Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?

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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

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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

ianagain

ianagainPosted on10:10 pm - Apr 7, 2015


broganrogantrevinoandhogan says:

April 7, 2015 at 7:40 pm

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.
=====================================================

BRTH

Yep a bit like a kid jumping up and down in the playground shouting my teachers no very good, then telling all his mates he got away with it without getting the belt.

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incredibleadamspark

incredibleadamsparkPosted on10:29 pm - Apr 7, 2015


upthehoops says:
April 7, 2015 at 9:01 pm
____________________________________________

He’s possibly talking about, off the top of my head, Giovanni Di Stefano at Dundee, Vladimir Romanov at Hearts, Miles Brookson at Gretna and Angelo Massone at Livingston. Also, did Jake Cantona not have some sort of disastrous involvement at Raith Rovers too? I’m sure there are others who have been owners or heavily involved in the running of Scottish football clubs who shouldn’t have been anywhere near them. Maybe those clubs?

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ianagain

ianagainPosted on10:43 pm - Apr 7, 2015


I now look forward to the mysterious Argentinians (who btw stalked the well a while back), taking over St Mirren gobbling up Prentendygers should they succeed and entering the SPL as St Rangers in order to stay in the SPL then the complete Catch 22 nightmare of Scots Fitba will be complete.
Dave King of course will then “jet out”. BTW Has he jetted in yet? Whats in yon wee broon bag. Border Control!

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crawfordPosted on11:11 pm - Apr 7, 2015


upthehoops says:
April 7, 2015 at 9:01 pm
____________________________________________

He’s possibly talking about, off the top of my head, Giovanni Di Stefano at Dundee, Vladimir Romanov at Hearts, Miles Brookson at Gretna and Angelo Massone at Livingston. Also, did Jake Cantona not have some sort of disastrous involvement at Raith Rovers too?

*********************

Wasn’t it the Anelka brothers at Raith?

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yourhavingalaugh

yourhavingalaughPosted on12:29 am - Apr 8, 2015


Well the 3 Bears can rest easy for April as that’s the loan now covered for payroll ,you see uncle Dave is now in the mix,from now on in though it’s the fans money they will wanting and they will get it,expect the first scheme to be rolled out very shortly.

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scapaflow

scapaflowPosted on12:45 am - Apr 8, 2015


James Doleman had an interesting take earlier, on the wee legal vignette played out in the COS. James saw it (I paraphrase) as definitive proof that Rangers Mk1 is indeed a dead parrot, fallen off its perch, dead as a Norwegian Blue Dodo. Why, I here you not asking? Cos if Rangers Mk1 the club incorporated in the company, did not die, why on earth would King, as a director of the old club, need the court’s permission to become a director of the new club/company/thingy?

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John ClarkPosted on12:58 am - Apr 8, 2015


brth@7.40 p.m.
‘……there was no legal barrier to him taking up such a position……’
_________
Let me rephrase that :” no Scottish Court would
have found any legal barrier..”.
Perhaps the honest, decent, sportsmen on the 6th
Floor will have the gumption to declare that they do
not wish to have convicted criminals in charge of
any member club of the SFA.
With all due respect to his Lordship’s keen
legal,almost magical, view of what constitutes
fitness and propriety.
Perhaps..on planet Zog.

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causaludendiPosted on2:01 am - Apr 8, 2015


incredibleadamspark says:
April 7, 2015 at 10:29 pm
crawford says:
April 7, 2015 at 11:11 pm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That would be M. Claude Anelka :

http://www.tellhimhespele.com/claude-anelka-raith-rovers/

Mr Hutton (may he rest in peace) was less than praise-worthy of M Anelka!

___________________

@ Scapa (twice in one day?!) would this be akin to ‘Rangers are dead, long live The Rangers’ ?!

:irony: :slamb: :irony:

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upthehoopsPosted on7:07 am - Apr 8, 2015


incredibleadamspark says:
April 7, 2015 at 10:29 pm

He’s possibly talking about, off the top of my head, Giovanni Di Stefano at Dundee, Vladimir Romanov at Hearts, Miles Brookson at Gretna and Angelo Massone at Livingston. Also, did Jake Cantona not have some sort of disastrous involvement at Raith Rovers too? I’m sure there are others who have been owners or heavily involved in the running of Scottish football clubs who shouldn’t have been anywhere near them. Maybe those clubs?
==============================

Not withstanding that none of those people were good for their clubs, how many of them had multiple convictions for deliberate tax evasion before getting involved? King, or more likely the PR man who drafted the statement, is at it with the ‘other clubs’ part IMO. King’s criminal record is beyond doubt, and if he is under scrutiny it’s hardly a shock.

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FisianiPosted on7:21 am - Apr 8, 2015


Given the burn rate at Ibrox is approx 900,000 a month and there was not enough money in the kitty to pay the March wages an unsecured loan of 1,500,000 is still not enough to pay the April wages. Who will offer another unsecured loan this month? Who will be able to cancel the onerous contracts? Will season tickets be put on sale early? Will the mugs who buy become unsecured creditors? Anyone think DK and the 3B will be happy to keep giving money away to Charles Green, Craig Whyte,and Mike Ashley?

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Jake CantonaPosted on7:25 am - Apr 8, 2015


incredibleadamspark says:
April 7, 2015 at 10:29 pm

Also, did Jake Cantona not have some sort of disastrous involvement at Raith Rovers too? I’m sure there are others who have been owners or heavily involved in the running of Scottish football clubs who shouldn’t have been anywhere near them. Maybe those clubs?

——————

On the basis of my frequently disasterous mismanagement of my personal finances, it is probably fair to say that I shouldn’t be involved (heavily or otherwise) in the running of any football club, but I have never, to the best of my knowledge*, even set foot in Kirkcaldy.

*although if anyone can provide me with details of my movements between 1989-93, I’d be much obliged.

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Danish PastryPosted on8:21 am - Apr 8, 2015


ianagain says:
April 7, 2015 at 10:43 pm

I now look forward to the mysterious Argentinians (who btw stalked the well a while back), taking over St Mirren gobbling up Prentendygers should they succeed and entering the SPL as St Rangers in order to stay in the SPL then the complete Catch 22 nightmare of Scots Fitba will be complete.
Dave King of course will then “jet out”. BTW Has he jetted in yet? Whats in yon wee broon bag. Border Control!
————

Very puzzling with all that St Mirren takeover stuff. Thing is though, St Mirren, barring a miracle, look destined for the big drop. Pretty poor match from them last night, Motherwell on the hand…

Or are you thinking that it’s a way to cut all onerous links by re-housing the eternal, non-legal entity in the vehicle of St Mirren? It’s all a step too far surely, especially after the effort to create and perpetuate The Myth.

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incredibleadamspark

incredibleadamsparkPosted on8:33 am - Apr 8, 2015


crawford says:
April 7, 2015 at 11:11 pm
causaludendi says:
April 8, 2015 at 2:01 am
Jake Cantona says:
April 8, 2015 at 7:25 am
________________________________________________

Of course it was the Anelka brothers! Got very, very mixed up there. Jake Cantona, please accept my sincerest apologies for my unintentional smear against your fine name. Sacrebleu!

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Barcabhoy

BarcabhoyPosted on8:49 am - Apr 8, 2015


Why would anyone want to own a football club ?

Who would be in a position to buy a club ?

In most cases those capable have spent a lifetime working hard and successfully enough that they are in a position of having more cash/resources than they need for their own and their family’s welfare.

So what moral criteria should be applied to judge someone fit and proper , and to protect football, the club and individuals from themselves.

Well it should be a given that if the individual made their money in a less than ethical manner or if in fact they are using borrowed money ( not having their own in sufficient supply) then they should be rejected as fit and proper. The last thing Scottish football needs is dodgy money or more debt

This single criteria would rule out most of those who have created havoc in our game in the last couple of decades.

