To Comply or not to Comply ?

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UEFA Club Licensing. – To Comply or not to Comply ?

On 16 April 2018 The UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) adjudicatory chamber took decisions in the cases of four clubs that had been referred to it by the CFCB chief investigator, concerning the non-fulfilment of the club licensing criteria defined in the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.

Such criteria must be complied with by the clubs in order to be granted the licence required to enter the UEFA club competitions.

The cases of two clubs::

Olympique des Alpes SA (Sion Switzerland )

and

FC Irtysh  (Kazakhstan) 

are of particular interest to those following the events under which the SFA awarded a UEFA License to Rangers FC in 2011 currently under investigation by the SFA Compliance Officer because

  1. The case documentation tell us how UEFA wish national associations to apply UEFA FFP rules
  2. The cases  tell us what might have happened to Rangers  FC in 2012 had they not gone into liquidation and as a consequence avoided the same type of sanctions that UEFA applied to Sion and Irtysh.

 

FC Sion  (Olympique des Alpes SA)

Here we are told how the Swiss FL and then the UEFA CFCB acted in respect of FC Sion in 2017 where a misleading statement was made in the Sion UEFA licensing application.

Full details can be read at

http://tiny.cc/y6sxsy

 

but this is a summary.

In April 2017 the Swiss FL (SFL) granted a licence to Sion FC but indicated that a Disciplinary case was pending.

In July 2017 the CFCB, as part of their licence auditing programme,  carried out a compliance audit on 3 clubs to determine if licences had been properly awarded. Sion was one of those clubs.

The subsequent audit by Deloitte LLP discovered Sion had an overdue payable on a player, amounting to €950,000, owed to another football club (FC Sochaux ) at 31st March 2017 as a result of a transfer undertaken by Sion before 31st December 2016, although the €950,000 was paid in early June 2017.

Deloitte produced a draft report of their findings that was passed to SFL and Sion for comment on factual accuracy and comment on the findings. Sion responded quickly enabling Deloitte to present a final report to the CFCB Investigation Unit. In response to the Deloitte final report Sion stated:

“il apparaît aujourd’hui qu’il existait bel et bien un engagement impayé découlant d’une activité de transfert. Ce point est admis” translated as

“it now appears that there was indeed an outstanding commitment arising from transfer activity. This is admitted”

What emerged as the investigation proceeded was that the Swiss FL Licensing Committee, after granting the license in April and as a result of a Sochaux complaint of non-payment to FIFA, had reason to refer Sion’s application to their Disciplinary Commission in May 2017 with regard to the submission of potentially misleading information by FC Sion to the SFL on 7th April 2017 as part of its licensing documentation.

Sion had declared

“Written confirmation: no overdue payables arising from transfer activities”, signed by the Club’s president, stating that as at 31 March 2017 there were no overdue payables towards other football clubs. In particular, the Club indicated that the case between FC Sion and FC Sochaux regarding the transfer of the player Ishmael Yartey was still under dispute.

The SFL Disciplinary Commission came to the conclusion that FC Sion had no intention to mislead the SFL, but indeed submitted some incorrect licensing documentation; the SFL Disciplinary Commission further confirmed that the total amount of €950,000 had been paid by the Club to FC Sochaux on 7 June 2017. Because of the inaccurate information submitted, the SFL Disciplinary Commission decided to impose a fine of CHF 8,000 on the Club.

Whilst this satisfied the SFL Disciplinary process the CFCB deemed it not enough to justify the granting of the licence as UEFA intended their FFP rules to be applied.

Sion provided the CFCB with a number of reasons on the basis of which no sanction should be imposed. In particular, the Club admitted that there was an overdue payable as at 31 March 2017, but stated that the mistake in the document dated 7 April 2017 was the result of a misinterpretation by the club’s responsible person for dealing with the licence (the “Club’s licence manager”), who is not a lawyer. The Club affirmed that it never had the intention to conceal the information and had provisioned the amount due for payment and that, in any case, it has already been sanctioned by the SFL for providing the wrong information.

The CFCB Investigation Unit accepted that the Sion application, although inaccurate, was a one off misrepresentation and not a forgery, (as in intended to deceive ) but that nevertheless an overdue payable did exist at 31st March and a licence should not have been granted.

Based on their findings, the CFCB Chief Investigator decided to refer the case to the CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber and suggested a disciplinary measure to be imposed on FC Sion by the CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber, such measure consisting of a fine of €235,000, corresponding to the UEFA Revenues the Club gained by participating in the 2017/2018 UEFA Europa League.

