Celtic’s board has been silent on the long running issue of the 2011 UEFA licence given to Rangers by the SFA despite having a clearly overdue tax bill of £2.8m at 31 March.
Rather than settle that bill, which dated back more than a decade, the Ibrox club had pumped every penny into their playing squad to win the 2010/11 SPL title.
Thanks mainly to the goals of Nikita Jelavic they managed that. Celtic lost out on a place in the Champions League qualifiers and a potential £20m windfall from reaching the group stages. When the club went into liquidation in June 2012 part of the transfer fee was still owed to Rapid Vienna with the £2.8m ‘wee tax case’ also among 278 creditors.
In the previous seasons two Champions League spots were open to the SPL but with that reduced to only the league winners in 2010/11 winning the title carried far greater significance.
Strangely the board of Celtic have been reluctant to pursue this issue with the SFA. Rod Petrie was on the 2011 Licence Committee as was Andrew Dickson. Petrie is now President of the SFA, voted in unopposed by Celtic last summer, Dickson is one of the six strong SPFL members that sits on the SFA Congress.
The ongoing modernisation of the Scottish FA’s governance manifested itself in the creation of a new Congress in 2015: the national game’s first fully-representative group of stakeholders.
It was the culmination of a two-year process of evolving the traditional Scottish FA Council and making it a more functional and inclusive body to debate, discuss and make recommendations on the key issues affecting the game.
Since the 2013 Celtic AGM the club has been asked about the 2011 licence, a dedicated and diligent band of shareholders have provided evidence to the nth degree of how the club lost out due to the failures of the SFA to apply the licence rules set out by UEFA.
After a two year investigation, and 24 hours after the 2019/20 SPFL Premiership was declared and after investigating themselves the SFA announced:
Following consideration of the implications of such a referral, including legal opinion, it was the board’s unanimous position that this matter should not be referred to CAS. The Scottish FA now considers the matter to be closed.
Celtic have yet to comment, however on the Sentinel Celts website one of the Requisitioners shareholders provided fans and other shareholders with an update on the matter.
What is emerging is that Rangers successors in effect got a pardon for the crimes of their predecessors so both the LNS sham and Res12 were never going to see justice done.
What is nigh unforgiveable is that Celtic, having accepted the 5 Way Agreement containing amongst other things the CAS referral clause that in effect has provided a pardon, not only refused to put the UEFA Licence issue before UEFA TWICE but insisted their shareholders follow the SFA Judicial Process, which they then refused to question after 2 AGMs, knowing all along that the 5 Way Agreement would prevent justice being served.
The SFA have now in effect turned the spotlight back on Peter Lawwell personally whose record of deception in terms of saying something to give the impression of being on shareholders side in the pursuit of justice and a reformed SFA, in fact did nothing to follow up when hard evidence was provided, which is exactly what I said with a few sfa expletives deleted included at one of the meetings with the Company Sec about three years go. (I think Morrisey missed it Mags but he would have been proud of me).
The SFA have put Celtic and the governance of Scottish football direct in the spotlight by their statement without an explanation for closing the matter.
Closure will be obtained if an explanation that sets out whether the licence was processed within the rules in 2011 (and there is one about telling the truth) that there was no breaches of two Articles governing overdue payables OR the other Article requiring Rangers to notify the SFA of any change in circumstances since they granted the licence on 19th April 2011. A change which happened on 20th May six days before UEFA were notified of Scottish clubs to whom licence had been granted.
All else is avoidance.
Anything less is dereliction of duty by the SFA to carry out their responsibility to administer THEIR judicial protocol on which the credibility of Scottish football depends.
When supporters buy an ST for loyalty reasons what assurances can clubs give that the rules on which the game depends are being upheld without fear or favour when Petrie an architect of the 5 Way Agreement can sit as Chairman on The SFA Board that have decided to stop investigating the basis of the decision by the Licensing Committee that Petrie chaired in 2011?
Celtic still are answerable to their shareholders at AGMs, which is where this will go next unless they make a statement either that no deception took place and support it or that it did, but in the long term interests of Scottish football they will not pursue the compensation that the evidence at https://www.res12.uk/ suggests they are entitled to seek.
It matters nought that any resolution gets voted down at an AGM, that is the place where CEOs and Directors are held accountable to shareholders and if it reveals beyond reasonable doubt that shareholders were lied to from 2013, then The Board may still remain in a job, they may be great business men (earning a few bob ) but their continuing presence will rob Celtic of any claim to be more than a club, the emotional tag that drew me back to Celtic after years of enjoying watch my kids play football.
At the 2019 Celtic AGM chairman Ian Bankier expressed a wish that everyone moved on and concentrated on current issues. With Petrie, Dickson and other placemen all in positions of power many shareholders will wait for answers and explanations before following the wishes of the Celtic chairman.