Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?

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Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No Independent Enquiry?

SR No

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT Never?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fit and Proper Person and Absence of Governance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT Rangers were a mess financially everybody new that

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

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

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

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

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

SR We didn’t fail.

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

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

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

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

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

SR Well I think the articles

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

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

AT ??  (Interrupted)

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

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

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

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

The Nature of EBTS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT Sometimes

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

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

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

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

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

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

If Carlsberg did irony!

End of Interview.

The Hard Not to Believe Conclusions

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

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

The reader will find it hard not to conclude that either

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

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

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

Annex One – Extracts from Lord Nimmo Smith Decision

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

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

 

Outline of the Scheme

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

Auldheid  Feb 2015

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Auldheid author

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

5,190 Comments so far

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upthehoopsPosted on3:22 pm - May 1, 2015


upthehoops says:
Member: (665 comments)
May 1, 2015 at 2:19 pm

I take and agree with your point about the recent WATP type message but the fact remains he was appointed to the board as a non-exec in 2007.
==============================

So as a non-exec he has a duty to ensure the club is properly governed. Did he challenge the fact player payments were being deliberately withheld from the SFA? Did he warn that if have EBT’s HMRC will come after you?

At the end of the day he was a certainty to be accepted though. After all the SFA have done and also tried to do to benefit the club from Ibrox, they were never going to refuse Murray a place, as they won’t with King either.

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whispererPosted on3:23 pm - May 1, 2015


Wee question for the mods … Earlier in the week I was a subscriber with 40 posts … Today I am a member with 19 posts … Strange but true ? Is there 2 of me ?

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whispererPosted on3:31 pm - May 1, 2015


“Particular focus was given to Mr Murray’s role and function as director, any financial benefit or otherwise from the insolvency event, steps taken to avoid the insolvency event, co-operation throughout the insolvency event >>>>>>>>> and intentions as a director to avoid a repetition of the mistakes of the past.<<<<<<<<<< haha haha

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on3:40 pm - May 1, 2015


No surprise that Murray is officially ‘F&P’, and there will be no surprise when King is also declared ‘F&P’.

The SFA & SPFL have repeatedly and very publicly declared that TRFC is needed in the top flight ‘for the good of Scottish football’. So logically, they could easily justify – in their own heads anyway – that King is also needed ‘for the good of Scottish football.

If King is passed soon, then the cowardly SFA could slip out their statement at precisely 4.59pm next Friday.

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Blindsummit63Posted on4:05 pm - May 1, 2015


whisperer says:
Member: (21 comments)
May 1, 2015 at 3:09 pm
Would anybody on here be really that surprised if ‘sir’ dave & al the yank were next to take a seat on the board ? Or even if ‘calm bull’ retired back to his old haunt ?
_____________________________________________________________________________________

I am not a gambling man but I’d be willing to put money on Campbell Ogilvie being appointed in some capacity at “Rangers” following his stepping down from the SFA. I think it’s a certainty and I confidently predict this to come to pass.

And it’ll be “job done” for him. In my opinion his appointment at the SFA was part of the plan to protect “Rangers”. SDM and co knew that the Big L was on the way and needed to ensure that a phoenix Rangers could rise from the ashes. CO was to be placed at the SFA (following a sham period at Hearts to pretend there was distance) to ensure pesky rules didn’t get in the way. And that he has done magnificently. So it’ll be back to “Rangers” to claim his reward.

All just IMHO of course.

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jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on4:16 pm - May 1, 2015


whisperer says:
Member: (21 comments)
May 1, 2015 at 3:23 pm

________________________________

There must be two of me too! Same with the number of my posts ❓

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wottpiPosted on4:19 pm - May 1, 2015


upthehoops says:
Member: (666 comments)
May 1, 2015 at 3:22 pm

Sorry to be pedantic but Murray was appointed to the board of Rangers in September 2007.
That was the same time the City of London Police issued the warrant to search for documents. HMRC got their first look at the side letters in October 2007. Therefore it is highly improbable that Murray, who just got his feet under the boardroom table had anything to do with keeping documents from the Polis or had prior knowledge of the EBT’s. From that point HMRC got their teeth into matters and as such Murray would have had little influence or role to play with regard to an ongoing investigation. An investigation which the board would have by then been fully aware of the consequences, therefore Murray had no need to blow the whistle or pass on warnings.

Indeed I would imagine he will now be most likely arguing that, as a fresh member of the board, he was supportive of the board co-operating fully with the authorities thus meeting is fiduciary responsibilities.

What was said to the footballing authorities and by whom at that time is perhaps open to more question but I would doubt Murray, as a non exec, would have had much involvement in terms of liaisons with the SFA and SPL at that time.

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woodstein

woodsteinPosted on4:44 pm - May 1, 2015


Just out of interest, and a bit OT, but has ecobhoy gone AWOL? 🙁
It is now just over 7 days since his last post.

ecobhoy says:
Member: (2098 comments)
April 24, 2015 at 2:44 pm

🙄

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upthehoopsPosted on4:44 pm - May 1, 2015


wottpi says:
Member: (593 comments)
May 1, 2015 at 4:19 pm
=============================

Fair enough wottpi, you’ve clearly looked into it far more than I have.

