SFL Meeting – Part 3 – What Are the Members Voting On?

In which I take a closer look at the resolution before the meeting on Friday. It looks as if the SFL members are being sold a pig in a poke, except they have not even been shown the poke, never mind the pig!

A cynic would say that the resolution is designed for one purpose only – to allow “Rangers FC” into SFL1. However, even if passed, it seems to leave loose ends flapping about, as well as an almost impossible task for the three ruling bodies to reach agreement – impossible due to the time available and also the small matter of the rules and constitutions of the relevant bodies!

 

What About the Proposals Themselves?

At first sight the proposals seem designed to railroad (as it has been described) the SFL teams into admitting Sevco Scotland Ltd to SFL1.

However, I think that the notice must be read as having three separate matters on which the members can vote.

The preamble to the proposals refers to them as plural. If it mentioned “proposal” then it might be seen as one portmanteau resolution to be accepted or refused, but the reference to “proposals” suggests differently.

Part (i)

That the Scottish Football League Members agree to admit Sevco Scotland Limited as an Associate Member and agrees to permit Rangers F.C. to play in the League during Season 2012/13.

A simple majority of votes cast in secret ballot is needed to approve this motion. If granted, then Sevco Scotland Ltd becomes a member of the SFL and must, within 14 days, apply for membership of the SFA. It is understood that that application has already been made.

If SFA membership is refused, then the SFL membership is withdrawn, even if that happens mid-season.

Bearing in mind time constraints, when does the SFA think it can decide on the Sevco Scotland application, following an SFL decision on 13th July?

Part (ii)

That the Scottish Football League Members direct the Board of Management of The Scottish Football League (the “Board”) to provide that Rangers F.C. shall play in the Third Division of the Scottish Football League during Season 2012/13 unless the Board shall have to its satisfaction negotiated and reached agreement with The Scottish Premier League and The Scottish Football Association on a series of measures which the Board shall consider to be in the best interests of the game, how it is structured, how it is governed and how it is financed, whereupon the Board shall be authorised to provide that Rangers F.C. shall play in the First Division of the Scottish Football League during Season 2012/13.

Let’s break this wodge of legalese down.

This only comes into play if part (i) succeeds.

If so, “Rangers FC” will play in SFL3 unless certain conditions are met.

Those conditions can be broken down as follows:-

1                    that the SFL Board will have to its satisfaction

2                    negotiated and agreed

3                    with the SPL and SFA a series of measures which the Board consider to be

4                    in the best interests of the game

5                    how it is structured

6                    how it is governed and

7                    how it is financed.

If, and only if the SFL Board considers that all of the above have been achieved, shall “Rangers FC” play in SFL1.

The decision is therefore taken out of the hands of the SFL members, but only if the SFL members agree to that taking place, by a simple majority.

The resolution does not, as far as I read it, require the SFL Board to have reached such agreement on all of the matters mentioned by the meeting on 13th July. What Part (ii) seems to be doing is giving the Board authority to conduct such negotiations for the restructuring of Scottish football and, as soon as the SFL Board is satisfied, at that point the white smoke goes up, and “Rangers FC” is admitted to SFL1. Therefore we could be left, following Friday’s meeting, with the SFL producing two fixture lists, one with “Rangers FC” in SFL1 and one with them in SFL3.

The admission of “Rangers FC” to the SFL in terms of Part (i) should allow the Ramsdens Cup draw to crystallise, perhaps being re-drawn, and for the Scottish League Cup to be drawn as well.

But until the SFL Board is satisfied, then it is unknown if “Rangers FC” would be in SFL1 or SFL3.

If “Rangers FC” is to play in SFL1 this season, then that means that the three bodies involved have to reach agreement within just over a fortnight, at the longest. That might not mean that the new structures have to be in place for season 2012-2013. After all, all the bodies have their own procedures for amending their Rules or Constitutions. And these are not powers delegated, nor indeed delegable, to the Boards.

We could therefore have a situation where “Rangers FC” is admitted to the existing SFL1, with “agreement” in place, subject to approval by the members of the SPL, SFA and SFL, that the new structures do not come into effect until season 2013-2014.

The resolution, for the purposes of admitting “Rangers FC”, does not require the SFL members to approve the new structures, governance etc. Indeed, should the SFL, SFA and SPL reach an agreement on new funding, structures and governance, but this is later rejected by the members of each or all of these bodies.

If therefore the “selling point” for the SFL is that some “New Deal” to its members’ advantage is to be agreed, and thus the SFL will permit the admission to SFL1 of “Rangers FC” there is in fact no guarantee that any such arrangement will be binding. To take a silly example, but reductio ad absurdum works here, should the SPL and SFA propose that, to facilitate the entry of “Rangers FC” to SFL1, each member of the SFL would receive a one off payment of £1 million at the end of season 2012-2013, as a result of the SPL issuing £30 million new shares of £1 each to its members, then the three bodies might all agree that. However, it would not be a decision that could be agreed without the consent of the SPL members, in this instance, and therefore, if they rejected the “agreement” which had been reached, what happens then?

