The Way it Works

Bybroganrogantrevinoandhogan

The Way it Works

 

Many years ago, I read an article in some legal magazine or other which, to my mind, pointed out something that I had always presumed was obvious.

Namely, that unlike his English Counterpart, the Scottish solicitor is not just a drafter and processor of legal documents, he ( or she ) is a man of business who furnishes advice, and as often as not, will recommend a course of action – possibly involving many different steps or procedures- in any given situation.

Without going into an academic analysis of what this means, may I suggest that a simple definition is that the Scottish solicitor does not always simply do what they are told but will furnish the client with advice for, or against, a certain course of action.

The same applies to accountants and other professionals in my experience. When discussing any business situation, the client should always be aware of the pros and the cons. From there he or she makes a decision based on the advice given – which advice may be taken or rejected.
That is how things work.

If you think about what I have said above, then it follows that one of the principal things an adviser should do for any client, is to suggest a course of action that keeps the client out of court.

Court is a place of last resort. Litigation of any kind is expensive, brings uncertainty, is time consuming and acts as a barrier to unfettered and uninterrupted business planning, strategy and progress because no one can ever be sure of the outcome or the consequences of a court case.
In olden days, court meant choosing your champion to fight against your adversary’s champion. If your guy knocked the other guy of the horse and killed him outright with the lance then you won. It didn’t matter if your guy was also hit with your opponents lance and died a week later as a result – you were still the winner because the other guy died first.

Eventually, society did away with such courts and replaced them with courts of law and the men and women with wigs and gowns as opposed to the lance.

However, you can still win a court battle and suffer a fatal defeat as a consequence.
That is why a court of law should always be regarded as a place of last resort. No one should ever set out on a course of action which runs a high risk of ending up being disputed in court.

Sometimes, of course, a court action is inevitable. On other occasions, people adopt a course of action where the risk of things ending up in court is seen an as an acceptable risk.

This morning’s Daily Record ( and indeed yesterday’s edition ) is spouting David Murray’s mantra that HMRC knifed Rangers but adds there are no winners here. How very MSM. How very lacking in business understanding or searching for the truth.

So, let me explain something.

When you sit down with a firm of accountants who specialise in aggressive tax avoidance schemes such as an EBT scheme or a DOS scheme, one of the things that are spelt out to you is that the scheme you are about to embark upon may well be, indeed is likely to be, challenged in a court of law. Especially if you do not administer it to the letter.

Often as not, the client will be asked to sign up to a contract which specifies that the client will pay hefty fees to lawyers and accountants for setting up the scheme and that fee will include a contribution towards legal fees arising in the event of a legal challenge to the scheme.

That is stipulated at the very outset. You pay £x in advance because you know you are likely to be sued. You also get the benefit of advice which is designed to ensure that your scheme is absolutely watertight in terms of the law, but crucially, there is a rider which states that in the event that the court rules against you then the accountants or lawyers will not be held accountable as you are entering into the whole process knowing that there is a big risk of litigation – and you are told in writing that while you shouldn’t lose, you might lose.

This too is the way it works.

The business advisers will not want litigation, but from the outset they will cover their backs and make it plain to the client that if you sign on the dotted line for an aggressive tax avoidance scheme then you can expect HMRC to take you to court.

Accordingly, the protestations screaming out from the Daily Record this morning about how HMRC killed Rangers are balderdash and bunkum of the highest order.

HMRC did not knife Rangers, they did exactly what was expected of them in the circumstances and the people at MIH knew that the day they started off on any one of their tax avoidance schemes.
Taking the risk in the first place killed Rangers or Rangers PLC if you prefer.

However, the events of yesterday and the day before throw up some other matters worth considering and remembering.

The first is the woeful state of the Rangers accounts by 2005 when there had been yet another share issue underwritten by David Murray. Those accounts showed Rangers PLC to be in a shocking financial state, despite all the rhetoric and dressing from the Directors and the Accountants.

More or less immediately Murray chose to put the club up for sale as it was obvious that the financial traincrash could simply not continue.

However, despite years of searching no buyer could be found.

Further, it should also be remembered that Rangers PLC knew all about the small tax case long before Craig Whyte came along. Those liabilities stemmed from around 2001 but at no time during the Murray era at Ibrox did Sir David put aside the money to pay a bill which no one at Rangers disputed as being due at any time.

Whyte stressed the need for this to be paid long before he ever got the keys to the Marble Staircase, but it wasn’t and there can be only one of two reasons for that.

Either Sir David just didn’t pay the bill concerned ….. or he couldn’t!

The fact is that long before Craig Whyte appeared David Murray could have paid that bill or reached an agreement to pay that bill. However he didn’t and for a period of several years he simply decided he wanted out …. Needed out ….. at any cost!

There is no doubt that he gambled hard and fast with Rangers Football Club, and their finances and their supporters loyalties. He knew , or ought to have known, well in advance that a prolonged and regularly used aggressive tax avoidance scheme, legal or not, was bound to attract the adverse interest and attention of HMRC.

Sir David Murray has been lauded up and down the country for his so called business acumen and business knowledge. He was knighted for the same and received all sorts of unprecedented backing from banks and other institutions.

Does anyone reading this really believe that such a man did not have the foresight, or the advisers around him who had the foresight, to see and know that a large and prolonged dispute with the revenue authorities may well have an adverse effect on the viability and sellability of his business?
Such a suggestion is simply not credible.

Further when the HMRC interest came, Murray’s men, if not Murray himself, did their very best to try and hide the existence of the scheme, the documents surrounding the scheme, the details of the scheme and the intention of the scheme.

They hid all this away from HMRC, The SFA, The SPL and anyone else in authority, with the result that those authorities and bodies had no option but to run to the courts, set up tribunals and convene formal hearings.

When someone does not tell you the truth, starts hiding documents and obfuscating that is the way it works.

However, that is not all that yesterday brought.

The news that Collier Bristow have apparently agreed ( through their insurers no doubt ) to pay the liquidator of Rangers some £20M shows that taking into account the litigation risk, someone somewhere thought it worth making a payment to make a bad situation go away.
Imagine that? What bad situation could that be?

Would it be that somehow or other, creditors, officials and all sorts of other people were misled by a leading firm of solicitors in relation to the affairs of Rangers PLC? Could it really be the case that things were so bad financially at Ibrox, that the only way for even Whyte to be able to get the sale to go through at the princely sum of £1 plus the official bank debt was to have his people mislead funders and eventual creditors?

What does that say about David Murray’s stewardship and the absolute urgent need to get Lloyds TSB out of the picture? Was there really no one else or no other way to take on the debts of Rangers PLC? Apparently not — and that can only be because someone chose to gamble with the finances of the club and leave it in a precarious state.

I am told that when Lloyds took over that account they expressed amazement at how MIH and Rangers PLC were allowed to run up the debts they had with HBOS. Apparently there was incredulity at some of the figures and covenants.

So , when we read in the Record this morning that the HMRC Big Tax case inadvertently brought down Rangers it is very easy to overlook the debt due to the bank, how it arose, the sums due to the same bank through MIH, the extent of the sums due, the banks attitude and the possible attitude and course of action had Whyte not taken them away.

Remember that the same bank stepped straight into MIH and began selling off its assets, and that low and behold the same management team who engineered the EBT scheme have openly admitted that there is an unexplained shortfall in the employees’ pension scheme of over £20 Million.

Do you think the employees who have lost out on pension provision are the slightest concerned about whether the tax avoidance scheme funds and their use are legal or not ? – or do you think they might argue that the money used for these so called “discretionary payments” should have been used to fund a proper legally constituted pension scheme which the company and its directors undertook to pay into under contract?

There is still substantial debt due to Lloyds by MIH and part of that debt is the amount by which David Murray and MIH underwrote and guaranteed that last share issue of Rangers PLC in 2004/2005. The principal sum due under that guarantee ( excluding interest and charges ) was greater than the principal sum claimed by HMRC in the big tax case.

Go figure.

