The Existence of Laws

ByTrisidium

The Existence of Laws

A Blog by James Forrest for TSFM

I am a socialist, and as a socialist I believe in the fundamental goodness of people. Some people find that hard to believe when they read the stuff I write.

I published my first novel recently, on politics and the corrupting nature of it, and it is a deeply cynical book, a book where no-one has clean hands come the end. What has surprised some of those who’ve read it is that I didn’t focus on the lies and smears of the right, but the hypocrisy and deceit of those who claim to be of the left.

Corruption, you see, doesn’t respect political boundaries or points of view. It’s like rainwater. It finds every crack, and gets in there.

My political beliefs revolve around two apparently paradoxical elements; the belief in the inherent decency of people and the need for a strong, and powerful, state. I believe the second underpins the first, and this brings me into conflict with a lot of people, some on the left and some on the right. Too many people see the state as inherently evil, as something that interferes too much in the lives of ordinary people. As something suffocating.

Yet the state exists to protect us. It exists to provide a safety net. It exists to regulate and to oversee. If the state is made up of bad people, if the gears of society are captured by those with malicious or selfish intent, the results are obvious; war, corruption, chaos.

The vast majority of our problems in the modern age can be neatly summed up in two lines from Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming”, which I used to open my novel. “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

We live in a time when those who are protecting their own interests have assumed such power that they’ve cowed the rest of us. They have become a law unto themselves. They have changed the nature of the game, because they have sapped our will to the extent some barely put up a fight anymore. The weak get weaker, and the strong use their strength to crush the rest even more. It is a vicious struggle, a downward spiral.

Society is held together not only by the endeavour and common interests of its citizens but by a collection of laws. We elect the people who make those laws. They do so in our name, and we can remove that right every four years. That is a powerful thing, and we do not appreciate it enough. The present corruption exists because we allow it to exist.

The people around me continue to puzzle over my uncommon interest in the affairs of a football club on the west of Glasgow. My own club plays in the east end. I tell those who ask that my primary interest in the goings-on at the club calling itself Rangers is no longer about football; how could it be, after all? With promotion this year they are still a full two divisions below us, emasculated, skint, weak and unstable. If we were fortunate enough to draw them in cup competition the match would be over, as a tie, by the halfway point … in the first half.

In footballing terms they are an utter irrelevance.

Rangers is more than a football club to me. They are a symbol. Their unfolding calamity is an on-going outrage. What is happening there, what is being allowed to happen, is an offense to decency. It is a stain on the face of our country.

In short, it is a scandal. It is a scandal without parallel in sport.

Yet it’s not just a sports story either. If it was, I might not be so focussed on it. What is happening at Rangers is a colossal failure of governance. It is a damning indictment against the very people who are supposed to oversee our game. It is a disgraceful abrogation of responsibility from those at the top, those who claim to be “running things.”

If this is not a failure of governance it is a result of corruption at the heart of our national sport. It says they are bought and paid for, and I will say no such thing here.

So let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. We’ll say instead that what they are is weak, indecisive, inept and disconnected from reality.

It reminds me of our political class, which has become insular and ignorant about what the public wants, and what it needs. It’s not a wonder parties like UKIP can achieve national vote shares of 25% at local elections. Nigel Farage strikes me as a dog-whistle politician, the kind who knows how to appeal to a select group of voters. He is little different to Charles Green, the man who beguiled Rangers fans into handing over large amounts of money, because he was “standing up for the club.” It is easy to do what he did, easy to do what Farage is doing.

Real leadership requires toughness. Say what you like about the Tories, but they have that in spades. Yeats was right about the worst being full of passionate intensity. Green was. Farage is. Cameron and Osborne personify it in their political outlook.

It is easy to be cowed by blunt force politics, and by “tough talking Yorkshire men” and venomous speeches about “strivers and skivers.” The politics of divide and conquer is the oldest form of politics there is, and it’s no surprise to see it practiced by some of the vested interests in the game here in Scotland. Yet, lest we forget … something significant happened last year. The maligned and the ignored, the weak and the voiceless found something they never realised they had. They discovered that, in a very real sense, the power was in their hands.

Last year, the fans rose up when the governing bodies and the media went all-out to save Rangers from the self-inflicted wounds caused by a decade of cheating, malpractice and ineptitude. I have no problem calling that what it was.

What happened at Rangers seemed incredible, but it was all too predictable, and some of us had been talking about it for years before it hit. The Association seemed caught in the headlights but it would amaze me if they really were as insular and ignorant as they appeared. They must have known how bad the outlook was for Rangers. They just chose to ignore it.

They were aided and abetted by a thoroughly disreputable media, a collection of cowards and compromisers, charlatans and frauds, masquerading as journalists, but who long ago laid aside any claim to be bold investigators and settled for commenting on events as they unfolded. More often than not, with their ill-informed opinions, sometimes due to weaknesses in intellect and others wilfully ignorant, they failed even in that.

Entire newspapers became PR machines for crooks and swindlers. They aided in the scam because they didn’t do their jobs, some because they were lazy, some because they were incompetent and others because they wanted a seat at the table and were willing to sacrifice whatever integrity they once had in exchange for one.

That all of this was embraced by the Rangers fans is amazing to me. They trusted when they should have been asking questions. They closed their eyes, covered their ears and sang their battle tunes at the top of their voices so they wouldn’t have to hear anything they didn’t like. As incredible as I found it then, and still find it now – and now, even more so, when they have already seen the results of it once – I find it pathetic too, and I do feel pity for some of them.

A lot of these people are genuine football fans, and nothing more. They have no interest in the phony narrow nationalism, or the over-blown religion, or the notion of supremacy which manifested itself in a ludicrous statement from McCoist when interviewed recently on Sky.

Some of the Rangers fans look at their team of duds, kids and journeymen, they look at a boardroom of cowards and crooks, they look at a failing manager in his first (and last) job in the game and at a dark future and are not in the least bit impressed by, or interested in, the chest-out arrogance espoused in those ridiculous words “we are the people.” They know full well that their present crisis was made by men like McCoist, and they understand that pretentious posturing is not an act born of strength, but a scrambling around in the gutter, and a symptom of weakness.

They understand their position, and they hate it. And because they care about Rangers, because they value the club, because they cherish those things that made it a great Scottish institution, they want that back. They understand that before the Union Jack waving, Sash singing, poppy wearing, Nazi saluting, Orange element became the public face of their support Rangers meant something else, and that, above all things, is what pains them the most.

People do not hate Rangers. When the country appeared to turn its back last year, they were turning the back on favouritism and the bending of rules. Yet it would be a lie to say that there is not an element of dislike in the gleeful mockery of many rival fans.

But they don’t hate Rangers either. They hate the version of it around which a certain section of the support continues to dance. They hate the version which hates, and so too do many, many, many Rangers supporters, and they definitely deserve better.

David Murray chose not to openly challenge that version. Indeed, he encouraged certain strands of it to flourish and grow, with his “Britishness Days” and his effort to turn the club into the “team that supports the troops.” Other clubs have done as much, if not more, for the British Army than the one that plays out of Ibrox. Other clubs have given more money. Other clubs have lent their support to those on the front lines. They just chose to do it with respect, and with class, and with dignity. They chose to do it in private, understanding that there eventually comes a tipping point between looking after the ends of the soldiers and using them to promote your own.

The army has not battened on to Rangers. Rangers has battened on to them, and although it is unclear when an altruistic motive became darker, what started out as a gesture of solidarity is now used to entrench division and promote a notion of superiority.

Craig Whyte took over from Murray and immediately understood the lure of the “dog whistle.” He knew too that the media would accept whatever he told them, without question, and as he spoke up for “Rangers traditions” he made sure the lunatic fringe was well onside. He met face to face with the hard-core extremists in the support first and made them his praetorian guard. They spoke up for him until the day the club entered administration.

So, whereas Murray pandered to them and Whyte used them to further his own ends, it was only a matter of time before someone suggested to Charles Green that he could use the same tactics to win over the support. He went even further and blatantly promoted and encouraged this mind-set, and stoked the hate and nonsense to frightening new heights. The same people who cheered Whyte to the rafters jumped on board the Big Blue Bus and the results are clear.

Through all of it, the ordinary Rangers fan has seen his club buffered against the rocks, battered, broken, smashed to smithereens and sunk. Now there’s a big hole in the side of the lifeboat, and they are terrified that further tragedies await.

They are right to be concerned. Much of the media is still not telling them what they need to know. The people in charge of their club – the owners who have lied, the former hack who covered up the truth about Whyte and now acts as a mouthpiece for Green, the “club legends” who are content to sup with the devil and take his greasy coin when they should be standing toe-to-toe with the fans – are trying to silence those members of the press who do have facts to present.

How many times now have media outlets been banned from Ibrox for daring to report the truth? The manager who demanded the names of a committee last year defends those inside the walls who are desperate to keep secret the things that are going on. He is either an unprincipled coward, or he is, himself, bought and paid for. The fans suffer for it.

The “inconvenient truth” is still being kept from them, and this denies them any chance to play an active role in their club. Indeed, it is all too possible that they’ve passed a point of no return, and that their club is heading for a new liquidation event and it can no longer be stopped.

In either case, their power has been eroded to the point at which they must feel they have nothing left to do but stand back and watch what happens next.

They are wrong. I am a socialist. I believe in the inherent good of people. I think the ordinary decent Rangers fans are the only people left who can save their club … and the means by which they will do it is as simple as it could be.

They must stand up for “big government.” They must embrace the need for a “strong state.” They must lobby the SFA, and they must trust the SFA and they must get the SFA to follow its own rules and thereby save them from any further harm.

There is a tendency amongst some Celtic fans to see our governing bodies as pro-Rangers. If it is true then those running our game are ruining Scottish football without benefiting the thing they love more. The incalculable harm that has been done to Rangers in the last 20 some months is a direct result of the subservient media and the willingness of the football authorities to be “deaf, dumb and blind.” Those who believe this has actually helped the Ibrox club have not been paying attention in class. It has irrevocably scarred them, and it may yet have played a hand in destroying them once and for all, as a force if not as a club entirely.

For years, the SFA sat and did nothing as a club in their association operated a sectarian signing policy. They did nothing whilst the fans sang sectarian songs. In their failure to act they strengthened those elements of the Rangers support, instead of isolating, alienating and eventually helping to eliminate those who saw that club as a totem pole of division and hate. Their failure over EBT’s, and their lack of scrutiny, led to one of the greatest scandals in the history of sport, and I say that with no equivocation at all. The testimony of their registrations officer in the Lord Nimmo Smith investigation was a disgrace and in years to come it will rank as one of the most disreputable and damaging moments in the association’s history.

The most egregious failures of all were the failures in the so-called “fit and proper person” tests, which allowed first Whyte and then Charles Green to assume controlling positions at Ibrox. They will pass the buck and say the responsibility lies with the club itself, in much the same way as they are content to let the club investigate itself at the present time, but any neutral who looks at this stance knows it is unprincipled and spineless. It’s like letting the defence set the terms at a trial. It is foxes investigating the chicken coop.

