Enough is enough

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As Celtic prepare to take on one of the Champions league big boys again, a warning to the commentators and pundits.

Like most Scots, I was sad to see Celtic so comprehensively thumped by PSG and Bayern recently. But something about those nights made me angry as well.

Not the players, their effort, or even the schoolboy defending. Not the semi-ritualistic way these games are presented on TV or the ludicrous hype that is generated by the media.

I blame Celtic for their own failings and the executive branch of Scottish football for facilitating that failure. And I think it is the result of a long-term strategy that has clearly failed.

What offends me is the casual referencing of the weakness of the game and players in Scotland as a key reason why Celtic struggle against the best teams, and the implicit suggestion that if only their domestic opponents were more skillful, Celtic’s Champions League training friendlies schedule, aka the SPFL Premiership, might prepare them better for these big games.

Pat Bonner said it outright in his commentary of the Bayern game. The weakness of the SPFL is the problem. Several others made the point that Celtic defenders never get the chance to play against top strikers in their own league and are, therefore, somehow unable to cope with it when they do. Others claim that Celtic are so used to being in possession of the ball and winning games easily at home, that when they face a top-quality opponent, they are suddenly caught like a rabbit in headlights without the faintest clue what to do.

I don’t know enough about the tactics of modern football, or the language used to describe systems of play, to critique that in footballing terms, but I do have a reasonable grasp of what constitutes bullshit. And so much of what our journalists, TV commentators, and pundits say, on occasions like this, is, definitely, it.

I blame Celtic for their own failings and the executive branch of Scottish football for facilitating that failure. And I think it is the result of a long-term strategy that has clearly failed.

Here’s how I think it went. Professional football in Scotland looks like it has been organised around a single goal. To generate Scottish success in the Champions League. A good way to achieve that is to ensure that Scottish teams get plenty exposure to that league. The best way to ensure that is to make sure that the same team, or teams, gain regular entry into it. The way to make that happen is to organise the league such that it is unthinkable that any other team could win it.

How might you do that without making it obvious what your intentions are?

Well, first, you lay the financial ground. Allow teams to keep their home gate receipts. That way, clubs are kept in their place, the big two stay big, the middle six to eight, not so big, and the rest, remain almost irrelevant.

To further entrench the financial status quo, you need to ensure that income from domestic sources (particularly TV money) is kept low enough to stop any other club paying for a team above their station, but not so low that mid-sized clubs go out of business.

It is our fault because we are not brave enough. Not brave enough to stand up to the powers running our game and put a stop to this madness.

Next, you would have to ensure that the rules stay in place long enough for the plan to work. Give the two big clubs the right of veto over rule changes. The masterminds of the plan have to be kept in office for as long as possible and committee members must be carefully selected. A generous portion of executives from the big two, and a fair sprinkling of others too afraid of their own clubs going to the wall to bother about grand generation-long master-plans, should guarantee no one rocks the boat too much. Allow a rogue committee member to challenge things every now and again to make it look good for the punters, safe in the knowledge that no permanent damage can be done to the plan.

But what if something unexpected happened to one of the big clubs? That could be tricky, right? The whole plan could be put in jeopardy. On the other hand, what is there to worry about when you have ensured that the decision makers are either on message or too concerned about their own teams’ survival to get in the way of a stitch up. Sure, we lost a few years, but it’ll soon get back on track.

Journalists would get wind of this surely, or even be able to work it out for themselves, right? Well, in a profession that seems to have lost most of its towering intellects to be replaced by either agenda driven zealots or barely literate fan bloggers (like me, I suppose), we might be asking a little too much of them. In any case, the overwhelming coverage of the big two in the national media and the simple fact that promoting Celtic and Rangers sells advertising space means that they are, more or less, complicit, even if they don’t always realise it.

I hope this sounds like the ramblings of a mad conspiracy theorist, but if any of the above rings true (and it does to me), then there might just be some truth on it.

Pat Bonner and those other pundits and commentators are right of course. Celtic’s failure against the big teams is the fault of the rest of Scottish football. Our players and teams aren’t good enough. But fault is a convoluted thing. It is not our fault because we are not good enough. It is our fault because we are not brave enough. Not brave enough to stand up to the powers running our game and put a stop to this madness.

I have absolutely no evidence that there is such a master-plan, or that anyone at the SFA or SPFL has even considered any of these points or the consequences that might flow from them. I even have serious doubts that any of the current leadership have the intellectual capacity to dream up such a Machiavellian plot, let alone execute it. But one thing I do know is that Scottish football is not in a healthy place. Not even a Celtic victory tonight, even if they gave some of their CL win bonus to Kilmarnock, you know, for giving them such a good run out on Saturday, would fix it.

How glorious would it be for the other Scottish teams to be credited for Celtic’s CL victories (especially the big ones)? I imagine the words would get stuck in plenty of throats. Celtic win CL games despite Scottish Football and lose them because of it. That, in a nutshell, is where we are right now. All that is likely to change any time soon is that Rangers will join them again. Something has to change, if only because my TV won’t survive another shoe being thrown at it when some Celtic minded blowhard tells the world that my team is partly to blame for Celtic’s defence not being good enough to stop Neymar or Lewandowski.

