Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?

ByAuldheid

Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?

 

Thoughts and observations from watching and reading a transcript of Alex Thomson of Channel 4’s Interview with Stewart Regan (CEO of the SFA) Broadcast by Channel 4 on 29 March 2012.

http://www.channel4.com/news/we-run-football-were-not-the-police-sfa-boss

Introduction. I came across the above interview recently and listened to and transcribed it again as it reminded me of questions it raised then that the passage of time since has provided some insight into.

There is a lot to digest so the blog is broken into four sections.  Three parts cover the Interview plus what they seem to tell us now, knowing what was not known then viz:

  • Why No independent or independent element to the enquiry that became the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission. given the potential extent of the corruption at play?
  • Why no effective fit and Proper Person scrutiny and the absence of real governance?
  • EBTS and whether they constitute wrong doing and why that mattered so much and still does. plus
  • The “hard to not to believe” conclusions about the whole exercise with the benefit of what we ken noo.

There is also an Annex at the end with excerpts from the Lord Nimmo Smith Decision for ease of reference:

The comments (in bold italics) are based on what Regan said then and what we ken noo, either as facts or questions arising from them. It is a long read but hopefully readers will be enticed by this introduction to stay the course.

In the following “SR” is Stewart Regan CEO of the SFA and “AT” is Alex Thomson of Channel 4 News.

No Independent Enquiry?

SR No

AT I’m just curious as to why they wouldn’t. With something as big as this potentially this is the biggest corruption scandal in British sport, which is – a thought – and yet the SPL deem themselves fit to investigate themselves.

SR Well I think you are calling it potentially the biggest corruption case, at this stage there has been no wrongdoing proven.  There is an investigation going on

AT But you would accept that potentially, potentially that if guilty there is no question this is the biggest corruption scandal in British sport.

SR There is no wrongdoing as I said at the moment and there is nothing yet that has been established as far as the club registering players without providing the appropriate documentation, so I think it would   be wrong to jump to conclusions and even use words like corruption. You know there are a series of issues here. There are some footballing matters which are being dealt through the football authorities and there are tax mattes which are being dealt with through HMRC and there is to be a Tax Tribunal due to be heard as I’m sure you are aware in April.

So even before the investigation got underway Mr Regan was saying that it would be incorrect to assume that any wrong doing took place in terms of the registration process and use of ebts. He later expands on this point in relation to EBTs as a legitimate tax arrangement device. Given that the FTT did not rule until November 2012 that the ebts issued under the Murray Management Group Remuneration Trust (MMGRT) were legal then this stance by Mr Regan appears justifiable at the time of interview – but more on that later. 

AT I’m just wondering why at no stage anybody seemed, or perhaps they did, to think we need an independent body coming in this is big this is huge, potentially  we need somebody from the outside  or we are going simply going to be accused of investigating ourselves.

SR Well I think that might be one for you to ask the Scottish Premier League as far as their Board..

AT Well they appeal to you so I’m asking you.

SR   No as you said we are the right of appeal so if the club is concerned with any punishment it has been given well then they can choose to appeal to us. We as a body have the provision in our rules to carry out independent enquiries, indeed we did so very recently by appointing the Right Honourable Lord Nimmo Smith to carry out our own investigation into Rangers and we are part way through disciplinary proceedings and they will be heard on 29 March.

Given that player registrations are ultimately lodged with the SFA where Sandy Bryson has been doing the job for some years, I did wonder why the SFA were not the body taking the lead. They had the expertise on what turned out to be a key issue, the eligibility of players if misregistration occurred.  Indeed Sandy Bryson was called in to give a testimony to Lord Nimmo Smith that most folk involved in running a football team from amateur level upwards (as I was) had difficulty accepting. The Bryson interpretation suggested us amateurs had been daft not to take the risk of being found out if we did not register players correctly if only games from the point of discovery risked having results overturned. The Bryson interpretation on eligibility made no sense against that experience and it still does not to football lovers. I’m not sure if the rules have been amended to reflect the Bryson interpretation yet, but cannot see how they can be without removing a major deterrent that I always thought proper registration was there to provide.

The point about their having to be a body of higher appeal sounded plausible then, but could the Court of Arbitration on Sport not have been that body?  Or did that risk taking matters out of the SFA’s control even though it would have introduced an element of the independence that Alex Thomson raises in the following paragraphs in his interview?

AT But did anybody at any stage at the SFA say to you I have a concern that we need an independent body, that the SPL can’t and shouldn’t handle this?

SR Well under the governance of football the SPL run the competition

AT I’m not asking, I’m saying did anybody come to you at any stage and say that to you. Anybody?

SR No they didn’t as far as the SPL’s processes is concerned. The SPL ,

AT Never?

It is notable here that Alex Thomson pushes the point about lack of independence, which is where we enter “wit we ken noo territory”.  

Given that it is now known that SFA President Campbell Ogilvie sat on the Rangers FC Remunerations Policy Committee in September 1999 where it was decided Discount Option Scheme (DOS) ebts would be used as a matter of club remuneration policy using the Rangers Employee Benefit Trust (REBT).

Given that we know that Campbell Ogilvie instigated the first ebt payment to Craig Moore using the Discount Options Scheme.

Given that Ronald De Boer and Tor Andre Flo had both been paid using the same type of DOS ebt as Moore from 2000 to 2002/03 but accompanied by side letters, later concealed from HMRC  in 2005 and of course the SFA from August 2000.

Given that Mr Ogilvie was also in receipt of the later MMGRT ebts disputed by HMRC in the big tax case on which the FTT had still to rule

Given that Mr Regan must have been aware at time of interview that Sherriff Officers had called at Ibrox in August 2011 to collect payment of a tax bill, which means even to a layman that it must have gone past dispute to acceptance of liability and so crystallised sometime after 31st March 2011.

Given that Craig Whyte had already agreed to pay the wee tax bill in his public Takeover statement in early June 2011.

Given that on 7th December 2011 Regan had written to Andrew Dickson at RFC, who had sat on three of the four SFA/UEFA Licensing Committee meetings in 2011, to approve a draft statement by Mr Regan on the SFA’s handling of the UEFA Licence aspect of the wee tax case, which arose as a direct result of the use of the DOS ebts to Flo and De Boer during Dickson’s ongoing tenure at RFC from 1991.

Given that Campbell Ogilvie accompanied Stewart Regan to meet Craig Whyte at the Hotel De Vin on 15th December 2011 as a result of an invite stemming from that consternation causing draft that RFC thought likely to cause problems for the SFA (having agreed before the hotel meeting that no comment should be made on the wee tax case)

Given that the wee tax case was a direct result of those early types of DOS ebts being judged illegal by an FTT considering an appeal by the Aberdeen Asset Management company in 2010.

Given all of these facts, how credible is it that no conversation took place between Regan and Campbell Ogilvie on the requirement for an independent enquiry?

If a conversation did not take place as claimed, the question has to be should it have?

Given the foregoing facts on the early ebts, how credible is it Mr Regan during this interview did not know as a result of his involvement with the overdue payable and the UEFA licence in 2011 of the illegal and therefore wrong doing nature of those early EBTS with side letters concealed from the SFA and HMRC in 2005 just before Mr Ogilvie left RFC?

SR The SPL run, the SPL run the rules of The Scottish Premier League and they apply that. There are a whole host of people raising issues on internet sites and passing comment s about various theories that they have about Scottish football particularly in the West of Scotland. I think it’s important to establish that governance of Scottish football is managed by the appropriate body whether it is the Premier League, The Football League or the overall governing body. So that as far as we are concerned we let the   Scottish Premier league manage their own rules and if those rules are then broken and the club is charged they have the right of appeal to us as the Appellant body.

Given all of the now known facts listed above how credible is it that the reason given by Stewart Regan to Alex Thomson for the SFA being the appeal body was indeed the only one?

Given the foregoing how credible is it that Mr Regan was not aware that he was being economical with the truth during his interview or had he indeed been kept in the dark by others in the SFA?

Fit and Proper Person and Absence of Governance

AT Let’s talk about Craig Whyte. Ehm   – Presumably when Craig Whyte was mooted as coming in as the new owner – for the grand sum of £1 – for Rangers Football club, presumably the SFA took a keen interest in this and did some kind of due diligence on this man.

SR Well we have under our articles, Article 10.2, we have a process which sets out a number of criteria for what defines a fit and proper person within football. Now as you know we cannot stop people getting involved with a business and we cannot stop people getting involved with a PLC, all we can stop them doing is having an involvement with football, so what we do as part of that process is we ask for a declaration from the Directors of the club that they have a copy of the Articles,, that they have gone through the conditions and criteria within Article 10.2 and they have confirmed to us that they meet those criteria. If subsequently those criteria are breached then of course we take appropriate action.

AT You keep quoting rules back to me that’s not what I’m asking, I’m asking is did the SFA conduct any due diligence on this individual.

SR No we asked for a self-declaration from the Directors of the club and the individual himself.

AT Forgive me that sounds absolutely incredible this is the biggest club in Scotland which has been brought to its knees by a whole range of fiscal mismanagement, it is all on the record and proven. A new man comes in claiming all kinds of things, just like the previous man, and the SFA did not check or do any due diligence whatsoever.

SR That is part of the process of governing football, we

AT That’s, that’s NOT governing football that’s the exact opposite to governing football that’s running away from governing football.

SR No if you let me, if you let me finish my answer the point I am about to make is we govern the entire game from the top of the game down to grass roots. We have changes of Directors we have changes of ownership throughout the course of the year. I’m sure that if we were to spend football’s well earned money on doing investigations into potentially every change of Director, then there would be a lot of unhappy Chairmen out there.

AT You could have easily have googled (?) for free

SR Well we rely on the clubs telling us that the Articles have been complied with and that is the process we undertake.

AT This is extraordinary I say to you again  you have years of fiscal mismanagement at Rangers Football Club, a new man comes in you are telling me that nobody at The SFA as much as got on to Google  to get any background information nobody did anything ? That is extraordinary.

SR Well you refer to alleged years of financial mismanagement. I think it’s important to separate out the previous regime at Rangers and the new owner.

