Comment on JPP: Perverting Justice? by theredpill.
Alex Thomson 2012
Just into Glasgow after an illuminating day speaking to club chairmen and officials of Scottish football which right now appears in a state of something like civil war.
What has it come to when club chairmen will openly agree with that description – one of them on camera?
When such people openly talk of a complete breakdown of trust between the FA in Scotland on one hand and the Premier League – on the other and personal breakdown of trust with their chief executives Neil Doncaster and Stewart Regan.
They stand accused as men hell-bent on pursuing the existence of the “Rangers” cash cow and bleeding it at all costs, as high as possible in the game. Men, they say who care about money and not sport.
Mr Doncaster and Mr Regan vehemently deny this and accuse the chairmen of living in a fairytale world and not thinking that ‘sporting integrity’ has a big price tag.
So this is the atmosphere on the eve of Friday 13th – Hampden.
I have in front of me a leaked email form Stewart Regan dated 23 June and sent to a small number of football officials and lawyers.
He thanks them all “for your contribution and support…in trying to deliver a programme of change that will move Scottish football forward whilst addressing the need to deal with the Rangers matter with integrity and in line with our own values as an organisation.”
Laudable enough – yet Mr Regan has presided over a sport where key relations between leagues, fans and governing bodies are poisonous.
Once upon a time Ibrox was toxic – now the inflammation’s spread and a crisis infects every club in the land.
No wonder therefore that one chairman twice told me today that he has had conversations with several other chairmen discussing a vote of no confidence in the SFA and SPL leadership.
Chairmen I’ve spoken to regard the financial sweeteners proposed by these men to smaller clubs to allow “Rangers” into Division 1, as ‘derisory’ and ‘laughable’.
“They have not even begun to address proper redistribution of wealth from the SPL and they show no real desire to do so,” said Gordon McDougall of Livingston.
And look at how apparently out of touch Mr Regan is with the mood of both SPL and SFL clubs.
His email plans out what was supposed to happen inside Hampden-world as opposed to what did happen in the real world:
“D) DL (David Longmuir SFL boss) to organise SFL Board Meeting w/c 25th June to gain buy-in to the plan…
E) ND (Neil Doncaster) to gain support from SPL Clubs 28th June
F) SFL Clubs Meeting to be planned for 3rd July
G) SPL Club Meeting to be planned for 4th July
H) Scottish FA Board to sign off on the final plan post July 4th
Well -best laid plans. Nothing went according to this recipe.
And all the while the man about whom the clubs know so little; about whose financial backing so much remains mysterious – Charles Green, “Rangers” owner, was to be kept in the loop.
The email goes on:
“In parallel to the above, could Rod Petrie please brief Charles Green confidentially on the discussions from a Scottish FA perspective so that there are ‘no surprises’ and there is a general acceptance of the plan…”
So the “Rangers” boss gets full briefings on the quiet to keep him sweet whilst -as clubs like Clyde make clear – they go begging for basic information about what’s on offer in return for soft-landing Mr Green’s Blues.
SFA/SPL are gambling hugely on giving Mr Green a helping Division 1 hand his own fans have rejected.
The SPL rejected the punt. So now, as one chairman of a league club Donald Findlay put it, ‘the gun is being held to the head’ of league chairmen.
Well, it’s an odd way to gamble – an even odder way to do business and the oddest way possible to manage and to govern.
theredpill Also Commented
slimjim 12th October 2018
A player who represented Scotland last night was questioned by the Police regarding an assault on his girlfriend/wife two years ago but after an intervention by his club no charges were brought.
Will be interested to see if he is nominated in the years to come.
Ach ma sarcasm is wasted on here.😊
JPP: Perverting Justice?
slimjim 12th October 2018 at 19:10
slimjim I know of at least 11 players who have done the same as gazza but there would be nothing to gain by naming them,
JPP: Perverting Justice?
Recent Comments by theredpill
Resolution 12 & The Broken Bond
Neil Lennon said that the flairs going off at matches and the fines payed he could have bought another player.thank goodness they were denied the money or they may have bought .
Celtic’s Questions to Answer
Well done Colin,makes me feel something positive is happening in our game.Jags should name the ground after him.
EuroMillions winner Colin Weir has completed his takeover at Partick Thistle and plans to gift ownership to fans next year.
Weir, 71, has purchased a majority shareholding and a holding in land at the club's Firhill Stadium.
The life-long supporter will immediately give the land back to the Scottish Championship club.
His 55% shareholding will then go to a fan group being developed, based on the Well Society model at Motherwell.
The free transfer of shares will happen "no later than the 30 March 2020".
Weir has already invested around £2.5m of his £161m lottery win in the Glasgow club and previously set aside £6m for a new training ground.
But he withdrew his support in August citing "uncertainties" about a mooted takeover by a foreign consortium.
- Weir-backed fans group makes Thistle bid
- Lottery winner withdraws Thistle funding
- Thistle to face Raith in Challenge Cup semi
An interim board will be established "comprising of a mix of experienced business people and fan representatives", while a working group is to be set up jointly by the PTFC Trust and Thistle for Ever organisations to create the body that will receive the shareholding.
The land purchased from Firhill Developments is the south terrace area and main stand and it will revert back to full Thistle ownership after 10 years under the terms of the deal.
'Fan owners will not need to repay a penny'
"Thistle for Ever planted the thought of fan ownership as a real option in my mind," said Weir in a statement.
"But this has all happened quicker than anyone might have anticipated. That's why I have offered a three to four month window for fans to get everything in place before handing over shares.
