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. Declan



    Absolutely loving your work, sir.





    ma tatz sez Sellick r the best rite under wair it sez Ma and Uncle Da, whit aboot yew urz?

  2. philvisreturns says:


    2 December, 2011 at 13:38



    KevJungle – Put the Green Brigade into a new JUNGLE – Still hunning hunnishly I see. (thumbsup)




    Yeah, whatever it takes! (thumbsup)

  3. If wee Strachan was booed at that cup final it was because he gave it the full David Weir finger in the ref’s face treatment, which we thought at the time had helped get Roy Aitken sent off.



    Roy Aitken himself was sufficiently upset by that to withdraw from the Scotland squad in the midweek that followed.

  4. the glorious balance sheet on

    Snow forecast for West Central Scotland on Sunday.



    No snow forecast for Dundee as yet, but by the sounds of it conditions for travelling to the game from the West will not be ideal.

  5. Paul67@ 12:40



    ”…there is a test case in England. FFP failure is not a showstopper.”



    Do you mean that the FFP is NOT legally enforceable?



    ”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.”



    Interesting views regarding R@ngers licence to play in the Champions League this Season – £15M Compensation would be nice (they could throw in a few league titles while they are there) as you know there is little millage in pursuing this, the SFA say they discussed the situation with R@ngers and took a view.



    With the exception of the Germans most FAs don’t stringently apply the rules, how much debt do the Spanish Giants have furinstance. The raison d’etre for M. Platini review.



    Though thanks to you and yur like PMcB, RTC, PMcG, John Reid etc – Me thinks there will be a level playing field (on & off) in the SPL in the 2012/13 season for the first time.

  6. What the World needs, more good news-



    ‘ Hundreds of metres under one of Iceland’s largest glaciers there are signs of an imminent volcanic eruption that could be one of the most powerful the country has seen in almost a century.



    Mighty Katla, with its 10km (6.2 mile) crater, has the potential to cause catastrophic flooding as it melts the frozen surface of its caldera and sends billions of gallons of water surging through Iceland’s east coast and into the Atlantic Ocean.



    “There has been a great deal of seismic activity,” says Ford Cochran, the National Geographic’s expert on Iceland.



    “There have been more than 500 tremors in and around the caldera of Katla just in the last month, which suggests the motion of magma. And that certainly suggests an eruption may be imminent.”



    – when the siren sounds everyone head to the ole Gazebo.

  7. the glorious balance sheet on

    Celtic First 13:42,



    Roy Aitken was absolutely raging about that incident.



    So much so that he discussed it at length in his autobiography “Feed the Bear” that was published three years later.



    Apparently he chinned Mark McGhee about the incident when McGhee subsequently signed for Celtic.

  8. dirtymac,



    Sion did not sue their FA. In fact their FA backed them up as did the Swiss courts. Sion disputed the length of time that a ban imposed on them was actually for.






    Our accounts of the last 15 years show NO CL = NO PROFIT so the answer to your question has to be CL competition every time.



    But where you are completely wrong is in your first assessment. I.e they want both i.e they want EVEN MORE CASH



    Hail Hail

  9. Celtic_First says:


    2 December, 2011 at 13:42




    Perfectly put sir!



    Now, could you enlighten some of the wet behind the ears brigade a wee bit more ?



    Thanks in advance.



    Hail! Hail!

  10. celtic *o* lennon on

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


    2 December, 2011 at 13:33




    I don’t want to speak for Declan but, he seems to me to be rather switched on and thats more than can be said for some!




    HA HA please stop this is getting too funny now!

  11. Dontbrattbakkinanger – – when the siren sounds everyone head to the ole Gazebo.



    No way. I was fooled once before by that Frankie Goes To Hollywood song and I won’t get fooled again. (thumbsup)

  12. Kev and Dec—“We’re celebrities, let us in there”. Welcome back. How was lunch in the Louden? I know people think ol’ Dec is a Celt masquerading as a currant, but the spelling, the grammar, it’s just too good. The Kafflic school mindset rebels against such misuse of language. We’re programmed, dontcha know. Bring back Joshybhoy, the chap who dined in style at Celtic Park, and bet one of the posters £1,000 quid he was a genuine Celtic man. Ah!–those were the days, my friend.

  13. KevJungle



    Whether I booed him or whether I didn’t doesn’t entitle you to speak for me.



