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

ecobhoyPosted on12:46 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Danish Pastry says:
Monday, June 3, 2013

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

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.
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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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The problem I see with that scenario is if the ‘investors’ cut and run paid by ST money then what is left to finance the club as in TRFCL.

And I think it’s easy to overlook that anyone buying a controlling stake in RIFC doesn’t actually invest a penny of new money in that company or the club because their money goes 100% to shareholders who want out.

And that now makes me think again about sale and lease-back arrangements of assets. What advantage would that bring to those who have sold their RIFC shares and left? They only get the benefit if they are still there.

So does that point towards a sale – presumably to an individual or group who have gathered a controlling shareholding. Presumably any proceeds from the sale would need to go into RIFC so how could that legally be extracted by departing shareholders?

The fan shareholding means nothing and is of no importance. It’s the ST money that is crucial and once that’s been collected then things could get very interesting.

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SamPosted on12:47 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Even better;
Previous Martin Bain report courtesy of James Traynor.
(stop laughing at the back)

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torrejohnbhoyPosted on12:48 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Radio reports Honduran Defender to join TRFC on a 4 year deal.the spending spree continues unabated.Crazy.

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ecobhoyPosted on12:49 pm - Jun 3, 2013


TW (@tartanwulver) says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 12:40

renting=ranting of course…maybe for the posher Scots the two words are the same of course!
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Not being a posh Scot I just thought you were implying something else and shuddered at the prospect but then wondered if Stockbridge had been about with his video 🙂

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Not The Huddle MalcontentPosted on12:52 pm - Jun 3, 2013


torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958) says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 12:48
0 0 Rate This
Radio reports Honduran Defender to join TRFC on a 4 year deal.the spending spree continues unabated.Crazy.

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I believe we (arrapeepil) arnie used to run around the streets of Tegucigalpa with an old Rangers top on…..etc.

However…on a more serious note….. someone posted sometime ago about the SFl restrictions on “foreign” players – i.e. those outwith EU who needed a Work Permit. I believe it was something like a limited number of Permits in the entire league (not per club) and i believe that without someone leaving and creating a vacancy, then there isn’t WP space in the SFL for the new signing

anyone confirm?

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brycecurdyPosted on12:53 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Often wondered if LNS would have reached a different decision about sporting penalties had Rangers lost the FTT. I understand that the two decisions were separate if related, but can’t help but think the decision not to impose a sporting penalty became a lot more palatable to the general public following the big tax case result. TU if you think a sporting penalty would have been imposed had Rangers lost the FTT; TD if you believe it would have made no difference.

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TartawulverPosted on12:53 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Captain Haddock says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 12:43

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.
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Mather:
“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.”
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My reading of this would be that its threat includes their perceived ‘enemies’ within the SFA, whose names they know, and who they are threatening to ‘strike’ at the ‘right moment’ of their choosing.

To my mind, this is abhorrent, whoever the threat is directed at. Vile.

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redlichtiePosted on1:01 pm - 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…”

——————————————————————————————–

This is less than appropriate language from the CEO of a Stock Exchange company. It is even less appropriate coming from the CEO of SFL club.

If this is not bringing football into disrepute then I am at a loss to understand what is.

The SFL and SFA should act immediately to seek an explanation for these remarks and then take appropriate action.

Should I hold my breath?

Scottish football needs a strong Arbroath.

View Comment

SamPosted on1:11 pm - Jun 3, 2013


The DNIF (Division Nationale des Investigations Finançières) has investigated a couple of dubious looking transfers made in the past by PSG.

Players’ agents are suspected. Serb Ranko Stojic is suspected to have given to Vitesse Arnhem director Jan Streuer 90 000€ and 146 000€ to Martin Bain the actual Glasgow Rangers vice-president. Sources are positive that this money was used to lure Jean-Alain Boumsong from Auxerre to Rangers in summer 2004.

The DNIF second big piece of work would be to investigate suspect transfers dealings of Paris Saint-Germain between 1998 and 2005. Out of 100 deals, 19 of them have been deemed suspect for proof or wrongful bank moves. Agents and club managers aside, players are suspected to be into this fiscal fraud as they knew that illegal money was making its way in bank accounts (be it bought or sold players).
The players suspected are: Andre Luiz, Paulo Cesar, Aloisio, Heinze, Cristobal, Cardetti, Pochettino, Simone, Boskovic, Sorin, Rabesandratana, Benarbia, Okpara, Pauleta, Luccin, Déhu, Anelka, Okocha and Christian.
Most of those players you probably never heard of. In that lot there are some truly shitty players (Rabesandratana) but also big names who were a hit at PSG (Benarbia, Okocha, Déhu, Simone, Heinze, “Anelka”).

Let’s take the example of Gabriel Heinze, now at Manchester United in England. He was bought from Spanish club Valladolid in June 2001, but the DNIF thinks that PSG paid more than the expected prize. Some 380 000€ more. This figure was perceived by two football agents who then gave that money to Heinze.
Same thing for Mauricio Pochettino, one of the rare positives of PSG’s defence in the last decade. The Argentinina officially cost PSG 2.5M€ but they actually paid… 5.8M€
For the dealing of Marco Simone (a legend at PSG), the cost in 1997 was 8.3M€ only for Simone to get 3.8M€ when joining the capital.
One very nervous dealing was the one of no else than Pedro Miguel Pauleta himself. PSG told they “gave” 700 000€ to an unknow Portuguese club (Portimonense, sure all of you heard of them especially B&G) only for that figure to land in Pauleta’s bank account… It was kind of a smart move for both club and player as both escape financial task from the French fiscal authorities.
One last fraud would be Nicolas Anelka getting an exta 3.8M€ for the remuneration of him and his two brothers (who are also his agents).

Icing on the cake, Philippe Christanval, Jean-Alain Boumsong and Martin Djetou would have taken money away from a bank account belonging to… football agent Ranko Stojic.
One last fact would be that Frédéric Déhu, bought to from Barcelona for 3M€, got money from Stojic, some 7M€. Also, Déhu’s wife did take money from Stojic’s bank account in Monaco. Some 120 000€…

View Comment

tobyPosted on1:11 pm - Jun 3, 2013


“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.”

Clearly Mr Mather doesn’t do irony. Of course he knows their names, at one point or other they’ve sat in the same boardroom as he has either before his time or during and persist. Their names are writ large all over the previous loiterers club, as well as the new one. The dog whistling is a tired played out routine – a sad attempt to deflect the financial ransacking going on while there is still time. It has always amazed me how the Rangers fans can invest so much energy and passion into the ‘everyone hates us..we hate everyone’ mentality when those flying their clubs colours in the respective boardrooms have played them a merry tune – firstly to liquidation, and now what would seem like another financial disaster for the new club, though not for the ones lining their pockets while the opportunity still exists.

The Rangers fans should see this suited and brogued bullsh*tter for what he is, just like the rest of them. Just another in a long line. The fans should just be demanding to see how the figures add up. Word to the blinkered and deliberately obtuse – they don’t.

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easyJamboPosted on1:12 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Airdrie United no more!

The SFA have allowed Airdrie United to use the name of the dead club “Airdrieonians” from the start of next season.

