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

upthehoopsPosted on8:31 am - Mar 29, 2015


Danish Pastry says:
March 29, 2015 at 7:35 am
===============================

Thank you for informing me Chick young was a guest on Off the Ball. If I miss the show on a Saturday I tend to listen via the BBC i-player on a Sunday. I will not waste my time doing so now. I simply don’t see why my licence fee should contribute towards a man so sycophantic towards all things Rangers, yet tries to tell us he supports St Mirren. I heard his reaction on Radio Scotland yesterday when Rangers scored their second goal. There is simply no place on a publicly funded broadcaster for people who act in such an unprofessional manner.

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incredibleadamsparkPosted on9:44 am - Mar 29, 2015


Ron.an.Math says:
March 28, 2015 at 5:24 pm
_____________________________________________________

I knew your post had no agenda (mine too) so hope it didn’t come across like I thought it did. I was just boring you with some useless information around the subject. I have a head full of pointless facts which makes me an asset for pub quizzes but probably not someone you’d want to stand next to at a party/get stuck in a lift with for any length of time.

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Danish PastryPosted on9:57 am - Mar 29, 2015


upthehoops says:
March 29, 2015 at 8:31 am
———–

Slightly longer show in the evening noo annaw (all the more Chick 🙂 ). An oddity with both OtB and SSB is why Steven in Ardentinny is a regular. Talk about cranky rants. I’m beginning to think he might be an actor in disguise — Scotland’s own ‘Sven from Swiss Cottage’, though less funny.

I don’t get BBC Sportsound during match time “Due to rights restrictions” (human rights, possibly?) so don’t hear the live commentary gems. My loss.

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LUGOSIPosted on10:08 am - Mar 29, 2015


upthehoops says:
March 29th, 2015 at 8:31am

I also caught Mr Young’s orgasmic outburst when Rangers scored their second goal against Cowdenbeathelona.
I barely had time to reflect on how embarrassing it was before the question was decided for me by the universal reaction from BBC Radio Scotland’s Open All Mikes (? Mics ?) host, Richard Gordon, and the other commentators who all burst out laughing and heaped derision upon the “St. Mirren fan”.
What was even more noteworthy for me was that just before 3pm they were going round the grounds and we were hearing about proceedings at Tynecastle where the Championship title winners were about to take the field, with a Guard of Honour, to take their rightful acclaim from their fans. This report was interrupted/hijacked by Mr Young in a There’s Been A Goal stylee to bring us the more important, to Mr Young anyway, news that at Ibrox there were some banners about the late Davie Cooper’s death twenty years ago.
Nice to think we have been and continue to be funding Mr Young’s salary, expenses and jaunts round the world to bring us trenchant, balanced reporting/commentating/journalism.
I await with interest the day when Hearts are presented with the Championship trophy which I understand is to be at their last home fixture, which I believe is against, um, Rangers.
Will Mr Young be at Tynecastle? Will Mr Young make a point of being elsewhere and bring us news of pigeons flying over Love Street? (Producer:” Chick, a) They’ve moved; b) It’s not called that anymore; c) Where are you really?”
Or will it transpire that Mr Young has arranged to take that day off as a holiday? If so we would also be funding that.
At least Rangers are paying Mr Traynor for his idiosyncratic spin on all things Ibrox based. Aren’t they? I’d hate to see a list of creditors with Mr Traynor’s name just after the Face Painter’s.

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ecobhoyPosted on10:19 am - Mar 29, 2015


Resin_lab_dog says:
March 29, 2015 at 12:41 am

——————————————————————-
Personally I don’t actually care where anyone is born or what Nationality they perceive themselves to be. It can be a very fluid thing in modern society in any case.

When I was in infant school we saw the first wave of immigrant children arriving following the partition of India in the late 194os through to the mid 1950s.

I went to school with these kids – they couldn’t speak English or weegie – and neither could their parents. But they learnt in a school system stuffed-full of totally dedicated teachers and I never saw discrimination although I accept I would have been too young to pick-up subtle nuances if they existed.

These kids were confused about their actual Nationality anyway because of the Partition and found it difficult to figure out whether they were Indian or Pakistani. A few are still alive btw.

In much later years I spoke spoke with my old schoolmates about the confusion of their childhood brought about by geopolitical events beyond their ken or control. There seemed to have been a ‘division’ based on their age at arrival as to what they perceived their ‘Nationality’ to have been. As the bulk of those who came in my personal experience were of ‘Pakistani’ origin in the broad sense I will concentrate on those.

What became very important to them was their religion and the culture they had left behind and it became the ‘glue’ that held them together and I would think that is probably fairly common with any immigrant group in any land. They also have a ‘clan’ system which is helpful in a strange land.

The older ones – in their later teens when they arrived – never really stopped thinking of themselves as ‘Pakistani’ and the younger ones were simply too young to grasp the ‘Nationality’ concepts involved.

But over the decades I witnessed a change and it began probably with the offspring of those initial immigrant children who as they grew older regarded themselves as Pakistani-Glaswegian.

Somewhere along the line they and their children became Glaswegian-Pakistanis and spoke ‘Ra Patter’ just like any other weegie. And finally the younger generation that is making its way in life unashamedly regarded itself as ‘Scottish’ and why not as they have every right to do so.

I think the important thing is that they even broke free of ‘Glasgow’ in a sense and now regarded their ‘Nationality’ as Scottish rather than simply where their grandparents had landed.

It’s a natural thing to do because obviously when one Scot asks another ‘Wurruryifrae’ or the local eqivalent they don’t expect to be told ‘Scotland’ but a more localises location.

So the offspring of those who came to Scotland after Partition – reckoned to be possibly the biggest population mass-movement in history – now firmly see Scotland as their home.

And like Scots who emigrated all over the world they too make trips back home to the ‘old country’ as do their descendants.

When my devout Catholic mother died – she had Irish-born parents who left Ireland to survive – two of those who carried her out of the chapel were Glasgow muslims – the younger descendants of those who my mother had done business with since the early 1950s.

My sister and I felt honoured by the gesture and neither the priest nor the congregation blinked an eye. That’s how far Scotland has come in 60 plus years which is a mere blink of the eye in historical terms.

And that is why I remain eternally hopeful that things will continue to improve although we must remain vigilant as there are always minorities who wish to control and dominate other groups.

So what has this got to do with John Colqhoun I hear you ask? Quite a lot IMO because if I wanted to I could order-up his birth certificate online and discover his place of birth in 10 minutes for a nominal fee.

Will I? Of course not as I couldn’t care less where he was born – what’s important is that he regards himself as Scottish and that’s good enough for me.

And any sporting rules wrt ‘Nationality’ must be capable of being based on more than what can be a mere geographic accident of birth IMO. Much better to have someone who loves their new country – albeit possibly adopted – than someone born here who doesn’t give a toss for his fellow countrymen/women or native land.

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mcfcPosted on10:22 am - Mar 29, 2015


Definitely gross misconduct of L&L to bring in that Vuckic guy. 🙂

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AquinasPosted on10:25 am - Mar 29, 2015


Scotland v Gibraltar, it’s likely that their will be more men in Hampdump today than the entire population (men, women & children) of The Rock, what’s the point!

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RyanGoslingPosted on10:35 am - Mar 29, 2015


MCFC,

He’s done well, but he was one of five and the other four have barely played between them, which I’m sure you know and I’m sure you also know that that’s where the gross misconduct allegations originate. Did you have a further point in your statement?

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mcfcPosted on11:13 am - Mar 29, 2015


RyanGosling says:
March 29, 2015 at 10:35 am

Did you have a further point in your statement?

=========================

Try telling the employment tribruneral that L&L did a bad thing by paying peanuts for the famous five. Together they may get The Rangers promoted. L&L are going nowhere and will have lovely gardens at the end of this and the cash they asked King for before the EGM. Or maybe they will find thwenselves back on the board if Ashley has a mischevious side – which I’m sure you’ll agree would be preferable to Green returning.

No point going to a pnato if you don’t want to see the funny side of things.

