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Who’s The Daddy ? SFA or UEFA

In the light of the UEFA decision to close a section of Ibrox for their next European game, Auldheid asks why the thought of a similar sanction for similar offences has yet to occur to the SFA 


When UEFA announced sanctions on 25th August against The Rangers Football Ltd for sectarian singing in a UEFA Europa League qualifying game against St Josephs, Gibraltar, the same singing that was heard regularly at Ibrox in domestic competition, the question it gave rise to is why haven’t the SFA/SPFL done nothing similar to discourage what is a breach of their own rules?

It is not a question asked because folk expect an answer, quite the reverse, it is to point out a generally held belief that SFA/SPFL will do nothing because of a history, especially from 2012 , of neither applying their rules because of the fear of the consequences for the game in Scotland, where both view its survival as being dependent on Rangers FC Ltd being able to take part, preferably as genuine title contender , otherwise their support will melt away as it did in the mid 80s.

It is a belief supported by the main stream media on paper and broadcasting because their jobs depend on football being competitive so they can write/comment about an exciting game to a wider audience. A bit of a perfect storm of which the SFA/SPFL are aware, but are UEFA? Well enough aware to ask if the SFA are complying with their obligations to UEFA authority by applying SFA rules as UEFA intend?
The nerdy bit is next taken from The SFA Handbook 2018/19 but the key point is highlighted and its worth reading to make sense of what follows.

3. The Scottish FA
The Scottish FA is a member of FIFA and UEFA. Accordingly, it is itself obliged to:-
(a) observe the principles of loyalty, integrity and sportsmanship in accordance
with the principles of fair play;
(b) comply with the statutes, regulations, directives, codes and decisions and the
International Match Calendar of FIFA, UEFA and the Court of Arbitration for
Sport, and the Laws of the Game;
(c) recognise and submit to the jurisdiction of the Court of Arbitration for Sport
as specified in the relevant provisions of the FIFA Statutes and the UEFA
(d) use its best endeavours, to the extent legally permissible, to procure that
in the final instance any dispute arising under these Articles (and which is
referred to it) is determined by arbitration pursuant to Article 99; and
(e) use its best endeavours to ensure that the leagues, clubs, players, officials,
matches and Players’ Agents under its jurisdiction (through their statutes,
licences, regulations or any other written document) acknowledge and
accept all the above mentioned obligations and agree to be bound by and
observe these Articles.
5. Obligations and Duties of Members
5.1 All members shall:-
(a) observe the principles of loyalty, integrity and sportsmanship in accordance
with the rules of fair play;
(b) be subject to and shall comply with:-
(i) these Articles;
(ii) the Judicial Panel Protocol;
(iii) the Challenge Cup Competition Rules;
(iv) the Registration Procedures;
(v) International Match Calendar;
(vi) Club Licensing Procedures; and
(vii) any statutes, regulations, directives, codes, decisions promulgated
by the Board, the Professional Game Board, the Non-Professional
Game Board, the Judicial Panel, a Committee or sub-committee,
FIFA, UEFA or the Court of Arbitration for Sport;
(c) recognise and submit to the jurisdiction of the Court of Arbitration for Sport
as specified in the relevant provisions of the FIFA Statutes and the UEFA
(d) respect the Laws of the Game;
(e) refrain from engaging in any activity, practice or conduct which would constitute an offence under sections 1, 2 or 6 of the Bribery Act 2010; and
(f) behave towards the Scottish FA and other members with the utmost good faith.


SFA Article 3 begs the question of the SFA/SPFL (the latter who have a similar obligation, note “obligation”) which is

Are they in breach of UEFA rules as a national association and a national league subservient to the SFA and are SFA subservient to UEFA as Article 3 suggests?

There seems no doubt The Rangers FC Ltd are in breach of Article 5, indeed it is the same catch all rule that has been used to bring charges of non-compliance with UEFA FFP rules regarding tax overdue payables in the application for and submissions made in 2011 to obtain and retain a UEFA licence by The Rangers FC PLC as was and we are still waiting a decision from the SFA how they will progress the case, reportedly after an agreement in the 5 Way Agreement required the SFA to surrender their own powers under their Judicial Panel Protocol to the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) when the Judicial Panel Disciplinary Tribunal (JPDT) met in June 2018 to consider charges under Article 5 :Obligation and Duties of Members.
The point here is where are UEFA in all of this?
Is their aim to keep doing the SFA’s job for them when the SFA have a clear responsibility to act or should the SFA be held to be in breach by UEFA?
If UEFA were to look at the secret 5 Way agreement would they accept that it complied with SFA responsibilities to UEFA under SFA Article 3 , in particular did it conflict in any way with UEFA FFP Article 12 designed to protect the integrity of UEFA competitions from clubs ditching debt to enable them to continue as the club before with the same sporting history, whose honesty from 2000 to 2011 was upheld in Scotland by a premature and bizarre decision by the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission (established by the then SPL ), a decision enabled by the non-disclosure by RFC PLC of evidence of dishonesty.
Where UEFA ever asked their opinion by the SFA about the alignment of what was agreed under the 5 Way Agreement and the principles that govern UEFA rules that the SFA are obliged to follow?
If not, should UEFA have been involved or are the rules of the SFA and UEFA meaningless because there is no will or means to apply them as UEFA intend?
If UEFA can step in and do the SFA’s job for them on sectarian singing, then why cannot other failures to apply the rules as UEFA intend be examined without the approval of the offending parties, be they the SFA or member clubs?
Do the supporters of clubs have any rights to ask UEFA direct to investigate where corruption of the rules is suspected or is football a closed shop outwith even its own laws? 

