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

readceltPosted on9:32 am - Nov 21, 2012


stevensanph says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 09:24
0 0 i
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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…

————————————-

Kind of wondered that myself. Anyone care to offer an opinion?

I already played guess who the worlds greates football administrator is.

If it is him its pretty damning giving his past pronouncements about not having anything to do with side letters etc.

As fat sally would say ‘who are these people!?!’

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Banners to the BreezePosted on9:32 am - Nov 21, 2012


The FTTT news – OK, I’ll take that hit full on the chin … but to be honest it feels more like I’ve been ‘booby slapped’ and had my pockets dipped by a lap dancer, rather than a vicious mugging by the ‘Establishment’. There is a certain disappointment, but I can also take some delight out of the affair, knowing that HMRC will undoubtedly appeal the judgement, when they see the Christmas edition of Hustler magazine with the headlines – Pornographer outwits Tax Authorities. I’m also pretty sure that like myself, most Scottish football fans have a sharper interest in the EBT side letters than the Tax returns from Ibrox. Chuckles on the other hand will no doubt be taking full advantage of the moment, and I can just picture him introducing (this new Ibrox legend) Paul Baxendale – Walker to all his institutionalised investors – when they are allowed out for his next IPO roadshow. (my apologies for throwing up that image)

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layman00Posted on9:35 am - Nov 21, 2012


Last night for me was a double whammy, the FTT decision and Celtic losing in the champions league. This morning, on reflection it aint so bad, The Rangers are a new club playing in the third division and Murrays lot are in hock to the bank to the tune of around £800 million.

This is not a victory for ordinary Rangers supporters, who genuinely care about their club
and who have done no wrong other than trusting the people in charge with their hard earned cash. Regardless of the result, the contents of the FTT findings portray the Rangers custodians in poor light.

Allegiances aside, any tax paying person has got to question the moral reasons for the EBT schemes employed by RFC.

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borussiabeefburgPosted on9:42 am - Nov 21, 2012


layman00 says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 09:35
Allegiances aside, any tax paying person has got to question the moral reasons for the EBT schemes employed by RFC.

*****************************************

I think people who go to Scottish football matches will also question the sporting reasons for such schemes being employed by the former Rangers.

As for Green’s statement today, it’s just another rabble rouser for his troops.

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tomtomPosted on9:46 am - Nov 21, 2012


TSFM says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 09:21

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.

——————————————————————————-

To keep any feelings of a miscarriage out of any posts without expressing some sort of hint towards bias is impossible. Surely this whole blog is borne out of a desire to see that such matters are discussed. After all they sure as hell won’t be discussed by the MSM.

These findings are an insult to everyone’s intelligence and deserve to be discussed fully, even if that means raising questions as to how two, supposedly learned and knowledgeable men, can come to a decision that flies in the face of everything that was presented to them. This decision will have a deep and direct effect on the future of Scottish football.

We shouldn’t be afraid of confronting the unbelievable.

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manandboyPosted on9:46 am - Nov 21, 2012


The question which needs aired, over and over, is ‘what was SDM’s intention in introducing EBT’s into MIH and in particular, into RFC (now in liquidation)’.

The answer of course is that by so doing, RFC would gain an advantage over their football competitors by being able to offer players more money than their competitors could.

Where did this money come from? The taxpayer.

Had RFC paid Tax & NI in the normal way, no advantage would have been gained.

In order to do this, SDM set aside his duty as an employer and as a citizen.

He swopped duty for ambition.

The EBT’s? It’s just people saying one thing while doing another.

Like stealing the library books which you’ve taken out.

It’s legal but the intention to steal makes it criminal.

Messrs Mure & Rae have imo failed to incorporate this in their judgement.

Perhaps they should have gone to Specsavers.

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TaysiderPosted on9:52 am - Nov 21, 2012


It looks to me, from the dissenting judgement, that the decision is a classic example of form v substance. There was sufficient in the wording used around the making of the “loans” to support a legal argument of a theoretical right of repayment, supporting Mure and Rae’s majority decision.

The substance or commercial reality though was that in practice this right would never be enforced and where employees needed additional reassurance that the right would not be enforced, Rangers gave them an indemnity against the repayment. “To date, no loan repayment has been enforced.” Dr Poon has looked at how the scheme was intended to operate, hence her different verdict.

It may be seen as a victory for some very clever, very highly paid tax lawyers but for those who cling to old fashioned notions like justice is best served by being done and seen to be done, it’s a disaster.

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stevensanphPosted on9:55 am - Nov 21, 2012


Once again, another Rangers man talking nonsense. A.Johnson told BBC: “It totally removes any obligation that the club would have had to submit these contracts to the SFA or the SPL because they would not have been considered contracts for participation at football,”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/20420041

Er, no Alastair. The actual rule says:

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”

The key point here is ‘from or ON BEHALF’. That means that a trust, giving payments, of ANY DESCRIPTION to a player, for footballing duties, should be in the contract lodged with the SPL. This is clear.

Please, what am I missing?

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SmugasPosted on9:57 am - Nov 21, 2012


As disappointed (as a tax payer – yesterday was my own company’s monthly PAYE day – boy did that sting!) and surprised as anyone on here at the verdict. Like RTC though I am big enough to recognise the decision for what it was and would hope that reactions from all sides will be appropriate.

Equally, I’ll take the chance to say two controversial things. Firstly a huge congratulations to Sir David Murray. To have stuck to his MIH guns in the manner he did and essentially win can only be described as massive and a reflection of the businessman that must lurk in there underneath all that debt somewhere. Similarly I’ll go the whole TD hog and congratulate Charles Green. A complete spiv who has dragged a struggling foal and has cleared the 2nd last hurdle at ascot beyond all the odds. Whether he can make it to the finishing line is anyone’s guess, but yesterday it would appear a lot of the other runners fell and are struggling to remount.