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valentinesclown

valentinesclownPosted on5:27 pm - May 1, 2015


Paul Murray fit and proper(even although he was on the board of the old club etc…). Mr king will IMO also be given the fit and proper go ahead to be on the board of this new Govan club. My concern is as mentioned before if CO is given a place on the new club (when he leaves the SFA) then it looks like the club from Govan will be in the eyes of the fans, smsm and the SFA be the same club that was, wait for it liquidated, yes liquidated as all the creditors will tell you as they were all left in the lurch. It is actually incredible when you think about this, same club same directors, same culture etc… Maybe HMRC will look at this, maybe BDO will also comment on this eventually during the LIQUIDATION process. There is also the appeal from HMRC concerning the EBT fiasco to be heard in the future (no date yet?). The truth about this club must at some point be reported and more importantly believed by all. Paul Murray stated today that this club is an institution, can this institution not be questioned,ended or liquidated in this country? Institutional corruption IMO in all concerning this club.

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on5:41 pm - May 1, 2015


“Mike Ashley dodges Rangers questions on Glasgow trip”

http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl-lower-divisions/mike-ashley-dodges-rangers-questions-on-glasgow-trip-1-3760407
==================================================================
Don’t think this has been mentioned.

Mike in town to reopen a SD shop – but didn’t bother to pop in to say hello at Ibrox ?

And he could have hung around to take in the significant Hearts game…if he was bothered… 🙄

I think Ashley may be immune to catching rangersitis, which can only be bad news for the bears. 😕

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Dr Bhoogie

Dr BhoogiePosted on6:08 pm - May 1, 2015


Re. oddjob’s comment on Chick Young’s preference for a 16 team top league: when I was at school back in the 60s, I would have been disciplined for sloppy thinking & poor arithmetic if I had put my hand up for that. There are currently 42 clubs in 4 divisions; 42 – 16 = 26. Is Mr Young positing 2 divisions of 13 clubs each, or 1 division of 14 + 1 of 12 below the top tier? Was he thinking of 3 divisions of 14, or perhaps some scheme whereby some clubs were persuaded to join the Lowland League? Was he trying to imagine a scenario where there are 2 top divisions of 18 clubs, a Highland League of 18 clubs, and a Lowland League of 18 clubs? I think we should be told. Personally, I prefer the good old principle of a larger League where each team plays each other once at home & once away. No doubt the chaps at the top table are occupied with the bigger questions under discussion by the grown ups
on this forum. BTW, if you haven’t already, read Arthur Herman’s The Scottish Enlightenment: The Scots’ Invention of the Modern World, & consider what Lord Kames, David Hume, Francis Hutcheson et al would have made of the people currently ‘running’ Scottish football.

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sannoffymesssoitizzPosted on6:23 pm - May 1, 2015


Avatar test 😯

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parttimearabPosted on6:31 pm - May 1, 2015


Big Pink says:
Moderator: (271 comments)
May 1, 2015 at 1:29 pm
I known we have been round the houses a few times on this one, but my understanding of the phoenix company situation is that a new company has the same name as the old company AND has the same directors. Clearly the reason why the new club has the same name is to convey the impression that it the old club, and the same people now have a beneficial interest in the new club.

I know company law isn’t exactly set up for maximum integrity, but it does appear intuitively to me that Murray and/or King being appointed as directors triggers the phoenix status of Newco.

=============================
Not my strong suit but it appears that you’d need two companies to have gone belly up and owing tax and NIC for phoenixism to rear its head…

“Phoenixism is a term used to describe the practice where directors carry on the same business or trade successively though a series of two or more companies. Each of the companies in turn becomes insolvent, leaving large unpaid Income Tax PAYE and NIC debts”

The key it would seem is that the successor company would need to become insolvent as well.

Not there yet.

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/nimmanual/NIM12204.htm

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parttimearabPosted on6:48 pm - May 1, 2015


Breaking news from STV

http://sport.stv.tv/football/clubs/rangers/319139-spfl-to-refuse-permission-for-rangers-play-off-season-ticket-plan/?

“The Scottish Professional Football League will refuse to let Rangers to allow their season ticket holders in for free to the Premiership play-offs.

STV understands the league’s board have taken the stance that the clubs must abide by rules, which the SPFL believes prevents free admission being given.

It is believed the board also canvassed the opinion from other member clubs before arriving at their decision.”

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nawlitePosted on7:11 pm - May 1, 2015


Bloody hell, are our football authorities just determined to make themselves – and therefore Scottish football and by default all of us – look stupid? Can any of them write a rule that is clear and unambiguous so that everyone understands what is to happen?! Here’s a sports lawyer, as quoted in the STV article “But it is clear there is some ambiguity about what rules apply and how those rules are going to be interpreted.” On here, we’ve been talking about poor rules, poor interpretation of rules and poor enactment of justice based on those rules for four years now and it just keeps going ad nauseam. I’m honestly so effing sick of them now, yet our clubs just keep going along with the same old, same old.

