Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?

ByAuldheid

Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No Independent Enquiry?

SR No

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT Never?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fit and Proper Person and Absence of Governance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT Rangers were a mess financially everybody new that

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

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

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

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

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

SR We didn’t fail.

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

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

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

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

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

SR Well I think the articles

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

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

AT ??  (Interrupted)

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

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

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

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

The Nature of EBTS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT Sometimes

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

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

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

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

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

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

If Carlsberg did irony!

End of Interview.

The Hard Not to Believe Conclusions

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

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

The reader will find it hard not to conclude that either

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

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

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

Annex One – Extracts from Lord Nimmo Smith Decision

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

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

 

Outline of the Scheme

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

Auldheid  Feb 2015

About the author

Auldheid author

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

5,190 Comments so far

nawlitePosted on10:24 pm - Apr 23, 2015


Darryl Broadfoot was good enough to respond to my emails looking for clarification as to why the Compliance Officer became involved when the ref’s evidence to the panel showed that he and the goal line assistant had seen the incident and made the decision that they couldn’t be sure of the handball.

Hi Darryl,

Can you clarify for me why the Compliance Officer became involved in the Josh Meekings handball case from the weekend’s semi-final, please?

From the outcome of today’s review panel meeting and the evidence provided by the referee, Steven McLean, it is clear that between the referee and the goal line assistant, they had seen the incident and decided that it was not a handball. BBC reports it thus “In his report, referee Steven McLean had explained he had sought the advice of Alan Muir – the official behind the goal – and was told by him that he thought the ball had struck the defender’s head.” I can understand this given a) their respective positions/angles of sight and b) how close Meekings’ hand was to his head.

I believe that the Compliance Officer should become involved retrospectively ONLY when an incident that falls under his remit has not been seen by the officials. Clearly, in this case the officials saw the incident and unfortunately made the wrong decision. The fact that they made the wrong decision (Meekings himself admits the ball struck his hand) should not allow the Compliance Officer to undermine the officials’ decision on the pitch.

Can you clarify how and why the Compliance Officer became involved? I cannot believe that before citing Meekings, the Compliance Officer would not have spoken to the officials to understand what they had seen and if they had made a decision on the pitch.

Thanks.
He responded:-

Yes. The rules permit, indeed compel, the Compliance Officer to raise a notice on such incidents. The outcome is wholly dependent on an independent three-person panel.

I went back to clarify:-

Thanks Darryl,

Having had a look through the SFA’s Judicial panel Protocol 2014/15, it seems to support my interpretation that the Compliance Officer should become involved ONLY when the match officials have not seen the incident. Section 13.4 states:-

13.4.1 The Compliance Officer may refer the following matters to Fast Track Proceedings:
13.4.1.1 Alleged Sending-Off offences at a match (as defined in Section 3 of Annex C hereto) not seen by match officials, which are brought to the attention of the Compliance Officer by whatever means.

The handball is clearly an “Alleged sending off offence” so falls under this section I believe, but the key words here are “not seen by match officials”. It is clear from Steven McLean’s evidence to the review panel that the incident was seen by the goal line assistant and between them they decided that they were not absolutely sure that it was a penalty, so played on.

Are you saying that the role of the Compliance Officer is to step in whenever the officials get a decision wrong, provided the offence is either a red card or cautionable offence?

Thanks.

Darryl clarified with:-

Don’t confuse incident seen and an act seen ie Jason Talbot case: upgraded from yellow to red since incident seen (aggressive foul) but not violent act.

So it seems that the role of the Compliance Officer is indeed to pick up instances where officials make wrong decisions but only when the offence meets certain criteria as laid down in the Judicial Protocol. Seems our understanding of when the Compliance Officer can act was wrong. Fair play to DB for clarifying.

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Barcabhoy

BarcabhoyPosted on10:51 pm - Apr 23, 2015


The notion that Meekings did not deliberately handball is nonsense in my opinion. Still photographs clearly show that it was hand to ball and was not a protective measure

I don’t have a problem with Meekings playing in the final as I don’t think he should have been cited as I find it difficult to believe all officials missed the incident. Meekings us effectively being rewarded for taking a chance at a significant rule break , and the worry would be on the precedent set

Where everyone should be concerned though is the decision that was reached by the appeal panel. Everyone involved : Celtic , ICT and Meekings are merely collateral damage as far as the SFA referees body is concerned. The embarrassing and insulting comments by Fleming have now been supplimented by today’s incredible panel decision. Job done , mission accomplished .

They need to be brought to heel. They clearly are unable as a group to admit wrongdoing and are unable to acknowledge the damage their incompetence and cover up does to the game.

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Methilhill Stroller

Methilhill StrollerPosted on10:59 pm - Apr 23, 2015


Castaway
Just got in and seen your question.
I was trying to make a comparison between the big and “Diddy” teams.

I believe Celtic don’t always get favouritism as the Tonev case and others prove but I was just trying to make a point that big teams do get a nod over diddy teams. Administrators the problem not the teams!!!!

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parttimearabPosted on11:14 pm - Apr 23, 2015


Barcabhoy says:
April 23, 2015 at 10:51 pm
The notion that Meekings did not deliberately handball is nonsense in my opinion. Still photographs clearly show that it was hand to ball and was not a protective measure
==========================================================
Sorry Barca but I’m not clear that a still photo could show hand to ball or otherwise seeing as a still will not show movement ❓

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FisianiPosted on12:06 am - Apr 24, 2015


So the mere threat of the ICT nuclear option made the SFA blink just as I pointed out yesterday. The panel knew the result they had to emerge with. Do the SFA think that we are all mugs?

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paulsatimPosted on12:15 am - Apr 24, 2015


coineanachantaighe says:
April 23, 2015 at 9:39 pm
StevieBC says:
April 23, 2015 at 5:36 pm

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

surely wont affect big Mike and SD as TRFC/RIFC have to pay SD for any unsold strips ( dont know if that includes other SD merchandise) at a rate ABOVE the retail price! 😆

Plus if they brought out the much wanted orange strip, I wonder how the bears would be able to resist!

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on12:57 am - Apr 24, 2015


Just a general observation.

How many Internet Bampots would give their left leg for an exec position at the SFA or SPFL ?

A decent 6 figure salary, plus healthy expenses/perks, and encouraged to watch as many footie games as possible.

I wouldn’t mind, and there are – IMO – plenty of bampots here who could do a better job than either Regan or Doncaster.

Whilst I don’t have any media experience, I would have grasped long before now that there had to be a ‘charm offensive’ to get the fans onside. Instead both bodies continue to make @rses of themselves.

And in my experience: if an organisation is so unaware of its shambolic public perception, then for its staff it will be twice as awful/frustrating internally.

Auldheid for SFA El Presidente ! 😆

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woodstein

woodsteinPosted on12:57 am - Apr 24, 2015


Sorry for length, but had to comment and declare an interest : 43 years in Insurance Industry

ecobhoy says:

April 23, 2015 at 6:26 pm

Adeste Fideles says:
April 23, 2015 at 5:56 pm

There a fantastic article on Borussia Dortmund posted today on The Offshore Game webpage.

https://www.theoffshoregame.net/profit-loss-dortmund-insurance/
——————————————————————–
That is indeed a fascinating story. Of course insurance at its very base is simply gambling. It might be cloaked in all sorts of mumbo-jumbo (aka statistical consideration of risk factors) but there’s little difference.

