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

TaysiderPosted on10:45 am - Nov 10, 2015

broganrogantrevinoandhogan 10th November 2015 at 9:44 am
I’m mainly in “lurker mode” these days but, among the many excellent posts on here, BRTH’s this morning particularly resonated with me. Listening to Sportsound last night Richard Wilson repeated the old chestnut about Rangers being “punished” by going into liquidation. That is not a punishment Mr Wilson. The word you should use is consequence. It is a consequence of a club spending more than they could afford, even as they cheated the tax man, so that they went bust. 
He also indicated that there was nothing illegal about what Rangers did. As far as they knew at the time the very aggressive tax avoidance they used to pay players more, with no tax and NIC paid to the taxman, was legal. Where does this end? Is a burglar only guilty of committing a crime when they are caught and convicted? It wasn’t a crime at the time your honour.
So much breath taking nonsense but even more surprising Celtic players / managers willing to legitimise this. Paul Lambert, Martin O Neil, why?
Notwithstanding the apparent inability of our national state broadcaster to be able to give air time on Sportsound to a journalist of the calibre of Alex Thomson, someone able to cogently demolish the tosh that had me shouting at my radio yesterday evening, they do possess good journalists able to starkly set out what cheating does to a sport. An excellent piece by Tom Fordyce titled “Athletics: What happen’s when trust goes out of sport” concludes:
Sport only survives if we all keep coming back. We come back because we believe in it. If that trust goes, everything else falls with it. It is a bottom line that brooks no argument.
If the authorities cannot finally find the courage to take a stand for proper governance of Scottish football then the game is up. I can understand the fear when so many in the media and more widely in football in Scotland have proved so supine, so willing to twist and spin to try and cover up what this truly is, that being cheating, cheating on a grand scale. If the authorities cannot find the spine to stand up for what is right then they have to realise that supporters of 41 clubs are not stupid. If trust goes, everything else falls with it. Too right.

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motor redPosted on10:53 am - Nov 10, 2015

hello everyone,  i still cant get my head around the pigheadedness of the govan kids and the media. VALENTINESCLOWN, i can tell you there are many like you and me that want to see this vile club and it’s supremacist attitude kicked into touch once and for all, but the main culprits still bury their heads, the SFA.
why are our clubs so silent at this point?, they should be going apoplectic at this stage, or are they keeping their powder dry until the appeal time has passed?,hope so. 
 the only thing i can think of is that the govan brats have something over the sfa  and our clubs. am so angry, so so angry  that if given a button to push to eliminate these horrible creatures,i would not hesitate at this point,such is my anger. these people are seriously taken the piss.
ok, breath deeply,now the affirmation, justice will prevail, justice will prevail, justice will prevail.

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cmontheshirePosted on10:55 am - Nov 10, 2015

Why can an article such as this not appear in the BBC Scottish Football pages?


Does such aspiration for moral and ethical standards not apply to football but only to other sports?

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thequayPosted on11:02 am - Nov 10, 2015

valentinesclown 10th November 2015 at 10:40 am # Another thing why is it only ex Rangers and Celtic players who seem to comment (in oldco favour in the argument of it was won on the pitch and it was  11 v 11 p***).  Were no other teams or players involved over that period of time or don’t they matter.. 
 Some former Celtic players have supported title stripping but they are not quoted, only the ones not in favour of such action. Tom Boyd (former Motherwell & Celtic captain) and Neil Lennon (former Celtic captain & manager) are both on record as saying titles should be removed.
The problem with ex-players of clubs other than Celtic or Rangers not speaking out means the media can present the issue as an ‘Old Firm’ one when it affects all of Scottish football. What’s Willie Miller’s view for instance or Pat Stanton’s ? Or more interestingly what does Stephen Thompson or Ann Budge think ?
I think if Taysider looks closely at what MON said he didn’t say titles shouldn’t be stripped. In fact he danced around the issue as only he can. I’ve already highlighted Neil Lennon’s view. Not sure what other Celtic managers have expressed any opinion publicly. 

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SmugasPosted on11:03 am - Nov 10, 2015

My long standing point precisely Valentines Clown.

Go for the titles “just coz*” and it instantly becomes an Old Firm issue (it shouldn’t because Gretna, County, Utd etc were all involved in cup matches but I would refer you to your own judgment that that fact simply doesn’t matter anyway!).  The voice of experience told me not to bother with Richard Wilson last night but I’d be willing to bet he immediately advanced the ‘debate’ to one of title stripping for precisely this reason.

Apologies and without looking back I suspect maybe ten clubs are affected by title stripping – and in fact aren’t affected since the popular view is that they aren’t reallocated anyway.

It is not a hysterical reactionary knee jerk vision to state that virtually every senior club in Scotland, 41 of them (ignoring dynamics like Clydebank, Gretna and Airdrie since apparently that was “just business” eh Mr Black13) were affected financially by the illegal tax strategy and deliberate cover up (note two separate charges) embarked upon by 1, that’s ONE, club and the authorities paid handsomely and entrusted with the game’s administration.  From prize money allocation to eurpean qualification.  From the need to match wages to the need to buy better players to compete.  To the need to provide additional stewarding for those most excellent helicopter sundays that we all enjoyed 08 to ground improvements insisted upon to accommodate the large crowds who, it turned out, needn’t have bothered turning up at all.

Can we get the money back?  No.  Can we sue for damages?  Unlikely.  So title stripping becomes a logical consequence, not the beginning and end of the matter.

* I appreciate that a lot of work particularly by Auldheid has gone into proving that LNS was and even more so now is, a sham.  My horribly simplistic “just coz” statement is not to belittle those efforts in any way but instead to represent the common debate, or lack of, as presented across our popular media channels.  I have been concerned for some time that to approach the matter solely on that perfectly correct but relatively narrow legal point is a/ instantly emotional, exactly as being played out in the media just now and b/ slightly easier to defend (this is Scotland after all) than the simple overbearing all encompassing financial argument that should currently be weighing upon them.     

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Corrupt officialPosted on11:06 am - Nov 10, 2015

Below is a cached version of a Neil Doncaster blog..Now deleted. He makes some very valid points.