There should then be a question of why someone would want to own a club. What’s the motivation. If it’s ego or a desperate need for publicity/fame , then it’s not likely to end well. If it’s because they believe it’s a lucrative investment , then they shouldn’t just be barred they should be offered counselling for delusion . ( you can’t make a significant investment return in any club in Scotland , possibly Celtic excepted, without sacricing the clubs wellbeing)

Which leaves 2 groups of individuals who would make good owners . Those who have made significant money legitimately and who want to do their best for their community club . Tom Farmer and Ann Budge seem to me to be good examples of this . Both successful , neither noticeably desperate for publicity or suffering from an ego problem. No issues whatsoever of their wealth being made in a questionable manner . The other acceptable ownership group are people like Turnbull Hutton . First and foremost they are sportsmen / sportswomen in the old fashioned sense. They respect and enjoy competition and play by the rules. They may not be fabulously wealthy , but they bring integrity and common sense .

Fit and proper should be about a lot more than whether you are able to write a cheque. It should be about your respect for the entire football community, your commitment to fair play , your viable , realistic and ethical plans for your club. Should an individual not be able to fully demonstrate all of the above or should they previously have behaved or been party to behaviour that breached any of these criteria , they shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near any club in Scotland.

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Jake CantonaPosted on8:53 am - Apr 8, 2015


incredibleadamspark says:
April 8, 2015 at 8:33 am

———————–

No worries 😎

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helpmaboab

helpmaboabPosted on9:00 am - Apr 8, 2015


Scottish football has lost a man of honesty and integrity in Turnbull Hutton and inherited David Cunningham King. Compare and contrast.

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HaywirePosted on9:06 am - Apr 8, 2015


Barcabhoy says:
April 8, 2015 at 8:49 am

Why would anyone want to own a football club ?

Who would be in a position to buy a club ?

In most cases those capable have spent a lifetime working hard and successfully enough that they are in a position of having more cash/resources than they need for their own and their family’s welfare.

So what moral criteria should be applied to judge someone fit and proper , and to protect football, the club and individuals from themselves……………………………………………………………….
Fit and proper should be about a lot more than whether you are able to write a cheque. It should be about your respect for the entire football community, your commitment to fair play , your viable , realistic and ethical plans for your club. Should an individual not be able to fully demonstrate all of the above or should they previously have behaved or been party to behaviour that breached any of these criteria , they shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near any club in Scotland.

——————————————————————–

Spot on Barca! Could not have put it better myself.

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bluPosted on9:16 am - Apr 8, 2015


A refresher on the SFA rules for those in control of member clubs:

SFA Articles of Association

10. Official Return
10.1 Each full member shall lodge with the Secretary not later than 1st June in each year the Official Return and shall notify in writing without delay any subsequent changes to the details contained in such Official Return to the Secretary. Each full member will procure that the relevant office-bearer, secretary, director or member of the board of management or committee of such member will personally confirm to the Scottish FA, utilising the form prescribed by the Board, that:-

(a) he has been furnished with a copy of these Articles and that, having read in particular this Article 10 and Article 13, the information supplied by him using the prescribed form is complete, true and accurate; and
(b) he is a fit and proper person to hold such position within Association Football. At the time of lodging the Official Return, as aforesaid, the member shall, without prejudice to its obligations under Article 10.3, disclose to the Scottish FA (i) any proposed changes to the details of any person listed on the Official Return, (ii) the appointment of any person, since the date of the last Official Return, who is required to be listed on the Official Return and (iii) any other matter relating to any person listed on the Official Return which the member (acting reasonably) believes may be relevant to the Board in determining whether such person is fit and proper to hold a position in Association Football.

10.2 The Official Return shall include details of all officials, office-bearers, secretary, directors or members of the board of directors or the board of management or committee of such member, Team Staff, with their full designation, profession, business or occupation and full service address, and also, subject to the provisions of Article 13, full details of the interest of such member or any official, office-bearer, secretary, director or member of the board of directors or the board of management or committee of such member and of its or his associates as defined in Article 13.5 in any other member. The Board must be satisfied that any such person is fit and proper to hold such position within Association Football. The Board hereby reserves its discretion as to whether or not such a person is fit and proper, as aforesaid, after due consideration of all relevant facts which the Board has in its possession and knowledge, including the undernoted list which is acknowledged to be illustrative and not exhaustive:-

(a) he is bankrupt or has made any arrangement or composition with his creditors generally;
(b) he is, by reason of his mental health, the subject of a court order which wholly or partly prevents him from personally exercising any powers or rights which he would otherwise have;
(c) he is under or is pending suspension imposed or confirmed by the Scottish FA;
(d) he is listed in the Official Return of another club in full membership;
(e) he is currently participating as a player of another member club or referee in Association Football;
(f) he is the subject of an endorsed Disclosure from Disclosure Scotland;
(g) he has been disqualified as a director pursuant to a disqualification order granted under the Company Directors’ Disqualification Act 1986 within the previous five years or was serving a disqualification as a director pursuant to such Act at any time within the previous five years;
(h) he has been convicted within the last 10 years of (i) an offence liable to imprisonment of two years or over, (ii) corruption or (iii) fraud;
(i) he has been suspended or expelled by a National Association from involvement in the administration of a club;
(j) he has been a director of a club in membership of any National Association within the 5-year period preceding such club having undergone an insolvency event;
(k) he is currently under or is pending suspension imposed by or confirmed by the Scottish FA in accordance with the Anti-Doping Regulations. All such persons (including the Team Staff) by allowing their details to be included on the Official Return or any amendment thereto, thereby agree to be bound by, comply with and be subject to these Articles and rules and regulations of the Scottish FA (as amended from time to time) whose decision on all matters shall be final and binding, subject to any appeals or arbitration procedure available in terms of or promulgated under these Articles, and the Official Returns and amendments thereto shall display prominently a notice to this effect.
10.3 In addition and without prejudice to the requirements imposed on members under Article
10.1, members shall intimate (i) any proposed changes to the details of any person listed on the Official Return, (ii) the appointment of any person who is required to be listed on the
Official Return and (iii) any other matter relating to any person listed on the Official Return which the member (acting reasonably) believes may be relevant to the Board in determining whether such person is fit and proper to hold a position in Association Football, in each case to the Scottish FA from time to time by submitting any such proposed changes, appointments or matters to the Secretary within 10 working days of the effective date of such proposed changes, appointments or matters arising or coming to the attention of the relevant member, and the Board must be satisfied that such changes, appointments or matters are bona fide before granting permission thereto. In the event that any such changes, appointments or matters relate specifically to the appointment(s) of a Team
Official of such member, the appointment must be intimated to the Scottish FA by the club by means of the Team Official/Team Staff Form and all in accordance with this Article 10.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event that any such changes relate to resignations, the member is required to intimate such change as soon as reasonably practicable after the resignation is effective.
10.4 All members shall ensure that all persons required to be specified on the Official Return, in accordance with this Article 10, are so specified on the Official Return and any variations thereto. All appointments must be intimated to the Scottish FA by means of the relevant form as prescribed by the Board from time to time, not being the Official Return.
10.5 A recognised football body which is entitled to nominate a representative to the Council in terms of Article 51 shall similarly lodge with the Secretary not later than 1st June in each year the Official Return as provided in this Article 10. A recognised football body shall comply with the terms of Articles 10.3, 10.4 and 10.6.
10.6 In accordance with Article 5, members shall give full effect to all decisions of the Board in respect of the Board’s determinations pursuant to this Article 10, subject to all rights of appeal by the relevant office-bearer, secretary, director, or member of the board of management or Team Staff of such member having been waived or exhausted.
10.7 Each club in full membership shall in its Official Return register its name, the name of its registered ground and its playing field dimensions and no such club shall remove to another ground without first obtaining the consent of the Board. Any club in full membership wishing to make any alteration to its name, or the name of its registered ground or its registered ground or its playing field dimensions must first obtain the prior written consent of the Board. No club in registered membership shall adopt in whole or in part the name of a club in full membership without the prior written consent of the Board.
10.8 In the event of a Change of Control of any club, the board of directors or the board of management or committee (as the case may be) of such club or the insolvency practitioner in relation to such club immediately prior to the Change of Control shall prepare and deliver to the Scottish FA (in such form as the Scottish FA shall prescribe from time to time) at the time of or prior to the Change of Control a certificate signed by an authorised signatory of the outgoing board of directors or the board of management or committee (as the case may be) of such club or the insolvency practitioner in relation to such club confirming that they have conducted an investigation into the provenance of the person(s) who is/are prepared to take Control of the club, having regard to the factors listed in Article 10.2, together with such other factors as they (acting reasonably) think fit. In the event that the Board is not satisfied that any such person(s) is or are fit and proper to hold a position within Association Football and determines that the outgoing board of directors or the board of management or committee (as the case may be) of the relevant club or the insolvency practitioner in relation to such club which prepared the certificate referred to in this Article 10.8 did not act with due care and attention in doing so, the club shall be deemed to be in breach of these Articles and the Judicial Panel will have jurisdiction to deal with any such breach and to impose sanctions in relation to it as prescribed within the Judicial Panel Protocol.
In addition to and without prejudice to the foregoing generality, the Scottish FA shall be provided with such additional information in respect of the proposed transaction as the Board deems appropriate, as soon as reasonably practicable prior to the Change of Control.
10.9 In the event that the Board considers that a person is not fit and proper to hold a relevant position within Association Football, the Board shall determine (in its sole discretion) what, if any, actions/consequences will apply in such circumstances.

