Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?

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Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No Independent Enquiry?

SR No

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT Never?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fit and Proper Person and Absence of Governance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT Rangers were a mess financially everybody new that

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

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

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

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

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

SR We didn’t fail.

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

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

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

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

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

SR Well I think the articles

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

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

AT ??  (Interrupted)

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

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

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

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

The Nature of EBTS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT Sometimes

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

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

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

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

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

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

If Carlsberg did irony!

End of Interview.

The Hard Not to Believe Conclusions

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

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

The reader will find it hard not to conclude that either

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

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

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

Annex One – Extracts from Lord Nimmo Smith Decision

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

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

 

Outline of the Scheme

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

Auldheid  Feb 2015

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Auldheid author

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

5,190 Comments so far

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jimlarkinPosted on10:07 pm - Apr 17, 2015


Cluster One says:
April 17, 2015 at 8:50 pm
Stewart Regan claims there’s no timescale on Dave king being approved to take charge of rangers.

Regan ADDED “Rangers have not submitted their list of Directors yet.

Is there a rule that a club has to submit their list of Directors in a set time frame, or are all clubs in general given no timescale to submit a list of Directors to the SFA 😕

………………..

Depends on if it is a club or company and also, depends which particular entity you mean.

For example…the fact that Mr Paul Murray has to be judged as fit and proper by the SFA to sit on a company (or club) board, and is already on a board but has not been deemed as fit and proper yet !!!

What this means in practice is “the Bryson rule” for board members

…how could we deem them NOT to be fit and proper
…if the club/company did NOT send us any evidence to base our decision on…and we have been waiting…and waiting…and waiting…you know how slow the postal system is

(Look how long the SFA letter of apology to Charles Green took to arrive at Ibrox, the day before Christmas…)

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Not The Huddle MalcontentPosted on10:30 pm - Apr 17, 2015


justshatered says:
April 17, 2015 at 9:22 pm
I don’t know fans of any club who like the current TV deal.

————————–

maybe the SFA should step up and block Sky and BT broadcasting games from the EPL into Scotland when we have games on….and instead of giving fans the option of watching an EPL game or going to a SPFL game, then the option is….going to the SPFL game and cancelling your sky subscription as you can’t get to see most of the live games up in Scotland.

They have the ability to do it…..maybe then Sky will realise the value of the Scottish customer base and give something back to the Scottish game for the monthly subscriptions it receives.

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gunnerbPosted on11:23 pm - Apr 17, 2015


Can anyone tell me if a gardener’s contract includes a bonus for nicely mowed lawns or even promotion to the top tier of Scottish professional football.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on1:53 am - Apr 18, 2015


Not The Huddle Malcontent says:
April 17, 2015 at 10:30 pm

justshatered says:
April 17, 2015 at 9:22 pm
I don’t know fans of any club who but like the current TV deal.

————————–

Sorry… and God knows no disrespect intended, but this does sound like the type of shifting the rules half way through that we berate TRFC for?
How about we accept the idiots in charge did a half assed job and saddled us with a pig in a poke (like Hearts did), graciously accept the encumberances they lumbered us with (like Hearts did) and move on intelligently from there (like Hearts did) with people in charge who are up to the job in hand (like Hearts did) taking our lessons learned into any future negotiations…. rather than cryin like weans over spilt milk after you threw your toys out of the pram… like The Rangers did.

I am not a Hearts fan.
But I am becoming a Hearts admirer.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on2:21 am - Apr 18, 2015


Resin_lab_dog says:
April 17, 2015 at 8:47 pm

ecobhoy says:
April 17, 2015 at 8:36 pm

_______________________________________

I would also add that it seems to me that sometimes you get a disproportionate quantity of entirely unwarranted TD eco for the considered, reasonable and more often than not correct opinions you express.
Shouldn’t imagine that this bothers you for a second, but imo this shows you must be upsetting all the right people.
Keep calm and carry on!
imo its a sign you are doing something that is both necessary and right.
Thankyou therefore.

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oddjob

oddjobPosted on8:55 am - Apr 18, 2015


Justshatered says

April 17 2015 @ 9.22pm

I agree. No consideration is given to travelling fans. Last week I watched the ICT V celtic game on tv. 17 minutes into the game, the camera focused on fans outside the ground, queuing to get in. Mind you, there was an earlier warning of roadworks on the A9.The travelling ICT fans will no doubt face the same problem tomorrow.

Celtic fans travel from all over the UK and Ireland each week to matches. I wonder when, for example, fans from Donegal have to leave home to arrive at any ground in Scotland for an early kick off? With a 3 o’clock kick off they could just about make it, if they got to Larne in time for the first ferry to Cairnryan.

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Tartanwulver

TartanwulverPosted on9:20 am - Apr 18, 2015


Having been very critical of very many of the actions taken by the Rangers’ representatives over the past few years, it’s only fair to commend Stuart McCall’s recent performance. In the strict team managerial sense, he seems to have done a fair job of giving a greater sense of cohesion to the team, even if not having set the heather on fire with his results. But in the wider sense, he is the first person in ages at Ibrox to act with actual dignity, rather than the puffed-up pomposity or agenda-driven malevolence we have seen from so many others. His recent pronouncements, such as that Vuckic should only dive when he is in a swimming pool, or adding his weight to the call for all the final fixtures to be played at the same time, are the sorts of straightforward common sense that has been sadly lacking in recent years from Ibrox. He seems to have a sense of the bigger picture, beyond the confines of the Rangers bubble. And I assume he’s not on the level of wages paid the the team’s official gardeners.

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ecobhoyPosted on9:34 am - Apr 18, 2015


Cluster One says:
April 17, 2015 at 8:50 pm

Stewart Regan claims there’s no timescale on Dave king being approved to take charge of rangers.

Regan ADDED “Rangers have not submitted their list of Directors yet.

Is there a rule that a club has to submit their list of Directors in a set time frame, or are all clubs in general given no timescale to submit a list of Directors to the SFA 😕
————————–
Depends on if it is a club or company and also, depends which particular entity you mean.

For example…the fact that Mr Paul Murray has to be judged as fit and proper by the SFA to sit on a company (or club) board, and is already on a board but has not been deemed as fit and proper yet !!!
———————————————–
I think the most scathing attack ever on the SFA Fit & Proper Rules was written by Paul McConville and I would say it’s required reading because little, if anything, has changed in the SFA culture or mindset since it was penned:

https://scotslawthoughts.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/the-sfas-fit-and-proper-test-self-certification-for-football-clubs-a-farce-part-1-craig-whyte/

Paul’s piece starts with a taster of dark humour but soon reaches the strange subterannean levels inhabited the SFA mind-set:

Secretly recorded phone conversation between the SFA and the new Chairman of Dukla Pumpherston of the Scottish First Division:-

SFA – Is that Mr Hannibal Lecter? This is the SFA calling.

Lecter – Hold on, just finishing my dinner, these fava beans and chianti are delicious…how can I help you?

SFA – Just wanted to make sure you are a fit and proper person to take over Dukla.

Lecter – OK. What do you need from me?

SFA – Just sign the form to say that you are fit and proper and pop it in the post to us.

Lecter – And then you will meet to consider it?

SFA – No. As long as you tell us that you are fit and proper, then that’s you in!

