Whose assets are they anyway?

ByBig Pink

Whose assets are they anyway?

It has recently been suggested to me quite strongly by two separate Finance Industry experts that no matter the outcomes of the forthcoming criminal trials into the sale of Rangers and the subsequent disposal of the liquidated assets, it is highly unlikely that the sale will be reversed. In fact BDO (the liquidators of Rangers) see the path of least resistance to any remedy (if guilty verdicts are returned) through the professional indemnity insurance held by organisations involved (I am choosing my words carefully here to comply with the rules surrounding the court case).

There is of course still the dispute between the owners of Sevco 5088 and Sevco Scotland to consider (although depending on the outcome of the criminal cases, that may be moot).

On the face of it, all of this is good news for TRFC and Dave King. After all, one of the main problems they have been facing is the uncertainty over the ownership of the assets, and if BDO are swinging in the direction indicated above, King and his board are free to move forward – you would think.

The recent plans to raise cash from the fans is I think a smart one, but it is still a sticking plaster applied to a gunshot wound. Rangers already have a gate income which is the envy of not just most Scottish clubs, but clubs much further afield. Their problem is their astronomical fixed costs, their dilapidated infrastructure, and possible cash outflow through the fabled ‘onerous contracts’.

Even putting in place a severe austerity package (which may be unpalatable to fans being asked to part with their cash to buy off pesky shareholders who don’t share King’s vision) does not remove the need to capitalise urgently to repair the stadium and build a squad capable of competing in Scotland. So they need to raise cash, and they need it quickly – because soft loans cannot be provided forever.

So the share issue route is the obvious way to go, and to do that effectively, a listing on an exchange is required. However our sources in the financial world don’t think it is possible that this could happen with the current regime for the following reasons (not in order of importance);

  1. They have absolutely no credible business plan to move forward over the next five years – only a commitment to limping on with soft loans;
  2. The current chairman is a convicted felon;
  3. Two directors of the new company were directors of the company now in liquidation;
  4. They have no line of credit;
  5. They are already in debt to the tune of at least £12m – increasing as I write;
  6. They are unable to repay that debt;
  7. There is still a nominal (even if we accept the BDO position above) doubt over the ownership of assets;
  8. The football team does not play in the top league – and European income isn’t coming soon;
  9. The company have astronomical fixed costs which are way in excess of their income.

So even if the doubt over the ownership of assets is removed, there isn’t an easily navigable route for TRFC into calmer waters.

My own conclusion is that perhaps the biggest single thing that is holding Rangers back is Dave King. I really don’t know what his motivation is. There is speculation that he has his eyes on the increasing cash-pot and diminishing creditor list at the Oldco. Some Rangers bloggers are suggesting  that a land-grab play is taking place. I think the former is far more plausible than the latter, but if we take his RRM credential at face-value, it seems to me that the Rangers-minded thing for him to do would be to reverse himself out of the position he is in.

That might enable the company to raise some of the cash they need to repair the stadium, rebuild the infrastructure within the club (players, management, youth and scouting etc.).

Are King, Taylor and Park really in this so they can indefinitely fork out £10m per year? Will Taylor and Park continue to ally themselves with King if he is the impediment to inward investment that we think he is? Park will most certainly not, and my information, from sources very close to him, is that he is done.

The fractures in KingCo are beginning to appear, and King himself may come under increasing pressure to do what is best for the future of the club, which is to remove himself from the equation and allow those better placed to take it forward.

It is often speculated elsewhere that SFM is a Celtic blog, and even those who give us credit for being a much broader church than that will still insist that we are anti-Rangers, obsessed with Rangers, and out to get Rangers.

The occasional outburst of Schadenfreude from commenters aside (it IS a football forum after all guys) SFM is quite definitely not editorially anti-Rangers.

I think the evidence shows that we are nothing of the kind, and it doesn’t do Rangers any favours to conflate our position on the corrupt nature of the governance of the game with that of the Ibrox club – new or old. Where we do discuss Rangers (as we have in this article), it is with an acknowledgment that the money flying around in football makes all of our clubs vulnerable to the kind of rip-off merchants who have wandered in and out of Ibrox in the past few years.

There are many areas where the SFM consensus is unpalatable to Rangers fans. But protecting all of our clubs and their fans from mismanagement is hopefully not one of them.

Also, despite the many rivalries within the game, Rangers are an important focus (old club or new) for tens of thousands of fans. As such they are of interest to ALL of us who support football in this country. Anyway, I tend to be more obsessive about my own club – and find it rather easier to be objective about others 🙂

My own preference in moving the debate forward is to get the perspective of Rangers fans on these issues. I am ever hopeful that we can have Rangers fans engage with the blog and look for areas where we have common purpose.

Nobody at SFM wants Rangers fans to have no team to support. Nobody here wants the SFA to stay unregulated and unaccountable. Nobody at SFM wants people to make up rules they go along just for the sake of a few quid. I can’t believe that Rangers fans don’t share those values.

I agree that Rangers fans are victims of this affair to a large extent, but the culprits are quite definitely not us at SFM. They need to look closer to home to find them.

About the author

Big Pink administrator

Big Pink is John Cole; a former schoolteacher based in the West of Scotland, He is also a print and broadcast journalist who is engaged in the running of SFM . Former gigs include Newstalk 106, the Celtic View, and Channel67. A Celtic fan, he is also the voice of our podcast initiative.

1,787 Comments so far

easyJamboPosted on8:09 pm - Nov 8, 2015

Homunculus 8th November 2015 at 7:58 pm #
I wasn’t proposing any sanction on Celtic.  The post was to illustrate the relevance and different scale of the wrongdoings and subsequent sanctions.

If you or Bryce C believe that the purpose of my post was to have a dig at Celtic or question their handling of the Juninho situation then you have misunderstood the message I was trying (and failing?) to get across.

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HomunculusPosted on8:12 pm - Nov 8, 2015

Sorry for this, it’s just I was thinking about eJ’s question and it got me to thinking and doing a little research.

It transpires the SPL decided not to even investigate Celtic with regards Juninho’s EBT.

Not the best source in the World but there are direct quotes.


THE SPL have revealed they decided not to investigate Celtic’s EBT payment to Juninho because the Brazilian didn’t receive his cash until AFTER he’d left Glasgow.

While an independent commission has been set up to study Rangers’ EBT payments, the SPL itself ruled that the Parkhead club ‘had no case to answer’ regarding Juninho’s contract in 2004.

