The Brechin Ultimatum – Did SFA Botch Rangers FC’s “Membership” – Are Any RFC Players Registered?

In which I look at the joint SFA/SFL/SPL/Sevco statement.

Who owns Rangers Football Club right now? Not Sevco Scotland according to the statement.

Plus why Brechin have three chances to defeat Rangers FC, one on the pitch and two off it.

Why it seems to me that the SFA have granted Sevco Scotland Ltd a membership which does not exist and why possibly there are simply no players of Rangers FC registered to play tomorrow.

—————————————————————–

Last night, as Danny Boyle’s representation of England’s green and pleasant land was revealed to millions here on TV at the Olympic Opening Ceremony, the Scottish football authorities released a “joint statement” hailing agreement after the protracted negotiations concerning the application to transfer the SFA membership from Rangers Football Club PLC (RFC PLC) to Sevco Scotland Ltd.

The “dark Satanic mills” of Hampden Park?

Hampden Park, or dark, Satanic mills?

The statement is below with my comments in bold beneath the relevant sections.

(In case a bit of my post looks familiar, a short extract of it appeared earlier on Scotzine, and I am obliged to Andy Muirhead for letting me post it there. What follows here is the heavyweight version!)

—————————————————————–

Joint statement on behalf of The Scottish FA, The Scottish Premier League, The Scottish Football League and Sevco Scotland Ltd.

We are pleased to confirm that agreement has been reached on all outstanding points relating to the transfer of the Scottish FA membership between Rangers FC (In Administration), and Sevco Scotland Ltd, who will be the new owners of The Rangers Football Club.

Don’t Sevco Scotland Own Rangers Already?

The coverage last week suggested that a five-way agreement was needed, involving all the parties mentioned above and RFC PLC. That party is not mentioned as being involved in the statement. Why? They do have a role to play, as will be mentioned further below.

The statement is oddly phrased. It says that Sevco Scotland Ltd WILL BE the new owners of The Rangers Football Club.

That suggests that Sevco Scotland is not the owner of The Rangers Football Club. In which case, who is?

We were led to believe that Duff and Phelps had sold all of the assets of RFC PLC to Sevco Scotland Ltd. Does this line suggest that the SFA has been told that the sale is conditional on membership being transferred?

Is it the SFA’s position that the Rangers Football Club is still owned by RFC PLC until membership is transferred? In that case, it is a football club without players or a ground. By definition that is not a football club, whilst Sevco Scotland Ltd is not the owner or operator of a football club yet either!

A conditional membership will be issued to Sevco Scotland Ltd today, allowing Sunday’s Ramsdens Cup tie against Brechin City to go ahead.

“Conditional membership”?

 I have been through the SFA Handbook, which contains the SFA’s Memorandum of Association, Articles of Association, Player Registration Rules and Rules of the Scottish Cup. There is no reference to a “conditional membership”.

Article 4.2 states that members shall be of three classes: full members, associate members and registered members.

The definitions of each class as contained in the Articles is particularly helpful.

A full member is defined as “a club or association which is a full member of the SFA”.

An associate member means a club or association which “has been admitted as an associate member”.

A registered member is “a club or association which has been admitted as a registered member”.

Clear enough?

But if you need more clarification, here goes.

Under Article 6.2 a club is admitted automatically as a registered member by virtue of being a member of an Affiliated Association or league, and not already a full or associate member. Membership of the SPL automatically confers SFA membership. Membership of the SFL does not.

Under Article 6.3 a club desiring full SFA membership must first become an associate member. A club can only be admitted as an associate member of it complies with, and undertakes to continue to comply with, the Membership Criteria.

Once an associate member has been such for five years, it can apply for full membership.

Now Sevco Scotland Ltd has not applied to become a new member. Instead it applied for transfer of the SFA membership presently in the hands of Duff & Phelps as administrators of Rangers Football Club PLC (RFC PLC).

Article 14 deals with transfer of membership. In these circumstances the request for transfer is reviewed by the SFA Board which has “complete discretion to refuse or grant such application on such terms and conditions as the Board shall think fit.”