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easyJamboPosted on11:27 am - Nov 10, 2015

Corrupt official 10th November 2015 at 11:06 am #
Below is a cached version of a Neil Doncaster blog..Now deleted. He makes some very valid points.
That blog from July 2012 makes a number of valid arguments about FFP and maintaining a watching brief on clubs’ spending. It led to a number of rules changes which impacted on clubs, including Hearts re the late payment of wages. However the main substance of the FFP proposals was actually rejected by the clubs themselves.

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ianagainPosted on11:28 am - Nov 10, 2015


Everyone copy that article and email it to him. He must be wondering whahappened to it.

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SmugasPosted on11:28 am - Nov 10, 2015

Further to my conflabulations at 11.07 I am reminded of my very slim (one day) media training hosted by a current GMS presenter no less.

The point is prompted by posters questioning why media outlets aren’t adequately covering the Rangers saga and it kind of fits in with what I’m saying above

The advice, to horribly and unfairly paraphrase what was actually a very informative day was to try to fit your story into a “Bong” (the bong was the popular term used for Trevor Macdonald’s snippets prior to the main news at ten programme on ITV).  The purpose of the bong was to convince the watcher to stay tuned to hear the actual story.

As an example think of the Rangers story.

To pursue the LNS line imagine dear old Trevor going

“And now the news…..right there was this guy called LNS and he was told that BONG”

And now, alternatively,

“And now the news….Rangers have been caught cheating, the money lost to the wider game in Scotland potentially runs into millions BONG

That’s the difference.  Media manipulation?  No absolutely categorically not.  It must be based in fact and it must be backed up by the story.  (I’ve got some cracking examples of ones that weren’t and had to be rescinded in some way btw but they’re better offline). 

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jimmciPosted on11:32 am - Nov 10, 2015

Like many I’ve listened to the Sportsound Podcast from last night.Richard Wilson’s contributions were beyond pathetic. They seemed to me to be defensive, partisan towards his team, Rangers, and just downright wrong on so many counts. The fact that a Graham Spiers skewered him says it all
However one thing I’ve noticed from both Wilson and, indeed, the entire press pack is a very different view of the Supreme Court’s ruling to previous rulings. All I hear now is we don’t yet have a final decision, there could be an appeal.blah, blah……
I then recall the sheer triumph from these same media people as they talked of the Big Tax Farce , as the Record described it, when the initial tribunal recorded their 2-1 finding in favour of Rangers. There was very, very little mention of this not being the end of the matter. Then it was simply job done.

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motor redPosted on11:34 am - Nov 10, 2015

apologies for my over the top reaction, am not trying to steer the conversation into a frenzy in case anyone thinks am a provocateur that’s the last thing we need here, i just want to show how some of us are feeling at this point. . am simply  coming from a laymans position that loves the game .i also think that celtic should be given the league titles.as for the cups,thats simply to difficult to navigate .

i just hope the fans of all 41 clubs can remain united until we bring this episode to it’s obvious conclusion.

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jimlarkinPosted on11:37 am - Nov 10, 2015

Does any of you knowledgable people know
if the SFA and SPFL have to review the LNS whitewash

will the Bryson ‘interpretation’ be reviewed too ?

if not, is there anything ‘we’ can do about that ?

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zerotolerance1903Posted on11:40 am - Nov 10, 2015

valentinesclown 10th November 2015 at 10:40 am #Another thing why is it only ex Rangers and Celtic players who seem to comment (in oldco favour in the argument of it was won on the pitch and it was 11 v 11 p***). Were no other teams or players involved over that period of time or don’t they matter..

There’s an important point here.  Most of us fans of the diddies have generally felt that the game has historically been run for the benefit of two clubs not one.  Those two clubs frequently flexed their muscle together to the detriment of the rest.

However, events in the run up to the demise of Rangers in 2012 and a host of things that have happened since then have created daylight between the two halves of the former Old Firm, prior to that (in our eyes) they were just two cheeks of the same bottom.

I appreciate that Celtic have historically had a major rivalry with Rangers pretty much from their founding in 1888 to 2012 and that was a huge part of their existence   I also appreciate that many may miss it.  However, if Celtic (the only one of the 41 clubs with any significant loss due to the demise of Rangers) are seen to be a barrier to resolving the issues that relate to Rangers because the return of that rivalry suits them then much will be undone and Scottish football will be as good as over.

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jimboPosted on11:45 am - Nov 10, 2015

In some ways I can almost understand Radio Clyde’s position in being ‘Rangers Centric’, not saying it isn’t repugnant but it is a regional station for Glasgow & the West of Scotland where it might well be that the majority of it’s listeners are Rangers minded.  Likewise the Evening Times.

But the BBC is a National Broadcaster (and worse still the State Broadcaster which is supposed to be impartial).  But look at the reaction when they did one programme worthy of the BBC, The Men Who Sold The Jerseys.  Rangers fans went into meltdown.
The Daily Record & The Herald are National Dailies.  So why the Rangers sympathies?  After all their are 42 clubs in the leagues.  I am no expert on demographics but it would seem to me that the majority of football supporting readers would be ‘non Rangers’  So why?

Leaving aside some of the more tasty rumours that abound, I can only think of fear.  I mean real fear of vilolence, threats, families, property.  A certain club has got history of this.  Too many examples to list here but we all know of this.

It’s why I wish some of the English media would take an interest in this.  (Thank goodness for Thomo.)

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Big PinkPosted on11:52 am - Nov 10, 2015

Incoming from Ibrox. More soon ..

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Corrupt officialPosted on11:59 am - Nov 10, 2015

easyJambo 10th November 2015 at 11:27 am
   “However the main substance of the FFP proposals was actually rejected by the clubs themselves.”
   EJ, I was aware the clubs voted it down, but no idea of the reasons why. But the vote in no way alters the tenet of the blog piece. 
    It is these tenets contained within that are relevant to the removal of titles and trophies dishonestly gained. I was not relating them to the FFP vote, for which I apologise for not making clear.


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Kid GlovesPosted on11:59 am - Nov 10, 2015

motor red 10th November 2015 at 11:34 am
why are our clubs so silent at this point?, they should be going apoplectic at this stage, or are they keeping their powder dry until the appeal time has passed?

