No decision can be taken without someone questioning why it took place, what the consequences might be, and who stands to benefit most. If finger-jabbing and whitabootery were Olympic disciplines, then Scotland would be regular gold medallists.
"A lot of the issues in Scottish football are perceived issues," said Campbell Ogilvie yesterday with a degree of understatement. The president of the Scottish Football Association is himself no stranger to accusations from those who would believe that all manner of shenanigans regularly take place within the corridors of Hampden.
The recent comments by Sebastien Faure, Rangers' newly-acquired French defender, that the Ibrox club could complete the minimum three-season journey from the Irn-Bru Third Division to the Scottish Premier League in just two years, had antennae twitching all across the country. Was this a dastardly scheme cooked up by the SFA and their cronies at the SPL to ensure Rangers would be back in the top flight as quickly as possible? Given the strength of feeling that accompanied the decision to make the Ibrox newco start life in the bottom division, it was hardly a surprise that anything that even appeared to be giving a helping leg-up to Rangers would quickly be seized upon.
Ogilvie, though, did his best to dampen the rising fervour. If league reconstruction were to take place – and chief executive Stewart Regan revealed recently that discussions were still ongoing – then it would happen for reasons that benefited the game as a whole, rather than simply the club where he served as general secretary and later as director.
"I can categorically take that out of the equation," he said of the idea of Rangers benefitting from any proposed alterations to the make-up of the game. "This debate was on the table long before the Rangers issue came up. There is no short circuit here. Teams will have to come up in the normal channels of promotion and relegation.
"I have heard comment about [Rangers being fast-tracked], but it is not the case. People can perceive issues but, as far as I am concerned, any reconstruction of the game and teams moving up will be done on merit. I don't believe for a minute there is a question of inviting teams [to join a certain division].
"At the end of the day, the leagues will decide what the structure is. But if we get the heads together about what is best for Scottish football then we've got to have a structure that implements a pyramid on a meritorious basis. I have not heard anyone in the game discussing what has been suggested with regard to Rangers."
In a summer of discontent for Scottish football, Ogilvie has been noticeable largely by his absence. While Regan was attracting flak for his predictions that Scottish football would be visited by Armageddon if Rangers were to start out in the third division – they were and it hasn't – the president felt it more prudent to take himself out of the public domain given his previous employment at Ibrox. He is back on message now and hopeful that meaningful change for the good of the game can be pushed through.
"The last few months I have been out of the debate because of my previous involvement with Rangers," he confirmed. "It certainly has been a difficult time for all concerned. Now I am back in and I would like to see us breaking down some of the perceived issues. A lot of clubs have had issues and some difficult decisions to make and we have to get people working together. That is a key aim for myself moving forward."
Ogilive said he had no magic solution to the problems facing Scottish football but felt an obsession with the size of each division was slowing down progress. "When we talk about reconstruction we always talk about numbers but we have much more fundamental issues to address," he added. "Part of the debate last season was about the division of revenues, in particular the gap between team 12 in the SPL and team one in the first division. The team who finishes 12th gets £750,000 while the team who finishes top of the first division gets £75,000.
"No matter what we discuss about the league and its size it doesn't matter because the financial model is going to have to be revisited. The other thing that has been on the table for some time is the play-off between the SPL and first division. It is the only part of the league without a play-off system. That is over the shorter term but a much more important issue is the structure of the leagues, everything from the top league down through the pyramid system."
An independent commission chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith into alleged EBT payments at Rangers and whether they broke league rules will commence in the autumn. Ogilvie was a Rangers director during the time in question but felt there was no conflict of interest despite his current position.
"The SPL is carrying out that investigation and it will take its due course," he said. "I said at the agm that I would monitor that moving forward. I have been president for a year now and some of that has been quite a difficult time. But we also have to take other aspects of the game forward and that's what I have been focusing on. I don't see any conflict because I haven't been involved in any of the debates surrounding the Rangers issue."
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