Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?


Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

No Independent Enquiry?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT Never?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fit and Proper Person and Absence of Governance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT Rangers were a mess financially everybody new that

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

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

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

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

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

SR We didn’t fail.

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

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

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

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

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

SR Well I think the articles

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

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

AT ??  (Interrupted)

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

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

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

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

The Nature of EBTS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT Sometimes

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

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

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

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

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

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

If Carlsberg did irony!

End of Interview.

The Hard Not to Believe Conclusions

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

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

The reader will find it hard not to conclude that either

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

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

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

Annex One – Extracts from Lord Nimmo Smith Decision

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

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


Outline of the Scheme


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


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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

Auldheid  Feb 2015

About the author

Auldheid author

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

5,190 Comments so far

andycoloPosted on8:07 pm - Apr 20, 2015

Also the SFA feels it can depart from the Fifa guidance. An example which springs to mind is the readiness to book players who leave the field to celebrate a goal.

View Comment

HighlanderPosted on8:14 pm - Apr 20, 2015

nawlite says:
April 20, 2015 at 6:44 pm

Thank you nawlite. I was playing devil’s advocate regarding the Zaluska/Ofere incident, since no mention had been made of it on here, as far as I’m aware, which may be because of the partisan nature of this forum. I would contend that, not only was it a certain penalty (to a neutral observer, Zaluska clattered Ofere without even getting near the ball), but once ICT’s advantage failed to materialise due to the missed shot, the ref should have pointed to the spot. It’s not as if they’d moved onto a new passage of play 30 seconds later – the foul/’alleged assault’ 😉 was followed instantly by the rushed shot, so no advantage accrued in my opinion. The officials may well have been incompetent during the game, but not only to the detriment of Celtic.


View Comment

HighlanderPosted on9:56 pm - Apr 20, 2015

Silent Partner says:
April 20, 2015 at 9:26 pm

“I believe Steven MacLean saw what he wanted to see. He didn’t want it to be a penalty”


Presumably you’d have to agree then that MacLean also saw what he wanted to see with the Zaluska incident – he didn’t want it to be a penalty either.

I put the link to the Scotsman article above for two reasons.

Firstly Ronnie Deila admitted that such decisions even themselves out and that Scottish referees are decent. Secondly, Celtic were awarded a penalty-that-never-was in the quoted game against Hearts when John Guidetti slipped without contact from an opposition player. I would argue that Celtic (and Rangers) are the recipients of far more beneficial decisions than the ‘diddy clubs’ because of the increased pressure on officials due the larger, more vocal and more intimidating crowds involved. I just find it ironic therefore that such a furore erupts on the rare occasions that a debatable decision goes against them, as if there is some kind of conspiracy at play.

View Comment

Ron.an.MathPosted on10:21 pm - Apr 20, 2015

Good luck to ICT . .
Only saw the highlights but looked to me like horrendous defending (from izzaguerre at the 3rd goal in particular ,and not for the first time ! ) as much as poor refereeing cost celtic the tie. .
Purely personal view . . but I couldnt give a proverbial fiddlers f*** about “trebles”
Of MUCH more interest is to see how much improvement in the squad RD can achieve with another european campaign looming . . GMS +Armstrong were a good start . . .

View Comment

bobferrisPosted on10:38 pm - Apr 20, 2015

Being no lover of Celtic and that other lot, I admit to cheering like a maddy when Raven scored and sealed victory. But I did feel sorry for Celtic at losing due to a clear injustice. My view – Muir unsighted, Griffiths possibly blocking his view, raised hand on his blind side, he couldn’t be sure if it hit his head or his hand. That clip of him, well how anyone can take from that that he’s saying “hands, hands, hands” is beyond me. Ref McLean has a good view but it happens so quickly, the Sky commentators also didn’t see it initially I believe. I can understand the conspiracy comments, mainly elsewhere but Celtic were still 1-0 up and had their destiny in their own hands.

Gordon had to go, Watkins just gave the ball the merest nudge and would surely have caught the ball. It trickled out of play. Zaluska incident, once advantage gone the ref should have awarded a penalty but I’m kind of glad he got that wrong too. Doesn’t even things up, Celtic would probably have been 2-0 up and out of sight but at least his lack of competence affected the other side, albeit it didn’t cost them!

View Comment

Paulmac2Posted on10:52 pm - Apr 20, 2015

Andrew Dallas…was he not the official that was caught lying at a hearing involving the then Killie Manager?…can’t remember his name…when the Killie manager produced a laptop to prove his innocence?

And the case was dropped sharpish against the Killie manager….what punishment was issued to the match official

View Comment

incredibleadamsparkPosted on11:08 pm - Apr 20, 2015

andycolo says:
April 20, 2015 at 8:04 pm

The Steven McLean video is pretty clear on handball and it follows the rules set out. As he said the key to handball is in the interpretation, which rests with the referee, and the law is quite certain it must be deliberate. The referees are given further instruction by the powers that be to ‘help’ them arrive at their decision.

So they have to consider three or four different things in a split second on top of the actual foul, as he explains in the clip. You could have the fans shouting for a decision and the players crowding round them. That’s not easy for anyone, and I’m not talking about the incident on Sunday here. Just the rule in general.

Intent is irrelevant, and rightly so. It’s up to the referee to make the decision based on these guidelines. They don’t get everything correct and he made a few mistakes on Sunday that both teams will be unhappy with.

View Comment

DumfoonertPosted on11:47 pm - Apr 20, 2015

Re MrMuir being unsighted, Ive seen the video replays on the BBC and the reconstruction looking across the goal. However, I invite bloggers to visit the BBC page http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/32388618 and look at the still leading the article. Explain to me how Mr Muir, who must clearly be to the left of that shot was unsighted of the hand ball.

View Comment

bigsbeePosted on12:07 am - Apr 21, 2015

I’m a referee – not a grade one but down in the lowly leagues and youth football – but a referee none the less, and I’ve seen some common misconceptions on this blog about the ‘rules’ (laws).
Referees also suffer subtle or unconscious unfair criticism from TV pundits which almost always goes unnoticed. For example, during the match between Man City and West Ham there was an incident where Aguero was ruled offside when he received a forward pass. The replay was at first inconclusive but after slow motion and a few different angles it was shown that by perhaps only about a few inches – he was indeed offside. The assistant referee must have been in the absolutely correct position, he must have had perfect focussed concentration, he must have had excellent eyesight to spot that in an instant of a second. Well done eh!!!! The pundits comment was “it was very close – the assistant referee only just got it right” !!!!

Referees have discretion in almost all cases. To say that an infringement cannot be give unless it’s deliberate – is nonsense.

Referees have to consider if, where there is a hand ball offence:

– was the player unable to get his arm out of the way or was there not enough time for this?

– Decide if the hand/arm in an unnatural position? To do this you have to examine the natural balance of a player’s body, his speed, angle, direction, all in relation to the passage of the ball?

– Was the hand arm in a natural protecting position – covering his face/body

– What are the consequences ?– what would have been the outcome if the ball had not been handled?

All in the space of a fraction of a second!!!!!

On the Celtic v Inverness incident, I am of the view that it was seen by at least the referee and the goal line assistant. The far side assistant should have spotted it (certainly considering the Man City example). As I said – in the instant of a second the referee should have applied all of the above:

– it was a fairly weak header with the ball not travelling very fast and the defender should have been able to get his arm out of the way
– His arm was out-stretched at right angles from his body – yes it was in an unnatural position and not in a natural ‘protective’ position
– Had there been no connection the ball would have entered the goal

The player did not deliberately or consciously try to handle the ball but the correct decision would have been to award a kick from the penalty mark and issue the player with a red card.

I think there are a few officials having sleepless nights after watching the replay on TV

View Comment

ekt1mPosted on12:17 am - Apr 21, 2015

Re the Zaluska/Ofere incident, If a foul is committed in outfield play and advantage is played, the referee must wait and see the outcome and can pull play back to allow a free-kick if necessary. The ref allowed advantage to the ICT player who promptly blasted the ball over the bar. I have never seen play brought back in such circumstances in all the years i have watched football.Perhaps posters can prove me wrong.

View Comment

MercDocPosted on12:21 am - Apr 21, 2015

Have I missed something, refs’ make mistakes and are sometimes hopeless! I remember England losing to some handball, a cup they might not win again. Ireland lost out to a handball, which had a lot of prestige for their country.
Celtic lost a Semi Final but there is a good chance they will make it next year. There were some dubious decisions, the game would be boring otherwise. A great final in prospect, lets here it for the clubs that are there on merit. FA Cup football is all the about the smaller teams.
The ‘Iron Men’ got some dubious decisions against them last year 😉
Well done to the Rovers, they are now GODS.

Iron Men from the Iron Burgh

View Comment

Resin_lab_dogPosted on12:56 am - Apr 21, 2015

Silent Partner says:
April 20, 2015 at 9:26 pm


I think you are impugning Meekings a tad here.
The slow mo reply looks like a save.