It is a blueprint for corruption, and a recipe for disaster.

It is now too late for the SFA to declare Green “unfit”, as it was too late when they finally slapped that title on Craig Whyte. He and his allies own Rangers, and they control its destiny. They can push the club to the wall if they choose, in the final extremity, if that gets them what they want. The time for changing that is past. The damage has already been done. The barbarians are not at the gates. They are inside the walls, and sacking the city.

The SFA will be forced to punish Rangers for the sins of the owners, for the second time in as many years, and whilst it is right that the club face up to that, all the better to send a message to other clubs and other owners, the SFA cannot be allowed to slither off the hook here as though this was none of their doing. Green will skip off into the sunset. Craig Whyte has yet to pay his fine. These people never cared about Scottish football and they don’t care now.

The SFA are supposed to. Our governing body is supposed to govern, for the good of the whole game, and not as a support system for a single club. What they have allowed to happen on their watch is absolutely shameful and if the people responsible were men at all, with any sense of accountability, they would resign en masse.

They can pretend ignorance, but only the truly ignorant would accept that. Craig Whyte was not inside Ibrox a week before RTC and other sites were dismantling his entire business history, with some of the people here doing the work the SFA would not. Whyte himself claims to have made the governing bodies aware of the scale of what was facing the club, and they did nothing at all. Heads should have rolled a year ago.

In October of last year, on this very site, I posted an article in which I wrote:

“Which isn’t to say the due diligence matter isn’t worrying, because, of course, it is. Again, no-one is going to convince me that the SFA has conducted proper due diligence on Charles Green and his backers. No-one will convince me they are satisfied that this club is in safe hands, and that the game in this country will not be rocked by a further implosion at Ibrox. They failed to properly investigate Craig Whyte, because of lax regulations requiring disclosure from the club itself, regulations which are just a joke, but they can be forgiven for that as the press was talking sheer nonsense about him having billions at his disposal, and a lot of people (but not everyone!) were either convinced or wanted to be convinced by him.

To have witnessed what Whyte did, to have witnessed the Duff & Phelps “process” of finding a buyer, and having Green essentially emerge from nowhere, with a hundred unanswered questions as to his background and financing, for the SFA to have given this guy the go ahead, only for it to blow up in their faces later, would annihilate the credibility of the governing body and necessitate resignations at every level. There would be no hiding place.”

There are times when it is fun to be right, but this is not one of them. It is dispiriting and disquieting to have been so on the nose. It scares the Hell out of me, as someone who loves football in this country, to have seen this matter clearly when the people running our game apparently either did not or chose to ignore very real, very obvious, concerns. The Internet Bampots had no special insight or access to information that was denied those at the SFA. We just weren’t prepared to ignore it and pretend that it wasn’t there. There was too much at stake.

I have become convinced that things will never change until the Rangers supporters join us in demanding the full and unabridged truth here. They need to come out from under the bed, and confront their fears. They need to be willing to take the consequences, so that their club can emerge clean from this, and start again, with all this behind them.

And it can all happen with one simple thing. The application of the rules.

The existence of laws comes down to a simple principle; they protect society from those elements within it who are interested only in their own selfish ends. We may cry out at those rules and regulations we see as “restrictive”, but the law was not made to restrict our freedoms but to protect them. Had the SFA years ago acted against Rangers sectarian signing policy, and the songs from the stands, the club would not have mutated to the point where there was no help on hand when they needed it the most. Let’s not kid ourselves about this; Whyte and Green were only able to grab control because the club itself has a dreadful image which put off respectable and responsible buyers. The SFA could have helped change that perception years ago and did nothing.

The SFA could have conducted its own investigation into who Craig Whyte was. They could have asked David Murray for full disclosure when he was running up £80 million of debt, a sum of money that is beyond belief for a single club in a small provincial backwater league. Had they had the guts to do that the club would never have spent itself into oblivion and forced the hand of Lloyds, which led indirectly to their ignominious end.

The SFA could have fully investigated Charles Green and the means by which he took control, instead of rushing through a license. His emergence at the last minute was transparently suspicious and designed to force them into a quick decision, but they did not have to bow to that pressure by making one, without being in possession of the facts, as it is now 100% clear they were not.

Had they asked for every document, had they insisted on legal affidavits and personal securities from investors (and this would have been perfectly legitimate and is common place in other licensing areas) none of this would have come to pass. After Craig Whyte they had a moral responsibility to the rest of the game to get this one right and their failure is without parallel in the history of Scottish football.

As the club hurtles towards a new abyss, names are cropping up which should send a shudder down the spines of every honest, genuine supporter of not only Rangers but every team in the land. The SFA claims that a strong Rangers is essential for the sake of Scottish football, but they have been extraordinarily lax in protecting that club, and therefore the game, from destructive elements. Craig Whyte and Charles Green had dubious personal histories, and the acquisition of the club itself was mired in controversy and scandal. Yet it was allowed.

Neither Green nor Whyte were known to have operated outside the law, yet neither was worthy of trust or stood up to scrutiny. Neither man should ever have been granted the status as fit and proper persons to assume a role in our national sport, and if it is true of them what can we say about the three men who are, presently, being touted as the Great White Hopes for a bright, new Rangers future; Dave King and the Easdale brothers?

King recently cut a deal with the South African government over an on-going dispute over taxes. In other words, he pled guilty and accepted the central plank of their argument; that for years he was engaged in wilfully with-holding vast revenues from their Treasury. The media does not like to put it like that, and the SFA seems willing to ignore it utterly, and this would be scandalous enough. But it does not stop there. HRMC rules – as well as the SFA’s own governance documents – actually bar him from serving on the board of the new club.

Last but not least, aside from being an admitted tax cheat, King is also awaiting trial in South Africa, having been indicted for corruption, forgery and fraud – 300 charges in total. Yet as recently as last week, we were told that the Association was willing to look at him and consider representations from his lawyers. This is almost beyond belief.

If Dave King’s position is untenable, and he is yet to be convicted of a crime, what can we say about the position of the Easdale’s? One of the two brothers, Sandy, has already served jail time. He is a convicted criminal, a fraudster nonetheless, who’s “victim” was the same Treasury who are appealing one case involving the old club and liquidated it entirely over another. This is precisely the kind of “businessman” the fit and proper person test was supposed to weed out, and if the SFA holds its nose here the reek will stink out the halls at Hampden for decades. If King or the Easdale’s are judged fit and proper, then who exactly is the test for? What exactly do you have to do to fail it? How do we explain the existence of laws, when these are not applied?

Pascal says “Law without force is impotent.” The SFA’s weakness has allowed one version of Rangers to destroy itself, and has allowed an existential risk to another. If the next power at Rangers resides in South Africa or Greenock I can say with some certainty that the Association is engaged in an even more dangerous roll of the dice, because the surfacing of fresh scandal will be an ever present risk, and will be of the sort no-one will survive.

The damage to Scottish football will take years to heal. The Scottish game has been through enough trauma. It does not need more. It barely survived the last calamity to hit Rangers. The rest of us should not be forced to pay the price of the next one.

The greater damage will be done to Rangers itself. If the Green crisis ends in another collapse – as it well might; another administration event is a certainty, and another liquidation is a much more likely prospect than it was before 14 February 2012 – the club will once again have to start from the bottom, and this time the reputational damage will be impossible to repair. The club faces internal strife, sporting sanctions, and criminal investigations. The last takeover might be declared a fraud. the Whyte takeover will almost certainly be. The share issue might be invalid, as well as criminal, and the people involved may well end up in jail. Lawsuits could follow from investors, there could be as yet unknown consequences from the Upper Tier Tax Tribunal (thank you Brogan Rogan for pointing out what those might be) and a host of other issues.

Rangers fans must be the loudest voices here. How do you want the world to view your club in years to come? Do you want one to be proud of, or one forever associated with the shame and disgrace of these days gone by? The one which bailed out on its tax obligations. The one with supporters who disgrace your very name. The one which allowed Whyte and Green to take you to the cleaners and send you to the wall. The one which handed over control to one convicted criminal and another awaiting trial. Do you want to be reborn clean, or mired in the muck?

David Murray destroyed your financial stability. He made it so no bank would issue you a line of credit and no investor of note wanted to buy. Craig Whyte liquidated you. Charles Green has cast the future of the Newco into doubt and acted in a manner which has annihilated your credibility with the financial markets for decades to come.

Between these three men, they have taken everything from you, and the press and the people who run the game here, as well as some of your own blindly ignorant fans, have allowed them to do all this and more. Now they conspire to hand the keys to Ibrox to other men of questionable character, who will wreck further havoc on the reputation of the club.

The Scottish Football Association has damaged the game it was supposed to protect, but above all else their greatest failure of governance was a failure to protect one of its biggest clubs from its own excesses and those of its owners.

Rangers fans, the SFA have betrayed your trust, more than the trust of any other club. What you must insist on now is full disclosure and transparency from the powers that be in Hampden. The SFA has to end the charade of allowing your club to handle this in-house. They must hand everything over to an outside agency – whether a legal one, or a footballing body like UEFA – and they must demand co-operation and answers, and threaten to withhold the license if they don’t get them.

You must not be afraid of that. You must embrace it. The men with their hands on the gears at Ibrox are motivated by money, and nothing more. If the license is withdrawn their “investments” are worthless. They cannot risk that.

You must demand that the rules on fit and proper persons are applied, and where necessary even made stronger, to prevent your club falling into unclean hands. You must demand that they protect your reputation from further damage, by getting this all out there and acting accordingly, even if that means your club does not play football for at least a year.

You must be willing to suck it all up, knowing that what will emerge is a Rangers which has been cleansed and moves forward with honour, and dignity, led by custodians who treasure it rather than those who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

The Rangers Standard has recently emerged as a genuine voice for those in your support who are sick and tired of what Rangers has become, and want it restored to something that is worthy of the love and respect in which you hold it. On that website, there are discussions about the kind of club you seek to be and about whether the institution of Rangers is about more than just football.

If that’s how you feel about it then you know it is about more than how many titles the club can claim, about more than just results on the park, about more than just the game. Rangers, like Celtic, is an idea. It has to be something you are proud of.

I am a socialist, but one with a fevered imagination and a tendency to write very dark things. This piece won’t have been good reading for some of you (perhaps all of you haha!) but I think there’s more hope in here than in other things I’ve written.

In spite of everything that’s come to pass, I still believe. I believe in Scottish football. I believe in our system of football governance, even if those who are working in it are failing on some level.

In society, as much as we strain against them, laws exist for our protection. To fail to enforce them is to leave us at the mercy of those elements who would do us harm. The rules of football ensure the protection of all clubs, not just a few.

The failure to enforce the rules has never had graver consequences than here in Scotland.  The irony is that bending and breaking them has hurt the one club those violations were designed to help. It cannot be allowed to happen again.

