Time for Scots Government to Take Bull by the Horns

ByDonald Stewart

Time for Scots Government to Take Bull by the Horns

In the aftermath of the recent election and whilst those of us who voted one way are still hoping that our way continues to count, the horse trading has begun. No matter your politics, the fact that a party wholly representing one part of the United Kingdom is suddenly having such a massive influence, coupled with a lack of detail in the public domain over their negotiations, causes people some nervousness; because of the nature of the DUP, for some they claim it terrifies them.

Can we imagine if football was run that way? Can we imagine if it wasn’t?

Having people who have one focus deliberating and influencing your life has always been an issue at the core of the United Kingdom. Proud Scots do not like the power of the English, some English have begun to resent the growing independence of the Scots, the Welsh have turned out to have their own independence and as for the Irish; the Trouble has always never been far behind.

The recognised method of dealing with these issues has now become to allow, where possible, organisations within the domain of the domicile to grow on their own. For some it sows the seeds of an increasing independence as the locals realise they can do it for themselves. It also does, though ensure the organisation is close to its own people and is truly representative of them.

In Scotland, and throughout the last election, the big two – Conservative and Labour parties – have suffered under the accusations of being a “branch office” of their London centric big sister. It has led to people making choices based on the assumption that, at times, neither of the leaders up here have autonomy. When there are policies that will be unpopular in Scotland, they say, the high heid yins in Edinburgh have no choice but to toe the party line.

We do not like that thought.

Nor should we.

I suggested that football has a similar issue. And so. It does…

The views and opinions of the Scottish fans who last Saturday threw up their hands in joy and held their heads in despair all within 90 seconds or so suffer from that lack of representation. As deals are done in secret and “announcements” made over innovations and changes they are collectively silent through the funded organisation established to represent them; at best that organ is muted.

Never has it been more important for the Scottish football fan to feel the importance of their view being heard. Never has it been more important as Project Brave is being undertaken, chairmen are being fined £3,000 for having a bet, we look as though we are going to miss out on another World Cup, expansion of our cup competitions is growing apace, play offs and promotions have delivered their verdicts and handed their budgets to managers who bemoaned last year it was hard, that one of our two giant clubs seems unable to keep itself out of the court room whilst supplying the accused, the defence lawyer, the pantomime villain and a circus or at least two premiership clubs appear to be on the verge of administration.

Supporters Direct – Undemocratic?

The time has come to ensure that the voice of the footballing nation does not come from around the Isles but around the corner. Whilst the work of Supporters Direct has brought a great deal of support and aid to a number of clubs and supporters groups, the fans need something that is much more than a branch office of a bigger organisation.

In the recent past, SD have seemingly been forced to be more visible but let us not be fooled, if you are an ordinary fan, SD have no place for you. You cannot join, you cannot vote, and you cannot influence; so there is not much point. Building a democratic and fair vocal chord for Scottish football fans needs commitment from the bottom up to engage, enlist and enrich the chorus and chanting of disapproval or support for Scottish football.

That’s why I am in the SFSA – isn’t it time for the Scottish Government to take the bull, grasp the thistle and make the clear choice of removing money going all the way to London and giving it to a fans based organisation that represents them here in Scotland?

We think so… don’t you?

Join the SFSA today! It’s free

About the author

Donald Stewart author

Donald C Stewart is a lifelong Ayr United fan; the brooding eyes, the depressed demeanour and likelihood to become excited at winning corners a give away. A former Director of Ayr United Football Academy, he is now their Fundraising Manager and Safeguarder. Formerly regular broadcaster for Kicktalk, contributor for Scotzine and now boxing correspondent for Ringside Report and Talking Baws.

1,165 Comments so far

StevieBCPosted on3:46 pm - Jul 14, 2017


Phil’s latest piece is implying [?] a split in the TRFC ranks: a pugilist from Bothwell and his ‘old timers’ against the latest Pedro, ‘blue-eyed boys’ acquisitions.

That is on top of language barriers, cultural barriers, and footballing ability barriers when up against better SPFL teams.

But TRFC has achieved its own 6IAR.

…their upcoming sixth season in a row for grabbing the headlines – for all the wrong reasons – as their dysfunctional club / team / company lurches from one PR disaster to another.
And that’s before discussing the serious lack of quality on the pitch.

Oh dear, what a pity, never mind.   

Happy Friday Bampots!  21

[OT: if any Bampots are on holiday in NYC and watching the CFC game upstairs at Jack Demsey’s today, I’ll be there with wife and daughter and it would be good to say hello.  I’ll be in a green and white striped work shirt.]

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AuldheidPosted on4:23 pm - Jul 14, 2017


One of the SFA’s weak spots is their sponsors.
I was amused to read this on the McDonald Corporate web site in respect of McDonald’s attitude to good governance.
“The basis for our entire business is that we are ethical, truthful and dependable. It takes time to build a reputation. We are not promoters. We are business people with a solid, permanent, constructive ethical program that will be in style years from now even more than it is today.”- Ray Kroc, 1958″
Ive read the McDonald story The Golden Arch and quite a lot of their business with suppliers was on a trust basis so I can see where that statement came from.
However the cosmic irony is that McDonald’s sponsor the SFA!
Are they aware of the conflict of ethos at play?
Might be an idea to tell them, in numbers.  Their newsroom might want to know of the conflict.
http://corporate.mcdonalds.com/mcd/our_company.html
 

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AuldheidPosted on4:48 pm - Jul 14, 2017


ZilchJuly 14, 2017 at 15:14

I can identify completely with that.

I was lucky enough to join the Civil Service from school and being the UK Civil Service it had a good governance culture that prevented me from not entering the door because of my schooling.

That good governance culture back in 1964 was not totally free from ascendancy thinking but I got in on the basis of a fair exam and promoted a year latter because of school qualifications in front of a Board who gave me a fair hearing and who had fair governance mechanisms to constrain any whiff of unfair leaning.

Roll on to 1980 and I’m on a recruitment Interview panel for a large number of clerical jobs in Scotland. Half way through, another Board member from another Department totally unaware of my background said that he had been very impressed by the quality of the candidates from Catholic schools.

Being a diplomat I just agreed they were good but inside I was thinking I’m a product of a Catholic schooling and here I am an equal on the same board at a, by then, reasonable management level.

He meant no offence but his words were indicative of a thought process that was nurtured by the mad idea that one person is superior to another because of their religion and in doing so dismisses the intrinsic worth each of us have as human beings.

So I’m with you on the idea that this goes deeper than football. Its about making Scotland a country that everyone can be proud of rather than one where as a society it cannot look at itself in a mirror.

It so happens this mirror comes within a football frame, but when the ex First Minister Alex Salmond said 

“Equally, they’ve (HMRC) got to have cognisance of the fact that we’re talking about a huge institution, part of the fabric of the Scottish nation, as well as Scottish football, and everybody realises that.”

did he really believe the social fabric was enhanced by their contribution?

Is that still the establishment view given what we ken noo that Mr Salmond did not ken then?

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jean7brodiePosted on5:07 pm - Jul 14, 2017


Thanks to Zilch and Auldheid for those very illuminating accounts of their personal experiences in the workplace. I have several too but find them difficult to revisit.
Anyway, onwards and upwards.

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John ClarkPosted on7:18 pm - Jul 14, 2017


AuldheidJuly 14, 2017 at 16:23
‘……However the cosmic irony is that McDonald’s sponsor the SFA!Are they aware of the conflict of ethos at play?’
_________
Well, they have this on their Corporate Goverance page:

“Oct 09, 2015McDonald’s Statement on FIFA
We have already called on FIFA President Sepp Blatter to step down immediately. All allegations of serious wrongdoing in FIFA need to be investigated thoroughly so that questions can be answered and the reform process can proceed”

I wonder whether they might be persuaded to substitute ‘Macrae’ and ‘SFA’ for ‘Blatter’ and ‘FIFA’ if they knew about the SFA’s refusal to revisit the ‘ineligible  players’ issue and the very suspect  ‘UEFA-licence’ issue.

Or would their 95(?) outlets/franchisees in Scotland go into a blind panic?

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oddjobPosted on8:20 pm - Jul 14, 2017


Auldheid
Re Civil Service, ditto 

John Clark, to coin a phrase, i Think the FBI should be told!?

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billyj1Posted on9:00 pm - Jul 14, 2017


Auldheid.
The Local Authority was even worse!

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oddjobPosted on9:32 pm - Jul 14, 2017


Jean7brodie,
Do not despair !
I Understand from historical posts that we may both have attended a School At the top of Jackson Street in Coatbridge. I Think I was a a couple of years before you, as Big Jim arrived Just After I did!
Stay With it!