But at full speed… Griffiths fires a bullet header and Meekings hurls himself flailing towards where he thinks the header will be directed to intervene in where the ball is heading.

Griffiths is close enough to both the goal and the man to fire it any where and Meekings is close enough to Griffiths to stand a 1 in 3 chance of making the block.

7/10 that header straight in the back of the net. 28/100 Meekings blocks it legally. 1 in 50 it strikes his arm.

Penalty?… Damn right
Sending off?… by the letter of the game it should be. No question.

Sorry but Meekings would have been first choice stand in for Brill (after your boy crocked him last week) if he was remotely capable of that!

He wasn’t cheating. 8/10 times he would have walked, conceded a penalty and been apologising to his team mates in the dressing room for the rest of their lives, (like the guys that missed the penalties last year against Aberdeen)

…Except of course THIS Caley team WOULD have fought on. As they showed after going behind once. As they showed after Celtic equalised. Their heads were not going down. At 2-0 and 10 v 11 then 10 v 10, or whatever, I think it does Caley a major disservice to write us off completely in those circumstances.
The result was NEVER the foregone conclusion that many would have it, had the officials not blundered.

Celtic were cheated. By fate or by officials? Yes.
But not by ICT. Our mistake was honest.

You have 10x our resources. And there was a gap in quality on Sunday in your favour, but by no means a gulf. And when it came to hunger and belief we were every inch your equals.

As honest a shift as any team has ever put in, that was.
And am not letting anyone take anything away from us on that score.
We were desperately unlucky a year ago in the league cup final.
We know how it feels to be unlucky. Its part of the games.
Investigate the officials, and crucify those that are found wanting by all means.
But don’t overshadow our achievement.
You have had other cup finals.
You will have other cup finals.
This is our absolute pinnacle.
If we can hang onto your coat tails to a sufficient degree that luck plays any part in the outcome, that’s good enough for me. Because with our respective resources, it should not.
That is a mark of how unbelievably well we are doing btw , not any sleight upon your team, whatsoever.

And who knows… Maybe some of you can put partisanship and ingrained rivalries aside for 1 second and sympathise – just a touch – with poignancy about how Terry Butcher feels or felt – about the infamous ‘hand of God’ incident now?

The chants of ‘Diego Maradonna’ that Celtic away fans used to sing whenever visiting the Tulloch while he was our manager were taken in wry good humour up here, and I honestly do look back on them fondly tbh. All Good craic & banter.

But I’ll get by without them, now we have Yogi instead. He and this team deserve this.

Diego Maradonna was a cheat.
But Josh Meekings isn’t.

This time we were lucky.

View Comment

castawayPosted on1:11 am - Apr 21, 2015

Well said Resin l D @ 12.56. Don’t agree with it all, but well put.
Can’t say I hope you win the final in case there’s Bairns fans listening. 😀

View Comment

Resin_lab_dogPosted on1:26 am - Apr 21, 2015

astaway says:
April 21, 2015 at 1:11 am

Well said Resin l D @ 12.56. Don’t agree with it all, but well put.
Can’t say I hope you win the final in case there’s Bairns fans listening. 😀


I know you CFC fans are hurting, but if you want revenge, just offer Marley Watkins an eye watering sum £££. I couldn’t bring myself to begrudge him it.
He has been immense this season.

We are punching above our weight with so many players.
And we are probably going to get destroyed in June.
If we can can keep even 2 or 3 of our best players I’ll be ecstatic.
So lets just enjoy it while we can, and cycle back round again, building up from the bottom over a couple of seasons.

Its a journey. And the fun is in the travelling, as much as the destination.

View Comment

Resin_lab_dogPosted on2:10 am - Apr 21, 2015

Dumfoonert says:
April 20, 2015 at 11:47 pm


As I have said previously, it was a penalty. I think bigsbee nailed it.
Possible mitigation w.r.t. the referee is paralax.

My theory is that MacLean COULD (not did… but COULD) have made an honest mistake.

The parallax is such that if MacLean was almost perfectly orthogonal to the (fast paced) incident he would have seen the ball strike the player but the angle between arm body and ball was so acute that he could not be sure whether it was ball AND arm or ball behind arm (body).

If that was the case, he would have to give Meekings the benefit of the doubt, unless one of his other officials alerted him otherwise.
One of the officials – the best positioned – appeared to be slavishly watching the goal line. The incident would have been in his peripheral vision. he could easily have seen the incident. But wasn’t looking at it.
Now had he been looking, and had the ball cleared Meekings and hit the crossbar before rebounding down on one or other side of the goal line, this official would then have been crucified by one or other set of fans for the uncertainty they exercised, in their determination of whether or not the ball crossed the line on the basis that they were too busy looking out for an unlikely handball to spot a likely goal mouth controversy.

The other official probably had a reasonable chance of a legitimate excuse w.r.t obstructed view or even distraction (we all pick our bums from time to time!).

I would refer skeptics to the works of Richard Wiseman, and his very accessible treatises on the psychology of perception.

Anyhoo.. This is an example of how 1 possibility (honest mistake) could – imo – be accounted for.
because strange things do happen. And this thing isn’t all that strange.

There is only 1 in 14million chance of winning the national lottery jackpot. But it happens every week. I mean? What are the chances of that??? (about 1 in 14million, like I said)
The background incidence rate of ‘bad’ refereeing decisions is higher than 1 in 14 million.
Some of these will happen in critical games.
And to certain clubs. Inevitable

But there are 2 other possibilities – neither of which I would discount on available evidence, w.r.t. the refereeing decision in question.

2. Unconscious bias influencing perception: Subjectivity bias / observer effect. (For any geeks out there, metacognition is a fascinating subject. Read a bit of Richard Wiseman, Ben Goldacre or Daryl Huff! or Google Dunning & Kruger… its Life changing stuff)

Basically people see what they want to see and completely overestimate their objectivity (to which the standard retort is … you would say that.. you’re biased 😀 (yawn)) . Ironically, this is the effect that is manifestly evident in peoples response to the incident now (I wholeheartedly include myself absolutely in this category… go google metacognition again!) but it may also have – quite innocently – been implicated in the incident itself. i.e the referee saw what his subconscious wanted to be there. We are all guilty of this to some extent. And yet… entirely innocent. It is our subconscious escaping with the loot and leaving us holding the bag and utterly unaware of the heist.
Personally – I make no comment in this regard. (I can’t really. I know I am biased. My opinion should be discounted therefore. Did you see what I did there? (Metacognition 😉 )

3. Finally: Deliberate dishonesty. Nothing I have observed thus far precludes this. Far less proves it.

For Me btw, Dunning Kruger has to be my favourite cognitive bias, but then again.. what would I know about it?

Don’t get me wrong.
LNS was as clearly as bent as a £3 note.

But the jury is still out on this one.


View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on7:44 am - Apr 21, 2015

Resin_lab_dog says:
April 21, 2015 at 2:10 am
Dumfoonert says:
April 20, 2015 at 11:47 pm

But the jury is still out on this one.
And therein lies the problem and possibly the answer.

I thought the general standard of refereeing thoughout the game was poor with some howlers thrown in.

We will never ever definitively know whether it was a fix or an honest mistake and we will never ever know if any bias from the ‘observer’ effect was as the result of an inbuilt pre-disposition or not.

So what do we do? Do we just accept what was an obvious penalty being chalked-off as it’s the luck of the draw. That’s an easy way out because it leaves the losing team/club to be singled out as bad losers.

We have all got to get beyond that way of thinking which is bad for the whole game and every club in it. Bad refereeing whether intentional, for whatever reason, or simply an honest mistake has to be addressed.

And that’s why the Celtic requst to the SFA is important. All football fans are entitled to know why an obvious penalty was missed by all officials. Perhaps all of their contact lenses fell out at the same time; perhaps everyone was unsighted at the same time; perhaps they were all closet Caley Thistle supporters. The list for speculation is endless.

So let’s hear what the Offishal Version is and especially who said what to whom.

I was listening to the BBC commentary at Hampden and they seemed immediately to be in absolutely no doubt it was a penalty and neither did the Celtic fans. Of course, in the final analysis, that means nothing.

We need to know what the official knew or didn’t know or what they thought the saw. Once we have that might be the time to then discuss the question of video replays or some kind of oversight.

But whether that happens or not it has to be standard practice for an explanation of controversial decisions made by officials.

It’s time we excised the cold, dead hand of Farry’s ghost from Scottish Football and that of his acolytes who suffered from the same bias and faulty perception and some are still with us in various ways.

And how do we excise it? As I mentioned earlier – it’s dead easy: just provide transparency. OK we will never please everyone but if a ref states they have made an ‘honest mistake’ then I will accept that.

If the same ref makes too many ‘honest mistakes’ then I’m afraid they are either longer fit for purpose – for whatever reason. Every employee only gets a limited number of chances and refs are no different.

