Accountability via Transparency.

Where transparency exists accountability inevitably follows.​

This is an extract from a post on SFM from 2015. The subject was Transparency and Slow Glass.

The message then was that football governance has to catch up in realising that football has to become more transparent in its dealing with supporters and so more accountable to them.
That transparency is already here via social media because of the ability to share, but the light of truth is constrained by Slow Glass.
Slow Glass from a short story by Bob Shaw slows down the light passing through it.
In the story and others, you have Slow Glass of different thickness in terms of the time it takes for the light to emerge.
You have Glass a day thick/long to Glass ten years thick/long and more.

Resolution 12, if measured from the Celtic AGM in 2013 when it was tabled and adjourned, has taken 6 years for the light of truth to emerge, although it could have happened sooner had main stream media removed the dust of PR that slows the light, but light is inexorable and it is emerging at an archive of events since 2011 that can be read at 

It is in two parts.

Part One
relates to events in 2011/12 including a very interesting link between UEFA Licence 2011 and the commissioning of Lord Nimmo Smith to investigate use of EBTs with side letters by Rangers FC where non-disclosure benefited Rangers FC in 2011 AND 2012.

Part Two
concentrates SFA activity (or lack of it) from 2014 to date as result of the adjournment of Resolution 12 in November 2013 that provided shareholders with the authority to seek answers.
The archive has been constructed in chronological sequence to help readers understand better the detail and separate what took place in 2011/12 which is in the past, from the SFA handling of shareholders legitimate enquiries from 2014/15 to date, which remains current and is a mirror of SFA performance in respect of the national football team.
Many narratives will emerge as a result of the transparency, some Celtic related, but a system of governance, that is accountable in some way to supporters as stakeholders in the game, can only benefit the supporters of all clubs and they are encouraged to read through the archive.

As Phil Mac Giolla Bhain has written here in respect of Celtic and the SFA

accountability has to be the outcome of transparency to wipe the face and soul of Scottish football clean.

How that is achieved will be up to Scottish football supporters everywhere to take forward via their Associations and Trusts, in collaboration with the clubs they support, but it does seem to me, and I know others with more legal experience, that the SFA would find it difficult to resist a challenge to their refusal to engage with people (in this case minority shareholders of member clubs) who are affected by decisions that they make.

1,204 thoughts on “Accountability via Transparency.”

  1. My version of the business ( quite technical business) in Court today. As ever, it's what I heard clearly enough to more or less get down in the words used. Nothing false has been deliberately added, and I think it's a fairly accurate report. I think eJ has mentioned that there was certainly an element of asperity and there has clearly been no real meeting of minds between the two Qcs.

    It's possible that there is an underlying question relating to the admission by the Senior Investigating Officer of 'errors' : the question as to the nature of the error(s) and the source.


    Before Lord Bannatyne.


    David Grier v Chief Constable , Police Scotland.


    Court sat at 10.30 a.m. 21st June 2019, in Courtroom 6, Parliament House.



    Mr Smith QC: Good morning, my Lord.

    I and Mr McLeod , my Junior, are acting on behalf of the Pursuer, and my Learned friend Mr Duncan and Miss Lloyd are acting for the Defender.


    You will know, my Lord, that much of this case has been litigated in the Sheriff Court and comes here for various reasons. I have provided you with a note..


    Lord Bannatyne: I have read your note…


    Mr Smith: The first question that arises, my Lord, is whether the case should be accepted by this Court?

    Lord B: I see no .. I think it's basically a commercial matter. Mr Duncan?


    Mr Duncan: Yes, I think it should be the Commercial Court.

    Lord B: Yes, we have seen cases like this often enough.


    Mr Smith: My Lord, I think that further procedure should be a matter of some agreement. What I would ask is that maybe in 6 or 7 weeks' time [?]for a period of adjustment. [ed: I think Mr Smith was looking for the Court to ask for something from Parties within a couple of weeks, and then another few weeks for adjustments before any hearing]


    The case has thus far been litigated by reference to a Scott schedule [ ed. In commercial cases this is “a table setting out certain information about the claim. It could take a lot of different forms, depending on the matter in dispute, and it could be short and simple or long and complicated.]


