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

zoylerPosted on1:57 pm - Jun 4, 2013


The problem with the LHS decision for us mere mortals is that we expect a tribunal (which is not a trial) to be about establishing the truth and we expect a judge with the reputation that LHS had prior to the hearing to recognise horse manure when he hears it from a witness. We now know better! The required result was produced and the ordinary man’s cynicism about how any team from Govan would be treated increased a notch.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on2:04 pm - Jun 4, 2013


allyjambo says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 00:07
===============================================================
You ask the Million $ question: ‘I wonder why he waited until the tribunal was under way before dropping that bombshell. Surely it would have been in everyone’s interest to have advised the SPL before the tribunal was even mooted?’

Why indeed didn’t the SPL know this prior to the LNS Enquiry because it has to remember this wasn’t just an inquiry into SPL rules but SFA ones although the SPL had the responsibility for putting the case against Rangers on the premise that the SFA couldn’t prejudice its appellate function in case of appeal by Rangers against any LNS decision.

So were witnesses, including Bryson, not pre-cognosed or did they just take the stand stone-cold with the SPL unaware what evidence they were going to give. The SPL sporting sanction case collapsed mainly on Bryson’s evidence but why wasn’t that evidence previously known about. It doesn’t appear to have been ‘tested’ by the SPL and certainly not rejected by them and we just don’t know if it was Bryson’s personal opinion as Head of Registration at SFA or whether it was indeed an SFA agreed position.

I’m not saying Bryson was wrong to state his professional opinion of the SFA Rules even if there was no prior agreed SFA position on the matter. He was an ‘expert’ witness after all. But the SPL QC should have asked him what basis he gave his opinion and tbh I reckon LNS was wrong not to establish this and note it in the Decision. It should be remembered that perhaps the question was asked and answered by the SPL QC or LNS and just wasn’t included in the Decision. It’s one of these annoying things that crops-up without the benefit of a full transcript.

I think you have to accept that lots of sports, not just football, regulate through a system of rules and disputes don’t tend to end up being taken to ‘law’ but that doesn’t necessarily devalue the legality of the decisions made especially when the sporting body has set-up an independent tribunal to examine an issue composed of senior legal figures.

You say that: ‘The rules/laws were presented in such a way that he (LNS) had no option but to interpret them in a way that met the aims of the SPL and SFA’. I would agree with what you say if you’. I would agree with you if you substituted ‘evidence’ for ‘rules/laws’. The three members of the LNS Tribunal are quite capable of interpreting the rules as they stand although the evidence of an expert witness like Bryson could alter that interpretation especially if the SPL and Rangers didn’t challenge it.

I also can’t agree with your comment that ‘the laws were being made up as the hearing went along’. They weren’t because the laws remained the same before, during and after the hearing. What changed was the meaning to be drawn from them but we didn’t actually know if that meaning was only given for the first-time at the LNS Hearing by Bryson or whether it was a pre-established meaning held by the SFA.

It isn’t actually my interpretation that LNS ‘didn’t find that the players had been mis-registered’. It’s a fact and is contained in the Decision. As to your no ‘sporting advantage’ question I think you have become confused on the issue.

I assume that you accept that if unregistered players were used then that would have created an unacceptable ‘sporting advantage’.

The initial SPL argument was that the Rangers players had never been registered because the side letters hadn’t been disclosed which made the registration process null and void ab initio. In other words there had never been a mis-registration – in the sense of a form wrongly completed – but that there had never been an actual registration under the rules. However this was blown out the water by Bryson’s evidence.

However LNS did find that the side letters not being disclosed was a breach of the rules designed to support ‘sporting integrity’ and for that imposed a £250K fine.

I’m afraid you too raise the spectre of LNS creating the ‘No Sporting Advantage’ scenario for some nefarious reason to assist Rangers.

However to fully understand this issue you have to go to the Decision at [83 – 89] and you will see exactly the reasoning used. Don’t take my word but read it for yourself and if you disagree with LNS let me know your reasons and I’ll tell you whether I agree with you, LNS or have a different opinion. Sadly too many posters make pronouncements on this issue and it would appear many have either never read the LNS Decision or did so once, very fleetingly, months ago and I exclude yourself from that observation btw.

If you read the pars I have suggested you will see another major flaw in the SPL case which I don’t think I have previously mentioned regarding Issue 3 (c) and the concluding words of Issue 3 (b) which points to woeful preparation IMO.

Suffice to say I think it is simply good common sense that the stripping of titles or cups should only be carried out if it can be shown that a sporting or competitive advantage was gained in contravention of the rules. I think that playing unregistered players or the use of drugs are two examples that would jump to mind. That’s not to say that a financial penalty or other penalties shouldn’t also be imposed but I feel there must be a direct link between any cheating and the removal of any honour gained from it.

Allyjambo – you have moved beyond the easy bit of just accepting what other people state is ‘fact’ re the LNS Decision and actually started to think it through yourself. It isn’t an easy task especially when, like you and I, we don’t have a legal background but by taking time and repeated readings of the Decision it is possible to understand why the LNS Tribunal made the decisions they did and what they based it on.

Obviously I’m not saying everyone should agree with their conclusions and I don’t agree with them all myself but as there isn’t a full transcript of the proceedings and I haven’t been able to examine the evidence and more importantly haven’t seen how people gave their evidence then I start from a not fully informed knowledge base.

On why LNS found there had been no mis-registration of players – or more correctly no ineligible players used – I can understand how you can accept that but still have difficulty in understanding how the decision was arrived. I had the same difficulty and read and re-read that part of the Decision many times because I saw it as a key issue.

The penny dropped for me when I realised that even if there had been a breach of the registration procedure the first time a player registered for Rangers that they didn’t become an ineligible player until the registration was revoked and that was never done. I accept all the criticism made that how could a registration be revoked if the side letters were kept secret as that to me is a key issue.

However, it was up to the SPL QC to make that argument and produce strong counter evidence – which I believe would have been an easy task. However the SPL QC not only accepted the Bryson ‘line’ but produced additional evidence to reinforce the Bryson position. I make it clear that although Bryson was Head of Registration at the SFA the SPL QC as far as I can see didn’t seek to establish whether the virtually irrevocable registration was his personal position or an SFA one and there is a world of a difference there. I have made this point many many times and the importance of it appears to have been totally lost on fellow posters and the MSM although I doubt if it has been lost on the SFA or SPL.

However LNS could only decide on the evidence presented and when the SFA, SPL and Rangers were all happy to sing from the same song sheet then LNS had no alternative IMO to conclude other than he did and that led eventually to his decision that sporting sanctions could not be applied as there were no ineligible players.

Allyjambo (last par) LNS concluded, on unanimous evidence given, that there were no ineligible players and on that basis there could be no sporting or competitive advantage gained by playing them. And you accept that is what he did.

Then you pose the more difficult hypotheses: ‘Does the act of failing to complete a registration form properly, with the intent of misleading HMRC to facilitate a tax avoidance scheme, legal or otherwise (or for that matter, any other form of money making/saving scheme), create a platform from which a sporting advantage may be gained?’

I think the instinctive answer of most of us would be: ‘Of course it does’. But we have to look at the rule books of the SFA and SPL to see how a lawyer might answer it. They would say that a ‘legal’ scheme wouldn’t require the incorrect completion of a registration form and I think that’s a fair point.
So let’s look at an illegal scheme – did it exist here? Well in a sense the jury is still out on that one and the decision of the UTT will move things along in due course. But we have to deal with how things were at the LNS Tribunal and the SPL QC accepted the decision of the FTTT that the EBT scheme used by Rangers wasn’t illegal. So we don’t have an illegal scheme full stop as far as the LNS Tribunal is concerned and that IMO is the correct decision for that forum. The SPL QC also made it clear that if the FTTT decision was subsequently reversed that this wouldn’t affect the future SPL position.
The SFA and SPL rules are not designed to financially regulate football and the mere fact that one club is wealthier than another does not, under footballing rules, provide a sporting or competitive advantage. It obviously can do – we all know that but it isn’t a matter for the SFA or SPL unless that financial advantage has been procured illegally or in breach of footballing rules.

We do now have the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations meant to provide a more level playing field – we’ll see how long it takes for the regs to be got round – but they weren’t applicable to Rangers for the periods in question.

Many may wonder why I harp on about this issue so let me try and explain without being sued. LNS has provided an almost insight into the interaction of the SPL and SFA and a major Scottish Football Club which many believe to be protected by the Establishment.

I will repeat as I have done before that the SPL case against Rangers was a shambles because IMO it was poorly researched, presented and thought through. The question for me is whether this was just down to individual failings or was there any kind of conspiracy at work? Neither scenarios are acceptable but the latter goes not just to the core of how football is controlled but how our country is run.