Lecter – Thank you very much!

Call ends

And Paul thows in a pub quiz question as well and if you read the post you’ll get the answer:

What do the following have in common – The unicorn, Pandora’s Box, Brigadoon, the SFA “fit and proper” test, Theseus and the Minotaur?

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ecobhoyPosted on9:40 am - Apr 18, 2015


And then Part 2 of Paul’s Epistle to the Hampden Barbarians – with due apology to the actual Barbarians of course 😆

The SFA’s “Fit and Proper” Test – A Farce? Part 2 – Dave King and Paul Murray – Bad News for the Blue Knights?

https://scotslawthoughts.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/the-sfas-fit-and-proper-test-a-farce-part-2-dave-king-and-paul-murray-bad-news-for-the-blue-knights/

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ecobhoyPosted on10:10 am - Apr 18, 2015


Tartanwulver says:
April 18, 2015 at 9:20 am

Having been very critical of very many of the actions taken by the Rangers’ representatives over the past few years, it’s only fair to commend Stuart McCall’s recent performance. In the strict team managerial sense.
——————————————————————
I meant to post something on this myself. I have to say that when I heard McCall interviewed before/after Rangers last game he was asked about the SPFL play-off shambles.

He clearly stated that Rangers hadn’t requested it. That it was unfair and he didn’t agree with it because it could provide an unfair advantage. And I think he added that if rangers had been disadvantaged then he too would have been annoyed by the lack of fairness.

I have to say those statements showed the mettle of the man and he should be applauded for them. Despite his employment future being unclear he didn’t shirk from answering the hard questions – All of our National politicians have much to learn from that honesty and approach.

His handling of Vuckic I thought was superb – humour can often be more effective when taking people down a peg or two and ensuring they get the message.

On that basis I wish McColl well as long as he retains his principles no matter what club or team he is involved with.

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on10:10 am - Apr 18, 2015


ecobhoy says:

April 18, 2015 at 9:34 am

Cluster One says:
April 17, 2015 at 8:50 pm

Stewart Regan
—————–
Thanks for reply. I will read the SFA Fit & Proper Rules was written by Paul McConville later on today. Thanks again

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on10:44 am - Apr 18, 2015


Could TRFC be a King squirrel?

As has been noted here, and elsewhere, we haven’t seen or heard much of Dave King since his triumphal march to power. He was, as we nearly all predicted, all promise and no (as yet) delivery.

Until his intervention, TRFC faced a safe, but unspectacular, future under the Ashley placemen on the board. Without the promise of huge investment in the club, King wouldn’t have stood an earthly of getting into the Blue Room, even without someone as powerful as Ashley to usurp.

Money, and big money at that, is clearly needed in a hurry, yet none has come from King, and the longer it goes without arriving, the greater the risk that there’ll be no TRFC to receive it if it eventually does arrive!

So just why did King make his assault on the board and shoehorn himself into an, as yet uncrowned, role as King of Ibrox?

Could it be, that in a similar way the PR gurus around the club have used squirrels to cover impending bad news, King is using TRFC as a very public squirrel for some other scheme?

Almost since the saga began, Dave has been accepted as a Real Rangers Man, but is he a real Real Rangers Man, or just someone who supports Rangers and looks good in a suit and brogues? We know he ‘invested’ £20m in Rangers and apparently lost it, but, knowing what is known now about the Murray years, could it be that the £20m, although processed through Rangers, actually ended up somewhere else in the Murray empire, or was meant to end up somewhere else? Could Dave (King) have been duped?

We know that King uses that investment ‘glibly’ to prove his RRM credentials, but we know that money moved from MIH to Rangers to reduce the club’s debt, so is there any reason to assume that an ‘investment’ in Rangers wasn’t intended, at least, to move the other way, to a home much more suited to the money of a serial investor?

We know DK loves TRFC (Rangers) so much that he can’t make the time to watch them whenever he jets in – how many of us would do the same if we were in town on the day of a match? How many of us, if we were in town the day before a match, and had the power over our time that being a multi-millionaire brings, wouldn’t hang around an extra 24 hours to take in the match?

It just doesn’t ring true, loving a football club enough to sink millions of pounds into it, but not prepared to make the time, however busy your schedule, to watch the team play. As a PR exercise alone it must be worthwhile to be seen at the games! At best, he doesn’t seem interested in the football club, just the business, but, as a ‘Real Rangers Man’, everything goes unquestioned, by the supporters or the SMSM.

There would be no question that he was a genuine Rangers Man, in the best sense of the words (like I am a Real Hearts Man), if he lived up to his promises of huge investment very soon (before now). He’s finding excuses to not even trickle money in, leaving it to other, genuine, but less wealthy, Rangers Men to keep the club on life support.

A long time ago, my employers, a bank, came out with the catch phrase (the commercial world was really into them then, and perhaps still is) ‘promise long and deliver short’. It was one of the very few that actually made sense and had real value. The idea was, that when dealing with customers queries, to promise an answer within, say, two hours, and call back within half an hour, impressing the customer with our efficiency. Allied with the correct answer, the customer would feel good about our service.

King has done the opposite, he’s promised to deliver (and it was vital to deliver short), but that delivery, at best, will be long, perhaps too long!

So, I ask myself, what can King be up to? We have no way of knowing, of course, but one thing that comes to mind is that possibility I’ve mooted that it’s all a big squirrel. King wants someone (SARS? The SA press?) to keep watching TRFC/RIFC, while he carries out some totally unrelated transactions, above board in themselves, that he would prefer, or desperately needs, to keep under the radar. He’s a public figure, even in SA, where he has come under scrutiny by the financial press, who will, no doubt, be keeping any eye out for a story. King, while trying to appear to be publicity shy, uses publicity to create the aura of ‘investment genius’ to push his schemes. It must be important to him that many of his dealings remain out of the limelight. If the King Watchers’ gaze is diverted to his very public involvement with TRFC, he will be free, or perhaps count on being free, to carry out his business, move money, or whatever, as he likes.

It might be fanciful that a businessman would use a football club in this way, but much of what we have witnessed regarding TRFC (and RFC before them) would have been unbelievable if suggested by a blogger just three years ago. Many of those involved in the running of TRFC have proven to be men who’s own careers flirt, and sometimes cross, the line of legality or criminality. It’s doubtful getting involved with a football club from Govan changes that character fault!

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justshatered

justshateredPosted on10:45 am - Apr 18, 2015


Resin_lab_dog says:
April 18, 2015 at 1:53 am

“taking our lessons learned into any future negotiations” You have hit the nail on the head although unfortunately that is something that our people NEVER do.
Did they learn from the Setanta debacle……………. NO!
Did they have the foresight when entering into negotiations on ANY of the previous three contracts that the EPL and Championship would gradually sell more and more of their matches which would take prominence over the scheduling of our games…………….. NO!
Did they foresee the possibility of the league itself becoming more and more geographically larger with Ross County joining Inverness which would mean fans having to travel longer distances to attend games at bizarre times………….. NO!

As for “cryin like weans over spilt milk” well, as far as I know, there is a vote to extend this ludicrous contract coming up shortly so when would you suggest we raise this issue?
A week after we have committed to another two years of 7am rises or half days off work for the benefit of attending a crazily arranged fixture.

