Big Mike and the SFA

Today the SFA and Mr Derek Llambias are apparently in talks about Big Mike and his growing interest in Sevco.

So I thought it a good idea to get in touch with a top football lawyer in the UK.

He has represented many of the EPL big boys at the Court of Arbitration for Sport and he is now the in house brief at a major English club.

He is also well briefed on the intricacies of Scots Law.

When faced with a technical issue beyond my understanding this is what I do dear reader.

Yes, it is more work that queuing for a press release, but this way the information is of a better standard and the accuracy is not off the radar.

Here is what he had to say on the matter of Big Mike,the SFA and Sevco.

“Further to our chat last week, I looked over the SFA articles in more detail and they do contain a revised definition of ‘club’ for the purposes of article 13 as follows: ‘club’ means any club in membership of the Scottish FA and any club in membership of an association in membership of UEFA and/or FIFA

“On the face of it therefore, Ashley and ‘Rangers’ would be in breach of the relevant rule. However, the legal situation is more complicated because of UK and EU Competition law.

“As I mentioned the legal compatibility of restrictions on Club ownership were considered by CAS and the European Commission which decided not to take the complaint  in ENIC v UEFA

“At the time, ENIC invested in several clubs (including OldCo), but UEFA adopted a rule preventing clubs in multiple ownership from participating in the same competition. ENIC challenged this on multiple grounds, including competition law. They were unsuccessful – the main reason being the need to have such rules for the sporting integrity of the competition.

“However, crucially as with all Competition law considerations even a rule with a clear justification has to be proportionate. In this case, it was the potential impact of the integrity of a competition in which an owner controlled two or more participants which was emphasised. This is obviously not applicable to the current situation as NUFC and ‘Rangers’ don’t play in the same competitions.

“In my view, the SFA rule itself is therefore not compatible with competition law and ultimately Mr Ashley and Rangers should be cleared.”

Do with that as you will.

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