The Offline Game

ByBig Pink

The Offline Game

The scandal in which Scottish football has become embroiled is neither equivocal nor complicated. It happened. It is easily seen to have happened. It is certainly not a degree course in nuclear physics. Why then, are simple facts ignored day after day, week after week, by not just the so called purveyors of truth in the media, but the body of the SFA itself, the clubs?

Five years or so ago, systematic cheating by a club involved in Scottish football was uncovered as a consequence of the club slipping into liquidation. This is easily established as fact.

It soon became clear that the authorities had been aware of the situation for as long as it had been going on, but instead of applying their own rules, which would have saved that club from it’s ultimate demise, they chose to enable it and cover it up. Also, backed up by documentary evidence.

As a consequence of the slide towards liquidation, the authorities went into cover-up overdrive to protect their own position. Inquiries based on rhetorical “you’ll have had your tea!” questions were set up to arrive at predetermined conclusions. The post-truth era in Scottish football had begun in earnest.

The claims of corruption which subsequently emerged were dismissed out of hand by the authorities and the press; first by accusations that it was only Paranoid Celtic fans looking to put the boot into Rangers who were behind the claims, then, when it became clear that it was not only Celtic fans who were angered by the way the integrity of the sport had been shattered, the “mad Celtic fans” epithet was amended to “mad online conspiracy theorists”.

The tactic was clear. NEVER address the issue. Attack the messengers. Ridicule them, mock them, demonise them. Despite that, the message of SFM and others was gaining traction and dangerously for the authorities, becoming difficult to ignore.

Last Autumn SFM was approached in confidence by senior figures in two print media outlets. The request was for us to provide them with the facts we had in bullet points – to make it easier for them to reach their audience, an audience they claimed was not sophisticated enough to absorb the detail and minutiae of the story.

The role of journalists is to do exactly that of course. They had access to the same documentary evidence we had (we know this because we gave it to them), but they wanted us to do their job for them? Leaving aside the scant regard I have for football journalists in this country, I don’t believe they are incapable of carrying out that simple task – but we humoured them anyway and provided them with the “SFA Corruption for Dummies” guide that they asked for.

But what were they really up to?

Remembering the RTC thread where he pointed out that genuine whistle-blowers in this saga were reluctant to come forward because of trust issues – they feared any contact with the MSM would result in their details being provided to those they were exposing – we proceeded with some caution. Amusingly, the same three questions was asked at each meeting; “You must know who Rangers Tax Case is?”, “any idea who John James is?” and, “what team do you support?”. (FYI, my answers were, “No”, “No”, and “Celtic” respectively).

Interestingly, for people who needed clarification by bullet-point, they were well enough versed in the minutiae to attempt to argue the flat-earth case and try to sell us the “it has been established legally that <insert something that hasn’t been established legally here>”

Our only conjecture was that they were trying to convince us we were wrong,  or ascertain how firm a grasp we actually had on the facts to better see who and what they were dealing with, or (most probably) they were reacting aimlessly to online pressure and not really following any plan at all. Perhaps they were seeking to reassure themselves that it was just Celtic fans who were angry – although I fail to see how Celtic or their fans have less credibility when asking legitimate questions about the running of the game just because Rangers were involved.

Subsequently, despite the platitudes of “print and social media should work together” and the like, and despite being furnished with the aforementioned bullet points, no further contact was made with SFM other than a couple of childish comments about SFM on Twitter.

Facts might be facts to us all, but in the case of the print media, they can be ignored on the basis that mad internet bampots are not a credible source, although metaphysical hypotheses are clearly thought to be a far more sensible line of inquiry!

However, facts ARE indeed facts, and in the hands of real journalists like Alec Thomson and those in The Offshore Game (TOG), they are given the credence they merit. Since TOG published the report on the SFA (see below), the facts have emerged from not just the so-called internet bampots. Those facts have survived the scrutiny of several reputable journalists involved in TOG – and their legal advisers.

Accusations more blunt and unequivocal than we have ever made have been published. The genie is most definitely out of the bottle, but the prodigious MSM Twitterati, so meticulous in their investigations into the occupation of Craig Whyte’s female companions, appear to have run out of batteries on their keyboards. “No answer” is the loud reply, since TOG cannot be ridiculed quite so easily without exposing themselves to the same scrutiny they have failed to apply to the SFA.

If I can be as unequivocal about this as possible. Senior journalists in at least two MSM print outlets KNOW there has been a cover up, and that systematic cheating took place. They knew that before the TOG report, long before it, but still they did nothing. Even now they do nothing. They are now playing a reactionary role – as counterpoint to the accessible online truth –  involved in actively concealing that truth from the offline public. An Offline Game if you like.

Of course we are not surprised by that, and as the falling-off-a-cliff circulation figures show, fewer and fewer people are playing their game. Even those who still purchase newspapers believe little of what they read.

The clubs are a different matter. Fans of every single club in this country – and that includes TRFC – will benefit from an inquiry into the handling of this matter. In the light of the TOG report, there is no excuse for the clubs to ignore calls for an inquiry to be set up. In fact by doing so, they are actively embracing corruption.

As we have said time and time again, this is no longer about Rangers. It is about institutionalised mal-governance at Hampden. By assisting the cover-up, the clubs are ensuring that the same corrupt practices are in place, ready to go again when necessary. Those practices which saw journalists and SFA officials cede editorial control (both statements backed up by documentary evidence) of their output to one club, and allow damaging conflicts of interest to circumvent rules.

The Offshore Game has thrown a media spotlight onto a cover-up. The MSM have attempted to bury it in the offline domain, but corruption, however well established,is not unbeatable. We can beat it if we work together – and here is how.

Season ticket renewals are dropping through letterboxes as I write this. If we do nothing other than protest, the clubs will do – just like Stewart Regan says he will – NOTHING!

There is only one way to establish the Independent Inquiry that is demanded in the wake of TOG report. Ask your club if they will vote for an Independent Inquiry to be set up.

If they agree, there is no problem. They are doing the right thing and will be deserving of our support.

Otherwise, send their renewal forms back to them unsigned.

It really is that simple.



About the author

Big Pink administrator

Big Pink is John Cole; a former schoolteacher based in the West of Scotland, He is also a print and broadcast journalist who is engaged in the running of SFM . Former gigs include Newstalk 106, the Celtic View, and Channel67. A Celtic fan, he is also the voice of our podcast initiative.

1,833 Comments so far

woodsteinPosted on4:44 pm - May 16, 2016

May 16, 2016 at 15:47
They don’t account for any settlement of the DOS whatsoever. Nothing was ever paid.
Tuesday 12th June 2012
HMRC reject Rangers CVA.
BBC Scotland has learned that Duff & Phelps held a meeting with HMRC on Monday and were told of their decision.
Duff & Phelps say HMRC’s decision was based on “its general policy of not agreeing to a CVA where there is strong evidence of non-compliance by a company with its tax liabilities”.
(The elephant in the room – DOS)
There was a lot of conjecture around the CVA, at the time.
However the last paragraph above was always going to happen.
From  May 2011 until June 2012 the outstanding DOS bill was never paid. CVA? no chance!
In June this year, that’s 5 years still no payment.


May 16, 2016 at 16:42


View Comment

woodsteinPosted on5:17 pm - May 16, 2016

Couple of headlines Daily Record !!