Not a peep from any of them. It’s disgusting. Are they waiting for the appeal window to pass or for the fan anger to dissipate? 

broganrogantrevinoandhogan 10th November 2015 at 9:44 am
An outstanding post and it gets to the bit they never talk about. The intentional hiding of the contacts and complete denial of their existence. If you only get your sports news from the SMSM then you could be forgiven for never having heard about this truly shocking act of cheating.

I think we need to mount a campaign against the BBC for their complete lack of fairness in their coverage of this. We pay the same licence fee as our English cousins yet listen to Five Live in the evening and you get excellent discussions on the state of the English game. Properly fair and balanced. We deserve the same for our game too. It’s not much to ask.

I’m completely disgusted that the BBC are in the pockets of Level5 or whoever is currently being paid to do the PR for Sevco/Rangers. This MUST end.

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alexander276Posted on12:01 pm - Nov 10, 2015

I don’t like being in the position of suggesting work for other folk to do but there are some folk here who would do a much better job… I think the noise of the past week has seen the media jump from a determination about tax EVASION in the Court of Session  to possible title stripping.
Could the opening blog on this site not be an edited presentation of the actual rules  that may have broken and perhaps a sketch of the way in which the rules may have been infringed and the range of penalties (and perhaps precedents) that are available.
Somehow this debate needs to be shifted to football rules and penalties and towards facts and away from the appalling (ignorant in a technical sense) comments of those like Richard Wilson. Was he simply wrong in his assertions or did he knowingly enter a fantasy world of assertion to fill a brief? Was he absurd by nature or  was it a performance under direction?

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SmugasPosted on12:12 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Big Pink 10th November 2015 at 11:52 am #

Incoming from Ibrox. More soon ..

F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5…….

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tayredPosted on12:16 pm - Nov 10, 2015

valentinesclown  10th November 2015 at 10:40 am #Another thing why is it only ex Rangers and Celtic players who seem to comment (in oldco favour in the argument of it was won on the pitch and it was  11 v 11 p***).  Were no other teams or players involved over that period of time or don’t they matter.. 

Nail on head – they don’t matter. Or at least they are best avoided because then it ceases to be us versus them. The narrative of this in the SMSM is and always has been as an Old Firm issue. “We have to get them back so we can have the Old Firm matches again”,” we got to get them back so the Old Firm can re-establish some European credentials for Scotland” yadda yadda.

Like it or not Celtic are part of the problem, not directly, but almost through no fault of their own they are in it up to their dangly bits. Whatever they say will be condemned either by the TRFC side as ****** (fill in the naughty words of choice) up to their usual, or condemned by the remaining 40 clubs as getting back to the normal state of affairs with the Old Firm looking after themselves and screwing the rest of us.

I’ve long been of the opinion that silence was Celtics only choice (in public at least). But things have changed, I think we are getting to the point where they are going to have to come out on one side or another very soon and publicly (I think they must have buttered their toast on one side privately already). Whichever side they choose, it ain’t gonna be pretty. Especially if the SMSM keep spouting half-truths and lies and the National MSM just continue to ignore. The continuous line of ex-Celtic players and managers coming out with “noise” should also be ended, unless of course this is the build up to the club coming out in support of TRFC, in which case its all part of the attempts to soften up the fan base.

If they come out against TRFC, then they will have to have the absolute and instant support of every major club and preferably do so as part of a combined statement. Unilateral moves could get extremely nasty, so it will have to be a unanimous, or at least a clear majority decision.

The authorities – they are now irrelevant, no fan on either side of the debate trusts them. Unless Doncaster et al suddenly (and unexpectedly) find a huge pair, I fear this is gonna have to be played out by the clubs and in public before any thoughts of “moving on” can be countenanced. Messy, scary and liable to provoke some nasty consequences but that’s what our ineffective boards and managements have created. If only the rules were applied from the beginning.

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zerotolerance1903Posted on12:21 pm - Nov 10, 2015

@chrisgraham76 via Twitter

The Daily Record has just published a piece by a Celtic blogger accusing Rangers of tax evasion.  Clearly defamatory.  Top editorial skills.

Hmm, Chris IIRC truth is pretty much the most straightforward defence possible against defamation.  A quick cross-reference to a recent Court of Session ruling should probably do the trick.

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Big PinkPosted on12:22 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Sorry guys – nothing story about how King is actively going after Ashley by having his voting rights removed.

Old hat.

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easyJamboPosted on12:23 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Corrupt official 10th November 2015 at 11:59 am #
No apology needed. You read it in the context of proposing sanctions for financial malpractice. I read it in the context of introducing controls on financial management.  Both are perfectly reasonable.

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oddjobPosted on12:23 pm - Nov 10, 2015

I always thought that all sources of income should be declared on your tax return, and to knowingly omit to do so was illegal.
HMRC should revisit the annual returns of all people involved in this case.

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roddybhoyPosted on12:29 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Inagain “11.28
                       Thats actually a good idea !! sure it could be sent to plenty of others too

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SmugasPosted on12:32 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Chris Graham

The clue is also in the words “Celtic Blogger.”  Was there not the same furore last month when they published one (cheek) and then the other or have I got de ja vu, again?

The real editorial quality that Chris apparently so craves would have been to go to a non OF blogger and ask for his/her thoughts.  Kind of like what’s been discussed on here in fact!   

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jimboPosted on12:41 pm - Nov 10, 2015

oddjob,  I really hope HMRC go after the EBT recipients.  I think many of them will squeal like pigs.  Who advised them, what they were told.  Think it could get very interesting. 12

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GoosyGoosyPosted on12:49 pm - Nov 10, 2015

One obvious lesson we should take from the behaviour of the governing bodies is this:

People who connive in small time cheating  are capable of conniving in big time cheating
Why should anybody believe the commercial deals made  by the Scottish Football governing bodies on behalf of clubs were free of bribery ?

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AmFearLiathMòrPosted on1:02 pm - Nov 10, 2015

You know what? I haven’t read the piece in The Record.  I don’t know who it’s by, and I don’t even know what it’s about.  However, purely based on Chris ‘Cassandra’ Graham’s past record, I would be willing to put a large amount of money on it not being defamatory….. simply because he says it is.
In fact, I’m tempted to tweet him, asking him to comprehensively rule out a threesome involving myself, Katy Perry and Natalie Portman taking place this coming Saturday.
*clears schedule for Saturday night*

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AuldheidPosted on1:14 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Further to my previous post re SSB and is mention of  SDM in FTT context verboten? Apparently it is which is why Mr Black may have got a mention later.

