Journey’s End?

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Journey’s End?

It has taken a year longer than predicted, but a critical appraisal of  TRFC’s progress through the lower leagues must include recognition of the improvements on the playing field made under the new manager Mark Warburton. SFM usually precludes lengthy discussion on subjective issues like relative abilities of players and managers and referees, but on this subject, and by any objective standard, that is a given.

It is therefore right that he and his players should receive the congratulations of us all at SFM.

It has to be said that, despite the pitfalls, man-traps and honey-pots that remain to be successfully negotiated by the Rangers board, they have implemented their own stark version austerity, contrary to their rhetoric, whilst managing the expectations of their supporters. Perhaps some of what we have come to term “reasonable” Rangers fans would argue that the lack of humility still evident in the demeanour of the TRFC board is an essential part of managing those fans whilst imposing the austerity package on them.

Much like a political party conference, a football board has to play to it’s core support as well as the rest of the country.

How that will pan out is anybody’s guess, just like the random bagatelle that is the “TRFC in Court” saga.

There is also the existential problem to deal with. Many TRFC fans bought into the ‘same club’ myth at the outset, not because they actually believed it, but because it suited them, and because it served as an understandable GIRUY to the rest of us. With the passage of time, the suspension of disbelief, even in that constituency, is now complete and arguably irreversible. The problem for them is that the rest of have not subscribed to that rather bizarre set of contradictions. No other club has to have the “company that operates” prefix. Nor does any other club compel observers to skirt around the facts and search for a form of words acceptable to both sides of a mutually exclusive argument.  In short, and existentially, the new Rangers don’t fit into the same kind of comfortable groove that other clubs do.

All of these problems for the new club, and many more, will exercise our minds to a greater or lesser extent moving forward, depending on how sensitive our outrage thresholds are to the various legal and Jungian issues. However we at SFM need to focus our sights on those whose maladministration of football gave rise to those problems in the first place – the SFA, SPFL, and by extension, the clubs – all of them.

Here are some facts;

  1. The SFA award clubs a licence to participate in UEFA competitions.
  2. The licence is only to be awarded if the applicant club has no unpaid tax debts.
  3. Both the club and the SFA have responsibility to notify UEFA of any debts (belt and braces routine in case the club ‘forgets’ to notify the SFA).
  4. In 2011, one club applied for and was awarded a UEFA licence.
  5. That club had accepted debts to HMRC – which were outstanding and overdue.
  6. These facts have been in the public domain since 2012,and were brought to the attention of ALL clubs in Scotland as well as the SFA.
  7. Nothing has been done by any club, or the SFA, to investigate the claim at #5
  8. SFA Chief Executive Stewart Regan, when asked by an SFM member what he would do if these claims could be substantiated, said; “Nothing!”
  9. All clubs will be within a few weeks, issuing season ticket renewal forms.

The story contained in points 6 and 7 above is a lengthy and protracted one.

From sources inside two clubs I have been informed that the problem here is subversive and obsessive fans, who don’t represent the vast body of fans generally. On points 1-5, my sources refused to comment. Conversations with SFA officials and print journalists yield the same reaction, with the addition that it is “just Celtic fans obsessed with Rangers” making the claims.

The lesson, if there is one worthy of the name, is that the bearers of the message need to attacked, and the message itself ignored. We could speculate why that is, but that would be to fall into the trap, taking our eye off the ball.

Perhaps I am being naïve, but my inference is that the SFA and clubs have no intention of doing anything about what was at best incompetence on an unbelievable scale, or at worst corruption. A source at Celtic Park  was complaining in victim-like fashion to SFM that many Celtic fans were threatening to close their season book accounts over this issue, and that Rangers might have 45,000 SBs next season whilst Celtic could be down to as low as 20,000.

It had never occurred to him that actually supporting an investigation into SFA malpractice would add another 10,000 to the SB takeup.

Overall, the clubs and the SFA want us to believe that an investigation into this licensing issue is a Celtic or Rangers thing. It is neither of those.

An investigation, even if finds that corruption or incompetence has taken place cannot harm Rangers – old or new. There are no titles to strip here. The licence has been used and thrown away, so it cannot be “un – awarded”.

The only people who have anything to lose out of this are those individuals who allowed it to happen – those who our clubs seem so keen to protect.

More importantly, an investigation may be the catalyst for changes in procedures at the SFA to ensure that rigorous accountability is enforced -accountability that the clubs are eager to avoid.

Are we wrong? I hope we are not foolish enough to imagine that everything we believe is set in stone. I am confident that we are correct in our assumptions and in our interpretation of the facts, but please, let’s hear the counter-argument. Thus far, not one word of rebuttal save the usual invective reserved for the messenger has been uttered.

So what do we do? For me it is simple. If we really love our sport, and do nothing, the sport is lost to us completely and irrevocably.

If our view that sporting integrity has been killed off by those in charge of the game is correct, we lose nothing by embarking on a season ticket boycott. However by doing so we may awaken those in charge to the realities of our power as fans and prioritise in their minds the need to listen to what we say.

My view? if they ignore us, they can take their industry that they pretend is sport, and put it somewhere away from my reach. I neither want it nor need it.

If enough of us feel the same way, we WILL get a clean game. If we are as few as the MSM claim we are, at least we will have freed ourselves from a bent one.

I won’t be buying any more season books until I see these issues addressed. It certainly is tough love, but it is the only way for me.  And it is driven by love – a love of the game I spent decades supporting, thinking that on the whole it was played on a level playing field. Certainly not driven by a sneering disregard for truth and integrity and a worship of acquisition.

Maybe it’s not just the end of Rangers’ journey then. Certainly if it’s not the end of ours, we find ourselves at a crossroads. The fans, the clubs, and Rangers too. The decision we make over the next few months may determine the future of our clubs, our sport, our Saturday afternoons.

I can tell you this though. Even when the dark facts are laid before us starkly as this, and when football is at the mercy of those who really do hate sport for its own sake, it is worth mentioning the common thread of decency and purpose we have all shared here on SFM, the friendships we have forged, and the love of football we have demonstrated.

About the author

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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.