However I’m intrigued by the comment: ‘Such contracts are banned in the UK for obvious reasons’.

————————————————————————————————————–
Last sentence (may) be because of this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_Assurance_Act_1774

The act established:-

Insurable Interest (applicable to Life and Property).

A right, benefit, or advantage arising out of property that is of such nature that it may properly be indemnified.

In the law of insurance, the insured must have an interest in the subject matter of his or her policy, or such policy will be void and unenforceable since it will be regarded as a form of gambling.

An individual ordinarily has an insurable interest when he or she will obtain some type of financial benefit from the preservation of the subject matter, or will sustain pecuniary loss from its destruction or impairment when the risk insured against occurs.

In certain jurisdictions, the innocent purchaser of a stolen car, who has a right of possession superior to all with the exception of the true owner, has an insurable interest in the automobile. This is not the case, however, where an individual knowingly purchases a stolen automobile.

Insurable interest is not dependent upon who pays the premiums of the policy. In addition, different people can have separate insurable interests in the same subject matter or property

However insurance is never considered to be gambling:

Risk is the possibility (uncertainty) that a loss might occur, and it is the reason people buy insurance. Some people think the risk you take with insurance is the same as the risk involved with gambling.

The risk in gambling is “speculative” risk. Gambling creates a risk situation that offers an opportunity for gain as well as for loss.
Insurance deals with “pure” risk. With pure risk there is the possibility that a certain event will occur, e.g., accident Fire, or other damage.

What is the difference between insurance and gambling?
The purpose of insurance is to restore the insured to his original position, not to afford the injured person the possibility of making a profit.
There might be gain in gambling.

In insurance there is absolutely **no** possibility of gain otherwise it falls foul of the 1774 Act

That is why the correct terminology is
Life Assurance (You *will* die)
Property Insurance (there is a *possiblity* of loss)

View Comment

StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on1:18 am - Apr 24, 2015


woodstein says:
April 24, 2015 at 12:57 am

Sorry for length, but had to comment and declare an interest : 43 years in Insurance Industry

ecobhoy says:

April 23, 2015 at 6:26 pm

Adeste Fideles says:
April 23, 2015 at 5:56 pm

There a fantastic article on Borussia Dortmund posted today on The Offshore Game webpage….
===========================
That was an interesting article, and on the face of it, the policy made perfect business sense: trying to manage the risk of highly volatile revenue streams dependent on CL qualification, or not.

And that is why I have thought for a long time that e.g. the EPL should be a franchise. How can you run a potentially global business if there is the annual threat of relegation ?

I appreciate that is not sport – but the EPL is all about business first and literally billions of pounds are now involved.

And as the article suggested, how many insurance polices are already out there that the football authorities do not know about, [or would understand] ?

The financial crisis fallout highlighted all sorts of exotic and complex financial instruments, [e.g. Credit Default Swaps], and we know that football attracts all sorts of chancers, so who knows what is out there re: insurance ?

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Long Time Lurker

Long Time LurkerPosted on7:00 am - Apr 24, 2015


‘Real Rangers men’ meeting with executives from SD is one elephant in the room for the SMSM and the SFA – it is clear that Rangers are struggling financially, living from pay day to pay day. Yet, the SFA have taken no action with this one club (unless you count the 5 way agreement). If media reports are true there is nothing left to mortgage, and each month we read in the SMSM and elsewhere that Directors need to put in more money.

Getting the club back into the top flight appears to be the answer/strategy that is being followed. As I type, the madness of that approach astounds me – surely this approach can only delay the inevitable. Is the top flight of Scottish football so rich that prize money will bridge the shortfall between Ranger’s income and expenditure? Yet, it appears that the footballing authorities are bending over backwards to assist. Top flight football appears to be the only game in town. To many it appears that the rules and their consistent application are not being followed to the benefit of 1 member club.

The Celtic v ICT game was refereed very poorly. As a neutral listening to the game and then watching the highlights post match, the decision not to award a penalty in the first half to Celtic amazed me. However, I do not believe that the poor decision was nothing other than a mistake.

The continued attitude of some in Scottish football, that Rangers are a ‘big club’ in many respects above all others is cancerous. When other clubs continue to play by the rules and to conduct their business within financial and moral standards it is easy to understand why there is a belief that Celtic were cheated last Sunday.

As long as the footballing authorities and elements of the SMSM act to prop up the so called ‘big club’ then the underlying frustration and belief that our beautiful game is corrupted will remain.

It is my earnest hope that the governance of the game is opened up, that its inner workings are made more transparent, that if rules are broken and/or not consistently applied then this will come to light and action taken. If a club is a big club, then they have earned the right to that title through sporting merit, nothing else.

Until there is a level playing field, then it will be too easy and understandable for honest mistakes to be doubted.

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Danish PastryPosted on7:08 am - Apr 24, 2015


parttimearab says:
April 23, 2015 at 7:55 pm
Danish Pastry says:
April 23, 2015 at 4:33 pm

Yep, all change, only one season before but across two now it would seem…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/32436839
———-

Cheers Rab, more of a deterrent tbh, and a stimulus to get the house in order at any club that mismanages financies. I suppose the next semantic challenge will be, ‘when is insolvency, insolvency?’ :irony:

Back on Ibrox, if MA has the ‘badge & colours’ and is on speaking terms with the owner of Ibrox (whom he does not know, in best Rene Artois fashion), wouldn’t it be possible to manufacture an insolvency event (with the anonymous person, whom he does not know) that together would place them in position A to control any surviving or new entity? ‘If you have them by the badge and stadium, their hearts and minds are sure to follow’ type of thing?

On the comedy farce theme, dear old Rene Artois in ‘Allo Allo’ had to cope with the two resistance groups and the authorties in order to keep his business open. It all worked out well, though, since he gained the ultimate prize everyone was bickering over. There’s a lesson there 😆 (I shall say this only once.)

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Danish PastryPosted on7:34 am - Apr 24, 2015


parttimearab says:
April 23, 2015 at 7:55 pm

Yep, all change, only one season before but across two now it would seem…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/32436839
———-

Cheers Rab, more of a deterrent tbh, and a stimulus to get the house in order at any club that mismanages financies. I suppose the next semantic challenge will be, ‘when is insolvency, insolvency?’ :irony:

Back on Ibrox, if MA has the ‘badge & colours’ and is on speaking terms with the owner of Ibrox (whom he does not know, in best Rene Artois fashion), wouldn’t it be possible to manufacture an insolvency event (with the anonymous person, whom he does not know) that together would place them in position A to control any surviving or new entity? ‘If you have them by the badge and stadium, their hearts and minds are sure to follow’ type of thing?

On the comedy farce theme, dear old Rene Artois in ‘Allo Allo’ had to cope with the two resistance groups and the authorties in order to keep his business open. It all worked out well, though, since he gained the ultimate prize everyone was bickering over. There’s a lesson there 😆 (I shall say this only once.)

