Everything Has Changed

ByTrisidium

Everything Has Changed

The recent revelations of a potential winding up order being served on Rangers Newco certainly does have a sense of “deja vu all over again” for the average reader of this blog.

It reminds me of an episode of the excellent Western series Alias Smith & Jones. The episode was called The Posse That Wouldn’t Quit. In the story, the eponymous anti-heroes were being tracked by a particularly dogged group of law-men whom they just couldn’t shake off – and they spent the entire episode trying to do just that. In a famous quote, Thaddeus Jones, worn out from running, says to Joshua Smith, “We’ve got to get out of this business!”

The SFM has been trying since its inception to widen the scope and remit of the discussion and debate on the blog. Unsuccessfully. Like the posse that wouldn’t quit, Rangers are refusing to go away as a story. With the latest revelations, I confided in my fellow mods that perhaps we too should get out of this business. I suspect that, even if we did, this story would doggedly trail our paths until it wears us all down.

The fact that the latest episode of the Rangers saga has sparked off debate on this blog may even confirm the notion subscribed to by Rangers fans that TSFM is obsessed with their club. However even they must agree that the situation with regard to Rangers would be of interest to anyone with a stake in Scottish Football; and that they themselves must be concerned by the pattern of events which started over a decade ago and saw the old club fall into decline on a trajectory which ended in liquidation.

But let me enter into a wee discussion which doesn’t merely trot out the notion of damage done to others or sins against the greater good, but which enters the realm of the damage done to one of the great institutions of world sport, Rangers themselves.

David Murray was regarded by Rangers fans as a hero. His bluster, hubris and (as some see it) arrogant contempt for his competitors afforded him a status as a champion of the cause as long as it was underpinned by on-field success.

The huge pot of goodwill he possessed was filled and topped-up by a dripping tap of GIRUY-ness for many years beyond the loss of total ascendency that his spending (in pursuit of European success) had achieved, and only began to bottom out around the time the club was sold to Craig Whyte.  In retrospect, it can be seen that the damage that was done to the club’s reputation by the Murray ethos (not so much a Rangers ethos as a Thatcherite one) and reckless financial practice is now well known.

Notwithstanding the massive blemish on its character due to its employment policies, the (pre-Murray) Rangers ethos portrayed a particularly Scottish, perhaps even Presbyterian stoicism. It was that of a conservative, establishment orientated, God-fearing and law-abiding institution that played by the rules. It was of a club that would pay its dues, applied thrift and honesty in its business dealings, and was first to congratulate rivals on successes (witness the quiet dignity of John Lawrence at the foot of the aircraft steps with an outstretched hand to Bob Kelly when Celtic returned from Lisbon).

If Murray had dug a hole for that Rangers, Craig Whyte set himself up to fill it in. No neo-bourgeois shirking of responsibilities and duty to the public for him; his signature was more pre-war ghetto, hiding behind the couch until the rent man moved along to the next door. Whyte just didn’t pay any bills and with-held money that was due to be passed along to the treasury to fund the ever more diminished public purse. Where Murray’s Rangers had been regarded by the establishment and others as merely distasteful, Whyte’s was now regarded as a circus act, and almost every day of his tenure brought more bizarre and ridiculous news which had Rangers fans cringing, the rest laughing up their sleeve, and Bill Struth birling in his grave.

The pattern was now developing in plain sight. Murray promised Rangers fans he would only sell to someone who could take the club on, but he sold it – for a pound – to a guy whose reputation did not survive the most cursory of inspection. Whyte protested that season tickets had not been sold in advance, that he used his own money to buy the club. Both complete fabrications. Yet until the very end of Whyte’s time with the club, he, like Murray still, was regarded as hero by a fan-base which badly wanted to believe that the approaching car-crash could be avoided.

Enter Charles Green. Having been bitten twice already, the fans’ first instincts were to be suspicious of his motives. Yet in one of history’s greatest ironic turnarounds, he saw off the challenge of real Rangers-minded folk (like John Brown and Paul Murray) and their warnings, and by appealing to what many regard as the baser instincts of the fan-base became the third hero to emerge in the boardroom in as many years. The irony of course is that Green himself shouldn’t really pass any kind of Rangers sniff-test; personal, sporting, business or cultural; and yet there he is the spokesman for 140 years of the aspirations of a quarter of the country’s fans.

To be fair though, what else could Rangers fans do? Green had managed (and shame on the administration process and football authorities for this) to pick up the assets of the club for less (nett) than Craig Whyte and still maintained a presence in the major leagues.

If they hadn’t backed him only the certainty of doom lay before them. It was Green’s way or the highway in other words – and speaking of words, his sounded mighty fine. But do the real Rangers minded people really buy into it all?

First consider McCoist. I do not challenge his credentials as a Rangers minded man, and his compelling need to be an effective if often ineloquent spokesman for the fans. However, according to James Traynor (who was then acting as an unofficial PR advisor to the Rangers manager), McCoist was ready to walk in July (no pun intended) because he did not trust Green. The story was deliberately leaked, to undermine Green, by both Traynor and McCoist. McCoist also refused for a long period of time to endorse the uptake of season books by Rangers fans, even went as far as to say he couldn’t recommend it.

So what changed? Was it a Damascene conversion to the ways of Green, or was it the 250,000 shares in the new venture that he acquired. Nothing improper or unethical – but is it idealism? Is it fighting for the cause?

Now think Traynor. I realise that can be unpleasant, but bear with me.

Firstly, when he wrote that story on McCoist’s resignation, (and later backed it up on radio claiming he had spoken to Ally before printing the story), he was helping McCoist to twist Green’s arm a little. Now, and I’m guessing that Charles didn’t take this view when he saw the story in question, Green thinks that Traynor is a “media visionary”?

Traynor also very publicly, in a Daily Record leader, took the “New Club line” and was simultaneously contemptuous of Green.

What happened to change both their minds about each other? Could it have been (for Green) the PR success of having JT on board and close enough to control, and (for Traynor) an escape route for a man who had lost the battle with own internal social media demons?

Or, given both McCoist’s and Traynor’s past allegiance to David Murray, is it something else altogether?

