Gilt-Edged Justice

ByBig Pink

Gilt-Edged Justice

Excellent food for thought which we thought worthy of inclusion…

About the author

Big Pink administrator

Big Pink is John Cole; a former schoolteacher based in the West of Scotland, He is also a print and broadcast journalist who is engaged in the running of SFM . Former gigs include Newstalk 106, the Celtic View, and Channel67. A Celtic fan, he is also the voice of our podcast initiative.

331 Comments so far

manandboyPosted on12:35 am - Mar 9, 2013


I wouldn’t be surprised if Sandy Bryson is already at work on the SFA’s interpretation of the ‘Golden Rule’.
The result? No sanction in law can be applied to Sevco.

View Comment

posmillPosted on2:31 am - Mar 9, 2013


Great post – as someone else on here said, every day is an education.

http://goo.gl/55VZk

View Comment

thereekPosted on6:24 am - Mar 9, 2013


An interesting and thought provoking article. I wonder how those who have vouched for LNS on this site will react to it ? Not legally trained in any way but Glasnost appears to point to a very narrow interpretation of the rules in handling this case, one which is at odds with some fundamentals of law.
In turn this can raise a question over why such an approach was followed by LNS and his two chums.

A good decision to repost the article here. I think it well deserves the widest possible audience and will encourage debate here especially from our legals

View Comment

paulmac2Posted on7:54 am - Mar 9, 2013


Excellent piece

View Comment

wallacewellPosted on8:51 am - Mar 9, 2013


Fascinating piece, even for a layman. Begs the question however, are we (the broader football supporting public) being led into a labyrinth designed by the vested interests in this matter, with the intention of pushing the whole issue of unfairness in our Sport solely into the realms of online discussion. The hope being that most of us will fade away and the self servers running and reporting on the game, although damaged, survive.

View Comment

hayzaboyPosted on9:58 am - Mar 9, 2013


I had read the article elsewhere and it makes you so proud of our wee country which is corrupt to the core. My views on the judiciary and the establishment in general is ( I paraphrase) for my friends I interprete the law for my enemies I enforce the law. The WHOLE establishment including the Politicians have pulled strings the mafia would have been proud of that enables mordor to escape any sanction for any wrong in this whole sordid affair. Shame on them and shame on us for our historical indifference.

View Comment

Carfins Finest. (@edunne58)Posted on10:10 am - Mar 9, 2013


As a Celtic fan for more years than I care to remember It was always suspected that the corruption that manifests itself in Scottish Football was an always present. We always believed that the dice were loaded but never really knew to what extent. The sight of governance in Scotland whether it be Sporting, Legal or Political falling over themselves to ensure any decisions reached re TRFC over the last 14 months are favourable has left me and thousands like me totally dumfounded. Who can we now trust to run our Country never mind a Sporting Body when institutional bias is now so openly accepted. No need to hide the evidence when everybody knows eh!.

View Comment

billyj1Posted on10:14 am - Mar 9, 2013


Excellent post

View Comment

SmugasPosted on10:27 am - Mar 9, 2013


Firstly guys I appreciate the Glasnost article asks questions why the narrow verdict route was chosen. Some of you feel it is due to a conspiratorial, higher power affair. Fine. I get that. I don’t accept it as fact. I therefore know it is not the widely accepted view of all bloggers (ie. me) so please don’t state it as such, and a bit like the old club/new club thing, in the absence of new evidence to the contrary is getting a bit tired, no? I feel we are losing good posters as a result. (but not you Shield so don’t even start!)

Secondly I felt the debate on Bill Longmuir was worth carrying over from the previous article. He feels in representing the entire SFL that nine clubs should suffer to the benefit of one. Eh?

Off to plan my new free Saturday. Scratch that. Off to have my saturday planned for me.

View Comment

Bill1903Posted on10:32 am - Mar 9, 2013


Great article

Going back to league reconstruction.

Why don’t we invite two new clubs to join the league then adopt a 12-12-10-10 structure.

That way poor old T’Rangers get the promotion they crave.

View Comment

yakutsukiPosted on10:40 am - Mar 9, 2013


Thanks, great article!

I don’t usually like the comments on P.Mac’s site, but I had a look this morning and one was quite
thought provoking.

Worth having a look. It was by ‘Phil Redcastle’ and he poss the question of fans of all clubs
launching some kind of ‘Fighting fund’ due to fans being duped into paying hard earned cash to watch a tainted product.

He explains it a lot better, worth having a look. Hope to hear the thoughts of others re this idea.

View Comment

jimlarkinPosted on10:56 am - Mar 9, 2013


http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/

View Comment

paulmac2Posted on11:00 am - Mar 9, 2013


smugas says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 10:27
………………………..

I agree Longmuir’s would not be out of place had it been released by TRFC itself…not sure why he feels he should be the spokesperson for TRFC?

As for playing the same teams again….what does he think every other club does in every division every season with the exception of the relagted and promoted clubs adding a difference?

Nope…Longmuir has clearly defined his agenda and his own preference for one club…which is rather odd given his position within the SFL…

View Comment

FinlochPosted on11:23 am - Mar 9, 2013


The 5 way agreement offered Sevco a place in the SPL immediately.
Doncaster and Regan could not deliver that so let Charlie and co down big time.
Longmuir could not even deliver a fall back SFL1 option.
So the 5 way agreement was not delivered as promised.
No wonder Charlie was grumpy.

These three upstanding guys are not part of some new conspiracy though – its more open than that.
Having first tried to help the club then ensuring the club did not die by things like not checking paperwork and then at the end by clever delaying tactics they are now working on getting Sevco into SPL.
As soon as possible and probably this year with the help of SKY or the creation of a new SPL – or however they dream up a scheme.

They have a lot of friends who have helped them – not for the benefit of Sevco alone.
Its for the good of the country.

These three super-heroes and Campbell too have stopped a breakdown of Scottish society and prevented public disorder!

Aye. Right.

View Comment

pau1mart1nPosted on11:34 am - Mar 9, 2013


longmuir must be at serious odds with the sfl clubs – they all wanted a bit of sevco action.
every sfl club had the same chance of two visits minimum – barring relegation and passing them one the way down.
not just for some clubs, not maybe only once, not twice this year and once again next for some.
everyone had equal shot a two visits.
that was what they voted to accept last year.
like two cup draws against them in one season.
kerching.