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Cluster OnePosted on9:41 pm - Jul 14, 2017


A Battery,a golf ball,a fan,a bottle and some coins Quite The Collection the celtic players are collecting.As we have not heard anything from the SFA of the items thrown at celtic players.I await to see UEFA’s responce

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jean7brodiePosted on9:47 pm - Jul 14, 2017


Thanks Oddjob!! I did arrive there and probably had same experiences in life as you!! Summer jobs etc where I was dismissed for not being ‘quite right’. Teaching placements the same.
Big JB was a sometimes! tyrant but did a lot for equality in our town. I bet you know some of the same folks as me. When were you there?

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oddjobPosted on9:57 pm - Jul 14, 2017


Cluster One,
And A yeiiow card for player, targeted  by the missiles, includiing a glass bottle, which he handed to the referee  !!
No obvious signs of security, until after the match.

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oddjobPosted on10:16 pm - Jul 14, 2017


Jean7brodie
As a wee boy, I went to our school in 1954, leaving  in June of 1960.

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John ClarkPosted on10:33 pm - Jul 14, 2017


oddjobJuly 14, 2017 at 20:20
‘…John Clark, to coin a phrase, i Think the FBI should be told!’
_____________
It’ll be a wee while before Scotland gets to host  a World Cup before the USA, so the FBI have no interest.1918
But I’m sure our own Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport( Shona Robison) will have quietly been seeking reassurances from her Ministerial junior and her senior civil service advisers that there’s nothing in the SFA’s dealings with the ‘liquidated part of the fabric of the Nation’ that will come back and bite her on the bum.
I don’t doubt that the SFA gets some monies from tax-payers.
That they seem quite unconcerned  that their internal governance mechanisms were so weak/disregarded/ cynically by-passed ( take your pick) as to allow their own strict rules to be flouted by that bit of the ‘fabric’, and for millions of pounds to be lost to the Exchequer that would not have been lost if some basic questions had been asked about the precise nature of the ‘Rangers Employment Benefit Trust’ and the ‘Murray Group Management Ltd Remuneration Trust’ referred to in the ‘fabricated’ Annual Reports and the payments made thereunder [the word ‘remuneration’ is a step for a hint]
I think that any sensible Cabinet Secretary would be picking up the phone and calling Hampden, to ask some very pointed questions about ‘dysfunctionality’  and ‘incompetence’ in an organisation which has received public funding. And will do so no more.
( I also think that the competent professional body ought to have a wee word with a certain firm of accountants. But maybe that’s just ignorant auld me!)

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AuldheidPosted on12:55 am - Jul 15, 2017


This from an Aberdeen fanzine nails it.
 
 
Take a look at @JamesSimpson35’s Tweet:
 
 
https://twitter.com/JamesSimpson35/status/885964025753985024?s=09

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HighlanderPosted on7:52 am - Jul 15, 2017


It looks like the SPFL are going to do sweet SFA about the Supreme Court ruling, judging by Ralph Topping’s interview in the Scotsman.

http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/rangers/interview-ralph-topping-on-visiting-ibrox-with-a-priest-1-4504793

There is, of course, the on-going ramifications from the Rangers Big Tax case, with the Supreme Court last week ruling in HMRC’s favour, and the vexed question of stripping titles. It’s not applause that Topping will hear when he steps down for good later this year – he’s agreed to stay on for a two-month “induction” period to help MacLennan acclimatise. Instead, it’s anguished cries of ‘what about those tainted titles then?’

The current debate threatens to become the most divisive issue of these times in Scottish football – and beyond. “Get used to it, it will last for 100 years,” says Topping. “Fans become polarised. It’s a fact of life in general. You have a view, and Twitter, Facebook and other mediums help reinforce that view. Whereas years ago if you were in a pub you’d get older guys in pubs going, ‘away you go, forget about it’. “It is going to last,” he adds. “It is a cause. Everyone is a journalist now. Every one has a point of view. It’s a passion. I’d just like to see more (of these people) turn up for games.”

While the SFA stressed no further action will be taken, “for the time being”, the SPFL are still to comment officially on the Supreme Court judgment. But they, like the SFA, seem set to confirm satisfaction with the findings of the Lord Nimmo Smith commission, from 2013, something Celtic want reviewed.

“What I think you see is lots of activity, potential challenges and ways to challenge the process or outcome,” says Topping, who is confident the SPFL can provide a robust defence. “The SFA are going to be a big target. The SPFL has been through (the) Lord Nimmo Smith (commission). A lot of fans will say Lord Nimmo Smith should be revisited. “In these circumstances you have to rely on legal minds,” he adds. “We have not gone to a solicitor in Arbroath. We have gone to the finest solicitor in the land and taken his view, which we were duty bound to do. He has given us what we think is very sound legal advice.” This advice was sought independently of the SFA, and not shared between boards. “We (the SPFL board) sat with him on what must have been four occasions – and he was challenged from everyone. “We wanted to make sure we were ready for any challenges subsequently. And I think we are, I think we are. “That won’t stop people having views,” he adds. “It won’t stop people talking about it for years to come. It’s useless to say keep quiet. The fact is they won’t.

“There are a lot of wealthy people who support football clubs who will fund certain activities around challenges. The authorities just have to accept it and be measured in their response.” Although criticised for a slow, to-date absent response, the SPFL, according to Topping, were prepared for last week’s Supreme Court outcome. “You examine all the possibilities,” he says. “We had to think about everything. “The guy’s legal advice has been spot on,” he adds. “He called it right. You have to be comfortable with the advice you are given. As things stand we did the right thing getting the opinion from the QC – the best in Scotland was available to us, so we got that. “Are we going to please everyone? Fat chance. Will fans go on about it? Yes. It’s an emotional subject. When will the book be closed on it? Never.”

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HighlanderPosted on8:04 am - Jul 15, 2017


I meant to add on the previous post that I find Mr Topping’s reference to advice from a QC to be disingenuous. You don’t need legal advice over LNS as it was merely a football commission providing advice, not a court of law determining a legal matter.

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SmugasPosted on8:35 am - Jul 15, 2017


“I’d just like to see more (of these people) turn up for games.”

would Mr Topping care to list his endeavours at achieving this in the last 15 years.  Efforts outwith not wanting to upset 1 cheating club is.

shouldnt take long.

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gunnerbPosted on8:51 am - Jul 15, 2017


HIGHLANDERJULY 15, 2017 at 07:52 
It looks like the SPFL are going to do sweet SFA about the Supreme Court ruling, judging by Ralph Topping’s interview in the Scotsman.
http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/rangers/interview-ralph-topping-on-visiting-ibrox-with-a-priest-1-4504793
——————————————————
So it begins. The phoney war is over and the first shots have been fired by the current chairman of the SPFL. It is a disquieting statement at best and in truth is typically arrogant and dismissive of the Scottish football supporter. It says that rather than lance the boil of suspicion and corruption he is willing to contemplate leaving an open sore to fester for years to come. How can that possibly be beneficial to the game. This is not banter or opinion this is far more serious than that. He hints that they expect and are ready for any and all challenges to their inertia thus confirming his realisation that it is not just ’emotional’. I believe the man has no idea of the kind of anger he has just reignited. I hope this emboldens more supporters of clubs to press their board for an individual definitive statement on the matter,

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Cluster OnePosted on9:12 am - Jul 15, 2017


“I’d just like to see more (of these people) turn up for games.”
——————
No one will turn up at games if nothing is done.Fans paid to watch a rigged game for years,why would they now go back? why would they encourage their kids to watch football? Generations of fans will be lost to the game.
——–
“Are we going to please everyone? Fat chance. Will fans go on about it? Yes. It’s an emotional subject. When will the book be closed on it? Never.”
————
You may not please everyone but that should not be the case for doing nothing.
Will fans go on about it? Yes. Yes they will and they may never return to a game they believe was rigged and is still dysfunctional.
It’s an emotional subject. When will the book be closed on it? Never.”
——THE BOOK WILL BE CLOSED WHEN TRUTH AND JUSTICE PREVAIL.

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HomunculusPosted on10:15 am - Jul 15, 2017


Club 1872, the second biggest shareholder in Rangers PLC is continuing with it’s threats and is now effectively calling for a boycott of a newspaper whose view it apparently disagrees with.

http://club1872.co.uk/news/club-1872-statement-on-daily-record-coverage/

Club 1872 is disappointed to note that the Daily Record chose not to cover our statement last week regarding the Big Tax Case (BTC) verdict. This was despite running calls for title stripping from Aberdeen, Dundee Utd and Celtic fans’ groups both prior to and following our statement.

Unfortunately this is not the first time the Daily Record has failed to treat Rangers and its supporters in an equivalent manner to how it has treated others. Last year Club 1872 polled members on action following a completely fabricated story by Record journalist, Jane Hamilton about Rangers fans causing disruption at the Cup Final. This prompted an apology and IPSO judgement against the paper.

