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

abcottPosted on11:46 am - Mar 6, 2013


Bottom line – all clubs (bar one, I believe) are complicit. They voted the Ibrox team into Division 3. They didn’t have to admit them at all. Everything flowed from that.

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on11:54 am - Mar 6, 2013


greenockjack says:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 10:38

Its not that folk do not want to go back of course, its that self respect demands that they cannot.

Yes self respect. If I could find a way to believe that a loan in the form used by Rangers was not a payment to induce a player to sign, I would. However I cannot, a loan is a payment at the point of paying and nothing will convince me otherwise. HMRC require similar convincing.

Similarly when I see rules that say all documentation MUST be DELIVERED and it is not, I cannot accept that the player who was registered on less than open grounds was eligible to play in any games thereafter. It makes no sense of the rule and if all clubs were to adopt less than full disclosure as their policy, and why should they not, we have football anarchy.
The implications of the LNS enquiry will have long lasting ripple effects if it is not rectified, it drives a horse and cart through the registration procedure where a club is ready to take a fine as the only consequence when improper registration is done deliberately and ill gotten gains are retained, including the prize money. Its a footballing nonsense..

To accept either of these concepts that twist reality back to front is an affront to self.
In a way those advocating withdrawal of support are saying to our clubs I accept I am no longer watching a game of chance where the odds are natural, but one where chance is further biased against my club and that’s ok. No self respecting person would agree to that.

In a way what we are all asking for is some evidence that our self respect and the right to hold on to it is being recognised by those running our game and I see no evidence of that so far from the SFA or msm at large.

I do not want to turn my back on my club, but if they want me to keep my self respect and get my support they are going to have to take a stand on principle and insist that measures are introduced that satisfy me and supporters at large they are policing clubs on the basis of precedent that they cannot be trusted. Is anybody at the SFA even capable of thinking this way?

The next test of SFA policing is the award of a national club licence to The Rangers, based on interim results and, taking the share issue income out of the picture, on what basis will SFA grant a licence? Will it be unconditional or will they insist that The Rangers balance their books on the basis that they do not achieve straight promotions to the SPL or will that necessity to survive become the same driver for survival that the pursuit of CL money was and so render the lower leagues meaningless for the next two/three seasons?

The SFA do have power over clubs via the licensing regime but are they willing and ready to use it? A statement to that effect recognising past failures and proposed corrections would be a start.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on12:02 pm - Mar 6, 2013


dentarthurdent42 says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 11:30

It has been quite amusing watching the encouragement for people “walking away” from their own clubs going on here. With the prods and the polls to keep that mindset going.

Like I said, to each their own, and if you are walking away from Scottish football then you won’t really care about the outcome. However the reality is walking away helps no-one except Rangers. You are doing their work for them, and making it easier to get back to the top and to start playing in Europe again, making more money.

So long as walking away is what you want, fine. However don’t be manipulated into doing it. Do it because you think it is right, and can I suggest not looking back.
====================================================================

What an insightful and excellent post and I would commend everyone to read it.

As a Celtic supporter I can’t help but wonder who I would be supporting today, if anyone, if my grandparents and parents had walked away from supporting Celtic when the victimisation of the club and its supporters was virtually absolute and led by the Scottish Establishment.

We know the cancer that exists within the SFA and we must do all that we can to counter it and expose it but how is that task helped by weakening and possibly destroying our own clubs. It’s obvious that organised trolls are active on many sites stirring discontent and encouraging people to walk from their clubs.

The vast majority of clubs are already under severe pressure because of the general economic situation creating a shortage of cash in the pockets of fans. I really believe that any action taken shouldn’t be against our own clubs but directly aimed at the SFA – they are the real problem and anyone who tries to divert and deflect attention away from them will allow them to continue their twisted agenda.

View Comment

rantinrobinPosted on12:06 pm - Mar 6, 2013


So Mervyn King thinks that RBS should have its toxic assets linked to a bad bank,and keep the healthy arm in a good bank.

Where have we heard that before?

View Comment

abigboydiditandranawayPosted on12:06 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Shield2012 says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 11.27

Congratulations Shield2012!

It’s only March and I have no hesitation in awarding you the Strawclutchery Of The Year Award

2013.

Well Done

View Comment

SeniorPosted on12:07 pm - Mar 6, 2013


If that poll is replicated across football supporters in general then the game is up.
What a pity this disgust with the authorities could not have been harnessed in a disciplined manner.

View Comment

Not The Huddle MalcontentPosted on12:10 pm - Mar 6, 2013


blu says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 11:36
2 0 Rate This
Not The Huddle Malcontent says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 11:00

“….So, the sporting advantage of NOT declaring the contracts was that it robbed opponents of taking advantage of the same scheme – which on the face of it was illegal.”

================================================================
NTHM – I’m not sure I get your logic here – if any club finds a legal way to steal a march on their rivals,

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

the key word here is LEGAL

if it WAS legal, it would have been declared – no?

by the way, the SFA rules state that ALL documents MUST be lodged – not some and not should.

So, by not doing it, THEY BROKE THE RULES.

View Comment

nowoldandgrumpyPosted on12:14 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Jonathan Sutherland ‏@BBCjsutherland
Police presence outside East End Park and protest planned by Pars fans. Dunfermline Athletic about to address media. pic.twitter.com/FfljM8vS74

View Comment

SeniorPosted on12:15 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Also the result of this poll, and it’s provenance, should be posted on all (47) Scottish football clubs fan sites.
Anybody out there wish to strike a massive blow for the ordinary decent fan?

View Comment

bobferrisPosted on12:19 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Bottom line – all clubs (bar one, I believe) are complicit. They voted the Ibrox team into Division 3. They didn’t have to admit them at all. Everything flowed from that.
——————————————————————————————————————————-

I wish I knew who that team were, I’d go to as many of their home games as possible. I think from the soundbites last summer it was one of Clyde, Stranraer and East Fife.

View Comment

Madbhoy24941Posted on12:22 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Shield2012 says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 11.27
———————————

Big difference, it is part of the rules. Wildcat entry exists for other sports, sometimes it is given to an experienced pro who was injured so couldn’t rack up points or an up and coming exciting new player who might benefit from an early opportunity in a big competition or sometimes just a popular player who might draw in the crowds. Either way, it is structured into the rules and every other player/team/officials know that one of the players in that competition will be chosen and not there through specific sporting merit.

What they are not doing is telling another player who thought they had earned the right to be there, that they would not now be able to as RS had taken his place.

Now let’s say we change the rules for season 2013/2014, we move to a 14 team top league. 12 of those members will come from the existing league setup and the 13th will be the first placed team from the next lower division. No team is being shafted.

Who makes up the 14th? Well, we decide to have a wild card and we tell everyone that this can be chosen by a committee based on a defined (as in the case of snooker or tennis or golf etc…) set of guidelines, basically, they have something to offer the league. And this happens every season.

If Rangers were then chosen because of the large fan base, that would not be a problem as it is in the rules, we all bought into it, they are not depriving another team of a place they worked for years to earn.

View Comment

SeniorPosted on12:27 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Abigboydiditandranaway,

It’s only March and I have no hesitation in awarding you the Strawclutchery Of The Year Award

2013.
__________________

Come on you can’t be serious – LNS won that award by a country mile.

View Comment

greenockjackPosted on12:28 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Senior

To be realistic the poll is skewed in as much as you only have fans clicking who are immersed in the issue and are more likely to vote no.
What percentage of total fanbase are immersed or active ?

It´s then a matter of what kind of percentages (TU/TD) you are looking at amongst those who listen to the MSM and take their version of events as how it really is.
I think the vast majority of this group will continue as they were, aslong as other issues such as personal finance don´t influence their decision.

Auldheid: will get back to you.