The rules must be applied without fear or favour.

The best must find their conviction, and their passionate intensity once more.

James is a co-editor of the On Fields of Green Blog http://www.onfieldsofgreen.com/

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.

5,802 Comments so far

Forres Dee (@ForresDee)Posted on10:18 pm - Jun 2, 2013


twopanda says:
Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 22:10

without accounts filed timeously [registrations?] et al – ?
——————–

Accounts – already allowed to play in europe despite wee tax case.
Registrations – already blown out the water.

Fair play / transparency – already gone.

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justshateredPosted on10:20 pm - Jun 2, 2013


ekbhoy says:
Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 21:45

I understand the point you are making however a repeat of last years script is already running;
Cuddly uncle Wattie is CEO to get the fans to part with their cash to fund another season meanwhile ‘the enemies of Rangers’ statement is being given another dusting down by Craig Mather to circle the waggons and promulgate the siege mentality.
The money will roll in therefore I would not expect ‘The Rangers’ to require cash from RIFC until sometime in December or January. I think it is at that point we shall see their true colours. Surely even they will know that the game is up at that point as the IPO money will be draining away.
Who knows what the share price at that point will be particularly if the unseemly boardroom antics continue.
Perhaps though the board will be united.
Perhaps the share price will hold firm.
Perhaps ‘The Rangers’ will get banking facilities.
Perhaps CW will back down in his claim for the assets.
Perhaps the euro millions winner from Clydebank will bankroll the culbuntil its return to the SPL.

Perhaps I’ll win the lottery, buy them and shut them down myself, and cut out the middle man.

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twopandaPosted on10:22 pm - Jun 2, 2013


Forres Dee (@ForresDee) says:
That is alas a true factual record FD – no denying
I stand corrected

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Forres Dee (@ForresDee)Posted on10:28 pm - Jun 2, 2013


twopanda says:
Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 22:22

Forres Dee (@ForresDee) says:
That is alas a true factual record FD – no denying
I stand corrected

—————————

Hope I didn’t come over too strong but anyone hoping that fair play will be applied ibrox way are sorely mistaken.

Those hoping for rfc*’s death will have to wait until it runs out of money. Only for it to be continually restored and restored and restored.

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ianagainPosted on10:28 pm - Jun 2, 2013


Tape – CG EUFA-Easy_No probs-Tape?

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CastofThousandsPosted on10:30 pm - Jun 2, 2013


Auldheid says:
Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 21:21

“The author of that Derry article has been a stalwart defender of the same club myth/ reality depending on ones view”.
———–

Auldheid, I was not seeking to support the opinion in the article but merely pointing out that the tweeted version posted by dreddybhoy was a copy of one that had been posted earlier on the site. I presume Paul McConville was the original author but I have not taken any pains to investigate its provenance. As I said, it is Paul’s opinion on a piece of information and is not in itself the proof of a policy. Your remarks have more of the ring of a policy since they appear to have been lifted from policy documents.

On the wider point of whether Rangers are a new club, I know this issue exercises many contributors a great deal. The fact that it does so suggests that there is a real merit in pursuing this line since it has a substantial meaning. Being not so well read on many of the issues passing through the blog the gravity of this merit may elude me but I would not attempt to pretend it is a moot point. My perhaps less well informed view is that the distinction is not critical to me since I see Rangers as being their fans, not the corporate entity. I cannot easily separate the team idea from the guy I see walking down the street or on the five a side pitches wearing a Rangers top. To me he is just an ordinary guy like me and I do not want to tell him his club is dead. I would not want someone telling me my club was dead.

However this issue has raged long and hard on the site and I recognise its validity and do not dispute its voracity.

I consider Paul McConville to be a credible information source largely because I have seen the respect he is held in by other posters and also through reading his articles. Again, I may not be sufficiently read but he has never struck me as having a particular axe to grind. Perhaps you are referring to the ‘tweeter’. If Rangers supporters are using Paul McConvilles blog as an information source then it is likely they will come into contact with opinions that perhaps they have not seen previously.

If I am misinterpreting you Auldheid be assured that it is not mischief on my behalf. I just wanted to point out a bit of perceived plaigarism concerning the dreddybhoy tweet. I hope my lack of knowledge does not cause offence. I know your contributions are valued and I would be very wary of contradicting your views unless I was convinced of my information.

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john clarkePosted on10:32 pm - Jun 2, 2013


Auldheid says:
Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 21:53
‘….Its all a bit like Watergate sooner or later a position taken is going to run into a past statement that derails the cover up…’
—-
Aye, indeed, Auldheid.

But unlike Watergate, there is no Woodward or Bernstein reporting for the MSM, more’s the pity!

And there’s a bunch of editorial cowards at BBC Scotland who seem to have stifled Daly

The insufferably blinkered BBC Radio Scotland editors ( or the bully-boy in charge of them, perhaps) cannot see (or can see only too well) what a great story/expose they are sitting on.

They must surely be shamed by, for example, the good work done down south in Englandshire on the ‘Lobbying Lords’.

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twopandaPosted on10:32 pm - Jun 2, 2013


not at all FD – objective observation of fact well received
if only it weren`t so

View Comment

ianagainPosted on10:36 pm - Jun 2, 2013


You all don’t know this but a grand plan is in place.
The fans are going to- Not buy STs
They are going to wait until the price plummets and buy the shares instead.

Anyone?

Mad enough to think it will work

Will the players join in.

Will Metro Bank pull the plug.

View Comment

angus1983Posted on10:37 pm - Jun 2, 2013


Auldheid says:
Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 21:41

Regardless until 3 years trading happens UEFA view The Rangers as a new club.
——

Oh aye, undoubtedly. It all goes back to the club v company thing yet again. Rangers cannot show 3 years’ accounts because they’re a new company.

It appears that Derry found themselves in the same place. Now that the requisite time and accounts have passed UEFA are letting them back in – and they take on the mantle of the old club.

This is what will happen with Rangers. If they ever get back into Europe, UEFA will recognise the history as that of the old club/company and the rest of us will never hear the end of it. We’d best get used to the idea.

One thing – I may reconsider my decision to not go back to the fitba. But you’ll never, ever catch me at a Rangers game again. I will not put my money towards perpetuating their mythology.

View Comment

Kevin AndersonPosted on10:38 pm - Jun 2, 2013


angus1983 says:
Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 21:00
3 7 Rate This
dreddybhoy says:
Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 19:11

It does lead me to wonder why they themselves took the 5 stars off their shirts, though.

…………….They didn’t remove them, they’re on the side seam, just like the Old/Newco debate,still there just unusually subtle, not something Old/Newco are known for.

View Comment

ekbhoyPosted on10:45 pm - Jun 2, 2013


Justshattered

I agree the likely projection of cash running out , all things being equal, is end if the year. However, with this barmy lot in charge of Ibrox, I am anticipating an earlier move – pay up or club gone sort of scenario. If the crooks pull the plug mid-season then a proper administrator could keep them on life support with an under -21 team playing at Murray Park.

Just a thought , either way , observer status is hilarious.

View Comment

Reilly1926Posted on11:14 pm - Jun 2, 2013


Who cares whether they regard themselves as a new club or not. It’s totally pointless to argue against them regarding the issue. Let’s stick to the facts that they agree with. Something to do with them since 1899 is lying in the gutter owing millions of £’s to the people who trusted them.

Pwoud very pwoud.

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ecobhoyPosted on11:24 pm - Jun 2, 2013


neepheid says:
Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 17:30

ecobhoy says:
Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 16:53

You have defended the decision of LNS on several occasions now. However the bottom line is this- he found that the rules were broken, but he decided not to impose any “sporting sanctions”. From his decision-

“[106] 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.”

Now, where in the rules of the SFA, SPL, or in LNS’ terms of reference, is there any linkage between the nature of the breach of rules, and the sanction to be applied? As I recall, Spartans were booted out of the Scottish Cup for a breach of the registration rules which could never have conferred a “Sporting Advantage”.

Does the term “sporting advantage” occur anywhere in the rules, in any context?

In my view, the link between “sporting advantage” and “sporting sanction” is entirely a creation of LNS. That is regardless of any evidence put forward by the “authorities” or any incompetence, deliberate or otherwise, in the conduct of their case.

It was open to LNS, having found a clear breach of the rules, to impose any sanction envisaged by the rules. In my view he simply chose to link “sporting advantage” to “sporting sanctions” because it was a “given” that titles would not be stripped.

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

I don’t actually feel much need to defend the LNS Decision but I certainly feel a passionate need to lay the stitch-up that took place at the doors of the SPL and SFA where I believe it belongs.

LNS imposed a £250K penalty because there was a contravention of the disclosure rules and it seems you appear to believe that there should have been another or additional sanctions imposed and quite possibly stripping of titles. I would regard that as a ‘sporting sanction’ although no evidence was given to LNS that Rangers gained any ‘sporting advantage’ from the non-disclosure and I think it appropriate that a monetary rather than a sporting sanction was applied by LNS. But that’s only my opinion and you are entitled to your’s but always remember any decision by LNS is subject to appeal or Judicial Review.

LNS had a wide ranging choice to impose any one or combination of sanctions listed under SPL Rule G6 and also, under Rule G6.1.18, he could additionally “make such other direction, sanction or disposal, not expressly provided for in these Rules”. At the conclusion of the evidence the SPL failed to recommend any sanction that it wished to be applied.

You ask: Where in the rule book ‘is there any linkage between the nature of the breach of rules, and the sanction to be applied?’ I’ll accept you’ve looked and there isn’t one. But we aren’t talking about a Criminal Code tariff here but a football rule book with LNS having the discretion to award an appropriate punishment for a rule breach knowing that an unreasonable punishment could be appealed. It would seem contrary to natural justice IMO if there was no attempt to link the offence and punishment.

Your view is that: ‘The link between “sporting advantage” and “sporting sanction” is entirely a creation of LNS’. You may be correct and to me it’s an extremely wise one because it seems very logical that if an unfair sporting advantage is gained through a rule breach then an appropriate sporting sanction should be applied. Is an inappropriate sporting sanction or even a non-sporting one a better punishment? I think the punishment should fit the ‘crime’ as far as is possible.

Your final paragraph ignores the crystal-clear SFA and SPL evidence that no ineligible Rangers players actually played. It’s obvious you don’t like that position and seem to feel that LNS should have ignored it and stripped titles I assume. Trust me, the euphoria would soon have evaporated when LNS was overturned on appeal.

I have not mentioned Spartans being a bit of a red herring as the SPL didn’t use it in evidence and therefore it couldn’t be taken into account by LNS.