Rangers and Club 1872 have met with Daily Record Editor, Murray Foote on several occasions and attempted to resolve the ongoing issues with a number of Daily Record staff who appear unable to put their own feelings for our club to one side. Despite these efforts – and reassurances that more balance would be achieved – the situation has worsened.

The Daily Record has a number of fair and competent journalists but the senior management of the paper seem to be completely unable or unwilling to control a handful of their staff, who go out of their way to produce skewed and at times completely false coverage of our club.

There are currently three people paid by the Daily Record – one in a senior editorial role – who have made overtly sectarian comments about Rangers fans. This has been condoned and they continue to be in a position to influence the output of the newspaper on matters regarding our club.

Club 1872, and in our opinion Rangers, have now done all we can in terms of raising these issues and seeking a resolution with Murray Foote. We do not believe there is any genuine wish from his side to remedy the situation.

Unlike BBC Scotland, which has a duty to be impartial, the Daily Record is entirely free to push a one sided agenda if it so wishes. There is no duty to be impartial or even handed. There is a duty to be accurate however, and Club 1872 is currently in the process of examining several recent articles to see if there have been further breaches of IPSO guidelines.

Club 1872 understands that the press has a role to play in holding Rangers, its directors and supporters to account. They did so with regard to the previous regime at the club but there is a difference between holding to account and pursuing a baseless agenda to attack and diminish. Particularly when that agenda slavishly follows the promptings of those whose commitment to sporting integrity extends no further than using the words to attack those they dislike.

Just as we believe the Daily Record has made its choice – so too can Rangers supporters. We can choose not to buy the Daily Record. We can choose not to click links to Daily Record stories online. We can choose not to share those links and stories on our social media networks and forums.

In summary, we can treat the newspaper and the management who are running it into the ground with exactly the same level of contempt they show to Rangers and Rangers supporters on a weekly basis.

If Rangers supporters continue to choose to spend their cash or read news online via the Daily Record website then it is unlikely anything will change. If we do not, then perhaps those running it will finally realise that we will no longer accept anything other than fair and balanced coverage of our club.

It’s time to change the Record.

Issued by Supporters Voice Limited, a Club 1872 company.

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on10:43 am - Jul 15, 2017


It’s apparent (to me, anyway) from the Patullo interview with Topping that the SPFL’s legal advice concerns implications & consequences for that body & not the recidivist miscreant.

I’m also surprised that a hard-headed businessman like Topping is happy to state that a multi-million pound business with numerous regulatory requirements is run like ‘a golf club’.

Perhaps that’s why the game has got into the state it has on your watch, Ralphy?  

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upthehoopsPosted on10:47 am - Jul 15, 2017


Re Ralph Topping.

I read his article as nothing other than a polite way of a Rangers fan saying, ‘get it right up the lot of you – 54 and counting.’ I don’t know whether Topping is a Rangers fan or not, but his statements make it plain they are the only fans the SPFL care about.  In terms of asking a QC, who decides who the best QC in Scotland is, and how do  we know it wasn’t the same one the SFA asked? How do we know the SFA and SPFL even asked a QC at all, such is the secret manner they operate in? 

Arrogance does not even begin to describe Topping’s interview. If a judicial review is possible, this only makes it more certain. I can’t wait until him and his like are made to speak under oath in a court. 

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Cluster OnePosted on10:57 am - Jul 15, 2017


HOMUNCULUSJULY 15, 2017 at 10:15
Yet not too long ago a Mr paul Murray was thanking the DR for it’s courageous journalism.
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-interim-chairman-paul-murray-5287851
——————–
Also remember this?
http://uk.businessinsider.com/sports-directs-mike-ashley-glasgow-rangers-court-case-in-london-2015-6
Today, Sports Direct’s counsel asked a High Court judge for an injunction to stop RFC disclosing confidential commercial contract information between the group and Rangers, because of a range of articles in the British tabloid The Daily Record insisted that Rangers were “ready to blow the lid” on the contract.
Sports Direct accused Rangers’ board of leaking information to the Daily Record which disclosed a number of confidential details regarding the merchandising contract. It even cited information in a post by “trueblue92” on a fan forum page called “The Bear’s Den” as another example of a “leak.”
“The clear inference that the source of the information was the board itself,” said Sports Direct’s counsel in court. “Rangers have breached confidentiality.”
Rangers’ counsel said in court that “an article in a tabloid newspaper that is full of hyperbole” is not a justification for an injunction. It also denied being the “leak” in the Daily Record articles.
The legal representatives of both Sports Direct and Rangers were contacted by Business Insider and were not immediately available for comment at the time of publication.
—————
The Club 1872,statement looks more like a lashing out at the DR for not staying on board with there way of thinking

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AllyjamboPosted on11:03 am - Jul 15, 2017


HighlanderJuly 15, 2017 at 07:52  
It looks like the SPFL are going to do sweet SFA about the Supreme Court ruling, judging by Ralph Topping’s interview in the Scotsman.http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/rangers/interview-ralph-topping-on-visiting-ibrox-with-a-priest-1-4504793There is, of course, the on-going ramifications from the Rangers Big Tax case, with the Supreme Court last week ruling in HMRC’s favour, and the vexed question of stripping titles. It’s not applause that Topping will hear when he steps down for good later this year – he’s agreed to stay on for a two-month “induction” period to help MacLennan acclimatise. Instead, it’s anguished cries of ‘what about those tainted titles then?’The current debate threatens to become the most divisive issue of these times in Scottish football – and beyond. “Get used to it, it will last for 100 years,” says Topping. “Fans become polarised. It’s a fact of life in general. You have a view, and Twitter, Facebook and other mediums help reinforce that view. Whereas years ago if you were in a pub you’d get older guys in pubs going, ‘away you go, forget about it’. “It is going to last,” he adds. “It is a cause. Everyone is a journalist now. Every one has a point of view. It’s a passion. I’d just like to see more (of these people) turn up for games.”While the SFA stressed no further action will be taken, “for the time being”, the SPFL are still to comment officially on the Supreme Court judgment. But they, like the SFA, seem set to confirm satisfaction with the findings of the Lord Nimmo Smith commission, from 2013, something Celtic want reviewed.“What I think you see is lots of activity, potential challenges and ways to challenge the process or outcome,” says Topping, who is confident the SPFL can provide a robust defence. “The SFA are going to be a big target. The SPFL has been through (the) Lord Nimmo Smith (commission). A lot of fans will say Lord Nimmo Smith should be revisited. “In these circumstances you have to rely on legal minds,” he adds. “We have not gone to a solicitor in Arbroath. We have gone to the finest solicitor in the land and taken his view, which we were duty bound to do. He has given us what we think is very sound legal advice.” This advice was sought independently of the SFA, and not shared between boards. “We (the SPFL board) sat with him on what must have been four occasions – and he was challenged from everyone. “We wanted to make sure we were ready for any challenges subsequently. And I think we are, I think we are. “That won’t stop people having views,” he adds. “It won’t stop people talking about it for years to come. It’s useless to say keep quiet. The fact is they won’t.“There are a lot of wealthy people who support football clubs who will fund certain activities around challenges. The authorities just have to accept it and be measured in their response.” Although criticised for a slow, to-date absent response, the SPFL, according to Topping, were prepared for last week’s Supreme Court outcome. “You examine all the possibilities,” he says. “We had to think about everything. “The guy’s legal advice has been spot on,” he adds. “He called it right. You have to be comfortable with the advice you are given. As things stand we did the right thing getting the opinion from the QC – the best in Scotland was available to us, so we got that. “Are we going to please everyone? Fat chance. Will fans go on about it? Yes. It’s an emotional subject. When will the book be closed on it? Never.”
_____________________-

And once again, not one word to explain why it would be wrong, either morally or legally, to re-examine LNS or set up a completely fresh inquiry. It matters not one jot how senior and extremely clever this unnamed solicitor is that they sought counsel from, what matters is what the reasons were for his advice, and what that advice was based upon.

Was that advice that the law never seeks to punish cheating? Was it that the law says that ‘Rangers’ have been punished enough? Or was it, as seems most likely, that, for their own sakes, the men at the helm of Scottish football had better avoid, at all costs, re-visiting an inquiry that they so monumentally ballsed up in a way that might well lead to them facing legal action as individuals?

There is only ever one reason why people in authority refuse to give full details to the public, and that is that they, or someone they are protecting, would be put in an awkward position (to say the least) if full disclosure was made. For someone to be put in an awkward position means that they have done something wrong, that is an inescapable fact. Honesty never needs to be covered up, and that cover up only becomes worse with these efforts to deflect from the search for the truth.

