SFA president to continue despite Rangers link

14 March 2012 06:46

Scottish Football Association (SFA) president Campbell Ogilvie insisted Wednesday he would continue in his post despite his knowledge of crisis club Rangers' controversial use of employee benefit trusts.

Ogilvie, who was employed at Ibrox from 1978 to 2005, and rose to be company secretary at Rangers, has come under pressure after the Scottish Premier League (SPL) said it would investigate the alleged non-disclosure of payments to Rangers players during his time with the Glasgow giants.

He confirmed he had been a member of the Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) scheme, which was the subject of a tax tribunal in January and whose still to be announced verdict, could, according to under-fire Rangers owner Craig Whyte, cost the club up to £75 million ($118 million).

However, Ogilvie stressed he'd no role in "drafting or administering" player contracts at Rangers, where the playing staff have recently accepted wage cuts of up to 75 percent, after the mid-1990s.

Ogilvie spoke out as former Rangers owner David Murray went public over his reasons for selling the club to Whyte.

In an SFA statement, Ogilvie said he wanted to "clarify" certain points.

"I was aware of the EBT scheme in operation at Rangers during my time at the club and, indeed, was a member. The existence of the scheme was published in Rangers' annual accounts.

"My role at Rangers, until the mid-90s, included finalising the paperwork for player registrations.

"Since the mid-90s, I was not responsible for the drafting or administering of player contracts.

"I ceased being company secretary in 2002 and became general secretary responsible for football strategy, in effect becoming the main point of contact between the club and the respective league and governing bodies."

Ogilvie added: "In relation to the recent investigation, I can confirm that I asked to be excluded from the Scottish FA's independent inquiry into Rangers.

"I am proud and privileged to be President of the Scottish FA during an exciting period in its history.

"I have an excellent relationship with our chief executive, Stewart Regan, and the Board of Directors. I would like to thank them for their support throughout this process and look forward to new and exciting challenges ahead at the Scottish FA."

Administrators were called in to Rangers on February 14 after British tax authorities went to court to seek payment of an unpaid bill of £9 million built up since Whyte took charge at Ibrox in May.

Administration meant the Scottish champions were docked 10 points -- a move that effectively handed this season's SPL title to arch Glasgow rivals Celtic.

Murray, speaking on Tuesday, said he had been "completely duped" by Whyte, who was recently declared "not a fit and proper person" by the SFA.

"I was primarily duped," said Murray. "My advisers were duped, the bank was duped, the shareholders were duped. We've all been duped.

"I can only apologise how this has turned out. And if I could turn the clock back, of course I would. There's not much more I can say than that."

Murray, who took over Rangers in 1988, added: "I have genuinely put just short of £100 million into Rangers in my tenure.

"We all enjoyed a lot of success together. Now all of a sudden it's all my fault.

"I accept at the end of the day I was the captain of the ship, and I take my share of criticism."

Administration is the process whereby a troubled company calls upon independent expert financial help in a bid to remain operational.

Source: AFP

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