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helpmaboab

helpmaboabPosted on9:21 am - Apr 24, 2015


melbournedee April 23,at 10:08
The prospect of a ICT vs Falkirk final should be cherished by all of us who are Armageddon deniers
……………….
And maybe the media will refrain from the patronising “enjoy their day out” phrase oft used when up against the ‘big’teams.

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BrendaPosted on9:40 am - Apr 24, 2015


Apologies if I’ve missed something, but have Celtic FC been given clarification? Forgive me but there are so many ‘versions’ coming from the SFA I think they have to decide which one they’re settling on 😕 surely Celtic cannot just lie down to this farce 😥 and is there any real point to the ‘compliance officer’ ……. Sfa are a laughing stock …… Tonev no evidence guilty …… Meekings evidence not guilty ………..??????
Personally pleased that meekings is allowed to play in the final. Whole thing reeks 😥

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Methilhill Stroller

Methilhill StrollerPosted on9:40 am - Apr 24, 2015


Castaway

Following on from my brief response last night please see the comments from “Long Time Lurker says: April 24, 2015 at 7:00 am”.

The comments there more clearly describe my feelings. I repeat I have nothing against Celtic or any other club that plays by the rules. It is the administrators that are the ones that are ruining our game but I have to add, as stated before, it does need all of our clubs to stand up and be heard when problems arise, not just when it suits them or their Directors for whatever reason.

It should not be a case of Celtic should lead this argument, or Hibs and Hearts the other, but all clubs should realize they are in the same boat and need to clear out the people ruining the game and quickly. I was with a mixture of EPL supporters last night all of whom were, to sum up a long discussion on numerous issues, of the opinion that the Scottish Football Administrators had completely lost the plot. Enough said!

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ecobhoyPosted on9:43 am - Apr 24, 2015


woodstein says:
April 24, 2015 at 12:57 am

I totally accept the points you make wrt insurance at its core not meant to place an insured person in a better position following a loss.

However what really intrigued me about the story is that the arena is a European-wide football competition where some of the contestants have the advantage – through insurance – of being able to retain their Euro income even though they don’t qualify to enter the competition.

That’s why I pointed to the EC Competition Rules which may well be being breached because of the discrimination against clubs unable to take-out insurance because of national legislation restrictions.

When I said: Insurance at its very base is simply gambling’ I mean that a person with property – to keep it simple – can make the choice whether to insure it or not. If they decide not and spend the premium on say a holiday they gamble their house won’t be burnt to the ground. Same with motor ionsurance where they gamble they won’t be in an accident or stopped by the police.

So I’m not so sure that the dividing lines between ‘pure’ and ‘speculative’ risk are always clear-cut. However it also appears that BD did make a ‘profit’ from the insurance albeit that would be difficult to define when the restrictive clauses which are in operation are taken into account.

And as @StevieBC says we don’t actually know how many such policies are out there. Indeed some EPL teams might be using them.

Without perusing the Life Assurance Act 1774 I don’t know whether the policy in question would come under its remit although I doubt it. And then there’s the further issue that if the policy is crafted to exclude the possibility of ‘gain’ then it probably wouldn’t breach the act in any case.

I have little doubt that BD is the only team to be using these policies and it might well be that Germany has looser legal controls over making ‘gains’ from insurance but I would doubt that.

Btw when we started getting ‘new lamps for old’ IMO the insured started breaching the 1774 Act 😆

The article really is another fascinating insight into how close football is these days to the equally murky world of high finance and I would say it’s well worth a read.

https://www.theoffshoregame.net/profit-loss-dortmund-insurance/ .

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castawayPosted on9:56 am - Apr 24, 2015


Methilhill Stroller says:
April 23, 2015 at 10:59 pm
Castaway
Just got in and seen your question.
I was trying to make a comparison between the big and “Diddy” teams.
I believe Celtic don’t always get favouritism as the Tonev case and others prove but I was just trying to make a point that big teams do get a nod over diddy teams. Administrators the problem not the teams!!!!
=============================
Methil,
Sure, administrators are the problem. But I’m still curious as to when Celtic got the nod, as you say, unfairly over anybody. I’ve no memory of it ever happening over many years. If you can think of any examples I’d be interested.

It’s a side issue, and I’ve no wish to take up time and space on here.

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Gabby

GabbyPosted on10:18 am - Apr 24, 2015


If Celtic really, really felt they needed to send a letter, then this is the type of thing they should have sent….

Celtic FC has received numerous requests from our fans to ask for an explanation about the decision to not rule a penalty and red car to Josh Meekings during the Scottish Cup Semi Final last Sunday. We understand our fans are bitterly disappointed, just like any teams’ fans in the same situation.
As a result, Celtic FC would like to know how the referees came to their decision/ non decision in the game. However we would like to be part of a plan to help referees in the future.
Before we go any further Celtic FC would like to make the following acknowledgments;
• Congratulations to Inverness Caledonian Thistle on their win. They played with tremendous skill and tenacity and Celtic FC wishes them well in the Scottish Cup Final.
• We also acknowledge that all clubs have suffered from incorrect refereeing decisions, some in critical games.
It is for this reason that we seek to understand how these decisions are being arrived at, and how the member clubs, organising bodies and referee associate can work together to increase the accuracy of refereeing decisions for the benefit of Scottish Football as a whole.
Some ideas that have been discussed are:
• How can video replays play a part?
• Some nations send referees to other nations as part of a Referee Exchange Program to increase their exposure and experience. This also has the additional benefit of exposing players to different styles of referees which may have benefits in relation to European Cup, World Cup qualifiers or even Champions league or Europa League games.
• Can the relationship between players/clubs /referees be improved through referees attending and joining club training sessions?
This is by no means an exhaustive list and is meant as a starting point, not an end point.
We would welcome the opportunity to work with all member clubs, governing bodies and especially the Referees Association for the benefit of Scottish Football.
Our suggestion is a Refereeing Summit during the close season to identify the issues, discuss solutions and implement plans to meet our goals.

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ecobhoyPosted on10:58 am - Apr 24, 2015


Gabby says:
April 24, 2015 at 10:18 am

If Celtic really, really felt they needed to send a letter, then this is the type of thing they should have sent…
———————————————
I disagree as the letter you suggest goes way beyond the immediate point which is simply: ‘Please explain how the decision was arrived at’. I say decision because when Celic sent the letter it seemed there had been no decision reached but that the incident had been ‘missed’ by all officials.

Once the SFA provide that info then Celtic can make a decision as to if and how it should proceed with the matter.

My credo in a situation like this is not to give any leeway to a slippery character or room for manoeuvre. Ask the straight simple question and take it from there once the basic position is established.

Never jump fences too soon and never ever jump fences you don’t need to especially if you don’t know what lies in wait on the other side.

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Gabby

GabbyPosted on11:06 am - Apr 24, 2015


And that, Ecobhoy, is the crux of the problem. You want to play politics instead of working for a solution.

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Methilhill Stroller

Methilhill StrollerPosted on11:09 am - Apr 24, 2015


Castaway

Just to clarify what I said was “Ask the question: If the “handball” had been by a Celtic player do you really think our administrators would have taken this step? A possibility but the likelihood is not.”

I was not saying Celtic got the nod on anything specific and just posing a theoretical question to which there is no definitive answer. In my opinion, as above, “a possibility but probably not”.

