Scottish Football and the case for a Bismarck!

Bybroganrogantrevinoandhogan

Scottish Football and the case for a Bismarck!

Good Evening.

When considering any type of protracted negotiation or discussion that seems to be going on too long, there is a story that is always worth remembering– whether it is actually a true story or not as the case may be.

It is said, that heads of state all met at a congress in what is now modern Germany sometime after the Franco Prussian war of 1870-1871.The entire congress was being run almost singlehandedly by the then Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismark and he was keen to get all the necessary signatures on paper to seal some deal or other.

However, others at the congress were not too keen to sign up to certain elements of the proposed deal and so they hithered and dithered and in the eyes of Bismark they simply waisted time by concentrating on the minutiae- the little matters, with a view to ensuring their own interests were best served in these small areas– and did not focus on the big issue.

Having tried to talk these others round and educate them in his own beliefs and point of view on the bigger picture without any success, Bismark grew weary of the continuing delay and the posturing of his colleagues. All attempts at reason and diplomacy had failed in his eyes and so he decided to take a different tack.

Accordingly, it is said that whilst others were still inside debating endlessly on this matter or that, Bismark left the building and began simply shooting the windows in with the aid of a riffle which he just happened to have handy.

Those inside were naturally alarmed at this turn of events. They soon forgot about the minutiae under debate, they abandoned the previously expressed self interest and simply signed up so that they could get away from the mad chancellor and his house.

Job done so to speak.

Whilst I do not in anyway condone the behaviour of Otto von Bismark in this instance, and have no doubt that he was an autocrat, what I will say is that he believed that there was too much time being spent on the unimportant stuff and not enough time recognising what really needed doing– from his point of view of course.

Today– and it seems every day for months— we have endless debate about the future of Scottish Football. League reconstruction and the redistribution of footballing wealth has become a marathon– even before it has started.

Yet I believe that at the moment all parties concerned are not focusing on the radical reform that is fundamentally needed which is the creation of one, strong, properly structured and constituted body which is capable of the proper and ethical governance of Scottish Football and the business that surrounds football.

No matter what system you try, or distribution you agree, without proper sensible strong governance you are wasting your time.

Further, whatever body is set up, and whoever is chosen to be its CEO (or whatever the head honcho is going to be called), they must tackle the issue of corporate and fiscal compliance and the proper administration of any body corporate which actively takes part in Scottish Football– and that includes any such body or person who is involved in the running of a member club.

In addition, in so dealing with any corporate malfeasance or chicanery or whatever, the rules have to be applied with a rod of iron by an iron body.

As we can now clearly see, Football clubs and football in general is not, and never will be, immune from the effects of bad corporate governance and on occasion downright manipulation of facts, figures and contracts.

Whilst great play has been made of the fact that Gavin Masterton has handed over his shares in Dunfermline FC ( or its holding company ) the fact of the matter is that this in no way solves the problem faced by the football club. Whoever gains control of that club will still have to rent the ground from Mr Masterton’s company– and it is a rent that the club may just not be able to afford.

Ever!

It is only my opinion of course, but I am of the view that Mr Masterton has sealed a loan deal with his bankers which is of a type and duration which could not normally be achieved by other borrowers. The Loan has a lengthy period during which no repayments are necessary and interest can continue to accrue.

All very good you may say, but the level of debt concerned is not one that appears to be sustainable by Dunfermline FC and so whoever buys the club as a going concern ( if anyone buys it at all ) will have to pay an agreed rental to Gavin Masterton– and if the rental is not sufficient to repay Mr Masterton’s lenders, then I suspect that the end game here will be a search to find a buyer for the ground at some point over the next twenty years or so, with the hope that as part of the deal a space will be found somewhere for a new ground like New St Mirren park– the difference being that in that instance St Mirren were in charge of their future whereas Dunfermline are not.

The Governance of that club and the financial arrangements behind the club should have been looked at and examined by the SFA long before now– and the Dunfermline fans warned about the dangers of any such arrangements. Effectively those finance arrangements, should they continue, will probably mean that the club will have no option but to move from its established home!

All to suit one man!

Thankfully Dundee were spared a full takeover by Giovanni Di Stefano, however is it not a bit worrying that this man who has been jailed for over 14 years for various fraudulent acts, was allowed to roam around Scottish Football for a prolonged period?

Not so long ago Di Stefano did play a part at Dens, was in line to buy almost 30% of the shareholding, and was oft quoted in the papers and so on. The thing is that there were those who were prepared to give him a place at the Dundee table and in so doing invited him into Scottish Football.

Surely the SFA, had they been inclined to, could quite easily have pointed out that many of the claims of Mr Di Stefano were at least dubious if not completely incorrect? Yet nothing was being said at the time and silence prevailed.

Whilst not in the same calibre as Di Dtefano, Vladimir Romanov has now been at Hearts for a prolonged period. While I have no quibbles about the legality of Romanov’s takeover of Hearts, any money of a sizeable size which is transferred into Scotland from a foreign country will be subject to scrutiny by the Crown office to ensure that it is clean. Lithuania in particular is said to have a banking system which is governed loosely and sometimes does not meet the compliance standards expected in this country.

With his bank having gone bust, Romanov still retains the majority shareholding at Tynecastle, but there are questions still to be answered about what has happened at Hearts but life will be very different for the Edinburgh club going forward.

Again– could the SFA have done more to monitor the situation and could they have demanded clarity and detail from the Hearts owner as to his business dealings and the detailed arrangements with his bank?

At Ibrox, well things just go from the weird and inexplicable to downright astonishing– and all through a tremendous amount of smoke and mirrors.

It is clear that the SFA have no idea what to believe from Charles Green or for that matter Craig Whyte. On the face of it, there are clear links between Whyte and Green with the former paying over a six figure sum in return for absolutely nothing it would appear– with similar transactions going between Whyte’s colleague, Aiden Early, and Charles Green.

What is clear is that Green gave a clear undertaking to the SFA that he had nothing whatsoever to do with Whyte and would have nothing to do with Whyte going forward. Now, at the very least he is admitting that he met Whyte on several occasions, and whilst he may have made representations to Craig Whyte— these were all lies designed only to get Whyte to where Green wanted him.

This is hardly the act of someone who has been bona fides in his business dealings either with Whyte or with the SFA as the licensing body.

It is against this background that the Scottish Football Agencies need to wake up before they find the fans of the game ( at least those who want to stay interested in the game ) doing a Bismarck and panning in the windows of this whole house of cards.

Football Clubs, football fans, and indeed football itself needs protected from the financial and corporate shenanigans, and the governing body must be much more active and permanently vigilant in watching out for and if necessary anticipating the people and the transactions which have and will jeopardise clubs and the game in general going forward.

It is clearly no longer acceptable to rely on self regulation or mere declarations and undertakings from the clubs themselves. The Administrators must be much more active and employ far greater professional expertise in carrying out an almost constant analytical and reporting function in relation to club finance and corporate regulation.