However, this saga is far from over especially with regard to “contractually due” severance payments which look as if they will come back to the FTT in the event of the parties concerned not reaching agreement on the tax allegedly due.

Now, this is interesting because apparently there are a number of documents in existence which show that certain players received a payment of £x at the end of their contract as part of a severance deal.

At the time these were made, my recollection is that under normal severance agreement legislation the first £30,000 would be tax free but after that any sums were taxable.

The FTT has never been asked to rule on these payments, and has never heard any evidence about the legality or otherwise of paying these sums gross of tax into an offshore trust. All of that may yet be to come.

However, the most interesting part of this for me is that further court action may be taken in relation to these matters failing agreement between HMRC… and whom?

Rangers PLC ( the employer ) is in Liquidation so perhaps HMRC might claim some of the money from the Liquidator who has just received the £20M from Collier Bristow – then again it could well be that Ticketus have something to say about that.

In his last statement about MIH, David Murray openly proclaimed that the company was all but finished and revealed the pension shortfall and so on – so I doubt if any agreement of any meaning will be reached there.

That then leaves those who supposedly benefited from the contractually due severance payments – namely the players.

Maybe, in the absence of a now defunct employer, they will be asked to cough up the tax.

No doubt they will all go and consult their lawyers and accountants – the men and woman of business – who will give them their best advice – but you can bet your bottom dollar that any such advice will include a paragraph or ten which starts something along the lines of “ However, here is the potential risk in the event of you deciding to …………. “

That is the way it works……. And always has done.

About the author

broganrogantrevinoandhogan author

Boot wearing football, sport & total nonsense fan-- Gourmet, Bon Viveur and eedgit! - Oh and I write a bit occasionally!

1,546 Comments so far

jean7brodiePosted on5:01 pm - Jul 20, 2014


A Tall Monitor says:
July 20, 2014 at 4:19 pm
…shall we all try?
————————————————————–
Yes we should all try and I certainly will. Since I am not the sharpest tool in the box maybe someone could draft some bullet points to present to our MPs as this will make it easier for them to read and therefore reply 😉

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neepheidPosted on5:03 pm - Jul 20, 2014


A Tall Monitor says:
July 20, 2014 at 4:19 pm

So, shall we sit back and do nothing, or shall we try, in our own small football corner, to ask our MPs what they think of the 2 examples we have in front of us (what has happened/is happening in Ibrox and the recent Port Vale example)?

It would be good to seek a reaction; shall we all try?
=================
Before quoting Port Vale, I would need to be sure of the facts. I understand that the “holding company” owes money to HMRC, whereas the “football company” appears to be in the clear. That can happen in two ways.

It is possible that the “football company” just holds the player registrations and any intellectual property, whereas all the cash in and out goes through the holding company. So the holding company is responsible for VAT and PAYE, in respect of football wages and football income. I would suggest that is an unusual setup, the Ibrox model is more typical of the way such businesses are set up, where the holding company just holds shares in its subsidiary, and the operating company (football company in this case) runs the business, and incurs all the debts.

It is also possible that the Port Vale holding company owes HMRC money for matters totally unrelated to football. An example of this was Southampton FC, where the football company was well run and paid its taxes, but its holding company had other business interests (a hotel and leisure centre) which failed, and the holding company became insolvent as a result of entirely non football related matters. So it might be worth researching the Port Vale situation in detail before quoting it as an example.

On the general point, the UK has one of the most relaxed regimes in the world regarding debt, both corporate and individual. That has been a consistent policy of governments of all flavours for many, many years.Football is nothing special in that respect. Creditors are being stiffed daily in large numbers, and the cost of this is ultimately borne by us, the consumers who actually pay our debts. Our parliament considers such a regime to be “business friendly”. I won’t comment on that, except to say that any lobbying to tighten up the debt regime in the UK is unlikely to succeed. The trend of legislation has been entirely in the opposite direction for at least the last 50 years.

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twopandaPosted on6:04 pm - Jul 20, 2014


I agree with earlier posts that Clubs are tacitly supporting this SFA / SPFL fracas. Whilst they may not say so, CFC has a role in this – admittedly not alone – but a role, possibly complicit, that should be acknowledged as fact – and honestly addressed.

Secondly;

Notwithstanding scapa`s heartfelt balanced view – I believe Sandy Jardine was exemplary with mature honest straightforward qualities rarely seen in the Scottish Game. His contribution in all facets WILL be noted for record as positive – and that view supported by Genuine Tribute from the CFC Board and CEO and not without substantive consensus from CFCs true support.

Regrettably, I must record my disgust – repeat disgust – at the reception on this blog – at any idea that the naming a stand in honour of a good decent bloke, loyal Family Man, and Great Footballer for his Club and Nation – was so received on this TSFM blog.

Disappointing and worrying

Sorting out this mess will require degrees of consensus.
CFC has a part to play and it should be open and positive.
Laissez-Faire is no real option now.

IMO &
#V.Annoyed

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scapaflowPosted on7:02 pm - Jul 20, 2014


twopanda says:
July 20, 2014 at 6:04 pm

There os nothing tacit about the clubs’ support for the SFA or the SPFL. The clubs are the SFA and the SPFK

On Sandy Jardine, he let himself and everyone else down, a legacy tarnished, not destroyed.

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twopandaPosted on7:11 pm - Jul 20, 2014


scapaflow says:
July 20, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Yeah sure – CFC `know nothing` – as if

DO NOT agree scapa
– SJ as defending his Club within massed ranks as reported by crap media should be no reference for your comment.

Wrong IMO

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scapaflowPosted on7:22 pm - Jul 20, 2014


twopanda says:
July 20, 2014 at 7:11 pm

I’m not saying CFC know or knew nothing, quite the reverse, look at the role Eric Reilly had in this nonsense.

A dangerous myth has taken root that an all powerful SFA president & Chied Exec, aided by an all powerful SPL Chief Exec, carried out this scheme, while their respective boards cowered in the corner. The only cowering the Clubs do, is when they are hiding behind the skirts of Messers Doncaster, Regan & Ogilvy. I would have more respect for the clubs if they just cam out and said we did what we did cos it was in our own interests, rather than insult my intelligence.

On Sandy agree to disagree.

{spelling terrible today 🙂 )

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redlichtiePosted on7:47 pm - Jul 20, 2014


wottpi says:
July 20, 2014 at 11:59 am
I note Jim Spence tweeting that SPFL AGM is tomorrow and still no sign of sponsor. JS suggesting a Barca charity type thing may be in order.
————————————————————————————————-

If this does indeed turn out to be the case then I’m going to he both very happy and totally p*ssed off.

Happy because obviously some deserving charity will benefit.

P*ssed off because I mooted such an arrangement last season when ‘sponsorship’ of the final months could have been given to a worthwhile charity and as a result potentially stirred up interest in a commercial sponsorship for this season.

These guys are supposed to be professional marketers of our national game. Jings, crivens an’ help ma boab!

Scottish Football needs some dynamism and imagination from the SFA/SPFL. And a strong Arbroath.

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A Tall MonitorPosted on9:05 pm - Jul 20, 2014


neepheid says:
July 20, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Before quoting Port Vale, I would need to be sure of the facts. I understand that the “holding company” owes money to HMRC, whereas the “football company” appears to be in the clear. That can happen in two ways.

NEEPHEID, thank you for the sensible words of caution. Let’s understand the Port Vale situation better.

But… we all know (or suspect) that there are many football companies/clubs behaving similarly to those in Ibrox and I can’t help feeling a sense of impotence at us being unable to get anyone of influence to actually listen, turn over the football stones in the public interest, and expose the reality of what is going on.

Oh, to get this in front of a Parliamentary Committee chaired by someone like Margaret Hodge who would really get her teeth into it!

essexbeancounter says:
July 20, 2014 at 3:46 pm

And that gentlemen, is a “perfect summary” of British company law in the 21st century…makes you feel proud does it not?