This article was first published in the unofficial Dundee Fans Forum https://www.thedarkblues.co.uk/news/scottish-football/enough-is-enough-r542/ on 23 October 2017. Reproduced, in slightly amended form, with their kind permission.

718 COMMENTS


  1. WOTTPI
    NOVEMBER 7, 2017 at 15:20
    SFA and SPFL: Survey says stakeholders dissatisfied with Scots’ governing bodieshttp://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/41904600
    =======================================

    “…In response to the survey, an SPFL spokesman told BBC Scotland: “We are all working towards a common goal to grow and improve the game in Scotland and are encouraged by progress in recent years.
    “It’s worth underlining that the SPFL’s commercial income and revenues back to clubs are at record levels and attendances last season were at the highest level this decade, up 12% over the previous season.”
    ===========

    Assuming that this is the full SPFL quote…

    They are not very bright at Hampden.

    Over 16K fans / customers took the time to complete the survey.
    Yet, the SPFL ‘spokesman’ doesn’t even mention it – nor that the SPFL will take any notice of the findings ?! 
     
    They could have at least added some weaselly words to dodge making any further comment, like;
    “The SPFL values the opinions of the fans, and will take time to review the survey’s findings.”

    [And I’m guessing the SFA will respond with something like: we only recognise the findings of our own, SFA funded fans’ surveys – if they comment at all.]

     01

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  2. The reason that it’s good that tax havens are a story is because it should be illegal rather than just immoral.  We are being shafted by interested parties who want to maintain the status quo.  Don’t let the whole shower of them off with it because one guy happens to be connected to your team or because it wisnae as bad as the other cheek’s lot.  That’s ridiculous. I actually think it would be beneficial if someone from my own lot (because what fitba team you support is clearly irrelevant) was outed if it would help keep the whole, shameful scam in the public eye. The story will move on from Mrs Brown’s boys and Desmond; good, the more that get outed the better for us.  A pox on them all.

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  3. Tax avoidance and tax management are not the same thing.

    Tax management is minimising the tax you pay by legitimate means. I think I will be doing it when I retire. As I understand it if I maximise my lump sum that is tax free, however if I take it as pension then I pay tax on anything over the personal tax threshold. I do not consider that to be tax avoidance it is a legitimate and acceptable way to manage my tax poisition.

    From HMRC

    1. What’s taxed

    You pay tax if your total annual income adds up to more than your Personal Allowance. Find out about your Personal Allowance and Income Tax rates.

    2. What’s tax-free

    You won’t usually pay any tax if your total annual income adds up to less than your Personal Allowance.

    Lump sums from your pension

    You can usually take up to 25% of the amount built up in any pension as a tax-free lump sum. The tax-free lump sum doesn’t affect your Personal Allowance.

    Tax is taken off the remaining amount before you get it.

    I also don’t consider someone investing in an ISA to be avoiding tax. They are simply using a legitimate means, approved by the Government to minimise it.

    Tax avoidance, according to HMRC, is using a provision for something which that provision was not intended.

    People may not like the fact that over a 3 year period Dermott Desmond’s company paid £1m less tax because of the way the business was structured. By having part of the operation in the IOM rather than Swizerland. However if what he did is legitimate in both jurisdictions than it’s not tax avoidance. Well not as the UK Government define it. Though to be fair the UK Government are not actually involved.

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  4. In a desperate search for moral equivalence part of Scottish society  has to widen the immoral actions of RFC since 2000 to cross the boundary between sporting and business affairs.
    DD’s use of IOM tax base for one of his businesses could have been reported on general news, (but a rich man organises his tax affairs legally to reduce tax paid is hardly news is it? )So to make it such the issue is dragged into the sporting arena and broadcast in that context on BBC Sportsound.
    So in that sporting context it might be worth looking at what LNS said about the use of ebts by RFC at a time when HMRC were claiming that the way RFC used a legitimate tax reduction device was unlawful.
    [104] As we have already explained, in our view the purpose of the Rules applicable to Issues 1to 3 is to promote the sporting integrity of the game. These rules are not designed as any form offinancial regulation of football, analogous to the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations. Thus itis not the purpose of the Rules to regulate how one football club may seek to gain financial andsporting advantage over others. Obviously, a successful club is able to generate more incomefrom gate money, sponsorship, advertising, sale of branded goods and so on, and is consequentlyable to offer greater financial rewards to its manager and players, in the hope of even more31 success.
    ==.>Nor is it a breach of SPL or SFA Rules for a club to arrange its affairs – within the law– so as to minimise its tax liabilities. <====
    The Tax Tribunal has held (subject to appeal) that Oldco was acting within the law in setting up and operating the EBT scheme. The SPL presented no argument to challenge the decision of the majority of the Tax Tribunal and Mr McKenzie stated expressly that for all purposes of this Commission’s Inquiry and Determination the SPL accepted that decision as it stood, without regard to any possible appeal by HMRC. Accordingly we proceed on the basis that the EBT arrangements were lawful. What we are concerned with is the fact that the side-letters issued to the Specified Players, in the course of the operation of the EBT [Ends]
    Now as we all know HMRC were successful in their claim that RFC used ebts unlawfully and on that basis alone LNS should be revisited, but as it hasn’t been then (ironically) the LNS justification for the  RFC use of ebts within a sporting context means that even if a sporting context did apply to DD’s tax arrangements (and it doesn’t) then quoting LNS as many RFC fans like to do when it suits, it is OK for DD to arrange his tax affairs within the law so as to minimise his tax liabilities.
    Herein lies the hypocrisy of the BBC in attempting to claim moral equivalence in a sporting context.  It is more than hypocrisy, it is malevolent and unless Sportsound proceed to provide balance by for example a full programme covering the issues raised by the Offshore Game that they have studiously avoided so far, they will be in breach of BBC guidelines. 
    The above is from a general perspective. The next bit is as a Celtic supporter.
    If I were Celtic I would be taking the matter to the BBC Trust to review, not just this instance but BBC Sportsound’s proclivity under Kenny McIntyre to avoid balance on this issue as much as his club evaded tax.
    It is high time we took these guys on in their own backyard using the very rules they think do not apply to them.
    Its not just the BBC,  its The Guardian, its STV News and its endemic over the Scottish media.
    Celtic need to set up the capacity to challenge every media attempt to blacken their name in the desperate attempts for moral equivalence, where those challenging Celtic sporting values would rather bring us down than raise theirs up.