1,108 Comments so far

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easyJamboPosted on2:08 pm - May 4, 2016


@ John Clark

I note that JJ has picked up on the appeal to be heard at the High Court next week re Withey and Grier.
https://johnjamessite.com/2016/05/04/only-one-green-bottle-standing-on-the-wall/

It appears that proceedings will be limited to two days 12/13 May, in which case I won’t be able to attend due to my SQA invigilation duties.

I hope that you are free to continue with your court reporting (restrictions permitting).

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John ClarkPosted on2:23 pm - May 4, 2016


ReiverMay 4, 2016 at 10:38
“…….what would be acceptable to ensure that real change is implemented.”
_____________
I think we need to separate two quite distinct problems:
a) the problem of having a Football Governance against which serious allegations have been made about lying and cheating to preserve and protect a football club from the full consequences being actually in debt with its social taxes , and about lying and cheating to enable a new club to trade falsely as long-established club.
and
b) the problem of a having an Association of small-businesses which are run, in the main, by unimaginative, regressive, fearful, minds, conditioned for many years to roll over and lick SDM’s  rear end, and, to perhaps a lesser extent, that of whoever  may at any given time have been be considered to represent Celtic.
The problems are inextricably linked, but problem (a) has to be dealt with first.
Let the SFA and SPFL openly declare that TRFC is a new club, not entitled to anything other the ‘sporting achievements’ attained over the few years since their foundation
and let RFC(IL) be stripped of what they “achieved” on the back of serial cheating against the rules of the football associations of which they used to be a member and against UEFA rules
and the UEFA European Club Association should be firmly told that TRFC is NOT a continuation of the Rangers FC which was a founder member of the ECA, and ought not to hold even ‘associate’ member of that organisation on the entirely spurious basis that there is that continuity.
Once these things are done, and some semblance of ordinary business honesty has been restored, then we can relax  and begin to agitate for appropriate up-dating and reform of our game’s structure, and get back to talking about the game and how it can be improved in any and all dimensions, instead of having to expend energies getting rid of guilty cheats.
Roll on the day!

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John ClarkPosted on2:44 pm - May 4, 2016


Just in  case  no one has already done it, I have just accessed  Rolls of Court and have seen this:
“Glasgow HC Case Session              Date    Proceedings                              Case Reference PF Reference Court NameHMA v David GRIER 03-JUN-16 Preliminary Hearing Continued SCS/2015-152941 CO14000356 Glasgow HCHMA v Craig WHYTE 03-JUN-16 Preliminary Hearing Continued SCS/2015-152941 CO14000356 Glasgow HCHMA v Gary WITHEY 03-JUN-16 Preliminary Hearing Continued SCS/2015-152941 CO14000356 Glasgow HC ”

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easyJamboPosted on3:06 pm - May 4, 2016


John Clark May 4, 2016 at 14:44 
Just in  case  no one has already done it, I have just accessed  Rolls of Court and have seen this:“Glasgow HC Case Session              Date    Proceedings                              Case Reference PF Reference Court NameHMA v David GRIER 03-JUN-16 Preliminary Hearing Continued SCS/2015-152941 CO14000356 Glasgow HCHMA v Craig WHYTE 03-JUN-16 Preliminary Hearing Continued SCS/2015-152941 CO14000356 Glasgow HCHMA v Gary WITHEY 03-JUN-16 Preliminary Hearing Continued SCS/2015-152941 CO14000356 Glasgow HC ”
============================
Again I can’t make it as it is the last day of the exams. However it should be an opportunity for any Glasgow based folks to attend and see our Advocates Depute attempt to salvage something out of what appears to have been a shambles of an indictment.

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Reiver

ReiverPosted on5:03 pm - May 4, 2016


JC @ 1423

I wish I could share your belief that such minimal actions by our authorities would suffice to correct the situation. If anything the OC/NC and title stripping is a side show to the main event in my book. Far more serious in my view is the suspicion of conspiracy behind all this.
Let me use the extreme case. If the SFA turned around now and banned the Ibrox club sine die from the leagues would we then have a game that could be trusted to be free from corruption. Not if in the first instance the continuity argument was pushed to keep the finances of the game healthy and not if it was done to prevent public disorder. All that it would mean is that another club with a very large fanbase could be the recipient of the favours. The same temptation to ensure its “health” would exist.
Do you believe that the Metropolitan police force is no longer institutionally racist because one or two officers fell on their swords?
Look at FIFA and consider whether they are now “clean” because Blatter and his cohorts are gone from the top?

The situation we have in football in Scotland is the result of institutional belief that one club should be given the best conditions to thrive. It was there before Regan arrived and, I believe, he and Doncaster, were encouraged to take part. Of course they should have refused and should go, because they didn’t but will that change anything? Not without rejigging the whole shebang to prevent influence corrupting it all again.

We could of course do as you suggest and tackle it all stepwise but that leaves the system in a position to bend with the wind that each change would bring. The problem then is that, when the wind abates, it will pop back to its old position. There would also be temptation to delay after the first step is taken, a challenge to give proof that the next step is necessary. We are struggling just now when there are clear examples of wrongdoing to gather enough backing to move forward so what would it be like to move for less tangible changes in the future.

This our chance and I believe it will be our only one, we need to take it completely.

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Reiver

ReiverPosted on5:07 pm - May 4, 2016


I like to keep people informed regarding any responses to actions taken so here is the reply I have just received from my Westminster MP Calum Kerr.

 
Alan
I’ve reviewed this and it is not something I would get involved in. It is a matter that would more appropriately taken up with the Scottish Government (through an MSP), once we have one after Thursday, rather than through Westminster.
Best regardsCalum

 

Unfortunately Calum they too do not intend to get involved.

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John ClarkPosted on6:23 pm - May 4, 2016


ReiverMay 4, 2016 at 17:03
‘…JC @ 1423,
I wish I could share your belief that such minimal actions by our authorities would suffice to correct the situation.’
______
The actions I seek could hardly be described as minimalist!
The acknowledgment of corrupt practices , and the dismissal of those guilty, and the restoration of Integrity in Governance would be hugely transformative of attitudes. Get the ‘Rangers’ thing properly sorted, get the guilty men out, and then we might be able to ensure that there was no further scope for cheating and deceit to please the present baddies ,or future potential baddies and bullies.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:13 pm - May 4, 2016


WOTTPIMAY 4, 2016 at 10:04 20 7 Rate This
====================

A very good reply other than the part about Celtic having politicians on the board. I can’t see any issue at all with that. The club paid all its dues and operated within the law. 