I do not imagine that the SFL members would then vote “Rangers FC” out of SFL1 and into SFL3 mid-season!

Put simply, the deal on offer to the SFL members seems to be akin to Jack selling the cow in the fairy tale for some magic beans, except (a) the beans are not magic and (b) there is no guarantee that, having sold the cow, he will get the beans anyway!

Looking again at the fact that the Resolution seems to envisage a full re-structuring of Scottish football, all to be achieved in under three weeks, I fail to see how anyone can seriously view this as possible, and anything created in such haste is likely to end, at best, in recriminations, and at worst in litigation and disintegration.

The McLeish Report has sat in Hampden gathering dust since 2010. Suddenly it is dusted off and has the mantle of Holy Writ. I’m sorry. This stinks.

In addition there is another problem, on the basis that the structural changes envisaged would require changes to the Rules.

“74. ALTERATION OF RULES

These Rules may be altered or augmented by the Members in general meeting of which notice of amendment has been duly given provided that not less than two-thirds (66%) of Members shall vote in favour of the resolution for amendment.

77. NOTICE FOR RULE CHANGES

77.1 Written notice of any proposed alteration or addition to these Rules must be given to the Chief Executive not later than 31 March in any year, unless the proposers shall have sufficient support to require the calling of a general meeting pursuant to Rule 48 (Members’ Powers to Require Board to Call General Meeting).

77.2 Such notice shall not be required where the proposed alteration or addition is proposed by the Board, but intimation of any such proposed change shall be given in accordance with Rule 78 (Intimation of Proposed Rule Changes).

78. INTIMATION OF PROPOSED RULE CHANGES

All proposed alterations or additions to the Rules shall be intimated to Members not less than fourteen (14) clear days before the general meeting at which they are to be considered.

79. CONDITION TO ALTERATION OF RULE 5

No addition to or alteration or suspension of Rule 5 (Constitution of the League) shall take effect before the expiry of 12 calendar months from the date of passing of the necessary resolution.”

The problems are that to change the Rules at least twenty of the thirty members must vote in favour. In addition, notice of proposed rule changes, where proposed by the Board, as is going to be the position here, must be given to the members at least fourteen days before the meeting. Therefore the meeting on 13th July cannot pass any vote to change the Rules of the SFL.

Rule 79 then comes into play. As you see, it requires that a change to the Constitution of the League cannot take effect for at least twelve months from the passing of the resolution.

All of which makes it very hard to see how any change in league structure can come into play for this season, at least on the highly technical basis that the rules do not permit it!

Part (iii)

That the Scottish Football League Members in terms of Rule 12 approve the resignation of either Dundee F.C. or Dunfermline Athletic F.C., whichever shall be admitted to join the Scottish Premier League for Season 2012/13, such resignation to take effect as at the date of admission of such club to the Scottish Premier League, notwithstanding that the requisite notice under Rule 12 shall not have been given. Details of the series of measures referred to at (ii) above shall be made available to the Members in advance of the meeting and an opportunity for full discussion of those measures will be given prior to the proposals being put to the meeting.

Under Rule 12 the following applies:-

“No Member shall resign, retire or otherwise cease to be a member of the League unless it shall have given not less than two full seasons prior written notice so to do, unless with the approval of not less than two-thirds (66%) of the votes cast at a general meeting of the League.”

Therefore the members of the SFL will vote on whether to allow the successful team, Dundee or Dunfermline, to resign early and then to enter the SPL. The vote will give advance sanction for early resignation for the relevant team. Of course the affected team will remain a member till at least the vote, and therefore can vote for itself. There is no conflict of interest there.

A two-thirds vote in favour is needed – twenty votes for.

Normally one would not expect there to be any difficulty with this motion. However it provides the members with a final fail safe if they feel they are being forced to take steps they do not want to take.

Possible Voting Outcomes

As I said above, I take it that the three proposals are to be voted on in sequence and individually. The fact however that the last sentence of part (iii) refers to the information relative to part (ii) might suggest that the drafter intends it to be one motion.

In that case, the problem is that different parts require different majorities!

Part (i) needs only a simple majority of votes cast.

Part (ii), if seen as an attempt to change the rules, would require a 66% vote in favour but if not, and on the basis that a later meeting is needed to approve the changes, a simple majority will suffice.

Part (iii) requires a 66% positive vote.

If all one resolution, and say 18 voted in favour, the resolution would fall! In addition there would not then be a vacancy or potential vacancy in the SFL for “Rangers FC” to slot into.

