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Peat: a litany of dysfunction

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Former SFA president George Peat was asked by the BBC this week what regrets he had from his time at the SFA.  There should be an abundance of items on that list, but there was only one – that a club asked him not to change competition rules to help Rangers with their fixtures in 2008.

In 2009, during Peat’s time as president, the SFA were subject to a Schedule 36 notice from HMRC demanding Rangers players’ contract details to be handed over.  This was the time HMRC were building a case against Rangers, who disclosed one contract to the tax authority and the SFA, but decided against lodging a second contract, for EBT payments with either body.

The SFA were in a unique position to counsel Rangers on correct process.  Had they done so, Rangers would have been advised that they were in breach of SFA and SPL player registration rules, which required them to submit all contracts to the sport’s governing bodies.

The SFA would subsequently be obliged to forward these contracts to HMRC and the tax crisis, which ultimately liquidated Rangers, would have occurred when the club benefited from the support of Champions League income.

As it happened, George Peat did nothing, Rangers continued to play improperly registered players for a further three years, and Rangers sold for £1 before being liquidated.

Peat, an accountant, made his way through the SFA as a director of Airdrieoneans.  Despite his financial background, Airdrieoneans were liquidated in 2002 after a legendary period of mismanagement.  He was SFA treasurer and vice-president, and would have had to resign his position at the Association, but managed to cling-on after becoming a director of Stenhousemuir.

A year after Peat retired as SFA president, but when he was still at Stenhousemuir, his team were the only club to vote to allow Newco Rangers direct access to the Scottish Football League Championship.  Peat did not get his wish and Newco started life in the bottom tier of the SFL.

Peat also had the misfortune to lose his Head of Referees in an inappropriate email scandal connected with the visit of the Pope to Scotland.  The existence of the email was denied by the SFA until evidence reached the BBC.

Perhaps most regretful of all during Peat’s SFA presidency was the handling of the lies told by referee Dougie McDonald after a Dundee United-Celtic game in 2010.  McDonald lied to Celtic manager, Neil Lennon and asked his assistant referees to affirm the lie.

It became evident that linesman Steve Craven was not prepared to do so and McDonald came clean to the SFA.  Despite this, the Association conspired to hold the line, as Craven claimed the Association twice asked him to stick to the lie.

All of this was reported openly but it was only the Celtic manager who was lied to, so Peat found no reason to consider his position, or anything regretful in the actions of the SFA.

He was replaced as president by a recipient and signatory of Rangers EBTs, Campbell Ogilvie.  Despite Ogilvie’s acknowledged “heavily conflicted” status, it is telling that he was considered more even-handed than his predecessor.

As it happens, the subject of Peat’s one regret was ignored, the season was extended to accommodate Rangers fixture congestion, but in a twist of irony, they lost the title to Celtic and Uefa Cup final to Zenit.

George Peat is a perfect example of dysfunction at the SFA.  An accountant at a liquidated club who rose from Association treasurer to president.  He should be a national embarrassment, a salutary lesson on poor governance.  But he’s not.  In fact, he is not even that exceptional.

Foundation preparations for winter

The Celtic FC Foundation work goes on all year but the winter months are critical for those most in need in communities in and around Glasgow.  There are families with more problems than you or I have imagined, who are dependent on the Foundation for the most meagre of Christmases.  The homeless and countless other vulnerable people are challenged by the winter cold more than is bearable.

I am doing the Great Scottish Run half marathon on at the end of next week to raise funds for the Foundation.  You can get involved by donating here.

Thank you.

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271 Comments
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  1. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    BAWSMAN

     

     

    Not me,mate. I am marginally more likely to vote Tory than SNP,and a helluva lot more likely to win Miss World than either of those.

     

     

    But SNP have been in power for a decade or so. This-while any government,no matter their politics should be clearing out the stables-has been going on for centuries now.

     

     

    No one is innocent,no one has clean hands. Except of course they all do,because they have washed their hands of the problem.

  2. I’d love to see Celtic make a statement about the SFA and their Cheats Charter.

     

     

    However one of the difficulties of Celtic coming out with a statement saying that they have been cheated, even if they can then back it up (which they can) or that SFA are totally unfit for governance (which they are) is the natural next question – what are you doing about it?

     

     

    Celtic can point out to efforts made to have LNS revisited in 2017. They can point out to raising concerns on ebt and side letters to SFA in 2012 and copying correspondence to UEFA, they might even question how judicial is the SFA Judicial Panel Protocol (see TSFM for why they should) but so far those efforts have come to nothing.

     

     

    Could Celtic do more? Canalamar has pointed to one route, take the evidence accumulated since 2013 to UEFA or use the threat of doing so to bring the Peat minded into line.

     

     

    Until there is a means of bringing about change, any prior statement would be an admission of helplessness and asking Celtic supporters to keep supporting even in the knowledge that the Club itself does not believe they are being or have been treated honestly.

     

     

    I’d love to see a headline “Celtic call SFA/Rangers Cheats” and if change cannot be introduced that may be all that is left but say why and let the world judge on assumption it gives a toss.

     

     

    However without change, without assurances of fair governance that wipes out consequences of misgoverence from 2000 to date, or no statement at all, a drop in a support not prepared to sit at the back of the bus wil be inevitable but let the future be built on a truth, not a pack of lies.

  3. BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS – Just been reading a newspaper article on Scottish taxpayers money (£45 Million) being used to bail out Jim McColl’s (Mrs, Sturgeon’s bezzy mate) shipbuilding company.

     

     

    The money was transferred to allegedly help with ‘diversity’, when in fact the company has not published accounts since 2015. That fact alone stinks to Davy King proportions of whiffery.

     

     

    They should have taken on fat AleX (he of two wage/two pensions fame) to honcho a crowdfunded bail oot.

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