Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?

ByAuldheid

Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No Independent Enquiry?

SR No

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT Never?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fit and Proper Person and Absence of Governance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT Rangers were a mess financially everybody new that

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

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

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

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

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

SR We didn’t fail.

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

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

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

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

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

SR Well I think the articles

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

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

AT ??  (Interrupted)

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

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

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

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

The Nature of EBTS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AT Sometimes

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

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

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

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

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

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

If Carlsberg did irony!

End of Interview.

The Hard Not to Believe Conclusions

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

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

The reader will find it hard not to conclude that either

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

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

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

Annex One – Extracts from Lord Nimmo Smith Decision

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

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

 

Outline of the Scheme

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

Auldheid  Feb 2015

About the author

Auldheid author

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

5,190 Comments so far

mcfcPosted on5:59 pm - May 7, 2015


BTW, kinda puts Ashley’s three and six pence each way on The Rangers into perspective.

Aston Villa subject of £150m takeover from ex-Chelsea director
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/32627445

View Comment

StevieBCPosted on6:12 pm - May 7, 2015


mcfc says:
Member: (1167 comments)
May 7, 2015 at 5:59 pm
BTW, kinda puts Ashley’s three and six pence each way on The Rangers into perspective.

Aston Villa subject of £150m takeover from ex-Chelsea director
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/32627445
====================================================
Having had a quick scan, it looks like the front men, [Tony Adams & co], would be using other peoples’ money.
£75M borrowed equity and £75M of debt dumped onto AVFC’s balance sheet.

Like the ManU Glazer transaction, these highly leveraged buyouts mean big interest payouts. This may be OK when TV money is high and your team is winning trophies / not relegated.
And despite that, during Fergie’s latter years ManU struggled with interest payments, [of up to c.£75M p.a., IIRC].

If the TV money dries up/falls, and/or the team is mince, then the club is at risk.

Another unintended consequence perhaps of football becoming a business.
The big money can also attract chancers who use OPM and business practices which can ultimately kill off your club. Oh, a bit like Rangers FC…

As far as I am aware though, I believe Ashley has put his own 3 and 6 into TRFC ? 😉

View Comment

Cluster OnePosted on6:27 pm - May 7, 2015


Rangers will charge season ticket holders for play-off matches – but have set a cut-price £5 entrance fee across the board.
“Despite media speculation never at any time did Rangers state it would not adhere to SPFL rules and the club believes that setting this flat fee should meet with the approval of all concerned.

The word “should” is what gets me. What will the SPFL say on this,and what will the other clubs charge. If the other clubs charge more will they be putting more in the pot,or will a large crowd at ibrox at £5 a head even it’s self out over a smaller crowd but higher entrance fee

View Comment

mcfcPosted on6:37 pm - May 7, 2015


StevieBC says:
Member: (643 comments)
May 7, 2015 at 6:12 pm

Having had a quick scan, it looks like the front men, [Tony Adams & co], would be using other peoples’ money.

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

Agree it would be better if clubs were simple, stable unleveraged businesses – but that ship has sailed. The difference with The Rangers is that the numbers work. Villa may be currently losing £50mil / yr and have had £90mil written off by Lerner, but the £150mil price looks viable when the TV income is approx £10mil per game for 2106-2019 i.e. 38 x 10/2 = £190mi /yr – assuming they stay up.

The alternative to OPM is really a single mega rich owner, who could lose interest at any moment after establishing profligate habits: City, Chelsea, Liverpool. Or just as bad, a partnership that falls apart eg Hicks and Gillett at Liverpool.

The Glazer buy out was very unusual because they were actually buying a profitable business with cash in the bank. The Glazers obviously care little about football and their attitude has probably contributed to the current weakness – leaves me conflicted – wouldn’t wish the Glazers on my worst enemy – but it took the smug grin off many a Utd fan – so – oh well – never mind – you’ll be fine 🙂

View Comment

pau1mart1nPosted on6:45 pm - May 7, 2015


at the time of the Dundee utd boycott I think there was a payment dispute in the background.
hows that 250k issue going?

View Comment

seniorPosted on7:13 pm - May 7, 2015


Confession time.
Switched over from the Barca game to check in with my favourite drama on BBC, ‘Inspector George Gently’. All about asbestos, and the corruption involved in hiding its catastrophic influence and effect on a community.
Not great after- dinner viewing for the Sevco Board or indeed Glasgow Municipality Health& Safety department.

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on7:55 pm - May 7, 2015


senior says:
Member: (47 comments)
May 7, 2015 at 7:13 pm

I watched Insp George Gently last night (forgot about the football) and have to say it was a very good expose of the lack of morals amongst industrialists of the time, and how the establishment protected their own while ignoring the effects of laissez faire attitudes of industrialists (I doubt much has changed with their attitudes, just tougher legislation for them to get around). The asbestos link to Ibrox didn’t cross my mind, though, but the nature of the ‘moneyed people’ certainly did link to those who have used working class football supporters to their own benefit.

