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

SmugasPosted on9:35 am - Mar 13, 2015


Lovely moment on an otherwise utterly embarrassing Sportsound last night. Unsurprisingly (if you heard it you’ll understand why I used that term) we were taken off to the delights of a Goram inspired 9 in a row. Back to the studio and Kenny Mcintyre asks Tom English “Surely this Rangers team is a million miles away from that one…” You could almost hear the cogs turn in Tom English’s brain as he considered “Will I go for it? Will I (as he undoubtedly would ) leave BBC with all guns blazing?” Disappointingly he didn’t but fair play there were a couple of excellent repostes as to why he didn’t like Goram as a person and regarding the Van Dyke appeal as “wrong” and the failure to produce the justification as “preposterous.”

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bfbpuzzledPosted on9:47 am - Mar 13, 2015


The cost of an appeal is loose change from the Celtic pot but a deal breaker from many clubs meagre resources. There are other issues to be considered of course in terms of time and reputation for frivolous appeals but the making of an appeal should be equally available in practical terms for all participants.

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CastofthousandsPosted on9:57 am - Mar 13, 2015


Auldheid says:
March 13, 2015 at 12:29 am

“On a point related to the post by Briggsbhoy: whilst HMRC might have been pursuing RFC for the BTC EBTS, they were more than generous in giving time to pay the wee tax case bill, in fact had a vested interest in doing so.”
——————————-
This may be covering old ground but for my benefit at least, could you elaborate on what this ‘vested interest’ might be?

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scapaflowPosted on10:01 am - Mar 13, 2015


John Clark says:
March 13, 2015 at 3:48 am

Your faith does you credit, I just hope that those in whom you have placed it, turn out to be worthy of it!

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fishnishPosted on10:15 am - Mar 13, 2015


Castofthousands says:
March 13, 2015 at 9:57 am
Auldheid says:
March 13, 2015 at 12:29 am

“On a point related to the post by Briggsbhoy: whilst HMRC might have been pursuing RFC for the BTC EBTS, they were more than generous in giving time to pay the wee tax case bill, in fact had a vested interest in doing so.”
——————————-
This may be covering old ground but for my benefit at least, could you elaborate on what this ‘vested interest’ might be?
………………………………………………………………
Their job? Getting money in?

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AuldheidPosted on10:20 am - Mar 13, 2015


BC_ Celt

Absolutely. If any club would benefit from honesty it is TRFC.

An actual transparent and accountable governing body is the aim.

The truth will take care of other matters.

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AuldheidPosted on10:24 am - Mar 13, 2015


Fishnish
Castofthousands

Yup getting the money in.

Pity about Malmo and Maribor.

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justpedylanPosted on11:08 am - Mar 13, 2015


Auldheid says:

March 13, 2015 at 10:20 am

BC_ Celt

Absolutely. If any club would benefit from honesty it is TRFC.
_________________________________________________________________
Is that true? Firstly, the expectation from successive Ibrox regimes is that they were entitled to preferential treatment. This they duly got in numerous ways from European qualification in 2011 to no sporting advantage in LNS’s judgement.
The RFC way was not only to expect preferential treatment but operate the revolving door process (thanks to AT C4) to ensure that RRM were in senior positions at the SFA, and obviously one still is.

How then can a fair and honest governance be better for TRFC than what has gone before? I would expect that TRFC will expect to be once again leading Scottish Football and benefitting in the many ways they have previously. That’s why I can’t see why honesty would be better for TRFC.

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AyeRightNawPosted on11:21 am - Mar 13, 2015


A propos of hee haw really (and to fill the time on what appears to be a sluggish day) what are your top three plausible changes that you think would encourage more people to attend football matches across all four divisions?

Here are mine:
1) Switch to summer football.
2) Introduce some sort of gate receipt sharing mechanism that would enable season ticket holders to attend a number of matches at other clubs.
3) Overhaul marketing (including pricing).

Time and again posters on TSFM talk about the serious changes that need to be made, particularly around governance. Those changes are long overdue and are urgent but I’m not convinced that improved governance alone will necessarily result in significantly increased turnstile clicks.

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neepheidPosted on11:26 am - Mar 13, 2015


justpedylan says:
March 13, 2015 at 11:08 am

How then can a fair and honest governance be better for TRFC than what has gone before? I would expect that TRFC will expect to be once again leading Scottish Football and benefitting in the many ways they have previously. That’s why I can’t see why honesty would be better for TRFC.
===================

Sadly, I can only agree. The sense of unique entitlement to “special treatment” at Ibrox (both new Board and most of the fans) is stronger than ever. That is why an Ashley regime would, in my opinion, have been a much better outcome for the rest of Scottish football than “the return of the King”, complete with all the baggage of the past.

I see that Chris Graham is still an Ibrox director. That is nothing short of astonishing. Well, to me, anyway. I get the impression that the wagons, filled with the old guard, are being circled at Ibrox, ready for an orgy of finger pointing, dog whistling and calling out of “enemies” that will make the Green regime look positively friendly. I really hope I’m wrong, of course.

