A legacy issue that must be finally dealt with.

It is no secret that the business model that Celtic Football operates is based upon European income.

If Champions League football is not available then the club has to sell a major asset to cover their costs that season or be forced to borrow substantial sums.

Of course, supporters get emotionally attached to the players and that is part of the fascination with the game.

However, players like McGeady and Wanyama are also in the assets in the balance sheet and the people in charge of the operation can’t afford to take any of this personal.

The players certainly don’t.

It is clear that the young Kenyan was bought to be sold on if he progressed as anticipated by scouts and coaching staff.

What Champions league money means is that the club doesn’t have to sell to cover outgoings and that the sale of any player in that year will be a profit that can be re-invested in the squad.

The bottom line is that Champions league income is the key determinant in how Celtic conducts their business in any given season.

In season 2011-2012 Celtic, as runners up in the SPL, got a crack at the much less lucrative Europa League.

They were beaten by FC Sion, but those matches were forfeited by the Swiss side because they had fielded ineligible players.

Celtic were subsequently re-instated and then the Parkhead club turned in a number of creditable performances in the Group stages of UEFA’s second tier competition.

Rangers, as SPL Champions, got a crack at the big time, the Champions League.

An issue that has rumbled on from that time is whether or not the Ibrox club should have been granted a licence by UEFA for that season.

What became known as the ‘wee tax case’ may mean that Rangers were ineligible to play in Europe during Craig Whyte’s time at the top of the marble staircase.

This unpaid bill caused HMRC to have Sheriff Officers going into Ibrox and latterly having funds frozen in the club’s account.

When I learned of their impending visit I considered appropriate to arrange for a Kodak moment.

The record book shows that Rangers were put out by Malmo and then dropped into the Europa league were they were beaten by Maribor of Slovenia.

However, should Celtic have been in the Champions League match against Malmo and Hearts been in against FC Sion?

I know that Celtic are aware of the situation apropos the possibility that Rangers perhaps should not have had a licence from UEFA that season.

When this issue was originally raised I thought that SFA’s Stewart Regan was somewhat dismissive in his public responses.

There was even a petition from concerned fans containing several thousands signatures.

However, this one hasn’t’ went away you know.

In the interests of transparency I think that the people on the sixth floor at Hampden should open the files on this one.

It remains a legacy issue over Scottish football and if people think that this one will go away then I think they have miscalculated.

If Rangers played in the Champions League, however briefly, in the 2011-2012 campaign when they shouldn’t have then the real victims of that oversight is Celtic.

From assessing all the available evidence now I am strongly convinced that Rangers should not have been granted a UEFA licence for their last season on earth.

The key player in this drama was the SFA.

I believe that they should have informed UEFA that Rangers were not eligible to play in European competition that season as they had ‘overdue payables’.

However, I think that we should just put that down to an Honest Mistake and move on.

Moreover, in this new age of unipolarity I am sure that the one big remaining club in Scotland will be suitably magnanimous with the governing body.

I am reasonably confident that Celtic will consider ‘sorry’ sufficient from the SFA and draw a line under the matter.

Like Rangers it’s just history now.

No need for anyone at Hampden to take any of this personal, it’s just business.

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