Alarming corporate governance chasm at SFA


Campbell Ogilvie was an executive director of Rangers for the first five years of their Employee Benefit Trusts and during their earlier illegally-executed tax avoidance Discount Options Scheme.  He received a ‘loan’ from a Rangers EBT, which he has not repaid and is not expected to repay, and recently described his company responsibilities during this period to a friendly journalist as being administrative, and then legislative.

He has been a director of the SFA for 22 years and is now president.

During the period when Ogilvie was director of both Rangers and the SFA the club illegally registered dozens of footballers with the SFA.  All directors are responsible for actions of a company, executive directors especially so.  Those who represent themselves as having administrative and legislative roles, absolutely so.

SFA chief executive, Stewart Regan, yesterday defended Ogilvie’s shameless refusal to resign by offering a defence which echoed Rangers ‘Craig Whyte acted alone’ defence, which was comprehensively dismissed by the SFA Judicial Tribunal.

Regan said, “We have had very clear feedback that the president was not involved in any letter or correspondence with regards to player EBTs.

“We are all aware of businesses being run where you have one owner and operator running the club and a number of directors sitting below. The way this process has been managed, a lot of this correspondence was done much higher up the chain than Campbell Ogilvie.”

This is cringe-worthy nonsense and gets to the heart of the lack of corporate governance at the SFA. Mr Regan is not qualified to assure us that Mr Ogilvie has no case to answer. That is not a judgement for him to make and is certainly not an inference that can be made on the basis of private comments from Mr Ogilvie or other former Rangers directors similarly contaminated by this issue.

Before the chief executive can state as fact how Rangers conducted their business, and the limited involvement of Mr Ogilvie, some form of inquiry must have taken place. No such inquiry happened.

“We have had very clear feedback”, said Mr Regan. Who is “we”, was it an independent panel that received this feedback, or did Mr Regan deal with this personally? Who gave the feedback? Was Mr Ogilvie subject to the same independent scrutiny as anyone else in the game, from Neil Lennon to Craig Whyte, or was this passed off with a handshake?

Mr Regan’s failure to recognise the serious corporate governance failures in his conduct is alarming. We don’t need this guy to know the offside rule but he has to understand good corporate governance requires questions against your president to be openly and independently investigated.

When these are our standards, what else is the executive turning a blind eye to?

Mr Regan was careful to limit his claim on what Mr Ogilvie was not party to. “We have had very clear feedback that the president was not involved in any letter or correspondence with regards to player EBTs” sounds like a substantial piece of information but it’s not.

This only claims that Mr Ogilvie did not author any side letter or contract relating to an EBT, which is not in doubt. The important issue is clearly Mr Ogilvie knew dozens of players had EBTs, he knew football players’ remuneration is subject to detailed written contracts and he knew all money paid to a player, from any source, in relation to football, must be detailed on his contract and registered with the SFA.

For Rangers players’ EBTs to be consistent with SFA and Fifa requirements they would need to be completely discretionary, an optional extra the players were unable to rely on. Mr Ogilvie, the Great Football Administrator, knew all of this.

Instead of good corporate governance we appear to have a self-certified president – we know Mr Ogilvie did nothing wrong because Mr Ogilvie said he did nothing wrong. He is at once, a Great Football Administrator and unaware of the football administration actions of the company he was legally responsible for.

Ogilvie was an executive director of Rangers.  It was his responsibility as a director of Rangers to ensure that the club contracts and legislative responsibilities were conducted in a proper manner.  He was simultaneously a director of the SFA.  It was his responsibility as a director of the SFA to ensure the Association was run in an even-handed manner, that one club – his club or any other – could not load the dice.

Regan went on to say “Since February 14 he has had no involvement at all in any board meetings, any decisions or any meetings with the club.”

It is reassuring that he has withdrawn from an important part of the legislative process of the SFA but his prominent participation in yesterday’s AGM confirms that his influence in other areas remains.

Regan added “[EBTs] are illegal if they are used knowingly in an incorrect manner. That is something we are still waiting for facts on.  But I am satisfied that Campbell has discharged his duty of care.  He has done everything we could have asked of him and, so far as his integrity is concerned, he is a man with many years as a highly respected administrator across the game of football in Scotland.”

“So far as his integrity is concerned….many years …. respected administrator”.  Those words may bring to mind all those years Ogilvie was at Ibrox while Rangers sectarian signing policy was in place.

Regan dismissed calls for his own resignation, no doubt confident he can self-certify his performance.

I am hugely reluctant to open a political debate, but does the painful lack of accountability and scrutiny in Scotland not alarm you? The actions (inactions) of Ogilvie and Regan would never be accepted in England, where structures exist to hold officials to account. As a relic from Rangers sectarian signing policy days, Ogilvie would be regarded as an embarrassing dinosaur, he would never be made president! The ability for officials to state facts without an inquiry would never be tolerated.