However, in 2012 none other than the First Minister of Scotland tried to negotiate a deal with HMRC to save Rangers. Have a look at this FOI request which did the rounds a couple of years back. 

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/106335/response/267910/attach/3/s2dCBFD00DE06A3FF8BF25A7137C269A479%201.pdf

I thought the FM’s duty should be to ensure everyone pays the tax they owe. It does underpin our democratic society after all.

At the same time a prominent Labour MP suggested HMRC should be happy with what they can get.  

Tax is for the little people, including you, me and 41 other Scottish football clubs. Sickening. 

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John ClarkPosted on7:41 pm - May 4, 2016


upthehoopsMay 4, 2016 at 19:13
‘…Have a look at this FOI request which did the rounds a couple of years back. .’
________
I don’t think I saw this material at all, either at the time or since.
I thought the former First Minister had a bit more political savvy than even  appear to support tax cheats. Surely not reflective of his Party?
I think I’ll have to consider this in view of what’s happening tomorrow!

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upthehoopsPosted on8:23 pm - May 4, 2016


JOHN CLARKMAY 4, 2016 at 19:41
===========================

At the time Alex Salmond described Rangers as part of the fabric of Scottish society. To the best of my knowledge he has never even spoken of Hearts (his club) in such grand terms, or any other club for that matter. 

In short Rangers were never going to be allowed to die, even though they actually did. I honestly thought there was no way out for them when liquidation happened but the establishment decided otherwise. 

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scottc

scottcPosted on9:13 pm - May 4, 2016


UPTHEHOOPS
MAY 4, 2016 at 19:13 9 0  Rate This 
WOTTPIMAY 4, 2016 at 10:04 20 7 Rate This====================
A very good reply other than the part about Celtic having politicians on the board. I can’t see any issue at all with that. The club paid all its dues and operated within the law. 

Those letters say nothing though. They all pre-date the administration and are mostly congratulations on winning a title, be our guest, thanks for facilitating the meeting. I’m sure a similar request relating to Celtic would elicit an almost identical set of letters. It certainly doesn’t say anything about ‘brokering a deal’ That is pure fantasy. He reportedly made a couple of calls. That’s not the same thing at all.

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Corrupt official

Corrupt officialPosted on9:33 pm - May 4, 2016


JOHN CLARKMAY 4, 2016 at 19:41
      “I thought the former First Minister had a bit more political savvy than even appear to support tax cheats”
   ————————————————————————————————————————–
  Political savvy is all about collecting votes John. 09

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upthehoopsPosted on9:37 pm - May 4, 2016


SCOTTC @ 21:13
You clearly have missed the information why the FOI request was refused. 

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John ClarkPosted on10:03 pm - May 4, 2016


scottcMay 4, 2016 at 21:13
‘..Those letters say nothing though. They all pre-date the administration ..’
__________
But there was knowledge of the fact that the tax-man was looking for quite a lot of unpaid tax.
I suspect that Salmond was quietly apprised of the facts by the Revenue, and was only too happy to back off with a “Phew! nearly made an a.se o’ masel, there, private secretary. Get that stuff into one o thae ‘not-to-be-opened- for- thirty-years’ boxes.”19

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on10:12 pm - May 4, 2016


Equally, they’ve got to have cognisance of the fact that we’re talking about a huge institution, part of the fabric of the Scottish nation, as well as Scottish football, and everybody realises that.
Salmond told Sir David Frost, in an interview to be broadcast on Frost over the World on Al Jazeera English: “Obviously HMRC have got to pursue, in the public interest, taxation.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/9086664/Rangers-must-continue-for-the-future-of-Scottish-football-and-for-the-fabric-of-the-country-says-Alex-Salmond.html
——————
celtic made a response
After Mr Salmond’s comments were reported on Thursday, Celtic released a statement re-asserting this position.

It said: “We are very disappointed with the first minister’s claims that Celtic ‘need’ Rangers and that Celtic ‘can’t prosper unless Rangers are there’.

“This is simply not true. In a series of interviews given just three days ago, we made it abundantly clear that Celtic has a well-defined strategy and a business plan independent of the fortunes of any other club. That remains absolutely the case.

“The predicament of Rangers is clearly a serious and complex matter with a whole range of possible outcomes.

“However, we are extremely well-qualified to make our own position clear and have no wish to see this being misrepresented for political reasons.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-17067135

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ianagain

ianagainPosted on11:11 pm - May 4, 2016


Cluster
Remember that well. Straightforward.

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scottc

scottcPosted on6:21 am - May 5, 2016


UPTHEHOOPS
MAY 4, 2016 at 21:37 Rate This 
SCOTTC @ 21:13You clearly have missed the information why the FOI request was refused. 

No, I didn’t. I just don’t think it is conclusive of anything. For what it is worth, I believe contact was made and AS may well have asked if there was anything he could do but I don’t think there was any attempt to ‘broker a deal’. 

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theredpillPosted on6:37 am - May 5, 2016


John James site figures,This site has had four million hits since inception and 725,000 individual visitors.
I was wondering what the Scottish football monitor figure were,I have asked previously but either I missed a reply or it was missed by the high heid yins 19

Don’t know how long JJ has been going so comparing is maybe an apples/oranges affair – even if it were useful, or conclusions could be drawn from that.
“Hits” is a strange concept in terms of the internet. If you have ten separate items on a page, graphics, text, comment boxes etc, each counts as a hit. We tend to go with page views and unique visits.
In the last year SFM has served 6 million page views and 1.7 million unique visits.

Tris

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upthehoopsPosted on6:52 am - May 5, 2016


SCOTTCMAY 4, 2016 at 21:13
===================

The congratulatory letters to Rangers are a complete aside. The most significant part is below. 

2. I can confirm that the Scottish Government does hold information considered to be withinthe scope of your request. However, an exemption under section 28(1) of FOISA (relationswithin the UK) applies. This exemption applies because disclosure of the information wouldbe likely to prejudice substantially relations between the Scottish and UK Governments.

