Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?

ByTrisidium

Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?

A Guest Blog by Auldheid for TSFM

Honesty requires both transparency and accountability. In pursuit of honest, transparent and accountable governance of Scottish football, and only that objective, the following letter, with attachments, has been sent to SPFL lawyers, CEO and SPFL Board Members.

An honest game free from deception is what football supporters of all clubs want. It is the action the letter and attachments prompt that will tell us if there is any intention of providing it.

It is a response on behalf of readers here on TSFM, but the sentiment which underpins it is almost universally held amongst fans of all clubs.  Importantly it is a response directly to all clubs, especially those with a SPFL Board member, that will make the clubs and the football authorities aware just how seriously supporters take the restoration of trust in an honest game, honestly governed.

The annexes to the letter contain information which may be published at a later date. We thought it appropriate to first await any response from any of the recipients.

Please also draw this to the attention of friends who are not internet using supporters and love their football and their club.

Auldheid

__________________________________________________________________

Harper MacLeod
The Ca’d’oro
45 Gordon Street
Glasgow
G1 3PE
19 Feb 2014
Copy sent to SPFL CEO and Board Members *
Dear Mr McKenzie
We the contributors to The Scottish Football Monitoring web site write to you in your capacity as the legal adviser employed by Harper MacLeod to assist the Scottish Premier League (now the Scottish Professional Football League) to gather evidence and investigate the matter of incorrect player registrations involving concealed side letters and employee benefit trusts as defined in the eventual Lord Nimmo Smith Commission.
We note from the then SPL announcement that set up an enquiry that the initial date range to be covered was from the inception of the SPL in July 1998, but that was changed to 23 November 2000 because, according to our understanding, that is the date of the first side letter supplied by Rangers Administrators Duff and Phelps. It is also our understanding that the SPL asked for all documentation relating to side letters as well as the letters themselves.
It is a matter of public record that Rangers Administrators failed to supply the SPL all relevant documentation. Indeed the seriousness of not complying with SPL requests was the subject of an admonition of Rangers/Duff and Phelps from Lord Nimmo Smith under Issue 4 of his Commission.
Quite how serious that failure to comply or concealment was in terms of misleading the Commission and so Lord Nimmo Smith can now be assessed from the information contained at Annexes 1 to 10 attached.
We think that as legal advisers to the SPL (now the SPFL) you have a responsibility to make them aware that their Commission was misled by the concealment of documents starting on 3 September 1999, and signed by current SFA President Campbell Ogilvie, whose silence on the ebt matters referred to in the attached annexes* is questionable at the very least.
This letter but not attachments is being posted on The Scottish Football Monitor web site as this is matter for all of Scottish football and support for the issue being pursued to establish the truth can be gauged by responses from supporters from all Scottish clubs once the letter has been published there.
A copy of this letter with Annexes has also been sent to the SPFL CEO and members of the SPFL Board.
Acknowledgement of receipt and reply can be sent by e mail to:
(Address supplied)
Yours in sport

On behalf of The Scottish Football Monitor contributors and readers. http://www.tsfm.org.uk/

Addressees copied in
Neil Doncaster CEO
The Scottish Professional Football League
Hampden Park
Glasgow G42 9DE

Eric Riley (Celtic),
The Celtic Football Club
Celtic Park
Glasgow G40 3RE

Stephen Thompson (Dundee United),
Tannadice Park,
Tannadice Street,
Dundee, DD3 7JW

Duncan Fraser (Aberdeen);
Aberdeen Football Club plc
Pittodrie Stadium
Pittodrie Street
Aberdeen AB24 5QH

Les Gray (Hamilton),
Hamilton Academical FC
New Douglas Park
Hamilton
ML3 0FT

Mike Mulraney (Alloa)
Alloa Athletic FC
Clackmannan Road
Recreation Park
Alloa FK10 1RY

Bill Darroch (Stenhousemuir).
Stenhousemuir F.C.
Ochilview Park
Gladstone Road
Stenhousemuir
Falkirk
FK5 4QL

About the author

Trisidium administrator

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

3,234 Comments so far

CampbellsmoneyPosted on11:06 am - Mar 16, 2014


Regarding rent.

In most commercial situations, rent is set as a result of market forces. Its difficult to see any objective way of setting the rent for a cup semi (especially if you have already said where it is getting played). Maybe the rent negotiations happened prior to the award of the semis. Even so, how do you price such a thing?

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John ClarkPosted on11:12 am - Mar 16, 2014


Matty Roth says:
March 16, 2014 at 10:16 am
‘…However there are 2 grey areas are there not?
1.) The expenses of the 2 matches
2.) The rent that is set..’
———–
You’re right to be if not cynical, then questioning: the football authorities have given us scant belief in their general honesty of approach to their responsibilities ( clearly, if they can bring a dead club back to life, ordinary rules don’t apply to them!).
However, given that three other clubs have a lot at stake in ensuring that all ‘expenses’ are reasonably accurately accounted for and ( ‘rent’ payments in particular) are reasonable, I doubt if there’s much scope for fiddling to the further advantage of the new club.

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sannoffymesssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on11:40 am - Mar 16, 2014


If TRFC qualify for a semi final to be played at Ibrox then how can that ground be considered to be “neutral” within the normal and legal meanings of that word?

I suspect the SFA’s answer would be “Because we deem it to be so under the meaning of the SFA Cup Rule12.”

12. Semi-Final and Final Ties

The Semi-Final and Final Ties shall be under the direct control of the Board who shall make all of the arrangements therefor.

Football Laws eh? 😳

Corrupt and incompetent? 🙄

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John ClarkPosted on11:53 am - Mar 16, 2014


calums obsession says:
March 16, 2014 at 9:02 am
‘…Found this article on Dave King from Last year. ..’
—————
Grateful for that link, calums ob. In skittish mood, I’ve fired off this email to Mr Heystek:

“Dear Magnus,
Your article in “The Money Whisperer” of 4th November 2013 relating to Dave King (described as a ‘glib and shameless liar’ by the South African Court) has been brought to my attention.
I must point out that your article reeks of misleading favouritism and does no service at all to honest investors in concealing the hard facts about King’s criminal conviction.
I sincerely hope the following item simply escaped your notice, rather than that you deliberately chose to ignore it ( as BBC Radio Scotland and the main stream Scottish press chose to do).

Yours sincerely,
John Clark
“Our sentence agreement with Dave King – NPA
Bulelwa Makeke
29 August 2013

Authority says businessman entered a plea of guilty on 41 counts of contravening Section 75 of the Income Tax Act

The State versus David Cunningham King (Case No: CC 257/2005)
29 Aug 2013
Mr David Cunningham King, the accused in the case of The State versus DC King (Case no.: CC257/2005 – otherwise referred to as the King 1 case), today entered a plea of guilty in the South Gauteng High Court held at Palm Ridge, on 41 counts of various contraventions of section 75 of the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962, as per the indictment.
The said plea is in accordance with a plea and sentence agreement in terms of section 105A(1) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977, entered into between the accused and the National Prosecuting Authority. The High Court was satisfied that the aforesaid agreement complied with the requirements of the provisions of section 105A(1) of the Criminal Procedure Act, that the accused admitted the allegations in the above-mentioned counts and that he was guilty of the offences.
The Court was moreover satisfied that the sentence agreement was just, whereupon the Court proceeded to convict the accused of the offences and sentenced the accused in accordance with the sentence agreement.
In terms of the agreement, the accused was sentenced to a fine of R80 000.00 or 24 months’ imprisonment on each of the 41 counts, being the maximum sentence provided for in the Income Tax Act read with the Adjustment of Fines Act 101 of 1991. The effective sentence, as confirmed in the agreement, is a fine of R3 280 000.00 or 984 months (82 years) imprisonment.
The accused has, moreover, agreed to pay to the Criminal Assets Recovery Account (“CARA”) the amount of R8.75 million as contemplated in section 64(e) of Act 121 of 1998. This payment will be effected within 30 days of the plea agreement having been finalised today. The plea and sentence agreement was entered into having due regard to the following factors, as stipulated in the agreement:

the State consulted with the complainants, being representatives of the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) and representatives of the South African Reserve Bank (“SARB”), and afforded them the opportunity to make representations; as required by the law.
the said complainants, namely SARS and SARB, are satisfied with the agreement as entered into
SARS has instituted various actions against the accused relevant to the offences and will (in terms of the actions and by agreement with the accused) recover an amount of R 706.7 million (figure verified by SARS)
the accused has reached an agreement with SARS and SARB to settle all disputes between them. In terms of the agreement with SARS, the accused has entered into an agreement to settle his tax indebtedness with SARS and has reached a settlement with SARB
the length of the trial should the accused plead not guilty, and the consequent burden on the criminal justice system
the trial related prejudice by virtue of material witnesses who have passed away or have become unavailable or unable to testify
the expense to which the State would be put by such a trial, which would be lengthy and require the testimony of experts and witnesses based in foreign countries
the nature, aggravating circumstances and facts relating to the offences
the personal circumstances of the accused
the fact that the accused has no previous convictions
the interests of society.