    If you have an opinion on the man then feel free to state it but I object to you trying to add weight to it by saying that I agree with you, as part of the Celtic Support, and detest Gordon Strachan when it is completely untrue.




  14. KevJungle and your half witted mate Declan



    You are of course as entitled as anyone on here to voice your opinion, freedom of speech and all that, I give you that.



    I would suggest that far from being switched ON, Declan has been on stand-by for years, maybe a new fuse is needed, dunno. But whatever you do do not come on here stating “fact” and then talk trash. Buy a dictionary and look up the word ” Fact” or better still why don’t you go back to the moronic publication that is follow follow. Up your street I’d say!!



    Have a nice day



    KINGLuBO who has no tats!!!!

  15. Celtic_First says:


    2 December, 2011 at 13:38



    The ‘hard cash’ argument is a strange and curious one that often misses many other factors…


    With the orcs in the SPL:


    -We continue an arms-race with one arm tied behind our back (or more accurately: an arms race competing with someone with three arms, one of which has consistently belonged to the tax man).


    -We get erm, ‘lots’ of TV cash.


    -Higher sponsorship money.


    -Filth infested vermin abounds.



    No orcs:


    -More immediate funds for development/enhancement (no arms race, see?) of various projects: youth team, infrastructure surrounding CP, scouting etc


    -We promote youth quicker as there’s no longer a 85-90% points target each season.


    -Warm glowy feeling inside.


    -Without an Aberdeen/Hibs/Utd side truly competing with us the league becomes a one-horse canter = no tv money and no sponsorship money. Even during the orcdom fake 9, us and even Aberdeen pushed them very close on a number of occasions.



    I like the ‘no orcs’ option.

  16. Awe Naw



    I am sure you are correct and that the ideal for anyone focusing on the financial side alone would be to have cash from both sources, especially as it would mean Celtic winning on the park as well most seasons and the punters were happy.



    What I have never been able to grasp is the notion that the Celtic board could comply with a conspiracy to dupe the punters into thinking it was a fair competition when it was rigged all along in favour of keeping Rangers afloat by keeping them winning.



    Please note, that’s not to say I dismiss the idea that such a conspiracy could exist (there is plenty of evidence to suggest it might have done). I just don’t see how the plan could be hatched with the connivance of Celtic if it meant Celtic being a pre-determined Celtic any time the need arose.

  17. Interesting conversation there a mate who thinks the SFA have been trying to get an answer from rangers for weeks. Why are they asking now?



    It appears the relentless pursuit of the issue by Philmac regarding whether rangers should have been granted a license by the SFA has them sweating and they are now trying to lay the blame with rangers for misleading them.



    A good excuse to give UEFA if you prove the person in charge of the club is not ‘Fit & Proper’.




  18. Dharma Bam says:


    2 December, 2011 at 13:49



    The Kev and Declan show



    Are there no new episodes?



    All I seem to be getting are repeats




    Whilst all the hun-obituary writers are……writing away, back at CP, the bored are writing the huns a cheque that will help them out of their current predicament ?



    You couldn’t make it up!

  19. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo says:


    2 December, 2011 at 13:46



    No, they did not, but they are currently (or have been) arguing in the courts that Uefa deny the rights of clubs to legal redress by prohibiting legal recourse against a club’s association.



    It was the players, as I understand it, that took the SFL and ultimately Uefa to court essentially because of the Uefa regulations as it gave Sion a get out against this specific regulation.

  20. Br\o/gan R\o/gan Trevin\o/ and H\o/gan on

    Good Afternoon,



    Paul’s leading article is one that is very interesting don’t you think? Not only in what it says but also in what it hints at!



    The SFA have, in my opinion, said more than that they are investigating the failure to disclose the fact that Craig Whyte was disqualified as a Director. They have also said that they have already made enquiry of Rangers PLC and as yet they have not received an answer. I wonder how long they have had to wait?



    Further Paul’s article states that the SFA will also look into why he was disqualified as a Director, the circumstances surrounding disqualification and indeed Craig Whyte’s conduct since then. A brief examination of that conduct does not bode well for the Ibrox chairman as the little of what is factually known seems to point to more questions than answers– and what answers there are seem a touch unsavoury.



    What is known so far is that Whyte failed to disclose to both the pulse market and the SFA that he had been disqualified. Whilst ignorance or oversight is never an excuse– can it really be the case that someone who was in a due dilligence exercise for months on end with the support of teams of lawyers and accountants did not know that any disqualification had to be disclosed? That seems very unlikely. Of course if he knew fine well that he ought to disclose but simply chose not to– well then that is another matter entirely.