All and any changes in funding, boardroom changes, investor changes and anything else major should be the subject of immediate and proper scrutiny by the SFA and there should be fair, immediate and stiff sanctions for non compliance, and any type of dilatory behaviour on the part of club officials who would seek to conceal the truth or who fail to properly disclose vital matters which should be out in the open.

Further, the funding detail– such as the never ending loan re Dunfermline should be a matter of public record in all its detail so that fans and investors can make information based value judgements when dealing with any club.

Such stiffer regulation should not develop into anything like a corporate witch hunt or any kind of draconian big brother syndrome, however the need for change given all of the current troubles is obvious to one and all.

Further, the attempted fudge surrounding Rangers league status last summer and the ongoing disquiet surrounding the position of Campbell Ogilvie does nothing to boost faith in and the reputation of Football Administration in Scotland.

Things are far from clear and there appears to be continual dithering and fudging. No one has any idea where the Nimmo Smith Report has gone nor what import it is to have— if any. Why is that?

Dithering and bumbling over detail is no longer an option. Strong clear governance is required to protect the game from being hijacked by those who have their own corporate and financial agendas.

Such people cannot be allowed to determine the way Scottish Football runs  or to conduct themselves in a fashion that leaves football and everyone involved in limbo.

It is time for Scottish Football to find its own Iron Chancellor!  There is a need for someone who will, if necessary, come along and shoot the lights out of any club or Company Director who wishes to play fast and loose with the game of football.

About the author

broganrogantrevinoandhogan author

Boot wearing football, sport & total nonsense fan-- Gourmet, Bon Viveur and eedgit! - Oh and I write a bit occasionally!

5,402 Comments so far

rantinrobinPosted on12:05 am - May 7, 2013


Allan Johnston wins PFA manager of the year
http://t.co/9qeemUjlw4

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Lord WobblyPosted on12:10 am - May 7, 2013


AN American property tycoon could be poised to swoop for
debt-ridden Hearts.

http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/sport/spl/4917539/Yank-tycoon-Jambos-bid.html

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goosyPosted on12:12 am - May 7, 2013


Welcome back RTC

Agree with the sentiment that Murray and Cardigan can best oust the Spivs by helping Whyte win his case bankrupting the business in the process
One things for sure
The Bears will pick up all the costs in this mess

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rantinrobinPosted on12:13 am - May 7, 2013


Thanks for that rampant baron.good to know of UTT timescale.

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john clarkePosted on12:18 am - May 7, 2013


therampantbaron says:
Monday, May 6, 2013 at 23:57
‘.. Reassuringly for some if not others, the judge is not likely to be a Scottish male accustomed to mixing in the rarefied social atmosphere populated by Murray and his coterie of Edinburgh advisers.’
—-
Indeed.
Fair chance, though, that he may wear his trousers rolled,have a wonderful appreciation of architecture ( temple columns in particular) and always covers his work.

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iamacantPosted on12:22 am - May 7, 2013


Welcome back RTC, excellent post

I did say on your site back in Feb 2012 that records should have been expelled and expunged from the history books. I still have not changed my opinion.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on12:23 am - May 7, 2013


therampantbaron says:
Monday, May 6, 2013 at 23:57

Tx. Excellent and illuminating answer.

So in the (unlikely) event of an unfavourable (to HMRC & us taxpayers, that is) result in the UTT, there is a wee rake in the grass for the EBT beneficiaries and a 6% consolation prize for Hector for showing up and playing a blinder. Not that this will distract him from the main prize in any way.

Wonder how many of the EBT beneficiaries are aware of this sting in the tail?
And Intriguingly, does this mean that it is actually in the beneficiaries interests (SDM excepted) for MIH/RFC to LOSE the UTT? ( i.e. Presumably if the PAYE/NI liability crystallises the trust becomes void and the IHT element lapses.)
Could this account for some of SDMs determination to maintain control of the legal defence, fearing that the beneficiaries might play for Hector’s side?

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john clarkePosted on12:27 am - May 7, 2013


therampantbaron says:
Monday, May 6, 2013 at 23:57
‘The decision can be expected within 2 months at most of the hearing concluding so don’t miss your opportunity for some “in-play betting” between the end of October and mid December.’

Meant to ask, where will that hearing be, and will it be public?
I’d love to attend, if it’s in edinburgh.

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wottpiPosted on12:35 am - May 7, 2013


Said it may a time. Too many unknowns to predict when Sevco may run out of cash. If they manage to pass over a few hurdles then top dollar season tickets and a line of credit are a possibility. Keep going as they are then it will be harder to jump each hurdle.

Sounds like a battle is on for how best to proceed. Or if you are a cynic – how best, for one side, to screw whats left out of the club.

If they have the IPO in hard cash and investors are not to botherred about not getting a return any time soon, then with cost cutting and a decent coach they will probably bang on for a few more years. The reaility is that unless some sugar daddy pumps a ton of cash in they are not going to get anywhere near the top anytime soon.

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StevieBCPosted on12:36 am - May 7, 2013


RTC, welcome back… part-timer… 😉

OT
Expectinrain – are you Jersey based yourself?

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CastofThousandsPosted on12:59 am - May 7, 2013


enoughx2 says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 00:01

Mmmhh! Perhaps we both just imagined your comment. Maybe sleeping dogs need be left to doze.

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newtzPosted on1:01 am - May 7, 2013


Interesting sequence …

May 9th 2012 … Green requests £25k from Whyte (Recorded) …. source STV
May 15th 2012 … £25k paid out and cleared from Mr Earley’s account …. source STV
May 21st 2012 … Charles Green, a Director of RFCL provided a loan of £25,000 (to Sevco 5088 Limited) …. Source RIFC Interim Accounts

May 29th 2012 … £25k novated from Sevco 5088 Limited to RFCL …. Source RIFC Interim Accounts

No interest accrued and this was repaid to Green on 15 August 2012 …. Source RIFC Interim Accounts

just an observation ….

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AuldheidPosted on1:25 am - May 7, 2013


Rangers Tax-Case (@rangerstaxcase) says:

Monday, May 6, 2013 at 22:22

The SFA are key here, but if I were a Rangers supporter I would be asking them what assurances they are getting from Rangers men and proof of funding to keep the club going before I paid for an ST.

Being in bed with The Rangers should make the SFA as untrustworthy in the eyes of Rangers supporters as it does all other clubs; supporters and the trick will be to get the msm to demand transparency of the SFA on any agreement they might reach with Rangers men.

To that extent Stuart Cosgrove has been making the licensing point on air of late although the silence of the succulent lamb journos on such a key issue is very noticeable.

Its not the men they put in charge that matters, its the money they put in and the degree of honesty Rangers men and the SFA show towards a support who have been regally shafted over the past 18 months by their club and the organisation who failed to protect them.

EBTs are what made Rangers unsellable, Campbell Ogilvie has pleaded ignorance of the risk EBTs presented, he should have known as a top administrator and his judgement is obviously highly suspect, like the parent of a spolied child who cannot say no.

The cleansing of Rangers has to go beyond the four walls at Ibrox before a way forward can be found. A problem cannot be solved by the same minds who created it.

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ptd1978Posted on1:32 am - May 7, 2013


Welcome back RTC. Great post. Good analysis and highly readable as always.