Fall of the house of David Murray: Documents show ex-Ibrox chief’s business is now officially dead
Rangers lose EBT side letters appeal as lawlords order £250,000 fine to be paid to SPFL
Rangers FC: Ex-government minister Nigel Griffiths touted Ibrox players tax dodge to Craig Whyte as EBT scandal crippled club

View Comment

goosygoosyPosted on6:31 pm - May 16, 2016

SFM has been dominated for over a week by discussion on a single topic in which many posters have engaged with a single poster who has stuck to his point of view throughout
A lateral thought
What topic would have dominated discussion if this poster had not appeared ?
Up to the physical departure of RD on Sunday it would probably have included some speculation  on his successor and the disaffection of many CFC supporters inclined to cancel their STs
But even that subject would have been swamped by significant posts on the corruption exposed by the independent TOG report
leading to
Some interesting debate on how the corrupt SFA will describe the winning by TRFC of the SC (if they do so)

The SFA treated Sevco/TRFC as a new club in the (non) seeding of them in the SC in 2012 2013 ………are they ready to make a similar statement by requiring a TRFC success to be tempered by a more permanent recognition of their newness…..Perhaps on the actual engraving itself ?
If so
There is still time to engage in these discussions

View Comment

Cluster OnePosted on6:36 pm - May 16, 2016

After trying to catch up the last few days and trying to read between the twitter logo at the side that sometimes covers half the text.(i think my computer is on meltdown)
Did i catch a post on the validity of the companies house?As trying to fix this computer i came across this and gave it a quick read just before i delete it.
Rangers chief executive Charles Green signed off on Craig Whyte’s appointment as a director of the company used in the initial stages of his buyout, according to documents lodged at Companies House.
Documents seen by STV appear to show Mr Green’s signature verifying the appointments of Mr Whyte and his associate Aidan Earley as directors of Sevco 5088 Limited.
This appears to contradict a statement made by Mr Green in an interview with STV this week. When asked what part did Mr Whyte and Mr Earley have in Sevco 5088, he said: “Neither of them had a role in Sevco 5088.”
However, Rangers have cast doubt on the validity of the documents.
A club statement said: “Mr Green is appalled by this blatant attempt to discredit him.These documents are not correct or valid and he did not sign Craig Whyte or his associate on as directors of Sevco 5088.
“Mr Green was the sole director of Sevco 5088 until he resigned and became the founder director of Sevco Scotland, formed by Scottish solicitors.”
The revelations are the latest in the dispute between the former Rangers owner and the current chief of the club.
So even  Rangers cast doubt on the validity of the companies house

View Comment

jimboPosted on6:38 pm - May 16, 2016

I was checking ‘News Now’ for Celtic stories earlier.  One link stated “Celtic make move for London based international as they battle Italian giants for signature”.

It was from ‘Football Insider’ but reporting on an article from The Scottish Sun.
This surprised me.  Celtic do not have a manager at the moment.  Peter Lawwell stated categorically this week that he does not pick the players to bring in, but gets involved in the money side of things once someone has been given the thumbs up.  To whom he did he initially reveal this to?  Yes, The Scottish Sun.  So who is telling the truth? 

If they said the player was being tracked that’s fine – the scouts will still be very busy just now I expect – but ‘making a move’ ?  By whom?

Besides the player is a midfielder and if there is one area Celtic don’t need to strengthen then it is the midfield.

I know it’s all over the media in the summer, the rumours, for every club, but that particular piece of kite flying from the Sun raised my eyebrow a tad.

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on6:40 pm - May 16, 2016

de Boer: how much was his EBT?
I suppose he must prate on about TRFC being RFC(IL),as he has just done on ‘Sportsound’, while McIntyre and fellow Warburton worshippers are asking whether Stubbs will have to go.
A distinctly unpleasant  crew of very partial (but paid for by us!) BBC ‘journalists’.

View Comment

ReiverPosted on6:55 pm - May 16, 2016

Interesting(to me it is but then with my life being so lacking in excitement it may not be to others) little interlude on John James site recently. He first, in a response to one of my posts, says.-
“The Lawman would never be allowed to hijack the debate. He sent a couple of Trojan horses on his behalf (MoeGoe and Terry Relevant) but I left them outside the walls”
which in turn threw up the interesting bit in response from MoeGoe-
“Surely you have no objection to a right of reply especially since the Law Man made many valid points to the extent that the Blogger on TJN either withdrew his allegations and/or issued an apology for the language used in his opinion piece.”

Damn! I must have missed that. Or could it be that TLM and MoeGoe have the same Hans Christian Anderson observation traits.
Perhaps MoeGoe will accept my assurances that TLM made only TWO points, over and over and over again.

View Comment

Cluster OnePosted on7:08 pm - May 16, 2016

JOHN CLARKMAY 16, 2016 at 18:40 6 0  Rate This 
de Boer: how much was his EBT?I suppose he must prate on about TRFC being RFC(IL),
£1.2m with a side letter so it is in his best interest to prate on about TRFC being RFC(IL),19

View Comment

ReiverPosted on7:30 pm - May 16, 2016

Now I feel I must put in a positive word for TLM. Recently I have tended to concentrate my efforts on the next “move” and the actions were starting to get a little divorced from the reasons. Despite his repetitive posts that concentrated on beliefs rather than facts he did goad me into reviewing the issues and tossing ideas around the empty space between my ears. In the end my position had only changed in one respect and that was, it was stronger than it initially had been. No changes in what I understood to be the facts(despite TLM’s post that he had changed my mind) nor any changes in what I believed to be the solution. Still the grey matter was exercised and one new thought did form in the vacuum. I will try and write this quickly while Trisidium is still having his lie down. Please don’t tell him when he returns as I don’t like him he’s riled.
Suppose we take the party line as true and the company that owns the club is the part that built up the debts and partook in all the naughty stuff. When we analyse what the company that created the debt spent the money on we find that it was on players, managers, equipment, training facilities and the general match day costs. Now these are the things that let the club participate  in playing in the games arranged under the auspices of the SFA and SPFL, so what responsibility does the club side have to ensure that the largesse of the holding company, that in turn enables the team to play, doesn’t breach any of the SFA/SPFL rules. It is afterall the club’s responsibility to stick to the rules not the company’s. For instance, if you purchase a car from a third party that turns out to be stolen it is still stolen whether you knew or not. It is your responsibility to check. Back to the club. The club is the one that is under the rules of the SFA and any punishment for breach is against the club not the company. How do I know? Well Ashley’s recent action against the SFA fell foul on the point that the SFA did not deem King to be “fit and proper” to run the club, it was in regard to the company that they claim the approval was given. So the SFA is not answerable for putting the company at risk, only the club, had it been so. Therefore, if the SFA impose fines or find a body guilty of breaching their rules that body can only be the club. It follows then that it is the club that goes bust in the SFA’s eyes and the club that ceases to exist in liquidation.
That of course is only true if we follow the party line and I don’t. I follow the law of the land, the Scottish legal system, where incorporation means that the body that turns itself into a company ends up BEING that company. No separation, no difference between the bodies.
It does not stop me feeling comfortable that any subsequent creation can be adopted by those that followed the original as an embodiment of that original. Any reincarnation is always looked on from this perspective with one exception, the phoenix, and we know what the law thinks of that exception.

View Comment

LUGOSIPosted on7:36 pm - May 16, 2016

I wondered what had become of Steerpike.
I think I now know.

View Comment

upthehoopsPosted on8:11 pm - May 16, 2016

JOHN CLARKMAY 16, 2016 at 18:40
de Boer: how much was his EBT?I suppose he must prate on about TRFC being RFC(IL),as he has just done on ‘Sportsound’, while McIntyre and fellow Warburton worshippers are asking whether Stubbs will have to go.A distinctly unpleasant  crew of very partial (but paid for by us!) BBC ‘journalists’.

In my opinion there is a very real chance that Hibs can beat Rangers in the cup final. I suspect they know that as well, therefore a week of negativity about the Hibs Manager is to be expected.  If he does win them the cup for the first time in over a hundred years there will be little talk of him having to go. 

View Comment

goosygoosyPosted on8:32 pm - May 16, 2016

1878–79 Scottish Cup From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Champions Vale of LevenRunners-upRangers F.C.← 1878–781879–80 →The 1878-79 Scottish Cup was the 6th playing of the Scottish Cup knockout tournament. Vale of Leven beat Rangers in the final.  After a 1-1 draw in the original match, Vale of Leven won the cup by default in a walkover when Rangers refused to attend the replay. This was in protest at a disallowed goal in the original match.
Is this when the SFA dumped Sporting Integrity ?

View Comment

StevieBCPosted on9:34 pm - May 16, 2016

GOOSYGOOSYMAY 16, 2016 at 20:32…
“…After a 1-1 draw in the original match, Vale of Leven won the cup by default in a walkover when Rangers refused to attend the replay. This was in protest at a disallowed goal in the original match.”
Is this when the SFA dumped Sporting Integrity ?
Ha !

The ‘Sporting Integrity gene’ must have mutated into something unpleasant in the DNA of the SFA and Rangers all those years ago !