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SmugasPosted on11:41 am - Mar 13, 2015


Ayerightnaw,

I’m still not convinced on the summer football argument. One angle I never hear mentioned is that to do so (in my situation and I suspect more than a few others) would set Scotlands two national sports head to head – golf (participation) and football (viewing). In my situation with a young family if I was to continue to pursue both through the summer then you’re talking about a whole weekend sans kids. Good luck selling that one to Mrs Smugas.

I would have quite happily walked from football post LNS. No hesitation whatsoever (part of me – the part that posts on here, is more than slightly disappointed that I didn’t). The only reason I am still attending is because some of my kids have gotten into it. To be fair, in our case, the Derek McInnes effect has helped as the pittodrie attendance lists show.

It would help, but its not the panacea some make it out to be. A winter shut down, even for a week would be more effective in my opinion.

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AllyjamboPosted on11:52 am - Mar 13, 2015


neepheid says:
March 13, 2015 at 11:26 am

Sadly, neeps, I think you and justpedylan are spot on with how things are viewed down Govan way. I am certain that a very large proportion, including much of the ‘intellectual’ element, would rather see the end of Scottish football than to never reach their ‘rightful place’ again. Even if, say, Mike Ashley were to lead them back to great success, without the advantages of entitlement, they would hate him even more, for it is that sense of entitlement, the feeling that they are above even the SFA, that fuels the WATP belief.

They also need a ‘strong’ leader, a man to look up to, a man on a rampant white charger. In Dave King they see that man. He knows he must live up to that image. He also knows that honesty will only spoil that image. With his record, he doesn’t have to worry about how to create, and maintain, the image!

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alexander276Posted on11:52 am - Mar 13, 2015


I am another one who manages too fill summer in other ways and would have some problems getting out of old habits.I could thole a winter shut down but cannot imagine they would ever pick the particular weeks the weather is bad …. But I cannot understand these mid week games in the worst months. I think for games with long journeys involved it is thoughtless to require travel in the dark with winter conditions. Just not necessary. Replays and fixture pile -ups are one thing but to plan it shows lack of concern for the customer.

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AyeRightNawPosted on12:02 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Smugas
Ta for that. I’m with you re personal disappointment post LNS – only sticking it out because it would feel like the cheats have won and why should they stop me doing something I think I still love.

On summer football I totally agree that clashes with family priorities are best avoided. Like you I go to games with my son and don’t see a move to summer changing that. I think that longer days and lighter warmer evenings also allow a fair bit of flexibility around scheduling.

Also there’s no convenience for many as things stand with games being moved well away from the traditional Saturday afternoon. For example I think Celtic fans will experience 2 home games on a Saturday at 3pm between 1 January 2015 and the end of the season.

It’s the Sunday games that cause me the most earache from Mrs ARN.

The clash with golf is an issue for some, especially as increasingly few folk are able to give up 4 or 5 hours at the weekend because of other commitments. Golf needs to move on too as dwindling and ageing club memberships illustrate.

Summer football isn’t anything like the whole answer but if introduced imaginatively I think it could have a part to play in repositioning the game.

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scapaflowPosted on12:05 pm - Mar 13, 2015


neepheid says:
March 13, 2015 at 11:26 am

For all the failings of the Hugh Adam generation of Real Rangers Men, convicted criminals and those under police investigation would not have been welcome on the board.

the problem though, is not restricted to Rangers, it simply illustrates very vividly how far the standards expected in public life have fallen.

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AyeRightNawPosted on12:17 pm - Mar 13, 2015


scapaflow says:
March 13, 2015 at 12:05 pm

————————————-

I’d love to agree with you but I can’t for times change and it’s easy to believe that they would have higher standards than the current incumbents.

But did they? After all that generation rigidly enforced a sectarian signing policy and all that went with it. A policy which would be illegal by modern standards.

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scapaflowPosted on12:18 pm - Mar 13, 2015


AyeRightNaw says:
March 13, 2015 at 12:17 pm

hence the for all the failings bit, but, within their own world view, they had a code, that would not have allowed for this, IMO.

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AuldheidPosted on12:22 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Justpedylan

Honest governance which means rules that are policed and enforced would have stopped TRFC being where they now are and enduring what the support have.

There is always the possibility that the majority prefer to be the Black Knight in The Holy Grail

https://youtu.be/mjEcj8KpuJw

but at some point there will only be a nose left, no doubt still sniffing down at the rest of us.

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AyeRightNawPosted on12:28 pm - Mar 13, 2015


scapaflow says:
March 13, 2015 at 12:18 pm

————————————-

Their code would probably have kept Dave King out but it didn’t stop Murray’s morally inexcusable dalliance with tax avoidance.

Interestingly their code would probably have allowed Chris Graham in as he wouldn’t have had twitter with which to publicly embarrass himself and therefore his apparent prejudices would not be so obvious.

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AuldheidPosted on12:28 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Summer football?

A no brainer for me. I don’t go in winter. I’m a fair weather supporter in the literal sense.

A reformed SFA would be a more professional SFA, providing a service under contract to the clubs.