If they can’t do their job to the required standard then it’s time to find a new job although most of them actually do have full-time jobs anyway IIRC.

Depending on their record – which would require to be free of bias of any kind including finding against wee clubs playing one of the giants at home – they could be allowed to officiate at lower levels. I actually don’t care if their bias is conscious or buried deep in their primitive brain it has to be prevented for the sake of our game.

Obviously some will require to be ‘retired’ as I have no need to humiliate anyone no matter what. It’s enough that any colleagues who have the same tendencies or lack of vision will get and understand the message. And that is: ‘We are moving forward and the old ways are finished!’.

However I’ll wait and see what answer Celtic get from the SFA – one thing’s for sure their fans deserve an answer just as those from Caly Thistle would have deserved the same if they had been on the receiving end of the same injustice/woeful officiating.

I would like to think I would be making exactly the same argument if the same decision had been made against Caley Thistle. I have seen what can happen to a club whose support believe: ‘My Club: Right or Wrong’.

It will be interesting to see which way the SMSM line-up on this one 🙂


I should have said that I have enormous respect for Josh Meekings not lying or attempting to dissemble. He told the truth pure and simple.

View Comment

Danish PastryPosted on8:20 am - Apr 21, 2015

Is it safe to come out yet?

Wondering if this from Stuart Cosgrove was missed in the anguish. Apologies if posted.


PS From just south of Kronborg Castle, it looked like a rotten decision at Hampden, but there were a few on the day. In the split second it could easily have looked like a header from both officials’ angles because of the defender’s simultaneous head movement. Do think refs should do as in England, though, and declare club alliegences — and also declare membership of any secret societies, which to me, have no place any 21st century country.

View Comment

HighlanderPosted on8:26 am - Apr 21, 2015

ecobhoy says:
April 21, 2015 at 7:44 am

As always, I agree entirely with almost everything you said. However, when you say

“I would like to think I would be making exactly the same argument if the same decision had been made against Caley Thistle.”

that isn’t borne out by the facts displayed by Celtic fans in general. No other club that I’m aware of has taken it upon themselves to write to the SFA over a dodgy refereeing decision. As I pointed out earlier John Guidetti ‘slipped’ and won a penalty against Hearts recently but nobody batted an eyelid at the farcical decision because that adverse decision merely affected a supposed wee team.

Whilst I accept that the majority of posters on here will always be Celtic-minded, and that they are generally respectful of other clubs fans, there is a real danger of this excellent forum descending into just another version of Kerrydale Street, in my humble opinion.

View Comment

wottpiPosted on8:40 am - Apr 21, 2015

Correct me if I am wrong but does TSFM not have a tradition of avoiding the site getting dragged down by endlessly debating individual refereeing decisions.

Celtic hard done by but as discussed the other day it is not about endless examination of slo-mo multi angled replays and still photographs it is about how the officials saw it on the day, at that split second from their positions and their positions only. IMHO looking at all the angles make it difficult for the refs to call it.

Until some form of video review is brought in these situations will come up every now and again be it a cup semi or a mid table fixture.

At some point soon the site is going to have to kick this one into touch.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on9:01 am - Apr 21, 2015

Silent Partner says:
April 21, 2015 at 8:06 am
Resin_lab_dog says:
April 21, 2015 at 12:56 am

For clarification, at no point in my post did I suggest that Josh Meekings was cheating. He did something instinctively.
I’m not accusing Meekings of deliberate cheating but I see nothing instinctive in his actions.

Griffith’s header was very soft and would have done no damage if Meekings had got it full in the face IMO.

However I can see no move from Meeking’s arm to shield his face. Indeed the opposite would appear to be the case.

His positioning had all the characteristics of a goalie going ‘Big’ in a 1-to-1 with a striker.

Absolutely nothing wrong with that but if the ball touches hand or hand touches ball (non-goalie situation) then it’s a penalty. I don’t have the software at home to do a frame by frame anaysis of the event but I believe there was a definite movement of hand to ball.

However whether that was a deliberate hand ball and being prepared to take one for the team or an accident of where his arm and hand actually were and taking his balance into account – who knows?

And it doesn’t actually matter because it was a penalty all day long. Similarly, whether the officials saw it or not or were biased in any way, is also neither here nor there.

What matters is what, if anything, can be done to make such an ‘incident’ less likely in future. And an initial part of that process is a full public explanation involving all officials who weren’t picking their noses at the time.

As I said in my post earlier the standard of refereeing throughout the game was woeful and there are lots of things that if I had anything to do with regulating and supervising officials I would want answers to.

In particular the ref’s understanding of the ‘advantage’ rule. I’m trying hard in the cold light of day not to condemn the ref as biased and that was my position throughout the game when emotions were running high.

This has got to be looked at with a cool head when the facts are known and Celtic IMO are not only entitled to ask questions but have a duty to their support to ask questions.

I returned to Hampden after a self-imposed exile and if I end-up unhappy as to how this matter is resolved for the general good of the game I won’t be back again.

At the end of the day I will not pump a penny into a governance system that is corrupt and shows no signs of change. So I await the SFA response with interest.

View Comment

incredibleadamsparkPosted on9:09 am - Apr 21, 2015

bigsbee says:
April 21, 2015 at 12:07 am

I was told when the foul is given the referee has satisfied himself, by considering a number of factors, that makes it deliberate in his mind and therefore a foul. If you are telling me this is nonsense, something I hear a lot when giving my opinion, then I’m always happy to be corrected. Everyday should be a school day. I have a little knowledge on the subject and you know what they say about that. I appreciate the job referees do and hope you get plenty of enjoyment out of it and not too much hassle.

View Comment

tayredPosted on9:14 am - Apr 21, 2015

Oh lord, sorry folks but this referee debate is getting pretty sad. It’s football! Referee issues have been spoken about since they first inflated a pigs bladder and gave it a size 9 wallop. Yes, Celtic are more than entitled to get in touch with the SFA and ask for clarification, I think there is a reasonable case for major refereeing decisions to made clear by report from referees after every game. I’m not sure the club does anyone any favours by stoking the already roaring fire and making their request so public.

There are a few folks on here, some that I am really surprised at, who are flying very close to the sun in apparent belief that there is in some way an anti Celtic bias at work. I note a poster yesterday who described “that thing” that we dare not speak about had his post rapidly pulled, he/she obviously took a similar view to mine in relation to many of the comments being posted.

Lets take Ecos comment above where he writes:
“We will never ever definitively know whether it was a fix or an honest mistake and we will never ever know if any bias from the ‘observer’ effect was as the result of an inbuilt pre-disposition or not.”

followed later by:
“I actually don’t care if their bias is conscious or buried deep in their primitive brain it has to be prevented for the sake of our game.”

Eco, I don’t really believe you think it was a fix, please correct me i I’m wrong, so why even use that phrase? Those two comment combined surprised me in that to my reading they have a strong undercurrent of that “thing”. I will be delighted if you were to shout me down on that one and explain you mean’t something completely different because I really don’t want to attach that label to one of your comments.

These refs that are running these games are, believe it or not, the best we have. If you don’t like that then maybes it’s time to look at how they earn their qualifications, why aren’t they better? Maybe those with the common sense and analytical skills to be truly top class referees also use those skills to foresee the abuse they will have to put up with and decide simply not to bother! Why would you? In many ways these guys actually deserve all the protection they get from the SFA. The idea that a referee coming out and saying he made an “honest mistake” will somehow douse the flames of indignation is way to simplistic.

It’s football folks! Its not bias, its not a conspiracy, its one persons evaluation and decision based on a fleeting glimpse of a moment. Every club suffers from it, every fan of every club thinks their team suffers most and that certain clubs always get the rub of the green (no pun intended). Mistakes have always been made and always will be made by referees. Sometimes it costs the game nothing, sometimes it has a major impact. As a Rugby Union fan any attempt to solve this problem through stoppages for TV evidence would be appalling. Its a flawed system, but its the best we have and is probably the best we are ever gonna have.

View Comment

DumfoonertPosted on9:15 am - Apr 21, 2015

Dumfoonert says:
April 20, 2015 at 11:47 pm
Re MrMuir being unsighted, Ive seen the video replays on the BBC and the reconstruction looking across the goal. However, I invite bloggers to visit the BBC page http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/32388618 and look at the still leading the article. Explain to me how Mr Muir, who must clearly be to the left of that shot was unsighted of the hand ball.

Went to bed after posting and browsed through BBC News on phone. The picture there has not been cropped to the same extent. It shows that the post in the fist picture is the far post. My assertion is therefore questionable- mea culpa. However also looked again at clip on BBC at around 33s in I still think Mr Muir was in a position to see it.

