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

vansenPosted on7:13 pm - Nov 10, 2015

They are cheats. They cheated. They lied. Covered up. Delayed. Deceived. Destroyed evidence. Stole millions of pounds. They are cheats.
It is ironic that the media campaign attempting to turn back the tide of honesty, of integrity, is using lies, threats, deceipt and ignorance. It seems the mindset will never change. So be it. Neither does mine.
Cheats then, cheats now, cheats forever. 

View Comment

StevieBCPosted on7:28 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Night Terror 10th November 2015 at 6:06 pm #A Dundee United fan writes in the Record:http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/opinion/sport/dundee-united-record-fc-know-6805403No doubt some Rangers Bloggers will find it blasphemous. 
Decent article with a nice, low blow thrown in too, in relation to Lance Armstrong’s PR spin ;
“…Perhaps David Murray should arrange himself an interview with Oprah…” 

Quality, citizen journalism in the DR !  

View Comment

HomunculusPosted on7:29 pm - Nov 10, 2015

I see a few people have gone back to an old theme, one that a few people on RTC used to like, one that the clearly disturbed blogger was championing the other night. That there was nothing wrong with tax avoidance. He even used the phrase “aggressive tax avoidance” and said that Rangers had chosen to use this, whilst others didn’t. However that was a matter for them.

In response to this theme can I post something which I have posted previously


“Tax avoidance is an attempt to exploit legislation to gain a tax advantage that was never intended. This often involves artificial transactions that serve little or no purpose other than to produce a tax advantage.”

But tax avoidance is not the same as tax planning which involves applying tax legislation in the way it was intended – for example saving in an ISA (Individual Savings Account) where you don’t pay tax on the interest.

Tax avoidance is not perfectly acceptable.

There is another theme currently being used a lot, that is that Rangers took legal advice on EBTs, and were told they were legitimate vehicles by which they can save tax. However if they did take that advice, and I have no reason not to believe that, then they would also have been told how to operate the scheme and what the rules were. They would have been told that it had to be discretionary payments and there could be no contractual arrangement.

Now it is possible that someone at Rangers believed that a football player and his agent would agree to this. Where he was given a basic salary, and that there may be bonuses, but there were no guarantees and that the club would pay those bonuses if and when it felt like it. However that would be the World’s most naive person. I simply find it impossible to believe that Rangers did not intend using the EBTs in the way they did right from the start. That they intended avoiding tax.

In any case, the way forward would be simple. You make that offer to the player and his agent. They then either accept it or they don’t. If they don’t then there is no EBT, the player is simply paid a wage and tax is deducted from it.

There is no reasonable argument that Rangers did not know what they were doing from the outset. There is no reasonable argument that it was not tax avoidance. That, no matter what a lot of people will tell you, is not perfectly acceptable.

Oh and as an aside. People found to have taken part in tax avoidance not only have to pay back the tax and interest, there is also the matter of penalties. As far as I am aware the Government cannot actually issue someone with a penalty unless it is shown that person has done something wrong. Though to be fair if you would believe some people then Rangers were found not guilty by the LNS inquiry and were fined £250,000 because of that.

Rangers assessments for tax avoidance include millions (maybe even tens of millions) in penalties. That is not because what they did was perfectly acceptable. In addition the level of penalties clearly show that HMRC considered it deliberate and that the taxpayer was less than helpful during their enquiries. That is the basis on which the penalties are calculated

With regards the registrations. I suspect the side letters were put in place before the player signed on to the club. That it was part of their negotiations. Meaning the side letters were in place prior to their registration. Meaning that the registrations contained lies right from the outset. Those players where this is the case should have their registration cancelled from the outset, and if even one of them played in a game then Rangers lost 3-0, unless they actually had a heavier defeat.

This is not about “stripping titles”, this is about getting those results changed. If that has consequences then fair do’s.

View Comment

justshateredPosted on7:35 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Big Pink and a few others seemed to refer to differences in how angry some clubs seemed to be last week.
Has a consensus of opinion been reached regarding if there is an appetite from the clubs to tackle this issue?

As a straw poll if people would be willing to take part:
1. Have you written to your club to raise concerns regarding the verdict delivered last week and if you have what is your club.

2. As this is a community made up of fans from many clubs. Can some one who knows the various websites of the various clubs give feedback regarding the strength of feeling if any that exists?

I’m of the firm opinion that it will be us, the fans, that will decide this issue if there is strong enough feeling. If the fans tell the clubs, as they did in 2012, that if proper punishment is not delivered then the stadiums will be empty next year. The media can spin as much as they want but what they still haven’t understood yet is that they are irrelevant. There track record on this story has been lamentable.
The media told us Craig Whyte was a Billionaire. They were wrong!
The media told us there were no financial difficulties at RFC. They were wrong!
The media told us all in 2011/2012 that there would be no Administration. They were wrong!
The media told us there would be no Liquidation. They were wrong!
The media told us ‘The Rangers’ would start life in the SPL. They were wrong!
The media told us ‘The Rangers’ would begin life in Division 1. They were wrong!
The media told us that there would be financial carnage throughout Scottish football because of the decisions taken in 2012. They were wrong!

The media have, and remain, spectacularly out of touch in all aspects of this scandal. You would think if you were wrong so often on the biggest story ever in Scottish sport that your employers would be wanting a word.
They will throw any scare story and stifle debate but it is them that are wrong.

View Comment

Eternal OptimistPosted on7:36 pm - Nov 10, 2015

While I’d registered with RTC back in the day (and it seems ages ago), I just lurked on here.
The ‘move on, nothing to see here’ statement changed all that though. This blog is the only place to get any kind of rational view on what’s been happening,  but there’s still the danger it’ll continue to be portrayed as a noisy minority.
By registering I hope I don’t just increase the numbers, but would like to encourage any other lurkers to do likewise. There must be hundreds like me out there, perhaps more.
Going back to the statement, I’d be happy to volunteer to share any SFM comments on the forum of my club (Thistle, if my user name wasn’t a big enough clue).
I’ve got some ideas of how that would look too, but that’s for later – this phone is making my eyes cross. 

View Comment

alexander276Posted on7:40 pm - Nov 10, 2015

I a feeling stupid.  Initially I thought that a Roger Mitchell (real name) was on to support the anti integrity line of BBC Sportsound tonight but it turned into a mesmerizing performance along the lines of Humphrey Bogart as Captain Queeg in the Caine Mutiny. After his mouth foaming excesses the anti integrity line was thoroughly discredited.
The BBC bring irony and art to the party. They are redeemed. (Or at least I hope I got the right end of the stick) .. A Must Listen. Five stars

View Comment

jimboPosted on7:49 pm - Nov 10, 2015


I posted earlier about my theory why the SMSM appear to be so out of touch and get it wrong so much.  I posit FEAR.