View Comment

dentarthurdent42Posted on12:35 pm - Mar 6, 2013


abcott says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 11:46
5 0 i
Rate This

Bottom line – all clubs (bar one, I believe) are complicit. They voted the Ibrox team into Division 3. They didn’t have to admit them at all. Everything flowed from that.

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

I assume you are talking about the SFL clubs here.

The SPL clubs voted almost unanimously (with only Kilmarnock abstaining) to reject the new club. The SPL clubs and their fans made it very clear, we do not want you.

If I remember correctly the SFL clubs voted to reject a further application to place them into SFL1, but agreed to allow the into the lowest tier that the SFL clubs could allow them into.

Being totally honest, the SFL clubs saw their grounds being filled twice in the season (sans boycott), and the money was too much to resist. If a club is struggling to make ends meet and is surviving on fund raising and volunteers it is difficult to blame them for that decision.

I do not think, but am happy to be corrected, that the SPL clubs had a say in whether the SFL allowed them in or not.

View Comment

ShooperbPosted on12:36 pm - Mar 6, 2013


shield2012 says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 11:27

Except…….. a wild card is actually within the rules. The snooker federations haven’t hastily re-written their rules (or indeed, just plain ignored them) to accomodate The Rocket. It’s comparing apples with oranges.

View Comment

SeniorPosted on12:36 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Allowing for skewing of the result the figures still spell disaster for Scottish football.
Do you realise how many clubs are operating on a shoe-string?

View Comment

tomtomPosted on12:37 pm - Mar 6, 2013


shield2012 says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 11:27
1 29 Rate This
From the Independent:

“Ronnie O’Sullivan has announced he will return to the Crucible to defend his world title, before admitting he has no idea whether his comeback will end in tears.
The four-time world champion, who has played just one competitive match in the past year, has accepted a wild card to defend his world title at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, having become “bored” of his self-imposed snooker sabbatical.”

Where’s the sporting integrity here. Is Ronnie part of the corrupt ‘establishment’? Are snooker fans protesting because this will exclude a player who has played consistently throughout the year?

I can answer that…….no
====================

Will Ronnie O’Sullivan be using a cue whilst all his opponents are using an old bit of fence?

View Comment

jimlarkinPosted on12:44 pm - Mar 6, 2013


ecobhoy says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 12:02
2 0 Rate This
dentarthurdent42 says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 11:30

It has been quite amusing watching the encouragement for people “walking away” from their own clubs going on here. With the prods and the polls to keep that mindset going.

Like I said, to each their own, and if you are walking away from Scottish football then you won’t really care about the outcome. However the reality is walking away helps no-one except Rangers. You are doing their work for them, and making it easier to get back to the top and to start playing in Europe again, making more money.

So long as walking away is what you want, fine. However don’t be manipulated into doing it. Do it because you think it is right, and can I suggest not looking back.
====================================================================

What an insightful and excellent post and I would commend everyone to read it.

As a Celtic supporter I can’t help but wonder who I would be supporting today, if anyone, if my grandparents and parents had walked away from supporting Celtic when the victimisation of the club and its supporters was virtually absolute and led by the Scottish Establishment.

We know the cancer that exists within the SFA and we must do all that we can to counter it and expose it but how is that task helped by weakening and possibly destroying our own clubs. It’s obvious that organised trolls are active on many sites stirring discontent and encouraging people to walk from their clubs.

The vast majority of clubs are already under severe pressure because of the general economic situation creating a shortage of cash in the pockets of fans. I really believe that any action taken shouldn’t be against our own clubs but directly aimed at the SFA – they are the real problem and anyone who tries to divert and deflect attention away from them will allow them to continue their twisted agenda.
——————————————————————————————————————

i disagree.

i will not go back to see celtic
i have cancelled my sky tv package
i won’t be doing anymore football coupons

unless peter lawwell, who is on the SPL board, takes unequivical and positive action against the LNS travesty of “justice”.

if peter lawwell and the spl board do nothing to correct this travesty, then they will be complicit in the distortion of the point of the game and the distortion and basterdisation of the principal of playing by the RULES.

rangers [before they disappeared] have only actually had ONE significant action taken “against”
them as a consequence of so many years of cheating and breaking the rules.

the main ONE was the 10point reduction for having an insolvency event.
the only other action is the £250,000 fine [and that won’t get paid]

it is absolutely scandalous.

the only way to get proper recourse to justice, is to stop putting ANY money into your football team – sky/espn – and the bookmakers, who all make their money from you via the rigged game!

that way, the other innocent club chairmen know the reason why they are being deprived of our money

unless THEY challenge this travesty of justice.

IT IS THE ONLY WAY

View Comment

bluPosted on12:46 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Not The Huddle Malcontent says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 12:10
2 0 i
Rate This

blu says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 11:36
2 0 Rate This
Not The Huddle Malcontent says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 11:00

“….So, the sporting advantage of NOT declaring the contracts was that it robbed opponents of taking advantage of the same scheme – which on the face of it was illegal.”

================================================================
NTHM – I’m not sure I get your logic here – if any club finds a legal way to steal a march on their rivals,

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

the key word here is LEGAL

if it WAS legal, it would have been declared – no?

by the way, the SFA rules state that ALL documents MUST be lodged – not some and not should.

So, by not doing it, THEY BROKE THE RULES.
============================================
NTHM – I responded to what you actually wrote and disagreed in part. Read what I wrote and you’ll find that we agree on the important stuff.

The FTTT judgement was that the EBT scheme was legal. LNS seems to believe that it was acceptable within the rules of the SPL and that if Rangers had declared everything when registering players with the SFA that would have been just fine. He clearly found that Rangers deliberately did not declare these payments within players’ registration documents and so they broke the rules. From the FTTT and LNS reorts it’s reasonable to conclude that Rangers didn’t include these details in the registration documents for fear that when HMRC pursued the club for Tax/NI they would see the contracts and view teh EBT loans for exactly what they were – emoluments.

View Comment

weemingerPosted on12:47 pm - Mar 6, 2013


jimlarkin says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 12:44

Eric Riley is the Celtic representative on the SPL board I think.

View Comment

manandboyPosted on12:48 pm - Mar 6, 2013


As long as the SFA is loaded with Rangers people, and is to all intents and purposes, a New Rangers supporters club,
then nothing is going to change.

View Comment

ShooperbPosted on12:49 pm - Mar 6, 2013


ecobhoy says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 12:02

Admirable sentiments, but the difference here is that Celtic are not the victims, just as other SPL clubs are not the victims. The clubs are the SPL, and the opportunity is there for them to appeal the verdict, an appeal which they are 99.9% certain to win given the SFA’s apparently grossly incompetent, and previously unprecedented, interpretation of their own rules. Yet, they are doing nothing about it, as has been repeated almost too often on here – they are complicit.

There is the argument to lobby clubs, and make them aware of the strength of feeling involved in this, and what they stand to lose if they don’t – but as Danish Pastry pointed out, it’s wearisome being the only defenders of fair play in football, when the clubs, the associations, the media and all other ‘stakeholders’ (feel free to shudder at my use of middle management b*ll*cks) are only interested in money and protecting the interests of whoever are the current tennents at Ibrox.

I suppose I would argue that it’s worth one more go – but then what? Having to lobby the clubs yet again the next time they choose to ignore the rules?

View Comment

abcottPosted on12:50 pm - Mar 6, 2013


dentarthurdent42 says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 12:35
0 0 Rate This
abcott says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 11:46
5 0 i
Rate This

Bottom line – all clubs (bar one, I believe) are complicit. They voted the Ibrox team into Division 3. They didn’t have to admit them at all. Everything flowed from that.

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

I do not think, but am happy to be corrected, that the SPL clubs had a say in whether the SFL allowed them in or not.

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

yes – agreed. my error.