I wonder if they will now seek to swap Clydebank’s history with that of the dead club.

http://sport.stv.tv/football/clubs/airdrie-united/227884-airdrie-united-to-change-name-to-airdrieonians-following-sfa-approval/

View Comment

Danish PastryPosted on1:16 pm - Jun 3, 2013


I found this Mather stuff almost too incredible so I checked the official site. An Andrew Dickson put Mather’s words in this context:

“Mather touched on the issue of taking the club’s detractors to task and alluded to the fact he feels Rangers must choose their battles with wisdom.

“He was keen to stress those at the top of the club’s hierarchy are aware of who has tried to hurt the Light Blues in the past.

“And he highlighted that Gers will stand up for themselves and strike back – but only when the time is right.”

Basically, that is everyone put on notice by the hierarchy. Bonkers. What will the Dallas Cowboys make of all this?

http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/4087-fans-can-drive-us-on

View Comment

CastofThousandsPosted on1:26 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Sam says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 12:33

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

I read the L’Equipe article from 2006 (was it you that posted the scratchy English translation) and the Daily Record report on it last week on this blog. The topic of potential money laundering was kicked about a bit as a result.

On what date did French Police visit Ibrox and St. James Park?

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on1:30 pm - Jun 3, 2013


allyjambo says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 12:43

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.
=====================================================

I see your point but our legal system has to find the case either proven or not proven and Mr Mure representing Rangers was making the ‘Not Proven’ argument throughout the LNS proceedings which is sometimes forgotten as he had so little to do due to the dearth of evidence against his client. So there actually was an argument to the contrary which is the norm under our adversarial system and not the inquisitorial one that some posters wrongly demand that LNS should have pursued.

I suppose the nearest we get to your suggestion, in our system, is a plea in mitigation but this is after guilt has been established and is purely designed to limit the sentence imposed on the guilty party.

There is nothing wrong in gaining a ‘sporting advantage’ as long as it isn’t gained illegally or in contravention of footballing rules & regs. However, Rangers couldn’t just be ‘held’ to have deliberately mis-registered players – the SPL had to prove that case against them through providing evidence. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that they failed to provide this evidence and for sure Mr Hume had no intention of doing so.

On your last par I would just remind you that gaining ‘sporting advantage’ isn’t a problem and I think it’s commonsense to accept that some must have been gained through the enormous amount of EBT money involved. But as I have previously stated there is nothing wrong with this and the SPL failed to provide any evidence that any ‘advantage’ was gained either illegally or in contravention of footballing rules.

The primary reason Rangers and other companies signed up to EBTs was to save a helluva lot of money in tax and NI. Indeed when the legislation changed to block the loophole Rangers stopped issuing EBTs and just paid tax and NI on the full salary amounts. So we end up with a very debatable point as to whether the non disclosure of the EBTs and side letters was knowingly designed to create a sporting advantage. What we know for a fact is that the SPL failed miserably in providing the required evidence to win their case.

View Comment

CastofThousandsPosted on1:33 pm - Jun 3, 2013


allyjambo says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 12:43

“…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…”
———
I kind of like the notion that despite evading the tax authorities of tens of millions of pounds that Rangers accrued no advantage. It means that despite throwing illegal money at the team they were still no good. However I recall they won some trophies during the EBT scheme period. I also recall that Celtic terminated a similar arrangement that they had with a single player only and paid the outstanding tax. So despite any legal interpretation that might be placed on the LNS review, the cause of natural justice has not been served.

Injustice was seen to be done.

View Comment

torrejohnbhoyPosted on1:33 pm - Jun 3, 2013


easyJambo says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 13:12

Airdrie United no more!

The SFA have allowed Airdrie United to use the name of the dead club “Airdrieonians” from the start of next season.

I wonder if they will now seek to swap Clydebank’s history with that of the dead club.

http://sport.stv.tv/football/clubs/airdrie-united/227884-airdrie-united-to-change-name-to-airdrieonians-following-sfa-approval/
============================================
Jim Traynor will be pleased!
His big team are the same again.

View Comment

bad capt madmanPosted on1:37 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Get out the calculator again for the over 21 years old players rule check.
According to the BBC, TRFC have now bought another one and expect loanees Bocanegra and Goian back,

View Comment

CastofThousandsPosted on1:42 pm - Jun 3, 2013


easyJambo says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 13:12

“The SFA have allowed Airdrie United to use the name of the dead club “Airdrieonians” from the start of next season”.
———
Interesting precedent. This suggests that TRFC could change their name back to RFC in the season 2023/24.

View Comment

Danish PastryPosted on1:42 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Sam says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 12:33
5 1 Rate This
———

Interesting stuff Sam. Could you possibly provide a link reference to anything you are quoting, unless it’s all your own words, of course 😉

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on1:44 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Danish Pastry says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 13:16

Basically, that is everyone put on notice by the hierarchy. Bonkers. What will the Dallas Cowboys make of all this?
———————————————————————————–

Probably that they had a lucky escape but I’m sure the Texas Rangers will have been called in to provide security 🙂

View Comment

john clarkePosted on1:58 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Sam says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 13:47

Language, please.

View Comment

ianjsPosted on2:13 pm - Jun 3, 2013


mullach says: Monday, June 3, 2013 at 13:26
On what date did French Police visit Ibrox and St. James Park?

No idea, but the City of London Police did here,

Monday, 16 July 2007, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK

Police revealed search warrants were executed on premises at Newcastle, Portsmouth and Rangers, and two homes, between 0730 and 0900 BST on Monday.
A City of London Police spokesman said: “We can confirm that search warrants were served at three football clubs and the homes of two individuals in connection with corruption in football and its impact on owners and shareholders.”

See also FTT Decision

Also : (with pictures)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-468934/London-police-arrive-Ibrox-corruption-probe-gathers-pace.html

No shredders left, just PCs and side letters 5 of.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on2:13 pm - Jun 3, 2013


mullach says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 13:33

allyjambo says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 12:43

“…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…”
——————————————————————————————–
I kind of like the notion that despite evading the tax authorities of tens of millions of pounds that Rangers accrued no advantage. It means that despite throwing illegal money at the team they were still no good. However I recall they won some trophies during the EBT scheme period. I also recall that Celtic terminated a similar arrangement that they had with a single player only and paid the outstanding tax. So despite any legal interpretation that might be placed on the LNS review, the cause of natural justice has not been served.

Injustice was seen to be done.
========================================================

I doubt if most posters on here would be any different from Rangers if they ever land in the dock. They will expect that the normal justice system will be applied to them and that they remain innocent until proven guilty and that their guilt will be established on the basis of the evidence presented in court.

It should also be remembered that at this particular point the FTTT has ruled that Rangers have not evaded tax on the EBTs but acted within the law, as it was at the time, to legally minimise their tax bill.

This may change following the HMRC appeal – which I believe has a high chance of success – but the Rangers argument might again prevail. However, I will await the appeal findings rather than risk an ill-informed conclusion.

However I would ask you to wonder why if you know that Rangers threw ‘illegal money’ at its team how the SPL has failed to produce a scrap evidence of this which would prove that an unfair sporting advantage was obtained by Rangers.

As a Celtic supporter I am extremely annoyed that, despite our wage bill compared to other league teams, that we won the SPL with such a narrow margin this season. The problem with ‘sporting advantage’ is that the formula to achieve it might have money as a vital ingredient but it most definitely isn’t the only factor and often not the most important one.