And, no disrespect meant to Hearts, but could you not also add like Livingstone did, like Dundee did (twice), like Motherwell did, and to go further back to the nineties like Hibs and Celtic did when they were in financial difficulties.

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on11:10 am - Apr 18, 2015


ecobhoy says:
April 18, 2015 at 10:10 am

Tartanwulver says:
April 18, 2015 at 9:20 am

I think Stuart McColl has shown that he is not an RRM, while showing the world what a Real Rangers Man should be, but isn’t!

Rather than to criticise Vuckic, McCoist, that realest of Real Rangers Man, would have produced a list of divers given to him by his players 🙄

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on11:29 am - Apr 18, 2015


Allyjambo says:
April 18, 2015 at 10:44 am
Could TRFC be a King squirrel?
==============================

My thoughts are that King (and other members of his family) are under scrutiny by the Financial Surveillance Unit of SARS & currently he simply cannot produce “clean” funds in Govan from SA.

He was required to return monies to SA that he had offshored during his “years of abstention”, so to provide funds from elsewhere (not to suggest that such funds exist) would lead to further investigations from the authorities.

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Methilhill Stroller

Methilhill StrollerPosted on11:34 am - Apr 18, 2015


Ally
I agree DCK might be using a smokescreen. But upsetting MA is not the way to go. Even if DCK wants to wait for SPL before putting money in might MA do the unthinkable (maybe?) and take action (s) to pull the administration plug a couple of days before the Hearts game? Leaves no time for anyone to find and move money and puts Falkirk in the play-offs.

Stranger things have happened as none of this makes sense but then MA or Sarver pick up the pieces and start again – this time sensibly (again maybe?).

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upthehoopsPosted on11:34 am - Apr 18, 2015


ecobhoy says:
April 18, 2015 at 10:10 am
=================================

Stuart McCall comes across to me as a really decent guy. I know people who have met him and they get the same impression. He has been refreshingly honest this week regarding the fixtures debacle and his player being booked for diving. So many other managers may have hidden behind officialdom or tried to claim ‘there was contact so it wasn’t a dive’. The trouble is though when managers criticise one of their own for diving it can come back to bite them, because a vital win, a cup, or a league championship could be secured in a future game by a player doing the same thing.

On the wider issue of diving I don’t think there can be a greater area of hypocrisy in the game these days, and most of us are guilty. Managers, players and fans rarely see their own players do it, but never miss an opponent. As for the media, highlighting a dive seems to depend on who the team or the player involved is.

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ecobhoyPosted on11:55 am - Apr 18, 2015


Jingso.Jimsie says:
April 18, 2015 at 11:29 am

Allyjambo says:
April 18, 2015 at 10:44 am
Could TRFC be a King squirrel?
=============================
He was required to return monies to SA that he had offshored during his “years of abstention”
——————————–
I have never been quite clear whether it was money or in fact businesses incorporated abroad but set-up with money from South Africa. It might even have been both.

There’s another problem that Sars will no doubt be watching with a beady eye. Where does someone only earning £5,000 a year for so long and who was on such a low income level he apparently applied to be de-registered for tax purposes manage to produce £30 million from.

Of course if he declared all assets in South Africa and abroad when doing a deal with Sars then there’s no problem. If he didn’t then there is a problem and I don’t mean with the SFA’s non-existant FPP ‘test’.

Speaking of which, I have no doubt that if a request to clear King and Murray is ever made to the SFA they will immediately form a Commission to make the decision. Washing of hands is a frequent activity in the Hampden executive toilets I believe.

No matter the decision arrived at the SFA will accept it. Of course I am sure that the evidence presented to the Commission wouldn’t be ‘slanted’ to favour a particular decision 😆

After all we have seen how the LNS Commission was duped through withheld evidence.

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JimmyBeeJayPosted on12:07 pm - Apr 18, 2015


I totally agree with AllyJambo! The length of time King has been out the country suggest to me that he is trying to move money about, whilst trying to avoid the tax man! I am very suspicious that he trying very hard for us all to look the other way, while he gets on with it?

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Silent PartnerPosted on12:13 pm - Apr 18, 2015


Jingso.Jimsie says:
April 18, 2015 at 11:29 am

An astute observation. I also believe this is the most significant issue for him.

Then again, he has always known this. 🙄

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DutchmulPosted on12:19 pm - Apr 18, 2015


Re dave king and the investment no show, if I remember correctly, dk doesn’t actually own the shares, is it not his family trust that bought them? Perhaps the trust is some sort of “tax efficiency” device related to his issues with SARS previously and perhaps maybe the source of the delay? or alternatively, he may have blundered badly and not realised the scale of the mess RIFC/TRFC are in and is now baulking at throwing cash into the money pit.

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Tartanwulver

TartanwulverPosted on12:21 pm - Apr 18, 2015


Does anyone know if Mr King is a South African citizen? Or is he classed as an immigrant but still liable for tax on money that he or his companies earn in South Africa?

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senior

seniorPosted on12:30 pm - Apr 18, 2015


Hi, Easy on the praise for McCall. I know you can be dammed with faint praise but with Sevco you can be dammed with genuine praise.

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yourhavingalaugh

yourhavingalaughPosted on12:44 pm - Apr 18, 2015


Can some one update me please, Dave King was investigated after buying a painting worth circa 140k (GBP) after declaring incorrect tax returns from 1990 to 2001,he also applied to be delisted from having to submit returns ,Mr Chips was onto him like a dog with a juicy bone, where I am puzzled is the £20 m GBP he invested in D Murrays Rangers ,was this not circa 2001, again if someone can enlighten me but to have that kind of loose change about after declaring earnings of 5000 rand per year for 11 years is more than a crock of gold at the end of a rainbow,it’s a miracle,let us in on the secret Dave.

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ecobhoyPosted on12:44 pm - Apr 18, 2015


Allyjambo says:
April 18, 2015 at 10:44 am

It might be fanciful that a businessman would use a football club in this way, but much of what we have witnessed regarding TRFC (and RFC before them) would have been unbelievable if suggested by a blogger just three years ago.
—————————————————-
I don’t think it’s fanciful in the least. Indeed IMO it happened with the same club many moons ago when DM was in control.

He was written-up in PR-style puff pieces in the SMSM as the finest entrepreneur and most successful businessman Scotland has ever produced and the model to which all young entrepreneurs should aspire to.

Well we all now know that was a load of magombe but is was soldily based on using Rangers as the ‘Poster Boy’ to prove how successful he was.

On field success was essential to bolster his business dealings and banking access IMO. It wasn’t to provide Bears with victories but to provide MIH with no holds barred access to unlimited money to ostensibly build a Business Empire that Scotland has never before seen.

No questions were asked by the SMSM about the business model – it was just assumed that like the team on the park it was successful because of the brilliant ‘players’.

No member of the SMSM asked the critical questions about the money supply and how it moved round the various companies. Of course none asked about the EBTs either.

The clues were there but no journo asked or followed through. There were 2 or 3 journos – long departed/retired – who did want to ask questions but soon realised the lay of the land.

They knew that another Scottish Entrepreneurial Showpiece – the Darien Adventure – had turned into a financial disaster had not only bankrupted Scotland but was possibly the major factor in the country being forced to seek a Union with England.