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  5. Homunculus November 7, 2017 at 16:47People may not like the fact that over a 3 year period Dermott Desmond’s company paid £1m less tax because of the way the business was structured. By having part of the operation in the IOM rather than Swizerland. However if what he did is legitimate in both jurisdictions than it’s not tax avoidance. Well not as the UK Government define it. Though to be fair the UK Government are not actually involved.
    ———————————————————–

    Your comment omits (misses?) one important aspect of the arrangements of Execujet that is likely to make it’s corporate behaviour unlawful. That is that documents indicate that no “control” was exercised by the IOM subsidiary as all decisions were made by the Swiss company.

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  6. I posted about 5pm and the post didn’t appear.  I blamed myself, I thought I didn’t ‘send’. 

    So I posted again. still nothing.

    I assumed something was up with the site.  But now I see 2 posts appearing since. Auldheid & Sannoff.

    What’s up? It wasn’t remotely moderation material.

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  7. EASYJAMBONOVEMBER 7, 2017 at 12:32 . 
    Why should Celtic fans be so sensitive to business activities of the their major shareholder? I can only think that it is the risk of damage to the Celtic “brand” that concerns them.  Should they ignore what Dermot Desmond does in the rest of his business empire, just because it doesn’t directly involve Celtic? If I was a Celtic fan, and had a political interest in fairness within the tax system, then I definitely would want to know what he was up to elsewhere in his business empire. Otherwise you would have to ask why the same Celtic fans are so interested in the tax affairs and convictions of the current Rangers chairman, which had no direct connection to the football club.
    —————
    first that was a good post.but can i correct if i may?
    Otherwise you would have to ask why the same Celtic fans are so interested in the tax affairs and convictions of the current Rangers chairman, which had no direct connection to the football club.
    ————-
    Mr king is not the rangers chairman he is the chairman of the company TRIFC.but he is looked at by many as the chairman of the rangers football club.The reason many celtic fans are so interested in the tax affairs and convictions of Mr king is because of his past convictions and should be know where near a scottish football club.And if it was not for celtic fans and others we would be lead to believe by the scottish football authorities and the SMSM that he is the chairman of the football club.
    Mr Desmond as far as i know has never had any convictions and is not a chairman of celtic he is just a major shareholder.
    hope you get my point19

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  8. SANNOFFYMESSSOITIZZ
    NOVEMBER 7, 2017 at 18:21
    ================================

    Sorry but I have no knowledge of whether that is significant under Swiss tax rules. 

    Are the Swiss or IOM authorities taking any action against the company. For example are the Swiss authorities alleging that the company are guilty of tax avoidance and seeking to have the money paid.

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  9. Cluster One November 7, 2017 at 19:08

    Mr king is not the rangers chairman he is the chairman of the company TRIFC.but he is looked at by many as the chairman of the rangers football club.The reason many celtic fans are so interested in the tax affairs and convictions of Mr king is because of his past convictions and should be know where near a scottish football club.And if it was not for celtic fans and others we would be lead to believe by the scottish football authorities and the SMSM that he is the chairman of the football club. Mr Desmond as far as i know has never had any convictions and is not a chairman of celtic he is just a major shareholder.
    hope you get my point
    ====================
    Thanks for the response.  I had expected that challenge.

    Looking at the accounts of the football club (TRFC), it appears that the “club” does not have a chairman appointed from within its directors.  I don’t think that it is unreasonable to describe King as the de facto chairman of the club.

    With regard to King’s convictions, that’s the point I was trying to make. I have seen several twitter posts from Celtic fans complaining about Celtic being linked to the allegations being made against Dermot Desmond.