I happen to feel that while LNS is painted as a co-conspirator we take our eye off the desperately needed investigation of what the hell went wrong at Hampden and who was responsible for it. In my book that is more important than stripping titles from Rangers.
Btw I have no problem with those who paint LNS as the conspiracy arch-demon in all this but I do feel a starting point for their claims should be an examination for his decisions and the legal basis for them. If he can’t be faulted then it leaves a conspiracy theory without a shred of evidence. And the other important point is that the LNS Decision isn’t just LNS but also that of two other prominent QCs who would need to be in on the conspiracy as well 

View Comment

sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on2:20 pm - Jun 4, 2013


torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958) says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 09:40

Spent last night watching a thoroughly enjoyable amateur cup final at Somerville Park, Cambuslang. The teams were Third Lanark and Broomhouse, with Third Lanark winning 1-0 in front of, at a guess, around 200 spectators. Here’s a pic of the victorious team(I don’t know how to post them on here 😆 )

Congrats to Third Lanark on their cup win last night. Please retweet. pic.twitter.com/L1dJgWNh12

torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958) says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 09:42
___________________________________

Thanks for your posts.

They brought back fond memories of my youth when I played for a previous Juvenile incarnation of Third Lanark (BUT definitely NOT the same club 🙂 ) formed mainly of local lads from the Castlemilk area circa 1975. Happy days!

Glad to see the current incarnation doing so well.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on2:25 pm - Jun 4, 2013


mullach says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 23:47

There has been much discussion of LNS many months after his conclusions were arrived at. This can be a bit tedious but I welcome it.

The more such conclusions are poured over and examined the better an understanding of the machinations of the ‘system’ can be understood. Despite there being a legalistic logic behind the decisions, it does not sit right with me and with many others I believe.
For me the critical point is that there was a rule that required all details of a players remuneration to be lodged with the footballing authorities.

The existence of side letters that promised additional remuneration and that were not known to the authorities was a clear breach of the rules. That a perverse outcome could be arrived at does not alter the existence of this breech.
=================================================================

I am in complete agreement – what happened stinks! I just happen to believe the focus of attention should be the SPL and SFA and their clear failings whether they be accidental or deliberate.

You will be happy that LNS agrees with you that the non-declaration of the side letters was a clear rule breach by Rangers and that’s why he fined them £250K.

View Comment

Jack JarvisPosted on2:53 pm - Jun 4, 2013


ecobhoy says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 14:04

“I make it clear that although Bryson was Head of Registration at the SFA the SPL QC as far as I can see didn’t seek to establish whether the virtually irrevocable registration was his personal position or an SFA one and there is a world of a difference there.”
—————————————————————————————————————————–
I’m reluctant to poke my highly unqualified nose into this discussion between two serious heavyweights, but does the following extracts from the decision not help to clarify this point?

From para 88: “Mr Bryson’s evidence about THE POSITION OF THE SFA (my capitals) in this regard was clear”.

Or is your point that the Commission’s members simply assumed that Bryson’s evidence was the position of the SFA rather than establishing that it actually was?

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on3:05 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Captain Haddock says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 22:29

‘LNS in your view did no wrong, but in my view it was complicit in a stitch up of an inquiry.
‘I don’t think many of us in LNS’s position would have been so unquestioning of partial information and strange pronouncements with no written evidence to back them up.
‘I think I would have had more self respect in seeking the truth and justice outwith the court environment. No wonder folk see conspiracy theories’.
===================================================================

I should point out that there are things I don’t agree with LNS on but my position is pointing to the SPL and SFA as prime ‘culprits’ because I believe they have serious questions to answer.

Sometimes it’s harder to ask questions and get answers and easier just to blame it on the ‘dark forces’. Don’t get me wrong there are Dark Forces operating out there. However my defence of LNS and his two tribunal members is more to hear from people like yourself who believe that the tribunal was complicit in a ‘stitch-up’.

However, I hope to be given solid reasons that actually are more concrete than just a ‘feeling’. Personally I think the LNS Decision gives a great framework to specifically identify: ‘Unquestioning of partial information and strange pronouncements with no written evidence to back them up’.

By looking at what people point to in the Decision as the basis for their ‘feelings’ then I think that would help determine if there is any firm foundation to doubt the bona fides of LNS and its decisions. For me any contribution that identifies serious flaws in the LNS reasoning or procedures would be very useful.

Everyone is entitled to their view and I can assure you mine is not fixed in stone but open to change if I am given an alternative argument or fresh information.

As to your absolutely correct claim that desired outcomes can legally be obtained by framing questions within a pre-determined strategy – It’s an old adage but still as true as the day first uttered: ‘A successful lawyer never asks a question to which he doesn’t know the answer’.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on3:08 pm - Jun 4, 2013


slimshady61 says:
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 22:18

As to tenacity I can but try and am well aware I can be very trying 🙂

Tbh, although I want to concentrate fire on the SPL and SFA, I truly have become fed-up with people who have obviously never even read the LNS Decision yet are happy to announce it is a carve-up.

It may well be but let’s analyse how it was achieved as this gives us a great opportunity to see the establishment at work and the detail of the Decision most certainly provides ammunition aplenty.

As to PM I can hardly wait to see if the one copy of their report has survived the shredder and only hope I live long enough to read it when it’s leaked 🙂

There have been many terrible MSM failures in recent years on the Rangers story, and others, but the failure to rip the PM report apart, as issued by Rangers, ranks pretty high on the list IMO.

I had forgotten about Senator Stennis btw – horses for courses 🙂

View Comment

torrejohnbhoyPosted on3:10 pm - Jun 4, 2013


sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolis says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 14:20

Here you go.

http://www.third-lanark.co.uk/index.html

View Comment

sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on3:37 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Allyjambo, Ecobhoy, Mullach and others,

I’m just writing to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your posts on the LNS Commission Decision.

It’s been fascinating and illuminating to read your considered and persuasive opinions based on the published text of the Decision and has added to the collective consciousness of our blog’s community.

I to consider that the LNS Commission has unfairly borne the brunt of criticism for the outcome of their tribunal. We must not forget that their powers were constrained by the SFA Judicial Panel Protocols, the charges laid by the SPL and how their legal representatives presented (or more accurately did not present) supporting evidence to achieve proportionate sanctions for the accused club’s failure to fully comply with the SFA/SPL Registration procedures.

To my mind the culpability for this unjust outcome rests squarely with the Boards and Officers of the SPL and SFA.

For the good of Scottish football and society we need a truly independent public enquiry into how this travesty of justice was allowed to happen and for anyone for whom there is evidence of complicity or corruption in engineering the outcome or any subsequent cover up to be held to account and sanctioned accordingly.

The Parliamentary Select Committee for Culture, Media & Sport carried out an in-depth investigation into the running of the English FA.

How best can we request that this body carry out a similar investigation into the SFA and their handling of this matter?

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on3:47 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Jack Jarvis says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 14:53

ecobhoy says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 14:04

“I make it clear that although Bryson was Head of Registration at the SFA the SPL QC as far as I can see didn’t seek to establish whether the virtually irrevocable registration was his personal position or an SFA one and there is a world of a difference there.”
—————————————————————————————————————————–
I’m reluctant to poke my highly unqualified nose into this discussion between two serious heavyweights, but does the following extracts from the decision not help to clarify this point?

From para 88: “Mr Bryson’s evidence about THE POSITION OF THE SFA (my capitals) in this regard was clear”.

Or is your point that the Commission’s members simply assumed that Bryson’s evidence was the position of the SFA rather than establishing that it actually was?
=====================================================================

I think this is an issue that is very important and requires an answer – I first raised it months ago but no one seemed to think it important or worth commenting on.

My position is quite simply:

A) I don’t know whether it’s Bryson’s personal opinion as an expert witness or a pre-agreed SFA ruling.
B) I don’t know what, if anything, the Commission assumed because we don’t have a full transcript of the oral evidence.
C) I believe that Bryson was entitled as SFA Head of Registration to state what his understanding of the SFA position was.
D) However that doesn’t necessarily mean his understanding was correct and it doesn’t establish that there was a previously agreed SFA position on the issue.
E) Let’s accept that it was a pre-agreed SFA position. Why was the SPL unaware of it irrespective of the existance or not of the LNS Tribunal.
F) If it was the SFA position alarm bells should have rung because the SPL were unable, under rule, to apply a retrospective termination of a player’s registration.
G) Whether it was Bryson’s interpretation or a pre-agreed SFA position why was it not discovered in the preparation of the SPL case to be put to LNS.
H) I personally believe that a strong counter-argument could have been put to either Bryson’s or the SFA position. Obviously this might have been rejected by LNS.
I) However any chance of an SPL sporting sanction being applied collapsed because of Bryson’s evidence apparently without a whimper of opposition.
J) If this was a pre-agreed SFA position why wasn’t the rule amended to make it clear what it meant or clubs advised. It can’t be overstated how important this interpretation is because it basically means that it is almost impossible, other than through a ‘fundamental defect’, to revoke a registration no matter how flawed it might be.
K) It would seem that deliberately withholding the full remuneration details of a player is not deemed sufficient to void a registration which seems farcical IMO.

View Comment

bad capt madmanPosted on4:07 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Ecobhoy says,

Sadly, Ecobhoy, I have no evidence to support my view that it was a stitch up, However, you yourself admit to lawyers never asking a question to which they don’t know the answer, – which somewhat suggests that the tribunal. (or was it an inquiry?) was not really an inquiry at all, but a procedure to solve the problem of having to do something about RFC/ TRFC, but actually not a lot.

