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SPL Fail Play Rules and DST Response


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Financial Fair Play

 

On 30 April 2012 the SPL Clubs will consider a range of proposals to amend the Articles and Rules of the SPL. A brief description of the effect of adopting the Resolutions is provided below.

 

Resolution 1 proposes an increase in the sporting sanction (points deduction) on any Club which suffers or is subject to an Insolvency Event from 10 points to the greater of 15 points and 1/3 of the Club’s SPL points in the preceding season.

 

Resolution 2A proposes further sporting sanctions in the event that any Club undergoes an Insolvency Transfer Event (i.e. transfers its share in the SPL to a new company where this occurs because of the insolvency of the transferor) of 10 points in each of two consecutive seasons from the Insolvency Transfer Event.

 

Resolution 2B proposes revisions to the fee payment arrangements i.e. SPL fees to any Club which has undergone an Insolvency Transfer Event will be reduced by 75% in each of three consecutive seasons from the Insolvency Transfer Event.

 

Resolution 3 proposes extending sporting sanctions where an Insolvency Event is suffered by a Group Undertaking of a Member Club of the SPL (Group Undertaking is defined in Section 1161(5) of the Companies Act 2006).

 

Resolution 4 proposes updates and extensions to the definition of Insolvency Event in the SPL Rules.

 

Resolution 5 proposes updates and extensions to the definition of Insolvency Event in the SPL Articles and clarifies the process in the event that a Member which is the subject of an Insolvency Event is required to transfer its share in the Company.

 

Resolution 6 proposes a specific requirement in the SPL Rules that Clubs must pay their Players in terms of their Contracts of Service on due dates and places a duty on any Club to report any failure to pay its Players in a timely manner to the SPL. Failure to pay Players and / or to notify such failure to the SPL would be a breach of SPL Rules.

 

Resolution 7 proposes a requirement in the SPL Rules that Clubs report to the SPL any failure to make payments to HMRC in respect of PAYE and NIC (a Default Event). Any Club suffering such a Default Event will be subject to a Player Registration Embargo. Any failure to report a Default Event shall be a breach of the SPL Rules.

 

Resolutions 2B and 5 require the support of a minimum of 11 Clubs to be adopted; all other Resolutions require the support of a minimum of 8 Clubs to be adopted.

 

If adopted the amendments to the Articles and Rules will have effect from and including 14 May 2012 (the day after the last day of Season 2011/2012).

 

No further comment will be made in respect of these proposals until after the General Meeting on 30 April at which they will be considered by the Clubs.

 

http://www.scotprem.com/content/default.asp?page=s2&newsid=11256&back=home

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In summary

 

Rule 1: Much stricter points deduction if team goes into administration (bit late), would have seen rangers lose alot more points. Stable doors come to mind

 

Rule 2A: 10pt deduction for 2 seasons if a team is liquidated and a NewCo formed.  Simply not enough and I would hope that all fans of all spl clubs will be lobbying hard against this.  This only needs an 8-4 vote to pass so unfortunately seems likely to succeed unless significant pressure is put on

 

Rule 2B: 75% reduction in prize money for any NewCo.  Presumably this is to sweeten the abortion of a rule that is 2A

 

Rule 3: Seems to be targeted at Whyte

 

Rule 4: Stable doors back again

 

Rule 5: Arranging how RangersNewCo will get back in

 

Rule 6: If you're not paying your players you better tell us.....or else!

 

Rule 7: If you're not paying your taxes you better tell us......or we'll send the bogey man after you.

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Sorry to post more in response to myself but how about this for a scenario (stolen from P&B)

 

Here's the scenario (hell, we all know it by now surely?):

Club A is a very big club spending silly money with little or no chance of ever paying it back and goes into administration and is deducted, for example, 31 points. They move from being title contenders to a club struggling to stay in European contention (a moot point as they will be refused entry in any case)

Club B is a moderately sized club, but has been hamstrung by the likes of Club A and goes into administration and is deducted 15 points (based on previous season having 40 points). This club now looks like finishing the season in last place and is ultimately relegated.