Sevco Scotland Ltd has applied for a transfer. The SFA Board can grant that or refuse it. I do not see that power as extending to “granting” the transfer temporarily until the remaining points in the negotiations can be completed. Indeed that is not what the SFA claims to have done.

I also do not see where the Board has the power to grant “conditional membership” or to invent such a status.

The SFA Board does not have the power to invent matters relating to the constitution of the company. At the very least a vote of members would be required.

The statement is quite clear. This is not a “temporary transfer” of membership, nor a “conditional transfer” which could, it can be argued, be issued. Instead the clear implication of what the statement says is that (a) RFC PLC still possesses membership of the SFA, as it has not been transferred and (b) Sevco Scotland Ltd has a separate “conditional” membership.

What the SFA seems to have done, as licensing authority, is to grant a non-existent licence to Sevco Scotland Ltd.

How might this affect Rangers FC?

The first thing to say is that, if no one else raises the issue, the SFA, SPL, SFL and Sevco Scotland are not going to do so. The agreement seems to suit all the parties.

However I wish to offer a scenario for consideration. It may seem far-fetched, but this whole mess has been far-fetched.

Let’s imagine that Brechin City has a full house tomorrow at Glebe Park. As well as the turnstiles clicking busily, they get a decent payment from BBC Alba, and sell loads of pies (that one’s for you mick).

The fact that they are facing up to a team stuffed with players many of whom will be paid more in a year than Brechin City’s entire annual turnover – 2009 – £404,000 – makes it likely that they will lose the game, either in normal time or extra time. There are no replays in the Ramsdens Cup.

I think Brechin City would, should they lose on the pitch, have a good case for arguing that they have been beaten by a team which was ineligible to play them.

This would be on the basis that the “conditional membership” as applied and described by the SFA did not actually exist, and therefore, as the SFA membership had not been transferred over to Sevco Scotland Ltd, Rangers FC could not be in position to play in accordance with the rules.

In this scenario, a defeated Brechin City writes to the SFL raising the issue of Rangers FC’s ineligibility on Monday. A critic might say that Brechin ought to have thought of the issue before kick-off. However, the release of the statement on a Friday evening means that the club cannot reasonably have been expected to have taken legal advice before the game.

Form many years the Brechin City Chairman, and Vice-President of FIFA, was David Will. Mr Will, who died in 2009 after a lengthy career in football administration, was a solicitor in private practice. But as he is no longer there, Brechin cannot be faulted for not having considered the issue before the match.

The late David Will, local solicitor and Vice President of FIFA

A complaint is sent to the SFL. It then has to investigate the matter. The SFL then has a quandary. It was party to the “conditional membership” being grated. However, it has a duty to consider the matter. It can either do so itself, or pass it to the SFA, whose independent Judicial Panel would be convened to look at the issue.

In addition, as a dispute between clubs, there would, if my reading is correct, be an implied agreement to have the matter referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if either side was unhappy with the outcome.

There is another issue related to the matter of Rangers FC’s membership which could cause them problems. I have seen no public mention of this and it may be that the pitfall has been spotted.

However it may not.

The Registration Game

The Scottish Football League Challenge Cup Competition, or to give it its familiar title, the Ramsdens Cup, has a comparatively short rulebook. It can be read here.

The relevant sections of Rule 8 read as follows:-

8. ELIGIBILITY OF PLAYERS

Players taking part in the Competition must be registered in terms of Scottish Football League Rules as appropriate.

 

8.2 It shall be the responsibility of each Club participating in the Competition to ensure that its players are eligible to play in any Challenge Cup match. If a player participates in a Challenge Cup match, such player being ineligible to play in the Cup match … the Club for which the player participates in the Challenge Cup match shall be liable to such penalty as the Board may decide.

 

8.3 Any Club infringing this Rule may be disqualified from the Competition and the tie awarded to its opponent.

 

Therefore players playing in the Ramsdens Cup mist be registered under the SFL Rules.

