Fit & Proper test opens Pandora’s Box


I hear the SFA had asked for clarification on Craig Whyte’s alleged disqualification as a director, without getting confirmation one way or another, since the issue was initially brought to their attention by the landmark BBC documentary, Rangers: The Inside Story.  Rangers disclosure to the Plus Exchange (where the club’s shares are traded) on Wednesday that this specific BBC allegation was correct, was the information the SFA needed before they were in a position to act and apply a Fit and Proper Person (FPP) test to Whyte.

Dramatic though it sounds, failing a FPP test, in itself, is only likely to cause superficial damage to a club or its owner.  An owner would need to resign as a director but he could allow the other directors to continue running the business, or he could appoint a proxy to take control of the business, which is often the way controllers run football clubs anyway.

What is of more interest, however, are matters likely to be disclosed as part of the SFA investigation.  The Association would require Mr Whyte to explain what he did to be barred from holding a directorship for seven years, something the BBC lawyers would be able to question Whyte on in the witness box, should he actually sue, instead of repeatedly threatening to do so.

Of most interest to the SFA will be Rangers financial submission for their Uefa licence, which enabled the club to be nominated as Scotland’s participants in this season’s Champions League.  A condition of participation in Uefa competitions is that no debts to tax authorities due on 31 December the preceding year remains unpaid on 31 March.

In September HM Revenue and Customs gained permission from the court to freeze £2.3m of Rangers money in connection with an unpaid tax bill.  The principle element of this bill has not been disputed by Rangers.  The SFA will now be keen to establish if any part of this bill was in connection to taxes due in prior to 31 December 2010.  If it was, Celtic were entitled to be Scotland’s Champions League representatives, when overcoming the likes of Malmo stood between them and a £15m pay-day.

This is a legal minefield for the SFA chief exec, Stewart Regan, who has my sympathy. Things are about to become interesting.

While we are on the subject of that £2.3m tax bill, HM Revenue and Customs are due to get their hands on the cash after Friday next week, the last day Rangers are able to dispute the debt. If Rangers enter administration prior to that date, the cash would revert to the administrator and the club’s secured creditors would be entitled to it.

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  1. Well written, Paul67, and I agree in particular that Mr Regan needs our encouragement in this investigation.

  2. Re WGS MON debate, I thought both were terrific for the club in different ways, both seemed to love the club, MON, the 6-2 game got him off to a great start and WGS was more of a slow burner but great nonetheless.



    I have been lucky to meet them both on a few occasions and WGS was happy to debate and discuss all sorts of things, football included and was friendly, funny and had loads of time listening to my half baked opinions, MON was a bit more reserved and seemed nervous, might have been me though!



    I think we are lucky to have had both at the helm and we should celebrate the fact that they were or became Celtic men, I look upon both very fondly.

  3. The Honest Mistake on

    KevJungle – Put the Green Brigade into a new JUNGLE 2 December, 2011 at 12:50:


    We don’t have an owner.

  4. Paul67



    I read one report stating the disqualification was back in 1996. Pretty sure the one in the BBC report was more recent than that. Does this mean it has happened more than once to Mr Whyte?




  5. The Honest Mistake



    What I think Paul is hinting at is that Whyte may be close to deciding that there is no point throwing “good money after bad”.



    It makes sense for him to take a bit of a hit on what he can make from the carcass of the car crash that their club has become if it means David Murray is het when the bell rings. Whyte can break off from counting his ill-gotten gains to say it was all the old regime’s fault and he did everything he could to save them. Then he could move on to his next vulture venture with the blessing of the support of the club formerly known as Rangers.



    This way, Whyte will be het. But he will untrouser less cash in the process.



    It’s a question of which of these two paths he prefers. The second one may be looking more attractive every time he looks at a bill.

  6. A very interesting article.



    I hope one of our talented writers is keeping a good detailed note book on all of this because there is a great book to be written about the fall of Rangers and how they tried to take Scottish football down with them. The compliance of the SFA will be a main theme in the book I would imagine.



    Good work Paul67

  7. Allyhuntersgloves on

    On M.O.N. I for one will be delighted to see him back in the game. I recently attended a company training course, during which we had to do a presentation on “your modern day hero”. Knowing that a few of the attendees came from the dark side, I decided to have a bit of sport and did it on “Martin O’Neill –he led us from the wilderness”. However as I got into preparing it, I realised that, given how important footy and Celtic is to me, he absolutely is a modern day hero to us. I met him twice, he was articulate engaging and polite. He said on one occassion that many people say it and don’t mean it, but he saw the Celtic job as a privilege and many people don’t realise just what Celtic is, until they get here, then it never leaves them.


