Digging The Hole Ever Deeper

Reblogged with kind permission of RTC as his blog is closed to posts. RTC will be writing a related blog for SFM in a day or so. Paul McConville has also prepared a new blog which will be posted in a day or so.

Our thanks to both RTC and Paul for their creative input.

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About Trisidium

Trisidium is a Dunblane businessman with a keen interest in Scottish Football. He is a Celtic fan, although the demands of modern-day parenting have seen him less at games and more as a taxi service for his kids.

77 thoughts on “Digging The Hole Ever Deeper

  1. I append the text of an email I have just sent to ‘The Scotsman’ and forwarded to the SFL contact email address ( but personally addressing Longmuir). I have, of course, put my identifying details on the originals, but have removed them from this post.

    Dear Editor,
    I read with absolute disgust the reported statement by David Longmuir, CEO of the Scottish Football League in which he said that Ibrox club’s excellent League Cup record would be allowed to stand whatever the outcome of an independent investigation into whether the Ibrox team had fielded players who , allegedly, were paid sums of money that were, against the the Articles of Association, not disclosed to the SFA in the contracts relating to their terms and conditions of service.

    This contemptible statement is further proof that some elements of Scottish Football administration are bereft not only of principles, but of common savvy.

    There will be many members of the SFL who will be enraged at the arrogation of a decision-making power that is not in his personal gift.

    And, with the general public’s heightened awareness ( due to the coverage of the Olympic Games) of ‘fair play’ and the impartial application of sporting rules, Longmuir will be seen as being ready,in principle, to defend sporting cheatery..

    I urge his fellow-members in the SFL to call for his immediate resignation on two counts: first, because his message is utterly unacceptable in itself, and secondly, because by his crassly partisan statement he has probably done more to hasten the death of Scottish Football even than RFC(IA) has done.

  2. Speculation on outcomes in the event that oldco are found guilty by the independent SPL commission …
    1. no action – deemed to be not practicable/ not in the best interests of the game.
    2. Action in line with the practicable options of the action deemed available to the SPL. RTC has posted on the nineteen listed sanctions/punishments and deemed two as the most likely – removal of titles and/or fines imposed.
    Its important to note the principle behind removal of awards/titles etc. The retrospective application of the rules occur to recognise that the achievements were not made whilst in compliance with the rules of the game (nor indeed within the spirit of the game – see an earlier post of mine). In effect, the titles never belonged to Rangers as they were not won in compliance with the rules, IMO.
    In this respect, its not totally accurate to describe removal/stripping of titles as taking place – the titles were never fairly won. Correcting the history books might be a better description.
    The titles never belonged to Rangers. Ben Johnson never won the 100m, it was Carl Lewis. He physically passed the line first, but he never fairly competed. Lance Armstrong never fairly competed when he used drugs to enhance his performance during that Tour de France that he finished first. Rangers were deemed at the time to have accumulated more points than opposing teams in those relevant seasons, but, again, they never fairly competed and the victories were never truly their’s.
    Again, as speculation on Rangers oldco’s guilt, I would like to see the history books corrected.
    Back to the possible outcomes…
    1. I would see this option possibly argued as an option by a few of the SPL members, or by Rangers oldco representatives , but an unlikely outcome. The eyes of Uefa/fifa are on the SPL and SFA in this regard. Doing nothing at all isn’t an option really. If Uefa deemed it necessary to take action due to the inaction of the nation association or league, it would make Scottish Football the embarrassment of Europe. Rangers newco – and, speculatively, whoever is due to represent Scotland in Europe – could face a ban. IMO this option won’t happen. Action will be taken.
    2. The practicable options explained as likely by RTC have been discussed on a number of fora. It is most notable, IMO that correcting the history books hardens support for Rangers Newco amongst their supporters but financially costs them nothing (given that nothing would occur except a straightforward correction of the history books and, in terms described above, the titles never belonged to Rangers oldco, this isn’t really a punishment). I would think this outcome the most likely.
    The other likely option is a fine, but it’s a blind spot to me whether Rangers newco have agreed to abide by any financial punishment meted out in regard to Rangers oldco.
    Qs: Is there a general SPL/SFA rule on how long a club has to comply with a financial penalty?
    Would it be the case that any fine imposed would need to be paid by the Rangers oldco Administrators/liquidators?

    More speculation…
    If another/other clubs during upcoming seasons of SPL play repeat any or all of the events that Rangers oldco did, i.e. pay inflated wages undeclared to SPL, field ineligible players, enter administration, go into liquidation, what consideration is being given to the precedent now being set re the punishments/actions to take?
    Chairmen of other SFA clubs will be watching closely at the precedent of running up huge debts to fund fielding ineligible players that could win them the SPL/achieve trophies (bear in mind this could be achieved without necessarily requiring any EBT arrangement) to then face a punishment which is essentially no punishment. Is the title/trophy this year worth a ten point deduction for administration next year? They would keep the title/trophy entitlement in their history but then face a period (relatively short – one/ two/three seasons?) of rebuilding. Aberdeen have gone for quite a long period trophyless – might the chairman consider it a price to pay?
    With this in mind, I cant see how the SPL can leave the Rangers titles intact considering the ‘correct the history books’ argument, and the ‘sets a precedent’ argument.

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