Sadly, ESSEXBEANCOUNTER, I tend to agree with you (and SCAPAFLOW) that this is endemic, and it doesn’t stop me wanting to try to change it. To paraphrase Auldheid, every starfish saved is a victory.

And even though I agree with NEEPHEID’s final paragraph at 5:03 pm, I still wonder if we could put together some kind of TSFM missive that we could all send individually to our MP, and/or we could even try to kick off a Parliamentary Petition (could we get 100,000 signatures by involving fan websites? 🙁 ).

What does the community think?

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CastofthousandsPosted on9:54 pm - Jul 20, 2014


nowoldandgrumpy says:
July 19, 2014 at 8:23 pm

“because as everyone knows he doesn’t have it so why are ticketus pursuing 24M odd that”
—————————————
The FrontOfTheBus document looks like Whyte’s legal response to the SFA concerning the fine levied. The reference to the meeting at 1 Devonshire Gardens (very fine dining restaurant) on 20th December 2011, with Ogilvie and Regan, might be viewed as a veiled threat to reveal further details.

Ticketus won their case against Whyte on the basis that they didn’t know he was going to use the £24M to buy the club. Although the crux was a signature on an agreement document, collusion between Whyte and Ticketus concerning the Clumpany purchase would have seen the claim fail. We have seen documents that indicate that Whyte & Ticketus were in collusion but for some reason Whyte didn’t use these to get himself off the hook. This to me looked like a circuitous route whereby Ticketus acquired Whyte’s interest in Ranger’s assets via Sevco 5088.

Recent suggestions are that the 5088 claim is now sitting on the desk of Field Fisher Waterhouse, who should in fact be defending the claim, rather than on the desks of Law Financial, who were supposed to be lined up to pursue it on Whyte’s behalf.

Like so many things in this drama, outcomes seem to be of a Shakespearean complexity.

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essexbeancounterPosted on10:06 pm - Jul 20, 2014


scapaflow says:
July 20, 2014 at 3:53 pm
14 0 Rate This

essexbeancounter says:
July 20, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Actually its a pretty good summary of just how broken UK PLC is, and, why many countries look on the City of London as little more than a banana republic with a great Opera Company.
===========================================================
Scapa…whilst agreeing with your sentiments entirely, many countries do not look upon UK Plc as a “banana republic” but as one of the safest and best regulated tax havens on the planet…and that is the underlying concept which drives the current City of London as an offshore business centre…hey, hold on, is this not where we all started from in the days of RFC(IL)….offshore trusts and sub-trusts?

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scapaflowPosted on10:13 pm - Jul 20, 2014


essexbeancounter says:
July 20, 2014 at 10:06 pm

Fair point, I almost spat out my coffee when Mr Cameron said that one of the reason he was agin Mr Junker, was that he was unlikely to deliver reform given his previous for promoting Luxembourg as a tax haven :mrgreen:

That said, much of the regulation, and as importantly, the seamy way business is done in the City is redolent of a banana republic, all be it a very luxurious one. (just look at how easily questionable people can settle and do business largely unscrutinized)

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neepheidPosted on10:18 pm - Jul 20, 2014


A Tall Monitor says:
July 20, 2014 at 9:05 pm

What does the community think?
==============================
I guess the idea is a petition against companies using the insolvency process to dump tax debt, while the business continues, albeit under another guise? That is an issue that is not unique to the world of football, and I saw some pretty bad examples during my many years with the Inland Revenue, examples which annoyed me greatly, basically because there was very little that could be done to stop it.

On the other hand, there are lots of examples of businesses being genuinely rescued from administration, with jobs saved, the economy benefiting, etc. Where to draw the line? It is a very difficult issue, Not one which our political class want to have to deal with.

However football is a special case in this sense. The businesses are all members of an organisation which is supposed to regulate and control the game, which means regulating and controlling the whole football business. Sporting integrity demands that the companies involved in the sport don’t just run up debt and then walk away, while the football team involved changes hands and carries on regardless.

So in my opinion, it is for the football authorities to police the game. The licencing system is the right idea, but I simply do not trust the SFA to operate the system in an impartial manner. Are there any circumstances which could result in the withdrawal of a licence from any of the major clubs? I don’t think so. Excuses would be found, exemptions applied, agreements reached. All contemplated in the rules, which allow the SFA all the discretion they need to get the result they want.

I would support a campaign to bring in a licencing system with hard and fast, black and white rules with no, and I mean zero discretion. If a member of the SFA can’t show that it is living within its means, then expulsion. No ifs, buts or maybes. That is the only way the issue will ever be conclusively dealt with. Will it? Do turkeys vote for Christmas? I really don’t think so. We are back to the actual members of the SFA. They all think- there but for the grace of God go I. When their turn comes, they want the SFA to have discretion- and to apply it in their direction, this time.

I’m sorry if that seems very negative, but I honestly don’t see a route through parliament, and I most certainly don’t see the members of the SFA putting their own house in order.

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jean7brodiePosted on10:41 pm - Jul 20, 2014


neepheid says:
July 20, 2014 at 10:18 pm
I’m sorry if that seems very negative, but I honestly don’t see a route through parliament, and I most certainly don’t see the members of the SFA putting their own house in order.
——————————————————
So what can we do? Genuine question to all of this community.

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A Tall MonitorPosted on10:55 pm - Jul 20, 2014


neepheid says:
July 20, 2014 at 10:18 pm
I most certainly don’t see the members of the SFA putting their own house in order

Excellent, NEEPHEID, nail, head, bang! That is the issue! Who regulates the regulators?

Not an easy question to answer, and depends, IMO, on our clubs’ appetite for real governance.

Do you think there is any mileage in lobbying clubs via fan groups for the clubs to fund an independent governance body that sits outside of the clubs, the SPFL and the SFA?

It need not be large nor overly expensive to set up and operate..

Incidentally, NEEPHEID, I wonder if our paths ever crossed in my 39 years in what used to be the best Department in Government.

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CastofthousandsPosted on11:03 pm - Jul 20, 2014


I think Parttimearab’s entry at a point where there was a pseudo OCNC debate in play might have been unfortunate timing on his behalf. The topic has been a running theme and resurfaces occasionally in various guises. In many ways I think it is part of the turning over of the arguments that allows those of us not well versed in business and legal matters to orientate our thoughts and opinions. This most recent lapse into the topic appeared little more than a blip and a reference to an old adage rather than an attempt to keep the concept alive.

The Port Vale article was dropped in propitiously to exercise our thoughts and though it did not greatly excite my curiosity, the discussion in has engendered does touch on matters that I think are entirely TSFM competent. Tallboy Monitor/Neepheid exchange does illustrate why the rules that apply in wider business may not be entirely appropriate for a sporting environment. The analogy of financial doping has been used in the past and it does have some veracity. Firms in wider business contexts risk their customer base and reputation if they fail to live up to their commitments. This is the penalty they pay for unfortunate decision making. In a footballing context, these consequences seem to be less hazardous because of the nature of the business. Football supporters will not necessarily abandon a brand they have associated themselves with because of the very nature of the product.

The quality of this product is assured by the sport’s governing body. Like the representatives of other trade bodies, it has a duty to ensure the propriety of its membership. In the unique case of football and its tribal loyalties, the governing bodies should be concerned about unfair advantage being gained by one member over the others. If allowed to prosper such practices will undermine the basis of the whole sport, which as I have said, is not subject to the market self correction that would be experienced in wider business.

Football’s governing bodies have a wider responsibility than a trade association. The market breakdown that has been experienced in many business spheres (most notably banking) need not be allowed to contaminate football. Governing bodies should be looking to their foundation principles to guide them when the going gets rough. Someone posted up some articles about Belgian football recently whereby the pivotal question they asked themselves when they wanted to rebuild their national team’s fortunes was, ‘who are we’? If the governing bodies lose sight of who they are and what they are for then they are heading for the rocks.