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scottc

scottcPosted on7:10 am - May 5, 2016


UPTHEHOOPS
MAY 5, 2016 at 06:52 1 1  Rate This 
SCOTTCMAY 4, 2016 at 21:13===================
The congratulatory letters to Rangers are a complete aside. The most significant part is below. 

I get that UTH. I just don’t believe that what is  said is significant of anything more than inter-governmental etiquette. It certainly doesn’t say that AS was trying to broker any favourable deal. I really think you read too much into it. Should he have got involved? Probably not. Was there something squalid and underhand going on? Probably not.

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Big PinkPosted on8:13 am - May 5, 2016


ScottC and UtH. Going around in circles with the speculation. Can you draw a line under it now please?

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wottpiPosted on10:02 am - May 5, 2016


UPTHEHOOPSMAY 4, 2016 at 19:13
I heed Big Pink’s warning but I see nothing wrong pointing out the hypocrisy of believing one club gains from ‘behind the scenes’ political influence, while another club with a high profile politician at the helm will not seek any advantage from such an appointment, regardless of how honest, open and public it is.

What exactly does someone the likes of John Reid bring to the football party, if not his connections.

It is of course not all rosy when it comes to having politicians involved. My own club had the buffoon Foukes as chairman and look where that got us!!
Similarly I always recall Edinburgh Councillor and Lord Provost Eric Milligan was always being  accused by Hibbies of the potential for positively influencing planning applications and the likes connected to Hearts because he was a known Jambo. The opposite being he would be able to bin anything that was going on re Easter Road.

The fact is that most politicians will seek to portray themselves in a good light with football clubs which they see as being at the heart of a community.
What they do exactly and how much involvement they have will depend on the individual and the issues involved. 

Tax dodging is however one issue that any savvy politician would steer well clear of and I for one find it hard to believe that Alex Salmond would be plotting behind the scenes and going out of his way to prop up the Scottish sporting face of the Union that he has fought to dismantle all his political life.

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John ClarkPosted on10:03 am - May 5, 2016


easyJamboMay 4, 2016 at 14:08
‘…I note that JJ has picked up on the appeal to be heard at the High Court next week re Withey and Grier.’
__________
I would have missed that,eJ, so thanks to you (and JJ!)- it took me a wee while to find the relevant page in the Court Rolls.
I get the distinct impression that those pages are only reluctantly made public, and therefore designed to make it quite difficult for non-legal folk to find them!
All being well, I’ll attend on 12th/13th.

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ianagain

ianagainPosted on10:59 am - May 5, 2016


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-36203418
Wonder if any names will pop up here?
I’m thinking of the mysterious group that were allegedly looking at Motherwell amongst others prior to Les arrival.

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John ClarkPosted on11:35 am - May 5, 2016


ianagainMay 5, 2016 at 10:59
‘..Wonder if any names will pop up here?’
________
Ah, who knows? God forbid that we in this country should ever see the day when convicted criminals can get to have influence over  a football club, or operate a tax evasion scheme!03

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FinlochPosted on11:39 am - May 5, 2016


I’m not political vis a vis mainstream political parties and have no axe to grind – just an observation.
Not even sure who I’ll vote for today.
In fact the older I get the more I distrust our politicians and how they go about their business generally.
The good ones ruthlessly seek to maximise opportunities for their own benefit and the bad ones get good at just surviving (and not taking on any challenges that might rebound).

Alex Salmond’s interest in helping Rangers was understandable and political for a bunch of reasons.

He was courting the votes of a group who you might think would be loyal to Unionist parties and would be essentially anti what the SNP party stand for.
He was a personal friend of SDM (I know this because when a pal of mine once had an appointment to see him in Bute House who do you think was in his room and best of buddies too).
He had a depute (now leader) with Ibrox in her constituency.

A Salmond hat trick.

He only did what any other leader constantly on the make for himself and his party would have done – that in itself is no big deal.

The categorisation of and non release of stuff like this under FoI – now that is a different matter and is a disgrace.

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ianagain

ianagainPosted on1:48 pm - May 5, 2016


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2829367/Nolberto-Solano-line-Motherwell-job-consortium-takes-control-Scottish-club.html
JC this is the scenario that was being played out back then.
Thankfully AB and the rest hunted them as it was all very fishy and courted Les instead.

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wottpiPosted on2:39 pm - May 5, 2016


FINLOCHMAY 5, 2016 at 11:39

Alex Salmond’s interest in helping Rangers was understandable and political for a bunch of reasons.

There is of course a distinct difference in actually helping and being seen to help and also with regard to what areas you can actually influence.
Spoken words are different from the actions taken.
However the political gains in terms of how the public may perceive your willingness to get involved in a matter can be the same.
Here is what Salmond said to the BBC

In the last few weeks I contacted both Rangers and HMRC, whose record in court is not particularly good at the present moment and I said once this Tribunal which is adjudicating on what genuinely owed – once that Inland Revenue Tribunal sets a sum – can’t that not be agreed as the sum that has to be paid and a time scale agreed to allow the club to pay it without going out of business.
“Now that seems to me an entirely reasonable proposition that would allow the Inland Revenue to get what they are due and allow Rangers to pay their obligations but continue as a vibrant part, not just of Scottish football, but of Scottish culture. I still think that is the best way forward.

To me that reads as -I understand the position of both parties, Rangers are in difficulty but taxes are clearly due, get a sum agreed and have the club pay up – one way or another. The implication is that if such an agreement is not forthcoming then the club would go out of business. Seems pretty straight forward to me.

The contentious part is whether or not you agree with Rangers being a vibrant part of Scottish Football and Culture and how you interpret the apparent barbed comment with regard to the success of HMRC in the courts.

As Homunculus says Tax matters were not devolved so Salmond could have easily kept his mouth shut.

However similar to the current issue of Ministry of Defence ship building contracts for the Clyde are we saying that our MSP’s should be more than happy to sit quietly and not try and get solutions for local businesses and employees just because defence contracts are a devolved matter? How would that look to the local electorate?