We look more like a rotten borough than a country with the mechanisms necessary to nurture a successful state. Where’s your voice now, Mr Salmond?

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  1. Repost!



    Ledley has been a fantastic player for us. We really miss him when is not playing. If you think he disappears in games, I would suggest it is because does a lot the donkey work that does unnoticed. Probably why we keep a better shape when he is playing. Think I remember him scoring a great header around the festive period. Old K Broadfoot might agree that he disappears!



    Mulgrew = class. What a footballer!



    It’s all about opinions though

  2. damn…I wasted it!!



    Sorry BT & Mort…



    My timing was impeccably bad…..as usual!!

  3. NatKnow – “We welcome the paper-chase…” on 7 June, 2012 at 10:57 said:



    He left the vocation? Well I hope it worked out for him.


    Have you any idea what happened to the place in Calder St? Was it mothballed? Were you there too?



    I’m in South east Queensland in a wee place between Brisbane and Toowoomba

  4. Brilliant article Paul …


    But can I ask one thing?



    What can I do?


    What can the fans en mass do?



    We need guidance here !



    They are sweeping us aside

  5. Should we have protest at Hamden on Campbell not resigning or getting sacked ? Put bita pressure on them an media to report things ?

  6. Paul67



    As I intimated in the last few minutes on the previous post:



    Scunnered at everything to do with Scottish Footballing Authorities. They are an absolute disgrace to the country.

  7. hamiltontim on 7 June, 2012 at 11:05 said:





    Of course I can excuse you for having a few beers, I and many others have been guilty of posting whilst under the influence and occasionally even regretting what we’ve said.



    What I find strange is your claim that you ‘forgot’ that you had read a statement from the GB stating their intention to renew season tickets.



    You have posted now for several months with the view that the Celtic support should not renew until the issue of a newco has been resolved. I completely disagree with this analysis but respect your right to adhere to it.



    You have claimed that PL and the Celtic board are untrustworthy and this was reflected in the stance which had been made, at the time, by the GB. You have on numerous occasions used the position of the GB to support and reinforce your assertions.



    I hope you can understand why I would find it difficult to believe your claim that you ‘forgot’ that they had renewed.

  8. SFA = HUN Lovin’ Criminals


    The lot of them



    National Disgrace and Scotland’s SHAME



    Sickened by the whole fiasco/



    Scottish Football is a dead man walking…

  9. corrib04 is Neil Lennon on

    Paul. thank you for taking this hesd on. its simply staggerimg.



    Thst C. O. is occupying a post that seems untenable is bizzarre enough. Then ehen you factor in our system that allowed him to be put there is one step beyond bizzarre



    That Regan cannot see how bad this lools to the r o t w is beyond beyond bizzarre.



    I can only hope regan is awaiting the ruling on the ebt before sacking thedinosaur.



    Pls excuse grammer (from phone)

  10. The Battered Bunnet on

    Chat about whether it was right or wrong for Ogilivie to be a beneficiary of Rangers’ tax scams is largely irrelevant set beside the fundamental issues at the heart of this scandal.



    As an Executive Director of Rangers, he was legally responsible for the proper Governance of the company, for protecting the shareholders’ and company’s interests, and for implementing the Strategy and Instruction of the Board of Directors.



    As a Director of the SFA, he was responsible for upholding the SFA’s FIFA mandate to protect and foster the Game in Scotland, for the proper Governance of the Association, and for protecting the interests of the SFA and its members.



    As an Executive Director of Rangers, it is not permissible for him to claim ignorance of the major contractual positions the company had taken. It was his Responsibility to know what they were, and where appropriate to challenge them. That these positions are now causing the collapse of the club indicates how significant the risk to the club was.



    As an Executive Director, he is on record as confirming that he has signed Player contracts on behalf of the club during the DOS and EBT years. It is not permissible for him to claim that he did not know the terms of the contracts that he signed on behalf of the club. It was his Responsibility to read and fully understand the terms before he signed.



    As a Director of the SFA, his failure to notify the Association of the conflicting interests he held between his role as Executor of Rangers’ tax scams, and that of a Guardian of the Game in Scotland is a failing in first principles of the role.



    Moreover, his failure to disclose this conflict facilitated the outrageous scam on the Game being committed by Rangers, the member club of which he was Director.



    Giving Ogilivie the benefit of every conceivable doubt, he is unfit to hold the office of Director by virtue of his compliant stupidity. Curiously, I have not seen any other evidence that might suggest Ogilvie is either stupid or compliant.




  11. Avocado on 7 June, 2012 at 11:08 said:



    Scunnered at everything to do with Scottish Footballing Authorities. They are an absolute disgrace to the country.




    Sorry for butting in m8 but, where have you been for the past 125 years ? :)))


    A lot of Celtic fans of today are filled with – shock!!!! horror!!!



    This is the way of it in this country. always has been, always will be!

