Why the Beast of Armageddon Failed to Show?

ByTrisidium

Why the Beast of Armageddon Failed to Show?

A Blog for Scottish Football Monitor by Stuart Cosgrove

At the height of summer of discontent I was asked to contribute to a BBC radio show with Jim Traynor and Jim Spence. ‘Armageddon’ had just been pronounced and if the media were to be believed Scotland was about to freeze over in a new ice-age: only a cold darkness lay ahead.

To get the radio-show off to a healthy and pretentious start I began by saying that Scottish football was experiencing an “epistemological break”. It was an in-joke with Jim Spence, who I have known since we were both teenage ‘suedeheads.’ I was a mouthy young St Johnstone fan and Jim was an Arabian sand-dancer. But even in those distant days, we shared a mutual distrust of the ‘old firm’ and in our separate ways wanted a better future for our clubs. We both grew up to become products of the fanzine era, Jim as a writer for Dundee United’s ‘The Final Hurdle’ and me as a staff writer for the NME. Without ever having to say it, we had both engaged in a guerrilla-war against what Aberdeen’s Willie Miller once characterised as “West Coast Bias”.

The term ‘epistemological break’ was shamelessly borrowed from French Marxist philosophy. It means a fundamental change in the way we construct and receive knowledge and although I used it on air as a wind-up to test Spencey’s significantly less-reliable Dundee schooling, deep down I meant it.

Social Media has proved to be one of the greatest disruptions in the history of the football supporter – greater than the brake clubs of the 19th century, the football specials on the 1970s; or the fanzine movement of the post-punk era. The pace of change in the way we send, receive and interrogate information has been so dynamic that it has wrong-footed administrators, asset strippers and sports journalists, alike. No matter who you support we are living through media history.

2012 had just witnessed an unprecedented summer of sport. The Olympics provided a snapshot of how sudden and pervasive the shift to social media has become. Over 40% of UK adults claim to have posted comments on websites, blogs or social networking about the Olympics and in younger age-groups that figure tips conclusively to a majority – 61% of 16-24’s posted Olympic comments. Think about that figure for a moment. Well over half of the young people in the UK are now participants in social media and pass comment on sport. The genie is out of the bottle and it will never be forced back. That is the main reason that Armageddon never happened: we no longer live in an age where the media can guarantee our compliance.

On the first day of the 2012-13-season, Rangers were in the deep throes of administration and facing certain liquidation. With no accounts to meet the criteria for SPL membership, one among a body of rules which the old Rangers had themselves been an architect of, the new Rangers could not be granted entry without a wholesale abandonment of the rules. It was not to be.

St Johnstone launched their new season at Tynecastle so I travelled with misplaced hope. We were soundly beaten 2-0 and both Hearts goals were entirely merited. On the day, I did a quick if unscientific survey of two supporters’ buses – the Barossa Saints Club, a more traditional lads-bus and the ‘208 Ladies’ a predominantly female and family-friendly bus. On both buses, over 75% of fans had mobile phones with 3G internet access and the majority of them posted updates or pictures before, during or after the match. They mostly posted via micro-blogging sites such as Facebook or Twitter, many commenting on the game, their day-out and the surroundings. Most were speaking to friends or rival fans. Some were publishing pictures and updating forums or blogs. And when he second a decisive goal went in some were undoubtedly taking stick from Gort, Webby DFC and DeeForLife, the pseudonyms of prominent Dundee fans, who as the newly promoted ‘Club 12’ were suddenly and very temporarily above St Johnstone in the SPL.

By my rough calculations, well over half the St Johnstone support was web-connected. I have no reason to think the Hearts supporters were any different. This small experiment reflects an unprecedented shift in the balance of communication in Scottish football and in the truest sense it is an ‘epistemological break’ with past forms of spectatorship. Social media has been widely misrepresented by old-style radio ‘phone-ins’ and by journalism’s ancien regime. The presumption is that people who are connected to the web are at home, in dingy rooms where they foam at the mouth frustrated by loneliness and mental illness. The term ‘internet bampots’ (coined by Hugh Keevins) and ‘keyboard warriors’ (Gordon Strachan) speaks to a world that is fearful of the web, irked by alternative opinions, and the threat that the new media poses to the traditional exchange of knowledge.

It further assumes that opinion from social networks is naïve, ill-informed, or unreasonable. Whilst some of this may be true, mostly it is not. No one would dispute that there are small enclaves of truly despicable people using social networks and comment sites, but they are overwhelmingly outnumbered by the multitude of fans who simply want to talk about their team and share their dreams and memories.

Social media is porous. By that I mean it has cracks, lacunae and fissures. This inevitably means that information leaks out. It can be shared, released and in some cases becomes so energetic it becomes a virus. It is no longer possible to ‘keep secrets’, to withhold information and to allow indiscretions to pass unnoticed. Newspapers have been caught in a whirlwind of change where views can be instantly challenged, authority quickly questioned and pronouncements easily disproved. Many papers – almost all in decline – have been forced to close down their comments forums. Undoubtedly some of that is due to breaches of the rules, the cost of moderation, and the rise in awareness of hate crimes. But another significant factor is that ordinary fans were consistently challenging the opinions and ‘facts’ that newspapers published.

Talking down to fans no longer works and we now have evidence – Armageddon did not happen. The beast that was supposed to devour us all was a toothless fantasy. In the more abrasive language of the terraces – Armageddon shat-it and didn’t turn up.

In one respect the myth of Armageddon was an entirely predictable one. Tabloid newspapers make money from scaring people – health scares, prisoners on the run, fear of terrorism, anxiety about young people, and most recently ‘fear’ of Scottish independence is their stock in trade. Almost every major subject is raised as a spectre to be fearful of. Most newspapers were desperate to ‘save Rangers’ since they themselves feared the consequences of losing even more readership. It was easier to argue that a hideous financial catastrophe would befall Scottish football unless Rangers were fast-tracked back into the SPL. Newspapers found common cause with frightened administrators who could not imagine a world without Rangers, either.

So we were invited to endorse one of the greatest circumlocutions of all time – unless you save a club that has crashed leaving millions of pounds of debt, the game is financially doomed. You would struggle to encounter this bizarre logic in any other walk of life. Unless Rick Astley brings out a new album music will die. That is what they once argued and many still do. That is how desperately illogical the leadership in Scottish football had become.

Armageddon was a tissue of inaccuracies from the outset. It tried to script a disaster-movie of chaotic failure and financial disaster and at the very moment when senior administrators should have been fighting for the livelihood of the league, they were briefing against their own business.