Statement issued by Bulelwa Makeke, Executive Manager: Communications, National Prosecuting Authority, August 29 2013

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John ClarkPosted on12:05 pm - Mar 16, 2014


essexbeancounter says:
March 16, 2014 at 10:12 am
‘..JC(nee JCe!)…so you have been and gone and done it…!
I assume you will carry over your history…’
—————
I know our younger TSFMers will find it hard to understand, but I did actually worry in case I was liquidating myself, not having an ‘x-way agreement’ with the blog ‘authorities’ to treat ‘John Clarke’ and ‘John Clark’ as one and the same (if schizophrenic) person with an unbroken posting history. ( Mind you, it would be nice to get rid of some of my dafter posts from earlier days!)

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Caveat EmptorPosted on12:16 pm - Mar 16, 2014


In a few city centre bars in Glasgow last night, lots of Dons and ICT fans down for the final. Great atmosphere everywhere, lots of banter. Both sets of fans a credit to their respective clubs and Scottish football. Off to the match as a neutral and looking forward to a great day.

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TSFMPosted on2:03 pm - Mar 16, 2014


Nice touch there with John Hughes being greeted by Senior Celtic Steward John Hughes on arrival at CP 🙂

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HirsutePursuitPosted on2:10 pm - Mar 16, 2014


Auldhied,
Been out of commission for a little while so my comment is somewhat belated. However,

It seems to me that there is one issue that needs to be pursued:

The Commission was provided with evidence regarding the existence of both the Murray Group Management Remuneration Trust and the Rangers Employee Benefit Trust. This is referred to at paragraph 35 of the Decision. The Commission chose in its Decision to group these together as “MGMRT”. Both are referred to in the published accounts of Oldco and copies of those accounts were provided to the Commission.

I am taking the “Rangers Employee Benefit Trust” to be the DOS scheme opened in 1999 and closed (I believe) in 2003.

I am taking the “Murray Group Management Remuneration Trust” to be the scheme that constituted the Big Tax Case – started in 2001 and closed (I think) around 2008.

The key part, I think, of paragraph 35 is this:

(We note that the MGMRT was preceded by the Rangers Employee Benefit Trust, but we are not aware that they were different trusts. We shall treat them as a continuous trust, which we shall refer to throughout as the MGMRT.)

So, the commission chose to treat them as a continuous trust because they were not presented with any evidence to the contrary.

So when at paragraph 104 LNS went on to say:

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. Accordingly we proceed on the basis that the EBT arrangements were lawful.

…they were able to treat all of the EBT’s as “lawful”.

It is however well known (certainly at the time of the sitting of the LNS enquiry) that the liability for the DOS scheme had been accepted by Rangers in 2011. As such, that scheme, could not be described as “lawful”.

In their decision, they say:

(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;

So was the panel “misled” into believing no sporting advantage was gained. Since it appears they were not made aware that the use of “irregular” payments to certain Rangers’ players had already been conceded.

Did the SPL (via HM) make this information available to the enquiry or did no-one think it relevant?

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coineanachantaighePosted on2:25 pm - Mar 16, 2014


FIFA says:
March 15, 2014 at 2:58 pm
Came in and watched the last 15 min of the tv games,thought to myself what are the programme planners at bt thinking of?
==================================================

I’m afraid they are run by bean-counters like so many other things that should have other criteria but don’t. Tens of thousands of Sevco fans will watch that on TV (as well as a few chumps who watch to laugh at them) so it’s guaranteed a reasonable audience size – bigger outside Celtic that could be guaranteed for any other game even if it involved a team like Motherwell or Dundee Utd, known to play good football. It was always thus – an OF (as was) cup game against a third division side would almost certainly be guaranteed to be game of the day on TV unless (though not always unless) a derby such as Hearts/Hibs was drawn in the cup.

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neepheidPosted on2:28 pm - Mar 16, 2014


HirsutePursuit says:
March 16, 2014 at 2:10 pm

So was the panel “misled” into believing no sporting advantage was gained. Since it appears they were not made aware that the use of “irregular” payments to certain Rangers’ players had already been conceded.
====
In my opinion the whole thing was a contrived farce, designed to obtain a predetermined outcome. The outcome was achieved, job done, and it will never be revisited. Just my opinion, of course.

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calums obsessionPosted on2:53 pm - Mar 16, 2014


John Clark + Danish pastry re the dave King article from 0902 this morning.
Thanks for replying!
The tone of the article and ignoring the severity of his aleged crimes was one thing that surprised me, though it was a piece by a fellow professional who obviously has social contact with DK and that may explain a lot.
The thing that realy had me agog was the apparent real potential wealth of King, off and on the radar! Settling his fine with SARS is no more than one good year of share rises now he is able to operate without restriction.
Surely it is apparent that what we see is all games for the masses regarding the current ibrox owners; he just doesn’t want to spend his own money gaining control; Ibrox board(s) won’t give their shares away he won’t buy them, everything else is just bluster.

Off to enjoy the cup final, gutted my teams not there but looking forward to a fair fight!
C

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Matty RothPosted on3:23 pm - Mar 16, 2014


Couldn’t get a ticket so enjoying the game from home. Its been fairly even so far and both teams showing they have the potential to win this game.

Its amazing to me to see so many Dons fans at one game, really a sight to behold for a dons fan who’s watched the fan numbers wane through a long, lean spell.

Hopefully we get some goals and a cracking second half.

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justshateredPosted on3:26 pm - Mar 16, 2014


I don’t know what all the fuss is about the ticket split for the cup semi final at a neutral Ibrox.
Surely as the SFA have ‘kicked them when they were down’ then ‘The Rangers’ fans will boycott the match. As for Dundee United well, ‘The Rangers’ have already boycotted a Scottish Cup match against them so I’m sure with their recent track record in dignity and sticking to their principles they won’t attend this match either.

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Matty RothPosted on3:36 pm - Mar 16, 2014


TSFM says:
March 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm
0 0 Rate This

[TSFM Filter]

========

I genuinely was left wondering what was “inappropriate” there…..

😀

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TSFMPosted on3:40 pm - Mar 16, 2014


Content filter in test phase right now 🙂

Guess what “glib and shameless liar” says? 😈

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Matty RothPosted on3:50 pm - Mar 16, 2014


TSFM says:
March 16, 2014 at 3:40 pm
0 0 Rate This

Content filter in test phase right now 🙂

Guess what “[TSFM Filter]” says? 😈

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

We’ll thats not going to work now is it….

🙂
TSFM

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Matty RothPosted on4:38 pm - Mar 16, 2014


TSFM says:
March 18, 2014 at 4:08 pm
1 0 Rate This

Anyone who would like to participate in future podcasts (using their site handles or their own names), please contact me. I’m particularly (but not exclusively) interested in people with particular expertise who can bring some authority. I’m also aware that since BP is a Celtic fan, that a balance needs to be struck as well.
However it is your blog and community. Everyone is welcome.