    It took to the end of February before we were advised of errors by the Senior Investigating Officer.


    Lord B: Having read the papers, that's where we are going. There's a suggestion that certain material issues could be debated, thus limiting the extent of any Proof. Should there be a debate on certain issues?

    It's important to make a decision, otherwise procedural hearing could go off in different issues. Can you say what is the status of the Scott schedule?What did the Sheriff do? I would abandon …


    Mr Smith : I understand, my Lord. The case as pled was essentially overtaken by the Scott schedule. For my part, I want to adjust the pleadings to make the averments include reference to the statement of admission. The purpose of the adjustment is to adduce the point in the status of the Scott schedule: I want to debate the defender's lack of defence.


    Lord B: We don't want to go off in all kinds of ways.


    Mr Duncan: My Lord, I believe there are two things to be done; First, we have to decide what are the issues, secondly, we have to decide how we are to deal with them. Your lordship has seen my note?

    Lord B: yes.


    Mr Duncan: [ ed: failed to hear what he briefly said]


    Lord B: Mr Smith, this case needs to be nailed down. Would it not be better if we took some more time? Should we agree to have a procedural hearing in about 3 to 4 weeks' time. And at that hearing decide whether to abandon the pleadings and work on the Scott schedule? {ed: apparently there are about one hundred and four pages of pleadings]


    Mr Smith: I don't quarrel with that. But I do want to adjust the pleadings, to delete stuff, and perhaps halve the proceedings.


    Lord B: I was intending to put it out for a day.


    Mr Duncan: I agree with that.


    Lord B: What would you think, Mr Smith?


    Mr Smith: I think the parties should liaise to seek agreement about the issues to be discussed.


    Lord B: yes. Parties should set out in a joint note, or two notes, what they think are the points they wish to argue. Then I could decide whether there is a need for debate.

    There are various side-issues, for example the status of expert witnesses, and various other issues that need to be looked at.


    Mr Smith: [ ed: didn't get his remarks]


    Lord B: I could fix a summary decree motion…if you say the matter can be dealt with by summary decree motion? Mr Duncan?


    Mr Duncan: Absolutely, my Lord. I must make the point that what the Pursuer says about Lord Mulholland [ ed: Lord Mulholland stepped down as Lord Advocate in 2016. He was, of course, in office at the time the action against Grier was taken]


    Lord B: Well, I don't think at this stage we want to go into all the various matters.


    Mr Smith:If we are to have a short procedural hearing in two weeks' time then there are documents in the possession of the police that ought to be handed over. I have been asking for them for some time.

    Lord Bannatyne: Mr Duncan?


    Mr Duncan: I'm not sure which documents my learned friend means. But I'll look into it.


    Mr Smith: With respect, my Lord, looking into it is not good enough. I would ask your Lordship to make an order .


    Lord B: Is there a letter your agents have listing the documents?


    Mr Smith: There has been correspondence and emails, my Lord. I do not have anything to hand.


    Lord B: Can you let me have the email in due course?


    Mr Smith: Yes, of course, my Lord.


    Lord B: The more I think about it, the more I think we need a procedural hearing.

    I need notes from Parties in order to get set on track.

    I will set a date.

    Preferably a joint paper, notes to be lodged at least 5 days before the date, and a note about what the pleadings are going to be, etc .

    [ Consults with Clerk with calendar]

    Friday 12th July.


    Mr Duncan: Can I ask that we have a later start, my Lord: I shall be in London that morning and need some time to travel back.

    Lord Bannatyne: Well, if we make it midday you won't have to catch the very first flight.


    Right, 12th July, midday.


    Thank you, gentlemen.”


    Court rose at about 11.30.