As an afterthought, it strikes me that the modern equivalent, in this post industrial society, of the rich taking advantage of the lack of options for the ‘working class’, is zero hour contracts! Not deadly, but certainly a disgrace.

My wife, who is a bit too young to remember the revelations of the horrors of asbestosis and related illnesses (and so many other industrial illnesses covered up by unscrupulous factory owners), was in tears watching the program! She found it very hard to believe that there were (are) ‘respectable pillars of the community’ prepared to put their own fortunes ahead of the health of their employees and their families.

Sorry to go off topic, though it does perhaps link to the attitudes towards the proletariat football supporter of many of the people who have recently stepped into, and out of, the Blue Room at Ibrox.

View Comment

ianagainPosted on8:18 pm - May 7, 2015


Allyjambo says:
Member: (865 comments)

May 7, 2015 at 5:36 pm

mcfc says:
Member: (1164 comments)

May 7, 2015 at 5:13 pm

MoreCelticParanoia says:
Member: (67 comments)
May 7, 2015 at 4:45 pm

“Motherwell, who could be involved in a play-off if they finish second bottom in the Premiership, had stated their intention to allow season-ticket holders free entry.
===============================================================
MCP, for an Englishman, are Motherwell being supportive to The Rangers or are they tempting the SFA to apply double standards?
______________

Looks a bit like typical SMSM mischief making. One sentence that suggests support for TRFC, but with no details of what Motherwell have actually stated, or whether they are threatening to go against the SPFL rules, in a ‘TRFC stick two fingers up at the SPFL’ puff piece. I have no idea what Motherwell have said, but the phrase ‘had stated they intend’ suggests they may well have previously mooted the idea but accepted the SPFL’s ruling once clarified.

Anyone know the true Motherwell stance on this?
=====================================================

Err No They never decided. Rumour is IF it happens £15-20 quid everyone.
More pressing worries id guess at the mo. Alan Burroughs looks in on here he may clarify.

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on8:51 pm - May 7, 2015


ianagain says:
Member: (454 comments)
May 7, 2015 at 8:18 pm

Thanks for clarifying, Ian.

So, I take it Motherwell haven’t given anyone, including the BBC, anything to justify that sentence, included in the report about TRFC, that suggests they had stated it was their intention to let season ticket holders in for free!

Mischief making indeed, then.

I’ve no doubt that once TRFC announced they were going to let their ST holders in for free, the other participants would have felt compelled to at least discuss it at boardroom level. I’m just left wondering why the BBC reporter felt the need to include that sentence, unless he has sympathies with TRFC, and wants to suggest others (Motherwell) do too!

View Comment

woodsteinPosted on8:52 pm - May 7, 2015


Apologies if already known.

Something was niggling at the back of my mind as to when Big Mike A. first became involved, and I remembered that an email from Jim Park on
24 June 2012 13:14 to Craig Whyte said he had arranged to meet Mr A “on Tuesday” and he could “do this deal” but wanted to speak to CW before “motormouth Charles runs away with himself”
What the deal was is not mentioned. :mrgreen:

View Comment

SmugasPosted on10:27 pm - May 7, 2015


One would have thought that since he (whyte) sought to mortgage everything else the initial meeting with Ashley would have been with regards to merchandising, not ownership .

View Comment

ianagainPosted on10:52 pm - May 7, 2015


My mind springs to “The Producers”. How many 100% of RR can you sell and a meeting with MA and CG en Chateaux. Source Phil McG

View Comment

jean7brodiePosted on11:10 pm - May 7, 2015


My mind is never away from ‘The Producers’ in this saga 😆

View Comment

motor redPosted on2:02 am - May 8, 2015


”My mind is never away from ‘The Producers’ in this saga
i shall raise you,[ a weekend at bernie’s ] https://youtu.be/g-rHwNbAcTU

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on3:50 am - May 8, 2015


Allyjambo says:
May 7, 2015 at 8.51 p.m
“……..I’m just left wondering why the BBC reporter felt the need to include that sentence, unless he has sympathies with TRFC”
—————”-
BBC Scotland has for the last 3 or 4 years allowed many of its football ‘reporters’ free rein as propagandists for the deceitful actions and statements of our football authorities , and as shielders and defenders of the cheats and liars who want to gain control of one particular football club.
What the Controller appears not to appreciate is that once we know that there is unchecked bias in anything that even a sports journalist drawing a BBC salary reports, we quite naturally are ready to distrust any other BBC report on anything else.

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on10:32 am - May 8, 2015


John Clark says:
Member: (832 comments)
May 8, 2015 at 3:50 am

Sadly you are correct.

It used to be the case that I believed most of what I read in the newspapers. Then I only believed it once it was confirmed on the TV news programs. Now I only believe reports of events happening ie ‘there was a meeting’, ‘there has been an earthquake’ etc. I do not take as verbatim, though, reports on how people reacted, or what they said or did, as these things are open to the interpretation or bias of the reporter, and/or news outlet.