As Auldheid pointed out above, the agenda can be influenced by quiet persistence. We are often frustrated that our viewpoints do not reach a wider audience but we keep on mentioning them. Perhaps when protest turns to mantra and threatens to become dogma there is a danger that we just keep going round in circles. Contributors are free to point this out however and thus turn a potential downward spiral toward virtuosity.

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John ClarkPosted on11:32 pm - Jul 20, 2014


redlichtie says:
July 20, 2014 at 7:47 pm
‘..Scottish Football needs some dynamism and imagination from the SFA/SPFL. .’
———
It is plain to see that ‘Scottish Football’ has kind of lost its way. Its Administrators pledged its integrity for short-term gain, and it is probably now morally impossible for it to be redeemed, because the will to seek redemption is not there.
Trust has been virtually destroyed: the trust of the body of football supporters of every club, and such trust as ever existed between individual clubs and between them and their elected/appointed officers and Boards.
Everybody in Scottish Football knows dirty, shabby deeds were done by one club. Everybody knows equally well that dirtier and shabbier deeds were done by those in charge of the integrity of the sport.

In that kind of climate of guilt it is not to be expected that anyone at the SFA AGM is going to be the imaginative, dynamic Braveheart who will call for public release of all documents and emails relating to the 5-way agreement, or to the utterly unprincipled way a rogue club was defended and protected.
Unless full and open discussion takes place on how that deal with CG was thought to maintain the integrity of the sport of association football rather than destroy it, there can be no genuine ‘going forward’,going forward!
Wrong was done. It must be undone before the wrongdoers can be rehabilitated.
Simples.

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scapaflowPosted on12:19 am - Jul 21, 2014


John Clark says:
July 20, 2014 at 11:32 pm

John, there is no Braveheart figure, simply because there is no entity within either the SFA or the SPFL who has clean hands.

Accepting that wrong was done, just how at this point in time can any wrong that was committed be undone? The bell was well and truly rung, it cannot be unrung. We are where we are, there is no TARDIS to give us a do-over, surely the best we can aim for is ensuring that it doesn’t happen again?

Changing an organisation’s culture from within is hard enough, even when you have the support of the senior management, (which in this case is obviously not going to be forthcoming).

Neepheid’s suggestion of starting with something relatively small, like getting the minutes of the SFA AGM on their website is a good start. Its not sexy, its not even a big change, but its a start.

Initiatives like Resolution 12, which have as a side effect changing the culture within a club is also a good route. If the clubs’ culture changes, then so will that of the SFA and SPFL.

It would be much easier to effect change from outside, if the paying customers could be united around a set of common goals, how likely is that to happen?

Supporters Direct could be a useful agent for change, the SD mission statement seems broadly in tune with what folk on here seem to want:

“SD will increase the influence of supporters through ownership and involvement in their clubs
We will strive to ensure that all fans have the opportunity to have maximum involvement in the ownership and running of their clubs to enhance their club’s social and cultural value.

SD will seek to improve the way our game is run
We will develop policies and campaigns to improve the way that the game is governed for all clubs, all supporters and their local communities.

SD will always seek opportunities to increase its work in other countries – and in other sports
We work primarily in football, but we believe that our approach can work in other sports too.

http://www.supporters-direct.org/homepage/aboutsupportersdirect/mission-statement#sthash.JyEODL3S.dpuf

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helpmaboabPosted on5:44 am - Jul 21, 2014


Scapaflow at 12:19am
Supporters Direct could be a useful agent for change, the SD mission statement seems broadly in tune with what folk on here seem to want:

Supporters Direct? Don’t haud yer breath.Given the length of time they’ve been in existence they should be a major voice.They’re not.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:30 am - Jul 21, 2014


John Clark says:
July 20, 2014 at 11:32 pm

It is plain to see that ‘Scottish Football’ has kind of lost its way. Its Administrators pledged its integrity for short-term gain
====================================

If we had only had some people in 2012 who realised that eventually the ultimate need for a Rangers to have somewhere to play would have driven this fiasco towards a far more satisfactory solution. Given the size of the support base I don’t think we were ever going to get no Rangers at all in the senior leagues, but the rules should have been very much on the terms of the authorities, not the club. Instead we got a club who have seemingly been given the authorities blessing to claim all the history of the liquidated club, but the plan was also to drive the new club straight into the top league with, as I recall, a ten point deduction and nothing else.

Was it fear? Was it panic? Was it bias? Was it just downright incompetence? Until we get complete closure on the truth we can never move on in my opinion.

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Paulmac2Posted on7:45 am - Jul 21, 2014


selfassessor says:
July 20, 2014 at 9:25 am
…………………….

You seem to have bypassed the match against Sacramento?…however you maybe correct in bypassing it…as the match report stated Sacramento first team had played 2 days previously in a lCollege 4th division league game…and for that reason the manager decided to change the whole 11 and play their reserve team…so does playing against a college 4th division reserve team count as a match?

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Danish PastryPosted on8:32 am - Jul 21, 2014


Paulmac2 says:
July 21, 2014 at 7:45 am
2 0 Rate This

…so does playing against a college 4th division reserve team count as a match?
————

For a team just promoted from the third tier, probably, yes.

For a team boasting the second-highest wage bill in Scotland, probably, no.

To be fair though, the US is looking increasingly like a real football nation. Crowds seem to be up and they are producing a lot of fine players. Tapping into the US football arena at this stage, and making your presence known, is no sae daft an idea, imo. Why the current tour/holiday hasn’t lined up better opposition is puzzling, though. Perhaps it’s all been arranged as a bit of a ‘last minute’ offer?

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SmugasPosted on9:39 am - Jul 21, 2014


UTH,

In my ever humble opinion it was simply that no-one in power could, or even wanted, to imagine life without the old firm double act.

That is at the very root of the problems that have subsequently occurred. It needed someone with the balls to stand up in 2012 and say “right, first up the status quo is a non starter. We therefore have two options. We can play this by the book and be seen to be punishing the miscreant on the registration issues and to cut a long story very short, if liquidation is the inevitable outcome as HMRC are telling us it is then we’re basically talking about Div 4 at best (with commerciality trumping integrity to achieve it). I understand there are those of you here who don’t want that for whatever reason. So option 2 it is. Option 2 is to eat veritable sh!tloads of humble pie (sorry HP, no offence), again call them out for what they appear to have done and then to try to find a mutually acceptable solution which keeps them as close to the top as we would like, and frankly, their reincarnation can presumably cope with.”

At the time said solution was probably to say “OK we know the club played technically ineligible players for x games in season 2011-12. What about a set penalty of 3 points per game with the result they get genuinely relegated down a division in place of Dunfermline? The quid pro quo is that we don’t delve any deeper.

The one thing no-one should have said or countenanced was “lets just ignore it and hope it all goes away (whilst keeping the status quo of course!)” It was never going to happen on all number of levels, intellectually, financially or anything else.

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steph1895Posted on10:03 am - Jul 21, 2014


Whether we like it or not football/soccer is a commercial business now and because of that, all sporting integrity WILL GO out of the window, once any club/brand gets into any difficulty.
If we look at the EPL; Peter Scudamore was telling the world that because Manchester United never qualified for Europe, their share price dropped.
He was implying that Manchester United need to be in Europe because the EPL “brand” is affected otherwise.
What he inadvertently (or deliberately) put out there was that the EPL “brand” has to have the big clubs in the marquee competitions because if not, they lose money.
What’s to say that this will be prevented from happening again if it becomes commercial suicide to let sport take its natural course??
FFP is a smokescreen which was brought in to stop the oil Sheikh’s and Russian oligarths, just spending money whenever they felt like it, creating a financial bubble, which other clubs without these people’s individual wealth, cannot compete with.
Football rules were never set up to see this kind of financial “doping”, so they have been largely left to an archaic time, when all teams competed on an equal footing.
Football/Soccer is now an armchair fans nirvana, with the vast majority of the wealth of these clubs, taken from TV revenue – that’s why the fans who attend games are short-changed because they’re not as important as they used to be.
Clubs are more interested in the revenues from TV than a full crowd in the stadium.
We are going down the way of American sports, in particular baseball. TV run and games played when most people are at work.
The 7th innings stretch is a now an advertisment man’s wet dream!!
Clubs are now too powerful and hold all the aces.
Scottish football to the outside world, whether we like it or not, is viewed as a Celtic v (the team formerly known as) Rangers 4 times a season.
Without that, sponsers don’t see anything worth putting their hard earned cash and reputations on the league, because there isnot enough money in it for them.
I hate to see what the viewing figures were for some of the games in the SPFL last season
Watch the sponsors come back if and when (the team formely known as) Rangers get to the top table, whether by sporting endeavour (no smirking at the back) or by another league reconstruction if they don’t.
Scottish football can do without (the team formerly known as) Rangers from the top table, but from a commercial point of view it cannot.
This wasn’t the game I was brought up to love, but it is now no more than WWF with better uniforms.