"They want to get it right and I want to be sure that when the new entity is operational, there is a structure that will allow for a smooth transfer of ownership. This is a major financial commitment on my part as fan owners will not need to repay a penny – but I believe this gives fan ownership the best possible start."
Weir also promised a future announcement on his plans for funding the club's youth academy.
Celtic’s Questions to Answer
Celtic’s Questions to Answer
Rangers Tax Case
Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!
It seemed all was settled in the long running Rangers Tax Case saga. Yet after the Scottish press’ latest embarrassment, we can look forward to months and years of continued arguing over my favourite subject.
The Supreme Court ruled on 5th July 2017 that Rangers’ efforts to “pay for players we could not otherwise afford” had failed. Their disguised remuneration scheme was so badly implemented the court had no hesitation in dismissing this wheeze. When you are trying to pull a disguised remuneration scam, a key component is that the payments are actually disguised. Detailed notes and side-letters explaining what is going on should not fall into the hands of investigators. Just like with Al Capone, suspicions that a criminal network was operating out of Ibrox led to evidence of deliberate and concealed non-payment of tax being uncovered.
It should have been all over with the Supreme Court decision. Rangers had been liquidated. A new club had been formed to take its place. Most of Scottish football, including the press, had agreed to pretend that nothing had happened. This same rogues gallery locked arms to block any meaningful punishment for the years of blatant cheating. Incriminated by their knowledge and involvement in Rangers’ various violations of the rules, there cannot be an investigation into the events surrounding the last years of that club’s existence.
Such has been the determination to sweep over the past and pretend that nothing traumatic happened, today’s The Times gets tax story wrong tale really took me by surprise.
On one level (or maybe a 5th level?) you have to stand back and admire the artfulness of the spin-doctoring behind this story. Twitter and Rangers’ fansites are ablaze with fantasies: the old club is coming out of liquidation; HMRC made a mistake; or that Rangers have somehow been victims of this process. With Magnus Llewellin’s Scottish version of The Times playing the role of duped conduit or willing participant in a lie, the way this story has been crafted is worthy of a round of applause. In these days of Brexit and Trump propaganda, we see it quite often. Yet this “Rangers died for nothing” narrative stands out. Devoid of factual references or checkable sources, it is a golden example of the power of the press to inflame and deflect on command.
What really happened?
As laid out in the @rangerstaxcase twitter feed last night, HMRC have decided that it is not worth to keep fighting for two side-show elements of the Big Tax Case. The first part was the “net or gross?” question. There was no dispute that Rangers paid about £49m to players through the EBT scheme. However, was that amount net of tax? i.e. the real taxable wage was about £100m and the tax owed would be about £48m. Or was that the gross wage? i.e. the taxable wages were £49m and the tax due only about £24m. HMRC had submitted assessments to Rangers over the years on the basis that the amounts were “net”. However, this was always going to be a contentious issue. My post of 11th November 2011 predicted that HMRC would be forced to back down on this point and to accept the lower number. It is always nice to be proven correct in the course of time.
As none of the courts or tribunals that had looked at the Big Tax Case had ever decided on “Net v Gross”, Rangers’ liquidators argued that the issue remained unresolved. For HMRC to pursue the argument that they were entitled to the higher numbers, they would have had to have initiated a new FTT case. With only a tiny amount of money at stake for HMRC (they will only get a very small percentage regardless of the amount owed), they dropped the claim for the higher amount. No “shock! horror! error!” involved here. It was simply not worth HMRC’s time to pursue the higher amounts as there isn’t enough cash in the kitty to pay for more than a few percent of what is due anyway.
Similarly with the penalty amount. On 10th June of 2019, Rangers’ liquidators, BDO, confirmed that HMRC had been asking for a penalty amount of 65% of the amount of tax underpaid (excluding interest). This too required a new FTT case to confirm as HMRC had agreed to a Rangers’ request back in 2010 to separate the tribunals for underpayment and penalty. BDO correctly pointed out that the penalty amounts had not been confirmed by any legal process. HMRC would have to relitigate the whole issue again if they wanted to score a point on Rangers’ fraudulent conduct. However, with no prospect of yielding a worthwhile increase in payment for their efforts, HMRC agreed to drop the claim for penalties.
This was all simply a cost-benefit expediency. There was nothing behind the decisions to drop the claims for net-of-tax payments or the penalties that indicated that HMRC was admitting to any error. Yet that is how this event has been masterfully spun by the usual Ibrox lackeys in the press.
If RFC 2012 plc had survived and was a going-concern with assets and revenues to be claimed, HMRC would not have given up the claim on the penalties. (Possibly not on the gross v net either- but it is quite likely they would have lost this point). BDO list the revised HMRC tax claim as being £68.3m now. There was not- and is not- a chance in hell that Rangers could have found the funds to avoid administration. This “sensational” story is creating a false narrative from nothing. Old original Rangers is not coming out of liquidation!
The story of Rangers’ descent into collapse is characterised by fans amassing around polar extremes. There is little rational discussion. Almost to a man, Rangers fans have shown no interest is learning what was being done in their name. If a Celtic supporter said it, it must be disputed and scorned. Similarly, most Celtic fans have enjoyed this adventure for the many months and years of unrivalled entertainment. In many corners of the Scottish football interwebs there is little concern for accuracy in any story.
Therefore, I write this blog mainly for the record. The facts as currently stated by BDO are here if you want them. I doubt reality will cause many who follow the tribulations of the Ibrox clubs to sway their view much at all. There are flame wars to fight. In the press, there are agendas to push and newspapers to sell.
In Whose Interests
Ahead of a game between Livi and a club the stature of Rangers, would someone such as Walter Smith have made similar comments?