Even as weans, how many times did we play for a team when the ref ‘was a homer’, with goals disallowed etc. ?
Frustrating as it was, and without being aware of ‘Sporting Integrity’ – we still knew that the game had to be played.

…but exceptions, and deference to RFC seemed to have been the SOP from the SFA for well over a century…
[RFC – or now TRFC as the the ‘same’ club – should have been banned ‘sine die’ for refusing to play the replay !]

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on9:53 pm - May 16, 2016

StevieBCMay 16, 2016 at 21:34
‘…..Ha !The ‘Sporting Integrity gene’ must have mutated into something unpleasant in the DNA of the SFA and Rangers all those years ago !’
Well, at least the unpleasantness would have pre-dated the arrival on the scene of Celtic.
As a matter of interest, do the history books show what punishment (apart from not getting the cup) was passed on  the real Rangers ( for such they were!) for their huffy indiscipline?

View Comment

PLGlenPosted on11:24 pm - May 16, 2016

Maybe they were banned from the final for the next 14 years – the history books certainly show that they weren’t involved in any.
In the intervening years until Rangers did win their first Scottish Cup the winners were: Queens Park (7 wins), Dumbarton (1 win), Renton (2 wins), Hibernian (1 win), 3rd Lanark (1 win), Heart of Midlothian (1 win), Celtic (1 win).
Apparently the 1883-84 cup was awarded to Queens Park as Vale of Leven withdrew from the match as they couldn’t manage to put a team on the park for the final.
Not sure what punishment was handed to them as they appear to have made the final the next again year.
I note that Dumbarton protested against their 2-1 defeat by Queens Park in 1880-81 – that match was replayed – to no avail as they were still beaten.
It’s a funny old game.

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on11:31 pm - May 16, 2016

woodsteinMay 16, 2016 at 17:17
“….Rangers FC: Ex-government minister Nigel Griffiths touted Ibrox players tax dodge to Craig Whyte as EBT scandal crippled club..”
Not at all surprised. The little runt was my constituency MP.
‘In 2002 the Parliamentary commissioner for standards upheld complaints that Griffiths owned an office for which he was claiming expenses for rent of £10,000 a year.[4]’
I remember storming into his constituency office , and, in his (disappointing) absence, telling his staff that I was disgusted that he should have been part of that disgraceful nonsense of MPs lining their pocketswith false claims  for ‘moat houses’ and such like.
The brazen, cynical  effrontery of those ‘elected’ bast.rds is of the same genus as that of SDM, and of our ‘Football Authorities’.
That is: it arises from a  defect of character which puts personal advantage above any notion of truth  and honesty and fair dealing.

View Comment

woodsteinPosted on12:37 am - May 17, 2016

John Clark
May 16, 2016 at 23:31
Oops, I feel guilty I may have  upset you.   06   Remember John we need you for Court work.   04

10 I do like “The little runt” though.08

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on1:12 am - May 17, 2016

woodsteinMay 17, 2016 at 00:37
‘..I do like “The little runt” though’
Phew! I didn’t have my glasses on! Could’ve been anything! I might have said ‘lying’ rather than little’!06

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on8:13 am - May 17, 2016

John ClarkMay 17, 2016 at 01:12 
woodsteinMay 17, 2016 at 00:37‘..I do like “The little runt” though’__________________Phew! I didn’t have my glasses on! Could’ve been anything! I might have said ‘lying’ rather than little’!
A good job you didn’t describe any of the cunning stunts he got up to, John! 01

View Comment

ReiverPosted on8:54 am - May 17, 2016

Interesting to see some activity on the J P Jenkins site over the past few days. Is this Ashley dumping his involvement in TRFC? Not many sold so far but at least he has found a mug to at least partially buy into the launderette.

View Comment

ReiverPosted on8:58 am - May 17, 2016

Nice to see a little realignment of phraseology on the BBC site with this to be found on today’s Scottish Gossip column.

Former Ibrox star Ronald de Boer thinks it was “fair” that Rangers were admitted to the bottom tier of Scottish football four years ago following the financial mismanagement that led to liquidation. (Various) 


It lacks the accuracy the the term “The Rangers” would have brought but I suppose that it’s a start. Question is, will it last?

View Comment

neepheidPosted on9:01 am - May 17, 2016

ReiverMay 17, 2016 at 08:54  
Interesting to see some activity on the J P Jenkins site over the past few days. Is this Ashley dumping his involvement in TRFC? Not many sold so far but at least he has found a mug to at least partially buy into the launderette.
Weren’t the fan groups offering to buy any shares that came on to the market a while back? Or maybe they’ve used all their money for soft loans to tide King over for a bit?

View Comment

ReiverPosted on10:06 am - May 17, 2016

I thought that was what all the stushie was about. Money that was gathered with sole intent of buying club shares was put forward as soft loans. The amount in the way of soft loans that was required would have used up all the shares money.
It does leave them in a dubious position though, giving King unsecured loans or buying shares that King intends diluting the value of. Neither a venture I would commit to.

View Comment

ReiverPosted on10:23 am - May 17, 2016

If ever there was time in this whole fiasco when it was so important for people to act then this next seven to ten days has to be it.
We have seen a cyber report that supports all we stand for, a follow up dismissing counter arguments and a two day period where MSM touched its toe into the subject matter making sure that none of it wet more than the tip. We now move into a period where our clubs close down for the summer, the Euros take centre stage as a distraction and we are left with no focus for our actions. By the time the new season comes around the TOG report will be a distant memory and there will be no further court cases to aid us in our attempts to see the corruption rooted out of our game.
To all intents and purposes they will have succeeded in castrating us, they will have won. So if you have been tossing the thought of action around in your head without actually doing anything now is the time to change that. Now is the time to email or, preferably, telephone your club and ask two simple questions.
“What is my clubs response to the Tax Justice Network’s report condemning our country’s administrators, SFA AND SPFL, as being not fit for purpose?”
“Will you, on behalf of your fans, call for a totally independent inquiry into the subject matter of the report.”

I cannot envisage a more effective time for you to step forward at no cost to yourself.


View Comment

ReiverPosted on10:26 am - May 17, 2016

Further to my last response, I don’t think that the important part of the transaction is the buyer. It is who the seller is that will enlighten us far more.

View Comment

goosygoosyPosted on10:58 am - May 17, 2016

Q What is more important to the MSM than discussing the TOG Report?
A Discussing their own report
Like this nonsense
The Headline
Celtic FC: Arsenal preparing £10 million bid for Hoops teenage sensation Kieran Tierney
The Source
Record Sport believes the Gunners would be willing to go to £10 million if they choose to make the move.

View Comment

ReiverPosted on11:22 am - May 17, 2016

It is nice to have had a telephone conversation with someone after all the “unavailable” people who have been rejecting my approaches.
The call this morning was with Graham Peaker(I hope that is correct but it is what the heavily accented telephonist seemed to say) at the Integrity section at UEFA. I encouraged him to pull up the TOG report on screen while talking to me so now has no fall back of being unaware of it. Subsequently he requested a copy of my documentation be sent to him so I am left feeling moderately upbeat. By now, if true to his promise, he should be sitting reading about our issues as I write here.
Fingers crossed.

PS Nobody of importance home at Easter Road. Or so they tell me.

View Comment

HirsutePursuitPosted on11:43 am - May 17, 2016

Reiver. Did this seem like news to him?

His role I believe is around matters of integrity (monitoring betting patterns, allegations of match fixing etc).

I wonder how LNS would stand up if looked at from the perspective of integrity?

Actually, no I don’t

Well done Reiver for your persistence04

View Comment

ReiverPosted on12:13 pm - May 17, 2016


Yes it did seem to hear it as new. He also tried to pass me on, in particular when he saw the TOG headline about UEFA licensing. I think he wanted to get it off his desk but I insisted that it went far wider than that so he eventually relented. My main worry is that if he does pass it on to someone else I won’t have a name to chase up.
Still every little positive is welcome.

View Comment

TrisidiumPosted on12:37 pm - May 17, 2016

After being placed in moderation last night, TLM posted a lengthy piece of ‘evidence’ that breach of UEFA indicators did not necessarily trigger a revocation of the licence. The post, sent very early this morning, asked us to consider publishing. Immediately he went on to Twitter to complain that we were censoring ‘important information’ which (as he often styles his contributions) he held to be incontrovertible proof. 

