When you have a potential loss to the tax payer of £75m, allegations of tax irregularities, political interference, alleged sporting malfeasance and stand of the brink of the largest corporate failure in Scottish history (discounting the bailed-out RBS) the profile of the story rises above the blogs and regular Scottish media.
Alex Thomson, chief correspondent for Channel 4 News, a man who reports from war zones, interviews prime ministers and presidents, decided to look into how the SFA were handling the current crisis in Scottish football. Yesterday he blogged on the subject, raising many of the questions we have asked in recent months.
On Twitter this morning he reported his experience in trying to get some sense out of the SFA, this is what he said:
“SFA say President Campbell Ogilvie is ‘distancing himself from the current Rangers investigation’ but did not explain how.
“Campbell Ogilvie ‘did not know’ about EBT contract when he was Rangers FC secretary?
“When we asked why not – that was his job – SFA said they didn’t know.
“SFA say their President and fmr Ranger secretary Campbell Ogilvie will not be interviewed by c4news about what he knew…
“SFA say their President Campbell Ogilvie ‘has no plans to stand aside from his job pending current Rangers probes…
“Interesting SFA have just accused me of ‘lying’, ‘pig-headedness’ and then put the phone down mid-conversation….
“all because I put their own statement back to them that Campbell Ogilvie denied knowing about EBTs at Rangers…
“And suggested there might be a perceived conflict of interest in his current position until the investigations are complete”
Three weeks ago we suggested that Ogilvie’s position as SFA president was untenable, saying “The association cannot have a president embroiled in a tax evasion scam which, even before a verdict has been decided, has already caused untold harm to his former club and the reputation Scottish football.”
The SFA have been able to dismiss pleas for sporting integrity and ethical standards from the blogsphere while the mainstream media have either chased the hapless fall-guy, Craig Whyte, or refused to take the Improper Registration of Rangers players seriously.
SFA chief executive, Stewart Regan, was flushed out his slumber by Mr Thomson’s comments this morning, Tweeting to the reporter, “Please could you confirm who you have spoken to. thank you.”
Stewart, if you really need to ask that question, you’re in more trouble than I thought. There are several thousand CQN’ers who could help answer that one.
Campbell Ogilvie and the SFA cannot hide from the facts of this crisis. He is president of the SFA and both he and the association must acknowledge there is work to do. We can only hope Uefa finally decide to take a look.