And Record Sport can reveal the SPL believe it’s the fact Juninho wasn’t paid until after his Celtic exit – while Gers stars picked up EBTs while playing at Ibrox – that is the key
difference in the cases.

An SPL source said: “It’s a simple process of matching it up to our rule book.

“In the case of Celtic’s EBT for Juninho he wasn’t paid while he was kicking a ball for Celtic. He received payment after he’d finished playing for the club.”

Record Sport understands the reason Rangers have a case to answer is that their players were being paid via EBTs while they were still playing in the SPL.

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John ClarkPosted on8:16 pm - Nov 8, 2015

Bryce Curdy 8th November 2015 at 4:06 pm #
‘..PS I am hearing from a very reliable source close to Mr Lawwell that reports of anger and demands for justice from the other clubs reported on eTims are overstated.’
If your ‘source’ is sound, the question is: is Mr Lawwell understating the reports in an attempt to defuse the anger of us ( the football supporters of many clubs), show ‘solidarity’ with the guilty men and the guilty cheating liquidated club, and derail any attempt to cleanse our game of what by any measure is the ordure of corruption?
Or , was he speaking with regret that other clubs were not enraged and seeking action to restore Integrity to our game, and truly punish those who have damned near destroyed it?


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HomunculusPosted on8:16 pm - Nov 8, 2015

easyJambo 8th November 2015 at 8:09 pm


Not at all eJ, sorry for the crossed wires. You just got me thinking about the situation and I just wanted to put my thoughts down on paper.

I think it’s only reasonable that if the question is brought up I shouldn’t simply look at it through “green tinted glasses” I should actually try to look at it objectively.

I hope it didn’t come across as any sort of bad reaction to your original post. It was a genuine attempt at an honest response.

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Bryce CurdyPosted on8:26 pm - Nov 8, 2015

John Clark
My source implies the latter.  PM me for more if you want.

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Bryce CurdyPosted on8:45 pm - Nov 8, 2015

easyJambo, Homunculus:

i suspect at at the end of the day we’re pretty much in agreement.  I’m even willing to ignore being labelled a pedant lol!  If Celtic broke rules with Juninho, then they should face the appropriate sanction, even if only on a technicality.  But if they did, I will never accept any comparison made with a certain other club.

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John ClarkPosted on9:03 pm - Nov 8, 2015

Bryce Curdy 8th November 2015 at 8:26 pm
‘.. PM me for more if you want’
Have done ( I think!)

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GoosyGoosyPosted on9:25 pm - Nov 8, 2015

redlichtie 7th November 2015 at 8:11 pm #
It would certainly be ironic if the Green messiah actually brought Armageddon on Ibrox.
That happened with MON and Henrik

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AuldheidPosted on9:42 pm - Nov 8, 2015

Bruce Cury

On the E Tim item I was told the report was rock solid and it ties in with other information I got the day before returning clubs’ attitudes.
A little bit of expectation dampening but having set up a commission to address the issue then finding out it was “influenced” by what wasn’t said and deliberately or negligently witheld,  I imagine some heat was generated.

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essexbeancounterPosted on10:17 pm - Nov 8, 2015

tony 8th November 2015 at 10:15 am #Homunculusoh here we go david murray is now a saviour,he wouldnt by chance be trying to be nice just after a certain tax case would he ?
Perhaps if he were to fund it with all of his reputed £6m. EBT, there may just be a one in a million chance of his succeeding in reversing his public image…but then again, remember Fred Goodwin….

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essexbeancounterPosted on10:25 pm - Nov 8, 2015

Bryce Curdy 8th November 2015 at 3:42 pm  Could I politely suggest to ‘Sir’ David that in the very unlikely event he actually does have some spare cash, that he should actually choose between repaying the money he personally stole from the taxpayer  when he paid himself an illegal EBT in excess of £6 million
BC…apologies but had not seen your post re DM’s EBT…but remember, he said he “did not take a penny out of Rangers”

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essexbeancounterPosted on10:36 pm - Nov 8, 2015

Homunculus 8th November 2015 at 5:30 pm #Someone taking the opposite view to Mr Maugham. You might not believe this but I agree with this chap.
This will tell you about the author.
I’m not copying and pasting, so he gets the hits
Homunculus…many thanks for the post and link to Richard Murphy, whom I have read and admired for some time and has always talked “common sense” in this case, just like those three good judges in the Court of Session.
I note their is a comment from a “Hugh McEwan” on Murphy’s site…would this be the same Hugh McEwan who used to post some superbly acerbic comments on the old “RTC” site?

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HomunculusPosted on11:07 pm - Nov 8, 2015

essexbeancounter 8th November 2015 at 10:36 pm


Cheers, I thought his take on the issues were clear and concise and cut through a lot of the nonsense.

Like I said I totally agree with his reading of the situation. These were clearly contractual payments and as such the EBT failed at the first hurdle.

Any discussion after that point really becomes irrelevant.

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LUGOSIPosted on11:42 pm - Nov 8, 2015

essexbeancounter’s reference to Sir David Murray’s statement that he hadn’t taken a penny out of Rangers (cue “No, you took millions of pounds” gag) led me to the thought that I can’t recall whether there is any evidence that the money which eventually was paid out was paid into a trust by a company with “Rangers” in its title or by a company with “Murray” in its title.
Maybe his statement is accurate.
Still tax cheating though.

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DenPosted on12:05 am - Nov 9, 2015

I am looking forward to the third part of Mr Maughans article. He started at a cracking pace and promised big things but his second seemed to defend EBTs in a general sense but was at best ambivalent when examining the specifics of the Rangers case. Maybe part three will be his master stroke.

So far I have seen a lot of talk of appeal but little on the grounds of appeal. In my opinion this case is unlikely to be appealed for the following reasons:

– MIH and Rangers are in liquidation, they will not be paying for expensive QCs

– BDO will not want to risk Creditors money, particularly in a battle with the biggest creditor.

Other interested parties who want the decision overturned may be prepared to help fund a case to the Supreme Court, they will not fund this one though. It is toxic and most likely unwinnable, due to the contractual nature of the payments.

I suspect that every Football player who received an EBT ensured that they had a side letter, or their agents would have done so to protect their rights in the deal. On that basis there may be a lot of Football Teams getting huge tax assessments.

As a tax payer I must admit that I can find no sympathy for them.

