Fear of the Consequences

I note a recurring theme in the argument against awarding stripped titles to the runner-up is fear of the consequences.
It was fear of the consequences of standing up to wrongdoing that got Scottish football into this almighty mess in the first place.

There is no question in my mind that if Rangers are found to have been fielding ineligible players, the results of their matches should be corrected to read as 0-3 defeats, in accordance with the rules. Consequently the final league standings in each of the seasons to which this applies should also be corrected to reveal who the true champions were, according to the rules.
This could scarcely be simpler.

Once the appropriate corrections have been made, the separate matter of what punishment should be meted out to the offending parties can finally be addressed.
I argue that nothing short of expulsion is appropriate. We are dealing with unprecedented levels of rule-breaking, probably in collusion with administrators at Hampden Park, incalculable damage to the reputation and development of Scottish football and, even now, chaos and turmoil which is destabilising the entire structure of the game.

But fear of the consequences appears to have induced a paralysis which is preventing the correct response from even being recognised, never mind being enacted.

A club which has been found guilty of consistently fielding ineligible players on a massive scale and, furthermore, actively concealed the paperwork which would have exposed the ineligibility is simply not fit to be a member of any organised league. Not is it fit to have SFA membership. Thus the record should clearly show that its punishment is either complete expulsion or a <em>sine die</em> suspension which will not be lifted until satisfactory restitution has been made for the damage suffered by other footballing parties.

If a future club wishes to trade as Rangers FC and portray itself as the continuation of the expelled Rangers FC, it must fulfil certain conditions.

Firstly, it must unequivocally recognise and accept that it is inheriting the culpability of the original Rangers FC for breaking football rules over many successive years.

Secondly, it will never make any claim to titles which have been stripped from it in accordance with the game’s rules nor will it ever dispute or question the justice of awarding those titles to any other club which did compete within the rules.

Thirdly, in recognition of the financial damage which original Rangers caused to its peers in the Scottish game, the new club which elects to trade as Rangers FC will forfeit a percentage of its future earnings and prize money for a period of time and at a level which is acceptable to all the clubs which it is found to have disadvantaged. If they can’t compete at the top level with what’s left in the coffers, too bad. Those are the consequences of cheating your way to glory.

Finally, if – and only if – these conditions are satisfied, then everyone else in Scottish football can agree to accept the new club as a continuation of the old Rangers, albeit with a break in its history from the time to which the suspension is backdated up until it resumes trading as a suitably penitent and chastised member club. It could then legitimately include its forty-odd titles in its honours roll while acknowledging a period of misconduct which is a stain on its history but which it also apologises for, condemns and undertakes never to repeat.

The consequences for Scottish football in this scenario would be that a line could finally be drawn under the entire episode.  Honour would be restored all around and a fresh start would finally be possible.

I’m not holding my breath.

Posted on February 19, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I don’t understand why no self respecting member of scottish football has not already established these points in the lead up to the enquiry. Everyone apart from The Rangers and the SFA can see the flagrant rule breaking that has taken place in the many years that have passed. This is a great article and wouldn’t it be something if fans from all over Scotland started a fund to take the authorities to task if they choose not to take appropriate action.

    • Thanks for the comment, Simon.
      There are none so blind as those who will not see.
      Perceived self-interest makes it difficult for some people to remove their blinkers while others find it impossible to break the habit of never doing the right thing.

  2. Missed you Henry ,but what a return to the tinternet!!!!! .Trying to get THEM? to admit any responsability is impossible and the MSM !! Gladys will kill em off in next two months .End of !

    • Thank you, Dhougal.
      Indeed, I don’t expect things to pan out as they should but I’m pretty clear about what ought to be done in an honourable and fair resolution to the current problems.

  3. The Silver Fhox.

    BlackGoosey, don’t come on here and give abuse to people. Do that on your own sites.
    If you cannot follow the logic here, it might be you that needs to seek help.
    What the hell are you doing on here anyway? You have nothing to contribute except abuse.
    Well done Henry once again. This is a clear and reasoned post, as per usual.
    BlackGoosey is hurting badly and you can read this between the lines he has left. He has offered no explanation for any of his 3 statements, which is typical of those who just shout back and don’t like free speech. A member of the Klan speaking, I think.
    On the other hand, Henry, you have backed up all of your statements with reasoning – which is evidence of an educated and sound mind indeed.

  4. Great article Henry.

    Why is it taking so long for the truth to come out? Are they (Nimmo et al) trying to keep it out of the public arena as long as possible in the hope that it and us will go away?
    When the titles are stripped (and they have to be for Scottish football to move on) they (Sevco) should also be made to pay back the money kept from the likes of Celtic every year through cheating their way into the Champions League. A million every year until its paid off seems a reasonable agreement.

    • I’m fairly relaxed about waiting for the result of LNS’s investigation since I understand that it’s scheduled to be released on the 28th February or close to it. If there was to be a delay beyond that date, I’d be a bit concerned.
      In general, judges think very carefully about their judgements. Then they check their facts and have another think. And then they think again, just to be be sure that they haven’t missed anything. And so on. Their judgements are considerably more significant than just another person’s opinion so they take great care and as much time as they need to ensure that they get it right. That’s fine by me.

      In terms of atoning for receiving prize-money to which they were not entitled, I don’t have a specific figure in mind for the new club trading as Rangers. It ought to be a significant but affordable slice of its income and, of course, there’s no reason for it not to be levied for a long time to come. It is effectively a massive fine to reflect massive wrongdoing. Like most fines, it can be paid up over a period of time after taking into account the offender’s means and essential outgoings.

      • I agree wholeheartedly with your comments about LN taking as much time as he needs.

        God forbid there should be even a single chink in his judgement that would allow another courtroom drama or the opportunity for MSM to paint a false picture of his decision.

        Great article but sadly I’m not going to hold my breath either.

        • Thanks for commenting, SK.

          I’m sure that LNS’s final judgement will be pretty watertight in terms of the Law.
          Sadly though, I don’t think fairness and justice are necessarily in tune with the Law in every instance so the results of his investigation aren’t something that I’m taking for granted just yet.

  5. Rangers will be found not guilty and will be given full SFA membership from next season. The SFA have to bring this to an end before they are found to have cheated by playing unsigned players in international matches AND knowingly allowing other players to play international matches all over the world.

    • That’s a good point. The bold @tommyinglasgow discussed this last year with an official from the IFA in Northern Ireland who felt that it could be a bit embarrassing all round but that UEFA and FIFA wouldn’t take any punitive action against the SFA.

      You’re right to point out that it’s a factor that adds to the pressure..

      However it would be very hard for LNS to ignore the findings of fact from the FTT decision that certain Rangers players had salary arrangements whose details were not fully registered with the SPL or SFA.

  6. Well said m8…but like yer good self I won’t be holding my breath;)

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