Here’s another expert “The Hibs issue definitely has caused a significant problem for the SPFL,” he said. “When it comes to the enforcement of these rules, they have to be enforced consistently.” That is, of course, unless you’re an SFA judicial review panel when you can decide to ignore previous precedent and the Judicial Protocol rules and just decide to dismiss a case when it suits you. If that happened, of course, the rulemakers (The SFA) would come out immediately and say ‘hang on, you’ve got that wrong – you’ll have to reconvene’. Wouldn’t they, wouldn’t they?!?!?

And when you try to ask them why the same situation has been treated differently, they would be able to justify that when asked, wouldn’t they, and provide an explanation? No, they ignore reasonable questions after being happy to respond to the earlier simple questions.

I’m so sick of them all, but I won’t switch off from asking. Why do our clubs?

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on7:30 pm - May 1, 2015


“Inverness players donate bonus money to send Caley kids to Scottish Cup Final for FREE”

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/inverness-players-donate-bonus-money-5617785
=============================================

Now that’s more like it: a positive, uplifting football story.
Good on ICT, who will be making memories for youngsters who could become adult ST fans in future.

Producing some good PR, and developing their fanbase for the future.

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on7:43 pm - May 1, 2015


John Guidetti censured
what does censured entail

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scapaflow

scapaflowPosted on7:50 pm - May 1, 2015


parttimearab says:
Member: (305 comments)
May 1, 2015 at 6:48 pm

Can’t say I am terribly surprised by this. The SFA/SPFL motto should be

“Feck principles, its about the money stupid”

The rules are mutable, until money becomes involved, then they will be rigorously enforced.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on8:06 pm - May 1, 2015


parttimearab says:
Member: (305 comments)
May 1, 2015 at 6:48 pm

Breaking news from STV

_____________________________________________________

Heads up: A member of the species Sciuridae Maximus
Controversy is entirely and deliberately and transparently contrived for nefarious purposes.

Level 5 in action, clearing the way for DCK FPP, no doubt

1. TRFC announce that they will unilaterally break a rule that another club once previously was issued a case by case dispensation from, after that club had followed a due multilateral application process. (‘Applying’ for a dispensation infra. dig. for TRFC. Rules do not apply to them)

2. SPFL announce that TRFC must follow the rules as laid down.

3. Outrage from TRFC at their unfair treatment at the partisan football authorities.(Glossing over the fact that TRFC merely announced that they were going to break the rules, rather than submitting an application for a dispensation, leaving the authorities with no choice but to either appear weak (which they are) or biased (which they also are, just not AGAINST TRFC) and incompetent (which they also are, else the matter would never have arisen).

4. Outrage at purported ‘bias’ AGAINST TRFC (when in fact the opposite has consistently been shown.) Jacko will be on the case as I write photocopying Jim’s latest missive for tomorrows Back page.

5. Next move SFA pass DCK as FPP

6. TRFC are mollified.

7. Outrage by rest of Scottish football at having to share the game with a convicted felon is defused by the ‘fact’ that TRFC ‘clearly’ suffered from ‘bias’. (They didn’t. They were merely told that the rules that they have not sought any exemption from applied to them, same as everyone else).
“Its the very least we were entitled to expect!” (from the Rangers haters in the SFA) will be Jacko’s line , which Jim T will be putting the final touches to for him at this very moment, I shouldn’t wonder.

Jackson will have been handed drafts of the next 2 weeks missives already probably.

So the SFA now just waiting for the election result or Katy’s confinement to create the useful media distraction to bury the stinking fish guts under.

What a way to run a ‘sporting’ enterprise!!!

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on8:16 pm - May 1, 2015


Cluster One says:
Member: (144 comments)
May 1, 2015 at 7:43 pm

John Guidetti censured
what does censured entail

___________________________________________________

It involves stooping ones head while Stewart Regan adopts a stern expression and waggles his index finger at you.

(And if Guidetti isn’t surreptitiously flicking the v’s, – with his arms behind his back – at the time, he can be further indicted for not doing it right!)

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parttimearabPosted on8:37 pm - May 1, 2015


Resin_lab_dog says:

May 1, 2015 at 8:06 pm

Controversy is entirely and deliberately and transparently contrived for nefarious purposes.
==================================
Got me thinking about the FPP thingy again…

A cynic might think that passing PM and delaying on DK is simply a wee bit of window dressing prior to Mr King’s…err..coronation next week.

Alternatively could be some in the SFA (and does anyone know exactly who is deciding this…who are these people as it were 😈 ) has some doubts re DK’s suitability.

Personally I dont see his tax issues in SA being a barrier (rehabilitation of offenders act) but his previous tenure at Ibrox might be interesting…depending on what he’s been asked…and what his answers were.

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jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on10:37 pm - May 1, 2015


Now 2 hours since last comment!!!! Are folk elsewhere ❓ 😉

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high beeswaxPosted on10:43 pm - May 1, 2015


is the doonhamer who is currently en route from the test match in barbados in a chartered private jet entitled to claim ‘ travelling ‘ expenses from the ‘ travelling ‘ chief executive of the spfl after making his arrangements to arrive in time for the currently advertised spfl website ko of 3.00pm…….

