Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?

Avatar 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

Avatar

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

StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on3:57 pm - Apr 29, 2015


The current disagreement between the SPFL and TRFC and other clubs over charging/prices for the play-off tickets just doesn’t reflect well on Doncaster as CEO of the SPFL – yet again.

All of this should have been argued about / agreed before this season started.

…to state the bleedin’ obvious… 😕

View Comment

tykebhoy

tykebhoyPosted on4:03 pm - Apr 29, 2015


I’m pretty certain my Avatar is via the profile page for my WordPress account rather than the profile page or this specific site.

Edit and even then its “sub contracted” to Gravatar
http://1.gravatar.com/avatar/d11e2e79d7eb3247c8a2090e651130fc?s=64&d=blank&r=g

View Comment

Avatar

nawlitePosted on4:05 pm - Apr 29, 2015


StevieBC, as far as I was aware it had all been sorted out and agreed with the clubs. That’s why Hibs were getting stick recently for trying to change the percentage taken by the SPFL after having agreed to it previously.

View Comment

MoreCelticParanoia

MoreCelticParanoiaPosted on4:08 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Danish Pastry says:
Blog Writer: (1115 comments)

April 29, 2015 at 8:00 am
——-

Unfortunately @hoops, the anguished debate about the stonewaller not given at Hampden has given some in media all the ammunition they need to make a case against Celtic on the grounds you mention. Given the importance of the Res.12 issue, and moves currently being made, that contentious decision was rather insignificant.
_____________

And who is responsible for the anguished debate?

I had the misfortune to be in a taxi on Monday evening with the driver tuned into Radio Clyde Super whatever the call it these days. The chat was along these lines:

– “Celtic writing to the SFA, Sunday’s decision proves them wrong, paranoia, every team gets decisions against them, paranoia paranoia yadda yadda yadda”

– Next up it was the cringeworthy ‘Beat the Pundit’, where “pundits” show how little it is possible to know about the game having made a living out of reporting on it for decades. – “And now we have Jamie from Carntyne who is the first Celtic fan who’s not going to talk to us about handball ha ha ha, aren’t we funny, pure gallus so we ur”

– Then time to read out some emails “Are Celtic fans going to write to the SFA about the decision on Sunday”… “When are Celtic going to shut up about this handball?”

Celtic have said very little about the handball, and any statements have been in response to persistent inane agenda driven questioning from media outlets. Ronny D was asked whether referees should be able to explain decisions and after giving a sincere and rationalised answer in the affirmitave this became “RONNIE DEMANDS REFS EXPLAIN THEMSELVES”

The truth is the lamb dependent community have pushed an agenda and talked about it almost non-stop for nearly a fortnight in an attempt to further flog the deceased equastrian outlets that employ them and this has deflected beautifully from the SFA onto a Celtic Paranoia issue yet again (yawn, divide-rule ad infinitum/ lamb supply preserved).

I’ve never actually seen a logical and coherent explanation of why writing a letter to the SFA to ask for an explanation of a decision is such a terrible crime in any case, or why the media go into full on paranoia derision overdrive to the max when Celtic are involved but not when others are involved with the exception of the Levein/McCurry and HMFC/Davis cases and we can all see the common denominator there.

View Comment

Avatar

NTDEALPosted on4:11 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Really pleased to see the comments attributed to the Hearts owner re involving herself in the admin of scots football.Trust me once we have more Women at CEO/Director level and in administration,change will come….no blazers,no agendas etc.
Avatar?Nae idea,StevieBC’s instructions may as well be in double dutch,I’d really need simpleton’s instructions

View Comment

Avatar

RaymacPosted on4:14 pm - Apr 29, 2015


How about an avatar based on the great Ben Turpin? Mind you, it may confuse some interlopers, who may want to send it money.

View Comment

StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on4:26 pm - Apr 29, 2015


nawlite says:
Member: (129 comments)
April 29, 2015 at 4:05 pm
StevieBC, as far as I was aware it had all been sorted out and agreed with the clubs. That’s why Hibs were getting stick recently for trying to change the percentage taken by the SPFL after having agreed to it previously.
===================================================

Well then, it looks like a further challenge to Doncaster’s authority and position, IMO.