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torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958)Posted on10:33 am - Jul 21, 2014


Latest from Phil:
Oh Dear.

http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/share-and-share-alike/#more-4871

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torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958)Posted on10:56 am - Jul 21, 2014


Alzipratu ‏@corsica1968 Protected Tweets 8m

RT: @Pmacgiollabhain: http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/share-and-share-alike/#more-4871 … Hate to say it, but I did tell you the knights were saying no share issue 2 months ago.
——————————————————-
So if no share issue and ST sales reported as 21k,some 18k below target,then where will the cash come from to keep this show on the road?.

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PW1874Posted on11:05 am - Jul 21, 2014


Not that much in The Rangers saga seems to matter to those with the power to make sure they play by the same rules and laws as everyone else, but isn’t there a whole raft of legislative requirements that Share Options need to meet?

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mcfcPosted on11:09 am - Jul 21, 2014


Danish Pastry says:
July 21, 2014 at 8:32 am
…so does playing against a college 4th division reserve team count as a match?
==========================
Danish – If I was a bear, I’d be asking what kind of hard core preparation this is for the most competitive league in world football. It seems that Ally’s idea of a rigorous workout is a pie, a pint and a fag. You may think I exaggerate – but the second eleven of a mid table club in the fourth tier of a relatively minor footballing nation. Someone needs to take Ally aside and have a serious word. But as PMG’s latest piece suggests, those who should be giving him the bollocking of his life are too busy trying to keep the wages paid month by month.

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scapaflowPosted on11:27 am - Jul 21, 2014


helpmaboab says:
July 21, 2014 at 5:44 am

Supporters Direct is neither perfect, nor does it appear to be as effective as one might wish it to be.

Folk like us can’t join the SFA or the SPFL. We can get involved with our local supporters clubs and with orgs like SD, so get in involved and make a difference

This SD paper on club licencing in England may be of interest

http://www.supporters-direct.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Football-Club-Licensing-in-England.pdf

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John ClarkPosted on11:27 am - Jul 21, 2014


torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958) says:
July 21, 2014 at 10:33 am
‘..Latest from Phil:..’
———-
Thanks for that link,tjb.
Some of us, rightly or wrongly, already feel that AIM ,and the ‘big’ Stock Market, tend to be a bit off-hand and casual as far as nailing rogue companies is concerned, and that they are not intrinsically interested in abstract notions of ‘honesty’ or any such thing, for its own sake, but only in so far as dishonesty may threaten the functioning of the market and the ability of others to make money therefrom.
I therefore take some heart from PMG’s report that AIM are actively asking questions of the RIFC board.This suggests to me that there is a level of concern that if they do not nail a deceitful/incompetent Board for errors in their Annual report, in the run up to that Board going to the market a second time, they could end up with serious repercussions that could disturb the Market generally by destroying confidence in its ability to regulate itself.

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tykebhoyPosted on11:29 am - Jul 21, 2014


Being a little pedantic here MCFC but that “relatively minor footballing nation” are currently ranked 5 places above England and 12 above Scotland by FIFA http://www.fifa.com/worldranking/rankingtable/

However you still have a valid point many of the players in teams in the USA first tier are foreigners topping up their pension fund for retirement while much of the National team ply their trade abroad in more competitive leagues. The 2nd eleven of a mid table fourth tier club are not likely to be much better than the part timers TRFC were defeating in the Scottish fourth tier the season before last. I doubt if McCoist had much say in the destination of the tour or the opponents for his preparations so the only serious word is that a squad that has supposedly been strengthened over the summer should be beating whats put in front of them at this level however far from home they are.

Of course it may also prove that the squad hasn’t been strengthened but weakened by letting go the low paid and presumably unfancied youngsters that have been let go.

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Danish PastryPosted on11:32 am - Jul 21, 2014


What does this quote from Phil’s piece actually mean? Is this people on the board making personal loans? If so, on what terms?

I understand that to make payroll this month some facility will have to be made available from some of the RIFC directors.

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SmugasPosted on11:34 am - Jul 21, 2014


Steph1895,

Precisely my point. The sponsors wanted it. Whether for that reason, or indeed any other, the powers that be embarked on a policy of maintaining the status quo when that was the very policy tool that they didn’t have in their armoury. Their failure to recognise that simple fact is what has got us to where we are today. Everything else is consequential reaction.

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mcfcPosted on11:35 am - Jul 21, 2014


Let’s Try That Again

When Rangers died last time, the SFA, SPL, SFL moved heaven and earth to pretend nothing had happened – nothing had changed – business as usual – move along little people.

From their point of view however, the result today must be very, very disappointing on every possible count.

You’ve got to wonder how much they’d be prepared to gamble this time, personally and corporately, to save this rather poorly assembled, badly painted Airfix model of the once great institution – the very fabric of Scottish society.

I’m guessing the SFA and SPFL would love to restore the status quo of 2011, but have little enthusiasm for another scrap – especially now the bampots have proved they have strength and staying power. That’s you by the way 🙂

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SmugasPosted on11:37 am - Jul 21, 2014


And since I’m ranting anyway, just on the wider point of club and company, the second you distinguish between the two you open the door for another Gretna. The defence that I have seen posted (“we’re not the same because we’re bigger” is a very dangerous distinction indeed when charlatans like SDM are prepared to play on it). English football is now particularly vulnerable to that fact I believe.

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SmugasPosted on11:41 am - Jul 21, 2014


MCFC,

One can only assume the clubs have bet long on the raw emotion of THEM trying to get back to the top of the hill and US trying to stop them, like a bizarre its a knockout game complete with soapy inflatables.

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mcfcPosted on11:56 am - Jul 21, 2014


tykebhoy says:
July 21, 2014 at 11:29 am
Being a little pedantic here MCFC but that “relatively minor footballing nation” are currently ranked 5 places above England and 12 above Scotland by FIFA http://www.fifa.com/worldranking/rankingtable/
==================================
ouch – I knew I was setting myself up there but . . . .

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mcfcPosted on12:05 pm - Jul 21, 2014


Bearly Legal

Is it legal for the officers of a limited or listed company to make contractual commitments on behalf of that company and not disclose them to the company and its later officers ?

How can any listed company operate effectively if the officers don’t know how many of the unissued shares are already allocated to third parties as options that can exercise at their convenience ?

This would seem to be straddling the line between spivvery and corporate fraud.

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mcfcPosted on12:10 pm - Jul 21, 2014


Smugas says:
July 21, 2014 at 11:41 am
like a bizarre its a knockout game complete with soapy inflatables.
================================
brilliant analogy – wish I’d thought of that 😉

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Corrupt officialPosted on12:51 pm - Jul 21, 2014


With regards to Phil’s comments that the BS shares have rather messed up the sums a little, Am I right in suggesting that the offer to pay back Sandy and George in shares, should they not receive cash, mess up the sums a little bit further?
This would amount to almost £2m’s worth of the suggested £8m(minus costs) being touted as the share option total. Quite a wedge !
http://rangers.g3dhosting.com/regulatory_news_article/373

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yourhavingalaughPosted on1:14 pm - Jul 21, 2014


I take it that if further “Loans” are required from directors then these will be without securities ,as there nothing left to use ,or is there?.
Has any part of the 1.5 m loan been paid to anyone .

