Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?

ByAuldheid

Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No Independent Enquiry?

SR No

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT Never?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fit and Proper Person and Absence of Governance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT Rangers were a mess financially everybody new that

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

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

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

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

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

SR We didn’t fail.

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

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

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

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

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

SR Well I think the articles

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

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

AT ??  (Interrupted)

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

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

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

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

The Nature of EBTS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT Sometimes

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

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

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

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

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

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

If Carlsberg did irony!

End of Interview.

The Hard Not to Believe Conclusions

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

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

The reader will find it hard not to conclude that either

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

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

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

Annex One – Extracts from Lord Nimmo Smith Decision

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

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

 

Outline of the Scheme

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

Auldheid  Feb 2015

About the author

Auldheid author

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

5,190 Comments so far

tykebhoyPosted on4:54 pm - Apr 16, 2015


The_Pie_Man says:
April 16, 2015 at 4:24 pm
One thing living down here in England and forgive me my ignorance but why is there A Split in the League.. I have never understood it.. maybe someone can explain it to me.. thx
==========
It was seen as the best way of accommodating a 12 team league as 22 games is too little and 44 too many especially if a team has a good run in Europe and both cups.

After all teams have played each other 3 times the top 6 play each other once more and the bottom half once more. If the fixture planners got the first 33 games correct based on where they think each team will finish then all teams will end up with 19 home and 19 away matches playing all 5 in the same half of the table twice at home and twice away. Having faced 3 of the other 6 twice at home and once away and the final 3 once at home and twice away.

The top 6 at the split remain the top six even if one or more overtakes the bottom one or two in the top half’s points tally.

View Comment

theoldcoursePosted on4:57 pm - Apr 16, 2015


I don’t know why the Kilmarnock chairman is so aggravated. It was always the case that some clubs would end up with an uneven number of home and away fixtures. The SPL have always acknowledged that and in fairness to them they do try and even the fixtures up over a two year period (not always possible with promotion and relegation). This has happened to Celtic on many occasions and I am sure other teams have been equally disadvantaged. Once again of course it pays to read the small print of the rules that you are happy to sign up to at the start of the season.

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StevieBCPosted on5:06 pm - Apr 16, 2015


“…Sky Sports has now suggested an alternative schedule for its televised Championship match that weekend.

…The SPFL would like to thank Sky Sports for its flexibility and understanding…”

http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/latest/spfl-performs-u-turn-on-final-day-fixtures-1-3745785
====================================================

Looks like Doncaster couldn’t even accept responsibility for the cock-up.
Instead he has ‘slopy-shouldered’ the mess onto Sky.

Wouldn’t think his contacts at Sky would be too pleased ?
Would be funny if Sky issues a ‘clarifying’ statement of its own.

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StevieBCPosted on5:24 pm - Apr 16, 2015


“Rangers fans offer support to Toon army ahead of Ashley protests

RANGERS fans today threw their weight behind the Newcastle supporters aiming to remove Mike Ashley from power at St James’ Park ahead of public protests this weekend…”

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/rangers-fans-offer-support-to-toon-army-ahead-of-ashley-protests-203413n.123220068
==============================================

Why are the TRFC fans not protesting against King ?

They gave him their support for the board changes, and he personally hasn’t delivered anything yet – just a delisting.

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Paulmac2Posted on5:28 pm - Apr 16, 2015


scapaflow says:
April 16, 2015 at 4:05 pm
…………….

How strange…Jim Mann of Kilmarnock FC feels the SPFL have been unfair to his club?

The same Kilmarnock who abstained from the vote to let a new club straight into the SPL, whilst all other SPL clubs voted against it…except one SPL club who voted for it…leapfrogging all the clubs in DIV 3,2 and 1…

Turnbull Hutton…clearly stated his concerns about corruption within Scottish football…Maybe Mr Mann’s club should have been more proactive in dealing with Turnbulls fears at the time and he may not have had to make his protests today.

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AllyjamboPosted on5:32 pm - Apr 16, 2015


scapaflow says:
April 16, 2015 at 4:47 pm

At the risk of stealing Goosey’s thunder, it does feel that there might be several possible motives behind this “delay” in DCK sending in his mitigation evidence.

Drawing out the process may turn out to be very convenient for him
____________________________-

Or the SFA are delaying having to make an inevitable decision (one they don’t want to make but realise they have no choice) in the hope that the ongoing Ibrox battles end in a way that means no decision is necessary. On the face of it, they have 2 decisions to make regarding TRFC over Ashley and King, neither of which they want to make as both could lead to unpleasantness for themselves. There isn’t actually a decision they can make, in either case, that will be seen as acceptable by all the bears, and the rest of us will only accept a negative response to both Ashley and King, because both fail under the rules of the SPFL!

Should they make the decision to tell Ashley he can’t run TRFC, and make it that the sanctions ensure he can’t, and then King and co fail, there’s no one around (that we know of) to pick up the pieces. If they tell King to sling his hook, then it’ll probably end up with Ashley in power and, say, 50% of the bears will be in blood letting overdrive. If they give him the all-clear, however, and he then turns out to be what many suspect him to be, the other 50% will be blaming the SFA even more than they do King and all the other genuine culprits.

One thing’s for sure, the mess is getting worse, and the people in charge of Scottish football are not up to the task of sorting it out. The simple answer for the governors, of course, is: ‘stick to the rules!’ The rules are what TRFC signed up to, and not sticking to the rules is what allowed the mess to be created in the first place!

The delay, itself, might very well assist King, as you suggest, by allowing him an excuse not to put in any money (not that that was a caveat to his promises) then to ‘jet in’ no more! On the other hand, if he is genuinely ready to invest, any delay can’t help TRFC as they are desperate for the money.

The SFA, from Regan’s words, appear to be saying, ‘it’ll take as long as it takes King to provide his ‘evidence of suitability’.’ So, if it all goes pear-shaped for TRFC meantime, and King tries to blame the SFA, they can turn round and blame him – with more justification than he’ll ever be able to provide.

I get the feeling the SFA are positioning themselves for a Govan Armageddon, and that Regan’s statement was not so much to inform us about the necessary ‘evidence’ King must supply, but a means of letting everyone know the delay (which could be fatal) is down to King himself!

Add to that Regan’s undisguised criticism of the SPFL’s handling of the Hearts v TRFC match, and we are maybe seeing evidence that Doncaster might be the one to take the fall in the event TRFC go under!

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on5:35 pm - Apr 16, 2015


Allyjambo says:
April 16, 2015 at 4:42 pm

_______________________________________________________

Agree with you except the bit about turning up with a cheque.
Why should he be allowed to buy himself FPP status?
Is it that we only want the successful types of criminal running our football clubs?

It seems to me that DCK is viewed by many as ‘a bit criminal’ but ‘worthy’ whereas ‘Mash’ is considered ‘fully legal’ but somehow ‘unworthy’.

Let’s just think about the implications of this for our game for a minute…

Because Mash may not be nice (certainly not!), but he generally sticks within the rules, or else he accepts the consequences. The same rules that apply to everyone else.

Whereas a ‘laissez faire’ attitude when it comes to adherence by the rules, and belligerent affrontedness combined with extreme circumevention when it comes to accepting the consequences of not doing so seems to be a stock in trade for DCK, and a whole host of RRM in the generality. Its like its a part of their DNA

It will be a sad day for the sport that DCK is allowed to run a football club.
And better that one club be allowed go to the wall than this travesty be allowed.
No one is preventing him from investing, but if his game is to arm twist the authorities by saying that he will do so only if he is passed FPP, then he should be sent packing in short order, with this cited as further evidence of his complete unsuitability.

Because what’s next on his list…?
He’ll only pay the SFA fines if SPFL ensure TRFC are promoted?

