The legal ramifications of cold-shouldering are that no listed company can trade with the cold-shouldered business.
Now I like the rest of world football didn’t much look at clubs being companies, but the simple fact is that Celtic FC plc is a company.
The way that company trades is primarily playing Association Football in the Scottish Professional Football League, itself another company.
Of course, Celtic FC plc also trades in merchandise and receives sponsorship not to say the magnificent work of the Celtic Foundation which carries Brother Walfrid’s spirit of charity forward.
But if the legal expectation is not to trade with a cold-shouldered company, can Celtic legally play against Them and allow their company to earn income the next time we take over the Broomloan?
I suggest we cannot, nor can any team in the SPFL if it maintains a listing on the stock market.
The rules are clear, we are supposed to turn a cold shoulder to the organisation harbouring a criminal until they remove him or her.
In this case, it is Dave King who is the financial pariah and whilst he remains at Sevco we are legally obliged not to trade with that business.
We are obliged to cold shoulder The Rangers International Football Club until such time as the laws of the land are respected.
Not just Scotland, but the entire international financial paradigm, this is not a punishment levied often but it is a severe and inescapable one which crosses all national boundaries.
Celtic’s sponsors are from blue-chip stock, they are multi-million-pound companies which trade their goods and services across the planet within the regulations of international financial law.
Will they want their logos seen at a cold-shouldered stadium, upon the return of the deluded after the split will they want their banners displayed at Celtic Park?
Essentially playing against equals trading with, the rules are clear and we will be in breach of them if we are to play/trade with the pariah company.
Of course, the SFA should merely step in and demand that King is removed so as not to jeopardise the legal nature of one of its clubs.
If King didn’t conform the only punitive measure left to the SFA would be to suspend The Rangers FC from participating within any of its structures.
This wouldn’t mean demotion or relegation, it would mean being kicked out of football.
If they complied immediately they would return, if they held out til seasons end they could apply to join the juniors and begin their journey afresh once King had left.
The consequences are manifest, Celtic and indeed many Scottish clubs are well run and comply with FIFA fair play standards, they have revenue streams no different to ours and are functioning businesses as much as they are Football clubs.
None should have to explain to their stockbroker or shareholders let alone sponsors why they are trading with a company they lawfully cannot.
At the end of the day there are 4 options:
- King wins his appeal, do moving along
- King finds the money and offers it to the requisite shareholders
- King loses the appeal, cant find the cash and is kicked out
- King loses the appeal cant find the cash and tells the media to ask for moving along
If it s the 4th option, then Scottish Football must demand King’s removal or the removal of The Rangers FC from the fixture list until such time as The Rangers International Football Club abides by the takeover panels ruling.
There is barely enough money in Scottish Football as is, the game can’t afford to lose sponsors because a career criminal is penniless.
So one of them has to go, either King, or the entire omnishambles known as Rangers.