The CFCB Investigatory Chamber submitted that it was  appropriate to impose a fine corresponding to all the UEFA revenues the Club gained by participating in the competition considering the fact that FC Sion should not have been admitted to the competition for failing to meet one of its admission criteria.

 

The Adjudicatory Chambers took all the circumstances (see paras 91 to 120 at http://tiny.cc/i8sxsy ) into consideration and reached the following key decisions.

  1. FC Sion failed to satisfy the requirements of Article 49(1) of the CL&FFP Regulations and it obtained the licence issued by the SFL not in accordance with the CL&FFP Regulations.
  2. FC Sion breached Articles 13(1) and 43(1)(i) of the CL&FFP Regulations. (Documents complete and correct)
  3. To exclude FC Sion from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it would otherwise qualify in the next two (2) seasons (i.e. the 2018/19 and 2019/20).
  4. To impose a fine of two hundred and thirty five thousand Euros (€235,000) on FC Sion.
  5. FC Sion is to pay three thousand Euros (€3,000) towards the costs of these proceedings.

Comment in respect of the award of a UEFA Licence in 2011 to Rangers FC.

It is now public knowledge that an actual liability of tax due before 31stDecember 2010 towards HMRC, was admitted by Rangers FC before 31st March 2011.

This liability was described as “potential” in Rangers Interim accounts audited by Grant Thornton.

“Note 1: The exceptional item reflects a provision for a potential tax liability in relation to a Discounted Option Scheme associated with player contributions between 1999 and 2003. A provision for interest of £0.9m has also been included within the interest charge.”

The English Oxford Dictionary definition of potential is:

Having or showing the capacity to develop into something in the future.

Which was not true as the liability had already been “developed” so could not be potential.

This was repeated by Chairman Alistair Johnson in his covering Interim Accounts statement

“The exceptional item reflects a provision for a potential tax liability in relation to a Discounted Option Scheme associated with player contributions between 1999 and 2003. “  where he also added

“Discussions are continuing with HMRC to establish a resolution to the assessments raised.”

This could be taken as disputing the liability but In fact the resolution to the assessments raised would have been payment of the actual liability, something that never happened.

In the Sion case it was accepted the misleading statement was a one off misrepresentation, but at the monitoring stages at June 2011 in Ranger’s case the status of the liability continued to be misrepresented and in September the continuing discussions reason was repeated, along with a claim of an instalment paid whose veracity is highly questionable.

The Swiss FL Licensing Committee did at least refer the case to their Disciplinary Committee when they realised a misleading statement might have been made. The SFA however in August 2011, when Sherriff Officers called at Ibrox for payment of the overdue tax , did no such thing and pulled up the drawbridge for six years, one that the Compliance Officer is now finally charged with lowering.

 


 

The case of FC Irtysh of Kazakhstan is set out in full at http://tiny.cc/y9sxsy  and is a bit more straightforward but is nevertheless useful to compare with events in 2011 in Scotland.

Unlike Rangers FC , FC Irtysh properly disclosed that they had an overdue payable to the Kazakhstan tax authorities at the monitoring point at 30th June 2017. This caused the CFCB Investigatory Unit to seek further information with regard to the position at 31st March

It transpired that Irtysh had declared an overdue payable at 31st March but cited their financial position (awaiting sponsor money) as a reason for non payment to the Kazakhstan FA who accepted it and granted the licence. The outstanding tax was paid in September 2107.

The outcome of the CFCB Investigation was a case put to the CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber  who agreed with the CFCB Investigation Unit that a licence should not have been granted and recommended that Irtysh be fined the equivalent of the UEFA prize money, (that had been withheld in any case whilst CFCB investigated.)

The CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber however decided that a fine was not sufficient in sporting deterrent terms and ruled that:

 

  1.  FC Irtysh failed to satisfy the requirements of Article 50bis(1) of the CL&FFP Regulations and it obtained the licence issued by the FFK not in accordance with the CL&FFP Regulations.
  2. To withhold four hundred and forty thousand Euros (€440,000) corresponding to the UEFA revenues FC Irtysh gained by participating in the 2017/2018 UEFA Europa League.
  3. To exclude FC Irtysh from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it would otherwise qualify in the next three (3) seasons (i.e. the 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons). This sanction is deferred for a probationary period of (3) three years. This exclusion must be enforced in case the Club participates again in a UEFA club competition having not fulfilled the licence criteria required to obtain the UEFA licence in accordance with the CL&FFP Regulations.
  4. FC Irtysh is to pay three thousand Euros (€3,000) towards the costs of these proceedings. “

 

The deferral was because unlike Rangers FC,  FC Irtysh had properly disclosed to the licensor the correct & accurate financial information required, so the exclusion was deferred for a probationary period of (3) years.

