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Platini ready to intervene if justice, integrity and courage not shown by national associations

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In his Christmas Day message last year, Uefa president, Michel Platini spoke in the firmest terms possible about many of the issues facing Scottish football right now.

He told us that 2011 was “one of those years where one feels the weight and magnitude of one’s responsibilities, but which equally serves to provide greater strength. Because, the just cause – however difficult it may be – is all the more obvious.”

This is a strong statement of intent.  Platini fully understands the position of president is not ceremonial, it has weighty responsibilities.  If he believes these specific words, “the just cause – however difficult it may be – is all the more obvious”, he must take an immediate active involvement to protect the game in Scotland.

M Platini goes on to say, “To be a president is not to have an organisation at one’s service, but to be at the service of an organisation, of a game, of football.”

Scottish FA president, Campbell Ogilvie, who has been inextricably linked to the on-going improper registration of Rangers players allegations his organisation declined to investigate, would do well to consider these words.  He is in place to serve the game yet he has offered us no information on the subject.

Michel then added, “It has been a year which has underlined the importance of our organisation [Uefa] as one of the guarantors of the values, stability and equity of this sport.”

Uefa guarantee the values, stability and equity of football.  They do not work towards equity, they ensure it is imposed, you have the president’s word.

“It has been a year in which certain of our national associations have had to take courageous decisions to preserve the justice and integrity of our sport.”

Here, Michel could be speaking about the SFA, who have to take courageous decisions to preserve justice and integrity in the face of gross charges of financial and regulatory doping on a scale not seen anywhere in Europe.

His most important comment, which reflected on 2011, was:

“A year in which we have also had to remain solid and defend our values – sometimes alone – to guarantee the respecting of the rules and the equity of the competitions, and to prevent football becoming a hostage of a few for their own profit and interests.”

“Respecting… the rules and the equity of the competitions”.  This includes player registration rules.

More importantly, “to prevent football becoming a hostage of a few for their own profit and interests”.

This is where we are today.  Football in Scotland has become a hostage of a few who will follow their own interests, not those values Michel Platini holds dear.

The president goes on to say that 2011“has been a year in which, unfortunately and at the expense of certain agonies, football has emphasised its need for transparency and governance, aspects which are so important in relation to the respect which is so dear to me.”

There may be other countries in Europe more deserving of M Platini’s intervention, but the crisis in Scotland is acute and urgent, and the SFA appear overwhelmed.  We need the oversight only Uefa can provide and its president promised in his Christmas message.

For an extended synopsis of how we got to where we are, catch up on Saturday’s blog.

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  1. Honour Bound

     

     

    Their answer was to dig a hole

     

    To cover the shame, bury it deep

     

    Bereft of feelings was devoid of soul

     

    Dispensing justice on the cheap

     

     

    It brought self-interest to the fore

     

    As greedy men rushed out to meet

     

    An own goal sweetly they did score

     

    In their rush to help them cheat

     

     

    Does no one care? all I hear is silence

     

    A governing body that makes no sound

     

    They no longer seem to have a conscience

     

    Whatever happened to honour bound

  2. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    serenity,

     

    wee suggestion, something with the homerism hehehe stupid huns :o)

  3. Hugh Adam saw what was coming and decided to get rid of his shares while they were still worth something, unlike a few others.

     

    The SFA/SPL need to start their investigation NOW and call Adam as a principle witness. He knows where a lot of the bodies are buried and I’m sure would be prepared to divulge that information.

  4. Murray, Parks, and another 2 i forget there names ,who are they and what is there background.

  5. This is a bit long but worth a read, the guy asked supporters outside of Celtic and the rotten lot what they think about the mess at poundland…

     

     

    Starry

     

     

    Last week I asked for non-Rangers and Celtic fans in Scotland to give me their observations on the current Ibrox detox. Several hundred emails later, I surface to bring you the first of a series of blogs.

