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Celtic criticise SFA for rejecting independent review

The club says decision shows a failure in accountability and leadership.

Criticism: Celtic expressed their disappointment.
Criticism: Celtic expressed their disappointment. SNS Group

Celtic have criticised the Scottish FA for its refusal to take part in an independent review of Scottish football's handling of Rangers and the club's use of Employee Benefit Trusts.

In a strongly worded statement, the club said that failure to take part in a full review of the case showed a lack of "transparency, accountability and leadership".

The Scottish Professional Football League called for a review in July, following a Supreme Court ruling in HMRC's favour over Rangers oldco and their use of tax-free loans to players and staff between 2001 and 2010.

In a letter sent to all professional clubs, the Scottish FA acknowledged an invitation from the SPFL on behalf of its members, asking it to participate in the independent review.

However, the governing body said that it was declining the invitation, stating: "The image of the game in Scotland can only be damaged further by 'raking over the coals' of everything that has happened in the last six years for a further lengthy period of time."

Celtic are the first club to give a public response to the decision and have said that contrary to the Scottish FA view, they feel that a full review is required to allow Scottish football to move on.

They stated their disappointment at the decision, saying that establishing the full facts was the least that supporters of all Scottish clubs are entitled to.

"The club considers, however, that failure to carry out a full review of these events and issues, which have been without precedent in Scottish football, would represent a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership."
Celtic statement

The statement read: "In the light of all information that has now become available, Celtic has been in correspondence with the Scottish Football Association in pursuit of the club's belief that an independent review should be commissioned to consider the events that led to the liquidation of Rangers Oldco and the governance issues arising from those events.

"This is exactly the same position as adopted by the SPFL board on behalf of all Scotland's 42 professional clubs.

"The club believes that such a review is essential if a line is to be drawn under this whole affair. On that basis, Scottish football could learn lessons and move on.

"The club considers, however, that failure to carry out a full review of these events and issues, which have been without precedent in Scottish football, would represent a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership.

"Celtic was, therefore, disappointed to note that the Scottish Football Association board has confirmed that it does not intend to commission such a review.

"Throughout these processes, Celtic's consistent objective has been to establish the full facts, which is surely the least that all stakeholders in Scottish football - including the supporters of all clubs - are entitled to, and to learn the appropriate lessons. That remains our position."

The club also shared copies of correspondence between Celtic and the Scottish FA, making letters available through their official website.

https://stv.tv/sport/football/1397407-ebt-review-celtic-release-correspondence-with-scottish-fa/ | default
https://stv.tv/sport/football/1397308-sfa-will-not-take-part-in-review-of-rangers-ebt-use/ | default

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