Now here’s a thought, surely it is beyond reason to think that this most able of legal minds couldn’t come up with something better than the pathetic efforts of the SFA to explain away their inaction. Surely, if even some semblance of rationality existed, some honest explanation was available, then the PR p*sh they are pushing out, like this nonsense from Topping, deriding the ability of people on the internet to put information and opinion out there and suggesting the days of pub-bound ignorance somehow made football better, would have been replaced by something that at least sounds feasible!

You know, they aren’t even attempting to fool us all with half-truths! Think on it, they haven’t even tried to suggest that the advice they received was that the LNS decision is legally binding and final! The fact that they haven’t said that, can only mean one thing – that in the opinion of this top legal counsel, it wasn’t!

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nawlitePosted on11:03 am - Jul 15, 2017


It is now really shaping up for nothing to be done in respect of the many years of cheating. The SFA, the SPFL, the media and the government are all prepared to say that cheating is okay and nothing needs to be done about the past.
We need to do something about this NOW. If not, it will happen. The longer things carry on pretty much as they are, the more likely it is that the cheating will not be fixed.
We’ve all been there – in work or in life we make a small mistake, but because the world doesn’t fall apart at once, we think ‘Hmmm, maybe what I’ve done is not so bad’ so we leave things as they are and eventually life with that mistake included becomes the norm. Of course, eventually the mistake will manifest – the kitchen unit with the missing screw will eventually fall down or the sickie we pulled will be found out – but for a good while the universe will function perfectly with our mistake in it.
Doing nothing now will be our mistake that allows the universe (i.e. the SFA/SPL/MSM/TRFC) to carry on. We must take action now or it will never happen.
For me, all I can come up with is making sure I write to everyone I can think of who might have an interest in this issue, but as I’ve said on many occasions/issues in the past this will have little to no impact if it’s just me (and a few others). We really need a torrent of activity on this, but is there a will to do so?
It seems to me that publicity is everything here. What other ways are there? Who is going to pull these together? Who can we get onside with a louder voice?
I’m starting to fear an endgame I don’t want to see.
Btw, if anyone can post that full post from the Aberdeen page, I’d like to see it. It reads well.

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bect67Posted on11:13 am - Jul 15, 2017


If that’s Club 1972’s response to DR coverage, what would it be like if DR ‘grew a pair’ and told the truth?!

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on11:21 am - Jul 15, 2017


NAWLITE

JULY 15, 2017 at 11:03        

We’ve all been there – in work or in life we make a small mistake, but because the world doesn’t fall apart at once, we think ‘Hmmm, maybe what I’ve done is not so bad’ so we leave things as they are and eventually life with that mistake included becomes the norm. Of course, eventually the mistake will manifest – the kitchen unit with the missing screw will eventually fall down or the sickie we pulled will be found out – but for a good while the universe will function perfectly with our mistake in it.
————————————————

Like being a party to the 5WA (and its reputed b*stard offspring of exculpatory side-letters & adjuncts)?

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HomunculusPosted on11:29 am - Jul 15, 2017


A lot of fans will say Lord Nimmo Smith should be revisited. “In these circumstances you have to rely on legal minds,” he adds. “We have not gone to a solicitor in Arbroath. We have gone to the finest solicitor in the land and taken his view, which we were duty bound to do. He has given us what we think is very sound legal advice.” This advice was sought independently of the SFA, and not shared between boards. “We (the SPFL board) sat with him on what must have been four occasions – and he was challenged from everyone. “We wanted to make sure we were ready for any challenges subsequently. And I think we are, I think we are.

Just a few points.

1, What’s wrong with solicitors in Arbroath. That’s a bit insulting.

2, I thought they had taken advice from a QC (presumably not Nicholas Stewart QC or Charles Flint QC who I believe were part of the original review, so hardly the people to ask).

3, What were the actual questions they asked this solicitor.

4, What challenges does he think they had to be ready for. The original panel decided to ignore the EBT appeal by HMRC and treat the matter as if it was finalised. It is now, by the highest Court in the UK, so a review is an absolute must, there can be no question of that. Rangers were involved in massive tax avoidance, that is now an undisputed and indisputable fact.

5, The advice being sought seems to be, can we get away with doing nothing. The answer was presumably yes.

6, Would, what is the right thing to do not be a better question.

7, Who is “the finest solicitor in the land” btw, and in what particular area of the law.

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AllyjamboPosted on11:51 am - Jul 15, 2017


HomunculusJuly 15, 2017 at 11:29

‘1, What’s wrong with solicitors in Arbroath. That’s a bit insulting.’
________________________

Insulting, undoubtedly, but so typical of a WATP attitude, and no different from what we see in the endless stream of bear statements!

The similarities between the various ‘Rangers’ supporters groups, the SMSM and the two Scottish football governing bodies becomes ever more obvious.

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HomunculusPosted on11:56 am - Jul 15, 2017


ALLYJAMBO
JULY 15, 2017 at 11:51
==============================

Do you think he even realises it was wrong to say such a thing.

Would he even have considered saying something like “We didn’t go to some Glasgow solicitor, we went to someone good”.

I think it’s actually indicative of the mentality. Why would we care about what people from Arbroath (or any number of places) think. 

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wottpiPosted on12:02 pm - Jul 15, 2017


Was going to say a few words ‘re the Topping thing bit maybe it it best summed up by the following:-
FFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

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bordersdonPosted on12:16 pm - Jul 15, 2017


HomunculusJuly 15, 2017 at 11:29
4, What challenges does he think they had to be ready for. The original panel decided to ignore the EBT appeal by HMRC and treat the matter as if it was finalised. It is now, by the highest Court in the UK, so a review is an absolute must, there can be no question of that. Rangers were involved in massive tax avoidance, that is now an undisputed and indisputable fact.
——————————————————————————
They may have taken advice on the chances of winning a legal challenge to title stripping and been told that in a court of law they would lose? So game over!

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FinlochPosted on12:37 pm - Jul 15, 2017


HOMUNCULUSJULY 15, 2017 at 11:29    
1, What’s wrong with solicitors in Arbroath. That’s a bit insulting.

——————————————————————-

Scottish Football needs strong solicitors in Arbroath.

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Corrupt officialPosted on12:51 pm - Jul 15, 2017


Some legal advice for the SPFL ……….
    “Agree to a review, and your bum is oot the windae!”…
          That will be £10,000 please. 
         ———————————–
  It’s looking like a JR folks. 

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wottpiPosted on12:55 pm - Jul 15, 2017


Correct me if I am wrong but is it not the case that any other club could carry on in a similar manner today to Rangers regarding non disclosure of payments and the only consequence would be a fine of circa  £250k. (Far less if only a handful of players were involved)
By all means look so sweep it under the carpet as a historical issue but for heavan’s sake recognise the seriousness of the issue by changing rules (let’s call it the Murray-Rangers law) to deter anyone else from doing something similar in the future.

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fishnishPosted on1:05 pm - Jul 15, 2017


Presumably, by ‘relying on legal minds’ as Topping has said was the course they chose to follow, he/they have not forgotten that SDM got his advice from Baxendale-Walker’s legal ‘mind’.
It’s a useful ploy to pull out when challenged at a later date in court.  “It wisnae me.  A big legal mind did it and ran away…”

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wottpiPosted on1:10 pm - Jul 15, 2017


As a little light relief on this dark day and given recent posts about Scottish education, you have to wonder about what they are teaching folk at journalism school.
‘re last night’s friendly at Tynecastle

Tynecastle had a surreal feel last night, with the main stand resembling a building site and the players emerging from a temporary tunnel in the Wheatfield Stand. 

Resembling!!!!!!

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Giovanni333Posted on1:15 pm - Jul 15, 2017


Lets crowd fund for our own review and use a solicitor from Arbroath !!

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Corrupt officialPosted on1:29 pm - Jul 15, 2017


FISHNISHJULY 15, 2017 at 13:05
Presumably, by ‘relying on legal minds’ as Topping has said was the course they chose to follow, he/they have not forgotten that SDM got his advice from Baxendale-Walker’s legal ‘mind’.It’s a useful ploy to pull out when challenged at a later date in court.  “It wisnae me.  A big legal mind did it and ran away…”
    —————————————————————————————–
  Such is the nature of a courtroom, 50% of legal minds are always in the wrong.