I have many many questions for those more learned beings on here than I re yesterday’s verdict. For now, has anyone attempted the Math yet to assess if HMRC’s actual debt gave them the required percentage vote to block the CVA. I ask this as I recall Ticketus (remember them) did not register their debt, thus increasing the HMRC’s relative share leading inevitably to liquidation. Just asking?

Finally for Basharmilesteg, Santa promised me an Xbox but all I got was an old cardigan. Mind you, the wrapper it came in had a blumin interesting article about a verdict printed on it.

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ianagainPosted on10:00 am - Nov 21, 2012


Question (mooted earlier) and by a few today. Can we un redact this on here? Is it too bad as in illegal? or just bad bad? – wont be difficult.

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thebasharmilestegPosted on10:00 am - Nov 21, 2012


I’m sorry, I don’t buy this institutional bias in the legal profession business. Over the years I’ve been involved in a number of legal actions, never as the accused I hasten to add. In that time I’ve seen plenty of perverse jusdgements which have apparently flown in the face of available evidence. It happens all the time. If it didn’t we wouldn’t have courts of appeal and regularly see verdicts over-turned. Watched the Juve-Chelsea game last night. Juve missed a few sitters in front of goal. QCs are not the only ones who can take their eye off the ball and miss the target.

Think Occam’s Razor – cock-up is far more likely than conspiracy.

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BrendaPosted on10:14 am - Nov 21, 2012


Jabba DR …….????? I don’t feel any shame 🙂 do any of you on here?

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Night TerrorPosted on10:23 am - Nov 21, 2012


stevensanph says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 09:55

Once again, another Rangers man talking nonsense. A.Johnson told BBC: “It totally removes any obligation that the club would have had to submit these contracts to the SFA or the SPL because they would not have been considered contracts for participation at football,”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/20420041

Er, no Alastair. The actual rule says:

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”

The key point here is ‘from or ON BEHALF’. That means that a trust, giving payments, of ANY DESCRIPTION to a player, for footballing duties, should be in the contract lodged with the SPL. This is clear.

Please, what am I missing?

Are loans payments?

Lots of argument regarding this in the FTT – resulting in the answer “no”.

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Danish PastryPosted on10:30 am - Nov 21, 2012


zoyler says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 10:01
3 2 Rate This
Danish Pastry – The point I was making relates to the way perverse decisions appear to favour the establishment side. As far as I am aware NI and Scotland are in the same juristicion and since when is tax avoidance/evasion only a footballing rather then a legal matter
———

I understood your point, no offence intended, just don’t feel it was an appropriate analogy given the way the politics and history of that island have poisoned certain parts of Scotland and the sport we all love. For every comment about the wrongs of one side you risk getting someone chipping in with something from the opposite side, then you may end up tit-for-tat Irish politics on a football forum. Not what you intended obviously, but it happens.

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ianagainPosted on10:35 am - Nov 21, 2012


Yon beardy mans back.

http://www.thelawyer.com/pump-court-tax-chambers-scores-victory-in-rangers-tax-case/1015624.article

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tic6709Posted on10:38 am - Nov 21, 2012


Lots of argument regarding this in the FTT – resulting in the answer “no
========================
What is FTT?

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Night TerrorPosted on10:42 am - Nov 21, 2012


EasyJambo
“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 was Lord Glennie who contradicted Carloway, not Hodge.

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AgrajagPosted on10:45 am - Nov 21, 2012


corsicacharity says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 22:20
30 1 i Rate This

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.

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

I’m not banging my head against anything.

I was always of the opinion that the money was paid into the trust by Rangers and then lent by the trust to the player. I said it many times. However it isn’t the first time that things have appeared very clear and then a ruling came out to indicate the contrary.

If this ruling includes that the money was lent to the player, by Rangers, via a trust then it is owed back to Rangers and BDO can chase it.

On an entirely side note, I love the sanctimonious stance a lot of Rangers fans are taking. Turns out they only stole about £18m from the rest of us.

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stevensanphPosted on10:51 am - Nov 21, 2012


Are loans payments?

Lots of argument regarding this in the FTT – resulting in the answer “no”.
—–

the ftt said loans were not taxable payments. spl rules state payments of any description.

a loan pay out is a payment. the dictionary states ‘To give (money) out’

they either gave money out, or they didnt…

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jimlarkinPosted on10:53 am - Nov 21, 2012


Night Terror says:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 10:23

stevensanph says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 09:55

Once again, another Rangers man talking nonsense. A.Johnson told BBC: “It totally removes any obligation that the club would have had to submit these contracts to the SFA or the SPL because they would not have been considered contracts for participation at football,”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/20420041

Er, no Alastair. The actual rule says:

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”

The key point here is ‘from or ON BEHALF’. That means that a trust, giving payments, of ANY DESCRIPTION to a player, for footballing duties, should be in the contract lodged with the SPL. This is clear.

Please, what am I missing?

Are loans payments?
———————————————————————————————————–
Lots of argument regarding this in the FTT – resulting in the answer “no

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

erm, was it not the case that

they should have been declared to the footballing authorities
[as the transfer of the funds, was derived from the employer to the trusts as a result of what the employees were doing during the course of their employment, which was
– playing football – therfore the ‘payment’ (non refundable loan), should have been declared to the football authorities]

(a) they were classed as ‘payments’ [non refundable loans = benefits]

but

(b) some did not have a tax liability attached to them

(c) some DID have a tax liability attached to them

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AgrajagPosted on10:55 am - Nov 21, 2012


dedeideoprofundis says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 22:41

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

Sorry if this has been answered before, but in my opinion one of the three being totally at odds with the other two must be a good starting point for an appeal.

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Night TerrorPosted on10:58 am - Nov 21, 2012


@stevensanph

Mibbes. There could be a bit of legal debate regarding this, or maybe just an eager grasping of the chance to bin the SPL inquiry.

I wonder does the dictionary definition of a word get cited in court as often as it does in internet forums?