However my original point to GMCC was that he knew it wasn’t some law lord somewhere as the ever misinformed DJ and HK? we’re making out and failed to immediately correct. Once something is said, if not quickly corrected it becomes repeated as fact.

The real issue now is why cannot the names of those who testified at the FTT be published.  They have more questions to answer.

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tayredPosted on1:16 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Auldheid  10th November 2015 at 1:14 pm #The real issue now is why cannot the names of those who testified at the FTT be published.  They have more questions to answer.

I can see the headlines now – Auldheid in a “We need to know who they are” outburst 09

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normanbatesmumfcPosted on1:21 pm - Nov 10, 2015

I have just emailed Neil Doncaster (neildoncaster@spfl.co.uk) with the message below;
“The fundamental basis of any football league is that all member clubs are treated equally.”
You forgot to add, except Rangers FC PLC and Sevco Scotland/The Rangers Football Club Ltd, as these two clubs have and continue to receive very special treatment from all of the football authorities in Scotland.
If you think not dealing properly with these basket-case football clubs, will all be forgotten about and time will be a great healer, you can think again. Due to you and your fellow governors of the game in Scotland consistently failing to deal with the issues firmly and fairly, the divide between the team playing in Govan, it’s supporters and the rest of Scottish football is being wedged further and further apart.
There will be no reconciliation and “moving on” until the rules are applied fairly and without fear or favour. We may be approaching the last chance saloon for saving the future of Scottish Football. Don’t be remembered as the man who killed integrity in our game. 
“Financial Fair Play
Football and finance have often sat uneasily together. But with some of our clubs under intense financial pressure, it is no surprise that questions about ‘financial fair play’ have once again been raised in the context of Scottish football.
Crucial to an understanding of financial fair play, is an appreciation of why it is vital that clubs live within their means. This blog is an attempt to set out what is meant by ‘financial fair play’, and why prompt payment of players, the taxman and other member clubs is so important to football as a whole.
‘Financial fair play’ is a phrase that is often trotted out in football circles. It was one of 11 key values presented by UEFA President Michel Platini to the 2009 UEFA Congress. Its stated aim was to “restore well-being to the European club game”.
But what does ‘financial fair play’ really mean? UEFA’s explanation, in 2010, was that the concept would require clubs to balance their books over the medium term, not spend more than they earn, and operate within their financial means.
This is all seen as important for one key reason: because any club that is spending more on players than they can afford, is automatically gaining a sporting advantage over every other club it competes with. Whether the precise system of measurement used by UEFA is perfect is a moot point. But the logic behind the principle however is, I think, broadly sound. And it is this same principle that explains the position of the SPL.
To turn a blind eye, to allow clubs to continually fail to make prompt payments as they fall due, would be to allow those clubs to gain an unfair sporting advantage over all those other clubs that pay their players, the taxman and other clubs on time. That is one of the reasons why, whenever the SPL receives a request from players to adjudicate on their contracts, it has a duty to do so.
The fundamental basis of any football league is that all member clubs are treated equally. But, increasingly, leagues across the world are going further. In England, for example, the Football League routinely imposes a player embargo on clubs who fail to pay their players in full and on time. And, in League Two, clubs have accepted limits on the amounts that they can spend, relative to their income.
The whole issue of ‘financial fair play’ will no doubt continue to be developed across the whole of football. In the meantime, it is vital that the Scottish Premier League continue to treat all member clubs even-handedly.
It may put the SPL in the uncomfortable position of having to rule against member clubs in certain instances. Whenever we are requested by professional players to adjudicate on their contracts, for example, we should continue to do so. And, where appropriate, to rule in the players’ favour and to make orders for on-time payment by our member clubs.
The integrity of the entire League – and the long-term interests of all 12 member clubs within it – demands that we do just that.
More widely though, it is important that we keep the whole issue of financial fair play firmly in the spotlight. Improving our rule book and making it less likely that our member clubs end up in financial difficulty in the first place should continue to be a priority. And with this in mind, all 12 SPL member clubs will meet this Monday. On the agenda will be our existing rules on financial fair play and whether our current rule book needs improvement in the face of the financial challenges being faced by several member clubs.
If agreement in principle is reached, this could mean our clubs voting on new, tougher, rules on financial fair play at a general meeting, either in April or July this year. It will be a difficult debate. But it is vital that we do not shy away from these issues or bury our heads in the sand.
It may be uncomfortable to address these thorny problems head-on. But the long-term health and prosperity of Scottish football demands that we do just that.
Neil Doncaster Chief Executive, Scottish Premier League”

Your words not mine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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AuldheidPosted on1:29 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Alexander 276

There is an attempt by STV now to suggest no rules have been broken.

I posted a  link on Twitter to an earlier post of mine on SFM pointing out that in extreme cases where a fundamental defect existed a player’s registration could be invalid  FROM THE OUTSET.
LNS  went on to say this was no such case as the legality of ebts was not a consideration or words to that effect. 

So for me the issue now is are we dealing with an extreme case where SFM has pointed out dishonesty did take place and so the failure to disclose all payments including illegal ones is such an instance.

That  is what a new commission type investigation would need to establish including dishonesty in keeping documents relevant to ebts that should have been registered from authority when they investigated.

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zerotolerance1903Posted on1:29 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Big PinkBig Pink 10th November 2015 at 12:22 pm #Sorry guys – nothing story about how King is actively going after Ashley by having his voting rights removed.
Old hat.
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Looks to me that having not succeeded in daring Big Mike to push the admin button King is now double daring him to do so. 

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valentinesclownPosted on1:34 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Basically are the Govan club at the moment playing players they cannot afford?  Accounts state going concern!!.  Do loan players get paid a percentage from Ibrox?  Would any other club be able to do this without SPFL or SFA intervention?

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zerotolerance1903Posted on1:35 pm - Nov 10, 2015

AmFearLiathMòr 10th November 2015 at 1:02 pm #You know what? I haven’t read the piece in The Record. I don’t know who it’s by, and I don’t even know what it’s about. However, purely based on Chris ‘Cassandra’ Graham’s past record, I would be willing to put a large amount of money on it not being defamatory….. simply because he says it is.In fact, I’m tempted to tweet him, asking him to comprehensively rule out a threesome involving myself, Katy Perry and Natalie Portman taking place this coming Saturday.*clears schedule for Saturday night*
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Much as as I resent giving them the clicks I have checked out the Record site and the article by James Flynn.  