If the roles were reversed and ICT had written asking for clarification do you think the Compliance Officer would have got involved? Maybe, maybe not, but different people will have their own ideas and answer to the question. It is not having a go at Celtic or ICT or any team, just questioning the competence of the administrators again!

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MoreCelticParanoia

MoreCelticParanoiaPosted on11:10 am - Apr 24, 2015


reporting on the successful Josh Meekings appeal last night Sky Sports stated “Celtic complained to the SFA after the player was not punished”.

Incompetence or brown stuff stirring or both? :slamb: :slamb: :slamb: :slamb:

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Gabby

GabbyPosted on11:13 am - Apr 24, 2015


Methihill, Caley Thistle would not have written a letter. They didn’t after last seasons League Cup final.

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MoreCelticParanoia

MoreCelticParanoiaPosted on11:16 am - Apr 24, 2015


Methilhill Stroller says:

April 24, 2015 at 11:09 am

Just to clarify what I said was “Ask the question: If the “handball” had been by a Celtic player do you really think our administrators would have taken this step? A possibility but the likelihood is not.”
____________________________________

Celtic have had three players cited for disciplinary hearing this season – including seemingly the only player guilty of diving all season.

So, if you ignore all previous evidence then yes you could say the likelihood is not.

You can play semantics but what you are inferring is Celtic would receive preferential treatment other clubs would not receive which is laughable in the face of the evidence and would attract accusations of paranoia if it was made in reverse

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nawlitePosted on11:29 am - Apr 24, 2015


I’m surprised that we’re still discussing what the officials did or didn’t see. Following my email exchange with DB (posted last night), I’m happier than I was. The big issue for me wasn’t so much the wrong decision (sh*t happens and I think evens itself out), but the early reports that the officials hadn’t seen anything. I think the wording of those reports and our interpretation of them is the issue here. I thought my interpretation that they were claiming not to have seen anything just to avoid admitting wrongdoing (wrong decision, bias, whatever) was proven by the subsequent involvement of the Compliance Officer. That’s because I thought the CO could only become involved if the officials had missed the incident altogether. Darryl’s response, supported by the published Judicial Protocol AND the precedent of the Jason Talbot case clears it up for me. The officials said they hadn’t seen anything, but meant they had seen the incident but hadn’t seen a handball. As per WOTTPI’s posts, I can understand that. The CO rightly picks up on the high profile incident – with or without Celtic’s letter – and cites Meekings for review. After that, I’m not too bothered as I don’t want to see Meekings miss the final, but I must confess the review panel decision leaves me confused. I assume they must have used the available replay footage and seen that the officials were wrong and the ball hit his hand. They must, therefore, have decided it was not a deliberate handball and, as I posted about my own cup-final penalty yesterday, I believe you can move hand to ball instinctively and not deliberately. Nonetheless, per Steven McLean’s handball instruction video – and countless MOTD handball offences – I’m pretty sure that his hand is not in a natural position when the ball strikes it. Until now, the question of intent/deliberate seems to have been overtaken by the ‘unnatural position’ argument, but not in this case. Perhaps the panel hadn’t seen Steven McLean’s instruction video!!

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castawayPosted on11:33 am - Apr 24, 2015


Methilhill Stroller says:
April 24, 2015 at 9:40 am
=====================
I’ve just read your post. That’s fine. I was simply curious wrt your initial remark that Celtic would have received preferential treatment in the circumstances. I wondered if you had any examples which might lead you to that belief. I accept what you say.

You’re right that the crew at Hampden need cleared out and before it’s too late for our game. It’s true the clubs should have the answer. Fortunately the clubs make up a diverse grouping, each individual with the wants and needs seen as suitable for that club/business/community.

Unfortunately, self-interest plays a big part. To get enough of a uniform approach is not as simple as it might seem. The task is to convince enough of them that they really must act to bring about the essential end to this bad joke.

Sadly, money and power appear to be the prime movers with senior management at many, maybe all, clubs. The solution is in the hands, or in the pockets, of the money suppliers. Quantitative toughening by the fans might be called for again.

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bluPosted on11:40 am - Apr 24, 2015


MoreCelticParanoia says:
April 24, 2015 at 11:10 am

reporting on the successful Josh Meekings appeal last night Sky Sports stated “Celtic complained to the SFA after the player was not punished”.

Incompetence or brown stuff stirring or both?

That was certainly some people’s view of it MCP. A Dundee United fan acquaintance of mine, a level-headed bright guy, was vitriolic in his criticism of Celtic’s decision to go public about the letter. He attributed the Compliance Officer’s charge against Meekings directly to Celtic’s protestations.

You might say that his views were coloured by the four back-to-back games,transfer of two of their better players to Celtic and shocking results since may have been a factor, I couldn’t possibly comment.

My view is that Celtic played this one wrong (only in the public nature of it)and it was easy for media outlets to infer cause and effect in the Celtic/Compliance Officer actions.

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ecobhoyPosted on12:00 pm - Apr 24, 2015


blu says:
April 24, 2015 at 11:40 am

My view is that Celtic played this one wrong (only in the public nature of it)and it was easy for media outlets to infer cause and effect in the Celtic/Compliance Officer actions.
———————————————–
There is some merit in your view IMO. However there’s a balancing act to be achieved which requires an answer to what the officials saw, didn’t see, or decided or didn’t decide on Sunday.

All I heard in the ground, leaving the ground, on the train, in the pub, was real anger and disbelief at the decision which worsened with the TV replays.

I do think Celtic fans were due an explanation and tbf to Celtic I doubt if they could have forseen what an absolute hash the SFA would make of it. Obviously the SMSM has ridden to the rescue of the SFA so what’s new about that?

But we’re still awaiting the answers requested. Will we get them? Not without keeping the pressure on the SFA on all fronts where Hampden’s dark secrets exist.

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MoreCelticParanoia

MoreCelticParanoiaPosted on12:01 pm - Apr 24, 2015


blu says:

April 24, 2015 at 11:40 am

My view is that Celtic played this one wrong (only in the public nature of it)and it was easy for media outlets to infer cause and effect in the Celtic/Compliance Officer actions.
____________________________________

I think there’s an element of damned if they do damned if they don’t. I think the idea is to try to help instil some semblance of accountability at the SFA bunker who attempt strenuously to avoid anything resembling transparency. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the SFA went after Meekings simply as a big GIRUY to Celtic and deflection from their own shortcomings. John Hughes certainly seems to think there’s more to it.

It’s a sad state of affairs that the media’s reaction in spinning this negatively against Celtic is so predictable and therefore a factor in what communications should take place publicly between clubs and the SFA – in an ideal world all would be public. Strange as well for a club that apparently benefits from so much preferential treatment from media and authorities alike in the world view of many.

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Madbhoy24941Posted on12:03 pm - Apr 24, 2015


blu says:

April 24, 2015 at 11:40 am

My view is that Celtic played this one wrong (only in the public nature of it)and it was easy for media outlets to infer cause and effect in the Celtic/Compliance Officer actions.

———————

That does not show up Celtic in a bad light (IMO), however, it certainly shows up the media as being incompetent. If they had indeed used a cause and effect in the manner it was designed, that would have led them to the true root cause of the issue and this was not Celtic’s letter!