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Not The Huddle MalcontentPosted on11:01 am - Nov 21, 2012


Does anyone think for a minute that the SPL will now pursue the dual contracts issue?

They have done all they can to avoid punishing Rangers and the FTT RESULT (and it’s the result not the detail they will look at) will give them the excuse they need – the monies were loan and not payments – that is what they will see and they will carry on as normal

Next will be league reform, TRFC invited up, return to the old way – but frankly, the game is dead now. there is no leadership, no integrity – and i include the chairmen of the clubs that will allow this to happen

Celtic have already shown themselves to be happy to half of the Old Firm.

I doubt HMRC will even appeal (or won’t be allowed to appeal)

The 5 way agreement will never come out

i’m very disappointed in how this country operates and football certainly doesn’t need my further patronage – i’d be as well pissing money away at some nonsense like WWF (or whatever it’s called now)

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Night TerrorPosted on11:06 am - Nov 21, 2012


@jimlarkin

“(a) they were classed as ‘payments’ [non refundable loans = benefits]

but

(b) some did not have a tax liability attached to them

(c) some DID have a tax liability attached to them”

Not sure, jim.

I think the crucial area of wiggle for the SPL is, as a result of the FTT, whether the payments can
a – now be classed as loans
b – these loans are repayable

I think you’re right that some DID have a tax liability attached as a result of the FTT, so on that basis allone it would seem the SPL inquiry has something to look at. In the noise surrounding this “victory” I am not sure if this detail will be drowned out.

ANd let’s be honest – this is a massive victory for Murray, and a pretty good, if close one, for Rangers. Aided by a couple of questionable decisions and against the run of play.

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wottpiPosted on11:10 am - Nov 21, 2012


Items 75 & 78 of the FTTT result refers to bonus negotiations at the time of the Famagusta.
£25k was agreed at the last minute via negotiations with Bazza as captain on the players behlaf but on condition it was paid via the trust.
From the team list reported all players are on the BBC EBT list apart from Pierre Fan-Fan and McCormack (sub not used).

Was Fan Fan on the favoured EBT list or did he receive his £25k in cash and subject to tax?

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thebasharmilestegPosted on11:11 am - Nov 21, 2012


Not The Huddle Malcontent says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 11:01

Rate This

Does anyone think for a minute that the SPL will now pursue the dual contracts issue?
——–
I obviously hope they do. They now have the evidence, clear statements in the FTTT judgement that not only these were contrary to the football authorities’ rules, “There was a conscious decision to conceal their existence.”

If it came to pass that the SPL abandoned the inquiry and there was a quick reconstruction brought in that boosted the tribute act up the league ladder I think the mass exodus which would follow would end professional football in this country.

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tic6709Posted on11:11 am - Nov 21, 2012


Last night in my ignorance (and dotage) i forgot to say good luck to RTC,thank you for opening my eyes to some of the more disturbing aspects of the MSM,Rangers (dead ),and football pundits.
I now know a damn sight more than i did,but more importantly the forum you created gave many many people from all clubs and all walks of life the opportunity to comment and learn.
We will hear from you again i’m sure.
Thank you,stay safe and remember to keep the old head down.

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easyJamboPosted on11:12 am - Nov 21, 2012


Night Terror says: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 10:42
EasyJambo
“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 was Lord Glennie who contradicted Carloway, not Hodge.
==========================
Thanks for the correction – I should have looked it up.

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jockybhoyPosted on11:12 am - Nov 21, 2012


I feel no shame, quite the reverse I think we on this site and on others should be applauded – we have explored minutiae that others ignored, as well as whacked a big blue coo squarely on the arse with a banjo the MSM wouldn’t even pick up. I’m not downhearted by the verdict – it wasn’t ever likely to be the full (banjo) whack, but there are enough issues still to deal with – are HMRC going after recipients of loans? Either for tax or will/can they instruct BDO to do so as liquidators? This verdict means HMRC will get less than the 100m or whatever was being bandeyed about, but how much less? And whither the OldCo’s ill-gotten trophies – already Alisdair “surrender, no” johnstone is trying to claim a split decision only, partially in favour, on a tangential issue, means a clear bill of health for Gers, Old and New – if this isn’t a stance worth investigating, then I’m getting this blog all wrong.

TBH I’m pleased we have some new meat on the well worn bones we have been dealing with for the past few months. Happy days :o)

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arabest1Posted on11:16 am - Nov 21, 2012


stmungo69 says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 09:32
11 1 i
Rate This
The FTTT news – OK, I’ll take that hit full on the chin … but to be honest it feels more like I’ve been ‘booby slapped’ and had my pockets dipped by a lap dancer, rather than a vicious mugging by the ‘Establishment’. There is a certain disappointment, but I can also take some delight out of the affair, knowing that HMRC will undoubtedly appeal the judgement, when they see the Christmas edition of Hustler magazine with the headlines – Pornographer outwits Tax Authorities. I’m also pretty sure that like myself, most Scottish football fans have a sharper interest in the EBT side letters than the Tax returns from Ibrox. Chuckles on the other hand will no doubt be taking full advantage of the moment, and I can just picture him introducing (this new Ibrox legend) Paul Baxendale – Walker to all his institutionalised investors – when they are allowed out for his next IPO roadshow. (my apologies for throwing up that image)
—————————————————————————————————————————-

Spot on Stmungo, so the law is an ass….when is a loan not a loan? recompence for millionairres form off shore trusts? so what!

RFC were collapsed and liquidated due to years of mismanagement, they now have a pheonix in the 4th tier……..they cheated and were closed down, that is how history will record this episode. The FTT was a matter for the revenue, they were never getting a penny back anyway, the only problem now is every club in UK can follow suit.

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goosyPosted on11:17 am - Nov 21, 2012


A lateral thought

Isnt it quite refreshing to be discussing a real Rangers and not a Zombie ?