Whatever it is, both Traynor and McCoist have started to sing from a totally different hymn sheet to Charles Green since the winding up order story became public. McCoist’s expert étude in equivocation at last Friday’s press conference would have had the Porter in Macbeth slamming down the portcullis (now there’s an irony). He carefully distanced himself from his chairman and ensured that his hands are clean. Traynor has been telling one story, “we have an agreement on the bill”, and Green another, “we are not paying it”.

And what of Walter Smith? At first, very anti-Charles Green, he even talked about Green’s “new club”. Then a period of silence followed by his being co-opted to the board and a “same club” statement. Now in the face of the damaging WUP story, more silence. Hardly a stamp of approval on Green’s credentials is it?

Rangers fans would be right to be suspicious of any non-Rangers people extrapolating from this story to their own version of Armageddon, but shouldn’t they also reserve some of that scepticism for Green and Traynor (neither are Rangers men, and both with only a financial interest in the club) when they say “all is well” whilst the real Rangers man (McCoist) is only willing to say “as far as I have been told everything is well”

As a Celtic fan, it may be a fair charge to say that I don’t have Rangers best interests at heart, but I do not wish for their extinction, nor do I believe that one should ignore a quarter of the potential audience for our national game. Never thought I’d hear myself say this, but apart from one (admittedly mightily significant) character defect, I can look at the Rangers of Struth and Simon, Gillick and Morton, Henderson and Baxter, and Waddell and Lawrence (and God help me even Jock Wallace) with fondness and a degree of nostalgia.

I suspect most Rangers fans are deeply unhappy about how profoundly their club has changed. To be fair, my own club no longer enchants me in the manner of old. As sport has undergone globalisation, everything has changed. Our relationship to our clubs has altered, the business models have shifted, and the aspirations of clubs is different from that of a generation ago. It has turned most football clubs into different propositions from the institutions people of my generation grew up supporting, but Rangers are virtually unrecognisable.

The challenge right now for Rangers fans is this. How much more damage will be done to the club’s legacy before this saga comes to an end?

And by then will it be too late to do anything about it?

Most people on this blog know my views about the name of Green’s club. I really don’t give a damn because for me it is not important. I do know, like Craig Whyte said, that in the fullness of time there will be a team called Rangers, playing football in a blue strip at Ibrox, and in the top division in the country.

I understand that this may be controversial to many of our contributors, but I hope that this incarnation of Rangers is closer to that of Lawrence and Simon than to Murray and Souness.

About the author

Trisidium administrator

Trisidium is a Dunblane businessman with a keen interest in Scottish Football. He is a Celtic fan, although the demands of modern-day parenting have seen him less at games and more as a taxi service for his kids.

4,442 Comments so far

scapaflow14Posted on4:57 pm - Feb 28, 2013


SPL statement

“SPL Statement – Independent Commission

The SPL Board appointed the Independent Commission to consider all aspects of the above matter and at no point provided any direction to the Commission on any aspect of the case.

The SPL Board notes that the Commission has upheld a number of complaints against Rangers OldCo and that Rangers OldCo has been found to have breached SPL and Scottish FA Rules over an 11-year period in relation to the non-disclosure of financial arrangements involving many of its Players.

The SPL Board are assured by the integrity of the process followed and thank The Rt Hon Lord Nimmo Smith and his colleagues, Nicholas Stewart QC and Charles Flint QC, for their time and effort.

The Board wishes to give the detail of the decision further consideration at its next meeting

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hampdenborePosted on4:59 pm - Feb 28, 2013


On the 18th November 2010 during the AGM of Celtic PLC, CEO Peter Lawwell is on record as stating:

“…A satisfactory outcome would be a transparency, an accountability and a system of procedures that satisfied all the stakeholders in Scottish football”

The Chairman ,John Reid, also opined about new Chief Executive of the SFA:

“Now we have a new chief executive who appears to be determined to look at these things afresh, he needs the support of all of this. This game is bigger than anyone club. If he’s going to tackle this, it won’t be an easy thing to do so we have to give him what support we can. I think you start with, not quite a blank sheet of paper, but you have to think the unthinkable and ask the big questions.”

We are now almost 2 ½ years from this AGM and could anyone reasonably justify that the above objectives have been met?

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Carl31 (@C4rl31)Posted on5:07 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Rule 1. The SFA make the rules.
Rule 2. If in any doubt about application of any rules, refer to Rule 1 above.

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Flocculent ApoideaPosted on5:10 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Isn’t this all another fly kick at Spartans when they’re down? They must be due a few good nights out. How much time needs to elapse before the SFA can confirm a club has got away with inelligible players being used? Am I right in saying a dawn raid on Ibrox by Met police is the only reason this came to light? What a shameful sport I’ve been contributing to for decades.

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paulmac2Posted on5:14 pm - Feb 28, 2013


shield2012 says:

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 16:52

timalloy67 says:
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 16:18

” But LNS confirmed in writing RFC DID CHEAT”

————–

No they didn’t!
………………

What is your definition of deliberatly witholding details of contractual payments to a player when the regulations that govern world football clearly states they must be declared before the player is eligable to play professional football for the club in question?

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nowoldandgrumpyPosted on5:15 pm - Feb 28, 2013


greenockjack says:
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 16:49
0 1 Rate This
nowoldandgrumpy

Careful you don´t catch anything “nuclear” when fishing.
=============

If it is a blue fish it will squirm off the hook.

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shield2012Posted on5:20 pm - Feb 28, 2013


There’s a lot of walking-away talk due to emotions running high. There are those that are threatening to turn their back on Scottish football due to their belief that anyone who doesn’t throw the book at TRFC must be corrupt. Talk of the establishment club is in full flow this afternoon.

I would suggest that if these people do walk away (which they won’t), then this whole fiasco will have benefited Scottish football, albeit in an unexpected way.

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shield2012Posted on5:22 pm - Feb 28, 2013


paulmac2 says:
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 17:14
3 0 Rate This
shield2012 says:

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 16:52

timalloy67 says:
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 16:18

” But LNS confirmed in writing RFC DID CHEAT”

————–

No they didn’t!
………………

What is your definition of deliberatly witholding details of contractual payments to a player when the regulations that govern world football clearly states they must be declared before the player is eligable to play professional football for the club in question?

