On Rule 66

It is still difficult to quantify the long term consequences of the decision made yesterday by Lord Glennie.

However, one thing is clear.

Duff & Phelps have a scored the type of own goal that will have an impact on Scottish football long after they have left the scene.

It is perhaps a result of the trauma they have been through since mid-February that this court ruling was seized upon by Rangers supporters as a great victory.

It isn’t.

What lord Glennie noted was that the 12 month transfer embargo was not available to the SFA as a sanction.

The explicit punishments stated in the SFA’s rule 66 are a maximum £100,000 fine, suspension or expulsion from participation in the game, ejection from the Scottish Cup or termination of membership.

The fine has already been imposed, but was considered by the original tribunal to be insufficient for the crimes committed by the Ibrox club.

Lord Glennie inserted the crucial caveat at the end of his ruling.

He told Rangers that they should not expect a lighter punishment when their case is re-assessed by the Appellant Tribunal.

I called a member of the SFA’s 100 strong “taxi rank” of judicial panel members.

He told me that it was his understanding that the case would go back to Lord Carloway, Allan Cowan and Craig Graham.

Lord Glennie did not find in Rangers favour regarding their guilt.

He was not asked to do so.

Therefore the Ibrox club remain guilty of what the original judicial panel report stated that, in their view, “only match fixing in its various forms might be a more serious breach” than the financial irregularities committed by Rangers.

The report, mainly authored by chairman Gary Allan QC, revealed that the tribunal had considered suspension of membership of the SFA to be an “appropriately severe punishment”, but had, in the final analysis, deemed it “too severe”.

The Appellant Tribunal under Lord Carloway concurred.

Now they have to look again at the sanctions that are written down under Rule 66.

There is little wriggle room and Rangers are not off the hook on this one.

What also could happen now is that the SFA can take action against the Ibrox club for seeking redress in the civil courts.

If the domestic association decides to turn a blind eye to this then FIFA have already issued a strong statement.

They want the SFA to act on Rangers for going outside the normal football channels.

Quite simply if the guys at Hampden don’t move on this one then FIFA will want a word with Mr Regan!

That this is all unfolding as “the great administrator” Campbell Ogilvie is SFA president is wonderfully ironic.

Leave a Reply