 

Comment in respect of the award of a UEFA Licence in 2011 to Rangers FC.

From the foregoing it could be deduced that had Rangers FC qualified for the Champions League (or European League) and not gone bust as a result and so not entered liquidation BUT it became public knowledge by 2012 that a licence had been wrongly and possibly fraudulently granted then

  1. Rangers would have been fined the equivalent of their earnings from their participation in the UEFA competitions in 2011
  2. At least a two year ban from UEFA Competitions would have been imposed, but more likely three in view of repeated incorrect statements.
  3. The consequences of both would have been as damaging for Rangers survival as the real life consequences of losing to Malmo and Maribor in the qualifying rounds of the Champions and European Leagues.

Karma eh!

Interestingly in the UEFA COMPLIANCE AND INVESTIGATION ACTIVITY REPORT 2015 – 2017 , the CFCB investigatory chamber recommended that both the Kazakhstan FA and Swiss FA as licensors

“pay particular attention to the adequate disclosure of the outstanding amounts payable towards other football clubs, in respect of employees and towards social/tax authorities, which must be disclosed separately;

Would the same recommendation apply to the Scottish FA with regard to their performance in 2011 and will the  SFA responses thereafter to shareholders in a member club be examined for compliance with best governance practice by the SFA Compliance Officer investigating the processing of the UEFA Licence in 2011?

This would be a welcome step in fully restoring trust in the SFA.

7185 COMMENTS


  1. Tweet
    =====
    Alasdair Lamont
    @BBCAlLamont
    Remember King claims to have agreed verbally with Whyte that he has first refusal on his shares.12:55 pm · 9 Jun 2012

    View Comment

  2. I think what’s needed at the moment is some clarity in Scottish Fitba.
    So in the interest of Mental Health and the effects confusion can have on a mind that’s shall we say prone to bouts of gullibility I have decided to place an easy to follow guide for those poor wee souls oot there who it appears are having another number done on them by yet another Spiv at Aye Broke.
    Step 1 Read This paging particular attention to the Section marked 
    https://www.lbhf.gov.uk/sites/default/files/A_Guide_to_Starting_a_Sports_Club_tcm21-149209.pdf
    Incorporation as a Limited Company
    After reading this you now will be fully aware that when a Club Incorporates 
    it becomes a Legal Entity.
    Not as some of you have been led to believe a Legal Entity controlled by a
    seperate Entity called a Holding Company.
    This Entity is one and the same.
    A limited Company.

    Step 2
    Read this page 
    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/SC004276
    You will note that the Company in Question is/was RFC 2012 P.L.C formerly known as 
    Previous company namesName THE RANGERS FOOTBALL CLUB P.L.C.Period 27 May 1899 – 31 Jul 2012

    Step 3
    Click onto the link marked FILING HISTORY then proceed to the bottom 
    of the page and select page No10
    Go to the very bottom entry marked:
    Jan 1900 Certificate of incorporation 
    View PDF Certificate of incorporation – link opens in a new window 
    In this you will find a Document verifying  the:
    Incorporation of the Football Club Rangers Fc formed in 1872
    Incorporated as a Limited Company on the 27th May 1899
    Go back to step 1 now and read  the facts presented by the Government.
    The Club is now a Legal Entity

    Step 4
    Now we go to the box near the top marked INSOLVENCY 
    Click this and you should see this page
    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/SC004276/insolvency
    You will clearly see Two cases.
    Case 1
    Case number 1 — In Administration
    Administration started14 February 2012Administration ended31 October 2012
    Case number 2
    Case number 2 — Compulsory liquidation
    Petition date31 October 2012Commencement of winding up31 October 2012

    Step 5 
    Now go to the top of the and you will see the link 
    AIBs register of insolvent companies
    Click on this link an it should take you here
    http://roi.aib.gov.uk/ROI/

    Step 6
    Now enter Company No SC004276 into the 
    relevant search
    Search Companies in Receivership or Liquidation

    This should now lead you to your our final destination and the final
    conclusion:
    Rangers Died.