But no one had learnt from history and media eyes were on Rangers and it’s the same today. And again there has been no actual critical dissection of the inherent problems in the business model that runs like yawning financial chasm from DM to CW to a menagerie of Club Boards and colourful individuals who have followed on and collected generous donations along the road.

I was going to use ‘menage’ instead of ‘menagerie’ but then I realised that a ‘menage’ is a succesful business model and open to the full scrutiny of its members. The inbuilt rules also restrict the scale of any losses which occur if the organiser gets sticky-fingers.

Not that that has ever happened at Ibrox of course.

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ecobhoyPosted on1:28 pm - Apr 18, 2015


yourhavingalaugh says:
April 18, 2015 at 12:44 pm

Can some one update me please,
——————————————
You’ll find a lot of interesting stuff at link below and it’s a good starting point.

https://scotslawthoughts.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/south-africas-tax-authorities-v-dave-king-now-in-the-high-court-in-london/

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ecobhoyPosted on1:34 pm - Apr 18, 2015


Tartanwulver says:
April 18, 2015 at 12:21 pm

Does anyone know if Mr King is a South African citizen? Or is he classed as an immigrant but still liable for tax on money that he or his companies earn in South Africa?
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The link I gave to yourhavingalaugh above states: he is a UK Citizen but a long time resident in RSA.

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paulsatimPosted on1:39 pm - Apr 18, 2015


ecobhoy says:
April 18, 2015 at 9:34 am

And Paul thows in a pub quiz question as well and if you read the post you’ll get the answer:

What do the following have in common – The unicorn, Pandora’s Box, Brigadoon, the SFA “fit and proper” test, Theseus and the Minotaur?
=============================
As Toyah Willcox would shay, “Itsh a Mythtery”

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tykebhoy

tykebhoyPosted on2:12 pm - Apr 18, 2015


It looks like Falkirk, or perhaps more accurately woeful Hibs finishing, have gotten Doncaster et al out of jail WRT extending the season. Unless Falkirk pull off a miracle and get into the Championship play-offs and win that QF too.

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TrisidiumPosted on2:42 pm - Apr 18, 2015


Always feel gutted for the losing team in a semi, and no less so this time, particularly as Hibs contributed a great deal to the match.

Allan Stubbs must be shaking his head in disbelief, but despite their dominance, Hibs couldn’t take the chances they had manufactured despite an excellent Falkirk defence.

Congratulations to Falkirk though for their resilience. If the question of which championship team is likely to feature in the latter stages of the Scottish Cup had come up, I’m guessing that Falkirk’s name would scarcely have been mentioned. Great credit to them, and to Peter Houston. I knew Peter when he was a youngster, and despite his limitations as a footballer, he has come to prominence as a manager. His old man George will be proud fit to burst again.

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jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on3:41 pm - Apr 18, 2015


http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/a-loyal-general/#more-6182

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ecobhoyPosted on4:03 pm - Apr 18, 2015


When looking at investments in Rangers there’s a post on the UEFA European Cup Football Forum that throws-up some things which might not be generally known about:

http://kassiesa.net/uefa/forum/view.php?archive=2004.Q2&topic=20040508201838.xml

I have copied it in full and it’s a wee bit long so apologies. Also important because it was posted by a Rangers supporter 08-05-2004 who was worried about his club’s finances.

Back in April (18th to 20th) there was a discussion (Next Seasons CL Seeding) about the level of Rangers debt that everyone (including the Press in Scotland) seems to think is £68m. This is the figure that appears in the Rangers accounts as at 30 June 2003 BUT may not be the true figure! David Murray who owns the major shareholding in Rangers has set up a fairy complicated pyramid of companies which makes it more difficult to understand the true financial position but the facts are:-

1. 65% of Rangers FC plc (RFC) is owned by RFC Investments Ltd (RFCI).
2. 100% of RFCI is owned by Murray Sports Ltd (MSL).
3. MSL is owned by David Murray (DM).
4. DM also owns Murray International Holdings Ltd(MIH)

Because the turnover of MSL is identical to RFC we can take it that MSL does not include any other trading companies apart from those which make up RFC. Thus we need to look at the MSL accounts to see the true financial position.

Key facts from MSL Group Accounts as at 30 June 2003 (all figures in £millions):

1. Turnover for year 49.035 (up from 44.61)
2. Loss for year 29.61 (down from 45.74
3. Accumulated Losses 88.49
4. Shareholders Deficit 29.2
5. Net Debt 128.58 (up from 112.8)

The Shareholders Deficit figure has been arrived at despite:

1. Inclusion of Goodwill 17.41 (A departure from the Companies Act 1985)
2. Property Revaluations 62.30 (This is a cumulative figure)

Accumulated Trading Losses are thus in excess of £150m (88.49 + 62.3)

There is also a contingent liability not included in the above figures:

1. Deferred Interest 18.04

The deferred interest is very interesting – RFCI used to be part of Murray Group Holdings Ltd (MGH) but was demerged from that group and ownership of RFCI was transferred on 29 January 1999 to MSL. As part of that transaction MSL issued loan notes of £60m to MGH. MGH is a wholly owned subsidiary of MIH. Anyone looking at the accounts of MIH would not see the ownership of MGH and through that the “ownership” of the loan notes because the MIH accounts only list trading subsidiaries and MGH is not deemed to be a trading company. Thus MIH no longer owns RFC but instead MIH is owed £60m by MSL, which is payable if the shares, assets or business of RFCI or (more importantly) RFC is sold. In other words MIH has “converted” its 65% shareholding in RFC into a £60m asset although MIH has now restated the value of that asset to £52.96m.

It is often reported in the Press that with David Murray’s “vast empire of companies” RFC do not need to worry about the accumulated losses or net debt because David Murray’s group can always put more money into Rangers FC. It is not clear what funds have been “put in.” RFC losses have been supported by (1) property revaluations (2) sophisticated financial accounting (3) the ability to borrow.

RFC and in particular the ultimate owner of RFC (MSL) owe large sums which, if called upon to do so, could only be repaid by selling the property assets (mainly the stadium) assuming a buyer could be found and the Rangers support didn’t mind no longer having the stadium!

Key facts from MIH Group Accounts as at 31 January 2003 (all figures in £millions):

1. Turnover for year 266.49 (up from 221.47
2. Loss for year 8.96 (3.93 profit)
3. Accumulated Profit 23.03
4. Shareholders Funds 79.39
5. Net Debt 190.24 (up from 181.79

In arriving at the above figures 3 significant items are included by MIH:

1. Investment in RFCI 5.08
2. Goodwill and Intangibles 4.61
3. Loan Notes from MHL 52.96

If these were excluded the shareholders funds would be reduced to £16.74m

There is a contingent liability not included in the above figures:

Pension Scheme Shortfall 6.40

There is a further contingent liability of £139.89m in respect of guarantees to the bank in respect of borrowings by various subsidiaries.

To see the latest figures we will need to wait until 30 November 2004 for the 30 January 2004 Accounts.

So what is the net debt of Rangers? £68m per RFC accounts or £129m per MSL accounts or £190 per MIH accounts or £319m (that is £129m for MSL group and £190m for MIH group) being the cumulative net debt of David Murray’s companies?