In short he baited us until moderation and rushed to victim hood. I give him credit for painstaking organisation of an an excellent ‘sting’?

Which does not reflect badly on SFM except where it suits that narrative. Lawman is not being censored. He would have read like everyone else, my invitation to him last night to post on the same basis as everyone else – within the rules.

He has been I am told been replying to himself on Twitter this morning so his message is still getting out there.

His new claims interestingly appear to agree that there was in fact a breach of regulations which should have triggered an investigation ?

Even if he is correct (or on the Level so to speak), it still does not undermine the Res12 assertion that an explanation is required, or our assertion that an independent inquiry is necessary to get to the bottom of the whole sorry mess. 

We will not censor information just because it doesn’t fit our own train of thought. Lawman and others would love that to be true- but it is not .

This has been a torture for me typing this out on a shoogly Edinburgh bus.? When I return to Glasgow I will publish Lawman’s post. No way of doing it right now. 

View Comment

TheLawManPosted on12:49 pm - May 17, 2016

Just for the record, i took to Twitter 17 hours after you put me in moderation, not “immediately” as you claim TRISIDIUM.  I therefore, not surprisingly, believe you are being economical with the truth in order to paint you in good light.

Never said what you imply LM. I said you knew you were in moderation, posted 11 hours later with a request for the post to be considered for publishing, and THEN went immediately to Twitter to mislead.
The abuses of the truth – again – are all yours.
Had my doubts about the honesty of your motives by being here in the first place. I should have listened to them.
Thanks for agreeing that Rangers were in in breach of the articles though.

View Comment

TBKPosted on12:54 pm - May 17, 2016

REIVERMAY 17, 2016 at 11:22
Excellent! Perhaps some others could contact Uefa Licensing Committee directly to see if they have read the @theoffshoregame report or are aware that a newspaper advert is being taken out as there is no coverage or direct response to the allegations.

Club Licensing Committee
Commission des licences aux clubs
Chairman: David Gill (England)
Deputy Chairman: Michael van Praag (Netherlands)
1st Vice-Chairman: Jorge Pérez Arias (Spain) 
2nd Vice-Chairwoman: Ivančica Sudac (Croatia) 
3rd Vice-Chairman: Thomas Christensen (Denmark)
Roman Babaev (Russia)
Bjarne Berntsen (Norway)
Volodymyr Chorno-Ivanov (Ukraine)
Ludvik Georgsson (Iceland)
Jacques Lagnier (France)
Eamon Naughton (Republic of Ireland)
Nick Nicolaou (Cyprus)
Kieran O’Connor (Wales)
Peter Peters (Germany)
Nenad Santrač (Serbia)
Francesca Sanzone (Italy)
Heinrich Schifferle (Switzerland)
Johan Timmermans (Belgium)
Milan Vojtek (Slovakia)
Aleš Zavrl (Slovenia)

View Comment

TBKPosted on12:55 pm - May 17, 2016

TRISIDIUMMAY 17, 2016 at 12:37


View Comment

ChristyboyPosted on1:06 pm - May 17, 2016

“He has been I am told been replying to himself on Twitter this morning”
Is this an online equivelent of “Go F*** yourself ” 

View Comment

JoeninhoPosted on1:27 pm - May 17, 2016

TrisidiumMay 17, 2016 at 12:37
You’ve had the patience of a Saint the last wee while, but please don’t post any more of his stuff.
I might slip into a coma!

View Comment

neepheidPosted on1:43 pm - May 17, 2016

TrisidiumMay 17, 2016 at 12:37
His new claims interestingly appear to agree that there was in fact a breach of regulations which should have triggered an investigation
Even if he is correct (or on the Level so to speak), it still does not undermine the Res12 assertion that an explanation is required, or our assertion that an independent inquiry is necessary to get to the bottom of the whole sorry mess. 

Well surely if he concedes that there should have been an investigation back then, but there wasn’t, then he must also concede that there should be an investigation right now into why an investigation didn’t take place back then?
However I’ve no doubt that TLM will persuade us that such stuff is best left under the carpet, where Ogilvie  swept it all those years ago. For the good of the game, of course. That Hampden carpet must look like a 3-D model of the Himalayas by now.

View Comment

woodsteinPosted on1:55 pm - May 17, 2016

Thought I would change the subject slightly with a useful (to me anyway) tip.
If you use GOOGLE as your search engine, type into the search box:-
site: search woodstein
You need to use   site : search
the site name as above
 then the search term, example above woodstein
 I have used  in the example above   (woodstein)  but it can  be anything.
This brings up,   About 1,500 results (0.32 seconds)
You can “home” in by expanding the search term as below. woodstein  2015
About 736 results (0.45 seconds)
This brings up all the entries for woodstein in 2015
site : search Uefa Licence 11
John Clark try John Clarke (your alter ego.)10
About 3,640 results (0.38 seconds)  Impressive
Apologies if already known.

Note leave out the http// in last one.

View Comment

woodsteinPosted on2:15 pm - May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016 at 13:55
Well that went well (NOT)
You need to use   site : search
the site name as above
The site name should NOT include  HTTP:// word press auto completes this thinking you have “missed it”  01

View Comment

johnscobiedanPosted on2:17 pm - May 17, 2016

is our site being attacked when I logged in got pop up advert for season ticket for the rangers (I L) saying going for 55 is this a case for trading standards 

View Comment

TBKPosted on3:11 pm - May 17, 2016

“@Propa_Gander: Did you know UEFA carried out a licensor audit on the SFA between 2009 & 2013. Wonder what date that happened? ?”

Now that’s an interesting development………..

View Comment

TBKPosted on3:43 pm - May 17, 2016

3.3.3 Monitoring of overdue payables &ndash; guidance from the Investigatory Chamber
Further to the review of overdue payables declarations by the clubs since June 2011, the Investigatory Chamber would remind clubs that:

At its own discretion and/or based on complaints received, the Investigatory Chamber can ask a compliance audit to be performed on the declarations submitted by the clubs.

Should the information submitted by a club be considered as incorrect or misleading, due to overdue amounts being incorrectly disclosed as “deferred” or “in dispute” and/ or being concealed by a club, the case will be automatically referred to the Adjudicatory Chamber for appropriate measures to be taken.

In fact, five out of eleven compliance audits performed during the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons were referred to the competent body due to incorrect or misleading information. The Investigatory Chamber expects full transparency as well as true and accurate declarations from clubs.

Therefore, the submission of false or inaccurate information by a club is considered by the Investigatory Chamber as unacceptable behaviour for which harsh sanctions will systematically be imposed.

The Investigatory Chamber noticed in several cases that the interpretation of a “deferred” overdue payable was inconsistent.

In particular, it wishes to emphasise that for an overdue payable to be considered as validly “deferred” in accordance with Annex VIII of the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations, the debtor must propose a deferral agreement which must be accepted in writing by the creditor before the applicable deadline (i.e. 30 June or 30 September for the monitoring process)

View Comment

StevieBCPosted on3:44 pm - May 17, 2016

GOOSYGOOSYMAY 17, 2016 at 10:58 Q What is more important to the MSM than discussing the TOG Report?A Discussing their own report,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Like this nonsenseThe HeadlineCeltic FC: Arsenal preparing £10 million bid for Hoops teenage sensation Kieran TierneyThe SourceRecord Sport believes the Gunners would be willing to go to £10 million if they choose to make the move.
Yes, the silly season, [even sillier season ?], has started in earnest with the sports hacks.

The story about Barton was a good one: OK his contract is winding down, with apparently only a 1 year extension on the table with his current, promoted club.  IIRC he was supposedly on c.GBP60K+ a week. He is 33, but even an average EPL player is on something like GBP40K+ a week.
So, making sure the media was there to see him at Murray Park was just a mutually beneficial PR exercise, IMO;
– TRFC pretending to be ‘big’ players in the transfer market – when they have ‘absolutely’ no chance of signing Barton – but it also creates a bit of buzz around ST renewal time.
– Barton touting himself very visibly to attract a better/longer contract offer from his own club – or other English clubs ?