I see Mr McLean has now said that Mr Muir said it hit Meeking’s head.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on9:18 am - Apr 21, 2015

Highlander says:
April 21, 2015 at 8:26 am
ecobhoy says:
April 21, 2015 at 7:44 am

As always, I agree entirely with almost everything you said. However, when you say

“I would like to think I would be making exactly the same argument if the same decision had been made against Caley Thistle.”

that isn’t borne out by the facts displayed by Celtic fans in general. No other club that I’m aware of has taken it upon themselves to write to the SFA over a dodgy refereeing decision.
I speak for myself. I don’t speak for Celtic as a club nor for other Celtic fans.

I have no doubt that Celtic received a backlash from fans wrt the decision you mention. It was one of a number of IMO woeful decisions made during the match.

It would appear from neanderthals being dragged out by the SMSM that there are ways of making complaints without publicity in darkened rooms of Hampden. No doubt with a promise of future favours to make-up.

Is that really how you want to see our game governed. We must have transparent and open governance where decisions can be questioned and the answers provided to the fans.

Not only do they deserve it but they now demand it and will no longer put-up with the cozy back-room deals. If TSFM has any role to play wrt Scottish Football it must be to question the fairness and transparency as to how the game is governed.

IME the only people frightened of answering questions are those with things to hide.

View Comment

TaysiderPosted on9:20 am - Apr 21, 2015

I agree with Ronny:


“Deila has leapt to the defence of Scotland’s under-fire whistlers, claiming they are far better than the officials they’ve had in this season’s Europa League.

Willie Collum has been heavily criticised for the penalty he wrongly awarded Celtic in their Scottish Cup win over Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday, when John Guidetti hit the deck with Jam Tart Brad McKay close by.

Many Celtic fans have long held the view that Scots officials dislike their team – but Deila believes they are tremendous.

He said: “The referees have been fantastic so far since I came here. It’s a high level of refereeing in Scotland. It’s been worse in Europe, like last Thursday against Salzburg. We have more problems in Europe with referees.

“But the referees here have been good. Sometimes you get something for you, sometimes you get something against you. I don’t think a lot about it. If you perform well as a team, you’ll win.

The referees have been fantastic so far since I came here

“We don’t want to cheat, of course we don’t. I don’t like that at all. I didn’t think this situation with John was like that. The referees are trying to do their jobs as best as possible.

“Sometimes they’ve been right, sometimes they’ve been wrong. But, if you go through a whole season, it’s going to be quite equal with decisions. The best team will win in the end.”

If any team is going to take issue with the fact that referees can make mistakes, they need to recognise these will sometimes benefit them, sometimes not. Just to focus on those that go against you could inadvertently lead to officials subconsciously over compensating by making decisions in favour of your team which would clearly not be a desirable outcome.

Unless you are going to rationally analyse all controversial decisions that go both for and against you to see if actually it does all even out or not, there is a danger that your complaints can come across as paranoid rather than rational.

View Comment

bect67Posted on9:22 am - Apr 21, 2015

Ecobhoy says at 9.01

The point is that the ball was going nowhere near Meeking’s face – heading, as it was in the game I watched, towards the goal, where Kris Commons was waiting to touch in into the net should it have required such effort.

Were we watching the same game?

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on9:30 am - Apr 21, 2015

tayred says:
April 21, 2015 at 9:14 am

I think you do my above tweet level character count post a disservice by taking a couple of bits out of it and questioning my position. Read the post in its entirety as my position is clear.

What happened during the game is as yet unclear and we need some answers and Celtic has asked for them. It might help come to a more informed conclusion.

It might not. But what’s clear is that we have to look at how this type of issue can be prevented or lessened in future and I touched on that in my post.

This is about moving on to a better way of doing things which must have transparency at its core. We are way beyond the time of simply accepting what ‘Hampden’ decides what we should be told – or more usually not told.

Our clubs are starting to realise that there are new supports out there mainly fuelled by the knowledge provided through the internet. Our channels of info are no longer controlled by the SMSM doing secret deals with small cabals governing our game.

It’s not just refs that are now under scrutiny but their bosses as well and that’s how it should be. We are the paying customers without whom there will be no game and most clubs realise that these days.

View Comment

Eoinel JessiPosted on9:33 am - Apr 21, 2015

Football fans have very long memories when it comes to decisions that go against them. On the other hand, dodgy decisions that go in our favour tend to be forgotten very quickly. The reaction to Meekings’s handball over the last two days has been way OTT.

There’s a reason domestic trebles are rare occurrences. To win one you need to be good enough to overcome more than just the opposition because luck will inevitably offer you a raw deal at some stage.

On Sunday fortune favoured Inverness and they grasped the opportunity. Well done to them.

I’ll be backing Falkirk in the final though. :mrgreen:

I’m sure you had ResinLabDog with you all the way – right up to the last sentence 🙂

View Comment

Danish PastryPosted on9:40 am - Apr 21, 2015

Taysider says:
April 21, 2015 at 9:20 am
I agree with Ronny:


“Deila has leapt to the defence of Scotland’s under-fire whistlers, claiming they are far better than the officials they’ve had in this season’s Europa League…

Good stuff from Ronny. Voice of reason.

The key issue has to be transparency throughout the game wrt club allegiances, decision making processes. And why not the tennis challenge system in semis/finals? Adds something to tennis, why not football?

I’m off for some dental torture for a few hours by way of light relief from the pen debate :irony:

View Comment

tayredPosted on9:44 am - Apr 21, 2015

ecobhoy says:
April 21, 2015 at 9:30 am
tayred says:
April 21, 2015 at 9:14 am

I think you do my above tweet level character count post a disservice by taking a couple of bits out of it and questioning my position. Read the post in its entirety as my position is clear.

Eco, I did read it several times.

You seem to have a desire to impose the same level of distrust of the authorities, along with a hint of a certain thoroughly unsavoury form of bias, down onto the referees. Sorry, I simply don’t believe that is the case. There have been a few very well publicised cases in the past where the intelligence, apart from anything else, of certain referees has been called into question. I’m not aware of this for any of the recent crop of referees?

View Comment

TrisidiumPosted on9:44 am - Apr 21, 2015

I thought I would allow the referee debate to continue because it started out as one which highlighted poor refereeing in general – and the additional irony with the two extra officials in attendance at the game.

I am sorry to say that some people have let themselves down. On the one hand we have had one or three conspiracy theorists re-emerging with the usual “facts” about the ref’s family connections or colour preferences, on the other we are accused of being a fan-site – despite the fact that the vast majority of posters have made useful comments which leave aside their own partisan preferences.

The conspiracy theorists, however subtly the theory be implied, shouldn’t be posting that stuff here, because it is something that divides rather than unites fans, has no resolution, and is accommodated elsewhere at a number of excellent fan sites.
The “you are KDS” faction. Grow up. If you are so ready to arrive at that conclusion, then you are wasting your time here.

One poster has been banned as a result of this drivel. That poster was already suspended a while back after a sectarian attack on Hearts. The suspension was lifted when he apologised. Same thing happened again yesterday, so I think the book has to be closed on that.

For the record, I think the discussion on the decision not to award Celtic a penalty was useful and very interesting. It’s a pity that it was used as a toe in the door by those pursuing their own agendas. I think it is time to have grown-up debates, dispensing with those who aren’t ready instead of the current policy of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

One way to deal with those who set the conspiracy hare running is to simply ignore it. The mods will remove them.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on9:49 am - Apr 21, 2015

bect67 says:
April 21, 2015 at 9:22 am

Ecobhoy says at 9.01

The point is that the ball was going nowhere near Meeking’s face – heading, as it was in the game I watched, towards the goal, where Kris Commons was waiting to touch in into the net should it have required such effort.

Were we watching the same game?
Obviously Not. However I’m trying to look at what happens now and if there is anything that can be done to lessen the kind of wrong decision that was made.

However I happen to believe in forming a conclusion it would be helpful to know why the decision was made by the ref/officials.


If you re-read my post I nowhere said that the ball might have struck Meekings face. The reference was dealing with another poster’s claim that that was the case.

What I did did say was:

Griffith’s header was very soft and would have done no damage if Meekings had got it full in the face IMO.

However I can see no move from Meeking’s arm to shield his face. Indeed the opposite would appear to be the case.

His positioning had all the characteristics of a goalie going ‘Big’ in a 1-to-1 with a striker.

Absolutely nothing wrong with that but if the ball touches hand or hand touches ball (non-goalie situation) then it’s a penalty.

I always read all of any post I’m going to comment on rather than what might suit my position and experience has taught me it’s a sound policy.

View Comment

PaulPosted on9:50 am - Apr 21, 2015

Whilst I’m full-square behind the noble intentions of this blog and its stated aims, personally, I do have to question what many of the posts made here hope to achieve?

Firstly, there are some posters who not only dominate proceedings in terms of number of contributions, but also in their sheer verbosity of commentary. Regularly these posts have little to do with the topic at hand or delve into the realms of technical obscurity, which more often than not, do little to further understanding or move debate forward.