View Comment

mirrenmanPosted on11:36 am - Mar 9, 2013


totally unreasonable decision. Not happy ( see my avitar )

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21725475

St Mirren angered by cup final ticket allocation decision

St Mirren are “extremely disappointed” by the Scottish Football League’s decision to allocate an additional 3,500 cup final tickets to Hearts.
The Buddies say the decision over the West Stand tickets was made “without our knowledge”.
The Scottish Communities League Cup final takes place at Hamdpen on Sunday 17 March.
“These tickets had been earmarked for St Mirren supporters,” said the club in an official statement.
“We are bitterly disappointed that this decision has been made when there were still nine days to go to the final and also while Hearts do not appear to have sold their full allocation.
“We feel strongly that any decision on these tickets should have been delayed until closer to the final.
“We were advised earlier this week that the SFL were considering an option to split the remaining 3,500 West Stand tickets between the two clubs and also allocating more South Stand tickets to ourselves to make up some of the shortfall.
“The decision was made to allocate the full 3,500 to Hearts without our knowledge. This information was only found out when we updated the SFL that we had just 100 tickets left late on Friday afternoon.
“We have now been informed that we are being given a further 1,200 initial allocation of debenture seats in the South Stand (Upper).
“There is also a further 900 tickets in this area that will be made available should these be required.
“We would like to thank the 14,000 St Mirren fans who have bought tickets so far and apologise to those who planned to purchase tickets this week but this has been completely outwith our control as all the organisation for the match is done by the SFL.”

Can we have a thumbs down for this decision

View Comment

upthehoopsPosted on11:44 am - Mar 9, 2013


thereek says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 06:24

An interesting and thought provoking article. I wonder how those who have vouched for LNS on this site will react to it ? Not legally trained in any way but Glasnost appears to point to a very narrow interpretation of the rules in handling this case, one which is at odds with some fundamentals of law.
In turn this can raise a question over why such an approach was followed by LNS and his two chums.

A good decision to repost the article here. I think it well deserves the widest possible audience and will encourage debate here especially from our legals
===================================================

Like you I have no legal qualifications, but I have been fascinated by the number of people who do who post very challenging views on the LNS decision, and (like this one does) expose the absurdity of it.

I do not apologise for being a conspiracy theorist, but I genuinely believe the establishment drew a line in the sand over how far they were prepared to go with Rangers. The alternative decision for LNS could have seen court battles drag out for years, and even thrown into question the results of International and European games. It would simply have been a step too far and was never going to happen.

The saddest aspect for me is the triumphal ‘it’s been proven we did not cheat’ stance from Ibrox. Going back to my original point, I’m sure many highly qualified and respected legal minds would beg to differ. I remember in the 1970’s newspapers got a hold of a story that Police stopped a car driving well in excess of the maximum speed on the motorway. Shocked to discover the driver was none other than Princess Anne, no further action was taken. Did that entitle Princess Anne to triumphantly announce she was not speeding? No, of course it didn’t, but it did show the establishment are prepared to turn a blind eye to lawlessness depending on who the law breaker is.

View Comment

nowoldandgrumpyPosted on12:00 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Free tickets anyone?

Joe McHugh ‏@videocelts
From micklions on KDS: http://kerrydalestreet.co.uk/single/?p=12099810&t=8781404 … Maybe helping to explain the unaudited accounts!

View Comment

mirrenmanPosted on12:02 pm - Mar 9, 2013


apologies as OT………

I know we are getting more seats in the South stand, but these are £25 instead of £20. this is not going to encourage last minute decisions to go to the game.

The people in power making these decisions are supposed to be promoting the game to as many as possible.

Any Hearts fans know how many tickets your club has sold.

View Comment

billyj1Posted on12:19 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Test

View Comment

yakutsukiPosted on12:21 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Regarding the talk of Longmuir’s motives re sevco I know his girlfriend very well, she’s a bluenose,
and surprise, surprise, so is he!

He earlier admitted that the rest of his family were of the sevconian persuasion, but didn’t have the ‘donegals’ to own up himself!

What conspiracy? Wow, just WOW!

View Comment

FinlochPosted on12:28 pm - Mar 9, 2013


finloch says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 11:23

Sorry one last para fell off – the link to the “Golden” rule – sorry. – I’ve added it back here.

The 5 way agreement offered Sevco a place in the SPL immediately.
Doncaster and Regan could not deliver that so let Charlie and co down big time.
Longmuir could not even deliver a fall back SFL1 option.
So the 5 way agreement was not delivered as promised.
No wonder Charlie was grumpy.

These three upstanding guys are not part of some new conspiracy though – its more open than that.
Having first tried to help the club then ensuring the club did not die by things like not checking paperwork and then at the end by clever delaying tactics they are now working on getting Sevco into SPL.
As soon as possible and probably this year with the help of SKY or the creation of a new SPL – or however they dream up a scheme.

They have a lot of friends who have helped them – not for the benefit of Sevco alone.
Its for the good of the country.

These three super-heroes and Campbell too have stopped a breakdown of Scottish society and prevented public disorder!

Aye. Right.

What we’ve seen in the last 18months is the constant application of a version of their own connived version of the “golden” rule by Regan, Doncaster, Longmuir, Ogilvie and all who they have involved in their wee plans.

It explains everything and predicts the future too.

View Comment

readceltPosted on12:36 pm - Mar 9, 2013


nowoldandgrumpy on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 12:00
2 1 Rate This
Free tickets anyone?

Joe McHugh ‏@videocelts
From micklions on KDS: http://kerrydalestreet.co.uk/single/?p=12099810&t=8781404 … Maybe helping to explain the unaudited accounts!
——————————————–

Fur coat. No nickers.

View Comment

angus1983Posted on1:50 pm - Mar 9, 2013


10 tickets, Club Deck. Perhaps just someone’s hospitality package?

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on1:57 pm - Mar 9, 2013


I am not a lawyer but I don’t believe the Golden Rule scenario is called for in this case. I do believe that the SPL was poorly served by the legal preparatory work done on its behalf and also by the standard of argument and lack of critical evidence put to the Hearing on behalf of the SPL. Obviously my comments don’t have the advantage of hearing and seeing all witnesses and participants but rely on the published decision.

To be able top get a grasp of the LNS decision requires getting into an open-mindset and actually reading the evidence supplied and particularly noting the missing evidence and the legal interpretations made by LNS. You still might not agree with the decision at the end of the day but I disagree that it was made from a ‘narrow’ viewpoint and as I have previously stated I truly believe that any other decision would have been easily appealable and not sustainable.

I have no means of proving this but I seriously wonder whether the continually repeated claims – that there would be no actual opposition to the SPL case from Rangers – created a slam-dunk certainty that it would legally prevail in the minds of many including the SPL and its legal team. As it turns out this didn’t end-up being the case but perhaps by the actual January hearing the required psychological, if not legal, damage to the SPL case had already been inflicted.

