The Continuing Voyage of Scottish Football – and the Wrath of Khan


Has anyone read this in the Grauniad? …

Comment on The Continuing Voyage of Scottish Football – and the Wrath of Khan by Carl31.

Has anyone read this in the Grauniad?

Carl31 Also Commented

The Continuing Voyage of Scottish Football – and the Wrath of Khan
Thinking for just a few moments, with a business head on, generaliaing about the share flotation.
If Green got the assets for 5.5m – so thats roughly the whole shebang’s initial worth due to the inherent risky position its in…
And due to a few issues resolution such as getting it up and running, getting some kind of merchandising deal on the go, and things settling down re the squad…
… its now worth, say, £10m.
…then a share flotation looking to sell about half would be like asking the ‘market’ to buy £5m worth of the current entity.

This might be attractive to some, if they think it could be worth a fair bit more (say £20m) at some point in the next year/two/three?
Its a risky investment, but somebody – a few risk takers – might look to double their money over that kind of timescale.
It depends how the market sees it.
There would be some element of backing from the fan base, given that about £5m is akin to asking 20,000 fans to buy a £250 season ticket each – so not beyond the realms of possibility.

IMHO, I wouldn’t go near it since I think there are actors in the background in this saga that are looking to take the money and run at the soonest opportunity.
However, I can see that, as time plods on, more football played and events develop, the case to be made for The Rangers seeing out this season becomes more viable.

I can also see that this in turn increases the chances of those who might be sufficiently unaware of, or wilfully blind to, the background actors deciding to part with their hard earned.

The Continuing Voyage of Scottish Football – and the Wrath of Khan
“‘A Slightly Dim Fellow Green Has Just Karate-chopped Legitimacy’ Limited” was shortened by the namer so as not to give the game away… or maybe the namer just ran their finger across the keyboard …

but I’m going with the former.

The Continuing Voyage of Scottish Football – and the Wrath of Khan
Congratulations to The Rangers on achieving the attendance record for SFL3/4th tier of Scottish Football, but no surprise.
Apparently its claimed as a world attendance record for a 4th tier game.
Arguably, it could also be world attendance record for a new club playing its first ever league game at home.
A recent ‘Moan in – Phone in’ hosted by Jim Traynor and Stuart Cosgrove, heard a claim that it reflects poorly on Scottish Football generally that the attendance at the game was more than all other attendances combined that day.

(As an aside:
From Wikipedia… “The Enterprise Act 2002 made reforms to the insolvency act and, from 15 September 2003, the altered procedures for administration were implemented.
Most notably it abolished the Crown’s preferential right to recover unpaid taxes ahead of other creditors.
As such, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is now often not paid in full (between 2003–2010 outstanding unpaid taxes to the HMRC amounted to £30 million).”

… on that last stat – can we expect Rangers to set another record where they’re tally comes to more than all the other clubs combined?)

Looking at a few questions, that this record attendance achievement as claimed, might raise…
Is this the first time one club has achieved an attendance for a home game in Scotland that is more than all other association football attendances combined?
… Rangers and Celtic are the teams that have had capacity at their stadia that could have made this achievable in the past (indeed they still have capacity).
Has there been a weekend thats seen this, probably when one side of the OF was at home and the other was away at a low capacity ground which wasnt full? All other games may have needed to have less than full stadia/low attendance.
If some coverage in the Scottish tabloids on Sunday is to be believed (!?!?!?), this could be a once in a lifetime occurrence. I doubt it.

Look no further than the last game of last season’s SPL.
Celtic’s home gate v Hearts was 58,875 – the rest of the SPL were as follows..
Aberdeen v St Mirren 10,716
Dunfermline v Killie 3,276
Inverness CT v Hibs 4,457
M’well v Dundee Utd 7,456
St Johnstone v Rangers 6,459

combined total of the rest of the SPl was 32,364. To surpass the Celtic Park attendance, the other various SFL games need to have achieved 26,511 between them – I very much doubt it.
However the other leagues were, I think, into playoff territory, so its maybe not the best example weekend.

