SFA Confirms Mr Mather Got It Wrong About Rangers and the Administration Penalties

 The SFA has responded to the demands by Mr Mather and Mr McCoist for an explanation of the “anomalies” regarding the penalties for going into administration. The full statement can be read here.

The response seems to be a pro-active reply to the criticism and frankly is a damning critique of what the Rangers CEO and manager had said.

In fact it is so thorough, I could have written it!

The statement is below and I offer a few comments which are in bold.

——————————————————————————-

In response to the recent public comments from Rangers FC, and in particular Craig Mather and Ally McCoist, the Scottish FA offers the clarification requested with regard to Insolvency Rules under the Judicial Panel Protocol.

As yet the Scottish FA has not received a formal, written request for clarification by Rangers.

So after all of the noise generated by Messrs Mather and McCoist, which resulted in a great outpouring of delight amongst online Rangers fans seeing their team “stand up to” the evil SFA, the Ibrox outfit had not actually managed to write, or email, or fax the SFA asking for an explanation.

It looks as if Mr Mather has been taken aback by the response on the basis that I am sure did not expect a reply!

 

Notwithstanding the fact that a full note of reasons was published by the Judicial Panel Chair, Gary Allan QC, at the time of the determination – disseminated to the club directly, and to the public via the media – we are happy to reiterate the salient points in the interests of clarity and transparency:

Clarity and transparency? Do you think someone at the SFA is having a chuckle (no pun intended) at Rangers?

 

•    The Disciplinary Rules of the Judicial Panel Protocol provide a sliding scale of sanctions, with a suggested tariff of low-end, mid-range, top-end and maximum. This reflects the potential variations in seriousness of any breaches and any aggravating or mitigating factors.

•    Rangers were fined £50,000 for a breach of Rule 14(g) based on the panel’s view that the evidence presented on both sides merited a sanction at the maximum end of the tariff. This was evidenced in the Note of Reasons:

Page 30  – “At the time of the first withheld payment in September 2011 Rangers FC’s financial situation was such that it could have made the payment due to HMRC.”

Page 33 – “The non-payment was a deliberate act in furtherance of a decision of the Chairman and director of Rangers FC not to make payment as a negotiating tactic in the resolution of ‘the Big Tax Case’.”

Page 56 – “In the case of the non-payment of tax (which was possibly by the smallest margin the most serious breach) the massive extent of the failure and the intentional and calculated manner in which it was carried out aggravated the breach even further”.

So the non-payment was deemed to have been wilful, rather than forced by circumstances. In fact the Panel found that the non-payment was deliberate!

 

•    Rangers were placed into administration following the deliberate non-payment of social taxes, despite – in the evidence provided – having the money to do so when the decision was first taken to withhold the money. This was not a feature in the Heart of Midlothian or Dunfermline Athletic cases.

That looks like a difference, doesn’t it? However it is possible that Mr Mather did not know about the distinctions – after all, he is only the CEO of one of the teams and was accusing the governing body of playing unfairly with his team.

 

•    Contrary to Mr Mather’s statement, Rangers’ registration embargo was applied in a separate rule breach, Rule 66 – Bringing the Game into Disrepute.

•    The administrators in the two other cases (Heart of Midlothian and Dunfermline Athletic) submitted that fines would be inappropriate as the clubs effectively had no money and any fine could jeopardise attempts to save the club. They made submissions on their clubs’ financial position to reinforce their view.

•    Rangers’ lawyer, in contrast, specifically asked for the club to be fined in respect of Charge 3, or Rule 14(g). He did not lead evidence of Rangers’ financial position or ability to pay any fine.

•    Rangers did not appeal the fine.

Ouch.

I noted when the Allan decision was given, that the lawyer for Rangers had not given the Panel any financial information and thus the Panel was left to pluck a figure from the air. Of course the Panel did say that, in the scale of Rangers wage bill etc, any financial penalty would be a token one, but if you do not give the judge information, he is entitled to take the worst from it.

The reference to Rangers lawyer asking for a fine is noteworthy too.

When this was mentioned by the Guardian’s Ewan Murray on the radio at the weekend, the reaction amongst Rangers fans was to demand apologies and that Mr Murray be sued for his vile calumnies. Which turned out to be true…

And as the SFA spokesperson concluded, there was no appeal against the fine. Rangers could have challenged it – after all the registration embargo was challenged at court, but nothing was said about the fine.