Each club has to ensure its players are eligible. If an ineligible player is fielded, then there is such liability as the SFL Board may decide.

Infringement of the rule can lead to disqualification, and the tie being awarded to the other team.

 

After looking at that, we need to analyse the SFL Rules too. The relevant sections are below.

115. REGISTRATION AND TRANSFERS – BONA FIDE PLAYERS

A bona fide player (amateur or professional) of a club is one who has signed the necessary Registration Documents (any signature to be witnessed by one person) and has been registered and approved by the League before playing.

 

115.1 It shall be the responsibility of each member club playing in any match under the auspices of the League to ensure that its players are eligible to play in any such match.

 

115.2 A club shall be permitted to register, at any one time, up to a maximum of 22 players, who have reached the age of 21 years on 1st January of the appropriate year. The maximum number of 22 players includes players registered by means of a temporary transfer. Additional players may be registered by a club, however such players must be under 21 years of age on 1st January of the appropriate year.

 

115.3 Any club playing an ineligible player in a League Championship match may have points deducted from its points total in the League Championship and/or be liable to such other penalties as the Board may decide.

 

115.6 Clubs must submit Registration Documents, Contracts of Service and amendments to Contracts of Service to the League within fourteen days of their being made.

 

115.6.1 All Registration Documents which require to be signed on behalf of a club must be signed by an Official whose specimen signature has been submitted to and acknowledged by the League.

 

115.6.2 Any such Registration document which does not bear an authorised signature will not be accepted.

 

115.6.3 Except those players listed in accordance with the terms of Rule 124.1.4, in respect of players registered at age group levels 13 and 14, any player who is on the Club List of Players does not require a re-registration each season. All Registration Documents and Contracts of Service to be obtained from the Chief Executive.

 

 

139.6 If an SPL club ceases to be a member of the SPL and immediately thereafter becomes a member of the League (whether as a result of relegation from the SPL in accordance with the SPL Rules or otherwise), the registrations of all its SPL Players with the SPL shall be terminated automatically and all such players shall automatically be registered as players for such a club with the League.
Why is this important? Let’s take it step by step.

A bona fide player must have signed a Registration Document and had this registered and approved by the SFL before playing.

It is the responsibility of the Club to ensure that its players are eligible. Therefore, if the SFL, for example, gave a club incorrect information about a player’s eligibility, this would not be a defence to a charge of fielding an ineligible player, but would probably be mitigation.

An SFL club can only have 22 players aged 21 and over (as defined) registered at any one time.

If an ineligible player is played by an SFL team in an SFL match, then the club can be liable to lose points and such other penalty as the SFL determines.

Clubs must submit Registration Documents and Contracts of Service within 14 days, and in any event need to do so before a player can play.

I have quoted Rule 115.6.3 to show that, in certain circumstances, if players are registered with the SFL already, they do not need to be re-registered each year. I quote that rule to show that it does NOT apply to Rangers FC.

The key, after all this, is one word in Rule 139.6. This rule deals with clubs joining the SFL from the SPL. To save flurries of paperwork, there is no need to register the players of the former SPL club with the SFL, as long as the club ceases to be a member of the SPL and IMMEDIATELY thereafter becomes a member of the SFL.

The point which arises here relates to whether or not Sevco Scotland Ltd became a member of the SFL IMMEDIATELY upon losing membership of the SPL. If it did not, meaning there had been a gap in time between losing SPL membership and gaining SFL membership, then the players would not be automatically registered and therefore the provisions of Rule 115 apply.

Sevco Scotland Ltd were never members of the SPL, so arguably the exemption could never have applied to them. Even at best, there was a time lapse between the failure of Sevco Scotland Ltd to have the SPL share transferred to it, and the SFL admitting the company.

One wonders if Rangers FC has had all of its players sign registration documents, and if all of these items, together with contracts of service, have been sent through to the SFL and approved.

If not, then Rangers FC could find themselves in the position of having no registered players at all for tomorrow’s game!