Not sure Whyte will allow the club to be crashed without a fight, at least until he has his judgement. He might just be able to buy Ticketus off with whatever it is he is awarded. Not sure he needs poker skills for this hand anymore. He’s all in.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on1:36 am - May 7, 2013


Rangers Tax-Case (@rangerstaxcase) says:
Monday, May 6, 2013 at 22:22

“The SFA do have the power to render all of the Sevcos worthless by withdrawing their membership and license. Effectively handing a new Rangers membership to the ‘Rangers-men’ would effectively rid Scottish football of Green and Whyte in one fell swoop. The ‘Rangers-men’ have an old pal at the head of that organisation. We should not be too surprised at how far they will be willing to go to gain control.”
________________________________________

Surely that would be a step 2 far?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvK1F-Thrzk

I have pretty much decided that – so long as TRFC aren’t fast tracked – I probably will renew the ICT ST next year. But if SFA pull a stunt like this with CO in charge? – games a bogey I am afraid.

Not a fan of tax cheats, but I really don’t have any problem at all with the decent bears.

I don’t even have a problem with RFCIII getting a licence to play, if its done right.
(anti sectarian needs to be a condition… it is the law after all! Start at the bottom, earn your place, among fellow fans of the spectacle that is football, without flouncing to front of every queue filled with decent folk. Win friends and influence people instead bears!)

But anyone who has ever sat on any RFC board for the last 2 decades, or been in receipt of an MIH EBT can’t be classed as an FPP. Even most bears can see that! And this gets Ogilvie coming and going. There can be no progress in Scottish football while he is in station. The appearance of impropriety is just too huge. He is the elephant in the room!

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expectinrainPosted on5:54 am - May 7, 2013


Many thanks rampantbaron, mullach, resinlabdog, StevieBC; why this site is so valuable.

(OT StevieBC, no; I have friends and a – ahem – professional interest there.)

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Lord WobblyPosted on7:17 am - May 7, 2013


OT, but it made me laugh…

‘Rather regrettably, Andy Goram was under-employed after Johnsen’s early opener, although he did roll back the years to give an impression of a flying pig when tipping away an effort by Dion Dublin.’

http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/sfl-division-three/nacho-novo-wants-another-go-at-rangers-1-2921583

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Danish PastryPosted on7:49 am - May 7, 2013


Rangers Tax-Case (@rangerstaxcase) says:
Monday, May 6, 2013 at 22:22
268 2 Rate This
———–

RTC,
Interestingly conservative interpretation of the current events and timeline compared to some of the other leading lights. For quite some time there has been a sense of ‘any day now’, and those of us not in the know can easily get caught up a slightly fevered expectation of justice now. Had to laugh at the Timternet reference though, humour is not lost 🙂

Bravo.

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neepheidPosted on8:16 am - May 7, 2013


So yesterday’s board meeting didn’t take place after all. I take this as an indication that the board is split down the middle on some major issue. I suppose that lines have been drawn between the money men and the “rangers” men.

Could this be something to with the sale of season tickets? Perhaps the brown brogues brigade are worried about the legality of selling tickets without a viable business plan for getting to the end of the season? Or even feel a twinge of conscience at the thought of another shafting for the loyal bears?

Whereas the red braces faction couldn’t care less about the fans, except as a handy cash machine. They just want the season ticket money in quick so that they can get into a lifeboat with a profit before the good ship TRFC sinks below the waves.

It will be interesting to see what AIM makes of the weekend’s non-event. It certainly doesn’t say much for corporate governance at this listed company.

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upthehoopsPosted on8:24 am - May 7, 2013


neepheid says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 08:16

Could this be something to with the sale of season tickets?
==================================================

Given that most clubs now appear to be publicly selling season tickets for season 2013-2014, you would think, someone, anyone, from the Scottish media would seek an answer from Ibrox as to why theirs are not yet on sale. You would also think the chances of a turquoise elephant flying past your window are pretty much zero mind you.

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scapaflow14Posted on8:33 am - May 7, 2013


The reconstruction Hockey Cokey continues according to the Herald

http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/football/one-body-rigor-mortis-it-seems-has-not-set-in.21011053

Broadly similar message in the Scotsman

http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/top-football-stories/spl-reform-four-options-on-table-for-clubs-1-2921572

Bill L defends Longmuir, and says the SPL has to go

http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/sport/4916427/SPL-is-a-toxic-brand-that-should-be-binned.html

Should be an interesting day

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briggsbhoyPosted on8:33 am - May 7, 2013


Is the publicity surrounding Sevco any worse than it was at this time last year in that it will affetc ST sales ?

Who is going to be the face and driver behind the campaign to buy ST’s now that CG has gone ? If there was one thing that CG was good at at it was being at the coal face when required, must be his Yorkshire upbringing.

Has the blind loyalty been established and therefore they will be bought whether there is a campaign or not ?

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therampantbaronPosted on8:41 am - May 7, 2013


resin_lab_dog says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 00:23
————————————
Yes there are vested interests at play here and it is not inconceivable that some of those ostensibly on the appellant’s (RFC(IL)) side will have differing views as to which outcome they would prefer.

The majority finding of the FTT was perverse and illogical, Dr Poon’s comments were logical and unsurprising.

Other than the initial templated documentation, there is no evidence anywhere to suggest that the payments made to the individuals were loans and, on the contrary, there is a wealth of evidence – contracts, side letters, active concealment, shredding, untrustworthy evidence given under oath – that this was payment of contractually agreed salary.

john clarke says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 00:27
—————————————
I would sincerely hope and trust that the next hearing will be in public, in Edinburgh. Natural justice demands it, the Usher Hall can accommodate it.

One of the greatest scandals of the original hearing – never really reflected upon although I think Slimshady did once refer to it – was that the tribunal hearings were permitted to be held in camera, i.e. with the public excluded.

The Tribunal rules have always been quite specific as to the exceptional circumstances required before a request for a hearing to be held in private can be granted. As you would expect, those tests are stringent – risk to national security, genuine risk to the wellbeing of the appellant or any other parties involved.

I did not see then, nor do I see today, any of those tests being met such that privacy and anonymity were granted for the FTT hearing; it makes a mockery of the system and frankly there is no logical explanation.

But, to paraphrase the late great Hugh Keevins, “this is Scotland and every decision made by everyone about everything is going to come under scrutiny……” – the only thing not allowed to come under scrutiny of course being the genuinely held views of the Scottish football press.

“Let justice be done though the circulation figures fall”

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Danish PastryPosted on8:57 am - May 7, 2013


Lord Wobbly says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 00:10
11 0 Rate This

AN American property tycoon could be poised to swoop for
debt-ridden Hearts.

http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/sport/spl/4917539/Yank-tycoon-Jambos-bid.html
—————

Surely not another tycoon about to save a club, and no doubt with all of his own money too. Wonderful to know that so many of these selfless benefactors exist. Ye cannae beat it. Wobbly, perhaps the ‘when pigs fly’ reference earlier might be relevant here too?