Is it that footballing rules are for the obedience of fools, but the ‘guidance’ of ‘real rangers men’?

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GoosyGoosyPosted on5:44 pm - Apr 16, 2015


The Cat NR1 says:
April 16, 2015 at 4:30 pm
Taken from Stewart Regan’s Wikipedia entry.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stewart_Regan
“In response to these events, Regan pledged to make the Scottish game more “urgent, transparent and speedy””
That was in response to the Dallas email incident. Hugh that is, not the Cowboys.
Did they miss off the final bit that said, “when it comes to dealing with 41 members of the SPL/SFL”?
If not, what has happened in the meantime that means that a straightforward FPP decision is taking longer than a Graham Wallace review? TRFC could delay their self-certification in perpetuity given the level of inertia on the sixth floor, or is that the idea?
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Not really
IMO
Regan has studied the terms of the £5m loan deal and wet himself. Ashley can not only make an insolvency happen at a date of his choosing he can now ensure that the Requisitioners are legally responsible for pulling the plug.
Or put another way
The SFA priority is now to push the date of the insolvency into the close season
But
That requires Ashley’s cooperation
So
The best they can do is to avoid getting the blame for the upcoming insolvency

The Requisitioners will blame the SFA for pulling the plug if King fails to get FPP approval
And
Ashley will precipitate the insolvency by publicly calling up his loan blaming the SFA if he doesn’t like the outcome of todays SFA hearing into dual ownership
So what’s the damage limitation route that placates Ashley without giving King a reason to pull the plug and blame the SFA?
Simple really
Today’s Ashley dual ownership meeting at the SFA will morph into another meeting that conveniently can`t be held until the close season
And (to placate Ashley further)
King will get a heavy hint that no FPP decision will be made until he resolves his differences with Ashley
My View on the next act of this panto?
Ashley’s surrogate (Sarver) will re-emerge as a saviour willing to buy out the Requisitioners for peanuts to prevent insolvency
The Requisitioners will have 3 choices
Pony up mega £ms to keep the panto on the road despite no income streams other than STS and no guarantee that Ashley will ever release the TMS
Or
Declare an insolvency in which the assets exclude ownership of the club name
Or
Sell out to Ashley (Sarver) for peanuts

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The Cat NR1Posted on5:45 pm - Apr 16, 2015


scapaflow says:
April 16, 2015 at 12:17 pm

As the Sun would say, It was Anne & Leanne wot won it

“BBCBMcLauchlin ‏@BBCBMcLauchlin 2m2 minutes ago Edinburgh, Scotland
All SPFL final say fixtures will now be played on Sat 2nd May with 12.15 kick off #BBCSportscot”
===========================================
All the final English Championship games kick off at 12.15pm that day. No doubt, they will be televising at least one game depending on what happens in the next couple of weekends.

Why was it so difficult to arrange the same for the Scottish Championship?

Multi-game options have been available on the red button for ages, so it isn’t as if they’d be taking up all the available sports channels by having the English games on one channel and the Scottish one on another.
Sky have no EPL games in that slot with the attractive Leicester v Newcastle fixture being on BT Sport at 12.45pm.

Shambolic behaviour all round.

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Paulmac2Posted on5:45 pm - Apr 16, 2015


The SFA…tried to front a strong stand against Ashley for daring to hold a greater percentage of shares…causing the dual ownership challenge…

It’s against the rules and spirit of the game you know!

But when a 42 times convicted criminal tries to take control….ah well…lets have chat round the table on the 6th floor over a cup of tea to see if we can work things out…

The shear cowardice of applying responsibility is what we now come to expect from the 6th floor…

View Comment

scapaflowPosted on5:53 pm - Apr 16, 2015


In case anyine was getting withdrawls, Rangers jave issued a ststement

“The Club has today accepted a £5500 fine for breaches of the SFA’s Disciplinary Rules 1 and 19.

They relate to historic events around the time the MASH credit facility was put in place.

Er thats all folks.

“Alleged Party in Breach: Rangers FC
Disciplinary Rule(s) allegedly breached:

Disciplinary Rule 1: All members shall:
(b) be subject to and comply with (i) the Articles (ii) this protocol.
(f) behave towards the Scottish FA and other members with the utmost good faith.

Disciplinary Rule 19: Except with the prior written consent of the Board: (a) no club or nominee of a club; and (b) no person, whether absolutely or as a trustee, either alone or in conjunction with one or more associates or solely through an associate or associates (even where such person has no formal interest), who: (i) is a member of a club; or (ii) is involved in any capacity whatsoever in the management or administration of a club, or (iii) has any power whatsoever to influence the management or administration or a club, may at the same time either directly or indirectly:- (a) be a member of another club; or (b) be involved in any capacity whatsoever in the management or administration of another club; or (c) have any power whatsoever to influence the management or administration of another club.
Outcomes:

Disciplinary Rule 1: Breach admitted. A fine of £5,000 was imposed.

Disciplinary Rule 19: Breach admitted. A fine of £500 was imposed.

So that’s the dual control issue settled.

EDIT
Allyjambo

No further sanctions have been imposed. Seems designed to avoid a court case if you ask me.

Edit
Is it now open season on Doncaster?
http://sport.stv.tv/football/clubs/celtic/317427-neil-doncasters-most-memorable-blunders-as-spfl-chief-executive/

View Comment

The Cat NR1Posted on5:59 pm - Apr 16, 2015


StevieBC says:
April 16, 2015 at 5:06 pm

“…Sky Sports has now suggested an alternative schedule for its televised Championship match that weekend.

…The SPFL would like to thank Sky Sports for its flexibility and understanding…”

http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/latest/spfl-performs-u-turn-on-final-day-fixtures-1-3745785
====================================================

Looks like Doncaster couldn’t even accept responsibility for the cock-up.
Instead he has ‘slopy-shouldered’ the mess onto Sky.
================================================================
It wasnae me. A big TV company did it and ran away.

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AllyjamboPosted on6:02 pm - Apr 16, 2015


scapaflow says:
April 16, 2015 at 5:53 pm

So, regardless of the joke fine, what sanctions have been put in place should Ashley continue to be involved in any way with TRFC outwith the rules of the SFA? Or do the SFA consider that the price has been paid by TRFC to allow Ashley (or anyone else who already owns another club) to be involved in the running of the club?

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StevieBCPosted on6:03 pm - Apr 16, 2015


Maybe Doncaster could do with a can of Irn Bru… 😳

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh2yZf8F-60

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Carfins FinestPosted on6:05 pm - Apr 16, 2015


What possible evidence can the SFA be looking for from DCK. There can be no evidence that he is fit & proper only the opposite.

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Paulmac2Posted on6:12 pm - Apr 16, 2015


Allyjambo says:
April 16, 2015 at 6:02 pm
……

In theory AJ…what it implies is that if Anne Budge has the money and the will…she could buy an interest in every SPL club and…and persue a controlling interest in each…at 5 and a half k per club I would consider that a great deal…when you consider she could in theory influence the entire league program from start to finish ensuring Hearts qualify for the CL every season…decide who gets relagated…but from what I can see Anne would probably allow everything to pan out fairly and to its natural conclusion… 🙂

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The Cat NR1Posted on6:14 pm - Apr 16, 2015


Allyjambo says:
April 16, 2015 at 5:32 pm

One thing’s for sure, the mess is getting worse, and the people in charge of Scottish football are not up to the task of sorting it out. The simple answer for the governors, of course, is: ‘stick to the rules!’ The rules are what TRFC signed up to, and not sticking to the rules is what allowed the mess to be created in the first place!
===============================================================
TFRC signed up to the 5 way agreement, which rewrote or overrode parts of the rulebooks that the other 41 clubs had signed up to. The other (still existing or since merged) parties to the 5WA are now conflicted to such an extent that there can be no confidence that they will act according to their own rulebooks without fear or favour.