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RyanGoslingPosted on11:24 am - Mar 29, 2015


MCFC,

Do you know that they are being paid peanuts? The only stories I’ve heard so far are that Rangers are picking up the wages of several players who were not medically fit to play at the time they were signed. You seem to find it highly amusing that this has occurred, yet it is of benefit to only Mr Ashley who has abused the rules with dual ownership of clubs. Would you find it so funny if the players had been world beaters and Rangers had won every game due to their influence, or would you be outraged at the manipulation going on?

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pau1mart1nPosted on11:29 am - Mar 29, 2015


Problem is consistency. Getting players from NUFC used to be a masterstroke. Now its a very bad thing. Well most of it………

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ecobhoyPosted on11:34 am - Mar 29, 2015


RyanGosling says:
March 28, 2015 at 11:06 pm

My point is that really these things are not what this site is here to observe and discuss. I understand the financial implications of certain Rangers results does indeed feed into what we regularly discuss, but when there is a minute by minute commentary of a Rangers loss and not a single comment on a Rangers win, it feeds the thought process that says this site is anti Rangers.

I know it’s not. But I am also approaching this debate from the side that would be upset by certain comments.
—————————————————————-
@Ryan – I have to admit that I haven’t really noticed long gloating match reports when Rangers have been beaten.

Match reports aren’t what this site is about anyway IMO. However there is often a serious side to on-field results wrt to any club and especially to one in such a parlous financial state as Rangers.

So – as you accept – some comments are valid on on-field issues. But they must be objective and balanced and it seems to me on – albeit ‘thin’ evidence – that McCall has stopped the rot and is actually getting something out of players in the last couple of games at least.

That could have a positive financial impact for Rangers which then takes us into a discussion whether sustained good results – leaving the division aside – will generate increased ST sales and attendances.

Personally I think it might be a bit soon to make an accurate assessment on that one and we’ll need to wait possibly until we know whether Rangers will be in the Premiership or Championship to work that one out. And results and the football played on the pitch is important no matter the division played in.

It seems clear players have woken-up to the fact that unless they play their sox off then they’ll be out of a job in weeks and some are possibly unemployable given their form and lack of commitment for most of the season to date.

So I think words and promises have been whispered into ears about possible contract renewals. I could be wrong but then Pie in the Sky tomorrow is always pretty nebulous.

I doubt if more than a few will be offered contracts and if they are wages will be slashed as will bonuses and it’ll be short-term contracts. The public rebuke of Moshni is just another warning signal being fired into the dressing room.

McCall is there to get results and will be under no illusion on that front. Without them he won’t be there by the season end and even with winning promotion he still might be shipped-out for a marquee manager appointment.

As to all of the site being anti-Rangers I think that’s a bit too far and I don’t actually believe that the likes of TSFM is. There are also other posters who are balanced and many who can differentiate between ordinary supporters and the ‘cultural’ aspects of Rangers.

Personally I worry more about things like McMurdo PR-inspired gibberish being used to represent the ‘right’ road ahead for Rangers. The guy has destroyed himself in the eyes of most Bears – no matter what side they are on. They know exactly which Master that Merlin serves.

Anyone can speculate, even fools can, and get it right. Sometimes we simply have to wait and see what actually happens. And if there’s one thing we all should have learnt from this saga is never ever be surprised at what happens.

Expect the unexpected at all times and you won’t be far away. And patience really is a virtue. In the real world things are seldon black & white and especially when dealing with rules, regulations and legal matters.

Highly paid people are there to circumvent al of these things and they do day and daily all over the UK for every organisation. When I see some post wrt rigid deadlines I usually go lokking for the trapdoors and escape-clauses which are always there.

Faux outrage at this is ‘hot air’ IMO as they should have been revealed under investigation. And we must always remember that we have no oversight of well over 90% of what is going on and won’t know until it happens.

That’s life. We have to operate within those constraints and yet still see what we can do to improve the governance and accountability of the SFA and the Scottish Government. And we must continually expose the tripe dished-up by the SMSM who are perpetrating and stoking sectarianism IMO to try and sell a few more paper or get some more ad-clicks.

How pitiful ❗ In many ways Scottish Journalism has totsally utterly failed and is a disgrace in a world where almost daily real journalists are harassed or killed for trying to bring the truth to their readership.

The only injuries likely to be sustained by our press pack is in the scarmble to be first to the succulent lamb banqueting table. Sad ❗ Sad ❗ Sad ❗

And while they stuff themselves the SFA and Scottish Government carry on regardless ignoring football supporters and the wider Scottish Public who are demanding a fair game.

As to Rangers in all this: I am watching the SMSM almost universally lauding yet another ‘Saviour’ descending in a shower of glory over Ibrox. It’s truly an act of Faith as no questions require to be asked or even answered.

And that’s why I fear that the outcome is as invevitable as all the preceding entities that have come and gone and left Rangers financially worse-off each time.

And I see MA as another ‘Saviour’ which means IMO he has no actual interest in rangers or Scottish Football. OK I can accept he’s out to make money. But is that all that he’s about and, if so, why waste so much time on a financially broken-down Rangers? Has he too been conned by the ‘sleeping’ economic giant myth?

Many others have although the question now is whether any hard-of-thinking ‘billionaires’ are currently riding to the rescue of an under-siege Ibrox.

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upthehoopsPosted on11:38 am - Mar 29, 2015


In terms of Ibrox finances it was interesting to see the attendance yesterday – 32,682. The figure will almost certainly include season ticket holders who did not attend and complimentary tickets. It is not a bad figure at all for the Championship but clearly the expected mass backing of the new regime with the associated riches is not happening. How soon before they need yet another crisis loan and from whom?

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timomousePosted on11:49 am - Mar 29, 2015


Auldheid

Certainly our Champions League TV revenue is very out of balance with the rest of Europe as it is decided as part of an overall UK payment meaning that Scotland receives an amount similar more to England than to a similar sized nation – as an example, for being awful in the group stage last season, Celtic still received over £4m more than Porto and only just less than Schalke who qualified for the last 16.

In terms of spreading that wealth, you would certainly have a hard time convincing Celtic to part with so much money, even if it’s £1m. The only way for clubs to catch up and share that wealth is to perform. We won’t be getting our second CL spot back any time soon, but giving, say, Aberdeen £3m extra that EL group qualification would bring, that would make a big difference in solidifying them as Scotland’s number two which, currently, is all one can ask for.

From that work on financial forecasting, I put together my thoughts on Financial Fair Play or, at least, an adapted version of it viewable at http://www.thefootballlife.co.uk/post/114867461186/financial-fair-play-for-the-spfl-offering-a-fair

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ecobhoyPosted on12:17 pm - Mar 29, 2015


mcfc says:
March 29, 2015 at 11:13 am
RyanGosling says:
March 29, 2015 at 10:35 am

Did you have a further point in your statement?
=========================
Try telling the employment tribruneral that L&L did a bad thing by paying peanuts for the famous five. Together they may get The Rangers promoted. L&L are going nowhere and will have lovely gardens at the end of this and the cash they asked King for before the EGM. Or maybe they will find thwenselves back on the board if Ashley has a mischevious side – which I’m sure you’ll agree would be preferable to Green returning.
—————————————————————-
The level of wages paid to the 5 NU players has nothing to do with any possible future employment tribunal wrt DL & BL.

IIRC correctly Rangers are reported as paying £5K a month towards NU for the 5. But the 5 are getting much more than £1K a month each in actual total wages from NU under contract. All that Rangers are paying is a contribution towards that contract.

I have also seen it reported on Bear sites that another cost is that each of the 5 have been provided with a flat in Glasgow with rent paid by Rangers. Might be more in total than £5k a month if true.

It’s obviously worked-out well wrt Vukic. But wages aren’t the issue for any possibly tribunal – it’s on the reported signing of 5 players on loan without a medical. Who knows? There might be also be other issues flagged-up about their time at Ibrox.

If they are summarily sacked then they have to go to an employment tribunal to argue their case for unfair dismissal which will take some time and provide a financial breathing space because their wages would cease on being sacked.

