The Way it Works

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Eco, thanks for feedback on the letter. I just cut and …

Comment on The Way it Works by nawlite.

Eco, thanks for feedback on the letter.

I just cut and pasted from word, where the formatting is fine re paras.
The rule and default punishment actually seems pretty clear cut when it comes to suspended players, but not so specific when dealing with mis-registered players. That’s why I make specific comment on them not being identical, but having the same effect.

Interesting thoughts on making it more suggestion-focussed. Will think about that. Cheers.

nawlite Also Commented

The Way it Works
I’ll check that out, BG, thanks.

I’ve been known to be a bit wordy, so I’ll see if I can edit a bit!!


The Way it Works
Folks, text of a letter and email I’m sending to UEFA today. Any thoughts on improvements before I do? I think I’ve accurately captured the ‘facts’ as I see them, but if anyone has any constructive criticism, I can amend. Cheers.

Dear Sirs,
Although I am Scottish, I am not a Celtic supporter, but feel I must write applauding your decision in respect of the rule breach by Legia Warsaw. I admire your principles in following your clearly stated rules in respect of such rule breaches despite the widespread sympathy for Legia that I have seen displayed, even in Scotland (and I am sure even you must feel sorry for them to an extent). I am glad that you did not undermine your rules by bowing to such feelings.
My interpretation of your actions in this case is that they confirm two key principles that underpin your disciplinary process:-
1. Even if a rule breach is discovered after the event, that rule breach must be dealt with.
I assume that the error was discovered after the event, or presumably you would have warned Legia not to make the error.
2. The rule breach must be punished even if no sporting advantage was gained.
The sympathy toward Legia is based on the fact that they obviously gained no sporting advantage by playing the suspended player for only 3 of the 180 minutes, by which time they were already 6-1 ahead in the tie.
Because of your swift and strong actions in support of your rulebook on this issue affecting Scottish football, I cannot help but compare and contrast the actions of the Scottish Football authorities when dealing with a similar issue.
You may already be aware of the case raised by the Scottish Football authorities against Rangers FC in recent times. This was a high profile case concerning the concealment of remuneration details from the football authorities which, when initially discovered, was described by them as being “just short of match fixing”. It was agreed that the issue was of sufficient importance to justify investigation by an independent tribunal. The Scottish Football Association allowed the Scottish Premier League to instigate this investigation because the SFA might need to act as the appellant body, but they took part in the investigation and provided evidence to it. Given that the SFA follows UEFA rules, I am at a loss to understand how they reached an outcome so different from your Legia decision and how UEFA allowed that decision to stand.
My reasoning for that statement is that the independent tribunal did indeed find Rangers FC guilty of deliberately concealing remuneration details (contained in side letters to contracts) for many, many players over many, many years and they were fined the sum of £250,000 for doing so. The reason for such a small fine for this long term, deliberate crime (“just short of match fixing”!) is that Rangers FC was already in liquidation by the time of the decision and a more commensurate fine would hurt only their creditors who had already suffered enough losses. This is perfectly understandable.
However, a massive number of football fans in Scotland cannot understand how Rangers, having been found guilty of deliberate concealment of player remuneration details i.e. mis-registration of players, did not suffer the consequences they should have.
As laid out in the tribunal decision, the reasons given for not punishing them clash quite glaringly with your underpinning principles as laid out in 1. and 2. above.
1. Even if a rule breach is discovered after the event, that rule breach must be dealt with.
As I mentioned, the SFA provided evidence to the independent tribunal. In his evidence, Sandy Bryson (the SFA’s registration expert) testified that if the SFA did not spot a mis-registration at the time and the player was therefore accepted as officially registered (albeit incorrectly), then that player’s status remained as ‘correctly registered’ until the discovery of the error/deliberate concealment (even though they now knew he was incorrectly registered throughout). As a result of that testimony, the tribunal panel took the view that Rangers FC should not face any consequences because in the eyes of the SFA at the time Rangers were fielding only correctly registered players, even though they now knew they were incorrectly registered due to the deliberate concealment. If UEFA took that view in the Legia case, then you could not punish them for the rule breach as UEFA discovered their unfortunate error only after the event. In many other cases, the SFA has been willing to act retrospectively and award the default 0-3 scoreline when teams have played mis-registered players in their cup competitions.
2. The rule breach must be punished even if no sporting advantage was gained.
The tribunal spent much time deliberating whether or not Rangers FC had gained any sporting advantage from the concealment of remuneration details. The background is that HMRC were concurrently fighting Rangers FC in court over tax evasion (which was the reason for Rangers’ concealment of player remuneration details). The first round of the case had just found in favour of Rangers, although HMRC went on to appeal. At the time of the tribunal decision, therefore, the methods Rangers used to avoid paying tax on player salaries were deemed legal (though HMRC’s appeal is ongoing), so the tribunal panel decided that any other Scottish club could have chosen to use the same practices, but didn’t. In their view, then, no sporting advantage had been gained. Depending on the outcome of the appeal, that view may prove to be right or wrong, but your decision in the Legia case clearly indicates that sporting advantage should not impact on the disciplinary process – it is the rule breach that must be punished, not the sporting advantage gained.
I realise that the cases I am discussing are not identical (the Legia case concerns one suspended player while the Rangers case concerns many, many mis-registered players over many, many years), but to football fans the end effect is the same – a player(s) took part in a match(es) in which he/they shouldn’t have been allowed to play. Football fans in Scotland can see only the glaring inconsistency between UEFA’s actions in one case affecting Scottish football and the SFA’s actions in another (as well as UEFA’s inaction in that case). For that reason, there is absolute distrust in the SFA and many fans have walked away from their team and the game here.
My questions for you are these:-
1. Were you aware of the independent tribunal investigating Rangers’ mis-registration of players?
2. Were you aware of the reasons why the tribunal reached the decision not to apply punishment?
3. Do you support the outcome of the independent tribunal investigating Rangers’ mis-registration of players?
4. Do you support the testimony of Sandy Bryson with regard to the impossibility of retrospective punishment?
5. Can you see how your actions clearly differ from those of the SFA for what is perceived as a similar but lesser breach by Legia?
If you agree with the decision and stand by the SFA’s handling of the rule breach by Rangers, would you be able to publish a clarification as to why you feel the decision is the right one? I hope you will at least explain that to me in your reply, but until Scottish football fans understand clearly why these two cases have been treated so remarkably differently by the SFA/UEFA, the distrust that has arisen from it will continue to erode the game here. This is best dealt with by a published clarification from UEFA. Most fans believe that the SFA circumvented their own rules to avoid punishing Rangers FC as they knew that any punishment would anger Rangers fans and potentially result in the loss of their large support to the game. They risk losing at least as many fans who believe that Rangers were given preferential treatment.
I do hope that you will look at this issue again and give me the courtesy of a reply.
Yours sincerely.