    Happy To Help 😁

    View Comment

  3. I wonder why some Bears are so enthralled by King.

    Duped out of £20m by SDM was going to fight to get his money back but no sign of that.
    Was going to give Mike Ashley a kicking but ended up having to pay him off.
    Fought SARS and lost.
    Fought the TOP and lost.
    Fought in Europe and lost.
    Fought for second in the SPFL and lost.

    View Comment

  4. Homunculus
    May 31, 2018 at 21:17
    shug
    May 31, 2018 at 21:17

    ——————————————————  
    Are you twins?
     
    Ma coat is on.14

    View Comment

  5. BILLYDUGMAY 31, 2018 at 21:35
    Attachment 
    HOMUNCULUSMAY 31, 2018 at 21:17Fair enough.Thought it was to pay this July loan. 
    __________

    You know? In all the guesses of what the deflections are about, nobody’s thought of that one. £13m of loans due for repayment within two months, I wonder if Barry Scott’s consortium are included in July’s loan expiries!

    View Comment

  6. fan of footballMay 31, 2018 at 17:47
    ‘….it’s only because there was NO proper governance in the Scottish game .’
    _______________________
    The loss of moral authority is almost impossible to recover from.

    The present members of the SPFL were all members of either the SPL or the SFL, representatives of each of which bodies put their signatures to the 5-Way Agreement, thus endorsing the biggest sporting lie that this wee country has seen its Football Clubs ever endorse.

    Even if the individuals who signed on behalf of those bodies were  acting without the authority of their Boards ( which is entirely possible) , their Boards’ subsequent acceptance of the lie, instead of demanding the annulment of the Agreement as being ultra vires of their representatives, fatally undermines their moral authority.

    (The SFA’s moral authority is highly questionable over the RES 12 matter of some years ago, as well as over the 5-Way Agreement)

    Neither the SFA nor the SPFL can completely and thoroughly deal with King or any other rogue club, as he/it ought to be dealt with UNTIL they:

    deal with the 5-Way Agreement, by having it rescinded ,and having the true status of TRFC Ltd  as a 6-year-old club unentitled to claim any of the honours and titles of RFC(IL), written into the record and

    open up to us all the truth about the granting of the UEFA competitions licence which the Res12 action is about.

    When they have done that, and restored some integrity to the Sport, those individuals actually involved in the signing of the Agreement ( Doncaster? and Longmuir? ) should follow Regan and resign.

    No question.

    View Comment

  7. I see at least one journalist on Twitter (Tom English) is prepared to call out Dave King. I see another (Ewan Murray), who seems happier to slate the SPFL, and have a dig at Celtic (as he generally does).

    However the bottom line is King knows what he is doing. Not enough people in the MSM are prepared to call him out. He has whipped up the neanderthals and also the more sensible Rangers fans judging by what I read on Twitter from those I would put in that bracket.  It almost seems like he is trying to draw Celtic into a war – a war he knows where 95% of the media foot soldiers would be on his side. 

    Scottish football would be a far better place if criminals like Dave King were barred from it sine die. 

    View Comment

  8. HOMUNCULUSMAY 31, 2018 at 21:17′..To be fair that’s just how Sports Direct operate.’

    BILLYDUGMAY 31, 2018 at 21:35Attachment .Fair enough. Thought it was to pay this July loan.

    AllyjamboMay 31, 2018 at 21:51You know? In all the guesses of what the deflections are about, nobody’s thought of that one. £13m of loans due for repayment within two months, I wonder if Barry Scott’s consortium are included in July’s loan expiries!
    ___________________

    Billydug’s post certainly homed in on a point of great relevance that I had forgotten [ geez, is July 2018 just a few weeks away? Since retirement and the ceremonial burning of my Filofax ( are they still on the go? using one made me feel like a right prarse!)] I tend to lose track of time.

    If, as I think is the case, the expectation is that the season-book-buying support will individually borrow a lump sum and pay in full upfront, then even if the lenders call in their loans in full, there might just be enough to pay them off.

    But there might not then be a helluva lot left to pay normal running expenses.

    Knowledgeable chaps/chapesses?

    View Comment

  9. Re. Loans. Tweet
    =============
    Barcabhoy
    @Barcabhoy1
    Replying to @TheTributeActWhat is also 100% is that at least one loan has been called in . In writing .8:43 pm · 31 May 2018

    View Comment

  10. I know it’s poor form to quote one’s self, however 
    ======================================

    HOMUNCULUSMAY 30, 2018 at 18:48

    WOTTPIMAY 30, 2018 at 18:18

    ==========================================

    Just a feeling but I think the share issue stuff is becoming less clear.