To to be fair he does not use the word evasion (incorrectly say it was avoidance) at all.  Its a pretty tame article to be getting excited about really.  

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easyJamboPosted on1:39 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Auldheid 10th November 2015 at 1:14 pm #
The real issue now is why cannot the names of those who testified at the FTT be published.  They have more questions to answer.
I think we are safe to do so following the CoS decision that recalled the FTTT and UTTT decisions. Lord Drummond Young himself confirmed the identity of SDM in relation to the “Bel Azur” property.

Lord Drummond-Young stated in the conclusion:
On that basis we will recall the orders of the First-tier and Upper Tribunals and affirm the determinations appealed against, including that relating to PAYE, with the exception of the determinations and decisions concerning Sir David Murray in relation to the Bel Azur property transaction, which is conceded by HMRC.

The FTTT report stated the following re the Bel Azur property:
Finally, Mr Black spoke to a house restoration development in France (“Bel Azur”). Tax reasons had prompted his decision to finance this via the sub-trust. The site was nearby his own villa and the construction and building work could be organised readily. Mr Black supervised it personally with his architect and builder.

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ProhibbyPosted on1:45 pm - Nov 10, 2015

So many great posts on here over the past 24 hours or so, few if any do I have any measure of disagreement with.  I would say to Motor Red (at 11.34am) though, that giving Celtic the confiscated titles just feeds into the the absurd notion, as some would have you believe, that there are “really only two teams in Scotland”.  That’s why the former Celts are being wheeled out to support retention of titles, I would say.  All Scottish clubs were the victims of Rangers’ cheating, not just Celtic!  Personally, I think the titles should be removed and left unallocated as a permanent testament to the folly of one particular club and the spineless, inept authorities of Scottish football. These blank spaces should stand and be recognised for what they represent, a national disgrace brought about by one club’s folly and inept governance.

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AuldheidPosted on1:51 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Wottpi  9.55

Thanks for that info. Yup it probably was me 🙂 .

My tweet was to remind GMCC that  he already knew who made the sporting advantage statement and in what circumstances because he had been told by myself and others.

I then headed out but good to hear some correction was made.

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zerotolerance1903Posted on1:59 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Auldheid 10th November 2015 at 1:29 pm #
There is an attempt by STV now to suggest no rules have been broken.

STV as a news organisation in this case needs to be reminded of it’s role.  It does not behoove a news organisation to be editorialising on behalf of the Govan Club in its attempts to head off any inquiry.

That said IF no rules were broken by Rangers then they should have nothing to fear from an independent hearing on the matters in hand.  If they were found to have been in breach of rules then they would have the opportunity to defend those charges, if they were not found to be in breach of any rules then they could reasonably claim the matter closed.

The truth of the matter is that they know that they are in breach of rules and that the previous attempt to sweep it under the carpet has been undermined.

I suspect that the relevant officials know that they can’t duck this one and that’s why they haven’t yet said anything.  

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nawlitePosted on2:06 pm - Nov 10, 2015

I’m not on Twitter. has anyone asked Tom Fordyce why he can’t write a similar piece about the cheating by Rangers and the supportive corruption by our football authorities? It’s surely easy now to point out that they illegally withheld tax and deliberately mis-registered players, both of these in an admitted attempt to gain a sporting advantage. With those facts in play, can he explain what is stopping him from writing a negative, but truthful, article about Rangers?

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Big PinkPosted on2:13 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Very generous donation of £19.03 received this morning. I wonder what team the donor supports 🙂

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Big PinkPosted on2:19 pm - Nov 10, 2015

If anyone has a crest of their own club, can you forward it to me by email. I’m going to put a smiley gallery together.



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DenPosted on2:20 pm - Nov 10, 2015

That is my understanding, it is their responsibility ultimately.
Since the amount was treated as a loan (wrongly) it may not have been included.
Rangers would have provided them with a P60 detailing their earnings for the year from that employment. This would not have included the EBT, the person completing the return may then have been unaware of the EBT.
Lots of scenarios.
What is not in doubt is that the EBT amounts were income and the employer should have deducted income tax and NI from it before it was paid out (the amount deducted should have been paid to HMRC).
The failure of Rangers to deduct the taxes would open them up to charges and a requirement to pay the amounts due; if they were still solvent that is.
The failure of the employer to treat the payments properly does not alter the obligation on the employee to pay their taxes, HMRC may reduce penalties and interest levied though.
It will get complex but HMRC could pursue the individuals. 
I would suspect that many of the recipients will be very nervous of any assessment as they have received and possibly spent the money and approx. 50% will now be claimed from HMRC
Many of the recipients now live overseas and may be out of reach of HMRC, except should they pop in to the country obviously.
It was clear fro the FTTT that most of the recipients took professional advice before agreeing to the EBT scheme; they will probably sue their advisers who will rely on their PI insurance should they lose. This is going to involve a long battle, meanwhile the ultimate recipient could be bankrupted.
As a taxpayer I have minimal sympathy for those who tried and failed to avoid tax. I will end with a quote from Keith Jackson in support of people paying their taxes.

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.



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oddjobPosted on2:44 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Thank you for your comments.
What bothers me is that these payments were supposedly “interest free loans” and could be classed as benefits in kind, which , in my experience are taxable. Maybe the Trust involvement changed that.
In any event the payments should have been declared. If they were not, why not?
I have always believed that the EBT recipients were in a catch 22 situation, whatever the result of the Tribunal(s).
That so many of the people involved are now overseas will be problematic indeed. However, I agree with Jimbo`s earlier comment regarding the content of any interviews which could be arranged , with the employers, employees, agents and any other adviser.

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AuldheidPosted on2:49 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Easy Jambo
Mr Black uncovered by the law. Love it.

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redlichtiePosted on3:16 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Let me take you back a few years in a parallel universe to a time when I managed to come up with a great wheeze for Arbroath FC.

I found a way to get round the taxman and let players have their huge bonuses ‘netto’ as Ruud Gullit once said.