————-

I think it’s been well documented – it was an administrative error. Cheating is acting dishonestly to gain an advantage. They might have acted dishonestly but there was no advantage.

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bogsdolloxPosted on5:22 pm - Feb 28, 2013


nowoldandgrumpy says:
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 17:15

greenockjack says:
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 16:49
0 1 Rate This
nowoldandgrumpy

Careful you don´t catch anything “nuclear” when fishing.
=============

If it is a blue fish it will squirm off the hook
==================================================================

I have LINGering doubts about that but suspect there will be a whitefishwash in any case

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abigboydiditandranawayPosted on5:24 pm - Feb 28, 2013


regarding today’s episode of the ongoing debacle that is scottish football governance…
what did you really expect after the past year and beyond?
i shall be back at celtic park, i am a celtic supporter…
we’re used to it

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Danish PastryPosted on5:25 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Bet Lance Armstrong wishes he’d had Lord Nimmo investigating his years of non-disclosure 😀

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TartawulverPosted on5:28 pm - Feb 28, 2013


shield2012 says:
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 17:20

There are those that are threatening to turn their back on Scottish football due to their belief that anyone who doesn’t throw the book at TRFC must be corrupt. Talk of the establishment club is in full flow this afternoon.
———————————————–
You misrepresent, of course. I don’t want the book to be thrown at Rangers any more than at any club who has been at it. But people aren’t stupid. They can read the arguments in the legal decisions, see what was done, then compare that with the findings, and draw their own conclusions.

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TartawulverPosted on5:33 pm - Feb 28, 2013


http://rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/3459-rangers-announce-new-kit-deal

Incidentally, did I miss the announcement of how much this deal is worth?

Possible scenario
Charles Green: The deal is £200,000 per year
Voice from crowd: That doesn’t sound like very much
Charles Green: No, but it’s all we could afford to pay them!

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zoylerPosted on5:35 pm - Feb 28, 2013


A few things spring to mind –

1) You know know how Northern Irish Nationalists felt through out the 60s when time after time conclusive evidence of discrimination and fixing was found some how to a minor infraction hardly worth worrying about. each time we went to a higher level and felt that the highest legal minds would give us justice – we learned the hard way.

2) As far as ‘the peepil’ are concerned what everbody else sees as special treatment they regard as their entitlement.

3) As an Irish nationalist I have always wondered why my Scottish cousins and other Scots of Irish decent I know were so opposed to Scottish Independence , After today I fully understand and believe that this decision will have ramifications far beyond mere football.

4) Living in Ireland at least I can go back to Gaelic Football which if hard at least is not corrupt!

Good luck – you’ll need it!

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ShooperbPosted on5:39 pm - Feb 28, 2013


timalloy67 says:
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 16:18

*Sigh* it’s too late, tim. I don’t think you quite get it. Well done Celtic for not cheating and all that, but ultimately, it means nothing. When an entire country’s league and football association are geared exclusively towards the benefit of one club, it’s over. And unfortunately, that’s the situation we find ourselves in today. They break the rules with impunity, they get dropped into the SPL despite not having the accounts, and when that fails due to the pesky fair minded fans, they just drop them a division or two further down, debt free.

Look at the knots the football authorities have tied themselves in to state that Rangers were just a little bit guility, but that it’s not really Rangers, it’s their former owners. Last time I checked, it was football clubs that registered players, not holding companies. So if Rangers are the same as they were, then this fine should be levied on the current tennents at Ibrox. Will it be? Nope, not even that is going to happen. By that reckoning, Spartan’s board should have been kicked out the Scottish cup, not their team.

It appears that all the good stuff can be claimed by Rangers, like player registration (thanks to the tupe process), but the bad stuff, like …er…. player registration (only the illegal ones, mind!) are the responsibility of the ‘Old Co’.

Like I said earlier, I’m in two minds whether to renew my season ticket for Broadwood. The upper echelons are a distraction for me, rather than the be all and end all of my interest in football, but something inside me died a little today. You watch films, and the good guy always wins and justice is seen to be done (in 99% of films anyway), and it sort of conditions you to expect real life to play out that way somehow. Well, it doesn’t, and I know that when I’m sitting at Broadwood, eating my mutton pie and bovril, that it’ll be different, and not in a good way. I go there with the hope (I gave up on expectation a long time ago!) that my team will do well enough to earn division titles and promotions, but then what? The ultimate desire of any team is to build and do well enough to reach the top, but what if the top is rotten to it’s core? If you no longer want to reach the top, to be the best that you can, then what really is the point?

Well, enjoy your defiance, your stand against the dark arts, but I know if it was me, I’d be looking at my season ticket money, and then looking at holiday brochures.

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jonnyodPosted on5:42 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Well ,well ,who would have thought it ?.
yet again two clubs fc swagger away laughing at the lot of us ,
I really wish the peepil in charge of our FIXtures would stop kicking two clubs fc because every time they do it’s all the other HONEST clubs that are left feeling the pain .
I had a bad feeling that last years forcing of the clubs to refuse entry to two clubs fc would only be a short reprieve in me walking away from our game and today has proved me right .
IMO there is now no point in attending this so called sport in this country .

Whilst those in charge cloaked the corruption there was always the doubt that I may be wrong but now that they have just dispensed with the pretence it is now as clear as day .
They are telling me straight to my face that they will decide how things will be and I am just a mug punter who either likes it or lumps it .
To be fair to them they have now given me the information and left it up to me ,so I’M OUT .
I have never been for my club moving to the EPL (when mooted ) but I believe my club needs to leave the Scottish FIXtures and anywhere else will do .
Last one out of Scottish football turn off the light

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Lord WobblyPosted on5:43 pm - Feb 28, 2013


greenockjack says:
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 16:49
1 6 Rate This
nowoldandgrumpy
Careful you don´t catch anything “nuclear” when fishing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hi GJ

Any chance you could answer my question now?

Do you believe that Barca’s nuclear comment made any
difference to the sequence of events that led to Rangers
liquidation?

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TartawulverPosted on5:45 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Puma – the closest kit manufacturer to Cheetah?

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Danish PastryPosted on5:49 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Must say, tweets from @STVGrant (Grant Russell) are very informative and interesting today.

