Calm Down, Stop Panicking & Read – All about SFA Membership & Sanctions

Ok, so everyone is starting to panic about the sanctions the SFA want to place on us in return for SFA membership. There appear to be 3 major threats to membership and we all need to understand these before we start to scream about them, I’ll explain why.

1. Payment of any outstanding fines

This is the easy one, we may not like it, but this is the one sanction we WILL have to agree to. Fines for rule breaks are deemed as sporting punishments, not debts, therefore we will be liable for the £160k in fines that was imposed by the SFA for the disrepute charge in relation to the non-payment of PAYE/NIC by Whyte. We might not agree with it, but unfortunately they are the rules and as part of our continuing membership of the SFA we have to abide by it.

2. Payment of Footballing Debts

This is where it becomes difficult, if by footballing debts, the SFA are referring to any transfer fees & ticket monies owed to other clubs and/or wages owed to players due to deferment during Administration, there is a case to argue.

Quite simply, in Scotland, there is NO Football Creditors law.

I don’t know how many times I need to explain this, but in Scotland, unlike England & Wales, there is no law that allows for all Football Creditors to be paid in FULL and BEFORE even SECURED creditors. This means that any attempt by the SFA/SPL to make Rangers pay any outstanding fees/ticket money/wages is ILLEGAL

Under Scottish law, these creditors are and must bebtreated exactly the same way as any other unsecured creditor. This means that any attempt to settle these debts in full, would be illegal. This would also make any directors of the new company liable for a contempt of court charge, for being in breach of a winding up order. It could also make the new company liable in full for the debts of the old company, and create a second admin/liquidation scenario.

Legally, this cannot be enforced by the SFA, they would be effectively forcing the directors to break the law in return for continuation of membership.

3. The Waving Of A Right To A Legal Challenge

Yes, this can be done, but usually only because a company is trying to prevent an employee from continuing legal action after they have already accepted some kind of incentive to bring an existing issue to a conclusion that is suitable for all parties (usually the payment of some form of compensation).

However, if and this is the big if, that agreement in itself would be illegal (in this case, the preferential treatment of some creditors regardless of insolvency laws) that would also invalidate said agreement waiving the rights of legal challenge for the affected parties.

In short, the SFA cannot force te club to do something that is ILLEGAL, and then prevent them from taking legal action to challenge this.

As a result of this, it is likely that they will attempt to go after other means, in an attempt to deliver “justice”

Just remember we currently hold all the Aces, it may not seem like it, but the SPL document that was delivered to all SFL clubs proves the importance of having Rangers in the Scottish game to ensure its survival.

To paraphrase a couple of points:

“Rangers in Division One, this would result in a loss of around 30% of revenue, a large amount, however this would result in a position from which it IS possible to financially recover from”

“Rangers in Division Three, this would strip the game of approx £16million per year, result in the withdrawal of sponsors and create massive financial problems for all clubs, some that would be unacceptable”

“Finally, the termination/suspension of Rangers membership would cause TOTAL FINANCIAL MELTDOWN in the Scottish game, yes the game would survive, but at what cost and in what form? This CANNOT be allowed to happen”

Unbelievably, we are the ones with power, we just need to use it wisely, if they insist on “punishing” us too severely, well we just insist on Division Three, they have to let us in, in their own words, we CANNOT be allowed to disappear from Scottish football entirely, have faith fellow bears, the stakes in this poker game have just got a helluva lot higher, we have the power to save or destroy Scottish football in its entirety in our hands.

Nookie Bear