Sadly my suspicions currently can’t be proven as the submissions on behalf of Rangers and the SPL aren’t given in full and they may well establish just how far out to sea the SPL case was and how much water it was shipping in front of LNS which, from the evidence available, appears to be substantial and the only thing capable of saving the SPL case was a Fairy Wand rather than a Golden Rule. The case appears to have been simply unwinnable and IMO it was a waste of money to pursue it with so much missing evidence and weak legal direction.

I also happen to believe that the ‘cure’ to what actually happened isn’t the application of a ‘Golden Rule’ for a cause celebre case but the mundane rewriting of the SFA & SPL rule books into something which approaches being fit for purpose in the modern age and that must be a priority for league reconstruction. I would again suggest that the seemingly woeful case preparation and presentation needs to be looked at in depth.

I don’t go down the Establishment cover-up theory in this case although I fully recognise that Establishments all over the world are involved in cover-ups although many perceived cover-ups don’t start as such but as c*ck-ups pure and simple.

Quite simply I don’t think the wider Establishment, as in the Justiciary, were involved in a cover-up because they quite simply didn’t need to be as the SPL case was woefully prepared and presented IMO. I am not so clear about the role of the footballing establishment in the shape of the SFA & SPL but again, at a stretch, it may well just be that old c*ck-up scenario at work.

I have undernoted a number of what I consider to be key points supporting my opinions but as mentioned earlier they have to be read and preferably the full Decision as well. Uninformed comments about LNS, the Decision and the Justiciary quite frankly help no one come to a balanced understanding of what actually went down here and that makes it harder to sort that which is broken. Full text for the undernoted sections can be found in the actual Decision.

LNS Decision Summary.

(4) The relevant SPL Rules were designed to promote sporting integrity, by mitigating the risk of irregular payments to players;
(5) Although the payments in this case were not themselves irregular and were not in
breach of SPL or SFA Rules, the scale and extent of the proven contraventions of the
disclosure rules require a substantial penalty to be imposed;
(6) 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;

Standard and burden of proof

[24] The burden of proof of the Issues rests on the SPL throughout.
[25] In our view the burden lay on the SPL to prove (on the balance of probabilities) material factors which might affect sanction, such as whether a particular breach had given Rangers FC a significant competitive advantage.

Subject to that, the question of sanction is a matter for the exercise of our discretion, in light of any relevant considerations advanced by either party.

Issue 3(c): Eligibility of Players

[84] SPL Rule D1.11, which with its predecessor were in effect from and including 23 May 2005, provides: “Any Club playing an ineligible Player in an Official Match and the Player concerned shall be in breach of the Rules.”

[86] Evidence was given by Alexander Bryson, Head of Registrations at the SFA, who
described the registration process. During the course of his evidence he explained that, once a player had been registered with the SFA, he remained registered unless and until his registration was revoked. Accordingly, even if there had been a breach of the SFA registration procedures, such as a breach of SFA Article 12.3, the registration of a player was not treated as being invalid from the outset, and stood unless and until it was revoked.

[87] Mr McKenzie explained to us that SPL Rule D1.13 had hitherto been understood to mean that if, at the time of registration, a document was not lodged as required, the consequence was that a condition of registration was broken and the player automatically became ineligible to play in terms of SPL Rule D1.11. He accepted however that there was scope for a different construction of the rule, to the effect that, as the lodging of the document in question was a condition of registration, the registration of the player would be liable to revocation, with the consequence that the player would thereafter become ineligible to play. He accepted that no provision of the Rules enabled the Board of the SPL retrospectively to terminate the registration of the player. It became apparent from his submissions that Mr McKenzie was not pressing for a finding that Issue 3(c), together with the concluding words of Issue 3(b), had been proved.

[88] In our opinion, this was a correct decision by Mr McKenzie. There is every reason why the rules of the SFA and the SPL relating to registration should be construed and applied consistently with each other. Mr Bryson’s evidence about the position of the SFA in this regard was clear. In our view, the Rules of the SPL, which admit of a construction consistent with those of the SFA, should be given that construction. All parties concerned – clubs, players and footballing authorities – should be able to proceed on the faith of an official register. This means that a player’s registration should generally be treated as standing unless and until revoked.

There may be extreme cases in which there is such a fundamental defect that the registration of a player must be treated as having been invalid from the outset. But in the kind of situation that we are dealing with here we are satisfied that the registration of the Specified Players with the SPL was valid from the outset, and accordingly that they were eligible to play in official matches. There was therefore no breach of SPL Rule D1.11.

[89] For these reasons we are not satisfied that any breach of the Rules has been established in terms of Issue 3(c), taken in conjunction with the concluding words of Issue 3(b) quoted above. This is an important finding, as it means that there was no instance shown of Rangers FC fielding an ineligible player.

Sanction

[103] Mr McKenzie stated, and we wish to emphasise, that the SPL did not seek the imposition by us of any specific sanction.

Issues 1 to 3

[104] As we have already explained, in our view the purpose of the Rules applicable to Issues 1 to 3 is to promote the sporting integrity of the game. These rules are not designed as any form of financial regulation of football, analogous to the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations. Thus it is not the purpose of the Rules to regulate how one football club may seek to gain financial and sporting advantage over others.

The Tax Tribunal has held (subject to appeal) that Oldco was acting within the law in setting up and operating the EBT scheme. The SPL presented no argument to challenge the decision of the majority of the Tax Tribunal and Mr McKenzie stated
expressly that for all purposes of this Commission’s Inquiry and Determination the SPL accepted that decision as it stood, without regard to any possible appeal by HMRC.

What we are concerned with is the fact that the side-letters issued to the Specified Players, in the course of the operation of the EBT scheme, were not disclosed to the SPL and the SFA as required by their respective Rules.

[105] It seems appropriate in the first place to consider whether such breach by non-disclosure conferred any competitive advantage on Rangers FC. Given that we have held that Rangers FC did not breach Rule D1.11 by playing ineligible players, it did not secure any direct competitive advantage in that respect. If the breach of the rules by non-disclosure of the side-letters conferred any competitive advantage, that could only have been an indirect one. There was no evidence before us as to whether any other members of the SPL used similar EBT schemes, or the effect of their doing so. Moreover, we have received no evidence from which we could possibly say that Oldco could not or would not have entered into the EBT arrangements with players if it had been required to comply with the requirement to disclose the arrangements as part of the players’ full financial entitlement or as giving rise to payment to Players.

It is entirely possible that the EBT arrangements could have been disclosed to the SPL and SFA without prejudicing the argument – accepted by the majority of the Tax Tribunal at paragraph 232 of their decision – that such arrangements, resulting in loans made to the players, did not give rise to payments absolutely or unreservedly held for or to the order of the individual players. On that basis, the EBT arrangements could have been disclosed as contractual arrangements giving rise to a facility for the player to receive loans, and there would have been no breach of the disclosure rules.

