Celtic Trust write to Stewart Regan re licensing

Published on Sunday 27th May, 2012 by Celtic Trust

Call to SFA for information

The following letter has today been sent to Stewart Regan, the Chief Executive of the Scottish Football Association.  It comes in response to growing concern regarding the silence from the SFA in relation to these matters.  The Celtic Trust will make any reply known to our members and to the wider Celtic support.


Stewart Regan

Chief Executive

Scottish Football Association


27 May 2012

Dear Mr Regan

You may be aware that the Celtic Supporter Trust had a meeting with Neil Doncaster and Iain Blair of the SPL on Tuesday 8th May. A note of that meeting, subsequently amended after a clarificatory phone call from Mr Doncaster can be found at:


During the course of that conversation the issue of Membership of the SFA arose and, as I understand from Messrs Doncaster and Blair, membership of the SPL required membership of the SFA.  I see from Article 6.2 of the SFA Articles that a club is automatically registered as an SFA member by dint of SPL Membership being granted.  However, I am unclear as to whether ‘membership’ of the SFA is synonymous with holding a licence from the SFA.

I then noted that the SPL Articles were themselves subject to SFA articles according to:

96. Nothing in these (SPL) Articles shall relieve any Member of the Company from its obligations as a full member club of the SFA to comply with the applicable articles of association of the SFA for so long as it remains a member of the SFA. Each Member shall (in so far as it is lawfully able and permitted by the exercise of its voting powers to do so) procure that the Company observes and complies with all relevant articles of association of the SFA applicable to it.”

 This suggests to me that SPL clubs are ultimately governed by the rules of the SFA and (as an aside) I note the following in the SFA Memorandum and Articles:

Article 5.1 Obligations and Duties of Members which, under Article 4.3 applies to the SPL as well as its member clubs, states that 

5.1 All members shall observe the principles of loyalty, integrity and sportsmanship in accordance with the rules of fair play”  

the pursuit of which was the purpose of the CST meeting with Mr Doncaster.

As a result of the foregoing on Membership I am writing to seek clarification on the application of the SFA Club Licensing [1] process that SPL clubs are subjected to annually and how this process would apply to a Newco granted Membership to the SPL.

The information on the SFA web site introduction, and in the actual licensing documentation, states that SPL clubs are subject to the UEFA FFP Rules/criteria and SFL clubs are subject to National Club Licensing.

Can you confirm that in the event of a Newco being granted SPL Membership and so SFA Membership:

  1. That a Newco will be subject to the SFA Club Licensing Process?
  2. If so and because the UEFA FFP rules apply, can you confirm that under UEFA rules the licence is not transferable and so a new license for a Newco would be required?
  3. Under what circumstances a club license could be granted as a Newco would fail the requirement to supply accounts for the past three years, the same provision that would exclude a Newco being able to qualify for a license to play in UEFA competitions? (leaving aside other reason why Rangers themselves would not qualify)
  4. Would a case for an exception be made to UEFA as provided for by Annex 1 of UEFA FFP?
  5. Would the SFA make the exception case and on what basis?
  6. If UEFA FFP does not apply, does National Club licensing apply and under what circumstances would a license be granted to a Newco given that  the National Club license criteria on accounting carries a similar provision to UEFA FFP in terms of requiring three years accounts to be supplied as an entry level requirement. (National Club Licensing 8.1.1 and 8.1.2 refers)
  7.  Is there another process for licensing a Newco that might be used to grant a license?
  8.  If a license were not granted exceptionally or otherwise by the SFA, would a Newco be able to play in the SPL?
  9.  Would the SPL, as suggested in Article 96 referred be bound by SFA rules or could they ignore the licensing requirement and allow a club to play in the SPL unlicensed?

I would be grateful if you could answer my questions in order to help shed some light on behalf of the members of the Celtic Trust in particular, but also Scottish football supporters in general, on the way football is governed in Scotland to ensure that integrity, sportsmanship and probity take paramount place.

Yours sincerely

Jeanette Findlay

Chair, Celtic Trust


[1] Club License means the license secured and maintained by the clubs in membership of the Scottish FA, an affiliated Association, or an Affiliated National Association on compliance with the Club Licensing Procedures.



Share this article:

Share with email
Honest Boab says:
2012-05-28 10:39:49

Very concerned about the knock on effect the SFA may put on the likes of Celtic in Europe if they decide to put decency to one side to accommodate a Club who have blatantly chose to bend the rule and Integrity of Scottish Football to achieve success?
UEFA and FIFA both take a very dim view of Associations who choose to bend the rules to suit and this could have massive ramifications for the rest of Scottish Football as regards European Competition?

Rangers Fc caused this no one else,greed and corruption have left a massive black stain on our game for almost 2 decades now....it's about time the SFA grew a set and sorted this mess out once and for all.

God bless the Celtic


andybhoy61 says:
2012-05-28 07:55:07

there is a lot to learn some of it i have never heard of but it is true people must learn the rules to stay in the S.P.L & that is down to the S.F.A & only the S.F.A


Login to post a comment