AT Rangers were a mess financially everybody new that

SR But I think it’s important in the case of the point you are raising regarding the fit and proper person test, to separate out the previous regime from the new owner. The club was in the process of being sold, they were challenging a tax bill that had been challenged by HMRC,* and the club had been sold to a new owner. That new owner had come in, he had purchased the club, the paper work for that sale had gone through and the club had complied with our Articles of Association. We run football we don’t, we are not the police we don’t govern transactions, we don’t govern fitness, we run football and we had asked the club to declare whether or not that person was fit to hold a place in association football. They had gone through the articles they’d signed to say that they had read those articles and that there had been no breaches of any of the points set out there. That included whether a Director had been disqualified. That wasn’t disclosed to us, indeed it did not come out until the BBC did their investigation back in October of last year.

(* note that in spite of all the “givens” listed earlier,  Mr Regan fails to distinguish (or appreciate) that there is more than one tax bill at play and the one for the wee tax case was not under challenge or Sherriff Officers would not have called in August 2011 to collect it.)

 AT So the BBC did due diligence on fitness (??) not the SFA?

SR No, as I said it came out in October 2010 primarily as a result of a detailed investigation. We then have to respond to potential breaches of our articles and we did that We entered into dialogue with the solicitor who was acting for Mr Whyte and we were in dialogue until February 2011 (?sic)  of this year when the club entered administration.

AT What I’m simply asking you to admit here is that the SFA failed and it failed Rangers in its hour of need over Craig Whyte and it failed Scottish football.

SR We didn’t fail.

AT You didn’t do anything, you said you didn’t do anything.

SR We complied with the current processes within our articles. That said I think there are a number of learnings and I think the same goes for football right across the globe. People are coming into football into a multimillion pound business and I think football needs to take a harder look at what could be done differently. We are currently exploring the possibility of carrying out due diligence using the outgoing regime to make sure that there is a full and rigorous research being done before the transaction is allowed to go ahead.

AT Do you feel the need to apologise to Rangers fans?

SR I don’t need to apologise because we complied with our articles. I don’t feel there is a need to apologise whatsoever. I think….

AT You need some new articles then don’t you?

SR Well I think the articles

AT Well let’s unpack this. You said there is no need to apologise because we followed the rule books so that’s all right. So you must therefore admit you need a new rule book.

SR No well I think it’s easy at times to try and look around and find a scapegoat and try and point fingers at where blame is to be apportioned. I think perhaps it might be worth looking at the previous regime who for four years when they said they were selling the club, said that they would sell it and act in the best interests of the club. With that in mind I think the previous regime also have to take some responsibility for selling that club and looking after so called shareholders of Rangers football club and those people who that have put money into the club over the years.

AT ??  (Interrupted)

SR the Scottish FA, as I said have a process, that process has been place for some time. It has worked very very well until now I think there are learnings undoubtably and as I said we will review where we can tighten up as I know is happening across the game right now.

The above segment on Craig Whyte and Fit and Proper  Persons is a timely reminder to supporters of all clubs, but particularly of Rangers FC of what happens when those charged with governing Scottish football hide behind the letter of the rules when convenient, rather than apply the true spirit in which those rules were written. It is the approach of The Pharisees to make a wrong , right.

To be fair to the SFA though, I doubt anyone could have imagined the degree of deceit and deception that they had allowed into Scottish football in May 2011 and how useless their rules were as a result, but I am not aware to this day if the SFA have apologised to Scottish football generally and Rangers supporters in particular, not only for failing to protect them from Craig Whyte, but also failing to protect them from the consequences of the foolish financial excesses of Sir David Murray, especially from 2008 when the tax bills in respect of the MMGRT ebts began to arrive at RFC . Some intervention then, assuming something was known by some at the SFA, who also held positions at Rangers, of  those  huge tax demands,  might have cost Rangers three titles from 2009, but what Ranger’s supporter would not give all of that up to protect their club from the fate that the failure of the SFA to govern has caused?

Also to be fair the SFA have changed the rules so that the outgoing regime is responsible for doing due diligence on any new club owners rather than relying on self-certification by the incoming club owner, but we know that did not work particularly well when Rangers Chairman Alistair Johnstone did due diligence on Craig Whyte , but then again Sir David Murray  was under pressure to sell and the guy coming in, everyone was told, had wealth off the radar.

The Nature of EBTS.

AT Let’s look at EBTs. Did nobody question ebts in the Scottish game in the English game come to that simply because nobody thought they were illegal in any way and indeed are not illegal in any way if operated correctly? Is it as simple as that?

SR There is nothing wrong with ebts when used correctly and ebts are a way of providing benefits to employees and if managed in a correct manner are perfectly legitimate. I think that the issue that we know is under investigation at the moment by both HMRC as part of the large tax case and the SPL as part of their own investigation into potential no disclosure of side letters is whether or not there has been any wrong doing and I think the issue at hand is that wrongdoing or potential wrongdoing has been discussed with HMRC for some time for several years in fact so we would not get involved in anything that there is no wrongdoing   taking place and ebts are, as I said, a legitimate way of doing business when used correctly.

Again taking the “givens” into account, particularly the significant event of Sherriff Officers calling to collect unpaid tax in August 2011 and the logical deduction that the SFA President must have known of the difference between the two types of ebts Rangers used, (and perhaps why they were changed) why the insistence at this point that all the ebts used by Rangers had been used correctly? Mr Regan at the time of the interview was either kept in the dark by his President, given he claims to have spoken to no one about the independence of the enquiry, or being economical with the truth.

The whole of Lord Nimmo Smith’s judgement made months after this interview, where Mr Regan stressed again and again there is no wrongdoing in the use of ebts if arranged correctly (or lawfully) is predicated on all ebts with side letters used by Rangers since 23 November 2011 actually being used correctly and in Lord Nimmo Smiths words on being “themselves not irregular”. (Para 5 of Annex 1). It is almost as if Mr Regan knew the outcome before Lord Nimmo Smith.

(In fact the ebt to Tor Andre Flo had a side letter dated 23 November and it related to a tax arrangement that had not been used correctly (using Regan’s own words) The irregular ebt for Ronald De Boer with a side letter of 30 August was placed beyond the scope of the Commission because in spite of it meeting the criteria specified by Harper MacLeod in March 2012 asking to be provided with ALL ebts and side letters and any other related documentation from July 1998 to date (including the HMRC letter of Feb 2011 that fully demonstrated that those particular ebts under  the Rangers Employee Benefit Trust (REBT) were not used correctly) and so were unlawful, NONE  of that documentation was  provided when requested.

This enabled Lord Nimmo Smith to state in para 107 of his Decision “while there is no question of dishonesty, individual or corporate” which is a statement he could not have made had he had all the requested documentation denied to him either by dishonesty or negligence during the preparation of his Commission.

How would he have had to judge one wonders if deception and dishonesty was indeed the factor we now ken that it is?

 

What exactly were the consequences of the failure to provide Lord Nimmo Smith with the required documentation?

It is stated in the Decision (Annex 1 para 104) that the Inquiry proceeded on the basis that the EBT arrangements (by which it meant the MGMRT ebts) were “lawful”. As it transpired the outcome of the FTT decision announced in November 2012 was that the MGMRT ebts indeed were (although this is still under appeal by HMRC.)

However, because Lord Nimmo Smith treated the MGMRT and the Earlier Trust (REBT) as one and the same, (para 35 of Decision) this meant that the Inquiry failed to distinguish between the two trusts and necessarily treated the Earlier Trust as also being lawful (without however having properly investigated its operation). However, the MGMRT and the earlier REBT were two separate trusts and there was no necessary reason to treat them as one and the same. Had evidence relating to the REBT been produced and examined, the Inquiry could hardly have treated them) as “continuous” or allowed Lord Nimmo Smith to say “we are not aware that they were different trusts“(Annex 1 para 35)

From the Decision (Annex 1 para 40), it would appear that the President of the SFA gave evidence only as to his knowledge of the MGMRT (not the REBT). We know now that the President of the SFA had knowledge of the Earlier Trust (sitting on the RFC remuneration policy committee that agreed to their use in 1999 and indeed was active in its setting up). Why the President failed to volunteer such crucial information is surely something he should now be asked?

By the time of the Inquiry, Rangers FC had already conceded liability in what has become known as “the Wee Tax Case” (which related to the now unlawful REBTs). Having regard to the wording at para 104 of the Decision (that is an echo of what Regan stressed to Alex Thomson about ebts) where it is said that to arrange financial affairs in a manner “within the law” is not a breach of the SFA/SPL Rules) the clear implication, must be that to arrange financial affairs in such a way that they are not lawful, must be a breach of the rules.

Given the admission of liability in the Wee Tax Case, payments made in respect of the REBT could not be “lawful” (to employ the language used in the Decision) or disputed, but Mr Regan presumably did not enquire too much into the history of the wee tax case before agreeing to talk to Alex Thomson.

It will be obvious from the above that the unlawful nature of REBTs had been masked from SPL lawyers and Lord Nimmo Smith as a result of:-

(a) the failure by the Administrators of Rangers FC to provide the documentation required of them;

(b) the failure of the President of the SFA to provide to the Inquiry his own knowledge of, involvement in, and presumably as a result of it, an appreciation of the differences between the two types of ebts and the consequences thereof for the investigation.  

Had the REBT been the sole subject of the Inquiry (rather than in effect not being examined at all) the following must have been different:-

(i)            the President could hardly have failed to give testimony of his knowledge and involvement;

(ii)          the Inquiry could not have held that the use of the REBT ebts was lawful;

(iv)       the “no sporting advantage” decision given in respect of the lawful ebts could not have been applied to unlawful ebts.

The real issue in the case of the unlawful ebts was not one of misregistration (Annex 1 para 104) which in turn justified the no sporting advantage decision in paras 105/106 but of paying players by an unlawful means which “constitutes such a fundamental defect (Annex 1 para 88) that the registration of players paid this way (i.e. unlawfully) must be treated as having been invalid from the outset.

Had the true nature of these early ebts been known to SPL lawyers the Terms of Reference of the Investigation would have to have addressed the wrong doing that Mr Regan was so keen to argue with Alex Thomson had not actually occurred (long before Lord Nimmo Smith agreed with him) or had President Ogilvie made the distinction in his testimony, it would have been impossible for Sandy Bryson’s to advise as he did regarding the effect on eligibility. He would have to have been asked questions about two types of ebts not one. Finally Lord Nimmo Smith could not have treated both as continuous.

Finally, given this incidence of non-disclosure by the Rangers Administrators (an identifiable trait of RFC dealings with authority from August 2000 to date), it is impossible to see how paragraph 107 (wherein it is stated that there is “no question of dishonesty”) can be allowed to remain unchallenged.

