Blame King and Murray board for approving Whyte, not SFA


There’s an industry of deliberate misunderstanding in Scottish football (and on the pages of CQN).  One of the last vestiges of this is the SFA’s fabled Fit and Proper Test.  There is no test, never has been a test and in all likelihood, never will be a test.  It was almost certainly a figment of some under-informed journalist, who provided the concept enough currency for it to endure in the imagination, despite many, many, people explaining reality.

To be a director of a football club you need to be Fit and Proper, you do not sit or pass a test.

It’s a bit like:

To do a job you need to speak English, you do not sit or pass an English language test.

If you accept the above job assuring your employer you can speak English, and you can’t, you are likely to be fired.

If you accept a job as a director of a football club, assuring the SFA you are Fit and Proper, and you aren’t, the SFA will ban you from football and discipline the club for failing to ensure a director was Fit and Proper before appointment.

This morning the incessant campaign continues to throw reputational damage on anyone who would be inclined to point out that Dave King contravenes the eligibility rules on becoming a football club director.  This is different from being Fit and Proper, which is a subjective assessment, Mr King is simply ineligible.

The reasons for his ineligibility (he was a director of a football club which was liquidated within the last 5 years), and other matters, most notably, his 41 convictions for breaking the tax law in South Africa, and the blame laid at his door by the SPL’s Lord Nimmo-Smith report, make up material reason why the SFA may consider him not Fit and Proper to run a football club.

After targeting Peter Lawwell yesterday, the campaign today turns direct to the SFA, who are accused of allowing Craig Whyte to “bluff his way through the Hampden [non-existent] ‘test’ by simply filling out an official SFA form”.

As should be patently obvious to anyone with a dozen or more brain cells, the SFA form is neither a ‘test’ nor a certification of appropriateness from the SFA.

The obligation to ensure a football club appoints Fit and Proper directors lies with that club’s board.  If the board fail in their duty to the game, the club is liable to sanction from the SFA.

So who was on the board which appointed Craig Whyte as a director of Rangers?

Our emerging heroes, the men who chased away the billionaire, Dave King and Paul Murray.  As non-executive directors of Rangers they had a responsibility to the club’s stakeholders that their interests were being protected.

The Institute of Directors factsheet on the role of non-execs quotes the Cadbury Report, saying they “should bring an independent judgement to bear on issues of strategy, performance and resources including key appointments and standards of conduct.”

It was the Rangers board’s responsibility to instruct the necessary checks on Craig Whyte’s appropriateness to be a director of the club.  They either failed to do this, or if they did, failed to act on the information, or withdraw their names from the club’s register of directors.

Sir David Murray may have controlled the majority of shares, but as recent boardroom events at newco demonstrate, there is a great deal non-execs, when in a majority on the board, can do to inhibit major shareholders if they believe the interests of other stakeholders are being jeopardised.

Non-execs are not there to wear the blazer and attend supporters’ events, they are the eyes and ears of the supporters, shareholders, employees and creditors who are not privy to the inner workings of the club.  In this respect, Mr King and Mr P. Murray failed Rangers on a cataclysmic level.

They are, in every respect possible, perfect for the job of running newco.  My prediction (no inside info) is the SFA will fold under sustained media pressure, set aside their ineligibility rules and allow Mr King and Mr P. Murray to work their magic one more time.

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  1. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    12:27 on


    28 April, 2015


    I stumbled across the Ronny lecture video on you tube at the time he joined us. So if its been up there that long how come the only film we ever saw of him on TV was the one baring his a*** when he won the league?




    An excellent point.




  2. Re-posted due to new article……



    Watched the Ronny video.


    Very impressed with the man. I am not a football coach or have been involed in the game at his level so what he is saying regarding mental tiredness and various other things to do with man management in football players but I can equate it back to my own world and my own job. What Ronny says makes sense.


    Does it work in football? He has proved it can in Norway.


    I think the intial problems Ronny faced in Scotland is natural reaction to change which is to repel it.


    One thing I hadn;t factored in was that Ronny arrived at Paradise alone. He is here in a strange country he has never previously worked in with no support, what I mean is he did not have somene he knew and trusted to lean on. That is highly unusual for a football manager. They usually come with a team. MON came with effctively two assistant gaffers and is own backroom team. WGS had his trusted lieutenants. Neil Lennon had his coaching staff who were men he trusted.


    Ronny arrived with nobody. He built up vey quick bromance with John Collins. The two of them have very close philosophies and clearly had a similar outlook on football.


    Now it would appear that John Kennedy is a major part of the coaching team. When I see the touchline on TV it is Ronny and John Kennedy who are discussing the next moves or possible substitions. Does that mean that JC is not as important as JK? No. Clearly not. It means that Ronny has now defined their roles and is using these guys as he sees fit to suit their abilities and strengths. Ths has clearly taken him time Why? Because he had team to get fit and buy into his philosophy, he had to settle in a new country, he had to get used to managing a club where the demands on his time in a day far outstripped anything he had experienced before, he probably missed his children things that football fans don;t think about.