Interestingly the total creditors figure for MSL + MIH is £417.231m. An analysis of the total creditors figure shows the level of bank borrowings:

Bank Loans 136.983
Bank Overdraft 100.448
Total 237.431

Of the £237m the overdraft (£100m) is payable on demand and £80m of the bank loans are payable within 5 years with £57m falling due after 5 years.

Sorry this is so long and I realise a lot of this will only make sense to accountants but it is important that the true facts are available. I am a Rangers supporter and very concerned about the finances of Rangers FC.

PS: I feel sorry for Stubbs but fair play to Falkirk simply because their finishing was clinical when it counted and they showed great patience and determination in weathering the Hibs earlier onslaught. I really wonder how this will affect Hibs in the play-offs as they seem to fail at crunch moments?

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ThomTheThim

ThomTheThimPosted on4:11 pm - Apr 18, 2015


Poor Hibs could have done with Leigh Griffiths today.

They are a good team up to the striking department.

It may be an ill wind though, as they can turn their full attention on promotion.

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ecobhoyPosted on4:13 pm - Apr 18, 2015


jean7brodie says:
April 18, 2015 at 3:41 pm

http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/a-loyal-general/#more-6182
———————————————————-
Nice to see that Phil agrees with my recent posts that Ashley isn’t likely to press the execution button because of a default in the loan conditions.

Sorry Phil I couldn’t resist that one 😆

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upthehoopsPosted on4:33 pm - Apr 18, 2015


ecobhoy says:
April 18, 2015 at 4:03 pm

PS: I feel sorry for Stubbs but fair play to Falkirk simply because their finishing was clinical when it counted and they showed great patience and determination in weathering the Hibs earlier onslaught. I really wonder how this will affect Hibs in the play-offs as they seem to fail at crunch moments?
============================

I watched that game today. If ever a reminder was needed that the only statistic that matters is the final scoreline that game provided it.

PS I’m guessing Neil Doncaster is rather pleased at the final scoreline as well.

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gerrybhoy67Posted on4:44 pm - Apr 18, 2015


ecobhoy says:
April 18, 2015 at 4:03 pm
Eco I commend you on having not only this kind of information in your database but also the fact that you can remember you had!There has been so much information and scandals coming to light it’s very hard to remember everything let alone a piece 11 years ago.
The people who are paid to write sports stories for Scottish newspapers really should hang their heads.

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ecobhoyPosted on5:25 pm - Apr 18, 2015


gerrybhoy67 says:
April 18, 2015 at 4:44 pm
ecobhoy says:
April 18, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Eco I commend you on having not only this kind of information in your database but also the fact that you can remember you had!
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I’ve got to be honest – it was in Google’s database 😆

But what took me there was a post earlier today by yourhavingalaugh and his mention of DK’s investment into ‘Rangers’. It had crossed my mind earlier today when I linked a couple of posts from scotslawthoughts. And I remembered it was another puzzle that I had never quite tracked down.

A couple of times over the years I began the task but my attention was always diverted. However in trying to stay out of the pub today despite a drouth from a lock-in last night I started having a look yet again at the details.

I now remember why I gave up before as it’s complex – I’m not even sure it takes us anywhere but it niggles away at me so we’ll see where we go as long as nothing else titillates my memory.

Still I reckon after tomorrow – win, lose or draw – my remaining memory cells might fall victim to a chainsaw massacre so the regeneration might take a while 🙄

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Danish PastryPosted on7:11 pm - Apr 18, 2015


Sometimes a bit of self-awareness is helped by listening to others. Spotted these two comments about TSFM on twitter yesterday. Both tweets, I believe, from former posters whose input was once valued, but who’ve drifted away.

Some of it is, shall we say, just a tad verbose

Too many on TSFM have egos bigger than Dave King (and warchests probably)

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neepheid

neepheidPosted on7:20 pm - Apr 18, 2015


If there has been a default on the £5m loan, then the Ibrox board are in a difficult spot. Come payday, either somebody stumps up, or it’s curtains. The trouble is that Uncle Mike is sitting with a big red button on his remote, which allows him to immediately recall his loan, enforce his securities, and then it really is curtains. Plus whoever was generous/stupid enough to pony up for April’s wages becomes an instant loser.

The only answer is to pay off the £5m, but that was pretty obvious before the EGM. So what’s the King plan? Does he have one? Ashley doesn’t need a plan- he already holds all the aces.

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ecobhoyPosted on8:01 pm - Apr 18, 2015


More than One Poster with a BIG EGO on TSFM – I demand to know the names 😆

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incredibleadamspark

incredibleadamsparkPosted on8:02 pm - Apr 18, 2015


ecobhoy says:
April 18, 2015 at 12:44 pm
_________________________________________________________

Fantastic reference to the Darien Adventure. I’d never considered the parallels between it and recent events involving Scottish football, Rangers and Murray in general. I don’t know why as the Darien Scheme was over-ambitious, ill-conceived, poorly planned and executed, left share holders out of pocket and was, as you say, so financially ruinous it resulted in a change in leadership.

Reporting of the endeavour, which was an out-and-out disaster, was also deliberately played down by the newspapers of the day and the HQ of the Company of Scotland, responsible for the expedition, was in Edinburgh. I wonder if it was anywhere near what is now Charlotte Square?

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readceltPosted on8:02 pm - Apr 18, 2015


Bit of a sickener for my adopted town in the FA cup semi’s.

I was looking forward to a penalty shoot out and maybe, just maybe, a place in the final.
Then that shot from Sanchez corkscrewed through 3 defenders and the keepers legs.

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ianagain

ianagainPosted on8:07 pm - Apr 18, 2015


Danish Pastry says:

April 18, 2015 at 7:11 pm

Sometimes a bit of self-awareness is helped by listening to others. Spotted these two comments about TSFM on twitter yesterday. Both tweets, I believe, from former posters whose input was once valued, but who’ve drifted away.

Some of it is, shall we say, just a tad verbose

Too many on TSFM have egos bigger than Dave King (and warchests probably)
====================================================

Interesting viewpoint I guess we need to remember the bard.

wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion:
What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
An’ ev’n devotion!

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ecobhoyPosted on8:21 pm - Apr 18, 2015


neepheid says:
April 18, 2015 at 7:20 pm

If there has been a default on the £5m loan, then the Ibrox board are in a difficult spot. Come payday, either somebody stumps up, or it’s curtains. The trouble is that Uncle Mike is sitting with a big red button on his remote, which allows him to immediately recall his loan, enforce his securities, and then it really is curtains. Plus whoever was generous/stupid enough to pony up for April’s wages becomes an instant loser.

The only answer is to pay off the £5m, but that was pretty obvious before the EGM. So what’s the King plan? Does he have one? Ashley doesn’t need a plan – he already holds all the aces.
——————————————————-
I’ve said from Day 1 that it all boiled down to whether DK has the lolly and whether he will put it in. I’m still not sure what the answers to that are.

If he didn’t have the money then why oh why go down this road? It could only end in disaster and cause even more Bears to walk away.

As to having any plan IMO it could only be to force Ashley into pushing that red button but I’m not sure how that benefits DK or even the current Board because every asset except possibly Ibrox is removed and there’s nothing for any creditor. But what is there for DK?

