Who's The Daddy ? SFA or UEFA

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.

THE SCOTTISH FA AND ITS MEMBERSHIP
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
Statutes;
(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
Statutes;
(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…