Many Rangers fans are suspicious of Ian Maxwell, the new Chief Executive of the Scottish Football Association.
This suspicion is widespread – even the coverage of the mainstream media recognised the fact with many of the back pages following his initial press call majoring on the line that he “wouldn’t be an Old Firm puppet.” That’s close but no cigar – no-one I’ve read or talked with on the subject thinks he’ll be an Old Firm puppet – but plenty think he may be a Celtic puppet – such is that club’s sinister control and influence in many areas of the Scottish game.
If you share with me a bewildered fascination for the mental gymnastics of what I could called the Resolution 12 Gang – the various websites and social media accounts operated by the prime hate-mongers amongst the Celtic support – they you couldn’t have helped but notice their reaction to Maxwell’s appointment. Silence.
Not a tweet nor twitter of the usual obsessional criticism when they consider the promotion of someone from, let us be delicate and say, a non-Celtic background. No hatred, no ranting, no blogs, nothing.
Then you have to consider the merits of the appointment. Mr Maxwell has gone from running the affairs of a club, Partick Thistle, turning over £4m a year, to the SFA which the last accounts available show turning over £35.8m – it’s an extraordinary difference in scale and complexity, considering the SFA remit runs from the national side to Sunday football. He must have given some performance at interview.
The only journalist I can recall approaching this conundrum, let alone getting his teeth into it, was Michael Stewart on Radio Scotland when he grilled SPFL Director and Alloa Chairman, Mike Mulraney. I don’t think he got adequate answers to fairly basic questions about Maxwell’s credentials, experience and suitability for the job. Mr Mulraney would also give Maxwell a glowing reference in an interview broadcast at half-time during one of the promotion play-offs.
Maxwell had previously been on the SFA board before being appointed as Chief Exec. The choreography is interesting.
13th March – Maxwell steps down from SFA Board as Neil Doncaster joins it. Doncaster long known to Rangers fans.
23rd of April – Announcement of Maxwell’s SFA Chief Executive appointment
15th May – Rangers hit with new charges with regard to the granting of a football licence.
21st May – Maxwell officially commences role six days after new complaint issued.
Maxwell was on the board when Compliance Officer was investigating, left for a few weeks and returned as Chief Exec. In his pronouncements upon taking office he is basically saying, I have seen no wrong doing, move along.
It won’t do.
So far the SFA and it’s fellow-travellers have comforted themselves that Rangers have made no formal complaints about the SFA’s operations and processes – as such they can be dismissed.
However, one can imagine, from watching Dave King’s operating against Mike Ashley, that the rationale so far has been to raise the issue in public so that when it is raised formally it will do so in the full glare of publicity and not kicked into the administrative long grass.
Keep an eye on the Hampden letterbox.