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Anecdote… (bear with me – its a bit long winded …

Comment on About the The Scottish Football Monitor by Carl31.

Anecdote… (bear with me – its a bit long winded to get to the point)
I once played in a bowling tournament where the semi-finalist (I was no longer involved at this stage) complained that the opponent’s bowls were not properly stamped.
The Umpire’s decision (which was clearly stated in the rules as being final) was that they were indeed not properly stamped, but no action would be taken and the tournament would continue as before.
Asked about his reasons he had a number within an explanation.
Bowls’ stamps, amongst other things, ensure that no-one is playing with loaded bowls – extra swing or straightness.
This means that an opponent can be sure each bowl will run as consistent as the others and sporting strategy can be applied accordingly (length of jack, blocking shots, etc.).
The umpire used local knowledge – he knew the club member and knew he had played with the same consistent bowls for a number of years.
He knew the bowls improper stamp was due to the member having dropped one on a stone which had damaged the bowl.
The same bowls had been used through the tourney up to semi and it was not practical to undo a range of games results, and recount the round robin points/replay the subsequent knockout games.
If the bowls had been used until ‘now’, they can be used to finish the tourney.
After the tourney, the umpire noted to the organisers that he had asked the member to ensure his bowls are properly stamped for future tourneys.
I initially thought it quite a breathtaking decision and totally wrong, because a rule is a rule and if your in a tournament under SBA rules your bowls must be properly stamped – but on reflection on his explanations I eventually agreed that he was just about right.
Thanks to those of you who are still with me.
The game was essentially played fair. Any disqualification would have been on a technicality. Justice was done.
I learned that the umpire placed the spirit of the game above any particular written rule.
The game is bigger than any issues around which rule should be verbatim applied here or there.

The point…
This brings me to the SDM position and the general Rangers position. There is no recognition that the game of football is bigger – the game is paramount.
When will there be some acceptance that for the last decade at least, they have not been playing fair? They will reform, accept this and that, and carry on regardless.
They may well attempt to wheedle around with this or that, contending that they dont contravene the letter of the SPL law, or rule, and maybe that retrospective action isnt specified in this regard or other.
But its clear that an unfair advantage was gained by Rangers under SDM. ‘no cheating in a sporting regard’. Eh??? How does SDM work that out? An unfair advantage was clearly in play.
They have now been caught. When will they simply issue some form of acknowledgement of this? They didnt play the game fair and theyve been busted.
Some form of statement or issuance from the current club or previous administration (in some form) would go a long way to repairing the damage done to the game.

Carl31 Also Commented

About the The Scottish Football Monitor
There are a number of the learned on here who probably have an answer to a question that just occurred to me today…
Between the SPL investigation, the Liquidators chasing for money back from EBTs and the FTT, which one might be best waiting til last – in that the documents that the others turn up or flush out could be useful/partly prove your case?

About the The Scottish Football Monitor
Topslice all European game related income from any club that is involved in Europe, and divide it up between all Scottish clubs to be ringfenced and spent only on youth development/homegrown talent.

Link each clubs share of the gate receipts from the Scottish Cup ties to the number of young Scottish players fielded during the games concerned.

Recent Comments by Carl31

The Way it Works
nawlite says:
August 8, 2014 at 12:24 pm

“I am still left feeling that Celtic don’t deserve to benefit from this error. They aren’t able to force UEFA to reinstate Legia and, as I said, I wouldn’t want them to, but I honestly think they should take the moral high ground and now work with UEFA to find a way to ‘resign’ from the competition in a way that doesn’t cause problems for UEFA/the other teams.”

They could effectively ‘resign’ by continuing with the same players and same coach playing the same system in the same manner with the same conviction.

The Way it Works
Apols if this info is covered already.

Last night on Twitter I was linked to a KDS post … (Barcabhoy from memory??)
There is a difference in wording of the UEFA rules between a suspended player and an ineligible player. The rules on one allow UEFA leeway, but on the other there is none.

A club that fields a ‘suspended’ player forfeits the tie and 3-0 awarded to the opponents. End of.

‘Ineligible’example… the Sion issue was that players transferred during the club’s a UEFA transfer ban were fielded. Nothing under the rules had them as ‘suspended’, but they werent eligible.
In the Sion instance and other instances not involving a suspended player, UEFA had/have leeway to decide what the punishment should be.
Since Legia Warsaw fielded a ‘suspended’ player, there is no leeway. The tie is forfeit and 3-0 is the awarded score.

Much as there may be opinion that a lesser punishment is more appropriate, UEFA would need to do an SFA and ‘make-it-up-as-they-go-along’ to do so. Given what this forum (and many other fora), and the greatest majority of its contributors, has been doing is to continually and rightly make it clear that the rules should be applied consistently for the good of the game, I would have thought that would also be the case here.

I am of the opinion that rules are rules. It is correct that the rules have been applied and Celtic are through, regardless of how obviously better LW played than them. Where there are set consequences, it is not proper for rules to be adapted as seen fit on some judgement call of the specific circumstances.

On the issue of whether the St Pats games should have counted as serving the suspension, I would presume that LW had to register their squad which would have a limited number of slots. A player serving a suspension for a red last season would need to take up one of these slots for the club to effectively suffer some kind of loss or sanction arising from the red card suspension. If this did not happen – and LW filled the allocated number of registered player slots on the squad sheet – then LW were yet to suffer consequences /loss/sanction for the player’s red card.
In terms of consistency throughout the game/competitions, it is important that these sanctions effectively act as some kind of disincentive to red cards. It is important that the rules are applied when such situations arise.