In my defence, one argument i’d make is the notion of sporting advantage that LNS used.
Did LNS define this “sporting advantage”? At what level does it become an unfair advantage and with what factors, criteria, or intensity does an “advantage” become a “sporting” one rather than a financial one, and what are the differences / similarities between sporting and non sporting advantages in a sporting environment / activity / business/ legal context. What was LNS’s source of definition of sporting advantage? At what point does a sporting advantage become an unfair one rather than a legitimate one? Did LNS also define this sliding scale? How could a judgement and possible punishment be applied without it?

Did the SFA / SPL provide such definitions? If not, how did LNS come up with his? especially if as you say his role is not to look for answers but to only to look /listen to evidence presented? ie he could make that one up but not take the initiative to actively inquire where other evidence didn’t apparently make sense?

Linked to the non mis-registration issues, (which have never been applied to other clubs falling foul of the SFA and the indomitable Mr Bryson’s mastery of forensic examination of forms), non sporting advantage criteria must now be a required element for legal essays and SQA sport administration modules..

Have there been other issues argued or settled in law or sporting arbitration using the “sporting advantage” test?

A quick google brought no easily results found results, for me anyway.

I put it you, M’Lord, that the notion of sporting advantage or otherwise was one of the key solutions to be seeing to be doing something about RFC / TRFC without really doing anything at all, and further, it required the powers of establishment legalese by parties unknown to prepare the ground for LNS (which was never going to be appealed anyway).by the invention of this strategem.

View Comment

twopandaPosted on4:34 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Plenty on Un-News MSM PR swamping on the go – akin to the week and a half on the `10m warchest`- remember?

Well PR MSM may be missing a few `tales from the tabs` – but we`re not

– Scores on the doors are:-

• TU still down 20m + `damages` [and determined to get money back thing]
• CW stuff in the wings – and regularly dismissed as `delusional` [see potential defamation thing]
• Probably an EGM to be called [some idea of `transparency` desired by `some` ]
• CG still listed as director? [see EGM thing] [See new Board Candidate’s thing] [See IPO thing]
• Questions on IPO cash level and what exactly it’s been spent on [see EGM thing] [see CG thing]
• New Board Candidates keen as mustard [see EGM thing ] [see CG thing] [see BS] [see `rear` covering]
• `Esteemed` lawyers now keen to keep name out of it. [A sign of things to come?]
• CEO risk taking on – Exceptions to USA First Amendment on Free Speech – [oh dear! – oops thing]
• SFA given no indication of action after CW involvement – after Seven [7] weeks! [Compromised thing]
• No reporting / or comment / views on Criminal Investigation shortly to reach its first anniversary
• No real coverage on IPA [D+P `no comment`] or LNS [controlled agenda] or P-M [not anything]

If this had been properly controlled reported and regulated from the start – this mess would not exist.
But it goes on and on – and on – with no end in sight

Total failure of the Authorities evidenced. Total failure of PR evidenced. Total failure of MSM evidenced.

Last but not least – spivs making hay under the non-news PR led MSM lack of coverage
[It’s all to do you see with MSM encouraging sales of STS – that they’ll buy anyway out of loyalty]
.

No point the MSM Guys `reporting` after the cash has shut the stable door on the way out. Is it?

But `no questions asked` as they say

Nobody seems to be `learning` anything from this – Probably because they`re getting too much money [thing]

View Comment

sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on4:48 pm - Jun 4, 2013


torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958) says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 15:10

Here you go.

http://www.third-lanark.co.uk/index.html
__________________________________

Thanks for that link, which is not completely OT as even The Board of Trade never got to the bottom of the club’s sad demise. Some things never change, eh?

Growing up in Castlemilk from 1958 I was never aware of Third Lanark despite being totally “fitba daft” from when I was old enough to kick a ball (i.e. According to ma maw, from when I was in my pram).

I don’t recall them having any presence in the local schools or community despite the large influx of tenants to the scheme from 1958 onwards. Admittedly I was only 10 when they went out of business, was brought up at the opposite end of Castlemilk and never had to roam that far for “a gemme a’ fitba”!

I hope that with the passing of time you’ll forgive my ignorance of their demise – there was a lot of success for Glasgow clubs in 1967 :)) that led to me asking ma Da for a Clydebank FC strip that Xmas as he was working at John Brown’s on the QE2 that year and it looked “modern”. At least it was a red top! 🙂

I’m pleased to see that the current incarnation of The Third Lanark is way more professional that Third Lanark Juveniles that I played for and wish you good fortune in your aim of returning to New Cathkin Park.

View Comment

nowoldandgrumpyPosted on5:00 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Oh Dear

http://sport.stv.tv/football/clubs/rangers/228066-rangers-signings-cant-play-as-trialists-if-league-reconstruction-approved/

Rangers will be unable to field any of their pre-contract signings for up to six games of the new season if league reconstruction plans are voted through.

STV has obtained a copy of the proposed rules for the new Scottish Professional Football League – the proposed single league body for senior football in the country.

The regulations forbid the use of trialists in any league match across all four divisions or in League Cup matches.

Rangers have completed pre-contract agreements with Cammy Bell, Nicky Clark, Nicky Law, Arnold Peralta and Jon Daly.

They had hoped to field them as trialists under current SFL rules, prior to the club’s registration embargo being lifted on September 1. Under the existing regulations, Ally McCoist would be able to field two trialists per game, with each player eligible to feature in a maximum of three fixtures.

Should the vote pass however, the club will only be able to play their future signings in the Challenge Cup, reserve games or in non-competitive matches.

That means the players would have to sit out four league fixtures and at least one League Cup game, potentially two if Rangers advance to the second round.

Rule 88 of the proposed rulebook states: “Trialists are not under any circumstances eligible to play for a club in a league match or League Cup match.”

The rulebook says trialists are eligible to play in “official matches” but goes on to say: “For the purposes of this rule, official matches do not include league matches or League Cup matches.”

Scottish Football League clubs will have their final say on the creation of the new SPFL on June 12. 22 from 29 clubs must vote in favour of the plans.

With Scottish Premier League teams having already unanimously backed the proposal, a successful ballot will lead to the implementation of the SPFL rulebook in time for the 2013/14 season.

The new SPFL rules have no restriction on the number of players aged over 21 in squads. Current SFL regulations forbid more than 22 being registered by a club at any given time.

View Comment

Forres Dee (@ForresDee)Posted on5:03 pm - Jun 4, 2013


League reconstruction suddenly looks interesting, good to see someone is watching what rfc* are trying and what dundee did do!

http://bit.ly/18R4j6E

View Comment

beatipacificiscotiaPosted on5:09 pm - Jun 4, 2013


nowoldandgrumpy says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 17:00

Love it, made me laugh!

View Comment

sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on5:16 pm - Jun 4, 2013


nowoldandgrumpy says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 17:00

It looks like the proposed SPFL Rules are based on the current SPL Rules & Regulations.

http://www.scotprem.com/content/mediaassets/doc/RULES%20EFFECTIVE%203%20DECEMBER%202012.pdf

I wonder if the SPFL Rules on registration and eligibility will be the same as those of the SPL or altered to take account of the bizarre interpretation of Sandy Bryson as told to the LNS Commission?

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on5:18 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Captain Haddock says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 16:07
===============================================

It was a Commission, with a Tribunal format, set up under SPL rules to inquire into a number of specified issues.

Sporting/Competitive Advantage is not too difficult a concept to grasp and is well known and recognised in most sports and in most countries. It consists of anything that gives a team or individual competitor either an actual or perceived advantage over opponents. It’s not an airy fairy concept that was dreamt-up in the ivory towers inhabited by our Law Lords.

Here in Scotland we have Celtic with a Sporting/Competitive Advantage over the rest of the SPL as it can afford to buy and pay for a higher standard of player than any other team in the League. Leaving aside Uefa Fair Play Regs for the moment – the Sporting/Competitive Advantage that Celtic currently enjoys isn’t deemed to be ‘unfair’ because it isn’t illegal and doesn’t breach SFA or SPL Rules. Tough on the other clubs but hey that’s life.

It might surprise you to know that the LNS Decision only uses the term ‘Sporting Advantage’ twice at [104] and [106] and I don’t think you would take exception to either useage.

He uses the term ‘Competitive Advantage’ more frequently and it would be interesting to me if you had a read of the LNS Decision and searched for the terms and if you disagree with the LNS useage to advise me why that’s the case and the para the term appears in. I would then perhaps be able to understand the basis of your objection.

I keep seeing this term ‘non mis-registration’ but I can’t find it in the LNS Decision so am unsure that it applies to the current debate. ‘Sporting and competitive advantage’ I understand but ‘non mis-registration’ outwith its context is more difficult I’m afraid. I also can find no trace of LNS using the term ‘non sporting advantage’ and again it would be helpful if you could identify the para it is contained in.

I have dealt with when a Sporting/Competitive Advantage ceases to be acceptable but as to LNS applying a sliding scale I should point out that the SPL rules give available Sanction Headings but not sliding scales of penalties which would be a nightmare. I think the aim should be to simplify and harmonise the rule books rather than create more worm-holes to be abused by cheaters and rule twisters.

If LNS had actually applied a particular sporting sanction then I feel sure, to mitigate the possibility of a successful appeal, against the penalty imposed that he would have stated his reasoning for the actual sanction and penalty chosen. However, as no Rangers player was found to be ineligible he never reached that stage.