But actually, in some ways it is becoming less relevant what they say.  The print media has got marginally more life left in it than Sevco.  We all learn what is going on from here and many other sites on the ‘blogosphere’.   Bye Bye Traynor.  (21)

View Comment

ChristyboyPosted on8:02 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Eternal Optimist, are you Auldheid? We should be told !!

View Comment

Danish PastryPosted on8:29 pm - Nov 10, 2015

alexander276 10th November 2015 at 7:40 pm

I a feeling stupid. Initially I thought that a Roger Mitchell (real name) was on to support the anti integrity line of BBC Sportsound tonight but it turned into a mesmerizing performance along the lines of Humphrey Bogart as Captain Queeg in the Caine Mutiny. After his mouth foaming excesses the anti integrity line was thoroughly discredited. The BBC bring irony and art to the party. They are redeemed. (Or at least I hope I got the right end of the stick) .. A Must Listen.

I heard uber pragmatist Mitchell a bit differently. Came across to me as an apologist for cheating. Sounded like a promoter from the other cheek of the same discredited Old Firm arse. Good Celtic man, apparently. Heaven preserve us. MSM are now as tiresome on this as they are on Scottish politics. 
That said, Tom English was (as a new conflicted Graham Spiers) at least attempting to voice an honest opinion (on this occasion) and made some good points on LNS. 

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on8:51 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Roger Mitchell! Who can plumb the depths of that creature’s ‘reasoning’. According to him, the arbiters of right and wrong, of the difference between cheating and sporting integrity  are Martin O’Neill and Paul Lambert!
He was as near hysterical in a basic ignorant fan rant as Wilson was the other night. Move on, let’s move on. Never mind that the administration of the game is rigged. Never mind that SDM’s ‘RFC(IL) was season after season guilty of the next most serious offence to actual match-fixing in the football code.No, let’s move on , draw a line, he raved.
And as if to give himself some gravitas, some super ‘European’ dimension, he trots out the example of Juventus, who simply ignored their FA, as if they were quite right to do so. Rangers died, he said , but came back again!
And again,as if to add weight to his rantings, he loudly asserts that he is a Celtic supporter, implying that it is only a Celtic-Rangers, rival fans matter.
The man is  as short on principle as a herd of swine.
(Very well qualified, indeed, to have been CEO of the SPL.)
The curse of Cromwell on him!

View Comment

2Cup7Posted on9:03 pm - Nov 10, 2015

I’ve been lurking since the very early days and RTC before that. I will be writing to my club (a diddy one, but a sleeping giant nonetheless) chairman asking him to provide a piece in a Match Program with the Club’s stance regarding the recent ruling against RFC (IL). As we lost out to the previous incarnation three times in cup competitions in the 90’s there is no way that the club can be allowed to avert their eyes in the event of ‘rule  manoeuvring’ by the SFA or SPL/SPFL.

View Comment

HomunculusPosted on9:04 pm - Nov 10, 2015


Yet another of the specious arguments.

We should all listen to Martin O’Neill and Paul Lambert when they express an opinion on this.

Why is that exactly, why is their opinion more valid than say a 27 year old Partick Thistle season ticket holder.

I would suggest her opinion on Scottish football and what is best for it would be just as valid as either of theirs.

And even that is a specious argument in a way. What we should be looking at is what is right. That’s a different argument but it still stands, why is what Martin O’Neill or Paul Lambert thinks is right or wrong more valid than anyone else’s opinion.

View Comment

GoosyGoosyPosted on9:06 pm - Nov 10, 2015

If BDO appeal, RFC(IL) incur additional legal costs 
They also prolong the length of the liquidation period thereby making more fees for themselves
Both factors will definitely reduce the size of the creditor pot versus the not appealing situation
On the other hand a successful appeal would increase the dividend for all creditors except HMRC
The fairest solution would be to ask RFC Creditors to vote on whether an appeal should be mounted.
For the purposes of the vote HMRC should be requested to either abstain or to restrict their voting “weight” i.e. “debt”  to the situation that applied prior to the latest decision

View Comment

StevieBCPosted on9:14 pm - Nov 10, 2015

1) John Clark 10th November 2015 at 8:51 pm #

The curse of Cromwell on him!
That sounds painful JC.

2) For essesbeancounter
In case you missed it: article from ICAS CEO, [and who is not in fact a bean counter].

3) PR management.
What with most SMSM coverage being ‘supportive’ of TRFC in the main…
Is this just the SMSM ‘journalists’ 232323 keeping their heads down,
is this being coordinated by TRFC and/or the SFA/SPFL ?
The availability of managers, players, any old so and so who are wheeled out to declare that stripping of titles is a non-starter, need to move on, etc…
Or am I just being paranoid…who said that ?! 09 

View Comment

HomunculusPosted on9:24 pm - Nov 10, 2015

GoosyGoosy 10th November 2015 at 9:06 pm

Sorry, but why should the largest creditor not get a vote on such an important issue. Or be asked to curtail their vote in any way.

Are you seriously suggesting someone owed £900 should have a say in this but someone owed £90,000,000 should not. As to getting a vote but “restricting it” in the way you suggest, on what possible basis would that work.

HMRC are by far the largest creditor, if there is a vote and I have no idea whether BDO will decide to do that (if they even can) then HMRC should have their say in it.

Can I just point out that HMRC are in fact you and me and everyone else in the country. Any money they get goes back to the Treasury to be used in running the country.

View Comment

DenPosted on9:25 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Someone posted the text of an article by Keith Jackson in the Daily Record.
I found the Article confusing as it started by stating facts and agreeing with many of the points made by those who are calling for Stripping of titles and trophys won in the years when Rangers operated a tax evasion scheme and ignored the requirements of the Football governing bodies regarding player registration and remuneration, and also regarding payment of taxes.
Was Keith using a journalist trick in making a case then elegantly refuting it point by point. If he was it didn’t work as he made the case and veered off course into nonsense.
I have had a bit of fun reading it though.
You would almost expect Keith to storm the SFA offices demanding action when you read.
“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.
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.” 
He carries on:
“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.”
I wonder what makes Celtic fans “most notable” !
The narrative slips into a bit of whateaboutery:
“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?”
Helpfully, Keith provides his view:
“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.”
Expressed that way how you can disagree. Case closed.
“But are Rangers to be punished purely because the scheme they used wasn’t as sound as those of their rivals?”
Oh Dear !
Rangers should be punished for operating a tax evasion scheme regardless of what their rivals did. Their rivals have never been shown to operate a similar scheme.
“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.”
“Likely to go full nuclear”, “two sides squaring up”, “Foaming mouthed galleries”.
NURSE ! !!
“In any case, there is no need for war to be declared.”
That is a relief ! !
“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.”
You find Playboy complex: No don’t explain
“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.”
Every £4.5m blown is equally expensive.
“The big question is, should it now cost them their cups into the bargain?”
Only the ones obtained by cheating
“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.”
They didn’t comply with the rules on registration of players, deliberately withheld information from the governing bodies on player contracts. LNS found them guilty, Court of Session found their EBTs to be tax evasion.
“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.”
The unpaid fine, why are they not being pursued for this. It is not dependent on the outcome of the Court case.
“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.”
HMRC are not conflicted and it would be a huge step for a liquidator to exclude the major creditor from any creditor vote.
The rest is a set of unrelated thoughts.