View Comment

torrejohnbhoyPosted on2:15 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Not everyone thinks that TRFC area basket case:

http://www.iii.co.uk/news-opinion/colonel/jock-stocks-might-ease-market-shocks

View Comment

Danish PastryPosted on2:16 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Some points in the Airdrie United story stand out and show how the landscape has changed post RFC liquidation. I can understand fans of Airdrieonians, having watched how it went for the Ibrox club with their almost identical name and their instant acceptance into Div 3, deciding to use the current climate to get their original name back. I suppose they have not forgotten just how they went out of business either. As long as they don’t start a rant on the enemies of Airdrieonians … erm … Clydebank … uh … ? 🙂

“When the old company went into liquidation, it was in a different football environment and the use of the name was not possible at that time,” Airdrie chairman Jim Ballantyne said in a statement.

“With all the recent changes however, and subsequent rulings, it paved the way for us to make the move and therefore we set the wheels in motion.

“It was actually raised at a fans meeting a few months ago but we could not give too much away as there was still much work to be done.

&

Following Airdrieonians’ liquidation, the new club were unsuccessful in gaining entry to the Third Division, with Gretna being given the place instead.

Airdrie United were then given permission to purchase ailing Clydebank, inheriting their Scottish FA membership and changing the club’s name.

View Comment

sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on2:20 pm - Jun 3, 2013


easyJambo says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 13:12

“The SFA have allowed Airdrie United to use the name of the dead club “Airdrieonians” from the start of next season”.
—————————
The article goes on to say

“When the old company went into liquidation, it was in a different football environment and the use of the name was not possible at that time,” Airdrie chairman Jim Ballantyne said in a statement.

“With all the recent changes however, and subsequent rulings, it paved the way for us to make the move and therefore we set the wheels in motion.”

“Formal SFA clearance was finally granted at the recent meeting of the Professional Game Board”.

I am interested to know what exactly “all the recent changes ..and subsequent rulings” were considered by the SFA Professional Game Board .

To comply with their statements on transparency no doubt the SFA will release the Minutes of the PGB Meeting and all details of the reasoning used to reach this outcome.

Not holding my breath on anyone at STV or the rest of the SMSM asking the relevant questions that are obvious to most potters on TSFM!

Another sad day for transparency of our governing body!

View Comment

Danish PastryPosted on2:24 pm - Jun 3, 2013


sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolis

“san offy messs so it izz hizz emdy foned ra polis”

Brilliant 🙂

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AllyJamboPosted on2:30 pm - Jun 3, 2013


ecobhoy says:

Monday, June 3, 2013 at 13:30

EC, I may be wrong but I was of the impression that Rangers were found guilty, of all charges! I am certain that that makes them guilty of deliberately mis-registering players. Therefore, the proven/not proven verdict doesn’t come into the decision. Once found guilty, there is no question of proven or not proven and the judge, or tribunal in this case, is left to issue sentence as he sees fit, or at least as the law/rules decree. Now this is where we are, I think, in total agreement, the SPL didn’t lay down, at the outset, penalties available in the event of guilt, leaving it up to the Tribunal members to come up with appropriate punishment. They then failed/made no effort to establish what a suitable penalty might be and LNS, fully aware of what the governing bodies required of the tribunal, was left to make of it what he could. If presented with the remit to decide on whether or not Rangers won titles by cheating, but not presented with evidence that they had, he couldn’t then add a punishment in this respect and may well have come up with the whole idea of ‘sporting advantage’ as a way of avoiding the question ‘did they cheat?’ A question perhaps harder to answer in the negative than ‘did they gain a sporting advantage?’.

I feel certain that, had LNS been presented, at the outset, with a list of appropriate penalties, he would have had no hesitation in handing one or more of them down. He would then have been quite happy to leave it to Rangers to appeal and then attempt to prove no sporting advantage, or some other mitigation.

With regard to the Not Proven verdict. This, I believe, is unique to Scots Law and is only available in a criminal court and not civil. It is used where the jury finds guilt ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ has not been established. It is of no consequence in a civil case where ‘weight of probability’ is sufficient for a finding.

Another way to look at it might be; if a club bribes a referee, but still loses the game, are they still guilty of cheating, despite not gaining a sporting advantage? If Rangers had been found guilty by a tribunal of bribing referees (I know, I know, they don’t need to), but had lost some of the games involved, but still won the title by more points than they gained from matches won involving bribed refs, would you expect the tribunal to say they gained no sporting advantage therefore we’ll just fine them for being naughty boys and they can keep their titles?

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ecobhoyPosted on2:33 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Exiled Celt (@The_Exiled_Celt) says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 11:53

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…………..
==================================================

Just my sense of humour I’m afraid 🙁

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sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on2:33 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Danish Pastry says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 14:24

Don’t you really mean “Pure dead brilliant”?

Credit due to the wonderful Stanley Baxter for his comedic genius which inspired many of us. Loads of his stuff on YouTube to enjoy. 🙂

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Danish PastryPosted on2:45 pm - Jun 3, 2013


sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolis says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 14:33
1 0 Rate This

Danish Pastry says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 14:24

Don’t you really mean “Pure dead brilliant”?

Credit due to the wonderful Stanley Baxter for his comedic genius which inspired many of us. Loads of his stuff on YouTube to enjoy.
———–

Of course, I’ve become very anglicized in my exile. Yes, Stanley keeps us laughing still. And one thing you need when following this story is a sense of humour, otherwise it can get pretty dull. A toast to Stanley!

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AllyJamboPosted on2:50 pm - Jun 3, 2013


ecobhoy says:

Monday, June 3, 2013 at 14:13

‘I doubt if most posters on here would be any different from Rangers if they ever land in the dock. They will expect that the normal justice system will be applied to them and that they remain innocent until proven guilty and that their guilt will be established on the basis of the evidence presented in court.’
_________________________

They were I believe, found guilty, of all charges. They were not being ‘tried’ within the normal justice system, a case was being held against them in which they were invited to respond. Unlike a ‘normal justice system’ the prosecution didn’t pursue matters as robustly as they might. If this had been pursued in a normal court of justice, with the level of publicity this carried, then prosecution heads would have rolled.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

‘It should also be remembered that at this particular point the FTTT has ruled that Rangers have not evaded tax on the EBTs but acted within the law, as it was at the time, to legally minimise their tax bill.’
________________________________

I believe they accepted that tax was due on five of the cases and the Wee Tax case seems to be forgotten about quite often. Of course, the FTTT ruling makes no difference, Rangers mis-registered players, if they hadn’t there wouldn’t have been an FTTT in tthe first place as there would have been no doubt that Tax was due on the payments, Rangers would have had fewer high cost players, and maybe they would still be in existance!
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

‘However I would ask you to wonder why if you know that Rangers threw ‘illegal money’ at its team how the SPL has failed to produce a scrap evidence of this which would prove that an unfair sporting advantage was obtained by Rangers’
____________________

Simple answer, CB, they didn’t try!

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sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on2:57 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Captain Haddock says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 13:37

Get out the calculator again for the over 21 years old players rule check.

According to the BBC, TRFC have now bought another one and expect loanees Bocanegra and Goian back,
—————————
The full article is at http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/22748254

Thanks Captain.