A wee niggle was that I had to avoid letting anyone know about this so we didn’t tell the SFA in case somebody clyped to the taxman – or worse, to Forfar/Brechin/Montrose. Just a small ‘oversight’ not declaring the proper earnings of these guys.

I have to say that we enjoyed having Ronaldo, a young Messi and Rooney join us as we soared up the leagues and won the Premier League – firstly just edging out Celtic, then Aberdeen and Rangers in successive seasons. That Scottish Cup win against Dundee United was also particularly sweet.

Getting to the semis of the Champions League in successive seasons was also some achievement.

Gayfield was bursting at the seams when we saw off Real Madrid that night. I’ll never forget the sight of thousands of inflatable plastic smokies waving in the breeze.

Now I’m sure Ronaldo et al would have been pleased to join us at Gayfield anyway but I suspect that the extra tax-free dosh perhaps played a small part in all of this.

But so what? On the day eleven players beat eleven players fairly on the field of play.Sour grapes from Rangers, Celtic, Aberdeen and United. And all those European teams we put out in the Champions League sections.

We won those trophies fair and square. Well, didn’t we? What have Rangers, etc got to complain about?

Scottish Football needs an Arbroath with the strengths noted above!

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SmugasPosted on3:19 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Im no tax agent but my understanding is that Mr Rainbow (see what I did there)’s tax return should have shown payment for employment of x (taxable) and discretionary payment to trust (and onwards to child’s sub trust) as y with y being non taxable.

There are then (at least) two completely separate arguments.

1/  is the recent CoS ruling that in common sense terms the money that was still inarguably set aside for the child’s trust stemmed from contractual employment as opposed to discretionary bonuses and therefore should have been subject to employee and employer taxes.  HMRC are now at liberty to go after the employer for this tax.  The Employer is obliged to subtract tax on behalf of the employee and so that is the first port of call for the back tax.  From the players perspective this can other-wise be referred to as the Dodds defence.  I got what they said I would get.  Why would I question it?

2/  Second is Heidi Poons argument.  The sub trust physically cannot make the loan (or the equally ‘legal’payment to the child for that matter) without the priming payment in the first place.  Whether the onward payment – loan or payment after death –  is taxable or not is moot.  Its as Richard Gordon stated on the day the CoS news broke.  As the Richard Wilsons of this world immediately broke cover into defensive ostrich mode proclaiming that SDM would have come good anyway the aye canny Richard G immediately corrected that yes, but it would have required an extra £48m to do it, and from a company that recently required to be liquidated that’s a tad unlikely I feel. 

Whilst I agree that recovery from the players is not impossible I’m fairly sure HMRC will look to the Employer (BDO) and might look to the professional trustee firm’s insurance first.  Now where have I heard that before?  

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SmugasPosted on3:23 pm - Nov 10, 2015


Please try it RL, Please please!

If only to confirm to me which club I suspect would be the first to complain! 

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redlichtiePosted on3:24 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Forgot to add to my Arbroath story….time to move on. Scottish Football has suffered enough.

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DenPosted on3:27 pm - Nov 10, 2015


My understanding is that interest on a loan is taxable from an employer if it is at a lower rate than the commercial rate, the saving in interest is taxable.

The loan was received from a Jesey Trust and not their employer, this may mean that it was not a taxable benefit. Just my guess.

My understanding is that the Trust structure was not challenged, therefore the loan agreement holds.

The EBT holders have certainly been put in a tricky situation if they were not prudent in planning for possible tax bill.

Another possible issue for the recipients is that the Trustee in Jersey levied annual fees for the EBT and fees for any transaction. I presume that the Murray Management Company and/ or Rangers covered these. Dr Poon alluded to these in the FTTT dissenting opinion.

Since MIH and Rangers are in liquidation the Trustee will not be getting paid and will seek to recoup the money from the individual Trusts. The Trustee will seek to recover the “loan” from the EBT recipient in order to receive their fees.

The Big EBT recipients will see this as a flea bite, the foreign residents will just ignore, small ones could become quite onerous to have. It might be expensive to unravel them.

Certainly a tangled web.

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giovanePosted on3:46 pm - Nov 10, 2015

The loan was received from a Jesey Trust and not their employer, this may mean that it was not a taxable benefit. Just my guess

my understanding is that this would go against the rules of the spl at the time. Payment for sevices could only come from the club. Needs further investigating

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paddy malarkeyPosted on4:21 pm - Nov 10, 2015

What RFC(IL) fans could/should have done . From Wikipedia .
Thistle’s fortunes on the pitch declined during the 1980s. Although the club had experienced difficult times previously, having dropped into the second tier of Scottish football twice in the 1970s, they had bounced straight back up on both occasions. The relegation of 1982 led to the Club’s first sustained period outside the top tier since the late 19th century. Although this period of exile ended with promotion in 1992, mounting financial problems, including a debt of over 1.5 million pounds, threatened to put the club out of existence.[11] In 1998 in particular the club was close to going bankrupt and was only kept afloat by the fan-organised “Save the Jags” campaign.[12] Despite avoiding financial oblivion Thistle were relegated to the third tier of Scottish Football in 1997–98 and only narrowly avoided a further relegation the following season, finishing in eighth place.

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tayredPosted on4:49 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Again, not my find. But spotted on online forum:

“They are only allegations at this stage. But if they are found guilty and stripped of their UEFA Cup win then surely it should go to us as the runners-up?
“You’d prefer to win the competition on the pitch but if they’ve cheated then surely we should get the trophy and the medals? But we’ll have to see what happens.”

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StevieBCPosted on4:51 pm - Nov 10, 2015

No…still nothing to see on either SFA or SPFL websites.
Last week’s very public drama around RFC/RIFC/TRFC just didn’t happen then ?

Are Regan and Doncaster back in the bunker, sitting out this latest storm, [no not Abigail !]
Are they just waiting to see how “it all pans out”, without having to give any direct input ?
Are the SMSM ‘journalists’ 232323 at least trying to ask them relevant questions ?
The rags – & especially the BBC – should at least be reporting;
“…but both the SFA & SPFL have declined to answer any of our questions on last week’s events…”

Does the SFA in particular think that the paying punters will not notice their routine disappearing act – when those same paying punters urgently want some direct response from the SFA ?

