Can Rangers Legitimately Register New Players on 1st September? Yes They Can

There was an interesting blog post by Daniel O’Connell brought to my attention at the weekend.

His contention was that Rangers would be breaching the terms of the SFA player registration rules by registering its new signings on 1st September, which is the day after the “registration embargo” accepted by Sevco Scotland Ltd (as it then was) as a condition of SFA membership. He stated “The intention was that the new club would be unable to register players until January 2014 (albeit after giving them the summer 2012 window to build up their squad for the assault on Division 3).”

He suggests that “The basis for this belief is that clubs can register “free agents” from September 1st, and that as Bell and Daly’s contracts with their previous clubs expire on June 30th, they will be free agents.”

He then refers to the SFA’s registration procedures here and especially Article 1.2 which reads:-

“A professional player who has failed to find employment during a registration period may sign and be registered for a club outwith the registration periods.”

He suggests that the fact that the “free agents” signed by Rangers “have found employment” means they cannot be registered outwith the transfer window, and thus cannot legitimately play for Rangers until January 2014. Is this then another alleged instance of the Scottish football authorities bending over backwards to Rangers, as some accuse them of doing?

Sadly, at least for for some, the answer is no.

Mr O’Connell’s point is a fair one in that the SFA regulations seem unduly convoluted at times, and open to numerous different interpretations. However at least on this point the authorities are in the clear.

The SFA “clarified” the registration embargo in July 2012, saying:-

“… the company directors of Sevco Scotland Ltd have chosen to accept the 12-month registration embargo. This embargo will begin on 1st September 2012 and end on 31st August 2013.”

One interesting factor in the whole Rangers saga has been how things have been accepted as “facts” when they have not. So, here Mr O’Connell has fallen into the error of saying that the registration embargo was designed to prevent registration of players until January 2014. That was NOT what was agreed. It was a twelve month “embargo”.

And as far as the registration issue itself goes, there are two reasons for saying that Mr O’Connell is incorrect.

Firstly the FIFA Regulations on the Status of Players, which are incorporated into the rule books of domestic football regulations, says:-

Players may only be registered during one of the two annual registration periods fixed by the relevant association. As an exception to this rule, a professional whose contract has expired prior to the end of a registration period may be registered outside that registration period. Associations are authorised to register such professionals provided due consideration is given to the sporting integrity of the relevant competition.

There is no doubt that the free agents Rangers have signed are players whose contracts have expired “prior to the end of a registration period”. Accordingly they can be registered outwith the registration period, and as such on 1st September 2013.

Secondly, even under the SFA regulation quoted above, it would be a manifest injustice to say that the fact that the players had “found employment” but that they could not be registered until September meant that they could not be registered until January!

After all, they cannot be employed as “registered players” yet.

So, at least on this issue, there is no need for the SFA to jump through linguistic hoops to find in Rangers’ favour. (Which is not to suggest necessarily that they have done so before).

Posted by Paul McConville

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60 Comments

Filed under Rangers, SFA

60 responses to “Can Rangers Legitimately Register New Players on 1st September? Yes They Can

  1. Surly if they lied about how they(Green ect) got into ibrox then they must also have lied to SFA about their registration therefore they don’t exist and cannot be in 2nd div next season in fact they should be sine died COMLPETELY!!!

  2. Budweiser

    Paul. I believe that the number of overage players might be more problematic.Who is going to leave, and under what circumstances ?

  3. allyjambo

    So, in effect, TRFC were handed a six month embargo on registering players with a twelve month ban on transfers. I wonder why the SFA didn’t just make it officially that way. I wonder too, if they made the members of the Independent Tribunal aware of this! It also adds to the benefit of the postponement of the embargo as there’s less players out of contract in January than there are in June.

  4. Fra

    The heading is false as rangers don’t exist. So why are most people giving the impression that they are the same as before.

    Rangers were LIQUIDATED
    Rangers therefore cease to exist.
    Rangers died.

    I can understand this quite easily so why can’t more learned people than myself. It’s not actually too difficult a concept.