I am surprised you have found no mention of the ‘sporting advantage test’ as you describe it as I would have thought that it crops up everywhere and in most sports. Is drug taking not an attempt to achieve an illegal ‘sporting advantage’. What about the ever-increasing use of new technologies and materials in a wide range of sports which is all done to create a ‘sporting advantage’ sometimes measures in milliseconds which is often the subject of bitter argument and I immediately think of motor racing and cycling. I could go on and on but I think you’ll get my drift.

I think a lot of people got very carried away in terms of believing that the FTTT would be a killer blow to Rangers and I include the SPL among them because if it had determined that the use of EBTs was illegal then I have no doubt that Rangers would have been stripped of titles and we would not be indulging in navel gazing as to whether LNS properly defined ‘Sporting’ or ‘Non Sporting Advantage’ or indeed whether ‘non mis-registration’ took place.

I have to admit that I was initially surprised at the FTTT but the more I studied the Decision and Minority Opinion I think I have come to understand the reasoning which I believe to be faulty and would expect to be overturned.

Btw – everyone can relax as I will not be discussing the EBT issue until the HMRC appeal is decided on 🙂

View Comment

sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on5:23 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Sorry!

I should have added that the current SPL Rule is at D5.14. I’ve reproduced it below for ease of reference.

Trialists are not under any circumstances eligible to Play for a Club in a League Match. For the purposes of this Rule Official Matches do not include League Matches. No more than two Trialists may Play for a Club in any one Official Match. A Trialist shall, subject to compliance with the Rules, be permitted to Play in a maximum of three Official Matches in any one Season for any one Club. A Club intending to Play a Trialist in an Official Match must give advance written notification to the Secretary of such intention and such notification must specify details of the relevant Player’s name and address, place and date of birth, previous club for which he last played (if any), previous club to which he was last registered (if any) and the country in which he last played.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on5:24 pm - Jun 4, 2013


sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolis says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 17:16

I wonder if the SPFL Rules on registration and eligibility will be the same as those of the SPL or altered to take account of the bizarre interpretation of Sandy Bryson as told to the LNS Commission?
===========================================================

Good point it will be interesting to see.

View Comment

sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on5:31 pm - Jun 4, 2013


ecobhoy says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 17:18

I have to admit that I was initially surprised at the FTTT but the more I studied the Decision and Minority Opinion I think I have come to understand the reasoning which I believe to be faulty and would expect to be overturned.

Btw – everyone can relax as I will not be discussing the EBT issue until the HMRC appeal is decided on 🙂
______________

Ecobhoy,

I agree with you on the above points on the FTTT Decision and Minority Opinion and look forward to that debate following the outcome of the HMRC Appeal to the UTTT.

But I too can wait for that, albeit rather impatiently 🙂

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on5:38 pm - Jun 4, 2013


sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolis says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Allyjambo, Ecobhoy, Mullach and others

For the good of Scottish football and society we need a truly independent public enquiry into how this travesty of justice was allowed to happen and for anyone for whom there is evidence of complicity or corruption in engineering the outcome or any subsequent cover up to be held to account and sanctioned accordingly.

The Parliamentary Select Committee for Culture, Media & Sport carried out an in-depth investigation into the running of the English FA.

How best can we request that this body carry out a similar investigation into the SFA and their handling of this matter?
========================================================

I’m sure that Sport is a Devolved Matter so it would be referred to The Scottish Government – tbh I wouldn’t see a great deal of enthusiasm to do anything.

View Comment

Carfins Finest. (@edunne58)Posted on6:07 pm - Jun 4, 2013


No restriction on players over the age of 21 if reconstruction goes ahead. Did someone down Ibrox way get the heads up on this before anyone else. Their recent actions in the transfer market would seem to suggest this to be the case.

View Comment

sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on6:13 pm - Jun 4, 2013


ecobhoy says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 17:38

I’m sure that Sport is a Devolved Matter so it would be referred to The Scottish Government – tbh I wouldn’t see a great deal of enthusiasm to do anything.
_____________________________________________

If the links to Scottish Football Authorities and Supporters Direct Scotland on
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/ArtsCultureSport/Sport/football don’t even work then, as I’ve come to expect, you are again correct.

Do you have any ideas as to who could organise to investigate this perceived injustice and how we could achieve our aims of improving the governance of Scottish football.

For example, are any of us involved with Supporters Direct Scotland or be would any of us be prepared to do so?

View Comment

sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on6:14 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Carfins Finest. (@edunne58) says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 18:07

I doubt it.

See my earlier posts at 17:16 and 17:23 for details. 🙂

View Comment

sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolisPosted on6:16 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Correction!

how we could organise!

View Comment

CastofThousandsPosted on6:31 pm - Jun 4, 2013


sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolis says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 15:37

“I’m just writing to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your posts on the LNS Commission Decision”.
———-

The credit all goes to ecobhoy. He has fielded all sorts of poorly informed questions from myself with patience and in the process helped me appreciate better the outcome, bit by bit. It has encouraged me to consider venturing into the document myself. I still have misgivings but know that if I wish to try to resolve them, I need to read the text and post a considered enquiry.

I think ecobhoy will have learned a great deal from fielding these questions and will be in a good position to contribute should future governance decisions appear to contradict this current one. As he implies, all sorts of precedents have been set. If it was a ‘stitch up’ then the same reasoning will need to be applied in future decisions and as someone said earlier we may witness a collision of standpoints. For me the discussion has become too detailed. I am not sufficiently well infomed to support it further. When I am, I know who to ask.

View Comment

angus1983Posted on6:38 pm - Jun 4, 2013


sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolis says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 18:13

Do you have any ideas as to who could organise to investigate this perceived injustice
——

Guess what? It’s not going to happen.

Aside from us over here and a few other miffed persons, the football world has moved on. Mr Green caught the last call for boarding, and sailed with the ship. The Rangers are now Rangers, and they have Rangers’ history and (for better or worse) reputation in their hipper.

Things may still go wrong for them, but I can’t see it. They weathered the storm and are just about in open water now, albeit still under pilotage.

Sad, but undeniably true.

View Comment

bad capt madmanPosted on6:42 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Ecobhoy,

As i’ve said previously, i bow to your detailed examination of the LNS decision and the logic behind it.

However my point remains that jiggerypokery abounded in the prior framing of the arguments, with or without the assistance of legal minds unknown, and a reasonable argument can be made that the tribunal outcome was therefore a predetermined one (along the lines of my mad rants and those of other posters here).

LNS played his role as required. Was he duped? Set up to fail? Could a collection of chancers in the SFA have the ability to do that?

View Comment

Danish PastryPosted on6:45 pm - Jun 4, 2013


sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolis says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 15:37
15 4 Rate This

Allyjambo, Ecobhoy, Mullach and others,

I’m just writing to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your posts on the LNS Commission Decision …

To my mind the culpability for this unjust outcome rests squarely with the Boards and Officers of the SPL and SFA.

For the good of Scottish football and society we need a truly independent public enquiry into how this travesty of justice was allowed to happen …
——–

So true, there are rules, impliment them! Resorting to judges and the courts is absurd, and cowardly.

Not sure a public enquiry would serve any purpose though. What will get the suits in a tizzy is a fans protest or boycott. Someone posted a link to a financial analysis site the other day where Newco Rangers were extolled as an investment for the future because the ONLY proper money coming into football is from fans, and Rangers have lots of them. But no one team, no matter how powerful, can exist in a vacuum. Other clubs and their fans are needed to keep the circus running. If a fans’ united front against SFA corruption protested by avoiding matches, the club chairmen would quickly get their employees at the SFA, SPL, and SFL to either act, or resign. People power is all that has worked so far. I’m of the opinion that it’s the only thing that ever will.

Otherwise, fone ra polis 😀

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on6:50 pm - Jun 4, 2013


mullach says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 18:31

sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolis says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 15:37

“I’m just writing to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your posts on the LNS Commission Decision”.
———-

The credit all goes to ecobhoy. He has fielded all sorts of poorly informed questions from myself with patience and in the process helped me appreciate better the outcome, bit by bit. It has encouraged me to consider venturing into the document myself. I still have misgivings but know that if I wish to try to resolve them, I need to read the text and post a considered enquiry.

I think ecobhoy will have learned a great deal from fielding these questions and will be in a good position to contribute should future governance decisions appear to contradict this current one. As he implies, all sorts of precedents have been set. If it was a ‘stitch up’ then the same reasoning will need to be applied in future decisions and as someone said earlier we may witness a collision of standpoints. For me the discussion has become too detailed. I am not sufficiently well infomed to support it further. When I am, I know who to ask.
=============================================================

Just to confirm that I have learnt a lot from the questions and other viewpoints that have been raised. It’s actually helped me to start to see where some of the misconceptions about the documents actually are. I think I possibly had a head start because I had a pretty comprehensive understanding of the FTTT case to start with.

But you are right I try to see the positives even in what might appear to be a totally negative situation and wrt the precedents set then there could be some hostages to fortune there that the SFA or SPL might come to regret.

View Comment

ecobhoyPosted on7:02 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Captain Haddock says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 18:42

Ecobhoy,

As i’ve said previously, i bow to your detailed examination of the LNS decision and the logic behind it.