The other 41 clubs signed up to the SFA/SPFL rulebooks.

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easyJamboPosted on6:14 pm - Apr 16, 2015


Grant Russell ‏@STVGrant · 3m3 minutes ago
Neil Doncaster’s people said he was travelling today and couldn’t do an interview. He has just left Hampden, declining to do an interview.

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Paulmac2Posted on6:17 pm - Apr 16, 2015


Carfins Finest says:
April 16, 2015 at 6:05 pm
……

They are looking for the details regarding his charity work…his investment to cure cancer and world poverty…

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borussiabeefburgPosted on6:18 pm - Apr 16, 2015


Allyjambo says:
April 16, 2015 at 6:02 pm
So, regardless of the joke fine, what sanctions have been put in place should Ashley continue to be involved in any way with TRFC outwith the rules of the SFA? Or do the SFA consider that the price has been paid by TRFC to allow Ashley (or anyone else who already owns another club) to be involved in the running of the club?

Livingston will have paid their £5000, but they were also given until 10th April for Neil Rankine to dispose of his share of Livingston and East Fife (which he denies having).
It’s noted that the SFA has not instructed Mike Ashley to dispose of any shareholding in the Ibrox club or Newcastle for that matter.

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paulsatimPosted on6:19 pm - Apr 16, 2015


normanbatesmumfc says:
April 16, 2015 at 1:56 pm

While some outlets are starting to break ranks, it’s good to see old STV’s staunch support of the “company that ran the club” bollox.

They’ve clearly not recovered from their severe dose of Rangersitis.

One day perhaps……

……………then it will be regretitis, or then again, maybe not.

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Paulmac2Posted on6:19 pm - Apr 16, 2015


easyJambo says:
April 16, 2015 at 6:14 pm
…………..

Travelling home…

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AllyjamboPosted on6:26 pm - Apr 16, 2015


Resin_lab_dog says:
April 16, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Agree with you except the bit about turning up with a cheque.
Why should he be allowed to buy himself FPP status?

____________________

Didn’t say he should be allowed to buy FPP status, or anything else, just that, unless he can show that his promises to invest huge sums into the club are genuine (as he made to gain his victory at the EGM), then everything else doesn’t need to be considered. The man has told some very big porkies in recent years. If he isn’t prepared to pony up immediately, coz his club is dead if he doesn’t, then he’s been telling even more porkies, porkies that mean he wouldn’t even be talking with the SFA if he hadn’t told (because he wouldn’t have won at the EGM without them). Remember, the FPP investigation is mainly for the benefit of TRFC, to ensure another Whyte (the main example, but there are others) doesn’t get involved. The SFA would be in a stronger (personal safety) position if they can say to the bears, ‘the man is lying to you, therefor he is not fit and proper!’, rather than, ‘he doesn’t pass the fit and proper criteria because of his past convictions etc!’

My main point is that the SFA shouldn’t just be looking at the man’s past failings, but also at his recent and current performance, which has been unsavoury to say the least.

What I wrote was:

‘Unless King turns up at Hampden with a cheque made out to RIFC for many millions, to prove his word is that of a reformed man, then his assertions that his past record should be dismissed shouldn’t even be considered.’

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The Cat NR1Posted on6:30 pm - Apr 16, 2015


Allyjambo says:
April 16, 2015 at 6:02 pm

scapaflow says:
April 16, 2015 at 5:53 pm

So, regardless of the joke fine, what sanctions have been put in place should Ashley continue to be involved in any way with TRFC outwith the rules of the SFA? Or do the SFA consider that the price has been paid by TRFC to allow Ashley (or anyone else who already owns another club) to be involved in the running of the club?
===================================================
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/32149635
Neil Rankine’s Livingston and East Fife involvements suggests not.

Interesting to see that Livi had a registration ban imposed and further punishment would arise should he fail to divest himself of interests in one club.

Clearly, the MA situation is different with the other club being outwith the SFA, but the threat of future action and the registration embargo show what sanctions were available but unused.

No doubt in MA’s case, the 5WA came into play again to ensure a fudged compromise.

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Paulmac2Posted on6:40 pm - Apr 16, 2015


borussiabeefburg says:
April 16, 2015 at 6:18 pm
……………..

I believe it was Mr Broadboot of the SFA who avoided replying to questions regarding the commercial business aspect of a club…as it was outside their remit…yet they can pass judgement on the commercial aspect of shares…

So if Neil Rankine does not dispose of his shares…then I would assume the SFA will punish the clubs concerned…fine…points deduction…relagation…and set a further date of shares disposal…

Whilst MA shares?….Can keep em!…go figure?

Cowardice doesn’t begin to describe the SFA.

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The_Pie_ManPosted on6:46 pm - Apr 16, 2015


Thanks for Explaining the reason 4 the League Split.. I still think it’s silly and makes 4 boring Football having to play the same teams 4 times rather than more teams twice.. But that is just my Opinion

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paulsatimPosted on6:48 pm - Apr 16, 2015


Hot of the press….. http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/forces-perfectly-positioned/

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jean7brodiePosted on7:01 pm - Apr 16, 2015


http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/forces-perfectly-positioned/
General Ashley is in a good place….

Oops sorry paulsatim.

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James DolemanPosted on7:02 pm - Apr 16, 2015


Looking more and more that what Murray and King won at the EGM was a booby trapped corpse.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on7:07 pm - Apr 16, 2015


James Doleman says:
April 16, 2015 at 7:02 pm

Looking more and more that what Murray and King won at the EGM was a booby trapped corpse.

___________________________________________________________

That EGM vote is looking stupider by the day…. AGAIN

Does anyone have a link to PMs gushing Sportscene interview from the Saturday immediately after the vote? The one that nearly made me crash the car at the time?

I’m about ready for another listen, I think.

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The Cat NR1Posted on7:17 pm - Apr 16, 2015


James Doleman says:
April 16, 2015 at 7:02 pm

Looking more and more that what Murray and King won at the EGM was a booby trapped corpse.
========================================
Pretty much as I was expecting.

The EGM was a masterstroke, as he gave the fans and small shareholders exactly what they wanted, but as predicted it turned out to be anything but that. Had McCall not come in and improved results on the field, things would be in meltdown by now.

MA has got everything he wanted for virtually nothing with very little risk. He has divested himself of control and left the RRM to pick up the cost of running the company that owns the company that owns the club and bearing the losses through more and more soft loans or share issues.

Murray and King are as out their depth dealing with MA as Regan and Doncaster are in dealing with running professional football in Scotland.

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scapaflowPosted on7:25 pm - Apr 16, 2015


Hibs statement

“Hibernian FC believes a review of the governance of the SPFL is now urgently required to ensure our league competitions are run professionally and with appropriate respect for all member clubs. The way in which the SPFL has communicated with Clubs involved in this situation has been far from acceptable.”

Doncaster should be toast, if has lost the confidence of his shareholders, but, will the Board want to keep their human shield?

http://www.hibernianfc.co.uk/news/5357

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StevieBCPosted on7:35 pm - Apr 16, 2015


easyJambo says:
April 16, 2015 at 6:14 pm
Grant Russell ‏@STVGrant · 3m3 minutes ago
Neil Doncaster’s people said he was travelling today and couldn’t do an interview. He has just left Hampden, declining to do an interview.
========================================================

Mmm…

Now, you would think that he would be very keen to give interviews, to reassure fans that the SPFL can be run properly, that this cock-up will never happen again – and maybe say ‘sorry’ to the people who pay his wages ?

Running away – or has he been gagged, with his jacket on a shoogly peg ?

Either way, still very poor from the SPFL.