The one that was sold for £1 and is now deid forever

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BrendaPosted on11:17 am - Nov 21, 2012


Tic 6709

I’ll second that …….. Everybody stay safe 🙂

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easyJamboPosted on11:19 am - Nov 21, 2012


ianagain says: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 10:00

Question (mooted earlier) and by a few today. Can we un redact this on here? Is it too bad as in illegal? or just bad bad? – wont be difficult.
====================================
I don’t see why not. I’m sure that you could phrase the identification of any individual in such a way that it is a possibility or speculation on your part rather than stating as fact.

I did exactly that when referring to Messrs Violet and Ispwich earlier.

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Robert CoylePosted on11:30 am - Nov 21, 2012


75. The Appellants have declared by way of a letter dated 29 September 2011 that
five players: Mr Selby, Mr Inverness, Mr Doncaster, Mr Barrow, and Mr Furness had
their guaranteed bonuses paid to them via the trust mechanism. This was in respect of
a guarantee that the players would receive a certain amount each year in squad
bonuses under the terms of their written contracts. The Appellants have not confirmed
the amounts concerned for these five players in terms of their guaranteed bonuses, and
have qualified that the agreement is made without concession to any liability.

76. The Respondents submit that these five players were not the only ones with such
guaranteed bonuses as part of their written contracts, and cited the examples of
Mr Berwick (7/63/15, guarantee of net) and Mr Bath (10/88/4,31 guarantee of gross);
but unlike the other five players, the Appellants have not agreed that these other
players received payments through the remuneration trust in settlement of their 85
guaranteed bonuses. The Respondents further submit that in respect of the five
‘agreed’ players, the trust payments were made to meet contractual obligations to pay
income in the form of squad bonuses, and the five agreed players were not exceptions
but illustrations of similar arrangement being made to discharge a contractual
obligation of guaranteed bonuses through the trust mechanism.
—————————————————–
Is this an admission of guilt?

If so,find out who the players are and nimmo smith has a good starting point.

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Night TerrorPosted on11:30 am - Nov 21, 2012


While the fallout from this continues, I would like to spare a thought for RTC, who must be having a rather uncomfortable time of it just now.

I know nothing more than the legal threats in MIH’s statement and the removal of all history on RTC’s site, lest you think I know more than I am telling.

Good luck, sir/madam. I hope anyone who may be able to offer any legal or other assistance makes themselves known to RTC just in case.

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jimlarkinPosted on11:31 am - Nov 21, 2012


i guess jimmy carr slept a whole lot better last night ?

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beatipacificiscotiaPosted on11:32 am - Nov 21, 2012


I feel that we have a duty to spead the word of the FTTT result and how it relates to Rangers FC and the teams they played in the period 2001 to 2010. I stole some selected quotes from this site (thank you for taking the time to do this and hats off for picking out those juicy details) and will embark on a mission to inform the European footbal community. I have started with Famagusta and a letter to the Famagusta Gazette, and English-speaking publication. I have also included the Cyprus FA, a number of contacts at Anorthosis Famagusta FC, and also the SFA and SPL. If I get any response I will put it on here (if it is appropriate to do so). My letter is as follows:
_________________________

Hi Famagusta Gazette

You may be aware, Rangers FC (a Football Team from Scotland) have been subject to investigation relating to tax avoidance / evasion. They have also been accused by the SPL / SFA, our football authorities in Scotland, of fielding improperly registered players in the period 2001 to 2010. This relates to money paid for football activities to players, such as appearance money and bonuses, through a tax-free Trust. These payments were not registered with the football authorities as part of their contract. UEFA and SFA / SPL rules state that all players income relating to playing activities should be recorded in the contract that is lodged with the football authorities. Rangers did not declare all of the players income, deliberately so. There is lots of information available on this on the internet, and I am happy to point to sources of information if this is helpful.

The reason I write to you today is Rangers FC defeated Famagusta in August 2005 to deny then access to the Champions League group stages. This would have meant TV and other incomes in the region of 10-15million Euros. Rangers players were paid bonuses for qualifying for this stage of the competition. These bonuses were never declared to the football authorities and were paid through the tax-free Trust.

The parent company of Rangers FC were recently involved in a Tax investigation and the full results and report of this are attached. There are very interesting details about how Rangers were run by this company, particularly with regards to their contractual and tax activities. Typically, around 50% of players salaries would be paid through the Trust with additional payments for appearances and bonuses. These payments were never recorded on the player’s contract but were detailed on what were called “side letters”. The “side letters” were never sent to the football authorities. I include a couple of details from the report below for your interest:

“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.”

The whole document makes very interesting reading. Whilst it fall largely in favour of the parent company in tax terms, the evidence given of how the scheme was used at Rangers FC and how details were hidden from the football authorities is damning. The example of Famagusta is mentioned in the report, primarily because the use of Trusts to pay players was so clear and related specifically to winning that match. Many other European teams were also cheated in the period 2001 to 2010. Famagusta were clearly cheated out of millions of Euros and the opportunity to play in Europe’s premier football tournament. The SPL have an ongoing investigation into the contracts and “side letters” and this is likely to complete next month.

Please do with this information what you think appropriate. I hope you find this informative and useful. I will be contacting many other people about his but hope you will be able to act of this. Please let me know if you have any questions.

____________________

I have also sent a note to Stewart Regan and Neil Doncaster informing them that I indend to write to every European Club, their national associations, and local press, relating to matches played in 2001 to 2010. Will it make any difference? I don’t know, but you have to try. Europe will have the last say in this.

