7 Jul 2012

‘Despicable’ actions of Scottish football authorities

My sources are senior and widely respected figures in Scottish League Football and rarely have I heard men so angry about an invitation to a meeting.

They describe it in many ways, some of which I know my lawyer will not allow me to pass on. So let’s just choose one adjective:


Their reaction of course, all flows from that second paragraph of the invitation to next Friday’s meeting where the SFL says:

“That the Scottish Football League Members direct the Board of Management of The Scottish Football League (the “Board”) to provide that Rangers F.C. shall play in the Third Division of the Scottish Football League during Season 2012/13 unless the Board shall have to its satisfaction negotiated and reached agreement with The Scottish Premier League and The Scottish Football Association on a series of measures which the Board shall consider to be in the best interests of the game, how it is structured, how it is governed and how it is financed, whereupon the Board shall be authorised to provide that Rangers F.C. shall play in the First Division of the Scottish Football League during Season 2012/13.”

Read the full invitation here: Rangers – the vote that never was?

My sources have spoken exclusively to Channel 4 News and say that many in the league are not simply enraged that their vote is being taken away but that the SFA and SPL are now also directly involved and directly involved in effectively gagging the League clubs by stifling their votes.

My sources decline to be identified at this stage but one said:

“They’ve just gone ahead to steamroller us. It’s farcical. They’ve cooked it all up amongst themselves.”

Speaking on condition of anonymity he says there is now very little trust held by many senior League people in either the SFA or the SPL both as organisations in this matter and in terms of the conduct of their respective Chief Executives Stewart Regan and Neil Doncaster.

 He was one of a number this afternoon accusing Scottish Football of simply tearing up its own rulebook and suggested that either FIFA or UEFA might well be interested in taking a look at what is going on.

I have not been able to contact UEFA, the SFA or the SFL on this matter, it being a weekend.

This will further enrage fans across the country who have long suspected a stitch-up. Recent threats and hyperbole from Scottish football’s authorities about “Armageddon” if “Rangers” go to D3 won’t have helped.

Still less the SFA’s Stewart Regan contemplating “social unrest” if “Rangers” disappear. Leaving aside various police forces who dealt with actual social unrest when Rangers FC fans did appear, his wild speculation looked desperate, not least given its hypothetical context.

Like today’s extraordinary letter of intent, it speaks of the utter desperation Scottish football’s governing bodies have to find some way, somehow, somewhere to go on milking the so-called “Rangers” cash-cow.

At least now this latest tactic is unmasked, leaked as they surely knew it would be.

Many will conclude that fans, chairmen and players  have five days now to counteract the latest gambit-of-despair from Hampden Park.

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