The last Old Firm (as was) game saw attendance at Celtic Park of 58,546. The rest of the SPL managed:
Dundee Utd v Hearts 7,001
Dunfermline v Aberdeen 3,501
Killie v ICT 3,848
M’well v St Johnstone 4,743
St Mirren v Hibs 3,305
which is a total of 22,398. To surpass the Celtic game the rest of Scottish Assoc. Footbal would have had to muster 36,148 – I very, very much doubt it.
I would also venture that attendance at the home of Celtic has surpassed all other gates combined on a number of occasions.
Possibly this has been achieved by Rangers – maybe when they had a capacity home gate v Dundee Utd late last season.
So, the unique aspect bubble of this feat is well and truly burst. It is, nevertheless, a very notable occurrence – achieving such an attendance under the circumstances.

It then becomes notable that the redtops in the MSM are as conspicuous in their fanfare of the non-unique occurence at the weekend, as in their relative silence on the other occasions it happened.
What does it tell us about the state of scottish football? Not very much. About as much as it told us on all those other occasions.

Since it is not unique, then the notability of the event from The Rangers point of view arises due to the re-entry of the Rangers in SFL3 – that this ‘gates of the one outweighing the gates of the many’ is by an SFL3 team.
Since this has come about due to application of rules (albeit loosely, not strictly) by the football administrators in Scotland, I dont see it as a poor reflection on SF, but instead it is more indicative, or indeed totemic, of the fall of the once great team.
This celebration and back-patting extravaganza seems to me to not be logical – this celebration of infamy as if it were fame.
Its like the oldest child ever sent to the naughty step then celebrating the achievement.
Or, maybe, the fattest turkey ever to be prepped and popped in the oven at Christmas, pushing the door open to holler that its achieved a world best.

Recent Comments by Carl31

The Way it Works
nawlite says:
August 8, 2014 at 12:24 pm

“I am still left feeling that Celtic don’t deserve to benefit from this error. They aren’t able to force UEFA to reinstate Legia and, as I said, I wouldn’t want them to, but I honestly think they should take the moral high ground and now work with UEFA to find a way to ‘resign’ from the competition in a way that doesn’t cause problems for UEFA/the other teams.”

They could effectively ‘resign’ by continuing with the same players and same coach playing the same system in the same manner with the same conviction.

The Way it Works
Apols if this info is covered already.

Last night on Twitter I was linked to a KDS post … (Barcabhoy from memory??)
There is a difference in wording of the UEFA rules between a suspended player and an ineligible player. The rules on one allow UEFA leeway, but on the other there is none.

A club that fields a ‘suspended’ player forfeits the tie and 3-0 awarded to the opponents. End of.

‘Ineligible’example… the Sion issue was that players transferred during the club’s a UEFA transfer ban were fielded. Nothing under the rules had them as ‘suspended’, but they werent eligible.
In the Sion instance and other instances not involving a suspended player, UEFA had/have leeway to decide what the punishment should be.
Since Legia Warsaw fielded a ‘suspended’ player, there is no leeway. The tie is forfeit and 3-0 is the awarded score.

Much as there may be opinion that a lesser punishment is more appropriate, UEFA would need to do an SFA and ‘make-it-up-as-they-go-along’ to do so. Given what this forum (and many other fora), and the greatest majority of its contributors, has been doing is to continually and rightly make it clear that the rules should be applied consistently for the good of the game, I would have thought that would also be the case here.

I am of the opinion that rules are rules. It is correct that the rules have been applied and Celtic are through, regardless of how obviously better LW played than them. Where there are set consequences, it is not proper for rules to be adapted as seen fit on some judgement call of the specific circumstances.

On the issue of whether the St Pats games should have counted as serving the suspension, I would presume that LW had to register their squad which would have a limited number of slots. A player serving a suspension for a red last season would need to take up one of these slots for the club to effectively suffer some kind of loss or sanction arising from the red card suspension. If this did not happen – and LW filled the allocated number of registered player slots on the squad sheet – then LW were yet to suffer consequences /loss/sanction for the player’s red card.
In terms of consistency throughout the game/competitions, it is important that these sanctions effectively act as some kind of disincentive to red cards. It is important that the rules are applied when such situations arise.