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jockybhoyPosted on9:34 am - Apr 8, 2015


I make it he fails on three counts. Any advance?

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bluPosted on9:38 am - Apr 8, 2015


The RIFC Board chaired by Somers appears to hold the view that Dave King didn’t meet the ‘fit and proper’ criteria as shown in the RNS below. Presumably they notified the SFA as obliged to under the terms of clause 10.8 of the SFA’s Articles of Association. Even if they didn’t, surely the SFA will already be aware?

Fri, 6th Feb 2015 13:27

RNS Number : 2959E
Rangers Int. Football Club PLC
06 February 2015

Rangers International Football Club plc
(“Rangers” or the “Company”)
Requisitioned General Meeting
The Company announces that, pursuant to the notice dated 16 January 2015 under Section 303 of the Companies Act 2006 (“the Act”) from New Oasis Asset Limited (“New Oasis”), a company 100% owned by the Family Trust of Dave King, a circular convening a general meeting for 4 March 2015 will be posted today to Shareholders (the “Circular”). A copy of the Circular containing the Notice of General Meeting will be available on the Company’s website.
The Requisition requires the Company to put seven resolutions (the “Requisitioned Resolutions”) to members at a General Meeting. The effect of the Requisitioned Resolutions, if all are successful, will be to remove all the current four Directors (“the Directors”), and install a smaller board of three directors.
It is not clear from the Requisition which, if any, of the proposed new directors will undertake an executive function in the Company or if all of them will be non executive.
The Directors have also been advised by the Company’s NOMAD that there could be a material adverse impact on the Company’s listing on AIM if David King, one of the proposed directors, is appointed to the Company’s Board. This is explained in more detail below but the Directors wish to draw Shareholders’ attention to the following public information about Mr King:
In August 2013 David King was convicted on 41 counts of breach of s.75 of the South African Income Tax Act. As part of the plea which led to those convictions he agreed to pay a sum in Rand which equates to approximately £40,000,000 in respect of unpaid tax, and either to pay a ?ne or accept a prison sentence. The Board understand that Mr King elected to pay the fine.

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mcfcPosted on9:40 am - Apr 8, 2015


So now King is “fit and proper” according to the Scottish judiciary an appropriate period of SFA belly tickling will elapse before King will ascend the stairs triumphant and will be free to inject zillions into the former plc.

Well yes, when I said 50/50 investment – what I clearly meant was 50 percent of their money and 50% of your money – how did you misunderstand that?

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Danish PastryPosted on10:01 am - Apr 8, 2015


Barcabhoy says:
April 8, 2015 at 8:49 am
——–

Bravo. Just not sure the fitba powers that be sing from the same hymn sheet as you. More’s the pity.

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ecobhoyPosted on10:03 am - Apr 8, 2015


John Clark says:
April 8, 2015 at 12:58 am
brth@7.40 p.m.
‘……there was no legal barrier to him taking up such a position……’
_________
Let me rephrase that :” no Scottish Court would have found any legal barrier..”.

With all due respect to his Lordship’s keen legal,almost magical, view of what constitutes fitness and propriety. Perhaps..on planet Zog
———————————————————-
@brth – I know what you mean and I agree with you. But there actually was ‘a legal barrier’.

That barrier was Section 216(3) of the Insolvency Act 1986 which essentially was designed to prevent prevent a former director of the liquidated compsny becoming a director of a successor company. Certain time limits applied and the sub section allows the right of appeal to a court to set aside the provision of the Act.

@ John Clark – As I mentioned above there is a right to appeal the relevant provisions of the Insolvency Act which DK exercised. It’s worth remembering that Section 216 was included to deal with the rise of ‘Phoenix Companies’ but has developed in practice far beyond that original intention by those who drafted it.

It may surprise you but I agree with you that no qualifying Scottish Court would have found a ‘legal barrier’ to refuse DK’s appeal because none existed afaik.

The situation here is that neither TRFCL nor RIFC Plc is a successor company that in any way can be described as a Phoenix of Rangers currently undergoing the Liquidation process.

DK fell foul of Section 216(3) because 5 years haven’t elapsed since the day on which Rangers went into liquidation which prevented him from becoming a director of a company with a ‘prohibited’ name mainly because ‘Rangers’ was in the old and the new company names.

If Rangers hadn’t been in the new name he would not have had to apply to the court for disopensation but could have become a director of the new company with no problem.

I’m afraid many people have failed to understand the difference between ‘fit and proper’ tests and what was being decided in the CoS wrt whether DK was allowed to take up a directorship in the new company before the expiry of the 5 year bar.

Where ‘fit and proper’ issues would have come into play is if evidence had been laid before the court that suggested DK was actively involved in bringing the old company down with an intention of walking away and forming a new company with basically the same name and business and taking the assets with him and leaving the creditors high & dry.

I personally have never heard or seen a shred of evidence that points to that. However the Insolvency Act allowes that:

The Secretary of State or the official receiver may appear and call the attention of the court to any matters which seem to him to be relevant.

Obviously others could appear as witnesses although the court would decide whether their contribution was relevant or not to the fairly narrow area under consideration.

I have seen courts in similar cases where a company has collapsed through fraudulent/criminal actions of some directors allow a director/s – held not to be responsible – permission within weeks to incorporate a new company with a similar name and again begin trading.

Whether people like it or not DK was nowhere near that end of the spectrum in his appeal to the CoS. As to the SARS related convictions did anyone bring evidence to that and would it have been allowable. I can’t answer that but I tend to think it wouldn’t have been.

Creditors of the former Rangers might be argued to have a case for complaint against DK however it hinges on whether there is any suggestion that D&P and BDO haven’t got the best possible deal for the creditors and therefore might want to attempt to recover their losses against DK. I again can’t see that applying to DK.

Where I think the SARS convictions do have a role to play is in the SFA ‘fit and proper’ test. However that takes me back to the excoriating statement they issued wrt to DK when a former director of Rangers.

Did the SFA got to the CoS to repeat that statement or are they still trying to find ways to bury it? I don’t think the SFA went near the court and if anyone feels aggrieved about the CoS decision perhaps they should stop trying to pin blame on our legal system or the judge involved.

Responsibility lies with the SFA and they hid from their duty as usual.

I think we have to be very careful about attacking the Scots legal system and individual decisions without having seen what evidence was presented to the court or having any knowledge of the discussions that took place.

As I have mentioned above this was a very narrow issue to decide and I would be amazed to discover if any evidence had been presented by anyone against DK being allowed to win his appeal.

I will repeat that I believe the SFA had a duty to give evidence but we know their usual position wrt ‘duty’ and we also recognise their usual cowardice.

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mcfcPosted on10:04 am - Apr 8, 2015


The MSM mood seems to be that The Rangers have won a victory against their enemies by having the CoS declare King “fit and proper.”

But let’s be clear, this decision has not changed his involvement in the destruction of Rangers (1872) (including illegal tax arrangements), or his conviction beyond reasonable doubt of 41 counts of tax dishonesty, or many other accusations of fraud, money laundering etc that were plea-bargained away.

The man has not changed. Have you heard a word of remorse for his actions? No rubber stamp of “fit and proper” from anyone will change the nature of the man.

Good luck having such a man in charge of your clumpany. And good luck to the SFA for letting another scoundrel into Ibrox who will humiliate them further and to show them up for the spineless gravy train riders they are.