Of course if they were sacked and waiting for a tribunal hearing they would probably ask the court to ringfence approx £400K which might present some difficulties but I’m sure the new Board would try to counter that by presenting ‘evidence’ to the court that the employment tribunal claim was unlikely to succeed. But we don’t know what would happen in that scenario.

What I think is a fair assumption is that if SD tried to put them back on the RIFC Plc Board then they would be refused by the new Board. Green would similarly be refused. And tbh I reckon MA is far too clever a businessman to get involved in such childish games which would receive enormous UK-wide publicity. Does anyone believe MA would publicly endorse Green 🙄

I also have serious doubts that DL & BL want to waster 12 months of their lives sitting on their jacksies unable to do any work. They need a clean break, minimum publicity and to walk away and pick-up their career.

They won’t want and don’t need to be immersed further into the Ibrox quagmire. These ain’t stupid guys and they will be looking-out for themselves in this and not wanting to play Ibrox power-struggle games.

As to Green returning – I never believed a word he uttered from his first day on the scene because I investigated his business background and posted the facts. Nothing has changed and I even think AIM might be persuaded that there is a ‘fit and proper’ issue over his racist comment on his previous departure. If not then the new Board wouldn’t accept him anyway.

It’s my understanding that a Board has the power to refuse anyone nominated as a director. I also believe that it’s normal to prevent that kind of ‘problem’ that the shareholder and the Board settle on a jointly agreed nominee. I could be wrong of course and no doubt someone more expert on company law will correct me.

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ecobhoyPosted on1:06 pm - Mar 29, 2015


upthehoops says:
March 29, 2015 at 11:38 am

In terms of Ibrox finances it was interesting to see the attendance yesterday – 32,682. The figure will almost certainly include season ticket holders who did not attend and complimentary tickets. It is not a bad figure at all for the Championship but clearly the expected mass backing of the new regime with the associated riches is not happening. How soon before they need yet another crisis loan and from whom?
—————————————————————–
Even with full stadium they would need a monthly loan to cover their financial shortfall.

That’s the inescapable reality of their financial situation and our SMSM refuse to ask the probing questions. They never have and obviously never will.

And that’s the problem which will result inevitably IMO with the same outcome.

There are always times when editorial judgements have to be made with any business on the edge as to what should be published or not. And I can accept that part of that judgement might well be not asking questions that would reveal the financial truth.

At its broadest I don’t actually have any problems with that judgement being exercised. However we are dealing with a company that, under previous management and boardroom control, has been hammered on financial issues and bombarded with predictions of financial doom and extinction.

So what’s different this time? Absolutely nothing other than that ‘The Establishment’ has come riding to the rescue of one of its favourite sons and therefore a discreet veil is being drawn over Ibrox to give the new incumbents and those in waiting a chance to work an Ibrox miracle.

It’s the last throw of the dice or swig from the Loving Cup – surely you wouldn’t deny Scotland’s biggest and most successful football club and major National Institution – a possibility of resurrection?

Personally the silence IMO won’t actually help the RRM incumbents and when the last penny drops down the Ibrox drain then Bears will end-up even more teed-off than at any previous stage.

IMO the media silence and failure of professionalism is probably what will finally sink HMS Dignity. ‘Ssssshhhh – Loose lips sink ships’ is not the way to go.

Bears have to be told the truth so that they can make informed judgements before shovelling any more cash into this current Board. It’s up to them to decide what to do with their dosh.

But if they know the full facts then they might keep their money to go in a different direction and this isn’t necessarily IMO to fall further into MA’s financial clutches.

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scapaflowPosted on1:14 pm - Mar 29, 2015


ecobhoy says:
March 29, 2015 at 12:17 pm

All Green is doing, in his usual understated fashion, is reminding Kingco, that he, and, the interests he represents, have not gone away, and will have to be dealt with.

A good result for Rangers yesterday, it makes you wonder where Rangers would be in a footballing sense, if a more appropriately skilled manager had been appointed at the beginning. McCoist’s appointment was never about the football, by the time it was about the football, they couldn’t afford to get rid of him. They still can’t, hence the gardening leave. The fundamentals have not change one iota, despite the changes in the mood music play list.

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neepheidPosted on1:15 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Football Fans Need Free Speech Too- Standard Liège fans’ ‘red or dead’ banner sparks a no show from the Je Suis Charlies.

http://t.co/FD3jLy5Dm7

An interesting take on freedom of speech for football fans, from Belgium, which I think has some relevance to recent controversies in Scotland.

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parttimearabPosted on1:30 pm - Mar 29, 2015


neepheid says:
March 29, 2015 at 1:15 pm
Football Fans Need Free Speech Too- Standard Liège fans’ ‘red or dead’ banner sparks a no show from the Je Suis Charlies.

http://t.co/FD3jLy5Dm7

An interesting take on freedom of speech for football fans, from Belgium, which I think has some relevance to recent controversies in Scotland.
==================================
Here’s an earlier example from 2013 as Napoli fans stand up for their right to be insulted…

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/09/italian-football-fans-abuse-milan-napoli

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gogsPosted on1:48 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Watching the Hearts players celebrating yesterday took me back to just before Christmas last season, listening to the pundits on SSB, to a man, lamenting how throwing all these young players into first team football without preparation will ruin their careers, they just weren’t ready for it, and the they will never recover psychologically from the constant losses.
Of course, fast forward a couple of months, one defeat in their final 8 league games when relegation was a mathematical certainty, then one defeat in 30 so far and the Championship sewn up in March, and a squad of young guys with experience.
And the sad thing is that Keevans and the rest will swear they gave their full support to this model from the start.
Congratulations Hearts.

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AuldheidPosted on1:50 pm - Mar 29, 2015


This is a must read about the future of OUR game.

It speaks to the set up in England but is as applicable here where the imbalance between commercialism and sporting integrity has corrupted the game.

Every party should have a Football Reform Bill in their manifesto.

http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2015/mar/28/football-action-network-manifesto-this-game-is-our-game-general-election-premier-league

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Ron.an.MathPosted on2:02 pm - Mar 29, 2015


incredibleadamspark.
Nahhh. . hadnt taken any inference from your reply . . was only generally if clumsily clarifying that my point was in no way about any “Ireland aspect” . . and merely about the sheer ineptitude of the journos/pundits on said show !
Suspect the producers recognise the deficiencies . . . they have recently established a “beat the pundit” quiz slot . .this I reckon is a cunningly disguised method of encouraging their pundits to keep at least moderately abreast of / informed on current fitba/sport issues . They have surely cringed along with the rest of us when so called professional sports journos are so ignorant of their supposed subject that they dont know simple things like qualification rules from the euro groups ? Or whether aberdeen played previously in the different style ,earlier version of the europa league . .
(and dont even start me on their inability to tell the difference between “relegated” and “application to join an assiciation/league” ! ! . . .cos then maybe we would be in agenda territory ! 😆 )

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AuldheidPosted on2:02 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Timimous

On what Celtic stance might be re giving up some CL dosh: The interdependent nature of football is real. Ignore it and reality bites.

Did Celtic not give up some money in the rehashed TV deal after reality took a fatal bite at RFC?

Desperate times make folk rethink.

I don’t disagree with your point about clubs improving enough to earn their own UEFA money, but a wee leg up might make the chances of that happening a bit sooner.

Even as a temporary measure it would help stabilise the football finance environment and that produces the platform on which to introduce FFP.A kind of Marshall Plan for Scottish football that would benefit all financially struggling clubs to get on a solid financial footing.

I’ll have a look at your suggestion and pass it on having just written to Celtic about the need at the very least for SFA to say where we are on FFP.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on2:03 pm - Mar 29, 2015


gogs says:
March 29, 2015 at 1:48 pm

Watching the Hearts players celebrating yesterday took me back to just before Christmas last season, listening to the pundits on SSB, to a man, lamenting how throwing all these young players into first team football without preparation will ruin their careers, they just weren’t ready for it, and the they will never recover psychologically from the constant losses.
—————————————————
Just you wait until they get into The Premiership and if Rangers get there as well.