Secondly, I also find the tendency toward the sometime Celtic-centric focus of posts detrimental to this blog. If you recap the contributions made following Anne Budge’s statement on the Hearts v Celtic cup tie, the Aleksandar Tonev case and recently, Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final, there is a mass of comment that does not belong on this blog, but in the fan forums of Club websites where tales of conspiracy, paranoia and raging injustice have a natural home.

It’s just my opinion, but if this blog wants to continue to be taken seriously within wider Scottish football, and more importantly, seek to influence and shape the change we all know the game is crying out for then this blog must retain its focus and purpose. It has to be more encompassing and inclusive and it has to be better than the plethora of other online fan forums within Scottish football.

View Comment

TrisidiumPosted on10:14 am - Apr 21, 2015

Your bullet points on the posting behaviour of Celtic fans is just another conspiracy theory. The vast majority of contributions to this blog are instructive and constructive – even when there are disagreements. The focus remains tight and non-partisan, but to highlight those rare occasions when partisanship emerges is cherry picking, and not at all a fair reflection of what happens here.

There is no reason why club bias can’t be reflected by posters either. Most of us manage to do it whilst showing respect for each other.

View Comment

finchleyflyerPosted on10:23 am - Apr 21, 2015

I have to say, I’ve been very disappointed by some of the posts on here since handballgate, and the reaction to many other posts. Eminently sensible points made by rational posters end up with a massive amount of “thumbs downs”. TFSM has at least called a halt to all the conspiracy stuff. However, unfortunately, I don’t think some of the opinion and supposition posted here over the last couple of days has done the site any favours.

View Comment

The Exiled CeltPosted on10:26 am - Apr 21, 2015

Is it a fair comment to ask what exactly the officials positioned on the goal line are supposed to be doing – is it only to determine if the ball is over the goal line or are they allowed to also determine if fouls or incidents have occurred? If they are allowed to, then why do they not have flags to draw attention to the referee of fouls or balls going over the line in same way the linesmen do?

Could it be that several people shouting at once in his ear caused him more issues than simple gesture of raising a flag?

Maybe it would help us all understand if someone could explain what each official is responsible for – including the 4th official – who I assume is responsible for more than holding up a scoreboard and getting shouted at by the managers.

Its all done and dusted now – nothing that can be done for the result of the game – other than perhaps understand what happened that the officials made a dogs dinner of it and how we can help them to improve our game going forward – something I think Celtic are doing with their letter – there is no call for replays or anything like that.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on10:33 am - Apr 21, 2015

Paul says:
April 21, 2015 at 9:50 am

Whilst I’m full-square behind the noble intentions of this blog and its stated aims, personally, I do have to question what many of the posts made here hope to achieve?
I think we should all be prepared to question posts especially if they contradict the stated aims of the blog. Every one has the right to an honest opinion respectfully put. However the ethos of the blog must be protected above all else.

There are many things which have happened in football which leave a lasting sour taste. We either become entrenched and fixated by these past failures or we can move on.

And I try on TSFM to look towards the wider interests of Scottish Football rather than simply be Celtic-centric. I often fail of course in my endeavours as I am passionate about my club.

But as I mentioned earlier we have been given the gift of the internet to discuss and investigate aspects of the game – especially wrt governance – which was previously ‘off-limits’ for all practical purposes.

We have to use that gift wisely to make a difference IMO and a huge part of our armoury must be a united front which oft times might not be ‘popular’ with some clubs or fan groupings.

I tend not to forget the past very readily but for me it’s the reminder that we must change the way things were/are done – we need to achieve that not just as fans of any individual club but for the greater good of our game IMO.

The key is not being trapped in a poisoned well but to be part of a powerful stream that reaches everywhere and nourishes the grass roots of football and its foundation of sporting integrity and modern rules being put in place and observed without fear or favour.

These aren’t just words: They are the building blocks for us and our sport. And those who stand in the way must feel the force of the raging torrent if need be.

View Comment

SFMPosted on10:37 am - Apr 21, 2015

finchleyflyer says:

April 21, 2015 at 10:23 am
I have to say, I’ve been very disappointed by some of the posts on here since handballgate, and the reaction to many other posts. Eminently sensible points made by rational posters end up with a massive amount of “thumbs downs”. TFSM has at least called a halt to all the conspiracy stuff. However, unfortunately, I don’t think some of the opinion and supposition posted here over the last couple of days has done the site any favours.

For the reasons highlighted earlier, I don’t think it has done us any harm either. The good far outweighs the bad on this matter (see Exiled Celt’s post above).
On the TD stuff, if I had more hair, I would be pulling it out. TUs and TDs signify hardly anything at all. TUs are merely a polite round of applause. TDs are in the main heckling by those who have no counter-argument. The limitations of WordPress is such that TUs and TDs are available to people who are not even logged in, and therefore open to abuse.

They in no way, shape or form reflect opinion on the site (or if they do, it is coincidental.

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on10:38 am - Apr 21, 2015

Sorry to interrupt the very interesting debate on the ‘penalty that wasn’t given’, such an unusual event deserves all our attention 🙄

Just to throw in a squirrel, was thinking on the Newcastle loan players, having read that two of them are making their debut for the under 20s today, and wondering if there’s ever been a loan arrangement, anywhere, where the lending club would only receive a fee commensurate with the players’ wages/ability, if the borrowing club gained promotion (or had any other kind of success).

In the normal course of events, the lending club would have no interest in the success, or otherwise, of the borrowing club and would only have one of two interests (or both) – to reduce the cost to their club of the players’ wages, or to provide young prospects with game time to see if they have what it takes to take the step up.

In neither case does the promotion of the club harm the lender (in such a way that a fee should be paid), nor does the failure to gain promotion benefit the club, or the loanee players, to such an extent that no fee is necessary.

There must have been any number of clubs that these players could have been loaned out to (if fit, but that’s another question) that would have agreed to a more defined fee structure, perhaps games played or just a straight sum.

I’m sure Hibs, or QOTS, would have been delighted to have one or two of those players available for the imminent play-offs, on similar terms, but, of course, that was never going to happen, because…

…because only TRFC have a major shareholder and financial life support machine running another club with reserve players of a standard superior to the majority of first team players within our Championship!

Last week TRFC were handed a derogatory (to the rest of Scottish football) fine due to the dual connection of Mike Ashley to Newcastle and TRFC. Derogatory, but evidence that the SFA class the connection as being against the interests of the game, presumably because it is, in the main, unfair to the other clubs, particularly their closest rivals.

So, once again, an investigation into an Ibrox club has led to them being found guilty of breaking the rules; had a minimal penalty handed out; been allowed to carry on as if nothing is wrong; and the situation goes unquestioned by the media. But, most bemusing of all, goes unchallenged by the clubs that will, more than likely, lose out as a result of this breaking of the rules.

Strange, isn’t it, that there should be a huge outcry, and official complaints to the SPFL, when said club gains a pretty slight, by comparison, advantage with a change to kick-off times, but nothing is said when they gain an influx of players, superior to those previously available to them, as a direct result of the involvement of a man the SFA say shouldn’t be involved with the club, on terms that only become close to commensurate in the event TRFC gain promotion.

Why this acquiescence whenever a club from Ibrox is involved? Is the hold over Scottish football, of a club called ‘Rangers’, so great that the other clubs are happy just to roll over and lose out in order that the status quo can be restored?

At the very least, surely, the SPFL/SFA should be getting asked, by these clubs, for a public clarification of why TRFC are allowed to continue playing players only made available to them through a prohibited connection to those players’ parent club!

View Comment

neepheidPosted on10:39 am - Apr 21, 2015

My first and last comment on “refgate”.

Until we eliminate the human element from the process altogether, then we will get wrong decisions. I’m sure that in the fullness of time we will have cyborg referees who never make a mistake, aided, as they surely will be, by swarms of drones with cameras capturing every incident on the pitch in full 3-D from every possible angle.

I don’t know why Celtic are taking this further. The referee will say that having watched the replay, he now realises he made an honest mistake. What else is he going to say? That he’s a big bad bigot who did his best to stop Celtic winning? I really don’t really think so.

Unless there is evidence of deliberate bias, then in my opinion everyone needs to give up on this, because it’s going absolutely nowhere.

And if the bias lies in the subconscious, as has been suggested? What’s the preferred solution? Brain transplants? ECT? Full frontal lobotomies? 20 years in a North Korean style brainwashing camp?

Celtic should have let this one lie. The real problems in Scottish football reside at the top of the food chain, not the bottom.

View Comment

Jingso.JimsiePosted on10:42 am - Apr 21, 2015

Dumfoonert says:
April 21, 2015 at 9:15 am

I see Mr McLean has now said that Mr Muir said it hit Meeking’s head.

What does the far side assistant have to say? He’s in direct line with the incident (as he should be), looking for offside, ball out play etc., yet he doesn’t physically react when the incident occurs (I don’t know if he “beeps” the ref, though).

The worrying thing about this is that three officials appear to have missed an incident that was a game-changer in a televised, showpiece event. That is sheer incompetence & reflects badly on Scottish football in general.