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zerotolerance1903Posted on5:00 pm - Nov 10, 2015

giovane 10th November 2015 at 3:46 pm #The loan was received from a Jesey Trust and not their employer, this may mean that it was not a taxable benefit. Just my guess
my understanding is that this would go against the rules of the spl at the time. Payment for sevices could only come from the club. Needs further investigating

But we are being briefed that they haven’t broken any rules.  Surely some mistake 😐

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on5:02 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Den 10th November 2015 at 3:27 pm #
The loan was received from a Jesey Trust and not their employer, this may mean that it was not a taxable benefit. Just my guess.
giovane 10th November 2015 at 3:46 pm #my understanding is that this would go against the rules of the spl at the time. Payment for sevices could only come from the club. Needs further investigating
Isn’t the CoS’s interpretation that monies paid into the Trust & sub-Trusts were ’emoluments’ & part of players’ and others’ contracts & should have been subject to PAYE at source, not when drawn down?

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nawlitePosted on5:06 pm - Nov 10, 2015

I hope I’ve been around here long enough for this not to be seen as trolling – hopefully my fellow Perth attendees will confirm I’m a real TSFM member!! I’m trying to understand the possible truth of one aspect of the TRFC* fans’ arguments re the EBT issue (or witchhunt as they call it).
They are claiming that the call for titles to be stripped is again only due to hatred of Rangers and could only happen in Scotland. Now I’m not suggesting that precedent elsewhere means title stripping shouldn’t happen here, though they are of course (!) and it’s only feeding the victim mentality of that type of fan.
The gist of their argument is that it is widely known/accepted that Arsenal (as one example) used EBTs and that is also my understanding from reading RTC/TSFM over the years. In their view, because there has been no clamour for Arsenal to have titles stripped, there should be no call for Rangers’ titles to be stripped either.
This is where my memory lets me down. I know that the title stripping issue arises from the deliberate mis-registration of players, rather than the failure to pay due tax per se – the punishment for that was DM being unable to sell the club and, hence, liquidation. (Although the sporting advantage of being able to get better players on the cheap also impacts!), but it would be really good if those with more knowledge/better memories than me would clarify the questions below.  
1. Did Arsenal settle with HMRC when challenged over their EBT use? If so, I would see that as meaning Arsenal did not fleece HMRC so there is no need for title-stripping as a form of punishment/deterrent.
2. Have Arsenal yet to be found guilty of illegally using EBTs? Is the Rangers case the ‘stalking horse’ that will allow HMRC to go after the Arsenals and others from the EPL? If so, it will be interesting to see if title stripping is on the subsequent agenda.
3. Did Arsenal operate the EBTs correctly and therefore there is no case to answer?
4. Did Arsenal disclose the EBT payments to the EPL/FA so the question of title stripping is not/will not be an issue because the title stripping argument only arises because of the deliberate mis-registration?
I hope the answers will give me the clarity to debunk this argument when put to me.

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jimboPosted on5:07 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Someone mentioned last Friday I think, that HMRC are going in the first instance after the funds accumulated with BDO who hold the liquid assets of oldco.  However after speaking to someone on the inside this does not exclude HMRC from seeking some tax due from the recipients.  As I said last week, we share a responsibility with our employers to pay the correct amount of tax.  Hence the need for us all to receive a P60 every year.

Now if there are two statements which are still ringing in my ear from COS last week they are these:

‘Common sense’ and ‘self evident’

We have known that since the RTC days when we were made privy to all this nonsense.

Let’s say you were a Rangers footballer at the time.  Not all of them by any means are dunderheids.  Would you honestly say that at no time whatsoever it rang alarm bells?  “This is too good to be true?”   Did any of the recipients ever get back to Rangers (CO) administrators and ask them “Are you sure this is legal?” “are you sure this isn’t earnings?” or to their agents? or the Inland Revenue?

You can be sure of one thing, if Hector comes after them they will go into defence mode.   That’s when the squealing will start “It was his fault!”

I feel Mr. Black however has very little comfort if this happens.  The buck started with him.

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jimboPosted on5:22 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Those are great questions.  Wish I knew the answers to them too.

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on5:28 pm - Nov 10, 2015



Three years old, but worth a read.

There’s also this article by Paul Kelso in the Telegraph, from the 15th Feb 2012 (possibly something happened on the 14th?): 

“The mass settlement of up to six years back-tax relating to image rights payments saw as many as 15 Premier League clubs strike a deal with HMRC, including Chelsea, who paid out £6.4million to settle their disputed bill with the authorities.The highlighting of Premier League image-rights deals is part of a deliberate targeting of football by HMRC that has ranged from individuals such as Harry Redknapp, cleared last week of tax evasion, to major clubs including Rangers, who were tipped into administration on Tuesday by owner Craig Whyte in an attempt to avoid tax liabilities he claims could stretch to £75million.The Daily Telegraph revealed on Tuesday that, according to HMRC sources, up to eight Premier League clubs have been scrutinised for the same issue facing Rangers, the use of Employee Benefit Trusts.The Premier League contests that view however, saying that it is not aware of widespread outstanding issues relating to EBTs in England.Under new legislation, companies with disputed EBT issues had to settle them by Dec 31. Arsenal are one club that historically used EBTs to pay some players but they are understood to have resolved any issues with HMRC.
The image rights settlement was a rare victory for HMRC in a campaign that has received sharp criticism, notably in the case of Redknapp, who was cleared of all charges following a five-year investigation costing up to £8million over around £80,000 of disputed tax.
The image rights settlement came after intervention from the Premier League, which liaised between the taxman and its clubs in an attempt to avert a protracted dispute.
Image rights allow a club to pay a portion of a player’s wages in exchange for using their image to promote the club and their sponsors. Payments are made to a separate company, often based offshore, and taxed at a lower rate or not at all.
They are attractive for both club and player, but HMRC insisted the system was being abused by clubs, particularly at the lower end of the league, allotting an unrealistic proportion of their payroll to image rights.
The league agreed to mediate, helping bring as many as 15 clubs to a settlement with HMRC. The two sides agreed a cut-off date before which payments would not be contested, and agreed a banding system for clubs of differing profiles.
Chelsea were among the clubs with the largest tax bill, revealing in their most recent accounts, published last week, that they had paid £6.4million “in relation to an industry-wide investigation into the taxation of payments under image rights”.