    • G

      Your just thick, rangers never died, I can’t believe after every thing that has been discovered, everything that has gone through courts , lawyers, SFA, UEFA the lot and you still think the club don’t exist, yet another fan of another club that can not except the actual true facts that the greatest football team in Scotland still exist to this day , and in case you didn’t get that, I’m talking about Glasgow Rangers !

  5. Johnny Utah

    LOL – what a complete waste of your lives. Get a hobby.

  6. JimBhoy

    I am actually more interested in how the Celts successfully replace those who move on next season… I think Wanyama and Hooper (after his 2 excellent goals yesterday) will see Celtic getting offers they cannot refuse for them 2….

  7. JohnBhoy

    Can Rangers legitimately register new players… ? No they can’t – they don’t exist.

  8. Monti

    How many players or staff who received EBT’S have paid these loans back?
    If the EBT was a loan why hasn’t any money been paid back?
    Why did they need an EBT or a loan?

    This whole business has been a complete joke from the start, from telling us an EBT is a loan is, in my opinion insulting.
    Nimmo smith verdict of ‘ no sporting advantage is derisory & laughable, multiple players were paid EBT’S over more than 10 years in order to put players on the park who were supposed to be superior to Celtic players, thus giving them a ‘sporting advantage’!
    Rangers cheated Scottish football for well over a decade of that there is no doubt, they have denied other clubs prize money & Celtic have been cheated the most.
    I would urge Scottish football supporters of all clubs to keep a focus on what has happened to our game & don’t let them ever forget what damage they have done to the game.
    I see Hearts have agreed to sign Danny Wilson on a permanent long term deal? Can someone tell me how that is possible?
    I sense more cheating here…..

    • Niall Walker

      Monti,

      Until the appeal is heard the status quo is Rangers did not cheat, and if they did not cheat then there was no unfair sporting advantage.

      Why is every investigation that contradicts your agenda a joke or a conspiracy ?

      • arb urns

        so your view niall is that a ‘fully’ illegal scheme to pay players alongwith a partially illegal one from a tax evasion point of view is something we should all just what….swallow……..

        • Niall Walker

          arb,

          There is no such thing as partially illegal, whoever wins the EBT case defines the condition, and Rangers indiscretions( non-disclosure) were dealt with by the SFA, you find their punishment difficult to swallow and I don’t.

          Someone used a drug cheat analogy, if an athlete uses a substance for 10 years that is not illegal, and then it becomes illegal, should they be stripped of titles for using a drug that had not been declared illegal ?

          There was a documentary recently about a drug tester using 21st century detection methods on old urine and blood samples of Medallists from L.A. in 1984.
          He stopped after less than 10% of the samples, they all showed positive for substances banned in 1984.. No one is interested in stripping these athletes of titles, and they were certainly cheating.

          • arb urns

            u read nothing niall read the fttt u will find ebts in there that were ‘illegal ‘for players … pick another word rather than partial the choice is yours…. where did i mention stripping titles….. read the sanctions available there is a cracker in there that would satistfy …everyone……………………………….. the indiscretions are not non-disclosure they are tax evasion…………………

  9. Niall Walker

    Rangers fans think they still exist, Celtic fans don’t, the rest are ambivalent, in many ways it reminds me of the beliefs of theists, atheists and agnostics, it really depends on what the concept of a club( or God) means to a person.
    Does God or a club physically exist like a company or does it exist in spirit, and the choice is down to the beliefs of the individual, in my case I have no real certain belief either way, and will NOW adopt an agnostic stance.

    • Niall Walker
      May 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      Rangers fans think they still exist, Celtic fans don’t, the rest are ambivalent, in many ways it reminds me of the beliefs of theists, atheists and agnostics, it really depends on what the concept of a club( or God) means to a person.
      =================================================

      Only an East Fife fan could compare the two situations.

      There is absolutely NO evidence that a god exists, but there is plenty of evidence that although Rangers did exist once, they are now dead.

      Only fans of the dead club could be silly enough to claim they came back to life again just like Lazarus.

      And one or two East Fife fans obviously.

      Of course Lazarus is a fairy tale.