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

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on1:57 pm - Mar 9, 2013


upthehoops says:

Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 11:44

On the basis that it is going to be difficult to get justice within Scottish borders and because the potential financial ramifications in compensation terms would have been so severe for the SFA, I think it would be worthwhile TSFM posters going to the FIFA Whistleblower website at

https://www.bkms-system.net/bkwebanon/report/clientInfo?cin=6fifa61&language=eng

to submit a report that asks FIFA to confirm that the Bryson interpretation is accurate as it seems to have the kind of impact on future registration described in the lead article.

I’ve suggested to TSFM that this blog makes a submission as an football supporting entity and provided a draft that draws heavily on this current blog. I have already read two that are very good that have been sent although neither focus on the impact as much as the one I drafted.

Hoping to hear something back over the weekend.

View Comment

BrendaPosted on2:00 pm - Mar 9, 2013


A relative of mine gets 100 free tickets for every ibrox game handed in to their place of work!!! Is that part of a hospitality package?

When’s the £1million crossbar challenge? Another jackanory moment from CG 🙂 🙂

View Comment

manandboyPosted on2:02 pm - Mar 9, 2013


By STEPHEN HALLIDAY in The Scotsman
Published on Saturday 9 March 2013 00:00

On the proposals for restructuring

” . . . .clubs eligible to vote – Sevco are ineligible due to their status as associate members of the SFA. Following their liquidation, Rangers are no more. . . . .”

There, Stephen, that’s better.

View Comment

manandboyPosted on2:06 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Oops

Stephen Halliday originally said:

“…. clubs eligible to vote – Rangers are ineligible due to their status as associate members of the SFA following their liquidation . . . “

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on2:15 pm - Mar 9, 2013


ecobhoy says:

Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 13:57

“There may be extreme cases in which there is such a fundamental defect that the registration of a player must be treated as having been invalid from the outset. But in the kind of situation that we are dealing with here we are satisfied that the registration of the Specified Players with the SPL was valid from the outset, and accordingly that they were eligible to play in official matches. There was therefore no breach of SPL Rule D1.11″t

Not on your main point but if 10 years of not providing full documentation in support of registration in dubious circumstances is not an extreme case then what is? It would have been useful had his Lordship provided proof but then he does not have to, which might explain his judgement being questioned.

View Comment

neepheidPosted on2:17 pm - Mar 9, 2013


manandboy says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 14:06
0 0 Rate This
Oops

Stephen Halliday originally said:

“…. clubs eligible to vote – Rangers are ineligible due to their status as associate members of the SFA following their liquidation . . . “
=================

Sloppy journalism by Halliday. TRFC are in fact full members of the SFA. They are associate members of the SFL.

View Comment

Palacio67Posted on2:28 pm - Mar 9, 2013


neepheid says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 14:17
========================

When I read the link earlier, that was my initial thought, and there was me all confused again. Thanks for Highlighting neepheid. So it was indeed the SFA share that was transferred from old club to new club?

View Comment

spaldingbhoyPosted on2:41 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Re Paulmac2’s above post when this omnishambles first appeared and negotiations were being carried out between all the relevant authorities was Longmuir not being touted as the best administrator (barring CO of course) in football . he was the logical successor to aforementioned CO in the ‘new’ unified football authority .It would seem from the comments attributed to him he has all the right credentials. Sadly something’s never change in Scottish football.

View Comment

spaldingbhoyPosted on2:44 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Some things ( fat fingers)

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on2:51 pm - Mar 9, 2013


ecobhoy says:

Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 13:57

The prepatory work may have been better but that does not seem to negate the point re application of the Golden Rule.

The decision that players were not ineligible was result of non disclosure which was the rule breaker, thus Rangers benefitted from their wriong doing in not supplying all details of players contract for service.

On the nature of the payments it looks like although the HMRC appeal was put aside by the SPL to reach a conclusion, if HMRC win the appeal Rangers will have gained an illegal financial advantage..

View Comment

neepheidPosted on2:53 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Palacio67 says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 14:28
1 0 Rate This
neepheid says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 14:17
========================

When I read the link earlier, that was my initial thought, and there was me all confused again. Thanks for Highlighting neepheid. So it was indeed the SFA share that was transferred from old club to new club?

======================
That’s correct, it was the RFC full membership of the SFA that was transferred to Sevco under the 5 way agreement. Associate membership of the SFL was granted as a result of the vote of the SFL clubs to let them in to SFL3.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on3:20 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Auldheid (@Auldheid) says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 14:15

ecobhoy says:

Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 13:57

“There may be extreme cases in which there is such a fundamental defect that the registration of a player must be treated as having been invalid from the outset. But in the kind of situation that we are dealing with here we are satisfied that the registration of the Specified Players with the SPL was valid from the outset, and accordingly that they were eligible to play in official matches. There was therefore no breach of SPL Rule D1.11″t

Not on your main point but if 10 years of not providing full documentation in support of registration in dubious circumstances is not an extreme case then what is? It would have been useful had his Lordship provided proof but then he does not have to, which might explain his judgement being questioned.
———————————————————————————————————–

I have undernoted what the Decision says but we are back to the problem that it is not for LNS and his two colleagues to provide the evidence – that was up to the SPL and they failed. The evidence of Bryson of the SFA and the acceptance of SPL brief McKenzie of the SFA position as well as admitting that the SPL Rules didn’t allow retrospective registration termination left LNS with no other choice and it doesn’t matter how many times the documentation wasn’t presented – that was a separate offence which was actually dealt with under Sporting Integrity and the penalty was the fine levied against oldco.

SPL’s interpretation of the rules was wrong according to the SPL and no Golden Rule is going to change that and neither is that Magic Wand. The main question is why wasn’t this spotted before the hearing. It was a fundamental plank of the SPL case – did McKenzie never ask the SFA what their interpretation of the rules actually were? When did McKenzie become aware that there was no retrospective termination under SPL Rules?

There is a legal crock of sh*t here but I see no evidence that LNS is the one who should carry the can as I have yet to see any well-argued argument as to where he is clearly mistaken on legal grounds and the Golden Rule is of interest but IMO (non legal) it has no relevance on this matter. On the issue of sporting advantage perhaps there is a possible argument for a Golden Rule application but I think it is weak and basically a non-starter but that’s another issue.

I am well aware of why many people are frustrated by this decision and, to an extent, I am as well but I see responsibility as lying squarely with the SPL and its legal team and the SFA and they should not be allowed to escape that fact.

Issue 3(c): Eligibility of Players

[84] SPL Rule D1.11, which with its predecessor were in effect from and including 23 May 2005, provides: “Any Club playing an ineligible Player in an Official Match and the Player concerned shall be in breach of the Rules.”