Have Rangers FC provided the SFL with a specimen signature of the club official who is to sign  behalf of the club?

If no specimen signature has been provided, then even apparently valid contracts will not satisfy the requirements as far as proper registration is concerned.

The Brechin Ultimatum

Looking at the situation therefore it seems Brechin have three chances.

Firstly they might beat Rangers FC on the park.

Secondly they can protest the match on the basis that Rangers FC are playing under a non-existent membership.

Thirdly even if the membership is valid, are any of the Rangers FC players registered with the SFL?

I mentioned on Twitter that this could be a huge can of worms for the football authorities.

The question is whether Brechin will raise the points.

 

Still to come – the rest of the joint statement analysed, and some comment on the remarks from Ibrox.

Posted by Robert Ludlum McConville

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144 Comments

Filed under Football, Football Governance, Rangers, SFA, SFL, SPL

144 responses to “The Brechin Ultimatum – Did SFA Botch Rangers FC’s “Membership” – Are Any RFC Players Registered?

  1. Marching on Together

    Paul

    “Sevco Scotland Ltd, who will be the new owners of The Rangers Football Club” IMHO the SFA are being reasonably consistent here. They have all along taken the somewhat bizarre interpretation that there is a legal concept as set out in their rules and those of the SPL, that there is separate legal persona given to a ‘club’, as distinct from the company or other body which owns it and its assets. They take the view that the registration of that club is the crucial point. Do I agree that that is legally correct? Probably not. Do I accept that it is in accord with football practice and tradition, as seen with countless other clubs, whose history and existence has survived intact despite insolvency events? Yes.

    As to Brechin having a claim on Monday morning if they lose today, I would agree with you that that is an issue if Rangers failed a player found not to be correctly registered – although I do not really believe that Rangers would be daft enough not to have got something in writing from the SFA beforehand confirming which players they can play. However, I do feel that Brechin would be personally barred from raising an objection after the event based on the licence transfer issue – if they had issued a playing under protest note to the SFA/SFL, as we have not had time to take legal advice, then fair enough, but if they have not, I feel that it is too late for them. Indeed if the match was declared null and void, then Brechin surely would then be in the position of facing claims for a refund of admission tickets to all fans who attended?

    • Grabthegrass

      @MOT, I think you’ve nailed it – this ethereal beast called rangers exists as a separate entity in the football universe. It’s a pity that that universe needs to exist in real spave as well when it comes to legal entites and meanings. Never mind, no one will notice. However with regard to the player registration issue, appeals against this can occur much later after the match being played. It is quite amazing that no one has come out from the SFA and the SPL to give a proper explaination, given that incorrect player registration is normally seen as such an issue that is ranked above not paying taxes in terms of punishments and fines.

  2. Martin

    Little gets himself in the referees book. In the fullness of time he hope to be on slightly Rangers books.

  3. Martin

    Rangers appeal for another penalty! Again the referee turns it down, this time on the grounds of fair play.

  4. JimBhoy

    I think Broadfoot has found his true footballing level….nice tatt on the side of his neck where the bolt should be.

  5. Martin

    Goian makes a good block, thought he was going or gone.

  6. ecojon

    History has certainly been written today and the Long March may take longer than anticipated.

  7. Martin

    Rangers in extra time…too many analogies…choose your own.

  8. ian lewis

    Sevco WILL become the owner of Rangers when it pays for the assets which I understand is on the 31st July-therefore the SFA is quite correct.Whether it is correct in allowing an ownerless team take the field is a different matter.

    • ecojon

      @ian lewis

      Of course that is the big question – does Sevco have the money? We will find out soon. The next question is how long will the money last and that will be heavily dependent on the number of season tickets sold so, in a sense, the future of the club is in the hands of the fans and as an outsider it will be interesting to see if they support Green financially or starve him out as some supporters suggest..

