Fit & Proper Punishment

by @606AlfieConn

There has been a lot of debate recently over what would be a Fit & Proper Punishment for the wrongdoings & alleged wrongdoing of RFC* that have taken place over a number of years. Debates that no one can dispute have football fans, journalists, pundits & clubs at loggerheads with each other.
 
There is the camp that says “don’t punish the club for the actions of individuals”
The camps that say “destroy them forever”
The camp that says “the punishment can’t be too hard that makes them uncompetitive” and a whole host of other opinions.
 
What is not in dispute but is constantly being misrepresented in the MSM & even the online football community is that we are dealing with four separate issues and we need to look at them on this basis.
 
In this blog I want to concentrate on what the Football Authorities should be looking at and not what the courts or Financial Authorities will do.
 
The four separate issues to be taken into consideration are;
 

  1. Rangers going into administration
  2. Rangers bringing the game into disrepute on 5 charges
  3. The potential of that dual contracts have been in place in the past
  4. A NewCo applying for entry into the SPL

 

  1. Rangers went into administration on 14th February and were immediately deducted 10 points by the SPL. This punishment is standard and widely accepted. There will be further point deductions if the club remains in administration at the start of the new season.

This seems fair and a fit & proper punishment.
 

  1. Rangers were brought before the SFA Independent Judicial Review Panel after the findings of an independent investigation headed by Lord Nimmo Smith.

The fines were the maximum that could be handed down for each of the charges although the club could have faced expulsion from the SFA as an ultimate punishment.
The punishment that seems to be causing most debate is the 12 month transfer embargo. This is a punishment that is regularly handed out in many countries across the world for clubs falling foul with other clubs. Considering the money outstanding to other clubs for player transfers and the fact that Rangers were able to sign 8 players that helped them in competitive football and was at the detriment to other clubs I do not see anything wrong with this punishment either. The ban should also be extended if RFC* have not fully paid up all outstanding Football debts.
 

  1. This could potentially be the big one, however if proven guilty then the punishment is already in place to deal with this one. If Rangers have been guilty of unregistered football payments to players then the punishment would be a 3-0 reversal score line in every game that an illegally registered player played. This could go as far back as 1998 & the introduction of the SPL. All 4 football authorities would then need to consider all games played in that time and decide whether to apply the sanctions and then redistribute any trophies won by RFC* in this time. SPL, SFA, SFL & UEFA would then also decide if further penalties would need to apply. UEFA especially may impose a further playing ban for the serious rule breaches.

 

  1. Entry of a NewCo is not so much a punishment that will just affect RFC* but sanctions that will apply to ALL clubs considering this route as a way to shed their debts in the future. The SPL have a decision to make here as it looks as if RFC* WILL be readmitted to the SPL for season 2012/13.

UEFA have in place a 3 year moratorium on any NewCo and I think that any sanctions should fall into line with this.
All new clubs admitted entry to the SPL following an insolvency event should face
 

  • A 3 year 10 point deduction
  • A 3 year 75% reduction in TV revenue
  • A 3 year restriction on the amount of player purchases
  • A 3 year period of ALL transfer being paid in full at time of purchase
  • A 3 year surety bond placed with the SPL to ensure that no member clubs are out of pocket at the seasons end
  • Entry ONLY after a CVA has been agreed with creditors

 
 
If this was applied to RFC* then the total punishments & sanctions if proved guilty of all wrongdoings & a NewCo given entry to play in the SPL would be
 

  • 10 point deduction for entering administration (already sanctioned by SPL)
  • £160k fine applied by SFA
  • 12 month transfer embargo applied by SFA (Under Appeal)
  • All games where wrongfully registered players played reversed to 3-0 results and all trophies redistributed to rightful winners
  • Potential further punishment by SPL, SFA, SFL & UEFA for rule breaches
  • A 3 year 10 point deduction
  • A 3 year 75% reduction in TV revenue
  • A 3 year restriction on the amount of player purchases
  • A 3 year period of ALL transfer being paid in full at time of purchase
  • A 3 year surety bond placed with the SPL to ensure that no member clubs are out of pocket at the seasons end
  • Entry ONLY after a CVA has been agreed with creditors
  • A 3 year moratorium from UEFA competitions

 
If this was the sanctions & punishments given to RFC* do you think that this would appease the fans of all the other clubs cheated by RFC* since 1998?
 
The sanctions for entry into the SPL need to be harsh enough to make clubs think twice before venturing down the route of shafting creditors and getting back into the Old Boys club without severe punishment.
 
What punishments that HMRC, the courts & other authorities may apply are another matter all together.

