The SPL Investigates Rangers Payments

I read with interest today the comments attributed to Neil Doncaster by certain areas of the Media who have reported that the SPL is set to investigate payments made by Rangers Football Club (RFC) to their players which may be in breach of SPL rules D9.3 and D1.13.

These rules “impose a prohibition on players receiving payments for playing football or participating in an activity connected with football except where such payments are made in accordance with a form of contract approved by the SPL and require that all such contracts are submitted to the SPL within 14 days of being entered into” as it was presented in a statement from the SPL.

The investigation it seems is centred around the alleged non-disclosure of payments to the SPL made by or on behalf of RFC to players since July 1st 1998. If this is found to be true then RFC will be found to be in breach of SPL rules as laid out above.

What is of real interest to me though is the strong language of intent from Neil Doncaster which has been somewhat missing from his counterpart Stewart Regan at the SFA. Mr. Doncaster it would appear, if his comments are to be interpreted correctly, will be applying the rule book in the event of RFC being found guilty of the alleged wrong doing. Comments such as “We will be looking into it and taking whatever action is necessary,” and “Our role here is to apply the SPL rule book” give the clearest indication yet that there may well indeed be serious repercussions from RFC’s fellow membership at the SPL.

It may be premature to applaud the SPL at this moment however credit must be given for Mr. Doncaster’s strong words of intent that punishment will be meted out. If only the same could be said of Mr. Regan and his colleagues at the SFA. Yes, of course the SFA have appointed Lord William Nimmo Smith to chair an independent enquiry into RFC’s recent practices and they have also advised that they are aware of the claims made by former RFC Director Hugh Adam that such payments were made to players and that the SFA will investigate, however why this stance of no further comment which seems to be the party line coming from the SFA?

The reluctance to engage in any confirmation that if RFC are found guilty of any wrong doing that conflicts with SFA policy and rules, that they will be punished as a result is astonishing. By continuing this no comment policy regarding the applying of the rules in the event of guilt, they are merely feeding the paranoia machine that operates in the West of Scotland. Come on Mr. Regan, what are you afraid of? This blog asks you directly,

” If RFC are found to be in breach of SFA rules regarding contracts, undisclosed payments or any other malpractice, will the maximum penalties for these breaches be applied?”

I won’t hold my breath for an answer (I would need an Aqua Lung if I did) but I will say well done Neil Doncaster. Credit where it is due for your transparency and defence of the SPL rule book. I would add though, don’t let yourself down should the necessary be required come the time!

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