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ecobhoyPosted on7:39 pm - Apr 16, 2015


On DK Fit & Proper I feel the South African convictions and tax avoidance speak for themself and no words more eloquent than those uttered by the Judge, that we all know by heart, to describe ‘a glib and shameless liar’.

However I have always held the view that the South African evidence might not make it past his flexible friend aka the SFA bendy rule book. But perhaps a wind of change is blowing across the veldt.

So I feel the real focus of any SFA investigation has to be his performance as a Rangers Director during both the Murray and Whyte fiascos.

And the SFA already have a solid foundation and most of the building already completed in the SFA Judicial Panel Hearing into Craig Whyte.

The Panel’s decision about Rangers Directors during the period is scathing and there’s no doubt that if there hadn’t been a shortage of backbone then creditors wouldn’t have been stiffed as badly as they were and the Public Purse wouldn’t have been robbed as heavily by a CW decision to stop paying tax, National Insurance and VAT.

Indeed with proper management and an ethos of living within its means Rangers today could be somewhere in the Premiership and not looking at another freshly-dug grave.

But I also take AllyJambo’s point on board about DK’s recent utterings wrt former Rangers Boards which hadn’t actually crossed my mind in an FPP context.

DK must be judged on his actions as an SFA approved football director. How did he measure-up. How did his running mate Paul Murray?

My belief is that basically it’s up to supporters of a team to decide what kind of club they want. But I think it really is time for Bears to start thinking and start recognising the harsh commercial realities of the real world.

When I say that don’t make the mistake that I support the Ashley model whatever that might be. There’s no endorsement there until I’m satisfied as to where he wants to go. If it’s to turn Rangers into another NUFC then Bears can make their own mind up whether to stay or walk.

However back to DK and Paul Murray and their fitness to be directors of a Scottish Football Club.

The full text of the SFA Decision wrt to Whyte is at: https://scotslawthoughts.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/the-sfa-judicial-panel-verdict-on-rangers-full-text/

But the Decision also deals with the failures of other directors and club officials. It’s well worth a read.

It’s funny to look back at it now from the distance of time and see how obvious it was that Rangers were a runaway train wreck from very early on in the Murray era.

But of course the SMSM manfully to this day keep the veil in place and don’t write the stories they should. It’s not about they didn’t ask questions – they don’t need to because everyone knows the score but none of the presspack has the guts to spill the beans.

Will they be any different with King? Well that’s going to be an interesting one especially if the smoke signals from Hampden change direction and they might well. They simply can’t afford another Rangers death so Ashley might have to become flavour of the 6th floor.

I wonder what happens if he decides Del Moneyman Says NO ❓

SFA CW Disciplinary Panel:

From May 2011 Mr David King was aware that he was being excluded from the governance of the company and he appears to have done little about it except repeat his demands to Mr Olverman and Mr Craig Whyte for information.

There was no information about any other steps he took as director when matters were plainly out of the control of the Board and information and accounts were kept secret from the Board.

Of course King was not alone in his inaction as noted by the Disciplinary Panel who stated:

The question might be “What could they do?”. The answer is “They could have made public the activities of Mr Craig Whyte of which they were aware or ought to have been aware”. Their fiduciary duties owed to the company might for example have led them to disclose to the PLUS Stock Exchange that no accounts were likely or that no AGM was likely to be held on account of the conduct of Mr Craig Whyte and that there was a complete breakdown of the corporate governance of Rangers FC.

‘A complete breakdown of the corporate governance of Rangers FC’ and yet a few short years later King and Murray are actually being considered by the SFA. No wonder Regan is sticking the knife into Doncaster to deflect attention:

What a bunch ❗

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The Cat NR1Posted on7:56 pm - Apr 16, 2015


scapaflow says:
April 16, 2015 at 7:25 pm

Hibs statement

“Hibernian FC believes a review of the governance of the SPFL is now urgently required to ensure our league competitions are run professionally and with appropriate respect for all member clubs. The way in which the SPFL has communicated with Clubs involved in this situation has been far from acceptable.”

Doncaster should be toast, if has lost the confidence of his shareholders, but, will the Board want to keep their human shield?

http://www.hibernianfc.co.uk/news/5357
============================================================
Well, feck me.
That is one the best things that I’ve ever read on a Scottish club website.
Sporting integrity mentioned twice in the first few paragraphs and several times throughout. No quotation marks in place in that damning condemnation of the SPFL on Doncaster’s watch.

Several Celtic fans have been demanding that the club lead the fight for sporting integrity, but this gives the opportunity for all fans including those of Celtic and Hearts to unite without it being seen as a Celtic driven issue.

Well done to Hibs and a chorus of boos for the SPFL for making the statement necessary in the first place.

Turnbull Hutton’s spirit lives on. Let battle commence.

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The Cat NR1Posted on8:25 pm - Apr 16, 2015


Resin_lab_dog says:
April 16, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Allyjambo says:
April 16, 2015 at 4:42 pm

_______________________________________________________
Is it that footballing rules are for the obedience of fools, but the ‘guidance’ of ‘real rangers men’?
======================================================
Scottish footballing rules are written in such a way that every section ends with a discretionary get-out clause.

It has been alleged many times that the discretion of the board works in the interests of only one club (as it did for a previous club of a similar name) and was inserted only for thst purpose, so the remaining clubs have no option but to the follow the prescribed regulations.

I’m not sure that would make them fools, more like serfs or plebeians. 😈

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upthehoopsPosted on8:51 pm - Apr 16, 2015


The Cat NR1 says:
April 16, 2015 at 7:56 pm

Several Celtic fans have been demanding that the club lead the fight for sporting integrity, but this gives the opportunity for all fans including those of Celtic and Hearts to unite without it being seen as a Celtic driven issue.
=================================================

I have to say I am slightly disappointed that Celtic have kept silent over what I believe is an appalling set of post-split fixtures. They are the only club not to get a Saturday game at all, never mind one at 3PM.

My disappointment however is tempered with the opinion that had Celtic spoken out, the media would have made it into something it is not. Hibs and Hearts are doing very well in exposing the incompetence of the SPFL and Celtic saying nothing about their particular fixtures is probably best for now. We can do without spurious media accusations of paranoia at this time.

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The Cat NR1Posted on9:52 pm - Apr 16, 2015


upthehoops says:
April 16, 2015 at 8:51 pm

The Cat NR1 says:
April 16, 2015 at 7:56 pm

Several Celtic fans have been demanding that the club lead the fight for sporting integrity, but this gives the opportunity for all fans including those of Celtic and Hearts to unite without it being seen as a Celtic driven issue.
=================================================

I have to say I am slightly disappointed that Celtic have kept silent over what I believe is an appalling set of post-split fixtures. They are the only club not to get a Saturday game at all, never mind one at 3PM.

My disappointment however is tempered with the opinion that had Celtic spoken out, the media would have made it into something it is not. Hibs and Hearts are doing very well in exposing the incompetence of the SPFL and Celtic saying nothing about their particular fixtures is probably best for now. We can do without spurious media accusations of paranoia at this time.
===============================================
To be fair to the SPFL, they are not directly to blame for all five post-split games being televised leading to none at 3pm on a Saturday.

Ok, they did sign the tv deal that allows the tv companies the opportunity to mess one club’s fixtures about in such a way, so they are partly to blame for creating the situation, but they didn’t set the ko times. At least they managed to keep the three top and bottom six fixtures at the same time, albeit on different days.

Another reason to ditch tv deals and revert to 3pm/7.45pm kick-offs.

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Methilhill StrollerPosted on10:20 pm - Apr 16, 2015


Well well congrats to Hearts and Hibs. I hope all other clubs grow a pair and join in immediately so the pressure is ramped up in such a way that neither ND SR or SMSM can ignore it.

