can put 11 players in a Blue Jersey is inconceivable. Are you suggesting that any such team should be steam-rollered into the Div3 position ? I don’t have an issue with Newco being in Div 3 and additional penalties seem superfluous. But this would be the tail wagging the dog, if football has to further work around this team. Hope you were playing Devil’s Advocate.

    • ecojon

      @Gobsmacked

      I was just feeling about trying to find some way that will provide a least damage situation to the whole SFA family and to Scottish Football. I have no fixed view but hoped that it may spark debate as to how we deal with a situation where Green’s bid collapses or just packs its tent and slips quietly off in the night.

      As to the steamrollering – same club, same players – different money men at the tope – but this time money men well known to Scotland who can be checked out in a nanosecond and come up clean.

      No mystery sharelholders just honest millionaires putting their own cash into the club they love and have supported all of their lives as opposed to the alternative of people who haven’t a clue about the club and the one that does seemingly making a badge of honour of the fact that he hasn’t invested a penny of his own money in it.

  23. Grabthegrass

    The BBC report on this is now quoting that there NEEDS (their wording) to be a five way agreement between the SPA, SFA, SPL, and rangers oldco and newco (!!!). Of course the reporter doesn’t seem to have asked why or how this has arisen, but with the Sevco / SFA talks at a standstill the chances of getting all 5 to agree seem somewhat remote….

    The SPL appear to be up to old tricks to try and wrestle away the rangers media rights on threat on non payment of the obligatory £2MM (yawn). There’s clearly something going on here and I suspect the long discussions that Doncaster has been having with Sky and ESPN went something like the following – “Now look here Neil – there’s no way we’re going to spend 80 big ones if we can’t show rangers coming back from the dead as part of the deal so go and sort it – or else we’ll be back to no more than 10 to cover your payments as we don’t want to be seen to bankrupt the diddy clubs – Cappish??”

  24. mick

    the whole situ.is wrong they had no accounts old dead why old co at the table how can a new team with no accounts ,no licence, cloned from the worlds worse case of cheating ,how can they expect a deal its the sfa sfl deal or no deal simple as lets get spartans in then if you dont like it ally before murray scottish football was well sound aberdeen and dun. utd. win euro cups things were great no team dominated then the trueman show came to town now this

  25. ADM

    Think that’s the right conclusion – there may, to the point made by grabthegrass, “need” to be a 5-way deal to get Sevoc/Rangers’ small licensing problem resolved but the history of 5-way agreements that needed to be delivered in 6 days is, not to put it too strongly, not good. Sevco/Rangers need soon to show some understanding of the fact they’re in position to set conditions or there will be no team from the Rangers tradition playing football anywhere this season. It is their choice – there is some goodwill out there, people are trying to find a way to include them in – but to date they’re showing no sign of recognising their position. When does the season start for Spartans/Annan/Cove?

  26. ADM

    Should of course say “no position”…

  27. Pingback: McCoist and Rangers FC – Their Stance on SFA and SPL Sanctions | Random Thoughts Re Scots Law by Paul McConville

  28. Pensionerbhoy

    Late on the scene, Paul. Good ‘un – O yes it was!

    H H

  29. Den

    Would the SFA consider membership for any Club which is owned by a new company with uncertain ownership. The previous incarnation (not legally as that would mean paying debts) having gone bust to the tune of £134m.

    Would the SFA enter into negotiations with any other applicant ?

    Would the SFA continue discussions with that applicant if they followed up an SFA announcement with of their own contradicting the SAF announcement.

    Would the SFA continue discussions with the applicant if the Manager (with disciplinary charges pending for inflamatory statements) made more inflamatory statements.

    If the answer to all of the above is yes then that would be fair enough, although you would wonder how they would find the time to give all the time wasters their full attaention when there is the minor issue of the Football season starting imminently.

    To quote the SFA –

    “the Scottish FA, as the governing body, has an obligation to protect the integrity of the national game and to ensure that all member clubs operate within the Articles of Association.”

    Seems like they have another role apart from being at the beck and call of SEVCO/ Rangers, which is on the back burner.

    SEVCO/ Rangers have been loose cannons and embarrassed the SFA regularly.

    Given the situation they should give the message:

    “These are the condittions accept in entirety or not”

  30. Stuart

    I don’t understand the role of the Appellate Tribunal in this. The tribunal still has to impose a penalty that it considers suitable.The embargo is now a condition of transfer of SFA membership, not a penalty imposed by the tribunal. I can understand the SFA negotiating a compromise agreement with Sevco, but surely the essential function of the tribunal is that it operates as an independent body and cannot be dictated to by either side. Could this compromise to it’s independence be the real reason why Lord Carloway has resigned from it?

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