    It is not about Celtic. It’s about Dermot Desmond.  Whether Celtic fans like it or not Dermot Desmond is a name that will be recognised by the Scottish public, for his connection as a major shareholder in Celtic FC.  That makes it a public interest story in Scotland.

    Auldheid states above: “but a rich man organises his tax affairs legally to reduce tax paid is hardly news is it?”, which I agree with, but when a major leak of information is put into the public domain, then it is only natural that the broadcasters seek to highlight a mix of people of people in the public eye (e.g. Desmond, Hamilton, Ashcroft, Mrs Brown’s Boys) and a range of other rich individuals who engaged in similar tax avoidance activities.  I think that is the correct approach, to expose both high and low profile names, thus to engage the public and put pressure on politicians to act.

    If I’ve understood Auldheid correctly, he and others feel that there is a moral equivalence argument to be had (a Rangers/Celtic bias).  I’m a Hearts fan, I couldn’t care less who it is that is exposed, whether it is Desmond, Usmanov, Romanov or King (and the Queen). I’m just happy to see that their business practices are questioned, either as a legal or a moral issue.

    To argue that Desmond is only doing what business people do, in my opinion, misses the point of why it is newsworthy.  King was also doing what some business people do, only he crossed a line and was done for it (41 times). There would be little interest in King’s tax convictions had he not been involved with RFC and RIFC, similarly there would be little interest in Desmond if he wasn’t involved with CFC.

    Auldheid certainly has a point about an imbalance in coverage of Rangers by the BBC but, on this specific issue, I personally don’t believe the criticism is warranted.      

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  10. WRT the Parasite (sic) Papers , I reckon SMSM will now have to publish an exhaustive list of all majority shareholders of all Scottish clubs and their compliance(or not) with the tax regimes in their country of residence – in the interest of balance,of course . Is it being suggested that DD is using ill-gotten gains to deprive other teams of their rightful place in the scheme of things, or is this non-story a deflection from some tortuous financial results posted recently ?

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  11. Homunculus  November 7, 2017 at 19:09

    Here’s the relevant text from the BBC Business News website article

    Making all the decisions

    The emails suggest the Isle of Man’s activities were being dictated from Execujet’s Swiss HQ.

    For example, on 9 June 2015, Execujet’s insurers, Willis, wanted to make a payment of $45,000 (£34,500) to Execujet (IOM).

    But Willis dealt with Execujet in Switzerland.

    A Swiss-based EAG executive then emailed an Appleby employee on the Isle of Man to say: “When this payment arrives, please transfer it to our EAG bank account.”

    On another occasion, Execujet instructed Appleby to transfer more than $500,000 into the Swiss account.

    Tax expert Philip Simpson QC told the BBC that if individuals in Switzerland were making all the decisions about what the Isle of Man company did, such as immediately paying money to the Swiss companies, then it would mean the company was actually tax resident in Switzerland.

    This might leave the structure open to challenge by the Swiss tax authorities.

    Mr Simpson said: “If it’s resident in Switzerland then, despite the structure that has been put in place, stamp duty is due on the insurance premium paid and Swiss corporation tax is due on the money received back from the insurance broker.

    “From what I’ve seen it suggests control may be being exercised from Switzerland.

    “It would certainly be reasonable to describe this as an aggressive avoidance arrangement given, in particular, what appears to be a lack of economic substance to the Isle of Man company.

    “For ease of reference here’s a link to the full article.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-41857222

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  12. For context and scope of the alleged tax avoidance here’s the text of the section of the BBC website article that precedes the one I posted above. (I was too late to include this as an edit!)

    Swiss tax

    But that was not the only benefit.

    Due to the way its aircraft insurance was structured, Execujet was entitled to a “brokerage” fee from its insurers, which amounted to about $1.2m (£920,000) a year. According to the data, this could be classed as income and therefore would be taxable in Switzerland.

    An Appleby memo said: “By having the monies paid into the Isle of Man entity EAG [Execujet Aviation Group] are not required to pay Swiss tax on the income of around 22%.”

    It added: “We expect to receive two payments per year of approximately US$600k (£460,000) under this policy.”

    According to the leaked emails, that cash was funnelled straight from the Isle of Man back into Switzerland, apparently tax free, on instructions from Execujet executives in Switzerland.

    The BBC asked both Mr Desmond and Execujet whether tax on this income had been subsequently paid.

    Neither responded directly to that question, but said that all taxes that were due had been paid.

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  13. EASYJAMBONOVEMBER 7, 2017 at 19:56

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

    I have yet to speak to a Celtic fan who supports super wealthy people avoiding tax that others have no choice but to pay.  I have also yet to speak to one who doesn’t believe the BBC are casually linking Celtic’s name to dodgy tax avoidance without making it clear the Dermot Desmond story is not linked in any way to the business affairs of the club. They have never shown any concern before as to what the Swiss taxpayer may or may not have lost out on. I only wish they showed the same concern regarding what many inhabitants of their Sportsound studio owe the UK taxpayer through undisputed unlawful tax avoidance. 