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jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on10:51 pm - May 1, 2015


If anyone is out there, do you think the weather will be good on Monday? I was thinking of having a BBQ.

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woodstein

woodsteinPosted on10:53 pm - May 1, 2015


jean7brodie says:
Member: (277 comments)

May 1, 2015 at 10:37 pm

Now 2 hours since last comment!!!! Are folk elsewhere ❓ ?

I blame the fitba

Friday night’s for dancin’ 😆

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jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on10:56 pm - May 1, 2015


woodstein says:
Member: (96 comments)
May 1, 2015 at 10:53 pm

____________________________________

Well I’m dancing on my own just now!!!

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woodstein

woodsteinPosted on11:03 pm - May 1, 2015


Jean

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GoosyGoosyPosted on11:03 pm - May 1, 2015


Hopefully DK will get the nod from the SFA
He will then renege on repaying the 3Bs the 2 x £1.5m loans which he “agreed” to refund as soon as he got FPP
DK will then disappear to SA. His long term spiv pal Ashley(Sarver) will then buy out the 3Bs putting TRFC firmly in the hands of Spivs for evermore
This leaves the SFA & SPFL with the problem of limiting Ashleys control over scottish football without risking life and limb from the loonies
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
For Celtic fans its a recipe for 20 in a row
For every other club its a realistic chance of silverware as long as they avoid TRFC in cup draws

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ekt1m

ekt1mPosted on11:59 pm - May 1, 2015


SFM, As I am not very computer literate, could you upload any avatar you please to my username, I would be much obliged. Thanks

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on1:11 am - May 2, 2015


Time for a bit of perspective folks:
What does this amount to?

The (skint) guy recently appointed as CEO of a football club, after consideration, is ‘probably not’ an out and out crook (we’re not sure about his (allegedly more pecunious) chum yet.)

In what universe would this be considered newsworthy?
Thousands of clubs throughout the world are routinely run by non-crooks on a day to day basis without so much as a by your leave.

In TRFC however, this is deemed cause for celebration and planted headlines???.
Eyes being taken out by the relenetless poppin’ of champagne corks, it seems.

But y’all might want to think about that for a second or 2.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/32548096

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on1:35 am - May 2, 2015


GoosyGoosy says:
Member: (381 comments)
May 1, 2015 at 11:03 pm
_____________________________________

For Celtic fans its a recipe for 20 in a row

___________________________________________

20?

With all due respect GG (and I consider you a veritable and valuable contributor to this site, whose contributions I read, value and enjoy enormously)

…20 years is a long time.

Time enough for ICT to overhaul Celtic f’rinstance (and without the involvement of dodgy officials… yawn)

Once upon a time BA were unassailable. Then one day, there was easyjet.

Just saying like.
I mean, 20 years ago… we were literally nowhere. And now, we are favourites in a cup final (that we will doubtless inevitably lose) with a chance of qualifying for Europe for the first time on 2 separate counts.

Keep looking over yer shoulders, ken? 😉

We are not complacent.
And we are not standing still.
I am sure that there are 40 clubs that would agree with me on this.

And when one of us succeeds, we will TRY to be gracious not rub it in, in any way. (but hey… we might fail! In which case… forgive us our trespasses!)

And I am sure Turnbull would approve of our attitude in this respect!

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Campbellsmoney

CampbellsmoneyPosted on2:05 am - May 2, 2015


Resinlabdog well said sir (or madam).

Anyone out there want to discuss what the phrase “sense of entitlement ” might mean when it is not being used about a team from Govan?

BigPink – :”phoenix” companies has no meaning in law. None whatsoever. So if Sir David Murray, Craig Whyte, John Greig, Bill Struth and Lawrence Marlborough all get appointed to the board of either of the companies currently trading as Rangers, it matters little. What do you think will (or perhaps should) “trigger “?

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FisianiPosted on3:11 am - May 2, 2015


Scottish football needs a strong performance in Europe. I really hope that Aberdeen and ICT and the next team have a good run in Europe to raise the Scottish co-efficient http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/uefarankings/country/

Scotland is in 23rd position and even if Celtic qualify for the group stages of the Champions League the Scotland overall score is divided by 4. If Scotland can reach 15th place we get 2 teams in the Champions League on current rules. When was the last time that all Scottish teams each managed at least three wins in Europe? As you can see from the link provided we need success on multiple fronts year on year.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015%E2%80%9316_UEFA_Europa_League

with all respect to Falkirk I really hope that ICT win the Cup and thus enter at the second qualifying round. Aberdeen and St Johnstone on current league position would enter at the first round. The chance of a decent co-efficient could be all gone before the end of August or like in previous years the end of July.

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causaludendiPosted on3:12 am - May 2, 2015


Resin_lab_dog says:
Member: (410 comments)
May 2, 2015 at 1:11 am
_____________________________________

Curious wording in that report @RLD, or maybe I’m seeing something that isn’t there…

“…consideration was given to the fit and proper status of Mr Paul Murray as a director of Rangers Football Club in respect of Article 10.2 of the Articles of Association.”