—————————————

Conclusion

What do we learn from this unfortunate episode?

Well, first of all I have seen a Twitter reaction suggesting that, in some way, Rangers benefited by “choosing” its own punishment. That is nonsense. In a criminal or disciplinary case the defence lawyer, after conviction, will suggest possible disposals to the court or tribunal. Sometimes these are unrealistic, sometimes they are done simply to let the client see that an argument is being put up for them, and sometimes they are helpful in persuading the judge how to deal with the matter.

But here it is quite clear that there was consideration by the Panel given to expulsion or suspension, and that the penalties of a fine and registration embargo were seen as just short of that. Effectively the Panel imposed the maximum Community Service Order available on the accused, the next step being, figuratively, the “Barlinnie bus”.

Secondly, as I mentioned at the top, we seem to have the SFA being rather more active in responding to criticism than before.

Thirdly, we have Mr Mather and Mr McCoist’s outburst. When Mr McCoist demanded “transparency” in relation to the names of the Judicial Panel, it was in fact the case that his colleagues had been in the hearing room, and that he could have asked them, rather than making all the fuss he did.

In the same way, if Mr Mather did not know the score, he could have asked the lawyers (as oldco and newco are represented by the same firm). Could it be that the statement was simply a way of rallying the loyal fans to the Mather banner, and never mind that the premise of it was rubbish?

Fourthly, one wonders if the SFA Compliance Officer would give some consideration to a charge of bringing the game into disrepute against Mr Mather? I suspect not, but if so Mr Mather is a lucky man. He has effectively accused the SFA of bias.

(Mind you, maybe he did not know what happened because it affected a different football club from the one he now helps to ruin run.)

So, well done to the SFA.

Must try harder for Mr Mather.

Posted by Paul McConville

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440 Comments

Filed under Rangers, SFA

440 responses to “SFA Confirms Mr Mather Got It Wrong About Rangers and the Administration Penalties

  1. Budweiser

    After the meeting, shareholder Brian Bowman said: “The board of Glasgow Rangers Football Club should resign en mass.

    “There were comments made by the board tonight that were completely and utterly untrue.

    “They told barefaced lies and we need to cleanse this club.”

    Which of the factions has the most peopleness ?

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/rangers-fans-demand-answers-from-board-over-recent-turmoil.1375999493

  2. lordmac

    as things stand rangers have enough money to last till November
    you heard it here first, take a note of the date, before the Scottish daily record, or the Scottish sun or any news paper tells you anything different
    as it now stand MC coll wants to buy rangers, but he wants to smoke out greeen, the power struggle lies with mc coll and he wants to buy rangers on the cheap he must give green the £14 million he asks for

    or this will be the last chance he will get of owning rangers
    the blue knight could not scrape up even the 500,0000 look see at the accounts

    and if he dose not get his act together and pay the 14million rangers will bee sold of bit buy bit for development and the park will be leased at 1.5 million per annum

  3. Stevie
    August 7, 2013 at 11:43 am
    1872….right uptae noo!
    Clean yer windaes GlazierT….Boo!
    Simply the best…always have been…always will be.
    ===========================
    Ian4300
    August 7, 2013 at 5:34 pm
    I know Stevie, & Green left in Disgrace & Wattie will never let him back into Ibrox….. OOOOP’S you got THAT Wrong too.
    ===============================
    Stevie
    August 7, 2013 at 9:25 pm
    Lol. What are you pontificating about now?
    CG was and still is a disgrace Ian.
    He made racist comments…He is a proven liar..
    You are mistaken in attributing any comment about WS
    vanquishing CG to me Ian.
    Everybody knows CG is the main shareholder,therefore the main man.
    Never mind….attention to detail has never been your forte.
    Several things Stevie.
    All True too.
    RFC(IL) are Dead.
    I told you when you were Pontificating about Green that:
    (A) Green officially resigned to save TRFC & TRFC paid a Fortune to clear him & he would be back. You denied this would happen.
    (B) I also said that Green would be back in any capacity that the Board wanted to appoint him to.
    (C) You all revelled in his lies, attacking anyone who spoke out. Look at the difference a few months make. Even Leggo is back to the Snake Oil Salesman patter.
    (D) One of us has a severe lack of ability to pay attention to detail & I don’t think it’s ME…So I will reiterate my Position.
    RFC(IL) are DEAD, SEVCO morphed into TRFC by a series of Rule breaking & cheating by the Scottish football Authorities, who are not fit for purpose.
    RFC(IL) died as proven TAX Dodgers & Charity Cheats, TRFC are following on in their footsteps, well on the Charity front anyway. Time will tell if they owe Tax when they go bust.
    Read your delusional post at the start of this reply… It should be Last YEAR til NOO… THAT is attention to detail.
    Still laughing at Green taking the pish… He is catching up on Whyte.