  12. Great article but they are laughing at us. They have brass necks and will continue to tough it out as they have been doing with regards to dealing with Rangers’ wrongdoings.


    Rules have been ignored or bent and deadlines extended. It’s all so obvious. Save Rangers at all costs.

  13. Mornibg Paul et al.



    Been away from the blog for a wee while in a posting sense and how things have changed……



    Oh no they haven’t, the SPL Chief Exec is a disgrace. His counterpart at the SFA appears, on the latest evidence, no better and the Scottish game is corrupt, bigoted and in complete and utter disarray. As for Ogilvie, D&P, Green, the MSM, don’t even get me started.



    A shambles the whole lot. A shameful yet shameless shambles.

  14. Paddy Gallagher on

    Local police (SFA) out of their depth, time for the serious crime squad (UEFA) to investigate and act..

  15. I'm Neil Lennon (tamrabam) on

    While we hoped that the Scottish fitba authorities would “dae something” about the RFCia situation we have already seen enough “opinion” from the likes of neil Doncaster, stewart regan, the killie chairman and co to realise that the establishment is right behind the institution.



    It seems that there is now no hun punishment required for taking the SFA to court (S regan)


    It seems that the hun transfer ban has been overturned (judge judy)


    It seems that hun newco direct into SPL has enough supporters (killie and Dundee Utd SPS)


    It seems that no one wants to talk about hun double contracts issue (Shhhhhh!!)


    It seems that Campbell Ogilvie did not know about hun EBTs etc. even though he had one. (S Regan)


    It seems that no one, even Hector, is getting paid anything, (Charles Green)


    It seems that liquidation is very similar to CVA (Neil Doncaster)



    So far the huns only punishment has been a 10 pt deduction in a season where they lost the title by 20 odd points. Big Deal. Lets compare scars shall we?


    Neil Lennon got a 8 game ban for his handbags with sally moment


    Fergus got a £200,000 fine for poaching TB about twenty years ago


    Celtic replayed Rapid at OT after a bottle landed on the pitch


    A new snp law was brought in to stop aggressive blessing last season after 3 huns were sent off at CP




    The close season has actually bought the huns a bit of respite / the red tops are back to their best and any “phone in” challenges are closed in the close season. The swingometer seems to be heading back in favour of the huns in the past week or so.


    I just hope that things aren’t always what they “seem” to be

  16. Very well said Paul



    If it wasn’t for you I, and quite a few others, wouldn’t have a clue what was going on over there! Keep up the good work :o)




  17. leftclicktic on

    NatKnow & Avacado


    The Xavs sold the ground to developers on condition they got A new bulilding for themselves .


    A very wise move in these times ,so still on the same ground it has a great new retreat built in front of the private houses at the back of the old ground,


    It is quite busy now with guests from all over the world coming to stay for a short while.



  18. Steinreignedsupreme on

    KevJungle – “1st Flag on the JUNGLE roof for LENNON’S LION’S” on 7 June, 2012 at 11:19:



    Forgive me for asking; what ‘spotlight’ are our board under?

  19. NatKnow - "We welcome the paper-chase..." on

    I believe he did leave the vocation. The Priests’ House was sold off a number of years ago to a family (I believe). The Main House and associated buildings (dorms, sports halls etc.) were all sold to a developer a few years ago who has been building houses/flats I undertand (though I’ve not been back to see them since that happened).



    I was there mate – a survivor – LOL!



    I spent some time in Aus a few years ago – Perth, Sydney, Tazzy – didn’t make it to Brisbane – big coutry and not enough time!



    If you can remember your Laundry Number you get 10 points – mine was 97!! :-))

  20. Excellent article Paul



    You mention “political debate” does this imply that this may be discussed at Holyrood at some point?



    I would expect Alex Thomson to also pick up on this in the not to distant future




  21. merseycelt lmfao as the big house door slams shut on




    Your sense of injustice is passionately tangible.



    Excellently put!



    It is always political!



    Two questions, has anyone ever seen Paul67 and TBB in the same room?






    Paul. whilst you evidently view integrity as a goal we should aspire to, what is your view of serial, non-attributed, re-posting from the previous article?



    Shameless behaviour IMO!




  22. jungle jam67 on

    the old bigots network at the sfa is still untouchable


    do not admit to anything and issue non statment after non statment



    ebt’s and double contracts non payment of transfer fees,


    use of paye and ni to pay staff


    and still they have only received a 10 point deduction when it did not mattter.



    sectarian singing at killie and hearts games at ibrokes


    still no punishment



    the action against punishment at the court of session


    regan and ogilvie will let them wriggle out of this



    the sfa would rather every other club in scotland wad banned before they had to act.


    watch this space when FIFA step in and ban all teams from europe


    the great administrator RCO will claim he was unaware of the rules and will get back to you in 21 days



    nothing to see here timmy

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