Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?


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.


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?


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

redlichtiePosted on7:30 pm - Apr 6, 2015

Scottish Football needed a strong Turnbull Hutton. RIP.

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ianagainPosted on8:07 pm - Apr 6, 2015

Should we send a tribute it should read

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jean7brodiePosted on8:25 pm - Apr 6, 2015

Big Pink says:
April 6, 2015 at 7:06 pm

A beautiful, moving and proper tribute to a man of great integrity. RIP Turnbull Hutton.

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AllyjamboPosted on9:05 pm - Apr 6, 2015

Copied this shortcut from PMGB’s tweet and as suggested by Phil I’ve just nominated TH to the hall of fame. Others might like to do likewise. It would be a fitting tribute to the man if we are successful.


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Palacio67Posted on9:13 pm - Apr 6, 2015

Allyjambo says:
April 6, 2015 at 9:05 pm
Copied this shortcut from PMGB’s tweet and as suggested by Phil I’ve just nominated TH to the hall of fame. Others might like to do likewise. It would be a fitting tribute to the man if we are successful.


Link Below

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yakutsukiPosted on9:41 pm - Apr 6, 2015

Big Pink – Brilliant, heartfelt tribute to a giant of a man. I was welling up reading it, thanks again.

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aclydefanPosted on9:59 pm - Apr 6, 2015

Very good idea re Hall Of Fame. I’ve done it… hope lots more join in, in remembrance of Mr Hutton

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Cygnus X-1Posted on10:15 pm - Apr 6, 2015

Turnbull Hutton has received my nomination.A brilliant idea for a great man


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roddybhoyPosted on10:37 pm - Apr 6, 2015

scottish football hall of fame great idea , Turnball nominated

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TaysiderPosted on11:16 pm - Apr 6, 2015

RIP Turnbull. Your honesty and courage will never be forgotten:

Raith Rovers director Turnbull Hutton says clubs in the Scottish Football League are being “lied to, bullied and threatened” by the Scottish FA and Scottish Premier League to accept a newco Rangers into the First Division.

Hutton says the attempts to force teams to bypass a formal application process for Charles Green’s company are “corrupt”, following threats that finances from the SPL would be cut off and a breakaway league formed.

He said: “It is not an SFL issue. We’ve been lumbered with this. There are rules we feel they should be followed. They [newco Rangers] should apply for the Third Division.

“[We are being] bullied, railroaded and lied to. We are being lied to by the Scottish FA and the SPL. We are being threatened and bullied. It is not football as I know it.

“It was a ridiculous document which came out last week whereby the threat was there that if you don’t vote for an acceptance into the First Division, a breakaway SPL2 will come along and those who didn’t vote wouldn’t be invited.

“What kind of game are we running here? It is corrupt.”

When asked if he agreed with the SFL’s assertion that Scottish football would face financial meltdown without Rangers, he replied: “I don’t believe that.”


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seniorPosted on11:42 pm - Apr 6, 2015



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Resin_lab_dogPosted on11:55 pm - Apr 6, 2015

roddybhoy says:
April 6, 2015 at 10:37 pm

reason for nomination.
Integrity. Leadership. Love of the sport.

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Big PinkPosted on11:55 pm - Apr 6, 2015

In terms of a football epitaph, that article is very powerful in itself. Not because of the undoubted courage required for TH to make those statements, but because none of the cowards in charge at the SFA or the SPL clubs challenged him. Instead, they all crawled back to cower in their nests, their silence the endorsement of the truthfulness of Turnbull’s claims.

A hundred years from now, TH’s contemporaries in positions of authority will be remembered as those who oversaw the death of football as a sport in our country. Turnbull Hutton will be remembered as the only one of them who tried to do anything about it.

Should he be in the SFA Hall of Fame? Absolutely. Sadly, those in charge will never allow that to happen.

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macfurglyPosted on11:56 pm - Apr 6, 2015

Nominated, although bearing in mind Taysider’s comment above, TH is unlikely to be inducted I feel regardless of how many nominations he receives.
Edit: Crossed posts with BP.

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James ForrestPosted on12:02 am - Apr 7, 2015

Big Pink:

Magnificent tribute to a wonderful, genuine, decent man.

The Hall of Fame idea is a beauty.

Needs to be pushed and pushed hard. Brilliant notion.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on12:17 am - Apr 7, 2015

macfurgly says:
April 6, 2015 at 11:56 pm

Nominated, although bearing in mind Taysider’s comment above, TH is unlikely to be inducted I feel regardless of how many nominations he receives.
Edit: Crossed posts with BP.


