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.

 

 

http://www.theoffshoregame.net/475-2/

 

 

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

BarcabhoyPosted on6:31 am - May 11, 2016


A few thoughts on Res 12, and LNS , and what options are open to clubs . These issues are complex and thanks to others who have provided the research on some of the key points . They know who they are.
Res 12. Do I think Rangers were incorrectly awarded a Uefa licence ? ….I don’t know for sure , however i believe it’s highly likely. Can it be proven ? Not without Uefa co-operation in my view. If Rangers were incorrectly awarded a Uefa licence , who is responsible ? The SFA / UEFA / Rangers ? …..
1) I believe the SFA are in the clear. Their responsibility was to approve the licence application at March 31. There was no overdue tax at that point.
2) Uefa could have granted an exception should there have been unpaid tax at June 30, however there were restrictions on their ability to do that and a responsibility to inform the SFA that an exception had been made . There was overdue tax and therefore if a licence was granted it had to be by exception.
” Exceptions related to items a), b), c), e) and f) are granted to a UEFA member association and apply to all clubs which are registered with the UEFA member association and which submit a licensing application to enter the UEFA club competitions.”
The Process for requesting an exception “An exception request must be in writing, clear and well founded”, and other for exceptions under the 3 year rule, “must be submitted by the UEFA member association to the UEFA” In other words, for an exception to be granted, it is the SFA who would have required to have submitted the “clear and well-founded” written application.
Relevant grounds, in the case in question, for UEFA discretion over the requirements of Annex VIII.
a) The relevant amount has been paid.
b) The creditor has accepted, in writing, an agreement to extend the payment terms.
c) It has brought a legal claim disputing liability.
d) It is able to demonstrate that the clain against it is manifestly unfounded.
We know that none of the above applied in Rangers case . So it’s highly unlikely a “clear and well-founded” written application could have been made. Given the heat the SFA have had over this they could have killed Res 12 stone dead by confirming Uefa issued an exception. They would also have had to inform all Scottish clubs at the time of the exception. The fact that they haven’t and didn’t is as conclusive you can get that there was no exception.
There is also the fact that none of the exceptions criteria applied in Rangers case. We just don’t know 100% that there was no exception but we can be almost certain that this was the case.
3) Which leaves only one possibility for the issuing of the licence . Rangers lied to Uefa when they had to confirm they had no overdue tax payables at June 30. Whyte lied to anyone and everyone, therefore it’s no stretch at all to believe that he lied to Uefa.
LNS
The key issues for me are :
1) Why was the enquiry period covered changed from 1998 to 2000 ?
The SPL announced on March 5th 2012 that the enquiry would cover payments made on or on behalf of Rangers since 1st July 1998 .
The SPL then on 2nd August 2012 announced that the enquiry would cover payments made on or on behalf of Rangers between 2000 and 2011.
Suggestions that the DOS was subject to appeal are nonsense. The debt was included in the CVA proposal from Duff and Phelps on May 2012. It wasn’t in a category of “to be confirmed ” . It was confirmed at £3.052 Million and confirmed as due to HMRC. So no dispute no appeal.
2) Why did the SPL accept that Rangers EBT use was and always would be lawful even if it was overturned on appeal ?
The unanimous decision of the Court of Session has shown that acceptance of permanent innocence to be ludicrous. The FTT majority decision clearly suited the SPL. So much so that they didn’t want to use any future decision that overturned it.
3) Why did the SPL accept Bryson’s interpretation ?
Why didn’t they bring evidence of action taken by the SFA over minor discrepancies in registration for other clubs. These routinely resulted in the SFA overturning results and expelling clubs from competitions for issues as trivial as only dating a document once rather than twice. Bryson’s interpretation clearly suited the SPL.
4) Why did the SPL accept Ogilvie’s evidence without question or query.
They must have been fully aware of his role in setting up the DOS scheme given their original intention to include it in the enquiry . Ogilvie’s response that he knew nothing about the EBT scheme opened up an obvious follow up along the lines of ” were you aware of or involved in any tax schemes for players during your time at Rangers ” .
That the SPL didn’t ask that question indicates clearly that were content to portray Ogilvie as innocent of any involvement in behaviour that brings the game into disrepute .
My own view is that Doncaster restricted the scope of the LNS enquiry to ensure Rangers would not receive the punishment their actions deserved. Doncaster more than any other regulatory official is responsible for damaging the integrity of the game in Scotland . His removal from office should be a prerequisite and a precursor to any reopening of the LNS enquiry. LNS was the SPL’s enquiry. It’s scope and terms of reference were set by Doncaster, he instructed the SPL’s solicitors .

What can the clubs do. Ask yourself the following questions :
1) “Have i read the Rules of the SPFL ? ”
2) ” Have I read the articles of The SFA and the SPFL”
3) ” If Yes to 1) and 2) do you fully understand what you have read ?
If you haven’t answered Yes to all 3 of the above you shouldn’t be venting about what any club can do . If you demand the club should be accusing anyone of cheating then you are effectively demanding the club be charged with bringing the game into disrepute and be slapped with a significant fine as a minimum.
Then ask yourself some follow up question.
4) Am i a senior decision maker in a £200 Million a year industry or am I a professional advisor in an industry of that size.
Because if you haven’t had that experience you aren’t likely to understand that ranting and being overly confrontational is counter productive. IF you can answer Yes to all 4 questions above you will know that you need to present your case in a manner that is fact based, is relevant and doesn’t offend the people you are hoping will support your cause.
The alternative is to mouth off empty platitudes, promise the earth and generally rabble rouse in an irresponsible manner.
Otherwise known as the Dave King strategy .
I’m happy my club take the issues seriously and don’t look for cheap applause at the expense of a positive outcome. There is no guarantee Celtic will get justice for our support , and for Scottish football. They will though not dupe the support to take the pressure off of themselves

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upthehoopsPosted on7:11 am - May 11, 2016


BARCABHOYMAY 11, 2016 at 06:31 3) Which leaves only one possibility for the issuing of the licence . Rangers lied to Uefa when they had to confirm they had no overdue tax payables at June 30. Whyte lied to anyone and everyone, therefore it’s no stretch at all to believe that he lied to Uefa.
==============================

I’ve seen this suggested before but in that case surely the SFA would want to use this open goal to show it was not down to them? Rightly or wrongly, the perception by many is that the SFA awarded Rangers the licence in the knowledge they shouldn’t have. Why would they not want to prove that’s the case?

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fan of footballPosted on7:13 am - May 11, 2016


GAZKMAY 10, 2016 at 22:58 21 0  Rate This 
Was this registration breach noticed by an official during play? Would I be correct in assuming no retrospective punishment under the Bryson Interpretation? 
http://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/669042/Exclusive-Dundee-United-face-points-deduction-fine-fielding-ineligible-player-News-Gossip
#BrysonInterpretation 
can this be used as further evidence that the LNS enquiry was a whitewash?

I think this story should be highlighted everyday till the outcome is reached and D Utd should be ready to get Bryson in if they are sanctioned 

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fan of footballPosted on7:32 am - May 11, 2016


Re getting the message out there about the the OTR 
May I suggest any fan of there clubs post a link on there fans forums and others log onto the remaining forums of the 42 clubs 
I signed up to an aberdeen forum and posted a link and at the last count it was viewd by over 1500 people 
every little helps 

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SeanthesheepPosted on7:44 am - May 11, 2016


Which Rangers lied to UEFA though the club or the company…… (I’m assuming UEFA only deal with clubs 🙂  )
If it was the Club then new Rangers who claim to be the same club would be in serious trouble!

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ReiverPosted on9:15 am - May 11, 2016


Helpmaboab on the 9th

Apology due to you Boab(hope you don’t think I am being too familiar) I just noticed your Johnny Appleseed comment. I’ll follow that apology with a big thank you for spreading the word. Funny looks don’t bother me but then I am used to them whether dropping cards on buses or not.
For those who are bothered by them, well, they don’t have to happen. Just drop a card from your pocket as you are about to leave your seat. No-one will notice.
On the subject of the cards and posters I intend changing them today so that they include the offshoregame link. A much easier link to remember when looking for info.

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GiovanniPosted on10:56 am - May 11, 2016


Having read and re-read the various UEFA rules and the arguments put forward by The Lawman on the Bears’ Den and by others on this site together with the comments on the John James site I can categorically state that I am no nearer deciding who is right or wrong. The principal cause is probably my lack of any legal training. 
However if, as claimed by The Lawman, the TOG assertions are easily refuted, why has the SFA not done precisely that. Why the “no comment”? 

That is more telling imho than any argument put forward by The Lawman.

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tayredPosted on11:07 am - May 11, 2016


Follow up after “fan of football” post earlier from Dundee Courier

Dundee Utd expected to be stripped of points due to fielding ineligible player:

https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/sport/football/dundee-united/170475/dundee-united-expected-stripped-victory-inverness-caley-thistle/

Please United, make a stand. Might be an opportune time for United fans everywhere to make contact with their club.

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Big PinkPosted on11:10 am - May 11, 2016


Baracbhoy

I don’t think the SFA are off the hook at all, because I believe it was incumbent on them (although Auldheid will correct me if I am wrong) to verify the status of clubs after 31 March. I am sure they will attempt to legally circumvent that requirement, but they are four years (into the “find us an excuse FFS” process) too late for that.

No ranting and raving from the cubs is required. They can temperately, sanely and responsibly ask for these allegations (made in the TOG report) to be investigated urgently.

This boils down to a simple choice for those of us who haven’t read the minutiae of the articles you mention, but have lost trust in those whose business it is to follow and enforce them appropriately.

The question is this; will our clubs of choice call and vote for an independent inquiry into the accusations made by TOG?

The choice is whether or not you think your ST money is being used to prop up a corrupt system or not.