Of course the failure to supply the key evidence could just be an oversight given Rangers Administrators were hardly likely to have established of their own volition the importance of the documents to the enquiry and yet, had they been supplied, the enquiry could not have been based on the defence Stewart Regan was at such pains to stress in his interview with Alex Thomson at a time only 3 months after Mr Regan and Campbell Ogilvie had joined Craig Whyte for dinner as a result of an invite prompted by questions on the SFA UEFA Licence handling of the wee tax case , created by the very same unlawful ebts.

AT But as the governing body why did you not say to Rangers “look guys this this smells really bad, this looks bad you look (and you have admitted you have not paid your tax) you know we can’t do this, we have got to be open and above board, it looks bad.

SR Well think you need to look at what is legal and above board. At the time the club, were in dispute with HMRC. There was a tax case ongoing the new owner was in discussion with HMRC. In fact he has made comments and the club have made comments to that effect and because the amount was not crystallised under UEFA guidelines, whilst ever it’s in dispute it’s not classed as overdue.

AT Sometimes

SR So you need to separate out the licensing requirement, which is what the Licensing Committee did, from the tax that was owed to HMRC which is as we know what is still ongoing.

Mr Regan was not being accurate here.  The Big Tax case was in dispute and the bill has not crystallised as a result. However the wee tax case crystallised in mid June 2011 and at 30th June 2011, the UEFA licence checkpoint under Article 66 of UEFA FFP, did not meet the conditions to excuse it as being an overdue payable to HMRC. Quite how the SFA handled the processing of the Article 66 submission from RFC is subject to a resolution asking UEFA to investigate put to the Celtic AGM in November 2013 which is still in progress. As has been mentioned twice before Mr Regan has either been kept in the dark or was being less than honest with Alex Thomson. Interestingly Andrew Dickson who has been at Rangers in various administration and executive capacity since 1991 sat on 3 of the four UEFA Licensing Committee meetings during 2011. He may of course have excused himself from any discussions on this matter as the rules allowed, but was a full explanation why he did so, if indeed he did, offered? Would such an explanation have enlightened Mr Regan of what he was dealing with?

AT Sometimes things can be within the rules but from a PR point of view, indeed from a moral point of view, hate to introduce morality to football but can be the wrong thing to do. You would accept that?

SR Well I think that football around the world is going through a difficult time, clubs are in difficult financial circumstances, not just in Scotland, you look down into England and look at the clubs in Administration at the moment. You know Portsmouth and Port Vale in recent times and I think Plymouth is as well again. As far as that is concerned you know that indicates that clubs are living from hand to mouth and there are deals being done all the time with HMRC, payment plans being agreed. There is huge amounts of debt in football.

AT I’m just inviting you to accept that sometimes things can be within the rules but just look bad because morally, they are bad.

ST I think when taxes aren’t paid ehm VAT in particular, National Insurance Contributions of course that’s bad and I think we accept that and we know that in the current regime there is evidence to suggest that Rangers has not paid its taxes since Mr Whyte took over the club. That’s wrong that is against the spirit of the game and certainly we would look to deal with that and stamp out that type of behaviour which is not acting with integrity.

If Carlsberg did irony!

End of Interview.

The Hard Not to Believe Conclusions

There is always the danger in examining anything of finding what you want to be there rather than what is there and it is a danger any writer has to be aware of, but given the responses from Harper MacLeod on TSFM and the total lack of response from the SPFL and SFA when being informed of the missing evidence along with what has been written here it is hard not to conclude that the Lord Nimmo Smith Inquiry was deliberately set up in such a way as to produce two results

  • The minimising of the wrongful behaviour that had taken place from 1999 to 2012 when The Commission sat
  • The avoidance of the consequences of admitting that serious wrongdoing in the form of illegal payments had been made via irregular EBTs, which consequently made the players involved ineligible from the outset, making the Bryson ruling inapplicable in those cases with the consequences of that ineligibility on trophies and remuneration won.

The reader will find it hard not to conclude that either

  • there was a huge screw up by the SPL lawyers charged to set up the Commission which they might be able to defend
  • or
  • Vital knowledge was concealed within the SFA itself in order to achieve the above two results and
  • This knowledge was deliberately concealed because had it not been The Inquiry could not have come to the conclusion it did on player eligibility, not only because unlawful ebts were used in early instances, but also because the deliberate concealment from HMRC of the side letters to De Boer and Flo, the former also kept from Harper and MacLeod, suggests Rangers knew all along and in 2005 in particular that what they were doing since 2000 was morally wrong and against the spirit of the game. It perhaps also explains why HMRC is determined to push an appeal all the way.
  • This failure to supply all documents meant that the line being taken by Mr Regan in March 2012, when the Commission was being set up into the use of ebts and failure to register them with the SFA, came to fulfilment in the Decision of Lord Nimmo Smith himself, achieving the two aims suggested above.

Given that Harper MacLeod have said they passed on to the SFA in September 2014 the evidence kept from them by Rangers Administrators, has Stewart Regan spoken to either Ogilvie or Dickson since then about keeping him in the dark? Or did he know all along?

Of course these hard to believe conclusions could be discounted as delusional ramblings if either the SFA or SPFL were to say they would investigate the evidence kept from Harper MacLeod. It would also help if only one of the thirteen main stream journalists would look at the hard copy of the concealed documents they were provided with, because until someone who values sporting integrity does, the stench of corruption will hang over Scottish football for years to reek out anytime the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission is used as a justification for anything that it contains.

Annex One – Extracts from Lord Nimmo Smith Decision

[5] Although the payments in this case were not themselves irregular and were not in

breach of SPL or SFA Rules, the scale and extent of the proven contraventions of the disclosure rules require a substantial penalty to be imposed;

 

Outline of the Scheme

 

[35] As we have said, a controlling interest in Oldco was held by David Murray through the medium of Murray MHL Limited, part of the Murray Group of companies. Murray Group Management Limited (MGM) provided management services to the companies of the Murray Group. By deed dated 20 April 2001 MGM set up the Murray Group Management Remuneration Trust (the MGMRT). (We note that the MGMRT was preceded by the Rangers Employee Benefit Trust, but we are not aware that they were different trusts. We shall treat them as a continuous trust, which we shall refer to throughout as the MGMRT.)

 

[40] Mr Ogilvie learnt about the existence of the MGMRT in about 2001 or 2002, because a contribution was made for his benefit. He understood that this was non-contractual. Although as a result he knew about the existence of the MGMRT, he did not know any details of it. He subsequently became aware, while he remained director of Oldco, that contributions were being made to the MGMRT in respect of players. He assumed that these were made in respect of the players’ playing football, which was the primary function for which they were employed and remunerated. He had no involvement in the organisation or management of Oldco’s contributions to the MGMRT, whether for players or otherwise. He said:

“I assumed that all contributions to the Trust were being made legally, and that any relevant football regulations were being complied with. I do not recall contributions to the Trust being discussed in any detail, if at all, at Board meetings. In any event, Board meetings had become less and less frequent by my later years at Rangers.”

He also said: “Nothing to do with the contributions being made to the Trust fell within the scope of my remit at Rangers”.

However it should be noted that Mr Ogilvie was a member of the board of directors who approved the statutory accounts of Oldco which disclosed very substantial payments made under the EBT arrangements.

 

[88] In our opinion, this was a correct decision by Mr McKenzie. There is every reason why the rules of the SFA and the SPL relating to registration should be construed and applied consistently with each other. Mr Bryson’s evidence about the position of the SFA in this regard was clear. In our view, the Rules of the SPL, which admit of a construction consistent with those of the SFA, should be given that construction. All parties’ concerned – clubs, players and footballing authorities – should be able to proceed on the faith of an official register. This means that a player’s registration should generally be treated as standing unless and until revoked. There may be extreme cases in which there is such a fundamental defect that the registration of a player must be treated as having been invalid from the outset. But in the kind of situation that we are dealing with here we are satisfied that the registration of the Specified Players with the SPL was valid from the outset, and accordingly that they were eligible to play in official matches. There was therefore no breach of SPL Rule D1.11.

 

[104] As we have already explained, in our view the purpose of the Rules applicable to Issues 1 to 3 is to promote the sporting integrity of the game. These rules are not designed as any form of financial regulation of football, analogous to the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations. Thus it is not the purpose of the Rules to regulate how one football club may seek to gain financial and sporting advantage over others. Obviously, a successful club is able to generate more income from gate money, sponsorship, advertising, sale of branded goods and so on, and is consequently able to offer greater financial rewards to its manager and players, in the hope of even more success. Nor is it a breach of SPL or SFA Rules for a club to arrange its affairs – within the law – so as to minimise its tax liabilities. The Tax Tribunal has held (subject to appeal) that Oldco was acting within the law in setting up and operating the EBT scheme. The SPL presented no argument to challenge the decision of the majority of the Tax Tribunal and Mr McKenzie stated expressly that for all purposes of this Commission’s Inquiry and Determination the SPL accepted that decision as it stood, without regard to any possible appeal by HMRC. Accordingly we proceed on the basis that the EBT arrangements were lawful. What we are concerned with is the fact that the side-letters issued to the Specified Players, in the course of the operation of the EBT scheme, were not disclosed to the SPL and the SFA as required by their respective Rules.

[105] It seems appropriate in the first place to consider whether such breach by non-disclosure conferred any competitive advantage on Rangers FC. Given that we have held that Rangers FC did not breach Rule D1.11 by playing ineligible players, it did not secure any direct competitive advantage in that respect. If the breach of the rules by non-disclosure of the side-letters conferred any competitive advantage, that could only have been an indirect one. Although it is clear to us from Mr Odam’s evidence that Oldco’s failure to disclose the side-letters to the SPL and the SFA was at least partly motivated by a wish not to risk prejudicing the tax advantages of the EBT scheme, we are unable to reach the conclusion that this led to any competitive advantage. There was no evidence before us as to whether any other members of the SPL used similar EBT schemes, or the effect of their doing so. Moreover, we have received no evidence from which we could possibly say that Oldco could not or would not have entered into the EBT arrangements with players if it had been required to comply with the requirement to disclose the arrangements as part of the players’ full financial entitlement or as giving rise to payment to players. It is entirely possible that the EBT arrangements could have been disclosed to the SPL and SFA without prejudicing the argument – accepted by the majority of the Tax Tribunal at paragraph 232 of their decision – that such arrangements, resulting in loans made to the players, did not give rise to payments absolutely or unreservedly held for or to the order of the individual players. On that basis, the EBT arrangements could have been disclosed as contractual arrangements giving rise to a facility for the player to receive loans, and there would have been no breach of the disclosure rules.