Are they a public body?
Any way (FOI request?) of determining how many nominations were received?
Reasons for refusal?
A few lines to that effect in one of the more salubrious mainstream media outlets would perhaps represent an even more fitting tribute to the man and both what he stood for, and what he stood up against.

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borderman67Posted on12:40 am - Apr 7, 2015

RIP Turnbull Hutton. The one true honest voice in the corrupt moribund SFA. GBNF.

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briggsbhoyPosted on12:44 am - Apr 7, 2015

RIP Turnbull Hutton, reading some of the comments regarding Turnbull and looking as some of his quotes you once again appreciate how important he was in all of this. If not for him where would Scottish Football be, doesn’t bear thinking about.

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AuldheidPosted on12:48 am - Apr 7, 2015


Just a wee update on the idea of publishing a condensed version of the current blog that could be used to get the LNS duped message to a wider audience.

Thanks for the various suggestions on line, PMs and by e mail.

Work has been done on two versions to disseminate, one for MSM in a paid advert , the other with a Q&A for club related on line blogs and fanzines.

Good progress has been made producing a msm advert that can pass legal muster and Ecobhoy with his experience of what can safely be said in the msm has been involved.

There was also was a bit of re-work to incorporate new information that only arrived in mid week which he is working on.

I’m not at my computer until Friday too but there should be something ready to view by the weekend.

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causaludendiPosted on3:30 am - Apr 7, 2015

Auldheid, you have mail.

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redlichtiePosted on6:54 am - Apr 7, 2015

Auldheid says:
April 7, 2015 at 12:48 am
Just a wee update on the idea of publishing a condensed version of the current blog that could be used to get the LNS duped message to a wider audience.
Thanks for the various suggestions on line, PMs and by e mail.
Work has been done on two versions to disseminate, one for MSM in a paid advert , the other with a Q&A for club related on line blogs and fanzines.
Would it be possible to consider placing such an advert in newspapers in Switzerland e.g. Nyon (EUFA) and Zurich (FIFA)?

A general press release could also be issued at the same time highlighting the reason for such an advert i.e. the failure of the Scottish Footballing authorities to act properly in this matter or respond to the legitimate concerns of fans.

Scottish Football needs continued pressure to be applied to the SFA/SPFL.

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John ClarkPosted on6:56 am - Apr 7, 2015

3.50 pm here in Brisbane and I’ve just followed that excellent suggestion and emailed my nomination of Turnbull for the Hall of fame.
And I would support strongly the naming of a stand at Hampden in his honour.

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TaysiderPosted on7:04 am - Apr 7, 2015

Big Pink says:
April 6, 2015 at 11:55 pm

In terms of a football epitaph, that article is very powerful in itself.

I’d forgotten just how powerful his comments were. They are so at odds with all the agenda driven mendacious sophistry from the “leaders” in this saga that they still shock with their honesty. At the time you almost wondered were we the deluded ones! Did the emperor really have these beautiful new clothes!

Just to add my appreciation of your comments at 7.06pm by the way. No consolation at this time but his family can be proud of him and the high regard he is held in by supporters across the Scottish game. Your metaphor is very apt. A giant indeed.

I’ll add my nomination for the Hall of Fame.

Scottish football needs more Turnbull Huttons!

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upthehoopsPosted on7:05 am - Apr 7, 2015

A very decent article from today’s Herald in memory of Turnbull Hutton. The writer does not appear to have lamb high on his list of favourite meal.


HAD Scottish football been blessed with more people of the integrity, intelligence and character of Turnbull Hutton, who sadly passed away on Sunday night, the sport might not be in its current disheveled state.

As Raith Rovers pointed out yesterday (mon), their honorary president and former chairman will be sorely missed – and far beyond his immediate circle of family and friends.

I met Turnbull just once, but what an encounter it was. A walk up a steep incline to the Edinburgh home he shared with wife Margo was rewarded with the type of interview every journalist should cherish. Turnbull clearly wanted to let off steam, and boy did he do it . . .

The football establishment got it with both barrels on that memorable August, 2012, lunchtime. Stewart Regan, Neil Doncaster, Walter Smith and Ally McCoist were among the targets – and as befitting a man with a degree from Harvard University, Turnbull was firing from the head, rather than the hip.

Some weeks earlier, slightly out of breath at the top of Hampden’s steps, Turnbull had told reporters: “We’ve been lied to by the SFA, the SPL. We’ve been threatened, bullied – it’s not football as I know it.”

He was, of course, referring to the establishment plot to afford Rangers a soft landing in Division 1, instead of – as transpired – the fourth tier of Scottish football. But it was in July, the month before we spoke, that he uttered the words which were to bring him cult status. “In essence,” he said memorably, “the SPL is like a dead parrot.”