My fear is that the question is a “turkeys voting for Christmas” one – and yes, I understand the unwelcome and sinister implication contained in that. 

The beauty of the TOG report is that it calls into question the fundamental dishonesty of individuals and organisations involved in the governance the game in Scotland – and does not focus on Res 12 issues alone.

Tinkering with the licence issue is just that – tinkering. We need more than that. The underlying culture and governance of the game is the disease. Res 12, LNS and the 5WA are just symptoms.

A thorough and independent investigation into the processes, relationships, governorship, management, and opacity of the SFA and SPFL is required from my point of view – as well as the compilation of a register of interests. The Benn questions are a start;

What power have you got?
Where did you get it from?
In whose interests do you exercise it?
To whom are you accountable?
And how can we get rid of you?

  

I ask myself an additional question;

What have my club done over the course of this earth-shattering set of circumstances to demonstrate they deserve my trust (and my £1500)? 

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neepheidPosted on11:14 am - May 11, 2016


HomunculusMay 10, 2016 at 23:47 9 0  Rate This 
NEEPHEIDMAY 10, 2016 at 22:54
=============================
Sorry, I disagree.
The tax was due and payable as soon as HMRC raised their assessment. That is my understanding of how he system works. 
The taxpayer may have the right to have HMRC not enforce the debt (if they can demonstrate that if they paid it they would suffer unnecessarily) however it was due as soon as the assessment was raised. 
==================================
In the case of an assessment to Income Tax, tax is not due and payable until 30 days from the date of issue of the assessment. That is S5, ICTA1988.

5 Date for payment
(1)Subject to the provisions of the Income Tax Acts and in particular to subsection (2) below and section 203, income tax contained in an assessment for any year shall be payable on or before the 1st January in that year, or at the expiration of a period of 30 days beginning with the date of the issue of the notice of assessment, whichever is the later.

The taxpayer has the right of appeal within the same 30 day period, and can ask for the tax to be postponed, in whole or in part, basically because the quantum of tax is in dispute. The Inspector can accept or reject the postponement application. If the taxpayer is unhappy with the Inspector’s decision, the matter goes to the tax tribunal. (S55 TMA 1970)
Any tax postponed is not collectable. I would add that pleas of hardship have nothing to do with this process.
If the taxpayer accepts the tax is due, but hasn’t the money to pay, then HMRC may allow time to pay, or make an instalment arrangement, but such informal arrangements do not affect the fact that the tax is not in dispute- it is still due and payable, the Revenue are simply adopting a pragmatic approach to collecting the money due.
However, the RFC case relates to Regulation 80 determinations under the PAYE Regulations, 1993. Although these are treated as assessments for most purposes, there are some differences. The postponement provisions of S55 TMA 1970 do not apply to these determinations, presumably because of the nature of the liability. It may well be that these determinations are payable immediately, although I can’t find a reference for that. But however interesting09that may be in the abstract, it doesn’t affect the fact that the tax was due and payable on 30 June, since more than 30 days had elapsed from the issue of the determinations in any case. There was no appeal, and postponement was not an option. My earlier post was mistaken on that point, by the way. Even if RFC had appealed, the tax was still due and payable. Which is probably why they didn’t appeal- the determinations were in agreed figures anyway.
RFC’s only possible “out” from the point of view of a UEFA licence would be a formal written agreement with HMRC for staged payments. Although RFC had put a proposal forward, it had not been agreed by HMRC by 30 June (or ever, I understand).  So the £2.4m was due, payable and outstanding at 30 June 2011. And without the agreement of HMRC.
Olvermans apparently returned the £2.4m as “postponed” to the SFA on 30 June. That was quite simply untrue. And on that basis, the SFA could claim publicly that they acted in good faith on false information from RFC. Why don’t they? That’s the mystery.

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AllyjamboPosted on11:32 am - May 11, 2016


GiovanniMay 11, 2016 at 10:56 
Having read and re-read the various UEFA rules and the arguments put forward by The Lawman on the Bears’ Den and by others on this site together with the comments on the John James site I can categorically state that I am no nearer deciding who is right or wrong. The principal cause is probably my lack of any legal training.  However if, as claimed by The Lawman, the TOG assertions are easily refuted, why has the SFA not done precisely that. Why the “no comment”? 
That is more telling imho than any argument put forward by The Lawman.
_________

My thoughts exactly. There can be no good reason for not responding to such damning allegations, other than fear of the truth! After all, one of the allegations involves lying to a tribunal by the SFA president – honest people would want to prove their own innocence in involvement of any wrongdoings, at the very least! The Resolution 12 issues will have fully documented evidence (or should have), one way or the other. What right minded person or organisation would not produce that, when it’s undoubtedly available, if it shows they have done no wrong?

With RFC no longer punishable, it can be assumed that it’s only the members of the SFA involved at the time who have anything to fear from the publication of the documents involved!

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AllyjamboPosted on11:48 am - May 11, 2016


A tweet, I hope it is accurate. I cannot verify the tweeter, but he was a damned good player 22

Harry Hood‏@Vandalgrease 34m34 minutes ago The #Resolution12 stuff has been submitted to #UEFA via #Celtic Company Secretary Michael Nicholson. Statement soon. Credit to Paul Larkin

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DunderheidPosted on11:50 am - May 11, 2016


Barcabhoy from earlier today.
Thanks for that thought-provoking piece.
May I say, however, that I found the following extract to be strangely condescending:
‘ 4) Am i a senior decision maker in a £200 Million a year industry or am I a professional advisor in an industry of that size.’

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ThomTheThimPosted on12:10 pm - May 11, 2016


I have a hazy recollection of the SFA issuing a statement, after the issue of the licence in March, to the effect that UEFA would have no reason to follow up on the compliance with licence requirements.

if so, we’re UEFA advised by the SFA that all the requirements had been met and that there were no barring issues?
Again, if correct, that leaves the ball on the SFA and RFC’s slates.

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John ClarkPosted on12:38 pm - May 11, 2016


Just in from Court No. 4.

The business was about the non-provision of information about assets etc  in connection with Whye’s legal aid application ( which was first refused, then granted  months ago.
Court not at all pleased with non-compliance with the order made as far back 11/09/15. Respondent’s position entirely unsatisfactory. However, it would be better for Lord Advocate to have all the information requested, so Counsel for Whyte has been given until 4.00 pm Tuesday 17th may to get all information about Whyte’s finances and assets lodged. The hearing scheduled for 31st May will not be put at risk.
There was no mention of this business being under the reporting restriction orders.  Sadly, though, the spoken delivery of Counsel on both sides was pretty poor , so I can’t give much more than that, in any case.
The proceedings were held before Lord Menzies. Mr James Muir QC and Mr Dan Byrne for the pursuer, and Ms Maggie Hughes for the respondent.
Proceedings began at 10.24 a.m. Short adjournment while his Lordship retired to read some documents presented to him. Resumed at about 10.50, and concluded at  11.36.

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AllyjamboPosted on12:41 pm - May 11, 2016


AllyjamboMay 11, 2016 at 11:48 10 1 i Rate This 
A tweet, I hope it is accurate. I cannot verify the tweeter, but he was a damned good player
Harry Hood‏@Vandalgrease 34m34 minutes ago The #Resolution12 stuff has been submitted to #UEFA via #Celtic Company Secretary Michael Nicholson. Statement soon. Credit to Paul Larkin
____________________

I’m afraid there is some doubt as to the validity of this tweet, but it does look like a genuine mistake on the part of the tweeter. Hope, I’ve not got too many people’s hopes up 03

Perhaps the mods could delete my post, at least until it is perhaps verified!

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normanbatesmumfcPosted on1:26 pm - May 11, 2016


Neepheid says;
“And on that basis, the SFA could claim publicly that they acted in good faith on false information from RFC. Why don’t they? That’s the mystery.”

The reason is probably because the world’s greatest administrator orchestrated the whole thing, telling RFC exactly what to put on their application and the rest would be rubber stamped.

That is the problem with “transparency”, many, many unscrupulous individuals will have their dabs all over the various maladministration issues and every one of them needs to keep schtum!

The courts are the last and only hope this disgraceful episode in Scottish Football can be brought into the light.  

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normanbatesmumfcPosted on1:31 pm - May 11, 2016


Just while I’m on about “courts”.

Are TRFC currently perpetrating a fraud? By that I mean, if an individual were to visit their website and thereafter purchase a ticket from them for one of their games, could they then sue for “misrepresentation” or something of that ilk?

Could this action be taken to a small claims court and if necessary crowd-funded? Just asking like.

Plenty legal eagle minds on here might know the answer…… 

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easyJamboPosted on1:43 pm - May 11, 2016


Confirmation that Dundee United have been docked points and fined over fielding ineligible players.

At a disciplinary hearing today (Wednesday, 11 May, 2016) the SPFL Board charged Dundee United FC for Playing (as defined in the SPFL Rules) Jamie Robson and Alistair Coote in their Ladbrokes Premiership match against Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Friday, 6 May, 2016. 

Jamie Robson was an unused substitute in ‎this game. Alistair Coote was listed as a substitute and entered the field of play after 76 minutes when he replaced Simon Murray, at which point the score was 3-2 to Dundee United. Dundee United won the game 3-2. 

Dundee United pled guilty to breaches of SPFL Player Regulations 12, 14(i) and 14(ii), which breached SPFL Rules.

The breaches of Player Regulations occurred because the Club failed to apply to the SPFL to League Register the Players as required by SPFL Player Regulations 7 and 3A. 

As a result, Dundee United were severely censured, deducted three points from their points total this Season and fined £30,000 (part suspended). 

The disciplinary hearing concluded that replaying the game before the end of the Season was not practical

Read more at http://spfl.co.uk/news/article/dundee-united-charged-by-spfl-at-disciplinary-hearing/#tSRj4G374UfjlzCM.99

One rule for the wee clubs and another for any club named Rangers it seems.