The media coverage of the ‘Rangers Saga’ has highlighted how, by misinforming the public, even those they are trying to support, they allow and facilitate the self interest of those they should be exposing and hounding from our lives.

Today, it’s only football; tomorrow, who knows what evil might grow, undetected or unreported, to blight the whole of society because our would be journalists, and their masters, are prepared to turn a blind eye, or worse, misinform, because to do otherwise would not fit in with their agendas, beliefs or pay packets?

View Comment

yourhavingalaughPosted on12:58 pm - May 8, 2015


Quite here today,was everyone up all night watching the election.

View Comment

mcfcPosted on1:59 pm - May 8, 2015


Lib Dems got what they deserved

Scottish Labour got what they deserved

UK electorate got what they deserve

Hope you’re not planning to be poor, jobless or sick.

View Comment

Matty RothPosted on2:08 pm - May 8, 2015


John Clark says:
Member: (832 comments)
May 8, 2015 at 3:50 am
Allyjambo says:
May 7, 2015 at 8.51 p.m
“……..I’m just left wondering why the BBC reporter felt the need to include that sentence, unless he has sympathies with TRFC”
—————”-
BBC Scotland has for the last 3 or 4 years allowed many of its football ‘reporters’ free rein as propagandists for the deceitful actions and statements of our football authorities , and as shielders and defenders of the cheats and liars who want to gain control of one particular football club.
What the Controller appears not to appreciate is that once we know that there is unchecked bias in anything that even a sports journalist drawing a BBC salary reports, we quite naturally are ready to distrust any other BBC report on anything else.

65 2 Rate This

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

Absolutely John.

I think the same loss of trust can also be seen in some of our political parties this morning. They don’t seem to realise that how good their policies might be is irrelevant if voters do not trust them to deliver them.

We are seeing a significant failure of PR and Spin now and the general public are now far more sceptical of what they are being told than they have ever been.

View Comment

neepheidPosted on2:41 pm - May 8, 2015


http://m.stv.tv/sport/football/clubs/hibernian/319867-hibernian-want-review-of-spfl-rules-after-setting-play-off-ticket-prices/

Doing things properly, and within the rules- no threats. no bluster, no macho-man posturing. Even an acknowledgement that they were at the table when the rules were agreed! Compare and contrast.

View Comment

bluPosted on2:45 pm - May 8, 2015


Matty Roth @ 2:08
=================
I’d suggest the opposite is true and delivered a perfect outcome for the SNP and the Tories. We were promised moonbeams and got the shiny lipped West Villa fan instead, to be followed by the blonde bombshell. A further five years of austerity for those who suffer most and continued trebles all round for hedge fund managers. Scotland gets the carrot dangled of a one-party state.

View Comment

Matty RothPosted on3:15 pm - May 8, 2015


blu says:
Member: (163 comments)
May 8, 2015 at 2:45 pm
Matty Roth @ 2:08
=================
I’d suggest the opposite is true and delivered a perfect outcome for the SNP and the Tories. We were promised moonbeams and got the shiny lipped West Villa fan instead, to be followed by the blonde bombshell. A further five years of austerity for those who suffer most and continued trebles all round for hedge fund managers. Scotland gets the carrot dangled of a one-party state.

0 0 Rate This

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

I think we are wandering dangerously close to bringing politics fully into the debate.

But I do see parallels between loss of trust in the media and loss of trust in Labour and LibDem parties.

Your point on Tories and SNP could be right but would be a separate one I feel, and that’s where I’ll leave the comparison before I am sent to the naughty step!

View Comment

Matty RothPosted on3:20 pm - May 8, 2015


neepheid says:
Member: (561 comments)
May 8, 2015 at 2:41 pm
http://m.stv.tv/sport/football/clubs/hibernian/319867-hibernian-want-review-of-spfl-rules-after-setting-play-off-ticket-prices/

Doing things properly, and within the rules- no threats. no bluster, no macho-man posturing. Even an acknowledgement that they were at the table when the rules were agreed! Compare and contrast.

8 0 Rate This

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

Quite right neepheid.

I’m quite happy for clubs to have publicly stated opinions and fight for whats good for the game and good for their fans. But that fight has to be consistent not just when it suddenly suits one party to ignore or break the rules.

Hibs raising the question for future play offs the right thing to do if that is what they believe in.

On the subject of charging for playoffs itself, I think we have got to keep in focus that one of the reasons the play offs were agreed to by all parties was the extra income that would be generated for all clubs. (not just for the lucky few to qualify for the extra games).

Take that distribution of the wealth away and the play offs are much reduced in my eyes.

I’d expect a compromise for future where clubs can keep a higher percentage but still share a healthy portion of the income.

View Comment

MercDocPosted on3:35 pm - May 8, 2015


I have noticed Celtic have released more shares, thats twice in a month. Are these shares going to existing shareholders or are they being used to drum up more money for the club?

View Comment

BorrowaTennerPosted on3:37 pm - May 8, 2015


What’s happened to this D.C.King fella.

Is he real, or does DC represent DC Comics?