If treated separately, then the Board could win one or two parts and lose a third.

If the members support “Rangers FC” becoming a member, but reject part (ii) does that mean that the new team goes into SFL3 anyway? That would be implied, but the framing of the resolution leaves that in doubt, in the event that part (ii) is rejected.

It would be ironic if, as a result of the pressure being applied to the teams, or that they think is being applied, the vote on part (i) went against “Rangers FC”!

Conclusion

It is all a dreadful mess, isn’t it!

Scottish football careers from one crash to another. Here we now go, facing up to the SFL teams feeling bullied and battered into submission (some of them anyway).

Stewart Regan’s statements about social unrest and the decline and fall of civilisation have all been part of the campaign by the leaders of Scottish football, in apparent conflict with their members (their employers) to save a “Rangers FC” by putting it into SFL1, or SPL2, in opposition to the wishes of almost every football fan, including those of Rangers!

Will the SFL teams, or a least those permitted to vote, cave into to the pressures?

Even if they do, will the SFL or SFA face action, from members, from disappointed applicants or from FIFA or UEFA? I will look at that in the next post.

 

Posted by Paul McConville

———————————————

Subject: SFL Special General Meeting – Friday, 13th July, 2012

Dear Sir or Madam,

NOTICE OF SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING – SCOTTISH FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Notice is hereby given that a Special General Meeting of The Scottish Football League will be held within the Bell/Baird Suite on the fifth floor of Hampden Park, Glasgow on Friday, 13th July, 2012 at 11.00 a.m. for the purpose of considering and, if thought fit, approving the following proposals:-

(i) That the Scottish Football League Members agree to admit Sevco Scotland Limited as an Associate Member and agrees to permit Rangers F.C. to play in the League during Season 2012/13.

(ii) That the Scottish Football League Members direct the Board of Management of The Scottish Football League (the “Board”) to provide that Rangers F.C. shall play in the Third Division of the Scottish Football League during Season 2012/13 unless the Board shall have to its satisfaction negotiated and reached agreement with The Scottish Premier League and The Scottish Football Association on a series of measures which the Board shall consider to be in the best interests of the game, how it is structured, how it is governed and how it is financed, whereupon the Board shall be authorised to provide that Rangers F.C. shall play in the First Division of the Scottish Football League during Season 2012/13.

(iii) That the Scottish Football League Members in terms of Rule 12 approve the resignation of either Dundee F.C. or Dunfermline Athletic F.C., whichever shall be admitted to join the Scottish Premier League for Season 2012/13, such resignation to take effect as at the date of admission of such club to the Scottish Premier League, notwithstanding that the requisite notice under Rule 12 shall not have been given. Details of the series of measures referred to at (ii) above shall be made available to the Members in advance of the meeting and an opportunity for full discussion of those measures will be given prior to the proposals being put to the meeting.

In accordance with the terms of SFL Rule 53, your club must send one representative to this meeting and I would be most grateful if you could advise me of the name of your representative by return.

A buffet lunch will be served at the conclusion of the meeting.

Kind regards,

David A. Longmuir

Chief Executive, SFL.

———————————————

The Rules are contained in the Constitution of the SFL.

Under Rule 7, Sevco Scotland Ltd has applied for Associate Membership of the SFL.

The decision on that is part (i) of the motion before the meeting.

Rule 9 states:-

The League in general meeting may upon such terms and conditions as it may think fit admit any club as an Associate Member or Member of the League and may expel any Member or Associate Member or terminate such membership or may accept the retirement of any Associate Member or Member, but subject always to Rule 126 (Reversion of Transfer of Registration Rights). Upon admission as a Member or Associate Member, the club so admitted shall become bound by and be subject to these Rules and any other Rules or Bye-Laws made by the League for the time being in force.”

 

Rule 53 deals with General Meetings:-

 

“53.1 Each Member and Associate Member must send one representative, who must be an Official, to all general meetings (and to all other meetings by whatever name called) of the Members of the League.

 

53.2 All representatives of Member Clubs must exercise their vote on all matters which fall to be decided at general meetings. Any Member Club whose representative fails to comply with this Rule shall be dealt with by the Board as a disciplinary matter in such way as the Board thinks proper.

 

53.3 Each Member Club, acting by its representative, shall have one vote on all matters for decision at meetings of the League.”

 

Rule 56 deals with voting:-

 

“56.1 A resolution put to the vote of a general meeting must be decided on a poll conducted by secret ballot in accordance with these Rules.

 

56.2 Associate Members shall not be entitled to vote.”

 

Rule 58 deals with Amendments to Resolutions:-

 

“58.1 A resolution to be proposed at a general meeting may be amended by a resolution if:

 

58.1.1 written notice of the proposed amendment is given to the Chief Executive by a person entitled to vote at the general meeting at which it is to be proposed not less than 48 hours before the meeting is to take place; and

 

58.1.2 the proposed amendment does not, in the reasonable opinion of the Chairman of the meeting, materially alter the scope of the resolution.