I’m keeping an excel spreadsheet record of the Spivco FC playing squad to check on the number of over 21 year old players registered.

In my earlier post I suggested that Neil Alexander would be allowed to leave, but if he stays and Scott Gallagher is released on loan then they balance each other out.

If Bocanegra and Goian do return to play in SFL Div 2 then there would be 23 over 21 players and McCoist would have to move on / loan out (on temporary transfer) only one other over 21 player to meet the limit of 22.

Why Bocanegra would want to return to play at such a low level is a mystery to me as surely he would want to be part of the USA squad for the 2014 World Cup. Goian does not appear to be in the current Romania squad.

I think that the main problem for Spivco FC is whether they can actually afford to pay these two players their pre liquidation wages per TUPE rather than the number of over 21 year old players in their squad.

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sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on3:00 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Oops!

Goian is listed in the current squad at the bottom of the Wikipedia page for the Romanian national team!

View Comment

CastofThousandsPosted on3:10 pm - Jun 3, 2013


ecobhoy says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 14:13

“The problem with ‘sporting advantage’ is that the formula to achieve it might have money as a vital ingredient but it most definitely isn’t the only factor and often not the most important one”.
———–
ecobhoy, I think your analysis of the LNS findings is very useful and allows us to tilt amateurishly at ‘what we could have won’. My language was a bit naive (“…illegal money…”) but my point was that for a system of governance to be credible it needs to be seen to deliver just outcomes.

Over a series of verdicts concerning multiple enquiries it has been illustrated that language and terms of reference can be interpreted in a variety of ways to allow for a spectrum of outcomes. This is all very clever and convenient. However, on the sporting field we know that the consistency of the match officials is crucial in maintaining an orderly competition. Even the slightest hint that a match official might be partial can easily lead to a sporting encounter descending into acrimony. The whole point of governance is that it is not a rule enforced from above, it is an ordinance accepted by all. When the uniformity of implementation of rules is not manifest, the result is chaos.

I commend your illustration of how the LNS conclusions were arrived at and how the process can be inferred to be logical in its conclusions. However I suspect even Rangers fans are astounded that such lack lustre sanctions were imposed in the face of such obvious departures from the published rules. The examples of how other teams were sanctioned for less serious misdemeanours sits uncomfortably alongside the LNS conclusions. It may be ‘legal’ but is it sensible.

As you point out, the measurement of sporting advantage is fraught with imponderables. Generally I would imagine in such a complex analysis, rather than being stumped by the complexity, you would intercept the process at a point where it is least controversial. That is, where it converges from the rules. There was a requirement for all players contract details to be registered. This was not done. To then attempt to base a judgement on whether this rule infringment bestowed any sporting advantage is spurious. If I break into a house and steal a telly, I will not be acquitted on the basis that the telly was not in fact working.

Although this is a very crude analogy for me it is the logic that a set of governing principles should be capable of withstanding. If the rules have become so complex that you require Queen’s Council to interpret them then they are not rules at all. They are opinions.

View Comment

Forres Dee (@ForresDee)Posted on3:21 pm - Jun 3, 2013


mullach says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 13:42

easyJambo says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 13:12

“The SFA have allowed Airdrie United to use the name of the dead club “Airdrieonians” from the start of next season”.
———
Interesting precedent. This suggests that TRFC could change their name back to RFC in the season 2023/24.

———————-

This has RFFF badge wearer and Airdrie Untied chairman / SFL / SFA stalwart Jim Ballantyne’s fingers all over this one!

Precedent is now set for ANY club to take over a failed club’s name, the ‘club’ history (Clydebank vice Airdrieonians) used going forward will be interesting.

Is this plan C in action for when third rangers come along. Buy ANY scottish club and then rename it to dead club’s name and move to an empty asbestos ridden stadium?

That plan would get around any need for accounts /membership / licence issues etc

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ecobhoyPosted on3:48 pm - Jun 3, 2013


allyjambo says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 14:30
================================================

EC – Not all charges were proven at LNS. Rangers weren’t found ‘guilty’ of deliberately mis-registering players and indeed LNS held that all players were eligible. I’ve explained this in previous posts and it’s in the Decision.

Specific penalties aren’t stipulated in the rule books AFAIK – such as the level of a fine to be imposed – but available sanction headings are. In any case, LNS had power to apply additional sanctions outwith the rule books. The SPL failed to indicate whether any particular sanction or sanctions should be considered by LNS. If a title-stripping sanction had been suggested by SPL and the LNS tribunal agreed this was appropriate, given the evidence, then LNS would have decided the penalty ie should it be one title or ten or whatever.

I feel I have been failing to clearly explain what happened at LNS. He didn’t need to avoid the question ‘did they cheat’ – all he needed was sufficient evidence from the SPL that they had. If this wasn’t successfully contested by Rangers’ QC then LNS would have accepted it and imposed the appropriate severity of sanction.

There seems to be a feeling abroad that LNS invented the concept of ‘sporting advantage’. I have continuously stated that there is nothing wrong in gaining a ‘sporting or competitive advantage’ as long as it does not involved illegal methods or rule breaking.

Judges don’t issue verdicts happy that they will be successfully appealed. The more senior you are the bigger the black mark when your colleagues sit in judgement of you and tear your legal mistakes apart.

Obviously the LNS Hearing was conducted under civil rules of procedure as opposed to criminal ones. Therefore when I use ‘Proven’ or ‘Not Proven’ it is simply in relation to whether SPL has proven their case or not. I am well aware of the significance and meaning of ‘Not Proven’ in the Scots Criminal Legal System.

As to your last para: I would say the end result is immaterial. If there is an intention to cheat or if cheating took place that is a rule breach irrespective of whether the cheating failed to procure the desired result or not.

View Comment

tomtomPosted on3:49 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Forres Dee (@ForresDee) says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 15:21
7 0 Rate This
mullach says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 13:42

easyJambo says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 13:12

“The SFA have allowed Airdrie United to use the name of the dead club “Airdrieonians” from the start of next season”.
———
Interesting precedent. This suggests that TRFC could change their name back to RFC in the season 2023/24.

———————-

This has RFFF badge wearer and Airdrie Untied chairman / SFL / SFA stalwart Jim Ballantyne’s fingers all over this one!

Precedent is now set for ANY club to take over a failed club’s name, the ‘club’ history (Clydebank vice Airdrieonians) used going forward will be interesting.

Is this plan C in action for when third rangers come along. Buy ANY scottish club and then rename it to dead club’s name and move to an empty asbestos ridden stadium?

That plan would get around any need for accounts /membership / licence issues etc

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

Kind of like:

Somebody then, Rangers now, Rangers forever. Reincarnation is alive and kicking 😀

View Comment

sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on3:51 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Re my comments above further research below confirms that Bocanegra has been dropped from the USA national squad by Jurgen Klinsman as he’s not been getting a game for Spanish 2nd division Racing Santander.

http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2013/Carlos_Bocanegra_dropped_from_US_roster_for_qualifiers/id-e954000d6e424547948aaf6127c40812

Maybe he thinks that going to Spivco FC next season will help him find his form

Incidentally fans on Pie and Bovril on 9 April 2013 reported that he is on £18,000 per week salary, and that this equates to about 2,500 season ticket sales.