    Are all of the people who have been saying they are willing to swap debt for equity still going to be doing that.

    I’m not convinced with regards anyone associated to Barry Scott, or as time passes King himself. If he isn’t willing to do it then why would anyone else. Bearing in mind he has promised another £3m this year, and the accounts will show whether he put the additional £4m in last season. 

    View Comment

  11. My take on the alleged conflict of interest.

    It appears to me that the primary duty of any director is to the company of which he is a director. And, there are various sections of the Companies Act and associated rules that set out the duties of a director in dealing with situations where he/she may be involved with something that might give rise to the appearance of a conflict of interest with his/her company.

    These should be built into each company’s articles of association. And, in the case of the SPFL, indeed they are.

    However there does not, in this case, appear to be any suggestion that the interests of the company (the SPFL) are being put at risk.

    So, I think – unless I am missing something blindingly obvious – there is no question whatsoever of a conflict of interest with the SPFL.
    Therefore, there appears not to be any question of governance issues from a general statutory point of view.

    However, we shouldn’t discount the possibility that the SPFL articles and rules have created a wider net than the statutory requirements for the capture of potential conflicts of interest. 

    Having searched for those, the nearest I can find is:

    87. The Chairman, the Non-Executive Director and the Chief Executive may not be a director, other office holder or employee of any Member nor an Official or employee of any club (as defined in articles of association of the Scottish FA) without the prior consent of the Company by Ordinary Resolution.
    88. The Chairman and his Associates, the Non-Executive Director and his Associates and the Chief Executive and his Associates shall not be permitted to hold any share or shares or have or hold any other interest in any Member nor any club as defined in article 1 of the articles of association of the Scottish FA without the prior consent of the Company by Ordinary Resolution.

    Now, if any SPFL member club feels that current circumstances demonstrate that these restrictions are not sufficient, I would have thought it would be incumbent on that club to bring the deficiency to the attention of the board. If the case has merit, it would find no problem gathering support amongst its fellow clubs to force an egm – at which they can seek to amend the articles appropriately.

    However, I note that Mr King is not making any suggestion that the existing articles are insufficient. He appears to be saying that under the existing arrangements, the conflict of interest he has identified means that the chair must recuse himself from much of the day to day business of the SPFL board.

    Unfortunately, in his act of probity, Mr King hasn’t yet told us which SPFL articles or rules should be invoked to render the Chairman’s role so obsolete.

    Now you may think he is ripping the pish out of a Loyal support. I am sure it is simply a matter of time before he sets the matter straight.

    View Comment

  12. SHUG 03.23
    1 Other mouth?. If you mean Stephen Kerr, formerly of Level5 then he departed to set up his own PR firm( Chase PR) in December 2017.
    2 No idea if AJ & DP want their loans repaid. As for Douglas & Graeme Park resigning in early July rather than immediately to avoid it being included in the annual accounts then i’m afraid that’s nonsense. This information would come under “Post balance sheet events” and be shown as such.
     

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  13. We are, of course, flying a bit of a kite (though whether a bit of a kite will actually fly…14) when we are talking about RIFC’s loans, but no matter what the business is, it can never be a comfortable time when large loans, vital for the business’s existence, come up for renewal, and even more uncomfortable for one with contingencies, like King’s TOP problems, hanging over it. Uncertainty kills businesses.

    Now, should one loan, of not a great quantum, be recalled, the company might manage to continue by cutting it’s cloth accordingly, but when that company actually needs further investment/loans during the coming year to continue trading, it’s recall could set up a panic amongst the other lenders and induce a domino effect as a consequence. 

    And, as we know, Close Brothers will be watching…closely.

    Still, it’s only just rumours, and we are only flying a kite…quite windy down here today, what’s it like in Glasgow?

    View Comment

  14. ALLYJAMBOJUNE 1, 2018 at 06:55

    We are, of course, flying a bit of a kite (though whether a bit of a kite will actually fly… ) when we are talking about RIFC’s loans, but no matter what the business is, it can never be a comfortable time when large loans, vital for the business’s existence, come up for renewal, and even more uncomfortable for one with contingencies, like King’s TOP problems, hanging over it. Uncertainty kills businesses.
    —————-
    Some say that the rants may be because of a problem with the european licence, put the pressure on etc. What if these loans had a condition.
    We will not call them in if you get into europe.A sort of we are with you on the european journey. But if you don’t make europe then all deals are off, we want our cash back.
    only flying a kite, with a long piece of string. Dragging it along the ground. 
     