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bad capt madmanPosted on6:00 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Any apologies yet from those at RFC who LNS found guilty(ish)?
I mean a £250000 fine is not insignificant (not allowing of course for the inability of the entity to pay it, or even the unwillingness to pay it a la Craig Whyte). Is that a world record fine??
A disgrace all round.

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scapaflow14Posted on6:02 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Very busy day, McGlynn gone, now Evans and Collins gone from Livi, and news just in Dunfermline only meeting 20% of the Feb wage bill

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greenockjackPosted on6:03 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Lord Wobbly
Any chance you could answer my question now?
———————————————————————————-

Was answered at 0809 this morning.

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chipsandblogPosted on6:06 pm - Feb 28, 2013


is it true LNS plans to fine third lanark, the dodo and the mayor of Brigadoon

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obonfanti88 (@obonfanti88)Posted on6:07 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Scottish football signed it’s own death warrant today.

Utterly beyond saving. What’s the effin’ point?

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Gil De Ray (@GilDeRay)Posted on6:08 pm - Feb 28, 2013


the only hope left for scottish football is the rise of the fans of every club in scotland (other than the cheats) in solidarity to force their clubs to withdraw from the sfa lock stock and barrel….
i read people saying you’ve got to support your team…what for? if the board of directors at any club in scotland sit silently as this charade is allowed to pass then you know that they too have colluded in you and i and every other fan in scotland being treated like mugs…..football in scotland is finished, continuing is allowing the cheats to win as continuing is accepting they have rights that none of the rest of us have…

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bangordubPosted on6:10 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Beautiful Prose:
http://blogs.channel4.com/alex-thomsons-view/rangers-player-payments-not-cheating/4234

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Banners to the BreezePosted on6:12 pm - Feb 28, 2013


With thrilling anticipation, most of us expected The Right Honourable Lord Nimmo Smith to return an unequivocal guilty verdict on the blatant rule breaking by RFC. Instead we were all bitch slapped and reminded just where we stand, when political and ‘fraternal’ expediency has to trump honesty and sporting fairness.

A few fellow posters reckoned that LNS was the man to do the job, myself included … a bastion of the legal community with an esteemed reputation, a matchless choice to preside over (on the face of it) a very simple inquiry. Closer inspection would have shown us that he has always been the Establishment’s hatchet man’s, hatchet man when disagreeable and controversial verdicts have to be communicated to the Scottish public.

Frickin’ hindsight, I hate it … I now realise that we should have asked Sir Thomas Dalyell (Tam to most of us) what he thought of LNS’s jurisprudence skills and powers of ratiocination – we all to a man (and Brenda) would have been better prepared for the pile of flying pigsh#t that landed on our shoes at noon today.

Hat’s off to the SFA though, they might be a bunch of inept football administrators, devoid of a social conscience. Yet they still managed to blind side the majority of us football fans, with their decision to recruit this high profile and respected justiciary – now indisputably the pre-eminent in-house ‘go to judge’ when you need to keep the line of truth oblique.

Will The Right Honourable Lord Nimmo Smith sleep well tonight? you just know he will … safely cocooned from the real world view by family, his better bred friends and acquaintances, the SMSM and the VIP tickets for Hampden and Ibrox lying under his pillow.

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borussiabeefburgPosted on6:25 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Now, the vindication of old Rangers by LNS: does this apply only to the spl? I’m a wee bit confused, given the SFA washed their hands of holding an enquiry. Clearly, LNS is pointing the finger at the administrative staff of old Rangers when they were breaking the rules. For the life of me, I cannot remember the names of any of these admin executives when the rule breaking commenced.

Another bit that confuses me: why was an enquiry necessary, given it was obvious that old Rangers were actually breaking the rules on registration, as confirmed today? Why didn’t the spl simply make a decision much earlier themselves, when they had a chance of securing any fine set? My own thought on this is that the football authorities thought supporters’ feelings would mellow through time.

Finally, why didn’t the SFA set up any enquiries into rule breaking by the likes of Spartans, Dunfermline Athletic, St Mirren, Brechin City and East Stirlingshire? Or get the spl or SFL to do their dirty business?

One thing we all do know, and that is whether we should trust Doncaster, Regan, Ogilvie (why is that name nagging away at the back of my mind?), and Longmuir to lead Scottish football into a bright new future.

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angus1983Posted on6:26 pm - Feb 28, 2013


shield2012 says:
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 17:22

I think it’s been well documented – it was an administrative error. Cheating is acting dishonestly to gain an advantage. They might have acted dishonestly but there was no advantage.
——

Shield – I have to disagree. The advantage gained by use of EBTs which were not declared was that Rangers could afford better, or more, players than if they had paid them by means which involved also having to pay tax and NI (i.e. they had more cash to dish out because none of it had to go to HMRC).

The players were paid in this way, and this part of their pay (or remuneration for footballing activities, if you like) was not declared when it should have been.

This was dishonest, and that dishonesty caused them to gain a competitive advantage (see above).

Of course, it’s arguable that the plain fact of failing to declare all payments made to players, in itself, did not confer that advantage. However, it is only one step removed, and it’s hard to believe that a triumvirate of learned gentlemen deliberately failed to make that easy connection. They seem to have applied strictly legal reasoning to a rulebook which isn’t particularly legally sound – but which we all thought contained a “spirit” which everyone broadly understood.

As for the “administrative error”, well I think we all have our own opinion of that description.

To say that players who have been found to be incorrectly registered – guilty and fined on that account – were not ineligible appears to me to be interpreting and twisting the rules as far as humanly possible – it was not the spirit or intent of the rule in question – but I do have to congratulate whoever did that particular bit of twisting for an ingenious piece of work that no-one saw coming.

I’m not sure at what point LNS decided that punishments applied to Oldco are not to be moved on to Newco. He doesn’t appear to have stuck by the points he made in his Statement of Reasons whereby the “owner and operator” would be held responsible for Rangers FC’s misdemeanours. Oldco get the blame rather than Rangers FC. This separation of the “Club” from the Company is a bit sinister – and, I believe, without precedent. e.g. Were Southampton not found to be both Club and Company?

