“The tax default and reporting rules are an integral part of maintaining a fair league competition”.
Neil Doncaster, SPFL chief executive, November 2014.
“A fair league competition”. Strong words. I wonder if Mr Doncaster is keen to apply his ethics as evenly when it comes to a team with more than a couple of thousand fans. Don’t bet on it.
I suggested last week you ignore the comments coming out of Hampden about there being little appetite to look into the enormous levels of cheating which we now know went on is our game for over a decade. There is very little appetite from those occupying executive positions at Hampden, but they will not decide what happens.
Ultimate authority at the SFA and SPFL lies with the clubs, and more than just Celtic are alarmed by what went on, and the apparent flippancy show towards it in recent days by those paid to protect the honesty and reputation of our game.
Instincts exist within any organisation to protect itself. We’ve seen this play out in the Church (against their own), the police (against their own), Fifa (against their own), so it should be no surprise that those who worked, and became friends with, some of the architects of Rangers EBT scandal had little appetite to open an investigation.
An SFA or SPFL commission could lead to the disciplining of two-term SFA president, Campbell Ogilvies, or Sir David Murray, men who have made friends in the game for decades.
It would inevitably lead to the examination of the Resolution 12 issue (how Rangers were granted a licence to compete in the Champions League in 2011 when they didn’t meet the criteria). And this one is current enough to involve many still active in their roles.
And then there is the weighty matter of dealing with the consequences of what went on in our sport for all those years.
The demand of an investigation into what went on sounds reasonable but you cannot look into something corrupt without consequences, and that’s where corrupt systems work against fair competition.
Rangers rigged the system, their practises are as clear-cut a case of Financial Doping as you will find. They were playing by different rules, different tax rules and different player registration rules.
They failed to disclose information which should have been disclosed, but could have incriminated them. Unlike Craig Whyte, who was banned from the game for his duplicities, the directors who embarked on this great subversion have never been called to account.
Nor will they unless voices are heard across Scottish football. Don’t lose focus on getting angry (not yet, anyway), right now, we need fans of other clubs to share our concerns and let their voices be heard. Winning allies is the first part of winning this debate, and that’s easier done by calmly making our point.
11 clubs suffered financial consequences of Rangers Financial Doping. Motherwell lost a minimum of £2.1m from not gaining access to European competition. How would they feel if they were a cyclist half a mile behind Lance Armstrong in every race? Would if be OK, as he didn’t get caught?
There’s a Christmas toy collection for Maryhill Foodbank at Wild Cabaret, THIS Saturday, 14 November, from midday to 4:30. Families who don’t have money for food don’t have money for Christmas toys. If you have something you can donate, drop it in. There’s mulled wine and mince pies on the go.
You’ll find Wild Cabaret at 18 Candleriggs (0141 552 6165).