Time for Scots Government to Take Bull by the Horns

Avatar 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

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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

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One More ThingPosted on3:06 pm - Jul 6, 2017


DarkBeforeTheDawn “The key part of this is that the loophole was closed and categorised as ‘tax avoidance’ – not the criminal version tax evasion. Like any tax avoidance schemes, Rangers were asked to pay back the money due along with the penalties. Rangers were never, at any time, accused of operating an illegal tax evasion scheme and if they had been, this would be a criminal proceedings and not a civil one.”
You are simply wrong in that assertion. HMRC only pursue criminal cases in a tiny fraction of cases, less than 5%. Their preferred and public position is to apply hefty tax geared penalties in any case of tax evasion. That’s what they did to RFC. The initial BDO report made that clear. Anyone who works in the accountancy or legal profession, and who actually deals with HRMC enquiries, can confirm that they take the pragmatic approach, even in extreme evasion cases. Indeed, it has been subject to Parliamentary debate since many MPs want HMRC to change their policy.  To date, they haven’t.
Further, HMRC define evasion as, inter alia, “Where individuals or businesses omit, conceal or misrepresent information to reduce their tax liabilities”. The fact that RFC hid the side letters, claiming they didn’t exist, certainly reinforced the evasion route. Indeed, we know from the Tribunal transcripts that it was the raid by the City of London Police which unearthed much of the information, certainly not any disclosure by RFC.

As for your point about EBTs being legal at the time, this has been done to death on here. Yes, EBTs were legal. However they had to be operated correctly otherwise they were not legal. Think of it this way. It’s not illegal to have a car. However, how you operate the car can be illegal. Same with what RFC did with the way they operated their EBT schemes (Remember there was more than one). And they compounded that by hiding documents and claiming they did not exist.

So, sorry, but your arguments are based on a totally erroneous understanding.
 

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on3:19 pm - Jul 6, 2017


Well, we are at the end of the road, re: RFC and dodging taxes.

A reasonable, tax-paying individual would most likely infer from the SC decision that RFC also cheated Scottish football.
That RFC deliberately cheated, and then deliberately tried to stymie the HMRC investigation.
And RFC cheated for a decade plus – during which it ‘acquired’ numerous trophies.
And that, under oath, it was admitted that RFC exploited their tax dodge to attract players “they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford”. 

A massive sporting cheating story in anyone’s book.

So, the ball is firmly back with the SFA / SPFL and the clubs.
They have insisted since 2012 that the fans “move on” from the RFC demise – “for the good of Scottish football”.

Well, for the good of Scottish football, it’s now up to the clubs and administrators to now listen to the fans – and take the appropriate action.

IMO, it seem that no fans are moving on – but standing still – until the cheating is properly addressed.
This is / should be the watershed moment, IMO, of the whole RFC/TRFC saga. 

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on3:49 pm - Jul 6, 2017


http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/rangers/poll-should-rangers-be-stripped-of-their-ebt-titles-1-4496550

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on4:03 pm - Jul 6, 2017


[Funny article from 442]

The Gers narrowly avoided being humiliated in Luxembourg, 
Back of the Net reports

byBack of the Net   
Published5 July 2017

Only some very quick thinking from the Rangers board prevented the worst result in the club’s history against Progres Niederkorn last night.
The Scottish side were staring down the barrel of an embarrassing European exit at the hands of the Luxembourgish minnows when they heroically pulled off a last-gasp liquidation.
 
I heard Rangers lost to a team from Luxembourg last night! That’s pathetic. Really glad that has nothing to do with us 
Having definitively exhausted any possibility of finding the Niederkorn net when it emerged that the hosts were equipped to deal with a 40-yard hoofed ball, Rangers’ players instead began completing the paperwork necessary to file for the club to shut down and reform as A Completely Different Rangers Football Club Plc.
 
While the odds seemed stacked against them, Rangers managed to FedEx the necessary forms with just seconds of the match remaining before the players fell to the turf exhausted.
“We had to dig deep to get Form B6557 filled in and notarised, but we managed it,” Lee Wallace told FourFourTwo. 
“I heard Rangers lost to a team from Luxembourg last night! That’s pathetic. Really glad that has nothing to do with us.”
Reports suggest that in addition to Rangers folding, manager Pedro Caixinha also changed his name by deed poll during the second half, before realising he didn’t really need to bother as nobody knows who he is anyway.

“From now on, Lee, call me Cedro Paixinha.”, “Sorry, who are you…?” 
The result was clearly also a massive shock to Niederkorn’s players, most of whom had responded to an ad in a local paper asking for players for a kickaround, while others believed they were attending a car boot sale.
 
“It was my first time playing football and I can’t say I really enjoyed it,” Sebastien Thill, who struck the winner, told FourFourTwo.
“I had come down hoping to play a game of Ultimate [Frisbee] but ended up having to play [football]. Still, at least we won [an historic victory over Rangers].”
The only silver lining for Rangers fans is that their defeat has lowered Scotland’s UEFA coefficient to the extent that Celtic’s 1966/67 European Cup triumph has been retrospectively awarded to Jeunesse Esch. 

Please note: This satirical news story is not real. Like, clearly.
Read more at https://www.fourfourtwo.com/features/rangers-save-face-europa-league-93rd-minute-liquidation#OdsrQZQFQUj1qLIz.99

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SmugasPosted on4:12 pm - Jul 6, 2017


Darkbeforedawn,

I’ll try and respond as best I can to your queries.  Im quite happy to be corrected on any of the points to help my own understanding. 

1/  Evasion/Avoidance.  As OneMoreThing points out it is unclear to me where, at best, misrepresentation might tip the balance from Avoidance to Evasion.  Fundamentally it doesn’t matter anyway since as you say there are no criminal proceedings and as OneMoreThing now tells me, there wouldn’t have been anyway.

2/  Punishment for liquidation.  There was no punishment.  You cannot punish something that isn’t there.  Liquidated clubs are not specifically mentioned in the rules.  There is a reason for that.  The commonly held opinion on here I suspect you will find for that is that the rule writers previously never considered the notion that they could somehow continue.  Why would they? 

Reference your specific points,
a/  they weren’t demoted, nor relegated.  “They” applied for entry and separately asked if “they” could be called “Rangers.”  
b/  “They” didn’t lose their first team.  “They” were consigned to liquidation.  The first team essentially found themselves at a loose end and coped the best ways they could.
c/  Your comment re being embarrassed and uncompetitive could be applied to any of the other clubs.  That’s kind of the point.    

3/  Trophies would not be stripped for owing a debt.  Firstly, to be clear, I don’t agree with the automatic assumption that trophies should be stripped.  Rather that the circumstances should be reinvestigated and appropriate penalties applied.  The automatic stripping of trophies is a media construct I’m afraid.  I would say however that precedent on cases of a varying nature, not all financial and not necessarily involving £48m  does tend to lead one to the automatic 3-0 reversal (or cup disqualification) route however. 

4/  You mention the previous enquiry.  I assume you mean LNS.  My principle issues with LNS are the inexplicably compromised terms of reference (inexplicable in so far as no one has seen the need to defend their sudden alteration) and the key assumption within his verdict that the use of EBTs was fundamentally correct and therefore available to all other clubs.  They weren’t.  He knew that at the time and he also appeared to have sufficient knowledge of the schemes to be aware that contractually employed players elsewhere couldn’t use them.  I do agree with your point however that the SPL as was didn’t seek to challenge this view.  No-one at the SPFL seems to have taken any kind of responsibility for this course of action.  That strikes me as odd.

5/  My understanding of Rangers’ declaration of the EBTs was a gross figure for the club in their annual accounts but I’m sure you can correct me on this point. That could not possibly have been reconciled with an individual player’s contract registration nor should it.  A registration that was subsequently found to have been, ahem, imperfect due, I understand, to the omission of the player’s EBT figure.  You then make the comment that Rangers couldn’t do any more.  I disagree.  They could have put the figure on the individual registration document for each player, no?  Was there a reason they didn’t?  Has anyone proffered a reason?

6/  You state (I may paraphrase slightly due to the medium I’m on and I can’t check back) that “no-one has said the players wouldn’t have otherwise come.”  I think you’ll find Sir David and Big Eck to name but two would disagree.  I would also add that Mr Sir Black whoever he may be, was quite specific on this point in the original tribunal.  The tax saving was not ‘saved.’  The tax saving was instead given to the player giving a larger overall ‘package.’  