View Comment

mcfcPosted on3:49 pm - May 8, 2015


Blindsummit63 says:
Member: (8 comments)
May 8, 2015 at 3:34 pm

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

fair comment sir – but not much football discussion today – so just kicking a can around hoping someone would come along to go in goal. Political naughty step for me for a while 🙂

View Comment

BorrowaTennerPosted on3:58 pm - May 8, 2015


For some time now we have being hearing about the millions required to

upgrade and modernise various faults at Ibrox Stadium.

Are Sevco waitng to see if they overcome QOS, Hibernian, P/L club to start

required works.

Can this work be completed in the short timeframe (do they have the

money?),and will they be able to convince the powers that be, along with

the H&S and obtain the appropiate license.

View Comment

Blindsummit63Posted on4:13 pm - May 8, 2015


mcfc says:
Member: (1170 comments)
May 8, 2015 at 3:49 pm
Blindsummit63 says:
Member: (8 comments)
May 8, 2015 at 3:34 pm

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

fair comment sir – but not much football discussion today – so just kicking a can around hoping someone would come along to go in goal. Political naughty step for me for a while 🙂

______________________________________________________________________________________
oh, I wouldn’t want to stifle you good sir, it’s just that I actually come here for a bit of relief from all that to be honest 🙂 Please don’t think I was criticizing you personally of course, wouldn;t dream of that. So no need for the naughty step.

And you’re right it’s very quiet, I think many of us were half expecting some bad news to be slipped out yesterday, SFA DK decision for sinstance, but it didn’t happen.

Nice clear statement from Leanne Dempster today I thought, about why Hibs will abide by the rules and what it means for Hibs. Rules eh!

View Comment

Matty RothPosted on4:17 pm - May 8, 2015


BorrowaTenner says:
Member: (52 comments)
May 8, 2015 at 3:58 pm
For some time now we have being hearing about the millions required to

upgrade and modernise various faults at Ibrox Stadium.

Are Sevco waitng to see if they overcome QOS, Hibernian, P/L club to start

required works.

Can this work be completed in the short timeframe (do they have the

money?),and will they be able to convince the powers that be, along with

the H&S and obtain the appropiate license.

1 0 Rate This

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

I’ve certainly seen mention of the Ibrox issues on here time and again but so far I’ve failed to see anyone produce any evidence or public acknowledgement of this as being a fact.

So not sure what to make of the rumours, there may be truth in them but on the other hand some people are guilty of wishful thinking when it comes to Sevco’s problems IMO.

View Comment

whispererPosted on4:29 pm - May 8, 2015


http://m.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/scottish-premiership/fixtures

Surely an error on this page ???

View Comment

jimlarkinPosted on5:03 pm - May 8, 2015


whisperer says:
Member: (23 comments)
May 8, 2015 at 4:29 pm
http://m.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/scottish-premiership/fixtures

Surely an error on this page ???
…………………….

Maybe the BBC’s wishful thinking

(The reverse of the Falkirk stadium announcer, and I can’t remember which one, but there was one club’s match programme which stated the facts about The Rangers, not to mention Dundee Utd.

That reminds me, did we ever find out about who played Brechin City
(The Rangers, Sevco? – with Rangers on loan players)?

View Comment

mcfcPosted on5:17 pm - May 8, 2015


Blindsummit63 says:
Member: (9 comments)
May 8, 2015 at 4:13 pm

_____________________________________________________________________
oh, I wouldn’t want to stifle you good sir, it’s just that I actually come here for a bit of relief from all that to be honest 🙂 Please don’t think I was criticizing you personally of course, wouldn;t dream of that. So no need for the naughty step.
=============================
No worries – I’m definitely not the easily offended, delicate flower type so no harm done at all and no umbrage taken. Must admit I was surprised that so much political comment was allowed – the mods must be sleeping off an election all-nighter.

It is definitely a good day to bury bad news and DK’s F&P was prime candidate. Can’t help thinking DK is not entirely committed – conspicuously not investing – conspicuously not jetting in – conspicuously not pushing for a quick F&P decision. The play-offs must be the decider for him – but what are the detailed scenarios and how could he hope to remain an RRM if he walks away – or does much less than The People expect – which must be at the high end of the various numbers he’s mentioned. His non-relationship with MA must also be a big factor – maybe he expected to talk MA around – you keep the lights on – I’ll sell the STs – but MA seems to have blanked him – all intriguing stuff.

View Comment

mcfcPosted on5:34 pm - May 8, 2015


A thought for this important weekend – I hope the games are entertaining, exciting and most of all non-controversial. Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done.

View Comment

Methilhill StrollerPosted on5:35 pm - May 8, 2015


whisperer says:
Member: (23 comments)

May 8, 2015 at 4:29 pm

http://m.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/scottish-premiership/fixtures

Surely an error on this page ???

For some reason BBC have put the Scottish play-off fixtures under the League for which they are trying to qualify; with the exception of Brora vs Montrose which does not seem to exist. However for the Championship and below south of the border the play-off games are listed in the right Divisions?? Maybe the SNP 50 seats are having an effect on “aunty” already?