      Just in case you didn’t know

      • cam

        What a totally stupid argument.
        Of course there is proof of God’s existence,,,Glasgow Rangers Football Club is his great work,,,now the big guy is busy at the moment dealing with some folk who think they speak for Him,so Rangers are on the back burner for a wee minute but He will return to give Moses Smith some new tablets of stone.
        We might ask him to do a bit of smiting in the east,as the Devils work is on display over there.

    • Niall, it is Not a Theist, Atheist or Agnostic issue.

      It is the deliberate breaking of Rules, by the Governing Authority of an Association, to suit ONE Member over a period of years, the changing of the Rules to accommodate them & when all fails & that member ends up in Liquidation, a complete rethink.

      This rethink not only broke & bent more Rules to assist the failed Members Phoenix to take it’s place,the same Authorities then proclaimed the Phoenix had continuity from the Original.,

      I can see where the Religious aspect could come into this issue…

      It appears that The People in Power who require the existence & Continuity of THAT Entity, as espoused in their Belief System, have taken any & all actions required to preserve it & when that failed ,RESURRECT it… Cult like almost?

      It goes Beyond that, they have perpetrated further fraud on the other Members of their Association by insisting they are acting on their behalf &, for the Good of the Association,, without Fear or Favour
      ,
      How Cynical is That?

      • Niall Walker

        Ian,

        I am unaware of any rules being broken or bent, and since the continued presence of Rangers benefits members, I see no conflict in facilitating their continued presence.

    • Monti

      Rangers are definitely a ‘Spirit’ but I would say Ghoul….

  10. “There is no doubt that the free agents Rangers have signed are players whose contracts have expired ‘prior to the end of a registration period.

    “Accordingly they can be registered outwith the registration period, and as such on 1st September 2013”.
    ==================================================

    There’s no doubt this is correct Paul, but it has led Green, and McCoist, and Radio Clyde, (© Derek Johnstone) and the media in general to perpetrate the lie that Rangers will be able to ‘buy’ ten players on September 1st spending multi-millions of £sss.

    Brass necked idiot Johnstone said that’s a ‘fact’ since Green promised McCoist £10mill for that purpose.

    When it was pointed out by a caller to SSB that players can’t be bought by any club outside of the transfer windows, Jim Sillyhunt rode to the unfortunate former Rangers player rescue with the dry remark…
    “Yes, thank you, I’m sure we’re all aware of that!”

    Everyone that is, but thick ex-legend Johnstone, and Green, and McCoist, and most of the media.

    Or maybe they’re pretending not to be aware.

  11. cam

    Well thats the panic over then bhoys,,,the Gers new signings pre liquidation 2,are legitimately registered,,,,Paul says so and Ally will take this blog up to Sandy Bryson to show him the proof,,,,phew, i was a bit concerned for a minute!!
    Now in the pre pack administration planned by the Barron Knights,the TUPE legislation for the new signings is being examined and sent of to some deviant called Charlotte for the ok.
    Once the setting up of Sevco 1690 has been ratified by the UN the way is clear for Rangers to dominate Scottish football once again.
    We have dealt with the floating charge by promising a good fry up for Craigie,in his new spartan surroundings and his da will get two tickets in perpetuity to watch his beloved Rangers.
    Now should Andy play a more aggressive game against Rafa if they meet? Playing from the baseline constantly, plays to Rafa’s strengths.Mix it up with some low sliced approach shots and come to the net more.
    If Andy’s serve holds up at the crucial points,we could be in for the greatest achievement in sport by a Scot,ever.

  12. “In addition to the above, the Scottish FA has also received the necessary financial information requested and this is being considered as part of the application process.

    Subject to the completion of all legal documentation, we anticipate transfer of membership next week.

    The imposition of conditions relating to transfer of membership was made on the basis that the Scottish FA, as the governing body, has an obligation to protect the integrity of the national game and to ensure that all member clubs operate within the Articles of Association.”

    The above is the conclusion of the SFA Statement partially Quoted by Paul.

    I just thought that if we were discussing SFA Double Dealing & Bullsh*t we may as well read it all.

    I note that the SFA are in receipt of ALL the Financial information concerning the Sevco Operation…. It’s good to know that at least THEY know what is going on.& they are protecting .”the integrity of the national game and to ensure that all member clubs operate within the Articles of Association.”

