Why the hell would anyone think it would be a good idea to go back to the old, extended, top league? The only possible reason at the moment is to help out one particular team. They might say, "We need 'Rangers" AND Hibs in the top tier' but we all know exactly what they mean. The fear is that Sevco might not make it now that the hat seems to have lost its magic and Hibs are making more of a fight of things. Of course, they might be acting prematurely and it will be interesting to see if all these calls for an extended league disappear if Sevco manage to beat Hibs. Somehow, though, I think there must be more to it than that.
The sheer desperation of this obvious Level 5 exercise shows that there is something more for The Peeppul to worry about. I think there's a possible administration on the horizon. Whether Sevco is promoted or not, a points deduction would have a huge effect, even though they'd suddenly be a new club again so that it's a first insolvency event and the punishment not as onerous as it could be. A bigger top tier would provide a much-needed safety net for Sevco. I could be wrong, of course, but it's strange how all this is being suddenly touted now.
Today's pantomime villain was President of the SFA up until fairly recently, allowed to remain in that position even though he was seriously compromised. He had been in prominent positions at Rangers throughout the EBT Cheating Years and even benefited from the EBT scheme himself. His appointment and tenure of the post was what the phrase 'The lunatics have taken over the asylum' was invented for. Presenting Mr. Campbell Ogilvie EBT.
Ogilvie has stated on a few occasions that he wasn't responsible for administering EBTs, wasn't involved with players' contracts after the mid-90s and, of course, was unaware of any irregularities. He argues that he was more of a liaison between Rangers and the football authorities. Surely that makes his position even more suspect since he must have been aware of the deceit involving side contracts? He benefited from the EBT scheme himself. Did he have a side letter? Nobody, especially not in our media, has ever bothered to question him on this. The more you read about the people involved at Rangers during the Cheating Years, the more it's like Ken Russell's 'Tommy'; "You didn't see anything, you didn't hear anything, don't say anything!"
Ogilvie seems to think that because the EBT scheme was mentioned in Rangers' annual accounts then everything was above board. This is a point that The Peeppul and their friends in the media clutch at to somehow 'prove' that Rangers never cheated anyone. Let's take one of those annual reports at random; say, 2005, Ogilvie's last year at Rangers. And he's right, it shows up in the balance sheets; but that's it. There are no details other than a statement that:
"The Rangers Employee Benefit Trust and Murray Group Management Ltd. Remuneration Trust were established to provide incentives to certain employees and other service providers. Payments to these Trusts are charged to the Group Profit and Loss Account in the year incurred."
Nothing at all said about the 'loans' being used as part of normal salary payments. In other words, the report lies about how the scheme was used and Ogilvie is full of shite.
When the investigation into the use of EBTs at Rangers was announced, Ogilvie showed his honesty and integrity by removing himself from any involvement. What a saint, eh? Except, of course, that he should have been investigated himself! He had already admitted that he had benefited from the scheme and was at Rangers when it was set up and when it was running. The enquiry, as was obvious to everyone, was nothing more than a whitewash and Ogilvie's lack of concern at the time showed that he knew that at the time and even beforehand.
Remember the furore when Peter Lawwell was appointed to the SFA's board? We had The Peeppul up in arms and even our media questioned his impartiality, especially when it came time to look into whether Honest Dave was a fit and proper person. And yet, we were supposed to just accept that Ogilvie was the very model of integrity and propriety. In 2012 Ogilvie had something very interesting to say about his EBT in the Scotsman, "It’s a very technical issue but you have to repay the loans, yes. It’s over a period of time." Surely that should have set alarm bells ringing? If, as he claimed, the loan had to be repaid, then his impartiality was impaired since he was in hock to one of the clubs he was meant to be overseeing to the tune of £95,000. Again, though, nobody in our media thought to look into this or ask any questions of Ogilvie.
There are those out there in Bampot Land that believe the whole administration/liquidation/Sevco fiasco has been nothing but a massive scam, with David Murray sitting at the centre. It was the only way to shed all of Rangers' debts and, hopefully, continue as if nothing had happened. The way Ogilvie and the SFA have behaved tends to support this theory. Every crook, shyster and gangster passing through Ibrox has been declared 'fit and proper' with no questions asked. Whyte, Green, the Easdales, Honest Dave; nobody raised any objection to any of them, despite all the information on them that was readily available. Even when Ashley came along, the SFA broke its own rules by allowing him to buy shares. Still, Ogilvie could hardly say anything since he had shares in Rangers while on the board at Hearts. Questions should be asked as to how far Ogilvie's 'loan' has influenced his decisions and how much he has influenced the decision making of the SFA.
Looking towards his future, Ogilvie decided to stand for the UEFA Executive Committee. It says something that he was unsuccessful; probably the esteemed folk at UEFA didn't want their organisation contaminated by the presence of somebody from the SFA. Then again, maybe it was more to do with his personal shortcomings, more specifically, his ties to a dead, cheating club. Or perhaps they had a look at his Wikipedia page, where it says he was "born 1950 or 1951". How the hell can you trust a man that won't even let anyone know what year he was born?
"Remember, £95,000 is only a tiny, little amount when you compare it to what other folk got. Why should I be lambasted for that? And now some bastard called Pat Anderson is blackmailing me into recommending his books. He's got his hands on some paperwork and is threatening to send it to Phil Mac Giolla Bhain if I don't do what he says. So, come on, buy a book, please! You wouldn't want to see my name blackened, would you?"