Sevco Is 48 Hours From Having A Very Serious Problem With UEFA.

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Sometime over the next 48 hours, Sevco is going to have tell everyone in Scotland what we already know; that last season was a disaster on and off the park. That it wrecked the very notion that they are a fiscally responsible organisation. Sevco is going to have to submit fully audited accounts, and accounts which have no Going Concern notice qualifier.

Without it, they are screwed. The SFA is obliged not to grant them a license for Europe.

Ignore what the governing body and their media lackies have said in relation to this; the SFA is the licensing agency and if Sevco is in material breach of the regulations – and failure to submit properly audited accounts by 31 March is serious stuff – they are obliged to refuse the license at the first hurdle. Where UEFA comes in is deciding if the non-qualifying club should get special dispensation to take part. In these circumstances they would never grant that.

It’s important for a moment that we separate what’s happening here from the regulations that govern financial fair play. This isn’t about that.

It is much more serious than that. If people have been walking around wearing blinkers about this up until now this is the time to take them off. Financial Fair Play is nothing on this.

This is about financial disclosure. Financial disclosure is the structure that underpins Financial Fair Play. Because if a club isn’t disclosing its income and outgoings, how are UEFA and FIFA to know whether or not they can meet financial fair play obligations or not? How are UEFA to know on what basis a club is being run or by whom?

Failure to disclose that information results in an automatic suspension from Europe.

Three years audited accounts are required, and on time. Sevco has no excuse for failure to get its in except that the results are so horrendous they don’t want them to be made public, especially at a time when they are talking about issuing new shares. Bad financial figures have market-moving potential, as even the dumbest Sevconite is well aware.

Dave King and his board may well be embarrassed by the figures when they do come out, but that’s not UEFA’s problem. It well be for the SFA though, who in the absence of audited accounts simply has no choice but to refuse a license request. There is no wiggle room here. Deadlines exist for a reason; they exist so everyone has to play by the same rules.

Those rules have already been bent enough for the Ibrox club.

But this is different. There is no leeway at all and no lesser punishment than a ban. The ability to submit audited accounts is so basic that UEFA considers it a deal-breaker; if a club cannot manage it, or won’t, then the European governing body is correct to be suspicious … and careful.

Sevco is 48 hours away from more trouble than they can handle and the SFA is not mandated to do anything other than refuse them the license if they do not sort this out by then.

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