Above The Law?
No,today’s article isn’t a comment on the events of the weekend,where certain peepil decided that the law didn’t apply to them-while strangely the authorities,with one or two honourable exceptions-agreed with them. That,of course,is nothing new to anyone who has been paying attention. Rather it relates to another murky part of this country’s preferred way of dealing with its own leetle difficulty,the infamous Five Way Agreement (5WA).
I am indebted to Phil Mac Giolla Bhain for doing the legwork on this,and will post a link to his article in the comments.
He has asked a number of questions on the subject of the 5WA to UEFA,with particular regard to how it stands against the restrictions placed by UEFA’s own Article 12.
Although the final contents of the 5WA have never been made public,certain parts of it have made their way unavoidably into the public domain. This has usually happened only when-and let’s be honest here!-something rears its head from the past and the huns tell everyone to GTF because the 5WA gives them a Get Out Of Jail card!
Cast your mind back to the summer of 2012 when it was clear that they were bust. Gone. Finito. Elements of Scottish football were jumping through hoops to find ways to find a way back for them,but the rules of the three footballing authorities in the Scottish game were clear. Liquidation isn’t just a game changer,it is the end.
Nowhere does it mention the end of a chapter,or the beginning of a new journey.
And once that club is removed,the next clubs in the pyramid are free to apply to take their place-subject to meeting the parameters of membership. Such as three years of audited accounts. And for me,that was always the most important one,for it was the one which automatically excluded any replacement being one which had not previously existed-such as a Newco.
Had it not been for Turnbull Hutton and those other chairmen of the lower clubs,things would never have even got that far! But fortunately,though they may represent the smaller clubs,they had balls that the chairmen of the bigger clubs could only envy. And that the charlatans at the very top of the game could never dream of possessing,for they were and are in thrall to a club which cheated them and their clubs for years,and robbed the taxpayer and small businesses alike of over £100m,because…
The law doesn’t apply to them!
Under normal rules once a vacancy occurs, the next club in the pyramid are free to apply to take the vacant place-subject to meeting those parameters of membership. Under Scottish rules for a new club that is the ability to provide 3 years accounts. For UEFA FFP rules that is to have 3 years membership of the SFA. For me, these were important,for it was those that should have automatically excluded any replacement in the league system being one which had not previously existed-such as a Newco-and which thus required the 5 Way Agreement to justify abandoning the normal rules.
Importantly,the latter prevented them taking up a place in UEFA competition in 2012/13,the one which Oldco had “won” by dint of their second place in the SPL.
But as I said,the law doesn’t apply to them…
And then when The Four Musketeers behind Resolution 12 found their way blocked BY OUR OWN CLUB,they found something that even Celtic couldn’t deny,and forced them to take it to the SFA for judgement and punishment. Only to discover that Rangers can no longer be sanctioned like other clubs in Scotland,or indeed like other clubs in Europe. That only the Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) has the right to judge and sanction,due to clauses in the 5WA.
This,of course,is not how sport works,nor justice. And it certainly isn’t how Article 12 tells us that UEFA works. So why have they agreed that one club in Scotland has that allowance?
As Phil explains in his article,Uefa have got nothing to do with it. They neither agreed nor disagreed. They did not even know of it.
Scottish football kept UEFA in the dark,the same way they kept everyone else in the dark!
Now,this suggests that Scottish football could be in big trouble with UEFA,and quite possibly too FIFA. It means that they have permitted and indeed facilitated an operation which blatantly breaks UEFA’s own articles. This could have wider repercussions,and which I think could impact upon the innocent as well as the guilty. Because any sanction which might follow a UEFA investigation into this is likely to be aimed at Scottish football as a whole. And that would likely mean that not only is the 5WA agreement declared null and void,but that Scottish representation at club and international level could be prohibited for some time due to those sanctions.
Other associations have had to come to a Settlement Agreement with UEFA in the past,with Serbia,Albania and Kazakhstan for example “requiring redirection” on their role as licensors of UEFA FFP regulations.
That sanction won’t be aimed at Rangers as the guilty party,but at Scottish football because UEFA will decide that it is Scottish football which as a whole is guilty. And I have to say that I cannot disagree with that point of view. Scotland could well see itself banned from representation at club and international level in any competition organised by UEFA or FIFA. All to facilitate parachuting cheats into our league system.
Scottish football has allowed itself to be cowed by Rangers for so long that it could not countenance life without it. But thanks to what Phil has discovered,it might be that life WITH Rangers will be the death of us.
Above article by BMCUWP