Ralph adds;

There’s only one way to find out…

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Ian Mcguigan
2 years ago

Great article.

2 years ago

Well said Auldheid.
Keep it up Etims.
Respect and Hail Hail

2 years ago

The answer Ralph is of course we should.

Since you Auldheid and your fellow Resolutioners discovered and then began to highlight Scottish football governance (or lack of it) the fraud-cheating our club out of the C.L. qualifiers 2011-12. Then we found out about the secret 5way agreement: The SFA-SPL- SFL- Oldco- newco. Lets just think about that, A SECRET AGREEMENT, stitched together that wee blue-hued-book, that dictates the policy of Scottish football governance. Then we had The Lord Nimmo Smith Commission, that SFA directed whitewash, that whitened makeover that once again shames our game. The “move oners” of the SPFL clubs, the Scottish media, the custodians of our once proud club. I say once proud, because in my opinion they have brought shame to our club, because of their seeming complicity in these shameful secrets. A convicted criminal in charge of Sevco. Racist, Sectarian singing throughout the Scottish game. When you realise all that’s gone on before since 2000, you begin to ask yourselves “how can all of that ^ lead to the game in Scotland be ever becoming clean again?” Well a lot of us do care and will do all that we can to help to clean it up. Scottish football governance needs to be cleansed and the sooner the better, no matter the fall out…

2 years ago


I’ve always been of the opinion that we should dust down the 70s/80s songbook and give it laldy. Make sure that strict liability is enforced as a result.

Points deductions,closure of stands or stadia.

Thing is,we can stop it on the same whim that we started it.

They can’t.

Start the war,let them mobilise. Let them shoot themselves in the foot.

2 years ago


2 years ago
Reply to  Monti


2 years ago

Excellent article and analysis.

2 years ago

Sack Lawwell and back the team.Back Tom Boyd. Back UEFA.

2 years ago

Blue-mailed. Who runs Scottish football?

The BBC- Could what happened to Bury, happen to a club in Scotland?
The STV- Traverso’s letter part redacted, same club.
The SFA- Same club, 5way, LNS, Being told what to write, by “Rangers”.
run by the “Raingurs”.
The SPFL.- Same club, move-on, look away and sing Dixie.
The Scottish (cough) press, There’s lies, damned lies and press lies.
God Bless Turnbull Hutton, a pox on those that Govern Scottish fitbaw.
Gretna, Airdrie and the “Raingurs” RIP.

2 years ago

In a fair world not full of fear and bitterness the system would operate equally. In Scotia anything Irish/catholic is seen as a virus to be contained.
If you consider the vitriol about Tom Boyd and his so called hate comments that could lead to violence in the media, but the happenings at Kilmarnock, breaking into the stadium, wrecking the disabled section etc; that of course is at the feet of Kilmarnock, not the mighty Rankers
Do u seriously think that there will be any change, even today comments made in the media demanding UEFA look at other clubs in Europe regarding sectarianism and sexy things, whatever that means
The only way out for Celtic is to move towards some form of European league as nothing will change in grea little Scotia

2 years ago

My mate is a blue nose not a hun. His son (aged50) has supported Celtic since primary school….we told him what Boyd said and he burst out laughing. He actually agreed with Boyd. So there are some decent bluenoses….just not enough.

2 years ago
Reply to  Tyrone9

Is there aye?

2 years ago


“So there are some decent Bluenoses…..just not enough.”
Well seen as you have the inside track could you please tell the rest of us where they all are. Because I have yet to see any of the so called decent ones.

2 years ago

ibrox should have been closed years ago, it’s a meeting ground to display hate, specifically a hatred of Catholics & the Irish.
Decade after decade the majority in that rat pit sing racist & sectarian sings, knowing the SFA will do nothing, because decade after decade they have ” friends ” in the main positions at the SFA.

They are ill!

2 years ago

The decent ones?liars one and all about the cheating,same club shite and Hun referees, EBTs.Celtic boys club is their only comeback,ignoring what went on in their own glass palace

James Hogan
2 years ago

Two words sum this all up ‘Old Firm’ an odious term that died in 2012. Celtic should be making it clear we have no association with this term, it should be challenged at every opportunity.We as fans (some who know the score) do. The club is silent as this is the term Sky et al sell!!
Follow the money, simple.
The pre 2012 club were guilty of the same charge if my memory serves me correct by Uefa, 2nd offence?
No first, as Uefa recognise they are a 7 year old club.
I do believe another charge is in the pipeline and this ‘anyone’ was pure deflection straight out of the Jabba book

2 years ago

The only teams who would suffer from a European ban are the teams who regularly play in Europe. Mostly OURSELVES! It would not make one iota of a difference to anyone else. Sevco maybel. If they survive long enough to see such a ban

2 years ago

In cases where other national associations have been lax UEFA prefer to set conditions to improve standard rather than take a route that would be most likely challenged in law by innocent clubs.

I doubt that is the reason for Celtic have been lax in pursuit,if it had been we would have been told. The best we get is “other clubs have no appetite to pursue it” and “you don’t want to bite the hand that feeds you.”

What is left does not bear thinking about.

You mad about ETims or just plain mad? Why not buy the t-shirt at