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easyJamboPosted on2:18 pm - May 11, 2016


Following the SPFL’s decision on Dundee United, Stephen Thompson has resigned from the SPFL Board.

CLUB STATEMENT May 11, 2016
Chairman Stephen Thompson has resigned from his position on the SPFL board with immediate effect.

He has expressed his shock and anger at the severity of the sanction imposed by the SPFL in relation to a rule breach in our recent Ladbrokes Premiership fixture versus Inverness Caley Thistle.

Whilst acknowledging the Club’s error and accepting a breach of rules occurred, the Chairman feels the gravity of the punishment is wholly disproportionate for what was a simple honest, human error.

We await the full written judgment after which we will consider our next action.

Our travelling fans are the ones who have been punished the most here and the Club will examine ways to make this up to them.

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tayredPosted on2:36 pm - May 11, 2016


£30,000 per game then? Is that the going price for playing an illegible player?

Why then were RFC only fined £250,000. Using simple arithmetic would suggest that RFC must have only fielded an ineligible player for 8.3 games? How many games is it clear RFC were playing with mis-registered players? 

If all our chairman had spines!!

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AllyjamboPosted on2:39 pm - May 11, 2016


easyJamboMay 11, 2016 at 13:43

Clearly, the SPFL are living up to our game’s governors claim of, ‘no fear or favour’, here! How very dare Dundee United make a genuine mistake that couldn’t possibly give them any advantage, being already relegated.

In truth, without the damning precedents of the past four years, I’d applaud today’s action as something that goes a long way to ensuring the integrity of our game. Instead it just highlights the existence of that ‘fear and favour’ we have been banging on about for years.

‘Ineligible players’, eh, that’ll be players not properly registered, I’d suspect! 

‘The breaches of Player Regulations occurred because the Club failed to apply to the SPFL to League Register the Players as required by SPFL Player Regulations 7 and 3A.’

Such serious breaches, those, imagine if United had gone on to win the League, having taken steps to disguise those breaches, I bet they’d have got hammered for that!

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easyJamboPosted on2:39 pm - May 11, 2016


At last! A flicker of life from the SMSM re the Offshore Game report.

Graham Spiers ‏@GrahamSpiers · 8m8 minutes ago
Finally getting round to reading the Tax Justice Network report on Rangers. Some awkward questions in there for Campbell Ogilvie/the SFA.

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neepheidPosted on2:41 pm - May 11, 2016


easyJamboMay 11, 2016 at 14:18  
Following the SPFL’s decision on Dundee United, Stephen Thompson has resigned from the SPFL Board.
=============
This was bound to happen sooner or later, an inevitable consequence of the LNS fiasco. Maybe now some of the other clubs will see clearly what they have bought into by their silence. Or maybe an appeal by DUFC, quoting the “Bryson Principle”, will make it clear that there are in fact no real rules in Scottish football.
Let’s hope Thompson goes all the way on this one.

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TBKPosted on2:55 pm - May 11, 2016


EASYJAMBO at 14:18

Important to note that the player(s) were not registered AT ALL with the SPFL……….. According to reports

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justbecauseyoureparanoidPosted on2:59 pm - May 11, 2016


TAYREDMAY 11, 2016 at 14:36 4 0 Rate This
£30,000 per game then? Is that the going price for playing an illegible player?
Why then were RFC only fined £250,000. Using simple arithmetic would suggest that RFC must have only fielded an ineligible player for 8.3 games? How many games is it clear RFC were playing with mis-registered players?
If (all)  ANY OF our chairman had spines!!

Fixed that for you.

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AllyjamboPosted on3:05 pm - May 11, 2016


I do realise there are subtle differences between Dundee United’s offence, and that of Rangers. One of them is the obvious diligence of the SPFL, or was it the SFA, in discovering those breaches so timeously. I suppose Sandy Bryson must be on holiday!

I do suspect, though, that the ‘excuse’ will be that this current case was uncovered before United’s next game, or next season, and it’s just United’s tough luck.

But, though it’s not possible to be ‘a little bit pregnant’, it is possible to be a very big bit guilty, and while United could, under any measurement, be described as being a little bit guilty, there can be no doubt that Rangers’ guilt was up through the roof. Rangers guilt, in the realms of sport, was massive – and they were found guilty!

I now hope that Stephen Thompson explains publicly why, having pled guilty to the breach, he felt it necessary to resign from the SPFL board; and uses his anger as a catalyst to speak out over governance that allows genuine mistakes to be penalised so disproportionately when compared to systematic deliberate withholding of proper registration details to facilitate a 10 year long tax avoidance scheme!

Regardless of whatever nuances exist between the two cases, the relative size of the breaches, and the penalties issued, beggars belief!

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CrownStBhoyPosted on3:29 pm - May 11, 2016


Improperly registered, admin error in registration and on and on… all means the same thing – not eligible, not registered, not allowed to play!

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TBKPosted on3:30 pm - May 11, 2016


TAYREDMAY 11, 2016 at 14:36
hope this helps………… 

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naegreetinPosted on3:34 pm - May 11, 2016


As an Arab the SPFL decision is the icing on a pretty torrid season for DUFC but it should never of happened that two ineligble players were listed on the teamsheet –  a cock-up , plain & simple (by the acting coach I presume) a la Legia Warsaw .
On Speirs’ twitter comment re the Tax Journal reoprt , why does he make it ? I wonder if he has heard on the grapevine of someone mainstream going with the story & he doesn’t want to appear left out . I always remember Corsica’s (RIP) quote re Speirs in the RTC days of an encounter with the “Son of the Manse” & not very complimentary it was from memory . 

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tayredPosted on3:42 pm - May 11, 2016


TBKMAY 11, 2016 at 15:30 TAYREDMAY 11, 2016 at 14:36hope this helps………… 

————————————-
Jings, drivens, and help ma boab.

Cheers TBK, so lets pursue this to its illogical ending. That would mean 3,483 appearance s by ineligible players, taking at £30k… well no, to be fair that £30k was for two players (one played, one just an unused sub) so lets call it £15k.

That means RFC owe in fines £52,245,000!!  0606

Maybe thats where all the money raised went!?

I agree that Dundee Utd were tardy, their mistake, they deserve i guess some punishment. But likewise, nobody made RFC do what they did. They knew were doing – cheating. United just made an arse of things.

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BarcabhoyPosted on3:56 pm - May 11, 2016


Big Pink
i believe that the SFA and Uefa fulfilled their obligations and were duped by Rangers lying to them . Neepheid has written on when tax became overdue and that fits with my information . 
Reading the articles and rules is important to understand what a club can and cannot do. This is different to the vote on Rangers entry , which was raised by the boards of the SPL and SFL at that time.  Questioning the SFA on Res 12 would require clubs to submit a resolution at a general meeting . If i am correct about the SFA being duped by Rangers then what would the purpose be of a resolution ? Who would be the target ? 

I believe there are much more serious questions for the SPFL to answer over LNS . The SFA are not in the clear either given the role played by Bryson and Ogilvie. However i wouldn’t be doing anything until the appeal process is completed by the Supreme Court. Should the SC uphold the COS verdict then I would expect there to be a resolution at a general meeting to vote on LNS being set aside and revisited. Assuming the SPFL board hadn’t previously taken that decision.

I believe fan mistrust of authorities is justified however clubs are restricted in what they can do outside of a general meeting. I would hope ALL clubs ask Doncaster to provide answers to the questions on LNS that i raised in my post. I would be disappointed in my club if they don’t arrive at that conclusion . 

Finally on fans withholding funds from their club. 

I’ll tell you who won’t be withholding funds next season – Rangers fans. They will be supporting Kings plans in large numbers and at significant cost. If you want to make life easier for this criminal who was on the Rangers boards whilst ALL rule breaking cheating and deception took place, then  deny funds to honest well run rule abiding clubs. 

I won’t be making it easier for King, i’ll be spending with my club as usual

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CastofthousandsPosted on4:02 pm - May 11, 2016


My hazy recollection informs me that there is a possibility that a viable distinction existed between player mis-registration and player eligibility via the LNS/Bryson ‘expert’ evidence. 
I think the line was that though the charge of mis-registration was found, Bryson’s intervention drew a distinction between player mis-registration and player ineligibility. 

This appeared highly contrived. However a very reputable poster, Hirsute Pursuit, who seemed to me to have a fine grasp of detail, did offer an opinion that this distinction might be viable. I think it relied upon a very particular interpretation of the rules.

Putting aside contrived interpretations, I think fines for players exhibiting ineligibility for games range from £10k-£20k per match per player. TBK’s table of appearance suggests about 3483 player.match appearances. So the fine levied by LNS, using recent precedent, could easily have been circa £Absolutely huge. However since the company was in administration at the time it might have been pointless freezing out all the creditors with such a large claim on the company residuals.

Given that a financial sanction was ineffective in the circumstances (no other club is ever likely to breach registration regulations 900 times, so it really is unprecedented), then logically a sporting sanction should probably have been applied, if only to besmirch the reputation of the liquidated company and provide disincentives for any possible future breaches. However LNS ruled that ‘no sporting advantage’ was gained by the mis-registrations I understand; which rather leaves the rule book looking more impotent than a dead thing.

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TrisidiumPosted on4:20 pm - May 11, 2016


TOG have printed a couple of minor and non-substantive retractions to their article after being contacted by a Rangers fan.

They appear to be anxious not to cause offence, however in an effort to be nice they have likened the spirit of Rangers to the spirit of Wimbledon – in that it resides with AFC Wimbledon (the new club) and NOT MK Dons (the er, old club)!

I hope someone is manning the email box 🙂

http://tiny.cc/6v9eby

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helpmaboabPosted on5:11 pm - May 11, 2016


Tayred 
are you taking my name in vain??

