The Scottish Football Monitor (www.sfm.scot) is, in my opinion, the pre-eminent internet site for information and debate on Scottish football. It is the gold standard by which all other sites,including this fledgling site, are measured. James Doleman is a regular contributor to the SFM. John Clark occasionally assists James when two hearings in two cities coincide. Mr Clark will attend The Court of Session tomorrow morning to report from the following :
Wednesday 27th January
P1266/15 Pet: Mash Holdings Ltd for orders under section 996 re Rangers
Brodies LLP representing MASH, Anderson Strathern representing RIFC.
I have dealt with Section 996 in a previous post. In my opinion RIFC will be ordered to cease and desist from attempting to strip MASH of its voting rights and will be censured for the resolutions they proposed at their AGM. Tomorrow morning’s hearing is procedural. The petition will be presented, Anderson Strathern for RIFC will request that it is dismissed, and should Lord Tyre accept that RIFC have a case to answer, a hearing date will be set.
However I digress. Mr Clark was invited to a meeting with Mr McRae, President of the SFA, at Hampden on 19 January 2016. In his correspondence to Mr McRae, Mr Clark inquired why Mr McRae was perpetuating the narrative that Rangers were the same club.
Mr McRae stated that he had no recollection of airing any of the views recorded in Mr Clark’s letter as attributed to him. Mr Clark’s opening gambit surprised me. He stated that while he contributed to SFM, he was not there as ‘officially representing’ SFM. Mr Clarke may take exception to my opinion on his approach, but this was redolent of King’s ‘lifestyle’ defence in the contempt of court hearing. I also posit that if he had requested a meeting or response to correspondence as a private individual, with no formal affiliation to the SFM, he would have been given short shrift. This site is often criticized by contributors to the SFM. I have no right of reply. Mr Clark has a right of reply on this site. The following text in italic font is from Mr Clark. Mr Broadfoot’s responses are in bold type.
“Note of informal meeting between me, and Alan McRae, President of the SFA, with Darryl Broadfoot, Press Officer, at Hampden park, 2.00 pm Tuesday, 19th January.
Background: I had written to Mr McRae in October 2015, to ask whether Mr McRae had really (as had been reported to me) aired the following opinions:
that Rangers FC were not Liquidated
that Rangers FC were put down to the third Division
that Rangers FC were bought by Charles Green and that the team currently playing out of Ibrox Stadium and calling itself The Rangers Football Club Ltd is one and the same as the club known as Rangers Football Club, which is currently in Liquidation.
Mr McRae, through Mr Broadfoot, went through the points one by one.
On point one, there was no difficulty in agreeing that RFC had been Liquidated. That was accepted as a matter of fact.
On point two, I argued that:
Mr Green’s new club had had to apply for league and SFA membership, and were therefore admitted as a new club to Scottish Football and allowed into SFL Third Division.
They had as an emergency measure been granted conditional membership, and had had to seek the Administrators’ and Football Authorities’ agreement to the use of certain RFC (IL) players who had decided to sign on with the new club in order to play their first game as a new club.
They were ‘put in ‘the Third Division as a new club, not as an existing club being relegated.
Mr McRae, through Mr Broadfoot, argued that ‘put in’ and ‘admitted to’ are pretty much the same thing, and that they had received legal advice that they were the same club and that the authorities were stuck with it.
Mr Clark referred to the 5-way Agreement, and made the point that two entities other than league or SFA representatives were signatories to that agreement: RFC (IL) and Mr Green’s new club. The two could not be one.
Mr Broadfoot said that was a matter of opinion.
Mr Clark said that it was rather a matter of fact.
On the third point, there was also disagreement.
Mr Broadfoot, for Mr McRae, argued that Charles Green bought the club (and Mr McRae personally added ‘and the “goodwill”’).
Mr Clark pointed out that Mr Green had NOT bought the club out of Administration, as had happened with other clubs, but merely had bought the assets of a former club that was NOT able to be bought out of administration and was consequently Liquidated.
Mr Broadfoot said that Celtic and Rangers supporters might continue to disagree but that could only be expected.
Mr Clark stated that this was not at all a Celtic-Rangers supporters’ issue, and that the Scottish Football Monitor, for instance, represented the views of supporters of many clubs. I further made the point that many sports administrative bodies had come under the spotlight in current times and people were naturally concerned that the governance of football should be above suspicion: and that substantial numbers feel that the Football Authorities have been at fault, in permitting a new club to claim to be an old club and pretend to (own) the honours and titles.
Reference was made in the passing to some allegations that had been made that certain evidence relating to the Discounted Option Scheme had been withheld from the LNS commission, which occasioned Lord Nimmo Smith to be misled; and to the apparent negligent performance of the SFA administration under the previous President, who, both on account of his personal knowledge of the use of the DOS by Sir David Murray, and as a subsequent recipient of an EBT, might reasonably have been expected to ensure a thorough and diligent examination of the information provided by clubs about payments to players.
Mr Broadfoot ruled out discussion of the first of these matters because ‘there was no evidence’, and the second matter was also ruled out because, he asserted, the previous president is a man of the highest integrity.
Mr Clark replied that work was in hand to provide evidence, and that the question of negligent performance of duties was not a question of ‘personal integrity’.
Mr Broadfoot opined that the future would show whether Scottish Football supporters were really concerned about the old club/new club debate, if huge numbers turned their backs on the game.
Mr Clark responded that a sport based on a false proposition, on what could be seen as a lie, no matter on what pragmatic reasons, would certainly wither if and when people thought the sport could be rigged.
As the meeting drew to a close, Mr Clark was asked if, coming from Edinburgh, he was a Hibs or Hearts supporter, or perhaps a Celtic supporter? And whether he was going to tonight’s (Celtic were playing that evening at home) game?
Mr Broadfoot, opening the meeting, explained that“for the purposes of this meeting, I am the SFA.”
Mr McRae’s personal contribution to the conversation was therefore very little more than mentioned above, Mr Broadfoot did most of the talking.
So we now have the official line. Legal advice, provided to the SFA, states that RFC (1l) and TRFC are the same company. Mr Clark did not ask for the source of this legal advice but it’s evident that the SFA are interpreting the findings of Mr Nimmo Smith to support their position. Should no-one turn their back on the game, their position stands.
Those who find the position of Mr McRae, as articulated by Mr Broadfoot, unacceptable, should turn their back on the Scottish game. Company law is clear and unequivocal. RFC plc were a company that is now being liquidated. The Rangers Football Club is a unique company with a unique company registration and company number. The President of the SFA via his mouthpiece is stating that company law is of no relevance to the SFA whatsoever. Those of us who believe that the SFA are corrupt now have their answer.
On a final note, asking Mr Clark whether he was attending a CFC game was a cheap device that is used by Radio Clyde to undermine the message of the contributor. Those who are foolish enough to call Radio Clyde are not the sharpest tools in the box, and on the rare occasion that they are intelligent, their perspective is diminished by being passed through an Old Firm prism. Did we expect more from the SFA?
Given that Rangers are the same club, will Mr McRae and Mr Broadfoot draw this to the attention of BDO, ask them to step down, and point out to Mr King that he currently has debts of £96.6m to settle?