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redetinPosted on11:34 am - Nov 21, 2012


jockybhoy says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 11:12

I feel no shame, quite the reverse I think we on this site and on others should be applauded – we have explored minutiae that others ignored…

___________________________________________________

To be fair, I think that Dr Heidi Poon has explored the documentary and verbal evidence given to the tribunal in a level of detail that can’t be ignored. Her opinions on those giving evidence, (often contradictory to the documents provided), the difficulty in getting that evidence (involving eventually the City of London Police) and the obvious discomfort experienced by the “not entirely candid” trustee (though “vague and general” in her understanding of the role), Ms Crimson, and Mr Red’s meeting with Mrs Crimson the evening before she gave evidence. Poor Mrs Crimson “She spoke with hesitation, prevarication, and gave conflicting details, for instance, as regards the number of Baxendale Walker advised clients…”.

The details of Dr Poon’s statement make very interesting reading regarding the people and the way they conducted business, not the least because many of them were professionally qualified.

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SmugasPosted on11:35 am - Nov 21, 2012


I know RTC alluded to it as a long shot in a previous blog but in light of the result yesterday would HMRC’s resources not be better funding BDO to go for the post-failed-CVA sale at questionable value, rather than arguing if the trust was or wasn’t Rangers. Even if HMRC win the latter case there are no pickings left on that carcass in any case.. Unless of course an altogether different skeleton is about to run a 20m share float?

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ikiPosted on11:43 am - Nov 21, 2012


I am reminded of a Private Eye cover where Lord Hutton declares,
“Having heard all the evidence against Dr. Shipman, I find him Not Guilty.”

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ollielogiePosted on11:44 am - Nov 21, 2012


Please read Jabbas article in the DR (online of course). It’s a painful reminder of the establishment interests we are dealing with in MSM but it’s also a reminder that we should guard against hubris and revenge missions. Jabba ignores what doesn’t suit his argument that RFC plc was much maligned but we must not corroborate the cliche that we are bitter rangers hating internet bampots. The FTT appeal has ruled and we must accept it. Paul McC writes HMRC is unlikely to appeal and I wait with interest for his expanded view.

In the meantime, the campaign for equity and fairness and against gerrymandering of the game in Scotland in the interests of establishment teams (and I acknowledge that there are some of you that take the view that Celtic have benefitted from this approach) continues.

League reorganisation debate is to come as is BDO forensic investigation and the dual contracts panel so much water to go under the bridge before we conclude actions and responsibilities in this sorry tale. As RTC says, the last laugh is yet to be had.

But let’s take this on the chin in good grace and not lose sight of the reasons we came together in the first place….:-)

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Gil De Ray (@GilDeRay)Posted on11:47 am - Nov 21, 2012


the FTT result is hiding the most important fact, stated on a number of occasions within the report, that dual contracts were employed….contrary to SFA rules. The only possible outcome of that is expulsion of the newco’s membership. Game over! Rangers are dead, liquidated and the newco will be too, IF the SFA apply their own rules, which we all know they are not inclined to do. And thats where we come in, they will try to sweep this away under a barrage of compliant media. This is our time, to get rid of the blazers and the brogues for good. We must stand united against this corruption and deceit once and for all!! We have done it before and succeeded, we will do it again…

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Madbhoy24941Posted on11:47 am - Nov 21, 2012


smugas says:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 09:57
——————————————————————-

I won’t TD you as I believe everyone is entitled to an opinion, if I feel that opinion is not based on fact then I may add my opinion to counter the argument or debate. What I would like to point out is simply this, no congratulations should be handed out to either David Murray or Charles Green who have displayed a complete disregard for anyone else but themselves, and I include Rangers supporters. And please don’t confuse the term “businessman” with that of a con artist, which I believe is the profession of both of these men. To congratulate is to endorse.

The new Rangers club/company/business (delete as appropriate) is only just about to negotiate the first hurdle (share issue) on its own personal Grand National, it’s a long, long race that will see many key runners fall, including your odds on favourite, Charles Green.

Nobody won in that announcement yesterday, the history of Rangers Football Club however, most definitely lost.

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bobferrisPosted on12:06 pm - Nov 21, 2012


Gaun yersel beatipacificiscotia!!!

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neepheidPosted on12:11 pm - Nov 21, 2012


arabest1 says:
The FTT was a matter for the revenue, they were never getting a penny back anyway, the only problem now is every club in UK can follow suit.
==========
Which is precisely why the Revenue will appeal this decision. And if, by any miracle, they lost on appeal to the upper tier of the Tribunal, then the Chancellor would have to legislate to fill a hole so big you could drive a corporation bus through it.

If HMRC do appeal, who is going to pay for the other side’s lawyers? I can’t see BDO stumping up, somehow. Something to spend all that cash in the fighting fund on, I suggest.

The problem is that it will probably be at least a year before any appeal is heard, by which time the landscape of Scottish football will have been totally changed, if the authorities get their way, TRFC will by some magic process have been shoehorned into the top tier, and the dual contracts enquiry will have been consigned to the dustbin of history. And any appeal decision against Murray will be totally ignored by the MSM. That, I believe, is the plan.

All that this decision has done is to delay the inevitable, but just a bit more time is all they need. Just as with the liquidation. They needed a few months delay to allow the membership transfer, and abracadabra, what did they get? A few months delay, courtesy of the court. And here we go again.

It’s a very sorry state of affairs.

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Night TerrorPosted on12:14 pm - Nov 21, 2012


“If HMRC do appeal, who is going to pay for the other side’s lawyers? I can’t see BDO stumping up, somehow. Something to spend all that cash in the fighting fund on, I suggest. ”

Murray Group paid for and handled all legal business regarding this case. ANd what a good job they seem to have got for their money so far.

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ddmc999Posted on12:21 pm - Nov 21, 2012


only found out this morning, single word response, gobsmacked !

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lochonePosted on12:22 pm - Nov 21, 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%

I wouldn’t worry about it, I doubt Spiers will complain I remember him tying himself in knots trying to explain the %’s required to get a CVA approved.

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smartbhoyPosted on12:25 pm - Nov 21, 2012


Of course as a taxpaying citizen I’m not happy about this decision. Lately in the press Starbucks, Google and Amazon have been questioned by committees of MP’s regarding their corporate tax or lack of it.

