Months On From My Last Article, Campbell Is Still Clinging On…
Campbell, Campbell, Campbell…
Sorry, perhaps that was rude of me. I suppose I should refer to the current President of the Scottish Football Association with an appropriate level of respect, so I’ll be polite and refer to him as Mr Ogilvie from now on.
Now, “respect” is an interesting word. The Oxford English Dictionary lists the definition of “respect” as follows: “[mass noun] a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements”.
However, when the topic of discussion comes to Mr Ogilvie, I find myself in a bit of a quandary. I do not have any admiration for Mr Ogilvie, and thus, I do not respect him, nor his abilities, qualities or achievements.
In fact, my apologies, that is not strictly true. I do admire Mr Ogilvie, his abilities and his achievements, in part, and I shall explain why I feel like this.
Campbell Ogilvie, President of the Scottish Football Association since early June 2011, became the General Secretary at Rangers in 1978. At this point in time, the Ibrox club of old were still actively enforcing a “no Catholics” signing policy, and within some years of his first appointment, Mr Ogilvie went onto become a director at the club. Of course, someone involved in such a segregationist regime should never have been allowed to rise to a position of power in Scottish Football, let alone in “modern” times, but I digress.
In 2003, Mr Ogilvie became Treasurer of the Scottish Football Association (the current equivalent being the second Vice President), before progressing to the role of Vice President in 2008.
Mr Ogilvie left his position as a director at the old Rangers in 2005, whilst “remaining a consultant” according to a BBC article written at the time. Within a few months of his departure, Mr Ogilvie began a new role with Edinburgh club Heart of Midlothian, firstly as a Operations Director, before being promoted to Managing Director in 2008.
Investigations by various media outlets and bloggers, including Alex Thomson of Channel 4, have since proven that Mr Ogilvie transferred 3,505 shares in the old Rangers Football Club to his wife, Karolina, in 2008. This meant that Mr Ogilvie held shares in a football club whilst working for another, and whilst working as the Treasurer of the Scottish Football Association. This is, to use a rather clichéd term nowadays, a stark conflict of interest.
Now, a quick look at the rule book tells us that;
“Except with the prior written consent of the Board, no Member, Associate Member or Official, may at one time either directly or indirectly:-
21.1.1 hold or seek to acquire beneficial ownership of or deal in the shares or securities of another club;
21.1.2 be a member or shareholder of, or lender in any capacity to, more than one club…”
Of course, this clear breach of the rules appears to have been totally ignored in the corridors of power. Funny that, isn’t it?
Now, don’t get me wrong, Mr Ogilvie’s financial security hardly depended on the performance of these shares due to their relatively low value. However, the fact that he, and then his wife, owned them is important. Put simply, it is not allowed. For the record, his wife would legally be known as an aforementioned associate, and hence the transfer out of his name makes no real difference in legal terms.
And so, despite all of this, on the 8th June 2011, Mr Ogilvie became the President of the Scottish Football Association, as he succeeded George Peat. In the time since that date, the old Rangers have been engulfed in scandal after scandal, and found guilty of sin after sin, with the most notable examples involving the non-payment of taxes.
Three letters which have become synonymous with the sins of the old club are E, B and T. Employee Benefit Trusts (EBT’s) are financial instruments used by businesses to pay employees and avoid the payment of tax. Of course, the First Tier Tax Tribunal (FTTT), colloquially known as the “Big Tax Case”, have still to publish a verdict as to whether or not Rangers use of EBT’s were legal or illegal.
However, the legality of these schemes are, at least in one sense, irrelevant. Fundamentally, the facts, in a footballing sense, are clear for all to see. The use of payments through this scheme were undeclared in player and staff contracts, and this is a breach of the rules. All payments made to players must be declared to the Scottish Football Association. Any undeclared payments are illegal. Simple.
Mr Ogilvie has since admitted to having a knowledge of the use of these schemes. Perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise, as in a television documentary and online, it has been proven that Mr Ogilvie was a recepient of no less than £95,000 through such a scheme. The critical thing to note though is that Mr Ogilvie knew about the use of these schemes, and hence the non-declared payments to players, and did not declare it. He received these payments whilst he was the Treasurer of the Scottish Football Association, and he never spoke of it.
In a recent interview with “The Scotsman”, Mr Ogilvie said: “”I can’t remember [who offered me my EBT] but I didn’t give it too much thought at the time. I don’t have to give you the figures but there are all sorts of suggestions out there. I got three payments between 2001 and 2003. It was a £5,000 payment on each of those dates and then on the termination of my employment, as part of my settlement, I got a figure of £80,000. So I knew the EBT scheme was in place but I didn’t know the extent and which players had them.”
Nowadays, there has been much speculation that those in power in Scottish Football will, once again, attempt to find a way to accelerate “The Rangers” (previously known as Sevco Scotland) promotion to the Scottish Premier League. When Doran Goian left for a year long loan recently, he was quoted as saying that “When it’s over I’ll have my contract with Rangers again and I hope something is going to change and I’ll get the chance to play in the SPL again with Rangers. I think it will happen…”
Of course, speculation is just that, speculation. However, with players like David Templeton, a youngster who played at Anfield in the Europa League only hours before choosing to drop four divisions to play for “The Rangers”, people are naturally beginning to wonder what promises these men are being given. Recent signing Sebastian Faure has been quoted as saying that Ally McCoist told him, upon transfer discussions, that he hoped the club’s path to the top flight would be accelerated. All in all, you don’t need to be a genius to wonder what involvement the current President of the Scottish Football Association has in all of this. An ex-director and shareholder in the old Rangers, it is clear he was a Rangers supporter and, like many, he will now support “The Rangers”. Personally, I don’t think the rest of Scottish Football will stand for any new attempts at league reconstruction to accelerate their path up the leagues, but I digress. The fact his reconstruction was being put off and put off, until the demise of the old Rangers, before being looked at again is telling in itself.
And so, I do, in fact, admire Mr Ogilvie’s abilities and achievements, as I am utterly amazed at his ability to “forget” to highlight information of such importance, and I feel the fact that he is still the President of the Scottish Football Association would be, at least in any other country, an incredible achievement, considering how many conflicts of interest he has been shown to be guilty of.
However, I do not respect Mr Ogilvie, and I feel his actions over the years have shown that he has no respect for you, the average football fan, or for Scottish Football as a whole. He was part of a regime which prohibited the signing of Catholics whilst at Rangers, he held shares in Rangers whilst in his role at a rival football club, and he both received payments from, and never declared his knowledge of (until forced), the use of undeclared payments at Rangers whilst he held more and more significant offices of power within Scottish Football’s governing body.
Campbell, I feel you should have resigned long, long ago. With every passing day you hold your position, more and more people lose respect for both you and the body you represent. Your reputation has been irreparably tarnished by your own actions (and inactions), and trying to stay out of the limelight for a time will not change that. Do what the fans you are supposed to represent would like you to do, and step down.
Campbell, Campbell, Campbell…