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woodsteinPosted on1:39 pm - Jul 15, 2017


https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/tax/hmrc-policy/top-tax-barrister-declared-bankrupt
 
http://www.solicitors.com/tax+arbroath.html
 
Just saying like  02

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John ClarkPosted on1:59 pm - Jul 15, 2017


That such a desperately stupid, self-contradictory, blustering fool of a man like Topping should be Chairman of the SPFL explains a lot of things about the nature of that twisted, dysfunctional, kami-kaze-like organisation, hell-bent on destroying itself by its gutless dishonesty and inability to face actual facts.
The LNS Commission quite specifically founded  its judgment that there had been ‘no sporting advantage’ on the ‘fact’ ( as they believed) that the way EBTs had been used by the cheating SDM was legal.
The UK Supreme Court decided that they were wrong.
It necessarily follows that the LNS decision was wrong, and, therefore, that there WAS a ‘sporting advantage’ gained -cynically and deliberately by a lying SDM.
By seeking in effect to condone and reward that cheating ,Topping has revealed himself as even worse than SDM.
(And what was the fatuous nonsense about ‘Fr McNamara’ all about? Establishing his ‘fair-minded ecumenism’?)

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Corrupt officialPosted on2:15 pm - Jul 15, 2017


   I’ll just leave this here. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/19102870

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HomunculusPosted on2:17 pm - Jul 15, 2017


WOODSTEIN
JULY 15, 2017 at 13:39
==============================

From the Supreme Court ruling.

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Paulmac2Posted on2:24 pm - Jul 15, 2017


Having watched the game last night, I have to say the referees performance was of a poor standard throughout.
The incident at the corner flag in the second half was poorly managed by the referee…he should have called the player away from the corner area…spoken to his 4th official to request an official of the home club to arrange more stewarding and policing in the area to offer greater protection to all players.
He clearly didn’t do any of that…and his actions where to say the least bizarre under the circumstances and he must be considered as part of the problem.
I would be amazed and hugely disappointed if UEFA…once they receive the report from the UEFA delegate…if this official is not punished in some form…
As for Linfield FC…I would assume they will be hit with a behind closed doors and financial punishment…
Celtic may also face consequences due to Leigh Griffiths deciding to wrap a scarf around a post.
All in all…it could have ended 5 or 6 nil last night…but 2-0 is good enough…
 

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Paulmac2Posted on2:53 pm - Jul 15, 2017


Regards the comments from Mr. Topping…concerning is an understatement.
Since when did cheating, corruption, dishonesty and criminality appear to be an accepted business model.
If Scottish clubs are not willing to challenge this, then one must ask…what are THEY hiding? What is to say it is not still happening? What is to stop criminality using Scottish football as a vehicle for their own purposes in the future?
If there is no accountability or open discussion or challenge on such things…then the game in Scotland is in a very dark place.
To ignore it, is to accept it, to accept it means you are part of it.  

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LUGOSIPosted on4:50 pm - Jul 15, 2017


Events since the Supreme Court decision on 5th July 2017 have been fairly predictable and until the dust settled there were always going to be questions begging for answers.
Until now I was content to await the official pronouncements from the Authorities and the responses and reactions thereto.
Until now.
Today’s Scotsman interview by Alan Pattullo with Ralph Topping, the conveniently outgoing Chairman of the SPFL, leads Mr Pattullo to confidently opine that the SPFL “seem set to confirm satisfaction with the findings of the Lord Nimmo Smith commission…”
Mr Pattullo’s opinion is based, no doubt, on his interview.
It will be recalled that on 5th July 2017 within hours of the Supreme Court decision Celtic issued a statement which included “We are sure now that the footballing authorities will wish to review this matter.”.
Mr Topping’s interview refers to a process, already undertaken and completed, during which the SPFL consulted “the finest solicitor in the land” who “has given us what we think is very sound legal advice”. Mysteriously, later in the interview this Solicitor morphs into a QC. I suppose it’s possible that at the start of this process this Captain Beaky of the Scottish legal establishment (unnamed and unidentified other than male and not from Arbroath) was a Solicitor; he left The Law Society Of Scotland; he enrolled with the Faculty of Advocates; he carried out the lengthy procedure to become an Advocate and then he was elevated to the rank of Queen’s Counsel in what must have been a meteoric and unprecedented fashion. However if this had happened it’s safe to say word would have leaked out. Another possibility, and a much more likely one, is that Mr Topping is talking (and this is not a piece of legal terminology) mince. A simple way of checking is for the SPFL to tell us how much this legal advice together with meetings cost. The fees for Solicitors and QCs are easily distinguishable. For example, if it’s a QC they don’t do meetings; they do Consultations. You can’t charge in the thousands for a meeting; you can for a Consultation.
Mr Topping is at pains to stress how thorough the process was.
“We (the SPFL board sat with him on what must have been four occasions and he was challenged from everyone.”
Which brings me back to Celtic’s statement.
Peter Lawwell, Celtic Chief Executive, is one of three Ladbrokes Premiership representatives on the SPFL Board.
On what basis could Celtic be “sure” if their Chief Executive had attended four meetings (maybe; Mr Topping states the number prefaced by “…on what must have been…” Four? Three? Five? Mr Lawwell can’t have missed them all) which would be memorable for the prescence of Scotland’s Bestest Legal Guy. Mr Lawwell must remember these meetings because this legal person was “challenged from everyone”. Accordingly, Mr Lawwell must have asked him something. Further, Mr Lawwell, as one of “us”, has been given “what we think is very sound legal advice.”
If Mr Topping is right why did Celtic issue a statement which their Chief Executive could have told them that they could be “sure” about nothing of the sort and that numerous SPFL meetings with Scots Law Numero Uno indicated the complete opposite of “the footballing authorities will wish to review this matter”?
I note that Hearts Chairwoman Ann Budge is also on the SPFL Board. How simple would it have been for BBC’s Chris McLaughlin to ask her during the week and had it clarified? If Mr Topping is correct the answer would have been simple; nothing going to happen; top legal bloke; lots of meetings; big bills…
The main question, for me, is if Mr Topping is correct why did the SPFL put a two sentence statement on 5th July 2017? Which details of the judgement are they examining in detail? What implications for the SPFL are they considering?
If Mr Topping is right the matter has already been comprehensively examined, considered and decided.
If Mr Topping is correct Celtic’s statement makes no sense.
Mr Lawwell may have something to say on the matter.
Sometime the penny is going to drop with these people.
Right thinking football fans will push this until Hell freezes over.
Then, if need be, they will push it on ice.

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AllyjamboPosted on4:53 pm - Jul 15, 2017


HomunculusJuly 15, 2017 at 11:56  
ALLYJAMBOJULY 15, 2017 at 11:51==============================Do you think he even realises it was wrong to say such a thing.Would he even have considered saying something like “We didn’t go to some Glasgow solicitor, we went to someone good”.I think it’s actually indicative of the mentality. Why would we care about what people from Arbroath (or any number of places) think. 
___________

I think it is indicative of the contempt that these people treat those outside of their ‘circle’, their ‘circle’ being one where working class (which is how so many still view the football viewing public) is some lesser part of society. These people are not necessarily wealthy, themselves, but tend to ‘run’ things, such as football and/or businesses, and all too often come from a situation where they have been above others who have no choice (employees) but to accede to their betters’ diktat. Most of us will have been in situations where orders are issued from above that are clearly badly thought out or plain ridiculous, but have no choice other than to accept them and to comply. The SFA and SPFL are doing that now, and have been for a very long time. Topping’s reference to – ‘Whereas years ago if you were in a pub you’d get older guys in pubs going, ‘away you go, forget about it’. – is a perfect example of that contempt, and a wish for a return to the days when the ordinary supporter just accepted the word of our ‘betters’!

He’s not only insulted Arbroath solicitors, but also every football supporter, and in particular, their ability to analyse what’s going on in the game’s governanc and to know when we are being cheated and taken for mugs.

And, of course, while defending this inaction over (and tacit support for) Rangers’ cheating, he calls for those very supporters he’s insulting to come in increasing numbers to watch his dishonest product! I wonder when he last paid to watch a football match, or even travelled to the game at his own expense!

Other than to call for us all to ‘move on’, they still haven’t given, or offered, one reason why we should! They never justify anything they say, and that is yet another example of that contempt.

Oh, and for Mr Topping’s benefit, never, ever before the days of the internet, had the football supporters, old or young, in any pub in the land, any knowledge of cheating of the level that has been inflicted on the game by Rangers FC, and never before have we had reason to discuss the amazing level of complicity in that cheating that is now evident within our game! What he says in that pathetic faux interview is an indication of how easy it was in the past for those with the power to get away with whatever they wanted to!

What I would love to have the opportunity to ask Topping, and, indeed, I invite anyone to counter the thought, is – how does Rangers’ use of EBTs, regardless of their legality in themselves, to induce top players away from other more financially viable clubs, differ from using brown envelopes stuffed with cash for the same purpose? They are both forms of payment made outwith the players’ registered contracts! Is this the advice that this top solicitor has given them, an issue he sees as almost certain to come out if LNS is revisited?

