SPFL review but know to expect further challenges


The new SPFL board yesterday agreed that some sort of review should take place into the debacle which saw Rangers collapse into liquidation. While this is welcome as far as it goes, its scope will necessarily be bound by what the SPFL previously agreed to bind itself to.  This was clear from the off, which I alluded to at the time.

If you contractually agree to limit your future actions for all purposes, you tie your own hands. This is where the SPFL are now and it is the reason we must look beyond them. The actions of those who tied their own hands are just as important as matters pertaining to the integrity of Scottish football’s competitions (the Scottish Cup and SFL League Cup, as well as the SPL).

The SPFL are not the only ones who are looking into this matter. They know to expect challenges during the course of the next two months.

Episode 5 of The CQN Podcast: A Celtic State of Mind comes hot on the heels of one of the club’s most controversial European ties in recent memory.

* What now for the Green Brigade?
* Dedryck Boyata – Are reinforcements on route?
* Virgil van Dijk – The windfall cometh;
* Farewell to Emilio Izaguirre.

Listen to the latest episode here:


Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 35

  1. “The SPFL are not the only ones who are looking into this matter. They know to expect challenges during the course of the next two months.”




    Hmmmmm as a great man once said:))

  2. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan on

    Repost from earlier



    Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan on 25th July 2017 5:07 am



    Moonbeamswd on 24th July 2017 9:55 pm



    The problem with any blog is that it is sometimes hard to pick up someone’s tone.



    My posts of yesterday are not meant to sound “defeated” at all – they are meant to strenuously reinforce my opinion that certain positions and points of view are legally and factually wrong.



    Celtic PLC are having their lawyers review the position and as I understand it they will follow up the clubs call for a review — an open and full review. Celtic have not called for the stripping of titles (a term I don’t like BTW as it deflects from the logic involved) because to make such a call prior to a full, open and independent review just makes no sense at all.



    You review, then you decide on the consequences of the review.



    To not review is just wrong.



    A review is not an “appeal” of LNS – though it may determine that LNS was wrongly decided, wrongly commissioned, wrongly set up etc



    In my opinion, there is no prospect of a judicial review at the Court of Session costing £5,000. That sum will only get you a counsel’s opinion on the legality and prospects of success for such a review, and possibly cover the initial commencement of the action.



    Further, judicial review is only one remedy and before you get very far down the road of judicial review then you face the fundamental question who has the right to bring one to court.



    Clearly, a football club which has full membership of the SFA has a clearer and more obvious, if not more automatically statable, right than an ordinary fan.



    But that then brings in the whole issue of minority shareholders rights. Can a club which has one vote, legally be said to have a right of review when, say, another eleven clubs have voted to go down one route or another in terms of the articles of association of the SPFL company etc.



    In my opinion, they can because a vote to do something that is legally wrong remains legally wrong whether the vote is ten to two, eleven to one or seven to five.



    However, the question remains will Celtic seek a judicial review? Only if that doesn’t happen do you get to the fans having an involvement. If Celtic PLC, per their board, decide not to seek a judicial review, do minority shareholders of Celtic PLC have the right to seek a judicial review of an SPFL decision?



    The very threat of that being tested in court is an intriguing one and one which I genuinely think will terrify many people in football and other sports.



    Blazers of all colours, and possibly many fans, will not welcome the prospect, and the possible outcomes of such a legal challenge should be considered by all at the very outset.



    A lot depends on what this statement says on Wednesday. Personally, I think it will say that the SPFL has decided to hold a review and it will say that the SPFL has not decided to take any remedial action at this juncture – though it may leave the “at this juncture” part out. It will also say (unecessarily in my opinion) that the SPFL has been given legal advice that it cannot impose any sanction on RFC PLC as that organisation is no longer a member of the SPFL or the SFA — and it will stop there.



    What does that then mean? It means there is going to be a review – nothing more, nothing less. How effective that review will be is as yet to be determined.



    The PR function at the SFA and SPFL is not the best so I would ignore what is in the press at the moment. In the past, the BBC have run with completely false stories and STV are managed by a click bait mentality.



    In purely legal terms. A judicial review is one remedy. An Action of Declarator is another – A declarator in Scottish law is a form of legal action by which some right of property, servitude, or status (or some other inferior right or interest) is sought to be judicially declared.



    Can a club, or indeed its shareholders, legally hold the SPFL/SFA to account when they are in the minority?



    The Court of Session may be asked to find and declare if this is possible.



    I have no knowledge as to what legal advice was sought by the SFA or the SPFL but simply saying that you can’t punish RFC PLC because they are no longer members doesn’t wash legally with me. The test is as stated in the Chernova case and is not dependent on the health or status of the person who was declared the winner of a competition at the time, nor is the correct legal test about taking action AGAINST anyone.