[106] We therefore proceed on the basis that the breach of the rules relating to disclosure did not give rise to any sporting advantage, direct or indirect. We do not therefore propose to consider those sanctions which are of a sporting nature.

[107] We nevertheless take a serious view of a breach of rules intended to promote sporting integrity. Greater financial transparency serves to prevent financial irregularities. There is insufficient evidence before us to enable us to draw any conclusion as to exactly how the senior management of Oldco came to the conclusion that the EBT arrangements did not require to be disclosed to the SPL or the SFA. In our view, the apparent assumption both that the side-letter arrangements were entirely discretionary, and that they did not form part of any player’s contractual entitlement, was seriously misconceived. Over the years, the EBT payments disclosed in Oldco’s accounts were very substantial; at their height, during the year to 30 June 2006, they amounted to more than £9 million, against £16.7 million being that year’s figure for wages and salaries. There is no evidence that the Board of Directors of Oldco took any steps to obtain proper external legal or accountancy advice to the Board as to the risks inherent in agreeing to pay players through the EBT arrangements without disclosure to the football authorities. The directors of Oldco must bear a heavy responsibility for this. While there is no question of dishonesty, individual or corporate, we nevertheless take the view that the nondisclosure must be regarded as deliberate, in the sense that a decision was taken that the side letters need not be or should not be disclosed. No steps were taken to check, even on a hypothetical basis, the validity of that assumption with the SPL or the SFA. The evidence of Mr Odam (cited at paragraph [43] above) clearly indicates a view amongst the management of Oldco that it might have been detrimental to the desired tax treatment of the payments being made by Oldco to have disclosed the existence of the side-letters to the football authorities.

Auldheid  Feb 2015

About the author

Auldheid author

Celtic fan from Glasgow living mostly in Spain. A contributor to several websites, discussion groups and blogs, and a member of the Resolution 12 Celtic shareholders' group. Committed to sporting integrity, good governance, and the idea that football is interdependent. We all need each other in the game.

5,190 Comments so far

valentinesclownPosted on2:08 am - Mar 8, 2015


Brilliant Auldheid credit to you. We all agree SFA are not fit for purpose as a rule. IMO the potential level of what the Ibrox club were doing was on such a scale that if found that they were using EBT’s irregular (bearing in mind they were guilty of DOS as mentioned and no punishment yet applied) which is still ongoing as HMRC are still going through the appeal process, the punishment would be off the radar which the SFA would not be able to cope with. CO is so conflicted it makes a complete mockery of our game that he was not put on garden leave long ago. Will we ever get the full truth concerning this protected institution of a club, who knows. If we do it will be down to people like yourself Auldheid. Thank you for the work you do.

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ianagainPosted on2:15 am - Mar 8, 2015


Meticulous Auldheid.

I share your disdain.

Every club should produce tops with the simple logo ,

(106) A lie.

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James ForrestPosted on2:37 am - Mar 8, 2015


Auldheid … magnifique. I mean it brother, absolutely first rate.

I will need to go over every word again in the morning but that is a tour-de-force and clearly the product of a ton of blood, snotters and tears. An incredible effort.

I’m dropping in tonight to give the nightshift boys on here a look at our Dave King “victory” piece … but boy oh boy I am glad I stopped by.

Seriously mate … that’s a whole frigging tray of drinks for you next time we all meet up. I cannot praise it enough.

http://www.onfieldsofgreen.com/dave-king-the-unknown-known/

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yourhavingalaughPosted on7:22 am - Mar 8, 2015


Auldheid
Top drawer,absolutely top drawer,maybe time for AT to request a return interview with SR!wont hold my breath on that happening.

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SmugasPosted on7:32 am - Mar 8, 2015


I would extend one of your comments slightly.

Would every rangers supporter not give handsomely to provide the structure and ‘acceptance of continuation’ they have now, and if Regan has to fall on his sword to achieve it.

The issue was never RFC claiming to be innocent (what else would you expect) it was the Regans of this world saying they can say and do what they like but I’m not taking the can for them.

A bit like LNS vs FTT. Both sides cannot win!

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wildwoodPosted on8:12 am - Mar 8, 2015


Auldheid, that’s just an incredible piece of writing.

I just wish we had a media outlet anywhere that would take this further for you / us.

On a personal note, as a follower of these issues, thanks for providing such educational and thought provoking material.

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peterjungPosted on8:36 am - Mar 8, 2015


Auldheid….an absolute masterclass in analysis… fantastic.

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EeramacaroonbarPosted on8:56 am - Mar 8, 2015


Different class Auldheid. Anybody with an interest in Scottish Football should acquaint themselves with this article.Keep it going, the game cannot truly move on without addressing the “white wash” that was the LNS enquiry.

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Alba BhoyPosted on8:59 am - Mar 8, 2015


Auldheid, congratulations due to you for such a forensic examination. If only some of our succulent Lamb Eaters would follow suit.

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Cluster OnePosted on9:12 am - Mar 8, 2015


A very fine post by Auldheid. THANKYOU

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broganrogantrevinoandhoganPosted on9:24 am - Mar 8, 2015


Good Morning.

A Magnificent expose of the folly of Mr Regan by Auldheid, though there are one or two comments I would make in discussing the detail.

However, before doing so please read the attached article. It is an interview with Dave King from 2006.

I am not sure if it has been posted here before and my apologies if it has.

There are some very telling matters in here, and very telling similarities to the viewpoint of someone else who constantly cried that their financial dealings were and had been fully disclosed for years.

Read – and draw your own conclusions:

http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/sars-has-made-me-look-like-a-crook-king-1.289079#.VPwS_fmsWSp

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ecobhoyPosted on9:49 am - Mar 8, 2015


What can I say? An outstanding piece of detective work and a level of perseverance that very very few could have sustained.

Quite simply the keystone of the case against the Scottish Football Authorities which they must be made to answer if our game is to move on.

There can be no healing until the deep wounds are cleansed and that requires the cutting out of the rotten bits that still fester away at the heart of our professional game.

I remember the AT interview but so much has happened since and at such a pace that the importance of it had slipped from my mind.

His professionalism and mastery of the subject puts almost every single member of the SMSM to shame. But even with all the things that have been uncovered since the AT interview our hacks still refuse to ask the questions that would uncover the Hampden cess pit.

Somehow we have to have the questions asked and answered and the Celtic resolution is a key element in this process.

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HighlanderPosted on9:57 am - Mar 8, 2015


Superb stuff Auldheid.

“We are currently exploring the possibility of carrying out due diligence using the outgoing regime to make sure that there is a full and rigorous research being done before the transaction is allowed to go ahead”, said Stewart Regan.

Am I understanding this right? Mike Ashley, who has metaphorically had his testicles wired to the national grid by Dave King, will help determine whether King is a ‘Fit & Proper Person’?

Good luck with that plan Stewart!

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TaysiderPosted on10:29 am - Mar 8, 2015


Excellent piece Auldheid which goes to the heart of many issues.

Not least is why we can only read a piece of analysis like this here on the ether. It’s amazing to read an interview by a highly competent member of the MSM with a leading figure in this saga because it shows up the failings of the rest of them and why the likes of Regan, Ogilvie and Doncaster have done a disappearing act in the last year or more in terms of MSM interviews.

The frustration is that for most of us you have forensically set out a persuasive case for why there are so many unanswered questions that leave such a bad smell hanging over this saga, yet we know from the last three years that the chances of any of the MSM, football authorities, politicians to actually really want to do anything are negligible. You can hear it now, it’s time we moved on, we’ve had all the enquiries, time to get over it.

Yet just one issues illustrates how you can’t get over it. Once you have flawed rules and flawed application of those rules it’s not simply about the past, it’s about now and the future. By the SFA saying they will consider “fit and proper person” in a Dave King context if and when the issue arose they effectively signalled their acquiescence (otherwise surely at the least you signal there are major issues with an appointment in advance to manage expectations). Yet there was Regan telling AT:

“We complied with the current processes within our articles. That said I think there are a number of learnings and I think the same goes for football right across the globe. People are coming into football into a multimillion pound business and I think football needs to take a harder look at what could be done differently. We are currently exploring the possibility of carrying out due diligence using the outgoing regime to make sure that there is a full and rigorous research being done before the transaction is allowed to go ahead.”

So he recognises the time for action is BEFORE the transaction goes ahead. Yet this is after. Has Mike Ashley opined on a hostile take over? More to the point, when a Court in South Africa says that serial tax avoider King is a “glib and shameless liar” what kind of process do you apply bearing in mind the previous lessons about what could be “done differently.”

So for anyone in the mainstream who tries to carry on the process of pushing this further down the road to then turn around and say oh not that again, yes that again because poor rules poorly applied won’t go away, they are as relevant right now as they were back in 2011/12. What has been done to address the fundamental issues. FFP introduced for example? No chance!

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TartanwulverPosted on10:40 am - Mar 8, 2015


Excellent Auldheid. It is important to keep going back to those points, as they were such key moments in themselves. Just as tellingly, however, they are also indicators of the mindset of those still in charge of the game, who seem to consider that the ends justify the means (alongside a very selective view of what ‘ends’ are to be pursued).

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AuldheidPosted on10:46 am - Mar 8, 2015


Smugas 7.32.

Correct.

You bring out a core issue that I was going to raise later.

I think that all the folk involved in handling Rangers demise did what they did for reasons that seemed right to them. They thought they had an industry to protect and did it their way.

I think they were mistaken, as do many supporters who took an interest, but a contributing factor was lack of transparency and accountability.

That made it easier to tackle the problem in the way that they did.

Had the SFA had supporter input as part of their business structure, their thinking that buried sporting merit would have been still born.

It’s about transparency and accountability.

In today’s world it is inevitable and takes many forms.

Thanks for the kind comments everyone.

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seniorPosted on10:47 am - Mar 8, 2015


Excellent Auldheid.
While this article may be too long for a newspaper advertisement?? it must be filed for posterity. It must be sent to every club in Scotland and to every fan group.

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tcup 2012Posted on11:04 am - Mar 8, 2015


http://www.onfieldsofgreen.com/dave-king-the-unknown-known/

Just read James’s piece and all I could think of was

The pied piper 🙁

Edit

To be clear
the question that kept going through my head was

Are the MSM the rats? The children? Or both?