-----

Club A decides that paying back creditors is more dignity than any single entity can possibly handle and decides that liquidation and transfer of SPL share is the better option (for them).

Club B takes it's medicine and is relegated.

-----

Club A, with no debts but a fan base of say 35,000+, starts in the SPL on minus 10 points and finds out it will receive only 25% of prize money that would otherwise have been awarded to it. It finishes the season 2nd and gets £500,000 in prize/tv money to add to it's turnover of forty million or so.

Club B, still in administration and struggling to do the right thing, starts in Division 1 and finishes mid-table and gets about £20,000 in prize money to help alleviate debts of a couple of million.

-----

Club A supporters laugh up their collective sleeve.

Club B supporters give up on a corrupt game along with numerous fans from other clubs.

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It certainly looks like the 'rebel 10' have already decided to let any cheating newco back into the SPL with a wee slap on the wrist that is more about appeasing angry fans than actually punishing the club!

 

I can also see a wee scam that these new rules were too late in the day to be in Place for next season and newcohuncheatingbastards will get away scot free!

 

Arseholes the lot of them! Rebel 10? More like lap dog 10

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It certainly looks like the 'rebel 10' have already decided to let any cheating newco back into the SPL with a wee slap on the wrist that is more about appeasing angry fans than actually punishing the club!

 

I can also see a wee scam that these new rules were too late in the day to be in Place for next season and newcohuncheatingbastards will get away scot free!

 

Arseholes the lot of them! Rebel 10? More like lap dog 10

 

There is no suggestion that this was drawn up by the rebel 10.  More like Topping and Doncaster (with help from Rangers admin?)

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Ooh not sure where best to discuss it now!!

 

My FB post was after the post about it not being the 10's doing! I'm wondering now if the SPL have come up with these shiny new rules to get the 10 to agree to let newco back in? Closed door agreement to let them back in but we've put together some pointless rules which chairmen can go back to their supporters with!

 

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bulshit bullshit bullshit bullshit

 

Financial Fair Play

 

Football and finance have often sat uneasily together. But with some of our clubs under intense financial pressure, it is no surprise that questions about ‘financial fair play’ have once again been raised in the context of Scottish football.

 

Crucial to an understanding of financial fair play, is an appreciation of why it is vital that clubs live within their means. This blog is an attempt to set out what is meant by ‘financial fair play’, and why prompt payment of players, the taxman and other member clubs is so important to football as a whole.

 

‘Financial fair play’ is a phrase that is often trotted out in football circles. It was one of 11 key values presented by UEFA President Michel Platini to the 2009 UEFA Congress. Its stated aim was to “restore well-being to the European club game”.

 

But what does ‘financial fair play’ really mean? UEFA’s explanation, in 2010, was that the concept would require clubs to balance their books over the medium term, not spend more than they earn, and operate within their financial means.

 

This is all seen as important for one key reason: because any club that is spending more on players than they can afford, is automatically gaining a sporting advantage over every other club it competes with. Whether the precise system of measurement used by UEFA is perfect is a moot point. But the logic behind the principle however is, I think, broadly sound. And it is this same principle that explains the position of the SPL.

 

To turn a blind eye, to allow clubs to continually fail to make prompt payments as they fall due, would be to allow those clubs to gain an unfair sporting advantage over all those other clubs that pay their players, the taxman and other clubs on time. That is one of the reasons why, whenever the SPL receives a request from players to adjudicate on their contracts, it has a duty to do so.

 

The fundamental basis of any football league is that all member clubs are treated equally. But, increasingly, leagues across the world are going further. In England, for example, the Football League routinely imposes a player embargo on clubs who fail to pay their players in full and on time. And, in League Two, clubs have accepted limits on the amounts that they can spend, relative to their income.

 

The whole issue of ‘financial fair play’ will no doubt continue to be developed across the whole of football. In the meantime, it is vital that the Scottish Premier League continue to treat all member clubs even-handedly.