      • Grabthegrass

        We’ve established in other posts that D&P’s solicitors have the money in their account, but don’t know if all the conditions have been met for it to be completed. In laymans terms is this the same as exchangning contracts on your house but haven’t yet completed?? I still can’t work out why the physical assets were transferred to sevco scotland by D&P if they money wasn’t in their account without any conditions. We all think they were pretty useless, but surely not that bad that they would sign over the properties without cleared funds in the bank??

  9. Martin

    Bomber Brown has just walked onto the pitch with a massive caber demanding to know the whereabouts of Charles Green!

    • mick

      its all tim refs in the bottom leagues they keep us there so we dont give celtic a penalty in spl like rfc 1s use to am not 1 for conspircys but it will be tough and no penaltys for them ever .

  10. mick

    @martin a statement just released by bomber jobbie lol

  11. Martin

    Goal for Rangers…the Ramsden cup dream is on!

    • ecojon

      @Martin

      Bomber boobed – before the goal Green offered him £5 million to take the club but Bomber said NAW he wanted to see the DEEDS first :)

  12. Martin

    Brechin players loading up with silver bullets and and sharpened wooden stakes in a last ditch defence.

  13. mick

    @ ecojon may be they will adopt this as there anthem

  14. mick

    sallys soaked to the bone with his suit on lol

  15. Martin

    Great shot of Gordon Durie sitting in the dug out. First time ‘great shot’ has been applied to him.

  16. ecojon

    Got to say if Brechin were my team I would be proud of them. I actually thought Rangers would have had a much easier task. Brechin ran out of steam a bit in extra-time especially 2nd period but no disgrace.

    There was a glorious shot of Green’s face just about 5 minutes before time and he did not look a happy man.

    But that’s fitbaw for you.

    Btw mick – report from the chef – all pies have been accounted for.

    • Cuillin Dreams

      Actually thought Brechin won every 50-50 ball and had a better shape than Proxy Sevco – That said, Proxy Sevco had no shape what-so-ever.

    • mick

      @ ecojon ,sally will be stuffing his face with the left overs hoping its not div1 in next draw thats if they make it to next week would be good to see brechin mention reg. of players and get put throw lol

    • ADM

      @ecojon – Green certainly didn’t look happy. Did you see the interview with him at half-time? Interviewer asked him if he was hoping for a goal in the second half, and he looked surprised then said he certainly was and said he was sure Ally would be having a word with the boys in the dressing room at half-time. I’m coming to the view that he really did think this would be easy, he really does expect to walk up through the divisions.

      Also, of course, he still needs to find some investors who’ll also believe that – every time they struggle to win, or indeed draw or lose as they inevitably will at some point – it makes it harder for him to get more investors in.

      Different point – apparently in his pre-match interview he made some comment about the “punishment” of Rangers being due to “bigoted” people, according to various things coming up on Twitter and other blogs. Anyone see it? If he really said that, someone needs to take him on one side and explain a few things. It looks like he really doesn’t know what he’s dealing with here – carry on like this and he’s going to be dangerous.

      • mick

        @adm were use to the danger and its made us resilent to them .greens blabbing from div3 his words dont count ,hes left retial or housing option only.were tougher than them thats why they cheated for 15 years (mentally and phisically)
        keep the faith they will rot in the bottom while you blossom at the top

  17. Martin

    If I understand the commentary correctly (and I don’t) Lee Wallace has just been named man of the match.

  18. Martin

    Slightly Rangers march on to the next round, just, well played to all.

    • ecojon

      @Martin

      I must admit I did enjoy the game for its scrappiness and conviction from most.

      But I can’t really separate just watching the football for the sake of the game from wondering whether some or all of the Rangers players were not registered or improperly regisstered. To be fair I place the blame for that squarely on the SFA,

      But this nonsense and confusion needs cleared up for the sake of Scottish Football and bald statement aren’t enough as dispelling suspicion needs full explanations as well from the authorities.

      If anything, the latest words from the SFA have just further confused things.

      • mick

        @ecojon green said at half time hes underestimated the whole thing lol

      • Martin

        ecojon,

        in the end it’s just football, and today’s game was great fun.
        Lets hope that’s not taken away.

