Following Adam’s piece on Rangers continuity, there has been extensive discussion here.
Marching on Together has explained clearly, but with diminishing patience 😉 how the present Leeds United is still the old one. There is, and has been, only one Leeds United.
Duplesis too has pointed out other instances of English teams continuing.
I think therefore this blog will take the editorial decision that previous “re-incarnations” such as that at Elland Road were simply continuations of the existing clubs.
Does that mean that the continuity of Rangers too is guaranteed by these precedents?
No. (I am NOT saying there is no continuity, rather that these precedents are unhelpful.)
I say that because in previous football insolvencies the question of continuity, or more particularly “history”, was never really raised. I am sure MoT will tell us if it was a live issue at Leeds and Violet has told us that it was not a question in Hearts’ troubles pre-Rangers travails.
I offer as an analogy the dusty tome which is the Conveyancing and Feudal Reform (Scotland) Act 1970. You might never have heard of it, but it has been very relevant to you if you have taken out a mortgage in Scotland in the last 42 years. It affects a lot of people as it contains the law relating to Scottish mortgages. It details what a lender must do if it wants to call up its security and re-possess a property (though the phrase is correctly “take possession of” as the lender never “possessed” it before). For many years the banks, and their lawyers, followed the same possession process, as laid down in the Act.
However, in November 2010, the UK Supreme Court determined in RBS v Wilson that, for 40 years, lenders had not been following correct procedures! The legal world was in turmoil and many possession actions by lenders then had to be dropped.
The issue was whether a document called a “calling up notice” needed to be issued prior to possession being taken. The Supreme Court said yes, but for years it had been deemed to be optional.
Why had 40 years gone past with the wrong process being used?
The answer was that no one had ever really asked if the process was correct! It was assumed it was and therefore never challenged.
This brings us back to Rangers. This is the first occasion (and I stand to be corrected) when the continuity issue has been raised to such an extent.
If the “history” was unimportant to Rangers fans, then no one else, I suggest, would be too bothered. However the history is of huge importance and pride to Ibrox fans, so much so that it is the threat of interfering with it which is foremost amongst reasons for Rangers to refuse to join the SPL.
Mind you, this is the history Mr Green bought from Duff and Phelps for less than one pound. Pity they did not realise how valuable it was, though BDO might.
So why are the precedents cited by Adam of little value? Simply because the issue was not an issue in those cases. If a court issues a judgement, for it to be a precedent there has to be enough reasoning by the judge to allow the rationale for and extent of the decision to be understood (the ratio decidendi). No justification = no precedent.
As I said, this is NOT to say the existing Rangers is not the old one, just that the question has never been addressed as clearly as it has in the Rangers issue.
Posted by Paul McConville
Note – I will be posting later today a guest post which starts from some of the points raised by Adam and moves through some of the history of Rangers.
It might provoke a variety of strongly held views and robust argument.
I would simply ask commenters to be respectful of each other’s views and of the nature of the blog.
Have a nice day!