 

It may put the SPL in the uncomfortable position of having to rule against member clubs in certain instances. Whenever we are requested by professional players to adjudicate on their contracts, for example, we should continue to do so. And, where appropriate, to rule in the players’ favour and to make orders for on-time payment by our member clubs.

 

The integrity of the entire League – and the long-term interests of all 12 member clubs within it – demands that we do just that.

 

More widely though, it is important that we keep the whole issue of financial fair play firmly in the spotlight. Improving our rule book and making it less likely that our member clubs end up in financial difficulty in the first place should continue to be a priority. And with this in mind, all 12 SPL member clubs will meet this Monday. On the agenda will be our existing rules on financial fair play and whether our current rule book needs improvement in the face of the financial challenges being faced by several member clubs.

 

If agreement in principle is reached, this could mean our clubs voting on new, tougher, rules on financial fair play at a general meeting, either in April or July this year. It will be a difficult debate. But it is vital that we do not shy away from these issues or bury our heads in the sand.

 

It may be uncomfortable to address these thorny problems head-on. But the long-term health and prosperity of Scottish football demands that we do just that.

 

Neil Doncaster

Chief Executive, Scottish Premier League

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As I said in the other thread, this is potentially the last straw for me. But it's a rock and a hard place.

 

Celtic and Rangers are perfectly happy for all other clubs to have zero fans, and for Scottish football to be a laughing stock, because they (rightly or wrongly) think they transcend that. They think they have some international kudos, so it doesn't matter if the fans of other clubs are driven out of the game.

 

We all know if it pleases the Old Firm, it pleases the SPL/SFA. They've marketed Scottish football as if only two teams meaningfully exist for years now, so they won't find it difficult to market it should that become more of a reality.

 

And then on the other hand, if other teams' fans AREN'T driven out of the game by injustice upon injustice, then it just means more money in their pockets.

 

The similarity between professional sport and politics is sickening for so many reasons. As punters, just like as citizens, we are completely helpless unless we finally organise ourselves to make our voices heard.

 

Are the various clubs' supporters groups having any dialogue about all this?

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This "transfer of SPL shares" thing opens up the possibility that a small club (i.e a Gretna) could purchase an SPL clubs share (i.e place in the league) for money, skipping the need to promote themselves through the SFL.

 

If Rangers are liquidated the "shares" should be transferred back to the SPL and given to the next team in the first division.

 

There is no way in hell we'd be seeing these same plans if this were Motherwell, Kilmarnock, Hearts, Aberdeen etc. in the position of potential liquidation.

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Are the various clubs' supporters groups having any dialogue about all this?

 

You would hope so.  Certainly the message boards are almost unanimous on this.  I would encourage everyone to lobby both afc but probably more importantly DST about this.  If the fans of SPL clubs are to have any say it will be organisations like DST and The Arab Trust coming together to speak out against this.

 

I suppose the fact that we have two separate leagues, spl and sfl, makes this more problematic.  NewCo could be sent down a couple of divisions if we were all in one league.  If NewCo however are kicked out of the SPL there is no where for them to go.  The SPL is the 12 Clubs, therefore be definition they will be wanting to preserve the clubs.

 

The whole thing will set a horrible precedent and destroy any remaining ideas of "Fair Play" in Scottish Football.  I suspect I'll still watch Aberdeen (hell i'd watch them in the Highland League....now there's an idea) but many will not.  Of course if any diddy team tries to liquidate to avoid massive debts a 75% cut in prize money and 10pt penalty will have a disproportionate effect on them compared to a the OF.  These rules might be well in good in the a balanced equitable league but will spell disaster for the SPL surely.

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I suppose the fact that we have two separate leagues, spl and sfl, makes this more problematic.  NewCo could be sent down a couple of divisions if we were all in one league.  If NewCo however are kicked out of the SPL there is no where for them to go.  The SPL is the 12 Clubs, therefore be definition they will be wanting to preserve the clubs.

