Ibrox president doubles need for independent investigation
The hostility between the Rangers and the SPFL is not about to diminish is the unmistakable message delivered by the president of Ibrox, Douglas Park.
The governance concerns surfaced in the midst of the fallout from the circumstances surrounding the vote to shorten the lower league season and pave the way for the Premiership to be called in the same way.
However, as Park doubled over the need for an independent investigation that the Rangers urged the 42 clubs to support on Tuesday, President Ibrox himself danced around the questions raised by his club’s confrontation with the SPFL during the last month.
It is clear to everyone that there is no way to end the season on the field, and this would reinforce the conviction that the recent Ranger crusade aims for better governance of the SPFL and not to refuse a Celtic title if the Ibrox club wanted to recognize that there was no choice but to use a point-per-game calculation to resolve any outstanding issues. Park, however, is unwilling to do so.
“It is not entirely in the gift of the clubs,” he said. “We have to work with various stakeholders, including government, the medical profession and stakeholders and try to find working solutions.”
Park, in a question and answer forum with the Sunday papers, did not show any change in his position towards the FBCL CEO Neil Doncaster and the league’s legal counsel Rod McKenzie – the two men that the Rangers have called for suspension while an independent investigation is underway. The duo and SPFL president Murdoch MacLennan, who is suspected by Private Eye of having made a disparaging remark about the Rangers in the 1990s – remain firmly in the crosshairs of the Ibrox club.
The SPFL said that, on the night of the April 10, Dundee vote fiasco, Park had made “a very serious allegation and threatened to act in a particular way” against Doncaster, who was “defamatory”. This led to four McKenzie “cease and desist” notices at Park. The president of the Rangers was questioned about this and why it was not mentioned in the Rangers’ SPFL file that was sent to clubs on Thursday.
On Saturday, he categorically denied. “I started my own business in 1971, and this is the first time I remember being accused of threatening. It is offensive, rude and downright untrue, “said Park. “Anyone who knows me will know it’s a fabrication. I made no secret of the fact that I tried to raise serious concerns with Neil Doncaster and that I was kicked. Subsequently, it is well documented that Rod McKenzie has repeatedly asked us to withdraw our concerns. I find it weird. Murdoch MacLennan and Neil Doncaster both later publicly stated that anyone concerned should speak to Mr. MacLennan about it. Why didn’t Neil Doncaster suggest that when I called him? Why did Neil Doncaster follow a completely different path from the one he publicly suggested as the right one?
“Our report prepared for the other clubs clarifies a number of issues that should concern all stakeholders. I also find it extremely odd that Murdoch MacLennan wrote to me the next day about my statement on the Rangers website and mentioned that I had made allegations about it and then referred to the call to Neil Doncaster. It is clear from his letter that his response concerns the release of a statement by the Rangers rather than my attempts to raise concerns with Neil Doncaster. He certainly did not mention a threat. It’s kind of weird and maybe practical that it’s thrown into the mix weeks later. This is categorically false.
“I also replied to the president of the SPFL and referred to the previous complaint that the club had made about the comments attributed to it by the magazine Private Eye. I asked for clarification as to whether he had made these comments or not. No assurance has been given, which I find strange given that the allegation persists since his arrival at the SPFL [in 2017]. If these comments were made, this would certainly give rise to concerns about its ability to deal with any complaint we may have addressed to it. Perhaps that is a question he could answer the next time he sits down with him for a question and answer session. Park maintains that the Rangers were not guilty of any “misconception” about the failure of the SPFL to disclose potential liabilities of £ 10 million potentially resulting from the non-progress of the season in the information document that clubs distributed to clubs before the end of season vote – as they were accused in a letter sent to clubs by the FBCL board of directors two days ago. Although central to their case against the FBCL in their report this week, this seems a moot point. It has been estimated that the English Premier League will face a £ 10 million bill to finance the testing program and the bio-secure neutral stadiums needed to end their season over the next two months. These costs were also not mentioned in the SPFL information document.
“There is no misunderstanding on our part and we have received advice from legal counsel confirming that our understanding is correct. Said Park. “The directors of the FBCL are extremely condescending to the 42 member clubs if they think that they are unable to read and understand the documents provided by us, in particular Appendix 1 which includes the document from the board of directors of FBCL and Appendix 3 which includes the information note to members.
“The central point that the directors of the SPFL deliberately avoid is that the information document addressed to the clubs specifically mentions” significant commercial risks “; and refund the claims of broadcasters in the section relating to “season cancellation”. However, no mention of these risks and reimbursements in relation to the SPFL proposal was contained in the information document.
“The argument put forward in the letter from the director of the SPFL that no decision had yet been taken to end the competition also applies to” cancel the season “and to call the season” points per match “. However, they mentioned the liability as arising solely from the option they rejected and completely omitted it from the option they offered. This is a false statement. “