Scottish Football and the case for a Bismarck!

Avatar By

Assuming they have access to the same information, I’m pretty …

Comment on Scottish Football and the case for a Bismarck! by HirsutePursuit.

Assuming they have access to the same information, I’m pretty certain the lawyers employed by Worthington will have come to a very similar conclusion to the lawyers employed by RIFC.

If the RIFC board are presented with evidence that the assets they now control were obtained by fraudulent means, the RIFC board must report this to the authorities,

The current board of RIFC now have to protect themselves personally. They absolutely must act with the utmost integrity. In doing so, and in the circumstances, they also must act in the best long-term interest of their shareholders.

The board may now be assessing some preliminary advice that they have been given by Deloitte & PM. If this does suggest criminal wrongdoing by an employee or ex-employee, the board do not have a great deal of time to act before their own conduct becomes a significant part of a police investigation.

Inaction is the most common form of cover-up.

It will be interesting if after their “review”:
They now reconsider or simply reinforce their statements from the last few days.
They seek to have trading in their shares suspended.
They seriously consider whether it is sensible or prudent to continue trading.

Some very, very difficult decisions may be rolling up in front of the RIFC board.

HirsutePursuit Also Commented

Scottish Football and the case for a Bismarck!
This was an interesting exchange at the time. Perhaps more so now…

The Edinburgh-born businessman was reported to be aiming to take a £5.6m controlling interest in Green’s consortium.

Green insists that Sevco is not interested in selling control to anybody Kennedy thereafter claimed to have had discussions with a Sevco representative about his offer for a 51% shareholding in the Ibrox club.
“I have recently had several confidential meetings with a gentleman representing the shareholders of Sevco with regards to my interest in purchasing a majority shareholding in Rangers Football Club,” he said.
“The details of these meetings and the written offer I have submitted have been disclosed from within the club.
“Now that this has leaked, I have no alternative but to confirm that what is reported in the Daily Record regarding such matters is accurate.”

“We have checked with all the official representatives of shareholders and none of them have had meetings with Brian Kennedy, so we have no idea who the gentleman is he is referring to.
“He has not contacted any board members on this matter and we have never received any written offer from him.”

Scottish Football and the case for a Bismarck!
TSFM says:
Monday, May 13, 2013 at 17:17
2 0 Rate This
Re CF.

I have no idea whether this stuff is genuine or not. An additional scepticism factor is that since CF is a new poster, there is no history or reputation to fall back on as with people like Barcabhoy, Corsica and others etc.

We had to think before allowing that kind of stuff on the blog, but felt that if the material is of any significance, then the usual TSFM forensics would be applied.

No disrespect to CF of course, but we should be careful here – and it might be helpful if the rationale behind the timing of these contributions was known.
If an IP address places him in the South of France, that might provide some weight to the poster’s documents’ provenance. 😉

Scottish Football and the case for a Bismarck!
chipm0nk says:
Friday, May 10, 2013 at 10:03
25 0 Rate This

Whilst on the subject when will BDO or the Scottish Police be investigating Craig Whyte trying to buy the assets of a company which he was liquidating, on the cheap.

The involvement of Craig Whyte in the purchasing company is of no real relevance – except, of course, if he was intending to use the assets to create & operate a new football club called Rangers.

We do not know for certain; but it seems likely that his plan was for his company (Sevco 5088) to hold onto the heritable properties and another company (ASDFGHJKL Ltd – formerly RFC 2012 Ltd – formerly RFC 0712 Ltd – dissolved on 5th April 2013) would operate as the football club.

I don’t think he has ever said that his involvement with Sevco 5088 gave him ownership of the “Club” (the brand). He has only ever claimed to own the “Club’s” assets.

As long as he personally distanced himself from the Rangers brand, there would be no legal impediment to Mr Whyte’s part in attempting to purchase the old club’s assets.

As an aside, I find it interesting that Charles Green’s directorship of ASDFGHJKL Ltd was listed in the share prospectus as a company NOT part of the Rangers Group of companies. In the same way that it is strange that Charles Green was listed as the sole shareholder (but NOT a director) of Sevco 5088.

The police interest (if there is any) may not come from the Scottish Police at all. As I understand it, the principal allegations of wrongdoing, would place jurisdiction with a government department based in London.

Recent Comments by HirsutePursuit

Who Is Conning Whom?
I am with you in most of what you say, but there are some important differences.

SFA Article 6.1 & 6.2 say:

Clubs or associations undertaking to promote Association Football according to the Laws of the Game and these Articles and other rules of the Scottish FA may be admitted as registered members, associate members or full members, subject to the provisions of Articles 6.2 to 6.7 (both inclusive).
6.2 A club or association shall be admitted as a registered member automatically by reason of its being admitted as a member of an Affiliated Association or an Affiliated National Association, or in the case of a club through membership of or participation in an association, league or other combination of clubs formed in terms of Article 18 and in the case of an association by being formed in terms of Article 18, provided it is not already an associate or full member. A registered member shall not be a member of more than one Affiliated Association or more than one Affiliated National Association. A registered member may apply at any time to become an associate member.

We are in complete agreement, I think, that SFA Article 6.2 made Sevco a registered member of the SFA from the date it was accepted by the SFL – 14th July 2012.

But, and I think this is important, the nearest the SFA get to insisting that a club has associate or full SFA membership is Article 6.2 which simply says, ‘A registered member may apply at any time to become an associate member.’
Note: no timescale applies… and no consequences (from an SFA perspective) if a club chooses to not make that application.

So I think we are on common ground that Article 6.2 was applicable as far as the registered membership was concerned – and Sevco did not take the opportunity to apply for associate membership by this method.