It was a colourful, Pythonesque, comment from a colourful man. The essence of Turnbull can be found in the regular column he once wrote for the Scotch Whisky Review. The illustration at the top shows him standing, arms folded imposingly, between two casks of whisky, each one bellowing flames. The column itself was called Devil’s Advocate.

In a world of increasing political correctness, Turnbull liked to portray himself as unreconstructed old school. Bemoaning the demise of the liquid lunch, apparently a staple of his early time as managing director of Diageo Operations Scotland, he wrote: “Fizzy bloody water appeared at meetings, as did boring bloody sandwiches.

“Our colleagues went off on team-building exercises – making rafts and abseiling – and when they weren’t bonding with each other they were out bloody jogging at lunchtime.”

Having had a chuckle at this faux outrage while researching Turnbull’s background, I didn’t expect to be disappointed when we met. Over, I might add, coffee and snacks. Any number of events had fuelled his indignation; they included death threats aimed at fellow Raith director Eric Drysdale, and another to burn down Stark’s Park. Closer to home, his property had very recently been burgled.

Set against all these, Stewart Regan’s threat of a financial Armageddon for Scottish football if Rangers didn’t get their parachute landing struck Turnbull as being so wide of the mark as to be risible. The summer of 2012 didn’t show the Scottish FA chief executive in a good light and the Raith Rovers chairman would, at the time, have been happy to see the back of him.

Later, the two men came to a better understanding and accommodation. If Turnbull’s pugnacious appearance was often matched by his disposition, he was also open-minded and not shy to be self-deprecating. He was, however, implacable in his belief that sporting fairness should prevail – and in that stance became a champion of many.

His death at the age of 68, after being diagnosed with leukaemia, is deeply saddening.

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Danish PastryPosted on7:13 am - Apr 7, 2015

Morning John in Brisbane. I’m also stunned about the passing of Turnbull. Wonderful to know he was actually active on TSFM via Big Pink’s post above. I was out in the Easter sunshine and stopped for a wee break at a local harbour. Checked my twitter (as you do) and saw the news from various I follow. Must say it was a shock. Another champion of fair play
has left us. Val McDermid’s tribute was one of the first things I saw:

@valmcdermid: Grieving today at the sad news of Turnbull Hutton’s death. We @RaithRovers_FC owe the big man a huge debt. Loved his candour and his passion

Last year’s Challenge Cup final not forgotten. Who says there’s no justice in sport?

Æret være hans minde, honour be to his memory.

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jonsouthgenPosted on7:40 am - Apr 7, 2015

T.H. for Hall of Fame “Honesty,Integrity,services to the truth and Scottish football”…..R.I.P.

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TincksPosted on7:53 am - Apr 7, 2015

Big Pink says:
April 6, 2015 at 7:06 pm

BP – lovely words. Thank you.

Following RTC and TSFM it has seemed at times that it was only Bampots and Turnbull Hutton against the entire establishment.

The importance of Turnbull Hutton speaking out in the way he did should never be underestimated. It was the clubs that had to vote on the proposals layed before them and someone had to be first to call it out for the disgrace that it was.

Never have these words seemed so true. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

I’ve made a hall of fame nomination and gave my reason as follows:

“He stood for sporting integrity when others failed to do so.”

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Gym TrainerPosted on8:13 am - Apr 7, 2015

I, too, have nominated Turnbull Hutton for induction – the reasons – his pivotal roles at his beloved Raith Rovers FC and his unwavering support of fair sporting competition in the face of threats against his club and his person.

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redlichtiePosted on8:36 am - Apr 7, 2015

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and this is one of the few places where it can be voiced without fear of being flamed.

Can some of the TDs then explain why they have given such a vote to posts on Turnbull Hutton, please? I am truly bemused.

Scottish Football needs and welcomes all shades of opinion on TSFM.

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Long Time LurkerPosted on8:43 am - Apr 7, 2015

I will shortly add my nomination for Turnbull Hutton to be inducted into the hall of fame. For what its worth, for many Scottish football fans he is there already.

Perhaps it would be a worthy tribute if the supporters groups of all clubs were to petition for a minutes silence around all games this coming weekend.

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seniorPosted on9:41 am - Apr 7, 2015

James Forrest says:
April 7, 2015 at 12:02 am
Big Pink:

Magnificent tribute to a wonderful, genuine, decent man.

The Hall of Fame idea is a beauty.

Needs to be pushed and pushed hard. Brilliant notion.

44 6 Rate This

Why not TSFM start our own poll for Hall of Fame for TH on here. Surely if all TSFM perusers give a thumbs up it would provide a great basis for TH (RIP) nomination.
You could leave it at the top of the blog for a week.