 

58.2 If the Chairman of the meeting acting in good faith wrongly decides that an amendment to a resolution is out of order, the Chairman’s error does not invalidate the vote on that resolution.

 

58.3 An amendment to a resolution shall be put to the meeting first and if carried, the meeting shall then vote on the resolution as so amended.”

 

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54 Comments

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

54 responses to “SFL Meeting – Part 3 – What Are the Members Voting On?

  1. Robert

    iii) is …….. approve the resignation of either Dundee F.C. or Dunfermline Athletic F.C.

    How is it decided which one it is?

    Is it determined by the rules, all SFL members, all 1st Division members, the board or by the toss of a coin?

    • cmh64

      …and why have Dundee been told they can’t vote, but Dunfermline haven’t? Until resolution iii) is sorted out there isn’t a space to allow i) to happen anyway. The whole thing is a mess.

      • Mick

        It’s about to get even messer Spartans fit the criteria and are mounting a challenge ,sevco might a have to wait a while for a other spot to pop up .

    • Fran

      “whichever shall be admitted to join the Scottish Premier League”
      This seems to suggest that it is down to the SPL to invite one of the teams to join. How the SPL will decide that is another matter

  2. Althetim

    Excellent piece Paul.
    The sands of time will run out for Sevco, Regan, Doncaster and the forgetful Longmuir. They simply don’t have time to get their ducks in a row prior to the season starting. I have been of that opinion since Her Majestys’ RC made public their intention to reject that ridiculous CVA proposal.

    A team calling themselves Rangers will, at some point in the future, play senior home SFA sanctioned football league matches at Ibrox stadium. But not in season 2012-13.

  3. Jason

    Great breakdown. Problem being that in all likelihood the gang of 3 will railroad everything through irrespective of the rulebooks clauses/conditions noted above on the basis of “Because we say so”.

    Expect the whole sorry episode to get a whole lot nastier after Friday.

  4. Richboy

    Once again I question the value of the legal advice, if any, being given to SFA/SPL/SFL bosses. Surely no self respecting legal entity would attach themselves to this debacle. It seems to me that Messrs Doncaster, Regan and Longmuir are winging it and hoping their bullying tactics work to favour Rangers.

    Everyone at the governing bodies should ask themselves one simple question, “Would we be doing all of this if it was St Mirren?”. (no offence meant to St Mirren or their fans)

  5. NeFisher

    Paul, excellent work again.

    While I understand a simple majority for electing a team into the SFL IF there was a vacancy,what I cannot understand is electing Sevco Scotland into the SFL when at the time of the vote there is no vacancy within the SFL.Rule 5 appears clear to me and places a limit on the number of teams at thirty. To increase that number seems to me to require a rule change, even if it is only required for a short time until resolution 3 is voted on and carried, if it isn’t carried then there is a problem if resolution1 has been agreed.
    Would there not need to be a reference to rule 14 being waived in resolution 3?

    • Grab the grass

      I agree with this. The other item that has been missed here and elsewhere though is that the vote in (i) is to allow Sevco to become an associate member(AM), not a full member (M). This appears to be about the only part of these resolutions which are in fact in compliance with the rule book (rule 7)!! The impact of this (AM vs M) in the somewhat confusing rule book is not clear other than rule 19 where it states an AM has “no financal interest in the assets of the league..” and has no voting rights. What that means in practice is unclear to me, but would seem to exclude any payments from the league for any purpose – Rule 44.2 on division of income refers only to members, not AMs. Rule 17 does not allow transfer to full member status for 4 years(!).

      There also appears to be complete radio silence from the SPL as to who (if anyone) will become club 12. Why they didn’t decide that after the meeting on the 5th is simply beyond me as all it does is get everyone closer to the wire that they already are. Perhaps they were so exhausted after their exhertions to prevent Sevco being club 12 that they collapsed in a heap and were unable to think ahead. However this has exhibited a shocking lack of leadership from the executives whose duty it should have been to point this out to their members and insist that they determine who should be Club 12. I do like Club 12 being now listed officially on the BBC website table though.

      Not withstanding the complete mess that proposal (ii) is, it is clear that those in charge of the SFL and SFA are finding themselves constrained by their own rather complex and prescriptive rules and articles. In my opinion they are just praying that no one has the balls to take them to court as it is as plain as day that potential legal challenges are many and varied and would seem to have an excellent chance of success.

      Incidentally one of their rules about amendments to resolutions at general meetings (rule 58 as stated above) states that a resolution can be amended only if the amendment “does not….materially affect the scope of the resolution”. I’m sorry, but I always thought that the purpose of an amendment was precisely to affect the scope of the original resolution. So apart from the requirment to hand it in 48 hours in advance, it does not look as though any amendment from memebers will be allowed that would have any effect (!!!).