View Comment

Forres Dee (@ForresDee)Posted on3:53 pm - Jun 3, 2013


tomtomaswell says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 15:49

Kind of like:

Somebody then, Rangers now, Rangers forever. Reincarnation is alive and kicking

———————–

Actually, thats better than what we have now;

Nobody then, rangers now, rangers ’till were skint again!

View Comment

Not The Huddle MalcontentPosted on3:59 pm - Jun 3, 2013


So, is that it now? Are we doing whatever is needed to pacify and placate the dog whistlers?

After McCoist again invoking the WATP mantra and Mather singing the same old song about “we know our enemies and we’ll get them” we see that Clydebank, sorry, Airdrie United are getting to use their TRADITIONAL name of Airdrionians…

Have the Onians repaid the creditors who lost out?

Can any club now adopt the name of any other club now? Maybe Clyde in moving to EK should try claiming to be Third lanark, see how that goes down.

And will Clydebank, sorry, Airdrie Utd now be claiming (at least in the eyes of the SFA) Airdrionians history?

Have the sevconians – Ogilvie, Ballantyne, Longmuir contrived to allow this change because it “MIGHT” be needed at another club shortly? are we about to see a newco claiming to be Third Rangers shortly?

Anyway, how must any investor/sponsor/backer of the scottish game feel now – the SFA actively encouraging tax avoidance, non payment of creditors, living beyond your means and the penalty? well, jsut start up in 3rd division, you’ll get your name, colours, history, badges back – no problem.

not really a progressive thinking organisation

this Sevco mob will kill the game in scotland and be a stinking fish for years unless the SFA can be brought down and rebuilt afresh ASAP.

View Comment

jimlarkinPosted on4:16 pm - Jun 3, 2013


tomtomaswell says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 15:49

Forres Dee (@ForresDee) says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 15:21

mullach says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 13:42

easyJambo says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 13:12

“The SFA have allowed Airdrie United to use the name of the dead club “Airdrieonians” from the start of next season”.
———
Interesting precedent. This suggests that TRFC could change their name back to RFC in the season 2023/24.

———————-

This has RFFF badge wearer and Airdrie Untied chairman / SFL / SFA stalwart Jim Ballantyne’s fingers all over this one!

Precedent is now set for ANY club to take over a failed club’s name, the ‘club’ history (Clydebank vice Airdrieonians) used going forward will be interesting.

Is this plan C in action for when third rangers come along. Buy ANY scottish club and then rename it to dead club’s name and move to an empty asbestos ridden stadium?

That plan would get around any need for accounts /membership / licence issues etc

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

Kind of like:

Somebody then, Rangers now, Rangers forever. Reincarnation is alive and kicking

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

maybe the falkirk stadium announcer knew more than most

when he referred to “them” as

the sevco franchise ????

View Comment

Forres Dee (@ForresDee)Posted on4:26 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Franchise football would actually solve all this club / operating company nonsense and bring football into the 21st century.

Football needs to be able to punish clubs that continually shed debt (irony from a Dee – I know), by suspending a franchise for a number of years that could be achieved.

View Comment

theoldcoursePosted on4:28 pm - Jun 3, 2013


two thoughts on todays talking points

1. Is Airdrieonians use of the old name not coincidental with the recent completion of the liquidation process i.e. it is now safe to use the name with no redress to former creditors.

2. I’m sure I read earlier that as well as the number of players over the age of 21 there is a league rule concerning the number of non-EU players that are allowed in the SFL. Do TRFC run the risk of falling foul of that one too.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on4:31 pm - Jun 3, 2013


mullach says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 15:10
====================================================================

Much of what you say I have no problem with. Personally I think it impossible to create a series of Rules and Regulations to govern footballing activities in view of the complexity of the game as well as its national and international structures and the ever increasing commercialisation and influence of multinational companies and wealthy individuals some solely motivated by what can be financially extracted from the sport.

Some re-writing and updating of the rules books and harmonisation between different footballing authorities is required and the proposed restructure might provide an impetus but it’s only a sticking plaster and will never prevent people trying to bend the rules for a variety of reasons.

I think a huge obstacle is the lack of clarity and transparency because there is no real communication between the authorities and the footballing public which explains their position on so many issues. The Airdrieonians decision is a classic case IMO – we should know what the submission was and the reasoning behind its approval. Maybe we will be told – I don’t know and that is the recurring problem: we get to know very little.

I had a smile at your Rangers comment on LNS – however I disagree as I have yet to meet a Rangers fan who isn’t of the opinion that LNS cleared them of everything.

You correctly say: ‘There was a requirement for all players contract details to be registered. This was not done’. And LNS fined Rangers £250K for that breach.

You add: ‘To then attempt to base a judgement on whether this rule infringement bestowed any sporting advantage is spurious’. I totally disagree with you because if this rule infringement meant that ineligible players were used then that is a rule breach and there is a possibility that a sporting advantaged was achieved which would required a sporting sanction to be considered IMO. The actual sanction applied and its severity would obviously be determined by individual circumstances as revealed by the evidence.

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ecobhoyPosted on4:38 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Correction

First line should read: Much of what you say I have no problem with. Personally I think it impossible to create a series of simple Rules and . . .

View Comment

Danish PastryPosted on4:40 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Some big wages to be paid out next season. Sustainable?

“ALLY McCOIST expects Carlos Bocanegra and Dorin Goian to report for pre-season training on June 24.

The manager, in Bocanegra’s home US state of California for this year’s NARSA convention, is keen to have both players back in his squad for next season.
Having seen his side concede some sloppy goals last term, particularly from set plays, that perhaps comes as little surprise.
The duo were sent out on loan to Racing Santander and Spezia in an effort to save costs but each still has a year left on his deal at Ibrox.
It remains to be seen whether they will come back and complete those contracts but McCoist is hopeful they do.
McCoist told RangersTV: “As far as I know, that’s the way it is and purely from a selfish point of view, that’s ideal.
“They were obviously both out on loan last year and each has a year of their contracts to go. At this moment in time, I think they’ll be joining us for pre-season training on June 24.
“Until I hear anything otherwise, that’s great. Let’s be honest about it – they are two international-quality centre-backs and I’d be delighted if they came back.
“They’d be like new signings, that’s exactly what they’d be like, and of a great pedigree at that.
“I’d be very hopeful and we’ll certainly know in the next couple of weeks if the boys are coming back. If they are, I’ll be delighted.”
McCoist also revealed there is still a chance of Neil Alexander being at Ibrox next season – but he’s eager to get an answer on that one way or the other this week.
The goalkeeper has been offered a one-year extension on reduced terms but he is looking for two and talks have stalled.
McCoist is keen to have two quality keepers pushing each other for a place between the posts and he wants to send the relatively inexperienced Scott Gallacher out on loan.
That means retaining Alexander is his preference so that he can jostle with new signing Cammy Bell for a starting jersey.
McCoist added: “There was an offer put to Neil which is still on the table and I know he’s off on holiday at the moment in Florida.”

View Comment

bangordubPosted on4:46 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Danish Pastry says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 16:40
0 0 Rate This

“ALLY McCOIST expects”

Enough said………

View Comment

sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on4:50 pm - Jun 3, 2013


theoldcourse says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 16:28

1. use of Airdieonians name by Airdrie United

That is probably part of the reasoning used by the SFA PMB but it would be good if they would publish all of their reasons along with the relevant SFA /SFL Rules.