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erniePosted on9:42 am - Apr 7, 2015

redlichtie says:
April 7, 2015 at 8:36 am
The answer is; he’s on the list.
My nomination to hall of fame in also.

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scapaflowPosted on9:46 am - Apr 7, 2015

Turnbull nominated, though I suspect the rocks will melt in the sun before the current Hampden Boards allow this nomination to go through.

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ecobhoyPosted on10:05 am - Apr 7, 2015

Cometh the Hour – Cometh the Man! And what a man Scottish Football had in Turnbull Hutton.

When the fixers hatched secret deals Turbull stepped forward to save the integrity and soul of our Beautiful Game.

The courageous flame he lit in the darkness will continue to be carried in memory of a remarkable man until fair play rules our game.

Scottish Football Fans have much to remember and thank Turnbull for at such a painful time for his wife, family and friends. RIP

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causaludendiPosted on10:13 am - Apr 7, 2015

RIP Turnbull, a truly great character, and a wonderful advert for Fifers who shall be sorely missed.

@ redlichtie; there are more blues lurking than we give credit for?

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JoethebookiePosted on10:16 am - Apr 7, 2015

Turnbull Hutton nominated, although I fear they’ll never let it happen.
For speaking the truth when few in Scottish football would.

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mcfcPosted on10:18 am - Apr 7, 2015

Very sad to hear of Turnbull Hutton’s passing. A genuine good guy amongst so many scoundrels. Rest in peace Turnbull.

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mcfcPosted on10:30 am - Apr 7, 2015

One or two TD’s for most RIPs to Turnbull Hutton. What kind of people are you?

You may not like the guy for whatever reason, but TDing the best wishes of others requires some twisted mind.

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TorquemadaPosted on10:49 am - Apr 7, 2015

Very sad news.

It is a shocking indictment on Scottish football that an insistence on adhering to the rulebook marks a man out as a giant among moral pygmies.

RIP Turnbull Hutton. You will be much missed.

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theoldcoursePosted on10:51 am - Apr 7, 2015

I am deeply saddened at the passing of a great chairman and champion of fair play. Sleep well Turnbull, you will be missed by many. I last spoke to him a few weeks ago at our open meeting in Starks Park and I always found him to be an intelligent man and forthright in his views. Both character traits that served him well in whatever he turned his hand too. He, along with others, was instrumental in rescuing Raith Rovers from our darkest hour when the club could so easily have gone out of business. I hope the club will make some form of permanent tribute to him at Starks Park.

Rovers next game is on Wednesday night at home to local rivals Cowdenbeath. I will be there along with the rest of the Rovers support to pay tribute to Turnbull. How ironic then that our weekend game is against the club that Turnbull, by his forthright defence of playing by the rules, consigned to start life in the third division. I do hope proper respect is shown…

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scapaflowPosted on11:07 am - Apr 7, 2015

Might be an idea to lobby the clubs re the Turnbull Hutton for the Hall of Fame campaign. (Change.org as well?)

The Clubs ARE the SFA after all

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neepheidPosted on11:10 am - Apr 7, 2015

redlichtie says:
April 7, 2015 at 8:36 am
Everyone is entitled to their opinion and this is one of the few places where it can be voiced without fear of being flamed.

Can some of the TDs then explain why they have given such a vote to posts on Turnbull Hutton, please? I am truly bemused.

Scottish Football needs and welcomes all shades of opinion on TSFM.


I can’t pretend to penetrate the dark recesses of the minds of these people, but I did see a comment posted earlier by a Scotsman regular to the effect that TH was a “Rangers Hater”. There are some seriously sick, sad people on this planet, I’m afraid. and 6 or 7 of them appear to be “fans” of this forum.

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nawlitePosted on11:53 am - Apr 7, 2015

Great news, Auldheid. I look forward to seeing what you’ve come up with.

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Big PinkPosted on12:06 pm - Apr 7, 2015


In all the conversations I had with Turnbull Hutton, not once did he speak ill of anybody or any institution. He spoke of many people in football he admired, and despite my efforts at getting to the bottom of his feelings about the dog-whistling incident (even off the record) he spoke only of the pressure that McCoist was under at the time.

He quite definitely was not a Rangers hater, and no amount of paranoia will alter that fact.

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RaymacPosted on12:20 pm - Apr 7, 2015

I have already sent my Hall of fame nomination to Hampden. Likewise an email of condolence to Raith Rovers. I also can’t help wondering at the amount of tds on the messages and thoughts on the late Turnbull Hutton. Jabba’s minions at their work, no doubt. What does give me joy is that he lived to see his beloved Raith win a cup at the expense of a team who cost a thousand times more than his players and staff. It’s one of those times when you feel youv’e lost someone close, as much as the passing of Paul Mc Conville. Imagine if those two had been running the game in Scotland.