I’m sure they will face a much bigger psychological onslaught from the SMSN on a daily basis if they are perceived to pose the slightest threat to Rangers attaining its Rightful Place which is to sell as many chip wrappers as possible.

And I’m not actually joking btw 🙁

The real truth is that the pundits were defending the Rangers decision not to develop and use their own youngsters – they weren’t worried in the slightest about any possible negative effects on the young Hearts’ players.

Still congrats to Hearts it was well deserved and they did their fans proud.

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AuldheidPosted on2:09 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Anyone any idea of

a) The size of the playing and coaching staff at Ibrox.i.e those guys likely to be on more than us non footballers get paid.

b) The number of non footballing employees.

Ta

View Comment

redlichtiePosted on2:26 pm - Mar 29, 2015


RyanGosling says:
March 29, 2015 at 10:35 am
MCFC,
He’s done well, but he was one of five and the other four have barely played between them, ……….
===============================================
Hi Ryan, I’m perhaps in a slightly different category from some on this site as I’m clearly identified with a ‘diddy team’.

Having said that I’ve made many comments on RIFC/TRFC including a recent blog piece where I suggested that MA was perhaps the ‘sanity’ choice for RIFC/TRFC fans though that clearly came with downsides. (TBH I saw MA as the least worst scenario for the survival of the club. I really saw no good scenario – as we are probably now seeing with the DK/3Bs looking to be struggling.)

Those downsides include the kind of issue we have with these five players – such a manoeuvre could clearly be to the detriment of competing clubs or, as seems to be the case, to the financial detriment of RIFC/TRFC.

In a situation where getting promoted (TRFC at al) or saving cash are imperatives such a loan deal is on the surface an abuse of something approaching dual ownership and should not be allowed by the football authorities.

They have failed to take strong action to remedy the situation. If RIFC/TRFC continues to bleed money then MA potentially moves into an even more critical position with regard to the survival of the club (!).

As long as there is a queue of RRM willing to dip very deeply into their own pockets with little chance of seeing any return then MA will continue to suck the dying corpse dry.

The football authorities should have stamped down on this immediately it was brought to their attention. They however do not have the stomach to do what is right and let the new club fall into administration and probably liquidation due to the onerous contracts that will still weigh the body down.

MA sees that weakness – not rejecting DK as a F&PP outright is another example – and is more than aware of fans commitment that lets him keep taking money out. He is completely protected for his own loan and must be wondering about the sanity of those affiliated to the Govan club.

At some point the well will run dry and I suspect that he is surprised it has lasted this long.

Scottish Football needs the football authorities to do their job properly. MA should not be allowed to hold a stake in RIFC or influence events via loans (financial or playing staff). Third Rangers may be the result but at least they will have a fighting chance of succeeding next time – as long as they have learned their lessons.

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CarlylePosted on2:29 pm - Mar 29, 2015


causaludendi says:

March 28, 2015 at 5:43 am

My bad, Orlit Enterprises – Singapore; Korissa Capital – Panama (with links to Tixway)

See what happens when I get a spare 3 minutes…! 😳 😕

Causaludendi,
I’m not immediately familiar with the names of those companies. However, going back on TSFM I found a link to the Private Eye article in full, posted by Scapaflow. Here it is:
http://etims.net/?p=6355

Related to that, last week Aiden Earley dropped his court case against a financial journalist who had been writing about Worthington Group, having previously served an injunction on him.
http://www.shareprophets.com/views/11247/will-worthington-shares-ever-trade-again-i-think-not-and-win-2-of-the-day-for-the-sheriff-of-aim

Earlier in the month, the same journalist posted a link to a copy of a document which shows the clear link between the CEO of Worthington, the Earley brothers and Craig Whyte and TRFC. The link to the document is at the end of the article and key part of the agreement is in The Schedule Part 2.
http://www.shareprophets.com/views/10974/aiden-earley-as-some-documents-go-down-pro-tem-the-killer-worthington-rangers-document-emerges

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John ClarkPosted on2:30 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Upthehoops says March 29 @8.31 a.m
“….there is simply no place on a publicly funded broadcaster for people who act in such an unprofessional manner”
……………
Indeed there ought not to be any place for someone who is either such a useless toe-rag of a journalist as to be ignorant of facts that the man in the street can ascertain by a couple of key-depressions OR is so emotionally involved and biased that he tries to distort and misreport the facts.
Chick Young on air denied that DK was a convicted criminal, and asserted that DK had settled the tax dispute with SARS.
Tom( who said “uncle?, btw) English, to his credit on that occasion, set the record straight, rdferring to the now well known conviction record.
BBC Radio Scotland did not discipline Young for being either hopelessly uninformed or for being deliberately untruthful on air, merely saying that he was mistaken and that he had been corrected on air by Tom English.
That to me was an indication of where the heid bummers in Pacific Quay owe their allegiance.
They were ,by contrast, prepared to hang out to dry, another of their stzff who actually reported truth.
There are some publicly funded, and very well paid(at our expense) deceitful men (probably not women) holding senipr positions in BBC radio Scotland whose judgement is clouded by partisan bias or other such ties, when it comes to reporting facts relating to any and all matters to do with RFC as was, and now with RIFC/TRFC as is.
And knowledge of the fact that the BBC canbe biased in the matter of Sport naturally leads to the serious conclusion that it must be capable of bias in the really serious matter of politics.
And very likely is biased.
Chick ought tohabe been removed from the football broadcasting scene as not being a FPP to exercise the role of commentator, pundit or whatever, at public expense.
Let him lie to himself by all mannet of means. Just don’t make us all pay.
And let those who were happy to pay him because they share his fundamental orientation be called to account.by us, who also pay their ( bit of dignity here, please! ) not ‘wages’ but ‘ six figure remuneration packages’.
Bad, and very bad,cess to them.

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John ClarkPosted on3:24 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Carlysle says March 29 @ 2.29 pm
………
Although I’ve been a fairly assiduous reader, and have written to Worthington about their share suspension and whether that inhibited any legal
action on their part, I think I may have lost the plot,
the real significance of the Earley/worthington/
Whyte connection.
We have all, I think, learned that the ways of those
whose sole guiding principle in life is to enrich
themselves at the expense of others are difficult to
fathom.
I think I need a tutorial on how the various villains of the piece ,from supreme Cheat SDM via Ticketus per CW per Earley pet Worthington per the whole rotten shower of sods trying to make money lout of aworkingmans’ sport.
Especially, as liars and thieves inevitably do, when
they fall out among themselves.

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AuldheidPosted on3:27 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Anyone any idea of

a) The size of the playing and coaching staff at Ibrox.i.e those guys likely to be on more than us non footballers get paid.

b) The number of non footballing employees.

Ta
===============
If it helps Im working with

45 Football employees

175 Admin employees

I suspect the latter has been reduced since last used.

View Comment

upthehoopsPosted on3:38 pm - Mar 29, 2015


John Clark says:
March 29, 2015 at 2:30 pm
===========================

Re the Chick Young and Tom English debate over Dave King I actually made a complaint to the BBC about the behaviour of Chick Young. In my view he acted disgracefully and simply attempted to shout down Tom English, while insinuating that the SFA had already tipped a wink to King that we would be accepted. I understand the SFA contacted BBC during the show to firmly deny this was the case. In terms of the complaint I received a very weak answer, basically that Young had been challenged by English during the show so that was that.

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on3:58 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Timimouse

Good stuff on the difficulties of introducing FFP. I commented on the blog as follows.

The SFA/SPFL might argue that the current licensing regime covers the financial aspect and indeed there was a promise in the Licensing documentation (which I still wait to see implemented) of publishing a clubs ratio of wages to turnover on SFA web site. See 8.12 at

http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/resources/documents/ClubLicensing/2015/2015%20Club%20Licensing%20Manual%20-%20Parts%201%20&%202.pdf

However that is not working for the lack of the very solution you propose – no independent body is doing the sums and generally what our game needs is either independent oversight or legislation like a Football Reform Bill mentioned in the Guardian article.

http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2015/mar/28/football-action-network-manifesto-this-game-is-our-game-general-election-premier-league

Another form of monitoring is setting up the SFA as a Service Provider and SPFL as Service user in a formal relationship with a means of measuring the service delivered, covering all key areas.