 

What should happen is an extra  club from the SFL is promoted to the SPL and a new club enters the bottom of Div 3. Rangers  Newco can apply alongside any other club like Cove Rangers etc. Of course the SFL would let them in because of the large support they would bring.

 

It would have been really interesting if Gretna had gone out of business while still in the SPL.

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Right a few thoughts having listened to a bit of Sportsound and had a think about it.

 

In the main the resolutions are a step forward, although there is a massive element of having allowed the horse to bolt.

 

  • Harsher penalties for teams going into administration are welcome, especially the fact the relevant success of the team in the previous season is taken into account (if prev implemented Rangers would have been docked 31pts which would currently put them 6th)
  • A player registration embargo for teams not paying PAYE and NI seems sensible (although the requirement of teams confessing to this seems strange)
  • I also like the requirement for teams to pay their players on time.  Perhaps a player registration embargo could be used here too, although there would to be a degree of flexibility (see Dunfermline last month)
     

 

These are all good things.

 

The big issue is obviously the limited punishment for any NewCo allowed back into the league, and on paper the penalties for this seem to be significantly less than for administration which is just bizarre and wrong.

 

There are however a couple of questions I have, I'm not sure if anyone can help me out here:

 

  • Sportsound suggested these resolutions don't change the fact that any NewCo would still need the approval of the SPL "Board" to get back into the SPL.  Is this correct?
  • Would a NewCo be excluded from Europe for the first 3 years?  My understanding is that UEFA require ?3yrs of audited accounts for a club to be able to enter Europe.  That along with 75% reduction in Prize Money would be a significant handicap
  • If Rangers are still in Administration at the start of the season will they face a further points deduction?  And if so what date counts as the new season? (with the proposed rules they could have 20+ pts deduction)
     
     
     

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No answers for me?

 

Anyway copied from STV, edited highlights: http://sport.stv.tv/football/scottish-premier/rangers/303288-the-spl-rangers-and-newco-analysis-of-the-proposed-rule-changes/

 

 

If a club is unable to exit administration with the agreement of its creditors (what is known as a CVA), they can make an application to the SPL board to transfer their share to a new company, widely referred to as a "newco".

 

At present, there is provision in the Articles of Association for a share transfer to take place at the discretion of the SPL board. Under the new proposal, this would not change.

 

Crucially, there previous position set out no clear penalty for this. Instead it would at the discretion of the SPL board to impose any sanction it saw fit, such as a points deduction.

 

The SPL board consists of six members: Ralph Topping (SPL chairman), Neil Doncaster (SPL chief executive), Eric Riley (Celtic), Stephen Thompson (Dundee United), Derek Weir (Motherwell) and Steven Brown (St Johnstone).

 

A majority vote of four to two is required for a motion to carry. In the event of a tie, the chairman has the casting vote.

 

Under the new proposals, if a club is relegated at the end of the first season it is in newco form, the points deduction is not suspended awaiting their return to the SPL. Any promotion back to the top flight would see them start with a clean slate.

 

Similarly, any newco points penalty would not be picked up and imposed by the Scottish Football League.

 

It is also important to note that, in the SPL's eyes, "a club" would not cease to exist if a share is transferred. If Rangers' share is transferred from oldco to newco, they would not be required to have a new club name, new badge or new colours and their SPL record would be preserved.

 

It is clear then that the SPL is providing two clear options to clubs looking to exit administration. Either they successfully come out of the process via a CVA, or they ask for a share transfer having failed to secure agreement with their creditors.

 

The SPL believe both resolution 2A and 2B combined not only bring clarity to the situation where a club is looking to go down the newco route, but also make it significantly more desirable for clubs to attempt to agree a CVA.

 

Clubs which successfully come out of administration via a CVA are not hit with any further sanctions, both under the current and new proposed rules.

 

If you read the whole thing it does seem to indicate a tightening of the rules compared to what was already in existence and means any NewCo will have significantly more penalties if they opt for a share transfer, directly targeted at Rangers.