Time for all supporters to get out the “Je Suis Turnbull” t-shirts and caps.

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ekt1mPosted on10:30 pm - Apr 16, 2015


For the first time I heard a spirited exchange of views between Sportsound pundits and Mike Mulraney of Alloa Ath and John Mann of Killie tonight, Mulraney laid it on the line about SPFL’s balls up over the fixtures.He certainly made it clear that a much needed shake-up is required at Hampden, precisely what we on this blog have been crying out for. I think that some club chairmen/women are beginning to see the light. I really hope so for the good of the game.

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The Cat NR1Posted on10:34 pm - Apr 16, 2015


http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/32340534
I see that Hearts have now officially joined Hibs.

It looks like the net is closing on Doncaster at last.
I can’t see him surviving this time, not with Budge and Dempster both on his case.

If someone competent takes charge of the SPFL as a replacement, it would be a good bridging point to launch an attack on the ultimate goal of reformation of the SFA. There must be an appetite amongst the 41 for change, now that the 5WA has failed to deliver any benefit to the game. The architects of the 5WA have to go and getting rid of ND is the first step to ousting Regan, Ogilvie and the whole (allegedly) corrupt cabal.

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parttimearabPosted on10:47 pm - Apr 16, 2015


The Cat NR1 says:
April 16, 2015 at 10:34 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/32340534

I see that Hearts have now officially joined Hibs.
==================================================
I don’t think any of us could have put it better than Leeann Dempster

“Sporting integrity is sporting integrity and must be applied equally to all clubs – and that is surely the job of the SPFL.”

View Comment

scapaflowPosted on10:58 pm - Apr 16, 2015


The Cat NR1 says:
April 16, 2015 at 10:34 pm
parttimearab says:
April 16, 2015 at 10:47 pm

Its good to see the SPFL wee boys club beginning to be dragged into the 21st Century. The wee boys in the SFA, will be looking at this and thinking “Feck, we’re next”

There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;

The sisterhood seem to be riding this flood to great effect, and not just in football. More power to them!

Edit
Haywire says:
April 16, 2015 at 11:04 pm

FWIW I think Killie have a good case for the home game on the 25th. A big crowd at home, festival atmosphere, boost in revenue, should have been a no brainer for the SPFL!

View Comment

HaywirePosted on11:04 pm - Apr 16, 2015


theoldcourse says:
April 16, 2015 at 4:57 pm

I don’t know why the Kilmarnock chairman is so aggravated. It was always the case that some clubs would end up with an uneven number of home and away fixtures. The SPL have always acknowledged that and in fairness to them they do try and even the fixtures up over a two year period (not always possible with promotion and relegation). This has happened to Celtic on many occasions and I am sure other teams have been equally disadvantaged. Once again of course it pays to read the small print of the rules that you are happy to sign up to at the start of the season.

———————————————————————–

Old Coarse, I make no comment on your last sentence. For a minute there, I thought we’d be talking about Specsavers again. However, it is interesting to note that we are the only team in the League which will play 18 games at home and 20 away. Without being able to quote stats., I’m reasonably sure that, since the split came in, Killie have ended up playing 3 away games and 2 home on quite a regular basis. Then again, those ‘honest’ mistakes are supposed to level out over time I understand (but don’t believe)!
It also beggars belief that, for some arcane reason, Killie could not have a home game on the 25th April, despite requesting same, in order to celebrate their League win of fifty years ago.
As to Paulmac’s comment regarding Killie’s abstention on the Sevco love-in vote, for ‘Killie’ please substitute ‘Michael Johnston’. Mr. Johnston disregarded the wishes of most Kilmarnock supporters with a particularly obvious piece of sleight of hand on a poll of season ticket holders. This actually involved assuming that anybody who didn’t vote would have voted yes to Sevco!
I think that I can say with some reasonable degree of certainty that, if Jim Mann had been in the big chair at that time, there would have been no abstention and no approval of Sevco.

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Famous songPosted on11:18 pm - Apr 16, 2015


Sod the fixture list, or Doncaster’s immediate future. IIRC, he’s a signatory to the 5WA, and hence due a large payoff, and encomia. We can’t have the press mentioning that Sevco and Rangers are two of the five, can we?
I support an honest football team. We were founded in 1878. As I said to a Celtic fan of my acquaintance (I occasionally meet them), only last week, I wouldn’t lie about my own club’s history, I certainly wouldn’t lie about theirs.
At the end of this season, we may be:
1. Relegated as of right,
2. Consigned to playoffs, or
3. Good enough to finish above Cowdenbeath and Livingston.
If I were a Livi fan, I’d be apoplectic about the Sevco/Livi punishment dichotomy, but there you go. Not my fight.
As an Alloa chap, I can’t believe that we were forced to play a team that, at most or various times through the season, had dual ownership, solvency, and general can’t kick the ball straight issues.
I’m not a rich man, but I’d find the £5,500 if we didn’t have to play them next season. Let’s face it, four games you can’t take the grandweans to.
Scottish football needs, in addition to a strong Arbroath, a vision as to its twenty first century future.
Not its twentieth century past.

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ianagainPosted on11:47 pm - Apr 16, 2015


I think Leeann has maybe deduced from the way her former director at her previous club exited the SPL board that not every decision taken there was exactly done for the good of all the members.
I’ll leave it at that.
Knowing her she will follow through.

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scapaflowPosted on11:53 pm - Apr 16, 2015


The Daily Record is The Scottish Newspaper of the Year, scooped up a fair few awards, its a funny old world.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on11:58 pm - Apr 16, 2015


scapaflow says:
April 16, 2015 at 10:58 pm

The Cat NR1 says:
April 16, 2015 at 10:34 pm
parttimearab says:
April 16, 2015 at 10:47 pm

Its good to see the SPFL wee boys club beginning to be dragged into the 21st Century. The wee boys in the SFA, will be looking at this and thinking “Feck, we’re next”

There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;

The sisterhood seem to be riding this flood to great effect, and not just in football. More power to them!

__________________________________________________________

Perhaps coincidental.
But I believe the traditional greeting between ‘sisters’ is a kiss on the cheek.
They are therefore probably immune to the fraternal handshake greetings that are more the preserve of ‘men in good standing’.
Q. Could this fact in any way be related to the sudden outbreak of common sense and straight talking in the various boardrooms up and down scottish football?
A. I don’t know… but it’s not a hypothesis that I would be inclined to dismiss out of hand.

Just saying.
More power to their arms say I!

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ianagainPosted on12:04 am - Apr 17, 2015


Scapa

If the DR won an ABC minors badge it would be a seriously FD with world. To win a neeaper (well that’s what the keyboard came up with) award must have come from ? HEAT magazine? Go on gies a laugh who dunnit?

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scapaflowPosted on12:59 am - Apr 17, 2015


ianagain says:
April 17, 2015 at 12:04 am

The awards are presented by the Scottish Newspaper Society, which is the trade association of the Scottish Press. So its the press congratulating itself.

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AuldheidPosted on1:31 am - Apr 17, 2015


Haywire says:

April 16, 2015 at 11:04 pm

theoldcourse says:
April 16, 2015 at 4:57 pm

I don’t know why the Kilmarnock chairman is so aggravated. It was always the case that some clubs would end up with an uneven number of home and away fixtures. The SPL have always acknowledged that and in fairness to them they do try and even the fixtures up over a two year period (not always possible with promotion and relegation). This has happened to Celtic on many occasions and I am sure other teams have been equally disadvantaged. Once again of course it pays to read the small print of the rules that you are happy to sign up to at the start of the season.

