Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?


ECHOBHOY 8:31 am & 8.56 am Thanks for the replies. …

Comment on Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed? by Bryce Curdy.

ECHOBHOY 8:31 am & 8.56 am

Thanks for the replies. I agree with pretty much everything.

The Commission’s remit (paragraph [2]) was based around SPL rule G1.1 which covers all financial and contractual arrangements. Paragraph [10] details ‘Issues for Enquiry into and Determination by the Commission’. All of these issues concern failing to record EBT payments, playing ineligible players, and payments via third parties. There is absolutely no mention of tax arrangements.

My interpretation is that the Commission had to investigate registration and eligibility. The wider remit allowed them to ‘investigate’ whether EBT payments were regular, but they had no obligation and in my opinion would not have been criticised had they chosen not to do so. I agree that for all the reasons you state any ‘investigation’ would have echoed the verdict of the tax tribunural.

You were initially right, and if your main reason was a belief that the Commission would use their wider remit to look at the regularity of EBTs then not only were you right, but you were right for the right reasons, rather than mere hindsight. I was of the majority view that they wouldn’t and question their motivation for doing so.

Your comment about the SPL instructions leads me to another matter that troubles me. I believe I am correct in stating that this was presented as an adversarial exchange: oldco & newco vs the SPL. The desired outcomes are obvious from an oldco & newco perspective, but what was the desired outcome from an SPL perspective? One could argue that individual members and Celtic in particular might have had a desired verdict and penalty, but what outcome best suited the authorities and why?

Regarding McKenzie’s competence, does the buck not stop with him? Was he not in overall charge of the case preparation?

Bryce Curdy Also Commented

Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?
TSFM – I agree that getting at the truth (your words) trumps title stripping and I believe that improved governance in Scottish football is an equally important goal. But the truth you seek is that Rangers cheated Scottish football and cheated society. For me one of the most nauseating episodes in this whole saga was having to listen to the Sevco manager claim that the Decision of the LNS Commission meant that any allegation of cheating had been proven wrong. Rangers gained an unfair sporting advantage through their use of DOS payments and through their use of at least some (the 5 players about whose EBTs they conceded tax was due) and in my opinion all EBTs. Title stripping recognises that cheating took place. Keeping their tainted honours allows McCoist to continue to tell blatant lies.

Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?
We should be careful to remember that it’s not just the DOS payments that were irregular. There are the five players (believed to be Novo, Prso, Rodriguez, Bernard and A N Other) who received EBTs about which Rangers later conceded prior to the FTTT were liable to tax. The payments were equally regular and resulted in an equal sporting advantage, even if their existence is slightly less compromising for the conflicted one. All 4 players are listed in the Annex of the LNS Commission Decision. Why were they not treated differently? Was the Commission aware that Rangers had conceded on the tax status of their EBTs?

Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?
I’m hoping I will be forgiven for a gratuitous bump, but 1,690 comments early on a Saturday morning was making me slightly uncomfortable.

Recent Comments by Bryce Curdy

Time for Scots Government to Take Bull by the Horns
I’ve not posted on the site for many months having contributed regularly previously. I have thought carefully about the repercussions of next Wednesday’s announcement and suspect many will disagree with what I’m about to state, but here goes:
i would rather see the Supreme Court reverse the CoS decision than for them to uphold it but there to be no consequences, which is what I fear will happen. If the Supreme Court find against HMRC then I will reluctantly accept that Rangers’ use of EBTs was within the letter of the law by the proverbial bawhair. It will of course leave the wee tax case and the five EBT recipients referred to above by Highlander unresolved. For the CoS decision to be upheld but ignored will forever leave a foul taste in my mouth.

THAT Debate, and the Beauty of Hindsight
‘Honest mistakes’ do happen. The problems start when there is a statistically unlikely excess of them either to the benefit or detriment of any particular club. To the best of my knowledge neither Real Madrid nor Bayern Munich have been favourably or harshly treated in recent seasons so I am willing to accept RM got lucky last night. But if the same sort of thing happens in the SF I will be much more sceptical, and if it happens again in the final I will change my opinion. And a single random decision going against them next season will not significantly change that position.

i don’t believe there is a conspiracy in Scottish football, but I do think there is institutionalised bias.  There is also considerable rank incompetence which helps dilute the bias signal.

The Day I was on the Scotland U-23 Bench
The two posts by Smugas and Big Pink immediately preceding this post are likely to form the basis of an end-of-season huge elephant in the room.  Celtic will win the league, Aberdeen and Sevco will likely finish second and third, or third and second respectively, with Hearts probably coming in fourth.  If UEFA’s regulations are applied correctly then I believe BP is correct; the default position would be that Celtic, Aberdeen and Hearts would qualify for Europe and the SFA would have to justify special dispensation re FFP for Sevco to receive a place at the expense of Hearts.  But you can bet your mortgage the MSM will have the default position as Rangers (sic) qualifying by default and active manipulation from the authorities being required for Hearts to be awarded qualification in their place.  The sleekit MSM realise how important it is to define and manage expectations making it so much easier for the utterly corrupt SFA to cheat yet again.  I sincerely hope Mrs Budge realises this already.

Edit – Homunculus posted while I was typing. Alludes to very similar.

History, Neighbours and Made Up News
Tayred, Highlander
Any Celtic fan I have ever spoken to about the matter would bite your hand off for Scotland to use foreign referees.  There is a dedicated thread on the Kerrydalestreet forum called Ref Watch I think.  Nearly everyone acknowledges that we have benefitted from two decisions not just in our favour but in a row!  The in a row bit honestly feels unheralded.  In my lifetime I am utterly convinced that up until liquidation Rangers benefitted from an X point handicap compared to Celtic and the other clubs every season of my life.  The quantity of X is up for debate and varied from season to season.

History, Neighbours and Made Up News
Highlander 08:07
I accept that Celtic have benefitted from a couple of dubious refereeing decisions at the start of this season, but disagree entirely that this is the norm and part of a bigger picture where Celtic as a ‘supposed giant’ benefit consistently rather than randomly at the expense of ‘the diddy teams’.  I will not pass comment on any other ‘supposed Giants’.  My memory is perhaps a little selective but I honestly believe that overall we have suffered more than we have gained over my lifetime (49th birthday next month) as a Celtic supporter.  And before you or anybody challenges me on this reflect that cited proof that ‘these things even themselves out’ includes a thrown in on the half way line in the 1989 Cup Final and an incorrectly awarded corner against Motherwell in 2008.

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