He should very publicly tell the clubs to ‘wind their necks back in’, as they had all agreed to the detail of the play-offs, [and prior year actions are thus irrelevant].

But Doncaster is not a leader, and instead the SPFL is apparently ‘consulting lawyers’ – well according to the SMSM. [Which must be a load of p!sh as well 🙄 ].

View Comment

Avatar

Kicker ConspiracyPosted on4:26 pm - Apr 29, 2015


As tykebhoy says, you need to create an account at wordpress.com, separate to the one you use here. Use the same email address as you use here so the accounts will be linked.

When you log in to wordpress that way and go to your profile page you’ll see a box to add an avatar.

View Comment

Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on5:14 pm - Apr 29, 2015


For anyone wondering where and when Neil Doncaster will make his next public appearance, here’s where he probably won’t be; Tynecastle on Saturday.

http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/iain-blair-to-hand-hearts-championship-trophy-1-3756125

Seems somebody called Iain Blair will be presenting the Championship trophy, probably quite a nice guy, though not a name I recognise. Hope his big moment isn’t spoiled by the boos (note, not booze) that would otherwise, rightly, be aimed at his CEO!

Strange how the Scotsman makes no reference to Doncaster, or why it’s the SPFL secretary rather than the more public face of the SPFL that’s been given the honour! Maybe the PR blurb they received didn’t mention the CEO, and it’s beyond the Scotsman, as with so many rags, to think for themselves and to ask why!

View Comment

Avatar

SFMPosted on5:45 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Users can get themselves a Gravatar at
https://en.gravatar.com/

The process is however, a bit clunky,and not very intuitive. I have asked the techy people to add a local avatar funcionality. On the page sidebar (see above right) you can now upload an avatar (max size (1MB). Make sure it is square, because it will be cropped square to sit on the page. Any problems, let me know.

Should also acknowledge the excellent default avatars put in place for anonymous folk 🙂 Perhaps it will be an incentive to get creative!

View Comment

gamesabogey

gamesabogeyPosted on5:45 pm - Apr 29, 2015


When pressed for comment on further Utd targets, RD essentially praises DUFC’s scouting and development programme by saying

“I can understand they are upset but they have to see it as a big honour that they are producing players that other clubs want.”

Cue the STV headline

“Ronny Deila: Dundee United should be honoured Celtic like their players”

It’s almost as if they have a mission to flag any sense of entitlement without fear or favour.

http://m.stv.tv/sport/318880-ronny-deila-dundee-united-should-be-honoured-celtic-like-their-players/

View Comment

StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on5:46 pm - Apr 29, 2015


How come a lot of Bampots now have the same avatar ?
A dodgy looking chapeau’d geezer with a fake ‘tache !

I think we should be told, [are the posters all related ? Just wondering… 😉 ]

View Comment

StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on6:01 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Very good TSFM ! 😆

If you leave their avatars as Charles Green, [or maybe Ogilvie ?], it should motivate the Bampots to source their own avatar PDQ !

View Comment

Avatar

Big PinkPosted on6:13 pm - Apr 29, 2015


If anyone wants to add an avatar but is having difficulty, just upload your image here and I will get it sorted for you.

I think SFM is having too much fun with the defaults 🙂

View Comment

Avatar

erniePosted on6:19 pm - Apr 29, 2015


mcfc says:
Member: (1130 comments)
April 29, 2015 at 1:43 pm

There was a great quote from Bertrand Piccard recently, one of the guys who built the Solar Impulse to fly around the world on sunshine. He was asked if the airlines and plane makers were involved and supporting them. He smiled and said “No, It wasn’t the people selling candles who invented the light bulb.”.
=======================
Great quote. Of course Henry Ford said from the other side, the establishment, in this case car manufacturers:
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

In both cases what worked and what we need in Scottish fitba is someone, or group, who has some vision, bottle, drive and has no baggage in particular re “their” fitba team versus the rest. Hard to find. Our sadly missed mate Turnbull looked a possibility but alas it was not to be. Ann Budge?