The Piper’s music all full of promise and glory But what do they actually get?

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parttimearabPosted on11:08 am - Mar 8, 2015


Highlander says:
March 8, 2015 at 9:57 am
Superb stuff Auldheid.

“We are currently exploring the possibility of carrying out due diligence using the outgoing regime to make sure that there is a full and rigorous research being done before the transaction is allowed to go ahead”, said Stewart Regan.

Am I understanding this right? Mike Ashley, who has metaphorically had his testicles wired to the national grid by Dave King, will help determine whether King is a ‘Fit & Proper Person’?

Good luck with that plan Stewart!
===================================
Now covered, I think, by article 10.8

Outgoing directors required to return a change of control certificate…confirming they have conducted an investigation into the provenance of the person taking control…wrt article 10.2 (FPP)..[I’ve paraphrased a bit].

So not MA as he was not a director…though what happens where you have a putsch like Rangers EGM and directors are out the door in minutes I have no idea.

Also 10.2 refers to directors so if someone takes effective control but not a directorship it wouldn’t IMO cover that individual ❓

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AuldheidPosted on11:13 am - Mar 8, 2015


Taysider

Re the exhortations to move on:

I’ve sometime posted re Truth and Reconciliation. I’m not an expert but that and the forgiveness that is an essential part of the process has been a subject of interest to me.

Academic study observes that for forgiveness of wrong to happen the wrong has to be recognised as such by the parties involved.

That is the truth part. There have been many victims of the wrong doing at RFC since 1999, but the narrative naturally focuses on those who are hurting most as a result of it, who are RFC supporters who have lost what they had. They are in DK’s words “a broken club.”

I get that. I don’t know what that feels like but I can imagine it.

Grief follows loss and all the symptoms of grief have been displayed in the last 3 yrs with denial of wrongdoing to others still maintaining a strong hold. Indeed others are being blamed (“who are these people?”) for what was, and might still be, self harm.

TSFM in a way is where the other victims of RFC’S behaviour gather. We have lost the belief in the integrity of a game we all love.

We never stopped too long in denial and indeed are angry at it.

History is littered with conflict which flare up again and again because past wrongdoing is never recognised. That is why it is a mistake to think the solution is to move on without examining the truth.

That only buries the hurt where it festers to reappear at some later juncture. It does nothing to heal it.

Only the truth which can then lead to reconciliation for and between the victims can do that.

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jean7brodiePosted on11:14 am - Mar 8, 2015


OMG, absolutely magnificent Auldheid!!

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johnnymancPosted on11:18 am - Mar 8, 2015


Thank you Auldheid for reminding us all what this ‘obsession’ with Rangers/Sevco and the SFA is all about and it is summed up in one word; cheating!

I watched Soccer AM yesterday and there was a Celtic supporting actor on who, whilst being a genuine fan, is clearly clueless as to what has been going on. When asked if he wanted ‘Rangers’ in the top flight he said it was a travesty that they weren’t there and he missed the ‘Old Firm’ games.

Being in Englandshire I’m constantly asked the same question and my answer is always the same, I don’t want them anywhere near us unless they’ve been punished for their cheating.

The SMSM are determined to mix up the two issues of financial mismanagement SINCE Murray (although CW, GC and MA have probably managed it exactly the way they wanted) with the deliberate deceptions which took place DURING his era. The more the focus is on the post Murray shenanigans the less they hope the spotlight will be shone on Bryson, Ogilvie, LNS et al.

The beauty of what you have done during this campaign is to factually show without any shadow of a doubt that the rules have been ignored.

I would like to think that at some point Regan might realise that his chances of promotion to a ‘bigger pond’ would be enhanced by being seen to have cleared up this mess rather than sweep it under the carpet.

Likewise I would hope that some proper journalists would take this up if Conflicted Campbell is ever punted for a UEFA where he could ensure this can all be forgotten about!

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AuldheidPosted on11:30 am - Mar 8, 2015


Senior 10.47

An advert is a possibility that a bit of thought has been given to as funding might be available, but it needs further exploring.

It could take many forms and I thought ideas would naturally bubble to the surface on tsfm.

Mainly because it’s based on something I already have rather than its relevant merit, I thought of facts/questions for the SFA President, but perhaps the article can be used to highlight what we are after, which is the transparency and accountability the SFA promised but failed to deliver in its 2012 Vision statement.

It will be interesting to see what ideas surface.

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tilhotdogsbarkPosted on11:30 am - Mar 8, 2015


First class, Auldheid. I applaud your endeavour and perseverance on this subject.

The questionable ethos of Scottish Football could not be better illustrated than in the Paul Marray interview on Radio Scotland yesterday. For a newly elected Director of a disgraced football club to feel entitled, comfortable and confident in claiming his club is the biggest in Scotland and has an inherent duty to lead Scottish football was staggering. For these comments to be meekly accepted by the interviewer and be virtually condoned by Tom English who has “radar tuned to detect any sighs of hubris” was equally staggering and demonstrates why issues such as set out in the blog will never be uncovered by the SMSM.
Richard Gordon was the only one who came out of that extract with any credibility.
Not wishing to suggest that the Hostile Takeover of RIFC is in anyway similar to Fergus McCann’s purchase of Celtic, but recall him stressing “We have no right to be successful just because we are called Celtic”. The comparison to his approach and that of Murray could not be more stark. I tend to think the results achieved will also be considerably different.

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ecobhoyPosted on11:34 am - Mar 8, 2015


parttimearab says:
March 8, 2015 at 11:08 am

Outgoing directors required to return a change of control certificate…confirming they have conducted an investigation into the provenance of the person taking control…wrt article 10.2 (FPP)..[I’ve paraphrased a bit].

So not MA as he was not a director…though what happens where you have a putsch like Rangers EGM and directors are out the door in minutes I have no idea.

Also 10.2 refers to directors so if someone takes effective control but not a directorship it wouldn’t IMO cover that individual

I think you raise a really interesting point and very pertinent because, of course the new article 10.2 was meant to deal with the failure of the previous self-certification process which was flagrantly abused by CW.

I suppose the outgoing directors could point to the RNS announcements on AIM wrt DK but not so sure about the others. I think this is another SFA fudge that is in danger of coming back to bite them.

The SFA IMO should be looking at changes in control and doing the necessary investigation as it seems that there is always the potential for conflict and bad-mouthing of an incoming admin by one who has been ejected.

I accept the SFA argument that they can’d do this for the whole of Scottish Football but it should be mandatory for the Premiership at least. Of course a lot will depend on the form of FFP Regs that we actually/eventually get.

The point about non-directors having shadow-control is also a good one but I would be surprised if this wasn’t covered elsewhere in the rules. If it isn’t then it would make more of a mockery of what takes place at Ibrox and in the governance of Scottish Football.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on11:51 am - Mar 8, 2015


In Todays Dandy:

:slamb: :slamb: :slamb: :slamb: :slamb: :slamb:

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/new-rangers-chief-dave-king-5292811

:slamb: :slamb: :slamb: :slamb: :slamb: :slamb: :slamb:

And the reasons for John Grieg’s self imposed exile? Hmmm…. no mention.

And as for Walter Smith: Well As Chairman of the board at the time he should be able to help you all find out what happened to the £70m eh? (Fiduciary duty and all that)…
Nice to see this being pointed out among all of the incisive questions.
Its like Jim Traynor never left…

Because he clearly is still writing and editing for them, of course, albeit through the wonderful medium of PR.

Hmmmm…. I wonder if he sent a note to himself asking himself if it was ok to publish this, or if he would like himself to make any changes to it before going to press?

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LUGOSIPosted on11:53 am - Mar 8, 2015


A tour de force Auldheid.
I believe The Herald’s rates are not prohibitive and they have shown themselves not to be overly lamb dependant.
A full page statement distilled from your opus might stir some action. It would certainly put a cat amongst the pigeons.
I think of such a version not so much diluted as concentrated.
Wordcount on a page of The Herald anyone?

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tamjartmarquezPosted on11:55 am - Mar 8, 2015


great work auldheid, the truth is out there.

James Forrest says:
March 8, 2015 at 2:37 am

Think Spence is a Tangerine terror not a dandy don.

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TaysiderPosted on12:01 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Auldheid says:
March 8, 2015 at 11:13 am

I agree, but I’m sure you, I and most on here wonder just how long before the truth does emerge so that that reconciliation can really begin? Many with vested interests will hope that as long as they control the mainstream agenda that in time the anger for those who have lost faith in the integrity of the game will subside, the wound heal to leave a scar, still there but not preventing us moving on, especially if, as many expect, it takes years for the Ibrox club to re emerge as a force to challenge at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

If an inquest into why nearly one hundred fans died in a UK football disaster in 1989 didn’t begin until 2014, who knows how long the truth may take to emerge when life and death is not at issue, “merely” the fair and transparent application of rules.

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AuldheidPosted on12:04 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Taysider

Quite. I thought much the same.

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seniorPosted on12:10 pm - Mar 8, 2015


” a mendacious witness whose evidence should not be accepted on any issue unless it is support by documents and other objective evidence”
_______________________________

The above from an esteem member of the Bar in SA and yet the SFA will pass him as a fit and proper person, FFS does not cover the half of it. Mind, the SFA are but the administrative face of all the clubs in Scotland so where do you go from there!
Lemon-minded comes to mind.

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upthehoopsPosted on12:12 pm - Mar 8, 2015


I am just back from dear old mother’s. While there I had a look at the Sunday Mail. There is another gushing interview with Dave King, where he states Celtic need Rangers, because they (Celtic) have the same business model as Rangers. I am utterly gobsmacked.

The Journalist who printed this rubbish, and the Editor who allowed it, are an utter disgrace to their profession.

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wottpiPosted on12:18 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Good stuff from Auldheid.

The sad thing is that this attitude of following or trying to apply daft, insufficient and sometimes over complex overlapping rules is prevalent through our society and is IMHO the product having too many lawyers, accountants and administrators involved when a degree of good old fashioned commonsense is required.

In my line of work I often find that instead of people trying to deliver a project to the best of their ability, they are delivering a project to the confines of the contact even if as the project continues elements of said contract are found wanting.

It is not the first time that I have taken a common sense approach and then been challenged about my interpretation. When I then pull apart the faults within the contract or the conditions the response is either finger in the ears and singing nah nah nah nah nah or a long winded process of trying to get people to actually take responsibility and put their name to a record either making a change or justifying their disagreement with my arguments.