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  15. Is today the day there is the announcement of the massive investment from China – or was it from somewhere else, I can’t quite remember? Surely that wasn’t just a rumour started by Dave King and Level 5…

    View Comment

  16. CLUSTER ONEJUNE 1, 2018 at 07:04

    “Steven Gerrard too will inherit a lot of really good players. and the difference is, he might just get more out of them.Hugh Burns.

    ===========================

    That opinion has as much relevance as die-hard Ranger fans who won’t hear one word against the club speaking to each other in a pub. 

    View Comment

  17. On the existence of a COI, im really sorry guys but articles or no articles, im stunned to read people defending this situation on here.

    In the long debated licensing issue, the subject of “sticking to rules” and bending the truth is often used as stick and the “moral” definition/question is often asked.

    If today it was found that MacLennan was a non Exec Director on one of Dave King trust funds, completely unconnected to Rangers, can anyone on here hold their hand up and say they would have no issue with that ?

    Admin – If you could please put this to the end once approved or please remove me from moderation as I have given a cast iron guarantee on posting.

    View Comment

  18. In relation to Gerrard, my understanding is that he is at the Under 21 tournament in Toulon, or that he was.  Not sure if he will be at Ibrox/Auchenhowie this morning.

    View Comment

  19. RUPERTRIGSBY 07.20 & 08.33
    1 Not just DK or L5 though was it?. I believe that Tris had also heard something similar.  
    2 Why would he have to hold another press conference.?
     Was one not enough for you.? 

    View Comment

  20. Oh, so that’s a ‘no’ then.
    Phil said the rumours of investment were compete bollocks so that’s another correct prediction from him! Is there any other journalist in Scotland who gets so much right? I can’t think of anyone.

    View Comment

  21. SLIMJIMJUNE 1, 2018 at 09:11
    Have you got a link to the press conference ? I’m out of the country and haven’t seen it , only the “reveal” at Ibrox .

    View Comment

  22. The common purpose of almost all within our community is to hold the football authorities accountable to the fans, something they have avoided for almost 150 years. Our overarching purpose is to ensure that sporting integrity is the paramount consideration in the organisation of football

    The words above are noble ones, I agree 100% with the sentiment and that is why I have generally persisted with this forum despite being no great fan of the general inane nature of football forum debate.  There are some really eloquent posters on here and I really do believe the site’s stated purpose & goals are relevant.

    That said I can’t help but feel tremendously disappointed with the tribal reaction to what is a genuine issue affecting governance in our game over the last few days.  With the SPFL’s incredible statement last night they admitted that as had been suspected they had not disclosed the potential Maclennan COI but justified it with a fairly bizarre explanation of why they didn’t think it was a COI.  The basis of their fairly extraordinary argument seems to be relying on the technical UK Companies House definition of a COI.  This argument completely ignores the fact that they are governing a sport and are also responsible for it’s reputation and integrity.

    Imagine for a minute that the SPFL appointed a Chairman and then a few weeks later he was hired as the Chairman of a company which was 45% owned by Douglas Park and Dave King.  Can anyone honestly tell me that this website wouldn’t have been up in arms?  Let’s face it, 20 grand would have been raised for a judicial review by now.

    King has pursued it in the preposterous shouty way he always does through rabble rousing statements and manipulating the media.  The fact is though that in this one narrow incident he’s onto something, everyone at the SPFL knows it and everyone on here knows it too.  The SPFL have given him the opportunity to grandstand by mismanaging the situation horribly rather than just acknowledging their mistake and dealing with it. I disagree that an Independent Investigation is needed, I disagree that Maclennan should step aside but in the interests in removing the risk of any COI (or even the perception of one) the board should be instructed to put in place controls to mitigate it.

    Many on this website have expressed frustration over the years at what appears to be apathy from fans of other clubs haven’t joined us in pushing for integrity and proper governance in the game.  I don’t believe the reason is completely apathy, there are a large group of fans who want change, who want competent administrators who display the highest levels of governance.  The reason they don’t support websites like this is because as hard as it is to hear they view them as the domain of loony Celtic fans engaged in permanent tribal arguments divided down “Old Firm” lines.  I’ve argued the case for this site many times over the years because I believe there is genuinely more to it than that, that belief has been shaken this week with only myself and Auldheid standing up and acknowledging the SPFL’s mismanagement of this situation for what it is.

    I can almost sense the fingers on keyboards readying replies of “ah but what about Campbell Ogilvie” or “what about Andrew Dickson” or the classic “aye but Sevco”. 