Red Lichtie and I would accept League 1 play-off games as shown (Queen’s Park vs Arbroath and Stenhousemuir vs East Fife) but after home draws we both have a lot of work to do to even get out of League 2.

View Comment

sarantseville 03Posted on5:47 pm - May 8, 2015


Seems a post on celtic shares available there which remembered me that last night I received a phone call last night asking me if I would be prepared to sell my own shares. A firm on behalf of a group..prepared to offer me between 8 and 17 quid per share I think.
I’m an original share holder (minimum level) from the Fergus days and really couldn’t tell you how many I have now after years of dilution etc…. I politely declined the interest but only after asking who was buying. Anyone got any info on this? I’m sure it happened a few years ago as well and I gave the same answer??if not I’m away to phone keef who would probably get a front page spread out of this celtic shares … Dave king obvious link 😆 .

View Comment

andygraham.66Posted on5:48 pm - May 8, 2015


talking of burying bad news

It was released to the media last night just as the Exit poll told of the Election results that D Sturridge would miss the first 6 weeks of the season

Happens Darn sarf too

View Comment

torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958)Posted on5:57 pm - May 8, 2015


sarantseville 03 says:
Member: (8 comments)
May 8, 2015 at 5:47 pm

Seems a post on celtic shares available there which remembered me that last night I received a phone call last night asking me if I would be prepared to sell my own shares. A firm on behalf of a group..prepared to offer me between 8 and 17 quid per share I think.
I’m an original share holder (minimum level) from the Fergus days and really couldn’t tell you how many I have now after years of dilution etc…. I politely declined the interest but only after asking who was buying. Anyone got any info on this? I’m sure it happened a few years ago??if not I’m away to phone keef who would probably get a front page spread out of this celtic shares … Dave king obvious link ? .
——————————————–
This is from the official Celtic FC site:

Boiler room scam advice

By: Newsroom Staff on 18 Mar, 2015 12:09

A number of smaller shareholders have again received unsolicited telephone calls concerning their investments in Celtic plc. Telephone numbers are usually taken from publicly available resources such as shareholder lists and investors will often be told that they need to make a quick decision or miss out on the deal.

Shareholders should be extremely wary of any unsolicited advice, offers, approaches or other communications regarding their shares and/or personal information.

Following a recent increase in the prevalence of so-called ´boiler room´ scams, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries (ICSA) have produced a leaflet warning investors about unsolicited communications concerning investment matters, which is available in full by going to:
http://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/scams/investment-scams/share-fraud-and-boiler-room-scams

Please note the following recommendations in particular if you receive any unsolicited investment advice:
– Make sure you get the correct name of the person and organisation.
– Check that they are properly authorised by the FCA before getting involved by visiting http://www.fca.org.uk/register
– Report the matter to the FCA either by calling 0800 111 6768.
– or visiting http://www.fca.org.uk/consumer
– If the calls persist, hang up.

Further information and advice on scams, and how to protect yourself from them, can also be found on the Consumer Information section of the Financial Conduct Authority website at http://www.fca.org.uk/ and at http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/

We continue to encourage Celtic shareholders to be vigilant.

View Comment

torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958)Posted on6:06 pm - May 8, 2015


MercDoc says:
Member: (58 comments)
May 8, 2015 at 3:35 pm

I have noticed Celtic have released more shares, thats twice in a month. Are these shares going to existing shareholders or are they being used to drum up more money for the club?
——————–
Had a quick look and it just looks like 2 small lots of preference shares being converted to Ordinary shares.No big deal.

View Comment

parttimearabPosted on6:57 pm - May 8, 2015


BorrowaTenner says:
Member: (52 comments)
May 8, 2015 at 3:58 pm
For some time now we have being hearing about the millions required to

upgrade and modernise various faults at Ibrox Stadium.

Are Sevco waitng to see if they overcome QOS, Hibernian, P/L club to start

required works.

Can this work be completed in the short timeframe (do they have the

money?),and will they be able to convince the powers that be, along with

the H&S and obtain the appropiate license.
===========================================
Well there have been numerous rumours and little hard fact.

Ibrox presumably ok’d at the start of this season so unless there’s been significant deterioration in the meantime they’ll be good to go next season.

View Comment

justshateredPosted on7:18 pm - May 8, 2015


MercDoc says:
Member: (58 comments)
May 8, 2015 at 3:35 pm

I have noticed Celtic have released more shares, that’s twice in a month. Are these shares going to existing shareholders or are they being used to drum up more money for the club?
________________________________________________________

As far as I’m aware NEW shares cannot suddenly appear. There has to be an AGN/EGM where a certain percentage of the vote carry the motion (75% I think). In that way existing shareholders know up front how much there shares are being diluted by. New shares do not arrive via a portal from a different dimension someone has to issue them, in this case the company, otherwise everyone and his dog could create shares in anything the wanted.
Now shares being converted means that they are removed from one register and transferred to another with different voting rights and possible loss of dividend.