View Comment

Avatar

The_Pie_ManPosted on6:40 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Great Idea with the Avatars 😀

View Comment

gamesabogey

gamesabogeyPosted on6:47 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Disagree 100%

“If all of the circumstances were identical except for one detail — ie, King wanted to come and revive Celtic — those shouting loudest on both sides would flip their views 180 degrees.”

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/sport/football/scotland/article4425634.ece

View Comment

valentinesclown

valentinesclownPosted on6:57 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Caller on ssb mentioned DK failing the 2 sfa rules in section 12. Mark Guiddi answers he is not aware of the rule and DK will pass in his opinion. He based this on the big club p*** and for the good of the Scottish game. FFS.

View Comment

Avatar

Carfins FinestPosted on6:58 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Avatar inspection.

View Comment

RyanGosling

RyanGoslingPosted on7:02 pm - Apr 29, 2015


I’ve updated my Avatar.

View Comment

Barcabhoy

BarcabhoyPosted on7:02 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Those Celtic supporters who were totally against Brian Dempsey, and I was one of those, would have absolutely no problem rejecting Dave King if he was mooted as a saviour for Celtic.

I also believe significant numbers of Rangers supporters don’t want King anywhere near Ibrox . I like Michael Grant, he’s one of the better writers in Scotland, but I think he’s got this one wrong

View Comment

gamesabogey

gamesabogeyPosted on7:06 pm - Apr 29, 2015


gamesabogeygamesabogey says:
Member: (20 comments)
April 29, 2015 at 6:47 pm

To be clear, I meant “disagree 100% ” from a personal perspective and I’m sure I’m not alone.

View Comment

scapaflow

scapaflowPosted on7:11 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Barcabhoy says:
Member: (156 comments)

One of the many intractable problems Rangers face, is that an already bitterly divided support, has become permanently(?) fractured.

I’m not sure a unifying figure exists.

View Comment

Top Cat 1874

Top Cat 1874Posted on7:11 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Avatar test

View Comment

Avatar

erniePosted on7:18 pm - Apr 29, 2015


gamesabogey says:
Member: (21 comments)
April 29, 2015 at 6:47 pm
Disagree 100%

“If all of the circumstances were identical except for one detail — ie, King wanted to come and revive Celtic — those shouting loudest on both sides would flip their views 180 degrees.”
================
Apart from disagreeing with the ridiculous proposition I also note that he has the same problem as the rest of the SMSM. It’s “both sides”: if you’re anti something Rangercentric then you must be Ceticocious and vice versa. This is where the two cheeks bit comes from, and why TSFM needs to work hard on being about Scottish fitba. When will these hillbilly mountain inbreds get it into their thick heads that there is more than “two sides” to these serious issues and it’s not just about their local fitba, and/or cultural, rivalry. The arrogance make my blood boil!

View Comment

Avatar

erniePosted on7:31 pm - Apr 29, 2015


I tried to edit my post above, my blood has cooled a bit! I’ve been a bit insulting about the MSM and trust that it is not misunderstood as a dig at those who are quite rightly passionate about their team, including Celtic or Rangers, or indeed their culture. We all have a team…and a heritage.

View Comment

jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on7:32 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Thanks to Big Pink he just fixed my avatar 😛

View Comment

Avatar

parttimearabPosted on7:33 pm - Apr 29, 2015


valentinesclown says:

April 29, 2015 at 6:57 pm

Caller on ssb mentioned DK failing the 2 sfa rules in section 12

===========
IIRC there is no “rule” listing criteria which would bar an individual from becoming a director, only a non exhaustive list of circumstances which the club must notify the SFA wrt a directors FPP status, which the SFA will then consider and rule on.

View Comment

neepheid

neepheidPosted on7:49 pm - Apr 29, 2015


I don’t understand why my wordpress gravatar doesn’t appear here? It used to, but a recent domain change or whatever seems to have unlinked me from my wordpress profile. Anyway, it’s all good, I’ve found a much more lifelike picture. Hopefully it works.