The Way it Works
Apols if this point has been made already. Its about the possibility of beneficiaries of the MIH/Rangers EBT set-up, mostly players, being pursued to repay loans.
MIH’ paid money into an offshore trust, which in turn paid money into a number of sub-trusts, which in turn paid money as loans to individual beneficiaries. This short sentence sums up how beneficiaries were paid, but not in detail. We know this from the findings in fact of the FTT.
With this in mind it can be reasoned that, whilst the players (beneficiaries) could legally be required to pay money to their sub-trusts, they cannot be required to pay money back all the way back along the ‘path’ to the club. Morally, maybe anyone could argue that money should be paid back to the club, but I would figure that this would need to be some form of gift. It would not be repayment of a loan. The beneficiaries have not borrowed from the club, they have borrowed from a MIH sub-trust.

In the unlikely event that beneficiaries decide they want rid of the affair, and decide to pay back all they have borrowed and draw a line under things, then my question would be, ‘what then happens to the money that would be with the sub-trust’? Would it simply reside there in perpetuity? It’s a moo point*, since I cant envisage any money ever being repaid to a sub-trust by a beneficiary, given the circumstance.

*a point that cows would make and thus not worth considering.

Armageddon? What Armageddon?
The more i think about football in general the more i think its governance is a sham.
Excuse me if im a bit negative on this. Im especially thinking of FFP rules.
Also, please excuse me if things get a bit ‘tinfoil hat’.

A while back there was a tax case between HMRC and McLaren F1 where Mclaren had cheated, been fined £30m for rulebreaking and then claimed it as deductible against tax. The judge in that case found in their favour, and against HMRC.
I havent followed up any appeal.
The judgement included the principle that it was fair enough for a commercial entity, whose business was being a sporting entity, to cheat at that sport (cheating the rules of the governing body) to gain a sporting advantage ‘in the arena’. The tax deductible ‘business activities’ included in those that make the commercial entity profitable, are those that are compliant with the administrative and governing rules and those that are not. Compliance with the law of the land, however, was a different matter.
Yes, said the judge, you can offset fines by the governing body of your sport against your tax liability. Also, it had not been demonstrated to the judge, by HMRC, that any systemic issue would arise.

How does that multi-millions MCFC or PSG fine look through this prism? IMO, the whole FFP arrangement may well be a big tax dodge.

It could be that all who run the professional game, interested in the commercial imperative, will be looking at various ways to be ‘tax efficient’. The less that ‘the game’ throughout Europe needs to pay to the relevant clubs’ tax authorities, the better.
The smart way to impose FFP, from this point of view, would be to approach the ‘offending’ clubs and ask whether X or Y amount works for them? Gauge the amount just right so as not to leave the clubs with profit to be taxed, nor to hit them too hard as a proportion of their turnover. Remembering that any funds collected would be redistributed in some way as prizemoney.
Turns out that there is indeed a degree of ‘negotiation’.

The root issue is that there are no ‘Poacher and Gamekeeper’ arrangements here. They may well be all in cahoots looking to maximise the commercial returns from the game. This could be true of Scotland, and of wider European football. Publicly, the game is portrayed as being somehow policed by the authorities – that any clubs that are trying to get away with this or that will be kept in line by hefty fines.
It seems to me far more likely that in many situations the clubs and authorities are working together.
But why would clubs and governing bodies behave in such a way? Have I truly gone all tinfoil hat para?

A while back a book came out by University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and New York Times journalist Stephen J. Dubner.
One of the principles they advocated (probably the central theme) was that if there was enough of an economic incentive for something to happen and limited barriers to it happening, then it would likely find some way of happening.

IMO, its likely that the commercial imperative, especially but not limited to, the top European clubs, is driving an agenda that optimises levels of tax efficiency – because there is such an incentive for it to happen.

Overall the whole deal here is a huge turn off for me. My guess is (and from what Ive read in places) that a number of fines will be issued over the coming years, with some form of negotiations on each occasion. The picture will be painted of the governing bodies getting strict with overspending clubs. Personally, I don’t buy it.

The question is worth repeating: where does our ‘sporting integrity’ fit in the picture?

Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?

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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