Armageddon was a big inarticulate beast but it faced a mightier opponent – facts. One by one the clubs published their annual accounts. Although this was against the backdrop of a double-dip recession and fiercely difficult economic circumstances it was not all doom and gloom. The arrival of Club 12 (Dundee) meant higher crowds and the potential for increased income at Aberdeen, Dundee United and St Johnstone. To this day, this simple fact remains unfathomable to many people in the Glasgow-dominated media. The arrival of Ross County meant an exciting new top-tier local derby for Inverness Caley Thistle and a breath of fresh air for the SPL. St Johnstone insisted on the first ever SPL meeting outside Glasgow to reflect the new northern and eastern geo-politics of the Scottish game.

European football meant new income streams for Motherwell. Of course times were tight, football is never free from the ravages of the economy and some clubs predictably showed trading losses. But the underlying reasons were always idiosyncratic and inconsistent never consistent across the board. Inverness had an unprecedented spate of injuries and over-shot their budgets for healthcare and so published a loss £378,000.

Meanwhile Dundee United published healthy accounts having sold David Goodwillie to Blackburn. Celtic reached the Champion’s League group stages with all the new wealth it will bequeath. St Johnstone – led by the ultra-cautious Brown family – had already cut the cost of their squad, bidding farewell to the most expensive players Francisco Sandaza and Lee Croft. The club also benefited from compensation for their departed manager, Derek McInnes and player-coach, Jody Morris. Paradoxically, Bristol City had proven to be more important to the club’s income than Rangers. Again this was not part of the script and proved unfathomable (or more accurately irrelevant) to most in the Glasgow media.

Hearts failed to pay players on time due to serious restraints on squad costs and internal debt. They were duly punished for their repeated misdemeanours. Motherwell and St Mirren despite the economic challenges were navigating different concepts of fan ownership. By November most clubs – with the exception of Celtic – were showing increased SPL attendance on the previous season. Far from the scorched earth failure that we were told was inevitable what has emerged is a more complex eco-system of financial management, in which local dynamics and a more mature cost-efficient reality was being put in place.

It may well be that Armageddon was the last desperate caricature of a form of media that was already in terminal decline. Flash back to 1967 when Scottish football had a so-called ‘golden age’. There was European success, we tamed England at Wembley and names like Law and Baxter brightened dark nights. Back then access to knowledge was a very narrow funnel. Only a small cadre of privileged journalists had access to the managers and players, and so fans waited dutifully for the Daily Record to arrive at their door to tell them what was happening. That system of ‘elite access to knowledge’ was in its last decadent throes nearly thirty years later, when David Murray would dispense wisdom to his favoured journalists. We now know they drank fine wine and ate succulent lamb in Jersey and the most loyal attended Murray’s 50th birthday party at Gleneagles. One journalist was so proud of his invite he danced round the editorial office mocking those who had not been invited. This was the early height of the Rangers EBT era but it is now clear that difficult questions went unasked by either journalists or by football administrators.

Although it may not suit the narrative of this particular blog my first realisation that David Murray’s empire was living on leveraged debt was from a small cadre of Rangers fans. It was around the early years of the Rangers Supporter’s Trust (RST) and they were determined to shake more democracy from the Ibrox boardroom. Whilst real fans of the club argued from the outside, the press took Murray at his loquacious word. He was in many respects their benefactor, their visionary – their moonbeam.

By the 1990s onwards, football journalism had ritualised and festered around the inner sanctums at Ibrox. This was an era where relevance meant being invited to a ‘presser’ at Murray Park, having Ally’s mobile or playing golf with ‘Juke Box,’ ‘Durranty’ or ‘Smudger’. Many journalists, showing a compliant lack of self-awareness, would use these nicknames as if conveyed closeness, familiarity or friendship. It is desperately sad that careers have been built on such paltry notions of access and such demeaning obsequiousness.

Around this period I had become a freelance radio-presenter and was presenting Off the Ball with my friend Tam Cowan, a Motherwell fan. We both wanted to fashion a show which saw football not trough its familiar narratives, but through the lens of the ‘diddy’ teams, a term so demeaning that we tried to reclaim it. Refusing to peddle the inevitability of ‘old firm’ power we sensed that journalistic compliance at Ibrox was now so ingrained that it was ripe for satirising. This was the main reason that Off the Ball branded itself as ‘petty and ill-informed.’ It was a self-mocking antidote to those journalists that could ‘exclusively reveal’ breaking stories from ‘impeccable sources,’ which usually meant they had heard it on the golf-course, from Walter, a man who needed no surname.

Many fans are astonished when I tell them how the journalism of this era actually functioned. On Champions League nights, journalists from opposing papers gathered together to agree what to write. Circulation was in decline, money was tight, agency copy was on the increase and foreign trips were under-scrutiny. No one dared miss the ‘big story’. So sports journalists who commonly boasted about their toughness and who ‘feared no one’ were often so fearful of returning home having missed an angle, that they agreed by consensus to run with variations of the same story. Celtic fans may wish to recoil at the image – but journalists would go into a ‘huddle’ at the end of a press-conference to agree the favoured line.

So the summer of 2012 witnessed an ‘epistemological break’ in how knowledge and information was exchanged. But let me go further and taunt Jim Spence one more time. It was the summer we also witnessed an ‘amygdala-crisis’ exposing the way the media works in Scotland. Amygdala is the nuclei in the brain that manages our tolerance for risk and is the key that often unlocks creative thinking. Many people in relatively high places in the media – a creative industry – demonstrated that they could not conceive of change, nor could they imagine what football would look like if Rangers were not playing in the SPL. They not only resisted change but lacked the imagination to think beyond it. A common language began to emerge that tried to ward off risk and an almost a childlike fear of the dark. ‘Scottish football needs a strong Rangers,’ ‘But there will no competition’; ‘other clubs will suffer’; ‘Draw a line in the sand’; ‘It was one man – Craig Whyte’, ‘They’ve been punished enough’ and of course, the daddy of them all – ‘Armageddon.’

The biggest single barrier to change was the lingering and outmoded notion that Rangers subsidised Scottish football. As a supporter of a club that had spent seven economically stable years in a league that Rangers have never played in made me deeply suspicious and I was in the words of the we-forums ‘seething’ that St Johnstone were portrayed as somehow ‘dependent’ on a club that was already fatefully insolvent. Because so little is known about the experience of the fans of smaller clubs, they are often misrepresented. For seven years my friends and I, travelled home and away in the First Division, often narrowly missing out on promotion as rival clubs like Gretna, Dundee and Livingston all used money they did not have to ‘buy’ success. It remains an incontrovertible fact that St Johnstone FC has been among the most consistent victims of fiscal misdemeanour in Scottish football. That is the irreducible issue. Several clubs have very real reasons to loathe financial mismanagement, rogue-trading and those that gain unfair advantage on the back of unserviceable debt.