      As said, this is an excellent re-buttal to this woeful attempt to shoe horn Sevco into FL1 inspite of all right minded people coming out against it.
      Friday 13th will be very interesting.

  6. the legend that is

    If you want to campaign the site at http://honestyinsport.weebly.com/ will give you e mail addresses, templates of emails to send, links to good sites like this one. This is to help us campaign as a group. Meeting on 13th will be target one, but plenty more to come! Add your thoughts and information that would help others on ‘Give us your suggestions’ and we wil post them up there.

  7. Joseph

    I came across this while browsing the Internet. In my 66 years I have never taken part in a demonstration, but I feel so incensed by the undemocratic way this is going that if no further developments take place this week then I will be joining the protesters on Friday:

    “There are rumours of a demonstration on Friday 13th at Hampden where clubs from leagues from division 3 to SPL will arrive and tell the arriving members what their fans think. Fan power won before and it sure as hell can again.

    “I urge anyone reading this to ask people on social networking sites about this demonstration, I will be. And I know fans from a lot of SFL sides have been talking about this in the last 24 hours.

    We all know now how corrupt the SFA and SPL are. They need taken out of their chairs and put out to pasture. Their days are numbered in their jobs. But before they go, they will do anything to parachute a brand new club into Division 1 at the expense of 20 SFL sides and countless good senior sides with facilities that would allow for the Division 3 space.”

  8. JimBhoy

    I do not think the hampden three have acted corruptly, more ineptly, fumbling along with a lack of working knowledge of their own rules and procedures, contradicting each other all over the place… It shows that there should be a re-design of Scottish football starting at the top. One organisation of elected governors reporting to the club owners who in turn report to the paying fan. Simple as that. The governors of the Scottish game should be voted in or out every other year.

    • Jason

      For the most part i agree Jimbhoy but they have made decisions whilst in command of the facts i.e. KNOWINGLY. No inept fumbling at all, deliberate clear breaching of rules + financial gain to detriment of others = corruption. Even if the old Rangers were guilty of matchfixing it is clear that they would not be allowed to fail via inept fumbling or otherwise.

      • jocky bhoy

        If they know their own organisations’ rules – they know they are going outwith them (I would suggest for their own benefit). If they don’t know their own organisations’ rules they are incompetent.

        Either way, I disagree with the numbers and scale of “armageddon” that they propose and I think Sevco should APPLY for division 3 – or find a way of paying back the £70m – £130m they owe their creditors and resume play as normal.

      • Ernesider

        With Jason on this one Jimbhoy. This is not ineptitude, but a cynical manipulation of the rules which shows a contempt for the opinions and intelligence of the SFL cubs. I can’t see any other outcome than an outburst of anger and resentment, bringing this whole shoddy scheme crashing down about their heads.

  9. Hugh Jarse

    Omnishambolic

  10. Den

    Part (ii) of the resolution gives the bodies carte blanche to admit Rangers to Division 1. If approved they will be in Division 1 for sure. That means that members who would accept Rangers into Div3 will have to vote against
    Part (i). It could end up with Rangers/ SEVCO being excluded from the SFL.

    If this was Rangers as was I would understand people trying to smooth their way but this is SEVCO. It has the assets of Rangers but not the best players, it does not have the trust of the fans nor it’s current Manager. The ownership and funding is unknown and there are legitimate doubts that they could complete a season of football at any level. They don’t qualify for League membership because of a lack of football and financial history.

    I was of the opinion that Scottish Football could survive without Rangers and even hopeful that it would develop a wider support. I now think that Scottish Football is commiting suicide over this affair. It didn’t have to happen, it just needed the football authorities to follow the rules without fear or favour.

    “It is all a dreadful mess, isn’t it!”

  11. NumbNuts

    If the stringing out of the CVA was perhaps to avoid an immediate relegation of RFC, the suspension of the AT is perhaps to avoid an expulsion/suspension of oldco RFC, the corporate bullying is to ride rough shod over the rules that were specifically designed to avoid corporate bullying, … it’s difficult to see how the judging

  12. NumbNuts

    11:56 pmIf the stringing out of the CVA was perhaps to avoid an immediate relegation of RFC, the suspension of the AT is perhaps to avoid an expulsion/suspension of oldco RFC, the corporate bullying is to ride rough shod over the rules that were specifically designed to avoid corporate bullying, … it’s difficult to see how the fudging has actually done anything to help. It’s a complete shambles. Regardless of outcome, the actions of RFC, of Servco, of governing bodies has brought our game it’s knees. Quite how we recover any semblance of credibility for our already poorly regarded leagues is difficult to see at this stage.