#believeitwhenIseeit

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Richard Wilson (@timomouse)Posted on9:08 am - May 7, 2013


http://www.thefootballlife.co.uk/post/49665586153/the-way-forward

On Charles Green’s aspirational document designed to get fans perspirational but lacs a truth foundational

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Rangers Tax-Case (@rangerstaxcase)Posted on9:13 am - May 7, 2013


Danish Pastry says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 07:49
___________________________________

Don’t misunderstand me Danish. In addition to the same information everyone has read on the Timternet, I have heard rumblings of significant events about to break loose in the coming days from a few disparate sources. The precise nature of what will break loose I cannot say- literally because I do not know.

The first part of the post above is just clarifying the limited paths of action available to Whyte. Even if he can prove he was defrauded, he cannot just pick up Ibrox like it was a stolen car.
The second part of the post above expresses my view that it will take longer for these events to play out than many of us want to believe. The one way I can see earth tremours that will change the landscape quickly would be if the SFA decide to get involved. Despite the urging of many bampots, I cannot see them taking any decisive action without knowing that Rangers III was already in the works. The SFA stripping Sevco FC of membership and license without another newco in the works would be out of character- as would decisiveness.

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TartawulverPosted on9:16 am - May 7, 2013


Lord Wobbly says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 00:10

AN American property tycoon could be poised to swoop for
debt-ridden Hearts.
http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/sport/spl/4917539/Yank-tycoon-Jambos-bid.html
————————————–
The same article mentions the possibility of a fan’s takeover, yet somehow in newpaperland that’s seen as the boring option, whereas the suggar-daddy model is seen as instant salvation, cost-free and glamorous. And this despite the carnage that such an approach has brought to many clubs in many countries. No wonder football is in such a mess, if the standard by which the press judge a potential club owner’s suitability is simply how good a headline he (I would say ‘or she’, but it’s always a he) can generate.

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broganrogantrevinoandhoganPosted on9:26 am - May 7, 2013


Good Morning one and all.

A couple of points.

Re the UTT Tribunal— whilst I note all that is said for the potential sting in the tail for the potential or the intended beneficiaries of the MIH EBT’s, the article produced only looks at this possibility from one angle.

I believe that HMRC will attempt to attack the very same issue via another route which will in no way prejudice their ability to follow the route referred to as a secondary measure.

The FTT ruled — by way of majority— on the basis that the trusts set up and the loans granted by those trusts were to be treated as real, legal and viable entities and were not shams– in other words they were not fake legal entities and transactions designed to hide and mask the true nature of the fiscal transactions. At the FTT hearing HMRC specifically asked that the trusts and loans were NOT treated as shams.

As such, the majority decided that if these were bona fides loans — then loans did not attract tax and PAYE.

So far– so good.

However, what does not seem to have been sufficiently stressed in the HMRC argument and/or picked up at FTT level, is the argument that whatever these trusts and loans were ( legal and real or not ) they were only funded by Rangers PLC as a result of players and others entering into a contract of employment.

No trusts were ever set up substantially after any contract of employment ( bar perhaps one or two which remain a mystery ) and it is quite clear that the loans and payments are inextricably linked to players signing contracts and supposedly non existent side letters.

What is to be stressed by HMRC is that whether the loans were real or not, the moment that Rangers PLC paid any money to any Jersey based entity in connection with such contracts of employment, those payments attracted tax and NIC . It does not matter if the Jersey trusts then used the money to make loans or use the money down the bookies or buy provisions from Tesco– the transactions of the trust are irrelevant except in so far as they provide further evidence of the fact that the initial payment out of the Rangers PLC bank account should attract tax because in each and every case a Rangers PLC employee benefited in some way or other– directly or indirectly.

This argument is further enhanced and made all the more attractive to HMRC by the existence and the detail of the side letters– many of which clearly state that in the event of Tax and NIC being due as a result of these payments, the players concerned will be INDEMNIFIED by Rangers PLC.

The very use of the words concerned place all the players in a difficult position, because an indemnity does not mean that no money is due or that someone has escaped any liability arising, it merely means that there is an agreement between two parties that one of them will pay a debt ( should it arise ) on behalf of the other.

Accordingly, if the UTT rules in favour of HMRC, the tax will be due and the beneficiaries will be faced with a bill. The Indemnity from Rangers PLC is now worthless as the company is in liquidation– so there is no chance of the bills being paid from that source.

It is here, then, that the revenue will turn to the players– who have signed documentation which states that tax might well be due, that they knew tax might be due, goes on to imply that they (the players) are due to pay said tax, but then goes on to say that Rangers will pay the tax for them and on their behalf and so indemnifying them.

Of course, that will then throw up an interesting debate between former players and the SFA/PFA and so on as to whether or not “The Club” is the same legal entity or not.

If the argument persists that in football terms Rangers now are the same club as always, then some will undoubtedly argue that there is an obligation to make good the obligation to indemnify the players as they played for the club “registered” with the SFA and the SPL.

As we know, Mr Bryson of the SFA has stated that those registrations were legal and above board until revoked by the SFA– and he has stated that for some reason they have not been revoked.

You will also recall that the 5 way agreement supposedly binds the current administration at Ibrox to paying the “footballing debts”! Can there be a more obvious footballing debt than the wages and financial obligations due to the players who played for the club under valid and legal registrations?

All of this still leaves the argument about the 10 year expiry period re the trust loans and what happens at the end of that period in so far as the loans being repaid.

The revenue can and do bring all sorts of pressures to bear on the regulators of the States of Jersey, and the affairs of a few footballers are a drop in the ocean when compared to all of the money stored and hidden off shore by way of trusts and so on.

It would not surprise me at all if the administration- or maladministration — of these particular trusts is looked at from Jersey as a matter of self preservation by the Jersey regulators.

On a separate point, it is now almost two years since I engaged in a long personal conversation with Auldheid about the licensing position of all Scottish Clubs. At that point the internet forums and the newspapers were full of posts proclaiming that the football licence could simply be transferred though very few commentators had actually looked at the licensing provisions.

It was not widely realised at the time how significant any licence was, and would become, in this entire affair.

Any licensing authority can only grant a licence based on the submissions made to it– this is the same for Casino Licences, Public house licences, Entertainment licences, Street Trader Licences, Metal dealers, Taxi drivers– everyone.

A licensing body which ignores blatantly false submissions or representations, or which does not pursue the appropriate remedies when a falsehood or inaccuracy has been pointed out is no longer functional and can be seen to have acted unlawfully– remember it owes a duty to all licence holders, and indeed applicants for a licence whether granted or not– and that duty is to act fairly and responsibly as well as impartially.

However, any discussion about the validity and veracity of representations is a slow process with argument and counter argument going back and forward– and that is without anyone like Craig Whyte constantly clouding the issue.

In the interim, what is key here, is that the entity whose licence– the very right to participate in the chosen sector—is under dispute or under question—- then that entity is virtually unbankable and cannot be considered a good contractual risk as its very existence in the sector concerned is uncertain.