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on11:30 pm - Jun 2, 2013


Twopanda

The 3 year exile due to insufficient trading history ends in 2016.
If they were to qualify via the SC before then the SFA would need to make a well founded case for an exception to apply. Given the insolvency was brought about by taking but not passing on £14m in Tax/NI due to HMRC I do not see UEFA thinking the insolvency was for the kind of restructuring reasons of which UEFA could approve without being charged with condoning/ encouraging tax evasion.( There is no doubt the retained Tax/NI is evasion if not downright theft rather than avoidance.
However if in 2016 The Rangers become eligible for consideration for Europe by dint of league placing or SC win or runners up to title winner, then as long as they have unqualified audited accounts and have no unpaid tax and comply with FFP break even rules of 2016 then they can get a UEFA licence. That applies each year thereafter but before 2016 they would suffer no additional penalty for failing any of the foregoing if they became eligible for consideration on sporting merit.

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john clarkePosted on11:38 pm - Jun 2, 2013


Kevin Anderson says:
Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 22:38
‘..They didn’t remove them, they’re on the side seam….’

—–
It’s posts like this, simple, straightforward , on- the- button statements of fact worth their weight in gold, and curiously reminiscent of the style of a greatly missed poster on RTC who sadly didn’t TUPE over to TSFM, that keep this blog grounded in reality and truth.

There’s lots of fun and interest to be had in speculation and theorising, of course, but facts are chiels that winna ding! ( eh, are you sure aboot the stars?!)

View Comment

gerrylentilsPosted on11:39 pm - Jun 2, 2013


The sfa have colluded, connived and conspired with rangers in all its’ guises to help rangers and to hinder and disadvantage everyone else in Scottish football. These organisations have contaminated and corrupted the national sport and this reached a peak during the sandy bryson cheating years.
They will shortly be back in the spl behaving as if nothing has changed and the cheating and pockling, bullying and intimidation will reach himalayan proportions and they will soon be challenging for honours.
May I offer a solution?
When it is time for the rangers to rejoin the spl, the spl chairmen tell them that before they are admitted they will have to relinquish claim on the trophies “won” during the sandy Bryson cheating years. Now I don’t think that this suggestion will meet with much approval from the club chairman but I think it will resonate with club supporters.
Fan power won the day this time last year and can do so once again.

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ecobhoyPosted on11:41 pm - Jun 2, 2013


mullach says:
Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 22:30

I presume Paul McConville was the original author but I have not taken any pains to investigate its provenance.
===========================================================

FYOI – the author is a Rangers fan AD Bryce who has been arguing it’s the same club line for it seems like forever. He’s entitled to his view but I see little sign of him wanting to genuinely debate rather than prove his point and I don’t like some of the remarks made on his Twitter account. I personally feel the ‘club’ argument has been done to death and can never be resolved. There will always be two diametrically opposed positions on it and that will never change. Paul put it on his blog as a Guest Post.

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AuldheidPosted on11:47 pm - Jun 2, 2013


Mullach
The author of the original Derry article is AD Bryce and Paul McConville put it up there on his blog for discussion.

I have not seen Paul’s conclusion yet, but have not checked back. If none maybe he is waiting for UEFA to clarify but what I have posted here was in response to the article by A D Bryce not anything Paul Mac said.

I used your post to repeat UEFAs rules and point out the gap in terms of defining a football club between UEFAs rules and the SFAs position that has allowed the controversy to be created and continue.

I view the SFA position as dangerous to the long term financial health of our game as it discourages creditors from giving credit to an industry that treats them in an apparently cavalier fashion.

In terms of The Rangers where expenditure appears to be exceeding income this cannot be a good thing for them in particular.

No long term perspective being applied I fear.

No need for any apology more the other way I think.

View Comment

enough is enoughPosted on11:58 pm - Jun 2, 2013


Fast forward 6 months:
T’Gers enter administration again

Dilemma for the SFA, do they;

a) Declare that as a new club this is their 1st administration event and deduct 10 points (giving them a chance of possibly still gaining promotion) or

b) say its same club and deduct 25 points? (removing any chance of promotion)?
wonder which choice t’berrs would choose?

View Comment

bogsdolloxPosted on12:08 am - Jun 3, 2013


Tic 6709 says:
Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 09:11

Allowing Sally to sign all the new faces is only to pump up the assets for when they exit stage left.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Interesting point. Here was me getting madder than a madman because they were varying their policy of signing key diddy team players to ensure they didn’t have to play against them by emptying the SPL of talent purely for revenge.

View Comment

bogsdolloxPosted on12:12 am - Jun 3, 2013


chipm0nk says:
Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 16:17

upthehoops says:
Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 15:47

They claim to have been vindicated in the LNS enquiry … they were found guilty of the charges against them.

They claim to have been vindicated in the FTT … they were found guilty of the only parts which have actually been finalised.

They conveniently don’t even mention the two tax matters, totalling well over £10m which led to their administration and subsequent liquidation.

I don’t know if they are stupid or brainwashed. Possibly both I suppose. The one’s who realise the truth tend to stay quiet. To be fair when one sees the savaging they get when they try to express that truth it is hardly surprising.

You really would think that the club which was liquidated because of lying, stealing and cheating. Which was established beyond any doubt, had actually survived, thrived and proven all the claims against them sere wrong.

Their attitude really is astonishing.

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

One explanation could be that as they were once the sons of Kings it is hard to adjust to the notion of being just like the man sitting next to them on the Govan omnibus who has actually paid their fare but they haven’t..

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nowoldandgrumpyPosted on12:15 am - Jun 3, 2013


Thinking of how the new TRIFC signing can be allowed to play a trialists.

http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/administration/02/05/54/88/3121066.pdf

FIFA have defined when a pre contract is a legally binding contract of emplyment.

9. Consequently, the Chamber, first and foremost, focused its attention on the
question as to whether a legally binding employment contract had been concluded
by and between the Claimant and the Respondent.

10. In this regard, the Chamber recalled that in order for an employment contract to
be considered as valid and binding, apart from the signature of both the employer
and the employee, it should contain the essentialia negotii of an employment
contract, such as the parties to the contract and their role, the duration of the
employment relationship, the remuneration and the signature of both parties.
After a careful study of the “pre-contract agreement” presented by the Claimant,
the Chamber concluded that all such essential elements are included in the
pertinent document, in particular, the fact that the contract establishes that the
Claimant is entitled to receive remuneration, including a monthly salary, in
exchange for his services to the club as a player

15. In continuation, the Chamber turned to the argument put forward by the
Respondent that, allegedly, at the time of the signature of the “pre-contract
agreement” between the Claimant and the Respondent, the Claimant possibly had
a valid employment contract with his former club and that, consequently, an
employment contract could not have been executed between the Claimant and the
Respondent.
16. In this respect, the members of the Chamber highlighted the fact that a player who
has a valid employment contract signs another employment contract with a
different club, does not automatically render the subsequent contract invalid or
unenforceable. In this context, the Chamber inter alia referred to art. 18 par. 3 of
the Regulations in accordance with which a player may conclude a contract with
another club if his contract with his present club has expired or is due to expire
within six months. However, the Chamber pointed out that the signature by a
player of another employment contract covering the same period as his contract
with his present club would trigger consequences regarding a potential breach of
the present contract (cf. Chapter IV of the Regulations), but the intrinsic validity
and enforceability of the subsequent employment contract would, in principle, not
be affected and would create legal effects inter partes. The Chamber considered,
therefore, that the possible existence of a prior valid employment contract at the
time of signature of the “pre-contract agreement” between the Claimant and the
Respondent would not affect the latter’s validity and enforceability.

18. On account of all of the above, the members of the Chamber concluded that by
having signed the “pre-contract agreement” a valid and legally binding
employment contract had been entered into by and between the Claimant and the
Respondent on 3 February 2008.

Now if this is the case for the recent TRIFC pre contract signings, then I fail to see how they can be classed a trialists as they would be contracted to RIFC and therefore be in full eployent.

Perhaps someone can enlighten me on this point.

View Comment

bogsdolloxPosted on12:23 am - Jun 3, 2013


chipm0nk says:
Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 17:37

The LNS enquiry was a set up from start to finish.

The idea was to find them guilty, it did, but to minimise the effect of any punishment.

Both were achieved.

It seems the SFA (the appellate body, aye right) provided the witness which allowed the punishment to be meaningless.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I’m assuming that with such a perverse decision an Appeal has been LODGED.

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bogsdolloxPosted on12:45 am - Jun 3, 2013


neepheid says:
Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 20:42

If Lord Hodge demonstrates to my satisfaction that his delaying of the liquidation of Oldco was anything other than a blatant ploy to enable the transfer of Oldco’s SFA membership to Sevco, then surprised won’t be the word for it.

Nobody has provided anything close to an explanation of why a potential conflict of interest involving D&P should have held up the liquidation (and the automatic extinguishing of Oldco’s SFA membership) by even a day.

Well at least Lord Hodge opened my eyes to the true state of play in the Scottish judiciary, which meant that LNS’ subsequent performance came as no surprise to me at all.

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

The point about why a conflict of interest involving D&P(the Administrators) should hold up the liquidation surely answers itself?

The law goes through due process and arrives at strange conclusions. To link that inquiry into the circumstances of the demise of Rangers to a plot to allow the transfer of the Oldco SFA membership is clutching at straws.

Rangers will implode. Be patient.

View Comment

bogsdolloxPosted on12:49 am - Jun 3, 2013


john clarke says:
Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 22:32

Auldheid says:
Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 21:53
‘….Its all a bit like Watergate sooner or later a position taken is going to run into a past statement that derails the cover up…’
—-
Aye, indeed, Auldheid.

But unlike Watergate, there is no Woodward or Bernstein reporting for the MSM, more’s the pity!

And there’s a bunch of editorial cowards at BBC Scotland who seem to have stifled Daly

The insufferably blinkered BBC Radio Scotland editors ( or the bully-boy in charge of them, perhaps) cannot see (or can see only too well) what a great story/expose they are sitting on.

They must surely be shamed by, for example, the good work done down south in Englandshire on the ‘Lobbying Lords’.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Let’s not forget JC that the Press have an agenda for stringing up the greedy thieves in parliament. The Levinson Enquiry on restraining the media is still up for grabs.

View Comment

easyJamboPosted on1:06 am - Jun 3, 2013


nowoldandgrumpy says: Monday, June 3, 2013 at 00:15

Now if this is the case for the recent TRIFC pre contract signings, then I fail to see how they can be classed a trialists as they would be contracted to RIFC and therefore be in full eployent.

Perhaps someone can enlighten me on this point.
================================
The info you posted confirms the right of a player to sign a binding contract with another club up to six months in advance. As long as the contract periods with the current and the new club don’t overlap there are no consequences for signing such a contract.

The (legally enforceable) contracts signed by Daly, Bell and others will have a start date of 1st September, so they will not officially be registered as TRFC players before then, as it would be a breach of the embargo.

Hence they will be allowed to play as trialists before 1st September as, at that time, they will not be registered by any other club.

The only problem is that while what TRFC is planning is against the spirit of the rules (the transfer embargo) it doesn’t breach those rules.

I suspect that future embargoes may be enhanced by a specific ruling that in addition to a ban on registrations for a period, there will also be a ban on playing trialists during the same period.

Once again the weaknesses of the SFA and SPL rule books are being exploited by those with the wherewithal and the means of circumventing them.