[86] Evidence was given by Alexander Bryson, Head of Registrations at the SFA, who
described the registration process. During the course of his evidence he explained that, once a player had been registered with the SFA, he remained registered unless and until his registration was revoked. Accordingly, even if there had been a breach of the SFA registration procedures, such as a breach of SFA Article 12.3, the registration of a player was not treated as being invalid from the outset, and stood unless and until it was revoked.

[87] Mr McKenzie explained to us that SPL Rule D1.13 had hitherto been understood to mean that if, at the time of registration, a document was not lodged as required, the consequence was that a condition of registration was broken and the player automatically became ineligible to play in terms of SPL Rule D1.11. He accepted however that there was scope for a different construction of the rule, to the effect that, as the lodging of the document in question was a condition of registration, the registration of the player would be liable to revocation, with the consequence that the player would thereafter become ineligible to play. He accepted that no provision of the Rules enabled the Board of the SPL retrospectively to terminate the registration of the player. It became apparent from his submissions that Mr McKenzie was not pressing for a finding that Issue 3(c), together with the concluding words of Issue 3(b), had been proved.

View Comment

tomtomPosted on3:25 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Did the SPL deliberately sabotage their own case?

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on3:33 pm - Mar 9, 2013


@ Auldheid

Sorry I forgot to respond to ‘extreme case’ and that’s difficult as it’s probably something that would be immediately recognisable when it actually happens and not before.

Say a player banned for life from football for betting fixing who changed his name and came to the backwater of world football as we now are – possibly with the assistance of plastic surgery.

A male playing in a female league and team. Not sure though if it would still work the same with a female posing as a male.

Long term proveable drug abuse especially if club had colluded.

At the end of the day it appears that the SPL were unable to field a single witness to show that the offence fell into the ‘extreme case’ scenario and, indeed, were unable to provide a scrap of evidence that what actually happened was even a minor breach of SPL & SFA Rules. That’s why that bit of the case failed – it really is that simple!

View Comment

dentarthurdent42Posted on3:33 pm - Mar 9, 2013


The club playing football in Scotland using the name Rangers has not been through liquidation.

Liquidation is followed by dissolution.

The idea of there being something post liquidation is not just bad journalism, it is nonsense.

View Comment

thereekPosted on3:37 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Auldheid (@Auldheid) says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 13:57
12 0 i
Rate This
upthehoops says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 11:44
On the basis that it is going to be difficult to get justice within Scottish borders and because the potential financial ramifications in compensation terms would have been so severe for the SFA, I think it would be worthwhile TSFM posters going to the FIFA Whistleblower website at

https://www.bkms-system.net/bkwebanon/report/clientInfo?cin=6fifa61&language=eng

to submit a report that asks FIFA to confirm that the Bryson interpretation is accurate as it seems to have the kind of impact on future registration described in the lead article.

I’ve suggested to TSFM that this blog makes a submission as an football supporting entity and provided a draft that draws heavily on this current blog. I have already read two that are very good that have been sent although neither focus on the impact as much as the one I drafted.