SNP MSP’s would lap it up if they had official correspondence from the MoD telling them to mind their own business with regard to ship building on the Clyde

Therefore I doubt whether both Scottish and UK Governments would couch requests and provide replies on such matters in terms that could be used publicly against each other. Subtle and meaningless Civil Service speak will be used so as not to offend anyone or given one party an advantage.

Like Scottc says most likely much ado about nothing.

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John ClarkPosted on3:07 pm - May 5, 2016


I’ve just  listened to the final part of BBC Radio 4’s production of ‘Julius Caesar’.
And, d’ye know, in my mind’s eye , I saw not soldiers in armour and the clash of steel on steel at Phillipi, but greedy, venal, unprincipled men at the top of a marble staircase much further west,and the sound of keyboards bashing out lying, double-dealing secret emails about each other, as they variously (and metaphorically) stuck the knife into each other.
Sort of made Shakespeare come alive!

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naegreetinPosted on5:35 pm - May 5, 2016


O/T – there is chatter on DUFC forums of Jim Spence being appointed to the club in a PR capacity – would/could be good for the club , also a further PR outlet for SFM maybe . Wait & see I guess .

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scottc

scottcPosted on6:27 pm - May 5, 2016


http://www.theoffshoregame.net/475-2/

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jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on6:53 pm - May 5, 2016


scottcMay 5, 2016 at 18:27
_____________________________________________________________________________________
Have read it and it is excellent04

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theredpillPosted on7:31 pm - May 5, 2016


http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/36214858
Bull of the highest order and still a 36 year old striker out runs  20 year old
hares. oh well that’s it may as well go home nothing to see here.

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Mary Kate Danaher

Mary Kate DanaherPosted on7:38 pm - May 5, 2016


Am sure this will be copied onto here a million times – but just in case.  I can’t re tweet it enough on twitter.
http://www.theoffshoregame.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Doing-SFA-Annexes.pdf

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easyJamboPosted on7:46 pm - May 5, 2016


scottc May 5, 2016 at 18:27  
===========================
It’s great to see all this information consolidated into a single document.

Make sure you read the full report
http://www.theoffshoregame.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Web-edition-Doing-SFA-for-Fair-Play-Main-report.pdf

… and the annexes

http://www.theoffshoregame.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Doing-SFA-Annexes.pdf

Both documents are well worth saving for posterity …….. and ongoing challenges to the SFA.

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theredpillPosted on7:46 pm - May 5, 2016


Mary Kate Danaher
Boooom

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AuldheidPosted on7:57 pm - May 5, 2016


If The Offshore Game report on the SFA does not get a response from all our clubs then the game truly is a bogey.
http://www.theoffshoregame.net/475-2/  
What do they hope to gain by continued silence at the SFA.
If there ever is an opportunity to establish more accountable governance it is now.
Ask your clubs for their stance on theToG  report. Do they support its recommendations?
If not why not?

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easyJamboPosted on8:21 pm - May 5, 2016


Good to see Jim Spence get a job with DUFC. They certainly need all the help they can get.

http://dufc.co/news/jim-spence/

JIM SPENCEMay 5, 2016
Dundee United have secured the services of freelance TV and radio broadcaster and Courier columnist, Jim Spence, as Club consultant.
Jim will use his life-long support of United and public relations expertise to advise and interact with the Board on the supporters’ liaison area of the Club – an area acknowledged as in need of improvement since the retirement of the late Derek Robertson as Director.
Chairman Stephen Thompson said, “Jim has given us some very useful insights this week already on an informal basis. In these challenging times for the Club, it makes sense now to draw upon his wide experience.”
Spence, who currently writes a weekly column for the Courier and previously worked for BBC Sport for over twenty five years in radio and television, recently went freelance and will operate in that capacity for United.
Before his career in media he was a law lecturer at Dundee College.
He said “I met the Board recently and told them some harsh truths. They are prepared to embrace the changes which they accept are needed at Tannadice.”
Spence said, “A new manager will soon be appointed and there will be more open and regular communication with United fans and also with the media who, despite perceptions, have a vital and tough job to do.”
“I’ll be working closely with the Board and current staff. My involvement will see the Club tackle the issue of better engagement and accessibility for United fans. It will also allow other staff to focus on continuing the good work they do behind the scenes at Tannadice.
“An open monthly meeting for all fans will be held, and we will investigate the possibility of a weekly drop in centre at Tannadice or elsewhere, where supporters can raise any issues of concern.
“This is a great Club with a proud domestic and European history. Devout United fans feel badly let down and are right to be angry, but we can either whine or get wired in and get the Club back on its feet.”
“The immediate job in hand is to ensure the financial health and wellbeing of the Club and to restore United’s dignity and pride, both of which have been badly bruised. I’ve sought assurances from the Chairman that while he is here, he will continue to seek fresh investment, and that he is determined to put right the mistakes which he and the board acknowledge they have made.”

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upthehoopsPosted on8:29 pm - May 5, 2016


BIG PINKMAY 5, 2016 at 08:13 
ScottC and UtH. Going around in circles with the speculation. Can you draw a line under it now please?
============================

I did when you asked BP. I see others didn’t. Is it a valid topic for discussion again?

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on8:45 pm - May 5, 2016


http://www.theoffshoregame.net/475-2/
I have read through most of it, and will give it another read soon so it all sticks in my head.
Anyway very well done The Offshore Game report.
One of the bit’s that caught my eye near the end,mainly because i had it in my head for a few days now was the part Draft cashflow forecast to 26th Aug 2011 INFLOWS.
UEFA and SPL Distrabutions 17th june.
Will this be the date this year 2016 that the distrabutions to trfc for winning the championship are given to ibrox,and will the £250,000 LNS fine be deducted from this distrabution and how will we know that it has. Will the SFA release a statement. (after all it’s all about transparancy at Hampden). Or will trfc release a statement saying this fine is now paid.
how will we know it has been paid?

