Resolution 12, the controversy that has dogged the SFA and the Celtic board for years has made a surprise return to the mainstream today.
In September 2017, having previously claimed that the £2.8m tax bill was in dispute, Stewart Regan finally referred the matter of the 2011 UEFA licence handed to the old Rangers club to his Compliance Officer. The UEFA licence was a potential life-saver for the stricken club, money from the Champions League group stage had kept the wolf from the door in each of the two previous seasons.
This time however Ally McCoist messed things up. Defeat at Malmo saw the Sheriff Officers arrive at Ibrox in August 2011, Her Majesty knew that there was no chance of seeing the £2.8m owed going back to the ineligible contracts used to entice Tore Andre Flo and Ronald de Boer away from Chelsea and Barcelona.
The initial decision to award the licence was wrong but it seems that no audit was carried out on the self-certified application completed by chairman Alastair Johnston.
When the Sheriff Officers arrived at Ibrox the SFA could have saved themselves by ordering a review, identifying mistakes and ensuing that there would be no repeat. Instead with Regan, Rod Petrie and Campbell Ogilvie at the nerve centre they hoped that the issue would go away. The cover up has now become a bigger issue than the initial decision.
After an enquiry from Celtic they were assured that all was in order and left it at that. Unfortunately, some pesky shareholders smelt a rat and took up the cause.
Shamefully after putting in an incredible amount of work uncovering evidence and running up legal costs the Celtic board ditched that invaluable service and opted to trust the SFA. That is the governing body that told them all was in order in 2011, that didn’t take action when Sheriff Officers appeared and who have body-swerved any mention of Financial Fair Play.
That is the body that the Celtic board led by Peter Lawwell put their trust in eight years after the licence was granted and two years after referring in to their Compliance Officer.
— Cluster One (@ClusterOne2) January 5, 2020
— Scottish Sun Sport (@scotsunsport) January 5, 2020
On Tuesday The Herald asked Ian Maxwell for an update on his June 2019 comment of ‘We’ll come back on that in due course. I wouldn’t want to put a timescale on it . . . but I don’t think we would let it go for ever.’
Like everything else in this matter, The Herald are still waiting for a reply.
Unfortunately for the media this isn’t an Old Firm battle. It’s an issue of governance and involves the SFA President Rod Petrie and EBT Supremo Andrew Dickson who lodged contracts with the SFA while setting up offshore trusts to plough millions of pounds to players apparently outwith the reach of HMRC.
Celtic have put no pressure on the SFA to answer their questions. Some might speculate that by pushing the matter their role in the Five Way Agreement of 2012 may come to light. It has been alleged that by not responding to the draft agreement circulated on Thur, 26 Ju 2012 21.01:21 +0100 their fingerprints are on the agreement that came into effect the following day at 10am.
The next move isn’t known but nine years after the licence was granted questions are being asked about Celtic missing out on potentially £20m from playing in the group stage of the Champions League.
Regan and Ogilvie are no longer directly involved in Scottish football, hopefully a decision will be reached while Petrie, Dickson and Lawwell are still active in the game, and answerable.