Social media has allowed these smaller incremental versions of history to be told when the established media had no interest in telling them. Blogs can dig deeper than the back pages ever can and fans are now more likely to meet on Facebook than on a supporter’s bus. Many players now bypass the press completely and tweet directly with fans. Rio Ferdinand’s recent attack on racism in English football has been conducted entirely via social media, over the heads of the press. In the Rangers Tax Case context, restricted documents are regularly shared online, where they can be analysed and torn apart. Those with specialist skills such as insolvency, tax expertise or accountancy can lend their skills to a web forum and can therefore dispute official versions of events.

Not all social media is good. Open-access has meant a disproportionate rise in victim culture. The ‘easily-offended’ prowl every corner of the web desperate to find a morsel that will upset them but that is a small price to pay for greater transparency and even the most ardent bore is no excuse for limiting the free exchange of information.

We have witnessed a summer of seismic change. A discredited era that largely relied on ‘elite access to knowledge’ has all but passed away and information, however complex or seemingly unpalatable, can no longer be withheld from fans. The days of being ‘dooped’ are over.

It has been a privilege to participate in the summer of discontent and I yearn for even greater change to come. Bring it on.

Stuart Cosgrove
Stuart Cosgrove is a St Johnstone fan. He was previously Media Editor of the NME and is now Director of Creative Diversity at Channel 4, where he recently managed coverage of the Paralympics, London 2012. At the weekend he presents the BBC Scotland football show ‘Off the Ball’ with Tam Cowan. He writes here in a personal capacity.

About the author

Trisidium administrator

Trisidium is a Dunblane businessman with a keen interest in Scottish Football. He is a Celtic fan, although the demands of modern-day parenting have seen him less at games and more as a taxi service for his kids.

3,744 Comments so far

verselijkfcPosted on10:01 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Agrajag says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 18:40
——
I’m having a virtual total disconnect between what I know the words in this passage mean versus what is being claimed by those in the blue corner (along with two of those responsible for the judgement). I realise language is constantly evolving and I’ve been out the uk for 12 years, but it appears that I really don’t understand my own language any more.

View Comment

wottpiPosted on10:01 pm - Nov 20, 2012


From the documenation on the web it looks like their may indeed be some tax due by those who have not paid back their loans or indeed if they get written off. The problem is will this be enforced retrospectively to the EBT loans issues in the past.

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/eimanual/EIM26101.htm

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/eimanual/EIM45120.htm

View Comment

ollielogiePosted on10:04 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Ffs what is the world coming to…..

View Comment

readceltPosted on10:07 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Is anyone else thinking mr magenta sounds like the worlds greatest football administrator?

In which case he’s told the tax tribunal one thing and everyone else something somewhat at odds with the apparent events.

View Comment

tic6709Posted on10:08 pm - Nov 20, 2012


By the way,Rangers have been liquidated,Sevco is running out of money,they are in the Lowest league,they have the worst manager in football. What’s not to like.
We all knew that they would not pay any penalty,because they are dead and the dead dont need to pay.Cheer up folks. Sevco will not get a leg up the leagues,I dont think they will even exist for the start of next season.

View Comment

Charlie BrownPosted on10:08 pm - Nov 20, 2012


i think the only word that can describe how i feel by this whole farrago is ‘DUPED’ 🙁

View Comment

campsiejoePosted on10:10 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Have they actually won ?
From what I have read so far, it would appear that RFC(IL) will be liable for some tax, but the 35 who thought they had gotten away free, will also have to pay tax

So it would appear that RFC(IL) have indeed been found guilty of using a scheme to deliberately avoid tax, and it is now a question of who is going to pay what
I suppose not getting landed for the whole bill may be seen as some sort of victory, and indeed the Sevconians and the MSM will trumpet it as such

In my eyes, it’s more akin to appealing a fine and having it reduced, which really isn’t that much of a victory

View Comment

ClashCityRockersPosted on10:14 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Didn’t DM say “for every five lawyers they employ I’ll employ ten…” or something like that. My memory is not what it is, to much aluminium in the bloodstream methinks. Now wonder the result went his way.

Fettes, fettes, fettes. Excuse me ladies & germs I’m sneezing all over the place.

View Comment

MikeCPosted on10:19 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Does today’s ruling on the FTT case mean that Celtic and Arsenal can now apply for a refund of the tax they paid to the HMRC On their payments into employee trusts. Money which the HMRC STATED were due, today’s ruling appears be upholding these clubs original decisions that tax was not applicable ?

View Comment

nowoldandgrumpyPosted on10:20 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Well well, Patey, Speirs and Graham on newsnight. A balanced panel not.

View Comment

corsicacharityPosted on10:20 pm - Nov 20, 2012


neepheid says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 21:27

Agrajag says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 21:07
0 0 Rate This
neepheid says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 20:58

The ruling, in my views, sees the players as being debtors to the club which is being liquidated. If that is correct then it is very much a concern for BDO
=======
Money was given to the trust by the club (or MIH, makes no difference). The EBT then “loaned” that money to the players and others.

The club (represented now by BDO) can’t claim the money back from the trust, they have no grounds to do so. That is the whole point of a trust. The trustees could, in theory, claim these “loans” back from the players, but they won’t. That, of course, is why the whole thing is a scam.
*********
Agreed, neepheid. Some people keep banging their head against a brick wall here. We went over this time and time again on RTC and on here. The EBT funds due to be repaid by the players (ha!) goes back to the trust/trustees where in theory it would be recycled for some similar benefit (would need to see trust deed to make definitive statement on what repaid funds could be used for). It does NOT go back to RFC and the liquidators have as about as much call on those funds as you or I; that is just one of the reasons why it is an absolute scam and farce.

I take heart from the contents of the report which as someone pointed out above in a lengthy post really do not leave a huge amount of room for doubt. HMRC should (I would normally say “will”, but in this farce who knows?) pursue this and appeal if at all possible – they have too much to lose otherwise. Sevconians and Rangers fans will crow about this all night and for the next few weeks, however, be in no doubt that this ruling has no impact on the SPL investigation – it’s a bit like the ruling on club or company by Lord Nimmo (ie, SPL rules differ from law).

Furthermore, the MSM are already dancing to the PR tune. The very clear reality is that RFC did not win the appeal – paragraph 232 (pg58) is clear on that. They won on some elements of the appeal and lost on others. Call it a score draw if you like but they most definitely did not “win”.