    He gave us a time in history I will never forget, 6-2, Seville and the rollercoaster lead up to it, signing the guys he did and getting them so close as a team. Remember big Chris telling the world he was up here to put ranger’s in their place. The way MON dealt with the press and put them firmly in their place. How he was on the touchline, Lenny at Ibrox etc etc. sadly we probably won’t see these days again in my lifetime…. The most important part for me was I genuinely felt (as I do with Neil Lennon), he was one of us.

  8. jimmci says:


    2 December, 2011 at 12:47


    “a this mess finally gets an airing in the MSM the question is what topics can Waddell, Keevins and English possibly invent to disguise their Sunday columns….?”




  9. We should have a ‘Fit & Proper’ test for CQN.



    Some of the nuggets who have appeared on here in the last couple of weeks are something else…




  10. KevJungle – Put the Green Brigade into a new JUNGLE says:


    2 December, 2011 at 12:43



    Unbelievable! Get back on the rangers sites where you will obviously feel more at home.

  11. The Honest Mistake on

    Lennybhoy…Supporting Neil Lennon and CFC until I die 2 December, 2011 at 12:54


    They haven’t disputed the wee tax bill. They have disputed the fine associated with the wee tax bill.

  12. kikinthenakas says:


    2 December, 2011 at 12:52



    I liked the two of them. Different men, different resources!



    I was a bit disappointed in MON at the end BUT i heard a very touching tale about something he did recently for someone. I am not at liberty to divulge but he has shot way back up in my estimation as a human being.



    As people both were more than fitting to be managers of our great club. What we debate after that with regards fitba brains, styles etc is interesting but should be framed in that perspective IMO . Both great servants of Celtic.

  13. The Honest Mistake says:


    2 December, 2011 at 12:52



    We don’t have an owner.




    By my reckoning, the guy that calls the shots is the owner!



    If Donut isny the owner/majority shareholder then, why do thousands if not, millions of Celtic fans allow his stewardship of ‘our’ club ?

  14. Declan Is Neil Lennon 1888 Hates being 2nd on

    Kevjungle – dont let them chase you from here. i agree with everything you right. some people need to tell it like it is. the rangers are the champions and 4 points clear. they will all think you are a hun like they think i am one for not dancing around about being 2nd. do you have any good celtic tattoos mate?

  15. By the way: ‘Fit and proper’ – is that fit and proper to own a football club or rangers in particular. The two criteria will of course be very different!! They may well find he is perfectly fit and proper for that cesspool of a club. I think he is perfect for them.

  16. KevJungle



    You make a good point my dislike for WGS stemmed from his antics and sheer GIRFUY behaviour when he played for Aberdeen against us.



    He was however a magnificent player.



    I have never been able to get over his GIRFUY antics.



    It’s been 30 years and it still riles me.



    As for Mojo,well there are no words,but i do wish Jeremy Clarkson upon him.




  17. So the 2 Indian trialists go home with 400 fagz and a 40 ouncer of Smirnoff,front page headlines in the rags when they arrived last week.Pathetic, sycophantic, compliant lap dogs.

  18. Sandman Is Neil Lennon on

    Or be like you? Some Gazza-intellect-level idiot ranting manchild?



    WGS was a terrific player playing in a team we couldn’t beat. Hence the ‘enemy’ tag he acquired.



    As a player he never showed any direct antipathy towards the Celtic support. More frustratingly he was the untouchable wee ginger who orhcestrated numerous defeats at the hands of Fergie’s Dons.



    Irrational, unfounded hatred like yours is a sad Hun trait exhibited best by replacing ‘WGS’ in your babble with ‘Neil Lennon’.



    In other words, young Kevin, you sound exaclty like a gurning Hun bigot.



    You get your vindictive templates from FollowFollow or Vanguard Bears?

  19. 1RogueLeader @ 12:41



    ”No brainer really….Whyte will have to resign for a few months.”



    Will R@ngers be there when he is due to come back? Could be quite a smart exit strategy – maybe he’s playing his get out of jail card.



    The Honest Mistake @ 12:47



    ”The Sud African Hector would love to see him putting money into rangers. They’d say thank you very much and throw away the key.”



