First of all, let’s deal with the two events which happened yesterday:
Initially, a letter Celtic sent to the SFA in 2012 was leaked to The Times. This letter called into question “the integrity of football results achieved” by Rangers during their dual contract years, when they failed to register contracts guaranteeing EBT payments.
In the letter Celtic “demand the SFA act decisively”, noted “damage to the reputation and integrity of Scottish football”. Adding “The roles of individuals (past and present) subject to the jurisdiction of the Association should also be examined”.
Later, the SFA issued a statement rejecting the request by the SPFL to review these matters, saying “The image of the game in Scotland can only be damaged further by ‘raking over the coals’”.
The first insight into what happened yesterday can be gleamed by the fact that Celtic were astonished their private correspondence with the SFA was leaked without their permission. This was not a Celtic leak and would not have been authorised by the club, if its permission was sought.
Whereas the SPFL’s statement in July called for an inquiry on behalf of all 42 league clubs, this leak painted the issue as a one-club crusade. It was an attempt to isolate Celtic, while making public their position that Rangers’ failure to register second contracts broke “the integrity of football results achieved”.
If Celtic wanted to make this position public, they would have done so, but instead they chose to do their talking privately with other SPFL member clubs. Whoever leaked this correspondence to The Times wants questions about the integrity of Scottish football caricatured as a Peter Lawwell obsession. The leak was a cynical hope that other SPFL clubs can be convinced to pinch their noses and move on.
Having met with SPFL chief executive, Neil Doncaster, and solicitor, Rod McKenzie, it is clear the League believe a thorough review of events and practices is needed. Their invitation to the SFA to participate has been rejected. Asking Uefa to participate instead is a logical step (for you and me), but will Hearts, will Aberdeen, will others care enough to do so?
The above is an explanation of the politics of what has happened in Scottish football in recent weeks.
Now let’s address what happened today.
Andrew Dickson is finance and administration director of Newco Rangers and held a similar position at Oldco. He sits on various SFA committees and works with all key decision makers at the Association.
This morning, award-winning blogger, Rangers Tax-Case, released Mr Dickson’s evidence and his correspondence given to Rangers’ First Tier Tribunal (FTT).
In evidence to the FTT, Mr Dickson stated that from 2004 he drafted most of the undeclared side-letters.
Mr Dickson said under oath that he “probably” lied to players about their EBT payments.
Mr Dickson’s evidence to the FTT is only one of the entire 22 FTT transcripts Rangers Tax-Case holds. He informs us he will release all of it to illustrate the absurdity of Scottish football ignoring recent events, or will make it available to the an SFA or SPFL review. Either way, the information will out.
Let me also remind you, recent SFA president, Campbell Ogilvie, was Oldco Rangers director and company secretary, with chief responsibility for administration at the club. He was also an EBT beneficiary.
The SFA’s statement yesterday will not protect their current and recent SFA office-bearers from scrutiny. It will only further-contaminate those who choose to cover-up wrong-doing. We are in the early stages of a classic attempted corporate cover-up.
It is simply astonishing that the an SFA office-bearer’s evidence under oath confirms EBTs were contractual years before the club denied this, that he drafted the denied EBT side-letters, that he probably lied about EBTs, but he has managed to get the SFA to deny the League’s request for a review.
While football fights corruption in so many places across the globe, the Scottish FA attempt to draw a dark cover over such momentous events. They are not fit members of Uefa or Fifa.
Meetings have continued with counsel to discuss plans for a Judicial Review. The matter continues to progress. No updates will be issued until the appropriate time.
NEW CQN PODCAST OUT NOW – LISTEN BELOW
In this week’s Centenary Special, Paul John Dykes speaks to Republic of Ireland internationalist, Chris Morris, about his Celtic career, what the club means to him, and the part he played in introducing ‘The Fields of Athenry’ to the Celtic fans’ songbook.
Enjoy the new Podcast below…