Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?


The SFA committed publicly to provide information on all clubs …

Comment on Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed? by Barcabhoy.

The SFA committed publicly to provide information on all clubs on their website as part of the National Club licensing process.

To quote them ” information will be made freely available to members of the public”
All clubs had to provide audited information over 10 months ago. The information which would be provided is detailed below. It is straightforward and easily calculable. Preparation of the tables for publication would take a 1st year accountancy student 30 minutes on a spreadsheet . As best as I can see this promised information has never been provided.

Why ?

From SFA’s own documents

2.6 Confidentiality and Transparency
The Scottish FA guarantees the clubs full confidentiality as regards all non-public information disclosed during the Licensing Process.
However and without prejudice to the foregoing generality, each club hereby expressly consents to the Scottish FA notifying the club’s respective league body of any failure to obtain a licence and the reasons for that failure.
Furthermore, the financial information as detailed in Section 8.12 of Part 2 of this Manual with the exception of the net debt information will be made freely available to members of the public via the Scottish FA website.
The Scottish FA also reserves the right to disclose any award decision at any time. Subject to the disclosure to the club’s respective league body referred to above, the reasons for such decisions however will remain confidential. The Licensing Administration will adhere to the following guidelines:
 The Scottish FA has concluded a confidentiality agreement with each club. This will be updated as and when necessary;
 Members of the Licensing Committee, the Appellate Tribunal and any other individual engaged by the Licensor in the Licensing process must sign a confidentiality agreement before starting his or her tasks. Licensing Administration employees are subject to confidentiality
provisions in terms of their employment contracts;
 The level at which an award is presented to a club (overall and under each criteria heading) will be made available for general
consumption via the Scottish FA website

A club is required to submit a summary of financial information covering the reporting year for 2012 and the previous two years i.e. 2011 and 2010 as detailed below.
Clubs will provide this information as follows –
 SPL clubs – by 31 March 2013
 All other clubs – by 30 April 2013
Unless the 2010 & 2011 figures have not previously been provided the club only requires to provide the 2012 figures.

Year ended 2010
Year ended 2011
Year ended 2012

Period Ended
Wages (Total Payroll Costs)
Wages to Turnover Ratio
Profit or Loss for Period
Net Assets at Period End
Net Debt at Period End

In submitting this information, the club must give consideration to a relevant reporting perimeter i.e. the entity or combination of entities in respect of which financial information has to be provided. In particular the financial information must include all remuneration paid to any employees including players and any costs/proceeds of acquiring or selling a player.
The reporting perimeter shall also include any entities included in the legal group structure which generate revenues or perform services for the club in respect of ticketing; sponsorship and advertising; broadcasting; merchandising and hospitality; club operations; financing; use of stadium and youth operations.

Barcabhoy Also Commented

Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?
Final thought for tonight.

The SFA continue to take contempt for fans to a new level. Stuart Regan’s cameo role when he popped up to lecture us on why sponsors needed 6 months notice of a venue for a semi final, amounted to nothing more than him saying “just because” . No reason , no explanation……just because they did.

Now there may be a huge marketing campaign by William Hill based on the road to Celtic Park, running through Ibrox, but if there is it isn’t working as I haven’t seen it……Has anyone ?

And when the SFA are being constantly accused of lack of partiality, of conflicted officials and of putting the interests of one club ahead of fairness , you would think that they would at least make some kind of attempt to be seen to be neutral.

But no, thats not for them. Their head of communications continues to follow multiple English Premier League Clubs on his twitter account. He also follows The Rangers official twitter account, and bizarrely he also follows a well known blogger and self proclaimed Rangers fans spokesman .

What he doesn’t waste his time with, as presumably he has no interest , is the Official Twitter account of Celtic , or any account on Aberdeen ,Dundee Utd, Hearts,& Hibs.

And yet , when he makes pronouncements on behalf of the SFA , we are expected to believe he is and represents an organisation which is neutral and treats all clubs equally.

And they wonder why they are held in so much contempt !

Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?
Who are World Champions …..Spain

Who are European Champions…… Spain

Which country has the highest European club co-efficient …….Spain

Benchmarking and learning and adopting best practice are undertaken in business on a regular basis by successful companies large and small

Scottish football is hardly in a position to only learn and improve based on its own experiences . Of course , local factors need to be considered, and not all practice in benchmark countries will be appropriate . However much will .