I have always thought that MIH employees would have been cleared and selected employees of the now Deceased Rangers Football Club. But I was certain that all players and employees involved on the football side, Managers, Coaches etc would have had the case proven against them.

The main issue I have always wanted proven was that they cheated on the football side of things. This decision has still to be reached, but it clearly states in the decision that a certain amount of players had side letters, which was not only withheld from the Football Authorities but also the clubs auditors. We don’t know exactly what is says on these side letters. If it states that the Loan received by the player hasn’t to be paid back, then it’s not a loan, it’s a form of payment for services rendered.I just can’t understand what else the side letters would say. I assume they were requested by the player or his agent as back up if one day someone came calling looking for the loan back.

I’ve had dealings in criminal and employment law recently and some decisions can absolutely astonish you. Tax law I assume can be no different. Sometimes It can come down to the competency of the prosecution and the prowess of the Defence counsel.

No matter what happened in this so called RTC, in my opinion Oldco broke this countries footballing authorities rules and regulations by witholding information of these payments to the players and the side letters that they received. This wasn’t an administrative error, it was a clear case of an intentional cover up.

The question is why were details of these payments to players and the side letters intentionally withheld from the SFA/SPL???

Because the administration of the oldco knew that they were illegal under the SFA/SPL rules and regulations. In other words, they knew they were cheating, but as all cheats do, they never admit cheating until they’re caught and in some instances never admit it even in the face of overwhelming evidence against them.

Everyone on here knows what stance people involved with the oldco/newco and the fans of these entities will take. Aided and abetted by their cheerleaders in the Scottish MSM.

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ordinaryfanPosted on12:35 pm - Nov 21, 2012


Jabba:: AS RANGERS won their fight with the taxman over their use of EBTs, it’s time to ask why so many people went after the club since it has been proved they done nothing wrong.

……………………………………………………………………..

They done nothing wrong!? What, apart from being found GUILTY of Tax evasion and using dual contracts? But because every use of the EBT’s was not unanimously proven (yet) because Ogilvy shredded the paperwork, they are innocent!?
Mental stuff.

The more people like Jabba spout these lies, the more they will infuriate HMRC, the last people you want to belittle and anger are HMRC. It is fools like Jabba who will end up enticing HMRC to react with a very forceful backlash.
Keep on prodding HMRC Jabba, I for one hope you really pi$$ them off!

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twopandaPosted on12:35 pm - Nov 21, 2012


Ran through the Tribunal Conclusions and this is not the good news some would have you believe.
The tone and manner of the Decision Document major underplays some very serious observations and assessments made. This will take time to fully digest by the professionals. As such, rushing to Public Statements as some have will have engendered a misplaced confidence. This is, let`s say 50-50 for now.

Interestingly certain numbers are not included – that is the residual tax and nic due from certain individuals and probably others. This is understandable as calculations of individual`s circumstances will be specific and not as yet collated, and neither have the operation of others peoples cases been investigated in enough or any detail to establish an overall `quantum` due.

Best to stick to 232 + 233 – Majority 2-1 for `Findings in Law`

Simply put the overall total associated with the BTC will reduce, but it will still represent a number of significance – therefore 100% reviews of recent history are misplaced. Further, certain individual are now liable in law for repayments of loans from their estates and some for outstanding tax/nic – possibly interest and fines. [These individuals – to degrees – are those for whom the `operation` did not satisfactorily comply]

That these certain individuals, with probably more to come, are liable, demonstrates – now in law – that SPL inquiries and investigations are warranted. That would be in addition to the general football side of it, re contract, registrations and so on
.
Sure it’s being put out as a good news story – MIH won the appeal by a 2-1 majority – but the devils in the understated detail – generalisations are not appropriate here – this was no clear win by any means.

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Livia BurlandoPosted on12:43 pm - Nov 21, 2012


Rather more balanced account from the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/nov/20/rangers-tax-liability-reduced

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ordinaryfanPosted on12:50 pm - Nov 21, 2012


layman00 says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 09:35
Allegiances aside, any tax paying person has got to question the moral reasons for the EBT schemes employed by RFC.

……………………………………………………….

Exactly, at best they were evading tax and using “some” dual contracts whilst trying to immorally swindle millions in Tax through a dodgy loophole, at worst, and which is more than likely the case, they evaded tax on an industrial scale and simply shredded and destroyed all the evidence which HMRC has made clear they withheld and avoided showing HMRC. Why not just give all the paperwork if they have nothing to hide? Simple, because they are as guilty as sin. HMRC will be stunned, because they will now know what we have know, the Establishment in Scotland make up their own rules.

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timalloy67Posted on12:50 pm - Nov 21, 2012


Firstly I also wanted to say how disappointed I was with this decision. But good news is that if HMRC appeal, which looks almost certain, it will take more months and cost Sevco even more legal fees.
I also heard rumour about SDM taking our RTC to court. On what grounds? Our RTC never published rumours, everything he/she told us was already in the public domain, albeit you had to know where to look, or he/she had paperwork to back up what RTC printed. I also doubt a court case will materialise as in court everything must be open and above board and ALL facts given. I still think there are a lot of skeletons in cupboards that they will not want let loose.

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thebasharmilestegPosted on12:51 pm - Nov 21, 2012


The Jabba monster has opened its mouth and bellowed the contents of its fat gut across the land in defence of its masters.

So what?

A defunct company, destroyed by its own management, only owes the taxman £18m not £100m.

Strong grounds for appeal given the split decision.

Certain individuals who received tax-free loans will either have to repay them or be charged income tax on the benefit

Clear evidence of payments in contravention of football authorities’ rules and intent to coenceal them, even from their own auditors.

Evidence of undeclared bonuses made to players immediately a specific European match.

And you call this a victory? Sounds like the kind of victory Adolf was enjoying in May 1945.