 

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It's an absolute fucking nonsense and a complete disgrace.

 

10 point deduction for two years and decreased revenue for three, for going out of business?

 

Fuck Financial Fair Play, it's more like Financial Fair Game. It'll be interesting to see if the publishing of such lax restrictions on organised cheating will see a few more chancers and crooks buying Scottish football clubs.

 

For us: Spend some money in the summer to try to get a Champions League slot if we make it and get to  the group stages we've covered the excess spend and a proportion of our debt. If it doesn't work go into admin before the end of the season take the 15 point hit then liquidate AFC 1903 Plc. and form a Newco. Two seasons of better players to counteract the 10 point per season deduction and just in time for the new ground creating greater internal revenue to compensate for the loss in SPL revenue.

 

;D

 

Seems odd that no one bought Gretna to claim their SPL "share" if the previous rules were even less existent.

 

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There are however a couple of questions I have, I'm not sure if anyone can help me out here:

 

  • Sportsound suggested these resolutions don't change the fact that any NewCo would still need the approval of the SPL "Board" to get back into the SPL.  Is this correct?
  • Would a NewCo be excluded from Europe for the first 3 years?  My understanding is that UEFA require ?3yrs of audited accounts for a club to be able to enter Europe.  That along with 75% reduction in Prize Money would be a significant handicap
  • If Rangers are still in Administration at the start of the season will they face a further points deduction?  And if so what date counts as the new season? (with the proposed rules they could have 20+ pts deduction)

 

Yes, Yes and Yes although not sure of the date. Logic would suggest it's the day the 12/13 fixtures are announced but who knows. There will a date set somewhere which dictates exactly when Ross County become an SPL member.

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Rangers fans in "even dummer than I thought" shocker

 

http://sport.stv.tv/football/scottish-premier/rangers/303335-rangers-fans-group-threaten-away-boycott-if-spl-rule-changes-approved/

 

Rangers supporters have threatened a boycott of away games if plans for new sanctions on insolvent SPL clubs come to fruition.

 

Proposals have been made to impose stricter points penalties on clubs which go into administration, as well as punishing clubs who fail to pay their players or meet obligations to pay tax.

 

Clear consequences for teams choosing to form a newco and transfer their league share have also been set out in the resolutions, with a planned ten point deduction for two consecutive seasons.

 

The proposals for newco clubs have been viewed by many Rangers fans as too severe and the Rangers Supporters Trust say they will consider suggesting travelling supporters avoid away travel, if clubs vote through the amendments.

 

A statement from the group read: “The board of the Rangers Supporters Trust, like other fans of the club, are not in the least surprised by the actions and timing of the SPL decision to vote on rule changes which has now further delayed a future takeover of Rangers.

 

“Given the severity of the possible sanctions, and their impact on any club who may also fall on hard times through mismanagement, it leaves us little option to give serious consideration of calling for a boycott of away fixtures by Rangers fans next season; specifically targeting those clubs who have rushed through the proposals to punish our club with these excessive and draconian penalties.

 

“We will discuss this in the near future with our sister organisations the Rangers Supporters Association and Assembly to maximise impact and collate ideas on how a boycott could be facilitated if deemed necessary.

 

“There appears to be a change in attitude within our support and a unified determination not seen before as we again see another attempt to persecute our club whilst we are at our most vulnerable.

 

“It may also be important to consider how these severe penalties, currently aimed at one club in particular, will impact future league and club sponsorship and have a secondary impact on all clubs reducing the stature of Scottish football as a whole.

 

“With this in mind we will contact several of the main sponsors to seek their thoughts on how these sanctions would affect their level of investment given the obvious inevitable decreasing level of competitiveness in the SPL in future.”

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“With this in mind we will contact several of the main sponsors to seek their thoughts on how these sanctions would affect their level of investment given the obvious inevitable decreasing level of competitiveness in the SPL in future.”

 

Doesn't seem to have been a concern for then EVER before now??????

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