7/  Your final point re club versus company.  Its been done to death on our side as I’m sure it has on yours.  I personally have a fundamental problem with any process that somehow attaches trophies to an immortal club but consigns debt to an expendable company and refuses to acknowledge the possible link between the two. Quite apart from the mechanics involved, the metaphysical presence to quote someone somewhere, to accept that reality is to kill the sport stone dead.  

Just my view  

ps. If I could ask one question backatcha. Had a little book on a shelf somewhere denoted Rangers post 2012 as a new club and then all other comment went back to the common parlance “Rangers,” with everything else vis a vis “the journey” remaining the same would a proportion of fans have walked away? Permanently?

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on4:25 pm - Jul 6, 2017


ALLYJAMBO

JULY 6, 2017 at 12:23
—————————

There’s a quote attributed to Churchill (that’s Winston, not the former Falkirk & Stirling Albion player, Graeme 212210) :

‘An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.’ 

I wonder if Stewart Regan (and indeed Neil Doncaster) can see the eyes glinting & hear the jaws snapping…

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DunderheidPosted on4:54 pm - Jul 6, 2017


Could any of our resident sages please answer the following question?

My understanding of one of the implications of the SC ruling is that over the course of several years, many players and officials of RFC* were proven to have been paid for their football-related endeavours through Trusts, which were based in Jersey …

Did the SFA or SPL registration rules allow for players to be paid in this manner, i.e. via a third party?

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SmugasPosted on5:15 pm - Jul 6, 2017


No.  All remuneration and benefits whether direct or via a third party had to be declared at the players registration.  The fact they weren’t is what gave rise to LBS’ guilty verdict the first time around.  That was the ‘imperfection.’

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Big PinkPosted on5:36 pm - Jul 6, 2017


We have been told by a Premiership team on an unattributed basis, that they are “not interested in stripping titles for something that happened years ago!”

Tris Tweeted that earlier and it has created a bit of a Twitter stir. Incredibly everyone seems to believe it is one club or other indulging in wildly off-base speculation about who the ‘culprits’ are – and more worryingly hurling abuse at said imaginary villains.

The important thing isn’t the identity of the club in question. For all we know there may be more than one, but we won’t be dragged into a deductive discourse on it 10.

What is important is that for fans to be an effective force in seeing that proper governance of the sport is achieved, we need fans of all clubs to be united and cheap point scoring left aside.

Already Aberdeen fans have said their piece, calmly, temperately and in a dignified manner. Dundee United’s Arab Trust is meeting tonight to consider a response, and some influential Falkirk fans are trying to convince their club to respond.

The clubs will do nothing if they believe the fans are apathetic, because that would allow the clubs themselves to take the path of least resistance implicit in the statement from our un-named club above. Even they might change their tune if enough of their fan-base is up in arms over the systematic, industrial scale undermining of our game for at least a decade

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SmugasPosted on5:56 pm - Jul 6, 2017


im not being funny BP but if they’re not bothered why not?  Are they saying the financial doping didn’t distort the competitions, that they acknowledge that it did but feel no appetite to do anything about it, or is it that they fear the consequences, not in the normal way although there clearly would be ‘form’ in this regard but rather they fear another 3-4 years of uncertainty.  

Do they genuinely feel everyone moving along is their best outcome as in they feel it is likely to happen regardless of any backlash?

Whats that saying?  Something about lions and donkeys?  Certainly I’d suggest if we/they let this slide then they’ll certainly have the game they deserve.

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on6:15 pm - Jul 6, 2017


BIG PINKJULY 6, 2017 at 14:10       4 Votes 
Rangers fan on here with a point of view he has expressed respectfully. I hope he is engaged commensurately.
—————–
May i add welcome to SFM.
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DARKBEFOREDAWNJULY 6, 2017 at 10:54
8 Votes 
Well as a Rangers supporter,I feel I will be as rare on this site as a neutral Old Firm fan but I wanted to put my views across regardless.I don’t feel that Rangers will be stripped of titles and nor do I believe they should be, and I will argue my view here.
—————
The view on here is that there is no old firm now. that term died when rangers were placed in liquidation in 2012. celtic stopped referring to the old firm brand many years ago.
I don’t believe SFM is a place for argument but a place for honest debate,which you may find will in most cases be backed up with as much information than you can shake a stick at.
—————
Unfortunately due to years of reckless spending by our previous chairman, the previous company went into liquidation owing millions to creditors, including this huge tax bill. The BTC just added to this debt, but the punishment for liquidation has already well and truly fitted the crime, in so much as we were demoted to the Third Division, lost our entire first team for nothing, suffered a huge embarrassment and black mark in our history, and will likely have not been competitive for 10 years. However, I cannot think of a single example in history where a club has had trophies stripped for owing a debt?
————–
After this part of your post i was just about to give up, but as Big Pink asked to   engaged commensurately.So if i may i would like to comment a little so that my post is not a long one.I’m sure others will pick up on more of your post.
There is no punishment for liquidation.Liquidation is a consequence of  years of reckless spending by your  previous club chairman.
There was no demotion or relegation to the third division(and if my computer was working ) i could have posted the email from the SPL to one of the guys on here that states there was no relegation.
Or you could take the case of Coral v Kinloch.
Lord Bannatyne said: “The foregoing process cannot be described as being moved by anyone to a lower division, or being moved down or demoted.”
The judge said: “I am satisfied that what did not happen was that the SPL moved or demoted Rangers to a lower division.”
Or you could take the fact of there is no rules in scottish football to relegate or demote a club 3 (or was it 4) divisions
———
lost our entire first team for nothing,
you may find that some players  from the first team did TUPE over to the new club and of some of the players (Davis is one if i remember) TRFC did get some compensation
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The huge embarrassment and black mark in your history,was all rangers own fault,and the ibrox fans have to deal with that.
———
However, I cannot think of a single example in history where a club has had trophies stripped for owing a debt?
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There will be no title stripping for owing a debt, but there may be for players playing for the ibrox club who were not registered with the correct details.
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Hope i have responded as Big pink asked and i hope my response was correct. and if not i’m sure the posters on SFM will keep me right.
———-
now back to trying to fix this slow loading computer

     

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DunderheidPosted on6:19 pm - Jul 6, 2017


Thanks, Smugas @ 17:15

That makes the SFA Board announcement all the more infuriatingly bowling-club committee-like: bursting with contempt for those not wearing blazers’n’badges.

We need to get these parvenus booted as far from our sport as possible: and I mean anyone even remotely connected with the issuing of that communiqué.

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Big PinkPosted on6:32 pm - Jul 6, 2017


Smugas:

Without giving too much away identity-wise, what they are saying is they just don’t give a feck. Sporting integrity is of little or no consequence. That don’t want to rock the boat for something that makes no difference to their priorities.

Survival, a survival that they see as dependent on Rangers & Celtic, is their main priority.

There may even be folk in decision-making roles who are TRFC fans too, but money still trumps that.

Dunderheid:

Love that word – parvenu – though I suspect the SFA is infested more with old, now diluted wealth. Telegraph readers with ornate gilded monogrammed shirts and blazers with worn elbow patches.01

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SmugasPosted on6:38 pm - Jul 6, 2017


BP

i had a horrible feeling you were going to say that!

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AuldheidPosted on6:48 pm - Jul 6, 2017


DarkBeforeTheDawn
I see you have had corrective replies from One More Thing and Smugas. Corrective in the sense of correcting your understanding which is based on incorrect information. I hope you revisit your understanding.
On the matter of attracting players of a quality that would not otherwise sign here is an imaginary conversation with Frank De Boer in Aug 2000.
” Ok Franks its a deal, the signing on fee we agreed (say £1m) and a weekly wage of £30k.
Yesh, that will be £30K netto.
Netto?
Yesh No income tax.
But that would cost us £40k a week Frank after Tax and NI. We cannot afford that.
Ok – Goodbye.
Hold on Frank, we have just started using this new fangled employee benefit trust scheme .
Trust? Trust? What is that?
Well we don’t pay the money to you we pay it to a third party who then gives it back to you via a trust. If we use a trust you will get £30k* netto and it wont cost us £40K.
Ok that sounds like a deal but hold on. This trust thing, who am I trusting? What if its not lawful? I’m taking a risk here that my £30k turns to £20k if the trust fails. Sorry I’m off.
Hang on Frank what if we indemnify you against any possibility you will be asked for back tax later?
Thatsh OK , you mean a kind of side letter? Yesh if you give me that I will sign.”
I think you get the picture by now. Without ebts, Rangers could not have paid Frank any kind of Netto. But without a side letter Frank would not have signed, BUT the minute you bring in the side letter it stops being a lawful ebt and if it was kept lawful, Frank would not have signed.
So RFC used ebts in an unlawful manner to allow them to sign players that would not have signed without the ebt as a vehicle of payment and a side letter indemnifying the player against a future back tax demand.
Problem was side letters nullify the trust element in an ebt, and to achieve the objective, i.e. signing players of Frank De Boer’s quality, required that the side letters be hidden from authority. (HMRC and SFA). That’s why it took a police raid to find them.
So ebts as unlawfully operated by RFC enabled them to sign players who would not otherwise have signed under a lawful arrangement.
*the figs are just for illustrative purposes.