        Rangers may yet solve their problems, though it’s a long way off and not with the current owners (if that is what they are).

        Today’s game showed us that having some kind of Rangers around is no bad thing. As my posts on the game show I had some fun, and I know many Rangers fans that would have laughed along with me and set their sights on laughing at me. Good for them.

        In the end all the problems with the rules on Rangers admission don’t really matter. ( shockerooooney).

        HMRC will conduct it’s investigation into tax evasion. The SPL must do the same, if financial advantage has been transferred to football advantage then Rangers will have to give up some titles. They may appeal to the SFA, who can say were that will lead.

        The Green consortium in all probability will fail. Others may pick up the challenge.

        If you want Rangers in Scottish football then I have to tell you that you need to cut them some slack on the football rules till the financial case runs it’s course, it is only football. There may be no Rangers to be had at the end of that.

        But I hope there is.

        I hope that in a new beginning they can set aside much of their past and keep the good bits.

        Too much to hope?

        Lets see.

  19. mick

    pmsl god help them if they get a division 1 team surely the bookies will have them as underdogs after that performance ,brechin is proof that scotlands football is in good shape and a take my hat of to them wonder what jabba will say about it all lol

  20. So congrats to Brechin on making a good game of it. There is a bit of me happy with final result so that other SFL clubs get to benefit, they deserve it for holding up against the clear attempt to blackmail them from SFA.

  21. Martin

    @ Paul,

    hope you don’t mind my comments on today’s game. I posted them in the hope that they would be enjoyed as fun :)

  22. Martin

    @ ecojon.

    I’ve said this before on Paul’s excellent blog and it stands repeating.
    Though on the first posting it received no comments.

    I remember years ago going to watch my team. In those days paying cash at the turnstile was the norm, certainly for the likes of us.

    Having enjoyed the game, the next day brought further fun in the form of the match reports.

    My favourite part was always the ‘official attendance’ which inevitably produced great laughs. I had seen games where the park was fit to burst yet the official attendance would have the stadium half empty.

    So common was this that it became a standing and oft repeated joke among the fans.

    I always wondered what became of all that cash money. How on earth did the accountant sort it all out, the piles of loose change and pound notes must have been huge.

    Of course I’m sure it was all counted and all the tax was paid. It was years ago and back then everyone was as honest as the day is long.

    • Althetim

      I remember those days well Martin, some of the official attendance figures were unbelievable. However, if there was cash unaccounted for, it certainly wasn’t spent improving the team or paying inflated wages. For example, according to the legendary Tommy Burns’ autobiography, the highest weekly basic wage he made at CP (signing on fees and bonuses aside) was £420 per week.

      So we can conclude that Celtic derived no sporting benefit from any alleged creative accounting.

    • ecojon

      @Martin

      Anyone who was around in those days knows exactly what happened to the cash. And don’t think for a minute that it only applied to Celtic. It applied then to any enterprise that generated large amounts of ‘cash’ and it still does to this day.

      In simple tax terms there really is nothing new under the sun just variations on very old themes although the complexities of modern tax legislation does seem to militate against successful prosecutions and encourage the formation of EBTs. The off-shoring of financial activities has also given a new dimension to hiding your cash under the mattress of old.

      You used: ‘It was years ago and back then everyone was as honest as the day is long’ as an almost jokey throw-away line. Well back in the day most people lived in tenements which sometimes if not actually housing and extended family network actually operated as such.

      Such were the times that personal financial survival often depended on ‘the tenement’ as an entity and dishonest people were cast to the wolves as a danger from within to the stability of the core herd. I am quite surprised that this does not seem to form part of your ‘memory’.

      I am also surprised because back then we didn’t wait till the match reports next day of attendance figures we heard them on the tannoy during the game and they would also be in the evening papers on the same day.

      I think you must have been watching football in a different era from mine.

      • Martin

        ecojon,

        yes I made a jokey throw-away line. It was about football finances and those that control them.