———————————————————————–

Old Coarse, I make no comment on your last sentence. For a minute there, I thought we’d be talking about Specsavers again. However, it is interesting to note that we are the only team in the League which will play 18 games at home and 20 away. Without being able to quote stats., I’m reasonably sure that, since the split came in, Killie have ended up playing 3 away games and 2 home on quite a regular basis. Then again, those ‘honest’ mistakes are supposed to level out over time I understand (but don’t believe)!
It also beggars belief that, for some arcane reason, Killie could not have a home game on the 25th April, despite requesting same, in order to celebrate their League win of fifty years ago.
As to Paulmac’s comment regarding Killie’s abstention on the Sevco love-in vote, for ‘Killie’ please substitute ‘Michael Johnston’. Mr. Johnston disregarded the wishes of most Kilmarnock supporters with a particularly obvious piece of sleight of hand on a poll of season ticket holders. This actually involved assuming that anybody who didn’t vote would have voted yes to Sevco!
I think that I can say with some reasonable degree of certainty that, if Jim Mann had been in the big chair at that time, there would have been no abstention and no approval of Sevco.
=================
When the SPL Board were voting whether or not to appeal the LNS Decision Mr Johnstone was the first to vote not to.

As a reminder this was on basis of legal advice that could not have been given had the documents that told the full ebt story (not just the chapters that fitted the out come) been supplied.

See earlier blog and letter to Harper MacLeod. http://www.tsfm.scot/how-not-to-govern-scottish-football/

I think Mr J did Kille no favours.

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on2:11 am - Apr 17, 2015


On not televising football matches: I heard the subject raised on SSB and I think Keevin’s said football could not afford to turn its back on TV.

I take the view why does it have to be an either or?

Think out the box.

As a result of being fortunate enough to winter in the sun I subscribe to an Overseas Season Ticket with Celtic.

For that I get all matches over the Internet and up to 5 home games, subject to adequate notification, if I am at home. When I’m not my place is offered through the Foundation to someone who cannot afford the entry price. Everybody wins.

I get the OST at the concessionary rate equivalent of £250. It works out at around £6 per game for 40 games.

Compare that with what a normal ST costs for 18 home games – £25 a game plus travel etc.

Yet without those match day attendees even if they buy on the day rather than hold an ST I would have no game to watch.

If TV watchers could be weaned of the idea of watching cheaply (or in some cases for free on illegal streams) and an equilibrium found then there would be no need for a distinction.

If your club shows games on the net your ST covers the cost but the only way to watch is via Club TV or attend.

Of course that means clubs having their own TV channel but if doing so means giving supporters a choice in how they watch in the knowledge that they are all sharing the load of supporting then who really could complain about a price hike to watch on TV?

To encourage live attendance the current restriction that means only viewers outside the UK and Ireland can watch needs lifted with perhaps a 20 mile exclusion zone around the home ground and a lifting of the 3 to 5 black out that is supposed to encourage folk to go to matches (but don’t because they can watch the game in a pub around the corner – illegally probably) then why can it not be done?

Technology is well up to the task, its football thinking that has to catch up and barriers like the 3 to 5 blackout that are a relic of bygone days of on air broadcasting that need rethinking.

Sky is killing our game and we pay them to do it. Change our season to provide football content when the EPL isn’t (which will encourage attendance as well) and let each club deliver games to their supporters in a manner that suits but share costs and benefits and transform the way supporters support.

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AuldheidPosted on2:36 am - Apr 17, 2015


Danish Pastry says:

April 16, 2015 at 2:04 pm (Edit)

Barcabhoy says:
April 16, 2015 at 1:28

…There is a view that Sky would happily see Scottish football in the gutter enabling them to focus all resources on the English market whilst still generating 10% of revenues from Scotland
———

I’m hearing more and more the possibility of a Scottish football stream app. I take it many clubs have a match-day camera or two in place already. A match-day online programme that somehow gathered these streams and offered a couple of featured matches plus live replays of goals going in elsewhere, a sort of ‘Open All Cameras’, could be worth trying. Need not be over complicated, basic stuff, modest pricing, so as to appeal to the many not the few; start a pilot project, grow the concept if successful with play-on-demand features and emphasise the broad church of Scottish football not just the same old. An alternative, perhaps mostly aimed at exiles? I’d sign up.

Since English football is on at all sorts of odd times those who still need their EPL fix could get that in the pub on the way home from a regular 3pm kick off.

New thinking needed from a younger generation. Keevins and co just don’t get it at all, judging by last night’s dinosaur chat on SSB.
====================
Hoi

You.

Aye

You.

Less ageism pal. Yer talking to one of the first Silver Surfers here. 😀 😀 😀

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Danish PastryPosted on6:38 am - Apr 17, 2015


On the financial deals Scottish football enters into, 32min into last night’s Sportsound podcast Tom English asks the Alloa chairman about the TV deal for the playoffs. Tom asked him whether the deal was for (i) 3 years and (ii) whether or not the deal was £550,000 for all playoff matches for 3 years (not per year, but half a mill for all 3 years). He wasn’t able to reveal how much (why?) but if that is anywhere near accurate, well, you begin to wonder how those working on behalf of the leagues can justify this. Taking in to account the inconvience of being at the mercy of TV schedulers, is it really worth it? More than that amount could be lost via fans staying away.

It’s up there with funding gantries in order to show lower league matches featuring a certain newco club.

A cynic might say that those arranging these deals were acting more like placemen for TV companies, although I couldn’t possibly say something like that.

PS @Auldyin, that wiznae meant tae be ageist! Ah’m a bit o’ a silver fox masel 😉 But I can see whaur yer commin fae. Actually, Keevins (a proud techno & new media Luddite) had dismissed the idea out of hand the evening before without having even thought it through, he was too busy repeating his mantra about ‘All Sky and BT are interested in is Celtic v Rangers’. Gerry McCulloch pulled him up on that last night, well, pulled him up for talking down the the likes of St Johnstone & Ross County 😮

View Comment

upthehoopsPosted on7:24 am - Apr 17, 2015


Auldheid says:
April 17, 2015 at 2:11 am

On not televising football matches: I heard the subject raised on SSB and I think Keevin’s said football could not afford to turn its back on TV.
================================

My team has been handed an appalling set of post split fixtures all to suit TV. Despite that, me and my fellow fans have been exempted from the recent outpourings of media sympathy to fans over fixture scheduling. Anyway, personally I wish live TV coverage of the domestic game was restricted to the League and Scottish Cup finals.

View Comment

theredpillPosted on7:57 am - Apr 17, 2015


I don’t think any of us could have put it better than Leeann Dempster

“Sporting integrity is sporting integrity and must be applied equally to all clubs – and that is surely the job of the SPFL.”

62 0 Rate This

Mr law ell have you any comment,hello..hello Mr Lawelll

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Danish PastryPosted on8:48 am - Apr 17, 2015


@LawTop20: Due to uncover the dirty laundry of a national federation. CAS and national courts are both near. #patience

If only it was …

View Comment

HaywirePosted on9:06 am - Apr 17, 2015


Auldheid says:
April 17, 2015 at 1:31 am

Haywire says:

April 16, 2015 at 11:04 pm

theoldcourse says:
April 16, 2015 at 4:57 pm

I think that I can say with some reasonable degree of certainty that, if Jim Mann had been in the big chair at that time, there would have been no abstention and no approval of Sevco.
=================
When the SPL Board were voting whether or not to appeal the LNS Decision Mr Johnstone was the first to vote not to.

As a reminder this was on basis of legal advice that could not have been given had the documents that told the full ebt story (not just the chapters that fitted the out come) been supplied.

I think Mr J did Kille no favours.

———————————————————–

Spot on Auldheid!

To say that Mr. J. did Killie no favours is a candidate for understatement of the year!

You mention legal advice in relation to the LNS debacle. Interesting to note that Mr. J. is a solicitor in his day job.