If we then go back to what the SFL Rules actually said:

6. REGISTRATION WITH SFA A CONDITION OF MEMBERSHIPA Member or Associate Member who is not already a full or associate member of the Scottish Football Association must make application to become a full or associate member of the Scottish Football Association (as the case may be) within fourteen (14) days of being admitted to membership of the League failing which its membership of the League will lapse, and in the event that the application is unsuccessful, its membership will lapse upon that decision being intimated to the League.

Now, if the SFL was being prescriptive about which SFA Article was to be used (to apply for full or associate membership), and that Article 6 was the only valid route, why mention full membership as an option. If ‘application’ is meant to mean only applications in terms of SFA Article 6, the only relevant option would be to apply as an associate SFA member.

No, the SFL rules are not prescriptive in the manner of that application. I think Rule 16 is clearly written to allow a transfer of associate or full membership from an existing club to a new club or entity under SFA Article 14. 

In fact the only method by which this could be achieved is SFA Article 14

14. Prohibition on Transfer of Membership14.1 It is not permissible for a member to transfer directly or indirectly its membership of the Scottish FA to another member or to any other entity, and any such transfer or attempt to effect such a transfer is prohibited, save as otherwise provided in this Article 14. Any member desirous of transferring its membership to another entity within its own administrative group for the purpose of internal solvent reconstruction must apply to the Board for permission to effect such transfer, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld or delayed. Any other application for transfer of membership will be reviewed by the Board, which will have complete discretion to reject or to grant such application on such terms and conditions as the Board may think fit.

…which allows the board to grant an application for transfer of an existing membership on such terms as it sees fit.

Importantly, the discretion only applies to which terms and conditions to a transfer of a membership that already exists.

Having complete  discretion on how or if that transfer (of full membership) took place is completely within the board’s power via Article 14.

What it doesn’t do is empower the board to create a new type of membership. 

And, even if it does claim to have done so, I still don’t understand how the SFA ‘conditional’ membership would satisfy the SFL requirement for an application for associate or full membership?

Remember, this transfer application was an SFL requirement. The SFA had no interest in whether or not Sevco applied for associate or full membership.

It seems to me that the SFA and SFL approached the Sevco scenario in a similar way as they did when Inverness Caledonian were admitted (as a new club) in 1994.

Difference is ICT, the SFL, SPL and SFA all recognise that that club was founded in 1994.

As I said earlier with regard to the birth of Sevco, the deceit is not so much in what they all did, but in what they said and continue to say.

Who Is Conning Whom?
The new club (Sevco) was issued with written permission to use the name of a club in full membership (Rangers).

This was necessary because both existed as SFA member clubs at the time.

Who Is Conning Whom?
This was the nub of the ‘conditional membership’

10.7 Each club in full membership or associate membership shall in its Official Return register its ground and playing field dimensions and no such club shall remove to another ground without first obtaining the consent of the Board. Any club in full membership or associate membership wishing to make any alteration to its name, its registered ground or its playing field dimensions must first obtain the prior written consent of the Board. No club in registered membership shall adopt in whole or in part the name of a club in full membership or associate membership without the prior written consent of the Board.

Who Is Conning Whom?
The 14 day application deadline was an SFL requirement – not something that the SFA had any locus in considering.

As long as Sevco was a member of the SFL it was a member of the SFA.

It would have been up to the SFL management committee to decide if the application for transfer (rather than application for a new associate membership) met its requirements. If it did not, it would have been within its powers to revoke Sevco’s league membership. It is an arguable point, but there is no suggestion, as far as I’m aware, that the SFL league management committee ever met to even discuss the matter.

Nevertheless, I think you are saying that Sevco was no longer a member of the SFL at the time of the SFA statement – therefore needed this ‘new’ SFA membership category to play Brechin.

But how would any type of membership of the SFA help if it was no longer a member of the SFL? If its membership of the league had already lapsed or been revoked, another SFL EGM would have been required to try and vote the club back in. I’m 100% sure that did not happen.

On 29th July, Sevco must still have been a member of the SFL as the Ramsden Cup was only open to members of that league.

There was simply no mechanism for the club to rejoin the league in the available time. If it did not rejoin (and I’m as certain as I can be that it did not) then it cannot ever have been removed as a member of the SFL.

And as I keep saying, as a member of the SFL, it was also a member of the SFA.

The SFA’s deceit was not in its actions – but was in its words.

Don’t forget that the SFA had to consider the use of the Rangers name. The ‘conditional’ membership squirrel has been particularly useful in covering up the SFA board’s approval for Sevco to play Brechin under the Rangers name.

That, in reality, was the big announcement on that day. The rest was sleight of hand.

Smoke and mirrors.

Who Is Conning Whom?
The golf club analogy has been used before.

Dear old dad is a member of St Andrews (other golf clubs are available). To make best use of the facilities new members must apply to a ‘house’ that will give access to their respective lounges and bars. After 15 years of continuous membership Mon pere was awarded the status of ‘Gold Member’.

Gold Members have their own lounge and gain a range of additional benefits. 

Recently poor old dad has become poorly and suggests that l join the golf club and take over his ‘Gold Membership’.

I join the club and, with a letter of agreement from sickly pater, apply for the transfer of his ‘Gold Membership’ status.

The committee meet and decide that I can only take on the enhanced membership status if old pop dies.

I tell them that father is on his last legs and won’t last the weekend.

As an existing member I can enter the club’s Saturday medal competition. On a conditional basis, they tell me I will be eligible to use the ‘Gold Members’ facilities. They issue me with a letter to confirm this arrangement.

They will reconvene in several weeks to confirm the transfer of membership status – assuming that by then papa will be gone. If he makes a miraculous recovery I must then apply to join one of the standard houses.

About the author