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jockybhoyPosted on10:23 am - Apr 8, 2015


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

It’s the classic answering the question that wasn’t asked. But the impression given is that this is a precedent as it’s the same criteria that the SFA will use therefore there’s no problem…

As the the reference to Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in. I seem to remember the person whose catchphrase that was was a little on the Germanic side. Coincidence?…

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ecobhoyPosted on10:31 am - Apr 8, 2015


blu says:
April 8, 2015 at 9:38 am

The RIFC Board chaired by Somers appears to hold the view that Dave King didn’t meet the ‘fit and proper’ criteria as shown in the RNS below.

Presumably they notified the SFA as obliged to under the terms of clause 10.8 of the SFA’s Articles of Association. Even if they didn’t, surely the SFA will already be aware?
——————————————————————
I wonder if Somers is still happy to be associated with that statement. If he is then I’m sure he would have been prepared to have lodged an objection to the CoS along with his former fellow Rangers Directors against the 5 year term of restriction on DK being lifted.

Why do I have this sneaking feeling they didn’t. Did any of the shareholders of RIFC Plc similarly fail to object to the DK move?

I have also said that the SFA seem to me to have been duty bound to object to DK’s CoS appeal given the statement they issued wrt him as a director during the CW regime.

The RNS issued by the old Board always smacked of petty desperation to me because as they stated about DK’s SARS history: ‘It was public knowledge’.

What always puzzled me is why they didn’t concentrate on his previous history as a director under CW in particular. Armed with the SFA’s opinion of that period and publishing it as an RNS seems to me to have been someting which would have been much more pertinent to AIM and Rangers shareholders.

As far as I can see there is nothing to stop DK being a director of any UK registered private or public limited company. there was a rather ‘technical’ barrier to a company with ‘Rangers’ in its name especially if it was clearly identifiable as a football club.

But as we know that too has gone. Afaik the only ‘fit and proper’ test he has to face is from the SFA. If I am wrong about that then I hope someone can set me straight.

I have always looked at the situation where his criminal convcitions took place in South Africa which is also the scene of the collapse of his previous company. And yet he happily chairs a company on the Jo’burg Stock Exchange who one can only assume is aware of his past record and yet apparently deem him to be ‘fit and proper’.

This is not meant as apology for DK. Far from it but the way our democracy and legal system works is that he has to be dealt with under the rules that exist.

I have serious doubts as to his motives and intentions for Rangers and whether he and his ‘team’ can raise sufficient finance to successfully operate Rangers.

But my personal reservations are of no moment as long as he operates within the laws of the UK. And as I sometimes tire of repeating: It’s up to the Bears to decide if they want to support him and invest their hard-earned cash into the dream he offers.

And I don’t say that to decry the Rangers Support because football fans IMO have to be dreamers at heart or they wouldn’t follow the game. I obviously hope that DK and his associates don’t play the sectarian card to boost support and, indeed, I think that would be a bad commercial decision.

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bluPosted on10:40 am - Apr 8, 2015


ecobhoy says:
April 8, 2015 at 10:31 am
=======================

(h) he has been convicted within the last 10 years of (i) an offence liable to imprisonment of two years or over, (ii) corruption or (iii) fraud;

Them’s the rules. It may be that the SFA has no dignity left to lose but I can’t see how the members can let that be ignored.

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ecobhoyPosted on10:56 am - Apr 8, 2015


mcfc says:
April 8, 2015 at 10:04 am

The MSM mood seems to be that The Rangers have won a victory against their enemies by having the CoS declare King “fit and proper.”
———————————————————
It’s always a pity and a failure IMO when we fall into the trap of repeating a PR created myth spread by the SMSM

The CoS have not declared DK ‘a fit and proper person’. That is a simple fact.

If RIFC Plc had been named anything that didn’t have ‘Rangers’ in the title then DK could have become a director without having to apply to a court to lift the Insolvency Act provisions on ‘prohibited names’.

Afaik there is no barrier to DK being a director in any UK registered company and no statutory ‘fit and proper’ test to be met which he has failed.

There is however such a test to be met under SFA Regulations. It might be more appropriate to save our firepower for the expected decision from the SFA given their previous statement on DK’s lack of fitness to be involved with a Scottish Football Club.

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tayred

tayredPosted on11:11 am - Apr 8, 2015


blu says:
April 8, 2015 at 10:40 am
ecobhoy says:
April 8, 2015 at 10:31 am
=======================

(h) he has been convicted within the last 10 years of (i) an offence liable to imprisonment of two years or over, (ii) corruption or (iii) fraud;
Them’s the rules. It may be that the SFA has no dignity left to lose but I can’t see how the members can let that be ignored.

——————————————————————-

Cos somewhere in the regulations where will be a line in which the phrase “…at the discretion of…” will be inserted (perhaps only quite recently) that will allow the SFA to do what ever the hell they want.

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futbolPosted on11:11 am - Apr 8, 2015


ecobhoy says:
April 8, 2015 at 10:03 am

The following line intrigued me from a legal point of view:

“The situation here is that neither TRFCL nor RIFC Plc is a successor company that in any way can be described as a Phoenix of Rangers currently undergoing the Liquidation process.”

Ecobhoy, can you elaborate on this further? is it not the case that the previous regime sought to crash the oldco and rise again when it became apparent that liabilities could not be met? As DK was a director, is he not jointly liable for that decision regardless of his “a google eyed boy did it and ran away” excuse?

I imagine that the above would have had to be put forward as an objection from someone, perhaps the governors of the game (in another dimension obviously). I’m not sure the court would automatically consider opposing points of view by default without someone putting it forward?

As you have said, the fit and proper test is entirely different despite media attempts to combine the court judgment into an all-encompassing rubber stamp of integrity.

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ecobhoyPosted on11:27 am - Apr 8, 2015


@Blu – totally agree that the rules are the rules and have to be observed.

It’s therefore important to look at all the rules in question and not cherry-pick to support any particulat position.

The most important SFA Rule IMO is therefore:

10.9 In the event that the Board considers that a person is not fit and proper to hold a relevant position within Association Football, the Board shall determine (in its sole discretion) what, if any, actions/consequences will apply in such circumstances.

Therefore even if DK is declared not to be a ‘Fit & Proper Person’ under the SFA Rules they could still allow him to be a director.

That’s the reality that we have to face especially as we have previous evidence of how the SFA rule book can be made to mean anything when required or even ignored or rewritten.

I think it’s impossible for the SFA to wiggle out of finding DK ‘Not Fit & Proper’ especially given their previous statement wrt his directorship at the liquidated Rangers.

However I’m sure as I type this that a ‘Brysonesque’ solution is currently being fashioned at Ibrox that allows DK to ascend to his ‘Rightful Place’ as far as the SFA is concerned.

And let’s not blame officials because if it happens it will be done under the authority of all our clubs and sadly this time we have no Turnbull to stand firm for decency and integrity.

And this is what I don’t think Barca covered in his post. It doesn’t matter if we have individually decent people running some football clubs if they sit back and look the other way when it comes to decisions like this.

And IMO they will which in my book also makes them unfit to be running a football club. And they’ll do it for money. They’ll only not do it if they think it will cost them more by their fans being sickened and walking away.

And tbh I don’t think the fans will walk away at least not if Rangers get to the Premiership – I base that mainly on the Celtic support which I know best but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was shared by most other clubs.

Again it’s down to money with the expectation of another couple of big home crowds and maybe a cup bonus. I’m afraid that will be the determinator and without a much better TV deal I doubt it can change.

Even then it’s just a different devil to sell your soul to I’m afraid.

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mcfcPosted on11:41 am - Apr 8, 2015


ecobhoy says:
April 8, 2015 at 10:56 am

There is however such a test to be met under SFA Regulations. It might be more appropriate to save our firepower for the expected decision from the SFA given their previous statement on DK’s lack of fitness to be involved with a Scottish Football Club.

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

I honestly can’t see there is the slightest possibility the SFA will not allow King to reign at Ibrox. There isn’t the slightest precedent of the SFA holding their favourite club to the rules in such a way.

But all is not lost because the SFA will pay dearly for their weakness as King and Ashley compete to humiliate them.