Cherry picking effects is exactly what the media are doing which goes against their own well documented charter of “asking the questions that others don’t want asked”. If they had taken 2 minutes to call Celtic to ask them if they had an issue with the player not being punished or if they felt that this action would lead to that punishment, they would have been informed of the actual question and also (so I am being led to believe) the fact that they were not supportive of that action.

The simple fact that is now undeniable is that the media no longer see themselves as a business earning money through the investigation of truth and wrong doing or uncovering stories of public interest, they now see themselves as the creators of stories that will earn them money. Some of these stories are based on a truth but dramatized like a Hollywood movie of a real life incident and some are based on fact but with the author’s viewpoint steering the viewer’s opinion, unfortunately more and more, they are actually stories created to push an agenda.

They are now firmly part of the wider entertainment business.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on12:10 pm - Apr 24, 2015


ecobhoy says:
April 24, 2015 at 12:00 pm

blu says:
April 24, 2015 at 11:40 am

________________________________________________

From what I saw, all criticisms emanating from ICTFC was directed towards the SFA machinery and not towards CFC.
Similarly, I have seen no evidence of any criticism of ICTFC being put forward by CFC.
I see that fact as quite telling.

Celtic were quite entitled to make all the statements they made and had the boot been on the other foot (or even had a different hand been on the same ball), in the circumstances I am sure KC at ICTFC would have done likewise.

Similarly, had the situations been reversed w.r.t. the foul, I would have expected CFC to back their player robsutly in the same way that ICTFC did.

This is about governance of the sport, not internecine disagreements between member clubs – for which I am yet to see any cause or complaint advanced from either party.

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Bryce CurdyPosted on12:16 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Sorry if I’m being slow, but I just want to be sure I’m following.

If the CO reviews an i sufficiently/non-punished incident he deems worthy of a red card are we saying that by definition the officials have not seen it even if they were looking at it?

What a mess. Not unhappy that Meekings will get to play in the final, but the decision of the panel is baffling.

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ecobhoyPosted on12:16 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Resin_lab_dog says:
April 24, 2015 at 12:10 pm
ecobhoy says:
April 24, 2015 at 12:00 pm
blu says:
April 24, 2015 at 11:40 am
________________________________________________

From what I saw, all criticisms emanating from ICTFC was directed towards the SFA machinery and not towards CFC. Similarly, I have seen no evidence of any criticism of ICTFC being put forward by CFC. I see that fact as quite telling.

Celtic were quite entitled to make all the statements they made and had the boot been on the other foot, in the circumstances I am sure KC at ICTFC would have done likewise.

Similarly, had the situtaions been reversed w.r.t. the foul, I would have expected CFC to back their player robsutly in the same way that ICTFC did.

This is about governance of the sport, not internecine disagreements between member clubs – for which I am yet to see any cause advanced from either party.
——————————————-
Couldn’t agree more!

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on12:25 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Gabby says:
April 24, 2015 at 11:13 am

Methihill, Caley Thistle would not have written a letter. They didn’t after last seasons League Cup final.

______________________________________________________

I don’t think the comparison is entirely valid.
The League cup final was a ‘possible/probably’ penalty, not given. Seen ’em given. Not unusual for them to be missed. Aberdeen enjoyed the benefit of the doubt. Caley were unlucky.
It happens. There was no profit in raking over the ashes there.

Meekings was a stonewaller that should have been seen, but was missed.
Caley would have sought clarification in those circumstances I believe.
May or may not have done so publicly, but they would have raised it I believe.
Again, I believe that the questions would have been directed at the match officials, not the opposing player.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on12:29 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Gabby says:
April 24, 2015 at 12:16 pm

______________________________________________

Gabby,
Its easy to see why the match officials missed the League cup final penalty incident last year. We know what happened there. No mystery for Scooby Doo to solve!

With Meekings, CFC were entited to ask the Officials ‘How the hell did all of you miss that?’

Which is what they did.

And what I would have expected Caley to do if the situations were reversed.

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@ModgePKR

@ModgePKRPosted on12:38 pm - Apr 24, 2015


nawlite says:
April 23, 2015 at 10:24 pm

[b]So it seems that the role of the Compliance Officer is indeed to pick up instances where officials make wrong decisions [/b] but only when the offence meets certain criteria as laid down in the Judicial Protocol. Seems our understanding of when the Compliance Officer can act was wrong. Fair play to DB for clarifying.

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

Sorry, I don’t think that’s correct. I’ll attempt to explain why below but it all comes to down to the pedantry of the exact words used in the rules, namely “decision”, “incident” and “offence”. Happy to stand corrected on any point and, for what it’s worth, I don’t actually agree with this – I’m just trying to explain what the official line appears to be now.

It’s my understanding the CO cannot amend/overrule a DECISION made by the referee; he can only intervene when an OFFENCE has gone unseen.

In this case, the official line now appears to be that the referees saw the INCIDENT but they believed the ball hit Meekings’ head therefore no OFFENCE was seen and, crucially, no DECISION was therefore made. After all, no decision is made when a player passes to a team-mate, someone heads the ball back to the keeper, a goal kick is taken etc. These are all just part of the game and the referee doesn’t have to DECIDE anything. Now, one might argue judging whether the ball hit the head or the hand IS a decision but, in the context of the rules, it actually isn’t. It’s simply what the official believes he saw (i.e. he has to call it as he sees it; he can’t “decide” whether the ball hit his head or his hand. However, if he saw it hit the hand, he CAN decide whether that was deliberate or non-deliberate and that decision cannot be changed nor challenged by the CO).

After the game in question, the CO reviewed the INCIDENT and spotted an alleged OFFENCE (i.e. he saw the ball hitting the hand). As this was a sending-off offence and one which was not seen by the officials, he had no option but to intervene as the rules compel him to do so.

The Panel appears to have judged the offence to be non-deliberate and therefore it wasn’t actually an offence at all (although in a “balance of probabilities” based system I cannot fathom how they arrived at that conclusion).

I can kinda see the logic in such rules as they try to cover the “best of both worlds” in that the referees decision is final, but also players can be punished if the ref misses something.

However, imagine a situation where a player is brought down in the box by the last man but the referee books him for diving. Clearly, in this situation, the referee has reviewed an INCIDENT, saw an OFFENCE (simulation) and made a DECISION so the CO has no jurisdiction on the victim here. However, the referee can be judged by the CO to have missed an OFFENCE (the foul) so he can retrospectively send off the offender but not clear the yellow card!

Apologies if the above explanation is pedantic, just trying to be clear on exactly when the CO can / cannot intervene.

They don’t make it easy, do they?

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tayred

tayredPosted on12:41 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Gabby says:
April 24, 2015 at 12:16 pm
Resin Lab Dog.

Havent visited Caley Thistle Online recently then?
————————————————————

I would avoid Aberdeen fan sites as well, one in particular on this topic makes the Caley site look like its peddling Sunday school literature, not pretty at all 😐

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nawlitePosted on12:43 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Bryce Curdy says:

April 24, 2015 at 12:16 pm

If the CO reviews an i sufficiently/non-punished incident he deems worthy of a red card are we saying that by definition the officials have not seen it even if they were looking at it?
———————————————————–
That’s exactly it BC, as explained to me by DB last night. If you google ‘Jason Talbot’, you’ll see near the top of the list the example he gave me as a precedent. In that case, Talbot was seen and given a yellow card for an ‘aggressive foul’ but the Compliance Officer saw more than that and cited him for a ‘violent act’. That was upheld by the review panel and his yellow was upgraded to a red.