The rest of the business world has moved that way to become more professional so why not the business of football?

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AyeRightNawPosted on12:36 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Auldheid says:
March 13, 2015 at 12:28 pm

————————————-

Interesting idea on professionalism. Totally agree because the clubs have shown they are not up to it, probably because the current model is based on competing vested interests.

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scapaflowPosted on12:46 pm - Mar 13, 2015


AyeRightNaw says:
March 13, 2015 at 12:28 pm

True, as far that gets us

Auldheid

Agree on summer football and on a service contract basis for the SFA. The regulatory function needs looked at, I don’t think there is any room for people who work for clubs, to have any decision making role in the regulatory side of the house.

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AyeRightNawPosted on12:58 pm - Mar 13, 2015


scapaflow says:
March 13, 2015 at 12:46 pm

————————————-

I know what you mean though. Elements of their code were clearly repulsive and indefensible but it could be argued that at least they had one, however flawed.

Equally it can be argued that as the code appeared to be driven by class, inequality and bigotry in a bid to preserve the status quo it is no less repulsive and indefensible.

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scapaflowPosted on1:02 pm - Mar 13, 2015


AyeRightNaw says:
March 13, 2015 at 12:58 pm

that we can agree on :mrgreen:

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100BJDPosted on1:11 pm - Mar 13, 2015


easyJambo says:

March 12, 2015 at 5:25 pm

tykebhoy says: March 12, 2015 at 4:36 pm

scapaflow says: March 12, 2015 at 4:47 pm
=========================
Looking at Allenby Capital now, it looks like everything is above board, but it has had a chequered past, re its involvement with Imran Ahmad and a previous name of HB Corporate Ltd. HB being Hoodless Brennan which no doubt will be familiar names to ecobhoy and others.

https://scotslawthoughts.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/imran-ahmad-of-rangers-the-portfolio-of-his-former-co-allenby-capital-by-100bjd/
—————————————————————
Too busy to be other than a part timer these days. You really could not make it all up. Chris Graham..an amazing appointment…Mike Ashley the major creditor’s people getting humped…no finance in place…an unworkable business plan and by the way if you read my very old article you will be very clear that John Brennan and our old friend Imran are business associates. John Brennan has a number of companies using the BEAUFORT name. I seem to remember that a similar named company had the proxies for Blue Pitch etc which is certaily a coincidence. If true of course it means that Imran has never left the game. Charliebhoy was the sales man and Imran was the brains. He will have organised the onerous agreements and he will have colluded with Charliebhoy on the racist exit strategy. Fair play to them it worked as they all got paid out big time. Now King is thinking of using them as a nomad……….well I cannot believe it.

Back to work!

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alzipratuPosted on2:11 pm - Mar 13, 2015


100BJD says:
March 13, 2015 at 1:11 pm
*****
Unless, of course, King was involved from the start too as stated by Corsica.

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seniorPosted on2:15 pm - Mar 13, 2015


‘For all the failings of the Hugh Adam generation of Real Rangers Men, convicted criminals and those under police investigation would not have been welcome on the board.’
__________________________________

Scapaflow

I was once told by an wise old sage who worked in HR that an honest man/woman will not willingly employ a dishonest/crooked person, and that a dishonest crooked man/woman will not willingly or knowingly employ an honest person – the honest person would soon expose the crook.

Hope I got that right, btw, looking the other way, is also regarded as dishonesty.
Of course the people this sermon would help most would just laugh at the above innocence.

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easyJamboPosted on2:24 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Grant Russell ‏@STVGrant 14s14 seconds ago

Rangers’ judicial panel hearing over Mike Ashley’s influence at club has been moved to April 16 at request of club. Was due to be March 16.

Not exactly a surprise.

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Bryce CurdyPosted on2:31 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Auldheid

Outstanding work. I pledge £100 towards any advert.

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mcfcPosted on2:42 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Dear Mr King

In the spirit of “absolute transparency and accountability”, one full business week after the EGM results were declared, can you please update shareholders on the status of a replacement for W H Ireland Ltd as RIFC plc Nomad.

Can you also reassure shareholders that RIFC plc will not be forced to delist from AIM on expiry of the maximum 30 day suspension period (3rd April 2015), for the lack of a Nomad. As you are fully aware, such an event would greatly reduce the value and tradability of RIFC plc shares and incur very significant costs to re-list should a public share issue be required to obtain working capital.

Yours

mcfc

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StevieBCPosted on3:28 pm - Mar 13, 2015


It’s a Friday – and it’s also the 13th – so are we due a statement from Ibrox at 5pm today ?

And a Saturday 3pm home game against Livi tomorrow – with a new manager.

Will be interesting to see if this manages to attract a sell out crowd.

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TincksPosted on3:28 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Bryce Curdy says:
March 13, 2015 at 2:38 pm

If I’ve understood Eco’s post correctly that is exactly what he was saying. That CG was being deliberately provocotive to a particular mindset.