View Comment

Avatar

Big PinkPosted on8:13 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Some seriously disturbing avatars on show. I think TSFM may have taken a wrong turning at that crossroads 🙂

View Comment

Elsie Garcia

Elsie GarciaPosted on8:19 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Loving the avatars! Great idea, now if only i had something interesting to add to your wonderful site!! Oh I suppose I could congratulate my fellow hibees after selling out 3500 seats at Falkirk for Saturday! 😀

View Comment

jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on8:25 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Elsie Garcia says:
Member: (2 comments)
April 29, 2015 at 8:19 pm

_____________________________________________

Elsie, if you really are a wummin then welcome 😎

View Comment

Elsie Garcia

Elsie GarciaPosted on8:34 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Thank you Jean – yes I am, an Invernesian Hibs fan living in the north east … a “Quine” I suppose!

View Comment

oddjob

oddjobPosted on8:38 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Avatar? I know that mine should be a bowler hat, but I haven’t a clue as to how I can upload it from my kindle, or, from anywhere else !!

View Comment

jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on8:39 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Elsie Garcia says:
Member: (3 comments)
April 29, 2015 at 8:34 pm

_____________________________________

Yassssss!!! At least three voices of reason now 😉

View Comment

Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on8:43 pm - Apr 29, 2015


just trying out the avatar,to see if it works

View Comment

Corrupt official

Corrupt officialPosted on8:55 pm - Apr 29, 2015


avatar test

View Comment

oddjob

oddjobPosted on8:55 pm - Apr 29, 2015


SFM, the current “avatar” showing next to my posts is a remarkable resemblance of Chic Young. Please note I would rather be the invisible man !!

View Comment

Avatar

upthehoopsPosted on8:59 pm - Apr 29, 2015


A snippet from the Michael Grant article states

‘No sensible person believes that King intends to harm Rangers or any other club. On that basis, the SFA should adopt the brace position and let him in’

If King pursues previous Ibrox policies of a club living way outwith its means, spending money it doesn’t have to gain success he will be very much harming other clubs, including the one Michael Grant supports. There is so much more he could also do by way of actions and statements that could very much harm other clubs.

Michael Grant should be very careful what he wishes for. It might just come true.

View Comment

casper999

casper999Posted on9:02 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Testing.

View Comment

woodstein

woodsteinPosted on9:09 pm - Apr 29, 2015


ok avatar done. 😀

View Comment

N Parker

N ParkerPosted on9:20 pm - Apr 29, 2015


My new avatar. Keep up the great works folks.

View Comment

weescotsman

weescotsmanPosted on9:39 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Updated my avatar and hopefully it looks awesome !!! Not a massive contributor on here in terms of knowledge but an avaricious reader….

View Comment

woodstein

woodsteinPosted on9:39 pm - Apr 29, 2015


oddjob says:
Member: (186 comments)
April 29, 2015 at 8:38 pm

Try This

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=bowler+hat&safe=off&biw=1139&bih=565&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=oT9BVcifMM-R7Abr0oGIDw&sqi=2&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ

😉

View Comment

Avatar

Cygnus X-1Posted on9:40 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Barcabhoy says:
Member: (156 comments)
April 29, 2015 at 7:02 pm

Interesting point made by Barca and this was a topic of heated conversation recently between a group of us debating Scottish Football and the challenge was made,by our RFC supporting friends, that fans of other teams, would have acted & behaved exactly the same way, as Rangers fans have done, if their teams had been in the same predicament.

Honestly,I am not being mealy mouthed,or naive or frankly that cynical. If Celtic had indulged in cheating on an industrial scale with under the counter payments etc,I would have disowned the club utterly.

Prior to that, I suspect that I may well have been arrested at the front gate of Celtic Park for ABH on any Director or Company Executive capable of such negligence & cheating.

Ultimately, in life or in business all you have is your good name. Once that goes, it’s almost impossible to get it back.

View Comment

reidy134

reidy134Posted on9:49 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Nothing interesting to contribute – just checking my avatar oot!

View Comment

jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on9:52 pm - Apr 29, 2015


reidy134 says:
Member: (4 comments)
April 29, 2015 at 9:49 pm

__________________________________

OMG another wummin!!!!!