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briggsbhoyPosted on12:34 am - Nov 9, 2015

I note SDM is apparently showing an interest in the Steel plants that are earmarked to be mothballed as he was one of their better customers and so his supplies are under threat. As much as I feel for those loosing their jobs I hope that his involvement is mere speculation and has no substance in it. It would pain me to see that man given taxpayers money to save these plants as he’s already had plenty, anybody other than him.

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timabhouyPosted on12:51 am - Nov 9, 2015


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YerevanPosted on1:38 am - Nov 9, 2015

I came across this on Twitter yesterday, (sorry but can’t recall who posted it, so I’m unable to credit them directly)
It provides specific detail of the 28 Scottish clubs directly affected during the EBT years.

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Bryce CurdyPosted on5:25 am - Nov 9, 2015

Auldheid 9:42 pm

i very much hope your information is more accurate than mine.  You know my source very well btw.

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Danish PastryPosted on8:56 am - Nov 9, 2015

Woman on the radio from UK Athletics just mentioned ‘the ultimate betrayal’ with reference to the possible corruption at the heart of the very bodies set up to catch dope cheats.  

A strong turn of phrase and totally relevant to any sporting authorities that willfully turn a blind eye to, or actively undermine investigations into doping — drug or finance based. The last line defence ought to be a questioning critical media. But in the case of the dual contracts & EBTs there’s still very little appetite for action. Keith Jackson’s piece today is almost a plea for non-action. According to him only a ‘cabal’ of ‘the foaming mouthed’ are whipping up the hysteria.

With very few journos willing to stand on principle it looks like it’s up to the fans once again to save the sport from the people running it. 

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toadintheholePosted on9:07 am - Nov 9, 2015

Someone recently posted an extract of David Murray’s evidence to one of the tribunals – something along the lines of EBT’s allowing Rangers to attract a better class of player. I’m buggered if I can find it. Does anyone know where the link to the official extract is?

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zerotolerance1903Posted on9:18 am - Nov 9, 2015

EasyJambo 8th November 2015 at 5:52 pm #Attachment
 tearsofjoy 8th November 2015 at 2:15 pm #Does anyone have details of the published wage bills for Rangers RIP and Celtic for the period of cheating (let’s ignore the DSO seasons).Thanks.===========================Screenshot of spreadsheet attached.

Don’t those EBT amounts need to be grossed up with the amount of tax that should have been payable on them?

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JoethebookiePosted on9:21 am - Nov 9, 2015

I am generally a ‘half full’ kinda guy but I have a horrible feeling we’re jumping the gun. After the initial FTT decision and the appeal everyone on here, myself included was advocating a ‘wait till the fat lady sings’ position.
I haven’t heard any singing, possibly because of all the title stripping noise so I’m sticking to that. Until we have a definite decision, either an appeal to the Supreme Court or time running out on the possibility I think it’s still wait and see time.
We spent months telling Rangers fans not to count their chickens and now we’re doing the same. Just because a decision went our way, the right way doesn’t mean it’s over.
Common sense has won this round but after two ridiculous decisions earlier I’m still worried that the Establishment will get their way.

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BawsmanPosted on9:30 am - Nov 9, 2015

KEITH (Jackson) looks at the latest twist in the tax saga and asks if Rangers have actually breached Scottish Professional Football League rules.

EMPLOYEE Benefit Trusts. The three little words which have already scarred Scottish football for life and which might yet bring our game back to the brink of implosion.

The hounds of hell were re-released last week when Hector scored a win at the Court of Session, a ruling which has all the makings of potential game changer in this long running narrative about Rangers and the taxman.

Suddenly, overnight, there is a genuine case for those who wish to see the Ibrox club stripped of all manner of silverware which was secured during a nine year period of financial jiggery pokery and slight of hand. Last week’s twist added legal substance to their argument.

In their eyes, it has now been established that Sir David Murray was cheating HMRC throughout that period and so, by extension, Rangers were cheating all of their opponents by signing players who might otherwise have been lured elsewhere. Case closed.

Former Rangers chairman Sir David Murray
The great outpouring of anger and resentment which has followed is almost palpable. In many ways it’s also perfectly understandable.

It is building, after all, among fans who were shelling out to pay into grounds while, more often than not, watching their respective teams come up short. They believe this scheme gave Rangers a sporting advantage and, yes, it is difficult to arrive at any other conclusion even if some of the names on that huge list of EBT recipients include the likes of Nuno Capucho and Tero Penttila.

Because the truth of the matter is for every Bert Konterman there was also a Mikel Arteta or a Ronald de Boer.

It is no wonder then that fans of others clubs, and most notably Celtic’s, are screaming for some form of retrospective justice. It’s perfectly natural in fact and if last week’s ruling is accepted by all parties as the final decision then there should, at the very least, be a grown-up conversation about what should be done. If anything at all.

For starters, how does Scottish football feel about the use of tax avoidance schemes in general and are or have other schemes been exploited by players or executives at other Scottish clubs?

Morally, the entire issue of the super rich and their tax dodging scams stinks the place out. We have potholes in out roads, patients dying on waiting trollies in our hospitals and schools which can hardly afford textbooks for their pupils.

Of course these taxes should be paid.

But are Rangers to be punished purely because the scheme they used wasn’t as sound as those of their rivals?

Or will those running our game see this as an opportunity to right new rules and apply them across the board?

Rangers, of course, might not want to be involved in any such conversations.

What is certain is that Dave King’s regime would be likely to go full nuclear if any attempted grab was made on their trophy room. King and his men will be incensed at the notion of it but there seems little to be gained from these two sides squaring up to one another or playing to their foaming mouthed galleries.

In any case, there is no need for war to be declared. Not yet at any rate.

Granted, the last time so many were so aroused at the thought of a stripping was when Jennifer Aniston did a deal with Playboy but, amidst the hysteria, some major complexities have been completely overlooked.

Perhaps, for example, Rangers might be asking some internal questions of their own and wondering why the club paid Murray International a fee in the region of £500,000 per year for tax advice over that nine year period between 2001 and 1010. In retrospect, that was the most expensive £4.5m they might ever have blown.

The big question is, should it now cost them their cups into the bargain?

But before it can be answered, here’s another one. And it might just take the sting out of the whole explosive issue. Is there even a mechanism to make this happen?

As things stand, it is unclear if there has been a breach of the rulebook which would allow the SPFL to take any kind of action at all.

For example, last season Livingston were deducted five points for not paying tax. But they were snared on a rule which only came into being after the financial meltdown at Ibrox. In other words, it did not exist during the EBT years and so Rangers cannot be punished for breaching a rule which did not exist at the time.