  2. Corrupt official 21st June 2019 at 19:52
    If, and when….Celtic win 9 IAR I imagine the following season when Celtic are attempting 10, that would be the optimum time to put it to the fans to dig deep. ,
    Dig Deep to stop 10 in a row slogan would be even too embarrassing for them to come out with. To do that would underline they are not equal to celtic but in their shadow,and it is not about the ibrox club going for their first title but all about the ibrox club stopping celtic going for ten.

  3. Ex Ludo 21st June 2019 at 17:38

    StevieBC@10.52 Never mind the millions landing at Firhill, it’s all about the “big data” analytics.


    Ah, but Ex Ludo, I fear that these investors could be onto plums.

    Yes, Big Data and continuously tweaked and refined algorithms, variables and weightings does have a place in sports – as proved in the States.

    But, in this scenario with Patrick Thistle, I would suggest that NO algorithms could account for the vagaries of Scottish football.

    Outright corruption, fixed cup draws, dodgy refs, 4 penalties for one team, inconsistent refereeing decisions, inconsistent disciplinary decisions, etc…

    Too many outliers in Scottish football. 


    And just what would an Americans make of the SFA or SPFL?

    They would be taking the blazers to Court on a very regular basis, and exploiting every dodgy precedent set by RFC/TRFC!

  4. My post of 20.15 refers ( the Court proceedings)

    On re-reading I find I did not complete a sentence. It's at this point

    " Mr Duncan: Absolutely, my Lord. I must make the point that what the Pursuer says about Lord Mulholland [ ed: Lord Mulholland stepped down as Lord Advocate in 2016. He was, of course, in office at the time the action against Grier was taken]..

    the end of the sentence is " is outrageous!"

    And Mr Duncan spoke with some feeling when he said that. 

  5. In addition to having advised sportspersons on media related issues William has experience of advising on sports contracts (including Formula One) and has experience of contractual disputes in boxing (Calzaghe v Warren) and football, having been instructed on behalf of Glasgow Rangers FC in its long-running dispute with Sports Direct over their commercial relationship.  

  6. sannoffymesssoitizz 22nd June 2019 at 18:37

        "In addition to having advised sportspersons on media related issues William has experience of advising on sports contracts (including Formula One) and has experience of contractual disputes in boxing (Calzaghe v Warren) and football, having been instructed on behalf of Glasgow Rangers FC in its long-running dispute with Sports Direct over their commercial relationship.


          Funnily enough, subtley pointing out that he offers advice, (which may, or not, be taken) and drops in a few successful outcomes, as back-up…….But ultimately, he still has tae dae wit he's telt …….. crying

    Dead clever these lawyers.  

  7. Jingso.Jimsie 22nd June 2019 at 11:08
    9 0 Rate This

    Rather long piece by Martin Williams in the Herald about RIFC challenging Mr. Justice Persey’s findings:
    High Court judge Lionel Persey said he had “no hesitation” in rejecting Rangers’ approach over changing certain rights in their agreement.

    His judgment came as it emerged that the Rangers Megastore at Ibrox, which is run by Sports Direct as part of their agreement was shut down over a week ago.
    Mr Persey said Rangers wished to rewrite or amend some of the payment terms in the agreement but said: “There is no basis for it to do so unless SDIR agrees.”
    That is a challenge right enough.
    The club and SDIR had agreed that the Mike Ashley company does have the right to distribute, market, advertise, promote, offer for sale or sell the official Rangers kit under the further agreement. The ruling stated that Rangers objected to three of Sports Direct’s amendments based on that understanding. But Mr Persey said that he considered there was no substance to the objections.
    The duration of the contract was two years, commencing August 1, 2018.
    Just how king can spin the latest to the gullibles to get them to run up the steps i can’t wait.

  8. Corrupt official 22nd June 2019 at 20:20

    '..Dead clever these lawyers….'


    Are we speaking of William McCormick QC, who appeared for  King and Murray ( and TRFC and Rangers Retail) before Mr Richard Millett QC(sitting as a Deputy Judge of the (English) High Court on 22 March 2017?