It’s going to be a long, long close season with the SMSM ‘linking’ TRFC to every decent player who is entering their last year of their contracts…but they will still be mostly restricted to loan players, young/cheap players with potential – and mibbess a well known, but ‘mature’/cheap player in order to generate some ‘sensational’ headlines for the DR et al.    

But then it will indeed be extremely interesting to see how “the same club Rangers” performs in the top league…on a financially ‘even playing field’ for the first time since pre-DOS/EBT and BofS-funded days ?  22

View Comment

bluPosted on4:09 pm - May 17, 2016

STEVIEBCMAY 17, 2016 at 15:44

Stevie, I assume that clubs and agents make it their business to know the market. A player using a visit to Ibrox to ramp up their market value to clubs in the English Championship (sorry Joey, I also assume that no-one in the Premier League wants you) seems unlikely to me. It appears that Barton did actually turn up in Govan – maybe he really does fancy it? It would be far from the weirdest thing that’s happened when people go Through the Ibrox Looking Glass. 
The signing of Rossiter as a project player to sell on, following the Celtic model, seems more logical. Paying him the reported 10k a week appears to be a step in the direction that RFC went though. 

View Comment

naegreetinPosted on4:15 pm - May 17, 2016

This quote came from a Dundee United supporter following a meeting with Jim Spence after the fan contacted the club re his season ticket renewal & his concerns re governance of the game by the Scottish authorities .
” Jim offered the opinion that eventually the truth will emerge regarding the peculiar handling of events at Ibrox by the SFA & SPFL however , offered no reassurance that United were likely to instigate or be involved in seeking to expose wrong-doing by these authorities ”
Jim was anxious that the details of the meeting should be released for public viewing . Full details of the post are available on the East Football forum site – posted by Wullie (not the person who met Jim) . Sorry can’t do linky things .

View Comment

ReiverPosted on6:41 pm - May 17, 2016

I just realised that I have been failing in my duties of late. I haven’t tested your patience with the petition for while. TLM if you are still out there it is open for you and your buddies to sign too. It is to the benefit of ALL clubs/

View Comment

ReiverPosted on6:47 pm - May 17, 2016

Just in case his buddy is feeling left out here is the flyer download link-

Now that the man flu is at last fading I intend wearing my bus pass out on Thursday dropping litter, ehr sorry, bus drop flyers all over the Borders. Edinburgh and the Lothians. If anybody feels like being a kindred spirit feel free.

View Comment

CastofthousandsPosted on7:48 pm - May 17, 2016

TBKMay 17, 2016 at 15:43

“Should the information submitted by a club be considered as incorrect or misleading, due to overdue amounts being incorrectly disclosed as “deferred” or “in dispute” …”
Is this extract from the UEFA licensing regulations at odds with The Lawman’s assertion that deferred, postponed or disputed overdue payables need not be declared in the license application process?

View Comment

neepheidPosted on8:26 pm - May 17, 2016

I’ve had a hunt around for Lawman’s latest “exclusive”, and the source appears to be at the following link to a publicly available document- this link is to a fairly hefty download, so don’t try it on your phone unless yours has a significantly higher spec than mine (not hard, to be honest).
Here is an extract-

3.3.1 Monitoring of overdue payables 2011/12 seasonDuring the 2011/12 season, 237 clubs in totalsubmitted the required overdue payables informationas on 30 June 2011. The amount of overduepayables declared amounted to €57m. As a result,31 clubs were requested to provide an update ason 30 September 2011. This cut-off date is defined
in the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair PlayRegulations as it covers new transfer commitmentsand payments from the summer transfer window,when around 80% of European club transfer activityoccurs. It, therefore, gives a very up-to-date pictureof clubs’ payables.Out of the 31 clubs under monitoring, ten clubs –AEK Athens FC (GRE), Beşiktaş JK (TUR), Bursaspor(TUR), FK Crvena zvezda (SRB), PFC CSKA Sofia (BUL),Gaziantepspor (TUR), Panathinaikos FC (GRE), PAOKFC (GRE), FK Partizan (SRB) and NK Varaždin (CRO)– were referred to the UEFA Control and DisciplinaryBody in December 2011 as the InvestigatoryChamber alleged that they were in breach of theenhanced requirement on overdue payables as laiddown in the 2010 UEFA Club Licensing and FinancialFair Play Regulations.In February 2012, UEFA Control and DisciplinaryBody fined the above-mentioned clubs and imposedthe following sporting sanctions:• straight exclusion from the next UEFA clubcompetition for which the club would otherwisehave qualified in the next three or four seasons; or• suspended exclusion from the next UEFA clubcompetition for which the club qualified inthe next three/four seasons, subject to certainconditions (settlement of past and currentcommitments) being met by March 2012. TheInvestigatory Chamber monitored the fulfilmentof those conditions and concluded that allconditions imposed on clubs were subsequentlymet, with the exception of AEK Athens, which was also refused a UEFA licence by its licensor onthe same grounds.

Here is my take on this, for what it’s worth.
The total declared as owing by 237 clubs was 57m euros. That is an average of around 250,000 euros per club. Clearly some clubs must have returned very small sums. UEFA picked out 31 clubs from the 237 to provide a September update.
According to Lawman, Craig Whyte’s RFC, “on the balance of probabilities”, must be assumed to have made an honest return of £2.4m outstanding. That’s around 3 million euros, and let’s ignore interest and penalties. So around 5% of the total returned by 237 clubs was down to RFC. 31 clubs were chosen to supply a September report. The biggest offenders, without a doubt.  Isn’t it blindingly obvious that RFC would have been one of the 31, if they had made an honest return?
And if a 30 September 2011 return was provided, what could it possibly say, apart from the fact that the £2.4m was still outstanding, plus interest, plus penalties, plus all PAYE and NIC for the months May to August inclusive. Probably a total of £10m.
This whole Lawman thesis, that an honest return was made to UEFA,  is simply nonsense. If honest returns had been made, RFC would clearly have been sanctioned. 9 others were sanctioned. Almost certainly, most of the 9 sanctioned were in a better state of financial health than RFC. So why weren’t RFC sanctioned? Clearly (it seems to me) because UEFA were kept in the dark.
To me that report kills stone dead any contention that an honest return went to UEFA, either in June or September 2011. Whether the truth was concealed by RFC, by the SFA, or as I strongly suspect, by both, we need some honest answers and we need them now.

View Comment

wottpiPosted on9:05 pm - May 17, 2016

TBKMAY 17, 2016 at 15:43

CASTOFTHOUSANDSMAY 17, 2016 at 19:48

It may not be at odds with what went on Rangers as the extract TBK has posted relates to emphasizing what needs to be taken into considerations with regard to overdue payables, not necessarily what was identified before the report was produced.

Prior to TBKs extract the report indicates what auditing of the system Uefa was undertaking in season 2011/2012

During the 2011/12 season, 237 clubs in total submitted the required overdue payables information as on 30 June 2011.
The amount of overdue payables declared amounted to €57m. As a result, 31 clubs were requested to provide an update ason 30 September 2011.
This cut-off date is defined in the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations as it covers new transfer commitments and payments from the summer transfer window, when around 80% of European club transfer activityoccurs. It, therefore, gives a very up-to-date picture of clubs’ payables.
Out of the 31 clubs under monitoring, ten clubs –AEK Athens FC (GRE), Beşiktaş JK (TUR), Bursaspor(TUR), FK Crvena zvezda (SRB), PFC CSKA Sofia (BUL),Gaziantepspor (TUR), Panathinaikos FC (GRE), PAOKFC (GRE), FK Partizan (SRB) and NK Varaždin (CRO)
– were referred to the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body in December 2011 as the Investigatory Chamber alleged that they were in breach of the enhanced requirement on overdue payables as laid down in the 2010 UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations. 

Therefore my questions and observations are:-

Were Rangers one of the 31 clubs that following 30 June 2011 were asked for further information by 30 September 2011?

What criteria was being used by Uefa to ask for more information?

If Uefa only chased up some of those who declared overdue payable then you can see how a club could fall through the gap if they (for whatever reason)  did not declare an overdue payable when they should have or declared it in the appropriate manner.

