Saturday, December 3, 2022

Deloitte’s Investigation For SPFL Was Neither Fair Nor Impartial, So Where Do We Go From Here?

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Before, we go into what I want to talk about, some news from yesterday. In a not so shocking turn of events, Dutch football has decided to go the sensible route and made sure there are no champions and promotion or relegation in their leagues. The places where the teams are in are final and based on that Champions League places will be allotted. A fair solution to one of the most complex problems in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also, next time The Record tells you they know anything at all, please take that with a large pinch of salt. This tweet from BBC Scotland Slayer is worth looking into.

Image Courtesy: Twitter Screenshot from @Naefearrfc

Now, we go into the big breaking news of yesterday. SPFL announced yesterday that the independent enquiry they ordered for Dundee’s vote on the SPFL resolution has yielded “no evidence of improper behaviour.”

Apparently, Deloitte was tasked with investigating just the Dundee vote and according to SPFL’s independent non-executive director Karyn McCluskey, “Deloitte’s examination of phone records, mobile communications (including texts) and email data has identified no evidence of improper behaviour by SPFL personnel concerning the submission of the Dundee FC vote.”

That is horseshit!

Deloitte’s Investigation For SPFL Was Neither Fair Nor Impartial

To be clear, we are not questioning whether Deloitte did their job. I am sure they did, at least whatever minuscule part of the entire fiasco they were tasked with. Unfortunately, there were so many questions, and all SPFL decided was there is going to be one limited scope investigation with a narrow focus. Oldest trick in the book if you want to divert the attention of other people.

Not that this has been widely successful as most journalists have actually done a decent job and continued asking questions of this investigation which was genuinely good to observe. However, when SPFL themselves are accused of multiple wrongdoings, SPFL should not get to decide which wrongdoing to investigate. Common sense, is it not? Apparently not.

So how can this investigation be either fair or impartial when SPFL have set Deloitte the parameters of what needs to be looked into and what need not be investigated? When millions mistrust you, no decent human being or organisation would have the gall to tell the public that, while there will be an independent investigation, we will tell the independent investigators what needs to be looked into and only that. Shambolic.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – JUNE 30: Ann Budge, Owner, CEO and Chairwoman of Hearts during the UEFA Europa League First Qualifying Round match between Heart of Midlothian FC and FC Infonet Tallinn at Tyncastle Stadium on June 30, 2016 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Rangers response and the fallout

Rangers who had earlier asked for an independent investigation of this SPFL resolution fiasco released a statement.  It says that Rangers have submitted a Members’ Requisition to the SPFL, along with other clubs. Their requisition requires a general meeting of all 42 clubs to call an independent investigation into 7 points which are detailed in their statement here. Rangers also slammed the narrow scope of the investigation and reiterated that they have a dossier of evidence which they will make available for an independent investigation.

Since then, I have learnt that Rangers have the votes required to call a meeting, although passing this would be a much heavier lift. They will need 75 percent of clubs to vote for this which means 32 of 42 clubs have to vote for the Rangers resolution. Not impossible but a very difficult job. This fiasco is nowhere near ending.

Also, according to Bill Young, “It would seem from what I’m hearing that independent inquiry held by the SPFL has only poured petrol on the glowing embers of what was already a ridiculous situation.”

More questions than answers

The Rangers demands were pretty exhaustive, so it begs the question, why did SPFL not go for a comprehensive investigation anyways? If SPFL were indeed cleared after a thorough investigation, then so be it. However, this seemed nothing more than to shut us down, the shouting masses. Also, this was supposed to be “comprehensive”, “independent” and “forensic” investigation. It was none of those things promised.

Also, why were Rangers not given a chance to provide the evidence? It seems from their statement; they would have been happy to present their evidence to an independent investigator. So were they not asked at all? That might sound unbelievable but pretty par for the course.

Given how things have turned out to be in recent weeks, we didn’t expect anything better from the SPFL. So treat this Deloitte investigation as nothing more than a gimmick and a means to get the attention of themselves. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted.

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