Hopefully my PM will now be bulging 🙂

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

I wish I could TSFM, but I have neither the wisdom, confidence or insight to be maintain the standard set to far!!

There are several contributors here who do though, so I hope they are putting any thoughts of being shy or coy aside and stepping forward.

Perhaps after there is room for a blog focused on implications to football of the rangers the EBT tax case, either before or after a decision is announced.

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easyJamboPosted on5:20 pm - Mar 16, 2014


HirsutePursuit says: March 16, 2014 at 2:10 pm
———————————-
I share your thoughts about the Harper MacLeod response.
———————————
A question for Auldheid. Do you believe that there would be merit in trying to arrange a face to face meeting with HM? It might be easier to get our point across without the inevitable delays and obfuscation that comes with written communication.

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TSFMPosted on5:24 pm - Mar 16, 2014


Congratulations to Aberdeen and ICT for serving up the best 0-0 I have seen in a while. Congrats too to the fans of both sides for the colourful spectacle on display at Celtic Park which added to the great occasion.

That was a proper cup final.

Well done to the Dons. I bet Roy Hodgson is checking the records office for signs of Englishness 🙂 Great penalties!

Well done lastly to the fans of both sides who gave Neil Doncaster such a vote of thanks for all his fine efforts on our behalf 😈

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John ClarkPosted on5:27 pm - Mar 16, 2014


Call me old -fashioned, but that was a great game! Mrs C and I switched allegiances several times in the course of it, and both of us agreed at the end that Aberdeen might just have shaded it enough on balance to deserve to win. (We both don’t like penalty shoot-outs, even when it’s two neutral teams. Nothing wrong with the old replay, and then coin toss)

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TSFMPosted on5:44 pm - Mar 16, 2014


Palacio67 says:

March 15, 2014 at 6:33 pm (Edit)

TSFM.
I cannot really believe someone gave the thumbs down to your last post!
___________________________________________________

Palacio

I never look at the TU/TDs and to be honest, they seldom reflect the direction of the debate. I guess though that there are a lot of TRFC fans who will pop in here from time to time who will not be convinced under any circumstances that this is not an anti-Rangers witch-hunt and will disapprove of any move which exposes potential wrong doing by the authorities to benefit RFC(IL) and TRFC.
In the circumstances, I can understand their position.

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CastofthousandsPosted on7:06 pm - Mar 16, 2014


TSFM says:
March 18, 2014 at 4:08 pm
————————————–
I think you need to recalibrate your Tardis TSFM. You are currently a day ahead of Samoa.

After posting I see what you have done; post dated the cheque.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:48 pm - Mar 16, 2014


John Clark says:
March 16, 2014 at 5:27 pm
=======================
Can’t agree it was a great game John, but for their masterclass in penalty taking alone I think Aberdeen just about deserved it. Always a shame when teams lose that way, but Aberdeen’s spot kicks were superb. Hope all their fans on here have booked a day’s leave tomorrow!

PS It was great to hear Neil Doncaster roundly booed.

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HirsutePursuitPosted on8:03 pm - Mar 16, 2014


TSFM
Auldhied said:
“Honesty requires both transparency and accountability. In pursuit of honest, transparent and accountable governance of Scottish football, and only that objective, the following letter, with attachments, has been sent to SPFL lawyers, CEO and SPFL Board Members.”

If we are holding Scottish footballing authorities accountable, what end result would you like to see if the SPFL admit the SPL acted inappropriately or incompetently? Is it enough for you that they admit their failings and we all move on?

Is this feasible? Where would that admission leave the SPFL with regard to the member clubs who have been disadvantaged by the SPL’s shortcomings?

If the SPFL admit that they (as the SPL) got things wrong in relation to the former Ibrox club, what would they have to do to make things right?

What action would the SFA take to make things right? What action would UEFA take to ensure that the SFA make the SPFL review/correct a decision where there is an admission of a “mistake”.

It seems to me that accountability in this case, means in the truest sense, having a liability. It is about returning things to an equitable state.

If we are holding them to account, the first thing the SPFL would be compelled to do is correct the things they are in a position to correct. If, for example, the LNS enquiry is generally perceived to have been a sham or simply a shambles, the SPFL cannot, I would have thought, allow its findings to stand.

Imagine you had been burgled several years ago. You may seek the truth as to who stole your personal belongings. You may be pretty sure that your next door neighbour (now deceased) was responsible.

Do you think you would feel better when the police – after much prodding and cajoling – eventually search your neighbour’s house and find the stolen goods; but do nothing to retrieve your property? Do you feel that you have held the police to account when they tell you that that your property has been found; but the thief’s bullying son should keep the goods.

Taking the stolen property back does not constitute a punishment. If the miscreant is now deceased, there can be no effective punishment.

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BarcabhoyPosted on8:50 pm - Mar 16, 2014


Personal view…….which won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has read my views on here and on RTC .

1) Stripping titles …… From all of the evidence I have seen Rangers absolutely deserve to have every title stripped that they won since the inception of the DOS ( small tax case) . However i recognise that this would probably ensure there was never any closure. So on this basis alone I wouldn’t insist on title stripping.

2 ) Individuals sanctioned ……..My view is that the evidence clearly shows David Murray was responsible , as owner and Chairman, when Rangers engaged in the long term deception and cheating of all other Scottish Clubs. That is absolutely not the fault of Rangers fans, any more than Gretna fans were responsible for Brookes Milesons actions.
In my view Murray should be banned sine die from Scottish football. This shouldn’t be dependent on the UTT, as the DOS is already a legally certified tax evasion scheme.
Campbell Ogilvie has many questions to answer. He appears to have failed the duties of his office, and should be removed from his position

3) Future Proofing…….Since the minute Murray decided that deception and tax evasion was an appropriate way to behave towards fellow members of the SFA and the SPL, the environment in Scotland has been poisonous . Fans of all clubs have suffered because of one mans actions. If nothing else , we must ensure that an individual like Murray can never damage the sport again. The rules must ensure that every club is treated equally, the system must be open and accountable. The SFA and SPFL must stop treating fans, who are customers and the biggest revenue source, in the condescending way they have done for decades.

The SFA has a head of communications, Darryl Broadfoot, who refuses to engage with fans, and point blank refuses to answer questions, asked politely and which are completely relevant to the current environment. A small example. I asked 3 times when we could expect to see the table of financial performance for all clubs produced. This is an SFA commitment and is enshrined in their articles for club licensing. Not surprisingly I never got the courtesy of a response. I know many of you have had similar experiences on a variety of questions. The SFA and SPFL must be open accountable and communicative. Their current performance in this regard, isn’t just unacceptable it is condescending and insulting

There is a long long way to go to repair Scottish Football, however for me points 1-3 must be addressed as part of any progress

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neepheidPosted on8:55 pm - Mar 16, 2014


TSFM says:
March 17, 2014 at 6:21 pm

To this end I want to echo Auldheid’s original point and make it absolutely clear that this is NOT a campaign to have RFC (IL) punished, nor is it a campaign designed to see any honours stripped from that club. None of that is necessary any longer
=======================
I fundamentally disagree.

If it is established that Rangers won games while breaking the player registration rules, then the usual consequences must follow. Ask anyone involved in amateur football about the need to register players properly, and what happens if you don’t. What is the point of the rules, otherwise? Other professional clubs have been kicked out of competitions by the SFA for technical one-off breaches of the registration rules, in addition to suffering significant (certainly to them) financial penalties.

The LNS verdict was simply a travesty. Justice must apply equally to all, or it is not justice. Justice may involve Rangers suffering some result reversals. That will involve the loss of some titles and some cups. That will simply be a consequence of the rules being applied in a straightforward manner to THEIR actions. Precedents had been set, so they knew the consequences in advance.

Until I see justice done, Scottish football won’t be seeing me again. Treat Rangers just like Spartans- what’s the problem with that?

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upthehoopsPosted on9:00 pm - Mar 16, 2014


Barcabhoy says:
March 16, 2014 at 8:50 pm
========================
On the subject of SFA communications (or lack of them) I too have asked questions in a polite manner, and have never been given the courtesy of a reply. I can only assume they do not ignore the media in the same way given the complete lack of criticism.