If Rangers had been chased up for more information by 30 September but then given a clean bill of health would the SFA not have said so (screamed it from the roof tops!!)

We know that Ken Olverman said he was going to declare some overdue payables re contractual payments but appears to have had a genuine explanation for those. 

It therefore has to be concluded that either Rangers did not declare an overdue payable relating to the WTC on 30 June 2011 or if they did they were given a clean bill of health at that time and the Olverman explanation of “awaiting scheduling of payments” was accepted by Uefa.

Therefore was the 30 September 2011 deadline just a tick box for Rangers?

Was Uefa mostly relying on the process and honesty of individual clubs and the countries association?

I note that Uefa only audited selected Licensors (i.e. a country’s football association) in 2011/12 and 2102/13. The list does not include the SFA. 

Therefore from the above and lacking any other evidence we cannot be sure if both the processes used by Rangers and the SFA in 2011 were up to scratch and in line with the Uefa requirements.

If the Uefa return was required to be submitted  by 30 June 2011 then, from the Ken Olverman email from 30 June 2011 at 15:47 would appear to indicate the SFA would have had little or no time to vet the submission. 

Did the SFA have a role to play at that time with regard to processing matters?

Were the SFA in on Olvermans explanation or did they just tick the box marked OK? 

Therefore we cannot be sure if the SFA or Uefa actually investigated if what was on the Rangers submission on 30 June 2011 was true or not?

As it appears to be the case that no payment schedule had been agreed with the creditor, HMRC,  then a ‘deferred overdue payable’ was not declared as outlined in TBKs extract and Annex VIII by 30 September 2011.

Regardless of whether or not Rangers did wrong, in terms of an audit trail there are apparently multiple holes in the system and as anyone who has worked in Quality Management and other such systems knows, these can only be fixed and the service improved if you go back and see what went wrong.

View Comment

wottpiPosted on9:17 pm - May 17, 2016

NEEPHEIDMAY 17, 2016 at 20:26

Once again caught out drafting when others were posting.

Seems we are talking the same language.

The upshot of the whole situation is that by 30 September 2011 Rangers did not have an agreed payment schedule for an unpaid social tax but do not appear to have received any sanction.

At the very least, given it was a new system,  the club and the SFA should have had a slap on the wrist from Uefa and told to buck up their ideas in the future. 

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on10:13 pm - May 17, 2016

wottpiMay 17, 2016 at 21:17
”…At the very least, given it was a new system, the club and the SFA should have had a slap on the wrist from Uefa and told to buck up their ideas in the future.”      YES, certainly.
And both the club and the SFA should have admitted the ‘honest mistake’, ‘oversight’ , or whatever term they cared to use.
Far from doing that, of course, the  SFA pulled their proposed statement at the request of the knowingly guilty RFC board, and went into the cosy wee huddle , to agree to lie, and continue to lie.
We know that. They know that. And they know that not only ‘internet bampots‘ and  ‘ integrity soviets‘, know the truth, but also an  increasing number of non-partisan observers and commentators  are now aware that there are serious questions to be asked.
The mystery is why our clubs stay schtum. Did they all get some kind of compensation ( or, bribe) to stay quiet in the face of such iniquitous behaviour by their representatives? Are they all  dishonourable , canting hypocrites? 

View Comment

goosygoosyPosted on10:49 pm - May 17, 2016

With the benefit of hindsight
Two things always puzzled me about the EBT years.
Why was there such a slavish devotion to SDM by the MSM ?
I mean …when you think about it
 Could this devotion really have been bought by disbursing succulent lamb to the chosen many?
………… If so it was cheap……….. remarkably cheap
 Why has this devotion continued  to this day despite the fact that SDM is long gone from any position where he could continue this (modest) largesse?

Its Puzzling
Which makes  you wonder
Could there be some EBT loans that have never found their way to HMRC ?
Loans that would be a severe embarrassment if they were ever disclosed?

…………Thinking outside the box
Was Mintys EBT Tax Advisor the sort of guy who could easily  arrange after dinner entertainment as a follow up to the succulent lamb?
Entertainment that would be a severe embarrassment if it was ever disclosed?
Just a thought

View Comment

Corrupt officialPosted on12:22 am - May 18, 2016

GOOSYGOOSYMAY 17, 2016 at 22:49
    “Thinking outside the box”
   Maybe not so far out of the box as you think Goosy. After dinner minties may not have been to the taste of a son of the manse, but I doubt he would tell tales on his co-workers who indulged in the extra…errrr calories.  

View Comment

upthehoopsPosted on7:21 am - May 18, 2016

When Craig Whyte took over Rangers the media portrayed image was of a hugely wealthy man who was going to impart much of that wealth to the club. Is it too simple a question to ask that for the SFA to deny them a licence to play in Europe would have caused an utter outrage among the media and much of the public? In my view that is the crux of the matter. 

View Comment

SeanthesheepPosted on7:56 am - May 18, 2016

Where did Lawman go? Has he been banned 21

View Comment

wottpiPosted on9:05 am - May 18, 2016

As a wee follow on to last night I think everyone is agreed that the WTC was an overdue payable. The key issue is the timing.
Looking back at posts from last week even TheLawman appears to accept that the overdue payable in relation to the WTC was an accepted liability, in Uefa terms, at 19 June 2011. (Happy to be corrected if TLM does not agree with this interpretation)
Clubs can be given a Euro license if they have an overdue payable. However everything in all the Uefa documentation posted on here points to a club needing to have some form of acceptable explanation or agreed repayment plan in place with creditors by 30 September 2011 for everything to have been hunky dory.
Despite Olverman giving the impression at 30 June 2011 that some form of payment plan was forthcoming Rangers had no such agreement with HMRC. Never has been, never will.
We know from their review documentation that clubs who failed the overdue payable test/audit based on the information provided at the 30 September 2011 deadline were sanctioned by Uefa.  E.g. Panathinaikos who were, like Rangers, already knocked out of Europe on 25 August 2011.
Therefore retrospective punishment was a potential consequence regardless of whether or not you were still in Europe. E.g The Greek clubs involved were sanctioned around 25 February 2012
We know that the SFA are meticulous in their application of the rules of the game. They spot missing signatures on duplicate documents of non-professional teams and they can sniff out an unused but ineligible sub on the bench at half a mile.
However we are expected to believe that, they as the Euro Licensor, totally missed the fact that Rangers had a large outstanding social tax bill that did not have an agreed payment plan at 30 September 2011  
This is hard to swallow, being that the media provided everyone and their uncle with reports that Sheriff Officers visited Ibrox in relation to the WTC overdue payable 10 August 2011.
Even if the overdue payable had not crystallised at 31 March 2011 and the impression was given that an agreed repayment plan was forthcoming at 30 June 2011 and the ‘OK box’ was ticked by the SFA, surely a diligent and competent licensor such as the SFA would have sought to clarify matters by the 30 September 2011. Even if only to avoid any tricky questions should Uefa come knocking to undertake an audit of their systems. (We now know that they were not one of the Licensors to be selected for audit)
Having known that the sheriff officers had knocked on the door down Govan way in August you would have expected the SFA to have asked some questions of Rangers and indeed Hector.
Hiding behind the approval of the earlier submission from 31 March 2011 and Article 50 appears to me to be a head in the sand approach to governance and the choosing of certain rules to suit a particular predicament.
It appears that, for whatever reason, Uefa may be in the dark with regard to the situation regarding Rangers having an overdue payable (with no agreement plan) to HMRC at 30 September 2011
Given their willingness to sanction others, there is no reason to believe they would not have sanctioned Rangers for not having had an agreed repayment plan in place the UK’s tax authorities at 30 September 2011.
Therefore why does it appear that Uefa had no knowledge of the situation?
What role did Rangers and the SFA have in that apparent situation being arrived at?
I suspect the cosy relationship between club and Licensor, as evidenced by the ‘Press Release’ emails of December 2011 and subsequent candlelit dinners, may be the answer.
So in this particular matter were the SFA
a) Incompetent and lacked the thoroughness that is expected from a governing body
b) In collusion with Rangers to avoid telling the whole story to Uefa
c) Frightened of tackling a large rogue member club
d) Willing to give priority to the needs of one member club above the countries reputation for fair governance of the game by hiding behind certain rules as opposed to applying the spirt of the rules and the game.
e) All of the above

View Comment

bordersdonPosted on9:21 am - May 18, 2016

John ClarkMay 17, 2016 at 22:13  The mystery is why our clubs stay schtum. Did they all get some kind of compensation ( or, bribe) to stay quiet in the face of such iniquitous behaviour by their representatives? Are they all  dishonourable , canting hypocrites? 
Nail on head John, nail on head.