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100BJDPosted on3:37 pm - Mar 13, 2015


alzipratu says:

March 13, 2015 at 2:11 pm

100BJD says:
March 13, 2015 at 1:11 pm
*****
Unless, of course, King was involved from the start too as stated by Corsica.

I have not seen Corsica’s point…..although Yes he may be correct

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TincksPosted on3:40 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Apologies if deemed off topic.

Alex Thomson is reporting the Hillsborough inquest on twitter. If anyone is interested I can’t recommend too highly his timeline from the last two days. Astounding, astonishing stuff.

If anyone does delve in can I just add that everyone connected to the campign/families has requested that anyone on social media refrains from passing comment on the evidence given so as not to jepordise/prejudice any possible future proceedings.

@alextomo is the address

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mcfcPosted on3:41 pm - Mar 13, 2015


StevieBC says:
March 13, 2015 at 3:28 pm

Will be interesting to see if this manages to attract a sell out crowd.

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

It’s the sell out team that should be ocuppying the Ibrox brains. Can Stewie get any kind of response out of them – the first ever New Firm match couldn’t do it and the King Coronation couldn’t do it and drifting behind Hibs couldn’t do it. Will the patient ever respond to treatment or are they destined to flat line out of the plaay-offs ?

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billyj1Posted on3:46 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Just noticed on Twitter that Chris Graham has resigned.

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TincksPosted on3:55 pm - Mar 13, 2015


So a week on from the triumphant EGM and coronation of DK and the RRM what do we know?

Not the name of the new Nomad that’s for sure. All the rumours suggest that they are trying but having no luck. AIM is the wild west of equity markets and there are certainly plenty of Nomads out there of the Roy Rogers variety. So what does it say about the business plan and association with DK that they haven’t been able to sign up a Nomad to date?

I’m sure that DK has given up on being a director and will be contect to act in a shaddow role but still nobody wants to do business with the RRM.

Nor do we know the cash injection that DK and others are putting in to stabilise the finances. £30m? £15m? £5m? Oh, wait!!!

If DK and the RRM have a coherent plan then it isn’t apparent to me. I could be doing them a disservice.

They’ve identified the desperate need for a new coaching team but all this does is add to the outgoings.

They’ll probably get a new manager bounce and in any event McCall has to be several steps up from AM and KM. But if Livi do get a result this weekend the honeymoon could be pretty short indeed.

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mcfcPosted on4:02 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Short and Sweet – Not Apology – No Explanation – No Context

RNS Number : 4378H
Rangers Int. Football Club PLC
13 March 2015



13 March 2015

Rangers International Football Club plc

(“Rangers”, “RIFC” or the “Company”)

Directorate Change

Chris Graham has tendered his resignation as a Director of RIFC. This has been accepted by the Board.

Ends

For further information please contact:

Rangers International Football Club plc

Tel: 020 7148 6143

Paul Murray

Newgate

Tel: 020 7148 6143

Roddy Watt / Ed Treadwell

This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

END

BOAGGURWWUPAGAW

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StevieBCPosted on4:06 pm - Mar 13, 2015


“Chris Graham has tendered his resignation as a Director of RIFC. This has been accepted by the Board.”

http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/news/market-news/market-news-detail/12281221.html
======================================================================
Another world record: shortest AIM statement ever ? 😕

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borussiabeefburgPosted on4:16 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Holding the belief that, with a few hiccups along the way, the last four years of scenarios at Ibrox have been more or less part of a structured plan with almost all the main players having premeditated parts to act (while fall outs and double crosses have occurred) one name has been constant on the Govan stage.

Perhaps a minor performer, yet he has been in on the action for the best part of 25 years.

Normally in the same directors’ box seat, and often photographed beside SDM, CW, CG (that’s Charles Green, not the artist), Mather, Ahmad, ‘Walter’, G Wallace, D Somers, M Murray……

……..yet I’ve never worked out why he continues in his role without much mention here.

He’s held important financial positions at Ibrox, and been involved with player contracts and a variety of administrative responsibilities. He’s even served on SFA committees, as a club representative, and also as a collective delegate for Scottish clubs (pl).

This chap also benefitted from an EBT.

Andrew Dickson must have a prosperity of knowledge as to the charade which is taking place in Scottish football.

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ecobhoyPosted on4:23 pm - Mar 13, 2015


mcfc says:
March 13, 2015 at 4:02 pm

Short and Sweet – Not Apology – No Explanation – No Context

Rangers International Football Club plc (“Rangers”, “RIFC” or the “Company”)

Directorate Change

Chris Graham has tendered his resignation as a Director of RIFC. This has been accepted by the Board.
———————————————————
His position was completely untenable so old PR trick – announce on a Friday afternoon. Another world record for Rangers.

On a broader note it does raise issues about fan representation by means of a NED on a PLC Board or even a director in a private limited company.

Football fan aspirations are often at odds with a well-governed club living within its financial means and I think a lot of Clubs might hesitate to allow fan directorships because of the potential for messy fall-outs with fans.

However, for sure, this case proves that you have to do due diligence on potential fan directors and other board members. Mike will most certainly be observing the old military maxim of sitting back and doing nothing whilst the enemy steadfastly marches into a quagmire.

