A Morality Tale…
The final part of the trilogy by SFTB will be published tomorrow. Excellent and thought-provoking stuff so far,and the final chapter does not disappoint. Meanwhile there is another,related,matter which requires discussion too.
Below,AULDHEID provides the latest response from the people behind Resolution 12 to the news that,after six years of hard work and considerable expense from them,our board will recommend to the AGM on Nov 27 that the matter is at an end. That they are content to leave Res 12 in the cul-de-sac that is SFA,while rejecting the updated 2019 version. Seems that the man who demanded the silver bullet is now The Man With The “No Smoking” Gun…
Resolution 12 to Celtic AGM 2013 reawakened for 2019 AGM: Where matters now stand..
A new resolution relating to Resolution 12 adjourned at the 2013 AGM was placed on the Agenda for the 2019 Celtic AGM
It made a case for removing the SFA from the investigation process that began in 2017 as result of perseverance with Resolution 12 from the 2013 AGM asking that UEFA examine the circumstances under which a UEFA Licence was granted to and kept by Rangers FC PLC in 2011.
Celtic opposed the new resolution to take the case to UEFA (or the police) and this has been taken by some that the matter is now dead.
However-as the following explains an investigation-though stalled by the SFA,still requires completion and that Celtic have a responsibility,having placed their faith in the SFA Judicial Processes,to see that the matter is dealt with.
1.Resolution 12 always sought to put the entire matter of the licence grant and the monitoring of the licensing process into the hands of UEFA for investigation and whatever action was then deemed necessary.
2.Celtic resisted the notion on the basis that they were already in contact with the SFA in connection with the same subject matter. They agreed the merits were worth investigating and that there should be some form of enquiry which provided answers to some fundamental question.
3.At the same time Peter Lawwell understandably also stressed that Celtic had a duty to Scottish Football and Scottish Clubs which merited giving the SFA,as opposed to UEFA,the chance to investigate and provide answers. He insisted on keeping the investigation domestic and requisitioners reluctantly agreed.
4.For those reasons the requisitioners went along with the approach to the SFA.
5.However,at the same time they sought independent legal advice on documentation and information which was coming their way. It was shared that with Celtic who,for legal and political reasons,could not act on that information especially while there were other legal proceedings pending – especially criminal proceedings.
6.Accordingly, the requisitioners as shareholders and part owners of a member club wrote separately to both UEFA and the SFA in relation to procedures and information which gave them concern.
7.Both the SFA and UEFA were reluctant to deal with anyone other than the member club but both entered into correspondence to a limited extent with the SFA saying that they would co-operate with and respond to an UEFA instigated enquiry, and UEFA saying that they could only take matters forward on a formal basis if the issues raised were referred to them by the SFA or by a member club. At that stage they invited Celtic to make a formal referral. Celtic,however,felt they could not do so because they had already referred the matter to the SFA who were still working on it.
8.It should be noted that at no time did Celtic,the SFA or UEFA come back to the requisitioners and said that their information was wrong or that there was nothing to explore or investigate.
THAT REMAINS THE POSITION TO THIS DAY.
9.Following upon the conclusion of the Big Tax Case in the Supreme Court and the criminal trial of Craig Whyte,some,but not necessarily all,of the information which had been discussed in the previous four years became matters of public record.
10.At the conclusion of the trial Stewart Reagan commented that it would appear that the SFA had been misled in relation to material aspects of the licensing process as requistioners had originally suspected.
11.Celtic and the SPFL both called for an open enquiry into the events of 1999 – 2012 – basically the years covered by the big tax case and the wee tax case -and this would have covered football compliance issues including the licensing processes during those years.
12.The SFA rejected that call and instead chose to instigate their own inquiry into the licensing applications and procedures of 2011/2012 and via the then Compliance Officer Tony McGlennan they wrote to every club in Scotland to explain that such an inquiry was being conducted.
13.The conclusion of that inquiry was that disciplinary proceedings should be brought against RFC alleging breaches of both UEFA and SFA rules in connection with the 2011/2012 licensing process although it is unclear as result of a statement in the media from The Rangers FC Ltd if the granting stage is part of the scrutiny.
14.Regardless charges were tabled and ordered to be heard by an independent judicial panel.
15.TRFC Ltd (the current club) took a preliminary objection to those charges at a hearing of the Independent Judicial Panel and argued that the SFA and any judicial panel did not have the legal jurisdiction or capacity to consider and determine those charges and argued that any such charges should be remitted to the Court of Arbitration for sport.