View Comment

Reilly1926Posted on10:20 pm - Nov 20, 2012


(Sir) Dave might just hang on to his tainted hood now but just to remind everyone, if you need to be reminded, that after the last failed share issue he did a paper transfer between RFC(IL) and MIH for £50m. This money is now owed to the British Taxpayer.

View Comment

ShooperbPosted on10:21 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Like many on here, I’m a bit confused – The verdict explicitly says that what Rangers did was entirely against SFA contract rules, yet we’ve got Mr Johnston popping up to say that the verdict proves that Rangers have no case to answer? Have I missed something?

View Comment

TommyBPosted on10:22 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Somehow this result is even better than if HMRC had been declared the winner. I can imagine some zombies wondering what has happened and being told , Yes you are still dead, but a decendant is in Div 3, on life support.

View Comment

broadswordcallingdannybhoyPosted on10:24 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Will Marc Daly have to hand back his BAFTA?
Will HMRC have to give Celtic back the tax on Juninho’s EBT?
Will all Scottish Football Clubs (or is it holding companies?) be kicking themselves they didn’t take their tax advice from a porn star?
Will Dannybhoy ever reply to Broadsword?

I doubt any non Rangers supporter from the West of Scotland will be surprised at the ruling today.

I have very limited forensic skills but I wonder if a FTTT hearing could be carefully choreographed and if so could such choreography be evident from it’s ruling? I wonder if any dissenting voices could be from those not invited to the dance lessons. I’m not referring to any FTTT in particular.

How can it be that learned and legal minds see the same evidence as proof of different things?
I’m not referring to any learned and legal minds in particular.

Hi Broadsword, it’s me Dannybhoy,,,,

“I’m feckin’ finished with Scottish football, over and out!”

View Comment

nowoldandgrumpyPosted on10:30 pm - Nov 20, 2012


I think Chuckie will use this rediculous decision to get TRFC supporters into a frenzy, by using the victims card to convince them to buy his useless pieces of paper he calls shares.

View Comment

wolfman2011 (@CWolfman2011)Posted on10:31 pm - Nov 20, 2012


As Speirs said tonight on SSB,”Rangers have a 75% victory”……….Can you get 15% Pregnant?……..!5% of cheating is still cheating in my book.

View Comment

goosyPosted on10:32 pm - Nov 20, 2012


There is no way our corrupt UK Gov (which they all are) will condone this decision .
It has such far reaching implications even the Masons can`t make it stand
In any event
Enjoy the implications of all the joy from exultant callers to the MSM
Or at least from those who demonstrate a modicum of intelligence
It means that any Sevco fans who pretended to be gullible now have to confront their gullibility by asking themselves
Who won the Tax Case?
The Sevco club I support who have been registered at Ibrox for over 2 months?
Or
The Club I used to support who were registered at Ibrox for over 100yrs ?

A club that are now based at the BDO Liquidator Office at 4 Atlantic Quay according to the document lodged at Companies House on 16 Nov 2012 ?

Check for youself
Google Companies House Webcheck

enter “The Rangers Football Club” …….”previous name”
Click ” order information on this company”

View Comment

wolfman2011 (@CWolfman2011)Posted on10:35 pm - Nov 20, 2012


wolfman2011 (@CWolfman2011) says:
As Speirs said tonight on SSB,”Rangers have a 75% victory”……….Can you get 15% Pregnant?……..!5% of cheating is still cheating in my book.
————————————————————————————————————————
Obviously I cannot count!………lol……25%

View Comment

justshateredPosted on10:39 pm - Nov 20, 2012


I posted the other night that the judiciary were at odds with itself.
What is the chance now of the SPL hearing into dual contracts disagreeing with the statement in the FTTT ruling that the omission of payments was at odds with the footballing rules.
The final part of the process will be complete.
No tax to pay and no footballing rules broken.
Only in Scotland can you square that circle!
It sounds bizarre but it might just happen.

At least now ‘The Rangers’ fans can blame Craig Whyte for the club going bust.
He was the guy that took a perfectly healthy club and buried it under a tidal wave of debt and Murray was duped after all.
Bizarre again.

View Comment

dedeideoprofundisPosted on10:41 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Long Time Lurker says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 21:40
72 26 Rate This
Quick poll if you are so inclined: thumbs up if you think HMRC will appeal – thumbs down if not.
————-
As was mentioned before, any appeal can only be on a point of law, can anyone throw any light on what grounds there are for appeal?

View Comment

MikeCPosted on10:43 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Do not understand all the hype re The Rangers winning the tax case. It was not Rangers it was the legal entity that run Rangers not the CLUB. Well is that what we were/are being told by Jabba,Jack, Charlie, Keith. Et el. The club survived but the legal entity NO LONGER EXISTS EXCEPT IN LIQUIDATION -yes ?
Even Charlie is on record making the point that the tax case result would have no effect on the current legal entity the runs The Rangers – yes ?
The real Rangers fans should now questioning the position taken by the directors and owners of the Oldco since with proper business acumen there may have been no need for them to have gone into administration and eventually liquidation. They should be under scrutiny from the shareholders and. Debenture holders who have lost a considerable amount of money in all of this. POOR CORPORATE MANAGEMENT -YES

View Comment

ianagainPosted on10:47 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Just a thought. No costs expenses awarded. Is A. Thornhill working pro bono? Whos going to pay? Cant be cheap.

View Comment

streathambhoyPosted on10:53 pm - Nov 20, 2012


So 2 of the 3 judges have decided that a football club paying football players to play football is tax exempt if the two of them decide to call it a “loan”, while the rest of us are taxed to the hilt and energy companies that don’t pay taxes hike up their prices and every shop from Starbucks onwards pushes up prices while not paying taxes and every big bank hikes up their rates while not paying taxes.

Alice in Wonderland and Gulliverd Travels described less fanciful landscapes. This is a breeding ground for serious social unrest if the powers that be don’t rein in such patent injustice as a matter of urgent public policy.

View Comment

streathambhoyPosted on10:54 pm - Nov 20, 2012


So 2 of the 3 judges have decided that a football club paying football players to play football is tax exempt if the two of them decide to call it a “loan”, while the rest of us are taxed to the hilt and energy companies that don’t pay taxes hike up their prices and every shop from Starbucks onwards pushes up prices while not paying taxes and every big bank hikes up their rates while not paying taxes.

Alice in Wonderland and Gullivers Travels described less fanciful landscapes. This is a breeding ground for serious social unrest if the powers that be don’t rein in such patent injustice as a matter of urgent public policy.