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on9:28 pm - Nov 10, 2015

The following is my comment on the latest John James blog about the misdirected LNS Commission.
I urge you to read his blog at
and whilst I have a question on Bryson’s licensing role it’s a pretty good report on why LNS Commission must be replaced by a full investigation that also covers the 2011 UEFA licence Res12 aims to have investigated.
Did Bryson grant the Licence or was that not the Licencing Committee that Andrew Dickson sat on? Three out of four in 2011 when the wee tax bill arrived.
Apart from that this is a pretty good summing up of the setting up and I mean setting up of LNS and Bryson key role that at a stroke removed any deterrent to breaching registration rules.
In time it will be admitted RFC lied to UEFA in their submission under Article 66 about not having an overdue payable to 30 June and failed to report the arrival of the tax demand and accompanying letter of 20 May to SFA.They in turn neglected to ask any questions using their powers to do so and still, in spite of aknowledging in Aug 2014 they did not get a copy of the tax demand in May 2011, have done nothing to investigate.
That same letter by the way should also have gone to Harper MacLeod in 2012 acting for the SPL. It was a part of the set up for its existence would have made it impossible for LNS to treat all ebts as legal when he did.
It’s high time the truth came out and those responsible are named and if still in office removed.

View Comment

neepheidPosted on9:41 pm - Nov 10, 2015

StevieBC 10th November 2015 at 7:28 pm #Night Terror 10th November 2015 at 6:06 pm #A Dundee United fan writes in the Record:http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/opinion/sport/dundee-united-record-fc-know-6805403No doubt some Rangers Bloggers will find it blasphemous. =====Decent article with a nice, low blow thrown in too, in relation to Lance Armstrong’s PR spin ;“…Perhaps David Murray should arrange himself an interview with Oprah…” 
Quality, citizen journalism in the DR !  

That piece of quality citizen journalism is no longer available, unless my laptop is playing tricks. No doubt Chris Graham has put the Record straight on what can and can’t be published in this land of freedom.

View Comment

Corrupt officialPosted on9:44 pm - Nov 10, 2015

If as suspected, one of the terms of the 5 way agreement is that Sevco do not suffer the stripping of titles, ahem, “won” by Rangers(IL.), then it would explain the rigging of the LNS commission, as they would have been contractually obliged to Sevco. A similar trick they employed later to keep their own hands clean using Pinsent Mason.


   But where does that leave them(SFA) now if this scenario is true? Obliged to Sevco, not to strip titles, but guilty verdicts from LNS, the highest court in the land, and a fitba public screaming for justice?.
   Will Sevco invoke their contractual rights if the SFA decide to grow a pair? 
  Until the 5 way agreement is released for public consumption, then it cannot be guaranteed that any new commission or inquiry will not be corrupted due to the potential conflicts involved. 
  @Auldheid, (but anybody) may be best placed to reply, but should the matter not now be being referred to the court of arbitration for aN independent inquest ?  What process should the next step proceed towards? An appeal against LNS, or a new commission entirely to supersede it, a review, …What?… and by whom? 
   (Obviously subject to an appeal timeframe and outcome)

justshatered 10th November 2015 at 7:35 pm

1. Yes, Celtic
2. Fansites appetite for justice……Through the roof.

View Comment

neepheidPosted on10:00 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Apologies for my previous post, that DR article is still up, at http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/opinion/sport/dundee-united-record-fc-know-6805403
It’s a good article.

View Comment

SmugasPosted on10:02 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Corrupt Official

Don’t forget that Charlotte, accidentally if I recall correctly – she was using the material to make another point and didn’t seem to realise the true significance – made us aware of the existence of side letters to the mystical 5WA.  Can’t access the relevant material here but I’m sure our library guys will have it.

View Comment

Orchardcounty2002Posted on10:02 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Long time lurker myself from RTC days. I think its a great idea for as many people to get registered as this is going to be the mother of all battles re the cheating on an industrial scale and lack of consequences or even contrition or basic humility.
It does not take a genius to see that. From the way BBC Good Morning Scotland will gloss over the ruling by inviting on  tax expert who ” disagrees with the COS ruling”, the token 2 minute discussion on Sportscene, loads of EBT recipients invited on as guests on BBC, the quite frankly shameful position of Richard Wilson et al telling fans to move on but seeing no irony in slavishly reporting the alleged cheating in World Athletics. Or this morning on the GMS sports news when Darren O Deas comments were mentioned but the audio from Paul Lambert and Stuart Mc Call were played at considerable length to suit one particular narratice and it most certainly is not sporting integrity in my view!
I am inspired by the tireless forensic work of Auldheid et al on here to shine a light in on this darkness despite a collective media so we can all move on.
I love the work of John Clark as well who I was fortunate to sit beside on the last day of the Upper Tier Tirbunal in Edinburgh and his summing up of the case in laymans language which was easy to understand but believe me it was anything but on the day!
I also really enjoy the John James blog and respect where they are coming from in trying to get the truth out there as well so its a broad church…….. Perhaps he could do a guest blog at some time.
Keep up the great work SFM and hopefully justice will prevail in the end.

View Comment

Corrupt officialPosted on10:07 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Smugas 10th November 2015 at 10:02 pm  

   It was the side letters that got me thinking about it. If I recall correctly there was one of “The Set” missing.  I was hoping for a route that would side-step Scottish authorities completely……….Not that I don’t trust them. 0711

View Comment

BobmunchinsPosted on10:19 pm - Nov 10, 2015

The evidence presented and accepted by LNS was that as a player was registered in the first instance then the player is eligible to play even if the registration is technically flawed. Further, as the players were registered and therefore eligible to play there was no sporting advantage gained. LNS does seem to concede however that a registered player could be ineligible to play if the registration process was so fatally flawed as to make the players registration invalid from the outset but in any event there is no mechanism to revoke registered players once they are registered.
Based on the above here’s what I think will happen:
There will be continuing demand from fans and clubs for titles to be stripped which will result in irresistible pressure for the SFA to act. There will be an update to the LNS report probably by LNS himself. He is likely to now find, based on the illegal use of EBTs, that sporting advantage was indeed gained. However, as the players were registered they were eligible to play and there was no breach of rule D1.11. Despite the illegal use of EBTs it will be found that that the registration process was not so fatally flawed as to make the players ineligible to play and therefore there cannot be a 0-3 reverse against Rangers.
There will be no demonstration of applying the rules without fear or favour. There will also be little “common sense” shown.
Deals will be done under the table. Sanctions will be placed upon the “newco” Rangers FC to galvanise the continuation ruse. A point’s deduction will be placed on Rangers and it will narrowly escape relegation next season. Newco Rangers will also be politely asked to accept the previous £250k fine – we can’t have the SFA lose face now can we?