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jimboPosted on5:01 pm - Jul 15, 2017


I think a ‘common sense’ referee would have drawn LG aside and said – lets talk about this later, meanwhile put the bottle down, take the corner!  But a yellow card?  Idiot.

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goosygoosyPosted on5:07 pm - Jul 15, 2017


GOOSYGOOSYJULY 15, 2017 at 17:06 
GOOSYGOOSYJULY 12, 2017 at 09:42EASYJAMBOJULY 11, 2017 at 22:35 Chris McLaughlin‏Verified account @BBCchrismclaug 2m2 minutes ago   New SPFL chairman is media man Murdoch MacLennan. Former head of PA, Telegraph Group, Daily Record/Sunday Mail. Replaces Ralph Topping. —————————- What will his view be on the implications of the SC decision, LNS et al? ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, SPFL are a limited company with shareholders. The normal procedure when a Chairman steps down is for advance notice to be given in a press release coupled with a comment that the search is under way for a replacement.   The timing of this announcement stinks. It is sandwiched between the SC decision and SPFL official response If Topping continues as a Director of the SPFL but without being Chairman he begs the obvious question What is so onerous about the extra workload of the Chairman of the SPFL compared with a Director of SPFL that makes  a meaningful difference to Toppings day job? Seriously! Chairing the SPFL is virtually a non job in the first place. That’s why Topping has been able to do it along with his day job for years.   Is Topping getting out of the limelight because a corrupt SC response is in the pipeline? If so there will be commercial consequences for Ladbrokes if he remains on the SPFL Board after stepping down as Chairman And There will be no response from the SPFL to the SC decision until well after Topping steps down as Chairman on 1 August. All actions must be subservient to the sale of STs ,,,,,,,,,,, IMO We mushrooms have just witnessed Stage 3 of a carefully thought out corrupt PR strategy devised jointly by the SFA and SPFL to prepare Scottish football fans for yet another corrupt event following the SC decision i.e.
Stage 1  Corrupt SFA Statement on SC decision
Stage 2 Delaying SPFL Statement on SC decision
Stage 3 New SPFL Chairman Statement
Stage 4 Private Briefing to corrupt SMSM rags
Stage 5 SPFL Corrupt Statement on SC decision
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Just had Stage4

Will post again when the SPFL  get to Stage 5

 y

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AuldheidPosted on5:19 pm - Jul 15, 2017


This open letter on CQN Magazine to Topping accessible from the tweet asks an important question.

What assurances can either the SFA and SPFL give supporters that they have taken adequate steps since 2011 to protect the game from further cheating?

https://twitter.com/CQN/status/886188108236046336

Followed by what exactly was your objective from March 2011?

Only an enquiry will provide the necessary level of assurance.

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CitibhoyPosted on5:36 pm - Jul 15, 2017


Jimbo 17.01

there is fundamental issue at play here….  

Who is ultimately responsible for the Health and Safety of the “workers” as they go about their profession.

There must be a protocol in place for all  H&S  issues, given that UEFA 
“Take over the stadium for match nights” ….. quote from a letter i received from  Celtic a number of years ago.

Leigh Griffiths brought a H&S issue to the attention of a UEFA employee on duty in that workplace and was threatened with (or was sanctioned) for doing so.

Celtic and Fraser Wishart should be raising merry hell over this and insisting that the Hosts and /or UEFA are held responsible for ensuring compliance with UK law.

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AllyjamboPosted on5:49 pm - Jul 15, 2017


No one from the SFA or SPFL has, so far, tried to defend the LNS decision.

No one from the SFA or SPFL has, so far, explained, or defended, their decision not to take action as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision, other than (the SPFL) to say that they’ve been advised not to.

No one from the SFA or SPFL has, so far, said that Rangers didn’t cheat (which they would surely say if they believed that to be the case).

No one from the SFA or SPFL has, ever, told us why we should just move on and who it is might benefit from us all just moving on.

No one from the SMSM has, so far, asked why this should be.

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HomunculusPosted on5:54 pm - Jul 15, 2017


ALLYJAMBO
JULY 15, 2017 at 16:53  
What I would love to have the opportunity to ask Topping, and, indeed, I invite anyone to counter the thought, is – how does Rangers’ use of EBTs, regardless of their legality in themselves, to induce top players away from other more financially viable clubs, differ from using brown envelopes stuffed with cash for the same purpose?
===========================

It differs in that the money in the envelope was stolen, from everyone in the country.

Rangers didn’t even use their own money, they used yours and mine. Then they celebrated when the players they paid like that won trophies ahead of your club and mine. 

They stole our money, and used it to cheat us.

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DunderheidPosted on7:50 pm - Jul 15, 2017


if Topping, or his allies at the SPFL (remember also that Mr Topping also ‘serves’ on the Board of the SFA; the only person to be a member of both Boards, I think) were serious about the principle of openness and transparency they should be willing to publish details of the advice they sought from their non-Arbroath-based advocate together with the sage (and apparently very expensive) counsel they received in reply.

This would also demonstrate a willingness to let other able minds help them untangle this Gordian knot they themselves created in the shape of the LNS commission.

A few days ago I asked if anyone had a link to the Rules (or standing orders) for the SFA Board.

The reason for that enquiry was that I have it in mind that those Rules will be littered with expressions granting the Board discretion to act on its own judgement in a host of situations. I would imagine the same will be the case for the SPFL’s Board.

Does anyone have a link to such Rules … ?

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Paulmac2Posted on8:14 pm - Jul 15, 2017


Having just checked….the Linfield v Celtic match is the only CL 2nd round qualifying game with no match delegate listed/appointed only a referee observer…who was an Austrian…Konrad Plautz?
So who knows what will be reported in terms of crowd behaviour?

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AllyjamboPosted on8:25 pm - Jul 15, 2017


HomunculusJuly 15, 2017 at 17:54  
ALLYJAMBOJULY 15, 2017 at 16:53  What I would love to have the opportunity to ask Topping, and, indeed, I invite anyone to counter the thought, is – how does Rangers’ use of EBTs, regardless of their legality in themselves, to induce top players away from other more financially viable clubs, differ from using brown envelopes stuffed with cash for the same purpose?===========================It differs in that the money in the envelope was stolen, from everyone in the country.Rangers didn’t even use their own money, they used yours and mine. Then they celebrated when the players they paid like that won trophies ahead of your club and mine. They stole our money, and used it to cheat us.
_______________________

Very good point, Homunculus. This is, though, something I genuinely believe we’ve all missed in our deliberations over the legality of the EBTs and the mis-registration issues. Rangers were paying players in a manner that the rules governing registration were developed to prevent. It is no accident that the rules state that all remuneration to players must be registered, it is there to put the fear of expulsion from competitions into the minds of dishonest club directors if the use of ‘off the books’ or ‘little brown envelope’ payments is discovered.  

So far we have only been looking at the legality of the EBTs and the effect of the deliberate mis-registration, rather than the simple fact that unregistered (and so unlawful in football terms, at least) payments were made.

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goosygoosyPosted on8:45 pm - Jul 15, 2017


PAULMAC2JULY 15, 2017 at 20:14
Having just checked….the Linfield v Celtic match is the only CL 2nd round qualifying game with no match delegate listed/appointed only a referee observer…who was an Austrian…Konrad Plautz?So who knows what will be reported in terms of crowd behaviour?
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Does the level of corruption in our  MSM extend to ignoring sectarian singing throughout  the Linfield match and the outrageous decision by the Linfield Referee to booking Griffith  for time wasting because:
1 He picked up a missile that had just been thrown at him and held it out for the Referee to look at
  The Referee  ignored the missile, told him to get on with taking the corner
Then
2 Immediately after the Referee turned to walk away, Griffiths was narrowly missed by a half bottle thrown at him. Griffiths lifted the half bottle and offered to show it to the Referee
The Referee walked back to Griffiths ignored the bottle and booked Griffiths for time wasting 
………………..
Why is it corrupt for our MSM to avoid reporting the  above  incident?
Because it invites comparison with their ongoing corrupt collusion with the Police and the SFA to ignore frequent sectarian singing at Ibrox

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HomunculusPosted on8:50 pm - Jul 15, 2017


ALLYJAMBO
JULY 15, 2017 at 20:25
=========================

That is exactly the point.

The fact that they hid the contracts (side letters) because that was a necessary part of their avoidance scheme is irrelevant. 

The important part is that they did not disclose all of numerous players earnings to the football authorities, not why they did it. 

They deliberately hid information that they had to provide. The football authorities provided a witness to basically say that it wasn’t that big an issue. They deliberately twisted the result of their own enquiry.

The SFA were part of the disgraceful cheating which took place. They are not going to reverse that now. 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/9901434/How-Rangers-lost-but-still-managed-to-gain-victory.html

How Rangers lost but still managed to gain victory

The independent commission set up by the Scottish Premier League to rule on whether Rangers had improperly registered their players by failing to disclose their full earnings on Thursday published its verdict and found the club guilty on all counts.