    With that in mind I’ll leave you with this thought, there are vaild concerns about historic issues which need to be addressed.  Ask yourself honestly, will SFM be viewed as more credible when it raises those concerns if it also goes into bat when Rangers raise genuine governance concerns?

    Hopefully food for thought for some.  I enjoy our occasional sparring on here and will probably continue offering an alternative view on matters where I feel “group-think or an unhelpful “Rangers bad” mentality is taking hold as has happened this week.

    I’m off to sunnier climes for a couple of weeks now, make sure our mad little sport doesn’t burn to the ground in my absence!  

    View Comment

  23. ‘That said I can’t help but feel tremendously disappointed with the tribal reaction to what is a genuine issue affecting governance in our game over the last few days.’ 

    What a very King/Traynoresque thing to say, I presume aimed at posters on here! Not only that, I find it impossible to believe that anyone who is constantly at odds with the blog could ever be disappointed with how the rest of us view his point of view.

    Hands up anyone who might have been surprised that he took the side of TRFC and King, yet again!

    View Comment

  24. John ClarkMay 31, 2018 at 22:33
    “Since retirement and the ceremonial burning of my Filofax ( are they still on the go? using one made me feel like a right prarse!)] I tend to lose track of time.”
    ____________________________________________________

    Very amusing, John 10

    I retired (from multinational oil and gas business) at the end of 2018.

    Just before then I got a bad diagnosis followed by months of treatment. I’m sure there are many SFM readers like me who have to fight unforeseen conditions.

    That makes SFM so much more important to me now as an information source on governance in Scottish Football. I like all the content varying from the factual reports from the courts to the knowledgeable analyses of the day’s events; the short, succinct posts to the longer assessments.

    I love the way the posts flit from topic to topic enticing me back several times per day, especially on statement days. Like you, I don’t really keep track of time but, what the heck, I’m a wee bit more knowledgeable on football governance at the end of every day and my garden’s looking nae bad.

    Thanks to all at SFM. Keep up the good work. Your time and effort are very much appreciated, especially by those of us who are not so mobile.

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  25. @Nick 
    June 1,2018 at 9:45 

    The basis of their fairly extraordinary argument seems to be relying on the technical UK Companies House definition of a COI.  This argument completely ignores the fact that they are governing a sport and are also responsible for it’s reputation and integrity.

    There seems to be an issue with some Supporters within our game when it comes to dealing with the authority of certain Organisations outwith the SFA,UEFA etc.
    The thing is Nick Companes House adheres to the Rules,Regulations and Laws of the land when it comes to how they determine whether any wrong doing has occurred within a Companies/Persons business practice.
    If they state they see no conflict of interest then I suggest they probably know what they are talking about and hence why the SFA -which is after all an Organisation set up primarily to deal with Football Governance- has decided to ask them for a Legal based opinion?
    My only issue with the SFA in this regard is why they chose to totally ignore Companies House when it came to dealing with the issue pertaining to Newcos claim to being the same Club as the one that Companies House clearly states was Liquidated?
    There is the real conflict of interest in Scottish Football.
    One which Dave King and his ilk seem to be conveniently ignoring.

    Ps.
    I had posted an easy to follow guide on this site last night which covers this actual issue.
    Unfortunately it is waiting for the Site Moderator to pass it as worthy material at the moment.

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  26. NICK

    JUNE 1, 2018 at 09:45

    With that in mind I’ll leave you with this thought, there are vaild concerns about historic issues which need to be addressed.  Ask yourself honestly, will SFM be viewed as more credible when it raises those concerns if it also goes into bat when Rangers raise genuine governance concerns?
    ———————————————-

    That’s the crux of it.

    ‘Genuine governance concerns’; not whataboutery, not deflection, not dog-whistling all of which MacLellan-gate appears to be. 

    Had the member club (who DCK does not represent!) raised the matter in writing or in committee & then gone public when the avenues offered to them within the SPFL structure failed to allay their concerns of a CoI and then taking further legal advice, that may have been understandable.

    Jumping the gun (a DCK speciality) in the MSM isn’t how to do it. The SPFL has clearly stated ‘Nothing to see here; move along!’ RIFC (not a member club, remember), represented by the Group Chairman, is unwilling to accept that. I await RIFC funding a Judicial Review of MacLennan’s appointment & the perceived CoI.

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  27. RUPERTRIGSBY 09.23.
    Not going to bite i’m afraid. 
    PADDYMALARKEY 09.30.
    That would have been the “reveal” where Steven Gerrard answered questions from the press then.09
    SHUG 11.09
    You do know that they deal only with the RYDC though don’t you.
    Happy St Gerrards day to you Shug.04

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  28. Rangers aren’t bad nick just dead. 