  4. Monti

    Champions league draw this morning, at least 3 quality signings to arrive at the club, Celtic effectively debt free & flourishing as a club overall.
    A talented young Irishman as manager & a world class scouting network in place, with an excellent background team assisting Neil.
    Largest season ticket sales in Scotland & state of the art,asbestos free stadium & facilities at Celtic park.
    We trust our manager with the team, we trust Peter with our club & we are only going to get stronger.
    #BECELTICBELONG!

    • cam

      #BECELTICBEGONE!

    • graham

      Monti ,
      How many SB have you sold to make you the largest in Scotland ..
      Come back at the end of the season when you can boast the 5th largest attendances in the whole if Britain as the rangers were last season !!

      T.N.F

      • graham,

        5th Largest attendance in Britain & yet STILL lost over ONE Million Pounds per Month… Is that a World record?

        How Many Freebies? How many Grandas in on Junior tickets? How much money did TRFC Make last season…Not counting stolen Charity money?

        By their own admission RIFC are down to TEN Million & that includes the EIGHT MILLION just brought in in Season Book sales.

        Their own personal ARMAGEDDON arriving at Ibrox soon… Come back at the end of the season & compare notes… if TRFC still exist..

  5. Monti

    BREAKING NEWS!
    Craig Whyte has been named as the Father of a new born Panda at Edinburgh Zoo!
    A Zoo keeper said ” we all know Craig likes fcuking bears & he is overjoyed at the new arrival”
    The new dad asked for some privacy with his new arrival & a bowl of Jelly & Ice cream.
    The bear is to be called ‘ Deady bear’.

  6. Ed Paisley

    This diehard Rangers man McColl with a billion in the bank is going to wait until his beloved Rangers are on the brink of collapse again before he throws some pocket change at them.
    Still you don’t become mega rich by wasting money on a club full of second rate players and self-seeking overpaid executives (yes Ally, that includes you).
    I can see McColl in a stand-off with Green, and meanwhile the wolf is scratching at the door of Ibrox.

    But wait a minute – it was Charles Green and his associate Craig Whyte who saved the club from extinction. Those were the guys who ditched the potential £80m of creditors. Charles brought in the £22m from the IPO while Paul Murray was relaxing at the hairdresser.

    I would say that Charles and his associates are worth at least 15% of the debts they cleansed (to use Whyte’s words). That is £12m – pay the man for heaven’s sake.

  7. Bill

    a former colleague, with no interest in football, but plenty of interest in matters financial, was, post a meeting, given a tour around the innards of Ibrox last week. His guide for this was a very long standing employee of the club(1). Upon entering the trophy room (Blue Room?), he commented on the empty display cases, where he had expected to see the large collection of silverware amassed over a glorious history(2).

    The club factotum informed my acquaintance that the silverware “was away for cleaning”, using much the same tone and expression as he might have informed him that his beloved Labrador had gone to live on a faraway farm, and no, he couldn’t visit.

    (1) yes, I know.
    (2) see (1)

  8. graham
    August 9, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Monti ,
    How many SB have you sold to make you the largest in Scotland ..
    Come back at the end of the season when you can boast the 5th largest attendances in the whole if Britain as the rangers were last season !!
    ——————————————————————————————
    Celtic are rumoured to have sold about 45k season tickets this season although cant be sure and according to the SPL website Celtics average attendance last season was 46917. That’s higher than the tribute acts in the highly regarded and respected all over the world, attendance cup.