Note, ‘Rangers Football Club’. In the next paragraph but one it states:
“The PGB examined Mr Murray’s involvement as a director of Rangers FC in the five years preceding the insolvency event experienced in 2012.”

Note the use of ‘Rangers FC’. To my mind this is someone boxing clever, but really, just wild supposition on my part!

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causaludendiPosted on5:40 am - May 2, 2015


Campbellsmoney says:
Member: (72 comments)
May 2, 2015 at 2:05 am
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Echo your sentiments re. RLD! However…

I would argue that should a chap who’s been dead for nigh-on 60yrs be appointed to either board it would matter greatly… 😆 😆

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causaludendiPosted on6:32 am - May 2, 2015


Bryce Curdy you have mail. 💡

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Bawsman

BawsmanPosted on7:45 am - May 2, 2015


Darryl,

Little point in having a regulatory body if it selectively ignores its own regulations for some (Livingston FC, John Guidetti, Tonev etc. etc.), and make up sanctions for others.

Ignoring the fact that Murray was on the Rangers board when, instead of putting cash aside in case the EBT trial went against the club, it splurged circa £20 million in transfer fees, there is a clear and unambiguous category about being a director of an insolvent club for in the last 5 years.

Murray clearly came into that category.

However, what else are we to expect from a board with an EBT recipient at the helm?

Sickened at the corruption at the heart of the Scottish game, like many, I will not spend another penny where the SFA benefits.

I’m out.

Hi John, would be happy to hear from you in what basis the Association ‘ignored its own regulations’, especially since the Judicial Panel process is completely independent.

The statement sets out the grounds for today’s announcement and in sure if you read it you will have a better understanding of the process.

D

Sent from my iPhone

On 1 May 2015, at 13:37,

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helpmaboab

helpmaboabPosted on7:59 am - May 2, 2015


Avatar check

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parttimearabPosted on8:04 am - May 2, 2015


Bawsman says:

May 2, 2015 at 7:45 am
Darryl,

there is a clear and unambiguous category about being a director of an insolvent club for in the last 5 years.
========================================================
There is in the sense that clubs are required to notify the SFA if a director falls into this category – however it does not bar a director automatically and only triggers a review of that person’s FPP status.

No rule breaking or even bending by the SFA in this instance.

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neepheid

neepheidPosted on9:41 am - May 2, 2015


An interesting post from the RSL blog,( https://t.co/k6JXUpH22F ) which I believe is run by McMurdo. Not every Bear sees King as a saviour!

moegoe says:
May 1, 2015 at 8:15 pm
There is quite a difference between Murray’s position and that of King who has criminal convictions to his name. Personally I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a one for one decision i.e Murray -fit King-not and I would go further and say it has been under negotiation with the SFA for weeks. It would make sense given the recent proclamation that King was awaiting SFA clearance before investing. Now he has the perfect out although I don’t believe it was ever his intention to invest the kind of money he talks about in Rangers anyway. He will continue to manipulate from the outside and he has a willing poodle in Murray. King is in this for King and the sooner we accept that the better. He is a ruthless manipulator with no concern, regret or remorse for other people’s distress. This was evidenced in the SOL scam where he fleeced South Africa’s major institutional investors as well as Pension Funds of £120 million. The real losers in the latter case were Pensioners in the form of reduced value of their Pension. He was confronted on that issue by Allan Greenblo of Todays Trustee and laughed in his face. He will do the same to fans and any other investor as now he plays with their money and not his. Murray is a gullible fool and the toxic King will fully exploit him.

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briggsbhoyPosted on9:58 am - May 2, 2015


Fisana

I agree fully that Scottish football needs teams to have a good run in Europe. Not just to up the co-efficient but to increase its profile and create a feel good factor. I honestly cheer for any Scottish team playing in Europe, well there was maybe one I didn’t cheer for bar once when they played English opposition. 😆

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briggsbhoyPosted on9:59 am - May 2, 2015


Awe naw I need to change my avatar ah cannae look at that one

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yourhavingalaugh

yourhavingalaughPosted on10:31 am - May 2, 2015


Neepheid
Had a scroll through the RSL blog as you suggested,oh dear,some bears are waking up from the long hibernation with very sore heads,interesting thing is they slag of Phil M in some posts and others have realised the info he was giving out was their starter for ten ,I see the gloves coming off and it’s not going to be pretty,time to batten down the hatches as the proverbial is about hit one giant fan,big time.

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Big PinkPosted on10:48 am - May 2, 2015


Campbellsmoney says:
May 2, 2015 at 2:05 am

BigPink – :”phoenix” companies has no meaning in law. None whatsoever. So if Sir David Murray, Craig Whyte, John Greig, Bill Struth and Lawrence Marlborough all get appointed to the board of either of the companies currently trading as Rangers, it matters little. What do you think will (or perhaps should) “trigger “?
___________________________________________________________

I knew I’d be wrong 🙁 My inference, upon hearing the term phoenixism was that it is a safeguard to prevent people dumping debt via liquidation and the same people resuming the business later under the same trading name and brand.