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YellohoosePosted on5:17 pm - May 11, 2016


Someone would appear to have read TOG report!
http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2016/05/11/the-unreported/

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sixtaesevenPosted on5:32 pm - May 11, 2016


Great to see that the Scottish football authorities are looking after the well being of our beloved game and making sure that rules are applied strictly and swiftly without fear or favour:
“Relegated Dundee United have been deducted three points and fined £30,000 for using two ineligible players in their win over Inverness Caley Thistle.
Ali Coote, a 17-year-old midfielder, came on as a substitute, while Jamie Robson, 18, was an unused substitute.”
Meanwhile a decade of blatant cheating is airbrushed from history.
Surely the day of reckoning will come for the old firm of the SFA and RFC/Sevco !!!

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StevieBCPosted on6:08 pm - May 11, 2016


NEEPHEIDMAY 11, 2016 at 14:41…maybe an appeal by DUFC, quoting the “Bryson Principle”, will make it clear that there are in fact no real rules in Scottish football.Let’s hope Thompson goes all the way on this one.
=================================
There have been so many inconsistencies and dodgy decisions coming from Hampden in recent years that it did seem inevitable, IMO, that at some stage it was going to come back to bite the blazers’ bums – with a club deciding to challenge the SFA’s authority.

The challenge might not come from Thomson on this occasion, but I believe it will happen at some point in the future.

…and there will always be the threat hanging over the SFA of a Court of Session appeal in the future – especially with the SFA having willingly rendered itself impotent wrt to imposing sanctions on a club for raising a civil court action…

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AllyjamboPosted on6:30 pm - May 11, 2016


TrisidiumMay 11, 2016 at 16:20 
TOG have printed a couple of minor and non-substantive retractions to their article after being contacted by a Rangers fan.
They appear to be anxious not to cause offence, however in an effort to be nice they have likened the spirit of Rangers to the spirit of Wimbledon – in that it resides with AFC Wimbledon (the new club) and NOT MK Dons (the er, old club)!
I hope someone is manning the email box
http://tiny.cc/6v9eby
___________________________
There is now an interesting piece covering the criticism they received that they didn’t accept. Quite hard hitting and actually expands on original report.
http://www.theoffshoregame.net/the-uefa-licence-issue/

I do wonder if some who contacted TOG could have been Jackson and the likes (or Level5), seeking a stealth interview to publish something to discredit the report! Maybe a wee bit too much like real journalism, though,  I suspect21

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nawlitePosted on6:49 pm - May 11, 2016


Allyjambo, I don’t think an of our professional journalists (!) would have been involved- they’re all too busy ignoring it after all!
Over on the Bears’ Den, the guy who wrote the article has been boasting about setting the TOG people straight and getting them to accept his points.

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ReiverPosted on6:50 pm - May 11, 2016


It has taken a while but here is the latest from the Sports Integrity Initiative –

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ReiverPosted on6:55 pm - May 11, 2016


Nawlite

The bears  den need to ask themselves the question, if there was no overdue payments then on what grounds did the Scottish courts grant HMRC a court order to sent in the sheriff officers to Ibrox?

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AlthetimPosted on6:56 pm - May 11, 2016


I hope the author of this excellent piece is fully TOGged out in PPE

http://www.theoffshoregame.net/the-uefa-licence-issue/

“Rangers” and “the club” are mentioned several times but there are no references whatsoever to “operating / holding company”

The SMSM influence has limits after all.

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nawlitePosted on7:01 pm - May 11, 2016


Reiver, it doesn’t fit their narrative so they won’t even be considering it.
Jack Black always talked about how any information that doesn’t fit with your world view simply doesn’t get through your filters. We all do it to an extent, but at least on here, I think we try to remove those filters as far as possible – over there they double up on them!

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HomunculusPosted on7:29 pm - May 11, 2016


NEEPHEIDMAY 11, 2016 at 11:14

Thanks for that, very informative. As you say the tax was due at the relevant times, Rangers lied to the SFA about it and got a licence they shouldn’t have.

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TheLawManPosted on7:54 pm - May 11, 2016


REIVERMAY 11, 2016 at 18:55
Nawlite
The bears  den need to ask themselves the question, if there was no overdue payments then on what grounds did the Scottish courts grant HMRC a court order to sent in the sheriff officers to Ibrox?

______

Why would the Bears Den need to ask that question.  The blog clearly acknowledges that the bill became an onverdue payment on the 20th June and was therefore subject to disclosure on the 30th June 2011.  This was subsequently disclosed to the SFA along with an explanation that although the amount was overdue, the most current position was that the Club were waiting to hear from HMRC in relation to a potential payment schedule.The lack of an actual written payment schedule makes no difference here.  If the club had a written agreement, there would have been no requirement AT ALL to disclose any amount.Part of the issue here is that when people try to offer explanations to certain things, others stick to their agenda and read what they want.  Quite how anyone can read that response and arrive at the conclusion that I was saying there was “no overdue payables” at 30th June is beyond me.Having said that, it could be worse and it could have been the conclusions John James jumped to which were astounding.  I hope at least I will be allowed to respond in kind on here rather than the truth, or the response, being blocked as it doesnt suit his agenda.

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nawlitePosted on8:06 pm - May 11, 2016


Lawman, I’m sure you won’t get blocked as long as you make your arguments reasonably.
As I understand your article, you acknowledge that there was an overdue payment, but that in itself wouldn’t have prevented Rangers getting a licence as long as they disclosed it in suitable terms to UEFA/SFA. Because you believe it was disclosed (by Ken Olverman), you believe the licence was granted correctly, is that your view?

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TheLawManPosted on8:30 pm - May 11, 2016


BARCABHOY, the exception process has absolutely nothing to do with Article 50 or Article 66.  The exception process is limited to Articles 7,9,10,12 and part II Chapter 3.

Here is how it works.

1.  On the 31st March, each club declares any “overdue payables” as described in Annex VIII.  If there is nothing overdue, there is a NIL return.  If a club has an overdue but a written agreement to extend the payment deadline, there is a NIL return.  If the club is in dispute and there is no agreed payment due date or agreed figure, there is a NIL return. In all of the above circumstances, unless the licence is issued. If the club has missed a set payment deadline, the full amount needs to be disclosed along with an explanation of the current position. See point 3 below.

2.  On the 30th June,
each club declares any “overdue payables” as described in Annex VIII. If there is nothing overdue, there is a NIL return. If a club has an overdue but a written agreement to extend the payment deadline, there is a NIL return. If the club is in dispute and there is no agreed payment due date or agreed figure, there is a NIL return.
In all of the above circumstances, unless the licence is issued.
If the club has missed a set payment deadline, the full amount needs to be disclosed along with an explanation of the current position. See point 3 below.

3.  In either of the above instances where a payment is declared “overdue payable” the footballing authority still has the authority to issue a licence.  In doing so they would typically look at the most recent communication and look at the amount owing then all things being well, the licence is issued.

There is no application for exception.  There are no rules that set out the refusal of a licence.  The FA of each country can sanction the licence.

4.  In each of the scenarios above, this all feeds into UEFA who then audit the entire process and im more than sure, their focus is on clubs with “overdue payables” though im pretty sure they will have cursory audits of “NIL returns” to make sure they are true.

In the instance of Rangers, the licence was issued and the disclosure of £2.83m was sent to UEFA.  UEFA may or may not have audited it.  But they will have saw it.  I would very much doubt the SFA or UEFA would ever be in a position to disclose any details to anyone about any such audit as it would break every principle rule of DPA or commercial equivalent.

I need to reconfirm that on the 30th June 2012, Malaga submitted a return which disclosed an “overdue payable” of 9.42m EUR.  The Spanish Footballing authorities approved the licence, which they were authorised to do and Malaga were allowed to participate in Europe.  As part of UEFA audits, as described in point 4 above, the Investigatory Chamber decided they wanted to do further checks against Malagas return.  During these audits, it was discovered that in addition to the disclosed 9.42m, there was a further undisclosed 8.45m EUR, which is why Malaga were sanctioned.  Had that all been disclosed up front then strictly speaking the licence may have still been granted however the amount would have been a red flag and if the Spanish FA had approved, UEFA would have had the power to step in.

Its important to understand the above for 2 reasons:

1)  UEFA audit “overdue payables” and it is very possible that Rangers were audited in the exact same manner as above and given the green light(or is it blue)

2)  It is very clear that from the above, having overdue payables 3 times MORE than Rangers did not prevent a licence from being issued.  It is therefore wrong to say the only conclusion that can be reached is that Rangers lied to get one when clearly, the honest truth would have resulted in a licence being granted.

I hope this helps understanding.

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TheLawManPosted on8:36 pm - May 11, 2016


please ignore the word “unless” in points 1 and 2 above.  It wont let me edit it out.

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TheLawManPosted on8:49 pm - May 11, 2016


Nawlite.  That is correct.  Disclosure that an amount is overdue as at 30th June is the most important aspect.  The reasoning behind why its overdue will be looked at by the audits if required.

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zam1Posted on9:01 pm - May 11, 2016


The Lawman, If what you say is correct, then why did HMRC send Sheriff Officers to Ibrox ? Your argument makes no sense if HMRC sent the Big Boys to Collect ???