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Homunculus

HomunculusPosted on6:55 pm - Jul 6, 2017


DARKBEFOREDAWN
JULY 6, 2017 at 10:54
====================================

Rangers did not use a loophole, they abused the tax system and they did it knowingly. The fact that they hid the side letters (contracts) from HMRC and the SFA proves that on it’s own. They knew they could not use an EBT for contractual payments, so they hid the contracts. 

I’m afraid you are working from a false starting point if you believe that tax avoidance is perfectly legitimate. It isn’t, tax management is perfectly legitimate but it is not avoidance.

Putting money into an ISA and reducing your tax is legitimate tax management. The Government encourage it. 

Putting money into an EBT at the time Rangers did it was perfectly legitimate, provided it was non contractual payments, made into a trust, with loans paid out at the discretion of the trustee (not the employer who put the money in). They allowed people to take money for a short term, interest free, to be repaid later. For example if someone need to pay for medical treatment, do some home improvements, whatever. It was effectively their personal interest free loan facility. 

An EBT could not be used for contractual payments, which is what Rangers did. They were paying wages, not allowed in an EBT. The loans were not at the discretion of the Trustee, not allowed in an EBT.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tax-avoidance-an-introduction

What tax avoidance is

Tax avoidance involves bending the rules of the tax system to gain a tax advantage that Parliament never intended.

It often involves contrived, artificial transactions that serve little or no purpose other than to produce this advantage. It involves operating within the letter, but not the spirit, of the law.

Most tax avoidance schemes simply do not work, and those who engage in them can find they pay more than the tax they attempted to save, once HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has successfully challenged them.

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

The real difference between avoidance and evasion is that HMRC deal with the former using their civil powers (penalties) and they deal with Evasion using criminal powers.

It is worth bearing in mind that civil matters are decided on a “balance of probabilities”, criminal matters are dealt with “beyond reasonable doubt”, which rightly is a far higher standard.

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Charlie_KellyPosted on7:14 pm - Jul 6, 2017


Hypothetical scenario but let’s say that at some point in the future the following scenario plays out:
In order to get around UEFA FFP rules a wealthy backer of a Scottish club offers to make private payments to certain players in order to tempt them in to playing for said club.  The club’s wage bill would not be affected and this would mean that the club could pay over the odds for players without ever falling foul of the FFP rules.
These payments would have to remain hidden from the SFA and UEFA.
So the question is – What would happen if this later came to light? 
Would it basically depend of which club had been doing it?

In fact who’s to say it’s not happening right now? I mean if it was happening and the SFA found out about it, do we think they’d actually do anything about it?

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SmugasPosted on7:22 pm - Jul 6, 2017


No need.  Them taking action might bust the expendable company but leave the immortal club completely untouched, leaving it to enjoy the trinkets it’s better players won for it.  So why bother?  Just seems like a lot of pedantic hassle.  Kicking them whilst they’re down in fact.

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on7:29 pm - Jul 6, 2017


The Scotsman poll above – whilst not exactly a scientific sample – so far has 17K votes.

“Should Rangers be stripped of any titles won between 2001 and 2010?”

65% for 
35% against

If this is representative across the board for Scottish football fans, then how can the game possibly “move on” ?

The SFA: “Respected and Trusted to Lead My @rse”.

01

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DarkbeforedawnPosted on7:29 pm - Jul 6, 2017


Thanks for the responses folks and I appreciate the reasoned debate and acceptance on these boards. As someone who has never been on a non Rangers forum (well since the BBC 606 boards closed down!!), I have always just referred to as Old Firm and have never got involved in the Old Club New Club debate, so where I refer to them as such know I’m not looking for an argument and just replace with as you wish when you read :-). 
I understand the argument of the liquidation causing the club to be admitted to the lower divisions, but I would still put across the point that for everyone involved in this whole scenario, from the fans, to the players, the staff and everyone else (apart from Murray of course!) have still suffered more than most fans as a result?
So would I be right in saying that the LNS commission had already looked into the separate contracts/side letters and that was where the fine came from? In which case whether the EBT was legal or not was largely irrelevant, and the club were found guilty of having side letters that weren’t properly registered? To overturn this now, would require the whole LNS agreement to be overturned?

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DenPosted on7:32 pm - Jul 6, 2017


On hearing of the Supreme Court decision yesterday one of my first thoughts was Dr Heidi Poon was proved right, Lord Hodge made a number of references to her dissenting opinion in the FTTT. 
The dissenting opinion is a worthwhile read as it has a lot of elements missing from the majority; opinion, facts, analysis, and opinion. Dr Poon showed how the EBTs were constructed and used  to achieve a bottom line earnings, how poor the Trustee was, even pointed out an error in the charges from the Trustee.
Even now it is worth reading it.
it was clear that the two lawyers just accepted the words put to them and didn’t really delve too deeply into the reality of what was going on, Dr Poon was more engaged and did a lot of digging.
Very worrying for some individuals she said:
“More specifically I have reservations about the credibility of certain witnesses, namely Mr Red, Mrs Crimson and Mr Scarlett.” Page 60 Para 3 FTTT.
MrRed was further shown to have lied to the Inspectors about the side letters. It may not be economic to pursue the deceit any further but maybe HMRC will want to make an example in a high profile case. 
One of the misdirections out there is that they were not found of have tax evasion. In essence cleared of something that they were not charged with, clearly a nonsense.

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HighlanderPosted on7:33 pm - Jul 6, 2017


DarkBeforeDawn

Only once in the history of Scottish football, has a club been ‘demoted’ or ‘relegated’ or ‘sent down’ more than one division in the league structure.

That was the price Livingston paid in 2005 for insolvency in what was their second administration event. That drastic penalty came as a result of the deliberations of the Scottish Football League’s Management Committee, who set a date to specifically discuss an appropriate sanction for the circumstances, a meeting which resulted in Livi being demoted to the third division.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/livingston/8179998.stm

Above is a link to details of Livingston’s demotion and the specific meeting I referred to.

Please supply a valid link to any meeting of the SPL and/or SFA where a decision was taken to ‘demote/relegate/send down’ Rangers to the 4th tier of the league.

It simply didn’t happen. It’s a figment of the imagination of the ‘follow followers’ who hope that if they  repeat something often enough, it’ll somehow become fact. Charles Green’s new club, by then the owners of most of the deceased club’s assets, applied for permission to join the league set up, and the rest is history, regrettable as much of that may be. 

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SmugasPosted on7:46 pm - Jul 6, 2017


Good point Darkbeforedawn.  I forget now.  Was LNS’ view of the legality and hence availability to other clubs of EBTs in relation to ‘the charge’ where you correctly highlight they were found guilty or ‘the sentence’ i.e. The 250k levied?  My recollection is it was the latter?

Regardless I’ve always been consistent in my view that you can’t simply reopen LNS, snatch the guilty verdict you wish and apply the penalty you’d hoped for originally.  I think you have to go back a step and re-establish the facts first.

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The Ungrateful DeadPosted on8:01 pm - Jul 6, 2017


This whole ” no sporting advantage” is an LNS red herring! The Supreme Court has ruled that EBTs were remuneration subject to income tax and NI. The players earnings were not fully declared to the SFA. This makes them improperly registered an…. d consequently ineligible. One ineligible player taking part in a match results in a retrospective 3-0 defeat. This is not a punishment but a consequence. RFC(IL) knowingly fielded ineligible players from 1999 to 2011and so every match was a 3_0defeat. It’s really quite simple. 