View Comment

bogsdolloxPosted on1:19 am - Jun 3, 2013


easyJambo says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 01:06

Once again the weaknesses of the SFA and SPL rule books are being exploited by those with the wherewithal and the means of circumventing them.

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

I sense they need an expert like Sandy Bryson to clear up the mess. His rulings in the past have been clear and concise.

View Comment

john clarkePosted on1:22 am - Jun 3, 2013


bogsdollox says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 00:49
‘..Let’s not forget JC that the Press have an agenda for stringing up the greedy thieves in parliament. The Levinson Enquiry on restraining the media is still up for grabs.’
—-
Good point,bd.

But equally the Scottish MSM would appear to have an agenda which requires them NOT to ask hard questions in certain areas in which other greedy thieves in football operate!

View Comment

CastofThousandsPosted on1:28 am - Jun 3, 2013


At the risk of being convoluted, I’d like to sweep up a few comments I noted over the last couple of days :

Exiled Celt (@The_Exiled_Celt) says:
Friday, May 31, 2013 at 08:42

“The 5 way agreement that CF gave us on page 2”
————
I was hunting for a Charlotte version of the 5 way agreement and couldn’t find one. Eventually Neepheid and Borussiabeefburger obliged. I came to the conclusuion that Charlotte did not provide such a document (so far). Can you post a copy of this please.
=======

newtz says:
Friday, May 31, 2013 at 10:07

“…then she could be referring to her source … STV leak…So just thought I would dump thoughts”.
————
Charlotte keeps us guessing. One thing that struck me was one of her latest titbits

CW doesn’t appear in the address line of this one so I was thinking her access might go beyond a (possible) hacked CW e:mail account.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/144718597/Rangers-SFA-1
========

Sam says:
Saturday, June 1, 2013 at 16:29

“One of the companies in the Group is Rangers Football Club Ltd. During the years in question it was loss-making for Corporation Tax purposes.”
———–
I’m not sure your contributions get the recognition they deserve Sam. There has been lots of conjecture concerning Rangers modus operandi and this comment of yours seemed to fit a lot of profiles.
=======

Sam says:
Saturday, June 1, 2013 at 17:28

“All three of Matt Le Tissier’s brothers – Mark, Kevin and Carl – also played football, but never professionally. Mark is currently secretary of Guernsey FC.”
———–
The significance of this comment eluded me. It seemed trivial except for the mention of possible tax haven of Guernsey. Can you elaborate please Sam.
=======

newtz says:
———-
To echo the comment of another poster, I know you are just dumping thoughts but sometimes it would be worth filling out the reasoning. You seem to have built up a good knowledge and I for one would like to share in it.

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bogsdolloxPosted on1:37 am - Jun 3, 2013


john clarke says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 01:22

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

They do indeed have that agenda. I don’t buy any of the Scottish MSM and haven’t done since I came back to Scotlandshire some 10 years ago. I don’t buy a local paper either because it’s full of shit too.

What about these guys?

http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/

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nowoldandgrumpyPosted on2:51 am - Jun 3, 2013


easyJambo
Thanks for the reply.

Will these players be paid their full salary entitlement by TRIFC before their registration on Sept 1st?

If so, again I would ask how can they be termed as trialists, if they are receiving contractual payments from TRIFC, prior to Sept 1st?

Is it simply that the SFL will allow TRIFC to play unregistered players and allow a further bending of the rules, to wrongly classified as trialists?

View Comment

Exiled Celt (@The_Exiled_Celt)Posted on3:15 am - Jun 3, 2013


mullach says:

Monday, June 3, 2013 at 01:28

At the risk of being convoluted, I’d like to sweep up a few comments I noted over the last couple of days :

Exiled Celt (@The_Exiled_Celt) says:
Friday, May 31, 2013 at 08:42

“The 5 way agreement that CF gave us on page 2″
————
I was hunting for a Charlotte version of the 5 way agreement and couldn’t find one. Eventually Neepheid and Borussiabeefburger obliged. I came to the conclusuion that Charlotte did not provide such a document (so far). Can you post a copy of this please.
=======

Hi Mullach – you are correct – CF did not provide that document – my mistake – apologies!

View Comment

Exiled Celt (@The_Exiled_Celt)Posted on3:21 am - Jun 3, 2013


nowoldandgrumpy says:

Monday, June 3, 2013 at 02:51

easyJambo
Thanks for the reply.

Will these players be paid their full salary entitlement by TRIFC before their registration on Sept 1st?

If so, again I would ask how can they be termed as trialists, if they are receiving contractual payments from TRIFC, prior to Sept 1st?

Is it simply that the SFL will allow TRIFC to play unregistered players and allow a further bending of the rules, to wrongly classified as trialists?

***************

The precedent was already set when Sevco had Little and Black as trialists against Brechin.

To your point about pay – spot on – why would Cammy Bell for example forego up to 3 months of wages (June/July/Aug) since Killie stopped paying him at the end of his contract/season? I cannot see them doing this at all – they will be paid until Sept – which leads to payments being made to “employees” of the company who really are not employees. Am sure the auditors will be loving this – as will the spivs. Will IA’s mother’s bank account be in use again I wonder?

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Exiled Celt (@The_Exiled_Celt)Posted on4:33 am - Jun 3, 2013


Catching up with news from the weekend – I see Charlotte posted an item about Martin Bain. Now given that there was talk that Lord Cardigan of Nosurname wanted Martin back as CEO, I wonder if Charlotte is sending a message to them that she has some things on Martin that would be best not to see the light of day should he ever come back to Ibrokes?

Instead of a drip/drip, seems to be messages being sent to specific folks who will understand what is being said and hinted at, IMO..

View Comment

neepheidPosted on5:59 am - Jun 3, 2013


bogsdollox says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 00:45

The point about why a conflict of interest involving D&P(the Administrators) should hold up the liquidation surely answers itself?
+++++++++++++
It doesn’t answer itself for me. Perhaps you can explain to me in simple terms why the liquidation could proceed in November, when the Conflict of interest matter was just as unresolved as it was in June? Clearly D&P could still remain subject to the jurisdiction of the court while the liquidation proceeded- as I pointed out in June last year, there was absolutely no valid reason in law for delaying liquidation., as was proven subsequently in November. There was only one possible reason for delaying the liquidation- to allow the transfer of Oldco’s membership.

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Danish PastryPosted on6:11 am - Jun 3, 2013


Exiled Celt (@The_Exiled_Celt) says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 04:33
2 0 Rate This

…. Instead of a drip/drip, seems to be messages being sent to specific folks who will understand what is being said and hinted at, IMO..
————

A similar thought occurred to me Exiled when the latest blue-air, Charles ‘Fookin’ Green audio was released the day after the tabloids had him waxing lyrical about how proud he was of his time at Rangers (at 59, he feels his best days are behind him so 65-year-old Smith is better suited, in more ways than one).

The third audio clip is actually the most stunning, in that it undermines totally any pretence that Green and Whyte were not big chums. It even has Craig Whyte laughing as Charles tells how he describes him (CW) in negociations as, “That c*** (that’s you by the way) …”.

CF must have many juicy audio clips, but as you say they seem to be being released with a ‘Whatever you say, I have information that tells the true story.’ There’s got to be a parallel inside track to this that’s unseen.

The Martin Bain doc is strange on many levels, not least the payment of the P.I.’s looking at Bain via Graf Mortgage Corporation that boasts yet another Charles Green (Steven Charles) and Gary Withey. But it does tie in with Bain’s suspension and the withdrawal of his upwards-of-a-£1m claim against the former club. Now, if folk want to talk about a man ‘kicking the club when it was down’, they need look no further than Mr Bain.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2122279/Rangers-crisis-Martin-Bain-drops-legal-action.html

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Carfins Finest. (@edunne58)Posted on6:37 am - Jun 3, 2013


So TRFC running at a loss of 1 Million pounds per month for 8-9 months. This money must have come from RIFC. Soon as the Season Ticket money lands then RIFC bill TRFC for the lot and then sell or lease the assets of TRFC. Nice one.

View Comment

Danish PastryPosted on7:12 am - Jun 3, 2013


Carfins Finest. (@edunne58) says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 06:37
2 0 Rate This

So TRFC running at a loss of 1 Million pounds per month for 8-9 months. This money must have come from RIFC. Soon as the Season Ticket money lands then RIFC bill TRFC for the lot and then sell or lease the assets of TRFC. Nice one.
———–

Is that enough to give the investors (whoever they are) a return? To be honest, I don’t think the fans would be too put out with that scenario as long as they (a) still have their club and (b) with some Rangers-minded people at the helm. There’s been very little critical or analytical thinking going on among the Ibrox faithful. But when a fan group makes a virtue out of blind loyalty, I suppose a closed mind is the result.

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brycecurdyPosted on7:53 am - Jun 3, 2013


ecobhoy – I have followed your posts about LNS and no sporting advantage gained in particular with interest. I commend your logic and clarity of thought relating to a subject that had nearly all of us scratching our heads. I would, however, like to make one subtle but absolutely crucial distinction:

No evidence of sporting advantage gained is not the same as evidence of no sporting advantage gained.

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Exiled Celt (@The_Exiled_Celt)Posted on7:54 am - Jun 3, 2013


Just notice someone just wandered in and gave everyone a TD……

Morning Jack Irvine/Traynor/MSM – thanks for confirming our importance :-).

View Comment

SamPosted on8:08 am - Jun 3, 2013


To mullach

“Mark Le Tissier – Managing Director at Trident Trust Company (Guernsey) Ltd”

Trident Trust Company (Guernsey) Ltd – Trustee of MIH EBT scheme.

View Comment

SamPosted on8:40 am - Jun 3, 2013


Ps, remember who the quarrel is between (not necessarily individual companies like rangers);

The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs -v- Murray Group Holdings and others.

“Murray Group Management (MGM) Ltd, provides management services to the companies of the Murray Group. It is one of 100 or so companies owned by Murray Group Holdings Ltd”

No suggestion these companies are all operating aggressive tax ‘planning’ but Imagine if all those companies were operating schemes such as EBT’s for possibly over a decade?

It is confirmed Rangers Football Club Ltd were loss making for Corporate Tax Purposes.
Who knows about the the rest?

View Comment

SamPosted on9:26 am - Jun 3, 2013


The five largest types of mass marketed tax avoidance schemes;

The high number of users of the largest schemes presents a challenge for HMRC.
Type of scheme and how it works Estimated tax at risk (£m)1 Number of users.