View Comment

rantinrobinPosted on12:51 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Judging from the progress of polls and general sentiment it would seem that the SFA and SPL will soon be adopting the mantra beloved of only one club in Scotland

No-one likes us and we don’t care

View Comment

forweonlyknowPosted on12:54 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Surprised. Angry. Annoyed. Fed up.

As the news broke that Rangers FC (due to be liquidated) were found guilty of breaking SPL rules by not disclosing ‘side-letters’ (legal jargon accepted) I found myself being a tad surprised at the punishment handed out to them by Lord Nimmo Smith.

“Given the seriousness, extent and duration of the non-disclosure, we have concluded that nothing less than a substantial financial penalty on Oldco will suffice” ….. “Taking into account these considerations, we have decided to impose a fine of £250,000 on Oldco.”

WHIT!?!?

As I read on I came across this:

“Rangers FC did not gain any unfair competitive advantage from the contraventions of the SPL Rules in failing to make proper disclosure of the side-letter arrangements, nor did the non-disclosure have the effect that any of the registered players were ineligible to play, and for this and other reasons no sporting sanction or penalty should be imposed upon Rangers FC”

By this point my surprise has now turned into anger. How can anyone not see that by paying players ‘under the counter’ they were afforded the luxury of fielding players they could otherwise not have afforded? MENTAL!

As I went back onto twitter to see how everyone else was interpreting the findings I could see two very clear trains of thought. Lots of people, fans of all other Scottish clubs, were also extremely surprised that he could arrive at this decision … and the other one was from Fans of the Newest club in Scotland celebrating the fact that their previous blue club had been found guilty of cheating over a sustained period of time!

What made it worse is that they were demanding that they get an apology! You couldn’t make it up.

By this point I’m totally fed up with all the ‘We Are The People’ nonsense and decide that the baw is well and truly burst. Time to find a new sport to watch.

As we headed into the weekend I remember that we have a huge Scottish Cup tie (I really want to win the double) and for a while LNS’s findings disappear from my thoughts. It’s at this point that I have a moment of clarity….. the establishment club will always be just that. They got away with it.

So now I’m at the place where I just want my team to win as many games of football as it can. We won titles and cups (fairly) whilst they were cheating (badly obviously). So lets just keep winning titles and cups whilst the tribute act tries to climb through the leagues.

We (I’m obviously a Celtic Fan guys) have a very healthy club just now. We have a decent business model with some great players and a decent manager. This year we will be on 2-in-a-row. Assuming we continue to play our football in Scotland, I’d stick my neck out and say we could be at 6-in-a-row before The Rangers franchise team make it back to proper financial health never mind on the pitch.

So I’m just going to accept the fact that they cheated and are being allowed to phoenix and pretend to be a dead club and I’m going to continue to spend money with the team I support and aim to win 55 titles (maybe even a cheeky wee 10-in-a-row) as quickly as possible!

Off to the bookies to take Celtic to beat Juventus 3-0! HH

View Comment

SmugasPosted on1:00 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Blu

“The FTTT judgement was that the EBT scheme was legal.”

Kind of. The majority opinion accepted that the vehicle of payment – the loan – was legal as far as the recipient of that loan was concerned. HMRC are appealing the verdict I assume (but stand to be corrected) on the basis that the loan could not have existed were a payment not made into the trust in the first place. HMRC are presumably this time going after the feeder payment (and specifically for RFC, not MIH) as opposed to the loan payments outwards and inw….ok maybe not inwards!).

Jimmy is given a car and is told he’ll have to return it sometime but its not actually stipulated when. Turns out the car Jimmy has gotten is made out of stolen metal, stolen wood, stolen rubber etc etc. Jimmy hasn’t done anything wrong. Jimmy has driven perfectly safely. The company supplying the car even made a damn good job of building the thing and it meets every safety check you can think of. Doesn’t get past the fact that its knicked.

Oh, and on Ronnie O’sullivan (not a snooker fan), am I right in thinking his exile was self imposed? Kind of relevant, no?

View Comment

whulliePosted on1:11 pm - Mar 6, 2013


I had a very interesting conversation yesterday with a client, who is also a good friend. He is a TRFC fan and has ST’s for himself and his 2 children. He is also a sensible, well balanced and clever guy.

He offered the “let’s move on” yarn which I challenged and we proceeded to bat points back and forth. I have to point out here that am no legal or debating expert. I am a joiner but I had this bloke tied in knots with my counter arguments to his statements.

He stopped me on a few occasions and asked me to explain various parts of my argument.

The upshot of the entire conversation was simply that he was dumfounded at some of the issues I brought up. He had no idea that some of the “goings on” I was reffering to had actually taken place and I could see that it troubled him.

His final offering to me as he stood scratching his head, wearing a pained expression was, “you have been reading up on this, haven’t you?”.

He apparently has gleaned what little he knew from his mates around him at Ibrox and the MSM.

Which brings me to a second point.

The numbers I am using here are my best estimates and will be happy to have more informed people correct them if they have a mind too.

I would guess that the readership (as opposed to commenters) of this blog runs to no more than 3 to 4,000. I would also guess from reading here that more than 95% of the readers are of similar opinions that the whole of Scottish football needs a “a right good dig-out”.

The message is clearly getting out here but the numbers are too small to make any real difference when you consider the size of the football supporting fraternity throughout the country as a whole who are not getting this message.

As other commenters have said, we are not big enough to make a difference. I say that reallistically, not as any kind of slant on this site. We are all of a similar mind but are without some sort of leader.

Throughout history, men have came up with an idea that something is not right and have the personality, charisma, inner strength….call it what you will…..to make the difference. From Ghandi to Lech Walesa.

Unfortunately for me, I am not that man. I am not convinced that Turnbull Hutton was either. He intimated that he was too old to lead some sort of football revolution although his mind was in the right place.

It is my contention that unless an individual with charisma, leadership, clout, and a sense of fairness emerges then we will be forced to either suffer the consequences of all of our respective clubs compliance with this charade or walk away and watch our game die.

Some folk here courted Stuart Cosgrove. Some suggested George Galloway. Both are possible candidates as spokespersons but someone with connections is required to bring in someone with even more clout to ask someone in power to find someone in authority to listen then represent us or we are done.

And that is a horrible thought.

View Comment

dentarthurdent42Posted on1:13 pm - Mar 6, 2013


smugas says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 13:00

I think I mentioned this earlier, it looks to me like HMRC have lodged 4 separate appeals against 4 different entities.

Given that 3 of them are Murray companies and the payments would have probably gone to execs, and the 4th is rangers, with the bulk of the money going to players, I would venture that the side letter issue is more relevant to Rangers. The others wouldn’t have needed that comfort, a nod and a wink would have done.

I would venture, as I have said before that their argument will be that the tax was due when the payment was made into the trust, on a contractual basis. Rather when any “loan” was paid out. If the tax is due on payment to the trust, then the nature of the payment out of the trust becomes irrelevant.

Bearing in mind, the beneficiary can take the money out of the trust, not as a loan but as a payment when they want. Guess what though, tax becomes due. This is true even if side letters do not exist. It becomes a permanent payment rather than a tax free loan. The side letters merely make that the case earlier, when the payment ias made into the trust and it is clearly non-returnable.

It really is a big deal if HMRC have split the appeal, it’s also a subtle one and easily missed.

View Comment

badgerbhoyPosted on1:17 pm - Mar 6, 2013


shield2012 says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 11:27

1

38

Rate This

From the Independent:

“Ronnie O’Sullivan has announced he will return to the Crucible to defend his world title, before admitting he has no idea whether his comeback will end in tears.
The four-time world champion, who has played just one competitive match in the past year, has accepted a wild card to defend his world title at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, having become “bored” of his self-imposed snooker sabbatical.”

Where’s the sporting integrity here. Is Ronnie part of the corrupt ‘establishment’? Are snooker fans protesting because this will exclude a player who has played consistently throughout the year?