    SHUG 11.09
    You do know that they deal only with the RYDC though don’t you.

    Aye sure sj and I can hear the band play believe it if you like. 1 r too many in your last words. Enjoy the weekend sj.

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  29. @Nick 
    June 1,2018 at 9:45

    I can almost sense the fingers on keyboards readying replies of “ah but what about Campbell Ogilvie” or “what about Andrew Dickson” or the classic “aye but Sevco”. 

    That last part “aye but Sevco” I find so ironic in a post where you highlight the issues of Governance and conflicts of interests.
    The reason I and many like me will continue to raise the issue of “Sevco“(I’ll guess you already know what’s coming) is simple.
    An agreement was reached in private between 5 parties that facilitated a notion that a New Entity could join the League Setup claiming to be the same Entity that it was to replace.
    A notion that totally ignored the Legally bound Rules and Regulations by which Companies House adhere to.
    So forgive me if I don’t highlight the hypocrisy of this same Entity in question (The tribute act) now questioning the motives of an Organisation with whom they sat down with when this Rule bending agreement was signed?

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  30. As much as King’s rants might be part of a deception ploy (for whatever reason), they could also be an effort to create some discomfort for the new chairman for times when matters pertaining to TRFC are discussed by the board. I’m not suggesting that it would work, but we know King is without morals and likely to try anything as he seeks an advantage.

    What we can be certain of is that King’s demands for an inquiry are self-serving, and not as part of an altruistic desire for proper governance in football. Remember, criminals and confidence tricksters thrive in businesses where proper governance is lacking or non-existent, while it is part of their MO to stir up distrust and disharmony and to appear the victim, rather than the culprit. 

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  31. I see Arlene Foster is coming over to Cowdenbeath for an Orange Walk.  I wonder if she will meet up with Donald Findlay of Cowdenbeath FC whilst she is there to discuss many points of common interests.  For example the connection between the Irish media and Hampden.

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  32. Nick
    To clarify I wasnt saying SPFL got it wrong. I was saying that if having checked their rules for dealing with conflicts of interest their rules needed strengthening, then they should say that.
    That point was put to SFA re 2011 UEFA licence a long time back but difference was there was abundantly clear evidence of where the rules needed strengthening or re affirming.
    That evidence was eventually heeded after the CW trial and a proper if lengthy due process is being followed.
    That is what should have happened here, not a mud slinging contest at the integrity of an individual and a Board from someone whose understanding of integrity and the reality it creates is beyond his experience not having lived in it.
    Potential means something that may possibly happen not something that has. For example a liability is not potential if it has been accepted.
    Knowing the difference is important. Perhaps DK has forgotten how the word has been used/misused in the past.

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  33. “After a decade of legal process, including an agreed, but vetoed, settlement King eventually reached an agreement with the South African High Court whereby he pleaded guilty to 41 criminal counts of contravening the South Africa Income Tax Act and agreed to pay a fine of 80,000 rand per criminal conviction or 3.28 million rand in total. As part of the deal to drop the other 281 criminal charges he faced, King also agreed that he would pay the Criminal Assets Recovery Account of the South African Authorities 8.75 million rand in compensation. King was originally indicted on 322 counts including fraud, tax evasion and evasion of exchange control regulations, as well as money-laundering and racketeering”
     
    Would anyone really trust this bloke with anything?
    If so, there is one born every minute.
     

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  34. slimjimJune 1, 2018 at 11:45
    NICK 09.45 Excellent post. It will be both fascinating & illuminating to see the response,to both your questions and also how the site is perceived by fans of non-Old Firm clubs. As an aside.

    Be even more interesting to go and discover and find that an old firm title now exists between two teams who were never rivals after the death of one 6 years ago.

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  35. slimjimJune 1, 2018 at 11:45
    NICK 09.45 Excellent post. It will be both fascinating & illuminating to see the response,to both your questions and also how the site is perceived by fans of non-Old Firm clubs. As an aside. https://www.rte.ie/news/2018/0601/967476-inm-high-court/
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    A fine double act. Youse must congratulate yourselves on the tightness of your performance.

    As a non OF supporter I’m pretty much with Auldheid on this one. As he points out nothing of any concern has actually happened and if TGSL thinks it has he should use the SPFL channels available to him and not rant in the papers and pay people to argue about it on here.HTH.

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