His stance on the Sevco vote was reflected in the way he was pilloried by Killie fans through most of the 2012/3 season. I mostly attend away games,so I cannot speak for what happened at Rugby Park, but I recall a game at Firhill when virtually the whole of the Killie support stood to tell him what they thought of him when he appeared at the start of both halfs. Some supporters of other clubs may also remember the banners which appeared at most away games, “WE SAID NO!!”

Needless to say, precious little of these protests was reported by the SMSM.

View Comment

rabtdogPosted on9:09 am - Apr 17, 2015


The Daily Record has lost more than half its circulation since the millennium. The print version may bottom out and survive, or not. The online version is a different issue. The business overall needs all the help it can get, hence its fondness for ‘awards ceremonies’ that actually function as marketing devices. David Conn is a football journalist; Keith Jackson is a salesman with a limited world view a great deal of misplaced self-esteem.

View Comment

RobbypPosted on9:12 am - Apr 17, 2015


Auldheid, may I ask you a question about the Overseas Season Ticket with Celtic? Does access to the games via the internet apply to all games, domestic league, cup and European matches or is it, like the Celtic TV package restricted to domestic games but not European ties?

View Comment

bluPosted on9:23 am - Apr 17, 2015


rabtdog says:
April 17, 2015 at 9:09 am

The Daily Record has lost more than half its circulation since the millennium. The print version may bottom out and survive, or not. The online version is a different issue. The business overall needs all the help it can get, hence its fondness for ‘awards ceremonies’ that actually function as marketing devices. David Conn is a football journalist; Keith Jackson is a salesman with a limited world view a great deal of misplaced self-esteem.

Indeed rabtdog, it’s a shame Conn hasn’t got into this story, it’s much more his area of expertise than Alex Thomson’s.

View Comment

TheClumpanyPosted on9:26 am - Apr 17, 2015


Morning All

I see the EBT-receiving (£2.49m) ex-captain of creditor-stiffing dead RFC has treated us to an outraged missive about ‘sporting integrity’ (sic – and I certainly *was* after reading it) in the Daily Revisionist this morning.

http://t.co/V8mCo7BsLe
“Barry Ferguson: If league had of been so worried about ‘sporting integrity’ back in 2008 then Rangers might have given Scotland a European trophy”

He complains vehemently about Rangers having to play eight games in 20 days and “yet the SPL wouldn’t extend the season by a few days”.

Residents of Planet Earth will remember that the league was indeed extended in 2008, finishing on that traditional domestic footballing party day of Thursday.

It’s a shame that financial doping, EBTs, side letters, and an *actual* extension to the season didn’t result in Rangers winning a European trophy. Nae luck Barry!

At least he doesn’t have to blame

* playing an abysmally negative style of ‘anti-football’; and

*coming up against a much better team on the day

…for losing that UEFA Final.

And finally… Does anyone buy the assertion that Rangers would have won that UEFA Cup “for Scotland”?! The manner in which the late Ibrox club conducted itself for the final 20 years of its existence would seem to suggest they were only out for themselves: winning WHATEVER it took…

It’s fair to say that articles like Barry Ferguson’s make me seriously question my…errr…long-standing sympathy for the plight of Rangers and its… errr… “same club” successor.

Have a Clumptastic Thursday!

PS Anyone know how Clyde FC are getting on? Barry? BARRY?!

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AllyjamboPosted on9:47 am - Apr 17, 2015


Haywire says:
April 17, 2015 at 9:06 am

I mostly attend away games,so I cannot speak for what happened at Rugby Park, but I recall a game at Firhill when virtually the whole of the Killie support stood to tell him what they thought of him when he appeared at the start of both halfs. Some supporters of other clubs may also remember the banners which appeared at most away games, “WE SAID NO!!”

Needless to say, precious little of these protests was reported by the SMSM.
_________________________

Compare and contrast with the (very sympathetic) media coverage given to the many protests by TRFC supporters! Of course, a protest against a Rangers/TRFC supporter, Johnstone, would be viewed by many, the succulent lambs in particular, as a protest against TRFC – can’t have that reported now, can we?

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AllyjamboPosted on9:58 am - Apr 17, 2015


From Pie and Bovril via jamboskickback:

“Sports Direct force Rangers to ‘launch’ new kit early

The Rangers & Sports Direct saga took another twist today when Mike Ashley’s company forced Rangers to ‘launch’ their 2015/2016 kit significantly earlier than the Club would normally do so.

The Newcastle United tycoon and major Rangers shareholder’s website this morning put out next season’s Puma kit as a pre-order, forcing Rangers to similarly launch it on the Club’s official Twitter account, but it can only be pre-ordered through Sports Direct’s own site, rather than the Rangers Megastore.

The latter has been well and truly ‘trumped’ by this sneaky move, with links on the official site pertaining to the new kit, but only linking to the current season’s gear.

Sports Direct have caught Rangers cold.

The only place to pre-order, ridiculously, is Ashley’s outlet.

Interim chairman Paul Murray has been on record as saying Rangers are happy to work with Ashley, but this move is yet another twist which suggests a partnership between the two bodies is astoundingly remote, not including the fact Ashley refuses to meet with the board on any level.”

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stevoPosted on10:16 am - Apr 17, 2015


The last time Kilmarnock had uneven fixtures was in 2011-12 when they had 20 home and 18 away games. The last time for Motherwell was in 2009-10 when they had 18 home and 20 away. This is probably why the outstanding Kilmarnock-Motherwell fixture was swapped.

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TBKPosted on10:19 am - Apr 17, 2015


Allyjambo:
April 17, 2015 at 9:58 am

…….. I’m not sure I understand? I thought Bike Mike had the merchandising deal stitched up in any case? That includes the so called ‘megastore’….

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neepheidPosted on10:29 am - Apr 17, 2015


TheClumpany says:
April 17, 2015 at 9:26 am
Morning All

I see the EBT-receiving (£2.49m) ex-captain of creditor-stiffing dead RFC has treated us to an outraged missive about ‘sporting integrity’ (sic – and I certainly *was* after reading it) in the Daily Revisionist this morning.

http://t.co/V8mCo7BsLe
“Barry Ferguson: If league had of been so worried about ‘sporting integrity’ back in 2008 then Rangers might have given Scotland a European trophy”

He complains vehemently about Rangers having to play eight games in 20 days and “yet the SPL wouldn’t extend the season by a few days”.

Residents of Planet Earth will remember that the league was indeed extended in 2008, finishing on that traditional domestic footballing party day of Thursday.

==============
Now wouldn’t you think that an award winning newspaper would check the factual accuracy of the articles they publish, even when the words come from the mouth of that paragon of sporting integrity, Barry Ferguson?

As a lad, I used to follow Clyde a lot. I don’t think I’d be following them now, with a manager who appears to have zero interest in his own team.

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ecobhoyPosted on10:32 am - Apr 17, 2015


We now have a situation where it has been reported that a default has taken place wrt the conditions governing the £5 million loan from SD to TRFCL. A default could unleash cataclysmic financial consequences for Rangers in the blink of an eye.

It has been argued that SD doesn’t want to be left holding the baby in terms of blame for pulling the plug on Rangers. I could go along with that to an extent especially if there is any semblance of a plan or even just an idea to create a bigger footfall in football ownership or whatever.

But if SD don’t push the button when does DK start thinking they’re only bluffing and won’t really follow through?

It’s a good question and obviously TRFCL and SD have already thought of it and provided a get-out clause with:

12.1 No obligation to recover

Neither the Chargee (SD) nor any Receiver is under any obligation to take action to collect any money or enforce any rights comprised in the Charged Assets whether or not it is in possession of the relevant Charged Assets.

So we now know that a default under the loan doesn’t automatically mean anything untoward will happen to Rangers at least from SD.

