Stewart Regan Speaks about Rangers Appeal – and Compromises SFA Independence in Doing So?

A blog post in which I question what Mr Regan had to say about the appeal, and in which I wonder if he may have, through inadvertence, compromised the SFA’s role as an appellate body. Plus discussion regarding Boycott.

 

Things move fast with the Rangers story. Today Mr Regan issued a statement in relation to the disciplinary findings against Mr Whyte and Rangers. I have added some comments which are in bold.

——————————-

Stewart Regan, Scottish FA Chief Executive: “In light of last night’s outcome from the Judicial Panel Tribunal, it is important to clarify the process through which such cases are heard.

“The Judicial Panel Tribunal is an independent body made up of three members appointed from a list of more than 100.

“The implementation of the Judicial Panel process was approved unanimously by all member clubs at last year’s Annual General Meeting to bring efficiency, transparency and independence to the execution of football rules.

“The Scottish FA acted on the advice of our members to implement a robust disciplinary system that reflected the demands of the modern game.

“The sanctions imposed by the Judicial Panel Tribunal last night are subject to appeal. As the Scottish FA is the appellate body, it is inappropriate to discuss the findings of this particular Tribunal at this stage. “

All good stuff so far. One can’t fault any of it. And Mr Regan is quite right to say that, as the SFA is the appellate body, he can’t say any more about this case.

“I can fully understand the fear and frustration felt by all Rangers fans throughout the most difficult period in the club’s history.

Wait a minute – why is he talking about the fear and frustration felt by Rangers fans. Is he not heading toward talking about the tribunal? I am sure le will move on to something else.

“The Scottish FA has a responsibility to all its members and must implement its rules without fear or favour.

“It was entirely right that the original inquiry into Rangers FC and Craig Whyte was conducted independently and chaired by the Right Honourable Lord Nimmo Smith. These findings were presented to the Judicial Panel Tribunal, who returned their verdict last night.

That is ok. He is back on the rails. I thought he would say something that might compromise the appeal process, but I think he stopped in time. The last thing he needs is for the SFA to be accused by Rangers or Mr Whyte of having made up its mind prior to the appeal, or to have fettered its discretion.


“We have noted the comments of Craig Whyte, which merely reaffirm his failure to accept any responsibility for the condition the club currently finds itself in. Suffice to say, he has been selective in his use of facts. We attended a meeting at the request of Ali Russell and provided no assurances to Mr Whyte in respect of his status as a director of the club.

“Indeed, we have documented evidence of our raising concern over Mr Whyte’s business practices to Collyer Bristow, from October last year until the week prior to the club entering administration. Since then, I have been involved in regular discussions with the club, the administrators, Duff and Phelps, and various interested parties, along with the Board, to provide guidance, support and information. Clearly, we are responsible for governing the game and have initiated, through an Independent Inquiry, parallel disciplinary proceedings.

Mr Regan, you said you would not talk about this Tribunal! Now you are regaling us with evidence in the case. What if Mr Whyte chooses, despite all appearances to the contrary, to appeal? Your comments suggest a certain closed mindedness as regards Mr Whyte. Even though he has clearly annoyed you, you should not make that clear!

In addition, if he had passed the matter to solicitors, then is it Mr Whyte’s fault if they delay in replying? Might that be a question for an appeal? Could you have been a bit unwise Mr Regan in mentioning this at all?

“It is important the Scottish FA, as the governing body, works in association with the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League to reinvigorate the national sport.

“Rangers have been part of the fabric of Scottish football’s history and are integral to its future prosperity.

Mr Regan. Your Association is, I believe, the appellate body for this Tribunal. It is also the body which decides on membership of itself. If a newco arises from the ashes of Rangers, the SFA needs to decide if it should be admitted. Finally, if the SPL investigation into illegal payments and dual contracts ever finishes, as you have said, the SFA acts as an appellate body.

Standing that one of the penalties open to the SFA for punishment of Rangers is expulsion from Scottish football, is it wise to make comments about the team being integral to the future prosperity of Scottish football?

An impartial observer might view that as a determination by the Chief Executive of the SFA that Rangers’ importance to the future financial prosperity of Scottish football was more important than their expulsion, depending on the outcome of the remaining disciplinary matters.

I am sure you did not intend to fetter your discretion and that of the SFA in that way. Presumably you have been misquoted by the SFA website.
“The Scottish FA must act with integrity and with the best interests of the game at heart. It is with this in mind that we await any appeal from the club.”