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BrendaPosted on12:30 pm - Apr 8, 2015


Chico Green strikes again :mrgreen: :mrgreen: wonder who Phil’s on about 😉

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ecobhoyPosted on12:33 pm - Apr 8, 2015


futbol says:
April 8, 2015 at 11:11 am
ecobhoy says:
April 8, 2015 at 10:03 am

Ecobhoy, can you elaborate on this further? is it not the case that the previous regime sought to crash the oldco and rise again when it became apparent that liabilities could not be met? As DK was a director, is he not jointly liable for that decision?
————————————————————–
Well I hesitate to go much further because of possible future criminal prosecutions which may or may not touch on the subject.

However I have always thought that SEVCO 5088 LTD provided a more likely vehicle for ‘Phoenix Allegations’ to be made although I must add that doesn’t mean that the allegations would have any basis in fact.

The switcheroo to SEVCO SCOTLAND LTD greatly reduced the risk of such allegations IMO although there are other issues which also applied which I have previously posted on at length.

I think ‘Phoenix Companies’ which IIRC are not legally defined but merely a term covering the actuality or suspicion that the owners/directors of a company intentionally collapse it only to restart almost immediately with an almost identically named company with the old company’s assets having been underhandedly transferred to the new one and all that’s left behind are the debts of the old company leaving creditors stiffed.

My understanding of Phoenixing doesn’t apply to a process whereby an Administrator is legally appointed and subsequently a liquidator and they control issues such as the sale of assets and payment of debts according to the various applicable laws and regulations and they can be legally held accountable should they fail in their duty.

Who knows what people might plan but that doesn’t mean that the plan is ever actually put in place. Looking at the process which took place Green was initially the only director of Sevco Scotland and he and other directors which joined Sevco Scotland were never directors of oldco Rangers.

So that’s a major plank removed from your argument IMO. As to DK being jointly liable well that would depend on whether he actually was or not. Directors obviously have a joint responsibility when sitting on a Board but say another director or directors were intent on carrying out a criminal act unbeknown to fellow directors?

They could be accused of missing the signs or not asking the right questions but they aren’t part and parcel of the criminal intent and subsequent action.

Indeed in similar court appeals under the Insolvency Act these ‘innocent’ directors have been allowed to restart the collapsed company bearing a similar name almost immediately with the court waving the 5 year prohibited name exclusion.

I know of no evidence that places DK on the wrong side of the criminal law over the collapse of Rangers. He obviously has been slated by the SFA but I take everything that organisation states and does with an enormous bucket of salt as they are not IMO trustworthy. It might have suited them at the time to slate DK but I have the feeling the pendulum has swung to the other extreme and their old stance gives them a problem.

I intentionally don’t state their old stance was ‘principled’. It might have been but as I say with the SFA nothing can be accepted at face value.

So, in a nutshell, I have seen no evidence that DK was involved in any plan to deliberately crash oldco Rangers. He wasn’t involved as a shareholder or director of RIFC Plc until recently after many changes of directors and ownership.

That distance and detachment from the original collapse meant that there was unlikely to be any likelihood of his appeal being rejected unless evidence was presented which did point the finger at his culpability.

I would think that the court’s decision guarantees that no such evidence was presented. I’m afraid a lot of people let their heart rules their head and ignored the facts and what the CoS appeal was to decide and it wasn’t DK’s current fitness to be a Rangers’ director.

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mcfcPosted on12:49 pm - Apr 8, 2015


ecobhoy says:
April 8, 2015 at 12:33 pm

I would think that the court’s decision guarantees that no such evidence was presented. I’m afraid a lot of people let their heart rules their head and ignored the facts and what the CoS appeal was to decide and it wasn’t DK’s current fitness to be a Rangers’ director.

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

I would agree with you entirely if it were not for the secret 5 Way Agrrement (5WA), 5WA side letters, switcheroo documentation, Blue Pitch and Margarita ownership.

If the 5WA and side leters were published, and if King / Murray (D) / Green / Whyte / Ashley were revealed to be beneficial owners of Blue Pitch and/or Margarita in some combination then the story would be very different.

We are told the SFA know all there is to know of these issues. Do they? I suspect they were told to look the other way for their own good or face social unrest and personal danger. So many unknowns, so many questions, so few in authority or the media seem to care. The self-healing establishment.

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futbolPosted on12:50 pm - Apr 8, 2015


@eco Thanks, that makes sense and I understand that certain issues relating to the switcheroo have an impact here.

An old director would have had to be legally attached to the consortium purchasing the assets for the phoenix question to stand, that’s my interpretation now based on what you’ve outlined.

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McCaig`s TowerPosted on12:55 pm - Apr 8, 2015


broganrogantrevinoandhogan says:

April 7, 2015 at 7:40 pm
[snip]

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!”
——————————————-
Off topic, but I think that was Arte Johnson, not to be confused with another Laugh-In member Henry Gibson. The latter used to play a poet, saying “And now, a poem, by HenryG… Ibson (sic)”.

Which reminds me – whatever happened to Henry Clarson?

Scottish Football needs to bet its sweet bippy.

PS I think it was Brooks Mileson, not Miles Brookson.

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scapaflow

scapaflowPosted on1:02 pm - Apr 8, 2015


Jings, even the SPFL have got in on the onerous contract racket, they will be howling in the streets of Govan tonight :mrgreen:

http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/football/12million-the-cost-to-rangers-for-play-off-success.122614784

EDIT
Got SFA on the brain for some reason 🙂

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ecobhoyPosted on1:10 pm - Apr 8, 2015


Tayred says:
April 8, 2015 at 11:11 am
blu says:
April 8, 2015 at 10:40 am
ecobhoy says:
April 8, 2015 at 10:31 am
=======================

(h) he has been convicted within the last 10 years of (i) an offence liable to imprisonment of two years or over, (ii) corruption or (iii) fraud;
Them’s the rules. It may be that the SFA has no dignity left to lose but I can’t see how the members can let that be ignored.
——————————————————————-
Cos somewhere in the regulations where will be a line in which the phrase “…at the discretion of…” will be inserted (perhaps only quite recently) that will allow the SFA to do what ever the hell they want.
—————————————————
I don’t know when the rule was inserted although I doubt if it was recently as most governing bodies learnt from their earliest days that situations arose where they needed a cast-iron get out of jail card. It really is a very common and I would think virtually a universal clause although wording will vary slightly.

I wonder if DK was actually found guilty of ‘fraud’ or ‘corruption’ in terms of their UK meaning in South Africa?

And I know it might well annoy some fellow posters. But I can see lot’s of leeway for the SFA under (i) an offence liable to imprisonment of two years or over,

I really wonder how the SFA would react to a South African Counsel’s Opinion or even that of a Court there declaring DK wasn’t convicted of such an offence.

In my experience nothing is ever as simple as it look and especially if it looks really simple it usually isn’t. So I won’t jump my fences on this one because if the SFA find none of the rules have been broken then he will be ruled a ‘fit and proper’ person.

If he is found to be not ‘fit and proper’ as I expect then the SFA will use their get out of jail card. I simply don’t think they have the bottle or the will to do otherwise and I doubt if there will be much, if any, dissension from other clubs.

This is the reality of football governance in today’s Scotland. I doubt if it can be changed without direct action from the Scottish Government forcing the creation of a new governing body which is fit for purpose.

The SFA gets government money and therefore Holyrood has the power to change things for the better and once the General Election is out of the way politicians of all parties will find a backbone and stop worrying about losing votes.

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scapaflow

scapaflowPosted on1:16 pm - Apr 8, 2015


ecobhoy says:
April 8, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Agree DCK will get the nod.

Wish I shared your optimism of The Scottish Parliament, of whatever complexion, wading into the omnishambles that is Football Governance.

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mcfcPosted on1:18 pm - Apr 8, 2015


ecobhoy says:
April 8, 2015 at 12:33 pm

I would think that the court’s decision guarantees that no such evidence was presented. I’m afraid a lot of people let their heart rules their head and ignored the facts and what the CoS appeal was to decide and it wasn’t DK’s current fitness to be a Rangers’ director.

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

Another key question is where did Green appear from and at whose behest. Suddenly a loudmouth English shyster no-one outside Sheffield had ever heard of is pushing aside RRM and Blue Knights to gain preferential treatment to buy a Scottish institution for a pittance – ably assisted by a dubiously qualified entourage. If that wasn’t stage managed then I’m Widow Twanky.