When Lord Nimmo Smith was dragged into this debacle he was tasked with judging on the non-declaration of side letters relating to the EBT scheme. He found Rangers guilty and fined them accordingly.

Lord Nimmo Smith who headed the independent panel
He also stated that no sporting advantage was gained by the club although his entire reasoning was made on the assumption that the use of EBTs was a perfectly legitimate form of tax avoidance.

That, of course, is now in serious doubt. Again this is a potential game changer.

But it only comes into play if BDO do not appeal against last week’s decision and take the matter to the Supreme Court. And, with so much at stake for their creditors, that seems highly unlikely. HMRC, being heavily conflicted, could be excluded from any vote and rendered unable to block it.

Also, there are certain details of huge significance which remain unclear from last week’s ruling and they may also determine BDO’s next move.

For starters, there has been no clarity given as to the current status and estimated size of the full EBT bill. At the outset of this process that total sat at around the £50m mark but before last week’s ruling it had been scaled down to a far more manageable number. In fact, BDO went into that hearing believing a defeat was likely to carry a liability of between £5m and £10m.

What remains unclear is whether or not this latest decision supersedes and unwinds the previous judgments which whittled the original figure down. Or if the greatly reduced number still stands.

This could be a key issue for BDO in determining whether or not to settle up now or to carry on the fight to the final court of appeal.

They have already recouped more than £26m for the creditors’ pot. With more lawsuits in the pipeline it is entirely possible that, at a conservative estimate, that figure could double in size. In that context, a £5m settlement with the taxman might seem affordable. A £50m loss, on the other hand, wipes them clean out.

All of this will have to be cleared up before any decision on punishing Rangers can be made by those in charge of running the game.

Already there are rumours circulating of a number of clubs who are determined to seek retribution. They are being championed online almost as some sort of cabal, pushing SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster into pressing the button.

But the truth of the matter is, for now at least and probably for some considerable time to come, there is nowhere for the league to run with this matter

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oddjobPosted on9:50 am - Nov 9, 2015

The oft quoted Nimmo Smith used the phrase ” match fixing”.i
I don’t have a copy of his conclusion, so I cannot say in which context those words were used. I am sure, though, that he was not being complimentary.

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SmugasPosted on9:58 am - Nov 9, 2015

Beat me to it Bawsman.

Given the source, ignoring the wee foamy mouthed barbs tat add little, the article actually isn’t the worst summary of the up to date position I’ve ever read.

Interesting wee snippet re the reduced claim. I assume he is referring to the specific cases that HMRC chose to spearhead with. I’ve also seen comments to say that a significant number (30-odd?) were already referred back to the UTTT so may not have been considered here.

My understanding of the judgement though, the “common sense” argument seemed to be all encompassing?

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oddjobPosted on10:11 am - Nov 9, 2015


I’m sure read that the Court of Session ruling “recalled” all previous referrals to the FTT and the ruling by the UTT.

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SmugasPosted on10:15 am - Nov 9, 2015

Could be Oddjob, so where’s the reduced claim of 10m stem from?

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bfbpuzzledPosted on10:16 am - Nov 9, 2015

There is a rather long list to be made of Clubs thrown out of competitions for the most minor of infractions ranging from amateurs to the rarefied European stages. I doubt that any of these were anything like the actions of SDM and his droogs particularly the hiding and destruction of evidence.

if the previous paragraph is at the foaming mouth flecked range of comments then I dread to think what the comments in some sites must be classified as.

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giovanePosted on10:40 am - Nov 9, 2015

Are the spl rules or Articles of association of the spl during the EBT years available online or downloaded? 
I have a few things i’d like to look into.?

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zerotolerance1903Posted on10:48 am - Nov 9, 2015

As things stand, it is unclear if there has been a breach of the rulebook which would allow the SPFL to take any kind of action at all.
For example, last season Livingston were deducted five points for not paying tax. But they were snared on a rule which only came into being after the financial meltdown at Ibrox. In other words, it did not exist during the EBT years and so Rangers cannot be punished for breaching a rule which did not exist at the time.

Correct me if I’m wrong but the suggestion that Rangers should be stripped of their titles is nothing to do with not paying tax – that’s merely the one of the reasons that they don’t exist any more.  

The stripping of titles is because over a period of up to 12 years (if you include the DSO) Rangers fielded multiple improperly registered players in every fixture they played.  They were already found guilty of this but received only a minor punishment, a fine that they’ve not paid.  The standard penalty for fielding one ineligible player in a match is for the fixture to be awarded 3-0 to the opponent.

The hearing that levied this punishment was deliberately misled through the withholding of critical evidence and had it’s boundaries limited for similar reasons.  This is reason enough to reopen the investigation.

The finding of no sporting advantage was based on the EBTs not being illegal, which is no longer the case.

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oddjobPosted on10:48 am - Nov 9, 2015

 A reduced number of cases was sent to the COS for examination. These cases primarily involved the Murray family and management figures. Perhaps the ” reduced claim of £10m” was based on any liability identified as a result of a verdict in favour of HMRC.
My understanding is that the judges ruled on the EBT system, as used in this case, as a whole.

Therefore they “recalled” those cases which had been referred, consequently overruling all previous decisions.
That’s my understanding but stand ready to be corrected.

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AuldheidPosted on10:55 am - Nov 9, 2015

On the Keith Jackson article.
No process. There was no process for the 5 Way but it happened. A red herring. In any case LNS pointed out the issue that if illegal ebts constituted a fundamental defect then registration was invalid FROM THE OUTSET.

That kills the Bryson get out clause.
Armageddon.ie threat of violence. Is he really advocate we let justice be decided by thugs?
Non relevant use of tax avoidance by others in football. Non relevant because the tax dodging did not depend on keeping secrets from SFA and HMRC.
He also mentions “other matters”. Are they the duping of LNS which DR is well aware of and maybe even who was responsible if they have been digging.
The breaking of UEFA FFP rules in 2011 where RFC are guilty but SFA don’t want the world to know.
Why don’t they just come clean and admit or publish the truth?
Some heads will have to roll Ogilvie, Regan, Doncaster and Dickson whom Regan consulted on UEFA licence post event.
SFA reform is a must of course but why not wait until the full story is out there, which will mean an honest independent enquiry by folk not involved in Scottish football, and let all of football be the judge on what steps to take on titles?
Why not give TRFC supporters all the facts and let them judge themselves? Many already have walked away based on their own values regardless of the spin.
 How many more would be happy to give up the unmerited trophies if they had the truth,the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Truth first then reconciliation.