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jean7brodiePosted on9:04 pm - Mar 16, 2014


neepheid says:
March 16, 2014 at 8:55 pm
————————————————-
Totally agree with you Neepheid and thanks for laying it out so succinctly.

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upthehoopsPosted on9:48 pm - Mar 16, 2014


TSFM says:
March 17, 2014 at 6:21 pm
======================
Methinks you try too hard at times to press the ‘not an anti-Rangers’ stance. If wrongdoing on the level suspected has been committed surely an appropriate punishment should ensue, whether it’s Rangers or any other club.

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TSFMPosted on10:02 pm - Mar 16, 2014


Barcabhoy says:
March 16, 2014 at 8:50 pm
________________________________________

I find myself in total agreement – especially with reference to #3 regarding future-proofing. The issue for us is the governance of Scottish Football and the failure of the authorities to deal openly and honestly.
As far as title-stripping is concerned, any expending of energy on that front will allow others to easily deflect from our main purpose, which is to have in place a transparent and equitable system where there are structures through which the SFA will engage with the fans.

Should honours be removed from Rangers record? Yes I believe so. However that is NOT what we are about with Auldheid’s letter to HM.

I understand the attitude towards title stripping, and in an ideal world it would be a consequence of restoring integrity, but it comes last in a long line of “things that need to be fixed”. We want the resolution on this issue to be about what happens in future. We won’t be looking for revenge – just an admission that things have been wrong in the past- and that they are now being fixed.

I think RTC said a long time ago that however this turned out, nobody would be happy. I think we should be concentrating on what is possible and leave the wish-lists aside.

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valentinesclownPosted on10:04 pm - Mar 16, 2014


neepheid says:
March 16, 2014 at 8:55 pm
——————————————————-
I agree with Neepheid.
Scottish Football: An Honest Game. IMO we will never have an honest game if the Govan club dodges punishment the way it dodges taxes and dodges playing the game in an honest financial manner like ALL other clubs in Scotland. The Govan club It is still playing football the way it always has since Mr Murray walked into Ibrox in 1988, that is by paying players with money they do not seem to have (not sure if that is a financial advantage, will run it past LNS). They are the Establishment club and that is all that matters. No other club would be able or left to operate in this manner.
They cheated as the DOS proved. If the UTTT goes in the favour of HMRC then it will prove they continued cheating. As such I want every title and trophy stripped from them as sport has got to be honest and honest fans at every club have been cheated. If our SFA cannot carry this out then we need to remove them and establish an honest board to govern our game.
Celtic Park witnessed Armageddon today, what a joy.

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TSFMPosted on10:08 pm - Mar 16, 2014


upthehoops says:

March 16, 2014 at 9:48 pm (Edit)
TSFM says:
March 17, 2014 at 6:21 pm
======================
Methinks you try too hard at times to press the ‘not an anti-Rangers’ stance. If wrongdoing on the level suspected has been committed surely an appropriate punishment should ensue, whether it’s Rangers or any other club.

_____________________________________________________________________

I don’t have to try too hard for that. I’m not taking an anti-Rangers stance, and never have. I think that it annoys you that I don’t, but I promise you I don’t have to try too hard to arrive at my own position on this.

If you think the raison d’être of this blog is to seek punishment for Rangers then you are quite simply incorrect. You may not agree with that policy, but that is another matter.

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TSFMPosted on10:13 pm - Mar 16, 2014


Valentinesclown,

I think it is possible to have an honest game in future if the things that are wrong with the game are fixed. If the authorities recognise that mistakes have been made and put in place arrangements to restore sporting integrity to the paramount position then I believe we will have an honest game.

Dishing out punishments may well bring some closure and a sense of justice, but I don’t agree it is necessary for an open and honest future, however desirable or just.

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neepheidPosted on10:23 pm - Mar 16, 2014


TSFM says:
March 16, 2014 at 10:02 pm
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Barcabhoy says:
March 16, 2014 at 8:50 pm
________________________________________

I find myself in total agreement – especially with reference to #3 regarding future-proofing. The issue for us is the governance of Scottish Football and the failure of the authorities to deal openly and honestly.
=============
Unless the past is dealt with fairly, honestly and transparently, then we can forget future proofing. Because the future will simply be a continuation of the past. It is, to my mind, utterly outrageous to suggest that if any club in future behaves as Rangers did in the past, then throw the book at them, but let’s just forget it as far as Rangers are concerned. In the interests of what? Reconciliation? Well, I’m sorry, but that is totally misconceived. And given the precedent set with Rangers, how could you possibly, either in law or in terms of simple natural justice, throw the book at anyone else? To me, that is laughable. It isn’t going to happen, the SFA have made their own rules on player registration unenforceable, now and forever, to serve the interests of one club out of 42. I mean, what are we all supposed to do? Just forget it ever happened, and if our own club gets sanctioned for similar transgressions, say that’s all right then, Rangers got away with it, but it’s different for us? What sort of setup is that? Is that the vision for the future of Scottish football? Wipe the slate clean for one club only, while everyone else takes their medicine, like good little boys? It beggars belief that rational people can see that as a positive way forward, it really does.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on10:33 pm - Mar 16, 2014


John Clark says:
March 16, 2014 at 5:27 pm

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Call me old -fashioned, but that was a great game! Mrs C and I switched allegiances several times in the course of it, and both of us agreed at the end that Aberdeen might just have shaded it enough on balance to deserve to win. (We both don’t like penalty shoot-outs, even when it’s two neutral teams. Nothing wrong with the old replay, and then coin toss)

____________________________________________

Just back on the sneck after a long day. Sadly empty handed.

But not too disappointed. The team equipped themselves well. The atmosphere was electric. It was friendly and family and sociable and banter and I kept running into people I knew outside the ground and not all of them in Caley tops!

All in all, a great occasion. The kids really enjoyed it.

And I found myself sat next to a decent bear to boot.
A thoroughly charming fella who had been been to Ibrox yesterday and said that both teams on the park today would blow Ally’s 11 off the park. Chatted to him for a good part of the game and there was not a touch of the WATP about him. A very respectful chap with a real interest in the game and respect for other teams. Left McCoist without a name!

Dons fans applauded Caley players going up for their losers medals and the Remaining Caley fans applauded the Dons getting their winners.

Interestingly, all 51143 people booed Neil Doncaster.

Fans mixed freely outside the ground with courtesy (many instances of giving each other directions to the stadium), a sense of fun and not the merest hint of intimidation.

This is what Scots football should aspire to.

But with better finishing.

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nawlitePosted on10:41 pm - Mar 16, 2014


neepheid says:

March 16, 2014 at 10:23 pm

As I’ve said on here and RTC before, I’m not pro-Celtic, anti-Rangers or anything else tribal – I’m here because I naively want fairness in all walks of life. From that standpoint I don’t see how anyone could argue with those points.

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AuldheidPosted on10:44 pm - Mar 16, 2014


Neepheid

I understand your feelings and as matters stand in the absence of honesty justice is an understandable aim.

The problem is that what has been done and what that means for football has been studiously avoided by the media. Those who get their information from mainstream sources, who have had self interest in maintaining a myth, truly believe that the worst that has happened is just some huge clerical error i

This aversion to and hiding of the truth has been aided and abetted from inside football by those who have known for some time the enormity of their betrayal to the game as a sport and wish to hide it.

As a result a swathe of the uninformed think trophies etc were won by honest means and naturally would resist losing those trophies.

But what if’, no I’ll change that to when the truth that has already penetrated consciousness becomes pervasive.?How will that truth be handled by the followers of Rangers who only follow for the football?

Will they wish to retain reminders of their perfidy?

The counter to that is that there are not many decent followers of Rangers who would be happy to seek redemption by giving up ill gotten gains, but should we not be prepared not to prejudge and see what the response to the truth turns out to be?

The objective is a return of honesty but requires self honesty and self honesty by its very nature leads to true justice. Justice is a consequence of honesty but shaped by it.

