Stewart Regan’s ‘resignation’ from the SFA has attracted the attention of highly rated Charles Sale.
His sports diary in the Daily Mail is essential reading throughout England with today’s entry referring to Regan’s ‘handling of Rangers’ murky financial affairs’.
According to Sale the decision to deny a full investigation into the demise of Rangers was the real reason for the departure of the former Yorkshire cricket chief rather than his botched attempt to recruit Michael O’Neill.
Today’s diary claims: “The departure of Stewart Regan as chief executive of the Scottish Football Association last week may have had more to do with a decision made last September than recent events.
“Regan’s surprise exit has been put down to a mixture of failing to attract Northern Ireland’s Michael O’Neill as manager, a lack of sponsorship deals, uncertainty over renewing the Hampden Park lease and the organisation of long-distance friendlies against Peru and Mexico allegedly without Professional Game Board approval.
“But others believe the highly-rated Regan paid the price for alienating clubs, including all-powerful Celtic, when he was seen as the main voice behind the SFA’s rejection of a request from the Scottish Professional Football League to participate in an independent review into the handling of Rangers’ murky financial affairs.
“The SFA told clubs that ‘raking over the coals’ would further damage the image of the game in Scotland. Regan, who is prevented from speaking out by a confidentiality agreement, would not comment.”
Following the leaking of certain letters at the start of September Celtic published full details of their correspondence with the SFA over the UEFA licence given to Rangers (IL) in 2011 despite owing HMRC £2.8m in overdue taxes.
That bill related to unregistered contracts given to Ronald de Boer and Tore Andre Flo in 2000 which have gone unpunished by the SFA.
After Celtic published the correspondence and the SPFL called for an enquiry Regan decided not to ‘rake over old coals’ although he did refer the issue of the 2011 UEFA licence to the SFA’s Compliance Officer.
Five months after that announcement there has been no further comment from the SFA.