Sometimes you read something online that is so unexpected and unbelievable that, for a moment, you sit and rub your eyes, wondering if they, or your mind, is playing tricks on you.
Today I had such a moment, when I read a Twitter exchange between Stewart Regan and a poster called MASH69 who was asking a very legitimate question on Campbell Ogilvie’s suitability for a UEFA post.
Regan seemed to take umbrage to the suggestion that someone who was involved in under-the-table payments to players, and who even received one himself, might well not be the best type of person to send into the UEFA snake pit, where reform of the good kind is needed even more than it is here in Scotland.
After Regan tweeted about how “excellent Campbell will be” for UEFA, MASH69 responded by saying “Campbell played a major role in setting up EBT’s at Rangers.”
Regan’s reply is staggering, for more reasons than one.
“No he didn’t! He was an employee asked to take an EBT by his boss David Murray when his contract was terminated.”
I had posted, last night, an article on Fields of Green which was about the way in which the media and others in Scottish football routinely distort reality, hiding behind the nonsense of “stating an opinion”, but what Regan has done here goes well beyond that.
He is either staggering, shockingly, shamefully ignorant of the facts or he is lying through his teeth, thinking we’re all too stupid to suss that.
The facts on Campbell Ogilvie and his role in setting up EBT’s are extensively documented, and laid out everywhere from HMRC’s judgements to the leaked emails and letters which prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that not only was he involved, heavily involved, in the Big Tax Case, but that he held the first “share” in Rangers’ Discounted Options Scheme, which he personally set up, and which we call the Wee Tax Case, where HMRC found the club liable and guilty of tax evasion.
All the facts in relation to that are laid out in On Fields of Green’s article Justice Undone, which you can check out by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.
Campbell Ogilvie, who presided over an era of financial doping at Ibrox, who held shares in two clubs at once, two clubs playing in the same league and not just the same country, who rose through the SFA ranks via a system that is so matey and chummy it more resembles the Masons than any meritocracy, is the very last kind of person UEFA needs if it’s going to clean up its act.
It is an embarrassment to Scottish football that this guy was re-elected to his position as President instead of being told to pack up his pencils in the wake of the deluge of revelations about his role in the affair which Stewart Regan today tries to gloss over. It cast a dark shadow over our game that this individual can continue to climb the footballing ladder, as the havoc he helped to wreck on Scottish football continues to rage.
He joins people like the bigot Hugh Dallas, sacked by the SFA for sectarianism, in the ranks of an organisation which itself looks shamefully compromised if this is the manner of men it seeks to elevate.
Regan himself, who once had a great deal of support in the wider Scottish football community, more and more comes to resemble a guy who is completely out of touch not only with the opinions of the fans but with reality itself.
That he would even attempt to get this total distortion of fact and reality past our eagle eyed watchers reveals a contempt for the Scottish football public which is both wide and deep.
He is either living in complete, probably willful, ignorance or he thinks he can tell lies with impunity and neither is acceptable in the CEO of the SFA.
Either way, the game here will be better off when he and his boss have left it far behind. The one mercy is that although UEFA will find soft seats for them, their rank incompetence assures that their influence will be negated.
Today is a new low for our Association, and the lack of action at our clubs that allows these people to remain in office – like Doncaster, they ought to have been gone long ago – is disgraceful.
As to the media … I’ve long since given up hope that they’ll do their jobs and report this stuff accurately, and fairly, without fear or favour.
It seems clear that Scottish football’s fans are the only people who care about the integrity of our sport and the reporting of facts.
Shame on everyone else who would let stuff like this go on without end, and without comment.