View Comment

BawsmanPosted on10:48 am - Apr 21, 2015

Allyjambo says:
April 21, 2015 at 10:38 am

I raised this point at the time of the 5 transfers mate, I cannot fathom the silence of the Championship contenders at 5 superiour quality players drafted in to effect the Ibrox clubs promotion prospects.

Vuckic alone has single handedly garnered them a raft of points.

Your post is the best I have read on here, well done.

View Comment

cavansamPosted on10:50 am - Apr 21, 2015

The Exiled Celt

Good comment personally I think the weekend was just sub-standard refereeing and like it or not TV replays would sort this out. Look at the amount of poor decisions this season in Scotland and the EPL which could have been sorted by a 4th official in the stand using replays. I’d guess that would be far far cheaper then paying 4 dummy officials to stand on the end lines waiting for the ball to possibly come close to crossing the line. (How much are these guys paid for that job?)

By the way conspiracy theories are for Alien enthusiasts and 9-11 speculators what we have in Scotland is inept officiating and pathetic administrators, when you have incidents like Dirk Boerrigter being banned for diving and not one player banned since for the same offence or the inability to pass a red card from a Dundee Utd player who didn’t deserve it to one who did or giving a Rangers player a three game ban (sorry 10 and 7 suspended!) for betting against his own team or the John Guidetti song scandal (can’t wait to see the case made here!) or the fixtures mess (why has Doncaster not resigned yet) or the invisible Stewart Regan (surely he could use his super power to FIGHT evil) the list of utter stupidity at the highest levels of our game is simply mind boggling!

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on10:54 am - Apr 21, 2015

tayred says:
April 21, 2015 at 9:44 am
ecobhoy says:
April 21, 2015 at 9:30 am
tayred says:
April 21, 2015 at 9:14 am

I think you do my above tweet level character count post a disservice by taking a couple of bits out of it and questioning my position. Read the post in its entirety as my position is clear.

Eco, I did read it several times.

You seem to have a desire to impose the same level of distrust of the authorities, along with a hint of a certain thoroughly unsavoury form of bias, down onto the referees. Sorry, I simply don’t believe that is the case. There have been a few very well publicised cases in the past where the intelligence, apart from anything else, of certain referees has been called into question. I’m not aware of this for any of the recent crop of referees?
Well what can I say except keep reading 😆

I have great distrust of the football governance in Scotland and have no difficulty in admitting that and I think I have every right to hold that opinion based on facts that I am aware of.

I challenge you to provide back-up of your claim that I am trying to extend that ‘bias’ as you put it onto referees or officials in this current situation.

I have made it clear that IMO it was a penalty. But my opinion is of little importance. I have also withheld judgement on the officials until I hear a detailed explanation as to why a penalty wasn’t awarded.

I have also made it clear that my main aim is to ensure that something is done to reduce the possibility of what was an obvious c*ck-up in future and I have provided some pointers to this.

It matters not to me whether it is a conspiracy or just terrible refereeing. Either way it needs to be addressed and at this moment in time I have nothing to base my opinion on other than the evidence of my own eyes as to what IMO was a woeful performance by the ref throughout the game.

Might I suggest that it’s better to try and deal with facts rather than speculation as to what might be in anybody’s head. I also find your accusations disgraceful but hey I’m sure my Ego will survive intact as will my verbosity.

View Comment

cavansamPosted on10:55 am - Apr 21, 2015

Allyjambo 10.38

Great post and I should have added the compare and contrast of the Livingston and Rangers situations regarding dual ownership to my list above .

View Comment

James ForrestPosted on11:09 am - Apr 21, 2015

The latest refereeing scandal is an opportunity for change. We need to grab this one and it’s high time Celtic led from the front.


View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on11:15 am - Apr 21, 2015

neepheid says:
April 21, 2015 at 10:39 am

I don’t know why Celtic are taking this further. The referee will say that having watched the replay, he now realises he made an honest mistake.

I would think that Celtic was probably inundated by complaints from their fan base. The reaction of the Celtic support at Hampden was visceral and never went away and the prologed booing was an experience

As I have said elsewhere there has to be transparency following a controversial decision – or failure to make the correct decision – which may well have been a game changer.

I have also stated elsewhere that I have no problem if all the officials say they didn’t see it. That would form part of the discussion as to how we deal with a glaring flaw in how we referee games.

We all make honest mistakes – I made one right at an early very critical stage in my career on being promoted. When questioned I admitted getting it wrong although I could never figure out how I had managed to do so.

The big boss told me: ‘OK you’ve told the truth and saved us all sorts of hassle and expense so you keep your job. Do it again and you’re sacked’.

And that’s the knub of the problem here when there’s no transparency and it’s left as some old dinosaurs are spouting to the SMSM to be dealt with in private on an unofficial basis between clubs and Hampden.

Those days have got to be banished. Fans have the right to know why decisions that affect them are taken. They can’t ask the SFA as they won’t answer. That’s why Celtic is doing the asking.

And the consequences of transparency is that if there are too many mistakes by an official then they either get relegated or their services become surplus to requirements.

No employee is immune from the axe if they keep getting it wrong. Not even the men in black.

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on11:17 am - Apr 21, 2015

Bawsman says:
April 21, 2015 at 10:48 am

Thanks for your kind words, though an exaggeration in the extreme 😯 , and you did indeed raise the point before 🙂 but I think now that the SFA have ‘fined’ the club, they have made it clear the Ashley influence exists, and is wrong. They (The SFA and SPFL) are now, in my opinion, working another ‘Bryson interpretation’, whereby the ‘crime’ has only been established after the registration of the players (though it could have been done before or the registrations delayed until the investigations completed, because there was clearly a case to answer). This time, though, unlike the EBTs, the opportunity is there to withdraw the registrations in light of the ‘dual ownership’ decision, allowing the results to stand up to the point where the rule breaking was established.

Perhaps it’s just the belief by the clubs that ‘nothing will be done, and we’ll only look bad’ that prevents them from making a complaint, but nothing ever does get done if nobody ever makes the first move, and change, as has been said many times on here, will only come about through the clubs themselves!

I’d like to see the clubs involved making an official complaint, backed by the other Championship clubs, and, if they care to take a look at the bigger picture, the Premiership clubs too, because, if they don’t, they are going to face (assuming TRFC continue) this continued benign governance of the Govan club. And who knows where it might lead/end?

View Comment

tayredPosted on11:18 am - Apr 21, 2015

ecobhoy says:
April 21, 2015 at 10:54 am

Firstly, cherry picking again 😛 I am delighted that you found my accusations disgraceful, I didn’t like making them and hoped (and in truth believed) that I was wrong on the “thing” thing.

I wasn’t attempting to speculate as to what was in your head, I was drawing conclusions from how I read your comments. Always a dangerous thing to do on blogs, but in this case I wanted clarification and hence my accusations which I am delighted to now withdraw.

Agreeing again, I fully share your distrust in the powers that appear to be.

But.. (you knew there was going to be a but!), my earlier cherry picked comments and the tone of a few of your recent comments on handball gate led to me drawing the conclusion that you perceive an institutional anti-Celtic bias that extends from the top all the way through to the referees. I take from your last message that thankfully you agree that it was more likely to simply be just poor refereeing.

For what it’s worth, I too believe it was a penalty. But I have seen many a penalty turned down in the past, many even more obvious than Sundays! The outburst of venom directed at the referee and his assistance over this one is way over the top and is, like it or not, and as several other contributors posting here today would appear to back up, its really painting Celtic and it’s fans in a very bad light.

View Comment

wottpiPosted on11:29 am - Apr 21, 2015

I note that the term ‘wrong decision’ has been used by a number of posters in relation to the Meekings handball incident. Further to this questions have been asked how the refs ‘missed’ the obvious handball.

Please, please, please review the evidence in front of us as to what happened in real time. Not the replays, not the slow mos, not the still photographs.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/scotland/32376813 – go to 03:10 to 03:25 only

Examine the line of sight of the referee and the goal line official and the positioning of Meekings body his head and where his arm is out. Watch the speed of the incident and the manner in which Meekings’ hand and head move.

The far side official most probably has his view blocked by Griffiths though this is not clear from the BBC cameras. It could be said that he was un-sighted as opposed to ‘missing’ the incident.

In my opinion it is entirely possibly for the other two officials to see the incident but come to the ‘right decision’ with regard to what they saw from their position. The angles are such that it is entirely possibly they could not distinguish if the ball struck Meekings on the head or the arm.

It is only the replays that show different views.

If things are so obvious and clear cut that ‘everyone in the ground can see’ it then can anyone explain why 3000 Man Utd fans and their own goalkeeper celebrated a goal that never was this same weekend. 🙂


View Comment

cavansamPosted on11:42 am - Apr 21, 2015


Meekings own reaction and that of the Caley players is what gave the game away, and don’t tell me refs don’t look at those things because we all know they do.