    Well there are those who think they are going to that anyway – if they do how much cash will they recover?

  20. Steven Thompson was a new (to me) ex-Rangers voice on Radio Scotland when I tuned in last Sunday. He was summarising on their coverage from Rugby Park.



    He said some very nice things about the Bhoys, particularly that the movement from “the front four” was unbelievable.



    Let’s have plenty more of that, please.

  21. I'm Neil Lennon (tamrabam) on

    The old dying traditional media have turned their attention in recent weeks to the Green Brigade and to Beram – it just tells me that they are getting a wee bittie nervous – something to do with either 15 or 4 league points I would imagine.



    Alas if we sit expecting the old media to come out and print the rangers are on the bones of their xxxxx headlines we will wait a long time. We already have waited.


    (we could be waiting as long as it would take craig whyte to sue the BBC and that will take a very long time indeed)



    This is where sites like this come into their own, and we have no need to rely on the Record/Sun/Clyde to set the agenda, we can set our own. Lets continue to do that, because the so called journos have their heads stuck in the sand or somewhere equally dark and unpleasant

  22. jimmci says:


    2 December, 2011 at 12:57



    Unbelievable! Get back on the rangers sites where you will obviously feel more at home.




    It’s because of, blinkered, cheerleaders with pom-poms like you that the people who hold ‘our’ club back will continue to do so! IMO!

  23. Declan- I wouldn’t accuse you of not being a tim but your phraseology might lead others to that conclusion. I have never heard a Tim use the phrase ‘The Rangers’ in anything other than a derisory sarcastic way. hard to tell your tone when typing but it doesn’t come across well.



    Relentless negativity when the team is clawing back the deficit and doing ok in europe means you are swimming against the tide while your fellow celtic supporters enjoy the wave of feel good factor that’s about us at the minute.



    It won’t be too long until we are back in front of ‘The Rangers’………



    Will that satisfy you or will you think we should be at least 10 points ahead of that mob and at least in the last 16 of the Champions league and at least looking at 10 in a row?



    What will you settle for as a Celtic supporter in the short term considering we can do nothing about transfers, TV money, budgets or anything else until at least 1st January??? What will make you happy and praise the efforts of a team that was dead and buried a few weeks ago?

  24. Robert Tressell 12.57



    Totally agree……… and look none of us calling each other huns……unlike some posters!!



    Agreement on a Friday……whoddathunkit!!

  25. RobertTressell at 13:00



    Brilliant, my friend. I think you have just established the case for the defence.

  26. Sandman Is Neil Lennon on

    Declan Is Neil Lennon 1888 Hates being 2nd says:


    2 December, 2011 at 12:59



    Look, here comes ‘Declan’ the ‘loyal’ Celtic supporter…

  27. TinyTim says:


    2 December, 2011 at 13:00




    At last…..a breath of fresh air!



    Well said M8!



    Btw, it’s taken me just 4 posts before I was called a hun!



    Hail! Hail!

  28. ASonOfDan says:


    2 December, 2011 at 12:52





    I read one report stating the disqualification was back in 1996. Pretty sure the one in the BBC report was more recent than that. Does this mean it has happened more than once to Mr Whyte?






    I recorded this programme M8 so if we need it i will take a wee sneak peak lol.

  29. celtic *o* lennon on

    Declan Is Neil Lennon 1888 Hates being 2nd says:


    2 December, 2011 at 12:59



    Kevjungle – dont let them chase you from here. i agree with everything you right. some people need to tell it like it is. the rangers are the champions and 4 points clear. they will all think you are a hun like they think i am one for not dancing around about being 2nd. do you have any good celtic tattoos mate?



    Comedy gold above lol



    Maybe you and Kev could meet up and compare tatoo’s over a fine red wine ;-)

  30. What a mess rangers are in. They are being attacked from so many angles it is difficult to see where the fatal blow will come from.


    Craig Whyte has not missed an opportunity to make bizarre decisions that further frustrate the authorities, muddy the waters and make it even more confusing to predict an outcome.



    Is the master plan to give UEFA, SFA, HMRC not to mention the ever growing list of law firms, disgruntled employees and cleaners so much to work on that it all becomes too much and they say “bugger trying to sort this out. Let them fold.”



    Then with minimal financial and sporting punishments (well they are the peepil) the phoenix rises from the flames.



    This should never be allowed to happen.


    Take them to task for EVERY misdemeanor, no matter if it takes another 10 years to finally sort out.



    El Mad




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