View Comment

LUGOSIPosted on10:31 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Tonight’s guest on Sportsound, Jolyon Maugham QC is having a cordial Twitter to and fro which was going fine until Mr Maugham was asked for his views on the dissenting opinion of Dr Heidi Poon at the FTT stage.
He, um, hasn’t read it.

View Comment

StevieBCPosted on10:31 pm - Nov 10, 2015

“Governancewatch” [continued…]
Just checked the ‘News’ section on the SPFL website.
The second most recent entry is ;

“SRtRC Fortnight of Action Welcome to Show Racism the Red Card’s Annual Fortnight of Action.
16th Oct 2015 Press Releases, Headlines, Football”

“…Neil Doncaster, Chief Executive of the SPFL, said: “Football is a powerful medium to break down barriers and promote tolerance. Our clubs have supported Show Racism the Red Card since season 2003/04 and once again, this united action in support of the campaign sends out the positive message that football is a game to be enjoyed by all.”…
Read more at http://spfl.co.uk/news/article/show-racism-the-red-card-24/#KgO3UiEXrZsFdBu6.99
So while of course it is a worthy cause for the SPFL to take the moral high ground and actively support an anti-racism initiative via Scottish football… how can the SPFL then turn a blind eye to cheating in Scottish football ?!

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on10:41 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Corrupt Official

I’ve probably got this wrong but I could not see anything wrong in giving Sevco an assurance  they would not be stripped of any titles because they haven’t any.
The transfer of SFA membership might give appearance Sevco and RFC being the same but UEFA didnt think so. TRFC (Sevco) had to wait three years to be eligible for UEFA competition because they lacked 3 years membership of the SFA.
So for the guarantee to work it had to say somewhere Sevco were RFC and they would not lose RFC titles.Does it say that Sevco are RFC?
As far as I’m concerned SFA  never stated TRFC and RFC were the same. They never said they were not but there  is as far as I know no positive statement saying officially SFA see them as the same club.
The SFA  couldn’t without breaching or damaging Article 12 of UEFA FFP beyond breaking.
So that guarantee is to Sevco/TRFC but SPL can treat RFCIL as they wish is my reading of things.
In short TRFC have no  say in the matter under the 5 Way but open to persuasion.


View Comment

jimboPosted on10:42 pm - Nov 10, 2015

I was just wondering, what are the chances of revelation through the ‘Freedom of Information Act’ regarding the 5 way agreement?  It’s not even expensive, but I don’t have the wherewithal. 19

View Comment

easyJamboPosted on10:42 pm - Nov 10, 2015

I caught the lengthy twitter exchange late this afternoon between Grant Russell (@STVGrant), Auldheid and others, where Grant played a bit of devils advocate asking which rule was broken by which the CoS decision triggered.  No-one was able to come up with one which hadn’t been judged upon by LNS.  (Note that Grant is in favour of a new enquiry about the wee tax case)

Rule D1.13 was the one the Bryson ran his coach and horses through, with his now infamous.”
once a player had been registered with the SFA, he remained registered unless and until his registration was revoked.”

If anyone engages with Grant tomorrow, can you ask him three questions
1)Which rule was it that Bryson was using to underpin his assertion above?, ….if none …
2) Does he knows of any precedent that would support Bryson’s position? … if no …
3) Does he think that Bryson invented such a scenario in order to avoid a much more serious sanction against the club?

View Comment

essexbeancounterPosted on10:46 pm - Nov 10, 2015

StevieBC 10th November 2015 at 9:14 pm #1) John Clark 10th November 2015 at 8:51 pm #…The curse of Cromwell on him!======================That sounds painful JC.
2) For essesbeancounterIn case you missed it: article from ICAS CEO, [and who is not in fact a bean counter].http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/financial/anton-colella-looking-beyond-the-numbers-1-3943754
Stevie…I did PM you some time ago indicating his background in teaching in Glasgow secondary schools.
It is part of the post-Goodwin era to rebuild the public perception of what a CA should be doing..as part of a “world class business community”

View Comment

bfbpuzzledPosted on10:52 pm - Nov 10, 2015

JJ providing some good stuff I guess he will be somewhere on the list of haters. I have curtailed my bbc listening because my wireless is in danger of damage…

View Comment

easyJamboPosted on10:56 pm - Nov 10, 2015

I also caught the first half of Sportsound on my way to the “wee derby” in the Development League this evening.

I was pleasantly surprised by Jolyon Maugham in that he didn’t try to use legalese to undermine the CoS Decision (which we know he disagrees with) but focused on the morality question of the directors who implemented the scheme. Even Richard Wilson was unable to defend that one.

However, I thought that Roger Mitchell’s stance was appalling for someone who held the chief exec’s position at the SPL. His attitude reflected the last “let’s all move on” statement from RFC. There was no sense of trying to get to the truth of what went on in smoky rooms (pre 2006) and behind closed doors. Just let it all rest because it doesn’t really matter anyway.
I’ve got a message for you Roger. “It does matter” to me and every other fair minded fan in the country.

View Comment

jimboPosted on10:58 pm - Nov 10, 2015

FOI replys are usually ‘anonymised’ but that’s OK we figured out who Mr. Black was. 21

View Comment

Corrupt officialPosted on11:15 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Auldheid 10th November 2015 at 10:41 pm #Corrupt Official
I’ve probably got this wrong but I could not see anything wrong in giving Sevco an assurance  they would not be stripped of any titles because they haven’t any 
   Ordinarily I would agree with you, but we are not dealing with an ordinary situation or claims. Aside from the bizarre declaration from Doncaster proclaiming them the same club and quoting LNS tit-bits, there is little from official channels to suggest they have any titles, other than the part-time ones.
    However there was the wee snippet where CG claimed to have “Bought’em”
  Even the late Paul McConville couldn’t fathom that one. He makes it pretty clear they can be confiscated though. Regardless of who the legal owners are.


View Comment

HomunculusPosted on11:15 pm - Nov 10, 2015

jimbo 10th November 2015 at 10:42 pm


The FOIA, or more accurately FOSIA as we have our own act only relates to Scottish public authorities.

You can get more details here.


View Comment

yourhavingalaughPosted on11:20 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Just listening to BBC main news about the London Games being tainted with corruption ,the reporter asks the question,Why is it left to journalists to uncover this rather than the Authorities? ,we must be on a different planet up here.

View Comment

SmugasPosted on11:23 pm - Nov 10, 2015

chapeaux.  That interpretation of the 5wa is the proverbial stoater and would provide Doncaster with an out to boot.  If carlsberg did irony!


re the LNS settlement (I.e. 250k and no more ), I don’t think that you can overlook that it appears to have been agreed in August 12 when the BTC was undecided, but at the time considered odds on to be guilty.