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John ClarkPosted on4:00 pm - Mar 29, 2015


upthehoops@3.38 pm
_____
You are right, of course. I had forgotten that that aspect of Young’s duplicity and misinformational broadcasting had been ( and fair dos to them) dismissed az untrue by the SFA.
But such is the (or at least my) distrust of the SFA that if Chick were to tell me that they had in fact told him that King would be okayed, I think I’d be more inclined to believe the wee baldy sailor boy thasn anyone from the SFA.
And that’s some statement about the truth-driven ethic of the SFA as I perceive it!

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scapaflowPosted on4:04 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Auldheid says:
March 29, 2015 at 3:58 pm

You mean a legally enforceable, transparent, service level agreement, complete, with KPIs, performance targets, clear roles & responsibilities, published for all to see?

Good luck with that :mrgreen:

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mcfcPosted on4:11 pm - Mar 29, 2015


RyanGosling says:
March 29, 2015 at 11:24 am
You seem to find it highly amusing that this has occurred, yet it is of benefit to only Mr Ashley who has abused the rules with dual ownership of clubs.
———
I am highly amused – by the childish response of the SMSM and some fans – they wet themselves over goals of one loanee and bust a blood vessel in outrage at the others. If I don’t know the cost of the loanees, how do you know their fitness levels and details of their medicals. The easily outraged picking and choosing from reality when it suits then denying it when it doesn’t is very amusing.

12 23 Rate This

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CarlylePosted on4:17 pm - Mar 29, 2015


John Clark at 3.24,

I have some hope that the court cases would bring some dark matters into the light. The criminal case in December saw Whyte and the others bailed and it could be as long as 12 months to the trial; the Ticketus case against on Jan 13th was held in camera. In time we will learn more (but perhaps not all) if the law does its job.

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upthehoopsPosted on4:22 pm - Mar 29, 2015


John Clark says:
March 29, 2015 at 4:00 pm
upthehoops@3.38 pm
_____
You are right, of course. I had forgotten that that aspect of Young’s duplicity and misinformational broadcasting had been ( and fair dos to them) dismissed az untrue by the SFA.
But such is the (or at least my) distrust of the SFA that if Chick were to tell me that they had in fact told him that King would be okayed, I think I’d be more inclined to believe the wee baldy sailor boy thasn anyone from the SFA.
And that’s some statement about the truth-driven ethic of the SFA as I perceive it!
======================================

Indeed. The one thing that would appear to be beyond doubt is that Chick Young clearly beleives himself to be in possession of information to suggest King would receive SFA clearance.

For me the worst thing about it all is that there is more chance of winning the lottery than the SFA denying King. It was like when the Scottish Government brought in the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act. They went through a large consultation process but they were never going to change their minds no matter what. I see the SFA doing similar with Dave King. As far as I’m concerned he can make any preparations he needs to for taking a boardroom seat at Ibrox.

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Methilhill StrollerPosted on4:25 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Red Lichtie 2:26

I agree totally with your comments and doubt I could have put it better myself.

Simplicity is clubs living within their means and the governing bodies actually doing exactly that without fear or favour. Alas neither currently happening with respect to one club!

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AuldheidPosted on5:45 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Scapaflow

Not necessarily as full bodied but certainly a change in attitude where both SFA and SPFL know what to expect of each other and we know what to expect of both.

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AuldheidPosted on6:06 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Was it not Chic Young who got the Israeli referee spokesman on during the refs strike when the SFA had to bring in foreign refs?

I’m pretty sure Chic crossed the line by telling the Israeli association claims about the reasons for the strike that we exaggerations.

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Night TerrorPosted on6:20 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Auldheid
I’m glad your ideas on the distorting effect Champions League money eventually elicited some response.

I think it’s the single most destabilising element in the game, and could eventually destroy national leagues as we know them.

This, of course, may be why changing the distribution of money to ensure the future and competition of national leagues faces resistance. Let’s not pretend that many teams feel they have “outgrown” their national leagues and would like to see European leagues or the abolishing of national league boundaries.

Fans of those teams, likewise, could be expected to tolerate the domestic domination the extra cash CL participation provides in the good times while hoping for an eventual permanent European residence, or at the very least guaranteed timeshare.

I wonder how many people read your proposals, agree with your analysis, but disagree with your aims.

View Comment

upthehoopsPosted on6:28 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Auldheid says:
March 29, 2015 at 6:06 pm
Was it not Chic Young who got the Israeli referee spokesman on during the refs strike when the SFA had to bring in foreign refs?

I’m pretty sure Chic crossed the line by telling the Israeli association claims about the reasons for the strike that were exaggerations.
===================================

You are correct.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:22 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Methilhill Stroller says:
March 29, 2015 at 4:25 pm
================================

It’s baffling what the SFA have against a FFP system. Right now it would be a fairly seamless transition for 41 of the 42 clubs. There would of course be a problem for the club which is now borrowing to meet the wages every month. However, FFP would simply force that club to pay only wages it could genuinely afford. Whether that would have an impact on on-field success should be neither here nor there.

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neepheidPosted on8:07 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Night Terror says:
March 29, 2015 at 6:20 pm

I wonder how many people read your proposals, agree with your analysis, but disagree with your aims.

======================

What are these aims of Auldheid, with which I might disagree? Trying to get the rules applied impartially, without fear or favour? Or is it something else, that I’ve missed?

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Flocculent ApoideaPosted on8:15 pm - Mar 29, 2015


It was also Chic Young that vehemently expressed his annoyance (on Radio Scotland) at the idea Rangers should hand over the requested documents to the authorities and, by doing so, provide evidence of wrong-doing.

View Comment

LUGOSIPosted on8:43 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Auldheid says:
March 29, 2015 at 3:27pm

Don’t know if it assists but the club website has a Teams section which lists a First Team squad of 26 players and a Professional Youth squad of 27 players.
So that’s 53 for starters.
There are also 6 Academy Teams.
Add on Messrs. Stuart McCall, Kenny Black, Gordon Durie, Ian Durrant, Jimmy Bell, Jim Stewart, Jim Henry, Andrew Dickson, Paul Jackson, Steve Walker, Kevin McLellan, Billy Henderson, Jamie Ramsden, Luke Lawrence, Mark Jones, Garry Sherriff, Richard Chessor, Steve Harvey, Billy Kirkwood, Alan Boyd, Andy Kirk, Gardener Spiers, Gary Gibson, Ally Dawson, Malcolm Thomson, Steven Mundell, Graham Smillie, Martin Bell and who knows who else and it appears that your figure of 45 Football employees requires revisal, and not in a downward direction.
Oh, and Ally McCoist.
And Kenny McDowall (maybe).

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parttimearabPosted on8:53 pm - Mar 29, 2015


mcfc says:
March 29, 2015 at 4:11 pm
RyanGosling says:
March 29, 2015 at 11:24 am
You seem to find it highly amusing that this has occurred, yet it is of benefit to only Mr Ashley who has abused the rules with dual ownership of clubs.
———
If I don’t know the cost of the loanees, how do you know their fitness levels and details of their medicals.
===================================================
Plainly the results of medical would be confidential but one player appears to have a pre existing medical condition and another has not even made it as far as Glasgow.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/32095637

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AuldheidPosted on8:54 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Night Terror

It’s not so much an aim as pointing out that the natural interdependent nature of football as a sport, which applies to all sport, for without someone else you depend on to provide some form of competition there is no sport, means that it cannot be treated as the dog eat dog of commercial business.

That core sporting notion has been lost in treating football like each club is a stand alone independent business. That is clearly unreal and as I say reality always asserts itself.

I like to think I’m helping.