It’s the only way out of this mess.

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100BJDPosted on10:56 am - Nov 9, 2015

Extremely busy these days so only a bit of lurker although I see that my “smoking gun” theory about the novation or aasignment of the exclusive position inter alia Sevco Scotland and Sevco 5088 will be tested in court. All very interesing although really bad for the club I fear.
I thought you might like to hear about another of Charles Green’s companies! He is making a bit of a habit of this-:

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AuldheidPosted on11:02 am - Nov 9, 2015

Armageddon.ie threat of violence. Is KJ really advocating we let justice be decided by thugs?

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oddjobPosted on11:12 am - Nov 9, 2015


I’m sorry I can’t post a link from this kindle tablet.
However, EasyJambo did, on November 4th at 1202.
The extract of the judgement there, is where I’m coming from.

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neepheidPosted on11:19 am - Nov 9, 2015

I’ve seen a lot of mixed messages regarding the appeals process from Court of Session judgements. Here is a link to what I believe is the current legislation.


From which I take the following elements-
1. To appeal to the Supreme Court from a CoS judgement, you need the permission of the Court of Session.
2. You have 28 days from the date of the decision to request that permission.
3. If the Court of Session refuses leave to appeal, you have another 28 days from the date of refusa by the CoSl to apply direct to the Supreme Court for permission.

I can only see this case being appealed by BDO if HMRC want them to. But that would really be an abuse of process, and I doubt it will happen.
I suppose it’s conceivable that other interested parties, fans groups for example, might fund an appeal, but given the clarity and directness of the CoS judgement, I struggle to see what grounds there would be for appeal. QAnd how deep are their pockets? Mind you, the fans groups are still buying shares at stupid prices in a company that has zero shareholder value, so I wouldn’t put it past them.

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tayredPosted on11:34 am - Nov 9, 2015

Firstly, apologies to all numerically minded geniuses that frequent this place – I’d love someone to run this kind of calculation properly to arrive at a proper costing. But I’ve just carried out a back of a bus ticket calculation, just to satisfy my curiosity. I took the year 2005, and worked out the total average attendance of all teams (193,490 – wikipedia). Each played 38 games, so halved that to give approx number of home games (18). Now multiply those and you get 3,676,000 paying “customers”

I have no idea what the average cost to get into a game would have been in 2005, so I took £15 as my guess (it could be more, could be less – dunno). Multiply all those punters by 15 and you get a total of just over £55 million. 

That’s £55 million that the SPL and Rangers Football club owe the fans of Premier league teams for what must be close to fraudulently selling us a product based on a fair sporting competition. Oh but wait, that is just 2005, you can multiply that one up, and I’m sure come towards the end of the EBT period £15 is going to be on the low side for entry costs. 

Now tell me why we should just accept that nothing can be done about it, and that we should leave TRFC to claim titles and trophies. Hmm Keith? Explain to us why we shouldn’t be frothing at the mouth?? Personally the masses which you pour scorn over have been remarkably constrained!

*** Hope I have my sums right, otherwise I’ve made a right twit of myself 😛

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easyJamboPosted on11:42 am - Nov 9, 2015

toadinthehole 9th November 2015 at 9:07 am #
Someone recently posted an extract of David Murray’s evidence to one of the tribunals – something along the lines of EBT’s allowing Rangers to attract a better class of player. I’m buggered if I can find it. Does anyone know where the link to the official extract is?

Refer to Mr Black’s (SDM’s) evidence at Para 36 from the Majority decision.
Next, Mr Black gave evidence.  He read and confirmed the terms of his Witness Statement.  His role within the Group is in providing strategic guidance to the individual companies.  These companies carry out wide-ranging commercial activities.  It also owns Rangers Football Club.  The Remuneration Trust was set up in about 2001, Mr Black explained, following on specialist advice.  While he himself was familiar with its broad function, its day-to-day operations were supervised by Mr Red.  Originally it was used to benefit only MGM’s employees, but later was extended to employees of other companies in the Group and their relations.  It was valuable in incentivising employees in providing larger sums for their and their families’ benefit in view of the tax savings.  Mr Black did not consider the Trust as a means of tax avoidance, but rather as a means of retaining and rewarding loyal employees.  So far as Rangers was concerned it enabled the Club to attract players who would not otherwise have been obtainable.

….. and Para 22 from the Minority decision
As for Mr Black, he denied that the scheme was for tax avoidance in cross-examination, though he went on to describe the scheme as  ‘a method of us acquiring, especially football wise, better players in a more cost effective manner than we would be able to do so’;  that the club had been ‘very ambitious at that time’;  and ‘it was seen as a correct and proper way for us to proceed’;  that Rangers ‘have been very successful, because we’ve been able to attract players of a certain standard that, perhaps, we may not have been able to otherwise’ (Day 5/126).  It was not examined in detail how Mr Black understood the scheme as being cost-effective.  However, set in context, that cost-effectiveness conferred by the trust arrangements can be inferred as coming from being able to offer the payroll equivalent of a ‘net’ sum without the costs of PAYE and NIC in addition. 

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John ClarkPosted on11:53 am - Nov 9, 2015

tayred 9th November 2015 at 11:34 am
‘…Hope I have my sums right, otherwise I’ve made a right twit of myself .’
Not at all.
The accuracy of the financial arithmetic is only incidental to the absolute fact that we spent money to watch a ‘sport’ that was, in effect, as rigged as any of the athletics, cycling, or other ‘sporting’ events of recent times that were rigged.
The element of ‘fair competition’ was missing.
And the strong suspicion is that that fact was known to the authorities at the time.
The fielding of ineligible players was and is an absolute no-no,  no matter the grounds of ineligibility. Failure to disclose all payments made to players = ineligibility. End of story, and the Jacksons of the world , whatever other circle they may be in at the moment,will go into the 9th circle for trying to suggest there was no ineligibility because the fault was failure simply to pay taxes!