Like I said above inept officiating at it’s best? worst? whatever we move on.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on11:46 am - Apr 21, 2015

tayred says:
April 21, 2015 at 11:18 am
ecobhoy says:
April 21, 2015 at 10:54 am

You have made a disgusting and scurrilous allegation against me and I have already asked you to provide evidence to support it.

I am asking yet again – further failure to provide any evidence will speak volumes about the claims you so lightly make without a scrap of evidence.


Again you throw in another squirrel that I agree with you it was more likely to do with bad refereeing.

That was evident throughout the game and affected both sides. However as to the incident under discussion I don’t know if the ref is solely at fault or whether the blame lies elsewhere or is shared.

I hope that an answer to Celtic might provide that info and as I have repeatedly made clear I will reserve my position until that point.

View Comment

tayredPosted on11:57 am - Apr 21, 2015

Eco, attempted to PM to take this off board but your box is full.

As I said above I have withdrawn said accusations, I am happy to hear I misunderstood your original comments and am delighted to be proven wrong.

For the sake of everyone else perhaps we should take this off board and clear this up?

Think it should be now tayred. Very elegantly and gracefully dealt with too 🙂

View Comment

bluPosted on11:57 am - Apr 21, 2015

James Forrest says:
April 21, 2015 at 11:09 am

The latest refereeing scandal is an opportunity for change. We need to grab this one and it’s high time Celtic led from the front.

James, my reading of the above is that there needs to be a response because Celtic have been on the wrong end of a bad decision.

Can you take it up with James on his own site please?

View Comment

tykebhoyPosted on12:19 pm - Apr 21, 2015

AS MCFC is not about. The first trades of RIFC shares post AIM have occured today
http://lmmx.co.uk/companies/profile/rangers-international-foofball-club-plc/ dropping the price a further 2.5p to 27.5p. I think the sellers may have got a good deal 😈

View Comment

scapaflowPosted on12:24 pm - Apr 21, 2015

Interesting post, on a case that could have a huge impact on the governance of all sports across Europe. (Its from linkedin, hence posting in full, as not everyone will have anacount)

“Skating on Thin Ice: CAS & the Enforcement of its Awards

The recent outcome reached by the Higher Regional Court of Munich in the Claudia Pechstein matter, illustrates the procedural and jurisdictional problems associated with the issue of self-regulation in sport. It also serves as a clear indicator of the fine and delicate balance between external regulation and self-regulation in sport.

Recently, the German court held that the Award delivered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which upheld a doping ban against the applicant Claudia Pechstein, was not enforceable in Germany, as the arbitration agreement between Pechstein and her sporting governing body (ISU), was in violation of German anti-trust laws and it was, therefore, invalid. The court also concluded that it is competent to rule on the EUR 4m compensation claim against the ISU. The ISU has indicated that it will appeal to the German Federal Court, whose decision will be final and binding. If the Federal Court decides to upheld the Regional Court’s decision, such decision would have far-reaching consequences for the enforcement of CAS awards in national jurisdictions. It would also seriously affect CAS’ jurisdiction in terms of the several arbitration agreements between stakeholders in different sports.

The court produced two important findings. In the first finding, the court explained that the ISU holds a monopoly in the market of international ice speed skating competitions. In the premises, the court held that the ISU is deemed to have a dominant market position, for the purposes of the German Law against Restraints on Competition. According to this law, a company that has a dominant market position is prohibited from requiring the other party to agree to provisions that deviate from those that would likely prevail in case of a functioning competitive environment. This, the court held, was against public policy.

In the second finding, the court raised issues of neutrality and independence, with regards to procedure before CAS. Although the German court recognised the necessity of the operation of CAS, with regards to the conclusion of arbitration agreements and decisions based on such agreements, the court also found that because of the specific procedural rules applicable in CAS arbitration, the sports federations have a decisive and predominant influence on the selection of the individuals who can be chosen as arbitrators. The court’s finding on this point was that CAS procedure with regards to the selection and appointment of arbitrators may not be neutral and thus may have an effect on the issues of impartiality and independence.

Finally, the German court delivered a serious blow to the enforcement of the CAS’ award against Pechstein, as it held that current German anti-trust laws prohibit ISU from forcing Pechstein to agree to the arbitration agreement. As anti-trust laws are part of public policy, to accept the enforcement of a CAS award would mean violation not only of German anti-trust laws (and consequently abuse of the ISU’s dominant position in the market), but effectively, violation of German public policy.

It follows that the outcome of this important legal matter will determine not only the future of the relationship between athletes and sporting governing bodies, but more importantly, the future of CAS as the supreme court in sport. The undersigned is of the view that CAS’ importance cannot be underestimated, not only because of the expertise it produces with regards to complex sporting issues, but also in terms of its process which is quick and flexible. As the undersigned has stated in a recent interview with the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/31447368), CAS must not be dismissed as the final and supreme arbiter on sports law issues. Instead, CAS must reform itself and become better, for the benefit of sport and those who seek justice.

Dr. Gregory Ioannidis, 6 March 2015.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on12:25 pm - Apr 21, 2015

tykebhoy says:
April 21, 2015 at 12:19 pm

AS MCFC is not about. The first trades of RIFC shares post AIM have occured today
http://lmmx.co.uk/companies/profile/rangers-international-foofball-club-plc/ dropping the price a further 2.5p to 27.5p. I think the sellers may have got a good deal
Well that’s interesting in view of all the statements made that they wouldn’t be allowed to actually list on lmmx and trade shares.

I think you’re right about the seller getting a good price as I would have thought it would have dropped back to circa 18p where it was IIRC before the share-buying splurge pre egm.

Of course at the volumes likely to be traded it’s cheap as chips to support an inflated price if that’s what the plan is.

Although when it comes to big volumes if someone wants out then that’s another matter.

View Comment

scapaflowPosted on12:28 pm - Apr 21, 2015

ecobhoy says:
April 21, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Sort of. As understood it, the concerns centred around the ascension to the Iron Throne of DCK, an event which has not yet happened, (and, one I’m beginning to think won’t, cos DCK doesn’t actually want it).


I should really say, I don’t think DCK wants to be on any Rangers Board in the current circumstances.

View Comment

seniorPosted on12:29 pm - Apr 21, 2015

I have to say, I’ve been very disappointed by some of the posts on here since handballgate, and the reaction to many other posts. Eminently sensible points made by rational posters end up with a massive amount of “thumbs downs”. TFSM has at least called a halt to all the conspiracy stuff. However, unfortunately, I don’t think some of the opinion and supposition posted here over the last couple of days has done the site any favours.

15 10 Rate This


Come on leave the site (messenger) out of it.
This site has been the only good thing that has come out of the shambles of the last three years. The first sign of tension or heat on this site and you castigate the messenger.
BTW I support Celtic and I say good luck to ICT in the final. I think with their resources compared to Celtic’s they must be applauded in overcoming this huge gap.
Celtic huffed and puffed but they were’nt able to match ICT hunger and in the end it came down to hunger. I’m also big enough to say that ICT were denied a penalty when Zaluska came off his line and flattened the ICT player.
Finally, even though it hurts me to say it, its great to see the trophies go to different club. What kind of a game would we have if the one club kept winning all the prizes on offer….. head below the parapet.

View Comment

cavansamPosted on12:52 pm - Apr 21, 2015

senior 12.29

Here here my answer to the lazy “Scottish football is dead since Rangers were dealt with (paraphrasing there)” people is that they should talk to fans of St Mirren League Cup winners 2012-2013, St Johnstone Scottish cup winners 2013-2014, Aberdeen League Cup Winners 2013-2014 and either Inverness Caley Thistle or Falkirk Scottish Cup winners 2014-2015 and ask them how they currently feel about the lack of success for Rangers (or Celtic) as a barometer of the state of Scottish football. I can imagine the replies…

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on12:56 pm - Apr 21, 2015

scapaflow says:
April 21, 2015 at 12:28 pm
ecobhoy says:
April 21, 2015 at 12:25 pm

I don’t think DCK wants to be on any Rangers Board in the current circumstances.
Well that’s the 64 million $ question.

Does he hold back his investment – assuming he has any spare money – to pressure the SFA into awarding FPP status to him.

Now that the listing is live can Rangers go ahead with a Rights Issue and how long would that take to organise? If it’s longer than 5 weeks they still have to finance two end of month wage bills.

View Comment

scapaflowPosted on1:17 pm - Apr 21, 2015

ecobhoy says:
April 21, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Months rather than weeks, and given the dysfunctional nature of the RIFC board, many months :mrgreen:

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on1:17 pm - Apr 21, 2015

ecobhoy says:
April 21, 2015 at 12:25 pm

tykebhoy says:
April 21, 2015 at 12:19 pm

AS MCFC is not about. The first trades of RIFC shares post AIM have occured today
http://lmmx.co.uk/companies/profile/rangers-international-foofball-club-plc/ dropping the price a further 2.5p to 27.5p. I think the sellers may have got a good deal
Well that’s interesting in view of all the statements made that they wouldn’t be allowed to actually list on lmmx and trade shares.