     

     

    First of all, a big “thank you” for the hundreds of emails and tweets. It is clear that very few Scottish football fans are of the Ahmedinejad tendency – almost nobody wishes to see Rangers ‘wiped off the map’. But when it does come to proper and fitting punishment, a strong consensus exists, of which more later.

     

     

    What comes through strongly is the belief that the Rangers debacle is a genuine opportunity to rebuild Scottish football on a more interesting and fairer model. Ramsey spoke for almost everyone when he wrote: “Most see this as the perfect opportunity to better the league and the game as a whole.” A chance to recreate genuine competition in the SPL and consider wider matters beyond the “the self-interest of not just the old firm but the entire SPL.”

     

    The key observation though, is that the current focus on owner Craig Whyte and declaration of his not being “fit and proper” to run a football club is missing the point.

     

     

    As non-Old Firm fans see it, the decade or more long practice at Rangers of allegedly paying players one amount for tax purposes but another larger amount to save around £45 million on tax via so-called employee benefit trusts began way before Whyte. Legal or illegal. A least one former director has publically confirmed this too.

     

     

    Rosaleen said: “It all stemmed from before Whyte’s arrival, and yet nobody up here from the media is doing any serious investigating beyond him!”

     

     

    Though that doesn’t square with recent significant revelations in both the Sun and Mail shedding light on Ranger’s alleged practice of paying stars one sum but telling the authorities they were paying another, to save millions in tax. We await judgement from a tax tribunal as to whether or not this practice was legal. That is actually happened is not apparently in dispute, it is the legality that is under question.

     

     

    And here we get to a huge groundswell of opinion from aggrieved fans beyond the Glasgow cauldron (pace Partick Thistle) Because the rules clearly state that you have to tell the authorities full details of player contracts or they are ineligible. If Rangers did not do this – and it is still an “if” pending that tribunal – a decade of silverware, championships and glory is under possible forfeit. The stakes could not be higher. If that is the case, Tony writes:

     

     

    “In effect Rangers have fielded many players over many years in all competitions who were ineligible to play. This is confirmed by former Rangers director Hugh Adam last week and is subject to a current commission of inquiry by the Scottish Premier League.”

     

     

    And it was also confirmed by Mr Adam who told the Mail the practice had gone on for longer than a decade and predated the SPL.

     

     

    What many fans cannot understand though, is how key individuals in the game were serving both as directors of Rangers FC and on the Scottish FA and SPL. The job of directors – beyond trotting along to Ibrox and sitting in the box in a suit – is to oversee proper governance of the football club.

     

     

    Campbell Ogilvie, for instance, is current President of the SFA and was not only a director of Rangers during the period under investigation but also company secretary of the club. It was his job to know about contractual arrangements with players.

     

     

    So far Mr Ogilvie has not stood aside from his current role whilst the SPL investigation is underway. How many such contracts were signed? How many did he see? Did he know about them at all? If he did, did he sanction them being signed off? If he didn’t – why wasn’t he doing his job? Is there not a conflict of interest in his current position?

     

     

    We are currently putting these and other questions to Mr Ogilvie via the SFA, but as things stand we are told he is not doing any interviews but is ‘distancing himself from the current investigations’. When we asked if he has formally stood aside pending the outcome of the investigation, we were told he has not.

     

     

    As one fan put it: “If it is held to be true that Rangers, in implementing an unlawful tax evasion scam on a huge scale, fielded ineligible payers whilst those responsible were serving as directors of the regulatory and licensing bodies, we can say with certainty that the game of football in Scotland has been corrupt for 15 years or so.”

     

     

    One Clydebank supporter put it thus: “I am now reading that I’ve been ploughing my hard-earned cash into a league that has effectively been rigged in favour of one big side…but now I’m expected to just move on.”

     

     

    This is the key area fans want some answers about and where – right or wrong – they feel they are being short-changed by what they see – time and time again – as an over cosy relationship between the Old Firm, the SFA and SPL, and the Glasgow media.

     

     

    One oft-repeated refrain is: “The media in Glasgow keep telling us how much Scottish football needs Rangers – what they mean is how much they need Rangers, not Scottish football.”