I believe it is for that reason that any current Rangers entity will not be invited into any SPL 2 or whatever. The reason is that the breakaway SFL clubs nor the current SPL clubs cannot afford to take the risk of entering into new sponsorship deals or TV deals with a company who pay £x provided Rangers and Celtic are in the mix– but a lower sum if Rangers are not there— because all those other clubs have no idea what will come out of Ibrox next?

The current Rangers position makes for huge business uncertainty and the rest of Scottish Football wants absolute guaranteed money in the bank certainty– they do not want any surprises coming to bite them in the bum and interfering with budgets in a negative fashion going forward.

For that reason, beyond all others, Scottish Football will walk on without Rangers in the very top tier or at the helm of contractual negotiations. The management of Rangers Football Club– in whatever guise– has ensured that no one can afford to do business with them in many respects.

It is essential for The Rangers Club to clean up their legal and financial situation before anyone else can consider entering into any joint ventures that would involve the club– as right now there is just far too much uncertainty surrounding everything at Ibrox.

And the really big fear may still be the UTT because if it rules in favour of HMRC ( as it may well do– though that is not guaranteed ) then the possibility exists that the liability for tax may still exist if there is any chance of the current Rangers set up remaining liable for ” Footballing debts”.

Fraser Wishart and his legal team may well have a very VERY big say in this in the months to come.

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SmugasPosted on9:30 am - May 7, 2013


Just a quick point on Phil’s bit earlier (sorry can’t find original). Something along lines of Regan had called club chairmen to check Sevco were not being invited into SPL 2? Can someone (preferably Phil) clarify. On what basis was Regan calling the rebel Chairmen? To warn against? To seek clarity? To indicate support for (the proposal, not the club!)? Or the old favourite on this site, just askin…?

welcome back RTC. Your conservative tones are well timed I think.

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briggsbhoyPosted on9:40 am - May 7, 2013


Property Tycoon interested in Hearts !

Wouldn’t it be good if it was Donald Trump, now that would be fun, can you imagine his outbursts at the SFA, SPL and all others, it would be brilliant.

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Carl31 (@C4rl31)Posted on9:41 am - May 7, 2013


Another story in the press about a cash strapped Scottish Football club that basically says they’ll be getting one of those filthy rich folk to come and ‘save’ the club.

http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/sport/spl/4917539/Yank-tycoon-Jambos-bid.html

Jeezo.

Why cant we just run our own clubs? Why does the story put forward by the media always seem to involve wealth off the radar, or an equivalent? Does the Sun expect us all to say, ‘oh well, thats OK then. No need to hand-wring over the finances and future of Hearts any longer, because someone is coming with barraloads of cash’?

Relying on this kind of solution is like not bothering with alerting the emergency services, but instead expecting a superhero to come sort it.

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twopandaPosted on9:43 am - May 7, 2013


Sorry – not understanding some of this. Why did they need to deal with CW over assets?
The assets were `sold` unencumbered by the Court of Session Appointed Joint Administrators on behalf of the creditors in accordance with the Insolvency Act Scotland – weren’t they.
Or are we missing something?

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SmugasPosted on9:43 am - May 7, 2013


BRTH,

By co-incidence your second half may be valid to my question above? I’m now even more intrigued. Was SR in favour – don’t worry guys Campbell says its sorted – or was he against per BRTH. That’s certainly how Phil’s initial post read as I recall.

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SurrealistPosted on10:00 am - May 7, 2013


upthehoops says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 08:24
13 0 Rate This
neepheid says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 08:16

Could this be something to with the sale of season tickets?
==================================================

Given that most clubs now appear to be publicly selling season tickets for season 2013-2014, you would think, someone, anyone, from the Scottish media would seek an answer from Ibrox as to why theirs are not yet on sale. You would also think the chances of a turquoise elephant flying past your window are pretty much zero mind you.

Maybe the clubs are getting as much money in as possible and encouraging early season ticket sales, because they know Sevco are going to get in. Celtic are even giving money back as a big thank you. Once the bulk of the season ticket money is in, Sevco would be back in and their season ticket sales would be assured.
No one should be buying season tickets until the SPL/SFA/SFL confirm Sevco have a valid licence and which division they will be in.

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rantinrobinPosted on10:00 am - May 7, 2013


Chris McLaughlin ‏@BBCchrismclaug 14s
BBC Scotland learns #Rangers Chairman Malcolm Murray could be on his way out after losing vote of no confidence at board meeting yesterday

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aramintamoobeamqcPosted on10:01 am - May 7, 2013


So, there was a board meeting yesterday – vote of no confidence in Malcolm Murray, according to BBC’s Chris McL.

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Night TerrorPosted on10:03 am - May 7, 2013


I’m pleased RTC has cooled some of the more fevered wishful thinking about the Ibrox club’s imminent demise.

I am even less convinced than she that their demise is inevitable – installing a competent CEO who cut costs, shed overpaid staff and installed a sense of pragmatism should be able to eke out £10m or whatever is left for long enough to be back in the top flight, assuming no other unfortunate events are brought down upon the club those Rangers supporters follow. Of course, the same could have been said many months before.

There may be rumours from those with home-made geiger counters of something awful about to emerge from darkness and drag the Sevcos down to a grisly end, but there seems to be no substance to this that anyone is willing to express publicly. The regular innuendo from Phil MacYouKnowWho is irritating in the extreme and is hard to take seriously, particularly when we know how much a particular result is desired by that particular source. Has he ever had an exclusive about something going right for the Ibrox club? The Nimmo Smith or FTT(T) verdicts for instance, or maybe the hard to believe sums raised by the IPO?

Forgive me if I remain sceptical in the meantime.

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scapaflow14Posted on10:03 am - May 7, 2013


Oh Boy, maybe a more interesting day than I thought, off to a very boring meeting will the world have changed when I get back?

“Chris McLaughlin ‏@BBCchrismclaug 2m
BBC Scotland learns #Rangers Chairman Malcolm Murray could be on his way out after losing vote of no confidence at board meeting yesterday”

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rantinrobinPosted on10:04 am - May 7, 2013


To lose one Murray, may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose two Murrays looks like carelessness.

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Rangers Tax-Case (@rangerstaxcase)Posted on10:08 am - May 7, 2013


Malcolm Murray loses a vote of no confidence? Oh dear.

Malcolm- if you have any documents you would like to share, do get in touch.

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Danish PastryPosted on10:09 am - May 7, 2013


Rangers Tax-Case (@rangerstaxcase) says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 09:13
14 0 Rate This

Danish Pastry says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 07:49
___________________________________

… The second part of the post above expresses my view that it will take longer for these events to play out than many of us want to believe …
———

Cheers for that RTC. Yes, I may have misunderstood your post, in part at least. Though the main thrust that I picked up from the whole was what you’ve summarised in the sentence above. It’s all still a bit of a flying jigsaw to me. Sometimes the pieces create a recognisable image, sometimes not. I suppose the many parts of the puzzle will land correctly arranged at some point. In the meantime, informed comments and observations from yourself and others are more than welcome, so haste ye back 😉

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rantinrobinPosted on10:10 am - May 7, 2013


RTC ,quick question while you are on.will the TRFC internal investigation be released into the public domain?