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on11:31 pm - Nov 10, 2015

Den 10th November 2015 at 9:25 pm
‘….Was Keith using a journalist trick in making a case then elegantly refuting it point by point. ..’
I had occasion the other day to make an observation on Jackson’s piece.
It was to the effect that it was a very, very, very  clever piece that would have secured him a job under Goebbels, any day of the week. A brilliant example , indeed the very epitome of darkness masquerading as light.
But the cloven foot can still be seen!

View Comment

wottpiPosted on11:41 pm - Nov 10, 2015

easyJambo 10th November 2015 at 10:42 pm

Wholly agree and said so at the time.

The fact that the Bryson evidence, which was the deal breaker, was accepted without so much as peep is, in my experience, most unusual occurrence in terms of adversarial legal process. Especially as you say there is no apparent precedent of such an interpretation or indeed any evidence that such an interpretation resulted in a ruling or penalty against a member club.

It really is a bunch of hokum.

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on11:44 pm - Nov 10, 2015

LUGOSI 10th November 2015 at 10:31 pm
‘….He, um, hasn’t read it…’
That is absolutely priceless!
He’d get a job anytime on the SMSM and BBC Radio Scotland!
A smug pompous ass of a legal windbag is bad enough. An ignorant and pompous ass is the pits.( Would he have been paid by some fraction of my BBC licence money, I wonder?)
To be scrupulously fair, though, he did not offer much comfort to RIFC, except to say that he thought BDO would appeal.

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on12:02 am - Nov 11, 2015

jimbo 10th November 2015 at 10:42 pm
‘…what are the chances of revelation through the ‘Freedom of Information Act’ regarding the 5 way agreement? ‘
Although the SFA gets public money,it is not subject to the FOI Scotland Act.
In June of this year, a poster on this blog suggested that we should try to get the SFA added to the list.
But  it was too near the deadline for submissions to be made, and in any case, Parliament was only seeking views in relation to two particular areas, not seeking views on which other bodies ought to be included.
We would have to begin the formal process of asking the relevant Parliamentary committee to consider including the SFA in the list of ‘public’ bodies that are subject to the FOI Act.

View Comment

swervedriverPosted on12:03 am - Nov 11, 2015

Hello All,
Another long long time lurker from RTC days encouraged to register by the most recent events as per similar lurkers in last few days.
I don’t have too much to add that hasn’t already been said other than my hope is the lack of official comment is down, in the main, to the highly unlikely  event that there would be an appeal against  the CoS ruling.
I may have more to say after that possibility  has passed but only suggestion for now is to promote a day (or weekend) of action by way of a boycott of matches. 
I appreciate that most fans don’t want to  miss games  but I believe that is best way to send the message. The clubs, of course, have already banked  most match day income  by way of season tickets so we wouldn’t be damaging them too much but I feel it would send the biggest message possible.
Inaction by the authorities  will  have consequences. 
Maybe it is us punters who should be threatening Armageddon ?
Hopefully sporting integrity will win through before  anything like that I necessary but I wouldn’t hold my breath.  
Thanks to all the regular posters, I haven’t bought a newspaper since 2012 so have been able to make the odd contribution to the blog.
Keep up the good work
back to lurking

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on12:25 am - Nov 11, 2015

On a wee kind of private acknowledgment note, a little earlier this evening, I spent a wee while scrolling back to identify the poster who referred  to the ‘Gutenberg Australia’ site, some days ago.
I wanted to mention him/her particularly and to say thanks for providing that info. ( The site gives access to thousands of books online, free of charge, because they are out of copyright.)
My interest is in books about Australian history, and this afternoon I began to read  “The Eureka Stockade” by Raffaello Carboni.
But before the book begins, there are some quotations.
One of these I had never come across before.
But it struck me as singularly apt to what we are about , and worthy of bringing to notice. The author gives it in both Latin and English:
” Mendacium sibi, sicut turbinis, viam augustam in urbe et orbe terrarum aperuit”
“The lie, like the whirlwind, clears itself a royal road, either in town or country, through the whole face of the earth.”
I don’t know where the quote comes from ( the Bible? classical Rome, or Greece?) but , by heaven, we see its truth here in 2015 Scotland!

View Comment

East End HammerPosted on12:38 am - Nov 11, 2015

just seen this   http://www.thescotti…A-to-court.html   Ashley Taking Sfa To Court….Started by Hoosier Ranger , Today, 11:07 PM

View Comment

TrisidiumPosted on12:43 am - Nov 11, 2015

I don’t think there is any doubt that the CoS decision last week has changed perceptions on the issues of Tax and LNS.

Clearly, our response needs to be measured, but we also need to be clear about the morality, and correctness of that response.

My personal view is that the CoS result is indeed a game changer – as observed by many others. There is a growing consensus, even in the MSM, that the law Lords have posed a serious question about the validity of the LNS enquiry. However to arrive at a pre-ordained conclusion that is in accordance with our world view is no less flawed than those which have prevailed in the media over the last couple of years.

If the governance of our game is to be effective, and seen to be effective, here are my suggestions on what needs to happen;

A new truly independent enquiry needs to be set up.

The terms of reference of the enquiry needs to be transparent and published – and look at ALL instances of mis-registration.

The rulebook of the SFA should be interpreted by the enquiry and not by a middle management bureaucrat at the SFA. Why pay for legal dogs and bark yourself?. Bryson was given the status of expert witness in the LNS enquiry – and yet LNS himself was better qualified than Bryson to interpret the rules.

The enquiry should not be concerned with punishment, but report only on the facts of the issues of the alleged withholding of contractual details from the SFA and SPL, on any advantage that night have been gained by the original Rangers through the use of what is currently established as an illegal tax scheme, and the dynamic effect of those two issues on each other.

The SPFL and the SFA should apply appropriate sanctions (if any are deemed appropriate) themselves. Their job is to govern the game. They shouldn’t be palming that responsibility off to the enquiry. In other words grow a pair. They should be confident that whatever they decide, there will be a dissatisfied constituency of fans. They should therefore approach their decision based on the enquiry’s findings, and on maintaining – no restoring – the integrity of the sport.

Of course Rangers fans will claim this is a with-hunt, but the truth is that this is nothing of the kind. The impact of what has happened to Rangers has impacted on Scottish football to a calamitous extent. If the same thing had happened to Celtic or Aberdeen or Hearts, SFM would be seeking the truth in the same manner we have for the last three years.

Rangers also have to accept that the success their club has enjoyed over the years brings an extra element of scrutiny that clubs who enjoy little or no success are seldom subjected to. The greater the sucess, the greater the scrutiny. It is a fruitless exercise to go after organisations or individuals who gain unfair advantage and still lose. But when you are winning it is a different story.