Eco, does this actually mean they are ‘listed’ on an exchange? I thought JP Jenkins was just a service they were getting to enable shares to be traded ‘off market’, though I may have misunderstood it.

Wasn’t it the ISDX market they were trying to get onto, and having difficulty with?

I may be totally wrong, though.

View Comment

tykebhoyPosted on1:20 pm - Apr 21, 2015

ecobhoy says:
April 21, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Now that the listing is live can Rangers go ahead with a Rights Issue and how long would that take to organise?
Although the domain is lmmx it does appear to be just the JP Jenkins facility mentioned in the RIFC de-listing RNS. Also the sites homepage http://lmmx.co.uk/ claims it is “the largest European platform exchange for unlisted securities” (emphasis is mine)

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on1:23 pm - Apr 21, 2015

tykebhoy says:
April 21, 2015 at 1:20 pm

Snap! (ish) 😀

View Comment

tykebhoyPosted on1:24 pm - Apr 21, 2015

Allyjambo your memory is better than mine it was ISDX which would be a share listing. I believe 12 months working capital was only one of the stumbling blocks 😉

View Comment

scapaflowPosted on1:32 pm - Apr 21, 2015

tykebhoy says:
April 21, 2015 at 1:24 pm

Not so much stumbling blocks, more a veritable minefield. :mrgreen:

Starting with basic governance problems, such as not a single functioning Executive Director, none, zero ❗ downhill from there, I would suggest 🙄

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on1:37 pm - Apr 21, 2015

tykebhoy says:
April 21, 2015 at 1:24 pm

My memory is failing by the year, and too many have past, so I doff my cap to all those who do the research I am too lazy, and not very good at, to do. You even provided concrete reference to JP Jenkins own description of their facility! Good stuff!

Giving opinions on TSFM, as I am limited to doing, is all very well, and enjoyable, but it’s those posters who make the effort to do the research and provide the references, and evidence, that give the blog it’s strength and purpose.

Together we make a formidable, in my opinion, medium for the truth about Scottish football to be put out and discussed.

PS, really glad we’re back on track and discussing shares and legal thingies again, instead of all that footbally stuff 😉

View Comment

Cygnus X-1Posted on1:40 pm - Apr 21, 2015

Interesting stuff, all the fallout from the handball decision that wasn’t given on Sunday & indeed I had a bit of a debate in another place with a Dons fan, who thought that Celtic were pathetic and shouldn’t be complaining, as they have been victims of bad decisions themselves & just got on with it.

Now’s that true, but that’s not the point,neither is anyone else pointing out other bad decisions in football, the point is Celtic are well within their rights to query this decision.Celtic have a legitimate right to query how & why this decision was missed, on its own merits…..and that’s aside from the fact that Celtic have recently been on the end of “Dougiegate” where a Grade 1 official lied to the club & the game as a whole.

For myself, I’m very uncomfortable at the lack of accountability & transparency from the refereeing fraternity in Scotland and it appears that their first instinct is to withdraw into a tight cabal at the first whiff of criticism, they retreat & circle the wagons.

After the events of 2010, one would’ve hoped for better. Like it or not, referees are now paid professionals and they need to get and be seen to get, the big decisions correct. If they can’t deal with this, then bring back the foreign referees, who to my mind were far better, as seen, during the recent ill-fated & unwise refereeing strike?

View Comment

Bryce CurdyPosted on2:01 pm - Apr 21, 2015

allyjambo 10:38 am

Best post on TSFM for several weeks. I’ve been thinking very similar, but my thoughts lacked the clarity to put things into words to the standard you have managed.

The only point I would add is that ‘Fixturegate’ very conveniently afforded the SFA an opportunity to avoid serious scrutiny regarding their Sevco dual interest decision. TSFM has warned conspiracy theorists earlier today, but I think a cynic could be forgiven for believing such a blatantly absurd decision so quickly and conveniently resolved might have just been ever so slightly contrived.

View Comment

SmugasPosted on2:02 pm - Apr 21, 2015

eco @ 12.56

I thinks there’s another dynamic at play for King as well. He clearly doesn’t want to prop up the (f)ailing machine at present else he would have done so by now. I’m guessing, and this is maybe unfair that restricted funds is the reason. But, to avoid investment just now, for whatever reason, is to open the door another creak to his nemesis Ashley, who I’m sure would begrudgingly use his small change to prop up the thing that then pays him back fourfold for doing so.

Alternatively, King could actually call Ashley’s bluff and allow the thing to sink to an admin event in as much as he has distanced himself publicly from those nasty men who brought it down (although what Letham, Taylor et al would think is different) and could quickly re-attain his saviour status (presumably his goal in all this) by funding another start up.


Could he guarantee himself preferred bidder status for Rangers#3? And secondly, could his start up avoid any points deduction. Too big a risk to try and absorb it unless reconstruction at 16/17 was a given. Could, for instance, they call time after losing the playoff, but before the end of the season?

And would admin help or hinder the newco in any case or would they still be onerously bound?

View Comment

SFMPosted on2:07 pm - Apr 21, 2015

Bit of OT housekeeping stuff folks – and a plea for help – so bear with me.

Our techie people are currently looking at some changes to the site, including a bit of rebranding. I think we have moved past the cracked SFA crest thing, and for the time being, we will move to the icon you see in my posts.

Also, the “T” in TSFM seems a bit redundant, so I think in future we will use the sfm.scot domain that we purchased just before the referendum 🙂

Now to the request. It might save us some much needed funds if we can persuade any of our readers to give us mates rates on the construction of a new brand, a new icon to replace the crest, both reflecting the subtle name change.

I am also aware of the uber-grandiosity of my nickname. To be honest the original TSFM (the one before me) picked that monicker to mirror the RTC model. I will change my name to something else very soon – something cuddly perhaps 🙂

Back to the bickering 😈

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on2:30 pm - Apr 21, 2015

Bryce Curdy says:
April 21, 2015 at 2:01 pm

An interesting theory about ‘fixturegate’, and wouldn’t be surprising at all if it turned out to be more than a theory. Problem is, could they do it without the connivance of Doncaster, the man they then hung out to dry?

I think it was just another of those fortuitous happenstances that seem to come to TRFC and their protectors just when they need them! Besides, such a conspiracy would have needed a level of organisation our football bodies seem unable to aspire to, let alone achieve!

It did, however, give the media a nice little squirrel to excuse their lack of a dissection of the dual influence decision they never intended doing anyway!

So many opportunities for journalists’ dreams of fame, or notoriety, have been missed, from fear or favour; so many opportunities to right wrongs have disappeared…from and by so many charged with ensuring the integrity of the sport we love…in these ‘years of saving Rangers’. Oh for a handful of Turnbull Huttons!

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on2:44 pm - Apr 21, 2015

Smugas says:
April 21, 2015 at 2:02 pm
eco @ 12.56

Alternatively, King could actually call Ashley’s bluff and allow the thing to sink to an admin event in as much as he has distanced himself publicly from those nasty men who brought it down (although what Letham, Taylor et al would think is different) and could quickly re-attain his saviour status (presumably his goal in all this) by funding another start up.
I have said a few times that Ashley has a problem in pulling the plug because of a default in the loan. If he does even if he refloats/refinances another version of Rangers then IMO the Bears won’t buy shirts from him. I’m also not sure how many would buy STs.

So whatever he does he needs someone to take-over the running and financing of the football side because I’m sure Ashley’s realises the money-pit that Ibrox is.

So he needs DK or someone like him – although they have to have access to say £20-30 million fairly quickly – to get through another season whether that be the Championship or Premiership.

We just don’t know whether DK has that kind of money or even if he does have whether he can commit it or even wants to. If it isn’t him I honestly can’t see another RRM anywhere on the horizon.

So do we get a mystery overseas investor popping-up. Again I think even Bears might spot that one coming this time round. And again it doesn’t mean Ashley will sell shirts.

I still think there could be some kind of deal between MA and DK – they’re both businessmen first and foremost and that’s what Bears IMO have to remember wrt DK.

But time marches on more wages are due – will they be met?

DK might want to be a Saviour but he also wants to make money and have control – the trick is in achieving that without spending his own money and it’s that bit of the shell game I’ll be watching for. Not suggesting anything dishonest but I’m sure it will need fast eyeballs to spot when it goes down.

Maybe not – maybe DK isn’t as clever a businessman as I thought – after all Sars did get their man at the end of the day.

View Comment

woodsteinPosted on3:08 pm - Apr 21, 2015

Allyjambo says:

April 21, 2015 at 1:37 pm


PS, really glad we’re back on track and discussing shares and legal thingies again, instead of all that footbally stuff 😉

That made me tick:

View Comment

Comments are closed.