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TheLawManPosted on9:08 pm - May 11, 2016


Zam, the sheriff officers were in August.  That had nothing to do with 31st March or 30th June.  It is completely irrelevant to the licence issue.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on9:14 pm - May 11, 2016


Here’s why the TOG report should desperately concern every fan of Scottish football. Here is why this is not some Celtic obsession.Let’s (for the sake of argument) leave the events of 2012 behind us and all move on together arm in arm with a spirit of cameraderie and good natured competition, come one, come all, TRFC fans and allcomers… hail fellows well met…Wind forward a few months to April 2017. Its been a mixed season on the park for TRFC and a very bad one off it. Legal bills, unforeseen costs and some straw breaks teh camel back. Another insolvency looms, but the board so thi scoming and a CVA looks possible this time.o among us has any confidence that our administrators would act without fear or favourIt could happen. But… oops… an insolvency means a points deduction. And a points deduction might mean relegation. Who upon reading  the TOG report could have any confidence that our adminsitrators would not intervene unfairly to prevent such an occurrence?Who among us (CFC fans probably excepted by virtue of league strength) can be sure that it would not be our club – who played by the rules that should apply equally to all –  that was unfairly relegated instead? Why would I turn up for an alleged sporting contest where this very possibility was even countenanced?Not I!

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nawlitePosted on9:27 pm - May 11, 2016


Lawman, I’m not convinced at all that disclosure is the important aspect under FFP. As I said in a post last night, FFP is aimed at preventing an unfair advantage by avoiding tax, so having an overdue payment is the important aspect and is what causes a breach of FFP as I understand it.
Reading Article 66 could lead you to overstate the importance of disclosure, but my understanding of FFP is that Article 62 covers the breach criteria. Para 3 reads….
“3 If a licensee exhibits any of the conditions described by indicators 1 to 4, it is considered in breach of the indicator:
i) Indicator 1: Going concern The auditor’s report in respect of the annual financial statements (i.e. reporting period T-1) and/or interim financial statements (if applicable) submitted in accordance with Articles 47 and 48 includes an emphasis of matter or a qualified opinion/conclusion in respect of going concern.
ii) Indicator 2: Negative equity The annual financial statements (i.e. reporting period T-1) submitted in accordance with Article 47 disclose a net liabilities position that has deteriorated relative to the comparative figure contained in the previous year’s annual financial statements (i.e. reporting period T-2), or the interim financial statements submitted in accordance with Article 48 disclose a net liabilities position that has deteriorated relative to the comparative figure at the preceding statutory closing date (i.e. reporting period T-1).
iii) Indicator 3: Break-even result The licensee reports a break-even deficit as defined in Article 60 for either or both of the reporting periods T-1 and T-2.
iv) Indicator 4: Overdue payables The licensee has overdue payables as of 30 June of the year that the UEFA club competitions commence as further defined in Articles 65 and 66.”
You should note that the above and other information I have used to form my views come from the FFP guidelines in force in 2012. I wonder if you are basing your thinking on the current guidelines amended in 2015? These amendments were widely reported as relaxing the FFP restrictions and by comparison they certainly remove some of the directives about overdue tax payments. The 2012 FFP rules are contained in the post at the top of this page by CastofThousands at 03.42hrs.

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TheLawManPosted on10:00 pm - May 11, 2016


The consequence of having “overdue payables” as at 30th June and therfore breaching Indicator 4 is: “If the licensee is in breach of indicator 4 as defined in Article 62(3), then it must also prove that, as at the following 30 September, it has no overdue payables (as specified in Annex VIII) towards employees and/or social/tax authorities thatarose prior to 30 September.”This proves beyond any doubt that having overdue payables at 30th June and/or 31st March does not preclude you from having a licence.  In Rangers case, we were out of Europe by then and no further licence was issued.

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HirsutePursuitPosted on10:21 pm - May 11, 2016


Lawman – your reference to Malaga is interesting; but unfortunately for your point, it is factually incorrect.

Under Spanish law, football clubs can take advantage of a statutory right to defer payment of tax. Malaga had applied for this deferral; but at the relevant reporting date (31st March) had not received written confirmation from the tax authority.

Malaga reported the tax liability; but, because they were in the process of exercising their statutory right to defer payment, it was NOT reported in their licence application as an overdue payable.

Malaga argued that Spanish national laws trumped the UEFA regulations as to what can be considered as “overdue”. UEFA (and the CAS agreed) that the rules had to be applied in a consistent manner across Europe and, although the tax debt was subsequently deferred, no written agreement had been in place at the relevant date.
http://www.araozyrueda.com/archivos/articulos-2013-desde-junio/malagacf-vs-uefa-wslr-dec.pdf

Also, as far as I can tell, the local licensing authorities (in our case, the SFA) have a strict responsibility to ensure that licencees (clubs) meet the MINIMUM requirements before a licence is issued. It appears to me to have no discretion in this matter. 

Club licensing criteria Requirements,
divided into five categories (sporting, infrastructure, personnel and administrative, legal and financial), to be fulfilled by a licence applicant for it to be granted a licence.

and

Licence Certificate
granted by the licensor confirming fulfilment of all minimum criteria by the licence applicant as part of the admission procedure for entering UEFA club competitions.

and

Minimum criteria
Criteria to be fulfilled by a licence applicant in order to be granted a licence

Article 16(1) tells us:

With the exception of those defined in paragraph 2 below, the criteria defined in this chapter must be fulfilled by clubs

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nawlitePosted on10:30 pm - May 11, 2016


Lawman, I’m not 100% sure how the FFP guidelines should be interpreted (hopefully the Res12 guys will post their take) but I don’t agree with your ‘no doubt’ interpretation.
FFP rules are aimed at preventing advantage by avoiding tax. Why would UEFA allow a club until September? As you say, by then clubs have already played in the very UEFA competition that UEFA is trying to protect – that makes no sense to me. 
For me, the consequence you point out is more likely to be in addition to being refused a licence because of their breach.
Can you explain why UEFA would allow a breaching club into their competition when FFP rules are aimed at keeping them out?    

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DuplesisIIPosted on10:31 pm - May 11, 2016


@Nawlite
I think it would actually be the 2010 regulations which applied as the 2012 ones are for the season after this.The 2010 ones have similar provisions though.

It’s important to understand that 62 deals with the “break-even” monitoring.

62(3) does say that having an overdue repayable as at 30th June is a breach of a break even indicator, but that doesn’t exclude eligibility for a licence.

63(2) Provides that if there is the breach of an indicator, the break-even requirement is still met if one of two requirements are met (regarding the break-even deficit of the club being within the acceptable deviation.)

63(4) provides that if 62(3) is breached, and the club can’t bring itself within 63(2), then the control panel may refer the matter to adjudication, if justified under Annex XI.

Annex XI provides for a number of considerations about the club’s overall viability – and for example provides that debts associated with contracts with players prior to 1 June 2010 are not to be taken into account.

It also triggers 66(6) as TheLawMan says above.

In short, a breach of 62(3) is a long way from a determination of ineligibility and at its highest means UEFA would scrutinise the club’s finances, and determine what is to be done.

More importantly though, as I understand it the FFP requirements were phased in over time, with 65 and 66 coming in during 2011, and the first break-even monitoring starting in season 2013/14. Accordingly, a club could not be sanctioned for a breach of the break even requirements in 2011. I don’t therefore think 62(3) is relevant.

On a final point you mention FFP is designed partly to avoid an unfair advantage by non-payment of tax. No doubt this is true, but the disclosure provisions referred to by TheLawMan don’t in any way undermine that.If disclosed by 30th June, then the automatic effect is that the club is in breach if the debt is not cleared by 30th September. UEFA have expressly said that is so a club can have the benefit of the Summer transfer window to rectify the breach.

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TheLawManPosted on10:43 pm - May 11, 2016


HIRSUTEPURSUIT, im sorry but my point is not incorrect.  The reason Malaga were found in breach of regulations was that they failed to disclose an “overdue payable” as described in Annex VIII.Their argument in court was around Spanish law and i have no interest in that or how that played out.  At the end of the day, had they put that amount on their disclosure then they would have fulfilled their obligations under Article 66 Para 4.

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HirsutePursuitPosted on10:58 pm - May 11, 2016


Lawman, you said in your first statement:

I need to reconfirm that on the 30th June 2012, Malaga submitted a return which disclosed an “overdue payable” of 9.42m EUR. The Spanish Footballing authorities approved the licence, which they were authorised to do and Malaga were allowed to participate in Europe.

You now say:

The reason Malaga were found in breach of regulations was that they failed to disclose an “overdue payable” as described in Annex VIII.

Which of these is correct?

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DuplesisIIPosted on11:06 pm - May 11, 2016


HirsuitePursuit,

I’m sure TheLawMan can answer for himself, but since I’m here anyway, If you read the CAS judgement, you’ll see they both are correct. Malaga declared overdue payments under 65 and 66, but didn’t declare everything:

2.2 In accordance with the provisions in Articles 65 and 66 of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations, edition 2012, in force at the time of the facts discussed in these proceedings (hereinafter the “CL&FFPR” or the “Regulations”), Málaga submitted to the RFEF its financial declaration stating that as of 30 June 2012 it had overdue payables of EUR 3,845,000 towards other football clubs and of EUR 5,575,000 towards social and/or tax authorities. Thus, the overall amount of overdue payables declared by Málaga in its financial statement was EUR 9,420,000. Accordingly, this financial statement by Málaga was forwarded by the RFEF to the UEFA on 16 July 2012.

2.4 On 27 August 2012, the AF issued its report (the “First Report”), confirming the existence of overdue payables on 30 June 2012 as communicated by Málaga and indicating that an additional amount of EUR 4,599,000, which had been considered by Málaga as deferred by the tax authorities, had actually to be considered as an overdue payable due to the lack of a written agreement signed by the tax authorities to extend the deadline for payment.

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HirsutePursuitPosted on11:18 pm - May 11, 2016


It may also be worth looking at the first paragraph of page 2.

From this, the SFA certainly seem to think that the overdue payable tax was first disclosed on 31st December.

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TheLawManPosted on11:22 pm - May 11, 2016


Both are correct:  

As stated :

“During these audits, it was discovered that in addition to the disclosed 9.42m, there was a further undisclosed 8.45m EUR, which is why Malaga were sanctioned”

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TheLawManPosted on11:30 pm - May 11, 2016


That letter from the SFA was sent in February 2012 and referring to 31st December 2011.  Thats the following season where no licence was given.