    For a minute or two I was worried there was more jiggery pokery afoot.

  13. Ra sellick win a cup yesterday , all the talk is of the mighty Rangers !….he real big deal.

  14. Niall Walker

    ” There is absolutely NO evidence that a god exists, but there is plenty of evidence that although Rangers did exist once, they are now dead.”

    Carntyne my friend, billions believe God to be spiritual rather than material, and the fact there is no physical evidence of God existing does not stop them believing God exists. The fact that your belief is based on some form of physicality cannot be proof that God or the Club Rangers does not exist in spirit.

    • Niall Walker
      May 27, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      ” There is absolutely NO evidence that a god exists, but there is plenty of evidence that although Rangers did exist once, they are now dead.”

      Carntyne my friend, billions believe God to be spiritual…
      ===========================================

      First of all I’m not your friend.

      Not even your imaginary friend.

      The fact that ‘billions believe’ is not a substitute for evidence, except perhaps in your feeble brain.

      Lots of people used to be convinced the earth was flat, and based on your naive statements, you probably still do.

      • Niall Walker

        ” The fact that ‘billions believe’ is not a substitute for evidence, except perhaps in your feeble brain.”

        Carntyne, I had a feeling this may be over your head and further simplification would be necessary. You seem to be missing the point, the difference I highlighted was one of differing concepts, if one believes God or the club exists in spirit then physical evidence is irrelevant to this belief. Your belief maintains Rangers existence is physical but not everyone agrees with your definition, and the God analogy is a perfect example of this.

        You cannot prove your definition is right, and you cannot prove God does not exist in spirit.

        • Niall Walker
          May 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm
          ===================

          It is for the proclaimer of a belief system to show evidence for his belief, not the other way round.

          You really are a thick twat.

          • Niall Walker

            Carntyne,

            Your little forays into logic and philosophy are amusing my dearest friend , the evidence for the belief is the club existed in spirit before it attained any legal status as a company and before the SFA existed. Now it is your turn my friend, take your time, this is deep waters for you.

      • Maggie

        @Carntyne
        Oh dear God ( real or imagined 🙂 ) Here we go again,the Niall Walker borefest is upon us once more.Resist the urge to invest his ramblings with legitimacy by getting involved in his trollery Carntyne,tempting though it is,to demolish his wikipeda version of intellect. 🙂

        • Niall Walker

          Maggie,

          If you were capable of demolishing anyone’s intellect, you would have no need to resort to boring repetitive gossip, you are setting emancipation back a 100 years.

          • Niall,

            I will leave Maggie’s Emancipation, if she requires any, for her to answer, But she hit’s that old nail Right on the Head…. You ARE repetitious & Boring.

            I don’t want to be insulting to anyone, but the deliberate ignoring of responses to your Ramblings, insults towards others, then mock offense at any counter all smacks of Trolling to me.

            If you ARE a Troll I wish you would take your imaginary,”Spiritual & Eternal Rangers” Elsewhere.

            At least Cam is funny sometimes.

            • Niall Walker

              Ian,

              You are contradicting yourself, if I am boring and repetitious then why are posters responding to me in numbers too great for me to reply ?

          • Niall Walker
            May 27, 2013 at 4:15 pm

            Maggie,

            If you were capable of demolishing anyone’s intellect…
            ===========================================

            She needn’t bother with you.

            You don’t have any intellect.

            Thick as constipated shit.

  15. cam

    @Newtz
    With the end game in sight and the day of reckoning for the Craigster about to spoil his summer,hows the flow chart looking?
    Hows that Worthington’s court action getting on?
    Ticketus still shutting down his escape routes?
    SFO investigation might be on his mind?

  16. Niall Walker

    Physical existence is identified by its unique properties( Aristotle’s Law of identity), therefore if one EQUATES a club’s existence to a company, then you attach the clubs identity( and existence) to the unique properties of the company. Therefore any changes to the company’s properties creates a new identity and a new existence, in fact a simple change of share ownership would constitute a new identity and a new existence.

    It would seem using this strict criteria there are no clubs with their original identity, and no clubs with an unbroken history.