View Comment

Joethebookie

JoethebookiePosted on10:08 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Avatar test.

View Comment

ThomTheThim

ThomTheThimPosted on10:08 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Ah’ve an avatar, I think!

View Comment

Avatar

dedeideoprofundisPosted on10:14 pm - Apr 29, 2015


John Clark says:
Remember the poster who , in anguished tones , complained about the avatar assigned to him? I’ve forgotten his actual words, but they were along the lines of ‘ Oh, sweet….., what kind of an ugly wee creature of an avatar have I been landed with’!
His plaintiff cry was pethaps the funniest thing I’ve read on the blog,in thr early days of TSFM.

‘Twas about the only useful thing I’ve done on this site, however, still keeping up every day. A belated apology to BRTL, or was it Essex? for making him spit out his coffee!

View Comment

neepheid

neepheidPosted on10:17 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Isn’t tomorrow payday at Ibrox? The silence is deafening. Have the 3 Bears dug deep again? Or has Dave King finally taken a hammer to his bairns’ piggy banks? If so, I would have expected a front page splash by now from “scoop” Jackson.

Or is Ashley still be keeping the lights on? Which strangely would just bring more curses down upon his head from the Ibrox faithful and their Daily Record cheerleader.

Where’s all this transparency King promised us?

View Comment

paddy malarkey

paddy malarkeyPosted on10:18 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Testing avatar with trepidation – everybody else’s seems to have worked !

View Comment

valentinesclown

valentinesclownPosted on10:31 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Is John Guiddette case concerning that song containing a certain word not due to be resolved tomorrow.

View Comment

Avatar

timabhouyPosted on10:32 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Lurking avidly for many a moon , keep up the good work , you are all appreciated ! Hows my avatar looking .

View Comment

StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on10:38 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Whilst the other Bampots are desperately trying to work out how to remove their ‘Chick Young’ avatars…hehe…!

If Ogilvie does depart the 6th floor at Hampden, [which I’ll believe when I see it], then that is another opportunity to address the dismal reputation of the governing bodies.

Mibbees the SPFL & SFA decision makers could manage to meet each other somewhere along the 6th floor ? Shouldn’t be too difficult.

Agree that something radical has to happen.

Along with Ogilvie, get shot of the damaged goods that is Doncaster.
Signal a bright new future – perhaps – for the Scottish governing bodies.

Then…bring in a tough, interim CEO for both the SFA & SPFL for a period of 2 years to identify and drive necessary changes to the structure of both bodies.

Idenifify duplication of effort / functions.
Outsource as much as possible.
Address the obvious conflict of interest with clubs’ directors being on the boards of both bodies for operational matters.

Maybe the clubs’ directors experience could be utilised for strategic direction, but tactical/operational activities and decisions are strictly outside their remit ?

Just thinking aloud, but my expectation is that the SFA will keeping Ogilvie indefinitely, with Doncaster also remaining in post.

No change and nothing learned by the d!ddies on the 6th floor… 🙁

View Comment

Avatar

parttimearabPosted on10:44 pm - Apr 29, 2015


neepheid says:

April 29, 2015 at 10:17

has Dave King finally taken a hammer to his bairns’ piggy banks?
==========
A wee thought on DK’s piggy bank.

His purchase of shares was through the family trust and presumably future monies if forthcoming will come from the same source.

I don’t imagine this consists of a gleaming pile of kruggerands but presumably consists of stocks, debentures, bonds, African art etc.

It may be that converting these assets into the hard cash needed to plough into bailing out Rangers is a time consuming business with the need to find a buyer for these assets at, presumably what DK would see as a fair price ❓

I could also be that (and I recall that others on here have suggested this) the liberation of funds from (a presumably tax efficient) trust might attract the interest of SARS if not handled carefully ❓ ❓

View Comment

douglas reynholm

douglas reynholmPosted on10:47 pm - Apr 29, 2015


neepheid says:
Member: (545 comments)
April 29, 2015 at 10:17 pm

I think we can get too carried away with the info we have on TSFM at times! I’m assuming it’s getting paid by hook or by crook.