Both the SFA Judicial Panel Protocol, the founding principles of which are below, and the Memorandum of Association make clear that, along with integrity and the interests of Scottish football, the SFA is obliged to follow and apply the rules, and to deal fairly with breaches thereof.

 

Perhaps it might have been wiser to stay quiet for a few days?

 

I suspect you might view this as unfair criticism, especially at the same time as you are being accused by Rangers fans of conspiring to destroy Rangers and all it stands for.

 

You might feel that you cannot win – you are accused of exhibiting bias towards Rangers and against it at the same time. The problem is that opinions in Scottish football are so polarised that “if you are not with us, you are against us”, seems to be the motto.

 

As a man with connections to Yorkshire cricket, you might find the situation here reminiscent of the various troubles Yorkshire CCC experienced in the 1970’s and 1980’s over the role of Geoffrey Boycott. There was no middle ground with Mr Boycott, and the same applies in Scotland when it comes to Rangers. (For the avoidance of doubt, I have always been a huge fan of Mr Boycott).

 

Finally, bearing in mind some of the threats being voiced by Rangers fans, I probably should not mention the word “boycott”!

 

————————————

 

 

Posted by Paul McConville

 

Addendum – From the SFA Judicial Panel Protocol

 

2. Founding Principles

 

2.1 The “Founding Principles” in this Section 2 shall underlie the interpretation and application of this Protocol. In the event of a conflict between a particular provision of the Protocol and the Founding Principles, the particular provision of the Protocol will prevail.

 

2.2 Principle 1 – Economic and expeditious justice.

 

The objective of the Protocol is to secure the Determination of disciplinary proceedings arising in respect of Association Football and that decisions are made economically and expeditiously in a fair manner. Tribunals appointed from the Judicial Panel may impose reasonable procedural requirements on Parties to ensure that matters are dealt with economically and expeditiously.

 

2.3 Principle 2 – Decision making in a civil and footballing context.

 

Whilst adhering to the general principles of fairness, and where appropriate, with consideration of underlying principles of law, those submitting to this Protocol acknowledge that these provisions relate to the Determination of matters arising from any breach of the Articles and/or the Disciplinary Rules, which govern the operation of Association Football in Scotland in a civil context, and that Tribunals may make appropriate Determinations in that civil and footballing context.

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53 Comments

Filed under Football, Football Governance, Rangers, SFA

53 responses to “Stewart Regan Speaks about Rangers Appeal – and Compromises SFA Independence in Doing So?

  1. simon

    Do you think appeal to be succesful

  2. Chesar

    Paul how do you think appeal will go

  3. iain

    We know Regan is an idiot.
    Why else would he have started an investigation into alleged dual contracts at Rangers only t have ti call a halt a few days later when someone reminded him the SFA was the avenue of appeal from the SPL?

    His latest outburst/statement reads to me like he is preparing to back down on some of the draconian punishments doled out to Rangers

  4. Well done again and super well done for getting onto the long list for the Orwell Prize you deserve that.

    • Truthseeker

      Wrong Gers Hunting Blog, RTC has made the list. Unless you have just revealed the identity of the RTC blogger!
      Mind you comparing styles don’t think there is quite the same level of pomposity here.

  5. redetin

    Paul,
    I believe that you are revealing the fact that most of the key characters in this saga, including Regan, do not understand the basics of “governance”. This is quite unacceptable for someone who is in a CEO role, or who is a company director.

  6. Bhoywonder

    First class breakdown of very recent events Paul. Where the appeal process looks compromised by personal opinion, it still looks to favour CW. In any event, it all seems irrelevant to the end game. The credibility of the governing bodies in Scotland is in the proverbial toilet, as is the credibility of the RFC management team…prior to (IA) The appeal will go ahead, with or without CW and will be relaxed somewhat, no doubt there. The juice will then seep from the fruit of the loom as The BTC result is published.

  7. Alexander Kerr Murphy

    Hello Guys, as a very occassional contributer to the site, I find it so strange that RFC are being treated in some quarters as victims !

    Is it not RFC that is in debt to between 100 and 150 Million, is it not RFC who have failed to pay VAT, PAYE and numerous Football Clubs and Creditors, Super Sally said today that RFC may well be Liquidated due to the SFA Ruling, he seems to have a very short attention span, RFC are not allowed to ( BUY ) Players for 12 Months, this is due to the Fact that they have not paid for the previous players they signed, bit like a DFS Sale, buy now pay later !!

    RFC got the Cash for Jelavic, he has even proved to be a good buy for Everton, but not a Good Sale for Rapid Vienna, who have not yet been paid.