Intuitively, to me at any rate, it seems wrong that people can benefit from a brand AND walk away from debts accrued under that brand at the same time without any redress. Although to be fair, it is not immediately apparent to me how Paul Murray is “benefiting” from the brand.

What I thought it might trigger was the movement northwards of an HMRC eyebrow I suppose.

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scapaflow

scapaflowPosted on10:49 am - May 2, 2015


I see Ralph Topping’s next gig will be at a The Stand Comedy Club.

“Our rule book is not pick & mix” Oh my aching sides :mrgreen:

http://sport.stv.tv/football/clubs/rangers/319209-spfl-chief-ralph-topping-tells-rangers-rule-book-is-not-a-pick-and-mix/

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pau1mart1nPosted on11:05 am - May 2, 2015


did chuck buy the rights to pick & mix from woollies though ?

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oddjob

oddjobPosted on11:07 am - May 2, 2015


Big Pink says,

May 2 2015. @ 1048am

You may not be wrong. I am sure HMRC will be keeping an eye on what is happening.
I am sorry I am unable to post a link, but if you Google “contrived liquidation”, you will be able to access some sites, particularly “Contractor Weekly”, which give insight
to the thinking of HMRC. You will also see some case history, where HMCE prosecuted those involved.

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Peter22Posted on11:11 am - May 2, 2015


“Our rule book is not pick & mix ”

” It’s like being refused entry at a McDonald’s drive through”

At last,a form of words even your average bear can understand.

If only a new word for liquidation could be discovered.

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upthehoopsPosted on11:37 am - May 2, 2015


Is it true the SPFL have told Rangers the reason Hibs were given season ticket dispensation last season was because the play-off’s were not in place when the tickets were sold? That is not the case with Rangers who (along with all other clubs) clearly knew the rules before selling their tickets this year.

If the above is true then Rangers are at it, and should have sanctions placed against them if they go ahead and let season ticket holders in for free.

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scapaflow

scapaflowPosted on11:37 am - May 2, 2015


“If only a new word for liquidation could be discovered.”

“They were feckin malkied by Sir Davie & the MBB”

I’ll get ma bunnet :mrgreen:

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Barcabhoy

BarcabhoyPosted on11:40 am - May 2, 2015


CambellsMoney,

Can you throw any light on this post from a couple of days ago

http://www.sfmonitor.org/did-stewart-regan-ken-then-wit-we-ken-noo/comment-page-63/#comment-53687

In short , why has King been allowed to claim £20 million by BDO , when there was no mention of such a claim at all by Duff and Phelps , in either the CVA proposal or the final report to creditors. Further the claim appears to be for a loss of investment in Equity in a company ( Murray Sports) where no other shareholders have made or been allowed to make a claim

Seems highly unusual at best

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wildwood

wildwoodPosted on11:51 am - May 2, 2015


Isn’t it incredible that ‘the clubs’ (in the form of the SPFL) set these rules that ‘the clubs’ quite logically oppose. It’s bizarre.

I mean why wouldn’t a club want to admit season ticket holders to a league play-off game if they could?

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Hoopy 7Posted on12:36 pm - May 2, 2015


Good Afternoon,
Just logging on after a month or so without posting but always reading avidly.

Haven’t addressed the avatar thing but will try later although bound to need help.

Anyone know how the payroll was made in Govan?

Have a good day

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John ClarkPosted on12:55 pm - May 2, 2015


On the Toppping remark, I wonder did he put emphasis on the word ‘our’, in such manner as to suggest that another rule book might indeed be ‘pick and mix’?
Most of us, myself very much included, have tended to lump all the ‘ football authorities” ( the then SPL and SFL and the SFA) together for convenience..
But, of course, the SFA is in quite a different position from that of the now SPFL.
It is the SFA that is meant to look after the integrity of the entire sport of football, keeping all of its members conforming to the rules and discipline that, as members, they themselves have created (in conformity with Uefa and ultimately Fifa directives and rules)

The SPFL is an aggregation of businesses,each of
which has the making of profit at least as part of
their raison d’etre. So, cutting corners, or playing
little administrative ( or, indeed, sporting ) tricks
might occur to them as a means of gaining some
kind of advantage.
The self-interest of their League fellow- members might turn a blind eye, or minimise the crime.
But it is absolutely unconscionable that the supreme arbiter of football in Scotland, the very body whose function is to ensure that there are rules to keep our game clean, should have done the very opposite.
This dereliction of duty, this complicity in a monstrous act of deception and cover-up, is an offence far, far greater and much more damaging than the sneaky , cheating behaviour of one knight of the realm and any and all subsequent ‘ business men’ who have exercised control of the new club founded by a charlatan.
ALL OF our football authorities acted to support cheating, but the SFA carries by far the biggest burden of inexcusable guilt.
Perhaps Topping’s comment reflects some sense of being judged too harshly, when the real baddies were the guys who were supposed to be the goodies.
Make no mistake. I am severely critical of the boards of the then SPL and SFL., and remain critical of the SPFL. But these were as mere footsoldiers compared to the high command in the SFA.