The Way it Works
Apols if this point has been made already. Its about the possibility of beneficiaries of the MIH/Rangers EBT set-up, mostly players, being pursued to repay loans.
MIH’ paid money into an offshore trust, which in turn paid money into a number of sub-trusts, which in turn paid money as loans to individual beneficiaries. This short sentence sums up how beneficiaries were paid, but not in detail. We know this from the findings in fact of the FTT.
With this in mind it can be reasoned that, whilst the players (beneficiaries) could legally be required to pay money to their sub-trusts, they cannot be required to pay money back all the way back along the ‘path’ to the club. Morally, maybe anyone could argue that money should be paid back to the club, but I would figure that this would need to be some form of gift. It would not be repayment of a loan. The beneficiaries have not borrowed from the club, they have borrowed from a MIH sub-trust.

In the unlikely event that beneficiaries decide they want rid of the affair, and decide to pay back all they have borrowed and draw a line under things, then my question would be, ‘what then happens to the money that would be with the sub-trust’? Would it simply reside there in perpetuity? It’s a moo point*, since I cant envisage any money ever being repaid to a sub-trust by a beneficiary, given the circumstance.

*a point that cows would make and thus not worth considering.

Armageddon? What Armageddon?
The more i think about football in general the more i think its governance is a sham.
Excuse me if im a bit negative on this. Im especially thinking of FFP rules.
Also, please excuse me if things get a bit ‘tinfoil hat’.

A while back there was a tax case between HMRC and McLaren F1 where Mclaren had cheated, been fined £30m for rulebreaking and then claimed it as deductible against tax. The judge in that case found in their favour, and against HMRC.
I havent followed up any appeal.
The judgement included the principle that it was fair enough for a commercial entity, whose business was being a sporting entity, to cheat at that sport (cheating the rules of the governing body) to gain a sporting advantage ‘in the arena’. The tax deductible ‘business activities’ included in those that make the commercial entity profitable, are those that are compliant with the administrative and governing rules and those that are not. Compliance with the law of the land, however, was a different matter.
Yes, said the judge, you can offset fines by the governing body of your sport against your tax liability. Also, it had not been demonstrated to the judge, by HMRC, that any systemic issue would arise.

How does that multi-millions MCFC or PSG fine look through this prism? IMO, the whole FFP arrangement may well be a big tax dodge.

It could be that all who run the professional game, interested in the commercial imperative, will be looking at various ways to be ‘tax efficient’. The less that ‘the game’ throughout Europe needs to pay to the relevant clubs’ tax authorities, the better.
The smart way to impose FFP, from this point of view, would be to approach the ‘offending’ clubs and ask whether X or Y amount works for them? Gauge the amount just right so as not to leave the clubs with profit to be taxed, nor to hit them too hard as a proportion of their turnover. Remembering that any funds collected would be redistributed in some way as prizemoney.
Turns out that there is indeed a degree of ‘negotiation’.

The root issue is that there are no ‘Poacher and Gamekeeper’ arrangements here. They may well be all in cahoots looking to maximise the commercial returns from the game. This could be true of Scotland, and of wider European football. Publicly, the game is portrayed as being somehow policed by the authorities – that any clubs that are trying to get away with this or that will be kept in line by hefty fines.
It seems to me far more likely that in many situations the clubs and authorities are working together.
But why would clubs and governing bodies behave in such a way? Have I truly gone all tinfoil hat para?

A while back a book came out by University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and New York Times journalist Stephen J. Dubner.
One of the principles they advocated (probably the central theme) was that if there was enough of an economic incentive for something to happen and limited barriers to it happening, then it would likely find some way of happening.

IMO, its likely that the commercial imperative, especially but not limited to, the top European clubs, is driving an agenda that optimises levels of tax efficiency – because there is such an incentive for it to happen.

Overall the whole deal here is a huge turn off for me. My guess is (and from what Ive read in places) that a number of fines will be issued over the coming years, with some form of negotiations on each occasion. The picture will be painted of the governing bodies getting strict with overspending clubs. Personally, I don’t buy it.

The question is worth repeating: where does our ‘sporting integrity’ fit in the picture?

Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?

From memory, new legislation came out (in 2008 I think) on Disguised Remunerations.
This is intended to catch all these different types of schemes and means of paying contractual wages in a way that it can be argued are not taxable as contractual wages – catch them and collect the tax due.
The new legislation set out how, when assessing for taxable income, its the whole picture that should be seen, and not simply documents or forms looked at and the law applied to it. Dr Poon covered this in the FTT minority opinion.
This seems a recurring theme of form over substance.

It seems that the ‘LNS/SPLIC misled’ will be denied using the strict definitions of ‘the issues’, ‘specified players’ and the definition of an EBT.
Using legalese, they strictly would be correct, but patently there has been a failure to see the bigger picture of what has happened, leaving the whole process as unsatisfactory.

The SPLIC was too narrow in its scope and definitions and if those who saw fit to pursue wrongdoing still have an appetite or will for it on the basis of principle, then at the least there must be further action of some kind. Action that looks for the bigger picture.

How this might be progressed, or what could compel those on the SPL Board to act is not clear.

I guess that if the SPL board decided to act and then the SPLIC was instigated from one of their board meetings – with the terms of reference drawn up and contained in the Notice of Commission, along with the charges, then I would suggest going back to there.

Maybe what needs to be pursued are the SPL Board minutes that include the decision to act, which led to the announcement, “that set up an enquiry that the initial date range to be covered was from the inception of the SPL in July 1998, but that was changed to 23 November 2000 because, according to our understanding, that is the date of the first side letter supplied by Rangers Administrators Duff and Phelps.”

These should include the decision based on the principle that wrongdoing should be investigated. You have set out how the principle was not satisfied.

Hope this helps.

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