        There is much fun to be had exploring that murky world. The events that currently consume Rangers did not happen against a backdrop of financial fair play in football.

        Football history is steeped in financial irregularities and dodgy deals. Not just with one team or even one league, but all around the world.

        I’m not sure about which ‘back then’ you refer to perhaps there is a few years between us :)

        I do remember the evening papers though, but in my memory I read the match report the next day.

  23. Martin

    Guys,

    have I gone off topic?

  24. John Dickson

    Some folks have way too much time on their hands and way too much bitterness in their hearts.

  25. Bob smith

    Hi Paul,

    As a new reader of your website I found this article very interesting. I would be very surprised if Brechin knew that they possibly had a case here – are you planning to contact them about this? Pro bono work for you?

  26. 262 KubN

    1. One of my local pubs is advertising “Rangers” v Dundee Utd as being shown live on Wednesday. How do they manage this if yesterday’s narrow win was a one off game?
    2. Don’t grudge Brechin their right to appeal, but it would be good to let TFOD to keep going and not win it.
    3. Has the guy with the white coat and hat caught up with Sally yet?

  27. iain

    This entire post reminds me of an episode of the fairly obscure comedy shown on SKY1 years ago called “Time Gentlemen please”.
    In the episode the “guvnor” (Al Murray) ridicules the propensity of archaeologists to find one artefact, then construct an entirely mythical and imaginary town or village around it. All sorts of sophisticated communities and civilisations can be hypothesised from that one single original artefact found.
    In the case of the “guvnors” pub back yard the discovery of a single sandal leads to the revelation that his pub was once the heart of a busy and thriving Roman town…

    In this instance the sandal which the whole premise above is based is a single word “conditional”.
    You probably get the rest

  28. Robert Scott

    Paul, maybe you could offer you services, in lieu of the late Mr Will, should Brechin require legal representation in a Scots court or SFA Tribunal?

  29. Brian

    Paul I read your analysis with great interest and could find nothing to disagree with (which is always a good sign!) BUT…….
    Who is actually going to challenge this corruption of the rules????
    FIFA? Doubt it
    UEFA? Seriously doubt it
    SFA? Oh come on you are kidding me
    SPL? Ha ha ha ha ha. You’re not serious are you?
    SFL? Who’ll listen to them?

    I fear it will all be left to Henry the mild mannered janitor !!

  30. Pingback: Can Someone Explain How Rangers FC Fielded Trialists in a Cup Match? | Random Thoughts Re Scots Law by Paul McConville

  31. Steven

    Before I respond to the football can I say Most absurd phrase – and shameful in recent times – has been this nonsense about a “Scottish spring.” As someone of North African descent (mothers side) I resent the comparison of football to the genuine oppression of people’s political freedoms (very often violently) to people who think referring decisions go against them. Perspective people. Anyway my other point is:

    I don’t spend much time on these things but thought I’d get something off my chest. HMRC stated

    “So the sale is not being undermined, it simply takes a different route. Liquidation will enable a sale of the football assets to be made to a new company, thereby ensuring that football will continue at Ibrox. It also means that the new company will be free from claims or litigation in a way which would not be achievable with a CVA. Rangers can make a fresh start.”

    HMRC believed that the club that would play in the future was Rangers, its not SEVCO making a fresh start (They couldn’t!) As they are actually Civil Servants who actually understand these things – and not bitter fans I’ll take their view that this club is Rangers – albeit owned by a new company.

    Lets face it Celtic’s CEO has tacitly recognised this by going to London to sell Media rights of the SPL (and Rangers) to SKY. Rangers of 1873 has the brand to sell – no other new club would have this appeal.

    Mind you it shows the SPL for what it is, no other premier league in the world would have to raid its lowest league in order to sell its own games. That’s like the Premiership needing the Pilgrims (Boston United) before they can sell their games!

    Also as the deal to play against Brechin was done last minute – and Brechin themselves said it would severely hurt them if the game didn’t go ahead I think some common sense has to be shown. Not petty rule keeping. Its amazing the rubbish football fans talk.

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