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Danish PastryPosted on12:55 pm - May 2, 2015


Afternoon Hoopy. Apparently a 3-bear unsecured loan (again) according to Roddy Forsyth last week. That’s them £3m out of pocket already. It’s beyond credulity.

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Caveat Emptor

Caveat EmptorPosted on1:10 pm - May 2, 2015


Hi SFM, Avatar attached, hope I’ve got it right.

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BrendaPosted on1:17 pm - May 2, 2015


Now that is such a surprise 😉 operation ‘get them up where they should be’ pathetic absolutely pathetic 😕

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upthehoopsPosted on1:39 pm - May 2, 2015


Brenda says:
Member: (97 comments)
May 2, 2015 at 1:17 pm
Now that is such a surprise ? operation ‘get them up where they should be’ pathetic absolutely pathetic ?
==============================

I have to say the half time analysis made a compelling case for the Referee making the right call on the penalty claim. For me Hearts should be angrier about the first goal, as the free kick leading to it was a blatant dive by the Rangers player.

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The GlenPosted on1:46 pm - May 2, 2015


Brenda says:
Member: (97 comments)
May 2, 2015 at 1:17 pm
—————
I’m sure the result at the Falkirk Stadium will have more bearing on who ends up second.

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Prohibby

ProhibbyPosted on2:14 pm - May 2, 2015


The Glen says:
Member: (26 comments)
May 2, 2015 at 1:46 pm
Brenda says:
Member: (97 comments)
May 2, 2015 at 1:17 pm
—————
I’m sure the result at the Falkirk Stadium will have more bearing on who ends up second.
………….
Q.E.D.!

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sannoffymesssoitizzPosted on2:43 pm - May 2, 2015


parttimearab says: 1 May 2015 at 6:31 pm Member: 307 comments)

Big Pink says: 1 May 2015 at 1:29 pm Moderator: (271 comments)

Not my strong suit but it appears that you’d need two companies to have gone belly up and owing tax and NIC for phoenixism to rear its head…

“Phoenixism is a term used to describe the practice where directors carry on the same business or trade successively though a series of two or more companies. Each of the companies in turn becomes insolvent, leaving large unpaid Income Tax PAYE and NIC debts”

The key it would seem is that the successor company would need to become insolvent as well.

Not there yet.

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/nimmanual/NIM12204.htm
—————————————————–

Some more guidance from the HMRC Insovency Manual for the addicted 🙂

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/insmanual/Index.htm

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/insmanual/ins45100.htm

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ekt1m

ekt1mPosted on3:14 pm - May 2, 2015


SFM. Many thanks for Avatar. Brilliant.

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DonegaltimPosted on3:36 pm - May 2, 2015


With six games to play to secure a place at the top table, I would bet my house on the fact that sevco will not make it. Whatever our administrators try to contrive, it ain’t going to happen.

Therefore, potless and begging will continue into next season. DCK will not invest massive amounts, if any, with the 3Bs running out of dosh and goodwill leaving the shell gasping for assistance.

My prediction is that next season, the well will run dry and the fans will realise DCK is a spiv and will retreat from putting any cash into this entity. In short, sevco will die (again) and after being told by the bampots, the high brow businessmen who thought they knew better and could tell a good opportunity when it arose, will retreat with empty pockets and egg on their chin

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upthehoopsPosted on4:02 pm - May 2, 2015


Donegaltim says:
Member: (12 comments)
May 2, 2015 at 3:36 pm
================================

A purely hypothetical situation but let’s imagine Queen of the South get promoted. That will leave Hibs and let’s just say Motherwell and St Mirren in the Championship. That leaves plenty of completion yet again, and I doubt if they would be willing, or indeed able, to throw millions down a black hole. If Rangers do not come up this year I expect league reconstruction to go ahead for season 2016/2017, to absolutely ensure they are in the top league.

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Caveat Emptor

Caveat EmptorPosted on4:41 pm - May 2, 2015


If, as I fully expect, TRFC do not attain promotion to the top league, will we yet again witness the SPFL touting the Championship to broadcasters as ‘the most competitive league’?
Shirley even Sky & BT will come to realise that the Govan outfit is a busted flush. Even the MSM will struggle to convince anyone that a team that finished 3rd in the second tier have yet to complete ‘the journey’ to their ‘rightful place’.
I await with interest.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on5:08 pm - May 2, 2015


Warmest Congratulations to Celtic on completing a well deserved and thoroughly merited double today.
Still no mean feat in these ‘post apocalytpic’ times, however much the MSM are inclined to portray it as otherwise.

(And also commiserations to all St.Mirren fans. Been there. Know exactly what it feels like. Hope you can bounce back like we did)

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sannoffymesssoitizzPosted on5:12 pm - May 2, 2015


A(nother?) very negative article by Ewan Murray in today’s Guardian Sport. I’ve just posted the headlines!