In any case the egm was 6 March and yet the loan document was signed on 27 January and a Regulatory Announcement made to AIM on the broad conditions which revealed the assets secured.

I don’t think the IP Rights were specifically mentioned IIRC but it shouldn’t have been beyond the wit of the RRM to think they probably would be.

Even if they didn’t work that out the Security Charge Documents which revealed all the details including IP Rights were filed at Companies House on 10/11 February – three weeks before the egm.

I the RRM weren’t aware of that filing and the consequences then they shouldn’t be running a stall at Ra Barras IMO. If they were aware and ignored it and didn’t have the money to pay-off the £5 million immediately then why oh why did they carry on and not just run the white flag up at that point and walk away.

If it’s all simply down to Rangeritis then that condition is even more dangerous and deadly than I previously thought.

The Heavens are being scanned for the arrival of the plane carrying the cargo cult goods – but so far the blue skies over Ibrox remain clear and the forecast isn’t very favourable – in fact it’s bleak.

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ecobhoyPosted on8:30 pm - Apr 18, 2015


readcelt says:
April 18, 2015 at 8:02 pm

Bit of a sickener for my adopted town in the FA cup semi’s.

I was looking forward to a penalty shoot out and maybe, just maybe, a place in the final.
Then that shot from Sanchez corkscrewed through 3 defenders and the keepers legs.
——————————————————–
I watched it on telly and a brave attempt. You can’t help but feel for the keeper after playing a stormer as well.

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Madbhoy24941Posted on8:55 pm - Apr 18, 2015


ecobhoy says:

April 18, 2015 at 8:01 pm

More than One Poster with a BIG EGO on TSFM – I demand to know the names

————————–

I think that was typo, it should have read ‘with a big ECO’…..

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ecobhoyPosted on9:01 pm - Apr 18, 2015


The Clumpany ‏@TheClumpany 23h23 hours ago

I like TSFM a lot, but I think I was made for the shorter form of the Clumping game. 140 characters is much easier than whole paragraphs…
2 retweets 11 favorites
campsiejoe ‏@campsiejoe 23h23 hours ago

@TheClumpany Some of it is, shall we say, just a tad verbose

I certainly don’t see any big problem with any of these tweets. Indeed in context compared to a tweet character count possibly the vast majority of TSFM posts are ‘verbose’.

I certainly do fall into the ‘verbose’ spectrum and that’s why I post on TSFM and don’t tweet on twitter or anywhere else for that matter.

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ecobhoyPosted on9:10 pm - Apr 18, 2015


The Clumpany ‏@TheClumpany 23h23 hours ago

I like TSFM a lot, but I think I was made for the shorter form of the Clumping game. 140 characters is much easier than whole paragraphs…
2 retweets 11 favorites
Slimshady ‏@ultramontanian 21h21 hours ago

@TheClumpany Too many on TSFM have egos bigger than Dave King (and warchests probably)

I am happy to put my hand-up and declare I have a massive ego and always have had. As to the size of my warchest – well that would be telling 😉

Obviously SlimShady is entitled to his opinion and he may well be correct. However I don’t judge fellow posters on the size of their ego or warchest. I judge them on what they say and do.

And when it comes to that I have enjoyed slimshady’s contributions on many occasions.

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ecobhoyPosted on9:16 pm - Apr 18, 2015


Madbhoy24941 says:
April 18, 2015 at 8:55 pm
ecobhoy says:
April 18, 2015 at 8:01 pm

More than One Poster with a BIG EGO on TSFM – I demand to know the names
————————–
I think that was typo, it should have read ‘with a big ECO’…..
———————————————–
Naughty boy! I’ve trademarked Egobhoy and may take to twitter and hone my subbing skills 😆

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occamPosted on9:31 pm - Apr 18, 2015


Long time no post my friends – it’s probably no surprise to at least a few on here that priorities change when grand children arrive, commitments are made/amended as circumstances change and more appear in different parts of the world – all to the better I may add! Neither twitter nor Facebook appeal to me in an active sense, but I always try to follow Henry’s maxim -” The principle states that among competing hypotheses that predict equally well, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Other, more complicated solutions may ultimately prove to provide better predictions, but—in the absence of differences in predictive ability—the fewer assumptions that are made, the better.”

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Tartanwulver

TartanwulverPosted on9:44 pm - Apr 18, 2015


Danish Pastry says:
April 18, 2015 at 7:11 pm
Sometimes a bit of self-awareness is helped by listening to others. Spotted these two comments about TSFM on twitter yesterday….

Some of it is, shall we say, just a tad verbose
————————————–
Then again, isn’t saying ‘just a tad verbose’ rather than just ‘verbose’ in the above sentence…well…just a tad verbose?

Yours,
A Pedant

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GoosyGoosyPosted on10:11 pm - Apr 18, 2015


ecobhoy says:
April 18, 2015 at 9:10 pm

I am happy to put my hand-up and declare I have a massive ego ,
,,,,,,,,,,
I had one as well but the grand weans ate it on Easter Sunday

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jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on10:15 pm - Apr 18, 2015


occam says:
April 18, 2015 at 9:31 pm
_____________________________________

Boy, how grandweans change your life!!!! I am bloody knackered 😉
Good that you find the time to come on here 🙂

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SmugasPosted on7:39 am - Apr 19, 2015


Couldn’t help but notice the league expansionists were out in force again yesterday. I see and will accept the footballing arguement although whether it’s +4 or +6 no-one is quite clear.

I don’t think it’s fair though to write off the status quo arguement either. These are people who, love them or loathe them, do know a thing or two about running clubs. They did not demand 6/8 games per season against the former OF because they were closet RRM or RCM. They felt they were necessary to balance the books.

I am probably in the minority in that I actually like the split. I’d rather see Celtic play Aberdeen at pittodrie for the league than watch them play an already relegated st mirren at Celtic park. Similarly St mirren as the 12th place will ‘cement’ that position by playing the five nearest clubs around them on performance. The play offs then add to that as well.

I don’t want to jump to reconstruction particularly if as we suspect the reasons are not entirely, em, equitable. But equally I don’t think we should write off the current structure on a wave of ‘optimism’ if it is to the disregard of something that is far, far from perfect, but does seem to work to some degree for the majority of clubs.

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yourhavingalaugh

yourhavingalaughPosted on7:57 am - Apr 19, 2015


Re league split v play off’s
Are we the only league in world football that has this scenario, the play off’s seem to work everywhere else and do generate an interest at the end of season,but the split? This seems to have been set up by a quango of draught players rather than chess players,not a lot of thought applied.

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upthehoopsPosted on8:10 am - Apr 19, 2015


I was appalled to listen to people such as Archie MacPherson, Hugh Keevins and Fraser Wishart discuss Scottish football’s relationship with TV last night. Rather than having any sympathy with the fans who attend games, the attitude was pretty much ‘tough sh*t, that’s the way it goes’. Wishart in particular kept peddling the line of English games having early / late kick offs on a Saturday or Sunday as some kind of mitigation, but given the riches on offer he is not comparing apples with apples.