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erniePosted on12:47 pm - Apr 24, 2015


I really don’t think ICT would “write a letter” if denied a stonewaller. If they have done in the past (they play fitba, stonewallers have happened) then they’ve kept it very quiet. I’d be pissed off if AFC did on the basis of “where does it all end?”
Come on guys, it’s been 5 days now, I took less time to get over the aforementioned Labone on Stein foul (German ref IIRC?) and I was a reckless loon at that time. I dread logging in at the moment.

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JimmyBeeJayPosted on12:48 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Hi all, I am getting so frustrated that no one can take on the SFA. I do not think that Celtic are the only side in Scotland who think that the whole organisation, makes the rules up as they go long! The standard of refereeing is very poor, and shows no sign of improving. The people in charge at the top of the organisation appear to shrug their shoulders and laugh it off, sit in the corridor of power and wait in silence for it all to blow over.
I have suggested in the recent past that a petition through Change.org my be a pathway for the supporters of all sides, to show that it is time for them to go?
I have watched and learned through Change.org, how people power can help to make a difference. I am sure that if the clever chaps on here put there heads together, we could mount some kind of challenge to the never ending controversy this lot cause?

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scapaflow

scapaflowPosted on12:58 pm - Apr 24, 2015


The judical panel has issued its reasoning (sic)

“The chair of the Judicial Panel Tribunal convened to hear the Notice of Complaint against John Meekings has issued the following note of reasons:

“Further to the judicial panel hearing yesterday involving Josh Meekings, the panel considered initial submissions from Mr Meekings’ solicitor. In particular it was argued by him that under protocol 13.4.1.1 the judicial panel was not entitled to determine the matter. The panel considered that as the incident (but not the actual alleged sending-off offence of handball) had been seen by one or more of the officials it was not entitled to consider the matter further. It accordingly dismissed the complaint without any consideration of the merits of the incident or the decision arrived at by the referee.”

This whole mess could have been cleared up on the day, if the ref was allowed to say what s/he saw/didn’t see, instead of this ridiculous round of Chinese Whispers. Refs are going to get it wrong from time to time, why not just let the poor beggars explain themselves?

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easyJamboPosted on1:04 pm - Apr 24, 2015


So it seems the Compliance Officer failed to apply his own rules correctly.

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roddybhoyPosted on1:05 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Havent commented on the celtic v ICT game and had no intention of BUT to suggest that Celtic got this wrong by asking ( NOT demanding) for an explanation ( NOT an enquiry) in public is astounding !!!! The level of imcompetence within our game is truly unbelievable. Every club should be asking for explanations and calling it out in public about so many things regarding the SFA SPFL. Until there is a clear out from top to Bottom our game will never move on. The authorities have won again as they and their chums in the media have once again deflected the sh@t from their own incompetence and have turned it round to make Celtic out as the Bad guys . It makes me continually wrestle with my conscience about spending money in scottish football when the authorities treat us as if we are totally thick along with a corrupt media :slamb: too

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nawlitePosted on1:05 pm - Apr 24, 2015


ModgePKR, that’s a really useful clarifying viewpoint and to an extent backs up my previous view that the CO can’t undermine referees’ decisions on the field. It really does get us into pedantic interpretation of words though, doesn’t it. For example, I can’t see how you can say “therefore no OFFENCE was seen and, crucially, no DECISION was therefore made.” I would pedantically say that if he saw the incident (which he acknowledges he did), he immediately has to DECIDE whether to allow the game to proceed or penalise an offence. So in my opinion – and UEFA’s Mr Boyce, remember – a decision was made,, has been deemed wrong by the CO and cited. I could be wrong – as you say, it seems to come down to a really pedantic interpretation of words.

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Danish PastryPosted on1:09 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Gabby says:
April 24, 2015 at 10:18 am
———-

Something constructive. Good positive suggestions. Bravo.

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@ModgePKR

@ModgePKRPosted on1:12 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Sorry nawlite, it appears I’m completely wrong now that the Panel has said they can’t judge an offence if the incident was seen by the officials.

I’m not sure how the CO can bring a case in the first place then?

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nawlitePosted on1:15 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Scapa, how do you think this “The panel considered that as the incident (but not the actual alleged sending-off offence of handball) had been seen by one or more of the officials it was not entitled to consider the matter further. It accordingly dismissed the complaint without any consideration of the merits of the incident or the decision arrived at by the referee.” squares with the outcome of the Jason Talbot case where the ref saw the foul and booked him for it but then the CO DID become involved and the panel upgraded to a red? Are they making it up as they go along again? Is poor Livi the most picked upon team in Scottish football?

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normanbatesmumfc

normanbatesmumfcPosted on1:18 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Re. Handballgate.

Just to add my tuppence-worth to the debate. I believe the goal line assistant had an excellent angle to see the incident, based on a still from the video highlights from the main camera. I don’t believe for 1 minute Meekings body obscured the handball from this official.

Someone posted questioning what ICT would have done had the blatant handball been committed by a celtic player. I have no doubt whatsoever, had this occurred the refs whistle would have been in his mouth and red card in his hand before the handled ball had even hit the ground. ICT would have had nothing to complain about as they duly equalised from the spot kick.

On another note, I have note read the full changes to insolvency punishments, rather just read through the link to the BBC report.

Has anyone read the new “rules” or in the SFA’s case guidelines as to what happens if the event takes place during the close season?

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scapaflow

scapaflowPosted on1:22 pm - Apr 24, 2015


nawlite says:
April 24, 2015 at 1:15 pm

FWIW, my own view is the only time the CO should get involved is if violent conduct, (including things like spitting), is involved.

For everything else, the officials should be freed up to answer questions. They are only human, and they are going to make mistakes. If there is a pattern of errors, then that surely becomes a disciplinary issue for the official?

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@ModgePKR

@ModgePKRPosted on1:26 pm - Apr 24, 2015


nawlite says:
April 24, 2015 at 1:05 pm
For example, I can’t see how you can say “therefore no OFFENCE was seen and, crucially, no DECISION was therefore made.” I would pedantically say that if he saw the incident (which he acknowledges he did), he immediately has to DECIDE whether to allow the game to proceed or penalise an offence. So in my opinion – and UEFA’s Mr Boyce, remember – a decision was made,, has been deemed wrong by the CO and cited. I could be wrong – as you say, it seems to come down to a really pedantic interpretation of words.

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

A moot point now given the Panel’s (baffling) explanation, but where I was going was that there was no decision to make regarding any offence, as he didn’t see anything untoward.

If the ball bounces off Meekings’ head and is cleared, the referee has no decision to make as nothing has happened. He can only penalise an offence if he sees one, which he didn’t, therefore there was nothing to decide.

Not giving a penalty is not always the same as deciding one isn’t warranted.