View Comment

ReiverPosted on9:23 am - May 18, 2016

I like the BBC Trust’s logic in rejecting the complaints that the BBC should call The Rangers” a new club.

But evidence put to the BBC Trust in the long-running debate of the club’s status, by those objecting to the use of the term “new club” pointed to the fact that the Lord Nimmo Smith commission that was put together by the SPL to look at Rangers’ use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) over a period of 11 years, made a distinction between the club and its owner or operator.  


That makes the assumption that LNS had any credibility. Using a discredited panel to support your argument isn’t the strongest defense for your position now, is it?

So to return to my argument the other day. Ashley couldn’t win a case against the SFA because they gave King fit and proper status to being on the board of the company not the club.
The players EBT’s had to be with the company and not the club as the tax bill on them killed the company and, we are assured, left the club in existence. It follows that the players contracts were with company and not the club because, if the club continued to exists, TUPE regulations mean that the players who walked away could only have walked away from the company.
So if players contracts were with the company then Dundee United should not have been punished because it was the company who were responsible for the players having been loaned out and the rules on their return would be the company’s responsibility. Or even more relevantly, Spartans should not have been kicked out of the cup in 2011 for improper registration as it was the company that was responsible for only signing the registration once instead of twice. As Ashley found the SFA could not be pulled up for King’s approval as the SFA’s rules only cover the club and not the company so they did no wrong.


The emperor isn’t wearing any clothes!

View Comment

TBKPosted on9:47 am - May 18, 2016

So…………. an Audit on the SFA was carried out sometime between 2009 and 2011 according to Investigatory Chamber (CFCB) COMPLIANCE AND INVESTIGATION ACTIVITY REPORT 2011–13From June 2011 the UEFA Investigatory Chamber reviewed 237 clubs that played in 2011-2013 UEFA Club Competitions. 
*Rangers were required to submit, via the SFA, corresponding payable declarations & specific information.

“3.3 Club monitoring process: monitoring of overdue payables during the season
Although the future role of the Investigatory Chamber will focus heavily on the assessment of the “break-even requirement”, the new task of the Investigatory Chamber as from June 2011 has been to monitor the enhanced overdue payables requirement which represents the first step in the introduction of the financial fair play rules. As a result, overdue payables towards football clubs, employees and/or social/tax authorities were monitored throughout the UEFA club competitions.”

It certainly appears that *Rangers were never audited or monitored during this period. This, despite indicators that they failed the criteria. (indicator 4. Art 62 and indicator 4. Art 66. 6.)

It makes the SFAs comments in December 2011 even more bizarre that they refer to the 31 March 2011 Deadline and not the June or September 2011 Deadline(s). I remind you the SFA stated:

“It is noted from the report submitted to the Licensing Committee by Rangers FC’s advisors Grant Thornton UK LLP, dated 30th March 2011, that:

“All the recorded payroll taxes at 31 December 2010 have, according to the accounting records of the Club since that date been paid in full by 31 March 2011, with the exception of the continuing discussion between the Club and HM Revenue and Customs in relation to a potential liability of £2.8m associated with contributions between 1999 and 2003 into a discounted option scheme. These amounts have been provided for in full within the interim financial statements.”
Since the potential liability was under discussion by Rangers FC and HM Revenue & Customs as at 31st March 2011, it could not be considered an overdue payable as defined by Article 50.
We are satisfied that the evidence from all parties complied with Article 50 and, on that basis, a licence was awarded for season 2011-12.”

MCRs letter and the financial forecast contained within shows projected payment from UEFA & SPL of £5.34m on June 17th and a negative balance at August 2011. It notes a working capital requirement in excess of its current facilities. “The Club’s only means of funding this requirement is on the basis that it receives sufficient financial support from its shareholders.”

“The Investigatory Chamber reminds licensors that the assessment of going concern is of paramount importance before granting a licence to a club. In fact, the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations clearly state that if risk indicators are breached, “the licensor must assess the club’s ability to continue as a going concern until at least the end of the licence season (i.e. the licence must be refused if, based on the financial information that the licensor has assessed, in the licensor’s judgement, the licence applicant may not be able to continue as a going concern until at least the end of the licence season)”.
“If the club faces severe cash flow issues (i.e. the projected cash flow position at the end of the licence season is negative) which are not mitigated with appropriate financial commitments, the licence must be refused. “

It make very interesting reading and hopes to put to bed certain ‘claims of certainty’ by some. Surely this alone warrants an investigation into the SFA and its procedures (and personnel) around this time?

it’s all in here………

View Comment

easyJamboPosted on9:55 am - May 18, 2016

wottpi May 18, 2016 at 09:05
The timeline for the exchange of information between Rangers, SFA and UEFA at key dates gives strong clues as to what information was provided and what interpretation was given by the authorities.

31 March – Rangers declared no Overdue Payables

1 April – Alistair Johnston acknowledged in the interim accounts for 2010/11 that Rangers was in possession of HMRC Assessments in respect of the WTC in a statement to the Stock Exchange.

The exceptional item reflects a provision for a potential tax liability in relation to a Discounted Option Scheme associated with player contributions between 1999 and 2003. Discussions are continuing with HMRC to establish a resolution to the assessments raised.

20 May –  HMRC issue Regulation 80 determinations and Section 8 decisions as a means of enforcing recovery of the money that they believe is due (overdue?).

30 June – Rangers submit that they do indeed have Overdue Payables together with an explanation of “awaiting scheduling” if we are to believe what Ken Olverman said in his email to Craig Whyte.

19 September – The SFA send an email to Rangers which reads as follows:

The Rangers Football Club plc Tel: 0141 580 8782 Fax: 0141 580 8594 Email: From: Keith Sharp [] Sent:19 September 2011 17:17 To:Ken Olverman Subject: UEFA Club Monitoring
Hi Ken, I hope things are OK with you.
First the good news – we have had verbal confirmation from UEFA that they are satisfied with the submission in respect of Overdue Payables as at 30 June.
This means that Rangers do not have to provide updated information on Overdue Payables as at 30 September, and also do not have to provide updated Future Financial Information.
In view of recent media reports, could you provide us with a brief written update of the current situation re the amount due to HMRC, as required under Article 67 of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.
UEFA will be aware of the situation and a brief statement should satisfy their requirements. There is no indication that this will result in any follow up action from UEFA as the Club Financial Control Panel already has a large number of cases to consider at its next meeting.
Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you. Let me know if you wish to discuss.
Kind regards Keith
Keith Sharp Financial Accountant 0141 616 6022 Scottish Football Association
Company Number SC5453
Hampden Park, Glasgow G42 9AY.

The above gives confirmation that Rangers did provide a submission on Overdue Payables as at 30 June and that both the SFA and UEFA were content to accept the explanation given (“awaiting scheduling”) and a licence was granted with no further follow up required.

30 September – Rangers was required to submit a “brief written update” re the amount due.

One can speculate that the submission of 30 September probably limited itself to Rangers claiming that they were seeking to make an appeal (a late appeal – via Saffrey’s) against the assessments due.

One could also reasonably assume that on 30 September Rangers made no mention of the facts that nothing had been agreed with HMRC about the scheduling  of overdue bill, no payment had been made on account, nothing about the sheriff’s officers serving an order on the club, nor that the club now had overdue payables for VAT, PAYE and NIC.

So, in summary, Rangers most likely misled the SFA in their submissions of 30 June and 30 September (possibly 31 March too), as to the true status of the WTC bill, leading to the granting of a Licence. The SFA failed to make further enquiries or request evidence about those submissions to establish their accuracy, despite their knowledge of the deteriorating financial state of the club.  