If there is not some kind of compromise with the broadcasters things will only get worse. From my point of view I can’t recall a season where Celtic have had so few home Saturday 3PM kick offs. Some of that was down to European matches I accept, but a lot of it was down to the fixture scheduling as well. If this keeps up less and less people will renew their season ticket and pick and choose their games instead. It’s as if the authorities and TV are doing all they can to upset those of us to still prefer to attend games.

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yakutsuki

yakutsukiPosted on8:14 am - Apr 19, 2015


Honesty time – I had to look up what ‘Verbose, actually meant. Now that I understand, I agree with Slim and Campsie.

My solution is, when I see certain posters, I check to see how long the post is before attempting to read it.

My concentration levels are not good enough for a
start, but more importantly, I just don’t have the time – literally!

I may be missing a lot, but I have to choose between reading every word or having a life, or even a wife!

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yakutsuki

yakutsukiPosted on8:28 am - Apr 19, 2015


PS, I miss the input from Slimshady and Campsie Joe. I have often wondered what happened to regulars that have left over the years, the likes of Hugh McEwan?

They were all a big part of this blog and RTC.

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neepheid

neepheidPosted on8:42 am - Apr 19, 2015


A lot of work was done a few years ago on setting up an in-house Scottish football tv channel to replace the broadcasters altogether. I’m not sure whether it was to be subscription based or pay per view. The project was on the verge of going ahead, when up popped Doncaster with another crap Sky deal that is so poor it simply isn’t cost effectve, in my opinion. The loss of gate money must surely exceed the TV income received.

If the broadcasters won’t come up with a MUCH better deal, then start a dedicated channel. A positive cost benefit analysis must have been done in connection with the previous proposal, so look out the papers and give it a go. There is absolutely nothing to lose, in my opinion.

By the way, yourhavingalaugh, your comments about draughts are disrespectful to the fine minds who play this difficult game at the top level. A more appropriate game for the very unfine minds who came up with the “split” would be snakes and ladders, or maybe pin the tail on the donkey.

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ecobhoyPosted on9:32 am - Apr 19, 2015


yakutsuki says:
April 19, 2015 at 8:14 am

Honesty time – I had to look up what ‘Verbose, actually meant. Now that I understand, I agree with Slim and Campsie.

My solution is, when I see certain posters, I check to see how long the post is before attempting to read it.

My concentration levels are not good enough for a
start, but more importantly, I just don’t have the time – literally!

I may be missing a lot, but I have to choose between reading every word or having a life, or even a wife!
———————————————————-
You’ve just hit the nail on the head 🙂 Every poster’s personal circumstances and interests are different so they will pick and choose what they read or respond to in an infintely variable number of ways.

And can you imagine if we all sat here like a Scottish WRI sipping tea and nodding agreement with each other and being oh so polite. Of course I know the SWRI or even the WRI isn’t like that but to a casual observer it might be perceived to be so.

They would never see the power struggles and heated issues that are thrashed-out in an area of our Society often ignored by the all powerful ‘townies’.

IME any organisation that stands still with a fixed membership in a rapidly changing World or environment is destined to go the way of the dinosaurs. Of course sometimes an influx of new ideas or thinking might help.

As to ‘verbosity’ I have no problems with it per se – some people are long-winded possibly with little substance but then some are pithy and although sharp and laced with brimstone also have little of substance.

And who makes the judgement? Well, of course, the reader!

I used to lurk on RTC; didn’t post as I was active elsewhere but not only learnt a lot but started looking at a lot of the ideas expressed and doing what I could to investigate and understand them.

Obviously over time on any blog people form preferences as to who they read and who they don’t. I’m no different because one can never be sure when another poster will unearth a ‘nugget’ worth looking at. And IME that’s seldom to do with the length of post.

There are some posters here who I doubt if I could find agreement with on most subjects but not only is their opinion valid but useful, because it helps me test my position against there’s and often I have to go away and rethink and sometimes I change my mind and I usually put my hands up to that.

At the end of the day some posters prefer space to post and others flourish withing the twitter character limit. Some even successfully bridge the divide.

And the great thing about the internet is it’s a Smörgåsbord which we can pick and choose from at will and if something no longer tickles the palate then we can move on. But we can also come back.

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Cygnus X2

Cygnus X2Posted on9:40 am - Apr 19, 2015


Re in house broadcasting

I pay 60 quid per season to watch Pars matches from overseas. The coverage is provided by two blokes with a videocamera and occasionally a GoPro camera.

The commentators watch the Pars every week and are therefore much better informed about my team and the regular League One opposition than any ‘mainstream’ commentary team would be.

I would happily pay a small amount more to give me access to a professionally produced highlights package from other games around the country, but I’m not especially interested in watching full coverage of other matches.

I’d imagine most fans feel the same.

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ecobhoyPosted on9:45 am - Apr 19, 2015


GoosyGoosy says:
April 18, 2015 at 10:11 pm
ecobhoy says:
April 18, 2015 at 9:10 pm

I am happy to put my hand-up and declare I have a massive ego ,
,,,,,,,,,,
I had one as well but the grand weans ate it on Easter Sunday
—————————————————

OK OK egg on face time? Perhaps?

But people with a Big Ego can also be thoughtful, compassionate and deeply interested in what other people say and more especiall think as often they won’t fully articualte if faced with a domineering personality which is a different kettle of fish.

Sometimes a Big Ego is required in certain circumstances and therefore IMO shouldn’t be regarded as a solely negative thing.

Other times to get a job done successfully doesn’t require Ego but tact and understanding of another position. Sadly I find that many people with a Big Ego always have a dose of the Domineering Personality in them which is a disastrous combination IME.

They think they are in the right even though they could never be further from the truth.

The key is a balanced personality with an open approach to other ideas which you may disagree with and even find repugnant to your own beliefs.

It’s a never ending process and I’m still working on mine but for me a Big Ego has been necessary in my life to make changes for the better and, indeed, to prevent or reduce harm and not just to myself.

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ecobhoyPosted on9:47 am - Apr 19, 2015


OK ❗ Hampden in the Sun here I come ❗

Let’s hope for a great day of fun and football and may the best footballing team win.

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yourhavingalaugh

yourhavingalaughPosted on11:09 am - Apr 19, 2015


Morning Neepheid
I knew I was inviting some responses re the chilled out game of draughts,my grandfather enjoyed daily games with his cronies in the hot summer days in the early sixties in their meeting howf in Maryhill park,my thoughts where leaning towards what the level of mentality in the Hampden bunker was from the powers in charge of our game,as they don’t seem to be out and about selling the Scottish game to the ‘right’ people ,they must have a lot of time to use up in the long days in the bunker,could be a quite Sunday on here so some gamesmanship ,pun intended,to come up with what games they might be challenging one another too, it might not just be board games as they have had a lot of time to play games,probably one favourite would be hide & seek soon to be replaced by Tig ,your Het,I’ll get ma camouflage jacket.

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Not The Huddle MalcontentPosted on11:24 am - Apr 19, 2015


neepheid says:
April 19, 2015 at 8:42 am
A lot of work was done a few years ago on setting up an in-house Scottish football tv channel to replace the broadcasters altogether.

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I think this needs to be the way to go to be honest.

My thoughts were something along the lines of….