    They know exactly what they are doing in my view. 

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  14. UPTHEHOOPSNOVEMBER 7, 2017 at 20:13EASYJAMBONOVEMBER 7, 2017 at 19:56
    ================================
    I have yet to speak to a Celtic fan who supports super wealthy people avoiding tax that others have no choice but to pay.  I have also yet to speak to one who doesn’t believe the BBC are casually linking Celtic’s name to dodgy tax avoidance without making it clear the Dermot Desmond story is not linked in any way to the business affairs of the club. They have never shown any concern before as to what the Swiss taxpayer may or may not have lost out on. I only wish they showed the same concern regarding what many inhabitants of their Sportsound studio owe the UK taxpayer through undisputed unlawful tax avoidance. 
    They know exactly what they are doing in my view. 

    ######################################
    EJ has called it right Re DD. Your point about the BBC not taking the EBT tax dodgers to task is also valid but couched in such a way as to be interpreted as a deflection away from DD’s predicament.

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  15. EASYJAMBONOVEMBER 7, 2017 at 19:56
    Thanks for the response.  I had expected that challenge.
    —————–
    Sorry if i put my point across as if it was a challenge03

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  16. upthehoopsNovember 7, 2017 at 20:13
    They know exactly what they are doing in my view.
    ____________
    Anyone who has listened to Sportsound with Kenny McIntyre since 2012 will have no doubt about that. It is clearly an editorial policy at the BBC. While it may be undesirable, in my view, when the print media take this editorial line, I can choose not to buy the paper. The BBC is different. They have a statutory duty to be impartial and balanced in their reporting. They are the state broadcaster and I have to pay my license fee like everyone else.
    As with other aspects of the RIFC / TRFC story though, who is in a position to call them out? The narrative has gone unchallenged, apart from on blogs like this, because no-one with a vested interest, or sufficient clout, has been prepared to do so.
    It’s not just the media narrative that has gone unchallenged either of course, the actions of the responsible governing bodies hasn’t been scrutinised.
    Maybe the fans survey will do something, but I doubt it. The Celtic JR may do something about a specific part of this, if it is still rolling, but the whole governance of the SFA and SPFL needs to be investigated and with it, the truth about the DK /  TP ruling at the Supreme Court, the EBT ruling at the SC also, the ramifications of that, and probably LNS and the 5WA too would emerge.
    If the Member clubs had any interest in setting what is their own house in order, they would have done something by this time. It needs someone outside the game to ask questions. Channel 4 appear to have lost interest, so for me the only likely source would be an MSP. The SG might not want anything of the sort, but there must be someone with the courage and belief in Holyrood to make an issue of it.
    The issues now include tax avoidance, malfeasance in the awarding of licenses, threats to journalists and others and a refusal to act on the instruction of the Takeover Panel. Those are more than enough to give an MSP a legitimate interest.

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  17. BOGS DOLLOXNOVEMBER 7, 2017 at 20:33 
    EJ has called it right Re DD. Your point about the BBC not taking the EBT tax dodgers to task is also valid but couched in such a way as to be interpreted as a deflection away from DD’s predicament.

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

    No it is not. At the moment D.D is guilty of nothing illegal, unlawful, whatever you wish to call it. The accusation is related to a company which is in no way linked to Celtic Football Club. D.D is big enough to look after himself in this matter, but the BBC have IMO deliberately smeared Celtic’s name. There is no deflection on my part, because the unlawful tax scheme at Ibrox was operated by the club for the benefit of the club and was found to be unlawful by the highest UK Court.  The D.D case is a million miles away from that and I repeat, Celtic are not involved anyway. 

    The reaction I see from non-Celtic fans tells me the BBC’s strategy, which was latched onto by other media outlets, has worked. Fair means or foul, who cares eh!

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  18. Cluster One November 7, 2017 at 20:40
    EASYJAMBONOVEMBER 7, 2017 at 19:56 Thanks for the response.  I had expected that challenge. —————– Sorry if i put my point across as if it was a challenge
    ===================
    There’s no problem. Perhaps “challenge” wasn’t the right word to use, but I did expect my assertion to be countered as you did.  I didn’t take the response as being argumentative in any way.

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  19. upthehoops November 7, 2017 at 20:13

    I agree with you that EAG’s alleged behaviour has absolutely nothing to do with Celtic FC.

    Would you agree that DD was unwise and unfair to Celtic FC to start his letter with “Are you a Rangers fan?”?

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  20. SANNOFFYMESSSOITIZZ @ 21:06

    _________________________________________

    I admit slight surprise at D.D’s opening line, although I do firmly believe tribalism at the BBC is responsible for the prominence this was given. Not necessarily from Mark Daly of course,.

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  21. I really think Kris Boyd needs to watch his terminology when calling new recruits to the Scotland squad ‘a laughing stock’.  What are international friendlies for if not to give fringe players and new players a chance to prove themselves?

    He seems to think the Aberdeen players are only getting their chance at Pittodrie to improve ticket sales.  Yet I remember loads of people criticising Strachan in the past for not giving these very players a chance.