I can answer that…….no.

————————————————————————————————————————-

The current World Champion gets a wild card entry to defend his title.
What the hell has that got to do with anything?
Seems like you’re trolling yet again

View Comment

Celtic Paranoia (@CelticParanoia)Posted on1:22 pm - Mar 6, 2013


dentarthurdent42 says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 12:35

I do not think, but am happy to be corrected, that the SPL clubs had a say in whether the SFL allowed them in or not.
————————————

Maybe not, but did Doncaster not make some veiled threat about withholding contractual payments due to SFL clubs if they didn’t accept the SFL1 catapult plan?

View Comment

dentarthurdent42Posted on1:24 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Celtic Paranoia (@CelticParanoia) says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 13:22

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

What does that have to do with whether or not the SPL clubs “allowed” Rangers to join SFL3.

The SPL clubs and their fans rejected Rangers (all but Kilmarnock who abstained).

View Comment

Danish PastryPosted on1:28 pm - Mar 6, 2013


I’ve been reading regularly that if we’re not careful Scottish football will end up like the League of Ireland. I’m not sure about how that league is run, but can it be any worse than our own? To be honest, I would find a league with less financial clout though with sporting fairplay enshrined and upheld by men of honour, as far more desireable than the discredited product that now passes for professional football in Scotand.

Is this a one-off, or might we see more Danny Galbraiths?

http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spl/ex-hibs-man-danny-galbraith-set-for-limerick-debut-1-2822114

View Comment

SmugasPosted on1:29 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Blu

Wot dentarthurdent42 said!

No seriously, my point was simply that my reading however biased and skewed of the majority opinion (notice I’m ignoring Poon’s bit, she got beat after all) of the FTTT was that THE LOANS were deemed legal following on from the accepted principle that, at the time, correctly administered EBT’s were also legal.

I do not accept that the majority opinion of MIH’s FTTT stated that MIH’s (and specifically RFC’s EBT’s were legal), that is very much a MSM invention/ take on events however biased or skewed.

I don’t expect you to go back and scour the FTTT for a counter arguement. My reason for responding is simply that you must accept that it is against this background for non RFC followers that the Regans, Doncasters and even the EBT meister himself are telling us we should move on.

View Comment

Celtic Paranoia (@CelticParanoia)Posted on1:31 pm - Mar 6, 2013


shield2012 says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 11:27
1 40 i
Rate This

From the Independent:

“Ronnie O’Sullivan has announced he will return to the Crucible to defend his world title, before admitting he has no idea whether his comeback will end in tears.
The four-time world champion, who has played just one competitive match in the past year, has accepted a wild card to defend his world title at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, having become “bored” of his self-imposed snooker sabbatical.”

Where’s the sporting integrity here. Is Ronnie part of the corrupt ‘establishment’? Are snooker fans protesting because this will exclude a player who has played consistently throughout the year?

I can answer that…….no.

——————————————————-

Oh I’ve obviously missed something here. When did Ronnie O’Sullivan die after more than a decade of tax avoidance/evasion and then resurrect as a zombie?

View Comment

sinnicleseanPosted on1:34 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Everybody Knows by Leonard Cohen … it seems appropriate somehow.

Enjoy

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG5e1oaen-M?feature=player_detailpage&w=640&h=360%5D

View Comment

dentarthurdent42Posted on1:34 pm - Mar 6, 2013


If anyone hasn’t seen it these are the details of the appeals HMRC have lodged in relation to this matter. You will recall that it was all previously dealt with by the Murray Group. It seems that HMRC have lodged the appeals separately, however as someone said that could simply be a procedural matter and it could be dealt with as one hearing. Incidentally I think GM Mining is a part of the Murray Group, I know Premier Property was (probably still is).

http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/tribunals/tax-and-chancery-upper-tribunal-/hearings-register.pdf

FTC/19/2013
HMRC
The former Rangers Football Club Plc (now RFC 2012 – in liquidation)

FTC/18/2013
HMRC
GM Mining Ltd

FTC/17/2013
HMRC
Premier Property Group Ltd

FTC/16/2013
HMRC
Murray Group Management Ltd

FTC/15/2013
HMRC
Murray Group Holdings Ltd

View Comment

Turnbull DrierPosted on1:38 pm - Mar 6, 2013


The above post:

forweonlyknow says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 12:54

made me go back and have a look at the Statement that Celtic made after the LNS verdict:

“However, the implications of this verdict are for the Scottish football authorities to address since the rules breached were specifically intended to defend “sporting integrity”.

Throughout this matter, Celtic has refrained from comment on the affairs of Rangers FC while the various tribunals and commissions went about their work.

We will continue to concentrate on our own affairs, and assure our supporters that at all times we will operate within both the rules of our governing bodies and the law of the land.”

Since this statement was made there has been a lot of talk of “moving on” from various quarters.

I’m really now not sure what to make of it. To me it suggests that “As long as Celtic are behaving properly, that’s fine” As a Season Ticket Holder I’m not sure if I’m comfortable with that.

I’m not suggesting that Celtic should police the other clubs, you would imaging that that should be the governing body (I know…..) But this does seems a bit of a cop out…

I’m hoping that When the SPL Clubs meet to discuss the LNS result, which I belive is to be happening shortly, a joint statement will be issued which will clarify the position of all the SPL clubs in regard to this ongoing debacle.

At this point in time I am undecided whether to renew. I can see both sides of the argument but I have invested so much time, money and even great chucks of my sanity watching and supporting my team over the years and to simply consign that to the bin seems like such a waste..

But then again, that’s probably the sentimentality that the SFA will be relying on to allow them to circumvent the rules and keep the banwagon (sorry basketcase) rolling….

View Comment

schottie59Posted on1:43 pm - Mar 6, 2013


forweonlyknow says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 12:54

you should get about 250/1 on 0-3 ….I,ve just short changed a few of the dark ones and its going on the nose ….oh Hoopy days…

wonder what the odds on a wee club from the 4th division getting into the the last 16 of the CL ? any time this decade …my guess its alot more than 250/1 …what a fantastic year …the dark ones are living (almost)in interesting times…hahahahahahahah

View Comment

ianagainPosted on1:43 pm - Mar 6, 2013


From the Tribunal list, whats this one about?

FTC/56/2012
Scottish Football League
HMRC
17 July 2012
11 March 2013 @ 10: 00 am @ First Tier Tribunal Chamber George House 126 George Street Edinburgh EH2 4HH
Substantive

View Comment

ShooperbPosted on1:44 pm - Mar 6, 2013


dentarthurdent42 says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 13:24
It has everything to do with it – the SPL clubs rejected TRFC because they stood to lose hundreds of thousands (at least!) in season ticket money. Their compromise was to reject the parachut into the SPL, assuming that the SFL would blindly accept TRFC into the 1st Division. They thought they’d done enough to head off fan boycotts, but still only have Rangers out for a season.

You only have to look at Rod Petrie’s reaction when it became clear that Rangers would not be allowed straight into the first, and the threats and intimidation by Doncaster, who, lest we forget, is the representative of the SPL clubs. He wouldn’t have been able to act unilaterally, he’d have to have done it with their say so.

View Comment

Carfins Finest. (@edunne58)Posted on1:48 pm - Mar 6, 2013


shield2012 says:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 10:28

Carfins Finest. (@edunne58) on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 16:53
115 3 Rate This

Have I finally got my paranoia back?
———-
Yes!
======
Good. Cannot beat a good bit of healthy paranoia. Was worried that your friends down at the Mike Ashley Sports Dircect Arena for budding cheats had claimed all the paranoia for themselves with their constant cries of ‘every biddy’s agin us’ crap. Original Comment. Can’t see it or wo’nt see it?