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StevieBCPosted on4:30 pm - Mar 13, 2015


And you would also think that if there is indeed anyone out there daft enough to be considering ‘investing’ any cash in RIFC, this shambles of an appointment / resignation would give you a definite ‘bad vibe’ about the new King regime…and you wouldn’t walk away, you would run… 🙄

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StevieBCPosted on4:40 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Oh dear…
=============

“A RANGERS fan who offered to raise an army of free workers to spruce up Ibrox for free is at the centre of a racism storm.

Allan Woods, 62, was hailed a hero earlier this week after being instrumental in mobilising more than 50 tradesmen to do repairs at the neglected stadium for free.

But Woods became the latest prominent fan to get embroiled in an ugly controversy over comments on social media after posts on his Facebook profile called for the “ethnic cleansing” of Muslims…”

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/rangers-fan-who-offered-raise-5327907

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TrisidiumPosted on4:41 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Re: downtime last night and speculation:

Not all site problems are aggravated by the subject matter discussed on here. Most of the time well attended sites are hacked by people for fun. Last night’s escapade was one such example I think – and minor to boot. There is always a worry that someone is “casing the joint” (I am advised by the TSFMgineers that this is the appropriate idiom), so we will have our host ISP keep a watch for the foreseeable future.

Just to clarify, the hackers were able to crash the service that runs the database. There is no way they can get at the database itself without the password.

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stewartj84Posted on4:49 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Hi all. Longest of long time lurkers and disciple of the all-mighty RTC.

Were any other blog contributors/followers in attendance at the ICAS conference last night on Financial Fair play in football at Stamford Bridge?

There were lots of interesting content but most so was a Senior Accountant from Chelsea explaining the demanding levels of budgeting and reporting submitted to UEFA – principally around a “break Even” calculation that is monitored 6 monthly by applicants for UEFA license.

I think we can take any mention of RIFC/TRFC qualifying for Europe anytime soon with a large dose of salt, explicitly until annual losses are below EUR5m (the current exemption ).

If/when a business plan is published by King it will be interesting to see if European revenues are accounted for before they plan to break even.

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ecobhoyPosted on5:26 pm - Mar 13, 2015


stewartj84 says:
March 13, 2015 at 4:49 pm

I wondered whether the financial info submitted was self-certificated or required an audit signed-off. And does it go to the National Association or straight to UEFA?

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scapaflowPosted on5:39 pm - Mar 13, 2015


helpmaboab says:
March 13, 2015 at 5:36 pm

Meanwhile over on FF they are screaming blue murder and demanding the BBC be banned for their bias!

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TartanwulverPosted on5:40 pm - Mar 13, 2015


To be fair to the BBC, their website currently gives the following article more prominence than the one about Scott Brown

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-31875872

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ecobhoyPosted on5:44 pm - Mar 13, 2015


I see Sky have mentioned CG’s resignation . . . well, sort of 🙄

Chris Graham has resigned as a non-executive director of Rangers just three days after being appointed to the Ibrox board.

In a short statement on their website Rangers said: “Chris Graham has tendered his resignation as a director of RIFC. This has been accepted by the board.

Earlier this week, the Scottish Championship side said they were looking into an alleged social media post which appeared to have been made by the 38-year-old, who is a spokesman for Ibrox fans’ group Rangers Supporters Trust.

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neepheidPosted on5:52 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Does anyone expect Graham to be ditched by the Rangers Supporters Trust? No, me neither.

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mcfcPosted on5:52 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Given the recent disreputable activities at Ibrox, I’m sure W H Ireland Ltd, Mr Llambias and Mr Leach will be complaining to AIM that their names are still shown on the RIFC plc website as Nomad, CEO and Financial Director respecively. Personally, I’d be taking advice on damages for defamation.

http://www.rangersinternationalfootballclub.com/shareholder-centre/advisers

http://www.rangersinternationalfootballclub.com/board-management/board-of-directors

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stewartj84Posted on5:58 pm - Mar 13, 2015


ecobhoy says:
March 13, 2015 at 5:26 pm

It first goes to National Association and then input to UEFA on an online portal.

All information requires an audit sign off and high level numbers (“Wages and Salaries”) must be reconciled to explicit details -eg. line by line to all contractual payments (wage, appearance bonus, IP payments) for each player.

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wottpiPosted on5:59 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Tartanwulver says:
March 13, 2015 at 5:40 pm
To be fair to the BBC, their website currently gives the following article more prominence than the one about Scott Brown

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-31875872

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

When did fairness come into whataboutery?

Both stories relate to the actions of silly wee boys who should really know better but in Scottish football terms both worthy of a mention.

Remember we have had issues before regarding club and national captain’s getting up to alcohol fueled hi-jinks before and I believe it was always alleged Mr Brown was in Barrie’s drinking gang that night. Ok the lad is on a night off but as Deila is saying there are no ‘nights off’ for a professional footballer.

Who gets top billing is hardly worth worrying about.