2. Number of Non-EU Players allowed in SFL

The relevant SFL Rules regarding non-EU players is in Section 11 – Players rule 130 and the limit appears to be 20, so again there is little prospect of Spivco FC falling foul of that rule either. the text of the rule follows for ease of reference.

130. POINTS BASED SYSTEM

130.1
A club wishing to register a player whose nationality is other than that of a
country in membership of the European Economic Area requires to obtain
a Governing Body Endorsement from The Scottish Football Association in
order to meet the requirements of the UK Border Agency Points Based
System. The maximum number of such players permitted to be registered
for clubs in membership of the League at any one time is twenty, and no
club may register more than three such players at any one time.

130.2
In the event of a club being granted a Governing Body Endorsement in
respect of a player whose nationality is other than that of a country in
membership of the European Economic Area, a club must have the
appropriate Registration Forms approved and registered with the League
within 31 days of the date of the Governing Body Endorsement being
granted.

130.3
If, at the expiry of his contract, the club either cancels the registration of
such a player or transfers him and at that time the remaining quota of
Governing Body Endorsements have all been granted, then the club
cancelling the registration of such a player, or transferring him, will not be
permitted, without the permission of the Board, to apply to the UK Border
Agency for a Governing Body Endorsement in respect of another such
player within 14 days of the date of cancellation of registration or transfer
of the previous Governing Body Endorsement.

130.4
If, during the currency of his contract, a club should cancel such a player’s
registration or transfer him and, at that time, the remaining quota of
Governing Body Endorsements have all been granted, then the club will
not be permitted, without the permission of the Board, to apply to the UK
Border Agency for a Governing Body Endorsement in respect of another
such player until the unexpired portion of the original player’s contract has
lapsed, or a period of 14 days, whichever is the longer.

http://www.scottishfootballleague.com/docs/009__034__constitution__rules__SFL_Constitution__Rules__1346425915.pdf

View Comment

bobferrisPosted on4:51 pm - Jun 3, 2013


After Craig Mather’s comments regarding their enemies and “choosing the right moment to strike”, I’d be very wary if I were Stephen Thompson. Sounds like he might be in for the old “bucket of water above the door” next time TRFC come calling.

View Comment

actonsheepPosted on5:06 pm - Jun 3, 2013


sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolis says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 16:50

0

0

Rate This

130.1
A club wishing to register a player whose nationality is other than that of a
country in membership of the European Economic Area requires to obtain
a Governing Body Endorsement from The Scottish Football Association in
order to meet the requirements of the UK Border Agency Points Based
System. The maximum number of such players permitted to be registered
for clubs in membership of the League at any one time is twenty, and no
club may register more than three such players at any one time.

———–

My reading of this is different to yours – seems to me there is a limit of 20 non EU players playing in the league as a whole, with a maximum of 3 at any individual club.

View Comment

sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on5:20 pm - Jun 3, 2013


easyJambo says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 13:12

Airdrie No More!

http://sport.stv.tv/football/clubs/airdrie-united/227884-airdrie-united-to-change-name-to-airdrieonians-following-sfa-approval/
——————

The STV “article” is another piece of churnalism as confirmed by the following Airdrie United Press Release

http://www.airdriefc.com/news/2013/06/airdrieonians.html

It will be interesting to see the specifics of “Further details regarding the change will be issued shortly.”

I can’t find anything on the SFA or SFL websites on this topic but the SFA website shows the usual suspects are the members of the

Professional Game Board:

Chairman: Rod Petrie (Scottish FA)

Members: Jim Ballantyne (SFL), Neil Doncaster (SPL), Peter Lawwell (SPL), David Longmuir (SFL), Alan McRae (Scottish FA), Campbell Ogilvie (Scottish FA), Stewart Regan (Scottish FA), Sandy Stables (SHFL) and Ralph Topping (SPL).

Is it worth supporters of each club official contact these individuals to ask them to publish the reasons for their decision?

View Comment

pilgrim1888Posted on5:24 pm - Jun 3, 2013


The level of contempt The Rangers have for the Scottish footballing authorities and scottish football in general is once again laid bare for all to see by the recent comments attributed to Craig Mather in today’s article in the evening times. These are the alleged comments of the CEO of a publicly listed company as well as an associate member of the SFA. These comments are completely unacceptable IMO. I have emailed the Sfa the following comments to enquire what they intend to do regarding this.

To the Scottish Football Association

I would like to draw your attention to the statements that are reported to have been made by Craig Mather which can be found on the following link.

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

Craig Mather is the interim CEO of a publicly listed company which is also a associate member of the SFA. The language he is alleged to have used is provocative to say the least.

The SFA are the governing body of the national game in Scotland and as such I believe have a duty to investigate these comments.

I am sure you would be interested to know who the Enemies are that Mr Mather is referring to, and what actions the club intent to take when they “strike”

I look forward to your response to my enquiry.

Regards

View Comment

sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on5:27 pm - Jun 3, 2013


actonsheep says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 17:06

130.1
A club wishing to register a player whose nationality is other than that of a
country in membership of the European Economic Area requires to obtain
a Governing Body Endorsement from The Scottish Football Association in
order to meet the requirements of the UK Border Agency Points Based
System. The maximum number of such players permitted to be registered
for clubs in membership of the League at any one time is twenty, and no
club may register more than three such players at any one time.

———–

My reading of this is different to yours – seems to me there is a limit of 20 non EU players playing in the league as a whole, with a maximum of 3 at any individual club.

——————————————————————————————–
On reflection I can see that your interpretation of the above Rule is likely to be correct.

My initial reading of the Rule identified “club” and I failed to spot the plural “clubs”

Sorry for any confusion caused to everyone.

View Comment

tobyPosted on5:32 pm - Jun 3, 2013


bobferris70 says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 16:51

After Craig Mather’s comments regarding their enemies and “choosing the right moment to strike”, I’d be very wary if I were Stephen Thompson. Sounds like he might be in for the old “bucket of water above the door” next time TRFC come calling.

———————–

If that were the ‘jolly japes’ that could befall Stephen Thomson, I’m sure he could live with that.
Unfortunately, ill-conceived and dangerous comments like Craig Mather’s and Ally’s before him, give license to complete idiots hell bent on more serious measures. It was again another cheap attempt to get the fans onboard, without consideration for the possible repercussions of a message, that it is not strange to hear emanating from Ibrox. It seems Mr McCoist does do a bit of coaching after all.

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sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on5:33 pm - Jun 3, 2013


actonsheep says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 17:06

Even with our revised interpretation I still don’t think that Spivco FC need worry about falling foul of Rule 130 during the 2013/14 season.

P.S. Thanks for spotting my error! 🙂

View Comment

smartie1947Posted on6:11 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Welcome to NARSA.

NORTH AMERICAN RANGERS SUPPORTERS ASSOCIATION

All NARSA members are proud to be supporters of

The Rangers Football Club.

To celebrate it’s many accomplishments, including our 54 Scottish Premier League titles, we welcome people of all races; religions; genders and ages, to join us in promoting social harmony amongst Rangers fans globally and in society at large..