OCNC debate aside, few of us would argue that the current Rangers represent the traditions and ethos of the old. In the light of the CoS decision last week the custodians of the current club have an opportunity to get out from under the cloud of the EBT years and refuse to accept accreditation for any of the honours won during the EBT decade (whilst it is still limited to just a decade). That would certainly get the limp-wristed authorities off the hook, but sadly it is unlikely to happen.

Failing that, the authorities have the chance now to show that they – and not the fans of any one club or the media – are capable of administering the sport in a proper fashion.

My dread is that  they will once again sit on their hands and do nothing unless pressure is put on them. Once again it may be up to the fans to act as their moral and sporting conscience – and force them to act as grown-ups.

View Comment

easyJamboPosted on12:49 am - Nov 11, 2015

The back page of the Sun has Ashley seeking a judicial review of King being passed as a FPP.

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on1:14 am - Nov 11, 2015

easyJambo 11th November 2015 at 12:49 am
‘….Ashley seeking a judicial review of King being passed as a FPP.’
Interesting, in a whole lot of ways.

View Comment

LUGOSIPosted on1:18 am - Nov 11, 2015

The game’s afoot.
MASH Holdings v SFA at the Court of Session on Friday 11th December 2015 for Judicial Review of the decision to find Dave King a fit and proper person.
Level5 are going to have their work cut out for this one. Unless they subcontract the case to Chris Ze List or Craig Houston from Sans The Truth.
We’re going to have to start crowdfunding for notebooks and pencils for John Clark.
Is this another World Record? A football team/club/company which spends more time in Court than on a football pitch?

View Comment

easyJamboPosted on1:37 am - Nov 11, 2015

LUGOSI 11th November 2015 at 1:18 am #
The full article from the Sun
SunSport can reveal that the tycoon has demanded a full judicial inquiry into the decision by the beaks to pass Dave King as a fit and proper person.
The bombshell news comes just a week after the Sports Direct supremo launched a legal move to have the Gers chairman jailed.
The case, to be heard at Edinburgh’s Court of Session, is scheduled for a first hearing on Friday, December 11.
It could eventually lead to the original decision being overturned by the sitting judge.
Ashley is understood to have served legal papers last month calling for a review of the SFA ruling handed down on May 19.
He wants to examine the process Hampden’s hierarchy went through before clearing King.
Seething Gers fans will view the MASH Holdings v SFA case as a clear attempt to further disrupt the rebuilding process at the crisis-torn club.
King was able to take up the role of Ibrox chairman when he was passed fit and proper by the SFA.
Just two months before May’s ruling, he had led a successful bid to oust the previous regime.
However, the game’s governing body still needed time to assess the businessman’s suitability given his tax convictions in South Africa.
The fact he’d sat on the Light Blues’ board prior to their administration in 2012 was also considered by Hampden chiefs. At the time, the SFA consulted the relevant authorities in South Africa and Scotland, including the police, South African Revenue Services and HMRC, before allowing King to become chairman.
But that hasn’t satisfied Ashley, who has declared all-out war on King and his board.
The petition will already be in the hands of the SFA. Judicial reviews generally look into whether processes behind decisions made by public and private bodies are legal and fair.
It promises to be another messy affair in this never-ending saga with Ashley also dragging King through the courts.
Their feud exploded publicly last week as King insisted the costly legal fight against Sports Direct would continue.
Ashley’s lawyers then argued King breached a gagging order — obtained by the Sports Direct chief in June — in an interview with Sky Sports’ Jim White.
The latest twist comes less than a week after HMRC, at the third time of asking, won their appeal in the “Big Tax Case” and Gers’ annual report confirmed they need an additional £2.5m to survive the season.

View Comment

Corrupt officialPosted on3:08 am - Nov 11, 2015

Ashley appears to be pointing at a cosy relationship existing between certain parties. Will we find out who voted for, and who against? 

View Comment

upthehoopsPosted on6:50 am - Nov 11, 2015

Whatever Mike Ashley’s motives are it is surely a welcome consequence to many of us that the SFA are going to have to explain their actions in a court.  For far too long they have been allowed to hide over so many aspects of this Rangers saga in the knowledge the media won’t give them a hard time. Any supporter who politely asks them for information is treated with utter contempt – believe me I know. Ashley wants answers, but so do we. 

View Comment

upthehoopsPosted on7:14 am - Nov 11, 2015

Just reading the Twitter timeline of the BBC’s Kenny McIntyre. He was asked why Sportsound last night had the tax expert on who said the CoS got it wrong with Rangers but not the expert who said they got it right. His answer without a hint of shame was it would have been too much to have both on. Shameful from a publicly funded broadcaster in my view. 

View Comment

valentinesclownPosted on7:51 am - Nov 11, 2015

It could be a move from all trophies were won on the field to all sporting integrity decisions were won in court.
The two ones involving MA soon to take place
My money is on MA.  I would bet the shirt on my back that Mike wins (no pun intended)

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on7:54 am - Nov 11, 2015

An interesting post from CQN worth copying over.
Maybe some of the resident legal eagles could comment on this stuff…just my ramblings as usual.     The Fatally Flawed Lord Nimmo Smith Report is not binding.     Every decision and procedure is subject to judicial review within the framework of Scots Administrative Law.     (Well that’s what it says on Wikipedia)     That review is under the Court of Session in Scotland apparently (now where have we heard of them recently)     Public and Private bodies are liable to this procedure so the SFA are within the scope of this.     On procedural grounds – why was Bryson allowed to present evidence that perversely only seemed to protect his own department?     On procedural grounds – why was Bryson allowed the key opinion that exonerated his department from accusations of mal-administration?     On procedural grounds, the documents requested were not supplied and the commission/SFA was materially misled.     I think that the Wednesbury unreasonableness applies just to English law case but it speaks     On the unreasonablemess of the decision.     Wednesbury definition of an unreasonable decision is where it was..     “So outrageous in its defiance of logic or accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the question to be decided could have arrived at it”  


View Comment

evenmorecorruptionPosted on8:17 am - Nov 11, 2015

Just heard on Radio Scotland this morning Roger Mitchell urging us to move on. “Where do you draw the line – some teams overspent and then went into administration. Should they have trophies stripped.” My frustration with this issue is at boiling point – why cant people not understand that it not the tax avoidance or evasion (take your BBC pick!) but the registration issue that surrounded the EBTs. Of course they do understand but are encouraged by the BBC and the likes of Kenny M to peddle spin.

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on8:26 am - Nov 11, 2015

A while ago SFM contributors worked on producing an advert for the Sunday Herald. A lot of work went into it with a contributor who no longer posts doing much to fine polish.

Whilst it never was published for reasons covered here along with finished article it nevertheless tells a persuasive story that some smsm have problems acknowledging and investigating..