    Kris Boyd needs to learn a bit of diplomacy.

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  22. SANNOFFYMESSSOITIZZ
    NOVEMBER 7, 2017 at 19:59 
    Homunculus  November 7, 2017 at 19:09
    Here’s the relevant text from the BBC Business News website article
    —————————————————————————-

    Thanks for the link to the BBC article.

    Does it clear up my question

    “Are the Swiss or IOM authorities taking any action against the company. For example are the Swiss authorities alleging that the company are guilty of tax avoidance and seeking to have the money paid.”

    I’m not really sure that “This might leave the structure open to challenge by the Swiss tax authorities.” covers that.

    If and when the relevant authorities take action and allege that a company owned by Dermot Desmond avoided tax in their jurisdiction then I am more than happy to take the matter seriously. 

    It still wouldn’t be anything to do with Celtic of course but that has never stopped anyone. For example making a big deal about what managers and players did with their money, after Celtic had paid it to them with the relevant tax/ NI etc deducted. 

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  23. I suppose we all have players and ex players from our clubs that we wish would just not talk to the media.  I mentioned Kris Boyd earlier. So in the interests of balance, there is an ex Celtic player today rubbishing the current squad’s 63 games undefeated record.  Because it’s only in Scotland.  Tony Cascarino of all people! Yes the same Scotland that he struggled badly in when playing for Celtic.  A pure riddy.

     However Neil Lennon quickly put him in his place:
    “I (Neil Lennon) find the competition and the quality of the games really refreshing. We don’t need people from down south lecturing us on how the game is up here. “There is still that rawness here. There is still that passion. It’s still a working-class sport up here. You don’t have too many prawn sandwich brigades, who kill the soul of the game. I’ve been to a lot of grounds in England where the atmosphere is awful.”

    Shut up Tony.  Just go and have a game of chess with Kris Boyd.

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  24. Just to put it out there…

    If the SPFL is looking for a useful, over educated, village idiot to replace Doncaster…I am at your humble service.

    [And I get to watch any SPFL games for free?!]

    And I am Scottish…  15

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  25. Homunculus November 7, 2017 at 22:26

    If HMRC had such documents for a UK resident and domiciled individual then it would definitely carry out a compliance investigation.

    I’d be surprised if their Swiss counterparts did not do the same, although owing to confidentiality we are unlikely to hear of these investigations if they’re carried out under civil, as opposed to criminal, procedures unless tax fraud is suspected.

    In such cases HMRC will investigate under the following Code of Practice:
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/494808/COP9_06_14.pdf

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  26. The £6M EBT that David Murray had from Rangers amounts to more owed tax than Dermot Desmond’s former company may or may not be due tax on under Swiss law. Also, it has been ruled by the highest UK court to be an EBT which was unlawfully applied.  I can only assume no-one from the BBC Scotland investigations unit has any idea where to find David Murray, otherwise they would surely want to ask him when he is going to pay it back.  They might also want to ask him why he thinks it is okay for a state owned bank to write off nearly £800m owed by his Company, while he got to keep all the good bits. Then again they might choose instead to contact Glasgow Airport to ask when the next herd of pink elephants is due in from the moon. 

    I can also only assume that the producers of BBC Sportsound have no idea that Billy Dodds, Steven Thomson, Barry Ferguson, Kris Boyd, Alex Rae and Alex McLeish also owe money to HMRC from an unlawfully applied EBT scheme. If they did, then in the interests of balance they would surely want to discuss it as a matter of urgency any time those people appear on their show. Then again they might choose instead to debate whether the moon is made of green cheese.

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  27. UPTHEHOOPS
    NOVEMBER 8, 2017 at 07:16
    How dare you!
    That was a staunch, dignified, respectful Trust based in Glasgow. Or was it Edinburgh? London?
    Nope:- Jersey.
    And how comes it the whole investigation is named after the stadium Celtic play at?
    Why not The Refurbished Fan Zone And World Class Breakfast Papers?

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  28. jimboNovember 8, 2017 at 00:32Shut up Tony.  Just go and have a game of chess with Kris Boyd.

    Apparently they did Jimbo.  8 hours in and they’re still arguing as to who traditionally gets the white end of the board and who gets the black.

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  29. I’m a long term lurker and thankfully for you guys hardly ever post but the DD thing has me exasperated.

    It is a shocking attempt at moral equivalence. “They’re just as bad as each other” (where have I heard that before…). The swivel-eyed loons on Follow Follow and quite a few other Rangers fans I’ve spoken to have of course been persuaded that Celtic have avoided tax just in a slightly different way to how they have and that Rangers have been really unfairly targeted. 

    This has the really serious side-effect of us never getting over what’s happened. They will never accept that RFC did anything wrong and the divisions will never heal. If anything they’ll get worse, especially as things at Ibrox look like they could unravel again.

    If the media had told the truth from the outset most reasonable Rangers/Sevco fans would have accepted that their club cheated and would possibly even have shown some small hint of humility. By filling their heads full of this nonsense and encouraging feelings of persecution I think it’s doubtful that we’ll get past this for a couple of generations, if ever.