As to emotions running high when persons like myself say they won’t be back – I think that’s disrespectful. I won’t be back to Pittodrie. I may look out for the scores, and I’ll probably still read the Sports section first on Sunday morning. But I’m not getting involved in a “game” that has rightly (in my opinion) been likened to the WWE.

I was proud to take my older bairn to his first game – a 1-1 draw with Celtic – and his second, an embarrassing humping off Livingston in the Cup. I now have a 6-year old lad, and I just will not be taking him. Maybe when he’s older, if he really wants to go, I’ll go along for old times’ sake – but I won’t be actively introducing him to the fitba.

Attendances at the next round of games will be interesting.

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onceabhoyPosted on6:33 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Yeah just confirmed on the news. They feel vindicated and want us all to forget and move on following a misguided witch hunt. CG fought off the evil clubs who tried to steal titles. SPL board to meet soon to discuss/ratify decision.

Get your e mails in to your club reps boys.

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Bill1903Posted on6:35 pm - Feb 28, 2013


I’m thinking similarly to you angus1983
I’ve been going to Pittodrie for 45 years and I doubt if I’ll be back.

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posmillPosted on6:38 pm - Feb 28, 2013


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yakutsukiPosted on6:38 pm - Feb 28, 2013


If fans leave in droves shaking their heads in disgust, muttering “What’s the point?”, I wonder what the sevconians reaction will be to it all?

Will it be a case of “Look everyone else is getting wee crowds and we’re no! Isn’t life just dandy?”

Of course, when they get into the SPL, any fans that are left will welcome them with open arms, not!

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Lord WobblyPosted on6:48 pm - Feb 28, 2013


greenockjack says:
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 18:03
0 0 Rate This
Lord Wobbly
Any chance you could answer my question now?
———————————————————————————-
Was answered at 0809 this morning.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Good man. It’s been a busy day and I’d missed it.

Whether or not Barca’s comment was made simply to ‘stoke the fires’, it is stretching credulity to suggest that it made any difference to the demise of (old) Rangers or the vote to determine where the newly launched Rangers should join the league structure.

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pau1mart1nPosted on6:49 pm - Feb 28, 2013


“no evidence……..whether other SPL members used ebt schemes.”
sfa asked all clubs exactly that. answer was no i think.
och well, can’t expect a busy man to think of everything.
sounds like something jim suggested to stick in there.

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wottpiPosted on6:49 pm - Feb 28, 2013


bangordub says:

Beautiful Prose:
http://blogs.channel4.com/alex-thomsons-view/rangers-player-payments-not-cheating/4234

_________________________________________________________________________________

Alex Thomson sums up my feelings and thoughts well in the following paragraphs

“Rangers FC did not gain any unfair competitive advantage…nor did the non-disclosure have the effect that any of the registered players were ineligible to play and for that reason no sporting sanction or penalty should be imposed upon Rangers FC.”

In other words the commission ruled that not telling the authorities in full about all monies given to players does not mean they were ineligible, WHICH RATHER BEGS THE QUESTION AS TO WHY THE FULL DISCLOSURE RULE EXISTS IN THE FIRST PLACE?

The answer is clearly the desire for financial transparency and the obvious point that ‘secret’ payments quite clearly could be the route to cheating. But in this case it was not ruled to be so.

————————————————————————————————————————-
The spirit of the rule is that if there is non-disclosure then the registration renders the player is ineligible.
Everyone and their uncle knows what this rule is for.

The only person in the world who wanted to pursue another ‘scope for a different construction of the rule’ was LNS.

As I posted yesterday the law is often an ass, I am more convinced than ever that it is often practiced by donkeys who, for whatever reason, end up making simple things complex.

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zoylerPosted on6:49 pm - Feb 28, 2013


What would be interesting would be if other clubs just registered therir players and declined to provide details of the financial arrangements on the basis that as to do so did not give them a sporting advantage it was none of their business!

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john bell (@jpb59)Posted on6:50 pm - Feb 28, 2013


I first went to a match in 1966 and have followed Scottish football since then. Not any more
It has been said that Scottish football was secretive and corrupt

They were wrong it is just corrupt.

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greenockjackPosted on6:56 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Bit of humour to lighten the mood.

Don´t click if offended by bad language.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjgBdwb_XYs

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christyboyPosted on7:00 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Can I ask, if it is accepted that they acted dishonestly, then why act like that if it was not to gain some sort of advantage? Acting dishonestly, by its very meaning is doing something you know not to be true or to cover up what you know to be true. What is the point of acting dishonestly if there is nothing to be gained or achieved? So its alright to act dishonestly as long as nothing is gained from it ?
This is indicative of how business is run these days, nay, how people interact with each other these days, with little respect and a dire scarcity of positive role models. Is this what we’ve come to, bigging up a trait none of us would wish bestowed upon us, to justify an action that is so obvious it was to gain an advantage. Players were improperly registered, rules were broken.End of !! To suggest anything else would be, well, dishonest.

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greenockjackPosted on7:03 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Lord Wobbly

I said it was an attempt at such.

A grain of sand designed (endorsed by RTC) to grow into something that become the talk of the steamie and given the RTC site credibility at the time that would make it to those voting and threatening boycotts that effected votes.

In short and in my opinion, a propaganda tactic to help oil the wheel.

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wottpiPosted on7:04 pm - Feb 28, 2013


zoyler says:
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 18:49

Exactly. and if you get caught paying undisclosed backhanders to a player from Asian gambling syndicate you only have to worry about a fine of around £500 per offense.

Its a bit like getting fined £50 quid for taking your kids out of school early to go on holiday when you are saving a grand on the price of the holiday by not getting fleeced by the holiday companies and airlines by going outwith the school holidays.

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TartawulverPosted on7:09 pm - Feb 28, 2013


christyboy says:
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 19:00

Can I ask, if it is accepted that they acted dishonestly, then why act like that if it was not to gain some sort of advantage?
———————————-
That’s why the plan was so cunning! Payments weren’t disclosed and the whole rigmarole of deceit put in place in order NOT to gain any sort of advantage! No-one on the outside would imagine that any club would go to the trouble of going to such a lot of effort precisely in order not to get anything out of it. But there we are. No wonder we couldn’t see through it.