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Bryce CurdyPosted on6:10 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Auldheid – you probably get enough PMs that you check for them regularly, unlike me, but in case I’m wrong I’ve just sent you one! Once again, what a fantastic post and contribution. Sometimes over the last 3 years I’ve felt like no longer investing emotionally in Scottish football but posts like yours give me hope.

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jean7brodiePosted on6:13 pm - Mar 13, 2015


wottpi says:
March 13, 2015 at 5:59 pm

__________________________________________________________-

Are both stories true and accurate?

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HamerdoonPosted on6:18 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Today I was listening to the 6pm BBC Scotland news.

Apparently the only news from ibrox concerns Stuart McCall.

Who would have thunk it? Beyond parody.

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wottpiPosted on6:37 pm - Mar 13, 2015


jean7brodie says:
March 13, 2015 at 6:13 pm

Given past histories – probably 🙂

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scapaflowPosted on6:53 pm - Mar 13, 2015


wottpi says:
March 13, 2015 at 5:59 pm

Precisely, these guys are very highly paid professional athletes. Both RD’s comments, and the comments from one of the Ashley loan players, seem to suggest that we still have some way to go in terms of diet & fitness.

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StevieBCPosted on6:55 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Veering slightly OT…

The Chris Graham issue is a timely reminder for all the Bampots about being careful with what you post. OK, it – allegedly – appears that Graham Re/Tweeted an image that most reasonable people would just never consider doing. He may have posted a lot more objectionable stuff which the SMSM could have published.

Graham’s issue was made ‘in public’ via Twitter, but it is also why I am very uncomfortable about the whole ‘we need access to everyone’s data – just in case’ justification for the supposed Intelligence Services/NSA/GCHQ etc to sweep up all the private/personal data of joe public.

We’ve all had private jokes with friends/family on Facebook, email, Skype etc, but what if a comment you made becomes public – but taken out of context ?

I can imagine Graham will be sick as a parrot at losing a dream opportunity to be on his club’s board – and that he is probably very annoyed with himself, [and with everyone else who criticised him, of course].

And perhaps another reason for trying to maintain anonymity on t’internet – for what it’s worth.

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RyanGoslingPosted on7:19 pm - Mar 13, 2015


The Scott Brown story actually grabbed my interest there.

Thing is, Scott Brown is two years younger than me, so probably similar powers of recovery and impacts of suffering from a big night out. I know I’m sometimes still a bit queasy come Wednesday after a big night out, but then my job doesn’t depend on being physically fit, his does. However, the guy is not immediately evil because he did not absolutely perfectly prepare himself for a match.

How many times have you seen Cristiano Ronaldo slumped in a gutter eating crap before a big game? Never. Messi’s performance allegedly dropped because he’d been eating too much pizza; it’s not like he was overweight but he was not in peak physical condition just because of a few slices of pizza! And it’s over that period of time that Ronaldo overtook him in world player of the year terms.

My point is, these guys are the very best in the world, and to get to that level, as you do in all professions, you have to completely devote your life to it, whether you’re at work or not. I personally don’t live like that, I like my days off and nights out, and I love a Papa Johns. Scott Brown and many others before him have shown that while dedicated and successful professionals, their career is not the only thing in the world that matters to him, and I personally have no problem with that. He won’t be in peak condition for the final but it’s not like he will be turning up hammered.

A non story in my view. Apologies if I’ve rambled, but I’m at the beginning of a major Scott Brown style evening.

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Big PinkPosted on7:20 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Stevie
I’d like to think that anything I posted would pass a FPP litmus, although my fanzine stuff from 20 years almost probably wouldn’t. Not sectarian or racist of course, but embarrassingly tribal. In fact I read some that stuff and think, “who is that eejit?”

The problem is that there is no statute of limitations on a reputation, but that’s life sometimes – and regretfully, life can be cruel.

Tonight, there are folks elsewhere advising people to get anonymous Twitter and Facebook accounts – so they can continue to publish with impunity stuff a prospective employer would recoil from. I think that is a tacit admission that you are in the wrong in the first place.

There is the possibility that the thought process described above might even turn on a few light-bulbs and lead an actual reappraisal of behaviour – but then again, maybe not.

Strangely, Timmy is not getting the blame for the CG situation on FF; instead VB and RM are regarded as the real culprits. I don’t know the relative sizes of the TRFC fan groups, but the bile that is often reserved for the rest of Scottish Football is being directed at those constituencies.

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ecobhoyPosted on7:20 pm - Mar 13, 2015


mcfc says:
March 13, 2015 at 5:52 pm

Mr Llambias and Mr Leach will be complaining to AIM that their names are still shown on the RIFC plc website as CEO and Financial Director respectively.
——————————————————
I thought they actually still were CEO and FD. The problem as I see it is that they have apparently been told they are no longer welcome at Ibrox and therefore would have great difficulty IMO in fulfilling their contractual obligations. So it could be argued they have been contructively dismissed by the new Board.

If their names are removed from the official website as CEO and FD then that is another argument supporting a constructive dismissal case.