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neepheid

neepheidPosted on9:31 pm - May 5, 2016


AuldheidMay 5, 2016 at 19:57  
If The Offshore Game report on the SFA does not get a response from all our clubs then the game truly is a bogey.
==================
Unless someone in the SMSM has the balls and the backing to run with this report, then sadly, it will be swept under the very lumpy Hampden carpet. The clubs will plead ignorance, and most fans will never hear about it, much less actually read it.
I don’t know how this culture of silence around important issues can be overcome. The Scottish press and broadcast media clearly decided some years ago that they were not going to make waves regarding the issues so clearly addressed in the Offshore Game report. I don’t think that’s about to change, but it would only take one media outlet to break ranks and the whole rotten Hampden edifice would come crashing down. Are any of them up for it? We’re about to find out.

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John ClarkPosted on10:29 pm - May 5, 2016


neepheidMay 5, 2016 at 21:31
‘..I don’t know how this culture of silence around important issues can be overcome. .’
__________
It is inconceivable that the board of any of our 41 older-than-four years clubs could be ignorant of the charges made against the SFA and SPFL boards they were/are responsible for electing, or of the significance of the charges.

They all KNOW not only what those boards actually did on their behalf , but also what they wanted to do! They had courage enough to refuse to accommodate the desire, nay, the feckin demand, that the new club should be placed immediately in the premier division or the First or Second divisions.
They thus clearly acknowledged that the new club was a new applicant to Scottish Football, and the usual place for new applicants is the bottom tier.

But to be consistent, they ought not to have accepted the BIG LIE.

What big stick was used on them to force them to accept the possibly fraudulent  but certainly untruthful claim made to the wider world of football and the even wider world of the Stock market,that, having stolen the identity of a liquidated club,the new club  were in fact that very club??

Whatever the reason, they must now know that the reasoning was false.

What is it that prevents the goodies among them seeking each other out, and trying to instill some courage into the waverers, to try to build up momentum for  extraordinary egms of both the SPFL and the SFA to get agreement that the truth be finally acknowledged, in the interests of Sporting Integrity, and in getting this ludicrous nonsense of one club forcing 41 other clubs to live a sporting lie.

Scottish Football can live with the new club: it will , however, die if it tries to maintain the fiction that the Rangers of old, in terms of capacity to win football honours and titles, did not!

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upthehoopsPosted on10:34 pm - May 5, 2016


NEEPHEIDMAY 5, 2016 at 21:31
—————————————-
If the report in question concerned Aberdeen or Hearts or Celtic or Dundee or St Mirren, or indeed any Scottish club except the one from Ibrox, the media would run with it. There is no doubt whatsoever about that in my view.

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John ClarkPosted on10:45 pm - May 5, 2016


I love this line from the The Offshore Game Report:
“At just one address, 1209 North Orange, there are 285,000 registered businesses.”
That makes our wee Edinburgh operation look very wee indeed:
“But a modest ground floor two-bedroom ex-council flat in Pilton, north Edinburgh, is home to a mysterious firm with the right to collect that vast sum, allegedly stolen from the former Soviet republic of Moldova.The Pilton flat in question is home to an astonishing 530 firms registered at the address.”18 [ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34445201 ]

Believe it or not, there’s a lot of tax-dodging people about, even furth of Scotland!

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ianagain

ianagainPosted on11:02 pm - May 5, 2016


Mods what is going on that a page load via 2gb WiFi takes circa 5 minutes lately ?
Getting tedious.
And I’m cleaning cache always ?

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upthehoopsPosted on11:14 pm - May 5, 2016


IANAGAINMAY 5, 2016 at 23:02
Mods what is going on that a page load via 2gb WiFi takes circa 5 minutes lately ?Getting tedious.And I’m cleaning cache always ?
————–
Does it remind you of watching Motherwell? 22

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John ClarkPosted on11:28 pm - May 5, 2016


easyJamboMay 5, 2016 at 20:21
‘..Good to see Jim Spence get a job with DUFC. They certainly need all the help they can get.’
_________
I am happy for Jim Spence, who exhibited a readiness to be a man of integrity while working for an employer (BBC Radio Scotland) who exhibited a craven cowardice and a disgusting readiness to throw an honest man to the lions.
Other BBC Radio Scotland football-programme types have no understanding of the word integrity, using their position to propagandise on the part of one club (which they may subsequently get a PR job with!)
I’m sure JS will make a point of insisting to his new employer that the best PR is based on truth, and on sincere attempts to be open and honest as far as legitimate business confidentiality allows.
I wish him well.

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woodstein

woodsteinPosted on12:07 am - May 6, 2016


ianagain
May 5, 2016 at 23:02
Mods what is going on that a page load via 2gb WiFi takes circa 5 minutes lately ?
—————————————————————————————–
You mention  “5 minutes lately” so we are talking about speed.
The  ”2gb” does not refer to speed  it refers to usage.
2gb would be  2000 mb (per second)  (speed)
The fastest speed in the UK at present is Virgin Vivid  200 Mbps  Broadband.
I would guess you are using a tablet or phone. 
My PC shifts 106.77 Mbps  (cable connection)  but when connected via wifi  my phone  can only reach  44.65 Mbps.
I use ookla speed test to check both, website for PC and App for phone/tablet
See attached above.

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on7:27 am - May 6, 2016


Thank you to the Offshore Game, it’s a great step forward in the search for truth and justice in the game we all love. Please, though, keep an eye on future events and write a further report on the developments, or as is more likely, the continued sweeping motion that the SFA and SPFL have adopted in their very own ‘fitness’ regime.

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ianagain

ianagainPosted on7:45 am - May 6, 2016


Ta Woodstein. It is Virgin I’m running on. I’ll try that.

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tayred

tayredPosted on8:40 am - May 6, 2016


THEREDPILLMAY 5, 2016 at 19:31
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/36214858Bull of the highest order and still a 36 year old striker out runs  20 year oldhares. oh well that’s it may as well go home nothing to see here.

——————————————
It’s criminal, just shows what a half-arsed operation it is.  The system has to be random, short of specific intelligence (huh!) any player from any club in any league should be available to be tested at any time – with weightings to hit top leagues more for sure. But what you do not do is announce to everyone that you can take what you want if you are playing in Scotland, we won’t be up to check. At least they admit they lack intelligence!

I’ve heard occasional rumours about spritely 36 year olds up here in Scotland, do you believe there is any evidence that there is any fire lurking beneath that particular smoke? I had poo-poo’d the suggestion as tittle-tattle. 