Hoping to hear something back over the weekend.
~~~~~~~~~~~
Well done Auldheid. A practical step to try to take things forward. Anyone interested in basic justice should lend their support.

Going back to my original post and upthehoops response I’d say that when considering various rather ‘strange’ decisions in the course of this whole mess we need to keep open minds as to the ultimate motives. Money, reputation and basic allegiances are all possibles but we can’t forget public order as an issue too.

View Comment

dentarthurdent42Posted on3:39 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Auldheid (@Auldheid) says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 14:51

On the nature of the payments it looks like although the HMRC appeal was put aside by the SPL to reach a conclusion, if HMRC win the appeal Rangers will have gained an illegal financial advantage..

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

HMRC already won in 5 or 6 of the specific players cases.

It has already been established by HMRC, and won on appeal, that Rangers underpaid their tax in relation to player paid through an EBT.

That was clearly an illegal financial advantage.

Rangers may have won in the majority of cases (subject as you say to appeal) however not in all of them. It only takes one player on the park being ineligible for the result to be tainted.

The Nimmo Smith enquiry clearly ignored this. Quite frankly it shouldn’t have been a factor anyway.

View Comment

dentarthurdent42Posted on3:40 pm - Mar 9, 2013


tomtomaswell says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 15:25

No, they got the SFA to do it for them, through their Head of Registrations.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on3:43 pm - Mar 9, 2013


tomtomaswell says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 15:25

Did the SPL deliberately sabotage their own case?
——————————————————————————-

I personally think that is a more productive area to be explored. But I think the SFA has to be added into the mix and I also believe that what appears to be the woeful preparatory work and actual presentation of the case as well as seeming dearth of back-up evidence might also be the sole cause. It’s also possible it’s a mix of both.

I think it’s too easy just to lump it all on LNS and his two sidekicks. There also a failure of a major part of the SPL case which is skipped over to spare red faces I reckon which I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere viz:

[85] In addressing us on Issue 3(c), Mr McKenzie sought to include a reference to period 2.
Although there is a passage in the outline written argument for the SPL which may be taken to
relate to period 2, Issue 3(c) and the relevant passage in Issue 3(b) both relate to period 3, from
23 May 2005 until 3 May 2011 (inclusive). No notice is given in the Notice of Commission of
any comparable allegation relating to any earlier period, and for this reason we are not prepared to consider this part of the argument.

This is a huge blunder IMO which no one seems to have spotted in the drafting of the SPL case and preparatory work.

View Comment

neepheidPosted on3:55 pm - Mar 9, 2013


dentarthurdent42 says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 15:39
1

HMRC already won in 5 or 6 of the specific players cases.

It has already been established by HMRC, and won on appeal, that Rangers underpaid their tax in relation to player paid through an EBT.

That was clearly an illegal financial advantage.

Rangers may have won in the majority of cases (subject as you say to appeal) however not in all of them. It only takes one player on the park being ineligible for the result to be tainted.
==============

That is an excellent point. Since it has been established in 5 cases that the EBT’s conferred a financial advantage (i.e. iollegal tax free payments), how can LNS say that in those 5 cases there was no sporting advantage? Can anyone (Ecobhoy?) differentiate those 5 cases from simply stuffing a player’s boot with £20 notes before each game? I’m genuinely interested, by the way.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on4:24 pm - Mar 9, 2013


dentarthurdent42 says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 15:39

Auldheid (@Auldheid) says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 14:51

On the nature of the payments it looks like although the HMRC appeal was put aside by the SPL to reach a conclusion, if HMRC win the appeal Rangers will have gained an illegal financial advantage..

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

HMRC already won in 5 or 6 of the specific players cases.

It has already been established by HMRC, and won on appeal, that Rangers underpaid their tax in relation to player paid through an EBT.

That was clearly an illegal financial advantage.

Rangers may have won in the majority of cases (subject as you say to appeal) however not in all of them. It only takes one player on the park being ineligible for the result to be tainted.

The Nimmo Smith enquiry clearly ignored this. Quite frankly it shouldn’t have been a factor anyway.
=====================================================================

LNS didn’t ignore the FTTT decision re EBTs and it is worth reading the LNS Decision to follow the reasoning used. It’s quite funny that LNS is close to Poone in some comments but this was either ignored or not noticed by McKenzie who might have found it useful as a counter against just accepting the FTTT decision. Tbh I doubt if it would have made any difference but one can never be sure especially as the FTTT decision I don’t think was automatically legally binding on LNS although it could be adopted as such by LNS especially if no one disagreed.

However what LNS stated was: ‘What we are concerned with is the fact that the side-letters issued to the Specified Players, in the course of the operation of the EBT scheme, were not disclosed to the SPL and the SFA as required by their respective Rules.’

I also don’t know that HMRC ‘won’ any cases at the FTTT as I am sure from memory these were conceded before the tax tribunal began. Small point but it is all about words and how they are used. I also seem to remember that the cases ‘won’ were to do with a UEFA match or golden farewells – My memory could be failing me but if not the ‘wins’ would not be applicable to the matter under discussion by LNS.

If you read the undernote you will again see that LNS is making the absence of evidence presented very clear. There is also the seeming absence of the SPL and SFA providing evidence as to whether the EBTs – if they had been disclosed – would actually have been classed as declarable payments under the rules. But again there appears to have been no evidence given on this crucial element of the case. If they weren’t payments as far as the SPL and SFA were concerned then they didn’t need to be disclosed but unless my brain has switched off that basic fact was never established because no evidence was led.

UNDERNOTE

[105] It seems appropriate in the first place to consider whether such breach by non-disclosure conferred any competitive advantage on Rangers FC. Given that we have held that Rangers FC did not breach Rule D1.11 by playing ineligible players, it did not secure any direct competitive advantage in that respect. If the breach of the rules by non-disclosure of the side-letters conferred any competitive advantage, that could only have been an indirect one. There was no evidence before us as to whether any other members of the SPL used similar EBT schemes, or the effect of their doing so. Moreover, we have received no evidence from which we could possibly say that Oldco could not or would not have entered into the EBT arrangements with players if it had been required to comply with the requirement to disclose the arrangements as part of the players’ full financial entitlement or as giving rise to payment to Players.

It is entirely possible that the EBT arrangements could have been disclosed to the SPL and SFA without prejudicing the argument – accepted by the majority of the Tax Tribunal at paragraph 232 of their decision – that such arrangements, resulting in loans made to the players, did not give rise to payments absolutely or unreservedly held for or to the order of the individual players. On that basis, the EBT arrangements could have been disclosed as contractual arrangements giving rise to a facility for the player to receive loans, and there would have been no breach of the disclosure rules.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on4:29 pm - Mar 9, 2013


neepheid says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 15:55
That is an excellent point. Since it has been established in 5 cases that the EBT’s conferred a financial advantage (i.e. iollegal tax free payments), how can LNS say that in those 5 cases there was no sporting advantage? Can anyone (Ecobhoy?) differentiate those 5 cases from simply stuffing a player’s boot with £20 notes before each game? I’m genuinely interested, by the way.
——————————————————————————————————

See reply above – is the stuffing of boots with £20 notes illegal unless it is as an inducement to assist a betting coup btw?

View Comment

tomtomPosted on4:40 pm - Mar 9, 2013


dentarthurdent42 says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 15:40
5 0 Rate This
tomtomaswell says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 15:25

No, they got the SFA to do it for them, through their Head of Registrations
——————————————————————

That’s what I was getting at. Was Bryson there as a witness for the prosecution or the defence? If he was there on behalf of the SPL then they must have known what evidence he was going to give. From what we have read it appears that the case rested on his evidence. I assume that the SPL’s lawyer was from Harper Macleod so it doesn’t look to good for them if they have failed to pick up on such a crucial piece of interpretation. Was Bryson interviewed by HM during their initial investigation? If so why was this evidence not available to them.

View Comment