    RFC is in Ruins due to SDM and GW most certainly, but what of all the Accountants, Advisers, Lawyers and Board Directors who seem to have walked away free of Charge ???

    Scots Law Paul, only when it suits my Friend.

    • the voice of reason

      I think you will find that the debt owed by Rangers to Rapid Vienna has not yet reached maturity and as such Rangers are not in default. This is the case with most of the debt quoted in the list of creditros drawn up by the Adminstators, the HMR&C £14m being the exception. The reaming HMR&C is only a potential liability at this point.

  8. Daniel Toye

    What I don’t understand is the propensity for people to open their mouths when keeping one’s own counsel is clearly the judicious course of action.

    Wisdom should dictate not only what one says but also when one chooses to speak and when to stay silent. Mr Regan’s head seems to be filled to bursting with his own opinion, so much so he must relieve the pressure by spraying it on the rest of us. (Peppered as they are with clearly prejudicial comments about the future importance of Rangers to Scottish football.)

    • The problem is that like nature, the media “hates a vacuum”.

      The more the media and fans on t’interweb demand responses to their questions, and get positively frothy when those answers aren’t forthcoming, the harder it is for public figures to maintain a silence – warranted or not.

      As an aside, ill-guarded comments in the media, online and dead-tree, are increasingly happening in cases which really should be sub-judice and has in fact caused cases to be dropped because of prejudicial media coverage.

  9. duggie73

    “No” is the answer to whether the SFA’s independence is compromised by this statement.

    Next!

  10. Robert

    The SFA’s Disciplinary Proceedings Outcome stated that:

    “The Tribunal found Rangers FC guilty in respect of Rule 66 and imposed the maximum fine of £100,000 payable within 12 months. In addition, the Tribunal imposed a prohibition in terms of Article 94.1 and 95 of the Articles of Association, prohibiting Rangers FC for a period of 12 months from the date of determination from seeking registration with the Scottish FA of any player not currently with the club, excluding any player under the age of 18 years”

    Examining the SFA “Articles of Association”:

    Section 94 titled “Judicial Panel’s Powers” in paragraph 94.1 gives the Judicial Panel the power to apply sanction as provided for in the Judicial Panel Protocol.

    Section 95 titled “Infringement of these Articles” gives the Judicial Panel jurisdiction, subject to the terms of the Judicial Panel Protocol to deal with any alleged infringements of the Articles of Association.
    In the Judicial Panel Protocol against General Disciplinary Rule 66, the maximum sanction, for an SPL club, is defined as £100,000 and termination of membership.

    Thus it does not appear that the Judicial Panel Protocol gives the Judicial Panel the power to prohibit registrations. However, it is accepted than prohibiting registration of new players for 12 months is a lesser sanction than that termination of membership.

    Does this not give Rangers a route for a sucessful appeal against the registration prohibition?

  11. RayCharles

    I believe the SFA appeal panel is made up of a leading QC and two lay people. The lay people are chosen from a list that includes ex-players and former referees.
    Edinburgh jury anyone?
    2-1 vote guaranteed to overturn/suspend transfer embargo.

  12. Bhoywonder

    Paul. Some real juicy legal revelations in BBC Sport Rangers…..can you clarify what this means….I know your swamped so thanks in advance if you can (it’s the dates that are intriguing) Cheers

    • Bhoywonder

      Sorry Paul. I should elaborate. It’s the impact of the timing of the hearing specifically on the insolvency process I’m talking about here, not the revelations of impropriety by certain individuals. How long can insolvency take? Will it be all over bar the shouting beforehand?

  13. Richboy

    I must confess that I do not feel sorry for many people in this tragedy. Rangers players and Directors lived high on the hog at the expense of other clubs and creditors and chose not to question their lavish lifestyles until administration reared its ugly head. I would suggest that the Directors failure to ask the right questions under both SDM and CW makes the club as culpable as the owners. Rangers fans (through their supporters clubs) blindly ignored obvious warnings and refused to bring their Directors to the table to explain where the money was coming from. You reap what you sow.

    I do feel a little sorry for Stewart Regan and the SFA. No matter which way he turns he will be accused by either side of the Old Firm of bias. I think that, to date, the SFA have been consistent and performed in a proper manner given the circumstances. Given the rabid feelings being directed towards him at the moment, I am sure Mr Regan is dreaming of those halcyon days when he could sit in the members tea room and have a quiet cuppa with Sir Geoffrey.

