This ETims article about Resolution 12, has inspired me to write to Stewart Regan about the apparent failure of the SFA to respond to the questions asked by Celtic shareholders.
Regular readers will know that I have previously written about Resolution 12, and believe it to be of fundamental importance in securing transparency and good governance in our game.
See what you think, and please consider writing to the SFA as ETims suggest
Dear Mr Regan
I would be very grateful if you could confirm or deny the claims made by a number of Celtic shareholders that the SFA has not given full answers to questions posed in July 2015 regarding the awarding of a UEFA licence to Rangers Football Club in respect of season 2011-12. As you are no doubt aware – both from your role as SFA Chief Executive, and as a frequent participant on social media – those questions relate to whether Rangers had ‘overdue payables’ in respect of social taxes, and should not therefore have been granted a licence to play in the Champions League.
For ease of reference, I attach a link to the Celtic shareholders’ Resolution 12 which gave rise to their letter. http://www.celtictrust.net/index.php?func=d_home_documents_view&id=47
I understand that the shareholders’ letter specifically raises questions about possible breaches of rules by both the licensee (RFC) and the licensor (the SFA). The shareholders are (of course) the people who own – and appoint the board of – the club which
a) is a member of the SFA,
b) plays in the SFA’s Cup competition; and
c) engages in the SFA’s UEFA licencing process.
If it is true that the SFA has not replied to each of the legitimate questions raised by shareholders, I would be grateful if you could explain the following:
- Why there has been no comprehensive response from the SFA?
- What specific things would the SFA require in order to respond fully to shareholders?
- Whether you agree that SFA processes not only have to BE above reproach, but also SEEN to be above reproach.
- Whether you agree that if errors were made in the awarding of Rangers’ UEFA licence in 2011-12 it is in the interest of all SFA member clubs, their owners and fans (as well as the credibility of the SFA itself) for these to be investigated, the findings placed in the public domain, and for revised processes to be put in place as necessary.
- Whether you stand by your comments of 24 April 2012 that “The Scottish FA has a responsibility to all its members and must implement its rules without fear or favour.” and that “The Scottish FA must act with integrity and with the best interests of the game at heart.”; and
- Whether failure to respond to the questions raised by Celtic shareholders, and take any necessary subsequent action is consistent with those comments.
I write to you as a fan and shareholder of Celtic Football Club, but also as a fan of Scottish football who believes that a transparent and effective governing body is absolutely crucial to the future of our wonderful game.
As a fan of one of your member clubs I want to be reassured that licences for Europe’s premier club competition are handed out on merit according to the rules.
As a shareholder (and therefore part-owner) of one of your member clubs, I want to be reassured that the vast amount of time, effort and money invested in building a sustainable operation aimed at securing Champions League participation has not and cannot be rendered a complete waste of time as a result of the SFA’s administrative processes.
And as a fan of Scottish football I want to be reassured that all clubs are competing on a level playing field and going about their business under the benevolent leadership of a modern, efficient, and transparent governing body. In an ideal world, fans of Scottish football wouldn’t have to give the SFA a second thought. It would be there in the background running the game effectively and ensuring we have one of the most exciting domestic games in the world. But where there are fundamental concerns about an aspect of the SFA’s work, it is only right that fans and shareholders should be able to ask challenging questions and expect a clear and frank reply.
Finally, I think it is important to note that as one of the privileged few who sit on the International Football Association Board and make laws for the game around the world, it is incumbent upon the SFA as an organisation, and you personally Mr Regan to set a good example. If legitimate questions have been raised about the way the SFA observes a number of rules, I believe you have a non-negotiable responsibility to respond to them and then take any necessary action. Without fear or favour.
I have copied this email to Celtic Football Club and look forward to your reply