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neepheid

neepheidPosted on8:46 am - May 6, 2016


http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/36214858
Here is a working (I hope)  link to the BBC drug testing story.

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Reiver

ReiverPosted on9:10 am - May 6, 2016


The Offshore Game have come through.

http://www.theoffshoregame.net/475-2/

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neepheid

neepheidPosted on9:10 am - May 6, 2016


http://www.insideworldfootball.com/2016/05/06/rangers-tax-case-draws-calls-independent-inquiry-scottish-football/
This article has a real go at my favourite character in this whole pantomime, ex- “Dear Leader” Campbell Ogilvie.
I recommend everyone to read the full article.
It looks as if interest is now being shown in Res 12 matters by people outside Scotland. Sadly, that was the only real exposure that could ever have been expected, given our utterly supine Scottish press. Shameful, isn’t it?

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ianagain

ianagainPosted on10:39 am - May 6, 2016


Also linked by Tax Justice Network.
http://www.taxjustice.net/2016/05/05/links-may-5/

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ianagain

ianagainPosted on11:06 am - May 6, 2016


UPTHEHOOPSMAY 5, 2016 at 23:14 2 2  Rate This 
IANAGAINMAY 5, 2016 at 23:02Mods what is going on that a page load via 2gb WiFi takes circa 5 minutes lately ?Getting tedious.And I’m cleaning cache always ?————–Does it remind you of watching Motherwell? 

UTH
Watching the WELL these days is (last Saturday apart) A bit like playing a puggie where you just keep having kerching moments.
We must be 300k better off than we ever dreamt or budgeted for.

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naegreetinPosted on11:14 am - May 6, 2016


Neepheid @ 09.10 6 May 2016

Thanks for that link to the Inside World Football article – I have just sent Matt Scott (the author) a supportive email & thanked him for his efforts to try & expose this scandal .

With these two recent articles , there is further exposure to the world what we are having to put up with here but where to go next ? Maybe Alex Thompson could try “doorstepping” Regan for a reply , anyone in fact who has the balls to grab this story by the scruff of the neck .

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John ClarkPosted on11:35 am - May 6, 2016


neepheidMay 6, 2016 at 09:10
”…..The matter relates to the two cases HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) brought against Rangers and precipitated the club’s financial demise, from which followed automatic relegation to Scottish football’s bottom tier.
_______
Honest to God! Who gave Matt Scott this kind of rubbish about automatic “relegation’?
I have just emailed him to ask that he amend the piece appropriately rather than accidentally propagate the BIG LIE.
Other than that, the TJN observations   should really put the SFA and SPFL on the back foot, and make  the  announcement of a new deal with the complicit BBC appear like baddies hanging together to prevent hanging separately.

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RobinBhoyPosted on12:55 pm - May 6, 2016


Read the report from the Tax Justice Network this morning and forwarded it to a few people.

The walls must be close to crumbling down by now……..damning in the extreme

Dirty cheating bar stewards the lot o’ them!

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CrownStBhoy

CrownStBhoyPosted on2:05 pm - May 6, 2016


It’s very hard for me to contemplate the Celtic Board (or any other for that matter) have been involved in this whole affair.

I just can’t get my head around it; really hope it’s not true.

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Corrupt official

Corrupt officialPosted on2:30 pm - May 6, 2016


   Apart from our clubs, whose attention should “The Offshore Game” report be brought to. UEFA? FIFA? LNS? The Law Society? The polis?…..Any suggestions?…..I mention the polis, because “potentially” clubs were defrauded of Euro income. 

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easyJamboPosted on2:59 pm - May 6, 2016


Another Court of Session action next week by the PF’s office seeking compliance by Craig Whyte

TO BE ALLOCATED
Wednesday 11th May
Procedural Hearing
P1140/15 Note: HMA for Order re failure to comply by Craig Whyte –  COPFS  –  Gildeas

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John ClarkPosted on3:09 pm - May 6, 2016


Corrupt officialMay 6, 2016 at 14:30
‘..whose attention should “The Offshore Game” report be brought to. UEFA? FIFA? LNS? The Law Society? The polis?…..Any suggestions?…..I mention the polis, because “potentially” clubs were defrauded of Euro income. ‘
_________
That’s in relation to the UEFA licence issued to RFC-as-was, of course.
Looking ahead,there might also, separately, be the question of whether RIFC issued a false prospectus when trying to float RIFC on the basis that they were   the historic ‘Ranger’s. 
What a dirty, unholy mess was created by that knighted pillar of the Scottish establishment by his cheating.
The stripping of his title would seem to me to be a natural consequence of the discovery that he was by no means worthy of being dubbed ‘knight’ by the Sovereign whose Exchequer he cheated.

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John ClarkPosted on3:43 pm - May 6, 2016


easyJamboMay 6, 2016 at 14:59
‘…Another Court of Session action next week by the PF’s office seeking ‘….
______
Noted, thank you. I’ll toddle along to see what’s what.
I suppose his Counsel is just procedurally late in providing some  information

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SmugasPosted on4:04 pm - May 6, 2016


Funnily enough JC @ 15.09 I am increasingly of the view that whilst it is not to remove any of the responsibility from SDM’s shoulders per se I cannot help but feel that had The Offshore Game’s report been placed in front of him circa 2010 as a masterplan he would have replied “don’t be bonkers, no way, not even we could pull that off.  They might be blinded but they’re not completely stupid.”

But then his plan of course was simply to remove his own responsibility and liability.  The successes of RFC in whatever guise never mind the wider game in general, he cared not a jot for.  Alternatively, to those who feel that’s maybe harsh I would offer a second opinion in that case, that ok, perhaps he did care, but he knew they were stuffed.  Or so he thought.   

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ThomTheThim

ThomTheThimPosted on4:59 pm - May 6, 2016


Copy of mail sent to Mark Scott this morning.
*******
Hi Matt,
Good article and a welcome one.However, you have fallen into the MSM trap of stating that TRFC were ” relegated” to the Third Division.
They weren’t.A new club, Sevco, were granted entry into the League system, at the lowest level, by leapfrogging clubs who met the official criteria.
Unfortunately, this misinformation, at the beginning of your piece, undermines the remainder of the article, as it leaves the reader to assume that you may be wrong on other points.
If possible, I respectfully suggest that you amend that sentence, to reflect the accuracy of what actually happened.
Otherwise, you are merely repeating The Big Lie.
Yours in Sport,
ttt( real name inserted).

