No Compromise In Fight For Justice
Details Published on Sunday, 22 July 2012 05:25 Written by JCS Willie Vass ©
After suffering several days of the wildest possible speculation about our future, and being in a state of constant anxiety, I was almost relieved when I learned that a statement announcing we had been granted a licence had been posted on the SFA web site – that was, of course, until I actually read it!
Whilst I was almost resigned to the fact that we would be bullied and threatened into accepting a transfer ban, I was nonetheless shocked to learn that we seemed to have capitulated entirely.
It appears that, in addition to accepting a sanction that the SFA does not have in its articles and rules and, therefore, does not have at its disposal – the registration ban – we have conceded the infinitely more dangerous principle that any sanctions relating to the Oldco will be accepted by Sevco Scotland Ltd – the Newco.
Yes, I fully appreciate that the statement apparently relates only to the Oldco charges of bringing the game into disrepute, but the wider import of such an agreement should not be lost on any Rangers fan that cares about the history and the future well being of the Club.
The significance of the SFA statement is not in its apparent acceptance by Rangers of the specific sanctions related to the disrepute charge (i.e. the £160,000 fine etc.) but, rather, for the inescapable fact that we have now accepted the principle that the Newco may be sanctioned for the malfeasance of the Oldco.
How can we credibly argue with the SPL that the Newco is not responsible for the malfeasance of the Oldco when we have already conceded the principle to the SFA?
How can we realistically hope to resist the sanctions that will inevitably arise as a consequence of the SPL’s EBT inquiry, when we have effectively accepted that the Newco may be held liable for the malfeasance of the Oldco?
Not content with accepting an illegal transfer ban, we have now surrendered the ground upon which we would have founded our arguments against the sanctions that the SPL will undoubtedly bring against us through the so called Independent Commission it will set up to hear the EBT ‘case’ established by Celtic’s lawyers, Harper MacLeod.
On 18th June last, in response to the findings of the EBT inquiry conducted by Celtic’s lawyers, Neil Doncaster made it clear that there is a ‘prima facie’ case, and that formal charges would follow.
Whilst he admitted that, “it is not yet clear exactly who will be facing the charges”, he added,“The board will have to make a decision on who to prosecute. There are two companies in play at the moment. The board have said that the proceedings will be undertaken by an Independent Commission. That will take place when the future status of Rangers has been determined and prior to the start of the season. They are charges at the moment. They are not proven. The charges will be levied.”
If Neil Doncaster was in any doubt in June about who to prosecute, then the statement of the SFA has clarified the position and removed any doubt about who will face the charges – it will be Newco Rangers unless, of course, Regan’s statement is hastily repudiated by Charles Green and Rangers.
But is the SFA ‘statement’ an agreement? Is the acceptance of the illegal transfer embargo a ‘done deal’; is the principle of the Newco accepting punishments on behalf of the Oldco now an irreversible fact?
I’m not so sure that it is, and I believe there is still time for Charles Green, Malcolm Murray et al, to repudiate Regan’s statement, and make it unequivocally clear that Rangers will NOT accept an illegal transfer ban, and will NOT tolerate the imposition of sanctions against the Newco Rangers for the malfeasance of those who misused and abused their positions whilst in charge of the Oldco Rangers.
Last night Rangers chairman Malcolm Murray insisted that an agreement with the SFA has not yet been signed, although he warned that the reality facing Rangers is to suffer sanctions or risk not playing at all. He said,
"For clarity, we have not signed any agreement yet and therefore believe the SFA's statement to be premature. We have had days of discussions with the SFA and it is important for everyone, but most importantly our fans, to understand that the SFA said it would only transfer the membership to play football if we accepted some form of additional sanctions for the sins of previous regimes.”
Well Malcolm, tell us if you have “accepted some form of additional sanctions for the sins of previous regimes” and, if so, what precisely does ‘some form of additional sanctions’ mean? Do you and Charles Green understand, and accept, the import of your decision, and the obvious message it sends to the SPL?
But, perhaps, the most worrying part of the statement from Malcolm Murray is,
"We also regret that any agreement with the SFA appears not to have the support of the SPL and, as such, it still wishes to impose further sanctions on the Club for the actions of previous regimes despite already voting us out of its league.”
It is, therefore, reasonably certain to assume that the SFL, through its so called Independent Commission, will seek to impose further punishment on a beleaguered Rangers newco and that this is now deemed inevitable, and unavoidable, by Charles Green and Malcolm Murray, despite the fact that it is the SPL who are primarily responsible for banishing us to the lowest tier of Scottish football.
Speculation has been rife in recent weeks that we will be stripped of titles; that many of our famous Scottish Cup triumphs will be wiped out and, indeed, that the hatred for our club is such that Regan and Doncaster will not hesitate to consign us to the football dustbin if we don’t comply with their increasingly draconian sanctions.
I don’t, for one moment, dispute that view – their hatred and vindictiveness knows no bounds – but do we simply roll over and continue to take the kicking we have endured thus far, or do we stand up for ourselves and FIGHT!
I want Charles Green, Malcolm Murray et al to immediately repudiate the ‘agreement’ enshrined in Regan’s statement, and I want our case to be referred back to the Appellate Tribunal as Lord Glennie originally ordered.
Let’s have the considered decision of the Appellate tribunal, who are on record as stating that,
"The sanctions available included expulsion from participation in the game and termination or suspension of membership of the Scottish FA, which would have had a similar effect. The appellate tribunal observes that serious consideration was given by the disciplinary tribunal to imposing one of these sanctions, which would have had obvious consequences for the survival of the club. The disciplinary tribunal rejected these as too severe and this appellate tribunal agrees with that conclusion.”
In light of that statement, let’s have their decision, then the Club can determine the magnitude of the problem it faces, decide how to proceed and how it might best redress its grievances, even if that means returning to the Scottish courts or the Court of Arbitration for Sport to challenge the unfair and unreasonable decisions of the SFA and the SPL.
I know that what I propose is a high risk strategy and, perhaps, anathema to many Rangers fans, but I would much rather take that risk than stand idly by as the SFA and the SPL continue to exploit our commercial value whilst they continue to penalise us financially and emasculate our team for years to come.
Perhaps the unknown author of the undernoted quote was a Rangers fan because it just about sums up how most of us feel.
“I think God puts some people in your life to test you, until you stand up and say enough is enough. I am worth more than you offer me.”