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jimmciPosted on1:50 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Has the compliance officer been set up or is he incompetent?
Before deciding to bring the case i would have thought he would have emailed all six officials individually and asked ” did you see or miss alleged offence?”
Only if all six had emailed him with an ” I saw nothing” answer, would I have thought he could initiate a charge.
Either the CO approached the job in the wrong manner or, perhaps more sinisterly, someone changed their account.
Either way, it seems to there has to be at least one resignation from what is looking an even more dysfunctional organisation than many of us had previously believed them to be. I know, I know……
And why did we not get the panel’s reasoning together with the decision last night?

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nawlitePosted on1:56 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Not sure I agree with that, ModgePKR, though I’ve never reffed in my life! My take on it is that they are making decisions every second of a game. If a player chests down a clearance, the ref quickly DECIDES if it was chest or arm and DECIDES to play on or blow up; if a player wins the ball in a tackle, the ref quickly DECIDES if he won it cleanly and DECIDES to play on or blow up etc. I don’t think they run around obliviously playing on until an offence happens and only then make a decision. I could be wrong, perhaps one our ‘referee’ posters could comment?

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senior

seniorPosted on1:57 pm - Apr 24, 2015


The real question is why employ six officials to handle a game when all six missed the incident. Surely four officials would suffice and cut down on costs.four officials couldn’t make as big a b..ls of it as six, well, maybe in Scotland!

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@ModgePKR

@ModgePKRPosted on1:58 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Wee update following a quick chat on Twitter with @STVGrant, but it appears that my original post was correct and the CO was right to refer the offence to the Panel. However, the Panel don’t seem to understand the rules and have dismissed the case without reviewing it.

They’re must be blissfully unaware of precedent (i.e. the Talbot case) and they have either misunderstood the rules and didn’t bother to ask the CO why the case was eligible, or they had pre-judged it and were simply looking for the most plausible get-out clause to ensure that pre-judgement stood.

Only in Scotland could this happen.

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on2:18 pm - Apr 24, 2015


A tweet from PMGB:

‘Phil MacGiollaBhain @Pmacgiollabhain
· 37m 37 minutes ago
http://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=61134983&ticker=SPD:LN&previousCapId=34049884&previousTitle=SPORTS+DIRECT+INTERNATIONAL
Mr. Barnes is a registered trade mark attorney…significant experience in the field of intellectual property law.’

Assuming Phil’s information is accurate:

Might I suggest that SD’s main interest in this meeting was to put the RIFC board straight on some matters regarding the security over the IP and just how watertight it is, rather than to discuss funding or any ‘amicable’ discussion how best to move the club forward!

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bigsbeePosted on2:25 pm - Apr 24, 2015


One of the things that referees at all levels feel most players, coaches, fans do not appreciate is that they do in fact make thousands of decision during a match. Before the match starts, before kick-off, every pass, challenge, position of players, comments spoken etc etc requires decisions all the time – its really quite exhausting and maximum concentration is required throughout (go into auto-pilot the way you can say, when driving a car, will get you caught out) – and the criticism from the players and from the touchlines is merciless.

As for the incident at Hampden, for me the player did not deliberately handle the ball – i’m sure it was unintentional – it was the players deliberate decision to raise his arms out wide from his body that makes it a ‘stonewall’ penalty

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ecobhoyPosted on2:39 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Allyjambo says:
April 24, 2015 at 2:18 pm

Might I suggest that SD’s main interest in this meeting was to put the RIFC board straight on some matters regarding the security over the IP and just how watertight it is, rather than to discuss funding or any ‘amicable’ discussion how best to move the club forward!
———————————————————-
You might be right but would SD want the club suffering another Insolvency Event? Perhaps they were asking for the second loan tranche of £5 million which the new board apparently rejected on taking control.

I have undernoted a reply I made to parttimearab last night which may have been missed but may also be relevant.

3. Insolvency events

(i) The inability of the Company to pay its debts as they fall due within the meaning of section 123 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (the “Act”);
(ii) The issue of an application for an administration order or a notice of intention to appoint an administrator in relation to the Company;
(iii) The passing of a resolution or order for the Company’s winding-up, dissolution, administration or reorganisation;
(iv) The declaration of a moratorium in relation to any of the Company’s indebtedness;
(v) The making of any arrangement or any proposal for any arrangement with any of the Company’s creditors; and
(vi) The appointment of a liquidator, receiver, administrator, supervisor or other similar officer in respect of any of the Company’s assets.

Now I haven’t a clue whether that has anything to do with the SPFL Rule Change. But it’s clear that there could be various stages in an Insolvency Event and perhaps the rule change is to cover all eventualities which might not have been previously defined in the Rule Book.

In particular I look at:

(vi) The appointment of a liquidator, receiver, administrator, supervisor or other similar officer in respect of any of the Company’s assets.

And I think of the various charges which have been placed on Rangers assets wrt the £5 million loan. I have previously posted that the contracts wrt a Default Event could see the assets pass to SportsDirect without any court hearing and SD also already has the power to appoint a Receiver to deal with any of the assets that pass to it via a loan default event.

Now that might not ultimately lead to a full-blown Insolvency depending on what SD actually decide to do with Rangers. But looking at the above I wonder whether with the SPFL rule change that just taking control of the assets is enough to be classed as an Insolvency Event under SPFL Rules?

Perhaps the SPFL are thinking ahead ?

But does the rule take effect immediately or from the new season?

It seems that if it is immediate and Rangers suffers an Insolvency Event then that would be an automatic 25 points this season and 15 next season. Assuming it is able to survive death a second time.

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ecobhoyPosted on2:44 pm - Apr 24, 2015


jimmci says:
April 24, 2015 at 1:50 pm

And why did we not get the panel’s reasoning together with the decision last night?
———————————————-

Simples ❗ The Decision was the easy bit 😆 The explanation to sell it was the hard bit and despite a nightshift they appear to have fluffed their lines AGAIN 🙄

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jw hardinPosted on2:45 pm - Apr 24, 2015


In deflecting the Complaint whereby Celtic now appear to be Black Bart in this affair, the SFA have played a blinder.

Furthermore they have, with the knowledge of CFC Supporters Resolution coming down the line, established Celtic as a cantankerous, nit-picking, moaning entity in the publics mind, that the Resolution will be met with the appropriate annoyance…aided and abetted by the SMSM.

On the Compliance Officer – he’s being setup for a fall – first Simonsen now this. What next?

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Corrupt official

Corrupt officialPosted on2:45 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Allyjambo says:

April 24, 2015 at 2:18 pm

A tweet from PMGB:
Aye Ally, I would say Mr Barnes knows his way around trademark laws
http://indiankanoon.org/doc/1244606/

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The Rangers nil? Who missed the penalty?Posted on3:25 pm - Apr 24, 2015


I am in complete agreement with all of the comments posted recently regarding the level of professionalism and competence displayed by the SPFL in the last few days, but I find it utterly incomprehensible that, even by their recent standards, the following announcement……

“At today’s SPFL general meeting, member clubs approved amendments to rules regarding the insolvency of clubs.

Currently, any club suffering an insolvency event is deducted 15 points (unless it is such a club’s second insolvency event within five years, in which case the deduction is 25 points).