The Way it Works
Chris McLaughlin, in his BBC report, finding new ways to avoid using the L word, but also finding a way not to say relegated or demoted so as not to annoy us all too much!

“A Green-led consortium bought Rangers’ assets in 2012 – the same year the club was placed in the lowest tier of the Scottish league set-up following financial problems”

A*se.


Recent Comments by nawlite

Enough is enough
EB, you state that the SFA’s rules allowed them discretion to transfer the membership. Just for clarity – is your reason for doing so purely to clarify for others on here that the SFA did not break their rules in allowing the transfer? I.e. a warning not to claim the SFA breached their rules?
Or is your reason for stating it an argument that the transfer of membership allows the current ‘Rangers’ to claim that it is the same entity as the ‘Rangers’ currently in liquidation?


Enough is enough
AS, you need to remember that as far as the SFA is concerned there’s no uncertainty ‘cos Dave said he would put the money in! So that’s awrite then.


Enough is enough
If Dorrans’ signing was after the accounts cut-off, then I can only see Cardoso, Pena, Herrera, Candeias and Morelos signing for a fee according to TransferMarket. Their fees listed there total only £7,380m not the c£10m shown in the accounts. Anyone any ideas?


Enough is enough
Given that Dave doesn’t have any control, I’m wondering who the nice person at NOAL is who keeps sending TRFC money out of the goodness of his heart?!?


Enough is enough
Tris, you say “Celtic wouldn’t be risking very much if some more equitable model was introducedThey’d still have more money than most.”
Of course they would………but only most in Scotland. That’s my point – why would they weaken themselves against the ‘big’ European clubs whom they have ambitions to better or at least compete with? You suggest they should because somewhere down the line they MIGHT need to improve due to increased competition from better domestic clubs. Seriously? “Let’s weaken ourselves against the clubs we’re aspiring to match in the hope that years ahead we MIGHT get better and they (keeping all their money) don’t”!?!?!?!
Let’s be realistic. You can’t expect a business/club to do that.
I want better competition and improving standards in Scottish football as much as anyone, but the more naïve comments I hear, the more I’m convinced that it can only be done by somehow forcing UEFA to drive it from the top down (or, as you say, the bubble bursts and we start from scratch).


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