    Instead, the test is whether or not a competition has been won by someone who has used a prohibited method of participating, and if it has whether a tainted award should be allowed to stand for posterity. In considering that question, any court has to have regard to the other competitors — whether they are living or dead or in existence. The situation of the winner is not the be all and end all.



    However, my final point is not a legal one at all. Lawyers and the law are not and never should be the ultimate test of a business — especially an entertainment business. Something can be quite legal but utterly lacking in commercial support.



    Chess, for example, is governed by rules but it is hardly a viable mass participation spectator sport which attracts sponsorship.



    Football is. However, if the footballing public, or a large section of them, no longer have any faith in the fairness and integrity of the competitions in Scotland, then football participation and support will wither on the vine and will simply die a slow death. That is why I said you can simply flush it down the toilet and why Celtic may well be in a difficult position.



    Celtic PLC may well fight this all the way, be seen to do the right thing, and end up being the real victims of the EBT years. In my opinion that is entirely possible and the question that I, as an individual, would have to ask is whether or not I continue to support Celtic participating in a rigged and unfair game despite their best efforts.



    Sadly, my opinion is that I am not much interested in rigged sport no matter who the participants are, and I sure as hell am not going to contribute financially to an entertainment or sport where the rules can be ignored or changed on a whim when it suits some and despite the best intentions of others.



    That is a purely personal choice, based on personal principles, and not one which I would attempt to foist on others.



    BTW this view is not just based on events in Scotland either. I become increasingly disinterested in the Champions League and the actions of UEFA, have no interest at all in English football so don’t watch it or follow it, and genuinely believe that football’s time in the limelight is limited.



    One of the biggest reasons for following Celtic and watching football is that I enjoy the company of those who I watch with and socialise with surrounding the football. This is a factor not often considered by football clubs who often don’t see their commercial support as a social collective.



    I believe that to be a mistake, but that is a discussion for another day ………… possibly in a place that is far away from any commercially run football ground.



    With that I am off to enjoy the rest of the early morning in France and will head down to Spain later in the day.




  3. In that agreement that prevents justice ever did it include transfer of titles to Newco?



    If titles cannot be removed because it’s not in the rules, where is the rule that allows titles to be transferred?



    If it’s in the 5 Way only is it ultra vires?



    If it’s not in the 5 way what rule allows the SPFL to move the history of Oldco to Newco?



    Have SPFL asked for legal advice on this or is it yet another fallacy they don’t wish uncovered?


    If Scottish football doesn’t do the right thing by those who pay the money which keeps it alive,it shouldn’t be surprised if we decide not to do so.



    Any other country there wouldn’t be any discussion about it.



    Strip the titles and strip bare the allegiances which have put the game into this dreadful state of affairs.



    The game in Scotland is corrupt,there can be little argument about that. How long do we want that corruption to continue?



    It’s never too late to make a difference.

  5. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan on

    “However, not to disqualify results that have been achieved by using a prohibited substance or prohibited


    method cannot be considered as fair with regard to other athletes that competed against the Athlete during this period.


    The main purpose of disqualification of results is not to punish the transgressor, but rather to correct any unfair advantage and remove any tainted performances from the record(LEWIS /TAYLOR (Eds.), Sport: Law and Practice, 2014, para. C.162, with further references).”



    The Court of Arbitration for Sport in the case of The IAAF v Tatyana Chernova which led to Jessica Ennis Hill being declared world champion Heptathlete some 6 years after the event and brought about a bronze medal being awarded to Kelly Sotherton as a result of her performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.



    By the way, Sotherton is not much interested in the medal awarded to Chernova and has publicly stated that it is tainted and dirty.



    The CAS decision makes clear what is to be considered when considering a review and who and what has to be considered when looking at competitions won using a prohibited method of competition. Sporting integrity is paramount and the purpose of withdrawing an award is to ensure that tainted and unfairly won titles do not stand the test of time.




  6. More prevarication, more delay and this will drag on and on till even the most zealous promoters of title strippers are scunnered out. I haven’t paid a thin dime into the professional game for 2 years over the Res12 inaction. My green pound will remain in my pocket till the corruption and cheating is cleansed from the Scottish game. Sadly I think it will stay there till I expend my last breath.

  7. CELTIC BY NUMBERS on 25TH JULY 2017 11:41 AM



    I think the imbalance was there for the majority of last season, we simply weren’t as big a threat on the right as we were on the left. Even when Roberts finally took over the starting place, he was mostly doing it on his own as Lustig doesn’t overlap the way Tierney does.



