Today’s Daily Express suggests that Bill Miller’s remarkable demand that the football authorities agree, in writing, that Rangers not be punished further is receiving serious consideration.
However the Express suggests that the SPL is reaching a deal with Mr Miller:-
“It all leaves Miller on his way to ownership after he and his advisors held long and detailed discussions with the SPL that appear to have resulted in an agreement of some kind that will allow the American to move forward, knowing the future will not be blighted by restrictive football punishments. SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster last night refused to comment, but it’s understood that if Miller’s plan is given the green light by the administrators he will be accorded a reasonable welcome in the Hampden corridors of power, where officials are intrigued at his proposition.”
Paul Clark, of Duff & Phelps, confirmed that there were talks ongoing and commented:-
“We have been involved in some of those discussions and I can’t tell you precisely what he’s now doing, even though I do know, but he’s pretty close to getting there. I think they are very close if they are not already at that position.”
Mr Clark goes on to say that there is no possibility of there being no sanctions, but, if the report is correct, then Mr Miller’s bravado looks, at least with the SPL, like paying off.
The question I have is how on earth the Chief Executive of a company can sit with a person who wants to buy a member, and agree to waive punishments and penalties laid down in his organisations rules, and indeed to forget about ongoing investigations and to waive the right to look into issue sin the future.
I have not the time right now to go all through the SPL rules and Articles, but I cannot see such a decision, if taken by Mr Doncaster alone, as being intra vires. If it is ultra vires, it will not withstand a legal challenge by affected parties. The Chief Exec is powerful, but he is not omnipotent, is he?
Such a fundamental departure from the rules as they presently stand must, at the very least, involve a decision by the Board, if not a full meeting of the SPL members.
Bearing in mind that the effect of such a decision might be to keep Rangers safe from liquidation, it will have the direct result that Dunfermline, who would be saved if Rangers go bust, will be relegated.
Does this mean that the “two contracts” and “illegal payments” investigations, arising from the ongoing tax case, will simply be swept under the carpet? If so, the SPL headquarters clearly needs an enormous carpet!
Bearing in mind that Mr Miller’s proposal has been seen as nonsensical by me, but more importantly by many other commenters, including the Rangers Supporters Trust, what does it say about Mr Doncaster and the SPL that the Miller Plan seems to have received a favourable hearing there?
Bearing in mind that there is sue to be a vote on 30th April about tighter Financial Fair Play Rules, this has to be a joke, doesn’t it?
If Mr Doncaster is off on what lawyers call “a frolic of his own” then his employers ought to be taking him aside for , at the very least, a quiet word. If his actions are being approved by the Board, or members of it, this should be made clear.
As Mr Doncaster and Mr Regan of the SFA work closely together, can either of them confirm if they have spoken to each other about this idea?
If so, and the SFA are favourable too, then Rangers might feel that their “and with one bound it was free” escape route has finally opened up. (Except for the small matter of potential legal challenges, court and creditor approval and UEFA and FIFA oversight, amongst other small “hitches”.)
To conclude – if Mr Miller gets anything near what he demanded from the SPL and SFA, then football in Scotland, if it has not already happened, is finished.
Fair Play? Don’t make me laugh.
Posted by Paul McConville
(Coming later – an analysis of the D&P Resolutions voted on by the Creditors)