PETER Lawwell has said that he may have to consider excusing himself from discussions about Dave King’s suitability to join the football board at Rangers if he feels he is conflicted.
As a member of the Scottish Football Association’s Professional Game Board, Lawwell would be one of the men who’d adjudicate on whether King is a fit and proper person to hold a directorship on the football board at Ibrox if Rangers put him forward for acceptance. He says that there isn’t automatically a conflict of interest, but that he may have a decision to make on that front.
“On any board, if you feel you are conflicted, you would excuse yourself and let the thing go on,” he said.
“My main interest is Celtic, to promote and maximise the interests of Celtic and maximise its potential. That’s my prime concern in life. But I wouldn’t have taken the job on the SFA board if I felt the two couldn’t be aligned.
“There are areas where there will be conflict, no question, like the Scottish Cup final, where there were other bidders. I would excuse myself in terms of the final decision. I will do the job properly. There will be sensitive issues, but I don’t think there will be too many where I would be conflicted. There’s maybe one or two coming up, but that would be SFA board business and not for today.”
Lawwell is one part of the PGB which also has Rod Petrie of Hibs, Michael Johnston of Kilmarnock, Duncan Fraser of Aberdeen as well as Campbell Ogilvie, Stewart Regan, Neil Doncaster and four others. King does not need the say-so of the SFA in order to secure a position on the plc board at Ibrox – that is a matter for AIM (Alternative Investment Market) and Rangers’ nominated adviser to decide. But, if he wants a place on the football board, then he would have to make his case to the PGB at Hampden.
Asked, in theory, if there could be a potential conflict over a fit and proper rule, Lawwell responded: “It depends, which club [and] who it is. Are we conflicted more than Hibs? It’s SFA business, I haven’t even thought about it, I haven’t even discussed it, and you wouldn’t expect me to talk about it today. Not for today.”
Apart from discussions about procedure in June last year, King has not yet approached the SFA about wishing to become a Rangers director. It is his conviction for non-compliance with South Africa’s tax laws that represent the problem. That, and his membership of the Rangers board during the disgraced Craig Whyte period.