    The thing is, most of that was by design. Rodgers often said it was 4231 without the ball, and pretty much 352 with it. Tierney bounds forward on the overlap, Sinclair makes outside to inside runs to become a de facto second striker, and Lustig tucks into make the 3 at the back. This left Forrest and latterly Roberts to hug the touchline on their own.



    I think that is why Forrest played the majority of the season, he’s more suited to a right wing back role and is more effective going on the outside. Roberts as we all know loves to drift inside, but when he came back into the team he showed more willingness to go to the byline and put a cross in. The threat of doing that then opens up the cutback on to his magical left foot.



    We also played a lot of 343 in preseason then used it against Linfield at home. Lustig and particularly Tierney still got forward, with Brown dropping back into the back 3. Interesting to see if we only use it against packed defences, or if we’ll use it in the bigger games as well. It does allow us to get an extra midfielder in, of which we have an abundance. We’ll know more when the team comes out at 6.45pm tomorrow night. And even more when the transfer window closes and we what positions Rodgers is targeting.




    Is CAS an option for us? Would it have to be done by the club or could supporters / shareholders make a case on their own?

  9. weebobbycollins on

    M6Bhoy…sad thing is, you won’t be missed. There is always another sucker will take your place…season books sold out…says it all really.


    Corruption everywhere you look…


    What do you say Celtic? We are waiting for an answer but we are not holding our breath…

  10. Emilio



    Thanks for your service and professionalism.


    Good luck in the future




  11. Hi Paul67,



    Very pleased to hear others will be challenging this because I have no confidence in the SPFL Board…



    “The new SPFL board yesterday agreed that some sort of review should take place into the debacle which saw Rangers collapse into liquidation. While this is welcome as far as it goes, its scope will necessarily be bound by what the SPFL previously agreed to bind itself to…



    Is it really Reviewing or just considering, if it is Reviewing is just the EBT status following the Supreme Court ruling or the whole debacle?



    In terms of binding itself I’m not sure if anyone has sight of the 5WA and what restrictions that puts on any decisions. I know that the SPL Commission made some unfortunate determinations in that regard.



    “…Nor is it a breach of SPL or SFA Rules for a club to arrange its affairs – within the law – so as to minimise its tax liabilities. The Tax Tribunal has held (subject to appeal) that Oldco was acting within the law in setting up and operating the EBT scheme. The SPL presented no argument to challenge the decision of the majority of the Tax Tribunal and Mr McKenzie stated expressly that for all purposes of this Commission’s Inquiry and Determination the SPL accepted that decision as it stood, without regard to any possible appeal by HMRC.



    This is, as much of the Commission’s verbiage is, for me oddly expressed.



    The Commision was surely looking into wrongdoing – why are they telling us Clubs who arrange their Tax Affairs within the Law won’t breach SFA and SPL rules.



    Surely what the Commision should have been looking at was ALL of the side payments to determine if any/all breached SFA and SPL rules. Which we now know some/all did.



    Interesting that this evidence was never put forward, so it wasn’t considered by the Commision and the opportunity to exam the evidence in regard to the appeal(s) by HMRC being upheld (which we now know it has) was spurned and because the evidence was never led the SPL Board could not appeal the decision to the Appellate Authority (the SFA) even though some Board members had serious misgivings.



    Of course the fact that the SPL EBT Inquiry didn’t enquire into the EBT payments surely leaves a Opportunity for it to be looked at in light of the Supreme Court ruling.



    Hail Hail

  12. Brogan Rogan



    Would Des O Brien be an example of a minority shareholder(small % holding and wealthy) who could pursue an action?



    You mention there is no access to a ‘group’shareholding


    in Scotland whereas in England shareholders can.



    May I ask


    Is this because no such action has been pursued in Scotland previously?



    What inhibits a group action in Scotland? (If any)



    Hope your good mate, any spirit of 67 polo shirts available/left?




  13. myboysnowatim on

    I don’t think that the game in Scotland is necessarily corrupt but I do think it lacks integrity, transparency, accountability and individuals in office at the SFA/SPFL are completely devoid of backbone/balls (whatever you want to call it).



    They have dug themselves one almighty hole what with all this same club nonsense, rule breaking ignoring/bending, pre-decided LNS verdict (In my opinion) & ‘making it up as they go along’ legal statements protecting their disastrous decisions.



    They don’t actually realise what a can of worms they have on their hands now due to the stupid decisions they made back in 2012 etc.



    All for what?