This story reflects my philosophy on the matter.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kpMnLxNJhhK3i2dsLpd9oRHxjvDrS8GLGhNNVKEldRw/edit?usp=docslist_api

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justshateredPosted on8:55 pm - Mar 29, 2015


John Clark says:
March 29, 2015 at 2:30 pm

I know there is a lot of inspection of specific individuals and comments/statements they make.
However, from where I sit, the real problem lies in the people farther up the food chain. These people, the faceless ones as I call them, dictate policy, do not chastise the inappropriate comments from the pundits appearing on their shows, and more importantly only allow one side of a debate to be continually rammed down the throat of their listeners. The fact that this is a legally inaccurate description seems to be neither here nor there.
When RFC were consigned to Liquidation every media outlet in the country called it correct yet fast forward three months and suddenly the great myth had began to be told.
Who, at the various news organisations, ordered that change of tact?
This goes to the very heart of this scandal and will have to be addressed at some point.
The fact that this narrative has gone unchallenged, with virtually no other view being allowed, in these organisations is a damning indictment of our media.

Chris Graham for example was allowed air time on a virtual non-stop basis where his nonsense was allowed to go unchecked and yet on the first anniversary of the Administration a radio program was cancelled because he refused to attend where people who knew the truth were also due to attend. For a state broadcaster to behave in such a manner is an affront to any civilised society.
We listen to debates on anything in this country from extreme views on immigration and issues in the Middle East yet when it comes to openly debating severe sporting and financial issues within Scottish football there is no debate allowed. The only time it is mentioned is jokingly by Tam Cowan or Stuart Cosgrove. For the opposite side of any debate to be side lined and ignored in such a manner raises all sorts of questions.

It is easy to then take that argument to the next level; if that is the way they behave with regards to a sport story what else are they denying and ignoring in other departments.

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jean7brodiePosted on9:05 pm - Mar 29, 2015


justshatered says:
March 29, 2015 at 8:55 pm

____________________________________

Excellent comment.

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ecobhoyPosted on9:20 pm - Mar 29, 2015


justshatered says:
March 29, 2015 at 8:55 pm
John Clark says:
March 29, 2015 at 2:30 pm

Chris Graham for example was allowed air time on a virtual non-stop basis where his nonsense was allowed to go unchecked and yet on the first anniversary of the Administration a radio program was cancelled because he refused to attend where people who knew the truth were also due to attend.

For a state broadcaster to behave in such a manner is an affront to any civilised society.

BBC Scotland should have hung its head in shame over that particularly craven abdication of its public duties and heads should have rolled. It was all just simply swept under the carpet.

Worth looking at the detail as recounted by the two BBC guests who were treated shamefully because the now disgraced Graham was too scared to face them as they would have wiped the floor with his fairy tales.

If I had been one of the new directors at Rangers I wouldn’t have touched Graham with a bargepole let alone let him sit on the same Board. A serious lack of judgement IMO.

https://scotslawthoughts.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/my-budding-media-career-cruelly-delayed-im-not-on-sportsound-tonight/

https://scotslawthoughts.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/andy-muirhead-on-why-our-invitations-to-discuss-rangers-on-sportsound-were-withdrawn/

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parttimearabPosted on9:26 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Auldheid says:
March 29, 2015 at 8:54 pm
Night Terror

It’s not so much an aim as pointing out that the natural interdependent nature of football as a sport, which applies to all sport, for without someone else you depend on to provide some form of competition there is no sport, means that it cannot be treated as the dog eat dog of commercial business.
====================
Auldheid

Couldn’t agree more with this but hard to see clubs taking this to the logical conclusion (from a Scottish perspective) which, to my way of thinking, is the creation of a structure where the possibility exists of a non OF club (as was if you prefer) winning the league.

Either a dominant club (or clubs) would need to move on (mooted many times in Scotland but IMO with no realistic prospect of it ever happening) or dominant clubs giving up financial advantage, which seems unlikely enough without the subservient mindset of the non OF clubs who seem to accept the status quo without any regard for the long term consequences.

I’ve said this on many occasions, without genuine competition through a number of clubs fan engagement will die and the professional game with it.

I’ve been lucky enough to see my team win a title,there have been few others who can say the same, and I’d hate to think that United and Aberdeen fans will be the last.

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ianagainPosted on9:39 pm - Mar 29, 2015


I guess only a few folk bothered to listen to the Well chairman’s blog the other day.
He is predicating “success” on upping his home crowd (discounting who comes as visitors, how many, who they are. what team their from) at 4500 home fans. He knows that works on paper.
Whether he can get there is subject to loads of things. The team sorting itsel out not the least.
Ryan the problem at Ibrox is they really do not know what that number is. No?

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RyanGoslingPosted on10:26 pm - Mar 29, 2015


I think that’s fair ianagain. Of course it would therefore be prudent to already have several hypothetical business plans in place to deal with however many season tickets are sold in the summer. Somehow I doubt such a level of planning is in place at Ibrox.

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valentinesclownPosted on10:31 pm - Mar 29, 2015


justshatered says:
March 29, 2015 at 8:55
———————————–
Great post. It is a worrying state of IMO corrupt affairs, that this club has been deemed to be the same club that was liquidated. Absolute disgrace, we as fans know the truth but the smsm peddle the same agenda. Who can address this issue as I have always maintained the term liquidation should apply to this club as it does to all other companies. This really is Scotland’s open shame. It is a culture that protects this fabric of society for reasons we can all guess at. NO other club would be treated this way and more importantly no other country would accept this. Why should we? and as asked who is trying to make us accept this? The lie has got to end.

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Night TerrorPosted on10:55 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Auldheid
Call it the aim, or the inevitable consequences, of what you’re proposing.

Few would advocate a less competitive league, but the consequences of actually making a league more competitive through adjusting revenue redistribution and all that entails is a very hard sell to those who currently benefit.

I think your analysis about the collective value of each league is entirely correct. The aim, in my opinion, should always be to grow the pie while making the slices more evenly sized.

The consequences of that, where the gap between the largest and the rest reduces, is where the disagreement and resistance lies.

View Comment

Night TerrorPosted on11:00 pm - Mar 29, 2015


Parttimearab
When even Stewart Milne quails at the prospect of a more equitable state of affairs in the SPL when all of a sudden Aberdeen are the second biggest club, the chances of Scottish football pursuing the sensible stuff Auldheid summarises seems very remote indeed.

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justshateredPosted on11:01 pm - Mar 29, 2015


valentinesclown says:
March 29, 2015 at 10:31 pm

I posted a long time ago that I’m convinced that there was a meeting somewhere, some place where ALL the major ‘faceless ones’ attended and at that meeting the great myth was agreed. Whether that meeting was driven by a PR company I don’t know.
Why do I believe this?
Simple really, because there was no opposing view anywhere in the journalistic community. People who had written columns on the death of RFC were now lining up to proclaim, whether asked or not, that ‘The Rangers’ were RFC. The over use of the term ‘Old Firm’ in publications and radio was palpable. The subtle linking of two clubs. And finally being ‘obsessed’ became the new ‘paranoid’!

So at this meeting the method of delivery was agreed, the deliverers of the message were hand picked, whether actual supporters or quislings, policies and directives would have been subtly, or not so subtly, altered and all new ‘pundits’ briefed before going on air of what was expected.

The real questions that should be asked is why?
What really is there to gain and more importantly who is to gain?
Not the printed media themselves because they have become an irrelevance as their plummeting circulation will testify.
At the end of the day this is a relatively small business in the grand scheme of things. The fact that it helped Charles Green to fleece the investors should be of interest to some. I can understand the fans clinging to the same club myth but what really is to gain for the all and sundry deluding themselves, and more importantly, attempting to bully everyone else to their way of thinking. As soon as you see through this veil it then becomes really clear how grim they actually are at their profession. Watching and listening to guys who crave to be taken seriously perform cartwheels is embarrassing.

As an aside it was interesting today to listen to the radio commentary from Hampden and how they referred to both ends of the stadium. It almost mirrored discussions from here a few weeks ago.