The evidence of Sandy Bryson, the SFA’s Head of Registrations, held the key as to why stronger punitive action was not taken by the tribunal.

Under questioning, he explained that a player, once registered with the ruling body, remained registered with them until such time as his contract ended or that player left their club’s employment.

Consequently, even though the complete details of his contract had been wilfully withheld or any other breach had occurred, that registration, once accepted, would stand.

As a result of that policy, it was not possible for Nimmo Smith and his learned friends to state that the players who had benefited from side letters detailing the amounts to be paid into Employee Benefit Trusts, should not have been fielded during the decade under dispute.

It therefore followed that the results of the matches played during that time were valid and that there could not be a case for stripping of titles. Hence the £250,000 fine on the oldco.

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HomunculusPosted on8:54 pm - Jul 15, 2017


Contrast with

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/15672375

Spartans have been thrown out of the Scottish Cup for fielding an ineligible player in their 2-0 win over Culter.

Striker Keith McLeod signed a new contract in the summer but it was dated only once and the Scottish Football Association want it to be signed twice.

Spartans chairman Craig Graham said the club were “disappointed” by the ruling, adding: “We wish Culter well against Partick Thistle [in round three].”

Spartans have also received a £4,000 fine suspended for 12 months.

The club had their case heard at Hampden by the judicial panel set by the SFA on Thursday, having been reported by the compliance officer for fielding an ineligible player during the second-round 2-0 win at Culter.

Scottish Cup rules now state that any club that plays a player who is ineligible will be thrown out of the competition.

The rules also state that neither the judicial panel or anyone at the SFA has the authority to change this rule.

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goosygoosyPosted on10:32 pm - Jul 15, 2017


Dear Managing Director  of Ladbrokes
Following the corrupt statement by one of your employees today I am writing to advise that I don`t do business with companies who permit their senior executives to flaunt their lack of integrity in what has long been recognised as a corrupt sport in Scotland
Goodbye Ladbrokes
I will boycott your premises until you withdraw your sponsorship of Scottish football
and I might not be the only football fan who feels this way

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easyJamboPosted on10:52 pm - Jul 15, 2017


James Doleman‏ @jamesdoleman 29m29 minutes ago
“Cultural Expression Zones”

Apart from the sensationalist main headline from the Sunday Herald’s front page, I’m interested in the story about Whyte being in line for a payment  from Rangers.  If anyone has a subscription, could they post the gist of the story once it is available online.

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John ClarkPosted on12:50 am - Jul 16, 2017


I somehow stumbled across an article that bloody well annoyed me …..think of failed journalists, think of feckin useless legal pontificators who clearly do not research their stuff any more than the 22brigade.
I simply had to fire off an email
To david.crone@bonddickinson.com
CC sfm@sfm.scot
Dear Mr Crone,I have just this evening come across , on this link
http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=8d818cc4-8972-4787-a83d-e11cca38c252     
 
your piece on the Takeover Panel Appeal Board’s decision in the Dave King ‘concert party’ matter.
 
Your opening sentence in that piece is ” Rangers International Football Club plc [RIFC] is the holding company of the leading Scottish football club, Glasgow Rangers”
 
That is a factually incorrect statement.
 
RIFC is the holding company of “The Rangers Football Club Ltd”
 
That club is by no stretch of the imagination  the club that was the historic ‘Glasgow Rangers’ , founded in 1872 and incorporated in 1899, and which was indeed a ‘leading Scottish football club’
 
Rather is it an entity that began life as SevcoScotland Ltd in 2012, a company that picked up for a song the assets of  a club which the Administrators ,having signally failed to achieve  a Creditors Voluntary Arrangement to bring it out of Administration as a going concern, allowed to slide into the obloquy and ruin of Liquidation, where its impressive record of sporting achievement remains frozen, and unable to be added to by a parvenu, five-year-old upstart of a new creation.
 
I have to add that your article is misleading [ and only you will know whether intentionally so or not] in its reference to David Cunningham King as ‘Chairman of ‘Rangers”
 
As a matter of fact, he is Chairman only of the Board of Rangers International Football Club plc. He cannot be equated in any way with the the past chairmen of the  historic boards of the, now liquidated, Glasgow Rangers.
 
This may be because not even our Scottish Football Association could expect to get away with giving the nod to a convicted criminal [ some 40-odd counts of tax offences in South Africa] that he could  be regarded by them as a ‘fit and proper’ person to be on the Board of a Scottish football club.
 
It was ever my belief that ‘lawyers’ were mindful of actual facts, whatever legal language spin they might be capable of putting on those facts.
 
It pains me to have to say that reading what you have had to say causes me to question that belief.
 
Yours sincerely,
[me, real name]   “

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AuldheidPosted on12:54 am - Jul 16, 2017


AllyjamboJuly 15, 2017 at 20:25
Brown envelopes stuffed with cash.

This is the point I have been constantly making when I say that had details of the wtc ebts been made available the  Terms of Reference for the LNS Commission would have to have differed.

It would no longer be a registration issue but an illegal payments issue and had the LNS Commission been delayed until the extent of that became clear we would not be in the mess that now exists.

LNS says that there may be extreme cases where a fundamental defect exists where a player is ineligible from the outset (but this is not one of them)

Well if ten years of unlawfully paying players with tax payers money is not an extreme case what is?

I argued at the time LNS was commissioned too hastily and had it not been for the unlawful DOS ebts that should have been provided under the terms of the Harper McLeod letter, there would be no case to revisit. The intended slam dunk would be unchallengeable.

But players were paid since 1999 with tax payers money and details kept from the SPL/SFA by RFC, the fact that in 1999, 2000, 2001 a different unlawful ebt scheme was used from 2002 onwards is irrelevant, the wrong charges were brought to bear and the SFA, who should have seen one of the withheld documents during 2011

http://www.theoffshoregame.net/sfa-admits-it-did-know-about-rangers-unlawful-tax-avoidance-scheme-at-time-of-nimmo-smith-inquiry/

and possibly the SPL are guilty of misleading football supporters of every club.  

An enquiry would rule out possible SPL connivance so why don’t SPFL want one? Its not to avoid stripping titles, its to avoid their complicity being revealed.
 

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John ClarkPosted on1:09 am - Jul 16, 2017


Again I seem to have fallen foul of the moderating mechanics that pick up trigger words.!I’m not aware of having used any, but i’ll have a look.
I sent an email ten  minutes ago to a lawyer chap who wrote an article in April about the Takeover Panel Appeal Board telling Dave King to make an offer to buy all the shares that he doesn’t already own , pointing out errors of fact, such as that DK is not chairman of ‘The Rangers Football Club Ltd’ and that TRFC is not  the old Glasgow Rangers
I posted that email on the blog, and it is ‘in modertion’.

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Billy BoycePosted on1:38 am - Jul 16, 2017


The Sunday Herald article:

