14 January 2013

The legacy of a SFA Chief Executive and Serial Truth Avoider

by Zappa | CRO Guest Writer

Note: Zappa's piece was in on Friday but due to Shane's moving over the weekend and others was held to today. Let's just consider this a day of Stewie bashing on the CRO and enjoy it to the fullest.

"How much credibility do I have?
Ooooh, about this much."
Having read Keith Jackson's Q & A session with the Scottish Football Association Chief Executive Stewart Regan on Friday I feel obliged to comment on the man and the subject of his tenure thus far at Scottish football's governing body.

Stewart Regan is a relatively clever chap and while I've been known to call him all sorts of pleasantries such as a muppet, a buffoon or an idiot, the fact of the matter (and credit where it's due) is that he certainly is not daft! It's actually specifically because I know he's not daft that I felt compelled to write this riposte as my first contribution to CRO after having been asked back in December.

I don't want to risk illegally slandering the man by accusing him of being a liar (even although I think he is one) so for the purposes of correctness here I'll just say that Stewart Regan is what I'd call a "serial truth avoider," and I come to that conclusion through the application of good old logical deduction. You see, as I've already said, I'm positive that he's not daft and I'm also certain that he's not in some sort of bizarre denial to himself, so very much like the famous Ostrich myth he's not burying his head in the sand.

That leads me to the logical and perfectly obvious conclusion that what we witness from Regan is a man who callously, deliberately avoids the truth and tries to paint it in a favourable light rather than just being honest and telling it as it really is. He may not be telling outright lies, but let's not beat about the bush here, neither is he just a man who is economical with the truth. He knowingly avoids the stark cold reality of the truth and if he has to address it, he twists it and tries to paint it into a nice glossy picture as if he were polishing one of his very own turds and trying to sell it as something of value on Ebay.

Where's the integrity in that coming from the chief of last summer's sporting integrity gang? Not only was this “truth avoider” Stewart Regan the cheerleader and default spokesman of last year's “integrity” gang hammering Rangers with freshly invented rules not yet written down and trumped up charges, but as SFA CEO he's overseen and been in charge of matters where Rangers and even Charles Green personally, have been battered for supposedly “bringing the game into disrepute.”

I hope like myself, you're all seeing the irony and hypocrisy I'm alluding to here and, like myself, not finding it particularly funny. How can a man who doesn't tell the truth as it should rightfully be told still have a tenable position as the Chief Executive of the Scottish Football Association? His continued employment in the job as SFA Chief Exec puts the SFA in a very awkward position indeed because how can the SFA support and talk about the concept of “sporting integrity” as well as dish out charges (including fines) of bringing Scottish football into disrepute all while employing Stewart Regan, a man who doesn't tell the truth?

Stewart Regan knows fine well that his tenure so far at the SFA has been a complete disaster. He knows fine well that he's presided over the biggest SFA shambles and scandal that Scottish football has ever seen. He knows fine well that he's overseen the introduction of inconsistent and unfair disciplinary procedures and I'd hazard an educated guess he also knows fine well that these absurd reconstruction plans are not only completely crazy, but ill-conceived and badly timed.

Of course Stewart Regan not only continually and vehemently denies any wrongdoing, but astonishingly, he actually tries to convince journalists and the readerships of their articles that in fact he has done an excellent job. Well, he hasn't convinced me and I doubt if very many people out there who read this consider him as having done an excellent job. In fact public opinion on his tenure at the SFA so far is surely quite to the contrary.

I don't think very many of us out here in the real world consider Stewart Regan wasting money on independent decision making processes and inconsistent disciplinary systems anything other than disgraceful when money is such a rare commodity in Scottish football and in life in general during difficult economic times. Regan on the other hand, tries to convince us all that these money wasting experiments are some of the many good things he's done during his couple of years at Hampden.

Regan's exact words in the Record Q&A were, “We've dismantled the old committee structure, revolutionised the disciplinary system, delivered a new performance strategy, opened seven new performance schools and now we've helped to deliver unity between the SPL and SFL.”

Revolutionised the disciplinary system? Well that's one way to put it, but I doubt if there's very many football lovers in Scotland who would word it that way. Wasted money turning Scottish Football's disciplinary system into an inconsistent, shambolic laughing stock would be significantly more accurate.

In the Record Q&A Regan also said, “I would say I've delivered more in the last two years than the Scottish FA delivered in the previous two decades.”

That may actually be so due to everything that's been happening and all the changes going on, but how much of it has been change for the good, change for the betterment of Scottish football? I think Regan needs somebody to explain the concept of quality over quantity to him. I also think Regan should have taken a big fat marker pen to the McLeish Report and scored out anything that came into the “if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it” category, but that would have been easy and would have saved money, two concepts the SFA during Regan's tenure don't seem willing or able to grasp.

Anyway, I've made a small list of what I think many of us will remember as Stewart Regan's legacy as Chief Executive of the SFA when he eventually does the dignified thing, shows some integrity and admits that his position is no longer tenable. I'm sure it's not complete, but it's what came to mind off the top of my head:

  • Out-sourcing decision making processes to independent parties (which effectively takes money straight out of the game).
  • Installing an inconsistent and thus unfair disciplinary system.
  • Catastrophic national team failure and failure to act quickly enough regarding the manager's position.
  • Failure to keep the SPL's power-brokers in line.
  • Letting the SPL govern Scottish football even when they're willing to damage Scottish football to serve their own agenda.
  • Unprecedented, mishandled and over-zealous treatment of a football club which suffers an administration event.
  • Trying to re-write the rule book for the purposes of serving an agenda against Scotland's most successful club.
  • Failing to deal with Rangers transfer of SFA membership in an appropriate and timely manner when it shouldn't have been an issue.
  • Using the transfer of SFA membership as a mechanism to blackmail Rangers into accepting unprecedented sanctions.
  • Failure to bring Scotland's biggest and most successful club to the discussion table regarding reconstruction talks.
  • Slamming Rangers and our CEO with disrepute charges when Regan himself should be charged with bringing the game into disrepute.
  • Taking a ride on the “sporting integrity” bandwagon during the Rangers witch-hunt when he has shown zero integrity himself.

His constant attempts to try to absolve himself of responsibility by avoiding or whitewashing over the truth of these matters simply prove that Stewart Regan is a serial truth avoider, perhaps even a liar. One way or another, this man's P45 is long overdue and it's about time the SFA did the honourable and sensible thing by requesting his resignation. After all, his position certainly is not tenable and so for the good of sporting integrity, he must be asked to leave or else be forcibly removed.

Zappa can always be found over at his home on GersNet or on Twitter at @GNzappa