This ought not have been so unexpected; Ashley’s legal team has clearly dropped the ball more than once in its battles with King. It makes me wonder just what in the Hell their overall objective was, if they were so unprepared to go the final mile.
That’s a small matter at the moment.
What matters right now is that the SFA’s lawyer asked the judge a somewhat bizarre question relating to Celtic’s shareholders.
The SFA’s lawyer asked the judge if Ashley’s action means that “Celtic shareholder could sue the SFA” in the event that “King does well.”
Yes, read that again. And again.
And then read between the lines.
Because for openers, Ashley is a shareholder in the company King sits on, and he was the subject of an SFA fine under its dual ownership rules. His challenge to the SFA came down, as much as anything, to asking them which of their rules they take seriously and which they don’t.
That he hasn’t proceeded to the logical conclusion makes me wonder if this is all some kind of weird game he’s playing, but it’s irrelevant for the moment.
In the SFA lawyer’s question, you can see the contempt they have for anyone seeking to hold them to account, and I think the mention of Celtic shareholders suing is more than just a reference to this case and goes to the heart of Resolution 12 and other issues.
This is them saying “Back up and back off.”
And you know what?
Not a chance in Hell.
They can send whatever little subliminal messages they like, through lawyers and PR reps and media men. As I showed last night in my article on Resolution 12 (you can read it here, and please do, and share it too) they are caught, bang to rights, on that one and the evidence I’ve seen is a fraction of the overall.
King is not a fit and proper person to be on the board a Scottish football club.
He’s a serial liar, a convicted tax crook and was on the board of the OldCo when it died. He’s dealt in evasion and half-truth and outright falsehood at every stage in his dealings with other clubs, the governing body and even his own fans since he got the chairman’s seat.
The SFA has, once again, allowed the wrong guy to take over a club at Ibrox, without proper oversight, without proper scrutiny, caring only that they don’t upset the apple cart over there, and damn what it does to the rest of our game.
Dragging Celtic into this proceeding is more than just a convenience.
It’s a message, and one they want us to get loud and clear.
These people have nothing but contempt for the rules and for those of us who’re trying to see that they are followed correctly.
This shouldn’t surprise us; Regan himself has said, on the record, to a member of the Scottish Football Monitor site, that even if confronted with absolute proof of Rangers’ wrongdoing over Resolution 12 (and he has been, by the way) that he would do “nothing.”
Only in Scotland does it look like this.
Today they are brazenly rubbing our faces in it. Many of us are working on holding them to account, and Ashley seemed to offer one means of doing that. Today he’s dashed those hopes, and more besides. Aside from being an absolutely amoral scoundrel preying on sports fans all over the country, he comes out of this looking like a guy who’s hopelessly indecisive or completely gutless when it comes to the crunch.
I’m glad we weren’t waiting around for him to do this job for us.
But Celtic shareholders, take note.
These guys know you’re coming, and they’re getting ready for you.