  13. Alan Mearns

    At this rate the most valuable document in Scottish Football history could be the fag packet this sorry mess was cobbled together on. The SFL clubs have a last chance to save our game from total farce and worldwide ridicule on Friday by refusing to have anything to do with part 2 and preferably the whole resolution.

    Rangers demise is totally of their own making, and the club is undeserving of any favoritism, especially unconstitutionally. They should stand side by side with other league applicants and go through the proper selection process for admission to the SFL. Nothing less will do.

    Rangers are blameless in respect of the possible tearing up of media and sponsorship contracts agreed at huge risk to the Scottish game due to the Old Firm clauses in them. That sits squarely at the door of the SPL. They should take their lumps, honour their binding agreement to continue to pay the SFL their pound of flesh, take responsibility for this unholy mess and stop badgering .the SFL with bribes and threats. They have passed the buck.

    As for the SFA, their inability to stand up for the integrity of the Scottish game is inexcusable. Their first priority should be to the fair running of the game according to the rules. If they can’t who can?

    The world is watching. We must not let the future of our game be decided by the incompetents who have so publicly shamed us all.

    All three heads must roll.

  14. Craig B

    Paul I hope you don’t mind me here asking a question that’s bothering me. Apparently the registrations of some ex-Rangers players have been held up because they are supposedly being disputed and so the SFA “cannot” (from the Press Association story) grant international transfer clearance.

    Disputed by whom?

    What entity is supposed to be disputing the registrations? Certainly not any member of the SFA. No SFA member club disputes the player registrations. What the hell is the SFA thinking, refusing international clearance for these players?

    The people who run Scottish football are so deep in Rangers’ pockets they are even spooked by Rangers from beyond the grave.

    • josephmcgrath112001809

      It makes you wonder what players would want to sign for a Scottish club if the SFA behave like this? How are clubs going to attract foreign players now?

      • Mick

        What a joke they are ,also they keep bullying N.Lennon its a farce and it’s all about to come to a end turnbull. Hutton should be envited to pick the new 1sto replace them

  15. If it is 3 separate votes then a yes vote for i. and a no vote for iii. would produce 31 teams. It must therefore be one vote yes or no. Yes would allow Sevco in without competing with any other new applicant and a no vote would result in the status quo. I would therefore infer that the SFL see no vacancy for any other team other than Sevco and negotiated into Div 1.

  16. James C

    Just re-reading part iii. The final sentence states that the measure referred in part ii will be made available in advance of the meeting and that a full discussion will take place

    My reading of this would be that the board is obliged to provide advance warning and indeed agreement of what measures are acceptable to the SFL members prior to the meeting and that they can be debated.

    Bizarrely this is in part III not part ii. So they provide the power to the board to negotiate in part ii but don’t discuss the negotiating position until III.

    However the more I read it, the more I think that this last sentence was meant to be a separate paragraph and someone just forgot the press the enter key!

    If you do that, then I think it somewhat changes the tone of this as critically it means that the ‘measures’ in question will be prewarned, discussed and I assume agreed in the meeting by all members. This would then provide the board agreed boundaries to operate within and if really a perfectly reasonable approach to any negotiation.

    • degough

      There is no doubt in my mind that it should be a new paragraph. It therefore would seem that no proof reading was done!

  17. Mick

    Time goes by tick tick ticking away ,try agian next year ,theres a rule in place were all the members can sack longmuir and take control there self .

  18. redetin

    I was trying to come up with a logical series of resolutions, in simple language, that would recognise the need to follow or to set aside the rules to deal with current circumstances. The resolutions presented are illogical and convoluted. So I came to the following:

    This meeting resolves to play all fixtures as currently scheduled, with no club assigned to Club 12, in the interests of fairness.

    • Grab the grass

      Club 12 is in the SPL though and this is the SFL resolution.

      The easist is we agree to having Sevco join as an AM in SFL3, once other clubs get a chance to put themselves forward. Certain rules (long list to follow) are agreed to be waived.

  19. Peter

    If the SFL clubs want respect, honesty, decency, dignity and fairness then they MUST vote NO to all three proposals.

    Not as votes against Sevco Rangers, but as an unambiguous to of No Confidence in SPA / SPL / SFA and this shameful stitch-up.

  20. Peter

    I’ll say that again – this time with my own teeth in

    If the SFL clubs want respect, honesty, decency, dignity and fairness then they MUST vote NO to all three proposals.

    Not as votes against Sevco Rangers as such,, but as a vote of No Confidence in SPA / SPL / SFA and this shameful stitch-up.

  21. degough

    When I read about this meeting taking place I first thought, ok, the league authorities want to have a Rangers supported team play in SFL1 so that the other football teams don’t suffer too much. That seems reasonable.