  17. arb urns

    hows about this for the million dollar q…………………………………………………

    New Rangers…. for the non-believers… as in New Cumnock, New York etc

    Knew Rangers…. for the believers….. as in Cam et al on here………………….

    Seems fine to me also allows flexibility for the next CG and future SFA manouevers as Newer Rangers and Newest Rangers would still b available..
    alongside Sevco Caledonian and Sevco Alba to facilitate an SPL return……..

  18. Daniel O'Connell

    Thanks for the reply Paul.

    Whilst I must bow to your superior knowledge of the law, I still cannot help but think The Rangers cannot register Daly and Bell.

    I fully understand that they can register out of contract players after September 1st, but I think they have jumped the gun with these two players.

    Their contracts with their previous clubs may have expired prior to the end of the registration period, but they now have new contracts, with The Rangers, signed prior to the end of the registration period, which do not expire before its end.

    If they’d waited till September 1st to sign them, all would have been straightforward.

    The crux of the matter is that Daly and Bell are now under contracts which will not run out before the end of the registration period, so should not be allowed to be registered after its end.

    How can players paraded by a club as having signed 2-3 year contracts in May, be regarded as out if contract players on September 1st?

    • cam

      I tend to agree with your logic Daniel,,,methinks that Sandy has sold the Gers a pup here.
      Never mind,Rangers are legally obliged to pay them £25 million each in compo whilst not playing them,,that should keep you happy?
      24hrs of being mildly happy and then back to the obsession!
      What about the chips being sold at Ibrox?,,,are they the regulation length?
      Bovril too hot?
      Seats correct size?
      Some of the wording on the health and safety disclaimers looks well defo dodgy,,,perhaps thats a close season project for someone in a rubber room?

    • p groom

      Here we go again…. possibly. This could be another rule interpretation job, cue referral to lord nimmo smith ?

      This is how I see it. The facts so far are :

      1. Rangers embargo was for 12 months from 1 sep 2012 to 31 aug 2013.
      2. Daly and bell are out of contract on 30 jun 2013.

      3. The next transfer window is from 1 jul 2013 to 31aug 2013.

      4. The next non-registration period ( for all clubs) is from 1 sep 2013 to 31 dec 2013.

      5. The subsequent transfer window is from 1 jan 2014 to 2 feb 2014.

      Rangers 12 month embargo ends the day before the next non-registration period begins so they cannot register players for 16 months between 1 sep 2012 and 1 jan 2014. ( I believe mr O’Connell is right but only up to a point). This was apparent when sfa made the embargo statement last year and I do not recall anyone disputing it then.

      Rangers now appear to be able to get round the ban on registrations starting 1 sep 2013 ( for all clubs) by invoking article 1.2. with regard to daly and bell. it seems sfa did not draft the embargo statement tightly enough to prevent it. Where have we heard of this happening before!
      PS . daniel I think you will find rangers have not signed or registered daly and bell yet because their embargo is still active until 31 aug 2013. they simply have to wait until 1 sep and then it is ok under article 1.2.

  19. cam

    Cassius Clay called himself Ali,,,what a man!
    If you decided to get your mashie niblik and both Titleist’s chopped of and call yerself Roberta,yer pals would still play ball with you.

    • Niall Walker

      cam,

      It seems some Celtic fans seem to think their concept of a club is the only one and the right one, its almost like religious dogma, this sounds very like the superior attitudes of the WATP fans they despise.

      • arb urns

        niall

        it seems all rangers fans think their concept of their club is the only and right one, it is religious dogma, this is the superior attitude of the WATP illusion they follow

        • Niall Walker

          arb,

          I completely agree, it is a totally subjective belief, which is why I chose to abstain.

          • Daniel O'Connell

            It’s not subjective at all. To qualify for the UEFA license necessary to play in the top flight, you must meet UEFA’s definition of a football club – a legal entity fully responsible for a football team.

            As The Rangers Football Club Ltd is not the same legal entity as Rangers Football Club plc, it is not the same club.

            • Niall Walker

              Daniel,

              Since the concept of a football club predates any legal definition then your choice to limit this concept to a legal definition is a subjective one.