    • Sorry Richboy – am struggling to see where sympathy is due to an institution which was advantaged beyond any competitor but still took to illegal means Under multiple owners and numerous board members) to further that advantage for no other reason than avarice. the only man who had the temerity to speak out and then resign was ostracised by Rangers and its fans and was ridiculed in the press.

      For em, the fact that the club and its supporters still attempt to cling to “honours” (sic) won whilst using these illegitimate tactics, even as the club itself crumbles into dust, indicates no lessons have been learned even now by Rangers fanbase.

      • Richboy

        Jockyboy, please read the first sentence again, it actually states I have no sympathy for Rangers Directors or fans.

    • Bhoywonder

      Mr Regan and Mr Doncaster were both guilty of failing to act at the appropriate time (November 2011) when everyone including RTC was clearly indicating action urgently needed to be taken, so absolutely no sympathy there for either. In fact their silence poured petrol on the fire and led to the “disgrace” recently targeted at them by RFC and D&P. They dug this hole for themselves.

      • Richboy

        Bhoywonder, I take your point but I believe they were demanding answers from Rangers at the time but were being lead around the garden path by Withey. The aggravation they are receiving at the moment would pale in comparison to what they would have suffered had they taken a more aggressive approach and been blamed for putting the club in administration.

  14. Robert

    As punishment for breaching SFA Rule 66, according to the Judicial Panel Protocol, the maximum sanction, for an SPL club, is a fine of £100,000 and termination of membership.

    In this case the Judicial Panel has decided to impose the maximum fine but not to terminate membership.

    However, I am unable to see that the Judicial Panel has the power to impose a punishment out with that defined in the Judicial Panel Protocol, as the whole purpose of the Judicial Panel Protocol, is to provide transparency as to what punishment can be imposed.

  15. ian lewis

    I see the Scotsman today has a leader that reads like an Ibrox press release.Strangely I cannot find it on the Internet Scotsman.I wonder if wiser counsel has prevailed.

  16. James Shaw

    BEAR WITNESS

    Who are the individuals who comprise the ‘independent’ SFA tribunal who imposed the punishments upon Rangers? Ally McCoist did ask, but I have yet to see a reply to his question. The tribunals’ anonymity hardly contributes to Regan’s stated position – namely that the whole thing is above board and transparent. What other legal process in the UK allows the judges and adjudicators to remain anonymous? The whole thing stinks – not so much of bias against Rangers (although that will probably be there to some degree), but more of the ineptitude which besets our national game at all levels, and particularly those who run it. If there are grounds for a successful appeal by Rangers’ administrators then that will be yet another illustration of the feckless way the SFA does business – i.e. failing to make the various mechanisms and procedures watertight. Successive Boards of Directors are responsible for the mess to which Rangers have descended. But that does not give this ‘independent’ but unverifiable tribunal the right to kick what is left of the club and its supporters while they are down. Liquidation and a new start now seems inevitable. The SFA, SPL and the rest of Scottish Football will pay part of the price of that. If Rangers supporters only attend the club’s home matches, in whatever league it is is, the economics implications are there for all to see. The SFA et al should, as Super Ally so rightly said, be exploring ways to help the game here by helping Rangers find a way forward.

    • ian lewis

      I would have thought Rangers have got off lightly perhaps the panel was biased in their favour particularly when you see the penalties proposed for financial fair play by the Championship.

    • Bhoywonder

      The setting up of a judicial panel and it’s anonimity were agreed by ALL member clubs, one assumes including RFC. This decision was taken to ensure impartiality and fairness. So why the need for transparency now? The fact is there will always be a suspicion of bias because of religious bile and certain affiliated organisations, unconnected with football. When we get rid of these out of mainstream society we can then have transparency…but that seems a LONG way off. Since “supporters” of Rangers and Celtic are the main culprits, then there can be no complaints. What boils my blood is that everyone eloquently steers around this, the REAL issue with football “reasoning”.

  17. sammy

    i have just read your blog regarding Mr Regan’s comments in connection with Rangers appealing against the decision imposed by the secret SFA panel

    i find it astonishing that through all through all the guff & dross’ you spout with regards to law & the correctness of proceedure you totally avoid mentioning if the punishment is fair?

    Can any panel that sits & decides punishment be secret? I can imagine a Judge in the judicial system handing out punishment whilst hiding his identity. surely not !!!!!

    The law or any ruling body that punishes a member or members of said organisation should surely not be secretive. The said organisation is meant to protect its members not destroy them.