View Comment

Reilly1926Posted on10:54 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 22:41
0 0 i Rate This

Long Time Lurker says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 21:40
72 26 Rate This
Quick poll if you are so inclined: thumbs up if you think HMRC will appeal – thumbs down if not.
————-
As was mentioned before, any appeal can only be on a point of law, can anyone throw any light on what grounds there are for appeal?
============

I understand that HMRC were represented at the Tribunual by a CA and not a lawyer. MIH/RFC(IL) were represented by 2 lawyers. I would imagine there are many points of law that could be challenged.

What’s the point though. They are a dead institution/club..

Better to send BDO chasing after the benefactors of the “loan” scheme to maximise the creditors balance.

View Comment

Richard Wilson (@timomouse)Posted on10:56 pm - Nov 20, 2012


http://www.thefootballlife.co.uk/post/36166492493/the-phyrric-victory

On the verdict. On a point by point basis. Except the appendix – I was getting a bit weary by that point!

View Comment

streathambhoyPosted on11:06 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Sorry for repeat posts, I’ve never been able to post before after composing lengthy diatribes!

View Comment

goosyPosted on11:20 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Relax

If HMRC had won outright then BDO would probably have liquidated RFC (the only real RFC ) before Xmas
If HMRC appeal then BDO will likely have to put liquidation on hold since HMRC ought to be able to spin it out until the appeal process is finished

It will go on and on

View Comment

Danish PastryPosted on11:30 pm - Nov 20, 2012


MP for Glasgow SW on Newsnight saying that in spite of result this kind of tax avoidance by Rangers ‘morally wrong’ and ‘morally indefensible’.

Noticed via a google of Mure that this quote came up of an RM post at the beginning of October:

“Posted 01 October 2012 – 10:16 PM
Below is your link to good news and happiness,all you have to do is put the name of Kenneth Mure QC into the box reserved for your Judge selection, or select him from the list. The result of our FTTT will appear here on publication day but not any time soon, I am reliably informed that we have no liability to answer for or to.

Interestingly for our financial wizards the learned QC has never chaired anything other than VAT tribunals, I trust you can work it out from there. It will be interesting to see how Lord Nimmo’s panel extract themselves from having to pre-empt a court of record, very interesting.”

Either a good guess or a wee bird told him:

http://forum.rangersmedia.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=239841&st=0

View Comment

readceltPosted on11:31 pm - Nov 20, 2012


People often refer to Greece as some kind of banana republic where paying tax became voluntary and avoidance/evasion was a regular occurrence.

Now I know why samaras feels right at home here.

The reason the working man is constantly squeezed is because he is the only one daft enough to pay any tax.

View Comment

notimeforanovicePosted on11:33 pm - Nov 20, 2012


Folks,
Is this decision not relating to a tax appeal?

So, therefore no great issue. I’m seeing a lot of “I’m finished with Scottish football” comments. Ultimately we are about the good of Scottish FOOTBALL and getting back to the good old 70’s & 80’s competitiveness.

Sure, this is a real black swan event, but these tend to have unintended consequences further down the line. It’s there in black and white, they made contractual payments and loans in parallel. Yes, the SFA rules might not specifically identified this arrangement as a transgression. But, we all know it was bad for football and just not right. They would have eventually devoured Scottish football had they not imploded. Let’s not be vindictive, it’s a businessman’s job to try and wipe out the opposition, they can’t help it. So, chins up, it’s a pyrrhic victory.

View Comment

briggsbhoyPosted on11:46 pm - Nov 20, 2012


justshatered says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 22:39

Bizarre it is, you could come up with umpteen plausible senarios here and still be wide of the mark. Bizarre

View Comment

manandboyPosted on11:54 pm - Nov 20, 2012


If I was a horse, I’d feel like a horse which has just gone through a fence in the National.

View Comment

midcalderanPosted on12:03 am - Nov 21, 2012


Danish Pastry says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 23:30

MP for Glasgow SW on Newsnight saying that in spite of result this kind of tax avoidance by Rangers ‘morally wrong’ and ‘morally indefensible’.
———————–
Heard the MP Danish. He sounded a reasonable guy but he was really out of touch. He said the decision should have been out a year ago ago but FTTT was still hearing evidence in November 2011(5 Days) and January 2012 (3 Days).

View Comment

BunionPosted on12:14 am - Nov 21, 2012


So many questions arising from todays announcement

1. If SDM was so convinced of admonishment as he consistently stated, why not hold out rather than sell the club to Whyte?

2. Any cursory check on Whyte’s background would show what his core skill is – what then of SDM’s claims of finding the right buyer?

3. Now that the existence of side letters, and the deliberate lack of disclosure to football authorities, has been confirmed how can the SPL/SFA come to any other conclusion but to expel The Rangers Football Club Limited and strip Rangers Football Club PLC of past titles?

4. If this decision was reached Jan/Feb of this year that would mean that the tribunal has watched over the club’s fall into administration, failure to reach CVA and forthcoming liquidation KNOWING that they had cleared the club?

5. If the decision is appealed, does that mean HMRC can introduce Alex Rae’s radio interview, Jean Alan Boumsong’s statements to the press and Billy Dodd’s claims that tax had been deducted prior to him receiving loan payments (who pays tax on a loan??), as new evidence?

6. Were Scotland managers/coaches and SFA personnel paid loans after their employment with Rangers ceased and whilst they were employed directly by the SFA?

7. Were any disciplinary panel members that sat on cases involving Rangers paid loans at any time before or after their sitting on the disciplinary panel?

8. How can the detailed evidence noted by one panel member be so blatantly ignored by other panel members?

Victory? Looks like there’s quite a bit to be addressed yet.

View Comment

midcalderanPosted on12:14 am - Nov 21, 2012


Andrew Woods says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 22:54
2 4 Rate This
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 22:41
0 0 i Rate This

Long Time Lurker says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 21:40
72 26 Rate This
Quick poll if you are so inclined: thumbs up if you think HMRC will appeal – thumbs down if not.
————-
As was mentioned before, any appeal can only be on a point of law, can anyone throw any light on what grounds there are for appeal?
============

I understand that HMRC were represented at the Tribunual by a CA and not a lawyer.
——————————————————————–
He was a real QC Andrew. http://www.terrafirmachambers.com/our-advocates.html?advocate_id=42

View Comment

stmileyPosted on12:25 am - Nov 21, 2012


Now the evidence is in the public domain. It’s time this blog earned it’s stripes.

The MSM have declared their intention, Rangers have won, nothing but apologies required.

This blog was set up to ensure the truth and justice are seen to be done. We now have the evidence, undeniable financial doping of our game by one club.

What now? A counter campaign?

MSM must not be allowed to get their lies accepted as truth!