    It was a lot of change for him and he did it alone. It had never really crossed my mind before. Maybe it was his choice maybe it wasn’t.


    I agree with BRTH though. As for as a management/leadership presentation it is very impressive and I have been on many.


    The man himself though is driven, focused, has a philosoph, he is clever but most of all he has heart. He has it in abundance and it came across through his 40 minute session.


    What he did at his previous club as touhed on too and can see why Leigh Griffiths is now flourishing. Ronny likes an unpolished diamond.


    Very impressed by our gaffer.


    Not often you get that level of insight into a football manager.



    Excellent stuff.

  3. mike in toronto on

    BRTH @11:22



    As usual, your post contains a fair bit of common sense, and things to think about. Raises a lot of questions as well. Both are reasons that I enjoy reading your posts.



    Hail hail





    IIRC,Alastair Johnston was quite verbose on the subject of Whyte prior to the sale.



    As is to be expected of someone with such excellent business experience and knowledge.



    Pity he didnae pick up on the damage being done to his club by Murray during all those years of previously being well-remunerated.



    And dining on the finest succulent lamb…

  5. Spittal says he wouldn’t play for us? Don’t swallow anything that comes out of his mouth.





    Gonna have to take yer shoes and socks off when yer counting,bud!

  7. Good article Paul.I DONT think the SFA will go along with Dave King.Just a hunch.


    If they did,and we had another disaster at the dead club,the chickens would be roosting outside the SFA offices.Make no mistake,the same SMSM clamoring for King would about face very quickly.


    I think Regan is a self serving individual.

  8. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    An excellent article. Even so, I believe the SFA will take the view that King is not a fit and proper person.


    Cheerio for now.




  9. BMCUW, too true.



    Turkeybhoy, yes. The clamour for King is reminiscent of the clamour for Murray to sell to Whyte. The same journo/PR could be behind both campaigns, for all I know.



    Jungle Jim, we’ll see.

  10. Watched the Ronny video, get a positive feeling about our club and then read the new article.


    Can we talk about Celtic please?








    And if the SFA knock him back and the huns go nipples north as expected anyway,they won’t have a huge crowd of Rangers fans storming the offices and behaving like huns?



    Actually,that’s a perfect scenario now that I think about it. Huns bust,huns behaving like huns,SFA hammered and wi any luck Hampden obliterated.



    I’ll send my hun mates the ANFO recipe. They’re useless wi petrol as they proved.

  12. shamrock hoops on

    Dave King WILL pass the so-called


    F & P Test, then when it all goes tits up the Hun Horde will blame the SFA,


    Feel a sense of déjà vu here!!





    I console myself wi the fact that BOGNORBHOY being No 1 means that he’s stuck in goals cause he’s s…. at football.



    Podium chasing is a wee bit of a laugh but I wish I knew how he does it.

  14. BMCUW 12.31 amateurs I’ve woke up in the boot of a ford ka in Malaga


    unrelated but remind me to tell you my dealings with Alastair Johnston when we next meet that’s a hoot





    That’s a guarantee!



    Still as previously suggested,place of your choice?



    Unless you fancy that Michelin starred one in Dalry. Good chippy nearby too. You’ll need it!

  16. I think it’s a certainty and King is a shoe in, my reason for that being, he shouldent be, but they will do what they do best, change and bend the rules to suit thems.


    It’s what they have been doing for god knows how long, I hope to see changes soon at HAMPDEN, but not right now, thems work is not done yet.

  17. Apropos of nothing, this thought came to me today;



    Does anyone else think Jim Murphy might have been Kojo, and all his little pals?



    Or was Jim the Liverpool fan who used to post on here?

  18. ernie lynch



    12:49 on 28 April, 2015


    If G&SL doesn’t get the go ahead does it give him an excuse not to invest?





    Yup and he’ll use the SFA decision to go into admin and break the onerous contracts whilst all the while blaming the SFA for the debacle.



    The currants will lap it up and claim king as their hero for doing so.



    Only a matter of time before we read that ‘administration’ is an excellent business strategy !!

  19. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    ernie @ 12:49


    That is what is guiding my thinking on this matter;





    I enjoy most of your posts and if you write about Celtic I will certainly read them but matters at the SFA are most certainly of interest to Celtic supporters.






    I agree with you that they will do whatever best suits THEM. I happen to think that not approving of King does suit that agenda.



    Anyway, must dash.


    Cheerio for now,




  20. The old Sowth African shyster is in NOW, we’ve just not been informed yet.



    imho that is.

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