However my point remains that jiggerypokery abounded in the prior framing of the arguments, with or without the assistance of legal minds unknown, and a reasonable argument can be made that the tribunal outcome was therefore a predetermined one (along the lines of my mad rants and those of other posters here).

LNS played his role as required. Was he duped? Set up to fail? Could a collection of chancers in the SFA have the ability to do that?
=======================================================================

Yea but always remember my logic could be totally flawed and that’s why it’s good to listen to other points of view. I think I mentioned earlier that I think the SPL and SFA thought that the FTTT would do their work for them. But when that didn’t rule the EBTs to be illegal renra baw wis oanra slates or the Big Hedge as it turned out 🙂

I have the feeling that perhaps things were coasting until then and there probably was a belief that Rangers newco wouldn’t be represented – possibly the SFA and SPL were the only ones in Scotland to believe the nonsense he spouted.

But these two late developments probably caused panic and who knows what went on – one thing leaving it to HMRC to prove illegality and therefore ‘title stripping’ but another thing for the SPL and SFA to prove it and rule that titles should be stripped.

There might actually be no BIG conspiracy but just a severe bottle case – and we might never know the Truth but we have to keep pushing.

View Comment

Bill1903Posted on7:16 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Angus1983 says

Guess what? It’s not going to happen.

Aside from us over here and a few other miffed persons, the football world has moved on. Mr Green caught the last call for boarding, and sailed with the ship. The Rangers are now Rangers, and they have Rangers’ history and (for better or worse) reputation in their hipper.

Things may still go wrong for them, but I can’t see it. They weathered the storm and are just about in open water now, albeit still under pilotage.

Sad, but undeniably true.
————————————————————————–

Very sad but true indeed 🙁

Some people will keep trying for justice though and good luck to them.

View Comment

jerfeelgoodPosted on7:28 pm - Jun 4, 2013


time to maybe get the ball rolling on simple organisational ideas to protest SFA and SPL inaction.

Step 1. Contact all of the fans representative organisations. Enquire whether they would be interested in supporting a movement to protest rule bending. Have them rally their own troops. Have them nominate a person to help develop a memorandum of protest.

Step 2. How to protest. Have all protesting fans go to the opening match of the season wearing a plain white t-shirt to show their displeasure and their support for the protest. Draw up a memorandum of protest under consultation with fans groups deliverable to the SFA. Virally distribute the protest online via social media. 8 weeks to organise a protest which would literally cost nothing (except some volunteers time). Everybody owns a white T-shirt. Develop a symbology surrounding the concept of the white t-shirt as a protest device as it would be very very visible on t.v./match of the day. This in my opinion would be ten times more effective than a march or rally, as everybody would be marching on every stadium. Every single media outlet which covers scottish sport would have to acknowledge it as it would be in every video and photo from every match.

Step 3. Escalate. If the protest was well supported but ignored by teams/governing bodies, organise a sit-out where all protestors wait outside the stadium for the first ten minutes of the match in their protest white t’s

Ideas?
over to ye?

View Comment

jerfeelgoodPosted on7:35 pm - Jun 4, 2013


jerfeelgood says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 19:28

re the momorandum of protest: an updated version of auldheids proposal?

View Comment

liveinhopPosted on7:54 pm - Jun 4, 2013


When should we get the verdict from the tax case roughly

View Comment

nowoldandgrumpyPosted on8:11 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Charlotte Fakeovers ‏@CharlotteFakes 2m
@stevendoyle75 Major updates coming soon, including new audio. I will have to put contingency measures in place beforehand.

View Comment

phill450Posted on8:39 pm - Jun 4, 2013


@nowoldandgrumpy

I’ll admit I was a bit concerned when I saw that BB had one of Charlotte’s docs removed –

I hope Charlotte has covered her/his trail with proxies – I certainly wouldn’t be comfortable with a large establishment law firm out to get me

View Comment

nostarsandbarredPosted on8:56 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Phill4500 – take the Law out of that and I’d then be much more worried 🙂 Good indication though that there are “people” taking Charlotte seriously enough to go for the gagging orders !

View Comment

ekbhoyPosted on8:58 pm - Jun 4, 2013


The problem with the LNS enquiry is that all the parties involved had no inclination to follow their own rules. Rangers had flagged well in advance their opposition to title stripping, so why would the SFA move heaven and earth to put a forceable case against their own sporting division. It’s laughable defending LNS the person, he just formalised the charade, one questioning type of question to Mr Bryson and the subsequent answer would have either reversed the case due to an outbreak of commonsense and / or Mr Bryson being classed as a hostile witness. The entire fiasco was entirely predictable , the clue was the length of time everyone was given to get their story straight, sorry prepare their case.

The judge was clearly complicit as he owned the proceedings, I guess no laws are perfect but this is akin to the thief who when caught red handed uses some 12th Century unrepealed law written in Latin to get off Scot free , and then claim damages for slipping on the householders kitchen floor.

Fergus McCann and Annan Athletic and Spartans got it the neck from the SFA big time, there was a willingness then to put the boot in, so most folk can see where the SFA are coming from.

For the ordinary Joe Public , faith in due process and the use of Lords (personally this word sticks in my throat) to manage the legal process has to be sorely tested, imagine having to go to court and face these over-paid chancers, it’s who you are , not what you know mentality alive and well in the dark corners of Scotland.

Still time tic ing away on cash reserves , nothing the SFA brogue brigade can do about that one … Rangers have lost another £200 in the time to write this and £10 by the time you have finished reading , if indeed you reached the end!

View Comment

ptd1978Posted on9:07 pm - Jun 4, 2013


To put the LNS verdict in perspective.

Imagine it’s about drugs and not player registration.

Rangers are would have been found guilty of almost a decade of systematic drugs offenses, but not in any specific matches, just of the actual act artificially improving their players. Moreover, as the SFA drug tests were all negative, this validates all the matches that were played were nothing was found (as I understand it, this is effectively the unchallenged position that Bryson sold).

I wont speculate on the reasons around why the verdict of “no sporting advantage”, but can you imagine a footballer or athlete arguing that he had gained “no sporting advantage” after being caught doping?

Let justice be done though the heavens fall

That’s half right. The heavens have fallen – Armageddon. Are we seeing justice done? Nothing like it. In fact it’s obviously the exact opposite.

The reasons for the decision will not be debated in the MSM. We have some pretty sharp legal minds here. What crazy activities could a football team use this decision to get away with without punishment, or at least with minimal punishment? The more nuts the better to show just how perverse the outcome of this process was.

View Comment

pau1mart1nPosted on9:11 pm - Jun 4, 2013


“What crazy activities could a football team use this decision to get away with without punishment, or at least with minimal punishment?”

absolutely none whatsoever.

View Comment

Richard Wilson (@timomouse)Posted on9:19 pm - Jun 4, 2013


http://www.thefootballlife.co.uk/post/52156045212/kindling

As many on here will know (particularly those who regularly follow my stuff), I’m often prone to writing excessively long things. I’ve turned one of these excessively long things into an entire e-book available now on Kindle of which information is in the link above, including a link to getting it on Amazon. It’s free to read if you have Amazon Prime (as they “lend” books to readers of you’re on it) and, even if you’re a purchaser, is only £2.05. I’m not arrogant enough to expect you to buy it but I certainly hope it will be of interest and hope it inspires more “bampots” to become more than the title implies in the minds of others. Any feedback on the e-book would be grateful as I’m going to begin another long project shortly and all I would ask is that anyone intrigued by it shares it with like minded people to help get the ball rolling.

*shameless promotion over*

I’ve become extremely wary of Charlotte. The more thought I give to it, the more the leaks seem driven towards the interests of a higher power. Who exactly that higher power is, is unclear, as the recordings make everyone look bad to an extent, but working on the assumption that Charlotte isn’t doing it for the benefit of corporate transparency would, I believe, be the best way to proceed.

View Comment

chipm0nkPosted on9:21 pm - Jun 4, 2013


bill1903 says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 19:16

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

Angus1983 says

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

Wrong and wrong, but keep trying to convince people.

A demonstrably corrupt organisation trying to convince people that a liquidated company still exists and is still trading changes nothing.

Rangers are dead, a new club has replaced them.

We laugh at corrupt media and corrupt institutions lying to people elsewhere in the World, and the people simply accepting it.

There is no difference here. Continual lies, re-writing history, ignoring or changing the rules makes no difference to the reality of the situation. They are dead, and the original objective has been achieved.

A Rangers is playing at Ibrox, just as Craig Whyte said it would be. Not Rangers, A Rangers.

Walter Smith accepted it, Charles Green accepted it, Jim Traynor accepted it, i accept it.

View Comment

chipm0nkPosted on9:28 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Richard Wilson (@timomouse) says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 21:19

CF in my opinion has been working toward an agenda all along.

Any “good” which might come out of it always has been and always will be collateral.

I have no issue with that if I’m right. So long as people don’t see the person / people / organisation as some sort of seeker after truth and justice.

This is merely my opinion, no special knowledge or inside information.

