How many times have we warned against internecine strife over the years? No one from outside a football club can really lay a glove on it, any real damage can only be done from the inside. Yesterday was Internecine Strife Day for one of the world’s biggest West of Scotland clubs.
Following on from Stewart Regan’s assertion to the media on Wednesday that an unnamed member of Rangers senior management did not properly disclose the damaging Employee Benefit Trust arrangements to the company’s directors, one of those directors, Dave King, has lodged a £20m claim against the club to compensate for the £20m he invested in shares in 2000.
There are so many acts in play at the moment it is difficult to know exactly what outcome King is hoping for here. The company is broke and at most will pay pennies in the pound to creditors, but Mr Regan’s assertion that some managers did not discharge their duties correctly opens up wide-ranging ramifications for those he referred to.
Regan excluded SFA president and former Rangers director, Campbell Ogilvie, from his allegations but it is unclear where his information came from. Concern is that it may have been directly from Ogilvie and that Regan spoke without an independent investigation being conducted. We hope that the SFA chief executive would not be so foolish as to attempt a cover-up of these matters.
Good corporate governance practices not only reassure the public, they protect chief executives from embarrassing resignations.
His silence on who conducted the inquiry that cleared Ogilvie and established that someone “higher up the chain” hid facts from Ogilvie, and perhaps King, is alarming. The SFA is not an old boys club, we need to know, did they properly investigate Ogilvie’s role or is something more sinister underway?
Who at the SFA knows about the inquiry which cleared Ogilvie? My previously-reliable sources at the Association were not aware the matter was investigated. It would also be good to know if the SFA board received the report that allowed Mr Regan to clear Mr Ogilvie. After all, the SFA are acutely aware of the dangers when important matters are kept “higher up the chain” from board members. What a sorry mess that would be.
I could cynically guess at these answers but after hearing Stewart Regan, it’s perhaps better to establish the facts first.
Let’s hope someone asks Mr Regan and he is able to clear the matter up. Better still, let’s hope someone keeps Fifa up to date with these developments and the ones we covered yesterday – don’t leave it to someone else, make sure they hear from you.
The Herald today listed charges including tax evasion, fraud, racketeering and money laundering against Dave King, but explains why he is crying foul play against the current, previous and potential future owner of Rangers.
In fairness to King, he has seen many obvious pitfalls in the Green proposition, perhaps a bit more internecine strife at the right times would have been better than blissful ignorance.