UTT Thread

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Nice to meet you today Easyjambo. I’ll chip in my …

Comment on UTT Thread by Castofthousands.

Nice to meet you today Easyjambo. I’ll chip in my tuppenceworth to complement what JC is likely to post later.

The court was much smaller than I anticipated with more than half of it taken up by the legals and just a few rows of seats at the back for the public. Lord Doherty is a relatively young man given his status and at times was a little daunted in the face of the elderly and knowledgeable Mr. Thornhill’s detailed discourse. However he was not intimidated and seemed to be following the argument keenly, asking questions when necessary.

Proceedings are rather dry and refer constantly to precedent judgements (Proctor & Gamble, Garforth test, Aberdeen Asset Management, Brandor?, Dextra, McMillan, Ramsay principle, Sempra). In the absence of my own knowledge the atmosphere was somewhat claustrophobic and I commend JC for enduring its tribulations.

Mr. Thornhill countered primarily on three of Mr. Thomson’s points of contention :

1. That the loans were not emoluments (payment in kind), since the necessary orchestration had not been shown.
2. The employees expectation was of receiving a loan.
3. Emoluments should only include benefits immediately convertible to cash (cash box principle).

The general strategy of Mr. Thornhill was to damn the HMRC case with faint disdain. He spent some time suggesting ways in which HMRC could have achieved their end but had foregone the opportunity to do so.

The cash box principle was the subject of much of the deliberation. This revolved around how immediate employees access was to the funds and whether they had ‘the key’ to the cash box i.e. did they have immediate control of the funds.

Another thrust was to pin the appeal down to only points of law. This appeared to be an attempt to limit the scope of the appeal but Lord Doherty felt that such a stricture would be debilitating to the proceedings.

At one point Mr. Thornhill implied that loans could not be considered emoluments but Lord Doherty referenced case law that suggested otherwise.

The Sempra case was gone over in great detail, being as Mr. Thorhill contested, the best analogy to the current case. For me the exposition was overly detailed but Lord Doherty seemed to listen intently and skimmed the documentation as he did so.

The day concluded with Mr. Thornhill rebutting Mr. Thomson’s other points of contention.

Recent Comments by Castofthousands

Time for Scots Government to Take Bull by the Horns
I was watching some youtube concerning chaos theory a few days ago. Not that I understood it fully but the basic concepts were intelligible to me.

Chaotic behavour might be experienced by bridges for instance during high wind events. The predictable environment for which the structure was designed to sustain might be breached and oscillations set up that ultimately shake the thing to bits.
It seems that any system can sustain a certain level of complexity: Parameters that are exceeded without any catastrophic consequences. However if the ‘complexity’ continues to increase then it is likely that at some point the system will fall into chaos.
I think that is where we might be in the timeline of the farrago. Pressure has been ratcheted up over a number of years and now a major event has introduced a whole new level of complexity.
The SFA currently probably have the least control over events than at any time since 2012. Their tactics will be reactive: They will have no coherent forward strategy: They will not be in possession of an ethical framework that might help guide them to safety.
LNS now looks like part of the cover up. However this malfeasance was hidden in plain sight. Rather than being an instrument to mock football fans and supporters it has now turned into a gravestone that seems only to be lacking an inscription and dates. Football supporters weren’t meant to be able to decipher the legal jargon. In reality if you scratch the surface of the rhetoric of bile there is beneath a cohort of supporters who have a firm grip on the facts. Those supporters help inform their associates and thus attempts to create a false narrative have been foiled.
The situation is finely balanced between order and chaos. Who knows what events might sway this balance.
Perhaps a fans group will take some sort of legal action. Perhaps clubs will start to exact influence. Perhaps a wealthy private individual will take it upon themselves to mount some kind of legal challenge to LNS. These option may not all be feasible but there may be many others not yet considered that are.
Either way it looks like the good ship SFA is taking another voyage through the icebergs.


Time for Scots Government to Take Bull by the Horns
AllyjamboJuly 8, 2017 at 10:09

“Until now, we have all looked at the mis-registration aspect only to be a ploy to avoid detection by HMRC, and undoubtedly it was, but I think it has blinded us to the quite simple fact that improper payments, definitely illegal within the confines of football, and possibly criminal within the law of the land, were made.”

Is the general lack of inertia in addressing this matter a symptom of a wider culture of casual payments within the game? We know that historically football has been quite lax in its fiscal controls. Does this history confer a collective guilt that makes clubs reluctant to become animated in current circumstances?


Time for Scots Government to Take Bull by the Horns
 DunderheidJuly 7, 2017 at 21:35
I wonder: can anyone give me a link to the SFA’s rules vis-à-vis the powers of its Board?

Might be amongst this lot. Hopefully the multiple links will stick.
SFA articles of association
 

 

 
http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/resources/documents/SFAPublications/ScottishFAPublications2012-13/SFA_HANDBOOK_53-136_Articles_of_Association.pdf
 
SFA registration procedures
 
http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/resources/documents/SFAPublications/ScottishFAPublications2012-13/SFA_HANDBOOK_201-280_Registration_Procedures.pdf
 
SFA cup competition rules
 
http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/resources/documents/SFAPublications/ScottishFAPublications2013-14/Cup%20competition%20rules.pdf
 
SFA’s club licensing criteria (December 2013)
 
http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/resources/documents/ClubLicensing/2014/Prt%202%20Sct%208%20-%20Leg,%20Admin,%20Finance,Codes%20(2).pdf


Time for Scots Government to Take Bull by the Horns
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.


Time for Scots Government to Take Bull by the Horns
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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