            • Niall Walker
              May 27, 2013 at 5:40 pm

              Since the concept of a football club predates any legal definition then your choice to limit this concept to a legal definition is a subjective one.
              =================================================

              Just read the above, just in case there was some sense in it.

              Nope!..You’re still as thick as a difficult dump.

  20. jimmybones71

    Paul, your reading seems fair enough, but I am more than a little angered by the prospect of Sevco playing these new signings from the start of the season ie. through July and August, by calling them “triallists”. That seems to me to be against the spirit of the embargo. Is it also against the rules?

    • monster_mind

      Jimmy / Paul

      The idea of the club at Ibrox of playing the new signings as “trialists” before registering them on September 1 is particular galling and is certainly against the spirit of the embargo, and IMO against the spirit of the rules themselves, if not the letter.

      Today’s Daily Telegraph confirmed that they can play each of their new signings as trialists 3 times before 1 September.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/10084773/Rangers-allowed-to-play-pre-contract-signings-before-September-despite-transfer-embargo.html

      It quotes a named source at the SFL as saying ““Our season starts with the first round of the Ramsdens Cup and two trialists are allowed in that tie. The clubs asked for that to be introduced last year because it’s so early in the season.”

      I have just emailed the SFL to ask:

      1. When did the clubs ask for trialists to be allowed in the Ramsdens Cup (eg at which minuted meeting.)
      2. On which date did the rule change take place to enable this?

      Paul, I remember the discussion on one of your blogs, regarding when Little and Black played as trialists in the first round of the Ramsdens Cup last July. I checked back on the comments on your post from the time, and you posted a comment on 8 August to the effect that a lady at the SFL confirmed to you that the rules of the Challenge Cup had been changed, although they hadn’t been updated online

      I wonder were you ever given any other details that might go towards answering the questions I raised with the SFL? (A comment by Hirsute Pursuit over on TSFM today (16:23) helpfully shows that the rules weren’t updated online until 24 September 12, which alon with the Telegraph article prompted my email to them.

      I realise with everything else going on over at Govan, this may appear small beer, but it just winds me up!

      effect

  21. PAUL – tut tut tut, you are misleading the witnesses, m’lud.

    as FRA points out,
    [and i assume he’s not a legally qualified man, like your good self]

    THE HEADING IS FALSE, AS RANGERS DON’T EXIST

    —————————————————–
    Fra
    May 27, 2013 at 1:58 pm
    The heading is false as rangers don’t exist.

    So why are most people giving the impression that they are the same as before.

    Rangers were LIQUIDATED
    Rangers therefore cease to exist.
    Rangers died.

    I can understand this quite easily so why can’t more learned people than myself. It’s not actually too difficult a concept.

    ——————————————————

    PAUL – tut tut tut, you are misleading the witnesses, m’lud.

    as FRA points out,
    [and i assume he’s not a legally qualified man, like your good self]

    THE HEADING IS FALSE, AS RANGERS DON’T EXIST

  22. Niall Walker

    ” Just read the above, just in case there was some sense in it.”

    Your inability to understand basic logic and evidence is your problem not mine, Rangers ” the club ” the concept ” ” the spirit “, existed before the rules you wish to define their existence by. Therefore it is a purely subjective choice to pick a definition, one I am quite happy to remain agnostic on.

    • Niall Walker

      Rangers the club existed before the SFA, UEFA, before it was a company, and before a club had to be attached to a company.

      It is not for I to determine what constitutes a club in the eyes of a fan, it is a subjective choice.

  23. Brian J

    @Niall
    I understand what you say about how, for individual fans, the concept of what makes a club a club is a subjective one.
    That is however entirely irrelevant when it comes to the SFA and to both the SPL & SFL. They do not have the luxury of subjective assessment. They are part of the football establishment and in the heirarchy of that establishment are subordinate to UEFA and as such are required to operate within the rules stipulated by UEFA. Those rules provide an unambiguous definition of a club. So regardless of what individual fans on either side think the SFA, SPL and SFL ought to be bound by the UEFA definition of what constitutes a club and should apply the rules accordingly.

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