If we do not look for the best in others we are doomed to find the worst.

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CastofthousandsPosted on10:46 pm - Mar 16, 2014


HirsutePursuit says:
March 16, 2014 at 8:03 pm

“If we are holding Scottish footballing authorities accountable, what end result would you like to see if the SPFL admit the SPL acted inappropriately or incompetently?”
———————————-
Thanks for opening up the debate HirsutePursuit.

From a logical point of view if a mechanism is found to be flawed then it is generally necessary to disassemble it and repair or replace the defective components. The mechanism of quasi-judicial revuiew is rarely found necessary in a sporting context so the precedents are sparse and the likelihood of their operation being found erroneous is inversely substantial. It would therefore not be appropriate in my opinion to ensure that every cog and pinion function precisely for us to be satisfied. However as a working model the fundamental principles of the mechanism should be well founded and capable of being built upon.

The fundamental flaw that Auldheid is aiming at seems to me to be the role that Campbell Ogilvie played in the process. If, as appears the case, he was aware of Rangers earlier Discount Option Scheme, which was subsequently found by HMRC not to have been in compliance with tax regulations, then his contribution to the inquiry must necessarily come into sharp focus.

At para 40 of the Lord Nimmo Smith decision Mr. Ogilvie is quoted as stating:

“I assumed that all contributions to the Trust were being made legally, and that any
relevant football regulations were being complied with. I do not recall contributions to
the Trust being discussed in any detail, if at all, at Board meetings. In any event, Board
meetings had become less and less frequent by my later years at Rangers.”

LNS had already conflated DOS and EBT into MGMRT (Murray Group Management Remuneration Trust). As has been clearly shown, at this point DOS was not compliant. Therefore his statement above does not appear to be consistent with the facts.

Although the tribunal was primarily concerned with registration and player eligibility, LNS chose to invoke the FTT decision at Para 23 of his decision. It might be fairly construed that his consideration of the FTT would have influenced his decision. I would argue that his outlook would have been equally susceptible to the knowledge of the DOS arrangements.

At para 106 of his decision LNS states:

“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.”

If he was aware that DOS had been found against would he have arrived at the same decision. Of course DOS is only a small part of the overall scheme but it may have been sufficiently significant to have altered his decision.

So Mr. Ogilvie, it would appear, was in possession of information that may have altered the tribunal’s decision. Rod McKenzie of Harper McLeod, Council for the SPL, might have been expected to have known about such a finding against a member of his client’s organisation. Such information could have placed a different complexion upon proceedings.

All this of course is an aside to the main thrust of the tribunal; mis-registration and player eligibility.

It appears to me that Mr. Bryson’s inability to point at a section in his rules that dealt with penalties for mis-registration indicates that no such provision had been foreseen. It was presumed that mis-registration would be spotted in advance. This sounds unconvincing to me and I suspect there will indeed have been cases where a player has later been found to have been incorrectly registered and as a result sanctioned retrospectively. Others may be able to enlighten. The fact that such an eventuality had not been foreseen begs other questions.

Was the punishment handed down proportionate with the infringement? Even if no specific sanction was provided for, a quasi-judicial setting may have been able to apply a sanction that could be seen to be proportionate.

Have the rules of the SPFL been amended to account for this apparent oversight?

I’d agree that we need to know what we are after if we are to pursue it. However there does appear to be a fundamental flaw in the decision that cannot be easily overlooked. It is not for us to advise the governing bodies on how they should conduct their affairs with efficacy. That responsibility lies with themselves and the advisors they may call upon to provide them with guidance. Our role is to point out inconsistencies and where these are of a gross nature, call them into question.

The SPL is no longer. However, as its immediate successor, the SPFL will likely have some regard to the mechanisms employed by its predecessor to inform its own future conduct. If these mechanisms contain fundamental flaws then it would be comforting to believe that they will not be called upon to provide precedent. The only way such a distinction could be made was if such flawed mechanisms were to be called into question. Only then might their findings be set aside and be unable to contaminate future decisions.

It is right to pursue the LNS decision in my opinion, even if we cannot be sure of our own aims in doing so. The underlying motive should be that flawed decisions should not go unchallenged. How this plays out in the wider world is not our immediate concern. That is for others to consider.

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justshateredPosted on10:48 pm - Mar 16, 2014


This displays the level of mistrust now in our sport.
Neil Doncaster is publicly humiliated today in front of a crowd of over 50,000 fans.
He is utterly discredited. Stewart Regan is no better. In fact he goes on holiday for one month DURING the season. As for our dear old friend Campbell well he could walk on to a park and shoot someone and nobody would see a crime. He is a sham of a President within a sham of an organisation.

This mistrust will not evaporate. I’ve said before that sports fans have longer memories than Elephants. The word SEVCO will still be in our lexicon in forty years time.
Last October it was proposed that a team should not be promoted if it is in administration. Four weeks ago this proposal was dropped as quietly as possible. Anyone who has remotely followed the scale of this scandal is in no doubt why this proposal was shelved. There is a club operating within this country with no workable business model.

Now LNS showed that there were, even if you take Bryson’s Law into account, glaring failures within the SFA’s rules and processes. The fact that the SFA clearly allowed a club to participate in European competition when it owed domestic taxes is also clear.
What have the SFA done to close these loopholes?
Exactly Sweet FA. This is a fundamental failure to ensure that this issue does not occur again. Why is this so difficult to do?
Well your guess is as good as mine but somehow I think it HAS been designed to ALLOW it to happen again. Maladministration piled on connivance, scaremongering, and incompetence is now what the SFA stand for. They DO NOT stand for authority and good governance but then again the clubs themselves MUST be content because they are doing nothing about it. They are standing meekly back allowing this corruption to be carried out in their name.

I may stand corrected but I’m also sure that the SFA have also shelved the Financial Fair Play rules that were due to be implemented. Now people will say that this is only an edict from UEFA to allow teams to play in their competitions and they are correct. However it is the responsibility of national associations to ensure good financial governance by clubs within their jurisdiction. This should underpin what UEFA are trying to do but yet again the cabal at Hampden have decided that this rule is not required.

Meanwhile ‘The Rangers’ now have to submit accounts by the end of this month to gain a licence to play next year. We all know how that will play out. There will be no accounts and a licence will be granted anyway. So what is the point of the SFA?
The only time they speak is to protect their ‘project’ created by the five way agreement. Whether it is when Peter Lawwell makes a joke at their expense dear old Campbell can’t issue a statement quick enough blaming ‘two of our oldest clubs’ to reinforce the myth or when Dundee United complain about their cup semi-final allocation.
The clubs only have themselves to blame in this debacle because they voted to keep the tarnished characters in place and often give them a pay rise when it is clearly not warranted. The clubs themselves have determined how this played out. They were either party to what went on or lied to and if they were lied to they did nothing about it.

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jean7brodiePosted on10:55 pm - Mar 16, 2014


Auldheid says:
March 16, 2014 at 10:44 pm
——————————————–
I agree with what you say in this post……
I am ‘prepared not to prejudge and see what the response to the truth turns out to be?’
And when we do find out then we can ask for the usual consequences to be applied.

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FIFAPosted on11:09 pm - Mar 16, 2014


Out on the town with the fans that where at the cup final today,both sets,Merchant City had this covered and a thank you to the visiting fans for the way thay conducted themselves and everyone had a good time.

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AuldheidPosted on11:14 pm - Mar 16, 2014


Castofthousands 10.46

Yup that covers where I’m coming from and what I expect to come from seeking the truth. An honest self inventory.

From all that I have seen and I include what drives Res 12 to the Celtic AGM, Scottish football has a problem.

That problem has two related elements

1. Much of the rules are self certifying and require honesty from those charged with compliance in order to work.
2. Those policing the compliance have to be above reproach and diligent but the rules must be as tight as possible to require proof of compliance and that proof sought.

There are resource and structural implications arising from accepting the new truth that the rewards for cheating in the modern game way exceed the costs if caught, but that is where Scottish football now finds itself because of dishonesty and failure to police and prevent it.