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manandboyPosted on10:11 am - May 7, 2013


Granted that a lot has still to take place,
both within and outwith TRFC,
it remains my understanding
that when everything has been sorted,
and, assuming there is a club which used to be called TRFC,
there will still be an insurmountable obstacle
facing Planet Fitba’ here in Scotland.

The obstacle is this –
The Govan club simply do not want to join with the rest of us
in creating a football future we can all be happy with.

TRFC have no desire to separate itself from its NI baggage,
and particularly from it’s WATP attitude,
which grants to itself immunity from the laws of the land and of football itself.

It is self evident that this single issue of immunity,
where there is a set of rules for all clubs
-except TRFC,
makes a reconciliation of purpose and means, a non starter.

The genie has escaped.

The fans, who used to be a pussy cat are now a tiger, and getting stronger every day.

.
So, when all that has yet to happen, has come to pass,

The Blues will still be what they, alone, believe themselves to be – the peepil,

and the ‘ immunity cliff ‘, barring their progress, will be waiting.

In plain language – if TRFC & the SFA can’t or won’t play by the Rules of Scottish Football,

then they won’t be in Scottish Football.

The tiger will see to that.

Ps. Am very glad indeed that you are back with us RTC.
Very, very glad.

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Rangers Tax-Case (@rangerstaxcase)Posted on10:18 am - May 7, 2013


rantinrobin says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 10:10
_________________________________________
There is no direct obligation on the RIFC or TRFC Ltd boards to make the report public.
However, if it reveals anything that provides strength to Whyte’s claim of being “connected” to the new club (the SFA membership and licensing issue) or that supports Whyte’s claims of having been duped by Green and Ahmed, then they will need to consult with very good lawyers before deciding what to say.

Anything that is material to the market value of a public company is supposed to be revealed to shareholders. Clearly public companies have some latitude with how bad the news must be before it is released. If Malcolm Murray has been jettisoned, I would not imagine that this board is well disposed towards transparency now. It will be all spiv from now on.

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nowoldandgrumpyPosted on10:20 am - May 7, 2013


Will the cardigan be next?

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rantinrobinPosted on10:20 am - May 7, 2013


Thanks RTC,helpful insight.Glad to see you back

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valentinesclownPosted on10:20 am - May 7, 2013


Such a lovely sunny day but alas man made grey dark gloomy clouds loom over Govan.

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Night TerrorPosted on10:23 am - May 7, 2013


Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 09:26

The FTT ruled — by way of majority— on the basis that the trusts set up and the loans granted by those trusts were to be treated as real, legal and viable entities and were not shams– in other words they were not fake legal entities and transactions designed to hide and mask the true nature of the fiscal transactions. At the FTT hearing HMRC specifically asked that the trusts and loans were NOT treated as shams.

As such, the majority decided that if these were bona fides loans — then loans did not attract tax and PAYE.

So far– so good.

However, what does not seem to have been sufficiently stressed in the HMRC argument and/or picked up at FTT level, is the argument that whatever these trusts and loans were ( legal and real or not ) they were only funded by Rangers PLC as a result of players and others entering into a contract of employment.

No trusts were ever set up substantially after any contract of employment ( bar perhaps one or two which remain a mystery ) and it is quite clear that the loans and payments are inextricably linked to players signing contracts and supposedly non existent side letters.

What is to be stressed by HMRC is that whether the loans were real or not, the moment that Rangers PLC paid any money to any Jersey based entity in connection with such contracts of employment, those payments attracted tax and NIC .

A very interesting analysis, BRTH.

The FTT panel did express surprise that HMRC did not seek to argue that the trusts were a sham in some way, particularly considering how inexpertly the EBTs were subsequently administered. At the risk of overinterpreting their words, I assumed that they were indicating that HMRC would have been pushing at an open door if they had argued this.

Those who have pursued a successful legal career to the heights of titles and royal approval have not generally done so by displaying imagination, creativity or surprising interpretation of legal precedent, and it may be that the “sham” element of EBTs was seen as a necessary hurdle for HMRC to vault in order to maintain their claim to the amounts due from MIH & RFC.

If HMRC are thinking of using the MIH EBT tax case as a test for an assortment of other similar cases, it may be that if it was necessary to prove each of those cases involved proving they were in some way a sham to survive a challenge at FTT(T), the success or future pursuit of tax due would be expensive, lengthy and patchy. The legal difficulty of proving mens rea may be required in order for the “sham” label to stick, for example, although perhaps a more expert legal mind could advise on this.

If, on the other hand, at appeal to the UTT, it was established that it was not necessary for the EBT to be a sham in any way, just that it was linked to the employment of the beneficiary, then this would increase HMRC’s success in collecting on schemes such as this in future, as at a stroke this would remove the need to prove the intention of any scheme, merely the effect of the scheme.

I believe this is what you are getting at, BRTH, and perhaps Dr Poon in her dissenting opinion.

Does any of this hold water, legally, would you say?

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broganrogantrevinoandhoganPosted on10:26 am - May 7, 2013


Night Terror

You’ve got It! ;-0)

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jimlarkinPosted on10:30 am - May 7, 2013


http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/prices-and-markets/stocks/summary/company-summary.html?fourWayKey=GB00B90T9Z75GBGBXASQ1

“shares” in the holding company not affected today, so news can’t be that bad

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nowoldandgrumpyPosted on10:32 am - May 7, 2013


Who would have leaked this information about Murray to a banned reporter?

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Brian McHugh (@pbmchugh)Posted on10:33 am - May 7, 2013


On a lighter note

briggsbhoy says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 09:40
Property Tycoon interested in Hearts !
Wouldn’t it be good if it was Donald Trump now that would be fun, can you imagine his outbursts at the SFA, SPL and all others, it would be brilliant.
———————————–

Fun for the tabloids as well.
Hearts have a young player (Scotland U19) called Billy King.
So if Trump took over Hearts and they met Airdrie United in the cup final and King scores a last minute goal.
Sun Headline:

King of Hearts Trumps Diamonds in front of Full House!

I’ll get my coat…

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Rangers Tax-Case (@rangerstaxcase)Posted on10:36 am - May 7, 2013


rantinrobin says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 10:20
________________________________
My guess after the Murray vote is that the report may not actually be delivered. If it contained bad news that would leave Sevco FC leagueless and insolvent, why would you want it delivered. Those who invested significant sums (or have a lot of profit to lose) in RIFC may want to delay bad news.

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TartawulverPosted on10:37 am - May 7, 2013


If Murray is truly on his way, then presumably somewhere out there at the moment there is an employment agency scouring its books for everyone whose surname is either ‘Murray’ or a colour in order to headhunt a replacement.

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verselijkfcPosted on10:48 am - May 7, 2013


Night Terror says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 10:03
“… installing a competent CEO who cut costs, shed overpaid staff and installed a sense of pragmatism should be able to eke out £10m or whatever is left for long enough to be back in the top flight, assuming no other unfortunate events are brought down upon the club those Rangers supporters follow.”