    I think your blog is simply another attack on Rangers at a time in their history when they are weak and vulnerable. I find your comments cowardly and typical if those who have crawled out the woodwork to attack my club.

    • Daniel

      Sammy,
      Given that the response of your fellow Rangers fans has been to issue threats and abuse to members of the SFA panel once their identities were revealed: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17846691 it demonstrates the wisdom and foresight of attempting to keep the panel anonymous.

    • JenPen1975

      Sammy,

      I’m a bit surprised that you take this line with Paul’s blog, as he states clearly that he didn’t think that there was a case for RFC and CW to answer on the. charges. So I don’t understand why you think ths is just another attack on rangers. how are people meant to comment on these circumstances if they believe them to be important for discussion and that the club in question, rangers in ths case has behaved in a way that has been found to have broken e rules?

      I take a different view that failure to investigate CW’s background for the disqualification is wrong but is not bringing the game into disrepute, so a censure on this count. however, I do believe that the failure to pay the monies for the games and also the transfers (if they are in fact behind the contractually agreed payment schedule) is a major breaking of the rules and places financial risks onto the people waiting for their money. there are also regular commercial creditors. This undoubtablt brings the ngame of football into disrepute. However, I do think that a sanction of a 12-month ban on transfers in does seem high and better might have been to keep a ban transfers until all outstanding debts have been cleared, plus being forced to pay for all transfers in advance for a period of 3 years. If the team progresses via a newco, then the price of entry to division 3 culd be the same sanction. Jen.

    • Richboy

      Four points are relevant here;

      1) We will only know if the punishments are fair when the reasons for said punishments are made available by the panel.

      2) We now see the reason for a certain amount of anononimity for the panel, i.e. thugs from “your team” making serious enough threats for the police to become involved.

      3) This blog is possibly the most informative and least biased on this matter. Having read most of the other blogs that are filled with bile and hatred (one or two exceptions) it is refreshing to read legally complex issues explained in laymans terms.

      4) You used the term “cowardly”. Are you kidding me? Considering the threats emenating from Rangers fans these days towards anyone and anything that even implies they are not true blue, I find it extremely brave of Paul and others who are willing to stick their heads above the parapet to keep this situation real.

      Rant Over.

    • Sammy – Rangers were one of the 93 teams that approved the formation of these anonymous panels. Why did Rangers think these panels were ok a year ago but not now? Oh, because they found Rangers guilty. Even McCoist accepts Rangers are guilty but he thinks the punishment harsh.

      Wow. Shock horror, guilty party thinks punishment harsh. Any legal precedent for this lawyers on this site?

  18. Richboy April 25, 2012 at 5:33 pm
    Jockyboy, please read the first sentence again, it actually states I have no sympathy for Rangers Directors or fans
    Hi Rich – strictly speaking you didn’t, you said “I must confess that I do not feel sorry for many people in this tragedy.”

  19. Sorry Rich, pressed submit in error. If I was incorrect in assuming that your apparentl laying of blame at the owners and directors, then saying Rangers fans “blindly ignored obvious warnings and refused to bring their Directors to the table to explain…” wasn’t excusing/minimising their involvement then I absolutely apologise.

    My view, hardening by the day, is that Rangers’ fans have time and again shown themselves as being unable to face reality without resorting to lashing out at any perceived target. It’s now getting sinister.

  20. James Shaw

    I return to one of my original points, namely that the anonymity of the panel and the hopelessly ineffective way the SFA has handled the announcement of the punishments only fuels a very emotive situation. If the SFA was totally ‘up front’ and transparent there would be less pent up anger, frustration and sense of grievance among certain sections of Rangers followers. In all walks of life there will always be people who would resort to intimidation and threats. They should be totally condemned and prosecuted wherever possible. That said, the cloak and dagger approach of the SFA contributes enormously to the mindset of those who think and act that way. The punishments should have been handed down openly by those responsible for making them, together with the reasons in writing. All at the one time. Straight up. Heads held high. Pure and simple. I sincerely hope that the tribunal members (who have now been named elsewhere on the internet) come to no physical harm and it will be an outrage if any of them do. However the vast majority of sane, rational people respect others who have the courage to stand and be counted – even if they do not agree with what they are saying. The way in which this particular tribunal process operates makes that impossible. There are apparently a good number of lawyers and others from the legal world who contribute to this blog. None of them, I respectfully suggest, would tolerate a process which hands down any punishment to their clients anonymously. In these circumstances the same standards should be applied by the SFA to Rangers.