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ThomTheThimPosted on12:32 pm - Apr 7, 2015

Has the TU and TD been deactivated, or is it just on my iPad?

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ThomTheThimPosted on12:36 pm - Apr 7, 2015

Oops, it’s back again.

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incredibleadamsparkPosted on12:56 pm - Apr 7, 2015

scapaflow says:
April 6, 2015 at 1:33 pm

I hadn’t heard of that incident but it was well worth looking up. I reckon you know for sure you’re in the wrong when even Shell takes the moral high ground on something.

On the subject of reputations thoughts turn to Turnbull Hutton who said in public what many must surely have been thinking in private. What’s more he did it on the steps of the building housing the leaders of our game. They probably watched him doing it from a window. When telling the truth is a revolutionary act and all that.

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ecobhoyPosted on1:03 pm - Apr 7, 2015


On the Raith Rovers official site the notice of Turbull’s death is followed by condolences to his family, particularly his wife Margo, his son Neil and daughter Lindsey and all his many friends in football and business with the message that he will be sorely missed and, indeed, he will.

It ends however on a powerful and uplifting note:

“Today, we are all Turnbull Hutton.”

That truly marks the measure of the man as do the many posts made here today by football fans from many clubs.

As to those who TD the posts then if they had an ounce of Turnbull’s courage they would be able to openly post their views. They won’t of course as such are the ways of the sleekit who operate in the dark.

One thing’s for sure! Their passing won’t be mourned, marked or remembered by anyone never mind the thousands of strangers who today recognise the loss of a great and good man from our ranks.

In fact they mean so little I doubt if anyone would actually bother TDing them.

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Night TerrorPosted on1:16 pm - Apr 7, 2015

Really sorry to hear about Turnbull Hutton. Brave and principled in the face of mass cowardice.

Can’t say I bother about people expressing their opinions by clicking a thumb icon, but some of the sentiments expressed on Twitter have been despicable.

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oddjobPosted on1:26 pm - Apr 7, 2015

I favour the naming of the North Stand at Hampden, “The Turnbull Hutton Stand”

Each time the occupants on the opposite side of the stadium looked at it, they would be reminded of Turnbull`s other stands……

His stand against corruption

His stand against duplicity


His stand on the front stairs of Hampden, where he denounced the malfeasance in th building behind him.

Requiescat in pace , Mr Turnbull Hutton

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andygraham.66Posted on2:55 pm - Apr 7, 2015


How Scottish journalism works, parts 1 & 2

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nawlitePosted on5:29 pm - Apr 7, 2015

Some posters may remember that I had approached the SPFL after Doncaster’s public assertion at the turn of the year about Rangers* still being the same club, with my questions putting particular focus on how the ‘same club’ could be ‘relegated’ and how they missed out on their CL place. I posted the response from David Ogilvie a while back…

Please see below.

1. Had Rangers Oldco been able to agree a CVA with its creditors, then it should have been able to emerge from administration (as did Hearts and Dunfermline) without further sporting sanctions. However, a CVA was rejected by Oldco’s creditors. This led to Oldco being liquidated. Newco applied for membership of the SFL and was granted associate membership but on condition it started in SFL Division Three. Newco bought the assets of Oldco from the administrations and took Rangers FC into the SFL. Rangers FC were not relegated from the SPL.

2. The European place that would otherwise have gone to Rangers for finishing 2nd in the SPL could not be taken up by Rangers FC due to UEFA Rules applicable in circumstances where the owner of a club goes into liquidation.

Feeling mischievious, I subsequently put him on the spot asking for more detail about the whole Oldco/Newco/Holding Co aspect of the ‘same club’ claim…

Hi David. Obviously, I accept your explanation that it was not Rangers’ ‘relegation’ that caused it to be placed in the bottom division and miss out on European football, but the company liquidation instead.

When Charles Green restructured Rangers after the liquidation, he set up two companies (Rangers International Football Club PLC, Company No SC437060 and The Rangers Football Club Ltd, Company No SC425159). RIFC PLC is set up as the Holding company, holding all the share capital of TRFC Ltd.