View Comment

ianagainPosted on9:47 pm - May 8, 2015


Not to start another ref controversy thing.

BUT just what has Collumn got against the ‘Well?
2 stone wall penalties numerous “missing red cards”

He was a stand out on the last stats thing last published here in his anti well bias. He better not feature in any further critical games of ours or Ill be coming over all paranoic.

View Comment

jean7brodiePosted on10:17 pm - May 8, 2015


ianagain says:
Member: (456 comments)
May 8, 2015 at 9:47 pm

______________________________________

Are you surprised ❓ 😥

View Comment

Bill1903Posted on10:24 pm - May 8, 2015


Willie Collumn isnt biased for crying out loud.
He’s just flipping hopeless

View Comment

sarantseville 03Posted on10:27 pm - May 8, 2015


Thanks Torrejohnbhoy….No wonder Keef comes here for his info..it really is on the ball.

View Comment

ianagainPosted on11:38 pm - May 8, 2015


In the absence of any other comments here’s a wee classic frae the what you would call staunch ‘Well fans. You get the idea always sat where they are don’t like the young BOIS causing noise.

“Would who ever had the drum in the Cooper please piss off back to the East stand and leave us auldies in peace. The drum is for ryat hem when signing but there was little singing so it was just a bloody racket ”

Hard to please yon Main Stand Only won the most important game in months!

Does any other team have a more cantankerous support than the ‘Well.

If so Id be pleased to hear of it.

View Comment

MercDocPosted on12:28 am - May 9, 2015


Regarding the Celtic shares!
Thank you all for your help, I’m sorry, I’m just a lowly IT Pleb! I know nothing!!!

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on6:26 am - May 9, 2015


MercDoc @ 12.28 a.m says
“……I know nothing.”
——-
On the contrary, MercDoc, like Socrates of , old in saying you know nothing you demonstrate your wisdom!
but do go easy on the hemlock!?

View Comment

Danish PastryPosted on6:32 am - May 9, 2015


ianagainianagain says:
Member: (457 comments)
May 8, 2015 at 11:38 pm

In the absence…
———-

Aye, morning all. In the absence of other comments (nice one Ian) what a result for Paisley (no, not that) so spare a thought for Chick Young. After that lively match last night St Mirren are definitively toast. He must be gutted.

Motherwell very impressive, and Kilmar-nock (Mrs Pastry, not of our shores, places the emphasis on the last syllable, which is quite charming) are really in the manure now.

Why did it take SO long for the fitba authorities to introduce the playoffs? Really adds so much spice to a lot of end of season games. What held them back?

View Comment

SmugasPosted on8:28 am - May 9, 2015


The clubs.

View Comment

GabbyPosted on9:25 am - May 9, 2015


Had the pleasure of meeting John Clarke over a few beers the other night.
John, I could have listened to you for hours, thank you for an enjoyable evening.

View Comment

batumi95Posted on9:38 am - May 9, 2015


Asbestos
I was reading the comments about the perceived (and sometimes assumed) problems with Asbestos at Ibrox. Given the age of the main stand, there is a high likelihood that Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM’s) are present. Firstly though, it must be noted that simply having ACM present is not necessarily a big problem, however you must manage and control it.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations and the Control of Asbestos Regulations are the critical pieces of regulation here. The upshot is that a suitable risk assessment should have been made and this usually results the creation and maintenance of an Asbestos register when ACM’s are discovered or presumed.
I recall the DM Hall survey around the time of Chicos asset purchase stating that they had not been given sight of an Asbestos register for Ibrox.
This is curious. Any authority issuing a safety certificate should consider safety factors such as this. I believe the authority issuing the Ibrox safety cert is Glasgow City Council. Likewise the enforcing authority for Health and Safety matters at a sports venue would also be Glasgow City Council and not the Health and Safety Executive.
Shirley GCC have had sight of an Asbestos Register and have verified that suitable management and control of asbestos is in place at Ibrox?
Scottish Football needs strong, proactive and objective enforcing authorities.

View Comment

andygraham.66Posted on9:46 am - May 9, 2015


On one of the last times DK spoke, roughly 30 mins after he took over, he was quite specific about the fact the stadium needed a lot of work. Another reason I dont think we will hear a peep from him until he knows what league his club are playing in next season.

View Comment

billyj1Posted on10:19 am - May 9, 2015


The membership of the Westminster Branch of The Rangers Supporters Club has taken a bit of a battering yesterday. I wonder where that leaves Ian Davidson and Brian Donahoes (sp) desire to summon Mike Ashley before a Parliamentary Committee. Both lost their seats. Don’t know the football allegiances, if any, of the successful candidates.
Sorry if this is off topic. If so please delete.

View Comment

upthehoopsPosted on11:25 am - May 9, 2015


Yesterday was an ideal day for the SFA to announce Dave King as fit and proper. Many of us forecast they may do that and a couple of hacks also alluded to it on Twitter. Whether they actually know more than we do is open to question. The bottom line is there was no announcement. My money is still on them being unable to agree a form of words to justify black being white. Going by their own guidelines King fails 100%. how can they issue a statement saying otherwise without looking utterly ridiculous?