View Comment

SeniorPosted on1:07 am - Nov 21, 2012


Come on guys, this is proof positive that oldco cheated. If there were six players paid under the table then that’s enough, not to mention De Boar and Laudrup.. They won titles whilst cheating. It is now cast in stone, they cheated their way to many titles. If ever the cliché “the devil is in the detail” is applicable it most definitely will apply to this document, particularly as far as oldco are concerned.
What really made myself and the wife sit up though was the novel idea that to be paid using loans with an open ended date for repayment, and no tax implications is the way to go. The trade unions have at last found the loophole of all loopholes!!
Seriously though – what an outlandish finding, I have never heard anything like it in my life – and giving official imprimatur to boot. – of course HMRC are compelled to appeal this crazy decision.

What’s to stop any one asking to be paid by a loan without any tax liability that ceases to be an obligation when the lender dies, is liquidated, goes bankrupt etc.
The bottom line is this, they cheated for several years and deprived other clubs at home and abroad of titles and badly needed revenue, end of story..

View Comment

ordinaryfanPosted on1:10 am - Nov 21, 2012


Seniorsays: What really made myself and the wife sit up though was the novel idea that to be paid using loans with an open ended date for repayment, and no tax implications is the way to go. The trade unions have at last found the loophole of all loopholes!!:

………………………………………………………………………………………………….

And this will leave HMRC furious, they will come out all guns blazing.

View Comment

ordinaryfanPosted on1:17 am - Nov 21, 2012


Does anybody know, the cases where Duel Contracts to evade Tax were proven, will anyone be looking at a prosecution on the Police side of things? If the evidence is there for the Tribunal is a Police Investigation not completely separate thing altogether?

View Comment

john clarkePosted on1:51 am - Nov 21, 2012


Ms Poon has the better understanding of the law.

HMRC will, of course, appeal. The upper tier tax tribunal will share Ms Poon’s view.

I discount any notion that Messrs Rae and Mure are motivated by sectarian or other non-legal interest.

They have actually savaged RFC and its advisers and their witnesses as being obstructionist and devious and unreliable ,and clearly intending a tax scam.

But they have not as judges been able intellectually to grasp the thrust of the law as clearly as Ms Poon.

The upper tier will be able so to do.

But that’s kind of by the by.

The Nimmo Smith commission is not about failure to pay tax, but about failure to notify the SFA/SPL of all payments made to players in respect of their football services.

It will still have to sit and hear evidence.

Their verdict is the crucial one, in relation to stripping of titles won by fielding ineligible players, and perhaps in declaring that the penalty of expulsion that might properly be applied to the dead club, should, under the five-way agreement, be applied to the brand new club which accepted liability for some of the dead club’s obligations.

That’s the next little bit of fun we will have.

View Comment

easyJamboPosted on1:56 am - Nov 21, 2012


The main thing I take from the judgement is the weakness of our legal system. We appoint specialist QCs and legal brains to sit and hear the same evidence over a period of weeks and months yet thay can come up with diametrically opposed “opinions”. I thought these guys dealt in facts and the law and were able to dismiss all the external noise within the evidence submitted or heard.

While I can see how a jury of lay people may have contradictory views on the evidence in a court of law, I find it astonishing that the legal experts can interpret things so differently.

It is not the first time this has happened with Rangers as Lord Carloway’s interpretation of the SPL rules was contradicted by Lord Hodge in the Court of Session re the transfer embargo.

It seems as if luck plays a bigger part than it should in whether or not a case goes one way or another, rather than a consistent interpretation and implementation of the law as I believe it should.

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

On a separate topic, the judgement on Page 85 identifies the manager as Mr Violet and the captain as Mr Ipswich on the eve of the Famagusta match in season 2005/06.

From a different source, http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2005/aug/25/match.sport5 , the manager and captain at the time of the Famagusta match were identified in the article as Alex McLeish and Barry Ferguson.

I’l leave people to speculate whether or not the names in in the two sources are linked.

View Comment

BrendaPosted on2:12 am - Nov 21, 2012


This just gets better by the day 🙂

View Comment

john clarkePosted on2:28 am - Nov 21, 2012


easyJambo says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 01:56
‘From a different source, http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2005/aug/25/match.sport5 , the manager and captain at the time of the Famagusta match were identified in the article as Alex
McLeish and Barry Ferguson.’
—-
Well done, research-wise.

What an awakening we all have had ,through participation on this blog, to the fact that not only should we question what anyone else says ,but that we can ask questions on the basis of information we already have from other sources.

View Comment

forweonlyknowPosted on2:31 am - Nov 21, 2012


i have just emailed all my staff to tell them that they are ALL now getting employed/paid by … loans!

View Comment

BrendaPosted on2:40 am - Nov 21, 2012


All that time?? And it’s still as clear as mud!! Can’t wait for CG’s statement on this little lot 🙂

View Comment

forweonlyknowPosted on2:40 am - Nov 21, 2012


…. that is a lot of euros (Pasetas)!!

View Comment

RayCharlezPosted on2:54 am - Nov 21, 2012


john clarke says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 01:51

Hi John,

How confident are you that HMRC will appeal?

It seems the natural course of action but I note that Paul McConville believes HMRC won’t appeal.

This saga has been full of so many unexpected twists and turns that I would not be at all surprised if HMRC do walking away.

View Comment

forweonlyknowPosted on3:09 am - Nov 21, 2012


Truth be told! I tried it!
Got shut down!

HMRC you are a bunch of ,,,

I’m still reading the fing!

View Comment

stevensanphPosted on3:40 am - Nov 21, 2012


ok, so my really quick understanding of the judgement:

2 judges did not agree that the loans were taxable as they are to be repaid. They agreed there was liability to repay, and as HMRC could not state that they would not hold them as loans held against the estate of a deceased person, they were not taxable. 1 however disagreed with this and said they should be subject to income taxes. There is a lot of other stuff about potential tax liabilities etc, but the main point from a football point of view is this:

All parties, INCLUDING Rangers admitted that side contracts existed and that they were deliberately hidden from the SPL and football authorities. I don’t see how Rangers can possibly now escape punishment from the SFA for rule breaking. Indeed, Mr Scarlet in paragraph 73 admits that these would not be disclosed to the SFA.

Rangers are guilty as sin, not just of breaking the rules, but willfully breaking the rules.

View Comment

killiemadPosted on5:27 am - Nov 21, 2012


The judgement seems to be to have ben a really good result for MIH, but a really bad result for Rangers. Not only will the individuals be pursued for significant sums of tax, but the club has been shown to have wilfully hidden payments to players; a clear breach of SFA rules.