Can you think of a single person from the past 20-odd years connected with the present or former club who even remotely fits the bill and could carry out the necessary financial measures to prevent the expected annihilation? I can’t – success was bought, at too high a cost, and that is the only way those down Govan-way think. To most rational people viewing the recent history of RFC/TRFC/TTRFC from the outside, perhaps the single biggest impediment to turning the ship around are the fans themselves, aided and abetted notably by the MSM, and the blind sense of entitlement that this generates. On a ‘sporting’ level playing field there are no guarantees that the current version of the club has either the players or management to come through the leagues, in the normal way, in a quick enough time to maintain the level of attendance necessary just to stand still (i.e. pay the bills and fixed-costs as they fall due for Ibrox, Murray Park, etc). This is the crux of dilemma facing the next owners of the ‘club’ – who has thick enough skin to take the flak whilst the ‘club’ struggles along? Of course, the SFA might finagle another bollox of a compromise, for the good of Scottish football you understand, and render all logic illogical.

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nowoldandgrumpyPosted on10:50 am - May 7, 2013


I would expect a certain Mr King to appear somewhere now, given the SFA have already passed him as FPP.

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therampantbaronPosted on10:55 am - May 7, 2013


Night Terror says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 10:23
———————————-
Intent and effect are both equally important. If the taxpayer can prove no intent, then he is halfway there.

The two male, Scottish tribunal members considered that the mild concession by HMRC’s counsel that these were loans on the face of it was enough to demonstrate intent, whereas of course counsel for HMRC then went on to provide more than sufficient evidence that, although they were loans, they were by almost every conceivable measure utterly sham loans.

Dr Poon agreed and cited at length her justifiable reasons for coming to this conclusion.

With every day that passes, that truth is borne out – nothing has been repaid, no interest has been paid, and none ever will.

The FTT result will be a seminal moment for HMRC, expect it to concede absolutely nothing in future cases, lest any attempt at reasonableness be misinterpreted as weakness/concession.

That will be a tragedy because the art of litigation necessarily should always involve some element of appreciation/compromise to be properly effective.

Meanwhile, back on Planet Ibrox, having had CW brief against CG, and then CG & IA and IA’s mum brief against CW and then the board, are we now going to have MM brief against CW, CG, the board, Uncle Ted Cobley and all?

This is going to end messily – any day now on Reporting Scotland we will be distracted from Jackie Bird’s fizzog by the background image of a body, wrapped in a blazer and cardigan, weighted down with a pair of stone-filled brogues, floating down river from the general area of Govan docks.

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manandboyPosted on11:01 am - May 7, 2013


Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 09:26

No trusts were ever set up substantially after any contract of employment ( bar perhaps one or two which remain a mystery ) and it is quite clear that the loans and payments are inextricably linked to players signing contracts and supposedly non existent side letters.
___________________________________________________________________________

BRTH, I acknowledge that I am not fit to enter the sanctuary of your intellect, so you may have to bear patience with me as I ask for clarity about this line from para 6 above –

” No trusts were ever set up substantially after any contract of employment . . .”

For this line to fit, it would have to mean ‘ separate from any contract of employment ‘, or,
‘ much later, after the contract of employment had been signed ‘.

In all else, brilliant.

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SmugasPosted on11:02 am - May 7, 2013


a/ Mods – see above

b/ Choice of Chairman will be interesting. Will it be someone to steer the good ship sevco onto calmer waters in the medium term or will it be someone to fire up, lead and ultimately sell season tickets to, ra’peepil? Me, I’m still guessing the latter unfortunately.

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broganrogantrevinoandhoganPosted on11:05 am - May 7, 2013


manandoy

Jings– my intellect is not much to shout about!

There are one or two EBT’s that are puzzling such as that for Mr Souness — I have no knowledge that it related to a recently signed contract of employment.

That was all I was getting at– and as such it remains a mystery.

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neepheidPosted on11:09 am - May 7, 2013


If Murray has lost a vote of confidence, I wonder how Walter voted? And if Murray goes, can Walter stay? It will need to be sorted out very quickly, that’s for sure.

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rantinrobinPosted on11:09 am - May 7, 2013


As events unfold with alarming alacrity, the wilful desire expressed by the governing bodies to preserve and maintain ‘a strong Rangers’ is now rendered absurd.
As BRTH and RTC ,among others , have clearly stated ,over a protracted period, the business dealings of TRFC are now so seemingly toxic that until that club is ‘cleansed’ which may take some considerable time, there is no club in the land which would wish to jeopardise their business or license with any association to TRFC.

As the clubs meet at Hampden, no doubt they will be looking at the SFA principals with something of a jaundiced eye.

Had the SFA acted correctly, they should have not transferred the licence to TRFC. They had the opportunity and they failed to carry out the decision without fear or favour.

They did not listen and now they have the biggest omnishambles to unpick.
Will they act correctly this time round?

What a fine mess you have got yourselves in.

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wottpiPosted on11:11 am - May 7, 2013


Is the RIFC Plc board still as follows?

Malcolm Murray – Gers Man (possibly going)
Ian Hart -Gers Man
Walter Smith -Gers Man
Phillip Cartmell -Spiv appointment (has he gone yet?)
Bryan Smart -Spiv appointment
Craig Mather – Spiv
Brian Stockbridge – Spiv

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Carl31 (@C4rl31)Posted on11:12 am - May 7, 2013


Re FTT/UTT or beyond,
As I understand it, no further evidence can be presented, nor further argument be made on the issues of the case. Its down to arguing that the judgement was not fair, or wrong, for some reason around interpretation of the facts or the law.
If the arguments have not been made yet, its too late.

I would add, I think that Mr Thompson knew, or figured, he was pretty much onto a loser if he had hung the HMRC case on whether the loans were ‘shams’. The picture I have is of many highly paid lawyers working over a long period of time to get these loan arrangements and form of docs pretty much watertight. Its unlikely that an HMRC lawyer with likely less resources at their disposal, could poke a hole in the arrangement, in a legal sense.
The tack of argument taken, and the eventual view taken by the dissenting opinion, was that, viewed as a whole rather than a series of steps, this was wages dressed up as something else, and should be liable to tax/enic.

One point made by Dr Poon could be key – that the case law relied upon by the majority opinion comes from a lower level court than the case law she quotes.

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ecobhoyPosted on11:12 am - May 7, 2013


Broxi Bear and Brian Souter – a tongue in cheek linkage.

http://scotslawthoughts.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/rangers-little-broxi-bear-and-big-shot-brian-souter-by-ecojon/comment-page-1/#comment-77008

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Palacio67Posted on11:13 am - May 7, 2013


Night Terror says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 10:03
6 4 Rate This
=============
How about Rangers1872 entering administration then liquidation, the sheriff officers entering ibrox and the news of certain churnalist leaving the DR to go to ibrox.
Phil has been correct a good number of times and the first to break many stories before the SMSM. We all know what should have happened in the LNS enquiry and the FTT, because they did’nt go that way does not give you the right to say he got it wrong.
So RTC must have got it wrong also?