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Billy BoycePosted on8:05 pm - Jul 6, 2017


Darkbeforedawn July 6 2017 10.54
————————-
Welcome to SFM. If it helps, I have copied this post from another forum:
 
Myth : It was tax avoidance and was OK at the time.

Truth – No it wasn’t, by operating the scheme in the way RFC chose to, it was deliberate tax evasion – as directed by HMRC on the tariff they applied as penalty on top of the original amount due. All documented in 2011. That’s why HMRC went to court. They don’t go to court for Tax avoidance.

Myth : There is no question of Rangers acting dishonestly by using EBT’s.

Truth : Wrong. They broke the rules and then hid the “dodgy” documentation. They acted very dishonestly.

Myth: In using EBT’s no unfair sporting advantage was gained – all of this was covered by LNS enquiry. Its settled forever.

Truth : They evaded tax, gained a sporting advantage and then attempted to hide the side letters. The LNS enquiry and its outcome was predicated on EBT’s being legal. In RFC case they were deemed illegal. A new judicial review is required.

Myth: The games were won on the park – 11 v 11

Truth : Rangers had players in the team they would not have been otherwise able to afford, therfor financial doping and sporting advantage.

Myth : No one wants titles stripped.

Truth : Everyone (fans) but RFC and the SFA want the titles stripped.

Myth: The SFA cant do anything as they aren’t in charge of the league.

Truth: The SFA are in charge of the Cup competitions, and UEFA registrations. Teams were cheated in these competitions too. They are directly responsible.

Myth: Loads of other teams, including Celtic, used EBT’s.

Truth: The EBT itself isn’t illegal, it’s the application and the concealment for tax avoidance purposes that is illegal.

Myth: We’ve been punished enough by being relegated to 3rd division

Truth : You weren’t punished. You died and the new club was ADMITTED to the league as per the rules.

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on8:06 pm - Jul 6, 2017


Don’t want to blog down the blog but for DARKBEFOREDAWN
here is the celtic statement

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on8:10 pm - Jul 6, 2017


And i’m sure nawlite could post the email.
ps. anyone know how to fix google chrome slow loading web pages? please PM me.
Anyway DARKBEFOREDAWN hope you found SFM informative and unargumentative.

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upthehoopsPosted on8:14 pm - Jul 6, 2017


Today I read articles firstly by Ewan Murray of the Guardian, then by Michael Grant of the Times. Earlier tonight at a friends house I was directed to an article by Stephen McGowan of the Daily Mail. None of them are Rangers fans and all of them mentioned the theme of ‘tribalism’ being the motive for Celtic fans wanting Rangers stripped of titles. £47m of unpaid tax over a decade to bring in better players means nothing to these guys, even though their clubs Hearts, Aberdeen, and Celtic suffered because of it. What WOULD Rangers have to do for them to actually want action to be taken?

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Homunculus

HomunculusPosted on8:34 pm - Jul 6, 2017


From the actual ruling, they worked on the basis that the EBTs were lawful, or at least didn’t question it, and decided on sporting advantage based on hiding the side letters (contracts). 

This is taken from the material below. 

The SPL presented no argument to challenge the decision of the majority of the Tax Tribunal and Mr McKenzie stated expressly that for all purposes of this Commission’s Inquiry and Determination the SPL accepted that decision as it stood, without regard to any possible appeal by HMRC. Accordingly weproceed on the basis that the EBT arrangements were lawful.

Issues 1 to 3

[104] As we have already explained, in our view the purpose of the Rules applicable to Issues 1to 3 is to promote the sporting integrity of the game. These rules are not designed as any form offinancial regulation of football, analogous to the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations. Thus itis not the purpose of the Rules to regulate how one football club may seek to gain financial andsporting advantage over others. Obviously, a successful club is able to generate more incomefrom gate money, sponsorship, advertising, sale of branded goods and so on, and is consequentlyable to offer greater financial rewards to its manager and players, in the hope of even moresuccess. Nor is it a breach of SPL or SFA Rules for a club to arrange its affairs – within the law– so as to minimise its tax liabilities. The Tax Tribunal has held (subject to appeal) that Oldcowas acting within the law in setting up and operating the EBT scheme. The SPL presented noargument to challenge the decision of the majority of the Tax Tribunal and Mr McKenzie statedexpressly that for all purposes of this Commission’s Inquiry and Determination the SPL acceptedthat decision as it stood, without regard to any possible appeal by HMRC. Accordingly weproceed on the basis that the EBT arrangements were lawful. What we are concerned with is thefact that the side-letters issued to the Specified Players, in the course of the operation of the EBTscheme, were not disclosed to the SPL and the SFA as required by their respective Rules.

[105] It seems appropriate in the first place to consider whether such breach by non-disclosureconferred any competitive advantage on Rangers FC. Given that we have held that Rangers FCdid not breach Rule D1.11 by playing ineligible players, it did not secure any direct competitiveadvantage in that respect. If the breach of the rules by non-disclosure of the side-lettersconferred any competitive advantage, that could only have been an indirect one. Although it isclear to us from Mr Odam’s evidence that Oldco’s failure to disclose the side-letters to the SPLand the SFA was at least partly motivated by a wish not to risk prejudicing the tax advantages ofthe EBT scheme, we are unable to reach the conclusion that this led to any competitiveadvantage. There was no evidence before us as to whether any other members of the SPL usedsimilar EBT schemes, or the effect of their doing so. Moreover, we have received no evidencefrom which we could possibly say that Oldco could not or would not have entered into the EBTarrangements with players if it had been required to comply with the requirement to disclose thearrangements as part of the players’ full financial entitlement or as giving rise to payment toplayers. It is entirely possible that the EBT arrangements could have been disclosed to the SPLand SFA without prejudicing the argument – accepted by the majority of the Tax Tribunal atparagraph 232 of their decision – that such arrangements, resulting in loans made to the players,did not give rise to payments absolutely or unreservedly held for or to the order of the individualplayers. On that basis, the EBT arrangements could have been disclosed as contractualarrangements giving rise to a facility for the player to receive loans, and there would have beenno breach of the disclosure rules.

[106] We therefore proceed on the basis that the breach of the rules relating to disclosure didnot give rise to any sporting advantage, direct or indirect. We do not therefore propose toconsider those sanctions which are of a sporting nature

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Charlie_KellyPosted on8:37 pm - Jul 6, 2017


What if it is tribalism? Is that relevant? 
The issue is – What are/were the rules? and Have those rules been applied? If not, why not?
Some Celtic fans may well be guilty of tribalism over this issue but I don’t see why that prevents supposedly neutral journalists from asking neutral questions like the ones above.
Why are they so reluctant to do that?

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Big PinkPosted on8:42 pm - Jul 6, 2017


An interesting take on OCNC:

For the purposes of the argument, let’s accept that there is an ethereal entity, (The “Club”) which we know was part of Rangers Football Club PLC (IL) (The “Company”), which itself was part of The Rangers FC Group Limited (The “Holding Company”), and that at some point, The Club became part of Sevco or TRFC (The “NewCo”). which in turn was part of Rangers International Football Club PLC (The “New Holding Company”).

Q1: Why do we need TWO corporate entities to administer the ethereal entity?

Q2: At what point did the ethereal entity cease to be part of The Company/The Holding Company, and commence being part of the The NewCo/The New Holding Company?

Q3: How do we know? For example if the Club is incorporeal, where is the evidence that it passed from one to the other?

Is it just taken on faith that when the assets are sold, the incorporeal body attaches itself? If so, how do we know that it didn’t sneak off somewhere else before the sale. How do we know it is still there?

The source of the take is a fourteen year old high school student in Nairobi, recently visited by a colleague of a friend.

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Big PinkPosted on8:59 pm - Jul 6, 2017


UTH/CharlieK

The tribalism thing deliberately misleads by ignoring the fact that the resentment felt for RFC’s actions are not confined to the Celtic “tribe”. The finger-pointing in the direction of apoplectic Tims is simply pandering to those who want to believe that it is the only motivation for that resentment.

Does being a woman disqualify someone from an equal pay debate?

Does being black disqualify me from discussing racism or racists?

Does being a Celtic fan disqualify me from having a political position on tax evasion/avoidance because the culprit just happens to be Rangers?