View Comment

sickofitallPosted on8:27 am - Nov 11, 2015


View Comment

AuldheidPosted on8:29 am - Nov 11, 2015

upthehoops 11th November 2015 at 7:14 am # Just reading the Twitter timeline of the BBC’s Kenny McIntyre. He was asked why Sportsound last night had the tax expert on who said the CoS got it wrong with Rangers but not the expert who said they got it right. His answer without a hint of shame was it would have been too much to have both on. Shameful from a publicly funded broadcaster in my view. 
If ever there was case to take to the BBC Trust this is it

View Comment

tayredPosted on8:58 am - Nov 11, 2015

Auldheid  11th November 2015 at 8:26 am #A while ago SFM contributors worked on producing an advert for the Sunday Herald. A lot of work went into it with a contributor who no longer posts doing much to fine polish.

Given the clamour for removal of medals from athletics drug cheats, for investigation of corruption within FIFA, for the unravelling of the German FA etc etc, if ever the UK press are going to be finally pulled into the Rangers scandal it has to be now.

Any interest in the placing of some form of advert within National press? I know that SFM (Auldheid? Sorry I forget exactly who) sent out a dodgy dossier of facts to selected Scottish media hacks a while back – were the national press also included? We can deliver a damning story to them on a plate at a time where editors just might be receptive to it.

View Comment

tayredPosted on9:32 am - Nov 11, 2015

Homunculus  10th November 2015 at 9:04 pm #JC
Yet another of the specious arguments.
We should all listen to Martin O’Neill and Paul Lambert when they express an opinion on this.
Why is that exactly, why is their opinion more valid than say a 27 year old Partick Thistle season ticket holder.
I would suggest her opinion on Scottish football and what is best for it would be just as valid as either of theirs.

I think the season ticket holders opinion carries far more value than any ex-player or ex-manager. Did O’Neill or Lambert ever have to pay to gain entry to the football ground? I don’t think so. We, the fans, shelled out our own hard-earned cash to escape for 90 minutes in to the joyous world of a sporting competition. Only it wasn’t a sporting competition, it was heavily rigged and money taken from each and every one of us was used to further this deception and reward dishonesty – makes me sick.

View Comment

Corrupt officialPosted on9:35 am - Nov 11, 2015

Auldheid 11th November 2015 at 7:54 am  
   Interesting that it may be over-ruled at the court of session. I hope somebody has an answer on that. (Have Rangers ii started trying to sell debenture seats there yet?)
     With regard to “Bryson’s Law” , as you say, “You cannot prove what does not exist”  
I would suggest that no rules existed to reterospectively remove titles from Rangers(I.L) because No rule needed to exist ! The rules lay out clearly what must be done when registering players. In short,
    A registration is either valid, or it is not.
     This is what was decided in the Keith McLeod incident with Spartans.  


    There was this para in the article, but I couldn’t find the exact rule being referred to, and would be grateful if anyone can shed any light on it.
        “The rules also state that neither the judicial panel or anyone at the SFA has the authority to change this rule”.

View Comment

bfbpuzzledPosted on9:40 am - Nov 11, 2015

John Clark
There is also a Gutenberg.org site with a wider selection of books and you will find archive.org very useful for even the most obscure texts.
The Gutenberg Australia site can be a little EBT some of the items there are out of copyright in Australia George Orwell and some more so there might be some literary advantage so to speak.
Proceed with caution because these site can be highly addictive as well as wonderfully informative. It took me all of two minutes to find 1870s birth rates in Edinburgh analysed in an article quoted in a magazine article from a little later used as evidence in a book which was widely read and quoted later ….

Sorry for the OT

View Comment

wottpiPosted on9:44 am - Nov 11, 2015


Yin and Yang

Newton’s Third Law

If there is a case for moving on and maintaining the status quo there must at least be minuscule argument for reviewing the past and making judgement on titles one.

Even with the recent revelations re Russian doping column inches have been given to the Russian view of nothing to see here. 

Since the CoS decision has there been anything put forward in the press other than Darren O’Dea  that represents the counter argument of review, appropriate punishments and potential title stripping that many paying customers of the Scottish game feel needs to occur before we ‘can move on’.

Given that the nation patted its back for the level of debate and discussion during the referendum  it is inconceivable that the issue of potential cheating at the highest level within our national game is not treated in the manner and with the full scrutiny it deserves.

Indeed many people in the media and within the game seem to be going out of their way to ensure their heads are firmly placed in the sand. Which of course brings forward another question – Why?

If they could articulate their reasoning then maybe we would be in a better place but as always they fail to have the courage of their convictions and tell then man/woman on the street how they see it.

Don’t give up. Fight the good fight and demand answers from these people.

While not a great fan of Ashley but at least he appears to be calling the weasels out.

View Comment

neepheidPosted on9:47 am - Nov 11, 2015

tayred 11th November 2015 at 8:58 am #
Any interest in the placing of some form of advert within National press? I know that SFM (Auldheid? Sorry I forget exactly who) sent out a dodgy dossier of facts to selected Scottish media hacks a while back – were the national press also included? We can deliver a damning story to them on a plate at a time where editors just might be receptive to it.

If the press, UK or Scottish, want a juicy story, all they have to do is dig around the edges of Souness getting an EBT years after his connection with Rangers (allegedly) ended. Interesting parallels could be drawn with Platini’s payment from Blatter, a story which filled acres of newsprint for weeks.
Yet the Scottish press or broadcast media won’t go anywhere near the story, a tasty morsel for any investigative journalist to build their reputation with, I would have thought. What’s going on? Does Souness have some sort of hold over them? 

View Comment

tykebhoyPosted on10:18 am - Nov 11, 2015

Corrupt official 11th November 2015 at 9:35 am #        “The rules also state that neither the judicial panel or anyone at the SFA has the authority to change this rule”.

That would be a first.  A rule in which the Scottish Football Administating authoities have no discretion 14

View Comment

wottpiPosted on10:57 am - Nov 11, 2015

I note the Evening Times is giving time to T’Rangers Stewart Robertson re the financial position and note that the accounts are a ‘historical document’ and significant changes will be seen next year.
As usual a puff piece that just takes Robertson’s word at face value.
No questions asked about if the annual general operating costs (ex footballing costs) of circa £13m per annum going back to the SDM days will be cut or how will the overall financial position be improved if more money is required to strengthen a squad capable of challenging in the Premiership and achieving Euro glory. Surely any increase in revenue will be gobbled up soon enough.
No mention about the outstanding loans, contingent liabilities, onerous retail contracts, a share issue or the lack of credit line from a bank.
For a historical document it apparently tells us that the current board are not taking a fee yet nothing has been reported yet for this financial year not has the issue of expenses as opposed to direct remuneration, been brought into the public.

Don;t envy Roberston with his task and I am sure he is doing all he can but this is again more head in the sand stuff from the SMSM.

View Comment

Night TerrorPosted on11:01 am - Nov 11, 2015

A small point occurred to me regarding HMRC seeking the tax the CoS has confirmed is due.