    • graham

      Well not according to the official uk attendance figures ..
      But Iam sure the mopes will have complained to some authority to have this over turned to suit their needs
      But Iam sure I recall watching deck chair games in front of empty green plastic seats .. Haha so much so mr lieswell was caught manipulating the attendance figures ! But like all things that come out of celtic at the moment it’s only rangers who allegedly cheat.
      I was at a full Ibrox every other week when celtic had around 20/30 thousand but don’t let the truth get In the way of a good celtic story

  9. Geddy Lee.

    Fascinating to see how the Laptoployal of the Record and the cringing “Scotsman” are giving very scant coverage to last night’s fiasco.

    The Scotsman have given the floor to the increasingly offensive McCoist to
    wax lyrically about Sandy Jardine, as he tries desperately to attach himself to the goodwill aimed at jardine during his current illness.

  10. Geddy Lee.

    How afraid are “the rangers” fans at the prospect of the totally hopeless mcCoist continuing on at his gigantic salary?

    Can they not see just how hopeless he is, and how dangerous it is for a club in such a perilous financial position, to be constantly knocked out of every competion they enter in the very early stages.

    Now that the board have finally admitted they have spent most of the money raised, how do they think their club is going to continue trying to operate like a club with a huge budget?

    It’s clear now the pack have turned on Green (again), despite him saving them from oblivion, that McCoist’s position is probably secure for the next few years. Does any “the rangers” fans have a clue just how long his gold plated contract runs for.

    Be afraid, be very afraid.

  11. david

    @RADIOGAGA
    What happened to your prediction?

    Haw haw haw

    Is the world coming to an end tonight?
    Can you give me a tip for a race this weekend? On second thoughts, perhaps not.

    • Budweiser

      david.

      I for one am delighted that Radiogaga got it completely wrong. The thought of poor ally having to live of his measly £2m pay off and us having to forego his masterclasses in team selection and tactics was almost to much to bear.
      haw haw haw – raise you a haw!

      • david

        Im not interested in how Rangers fare, they are overpaid duds and the Manager has a lot to prove.
        However, this site is becoming crazier by the day.
        Somebody heard a rumour in the pub from a guy who walked by Ibrox who got a tweet from MacMadeupname who got it from one of his imaginary sources

      • david

        @Budweiser
        And it would give you another sub-topic to obsess over in your anti-Rangers diatribes.

        • Budweiser

          david.

          Regarding rumours. I heard [ from a bloke in a pub ] that the Russian oligarch Jak Binstok is buying in to rangerski with some magic beans . He promises to ‘ grow the business ‘.lol.

        • Budweiser

          @Budweiser
          And it would give you another sub-topic to obsess over in your anti-Rangers diatribes.

          david.:- Thank you. I promise to look into it.

          ps. Watch your back david !! Gort seems to be kicking yo ass about Nor Iron. lol.lol.

  12. Budweiser

    Of course Gort will be a ‘ historical illiterate ‘ ?

    • david

      I dont know, he seldom mentions history except blaming the recent troubles on people who lived a century ago; mostly he talks about how those big bad Prods have been nasty to him and what a nice guy Bik is.
      I have no difficulty condemning both sides.
      Terrorists- any terrorists=scum.
      No bravery in shooting an unarmed man or blowing up an innocent child.
      He might even know the difference between an Act of War and a Declaration of War.

      • Budweiser

        He might even know the difference between an Act of War and a Declaration of War

        david.

        Perhaps he might even know why Britain didn’t declare war on Russia after they invaded Poland. As you certainly don’t seem to know >

        • david

          Britain was committed to defend Poland from German aggression along with France following the shameful failure not to go to Czechoslovakias aid over the Sudetenland.
          And of course some realpolitik was involved, 1 large enemy at a time, etc.
          British intelligence warned Stalin that Germany was going to attack them also, but he refused to believe it.
          Like many on this site, however, you refuse to see any good , anytime, in British policy, despite being the only country- and commonwealth- to start and finish the war on the right side, and going to war for the right reasons.
          Better to have waited to be attacked like the USA or Russia, or hide behind another country, like Ireland?

        • graham

          Or why the ROI
          Left the lights on for the Luftwaffe and allowed German U boats to refuel before entering the Atlantic and sink British merchant ships .
          Or how about the aid given to fleeing nazis by the church in Ireland the main exit route from Germany to Argentina is believed to be through the ROI ..
          Not acts of war ?
          Certain not the acts of a neutral country !

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