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ordinaryfanPosted on12:52 pm - Nov 21, 2012


Taken from KDS:

Then, Mr Thornhill submitted, the employee should be
taxed not on the emolument but on the benefit. It was irrelevant, he continued,
whether the Remuneration Trust benefit was contractual. He conceded that where it
derived from a (footballer’s) side-letter it was contractual, but not in the cases of
bonuses paid to employees of other Murray Group companies.

Murray’s own QC acknowledging that the sides letters given to footballers formed part of their contracts. The side letters were not disclosed to the SFA/SPL

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Galling fiverPosted on1:14 pm - Nov 21, 2012


If FTTT does not set precedents, and no liability figure has been stated for the parts of the scheme that were not “loans”. And no mention of costs. What was the point in the release of the findings, other than to cheer up the bears for a wee while. If there is no appeal to follow, surely questions have to be asked of HMRC for the time and money on the subject at all. The bears have one thing right, we demand to know who is paying for all this, surely it cant be the people who pay tax again. I am unsure of what bothers me most, over taxation of the ordinary punter or the lack of contribution from yet another industry neck deep in greed and corruption.
TRFC are in the lowest league watching poor stuff while supporting the club financially and being fleeced endlessly, but the guys with the greedy heid and their money, have all done walking away with a nod from the system. Badge kissers, club men, officials, legends and all, no fans in that list. Some victory, for the wrong folk mind you.

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twopandaPosted on1:16 pm - Nov 21, 2012


mrgreenwhytebrown says:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 15:36

It’s In!!!
http://www.financeandtaxtribunals.gov.uk/judgmentfiles/j6851/TC02372.pdf
________

Congrats – first up! – [you`re not mentioned in the decision document – are you? 😉 ]

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Geordie BhoyPosted on1:16 pm - Nov 21, 2012


stevensanph says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 09:24

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!

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

And also to readcelt (Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 09:32): we still have free speech in this country. The FTTT agreed anonymity for its participants (and provided that anonymity). Unless prohibited by an interdict, nothing stops interested citizens from putting two and two together and passing on their conclusions … We are not subject t o the FTTT’s conditions.

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AgrajagPosted on1:18 pm - Nov 21, 2012


So Rangers only stole about, oh let’s say £20m from the Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, from you and me.

So there were only say 6 players or so who were getting “guaranteed” “bonuses” through an EBT thus evading tax and NIC. The rest were just getting “loans” in order to avoid paying tax and NIC.

So Rangers did deliberately conceal the “side letters” from the SFA / SPL. Meaning that they cheated Scottish football for years. They fielded ineligible players, and have admitted this.

And Rangers, their supporters, and the MSM are proclaiming this a victory.

:LOL:

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ordinaryfanPosted on1:21 pm - Nov 21, 2012


Let’s not forget that RFC were also PROVEN to have withheld information intentionally from HMRC. They DID deliberately hinder the investigation as is stated clearly.

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NawlitePosted on1:29 pm - Nov 21, 2012


I can’t get my head round why some people are saying HMRC won’t appeal. If this decision stands does it allow clubs (and other corporate entities, I guess) to START using EBTs in this way to pay salaries? If so, then surely they must win this case.

Or is it the case that since RFC* used them, rules have changed so no one can now do what RFC* did? In that case, I can see why it might not be so important. (Although I still thought they wanted to get some EPL clubs using them concurrently with RFC*)

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manandboyPosted on1:35 pm - Nov 21, 2012


The Great Train Robbers got away with about 10 million.

Rangers FC got away with around 18 million.

2 sets of criminals.

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Danish PastryPosted on1:35 pm - Nov 21, 2012


On twitter Tom English critical of the direction the RTC blog took. I take it he is referring to the more non-factual anti-Rangers type posts and not RTC’s actual blogs? Fair criticism?

“@TomEnglishSport: @GrahamSpiers @tagsbo @marc15277 It had Graham, but it became an anti-Rangers, anti-media vehicle and a pretty nasty one at that”

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Long Time LurkerPosted on1:37 pm - Nov 21, 2012


@TomEnglishSport: @GrahamSpiers @tagsbo @marc15277 It had Graham, but it became an anti-Rangers, anti-media vehicle and a pretty nasty one at that”

What a load of tripe.

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arabest1Posted on1:44 pm - Nov 21, 2012


@TomEnglishSport: @GrahamSpiers @tagsbo @marc15277 It had Graham, but it became an anti-Rangers, anti-media vehicle and a pretty nasty one at that”

———————————————————————————————————–

Gave you loads of informed copy though Tom!

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thebasharmilestegPosted on1:44 pm - Nov 21, 2012


Much as I’d like to see an appeal and I’ve said as much several times over the last 24 hours, there may be one reason why HMRC might not appeal and that is because it might create the wrong precedent.

I started my professional career working for a government dept responsible for enforcing a particular piece of legislation. Although we prosecuted for non-compliance regularly, when we lost a case appeals were not common. HMRC have lost a case at the lowest level. It creates no precedent. On the same evidence another tribunal might find for HMRC unanimously. If they take another 10 cases and win 7 that’s a good result for them. If they go to appeal on this one, they risk losing it and thus can’t take any of the 10 – they lose them all without firing a shot.

I suspect there will be long and hard look at this case before they decide to lodge an appeal. Don’t expect a decision soon.

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Night TerrorPosted on1:47 pm - Nov 21, 2012


Danish Pastry says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 13:35

On twitter Tom English critical of the direction the RTC blog took. I take it he is referring to the more non-factual anti-Rangers type posts and not RTC’s actual blogs? Fair criticism?

“@TomEnglishSport: @GrahamSpiers @tagsbo @marc15277 It had Graham, but it became an anti-Rangers, anti-media vehicle and a pretty nasty one at that”

Fair comment if it refers to the below the line comments.