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SmugasPosted on12:06 pm - Nov 9, 2015


Its not quite so simple in so far as that whilst the fans spent that money, the clubs received it so you cant say (not that you were20) that it was simply lost to the game per se.  What you have to do, with a slightly larger fag packet, is focus in on what they were then spending that money on.  I suspect, in very simplistic terms, the answer is one of:

1/ a better class of player than they otherwise would have as they felt the need to try to compete.  Money lost to the game through wages. 
2/  a better class of player than they otherwise would have as they felt the need just to try and stay at the table.  Money lost to the game through wages and potentially through growing fan disinterest.
3/  a better class of player than they otherwise would have to try to open other revenue streams thinking specifically of Europe and the ridiculously weighted SPL prize money distribution.  Again money lost to the game.

Tally that up and it will still come to millions, millions that the game simply could not afford and is still suffering for losing now.  It makes the actual titles pale into insignificance.  Why should Alloa (to pick but one) care a jot for the Ibrox trophy room?  They should (IMHO) care a hell of a lot more about the standard of team they were coming up against then and, to a lesser extent depending on who will legitimately fund the party ongoing, now as well.

Is the money recoverable?  No chance*.  Because of that fact, as I’ve said from the beginning, the titles are the logical focal point with regards to the guilty party if for no other reason than as a deterrent for the future.  I personally am not after the titles being stripped for the titles sake, I am after them as the only recompense I can think of the for the financial damage wrought.  It is a fine but very important distinction.

Quite separately to that, the guilty parties with regards to how we got so far into this mess without it being picked up and acted upon should equally be brought to bear, and regardless of the legality of EBT’s or otherwise should have been a long time ago. 

*unless HP’s theory of a claim by the SPL against the old club (and by virtue of the 5WA one would have thought the new club also) for the prize monies comes off?

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andygraham.66Posted on12:23 pm - Nov 9, 2015

Statement out at Rangers.co.uk

let’s move on. 

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valentinesclownPosted on12:24 pm - Nov 9, 2015

ffs Really??FFs does not cover it. On your bike or on another cheat we know off your bike.

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SmugasPosted on12:24 pm - Nov 9, 2015

Sorry, further to the above at 12.06 please add

4/  Additional operating costs that they could well have done without, not least bank interest and charges.

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tayredPosted on12:25 pm - Nov 9, 2015

Smugas, I get your point. But I was looking at it in a more general way.

Simply put, every fan who paid money into the SPL during that period did so without knowing that the game was rigged. 

To my mind where they money went, what it was spent and who spent it is irrelevant. A major player in the league was cheating and screwed the entire Scottish football league system by doing so.

That system includes as its lifeblood the fans – if the SFA/SFL were in any way aware of what was going on at RFC but continued to advertise itself as a sporting competition and accepting payment on that basis from fans – well, isn’t that fraud? Wouldn’t any later attempts to cover all this up be some form of attempting to pervert the course of justice?  

It all sounds very dramatic I know, but just because it is football, just because its only a game, we are being asked to just shrug our shoulders and almost laugh it off. But the amount of money involved just highlights how far removed our media and the officers charged with taking care of the game, are from reality and the reality to the fans is we are hugely out of pocket through no fault of our own. 

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SmugasPosted on12:27 pm - Nov 9, 2015

Absolutely no argument there from me Tayred!  

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zerotolerance1903Posted on12:28 pm - Nov 9, 2015

Statement o’clock. 

THE SPFL Board has stated they held a conference call to be given a factual update on the Court of Session EBT ruling and so it would be remiss of the Rangers Board not to state the Club’s view.
The first thing to be said is that Rangers has made it clear it wishes to reach out and work with all clubs to help revitalise Scottish football, which has also suffered in recent years. There is much to be done and Rangers wants to be part of the way forward.
Our game has to become more attractive to potential sponsors and partners if the finance levels required are to be generated but this can only be done if we present a coherent and united strategy. Therefore, a line must be drawn now if we are all to prosper.
It is our irrevocable belief that this Club’s history, including its many successes, is beyond debate. Rangers cannot countenance or accept any talk, attempts or actions designed to undermine what this Club has achieved throughout its long history.
So, as far as this Club is concerned there is no need for further SPFL consideration of court judgements or appeals. They should be saying it is time for everyone to move on and work together for the greater good of the game. Scottish football has suffered enough.

excuse my French but f me that’s amateur.  

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SmugasPosted on12:36 pm - Nov 9, 2015

andygraham.66 9th November 2015 at 12:23 pm #
Statement out at Rangers.co.uk
let’s move on. 

Irrevocably no less!

So that’s the votes in from Germany for the Eurovision Song contest, both for this year and the 11 years preceding it.  Apparently Germany win (again) now the rest of you just shut up and go home.  See you all next year!

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tayredPosted on12:38 pm - Nov 9, 2015

It is our irrevocable belief that this Club’s history, including its many successes, is beyond debate. Rangers cannot countenance or accept any talk, attempts or actions designed to undermine what this Club has achieved throughout its long history.So, as far as this Club is concerned there is no need for further SPFL consideration of court judgements or appeals. They should be saying it is time for everyone to move on and work together for the greater good of the game. Scottish football has suffered enough.

That’s fine. If you don’t agree with the right of the SPFL to consider legal findings then feel free to find another league to ply your trade in. Christ talk about delusional self importance!
They are quite right though about one thing – Scottish football most certainly has suffered enough – but TRFC as a shiny new club hasn’t had to suffer anything at all, in fact it has been given a golden ticket to where it is now (and yet is still making a complete pigs ear of it – any suffering is of its own making!).

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ianagainPosted on12:39 pm - Nov 9, 2015


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Night TerrorPosted on12:41 pm - Nov 9, 2015

Am I right in thinking Chris Graham is somehow doing PR for Ibrox Club these days? That statement certainly has his distinctively firm imprint on it.
Nice of them/him to let us know their thoughts.

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LUGOSIPosted on12:45 pm - Nov 9, 2015

The next time Keith Jackson (or Richard Wilson, Chick Young, Derek Johnstone, Chris Jack, Alex Rae…) pays his taxed income to watch a game of football I’ll give his views and opinions some weight.
To flip a logic often used by professionals –
“You’ve never played the game as a paying punter so you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
One man to whom this applies in past and present incarnations is J. Traynor. Don’t know why but a phrase comes to mind. I once heard of someone being described as such a liar that you couldn’t even believe the opposite of what they said.

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toadintheholePosted on12:55 pm - Nov 9, 2015

Thanks Easyjambo – very much appreciated

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Flocculent ApoideaPosted on12:58 pm - Nov 9, 2015

Night Terror,
Before seeing the statement, i was just about to ask if Level5 had really been ditched, who was coordinating the anti-stripping carpet bombing going on.  I considered Chris Graham but didn’t think him capable.  This statement confirms it, so who’s in charge of the media?