Long Time LurkerPosted on4:40 pm - Mar 9, 2013


One for the legal eagles perhaps?

Regarding the tickets that TRFC sell:
http://kerrydalestreet.co.uk/single/?p=12099810&t=8781404

A few questions:

How does these tickets compare to those sold by RFC Ltd?

To what extent is a ticket a legal document?

If there is little or no difference between the tickets used by RFC Ltd and TFRC – would that lend evidence to suggest that TRFC is a phoenix company?

View Comment

jimlarkinPosted on5:08 pm - Mar 9, 2013


well done to ali mccoist and sevco.

beaten by the very bottom team and second bottom team (in the whole of scotland)
in their very first season

charles green said that their team is pash !

what about the sevco manager !!!!????

View Comment

neepheidPosted on5:09 pm - Mar 9, 2013


ecobhoy says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 16:29

See reply above – is the stuffing of boots with £20 notes illegal unless it is as an inducement to assist a betting coup btw?
==============
Yes it is illegal, unless you have kept a record of the payments and included them on your PAYE returns to HMRC- which would make the whole exercise a bit pointless, really!

View Comment

readceltPosted on5:13 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Long Time Lurker says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 16:40
1 0 Rate This

——————————————–

I think the phoenix idea needs put to bed.

Not the best source but read the definition of a phoenix company

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_company

It takes a bit more than ticket stubs

View Comment

neepheidPosted on5:15 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Long Time Lurker says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 16:40

If there is little or no difference between the tickets used by RFC Ltd and TFRC – would that lend evidence to suggest that TRFC is a phoenix company?

==================
A phoenix company is where the new company is controlled by the same people who controlled the old company. So unless you can show that David Murray and/or Craig Whyte are involved in RIFC in some way, then there is no phoenix company issue, even if tickets and everything else are identical.

View Comment

nowoldandgrumpyPosted on5:16 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Seems Charlie is looking for a Council Tax rebate.

http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/charlie-and-the-dear-green-place/#more-3597

View Comment

ianagainPosted on5:30 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Ecobohy

Excellent analysis so therefore when asked to vote on approval of the LNS decision all the clubs should hold the decision in abeyance until the following is resolved. LNS reached a decision without regard to any appeal. There is no way on earth that the SPL clubs need to. Shelve it until we have a decision.

“The Tax Tribunal has held (subject to appeal) that Oldco was acting within the law in setting up and operating the EBT scheme. The SPL presented no argument to challenge the decision of the majority of the Tax Tribunal and Mr McKenzie stated
expressly that for all purposes of this Commission’s Inquiry and Determination the SPL accepted that decision as it stood, without regard to any possible appeal by HMRC. “

View Comment

Parson St. BhoyPosted on5:33 pm - Mar 9, 2013


nowoldandgrumpy says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 17:16

Seems Charlie is looking for a Council Tax rebate.
“””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
Housing Benefit for the Big Hoose?

View Comment

ianagainPosted on5:34 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Tax rebate! Hes definitely a bluff Yokshire type. Stunner.

View Comment

Long Time LurkerPosted on5:39 pm - Mar 9, 2013


neepheid says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 17:15

I agree that it takes more than ticket stubs. However, looking at the definition of a phoenix company from Wikipedia:

“The new company is set up to trade in the same or similar trading activities as the former, and is able to present the appearance of “business as usual” to its customers.”

Would the same tickets not fall into the scope of presenting “business as usual” to its customers – another piece in the jigsaw?

View Comment

rantinrobinPosted on5:42 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Failure to pay tax,now suggestions of Council tax rebate?

How to win friends and influence people.
Yet sadly they do influence people,just the wrong people.

Stuart Cosgrove suggesting that reason for non selection of Leigh Griffiths might have some connection with his racism charge and that those in the SFA might have a moral view given the situation.

Odd then that the footballing authorities don’t adopt a similar moral tack in relation to non payment of taxes.

View Comment

dentarthurdent42Posted on5:53 pm - Mar 9, 2013


ianagain says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 17:30

“… expressly that for all purposes of this Commission’s Inquiry and Determination the SPL accepted that decision as it stood, without regard to any possible appeal by HMRC. “

When was this decision made, HMRC lodged their appeal on 28th January if I remember correctly.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on5:55 pm - Mar 9, 2013


nowoldandgrumpy says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 17:16

Seems Charlie is looking for a Council Tax rebate.
=================================================

I’m pretty sure that the rateable value for football grounds is based, among other things, on the League that a team plays in so there will be a reduction between SPL and SFL3.

In April 2010 Ibrox was valued at £1,916,000 and on 8 February 2013 the figure is £1,000,000. I am unclear from the details whether the latest figure is actually under appeal or whether that is the figure after appeal but the effective date runs from 14 June 2012.

I now wonder if Whyte and D&P paid any rates as I only seem to remember a tiny amount showing on the Rangers creditors list for rates of a few thousand I think but a rate poundage of say 50p would mean that on the £1.916M that almost £1M was due.

If TRFC hasn’t been paying a monthly amount on account then on the £1M figure there must be approx £500,000 due and a new rates year will start in April. But that, of course, isn’t a debt as it has been under appeal 🙂

View Comment

neepheidPosted on5:55 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Long Time Lurker says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 17:39

Would the same tickets not fall into the scope of presenting “business as usual” to its customers – another piece in the jigsaw?
=======
But unless you can show continuity of ownership, then there is no jigsaw. It is very common for a business to be sold to new owners after the original owner enters administration. Usually, the business continues completely unchanged, same trading name, same premises, same staff, same product. Unless Green is fronting for Murray or Whyte then phoenixism just isn’t a runner.

View Comment

Long Time LurkerPosted on5:58 pm - Mar 9, 2013


neepheid says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 17:55

Cheers

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on6:09 pm - Mar 9, 2013


ianagain says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 17:30

Ecobhoy

Excellent analysis so therefore when asked to vote on approval of the LNS decision all the clubs should hold the decision in abeyance until the following is resolved. LNS reached a decision without regard to any appeal. There is no way on earth that the SPL clubs need to. Shelve it until we have a decision.
———————————————————————————————

I actually wonder if there ever will be a vote by all the clubs on the matter. But tbh the HMRC case could still be rolling along through the various stages for at least 6/8 years and I think it would be wrong to leave the matter unresolved until that date and bad for Scottish Football as a whole.

Perhaps a ‘rider’ could be added to any vote to accept the LNS Decision that if the final result favours the HMRC then the matter can be re-opened. There is still the problem that the major reason for the failure wasn’t necessarily the FTTT Decision but all the other missing evidence and the SPL and SFA rule interpretation.

To be honest when that is taken into account I don’t know that there is anything to be gained in adding a ‘rider’ even if it was possible to get a favourable vote and I have to say that I think that would be impossible.

View Comment

ianagainPosted on6:16 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Ecobhoy

This is the home of the “not proven” verdict. Dont see the damage in letting it sit for however many years. 8 by the way is optomistic if the money and will is there for appeals upwards. Why would it damage football as a whole?

View Comment

paulmac2Posted on6:25 pm - Mar 9, 2013


neepheid says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 17:55
…………………………..

A factor in a phoenix set up is the directors…are there any who were involved then and are now?

View Comment

dentarthurdent42Posted on6:25 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Off Topic

There are currently discussions with regard the Scottish legal system and getting rid of the not proven verdict. A lot of people believe it is unsatisfactory to both prosecution and defence, as it is taken to mean “he did it but the PF couldn’t prove it.

If anyone is interested you can have a look at Lord Carloway’s review.

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/About/Review/CarlowayReview

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on6:34 pm - Mar 9, 2013


neepheid says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 17:09

ecobhoy says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 16:29

See reply above – is the stuffing of boots with £20 notes illegal unless it is as an inducement to assist a betting coup btw?
==============
Yes it is illegal, unless you have kept a record of the payments and included them on your PAYE returns to HMRC- which would make the whole exercise a bit pointless, really!