View Comment

upthehoopsPosted on9:40 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Richard Wilson (@timomouse) says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 21:19

I’ve become extremely wary of Charlotte. The more thought I give to it, the more the leaks seem driven towards the interests of a higher power. Who exactly that higher power is, is unclear, as the recordings make everyone look bad to an extent, but working on the assumption that Charlotte isn’t doing it for the benefit of corporate transparency would, I believe, be the best way to proceed.
=============================================================

I can’t fathom Charlotte’s end game at all. We can read and listen with some interest in her offerings but that’s as far as it goes. The MSM have made it clear they will be paying scant attention to anything she says and instead are involved in a full on PR offensive for Walter, Ally, and the club from Ibrox. Even if it makes everyone look bad as you say, how bad they really look is how bad the MSM are willing to portray them.

As I said, I can’t fathom Charlotte’s end game at all.

View Comment

wottpiPosted on9:40 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Re the Bryson evidence, the question that needed to be asked was where in the SFA rule book is the section on what merits revocation of a registration, what is the process that gets undertaken to revoke a registration and what appeals system etc are their to allow a player to challenge the ruling.

Like the SPL rules I don’t think there is anything to cover this. Therefore if there is no such rule or process then every player that gets registered can never ever have that registration revoked.

On that basis I would say that Mr Bryson and the SFA has not covered all the bases and therefore is useless as an expert witness as I would trust him going to the shop for a loaf of bread.

Legally LNS appears to have said it is right because the rules are wrong but in common sense terms it is just plain madness.

Given pedantry for matters such as having two dated copies of forms you would have thought they may had come up with something on how to deal with someone they may want to withdraw or suspend their registration.

Frankly for such a simple game the rule books and articles of association etc seem to be very long winded.

View Comment

newtzPosted on9:48 pm - Jun 4, 2013


@ecobhoy … @mullach and other contributers ….
Thanks greatly for simply quality discussion on LNS enquiry …..

ecobhoy says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 15:47

The best summary I have seen yet … and fully endorse

Your final point (k) is the consequence that frustrates me ….

I remember reading the report moments after it was released, and when I got to the Bryson evidence ….. I was utterly shocked ….

Thanks to all again …

View Comment

angus1983Posted on10:03 pm - Jun 4, 2013


chipm0nk says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 21:21

Rangers are dead, a new club has replaced them.
——

The last part of your sentence, Mr M0nk, is exactly my point.

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on10:03 pm - Jun 4, 2013


ecobhoy says:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 17:38

sanoffymessssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolis says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Allyjambo, Ecobhoy, Mullach and others

For the good of Scottish football and society we need a truly independent public enquiry into how this travesty of justice was allowed to happen and for anyone for whom there is evidence of complicity or corruption in engineering the outcome or any subsequent cover up to be held to account and sanctioned accordingly.

The Parliamentary Select Committee for Culture, Media & Sport carried out an in-depth investigation into the running of the English FA.

How best can we request that this body carry out a similar investigation into the SFA and their handling of this matter?
========================================================

I’m sure that Sport is a Devolved Matter so it would be referred to The Scottish Government – tbh I wouldn’t see a great deal of enthusiasm to do anything.
+++++++++++++++++++

I’ve already tried this approach and will see if I can dig out the attempt. No one interested as I recall.

View Comment

angus1983Posted on10:14 pm - Jun 4, 2013


At the risk of mighty TD smiting, it just struck me that the Kubler-Ross model applies to this whole situation. It’s just that I’ve apparently just about reached the acceptance stage.

I’ve realised that, despite the best efforts of many people, and despite the very worst efforts of others, the Establishment Club will always prevail in whatever form.

I see the other stages of K-R in action on this blog. Many are still in denial. Many have only moved to anger. There’s a lot of bargaining behaviour going on just now.

Sorry folks, but there it is. I do still hope for a now unexpected nuclear event, though. 🙂

View Comment

macfurglyPosted on10:18 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Regarding the SFA view that a player who has been improperly registered is not deemed ineligible to have played in the match concerned if that improper registration is not discovered until after the event, would it not be helpful if a Club Secretary, at any level of the game, could write to the SFA and ask for clarification? Clubs surely need to know where they stand in case they believe an opposing team has played such a player? This need not be controversial or provocative:it is surely inconceivable that the SFA would have left a horse choking hostage to fortune and that a perfectly logical and reasonable explanation can be expressed.

View Comment

john clarkePosted on10:27 pm - Jun 4, 2013


wottpi says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 21:40
‘……Frankly for such a simple game the rule books and articles of association etc seem to be very long winded.’

For such a simple game,wottpi, one has to have a long memory when discussing the deeply entrenched,ingrained, institutionalised attitudes and actions of the ‘rulers’ and ‘administrators’ of Scottish Football, and of the MSM.

When I was a boy, the attitude of these rulers was one of malignity and malice, held in check only by their unprincipled venality. Their then ‘point of principle’ (over the matter of a flag) withered in the face of the truly principled stand of one club, which refused to be bullied.

The present attitude of the ‘rulers and administrators’ of Scottish Football may not, perhaps, be one of malignity and malice against that same club ( although ..!.), but it is certainly reflective of a grovelling readiness to countenance all manner of irregularity and ‘5-way agreements’ in favour of the ‘ra peepul’s club’.

The true enemies ( God, I sound like Mather!) of sporting integrity are not, in fact, this or that individual club chairman, or Board, or manager, or diving player, or bribable ex-manager who comes to the aid of his old club by buying players for his new club at hugely inflated prices, or any of the that kind of low level scumbag. Bad and all as they may be.

No, the real enemies are the administrators/ rule makers who themselves make every effort to bend the rules consistently, or to re-write the rules hurriedly, in favour of one club ( ‘too big to be allowed to fail, perhaps?) and create what may be insoluble difficulties for the whole game:

and an utterly, utterly compliant Press which, Nelson-like, sees nothing, asks no questions, and wouldn’t know a principle if it hit them in chookies like a george albertz rocket.

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on10:35 pm - Jun 4, 2013


ecobhoy says:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 15:47

There is one more important question to be asked re the Bryson interpretation.

Does it reflect FIFA/UEFA ‘s position with regard to player registration and where is that demonstrated in FIFA/UEFA rules?

If it does not are FIFA/UEFA not bound to challenge

or

if FIFA/UEFA are content for national associations to interpret rules that undermine the sporting fair play cocept in UEFA/FIFA rules, are there any authorative football laws that apply absolutely that cannot be freely interpreted by national associations as suits their case that are in fact football rules and not not simply another version of The Pirates code that be guidelines rather than rules.

The footballing world really needs to know if the Bryson rule rules.

I’m fed up writing to UEFA but if they continue to play pass the parcel they should not be surprised if they are left holding it when the music stops.

PS fully endorse your points this afternoon re getting our case right before making charges re the motives of the SFA etc in order to justify a clear out.

View Comment

CastofThousandsPosted on10:36 pm - Jun 4, 2013


phill4500 says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 20:39

“I hope Charlotte has covered her/his trail with proxies – I certainly wouldn’t be comfortable with a large establishment law firm out to get me”.
———–

Hello phil. If what Charlotte states is true and Biggart Baillie have had a document removed, then it is only from the Scrib’d site. The twitter account is still live. Charlotte has stated that Craig Whyte has attempted to prevent her release of documents. He obviously has not been successful. That Biggart Baillie has apparently been successful suggests to me there is a difference in jurisdiction. Perhaps BB have been able to approach Scrib’d in the UK whereas it might be that twitter is a more ubiquitious and global media that is far more difficult to bring legal pressure to bear upon.

View Comment

chipm0nkPosted on10:37 pm - Jun 4, 2013


angus1983 says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 22:14

At the risk of mighty TD smiting, it just struck me that the Kubler-Ross model applies to this whole situation. It’s just that I’ve apparently just about reached the acceptance stage.

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

It’s your grief, deal with it however you can.

If you have managed to accept Rangers death then good on you.

I accepted it long ago, with absolutely no hint of grief and anything but denial.

View Comment

Reilly1926Posted on10:43 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Auldheid:

Hypothetical question. Had RFC(IL) not went into administration in 2012 but failed to submit audited accounts do you think the SFA would have attempted to let them play in Europe last season ?

View Comment

iceman63Posted on10:44 pm - Jun 4, 2013


All that can usefully be done is to document all of the cheating, the twisting of rules, the abandonment of the rules of the game and the unashamed and blatant perversion of all sense of fairness, or justice, or transparency for the time being.

This will stand in the record and at some point, long after it will have any practical influence on RFC * then the guilty parties will be traduced and publicly exposed ( this is how it works in Britain, cf Birmingham 6, Bloody Sunday, Hillsborough – we are still awaiting Lockerbie but it will come out over next five to ten years – once LNS retires I suspect. )

I would say ten or twelve years hence Ogilvie, Sounness, Murray, Smith et al will all be publicly disgraced at some point when these individual are dispensible and the club no longer requires such collusion and deception to survive, .

Once “Rangers” have been reestablished then the truth will be admitted.

In truth no authority will find meaningfully against Rangers regardless of evidence or of guilt being proven.

The only hope for justice rests on the intrinsic basket case of their business model and the complete failure of anyone involved to run the club as a self sustaining viable entity – the lack of credit lines and cash, more than any official action is the only possible hope of justice. We can only speculate on their financial state given the complete lack of any reliable figures on their financial state at present.