Regan’s side stepping of the issues and failure to ‘man up’ as seen in this interview is just a classic example of what I face from time to time. A lot of waffle and drivel but no conclusion and no solution to take the issue forward or ensure the matter will be fully investigated in case it happens again.

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parttimearabPosted on12:19 pm - Mar 8, 2015


From the DR…a weird mix of fantasy….

“ [PM] This thing about cutting costs, though. You have to remember that when myself and Dave were on the board previously the reasons we brought the debt down was not just about cutting costs.

“It was about a business model where we ran the club – latterly when Alastair Johnston was chairman – basically breaking even on domestic matches.

“The Champions League income led to an investment fund and we used that to invest in infrastructure and players. That model should be sustainable once we get the club back at a competitive level first.”

….and reality…

“King also insists that he finds it almost impossible to see where any more costs can be cut from the non-football side of the staff after their walk-through.

He said: “Without looking at the numbers, which we haven’t seen, just from walking around Ibrox, and being in the ticket office and at Murray Park, it’s not obvious there are many costs to be reduced there.

“If anything it’s the opposite, it looks like it will require investment.”

Link below…usual advisory…may cause eyes to bleed and give rise to erruptions of swearing…especially if your a Celtic fan as it would appear that you have the same business model 😯 😯 😯

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/celtic-need-rangers-same-business-5292951?

[Edit; UTH @ 12:12 you beat me to it….and apologies for reminding you of it so soon….]

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John ClarkPosted on12:23 pm - Mar 8, 2015


I have just had the pleasure of reading Auldheid’s blog.
His thoroughly researched and cogently expressed arguments point to a deep rottenness at the very core of Scottish Football.
Given that it surely cannot be the case that anything like a majority of our club chairmen/
owners/CEOs are men/women of no integrity
whatsoever, there must now be a move from within
their ranks to insist on the resignation of at leadt those members and officers of their Board who held office at the material times when Sporting Integrity was cast aside and shameful lies were told and dirty little secret deals were done, supposedly on their behalf.
The men and women of personal integrity have to realise that the deeds and pronouncements of their Board reflect very badly on them, too, indicating a seeming readiness to turn a blind eye to cheating, and an acceptance of the end of genuine sporting competition and the introduction of total arbitrariness in the application of Rules designed to keep our sport and their businesses ‘clean’.
a
Auldheid deserves the fullest credit from all of Scottish Football for shining the spotlight on a most unpleasant and ugly piece of chicanery.
And our club chiefs must read the runes and understand that, if integrity is not their bag, the game and their businesses will wither and die.
I add my own huge bundle of thanks and appreciation to Auldheid for bringing the hard truth to light in such a way that our club chiefs cannot hide from it.
They must act-now, and openly without fear of the bullyboys.

name

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Methilhill StrollerPosted on12:25 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Auldheid an absolute masterpiece. I agree with Senior that this should go to all clubs and fan clubs in Scotland. Maybe also to Monsieur Platini and his cohorts. We are on this blog because we do not trust or believe those in charge of SFA and SPL to run the game in a fair, honest, and transparent manner. I get the impression here that many of us feel like giving up sometimes but thankfully we keep going, believing we can be heard and eventually get the changes we require. It is not just about wanting a club liquidated because anyone could take over and ruin any of our clubs. We have to accept that if someone ruins us we face the consequences. However we can only accept it if those in charge are consistent – which they are not at present. Scottish football needs a strong Arbroath and East Fife despite our losses yesterday!!!!

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roddybhoyPosted on12:38 pm - Mar 8, 2015


you are some man auldheid !! makes my blood boil at how every single scottish football fan has been cheated and lied to by the very people who earn high salaries and are charged with looking after OUR game . Clear out required and long overdue. Do you think Auldheid that the chief execs of the clubs realise just how corrupt the SFA are ? Might seem a silly question but if they do why no action ?

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AllyjamboPosted on12:49 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Another excellent piece, Auldheid, the work you put into the search for truth is an example to every single so called journalist out there.

As a suggestion for an advert, how about an invite/challenge to the governors of the game to a question and answer interview? The advert could set out the aims of TSFM encouraging people to join us, perhaps directing them to a blog specifically put up to cover the history of TSFM and how it morphed from RTC.

‘Asking The Questions the Media Won’t Ask’ would be a pretty good heading to an advert with an invite to Regan et al to engage with us to answer those questions, perhaps including one question as an example eg ‘Are you afraid to answer our questions; what is it you are hiding?’ (Well that’s 2 questions in one)

It could be a proper advert for TSFM and tell how we are kept going by the subscriptions of contributors and readers, not by self interest groups as are the MSM! We are, therefor, free to ask the questions that others don’t want asked, or are afraid to ask. We just need those who can answer the questions to engage with us.

By avoiding anything about TRFC/RFC in the advert, but issuing a clear challenge, we could prevent the vitriol the previous attempt received while directing it at the football authorities in a way the media, at least, can’t ignore and follow it up with another if no one engages with us to highlight their fear of the truth.

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billyj1Posted on1:16 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Excellent piece of work. Thanks for yet again explaining, in lay men’s terms, exactly what is going on at the very top of Scottish football. A constant embarrassment.

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John ClarkPosted on1:26 pm - Mar 8, 2015


roddybhoy@12.38 pm
‘…. but if they do why no action?’
…………………
Not to butt in and answer a question addressed to someone else, can I just say that I have it on pretty
reliable authority that there was such a lunatic
fringe of supporters of the defunct club( perhaps
taking their general cue from him who is among
the highest paid of gardeners) that there was an awareness that physical violence might be triggered by any adverse criticism.
To that, I add my own view, which is that there may also have been the risk of,as it were, being seen to be a ‘stirrer’ , not onside, not loyal.
Many of us have experience of not knowing precisely how our colleagues may privately stand in relation to each other. ( anybody else been critical of one male colleague to a female colleague only to find that two were having an affair?)
It requires a degree of courage to put your head above the parapet, especially if you think the comrade behind you might quietly knife you in the back!
But sometimes risks have to be taken, and,as I said earlier, Auldheid’s blog must surely have given courage to even the faintest hearted club.

the highest paid of gardeners) that there was fear of violence.
There would also (and this is just me talking,not any ‘source’) have been a natural reluctance to be seen to be any kind of ‘stirrer’ against an elected Board.
AND ,perhaps, the more subtle fear that comes with not knowing ewhich of your business associates may associate with each other in other areas of life without that fact being generally known. That is, I think we all learn not to mouth off too openly about,say, our opinion of a colleague, because that colleague might be a private friend of wnhoever we may be speaking to.

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ecobhoyPosted on1:30 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Auldheid says:
March 8, 2015 at 11:13 am

Re the exhortations to move on:

I’ve sometime posted re Truth and Reconciliation. I’m not an expert but that and the forgiveness that is an essential part of the process has been a subject of interest to me.

Academic study observes that for forgiveness of wrong to happen the wrong has to be recognised as such by the parties involved.

We can never successfully move forward by simply papering-over the wounds and ignoring them. Because at any point where stress is applied or created the old poison will surface as the old fissures split asunder.

The problem we have in Scotland IMO is that it’s impossible to reach a ‘Truth’ which is agreed by the main parties involved and as you rightly identify it’s impossible to move to reconciliation and forgiveness without that agreement.

IMO ‘Truth’ has been a casualty because of the inaction of the Scottish Government; the SMSM and probably – most importantly – the SFA.

Each section has failed football fans on a massive scale and still does day and daily and the partiality of the media frenzy in the last couple of weeks is actually shameful.

Despite the enormous upheaval taking place at Rangers since the dying days of the Murray ‘Empire’ and the subsequent consequences right up to the present day all that the Scottish Government; SMSM; and SFA have done is apply paper-thin bandages, eye patches and paracetamol.

They have all – for varying reasons – refused to grasp the nettle and uncover ‘The Truth’ that they know is there and we now are where we are and that’s no further forward in dealing with Scotland’s shame. It suits all concerned IMO to deflect the blame for eveything onto football supporters.

Oh we ain’t immune from criticism at least I know I’m not. But the key to finding that ‘Truth’ must lie in education and illumination of all the dark places.

That’s the hard bit for everyone and for some it’s a bit harder than others. However IMO it’s significantly harder for Rangers supporters because they have been bombarded with fiction right from DM up to the present day by the Scottish Government; The SMSM; and the SFA.

Sadly too many of their fan ‘leaders’ have also failed them by failing to critically analyse the situation and the suitability of different ‘Emperors’ or even ‘Kings’.

I believe that the slow and inevitable dilution of Scotland’s Shame will continue as it has for quite some time irrespective of the highs and lows of what happens in footballing terms.

But we are left with the problem of two parallel versions of ‘The Truth’ held by Rangers Supporters and the majority of other Scottish football fans although the biggest group within the latter I think it’s fair to say is Celtic supporters.

Unless the Scottish Government; SMSM; and the SFA take action we will find it hard to address the divergent visions of ‘The Truth’ and are left with the likes of TSFM as an arena for change.

However IMO there’s no point in telling Rangers fans they have to totally recant their version of ‘The Truth’ which is day and daily reinforced by the Scottish Government; SMSM; and SFA.

Arriving at an agreed ‘Truth’ can only be achieved through education and dialogue and the stripping away of the fictions built by all those with vested interests.

I have never been surprised at the belief that Bears have in the version of ‘The Truth’ fed to them. Indeed if positions were reversed – and I wasn’t the contrary sod that I am – then I would probably accept it as well.

So, perhaps Reconciliation is impossible I simply don’t know the answer to that yet. I do happen to believe that if the DK experiment fails and I believe there’s a high chance of that then possibly the Bears – or at least enough of them – might be able to discard the blinkers and actually have a new beginning.

The forthcoming criminal trials might provide another avenue of revealing the facts that have been hidden as might the Celtic Resolution.

Auldheid’s post should be essential reading for every Bear but sadly it won’t be. And that’s the challenge we face – how do we get ordinary Bears to engage and genuinely test what they have been fed against another version of reality which I happen to believe is the correct one.

But it doesn’t really matter what I think – it’s what ordinary Bears think that’s important. I don’t think they are yet in a place where they can, will or want to change – certainly not until the present euphoria dies away and reality arrives.

But there are more positive signs in terms of debate and questions raised on Bear fan sites in recent times. I remain an optimistic cynic but I personally have no need of apologies from individual Bears. They too are victims in this web of deceit that has been spun by various authorities who are the ones who should be apologising IMO.!