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GoosyGoosyPosted on11:57 pm - Mar 29, 2015


valentinesclown says:
March 29, 2015 at 10:31 pm

I posted a long time ago that I’m convinced that there was a meeting somewhere, some place where ALL the major ‘faceless ones’ attended and at that meeting the great myth was agreed. Whether that meeting was driven by a PR company I don’t know.
,,,,,,,,,,
The former Broadcaster and ex GM of Celtic Jock Brown mentions in his book that it was common practice for all the football hacks to have a confab after a press conference and agree which issues would be the lead story in the next edition

If this sort of informal arrangement still happens its very likely that some sort of consensus was reached early doors about how the great myth would be portrayed thereafter
,,,,,,,
Its not really a matter of opinion
Some of our posters will know journalists who can confirm conversations along these lines

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sidplayPosted on4:37 am - Mar 30, 2015


Great comments regarding the myth we have been forced to accept.
My biggest issue is with my own club Celtic, who were very much in on it. Neil Lennon who i have the up most respect for, done a total u turn on the subject at the time the myth was born. Dermot Desmond waxed lyrically about the club from Ibrox at the same time. How can the Celtic manager who was cheated out of honours accept it and be part of the lie? I guess it’s something I’ll never accept.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:20 am - Mar 30, 2015


GoosyGoosy says:
March 29, 2015 at 11:57 pm
============================

I thought when the old Rangers were liquidated we were finally getting closure on some of the worst institutionally backed reckless behaviour ever witnessed in football. It was payback time for the years of arrogance that should never have been, and all to the detriment of the Scottish game. The media headlines at the time also indicated it was the end. I was never in any doubt something similar would take its place, but I simply couldn’t see how their establishment and media friends could help them this time, but help them they did. They colluded to tell a lie and made sure those who knew the truth would never be allowed a platform to speak. Often when I think about it I wonder why I go to football at all now, but so far I’ve stuck it out.

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timomousePosted on8:22 am - Mar 30, 2015


Auldheid

The current SFA licensing system can essentially be fulfilled by the mere act of having an accountant. Our “FFP” regulations are essentially “”Don’t go insolvent” which while obvious is also useless. One insolvency fits all doesn’t work as there are multiple reasons why a club hits the wall. Give Brooks Mileson 5 more years on the earth and does he make Gretna sustainable? We don’t know.
Hence a punitive system doesn’t make sense. There are plenty of ways to run a club horrifically without insolvency, as we see at Blackpool, and there are plenty of ways to run a club well and have insolvency. Hence the reform structure I wrote about isn’t about punishing a team for being insolvent, it’s about supporting sides to become sustainable. Simply having a wage/turnover ratio doesn’t work as it only entrenches the haves and the have nots. Independence is key to this and setting up a financial oversight body separate to the SFA and SPFL is a matter of not just inspiring trust in the system but it takes vested interests out of it altogether.

With regard to spreading UEFA money about, there was a restructure of prize money domestically come the SPFL which does get more money further down the leagues however, if you’re Motherwell who woke up one day to see your prize money drop £600k for finishing second (a big reason for their troubles), that is of little solace and only increasing the money coming into the league as a whole could you solve that. I’m a broken record on that particular subject in terms of our broadcasting rights but the key issue is that clubs can’t budget on a UEFA fairy that may never arrive. As nice as spreading Celtic’s £8m market pool may be, it’s not guaranteed cash flow and that is what clubs need

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FisianiPosted on8:46 am - Mar 30, 2015


We ken that 278,000 pounds leave the RIFC accounts each and every month for stadium rental. We dinna ken where it goes. Any idea why the Scottish media refuses to acknowledge this fact?

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ecobhoyPosted on9:33 am - Mar 30, 2015


Fisiani says:
March 30, 2015 at 8:46 am

We ken that 278,000 pounds leave the RIFC accounts each and every month for stadium rental. We dinna ken where it goes. Any idea why the Scottish media refuses to acknowledge this fact?
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In view of the way that this ‘milking cow’ was set-up from the word go I think I would be more surprised if such a rental wasn’t being paid to someone or something somewhere.

Indeed it’s probably this that John Brown was referring to when he first mentioned ‘The Deeds’. He either misunderstood that bit or there’s something attached to the deeds that ‘legalises’ this rental.

Because of the network of hidden shareholders which have survived all attempts to identify them there is little chance of working from that end to identify who might be a recipient of the Blue £ largesse.

So that leaves the Ibrox end. Either this money is leaving Rangers legally or illegally or wrapped in a complex penumbra encompassing many shades of grey which could take decades of legal action to resolve.

However, how do we crack the code so to speak? Well can our accountant posters explain how this money – if the theory is correct and if it is legit – is leaving Ibrox and where would it be explained in the accounts. After all it is £3.34 million per annum and Rangers hasn’t got that big a turnover.

If it exists and it isn’t shown on the accounts then IMO it isn’t coming into the club at least not through the front door and it probably isn’t making it up the marble staircase. If it was the DK popular front would already have spotted it.

But can they do anything about it? That’s the Big Question. The fact that Ibrox apparently can’t be used for security seems to me to confirm it is already tied-up to guarantee something else and that could well be the rental payments possibly in perpetuity.

If that is the case it also makes a bit of a mockery of any potential SD plan to strip out any profitable revenue streams and leave the rusting hulk of a stadium to be rented to whoever runs the football club such as the RRM.

They have promised transparency to the Bears – I would have thought that this issue is of major importance to them and the support. At the end of the day they only need to ask John Brown as I’m sure he could give them a starter for 10.

And dare I ask: When will the SMSM ask some perinent questions? After all it isn’t just wages, VAT, NI and all the boring bills like the leccy that have to be met on a regular basis but it seems £278,000 a month is disappearing into thin air.

One can only wonder what other cash streams are flowing out of Ibrox to sunnier climes.

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bfbpuzzledPosted on9:37 am - Mar 30, 2015


We have reason to believe that £278,000 leaves the RIFC accounts monthly. SMSM would need to be circumspect in acknowledging that without more than our reason to believe. Adding that to their undisinterestedness increases in their own minds the unreliability of the message ie he said it so we canny say it and WATP so it is not true even if it is a fact.

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ecobhoyPosted on9:48 am - Mar 30, 2015


sidplay says:
March 30, 2015 at 4:37 am

How can the Celtic manager who was cheated out of honours accept it and be part of the lie? I guess it’s something I’ll never accept.
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Every individual has the right to make their own decision on the subject and there’s a variety of views which can be held to be legitimate depending on an individual’s position, peception and involvement in the game.

However, the only honours I take for granted are the ones that are actually won and in the Parkhead trophy room.

I therefore think it unhealthy for Scottish Football to assume that if Rangers hadn’t been cheating then Celtic would have picked-up all the trophies.

I would have hoped we would actually have seen a return to real competition from a variety of teams along the lines we have seen this season in the Premiership and Championship and even lower down the divisions.

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neepheidPosted on10:11 am - Mar 30, 2015


Jackson’s latest- http://t.co/5ehlfIfrSy

From the above,

There would have been no need for such a rush job had WH Ireland, Rangers former Nomad, stuck to their promise to oversee an orderly handover to a new firm of financial experts.

Instead, on March 4, they pulled the rug out from under the feet of King and Murray by resigning from the position with immediate effect.

As far as King and his group were concerned this was a completely unexpected move. But it may not have come as such a shock to the likes of Derek Llambias and Barry Leach who, with just two days left before being wiped out at an EGM, were doing their best to booby-trap the boardroom as a welcoming present for the new board.

I think that is a really dishonest piece of reporting. King promised to remove WH Ireland on the morning of the EGM. So how was this orderly transition supposed to proceed? Jackson seems to have an aversion to writing anything that is critical of King and Murray. If I was Llambias or Leach, I’d be getting my lawyers involved- booby trap, indeed!

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mcfcPosted on10:23 am - Mar 30, 2015


neepheid says:
March 30, 2015 at 10:11 am
Jackson’s latest- http://t.co/5ehlfIfrSy
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You beat me to it – my thougjhts exactly. Seems that Radar Jackson is preparing the masses for the inevitable – and pointing out who is to blame – that being WH Ireland, L&L, even AIM – but certaining not the Messiah and his RRM mates.