Obviously, were RIFC to go into liquidation now, then the club – as a separate legal entity – would be totally unaffected under this setup and this is important to Rangers fans. When Rangers went into liquidation in 2012, however, the setup was different in that there was only one company with one Company number (The Rangers Football Club PLC, Company No SC004276). There was no separate holding company.
Many fans of other clubs take the view that liquidation of the company meant the death of Rangers, because they see that – at that time – there was only one legal entity and as that was liquidated, so the club must have been liquidated too (The Rangers Football Club PLC, Company No SC004276). After carefully reading your response, I feel very conscious that you have gone to great lengths to clearly state that Rangers’ situation was a case of “where the owner of a club goes into liquidation”. You seem deliberately to be very clear about this differentiation. My understanding is that SPFL membership and a SFA licence can only be held by a legal entity, so I assume these were held by the old TRFC PLC (Company No SC004276). How do you differentiate the company and the club when there is only one legal entity? How can the argument be made that the club continues when there was legally no separate club? I’m not sure that I can make that argument based on the idea of the ‘spirit’ of the club continuing because others will simply point out the legality that there was only one legal thing. You seem to be happy to clearly differentiate between the two, so I assume the SPFL must have an approved (legal?) view that you could share with me. If the SPFL does not have such a well-worded view, I’d be glad if you let me know that too.

After 11 days, I got this final response>

Thanks for your e-mail and apologies for not getting back to you previously.

I can only refer you to the previous e-mail that was sent.

Kind regards


I just thought it funny that they clearly don’t have an answer to specific, detailed questions.

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scapaflowPosted on5:30 pm - Apr 7, 2015

Dave King gets permission from Court of Session to join the board

keith jackson ‏@tedermeatballs 2m2 minutes ago
Court of session clears Dave King as fit and proper to take up role as Rangers chairman. Full story @Daily_Record soon.

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StevieBCPosted on5:43 pm - Apr 7, 2015

scapaflow says:
April 7, 2015 at 5:30 pm
Dave King gets permission from Court of Session to join the board

keith jackson ‏@tedermeatballs 2m2 minutes ago
Court of session clears Dave King as fit and proper to take up role as Rangers chairman. Full story @Daily_Record soon.
Assuming that is true…

All that’s left to do then is to ask the SFA to roll over, and for King to get his cheque book out…

First part is a given.
Second part…not too sure… 🙄

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FairwaysPosted on5:51 pm - Apr 7, 2015

Is this the result Mr King was wanting?
No impediment to him now “investing” his millions for a warchest, is there?

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oddjobPosted on6:38 pm - Apr 7, 2015

Is the time now approaching for Mr Ashley to make a move.Will his move be conciliatory, or a pre-emptive strike?

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gerrybhoy67Posted on6:53 pm - Apr 7, 2015

R.I.P to The Great Man – I have logged my nomination and received 2 out of office replies – do any of the learned bloggers know if we have a precedent where a club official has been entered onto The Hall of Fame?
I can see them squirming out with the excuse this is not something the award was intended for but if we can quote previous similar successful nominations then it will be very hard for them to deny him a well deserved accolade no matter how much it will stick in their throats.

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ecobhoyPosted on7:05 pm - Apr 7, 2015

It would be interesting to know whether there actually were any objections lodged with the CoS as to DK being allowed to become a director of RIFC Plc and presumably also to be involved in the management of TRFCL.

It would also be interesting to notre whether the case was held in open court and whether the SMSM were in attendance.

The decision is no surprise and I don’t believe there’s any chance that DK will fail the SFA ‘fit and proper’ test.

As other have already mentioned that means we can all cut to the chase and I imagine that our interpid hacks will be asking DK: ‘How Much and When?’.

I’m sure even pro-DK Bears are desperate to hear that.

I also wonder if the likes of Ashley; Easdale; DL & BL didn’t object how that will look in any possible claim that he didn’t cost them a financial loss in their share holdings.

Although I suppose for there to be a quantifiable loss the shares would need to be trading on the new exchange. Of course the CoS decision and expected SFA follow-on should make it much easier to be accepted by the new exchange and to enlist their equivalent of a NOMAD.

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parttimearabPosted on7:11 pm - Apr 7, 2015

DK statement on STV website.

King said that he was delighted by the decision of judge Lord Woolman to take up a place on the board of Rangers International Football Club (RIFC) PLC.

He said: “I am delighted that at a Court of Session hearing this morning before Lord Woolman my application to become a director of Rangers International Football Club PLC was granted.

“Today’s decision has removed the final legal hurdle for me to take up my role on the Board following the overwhelming mandate at the General Meeting.

“The previous board had raised a little known legal provision stating that because I was a director of Rangers oldco within 12 months of its liquidation that I must obtain court sanction before becoming a director of RIFC because the word “Rangers” is in both company names.

“A Court would not grant leave to an applicant unless it is satisfied that the circumstances warrant such approval. Any affected party, eg the liquidator or an aggrieved creditor of the previous company, has the right to be heard at such a hearing.