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spanishceltPosted on7:15 pm - Feb 28, 2013


timalloy67 says:
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 16:18

LNS confirmed in writing that they are a NEWCO with ZERO HISTORY.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Did he actually say that? Hope Im wrong but I didnt read it that way.

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chipsandblogPosted on7:15 pm - Feb 28, 2013


LNS will be sitting back with his red wine chuckling at all the noise on the airwaves.

Why did the SPL require LNS to enforce their rules ?

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bad capt madmanPosted on7:18 pm - Feb 28, 2013


If Dostoyevsky had been a sports writer, would have written ‘Crime and not much Punishment’?

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chipsandblogPosted on7:18 pm - Feb 28, 2013


new Scottish verdict ‘got away with it’

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pau1mart1nPosted on7:21 pm - Feb 28, 2013


But there we are. No wonder we couldn’t see through it.

heidi poon could. not in the lodge. obviously.

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timalloy67Posted on7:21 pm - Feb 28, 2013


@Celtic Paranoia and Aryouaccusingmeofmendacity..
All decent fans cannot give up, we can only beat the cheats by supporting our own club in bigger numbers and asking our own club chairmen to follow the rules and question any further rule breaking in the future.
Growing up in Glasgow as a Roman Catholic, myself and others were discriminated against simply because of our religion. In Northern Ireland it was even worse with poor housing as well.
But we rose above it and those days are past. (although some peepil will not accept it)
My late father used to tell me this story, with great myrth, many a time.
He worked in a factory where all the bosses were 100% Protestant, but the workers were all Irish.
Anyway, my father was the storeman and knew the job inside out and did it happily for 10 years.
Then one of the bosses “demoted” my father back to a labourer (with a cut in pay also) and put one of his brothers in my dad’s job.(their was no union in the factory)
To cut a long story short all the workers backed my dad, in the other 2 factories as well, and faced with mounting costs and losing customers, my father was reinstated, the guy was let go as was the boss who caused it all.
Moral, if you stand up against injustice you CAN win.

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douglas reynholmPosted on7:23 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Been working haven’t had a chance to give the blog my usual attention! Thsi has probably been covered already.
I did read Paul Mcconvilles blog, that was fairly interesting.
My take on it was that LNS had little choice with the ruling/punishment. He determined that unless told otherwise around the time, the players were registered.
I know, I had a WTF moment when I saw that but it’s clear that if this went to court then the SFA would have lost. I’ve got a feeling that this is a fairly delibrate…er…process! Precisely to avoid messy re-allocation of results years after the fact.

I kind of wonder why the SFA couldn’t have worked this one out a long time ago????

Win some lose some, now where’s that 22 million from CG’s share issue????

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BayviewGoldPosted on7:28 pm - Feb 28, 2013


hmmm, oh well I’m sure EFFC would have got the same consideration and I’ll look forward to the nice accommodating SFA/SFL and that Lunny chap next time some ‘administrative error’ or fan shenanigans happen down Bayview way. But for all those who are a little disappointed with the outcome of the various hearings etc over the last 12 months, don’t look towards Rangers, don’t even look toward the SFA/SPL/SFL, because as they are so fond of telling us – “we are merely figureheads and the club representatives” – and as the ‘fans are the club” as most club chairman like to remind us (normally at ticket time) this then is really our decision and our doing. So something to bear in mind at the next shareholder/fan club/chairman’s meeting of your club of choice. Oh and while I appreciate Mr “shields” contribution – spartans not signing a form is an “administrative error” but consciously not declaring contractual info for numerous players over many years is a lot of things but is not an “administrative error” in the normal sense of the phrase. Even more bizarre that it come during the watch of a highly regarded football administrator.

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killiemadPosted on7:31 pm - Feb 28, 2013


My reaction to much of this past year’s events and the panic it has caused in the corridors of power is overwhelmingly sadness.

Naively I wanted cheats to be confirmed and the name of the cheats to be forever tainted.

I am sad that the sport I grew up loving is what has become tainted. The SFA used to have the reputation of treating great and small the same. Without fear or favour. That died today. My sport is not played on a level playing field. Do Spartans, Annan Athletic or Gretna feel that they were treated the same as Rangers? Somehow I doubt it.

My game will never be the same again. I will find it hard to care any more.

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pau1mart1nPosted on7:31 pm - Feb 28, 2013


highly regarded by who ? chic young & hugh keevins ?

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Lord WobblyPosted on7:34 pm - Feb 28, 2013


greenockjack says:
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 19:03
0 0 Rate This
Lord Wobbly
I said it was an attempt at such.
A grain of sand designed (endorsed by RTC) to grow into
something that become the talk of the steamie and given the RTC site credibility at the time that would make it to those voting and threatening boycotts that effected votes.
In short and in my opinion, a propaganda tactic to help oil the
wheel.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Careful. You’ll be suggesting it was all a conspiracy by Rangers haters next.
You make an interesting inference that RTC has somehow lost credibility. Rangers most certainly had a case to answer and RTC asked the questions when few others dared. Right from the beginning RTC said that it not go the way many hoped. RTC was (mostly) right on the money. The FTTT and Nimmo-Smith judgements back up much of that.
There has been much propaganda throughout this saga on all sides. Crikey we even had Rangers people maintaining that they’d done nothing wrong.
Non-Rangers fans throughout the land and beyond made their thoughts clear on where Charles’ new venture should join the league and the clubs, quite rightly in my opinion, agreed. Barca’s comment was, as you suggest, merely a grain of sand.

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BayviewGoldPosted on7:38 pm - Feb 28, 2013


pau1mart1n says:

highly regarded by who ? chic young & hugh keevins ?

possibly – not by me though, although being appointed to a senior position in the sports ruling body means that some people with a say did. (and that is not Chic Y or hugh K) – really goes back to my main point, “we” collectively through our clubs sanction all this.

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bad capt madmanPosted on7:43 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Alex Thompson blogging again, and again he gets to the heart of the matter. Thanks again, Alex.

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barcabhoyPosted on7:44 pm - Feb 28, 2013


So LNS says guilty on 12/14 , partially guilty on one more and innocent on the other one. The justification for the innocent verdict was because the SFA man, as an expert witness, told LNS that because the registration was accepted at the time , there was no process to retrospectively judge it ineligible .