Employee benefit trust schemes;
Employee benefit trusts are trusts set up by employers to reward or incentive employees. They can be used to disguise employment income to avoid tax and National Insurance contributions. For example, a trust is set up offshore and makes loans to employees, which are not taxable. In practice, the loans are never repaid and are used as a way of rewarding employees. HMRC has identified 75 variants of this scheme. 3,400

Partnership loss schemes;
A partnership is set up, which makes a loss. The participants in the partnership use the loss to shelter their other income from tax. The loss created is in excess of the amount invested by the participants. This is achieved by artificially inflating the loss, for example by using loans which are circular, or deferred expenditure, which is never incurred. HMRC has identified 82 variants of this scheme, including film partnership schemes. 14,000

Interest relief schemes;
Schemes which seek to engineer a situation where a taxpayer can claim interest relief as a deduction against their general income. They evolved when legislation was brought in in March 2007 to counteract partnership loss schemes. 1,100 900

Employment intermediary schemes;
An intermediary (which could be a company, partnership or sole trader) is set up to pay contractors or employees working for a company in the UK. Instead of paying the worker directly, the company using the worker’s services pays the intermediary. The intermediary then pays the worker a small salary on which PAYE and National Insurance contributions are paid. It pays the remainder to the worker via interest-free loans, but the loans are never recalled. 16,000 Stamp

Duty Land Tax schemes;
These schemes take advantage of sub-sale relief. A property sale is structured so that tax relief can be claimed because it is contractually going to be passed on via a connected party. The transaction is structured such that another relief can be claimed, or a low-value transfer can be arranged, when the property is passed on.

View Comment

tomtomPosted on9:27 am - Jun 3, 2013


Messrs Bell, Daly et al.

Rangers can employ them under any guise they want from 30th June until 31st Aug. They could give them a two month contract as park attendants at Murray Park for all anyone cares. There is no law against an out of contract footballer working until he gets another contract so I don’t see what the problem would be with them being “employees” of RFC until 1st Sept.

We knew last summer that this was what they planned to do so I don’t see what all the furore is now that this is happening. If we want to blame anyone it should be the SFA but as they probably told, or at the very least advised, RFC how to get round the problem then any complaints will fall on deaf ears.

We should just accept that if there is a loophole then it will be exploited – and every other club would do try to do the same if they were in the same position. The only difference is that every other club would have to find the loophole. Given the opprobrium that RFC faced last year I don’t believe they would have even entertained this loophole if they hadn’t been given the nod from those in charge at the SFA.

View Comment

SamPosted on9:41 am - Jun 3, 2013


Employee Benefit Trust schemes £1,700 million, 3,400 users

Legislation was introduced in the Finance Act 2003 with the aim of preventing the abusive use of trusts.
The ‘disguised remuneration’ legislation was introduced in the Finance Act 2011 with the aim of tackling avoidance arrangements that pay employees through third parties.
Investigation and Litigation HMRC is investigating schemes and has launched the ‘Employee Benefit Trust settlement opportunity’ to encourage users to pay the tax avoided, rather than face litigation.

HMRC has won several cases in litigation and is currently litigating 43 cases.
Example of the life-cycle of a scheme.

In July 2007, an employee benefit trust scheme was disclosed to HMRC under DOTAS.
In September 2008, HMRC decided to investigate by opening enquiries into users’ 2007-08 tax returns.
In February 2011, HMRC began to prepare to litigate a lead case. In May 2012, HMRC decided to prepare to litigate two further cases to provide stronger evidence to other users that the scheme would not succeed.

In 2009, HMRC set up the high net worth unit to deal with the tax affairs of the wealthiest individuals. The unit, which has 390 staff, deals with about 5,000 individuals each with assets of over £20 million, allocating a relationship manager to each taxpayer to develop a detailed knowledge of their tax affairs. It assesses the risk for each taxpayer based on their behaviour and uses this assessment to target its work. HMRC estimates that the unit achieved additional revenue from its compliance work of £85 million in 2009-10; £162 million in 2010-11; and £200 million in 2011-12.

HMRC set up a unit in 2011-12 to extend its coverage of wealthy taxpayers. This unit covers individuals with assets between £2 million and £20 million or who pay tax in the 50 per cent bracket, estimated to be 400,000 people. HMRC aims to have about 320 staff in this unit by April 2013 and forecasts that it will achieve additional revenue of £520 million between 2011 and 2015.

View Comment

timtimPosted on10:18 am - Jun 3, 2013


When everything looked uncertain and our future was on the line, you the fans, stood true. With your unwavering commitment we have overcome our first obstacle and stage one is complete. We are READY to go forward, and more than ever we need your continued and brilliant support.

You broke attendance records last year time after time, and the world saw Rangers fans demonstrate loyalty the likes of which no other club will ever enjoy.

We know renewing your season ticket is a huge commitment and we can’t stress enough how crucial your support is in bringing security and prosperity to our club. Last season the Club reduced season tickets by a third and in recognition of your unquestionable loyalty and support the Board has taken the decision to freeze season tickets for the coming season to ensure we keep filling Ibrox and breaking those records once again.

You are the lifeblood of this 141 year old institution and on behalf of everyone at Rangers Football Club I would like to thank you for your incredible backing.

We will do everything we can to repay your loyalty, delivering the success this football club and our fans deserve and ultimately regaining our rightful place at the top of Scottish football. Renew your season ticket online today.

WE ARE THE PEOPLE.

Ally McCoist, Manager
————-
Oh dear ,how desperate is this. world records ,loyal card played , then now forever, rightful place !! , all topped off with a WATP
oh and PS we’re skint .

View Comment

Exiled Celt (@The_Exiled_Celt)Posted on10:21 am - Jun 3, 2013


New blog from Phil

http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/dont-underestimate-the-danger-to-sevco/#more-3723

View Comment

beatipacificiscotiaPosted on10:25 am - Jun 3, 2013


tomtomaswell says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 09:27

Agreed, loopholes are there to be pulled. The Rangers situation is a obvious one. Rangers have not registered the players with the league (primarily because they not allowed to). The SFL allows unregistered players to play on a trialist basis, their employment status is not a consideration. You might argue that this is against the spirit of the rules, but it is within the letter of the law. Woulda shoulda coulda doesn’t change a thing.

There is no real contraversy here. I’m surprised it is even being discussed.

View Comment

Exiled Celt (@The_Exiled_Celt)Posted on10:29 am - Jun 3, 2013


the link to the latest message from The Dog Whistler Sally – I thought the above message had to be a wind up – and just when I thought there could never be anything as bad as Leggo’s mind numbing nonsense from Friday – it is real indeed – but seems there is a competition here for the most ridiculous TRFC blog……….Leggo is still winning with his D-Day blog with the description of Walter as modern day General Montgomery etc….but Ally/Traynor are gaining on him………

http://www.rangers.co.uk/tickets/season-tickets

View Comment

Exiled Celt (@The_Exiled_Celt)Posted on10:34 am - Jun 3, 2013


And more fighting talk form TRFC

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/mobile/rangers/craig-mather-in-blast-at-enemies-of-rangers-126156n.21245654

Craig Mather in blast at ‘enemies’ of Rangers

Published on 3 June 2013

Chris Jack

RANGERS interim chief executive Craig Mather has vowed to tackle the ‘enemies’ who tried to kick the club while it was down.

The Light Blue legions have been left furious at the treatment their club has received in recent months as they bid to battle back from the disastrous Craig Whyte reign and their plunge into the Irn-Bru Third Division.

And, speaking at the NARSA conference in California, where boss Ally McCoist spoke of his joy at having Walter Smith as the club’s new chairman, Mather insisted the Ibrox board will play their part in righting the wrongs.

Addressing the fans, he said: “There will be times when you want us to tackle our enemies and it will seem like we’re somehow reluctant to do so or that we don’t care.

“You might believe we don’t feel hurt to the same extent as you but I’m here to tell you we do.

“Sometimes you have to wait. We have chosen and we will continually choose the right moment to strike. Please, please never believe that I or any other directors don’t know the names of the people who have tried to damage this club. We know all of them.

“We know what each one tried to do and I can assure you we will never, ever forget about that.

“Rangers is on its way back now and it’s more alive and united than ever. These gatherings show that and you are powerful proof of that.”

After months of boardroom turmoil, Rangers fans hope their club is on the right track following the appointment of Smith last week.

Mather said: “I think it will also help us hugely that another of our greats and a true legend at Rangers, Walter Smith, has agreed to become chairman.

“As you would expect, Walter has yet again stepped forward. He has done that again and again at the club.

“I’m sure you will agree with strong characters in place like him and Ally – and, if I’m maybe lucky enough for you to see me in the same light one day – we can not fail.”

Mather was joined in praise of the club’s new chairman by McCoist, who told RangersTV: “I’ve spoken to the new chairman.

“He has just stopped short of telling me I have to bow when I see him.

“It obviously goes without saying that we have to have great business people too for the club to keep moving forward. I understand, respect and want that.

“With that said, I think it’s also important for the fans that they have Rangers people they can identify with and relate to.

“Walter is certainly one of those and the sooner Sandy Jardine’s health gets back to where we all want it to be and we can have him back in and around the club, the better.”

View Comment

Danish PastryPosted on10:41 am - Jun 3, 2013


Twitter alerts to this article with Mr Mather warning, or threatening, the enemies of Rangers. Script could have been written by Mr Green. Season ticket sales slow? But isn’t this patter all wearing a bit thin now? Apart from that, it could be radicalising a few supporters into believing that the time has actually come ‘to strike’ these ‘enemies’. Dreadful talk from someone in that position. Or maybe he is planning a quick exit?

——

“Addressing the fans, he said: “There will be times when you want us to tackle our enemies and it will seem like we’re somehow reluctant to do so or that we don’t care.

“You might believe we don’t feel hurt to the same extent as you but I’m here to tell you we do.

“Sometimes you have to wait. We have chosen and we will continually choose the right moment to strike. Please, please never believe that I or any other directors don’t know the names of the people who have tried to damage this club. We know all of them.”

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/craig-mather-in-blast-at-enemies-of-rangers-126156n.21245654

View Comment

scottyjimboPosted on10:48 am - Jun 3, 2013


Danish Pastry says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 07:12
Carfins Finest. (@edunne58) says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 06:37

I was perusing Richard Wilson’s article lately and one paragraph stood out,
“The share price has doggedly held at around 55p, and potential buyers have been watching with interest. The balance being struck is between waiting for the share price to fall to a value closer to Rangers’ true worth – around 40p – and waiting for the financial reality within the club to bite. Former director Dave King is monitoring events …………. “

With some of the share lock-ins shortly to be released, many on here expect volume selling with subsequent share price falls. I have no idea as I have no stock market experience.
The original investors, according to Charlie, have already been paid back, so they won’t lose anything. The privileged people on “1p” shares will make a good profit at whatever price they go to. So the only people shafted are the ones that paid 70p. I.e. The bears and some irrational institutional investors.

In real life what we seem to be getting closer to is the doomsday scenario, for the SFA at least, of TRFC going to the wall again. Several posters have commented how obvious this is, with no attempt to prevent it happening. In fact it is so obvious, is it planned? Is it being manipulated to be so bad? So, it will be Armageddon once more for Scottish football. The cries of woe will be heard rising once more. We can’t survive. What will we do? Someone has to take over for the good of us all, now!