I missed the avatar instructions…will look back later:-)

Had a quick gander on Rangers Media…the ST thing has gone down well. Even someone suggesting that they can’t have money problems when they’re doing this.
I’d suggest they really really need to go up this season.

View Comment

Avatar

BrendaPosted on10:48 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Jean 😉 do we have a friend 😉

View Comment

senior

seniorPosted on10:57 pm - Apr 29, 2015


At Last!!! John Clark, you have a lot to answer for.
I’ve been on this site for the best part of the evening trying, as you suggested, to upload our avatars – nearly the cause of a divorce, cold tea, dog no walk etc, and you just sit there drinking Yak and hatching more outlandish schemes.

View Comment

Avatar

macfurglyPosted on11:08 pm - Apr 29, 2015


I cannot believe this will work.

View Comment

douglas reynholm

douglas reynholmPosted on11:08 pm - Apr 29, 2015


So unless you’re willing to put in a bit of effort in here and work stuff out you’re Chick young…OK, I got the message:-)

View Comment

Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on11:11 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Cygnus X-1 says:
Member: (45 comments)
April 29, 2015 at 9:40 pm

It is something that has taken me by surprise since the days of RTC, the fact that, not only does the default psyche believe the WATP mantra, they actually believe in it! No other football club, that I have seen or read about, has this phenomenon of a belief in their superiority. No other club considers itself a ‘National Institution’, or has sycophants that would describe it as such. No other club has it’s bedrock within the Orange Order, an institution that carries ‘superiority’ to it’s basest level. Such belief in their own ‘superiority’ was never going to lead to an inward examination of their downfall, and their initial response was always going to be to blame their hated enemy – and everyone else who didn’t rush to their aid. They even blame those who did most to help them.

It took a long time, and a lot of evidence, before they began to see where the blame really lay, but still they are not prepared to blame any one of their own – Whyte didn’t last long enough to be blessed with genuine RRM status, just long enough to gain the lesser standing of demi-god.

No other club, or it’s supporters, that has entered a similar situation of insolvency, or near insolvency, has shown this utter blindness to the wrongdoings of the men they trusted, nor, with, perhaps, the one exception being Hibs and Wallace Mercer, blamed others for their collapse (I’ve included this only to pre-empt any chance of whataboutery).

The most appropriate example of how they should have conducted themselves was the way the Celtic support rallied to oust their useless board when they were steering the club towards the rocks. Who knows where they might have ended up if they’d turned their fury onto Rangers and their supporters, rather than to aim it at the men who had brought them into the mess they were in.

It’s this unique mind-set of the Rangers support that has led them to the actions they have taken, and also made them unaware of how abhorrent it has been.

From my own personal experience, I can honestly say that the thought of blaming anyone outside of Hearts for our predicament never entered my head, and I never read anything of any other Hearts supporter finding blame outside of the men who had run our club, back to the days of Chris Robinson. It was a Celtic supporter, if I remember correctly, that first wrote (that I read) that, in his opinion, Hearts’ problems began with the Murray/Masterton/Bank of Scotland connection when, as with Celtic (and no doubt others), the Bank turned off the credit lifeline.

Regardless of whether or not there was any truth in the assertion, all the sabre rattling in the world wasn’t going to change a thing; and no sabres were rattled.

In other words, the reaction, and actions, of the Rangers support, and the Ibrox clubs themselves, are in no way comparable with any other football club and it’s supporters when faced with extinction!

The Karma is, that the same WATP belief is what has led them to be so blind to the Whytes and Greens and many others. It continues to blind them.

View Comment

Avatar

Head HunterPosted on11:17 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Brenda and Jean…thing is I’ve always thought of Echobhoy as a bit of an old woman so there has always been at least 3 of you on here (not that I’m suggesting that either of you are in the least bit old or even that, if you were, there is anything wrong with older women). And before he comes on here demanding hard evidence to justify my assertion I should say I have none other than a sneaking suspicion 😉

View Comment

Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on11:20 pm - Apr 29, 2015


I guess I’m Chick Yucked! This avatar thing is doing my head in.