    1. Appeasing the poor little institution and its followers.


    2. Reaction to the threats of riots and personal safety.


    3. The need for the retention of the mythical Blue £ in the game.


    4. A pitiful TV deal.


    5. The media’s need for the ‘Old firm’ to sell copy.



    But you know what, I’m glad they have. There is no doubt in my mind now that these charlatans are not fit for office and the whole infrastructure needs one complete overhaul.



    The shear lack of intelligence at the SFA/SPFL is staggering. These guys really appear to be just blazer wearing, jobs for the boys, pencil pushing administrators waiting to retire or the next UEFA gig that they can fill.



    Where’s the fresh ideas, drive, radical thinking, investment generating & enthusiasm etc.?



    Well this lot certainly don’t have any of the above. Our National team & Scottish footballs coefficient decline is all the evidence we need.



    All of Scottish football needs a guaranteed comprehensive & independent review of the ‘Rangers’ rule breaking, EBT use and a retrospective final decision on appropriate punishment/consequences for their actions if rules were found to be blatantly disregarded.



    If another whitewash ensues, I personally do not know what I am going to do. Except for one thing. I will never trust Footballs honour again. (and there’s not much honour in the game is there?).

  14. weebobbycollins on

    Myboysnowatim…the game is corrupt not only in Scotland, it is corrupt at UEFA and FIFA level too…there is too much money involved for it not to be corrupt.


    Money is the God…

  15. Barry Ferguson, who didn’t pay tax on a massive chunk of his salary, and then tried to avoid tax further by investing in movie company schemes, transfered his house to his wife 6 years ago.



    What a great guy.



    Also, how lucky is it that he declared bankruptcy 6 years after transferring the house and not 5 years, eh?

  16. weebobbycollins on 25th July 2017 12:28 pm



    M6Bhoy…sad thing is, you won’t be missed. There is always another sucker will take your place…season books sold out…says it all really.



    Corruption everywhere you look…



    What do you say Celtic? We are waiting for an answer but we are not holding our breath




    The current Season Ticket high water mark will not be sustained. It was the same when MON took over and we had the mythical 10,000 waiting list. There is natural high for STs which I estimate to be around 35 to 40k. Anything above that is down to short-termers who buy into the current good times but get bored and gradually drift away.



    Then of course there are those who will refuse to fund a game that is fundamentally corrupt and rigged in favour of one team. I haven’t a clue how many fall this category but I am one for sure and I suspect it runs into the thousands and not hundreds. Either way I don’t really care that much. I have made a personal decision and am comfortable with it.

  17. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    Barry Fergushun should be transferred to the High Court, via a stop off to pay the wee face-painter :)


    Bent then, Bent now, Bent forever:)




  18. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    He will be for the off anyway, why bother.


    We will replace him with a 3 million quid signing.


    Ive kind of lost the will to care, not even sure if i will watch the game tomorrow.


    Its not football anymore.




  19. myboysnowatim on




    A sad state of affairs if that is the case.



    However, in Scotland, there is undoubtedly more at play that is influencing the football administrators decision making.



    I can only see the dust settling when those in office are removed & the whole system is overhauled at a local level.



    UEFA & FIFA? We need to get our house in order before thinking about them.



    Do the SFA/SPFL custodians just think we are all just complete doff capping, idiots without brains and we will all just forgive & forget about what has happened with regards to the ‘Rangers’ issues?



    Makes me cringe to think what was going on behind closed doors pre Internet & social media.

  20. RON67



    Reported injured………………but might be for the off!



    Hope this helps!




  21. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    BEATBHOY on 25TH JULY 2017 11:09 AM



    Indeed, I did say wait until the result of the SC decision. Celtic have played their first card and it will be interesting to see what they respond with after the SPFL statement tomorrow.



    As far as the cheating is concerned, it always has been there and it’s no different than it was over 50 years ago when I started going; and the 50 years before that.



    I have stated my position on many occasions and it hasn’t changed because we now have proof. My choice is that I will support my Club and watch them win despite the cheating. It’s a personal view from this fan; I respect that others have a different opinion and position.








    I suspect a lot of the EBT recipients have done the same with assets as Ferguson.



    Hell mend those that haven’t.



    Naw, hell mend them all and soon.

  23. REGGIE on 25TH JULY 2017 12:23 PM


    That is really good analysis, thanks. Last season I lacked the tools to explore this but the other data I have certainly backs up you view.



    Balance is provided by Tierney and Forrest hugging the lines, with Sinclair , Rogic and Armstrong operating inside. Against Linfield Forrest did not do enough against very defensive and deep opposition. But if Rosenborg are more Aberdeen than Albion rovers then Forrest with more room to play will probably rightly keep his spot. HH

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 35