I looked up Companies House to see if I could locate a company called the “Scottish Professional Football League Ltd” and there it was.
The Scottish Football League was not there but as an association of members it was not listed before.
However, there was no trace amongst active companies of the Scottish Premier League Ltd!
A closer look at the Scottish Professional Football League Limited shows the company number as SC175364.
For those familiar with such numbers (or indeed for those who check thru the details on Companies House) it reveals that, in fact, the SPFL Ltd is in fact the SPL Ltd under a new name!!
It is confirmed when you click through and see that the name changed formally on 5th July 2013.
In addition we can see that new directors were appointed on 22nd July, namely Les Gray, Michael Mulraney and William Darroch, to join the existing Board.
So, in fact, the SPFL is none other than the SPL!
It was of course an article of faith of newco Rangers that, after what they saw as its terrible treatment by the SPL, it wanted nothing more to do with that organisation ever again.
“The chief executive of the SFA, Stewart Regan, has said there will have to be some restructuring in Scottish football.
“It’s no secret the SPL have been working on a plan and I understand the Football League have got their vision for change in Scottish football. It has to change because it’s in a mess.
“It’s really difficult for me to take seriously the SPL re-structure. They threw us out of the league and are now pursuing title stripping, and for us to sit down and think that after all that has come to fruition that I will say ‘OK, everything’s forgotten’, you’re in cloud cuckoo land. I don’t forgive and forget.
“While I’m chief executive, Rangers will not play in the Scottish Premier League.
“If that situation arose, I would go out to the fans, as we did earlier in the year. But my position wouldn’t have changed. If they wanted to go back into the SPL, then fine. But I won’t be chief executive.”
As we know Mr Green is no longer CEO at Ibrox, so the dilemma does not arise. And there has been little or nothing said by the “new” regime at Rangers about the fact that Rangers are back in the SPL camp, notwithstanding all of its bluster.
Of course if it wanted to play in Scotland then it had to join the SPFL, but one might suspect that Mr Green would have had a bit of a rant and rave about the re-structuring, and indeed would probably have suggested that the whole thing was designed by the football authorities to rail-road Rangers into the SPL!
The coverage has been sorely lacking in the fine detail of exactly what was happening. But one can piece things together from the press announcements. So, for example, we saw this a few days ago:-
SPFL Press Release – BBC extend League Cup deal
The Scottish Professional Football League is pleased to announce that BBC Scotland has acquired the exclusive rights to screen Scottish League Cup matches for the next three seasons.
BBC Scotland will screen at least four Scottish League Cup matches each season for 2013/2014, 2014/2015 and 2015/2016. The rights agreement also covers live radio commentary, highlights packages for television, online clips and streaming of selected live matches on the i-player.
SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster commented: “We are delighted to announce that BBC Scotland will again be screening live free-to-air coverage of Scottish League Cup matches. This will ensure that as many viewers as possible are able to enjoy the drama of this season’s Scottish League Cup and should help attract a sponsor for this prestigious competition.”
Ewan Angus, Head of Sport, BBC Scotland, said: “It’s great news for our audiences that we can bring top live action from the Scottish League Cup for the next three seasons. Building on the success of previous seasons, we will continue our high-quality coverage of key games from the competition including a semi-final and the Final in each season. The combination of live matches and highlights on television with our live radio commentaries, online clips and i-player streaming makes it a winner for our audiences.”
So the League Cup, which along with Divisions 1, 2 and 3 made up the “empire” of the SFL, is all gobbled up by the SPL SPFL.
And indeed reading the above release it is as if the SFL never existed …
Posted by Paul McConville