1. All games available on an individual PPV basis – priced at same price as a match ticket
2. All games played on saturday 3pm/Wed 7.30pm
3. Sun-Fri the channel would broadcast 2 full games per night on a delayed transmission basis (not live) as well as a highlights/analysis package – this would be a monthly subscription charge (like Sky’s current model)

This would ensure fans could attend games at traditional times or those who can’t travel can still watch the game (of their choice) live on a saturday with the club still receiving the ticket income.

Then, there would be the ability to see all 90 mins of every game on delayed transmission for something like £30 a month.

Hopefully a better broadcasting package would also help attract club/league sponsors and raise the profile of the league. It should also facilitate selling packages abroad as we’d already have the production element completed.

I posted a few days ago about the SFA using it’s powers to ban Sky from broadcasting live games into Scotland when we have games on….I think this is something we should also look at if we want to get a better deal from them (if SPFL tv isn’t a go’er)

it would be easy for us to arrange games ona sat/sun that would scupper their “super sunday” packages being broadcast in Scotland – unless Scotland got a similar “pro rata” deal for Scottish football based on Scottish subscriptions.

i also think we need to take the Beeb to task on a couple of things

1. MotD is broadcast nationally – the scottish “equivalent” is only in Scotland – this hampers the publicity the league receives and ensures it has a lower profile.

2. We are FORCED to pay the license fee, it’s not an option, therefore we should receive the same pro rata funding for the scottish game that the english game gets. I’m sure this is one we can take up with the Beeb commissioners/watchdog.

Lastly, I do think we need to have league reconstruction. I understand the broadcasters need for 4 OF/Edinburgh derby games….so I would suggest a 14 team set up. Play everyone home and away then have a split of 6 (top) and 8 (Bottom) that gives 36 games (top 6) and 40 games (bottom 8)

satisfies broadcasters desire for 4 derby games and gives the smaller/lower teams more home gates.

it also avoids the farcical situation of clubs having odd numbers of home/away games, or playing opponents more times away than home

ps….my long absence has been due to the arrival of our son a year ago…and the fact that i’ve grown somewhat tired of this farce and how it’s destroyed the game, i really only have a passing interest now until everyone is out of the SFA and the tribute act club is liquidated.

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rougvielovesthejunglePosted on11:39 am - Apr 19, 2015


Lots of talk about fitba on the tele at the moment.

I recently cancelled my Sky sports subscription so sickened was I at the new deal to screen EPL games at circa £10 million per match when we are given a paltry £14 million per season.

In my opinion, most of our games are just as watchable as the stuff served up down south. Given a choice of, for example, watching Dundee Utd v Hearts or Crystal Palace v Stoke, I know which game I’d be watching, and I don’t think I’d be in the minority for the Scottish audience.

It surely is time for a different type of deal. SPFL TV would work for me. I reckon it’s a no brainer.

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whispererPosted on11:55 am - Apr 19, 2015


ECO … I mentioned once or twice on RTC & TSFM over these past 3 years about reading something similar on either FollowFollow or The Bears Den back around 2002-2004 when I lived/worked overseas … Thought the poster’s name was “accountant” but probably was “auditor” … He once went into great detail posting full accounts details for each company … I actually printed it off (about 10+ pages) and sent it to my local here in Glasgow … People didn’t believe me that the debt was +/-400M … And iirc I think the poster was laughed of as a “hater” rather than a seriously concerned RFC fan …. Shocking !

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neepheid

neepheidPosted on12:59 pm - Apr 19, 2015


yourhavingalaugh- the game of choice at Hampden right now is that old favourite of tenement back courts, kick the can. A prime example is King’s fit and proper “investigation”. By the time we get a result, the game will be a bogey, because the can has been kicked so far down the road, they assume we’ll all have been called in for our dinner by our mammies before ayone finds it.

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TrisidiumPosted on3:10 pm - Apr 19, 2015


Warm congratulations to ICT (and Yogi 2 too!) on their qualification for the SC Final. Of course there are some issues which I am sure will be raised, 🙂 but none of those are due to any sins committed by ICT.
The outcome is certainly a crushing disappointment for Celtic fans (trust me, my home is like a funeral parlour right now), but I’m not so sure that disappointment is on the same scale as the euphoria in Inverness.

Not to embroil myself in Inverness politics either, but surely the phenomenal success of the merged team now proves that the merger was justified?

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scarecrow666

scarecrow666Posted on3:10 pm - Apr 19, 2015


Not The Huddle Malcontent says:
April 19, 2015 at 11:24 am
Then, there would be the ability to see all 90 mins of every game on delayed transmission for something like £30 a month.
Sorry, but unless you were covering all of scottish sport not just football that would be utter s@#t value for money. Sky sports packages range from £20-30 per month giving you lots of channels with different sports. Setanta struggled at £10 per month and that included Dutch league football. How could you possibly justify £30 per month for delayed streaming twice a week for only scottish matches ?

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briggsbhoyPosted on3:20 pm - Apr 19, 2015


Congratulations to Inverness Caley Thistle. Armegedon my arse, The Cup Final will be a massive family day out. Hopefully both pick up some support on the back of this.

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Methilhill Stroller

Methilhill StrollerPosted on3:25 pm - Apr 19, 2015


Congrats Inverness and Falkirk. Can someone remind me about this armageddon we were supposed to be facing. SFA, SPL and SMSM all got their predictions horribly wrong. Je Suis Turnbull.

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Not The Huddle MalcontentPosted on3:52 pm - Apr 19, 2015


scarecrow666 says:
April 19, 2015 at 3:10 pm
Not The Huddle Malcontent says:
April 19, 2015 at 11:24 am
Then, there would be the ability to see all 90 mins of every game on delayed transmission for something like £30 a month.
Sorry, but unless you were covering all of scottish sport not just football that would be utter s@#t value for money. Sky sports packages range from £20-30 per month giving you lots of channels with different sports. Setanta struggled at £10 per month and that included Dutch league football. How could you possibly justify £30 per month for delayed streaming twice a week for only scottish matches ?

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Quick look at the sky website tells me the cost of sky sports will be £47 a month

http://www.sky.com/shop/b/sky-bundles/

Ok, maybe £30 a month is too steep for just the Scottish game – but for that price, there is no reason why they could not also buy rights for other countries games/sports too. Or even still, reduce it to say £20 a month.

As the only outlet to watch Scottish games, i’m sure it’ll be OK7

As for Setanta, i believe they were doing fine until they went toe to toe with Sky and started buying up EPL rights and games for England internationals. It was that overspend and the comparative lack of subscribers that done for them.

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upthehoopsPosted on4:00 pm - Apr 19, 2015


TSFM says:
April 19, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Warm congratulations to ICT (and Yogi 2 too!) on their qualification for the SC Final. Of course there are some issues which I am sure will be raised, 🙂 but none of those are due to any sins committed by ICT.
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Naturally I am bitterly disappointed at today’s result but now that ICT are through I’d like to see big Yogi Hughes getting the cup now – sorry if I’ve offended any Falkirk fans.

Whatever the result though either Inverness or Falkirk is going to get a helluva party. I don’t think it’s impossible they will get 50,000 at the game.

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yakutsuki

yakutsukiPosted on4:01 pm - Apr 19, 2015


Sorry eco but I was always taught that there’s nothing positive that results from egotism – no matter how many paragraphs are used in an attempt to justify it. 🙂 🙂 🙂

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