No doubt about it, the implication from these panderers in the press is exactly that. But it goes even further. Those same people will tell you that Aberdeen fans are disallowed from comment because they have an historical animus with Rangers – and Dundee United fans aren’t qualified because, wait for it, “Rangers fans wanted to boycott them!”.

For me that is the very definition of fascism. Removing my right to argue not because I am incorrect or misinformed, but because I once expressed a dislike of Rangers.

I think all sensible people will take into account our prejudices before coming to judgement on most matters. I certainly think that the weight of argument factors such things as prejudice in, but to use that imagined prejudice as an excuse for not digging into the the substantive issue is a major mistake – if it is indeed a mistake and not a device to discredit.

One might think then that the only true arbiters of RFC/TRFC behaviour are those that express a love of RFC/TRFC. Who does that leave then?

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bigboab1916Posted on9:15 pm - Jul 6, 2017


Cluster OneJuly 6, 2017 at 20:10
Might be your settings mate if all is is well. I used to have two browsers loaded so i could gauge if it was my browser or something else if both sluggish shit running in background, if just one browser sluggish tweak setting.
Try this
Step 1: Click the Menu button (top-right corner of the browser, below the Close button), then click Settings.
Step 2: Scroll down and click “Show advanced settings,” then scroll down further until you find the System section.
Step 3: Clear the check box next to “Use hardware acceleration when available.”
Step 4: Shut down Chrome and restart it.
Never knew your PM

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upthehoopsPosted on9:18 pm - Jul 6, 2017


BIG PINKJULY 6, 2017 at 20:59
=====================

Very well put BP. I really don’t get what some in the media are so scared of in terms of a serious adult debate over this matter. Then again I don’t think they ever thought it would get to this stage. Let us not forget the demands for apologies they printed after the first two Tribunals. 

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Homunculus

HomunculusPosted on9:26 pm - Jul 6, 2017


UPTHEHOOPS
JULY 6, 2017 at 20:14
====================================

Not disagreeing with your point at all, quite the reverse. It is well made.

I just want to point out that Rangers owe HMRC a total of £92m, all told.

If it’s the same club I’m sure Her Majesty and her Government would be more than happy if they paid it. Think of what could be done with that much money.

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Pat ByrnePosted on10:21 pm - Jul 6, 2017


BIG PINKJULY 6, 2017 at 20:42       3 Votes 
An interesting take on OCNC:
Hypothetically speaking
Say when Charles Green bid for the Basket of Assets and outbid all other interested parties (were there any other interested parties?) what would have stopped him from calling the NewCo say The Green and White Rangers Football Club (apart from the obvious) for that matter, now that the precedent has been set, in theory what would prevent this ethereal fantasy happening again with any club/company. Surely the powers that be must see the folly in their actions, by portraying this lie as acceptable business practice, it can only lead to unforeseen problems further down the line, would The Green and White RFC automatically be the owners of an unprecedented 54 league titles? it is madness at its most extreme level.
Oh what a tangled Web they have woven and IMO that is why the SFA are saying as little as possible, the hole they have dug is deep and entirely of their own making. All they can rely on now is a concerted effort by a compliant press to bail them out, sadly for “them” there is a groundswell of opinion that is gathering pace and it is going to bring them down, I never thought I would live to see this day approach but if we all keep pushing it will surely happen.
I can only thank those of you on this site and the sterling work of the rest of the internet bams with far superior knowledge than yours truly for exposing, deciphering and putting it into layman’s terms, we have reached the event horizon and justice has its gravitational pull drawing the corrupt cabal that runs our game firmly in its grasp.
I urge all of you to contact your respective clubs and remind them they ultimately represent the fans that support and make the game possible, to do their duty and inform the SFA, SPFL etc that action must be taken to right the many wrongs because if they fail to do so ultimately the game will die.
 

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CastofthousandsPosted on10:32 pm - Jul 6, 2017


MCSTAY MAGICJuly 5, 2017 at 17:43  “Does anyone have a copy of the letter that the EBT recipients were issued with from old Rangers, which states that the club would be liable for any payment demand made to players by HMRC?”

The attached concerns the Discounted Options Scheme. Side letters are near the end. File in three parts to accommodate size restrictions.

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CastofthousandsPosted on10:38 pm - Jul 6, 2017


Discount Option Scheme 2

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CastofthousandsPosted on10:40 pm - Jul 6, 2017


I’m not sure if these attachments are actually entrained. DOS 3

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CastofthousandsPosted on10:42 pm - Jul 6, 2017


Discount Option Scheme 2 again.

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CastofthousandsPosted on10:44 pm - Jul 6, 2017


Discount Option Scheme 2 again again.

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CastofthousandsPosted on11:02 pm - Jul 6, 2017


HirsutePursuitJuly 6, 2017 at 00:35
“Similarly, the commission could accept the idea that the EBT arrangements were legal in all cases.”
I appreciate you are simply stating the commission’s premise but it seems such a fundamental error for LNS’ panel to base their decision significantly on a separate decision that was subject to appeal (FTT BTC ruling). It was such an obviously contentious case that it would seem naive to latch onto it for any kind of justification.

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CastofthousandsPosted on11:24 pm - Jul 6, 2017


DarkbeforedawnJuly 6, 2017 at 10:54

“Rangers were never, at any time, accused of operating an illegal tax evasion scheme and if they had been, this would be a criminal proceedings and not a civil one.”
” However, I cannot think of a single example in history where a club has had trophies stripped for owing a debt?”

The validity of the honours won during the EBT period is not questioned simply because the club had debts. The footballing integrity argument arises from the mis-registration of players.
RFC might argue that they believed the payments they made were legitimate loans and need therefore not appear as part of a players contract on their registration document. To accept such a level of ‘self-certification’ however would render the whole registration process pointless. The so called loans were so obviously part of the players contract that their absence from the registration process could be best explained by a wish to keep them hidden from simple scrutiny.
In effect the registration rules were circumvented to facilitate a commercial risk.
That doesn’t look a lot like sporting integrity to me.

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jimboPosted on11:42 pm - Jul 6, 2017


There’s a lot of speculation whether HMRC will go after the recipients of EBTs for the tax they should have paid.  On the other hand HMRC are the biggest creditor in line for a share out of the pot of money that BDO are sitting with.  Surely the tax man cannot get two bites of the cherry?  That cannot be legal can it?

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John ClarkPosted on12:44 am - Jul 7, 2017


Big PinkJuly 6, 2017 at 17:36
‘……Already Aberdeen fans have said their piece, calmly, temperately and in a dignified manner. Dundee United’s Arab Trust is meeting tonight to consider a response, and some influential Falkirk fans are trying to convince their club to respond…’
____________
I have a contact here in Edinburgh who tells me that he knows from having asked them, that Hibs have not yet considered the Supreme Court’s verdict and its possible implications; that it is  on the agenda;but  that the general vibes suggest that when it is formally  considered, the decision will be to make no statement.
I have had reliable information before from that contact on other ‘saga’ ( as well as on SFA) matters .
I have no reason to disbelieve him now.
And that Hibs directors, as any kind of business people, should be able to shrug off the really, really dirty business-cheating by  the majority shareholder of a club that was a sporting competitor against their own businesses, would astonish me.
That they could possibly, like some kind of forelock-tucking serfs, simply doff their homespun caps to those who cheated, and to those in office who probably(!) knew about that cheating and supported it even to this very day in their public statements (well,the SFA certainly so, the SPFL ‘considering’) is simply unfathomable.
There is a fruitful field of research for Ph.D students of ‘sports studies’ into why individual football clubs should accept so passively the cheating of one club and the condonation ,in effect, of that cheating by the very body that’s supposed to prevent it.( Of course, they wouldn’t want to be doing their Ph.D at Edinburgh University, where a certain professor dismisses any complaint against a particular new club ,against the SFA, as being no more than ‘west of Scotland inter-club rivalry’ ).