P.S. don’t tell Radar the dealine is close of business Thursday: “unable to get the club back on the Stock Exchange before Saturday’s deadline.”

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TJLBhoy67Posted on10:24 am - Mar 30, 2015


Good Morning All, long time follower of both RTC and TSFM but first time poster.

Think my moniker gives away the team I follow.

Just read the award winning journalist on the DR and words fail me. Won’t even bother posting link and tempting People to visit.

I’ll do my best to summarise.

Reading the opening lines I actually thot something has changed here. Sentences like ‘new board has five days to save face by re-listing on AIM’. ‘Rangers most complained about co on AIM last yr so perhaps they think they could do without the hassle’. ‘DK has to prove he is a FPP which will be difficult given tax convictions’. ‘Not essential that they get back on AIM but would mean not delivering on their first promise’.

Then the bombshell

It’s all WH Ireland’s fault for resigning. That shocked the new board and upset everything.

Sorry Keith didn’t you read that DK’s first action was going to be to sack WH Ireland and then have a new NOMAD appointed by the start of following week.

Absolute keek as usual from KJ which a child could dissect. However, some of the fans about to lose the ability to easily buy and sell their shares will lap it up.

No doubt some threatening emails have already landed on the desks of WH Ireland.

Hope you all have a good day and many thanks for the past couple of years reading and entertainment you have provided me with.

(Not you KJ. Although suppose laughter falls into the entertainment category. Award Winning Journalist? That cracks me up every time.).

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ecobhoyPosted on10:26 am - Mar 30, 2015


GoosyGoosy says:
March 29, 2015 at 11:57 pm
valentinesclown says:
March 29, 2015 at 10:31 pm

I posted a long time ago that I’m convinced that there was a meeting somewhere, some place where ALL the major ‘faceless ones’ attended and at that meeting the great myth was agreed. Whether that meeting was driven by a PR company I don’t know.
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The former Broadcaster and ex GM of Celtic Jock Brown mentions in his book that it was common practice for all the football hacks to have a confab after a press conference and agree which issues would be the lead story in the next edition

If this sort of informal arrangement still happens its very likely that some sort of consensus was reached early doors about how the great myth would be portrayed thereafter
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Its not really a matter of opinion
Some of our posters will know journalists who can confirm conversations along these lines
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I think you have to differentiate between journos – whether they be news or sport or whatever – at a press conference who decide to ‘shape’ a common line from the event.

There’s a lot to be gained from that kind of ‘pool’ approach as it means individuals don’t get their ass kicked by their editor the next day if one of the competitors comes out with an exclusive tit-bit.

If someone who has declared they were in the ‘pool’ did that they were then excluded and often paid heavily in the longer term for breaking ranks.

It’s not a device to create deception but just to make the job easier and not leave the journos exposed. And there’s nothing journalistically or ethically wrong with it given that it’s usually from a press conference situation where the organisers are trying to ‘sell’ their line in any case.

Members of the pool will all know bits of the ‘back’ story that allows you to understand and intelligently question the PR line being pushed.

What has gone on here with Rangers is much further-up the chain at senior editorial or even media directorship levels. These are murky waters with ‘rewards’ on offer in terms of alternative exclusives or even not running a story that a senior employee – perhaps even the editor – is a coke head or has certain personal tendencies which might be misunderstood if splashed over a tabloid.

You have to remember that there are PR companies and also other creatures which operate at a very high level and know all the secrets and where the bodies are buried. They are paid way above normal PR rates because their knowledge is worth its weight in gold.

Forget an organised meeting of the ‘ludge’ as well. These approaches are made on a one to one basis and a editorial policy line is taken. The journo at the coal face knows nothing about the deal but will operate to the brief he/she has been given by their boss. If he doesn’t his copy is either spiked or rewritten to fit the agenda. They soon get the message that if they don’t follow the company ‘line’ they won’t have any bylines and soon won’t have a job.

And there are so few staff these days and even fewer who have a clue what they are doing it’s unreal. There’s hardly enough time to cut and paste PR & wire copy in a shift let alone do any investigative or in-depth journalism.

This is journalism today – not just in Scotland – where old fashioned investigative journalism has all but disappeared. It takes too much time and is therefore expensive. It’s often legally dodgy which can be even more expensive. And perhaps only say 1 in 5 projects actually make it into print in a meaningful way.

It was one of the first thing to be cut by the accountants and it ain’t ever coming back in the SMSM. And by investigative journalism I do NOT mean being handed a dressed-up PR puff piece which is what passes for an investigation these days.

Much much easier to hit the ‘little people’ than those with wealth, influence and power who can bit back and often inflict a mortal wound especially in such fraught financial times for the media.

And the colleges and yoonis are churning out more and more journos every year – very many who are prepared to work for nothing. That’s what Democracy has to rely on but it suits those in power down to the ground.

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easyJamboPosted on10:28 am - Mar 30, 2015


I wonder if we will see the interim accounts that are due to be published by tomorrow, or if that will be another excuse for de-listing. From the AIM Rules:

Half-yearly reports
18. An AIM company must prepare a half-yearly report in respect of the six month period from the end of the financial period for which financial information has been disclosed in its admission document and at least every subsequent six months thereafter (apart from the final period of six months preceding its accounting reference date for its annual audited accounts). All such reports must be notified without delay and in any event not later than three months after the end of the relevant period.

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TJLBhoy67Posted on10:29 am - Mar 30, 2015


Sorry all Neepheid beat me to it. Guess I’ve learned already need to be quick on this site.

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andygraham.66Posted on10:35 am - Mar 30, 2015


Jackson: “They ought to consider ditching the standard issue blue blazers and brown brogues for a while because, while this process continues, they’d be better off in full-on chemical protection suits”.

I would like to hope the Photoshop boys will already be preparing Murray (P) and King dressed up as Walter White and Jessie Pinkman

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TBKPosted on10:39 am - Mar 30, 2015


neepheid:
March 30, 2015 at 10:11 am

…….I believe the award winning stenographer and thief of other peoples work in question has failed to pick up on such regulatory matters as stock exchange “press releases”……. this one on 6th February 2015.

http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/news/market-news/market-news-detail/12241662.html

…..Keith, if you’re reading this, you can keep that link. It may come in use for future “EXCLUSIVES”…… 🙄

“Noting the above and WH Ireland’s obligations as a NOMAD,WH Ireland have informed the Board that should Mr King be appointed to the Board, WH Ireland will resign as NOMAD and Broker to the Company with immediate effect.

In the event that the NOMAD resigns, the Company’s shares will be suspended from trading immediately. Under the AIM Rules, the Company will then have one month to replace the NOMAD. The Board is of the view that in the circumstances, there can be no guarantee that a new NOMAD will be appointed.
In the event that a NOMAD is not appointed within a month of the suspension of trading, the Company’s admission to trading will be cancelled. Accordingly, if this were to occur, the Company would no longer be traded on any Stock Exchange. In the judgement of the Board this is likely to make raising capital both more difficult and more expensive. There would then be no regulatory oversight of the type to which companies admitted to AIM are subject, and there would be no market for Shareholders to sell their shares.

The Board has also had legal advice that the “fit and proper” person requirement of article 10 of the Scottish Football Association’s articles of association would be likely to preclude both Paul Murray and David King from becoming a director of The Rangers Football Club Ltd (were they to seek to be elected to the board of that company). This is because the company which previously ran Rangers Football Club went into administration within the last five years and Mr King and Mr Murray were each a director of that company in that five year period….”

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mcfcPosted on10:52 am - Mar 30, 2015


TBK says:
March 30, 2015 at 10:39 am

The Board has also had legal advice that the “fit and proper” person requirement of article 10 of the Scottish Football Association’s articles of association would be likely to preclude both Paul Murray and David King from becoming a director of The Rangers Football Club Ltd (were they to seek to be elected to the board of that company). This is because the company which previously ran Rangers Football Club went into administration within the last five years and Mr King and Mr Murray were each a director of that company in that five year period….”

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I wonder if Ashley would make public representations to the SFA about King and Murray (P)’s eligibility as directors. That could get interesting.

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