However it will take an honest enquiry into the governance of Scottish football to confirm or challenge that analysis.

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AuldheidPosted on11:30 pm - Mar 16, 2014


In case anyone asks the SPL did not get replaced by the SPFL to question if it has ongoing jurisdiction.

In football terms it changed its name. In corporate terms it is the same business company operating under the same company number since at least 1998.

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AuldheidPosted on11:35 pm - Mar 16, 2014


Jean Brodick

Call me the eternal optimist but I’m hoping there would be no need to ask, but we’ll see.

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tilhotdogsbarkPosted on11:36 pm - Mar 16, 2014


justshatered says:
March 16, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Excellent post and sums up exactly the level of partiality currently prevailing within the governing bodies. Unfortunately our clubs are also culpable in standing by whilst all this plays out in front of them.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on12:02 am - Mar 17, 2014


valentinesclown says:
March 16, 2014 at 10:04 pm

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neepheid says:
March 16, 2014 at 8:55 pm
——————————————————-
I agree with Neepheid.
Scottish Football: An Honest Game. IMO we will never have an honest game if the Govan club dodges punishment the way it dodges taxes and dodges playing the game in an honest financial manner like ALL other clubs in Scotland. The Govan club It is still playing football the way it always has since Mr Murray walked into Ibrox in 1988, that is by paying players with money they do not seem to have (not sure if that is a financial advantage, will run it past LNS). They are the Establishment club and that is all that matters. No other club would be able or left to operate in this manner.
They cheated as the DOS proved. If the UTTT goes in the favour of HMRC then it will prove they continued cheating. As such I want every title and trophy stripped from them as sport has got to be honest and honest fans at every club have been cheated. If our SFA cannot carry this out then we need to remove them and establish an honest board to govern our game.
Celtic Park witnessed Armageddon today, what a joy.
______________________________________________

Who is more worthy of punishment?
The defender who deliberately but desperately handles the ball in the box knowing it is his only means of stopping a goal that will see his team lose…

… or the referee that sees it, blatantly… and we see him see it… but elects to wave play on?
Not through genuine error. But through an interest in the outcome of the game.

THIS is what the blog is about.
Punishing RFC(IL) shows a distinct lack of ambition in my view.
They are fans like us (the decent ones).
Let ’em be.

Sorry for coming across all Karma.
But today was immense.
And we lost!
But better to lose with pride and dignity than win with mere vanity or pecuniary advantage.

Congratulations to the Dons.
But there were alot of worried sheep today.
And …we’ll get you next time!

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AuldheidPosted on12:22 am - Mar 17, 2014


Hirsute Pursuit 8.03

Not only should LNS be set aside, the SPFL who as the SPL had reservations regarding what LNS did decide but accepted it on legal advice , should be positively grabbing the opportunity provided by the evidence, whatever the reason it was not provided when asked for, now emerging to boot LNS into touch.

That is the prime objective of approaching the SPFL and it is so, not because of any deception in preparation for LNS but because the LNS findings set precedents that totally undermine the foundations of fair play and deterrents to unfair play that makes football credible as a sport.

The SPFL should then wait for the UTT and be preparing a strategy to handle the consequences whatever the result and preparing the ground for all scenarios.

The SFA and SPFL can then start to look at the places the current arrangements failed and start to address them.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on12:29 am - Mar 17, 2014


……………
But better to lose with pride and dignity than win with mere vanity or pecuniary advantage
…………..

Eek.. just to be clear… I am referring to SDM era here. Not suggesting that todays victors were anything other than dignified and worthy. … just in case!
Would have hoped that was obvious, but can’t be too careful>

Today was agood day. Shame we lost.

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wottpiPosted on12:41 am - Mar 17, 2014


So the high roller from the south sat at the table on Friday with probably not much more than a middling pair of 5s or similar.
Immediately Sevco raised IMHO.
More than 48hrs later the GSL has yet to call, raise or fold.
Is there a time limit on this game?

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on12:44 am - Mar 17, 2014


upthehoops says:
March 16, 2014 at 7:48 pm

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John Clark says:
March 16, 2014 at 5:27 pm
=======================

PS It was great to hear Neil Doncaster roundly booed.

____________________________________

That was all me, you heard, I assure you.
(OK some of it may have been my 14 year old daughter, I admit 😉 )

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AuldheidPosted on1:05 am - Mar 17, 2014


Hirsute Pursuit 2.10.

As part of my comment I only had a very short time to read the response from HM before I had to go out on Friday evening and I knew I would be preoccupied thinking about it and it might spoil my night out.

Then I had a brainwave. Leave it on TSFM and they can do the preoccupation whilst I enjoy myself. I have not been disappointed by that brainwave and thank you and everyone whose thoughtful contributions I have been reading in the past hour or two.

On your point about just how and where the new evidence undermines LNS it was his decision to treat all ebts as continuous AND lawful that first caught my attention because having read all the documents I could see that very clearly they were not.

I could also see that without those documents HM would be ignorant of the key difference and themselves think they were only dealing with one type of ebt.

I say this as an avid follower of RTC who knew about the wee tax case but not the key difference between it and the BTC ebts.

That only came out after having a close look at what HMRC had to say so I could understand HM without sight of that documentation to have thought the ebts as continuous.

So unless there was some smoked filled room collusion to keep the documents out of sight ( and that will never be proved) then HM and the SPL, acting on HM’s advice, were misled by D&P who as Rangers administrators failed to find or handover said documentation.

In them HM and the SPFL have their patsy, a patsy whose reputation is unlikely to be given a glowing reference by BDO.

Of course we have no idea why Campbell Ogilvie, whom the evidence shows was part of Rangers remuneration policy committee who first decided to use ebts, never made the distinction for his Lordship, a question that someone with the best interests of Scottish football at heart must surely ask.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on1:21 am - Mar 17, 2014


The more I think about the number of family groups there today, the more I think this should be what fans are uniting around.
Making the stands family friendly, affordable, and getting people to bring kids to the games.
Its a great way to spend time with teenage kids.
We have empty stands.
We have family breakdown.
The answer is ‘kids for a quid’
Every full paying adult gets to bring a kid for a quid to any match where there are seats available.
£26 for me to watch Caley play St.Mirren is a bit..
£30 for me and my 3 kids to help fill the North stand?
yer on!

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FeduplongtimeagosoawizPosted on1:22 am - Mar 17, 2014


I’m glad that people are reporting how well this cup final went from a fans point view. Great to see Aberdeen fans showing so much interest. It is a pity though that this level of interest isn’t sustained on a weekly basis. If it were Aberdeen would have been able to compete with the Glasgow clubs and it may not have been such a long time since they last picked up a trophy or a title.
I agree with neepheid however on his sentiments for returning as a paying customer. The institution club needs de-institutionalised and the institute needs to be abolished. Until this happens the words “fairness”, “justice” and “without fear nor favour” will remain just words with no value, true meaning nor morals in Scottish football.
I have no solution but like many have been saying for over 40 years what this blog has brought in to the public domain. I welcome the stance taken in continuing to expose and enlighten.

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bogsdolloxPosted on1:49 am - Mar 17, 2014


Auldheid says:
March 16, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Castofthousands 10.46

Yup that covers where I’m coming from and what I expect to come from seeking the truth. An honest self inventory.

From all that I have seen and I include what drives Res 12 to the Celtic AGM, Scottish football has a problem.

That problem has two related elements

1. Much of the rules are self certifying and require honesty from those charged with compliance in order to work.
2. Those policing the compliance have to be above reproach and diligent but the rules must be as tight as possible to require proof of compliance and that proof sought.

There are resource and structural implications arising from accepting the new truth that the rewards for cheating in the modern game way exceed the costs if caught, but that is where Scottish football now finds itself because of dishonesty and failure to police and prevent it.

However it will take an honest enquiry into the governance of Scottish football to confirm or challenge that analysis.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

For years the Scottish football was run for the benefit of TWO clubs. They sucked up the income and distorted the game. One of them cheated the other. The one who never went bust was also involved in the distortion it’s fans now want recourse. Do me a favour.