The statement above is displayed in a prominent position on the website of the organisation addressed yesterday by Craig Mather. Presumably the USA/Canadian authorities must take a firmer stance on mission statements than is the norm in the UK. It therefore must have come as a complete culture shock to the assembled audience to hear their guest speaker issuing threats and future retaliation to their “enemies” Thank goodness none of the Scottish MSM who slavishly reported his speech could be bothered to contact any of the NARSA officials for their reactions.

View Comment

arabest1Posted on6:14 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Could someone please spare me a moment and give me a quick tutorial in posting photos from the interweb on here? Thanks in advance.

View Comment

AllyJamboPosted on6:42 pm - Jun 3, 2013


ecobhoy

I was of the impression they had been found guilty of the charge of deliberately mis-registering players, leading to a fine on the oldco, but that Bryson came in with the apparently ludicrous interpretation that mis-registering, if not noticed at the time of registration, does not make the players inelligible. Due to the lack of a counter argument LNS had no choice but to accept this. LNS then came to the conclusion that mis-registering the players didn’t lead to a ‘sporting advantage’. Again, no counter argument appears to have been made. How do you think LNS might have ruled had Bryson not come up with his Rangers-centric interpretation, that I’m sure must have surprised many, if not all, of the SPL and SFA board members, and instead confirmed that mis-registering of players does make them inelligible? I now have the impression that the ‘sporting advantage’ question only came about as a result of the Bryson input and has maybe been misunderstood, by myself at least, as it is merely a secondary look at the situation ie, if the players are not inelligible, does the improper filling in of a registration form, itself, confer a sporting advantage, and perhaps, that in itself, does not.

Like you, I do not believe that LNS, or the other tribunal members, was involved in any conspiracy and that he merely interpreted what was put in front of him. Unfortunately, in an adversarial system, unless both sides are fighting their corner to the best of their ability, or worse, both sides actually want more or less the same outcome, then a pre-ordained outcome will result regardless of the neutrality of those charged with reaching a verdict.

I think it should be remembered that the tribunal was not a court of law, but an investigation into the behaviour of a member club of a private company, the SPL. It was not, therefore, required to meet the standards of a court of law. I suspect it was not much different than the Pinsent Mason investigation of the Whyte – Green relationship, where respected members of the legal profession were commissioned to adjudecate on evidence provided by, and within the perameters set by, a company with a vested interest in the result. I am certain that PM did everything by the book, a book written by the commissioners of the inquiry, and with proper cognisance of the law, but they still came to a conclusion, apparently, that there was no close relationship between Whyte and Green, despite evidence to the contrary in the public domain.

View Comment

redetinPosted on6:49 pm - Jun 3, 2013


arabest1

One way is to register yourself for a Dropbox account: https://www.dropbox.com/

You can then store your photo, or any other files, and share a link to that file.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fg8ohmek64u2pfm/Billy%20Semple.jpg

View Comment

tailothebankPosted on6:55 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Walter Smith’s first personnel management challenge ( that we know of ) as Rangers Chairman arrived on his lap today.
If Mather really did make these comments he should be carpetted immediately face to face by the chairman and told in no uncertain terms he will be ‘gone’ if he EVER makes comments like that ever again either privately or in public…and should go immediately to the press to retract his comments effectively clarifying /apologising immediately in public.
If this doesn’t happen and very quickly we can conclude that the board of Rangers condone this behaviour and may even have orchestrated it…and that is truly scary.
over to you Mr Smith…lets see that class and dignity now in action to sort out this guy and put him in his place !!!!… We are all watching very closely!

View Comment

tonto8on8his8high8horsePosted on7:26 pm - Jun 3, 2013


I see the headlines in the MSM today list nothing but good news, good news and two fingers to everyone else.

* Walter Smith in place (Check)
* Another player signature (Check)
* Ally plays the WATP card to the masses to sell the season books (Check)
* Craig Mather sounds the battle cry to solidify the masses (Check)
* We’re not joining SPL2 (Check)

Are the MSM expecting us to swallow this?

No….

Are they expecting the tribute fans to swallow this…..

Hell yes they are!

View Comment

davythelotionPosted on7:32 pm - Jun 3, 2013


ecobhoy says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 16:31
6 1 Rate This
mullach says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 15:10
%%%%%%%%
Forgive me for intruding, but the thing that always struck me about LNS was that it was SDM who said that they (rangers) used EBTs to pay salaries to players that they couldn’t have afforded otherwise. The non-disclosure to the registering authorities was in order to conceal the actual salaries from the football authorities, not HMRC, as SDM did not believe he had anything to hide from HMRC!
The non-disclosure was a deliberate act of concealment.
In the light of SDM’s assertion some of the EBT payments (to journeymen from minor leagues) are baffling.

A much more detailed explanation is contained here:
http://forum.celtictalk.org/topic/25677-spl-fans-united/

View Comment

CastofThousandsPosted on7:54 pm - Jun 3, 2013


arabest1 says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 18:14

“Could someone please spare me a moment and give me a quick tutorial in posting photos from the interweb on here”?
————

Arabest, if its just one image then try this.

Get the interweb image up on your screen. Highlight and copy the URL (uniform resource locator) that appears in the top bar of the screen. Paste this address into your post like so :

http://collections.glasgowmuseums.com/viewimage.html?oid=660&i=400315

View Comment

sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on8:16 pm - Jun 3, 2013


tailothebank says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 18:55

Walter Smith’s first personnel management challenge ( that we know of ) as Rangers Chairman arrived on his lap today.

If Mather really did make these comments he should be carpetted immediately face to face by the chairman and told in no uncertain terms he will be ‘gone’ if he EVER makes comments like that ever again either privately or in public…and should go immediately to the press to retract his comments effectively clarifying /apologising immediately in public.
__________________

If Spivco FC want to avoid another costly (and embarrassing) Employment Tribunal decision then they would be better advised to seek professional advice from and Employment Lawyer and comply with the following

ACAS Code of Practice No 1

http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/k/b/Acas_Code_of_Practice_1_on_disciplinary_and_grievance_procedures-accessible-version-Jul-2012.pdf

and Guide on Disciplinary & Grievance Procedures at Work

http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/s/o/Acas-Guide-on-discipline-and-grievances_at_work_(April_11)-accessible-version-may-2012.pdf

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wottpiPosted on8:52 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Out most of day so catching up.

Its seems nearly all there needs to said about Mather and his vile comments have been said.

However that won’t stop me contributing a wee reminder about Ally asking that the club be cleansed the other month

http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/football/mccoist-a-time-for-cleansing.20862659

Are McCoist and Chairman Smith still awaiting the extra big box of Persil to arrive down Govan way, because it looks like we are just going to be getting more of the same until the season tickets money is in?

Naw – I think the whole thing is wrapped up in the same pish ‘the club’ has been following for years and McCoist and Smith have been shown to happily but quietly put that flag around their shoulders.

They just don’t know what sporting endeavour is and how that should be achieved. Continual talk of enemies, no surrender etc etc.

They are constantly at war with people who merely want to play or watch a decent game of football.

Smith said the other day that all he wanted to do was get back to footballing matters.

If he doesn’t publicly carpet Mather then he is, like Murray before him, going to be a mere puppet in the big chair.

Sad sad sad.