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wottpiPosted on12:46 am - Jul 7, 2017


I note the various discussions ‘re the SFA stance, what clubs should be doing etc etc.
IMHO much of the commentary misses the big picture.
This was financial doping on a grand scale.
All the evidence points to an organisation undertaking actions in a manner that they did not want others to find out what they were doing.
The DOS was dodgy from the off. Rangers didn’t ask HMRC or the footballing authorities or advice or confirmation that this scheme was OK and being run properly.
Reports say  HMRC started sniffing around the DOS in 2005.
Despite this all the necessary paperwork was not forthcoming from Rangers when asked for  by investigators.
At the same time nobody at Rangers thought to ask questions /double check  if the then up and running EBT scheme was OK in terms of tax status and footbslling law.
No instead, unlike Celtic who smelled trouble with Juninhos EBT, they continued on regardless for four more years.
Apparently not one call to the SFA or the SPFL.to clarify matters.
Rangers were dishonest in all their dealings with the authorities and the paying punter, including their own fans.
SDM can use whatever verbal sophistry he wants but this was no administrative error – they were ‘at it’ pure and simple.
We are again at a point of needing to take the Dr Poon approach whereby we call it how we see it.
This debacle has brought the game into disrepute through, dishonesty, greed and simply not playing within the spirit of the game.
Stripping of titles would be nice.
The SFA’s counsel may be correct in saying all that can be done within their rules has been done.
However it is surely not beyond anyone’s remit or authority within the SFA and the SPFL to publicly slate the oldco for their crimes, lack of respect for the authorities and lack of sporting integrity. Further they should be saying  they will review their rules to ensure such behaviour will not be tolerated in the future.
What the hell is going to happen? What do people have to fear from telling the truth.
Is SDM  going to retaliate for the oldco?
Is a convicted tax dodger going to take the high moral ground for the newco regards what is decent and honest behaviour when it comes to running s football business.
I think not.
Title stripping may not happen but there are many other ways to put this whole debacle to bed as opposed to hoping it will just fizzle out now the final verdict is in.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:20 am - Jul 7, 2017


On Twitter media watch again and the BBC’s Chris McLaughlin, while acknowledging why people see the sporting advantage argument, says the Scottish game needs time to heal and move on. This would suggest there has been some kind of rift where more than one party is involved. The simple fact is not once has there been any contrition from within Ibrox for what is now a tax bill of over £90m. This despite constant claims of being the same club, and with three directors on board who were part of past Ibrox boards when the tax cheating was in place.  Yet still those three Directors are generally deferred to by the media. The argument now being trotted out is the EBT’s were a major factor in liquidation and starting in the 4th tier, so it was effectively a punishment anyway. Those peddling that argument of course were the ones demanding that the new club be accepted directly to  the top league.  

On the subject of contrition, I don’t think many people are for moving on until there is some from within Hampden either.  In my view a crowd funded judicial review is the way ahead, although we have to await the SPFL statement. However, the cynic in me thinks they are simply trying to construct a better set of words than the SFA to tell us they will do nothing.  I simply don’t believe that in any other democratic nation the media and footballing authorities would fall over themselves to excuse tax cheating to this extent by one of their major football clubs.  It’s appalling behaviour, and meanwhile not one Scottish MP, of any party, has had the guts to condemn any of it. 

Establishment Club? You better believe it is!

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oddjob

oddjobPosted on8:48 am - Jul 7, 2017


Jimbo, july 6 2342
Jimbo, there is more than one cherry invo!ved.
Most of the talk is about the ” big tax case” or ” “the wee tax case” and it seems to be forgotten that the administration was triggered by HMRC when Mr Whyte did not remit Income Tax, Value Added Tax and National Insurance money, which had been received by the club.

Therefore, three tax cases are involved, all on separate assessments.

Also, it is the responsibility of each individual to make an and declaration of all income to HMRC. It may well be that many of the individuals involved in this case submitted “incorrect” declatations.

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jimboPosted on9:13 am - Jul 7, 2017


Oddjob,

Thanks for that information, it makes sense to me now.  So the money withheld in 2011/12 by Craig Whyte would come from BDOs creditors cash and the EBTs money due would be sought after from the recipients.  04  As you say different elements.

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on10:36 am - Jul 7, 2017


Pat ByrneJuly 6, 2017 at 22:21  
BIG PINKJULY 6, 2017 at 20:42       3 Votes An interesting take on OCNC:Hypothetically speakingSay when Charles Green bid for the Basket of Assets and outbid all other interested parties (were there any other interested parties?) what would have stopped him from calling the NewCo say The Green and White Rangers Football Club (apart from the obvious) for that matter, now that the precedent has been set, in theory what would prevent this ethereal fantasy happening again with any club/company. Surely the powers that be must see the folly in their actions, by portraying this lie as acceptable business practice, it can only lead to unforeseen problems further down the line, would The Green and White RFC automatically be the owners of an unprecedented 54 league titles? it is madness at its most extreme level.
________________

That’s an excellent point you make, and one I don’t think I’ve seen raised before. It basically asks: ‘What’s in a name?’: and leaves an excellent quick-fire question when confronted with the ‘same club’ spiel (‘spiel’ because it’s not an argument), that is ‘Would they still be the same club if Charles Green had named them Govan United, or any other name?’ In fact, would they still be ‘Rangers’ if, for whatever reason, Charles Green had said at the time he bought the assets, but with everything else playing out exactly the same, ‘We are not Rangers, we are a new club!’?

If a ‘fact’ can change with a change of name, it must surely not be a ‘fact’ to begin with!

Remember, no one with a far better legal mind than Charles Green, or a greater knowledge of the rules of football, Scottish or otherwise, than Charles Green, not even any of the Real Rangers Men who always had a voice provided by their pet media puppets, even dared to believe that a liquidated club could continue to exist by a mere slight of hand! Not until a man they all now consider just another Craig Whyte – and refuse to accept his announcement that he didn’t buy a football club, he bought a basket of assets – said it, did anyone even give it thought!

Even in the desperate minds of the bears, the continuation of a ‘Rangers’ rested entirely on that charlatan’s words!

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PatsyPosted on10:45 am - Jul 7, 2017


There’s a good article written in The National by a Martin Hannan going along the lines of SFA be warned  ignore the fans at your own peril because this issue will not go away until dealt with properly.
Sorry I can’t post the link because I ain’t too clever with my mobile  but it’s good to see the new rag are at least taking this issue a bit more seriously.

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Eternal OptimistPosted on10:46 am - Jul 7, 2017


On 24th March 2003, I was able to witness one of the strangest phenomena in Scottish football – the appearance of Partick Thistle in a Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden.  I remember travelling home deflated, not an unusual feeling for a Thistle fan, but thinking we’d done reasonably well against a team of superstars (and Bob Malcolm).
Since then.I’ve discovered that all the starting 11 but Tony Vidmar (I think) were EBT beneficiaries. Therefore, unless their side letters were lodged with the SFA they were improperly registered.
According to the media (yes, I know…) it appears that it’s only Celtic fans who want honours stripped.  If I hear that again I’ll scream !!! So I’ll be writing to my club today for their view on the matter and asking what action they’re planning, and would encourage fans of all other clubs out there to do the same.
The only way to move on is to have proper sanctions applied, an independent review of the SFA/SPFL and the removal of those found to be complicit.
I feel better for that, but before I go for a lie down the team on that day was –
Klos, Amoruso, Ferguson, Kanchelskis, Vidmar, McCann, Ricksen, Caniggia, Nerlinger, Malcolm and Flo.
On the way home we wished we could afford players like some of them. Oh, the irony ….. 

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HighlanderPosted on11:06 am - Jul 7, 2017


So the SFA are unsurprisingly going to do SFA about the biggest case of cheating in the history of Scottish sport, no doubt because they sold their souls to the devilish Charles Green during the five-way-agreement negotiations, in which they capitulated by allowing the insertion of a legally binding ‘no title/trophy-stripping’ clause.

We needn’t wait on the SPFL taking action either, because they’re guaranteed to say they have no jurisdiction over matters which arose before the SPFL came into being.

It’s important to remember that both these football authorities are the clubs and our clubs are once again going to ignore their paying customers. Unfortunately, it’s going to take the type of action taken by the fans back in 2012, when they prevented a new club being gerrymandered into the top league, to make our clubs aware of just who holds the upper hand here. 

The clubs would do well to remember that without the fans they are nothing. Club chairmen, boards of directors, managers, coaches, players and even stadia are interchangeable and expendable. Without the lifeblood of the game, the fans, a football club is just a delapidated, abandoned stadium filled with the ghosts of past glories.

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the clubs have failed to heed any lessons from the largescale fans revolt of 2012, and it’s nearing the time to remind them just who controls who!

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on11:14 am - Jul 7, 2017


I think this is something that everyone who loves clean sport will want to sign!

https://www.change.o…erm=autopublish

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on11:21 am - Jul 7, 2017


Under Alan Patullo’s byline in the Scotsman:

http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/rangers/alan-pattullo-stripping-rangers-titles-will-achieve-little-1-4497193

Read it & weep.