AJ
Mail me at sfm@sfm.scot. Send the pic you want to use.

SFM

View Comment

douglas reynholm

douglas reynholmPosted on11:23 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Allyjambo says:
Member: (846 comments)
April 29, 2015 at 11:11 pm

Absolutely!

I have to say though, I know a number of decent bears….I even begin to think sometimes, haven’t they been punished enough? I don’t mean punished in the sanctions sense, I mean haven’t they paid a massive price for their nonsense?
One look on the Rangers forums usually cures me of this.

A Scottish football stands, we need a club that can bring 40’000 every 2nd week to the table, just not this one.

View Comment

Ballyargus

BallyargusPosted on11:36 pm - Apr 29, 2015


I’m another avid reader trying out the avatar thingy.

View Comment

Avatar

Carfins FinestPosted on11:37 pm - Apr 29, 2015


jean7brodie says:
Member: (271 comments)

April 29, 2015 at 8:39 pm

Elsie Garcia says:
Member: (3 comments)
April 29, 2015 at 8:34 pm

_____________________________________

Yassssss!!! At least three voices of reason now
———-
Jean….All this and Anne Budge now on the scene it seems like a takeover bid by the female fans….Maybe not a bad thing when you see what the menfolk are capable or incapable of….

View Comment

cowanpete

cowanpetePosted on11:41 pm - Apr 29, 2015


Allyjambo,
I didn’t quite understand the Hibs reference in your posting at 11.11.

View Comment

Avatar

Palacio67Posted on11:47 pm - Apr 29, 2015


I know another poster asked about eddiegoldtop sometime last week, has he came back to us yet?

View Comment

Avatar

Peter22Posted on11:52 pm - Apr 29, 2015


One of the most frequently used phrases/mantras in business, is “make our product obsolete, before our competitors do.” Quite a few variations of this phrase can be found in many business magazines or journals, etc. Can’t think of anyone who has actually achieved this ,any ideas anyone?

View Comment

douglas reynholm

douglas reynholmPosted on12:03 am - Apr 30, 2015


Peter22 says:
Member: (10 comments)
April 29, 2015 at 11:52 pm

Micro-scooters….It means kick the arse out of your business model before the competition notice and copy what you’re doing. Don’t know if it works for scottish football but we have branding issues. No league is about to copy our 2 team ‘rivalry’ model any time soon!

View Comment

Campbellsmoney

CampbellsmoneyPosted on12:11 am - Apr 30, 2015


Test

Are you Bob Crampsey? 🙂

SFM

View Comment

Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on12:15 am - Apr 30, 2015


cowanpete says:
Member: (20 comments)
April 29, 2015 at 11:41 pm

Sorry, wasn’t trying to make a point about Hibs, or their fans, but as I was making the point that only Rangers fans turned the blame on everyone other than their own people (the RRMs) I thought it right to pre-empt any whataboutery. Mercer’s involvement deflected from the failings/wrongdoings of the Hibs board, but, unlike the way the bears choose to blame everybody else (particularly Celtic,) Mercer was actually involved in a very public way, so the anger was understandable. The Hibs fans, though, didn’t let this stop them organising and saving their club.

View Comment

Avatar

sitcomPosted on12:23 am - Apr 30, 2015


Manager of the year.

This is hardly a level playing-feild. At this time, a Celtic manager has such advantages that his inclusion to be considered for the accolade is immediately undermined by those resources at his disposal. Unless a Celtic manager does something extraordinary his nomination IMO lacks real merit.
I would suggest that Robbie Neilson has been a remarkable success this year and gets , for what it’s worth, my vote – if I had one.

View Comment

Avatar

Danish PastryPosted on12:46 am - Apr 30, 2015


Help ma verbosity 😀

Laurie in Dennistoun on SSB tonight: “Ayy, ah’m going to unashamedly plagerize one of your own maxims and hijack it for use in ma lexicon!” And so it went on.

Big Celtic man Laurie has a cult following on twitter according to Gerry McCulloch. Some very funny follow up comments. Humour is not dead.

We listen so you don’t have to 🙂

View Comment

Comments are closed.