    • The panel was only anonymous to the outside world. Rangers knew who the panel members were. If they believed or now believe that members of the panel were biased, then they could have raised this at the hearing, or in the appeal.

      It is a complete red herring to talk about anonymous panels sitting in secret.

      The reaction of elements of the press, of Rangers manager and of some of the Rangers support to the decision entirely justifies why the panel members are anonymous to the outside world.

      And protests about unfair treatment, whilst the appeal process is ongoing, are likley to be sen, even if not intended as such, as efforts to intimidate the SFA.

      The reasons for the decison will be made available to Rangers.

      The SFA is following its procedures.

      And a second red herring is relating to the argument that there is no power to impose an embargo. There is. It is in the Articles of Association, which was unanimously approved, along with the Judicial Panel Protocol, last year. Rangers did not oppose it, or raise concerns about it then

      • Jim Shaw

        It is not a red herring to talk about anonymous panels etc.. For that is the impression the fecklessfa (all one word) has left. Either that or it has done all this deliberately and arrogantly, which I personally discount on the basis that that would have necessitated some sort of proper planning. This lot couldn’t run a bath! Newspapers are newspapers, and there will always be some idiots associated with every institution (for example the thugs who rained coins down on, and drew blood from, Hugh Dallas at Parkhead in 1999). We could go on and on about who did what when. You cannot possibly be suggesting that Ally McCoist MBE advocates violence towards, and harassment of, the panel. His reaction would not have included a reference to ‘who are these people’ if ‘these people’ were named. They are apparently all experienced, successful and respected individuals from professional walks of life. Do they do their work voluntarily? I suspect not, and that they will have received fees commensurate with the level of work involved in this matter. So they should not duck down behind the cloak when the really big decisions fall to be dealt with.The way this has been, and is being, handled by the SFA will on serve to fuel conspiracy theories, the rumour mill, and, sadly, the activities of the moronic few. Mind you it fills the blog.

      • Robert

        Hi Paul

        Article 94 through to Article 98 of the SFA’s Articles of Association, only provides the Judicial Panel with the authority to apply sanctions as contained within the Judicial Panel Protocol.

        If this is the case, then for breach of Rule 66, the Judicial Panel does not have the power to prohibit a SPL Club from registering new players for a period of time, as this is not on the list of available sanctions for breaching this rule.

      • Jim Shaw – you are embarrassing yourself.

        Rangers already knew who was on the panel. McCoist only had to ask internally rather than a public plea for them to be named. I would be curious to know whether Mr McCoist asked the Rangers representatives at the hearing who the panel were and when he did so. If he knew who they were before issuing his public appeal for “transparency” and naming names, he should be in trouble.

        For those who want the panel to be named, I wonder what this would achieve. If naming them in advance:
        – would that change the decision they reached in any way? Would that be a good thing if they did?
        – would it make no difference to their decision? If so – why bother naming them publicly?

      • Jim Shaw
        1 – Why is transparency so important if not to attack the people on the panel?
        2 – What difference does it make if this “transparency” is absent?
        3 – Doesn’t the reaction of people in contacting the panel members justify the panel being kept anonymous?

    • JamesShaw: The SFA were upfront – they presented the idea of these “anonymous” panels to all its 93 members and it passed unanimously. Rangers approved them!

      The one thing that has changed since Rangers approved these anonymous, and as I understand it unpaid panels, is that Rangers have been found guilty and been punished.

      Even then, the only thing McCoist disapproves of is the punishment, he’s accepting of Rangers guilt, as found by a panel of experts. What purpose does demanding their names be published serve (especially if as it now seems he or at least Rangers were aware of their identities anyway), other than opening them up to abuse. Why did McCoist not wait until after the appeal to comment on the process? Was he, as it seems to me, trying to prejudice it?

  21. Niall Walker

    No football club is a stand alone trading company, it needs partners to trade with, these partners form a trading association and elect a body to govern and protect the interests of the partners and the association.

    When one of the partners intentionally orchestrates an administration that threatens the financial stability of individual partners and the association, then they must be deterred from doing so.

    Craig Whyte does not understand this, it is an alien philosophy to him, one he treated with contempt, unfortunalety Rangers and their fans will suffer for the inadequacies of their owner. If nothing else, everyone now realises the importance of doing a thorough check on whether any owner is a fit and proper person to run a company that is part of an association.

    • An asset stripper acquired Rangers. It ought not to have been a surprise that he engaged in asset stripping.