I note Phil’s latest blog suggests that some people at Ibrox won’t be getting paid this month which leads me to think: ‘What happens next?’. Well SD seems to have every asset barring Ibrox tied-up and who knows whether Ibrox is tied-up or not. But the point I’m making is that there’s probably nothing in the cupboard for any creditor to claim.

Leaving Ibrox aside there’s not a halfpenny an Administrator or Liquidator can lay their hands on. Nothing! Zilch! Nada! There are no assets to sell to anyone because SD have them all tied-up and Administration or Liquidation won’t break their hold.

So IMO anyone that supplies services or goods to Rangers on anything other than a COD basis needs their heads examined. I only hope HHMRC is well aware of the situation because they could end-up being the biggest creditor in the event of any collapse and this time there won’t even be scraps to sell-off.

The Public Purse could be facing another emptying down the Ibrox gutters before long I fear.

I simply don’t see anyone lending money, investing, or buying shares in Rangers unless they have a deep-rooted emotional connection. And even if they have: How much can they afford to throw away? None of this makes any sense unless there’s a deeply-laid plan waiting to be unfolded. I won’t call it a Blueprint because I don’t know whether the architect is a RRM or not.

Should the crunch come – it will come quickly and the mechanisms are already in place in the agreement between TRFCL and SD. I am using the clauses from the IP Rights Agreement:

18.2 Immediate recourse

The Chargor (TRFCL) waives any right it may have of first requiring the Chargee (SD) to proceed against or enforce any other rights or security or claim payment from any person before enforcing this Security.

8. WHEN SECURITY BECOMES ENFORCEABLE (Chargor means TRFCL and Chargee means SD)

8.1 Timing

This security shall become immediately enforceable if a Default occurs {except where the Default is a failure by the Chargor to comply with the Secured Obligations when it only becomes immediately enforceable if the Default has continued for more than 7 days}

8.2 Enforcement
After this Security has become enforceable:

8.2.1 the Chargee may in its absolute discretion enforce all or any part of this Security in any manner it sees fit; and
8.2.2 The Chargor shall cease using the Intellectual Property Rights immediately.

9.2 Chargee’s powers on enforcement

Immediately upon this Security becoming enforceable or at any time therafter the Chargee may do all or any of the following:

9.2.1 exercise the power of sale and all other powers conferred by section 101 of the Act as varied or extended by this Deed.

9.2.2 {subject to certain Sections of the Insolvency Act} appoint one or more persons as a receiver or receiver and manager of any Charged Assets; and

9.2.3 exercise all the powers conferred on a Receiver by this Deed, the Act and the Insolvency Act 1986 without first appointing a Receiver or notwithstanding the appointment of a receiver.

EDIT

I should have said that perhaps the play-off cash bonanza might be a pot of gold that a lot of creditors have their eyes on laying claim to.

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bfbpuzzledPosted on10:47 am - Apr 17, 2015


I thought TRFC had sold the jerseys a long time ago. There is still the tendency to confuse punishment with consequence. All we have here is consequence of a commercial contract albeit one deriving from what might be called asymmetric negotiating positions. The use of emotive language to describe that contract’s provisions ignores the fact that the parties are volunteers. If one blows tens of millions getting to the second tier of Scottish Football no complaint should be made when the big money runs out for the second time. They are the authors of their own misery. The ECT of liquidation has not worked and that is a pity but do not insult our intelligence with cries of victimhood.

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ecobhoyPosted on10:51 am - Apr 17, 2015


TBK says:
April 17, 2015 at 10:19 am

Allyjambo:
April 17, 2015 at 9:58 am

…….. I’m not sure I understand? I thought Bike Mike had the merchandising deal stitched up in any case? That includes the so called ‘megastore’….
——————————————————————
A thought that crosses my mind is that TRFCL is still entitled to 25% of the Rangers Retail profits. It’s not a lot but in current circumstances every penny becomes a prisoner.

I thought SD now employed all Megastore staff and controlled the operation as if it was one of his stores which it might well be. I really don’t see many Bears pre-ordering the kit anyway.

But Ashley could be sticking it on the website and advertising it as a litmus test to see how low his ‘stock’ in terms of Rangers fans has gone.

No doubt he will be reassured by the flood of orders and inquiries from the ‘obsessed’ and I don’t mean the Bear ones 😆 🙄 😆

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TBKPosted on10:55 am - Apr 17, 2015


ecobhoy:
April 17, 2015 at 10:51 am

my thoughts too!

Interesting if you read …….
“8.2.2 The Chargor shall cease using the Intellectual Property Rights immediately.” in the context of Allyjambo post at 9:58 am.

Now I’m not suggesting for a minute that it is the current situation…. but it is plausible!

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woodsteinPosted on10:57 am - Apr 17, 2015


TheClumpany says:
April 17, 2015 at 9:26 am
————————————————————–
As you say:-

“The 2007–08 Scottish Premier League season was the tenth season of the Scottish Premier League. It began on 4 August 2007 and was originally due to end on 18 May 2008. Due to the death of Phil O’Donnell and extremely poor weather causing the postponement of fixtures during the winter, as well as a backlog of Rangers fixtures and their progression to the UEFA Cup Final, the SPL decided to move the final round of fixtures forward four days to 22 May 2008] It was the first season under the sponsorship of the Clydesdale Bank.”

PS Barry, I found that in 5 seconds.

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ecobhoyPosted on11:07 am - Apr 17, 2015


bfbpuzzled says:
April 17, 2015 at 10:47 am

I thought TRFC had sold the jerseys a long time ago.
—————————————————–
Nope. Up until 27 January 2015 they had 51% of Rangers Retail Ltd entitling them to 51% of the profits afaik. That fell to 25% because of the securities granted to SD by TRFCL in return for a £5 million loan.

I note your comment: ‘The use of emotive language to describe that contract’s provisions ignores the fact that the parties are volunteers.’

I don’t know whether you refer to my language or someone else. But if mine please let me know as I don’t believe I have used emotive language but looked at the contract and tried to see how various scenarios might be impacted by it.

As to ‘volunteers’ well in the army everyone’s a ‘volunteer’ and that’s what has to be remembered. Volunteers aren’t always willing but have no other choice.

And I think that’s the issue that angers a lot of Bears because they claim there were valid and better choices available that the Rangers Board chose to ignore in favour of Sd and MASH as well IIRC.

They may well be right – I just don’t know although it may well be that determination of the issue might well be decided in court.

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TartanwulverPosted on11:09 am - Apr 17, 2015


blu says:
April 17, 2015 at 9:23 am

… it’s a shame Conn hasn’t got into this story, it’s much more his area of expertise than Alex Thomson’s.
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I made a few attempts way back in the Rangers story to interest David Conn in what was going on, but he didn’t bite. In all fairness, however, he was taking on Ken Bates at Leeds, which was probably enough aggravation in any journalist’s life without adding irate bears to the mix.

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ecobhoyPosted on11:13 am - Apr 17, 2015


TBK says:
April 17, 2015 at 10:55 am

ecobhoy:
April 17, 2015 at 10:51 am

my thoughts too!

Interesting if you read …….
“8.2.2 The Chargor shall cease using the Intellectual Property Rights immediately.” in the context of Allyjambo post at 9:58 am.

Now I’m not suggesting for a minute that it is the current situation…. but it is plausible!
——————————————————–
If you look at the kit you will see that the badge used is the badge I keep banging-on about viz the one that doesn’t appear to be trademarked anywhere.

It doesn’t even appear in the schedule of badges and crests contained in the contract documentation between TRFCL and SD wrt the £5 million loan.

It’s a real puzzler for me because I know SD wouldn’t use the badge on kit it sold without either owning the badge or having a licence to use it.

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