League structure is one such . To discuss the potential benefits , it is necessary to understand the structure . So allow me to throw this out for the blog to consider.

Spain has a pyramid structure which is both merit based and has a Regional aspect. At the Apex is La Liga. This is where the biggest clubs play . The league has 20 teams with 3 relegation places each season. The top 4 qualify for the CL , 3 automatically, with one entering the non champions qualifying route.

The Segunda Division A is the equivalent to the Championship with 4 teams being relegated each year . The top 2 are automatically promoted , with 3-6 entering a playoff system for the final promotion place.

B teams are eligible to play in this division but are not eligible for promotion. Currently Barca B are in a playoff spot , and should they finish that way team 7 will take their place in a playoff . The only other B team in this league is from Real Madrid , who are one place and one point above automatic relegation. Segunda Division A has 22 teams

The next level is Segunda Division B , which is split regionally into 5 leagues of 20 teams. The top 4 in each league enter a playoff for the 4 places available in Segunda A .

These regional leagues include 9 B teams and 1 C team (Real Madrid) . Promotion and relegation are as per Segunda Division A. Interestingly only one B team is in a playoff place out of these 5 leagues, proving that competition is real .

Below this we have Tercera Division of 18 regional leagues of 20 teams .

Cup competitions are open to all .

What can we learn from this ? I would suggest regionalisation is important , and allowing B teams outside of the top division is also important.

Spain isn’t Scotland , the population is 8 times as large and weather isn’t a factor , however I see this structure as better than we have just now

Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?
Lots of interesting stuff on here over the last couple of days. Here’s my 2 euro’s worth.

1. Dave King never got £18 million back from Murray. The view he did has arisen because SARS saw he invested £20 million without any obvious source of income, and therefore assesed an income charge on him.

2 Splitting the CL income amongst all SPL clubs won’t do much to improve competition in Scotland , but would do a lot to destroy Celtic’s European calibre , which would reduce the chance of qualifying for the CL. So any redistribution of CL income is likely to be very temporary, given there is a good chance there won’t be any revenue to distribute if weakening our champion club is the outcome.

3 If we want to have a more equable distribution of income the place to start is the SPFL TV contract. Scotland as a business market contributes roughly 10% to SKY and BT’s subscription revenues. In return Scottish football receives 1.4% of the money SKY and BT invest in UK football.

Scottish consumers are subsidising the EPL to the detriment of their own game. The SPL have failed and failed again to provide a TV contract that remotely reflects the amount of money Scottish consumers invest in subscription based television . There will be heightened interest in 2015/16. Planning for a TV contract, either with a partner or direct subscription via SPFL TV should be well under way. I suspect though that the usual inertia will prevail under the less than inspiring leadership of Neil Doncaster

4 Hibs…. What did Butcher expect. He has a squad of players, many of whom have no contract to be at Easter Rd next season. He then publicly flays them. He can’t be surprised when the response is unsatisfactory. I’m not sure what to make of Butcher. He is clearly bright and articulate, he did terrifically with Motherwell and ICT, yet he has a flippant approach which doesn’t seem to work when the expectations of the fan base are more demanding. Derek McInnes has shown a good manager can quickly turn around a big Scottish club. If I was a Hibbee i wouldn’t be overly confident Butcher will be anywhere near as good a fit at Hibs as he was at ICT

5 Graham Wallace. I understand that the date of his appointment to Rangers Retail may or may not be January 2013. The document at Co Hse might contain a typo. It might not though. I have never believed that Wallace came out of left field on the strength of a decent CV and a positive job interview. The shareholders who control Rangers do not need an outsider who might torpedo their plans.
This isn’t to say Wallace isn’t a capable CEO , he appears to be. However I very much doubt he is at odds with Laxey , Blue Pitch or Margarita. He wouldn’t have got the job if he was going to cause them a problem.
If Wallace states specifically he had no connection of any kind to Rangers Retail prior to his appointment as CEO of RIFC plc, then I have no problem accepting that. However as long as he says nothing about the legal date of his appointment being January 2013 , as per the AP01 at Co Hse, then questions will remain

Recent Comments by Barcabhoy

Dear Mr Bankier

I don’t know what background you have in underwriting . I have long experience of working with financial institutions, including underwriting my own clients when providing financial agreements dor them 