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Bryce CurdyPosted on1:23 pm - Apr 8, 2015


Where do you start with Heron’s jobby in The Herald.

Why is the starting position that Ibrox gate money belongs to Sevco?

‘Hand over twice the prize money’ conveniently ignores that Sevco get to keep the rest of the gate money.

Falkirk and QotS don’t even get a mention.

The second play off is described as a semi-final. Which clubs will be competing in the other semi final.

But even more than any of this, it’s the usual sense of victimhood. Poor Sevco having to pay their LNS fine and pay Newcastle when it’s looking distinctly possible that one of the dual interest loanees costing £1k per week might just be the difference between top tier promotion and another year in SPFL2.

Utterly execrable stuff.

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ecobhoyPosted on1:30 pm - Apr 8, 2015


scapaflow says:
April 8, 2015 at 1:16 pm
ecobhoy says:
April 8, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Agree DCK will get the nod.

Wish I shared your optimism of The Scottish Parliament, of whatever complexion, wading into the omnishambles that is Football Governance.
——————————————————————
Ah I should have made it clearer. I think Holyrood action is required to gut the SFA. I have absolutely no optimism that it will happen.

The button will only be pushed if there is a riot at an ‘Old Firm’ game and I consciously used the term on this occasion.

This country is riddled with cowards in authority who will always avoid this issue and look the other way. I just hope that they find some courage before the bloody wake-up call I fear might might be lying ahead.

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mcfcPosted on1:41 pm - Apr 8, 2015


ecobhoy says:
April 8, 2015 at 1:10 pm

The SFA gets government money and therefore Holyrood has the power to change things for the better and once the General Election is out of the way politicians of all parties will find a backbone and stop worrying about losing votes.

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

Walk a mile in the SFA’s shoes. They really want this whole Rangers thing to go away. They really don’t want the details of their role raked over and over by non-RRM because they know they are already way out of order. They really don’t like Ashley because he is immured to Rangers-think and doesn’t play the game. Their only half chance is King to solve the whole problem and take the heat off them. WATP want King and fighting that will make things worse for them. So we (SFA) need to get King in place ASAP. Now where are the rules, where are the definitions and where is Bryson, exercise some discretion for the good of Scottish football. Job done! King is as “fit and proper” as the day is long. Now move along, If politicians want to kick this hornets’ nest, good luck to them – but what do they have to gain to balance the considerable risks – this won’t be over by the 2020 election.

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Bryce CurdyPosted on1:42 pm - Apr 8, 2015


ecobhoy 10:03 am in particular but all morning really

Well thank god somebody is able to distinguish between the CoS ruling and SFA articles 10.2 (i) and (j) and explain the differences so clearly, because the agenda will be to confuse the two as one and the same. If the courts deem DCK fit and proper then how can the SFA take a different stance will be the question asked when that’s not what has happened at all. When it seems that the majority even on TSFM don’t seem to have grasped the insignificance of the fairly inevitable event yesterday morning then perhaps the battle is already lost.

I fear that the SFA will rollover, but am struggling to come up with how they could justify such a decision. Perhaps they won’t even try. If they are allowed to use their discretion then the sort of things they should be considering are the damning comments of the South African judge and (as you say) their own findings and conclusions regarding CW’s takeover. Don’t see anything at all in the other column. He has already lied (usual adverbs apply) about having a NOMAD and being willing to invest even if he is not a director.

Congratulations again for a badly needed clear explanation. You’re never concise mind you 😉 .

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bluPosted on1:56 pm - Apr 8, 2015


ecobhoy says:
April 8, 2015 at 1:10 pm
I wonder if DK was actually found guilty of ‘fraud’ or ‘corruption’ in terms of their UK meaning in South Africa?

I guess that would be his argument but the example given in the SFA Articles of Association refers only to a conviction, not specified as relating to financial impropriety:

he has been convicted within the last 10 years of (i) an offence liable to imprisonment of two years or over

As I said earlier, them’s the rules, and to this layman they appear to unequivocally exclude Dave King from playing a leading role in running any football club in Scotland. You’ve often (rightly)cautioned about second guessing court findings without having full access to all the evidence but this stuff is all in the public domain. My guess is that having been put in a position whereby they have to make a decision on King, the SFA will fold. I can only hope any representative of Scottish football who supports such a decision gets the reward they truly deserve, but I worry. A wise man once said this,

“All I want to see is a set-up that’s not corrupt, with no favouritism, based on a sporting contest. That would, I think, appeal to a vast number of fans across the land. If senior football can’t provide that, we should look elsewhere!
I do have faith that there are sufficiently like minded individuals at other clubs and that, eventually, common sense and fairness will prevail over bullying and blackmail.
Let’s hope so anyway. If not the baws burst.”

I fear he may have been wrong.

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ecobhoyPosted on2:00 pm - Apr 8, 2015


mcfc says:
April 8, 2015 at 1:18 pm

Another key question is where did Green appear from and at whose behest. Suddenly a loudmouth English shyster no-one outside Sheffield had ever heard of is pushing aside RRM and Blue Knights to gain preferential treatment to buy a Scottish institution for a pittance – ably assisted by a dubiously qualified entourage. If that wasn’t stage managed then I’m Widow Twanky.
———————————————————————–
The subject has been discussed intensively for over three years now and we still don’t have any answers.

However I can assure you that plenty of people outside Sheffield were well aware of Green and his abilities to ‘front’ similar opportunities to those presented at Ibrox.

He has been the go-to-guy for lots of projects and AIM floats. He is the brash, flash, big-mouthed Yorkshireman who attracts all media interest and attention.

That means that those actually in control remain securely behind the scenes and are never identified or questioned by the media. That’s why Green gets paid big money for what he does because he’s an expert at it.

He deflects and disguises reality IMO and get his percentage on the killing made by others. He’s done his turn at Rangers but obviously still picks-up appearance money when his skills are required to deflect and confuse.

Everyone attacks the new incumbents at Ibrox and they might not survive financially. However getting out of AIM is one of the moves they had to make to try and shift mystery overseas investors with onerous contracts who continue to suck the life-blood out of Rangers.

Even though Mike Ashley has been involved with Green since the early days I don’t place him in the same category as the mystery investors. I also don’t think in his position he could get down and dirty fighting them in the trenches.

But I would be amazed at the end of the day if he didn’t want rid of the spivs because they are and have always been the biggest danger to Rangers financially IMO. And that spells danger for Ashley too.

At some stage I reckon DK and Ashley will have a marriage of convenience until the Rangers Retail contract runs-out. If that’s to happen it will come if, and after, Rangers get accepted by a new exchange IMO.

So although the historical wheeling and dealing is important I think the deals to be done in the immediate future are more important for Rangers’ survival.

I have absolutely no proof or facts to back-up what I say and have no problem stating it is pure speculation. Doesn’t mean it won’t happen 🙄

But we do have the possible impending court cases and that might well throw a lot of light into the darkest corners of this saga.

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ecobhoyPosted on2:05 pm - Apr 8, 2015


Bryce Curdy says:
April 8, 2015 at 1:42 pm

ecobhoy 10:03 am in particular but all morning really

Congratulations again for a badly needed clear explanation. You’re never concise mind you 😉

—————————————————————
I can be when I want or need to be 😆

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Danish PastryPosted on2:17 pm - Apr 8, 2015


scapaflow says:
April 8, 2015 at 1:02 pm
Jings, even the SPFL have got in on the onerous contract racket, they will be howling in the streets of Govan tonight :mrgreen:

http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/football/12million-the-cost-to-rangers-for-play-off-success.122614784
————–

To be honest, a 50% cut seems unusually punitive to all the clubs involved. Not only do the authorities seem incompetent but now look positively greedy, and shameless with it.

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Bryce CurdyPosted on2:18 pm - Apr 8, 2015


ecobhoy 2:05 pm

rule the that exception proves

Rearrange as clearly and concisely as you like 😉 .

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tykebhoy

tykebhoyPosted on2:22 pm - Apr 8, 2015


Bryce Curdy says:
April 8, 2015 at 1:42 pm
Congratulations again for a badly needed clear explanation. You’re never concise mind you
==============
To be fair he learnt from a master of not being concise in blogs from the much missed Paul McConville. 😉

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ecobhoyPosted on2:27 pm - Apr 8, 2015


blu says:
April 8, 2015 at 1:56 pm

My guess is that having been put in a position whereby they have to make a decision on King, the SFA will fold.
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You may well be correct but I still see it as finding him not ‘fit & proper’ but finding a mechanism under 10.9 to allow him possibly on a ‘supervised’ or whatever period for a couple of years.