Should the SFA have been aware of the side letters at the time, or more accurately , should they have been aware that Rangers hid these from the SFA, then the registrations would have been illegal.

On the retrospective element, Uefa blew that argument out the water with their verdict over Sion. You think the SFA guy might have known about that seeing as the victim of Sion’s cheating was a Scottish Club !

That raises the further question, of how long the authorities have to discover rule breaches. Does it vary from association to association, does it vary from club to club within that association.

The position is clearly ridiculous. The rule is , in laymens terms, tell us of every aspect of payment. Rangers didn’t , and LNS concurred that they didn’t . The SFA guy said if we don’t catch you in the act at the time its ok. Deception rewarded.

The fact that the current President of the SFA either knew or failed in his legal responsibilities as a Director to know further indicates the culture of deception and deliberate rule breaking. The further fact that a Rangers Chairman who was also a long standing SPL board member, knew and did and said nothing , in my view is evidence that he failed to carry out his responsibilities to the shareholders of the SPL

None of this is LNS’ fault. Given the evidence he had to find Rangers innocent on 1/14 charges. The SFA have provided Rangers with the means to claim innocence on this charge. I hope Stewart Regan is asking the questions of his head of registration.

Namely if UEFA can retrospectively deal with improper registrations, why cant the SFA. Or can we and you merely neglected to tell LNS of the UEFA precedent

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nowoldandgrumpyPosted on7:46 pm - Feb 28, 2013


http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/7632324.stm

West Ham were found guilty of acting improperly and withholding vital documentation over the ownership of Argentine duo Tevez and Javier Mascherano when they signed in 2006.
A three-man Premier League arbitration panel fined the Hammers £5.5m, but did not dock them points, and they went on to survive the drop on the final day, while Sheffield United were relegated………

In Scotland a whole squad for 9 years is £250k.

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broadswordcallingdannybhoyPosted on7:48 pm - Feb 28, 2013


I had to visit one of my company’s sites today in Edinburgh. I was so engrossed in trying to fix their IT issue that I had forgotten about LNS. At one point I overheard a manager of the company say “…. that’ll get it right up those Benian Fastards….,

Not only will I never return to CP, I’ll never watch another game of Scottish football.

I wish I had the eloquence to properly articulate how broken and angry I feel.

I turned down a job opportunity in The UAE last year, it’ll come round again at xmas time

I’ll take it this time.

To think that the last Celtic result I’ll know was 2-1 to M’well.

If that last line made you happy – congratulations, you’re part of the reason Scottish football died today.

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Sean McNultyPosted on7:50 pm - Feb 28, 2013


I’m surprised more people haven’t mentioned this post:

majorcoverup says:
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 15:05
1 0 Rate This
Rule D1.13 is really quite clear:

“A Club must as a condition of Registration and for a Player to be eligible to Play in
Official Matches, deliver the executed originals of all Contracts of Service and
Amendments and/or extensions to Contracts of Service and all other agreements
providing for payment …..”

“and” is the key word in that first phrase.

So it would not have been necessary to rescind the player registration as stated in this contrived judgement, as the rule clearly states that registration and eligibility to play are BOTH impacted by any failure to provide the required paperwork.

It would be quite possible (as in this case) for a player to be registered but still not eligible to play.

Simple.

——————

The poster is bang-on.

“A Club must as a condition of Registration AND for a Player to be eligible to Play in
Official Matches…”

So yes, fine, according to LNS’s reading of the SPL/SFA rules, the players were correctly registered. But as that poster has pointed out, this does not allow him to conclude the players were therefore eligible to play.

So we should be back to square one. The players were clearly ineligible and the consequence should be a 0-3 result for every relevant RFC game. Very strong case for *somebody* to appeal today’s decision, no?

Or does anybody know where that poster is wrong? Because from where I’m sitting it looks like he/she had nailed the major blunder by His Lordship.

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David KanePosted on7:52 pm - Feb 28, 2013


I did of course mention to RTC right at the beginning that dark forces would conspire to ensure a favourable outcome. Not that i’m happy about it, but they had their own men in there right from the start.

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StevieBCPosted on7:55 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Possibly one positive result from the TRFC debacle is that there will now have to be a reorganisation of the footballing administrations, IMO.
Not because they want it to happen mind you – but because they must be acutely aware that their rule books are now totally worthless and a source of some embarrassment in the future.
Over the last year the Scottish footballing public has observed all the inconsistencies when the administrations have been applying/ignoring/re-interpretating their own rules – and then failed to explain their decisions in a transparent manner to their customers.

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Long Time LurkerPosted on7:58 pm - Feb 28, 2013


My view for what its worth – LNS fair, independent enquiry. Reasoned conclusion based on evidence and the rule book, such as it is.

CO and other directors of the Club – found to be severely lacking.

Liars, cheats amd bullys ultimately never win.

If there is a nuclear event on the horizon – can somone push the button.

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greenockjackPosted on8:07 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Lord Wobbly

I think the general and neutral opinion is probably that RTC has lost a fair chunk of his credibility.

His blog without doubt evolved into something unique due to the leaked material he was provided with, the volume of willing and often able “investigators” and CW who provided countless alleys for you all to go down.

However it lost it´s way at the turn of the year and never really recovered the same collective focus.

Questions have to be asked about where is info came from ?
Was it direct or second hand ?
If 2nd hand, from whom and why ?

RTC was indeed more measured with his predictions than some portray but what I would mention is that after the tax tribunal retired in January 2012 he became a little more militant wrt pushing the so-called dual contracts issue.
Then once Rangers went into administration there seemed to start a co-ordinated effort to push the SPL towards action on what today we received a verdict.

Speaking generally, I think of other more important issues in the world and think that the RTC blog template would be a good example to work with in an effort to expose X.

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iamacantPosted on8:22 pm - Feb 28, 2013


yakutsuki says:
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 18:38
12 0 i Rate This

If fans leave in droves shaking their heads in disgust, muttering “What’s the point?”, I wonder what the sevconians reaction will be to it all?

Will it be a case of “Look everyone else is getting wee crowds and we’re no! Isn’t life just dandy?”