Lots of great comment and investigation undermined by enough anti-Rangers crap to allow detractors to label it as such. Could have done with much more scrupulous moderation, especially latterly when the volume of comments was clearly too much for RTC to handle.

I find it hard to fault RTC’s blog posts. Factual, and any speculation was clearly marked as such, as well as guarded about being influenced by his/her acknowledged biases.

If there is now a legal issue regarding the info RTC had being put in the public domain, I wonder why this was not pursued until after the FTT(T) reported its verdict.

When will MIH stop taking fly kicks at its detractors when they are down?

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neepheidPosted on1:48 pm - Nov 21, 2012


Long Time Lurker says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 13:37
0 0 Rate This
@TomEnglishSport: @GrahamSpiers @tagsbo @marc15277 It had Graham, but it became an anti-Rangers, anti-media vehicle and a pretty nasty one at that”

What a load of tripe.
======
Quite.

RTC an anti-media vehicle?

Does that mean that we expected the MSM to actually do some journalism, like ask a few questions, for instance, and get some answers? Or is it ok for so-called journalists to just recycle press releases fed to them by RM, without any comment criticism or evaluation? Is that your take on journalism, Mr English? What a sad person.

Utterly disgusting. And beyond pathetic.

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ordinaryfanPosted on1:51 pm - Nov 21, 2012


HMRC opened enquiry into the use of the MGRT in January 2004. The
progress of the enquiry was protracted and chequered due to KEY DOCUMENTS WERE BEING WITHHELD OR ACTIVELY CONCEALED..
(v) It would appear that the side-letters were actively CONCEALED in the course of
25 HMRC’s investigation because they answered the central question raised by
the enquiry regarding the basis of determining the amounts to be contributed
to the main Trust and the sub-trusts. The side-letters also evidence the
existence of some form of contractual agreement between the employer and
the employees.
30 (vi) Mr Red was an incredible witness. It would appear that he was OBSTRUCTIVE in
his conduct during the HMRC’s enquiry, and OBSCURANTIST in the way he gave
evidence on what could be called a ‘virtual reality’, one that conformed to his
own understanding of how the trust scheme should have functioned to stay
within the bounds of legitimacy as a tax-saving scheme. It would also appear
35 that he tried to influence Mrs Crimson (and possibly Mr Scarlet) in their
giving of evidence

And this is being hailed a victory by Jabba the Slug and the rest of the appeasers??

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ianagainPosted on1:53 pm - Nov 21, 2012


HMRC 41k cases on the go thebasharmilesteg may be right.

http://www.accountancyage.com/aa/news/2226278/nao-hmrc-in-uphill-battle-against-tax-avoidance

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ianagainPosted on1:55 pm - Nov 21, 2012


BTW Tom English Graham Spiers.

This IS media. Catch up!

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Geordie BhoyPosted on1:56 pm - Nov 21, 2012


A double blow for me too: the FTTT result and Celtic’s loss last night. I will get over them.

So where are we now? A few more bears will turn into orcs, convinced that there is a plot against them. They cheer a victory for the man who ran their club into their ground. This victory is for fat-cat executives and players earning millions of pounds per year upon which they did not pay their fair share of tax.

I wonder if they will consider this “victory” when they rail against bankers bonuses, when a company moves out of Scotland due to “labour costs” or when local authorities cut jobs because the country does not have enough money (tax to you and me).

As for Rangers (IL), this changes nothing. They went into administration and liquidation because they spent more than they earned for at least the last decade. No buyer was prepared to take on the club after a look at the books … except Craig Whyte. HMRC took RFC into administration due to months of non-payment of tax. A CVA failed because HMRC had more than 75% of the debt and said “No.” Ticketus could have put its debt into the pot but chose not to. The FTTT decision changes none of these facts.

What it does do, however, is to detail the obstruction and double-dealing of the Rangers board. It stipulates, in no uncertain terms, that the EBT payments and associated side letters were to be hidden from the SFA. This information was a requirement of UEFA’s and therefore the SFA’s documentation rquirements for football contracts.

They broke the rules. knowingly and with full intent and should therefore be found guilty and punished appropiately by ths SPL tribunal.

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Danish PastryPosted on2:00 pm - Nov 21, 2012


Night Terror on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 13:47
1 0 Rate This
Danish Pastry says:
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 13:35

On twitter Tom English critical of the direction the RTC blog took. I take it he is referring to the more non-factual anti-Rangers type posts and not RTC’s actual blogs? Fair criticism?

“@TomEnglishSport: @GrahamSpiers @tagsbo @marc15277 It had Graham, but it became an anti-Rangers, anti-media vehicle and a pretty nasty one at that”

Fair comment if it refers to the below the line comments.

Lots of great comment and investigation undermined by enough anti-Rangers crap to allow detractors to label it as such. Could have done with much more scrupulous moderation, especially latterly when the volume of comments was clearly too much for RTC to handle.

I find it hard to fault RTC’s blog posts. Factual, and any speculation was clearly marked as such, as well as guarded about being influenced by his/her acknowledged biases …
——–

Agreed NT. I was always concerned that the very anti-RFC stuff from some posters would undermine claims to the moral high ground. Good reason for TSFM to err on the side of caution when it comes to moderation.

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thebasharmilestegPosted on2:02 pm - Nov 21, 2012


“a pretty nasty one at that”

If Mr English thinks so then the only internet fan’s forum he has visited must have been that for Cheltenham Ladies College Netball Team.

Compared with the average football fans forum RTC and TSFM has been polite, well mannered, intelligent and even properly punctuated. I’ve worked offshore, on construction sites and in many parts of the world but even my vocabulary gets an update on a fans’ forum. If there has been a dispute it has pretty much been handbags at 5 paces stuff.

Anti-Rangers and Anti Media, arguably yes, because the if latter were doing their job properly there wouldn’t be a need for RTC and because the former were suspected to have won titles by cheating and as a result pushed many competitors into massive debt. That suspiscion is now proven.

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