I understand the hunger for some fans to see historic titles stripped, but I am more interested in ongoing sanctions. I believe the newco have accepted sporting sanctions, and for me the only meaningful punishment for a club wilfully cheating to secure it’s place at the top of the league ladder is to make it even more difficult to regain that place. I would look for a 15-20 point penalty in each of the next three seasons as such an appropriate penalty.

View Comment

stevensanphPosted on5:42 am - Nov 21, 2012


Liked this part: surely relating to Billy Dodds? Paragraph 81

“Mr Scarlet was invited to comment on a £500k payment into trust in the case
of Mr Purple. The player was being transferred to another club and certain
contractual payments were due to him. Mr Scarlet claimed that he could not clearly
recollect the basis for the financial arrangements concluded.”

What I really liked, is while Mr.Scarlet can’t remember what happened, Billy Dodds was very clear in an interview given to the press that the amount paid was contractual.

View Comment

stevensanphPosted on6:31 am - Nov 21, 2012


http://rangerstaxcase.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/tax-case-result/

RTC obviously thinks an appeal is on the cards… Better order more popcorn folks – this is going to go on for a while yet!

View Comment

campsiejoePosted on6:56 am - Nov 21, 2012


stevensanph @ 06:31

I agree with RTC, that this will probably go to appeal
An FTT ruling does not set precedent, but an Upper Tribunal ruling does
HMRC have too much to lose, when you look at the wider picture

View Comment

Long Time LurkerPosted on7:15 am - Nov 21, 2012


I don’t buy some of the theories that the FTTT was a stitch up – a leaning towards “the establishment” Club.

I have skimmed the FTTT decision – I was shocked and angry last night as I tried to absorb the news. My own fault perhaps, I believed that HMRC would win, because in part I wanted that result. I could not concentrate on reading the decision. Instead I looked around at the thoughts and summaries of others.

3 people gave their interpretation of the law. Their interpretation [of loans?] means at this time that MIH were found to have acted within the law. I believe that HMRC should take this to appeal so that the law and its meaning can be probed more fully – and a precedent (whatever way) should be set.

View Comment

easyJamboPosted on7:58 am - Nov 21, 2012


I don’t get the loans issue at all. It has been made clear here and elsewhere that the loans were a matter for the Trustees and not Rangers. Indeed the Trustees have to be seen as independent.

If HMRC had an issue with how the loans were administered then I would have expected an HMRC v the Trustees tax case.

Surely the issue between HMRC and Rangers should be limited to the part of the process before the loans, i.e. whether or not the payments into the various Trusts and sub-Trusts were contractual or not.

If the interpretation is that Rangers made loans to players, then I would have thought that these loans would fall under the banner of Benefits in Kind and thus be taxable.

View Comment

helpmaboabPosted on7:59 am - Nov 21, 2012


Murray going after RTC?

WE ARE ALL RANGERS TAX CASE!

View Comment

nowoldandgrumpyPosted on8:03 am - Nov 21, 2012


BBC saying BDO will look to see if they can go after those who got the loans.

View Comment

TartawulverPosted on8:13 am - Nov 21, 2012


The inability of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to properly curb aggressive tax avoidance schemes is costing the UK billions of pounds, a report suggests.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20417221

View Comment

Danish PastryPosted on8:15 am - Nov 21, 2012


Long Time Lurker says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 07:15
4 0 Rate This

….I have skimmed the FTTT decision – I was shocked and angry last night as I tried to absorb the news. My own fault perhaps, I believed that HMRC would win, because in part I wanted that result …
————

The thought was expressed recently that it was conceivable RFC could win the BTC yet lose the SFA investigation, or lose the BTC and yet be exonorated by the SFA regarding double contracts. It may have been RTC himself who wrote that (?). So in one sense it’s maybe not as surprising as it all appears?

I got the impression all along that the key issue was double contracts and questions regarding registration of players, not the actual tax case hanging over a dead business. So looking past the simplistic media headlines, isn’t this a rather damning decision? Of course, if the SFA/SPL fail to act in the face of any wrongdoing then they really might get their Armageddon – but it will arrive as a tide of apathy and dwindling disinterest in a game that has one set of rules for big clubs and another set for smaller ones.

View Comment

nowoldandgrumpyPosted on8:25 am - Nov 21, 2012


Can UEFA sit idly by an ignore the fact that RFC(IL) deliberately withheld information from the SFA. Okay, probably yes.

View Comment

TartawulverPosted on8:28 am - Nov 21, 2012


From RTC blog
“This blog brought light to a matter of public interest. This blog has been accurate on all of the major points of the case except the one that matters most to date- the FTT outcome.”
——————————————
Another reason for being on this side of the debate with the people who can be self-critical and display a touch of humility, rather than with those who bray about their supposed superiority and prefer bombast and intimidation to reasoned argument.

View Comment

ianagainPosted on8:29 am - Nov 21, 2012


Some not so gloating thoughts from the Rangers fans side:

http://www.thefootyblog.net/2012/11/20/rangers-with-hollow-victory/

View Comment

liveinhopPosted on8:35 am - Nov 21, 2012


THE Board of The Rangers Football Club issued the following statement today.

Charles Green, chief executive commented: “I am sure that all Rangers fans will welcome that a judgment has been reached on this case at last.
“That said, the judgment will not affect the operations of the Club nor the proposed flotation of the business as a public company.
“This case is historic and was a matter for The Rangers Football Club plc (‘oldco’) which is in liquidation.
“The Rangers Football Club Ltd is a corporate entity formed following the acquisition in June this year, by a consortium led by me, of the business and assets of Rangers, including the Club and its honours.
“As HMRC stated in June when they decided to vote against the proposed oldco CVA, no tax liabilities relating to ‘oldco’ would transfer across to the new company. HMRC have recently reaffirmed this position to the Club’s tax advisers, Deloitte.
“The Rangers Football Club Ltd is a company free of external debt.
“The judgment serves to further undermine the validity of the SPL Commission into the use of EBTs.
“As we have said all along the SPL decision to press ahead with a commission was ill-timed and fundamentally misconceived

View Comment

puzzlingresultPosted on9:03 am - Nov 21, 2012


I have absolutely no doubt that this will be appealled. As an accountant sitting with open enquiries into ebt’s which clearly state that the result is based on the Ranger judgement, HMRC have too much to lose by not appealling – hundreds of millions of £’s. The climate is against tax avoidance at the moment, Starbucks etc, the government cannot afford not to act.

View Comment

Danish PastryPosted on9:04 am - Nov 21, 2012


zoyler says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 08:40
0 2 Rate This
When I heard the outcome of this case I was immediately reminded of a court case in NI in the …
———

Sorry zoyler, we don’t need analogies relating to the Troubles on a football blog. What goes on across the Irish Sea, current or historical, has no relevance to sporting issues in Scottish football.