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Corrupt officialPosted on1:21 pm - Jul 21, 2014


YOURHAVINGALAUGH@ 1:14pm.
“as there nothing left to use ,or is there?.

Maybe they will have collected some air miles on the American tour. 😆

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mcfcPosted on1:25 pm - Jul 21, 2014


Strange Territory Indeed

The RIFC/TRFC mini-series has had many twists and turns – and probably even more to come – but here’s something you probably never thought you’d hear – PMG recommending the purchase of The Rangers’ season tickets. Is he just having a laugh, is it genuine well-informed advice, or maybe it’s a double bluff or a triple bluff or a double triple bluff. What’s the average bear supposed to think anymore. Pay the spivs or push The Rangers towards admin. Maybe it amounts to the same thing in nthe long run and the actions of the bears really doesn’t make the slightest difference – except in their own assessment and settling of blame.

If I was aiming for CL money and glory – I wouldn’t start from here.

———————————————————-

Phil MacGiollaBhain @Pmacgiollabhain · 29m

For the avoidance of doubt: Those who wish to watch football matches at Ibrox this season really should consider buying a Season Ticket.

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BigGavPosted on1:29 pm - Jul 21, 2014


Corrupt official says:
July 21, 2014 at 12:51 pm

With regards to Phil’s comments that the BS shares have rather messed up the sums a little, Am I right in suggesting that the offer to pay back Sandy and George in shares, should they not receive cash, mess up the sums a little bit further?
This would amount to almost £2m’s worth of the suggested £8m(minus costs) being touted as the share option total. Quite a wedge !
http://rangers.g3dhosting.com/regulatory_news_article/373
——–

It’s only the interest component (the “premium”) which is (optionally) payable in shares.
The Easdale loan is interest-free, so it only applies to the ‘George’ loan. If I remember correctly, he agreed to a premium of £75,000.

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Corrupt officialPosted on1:51 pm - Jul 21, 2014


BIGGAV, says
“It’s only the interest component (the “premium”) which is (optionally) payable in shares.
The Easdale loan is interest-free, so it only applies to the ‘George’ loan. If I remember correctly, he agreed to a premium of £75,000.”.
——————————————————————-
On reading it again Gav, I can see you are correct. Thanks for teaching me not to be so hasty. It is still possibly another wee trickle to add to the BS windfall though.

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Cluster OnePosted on2:05 pm - Jul 21, 2014


Business Review and strategic plan update.
Rangers Int. football club plc 25th April 2014.
The authority given to the Board at the AGM in December 2013 to enable the company to allot up to 43,400,000 new ordinary shares of 1p each (deduct stockbridges hidden shares from this ) in the capital of the company on a pre-emptive basis to existing shareholders has not been excercised to date. In the event that SEASON TICKET SALES over the forthcoming weeks are materially LESS than anticipated then the company may seek to use this pre-emptive authority which can offer a cost effective method of raising capital.

If they can’t use the pre-emptive basis to existing shareholders and season ticket sales are low and they have not paid back any loans and wonga are out of the question.
Will the board go to Ian Black 😉

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torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958)Posted on2:07 pm - Jul 21, 2014


Apologies if wrong but has Mr Letham not got a clause which entitles him to 10% interest if payment was not made by 1st July?.
If payment was made should this have been announced to AIM?.

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StevieBCPosted on2:15 pm - Jul 21, 2014


mcfc says:
July 21, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Bearly Legal
Is it legal for the officers of a limited or listed company to make contractual commitments on behalf of that company and not disclose them to the company and its later officers ?…
===========================================================
Don’t know specific regulations mcfc, but it shirley wouldn’t look good – again – if RIFC had to issue a further ‘clarifying’ AIM statement for further undisclosed options.

But, IIRC off the top of my head, did TRFC not dispense with its Head of HR a good while ago – a lady who left maybe >1 year ago? I’m not aware if that role was replaced.

Just thinking aloud, but maybe HR is lacking in resource/seniority, and the spivs were then able to avoid any challenging, internally generated queries on their employment/bonus practices ?

Mibbees aye, mibbees naw ?

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torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958)Posted on2:16 pm - Jul 21, 2014


Cluster One says:
July 21, 2014 at 2:05 pm
0 0 Rate This

Business Review and strategic plan update.
Rangers Int. football club plc 25th April 2014.
The authority given to the Board at the AGM in December 2013 to enable the company to allot up to 43,400,000 new ordinary shares of 1p each (deduct stockbridges hidden shares from this ) in the capital of the company on a pre-emptive basis to existing shareholders has not been excercised to date. In the event that SEASON TICKET SALES over the forthcoming weeks are materially LESS than anticipated then the company may seek to use this pre-emptive authority which can offer a cost effective method of raising capital.
—————————-
Translates as we need ST cash to keep the lights on and failing that,we’ll sell as many shares as we can,just to keep the lights on,so that this time next year,when we’ve won the most competitive league in the world,we’re all set to win the Premiership then the CL the year after.
Yup,I can see the institutions queueing up to throw their clients cash into this.

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mcfcPosted on2:35 pm - Jul 21, 2014


Aimless

Would it be the end of the world for the spivs if RIFC plc was removed from AIM ? The end game seems to be approaching fast. The public share issue is surely a pipe dream of mammoth proportions – intended only to allay Deloitte’s going concern fears – so the inability to do that would have no material impact on the balance sheet. As a privately held company, the positives for the spivs would be a lot less scrutiny of their affairs. Although the more conventional “investors” would be hung out to dry. By now any serious blue knights must see that their club is at the very edge – now is the time to pay the ransom and rescue your loved one. hello, hello, is there anyone there ? If the hostage proves worthless then the ending may be quick and brutal.

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scottcPosted on3:00 pm - Jul 21, 2014


torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958) says:
July 21, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Apologies if wrong but has Mr Letham not got a clause which entitles him to 10% interest if payment was not made by 1st July?.
If payment was made should this have been announced to AIM?.

Interest starts to accrue at 10% pa if not paid by 2nd July, yes.

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JimBhoyPosted on3:05 pm - Jul 21, 2014


The real sad thing is when the rangers saga is finally over it will cost HMRC/ local businesses, you and I..

I hope I am wrong and all those involved in this spivery pokery, bending of business financial rules, in receipt of tax free loans they don’t need to pay back are dealt with properly and the likes of CO face hefty tax bills back dated in interest, the business spivs are taken out the business gene pool completely and assets frozen. But alas i think the latter will be avoided sadly.

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StevieBCPosted on4:25 pm - Jul 21, 2014


A curious aside to the TRFC debacle…

Whilst assorted spivs have been stuffing their pockets down Govan way over the last 3 years or so, the QC whose family received death threats after the McCoist ‘who are these people’ dog whistling – has been declared bankrupt.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/advocate-declared-bankrupt-with-debts-of-200k.1405938819

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paulsatimPosted on5:22 pm - Jul 21, 2014


mcfc says:
July 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm
6 0 Rate This

Smugas says:
July 21, 2014 at 11:41 am
like a bizarre its a knockout game complete with soapy inflatables.
================================
brilliant analogy – wish I’d thought of that 😉

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

problem for THEM is they’ve already played their joker!

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Carfins FinestPosted on5:36 pm - Jul 21, 2014


‘Fifa have confirmed that the report into possible ethics violations in the World Cup bidding process by its chief investigator Michael Garcia will not be made public’

Ah. Another one of THEY investigations.

Power Corrupts. Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutley.

