Where do you even begin trying to pay tribute to Campbell Ogilvie, who has now completed his term of office as SFA President and stood down?
Because for a football fan to write warm words would be utterly disingenuous.
The Clumpany was tempted to entitle this short piece “Why we are sorry to see Campbell go”, and then leave it blank.
But I don’t think his legacy is even deserving of a lame gag.
Because his contribution to our game is no joke.
The Great Administrator! One of the architects of the Champions League! A nice, genuine guy!
Those are some of the platitudes that are wheeled out about the man whose charismatic presence enlivened many a Scottish Cup draw.
People always like to be remembered for their contribution to their chosen field. Mr Ogilvie will have no problem there.
He may well be a very nice man, and I don’t doubt he is hugely committed to our game.
However, the great mass of Scottish football fans (and remember that a very great man once said that “Football without fans is nothing”), have a long list of things for which Captain Conflicted will go down in history.
- Being on the board of Rangers as its spending ultimately set it on a path to destruction.
- The Discounted Options Scheme.
- Holding shares in Rangers while being a senior executive at Hearts.
- EBTs. Mr Ogilvie has one which he received while a Director of Rangers and the treasurer of the SFA.
- Remaining in post while Rangers collapsed, the Big Tax Case was before a tribunal, and the Lord Nimmo Smith commission was underway.
- Still remaining in post and on duty after his own Chief Executive described him as “heavily conflicted”.
- Giving some interesting evidence to the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission (notably not mentioning the DOS).
And there are other things which happened on his watch:
- Craig Whyte swanning into Ibrox without any meaningful scrutiny from the governing body.
- Mr Regan and SPL officials warning of ‘Armageddon’ and ‘slow lingering death’ if Sevco were not gerrymandered into one of the higher divisions. Yes. Gerrymandered.
- Mr Bryson giving an ‘interesting’ view on player registration rules to LNS.
As you know, a group of Celtic shareholders have been working with the club to investigate the circumstances in which Rangers were awarded a European licence for 2011-12 by the SFA.
Although it remains to be seen whether anything was amiss about the process, the questions relate to events during Mr Ogilvie’s Presidency.
And they aren’t going away.
It is worth remembering that the President of the SFA is not a purely ceremonial or honorary position.
The President sits on the two most important committees: the Professional Game Board and the main SFA Board.
As such, the President wealds power and influence.
Quite how the ‘system’ and SFA members allowed Ogilvie to be elected and re-elected is truly baffling. The rules on needing to have prior experience as an office-holder to become President certainly helped.
But the clubs who nodded him through should take a long hard look at themselves.
Hopefully the new SFA President Alan McRae will shake things up and support efforts to put right the wrongs of the past.
We will be watching and making a right old noise Alan!
As for Mr Ogilvie, it is to UEFA’s considerable benefit that its members recently rejected him as a member of their Executive Committee.
We’ve all had quite enough Great Administration, thank you!
Finally…regular readers will know that The Clumpany loves a bit of unwitting irony. So I will leave you with Campbell Ogilvie calling on others to set “the highest standards“.