    Like Auldheid says, I think it’s time for DD or Celtic to report BBC Scotland to the BBC Trust. I know there are plenty of people out there who feel that a club like Celtic should not be banning journalists and in many ways I agree with that but this has gone far beyond banning a single journalist for an unflattering or untrue story. This is a coordinated campaign on behalf of one club and against another by the publicly funded state broadcaster that’s helping to do long term damage to the game and, to a certain extent, a large part of our society too.

    Rant over…

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  30. I think it’s about time The Green Brigade displayed a huge banner calling out BBC Scotland for their lies, evasiveness and slant about the Truth.  I’m quite sure Sky & BT wouldn’t mind focussing on that in their live broadcasts. 

    Shame the BBC and get people talking, asking questions.

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  31. Kid GlovesNovember 8, 2017 at 10:07
    ‘…the publicly funded state broadcaster that’s helping to do long term damage to the game’
    ___________________
    And that is the key point: bias and distortion of ‘red top’ proportions by one entrenched section of the BBC.

    Daly did us all a favour when his programme showed the football cheating carried on by SDM .The tax  thing was only incidental to the sports cheating: Murray was a sports cheat whether he cheated the tax man or not, because he lied to the SFA and SPL, breaking very serious rules that require full  disclosure of the remuneration being paid to players.It was that ‘failure to disclose’ that nails him as a cheat,not the fact that he diddled the taxman (or tried to). EVEN if he had been paying his own money he would still have been a cheat by not disclosing the full payments.

    Now, whether Dermot Desmond cheated the tax man or not , he is not a Sports cheat, even if the scheme he and his businesses (other than Celtic) might have used dodgy tax avoidance schemes. By the use of such, of course, he  might be  legitimately lumped in as an individual  with Prince Charles and his mum and all the many other pop stars and celebrities and global players who find ways (apparently legally)of not paying as much tax, proportionately their earnings,as the rest of us.

    The  BBC  tries  to draw a kind of comparison between what Desmond may or may not have done on a personal basis with the downright deliberate sports cheating of SDM’s Rangers Football Club. 

    And  awards the ‘story’ a degree of prominence as if it was of the same nature and the same significance as the monumental, seismic and unfollowed-up story of SDM’s cheating of his fellow club owners, his own fans, and Scottish Football as a whole.

    Worse, BBC Radio Scotland persists in propagandising and promoting the monstrous lie that Murray’s/ (Whyte’s) ‘Rangers’ survived the death-dealing Liquidation of which  Murray’s cheating was the prime cause.

    And in doing so helps keeps in office the men who so scandalously caused huge numbers of us  to abandon such belief in the  integrity of Scottish football administration as we may have had.

    And, on this last point, at last night’s presentation by the SFSA of the (truly independent survey conducted by German university academics) it was revealed that 69% of ( an unchallengeably statistically valid sample of the Scottish football support) believe that there’s a chance that their interest in football will progressively decline.

    The failure by the ‘BBC’ to get ‘tore intae’ the Res 12 issue, to chase and harry our football administrators over their actions , to rip the guts out SDM by exposing him as the cheat (and more tellingly, the betrayer of Rangers to save his own concerns) that he was, stands as a monument to a journalistic incompetence and readiness to support untruth.

    That is unacceptable, in my opinion.

    I don’t have to buy any particular newspaper.

    But if I want to watch any kind of TV, I am legally required to pay the licence fee.

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  32. NTDEALNovember 8, 2017 at 10:27
    ‘..It was mentioned on here yesterday simultaneous press conferences at Celtic Park and Ibrox at,apparrently,6pm last night.’
    __________
    I mentioned it.But I see no reference in ,eg, today’s paper. 03
    I will fine the brother the price of a couple of Horseshoe pints next time I meet him in Glasgow.Or we’ll both give the guy who told him a doing!19

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  33. If Sevco supporters are holding up DDD’s bad publicity as anything comparable to the football and financial cheating by Oldco over many years then they are delusional! There is obviously no equivalence whatsoever and I have to say if there was any implied or suggested by the BBC I missed it.
    We will all clearly recall with some pleasure that in 2012 Mark Daly (yes the same man) presented the programme “The men who sold the jerseys”. I’m sure at that time the BBC and MD were accused by those of a blue persuasion of being anti Rangers and probably much worse!
    Hero to villain and back again (twice).

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  34. @ JOHN CLARKNOVEMBER 8, 2017 at 11:22
    I must really add that while what you are saying is absolutely true your particular emphasis seems to suggest that the BBC is reliable outside of football reporting.  I may be quite mistaken, if so apologies.  But I think it’s worth saying here that the BBC (and other media outlets) are very much establishment biased and not just in sport. 

    For instance there’s a  bit of a rammy just about tax evaders in the MSM but this will pass quickly and the media will move on to other things.  On the other hand every week for years not only do you regularly see stuff about benefit cheats there are whole TV programs appearing about them creating the impression it is a massive problem when in fact the figure estimated by government for this is about 2% of those claiming benefits – and in fact many for various reasons don’t get benefits they are honestly due.   