    Para 28 of the judgment after that hearing has this:

    "Even by this early point it ought to have been obvious to all Defendants that Mr King and Mr Murray's positions as directors of the Company were hopelessly conflicted. On the other hand, the positions of the SDI-appointed directors to the Company's board were more closely aligned with the interests of the Company. It may very well have been the case that the business of the Company relied upon relationships with other entities in the Sports Direct group which were disadvantageous to the Company. That is a point of which Mr King makes much in his evidence, and much was made by Mr McCormick QC in his submissions on behalf of the Defendants. However, even if that were so, it ought not to have disabled the Company's board from seeking to uphold the IPLA and thereby protect its sole asset and revenue stream. The relevant comparator was between an allegedly disadvantageous IPLA and no IPLA at all, and ergo no business at all for the Company. "

    It doesn't seem too clever to me to be defending two members of the Board of Rangers Retail Ltd who, as also being directors of TRFC Ltd, were  acting (via boycott-support and purported termination of the deal that TRFC Ltd has with Rangers Retail ) not in the interests of Rangers Retail [ as they had a fiduciary duty to do] but in the interests of TRFC Ltd. 

    If it ought to have been obvious to King and Murray that they were 'hopelessly conflicted" how much more obvious ought it to have been to 'one of Her Majesty's Counsel, learned in the law'? broken heart









  9. Shirley, Gerrard's advisers are frantically searching for a new club down south?

    He's had an OK rookie season – and his stock could be as high as it can ever get with TRFC.


    He is limited to Bosmans and loanees to improve his squad, and deliver silverware.  Even a highly experienced manager might struggle to satisfy Ibrox expectations with such meagre resources.


    CFC is spending £3M+ on a teenager with a lot of potential, (…has he actually signed yet?).

    TRFC simply can't compete with that level of investment.


    If Gerrard doesn't get his team to overachieve next season, he will be unceremoniously booted out of Ibrox.

    I'm guessing his contract would have a break clause after his first season?

    Now might be his best/only opportunity to jump on the managerial merry-go-round down south?

  10. Well written last post there, John Clark, and your concluding paragraph is spot on. Can it really be that all these people in high-ranking professional positions (be it DCIs, members of the legal profession etc) are fans too and simply caught up in the 'some bad people did bad things to Rangers' mantra? Without that initial state of mind, it seems unbelievable that they might have acted in the way they did.

  11. StevieBC 23rd June 2019 at 15:35

    "…..He is limited to Bosmans and loanees to improve his squad, and deliver silverware. ..'


    I wonder does he know and appreciate how financially strapped TRFC Ltd is? Does he know even as much as we on SFM know about the finances, thanks to the efforts of several posters who know about balance sheets?

    Would any one of us apply for a job at Ibrox,  in the knowledge that TRFC  is living from hand to mouth, and faces having to meet some serious damages claims, which might well swallow up such UEFA money that they might receive this coming season?



  12. The IOC have recently opened a new HQ in Switzerland at a reported cost of £120 million. It’s very nice and environmentally friendly. I would not be surprised if FIFA get a bit jealous and also build a shiny new symbol of wealth and power sponsored of course by whoever wants the World Cup Finals the most. 

  13. Ex Ludo 24th June 2019 at 09:24

    '….I would not be surprised if FIFA get a bit jealous and also build a shiny new symbol of wealth '…


    Your post prompted me to have a look ( not that I'm anything other than almost completely financially ignorant!) at FIFA's Annual report for 2018 at this link

    They could quite easily afford to blow a couple of hundred million quid on a vanity building project!

    ( I suppose, incidentally, that all the senior bods are covered by some form of directors' indemnity insurance?)


  14. Ex Ludo,

    yes, more obscene flaunting of an organisation's wealth – for the benefit of the blazers at the very top of their particular tree / trough.

    And this seems to reflect the increasing likelihood that the only sports on the planet which can be regarded as honest are those played at true, amateur level

    …without the malignant influence of money and business to distort the basic principles of participation.


  15. Ex Ludo 24th June 2019 at 12:29

    What would be the acceptable answer ?

    Same club = gullible = threat to National security ?

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