Deflection, ignorance, whataboutery, whatiffery, cap-doffing & forelock-tugging all in the one article.

It’s one of Jabba’s finest.

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on11:23 am - Jul 7, 2017


Sorry, previous link doesn’t work, hopefully this will. Please ensure it makes it’s way onto all of your clubs’ forums. I got this from Jambos Kickback.

https://www.change.org/p/spfl-rangers-fc-to-be-stripped-of-14-league-titles?recruiter=149764020&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=autopublish

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goosygoosyPosted on11:44 am - Jul 7, 2017


I knew there was something illogical about the SFA Statement but couldn`t put my finger on it until now
The penny has now dropped
This Statement is explicitly saying that the prospect of legally winning a complaint against RFC and then legally having the ability to apply  a meaningful sanction is so low that its not worth pursuing in the first place
And the penny is saying
Its an answer to the wrong question
Its addressing the question
Can the SFA actually strip trophies from RFC as punishment for their cheating?
However
That is not the question the public want answered
The real question for both the SFA and the SPFL  is this
Do they support the PRINCIPLE that a club who win trophies using illegal means to pay their player should be allowed to keep those trophies?
Ot put another way
It matters not that some legal issue prevents these trophies from actually being withdrawn or even asterisked
What matters is that the highest level in the Scottish football game publicly state that they uphold the principle that sporting integrity trumps illegality on every occasion including this case
By not answering the real question the SFA have inadvertently revealed that their real motivation is fear of  the consequences 
Meaning
Its not the reaction of the TRFC Board they fear
Its civil unrest by the Loonies

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easyJamboPosted on11:46 am - Jul 7, 2017


I’m still on holiday and limited to my mobile so I haven’t been able to read or comment at any great length on what has gone on over the past few days.

I did have a quick skim  over the full judgement and it looks as if the SC has strengthened HMRC’s position in related cases. It’s probably one for John Clark but Lord Hodge effectively said that the Sempra ruling was wrong.

I also noted an unopposed petition at the CoS yesterday on behalf of Paul Clark v Philip Gormley. If anyone doesn’t know who he is, Gormley is the Chief Constable of Police Scotland. 

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on11:58 am - Jul 7, 2017


Can anyone confirm for me that the EBT tax bill included a fine, or fines?

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SmugasPosted on12:05 pm - Jul 7, 2017


John James refers today to a court decision in 2012 that permitted HMRC to apply a penalty to their outstanding debt on top of normal interest.  I assume its included in the £90 odd million figure.  Interestingly he states the penalty was for evasion, not avoidance which would seem right enough. 

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easyJamboPosted on12:17 pm - Jul 7, 2017


ALLYJAMBO JULY 7, 2017 at 11:58 
Can anyone confirm for me that the EBT tax bill included a fine, or fines
=====================%
The FTTT assessment was £47m, £36m of which was due by RFC,  £27m in PAYE and £9m in NICs. 

That couldn’t have included interest or penalties as the HMRC claim against the Oldco in respect of the TBC is £72m, which will include interest and penalties. 

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PatsyPosted on12:31 pm - Jul 7, 2017


Could some clever person post the article by Martin Hannan from The National for me please.

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Bogs DolloxPosted on12:33 pm - Jul 7, 2017


oddjobJuly 7, 2017 at 08:48 

Also, it is the responsibility of each individual to make an and declaration of all income to HMRC. It may well be that many of the individuals involved in this case submitted “incorrect” declatations.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
You raise an interesting point. I wonder what professional advice the EBT recipients received from their own professional advisors at the time.
If those advisors were given the full facts I suspect they would have advised the payments into the EBT were probably taxable. Therefore, I suspect many of them knowingly made false declarations.

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macfurgly

macfurglyPosted on12:33 pm - Jul 7, 2017


AllyjamboJuly 7, 2017 at 11:23
———-
Signed.
The SFA must issue a statement acknowledging the historical illegal actions by one of its members and the scale of that.That acknowledgement must include explicit reference to the withholding of information regarding payment to players in breach of its own rules. These rules exist to prevent money laundering, irregular ownership and inconsistencies with FFP among other things. This statement must go to UEFA as these players played in European competition. It must be made clear that these players were improperly registered and therefore ineligible to play. LNS will have to be reviewed in the light of information that has emerged since, including of course the SC decision.
Campbell Ogilvie must resign his position with UEFA and any other offices he holds in football. His position is completely untenable. So is Regan’s if the SFA do not act.
Peter Lawwell in his capacity as SPFL Board member will no doubt seek the review Celtic expect.

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Corrupt official

Corrupt officialPosted on12:36 pm - Jul 7, 2017


Celtic have made their statement, and apart from the opportunity to slip “Independent” in when demanding a review, I am reasonably happy. 
   Of note also, are the comments made by Davie Hay, employed as a club ambassador. Unless he is getting the sack sometime soon for speaking out of turn, he has laid the club’s position on the table.
   Clearly, there is a huge appetite for change, and a goos selection of an-groups have added voice. 
   Please get onto your clubs, as their support will be useful, but I wouldn’t say essential. They are either worthy of support or not. It’s a simple enough email/letter/phone-call, to fire off.
   It matters not who holds the power at your club. Not a jot……We hold the power of empty stadiums.
    Big Jock was right. Fitba’ without fans is nothing……
   Let them fecking know it. !!!
  No game, or a charade of a game?…….I know what my choice is.
    

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paddy malarkey

paddy malarkeyPosted on12:52 pm - Jul 7, 2017


Another wee petition for them as like signing stuff . How low can you go ?

https://www.change.org/p/scottish-football-association-we-call-on-the-sfa-to-strip-titles-won-by-celtic-fc-during-the-child-abuse-years

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bluPosted on1:02 pm - Jul 7, 2017


HighlanderJuly 7, 2017 at 11:06  So the SFA are unsurprisingly going to do SFA about the biggest case of cheating in the history of Scottish sport, no doubt because they sold their souls to the devilish Charles Green during the five-way-agreement negotiations, in which they capitulated by allowing the insertion of a legally binding ‘no title/trophy-stripping’ clause.
We needn’t wait on the SPFL taking action either, because they’re guaranteed to say they have no jurisdiction over matters which arose before the SPFL came into being.
It’s important to remember that both these football authorities are the clubs and our clubs are once again going to ignore their paying customers. Unfortunately, it’s going to take the type of action taken by the fans back in 2012, when they prevented a new club being gerrymandered into the top league, to make our clubs aware of just who holds the upper hand here. 
The clubs would do well to remember that without the fans they are nothing. Club chairmen, boards of directors, managers, coaches, players and even stadia are interchangeable and expendable. Without the lifeblood of the game, the fans, a football club is just a delapidated, abandoned stadium filled with the ghosts of past glories.
It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the clubs have failed to heed any lessons from the largescale fans revolt of 2012, and it’s nearing the time to remind them just who controls who!

You’re absolutely right Highlander, and here are the contact details for all of the clubs, should anyone wish to contact theirs. A bit dated as they’re taken from the SFA details for 2016-17. I’m sure a number of these clubs will remember the SFA, SFP, SPL and SPFL rules being applied to them without fear or favour, in the interests of sporting integrity.    