    But, the more I think about it, I think that putting Sevco Scotland into the league is premature. There are just far too many unanswered questions surrounding them.

    Really the vote should be, take a chance of risking the future of Scottish football and admit them now or give Sevco Scotland a year to get themselves sorted into a well organized football club. I think given these options every club in the league would vote to give them a year.

    The best thing for Scottish football, the League authorities, and even the Rangers fans themselves would be for a no vote to options 1 and 2 and tell the league to redraft 3. A new well run Rangers club would be ready and organized to play the 2013/14 season.

  22. David Wilson

    I’m positive that I had read in the press somewhere that a club applying for SFL membership required 75% of the member clubs to vote for them ? (In fact, I think it was on the BBC website last week)

    Has this ever been the case or has an outcome only just required a simple majority in favour ?

    • Grab the grass

      The rule book is actually silent, as far as I can see, on what constitutes a valid vote at a general meeting, which is where new associate members are agreed. It needs 75% for expelling a member or agreeing to change or suspend any of the rules, but otherwise it would appear only to need a simple majority. Given that the rules say everyone must vote, this would seem to need only 16 clubs, or 15 + the chairmans casting vote, to agree to a new AM.

  23. David Wilson

    Another question, slightly off topic this one, maybe someone can help.

    Has last years prize money for the SPL been handed out ?

    Oldco were obviously due a wodge for coming 2nd in the league. However, my understanding is that the SPL can withhold any prize money to a club and hand it out to other SPL member clubs in payment of debts. In particular I’m thinking of the £800k due to Hearts for Lee Wallace, the payment of which become due last week I believe.

    I wonder if the SPL took this opportunity (presuming they had the power to do so) to look after the interests of other member clubs in the light of oldco’s wrongdoings ?

  24. p groom

    the sfa spl and sfl ceo’s have brought it on themselves but for evermore I consider we can refer to them as the three stooges. ( of whom you might ask, salmon and co maybe? ). despite all your well reasoned pieces Paul, they will plough on regardless invoking ” exceptional circumstances” because they think they can pull it off and the moment sevco are in div1, we will all breathe such a sigh of relief that at last there is a decision, we will all go home and get on with something else. the cry now must be to ” say no to part (i) ” to stop this train dead in its tracks.

  25. JimBhoy

    All SFL clubs should abstain the vote, showing a vote of no confidence to this crazy set up the guys supporting this madness…

  26. Robert

    Do not agree to what degough says that:

    “The best thing for Scottish football, the League authorities, and even the Rangers fans themselves would be for a no vote to options 1 and 2 and tell the league to redraft 3. A new well run Rangers club would be ready and organized to play the 2013/14 season”

    Nor do I agree to what p groom says that:

    “the cry now must be to ” say no to part (i) ” to stop this train dead in its tracks”.

    In my opinion the best compromise solution, in order to draw a line under this whole affair and permit Scottish football to move forward, is for Rangers to enter SFL Division 3.

    • degough

      Robert, I would agree with you that Rangers should play Division 3 if there was more time. Sevco Scotland just cannot be properly setup in the next few weeks. They haven’t even finalized their deal with D&P yet. What if BDO block the sale? Its all just too risky for the League to let them in until all the decisions pending are answered.

      • Robert

        Hi degough

        Yees time is running out.

        HMRC could have objected to the sale and did not their statement reads as follows:

        “A liquidation provides the best opportunity to protect taxpayers, by allowing the potential investigation and pursuit of possible claims against those responsible for the company’s financial affairs in recent years. A CVA would restrict the scope of such action. Moreover the liquidation route does not prejudice the proposed sale of the club. This sale can take place either through a CVA or a liquidation.

        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.”

        Hence I do not believe that there is any reason for BDO will block the sale as that would just make the whole situation even more complex.

      • degough

        Hi Robert
        BDO can block the sale if they have evidence that D&P acted improperly. The investigations by the IPA into D&P have still to be concluded. Lord Hodge has also shown an interest in their conflict of interest and have they to report to him before July 31. BDO have until 30 July to block the sale or they can undo the sale after that if any wrongdoing is found.
        Green said he is still short 2.5 million he needs to complete the sale.
        Surely the League is taking a big chance in allowing Sevco Scotland entry into this years league. Why not wait a year to make sure everything is above board?

    • p groom

      I do agree with div 3 even though more deserving ( and qualified ) cases might lose out. the problem is that as the proposals are currently worded the 30 sfl members only get to vote on part (i). if they vote yes only the sfl chairmen vote on parts (ii) and (iii) and they will have been “worked on” by the sfa and spl chairmen beforehand to produce the desired result ie div 1.
      so the only way the 30 sfl members can prevent the div 1 solution being nodded through is to stop events at part (i) even though it means sevco would not get into the sfl in any division. its div 3 or not at all, which is what the majority seem to want anyway.