Possibly it’s hoped that the ‘investigation’ apparently being carried out will find something that equates to gross misconduct. I think that’s probably not going to be the case.

So it looks as though there could be a messy employment tribunal possibly coupled with court action to ring-fence some of Ashley’s next loan tranche to meet their contractual pay-offs as the club arguably is a financial basket case.

I don’t see them walking away as they have reputations to consider and unless Ashley thinks their performance under fire wasn’t up to scratch then I’m sure he’ll back them all the way legally and financially.

Who knows when their services may again be required at Ibrox 😆

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jean7brodiePosted on7:30 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Big Pink says:
March 13, 2015 at 7:20 pm

_______________________________________________________

Well said. Basically, if something would embarrass/humiliate/condemn you under your own name, don’t post it.

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StevieBCPosted on7:39 pm - Mar 13, 2015


jean7brodie says:
March 13, 2015 at 7:30 pm
Big Pink says:
March 13, 2015 at 7:20 pm

_______________________________________________________

Well said. Basically, if something would embarrass/humiliate/condemn you under your own name, don’t post it.
=======================
I don’t mean posting something bad or offensive.

Say you had a strong opinion against the UK being involved in a conflict, for example, in a ‘private’ social media conversation.

Say several years later you were up for a big political position, and it was leaked that you “didn’t support the armed forces”, and your private communications were selectively passed to the SMSM ?

I’m sure there are probably lots of better examples, but ‘absolutely’ you wouldn’t send stuff that Graham has been accused of – but it’s the ‘normal’ stuff that could be used against you later.

Or am I just getting paranoid…who said that ?!

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ecobhoyPosted on7:56 pm - Mar 13, 2015


RyanGosling says:
March 13, 2015 at 7:19 pm

I think one of the big problems with football players is that nights out invariably seem to be a team affair and possibly all the wilder for that. It’s possibly easier to have low-key nights on the town if you’re involved in an individual sport.

But most athletes are young, very fit, bursting with energy who train hard and have to adhere to strict schedules. They do and always will have blow-outs and unless they develop a problem then it’s arguable what the effect is on their performance IMO.

It’s actually hard to decide what condition of sobriety Brown was in as we don’t know what pics were taken and perhaps only one or two made him look p*ssed. Of course sitting on his ass in the street points to a certain conclusion.

However no matter how hard he was on the batter it won’t have the slightest effect on his physical performance on Sunday as any effects would probably have disappeared in less than 48 hours.

There is the embarassment factor especially with being captain but that is an issue that I’m sure will be sorted out between the player and manager.

At the end of the day he was on a night out and had a day off next day and turned-up for training the following day. He also wasn’t arrested and doesn’t appeared to have been out of order. I doubt if many fans would be fazed in any way and possibly see it as a media attack.

Psychologically he can either feel downbeat on Sunday or be out to prove a point. I would imagine – without doubt – he will just be his usual in your face self 😆

But it just shows you can’t relax for an instant as there’s always someone who can and will make money off a pic or a story if you let your guard down especially if you are a well-known footballer.

I certainly was pleased to note however that whatever he was munching there was no chips included and I’m sure RD will count that towards the plea in mitigation from Scott when he says: ‘If I’d had a greasy fish supper it would have soaked the booze up’.

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redlichtiePosted on8:04 pm - Mar 13, 2015


I was very reliably informed that a spectacular short term loss of form by a major sports personality was caused by a night on the town that included a visit to a “late night gentleman’s entertainment club”, ahem.

Sports people are human too and need to have some fun… I never saw a word of this in the press though.

Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

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ecobhoyPosted on8:07 pm - Mar 13, 2015


I think the biggest problem is with the likes of twitter is when a tweet is dashed off in the heat of the moment and instantly published. Once it’s out there you can’t put it back in the bottle.

The speed really is the problem – there’s no real thought in many cases or longer post which gives you time to think and possibly cool-down or moderate your post.

It’s a machine-gun exchange of bullet points and so easy to regret it later in the cold light of day. I know many tweeters can hardly believe what they actually posted especially if drink had been taken.

I’m afraid it’s a medium that will continue to claim casualties and ruin lives of some to a greater or lesser extent.

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RyanGoslingPosted on8:14 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Ecobhoy,

It will continue to claim casualties up to a point, but eventually everybody will have said something so stupid that nobody will care any more.

It’s scary to think how much a random tweet can affect your whole life. I don’t tweet personally, because I know I’m not alone in being unable to say I’ve never had an offensive thought in my life. If I tweeted everything I thought, right now I’d probably be divorced, unemployable, and most probably, murdered. Twitter by definition, given the character limit, is designed to let people publicly express their innermost thoughts. Most of the time those thoughts are best kept innermost.

I do so wish though that people could get past defining people’s lives by one ill thought out tweet. By the way that is a general observation and nothing to do with a recently departed Rangers NED.

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mcfcPosted on8:15 pm - Mar 13, 2015


ecobhoy says:
March 13, 2015 at 7:20 pm

I thought they actually still were CEO and FD.