They could even further muddy the waters over the CoS decision by tying the ‘supervision’ period to cover whatever’s left of the 5 year Insolvency Act ban waived by the court.

I know that’s a mince reason but they’ll be searching for some way to present this to allow them off the hook and for the SMSM to declare: ‘Victory’. Probably bigger coverage than VE Day will be given complete with ticker tape parade down Edmiston Drive!

Alternatively to deflect they form a judicial panel and control the evidence put to it sprinkled with a few Brysonisms and hey presto job done.

The other way is to let the League clubs where they end-up playing next year vote on the issue. But, of course, they wouldn’t do that unless they knew that the vote would be for DK.

I think I now fully understand what Sir Walter Scott meant when he wrote: ‘Oh, what a tangled web we weave . . . when first we practice to deceive.’

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ecobhoyPosted on2:34 pm - Apr 8, 2015


tykebhoy says:
April 8, 2015 at 2:22 pm
Bryce Curdy says:
April 8, 2015 at 1:42 pm

Congratulations again for a badly needed clear explanation. You’re never concise mind you
==============
To be fair he learnt from a master of not being concise in blogs from the much missed Paul McConville. 😉
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It’s funny I’ve been giving Paul a lot of thought since hearing about Turnbull Hutton – both a terrible loss.

And you’re quite right about Paul btw! No matter how many times I read his blogs it’s seldom I don’t discover a fresh nuance in his pieces. He operated on so many levels with a supreme analytical skill and at blinding speed. RIP to both the Big Men.

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John ClarkPosted on2:40 pm - Apr 8, 2015


ecobhoy@2.00 p.m
‘…….but we do have the possible impending court cases……’
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So we do, indeed.
And a purely hypothetical question, totally in the abstract and not at all related to any actual situation, excites my curiosity:
would it be expected that Persons, qualified enough to be appointed as Administrators of an insolvent company, and who faced criminal charges in relation to the way they discharged their dduties as Administrators, should have their legal costs met by the Insolvency company under whose name they worked?
Taking purely randomly , and only for the sake of hypothetical argument, a global outfit like,say, Duff and Phelps, would one expect that any of the little people working for them, or earning money for them under any franchise arrangement, should, in the highly unlikely event that they faced criminal charges , have their legal defence costs paid by D&P?
I wonder if D&P New York would reply to any question about the matter?

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John ClarkPosted on3:02 pm - Apr 8, 2015


ecobhoy @2.27 p.m.
‘..I think I now fully understand what Sir Walter Scott meant……’
________
1801,lodge St David, Edinburgh, and a lawyer to boot.
Brilliant novelist, though, which I don’t think can be said of any of his modern day brethren in law.
And his phenomenal effort to clear his debts rather than be declared bankrupt marks him out as a man of outstanding personal honour.

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Bryce CurdyPosted on3:31 pm - Apr 8, 2015


Following on from my 1:42 pm post when I consider factors the SFA might consider when using discretion in relation to DCK’s F&P status another one comes to mind.

It’s not just that he has one criminal conviction liable to a prison sentence of two years or more, its that he’s got 42 of the bloody things.

Its disgusting that a debate about this is even taking place and I’m not sure there’s a word in the dictionary to describe the situation where the expectation from the vast majority is that he will be passed.

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mcfcPosted on3:33 pm - Apr 8, 2015


ecobhoy says:
April 8, 2015 at 2:27 pm

I think I now fully understand what Sir Walter Scott meant when he wrote: ‘Oh, what a tangled web we weave . . . when first we practice to deceive.’

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Eco – to an honest man a tangled web is a bad thing – but to a spiv or a chancer it is what keeps them out of jail. Being proven to be a definite liar on a few matters is a small cost for the protection complexity affords by giving authorities headaches over resources and jurisdiction to chase down misdeeds. By the time the web is even half untangled by the most motivated regulator the matter has fallen from public interest and the spivs and chancers are long gone spinning other webs elsewhere. If current court cases come to anything, the net effect on the future of The Rangers will be zero or less. Anyone hoping for natural justice to prevail should focus on the arithmetic of The Rangers’ business model rather than investing any hope in investigations and “the system” doing the right thing(s).

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oddjob

oddjobPosted on3:44 pm - Apr 8, 2015


During the Section 216 discussion some week ago, I suggested that Mr King might rely on the fact that he was intending to be a director of a company named Sevco, which had changed its name to Rangers. He could not publicly advertise this. It would not go down well with many of his supporters,if it appeared that he was denying the “history”.

Well, in my view, the decision of the Court of Session, has confirmed that that is the submission made on his behalf, and that decision ends the”same club” argument. Mr King can be allowed as a director of Sevco,since that was the successor company, not “Rangers”.

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senior

seniorPosted on3:55 pm - Apr 8, 2015


First we had Boyles law, now we have Bryson’s law (nearly said Bryson’s principle :wink:) ……..’even though the murder was committed 10 years ago me Lud it was not a crime until we became aware of it’

Brysononic thinking, any takers?

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mcfcPosted on4:15 pm - Apr 8, 2015


Good to see from PMG’s latest that Ibrox is now leak proof under the new regime.

http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/certainty-clause/

And talking of leaks, how is the DIY Army getting on at Ibrox?

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ecobhoyPosted on4:21 pm - Apr 8, 2015


John Clark says:
April 8, 2015 at 2:40 pm
ecobhoy@2.00 p.m
‘…….but we do have the possible impending court cases……’
______________
So we do, indeed. Taking purely randomly , and only for the sake of hypothetical argument, a global outfit like,say, Duff and Phelps, would one expect that any of the little people working for them, or earning money for them under any franchise arrangement, should, in the highly unlikely event that they faced criminal charges , have their legal defence costs paid by D&P?
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I wonder if their professional indemnity policy would hypothetically pick-up the tab? Perhaps one of our accountancy brethern might have an idea whether the policy encompasses criminal case costs as well as civil actions.

Obviously there is a possible direct connection sometimes if say in a hypothetical criminal action a professional person is found guilty of certain offences.

The connection being that it could open the door for anyone believing they have been adversely affected financially to then raise a civil action against the individual and their employer.

It strikes me therefore that an insurer could have a lot to gain from ensuring that any professional person who found themself in that highly unlikely position was provided with excellent legal services for any criminal trial they might face.

Obviously this is all hypothetical and I am sure everyone has acted in the manner expected and required of them.

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ecobhoyPosted on4:35 pm - Apr 8, 2015


mcfc says:
April 8, 2015 at 4:15 pm

Good to see from PMG’s latest that Ibrox is now leak proof under the new regime.

http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/certainty-clause/
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Well the player will just have to stay as long as Green vowed he would to hear that sweet CL music.

However if I was the player I would be onto my lawyer immediately because the clause mentioned I would think is dodgy legally as it was impossible to achieve.

And what about the player’s agent or lawyer? Did no one read the contract? Either way, if I was the player, I would be arguing there was negligence and taking legal action if I didn’t get my 4th year.

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on4:36 pm - Apr 8, 2015


Barcabhoy says:
April 8, 2015 at 8:49 am
Why would anyone want to own a football club ?…
=======================================================
Agreed, and the perennial issue is that – as we have seen – business trumps sporting integrity in Scottish football.

Even the eventual placement of TRFC into SFL3 was not due to a belated recognition by the SFA/SPFL that that was the best they should do for the Ibrox club – but rather it was based on a commercial decision that it could cost more money if lots of season ticket holders at many clubs would ‘do walking away’ for good.

Unfortunately, nothing seems to have changed in the last 3 years or so, and the SFA [more so than the SPFL which has commercial priorities], will continue do the ‘wrong’ thing in future, and be out of step with the paying customers, IMO.

Maybe the only way the fans can truly have sporting integrity as the number one priority in the game they watch…is to give up watching professional football ?

There maybe could be an acceptable balance, but currently there seems to be too much emphasis on business and not enough emphasis on integrity, consistency, transparency, truth, etc. at the governing bodies. And nobody trusts them.