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Corrupt officialPosted on1:02 pm - Nov 9, 2015

Was there an attempt that the SFA and SPFL leant on Sevco to STFU and voluntarily hand the tainted titles over? I thought there may have been in an attempt to keep their own scrawny necks out of the noose………Looks like that door has been slammed shut. 

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paddy malarkeyPosted on1:07 pm - Nov 9, 2015

I reckon that SFA/SPFL should simply state that the club in question is in the final throes of liquidation and they have no wish to desecrate the corpse . Their titles and cup totals remain intact , and the final total cannot be modified – it is fixed and permanent . 54 titles -no more no less .
Also, has anybody doorstepped LNS for comment ?It’s his determinations that are being traduced .

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bobcobbPosted on1:10 pm - Nov 9, 2015

Apart from being unbelievably arrogant – not to mention amateurish – that statement is loaded with fear. Last week they were saying “this has nothing to do with us,” this week they are saying “let’s all forget about it and move on. So what changed their tune?
There is obviously some truth to the stories emerging from Friday’s SPFL meeting in respect of some club representatives “going for blood.” TRFC have obviously belatedly realised that they will not be able to brass neck their way out of this. (A poll in today’s Metro newspaper shows 93% in favour of stripping trophies. While I am aware of the un-scientific nature of these polls, a figure of 93% does suggest that it is more than a few club representatives who are demanding blood.)

Interesting times ahead…

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John ClarkPosted on1:12 pm - Nov 9, 2015

Could any organisation in trouble ever have come out with such a stupid,stupid, stupid shoot-yourself-in-foot ‘statement’? Have they really said that?
Have they already had quiet assurances from the SPFL and the SFA  that they, with the support of irresponsible jackasses in the SMSM ready to whistle up  the hordes in violent of the ‘irrevocability’ of their ‘belief’?
Those organisations caved in once already. We must  ensure that they do not do even think of doing so again in some other , shabby ‘secret’ agreement.
And our clubs, victims as much as we supporters, must protect themselves and the Sport by insisting on the strongest possible disciplinary measures against that most cheating of sports clubs in Scottish Football history, RFC(IL).
( and, as an aside, ask serious questions what the statement says about  the mental capacities of the RIFC Board . I can accept that Boards can behave wickedly. But how in God’s name can a Board be so utterly, utterly inept in almost everything they have done.Bad enough to be deceived by clever men: but to be deceived by oafs is simply too much!)

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NTDEALPosted on1:25 pm - Nov 9, 2015

It has been some months since I contributed.I always try to keep up to date,accordingly my appreciation to you all for the info and humour.
Alluding to the comments of Bryce Curdy over the weekend,I regard the current state of affairs as a (hugely)potential opportunity for this blog.
Any appeal would be surprising,the language of the judgement was such that any appeal would be difficult.
Supporters groups may give consideration to this,but the costs involved for me would be prohibitive.
If there is no appeal,consideration should be given to an approach to all 4 division clubs,requesting they approach the administrators of our game to have the whole matter brought out into the open,especially in light of the LNS “judgement “effectively having been superceded.A new fully independant investigation(preferrably carried out by non scots female investigators)should rule on this with the authorities agreeing to accept their suggested sanctions.
SFM needs to lead the way here.Possibly the more experienced contributors can get together to put together draft correspondence for comment with a view to this being forwarded to all club boards and being published in the National Press at the same time.
Two issues with that;
1.Credibility,we have to be seen as a credible pressure group,which would come in the main,through disclosure of the number of “members”of the site,I would urge all lurkers to sign in to boost no’s.
2.Cost,making a statement publically costs,if you really want to get it out there,I appreciate further assistance would be required.
To be honest folks just thinking out loud on a very wet lunchbreak,however….cometh the hour etc etc,is this not whet we have all been waiting for these 3-4 years?
Firstly,as was mentioned earlier we await any note of appeal. 

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SmugasPosted on1:29 pm - Nov 9, 2015

Corrupt official 9th November 2015 at 1:02 pm #
Was there an attempt that the SFA and SPFL leant on Sevco to STFU and voluntarily hand the tainted titles over? I thought there may have been in an attempt to keep their own scrawny necks out of the noose………Looks like that door has been slammed shut. 

Charles Green always maintained that the original 5WA was exactly that.
That titles were to be exchanged for a continuing place at the top table.  Charlie unsurprisingly out-blinked them to get the titles bit removed.  I’m still willing to bet the LNS ‘result’ was agreed there and then (before FTTT result remember) but they then couldn’t deliver an acceptable seating plan.
Damn those bampots and their integrity nonsense. 

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Corrupt officialPosted on1:33 pm - Nov 9, 2015

NTDEAL 9th November 2015 at 1:25 pm
    “A new fully independant investigation(preferrably carried out by non scots female investigators”
  But females can’t be “brothers”     07

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y4rmyPosted on1:42 pm - Nov 9, 2015

One of reasons that TRFC were prevented from being inserted straight into the 2nd tier was that it was season ticket renewal time. Fans told their clubs that if they supported this blatant gerrymandering, then ST money would be withheld.
Make no mistake, with a few noble exceptions (RIP Turnbull Hutton), had it not been for that pressure the outcome would have been different. They will always take the path of least resistance.
Don’t know what to make of that statement. Sometimes it’s best not to say anything at all. That’s the SFA tactic anyway.

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Famous songPosted on2:58 pm - Nov 9, 2015

In 48 years of supporting Alloa, I’ve assiduously tried to avoid sour grapes. But, on Saturday, we lost to a club who see nothing wrong in cheating. And are prepared to make public statements to that effect.

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NTDEALPosted on2:59 pm - Nov 9, 2015

Corrupt Official @ 1.25 04

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AuldheidPosted on3:03 pm - Nov 9, 2015

Here is what the SPFL should do in answer to that TRFC official statement.
Just ask
Why should our clubs ask their supporters to watch their team play a team who do not appear to know footballing right from footballing wrong?
How do our clubs’ supporters know their team is not playing in a rigged game against folk who have never suffered in result terms the consequences of that rigging?
How do they know that if some rule breaking by TRFC is referred to SFA it will be dealt with honesty?
In short why are you being allowed to continue to play football especially on your terms?