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

Eco – I think that is true because they coouldn’t agree a pre-EGM resignation deal with the irascible Mr King.

However, they are still listed as diretcors on the “Board of Directors” page provided to satisfy “Rule 26 of the AIM Rules for Companies:”.

My theory is that RIFC cannot update the page because the true status of the replacement “directors” has not been verified with AIM OR the actualités acceptable to AIM would not be pleasing to the masses and their miracle myth. So better to pretend they have forgotten to update it and leave L&L in place – but Easdale and Somers were removed pronto. Ditto “replacing” W H Ireland.

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scapaflowPosted on8:28 pm - Mar 13, 2015


RyanGosling says:
March 13, 2015 at 8:14 pm

The trouble is very rarely caused by a random piece on social media, the problems are usually caused by people being able to point to patterns of behaviour.

The world has changed, there is no going back, the space where our actions can have have unexpected consequences has grown. If it forces people to think a bit more, and, examine what they think, before committing it to this greatly enlarged “public” space, then maybe it can be a good thing.

There are no conscripts on social media, only volunteers, (and remember, a volunteer is really a silly sod who misunderstood the question!)

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douglas reynholmPosted on8:36 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Auldheid says:
March 13, 2015 at 12:36 am

Just got in from work, this feels a bit off topic now!

I think sometimes when you’re on a forum you’re in amongst like minded individuals and we can all disappear up our own little cul de sac, unaware of how things are in the out side world. I’ve seen words banded about like “most corrupt best little country in the world”..”worlds most corrupt FA” etc. None of that’s clearly true…in terms of the level of corruption that is.

[Trolling etc]

I’m not trolling Auldheid’s excellent and well researched article….I’m a St Johnstone Fan, no one had less time for Rangers than me.

🙂

I went to see Saint’s through the 90’s, saw us get battered many times at Ibrox. One time the stadium announcer even added “and crumbs from his masters table” when Roddy Grant (God to you and I) hit a consolation when we were 4-0 down. To think all that was paid for by BOS money, which we all ended up paying back in the end, makes me even angrier. I guess if you were a Celtic fan going through the 9IA year it’s no picnic either!

RE Chris Graham….he’s like a little boy that needed taught a lesson in respect except that he’s 38 years old. Like a Sun or DR journalist I don’t think he believed or even agreed with most of what he was writing but it got him profile, that’s all that counted to him on the end.

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TrisidiumPosted on9:15 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Folks. Please don’t waste time feeding. And it WILL be a waste of time.

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RyanGoslingPosted on9:21 pm - Mar 13, 2015


TSFM,

I don’t really know what you’re talking about. The forum is traditionally quite quiet late at weekend nights. Therefore feeding trolls at least guarantees some activity!

Trolls are actually quite useful I think. If you get someone appearing who just wants to argue with everything you say, it gives you a chance to practice your arguments. Probably how most of our posters feel about me!

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neepheidPosted on9:49 pm - Mar 13, 2015


Still no Nomad appointed? Am I alone in thinking that King didn’t actually have one lined up for last Friday? Despite the fact that he said he did? I’m beginning to think that a certain South African judge may have hit the nail squarely on the head.

This may seem a mere technicality, but it could have real consequences. Here’s a wee fairy story for bedtime.

Let’s say I’m a bear through and through, and I have 10,000 shares, bought in the IPO out of loyalty to the team I support. These cost me £7000, and were worth £3400 before the EGM. I’m not a wealthy man, and I’ve already taken a haircut, but I may need that £3400 shortly to help out one of my children in some important matter, like a house deposit.

The Daily Record has persuaded me over many months that Dave King is the only true saviour of my club and a Real Rangers Man, and that Mike Ashley is the epitome of evil, an enemy of Rangerness, etc, etc- (see Keith Jackson for full particulars).

An EGM is called by the saviour, but I’m a bit concerned about the money side. Ashley’s evil henchmen are saying that the shares will be suspended if King wins the vote. That would be really bad for me, as I might need to sell my shares urgently. But have no fear, the saviour assures me that the shares won’t be suspended, because he has a shiny new improved NOMAD lined up. So nothing to worry about, I conclude, just scare talk from the Ashley minions, and after all, I have the word of a real Rangers man.

So I vote for King. My shares are suspended, and I can’t sell. I could have sold a week before the EGM, but I was assured that trading would continue, by the man who now appears to have control. In fact I am regally stuffed.

Could my little fairy story really play out in a country with (allegedly) regulated share markets? Is King allowed to get away with stuff like that with no sanction whatsoever? I am truly gobsmacked. But one thing’s certain- I personally wouldn’t go near AIM with a fifty foot bargepole.

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Cluster OnePosted on10:19 pm - Mar 13, 2015


easyJambo says:

March 13, 2015 at 2:24 pm

Grant Russell ‏@STVGrant 14s14 seconds ago

Rangers’ judicial panel hearing over Mike Ashley’s influence at club has been moved to April 16 at request of club. Was due to be March 16.
————–

also in April will be the SFA meeting to see if king is fit and proper.

could Easter holidays kick these dates further down the road?

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