Arguments still and will always go on whether the current Rangers in the SFL is a new club or still the old club with 140 years history, although for me it is clear. Paul, has set out his argument using the rules of the SFA and the SPL. For me these are a red herring.
Rangers FC was formed in 1872.
SFA formed in 1873.
SPL formed in 1998.
So SFA formed year after RFC and SPL formed over 120 years later. What was RFC before formation of SFA and SPL? Ans: It was a football club. It was what it was and could already be defined. A set of rules from a later organization does not change that.
True we need definitions for participating competitors in a competition such as football clubs in league and cup football. If a club meets those definitions then fine. It can play in the competition. If it doesn’t it can’t. It may have to change something about itself to meet the rules – even so a club is still so much more than this limited definition for a specific purpose.
This brings me to Plato’s horse.
In Plato’s Theory of Forms there are two realities, the physical world and the idea of perfect forms. For Plato a horse could be a particular horse that you see in a field or the perfect form or idea of a horse that exists in another dimension.
I think it is a good analogy for the definition of a club.
We have the Physical football club existing in the real world (capable of being liquidated) and we have the form of a club a definition that exists purely for playing competitive football (but alas, never really existed). Or it may be the club that exists in the heart and mind of the fans, but of course, irrelevant.
But I would also like to look anyway at an SPL rule Paul quoted.
“Club means an association football club, other than a Candidate Club, which is, for the time being, eligible to participate in the League and, except where the context otherwise requires, includes the owner and operator of such club;”
So the owner and operator may be included in this definition of a Club. I say may be because this is “except where the context otherwise requires”. Some clubs are owned by holding companies some are not and might be “where the context otherwise requires”.
Rangers Football Club was owned by a holding company. It was Murray International Holdings.
Nowhere in the rule does it say a Club itself should be considered as two separate entities of football club and owner. Indeed a “Club including its owner” hardly separates them at all but binds them together.
Only the real world football club exists as any entity at all, legal or otherwise.
If we look at the sale agreement, the assets are listed and priced separately. Rangers football club is not on sale for £5.5 million. The assets were bought and used to form a new club, identical in almost every respect, but with a new formation date, set up by different people and no history to speak of.
The club is the company and was liquidated. Otherwise trace me the independent histories of both.