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John ClarkPosted on1:44 pm - Mar 8, 2015


honest to God! the number of times I have to begin my post again because this blo.dy wee machine seems to lose what I’ve written when I scroll back to a previous sentence.
I’m truly sorry that I am so inept.And so forgetful ofwhat I may have already written not many minutes before. But there are interruptions, like going to the fridge for another Fat Yak!

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ecobhoyPosted on1:47 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Interesting observations from PL:

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/celtic-chief-peter-lawwell-wed-5293057

He says that Celtic would earn more by being out of the TV deal – which requires Sunday and Friday televised matches – and playing at their home games at Parkhead at 3pm on a Saturday.

Also still states Celtic lose £10 million a year through the absence of Rangers but has a wee dig as well which I’ll let you read for yourself.

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jimlarkinPosted on1:48 pm - Mar 8, 2015


““ [PM] This thing about cutting costs, though. You have to remember that when myself and Dave were on the board previously the reasons we brought the debt down was not just about cutting costs.

“It was about a business model where we ran the club – latterly when Alastair Johnston was chairman – basically breaking even on domestic matches.”

………………….

So it is the same club/company
…when will the face painter, the paper shop, HMRC et al
get PAID ?

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Methilhill StrollerPosted on1:48 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Ally jambo – I was thinking along similar lines but suspect the powers that be know enough about TSFM to be wary or just refuse to connect.

On the other hand could TSFM not ask the club’s for their views and maybe ask for their input; even answer why they cannot ask for change as they are all affected (even complicit?) and we, their supporters, unhappy at the lack of a level playing field.

Of course we know threats can be made by certain elements but would it not be great one day to have Regan etc on a stage live on TV answering our questions, and counter questions when they respond with a non answer, and have the MSM on the balcony watching how to ask the difficult questions but unable to say anything or eat lamb!

One day maybe but not holding ma breath.

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AllyjamboPosted on2:14 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Methilhill Stroller says:
March 8, 2015 at 1:48 pm

To be honest, I wouldn’t hold out much hope for a response from Regan etc either, but the advert would be more about pointing out to a wider public that they won’t engage with us or anyone not on the succulent list. A future advert would then highlight this further. Hopefully, people reading the advert, who had only previously heard of us in a derogitory fashion within the SMSM, would realise that we are more than ‘internet bampots’ and read the blog for themselves (hence the need for a blog giving a resume of our work).

You never know, one day, someone like Alex Thomson might ask them why they won’t engage with TSFM, especially after such a public invitation!

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neepheidPosted on2:23 pm - Mar 8, 2015


http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/celtic-need-rangers-same-business-5292951

I will post this boak inducing piece of garbage, so that anyone on the moon, for instance, or who doesn’t actually buy the p*ish peddled by the SMSM, can experience the full horror of “the return of the King”, Scottish edition.

May I suggest, on the basis of the article, that all Celtic supporters urgently arrange “welcome back” parties for their brother club with the “same business model”. Because it can only be a good thing for Celtic.

“Celtic need us to be competitive with them and we need the same. It makes absolute sense that they should appreciate us coming in.”

Well, why don’t Celtic help them then? Oh, sorry Mr Lawell, you already have- well done sir!

I am now retiring to a darkened room with an XXXXL Sports Direct sick bag- I’ll be needing it.

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TrisidiumPosted on2:43 pm - Mar 8, 2015


John Clark
Fergus McCann once said (and I know this to be true as I was in the room when he said it),
“There are no people of integrity in Scottish Football”.
Not just a majority

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ekt1mPosted on3:00 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Re Peter Lawwell’s statement that Celtic would be better out of the TV agreement. I wonder if this is the first shot across the bows of the SPFL. PL is absolutely correct that returning to Saturday 3pm kick-offs will bring more fans back to Celtic Park. Even giving up £2m tv money money, that could be made up over 19 home games in a season.

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SmugasPosted on3:20 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Joking apart auld heid that might be the most effective and affordable ‘in’ as there would be a slim possibility of getting the meeja to run with it. Simply summarise your comments and put them to the other clubs for comment, on the record if they want, or using the TSFM medium if they want to stay anonymous. An article highlighting 11 clubs saying no comment could be easily spun as a cover which might then force a retraction. Key would be Regan being in the cross hairs, not RFC.

Finally, just regarding Paul Murray’s break even forecast. And that is with CL involvement. Oh well Ross County know what to put in their next financial projection then.

Good point on OC/NC boards too. BDO watching?

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helpmaboabPosted on3:37 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Tannadice playing surface is shocking.(for both sides)

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jimlarkinPosted on3:42 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Re-the TV deal

Some SEVCO speculation about restructuring to a 16 team SPL

http://www.ibroxnoise.co.uk/2015/03/spfl-may-ditch-championship-playoffs.html?

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tcup 2012Posted on4:19 pm - Mar 8, 2015


jimlarkin says:
March 8, 2015 at 3:42 pm
Re-the TV deal

Some SEVCO speculation about restructuring to a 16 team SPL

http://www.ibroxnoise.co.uk/2015/03/spfl-may-ditch-championship-playoffs.html?
///////////////////

Well they should be hoping it’s restructured this year as between 12-16 of their players (most of the first team) are out of contract and ineligible to play in them

Not just a matter of signing who they want out of them on a game to game or week to week basis . As the minimum they can give a contract for is 1 month

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on4:23 pm - Mar 8, 2015


jimlarkin says:
March 8, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Re-the TV deal

Some SEVCO speculation about restructuring to a 16 team SPL

http://www.ibroxnoise.co.uk/2015/03/spfl-may-ditch-championship-playoffs.html?

_______________________________________________________

Well in one sense, this perhaps signal a dose of realism penetrating Ibrox management at least on the footballing side.

If – like me- you take this as a signal that they are not confident of progressing through the playoffs next year either, and figure a rule change might be the best way for them to secure top league status, with the attendnat hike in season ticket prices, TV revenue prize money, Celtic, Aberdeen and HMFC visits etc.

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vansenPosted on4:26 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Auldheid

Great job, i admire your passion. However, Im not sure its possible to tear down the curtain while the media mostly does not want to tell inconvenient truths.

Would it be possible for a series of articles to be written in TSFM covering the contentious issues of the last few years, broken down into easily read segments under various banners such as corruption, betrayal etc.

Ads could be placed in various news outlets linking to the articles and the ads, money permitting, could be placed in a whole host of various sites.

It might increase traffic to the site, it might stir people to look into it further. Could try to obtain quotes on the record from the people involved at the top, even simple no comment quotes.

Personally im sick to death of being fed lies and half truths. Im sick of hearing how much you have tried to engage journalists who clearly do not want to know. im sick of being told that this does not matter. im sick of paid journalists talking and writing crap about these issues.

Maybe its time to force the issue and become more active online with articles that demand to be read. It is clear that journalists will not do it.

Anyway, sorry, rant over ☺

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TartanwulverPosted on5:03 pm - Mar 8, 2015


tcup 2012 says:
March 8, 2015 at 4:19 pm

Not just a matter of signing who they want out of them on a game to game or week to week basis . As the minimum they can give a contract for is 1 month
——————————————–
But there’s surely some exemption if they’re nominally ‘trialists’ or some such, no?

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tcup 2012Posted on5:34 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Yes but you can only play 3 trialist’s

Besides how many of the out of contract players are going to risk injury? Or how many will be told by agent’s ect to hold them to ransom for a 1year/6 month contract?

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lagerbeerPosted on5:56 pm - Mar 8, 2015


There was a post yesterday by Danish Pastry (7th March,8:52am) that made me stop, think and ask myself a few questions about why I read and post on fitba blogs like this and why I still care about the Rangers / Sevco story. Danish’s post contained the sentence:

“I think the reason there is still a sense of ‘hostility’ towards Ibrox is that the perceived ransacking of Scottish football that went on under oldco has never really been resolved.”

This new blog by Auldheid and the subsequent posts have served to remind us of the need to keep the spotlight on the governing bodies and let them realise we are still watching and are far from ready to forget and move on.

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AuldheidPosted on6:25 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Ecobhoy

The impact of TV scheduling on match day attendances is a matter that various Celtic supporter groups have raised with Celtic at Supporter Forums.

I am not surprised Celtic are listening.

Because I spend most of winter in warmer climes I purchase an OST Overseas Season Ticket for £250. For that I get all league games home and away live on Celtic TV on my laptop plus 5 home games when I’m in UK.

My unused seat when I’m not at games is used by the Foundation to give someone who cannot afford to attend the opportunity to do so.

http://www.celticfc.net/because/overseas
Broadcasting restrictions in the UK which I think should be contested as well as the Saturday 3 to 5 broadcasting blackout stop the facility being offered to UK residents.

I think it is the shape of things to come for season books offering the choice to watch on TV or at the stadium but I would say that as the OST was my idea.

Celtic would need to negotiate deals with their opponents for a share of the virtual gate money but as the biggest draw of TV audiences they may have something attractive to offer.I don’t know costs so I cannot be sure.

Scottish football has to start thinking outside the box that currently constrains it. Yet another reason for changes in how our game is developed commercially.

Sky is murdering, not killing our game.

I would pay more than the £250 which works out at between £3 and £4 a game for all games compared to around £25 just for a home games ST plus travel.

In that respect I think clubs have to find ways of sharing the load that match day attendees bear.

On the advert suggestions made by others I’ll wait for more to come in before I can say anything as I’m just not sure what the aim should be.

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Methilhill StrollerPosted on6:58 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Allyjambo – agree with your sentiments as the wider we can spread the message the better. Maybe AT would be a willing conduit also?

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Madbhoy24941Posted on7:02 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Great post from Auldheid!

A Little reminder (sometimes we need that) that this is not about Rangers, it’s certainly not about Dave King, Mike Ashley or those who have passed through the doors of Ibrox over recent years, including David Murray.

This is about how the game in general is administered for all clubs irrelevant of size, it’s about what rules we have and why they should not be bent, twisted and broken to suit the agendas of individuals and organisations relating mostly to one club.

I have never believed for one minute that you can apply any pressure to The SFA, not the SPFL or even to the media responsible for asking the questions the authorities don’t want to answer. The only pressure the fan can assert is on the club they support, nothing else will have an effect as the others are only doing what they get paid to do and if they continue to be paid…….they will continue to work those agendas.

