The ever lyrical and insightful Brogan, Rogan, Trevino and Hogan has been kind enough to allow me to post his piece this morning from the comments on RTC. So, if you have read it there, it is the same piece. If you’ve not…
I leave the podium clear for BRTH!
As usual I awake this morning with nonsense in my head whilst at the same time harbouring some pretty plain questions about mundane things that turn out not to be so mundane after all perhaps.
Let’s stop and consider a few things which we are told are now established facts.
A court appointed professional firm called Duff & Phelps, who have offices throughout the world, are the formally appointed Administrators of Rangers PLC. Duff & Phelps have been ensconced in offices at Ibrox Park for months now and have had the run of the place. This means that they have had access to all the files and documents that go with running Rangers PLC both now, and to at least an extent, in the past.
Duff & Phelps have been asked to provide various documents to the Police, the SPL and other bodies in connection with those bodies investigating the conduct of Rangers PLC, its Directors, employees and its business practices. It would appear that Duff & Phelps have been slow to comply with requests for information from all and any of the investigating bodies. Further, it is not known if Duff & Phelps have made any independent enquiries of their own into the matters under investigation. For example, if the BBC have access to x number of EBT related contracts but Duff & Phelps are only able to lay their hands on a smaller number of such contracts– should they have made enquiries as to where any other contracts might be? After all they are in charge of the company records and should have access to all such records.
What we now also know, is that Duff & Phelps have formally sold the assets of the company they administer to another company that is controlled by a Mr Charles Green. Apparently, Duff & Phelps have also sold “The Business” of Rangers PLC to Mr Green.
What is not clear, is whether or not the business records of Rangers PLC have also been delivered to Mr Green as part of this business sale? I can understand why Mr Green would want salient business records such as Season Ticket holder records, employee contracts, Health and Safety records and so on.
All of this is vitally important in light of the statements made by the footballing authorities yesterday, especially the decision to call Rangers PLC ( and any successor to the company ) to task for the potential use of dual contracts. The SPL investigation was conducted this far on behalf of the SPL by Messrs Harper McLeod who, as many will know, are not unfamiliar with the legalities of footballing matters and contracts within the game.
Leaving aside the question of where Mr Green’s company actually stand in relation to Scottish Football– if indeed it stands anywhere at all— I believe that there is yet another severely embarrassing problem awaiting Scottish Football as a result of the SPL decision yesterday.
Duff & Phelps will no doubt declare that they have delivered all the documents that they can or that they know about to both the SPL or the Police in respect of their various enquiries. However, what happens if it emerges that what Duff & Phelps have delivered and what the SPL ( Harper McLeod ) have received and considered does not amount to the whole picture?
What if there are documents missing, or indeed there is knowledge of EBT payments and contracts out there which have not been voluntarily disclosed by now?
In the past 14 days, Stewart Regan, has made it very plain that the SFA, as the body in charge of Scottish Football, are heavily reliant on clubs– and those who run clubs— acting with integrity and self disclosing and self certifying various matters including the type of thing that has a bearing on the fit and proper person test.
That being so, we have now had months and months of knowledge of EBT payments and contracts. Evidence has been led before a tax tribunal, and whilst Regan has said that the tax authorities will take care of tax matters and football authorities will take care of football issues, we now have a criminal investigation into events at Rangers PLC being conducted by the Police, and further matters surrounding contracts being looked at by the league authorities.
Documents and records have now been produced by the court appointed parties who run this business.
But what if there are those out there who have detailed knowledge of and have been party to key and material actions in this business who have volunteered nothing thus far?
Where does that leave Mr Regan and his self certification mantra?
No doubt there will be those who will say that they have nothing to disclose or that they are not currently part of a football club and so are under no obligation to disclose anything? technically they might be right, however, the game and the very shape and existence of football in Scotland is in crisis and on a financial knife edge with fans and customers expressing discontent by the tens of thousands.
All of this is as a direct result of the activities of one club and one company– Rangers PLC.
Therefore I have to ask, is it really acceptable for those who know about such matters and who can reveal exactly what went on to remain silent and to continue to postulate on various matters in football with any credibility and substance?
Why should such people have any future in the game and what should the footballing authorities do about such people who may well have contributed to the morass and the mess that football in general finds itself embroiled in?
If it turns out that the SPL enquiry has not been told all the facts, then surely someone should be for the high jump?
That might be Duff & Phelps, it might be Charles Green & company, but much more likely it will be those who have worked in and around football for a long time and who worked for Rangers PLC at some time over the piece,
Stewart Regan has publicly stated that Campbell Ogilvie has volunteered information and has disclosed that there were others involved in the dodgy practices other than him. Presumably Regan has made that information available to the SPL enquiry team, who will hopefully have interviewed Ogilvie as well.
However, it is the others– those to whom Ogilvie has alluded—- that are important here. Have they come forward and proffered their information and knowledge together with any documentation they may have?
If they haven’t, can we seriously believe that any such people have any future at all in properly run football— whether that be in broadcasting, the written press or, god forbid, the running of a football club or association in the future?
The SPL should take note of the information it possesses as at the date of the information being disclosed by Duff & Phelps….. and then compare it to the information that is to come— even though any such comparison results in some seriously awkward conclusions and decisions.
The Violence of Silence from some should simply not be tolerated.