      • p groom

        sorry that should read ” only the sfl board vote on parts (ii) and (iii) ”
        and ” by the sfa and spl boards beforehand “….

  27. Peter

    As Deepthroat famously advised in the Watergate affair: “Follow the money”.

    HMRC have so far played a waiting game with steely-eyed dettachment.

    My guess is that they are waiting for Sevco’s exit plan to demonstrate Gratuitous Alienation and will then act. Sevco & SFA\SPL\SFL have extreme time pressure, HMRC does not.

    btw, RFC plc does not yet owe HMRC £75M or more from the big tax case because no judgement has been published – another waiting game ?

  28. ecojon

    I still think the fact that the money Ian Hart put into Rangers youth development ‘years ago’ which has now been turned into shares in Green’s Consortium seems very dodgy and will interest HMRC.

    Hart was declared a Green investor on 14/06 and within two hours said he wasn’t but a Blue Knight supporter. He said that the money he had put into youth development was just ‘lying about’ at Ibrox and he said Green could use it for his CVA. He has never said it could be used to buy shares in his name which could double in number as he will count as a founder investor.

    If this money was at Ibrox and obviously in a liquid-enough form that it could be converted into cash why wasn’t that done and put towards the creditors’ pot by the administrator. Is it proper for the administrator to give the sum to a potential purchaser of the club to fund their bid. I don’t think so and it smells of a Ticketus-style operation. And I have never seen the amount mentioned.

    What also amazes me is how Craig Whyte didn’t find this money as he appears to have taken everything else of value and I’m he was out scouring the ground and carparks before he left with a metal detector to find any dropped change – probably using the club floodlights at God knows what cost 🙂

  29. David C MacKenzie

    On Alex Thomson’s blog it looks like the SFA are saying that that Club DO have the necessary accounts, or rather that they have already been punished for not having filed their latest accounts.

    He asked “how can “Rangers” gain league/SFA membership when they cannot produce requisite three years of accounts?”

    The SFA answer:

    ” the…policy relates to applications for a new membership. In this case, Rangers Newco will be applying for the transfer of an existing membership held with the Oldco.

    Rangers Oldco submitted the necessary financial information for 2009 and 2010. It did not submit for the year 2011, which resulted in the Judicial Panel sanctioning the club a total of £160,000 for various breaches of its Articles of Association, and also imposing a transfer embargo which has been subsequently set aside after the Court of Session ruling by Lord Glennie.”

    So, there you have it. “That Club” want to be the same as Oldco, for the purposes of entry to Scottish Football.

    Can they be gone after by creditors if they do this? Is it Phoenixism? Should we be telling HMRC?

    • degough

      Good grief! Yet another can of worms. They SFA must be mad to allow this.

      • Mick

        It’s 3days to go all the sfl are saying no to div1andwant them in 3 so at least the we clubs are standing up fOr there self well done to them ,this is going to go on for months a think .

  30. David C MacKenzie

    My question really boils down to IF “That Club” is willing to take ownership of the accounts, are they responsible for them, including all the problems that they have … for example, are their any EBT problems. Would they be responsible for the accounts which have still not been produced, and if they are – I do not see how they can simply select which ones they are willing to be responsible for – are they not responsible for the bits which say no NI, no PAYE, etc, and maybe even playing while insolvent, if that would be confirmed as some have suggested?

  31. David C MacKenzie

    Another thing that strikes me from the SFA statement.

    This bit here:

    It did not submit for the year 2011, which resulted in the Judicial Panel sanctioning the club a total of £160,000 for various breaches of its Articles of Association, and also imposing a transfer embargo which has been subsequently set aside after the Court of Session ruling by Lord Glennie.

    Lord Glennie sent the case back to the AT for reconsideration. However, the SFA seem to be twisting this to make it look like the £160,000 fine is for “various breaches of its articles” Does this mean that the SFA have decided to reinterpret what was actually said by the original tribunal and the appellate tribunal to mean that (1) the £160,000 covers everything including the failure to supply accounts and (2) because they have been penalised for not having done so, does that mean that they no longer have to do so?

    It is, of course, an absurd claim. Surely the original Tribunal laid out very clearly what the fines were for, and we do not need the smoke and mirrors of a “they were fined £160,000 so everything is alright.” Lord Glennie very clearly said that – not withstanding that the transfer embargo was not available – the appeal tribunal would be justified in coming down hard on them. £160,000 is not enough. Surely the SFA are not arguing with Lord Glennie?

  32. p groom

    has the fine been paid and if not why not? including the £200000.00 fine owed by craig whyte . which would be payable by his company in the event of his default.

  33. Pingback: Why, Even With Yes Vote, SFL Board Can’t (But Will) Put Sevco into SFL1 | Random Thoughts Re Scots Law by Paul McConville

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