That TRFC statement in terms of stupidity and lack of self awareness is incredible  

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John ClarkPosted on3:18 pm - Nov 9, 2015

Haw, Auldheid, how about increasing your font size? If I knew how to do it,I’d tell you. But maybe some one else will volunteer.  Your words are too precious for us to have to strain to see!

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jimmciPosted on3:19 pm - Nov 9, 2015

Dearie me,I see James Traynor has returned to the media management fold at Ibrox.
The latest pronouncement from The Rangers is beyond astounding. Last weel King and co were taking out a stick to beat Ashley. That’s all in the world of commercial relations so however they choose to behave is, in this regard, up to them , no matter how other fans feel.
Today’s stick though beats up everyone else involved in Scottish football at whatever level and reeks of arrogance, entitlement, and the good old WATP mentality. Rules are rules but only if Rangers make them! Unbelievable.
The bridges they are seemingly seeking to bridge are surely on fire. Had I been an exec who had been on the conference call being “updated on the outcome of the EBT case” who was in any doubt what action should now be taken, I would now have no hesitation ( not that I ever should have had)
I suspect even a few media guys must surely be struggling to support this latest statement but one can never tell with them.
The LNS judgement has to be revisited or Scottish football will simply never, ever recover.
Interesting to compare and contrast the actions of the IAAF as and when the see out and out cheating.

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StevieBCPosted on3:26 pm - Nov 9, 2015

zerotolerance1903 9th November 2015 at 12:28 pm
#Statement o’clock. 

“Rangers cannot countenance or accept any talk, attempts or actions designed to undermine what this Club has achieved throughout its long history.
So, as far as this Club is concerned there is no need for further SPFL consideration of court judgements or appeals.
They should be saying it is time for everyone to move on and work together for the greater good of the game. Scottish football has suffered enough.”…
I think that might be the closest we ever get to a formal, official apology !

But at least the Ibrox club is consistent: overbearing, dismissive, intimidating.

IMO, the SFA/SPFL really has to handle this latest fallout properly, ‘cos God knows where this could all end up  /unintended consequences and all that…  11

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AuldheidPosted on3:26 pm - Nov 9, 2015

Easy Jambo 

I posted a copy of the unredacted  FTT a couple of pages back. Mr Black is Sir David Murray but seeing it in full is so much more rewarding.

I’m on my mobile which makes backtracking a chore but if you are on Twitter you will see reference to it in an exchange with Gerry McCulloch about Tuesday last week.

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SmugasPosted on3:34 pm - Nov 9, 2015

At least it answers the question, why relatively unnecessarily burn your way through a cash pile that all other clubs only dream of and still come up 6 months short of what would seem to be your obvious goal (and that was last season)?

Because you’re too big to fail (again) of course!

Litmus paper meet torch.  Torch, this is Litmus. 

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John ClarkPosted on3:39 pm - Nov 9, 2015

NTDEAL 9th November 2015 at 1:25 pm
‘..SFM needs to lead the way here…’
I of course can’t speak for the SFM blog.
But in readiness for expiry-date of the time for Appeal, I would imagine ( I don’t know!)that BP ( the public face (and what a Face!02) of the legal entity that , in some way, the blog now is,will together with Trisidium ( the only other driver, as I understand things) be preparing a sufficiently detailed, factually correct summaryof the blog’s understanding of the position, and some hard questions as to what the SFA and SPFL intend to do , to be sent to the football authorities , copied to  UEFA, The Minister for Sport, and every constituency MSP, and , of course, to every member and affiliated member  of the SFA/ SPFL.(possibly also to the English FA ).
Ideally, that summary would be run past the blog supporters/readers in advance in order to establish its representative basis. But that might be a matter of judgement. The blog is sufficiently aware of the issues, and has a very clear community view of what needs to be done.

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StevieBCPosted on3:39 pm - Nov 9, 2015

[Apologies if posted / referenced already.]
From Keef’s DR piece today: I do take everything he writes with a bucketful of salt…but this little extract is interesting as it seems to indicate some [potential] ‘off-message’ rumblings amongst the clubs ?

“…Already there are rumours circulating of a number of clubs who are determined to seek retribution. They are being championed online almost as some sort of cabal, pushing SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster into pressing the button…”

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roddybhoyPosted on3:49 pm - Nov 9, 2015

Not really gonna comment on that statement as it is cringy , pathetic and …..well you could easily run out of adjectives to describe it !! When oh when are Rangers Their fans and the MSM gonna engage their brain. The enevitable has to happen now surely. . We will be in a better place when it all comes out and so will they through time . Why cant they see that ??? The rogues at the SFA and SPFL hopefully will be gone once and for all . Then and only then can we move on and a Rangers playing by the rules and accepting their guilt would Im sure be welcomed back and let us all get on with the footie !! ………………..I live in hope

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NTDEALPosted on4:04 pm - Nov 9, 2015

John Clark @3.39
Ok thanks John,I never doubted that for a moment.

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wottpiPosted on4:13 pm - Nov 9, 2015

Today’s statement from T’Rangers is far from stupid.

While not a full blown squirrel it is a mutated beast designed to deflect and distract to loyal fans from analyzing and questioning last weeks accounts and asking what the way forward is, evidence of financing, war chests etc.

Sons of Struth announced the publications of accounts and said they would comment after they had time to analyse. However low and behold they have spent more of the intervening time Ashley Bashing, launching their fund raising ‘orange taps’ and commenting on all things Poppy related.

Not that I would expect a great input on the accounts from SoS when they fail to grasp the basics of the argument.

“The mass hysteria seems based on an argument that Rangers some how paid some players with money we couldn’t afford. Reality check, Rangers still gave the players the money. Real money, money we could afford.
Take a player who received £200k for an example, the player actually received the money from Rangers, we still paid them. The club didn’t find a magic hat until several years later and this cash did get paid by the club.
If the players were paid in a non EBT structure the club would still have laid out the same amount. Where does this “players they couldn’t afford” claim come from?”

Put aside the fact that the money Rangers ‘could afford’ was coming via banks, dodgy stadium valuations etc etc the argument is not as stated by SoS. It is that having a players pocketing the full £200k in the example above as opposed to reducing an element of that take home pay by the 40% (required from being in the higher tax bracket) may have encouraged some players to come to Rangers as opposed to another club who could equally have afforded the £200k but wanted to play by the rule and ensure that Her Majesty got her fair share.
Like a Uri Geller spoon (and that was fake as well !) they will break in two with the amount of twisting and turning they are doing to keep the myth alive. 

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