View Comment

dentarthurdent42Posted on1:49 pm - Mar 6, 2013


I’m sorry but any statement is down to individual clubs to make.

The clubs unanimoulsy voted in a system which included the use of independent panels.

That panel has deliberated and has made it’s judgement. For the clubs jointly to reject that decision makes a nonsene of th whole thing.

Now I realise that Rangers agreed a system (along with everyone else), and the first time they didn’t like a decision they took the matter to the Court of Session. That does not make such duplicitous behaviour correct or acceptable.

The clubs put the system in place, the decision has been made. That I’m afraid is an end of it, as the collective is concerned. Nothing to stop individual clubs or Chairmen letting their feelings be known. Or for them to change the system if it is not fit for purpose. However for the clubs / governing body to appeal what they themselves put in place is just wrong.

I know that Rangers are happy to ignore things which don’t suit them, I know the SFA are happy to ignore or re-write rules to suit themselves. That does not make it right.

View Comment

tomtomPosted on1:51 pm - Mar 6, 2013


ianagain says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 13:43
0 0 Rate This
From the Tribunal list, whats this one about?

FTC/56/2012
Scottish Football League
HMRC
17 July 2012
11 March 2013 @ 10: 00 am @ First Tier Tribunal Chamber George House 126 George Street Edinburgh EH2 4HH
Substantive

————————-

I believe it was something to do about VAT being reclaimed on medals

View Comment

alexander276Posted on1:53 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Up above the statement by Lord Nimmo Smith about the seriousness of the behaviour requiring serious penalty is quoted (I wish I could use technology to cite it fully). It may be argued it is just one scab on a corrupt corpse but that irritates me. Is this for real? Who did he think would pay the money? Certainly not the perpetrators. Indeed no one in football. If anything is paid it will be pennies from the victims of a football scam. How can football set that as a penalty. Was he taking the piss? Is this legal humour?

View Comment

Celtic Paranoia (@CelticParanoia)Posted on2:00 pm - Mar 6, 2013


jimlarkin says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 12:44

As a Celtic supporter I can’t help but wonder who I would be supporting today, if anyone, if my grandparents and parents had walked away from supporting Celtic when the victimisation of the club and its supporters was virtually absolute and led by the Scottish Establishment.
—————————————–

I mean this with no disrespect whatsoever as the same is true of my own father and grandfather but this wholehearted unstunting support has served only to feed the monster, not fight it. The corruption is at least as bad as it ever was, supplemented by modern day media PR spin that things have moved on. Maybe things are actually worse, or perhaps all that has happened with recent events is the curtain has been pulled back. In any case, the support of Celtic and fans of other clubs serves only to sustain and prop up the model of corruption.

I don’t know what your forefathers, or mine, would have thought of Celtic’s very weak public statement in the aftermath of LNS, basically – “Oh, that’s a bit strange. Never mind, just keep buying your tickets” – in terms of “fighting” the Establishment, but it certainly doesn’t cut it for me.

The only action that will register in the minds of the corrupt authorities is that which has financial consequences. It is the ONLY language they respond to. Hitting them in the pocket is the only thing they can’t deny, deflect or use media smoke and mirrors against. The media, with their enthusiasm for repeating half-truths, lies and ignoring anything unpalatable to SFA/SPL/Sevoc interests, are a key plank in the Establishment cabal that sustains the current position

As others have pointed out, we are merely paying our money to sustain a corrupt enterprise. I do not view that as fighting anything. I understand if others have too great an emotional investment to walk away. My own mindset is that I remember the emotional investment I had on the last day of the SPL season in 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2011 and will not leave myself vulnerable to the same feeling of desolation at the hands of which has turned out to be a competition which is almost beyond corrupt. We always knew it was bent to some degree but to see the festering innards laid bare is too much to stomach.

The only way to rehabilitate the patient is a complete organ transplant. The caner-ridden body of the current incumbent must be brought to its knees and built up again afresh.

I personally can’t stomach another 10,20 years of railing against a patently biased organisation whilst the media – with its own vested interests very much to the fore – ignores and marginalises our arguments as kook material and nothing materially changes. Maybe some league reconstruction deckchair reorganising as a sop appeasement to the non-peepil

They are pushing us to the point where the only option is to kill the patient and imperil each of our own clubs or continue ad nauseam with a best case scenario of limping through a bleak cancer-ridden painful existence, perpetually trying to beat the house and it’s tilted table, or very possibly expiring via a gradual agonising slow death, our will to live drained by the constant struggle against the illness inflicted on us.

There is no prospect of remission with the current patient. I for one am in favour of euthanasia and starting afresh with the jump lead thingways. Drastic action is needed to address a drastic problem. Scottish football is just not worth it for me in its current guise.

View Comment

ianagainPosted on2:00 pm - Mar 6, 2013


tomtom

thanks

View Comment

bluPosted on2:06 pm - Mar 6, 2013


smugas says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 13:00
1 0 i
Rate This

Blu

“The FTTT judgement was that the EBT scheme was legal.”

Kind of. The majority opinion accepted that the vehicle of payment – the loan – was legal as far as the recipient of that loan was concerned. HMRC are appealing the verdict I assume (but stand to be corrected) on the basis that the loan could not have existed were a payment not made into the trust in the first place. HMRC are presumably this time going after the feeder payment (and specifically for RFC, not MIH) as opposed to the loan payments outwards and inw….ok maybe not inwards!).
================================================
Smugas, not kind of, just accurate in respect of the LNS inquiry. On your later post, my memory from a less than forensic read was that the FTTT found in favour of the MIH group and their EBT scheme. I haven’t caught up on the HMRC appeal yet but what arthurdent has to say is interesting. On your point about the push to move on – Stephen Thomson started that, didn’t he? Anyway, nothing that SFA/SPL/SFL or Charles Green says will affect the considerations of the UTT so maybe Dr Poon’s view will prevail. I think though that lawyers are quite practised in choosing to not see things for what they are. Who’d have thought that an accountant would be so well regarded? I’m not sure, but I got the impression that your post was were addressing me as a Rangers fan, why would that be relevant when discussing the issues?

View Comment

dentarthurdent42Posted on2:09 pm - Mar 6, 2013


areyouaccusingmeofmendacity says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 13:44

I know that the SPL clubs rejected Rangers application, and that it was unanimous other than Kilmarnock’s abstention. It is a matter of public record.

How do you know the rest of what you posted, or is it supposition on your part.

View Comment

sinnicleseanPosted on2:12 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Microsoft fined 561 million euros for accidentally omitting a browser choice … Bet they wish the case had been heard by an independent panel in Scotland

Warning to others
At a press conference in Brussels, Mr Almunia said Microsoft’s lack of compliance represented a “serious breach” and was the first time a firm had failed to meet such a commitment…

… But he added that Microsoft’s willingness to co-operate with the EU’s subsequent investigation had acted as a mitigating factor when determining the level of the fine.

“I hope this will make companies think twice before they ever thinking of breaching their international obligations,” said the commissioner.

View Comment

doubletonicPosted on2:17 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Where do the 5 players that the FTTT found against fit into LNS deliberations?
Mr Bryson’s assertion that registration cannot be revoked is risible. Basically you can withold anything you like from the SFA and as long as the registration is accepted, it cannot be revoked. What if a club made a ‘clerical error’ and did not tell the SFA of a 3rd party payment to a player? Clearly against the rules, but as the registration has been accepted it would be deemed to be correct? An absolute nonsense.

The apprent disparity with which the SFA views genuine errors like omitting a date (which has already been entered elsewhere on the same form) deliberately with-holding information that should have been disclosed as part of the player registration procedure is baffling.

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on2:21 pm - Mar 6, 2013


forweonlyknow says:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 12:54

Its not so much that they cheated its guarantees that it will not be allowed to happen again that is the issue and so far I see nothing to persuade me that the SFA or The Rangers will not carry on as before. I want guarantees of fair play and any self respecting person after being shafted would want at least that if they are expected to continue to participate.