——————————————————————————————————-

I’m not being picky here but that is why it is so important to be clear about the parameters set because that can have a major impact on perception as well as legality and its the same with the LNS Hearing & Decision and the various rulebooks.

So a footballer can stuff his own boots with his own boots with his own £20 notes and it isn’t illegal. It isn’t even illegal if he stuffs his wages in the form of £20 notes into his boots – although that would be physically impossible in the EPL – as long as Tax & NI has been deducted,

I would also claim it isn’t illegal to stuff his boots with £20 notes even if Tax & NI haven’t been deducted – what is illegal is the failure of the employer to collect and remit the tax due.

I still think it might be illegal in the case of a betting scam but I think I might need to take legal advice on that one now I have given it more thought 🙂

I hope you accept this as a bit of humour just designed to illustrate simply the importance of the actual words used and the interpretation of rulebooks when they are dissected in a legal setting. You began with a fairly simple statement but when I questioned it you qualified it by mentioning records of payments and failure to include details on tax returns.

The problem with McKenzie was 1) He doesn’t appear to have questioned Bryson before the Hearing or he would have spotted, hopefully, the minefield that lay under his feet.

2) When McKenzie was then questioned by LNS he seemed unable to provide suitable answers.

If we have a re-run of LNS my vote is for neepheid to present the SPL case or even better the case for ordinary football fans and perhaps we might get a result that better reflects reality.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on7:16 pm - Mar 9, 2013


ianagain says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 18:16

Ecobhoy

This is the home of the “not proven” verdict. Dont see the damage in letting it sit for however many years. 8 by the way is optomistic if the money and will is there for appeals upwards. Why would it damage football as a whole?
=========================================================

Possibly won’t be the home for much longer although I really do doubt that a NP verdict is available under the system employed re tax appeals. I’m not sure how long it will take because there are imponderables outwith the legal process like how long Murray and/or his companies will remain involved and that could possibly shorten the time frame.

We have heard a lot about important legal principles re the Golden Rule but Natural Justice is another important principle and it isn’t served if an issue is just ‘parked’ for an indeterminate period which is dependent on other processes which aren’t necessarily critical to the outcome of the one which has been ‘parked’. I have dealt with that point in my earlier posts.

There are a large number of reasons why I believe a decision is required and desirable on this matter and one of them is the state of the rule books which must be tackled urgently whether there is reconstruction or not although it would be easier with reconstruction and one League structure.

We need to address the weaknesses identified by Bryson and McKenzie for starters plus all sorts of other issues. But in altering the rule books to plug the loopholes identified by LNS there is a clear implication IMO that his verdict was correct. So what purpose is served by a futile ‘parking’ exercise which reminds me of a bully waiting in the wings hiding a big stick behind his back.

But firstly we must see if there is an SPL vote on LNS and the result as we could ‘what if’ forever on the subject . Personally I doubt if there will be a vote but if there is I’ll be amazed if it didn’t accept the report. But I am often wrong in forming opinions without all of the necessary facts so I’m content to wait and see what happens when there might be an opportunity to express a more informed opinion.

View Comment

angus1983Posted on7:21 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Brenda says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 14:00

A relative of mine gets 100 free tickets for every ibrox game handed in to their place of work!!! Is that part of a hospitality package?
——

Don’t know, Brenda. Is their place of work involved in some kind of sponsorship at Ibrox? I’m not defending the 0.00 tickets, just playing Devil’s advocate. 😉


When’s the £1million crossbar challenge? Another jackanory moment from CG
——
Apparently still on, Brenda.

http://www.therangerscrossbarchallenge.co.uk/

Answer this easy question (via a £1.50 txt): “Where do Rangers play their home games?” Not sure myself, but my brother lives near Annan. I might give him a call and ask.

By the way, well done to Ross County today too. There’s not many Saturdays you see both chee…, um, halfs of the ex-OF getting beat. 🙂

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on7:23 pm - Mar 9, 2013


dentarthurdent42 says:
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 18:25

There are currently discussions with regard the Scottish legal system and getting rid of the not proven verdict. A lot of people believe it is unsatisfactory to both prosecution and defence, as it is taken to mean “he did it but the PF couldn’t prove it.

If anyone is interested you can have a look at Lord Carloway’s review.

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/About/Review/CarlowayReview
—————————————————————————————–

The history surrounding the NP verdict is really interesting and of course it being Scotland religion finds its way in 🙂

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_proven

View Comment

dentarthurdent42Posted on7:27 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Not proven is a specifically Scottish verdict, in criminal cases and is not really an issue with regard a tax tribunal.

They can find for the appellant and respondent in varying degrees, but “not proven” isn’t an issue.

Remember for a criminal conviction guilt must be proven beyond reasonable doubt, a tribunal however is on a balance of probabilities.

View Comment

Carl31 (@C4rl31)Posted on9:06 pm - Mar 9, 2013


ecobhoy,
where is the consideration of the ‘third party payment’ rule here?

, the Commission seems not to have fully applied its ‘third party payment’ rule sensibly.

Charge 3(f) includes:
“ …to the effect of and, separately, with the intent that payments would be made via a third party to each of the Specified Players 2A and/or the Specified Players 2B and/or other Players for their respective playing activities with and for Rangers FC, such third party being the respective trusts and/or sub-trusts relating to each of the Specified Players…”
The above charge was found against Rangers.

The charge re player ineligibility was not found against Rangers. In explanation of why this is, the alternate scenario was given as operating the EBT scheme, but declaring it fully. The judgement states that :

“…breach of the rules relating to disclosure did not give rise to any sporting advantage, direct or indirect. We do not therefore propose to consider those sanctions which are of a sporting nature.”

But what of the third party payments?
If the scheme had been declared fully, then the rule breach in charge 3(f) would have been found – re third party payments – with the players concerned deemed ineligible at the time of disclosure. Non-disclosure avoided the SPL/SFA discovering that players were in breach of the third party rule and thus, non-declaration allowed the club to field players that would otherwise have been ineligible.

It is clearly set out why eligibility remained, and therefore the specified players were not deemed as ineligible in the verdict, due to two factors – the Bryson Interpretation and the non-existence of specific SPL rules on retrospective application of an ineligibility judgement.

But, was Mr Bryson asked, wrt the rule re third party payments, something like, ‘had you known at the time that the players were in breach of the third party payment rule, would you have revoked their registration(s)?’ If the answer were to have been yes (which it sensibly would have been, even if it necessarily included a delay before full revocation – as per the Bryson interpretation) then the logical conclusion is that Rangers demonstrably gained a sporting advantage. Non-disclosure evidently allowed them to field players that would have been ineligible had details of the EBT arrangements been disclosed. Non-disclosure allowed for them breaking the ‘Golden Rule’ of benefiting from their rulebreaking.

The commission decision sets out a logic that rightly considers the rules re non-disclosure in the alternate scenario, but similar consideration of the third party payment rule under that same alternate … is not apparent.

Importantly, this could also have been an inadequacy or failure of the argument put by the SPL (Mr McKenzie).

The lack of any ability for the governing bodies to take retrospective action, means that no correction of the titles records will take place. But I am very puzzled as to how a clear conclusion can be made that no unfair sporting advantage was gained.

View Comment

tomtomPosted on9:18 pm - Mar 9, 2013


dentarthurdent42 says:

Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 19:27

Remember for a criminal conviction guilt must be proven beyond reasonable doubt, a tribunal however is on a balance of probabilities

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

If that’s the case then it makes the findings in these cases even more absurd.

View Comment

bad capt madmanPosted on9:29 pm - Mar 9, 2013


Carl31,
Good post, but the flaw is of course that retrospective punishments or the application of the rules will always apply to every other team except the protected one, regardless of the minutiae or logic of the interpretation of regulations or the law, (whichever is the most beneficial).
We have been advised that we have all to move on and accept the shafting.
Will we?

View Comment

Leave a Reply