16.The Judicial Panel upheld that argument and remitted the case back to the SFA with the recommendation that they rethink the process and remit the matters concerned to CAS. This was June 2018 – some 17 months ago.
17.Since then, the requistioners have repeatedly asked the current SFA Compliance Officer for clarification as to when these matters will be referred to CAS. Originally, they were assured by Michael Nicholson,Celtic Company Secretary,that the SFA were adamant that the charges were going to CAS. But after months of inactivity the current CEO of the SFA changed that and advised that a decision about WHETHER OR NOT the charges would be sent to CAS would be made to no actual deadline but probably before Christmas 2019. Nothing has emerged to date.
18.Celtic have advised requistioners/shareholders that no other club in Scotland has any appetite for any of this and that they are simply not interested,nor are UEFA interested-which is eyebrow raising.
19.However,the Judicial Panel ruling means that,at least in relation to these issues,there is a a situation where there has been a judicial ruling that the SFA are not fit to,and are not legally capable of,conducting proceedings designed to ensure that either SFA or UEFA rules were complied with. In other words the entire SFA compliance function in this process is at an end.
20.This has been determined without any reference to UEFA who appointed the SFA as the competent Licensing Authority for Scotland only to find that the SFA cannot enforce UEFA rules nor conduct any proceedings in relation to alleged breaches of UEFA rules.
21.There is a clear reluctance on the part of the SFA to remit this issue to CAS despite the fact that the SFA themselves decided to bring disciplinary charges after enquiry. If the SFA chose to do nothing,then that will be a real slap in the face to UEFA-but it will be a complete abrogation of the function of a football and licensing authority.
22.At the outset of Resolution 12, Celtic asked everyone else to have faith in the SFA and their processes. That faith has been misguided. At the same time, Celtic,as a member club of UEFA,were previously invited to formally refer the matter to UEFA in 2016 but declined to do so and instead opted to continue to allow the SFA to proceed with its process.
23.That process has now been deemed to be incompetent with no sign of the SFA following the ruling from the judicial panel.
24.In the circumstances,Celtic were asked by the new resolution to refer the matter to UEFA in line with the original resolution in order to protect the integrity of the licensing process in Scotland,to protect UEFA and its rules,and to effectively follow through on the judicial process that the club,the SFA and,by tacit consent and open invitation UEFA,said was necessary.
25 However in response Celtic opposed referral to UEFA or Police on the grounds that it was not in the Company interest and instead have placed their trust and bound themselves to a process which they have refused to challenge in spite of having been given every opportunity and reason to do so from July 2018 when the SFA surrendered their judicial process to Court of Arbitration for Sport.
26. Celtic’s passive policy of leaving matters with SFA with no questioning or answers to questions put to them at the 2018 AGM is simply untenable. An investigation must reach a conclusion whether that be by the SFA Judicial Panel Disciplinary Tribunal or CAS to a published timetable where the full licensing process in 2011 is examined else incompetency for failing to respond to the questions put at the 2018 AGM looks instead like complicity to cover up what appears to be a fraud starting in March 2011 with Celtic as victims.
27. Celtic’s reasons for not involving UEFA might stand scrutiny although they aren’t known but there can be no excuse at all for not demanding an acceptable timetable for resolution from the SFA and continuing with what is an untenable policy of trusting the SFA.
And there you have it,folks. The latest state of play in a long-running saga. It is now apparent that Celtic did not want this matter raised in the first place and decided to go along with it in the expectation that it would all go away. The Fab Four behind the resolution SIX years ago have proven to be doughty opponents,despite being tolerated,patronised and stonewalled during that time. They have gone to considerable expense and put in a mountain of work satisfying the pedantic efforts of OUR board to frustrate the process.
Now,they have decided that after six years trying to bury it,they will throw it overboard. That is a disgraceful state of affairs. Let’s remember the facts here. The resolution was aimed at proving that the SFA award of a European licence to Rangers for season 2011-12 was based upon fraudulent application of UEFA regulations.
That award greatly benefited a rival at the expense of ourselves.
Yet at the AGM,a Plc will say that it is not in the interests of the company to pursue a case where there is clear evidence supplied to prove that it has been defrauded of millions of pounds of revenue. I can imagine the uproar if Unilever or Vodafone,etc,tried that. Yet I expect that they will carry the day,that they will have won this battle.
Remember,this battle was to prove wrongdoing by the SFA. It was NOT about Celtic or Rangers. But the next battle may well have to be!
Above article by BMCUWP,with grateful,thanks to AULDHEID for the latest update on proceedings.
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