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mcfcPosted on5:52 pm - Jul 21, 2014


Carfins Finest says:
July 21, 2014 at 5:36 pm
‘Fifa have confirmed that the report into possible ethics violations in the World Cup bidding process by its chief investigator Michael Garcia will not be made public’
================================
It must contain some interesting dirt then! If FIFA are as inept at IT security as they are at football administration then they are probably vulnerable to some simple hacking – where are Snowden and Assange when you need them? Hope FIFA
are not using any of these insecure passwords http://splashdata.com/press/worstpasswords2013.htm

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Carfins FinestPosted on5:59 pm - Jul 21, 2014


fb.me/2aHGsuQIa
Standard Guff from Bill McMurdo but to conclude that the M74 extension was built at the request and benefit of Celtic F C shows a new depth to Bills insightfulness.

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neepheidPosted on6:02 pm - Jul 21, 2014


http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/28409875?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Changes to SPFL Board

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scottcPosted on6:31 pm - Jul 21, 2014


Carfins Finest says:
July 21, 2014 at 5:59 pm

fb.me/2aHGsuQIa
Standard Guff from Bill McMurdo but to conclude that the M74 extension was built at the request and benefit of Celtic F C shows a new depth to Bills insightfulness.

This is surely wrong? I thought it was meant to be the Celtic supporters who were paranoid?

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scottcPosted on6:37 pm - Jul 21, 2014


neepheid says:
July 21, 2014 at 6:02 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/28409875?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Changes to SPFL Board

Two of the supporters of the SFA change proposals being replaced.

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Danish PastryPosted on6:51 pm - Jul 21, 2014


StevieBC says:
July 21, 2014 at 4:25 pm
3 0 Rate This

A curious aside to the TRFC debacle…

Whilst assorted spivs have been stuffing their pockets down Govan way over the last 3 years or so, the QC whose family received death threats after the McCoist ‘who are these people’ dog whistling – has been declared bankrupt.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/advocate-declared-bankrupt-with-debts-of-200k.1405938819
———-

Since Ally McCoist keeps insisting on apologies perhaps he could start the ball rolling by saying sorry to Gary Allan.

He also criticised Rangers manager Ally McCoist who, when the punishments were announced, publicly called for the names of the panel which were supposed to remain anonymous, to be made known.

He said then: “I wasn’t ready for my family to be exposed to that and that caused me a lot of anxiety. We were given a full briefing on mail handling. I was told there would be certain items which I should under no circumstances open if they were not from a familiar source.

“I was told I should take mail into the smallest secure room with the fewest windows and have the family somewhere else in the house whilst I opened the mail.

“I was astonished when I saw a recording of Mr McCoist demanding the names be disclosed and declaring he did not know who they were, and felt he ought to know.”

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upthehoopsPosted on7:13 pm - Jul 21, 2014


Carfins Finest says:
July 21, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Standard Guff from Bill McMurdo but to conclude that the M74 extension was built at the request and benefit of Celtic F C shows a new depth to Bills insightfulness.
=======================

Qute apart from the absurdity of that statement I can assure you getting to the M74 extension from Celtic Park can take up to 30 minutes in the traffic after a game, so no massive advantage there.

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yourhavingalaughPosted on7:31 pm - Jul 21, 2014


Oh dear
It looks like Wild Bill is not too good at geography if he thinks the M74 extension benefits Celtic,I would say ,if I was paranoid,that it was built to benefit the 500M fans that Charles was telling us about to help them miss out on the detour that anyone comming from the south had to endure if they where going to Ibrox,I have not read his piece and hope he has just called it wrong ,and I see Ally is praising the fans that he says have travelled far and wide to watch the road show ,by all accounts he is gushing about the 2.1 win and hopes the fans are as excited as he was with the victory and the show now rolls into Canada,I dont buy a daily so have not read any reports in how the game panned out but it sound a cracker by Allys take on it

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ChristyboyPosted on8:15 pm - Jul 21, 2014


Breaking News …….. Bill mcMurdo refuses to fly from Glasgow Airport as it was obviously built to ease the travel plans ” fur that loat” to Champions League venues…….and for that matter the transportation of third rate competitors to the “Celtic Games”. More news to follow when we find a Time Machine to zoom back to whatever century Bill is living in ………..

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redlichtiePosted on8:15 pm - Jul 21, 2014


Cluster One says:
July 21, 2014 at 2:05 pm
Business Review and strategic plan update.
Rangers Int. football club plc 25th April 2014.
The authority given to the Board at the AGM in December 2013 to enable the company to allot up to 43,400,000 new ordinary shares of 1p each (deduct stockbridges hidden shares from this ) in the capital of the company on a pre-emptive basis to existing shareholders has not been excercised to date. In the event that SEASON TICKET SALES over the forthcoming weeks are materially LESS than anticipated then the company may seek to use this pre-emptive authority which can offer a cost effective method of raising capital.
——————————————————————————————————

Just for the sake of clarity would I be correct in understanding that the shares available for issue “on a pre-emptive basis to existing shareholders” is more commonly/properly called a ‘rights issue’ rather than the term ‘share option’ used by Phil and others?

Is a ‘share option’ not actually what Brian Stockridge enjoyed and recently exercised?

Sorry for being pedantic….

Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

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Cluster OnePosted on8:20 pm - Jul 21, 2014


redlichtie says:

July 21, 2014 at 8:15 pm
Share and share alike that’s what i say

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torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958)Posted on8:25 pm - Jul 21, 2014


Don’t know where we stand wrt Sevco finances.
Auditors,supposedly on the quiet,have let them know,through their nomad,Daniel Stewart(linked to Ritzvi,Green etc),who should know anyway,as should the RIFC/TRFC boards that ST cash is not available.
They always seem to meet the wage bill,although this is now close season with no real income coming in.
If info is correct then where are we.
To keep. deloittes happy RIFC/TRFC set a target of 39k STs at an average price After VAT of around £260.
This would added to a share issue raising around £8m.

If reports are correct and current sales are 21K then there is a shortfall of around £4m.If the share issue is scuppered then there is no way TRFC can give a guarantee that they have the budget to finish the season.
No one will ask then though and Scottish Football will be left to wander aimlessy.
Thing is,when the s!?t hit the fan a couple of years ago,you could be kind and accept excuses that no one knew.That excuse has now gone.Every decision taken by the SFA/SPFL board is taken knowing the facts,past and present and what the future may bring.
If TRFC(being the football club) go tits up,then this time around,there is no excuse.
One of the biggest Auditors in the world have warned them,through their nomad,what they can and cannot do.If this doesn’t set alarm bells wringing within the SFA/SPFL then we know that the clubs,including my own,are willing to sell the integrity of the game.
I’ll be 56 in two weeks time. My dad took me to my 1st game when I was 2-1/2.
50 years,Cowdenbeath,Berwick, etc,not forgetting the highs of the Anglo Scottish Cup and such like.Always thought it was above board.
The SFA/SPFL boards are made up of clubs members.This time around,ignorance is no excuse.

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Madbhoy24941Posted on8:44 pm - Jul 21, 2014


Carfins Finest says:
July 21, 2014 at 5:59 pm

fb.me/2aHGsuQIa
Standard Guff from Bill McMurdo but to conclude that the M74 extension was built at the request and benefit of Celtic F C shows a new depth to Bills insightfulness.
—————————————————-

“More importantly, the punishment for State aid for engineering an unfair and illegal commercial and footballing advantage from both UEFA, the SFA and the SPFL has to be significant”

Oh dear………

“Hello, is that Mr Kettle? This is Mr Pot (A.K.A. Nineteen Seventy-Two from VB), you’re Black!”

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neepheidPosted on9:00 pm - Jul 21, 2014


Christyboy says:
July 21, 2014 at 8:15 pm
3 0 Rate This

Breaking News …….. Bill mcMurdo refuses to fly from Glasgow Airport as it was obviously built to ease the travel plans ” fur that loat” to Champions League venues…….and for that matter the transportation of third rate competitors to the “Celtic Games”. More news to follow when we find a Time Machine to zoom back to whatever century Bill is living in ………..
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He calls himself “Merlin” on one of his outlets, and if he thinks the M74 extension was built to Celtic’s orders, then he must still be traversing the ancient British Kingdom of Strathclyde on his big white stallion, with his wizard’s staff in one hand, and trusty excalibur in the other (don’t ask how he holds the reins though).

