Charles Green, owner of “The Rangers Football Club Limited“, formed in May this year, yesterday released a remarkable statement yesterday, ahead of the SPL Commission into How Rangers FC, formed in 1872, registered football players for over a decade.
“In short, what was decided by the SPL membership is that Rangers was finished as a member of the SPL. Despite this, the SPL now see the new owners of the company, and the new company itself, which owns all the assets of Rangers FC – including SPL championship titles – as fair game for punishment for matters that have nothing to do with us at all.”
We dealt with the purchasing of history on here some months ago. Once we realised it was possible, I snapped up ancient Egyptian history, the period from the pharaohs until Mark Antony. I AM responsible for the Pyramids of Giza but any slavery which may or may not have been used in their construction is NOTHING to do with me.
No one complained about the use of slaves at the time and I am sure each pyramid would have been constructed whether slaves were used of not. If slaves were so necessary for the construction I am sure “we” would have built many more.
Mr Green seems keen to protest against the SPL process, however, he, frankly, fails miserably. He doesn’t “question the impartiality of the individual panel members” but assets “whatever decision they reach is a decision of the SPL”.
So that will be independent members reaching a decision for the SPL! I think he doth protest too little.
There is also a threat: “”To make it crystal clear, the new owners purchased all the business and assets of Rangers, including titles and trophies. Any attempt to undermine or diminish the value of those assets will be met with the stiffest resistance, including legal recourse.”
Charles Green took steps to undermine his new company’s claim on Rangers titles in a BBC interview in June when he said that if his CVA proposal was to fail (which it did) and Rangers were to be liquidated (which they are), “the history, the tradition, everything that’s great about this club is swept aside”.
“Legal recourse”, which is prohibited by Fifa and which the SFA accommodated from Duff and Phelps, acting on behalf of Rangers, will provide Scottish football with a further drama. We mentioned at the time that the true cost of the SFA being so accommodating would be a repeat performance.
Mr Green asks why the “football authorities do nothing to address an issue that was public knowledge for at least two years, and was reported in the Club’s accounts for several years”? I think I can help here. Sir David Murray, who owned Rangers during the duration of its Employee Benefit Trust years, categorically denied that the club issued players with second contracts which were not submitted to the authorities. He reiterated this point most recently on a Sky News interview in March.
The football authorities have no issues whatsoever with Employee Benefit Trusts, it’s player contracts they insist are registered. Rangers insisted they had no case to answer until the SPL set a deadline on Duff and Phelps to fully disclose the nature of the alleged second contracts.
Charles claims during those lurid weeks when the SPL and SFA were negotiating with Green, that Neil Doncaster “repeatedly stated he was not interested in stripping titles from Rangers”. If he had evidence of this, ANY evidence, it would be fascinating.
If not, we should dismiss this claim.
A curious barb is made in other directions, “Rangers was not the only Club in Scotland to use EBTs yet nothing was done and little has been heard about it”.
One more time, for Mr Green’s benefit, EBTs are not against football regulations whatsoever. They are entirely legal and permitted by the SFA and SPL. The SPL Commission is not investigating whether Rangers used EBTs or not, it will investigate whether or not all player contracts were registered.
Mr Green goes on to make varied comments against “powerful representatives from Clubs within the SPL…. who appear hell bent on inflicting as much damage on Rangers as possible”, and that some “clubs were placed in an invidious position and we believe their interests were not best served by those in more powerful positions”.
Let’s have some context here. If we were to make a list of those who inflicted most damage on Rangers, representatives from other clubs would scarcely merit a mention. Those who allowed the club to spend more than it earned for so many years, who introduced the perilous tax avoidance system, those who failed to make accommodations for HMRC’s claim when it was first made, and those directors who personally benefited from the EBT scheme all carry primary responsibility.
Then would come the cheerleaders for the disastrous Craig Whyte regime – those who last year campaigned for the takeover, including putting pressure on Lloyds Banking Group to accept the terms.
Rangers opponents were spectators throughout this period. Any suggestion that our club were anything but opponents to Rangers, and alleged victims of trophies won by illegally registered players, when they should have been campaigning on behalf of their rivals, seriously misreads what was an established Glasgow rivalry. Of course it would be the same the other way – and rightly so.
Despite clearly feeling strongly about the Commission, Green didn’t address the key point….
There was no denial of the central charge that for a decade or more Rangers fielded improperly registered football players.
Yesterday some people suggested Green had offered the Lance Armstrong defence but Armstrong denied he was guilty while refusing to participate in the investigation into doping. This is a different matter altogether. Green has offered up something for every conceivable paranoid condition without actually claiming Rangers are wrongly accused.
The headlines today are all about titles being stripped but that is not the main topic in play. More importantly, after titles are stripped, what punishment will the SPL Commission levy on the Rangers membership, granted to Sevco in June?
The sheer scale of the charge makes this question incalculable. The toxicity attached to that membership is untenable and no bogeymen at other clubs, at the SPL or SFA are responsible for that.
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