    Now if the papers had been filled every day for years with articles criticising tax dodgers and there was a weekly TV program on folk dodging tax I bet government might feel pressure to do more about it.  However the MSM know they can get away with brief attacks on the powerful creating the impression of even handedness when over a longer period they are anything but.  

    I’d better stop here as I’m wandering way off-topic. 
    Apologies if I bored some of you.  But to try to tie it to on-topic, don’t just think the pro-Ibrox bias is a purely a football thing, it’s part of a more general attitude in the MSM.

    BTW JohnJames site has …well … a rant on this. Has a real go at the BBC.
    https://johnjamessite.com/2017/11/08/come-fly-with-me/

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  35. COINEANACHANTAIGHENOVEMBER 8, 2017 at 11:59
    Nail on head.  Whilst the media , including Taig/Bear (depending on the story) Daly, home in on a few “celebrity” tax haven opportunists such as Desmond, Mrs Brown and, for that matter, HRH the real movers and shakers in tax dodging carry on regardless.  Meanwhile we can defend Desmond because he’s a Celtic man and, presumably, HRH because it turns out that the Queens XI are aptly named so that’s all right.  I’m grateful to be a Dons fan therefore not required to follow like a sheep, ironic though that is.

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  36. Since we don’t have a play-off to look forward to over the next week or so, here’s something to keep Scotland fans occupied.  Bend it like Baxter, a comedy play about the Wembley ’67 match, a time when Scotland were quite good at kicking a ball about, no really!  The play was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the match and the nation basking in the glory of qualifying for the World Cup via the play offs. So, that’s one out of two then!
    http://www.webstersglasgow.com/events/bend-like-baxter/

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  37. John ClarkNovember 8, 2017 at 11:22
    ________________________________________
    Hi John. You can actually watch Catchup TV without a license. I haven’t paid for one for years and only use Catchup.

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  38. I listened in to the SFSA survey piece on Sportsound last night. Darryl Broadfoot was appalling. Taking over the SFSA rep and totally denigrating the whole approach. Gordon Smith hardly better. 
    Smith – I wanted to make change at SFA but wasn’t allowed shtick is just garbage. I assume he means the transformative plan for Scottish football to ban divers? Perhaps it’s just you were incompetent Gordon and way out of your business degree depth?
    its Daryl that really takes the biscuit though. He was being paid for last nights cobtribuion as he “represents the SFA”. You really couldn’t make it up though as I view the political realm make it up seems the sensible option over what’s actually happening. 

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  39. ernie November 8, 2017 at 12:21

    If by HRH you mean ‘Old Mother Riley’ then it should be HMQ.  After all, we have to give Her Maj all due respect.

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  40. jean7brodie November 8, 2017 at 12:54

    Hi John. You can actually watch Catchup TV without a license. I haven’t paid for one for years and only use Catchup.
    ===============================
    From the TV Licencing website http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/topics/Live-TV-and-how-you-watch-it

    Do I need a TV Licence if I only ever watch on demand services (like catch up TV), DVDs or downloaded programmes?

    You don’t need a licence if you only ever watch on demand or catch up programmes on services other than BBC iPlayer (and you also never watch live TV programmes on any channel, including on iPlayer).

    You also don’t need a licence to watch DVDs, Blu-rays or videos.

    You need a TV Licence to download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer – live, catch up or on demand. This applies to any device and provider you use.

    BBC iPlayer: New TV licence rules come into force
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-37226030

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  41. COINEANACHANTAIGHE
    NOVEMBER 8, 2017 at 11:59 
    @ JOHN CLARKNOVEMBER 8, 2017 at 11:22

    I must really add that while what you are saying is absolutely true your particular emphasis seems to suggest that the BBC is reliable outside of football reporting.  I may be quite mistaken, if so apologies.  But I think it’s worth saying here that the BBC (and other media outlets) are very much establishment biased and not just in sport…
    ==============================
    Absolutely, COINEANACHANTAIGHE.

    I think we all grew up, taking it for granted that the BBC was the bestest news outlet on the planet – and that around the world people tuned in to the BBC World Service on the radio, ‘cos that was what we were told.
    The quality of the BBC was never questioned, [up until relatively recent years anyway.]

    Now though, we have this upstart called t’internet…and those pesky Bampots are quickly becoming more aware of what we didn’t know before.

    Which is why I still find the TRFC/SFA/SPFL/SMSM saga fascinating.
     
    They can’t censor the bloggers – yet – and the youngsters today don’t buy papers, don’t pay for a BBC licence, or collect their news from just one outlet either, [based on an admittedly, small sample size of my daughters and their friends.]

    I now routinely check Russia Today and Al Jazeerah to get stories that just don’t appear in the MSM in the UK, or to just get another perspective on UK reporting of a major story.

    Following RTC made me distrust the MSM exponentially more – and question everything reported, and what their angle is – so it’s his/her/their fault !  22

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  42. Ballyargus,
    Wouldn’t like to be sitting in one of those seats!  Talk about a restricted view!

    If that photo is genuine some architect or designer should be in big bother.

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Comments are closed.