Of course, when they get into the SPL, any fans that are left will welcome them with open arms, not!
————————————————————————————————————–
If fans leave in droves, clubs will not survive, then who will they play against in the big hoose?

Regan, Doncaster, Longmuir and feckin’ Ogilvie the Protector can all feck off to where they came from – obscurity

I gave my Aberdeen season book to my neighbours son tonight as I won’t need it now.

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greenockjackPosted on8:24 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Long Time Lurker

If there is a nuclear event on the horizon – can somone push the button.
———————————————————————————————–

It´s ironic and amusing that some who like to point at others as being the gullible can still believe in fairy stories !

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Lord WobblyPosted on8:30 pm - Feb 28, 2013


greenockjack

I agree that the RTC site lost its way towards the end (that was one of the reasons RTC closed it and why we now have TSFM).
That in no way devalues the contribution made by RTC and numerous posters.
If any questions have to be asked it should not be where did information come from but why did it take so long for to come out?
Why did Rangers fans not start asking the same questions of their own club? Had they done so they might not have needed to go through the pain of liquidation. In my opinion Rangers demise was caused by Rangers custodians and the lack of a suitably motivated and galvanised support far more than anything that the so called ‘Rangers haters’ did.

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Carfins Finest. (@edunne58)Posted on8:30 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Do we need a new rule book to tell us what rules can be broken and what ones cannot. A la Trfc songbook. Maybe help us poor unintelligant punters to manage our expectations better in the future.

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Long Time LurkerPosted on8:31 pm - Feb 28, 2013


greenockjack on Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 20:24

Where in my post did I say that I beliieve that there is a nuclear event?

Nowhere – I said if.

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Richard Wilson (@timomouse)Posted on8:32 pm - Feb 28, 2013


http://www.thefootballlife.co.uk/post/44235765513/the-most-humiliating-day-in-the-entire-history-of

In which I don’t blame Lord Nimmo Smith, but the SFA get torn a new one. A couple of new ones.

I would like to add my words of support of Lord Nimmo Smith. His judgement is reasoned and fair. The case hinged on the rules of football being written correctly by the SFA and they have been shown to be unfit for purpose. I can only hope and imagine that every team ever sanctioned by the SFA for fielding an “ineligible” player is currently scurrying about putting together a request for compensation. Lots of it.

These idiots that run our game deserve everything that is coming to them.

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angus1983Posted on8:38 pm - Feb 28, 2013


bill1903 says:
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 18:35

I’m thinking similarly to you angus1983
I’ve been going to Pittodrie for 45 years and I doubt if I’ll be back.
——

Ah, you’ve got ten years on me, Bill.

My first game was in 1978 – Partick Thistle I think. Or maybe Hearts. Those were the first two, anyway. 🙂

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BroguesRoguesAndILikeThePoguesPosted on8:40 pm - Feb 28, 2013


I said weeks ago that there would be no punishment. A fine means nothing to a company in liquidation. Anyone else believe that this was fair and all above board. Not a chance and yes, I am calling the integrity of the commission into doubt. An absolutely disgusting decision and nowhere can we see natural justice being upheld. Disgusting and confirms the extent to which this club and the fabric of Scottish society work hand in hand. If it were not for the integrity of the chairmen of the SPL who refused to be bullied by these cheats they would still be in the SPL. I am sickened.

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angus1983Posted on8:41 pm - Feb 28, 2013


BBC Sport:

Rangers: Sir David Murray critical of ‘witch hunt’

Rangers have been the victims of a “retrospective witch hunt” according to former owner Sir David Murray.

Sir David was speaking after “oldco” Rangers were fined £250,000 by an SPL-appointed commission.

The commission, chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith, was investigating alleged undisclosed payments.

“The problems arising at Rangers brought no credit to Scottish football and have been a tragedy for the club and its fans,” said Murray.

“They cannot be condoned. Similarly, however, and as stated previously, efforts to bayonet the wounded are equally unjustified and of no benefit to the club or Scottish football.”

The investigation related to the period between 2000-11 – during Sir David’s tenure – when Rangers operated employee benefits trusts (EBTs), the subject of a long-running tax tribunal.

“The decision not to strip Rangers of titles is satisfying. The commission recognised that the purpose of the relevant SPL rules was to promote sporting integrity and that Rangers gained no competitive advantage.

“The EBT scheme did not provide for payments from the club to the players. Instead, the players received loans from independent trustees and the decisions to make those loans were made by those trustees alone. The decision of the First Tier Tax Tribunal supported this.

“It is entirely erroneous and without foundation to state that a contribution to a trust and subsequent loan from independent trustees of that trust to a player is the same as Rangers making a payment to a player.

“Despite knowledge of the existence of EBT arrangements for 10 years, the SPL has never explained why this was only raised as an issue last year,” added the former Ibrox chairman.

“The imposition of an irrecoverable fine on an entity which is now in liquidation is futile and only prejudices the ability of existing creditors to recover any money.

“It is saddening that so much time, effort and money has been expended in pursuing a retrospective witch hunt against an entity in crisis, as opposed to seeking to promote and further Scottish football for the benefit of the game and country as a whole.”

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parttimearabPosted on8:41 pm - Feb 28, 2013


I see that a number of you are giving up on the whole mess.
I understand why – it’s not for me though.
What have we learned today? – that the bodies that govern our game are useless/inept/not fit for purpose/corrupt (delete or not as appropriate).
Lets be honest – we’ve all known this for a long time anyway.

It’s always difficult to change the past but i think that we still have the opportunity to change the future of our game, and it is our game not the sfa/spl’s.
Time to redouble our efforts and attempt to give Scotland and fans of football the game that we deserve.
It’s not time to give up!

(Ps – i find that red wine in copious amounts helps at times like these!!!)

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greenockjackPosted on8:42 pm - Feb 28, 2013


Lord Wobbly

Yes, the custodians were the main cause of how the financial and fiscal situation developed.

Yes, the support should have been more motivated and organised to find out what was happening and where it might be going.

The custodians used various methods to ensure the support would not develop a structure or much interest in the necessary organisation.

You could say the above brought the situation to a head.

Then you have to factor in what amounted to a campaign to maximise damage on Rangers.
Would go on but it´s time to go out.

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