The Member Clubs of The Scottish Football League have today voted to willingly accept The Rangers Football Club as an Associate Member of The Scottish Football League. Furthermore, The Scottish Football League’s only acceptable position will be to place Rangers F.C. into the Third Division of the IRN-BRU Scottish Football League from the start of this season, 2012/13.
This decision followed our tried and tested process and was taken in cognisance of the other option which was available for consideration and approval.
Today’s decision has been one of the most difficult for all concerned, but it has been taken in the best interests of sporting fairness which is the fundamental principle of The Scottish Football League.
The Scottish Football League has been entirely consistent in our willingness to work with other bodies to ensure that we focus on rebuilding our game, restoring pride in our game and exploring revenue streams which allow the game to prosper. Our willingness to achieve these aims does not alter.
David A. Longmuir
Chief Executive, SFL
13th July, 2012.
The declared outcome of the votes was 29-1 in favour of part (i) and 25-5, as I understand it, against part (ii).
I have not seen mention of whether there was a vote on part (iii). Maybe after the first two votes the chairmen were desperate for their buffet lunches!
All in all, this is the fairest result that could have been expected, in my opinion. However, it is interesting to note how, even in subtle ways, the influence of “Rangers” extends, perhaps subconsciously.
I note that pointed use of the word “willingly”. Mr Longmuir wants to make it clear that it was not what lawyers would call “force and fear” which led to the positive vote on part (i).
He goes on to say that the members accepted “The Rangers Football Club as an Associate Member of The Scottish Football League”. However, that was not the motion. The members were asked “to admit Sevco Scotland Limited as an Associate Member and agree to permit Rangers F.C. to play in the League during Season 2012/13.”
It may not make any difference, but the smudging of the relationship between Rangers Football Club PLC, Rangers Football Club and Sevco Scotland Ltd is continuing. Mr Longmuir, I am sure inadvertently, is misrepresenting the result of the vote, unless the proposal was amended prior to the ballot.
Why would he make such a slip?
He mentioned that the SFL followed a “tried and tested process”. Except it did not. I posted on this at length here. Mr Longmuir departed from the processes he outlined as long ago as April 2012 (when he probably had no thought that the SFL would ever have to vote on the issue).
It is of note too that the only mention of the specific “great re-structuring masterplan”, trumpeted with gust by SFA, SPL and SFL on Wednesday was the reference to “the other option which was available for consideration and approval.“
Mr Longmuir also makes reference to “sporting fairness” as the fundamental principle of the SFL. Very good of him to say that…except it is not!
“The Objects of the League shall be to promote and extend the game of Association Football and, without prejudice to the foregoing generality:-
- to be a governing body for its Member Clubs;
- to promote, guard and further the interests of its Member Clubs;
- to provide League Championship and League Cup Competitions for its Member Clubs and
- to conclude commercial contracts relative to sponsorship and exploitation of the League’s fixture copyrights and intellectual property rights including transmission or recording by television, radio, electronic data transmission, or other means, of fixtures provided by the League.”
In any event, a good day for the so-called “diddy teams”. They took the hospital pass given them by the SPL, and dealt with it fairly, despite the still dire predictions of pundits everywhere, although generally pundits spouting opinions, as is their job, but without any background evidence or analysis to justify their conclusions.
So three cheers for the SPL!
As far as cheers for Mr Longmuir go, then this depends on how much he staked on the SFL1 Master Plan. If he was equally committed to it and complicit in it as Messrs Doncaster and Regan, his position should be as untenable as theirs.
If however he was railroaded into it, for fear of the wholesale destruction of the SFL, then two cheers for him. He can get the third cheer when he clarifies why he said The Rangers Football Club as opposed to Sevco Scotland Ltd had been accepted as a member of the SFL.
Posted by Paul McConville
For completeness the terms of the proposals before the meeting today were, subject to any amendments at the meeting, as follows:-
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.