It worked before and it will work again, no season tickets until rules are applied and individuals brought to book.

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StevieBCPosted on7:04 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Great article Auldheid, which must have taken some effort to pull together.

And you are absolutely correct to take the time to look back at who said what, based on what is now known as fact.

We knew that Scottish football stank in 2012. Looking back it is arguably even more offensive at how the SFA in particular behaved at that time.

And that stench will never, ever go away until there is real transparency for starters – and that does necessitate a proper review of the whole RFC/TRFC shambles.

Who knows: maybe addressing this festering wound in Scottish football might restore credibility in governance – and even attract new or returning paying punters, and even decent sponsors who are also serious about corporate social responsibility ?

Only until then can Scottish football truly “move on”, regardless of the constant pleading from the SMSM and the 6th floor at Hampden.

Keep up the good work Auldheid: it is appreciated, and with your tenacity you’ll get them eventually ! 😉

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AuldheidPosted on7:07 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Ecobhoy

Although dated 2011 this article on the CST site gives some statistical info of game time/date changes.

http://www.celtictrust.net/index.php?func=d_home_article&id=259

Perhaps more up to date research is behind PL’s statement?

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on7:28 pm - Mar 8, 2015


tcup 2012 says:
March 8, 2015 at 4:19 pm
jimlarkin says:
March 8, 2015 at 3:42 pm
Re-the TV deal

Some SEVCO speculation about restructuring to a 16 team SPL

http://www.ibroxnoise.co.uk/2015/03/spfl-may-ditch-championship-playoffs.html?
///////////////////

Well they should be hoping it’s restructured this year as between 12-16 of their players (most of the first team) are out of contract and ineligible to play in them

Not just a matter of signing who they want out of them on a game to game or week to week basis . As the minimum they can give a contract for is 1 month
============================================

I was under the impression that professional contracts are (generally) dated to expire on the 31st of May. The play-off final second leg is on that date this year.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:42 pm - Mar 8, 2015


ekt1m says:
March 8, 2015 at 3:00 pm
Re Peter Lawwell’s statement that Celtic would be better out of the TV agreement. I wonder if this is the first shot across the bows of the SPFL. PL is absolutely correct that returning to Saturday 3pm kick-offs will bring more fans back to Celtic Park. Even giving up £2m tv money money, that could be made up over 19 home games in a season.
======================================

I remember going to watch Celtic at Rugby Park in 1996. The game was on a Saturday at 3PM and the place was packed almost to its 18,000 capacity. Now the same fixture, invariably an early kick off and live on TV, attracts between 6-8,000.

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justshateredPosted on8:29 pm - Mar 8, 2015


I was at my dear old mother’s today and also had a look through the Sunday Mail.
After scanning EIGHT pages of fawning drivel I came across another article and was presented with the following quote from one of the twentieth centuries greatest orators.
While we all care passionately about our sport, and the current damage being perpetrated upon it, the quote below was directed at the most basic of human and moral values.

“How long? Not long, because no lie can live forever.
How long? Not long, because you shall reap what you sow.
How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

That quote by Martin Luther King is masterful as it powerfully portrays the strength of truth behind a just cause and that no lie can stand the test of time.
So while our campaign is in no way comparable to the cause they were originally spoken about, the words themselves can be used for any injustice, any moral vacum, and any just cause.

This cause will not be won overnight or in a year or two but win we will.

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Flocculent ApoideaPosted on9:09 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Apart from Auldheid’s forensic dissection, what that interview highlights, again, for me, is Stewart Regan’s attitude that the SFA shouldn’t have to get involved. He sees neither himself nor the SFA as being a leader – to make it clear that Scottish football should be run as a fair sport. In his view, the clubs and the SPL are pretty much responsible (as they are to a degree) but what of an SFA investigation into the use of EBTs in relation to the Scottish Cup? Or was that the SPL’s responsibility, too?

To John Clark – if your tablet has an appropriate app (such as Notes on the iPad), you can type what you want on there and, when you’re happy with it, copy and paste it on here. You’ll never mook a mistick agen. It’s inflabible.

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tcup 2012Posted on10:05 pm - Mar 8, 2015


Jingso.Jimsie says:
March 8, 2015 at 7:28 pm
/////….///////./

As far as I have been led to believe Their contracts run out
On the day of the last league game of the season. The playoffs are not apart of the official league season and are in fact a separate competition

They were actually discussing this very point on Saturday on radio Scotland

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upthehoopsPosted on7:08 am - Mar 9, 2015


GoosyGoosy says:
March 9, 2015 at 12:43 am
==============================

It was interesting on the 2nd Off The Ball on Saturday to hear Cosgrove, Cowan and Spiers discuss the compliant media coverage of King, with the Daily Record in particular. The general view was media coverage has taken a rapid step back to the standards of the David Murray era at its peak.

Media coverage of Celtic’s kit launch last week saw the press conference quickly being hijacked to grill Lawwell about pyrotechnics and perceived offensive singing by an element of Celtic fans. The justification was it was an open press conference therefore they were entitled to ask. The question then is why were none of the new Rangers directors asked what they intend to do about the significant sectarian problem which still exists among the support, as evidenced recently. Unless of course they were told beforehand by King’s PR such questions would be off limits. What an ideal chance it was to make these men, all of whom are ‘steeped in Rangers tradition’, issue a clear statement on one tradition which is best left behind.

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wottpiPosted on8:02 am - Mar 9, 2015


upthehoops says:
March 9, 2015 at 7:08 am

While I agree the hijacking of the kit deal presser was wholly inappropriate if the media reporting is so one sided then, as you suggest, Jim Traynor may well have earned his first pay check by keeping the lamb munchers and any veggies amongst them in order while Celtic”s guys should be looking at a P45.

Of course it may be your club was more than happy to deal with questions regarding its problem element in an open and transparent manner? For that, I for one would be thankful.

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ecobhoyPosted on8:50 am - Mar 9, 2015


RE: Celtic withdrawing from TV Deal

upthehoops says:
March 8, 2015 at 7:42 pm

I remember going to watch Celtic at Rugby Park in 1996. The game was on a Saturday at 3PM and the place was packed almost to its 18,000 capacity. Now the same fixture, invariably an early kick off and live on TV, attracts between 6-8,000.
——————————————————–
Watching the game yesterday in the pub the main topic of conversation with my mates – other than it really is time for some players to be waved farewell – was the TV deal.

We didn’t discuss recent changes at Ibrox because for the first time in three years a small group of Bears turned-up loudly supporting United and going mental when they went ahead with chanting about the treble being burst.

It was all very nasty in a pub where there is never anything but good banter. They were simply ignored by Celtic fans and also the other Bears in the pub. In time we will see how it all turns out 😆

My mates are an older crowd and don’t get to away games as often as in days of yore so we tend to meet up when they are televised. But we all still have our STs.

The consensus was unanimously in favour of ditching the TV deal for 3pm Saturday kick-offs. But one of the guys said: ‘Well that’ll end our wee gang watching the away games in the pub.’

The rest said no it’s only the home games that would be affected but as the sage pointed out – the TV companies will take a hard line and you’re either in or out.

So it’s a consideration. Perhaps we would go to more away games but there is also the opportunity for the SPFL or some clubs to market games to the pub audience if the current restrictions can be overcome.

It’s funny I can watch any games on my own in the house no problem but when it comes to Celtic I either need to be at Parkhead or in a pub with other supporters and not necessarily just Celtic ones.

The following link from Auldheid on timings and attendances is well worth a read: http://www.celtictrust.net/index.php?func=d_home_article&id=259

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jimlarkinPosted on8:52 am - Mar 9, 2015


Slightly off topic

…an independent report on the UCi, says that the UCi consistantly failed to implement “it’s own rules”

(There’s a lot of it about) !


Last month, Brian Cookson warned that the Cycling Independent Reform Commission report into doping would make for highly unpleasant reading.
The president of cycling’s world governing body – and thus the most powerful man in his sport – wasn’t wrong.
The report lays bare cycling’s sins in forensic detail.
Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid, Cookson’s predecessors in charge of the International Cycling Union (UCI), may have been cleared of the worst allegations of corruption – and therefore feel vindicated – but they are not spared a withering critique of their leadership.
They are shown to have presided over a catastrophic episode of events that left cycling’s credibility in tatters.”

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wottpiPosted on9:26 am - Mar 9, 2015


What chance of a separate area of the site to store lamb munching articles from Friday onwards to see how many stories come true and if the headlines actually match the content.

My contribution would be

http://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/562717/EXCLUSIVE-I-have-cash-for-Rangers-Brian-Kennedy

which when you read the article says

Kennedy, above, said: “My door is certainly open to the possibility of investing in Rangers.

“You can never say never but Rangers have genuine Rangers people in charge of the club.

“They are people who have the interests of the club at heart and want to get them back challenging at the top of Scottish football again.

“I haven’t had any contact with any of the new board. I’m sure, once the dust settles, we will sit down and talk to see how I can help to take Rangers forward.”

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tcup 2012Posted on9:41 am - Mar 9, 2015


The main problem will have with all the fantasists in the MSM at the moment
Is if all these people who now apparently want to fling their hard earned millions at RIFC what will they want or get in return?
What garentees are they getting?
All properties already have security on loans against them
Oneruse contracts tieing up all money avenue’s in sight as well as over the horizon

The only property left to get security over is Ibrox Oops can’t get security over that eithereither

So at the moment suspended fro AIM no properties left to pawn income streams with less flow than a dam

So why would anyone with any sense put money anywhere near the place?

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Cygnus X-1Posted on9:43 am - Mar 9, 2015


A Hall of shame for the best lamb munching stories is an excellent idea. For myself, I was awoken at 6am by my wee girl this morning & went online to read the sport section of The Herald, where I was confronted by two of the biggest pieces of rubbish, supposedly written by impartial & objective truth seeking journalists.

One by Lindsay Herron, a man recently employed by Rangers Media & one by Martin Williams who clearly would like to be.

Both are such obvious PR plants that it leaves one incredulous at the sheer audacity & disregard for the intelligence of their readership.

Now,I’m sanguine about positive news stories involving Rangers, I’ve lived with it for God knows how long, but as a result of the events of the last 10 years, exposing the behaviour and lack of any semblance of journalistic skills in the SMSM, no longer am I falling for this, nor am I accepting it.

So, I cancelled my subscription & send a long email of complaint, which will be completely ignored, but at least I’ll not be funding anymore of this pi*h from now on…

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