    What is also known is that since taking over at Rangers, several people and bodies have taken a very short time to take action against the company now under his stewardship. Former Directors, whom the SFA know well, have gone to court, arrested funds, openly pointed to likely insolvency, and castigated his management in the open courts with documents which are now in the public domain.



    HMRC have also taken action to secure payment of revenues which were due long ago, and despite securing the funds by way of an arrestment, they remain unpaid presumably on the instructions of Mr Whyte.



    A leading firm of solicitors — again people who will be no strangers to SFA personnel— also had to sue, whilst any criticism of Mr Whyte has regularly been the subject of threatened legal action from Ibrox. Let’s not forget that the BBC are in partnership with the SFA/SPL/ and SFL when it comes to broadcasting live radio coverage of Scottish Football– in otherwords The BBC and the SFA talk.



    Don’t forget the Ire expressed by the Chairman of Dundee Utd when all the shennannigans were going on vis a vis a proposed David Goodwillie transfer. The claim and counterclaim about who had offered what and when.



    What is at stake here on many fronts in any investigation is Craig Whyte’s credibility. If it is shown that he lied about the disqualification and deliberately witheld that information from the SFA then a mere resignation from the office of Director will not suffice.



    The reason that it will not suffice is because in the other corner stands Stewart Regan– a man who has publicly pledged himself to openess and accountability at the SFA. If it transpires that Regan and the SFA see, hear or even smell deception in one area of business from Ibrox, then he has no option but to question and check all disclosures from Ibrox since Whyte took over. He must do that to preserve his own integrity and that of the organisation he serves.



    Whatsmore, if it is the case– and please note the “If”— that Rangers deliberately or even accidentally fell foul of the disclosure provisions re the EUFA qualifications—- then Regan has a huge problem because irrespective of any insolvency or threatened insolvency, tax case or no tax case– sanctions have to follow and explanations as to how such a set of events were allowed to happen will need to be provided– especially to Celtic who have been financially disadvantaged.



    It is hard to believe that in such a few short months the big Rangers tax case could fall well down the pecking order in a list of potential disasters for the Ibrox club. The details of that case are still to be aired and a decision still to be reached, but it is clearly possible that over a number of years Rangers have failed to disclose material documents and information to the football authorities on a regular and deliberate basis– and that under the stewardship of a whole host of Directors past and present. However, the Whyte regime seems to trip itself up with repeated actions which can only lead others to question the integrity of those in charge– threaten legal action at every turn, fail to observe stock exchange and SFA rules then apologise after a few months for such failures.



    It is almost as if such public ineptitude is designed to pave the way for a sigh of relief when someone– anyone– else takes over— because whoever comes next can’t be this bad. Can They?

  21. bournesouprecipe says:


    2 December, 2011 at 13:49


    I’m now standing in Sauchiehall Street, with a Smoked Sausage Supper



    * big gloating grin*




    Still too scared to go back to the canteen?

  22. Just been done like a kipper.



    Not in office and did not get to read all of Paul67 piece. Just read it now and realised my mate has just quoted him and fed it to me.



    I need a pint…

  23. El Madrigal says:


    2 December, 2011 at 13:38



    Don’t ask me whether there is ‘value’ (?) in the captain’s armband, ask the players. Is there value in being a prefect? Is there value in being the head boy at school? Is there value in being a manager in any profession? Is there value in being a headmaster? Is there value in being the Surgeon General?



    Your second question… I’ll answer with a question, why do all the players defer to Scott Brown if he does not start the game but comes on? The Celtic team appear to have a respect for Scott Brown; I wonder why!

  24. She should have stuck to the ole courgettes



    -‘Mariella Frostrup, the host of Radio 4’s Open Book, says she had no idea pampas grass plants had sexual connotations, when she placed them outside her flat.



    Placing the plants on show, is apparently an invitation to other swingers.



    Frostrup, who just liked the look of the plants, said a dinner guest explained to her what the grass could signal.



    She added: “What I found out was that I had actually signposted my flat on both sides as a swingers’ paradise.”



    -Wee Mariella’s voice is just about the smokiest thing on the planet [after the smoked sausage supper].

  25. Its getting dark early so I must head back to the fields for an hour or so .


    Hope there will be more tasty revelations from hundom when I return.

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