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TrisidiumPosted on11:31 pm - May 11, 2016


Just like to welcome Lawman to the blog. There is no doubt in my mind that the dialect which arises out of having an argument which is contrary to our consensus makes this a better and more interesting place.

So far, our new contributor has begun to engage our well-known and respected forensic specialists.

I shouldn’t have to say this, but all arguments carried out with courtesy will be given a platform on SFM. Please ensure that Lawman is afforded that courtesy.

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DuplesisIIPosted on11:36 pm - May 11, 2016


HirsuitePursuit,

I’m probably missing something, but that letter relates to an interim declaration as at January 2012, and so it would appear relates to tax disclosed as due as at December 2011.
The question though is eligibility for a licence as at March 2011 and whether the monitoring requirements were met for June 2011? (i.e. in regard to licensing for the 2011-2012 season.) 
I think what that letter shows is that RFC had declared its unpaid tax as at December 2011 (presumably including the wee tax case), and the SFA were saying that for 2012-2013 licensing this would have to be settled by March 2012 (which is quite correct.)

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AuldheidPosted on12:22 am - May 12, 2016


Hirsute Pursuit
Duplesissi
Lawman

The thing is that in the Malaga case they declared overdues payable  to other clubs and tax authority at 30 June and by that they said we HAVE tax overdues payable.
UEFA saw the declaration and said overdues payable? That’s a breach under Indicator 4 and asked an independent auditor firm to investigate Malaga.
So in June 2011 without a pot to piss in and 8 months before going into Administration Rangers tell UEFA we have overdues payable send in your auditors please? Aye right.
Conversely UEFA on realising there was no pot and had they know in time, would have had a serious decision to make about the sanction to apply. If it had become clear in July (as it would have been or earlier as it should have been) that RFC were depending on UEFA money to pay HMRC using players whose cost could have gone to pay HMRC,could UEFA have allowed RFC to participate in their competition without a total breach of FFP principles they were parading to the world?.
Now what did happen is that in September 2011 the SFA notified RFC: 
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.
Phew Future Financial Information 5 months before Administration. Another bullet dodged there.
Now what was it about the 30 June submission that stopped UEFA doing what they did with Malaga? Was it the fact RFC were out of Europe by the time UEFA had a good look and didn’t want to dig further?
It is answers to questions like that which Res12 was hoping to get but specifically what WAS said at 30 June?
Now The Olverman to CW e mail said more than waiting scheduling of payments (but I’ll come back to that) but what it did say could not have been we HAVE an overdue payable and are talking to HMRC about scheduling payments.
Had that been said then, unless by the following year UEFA had learned their lesson and scrutinised Malaga’s submission more closely, something more to excuse the liability being an overdue payable had to have been added to stop Indicator 4 applying.
Now in the Malaga case UEFA applied sanctions because Malaga had overdues payable as UEFA define them because by 30th June none of the criteria to excuse tax owed being treated as an overdue payable under Annex VIII applied. Not any of the four but the one that justified UEFA taking sanction action over Malaga was the second of four
b) it has concluded an agreement which has been accepted in writing by the
creditor to extend the deadline for payment beyond the applicable deadline
(note: the fact that a creditor may not have requested payment of an amount
does not constitute an extension of the deadline);

Under Article 66
The licensee must prove that as at 30 June of the year in which the UEFA club
competitions commence it has no overdue payables (as specified in Annex VIII)
towards its employees and/or social/tax authorities (as defined in paragraphs 2
and 3 of Article 50) that arose prior to 30 June.

There was no written deadline extension agreement at 30 June between Malaga and the Spanish Tax authority and no written agreement to extend the deadline between RFC and HMRC.
What could have been argued as an extension two weeks into July might have stood up if HMRC did not withdraw it on 21st July on hearing RFC had bought Lee Wallace with money owed to HMRC. This started the collection proceedings leading to SO’s calling on 10th August.
So if none of the exemptions apply RFC could only have misrepresented the truth for the obvious benefits doing so brought them. CL money/No audits.
Now what if, I’m just saying, what if the submission had said “status postponed,(awaiting scheduling of payments)” that clearly was not the case unless a written agreement was in place by 30 June to extend the deadline of mid June (30 days after 20 May). That would have been a postponement UEFA recognise.
Hopefully Res12 will get UEFA to use their powers to check what they were told, but motivation all points to porkies, but if it doesn’t and there is an acceptable explanation, Res12 will still have done its job made SFA realise they can be made to account for their decisions by supporters.

Oh (Colombo like) that tax bill of 20th May? Was it promptly reported to SFA and did SFA report it to UEFA by say 25th May saying “the bills arrived so we have something to monitor here?” Just asking because its a question the SFA have refused to answer since last July even though both licensee and licensor have a duty under the rules to report a significant change since the licence was granted.

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AuldheidPosted on12:46 am - May 12, 2016


I appreciate the foregoing will probably have folk asking where Res12 is at.
A fair bit of work went into preparing the final case Wednesday. The plan was to formally get it to UEFA,  by the end of day but that has to be confirmed.
The later expanded argument ToG made that tax was overdue from 2001 is perfectly valid in tax justice terms but under football rules, as the SFA interpreted them, Res12 does NOT make the same argument for an overdue payable 31st March, much as it has been represented that it has.
However the tax justice point is an interesting one for UEFA to consider given events since 2000 in Scottish football.

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AuldheidPosted on12:53 am - May 12, 2016


HirsutePursuitMay 11, 2016 at 23:18

That letter refers to the 2012/13 Licensing round. At some point after August 2011 possibly and a week before RFC entered Administration the SFA had identified an overdue payable iro the wtc existed. The question is when did it dawn on them and what was the cause?
Did they see the actual tax bill of 20th May at some point by Feb 2012? I hope so, I really really hope so..

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AuldheidPosted on12:56 am - May 12, 2016


TheLawManMay 11, 2016 at 23:22 
Both are correct:  
As stated :
“During these audits, it was discovered that in addition to the disclosed 9.42m, there was a further undisclosed 8.45m EUR, which is why Malaga were sanctioned
========================
Why they were sanctioned is irrelevant to the RFC case, its what  led to the audits that is relevant as I’ve explained.

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AuldheidPosted on1:05 am - May 12, 2016


TheLawManMay 11, 2016 at 22:43 3 1 i Rate This 
HIRSUTEPURSUIT, im sorry but my point is not incorrect.  The reason Malaga were found in breach of regulations was that they failed to disclose an “overdue payable” as described in Annex VIII.Their argument in court was around Spanish law and i have no interest in that or how that played out.  At the end of the day, had they put that amount on their disclosure then they would have fulfilled their obligations under Article 66 Para 4.
++++++++++++++++++++++
From CAS Decision. June 2013

In accordance with the provisions in Articles 65 and 66 of the UEFA Club Licensing and
Financial Fair Play Regulations, edition 2012, in force at the time of the facts discussed in these
proceedings (hereinafter the “CL&FFPR” or the “Regulations”), Málaga submitted to the RFEF
its financial declaration stating that as of 30 June 2012 it had overdue payables of EUR
3,845,000 towards other football clubs and of EUR 5,575,000 towards social and/or tax
authorities. Thus, the overall amount of overdue payables declared by Málaga in its financial
statement was EUR 9,420,000. Accordingly, this financial statement by Málaga was forwarded
by the RFEF to the UEFA on 16 July 2012.
2.3 On 3 August 2012, upon examination of the documentation submitted to it, the Investigatory
Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (hereinafter the “Investigatory Chamber”)
found that Málaga was in breach of the indicator 4 as defined in Article 62, par. 3, of the
CL&FFPR and decided to request an independent auditing firm (the “AF”) to carry out a
compliance audit” for the verification of the accuracy of the declarations submitted by Málaga

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HirsutePursuitPosted on2:25 am - May 12, 2016


Apologies for the length; but worth quoting the directly From the CAS decision.
http://www.centrostudisport.it/PDF/TAS_CAS_ULTIMO/136.pdf
First I need to correct something I had said in a previous post. From my reading of the WorldSportLawReport article I had mistakenly taken the first relevant date to be 31st March (i.e. at the start of the licence application) when no overdue payables were declared. On reading the CAS reasons, it is clear that Malaga had been issued the licence without problems. It was only in June 2012 that Malaga declared substantial debts in a way that put the licence in jeopardy.

That said, it doesn’t change the point that the Malaga case was around national law versus UEFA regulations. 

The rules state that a national association that is considering removing a club’s licence must inform UEFA immediately. And so, following Malaga’s declaration of overdue payables, UEFA got involved and started their own investigation.

As soon as a licence withdrawal is envisaged, the UEFA member association must inform the UEFA administration accordingly

To be clear. UEFA only became involved when the Spanish footballing authorities were considering withdrawing Malaga’s licence because Malaga initially declared some of its debts as overdue payables in it’s June return. Had they not done so, it is possible (or very likely?) that UEFA would not have got involved.

Malaga later clarified their view that the tax debts were all subject to a deferral request and so claimed these were not actually overdue payables. By that time, the genie was out the bottle.

At the CAS UEFA said that no written agreement was in place for part of the tax debt as at 30th June and for a different amount at 30th September.