If HMRC go after Rangers2012 & BDO first, the amount they can claim is greater than if they go after the employee and the cash put into their EBT.
They could only pursue the employee for the tax & NI due on what they actually received, whereas they could go after Rangers2012 for the amount of tax & NI that ought to have been deducted from the employee’s pay before the net amount they actually received in their EBT was paid. Very roughly speaking, that would mean double the amount would be due to HMRC from the employer than if they pursued the employee.
So I doubt the EBT recipients are going to be pursued by HMRC before it becomes clear BDO & MIH (or whatever is left of both) are not going to cough up at least as much as could be claimed from the individual beneficiaries of the EBTs.
In fact, given the CoS was very clear that the tax liability was due at the point the payment was made from the employer, I wonder if the recipients through their EBTs would ever be liable for tax that should have been paid by their employer. Indeed, many EBT recipients had letters to confirm their employer would pick up any such bill should it ever arise.

View Comment

jimlarkinPosted on11:26 am - Nov 11, 2015

@evenmorecorruption at 08.17

Just heard on Radio Scotland this morning Roger Mitchell urging us to move on. “Where do you draw the line – some teams overspent and then went into administration. Should they have trophies stripped.” My frustration with this issue is at boiling point – why cant people not understand that it not the tax avoidance or evasion (take your BBC pick!) but the registration issue that surrounded the EBTs. Of course they do understand but are encouraged by the BBC and the likes of Kenny M to peddle spin.


not onlynthat, but they continue to peddle the shite
“…the previous company which ran Rangers football Club …”


View Comment

OdiochainPosted on11:31 am - Nov 11, 2015

Long time lurker since RTC days.
As with others, just registered in view of recent developments and first time poster.
Somewhere in a galaxy far, far away…
Statement from “the Rangers Football Club”:
“The club notes the intention of the SPFL, in light of last week’s Court of Session ruling in the appeal by HMRC concerning the use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs), to request that the SFA, as the body responsible for appeals against the findings of the original enquiry, conduct a full review of the findings of Lord Nimmo Smith’s investigation into the implications for registration and eligibility of players who were beneficiaries of EBTs as soon as possible.
We are entirely supportive of this decision and will co-operate fully with the review and, any right of appeal to the Court of Arbitration in Sport notwithstanding, we will accept its findings.
Scottish Football has suffered enough over recent years and it is time to move on.  For that to be possible, there is a need for greater understanding of what has transpired and for lessons to be learned for the good of the game.
For that reason, we have written to the Sports Minister, requesting the establishment of an Independent Enquiry into the administration of our national sport.  We have also written to the boards of all other senior clubs in Scotland asking for their support in this.
Football is nothing without fans.  For that reason, we have expressed a strong preference that, as far as possible, the work of the Independent Enquiry be conducted in public.
We believe that this sort of openness is necessary if we are to attract the levels of investment that football in Scotland requires if it is once again to prosper.”
Meanwhile, back on planet earth, we have inaction from the SPFL when faced with the CoS decision, and statements of the sort allegedly penned by a short-lived former director issued on behalf of the Ibrox club…
I hope that the CoS decision will prove to be a game-changer.
I believe that SFM could have a key role to play in trying to ensure that it is.
However little I can do in support of that, count me in!

View Comment

redlichtiePosted on11:32 am - Nov 11, 2015

Night Terror 11th November 2015 at 11:01 am #A small point occurred to me regarding HMRC seeking the tax the CoS has confirmed is due.
If HMRC go after Rangers2012 & BDO first, the amount they can claim is greater than if they go after the employee and the cash put into their EBT.
…….Indeed, many EBT recipients had letters to confirm their employer would pick up any such bill should it ever arise.
Good luck to the EBT recipients trying to enforce that contract. In fact, by the time they try to do so the horse may well have bolted – BDO will most likely have wound up RFC (IL).
I wonder if any EBT receipients have already lodged a pre-emptive claim against RFC (IL) for tax they may now have to pay? That would be ironic.
Scottish Football needs a strong judiciary in the coming months. Interesting times indeed.

View Comment

easyJamboPosted on11:34 am - Nov 11, 2015

You can read the final part of Jolyon Maugham’s trilogy here


He doesn’t dissect the CoS decision, but repeats much of what he said on Sportsound last night. 

View Comment

zerotolerance1903Posted on11:38 am - Nov 11, 2015

Can anyone clarify a couple of pedantic points for me?
1. Were Sevco Scotland and Rangers plc members of, or affiliated with, the SFA at the same time?  I seem to recall this being the case circa June/July 2012 i.e. Sevco Scotland were (provisionally) admitted to SFL Div 3 whilst Rangers were still an SFA member Club.
2. What rules or restrictions were in place within the SPL regarding sale or transfer of a Club’s share in the SPL?  Was this ever transferred from Oldco to Newco or did it go from Oldco to Dundee after newco was not admitted to the SPL?
3. What were the rules in relation to transfer of SFA membership?  Did newco ultimately get transferred oldco’s SFA membership or did they get a new one?  If a transfer what happened to the provisional membership?


View Comment

LUGOSIPosted on11:41 am - Nov 11, 2015

Auldheid 11th November 2015 at 7.54am
The Judicial Review route is certainly open.
Mike Ashley’s action against the SFA is by Judicial Review and the extent to which Scottish Courts will review the SFA’s actions and decisions will be known thereafter.
The reference to the Wednesbury Principle as only being applicable in England is not correct and the case; Associated Picture Houses v Wednesbury Corporation in 1948, is regularly cited in Scottish cases and certain aspects of it appeared in last weeks decision. Reading the part of the decision last week where an explanation of a point of law was being given in part read like a description of a Wednesbury principle unreasonable exercise of discretion in all but name.      
MASH Holdings v SFA may give the SFA a flavour of what could potentially be ahead and such may lead to, what’s that phrase they’re so fond of?, oh, little appetite to return to Court for more of the same.           

View Comment

scapaflowPosted on11:43 am - Nov 11, 2015

am not a huge fan of mike Ashley, but credit where its due, this judicial review of the King fit and proper decision will have the SFA board members sweating.

The prospect of Regan et al having to justify their decisions is hilarious, as well as long over due.

Vendetta versus Omerta, comedy gold premièring in the C of S February 2016 01

View Comment

easyJamboPosted on11:56 am - Nov 11, 2015

The current schedule of court cases for your diaries:

  • Charles Green v RIFC – 11/12 November @ Court of Session – re legal costs
  • HMA v Whyte, Withey, Grier, Whitehouse, Clark, Green, (maybe Ahmad?) – 7-11 December @ High Court – further preliminary hearings
  • Sports Direct v Dave King – 9 December @ Chancery Court, London – Contempt of court re disclosure of contract details.
  • MASH Holdings v SFA – 4 February 2016 @ Court of Session – Request for judicial review of the SFA’s FPP decision on Dave King.
View Comment

Comments are closed.