View Comment

coineanachantaighePosted on9:06 am - Nov 21, 2012


ianagain says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 08:29
1 0 i
Rate This
Some not so gloating thoughts from the Rangers fans side:
http://www.thefootyblog.net/2012/11/20/rangers-with-hollow-victory/
————————————————————————–

Sorry but that looks to me just like the usual mantra “it wiz all Whyte’s fault!”

No acceptance of Murray’s financial doping (via friends in BoS), no acceptance that they were many millions in debt and losing millions every year, or that they lost the “wee tax case”, or that they ignored of the HMRC claim on them and continued to overspend, which was the reason why RFC was sold off for £1.

View Comment

stevensanphPosted on9:08 am - Nov 21, 2012


Charles Green: “The judgment serves to further undermine the validity of the SPL Commission into the use of EBTs.

This is the point that needs shouting from the rooftops. The decision that Rangers aren’t fully liable for the tax is not related to the SPL investigation at all. Infact, this result only confirms that Rangers WERE guilty of years of cheating by playing players who were not registered as per SPL rules.

In paragraph 73, a Rangers representative states “Trust contributions, he added, would not be disclosed to the Scottish Football authorities” . Further, Paragraph 161 states “Side-letters, of course, had not been registered with the football authorities, the
SFA and SPL. The spirit of their rules was that the whole contract terms should be
registered. Suspiciously, no evidence was led as to who decided that the benefits in
terms of the side-letters should not be registered. Non-registration of side-letters was
40 incompatible with both authorities’ policing and disciplinary powers. For example
any fines imposed on players would customarily reflect the disclosed wage. Nondisclosure
would thwart the authorities’ powers.”

Lets then compare to SPL rules, D9.3 which says: “No Player may receive any payment of any description from or on behalf of a Club in respect of that Player’s participation in Association Football or in an activity connected with Association Football… unless such payment is made in accordance with a Contract of Service between that Club and the Player concerned”

This, is clear as day. Rangers paid money to players. Whether it was a loan, or salary is not here or there. Players received payment of a ‘description’. This payment was not in accordance with the contract lodged with the SPL.

Please, can someone explain how this is anything other than a damning verdict on systematic cheating for the best part of decade???

View Comment

thebasharmilestegPosted on9:09 am - Nov 21, 2012


On the old site one regular poster frequently wrote “Rangers Tax Case – the gift that keeps on giving”.

Well yesterday was 25th December and Santa’s been, but it looks like he didn’t even check his list once as he got some of the present’s wrong. We were expecting a trainset but got a book instead, however the book makes interesting reading.

First the verdict, apparently in MIH/Oldco favour but with a dissenting opinion which was as strong as the majority verdict was wishy washy. Grounds for appeal? I can’t see the HMRC letting this slip given the alleged 8 – 10 EPL clubs that have supposedly acted in the same way.

Second, if in fact loans then even if not reclaimable by the liquidator, tax must be payable, shirley? I run a small limited company and my accountant has often told me that if I take a loan from it, it has to be paid back at commercial interest rates otherwise it is considered a taxable benefit. Let’s say £50m has been loaned over an average period of five years and 5% is a reasonable rate. That comes to £13.7m of taxable benefit by my calculation, so assuming a 40% payer the tax due by the EBT beneficiaries must be in the region of £5.5m.

So get your cheque books out Messers Purple et all (or you can pay on line by credit card these days). Perhaps this winter a few less nurses will be made redundant or some of those troops cavorting around Ibrox the other week can have better equipment next time they face the Taliban.

And the best present, a smoking gun!

“Side-letters, of course, had not been registered with the football authorities, the SFA and SPL. The spirit of their rules was that the whole contract terms should be registered. Suspiciously, no evidence was led as to who decided that the benefits in terms of the side-letters should not be registered. Non-registration of side-letters was incompatible with both authorities’ policing and disciplinary powers. For example any fines imposed on players would customarily reflect the disclosed wage. Nondisclosure would thwart the authorities’ powers.”

“Rangers could have sought a ruling from the SFA or SPL about disclosure of side-letters but, clearly, they had chosen not to do so. There was a conscious decision to conceal their existence, and that extended even to the Club’s auditors.”

Absolutely no excuse for the SPL not to forge ahead with the LNS inquiry. The evidence is there. Strip those titles, hand those medals back, oh and pay the tax you scroungers!

Finally, Santa has left a lovely post Yuletide Dinner game – guess the colour. This will keep us entertained for ages. Who exactly are Mr Red, Mrs Scarlet or former manager Purple? And were they in a the drawing room with candlestick, or in the library with a lead pipe ? RTC Cluedo, the perfect gift after all!

View Comment

tomtomPosted on9:18 am - Nov 21, 2012


When a judgement is so perverse that it beggars belief then the conspiracy theorists will have a field day.

Now normally I would dismiss those people as cranks or attention seekers but when something so blatant is presented to us as in this case I begin to wonder.

Do they really expect us to believe that there are employees out there who are paid in “loans”

Do they really expect us to believe that these payments are not really wages and therefore taxable.

It’s like a jury finding someone not guilty of murder because it wasn’t them pushing the victim off the high building that killed him but the ground when he hit it. Technically correct but totally wrong in all other respects.

Mure and Rae found what they wanted to and overlooked what they didn’t want to see or hear. There can be no other logical reason for their decision.

I have, sadly, now joined the ranks of the theorists.

View Comment

thebasharmilestegPosted on9:20 am - Nov 21, 2012


Just seem Chucka’s comments this morning and you have to ask has he actually read the verdict? Or in his case have a grown-up read it to him.

View Comment

TSFMPosted on9:21 am - Nov 21, 2012


Guys,
I am not at home right now and moderation is very difficult. I have had to remove posts because of references to the alleged impartiality of the FTT. Many of these are based only on the wild extrapolation of the poster, and borne out of a disappointment which in itself arises out of a misunderstanding of the findings of the FTT.

Please, keep any allegations of bias of the judiciary off these pages.

View Comment

goosyPosted on9:22 am - Nov 21, 2012


f non repayable loans are ok why is the Eurozone in such a mess?

View Comment

stevensanphPosted on9:24 am - Nov 21, 2012


thebasharmilesteg says:

Not only do we get to play guess the color for the next 6 months (serious question – are we legally allowed to name who the colors are, as some are pretty obvious?) we also have the UTTT to look forward too!

The gift that keeps on giving indeed…

View Comment

Leave a Reply