View Comment

ianagainPosted on2:23 pm - Mar 6, 2013


http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/gerry-hassan/scots-and-power-cardinal-john-haldane-and-glasgow-rangers-fc

View Comment

TallBoy Poppy (@TallBoyPoppy)Posted on2:25 pm - Mar 6, 2013


dentarthurdent42 says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 13:34
——————————————————————————————————————————–
Some snippets re GM Mining. I make no apologies for reposting.

http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/2011CSOH191.html
+
post February 2012What an appalling lickspittle of a Moonbeams-rimming journalist Tom English is.
So he states that “Murray had never heard of Whyte”?
So the owner of Murray Metals had never heard of the son-in-law of a Lanarkshire steelmill owner?
Someone who ran an infamous plant hire firm in Lanarkshire?
Who owned offices right next to his pals the Gillespies in Bellshill?
And who was described in the national press as “the next David Murray”?

post May 2012.
Thanks to the lads who forwarded me on details about Willow International Limited.
This was a company registered in the 1990s at the same address in Bellshill as an office of GM Mining, a joint venture between Sir Minty Moonbeams and the feuding Gillespie brothers.
Just a few streets away were the registered addresses of several of Craig Whyte’s firms.
These guys moved in the same circles. Mining firms need plant hire. Wee Craigie and his dad supplied it.
In 1999, GM Mining were rumoured to be launching a takeover of Waverley Mining.
Instead a little-known company, Corporate Resolve (effectively controlled by Craig Whyte) launched a bid that failed dismally.
Waverley Mining Finance then became Palmaris. And their first purchase? Custom Services Group, owned by wee Craigie’s dad Tom.
Mind you, that ended in acrimony when, two years later, Palmaris attempted to sue Tom Whyte for effectively selling them a “pup”.
So far, so what? Well, it indicates that Whyte and Murray have been known to each other for decades.
Then, three months ago, it was announced that Whyte’s Liberty Capital had transferred £104,000 in Merchant House Group shares to a firm registered in the Seychelles.
Its name? Willow International Limited.

View Comment

sinnicleseanPosted on2:26 pm - Mar 6, 2013


LNS finds that Microsoft’s failure to offer Windows users a choice of browser resulted in no financial advantage to the company. The failure to offer a browser choice, while in breach of their international obligations, was not identified at the time and therefore no-one who didn’t make their choice because they didn’t know they had a choice didn’t really lose anything because they were never aware that they had a choice in the first place. The commission nonetheless finds this breach so significant that we choose to levy a fine of $250.

View Comment

ismellafixPosted on2:36 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Well I’ve had around a week to stew over the LNS decision and consider my position going forward. Last week I sold my celtic shares and decided I will no longer renew my season ticket. Last summer I cancelled my sky sports subscription and will never again renew.

I have had similar thoughts to some on here around the reasons for the neverending mollycoddlery of the team in blue at Ibrox. Could the Sevco friendly authorities consciously be trying to rub our noses in it to the extent that they do achieve significant numbers of walkawayers, weakening the Sevco opposition and helping their potential rise to the premier division.

That gives me a dilemma. However the thought of 1p of my own hard earned, indirectly going into the bank accounts of messrs regan, doncaster, longmuir, ogilvie and now bryson, leaves me in no doubt that I will not spend another penny on Scottish football.

Unless and/or until;

Sevco go bust again and we never see their likes again.
The five Sevco supporters named above resign or are sacked.
The SPL board accept the LNS findings but reject the punishment and insist on a punishment more in line with the crime.
Celtic themselves declare their intention to try and right this wrong via CAS or other legal means.
Celtic give the SPL their notice to resign from the SPL and seek to join another fair league anywhere.

I don’t hold out much hope of any of the above, save for possibly Sevco’s demise. Hence I am unlikely to contribute further to our corrupt, rigged “sport”.

How I wish Paul McBride had been alive and well and around for the last 12 months. I would love to have heard what he had to say on the corruption in the scottish game.

Also like many others I feel frustration at our lack of collective power within the game, (divide and conquer). There are some things we can do to re-inforce the position that they have not “got away with it”

I have many bluenose friends and over the years we have enjoyed the discussions and sometimes heated debates that the rivalry has brought. Strangely they seldom now want to even talk about their club.

Going forward, in all my writings and discussions, I will forever refer to the team currently playing in blue at Ibrox as SEVCO. Their pre-deccessors I will now always refer to as CHEATS FC. It’s clear to me which club/team is which and they will never in my eye be allowed to “move on” as if they have done nothing wrong.

I understand other supporters will continue to follow their teams and I commend them for that. My conscience and anger will not allow me to join them. What I would suggest is that other supporters refuse to use the “R” word so that SEVCO always reminds them they are a new club and CHEATS FC always reminds them of what the old club did.

The corrupt ones have control of the leagues, administration, and the agenda. They DO NOT have control of how we accept or otherwise reject their “fix”. That is of our own choosing.

On a side issue Mr Green’s apparent epiphany is very welcome. However actions speak louder than words, so we shall see how determined he is. How long now before Lunny puts his head above the parapet re the Berwick disgrace to say, “in view of the recent chief executives statements, SEVCO are doing everything they can to try and eradicate this problem and as such do not deserve any punishment”.

No reconstruction before resignations of the corrupt five above.

View Comment

forweonlyknowPosted on2:44 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Auldheid (@Auldheid) says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 14:21

—————————-

I agree … I go through spells of not caring to completely caring (sometimes within the hour) about who is running our game and what we can do about it. I happen to know some people who work in said organisation and, yip you guessed it, they’re decent folks – if not somewhat sheltered from these discussions.

I sometimes fall short of calling for the complete Pitchforks and fire stampedes to the stairs of Hampden … but what I DO know is that there really needs to be more structure than a “BRING DOWN THE SFA” – Not going to happen imo.

‘Whullie’ (above) alluded to this when he mentioned a figurehead. I think that what is needed is more of a “SCOTTISH FOOTBALL FOR CHANGE (SFFC)” approach – I don’t fancy starting that twitter account! 😉

For me we need to be presenting some well thought out alternative suggestions other than the removal of those at the top! Although to be fair it something that is needed. Certainly Ogilvie, Regan, Doncaster. Ogilvie is a waste of space & conflicted. Doncaster completely lost and Regan is focused on other more ‘important’ things.

My point is maybe we need to become PART of the machine more rather than focus our energies on the destruction of a body that, let’s be honest, we actually need to be allowed to continue to play domestic and European football. Champions league nights included!

On that note … must dash. The game is starting in T-minus 5 hours!

View Comment

SmugasPosted on2:47 pm - Mar 6, 2013


blu says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 14:06

Smugas, not kind of, just accurate in respect of the LNS inquiry. On your later post, my memory from a less than forensic read was that the FTTT found in favour of the MIH group and their EBT scheme. I haven’t caught up on the HMRC appeal yet but what arthurdent has to say is interesting. On your point about the push to move on – Stephen Thomson started that, didn’t he? Anyway, nothing that SFA/SPL/SFL or Charles Green says will affect the considerations of the UTT so maybe Dr Poon’s view will prevail. I think though that lawyers are quite practised in choosing to not see things for what they are. Who’d have thought that an accountant would be so well regarded? I’m not sure, but I got the impression that your post was were addressing me as a Rangers fan, why would that be relevant when discussing the issues?
——————
On the first part I’ll accept. Regardless of what the finding actually was the impact was as you describe it. I personally am not convinced that LNS needed to be bound to the finding per se – hence my illustration above about the vehicle being legal but without the deception wouldn’t have been a vehicle in the first place.