PS. I note the new signing is on a four year contract. Is this the norm for all the newer guys because Ally better hope that those without SPL experience are decent or he will be stuck with them for two years in the top flight if getting back there goes to plan

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upthehoopsPosted on8:57 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Re-the alleged comments by Craig Mather and what he means by a ‘strike’. My worry is if this type of language persists (and we were led to believe it departed along with Green) and Celtic are drawn against the club from Ibrox in a cup, what it might lead to. Walter Smith is on record (as is Mather) of saying bridges need to be built. If that’s genuinely the case then both have a lot of hard talking to do.

Over to you Mr Chairman!

View Comment

Carfins Finest. (@edunne58)Posted on9:07 pm - Jun 3, 2013


The sabre rattling,siege mentality rhetoric of TRFC’s new CEO and the predictable annual begging letter from the Manager to the masses are published and reported on with great glee by the SMSM.

Questions: Where has all the staunch dignity gone? Where has the Pride gone? Where have the Struthian values gone?

It would seem that the desperation for cash has robbed them of any self esteem that may have existed. A management team plumbing new depths of debauchery.

How can REAL TRFC fans have any respect for these people?

I would be totaly embarrased if the people charged with running my team were to act with such a lack aplomb of

View Comment

FIFAPosted on9:11 pm - Jun 3, 2013


I am sure the Mather verbal volley is aimed at the league construction that is due ,anyone voting against the surprise announcement of the new Airdrieownians being invited into the SPL2 are in real trouble, Sandshoe Traynor will make sure of that,seriously ,can the Newco/Oldco of Airdrie be bought over and morphed into something else or is that a distraction too far,personaly I think there are more red herrings being thrown out of the barrel here than an entire production of Taggart has produced ,I agree with most that it is now about emptying what they can from the upturned fans pockets and limping along until the pesky sites give up and let the carpetbaggers get on with their ,well,carpetbagging,as a football entity the Fagan run operation will limp along looking for the odd sixpence and it will come ,only until the dawn of realisation ,now how bright will that dawn be for the fans of Scottish Football ,to read today of what the reconstruction would be for the people that will continue to run the game ,the same people that have created the monster and now have given themselves the biggest wage increases that the old RBS keyholder would have been proudl of before they are shown the door, with a package that reflects this new increase,I now realy do believe that the the numptys that run our game are the clubs and the incompetents within these clubs ,oh what a circus.
Rant over

are in the clubs themselves ,I better get of my soapbox before I fall off it
that have the say in our football ,the clubs ,

that run Scottish Football

View Comment

Not The Huddle MalcontentPosted on9:18 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Wottpi

PS. I note the new signing is on a four year contract. Is this the norm for all the newer guys because Ally better hope that those without SPL experience are decent or he will be stuck with them for two years in the top flight if getting back there goes to plan

————————————–

might this be a way of inflating the asset value of the business?

i sign 10 players who have reasonable SPL or other top flight football experience. I’ve not paid a fee for them, but once signed, they have a value as you can sell them.

of course, their contract would be an obligation (unless your name is sandaza of course!) but would it be possible to state the asset value was greater than the contract liability?

So, 10 players signed for free, even if they values the player/potential transfer fee at 300k per player, then they’ve put £3m (on paper) on the value of the business

Of course, the signings do encourage the fans and give the impression everything is “business as usual” so they will rush to buy season tickets – especially with Walter back in charge.

Of course, any right minded bear should be panicking at the prospect of “business as usual” but they won’t be.

The company has until december to bleed the fans dry, sell up and then find a new buyer.

they will be able to offload their shares (privately or publicly) in december, and of course, their 1st set of audited accounts MUST be published by the end of december – only then will we get an idea of how messed up they are…but they will hope to be out by then.

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ecobhoyPosted on9:22 pm - Jun 3, 2013


allyjambo says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 18:42

I’m must repeat that Rangers were not found to have deliberately mis-registered players. The £250K fine was applied for non-disclosure of the side letters – it had nothing to do with mis-registration or indeed registration.

I also think you may have misunderstood Bryson’s evidence which essentially was that once a player was registered with the SFA they remained registered unless the registration was revoked. The SPL accepted that evidence and dropped their claim that Rangers FC had played ineligible players and also stated that the SPL had no retrospective rule to terminate a player’s registration.

As I have previously stated this effectively destroyed the SPL case by accepting that Rangers FC had never fielded an ineligible player and by extension could not have benefited from a sporting or competitive advantage through a rule breach.

The SPL QC and the SFA Head of Registration provided this evidence and yet some people continue to insist that LNS didn’t act professionally or should have ignored the evidence. It was also the rock that applying a sporting sanction, such as stripping titles, largely foundered on.

I see no need for what-if wondering – we know exactly what happened and what the actual result was.

I am happy to accept that a result was achieved which might have suited some but there isn’t a trace of evidence that LNS acted unprofessionally and I have yet to see anyone provide that. However, some people require a conspiracy theory to be at work to fit theories which have little or no basis in fact and I don’t mean you allyjambo 🙂

I am disappointed you feel the LNS Tribunal was no better than the Pinsent Mason investigation and I am sure that some reflection might lead to a re-assessment of your view – the two are patently chalk and cheese IMO.

LNS was conducted on very tight legal guidelines and was set up as a Commission under SPL Rules G1.1 and G1.2 which provide wide-ranging powers.

Annex B to the Rules sets out Rules of Procedure which governed the proceedings of the Commission and other bodies appointed in terms of the Rules.

As you mentioned previously the LNS standard of proof was based on the ‘balance of probabilities’ and I wonder what standard Pinsent and Mason applied?

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newtzPosted on10:05 pm - Jun 3, 2013


smartie1947 says:

Monday, June 3, 2013 at 18:11
——————————————-
Or the apprpriate US authorities …… very dangerous on US soil if true

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arabest1Posted on10:17 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Thanks Mull and Red! Will have a go at these.

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slimshady61Posted on10:18 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Ecobhoy

I admire your tenacity but I feel that, unlike Fergus McCann, you will never get your man. That stable door is open and Lord Nimmo Smith, wearing blinkers, has bolted once and for all.

The fatal flaw is that the LNS standard of proof was based on the balance of probabilities and everyone knows that on the balance of probabilities, Rangers are The People. In fact I think there is even a cartoon to that effect floating around somewhere.

A propos of which, my attention was drawn this evening to the following link which sums matters up in relation to the war cry of Messrs Mather & McCoist over the past 24 hours – see http://www.thelocal.de/politics/20130503-49519.html

AllyJ, the PM enquiry was not an independent commission, though most of the MSM were calling it that by the end. It was in fact an engagement instructed by Rangers with very narrow terms of reference.

Rangers dictated the terms of reference, PM decided whom they were going to write to, PM decided whether or not to chase those who didn’t bother replying to their invite – including probably the seminal figure, and the whole thing was an expensive farce from start to finish, the detail of which was promised to the SFA but not to the general public.

Indeed not since Nixon appointed the famously hard-of-hearing senator John Stennis to be the independent person to listen to the White House tapes and confirm to the public “nothing to hear here…” has there been such a farce.

54 “independent commissions” to nil (effect)

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arabest1Posted on10:25 pm - Jun 3, 2013


Many of you will have seen this before, its nothing new but….still a daisy!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/y3daswpeb5q8ind/2vkygsm.png

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