I’m telling you for an absolute fact that lending institutions DO NOT underwrite based on the background of minor shareholders who have no control or influence


Easy Jambo explained the circumstances of the suspected organised crime shareholders . They are not controlling shareholders and don’t have influence. They don’t tell Douglas Park or the Morgan Stanley partner what to do 


Kicking Rangers just because it’s Rangers isn’t credible , especially when the real reason that Rangers are not creditworthy is much more significant . King stating it in open court has to be put into the context of why the question was asked and  the explanation provided


The law may be interested in what happens to the proceeds of any shares sold , but that is an entirely different matter .  A business with 4 non controlling, non influential shareholders who potentially are organised criminals out of a shareholder base of 12,000 isn’t setting any alarms off . 

Kings’s cold shouldering if he doesn’t comply , or if he gets found guilty of contempt , those are matters that have significant implications for Rangers   

Dear Mr Bankier

That’s not the way lending institutions operate. They aren’t sensitive to local chitter chatter, in most cases they aren’t aware of it . The authorities only take action if organised crime is affecting or controlling the activities of the business. The business’ themselves have obligations not to facilitate money laundering if they suspect their shares are held by organised crime groups 


You are ignoring reality if you think this isn’t widespread. The attached report details the extent of infiltration of business by organised crime

In the UK 5% of all business’ infiltrated by organised crime were plc’s

In parts of Scotland greater than 14% of all business’ have been infiltrated by organised crime. I’d attach images to back this up if I knew how to 

Dear Mr Bankier


Thank you for the explanation. I think that's consistent with my comments on organised crime shareholders 


King is a convicted criminal. It's not surprising other criminals were also attracted to becoming Rangers shareholders 


The reality is that lending institutions don't go through a shareholders register before making underwriting decisions. They do receive Intel from financial bodies and if they have flagged up concerns over ownership , that would factor in lending decisions 


However the fundamentals at Rangers are so bad that they wouldn't even look at Shareholders before Red flagging any application 


Personal guarantees from credible stakeholders would be the only way that a loan of any substance would be approved on normal terms 


If a loan was sought for say £1M and security was offered that was genuinely worth far more , a lender of last resort might take a punt on penal terms , but security of that nature is limited, does not include the Stadium, and is a real desperate measure 

Dear Mr Bankier


I’d wager BP , Coca Cola, Apple and Microsoft are shares owned by the Russian Mafia.


The key isn’t whether a company has criminal shareholders but whether those shareholders have influence or can make decisions. 


Rangers have 10,000 plus shareholders. Having 4 who control less than 10% wouldn’t automatically result in an underwriter refusing credit . 


Especially when those shares were purchased when Rangers were a listed plc 

Dear Mr Bankier
Cluster One


I follow your logic, but i don’t think that having organised criminals as shareholders would of itself be a disqualifying criteria for a bank loan. 

I would imaging many of the worlds biggest companies have shareholders who are organised criminals. After all those types of individuals need somewhere to wash their money , and property now is coming under more scrutiny 

The problem would be if any organised criminal was a person of  significant control ( a PSC ) then bank funding wouldn’t be possible .


The bigger obstacle to a bank loan is the disastrous trading record and the fact that business is effectively insolvent if not for the revaluation of assets , which is what Murray kept on doing to enable him borrow even more . 


Revaluing assets such as the value of the brand and property assets based on rebuild cost rather than market value is allowable , but any credit lending officer of any substance ignores it when the company concerned are running up huge losses and are cash paupers. 


The question of how will you pay me back when asked by a financial institution isn’t going to be satisfied by “ Champions League money “ .

It isn’t going to be satisfied by offering assets as security at their claimed balance sheet value.

It isn’t going to be satisfied by trading losses year after year.

It isn’t going to be satisfied without a copper bottomed business plan showing trading profits with positive cash flow and even then any lender ,other than a lender of last resort , will want to see evidence in terms of actual results rather than forecasts 


and even with all of that ,


a lender of last resort , is likely to run a mile when the guy providing the loans currently is constantly in court for refusing to abide by instruction from the Financial Conduct Authority which is the effective enforcement arm of the Takeover Panel


And as an uncomfortable little aside . The UK doesn’t have an extradition treaty with South Africa


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