Then out of the blue the saviour, Dave King, (or will it be King Dave?) ride’s to the rescue, the MSM lauded hero of the hour, flush with his recently bought “cheapo shares”. Fit and proper person? Of course he is. He’s saving Scottish Football from Armageddon. Without him we’re doomed. Cue “roll over of SFA” to placate the howling masses orchestrated by the MSM.

Of course this is just another wild speculation based on financial ignorance with no solid information, just rumour. In the tangled web of the TRFC story it’s just as good as any of the other ones.

View Comment

Forest Hills (@ForestHills1903)Posted on10:53 am - Jun 3, 2013


I’ve not seen this posted on here so apologies if it has:

BDO page for keeping people updated with the liquadation:

http://www.bdo.uk.com/services/advisory/business-restructuring/rfc-2012-plc-formerly-rangers-football-club-plc-liquidation

May report to creditors:

http://static.bdo.uk.com/assets/documents/2013/05/RFC_Report_to_Creditors_22_May_2013.pdf

View Comment

Exiled Celt (@The_Exiled_Celt)Posted on10:54 am - Jun 3, 2013


beatipacificiscotia says:

Monday, June 3, 2013 at 10:25

There is no real contraversy here. I’m surprised it is even being discussed.

******

You are right – there is nothing to discuss 🙂 Nice try Jack!

RFC-NIL were found guilty of using tax payers money to fund their season to get the SPL prize money of 2.1 million quid that was handed over to newco…….one of the panel was a RFC-NIL supporter who according to email given by Charlotte was known to CW’s dad……the club was found guilty “of something only match fixing would be worse:” and instead of applying the harshest punishment they found a suitable one – transfer embargo.

Instead of accepting it, D&P went to court to fight it and in July, accepted it to start on Sept 1 as part of 5 way agreement

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/9416156/Rangers-newco-accept-12-month-transfer-ban-in-order-to-secure-SFA-admission.html

The original embargo would have meant no signings last summer and Jan – they escaped the summer ban last year by way of 5 way agreement – now they are escaping this year too. Meant the only real punishment is one window in Jan for a team with 2nd highest payroll in Scotland playing in SFL3.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/apr/23/rangers-sfa-transfer-embargo

Pretty meaningless “punishment” really!

http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/clubfootball/news/newsid=1619689.html

But as you say, does not merit any discussion – nothing to see here – just more corruption!

View Comment

AllyJamboPosted on10:57 am - Jun 3, 2013


Exiled Celt (@The_Exiled_Celt) says:

Monday, June 3, 2013 at 10:34

Such incredible rhetoric, very reminiscent of this time last year when Charlie was at the helm. Seems to me that Mather is of the same ilk, with nothing positive to say about ‘the club’ or the business he resorts to rabble rousing. They even use Sandy Jardine’s ill health as part of the rallying call. All very repugnant!

View Comment

beatipacificiscotiaPosted on11:11 am - Jun 3, 2013


Exiled Celt (@The_Exiled_Celt) says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 10:54

Agreed, it was hardly any punishment at all when you lay out all the facts. In reality, they only missed one transfer window, and that probably did them a favour given the current cash burn rate. As frustrating as it might be – it was a registration ban, not a signing ban.

View Comment

john clarkePosted on11:32 am - Jun 3, 2013


“…..We have chosen and we will continually choose the right moment to strike. Please, please never believe that I or any other directors don’t know the names of the people who have tried to damage this club. We know all of them…”
——-
So Mather joins others in using the language of incitement- ‘our enemies’ , ‘the right moment to strike’, ‘we know all of them..”

Disgusting guttersnipe talk from an ‘interim CEO’.

And, as DP points out, ‘… it could be radicalising a few supporters into believing that the time has actually come ‘to strike’ these ‘enemies’.

Has fear of losing money caused all of that Board to descend into some kind of feral madness?

View Comment

Exiled Celt (@The_Exiled_Celt)Posted on11:32 am - Jun 3, 2013


beatipacificiscotia says:

Monday, June 3, 2013 at 11:11

Exiled Celt (@The_Exiled_Celt) says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 10:54

Agreed, it was hardly any punishment at all when you lay out all the facts. In reality, they only missed one transfer window, and that probably did them a favour given the current cash burn rate. As frustrating as it might be – it was a registration ban, not a signing ban.

********

So its not worthy of discussion as to why something that was supposed to be a 12 month ban from determination was delayed to Sep 1st last year to ease their pain as much as possible…….

http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/scottish_fa_news.cfm?page=2566&newsCategoryID=1&newsID=9718

The Tribunal found Rangers FC guilty in respect of Rule 66 and imposed the maximum fine of £100,000 payable within 12 months. In addition, the Tribunal imposed a prohibition in terms of Article 94.1 and 95 of the Articles of Association, prohibiting Rangers FC for a period of 12 months from the date of determination from seeking registration with the Scottish FA of any player not currently with the club, excluding any player under the age of 18 years.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on11:39 am - Jun 3, 2013


brycecurdy says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 07:53

ecobhoy – I have followed your posts about LNS and no sporting advantage gained in particular with interest. I commend your logic and clarity of thought relating to a subject that had nearly all of us scratching our heads. I would, however, like to make one subtle but absolutely crucial distinction:

No evidence of sporting advantage gained is not the same as evidence of no sporting advantage gained.
=====================================================================

I think you make an excellent point which I totally accept. In defence of my position though I would explain that my particular focus was on the legal underpinning to the decision reached by LNS and his other tribunal members.

But from the very first talk of title stripping I had wondered how that could be done in a way which could withstand an appeal or review and I particularly worried about an appeal to the SFA. I always saw a weakness in the title stripping argument because if the EBTs provided a sporting advantage then why wasn’t Rangers’ on-field record better or more consistent during the EBT period considering the amount of money involved?

It seems to me that the SPL had the same problem and offered no evidence to LNS that a sporting or competitive advantage had been gained through the EBT dosh. There is a simplistic argument that the very fact that more money was paid is prima facie proof that such an advantage must have existed and that might well be the case.

But there is a problem as to how you prove that in a legal arena. Firstly, there is nothing legally wrong with a football club gaining a ‘sporting’ or ‘competitive’ advantage and it happens in every league in the world where top teams usually have more money to spend than those in the middle and bottom tiers. Obviously if the money is obtained illegally then that would be a different kettle of fish and would breach sporting integrity and it wouldn’t be necessary to prove that a sporting or competitive advantage had ensued.

Indeed, on the evidence presented to LNS, he declared that the SPL/SFA rules applicable to the issues under consideration were to promote sporting integrity and not to financially regulate football in the manner of say the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations.

It also isn’t a breach of SFA/SPL rules & regulations for any club to legally minimise their tax payable. Rod McKenzie expressly stated the SPL accepted the verdict of the Rangers FTTT without regard to any appeal by HMRC.

So the EBT money wasn’t illegal as far as the SPL were concerned so what was left that might have damaged sporting integrity or triggered a sporting or competitive advantage. There is the possibility that the failure to disclose the EBT side letters could fall into that category and LNS certainly examined the possibility in depth at [104 – 106]. This is detailed stuff and would tax the patience of most poster IMO. For anoraks like myself read the Decision.

The bottom line is that LNS found there was no sporting advantage gained, direct or indirect, through the non-disclosure of the side letters and I can see no flaws in the reasoning of his tribunal. LNS pointed out that no evidence was submitted as to whether any other SPL clubs used EBTs and the effect of them doing so. LNS also pointed out no evidence was given that if the EBTs had been declared to the SPL/SFA whether the organisations would have accepted or rejected the Rangers FTTT Decision. This is crucial because if the football organisations accepted the FTTT Decision that the EBTs were loans and not taxable it could be argued that the EBTs could have been disclosed with no breach of the rules.

To me this is a glaring example of how muddled the thinking appears to have been wrt the SPL case which I have always stated IMO was poorly prepared and presented and left LNS with no option but to rule as he did.

I do accept that proving an unfair sporting or competitive advantage was always going to be difficult. However I am not a highly-paid and highly-talented QC, lawyer nor even a paralegal or one of the SFA/SPL top notch administrators, indeed not even a world-class one which I believe they keep in the broom cupboard.

However I think I would have figured out what evidence was required to prove my case and I would have gathered and presented that evidence to the best of my ability. What becomes more glaringly obvious the more I read the LNS Decision is the missing evidence.

Many posters appear to think that it was the job of LNS and his two QC colleagues to somehow gather that evidence or extract it from witnesses. I’m afraid that displays a grave lack of knowledge as to how the legal system operates and the roles of those within it. The case preparation, gathering of evidence and its presentation was 100% the responsibility of SPL and if they picked inadequate legal representation then that too is their responsibility.

It would be easy to through all the blame onto the SPL legal team but where was the oversight and liaison of the SPL. The eventual result appears to indicate it was either minimal or ineffective – the top SPL people should have been totally involved in the detail of this case and, if they were, then they ain’t fit for purpose.

View Comment

twopandaPosted on11:40 am - Jun 3, 2013


Danish Pastry says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 10:41
Twitter alerts to this article with Mr Mather warning, or threatening, the enemies of Rangers. Script could have been written by Mr Green. Season ticket sales slow? But isn’t this patter all wearing a bit thin now? Apart from that, it could be radicalising a few supporters into believing that the time has actually come ‘to strike’ these ‘enemies’. Dreadful talk from someone in that position. Or maybe he is planning a quick exit?
___

Kinda hoped they`d learned this sort of rhetoric isn`t going to make anything better – or blaming others for a total self-inflicted position. Who did the deals with investors, their returns, the expenditure, ensuing legal costs and so on and so on……………………

`Irresponsible` sums it up.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on11:48 am - Jun 3, 2013


john clarke says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 11:32

“…..We have chosen and we will continually choose the right moment to strike. Please, please never believe that I or any other directors don’t know the names of the people who have tried to damage this club. We know all of them…”
===========================================================

I suppose most of us do and top of the Rangers list will no doubt be Green and his pal Ahmad. Some other ‘insiders’ are bound to be added in the next few months. I wonder where they have placed Malcolm Murray and Bomber on that list 🙂

View Comment

SamPosted on11:49 am - Jun 3, 2013


Dear Police Scotland,

Please can you investigate Mr Craig Mather acting CEO of Rangers Football Club.

The obvious concerns are incitement to cause injury, incitement of riot.
Please can you investigate these matters and respectfully provide reasonably updates at no more than 14 day intervals.

Please find included supporting information:-

“You might believe we don’t feel hurt to the same extent as you but I’m here to tell you we do.

“Sometimes you have to wait. We have chosen and we will continually choose the right moment to strike. Please, please never believe that I or any other directors don’t know the names of the people who have tried to damage this club. We know all of them.

“We know what each one tried to do and I can assure you we will never, ever forget about that.