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Night TerrorPosted on11:14 am - May 7, 2013


verselijkfc says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 10:48

Can you think of a single person from the past 20-odd years

To be fair to me, the very next sentence of my original quote, which you omitted, made a similar point.

There is probably a lot of truth in what you say, but I’d prefer avoid the constant dwelling on the same old problems.

Here’s a suggestion for you: Craig Levein.

The guy knows how to run a club, if not especially the immediate on-pitch activities. He’d bring in players on the cheap and get them playing really well, so long as he had a good coach. He’s a brilliant builder of a squad, and because he took an entirely unsuitable job he should never have been offered and should never have accepted, he is now available for nothing, and probably on relatively low wages.

The Ibrox denizens would not like him at first, would really hate him when he started to kill and gut some sacred cows, but would see he was doing the right thing eventually. Being in a lower division with the lower level of competition there would give him the leeway to do so without disastrous results. His way would never wash if the club was in the SPL where anything less than second would be the end. It’s now or never for this sort of fresh appointment.

More importantly, he is very aware of all the unsavoury baggage that goes along with the Ibrox club and is not a fan, and would only take the job if he was able to purge it from top to toe.

He’s got that cussedness where he’ll do what he thinks is right no matter what other people say, and he generally is right. He is also a smart guy able to look at things a bit differently and in the long term, and is prepared to make dramatic changes in the face of initial hostility.

If whoever runs the Ibrox club was serious about the long term health of the club and wanted to make a fresh start, ejecting a lot of the baggage that drags them down, they could do much, much worse than appoint Sir Craig.

Personally, I’d be horrified if he went there as he’d be able to make that club palatable and decent. And I’d be delighted if he went there, as he’d be able to make that club palatable and decent. It’s a tough one.

He’d probably fail in the end, but it would still be the right appointment. Any Ibrox board that appointed him should demand our respect.

Given the choice, would you rather Rangers remained as they are, with all the history*, tradition, dignity and culture we have become so familiar with and which you love to hate, or would you rather a cleaned up, sanitised, healthy and helpful club that engages positively with the rest of Scottish football?

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john clarkePosted on11:16 am - May 7, 2013


Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 09:26

‘….And the really big fear may still be the UTT because if it rules in favour of HMRC ( as it may well do– though that is not guaranteed ) then the possibility exists that the liability for tax may still exist if there is any chance of the current Rangers set up remaining liable for ” Footballing debts”…’
——–
A very real fear, indeed.

But ( and perhaps the wish is father to the thought) isn’t there an even deeper fear? What if BDO/The Police find evidence that the sale of the assets to CG had indeed been the result of a criminal conspiracy?

What an unholy financial mess that would create!

sale to CG declared null and void,

rightful ownership returned to CW (or SDM ),

liquidation rescinded

new Administration order and administrators appointed,

every action and transaction of the many Sevcos and ‘Rangers-this-and Rangers’-that declared invalid

AIM listing cancelled……

enough litigation to keep all the QCs in Scotland busy for years.

Does anyone know of any case where this kind of thing has happened, or even whether it could legally happen?

But If I were a creditor of the murdered club, I’d be hoping that this is the way things would pan out, so that I would get some realistic return based on the true value of the assets.

On the other hand, If I had money in RIFC, I’d be terribly worried that i’d lose everything, without the possibility of legal redress.

And if I were on the Board of the SFA, I think I would ask somebody to shoot me!

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ecobhoyPosted on11:20 am - May 7, 2013


Carl31 (@C4rl31) says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 11:12

Re FTT/UTT or beyond,
As I understand it, no further evidence can be presented, nor further argument be made on the issues of the case. Its down to arguing that the judgement was not fair, or wrong, for some reason around interpretation of the facts or the law. If the arguments have not been made yet, its too late.
————————————————————————————————————————

What fascinated me with the two opinions was the very short majority decision and the much much longer minority one. From memory Poone placed a helluva lot more emphasis on the written evidence which makes me think that as well as the legal facts that an appeal might well consider more fully the written evidence rather than the admittedly rehearsed verbal evidence which seemed to weigh so heavily on the majority decision reached.

I also found it difficult to understand why the majority didn’t counter the very opposed minority one and detail their reasoning.

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wottpiPosted on11:21 am - May 7, 2013


With regard to the renewing of licenses.

If T’Rangers are a candidate for having their license pulled then surely, if concerns exist with regard to their ability to get to the start and then last out season 13/14, similar consideration will have to be given to Hearts and Dunfermline.

The knock on effect of all or any one of the clubs not being able to play next season introduces the same uncertainty we had last closed season.

If we are for the rules etc being applied without ‘fear or favour’ then our focus should not just be on the shenanigans Ibrox.

The reality is that, in all probability, the license process for all three clubs will be rubber stamped with the ‘finger crossed, head in the sand’ attitude we all know so well.

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61patrickPosted on11:26 am - May 7, 2013


Phil MacGhillobhain
Exposed the tax problems at debt mountain(which lead to liquidation and death for RFC 1872) when every member of the Scottish MSM would not touch it with a barge pole.
For that alone I am thankfull there are people like Phil out there doing what he does.

In fact NO Phil NO RTC NO SFM.
Again thank you Phil and keep shining the light where they dont want us to look.

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Night TerrorPosted on11:27 am - May 7, 2013


Palacio67 says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 11:13

What news, exactly, is PMG breaking this time?

He’s insinuating enough to say “I told you so” if things go wrong for The Sevcos, but not enough to be proved wrong if they don’t.

I’m not prepared to let him have it both ways. I’d take him more seriously if he dropped the “I know something bad about them that you don’t know – trust me on this” insinuation or also took the same approach with stories that were not bad for Rangers.

As it is, he just seems to like being the bearer of good news to his target audience. I’m not in that target audience, and consequently find that approach somewhat less than admirable. A fair few in his target audience think so too, as I’m sure you’re aware.

Think of all the outlets you might criticise for only reporting the good news for Rangers. If PMG takes the same approach, but for the other side of that equation, is that OK?

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upthehoopsPosted on11:28 am - May 7, 2013


scapaflow14 says:
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 10:03

“Chris McLaughlin ‏@BBCchrismclaug 2m
BBC Scotland learns #Rangers Chairman Malcolm Murray could be on his way out after losing vote of no confidence at board meeting yesterday”
=======================================================

I wonder what the position of Walter No Surname will be if Murray goes? If he also leaves might the messy stuff really get into the internals of the fan?

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SmugasPosted on11:31 am - May 7, 2013


Wottpi

I know what you mean but there is a major difference between Hearts/Dunfermline and the sevco pantomime. The latter case has just had its annus horriblus and if it wasn’t told it was on its last warning given the level of administrative ‘support’ that had been provided it should have been. Instead they tried to complete a switcheroo and even then it was on the cheap. Sufficient grounds for any leniency (that may still apply to the other 2) to be rescinded.

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rantinrobinPosted on11:47 am - May 7, 2013


John Clarke @ 11:16
enough litigation to keep all the QCs in Scotland busy for years.
————————————————————————————————————————-JC ,TSFM will no doubt have kitty money to provide you with packed lunches for your presence in Court…..as our inhouse observer that is !

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