Celtic land league title but side cannot be judged alongside greats

Ronny Deila’s men did what was required in the Scottish Premiership this season but their performances in Europe suggest they have a long way to go

• Scottish Premiership match report: Celtic 5-0 Dundee

Sadly, the article is not open for comment.

Looking forward to his similar articles for the other “Big” teams in Scottish Football!!

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yourhavingalaugh

yourhavingalaughPosted on5:14 pm - May 2, 2015


Upthehoops
Never cast a cloot till May is oot.
Congrats to Ronny Delia in his first season in Scotland,also congrats to all other managers for fighting the Armageddon wich they where faced with,allegedly,and giving us a league that went into May,and lest we forget,Mr CO ,you will not be missed,but unfortunately not forgotten.

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justshatered

justshateredPosted on5:43 pm - May 2, 2015


Resin_lab_dog says:
May 2, 2015 at 5:08 pm

“Warmest Congratulations to Celtic on completing a well deserved and thoroughly merited double today.”
—————————————————

I’m afraid I’m an old fashioned person but a “double” is the League (top league at that) and the Scottish Cup which ensures the two most prestigious trophies are at the one club.
So, two trophies yes, but not a double for me.

Aberdeen have been magnificent this season. Removing Celtic and Aberdeen fixtures from the equation then the season would still be alive but it is always the matches between the top teams that generally ultimately decide where the League trophy goes.

Our top league has a lot to be proud of; a lot of young talented, home grown players, are now emerging. Clubs are improving and getting their finances in order.
The down side is the TV deal and the absence of realistic administration within the game. Football is for Saturday’s, and now for me grudgingly Sunday’s, and Wednesday’s. Games on Friday’s no not for me but as I said at the start I’m just an old fashioned where football is concerned.

Ultimately we deserve better administration and general governance. Rules need to be made iron clad with specified sanctions laid out.
There is deep mistrust in our, so called, leaders. They stand indicted in the court of public opinion of wanton abandonment of the rule book and of undermining the very sport they are supposed to promote. That trust cannot be regained as the current situation stands. Everyone knows who the main culprits in this debacle are and what they have done.
The media …………… well they are not even worthy of the name!
They are an embarrassment to their profession, lacking moral fibre and courage to tell the truth and, although they refuse to acknowledge it, that is why their circulation is falling through the floor. To cater to one side of a debate, particularly when that side is based on lies, and give no credence to the opposing view is not journalism. It is totalitarianism in it’s most basic level. They really should be ashamed of themselves.
There really was, and still is, a huge story that no one wants to investigate even when they are given the information. That should actually be a story in its own right.

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upthehoopsPosted on5:47 pm - May 2, 2015


Resin_lab_dog says:
Member: (411 comments)
May 2, 2015 at 5:08 pm
Warmest Congratulations to Celtic on completing a well deserved and thoroughly merited double today.
Still no mean feat in these ‘post apocalytpic’ times, however much the MSM are inclined to portray it as otherwise.
=========================

As a Celtic fan I thank you for your kind words RLD. I was torn between it getting tied up today or having the chance, and I repeat chance, to win it at Pittodrie. However it’s better to get it now as an Aberdeen win next week may have induced some jitters in the run in. Aberdeen of course had to win today and didn’t but I have to give them credit for the way they’ve just kept winning all season. The crunch games have been between the two clubs and that shows it has been a title challenge despite what most of the media keep carping about. Once again I have to doff my cap to the excellent Richard Gordon on Sportsound today who sure knows how to present a programme with class and genuine dignity. We could do with more like him. As for many of his peers the prospect of at least one more season in the Championship for Rangers will no doubt be a sobering one, and in my view is only likely to ramp up the snide comments about Celtic’s title win.

PS Enjoy the cup final.

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causaludendiPosted on6:25 pm - May 2, 2015


Congratulations to Morton on their league win today – who said helicopter finishes were a thing of the past?! Well done also to East Fife for securing their play-off place. Montrose fans must be feeling it a little?

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ianagain

ianagainPosted on6:27 pm - May 2, 2015


All the best and well done Morton. As a Well fan mind many tough days away down at Greenock in the old first and seeing some great players.

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on6:51 pm - May 2, 2015


upthehoops says:
Member: (671 comments)
May 2, 2015 at 4:02 pm

If Rangers do not come up this year I expect league reconstruction to go ahead for season 2016/2017, to absolutely ensure they are in the top league.
======================
I was absolutely convinced that SPL enlargement was a certainty for 2015/16 – to hedge the authorities’ bets in case TRFC did not in fact walk away with the Championship title this season. There was simply too much risk involved for “the good of Scottish football”.

Maybe everyone concerned about TRFC was deluded about their team’s abilities and their WATP mentality ?

But even more so now, if TRFC cannot get into the SPL this time, then I would expect that SPL enlargement will be a hot topic over the summer.

But I do still think that TRFC will ‘somehow’ scrape through these play off games… 👿

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paddy malarkey

paddy malarkeyPosted on6:54 pm - May 2, 2015


Sorry if I missed the answer if posted ((occasional nibbler )but was there any info wrt playing contracts and possible extensions to same to accommodate playoffs ?

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