     

     

    Nobody likes a cheat in sport. And here it’s claimed we have one in the shape of the loudest, biggest club with what some see as a tawdry history of bigotry, violent fans and a frankly supremacist culture. So when the bully and the cheat gets his comeuppance, there will be some vitriol.

     

     

    If anything though, I was surprised by the considered responses most made to Rangers’ implosion. But of course there’s real anger out there:

     

     

    “We have been duped…for 15 years,” wrote one fan, “and we are now sinking the boot into the perpetrators of the deceit. They have had a few days of pain. We’ve suffered nearly two decades. To hell with them and all who support them or feel sorry for them. They are cheats, simple as that.”

     

     

    Well, it is for the HMRC and the tribunal process to decide if Rangers FC was, in fact and law a criminal and cheating organisation in the period under examination. But we can say there’s already evidence starting to emerge in public to support that as yet unproven allegation.

     

     

    With the clock ticking at Ibrox, fans across Scotland are not short of ideas about what should happen. But as I said, remarkably few want Rangers wiped from the face of the earth. They just want existing rules implemented – a near-revolutionary suggestion it would seem, given the current unfolding saga at the top of the Scottish game.

     

     

    Coming up next; Crime and Punishment – What to do with Rangers Football Club; should they be found guilty; and is liquidation the only way out?

     

     

    Follow @alextomo on Twitter.

     

     

    Related posts:

     

     

    Rangers on the rack – but they’ll be back.

     

     

    CHANNEL4 NEWS BLOGS

  6. i think every club in scotland should be forced to sell all their top assets to help rangers back into good financial health

     

     

    we could get about 60 million for our 40 players

     

     

    i think its the right thing to do

  7. re Hugh Adam – his description of Murray; impressario – could there be a more damning description for a serious businessman?

     

     

    Beyond funny.

  8. First there was The Whyte Knights,then there was The Blue Knights; what next? The Boogie Knights?

  9. hamiltontim on 12 March, 2012 at 17:53 said:

     

     

    Young Forrest has in many ways become his own worst enemy. We shouldn’t forget that rarely do players of his nature dominate the opposition for an entire 90 minutes. In fact I don’t recall him ever doing this.

     

     

    They tend to play in spells, short bursts. It’s during these windows that they are at their most effective.

     

     

    At times I’ve found the young man to be wasteful and infuriating to watch but then with one run, a single cross or a solitary pass he has changed the game.

     

     

    I remember a young man in my early days at Parkhead who was much the same……..Jinky!

  10. fergus slayed the blues on

    re the blue knights ,if the ragers go bust will they become the pheonix knights ,garlic bread it’s the future

     

    hail hail

  11. brendan-behan on

    miki67 on 12 March, 2012 at 19:08 said:

     

     

    First there was The Whyte Knights,then there was The Blue Knights; what next? The Boogie Knights?

     

     

    The Barron Knights

  12. My Dear Dashing Canamalar..

     

     

    You are being much too harsh on Young James,who remains our most

     

    outstanding prodigy..

     

     

    His form has dipped of late,due to factors beyond his control,i.e. the loss of the exquisitely talented Kayal,

     

    coinciding with the return to the team of our least accomplished( and least effective?) midfielder,Broonie…

     

     

    Whatever leadership qualities Brown brings to our Most Illustrious Team on the pitch,one must recognise that it is at the expense of the skilful interplay down the right wing,which was most in evidence in the games prior to Xmas,

     

    when our Capitano was absent….

     

     

    In this respect,Young James has suffered most,being denied the slick attacking interplay he enjoyed as the apex of the triumvarate,formed with Kayal and the Prodigious Adam Matthews…

     

     

    There also persists the baffling tendency of our Manager to move Young James over to the left wing,where he is manifestly less effective than on the right…

     

    Although this switch is frequently made for the overall benefit of team tactics and formation..