Rangers – FAIL
UEFA – Misled

View Comment

ReiverPosted on10:06 am - May 18, 2016

What you omit from your timeline is the Sheriff Officers visit to Ibrox at the beginning of August. This was much publicised and should have immediately prompted the SFA to call for an explanation as to how the statement for 30th June was, six weeks later, totally destroyed.

View Comment

easyJamboPosted on10:32 am - May 18, 2016

Reiver May 18, 2016 at 10:06 
EJ What you omit from your timeline is the Sheriff Officers visit to Ibrox at the beginning of August. This was much publicised and should have immediately prompted the SFA to call for an explanation as to how the statement for 30th June was, six weeks later, totally destroyed.
I didn’t want to overly clutter the post with a blow by blow account (Auldheid has previously provided all that), but to focus on the communications that we know did take place.

I’m certain that the SFA was well aware of the Sheriff’s officers visit. I think that Ken Sharp comment in the 19 September email “In view of recent media reports” was a euphemism for that visit as well as other predictions of doom following their European exits.

….. and yes, the SFA should have been all over it like a rash.

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on10:33 am - May 18, 2016

May 18, 2016 at 09:47

I don’t know if it is covered in UEFA’s regulations, but I’d expect that, covered or not, there is an implied requirement for the licensing authority (SFA) to advise UEFA as soon as an event such as Sheriff’s Officers turning up at the door of a licensed club, due to overdue payables, occurs. This would/should happen whether the club remains in European competition, or not. This should also happen whether or not the club’s financial status was properly reported at 30 June.

One thing is absolutely certain, there will be nothing that states, or implies, ‘if we (UEFA) don’t ask, don’t tell us.’ It’s almost as if the SFA don’t want to enter into the spirit, at least, of UEFA’s commitment to financial fair play! Oh, wait a minute…EBTs, DOS, LNS, lumpy carpets!

View Comment

neepheidPosted on10:47 am - May 18, 2016

easyJamboMay 18, 2016 at 09:55
So, in summary, Rangers most likely misled the SFA in their submissions of 30 June and 30 September (possibly 31 March too), as to the true status of the WTC bill, leading to the granting of a Licence. The SFA failed to make further enquiries or request evidence about those submissions to establish their accuracy, despite their knowledge of the deteriorating financial state of the club.
Thanks for your very clear summary of the position.
So we know that a report on overdue payables was made to the SFA and UEFA at 30 June 2011. It is clear that the report treated the £2.4m DOS money as “postponed” rather than due. The report seems to have simply been a falsehood in that case. The sum was not postponed, and there was no agreement from HMRC, either at 30 June or ever, that payment could be “scheduled”.
Lawman’s theory is that there is a missing letter from HMRC, dated between 19 June and 30 June, which is being suppressed by dark forces, because this missing letter favours Rangers case. He thinks there is a suspicious gap in the correspondence. Which is about as big a load of nonsense as I’ve ever heard in my life. I worked in the Revenue, and if Lawman thinks that a plea to defer payment of an established liability of £2.4m is dealt with by some humble clerk in a local office by return of post, then he needs an urgent reality check.
The simple answer of course is a transparent enquiry, looking at what precisely HMRC told RFC, what RFC told the SFA, and what the SFA told UEFA. That is what is urgently required.
I strongly suspect that RFC and the SFA colluded to produce a false 30 June report that would satisfy UEFA. However I doubt that will ever be established unless someone breaks ranks. There is unlikely to be a paper trail that would establish collusion.
But if the SFA can get out of this by simply publishing the RFC report to them, and saying “this is what we were told by RFC, we believed it and passed it on to UEFA”,  then why don’t they just do so?  It seems simple to me. So what’s the problem?

View Comment

ReiverPosted on10:56 am - May 18, 2016

I think we should all say Hi to one of our silent observers on the site, the SFA. I wonder if they are the ones that are so quick with the thumbs down.

Unfortunately they don’t quite have their finger on the pulse, nothing new there, as I am reliably informed that they claim that I RUN the Scottish Football Monitor site.

Move aside BP and Tris, it’s a takeover2121

View Comment

Corrupt officialPosted on11:30 am - May 18, 2016

   A quick glance through the UEFA page shows me that UEFA requires that a club demonstrates it is, “good to go”,until at least to the end of the license period. 
   Rangers(I.L.) were not good to go for the entire license period. Therefpre, how did they manage to persuade the SFA they were?

 ” 3.1.4 Compliance with club licensing – guidance from the Investigatory ChamberThe Investigatory Chamber reminds licensors thatthe assessment of going concern is of paramountimportance before granting a licence to a club.In fact, the Club Licensing and Financial Fair PlayRegulations clearly state that if risk indicators arebreached, “the licensor must assess the club’s abilityto continue as a going concern until at least theend of the licence season (i.e. the licence must berefused if, based on the financial information thatthe licensor has assessed, in the licensor’s judgement,the licence applicant may not be able to continue asa going concern until at least the end of the licenceseason)”.

    In the box marked “Financial Forecast” did the SFA just write, “This club has wealth off the radar” as UTH suggests, and submit the front page of the Daily Record as documentary proof………Would that have satisfied a UEFA audit? 
    I doubt it, so they must have submitted zero issues with the risk indicators

View Comment

easyJamboPosted on11:36 am - May 18, 2016

I sense a new set of court actions ahead.

Statement o’clock

THE Rangers Football Club Limited has today served notice on Rangers Retail Limited terminating the IP Licence and Rights Agreement with that company with immediate effect.

The Club now needs to speak to its commercial partners to agree the next steps flowing from the termination and will make no further comment on this matter whilst discussions are ongoing.

The Club will endeavour to communicate further with its supporters and customers for Rangers Kit and other Rangers products as soon as it is in a position to do so.

View Comment

ReiverPosted on11:49 am - May 18, 2016


Another call to arms for the fans to stump up, is it?

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on11:58 am - May 18, 2016

Corrupt Official

In what document does appear? Have you the link?

View Comment

DunderheidPosted on12:02 pm - May 18, 2016

I’ve got to say I can’t make my mind up if I’m merely amused or genuinely shocked that this latest statement from *Rangers should aver that a ‘Club’ can have both supporters and customers.

View Comment

easyJamboPosted on12:06 pm - May 18, 2016

Auldheid May 18, 2016 at 11:58 
Corrupt Official
In what document does appear? Have you the link?
The link is the one posted by TBK above.

View Comment

Corrupt officialPosted on12:11 pm - May 18, 2016

AULDHEIDMAY 18, 2016 at 11:58 
Corrupt Official
In what document does appear? Have you the link?
In here mate.

View Comment

wottpiPosted on12:22 pm - May 18, 2016

MAY 18, 2016 at 09:55

Thanks for posting out that email.

It certainly points to the SFA and Uefa having the lightest of touches with regard to their licensing responsibilities.

It makes you wonder why the 10 clubs who were sanctioned got caught given a simple nod and a wink and a few white lies seems to get you through the process.

Self certification is never a great idea!!

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on12:24 pm - May 18, 2016

I see Tom English has, at last, engaged on twitter over the Offshore Game report. Of course, all he is doing is trying to fob everyone off on why he isn’t writing about the report itself, claiming it’s flawed!

Of course, true to his honour as a journalist, he makes no effort to explain those flaws, expecting us all, or maybe just one person, to accept his word on it! He does the usual deflection of turning it into a Celtic v Rangers thing, which just cheapens the man as much as it does his journalistic skills.

‘Too complex’ to ‘flawed’, and so the ‘journey’ continues.

Am I the only one who gets the feeling the country’s hacks are taking it in turn to ‘engage’ with the ‘world outside Level5’ on the issue, while only using the qualities of a Level5 puppet?

I may have missed it, but I don’t think I’ve read any hack saying that the SFA are not what the report claims! I’ve not read, either, that any of the people involved with TOG, or TJN, are under threat from the courts over breaking any gagging orders relating to current cases!

View Comment

neepheidPosted on12:36 pm - May 18, 2016

easyJamboMay 18, 2016 at 11:36 
I sense a new set of court actions ahead.
Statement o’clock
However relaxed (or otherwise) Ashley may have been about his other court encounters with King, he will not be relaxed about this one. This goes to the core of his business. This will be war.

View Comment

Comments are closed.