Craig Whyte in line for £5m liquidation payout as HMRC is set to lose out on Rangers tax case payback FORMER Rangers owner Craig Whyte is in line for a £5 million payout from the liquidated funds of the company which owned the club while the tax authorities, owed more than £90m, are not expected to receive a penny. It comes as it emerged a claim over the whole of the £15 million pot to be distributed to creditors of the liquidated Rangers oldco is being resurrected. News of the legal bid came after Whyte was cleared of fraud and financial assistance in the 2011 takeover of the club – the only apparent obstacles in the way of a successful bid.  If the claim is successful it would mean that the taxman, having won the Big Tax Case after a seven year battle to get millions owed from the use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs),could end up getting nothing from the liquidation. The collapse of the The Rangers Football Club plc, dubbed ‘oldco’ in 2012 under Whyte’s watch left thousands of unsecure creditors out of pocket including more than 6000 loyal fans who bought £7.7million worth of debenture seats at Ibrox. Creditors ranged from giants such as Coca-Cola to a picture framer in Bearsden and a lady called Susan Thomson who runs a face-painting business and was owed £40. Court documents seen by the Sunday Herald reveal that BDO’s rejection of an initial claim now being put forward by Wavetower, the firm used by Whyte to takeover Rangers, was based on the businessman being guilty of fraud and financial assistance.  Those behind the claim believe that with the court case out of the way, BDO and the courts cannot now resist their view that it holds a legitimate claim over the £15 million as the only secured creditor and first in line ahead of the taxman and other ordinary unsecured debtors. That is because the firm Whyte used to buy the club inherited a security over assets including Ibrox and Murray Park from Lloyds Banking Group after paying off Rangers’ £18 million debt using future season ticket sales. The clearing of the debt was a condition of Whyte’s purchase of the club from Sir David Murray in May 2011.  The security was originally set up in 1999 in favour of the Bank of Scotland, part of the Lloyd Banking Group, in response to Rangers’ ballooning debt figure, and involved securing a charge over its income and assets. Mr Whyte is no longer a director of Wavetower, and the claim is now controlled by directors associated with Worthington plc, an investment firm, also once connected to the former Rangers owner. Worthington directors have previously confirmed that it was obliged to pay Mr Whyte £1 million in unsecured convertible loan notes as a result of gaining rights to legal actions and one third of the proceeds of any claims. The deal between Worthington and Law Financial, a firm set up by Whyte also included obtaining the book, film and television rights to the two takeovers of The Rangers Football Club in 2011 and 2012.  One source close the claim said: “The recent not guilty verdicts [in relation to the Whyte case] would appear to leave the road open for a successful claim.” Court documents show that BDO had fought the idea that they were secured creditors because “the assignation agreement was part of a fraudulent scheme”. But a judgement by Lord Doherty made last year decided to put off any decision on the rights and wrongs of the claim until after Whyte’s fraud trial. He said: “I am satisfied that (i) whether there was a fraudulent scheme involving [Wavetower], and (ii) whether [Wavetower] was the recipient of unlawful financial assistance.. are both issues which arise in the proceedings. In those circumstances hearing the appeal before the criminal proceedings have been concluded would trespass upon matters at issue before the High Court of Justiciary, with the risk of prejudice to the administration of justice in those proceedings.”  Last month a jury cleared Whyte of fraud and financial assistance over his takeover in less that two hours. The case revolved around Whyte’s deal to sell off rights to three years of future season tickets to investment firm Ticketus in a bid to raise £24 million to fulfil his agreement with Murray over the purchase, secured by personal guarantees. Murray said he would never have sold if he knew about the tickets deal. But Donald Findlay QC defending said Whyte was the “fall guy” for the state of the club and as the share purchase agreement with Murray referred to using “third party funding” there was no deception and so no fraud. Just ten days ago Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs won a long-running legal battle over the use of EBTs to pay players and staff at Rangers Football Club. The tax authority opened its investigation into Rangers in 2010 after about £50 million worth of payments were made to dozens of employees through employee benefit trusts (EBTs) from 2001, and the case continued after liquidation. After suffering two tax tribunal defeats to the Murray Group, the former majority shareholder of Rangers which administered the EBT scheme, HMRC won a binding Supreme Court judgement. Lord Hodge and his fellow judges agreed with HMRC’s assertion the payments were taxable earnings and not loans, as contended by the club.  It lay the way clear for the taxman to lay claim to a small portion of what was owed from the liquidated oldco now named RFC 2012 plc, Liquidators have previously confirmed that £72m of the £94.4m owed to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HRMC) relied on the taxman’s claim that Rangers oldco was liable for its use of EBTs

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easyJamboPosted on1:52 am - Jul 16, 2017


Billy Boyce July 16, 2017 at 01:38
================
Thanks BB.
The article is nonsense. Whyte is not in line to gain anything.  Wavetower was dissolved last month. Worthington Group has been in liquidation since January.  The Floating Charge claim has been purchased by Henderson and Jones (as confirmed in the last BDO report).  Their claim is being pursued under case no P231/17 at the Court of Session.

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easyJamboPosted on2:01 am - Jul 16, 2017


From the BDO Report:

With the Committee’s approval, the Joint Liquidators sought directions from the Court on therejection procedure for the Wavetower claim, with a view to bringing the matter to a final conclusion. A note in this regard was lodged and served on Wavetower, who had until 7 April 2017to lodge answers.

Wavetower did not lodge answers by 10 April 2017 and a hearing was therefore scheduled for 30 May 2017 at which the Joint Liquidators intended to seek further directions. Shortly prior to the directions hearing, the Joint Liquidators received notice that Wavetower’s claim had been assigned to Henderson & Jones Limited (“HJL”) , a specialist purchaser of claims and litigation from insolvent companies.

At the hearing on 31 May 2017, at which Wavetower/HJL were both represented and during which they advanced arguments attempting to stay the proceedings we are pleased to advise that the Court agreed with all aspects of the directions application made by the Joint Liquidators’ Counsel.

As such, on receipt of the interlocutor from the Court, Wavetower/HJL will have 28 days to submit a further claim should they choose to do so. If a claim is submitted then the Joint Liquidators should be able to adjudicate it under the provisions of the Insolvency (Scotland) Rules 1986, as they apply to unsecured creditors.

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AllyjamboPosted on8:44 am - Jul 16, 2017


EASYJAMBOJULY 16, 2017 at 01:52

What on earth are you up to, EJ, letting the truth get in the way of a good anti-Craig Whyte story. I take it you’ve no wish to write a collumn in the Sun…or any other SMSM publication. 12

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HomunculusPosted on8:52 am - Jul 16, 2017


BILLY BOYCE
JULY 16, 2017 at 01:38
=====================   BDO and the courts cannot now resist their view that it holds a legitimate claim over the £15 million as the only secured creditor and first in line ahead of the taxman and other ordinary unsecured debtors. 

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

I don’t even know what an unsecured debtor would be. I suspect there are no debtors left and that BDO have collected all they are going to. 

Why would Wavetower (I know that it’s a different company claiming it now but this is simpler) be owed money anyway. It was Rangers which got the money from Ticketus, which it then gave to Wavetower, to buy the debt from Lloyds. How does that make Wavetower a creditor in Rangers’ liquidation. Even if their security is good then it would be a security over no debt surely. 

But a judgement by Lord Doherty made last year decided to put off any decision on the rights and wrongs of the claim until after Whyte’s fraud trial. He said: “I am satisfied that (i) whether there was a fraudulent scheme involving [Wavetower], and (ii) whether [Wavetower] was the recipient of unlawful financial assistance.. are both issues which arise in the proceedings. In those circumstances hearing the appeal before the criminal proceedings have been concluded would trespass upon matters at issue before the High Court of Justiciary, with the risk of prejudice to the administration of justice in those proceedings.”

I don’t think this should be taken to mean anything, either way. In my view he was simply saying that he was not willing to allow anyone to even discus the matter as anything said could prejudice a High Court case. If anything further happens I personally believe the claim will simply be rejected. 

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tangoedPosted on11:26 am - Jul 16, 2017


HOMUNCULUS
 
JULY 16,  2017 at 08:52
 
Why would Wavetower (I know that it’s a different company claiming it now but this is simpler) be owed money anyway. It was Rangers which got the money from Ticketus, which it then gave to Wavetower, to buy the debt from Lloyds. How does that make Wavetower a creditor in Rangers’ liquidation. Even if their security is good then it would be a security over no debt surely. 
——————————————————————————————————-
Is there any record of an agreement between Rangers and Wavetower that the money given to Wavetower would have to be paid back?
 
If not,then no debt exists between the two as per this transaction,however Wavetower then used that money to purchase the bank debt of the other,in effect leaving Rangers in debt to both Ticketus And Wavetower.
 
Given that Craig Whyte was found not guilty on the financial assistance charge,then that would make the above legal and the claim to be secured creditor legitimate. 

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John ClarkPosted on11:30 am - Jul 16, 2017


I note that the post which went into moderation at 00.50 this morning is now out of moderation, so my post of 01.09 can be scrubbed.19

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HomunculusPosted on11:34 am - Jul 16, 2017


TANGOED
JULY 16, 2017 at 11:26
==============================

Are you suggesting that they gifted £18m or so to their major shareholder.

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tangoedPosted on11:38 am - Jul 16, 2017


HOMUNCULUS
JULY 16, 2017 at 11:34

Are you suggesting that they gifted £18m or so to their major shareholder.
—————————————————–
Do you have any evidence to say that they did’nt?

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goosygoosyPosted on11:41 am - Jul 16, 2017


Given the majority sectarian singing and minority bottle throwing  behaviour by  Linfield fans on Friday night,  surely  Celtic have a legitimate reason to refund their tickets and simply exclude all travelling support from the return leg at Parkhead?

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HomunculusPosted on11:57 am - Jul 16, 2017


TANGOED
JULY 16, 2017 at 11:38 

======================== 
HOMUNCULUS

JULY 16, 2017 at 11:34
Are you suggesting that they gifted £18m or so to their major shareholder

.—————————————————–

Do you have any evidence to say that they did’nt?
================================

Nope, none whatsoever, I don’t have access to the documentation from either business.

BDO will though, so they will know whether there is any actual evidence that the company they are in the process of liquidating gave £18m to their major shareholder 6 or 7 months before going into administration because they didn’t have enough money to keep the business trading. 

They will also know whether that led them to be in debt to both Ticketus (albeit that we advance sale of tickets) and Wavetower, the company they actually gave the money to.

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