Premiership
Aberdeen FC, S Steven Gunn TG 01224 650400, E steven.gunn@afc.co.uk
Celtic FC, S Michael Nicholson TG 0871 226 1888,E dscoular@celticfc.co.uk
Dundee F.C, S Pam Rodgers TB 01382 884450, E prodgers@dundeefc.co.uk
Hamilton Academical FC, S Les Gray TG 01698 368650, E office@acciesfc.co.uk
Heart of Midlothian FC, S Martin Jesper TB 0871 663 1874, E MartinJesper@homplc.co.uk
Hibernian FC, S Leeann Dempster TB 0131 661 2159, E ldempster@hibernianfc.co.uk
Kilmarnock FC,  S Priti Trivedi TG 01563 545300, E Prititrivedi@kilmarnockfc.co.uk
Motherwell F.C,  S Alan Burrows TB 01698 333333, E alan.burrows@motherwellfc.co.uk
Partick Thistle FC, S Ian Maxwell TB 0141 579 1971, E ianmaxwell@ptfc.co.uk
Rangers FC, S Andrew Dickson TG 0141 580 8500, E adickson@rangers.co.uk
Ross County F.C , S Fiona MacBean TG 01349 860860, E fiona.macbean@rosscountyfootballclub.co.uk
St. Johnstone F.C, S Paul Smith TG 01738 459094, E paul@perthsaints.co.uk     

      

Championship
Brechin City FC, S Angus Fairlie TG 01356 622856, E secretary@brechincityfc.com
Dumbarton F.C, S Antonia Kerr TG 01389 762569,  E enquiries@dumbartonfc.com
Dundee United F.C,  S Beverley Anderson TG 01382 833166, E bev.anderson@dundeeunitedfc.co.uk
Dunfermline Athletic F.C, S Shirley Forrester TG 01383 724295, E Shirley@dafc.co.uk
Falkirk FC,  S Ronnie Bateman TG 01324 624121, E ronnieb@falkirkfc.co.uk
Greenock Morton F, S Gillian Donaldson TB 01475 723571 Ext 22, E chiefexec@gmfc.net
Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC,  S Jim Falconer TG 01463 222880, E jim.falconer@ictfc.co.uk
Livingston FC, S Brian Ewing TG 01506 417000, E brian.ewing@livingstonfc.co.uk
Queen of the South F.C, S Craig Paterson TG 01387 254853,  E craig.paterson@fkmcv.co.uk
St. Mirren F.C,  S Tony Fitzpatrick TG 0141 889 2558,  E tony.fitzpatrick@saintmirren.net

 League 1 
Airdrieonians FC, S Ann Marie Ballantyne TG 07710 230775, E annmarie@ballantyneand.co.uk
Albion Rovers FC,  S Paul Reilly TG 01236 606334,  E paul.reilly@albionroversfc.com
Alloa Athletic FC,  S Ewen Cameron TG 01259 722695, E fcadmin@alloaathletic.co.uk
Arbroath FC, S Dr Gary J Callon TG 01241 872157, E g.j.callon@dundee.ac.uk
Ayr United FC,  S Tracy McTrusty TG 01292 263435 (opt 6), E tracy@ayrunitedfc.co.uk
East Fife FC, S James Stevenson TG 01333 426323, E office@eastfifefc.info
Forfar Athletic FC, S David McGregor TG 01307 463576, E david.mcgregor@forfarathletic.co.uk
Queen’s Park FC,  S Christine Wright TG 0141 620 4000,  E christine@queensparkfc.co.uk
Raith Rovers FC, S Eric Drysdale TG 01592 263514,  E football@raithrovers.net
Stranraer F.C,  S Hilde Law TG 01776 703271,  E secretary@stranraerfc.org

League 2
Annan Athletic FC, S Alan Irving TG 01461 204108, TM 07888 728590, E alan@claganltd.co.uk
Berwick Rangers FC,  S Dennis McCleary TG 01289 307424,  E club@berwickrangers.com
Clyde FC,  S Gordon Thomson TG 01236 451511,  E info@clydefc.co.uk
Cowdenbeath FC,  S David Allan TG 01383 610166, E daallan6754@aol.com
Edinburgh City FC,  S Gavin Kennedy TG 0131 661 5351, E kennedygavin@hotmail.com
Elgin City FC,  S Kate Taylor TG 01343 557400, E accountsecfc@btconnect.com
Montrose F.C, S Brian Petrie TG 01674 673200, E secretary@montrosefc.co.uk
Peterhead FC, S Nat Porter TB 01779 478256, E nat.porter@peterheadfc.co.uk
Stenhousemuir F.C, S Margaret Kilpatrick TG 01324 562992, E info@stenhousemuirfc.com
Stirling Albion F.C,  S J Stuart Brown TG 01786 450399,  E office@stirlingalbionfc.co.uk

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Bogs DolloxPosted on1:02 pm - Jul 7, 2017


Eternal Optimist
July 7, 2017 at 10:46
       
According to the media (yes, I know…) it appears that it’s only Celtic fans who want honours stripped.  If I hear that again I’ll scream !!! So I’ll be writing to my club today for their view on the matter and asking what action they’re planning, and would encourage fans of all other clubs out there to do the same.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Agreed it isn’t just Celtic fans who want to see the biggest sporting scandal in British history investigated properly.

Would it be possible for you to paste up your letter on here and that way lazy people like me can copy it and send it to their club? 

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oddjob

oddjobPosted on1:11 pm - Jul 7, 2017


Bogs Dollox. July 7 1233

Yes. It will be interesting to see what comes out of the woodwork when HMRC start turning the screw .

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bluPosted on1:13 pm - Jul 7, 2017


paddy malarkeyJuly 7, 2017 at 12:52  Another wee petition for them as like signing stuff . How low can you go ?
https://www.change.org/p/scottish-football-association-we-call-on-the-sfa-to-strip-titles-won-by-celtic-fc-during-the-child-abuse-years

Paddy, yes, it’s pretty low when people use the pain of others out of vindictiveness for point-scoring with rivals. I had the same thought when I saw reports of a FOI request made in December 2016 in   respect of Gordon Neely, relating only to his time at Rangers. 
Will people actually put their own names to the petition you’ve provided the link to?

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jimboPosted on1:35 pm - Jul 7, 2017


Craig Whyte on twitter yesterday:

“Alastair Johnston told me back in 2011 that the best places for Rangers reporting were the Celtic blogs. Maybe he had a point?”
19

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John ClarkPosted on1:45 pm - Jul 7, 2017


Jingso.JimsieJuly 7, 2017 at 11:21
‘…Under Alan Patullo’s byline in the Scotsman:’
____________
I had not considered Pattullo to be one of the worst disgraces to the profession of ‘Journalist’.

In that article he  attempts to equate the deliberate and kept secret football cheating carried on by SDM for more than a decade with the honest,unsecret ( however desperate and reckless!) piling up of debt by Hearts and Gretna.

He talks about ‘an era of widespread financial doping’ and even has the gall to say ‘ even Celtic admitted they had investigated using EBT-based incentives to attract players’

Pattullo is not a fool.

His article is therefore no more than a piece of pernicious, offensive propaganda that tries to stand truth on its head in an attempt to protect the false sporting record of  deceased club.

To paraphrase the historian Tom Nairn, Scottish football will be free when the last Pattullos of the SMSM are strangled by the last copies  of the final edition of their newspapers.

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jimboPosted on1:45 pm - Jul 7, 2017


Should have added he is talking in the context of 2011 before a multi club board like TSFM was in existence.  But the slur against the SMSM is still thriving 6 years later.

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on1:48 pm - Jul 7, 2017


easyJamboJuly 7, 2017 at 12:17  
ALLYJAMBO JULY 7, 2017 at 11:58 Can anyone confirm for me that the EBT tax bill included a fine, or fines=====================%The FTTT assessment was £47m, £36m of which was due by RFC,  £27m in PAYE and £9m in NICs. That couldn’t have included interest or penalties as the HMRC claim against the Oldco in respect of the TBC is £72m, which will include interest and penalties.
_____________________

Thanks for that info, EJ. I was certain that there were fines imposed but wanted to make sure as I’ve noticed the SMSM are pushing the ridiculous notion that Rangers’ EBTs were not ‘illegal’ and, if the opportunity arises, I intend to ask them to explain how a fine could be imposed on RFC if their actions had been ‘legal’! I think they are either deliberately confusing ‘criminal’ with ‘illegal’, or extremely thick! Or both.

Of course, it may well be that RFC’s actions were criminal, as in tax evasion, but, as others have pointed out, HMRC prefer to take such cases to a civil court where success is more likely and so, recovery of money more viable. 

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Homunculus

HomunculusPosted on2:35 pm - Jul 7, 2017


I know there is a lot of talk about avoidance and evasion, about the difference between the two about what is legal and not.

The five Supreme Court Judges have rather helpfully cleared that point up as far as it relates to Rangers’ EBT case.

LORD HODGE: (with whom Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Reed and Lord Carnwath agree)

1. This appeal concerns a tax avoidance scheme by which employers paid remuneration to their employees through an employees’ remuneration trust in the hope that the scheme would avoid liability to income tax and Class 1 national insurance contributions (“NICs”).

In a 27 page ruling the word “avoidance” appears on numerous occasions. The word “evasion” does not appear at all.

The unpaid EBTs were tax avoidance, no matter how exclusively people may argue otherwise. 

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