Rangers' recent statement over the Scottish FA charging them with breaches of the articles of association is downright laughable and hypocritical as they look to deflect from their historic cheating.
But rather than going down the usual route of writing a retort, I will simply dissect their statement piece by piece:
The Rangers Football Club (“the Club”) was informed today by the Scottish FA (“SFA”) that, after an eight-and-a-half month investigation, the SFA will not be proceeding with a Notice of Complaint in respect of the submission made by the Club to the SFA at the end of March 2011 with regard to the issue of the Club’s UEFA licence for the following Season.
The Club is unsurprised that it has now finally been accepted by the SFA that the accusations made against the Club were groundless. The Club questions whether the time, cost and expense of this investigation was justified and was a good use of the SFA’s limited resources.
Disappointingly, and presumably rather than accept that the investigation was a waste of all parties’ time and resources, the Club has been served with a new revised Notice of Complaint relating to the monitoring period subsequent to the grant of the UEFA licence. This new Notice of Complaint neglects to properly capture the provisions of prior agreements made between the Club and the SFA.
Sorry but when did the Scottish FA issue a notice of complaint first time round on Rangers breaching articles of association in relation to the UEFA licence from 2011-12? They only opened up the investigation in September 2017?
As for the 'prior agreements made between the club and the Scottish FA' surely these should be made public - in the spirit of what is best for Scottish Football. And disciplinary proceedings are held for all clubs who breach rules no matter how serious or not they are. So for Rangers to claim it is a waste of time and resources is simply an issue for them as the Scottish FA are following the rule of law. Something that Rangers failed to do for 11 years with their EBT scandal.
The Club will fiercely resist this reconstructed Notice of Complaint.
As is their right. But surely they could play the old club/company excuse?
Unfortunately, monies that should be available to Scottish youth and grassroots football will be diverted into another rehearsal of seven-year-old debates on the rights and wrongs of events that the SFA should have prevented at a time when doing so would have served a useful purpose.
Monies that should be available to Scottish youth and grassroots football? Sorry but the Scottish FA will have a budget for youth/grassroots football on an annual basis, as they would with disciplinary actions. So this claim is laughable in its entirety and one that is deflection of the highest order. If they had to focus all finances solely on youth/grassroots football all the time then no disciplinary hearings would take place.
As for seven-year-old debates on the rights and wrongs of events that the Scottish FA should have prevented at the time - are they having a laugh? Are Rangers trying to claim in their statement that the Scottish FA should have prevented them from tax dodging in the first place? And this is not a seven year old debate - it is an issue that stretches back 17 years. A period in which they orchestrated two tax dodges - Wee Tax Case & Big Tax Case - in a bid to keep pace with Celtic and buy silverware.
It seems that Scottish Football is, once again, being directed by individuals intent on harming the Scottish game, Rangers Football Club and its supporters by pursuing a course that has no sensible purpose or reasonable prospect of success.
This is a dangerous comment to make by a professional football club. It mirrors the demands from Ally McCoist several years ago calling for a disciplinary panel to have its members publicly named - despite already knowing who they were - which saw Rangers fans aim death threats and abuse at those involved.
Are Rangers claiming that the compliance officer was intent on harming the Scottish game? Is he one of the individuals they speak of? Are they claiming that bloggers forced the Scottish FA into punishing Rangers to satisfy their own needs for justice? Or maybe they are implying that Celtic and Peter Lawwell is behind it all in a paranoid rambling sort of way.
Rangers speak about the good of Scottish football and others harming our game. Did they think about the Scottish game through the EBT years? Did they think of the Scottish game when they were running up huge debts and living outwith their means because they wanted to buy their way to domestic and European glory? Of course they didn't. But now they are being held accountable for their actions, they now use the 'what is best for the game' patter and has a hint of Donald Trump about it all - a do as we say mentality.
If Rangers are found guilty on both charges then it is because it is justified. Whether they see it as a vendetta or actions orchestrated by a dodgy anti-Rangers members club led by Peter Lawwell, the fact is the Craig Whyte trial proved Rangers' dirty dealings pre-liquidation and while the likes of Neil Doncaster and the departed Stewart Regan wanted to bend over at every opportunity to Rangers to safeguard their own commercial interests - the integrity of our game must take precedent even if Rangers spit the dummy for the millionth time.
Time for Rangers to pay the piper.
Last Ditch Tackle is unashamedly passionate about Scottish football, with a heavy Celtic slant.