      • Niall Walker

        I disagree a little with your conclusion, in reality Rangers had little assets when he arrived, the only thing Craig Whyte has stripped Rangers of is their dignity and possibly their history.

  22. Paul Boyle

    Is selling the Arsenal shares by Craig Whyte not asset stripping? Or I presume it goes under history!

    • Niall Walker

      Selling Arsenal shares is not asset stripping unless the owner pockets the proceeds, I think you may find this is not the case. Craig Whyte may be a lot of things but he is not a fool, orchestrating an administration while lining ones own pockets is a criminal offence, one that is very easy to prove. When the dust settles Craig Whyte will have made nothing and lost nothing, in my opinion.

  23. James Shaw April 26, 2012 at 2:28 pm
    As I said previously, transparency is the key and there is a lack of it in this instance
    No, guilt and the refusal of Rangers and their apologists to accept appropriate punishement under SFA rules is the key. Rangers accepted, indeed they approved of, the anonymity of this process in a meeting not 12 months ago, yet now say it is unfair? What changed? Please answer this one direct question for me: what changed between them approving this format in July 2011 and them criticising it now?

    • Niall Walker

      They are in administration, facing possible liquidation and had incorrectly assumed the 10 point penalty was the only penalty the club would face for being in administration. There is also a trace of naivety in assuming the club should not be penalised for the actions of its owners, past and present. Unfortunately, there will be more penalties to come once the EBT verdict becomes official, and only then will the full extent of Rangers difficulties be revealed.

      I have some sympahy for any decent Rangers fan, but ones metal is judged by how one deals with failure, and I am sure in time the vast majority will pass the test.

    • James Shaw

      This is the first major case to be examined under the ‘panel’ process. It’s not the first time that the football world in Scotland has signed up to something which is flawed and it won’t be the last. My personal view is that the wider anonymity afforded to the panel members is wrong and only leads to unnecessary intrigue. I am not speaking officially on behalf of Rangers. I would have stated the same opinion in July 2011 but have to admit that I did not pay too much attention then – and I’ll bet that applies to most of the suits round the various committee tables at that time. BBC Radio Sportsound tonight included an interview conducted by Jim Spence with Eric Drysdale, one of ‘the panel’. He came across to me as a decent balanced individual. Mr Drysdale refused – rightly – to discuss any of the salient details of the case but did give an insight into the mechanics of the process. He did, however, state that in his opinion the decision and written reasons should probably have been delivered in a one-er. I said exactly that in this blog well before I heard Mr Drysdale on the radio. If I understood him properly he would have been perfectly prepared to be identified from the outset as part of the process. He did not elaborate on the alleged threats and/or intimidation he had received but did say that he had taken ‘advice’ from the Police and had taken the day off work to ensure that he was around his house should anything untoward develop there. If Mr Drysdale has been harassed to any extent it is deplorable. But I am firmly of the view – my opinion – that the ‘anonymous factor’ in the panel process only serves to turn the rumour mill and fan the flames of hysteria. So what has changed since July 2011 and now.?……….the theory of the panel process has been exploded into practice and needs to have its ‘anonymous’ part removed. By the way I hope that ‘Jockybhoy’ is a nickname and not a previous Celtic Boy’s Club job description!! See, there it is again – anonymity producing very different possibilities and potential rumours.

      • “I am not speaking officially on behalf of Rangers”, fair enough, never supposed you were. In the spirit of full disclosure I’m not speaking officially on behalf of Obama. Or the Dalai Lama. Good. Now on to business.

        “I would have stated the same opinion in July 2011” – but by your own admission you didn’t. You say “I’ll bet that applies to most of the suits round the various committee tables at that time” . If that is the case, and I have yet to see the any evidence of it other than your supposition, then these “suits”, much like Rangers directors, seem to have been derelict in their duty.

        That the verdict and the rationale could or should be given at the same time isn’t the issue here, though I do take your point. It is the issue on anonymity, which was accepted by all 93 football clubs, and the witch-hunt started by Rangers media-savvy manager. BTW the BBC reports that “the SFA say all three have since received “abusive and threatening communication” and “Strathclyde Police are taking the threats seriously” so am not sure why you would take the tone “If Mr Drysdale has been harassed to any extent it is deplorable” rather than “the fact that Mr Drysdale has been harassed to any extent it is deplorable”.

        We have no idea if the anonymous factor might have fanned the flames – what we do know is that McCoist did, with his demands made on Rangers TV. Equally we don’t know that Rangers would have protested regarding the anonymity of the panel if they had won, or been treated (in their opinion) leniently, but we do know is they were found guilty and are now protesting.