Our job is to expose the truth and uncover as much of it as possible and let it enter the public domain. The reputations of all involved , and indeed entire organisations within Scotland now lie in tatters – The entire legal and accountancy professions are seen as being complicit in fraud and corruption, as is the SFA, the failure of the prosecutors to act on their own investigations year on year, and the failure of professional bodies, the ASA and the Insolvency practitioners association ( they reveal what I have always thought that insolvency practice is vulture work and legalised theft of any assets that may be forthcoming to creditors – usually they simply take all the remaining money in fees – a disgusting racket IMHO)

We have come a long way.

In footballing terms the Rangers are an irrelevance and the protection that they have been given has left exposed what once was carefully hidden. The SFA?Rangers axis is weakened by its actions – and will never regain its former strength.

We ave all learned just how corrupt and dishonest and unsustainable Murray’s reign was.

Rangers will now always be a tarnished brand and it will be a very long time, if ever, that they come to be a major player in Scottish football.

The entire landscape of Scottish football has changed in a way that would have seemec unimaginable even two years ago.

View Comment

pau1mart1nPosted on10:53 pm - Jun 4, 2013


I thought it was a rhetorical question when you knew the answer ?

View Comment

valentinesclownPosted on10:57 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Mr Bryson’s evidence was shameful. We all as fans know injustice when we see or read it. It is absolutely embarrassing the length our msm and sfa will stoop to never state Rangers are no more and a new Rangers now play in govan and have one their first trophy. Shame has reached a new level within Ibrox with Mather rabble rousing and Ally watp with 141 years of history st speech. The biggest shame of that is they know the target audience and their mentality. Scotlands not so hidden shame. We are part of a really embarrassing Scottish society that may kill our game. All SPL clubs cannot hide any more IMO I cannot see what it will take to stop this rot.

View Comment

Reilly1926Posted on11:03 pm - Jun 4, 2013


pau1mart1n says:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 22:53

I thought it was a rhetorical question when you knew the answer ?

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

I honestly don’t know the answer. Is there a set in stone rule that states “No accounts – No Europe ” ? (That even the SFA couldn’t get around)

I was speaking to a Sevconian last week and he insisted that it was the non production of accounts last year that got them ousted from Europe and not the fact that they are a new Club.

View Comment

newtzPosted on11:09 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Mather ……

“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.”

Bampots ……

“We are Spartacus” ……

View Comment

ekbhoyPosted on11:10 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Upthehoops

Re Charlotte , it can only be Craigy with or without Green and Ahmed laying ‘bear’ the shambles inside Ibrox. As the Dignityometer plummets earthwards, all of this is to prove to the Brown Brogue stewards of the Ibrox boardroom that Cragies no win , no fee lawyers have a case to answer. How much more embarrassment can the Rangers institution take before they settle with Craigy. , even if they do settle we will never know.

I would wager that Craigy, Green and Ahmed are still in this together and unlike normal people reading this blog earning an honest crust, their focus is on plot and scheme and this is what is going on here ; a carefully rehearsed plot being late ‘bear’ , kerching !!

I would personally just enjoy the recordings and all other football fans in Scotland should at least pray to their own god ( copyright Dave Allen) that their own Board of Directors hearts are most of the time in the right place, making a terrific contribution to the social fabric of the country.

I am still bewildered about the inaction of the Rangers fans to this carnage, interesting case study on a number of levels.

Charlotte will stop when paid.

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on11:13 pm - Jun 4, 2013


john clarke says:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 22:27 and angus 1883

Fear not they are doomed. The bible says its so.

One thing I have observed about the Rangers supporter mindset in general is their tendency nay need to interpret the law to suit their purpose maj right what others judge as wrong see LNS debate as an example of this mindset at play amongst them.

This behaviour ( and it applies across their full support spectrum in the msm and SFA) to always be “right” and justify wrongdoing by making a wrong right by scrupulous application of rules has bugged me for a while as it reminded me of similar behaviour in history.

Then today I got it – Matheww 23 : where Jesus accuses the Pharisees of just that and 23-24 in particular applies.

to paraphrase : They taught the law but did not practice the most important parts of the law – justice mercy faithfullness to God. They obeyed the minutiae of the law but not the real meat of the law.

And there you have it. A club of Pharisees. No wonder good guys despair but scripture is being fulfilled in that this section of it is described as the Woes of The Pharisees.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woes_of_the_Pharisees

It makes for enlightening reading if you put everything that has happened to them and their cohorts in the biblical context of Pharisees at work.

Everything is unfolding as it should. Patience, there is more going on than meets the eye.

View Comment

coineanachantaighePosted on11:16 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Andrew Woods says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 23:03

I was speaking to a Sevconian last week and he insisted that it was the non production of accounts last year that got them ousted from Europe and not the fact that they are a new Club.
—————————————————————-

Ha-ha. Well of course, but it’s because they are a new club they won’t have the next few years of accounts to get into Europe (even if they win the Scottish Cup) till, what is it, 2016?

View Comment

coineanachantaighePosted on11:20 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Ooops, too tired when posted, should have read, won’t get into Europe until required sets of accounts over next few years submitted.

View Comment

attaboyjonPosted on11:28 pm - Jun 4, 2013


valentinesclown says:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 22:57

I cannot see what it will take to stop this rot.

After 60 odd years, I don’t buy a newspaper, don’t contribute to Sky, ESPN and no longer attend professional football games. Money talks louder than anything!

View Comment

Reilly1926Posted on11:30 pm - Jun 4, 2013


monsieurbunny says:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 23:16

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

I think where he was going with it was that had Whytey produced audited accounts prior to admin/liquido then they would have been allowed to participate in Europe even from the 4th tier as they are still the same club.

Mental I know but that was his thought process.

View Comment

newtzPosted on11:33 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Auldheid (@Auldheid) says:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 22:35
——————————————

At the time (on P.McC) I raised the point of violation of UEFA/FIFA statutes …..

To compond this there was the Football’s lawmakers, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) conference held at the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh just days later …..

#WasteOfTime

View Comment

slimshady61Posted on11:34 pm - Jun 4, 2013


monsieurbunny says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 23:16
0 0 Rate This
Andrew Woods says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 23:03
——————————————-
Actually the Sevconian was right. It was the non-production of accounts that got them barred from Europe for 2012/13.

But it will be the inability of newco to produce 3 years’ of audited accounts until after 31 March 2015 that will see that entity barred from Europe until 2016/17 at earliest (always assuming they make it out of Divisions 2 and 1)

Amidst all the angst on here about LNS, Sandy Bryson (wasn’t his face a picture when Lennon lifted the Scottish Cup last week?), the ASA etc., people need to have faith in two truths – the UTT which will be presided over by a senior judge, and the lack of cash which will see the new company run out of money at some point during season 2013/14 (if not before).

Wondering when, if or how the SPL, SFA, UEFA or FIFA will get involved in the affairs of a 2nd Division club in a backwater like Scotland is frankly a waste of time.

54 (ways to get barred from Europe) to 0 (passports required)

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on11:50 pm - Jun 4, 2013


Andrew Woods says:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 23:03

pau1mart1n says:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 22:53

I thought it was a rhetorical question when you knew the answer ?

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

I honestly don’t know the answer. Is there a set in stone rule that states “No accounts – No Europe ” ? (That even the SFA couldn’t get around)

I was speaking to a Sevconian last week and he insisted that it was the non production of accounts last year that got them ousted from Europe and not the fact that they are a new Club.

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

That is another myth the SFA have been happy to run until it becomes real.

The unaudited accounts or unpaid tax rules both of which would have applied had the SFA tried to get them a place in UEFA competition do not carry a three year penalty for failue.

They are both an annual requirement which can be met or not every year. Only Article 12 results in a 3 year exclusion and here is what I posted on KDS earlier..

This is the UEFA Rule that addresses the club =company argument.

Article 12 – Definition of licence applicant
1 A licence applicant may only be a football club, i.e. a legal entity fully responsible
for a football team participating in national and international competitions which
either:
a) is a registered member of a UEFA member association and/or its affiliated
league (hereinafter: registered member); or
b) has a contractual relationship with a registered member (hereinafter: football
company).
2 The membership and the contractual relationship (if any) must have lasted – at
the start of the licence season – for at least three consecutive years. Any
alteration to the club’s legal form or company structure (including, for example,
changing its headquarters, name or club colours, or transferring stakeholdings
between different clubs) during this period in order to facilitate its qualification on
sporting merit and or its receipt of a licence to the detriment of the integrity of a
competition
is deemed as an interruption of membership or contractual
relationship (if any) within the meaning of this provision.[/b]

Who did Rangers Oldco have a contractual relationship with MIH? Anybody seen it?

If they had who do they have a contractual relationship with now – RIFC? Is that not a different company from MIH so either it is a different club or there never ever was a holding company in UEFA terms and it is all a marketing device designed to fool the gullible.

I have also boldened why Article 12 is there and why UEFA have put it in place.

In short UEFA do not wish to undermine the integrity of their competition. The SFA however do not seem to share this concern and UEFA do not seem to care that they do not by leaving the decision on how their rules are implemented with the SFA.

You wonder why they bother then and seem oblivious to the long term damage national associations do to themselves by ignore UEFA FFP principles in which Article 12 appears.

The above Article iis the ONLY reason a 3 year exile applies. Audited accounts and paid tax are Annual requirements to enable a licence to be granted. Failure to meet one or both criteria ONLY applies to the season in question. The next year if both are met and a club qualify on sporting merit they get a licence.