     

    It comes at the expense of the best individual contribution Young James can make to the team…

     

     

    But then,I suppose we must remember that it is a team game,after all…

     

     

    Good job that Young James appears to be as willing and uncomplaining as the

     

    Hunskelping Deadly Joe,ready to sublimate individual glory ,for the overall benefit of the team..

     

     

    Pinkety..??

  13. Serenity on 12 March, 2012 at 19:09 said:

     

     

    i would stand up for james as a good player, but ffs his names should not even be used in the same breath as jinky, reserve that for messi, DM, pele, ronaldo, de piaro etc…

  14. ourselves alone on

    So sorry that we have lost Paul McBride ( God Rest )

     

     

    I think his skills will be missed over the coming months.

     

     

    HH

  15. Eyes Wide Open on

    I hope you are right Paul, I really do because the domestic bosses are so far beyond being able to deal with this impartially and professionally it is just yet another Scotlands shame.

     

     

    The Battered Bunnets insightful enlightening and insightful article on Saturday perhaps encapsulated the total disregard those who owned and ran Rangers for over a decade had for the laws to which they are supposed to be bound to.

     

     

    The debts they racked up then were debts they were never going to be able to pay off. When they used every joker in the pack they had to almost get them back to an even keel there is was even more disregard for any governance.

     

     

    They not only continued operating double contracts after being told to stop, they continued to recruit and sign players with money they didnt have and on wages they could ill afford.

     

     

    When a beast is out of control someone has to stop it. More often than not the beast has to be put down, not necessarily for its own good but because it is a danger to everyone else.

     

     

    Rangers are out of control.

     

     

    As recently as yesterday and today they are trying to pull moves, pull moves to exonerate themselves from having to pay off the debts they continue to rack up.

     

     

    They needed to cut £1m every month to ‘fulfil fixtures’ allegedly yet the first thing the Whyte appointed administration did was to try and ADD Cousin to the wage bill.

     

     

    We can also be darned sure we are and will only catch on to a fraction of what is really going on.

     

     

    The fact Campbell Olvigie is still in his position and not on suspension with full pay pending, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt those in charge of governance and enforcing it are incapable at best and unwilling at worst to put the beast far enough out of action so they are no longer a harm to everyone else.

     

     

    Its not going to necessarily take a devine intervention to sort this sorry mess out, but it will 110% take foreign intervention.

     

     

    Step forward the one man French Legion band – Mr Platini

     

     

    While you are in Scotland would you mind taking a small diversion to the East End of Glasgow to run a few possible ‘for instance’ scenarios past the Celtic board, which would allow for the permanent exit from of Glasgow Celtic from Scottish Football.

     

     

    I am at the stage where I genuinely wouldnt mind starting out in the bottom league in England.

     

     

    The prospect of 3 years suffering before getting a prosperous, exciting and independent land is a suffering and a wait worth taking.

     

     

    The prospect of Celtic being Celtic. Not being Celtic of the Old Firm, not being Celtic or Celtic and Rangers and not being Celtic that ‘catholic’ club in protestant Scotland.

     

     

    The alternative is 3 more years in an ameatur league, run as a masonic establishment for masons in a tiny backwater the world is about to forget.

  16. brendan-behan on 12 March, 2012 at 19:11 said:

     

    miki67 on 12 March, 2012 at 19:08 said:

     

     

    First there was The Whyte Knights,then there was The Blue Knights; what next? The Boogie Knights?

     

     

    The Barron Knights

     

    The Barren Knights?

  17. Afternoon all,

     

     

    I suspect UEFA may have an interest in the shenanigans with the scum and how the SFA/SPL decide to resolve the matter of the huns generation of cheating and the zombie resurrection (Hun FC 2012).

     

     

    That said, I do not think Mr Platini and his organisation will be too inclined to do us (Celtic) any favours what with F**k UEFA banner recently displayed and us being fined for “illicit” singing by the support.

     

     

    Whatever about domestic games we really need to ensure we (the support) are on our best behaviour when playing in European Cups. Any transgressions are destined to come back and bite us on the ass.