Back in this place and time, I often drive from Englandshire to Wemyss Bay, a journey which has been greatly facilitated by the M74 extension, which strangely takes me seamlessly past the very gates of Ibrox. It doesn’t help me at all if I’m going to Parkhead, where I would use the “old ways” and come in via the M8.

The designs of this fiendish popish M74 plot are clearly too subtle for me to discern, but not for Merlin, who can sniff out these conspiracies in every nook and cranny of ancient Strathclyde, and does so on a daily basis.

The real tragedy is the number of bears who simply lap this stuff up. Sometimes I wish it was me in 8th century Strathclyde, far away in time from crackpots like McMurdo (sorry, Merlin).

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Big PinkPosted on9:24 pm - Jul 21, 2014


The nuts and bolts of the OCNC debate have already been ring fenced by the blog owner.

The reason is as follows; that it is already accepted here, and everywhere else except in the company of Rangers fans, that there is in fact no debate. Rangers died two years ago, and a new club following in the Rangers ethos and tradition began life in the third division.

I don’t propose to get involved in the substantive debate, but the psychology of the belief systems which give rise to either side of the argument.

I suspect that TSFM gets irked when the debate is kicked off again – simply because there is no debate. Matters of fact trump opinion every time. And the facts speak for themselves.

I am however tempted to say that matters of faith also typically immunise themselves from debate, and that is what Rangers fans will attest when their belief is tested by facts. They will stand on the article of faith that Rangers never died at all, merely evacuated spirit from one corporal entity and occupied another.

Personally, I can’t argue with either proposition – or at least, I can’t be bothered.

I once had occasion to have a conversation with a friend who is a man of the cloth. I had just learned that the question of Christ’s divinity had been decided before writing the articles of faith at the Council of Nicaea, by the Emperor Constantine. A Pagan, or at least not a Christian. I asked if we could take the divinity issue seriously.

The answer I received was that it didn’t matter, since the Holy Spirit had guided Constantine. I could claim no more than an honourable draw, because my friend truly believed he was right, and faith trumped everything.

Since then, I have identified “The Holy Spirit Defence” (HSD) in action on several occasions in several places; the “scholars” in the USA who have divined from their “study” of the bible that the Earth is in fact only a few thousand years old in the face of all the scientific evidence which suggests that such a claim is preposterous;
the post-war American religious lobby who ironically backed the creation of the state of Israel because they believed that it was a necessary move to enable the second coming (although the election of a Jewish president has been a tougher manufacturing problem).

I don’t believe people hold those views simply to be contrarian any more than I hold mine. They are true believers, and I think that many of our colleagues in the blue camp are stridently playing the HSD card – apart from those who just think it is a useful tactic.

Bearing all of this in mind, I was struck earlier today during a visit to Glasgow Airport. Dropping my son off as he flew the coup for the first time on his own-some, I chanced upon the new Rangers shop.

The word “Rangers” is used once on the signage, but the number 1872 is displayed TWICE in a point size only a tad smaller.

Now this 1872 business is a curious one for me. For almost 140 years that date has been notable only for the fact that it was then that CP Scott became the etidor of the Guardian.

All of a sudden it has been ubiquitous in Scottish football, uttered in hushed tones and with great reverence by Govanites and MSM alike.

But Rangers, you may remember, won the ECWC in 1972. I can’t find any contemporaneous reference to an historic centenary win though – something you would expect from tabloids in particular. In fact Rangers winning a European competition on their centenary year draws a complete media blank – nada.

Perhaps that is because they won the Scottish Cup (against Celtic by 3-2) in their centenary year of 1973.

I know this, because the Rangers website says so.
“The Centenary Cup Final” on the Rangers website;
(http://www.rangers.co.uk/club/history/hall-of-fame/item/542-alfie-conn).

For that reason, if for nothing else, the 1872 thing grinds a bit on me and is especially noticeable because it is in fact a revisionist position (no Neil Kinnock jokes please).

However one other thing appears strange, and that is the fact that they have to say it twice on the Rangers shop. It’s almost as though the HSD does not invoke the same confidence amongst the company as it does within the faithful.
With deference to our Bard scholar JC, I think we have a case of “The Rangers doth protest too much, methinks”

Personally, I couldn’t care less about the argument itself, but I am convinced that the OCNC debate, futile as I believe it to be, is crucial to the resolution of differences amongst fans.

I am also very intrigued and cautiously optimistic that such an article of faith inspires so little confidence amongst those who profess it most – the club themselves.

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ChristyboyPosted on9:36 pm - Jul 21, 2014


Neepheid, What! You mean he’s some sort of Grand Wizard?? Yeah I think I’ve seen him right enough…. Do you think that Tree People over in Pollok Park were actually an undercover unit pretending to “save the trees” when they were actually a SDM covert task force , all on EBT’s , organised to destabilise the movement of Gaels to the East End ? Someone should have told them they were actually saving the GREEN BELT!!!! What’s next? State aid building roads!! I wonder if there’s any coal under it ?

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yourhavingalaughPosted on9:38 pm - Jul 21, 2014


Neepheid
not for Merlin ,who can sniff out these conspiracies

Wild Bill is sniffing at more than conspiracies and its showing,pity he cant sniff out the mystery shareholders and put this to bed once and for all ,and Ally ,well what about him and his dog whistle ,surely he could have called them out ,talk about helping one another ,this is the blind leading the blind for sure

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upthehoopsPosted on9:49 pm - Jul 21, 2014


neepheid says:
July 21, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Back in this place and time, I often drive from Englandshire to Wemyss Bay, a journey which has been greatly facilitated by the M74 extension, which strangely takes me seamlessly past the very gates of Ibrox. It doesn’t help me at all if I’m going to Parkhead, where I would use the “old ways” and come in via the M8.
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Absolutely. Access and egress to the Parkhead area on match days is quicker from and to the M8 than the M74 extension. McMurdo is acting like a very troubled man at best, and like a complete and utter idiot at worst. Take your pick!

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Cluster OnePosted on10:06 pm - Jul 21, 2014


upthehoops says:

July 21, 2014 at 9:49 pm
McMurdo is acting like a very troubled man at best, and like a complete and utter idiot at worst. Take your pick!
He may just have had the map upside down 😕

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parttimearabPosted on11:12 pm - Jul 21, 2014


Big Pink says:
July 21, 2014 at 9:24 pm
——that it is already accepted here, and everywhere else except in the company of Rangers fans, that there is in fact no debate. Rangers died two years ago, and a new club following in the Rangers ethos and tradition began life in the third division.—————
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I’m sorry big pink but this is simply inaccurate.
As a fan of another club I have argued (perhaps not always well but to the best of my ability) against the prevailing view (on this site)
I understand (or at least I thought I had understood) TSFM’s view that the OC/NC debate was going nowhere and ended up in circular arguments.
I have found my view in this matter tested….normally in a polite manner and a number of contributors have tested my opinion (Hisuite Pursuite springs to mind) and I have taken their points on board.
I still take the minority view but would hope that other contributors would have understod my reasons,while not agreeing with them.
I have no desire to revisit this debate simply for the sake of it but would hope that you and others would acknowledge that it’s not only Rangers fans that disagree on this point.
I might be more specific as to why I hold this opinion but I respect and, I hope, have tried to respect TSFM’s limitation on this debate.

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Sergio BiscuitsPosted on12:14 am - Jul 22, 2014


Big Pink says:
July 21, 2014 at 9:24 pm
The ‘1872’ thing came about in 2009 when Gary Ralston wrote his book about the founders of Rangers.
Apparently having an idea about forming a football club is the important date, even though they didn’t have their first formal meeting, nor play their first match, until 1873.
Hard to believe that for 136 years, even with all the biographers and fans who have written countless books about the old club, not one of them ever picked up that the date was wrong!
Neither did the various characters who ran the club over that time; strange isn’t it?

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