View Comment

Exiled Celt (@The_Exiled_Celt)Posted on11:53 am - Jun 3, 2013


ecobhoy says:

Monday, June 3, 2013 at 11:48

john clarke says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 11:32

“…..We have chosen and we will continually choose the right moment to strike. Please, please never believe that I or any other directors don’t know the names of the people who have tried to damage this club. We know all of them…”
===========================================================

I suppose most of us do and top of the Rangers list will no doubt be Green and his pal Ahmad. Some other ‘insiders’ are bound to be added in the next few months. I wonder where they have placed Malcolm Murray and Bomber on that list 🙂

***********

Your list is much different to mine LOL

Top of the list won’t be any TRFC or RFC folks for sure…………..

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on12:00 pm - Jun 3, 2013


“Addressing the fans, he said: “There will be times when you want us to tackle our enemies and it will seem like we’re somehow reluctant to do so or that we don’t care.

“You might believe we don’t feel hurt to the same extent as you but I’m here to tell you we do.

“Sometimes you have to wait. We have chosen and we will continually choose the right moment to strike. Please, please never believe that I or any other directors don’t know the names of the people who have tried to damage this club. We know all of them.”

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/craig-mather-in-blast-at-enemies-of-rangers-126156n.21245654
=================================================================

No wonder they are in such a mess – looks as though they Board is spending their time compiling extermination lists.

I truly wonder if this is the language that a publicly-listed AIM company should be using. Is it one that institutional shareholders would approve of?

So either Mather has caught that dreaded ‘Rangeritis’ or he is fearing that his interim position might not become a permanent one and he’s out to show how suited he is for the job. Has he started wearing the brown brogues yet?

View Comment

CastofThousandsPosted on12:02 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Sam says:
Monday, June 3, 2013
=======

You’ve provided a lot of clues there Sam. Let me break it down so I can better understand it all :
=======

at 08:08

“Trident Trust Company (Guernsey) Ltd – Trustee of MIH EBT scheme”
———–
So the Le Tissiers provide a football link to the tax haven of Gurensey and specifically to the Rangers EBT scheme. Got that.
=======

at 08:40

“…100 or so companies owned by Murray Group Holdings Ltd…Imagine if all those companies

were operating schemes such as EBT’s for possibly over a decade?..Rangers Football Club

Ltd were loss making for Corporate Tax Purposes”.
———–
HMRC are gunning for SDM is how I read that.
=======

at 09:26

“The five largest types of mass marketed tax avoidance schemes”.
———–
You know about this sort of stuff in a way that I never will.
=======

at 09:41

“HMRC is investigating schemes and has launched the ‘Employee Benefit Trust settlement opportunity’”.
———-
The game is up and there is an amnesty where all the criminals can hand in their smoking guns.
++++++

It’s a lot to chew on Sam but let me have a nibble round the edges.

There seem to be two separate strands that I suspect you understand the linkage of.

1. Create big losses using shell companies connected in circular formation. The losses may not even be real but if you can crash a real company and pawn its assets, all the better. There then exists a pool of debt which could be used to offset a companies profits, thus avoiding tax.

If you have a holding in one of these debt rings it is like a tax waiver. If the debt isn’t real then you get to keep all the profit.

2. I can understand HMRC being upset at being duped by (1). They will equally be upset by the EBT dupe which they are closing in on. EBT’s provide tax free remuneration, kinda like the debt ring except in the case of EBT’s the payments go to individuals.

In conclusion, if you want to minimise your tax burden, get a debt ring to shield you from corporate taxation and get some EBT’s to shield you from personal taxation.

Sam, it is obvious you have a bigger picture in your mind and perhaps you are playing it out piece by piece so it can be easier digested.

Are you related to Charlotte by any chance?

View Comment

timtimPosted on12:19 pm - Jun 3, 2013


As Craig Whyte dragged Rfc* to their meeting with the grim reaper and before Charles sprang to the rescue I watched the psyche of the Rfc* fans with interest . There was an overall acceptance of what had happened ,who was to blame and that the club* was dead.
Green told us that if the CVA failed it was all over,Traynor admitted it was a new club* and Walter
wished this new club* all the best.
What happened next was not only shameless it was and is dangerous .
Those responsible for the demise were Sir David Murray Craig Whyte Ally McCoist and Walter Smith ,these were the individuals who overspent,misborrowed, evaded taxes and gambled with the cheque book to ensure success , it wasnt Peter Lawell who failed against Kaunus Malmo and Maribor ,it wasnt Dundee Utd who introduced EBTs ,it wasnt Turnbull Hutton who failed to pay his taxes .
When the SFL clubs allowed Sevco to join Div3 with no accounts and a secret business plan were they kicking them when they were down ? They raised them from the dead ,they gave them life and the gratitude that came has been zero.
All this talk of “enemies” should be attacked vociferously by those who control our game .
Instead we hear no condemnation from the cowards on the 6th floor at Hampden.
Whether Sevco die or return to the SPL the outcome will be the same ,blood will be spilt, innocents will suffer and the instigators will deny responsibility .
The interim CEOs latest diatribe is nothing less than hate speech, will the SFA act ?
Of course not they’re to busy charging Neil Lennon for breaking wind in public .

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beatipacificiscotiaPosted on12:25 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Exiled Celt (@The_Exiled_Celt) says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 11:32

I don’t disagree with anything you say – it is a soft punishment. However, it is what it is and Rangers won’t break any rules by playing unregistered players are trialists. The key word there is unregistered.

If it was possible to force the SFL not to accept the trialists on the basis that it was against the spirit of the rules – brilliant, lets do it. I can’t see the SFL stopping Rangers doing something that doesn’t break the rules – we all know that’s a non-starter.

I can’t see the point of have a great debate about it.

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SamPosted on12:33 pm - Jun 3, 2013


To mullach;
Read the last sentence…….

RANGERS chief executive Martin Bain plans to sue over claims he took pounds 150,000 in bungs during player transfers.

He was accused of pocketing the cash two years ago in an article in a French newspaper yesterday.

At the time, Gers were involved with agent Ranko Stojic in deals to bring Jean-Alain Boumsong and Dado Prso to Glasgow from French clubs.

Bain and Stojic were involved in a property deal at the same time.

French authorities are investigating the allegations.

But Rangers owner David Murray said: “At no time has he acted illegally or improperly.”

Agents from the French police’s national division of financial investigations have visited Ibrox.

Furious Bain last night pledged to take legal action over the allegations in L’Equipe. The report claimed he had received payments amounting to pounds 150,000 from Serbian Stojic.

L’Equipe also suggested that Bain could find himself under investigation by French police.

French authorities have been probing deals involving Paris Saint Germain and Stojic.

Officers are said to have uncovered papers relating to two payments made by Stojic to Bain on August 20, 2004, through Stojic’s account with the Rothschild Bank in Monaco.

L’Equipe also state a decision on whether or not to investigate these new findings had not yet been made.

As part of their investigation, French police also went to St James’ Park in Newscastle – where Boumsong moved after Rangers.

The Record understands Bain has confirmed to Murray that he was involved in a transaction with Stojic – to help him buy a house in France from a player on the agent’s books.

Bain said the deal helped him buy a property owned by former Chelsea and Manchester City player Laurent Charvet – but he repaid the agent.

He has produced his bank statements which satisfied Murray as proof Stojic’s money was paid back in full.

But the timing of the transaction – during the period which saw Stojic clients Boumsong and Prso sign for Rangers – raised suspicions among the French revenue investigators, which led them to focus on Bain.

In a statement, Murray said: “An article appeared in L’Equipe today concerning a financial transaction between Rangers chief executive Martin Bain and Ranko Stojic.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I was made aware of this transaction in advance of it proceeding.

“It related to the purchase of a house in France by Martin Bain which belonged to a player, Laurent Charvet, represented by Mr Stojic.

“I am satisfied that all matters were carried out in the correct manner.

“This was a personal matter entirely unrelated to Martin’s responsibilities to the club and at no time has he acted illegally or improperly.”

Bain’s lawyers, Levy & McRae, warned other papers not to repeat the allegations, pointing out “they are completely without foundation”.

Bain joined Rangers’ commercial staff in 1996 and was appointed director of football business in 2002.

The 38-year-old was made a club director the previous year and is only Rangers’ fourth chief executive.

French magistrates have been trying to clamp down on corruption in their game.

In particular they are scrutinising 19 deals and, like UEFA, they are worried about football being used for money laundering.

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TartawulverPosted on12:37 pm - Jun 3, 2013


McCoist and Mather – disgusting rhetoric, hate-filled, chip-on-the-shoulder, foam-flecked renting. For any one person that it inspires to sign up to a season ticket, they will turn off more of the neutrals. If sides have to be taken, I’d be proud to be on the other side of the people who spout this inflammatory drivel.

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torrejohnbhoyPosted on12:39 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Matthew Le Tissier played for Southampton from 1986-2002.FRom 1996-97 his manager was a Mr G Souness,no stranger to EBT payments.
Surely a coincidence that Mr Souness’ EBT may have been administered by Mr Le Tissiers siblings a few years later!

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brycecurdyPosted on12:39 pm - Jun 3, 2013


ecobhoy 11:39 – the only part I don’t agree with is your claim that a sporting penalty should not have been applied because the enhanced salaries Rangers were able to offer did not completely guarantee a sporting advantage. To me that is like saying Ben Johnson would have been less guilty had he finished second behind Carl Lewis at the Seoul Olympics. Stanozalol did not guarantee him the gold medal. The motivation in both instances was clearly to gain a sporting advantage. It is remarkable that over the 11 years in question Celtic finished champions more often than Rangers (6 vs 5).

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TartawulverPosted on12:40 pm - Jun 3, 2013


renting=ranting of course…maybe for the posher Scots the two words are the same of course!

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bad capt madmanPosted on12:43 pm - Jun 3, 2013


I don’t suppose anyone at the SFA will consider investigating Mr Mather’s repugnant statements. Bringing the game into disrepute? Cant think of a statement from a club which is more blatantly against sporting values.

Is Mr Lunny on holiday? or will Mr Bryson suggest to his colleague that since the game is already in disrepute mainly because of TRFC no further charges against TRFC can be made?

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AllyJamboPosted on12:43 pm - Jun 3, 2013


While I completely accept ecobhoys point that LNS could only rule on the evidence presented, I believe that once found guilty, it should have been up to Rangers to prove that they gained no sporting advantage, instead of those sitting in judgement deciding/providing this for them. I think LNS was asked specifically to do this and, with no argument presented to the contrary, had no option but to find the way he did. I think LNS would have been well aware of this but would be used to this sort of thing happening within his court where agreements are reached, perfectly correct and legal, between parties in most, if not all, civil cases.

Indeed, was there any need to show a sporting advantage at all at this stage? Could it not be held that Rangers had deliberately mis-registered players and so these players were ineligible, then it would have been up to Rangers to appeal, and then to prove, that no sporting advantage had been gained, or some other get out?

If Rangers gained no ‘sporting’ advantage, I’d like someone to explain what kind of advantage they did get; for no sane person, or business, takes the risk that Rangers did without doing it to gain some sort of, substantial, advantage.

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