I have been at pains to point out that the LNS Commission was a stitch-up. In The Missing Article (jj passim) I expounded on the incontrovertible facts. Bill Nimmo Smith went out of his way to assert that there was no question of dishonesty. Bear in mind that the SFA Chief Executive – the odious Stewart Regan with his American history degree – shoehorned himself on to the commission and would have been fully aware of the consequences if the directors of Rangers had been found to have acted dishonestly:
Title Stripping would have been back on the agenda.
How the mendacious registration of 55 players and 25 ancillary staff/directors could be anything other than dishonest truly beggars belief.
Rod McKenzie in his confidential emails, exclusively revealed on this site, presented Rangers case that their directors did not believe that EBT had to be disclosed. However there is no grey area in the SPL rules:
D1.10 A Club participating in an Official Match must ensure that those of its Players Playing in the match are eligible to Play in such match.
D1.11 Any Club Playing an ineligible Player in an Official Match and the Player concerned shall be in breach of the Rules.
D1.13 A Club must, as a condition of Registration and for a Player to be eligible to Play in Official Matches, deliver the executed originals of all Contracts of Service and amendments and/or extensions to Contracts of Service and all other agreements providing for payment, other than for reimbursement of expenses actually incurred, between that Club and Player, to the Secretary, within fourteen days of such Contract of Service or other agreement being entered into, amended and/or, as the case may be, extended.
As one can see this is a binary issue. Fifty-five players transgressed D1.13. This rang alarm bells at the SFA as they knew that D1.11 and D1.10 had also been trangressed. Let me spell this out:
The players of Rangers who won 17 trophies from 1999-2011 were not eligible to participate in Scottish Professional football.
This resulted in the worst lie ever uttered by an SFA executive since Jim Farry subverted Jorge Cadete’s registration. Sandy Bryson deemed that the players were ‘imperfectly registered but eligible.‘ How on God’s green earth can they be eligible when they were up to their knees in side contracts and EBTs? Let’s take a look at the following article:
Article 12.3… all payments, whether made by the club or otherwise, which are to be made to a player solely relating to his playing activities must be fully recorded within the relevant written agreement with the player prior to submission to the Scottish FA and/or the recognised football body of which his Club is in membership.
This article was used to defend the cheating. Rangers asserted that they paid the money to a trust and what private arrangement the trust entered into with the player was not their concern. However this was found to be disguised remuneration by the Appellate Inner House of The Court of Session and The Supreme Court. So there’s no defence.
However Gerry Moynihan has asserted that the SPFL cannot enforce SPL rules despite the fact that they have the same company number and are merely a rebrand of the SPL, admittedly with a bigger remit. However had they appealed the inordinately lenient fine, the SFA’s article 5.1 would have been relevant. Was it deliberately remiss of Rod McKenzie not to draft a corollary bill for the SPL? Was this another component of the stitch-up?
We are now led to believe that the new SPFL board have addressed this shortfall and that the equivalent of D 1.10 to D 1.13 is now on their statute books. Talk about bolting the stable door after the horse has bolted and is engaging in sexual congress with a brood mare.
Was Andrew Dickson, who is snaking his way up the greasy pole at the SFA, oblivious to article 5.1? There can be little doubt that he would have been aware that he was acting dishonestly and not with the utmost good faith. As Hugh Adam stated in 2002 they knew that they were cheating.
One should also consider the quaint provision which deals with the faith of the register. Clubs can apparently proceed on good faith, specifically the utmost good faith, when disclosing material information apropos player registrations. Surely it follows that failure to disclose side contracts undermines the fidelity of the register, and the faith in it upon which members clubs “should be able to proceed”.
The following quote is from an article by Tony McKelvie:
“Curiously, this breach of duty by Rangers FC was not raised by the SPL at the Commission. One can only guess at why. It is though clear that had the commission held that Rangers FC had breached their duty to act in utmost good faith, given the significant and sustained breaches, and the range of sanctions under the SPL rules, a likely outcome would have been “reduction of the contract”: Rangers FC being expelled from the SPL. Perhaps this prospect was simply too much for the SPL to contemplate when preparing its case to the commission.”
“Given that this fundamental issue was not considered by the SPL Commission, it remains open to the SPL (now SPFL), to review the matter, and its corollary impacts on the legitimacy of its competition during the (many) years in question.”
In summary the stitch-up was more ingenious than we have given them credit for:
1. Change the scope.
2. Do not consider the breach of duty.
3. Spike an appeal as it might invoke SFA Article 5.1
4. Allow Campbell Ogilvie and Sandy Bryson to lead false evidence.
The question remains as to whether Regan and Doncaster can get away with this?Will natural justice prevail? As my exclusive insights from Charles Green point out there was nothing in the final Five Way Agreement that precludes title stripping.
It’s unfortunate for Moynihan and McKenzie that this site has published the latter’s confidential e-mails, and driven a coach through Moynihan’s mendacious statement that the SPFL are in any way bound by the Five Way Agreement. Moynihan’s was counting on us not having access to the drafts. However he was caught out in a blatant lie.
As for buying the history, I quite fancy seven or so Tour De France titles and the official unexpurgated history of The Battle of Stalingrad. Will Mr Moynihan act on my behalf, or was he lying through his back teeth?
Same old solicitors, always cheating.