Today Scottish football was reborn because with the Big TWO mortally wounded 51k of supporters from two Diddy clubs turned out and proved the game is not dead just because the rivalry of the Old Squirm is no longer possible.

Also – is the Ibrox/CP semi final fiasco more about the SFA needing the cash.

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loamfeetPosted on6:25 am - Mar 17, 2014


I would have liked to have seen the formation of the SFPL being used as an opportunity to draft a 21st century constitution for both it and the SFA. Unfortunately both sets of rules still have the whiff of the golf club about them, filled with discretionary opt-outs and overrides.

I agree that future proofing should be the most important focus. It baffles me that the “how could this ever have happened” questions were not immediately followed by “how can we stop this from ever happening again?” The lack of future proofing leaves fans plenty of room to speculate about back room deals, bad actors and the continuation of these status quo above all else.

What about this: we take the SFA constitution as a basis, remove all of the hazy, discretionary nonsense and put in clear, firm requirements for financial disclosure and FFP. Call it a Fans’ Constitution or something. Circulate it around the supporters’ clubs and build support for it – a sort of unofficial ratification process.

Of course it will have absolutely no weight to it, but who knows, if it could gain some momentum, maybe a bit of football celeb endorsement, it might force the authorities to explain why their rules are so vague and equivocating?

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Danish PastryPosted on7:22 am - Mar 17, 2014


Nothing better than a bogeyman to point the finger at (although no actual finger being pointed, obviously). Time to dust off the E of R list, apparently.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/mobile/sport/football/mccoist-timing-of-complaint-unusual.23706844?_=c950dc04dde8c9be3506a6575954d0dc9d153a6d

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Danish PastryPosted on8:19 am - Mar 17, 2014


Twitter quite funny and profound last night. The Sheep v Teuchters final seemed to inspire people:

A wee bit of English satire:

Tom English ‏@TomEnglishSport 9h
@MGrantScotland @mcgowan_stephen @robert_grieve The Ramsdens is the big one. We all know that.

and the wonderful Jum:

Jim Spence ‏@bbcjimspence 9h
The terrific atmosphere at Celtic Park today was perhaps further evidence of what a poor atmosphere Hampden provides for football.

Reply
McClane ‏@TheMcClane 9h
@bbcjimspence one mini war at a time Jim … ;

Reply
Jim Spence ‏@bbcjimspence 8h
@TheMcClane my hail fellow well met persona changed with events a wee while back

and the velvet-voiced Richard Gordon, quoting the disgruntled fan of a rival club in the lower leagues (who had tweeted him earlier). Richard attempting a ‘gentle answer to turn away wrath’:

Richard Gordon ‏@RichardGordon48
“@daviehardie67: @RichardGordon48 makes me Fuckin sick u lot winning the day enjoy it we are on our way back”

Thanks for your kind words!

Never mind sheep on fire, twitter was buzzing. Great fun.

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Bryce CurdyPosted on8:54 am - Mar 17, 2014


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?

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Danish PastryPosted on9:21 am - Mar 17, 2014


loamfeet says:
March 17, 2014 at 6:25 am
2 0 Rate This

” it might force the authorities to explain why their rules are so vague and equivocating?”
—————-

Take away vague and equivocating and they’d be forced to make real and impartial decisions. They’ll insert as many ‘at our discretion’ clauses as they can into any rule book. The whole thing is a relic that could be placed in Kelvingrove beside the dinosaurs.

Agreed though, a united front of fans is needed. And if nothing else, more booing of Doncaster, CO, and the regime leaders. I didn’t hear the booing (pity, a bit of a highlight that) as my viewing possibilities were less than ideal. Which is another thing these people could take seriously. Since the tv deals Scottish football has are so unrewarding, why can’t the SFA / SPFL at least try to bargain for online broadcasting rights? There’s probably more than a few Scottish exiles who’d sign up to SFA / SPFL tv to get a proper stream of big events. Could be a wee earner too, for those underfunded organisations. After all, those bonuses and pay rises have to funded somehow 😛

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FinlochPosted on9:52 am - Mar 17, 2014


If David Cameron, Simon Farage, Alex Salmond or one of their ilk was roundly booed in Glasgow by everyone at an event you’d read and hear about it.
One of our enterprising 4th estate might even ask what the booing was all about.
Both sides yesterday were telling Mr Doncaster something.
Today our media is not telling us anything.
Maybe we should write a press release for them to replicate.

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wottpiPosted on10:07 am - Mar 17, 2014


Resin_lab_dog says:
March 17, 2014 at 1:21 am

Totally agree. When a stadium is not going to be full then the kids for a pound has to be a winner.
The fact is that while people may like to dine in a Michelin starred restaurants its not something they do or can afford to do every week but they will may make the effort for a special occassion.

Cup finals are like that but the trick is to try and capture the odd new customer when the feel good factor is high.

Folk who are truly dedicated (i.e fanatical) will be happy to shell out for a season ticket and ones for their kids if that is their desire.
However I am sure there are many folk who cannot justify that expense or indeed the time commitment. Making a family entrance price more affordable for certain games may give people a bit more to think about when its a choice between seeing the local team or a visit to the cinema, bowling etc etc

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Galling fiverPosted on10:20 am - Mar 17, 2014


Semi-final doo is all about the money, 50/50 ticket split and then DUFC repaying the boycott could end the panto. Constant disgrace, mon the Albion.

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sannoffymesssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on11:05 am - Mar 17, 2014


Bryce Curdy says: March 17, 2014 at 8:54 am

Thanks for reminding us of this important fact.

I believe that RFC(IL) had to accept that these were liable to the deduction of Income tax & Class 1 NIC under HMRC’s PAYE Regulations because the “side letters” produced as evidence clearly showed “on the balance of probabilities” the contractual nature of the payments described therein.

Had RFC(IL) and the MIH Group not have deliberitly and wilfuly witheld / destroyed the “side letters” for all of the other then I consider that the FTT would have reached a different conclusion.

The LNS Decision confirms that RFC(IL) and RFC Ltd did not contest the assertion that “side letters” were issued to all other participants in the DOS and EBT schemes.

John Clark,

Was this point discussed at the UTT?

If so please advise what was said?

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andypandimoniumPosted on11:05 am - Mar 17, 2014


Re the SC semi-final stramash, I can’t for the life of me understand what the SFA are getting at with their “maximising revenues” argument. The DUFC has played a Rangers on four occasions in the cup since 2010. The average attandance at those four games is 15,845. Even looking at the two games played at the neutral venue which is Ibrox, the average was 20,959. Why is there an expectation that one possible semi final participant will turn out in droves for this tie? There is no recent evidence to support this assumption. Indeed, based on recent experience, Easter Road would be a wholly appropriate venue………..it would, in fact, be neutral. I would love to attend a semi-final with my son to cheer on my club to a much longed for cup final place. I, for one, am finding it very difficult to come up with excuses to do so, which is a great shame.

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Gym TrainerPosted on11:09 am - Mar 17, 2014


re: the Scottish Cup semifinal & final arrangements – I’m sure there would be a blue outcry if it was to pass that a “The Rangers”/Celtic final was to be played at Celtic Park.

Do these eejits saying there’s no problem, it’s all been agreed think we have heads that button up the back?

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Angus1983Posted on11:19 am - Mar 17, 2014


Resin_lab_dog … glad you enjoyed yersels yesterday despite the result.

Encouraging to hear that fans of both teams got along so well (I was in Glasgow, put up with the traffic both ways – but wasna at the game!). Kind of makes a mockery of the “need” to keep the top bit of ICT’s stand completely empty, doesn’t it? A cynical fellow can’t help thinking that it was more of a need for the historical photographic record to show a big empty part of the ground when only diddy teams are involved …

On a side note, I was at Glasgow University yesterday thinking that at least I could pop down and watch bits of the game on the telly in the “Beer Bar”. However … they were watching English football all afternoon. 😯

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Alan PricePosted on11:39 am - Mar 17, 2014


Smugas says:
March 15, 2014 at 7:16 pm
33 1 Rate This

Fantastic spat on sportsound ( that raises a lovely image but I digress). Spencey suggested Stephen Thomson would sit with the Utd fans fearing for his safety in the directors box. Cue faux outrage by everyone’s favourite st mirren fan.
____________________________________

Just tried to access BBC’s sportsound on 15th.