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yourhavingalaughPosted on5:36 pm - Nov 10, 2015

A question
where any of the EBT recipients agents aware of these payments,we all know what they are like where finance is concerned,did they get a cut and if so will also be due to declare in their returns ,I hope not ,there are too many cans of worms opening up all over the place and we don’t need any more.

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LUGOSIPosted on5:39 pm - Nov 10, 2015

I see that BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsound programme is affording airtime this evening to Jolyon Maugham QC, Tax Barrister to propound his view that last week’s decision in the Court of Session was Wrong and a Bad Thing (I hope I’m not being too technical here).
This will be followed by a Chimney Sweep propounding his view that central heating is Wrong and a Bad Thing.

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erniePosted on5:42 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Nawlite at 5:06.
I suspect your answers are 1 (they have apparently settled with HMRC),2 (they have not been found guilty….yet) and a bit of 3 in that they may not have operated any EBT arrangements perfectly but probably better than the old Rangers did.
But overall surely the answer is, if Arsenal did indeed break the FA rules on this matter then, yes, any titles won should be stripped.
Or am I missing a subtle whoosh?

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fishnishPosted on5:45 pm - Nov 10, 2015

nawlite 10th November 2015 at 5:06 pm # They are claiming that the call for titles to be stripped is again only due to hatred of Rangers and could only happen in Scotland. Now I’m not suggesting that precedent elsewhere means title stripping shouldn’t happen here, though they are of course (!) and it’s only feeding the victim mentality of that type of fan. The gist of their argument is that it is widely known/accepted that Arsenal (as one example) used EBTs and that is also my understanding from reading RTC/TSFM over the years. In their view, because there has been no clamour for Arsenal to have titles stripped, there should be no call for Rangers’ titles to be stripped either.
As someone who has kept a close eye on Arsenal for some decades now, I think there’s a telling difference between the two clubs in this stramash.
a.  Arsenal volunteered to settle with HMRC, and didn’t dispute, when there was a realisation that this was NOT going to work.  And they paid for that.
b.  Arsenal, to my and Arsene’s deep regret, have not lifted a shoal of titles to be stripped. 🙁

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paddy malarkeyPosted on5:59 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Somebody’s view on the “spread of contagion” of EBT’s in EPL.


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paddy malarkeyPosted on6:04 pm - Nov 10, 2015

And a bit from the Guardian re Arsenal’s EBT scheme (and the first time I saw the word SEVCO .


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Night TerrorPosted on6:06 pm - Nov 10, 2015

A Dundee United fan writes in the Record:
No doubt some Rangers Bloggers will find it blasphemous. 

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John ClarkPosted on6:12 pm - Nov 10, 2015

LUGOSI 10th November 2015 at 5:39 pm
‘I see that BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsound programme is affording airtime this evening to Jolyon Maugham QC, Tax Barrister to propound his view that last week’s decision in the Court of Session was Wrong and a Bad Thing..’
That rotten crew of strangers to the truth and their Controller will need to watch their partisanship: it really is getting out of hand, the way they have relentlessly  propagandised on behalf of the liquidated, tax evading, sports cheating club.
We’ll see what measure of balance is afforded tonight.

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Corrupt officialPosted on6:15 pm - Nov 10, 2015

nawlite 10th November 2015 at 5:06 pm

Re Arsenal
Nawlite, Check out Brian McNally’s twitter timeline. He may be able to fill you in on anything you need to know. He worked on the Arsenal story at the time.


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jimmciPosted on6:33 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Imagine for a moment you were a national, state funded broadcaster and that the highest court in the land had issued a judgement last week that may or may not have suited your editorial wishes.
You’ve a show to put out. What do you do? Talk about football matters in general and repeat the fact that the law is taking its’ course or invite a guest who will directly challenge the decision made by three senior Law Lords only last week?
Can you seriously imagine anyone at the BBC, other than BBC Scotland Sports dept, openly invite the Law Lords being openly challenged? It just would not happen anyone other than the la-la land of the Scottish Media in general and Kenny MacIntyre and his cohorts on Sportsound in particular.
Surely the Controller of BBC Scotland will be hearing from his bosses for allowing such open contempt to be shown towards the officers of our Courts.
I am assuming, of course, that Mr Moynihan will not have changed his views over the weekend.

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nawlitePosted on6:35 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Thanks for all the input, folks, and so quick too. What a resource this forum is.

So Arsenal settled and stepped away from EBTs. Rangers didn’t and suffered the consequences i.e. unable to sell the club and subsequent liquidation.
As I said, I believe it’s mainly the mis-registration thing that leads to the call for title stripping. Does anyone know if Arsenal used side contracts and deliberately withheld them?

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GoosyGoosyPosted on6:38 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Stripping Titles from Whom?
This isn’t rocket science
TRFC are not involved in the issue. It`s got as much to do with them as the debt owed to HMRC
As far as the governing bodies are concerned
They didn’t award the titles to some ethereal thingy that lives forever
They awarded the titles to RFC plc
Any titles that may be stripped will have to be stripped from RFC plc
They were the entity that broke the rules
RFC plc now in liquidation
They can`t be stripped from any other entity
Any appeal against titles being stripped has to come from BDO since it was RFC (IL) who broke the rules
If TRFC want to have any say whatsoever in this title stripping issue
They should merge TRFC with RFC (IL)
And either
Appeal the Law Lords decision
Appeal the title stripping decision
It’s as simple as that
Along the way they will discover that ethereal thingies only exist in the minds of people who want to believe in them
They don`t exist in the big wide world
If TRFC don’t want to merge with RFC (IL)
They should get on with avoiding liquidation…..and give the rest of us peace

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ThomTheThimPosted on6:41 pm - Nov 10, 2015

I was about to post the same thought as you. Surely there must be a contempt of court cloud hovering over the MSM.

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angusmacPosted on7:04 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Big Pink on 9 November @ 6:48
Anyone who would like to drop at SFM Central this week, I’d be happy to hear from you to arrange a discussion.
Is the address of SFM Central posted anywhere, Big Pink? (I sent a pm last month but have yet to hear back).


We are in Sandyford Place in Glasgow

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