Comments

  1. I personally would go along with that course ov punishment, 3 years ov cutting there cloth accordingly rather than 20years ov cheating the whole ov Scottish football should finaly see if the ORCS really dont do walking away, lets see how loyal they’ll be when no trophies are coming in, no European football, mid table finishes regular and a quality ov player and football that you could find playing Sunday pub football, one last thing, ” public flogging” for minty and his lapdogs for being totally complicit in this whole discrace.. hail hail, GOD BLESS IE CELTIC+

  2. I personally would go along with that course ov punishment, 3 years ov cutting there cloth accordingly rather than 20years ov cheating the whole ov Scottish football should finaly see if the ORCS really dont do walking away, lets see how loyal they’ll be when no trophies are coming in, no European football, mid table finishes regular and a quality ov player and football that you could find playing Sunday pub football, one last thing, ” public flogging” for minty and his lapdogs for being totally complicit in this whole discrace.. hail hail, GOD BLESS IE CELTIC+

  3. Firstly, of course, we do have to recognise that by the time all of these issues have been investigated, Rangers FC will almost certainly have been liquidated. That introduces an awkward element into the options for punishing a guilty party which no longer exists. It’s a bit like exhuming a corpse in order to ritually execute it. Mind you, stranger things have happened! If it was good enough for Cromwell, it should be good enough for any other rabidly anti-Irish, Catholic-hating bigots. But we digress.
    I think that it is of the utmost importance that the dual contracts allegations are fully investigated as far back as they can possibly go and that retrospective punishments are issued comprehensively for every infraction. In the event that it is found that RFC fielded players who were not eligible to participate in competitive matches, the penalty should be what you state — a 0-3 forfeit should replace the result that currently stands in the records.
    In Cup competitions which Rangers won, it’s impossible to make full amends apart from disqualifying them and stripping their Cup wins from the official records. Every team which Rangers defeated in their half of the draw has an equal right to complain that they could have reached the final. It would be unsatisfactory to simply award the Cup to the eventual runners-up because each of the teams which lost to Rangers in the semi-final, quarter-final and preceding rounds can claim that they were unfairly deprived of the chance to reach the final. The only fair solution to that one seems to be that the Cup competition should be declared null and void for each season in which Rangers were not eliminated in the first round.
    All the results of the league competition should be re-tabulated to take account of the 0-3 forfeits. The title should accordingly be stripped from Rangers and awarded to the team which finished first according to the revised league table.
    However, in the likely event that the number of matches thus forfeited turns out to have been so many that RFC would be placed at the bottom of the league, we now have another issue — the team that WAS relegated that season should have kept its place in the top division and Rangers ought to have been relegated in their place. How can that be atoned for? For every year that Rangers wrongly occupied a place in the SPL at the expense of another club which had a stronger entitlement, they should be barred from promotion. That seems to me to be exactly commensurate with the scale of their wrongdoing. If they had ten years of SPL membership in breach of the rules then it’s only fair that they should suffer ten years of exclusion.
    That would take care of the dual contracts transgressions to my satisfaction. It’s all academic to a certain extent because the club which committed those offences won’t be around to pay the price. Nevertheless, I believe that scale of the rule breaches along with the colossal rewards which Rangers collected during the years that they took place mean that the matter must be resolved so that the records will always show that there is a determination to take the issue of deliberate cheating extremely seriously. The manner in which Rangers conducted their business for many years was a total disgrace and it would be equally disgraceful if the football authorities failed to enter the club’s shame in the official records.

  4. Firstly, of course, we do have to recognise that by the time all of these issues have been investigated, Rangers FC will almost certainly have been liquidated. That introduces an awkward element into the options for punishing a guilty party which no longer exists. It’s a bit like exhuming a corpse in order to ritually execute it. Mind you, stranger things have happened! If it was good enough for Cromwell, it should be good enough for any other rabidly anti-Irish, Catholic-hating bigots. But we digress.
    I think that it is of the utmost importance that the dual contracts allegations are fully investigated as far back as they can possibly go and that retrospective punishments are issued comprehensively for every infraction. In the event that it is found that RFC fielded players who were not eligible to participate in competitive matches, the penalty should be what you state — a 0-3 forfeit should replace the result that currently stands in the records.
    In Cup competitions which Rangers won, it’s impossible to make full amends apart from disqualifying them and stripping their Cup wins from the official records. Every team which Rangers defeated in their half of the draw has an equal right to complain that they could have reached the final. It would be unsatisfactory to simply award the Cup to the eventual runners-up because each of the teams which lost to Rangers in the semi-final, quarter-final and preceding rounds can claim that they were unfairly deprived of the chance to reach the final. The only fair solution to that one seems to be that the Cup competition should be declared null and void for each season in which Rangers were not eliminated in the first round.
    All the results of the league competition should be re-tabulated to take account of the 0-3 forfeits. The title should accordingly be stripped from Rangers and awarded to the team which finished first according to the revised league table.
    However, in the likely event that the number of matches thus forfeited turns out to have been so many that RFC would be placed at the bottom of the league, we now have another issue — the team that WAS relegated that season should have kept its place in the top division and Rangers ought to have been relegated in their place. How can that be atoned for? For every year that Rangers wrongly occupied a place in the SPL at the expense of another club which had a stronger entitlement, they should be barred from promotion. That seems to me to be exactly commensurate with the scale of their wrongdoing. If they had ten years of SPL membership in breach of the rules then it’s only fair that they should suffer ten years of exclusion.
    That would take care of the dual contracts transgressions to my satisfaction. It’s all academic to a certain extent because the club which committed those offences won’t be around to pay the price. Nevertheless, I believe that scale of the rule breaches along with the colossal rewards which Rangers collected during the years that they took place mean that the matter must be resolved so that the records will always show that there is a determination to take the issue of deliberate cheating extremely seriously. The manner in which Rangers conducted their business for many years was a total disgrace and it would be equally disgraceful if the football authorities failed to enter the club’s shame in the official records.

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