     

     

    Hail Hail

  18. Thursday 12th

     

    Fr Toner was in tonight, and brought me in some religious magazines.

     

    My weight is 58.75 kgs. They did not take a blood sample because they want to incorporate other tests with it. So the doctor says they’ll do it next week.

     

    Physically I have felt very tired today, between dinner time and later afternoon. I know I’m getting physically weaker. It is only to be expected. But I’m okay. I’m still getting the papers all right, but there’s nothing heartening in them. But again I expect that also and therefore I must depend entirely upon my own heart and resolve, which I will do.

     

    I received three notes from the comrades in Armagh, God bless them again.

     

    I heard of today’s announcement that Frank Hughes will be joining me on hunger-strike on Sunday. I have the greatest respect, admiration and confidence in Frank and I know that I am not alone. How could I ever be with comrades like those around me, in Armagh and outside.

     

    I’ve been thinking of the comrades in Portlaoise, the visiting facilities there are inhuman. No doubt that hell-hole will also eventually explode in due time. I hope not, but Haughey’s compassion for the prisoners down there is no different from that of the Brits towards prisoners in the North and in English gaols.

     

    I have come to understand, and with each passing day I understand increasingly more and in the most sad way, that awful fate and torture endured to the very bitter end by Frank Stagg and Michael Gaughan. Perhaps, — indeed yes! — I am more fortunate because those poor comrades were without comrades or a friendly face. They had not even the final consolation of dying in their own land. Irishmen alone and at the unmerciful ugly hands of a vindictive heartless enemy. Dear God, but I am so lucky in comparison.

     

    I have poems in my mind, mediocre no doubt, poems of hunger strike and MacSwiney, and everything that this hunger-strike has stirred up in my heart and in my mind, but the weariness is slowly creeping in, and my heart is willing but my body wants to be lazy, so I have decided to mass all my energy and thoughts into consolidating my resistance.

     

    That is most important. Nothing else seems to matter except that lingering constant reminding thought, ‘Never give up’. No matter how bad, how black, how painful, how heart-breaking, ‘Never give up’, ‘Never despair’, ‘Never lose hope’. Let them bastards laugh at you all they want, let them grin and jibe, allow them to persist in their humiliation, brutality, deprivations, vindictiveness, petty harassments, let them laugh now, because all of that is no longer important or worth a response.

     

    I am making my last response to the whole vicious inhuman atrocity they call H-Block. But, unlike their laughs and jibes, our laughter will be the joy of victory and the joy of the people, our revenge will be the liberation of all and the final defeat of the oppressors of our aged nation.

  19. Big Swee walks on with Neil Lennon on

    Evening all. Can anyone tell me if the game is being televised this weekend. Stuck travelling so cannot get back to Glasgow :o(

     

     

    Thanks in advance

     

     

    Hail Hail

  20. Big Swee walks on with Neil Lennon on 12 March, 2012 at 19:18 said:

     

     

    Sunday’s game is live on BBC Scotland

  21. Well said,Ard Macha.

     

    I wish you well.

     

    May the sun keep you warm

     

    And may a light always shine for you.

  22. UEFA is and always has been a joke.

     

    The game is seriously rotten and yet the organisation is so self important that it prepared to spend time investigating the actions of a group fans who had the temerity to displaye a banner linking the word EUFA to a four letter word that has common currency in countless tv and radio programmes.

  23. Laird of the Smiles:

     

     

    Adams was bang on the money about Murray. Pity they didn’t heed his warning!

     

     

    Also right about dwindling hun support over the last twenty years- ours has got significantly larger, particularly in scotland. A mate of mine from Dundee said that Celtic have a bigger support in his city than united and dundee put together! He also said that he and other fans had never met a rankers fan from Dundee!

     

     

    Hugh Adams had the integrity to tell it like it is…but they don’t the Truth

  24. sixtaeseven: No NewCo in SPL and it's Non-Negotiable! on

    Knights in Whyte blacken, never reaching the end…

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