As guardians of the game of Association Football in Scotland, the SFA have a responsibility to govern the game in the most responsible manner. That is, in a way that will best promote the game and preserve it in its best state, in the longer term. They are also responsible for ensuring the existence and, if possible, the health, of their clubs. Along with their colleagues at the Scottish Premier League, the SFA have found themselves having to pick their way through the debris that is Rangers FC.
I have read with interest as this story has unfolded and I am watching to see how the Scottish Football authorities try to "square the circle" i.e. apply sanctions to Rangers for past misdemeanours and yet avoid making the club so unappealing that it will be unable to attract the new financing that is vital to its survival.
I have read that the Scottish Premier League have docked Rangers 10 points in each of the next two seasons and that there may be other penalties according to how they come out of administration and / or what other "nasties" emerge from the unfolding story. This week, The SFA have decreed that Rangers should have a transfer embargo for twelve months i.e they will be unable to sign any players over the age of 18 years old. Oh and the SFA fined the club that has no money, £160,000!
The administrators for Rangers, Duff and Phelps must feel as though someone keeps moving the goalposts on them (pun intended). As if their task wasn't hard enough. They have been trying to find investors who are willing to take on a club which has significant debts and one enormous debt to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. This isn't an English Premier League club which is rich with TV money. Even if there are some rich Rangers fans who are prepared to get involved to save a great club, the cost of such actions gets more prohibitive with every SPL and SFA sanction.
Are the SPL and AFA "joined up" in their management of this situation and are they handling it in the best way? Between them are they slowly killing Rangers with continuing sanctions and are there any more to come? Can investors be confident in what they might be buying into? Wouldn't it have been easier to demote Rangers and declare that this is the limit of the sanctions? If they had done this investors could have assessed the financial impact more easily. The SPL and SFA would have been seen to have been tough and applied "real" sanctions on a club which has transgressed.
Despite their duties to help to sustain professional football clubs in Scotland, are the SFA and SPL subjecting Rangers to death by a thousand cuts? Scottish football only has two clubs with global appeal and an international profile. Can the SFA and SPL really afford to jeopardise the very existence of one of them?