The SFA compliance officer is set to investigate the SPFL over claims the body breached SFA rules during their high-profile dispute with Rangers regarding the Cinch sponsorship deal.
Rangers have been locked in dispute with the SPFL since the beginning of the season regarding the £1.6m per year five-year deal with the online used car dealership.
The Gers have refused to wear any Cinch branding this season and have not promoted the brand in their stadium, even refusing to award a “Cinch Man of the Match”.
The dispute concerns a commercial clash with Park’s Motor Group, which is owned by Rangers chairman Douglas Park.
Compliance officer Andrew Phillips will now investigate claims from Park’s of Hamilton that the SPFL breached the SFA’s articles of association by attempting to block Park’s involvement in arbitration proceedings with Rangers, the SPFL, Cinch and the Court of Session.
Park’s of Hamilton won a legal fight back in October which will prevent the SFA proceeding in the arbitration case without them.
Park’s also allege that the SPFL failed to act in the “utmost good faith” in attempts to resolve the stand-off with Rangers before referring the matter for arbitration.
The breaches relate to articles 99.12 and 99.14 of the SFA’s own rules, which cover specifically taking a dispute to court without board approval and not doing the utmost to resolve a dispute before court action.
Compliance Officer to investigate SPFL over Rangers dispute
“We can confirm discussions between the legal representatives of Park’s of Hamilton and the SFA have been referred to the Compliance Officer, in line with Article 94, by the SFA’s legal advisers,” reads a Park’s statement [Glasgow Times].
“We continue to believe that the SPFL’s recent attempts in the Court of Session to block our participation in the ongoing arbitration proceedings breach the Scottish FA’s Article 99.12.
“In addition to this, we believe that the SPFL have failed to behave with the utmost good faith in this matter and did not take every possible step to resolve the dispute prior to referring the matter to arbitration – as they are required to do in terms of article 99.14.
“Whilst we are not members of the SPFL or the SFA, we were forced to commence court proceedings to protect our commercial position due to the conduct of the SPFL.
“It is imperative that the SFA, as the governing body, applies all Articles to members in order to protect the integrity of its disciplinary processes.
“The SPFL continue to engage in behaviour which we believe seeks to induce a breach of a contract to which we are a party. We are prepared to pursue a claim against the SPFL regarding this ongoing conduct.”
SPFL sources close to the Glasgow Times claim they have not yet been contacted by the compliance officer whilst Rangers still haven’t shown them the pre-exiting conflicting contract, which is the basis of the dispute.
Whilst the Cinch dispute rages, Rangers chairman Douglas Park landed a major Scottish footballing political blow on the SPFL by signing a commercial deal.