There’s a name most of you will already know. However, you could be forgiven if you’d forgotten about him, as he’s been fairly quiet of late. Odd that, considering one of the biggest stories in the history of Scottish Football is currently unfolding.
For those of you who may not know, Campbell Ogilvie is the current President of the Scottish Football Association, having taken over from the previous President, George Peat, in June, 2011.
Firstly, for any unbiased individual looking at Scottish Football from the “outside”, they would likely be surprised to find that he was ever promoted to such a prestigious position when his history in the game is considered.
Campbell Ogilvie was appointed as the General Secretary of Rangers Football Club in 1978, before becoming a Director some years later at the Ibrox. Now, when we consider the fact that Rangers were still actively employing a “no Catholics” policy at this stage in their history, it becomes clear that Mr Ogilvie should never have been able to rise through the ranks of Scottish Football’s most important governing body. Fundamentally, Mr Ogilvie either agreed with this policy, or at least “put up” with it, and “turned a blind eye” (there’s a phrase you’ll hear once again in a moment).
For anyone that happens to be too young to remember, Rangers signed a Catholic (and ex-Celtic player), Maurice Johnston, in 1989, sparking a huge outburst of anger and disgust from many within the Rangers support. In fact, the then general secretary of the Rangers’ Supporters’ Association, David Miller, was quoted as saying “It is a sad day for Rangers…I don’t want to see a Roman Catholic at Ibrox.”
However, I digress. Campbell Ogilivie first took up a job at Hampden Park in 2003, when he became the then Treasurer of the SFA. In 2007, he was promoted to the role of the organisation’s Vice President.
Mr Ogilvie eventually left his role at Rangers in 2005, before taking on the role of “Operations Director” at Heart of Midlothian. He became managing director at the club in 2008, before leaving the club in 2010.
And so, as mentioned previously, Ogilvie became the President of the SFA almost a year ago.
Since his appointment, a BBC documentary has shown that Mr Ogilvie was the recipient of payments totalling £95,000 through the much maligned “Employee Benefit Trust” scheme operated at Rangers Football Club for many years.
While the decision of the “First Tier Tax Tribunal” (also known as the “Big Tax Case”) is still to be announced, it has become clear that:
1. These payments were made to both staff and players at Ibrox.
2. These payments were not declared to the relevant governing bodies (a critical breach of the rules).
Not only was Ogilvie a beneficiary of such a payment, he was the treasurer of the SFA whilst still at Rangers, before leaving the club and continuing to have roles at Hampden Park. During this time, he never once raised the issue of these payments (neither those paid to himself or those paid to players other staff), none of which were declared to the SFA or the SPL. In this sense, he has been shown to have knowingly “turned a blind eye” to the potential cheating that was going on at a member club of the football association. This shows not only a clear conflict of interest, but also displays the fact Mr Ogilvie simply cannot be regarded as “impartial”.
Now, if we once again look at the situation from the point of view of an “unbiased outsider”, I am sure that after they had digested the information presented to them, they would presume that Ogilvie would have fallen (or been pushed) onto his proverbial sword by these revelations.
However, this is Scotland, and things do not always appear to work the way people would expect them to inside the corridors of the Scottish Football Association at Hampden Park.
Mr Ogilvie seems to believe that if he employs a tactic whereby he keeps his head down, and his mouth shut, for a sustained period of time, people will simply forget his offences and he will be able to carry on in his current role unchallenged.
Well Mr Ogilvie, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but Scottish Football fans will not be forgetting this information any time in the foreseeable future, and many, supporters of every club in the country, will feel you have already overstayed your welcome.
I am afraid that I must agree. The alarm clock is ringing, the bells are tolling, your time is up.
For the good of Scottish Football, do the honourable thing. Resign.