The 14th and 16th podcasts are up, but not the 15th.

Hmmm…

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AllyjamboPosted on11:47 am - Mar 17, 2014


andypandimonium says:

March 17, 2014 at 11:05 am

“Re the SC semi-final stramash, I can’t for the life of me understand what the SFA are getting at with their “maximising revenues” argument.”
—————————————————————–
I think it very similar, in many ways, to what we’ve seen before, where it’s perfectly acceptable to give/allow one side (always seems to be a Rangers) a sporting advantage in the interests of ‘maximising revenues’ for the side that is also getting the ‘sporting advantage’. Of course, I’m sure they could trot out someone with no knowledge of the game to state that having the vast majority of the support at a match provides no sporting advantage, but I doubt we’d accept that any more than we did when similar was spouted by LNS. The only reason both semis are being played at Ibrox is to ‘maximise revenue’ for TRFC. There is absolutely no ‘sporting’ reason for it. Besides, wasn’t it the desperation to ‘maximise revenues’ (by tax dodges), at the expense of sporting integrity, that has brought the game to the mess it’s in now?

Once again, in their efforts to shore up a club from Ibrox, the SFA have created another mess that disadvantages at least one of their more dignified clubs. Another thought; if maximising revenues is so all important, why aren’t all three matches being played at Celtic Park?

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joe millers shortsPosted on11:49 am - Mar 17, 2014


WOTTPI and Resin Lab Dog

Family tickets and kids for a pound is a great idea, however the family section at Celtic Park is next to the away support. it is not family friendly to have to listen to songs about paedophilia, jimmy saville, wrong country etc. most away fans sing this stuff

PS i did not like to hear the celtic fans on friday night either. apart from the stereophonic Glasgow’s green and white which is fantastic

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EKBhoyPosted on12:20 pm - Mar 17, 2014


TSFM

It seems to me that you are being proscriptive about the outcome of the dialogue with the SPFL lawyers. If Rangers , as was, are guilty of various rule breaking as found by a LNS-new then given that the Pandora’s box has been re-opened , the guilty party would just have to accept the punishments dished-out, which may or may not include stripping of titles.

A couple of major leaps of fantasy above, firstly the SPFL, worked from the back by the SFA, will ever re-constitute another LNS , and if by some strange quirk of nature they all woke up one morning with a conscience then I would doubt that their new found mindset would stretch to the same rigour that applies to small clubs incorrectly dating forms.

Scottish football has certain long standing characteristics which in my view will never change , bungling officialdom , and incompetent refereeing, [TSFM Edit].

It’s pointless trying to be reasonable with them so you have to catch them out in a lie , a la Fergus – Farry, the best bet for blowing it up is that Celtic get the SFA via Resolution 12 – Euro license.

I am now convinced that Fergus would have sued the SFA repeatedly by now and that the Celtic boards strategy of keeping the peace gets harder to justify with every passing day.

The only line of defence that the SFA has , is that they were lied to by a member club , they could try the incompetence defence but hey that goes without saying …. The words that need to come out the SFA are … ” we were lied to by Rangers and we incorrectly gave them a Euro license , and for this we apologise. We accept that this has harmed Celtic and are grateful to Celtic for not claiming compensation …. We have completely over-hauled our internal processes and in addition as a matter of urgency , we have initiated another review of the Rangers EBT years based on the outcome of the UTT …… ”

…. Something like this will be too much like common-sense …….. the incompetents running the game and the state of the game are indeed directly in proportion to one another .

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Carl31Posted on12:39 pm - Mar 17, 2014


Auldheid,

From memory, new legislation came out (in 2008 I think) on Disguised Remunerations.
This is intended to catch all these different types of schemes and means of paying contractual wages in a way that it can be argued are not taxable as contractual wages – catch them and collect the tax due.
The new legislation set out how, when assessing for taxable income, its the whole picture that should be seen, and not simply documents or forms looked at and the law applied to it. Dr Poon covered this in the FTT minority opinion.
This seems a recurring theme of form over substance.

It seems that the ‘LNS/SPLIC misled’ will be denied using the strict definitions of ‘the issues’, ‘specified players’ and the definition of an EBT.
Using legalese, they strictly would be correct, but patently there has been a failure to see the bigger picture of what has happened, leaving the whole process as unsatisfactory.

The SPLIC was too narrow in its scope and definitions and if those who saw fit to pursue wrongdoing still have an appetite or will for it on the basis of principle, then at the least there must be further action of some kind. Action that looks for the bigger picture.

How this might be progressed, or what could compel those on the SPL Board to act is not clear.

I guess that if the SPL board decided to act and then the SPLIC was instigated from one of their board meetings – with the terms of reference drawn up and contained in the Notice of Commission, along with the charges, then I would suggest going back to there.

Maybe what needs to be pursued are the SPL Board minutes that include the decision to act, which led to the announcement, “that set up an enquiry that the initial date range to be covered was from the inception of the SPL in July 1998, but that was changed to 23 November 2000 because, according to our understanding, that is the date of the first side letter supplied by Rangers Administrators Duff and Phelps.”

These should include the decision based on the principle that wrongdoing should be investigated. You have set out how the principle was not satisfied.

Hope this helps.

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AllyjamboPosted on12:47 pm - Mar 17, 2014


EKBhoy says:

March 17, 2014 at 12:20 pm

I very much doubt that LNS will ever be revisited, even if it is proven, and the facts published, that it was lied to and that information withheld would have left no option other than to withdraw titles. I think the best we can hope for is an acknowledgement that the findings were inadvertently erroneous and that the penalties were far too lenient for the level of dishonesty entered into. I suspect, however, that even this would be too much to hope for. It would require a level of honesty and decency, within the footballing bodies, that has never yet been seen. With a media unprepared to investigate and ask the necessary questions, or even to publish known facts that might damage RFC(IL)’s standing, it has been all too easy for the cowards at Hampden to avoid what should be done. I see no sign of that changing.

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torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958)Posted on12:58 pm - Mar 17, 2014


WRT the granting of a licence to play next season,surely the accounts of TRFC and not the holding company must be released before any licence can be granted?.
These accounts have still to be produced but I’m sure the SFA/SPFL will accept anything from anyone if it helps Sevco play next year.

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fara1968Posted on1:03 pm - Mar 17, 2014


Just catching up on events over the weekend, (mrs Fara has piled the DIY jobs on me).
I notice that 30000 fans of The Rangers waved wee blue cards in their support of Dave Kings plans. I also note that the MSM are running with this as a credible alternative to the current situation. Is this really happening in our little country?
King the man described as a glib and shameless liar by a SA tax court. The man who I believe is a convicted criminal, though this would not be known if your only source of info was the MSM. Why is this man not being run out of town by the bears? Why are the MSM giving this man credibility?
This whole saga is an absolute and utter joke. The MSM instead of backing this man should be asking the bears and King if his past makes him suitable, or dare I say fit and proper.

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TSFMPosted on1:18 pm - Mar 17, 2014


EK Bhoy

There is no proscription at all. It would hardly be up to me anyway, since there would be more than one party involved in any possible discussion. We are simply making it clear what we want to see from this process – and it doesn’t include demands for title-stripping. Our bar is set a little higher than that.

Some of what you say might resonate a bit better with the rest of us if you acknowledged that other clubs – and not only Celtic – have been harmed by RFC’s behaviour. The notion that Celtic need to have a special apology is a wee bit dismissive of the rest is it not?

I think the OF prism is still far too real – even in a supposed post OF world.

On your Fergus assumption, my information is that you are incorrect – and that Fergus was disbelieving of the fact that the SPL clubs didn’t call the bluff of the fans and allow Sevco into the SPL.

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