“The liquidation of Rangers oldco and the formation of Rangers newco were not conducted clandestinely but in the full glare of publicity. However, being aware of the provision I sought leave of the court to accept my Board appointment.

“I am anxious to play my part in ensuring that this is comprehensively remedied for present and future generations of Rangers supporters.

“I have fully co-operated with the SFA over the last few weeks and thank them for the care and attention with which they have undertaken this task.

“I must be the most scrutinised candidate in Scottish football history but accept this as being preferable to the lack of scrutiny that has been the case in Rangers recent past – and possibly other clubs. I hope that matters can be swiftly concluded now that, with the permission of the Court, I can take up my role as a Director of RIFC.

“I also take this opportunity to confirm to all Rangers supporters and shareholders that, despite the ill-informed commentary on the subject, the loss of the AIM listing was all to do with the prior Rangers Board and nothing to do with the current Board. It is clear to me that the AIM regulator simply lost patience with the embarrassment that the company has been to AIM since it was listed.”


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ianagainPosted on7:16 pm - Apr 7, 2015

I hear Ronie wants to understand if it just takes money to have a good pitch. ER yes the ‘Well spent more in the past 4 years on the pitch than they did on players, fact, millions of pounds.
Maybees hell catch on eventually. Summer fitba please please.

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ecobhoyPosted on7:17 pm - Apr 7, 2015

gerrybhoy67 says:
April 7, 2015 at 6:53 pm

I can see them squirming out with the excuse this is not something the award was intended for but if we can quote previous similar successful nominations then it will be very hard for them to deny him a well deserved accolade no matter how much it will stick in their throats.
Well McCrae’s Battalion 1914 is a recent inductee so it’s obviously wider than simplly individual football ‘figures’. Tbf all the rest are individuals and only one female – Rose Reilly.

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CarlylePosted on7:27 pm - Apr 7, 2015

It would be interesting to compare and contrast the criteria by which The Court of Session said yes and prospective Nomads said no.

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Methilhill StrollerPosted on7:28 pm - Apr 7, 2015

Hall of Fame nomination done and condolences mail to Raith.

And then someone decides DCK is fit and proper? With SARS and SA courts having previosly given their own “verdicts on 40 odd cases of tax evasion. Perhaps he is fit and proper on the basis of having no investments or money in UK? Yet!

Maybe the media (ok nuff said) or someone might ask SARS media desk for a comment on this and a potential (ahem) investment in a Scottish Football Club. Might or might not get a response but could further raise SARS awareness of monies going offshore (perhaps from offshore too?).

Twists and turns continue and no doubt more (unreal decisions)to come.

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ecobhoyPosted on7:29 pm - Apr 7, 2015

DK States: “I also take this opportunity to confirm to all Rangers supporters and shareholders that, despite the ill-informed commentary on the subject, the loss of the AIM listing was all to do with the prior Rangers Board and nothing to do with the current Board. It is clear to me that the AIM regulator simply lost patience with the embarrassment that the company has been to AIM since it was listed.”

Well the gauntlet has been thrown-down – will any of the former Board Members at Rangers take legal action to clear their name?

Again it’s another step that requires to be taken IMO if any legal action is to be successful in terms of recouping any financial loss wrt their shareholding.

I have never believed for one second that any legal action will actually take place and I think today’s CoS decision makes it even more unlikely.

However as I have said previously I would love court action to be taken as it would be packed-houses every day to hear the revelations that would emerge.

Sadly I have no doubt that too many people have too much to lose by voluntarily going into the witness box – more’s the pity 😥

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StevieBCPosted on7:31 pm - Apr 7, 2015

parttimearab says:
April 7, 2015 at 7:11 pm
DK statement on STV website.

King said…
“Today’s decision has removed the final legal hurdle for me to take up my role on the Board following the overwhelming mandate at the General Meeting.

“I have fully co-operated with the SFA over the last few weeks and thank them for the care and attention with which they have undertaken this task…”

That reads to me that King believes he has already been given the green/blue light from the SFA ?

Are we to assume that there will be no statement whatsoever issued by the SFA on King’s ‘F&P’ decision ?

Are Ogilvie & Regan just not going to interrupt their endless games of dominoes in the bunker to bother about it…? 😉

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ianagainPosted on7:33 pm - Apr 7, 2015

Turnbull vote sent. I have some hope, not much but some.

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broganrogantrevinoandhoganPosted on7:40 pm - Apr 7, 2015

Good Evening,

Can I just point out that there was no earthly reason why Dave King should not have become a Director of Rangers International Football Club PLC.

There was no legal barrier to him taking up such a position if voted on to the board by the shareholders of that company.