On Rangers’ involvement being relevant I have sat and thought about it for half an hour, and I genuinely cannot answer that point! Sorry.

View Comment

Stephen GallagherPosted on2:48 pm - Mar 6, 2013


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

It has been quite amusing watching the encouragement for people “walking away” from their own clubs going on here. With the prods and the polls to keep that mindset going.

Like I said, to each their own, and if you are walking away from Scottish football then you won’t really care about the outcome. However the reality is walking away helps no-one except Rangers. You are doing their work for them, and making it easier to get back to the top and to start playing in Europe again, making more money.

So long as walking away is what you want, fine. However don’t be manipulated into doing it. Do it because you think it is right, and can I suggest not looking back.
====================================================================

What an insightful and excellent post and I would commend everyone to read it.

As a Celtic supporter I can’t help but wonder who I would be supporting today, if anyone, if my grandparents and parents had walked away from supporting Celtic when the victimisation of the club and its supporters was virtually absolute and led by the Scottish Establishment.

We know the cancer that exists within the SFA and we must do all that we can to counter it and expose it but how is that task helped by weakening and possibly destroying our own clubs. It’s obvious that organised trolls are active on many sites stirring discontent and encouraging people to walk from their clubs.

The vast majority of clubs are already under severe pressure because of the general economic situation creating a shortage of cash in the pockets of fans. I really believe that any action taken shouldn’t be against our own clubs but directly aimed at the SFA – they are the real problem and anyone who tries to divert and deflect attention away from them will allow them to continue their twisted agenda.
====================================================================

To a certain extent, the above two posts I can understand. I know where they are coming from.

But I disagree.

First of all, with respect, the decision about whether anyone walks away or not surely will be taken after a long hard think about the “worth” of going to see football now. Telling people that if they walk away then their actions will only serve to help Rangers is for one emotional blackmail and two, wide of the mark.

The people helping Rangers get anywhere at the present moment in time are the Scottish Football Association, the Scottish Football League & the clubs themselves. Why? Because after liquidation, we have witnessed the biggest attempt at rewriting history all in order to preserve one club. We’ve watched whilst the authorities have broken their own rules to admit this club to the league, we’ve watched as they tried to get them right into the SPL at the first attempt, we’ve watched as lie after lie has been promoted as fact all in order to preserve “Rangers”. Even after they went bust. We’ve watched how the media treat Rangers as a special case – where Hearts & Kilmarnock could go bust but when it comes to Rangers now, it is the holding company that runs Rangers that could go bust.

We’ve watched people like Charles Green speak on television about how, if a CVA fails then that is the end for Rangers, only to promote the exact opposite a few months later and be allowed to get away with it. No other club would get this treatment.

However when the next club goes bust – watch the fallout as they try to pretend it was a “holding company” only to be told by the SFA that they aint getting away with that one. Except one entity is getting away with it.

So with all due respect, helping Rangers get “back” to the top, into Europe again – that plan is already underway, the wheels in that corrupt wagon are already turning – but not one club in the land cares about it because probably deep down all they care about is the revenue generated by a visiting crowd from Ibrox. Only the intervention from the fans prevented it already.

And stand by for more propaganda in order to facilitate a way for the leagues to be reconstructed. It’s going to happen. You know it.

As for the SFA years ago and who would we be supporting now if our fathers and grandfathers walked away: At least back then we had Bob Kelly who refused to take down the flag. We had backbone in fighting it. What are we doing today?

In my opinion, there is an almighty battle going on in the hearts & minds between the directors & the fans of Celtic.

On one hand, the fans, mostly feel that the way the Scottish football authorities are behaving now towards Rangers is nothing short of corrupt. They have facilitated a way in which they simply liquidated their debt but in our case, we relied on Fergus and then a share issue to pay our debts off in full. Yes IN FULL. Many rightly think that if they (Rangers) want the name and the history and all that goes with it then they should pay their debts the same as every other club has to.

On the other hand, the boardroom at Celtic Park will likely be full of people who care not one jot about what we think of this, but instead only care about getting Rangers “back” for the money making revenue that is everything “Old Firm”. They see a balance sheet, figures and don’t care about what mere football fans think.

Many fans will hope for our board to fight back with gusto at this scandal – whilst the board might hope that they can get league reconstruction to get Rangers into the top tier as soon as possible.

Who will win? Who is right? If getting Rangers “back” is primary objective then fine, be honest about it – but don’t call it a sport.

But if people decide to walk away, they are most likely doing so because there isn’t merely a suggestion that the game is bent – it is now obvious. The only way to force change is to refuse to pay into it. The no2newco campaign proved that.

Everything has changed.

View Comment

arabest1Posted on2:54 pm - Mar 6, 2013


whullie says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 1

Interesting post Whullie. I share an office with 15 people, other than myself 7 are ‘football fans’, 3 Celtic, 1 Liverpool, 1 Sunderland, 1 Shelbourne and a Jambo. All of these will attend games, not every game, but regular attenders at football. Not one of them has ever read RTC, or TSFM, not one! When I talk to them about this stuff they mostly look a bemused as to why I would give this matter my time and energy. This takes me by surprise again and again. What I consider to be big issues of integrity, and corporate governance are passed over as nothing more than parochial mouse farts. If I extend my thinking to staff from other departments, my family and friends, people who I interact with regularly, it really does appear that most people do not give a mousefart about RFC, or Scottish football. I met a Celtic fan late last year, had not seen him for a while, and informed me excitedly that 5 (or 6?) Rangers players were on EBT’s on Helicopter Sunday 2005 like this was a killer fact that would change the trajectory of Scottish football forever ….it transpires he to had never looked at RTC, I know this is anecdotal, but still the apathy among fans is staggering. Let me add these are people who are aware and informed in many ways but seem to accept the status quo all to readily when it comes to football.

View Comment

manandboyPosted on2:54 pm - Mar 6, 2013


ianagain says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 14:23
2 0 i
Rate This
http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/gerry-hassan/scots-and-power-cardinal-john-haldane-and-glasgow-rangers-fc

____________________________________________________________________________________

Frankly, not worth reading.

View Comment

timalloy67Posted on3:02 pm - Mar 6, 2013


There have been quite a few good and passionate posts today on what to do about supporting your team. Some talk of walking away altogether, others like myself, think that only plays into the hands of the cheats.
Just look at how the Sevconians have all become mathemeticians lately and started counting attendances. This is their only way of gloating (our attendances are bigger than yours) they have nothing else to cling on to for some considerable time. Even then as in the past their maths are all wrong.
Also if they see clubs like Hearts, Dunfermline, Kilmarnock having money problems it fulfils their “Armegedon” prophecy.
No fans of every club MUST support their team, by buying season tickets, merchandise etc we need these clubs to survive.
Yes register a protest, contact your club chairmen and (god forbid) the SFA and tell them we want honesty and fairness back in our game.
Put the fans money in the decent club’s pockets and make a stand against the cheats, but please do not desert Scottish football.

View Comment

schottie59Posted on3:08 pm - Mar 6, 2013


why is no one asking the board of Stranraer what the next step should be….they are too correct to tell us all …”I told you”….lets have the openess and wisdom of the Wigtown warriors…if nothing else it would shine a little truth on the situation..

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on3:12 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Stephen Gallagher says:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 14:48

On the other hand, the boardroom at Celtic Park will likely be full of people who care not one jot about what we think of this, but instead only care about getting Rangers “back” for the money making revenue that is everything “Old Firm”. They see a balance sheet, figures and don’t care about what mere football fans think.

Many fans will hope for our board to fight back with gusto at this scandal – whilst the board might hope that they can get league reconstruction to get Rangers into the top tier as soon as possible.

====================
Given that the Rangers absence could produce a £15m to £20m CL windfall for the next three seasons at least I fail to see how having The Rangers back any earlier benefits Celtic financially, quite the reverse imo.

