SFA will not participate in review despite Celtic request

Scottish football's governing body says its position 'remain unchanged' regarding participating in an independent review into the handling of Rangers's use of EBTs.
Stewart Regan Scottish Football Association chief executive. Picture: Andrew Cowan/Scottish ParliamentStewart Regan Scottish Football Association chief executive. Picture: Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament
Stewart Regan Scottish Football Association chief executive. Picture: Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

The SFA issued a statement in which it clarified its position after Celtic issued a statement of their own on Saturday calling for an investigation in to the governance of Scottish football.

Celtic accused the organisation of a lack of leadership and “that failure to carry out a full review of these events and issues, which have been without precedent in Scottish football, would represent a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership.”

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Celtic’s statement included correspondence between the club and the SFA.

Stewart Regan, SFA chief executive, says only the Parkhead club have issued their desire for a review with the organisation writing to clubs explaining the decision to opt against looking further into the issue after seeking legal advice.

The SFA statement read: “The Board of the Scottish FA has considered the recent requests from the SPFL and one of our member clubs to participate in an independent review in light of the UK Supreme Court judgment on the use of EBTs by Rangers FC and its implications for Scottish football.

“Notwithstanding the Board’s statement of July 5th 2017, it considered the request and explored the potential scope of any additional independent review in some detail. After a full debate, the Board’s position remains unchanged for the following reasons.”

The governing body did confirmed that they have refereed the matter of the ‘Wee Tax Case’ and the awarding of a UEFA Licence to Rangers in 2011 to the association’s compliance officer.”

It said: “The Scottish FA has examined new information with respect to what is commonly referred to as the Wee Tax Case and the awarding of a UEFA Licence in 2011. This information came to light in the recent Craig Whyte trial and concerns the testimony in Court of two former directors of Rangers FC regarding “overdue payables” to HMRC and relating to a Discounted Option Scheme.

“The matter has now been referred to the Scottish FA’s Compliance Officer for further investigation following receipt of a written opinion from Senior Counsel.

“Moreover, the events of the last six years have contributed directly to many amendments to the Scottish FA Articles and Judicial Panel Protocol to address the key learnings. These include:

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• An enhanced role for the Board in our governance structure

• Stronger powers for the PGB and the NPGB

• Strengthened processes in relation to insolvency and change of control

• Bolstering the duty of good faith

• Clarity on what information is to be lodged within the context of players’ contracts

• A clearer separation of powers between the executive and judicial activities of the Scottish FA and a more specific and detailed menu of sanctions.

“It is also worth noting that all relevant Scottish FA disciplinary tribunals were undertaken with senior legal advisors. Indeed, all such cases were also chaired by senior legal figures.

“In summary, the Board of the Scottish FA has considered thoroughly the implications of the recent UK Supreme Court Judgement and, furthermore, has identified specific matters from the Craig Whyte trial that require to be revisited.