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scottc

scottcPosted on6:28 pm - May 6, 2016


THOMTHETHIM
MAY 6, 2016 at 16:59 12 0  Rate This 

Copy of mail sent to Mark Scott this morning.*******Hi Matt,

Now amended. Much better

The matter relates to the two cases HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) brought against Rangers and precipitated the club’s financial demise, from which followed their relicensing as a new club in Scottish football’s bottom professional tier. At least three former Rangers players, Craig Moore, Tore Andre Flo and Ronald De Boer, were paid through a complicated offshore Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) known as a Discounted Options Scheme (DOS).

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occamPosted on9:07 pm - May 6, 2016


Just watching a film ‘Waffle Street’.  The first few lines were a case of ‘I saw this and thought of ……??’
“What we do is legal, therefore it is not unethical; if it were unethical, it would be illegal.”

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CrownStBhoy

CrownStBhoyPosted on10:13 pm - May 6, 2016


Apologies if this link has been posted before:

https://panamapapers.icij.org/20160506-john-doe-statement.html

It’s a bit of a read but has significant parallels.

My admiration for the Res 12 guys has gone up infinitely.

If they manage to overcome the seemingly insurmountable barriers as explained in this article then they will indeed have achieved their very own version of the collapse of the Berlin wall.

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John ClarkPosted on11:05 pm - May 6, 2016


CrownStBhoyMay 6, 2016 at 22:13
‘…….https://panamapapers.icij.org/20160506-john-doe-statement.html…’
_______
A great link, CrownSTBhoy, and thanks for it.
I’ve just read it very quickly, and towards the end of it, there is this sentence:
‘So now is the time for real action, and that starts with asking questions.‘(my italics)
And just a wee while ago  on the radio news was the story of the (politically motivated) shooting, outside the Court room where they are on trial for asking questions, at  a couple of  Turkish journalists.
And what do we have here, in this little country ?
Shall I mention the names of our ‘journalists’ who wouldn’t ask questions?  Not even of a football club owner!?
Or of the SFA?
There are, as we know, one or two convicted criminals  in Scottish Football. 
But none of us would compare them even remotely to big political baddies in the Turkish government.
What, then, must we  make of our ‘journalists’? The nearest they come to being like the Turkish journalists is in their liking for (lamb)doner kebabs, provided free-on conditions!

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jimboPosted on11:38 pm - May 6, 2016


Just sent a strong complaint to BBC News about two things.  Firstly BBC Scotland’s continuity myth but also that their ‘journalists’ have not picked up on the Tax Justice Network/ The Offshore Game Report  story which is all over the internet.

I suspect that the above Websites are the ones referred to by Auldheid about a month ago in reply to Reveir who was wanting to go all guns blazing to the English press about all this stuff.  I agreed with him but then Auldheid said ‘hold fire’ we have a plan.  21

I’m sure this was it. 

I see from the appendixes this has been going since February.  Must be squeaky bum time at Hampden.

Reiver, hope you are feeling better.

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Bogs DolloxPosted on11:58 pm - May 6, 2016


John ClarkMay 5, 2016 at 23:28 
easyJamboMay 5, 2016 at 20:21 ‘..Good to see Jim Spence get a job with DUFC. They certainly need all the help they can get.’ _________ I am happy for Jim Spence, who exhibited a readiness to be a man of integrity while working for an employer (BBC Radio Scotland) who exhibited a craven cowardice and a disgusting readiness to throw an honest man to the lions. Other BBC Radio Scotland football-programme types have no understanding of the word integrity, using their position to propagandise on the part of one club (which they may subsequently get a PR job with!) I’m sure JS will make a point of insisting to his new employer that the best PR is based on truth, and on sincere attempts to be open and honest as far as legitimate business confidentiality allows. I wish him well.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Couldn’t agree more JC. I wish Jim all the best in his new role at his team. DUFC certainly need to reconnect with their fans urgently if their decline is to be halted.

Good luck Spencey.

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jimboPosted on12:00 am - May 7, 2016


Dinamo Bucharest and Cameroon midfielder Patrick Ekeng died on Friday after collapsing on the pitch during a match for his club, the Cameroon FA said on Twitter. Media reports said Ekeng fell to the ground in the 70th minute of Dinamo’s league match against Viitorul Constanta and was pronounced dead of a suspected heat attack two hours later

———————————-

RIP

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John ClarkPosted on12:57 am - May 7, 2016


scottcMay 6, 2016 at 18:28
‘….Now amended. Much better.’
______
Better, yes.
But still not accurate. TRFC were not ‘re-licensed‘- they had never been licensed before. The new club got its FIRST admission into Scottish professional football.
I’m sure Matt Scott is an honourable man, and I have thanked him for his amendment.
But there still seems to be an incapacity on the part of journalists’ to actually acknowledge that ‘Rangers’ is gone, and forever. Like the 45th Foot and Mouth ,or the Seaforth Highlanders, or the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service or the VADs, or the Home Guard, or “S” Company Scots Guards, or, more appositely, Third Lanark Football club. None of these now, as a matter of concrete legal fact,  exist except as historical fact.
Just like  Rangers FC  eighteen seventy something to 2012.

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on7:37 am - May 7, 2016


scottcMay 6, 2016 at 18:28 
THOMTHETHIM MAY 6, 2016 at 16:59 12 0  Rate This 
Copy of mail sent to Mark Scott this morning.*******Hi Matt,Now amended. Much better
The matter relates to the two cases HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) brought against Rangers and precipitated the club’s financial demise, from which followed their relicensing as a new club in Scottish football’s bottom professional tier. At least three former Rangers players, Craig Moore, Tore Andre Flo and Ronald De Boer, were paid through a complicated offshore Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) known as a Discounted Options Scheme (DOS).
__________________________-

…and if anyone ever doubts the value, and impact, of SFM…

Well done, Scott – this is an example of how never giving up can result in the eventual interest from further afield. Let them try tagging ‘…Celtic…’ or ‘…internet bampots…’ to this report!

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