4.3 Clarifications made at the hearingAt the outset of the hearing, in consideration of the different amounts reported in the Parties’ briefrelating to the Appellant’s debt on the relevant reporting dates, the Panel invited the Parties toclarify their positions insofar. Following the invitation of the Panel, the Parties submitted thefollowing figures:(i) as of 30 June 2012:- Málaga holds the view that it owed the following amounts: EUR 10,700,000 to taxauthorities, EUR 2,700,000 to other clubs and EUR 5,800,000 to players. In relationto the amount owed to the tax authorities, Málaga submits that it had made aunilateral request to defer payment within the “voluntary term of payment. Inrelation to the debts owed towards other clubs and towards players, the Appellantadmits that there was no debt deferral agreement in the amount of EUR 2,700,000.- UEFA holds the view that Málaga owed overdue payables towards tax authorities inthe amount of EUR 5,575,000 and overdue payables towards other clubs in theamount of EUR 3.845,000.
(ii) as of 30 September 2012:- both Parties agree that Málaga owed EUR 15,400,000 towards tax authorities. TheParties further agree that there was a debt referral agreement in the amount of EUR8,400,000. For the remainder (EUR 7,000,000), the Appellant requested a unilateralpostponement within the “voluntary term of payment;- as for the debt of EUR 2,700,000 towards clubs and of EUR 5,800,000 towardsplayers/employees, it is undisputed between the Parties that there was a valid debtdeferral agreement with the relevant creditors.
(iii) as of 31 March 2013:- both Parties agree that Málaga is in compliance with Articles 65 and 66 of theCL&FFP.

As far as I can tell Malaga were not “sanctioned” for undisclosed debt. The UEFA audit simply re-classified deferred debt as overdue payable. Malaga were attempting to go the other way with its CAS appeal. Ultimately there was no issue with “undisclosed” debt – only what and when it should be considered to be overdue payable:

9 The merits of the disputea) The law applicable to the resolution of the dispute9.1 The Parties are in dispute over which (national) law applies subsidiarily to the present dispute.This is particularly true for the question whether or not payables by Málaga were “overdue.According to the Club, whether or not payables are “overdue” (within the meaning of the CL&FFPR) towards the tax authorities of a specific country must be established in light of thenational law that governs the debt, i.e. the law of the country in which the tax obligation (forwhich the payment is sought) arises. If one would follow this line of argument, then whether ornot payables are “overdue” would have to be assessed not only according to the CL&FFPR, butalso according to Spanish tax law.9.2 The UEFA, on the contrary, holds that the rules of law applicable to the merits of the dispute arethe CL&FFPR. The latter apply, in principle, to the exclusion of any national law. An exceptionis to be made where the CL&FFPR explicitly or implicitly refer to a certain national law. Anotherexception is to be made in light of Article R58 of the CAS Code according to which the law atthe seat of the sports federation that issued the decision forming the matter in dispute applies.However, this law (Swiss law in the present case) only applies subsidiarily. According to thelatter, Swiss law only applies inasmuch as the CL&FFPR contain a lacuna. Since, however, theterm “overdue” is exhaustively defined in the CL&FFPR, there is no scope for the application ofSpanish law (since the relevant rules do not contain any reference) or Swiss law (since there is nolacuna to be filled).9.3 The term “overdue payables” within the meaning of the CL&FFPR is defined in Annex VIII ofthe Regulations, which reads as follows:“1. Payables are considered as overdue if they are not paid accordingto the agreed terms.2. Payables are not considered as overdue, within the meaning ofthese regulations [i.e. the CL&FFPR] if the licenseapplicant/licensee (i.e. the debtor club) is able to prove by 31March (in respect of Articles 49 and 50) and by 30 June and 30September (in respect of Articles 65 and 66) respectively that:a) it has paid the relevant amount in full; orb) it has concluded an agreement which has been accepted inwriting by the creditor to extend the deadline for payment beyondthe applicable deadline (note: the fact that a creditor may not haverequested payment of an amount does not constitute an extension ofthe deadline); orc) it has brought a legal claim which has been deemed admissibleby the competent authority under national law or has openedproceedings with the national or international football authoritiesor relevant arbitration tribunal contesting liability in relation tothe overdue payables; however, if the decision-making bodies(licensor and/or UEFA Club Financial Control Body) consider thatsuch claim has been brought or such proceedings have beenopened for the sole purpose of avoiding the applicable deadlinesset out in these regulations (i.e. in order to buy time), the relevantamount will still be considered as an overdue payable; ord) it has contested to the competent authority under national law,the national or international football authorities or the relevant arbitration tribunal, a claim which has been brought orproceedings which have been opened against it by a creditor inrespect of overdue payables and is able to demonstrate to thereasonable satisfaction of the relevant decision-making bodies(licensor and/or UEFA Club Financial Control Body) that it hasestablished reasons for contesting the claim or proceedings whichhave been opened; however, if the decision-making bodies(licensor and/or UEFA Club Financial Control Body) consider thereasons for contesting the claim or proceedings which have beenopened as manifestly unfounded the amount will still be consideredas an overdue payable”.9.4 It is true that, in principle, the law governing the existence of an obligation also governs the duedate of the latter. It is beyond dispute that whether or not Málaga owed a debt towards theSpanish tax authorities within the meaning of the CL&FFPR is a question that is governed bySpanish law. Insofar, the CL&FFPR implicitly refer to the Spanish law. However, it is not amandatory requirement that both questions (existence of an obligation and due date) be governedby the same law. In light of the freedom of association, the latter may provide in its rules andregulations that a different set of rules apply to both questions. This is all the more true if theassociation – as is the case here – has set out to create a level playing field in international clubcompetitions (cf. CAS 2012/A/2702, para. 92). The idea to define in a uniform manner –- andindependently of where a club is domiciled –- the term “overdue” is, thus, not arbitrary, butinstead perfectly in line with the principle of freedom of association. This also follows from CASjurisprudence (CAS 2012/A/2702, para. 91) according to which “”[p]ursuant to Art. 154 of theSwiss Act concerning Private Law, the UEFA regulations cannot be overridden by the nationallaws as this would lead to unequal treatment among clubs from different countries. ..”9.5 That there is a need to have a uniform definition of what constitutes an overdue payable cannotbe disputed and is perfectly illustrated in the case at hand. It appears that the various legalsystems differ as to what consequences follow from the fact that a debt is “overdue. In somejurisdictions the creditor may be entitled to file a claim and/or to seek enforcement of the claim;he may be (also) eligible for interests and/or entitled to offset a claim directed against him. Thecharacterization of a debt as overdue may in addition– in some jurisdiction– also be aprerequisite when assessing whether or not a debtor is illiquid in terms of insolvency law. If theterm “overdue” were not defined in the CL&FFPR, it would be difficult to know to whatconsequences the term “overdue” used in the CL&FFPR refers. In the case at hand, theAppellant is of the view that the decisive criteria to assess whether or not a payable is overdue iswhether the creditor is entitled to commence enforcement proceedings against the debtor. TheRespondent, on the contrary, asserts that the typical consequence of a debt being overdue is thatthe creditor must pay interest. It is exactly a dispute of this kind that the CL&FFP tries to avoidby uniformly defining the term “overdue. That the CL&FFP is designed to uniformly andautonomously define the term “overdue” clearly follows from the CL&FFP. There is no room forthe application of the contra proferentem rule here. Thus, the Panel holds that –contrary to whatthe Appellant submits– Spanish law does not apply within the definition at UEFA level of theexpression “overdue payables”.9.6 The question, however, is whether the CL&FFPR define the term “overdue” in respect of thedebt at stake here (debt towards tax authorities). Doubts in this respect arise from the wording ofNr. 1 of Annex VIII of the Regulations. According to such provision, “”[p]ayables areconsidered as overdue if they are not paid according to the agreed terms.”” At first glance, thus, it may appear that the definition of “overdue” is only aimed at contractual obligations becauseonly in relation to the latter there can be “agreed terms”. However, if one takes Annex VIII ofthe Regulations in its entirety, it becomes evident that this provision not only deals withcontractual debts, but with all kinds of obligation including statutory debts. Thus, it follows fromthe Regulations that the term “overdue” is a defined term that must be interpreted autonomously,i.e. without reference to a national law.9.7 To conclude, therefore, the Panel finds that recourse to a national law in the context of theCL&FFPR is legitimate only (i) if necessary for the application of the CL&FFPR and (ii) whererecourse to national laws does not undermine the very purpose of the CL&FFPR. Neitherprerequisite is fulfilled in the case at hand and, thus, only the CL&FFPR are applicable to thequestion whether or not the outstanding payables were overdue”.b) The lack of a (written) agreement”9.8 It is undisputed that –- originally -– debts towards the tax authorities were due before 30 June2012. What is disputed between the Parties is whether this was still the case on 30 September2012. The latter depends on whether or not the deadline for the payment of the debt had beenextended beyond 30 September 2012 or not. In this respect, the CL&FFPR provide that a debtbecomes deferred if the debtor club “has concluded an agreement which has been accepted inwriting by the creditor to extend the deadline for payment beyond the applicable deadline (note:the fact that a creditor may not have requested payment of an amount does not constitute anextension of the deadline). This provision is not easy to understand at first sight. According to thewording, there must be an agreement between creditor and debtor to extend the deadline forpayment and (in addition) the agreement must “be accepted in writing” by the creditor. The Panelis of the view that it does not follow from the wording of Nr. 2 lit. b of Annex VIII of theRegulations that the agreement to extend the deadline for payment must necessarily be found in asingle document signed by both parties. Instead, in the Panel’s view, what is intended by the ruleis that the declaration of the creditor to accept the extension of the deadline for payment must bein writing. The Panel is thus of the view that, in order to comply with the said rule, it suffices thata request by the debtor to extend the deadline (be it orally or in written form) is accepted by thecreditor in written form. The provision, thus, makes two things very clear. First, an extension ofthe deadline for payment is only accepted if there is a clear expression of will of the creditor inthis respect. This is in particular made clear by the note in brackets according to which “keepingstill” or not enforcing a claim cannot be qualified as a tacit consent by the creditor to extend thedeadlines for payments. Secondly, the provision requires that the relevant expression of thecreditor’s will must be in writing.9.9 In light of the above, the Panel holds that the prerequisites of Nr. 2 lit. b of Annex VIII of theRegulations would have been fulfilled if the Appellant had made a request for deferral ofpayment that had been accepted in writing by the Spanish tax authorities. However, lacking anydecision of the Spanish tax authorities and, thus, a clear expression of will to extend the deadlinesof payment, the prerequisites of Nr. 2 lit. b of Annex VIII of the Regulation cannot deemed to befulfilled. In coming to this conclusion, the Panel does not ignore that some national laws providefor a concept of “tacit approval” in case a private subject files a request with a public authorityand the latter remains inactive. However, even if one were to assume that there was a tacitapproval by the Spanish tax authorities in relation to the postponement of the deadline forpayment, the conditions of Nr. 2 lit. b of Annex VIII of the Regulations would not be fulfilled.The latter expressly require that the consent given by the creditor be in writing. It is true that aconditional (written) consent was given by the Spanish tax authorities after 30 September 2012. This, however, is immaterial in the case at hand, since Nr. 2 of Annex VIII of the Regulationsprovides that the debtor must prove by the relevant reporting date (i.e. by 30 September 2012)that the conditions for deferred payments are fulfilled. This, however, is not the case here. Thefirst communication by which the tax authorities informed the UEFA of a possible agreementwith the Club was sent on 9 November 2012, i.e. over a month after the expiring of the deadlineof 30 September 2012 set forth in Article 66.6 of the CL&FFPR. In addition, the aforementionedcorrespondence did not affirm that an agreement had been reached with the Club, but merelyinformed the UEFA that the tax authorities were willing to sign an agreement with the Clubsubsequent to the payment by the latter of the amount of EUR 9,000,000.00. It was only on 3January 2013 that the tax authorities communicated to the Club the granting of the deferral forthe (outstanding) payments. Since the “agreement” within the meaning of the Annex VIII of theRegulations was only executed after the relevant reporting date, the Panel has no other choicethan to conclude that the Club had overdue payables on 30 September 2012.9.10 The above conclusion is not unreasonable and/or overly harsh. The Club submits that, once therequest for deferral is submitted, the tax payer/debtor has no powers to compel the tax authoritiesto issue a decision within a specified deadline, but may only wait for the decision to be issued.According to the Appellant it would be unreasonable to sanction the Club for delays due to theworkload of the Spanish tax authorities. The Appellant submits that it cannot be blamed for thefact that the tax authorities were unable to decide upon its request within a shorter deadline, i.e.within an appropriate term. Moreover, the Appellant alleges that the principle of “force majeure”enshrined in Annex XI of the CL&FFPR would be breached if one were not to take into accountthat it had no possibilities to compel the tax authorities to issue a decision. The Panel does notfollow this reasoning. It must be noted that the situation at hand does not differ from a case inwhich a debtor requests form a private creditor (e.g. another club, banks or other creditor) thepostponement of deadlines for payment. In such case, the debtor has no compelling powers toforce the creditor to take a decision in relation to his request. This is no case of force majeure. ThePanel fails to see why this case should be treated any different than the case at hand. Furthermore,the Panel is also mindful of the fact that –- other than alleged by the Appellant –- the debt payerhas at least some kind of influence to receive a timely answer to its request. This influenceconsists in filing the deferral request as early as possible. The earlier the request is filed the soonerthe tax authorities will decide upon the request for deferral. In the case at hand, the Panel notesthat the request has been made –- practically –- at the latest moment possible before the reportingdate of 30 June 2012. If, therefore, no “answer” was received from the tax authorities before 30September 2012, not solely the tax authorities are to be blamed.c) Proportionality of the sanction
9.11 Only a final and short remark is to be made on the issue of the proportionality of the sanctionimposed on Málaga. The Appellant has not submitted any specific argument why the sanctionimposed would not be in line with principles of proportionality. Contrarily to what the Clubmaintains, the mere (subsidiary) request by the Appellant to the CAS to amend the decision of theAdjudicatory Chamber cannot be considered as “arguments or allegations” aiming at contestingthe proportionality of the sanction. However, absent any such arguments by the Appellant and inview of the fact that the sanction imposed upon the Club seems to be proportionate (also in viewof other CAS decisions issued in the context of the CL&FFPR) the decision of the AdjudicatoryChamber must be confirmed.