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on11:33 am - May 9, 2015


Looks like the ‘failure is a success’ factory is going into overdrive!

http://t.co/0AbrR7XttP

Might be correct in saying TRFC are not ready to step up, and if he genuinely believes what he has written, he clearly isn’t expecting a ‘warchest’, so perhaps a bit more realism than we are used to seeing in the SMSM – though only in his assertion that the Ibrox club are not yet ready for the Premiership and that constant humpings will be a disaster for them.

With only a passing mention of King, is this also the start of articles preparing the Ibrox faithfully for the reality of no King’s millions?

Thanks to Clumps for his tweet of the article, and for his enjoyable blogs, they make entertaining reading 🙂

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on11:53 am - May 9, 2015


upthehoops says:
Member: (679 comments)
May 9, 2015 at 11:25 am

Going by their own guidelines King fails 100%. how can they issue a statement saying otherwise without looking utterly ridiculous?
________________________

Hasn’t stopped them in the past!

In fact, if they’d already made a decision in King’s (TRFC’s) favour, I doubt they’d delay announcing it just because they’re afraid to look bad. Was their last word not that they still await a request from TRFC for King to be passed as FPP, or has that been updated?

I’d suggest that, if there is an announcement that the SFA are afraid to make, it is one the bears won’t like, for it is only they, that they, the SFA, fear!

There can be little doubt that TRFC needs money, and it needs a lot of it now! The longer it goes without a positive (for King and TRFC) announcement, the shorter the timescale available to raise the cash becomes.

What’s more, there doesn’t seem to be an awful lot of pressure being heaped on the SFA by King, TRFC, or even the media (check out the DR article I linked to in my previous post that might well be preparing the bears for no King Kitty).

View Comment

TartanwulverPosted on12:03 pm - May 9, 2015


As an aside, I’ve seen elsewhere today’s Aston Villa v. West Ham game referred to as ‘The Cameron Derby’.

View Comment

upthehoopsPosted on12:08 pm - May 9, 2015


Allyjambo says:
Member: (869 comments)
May 9, 2015 at 11:53 am

In fact, if they’d already made a decision in King’s (TRFC’s) favour, I doubt they’d delay announcing it just because they’re afraid to look bad. Was their last word not that they still await a request from TRFC for King to be passed as FPP, or has that been updated?
============================================

If TRFC have not made the request then why not? I take it the media will be too scared to ask given they have firmly tied their flag to the King mast.

View Comment

Billy BoycePosted on1:22 pm - May 9, 2015


Tartanwulver says:

May 9, 2015 at 12:03 pm

As an aside, I’ve seen elsewhere today’s Aston Villa v. West Ham game referred to as ‘The Cameron Derby’.
____________________________________________________

Some wag has suggested, due to that nice Mr Cameron’s confusion over his club allegiance, he attend the AV v WH game today wearing a half-and-half scarf!

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on1:28 pm - May 9, 2015


upthehoops says:
Member: (680 comments)
May 9, 2015 at 12:08 pm

On this quiet day, a scenario for consideration.

We know that TRFC have only managed to meet each pay-day for the past 4 months by dint of a series of directors/shareholder loans. There is every chance that such loans are no longer available from the same sources.

TRFC have, they hope, 3 play-off ties to win, six games to play. Many of the first team players know their time is up at Ibrox once the play-offs are over. There is obviously some disquiet over their total commitment in view of the chances of injury when 6 matches have to be played in such a short period, especially when they have contracts elsewhere to win. Some, no doubt, will have already been approached by other clubs.

They will all be anticipating bonuses should the club gain promotion, and some of the season’s match winning bonuses will also be due. In other words, their (the out of contract players) only incentive in these play-offs is the prospect of a bumper May/end of contract pay packet.

Imagine how it might affect these players if, knowing the recent pay-day loan scenarios, it was to be announced that the only/most likely source of meeting a bumper pay-day has been scuppered!

Now some, possibly most, footballers just love to play, and will always give their best, but if you were on the board at Ibrox, would you want those players, any of the club’s players, knowing that there is a chance/possibility/probability that the finance to meet their final salary might not be there?

Sometimes the uncertainty of not knowing the answer is a bit more comforting than asking the question, especially when the answer might well spell disaster!

If Dave King and/or TRFC haven’t yet presented their case to the SFA, there has to be a very pressing reason for it, and it’s not because DK becomes more fit and proper with the passing of each week!

I’m not suggesting that they have been told King has no chance, or even that they haven’t been given hope by our custodians of the game, just that, at the moment, they dare not take the risk. Or if they know that King isn’t yet ready to put up the cash, and if King gets passed, but doesn’t put up the cash immediately, the last illusion has gone…

View Comment

bailemeanachPosted on1:59 pm - May 9, 2015


Anyone got any notion why BBC site is listing QoS vs Rangers as a Scottish Premiership fixture?