Today’s amendment of SPFL Rules was approved overwhelmingly by clubs and has the following effects:

– Insolvency events that are part of the same insolvency process would be treated as a single deductible insolvency event

– Clubs subject to a deductible insolvency event would have imposed fixed deductions of 15 points immediately, plus a further five points in the immediately following season (unless it is such club’s second insolvency event within five years, in which case the immediate points deduction would be 25 points, with a further 15 points deducted in the immediately following season).”

………… can be made regarding a decision taken at the (presumably properly constituted) SPFL General Meeting on Thursday 23rd April 2015 without any indication of when these “approved amendments” will come into effect or, failing that, any indication of when a further announcement regarding the date of their implementation might be made.

I may, of course, simply be unable to find reference to an implementation date anywhere, in which case I apologise unreservedly to the SPFL decision takers.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on3:42 pm - Apr 24, 2015


The TSFM mods must be pulling their hair out: this is not a referees site !
And we should all be squashed onto the naughty step together.

So, moving forward, and apologies if mentioned earlier, a radical suggestion.

I am assuming that after the game, the ref has access to video replays in his room, for the top league anyway.
If there has been something contentious during the game, he can review the video, and post a clarification on his Twitter account.

It could be just a brief – “Sorry, I missed that player Z handball.”
It’s not a criminal mistake, so the ref can openly apologise and explain briefly why he made contentious decisions [or omitted them].

This would improve the customer experience: as fans leave the stadium fizzing, they can check their phones for updates. This could take the sting out of the discussions / complaints, and the fans would be better informed.

The bottom line is we all make mistakes, including refs.
Even that great ref who retired a few years back – the bald guy Collina – I’m sure made many howlers in his career.

Maybe the SFA could learn from the Meekings affair, and use it positively to improve communication with the fans ?

Yes, I know… 🙄

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SFMPosted on4:23 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Can I inform the blog that someone called Andy Rolland has just registered on the site – but not yet posted.
For the avoidance of doubt, I will book him as soon as he (metaphorically) shows his face 🙂

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tayred

tayredPosted on4:26 pm - Apr 24, 2015


StevieBC says:
April 24, 2015 at 3:42 pm
The TSFM mods must be pulling their hair out: this is not a referees site !
And we should all be squashed onto the naughty step together.

So, moving forward, and apologies if mentioned earlier, a radical suggestion.

—————————————————————-

Personally I like the idea, but alas before it can work you need to convince fans that referees do “just” make mistakes and that there is no need to invoke some spurious conspiracy theory, or cry claims of institutional bias against this team or another. Until then a simple apology will never be accepted.

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gerrybhoy67Posted on4:38 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Amidst all this talk of change and transparency has anybody seen or heard from eddiegoldtop?
I am missing his posts as he seemed to be closer to the action!Last I heard he was about to speak to the board of the club he was sponsoring to gauge their feelings about the top brass(necks).
Eddie if you are out there and have been asked to keep quiet for a bit can you blink once for YES and twice for NO?

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valentinesclown

valentinesclownPosted on4:41 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Journalism the Scotland way

http://www.newsnow.co.uk/A/769827767?-10583:834

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on4:53 pm - Apr 24, 2015


tayred says:
April 24, 2015 at 4:26 pm
StevieBC says:
April 24, 2015 at 3:42 pm
The TSFM mods must be pulling their hair out: this is not a referees site !
And we should all be squashed onto the naughty step together.

So, moving forward, and apologies if mentioned earlier, a radical suggestion.

—————————————————————-

Personally I like the idea, but alas before it can work you need to convince fans that referees do “just” make mistakes and that there is no need to invoke some spurious conspiracy theory, or cry claims of institutional bias against this team or another. Until then a simple apology will never be accepted.
====================================================
Agreed, there is a high level of mistrust of the SFA, and their refs amongst many fans.

Wrt the refs specifically: you have to start somewhere to rebuild that trust. Actually communicating with the fans directly might be a good start – even if some fans don’t initially believe or accept the ref’s output.

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AuldheidPosted on5:41 pm - Apr 24, 2015


jw hardin says:

April 24, 2015 at 2:45 pm

In deflecting the Complaint whereby Celtic now appear to be Black Bart in this affair, the SFA have played a blinder.

Furthermore they have, with the knowledge of CFC Supporters Resolution coming down the line, established Celtic as a cantankerous, nit-picking, moaning entity in the publics mind, that the Resolution will be met with the appropriate annoyance…aided and abetted by the SMSM.
=====%=======
The same thought of attack the messenger to avoid looking at the message crossed my mind.

If that is the only form of defense it tells us two things.

a) The strength of the message and

consequently

b) they are on to plums.

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Silent PartnerPosted on6:12 pm - Apr 24, 2015


To those posters who believe Celtic should have kept their correspondence with the SFA over the “incident” private, I disagree.

When Ann Budge makes a public comment of complaint to the authorities, and on one occasion another SPFL club, it has always been applauded by the vast majority on this site. This, I presume, is because she is keeping the fans of her club in the loop.

There is nothing more frustrating for a fan than to see something unfair or unjust and to get the perception that your club seems totally sanguine on the matter.

Celtic asked the question publicly as they want a public response for the benefit of their fans.

Just as Ann or Leeane do.

We all agree on this surely?

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Tartanwulver

TartanwulverPosted on6:28 pm - Apr 24, 2015


It’s been interesting to go through it all, but man, I sincerely hope that something (anything!) happens over the weekend that’s noteworthy enough to kick off a new topic!!

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jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on6:33 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Tartanwulver says:
April 24, 2015 at 6:28 pm

It’s been interesting to go through it all, but man, I sincerely hope that something (anything!) happens over the weekend that’s noteworthy enough to kick off a new topic!!
____________________________________________________

Tartanwulver, I really appreciate what you are saying but, actually, all topics boil down to one thing, lack of integrity.

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scapaflow

scapaflowPosted on7:26 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Tartanwulver says:subscriber
April 24, 2015 at 6:28 pm

Don’t worry, we can rely on the SFA & SPFL, (not to mention the RRM), to find new & inventive ways to feck up, ad infinitum, it seems 😉

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on7:40 pm - Apr 24, 2015


TSFM

Good idea with the annotations / ‘subscriber’ etc.

And could you make the login sums a bit easier: I don’t always have my calculator on me… 😉

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Corrupt official

Corrupt officialPosted on7:47 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Mike Ashley has appealed against the dual interest outcome on the fly.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/11562357/Rangers-news-Mike-Ashley-takes-on-SFA-over-7500-fine-for-dual-ownership.html

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on7:54 pm - Apr 24, 2015


Corrupt official says:
subscriber
April 24, 2015 at 7:47 pm
Mike Ashley has appealed against the dual interest outcome on the fly.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/11562357/Rangers-news-Mike-Ashley-takes-on-SFA-over-7500-fine-for-dual-ownership.html
============================================================
“Mike Ashley’s legal team have taken on the Scottish Football Association over the £7500 fine imposed on the Newcastle United owner for breaching rules on dual ownership through his interest in Rangers…”

That is interesting, [and no refs involved !]

I would hazard a guess that Ashley’s legal team cost him much more than £7,500 a day.

So what’s his game ?

Is he initially following due process – to thereafter appeal externally on the grounds that this is a restriction of trade ? Maybe he’s looking to prod the SFA rules and to test if there is an advantage for him to exploit ?

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