        Thanks for your answer regarding “what changed” but good law or not the fact is that the rules regarding judicial panels, including anonymity, are in place. Presumably the SFA would have to vote to change them. How many clubs questioned the use of anonymity other than Rangers? Who else has come out against them?

        If there is a critical mass of, for example, 1/3 (that would be 31 clubs) who are now against this perhaps the SFA should re-address this issue – then put the issue of judicial panels to its 93 members again, perhaps adding a separate question regarding anonymity, possibly factoring in that its going to be a lot harder to get the 100 members on board without it. Perhaps they should also add sanctions against anyone who does not abide by the ruling or respect anonymity (if that’s the format chosen).What they shouldn’t do is a kneejerk reaction to a tiny but vocal minority who seem to think rules don’t apply to them because they are special.
        – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

        Re Jockybhoy – having lived and worked in London based media for 24 years (and attended an English university prior to that) I have consistently used Jock/Jocky as a fairly unoriginal nickname, given to me by my English teammates and that, as a proud Scot, I embraced as a badge of honour. The fact that I added Bhoy is in reference to the football team I support, Celtic FC, one of whose nicknames is The Bhoys. Hence Jockybhoy.

        But you seem to want to use that to make “wee fly kick” at my moniker by making a reference to the Celtic Boys Club, presumably as there was a scandalous case of the sexual abuse of children there. Why on earth would you suggest I would be linked to that? I could post my name here but why would I – as has been shown some people can’t be trusted with that information.

        In reality I have no knowledge of you other than the name(s) you posted on here. If your name is indeed James/Jim Shaw, it may be that you James Edward Shaw, a convicted murderer, Barry James Shaw, an accountant who apparently wishes he’d kidnapped Madeleine McCann or it could be that you are James Shaw a BBC journalist. I have no idea who you are and tbh no interest. All I am concerned with here is what you post regarding a debate regarding the imminent demise of a soccer team. Not sure why you would allude to the scene of a notorious child sex abuse case in this discussion, but I think I’ll call it a day there.

  24. Steveo

    As time has moved on & on a separate but connected matter Ally McCoist’s comments are absolutely scandalous and to be honest the SFA & Mr Lunney (if it’s his remit) require to issue a bringing the game into dis-repute charge against Mr McCoist. His comments were reckless in the extreme and almost a blue light to the neanderthals in the gers support. The panel was not annonymous to the clubs only the wider audience & given the gerz fans reactions you can see why. A rep from Rangers was at the hearing sitting across from the ‘SFA 3′ & therefore would have known who they were so what exactly was the purpose of Ally’s outburst, intimidation mibee.

    To my mind I think the punishment, if upheld, is actually quite lenient. The 12 month ban on signing players will actually give any new owners (should they actually get bought) some breathing space to sort out the finances should they survive. The 160,000 fine for numerous rule infringements pales into insignificance when you consider that almost 20 years ago Fergus McCann and Celtic were fined 100,000 for poaching tommy burns from Kilmarnock.

    Ultimately we are extremely close to the end game for Rangers(IA) and Ally and the rest of the bears are hurting badly but no excuse for this.

    Like everyone else I would be happy if they just paid their debts in full and could then get on with it but they won’t. It was, and always will be, someone else’s fault, & they’ve ran away!!

    I genuinely think given the issues at this club, with mountainous debt and no-one seemingly prepared to step up to the plate, that in 2012/2013 the only Rangers in the Scottish League (SPL or SFL) will be based in Berwick.

  25. lordmac

    what a lot of the rangers fans don’t under stand is, it was the management of Rangers that are responsible for what they did, it was they that broke the rules, cheated, scammed, the RANGERS fans are now trying to make out
    that they are the victim, when in fact this has nothing to do with them as there job, or pass time is only in following Rangers, and in that they get a membership as to go see just as if you are to attend a consort, and you are a fan of the said GROUP that you happen to like, once there you are a spectator, and the only quip you have is if the band don’t perform, or dont turn up nothing more Having shares might get you a vote but it will not make the small investors part of the big picture or a scam, FANS are a movable asset, yet owners are not. RANGERS fans have it in there head for some strange
    reason that they ain’t going to do this or that, and withhold season tickets
    and shit like this, when the owners at the END of the day can say don’t give us your season ticket money, we will sell the land and all around to a developer, so in all fairness Rangers fans are only as big as the owners allow them to be. so to me if there is to be a rangers team at ibrox do as you are told and get yer season books paid now to save yer club.

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