I have no idea what’s going to happen tomorrow, when the SFA Judicial Panel Disciplinary Tribunal starts its enquiry into the non compliance of Rangers FC .
I have no idea of the constitution of the JPDT panel or what the consequences will be for our game.
It is likely that very little by way of meaningful correction will be meted out to the club; the expectation is that this ends in a fudge of some sort, a shabby middle ground that slaps them on the wrist, binds them to a token “probation period” and thus increases the anger on all sides.
The call for Celtic to act, depending on the outcome, if scrutiny is not transparent, will be nearly deafening.
Sevco will make a lot of noise whatever the result; either they will proclaim that it vindicates them, no matter how damning, and level accusations of witch-hunts and other such nonsense or they will scream from the rooftops at the merest punishment.
If there is no resultant transparency from the JPDT, as occurred when the SFA refused to heed the SPFL request for an investigation into Rangers use of EBT’s after the Supreme Court ruling justified revisiting the scandalous LNS decision, Celtic and fellow SPFL clubs simply cannot let the matter lie.
If Rangers (putting aside which one) is found guilty and sanctions don’t reflect the gravity of what has happened here – at a bare minimum certain people, Alastair Johnston included, but one other person I’ll get to later, should be banned from the sport indefinitely – it will make other scandals pale in comparison.
Celtic as an SPFL club whose shareholders, may have lost out simply has to renew its demand, via the SPFL, for that full inquiry into what went on in our game from 2011 to 2013 … and perhaps even further back than that.
I know more of the inside story now.
I know that desperate people are scrambling behind the scenes to keep this from going all-out Mount St Helen’s.
They fear Celtic will hold more than just the invididual club accountable for all this and they want their own part in it brushed away.
The problem is, they also fear that Sevco is fully aware of what part they played … and so the potential for a lot of arse-covering is high as a result of that.
Celtic probably expects a fudge, just like most of us do.
I like to think they’ll be ready in anticipation to deal with whatever the outcome of the JPDT is.
Other Scottish clubs might be unwilling to get involved in what they see as a situation involving Us and Them; I cannot say enough that they are abrogating their responsibilities to their own fans if they do. If RFC acted dishonestly and not in good faith then they did so to all clubs, not just Celtic.
Sevco continues to behave exactly as Rangers did.
It spends money it does not have.
It bends rules in relation to disclosure and compliance, preferring instead non compliance by non disclosure.
Its chairman is openly violating a court order and refusing to comply with a City of London demand, mandated by the courts.
No lessons have been learned here, and part of the reason why is that no deterring sanctions worthy of the name have ever been forthcoming for what happened at Ibrox. Everyone saying “move on” would be singing a different tune if they were able to see the consequences for the game as a whole and not just focus on the idea that this is just Celtic fans wanting revenge. That is what the SFA and mainstream media want.
It’s not revenge we want and it never has been.
Neither has occured here.
Everything ‘Rangers’ allegedly “suffered” was consequence not punishment.
They were never “relegated” no matter what bollocks they talk.
They weren’t ineligible to apply for a UEFA licence for 3 years from 2012. That was Sevco, as a brand new club.
The “signing ban” still let them assemble a squad.
The Five Way Agreement came with a Get Out Of Jail Free card which leaves the LNS inquiry nothing but a sham enabled by non disclosure.
Scottish football needs a verdict here that closes the book.
Celtic potentialy was defrauded, denied an opportunity to earn millions of pounds and play on the biggest stage in football and that cannot, and will not, be allowed to simply die with an attempted whitewash.
There is no doubt whatsoever about what happened here, and any that remained was swept away in the sworn testimony of those who were inside Ibrox at that time.
They knew that license should never have been granted because that bill had not been paid. They knew when liability had been accepted, they knew the background to it that meant there was no agreement with HMRC to defer payment.
The work the Resolution 12 team has done is almost unbelievable in its scope and their determination has been inspirational to all of us. Those who believed we’d never get a result should be thankful that these folks will not quit.
Their contention all along is that the SFA is one of two things; either they were grossly negligent in their responsibilities and failed in their duties to Celtic and other member clubs including “Rangers”or took a deliberate decision to grant a license they knew should not have been given.
Because of that, it is not enough for the SFA to say, at this late stage, “yes what Rangers did violated the rules.”
That’s not a shock.
It’s not even a surprise.
We know this.
We’ve always know it.
It’s been highlighted over and over again. This is not the moment for confirming to us what we’ve always been well aware of.
It’s time for apt sanctions, sanctions that reflect the seriousness of the crime.
But more important is that it is time for reform of a self governance style in Scottish football that is simply not good enough for the modern game with millions at stake.