After the TRFC saga draws to a close, [c. 2022 ? ], I think we will find other things to complain about re: business v. sporting integrity… 🙁

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ecobhoyPosted on4:46 pm - Apr 8, 2015


oddjob says:
April 8, 2015 at 3:44 pm

During the Section 216 discussion some week ago, I suggested that Mr King might rely on the fact that he was intending to be a director of a company named Sevco, which had changed its name to Rangers.
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IIRC he didn’t apply to be a director of TRFCL formerly Sevco Scotland Ltd but only applied for permission to be a director of RIFCL.

All he asked for wrt TRFCL was that he be allowed to participate in the management of it.

But for sake of argument – if Sevco Scotland hadn’t changed its name to TRFCL then DK could have been a director of Sevco Scotland Ltd without requiring permission of the court. All a bid of a storm in a teacup.

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mcfcPosted on5:10 pm - Apr 8, 2015


Slovenian Squirrel

So Haris is hoping to join a destitute Scottish club rather than return to the EPL – urm. So what proportion of King’s warchest would he cost to buy? How many STs would he cost to pay each week? Is the SPL even on the radar of a young man who could probably get a first team place much closer to home in Germany or Italy – assuming he is tired of the EPL. Is The Rangers even his best option in Scotland?

Unless Vuckic is Sloveniam for “unambitious” I think these questions need to be answered before diagnosing Rangeritis.

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mcfcPosted on5:37 pm - Apr 8, 2015


Small World

So how is RIFC plc trading going on its first day with J P Jenkins? Well price down 3p (8.5%) on zero trading. Could be worse I suppose, unless you were hoping for liquidity.

http://lmmx.co.uk/companies/profile/rangers-international-foofball-club-plc/

Oh and look who else is traded there – no – not Arsenal – but Sheffield United plc – what a small world. I wonder who recommended J P Jenkins to Murray (P).

http://lmmx.co.uk/companies/

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mcfcPosted on5:50 pm - Apr 8, 2015


Interesting that wee Stevie in IT still hasn’t got around to removing W H Ireland and Deloitte as advisers but all those pesky Regulatory Announcements have vanished – including the one outlining King’s unsuitability as a director. The mentality is in the details.

http://rangersinternationalfootballclub.com/shareholder-centre/advisers

http://rangersinternationalfootballclub.com/regulatory-announcements

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grail14Posted on6:04 pm - Apr 8, 2015


re john clark @ 2:40 p.m.
I wrote to late great Mr McConville a couple of years ago, offering to give a totally independent view of the unfolding drama, which at that time was being orchestrated by Mr Whyte.
My offer was accepted by Paul, but as events were fast moving, at that time,combined with the fact that Scottish law is very distinct from English law makes judgemental views difficult.
To cut to the chase,however, the main thrust of the argument that I was going to put forward at that time was that Duff and Phelps were put forward and accepted as administrators of the incorporated body that was eventually liquidated.
I was surprised at that appointment because I had not previously heard of them in connection with insolvent companies.
I googled them and found that they were a well established American financial institution.
It was a few weeks later that I discovered that Mr Whytes financial advisor’s had sold their business to Duff and Phelps and were the main parties to the administration

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mcfcPosted on7:31 pm - Apr 8, 2015


How much has the newly “fit and proper” King invested in the former plc ?

Has he matched The Three Bears 50/50 and unsecured?

They say you should be careful what you wish for. And the bears wished for and voted for a Short Armed Saviour.

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scapaflow

scapaflowPosted on7:50 pm - Apr 8, 2015


mcfc says:
April 8, 2015 at 7:31 pm

I wonder how long before the fans call in DCK for a “short arm inspection”? He certainly talks about his big package often enough! :mrgreen:

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Methilhill Stroller

Methilhill StrollerPosted on7:53 pm - Apr 8, 2015


Eco and BRTH
I accept your comments on no reason why DCK should not be a Director – to be honest it was the comment DCK made about cooperating with SFA that resulted in my comment because I presumed (maybe wrongly but probably not) that they had given him the nod already.

I agree with Eco about DCK status in SA and still able to be a Director despite 42 counts of tax evasion (not fraud and corruption I believe) could be a card he has or will play. However if Leeds can be told their owner is not fit and proper for a tax issue (and I dont believe he was in charge of a previously liquidated company either) then SFA should rule against DCK but given their previous, and no Turnbull to shout back at them,….. see page 94 for the results.

Finally like you Eco I received a response from Eric who confirmed that he thought it now meant they had a condolence message from every continent. Wonderful that Turnbull’s reputation went worldwide. I hope they have a good night against Cowdenbeath tonight and an even better one on Sunday.

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theoldcoursePosted on8:21 pm - Apr 8, 2015


Just thought I would share with the forum the thoughts of Raith Rovers Chairman Alan Young, from tonights match programme at Starks Park

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By now we will all have heard the sad news about the passing of Turnbull Hutton. I have been asked to write a few words about Turnbull.

Can I first say that Turnbull was a good friend to me. Turnbull was also a good friend to Raith Rovers and to Scottish Football.Everyone knows that without Turnbull and Mario Caira, Raith Rovers Football Club would not be in existence.

My first experience of Turnbull Hutton was after being invited to attend a board meeting in December 2006. At that point he had just cleared the board of “Bean Counters”, his derogatory term for accountants, and you can imagine his delight at discovering another one. Luckily his sense of humour was as warped as my own. He did not suffer fools gladly – in fact he did not suffer fools at all! We got on famously!

In writing this piece, initially I intended to provide you with interesting quotes from some of Turnbull’s emails to me, having had some names changed to protect the guilty and removing certain adjectives, nouns and a surprisingly large amount of verbs. Lets just say that Turnbull always went forth with his multiplication!

Over the years Turnbull and I travelled to many away matches. Strangely, I was often referred to as his carer. Our first away trips were to Stranraer and Peterhead, or as we referred to them, Northern Ireland and Norway, resulting in a win and a draw. If you can survive these trips with Turnbull, you can survive anything! We got on famously! Oh, did I say that already?

We followed these up with Ayr United, Cowdenbeath, Brechin, Alloa and Forfar and won all of them. That got us to the play-offs that year, where we lost to Stirling Albion. Oh well, its character building he said! And being a Rovers supporter built no better character than Turnbull Hutton. We all know what he did for Football integrity in Scotland but some of the harassment that he had to deal with at that time is unbelievable in a civilised society. Needless to say, Turnbull dealt with it head on!

Having reviewed the emails, that I couldn’t let you see, its safe to say that life will be so much quieter without Turnbull – but a lot less enjoyable. I will miss him terribly. You may not realise it but we got on famously!

That guy at the Pearly Gates is in for a roasting if he is any kind of a bean counter but, thinking about it, there will probably be no bean counters up there!

We are all Turnbull Hutton! RIP!

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on8:47 pm - Apr 8, 2015


The Court of sessions in Edinburgh yesterday cleared king to join the Club board, despite him being an ibrox director under former owner Craig Whyte before the Club was Liquidated in 2012.
Metro free paper.
Before the club was Liquidated in 2012, (it will never catch on 😮 ).
Cleared king to join the Club Board, (is it not the company board 😕 ).

The paper is free after all

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essexbeancounterPosted on9:27 pm - Apr 8, 2015


theoldcourse says:
April 8, 2015 at 8:21 pm
Just thought I would share with the forum the thoughts of Raith Rovers Chairman Alan Young, from tonights match programme at Starks Park
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By now we will all have heard the sad news about the passing of Turnbull Hutton…that guy at the Pearly Gates is in for a roasting if he is any kind of a bean counter but, thinking about it, there will probably be no bean counters up there!

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Theoldcourse…I think my ticket via the Pearly Gates was cancelled some time ago..but if the place is populated by just one of Turnbull’s ilk, I will seriously think about repenting…!

What a lovely piece you write…thank you! 🙁

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jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on10:45 pm - Apr 8, 2015


essexbeancounter says:
April 8, 2015 at 9:27 pm

Theoldcourse…I think my ticket via the Pearly Gates was cancelled some time ago..but if the place is populated by just one of Turnbull’s ilk, I will seriously think about repenting…!
_______________________________________________

Me too. Mea culpa.
However I just think of this:

“I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps.”

Mahatma Gandhi

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