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on2:07 pm - May 9, 2015


bailemeanach says:
Member: (53 comments)
May 9, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Possibly just a cock-up, but, if not, possibly because Motherwell or Kilmarnock will be involved, so they are treating it as Premiership Play-offs with the Championship season now closed. I’d have thought, though, that it deserves a heading of it’s own as they are the biggest matches remaining this season. Still think there’s a possibility/probability that it’s the old Ibrox club thing though! Would be interesting to know how they listed the play-off matches last season!

View Comment

bailemeanachPosted on2:20 pm - May 9, 2015


Cheers aj, I don’t recall this being normal convention in the English play offs, though appreciate its a different format. I certainly wouldn’t expect to see bookies offering odds as such. Agree it should be listed for what it actually is

View Comment

upthehoopsPosted on2:35 pm - May 9, 2015


Allyjambo says:
Member: (871 comments)
May 9, 2015 at 1:28 pm
===================================

An interesting scenario. I think we can take it not a penny from Dave King has so far winged its way to Ibrox to meet the salary bill. He has PR working on his behalf that unashamedly portray him as somehow winning his case in South Africa. If he was injecting cash to pay salaries the press pack they have on 24/7 standby would be telling us. As for Letham, Taylor and Park, they may be wealthy beyond most ordinary people’s dreams, but I doubt their wealth extends to £1.5M every single month into an Ibrox black hole.

I have an idea, which works for some football clubs and other organisations the world over. Look at your income against your outgoings, and ensure your budget does not mean spending more than is coming in. It’ll never catch on will it!

View Comment

upthehoopsPosted on3:34 pm - May 9, 2015


Re the BBC listing the QOTS v Rangers game as a ‘Premiership’ game. I see the Sky Sports website is too.

View Comment

StevieBCPosted on4:30 pm - May 9, 2015


…at Annan Athletic. “Charlie Green, is in front of me – I did not know him at this stage – and this big bear appears from nowhere. He says: ‘Mr Green can you convince me to buy a season ticket?’

‘Charlie says: ‘Yes, buy one because we are the people’. The guy says: That will do me. I will be in for one on Monday morning’. Charlie has charisma,” says [Andy] Cameron…

http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/football/tear-laughter-and-clootie-dumplings-all-part-of-the-rangers-adventure-for-andy-camero.125563902
===========================

Green must have thought he had landed in a parallel universe, where “WATP” was all he had to say to get the bears to empty their pockets.

He might be at his chateau still shaking his head in disbelief at how easy it all was…

View Comment

Big PinkPosted on4:41 pm - May 9, 2015


upthehoops says:
Member: (682 comments)

May 9, 2015 at 3:34 pm
Re the BBC listing the QOTS v Rangers game as a ‘Premiership’ game. I see the Sky Sports website is too.
____________________________________________________

BBC did the same thing last year in the semi-final;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/27361997

View Comment

The_Pie_ManPosted on5:22 pm - May 9, 2015


Congrats to ICT for getting into Europe 🙂

View Comment

comeongetaffPosted on6:18 pm - May 9, 2015


Hi,
Does anyone know the position re away-goals in the play-offs?

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on6:37 pm - May 9, 2015


comeongetaff says:
Member: (11 comments)
May 9, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Usually in the back of the home team’s net 🙄

Sorry, comeongetaff, just couldn’t resist it 😳 …a’ll just getaff then.

View Comment

comeongetaffPosted on6:43 pm - May 9, 2015


@Allyjambo,
Comeon.
Smartarse bassa. 🙂

But a serious question.

View Comment

comeongetaffPosted on7:04 pm - May 9, 2015


Hi,

Re the away-goals thing, the commentator on BT sport has just said that away-goals do not count as double.

Whats the betting on a rules change? 🙂

View Comment

Corrupt officialPosted on8:17 pm - May 9, 2015


comeongetaff says:
Member: (13 comments)

May 9, 2015 at 6:18 pm
In the event of a draw over two legs, it goes to extra time and penalties

View Comment

GoosyGoosyPosted on10:11 pm - May 9, 2015


The public letter to Sturgeon by GersNet posters complaining about the SNP candidate using the H word seems to have had a dramatic impact on voters

The swing to the SNP was slashed to modest 25.3% and the new MP Brendan O`Hara only got 44.3% of the vote

View Comment

upthehoopsPosted on8:17 am - May 10, 2015


Over on Twitter I see Graham Spiers celebrating the heady Ibrox days under Dick Advocaat. It’s worth remembering the Bank of Scotland financed Advocaat way beyond any justifiable business reason, and also paid for Murray Park, which was built at the demand of Advocaat. David Murray then moved a huge part of the football club debt to other parts of his company. As we now know his company folded and hundreds of millions owed to the now state owned bank were written off. It is therefore entirely possible that much of the success under Advocaat, and the cost of Murray Park, was never actually paid for and has been picked up by the public purse. It is utterly sickening that people like Graham Spiers still see those days as a cause for celebration.

View Comment

Comments are closed.