The SFA and msm have been misleading possibly deliberately on this point so that everyone thinks the penalty for not having audited accounts is a 3 year exile. It is not, its a year at a time until the next year.

With regard to the original hypothetical question the SFA would have required Rangers to meet the requirements under

Article 47 – Annual financial statements which says

4 The annual financial statements must meet the minimum disclosure
requirements as set out in Annex VI and the accounting principles as set out in
Annex VII. Comparative figures in respect of the prior statutory closing date must
be provided.

5 If the minimum requirements for the content and accounting as set out in
paragraph 4 above are not met in the annual financial statements, then the
licence applicant must prepare supplementary information in order to meet the
minimum information requirements that must be assessed by an independent
auditor as defined in Annex V.

The Annexes referred to are a Pharisees dream and so I would not rule out an SFA attempt but UEFA would not be as ready to put the integrity, indeed the competition being completed by Rangers, at risk in the same way that the SFA were so cavalier with the integrity of Scottish football.

A THREE YEAR EXILE IS THE DIRECT RESULT OF ARTICLE 12 WHICH SEEMS TO ME TO NEGATE THE ARGUMENT THAT UEFA SEE RANGERS AND THE RANGERS AS THE SAME CLUB.

However that is not the story, to a Rangers supporter its the same club, the story is the SFA not clarifying the reason for the 3 year exclusion to perpetuate a marketing myth i.e putting commercial concerns above sporting integrity and the battle is to put that to an end.

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on11:58 pm - Jun 4, 2013


monsieurbunny says:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 23:16

Andrew Woods says:
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 23:03

I was speaking to a Sevconian last week and he insisted that it was the non production of accounts last year that got them ousted from Europe and not the fact that they are a new Club.
—————————————————————-

Ha-ha. Well of course, but it’s because they are a new club they won’t have the next few years of accounts to get into Europe (even if they win the Scottish Cup) till, what is it, 2016?
==============================

This may seem pedantic but it is not the absence of 3 years accounts that is the reason it is not sufficiently long membership of the national association. If you read Article 12 above you will not see accounts mentioned.

This is why the myth gets a life, right result but wrong reason and the SFA know the rules and why its 3 years. I have struggled to get this point across so thank you for the opportunity to make it again.

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on12:13 am - Jun 5, 2013


On Article 12 UEFA FFP

This is an e mail from me to Radio Clyde

Date 18 May 2013 18:23

To: Delahunt, Jim

Subject: UEFA Rules except when it is not asked

Jim

I know the subject turns folk off but the views on UEFA regarding old and new Rangers are not being presented on air in a balanced way.. Rangers were NOT barred for three years for not having audited accounts or unpaid tax. There is no such provision in UEFA rules The bar on those grounds is an annual one and if a club the season after being disallowed presented audited accounts and paid taxes a licence request would be considered and granted. This is justly so.

The rule that has put UEFA competition beyond the pale for three years for The Rangers is Chapter 2 Article Twelve which I have reproduced below in an on line exchange [on CQN] to clarify the position. Please have a read and pass amongst your panel members so that they do not mislead listeners because they, like many, were misled when the SFA were negotiating the 5 way agreement and did not say with clarity why a THREE year ban applies and not an annual one until audited accounts and paid tax criteria are met.

I appreciate Article 12 repudiates the idea of there being a club separate from a company as a legal entity, but UEFA guidance is there in black and white. That they [UEFA] allowed the SFA to do what they did is suggested below.

Under Article 12 The Rangers do NOT have three years unbroken membership of the SFA and until the SFA make a case for an exception to be made The Rangers in UEFA’s eyes have to be a different club from Rangers.

That they are the same in spirit no one can argue certainly not I. but the public have not been correctly informed on this issue. You could of course ask UEFA for an opinion but unless a well founded case for an exception was made BY THE SFA, UEFA are bound to say that under Article 12 The Rangers are a different football club from Rangers
CQN Post
Saint Stivs
19:20 on
16 May, 2013
ignoring the fact they are a new club and dont have 3 years accounts,

if rangers had reached the cup final, and qualified for a european space, would they get the co-efficient points of Rangers oldco …………

EM NAW.

someone ask clyde for me, i couldnt without losing the rag.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The requirement for 3 years accounts is not actually the UEFA rule. The UEFA rule is in Chapter 2 Article 12 and states:

A licence applicant may only be a football club, i.e. a legal entity fully responsible for a football team participating in national and international competitions which either:
a) is a registered member of a UEFA member association and/or its affiliated league (hereinafter: registered member); or
b) has a contractual relationship with a registered member (hereinafter: football company).
2 The membership and the contractual relationship (if any) must have lasted – at the start of the licence season – for at least three consecutive years. Any alteration to the club’s legal form or company structure (including, for example, changing its headquarters, name or club colours, or transferring stakeholdings
between different clubs) during this period in order to facilitate its qualification on sporting merit and/or its receipt of a licence to the detriment of the integrity of a competition is deemed as an interruption of membership or contractual relationship (if any) within the meaning of this provision.

From this it is quite clear that UEFA, had The Rangers been put forward for a UEFA competition, would have said NO because a change to Rangers legal form and company structure (new one taking over) had clearly taken place and the SFA had not put forward a well founded case to grant an exception (as a further rule allows to cover unusual case by case circumstances).

The SFA decided there was no point making any exemption case because there was also the matter of the lack of audited account and unpaid social tax (which is a one year exclusion if dealt with) and that was given by them as the reason why Rangers would not be granted a UEFA licence NOT that The Rangers also failed the above UEFA rule that covers restructuring that impacts the integrity of their competition

UEFA’s default position is that a club that changes its corporate structure has had its association membership broken as far as qualification for UEFA competition goes unless it can be shown that it does not impact on the integrity of their competition. The last thing the SFA considered in the 5 way agreement was the integrity of their own competition and in that sense were in breach of the principle the UEFA rule stood for.

The unpaid tax/unaudited accounts was a convenient way of avoiding the risk of UEFA saying they did not recognise The Rangers as the same legal entity which allowed the SFA to obsfuscate on the issue and bargain with Charles Green.

From the SFA approach it could be deduced that someone at the SFA who knew the rules had decided they could not make a case for The Rangers being the same legal entity and it suited SFA marketing and bargaining purposes not to bring this out at the time the UEFA question was being asked..

I must confess to being unaware of the SFA’s approach until recently but under the above 3 year history of association membership rule The Rangers are a different legal entity and so different football club from Rangers and only UEFA can change that distinction, but only if the SFA make/made a well founded case.

Rangers supporters will say, quite rightly, that the SFA are treating them as the same members and so they are, but not in accordance with the principles clearly defined and circumstances catered for by UEFA rules.

UEFA are probably aware of this but have probably bowed to the SFA’s desire to keep the waters muddied for commercial reasons and/or Rangers having friends at UEFA.

The interesting thing is that everyone including the media and indeed Rangers talks of a three year exclusion from Europe but on the grounds you stated i.e 3 years accounts required. This is not so, 3 years unbroke association membership is the requirement THEN audited accounts/ paid taxes etc ANNUALLY to get a UEFA licence.

It would have been very interesting, had The Rangers been voted back into the SPL and gained a qualifying league position the next season and produced audited accounts during it, to see if the SFA having put them forward, would UEFA have said no to a licence. Given the nature of the debt in social taxes form that had been dodged by the restructuring I think it safe to say UEFA would have said NO as The Rangers did not have three years association history under the above rule meaning they were a different club.

Like many others, including yourself, I thought it was the inability to produce 3 years of accounts that was the reason, but on digging deeper to refute a case being made on Paul McConville’s blog it became clear the issue was they were not a legal entity that UEFA recognised with the requisite 3 year national association membership.

But as long as the SFA and LNS ignore the football authority of UEFA who have turned a blind eye to the principle behind their rule being broken. you will be unable to change the minds of those who cling to the myth.

The principle btw is to stop clubs doing EXACTLY what Rangers did i.e use insolvency rules to dodge responsibilities, being given access to UEFA competition and by so doing damage the integrity of the competition.

It is a sad indictment of football authority at SFA level that they were prepared to sacrifice sporting integrity on the altar of commercialism ,but also an indictment of UEFA that they have not pronounced disagreement with the SFA position.hose who cling to the myth.

The principle btw is to stop clubs doing EXACTLY what Rangers did i.e use insolvency rules to dodge responsibilities, being given access to UEFA competition and by so doing damage the integrity of the competition.

It is a sad indictment of football authority at SFA level that they were prepared to sacrifice sporting integrity on the altar of commercialism ,but also an indictment of UEFA that they have not pronounced disagreement with the SFA position.

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on12:17 am - Jun 5, 2013


Andrew Woods says:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 23:30

monsieurbunny says:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 23:16

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

I think where he was going with it was that had Whytey produced audited accounts prior to admin/liquido then they would have been allowed to participate in Europe even from the 4th tier as they are still the same club.

Mental I know but that was his thought process.
+++++++++++++++++++

They would have to have paid both the wee tax bill and the £14M tax /NI purloined as well of course.

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on12:20 am - Jun 5, 2013


Sorry for that repeat message in last post about e mail to Radio Clyde. Can a mod remove the duplicated part please?

View Comment

Comments are closed.