That leaves the Celtic Board being supportive of Rangers emotionally and that is laughable. Do not forget the stick they took when Rangers were winning titles unfairly.

Celtic are but one member of the SPL and they have to work with the other clubs to do what is right for the game and that takes persuasion (helped by other clubs’ supporters persuading their Boards) that integrity must rule, that is what Celtic are being told by their support who are informed.

If that persuasion fails and Celtic then face a downfall in ticket sales that they cannot countenance, then its throw the rattle out of the pram time but lets not go along on the basis that Celtic alone can fix this and/or that they are in cahoots with other clubs.

View Comment

rougvielovesthejunglePosted on3:12 pm - Mar 6, 2013


If I may comment on your work situation Arabest, I’d suggest you’re colleagues are more than happy just being a number.
Seeing the bigger picture would entail engaging their brain! Apathy is a cop out!

View Comment

rougvielovesthejunglePosted on3:14 pm - Mar 6, 2013


And of course supporter apathy is exactly what the SFA are banking on …..

View Comment

rougvielovesthejunglePosted on3:22 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Talking about engaging the brain, I’ll have to pay attention when typing your / you’re!

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on3:22 pm - Mar 6, 2013


forweonlyknow says:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 14:44

I meant to add I have no doubt of the decency of SFA employees no more than I have in the decency and honesty of bank clerks, but human nature being what it is the banks still have accounts systems in place to uphold the honest approach.

Like bank clerks though the decent SFA employees have no idea what their bosses might get up to whilst they themselves are accounatble.

View Comment

cosmichaggisPosted on3:30 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Our problem is not just the very strong Rangers representation in the SFA, SPL and SFL and their covered wagin agenda in shoe horning the club into the top flight. It is also the small minded, myopic view of the chairmen and owners of the SPL clubs who can not, and will not give up on the prospect of 4 games a season against Celtic and may be eventually Rangers. They also will not give up or re-negiociate the TV deal which has now so obviously been contracted to have 4 celtic/Rangers games a year.

There are so scared of innovation, or a complete refresh of the league and goverance set up that this fear and self interest will eventually be the downfall of Scottish football. It is a fear built around the old culture of the overwhelming, and over powering strength and sometimes intimidation of the two big Glasgow clubs and the power that they hold over the smaller teams in Scotland. Until this is addressed and a level playing field is established not only on the park itself but also in the boardrooms, committee rooms and the halls of goverance will we see any change.

It is up to the fans (again) to petition our clubs, to rub their noses in their own dirt and make them all realise that change is required right across the whole sceptrum of football in this country. Reformation and restructure needs to start from the top – SFA, SPL & SFL then the leagues and clubs. The SFA, SPL & SFL are all mouth pieces and servants of the clubs who set them up. Time to call them,all out – contact your clubs amnd protest now.

View Comment

Stephen GallagherPosted on3:33 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Auldheid (@Auldheid) says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 15:12

If that persuasion fails and Celtic then face a downfall in ticket sales that they cannot countenance, then its throw the rattle out of the pram time but lets not go along on the basis that Celtic alone can fix this and/or that they are in cahoots with other clubs.
=================

It is not about throwing the rattle out of the pram Auldheid – it is down to the fact that people have had it thrown in their faces that the game is actually corrupt and some might actually question the worth of going to watch football in this environment.

If a club can liquidate and then re-appear, if the SFA can break every rule in the book to accommodate them – then quite literally, how can I trust the game?

The Scottish Football Association, everyone in it and everything about it has to go or else trust will never come back to the game. A brand new body to oversee the game in Scotland must be created. The current crop have proved that they are unfit for purpose. 11 years of deliberately breaking rules by one club without any real sanction (a fine for a company that went bust – but the club lives on ???) has brought this to a head. The SFA are responsible for this.

It could be argued that continuing to buy season tickets is actually keeping people like Regan & Ogilvie in a job. The only time change comes about is when it is forced. That’s my argument. It’s not even a sport any more.

Btw I never said Celtic alone could fix this – I am merely talking from a Celtic point of view.

View Comment

shield2012Posted on3:39 pm - Mar 6, 2013


Ok the Ronnie O’Sullivan analogy was a bit tongue in cheek but lets face it, the point of wild cards is for entertainment and revenue purposes – both of which are vital to sports including Scottish Football.

View Comment

easyJamboPosted on3:44 pm - Mar 6, 2013


From the STV website

Dunfermline Athletic could be out of business within “two to three weeks”, according to Jim Leishman.

The Pars owe £134,000 to HM Revenue and Customs in unpaid taxes. It is understood this amount is not due in one full payment.

“It is a very real threat that the Pars could go under,” Leishman said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Former player, manager and latterly director of football Leishman is to lead a group set up to try and save the First Division club.

Gavin Masterton, the majority shareholder, is to stand down from the club’s board, with the Leishman-led group taking over day-to-day affairs.

Players have been paid 60% of their February wages, with no promise of when the full amounts will be settled. £35,000 is owed in total to employees.

Following their relegation from the Scottish Premier League in the summer, the club were paid £250,000 as part of a two-stage parachute payment. The second installment of £125,000 wasn’t due until next year but the league agreed to pay an undisclosed part of that to the club earlier this year.

View Comment

arabest1Posted on3:48 pm - Mar 6, 2013


manandboy says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 14:54

0

0

Rate This

ianagain says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 14:23
2 0 i
Rate This
http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/gerry-hassan/scots-and-power-cardinal-john-haldane-and-glasgow-rangers-fc

____________________________________________________________________________________

Frankly, not worth reading.
———————————————————————————————————-

I disagree, Hassan makes several pertinent points for us to consider. ‘The Scots’ have a sense of self that includes a radicalism that if anything is historical, rather than actual. Witness how politicians, particularly, (but not exclusively) the SNP celebrate their anti Tory credentials as though they are part of a wider Scottish heritage, witness how this faux-radicalism deflects and diverts attention from deep rooted conservative attitudes to women, same sex relationships or migrant communities or of course Scotland’s ‘shame’. If the last year has shown us anything it is that RFC are an institution with immense power and influence within Scottish football, an institution which is not challenged nearly enough on how it conducts its business, indeed the challenge was one of real substance in the last year, yet the outcome the dampest of squibs.

View Comment

Stephen GallagherPosted on3:52 pm - Mar 6, 2013


shield2012 says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 15:39
0 0 i
Rate This

Ok the Ronnie O’Sullivan analogy was a bit tongue in cheek but lets face it, the point of wild cards is for entertainment and revenue purposes – both of which are vital to sports including Scottish Football.
=====================

Entertainment or revenue – you may have a point.

But don’t say it’s vital for sport. It goes against everything that is fair about sport.

View Comment

chipsandblogPosted on3:59 pm - Mar 6, 2013


RFC are an institution with immense power and influence within Scottish football, an institution which is not challenged nearly enough on how it conducts its business, indeed the challenge was one of real substance in the last year, yet the outcome the dampest of squibs.
———————————–

I do not think they have immense power, otherwise, they would have been able to find a buyer and not be liquidated.

they have no power, the issue is that our football authorities do not have any leadership skills and lack the courage to apply the rules without fear or favour. ironically that was a Regan quip about 2 years ago.

View Comment

arabest1Posted on3:59 pm - Mar 6, 2013


rougvielovesthejungle says:
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 15:12

If I may comment on your work situation Arabest, I’d suggest you’re colleagues are more than happy just being a number.
Seeing the bigger picture would entail engaging their brain! Apathy is a cop out!
—————————————————————————-

If only it was so simple RLJ, my colleagues are published academics, the Celtic fans would even profess to be Trotskyites, they are far from stupid, I suppose they see football as a diversion from bigger things and consequently peripheral. But apathy is a huge issue.

View Comment

Leave a Reply