To suggest otherwise is to talk complete and utter bunkum.

This must have been the shortest court hearing in history and one where there was no one in court to raise any contradictory argument or to present any dissenting opinion.

Quite why the appointment of a director should be a newspaper story under these circumstances baffles me completely.

I fear we are back to the bad old days of RTC where what is being reported is not quite what people think.

If the report says that King has been cleared to be a director of RIFC PLC then it is accurate but virtually meaningless.

If it says anything else then it is worthy of the comment made famous by Rowan and Martin’s Laugh in.

” Very interesting …… but stupid!”

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parttimearabPosted on7:43 pm - Apr 7, 2015

Carlyle says:
April 7, 2015 at 7:27 pm

It would be interesting to compare and contrast the criteria by which The Court of Session said yes and prospective Nomads said no.
The COS were wholly concerned with DKs previous incarnation as the Dierctor of a company called Rangers which was liquidated.

Prospective Nomads were more likely concerned with the current incarnations ability to trade solvently.

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ecobhoyPosted on7:51 pm - Apr 7, 2015

Methilhill Stroller says:
April 7, 2015 at 7:28 pm

Hall of Fame nomination done and condolences mail to Raith.

And then someone decides DCK is fit and proper? With SARS and SA courts having previosly given their own “verdicts on 40 odd cases of tax evasion.
Yea did my Hall of Fame nomination and also got a response back from Raith’s chief exec for my wee note of condolence.

On the DK front I have always felt that one of his strongest cards was that he is allowed to be a chairman of a company listed on the Jo’burg Stock Exchange where his previous company was also a member.

In view of what happened to that company and also the fact the exchange know of the SARS convitions then it’s always been a bit surprising to me that his road back seems to have been so easy.

But it helps him to argue his case here. And if there were no objections to him lodged with the court then it was obviously going to be a shoe-in quite simply on the grounds that he wasn’t involved in the set-up the successor company.

I spent quite a lot of time looking at Insolvency Act precedents on the issue and it seemed unlikely he would be refused. But I always felt that if a strong case was made against him by objectors the CoS might caw canny.

But if no actual objections were lodged then all the prior posturing looks simply like PR moves on behalf of those opposed to DK.

They had to put-up or shut-up and if they haven’t then they look to be in a weak position IMO.

So all we need to know is: How much does DK have to invest and when’s it coming? I know I’m repeating myself but those are the only questions that really matter at this point in time.

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AllyjamboPosted on8:51 pm - Apr 7, 2015

The bears will be well satisfied tonight with King’s victory statement, no, not the non-announcement of the quantum of his investment in their club, but that he reiterated his puppet’s claim that it was the previous board’s fault that they were delisted from AIM, though he offers no more conclusive evidence than his word! For something they claim to be a non-event, they don’t half waste a lot of words trying to shift the blame for it!

Strange, too, how this unimportant, beneficial even, happenstance has led to them trying to get a listing (thought they didn’t need one?) on a lesser market, of lower standing and money raising potential! A bit like ‘we have a NOMAD lined up’, became, ‘we are in negotiations with’, became, ‘we have no NOMAD’. Or, £30m, became, £20m, became, £10m…

In the meantime, in the real world, no debt, becomes £5m (secured), becomes £6.5m, becomes more before the season ends, and by the time any money can be raised, the first £10m will be needed to clear the outstanding loans and creditors.

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upthehoopsPosted on9:01 pm - Apr 7, 2015

This statement from Dave King. Which other clubs?

“I must be the most scrutinised candidate in Scottish football history but accept this as being preferable to the lack of scrutiny that has been the case in Rangers recent past – and possibly other clubs.”

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GoosyGoosyPosted on9:05 pm - Apr 7, 2015

upthehoops says:
April 7, 2015 at 9:01 pm
This statement from Dave King. Which other clubs?

“I must be the most scrutinised candidate in Scottish football history but accept this as being preferable to the lack of scrutiny that has been the case in Rangers recent past – and possibly other clubs.”
Like….the deid club under Minty ?

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CarlylePosted on9:32 pm - Apr 7, 2015

Parttimearab @ 7.45.
Agreed. DCK conflates completely disparate criteria (one backward looking, one forward looking, each using separate measures) in a convenient dissimulation. I expect no searching examination of that dissimulation of his statement by the smsm. (Although the smsm term is used with appropriately implied cynicism on TSFM I would question whether the unquestionning hacks deserve an acronym that would suggest they were once journalists.)

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StevieBCPosted on9:59 pm - Apr 7, 2015

A rather amusing cartoon about Mike Ashley’s approach to owning a football club.
And there just might be some truth in this… 😕


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