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HirsutePursuitPosted on3:05 am - May 12, 2016


DUPLESISIIMAY 11, 2016 at 23:36 4 0  Rate This 
HirsuitePursuit,
I’m probably missing something, but that letter relates to an interim declaration as at January 2012, and so it would appear relates to tax disclosed as due as at December 2011.The question though is eligibility for a licence as at March 2011 and whether the monitoring requirements were met for June 2011? (i.e. in regard to licensing for the 2011-2012 season.) I think what that letter shows is that RFC had declared its unpaid tax as at December 2011 (presumably including the wee tax case), and the SFA were saying that for 2012-2013 licensing this would have to be settled by March 2012 (which is quite correct.)
=========================================

Lawman, I think, believes that Rangers had declared the WTC as overdue payable in its 30th June 2011 update. He believes that the SFA had the authority to simply waive it through.

As “proof” that this is possible, there is an assertion that the Spanish FA approved Malaga’s licence retention in similar circumstances.

I think he is wrong on both counts.

The letter confirms (if I am reading it correctly) is that the WTC liability was formally disclosed to the SFA as “overdue payable” on 31st December 2011. If the SFA had not been informed by 30th June that the WTC was overdue they could not (officially) have chosen to disregard it at that time.

The CAS decision shows that, far from approving the Malaga licence, the Spanish authorities did exactly what they were meant to do. Consider removing the club’s licence and let UEFA know.

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HirsutePursuitPosted on3:29 am - May 12, 2016


HIRSUTEPURSUITMAY 11, 2016 at 22:58 3 3  Rate This 
Lawman, you said in your first statement:

I need to reconfirm that on the 30th June 2012, Malaga submitted a return which disclosed an “overdue payable” of 9.42m EUR. The Spanish Footballing authorities approved the licence, which they were authorised to do and Malaga were allowed to participate in Europe.

You now say:

The reason Malaga were found in breach of regulations was that they failed to disclose an “overdue payable” as described in Annex VIII.

Which of these is correct?
View Comment  DUPLESISIIMAY 11, 2016 at 23:06 3 0  Rate This 
HirsuitePursuit,
I’m sure TheLawMan can answer for himself, but since I’m here anyway, If you read the CAS judgement, you’ll see they both are correct. Malaga declared overdue payments under 65 and 66, but didn’t declare everything:
2.2 In accordance with the provisions in Articles 65 and 66 of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations, edition 2012, in force at the time of the facts discussed in these proceedings (hereinafter the “CL&FFPR” or the “Regulations”), Málaga submitted to the RFEF its financial declaration stating that as of 30 June 2012 it had overdue payables of EUR 3,845,000 towards other football clubs and of EUR 5,575,000 towards social and/or tax authorities. Thus, the overall amount of overdue payables declared by Málaga in its financial statement was EUR 9,420,000. Accordingly, this financial statement by Málaga was forwarded by the RFEF to the UEFA on 16 July 2012.
2.4 On 27 August 2012, the AF issued its report (the “First Report”), confirming the existence of overdue payables on 30 June 2012 as communicated by Málaga and indicating that an additional amount of EUR 4,599,000, which had been considered by Málaga as deferred by the tax authorities, had actually to be considered as an overdue payable due to the lack of a written agreement signed by the tex authorities to extend the deadline for payment.
====================================
Lawman, Duplesis
Is either statement correct?

What evidence is there that “The Spanish Footballing authorities approved the licence”
It seems to me that the opposite is true. The club was seen to be in breach of its licence conditions. Consideration had to be given to remove the licence. UEFA were informed and took up the investigation. Where is the “approval” in that?

Where too is the evidence that “The reason Malaga were found in breach of regulations was that they failed to disclose an “overdue payable” as described in Annex VIII”?
Where is the claim of failure to disclose? What sanction was applied for this non-disclosure?

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DuplesisIIPosted on6:12 am - May 12, 2016


HirsuitePursuit and Auldheid
With reference to your posts which follow my post of 23:36 yesterday, to save time, can I suggest I set out my understanding of the position, and you can confirm which parts of it you agree and disagree with? We can then set aside the bits we agree on, and do a proper analysis of the articles and the Malaga case (and other CAS case law) on the parts we do not?
(I should say TLM might have a completely different understanding of things, so any errors I make are my own, and not his.)

1. March 2011.

My take is that the WTC was not an overdue payable as at this date, because the determination was not made until 20th May 2011.
I think from Auldheid’s post of 12/5/16 at 00:46, that is also his position, and RES 12 proceeds on the basis that the WTC was not overdue on March 2011.

(a) Am I right about that?
(b) If so, is it agreed for present purposes that the granting of the licence as at March 2011 was not inappropriate on the basis of the WTC?

2. June 2011
My take is that Articles 65 and 66 require the disclosure of overdue payables as at 30th June, but:

(a) Having an overdue payable does not automatically result in the licence being invalidated/revoked etc,
but
(b) Results in UEFA potentially auditing the club,
and
(c) In any event results in the additional requirement to demonstrate that there are no overdue payables as at 30th September 2011.

3. What was declared as at June 2011

My take on this is that – bluntly – I don’t know what, if anything, was declared to UEFA by/re RFC as at June 2011

(a) Do either of you?
(b) If so are you able to tell us?

Auldheid, on this point, your post of 12/5/16 at 00:22 infers in the 3rd paragraph that it is unlikely that RFC in would have declared there were overdue payables as at June 2011, but at the 5th paragraph says that in September 2011 the SFA confirmed to RFC that UEFA were satisfied with the submission on overdue payments as at 30th June.

I’m having difficulty in reconciling the 2 statements, so I’m particularly interested in your response on this.

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